September 04, 2008

Rollercoaster rider

Did you notice that Sarah Palin's teenage daughter was always holding onto her boyfriend in every photo shot at the RNC on Wednesday night? She looked like she was on a roller coaster rider and didn't want to let go.

Here's more observations from my post on -- what a cool site!As I heard Palin's speech, I was struck by the meanness of her tone. What began as spunk turned into "snarky attacks," to quote the Blogher woman on CNN. My husband was particularly turned off by her attack mode with jabs we felt were below the belt punches.

Does anyone really think that Palin's husband is going to move to Washington, D.C. full time? He's a champion snowmobiler, racing since the early 1990s. He needs snow and lots of it. Will he keep his jobs, too, as he has while she's governor of Alaska, because "they need the money"?

Also, to the above commentator, parents are frequently held responsible for their teen children actions. For example, many laws send parents to jail, or fine them, for having under-age drinking at their house, even if the parents are away. Parents of pregnant teens can strongly urge their children to marry, whereas it's harder to do that for those over 18. (Unfortunately, most of the early marriages don't work. Ask Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, etc.) Parents are often legally held accountable... for a variety of kids' actions.

Here's an interesting discussion by self-described "politically incorrect rights" on pregnant teens. I can only imagine how many other red state of minds are debating this. And here's a post from the Guttmacher Institute: Family planning clinics would prevent 1.4 million unplanned pregnancy including reduce teen pregnancies 20 percent.

September 02, 2008

Coming together

Are all socially conservative Evangelicals thrilled about the Sarah Palin choice for VP? That's the impressions that's being pushed through the media, but it's hard for me to believe. Are they really against abortion but support teen pregnancy? Is this the positive role model that they're looking for? Are family values advocates jumping up and down for father with five children who has one job that require him to be away from home one week on/one week off and two others that also require him to be away for long stretches. (It would be different if he was around his kids while working.)

I hope the Obama-Biden campaign keeps chugging away. The photo that I took at rally for them seemed indicative of the broad support the ticket has and why it may succeed.

I posted on the site about my problems with Palin as a mother of five with one special needs child running. I just don't see it as a positive for all the reasons people note there. I want to add, too, that I wondered from the beginning about Barack Obama running with his children so young. School started today in Chicago, so they didn't miss the first days of school for the DNC convention, but I did wonder about what will happen to them with school in the fall. Michelle Obama seemed confident as a mother and I feel pretty good that the children will be ok. But it is fair to hope that both Obamas can balance family and work life effectively.

Also, I saw that Susie Bright posted on She has a short post about Joe Biden's link to the R.A.V.E. Act, a drug law. When I first read about this somewhere else, especially about an interesting documentary on the law, I wasn't even sure this was real. But it is. Biden did tuck in a very tough law that allows law enforcement to go after organizers of raves as well as a few other actions. Can't say these laws endear me to Biden. Maybe he will cool off with influence from Obama.

The documentary, "Generation E," explains on its website: On April 30, 2003, President Bush signed the R.A.V.E. Act, a federal law making it a felony to organize an event or operate any type of space where illicit drug activities would take place. The bill was originally written to punish rave and nightclub promoters who threw parties where young people took ecstasy and other "club drugs." Generation E traces the government's fight against rave and ecstasy culture during the past decade..

People shouldn't be doing illegal drugs, but raves, are also gathering places for people to dance and exchange ideas ... which usually is a good thing. I guess it's not so good if you're a protester at the RNC this week.

In other news, Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman was arrested while trying to do her job interviewing protestors in St. Paul at the RNC. Her perspective on the news is so different than anyone else's. Listen to her podcasts if your local radios stations are too wimpy to air her show.

School's In!

Back to school means that I'm back to finding supplements that work. Yesterday, while visiting with a friend's mother who's also a professor of education, I told her about the many ways that I had found workbooks and online programs to help the education process. In retrospect, it probably sounded like bragging. But I was just so excited to share what I had found that works.

She said that it sounds like I could be homeschooling. Yeah. Maybe I should have.

But that's the point. Parents really do have to supplement more than ever before. Our education system has evolved into a more pressure cooker situation where we're asking schools, parents and children to do more, even as everything costs more, too. Is it too much?

I've been talking to parents of high school seniors about how much they really have to be involved, not just their kids. There are a multitude of deadlines for seniors. Missing one could be fatal. And we all miss deadlines, so it's good to have parents as back-ups.

Or there's the dad who's helping to coach his 10-year-old son's football team. Four nights a week for two hours plus games on the weekends. What kind of time commitment is that?

It's routine around here for kids to practice soccer 2 to 3 night a week and games on Saturday.

And then there are parents, like me, who drag our family to see Obama and Biden because I think seeing the political process in action and watching the media do their job is just as an important educational lesson as anything they'll get in school.