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This and that – open thread

I had quite a lot in the mailbag…nosh and add your own links.

* Amanda posted about this Dear Abby letter over at Pandagon, and it also caught the eye of Blender Karen. Daddy Dobson’s handbook didn’t prepare mommy for this:

DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Ron,” and I are at odds over parenting our 7-year-old son, “Brett.” My husband is very domestic. He cooks like a world-class chef and does more housework than any man I know of. I have read Dr. James Dobson’s books on family. He clearly states that a father should be the manly role model for the son, to prevent the son from being homosexual. I’m concerned that Brett will learn feminine ways from my husband and turn out to be gay. How can I convince Ron that he needs to teach Brett the more manly things in life?

DEAR WORRIED MOM: From my perspective, you don’t need to change a thing. With all due respect to Dr. Dobson, your husband is already a manly role model to your son. He is teaching the boy important survival skills that will be invaluable when he is older. With luck, your son will turn out to be every bit the man — and father — that your husband is.

High-five for Abby!


Oy! You must catch Gene Stone‘s Huff Post column, The Gay Republican: Oxymoron, or Just Moron?

Why would any gay man or woman belong to a party that has stated, over and over, as clearly as can be, without equivocation, that he or she is not welcome?

It’s understandable why someone might not choose to be a Democrat. Those brought up in a family or culture where the traditional Republican party values were celebrated, such as smaller government and less taxes, might feel uncomfortable with the Democratic party (although these days it’s the Republican party that seems to stand for pork barrel politics and large government).

…Today the bottom line is that there simply is no excuse left for any gay man or woman to embrace a party whose prime agenda is to stop him or her from enjoying the same rights as every other American.

Read George Bush’s lips: The party doesn’t want you. Can you hear that? It doesn’t want you. You can’t pretend any more that you can change it. It doesn’t want you. You can’t make a difference. It doesn’t want you.

Whew. Go read the rest. Gene, btw is also the author of the just published Duck! The Dick Cheney Survival Bible


* Drew found out that Dear Leader likes to harass endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep.


* Nothing subtle here (hat tip to Blender David) — Rolling Stone: The Worst President in History?

George W. Bush’s presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace. Barring a cataclysmic event on the order of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, after which the public might rally around the White House once again, there seems to be little the administration can do to avoid being ranked on the lowest tier of U.S. presidents. And that may be the best-case scenario. Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.


* Matt Hill Comer updates us on the LGBT-inclusive proposal debated by UNC Association of Student Governments last Saturday. The General Assembly of the body failed to pass equal opportunity clause proposal. Only six out of approximately fifty delegates voted to add gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and socioeconomic status.


* Nancy Goldstein has bright idea on how to handle the problems on the immigration front.

My modest proposal, if implemented correctly, could resolve the dilemmas raised by both of these critical social phenomenon in one fell swoop. Why don’t we swap skanky guys who flout the law for hard-working immigrants who want nothing more than US citizenship and a shot at a better life?


* Winger Brian Camenker, of the Parents Rights Coalition in Massachusetts, has his panties in a bunch over the use of the children’s book “King & King,” fairy tale about gay marriage, by a teacher in class to illustrate the different kinds of weddings. Same-sex marriage is legal in the state, but Brien can’t reconcile this in his tiny brain. He thinks this is sex education and thus parents have to be notified. “It’s just so heinous and objectionable that they would do this… There is no question in my mind that the law is being abused here.” (Hat tip, Frederick)


* Ohio Churches’ Political Activities Challenged. Blender Holly is keeping tabs on the activities in her state of Ohio, where the wingnut pastors are violating their tax-exempt status by shilling for Ken Blackwell, who is the secretary of state and the favored candidate of bible beaters for governor.


* Jessica over at Ms. Magazine points to the cover story in the latest issue, an article on sweatshops in Saipan, Paradise Lost: Greed, Sex Slavery, Forced Abortions and Right-Wing Moralists, and how the Abramoff scandal hurts women.

Anti-sweatshop leaders and some members of Congress have long sought to increase wages and protect the islands’ garment workers, most of whom are women, from what amounts to indentured servitude. But their efforts were repeatedly stalled in Congress. And who was among the biggest opponents of reform? None other than the notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whose tentacles reached deep into House Republican leadership. And who was one of the loudest congressional cheerleaders against reform? Tom DeLay, who praised the islands as “a petri dish of capitalism.”


* And how about those “crisis pregnancy centers? These are simply bogus clinics run by an womb-control groups waging intimidation campaigns to pressure women not to have an abortion. Our government is funding these “clinics” with $60 million of your tax dollars. (Hat tip, Deborah)

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding