Category Archives: Family

Stumping for Marriage: Bundles of Joy?

In a recently published study, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers  assessed the subjective happiness of women and found that despite greater opportunities, higher wages and increased education, their perceived feelings of well-being have decreased steadily over the last 35 years. In addition they identified a widening gap in the levels of subjective happiness experienced by men and women.  This finding touched off a flurry of responses and rebuttals, in the attempt to determine whether we really are unhappy and if so, why.  Among the popular hypotheses for female misery was the stress of motherhood due to the disproportionate role of women in child-rearing, along with the lack of supports within society for those who are struggling to balance parenting and careers.

Did all this depress you? Need a pick me up? Then maybe you should forget everything you just read and go pop out a baby instead of popping pills.

Continue reading

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Nuts about ACORN

Today in my office, a pimp and his prostitute came looking for advice on where to score some blow and advice on how to fill out their W-2s. When I told them what they could do, they accused me of encouraging them to engage in public masturbation. I hope Beck and Co. don’t get hold of the video:

pimp

It’s hard out here for a pimp. No, really. James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles (not pictured above) risked their lives, limbs and a camcorder to infiltrate the den of “thug criminality” that is the largest organization of poor and working families in America.

This is a time for us to appreciate their deep commitment to maligning ACORN, which clearly is an issue of utmost importance in these most troubled and divisive of times. I am sure their hearts and motives are pure.

Now if we can, let us move forward and consider some of the news of the weekend:

1. As always, if you want to learn something new or interesting or possibly infuriating about health care reform, reading Ezra Klein is essential. (Blackink)

2. Are pregnancy, bunions, acne, or receiving therapy or counseling pre-existing conditions that might allow health insurers a reason to deny people coverage? Of course. Best health care system in the world, eh? (Blackink)

3. Officially, according to a U.S. Census report, the Bush years were full of fail. h/t John Cole. (Blackink)

4. Go with your first instincts, Roxanne Wilson. (Quadmoniker)

5. Massachusetts might appoint an interim replacement for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the late Ted Kennedy by the end of the week. (Blackink)

6. In an e-mail sent to friends and supporters last week, Van Jones made his first public comments since resigning from the White House. Said Jones: “Of course, some supporters actually think I will be more effective on the ‘outside.’ Maybe so. But those ideas always remind me of that old canard about Winston Churchill. After he lost a hard-fought election, a friend told him: ‘Winston, this really is just a blessing in disguise.’ Churchill quipped: ‘Damned good disguise.’ I can certainly relate to that sentiment right now. :)” (Blackink)

7. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is cutting federally funded child care in the poorest wards of the District. Making it more difficult for single mothers to bring in money (or inviting child neglect cases) seems like a counter intuitive way of addressing city budget issues, at best. (Shani-o)

8. Something we probably won’t see in any campaign brochures from Texas Gov. Rick Perry next year: Texas remains first in the nation in rates of uninsured residents and uninsured children. Upholding family values and rebuffing creeping socialism … I love my home state. (Blackink)

9. Also related: Perry is not a very smart or honest man. (Blackink)

10. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) backed off prior claims that President Obama is a socialist because, uh … he’s not one. (Blackink)

11. Among those at the Values Voter Summit this weekend, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was the clear choice for 2012 Republican presidential nominee. The 600 voters said abortion was the most important issue in determining their choice. What else is there to say about that? (Blackink)

12. Also at the Values Voter Summit, the chief of staff for Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma made the case that: 1. we should trust the sexual instincts of prepubescent boys; 2. bigotry against homosexuals is fine by him; and 3. “all pornography is homosexual pornography.” Video here. Sigh … Michael Schwartz and his ilk are almost completely beyond ridicule. (Blackink)

13. So rather than resort to ridicule, Amanda Marcotte moves the conversation forward to talk about some of the very real problems with porn. Which don’t include making boys turn gay. (Blackink).

14. Don’t you love links about porn? Yes. Well, here’s another: “The awkward truth, according to one study, is that 90 percent of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed pornography online. Considering the standard climax to even the most vanilla hard-core scene today, that means there is an entire generation of young people who think sex ends with a money shot to the face.” Whoa. (Blackink)

15. Feminist Finance speculates on where she’d be if she hadn’t rejected all the “dudely money advice” she’s received over the years. (Shani-o)

16. BitchPh.D puts out a call for volunteers for the 40 days for CHOICE campaign. (Blackink)

17. For John and Elizabeth Edwards’ sake, I hope his former aide is lying about this: “Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.” Please let that be a lie. (Blackink)

18. Let us mourn the death of American civility with Jude at First Draft. (Blackink)

19. Bruce Bartlett remembers Irving Kristol, father of neoconservatism. (Jamelle)

20. According to Marcus Buckingham at the Huff Post, women have grown increasingly unhappy as they made professional and social progress over the past 40 years. There’s a lot to digest in the provocative piece, and I get the feeling something is missing from this analysis. I need someone smarter than me to fill in the gaps. (Blackink)

21. After six years, Leslie Bennetts says The New York Times is finally attempting to set the record straight about the “Opt-Out Revolution” – well-off women who quit their careers to become full-time mothers. (Blackink)

22. Crooked Timber highlights a recent op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education that points out the problem of poor, black and Hispanic students choosing to go to less-demanding college institutions and an overreliance on standardized tests. (Blackink)

23. Colorism isn’t just the purview of black folk — it exists in the South Asian community as well. Sepia Mutiny notes a campaign that’s attempting to address the fear of darker skin. (Shani-o)

24. After charges were dropped last week against five men accused of raping a Hofstra University freshman, Amanda Hess parses some of the many problems of living in a rape culture. That includes false rape accusations. (Blackink)

25. In case there was ever any doubt, Andrew Sullivan has major pull. (Blackink)

26. While I was watching the Giants thump the Cowboys and the season premiere of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” apparently Neil Patrick Harris and the Emmy Awards were putting on quite the show. (Blackink)

27. I’m finding myself agreeing with Alyssa again: you should definitely get down to your nearest newstand or bookstore, pick up a copy of the latest New Yorker and read Ta-Nehisi’s piece about MF Doom and hip-hop. And, like her, I might quibble a bit with a few parts of the feature. Then again, we’re both from the South. (Blackink)

28. Harry Allen asks if Kanye is doomed to become “the next O.J.”? At the least, Kanye’s “victimization” of Taylor Swift has drawn out some of the bigots among us. (Blackink)

29. Nearly four-fifths of NFL players are bankrupt or struggling financially within two years of retirement. The Business Insider looks at some of the reasons why. (Blackink)

30. And because I’m from Houston and hate the Dallas Cowboys, I really enjoyed this:

Feel free to drop some links that would be of interest or chat among yourselves. Let’s hope we’re all in for a great week.

Deuces.

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Acting Stupidly

Because of technical difficulties and an unusually busy work day, this almost became Your Tuesday Random-Ass Roundup. Sorry I’m late again.

DougJ at Balloon Juice: “We’re a country where a uniform and a badge entitles you to arrest people for speaking loudly on their porches.”

DougJ at Balloon Juice: “We’re a country where a uniform and a badge entitles you to arrest people for speaking loudly on their porches.”

Your PostBourgie-approved weekend reading material:

First things first, Stacia, one of our co-bloggers, is writing a novel and posting a chapter a day at her personal blog. What is this space for, if not for a show of pride in our blog fam?

Neither Senators John Cornyn of Texas, Orrin Hatch of Utah, or Jeff Sessions of Alabama will join their Republican colleague Lindsey Graham in voting for Sonia Sotomayor’s SCOTUS confirmation. Senators Charles Grassley of Iowa and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the other two Republicans on the judiciary committee, haven’t said what they plan to do yet. (GD)

Also, Sessions outlined his opposition to the Sotomayor nomination in a USA Today column. “I don’t believe that Judge Sotomayor has the deep-rooted convictions necessary to resist the siren call of judicial activism. She has evoked its mantra too often. As someone who cares deeply about our great heritage of law, I must withhold my consent.” Of course. It’s always about heritage with these guys. (Bi)

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates is also the man behind The Root, which saw an uptick in racist commenters in the aftermath of his run-in with Cambridge police two weeks ago. Also, some must-reads on the Gates mess: Rich Ford’s typically smart macro take, as well as TNR’s John McWhorter and the NYT’s Charles Blow wrestling with being black men on the receiving end of touchy encounters with the police. (GD)

Ezra Klein on why President Obama should review the playbook from Clinton’s health-care reform efforts in the early ’90s. “Clinton got the politics of reform wrong, but in important ways, he got the policy right. He just got it right too soon.” I also had no idea that before the ’90s, most people had something other than managed care. (Bi)

Nate Silver offers thoughtful analysis about the “healthcare timeout” to keep everyone from taking a dive off the cliff. In short, don’t read too much into breathless media reports about momentum or a lack thereof: “I don’t think the media has a liberal bias or a conservative bias so much as it has a bias toward overreacting to short-term trends and a tendency toward groupthink. The fact is that there have been some pretty decent signals on health care.” (Bi)

After writing a feature story about MTV’s “16 and Pregnant,” Amy Benfer pondered the difficulties involved in telling the stories of the many, many pregnant teenagers who choose to have abortions. (GD)

Jamison Foser at Media Matters raises an interesting question: why is it a given that abortions should not be covered under any health insurance reform? “The idea that taxpayers shouldn’t pay for insurance that covers medical services they don’t support is fundamentally incompatible with the very concept of insurance. If every interest group wields veto power over the medical care insurance can cover, insurance simply can’t work.” Yes. Though I might quibble a bit with Foser’s implication that Chris Matthews is a reporter of any sort. He’s not. He’s a commentator. (Bi)

Russ Feingold and John Conyers have introduced a bill that would, among other things, restore felons’ right to vote in federal elections. (GD)

On Friday, the federal minimum wage went up 70 cents to $7.25 an hour. It still isn’t nearly enough to climb over the poverty line. (Bi)

The White House and lawmakers on the Hill from both parties are moving toward ending the disparity in sentencing for crimes involving crack and powdered cocaine, which disproportionately punish black people. (Does anyone, anywhere, still support those guidelines?) (GD)

Poor people in the U.S. are living live in a virtual “law-free zone,” according to a new report from the Center for Law and Social Policy. The study finds that the legal needs of the U.S. poor are unmet more than 80 percent of the time. Ian Millhiser at The Wonk Room: “As the report explains, the United States invests far less in legal services for the poor than other Western industrialized nations. At the low end, Germany and Finland spent three times as much of their gross domestic product as we do on civil legal services for the poor. At the high end, England outspends the United States twelve times.” (Bi)

More mundane Republican racism. Stay classy, guys. (GD)

Few places in the world are as dangerous for women as South Africa, where 1 in 4 men say they have committed rape. (Bi)

Can the legalization and taxation of marijuana save California from its unparalleled budget woes? (Bi)

It’s easy to forget how far the Internet has come in a relatively short amount of time. A photo gallery from The Daily Beast takes us back through those dark, unappealing pioneer days on the Web. (Bi)

Before she was a famous chef, Julia Childs was a spy. (GD)

In case you missed it last month, Toure visited Martha’s Vineyard to learn about vacation, the Obamas and the peculiar racial dynamics of Oak Bluffs – “one of the most demographically unusual towns in America.” (Bi)

Angela at ProperTalks takes issue with that commercial for KGBKGB commercial with the black women in a hair salon discussing the origins of their hair weaves. “White people giving two black women who’ve presumably gotten weaves before information about the process is a bit condescending. What if the answer-givers had been black as well? I think that would have made the commercial easier to stomach. …Why’d homegirl have to do the neckroll and the finger wave at the end?? And all of a sudden her English is broken, with the “bet not be putting no yak up in my weave” retort. Her eyes bulged out a little too.” (GD)

For a YA novel called Liar about a short-haired black girl, Bloomsbury chose a cover with a white woman’s face because “black covers don’t sell.” (GD)

President Obama might not have been looking at any ass overseas. But that doesn’t mean Joe Biden wasn’t. (Bi)

More and more atheists are going through a sort of mock ceremony known as “de-baptism” in an effort to renounce their childhood faith. (Bi)

What if robots took over the world? (GD)

A cool – but sad – Google map showing the cluster of foreclosures around the country. (Bi)

The college freshman that lives inside of me just rolled off my futon in excitement: Method Man, Ghostface and Raekwon are planning a joint album. Now if only they invite along Inspectah Deck and the GZA. (Bi)

“…a casualty of abnormal normality.” Vernon Forrest, a former welterweight champion who did a lot of charity work around Atlanta, was gunned down during an attempted robbery. He was 38. His hometown newspaper also offers a fitting, final tribute. Also, SI has more about Forrest here and here.

In the future, we’ll all be using HGH and hitting 40 homers a season. Or maybe we should. Don’t worry about that bacne. (Bi)

Wilt Chamberlain, George Clooney and Frank Sinatra all wear Tim Tebow pajamas. (Bi)

Back when Mark Madsen was a benchwarming Laker, Shaq used his clout to get him a deal on a car and bought him a grip of clothes to welcome him to the team. “After that he drove us up to Beverly Hills and we went to a Big and Tall clothing store. I found a pair of jeans that fit and Shaq said to the store worker, ‘He’ll take eight of each color!’ I said, ‘All I need is one of each color.’ When Shaq kept piling on Italian sweaters, I told him I didn’t need all the stuff, but he told me it was a welcome gift and to relax while he paid the $2,500 bill.” (GD)

And finally, the Huffington Post asks: Is this the stupidest person in the world? Judge for yourself.

Also, I meant to ask this question a couple weeks ago: Did anyone here ever go see “Bruno”?

Deuces.

Question for the Room.

[via.]

Over at the the  City Room blog, a social worker muses about race and class after an incident on the train. A young woman, about 18 or so,  is hitting her 4-year-old repeatedly. Before long, her friend joins in. The writer stepped in and yelled at her to stop. As you might imagine, things  devolved pretty quickly from there.

“Stop hitting that child!”

Who said that? Stepping toward her, I took a dive off a sky-high cliff — and there was no way back.

“Who are you to tell me not to hit my kid? She’s my kid!”

“Don’t hit that child again or I will call the police!”

“I will hit my child if I want. I know how to hit my child. Go ahead and call the police!”

She stopped hitting the child because she was now directing her anger at me. The girl stopped crying. She watched and listened. I moved back to my side of the subway car.

A woman sitting nearest to the young mother started a quieter conversation with her. I could not hear the entire thing, but it was clear that this woman, in her 50s, was counseling her on how to handle an unruly child without hitting.

“You don’t know me,” the younger woman said to the older one. “You don’t know my child.”

The car doors opened at the next stop. The entire car seemed to be watching the young mother, the older woman and me. Two young guys patted me on the back as they exited and said, “Good work, man.”

I exited the car. The mother maintained eye contact with me as the doors closed — with fury and threat in her gaze.

I had publicly shamed her and that was the point. Would she think twice before striking the child again? Or would she be even angrier?

Got that? Okay, here’s where the touchy situation gets touchier.

Here I was, a 54-year-old white Jewish guy — and a social worker no less — confronting a young African-American kid with a kid, someone who was in way over her head. Was there some kind of cultural misunderstanding on my part?

He laments that he wished he’d received more support from of the other black passengers, for reasons that he doesn’t explain but I’ll assume have something to do with the appearance of paternalism. His friend, who he describes as Arab-Canadian, asks:

“Why would you want the black people to jump in and give you support?” he asked. “Are the black people her people and the white people yours? Did her people have to show their support as a form of saying she is our people but we don’t agree with what she did?”

What say you?

[h/t Betta]

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Never Can Say Goodbye.

Don Cornelius would like a word with you. Don’t make any dinner plans.
In the meantime, your Post-Bourgie-approved reading material from the weekend:

1. Of course, homage must be paid to the King of Pop. But we will try to spare you from the overkill. Check out some really good write-ups here, here, here, here, here and here in particular. From Kiese: “The greatest American worker of our time, a curious little black boy from Gary who felt compelled to work in white face while changing the way music and masculinity sound and look, died today. Michael Jackson will never work for us again.”

2. A former member of Jackson’s entourage says MJ predicted his death six months ago. He also claims that Jackson was suicidal, possibly anorexic and secretly gay. Take from this piece what you will.

3. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier today overturned one of Sonia Sotomayor’s most controversial rulings, siding with a group of white firefighters in a 5-4 decision on Ricci v. DeStefano. The Ricci case has provided plenty of fodder for conservative opponents of Sotomayor’s nomination to the High Court. That opposition figures to gain more steam in the coming days. Here’s some instant analysis from Adam Serwer and the crew at Slate.

4. With the slow death of the U.S. auto industry and the steady – but sure – decline of Detroit, Jonathan Mahler of the New York Times considers what will become of the black middle-class. “We’ve been hearing this phrase — “the death of Detroit” — for years now, but this is what it’s going to look like, how it’s going to play out. There’s a perverse paradox here, one that I was reminded of every time I met a black autoworker in an Obama T-shirt or with an Obama bumper sticker adorning his or her car. We have just elected our first African-American president, and yet, at the same moment, a city and industry that together played a central role in the rise of the black middle class … is being destroyed.”

5. Potraits of instability: Foreign Policy offers some grim images from some of the world’s most fragile countries.

6. The mystery of who revealed those steamy yet strangely un-erotic e-mail messages between embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and his Argentine mistress has been solved: it was one of the woman’s former lovers.

7. On the same topic, Amanda Marcotte has an interesting theory about why Sanford would be willing to take such a tremendous personal and professional gamble: “But the whole right wing Christian culture discourages those things that might inflame passion … If you never feel that sort of passion and suddenly it enters your life in middle age, what would you do? You’d probably freak the fuck out, I’d guess. Your entire worldview would change. You’d babble about how much in love you are during a press conference.”

8. In case you missed it Friday, the five remaining defendants in the Jena 6 case all pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of simple battery. They also settled a civil suit with the family of the schoolmate they were accused of attacking in a school fight in December 2006. So, for all intents and purposes, the case is finally over and move along and there’s nothing to see here. For a little more background, check out this story from 2007.

9. Hoping to bypass Congress, The White House is drafting an executive order that would allow for indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without charges. Sigh. The more things change … yada yada yada. Glenn Greenwald does the business here.

10. The Stimulist’s argument for lowering the drinking age.

11. Remembering Stonewall.

12. Whither the end of “superdelegate“?

13. Steamy vamps, murder, passion and sex. If you were a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and True Blood makes you a slave to the idiot box on Sunday nights, you’ll appreciate this piece by Laura Miller on the genre known as Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance. It’s a cultural study of the some of the popular heroines pre- and post-Buffy. Here’s a taste: “In your 20s (the age of most urban fantasy heroines), love and sex can seem like a powerful magnetic field, distorting your perceptions of yourself and other people. If you succumb, will you be surrendering control over your own destiny, which is still coming into focus? It’s a question with particular relevance to young women, and the mesmeric power of vampires and other supernatural lovers in urban fantasies speaks to the fear of losing your bearings should you fall under the spell of an especially irresistible suitor.”

14. The NYT provides an interactive map of all NYC’s homicides from 2003 to 2006, which you can view by race, age, sex and time of day.

15. Is there really a John Edwards sex tape? Jeebus.

16. In Vibe‘s voter-fueled “The Best Rapper Ever” contest, it’s defending champ Eminem against 2Pac. They’re both wrong.

17. On a somewhat related note, GOP National Committee Chairman and noted hip-hop fan Michael Steele tells a crowd in Detroit to “don’t write the Republican Party off.” Reaction was, uh, mixed. One panelist: “Michael Jackson is dead. God rest his soul. I am not going to be the Michael Jackson of the Republican Party. You will not use me until I am dead.”

18. The one industry lobbying to pay more taxes: licensed brothels in Nevada.

19. Why Mitt Romney is a lot like former NBA draft bust Michael Olowakandi.

20. Speaking of the NBA and the draft, Milwaukee Bucks draftee Brandon Jennings is off to a rocky start. And Joe Budden is involved. Bethlehem Shoals, as always, makes a spirited – and thoughtful – defense.

21. Meesh does the hula.

Sorry for the delay. Blame it on the boogie. Or Joe Jackson:

But really: what the hell was wrong with BET last night?

Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: The Failure of Marriage.

Did you know that some Republicans, like Sen. John McCain for instance, are unhappy with President Obama and his leftist agenda? News at 11!

Your PostBourgie-approved reading material from the weekend:


1. In her exhausting and depressing essay in this month’s edition of The Atlantic, author Sandra Tsing Loh makes a compelling case that the American ideal of a lifelong, monogamous marriage is obsolete. She closes with a mighty thunder clap: “In any case, here’s my final piece of advice: avoid marriage—or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.” It is here that I should mention that Loh is divorcing her husband of the past 20 years.

2. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that convicts do not have a constitutional right to evidence to test it for DNA testing to prove their innocence. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog writes that “while the decision appeared to be focused on whether such a right of access exists after a criminal conviction has become final… the language used by the Court majority made it appear that the sweep of the decision may turn out to be considerably broader.” Glenn Greenwald points out that the decision has raised the ire of many liberal bloggers, and notes that it’s another example in which Obama’s Justice department adopted the position of the previous administration.

3. The Obama administration, which has (rightly) taken a lot of shit for the way it’s handled a bunch of Defense of Marriage Act cases, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and other LGBTQ issues, has organized a meeting with several prominent gay rights groups to help repair some of the damage and figure out a way forward.

4. Against all odds – really, almost all of them – a homeless girl from Los Angeles has earned her way into Harvard. “I was so proud of being smart I never wanted people to say, ‘You got the easy way out because you’re homeless,’ ” she said. “I never saw it as an excuse.” No doubt, Pat Buchanan feels she has denied some white guy of his rightful place in the freshman class.

5. President Obama has issued a cautious statement on the protests in Iran. “Martin Luther King once said – ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.”

6. Stephen Walt at Foreign Policy (via ObWi) has some ideas on how raising kids is a lot like international relations: “Most of us love our children deeply, which puts real limits on the amount of punishment we are willing to inflict. Total war just isn’t an option, and the ability to use force is limited, so we’re stuck with coercive diplomacy. And kids quickly figure out which threats are credible and which are not, and they are geniuses at probing the limits of our resolve.”

7. How does Mayor Brad Pitt sound to you? The idea has taken hold with at least a couple of New Orleans residents.

8. Eliot Spitzer gets very candid with Vanity Fair over some hot dogs and a stroll in the park.

9. “I’m not a sideshow. I’m not a freak show,” (Jonathan) Krohn exclaims, pointing his finger, nearly shouting. “I am an intellectual force! Newt Gingrich said that.” Ladies and gentleman, meet the 14-year-old future of the GOP.

10. It would be wonderful if people could play nice and decent, and not go out of their way to offend American Indians. Are you listening, good people of Stockton Springs, Maine?

11. From KateHarding.net, a blog on the “fatosphere” called Shapely Prose that dispels fat stereotypes and catalogs the effects of pop-culture on women from a very funny, blunt and feminist perspective. Check out this article on the lack of fat heroines in romance novels. Also, check on the BMI slide show here.

12. Arturo Garcia at Racialicious is not a fan of the nation’s No. 1 movie. “What I cannot abide is brainless humor. And so, when I tell you that The Hangover is celluloid excrement, I don’t say it lightly.” For what it’s worth, I saw the movie Saturday night and thought it was pretty funny. But very overrated. Also, Racialicious has come up with a list of acceptable white guys for black female performers seeking love or lust or both. In a bit of an upset, Bill Maher doesn’t make the list. But I might quibble with the inclusion of aspiring mayor Brad Pitt because, hey, who hasn’t dated Robin Givens?

13. Newly released FBI documents explicitly (heh) detail how the agency tried – and failed – to stop the 1972 release of classic porno movie,”Deep Throat.”

14. Deconstructing Kobe. Money quote here: “By any measure Kobe just put up a grade A finals for the ages — even if it’s compared to the Basketball Prototype.” That would be Jordan.

15. Speaking of the Lakers, proceeds of the sale of Phil Jackon’s “X” hat, in commemoration of his record 10 NBA championship rings, will go to the American Indian Scholarship Fund.

16. Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar is an absolute mess.

17. There’s so much wrong with this story: a Corpus Christi, Texas, strip club is suing a 14-year-old girl that it hired as an exotic dancer.

18. And to make up for all that divorce unpleasantness earlier, let’s talk about love:

And for the first time since we made the round-up a regular feature, I actually had trouble narrowing down the list of submissions. Thanks to everyone that made a contribution.

The Big Piece of Chicken.

In my search this morning for some songs to honor all the fathers out there on Father’s Day, particularly mine, I quickly came to realize the offerings were very limited. One online list of father-centered songs turned up Will Smith’s remake of “Just the Two of Us.”

I mean, really?

It reminded me of Chris Rock’s classic riff during his “Bigger & Blacker” comedy set in 1999 about the diminished importance  — relative to mothers, of course — of the traditional father.

[The real daddies] Make your world a better, safer place, and what does daddy get? The big piece of chicken. That’s all daddy gets is the big piece of chicken.

From my perspective, it’s hard to argue with him.

Even though plenty of fathers — like my own — worked hard to provide for their families, they’re often ignored and taken for granted because outward displays of appreciation and affection are supposedly unimportant to dads. Real men don’t need praise; they need quiet time in front of the TV with a beer and the sports section of the Sunday newspaper … right?

Or not.

In my case, I could not possibly come up with enough ways to express gratitude for my father. I mean, where would I start?

Thanks for spending all those nights teaching me arithmetic on flash cards; thanks for teaching me how to execute a proper layup; thanks for motivating me for little-league football by promising a video game for each touchdown; thanks for boosting my confidence enough so that I summoned enough courage to ask out a girl for the first time in my life; thanks for understanding when I bawled like a baby on the drive to college; thanks for encouraging me to keep running up The Hill even when my lungs were burning and my legs were wobbling; thanks for keeping all of my college newspaper stories in a clipbook; thanks for convincing me that Oklahoma City wouldn’t be such a bad place to live after all; thanks for hugging me so tight when I found out I lost my job; thanks for being the first to suggest that I ask the First Lady to come join me in Tampa; thanks for being there everday, even when I was less than appreciative. Like, maybe, Tuesday or something.

A big piece of chicken isn’t nearly enough. And neither is a song.