Archive for March, 2006

Happy Anniversary, Baby

Friday, March 31st, 2006

My sweet husband and I tied the knot sixteen years ago today. He might be rethinking that decision right now, as I’m about to head back to Atlanta and leave him with the kids for a few more days. In the interest of saving our marriage and his sanity, his wonderful parents are coming into town to help with the endless driving, feeding, laundry, refereeing, etc.

Daddy moved out of the ICU and to a regular room yesterday with the caveat that he has to have someone with him 24/7. My brother has been there with him and Mama for quite some time, and he needs to go home for a while. I’ll have to wrestle Mama out of the hospital and force her to rest, and I hope I’m up for the job. I’ve never had to make her do anything before. Does this mean I’m finally an adult? Don’t count on it. :)

I’ll have limited internet access but will blog when possible.

He Thought He’d Be Less Conspicuous That Way?

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

An escapee from the Shelby County (Alabama) jail was captured as he ran through downtown Columbiana in his underwear. For those of y’all not from around here, Columbiana is a thriving metropolis of less than 4,000 — not a great place to disappear. I guess this guy thought the orange jumpuit would give him away.

Roy Protests Pentagon Prayer Policy

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

There’s just one problem — the Pentagon policy doesn’t say what he says it says. Does that make sense? If not, it’s business as usual for Roy.

Roy Moore joined the cause of a Navy chaplain today by protesting a Pentagon policy they believe prohibits clergy in the military from using sectarian prayer in military events outside of a chapel.

“We’ve got to recognize that the law does not forbid our chaplains in the military, in the Air Force, in the Navy, from praying in the name of Jesus. Indeed it contradicts our entire history and our law and it should be stopped and this president is responsible if it is not,” Moore said in a press conference on Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House….

…A Navy spokesman said chaplains who volunteer to give a prayer at a non-religious service, such as a promotion ceremony, should give one that is non-sectarian because of the diversity of religious beliefs in the audience.

“There is nothing in this policy that strictly forbids praying to Jesus. It’s just not in there. It is fair to say that we ask they be inclusive,” said Lt. William Marks.

If Roy does manage to defy the current polls and win the Governor’s race, we can expect more of the same. Roy believes freedom of religion means his freedom to shove his religion down our throats.

More Conservative Values

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

It seems Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia didn’t just make an obscene gesture at reporters outside his church on Sunday; he also told his critics to “vaffanculo”. In case you don’t know what that means (I didn’t), it’s Italian for “f*ck you”, or “go and take it in your *ss”. How charming.

This lovely story comes on the heels of reports that Scalia recently gave a speech signaling that he would rule against a Guantanamo detainee whose case is currently before the Supreme Court (Scalia has refused to recuse himself), and that he would like to overturn Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated most state laws that criminalized homosexual behavior. I’m not surprised that Scalia thinks this way, but I’m a bit surprised that he would say so, even in an unpublicized speech. All we heard during the Roberts and Alito hearings was, “It would be inappropriate to comment on a case that might come before me if I’m confirmed.” That line was used to weasel out of countless questions, but I guess it only applies before one becomes a Justice.

Does anyone else think Scalia is losing it?

Battle Over Sex Education

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Wow! If even the Wall Street Journal has noticed, there must be a groundswell of objections to abstinence-only programs. Federal funding for abstinence programs has skyrocketed in the past few years — from $82 million in 2001 to $176 million this year — so many cash-strapped schools have turned to the growing number of abstinence-based nonprofits that offer to teach sex ed classes at little or no cost. But some parents are beginning to wake up and realize that their children are getting inaccurate “information” from people who want to demonize sex.

Though parents and health professionals generally embrace the idea of encouraging teens to abstain from sex, some are starting to question whether kids are getting the adequate and accurate information that they will need to make responsible decisions as they grow older. Educators, parents and politicians are starting to lobby for sex education that goes beyond abstinence teachings. Bills that support this approach, known as comprehensive sex education, are under review in the legislatures of several states, including Illinois and Massachusetts. One bill in New York state, dubbed the Healthy Teens Act, calls for funding for programs that emphasize contraception as well as abstinence….

…Schools and other groups that accept the federal funding have to promote abstinence and play down the effectiveness of contraception. In January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services effectively tightened its restrictions on what abstinence courses can teach. In a request for grant applications, new and detailed guidelines said that an acceptable curriculum should include teaching about “the potential psychological side effects (e.g., depression and suicide) associated with adolescent sexual activity” and stress points such as the following: “Non-marital sex in teen years may reduce the probability of a stable, happy marriage as an adult” and “Teen sexual activity is associated with decreased school completion, decreased educational attainment and decreased income potential.”

These statements “misuse” scientific data, says John Santelli, a professor of pediatrics and of population and family health at Columbia University, as well as a former official at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There may be some truth to the associations they draw, but their conclusions are confused,” he says.

And why am I not surprised that groups in Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota are pushing for bills that would further limit access to accurate information about sex?

Other groups that support the abstinence approach are urging states to further limit sex ed. Earlier this month, Kansas’s board of education recommended to local school districts that teachers secure written permission from parents before students attend sex-ed classes. Some state legislatures are considering bills that would circumscribe the teaching of sex ed: A bill in South Dakota seeks to prevent any instruction in the use of contraceptives in sex-ed classes. A bill under consideration in Missouri would prohibit groups that provide abortions from teaching sex ed in the schools, effectively banning organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

I don’t want my girls to grow up thinking that sex is something nasty that only “bad people” do. How on earth will they ever have healthy adult relationships if that’s all they hear now? I do want them to understand that sex is special, that it is not a game, and that it can have life-changing results. I want them to have goals and dreams that will encourage them to postpone sex until they are old enough to handle the physical and emotional aspects.

But I also want them to have good information about pregnancy and disease prevention. No matter when they start having sex, they’ll need to know. And I’d really like for all their friends to have that same information.

Nancy Goldstein at Raw Story…

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

…had a conversation with South Dakota state senator Bill Napoli. Check it out.

More Good News

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Sago Mine survivor Randy McCloy is coming home from the hospital today. He’s on CNN right now, and he looks great. Another reason to celebrate!

Jill Is Free!

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll was freed today after being held hostage for nearly three months in Iraq. She doesn’t know why she was kidnapped or why she was freed, but I suspect she and her family aren’t all that worried about the details right now. They are celebrating, as am I.

You Go, Michelle!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Teen golfer Michelle Wie delivered an unintentional but perfect smackdown to publicity hound Rush Limbaugh this week. It seems that Rush pulled another one of his Donovan McNab stunts, trashing Michelle’s ability and calling her a “triumph of marketing”. When Time magazine asked Michelle about it, she said, “Huh? Who’s that?”

One of these days, God willing, most of the country will be saying the same thing.

And We Cook Too

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Hungry for something a little different? Check out And They Cook Too! It’s a bloggers’ cookbook full of great recipes, including a few by yours truly (mostly lifted from my mother-in-law). The book was compiled and edited by Kathy Flake and Ginger Mayerson, and proceeds from their labor of love benefit Doctors Without Borders.