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Sat, Nov. 14th, 2009, 03:56 pm
Open letter to Carrie Prejean

Dear Carrie,

I apologize for not reading your book. I was thinking I would so that I could understand your perspective better, but most of the people on Amazon say the writing is horrible, and besides that it was published before the whole sex tape thing happened.

I find myself feeling kind of sorry for you. Not because you're being persecuted by the big bad liberal media who hate conservative women. Not because I think you were treated unfairly by the officials of Miss California USA-- I'm pretty sure they were well within their rights to strip you of your title, and you shouldn't have sued them. But because you're 22, were raised in an evangelical Christian household and continued on to attend an evangelical university, and you don't seem to know which way is up right now.

I don't think you should apologize for the partially nude photos, or even the sex tape. Stop talking about how making it was the "greatest mistake of [your] life." It wasn't even a bad thing to do-- a matter of bad judgment, yes, but not immoral. People who aspire to public positions probably shouldn't make sex tapes....at least, not if they're going to be upset about those tapes being revealed later for all of the world to see. I understand that you feel that you need to apologize for making these tapes in order to get back in the good judgment of people like Maggie Gallagher and Sarah Palin, but....you know, you can be a conservative without being like them, without kissing up to them.

You've said, in response to criticism, that the Bible doesn't say anything about breast implants. That Jesus wouldn't mind if you made nude photos. I can't say I agree with that because Jesus said that even lusting in your heart is a sin, and breast implants and nude photos-- and surely sex tapes-- are made to inspire precisely that sin. It might be tricky to figure out how to remain a Christian and conclude that Jesus was mistaken about that, but I think in order to be honest with yourself you should either figure out a way, or re-assess your Christianity. But heck, doesn't the Miss USA pageant itself include a swimsuit competition? If that's not made to inspire lust in loads of people, I'm not sure what is.

In regard to the gay marriage thing: yes, I think you're wrong. And yes, I thought your statement on the subject during the Miss USA pageant was pretty dumb. But you know, regardless of what I think of your position on gay marriage, I don't really see what any amount of nude photos or sex tapes has to do with its validity or invalidity. Probably it does for you, because for you it's all part of being a good Christian or not. But I think you would do well to stay off Hannity and Larry King for a while and think about what your Christian ethics really mean. Is gay marriage worse than the way you've been acting? Are sex tapes worse than your rhetoric about how you're being persecuted by the evil liberals for standing up for conservative principles? These are some things you should think about.

In closing, I'll say that I don't view you as another Ann Coulter...yet. Sorry to be patronizing, but I think you're young and very in over your head at the moment. You thought this would be an excellent opportunity to jump-start your career, and didn't realize the hot water it could get you into. I don't know what your future holds, but my suggestion would be to step out of the spotlight for a while, and do some serious soul-searching. It's a golden time for it, and you won't feel so persecuted when you're not out there continuing to dig your own grave.

Very best,


Sat, Oct. 17th, 2009, 01:15 pm
So I finally joined Twitter.....

Still not sure of the point, really, but this was enough to get me to join-- a guy named Drew Olanoff has cancer, and decided to auction off his Twitter name @Drew, with the proceeds going to Lance Armstrong's foundation for cancer research, Livestrong.  Comedian and libertarian activist Drew Carey saw the auction and was in a good mood, so he bid $25,000 for it.  He has since escalated the bid to $100,000, and has pledged to donate a full million if he gets a million Twitter followers by the end of the year-- his current Twitter ID is @DrewFromTV.

So now I'm @GretchenKoch, and a bit concerned about how transparent all of this social networking is making my life.   It's a consolation that not that many people care.  ;-)

Wed, Jul. 8th, 2009, 11:30 am
Dopey deer

I'm kind of embarrassed how much this made me laugh. 


Wed, Jul. 1st, 2009, 03:48 pm
Support chicken rights!

Our city council member Mabrie Jackson made a blog post in the online version of the Dallas Morning News Plano section, saying she's received a bunch of requests by Plano-ites to keep backyard chickens.  If you support legalizing it in Plano (as it is in Dallas), it would make me very happy if you'd comment on the post here

Fri, Jun. 26th, 2009, 02:06 pm

So the garden center where Jon (Geoff's brother, our roommate) works is called North Haven Gardens, in Dallas.  They've been selling chicken coop equipment for some time now, as well as chickens themselves from Bagienice Farms out near Terrell, TX   There's a guy from the farm, Dan Probst, who comes out twice a month and does a chicken-owner's seminar followed by sales of some pullets (hens) from the farm to people who want them.  Leslie Halleck, NHG's general manager, adopted five of them and has been raising them in her backyard...she has a blog about it

Now, apparently someone-- one person-- has complained, and NHG has been forbidden to sell hens.    I repeat, it is legal to own hens in Dallas.  Why should it be illegal to sell them?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Let's hope this is a temporary thing. 

Comment from Dan Probst:
I am just one of those "little guys" that the shining city of Dallas has snubbed. Did it ever occur to the city powers that sometimes they make it difficult to have fun in Dallas. OK, so I can't sell my chickens at North Haven, but tell that to all of the kids, parents, and backyarders who left there with big smiles and new chickens! Someday even those kids will vote.

Thu, Jun. 11th, 2009, 11:22 am
Want to chat with a stranger?

I know, your answer is probably the same as mine-- why?  But it's actually pretty interesting, and-- in a way-- liberating.  Last night I had a conversation with a woman from Turkey about fashion and then whether Turkey should be part of the European Union.  This morning I had a brief chat with a British guy about the virtues of shepherd's pie (he said nay; I said yay).  If the idea of talking to someone from anywhere in the world about anything you want sounds intriguing, try Omegle.com  And post any interesting snippets of conversation if you're so inclined. ;-)

Sat, Jun. 6th, 2009, 11:48 am
Chicken update

I got an email addressed to me and some other members of the city council by one member, Mabrie Jackson, who said that this was the 4th inquiry she'd received about "urban chickens" in the past six weeks.  That might be a good sign, and it was surprising that she emailed it on a Saturday. 

Fri, Jun. 5th, 2009, 03:41 pm

If anyone is interested, Dr. Tiller's funeral will be held tomorrow morning at 10am, at College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita. It's not being held at Reformation because the sanctuary is not very big, and they're expecting a lot of people. Fortunately the College Hill church is quite a bit bigger, and has had a good relationship with the Tiller family. Though they will be hosting the funeral, pastors from Reformation will be officiating. There may be metal detectors at the door.....if there are, I can't say I would blame the church for doing that.

The congregation of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, the church of Fred Phelps, has announced that they will be protesting-- big surprise. They picketed my brother's law school graduation in Lawrence (University of Kansas) about ten years ago, for who knows what reason.

I won't be able to make it as I'm back in Plano now, but my parents will be attending.

Fri, Jun. 5th, 2009, 11:39 am
Plano needs urban chickens

Dear Mayor Phil Dyer, City Manager Thomas Muehlenbeck, and the members of the Plano City Council,

I live in a house in Plano with my boyfriend Geoff and his brother Jon.  We are all pretty frugal people who like to create things on our own instead of buying them if possible-- especially in today's economy-- and so Jon has started a lovely garden in the backyard.  It's wonderful-- we now have tomatoes, peppers, and herbs for cooking.  After some discussion we decided that it would be a wonderful idea if we could have a chicken coop as well, so as to produce our own eggs (well, strictly speaking we would let the chickens do that).  Jon works for North Haven Gardens in Dallas, which sells chicken coops as well as chickens themselves, who have been raised at Bagienice Farms out in Poetry, Texas (near Terrell).  General manager of North Haven Gardens Leslie Halleck has recently acquired several chickens herself, and even has a blog documenting her experiences with them.  The Dallas Observor did a story about her, and she was also mentioned in the New York Times.

I immediately began researching chicken breeds, and found several available which would be friendly, good egg producers, and thrive in the North Texas weather.  We thought "Great!  We can join the ';urban chicken' movement sweeping the nation! Chicken manure is excellent fertilizer for gardens, chickens eat common pests such as roaches, aphids, and grubs, and we could have some very cute pets for years to come.  If keeping chickens is legal in Fort Worth and Dallas, then surely it is in Plano as well.....right?" 

Well.....apparently not.  I got on the phone with Plano Animal Services this morning, and was informed that chickens are considered livestock and therefore are not allowed as pets within the Plano city limits.  Just to be sure, I found the Plano city code online, which appeared to confirm what she'd said.  Chapter 4, section 4-22 reads " It shall be unlawful to own or keep chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, peacocks, or guineas within the corporate limits of the city, except in agricultural zoned districts, lakes, and public park lands.'

Members of the City Council, I would ask you to re-think this regulation.  I can see why having roosters within city limits would be annoying and not sound like an attractive idea, but chickens themselves are quite quiet-- certainly moreso than most of the dogs who live in my neighborhood-- and given a nice coop to call their own, they can live out a very happy life in someone's backyard.   I don't expect you to take my word for it, so I have included several links in this email which I hope you will follow to learn more about how much sense it makes to keep "urban chickens."  The members of our household would feel so much better eating eggs that come from chickens that we know have received excellent care, since we have provided it ourselves.  I know we're far from the only ones who feel that way.

Thanks very much for taking the time to consider these thoughts. 



Wed, Jun. 3rd, 2009, 04:09 pm
Picture Day

This photo was taken on March 9, 1950-- my mother's 6th birthday.  It might be my favorite photo of her ever.  If I weren't so opposed to portrait tattoos (not for other people; just for me), I would get a tattoo of this. 

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