Wednesday, December 03, 2008


A great post at on the root causes of the upsurge in piracy. In two words: failed state. It had never occurred to me to look at it that way.

A funny little show about Prop 8, featuring my crush of 2008: Neil Patrick Harris, who breaks it all down for us at the end:
See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Speaking of my crushes and "the gays" (between which there seems to have been significant overlap, as I review my life), Donny Osmond is telling us (via Joe.My.God) why gays, some of whom are his best friends, should not marry or act on their "immoral" impulses lest they bring about "calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets." Insert "a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll" joke here.

Some random and slightly inappropriate(?) thoughts from Bill Richardson, before he was named Commerce Secretary:

And, finally, to end on a pissed-off note, here's a link to the recent 20/20 piece on international (or as ABC refers to it: "foreign") adoptions gone bad. My back got up a bit when I saw the promo for the show billed as, "How Foreign Adoptions Turn Out Badly." They fail to mention that the entire show is about adoption from two countries in Eastern Europe, and that the children were adopted at an older age. But I suppose "How Adoption of Abused Children from Two Other Countries Can Present Difficulties for Families, Much As It Would Domestically" is less titillating than suggesting that children adopted internationally are all troubled. The show discusses RAD, reactive attachment disorder, which is a very real situation in children who have been institutionalized (in any country, including the US) for a long period of time. What struck me hardest--beyond the fact that ABC aired this piece during Adoption Awareness Month (what next? A Profile of Willie Horton for Black History Month?)--was the parents' statements that they had no idea RAD existed and that their message is "be prepared" for anything." Well, no fucking shit! First of all, if you managed to adopt internationally and never heard of RAD, then congratulations, because that is some serious dedication to avoidance. How can you NOT hear about RAD? That's ALL I could freakin' read about in every damn adoption screed, to the extent that I stopped reading them because I had gotten the point in spades and felt that any further reading was inviting it. Secondly, all sympathies for the families who may very well have a "sociopath" in their midst, how do you decide a child is no longer yours? How do you do that? The second you see that picture, that kid is yours. Before you see the picture, that kid is yours, even if you are too afraid to believe it till you hold the pic in your hand. If you approach adoption as simply another way to create a family--and one as valid as giving birth--how do you decide a child is no longer yours? How is that ever an option in your mind as a parent, no matter how troubled this child may be? I'm asking because I just don't know. Although this should probably tell us all we need to know: this family, seeing how troubled their daughters were at the loss of their biological brother, adopted a boy from Russia "like the [brother] they missed so much."

No offense intended to this family, but I'm pissed off that ABC chose--during Adoption Awareness Month--to air very specific and not entirely representative examples of international adoption that once again advance the fallacy that internationally adopted children are more likely than other kids to be troubled. Every longitudinal study of the topic has shown no statistical difference in criminality, mental health issues, etc. between children adopted as infants and children raised by their biological parents. NO Difference. But that's not news, is it? Nothing in there for John Stossel to get all nasally outraged over, so no point in reporting it...

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