You know what happens when you offer young people sex education that focuses only on abstinence, don’tcha? As Bark Bark Woof Woof notes, you get pregnant tweens, pre-teens, and teenagers. Don’t get me wrong — teaching abstinence is vital, but the right-wing needs to get real: Some kids will not just say no.

Here is happy-ish news: Winter Solstice is here! Or was here; I was working and missed it. Belated greetings and peace to all who, like myself, celebrate the wonder of this holiday and take advantage of the introspection it allows.

Over at the Head Heeb, in time for Chanukah, Jonathan looks at the real Maccabees. I’m with him on this — whatever your thoughts about what happened long ago, the miracle of the season still is worth celebrating.

Mad Kane waxes poetic and amusing over the Terrorist-in-Chief’s question to journo Diane Sawyer about why Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction matter. “What’s the difference?” he asked. What’s the difference??? Oh. My. Goodness. Who let this guy play in the White House? Oh yeah, the Supreme Court…

LatinoPundit is dreaming of an orange Christmas… and at Clareified, Dawn reflects on holidaytime terror threats, offering up a classic Walter Cronkite quote and thoughts on how times and people change.
Now, this is interesting. The Melon Colonie posts an excerpt of a Citizens for Legitimate Government piece that points to something strange in the photos of the area where Saddam Hussein was captured. Meanwhile, at League of Liberals, Veralynne asks, “Why Did the U.S. Government Invade and Destablize Iraq?”, and offers a means for progressives to take positive action.

Jesse at the Gotham City 13 talks about so-called compassionate conservativism: “It’s basically saying that ‘even though we’re right, we’ll act like we might have a notion about caring about you but behind your back we’ll call you every bad name in the book because you’re trying to take our power away.. and don’t take away our power.. oh no.. not the precious power.. we must retain our precious powers and change the world to…’… and from here it just trails off into muttering and jabbering about nonsense.”

At Noli Irritare Leones, Sappho asks an apt question: Do you trust the Church? And she asks for prayers for her ailing father. If you are one who believes in the power of prayer, I hope you will save a few for her dad.

Joe Vecchio at Cup o’ Joe has a new job (congrats, I think) and the company for which he works sounds frighteningly similar to my new employer. That’s the Shrub gift to the US working people — jobs that bite, blow, and suck. Great. I feel ya, Joe, big time.

More year-end lists: At Negro, Please, Jason presents his top fives in news, music and film. His number-one choice for a heavenly meetup, and I admit that this amuses, is “Strom Thurmond (so I can give him a pound and say ‘Once you go black, you never go back, right, my nigga?’).” Ouch!

BTW, I will post my 2003 best-ofs at a future date, but my fave film of the year, without a doubt, is The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King; my fave album by a nose, OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below — hey ya!