Archive for Iraq

Sergeant Dennis Cabanting, a Wounded Warrior You Need to Know

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This fine fellow, Army National Guard Sergeant Dennis Cabanting, was not a young pup when he was injured in Iraq -- which meant his recovery started when he was a bit older, a tad more set in his military ways, and more susceptible to complications by virtue of age. He also quite literally couldn't imagine his life without the military.

See if you don't also find this wounded warrior's story remarkable. Particularly at this shameful juncture when Congress can't even pull VA funding and reform out of their Out of Order sausage-making machine. Gaah. This is a vet you won't soon forget.

There is a terrific moment when Dennis is asked, "What does independence mean moving forward, for you ... because one of the first things you said to me was 'I don't want to live with my Mom!' [laughter]" and his 'old' personality clearly shines through.

lincoln&vets

I've mentioned it before, traumatic brain injury is something the husband and I have worked with for nearly a dozen years here in our small Vermont town, and it is one complex human condition to be in. But if you like a job where you can leave your own life complaints at the coat check, I highly recommend, and in this rather self-absorbed century that is a startlingly terrific benefit.

Rather than drills and being in command, Sarge is now spending his days fighting the battle-related Multiple Sclerosis that he came back from Iraq with the seeds of, as well as severe PTSD and the TBI that has the potential to take a returned hero from wounded soldier to tragic figure.

MSNBC weekender Patrick Murphy was wise enough to include this Hawaii native in his four part series on Taking the Hill heroes, indeed it was the final installment.

"I don't want a Mamas boy ... and he doesn't want to BE a Mama's Boy!" laughingly sputtered Cabanting's own Mama. He's a bit old at newly 40, with a son nearly 17 of his own living with his ex-wife in his home state of Hawaii.

"It's a whole new rebirth," Mama said of her courageous son's turning 40, leis everywhere and candles a' blazin'. Dennis' tremors and peculiar gait were endearingly exaggerated as he made his way up to blow them out.

Image courtesy Mark Koning

Image courtesy Mark Koning

My legs may not work all that well ... but they work!" he said with pride toward the end of the filmed thank you he wanted to do as an appreciative, powerful message and gesture of gratitude to the many that helped him on his road to recovery with TBI. That long list included The Wounded Warrior Project. Under the Radar Military online, who had this to say of Dennis on their website, also offered video, further below.

It is unaccountably important to feel one of many, to love and to be loved and to know that you have something, something unique, to contribute. The possibilities are endless when that kind of reconnection to humanity finally clicks in.

Powerfully wonderful to see Sgt. Cabanting reach forty and have a long and uplifting road ahead, with the kind of life he has reestablished for himself.

The 'Old Dennis' would absolutely be proud.

SOWeMeetAgain

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Even Tony Blair says "No" to Iraq Involvement, Backs Obama

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Deja Moo
Meet the Press, despite the GOP caste, conservative cast and often, Cast, does yet get the truly good Gets.

Today: Tony Blair, someone whose voice about Iraq should carry a little weight. Especially as he was so far up BushCo's innards, Fox Noise and Nation adored the Prime Min'istah from ''ello'.

Andrea Mitchell was pitching the Meet the Press softballs.

Annoyingly, as is so often true with Brits, he made some good points in that rather hawkish summarizing up of the present situation under Malaki … blast it, Blair had some thoughtful truthiness tucked away. Must be all that centuries more of organized war peacenik clap trap.

qE2

Religious extremism in Iraq will never be taken down by a David, it is the ultimate and unassailable Goliath. (To put it in terms our Religionist brethren and Fvx News would get on the first try.)

And that America and her allies are no longer willing to be in the military industry of our fathers and grandfathers. Steve Jobs happened, you can let go of the gun fondling, tank humping Military Industrial Complex Fantasy thing about Iraq. And Iran.

Just keep your filthy minds out of Persia in general.

And realize that local militias are just plain Ridiculous. You are not fighting to liberate anyone from Dachau. You are not going to be deployed to Iraq.

gop-lies-big
You have some confused Fvxed Up notions that a moderate president wants your guns, holy books and freedoms and that Rush Limbaugh has a brain - tamper down that Day Drinking and fondle something less dangerous than a loaded long gun. Kay?

None of this, in other words.

Progressives and liberals, however … out there fighting the Tea Party cray cray on Iraq and everything under the sun ...

Cheers, Mates.

Friend of the Carnival, cartoonist and blogger extraordinaire Chan Lowe, of the South Florida Sun Sentinel and his own blog, The Down Lowe, summed up the gun fondlers so very well, just had to share as an apology for the whole Meet the Press intrusion. Or the Country Music intrusion.

Image courtesy The Down Lowe

Image courtesy The Down Lowe

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Iraq is "beyond our control. There is no such thing as the Iraqi people."

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a Gold Star father's point of view iraq afghanistan war Jeff Wilfahrt

Before I get into an impressive op-ed piece on Iraq, allow me to remind you of my buddy Jeff Wilfahrt, someone who you should get to know:

We've been on the radio together and we continue to email back and forth. He is never at a loss for providing unique insight and commentary on the frustrating events of the day. That's him above, holding a photo of his son. You can read about the remarkable Wilfahrts, and watch them on The Rachel Maddow Show, by following the links above.

That image came to mind when I read an op-ed by Joseph J. Ellis in today's Los Angeles Times. Ellis is a professor of history at Williams College and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation," among other books. He starts of his piece with his explanation of how the U.S. goes to war:

The triggering event is often a sudden crisis that galvanizes popular opinion and becomes the immediate occasion for military intervention but subsequently is exposed as a misguided perception or outright fabrication.

He then goes on to chronicle war after war that prove his point, including the Iraq War:

[T]he dark shadow of 9/11 hung ominously over all deliberations in that moment, so the CIA bent the arc of the evidence to fit the fabrication, a cowed Congress went along and the bulk of the American media endorsed the deception. Dissent became unfashionable.

Ellis points out how we erroneously decided to pursue "the creation of a democratic government in the middle of the Middle East." That move, along with all that deception by BushCo and a very accommodating press, caused many of us non-believers to do this:

banghead

And all those political and journalistic pundits who got it dead wrong the first time around, and who now blame President Obama for failing to maintain a residual U.S. military presence in Iraq, need to be called on their credibility. For they fundamentally underestimated the tribal, ethnic and religious loyalties that dominate the Middle East and that make any Jeffersonian version of a secular state in Iraq impossible for the foreseeable future... In truth, there is no such thing as the Iraqi people. 

He then comments on the commentators, a pastime we apparently we have in common. Their focus, he says, is on damage control. And that is a "hubristic assumption" that got us into this hot mess in the first place. We created a catastrophe a BushCo ago, and there was no way, and is no way, to regain what we never had: control.

Ellis drives home the point that "permanent U.S. military presence will only further empower the Islamic extremists in the ensuing conflict."

That has already happened. To quote Jeff from the image at the top, "...Let us try using books, pens, and paper instead of just guns. Bring the living home, the dead are already here."

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Time to apply the Lemon Law to Dick Cheney

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Anyone else becoming weary of the same old Iraq drivel pouring out of the mouths of former BushCo war cheerleaders the way word salad pours out of the mouth of Former Alaska Half-Gov Blabette McDimBulb? Seriously, guys, championing a fraudulent invasion that produced nothing but death, PTSD, maiming, a destabilized Middle East, and an economic toilet flush is getting to be redundant, more ludicrous, and increasingly embarrassing and boring. Read our lips: Anyone defending Dick Cheney should self-deport to Gitmo. The Lemon Law most definitely applies here, as one letter-writer ingeniously explained.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Jonah Goldberg plays his own questionable game in this piece, but surely most of us can keep our eyes on the pea in his shell shuffle. ("A questionable game of 'shut up' on Iraq," Op-Ed, June 23)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his policy brethren were the architects who created a war in Iraq that turns out to have been both unnecessary and, now, an utter disaster. These folks didn't just have opinions that were wrong; no, they made policy decisions that have led to catastrophic results.

That's why their current self-serving opinions and their preposterous attempts to revise history are contemptible, and richly deserve all the derision that can be mustered.

John de Jong, Long Beach

***

Goldberg reminds us that he supported the Iraq war, and he states that he still thinks that the arguments in favor were superior to those against.

What arguments would those be? Iraq had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq. We were not greeted as liberators. Democracy has not flourished, and the promised capitalist paradise has not emerged.

Goldberg should write another column so he can clarify for us just which arguments he still supports.

Cheryl Holt, Burbank

***

The Lemon Law:

A car salesman knowingly misconstrues facts concerning a car he is trying to sell you. The purchase is made and the car eventually falls apart, but you have recourse — the law, fines and perhaps even jail for the dealer.

With Iraq, we have a similar scenario but with hundreds of thousands dead, trillions of dollars lost and a treating of the wounded that will go on for many years.

Would you ask the car salesman his opinion on your next purchase? Would you ask the same individuals who lied us into the horrors of a 10-year military engagement for advice now?

Stephen S. Anderson, Hacienda Heights

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Bill Kristol Says 'Hogwash' To Any Iraq War Hawk Apology Possibilities

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Image courtesy @ColMorrisDavis

 

Bill Kristol, fresh from his Morning Joe pummeling by MSNBC pundit John Heilemann link here , spent a good deal of time last week fielding questions about his doubling down on the decision to go into Iraq.

And his call to action that slammed liberal peaceniks as lacking feck. Feck is becoming highly overrated among the BushCo NeoCon Senior Set.

Kristolry

Image courtesy our Twitter friend Mel Neuhaus, @acehanna54 Click to enlarge.

Erin Burnett got a shot at Kristol over at CNN, and he (to our delight) included that prized intellectual conservative descriptive: 'Hogwash!'

She had a provocative Tweet from Senate leader Harry Reid to tweak Kristol's self-elevated nose with.

Have a gander.


"I'm not apologizing for something that I think was not wrong," Kristol opined firmly. "The war to remove Saddam was the right thing and necessary thing to do."

"Apologies would be in order for the neoconservatives who banged the war drums so disastrously, Bill," swiftly came from a neighboring Carl Bernstein, thank you Carl.

"Hogwash!" Kristol bellowed!

The Old White Guys UnCompassionate Conservative Club, headed by Cheney or Kristol or whomever is sick enough to want that chair, is clearly alive and disturbed. And increasingly loud and given to public hissy fits.

On MSNBC's Hardball Monday evening, Chris Matthews gave the Axis of Feeble his own unique shout-out. [Truly, pardon the quiet shouting, but Tweety means so well.]

Bring on 2014!

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Blood, Sweat and Tears

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BST

Blood, Sweat and Tears is the theme for today's show. Not the band, but the reality that those are the main components of life in the US of A in the 21st Century. Too much blood, too many dead or maimed soldiers and civilians thanks to our military incursions, misplaced ire and weapons of mass destruction. Our labor woes since the Bush depression, with a recovery made up of jobs at half the salaries we had before the meltdown, and the vilification of the labor movement that brought about workplace safety,  a 5-day/40-hour work week, vacation time, sick leave and other worker protections.

And tears. And more tears. And more to come, brought on by it all.

I don't see it getting any better, and don't see Hillary Clinton -or anyone at all from the other side - as the answer to our problems. But I do think we've shed way too much blood in unjust wars, have screwed over our working class and cried too many tears. It would be nice to see some positive change for a change, but I'm afraid we're a long way away from good times again.

Maybe if we could all just get along and live in peace.

On second thought, that'll never happen. Just look at their facial expressions when they sing the line, "we shall live in peace" during the most awkward singalong ever.

This morning, Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars joined in to talk a bit about yesterday's primary elections in NY where it looks like Charlie Rangel will hold on to his House seat (47.4-43.6), and the runoff in Mississippi which saw Sen. Thad Cochran barely beating off the upstart teabagger Chris McDaniels 51-49.

We also talked about today's three Supreme Court decisions- one that unanimously found that law enforcement must obtain warrants before searching cell phones (opinion posted here), another ruling against Aereo, a new company that rebroadcast over-the-air TV signals online - or did until now (opinion posted here)! And a third (known as Fifth Third) having to do with pensions and funds that I don't understand at all, but the opinion is posted here.

We're still awaiting decisions on NLRB v. Noel Canning (recess appointments), McCullen v. Coakley (abortion clinic buffer zones),  Harris v. Quinn (public employee unions) and Hobby Lobby (contraception mandate), which will come down tomorrow morning at 10ET. If they don't announce all the decisions tomorrow, they'll come back to finish up on Monday June 30. Talk about suspense!

In the second hour of the show, I was thrilled to welcome investigative journalist and author Dahr Jamail back to the show. When I spoke with Dahr in the past, it was to discuss our wars in Middle East, as Dahr spent more than a year in Iraq as one of a very small group of independent, UNembedded journalists covering the war. I obviously wanted his take on the mess over there now.

Lately, he's been focusing his work on climate change or, as he calls it, anthropogenic climate disruption. Obviously, both issues are closely related. I urge you to read Dahr's work on both topics, either at his own site DahrJamail.net or over at Truthout.org.  We'll definitely talk again soon because our time together today went by way too quickly!

Tomorrow, well deal with whatever the Supreme Court throws at us at the start of the show, hear some fabulous female facts from Amy Simon and the No More Bullshit Minute with Stephen Goldstein too!

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Pity the Billionaire - or Not

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Listen to today's show:

Pity the Billionaire is the title of one of Thomas Frank's brilliant books, and one I immediately thought of when I read his current column, "Hillary Clinton forgets the '90s" Our latest gilded age and our latest phony populists" over at Salon.com.

In it, the man who originally asked What's the Matter with Kansas?  today reminds us that Hillary, with her latest references to our living in a new gilded age, was living in the White House with her then-president husband when Frank and his colleagues at The Baffler used the same phrase to describe that era.

In fact, as Frank recounts, there were a number of policies put in place by the Clinton administration that helped set us up for some of the big economic failures of the following decade, including

The point that really nailed the Gilded Age comparison, however, was the obvious return of monopoly in industry after industry. The concentration of media ownership, a development facilitated by Clinton’s 1996 telecom deregulation, was particularly scary: The Nation magazine ran a big chart showing who owned whom in the “National Entertainment State”; I myself called it the “Culture Trust.”

[Nicole's note: Thanks a fucking boatload for DESTROYING my industry Bill!]

The same kind of monopoly-building was happening in the ’90s in food processing and meat packing. It was happening in oil. It was happening among defense contractors, with the Clinton Administration’s active encouragement. And, as we all know, it was happening in the financial sector, a process that culminated in the much-celebrated repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. Then there were Bill Clinton’s beloved free-trade deals; one effect of these, according to Barry Lynn of the New America Foundation, has been to expose our economy to monopolies based overseas, which have proceeded to gobble up sectors like the beer industry, 80 percent of which is controlled today by just two foreign companies.

Hmm.. Thomas Frank joined me on the show to talk about all of that and more this morning, and reminded me that next time, we need to begin our segment earlier because it always goes by way too quickly!

To begin the second hour of the show each day, we talk with someone from the Talk Radio News Service. Today it was former Congressman Bob Ney, who had some first-hand problems with Darrell Issa and had no problem sharing them with us when I asked about his embarrassing behavior at yesterday's hearing on the IRS non-scandal. We also briefly discussed the new report on climate change by a new organization, co chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer - Risky Business. Check it out here, and stay tuned, as we'll unpack it on a future show soon.

As she does every Tuesday morning, The Political Carnival's GottaLaff  joined in for hour two.

We had fun - talking about John Oliver's calling the chair of the FCC a Dingo and getting called out on it, and naming a Faux Newsmodel today's "world's biggest asshole". We got serious - reading an email from a Vietnam War veteran who knows what our current wave of returning veterans are going through.  And we marveled at the amazing parents of one brave eight year old.

I don't think Laffy posted this story yet, so I will. The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family.

A friend of ours shared a letter she got from another family, friends of theirs. We'll call them Lisa and Ted. Lisa and Ted have a son named Daniel. What follows is part of the letter they sent to friends and family, and I thank them for sharing their awesome parenting and research with us.

To those of you who have spent any time around us and know Daniel, I am sure it is obvious that he, like all kids, has his own set of unique and wonderful - as well as obnoxious – qualities.  Daniel is basically a typical 8 year old. He loves to read and draw. He enjoys climbing rocks, looking for bugs and worms, and making forts.  He is currently obsessed with ‘Wild Kratts’ and ‘creature powers’, and he loves swimming, playing in the ocean, camping and riding his bike. One of his favorite past times (much to our chagrin) is belting out songs at the top of his lungs (the current favorite is ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen). He can be loud and bossy at times but also super sweet and sometimes overly affectionate.   He is very intuitive and observant but he struggles at school with focusing and staying on task.

Daniel is also all about “typical” girl things:  Barbies, fairies, twirly dresses and all things related to fashion. He prefers to play with girls rather than boys, and identifies with everything feminine.  He can create very artistic outfits, complete with high heels, out of a few scarves and safety pins. He is fond of modeling and performing for whoever will watch.  He prefers to wear a nightgown to bed, and chooses girls skirts, leggings and dresses out to play and to school.

Since Daniel has shown all of these behaviors consistently since he was two, Ted and I have done our best to support him as he is; to talk to him about his feelings, make sure he is comfortable in his own skin, and to educate ourselves.  We have done a lot of research and participate in a local support group, as well as a national organization that links families like ours together.

Right now Daniel is figuring out what feels right – she has expressed a desire for us, her teacher and kids at school to use feminine pronouns and the name, Sophie.   Daniel feels and acts like a girl. People who don’t know us always assume he is a girl. He loves when people mistake him for a girl and it happens all the time now. In fact, at his request, we are transitioning ‘him’ to ‘her’ in all her upcoming summer camps. We have talked with the principal at her school and, though all legal documents still will read ‘Daniel’, she will be entering 3rd grade next year as a girl named Sophie, with everything that entails, including use of the girls’ restroom. We do not know how Daniel will identify himself in 2, 5 or 10 years. All we know is who she feels herself to be today – Sophie.

There is a lot of information about our situation and a LOT of kids, boys and girls, like Sophie who have traits of the opposite genders.  The “scientific” terms for how Sophie acts are gender variant, gender fluid, or gender non-conforming and possibly transgender. We know from our outreach that many kids like Sophie have considerably more stress about the dichotomy between their anatomy and their internal gender.  And there are many kids, unlike Sophie, who are gender different but only slightly so (i.e. feel no need to dress or wear hair as the opposite gender).  We feel very fortunate that, at least right now, she seems a happy and well-adjusted child without a lot of angst or worries, who gets to express herself in play and life  just as it feels right to her (like all of us gender-typical people do all the time!).   She wears what she wants to school, play, or family events and we honor her request to be called Sophie.  We expect that things may change as she ages but our hope is that she will never have to hide who she is in order to be safe and feel loved.

Here are some of the facts:

  • Research indicates that gender identity and behavior is hard wired in the brain before or soon after birth and that biologic factors (hormone levels etc.) cement gender identity during the first 6-12 months of life.  Sophie’s attraction to girl things, her need to dress like a girl in order to express how she feels inside and to play with girl things -  are as normal to her and as much a part of her inner being as being left-handed or having perfect pitch is to some people.  All of Sophie’s behaviors –boyish ones and girlish ones, come from within.  They are not choices she is making.  They are part of her just like her brownie blue eyes and her sensitive soul.
  •  This is not something that as parents, we can “fix”.  Some might argue that we “encourage” it, so it continues.  Some might say that if we didn’t “indulge” her desires then she would forget about them (out of sight out of mind).  They would be totally wrong.  Sophie chooses to wear a dress/skirt or sparkly tight leggings when, inside she feels like she wants to be herself. She doesn’t wear a dress to get attention – she does it because she wants to express herself and that is what feels right to her.  When we have a dress up affair, her immediate desire is for a dressy outfit and high heels because that’s what dressy means to her.  If this is not intuitive to you – those of you that have boys, are married to boys or are typical boys – ask yourself if that boy would ever put on a dress or heels just to be silly or get attention?  I assume the answer is no.  Sophie does sometimes seek attention when she is in an outfit she thinks is especially pretty - but it is because she wants to show off her true self, not because she can’t get attention other ways.
  •  This is not something Sophie is going to grow out of.  None of us know what kind of adult she will be, but this is not a “phase”.  She may become more “boyish” or more “girlish” or go back and forth between the two her whole life.  And even though she is only 8 it already creates some stress for her.  She is well aware that other boys don’t play like she does – for the most part, so far, she doesn’t care what anyone thinks, she just revels in the joy she feels when she can express the girl part of herself.
  •  No matter how open-minded a person you think you are or how much you love someone – seeing a boy act and dress like a girl is awkward at best and basically a hard thing to accept easily, at first.  I can tell you though, that awkwardness disappears with time – she is just Sophie, regardless of what she is wearing.  We are all so “norm” socialized that it makes even the best of us feel “funny” to see her in a dress.   [BTW- there are plenty of girls who are gender fluid also, and experience discrimination, bullying etc. – however, at this young age our society and socialization make those girls who act and dress like boys blend in better. They are way easier to accept than boys who act like girls.]
  •  Eight year old children are not sexual beings.  Plain and simple.  So this issue for us – from now to puberty at least – is not about what Sophie’s life will be like as an adult, but just about what it is like to be different.  Somehow people just can’t help themselves from thinking gender identity equates with sexual orientation.  From what limited research there is out there, we know that a small percentage of these kids are truly transgender and will go on to physically change genders as teens or adults.  A percentage (higher than in a control group) will be gay and some will be heterosexual.  The point we are making is that whom-so-ever Sophie becomes in 10 years, gender-wise or sexual preference-wise, is absolutely NOT the issue.  The issue is that she needs support and encouragement to love herself as she is now.

We are providing this letter because, if it were you having issues in your family that were as important as this, we would want to understand what those issues were and be able to be informed and supportive.  Along those lines, there is a lot more information out there about gender variance than we have summarized here. If you are interested we are happy to share.  Below there are a couple articles that you might find of interest and we can share other resources if you want as well.

We know for a fact that if we had said nothing at all, you would accept and love Sophie just as she is.  Now that we have said something, we also know that you will support our decisions to let her express herself freely and decide for herself what to wear and how to present herself:  that you will love, play, discipline and enjoy her in every way possible and encourage her to be the happiest and best person she is capable of being.  She should not get any extra slack for being different – she needs to learn from each of you how to behave like a good person and that is what we hope you will teach her.

These are the things we try to do to support Sophie and to help her build a strong character and sense of self:  We hope you, our family and friends, will help us in doing everything possible to see that she aspires to great things.  For now, we just want our home and our friends’ and families’ homes to be her “safe” places where she can be herself, whoever that is at that moment.

  • Love her for who she is.
  • Validate her – whenever it comes up or there is conversation, let her know that you know it to be true that there is more than one way to be a boy or a girl, that you imagine it is hard that some kids don’t get how you feel, etc.
  • Encourage her individuality (you look beautiful in that dress!) and avoid stereotypical comments (boys don’t skip!)
  • Acknowledge and celebrate difference – she is different and knows it and there is nothing to be ashamed of – when she wants to talk about it, talk about it; give examples of how you are different or how being different can be great!
  • Try and deal with your own demons – recognize your own internal issues about gender and how they play in to your feelings about Sophie.
  • Be Sophie’s advocate – if you are with her in a situation where something is awkward – someone is teasing or judgmental – speak up for her, and help her speak up for herself.
  • No victim blaming  –– Sophie is not responsible for other people’s intolerance – neither she nor we, her family/friends, have to ‘accept’ that people are going to be judgmental nor does she/we have to constantly be hiding who she is in order to fit in - when people tease or bully or are unaccepting, they are at fault.
  • Think about tolerance in other things that you do – making the world OK for Sophie means we all have to work on squashing eons of ingrained stereotypes; think of ways to line up or sort people other than “boys in one line, girls in another”, advocate for others who are different and struggling, examine the world around you and step up/speak out when someone is treated unfairly or unjustly because they are not like you and don’t blend in.

In spite of this horribly lengthy missive, in the grand scheme of things, Sophie’s gender variance is just an attribute of her for us to celebrate and learn from.  We are so lucky to have a happy healthy kid. Relative to the horrific things that other people have to endure with their kids all over the world, this is nothing.

And lastly, being our family and friends, we have no doubt that everyone will have an opinion to share – we hope so!  We encourage you to ask us anything you want and to offer whatever suggestions you have.  This parenting thing is a conundrum at best and we can use a lot of help!  The one thing that we ask is that you all respect our decision to support Sophie unequivocally. If you have an issue with that decision or you don’t agree with it, you take that up with us – not her.  For right now, she is growing her hair, wearing girl clothes and being addressed as Sophie (which she loves).  So as long as she is behaving as any nice child should, we don’t expect her to take grief in any form, from anyone in our inner circle.

Pretty amazing parenting! I only hope that I'd have been as open minded and wonderful if ever faced with a similar situation. All we parents have our own hurdles to conquer, but "Lisa and Ted" have earned my greatest respect.

I'll be back tomorrow with another show, with Crooks & Liars' Susie Madrak, and Truthout's Dahr Jamail.

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