Sunday, October 31, 2010

Convicted of the Holy Spirit

I've told you that I used to drink pretty heavily...and whenever I wasn't at work, I was practically squatting at the Ritz. It was not a time of my life I'm particularly proud about.

I left home one day following a morning-after spat with my husband over the summer of 1996, and flew to Seattle to visit an old girlfriend from CSU. The trip was a big disappointment; my friend was still plenty wild and very single...and I was soon reminded of all the reasons why being married with children is quite alright.

My ride to the airport was sluggish and hung-over; he got me there just as my plane was departing, and I ended up having to take an Alaska Air flight back to the Springs. The only seat available was in first-class...and so that's where they placed me. I had already downed several glasses of wine in short order when the man sitting nearest to me struck up a conversation.

I experience significant memory loss when I drink too much, and often am left with only a flash of recollection of either the very best or the very worst moment that took place; so I don't remember what all we talked about. But my speech becomes quite animated after I've been drinking, and peppered with expletives; there's little reason for me to think this drunken occasion was different from any of my countless others.

So, anyway, my flash of total recall is this: my seatmate was absolutely pleasant, with a most remarkable voice, and I made him laugh several times. At one point he asked what I did for a living, and I told him I worked for MCI; I then asked him the same, and he chuckled a bit before telling me he was a preacher.

Well, that lit me up. "Wow. Hey, maybe you can explain a couple of things: How come in the Bible it says that if a woman gives birth to a male child, she shall be unclean for six days...but if she gives birth to a girl child, she's unclean for a month!?! Why is the woman 'unclean' at all??? Whut up wid dat, huh? And what about Cain and Abel -- why'd God reject Cain's offering of grain but favor Abel's offering of meat? God doesn't like broccoli?? How about the offerings the people were supposed to make at the temples; I mean, COME ON -- God doesn't eat food; God doesn't need money -- but I bet there were a whole lotta rich and fat Rabbis passing the collection plate!! The Bible is no different from ancient Greek mythology."

He laughed good-naturedly, and started to explain things to me...things I no longer recall, and dismissed posthaste as utter nonsense. I presume the plane landed safely and we parted ways.

Years later, I dreamt three dreams that I can only explain as messages from God...and it was still several years after that before I realized the man sitting next to me on the plane was the most excellent preacher, Charles Stanley.

What a remarkable man; what a gentle, dignified and *powerful* speaker...and such an unpretentious servant of the Lord: if any of you reading long for a better understanding of the Bible and a closer relationship with God, I highly recommend listening to his sermons. Indeed, my habit is to watch Charles Stanley on Sunday mornings instead of going to church (which I still really have a very hard time with).

His topic today was, "Giving back to the Lord." Let me tell ya: I don't care who's preaching -- I usually NEVER sit through a sermon about tithing...and to be perfectly honest with you, I considered changing the channel once I recognized the topic. But he kept saying things that kept me listening, and before he was done, I had a page full of notes -- front and back.

Anyway, less than a week ago, I received an anonymous comment that stuck in my craw.

The writer said that judging from my tone, as well as the number of articles I've written about her, it was plain that I hated Jan Tanner -- and then the writer prayed for me to let it go. And I wrote a follow-up that said, "I don't hate Jan Tanner, I'm practically in love with Jan Tanner." But in my heart, I know that all but maybe 20 words I've written about her have been generously laced with spydra-venom.

Yes, Jan's association with the District has been wrong for a very long time...but she's unlikely to ever come clean about it; heckling her won't make a confession come any faster, and after all, "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right."

Yes, I am poor and covetous and envious of her ill-gotten gains -- but she's not gonna share with me, and the Bible says, "Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."

Yes, Jan's a poor choice as a leader, but it's the electorate's responsibility to become educated on the candidates. The Bible says that, "The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going."

"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life; but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit." Well, no doubt, there are times when my tongue ain't exactly wholesome... but I do believe "pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones."

Thank you to the anonymous commenter -- even though I know who you are -- for chastising and correcting me. "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; the ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise; the heart of the wise teacheth his mouth and addeth learning to his lips."

I'd say at least ten percent of Spydra's Web is about Jan Tanner...and so, because I have no money to give up to God, I surrender my obsession with Jan.

"When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." So Jan, I won't dress you down in public anymore, and I ask your forgiveness; with that said...I'm only human; please don't tempt me.

"Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."  I will continue to research as God guides me, but will try hard to only write in ways that honor Him; for vengeance is not mine...and I want Him to be proud of me.  "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good; and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he."

And I am happy.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

His Word *is* so magical...

came across this audio one day after writing this post


Friday, October 29, 2010

Dear President Strand...

Just a quick note:

I missed most of the last Board meeting, so perhaps I'm too late; pehaps it's already a done deal.  But if not: 

The topic has been raised SEVERAL TIMES and each time, a majority of the Board said "No." 


Jan is already on the CASB Board; Glenn is already the President of the CASE Board.  There is no need to rejoin the legislative coalition.  PERIOD.  I truly hope that you don't capitulate to the wants and whims of Jan and Glenn.

Hope your wife is well.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Communist Takeover of America

You are about to read a list of 45 goals that found their way down the halls of our great Capitol back in 1963. As you read this, 47 years later, you should be shocked by the events that have played themselves out.

* * * * * * * * 

Communist Goals (1963) Congressional Record--Appendix, pp. A34-A35 January 10, 1963


Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman's request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following "Current Communist Goals," which she identifies as an excerpt from "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen:

* * * * * * * *

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a "religious crutch."

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The following was inspired by the comments that were left on my recent post, "Censored." 

Let me start by saying...I don't know what Richard B., TruthForce, ManitouMon said or did to stir everyone up; I really never followed that situation...and every time it was alluded to, I thought "how inane; what a silly and insipid disagreement."  I don't care if those three people are one and the same; all I know is that I agreed with Richard B. and many of the comments he left on The Pulpit.
Barna turns a deaf ear to outright anti-Christian hate speech, yet sees fit to delete, censor and silence opposing voices. Talk about a hypocrite. Bigots are intolerant; autocrats silence dissent. Those truly seeking tolerance must tolerate. I want to better understand; I want people to tell me what they think, and discourse with me and the other readers of my blog; because of this, the comments on my blog are unmoderated and unfiltered. I rue the day that I am provoked to censor a comment...and expect to be tested on this.  Oh well; I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.

"...if you are not a Christian, it is too easy to assume that you are an ANTI-Christian rather than simply non-Christian."

Let's see how this reads with a little bit of substitution:  If you are not gay, it is too easy to assume that you are an ANTI-gay rather than simply non-gay.

It works both ways.  I guess I don't understand why anyone would assume anti- or non-; after all, didn't we learn in elementary school that to assume makes an ass out of you and me? You can't look at a person and make presumptions about their faith or their sexuality, so I try to never make assumptions about either.

The Pulpit purports to discuss religious and spiritual matters, both of which fascinate me...yet day in and day out, Mark Barna's posts concern homosexual matters, with the result of provoking both non-religious and anti-Christian sentiment. I disagree that Barna has been neutral concerning religion; he's written very supportive articles concerning Wiccan paganism and Islam, for instance. But the truth is that many people of all faiths consider homosexuality to be aberrant, including Muslims, Scientologists, atheists (who believe in nothing); even Wiccans prefer not to include homosexuals in their fertility rituals. So why does Barna persist in singling out and mocking Christianity for its tenets? Isn't that bullying?

And here's a question that's come to mind as I've written this: so much ridicule is made of Christian fundamentalism; what, pray tell, are the fundamentals of homosexuality?

God loves us all, regardless of our faults and foibles. But when it comes to Barna, there's not a "world of difference between anti and non" -- rather, both are facets of his general Godlessness and special, pointed hatred for Christianity. All Christians are accused, all Christians are to blame...though some more than others. It's plain that Barna is "non-Christian"...but he's not stupid, either; he knows what he's doing. His continued, backhanded besmirchment of the Christian faith does not merely "imply an active work against Christianity" -- it IS one.

When I researched the Enrique Chagoya story and saw that Michael de Yoanna (longtime writer for the LGBT mouthpiece The Colorado Springs Independent) was one of the first to have written about it, I knew there had to be a pro-gay/anti-Christian hot-button hotline somewhere -- and Barna's dialed into it. Indeed, the Independent seems much more up his alley; but if Barna insists on providing the Gazette's gay point of view, then he should be given a different forum to do so, and the Gazette should find a thicker-skinned, more open-minded, and less biased writer for it's religion column.

Sign me up.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Superman vs. Exline Grundy

So, I went to go see "Waiting for Superman" Tuesday night. My kid walked off with my notes, so I'm just going to relate what I remember.

Let me start by saying that who ever is responsible for the clusterf**k parking situation at First and Main ought to be keel-hauled.  I'm sure all of that confusion was hella expensive.

In attendance were lots of education movers and shakers, among whom were Vicky Diamond, Mary Lou Makepeace, Chuck Fowler, Sean Paige, Peggy Littleton, Toby Norton, Cari Shaffer, Nick Gledich, Charlie Bobbitt, Chyrese Exline, Mike Miles, and Jan Tanner...who appeared to have left her clown costume at home for a change. Both of the Gazette's education writers were there, as were Tom Strand and his wife -- it was good to see her up and about.

It made me think a lot more of the people who showed, and a lot less of the people who didn't; the showing was free, and there were plenty of empty seats.

The movie followed four children who were clearly leaders of the pack, and their efforts to obtain an equitable education. One child was actively being dumbed-down, and the others were being left behind for no good reason. In all four cases, the parents were actively engaged, and had pinned high hopes upon their child being selected in lotteries to fill the scarce seats available at four local and successful charter schools. In the end, only one child was; the disappointment of the parents and kids who were not selected was palpable, and brought unwilling tears to my eyes.

I have to say that while the movie had a lot of statistics, it was light on solutions. The most significant problems seemed to be the teachers' unions, tenure and class sizes; it also seemed as though charter schools, vouchers and alternative hiring practices for teachers were possible solutions. People were left to mull over answers on their own.

After the movie, attendees were invited to continue the dialogue at Corrino's down the way. My friend and I sat across from the Gazette's new education writer (I am so bad with names, lost her business card, and too burnt out on the Gazette right now to go and look up her name), and Chyrese Exline.

My conversation with the writer from the Gazette was most enjoyable; a pleasant person all around. I did, though, have an opportunity to ask her pointedly about why the Gazette had failed to cover the story about Mrs. Herbst and the rubber band incident, and was astonished when she told me I was the first person to have brought it to her attention.

My friend's conversation with Ms. Exline was decidedly less pleasant. Exline, as you may recall, ran unsuccessfully for the Colorado House in 2007, and the District 11 School Board in 2009. She is Colorado Springs native, a product of District 11 schools, happens to be married to a white guy that my husband and I went to high school with, and remains a D11 insider. When asked about her impression of the movie, she admitted that it was moving...but what fell from her mouth afterward was enough to make me cover my face "no. she. di'int." style.

To hear Ms. Exline speak, it was the parents who were at fault for the educational inequity the children experienced...never mind the fact that it was the parents who were so actively and desperately seeking solutions to the problems. Exline was adamant that the parents were not properly exercising their educational rights, and that's why the kids were suffering.

Talk about a proud mama; Exline went on to explain at length and ad nauseum how she became a loudly squeaking wheel so as to squeeze out every last drop of grease to which she felt her child was entitled. Talk about vicarious living; not to discount her daughter's accomplishments...but one would have thought that Exline herself had graduated high school and entered college at age 16.

Quibbling arose as various statistics were bandied about (part of the discussion I just sort of blinked through), and whenever my friend would counter with different numbers, Exline would chirp condescendingly, "You're entitled to your own opinions, but not entitled to your own facts." She said it so many times that I was inspired to look up the quote online; and no matter how many times Exline repeats it, it was indeed something someone else lofitier than she -- I believe Daniel Moynihan -- said first.

Exline claimed that charter schools aren't much more than "private public schools" (or was it "public private schools"?). She alleged that charter schools serve a disproportinate number of white children, stating time and again that there were few people who "look like me" either teaching or in attendance. She did not answer my question about the recent, successful racial discrimination lawsuit that was brought against District 11. 

I asked her, then, what she thought of Jan Tanner being a party to a lawsuit against the Colorado Department of Education, in which she alleged school vouchers would have the effect of denying her son an equitable education (even though he was 16 at the time and almost out of school); Chyrese stammered out a weak defense of Tanner, and then spat, "Why don't you ask her yourself?"

"I will," said I, "one day I will do just that." But in reality, it's unlikely; when would Jan ever speak to me? Biting off her nose to spite her face, she's already demonstrated her complete disregard for my astute observations on her numerous fashion faux pas. Simply put, I am not Jan's favorite kind of black person -- but then, who is?

Anyway, my friend and I left the gathering at Corrino's both expressing the same sentiment -- that we wished we'd sat across from someone other than Chyrese. One thing absolutely for certain: whatever office the elitist Exline chases in the a Colorado Springs native, as a product of District 11, as a black woman in an interracial marriage, as a low-income person, and as a parent -- I'll know better than to ever cast my vote for her.

See the movie if you can. 

Lois Lane, signing out.


On Fri, 15 Oct 2010 15:17:25 -0600 Mark Barna wrote:

>Hi Spydra,
>I appreciate your interest in The Pulpit, but in recent weeks you
>have been making personal attacks on other Pulpit bloggers. I have
>received complaints about you from other posters and felt action
>had to be taken.
>You mention Richard B. as a colleague of yours. As you many know,
>Richard B. has the same email address as ManitouMon and
>TruthForce, both of whom were banned by our comments editor. He
>cannot post on, so he's chosen to post on The Pulpit
>If you can refrain from attacking others and remember the Golden
>Rule, you will be allowed to post on The Pulpit.
>Best wishes
>Mark Barna
>Gazette Religion Reporter


Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 17:14:36 -0600


I already wrote you once personally in response to the Chagoya
article you posted, expressing my sadness and outright grief with
regard to the anti-Christian sentiments you persistently foment and
encourage on your blog; your only response was to begin deleting my
comments in retaliation. With all due respect, please show me what
I wrote prior to your Chagoya article that you perceived as an
impermissable attack.

I did not indicate Richard B. as a "colleague"; I did, however,
notice that his complaints about the number of gay stories you post
were similarly taken down. His sentiments echoed mine, and were
not inflammatory in any way - certainly not nearly as inflammatory
as those you permit against Christianity. As such, I felt and
expressed a sense of kinship with him. I do not follow the soap
operas of the people who comment on your blog, and know nothing
else about Richard B., the others you mentioned below, or any of
the others who comment on your blog.

Mark, I recognized you at the demonstration James Tucker
coordinated in protest of "Journey", the boat made out of black
people that sat in front of the county courthouse for a year; I was
standing right beside him as you interviewed him. I'd always
wanted to meet you, believing that if only I could share a word
with you in person, it might help bridge the enormous divide that
exists between you and I...and so when you were finished, I
approached you.

"Aren't you Mark Barna," I asked. "Yes," you said with a smirk
before walking away dismissively...and I will never forget the
amused lack of empathy that was evident in your entire demeanor.
When the Gazette finally ran its equally unsympathetic story about
the sculpture's eventual removal, the vitriolic anti-black comments
were so toxic they made me weep.

When this newspaper was still called the Gazette Telegraph, it was
my teacher; I learned to read and write while gazing at the words
printed thereon. This paper taught me about freedom of speech and
freedom of the press; forty years later, I cannot believe what the
Gazette permits when it comes to insulting blacks and Christians
and Doug Bruce and conservatives, and what it protects and censors
when it comes to liberals and homosexuality.

Believe me when I tell you that I have refrained, tempered my
words, and held myself back; if anyone complained about something
I've said, it's because they couldn't think of a clever enough
retort. It would seem that some people can dish it out, but can't
take it, and I've been unfairly silenced for nothing more than
speaking my mind.

Certainly, Mark, I'll follow the Golden Rule - that's the one where
people are to do unto others as they would have others do unto
them, right? But will you do the same?

- spydra

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gay Suicide and God

I have occasionally shared with you some intensely personal, private and intimate details of my life...but out of love -- not merely to be shocking.  I have written in detail about my struggles with depression and suicidal thinking, as well as about how I came to find God.  My faith helped me recover from alcoholism, depression and being a woman of loose morals...and my life, my marriage and my family have only benefitted. 

This recent rash of suicides by young gay people is a tragedy of epic made even sadder with the blame that's been placed upon Christianity for these deaths.  There is NO evidence that religion of any kind had anything to do with the deaths of those young people. 

I've held myself back from writing too much about my faith because my faith is my business; I've held myself back from writing too much about my sexuality because it's my business...and frankly, a little extreme.  I've held myself back from writing too much about homosexuality because I REALLY DON'T CARE TO KNOW ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S SEXUALITY; indeed, PLEASE KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.   

I absolutely resent the blame that has been placed upon Christianity for these tragedies, as well as the Gazette's Mark Barna's revolting and relentless muckraking on this topic.  His column "The Pulpit"  -- which purports to be about religious and spiritual matters in Colorado Springs -- would be more accurately titled "The Gay Pagan." His daily diatribe in support of homosexuality and against Christianity is nothing more than inflammatory and offensive indoctrination.  And while he allows like-minded readers to spew vitriol against religion and Christianity unrestrained, he deletes comments from defenders of the faith...claiming he's being "attacked."  What a wimp; one would think that his strident, militant pro-homosexual stance would have helped him grow a thicker skin by now.

The gay community spreads plenty of hate and inspires plenty of confusion.  I posted the article below once before, and dedicate it to Mark, in hopes he might learn a thing or two; hateful though it may be, it was composed by a top writer...whereas Barna is most assuredly at the bottom.

* * * * * * * *

Michael Swift: "Gay Revolutionary"
from Gay Community News, Feb. 15-21, 1987
(reprinted from The Congressional Record, with preface restored)

In 1987, Michael Swift was asked to contribute an editorial piece to GCN, an important gay community magazine, although well to the left of most American gay and lesbian opinion. A decade later this text, printed in the Congressional Record is repeatedly cited, apparently verbatim, by the religious right as evidence of the "Gay Agenda". The video Gay Rights, Special Rights, put out by Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition cites it with ominous music and picture of children. But when the religious rights cites this text, they always omit, as does the Congressional record, the vital first line, which sets the context for the piece. In other words, every other version of this found on the net is part of the radical right's great lie about gay people. For a discussion of the whole "Gay vs. Religious Right" phenomenon see Chris Bull and John Gallagher: Perfect Enemies: The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s, (New York: Crown, 1996)
This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.

We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.

Women, you cry for freedom. You say you are no longer satisfied with men; they make you unhappy. We, connoisseurs of the masculine face, the masculine physique, shall take your men from you then. We will amuse them; we will instruct them; we will embrace them when they weep. Women, you say you wish to live with each other instead of with men. Then go and be with each other. We shall give your men pleasures they have never known because we are foremost men too, and only one man knows how to truly please another man; only one man can understand the depth and feeling, the mind and body of another man.

All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.

All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.

If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.

We shall write poems of the love between men; we shall stage plays in which man openly caresses man; we shall make films about the love between heroic men which will replace the cheap, superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile, heterosexual infatuations presently dominating your cinema screens. We shall sculpt statues of beautiful young men, of bold athletes which will be placed in your parks, your squares, your plazas. The museums of the world will be filled only with paintings of graceful, naked lads.

Our writers and artists will make love between men fashionable and de rigueur, and we will succeed because we are adept at setting styles. We will eliminate heterosexual liaisons through usage of the devices of wit and ridicule, devices which we are skilled in employing.

We will unmask the powerful homosexuals who masquerade as heterosexuals. You will be shocked and frightened when you find that your presidents and their sons, your industrialists, your senators,your mayors, your generals, your athletes, your film stars, your television personalities, your civic leaders, your priests are not the safe, familiar, bourgeois, heterosexual figures you assumed them to be. We are everywhere; we have infiltrated your ranks. Be careful when you speak of homosexuals because we are always among you; we may be sitting across the desk from you; we may be sleeping in the same bed with you.

There will be no compromises. We are not middle-class weaklings. Highly intelligent, we are the natural aristocrats of the human race, and steely-minded aristocrats never settle for less. Those who oppose us will be exiled.

We shall raise vast private armies, as Mishima did, to defeat you. We shall conquer the world because warriors inspired by and banded together by homosexual love and honor are invincible as were the ancient Greek soldiers.

The family unit-spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence--will be abolished. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory. They will be bonded together in communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants.

All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our only gods are handsome young men. We adhere to a cult of beauty, moral and esthetic. All that is ugly and vulgar and banal will be annihilated. Since we are alienated from middle-class heterosexual conventions, we are free to live our lives according to the dictates of the pure imagination. For us too much is not enough.

The exquisite society to emerge will be governed by an elite comprised of gay poets. One of the major requirements for a position of power in the new society of homoeroticism will be indulgence in the Greek passion. Any man contaminated with heterosexual lust will be automatically barred from a position of influence. All males who insist on remaining stupidly heterosexual will be tried in homosexual courts of justice and will become invisible men.

"We shall rewrite history, history filled and debased with your heterosexual lies and distortions. We shall portray the homosexuality of the great leaders and thinkers who have shaped the world. We will demonstrate that homosexuality and intelligence and imagination are inextricably linked, and that homosexuality is a requirement for true nobility, true beauty in a man.

"We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages. We too are capable of firing guns and manning the barricades of the ultimate revolution.

Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

EXTRA: Jan's Official Comin' Out

Let's face it -- I've talked a lot of smack about her.

Is Jan Tanner really the woman she claims to be?

Is Jan Tanner really the villain I suspect she is?

I can't say yet with absolute certainty. 

But Jan Tanner has answered one question that has haunted me for more than a year now -- tonight, and unequivocably -- and I am much relieved:


No two ways about this one, folks -- turn on the TV so you can see it with your own two eyes:  Jan, wearing an unthinkable black leather jacket, under which there is a white t-shirt, emblazoned with a pink ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness Month; atop the pink ribbon is a word -- if only I knew what that word is...because all you can see through the opening of her jacket is A S S.

I'm not making this up.

Jan is a walking fashion disaster -- if I could get paid $100 for every time she dresses like a moron on television, I'd almost be as rich as she is.


I'll include pictures as soon as I have one.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Community Engagement Meeting

Hello friends, and here’s my breakdown of the District’s Community Engagement Meeting Tuesday night at Wasson; the first in a series, and the only one within walking distance…so likely the only one for me.  Straight transcription, with minimal editorial comments, which are in lilac.  Sorry in advance for any typos, and glean whatever you will from it.


I counted about fifty or so people there. People wishing to remain anonymous were invited to write down their questions on notepads that were provided; there was also a microphone for those who wished to stand up and ask their questions. It was thoughtful of the District to have an ASL and Spanish interpreter available.

The whole Board was there, even Al Loma – it’s apparent he’s still recovering, and good to see him up and about. Superintendent Gledich was there; each meeting will also have a Deputy Superintendent on hand.  On deck was Mary Thurman, in a tailored suit so classic and sharp, I wanted to steal it and donate it to the Tanner “Help Me Dress Myself” Foundation. Also, she of southern grace and good manners, Elaine Naleski.


Tom Strand started off the show by reading the District’s Seven Goals, which are:

1. To demonstrate improvement of student achievement
2. To demonstrate a high performing team
3. To embrace a culture of constant innovation
4. To promote community engagement
5. To provide a safe working environment
6. To demonstrate operational efficiencies
7. To demonstrate financial prudence and fiscal responsibility

President Strand handed off to Gledich, who is currently working with staff to develop an end-of-year report on each of the seven goals and their measures. Interested parties are invited to visit the District’s website and click on the business plan – from there, one can see and track the progress on each of the goals.


The first question of the evening came from TJ Henry, who asked "Why is the state of Colorado is ranked near the bottom among the 50 states for per pupil spending?"
The answers came from several of the Board members. The District receives a percentage of monies from state taxes, property taxes and sales taxes – I guess; but Eagle Eye, my neighbor back in the old ‘hood, showed me her property tax statement, and the percentage the District receives is 75%, and according to Bob Null, they also receive 70% of all vehicle it's not like it's a small percentage. Apparently, 90% of all new money to the District goes to teacher and employee compensation.

Bob Null explained that with the $260 million shortfall, the District has taken a severe hit. The rumor is that the State may take back $164 million from schools. Right now there’s a $4 million in an escrow account, and in January, the State might take that money back. The governor has the challenge to finance so many things related to the public’s health, safety and welfare…so the answer is not less money. At times, it's as though the District has resorted to begging for money.

Marilyn Burshin, a teacher at Wasson, questioned the health initiative, which calls for the participation of students, parents, and staff; many of the staff would like to use the facilities, but have been told that they can’t – particularly the pool.
Gledich said that a message was sent out a couple of weeks ago, forbidding staff to use school fitness facilities after hours. The District is revisiting the decision, which was made in response to workman’s compensation and insurance liability issues.  The District is looking into a possible hold-harmless clause that would waive the District’s liability in case of after-hours injury. There are also questions about the additional costs associated with keeping buildings open longer and having security on hand.

What I’d like to know is what gives in this town when it comes to swimming? I find it amazing that so many swim facilities exist, and so few are available for people to use.  As far as I'm concerned, pool use should be a staff perk.


TJ Henry stood again and asked, "What’s been done with the schools that were closed as a result of reutilization?"
Sandra Mann answered that this is the second year after kids were impacted by the school closures, and the reutilization plan has proven very successful. The District was able to consolidate staff. Charter schools have moved into some of the buildings. One building was sold, and others are up for sale. She also mentioned that the District “came up with a really great plan for Irving” and create a vocational school there [pssst... an idea the District stole from the Irving Village Community group during the RFP process and then presented as its own].

LuAnn Long mentioned that Ivywild had been turned into a retail/community center – a good thing to come from a bad situation; she also mentioned the Youth Symphony at Jefferson. Jan said the District saved costs as a result of the overhead that was eliminated, and moved in non-profits that continue to serve the community. Tom mentioned the survival of Buena Vista, the only free Montessori school in the city…and Charlie Bobbitt extolled the rebirth of Wasson, and the benefits it’s presented to the residents in the Wasson area.

Bob Null said he was proud that they closed the schools, that they did it to save money, and that the evidence shows money was saved. He also denied the story that ran in the Gazette regarding the $3 million the District found and promised to teachers in a Memorandum of Understanding.


A woman named Theresa asked how kids were impacted, now that they travel further to schools and are separated from friends; what, if anything, is the District doing to track such issues?

Tom Strand answered first. Tom lives on the west side, which took the biggest hit from the decision to close schools. The first year was a little shaky, but those students and families are very pleased with how things have turned out; it’s taken more than a year, he thinks they’ll do better year after year.

Bob Null said it’s a shame that the real only measuring tool the District has are CSAPs, but then said there was also MAP testing, annual growth, accreditation; he also mentioned attendance, discipline…and then paused. “Some of the kids left their best buddies,” he said, “but kids adjust pretty quick; it’s we adults that have a hard time adjusting. I believe first returns are that they’re doing o.k.”

Charlie said, “There’s no empirical data that shows any change either way. Mitchell had a big jump in student count, there have been positive changes at Emerson and Swigert. The East/Galileo changes have been phenomenal. It takes time. A few years ago, Palmer High School was not a school anyone wanted to go to; now, it’s nationally recognized.”

Gledich said, “We did not lose any students last year – our student count went up; this year, we expect the numbers will be even higher. So much is subjective, though we did have conversations with a number of staff.” He’s been watching Hunt primarily: “It took a while before Hunt would ‘jump’, and it took staff involvement.”

Sorry, but who wouldn't  want to attend Palmer??  But seriously, I want to know, couldn't such questions have been made a part of the RtI "school climate" measures?   Doesn't really matter anyway; regardless of what the data showed, it wouldn't change anything because it's a done deal, and they really don't care.


Cindy Weinbrenner, parent, stood and complimented Rick Hughes of School Nutrition: “Are we doing any tracking of changes in behavior in relation to the improvements in the school lunch program?”

Tom mentioned changes regarding soft drinks and vegetables, and innovative ideas Mr. Hughes continues to introduce and explore. “They do things that are seasonal, and try things that kids might not have ever even tasted before from other cultures.”

Sandra Mann commented that the District used to contract food service out, but decided a few years ago to bring it in house; she thinks it’s been a really good thing for them, and is hoping to form partnerships with farmers markets, community gardens, and possibly even students working gardens and providing food.

Jan said, “When you are well nourished, you learn better; more students are eating their food.” She’s optimistic that there will be a greater number of healthy students and staff as a result of the food service changes.

LuAnn ate lunch with the kids during a recent elementary school visit, and noted that the kids there loved the “yummy food.”

Bob Null said, “At Palmer, the kids are starting to eat at the school, instead of going off campus; also, at Wasson, there is a culinary curriculum, and the kids are learning. They have students who did the menu, the cooking, the serving...I’m looking forward to the good changes that will be taking place as a result.”

Charlie said that the Pro-Start culinary curriculum is available at all high schools, and that lots of good things are happening.

For me, if all of the changes in Food Service are because of Mr. Hughes, all I can say is, "Good job."  One of my two elementary school kids has a sensitive stomach, and is a very picky eater; both kids look forward to eating lunch and eat it readily, and have also described it as "yummy."  But it all made me think of that Board meeting back in August, when discussion about whether any food would be provided at the community engagement meetings.  Jan and Gledich looked at each other uneasily; Jan said there might be some food, but she didn't feel the District should be expected to provide attendees with a meal.  In the end, she and Gledich agreed that "healthy nibbles would be provided."  Just for your information, on-hand were not-so-fresh chocolate chip cookies and bottled water.


Don Richie, Chairman of the Black Business Round Table asked about the relationship between Galileo and the Music Conservatory, asking why the latter has not provided instruction to the former, as had been agreed upon and promised.

Gledich said, “When the conservatory fist moved in there, when we started Galileo, we had a relationship with the Music Conservatory, and they remained in the basement of the building. They’ve not provided y instruction to the Galileo students, because doing so was contingent on whether funding would be available; they’ve not received some of the grant funding they thought. We are currently having conversations with the conservatory and looking at space and time considerations.”


There was a lull in questions being asked; Strand took the opportunity to invite attendees to opine about the ballot issues 60, 61, and 101:  “If you have comments or thoughts about this, please speak now.”

Don Richie said that the Black Business Round Table is against all three, and that people need to really read what the impact would be on education.


Theresa – “Let’s pretend that 60, 61, and 101 are passed – what will happen?”

Strand said that Mr. Gustafson indicated staff reductions, school closures, teacher compensation, and other issues that will really drive down student achievement.

Bob Null said voices in the community had been raised for a return to year-round school as a way to save money; but in actuality, it would take up 98% of _________ (something).  “There are some people who want to use our Constitution to destroy our government schools, charter schools, private schools – all of them will suffer, because they get their money through us. Senator Keith King does not support any of these initiatives.” He raised the spectres of teacher furloughs, and 50-student classrooms.

Nate, a Doherty teacher, said, “The district has experienced cuts over the years, and managed to stay afloat; if these initiatives go through, it will no longer be possible to coast through the changes. There will be a complete lack of resources, we will have to cut programs and raise class sizes; I’m all for fiscal responsibility, but this would be hard on the city.”

Null said, “We can no longer borrow money if these initiatives pass; the impact is that we can’t pay our staff. The key thing to know is that the loans the District takes out are interest free. If these initiatives pass, there can be no debt unless we go to the voters and vote on it, which will contribute new costs.”

I know that these initiatives will be hard on the city, primarily because if they pass, those who are least able to do so will burden the brunt of them. Look what happened with school closures, pool closures, bus routes, street lights, unwatered parks, unmaintained medians, July 4th fireworks; this is the truth, folks -- it's hella dark in some places, including around Wasson High School itself; my friends and I were uncertain and stumbled in the darkness as we made our way out to the car...which unbeknownst to me, was parked at the west-side entrance right in front of Jan Tanner's electric spaceship -- so she can attest to it.  But the affluence of  residents in certain other parts of town apparently merits far superior street illumination, pools and schools that stayed open, parks that stayed green, and medians with lots of pretty flowers. 

If I thought their impacts would be dealt and felt equitably among all of us, I'd vote for them in an instant. 


The Wasson alum who heads the District’s media department mentioned ways that alumni associations can help out their schools. The Wasson Alumni Association, for instance, is looking into solar projects for Wasson.

Tanner said that the solar company involved guarantees the cost savings, and that if the estimated savings aren’t realized, the solar company will pay the difference.

The facilities over the off of Geiger – ?

Question:  what happens if the solar energy savings aren't realized, and the solar company has gone out of business? 


Grant Monies

Sandra Mann mentioned TIFF funds – we get the money upfront; so when the money runs out, we have to sustain it...or at the end of that federal money, programs just disappear. Galileo is at that point now, since the federal grants they received were only guaranteed for five years.

Gledich mentioned the Teacher Advancement program. Last year the District started to explore ways to make this program effective. Chicago also got the grant, which places its major emphasis on professional development. TAST grant (multiple career pathways).  Ten schools in the District have this funding devoted to it. Tim Crossing and ____ of the CSEA helped apply for the grant.


A Coronado Student Council member asked: “Does the District financially support changes to facilities that would be used by various athletics groups for safety reasons; i.e., there are no lightning shelters or dugouts to keep softball and baseball players safe from the elements; what is the District’s involvement in all of that?”

Sandra Mann said these types of things are hard to address, and tenatively recommended fund raisers. Tom said the questions were: how much will it cost, and how dangerous is it for them not to have the dugouts. Tanner said the Board will be thinking about it. Luann advised the girl to give her name and phone number to Julie Stevens, so that someone could follow-up with her after the answer had been received.

Bob Null mentioned the more than 600 partnerships, SCIP funds, TOPS funds, all working together for our communities, and how a grant to receive monies to fund dugouts might be possible. Mary Lay loves the challenge of writing grants for the District. They’ve heard before that Wasson uniforms look crappy, but the dugout issue is a real safety concern. He recommended the pursuit of partnerships to find that kind of money; Bobbitt also pointed out a need to look at liability and insurance .

Mary Thurman oversees the grants program. There's also a roll-in grant, and each school will get some of that money.


Ann McKibben asked: “It’s sometimes a challenge for teachers to communicate with parents; how can we better use Zangle to communicate with parents?”

Tom said, “This is the kind of question we were hoping to get from the Community Engagement Meetings.”

Bob said he believes that, “Face-to-face is important. Imagine if students were able to get one adult that cared about them to take an interest in them and make them succeed.


David Vasquez – retired school counselor: “We still have two big problems within the District: the drop out rate and the achievement gap, both of which are big concerns for the minority community. It would be great to have a weekend school…what is the district going to do this year to help minorities in school address the achievement gap?”

Mann – what we’re seeing is an increase in student achievement…but the gap is not closing. RtI is the gold plated program the District has to address this situation; that’s where we take our lowest-performing students and devote money to them with the aim of closing the achievement gap and determining if we are supplying kids with the support they need.

Tanner – if there was a way to close the gap that was fail-safe, we would do it. No one on the Board is happy with the achievement numbers. She knows Gledich has it on his mind all of the time. It’s an issue that has to be tackled by everyone in the community.

Luann talked about vocational education, and giving students the things that they need.

Loma said that one of the reasons he that he ran for the Board is that there are a bunch of great people at the District who want nothing else but to help kids. But the problem is that there are a bunch of Caucasian people there who are used to teaching Caucasian kids. They are looking at taking Title 1 monies and programs to learn how and what kind of changes must occur for higher achievement. Loma described a mentality of "Look what I’m doing for this poor person, I’m giving them a turkey and in their minds eyes they feel like they are helping; but thet can get a free turkey anywhere; show them the money."

Bob Null began to weep as he related the time when he was made fun of by another student for being poor while in the sixth grade; the memory of it was one of the key reasons why closing the achievement gap is so important to him.

Theresa challenged teachers who were anxious about teaching kids of another color or culture to spend a week with them, immersed in their culture; they might be amazed at how much their outlooks would change at the end of that week.

Don Richie said, “Forget about closing the achievement gap – eradicate it. Don’t give the gap room to grow; start in kindergarten and elementary schools to make sure that kids are all making adequate progress.”

Gledich mentioned several programs aimed at educating all students and improving graduation rates. This year the graduation rate for black kids and free and reduced lunch kids dropped while the Hispanic rates improved. He said the state will soon issue new graduation requirements, the third such change in the past several years.

Nate mentioned the Ethnic Minority Advisory Council, who will be hosting a two-day seminar that will address the achievement gap issue.

Here's my take:  whatever Dave Vasquez was doing back in the 1983-1985 timeframe is what the District ought to return to now.  Mr. Vasquez was my high school counselor at Palmer, and he *rocked*   I'll say this for sure, I might be weak when it comes to math, but I ain't no dummy; and Mr. Vasquez always kept me on track.  I attribute so much of my success to the cool relationship we had together.  It was good to see him again after all of these years. 


Spydra asked: “I recently read in the Gazette about a discrimination lawsuit that was filed by a black educator against the District; the District did not prevail. I’ve heard similar grumbling from other black educators who feel they were overlooked during interview, hiring, retention, and promotion decisions. What steps will the District take to avoid future lawsuits?”

Gledich answered: Last year, Gledich worked with Mary Thurman to look at the procedures and practices that were in place. Some individuals were feeling that they could not get interviews. This past year, we reviewed our hiring decisions to better identify who’ll receive interviews, and re-reviewing the resumes of the people who have the qualifications. We are concerned about the complexion of our staff. We are recruiting more Hispanic and black applicants to provide them with job opportunities to work for the District, and have recently put in place Hispanic and black principals. In light of the recent events and to minimize such complaints, he will meet with hiring managers and supervisors to ensure that all staff is educated and up to date on hiring norms and practices, especially with regard to sexual harassment and Title 7.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Closer to God

O, those wacky atheists, freethinkers, and unbelievers

Rejecting any and all thought of the knee bent in prayer
Before an all-knowing and invisible God
Unable to grasp the concept of communion
Over the body and blood of Jesus the Christ
They scorn and they blaspheme the Lord

But cut and paste the head of Christ
Onto a woman’s body
And they fall to their knees
With mouths wide and watering with hunger
Longing to get just a little bit closer to God

How quick they turn the other cheek
Given the right motivation

Colorado museum under fire by Christians, see why

October 4th, 2010, 1:36 pm · 11 Comments · posted by Mark Barna

The Loveland Museum in Loveland is under attack for displaying the color lithograph-woodcut “The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals” by Stanford University professor Enrique Chagoya.

On Friday, Caltholic apologist Bill Ritter took to task state Gov. Bill Ritter for signing a bill that created Colorado Creative Industries, which gave an $8,500 grant to Loveland Museum.

Chagoya’s work is described by Shark’s Ink, which sells art prints online, as possibly the artist’s most “irreverent” work.

Here are excerpts from the description-discussion of the work that appears in a publication on the museum show:

“It is illustrated with comic book characters, religious iconography and imagery, appropriated engravings, Mexican pornography, ethnic stereotypes, Mayan symbols and figures, automobiles, book excerpts and elements of U.S. currency.”

What is not pointed out is that the final frame shows a man performing oral sex on Jesus. To view the work, click here.

“Chagoya creates pages where cultural and religious icons are presented with humor and placed in contradictory, unexpected and sometimes controversial contexts,” the museum description goes on to say.

“The codex is presented as an accordion folded book. When closed it measures 7 1/2 x 7 1/2” and opens to frieze 90” long.”

You can buy a print from Shark’s Ink for $3,400.

Art or garbage? Would Chagoya have been so bold to depict the Prophet Muhammad in a similar light?

Posted in: Uncategorized • "The Misadventures fo the Romantic Cannibals" • Enrique Chagoya • Loveland Museum • Prophet Muhammad • sacred desecration


Note:  Mark Barna can dish it out, but he can't take it...having removed the above comment from his blog yesterday.

Well, I guess I also said that "Chagoya is to art what Barna is to writing."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What the frack?

I'm just gonna put it out there, like I always do --

Here is a short, seemingly random list of things that cause my mind to become distracted by thoughts of unrestrained, out-of-control fracking: