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Education Secretary Demands Removal of Vermont from Nation’s Textbooks

Washington, January 31– Following on her protest last week against a PBS cartoon character’s visit to Vermont, where he encounters a lesbian couple, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced at a press conference today that her department was not engaged in a “trivial” or “merely symbolic” campaign against a children’s television program.

“Buster Bunny is not the problem,” said Spellings.  “Though I note with some dismay that Buster travels the country accompanied only by his father because his parents are divorced, and I do not see why our children should be subjected to yet another glamorization of the divorce lifestyle.  No, the problem is Vermont itself.  It is Vermont to which I object.  Christians everywhere should be outraged that it was represented in this children’s program.”

Spellings proceeded to unveil the Department of Education’s proposed map of the “forty-nine God-fearing United States,” with the “territory of Vermont” represented by a lightly shaded area.  “Until such time as Vermont sees fit to rejoin the rest of the nation in condemning gay ‘civil unions,’” Spellings said, reading from a prepared statement, “we propose that Vermont be visually expelled from the heterosexual Union.  We further propose that the nation’s students be instructed that Vermont is no longer a real state, and that they will not be responsible for remembering its capital, which is not only obscure but French-sounding as well.”

Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, had warm praise for Spellings.  “Parents don’t want their children homosexualized in the name of ‘education,’” Knight said. “Mrs. Spellings has given notice that left-wing lobbies will have to find other ways to peddle their pansexual propaganda. Let’s hope that other leaders in federal and state agencies find a backbone thanks to her courageous example.”

Focus on the Family director James Dobson also endorsed Spellings’ decision, saying that “it kills a lot of birds with one stone” by taking a strong stand against gay rights while eliminating “three or four really bothersome figures” from American politics.  “We’ve long known that ‘Vermont’ is basically just a code word for the gay agenda,” Dobson said, “and it’s about time our nation’s leaders eliminated Vermont, just as we at Focus on the Family have eliminated other homosexual code words like ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance.’”

“But I’m not sure about letting Buster Bunny off quite so easily,” Dobson added, remarking that “Postcards from Buster” is a spinoff from the popular “Arthur” series, and that “Arthur,” too, has been active in promoting homosexuality.  “The whole show just looks queer to me,” Dobson said.  “We can’t even tell exactly what kind of animal Arthur is supposed to be, never mind that other strange character Binky.  If that’s not some kind of queer-identity thing going on there, I don’t know one when I see one!  And don’t get me started on that reggae-flavored theme song, which might as well come right out and say ‘smoke marijuana, boys and girls, if you want to be ‘cool.’ In every respect, ‘Arthur’ is the poster child for the depravity of public television.”

Hey Kids!  Here’s a Fun Game.  One of the quotes in this post is real and Not Made Up At All.  See if you can find it!  Here’s a hint– it involves people having sex with pans!

Posted by on 01/31 at 07:08 AM
  1. I always thought Minnesota was going to get kicked out first, but if the toque fits…

    Posted by corndog  on  01/31  at  10:02 AM
  2. "Parents don’t want their children homosexualized in the name of ‘education”

    Haha. What a moron. Would he prefer that they were heterosexualized?

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  10:05 AM
  3. There’s this flirty little 3-qt. sauteuse by Calphalon I’ve had my eye on.

    Posted by corndog  on  01/31  at  10:18 AM
  4. It occurs to me that this policy prohibiting pansexual thought has the unintended consequence for the Neocons of putting Rick Santorum on the ropes. How long will he permitted to announce his musings about bestiality before Pennsylvania, too, is stricken from textbook records?

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  10:55 AM
  5. I recently had a pretty steamy date with an All Clad pannini maker.  Whoo..talk about hot and heavy!!

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  11:12 AM
  6. I recently had a pretty steamy date with an All Clad pannini maker.  Whoo..talk about hot and heavy!!

    Could you wok afterwards?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  01/31  at  12:26 PM
  7. I’m a bit worried about this pan-sex talk.  Not because I think it immoral (go for it if you can), but I think it is encouraging our children to direct their sexual desires in unproductive avenues.

    As far as I can tell pans seem to be large flat surfaces for putting in the oven.  Pots encompass the old french standards such as “sauteuse”, “sautoir” and “rondeau”.  They have walls, handles and lids.

    The sentence:  “I’m going to steam some vegetables with my sheet pan.” Definitely not sexual.

    However:  “I’m going to braise some carrots in my Le Creuset casserole”.  Well…

    I just want to nip in the bud this pots and pans sex-life controversy…

    Posted by Ryan  on  01/31  at  01:12 PM
  8. some people quoted here express alarm at the small-mindedness of the interviewees.
    no alarm here...just lots of raucous laughter.
    these people are about as harmful as a Betty Crocker recipe [nee Elizabet Croquier].

    NeoCons are dangerous and should not be tolerated.
    they play hardball. Liberal Democrats play whiffle ball. it’s time to start playing hard.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  01:30 PM
  9. Just so long as all parties use protection I don’t care what people do.  So, I’m all for giving out free PAM in the schools.  I also believe in legalizing Electrosol with Jet-Dry for the morning after.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  01:50 PM
  10. Buster apparently has joined children’s cartoon favorite Spongebob Squarepants as the latest cultural icon to draw the ire of the American Taliban.  Identified as an agent of the gay agenda by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, Spongebob joined Rick Santorum’s dogs and John Cornyn’s box turtles as a threat to the American family.

    What is it about Spongebob that drives these imams of intolerance into a rage?  One easy possible answer is projection: Dobson et al perhaps cannot come to grips with their homo-erotic attraction to Spongebob and shrimping with his band of chum guzzlers.  After all, he is a sponge - maybe it’s all those holes…

    Posted by Jon  on  01/31  at  01:56 PM
  11. "… students be instructed that Vermont is no longer a real state, and that they will not be responsible for remembering its capital ...”

    This will make my daughter happy. You don’t suppose the whole gay marriage thing is actually a conspiracy by middle school students so that they won’t have to memorize as many capitals, do you?

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  02:18 PM
  12. I take it that this is the ‘true’ quote: “Parents don’t want their children homosexualized in the name of ‘education,’” Knight said. “Mrs. Spellings has given notice that left-wing lobbies will have to find other ways to peddle their pansexual propaganda. Let’s hope that other leaders in federal and state agencies find a backbone thanks to her courageous example.”

    It would be funny if it weren’t so entirely possible, and even predictable…

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  02:34 PM
  13. Does this mean that as a public official, Sec. Spellings is refusing to acknowledge a member of the Republic? Will she withhold funding to the state? Will she refuse to meet with her counter parts in the State of Vermont? I think it is time to replace this “public servant”!

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  02:40 PM
  14. You got my name wrong, buddy.  (Really)

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  02:49 PM
  15. You dummies! He isn’t talking about sex with cooking vessels, he’s talking about sex with me! ‘Cause when I get my pipes on, the ladies can’t resist (nor can the dudes; being he who put the “Pan” in pansexual, I’m not picky)

    Posted by pan the goat-boy  on  01/31  at  02:49 PM
  16. You forgot Poland, I mean, Massachusetts. We should probably get rid of California, too, with their “domestic partnership” heresy. If we ignore both of those former states in addition to “Vermont”, then we’re down to 47 capitals to keep track of.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  03:01 PM
  17. Saw this on Atrios. The scary thing was that for a minute I actually thought it was real.

    Posted by Terrance Heath  on  01/31  at  03:26 PM
  18. Buster-- I didn’t get your name wrong, they did.  Even Jim Jeffords messed it up:  “As Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont said yesterday in a statement, ‘Of all the challenges we face in education, Buster Bunny’s visit to Vermont is not one of them. It’s too bad that people can take a sweet story on maple sugaring and turn it into something so sour.’” I’m a fan, Buster, and I think your “postcards” are just great.  I even know that Arthur is really an aardvark.  But I’m still not sure about that strange character Binky.  I think Dr. Dobson has a point there.

    And Pan, you’re so right!  Here I was thinking all manner of salacious thoughts about pan-on-dog sex, and I forgot all about you.  But then, as many of Atrios’s readers have indicated today in response to this very news release, I probably should have prefaced this entire post with a satyr alert.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Posted by Michael  on  01/31  at  03:29 PM
  19. Ah, sex paranoia. 

    The calling card of Potemkin Christians

    The reason it’s getting harder to tell truth from farce is that there is no difference.  The ‘farce’ is ginned up by well meaning people with too much time on their hands.  The ‘truth’ is repeated by those who have a) been told to, who are also b) dumb enough to fall for it.

    Posted by Grand Moff Texan  on  01/31  at  03:50 PM
  20. terrance, me too. atrios has posted just the naughty bits about vermont from michael’s post.  i almost shit myself. you know things are getting weird when what should be obvious satire becomes downright plausible. i thought the “pan-sexual” thing was satire too, until i followed the link to the quote.
    why are you fucking with me berube?

    full disclosure: i did attempt to have sex with a cardboard toilet paper roll once. and a vacuum. and a banana peel. and a picture of rue mclanahan cut out from people magazine. and a pan. the old fashioned cast iron kind. that is all.

    Posted by cereal breath  on  01/31  at  04:01 PM
  21. this is serious????

    she really held a news conference and said all those things???

    my leg is being tugged upon, right????

    Posted by renato  on  01/31  at  04:32 PM
  22. Well, I threw in the Robert Knight paragraph as a tacit acknowledgement of just how impossible it is to parody these people.  But hey, now that sex with Pan is on the table, let’s go for it.  I hear it’s terrific.  Much better than sex with pans, though if you were getting it on with the old fashioned cast iron kind, cereal breath, you’re probably OK.  It’s sex with the Teflon-coated stuff that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s.

    Posted by Michael  on  01/31  at  04:34 PM
  23. A “satyr alert”? Pandemonium reigns as the lid flies off of Pandora’s Box o’ Puns!

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  04:57 PM
  24. As a heterosexual woman, if Vermont doesn’t step up and get this woman fired they should be expelled from the Union for which they fought.

    This woman is an ignorant disgrace.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  05:13 PM
  25. Oy!  This would be hilarious if it weren’t so bizarre.  I can hear the world laughing…

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  05:26 PM
  26. If we are kicking states out of the Union, Vermont is not the problem. I say we should kick Texas out. Break the Annexation Treaty of 1845 and let them go back to being their own goddamn republic.

    That would kill many birds with one stone. No more George Bush, no more Tom Delay, and no more of that red state sucking more tax dollars than it gives.

    I’d be sorry to lose Molly Ivins though...But I think she’d understand.

    Posted by Scaramouche  on  01/31  at  05:30 PM
  27. Scaramouche, this humble blog is a strong supporter of multiple bird-killings!  In fact, back on December 5 of last year I proposed nullifying the entire Louisiana Purchase and ceding its territory to France.  You take care of Texas, I’ll take care of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, half of Minnesota (I’ll keep some of Minnesota, thanks), North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, most of Montana and Wyoming, small chunks of New Mexico and Texas, and the conservative eastern half of Colorado too.  Deal?

    Posted by Michael  on  01/31  at  05:43 PM
  28. Ever been to Vt.?  Not the liberal college towns, or the maple syrup glazed towns in central and southern Vt., but the hardscrabble towns in the North?  Especially along the Canadian border.  They’ve got some very weird/interesting libertarian, anti-govt. proclivities up there.  I’m sure those folks wouldn’t mind getting kicked out of the union.  Not one bit!

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  05:56 PM
  29. Zut alors! That sure is ambitious. Are you sure France would want it back? Afterall they sold so cheap - maybe they know how valueless the territory really is.

    I’ll keep working on Texas though…

    Posted by Scaramouche  on  01/31  at  06:04 PM
  30. Anybody else notice that Howard Dean actually looks a little like Pan? Has anybody seen him with his shoes off? Do you think he is hiding something? And his arms are a little hairy ...

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  06:07 PM
  31. I would play Howard Dean’s skinflute any day of the week.  There’s a picture around of him in his early 20’s, sitting on a lounger with his shirt off and it’s simply one of the sexiest pictures ever. Now he’s got that “graying, distinguished” thing going on.

    Um, yeah, negate the Louisana Purchase, great idea [/end trying to change subject].

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  06:35 PM
  32. I’m laughing as usual, but it is scary how plausible it all is.

    And if I’m not mistaken, Vermont’s North East Kingdom long ago was briefly independent.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  06:46 PM
  33. The way these comments are going, I can’t resist citing a self-portrait:


    --Bring it on!  And is it OK to mention “Jitterbug Perfume” here?  That’s a two-birder too in a way, since February is nigh and I’ve always liked the February passage in that capricious novel.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  07:07 PM
  34. "Bob: Oh, pans don’t want kisses.

    David: [cutely, like he was talking to a child] Yes it does, kiss the pan. Kiss it. Kiss it. Kiss the pan. [Bob goes to do so, but David whacks him over the head with it.]

    David: The pan kisses you!! Kiss the pan!

    Bob: I don’t want to.

    David: Kiss the pan! [whack] The pan kisses you!! Kiss the pan! Kiss the pan!! [whack] The pan kisses you!! Kiss the pan!”

    Thanks, Mr. Show! I don’t know any literary references any more!

    Posted by norbizness  on  01/31  at  07:19 PM
  35. "Spellings proceeded to unveil the Department of Education’s proposed map of the “forty-nine God-fearing United States,” with the “territory of Vermont” represented by a lightly shaded area.”

    Maybe more than lightly shaded. Maybe an ineffable blot of inky blackness.

    This is only appropriate. Pat Robertson set the precedent when he said Scotland was “a dark country” where “you can’t believe how strong the homosexuals are. It’s just unbelievable.”

    Surely, Vermont is just as overrun, and is best shown on a map by a yawning blackness of eternal damnation.

    I assume a similar shading scheme would be used to represent the northern UK on a Department of Education Globe of Righteous Nations.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  07:22 PM
  36. A followup to my prior comment.

    There used to be an educational globe you could buy, which was electronic. There was a pen-shape pointer which, when you touched it to points on the globe, the globe would tell you things about the place.

    I propose that The Department Of Education Globe Of Righteous Nations be made that way. And when you touch the pen to Vermont (or Scotland), you would hear the screams of the damned, and a graphic description of their torments in the afterlife.

    Yes. I think that’s precisely what Lord Jesus would do. He’d have a globe that screams.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  07:29 PM
  37. priceless.

    I wonder if those people, who hate gays and refuse to recognise them as anything but potential converts, realize just how similarly many Arabs (particularly Iran) feel about Israel.

    And just how similarly they act to those nutjobs as a result. It’s not so much about the particular circumstances, as about what you bring to the table, and how short you feel your chair is.

    Maybe their fundamentalists learned it from our fundamentalists.

    That’s what I love about this piece.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  07:39 PM
  38. Somebody help me out here...I might have eaten some bad shroons at dinner...check out post #16’s email handle (aka tinky winky). I need to lie down.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  07:45 PM
  39. Ok, the talking globe put me over the top, laughing out loud.

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  07:51 PM
  40. Do LDS subscribers fit under the “pansexual” umbrella?

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  08:55 PM
  41. I am ALL in favor of California seceding from the Union. 

    Why isn’t she complaining about Massachusettes?  You know, where gay marriage is LEGAL!  Besides, it is so damn hard to spell—it must be French, too.

    Actually, ladies and gents, this is a gift.  It will spark questions about the sanity of this faith-based administration and that’s a good thing.  We just have to shepherd that process along.  grin

    Is this an example of what is meant when a president deserves to have the appointees of his choice when they are presented to the Senate for Advice and Consent?

    Posted by  on  01/31  at  10:45 PM
  42. well kick me if it was a joke!  Having met some women who think Sesame Street is too “ethnic” for their kids to watch, I am not up on my satire.  Somrthing about the truest things being said in jest...?

    Posted by  on  02/01  at  01:37 AM
  43. Great stuff.  This will go on your permanent record.  Now get back to work.

    Posted by  on  02/01  at  01:40 AM
  44. I believe it was the Food Network, not PBS, that turned me into a pansexual.  Damn that Alton Brown and his visits to the cooking store. 

    Upon reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that Binky is a bulldog.  Of course he looks about as much like a bulldog as Arthur does an aardvark, but there you have it.

    What I really love about these people the most is that they seem to believe that if PBS doesn’t show it on TV, *kids will never find out about it.* It will remain a big hush-hush secret and then parents will never have to explain why anyone is different and we can all go on pretending we’re homogeneous and happy about it!  Makes me want to scream.

    Posted by  on  02/01  at  02:22 AM
  45. And nowhere was news of Vermont’s expulsion from the Union greeted with more rejoicing, than in Vermont itself.

    Posted by  on  02/01  at  09:43 AM
  46. Outstanding ! Made my whole day, and had great fun emailing it to others to see how long it too them to realise it was a joke.....it was a joke wasn’t it ? ;

    Posted by  on  02/01  at  06:25 PM
  47. I’m afraid it’ll only be a joke for a week or so, until one of the wingnuts (in the Administration or on their payroll) says something even worse.  But in the meantime, keep those Pan Sexual flutes playing!

    Posted by Michael  on  02/01  at  09:21 PM
  48. ’pan’ stands for ‘all’ or ‘universal’. Joke aside, this country had a glorious beginning. There are those of us who want to make this country an even better place, and then there’s those who insist on messing it up. What you do in the privacy of your room, that’s your thing, and I will value you and respect you equally regardless of that. But if you try to tell my kid that doing ‘that’ is ‘okay’ and even promote it publicly (with a cartoon!), I’m going to ask you to leave this country and do that elsewhere.
    I commend Mrs. Spelling for standing for the true original values od the United States of America.

    Posted by  on  02/02  at  03:16 PM
  49. I agree with Pavel. Deport Jack Chick Now!

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/02  at  03:23 PM
  50. I have already made this comment on a couple blogs… I am a Vermonter and I do NOT agree with Margaret.  She’s an ignorant twit and yes she deserves to get fired.  She says “It is Vermont to which I object.” Well let me say loud and clearn that it’s actually Vermont that objects to people like YOU, Margaret. 

    Dear Margaret,

    It really pisses me off is that you would give grants to PBS to play educational shows, but apparently you also feel that you have the authority to “censor” what you see fit.  Who the fuck gave YOU permission to choose what is on a public broadcasting station?  Isn’t the point of t.v. to watch what we want, and if something offends us, to change it?  Isn’t that the whole idea behind Howard Stern and other radio shows that promote freedom of speech that seem to offend so many people (by the way I hate Howard Stern, but my dial turns to the off switch perfectly fine, thank you).  What gives you the right to determine what I would choose as a parent for my child to watch.  If you think this topic is so “senstive” perhaps a blurb at the beginning of the show:  warning warning you about to watch homosexuals talk about maple sugaring, please beware.  I hope you can hear my sarcasm.  I don’t feel the need to be “warned” about homosexuality.  I don’t need to lower my voice when I said the word GAY or whisper it like it’s a dirty word.  Didn’t they used to do that to African Americans?  Oppression wasn’t welcome then, and it’s not welcome now.  Funny how it seems ok to talk to our children about war and killing and everything else going on in Iraq, but mention the word homosexuality and you may as well get ready to be abused, violated and assaulted.  My advise is that you educate yourself.  It seems to me it’s not the children who are offended, it’s the adults who need a good dose of tolerance and respect for others.  Apparently, this includes you.  I know that I do not want a person like you, with your ignorance, telling me what should be taught to my child.  I’m proud of my tolerant and progressive state and I support gay marriage.  Maybe you should move to one of those red states in “Jesusland”.  Bitch.

    Posted by Suzanne  on  02/04  at  03:30 PM





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