Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for November, 2006

Aaaaaghh!

Posted by Greg on November 28, 2006

Crossposted with permission from Sean at Hiding in the Backwaters

One of my classes this semester is on public policy. The only real assignment I have in that class is an 8-10 page policy analysis. Being a divorced dad and having seen many of my other divorced friends screwed over by their ex-wives (and because it was likely to be a topic few others in the class chose) I decided to do a policy analysis on child custody laws.

I have learned two things in the reading I’ve done so far. One, child custody has little to do with children and is mostly about gender politics. Two, based on the garbage produced by fathers’ rights advocates, it’s no wonder no one takes them seriously. Hoping for a more complete picture, I sought books authored by both sexes. The two books I have written by men—namely,Betrayal of the Child: A Father’s Guide to Family Courts by Stewart Rein and Where Have All The Good Fathers Gone? by Douglas O’Brien—have left me frustrated and angry, but probably not for the reasons you might suppose.

Neither book is well documented. Both give statistics and make claims about child development with only vague citation of sources, if any. Entire quotations are often given with no obvious reference to the source. Scanning back a page or two you might find reference to one professional or another. The best you can do is assume that is the original author of the quotation, but it’s even odds as to whether or not the specific source is identified or not. How the hell do they get away with this? Who edited these things? Oh, and is there some new age school of grammar I’m not aware of where punctuation always goes outside of a quotation mark?

This would be frustrating enough, but it doesn’t stop there. Mr. Rein’s egregious misuse of bold face, italics, full caps and scare quotes is baffling. Am I the only one who sees irony in a man having discovered a way to make writing look hysterical and emotional? Mr. O’Brien lost my respect as soon as he used the term feminazi. Oh, he dressed it up with dictionary definitions to try and give it a rational context, but I wonder if he’s heard the phrase “polishing a turd.” He also has a penchant for going to great lengths to come up with derisive acronyms such as FUNIFARM (Feminazi UNIfied Feelings Are Really Manipulation theory) or JUST BS (JUnk Science Theory Bashing Syndrome) (pp.15-16).

Both men raise valid points, but how can they possibly expect to be taken seriously? This kind of writing might work to incite the masses, but do these guys really think they’re going to influence policy makers with this crap? Oh, and Mr. O’Brien, labeling social scientists as SS isn’t going to win you any friends in that arena either. Both men characterize the writings of women on child custody as radical, hate filled attempts to disenfranchise men and set up a matriarchy. In contrast fathers’ rights groups are logical and rational (O’Brien 1997, p.20).

Huh?

The one book by a female author I have read so far—The Custody Wars by Mary Ann Mason, Ph.D., J.D.—by contrast, is well reasoned, and well documented. In fact she agrees that the system is broken and has nothing to do with the best interests of the children, such language existing in most statutes notwithstanding. She does, however, make the assertion that fathers’ rights advocates aren’t as interested in their children as they are in maintaining their own rights and power. Gee, I can’t imagine why.

Mason, M. Ph.D., J.D. (1999). The Custody Wars: Why Children are Losing the Legal Battle and What We Can Do About It. New York: Basic Books.O’Brian, D. (1997). Where Have All the Good Fathers Gone? Child Support and Custody. Fairbanks, AK: Skid 18 Press.

Rein, S (2001). Betrayal of the Child: A Father’s Guide to Family Courts. Tobyhanna, PA: Lotus Press.

Posted in Culture War | Leave a Comment »

Another reason I’m glad to be a Democrat

Posted by Greg on November 25, 2006

What a jackass…I’m tempted to use other descriptions but my kids know the URL to the blog…

Suffice it to say Minnesota GOP rep Mark Olson has to be among the most embarassing pieces of work in the GOP caucus – and given what we’ve had to work with this last election season, that’s saying something.

Pam Spaulding has a good summary.

Posted in Minnesota | Leave a Comment »

WTF is up with Northworst Airlines?

Posted by Greg on November 22, 2006

KSTP caught a Northwest Airlines work stoppage on film at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

Tuesday, promptly at 12 noon, and right in front of our camera, Northwest ground workers stopped working and drove baggage carts, tugs, and anything they had to one spot for a 20-minute rally.

While they were high-tailing it to one side of the airport, planes filled with passengers went nowhere. They couldn’t come in, they couldn’t go out. No bags were loaded, no bags were unloaded. 

When your company is in financial trouble and has a questionable reputation for customer service as it is, what could possibly make more sense than pissing off yet another round of travelers?

Some time ago I took the first of many trips to Dallas for a special project.  My plane sat on the runway for over an hour in 90 degree heat without air conditioning and when we FINALLY arrived in Texass, 90% of the luggage was left in Minnesota.  I’m sure it was purely coincidental that they were nearing the breaking point in a pre strike deadline for something.

Fortunately Sun Country and American Airlines also offer non stop service to Dallas, and guess which carriers I selected for every subsequent trip?   I really do try to support local business but Northworst makes it really hard.  Especially when Sun Country is also Twin Cities based and also offers non stop service to many of the places I visit regularly.

Posted in Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Economics | 1 Comment »

A continued decline

Posted by Greg on November 21, 2006

It wasn’t that long ago that my former coblogger Mick got rather pissy and offended at the suggestion that military recruitment standards have been lowered. Unfortunately for Mick, who predicted a GOP victory in the midterms and still confuses populists for centerists, facts are subborn things.

A CBS4 investigation shows how the U.S. Army is accepting more applicants with criminal records, including drug problems, through a system of “wear, the Army exceeded its goal by enlaivers” to bypass regulations. With a high demand for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has struggled to meet its recruiting and retention goals in past years. However, in the 2006 fiscal yisting 80,635 new troops…. The factors for an increase in enlistment include the change of the age limit from 40 to 42, a lowering of aptitude test score standards and an increase in what the Army calls “moral waivers.”

Nationally, the Army has increased its acceptance of moral waivers from 7,640 in 2001 to 11,018 in 2006.

You can be a drug user, you can have a criminal record…you can still serve.

Smart people would take offense at what lowering standards implies for the ongoing safety and security of our loved ones in uniform, not at having the audacity to acknowledge what is going on.

From The Carpetbagger Report:

Apparently, these waivers are being handed out all the time, for a variety of offenses. From 2004 to 2005, the number of recruits brought into the Army with serious criminal misconduct waiver jumped 54%, drug and alcohol waivers increased 13%, and misdemeanor waivers increased 25%.

Lt. Colonel Reginald Cox, who commands the Army recruiting battalion based in Denver, insisted standards have not been lowered. “These new applicants are doing an outstanding job for their country,” Cox said. “They’re brave. They have courage. They’re living the Army values.”

I agree with nearly all of this. I’m certain these applicants are doing an outstanding job, and their willingness to volunteer for service is absolutely courageous. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re willing to wear a uniform and put your life on the line for your country, you’re a hero.

But that doesn’t change the fact that standards have dropped. Army Secretary Francis Harvey and vice chief of staff Gen. Richard Cody acknowledged a year ago that the Army was using looser Defense Department rules that permitted it to sign up more high school dropouts and people who score lower on mental-qualification tests. People who would have been rejected before are accepted now.

And these waivers further highlight how dire the situation has become. Recruiters are left with, “If you’re not gay, there’s a way.”

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap | 2 Comments »

Fisking Cheney

Posted by Greg on November 20, 2006

Great analysis of Cheney’s speech to the Federalist Society at Unclaimed Territory:

Vice President Dick Cheney and the Federalist Society got together last night and shared some hearty laughs about the administration’s ongoing eavesdropping on American citizens, inside the U.S., in violation of the law, along with the hilarious notion that these things called “laws” or “courts” could somehow restrain the Leader:

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Civil Rights, Justice and the Courts | Leave a Comment »

An economic bargain

Posted by Greg on November 20, 2006

Representative Barney Frank of Massachussets is getting ready to sit down with business leaders for talks which have potential to make a real difference to middle class families.

Representative Barney Frank has proposed in a series of meetings with business groups a “grand bargain” with corporate America: Democrats would agree to reduce regulations and support free-trade deals in exchange for businesses agreeing to greater wage increases and job benefits for workers.

One thing on the table as well is health care expense and the possibility of additional government assistance in that area – given the percentage of total expense that health care is taking up these days, he has their attention.

Some good comments at The Carpetbagger Report.

Tim at Balloon Juice also has some good comments:

In many ways our broken healthcare system acts like a lead weight around the ankles of American business. While it’s easy to bitch about American carmakers investing poorly in quality engineering and forward-looking technologies, major employers like Ford, Chrysler and GM have pension and healthcare legacy costs that our Asian and European competitors do not. Among other problems (stratospheric executive pay for one) healthcare costs are driving the country’s airlines into bankruptcy and/or viciously adversarial negotiations with the employee unions. Pick any sector of American industry and the same problem appears.

Whatever the arguments for and against public healthcare there should be no question that it would literally save the life of a significant number of struggling American companies. The linked article shows that a decent proposal modeled after the more successful implementations, and not embarrassing screwups like, say, England or Hillarycare, could easily win the fierce loyalty of a broad swath of American business. Of course, lined up in opposition would be our massive insurance industry and to a lesser degree the hospital business.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

Profiling Tester

Posted by Greg on November 20, 2006

A great piece on John Tester, the new senator from Montana, at Daily Kos:

For the Democratic party, this is a powerful new archetype. In his demeanor, in his approach to politics, Tester is the common man, the simple citizen. As a politician, he projects these personal qualities into a message of common sense, the common good, and representation of the little guy. In that, Tester’s political approach shows us how to recapture what Americans have always liked about the Democrats, that it’s the party of the little guy. He’s a unifying figure for us, from the center to the left. Without sacrificing any of the core values that make him a Democrat–he’s pro-choice, pro-civil liberties, and believes in the essential ability of government to improve people’s lives–Tester can appeal to white, middle/working class voter that has been duped by the Republicans into thinking that they represent their concerns better.

What’s more, he negates the standard Republican attack on Democrats because he can’t be attacked for not being a real American with real American values. Tester effectively negates the elitist, limousine-liberal label with which Republicans have managed to negatively brand Democrats. It’s not as a result of any specific position he holds, but rather the totality of the image he presents. He’s the farthest thing from a limousine liberal you can find. He speaks in short, straightforward sentences about the things the typical voters faces in daily life. He’s the kind of Democrat who reminds people of what they used to like about the Democrats witout igniting any of the negatives that have been used so effectively by the GOP against us.

Jon Tester isn’t necessarily a new kind of Democrat, he’s the best of what Democrats have always been.

Posted in Congress | Leave a Comment »

Mitt off the deep end

Posted by Greg on November 20, 2006

Mitt Romney tries to broaden his appeal to the wingnut caucus:

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said Sunday that he will ask the state’s highest court this week to order a ballot question on same-sex marriage if legislators fail to vote on the matter when they reconvene in January.

Romney said he will ask a justice of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court to direct the secretary of state to place the question on the ballot if lawmakers do not vote directly on the question Jan. 2, the final day of the current session. Romney’s term as governor expires Jan. 4.

The legislature is in recess and, because it did not adjourn, Romney has no legal authority to call legislators back into session.

This is the same Mitt Romney who complains about the dangers of judicial activism – except for when the legislature won’t comply with his demands and actually follows the law, in which case he tries to use the court to overrule them.

Hat tip to Americablog which observes:

Gay bashing is so 2004. It back-fired this year. But, if Mitt wants to publicize his obsession with homosexuality, so be it.

Posted in Election 2008, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Turning to God

Posted by Greg on November 20, 2006

Great post by Elrod at The Moderate Voice:

I am constantly struck by how people in the midst of crisis turn to God – and in contradictory ways. I drove through Tennessee last March and a tornado destroyed a megachurch on the side of I-65 in Gallatin. A week later a sign emerged declaring God’s greatness. Surely it was a sign of God’s power, as it were. But greatness? Some Tennesseans believed God was punishing them for some sort grand transgression – too many gay people, rejection of the poor, too much war, too little prayer – whatever fits one’s pre-existing politics.

And so I wonder, what does it mean when Iraqis who suffer daily unspeakable outrages, reaffirm God’s greatness? Is that a sign of their true “submission” to God? Is it a sign of delusion? Is it just an anthropological gesture through which Iraqis “make sense” of the chaos?

Posted in Religion | Leave a Comment »

A Republican’t bloodbath?

Posted by Greg on November 17, 2006

Americablog points to this article:

For all the focus on the Democrats, a former Bush official who predicts a coming bloodbath between the White House and disgruntled conservative Republicans brushed off the Pelosi-Hoyer tussle as much ado about process.

“The Democrats are the sideshow,” he said. “Bush self-destructing is the big story in town.”

It’s going to be interesting in the next months…

Posted in Congress, Election 2006 | Leave a Comment »

A small dose of reality

Posted by Greg on November 17, 2006

It is, I suppose, time for an overdue commentary on the historic midterm elections.

It was a good night in most respects.  It was disappointing to see Scott Kleeb (NE-03) and Angie Piccione (CO-04) lose having donated to both their campaigns, but it was remarkable that a democrat would have even been competitive in those districts.  All in all a strong testimony to the effectiveness of Dean’s 50 State Strategy, and suggestive of good things to come down the road.

Locally things went particularly well, given the pickup of MN-01 for the Democrats, the takeover of the MN House, and enlarged majorities such that theDFL has a nearly veto proof majority in both houses.  But I can’t for the life of me understand why the voters of Minnesota’s sixth congressional district could be so amazingly stupid as to actually elect thebatshit crazy, theocratic wingnut Michelle Bachmann to the US House of Representatives.  And the electoral survival of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is a disappointment.  I curse the governor every time I get stuck in traffic or see yet another pointless school fundraiser or tax hike.  I bit my lip and grudgingly voted for the self aggrandizing media whore theDFL nominated to oppose him….but I know many who couldn’t do that an respect themselves in the morning.  And it’s too bad.  Pawlenty survived by a fraction of a point.

The Independence Party came out a big loser in the Minnesota elections.  But not in the way so many people would think.  There’s been the usual whining that their presence took votes away from Hatch, returningPawlenty to office.  But there’s no way to say who would have been effected more.  It’s a reasonable observation that the moderate populism of the Independence Party fits well with theDFL , without the hard core leftist element that makes some people nervous.  But they seem to think lightening is going to strike again and they’ll pull, somehow, another 1998 a la JesseVentura .  Sorry folks but it ain’t gonna happen.  But you don’t solve the problem of significant numbers voting for third party candidates by bitching.  You solve it by giving them something to support in your own platform.

The media honeymoon for the Democrats is already over with the reporting over fighting and divisions.  That’s idiocy.  Olbermann explains it pretty succinctly :

Funny, how when Trent Lott defeated Lamar Alexander by one vote for the Senate minority leadership yesterday, it was characterized in the media as a remarkable comeback story, with the random kidding reference to that ironical word “minority.”  But when Steny Hoyer and Jack Murtha both stood for the House majority leadership today, that was characterized in the media as Democratic infighting, with frequent implications that the Dems were already coming apart at the seams.

Thoughtful conservative John Cole observes :

A snide observer might note that what you saw was just a real leadership struggle. Compare and contrast that to what is happening within the Republican House caucus, in which they just extended the middle finger to the public and elected the same exact leadership that was in place- Boehner and Blunt. No struggle, no debate, no chance for fresh blood- just a nice orderly succession in the DeLay bloodline.

Regardless, you have to love the right-wing spin on this whole affair- “Hoyer Humiliates Pelosi” is the typical response, and you can bet that a whole series of posts detailing the corruption of Rep. Murtha had to be shelved with Hoyer’s victory. Given that this is the same crew who, after being demolished at the polls on election day, claimed that Conservatism had won, that would be a pretty safe bet.

This was a leadership struggle, nothing more, and I do not think drawing any larger conclusions about whether or not the Democrats can work together makes any sense- after twelve years out of power, it is safe to say they are united against the Republican party (if there was a gaffe in all of this, it was Pelosi using the phrase “Truth to Power” in her remarks yesterday). Despite the best efforts of the media and the GOP to spin this as a terrible blunder, it will amount to little more than a blip, especially as the oversight begins in earnest this January.

A major catalyst for commentary is driven by a Time Magazine article which discusses myths percolating down from the midterms.  I usually read Time more like a comic book, but they’re gotten it right this time – I can say that since their own analysis essentially reaffirms what I’ve been thinking myself these past couple weeks.

MYTH: Republicans lost their base.
REALITY: The base turned out, they just got beat.

Yep.  Turnout wasn’t bad for a midterm, which makes it even tougher for the results to not be understood as something of a mandate against more of the same out of Washington.  At Firedoglake we read:

Yes, that’s right, Karl. Your revved up base still turned out in droves, based on your nasty “push the worst buttons of their souls” political strategery, and yet…well…you still got your ass handed to you.  Boo yah!

A lot too is that the old ploys to get out the vote worked in principle…they just worked differently than in 2002 or 2004.  Take, for example, the anti gay initiatives on the ballots in several states.  Kudos to the clearer heads in Arizona thatbitchslapped the constitutional amendment, but the real effects were probably in Virginia and Wisconsin where independents and Democrats turned out to support the amendments, but then voted for Democrats.

MYTH: The election was all about the war.
REALITY: It’s the dishonesty, stupid.
Time kind of overstates their case here.  We see 74% complain about corruption while 67% about the war.  The war did matter and it helped bring out the Democrats’ base.  But this is a stark repudiation of those, usually on the right, who said the culture of corruption wasn’t a big deal.  Moreover, it’s hard to separate dishonesty from the war since we know now that the intelligence was doctored to make a more compelling case for war in the first place.

MYTH: The losses Republicans suffered this election were no different than what you usually see in a President’s sixth year in office.
REALITY: Redistricting minimized what might have been a truly historic shellacking.

There are multiple stories to this one.  There really aren’t that many regularly competitive districts any more and in some ways it’s a shame.  It truly was a wave election, and the effects were felt throughout the ballot.  Not just national but state legislatures fell to the Democrats as well.  In terms of “getting” just how historic this change was, not one Democratic seat fell to Republicans this go around whether in the House of Representatives, the Senate, or governorships.  Typically  individual seats will change hands between parties, even though one party or the other will net an increase.  Even in 1994, for example, the GOP lost four seats to the Democrats despite their net gain to take control.  This time around there were ZERO Republican pick ups.  It wasn’t just a net gain for the Democrats, but a complete firewall in terms of what they already had.  It’s amazing.

More than that, it seems the GOP’s excessive and blatant gerrymandering may have even cost them a few seats.  It appears the GOP, desperate in their attempts to boost numbers, may have stretched base voters too thin between some districts making them only nominally safe for GOP candidates leaving them both vulnerable to Democratic takeover during political waves.

MYTH: Democrats won because they carefully recruited more conservative candidates.
REALITY: Democrats won because their candidates were conservative about their message.

Truth be told, oversimplifications like this are why I typically read Time more like a comic book.  The crux of the matter is that the Democrats are now the big tent party, with a whole lot more ideological diversity than you’re going to find within the GOP.  What we’re seeing is additional evidence of realignment and the possible relegation of the GOP to regional status.  The Democrats don’t need the south to get to a functioning majority any more, and the Republicans are losing strength almost everywhere but.

More to the point, the wailing cries from the wingnut caucus suggest a salving of conscience with the notion that “conservatives” won even if Republican’ts didn’t.  Yes there were some conservative Democrats elected just as there were some liberal Republicans defeated.  But a lot of liberals and even progressives (and an outright socialist) were elected as well.  Moreover, a lot of these conservative Democrats aren’t really conservative.  They’re not progressives but they are populists.  Have these conservative pundits actually read John Tester’s policy positions?  Or Jim Webb’s?  I don’t get the impression they have because the policies advocated by these supposedly “conservative” Democrats fit squarely into the mainstream of the Democratic party and will be fought tooth and nail by the GOP.

MYTH: Joe Lieberman’s victory proves the netroots don’t matter.
REALITY: The netroots had some key victories.
Among the stupider claims passing for “wisdom” among the chattering classes.  Lieberman is, in fact, among the worst ways in which to view theNetroots contribution.  From the article:

Of the 19 candidates that three of the biggest liberal blogs (Daily Kos, mydd.com and Swing State Project) raised money for, eight of the candidates won. … This cycle, bloggers may have been most strongly linked to Lamont, but they actually donated more money to Jim Webb of Virginia. Bloggers also made “macaca” into a scandal that helped sink Webb’s opponent, George Allen. The netroots’ record is probably too short to be judged definitively, but instead of looking at pure win/loss records, an examination of where the netroots put their emphasis suggests that the online community is either becoming more sophisticated in picking its candidates or is helping push long shots over the top.

The netroots have been influential on both sides of the aisle, but the focus seems to rest mostly on the left side.  OK, that’s fine for discussion purposes.  First off, Lieberman’s run as an independent is best understood as a victory for the netroots.  He lost the primary, but won the final based on his support from Republicans – and especially rightward leaning bloggers.  “Virtual” opposition on the left cost him the primary, and “virtual” support on the right strengthened his campaign in the final.  Yes, there arerightwing bloggers too and let’s not forget the role they played in the defeat, a couple years back, of Tom Daschle.

As far as the netroots go, they did pretty well.  Tester and Webb in the Senate are clear netroots wins.  But the larger story is the excitement generated by the netroots in races across the country that were FAR closer than they should have been.  Idaho-01 should not have been competitive.  Colorado-04 should not have been competitive.  New Mexico-01 should not have been competitive.  Nebraska-03 should not have been competitive.  And there are lots more.  Thenetroots are directly responsible for getting a buzz going in these races and starting the small time fundraising that got them to where they could compete on a more equal footing with established incumbents or in strongly GOP leaning districts.  This is how you build a majority, on district at a time.

Here’s looking forward to 2008 when we can fumigate 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Election 2006, The Blogosphere | Leave a Comment »

Adieu Moose

Posted by Greg on November 17, 2006

The Bull Moose will be taking a break from blogging.

It’s been a good run. The Moose has tremendously enjoyed musing, observing and holding forth on the issues of the day. But, for the time being, this cervine creature will not be seen in cyberspace.

The great and grand political development of the past year has been the triumph of Independent – Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman. Joe has bravely revived the great tradition of Scoop Jackson that is so critically needed at this time of international challenge and crisis. The Moose is leaving the blogosphere with the deep satisfaction that in a small way he was part of this historic and monumental victory for the vital center.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

WTF is up with the LAPD?

Posted by Greg on November 17, 2006

A student with a cell phone caught another police beating on video.  It’s not pretty.

The latest in a recent spate of cellphone videos documenting questionable arrest tactics surfaced Wednesday, this one showing a UCLA police officer using a Taser to stun a student who allegedly refused to leave the campus library.

Grainy video of the Tuesday night incident at UCLA’s Powell Library was broadcast Wednesday on TV news and the Internet, prompting a review of the officers’ actions and outrage among students at the Westwood campus.

The footage showed the student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, falling to the ground and crying out in pain as officers stunned him.

See the video at Americablog.

Posted in Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »

The future of blogging

Posted by Greg on November 15, 2006

Kevin Drum has some interesting thoughts on the future of the blogosphere, at least among the big boys.

For the last year or so, whenever someone asks me for a comment about the future of blogging, I suggest that the biggest underreported trend in the blogosphere is professionalization. This can develop along multiple avenues.

An interesting read.

Posted in The Blogosphere | Leave a Comment »

An unexpected education

Posted by Greg on November 14, 2006

Der Spiegel tells the story of an unsuspecting Polish exchange student who receives a lesson in Christian fundamentalism:

“When I got out of the plane in Greensboro in the US state of North Carolina, I would never have expected my host family to welcome me at the airport, wielding a Bible, and saying, ‘Child, our Lord sent you half-way around the world to bring you to us.’ At that moment I just wanted to turn round and run back to the plane.

Poor kid.  A friend of mine from Switzerland had a less obnoxious but similarly unsatisfactory experience when placed with the family of a Mormon stake president in Utah.  You’d think they’d do a better job of screening out the kooks.
Other voices:

Mixer’s Mix:

So, here’s this kid — thousands of miles from home — living with crazy people who only volunteered to house him so he could help them spread their faith in Poland. Awfully “Christian” of them… People like this give real Christians a bad name.

Messaged from the Outhouse:

This just shows you that you ALWAYS should send seemingly harmless little letters to your guest family before you arrive and gauging their opinion on, say, beer, Father Ted and Bill Clinton.

Posted in Religious Wrong | Leave a Comment »