Overheard: Teaching gay history is unnecessary
A new California law requires public schools teach about the contributions of homosexual, bisexual and transgender Americans.
July 15th, 2011
05:19 PM ET

Overheard: Teaching gay history is unnecessary

Comment of the Day:

“How is singling out one specific group or dividing history along sexual preferences treating people as equals?”—Bengali

 California governor signs bill requiring schools to teach gay history

On Thursday California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will require public schools in the state to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The bill will also require teachers to provide instruction on the role of people with disabilities.

CNN.com readers had a strong reaction to the new bill and while some said that they don’t think gay history should be taught separately in the classroom others disagreed.

Lynne113 said, “If gays want equal rights then treat them like everyone else, just say what they accomplished. There is no need to discuss their sexual orientation. You don't see heterosexual people demanding to state in history their sexual orientation.”

Taurus1353 asked, “Aren't LGBTs included in Native Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Asian-American groups? What is the special treatment for? Don't LGBTs want to be treated the same? Is segregating themselves as a special class of people really a way to see them as the same as everyone else?”

Omniahumut disagreed. “Teaching history as it actually happened, especially as it pertains to CURRENT EVENTS, is important. Teaching about Gay History, includes both activists in favor of and against, Gay rights.”

VincentOMo said, “Let me teach you...Gay people have their own culture and history. They are separate from straight people... or were. Because society ostracized gay people, they found community and solace amongst themselves and formed their own culture.”


Overheard: $4 flights? Not bad, JetBlue
JetBlue offered $4 flights for this weekend's "Carmageddon."
July 14th, 2011
04:46 PM ET

Overheard: $4 flights? Not bad, JetBlue

Comment of the day:

“JetBlue is my new favorite airline”— AMGftw

 Jet blue offers solution to ‘Carmageddon’

On Wednesday, JetBlue offered a $4 flight special to those affected by this Saturday’s Interstate 405 closure in Los Angeles. The special allows customers to take the airline’s shortest flight ever—a 10-minute trip between the Burbank and Long Beach airports to escape traffic. It is estimated that more than 500,000 cars travel on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles each weekend. Three hours after the announcement, JetBlue announced that all $4 flights were sold out.

CNN.com readers were thrilled by the proactive approach the airline took to help out during the interstate closure (referred to by many as ‘Carmageddon’).

D3adpool  said, “Total travel with airport security and boarding, talking maybe 45 min.  Way faster than the 405, and that's when it's not closed down!”

PSAguy agreed. “That 405 is ridiculous.  What a way to live.  There is no ocean or climate worth that stress!!”

cameron2k asked, “Wouldn't it take longer to go through the airport hassle, plus 40-minute flight, than take the freeway?”

Despite the potential for minor airport delays, JustTroy  responded that the special is still a good idea:

“Yes, there's a wait for TSA, but it doesn't compare to the wait you'd have if you tried to drive it. A shuttle company said they 'hope' to make the drive in four hours.”

Lightnup said, “Kudos. I think this is a great service JetBlue is giving us SoCal residents who wish to avoid this weekend's absolute gridlock.”

Video triggers mistrial in Clemens perjury case

The perjury trial of Roger Clemens ended in a mistrial Thursday after the prosecution showed a video the judge ruled was inadmissible. Clemens, a former baseball player and all-star, is accused of perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statements about his alleged use of steroids.  CNN.com readers felt the tax dollars spent on Clemens’ trial should be used for other things.

Nodule said:

"Have you ever thrown a fastball at  98 mph without using steroids?"
"Good enough for me!  I'm getting paid so let's just have us a mistrial!"

Lollygagger said, “WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY!!!   Who cares if he juiced or lied about juicing, is it really worth all the cost?”

RaTzAss said, "Seriously, there are bigger fish to fry. Forget this steroids crap and let the individual leagues in all sports police it themselves. Move on Congress!!"

LedRobster said, “Sweet, and I was worried that my tax dollars were being wasted.”

Guest said, “Just another case of poor prosecution with flimsy evidence. The feds should not even be meddling in baseball. There are a lot of more important things for the feds to do. Clinton lied to them and nothing happened.”

Tech elite struggling to define Google+

Is it a Twitter-assassin, a Facebook-killer or somewhere in between? Although several theories have been offered about what to make of Google+, the tech elite haven’t quite defined it yet. CNN.com readers used the comments section to sound off about how they are using the world's newest social network.

ii2bcnii said, "It seems similar to Google Wave, with circles.  The profile reminds me a lot of the FB profile.  I have difficultly finding people to invite or add."

LeeVA offered a suggestion, "I would call G+ Stream items "Casts," as in "casting a line in the stream."

TomAyles said, "So far, so good.  I like a lot about it - mostly the same things others have mentioned, like circles.  Some things still need some work, like sparks.  It would be nice to also see some Google reader integration the way they've already integrated buzz."

wstrnprd said, "So far I like what Google+ has to offer.  I find the 'hangouts' a very nice feature, as I have many friends/family spread across the country and this allows a quicker, simpler way for me to connect with them."

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity

Overheard: Democrats worried by Obama's debt-reduction plan
July 8th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

Overheard: Democrats worried by Obama's debt-reduction plan

Comment of the Day

"The only difference between Social Security and a Ponzi scheme is intent... hmm, I take that back, I guess there is no difference.” –coexistor

 Liberals warn Obama against entitlement cuts

On Friday, Democratic supporters continued to express their frustration with President Obama’s new deficit-reduction plan. The plan includes cuts to Medicare and Social Security — something the president previously said was off-limits. Democrat leaders warned Obama that entitlement cuts represent a sharp shift away from party priorities, putting many who are up for 2012 re-election at risk. Meanwhile, CNN.com readers expressed their own uncertainty about the future of the economy.

Drwelby said, “There have been numerous reports on Social Security problems since the 1980s, so if you've lived since then still under the impression that you could rely on SS to cover your retirement years without a plan ‘B’, you were foolish.”

Reqq1diver was more optimistic, and said the impact from cuts might not be that severe. “The only cuts in entitlement benefits are for the expansion of them, i.e.,  Social Security was meant for seniors, NOT kids and not for the disabled. If we took SS and put it back like it was founded, this country would be back in shape.”


Overheard: 'Not guilty' doesn't mean 'innocent' for outraged public
Casey Anthony confers with attorney Jose Baez.
July 7th, 2011
06:18 PM ET

Overheard: 'Not guilty' doesn't mean 'innocent' for outraged public

Comment of the Day

"I do believe in karma... and for sure even if she walks free she won't have an easy and normal life." — CJ

Casey Anthony to be released from jail next week

A court representative announced Thursday that Casey Anthony, who was acquitted Tuesday in the death of her daughter, will be released from prison Wednesday. The announcement only added to the frustration of an already hostile public, many of whom followed the trial and were outraged by Anthony’s acquittal. Several CNN.com readers commented about how Anthony’s future will be affected by the trial.

Kitty2 said, “Like it or not, the woman has been found not guilty–like some of the jurors said–not guilty does not necessarily mean innocent. If these TV personalities continue their needling after this trial, then the Anthony family with their attorneys should sue those people for pain and suffering.”

Andy said, “Just in time. I bet (Casey) was getting real tired of that innocent granny hair do she's been forced to wear.”

Barbara Nicholls explained that she will not support any of Anthony’s attempts to sell her story to the media. She said, “Do you seriously want justice for Caylee? I do! And this is how I plan to do it. I will spend $0.00 on any book or movie on anything Casey Anthony related. I will focus my actions, time and resources that promote those organizations that work tirelessly to protect children. To do anything less is a grave injustice to Caylee.”

Cvd said, “Well, one thing about this we really don't know what happened, but i do know one judge. that sits high and looks low. And that judge she will have to answer too.”

 SoulKeeperX commented on the crowd reaction during Anthony’s sentencing. “What a scene outside the courthouse. The circus is in town and there are plenty of clowns.”

 News of the World to close doors Sunday

The 168-year-old British tabloid News of the World will cease publication Sunday in the wake of public scrutiny surrounding a phone hacking scandal. News of the World is owned by Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and The New York Post. The scandal got a variety of reactions from CNN.com readers, ranging from jokes to skepticism.

Pacito said, “So now we may find out how Breibart got the pictures of Weiner from his cell phone.”

Lightnup said, “News is political these days. Pick one over the other and offer your loyalty and you have already lost.  ALL news needs to be taken with a grain of salt.”

Aranthan suggested that the move was made to protect the brand. “This is brand protection Murdoch style. He is simply cutting his loses before it eats into his other companies. This action still won’t change my mind, I’m done with anything from News Corp.”

Obama, Congress hold 'constructive' debt talks

President Obama and congressional leaders held a new round of debt ceiling negotiations Thursday to avoid possible default next month. The president is seeking more than $3 trillion in cuts, including to Medicare and Social Security. The debt talks produced a lively discussion, with several CNN.com readers offering suggestions for alleviating the debt.

crockah said, "There's a simple solution to all of this.  A flat tax rate. The more you make, the more you pay. Simple and efficient. No need for tax lawyers or loop hole artists any longer."

blue175 said, "Entitlements and defense are why we have such a huge amount of debt! Everything else amounts to rounding errors by comparison."

Tunasalad expressed frustration with the way debt talks were handled by the government. "It is IRONIC that the same people (dem and rep) who created this mess, pretend as though they are going to repair the mess. Americans are so going to get screwed by this situation."

GGFL said, "Tax cuts for the rich produce millions of jobs. Cut taxes to 0% for millionaires and just watch how may people they hire to do the lawn."

Deathstalker commented, "Some changes are need but the base medicare and SS should be left alone for the most part. If we are having problems paying the bills raise the SS tax and the medicare tax."

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

Overheard: 'Octomom' should take responsibility
Nadya Suleman (center) is mom to 14 children, including the world's first known surviving set of octuplets.
July 1st, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Overheard: 'Octomom' should take responsibility

Comment of the Day:

Someone should have taken the reins away from this woman ages ago. I'm not saying that she has no personal responsibility here, just that she may not be as able to control her impulses as a healthy person. People around her have been enabling her loon ball behavior for years.—Al

Magazine: Babies 'disgust' Octomom

Nadya Suleman (more commonly referred to in some circles as “Octomom”) is no stranger to the criticism surrounding her use of in vitro fertilization to conceive eight children. In this week’s edition of In Touch magazine, Suleman reportedly commented that babies disgust her and that she is having difficulties raising her six older children. CNN.com readers had a mixed reaction to the reports.

T Colber said “After hearing the 'Howard Stern' interview, I believe the press has in some cases exaggerated things she says or does. We all have meltdowns and try to cope with stress, etc. One statement does not make a person or show their behavior.”

Mark felt that Suleman has little reason for complaint. He said, “What really disturbs me is how she portrays herself as the 'victim,' as if these children magically appeared in her life, and now she's stuck with them. Excuse me, but who sought in vitro fertilization, despite already having six children, whom you can't support? Was this immaculate conception? DOUBT IT!!”

User QS says Suleman should have expected this type of backlash. “Simply having the right to say anything you want does not exempt you from the consequences of the things you say.”

Austin said, “Yes, she needs to be quiet! Every mother has regretted inappropriate thoughts about their own children when stressed, but none should actually voice them and especially never to a reporter!”