As a mother who is chronically (and famously among my family, friends, and my kids' teachers) unable to keep up with all (ok, any) of my children's school activities, forms-to-sign, class parties, school programs, field trips, bake sales, etc, I like this essay by Sandi Kahn Shelton, apparently a slacker-mom like me.
As a progressive gun rights supporter and a mama, I've found myself both at odds and in agreement with Rosie O'Donnell over the years. But I've always loved her stand-up work and after reading her new book last month, I became a fan of her writing. It's a great little book and really has zero to do with whether or not she is gay. But anyway, I am sorry to see how precipitously her magazine's circulation numbers are dropping. Sadly, it appears that the Ellen DeGeneres effect has struck her magazine.
Now this looks like a rockin' good time ;-) !! At least vacationers on this Love Boat won't have to worry about any teen hanky panky, like maybe with Vicky, Captain Stubing's nubile daughter...
Wouldn't you like to receive a brief email notification when I periodically post one of my new essays at Loco Parentis? No one will see your email address but me and I promise to never share it with anyone else for any reason.
Dawn Olsen is running a web survey to determine the sexiest male blogger. I plan to vote, even though I've only met one of the candidates in person. That's Glenn Reynolds. He is quite cute and has very nice hair.


As the pundits debate the meaning and future of blogging going mainstream., they seem to miss one piece in the puzzle: investigative reporting. Basically, bloggers (including myself) sit in their comfortable home offices and opine and prognosticate about reportage that some other hardworking, actual journalist has busted her ass to do. As the daughter of two working journalists and as a writer who has done some long, reported features for major magazines, I can assure you that writing a 3,000 word fact-based article requires a great deal more specialized skill and hard work than it does for me to link to that same article on my blog.

Blogging is neat-o, and critical analysis/punditry is important, but we still need real journalists and their product.
In this very on-target post on the issue of "teen sex" (is that something like "blonde sex" or "Tennessee sex") InstaPundit's Glenn Reynolds points out that our modern cultural vilification of sexually mature teenagers and their predictable behavior ignores most of what we know about human physiology and our own history.

The problem with teenagers having sex is that they are notoriously incapable of preventing the potentially negative consequences of sexual behavior. But so are many other sub-cultures within our larger one (trust me on this. In a previous life, I worked as a social worker and did home visits with Appalachian parents who were neglecting or abusing their kids ). How come national magazines never run cover stories like this one on the problem of "Irresponsible Idiot Sex!"

Teenagers are more vulnerable to sexual expoitation by authority figures and plain old sleazy people. And the key to dealing with "teen sex" is involved parents and other responsible adults to whom young people feel personally close (as opposed to school teachers and administrators) teaching their kids to have a sex-positive attitude and the ability to make wise choices on a situation-by-situation basis. No way do I want school personnel who might be homophobes or worse imparting their spin on such an important issue on my kids. I want those discussions to take place within the context of my own family's values. My ten year old son and I already talk about sexual decision making, and when my daughter reaches ten or twelve, we'll start talking too. There are some good websites for teenagers who want to learn about sexuality and sexual ethics, like Scarleteen and Boyfriend. For mothers in their teens, I love GirlMom
I am so glad that my generation is now coming into our own and influencing public policy in our own Dave Eggers-esque/David Sedaris-like ways. Boomers never coulda pulled this off as anything but a bad and embarrassing joke. They take themselves way too seriously. Go Bono!
PLEASE, PLEASE...can some experienced blogger take pity on me and help me figure out what I am doing wrong in enabling my blog archives. I am totally clueless. Email me at if you are willing to help :-)
Minnesota Governor, Jesse "the Body" Ventura, U.S veteran, yesterday vetoed a bill that would require the state's public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Three cheers for Governor Ventura. In his statement regarding his veto, he noted:

"Patriotism is voluntary," Ventura said in his veto message. "It is a feeling of loyalty and allegiance that is the result of knowledge and belief. No law will make a citizen a patriot."

The bill did allow individual school districts to opt out of forcing kids to stand and recite, but that's a red herring so far as this "are you a real American" litmus test for kids goes. Minnesotans should be thanking Ventura for saving them from costly litigation since the Supreme Court decided some time ago that kids cannot be compelled to recite the Pledge at school.

My French father in law was a schoolboy during the Nazi occupation of his country. He remembers that one of the first thing the Vichy traitors did after coming to power was to force every child in his village to start each schoolday by standing and singing a patriotic paean to Germany.
Serious depressive illness runs in my family, so I take depression seriously. I've seen first hand how miraculous the prozac-class medications can be in basically curing depression and saving lives. But I had to laugh the other day when I heard the teaser for this ABCNews story calling for more depression diagnoses : the Good Morning America voiceover guy said ominously, "more than a million Americans are depressed and don't even know it!"

In my experience, if one is depressed to the point that medication may be appropriate, one is acutely aware of just how horrible he/she feels.
My 3 children finished their year of (respectively) preschool, first grade and 4th grade today. We celebrated with a yummy supper out on the back porch and then my husband introduced them to the joys of Alice Cooper's classic "School's Out" anthem, to which they all danced wildly and giggled. (Then Chris played the rest of the soundtrack to Dazed and Confused and gave them a lecture on the importance of KISS and Black Sabbath to modern life.)


Hey ladies! Have you ever wondered whether you are a 'ho? (According to this quiz, I am not currently a 'ho, but have been at various times in the past ;-).


With the increase in women using anonymous sperm donors to conceive, I believe that we will soon begin seeing more cases like this one in which two individuals conceived by the use of anonymous donor sperm are now asking the court to open the door to seeking out their respective biological fathers. In recent years, American individuals adopted as infants through old-fashioned, closed adoptions have successfully fought for the right to seek out their biological parents. Donor babies can't be far behind.

I would never willingly choose to deny anyone the right to know her own biological identity, nor would I willingly choose to diminish the role of bio parent to that of an anonymous donor.

( News clip via The New Homemaker )
The World Health Organization has just released a very important new set of reports and information slamming the companies that make and market infant formula in North America. I have written pretty extensively on this subject. and consider the infant formula industry to be one of the greatest threats to infant-maternal health in the U.S. and around the world. Someday, the corporate behavior of the giant drug companies that manufacture and sell infant formula will be seen as quite similar to big tobacco in their motivations and tactics.
Here is an interesting, if somewhat disorganized collection of data on students' social and political views in a post 9/11 era.
I cannot for the life of me figure out how to set up the archives for my Blog. If some kind blogger who knows how to do this would take pity on me and email me at, I would be forever grateful --