Demographically, I have soccer mom written all over me. 34 years old, three kids, minivan, married, voted for Clinton in 92, etc, etc. So I've always felt rather alone among my statistical peers with regards to my pro-gun-rights views.

In 2000, when I was working as an editor/producer with Oxygen Media, I really had to keep my mouth shut around the office since Oxygen's powers-that-be had decided that the company as a whole would throw strong support behind the first Million Mom March (I couldn't help thinking at the time how much more powerful a million moms would be if they were armed. Of course, as it turns out, some of the most famous women supporting the MMM were, in fact, quietly relying on guns to protect thair own children from the bad guys.).

Anyway, in the past year or so, I have begun to sense a change in the cultural zeitgeist with regards to moms and guns. I was interested to read this new Zogby poll (disclaimer: it was underwritten by a pro-gun lobby) indicating that in fact, more Americans are reclaiming their constitutional gun rights in the wake of September 11th.


It appears that child rapists/killers are becoming bolder in their patterns of kidnapping victims.. Last night (6/4/02), a 14 year old Salt Lake City child was abducted by an armed stranger who broke into her family's home in the middle of the night and threatened the girl and her little sister with a gun. A massive search is underway in Utah. This follows the pattern of the terrible murder of 12 year old Polly Klaas and the more recent abduction/murder of seven year old Danielle van Dam.

No one can ever be 100% sure that they have covered all their bases in protecting their family, but I have to say that this is one reason why I will always have dogs in our home. No one could come into our home during the night, much less one of my children's bedrooms, without encountering an unpleasant surprise in the form of a very large male Great Pyrenees named Leo and an even larger male Saint Bernard named Truman. The dogs sleep in the hallway outside our bedrooms at night (their choice) and would have to be incapacitated before a stranger would get past them.

I saw a very interesting interview a few years ago with a career burglar who told the interviewer that the greatest deterrent to a criminal entering a particular home at night was the obvious presence of a large, loud dog on the premises. Personally, I prefer a dog who will not only bark, but will bite under the right circumstances. If you choose your breed carefully and work with a reputable breeder (as opposed to a pet store or somebody selling backyard-bred puppies in the classifieds section of your local newspaper), you will enjoy a companion animal with a natural desire to protect your family.

So remember: "A good dog. Better than a home security system hooked up to a half-asleep alarm-company dispatcher making $6.00 an hour on the overnight shift."

And my prayers are with the family searching for their daughter in Utah today.
You know, I don't think much at all of people who run around ( as we delicately say here in the South) with married people. In fact, I strongly support the right of cuckolded (did I spell that right?) spouses to sue for alienation of affection. So Chandra Levy's affair with Gary Condit has always really repulsed me and made me wonder what sort of values her obviously adoring parents had passed on to her.

But whatever the reason behind her decision to screw around with a (totally skanky, lying, jerk of a ) married guy, she is now dead, and speculation like this about the specifics of her sex habits seem really rude and innapropriate to me. Besides, this particular conjecture - that the knotted spandex exercise leggings found near Ms. Levy's remains indicate some sort of "consensual bondage" - is pretty bizarre. Seriously, what city girl goes out to a buggy, rocky area of Rock Creek Park and obligingly removes her sweatpants and then allows herself to be tied up with them just for fun. Puhleeze.


I find this story so disturbing that it sends chills up my spine. In Nigeria, where the Muslim sharia law has now been adopted, a Nigerian woman has been sentenced to death by stoning for giving birth to a child without being married to the child's bio father. But the sharia court has benevolently decreed that her execution can be delayed until her baby is weaned from the breast.

So let me get this straight. These evil Nigerian officials don't want to deprive this infant of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, which are undeniable, but have no problem with depriving the child of his mother by KILLING her? This reminds me of Margaret Atwood's book, The Handmaid's Tale, in which fertile women have become useful only as living vessels to produce and nurse babies. After they are no longer useful for these specific tasks, they are disposed of.

You know, as a good 'n' guilty progressive Episcopalian-type person, I want to believe all the platitudes floating around about how Islam is actually a peaceful religion that respects women and how stuff like this represents some kind of aberration from historical Islamic norms, but I am finding that harder and harder to do. Islam's institutional hatred for women and girls around the world is central to why Islamists want to blow up American buildings and kill us. The Saudis and the Pakistanis may be spoken of as "American friends" but they are certainly not friendly toward me, my daughter, my sister, or my mother. In fact, within their belief system, I too would be sentenced to death by stoning simply because I am who I am.
Although he sounds a bit holier than thou in making his point, Ted Rall makes a strong case that American journalists were all too willing to be taken for a ride while covering the war in Afghanistan.


Apparently, the magazine In Style has an ongoing problem with celebrity couples filing for divorce before the issue of the magazine featuring their very recent weddings actually hits the stands.

That's pretty amusing :-)
On days like today when being a work-at-home mama to three little kids is just too dull and frustrating for words, I sit in the yard and drink cold bottles of Rolling Rock and watch the kids run through the sprinkler. We crank up my favorite band, Sleater-Kinney and the kids boogie through the spraying water as they belt out the words to "You're No Rock and Roll Fun". Then we all feel better.
UPDATE on my last post--

Blogger is flaking out on me, so I cannot change my last, truncated post, but I wanted to add that Kathleen Parker, the columnist in question, has told InstaPundit that she filed (turned in to her editor) her column on 5/30/02. I am happy to accept her at her word, but it does seem quite a coincidence that this is the second time that Ms. Parker in particular has been cited by a blogger in this regard.
It has been suggested that Old Media writers are "stealing" content and op-ed ideas from bloggers. Check out this column from the Orlando Sentinel that went live on 6/2/02, and then take a look at my post on this very issue which went live on 5/31/02. Coincidence? Let me know what you think.

More on this: I agree with InstaPundit that this doesn't rise to the level of actual plagiarism. It *does* however violate basic, voluntary journalistic ethics. If I read a published piece of writing (blogs are publications) that prompts me to comment on it in a public forum for which I am paid for my words, I should credit the source of the idea. Since I actually make my living by writing, this matters to me.

In the sphere of freelance writing, it is considered a MAJOR ethical no-no for a publication to lift a story idea from a query sent in by a freelancer and then assign it to a staff writer. Same goes for publishing. Reputable publishing houses don't read through book proposals submitted by hopeful aspiring authors and then surreptitiously lift the book ideas and package the books in-house.

Update: Kathleen Parker, the columnist in question, tells