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Dear Abby: Family Political Debate Opens Chasm Between Daughter, Mom
Dallas Morning News ^ | 9/13/01 | Paulne and Jeanne Phillips

Posted on 09/13/2001 1:55:57 PM PDT by madprof98

DEAR ABBY: At our Halloween party last year, which included both parents and children, my brother and I somewhat jokingly debated the two presidential candidates. My brother was for Bush. I was for Gore.

Sometime during the evening, my then 11-year-old daughter asked me why her uncle was for Bush and I was for Gore. I explained why I was for Gore and gave her four or five reasons. She asked again why her uncle was for Bush. I told her to go ask him.

During the merriment of the evening, I forgot about the subject until we were on the way home and my daughter asked me how I could think that killing a little baby was OK. I was speechless! I asked her where she had gotten such an idea. She said her uncle had told her that Gore thought it was OK to kill babies, and if I was voting for him, so did I. I tried to explain about a woman's right to choose -- and that I DO think a woman should have that choice, but I was so shocked I hardly knew how to defend myself.

It has been nearly a year now. Ever since that night my daughter has been very distant toward me. I have tried to talk to her about it several times, but she refuses to discuss it.

I'm at my wit's end. My daughter is now 12 and our closeness has been destroyed. I found out her class made Mother's Day cards, but my daughter never gave hers to me. There are no more hugs and kisses at bedtime -- just "good night."

What can I do? I love my daughter with all my heart. I'd give anything to have her the way she was before.
-- DESTROYED MOTHER IN DALLAS

DEAR DESTROYED MOTHER: Sit your daughter down and tell her that the subject of a woman's right to choose is a controversial one, and that it is OK if she disagrees with you about it. It's a topic about which everyone has to make up her (or his) own mind. Her uncle thinks the way he does, and you love him in spite of it.

Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose. Some women's lives have been saved because they were legally empowered to make that choice. It wasn't always the case.

Tell her that as she grows older, you want her to examine her reasons for feeling the way she does about this subject -- but you also want her to be open to different points of view, because there are more than one, and people have a right to their own opinions. It may not heal the breach your brother has caused, but it's a beginning.

And finally, I urge you to talk to your daughter's uncle about this entire situation. He could help a great deal by reinforcing what you have said -- and he should. He was out of line from the beginning for having given your daughter his inflammatory answer to her question.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
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No matter how much our revulsion at terrorism from abroad draws us together, there are real and deep divisions among us here, and we are going to have to keep addressing those too.
1 posted on 09/13/2001 1:55:57 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: madprof98
Sounds like the daughter has more moral integrity than the mother and Abby put together. And good for the uncle while I'm at it.
2 posted on 09/13/2001 2:00:53 PM PDT by curmudgeonII
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To: madprof98
What actually caused the chasm is the daughter's moral stand. Mom needs to quit blaming the uncle.
3 posted on 09/13/2001 2:01:05 PM PDT by Starrling
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To: madprof98
"Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose. "

To choose what? The uncle got it right and the Mom's upset because she can't explain it away with slick political doubletalk. Kids can see right through to the real issues.

4 posted on 09/13/2001 2:01:19 PM PDT by steenkeenbadges
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To: madprof98
Her uncle thinks the way he does, and you love him in spite of it.

How generous of her......

5 posted on 09/13/2001 2:02:13 PM PDT by GhostSoldier
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To: Starrling
Guess they think the uncle should have lied to protect the mother in her opinion. The mother made her choice - the choice to vote for the ability to kill babies. Is she supposed to have no consequences for her decision too?

Reality and truth hurt when some are faced with it.

6 posted on 09/13/2001 2:03:02 PM PDT by ClancyJ
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To: Starrling
Guess they think the uncle should have lied to protect the mother in her opinion. The mother made her choice - the choice to vote for the ability to kill babies. Is she supposed to have no consequences for her decision too?

Reality and truth hurt when some are faced with it.

7 posted on 09/13/2001 2:03:27 PM PDT by ClancyJ
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To: Askel5, Mercuria, Ms. Antifeminazi, Aquinasfan, Diamond, truthandlife, BibChr
This Dear Abby is for real. My jaw hit the floor on this one.
8 posted on 09/13/2001 2:03:38 PM PDT by Artist
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To: madprof98
I think Mom is just upset that she is will not be able to indoctrinate the child as easily as she thought possible.

And if Mom is pro-choice, will she allow her daughter to choose a different position?

9 posted on 09/13/2001 2:05:45 PM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: madprof98
Why bother with this silly column? The letters are heavily edited, if not faked altogether and the "touchy-feely" responses are always predictable and from the liberal side of the fence. You could probably program a computer to generate this column.
10 posted on 09/13/2001 2:06:44 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: madprof98
Notice what is NOT mentioned in this story? There's no Daddy in the picture. That might explain why the daughter worries about abortion, since she could be seen as "inconvenient" herself.
11 posted on 09/13/2001 2:08:17 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Artist
I really didn't believe this one was real (I'm not a reader of the women's pages, anyway). But if, as you say, it IS real, I think it perfectly exposes the hypocrisy of the "Feminazis". If you can't explain your moral position to an intelligent 12-year old, then it is quite likely that you don't really HAVE a moral positon. Just expediency and personal convenience.
12 posted on 09/13/2001 2:09:01 PM PDT by RANGERAIRBORNE
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To: madprof98
...I was so shocked I hardly knew how to defend myself.

That's because the murder of babies is indefensible.

Interesting how the innocent children understand that there is no such thing as a "fetus" -- it is a baby!

13 posted on 09/13/2001 2:09:05 PM PDT by TexRef
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To: madprof98
Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose to kill babies

Hey, it was implied anyway. I guess twelve year olds can't rationalize as well as adults.

14 posted on 09/13/2001 2:09:29 PM PDT by Gil4
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To: madprof98
Mom's a stupid selfish person. I'll adopt that kid any day.
15 posted on 09/13/2001 2:09:50 PM PDT by KSCITYBOY
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To: madprof98
I forgot about the subject until we were on the way home and my daughter asked me how I could think that killing a little baby was OK.

Out of the mouth of babes...

Stay strong kid.

16 posted on 09/13/2001 2:10:31 PM PDT by Right_Wing_Mole_In_Seattle
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To: madprof98
"Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose...to kill her baby. "

Yeah, that will clear up the issue Abby!

17 posted on 09/13/2001 2:11:12 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: madprof98
As solidly pro-life as I am, I think the uncle was out of line.

The girl is 11 yr. old and as abhorrent as we find her mother's beliefs about "choice", it is not right (at that age) to undermine her relationship with her mother. IMO, it would have more appropriate for the uncle to state simply that he disagreed with Gore on the abortion issue. Anything beyond that should have been discussed with the mother beforehand.

I would be just as angry if the situation was reversed, and someone had told my 11 yr. old child that they voted against Bush because "he hates women and wants them to be oppressed by men."

Flame if you want, but I'm going off-line for a while.

18 posted on 09/13/2001 2:12:47 PM PDT by workerbee
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To: madprof98
Good for the child!...Children always see the world in simple terms...and yes the child does have more moral integrity than the parent.
19 posted on 09/13/2001 2:12:52 PM PDT by thingumbob
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To: Mamzelle
Notice what is NOT mentioned in this story? There's no Daddy in the picture. That might explain why the daughter worries about abortion, since she could be seen as "inconvenient" herself.

With NOW's recently-announced support of post-partum abortions up to seven years after a child's birth, it's only a matter of time before it's politically correct to go after the 12 year olds. The kid has a right to worry.

20 posted on 09/13/2001 2:13:18 PM PDT by Gumlegs
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To: madprof98
Let's face it: "Dear Abby" sucks.

And as for inflammatory answer to her question, how about an "inflammatory question"? I've popped this on people who present abortion as an option to be take with no more thought than what to have for breakfast:

How would you feel if your mother had chosen to abort YOU?

21 posted on 09/13/2001 2:13:32 PM PDT by Joe Brower
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To: madprof98
What a dipstick. There's a reason the daughter is "distant". Mommy just told her "I have the right to kill you." What other reaction was she expecting?
22 posted on 09/13/2001 2:15:55 PM PDT by Redcloak
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To: SamAdams76
"Why bother with this silly column?"

It's worth bothering about because it is so exceptionally frank:

Mom is stuttering all over herself telling her daughter that she does think it's okay to kill babies. The brutality of "choice" is exposed for what it is, and that rarely happens in the press. I can't believe the column made it into print!

Thanks, madprof, for posting this.

23 posted on 09/13/2001 2:16:48 PM PDT by Artist
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To: workerbee
I totally agree with you workerbee. The uncle has done permanent damage to the relationship between this mother and daughter. The child will only have one mother and at such an impressionable age the uncle should have been less specific.
24 posted on 09/13/2001 2:22:05 PM PDT by linen53
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To: madprof98
DEAR DESTROYED MOTHER: Sit your daughter down and tell her that the subject of a woman's right to choose to kill a baby is a controversial one, and that it is OK if she disagrees with you about it as long as she never tells anyone. It's a topic about which everyone has to make up her (or his) own mind to support blindly. Her uncle thinks the way he does, and you love him in spite of it the fact that he is a misogynist barbarian.

Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose to kill a baby. Some women's lives have been saved because they were legally empowered to make that choiceto kill a baby with a doctor's help. It wasn't always the case. It used to be such acts were done under cover of darkness because they were considered shamefull.

Tell her that as she grows older, you want her to examine her reasons for feeling the way she does about this subject -- but you also want her to be open to different points of view, because there are more than one, and people have a right to their own opinions. It may not heal the breach your brother has caused, but it's a beginning.

And finally, I urge you to talk to your daughter's uncle about this entire situation. He could help a great deal by reinforcing what you have said -- and he should. He was out of line from the beginning for having given your daughter his inflammatory strait answer to her question.

25 posted on 09/13/2001 2:23:42 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: madprof98
Three cheers for the daughter!

Ask ANY 10 or 11 year old if they think it's ok for a mother to kill her baby in her belly, and you'll get the same reaction.

26 posted on 09/13/2001 2:24:33 PM PDT by Critter
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To: madprof98
What can I do?

Dear Mother: Just say to your daughter "Is this any way to show your gratitude for not killing you when I could?" That ought to smooth things over.

27 posted on 09/13/2001 2:27:03 PM PDT by FreePaul
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To: workerbee
I would be just as angry if the situation was reversed, and someone had told my 11 yr. old child that they voted against Bush because "he hates women and wants them to be oppressed by men."

Your analogy is seriously flawed. Bush doesn't hate women and want them to be oppressed by men, so anyone telling your 11 yr. old would be lying.

The uncle in this story told the truth. Gore favors killing babies. Pro-abortion people can argue "the woman's right to choose" all that they want. What they are arguing for is the right to kill babies. It can't be sugarcoated.

By the way, the woman's daughter may just be in shock from learning how close she came to being sucked down a sink.

28 posted on 09/13/2001 2:27:28 PM PDT by jackbill
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To: RANGERAIRBORNE
I really didn't believe this one was real (I'm not a reader of the women's pages, anyway). But if, as you say, it IS real, I think it perfectly exposes the hypocrisy of the "Feminazis".

I didn't think it was real until I checked the LINK and there it was....right under Abby's smiling face.

I've known for a long time that Abby is pro-abortion but this column isn't of the usual sort. It's far too honest.

29 posted on 09/13/2001 2:28:32 PM PDT by Artist
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To: madprof98
Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies

Yes, she is.

30 posted on 09/13/2001 2:28:39 PM PDT by RogueIsland
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To: madprof98
Now, let's see what we can learn from this story. Al Gore is a divider. Amen. For victory & freedom!!!
31 posted on 09/13/2001 2:30:43 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy
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To: madprof98
And finally, I urge you to talk to your daughter's uncle about this entire situation. He could help a great deal by reinforcing what you have said -- and he should. He was out of line from the beginning for having given your daughter his inflammatory answer to her question.

Excuse me? She told her daughter to ask him! People generally have strong feelings about their politics; what else could he have done?

32 posted on 09/13/2001 2:31:12 PM PDT by NovemberCharlie
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To: madprof98
Yeah, I saw this one two. The uncle did the right thing, and I'll bet the writer did her best to make his explanation sound as bad as possible in a vain attempt to support her immoral position.

Gee Mom, too bad your little girl feels distant from you because of your position that it is OK for women to choose to kill their own babies! I can only guess that someone else gave her some moral values.

33 posted on 09/13/2001 2:35:52 PM PDT by FormerLib
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To: madprof98, Artist
Oh, I have about 427 responses to this heartwarming, earnest little missal. I'll settle for two, centering around this:

Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose [i.e. to have their babies butchered].

  1. I think Abby is overestimating the average 12yo's capacity for BS.
  2. Try these parallels:
    • Explain that you are not in favor of child molesting, but that you feel it is important for a molestor to have the right to choose.
    • Explain that you are not in favor of rape, but that you feel it is important for a rapist to have the right to choose.
    • Explain that you are not in favor of blowing up huge buildings filled with innocent people, but that you feel it is important for an insane, ankle-biting putrescent single-helix pre-limbic mutoid terrorist to have the right to choose.
Work for you? Great.

Dan

34 posted on 09/13/2001 2:35:57 PM PDT by BibChr
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Evil is a learned behavior. Out of the mouth of babes....
35 posted on 09/13/2001 2:36:33 PM PDT by ICU812
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To: linen53
Your raise a valid point, but parents are always faced with similar situations. Children are ALWAYS presented with points of view different from their parents, whether it be from a teacher, television show or in this case, a relative. It is up to the parent to counter such alternative points of view. My mother tried her best to explain to me why the teachers in my catechism class were wrong about abortion and how all woman were entitled to a choice. She tried her best, but she failed.
36 posted on 09/13/2001 2:37:25 PM PDT by Clemenza
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To: workerbee
"I would be just as angry if the situation was reversed, and someone had told my 11 yr. old child that they voted against Bush because "he hates women and wants them to be oppressed by men." "

How would the situation be reversed in your analogy? In your little scenario the 11 yr. old is being told an outright lie. This suggests that you believe the girl's uncle told her a lie. Care to explain yourself? Maybe you're not as pro-life as you claim to be.

37 posted on 09/13/2001 2:38:15 PM PDT by Godebert
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To: madprof98
Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose.

Dear Abby: let's not deal in incomplete sentences, shall we? Let's fix what you had to say here so that we know what we're talking about:

"Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose whether or not she can kill her baby."

Just so long as we're all clear on what that choice is about.

Of course, all women throughout history have always had, and will always have, that choice. What the argument is about is whether or not we can let lawyers and lawmakers set things up in such a way that there are no legal consequences when making a choice to kill a baby, and thereby attempt to convince ourselves that we should feel no pangs of conscience when the choice to kill a baby is made.

But then, that's probably why you prefer to deal with incomplete sentences is these matters: so we don't have to face up to what the choice is about.

38 posted on 09/13/2001 2:42:08 PM PDT by CubicleGuy
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To: madprof98
"It has been nearly a year now. Ever since that night my daughter has been very distant toward me. I have tried to talk to her about it several times, but she refuses to discuss it."

What's to talk about, Lady.
You brought the kid up to be a thinking person.
The kid now realizes, in spite of your convoluted reasoning, you're essentially a murderer.
She *apparently* disapproves.

Questions?

39 posted on 09/13/2001 2:44:00 PM PDT by Landru
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To: linen53
"I totally agree with you workerbee. The uncle has done permanent damage to the relationship between this mother and daughter. The child will only have one mother and at such an impressionable age the uncle should have been less specific. "

The child is lucky to be alive....considering that her mother might have chosen to kill her in the womb. Maybe the 11 year old wonders if some of her unknown siblings met this particularly gruesome fate.

40 posted on 09/13/2001 2:45:51 PM PDT by Godebert
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To: madprof98
Explain that you are not in favor of killing babies, but that you feel it is important for a woman to have the right to choose. Some women's lives have been saved because they were legally empowered to make that choice. It wasn't always the case.

Dear Abby -

You are "all wet" ... First off, you are twisting the facts worst than this kid's uncle. i.e. Being "pro-life" has never put the baby's life before the mothers, it is a sad twist of history, womens issues and the whole discussion of abortion for you to use THIS as your foundation arguement for this mother to go talk to her daughter about.

Second - Abortion is murder, and you know it Abby. What does "saving the mothers life" have to do with 99% of the abortions out there? Are you just not following the actual statistics on partial birth abortion alone, where "mothers health" is often sighted as the "excuse" but all doctors that have testified so far have admited that they consider "depression" as one of these "mothers health" issues? Or just the request to NOT go through with it? And how do you rationalize that Ms Abby? I see, you don't.

How about the ease for our children to get RU486 pills without even a prescription? (as encouraged by ads on MTV)

How about the harvesting of fetal body parts for medical use? Gee you left that out as well ...

How about ..... ah forget it.

Dear Abby - you are just showing that you too are as misguided as Gore.

As we look at all the shocking television that we are seeing with the carnage going on in NY and DC, I have to reflect at how the so called "pro-choice" people complain about the pictures of aborted fetus's. The revulsion should be the same. You can't hide what we have done to the unborn, and act shocked at what others do to us. that's hypocricy.

AgThorn & Lily4Jesus
Los Angeles

If you haven't already done so, please add your signature
to the petition for the unborn (and ask others to do likewise)
These little ones need our voice to speak out for them.
God Bless you!
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b7c063605a8.htm

41 posted on 09/13/2001 2:46:49 PM PDT by AgThorn
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To: madprof98
Abby's answer is priceless. So much babbling and dancing. Trying to disguise immorality as morality.

You can't do it, Abby Dear,

It doesn't withstand the light of day.

42 posted on 09/13/2001 2:48:47 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: workerbee
Flame if you want, but I'm going off-line for a while.

Typical of this poster. Drive by responses frequently. Just ignore her.

43 posted on 09/13/2001 2:58:14 PM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: linen53
I totally agree with you workerbee. The uncle has done permanent damage to the relationship between this mother and daughter. The child will only have one mother and at such an impressionable age the uncle should have been less specific.

You people don't give a twit about this girl whatsoever. Mom should be free to chose murder. Better for the kid. Ya right.

44 posted on 09/13/2001 3:02:04 PM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: workerbee
As solidly pro-life as I am, I think the uncle was out of line.

I have no use for people who are relentlessly cagey about what they believe and why. The uncle was asked why he chose Bush over Gore. I suspect he answered honestly and that's not out of line.

45 posted on 09/13/2001 3:17:41 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: madprof98
"Dear Abby, Dear Abby,
My fountain pen leaks,
My wife hollers at me,
And my kids are all freaks
Any side I get up on,
Is the wrong side of bed,
If it weren't so expensive,
I'd wish I were dead"!

Signed

"Unhappy"

John Prine Song
"Dear Abby"

46 posted on 09/13/2001 3:31:23 PM PDT by albee
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To: madprof98
Poor kid, at 11 yrs old hasn't lost her innocence. A few more years of indoctrination, she would have had a heart of stone and wouldn't have believed her uncle. Now, maybe she always will.
47 posted on 09/13/2001 3:35:45 PM PDT by FlyVet
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Comment #48 Removed by Moderator

To: jackbill
Your analogy is seriously flawed. Bush doesn't hate women and want them to be oppressed by men, so anyone telling your 11 yr. old would be lying.

I know he doesn't feel that way, but to many pro-abort types he does, simply by the virtue of the fact that he is not pro-abort. The very definition of "woman-hating oppressor", to them, is someone who does not believe in "choice." So in the context of this discussion, the analogy works.

I believe the situation between the mother and her brother is probably much more contentious than her letter implies. After all, a person who describes abortion in the terms this man did is pretty obviously strongly pro-life. There would be little "joking debate" for him on the issue of abortion. What I think is that he used the 11 yr. old to score points in an argument against his sister, the girl's mother. I think that's wrong.

I reiterate what I said before: it is not appropriate to undermine the mother's authority of her 11 yr. old child, which is what I believe he intentionally set out to do with his choice of words.

the woman's daughter may just be in shock from learning how close she came to being sucked down a sink.

Isn't that a great thought to put into an 11 yr. old's head? What an accomplishment for the uncle.

49 posted on 09/13/2001 5:52:00 PM PDT by workerbee
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To: Godebert
How would the situation be reversed in your analogy? In your little scenario the 11 yr. old is being told an outright lie. This suggests that you believe the girl's uncle told her a lie. Care to explain yourself?

See #49. By "reversed", I mean that it is not appropriate for an adult to try and undermine the relationship of a child and her parent, even if we know we're on the right side. I disagree politically or fundamentally on many issues with certain family members or friends. This does not give me license to make their children question their authority or love. It is simply wrong to drawn an 11 yr. old into a situation like that.

Maybe you're not as pro-life as you claim to be.

My pro-life stance is pretty well documented on FR. I can understand people siding with the uncle, because I know he's on the right side of the issue, but I do think his actions with the 11 yr. old were wrong.

50 posted on 09/13/2001 6:02:45 PM PDT by workerbee
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