The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for September 4th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for September 4th from 12:44 to 14:59:

  • Citizen Crain: Last night’s lies – The bottom line is that the Republicans believe that the road to victory this November is a continuation of lying to the American people. I just hope that enough Americans have wised up by now.
  • Sex Education as Liberation | The American Prospect – We've been inculcating young people into America's hypocritical, schizophrenic "present system." We ask them to conform to either one of two views — that their sexual desires are sinful outside of the context of marriage and must be tamed, saved, and resisted, or that they are helpless to resist them, sex being natural and they being hormonal teenagers, so they must be responsible and protect themselves. In either case, sexuality is not a joy, not a means through which human beings actualize their unique desires and relationships, not a potential site of transformation. It is a landmine.
  • TPMCafe | Talking Points Memo | The Unbearable Whiteness of the RNC – Now I know it's a bit of a cliché to suggest that Republican conventions are largely white affairs, but the contrast between the extraordinary diversity of Invesco Field and the veritable sameness of the demographic make-up at the Xcel Center in St. Paul is perhaps the most striking feature of the two conventions.
  • The Elephant in the Room | The American Prospect – The truth is, conservatives are more familiar with teen parenthood than are secular liberals. On the whole, red states have higher teen pregnancy and birth rates than blue states. In Texas, the state with the highest teen birth rate, 63 out of every 1,000 young women aged 15 to 19 has had a baby. California has the lowest teen birth rate; only 39 of every 1,000 15- to 19-year-old girls there have carried a pregnancy to term. Alaska, where Bristol Palin grew up, has a typical teen birth rate of about 42.
  • TPMCafe | Talking Points Memo | What Palin Offers — and What It Would Cost – Yet if you didn't sense last night how deeply Sarah Palin channeled some of the country's deepest, most powerful currents of pent-up indignation and yearning, you don't sense the trouble we Democrats are in. Rhetorically, she was the anti-Obama,. She was stirring precisely because she was so artless, matter-of fact, and "American" — with no cadences or grand, historic resonances, but with plenty of mother wit and shrewdness. Credit her as much as the speechwriters..
  • Open Left:: Would YOU Vote Against a Baby? – Davis says the McCain strategy is to avoid the issues because: "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates." What comprises that composite view? Part of it must be babies. Yes, this year they will be wrapping themselves not only in flags but in babies. This is an astute political move I suppose: who opposes cute little babies? And so we got shot after shot tonight of the Palin's newest addition being held by, I think, every family member at one point or another. I think the strategy is something like: I dare you NOT to vote for this baby.
  • A Post-Rational Society? — In These Times – After a slow start because of Hurricane Gustav, the convention in St. Paul, Minn., has turned into an anti-Obama hate-fest with a nearly all-white gathering laughing at and mocking the nation’s first African-American presidential nominee of a major party. However, beyond the pulsating contempt visible on the faces of the GOP delegates, many of the nasty attacks on Obama – as well as the effusive praise for the Republican ticket – were blatantly false, as if testing the depths of American gullibility and bigotry.
  • Truthdig – Reports – Why Bristol’s Pregnancy Matters – With all due respect to this young woman, her future husband and the rest of the family—and best wishes to all of them for a successful birth—let us first stop pretending that this is good news. There are excellent reasons why we discourage teenage pregnancy and motherhood, and none of them have disappeared simply because the Republicans are about to put Sarah Palin on their ticket.
  • Truthdig – Reports – A Private Matter—for Everyone – The decision on what to do about such matters should be left to a woman, her doctor, her family and her God. No one—absolutely no one—who supports keeping abortion legal would interfere in any way with Bristol Palin’s decision to carry her pregnancy to term. In fact, organizations such as Planned Parenthood would provide her with proper prenatal care if she needed it.
  • Steven Pearlstein – The Road to a Bailout They Don’t Deserve – washingtonpost.com – Not only are the Big Three not deserving, but to help them out of their current predicament would also set a lousy precedent in a market-driven economy where the possibility of earning great wealth is supposed to be balanced against the possibility of failure. For the government to step in and put up $50 billion in loans to try to save the Big Three auto companies, after having done little or nothing to save the jobs of steelworkers and shoemakers and furniture craftsmen, would be patently unfair.
  • The Fading Attraction of Teenage Marriage – NYTimes.com – Studies show that today teenage marriages are two to three times more likely to end in divorce than are marriages between people 25 years of age and older. The most comprehensive study on marriage and age that sociologists cite was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2001, from 1995 data, and it found that 48 percent of those who marry before 18 are likely to divorce within 10 years, compared with 24 percent of those who marry after age 25.
  • Addiction doesn’t discriminate – except when it does – International Herald Tribune – So while anyone can theoretically become an addict, it is more likely the fate of some, among them women sexually abused as children; truant and aggressive young men; children of addicts; people with diagnosed depression and bipolar illness; and groups including American Indians and poor people.

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