Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.


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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Denounce Anti-Gay Bullying

Take Action!A message from CREDO Action:
A string of nine teen suicides have devastated Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin School District — the largest district in the state, which is represented by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. 
Many of the suicides have been linked to students being bullied for their perceived homosexuality, which has prompted a federal investigation of the district's failure to address anti-gay harassment.
Unfortunately, Anoka-Hennepin enforces a dangerous "neutrality policy" — a gag rule that handcuffs teachers from adequately addressing anti-gay bullying.
As a congresswoman and a former Anoka-Hennepin student, Michele Bachmann is in an important position to speak out against this rule, and the tragic suicides that have lead public health officials to call the area a "suicide contagion."1 Instead, Bachmann has remained totally silent on this issue.
In the past, Bachmann has opposed anti-bullying measures in schools. In 2006, she spoke to the Minnesota legislature in opposition to a proposed anti-bullying law.2
"I think for all of us, our experience in public schools is there have always been bullies," Bachmann said. "Always have been, always will be. I just don't know how we're ever going to get to the point of zero tolerance... What does it mean?... Will we be expecting boys to be girls?"

And of course, Bachmann has a long history of anti-gay statements, and came under fire recently after an investigation revealed that a Minnesota counseling clinic owned by Bachmann and her husband was practicing controversial and medically un-sound gay conversion therapy — while accepting Medicaid and other state and public moneys.
But regardless of her history, it is absolutely unacceptable that a member of Congress would ignore such a serious, tragic issue affecting her district.
Nine out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students experience harassment at school3. These students are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, and studies show that more than 1/3 of all LGBT youth have attempted suicide.4
Just last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized Bachmann's failure to address Anoka-Hennepin's neutrality policy, saying "I would think that if she wanted to be the President of the United States, she would understand that this is a larger issue than whether someone is gay or not, but as to whether someone is harassed and bullied to the point of seeing no way out."5
No student should feel threatened or unsafe at school, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Rep. Michele Bachmann has an obligation to the constituents she represents to speak out, and do everything she can to stop this dangerous trend of teen suicides in her district.
Thank you for standing up to bullies, both in the classroom and in elected office.
Mark Anthony Dingbaum, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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