Steve Glover at Second Nature offers a thought-provoking piece on “voluntary simplicity” — living with less and loving it. His ideas definitely are worthy of consideration.

Bark Bark Woof Woof takes on Judge No Moore, who is no martyr.

Nate Knows Nada offers an interesting view of the Anglican/Episcopal Church right v. left power struggle. According to Nate, “The recent gay debacle in the ECUSA really only provides a legitimating cover for a group of people who have been pissed off since the 1970s about a perceived loss of power. The theological and the political are nearly synonymous here. Finally there’s an issue that can polarize people in and out of the church. It’s hard to portray the revision of the Book of Common Prayer as a pressing moral issue. It’s hard to argue that ordaining women really cuts to the heart of a “timeless moral code.” But firing salvos at the faggots wins votes from the peanut gallery in a way that liturgical renewal and non-gender discriminating ordination does not.” Check it out and go, hmmm.

I am reminded of the schadenfreude-filled bully on TV’s “The Simpsons,” who reacts to others’ misfortunes with a lusty, “Haw haw!” Lisa English of Ruminate This writes about a gerrymandering scheme — hatched by Republicans, natch — that was ruled unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court. Will this case serve as a precedent for the similar case being considered in the Texas judiciary? Hope so.

Second Class Citizen News covers a story that has gotten a lot of ink, but that I simply have not had time to cover, though it surely has toasted this second-class citizen’s almonds: A seven-year-old kid in Lafayette, LA, was reprimanded for mentioning at school that his mother is gay. Dig this: The second-grader was forced to attend a “behavioral clinic” and to write repeatedly, “I will never use the word ‘gay’ in school again.” The ACLU is demanding an apology to the boy and his mothers from the Lafayette Parish School District, as well as a promise that the school will not engage in future censorship or discrimination. Is there any way the kid could be sent to a decent school?

Is Howard Dean the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee? Appears possible — as Channeling Cupertino notes, even Molly Ivins has hopped aboard the Dean train. Still, Mark A.R. Kleiman ponders the question and concludes that given the rising tide of Wesley Clark, Dean supporters better not relax just yet.

I love this Open Source Politics piece: “Progressives recognize that George W. Bush is a cowardly, warmongering, fearmongering, money-hungry elitist of the worst sort? So why do so many voters believe this crap about him being a ‘man of the people ‘? Barbara O’Brien finds the answer in the mythos of Jacksonian democracy, and prescribes the anodyne: progressive shamans.”

Oh, and this is nothing short of priceless! A Rational Animal points to a WorldNet Daily article in which Republican National Committee flack Jim Dyke disses “Babes Against Bush,” which offers scantily clad women campaigning against the Commander-in-Thief. If sex does sell, let’s hope it does the trick this time.

Get ready for the onslaught of year-ending Best Of lists. First up: Journalist-activist Keith Boykin’s Best and Worst of 2003, which lists the worst religious decision of the year, “when the Catholic Church launched a campaign to attack gays in the pulpit. Think of the children, they said, and we know how much the Catholic Church cares about children.”