Why Trump Understands Our Foreign Policy Better Than You Think

The media went crazy the other day when Donald Trump, Republican nominee for the 2016 Presidential election, suggested that if Russia had the remaining 33,000 missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server, it might be kind enough to hand them over. There was much grinding and gnashing of teeth, with some even going so far as so accuse Mr. Trump of treason for inviting a foreign government into our own affairs. Although at the outset it could be suggested that Mr. Trump was speaking in jest, it may just be that he’s more familiar with our international law than the rest of us.

In June of 1999, The United States of America and the Russian Federation signed “Treaties and Other International Acts Series 13046: Mutual Legal Assistance”. It holds the seal of the United States State Department and the following note on the first two pages:

NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Pursuant to Public Law 89—497, approved July 8, 1966 (80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)—

“. . .the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent

evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and international agreements other than treaties, as the case may be, therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the

United States, and of the several States, without any further proof or authentication thereof.”

Under this Treaty, Article 2, section 2 reads “Legal assistance under this treaty shall include… (2) providing documents, records, and other items;”

In short, this means that if either country, Russia or the USA, holds information pertinent to an ongoing legal case (which with regards to Mrs. Clinton’s emails, is still very much pertinent, as the Democrats have accused Russia for the DNC email hack and more), the partner country can submit a request in writing for that information to be turned over.

The irony of all this, of course, is that the treaty was signed by Mrs. Clinton’s husband, former President William Jefferson Clinton. When it was fully ratified some years later, it was passed unanimously by the 106th Senate (Treaty doc 106-22), of which Mrs. Clinton herself was a part (D-NY).

 

The full text of the treaty can be seen here: Mutual Legal Aid Treaty

Brown bear (Ursus arctos) growling, close-up, Washington, USA

Obama and the Clintons have poked the Russian bear on more than one occasion. It is this author’s opinion that Putin would be more than happy to do us a solid and bring Mrs. Clinton down.

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Filed under awareness, culture, election 2016, politics

A Trip into Absurdity

So one ofthe things I’ve been working on, in between ranting and raving about the state of the country, is this idiotic and silly piece of writing. Names have been changed to protect the incredibly guilty. It’s a work in progress, so I may post more as I come up with it.

A Yet-Untitled Piece of Insanity
Copyright (c) 2016 by the blonde, All rights reserved. May not be quoted or published elsewhere without this author’s express, written permission.

         Once upon a time there existed a fantastical and balmy land known to the Universe at large as Preposterous Patria. To those who lived within its asinine borders, it was an area known simply as “SillyLand”. The longer title was held in reserve for special events, such as visiting foreign dignitaries, the launching of a new ship, and the local high school’s prom tickets. None of those things matters on this day.

For on this day, throughout the land, it was announced that Her Royal Highness, Princess Asya Scarlette, was to graduate from the general Institution of the Inane and was moving up to the Southern Royal Academy for the Further Instruction of Royal Etiquette and Education. While this is truly important day in any princess’s life, it is not the point of our story.

Far to the North, the Princess’ mother, First Princess of the Blood, Her Royal Highness Lillith Victoria, was beginning a great sojourn south to see her daughter graduate. Alongside her was Her Grace the Grand Duchesse of Somnolence, Gabriella Michaela Reseda, best friend to Princess Lilith and fairy godmother to Princess Asya. That is where our true story begins.

“You’re sure you have everything?” Prince Elymas the Kindhearted asked. Prince Elymas was not just a prince; he was also the realm’s primary sorcerer and magician who also fancied himself a world-renowned traveler. Often in search of new death-defying magics and spells, he travelled far more than the Princess Lilith and thus was concerned about her and the Duchesse and their wandering so far afield on their own.

“Relax, milord,” replied Princess Lilith. “For we have all we could want. Gifts for Princess Asya the Sassy, gifts for my parents, her guardians, a well-kept and nourished steed with great focus, a knowledgeable magicked guide, and miniature musicians for entertainment. We shall be fine.”

“Don’t forget, we also have the speaking devices that were specially spelled so that we may all keep in contact throughout the duration of the journey,” the Duchesse added.

“I suppose,” said Prince Elymas. He sighed, looking a bit forlorn. “Come here, my princess, so that I may take my leave of you properly.” Prince Elymas, although he tried to keep a reputation of being a stern and formidable sorcerer, was really a marshmallow. Kissing the princess thoroughly, he also hugged the Duchesse, whom he oft treated as a younger sister. Always the gentleman, he opened the coach doors, kissed the princess again, and waved them off.

“How long do you think it will be before he contacts us through the speaking device?” Princess Lilith asked with a slight edge to her voice, a combination of loving annoyance and humor.

The Duchesse giggled. “He shall at least wait until we are at the end of the road. You have the directions for the first part of the journey?”

“Of course, courtesy of Prince Elymas the Kindhearted. We shall follow the Great Road south for several miles, and cross over the Lenape River and continue the southern route along the inner shore until reaching the home of Princess Asya and her guardians. Should we stray from our path, we will count on the good advice of Sir Julio the Navigational Knight. Before we get really started though, let us fill the coach with fuel and stock our own baskets with victuals so that we will not have to stop and answer to the whims of our stomachs too soon into our drive.”

“Sounds good to me.”

Before long, the Princess and the Duchesse were well on their way. Separately, they were both accomplished voyagers and couldn’t understand why their respective families were worried about this particular trip. The Duchesse’s father, Solomon, His Grace the Grand Duke, was highly protective of the young, headstrong Duchesse and the troubles she was wont to get into. He understood that there was no arguing with the Duchesse once she got an idea in her head, and it was worse when she and HRH the Princess were together. They had already managed to get themselves banned from the neighboring kingdom for an unfortunate incident at that kingdom’s Summer Beach Concert Ball, something involving an over-abundance of sangria and a local squire’s son. Still, he would try. His Grace the Grand Duke and his daughter were very much alike. It gave her mother, the Her Grace the Dowager Duchesse, many headaches. HRH Prince Elymas was more inclined to worry, knowing more of the details of the escapades that ladies got themselves involved in.

It was these details the ladies were laughing over when the Princess Lilith commented on a slight unfamiliarity in the highway.

“This area is most unusual. Duchesse, could you please check the magicked guide?”

The Duchesse fumbled around through the mountains of miniature musicians, refreshments, wraps, and gifts until she found Sir Julio, the Navigational Knight. A young knight who had been cursed by a cantankerous witch with a horrific case of PMS, he was doomed to live his life in a mere two-inch tall metal box, a sort of tortured genie. Instead of granting wishes, he used his innate sense of direction and hired out to guide travelers all throughout Preposterous Patria. “Sir Julio, what say you?” asked the Duchesse, holding him up so he could peer out the window.

“Sweet Princess, I fear you have missed a turn over the Great River Bridge. This means you must now travel through the Five Cantons of the Excessively Vast Crimson Achene. It may be perilous. Good luck.” The good Sir Julio ducked back into his box.

“The Five Cantons? Is he crazy? We’ll be lucky if we don’t get a halberd through our windscreen, or caltrops under our wheels. Listen, you cantankerous canker blossom, how did we manage to miss the turn to begin with? You’re the Navigational Knight aboard this coach. Aren’t you supposed to tell us these things?” Princess Lilith, a bit pink around the edges, demanded.

Sir Julio blew a raspberry in her direction. “There was construction, just as there always is in this gods-forsaken city. Now don’t expect any help from me for a while.”

Duchesse Gabriella stared at the Knight’s box, wide-eyed with incredulity. “Well, engage softly with me in coitus with a sharp series of jointed metal rings.”

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An Addendum on Yesterday’s Crazy

As of this writing, the #BoycottTarget petition has gathered 975,444 signatures.

Quite the statement.

Really want to make your voice heard? Make sure to start shopping at their competitors. Start with “Mom and Pop” businesses. Support your local shops. If you need to go big,: Hobby Lobby. WalMart. Aldi. Academy Sports. Cabela’s. Toy’s “R” Us. Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Dick’s Sporting Goods. Publix. Trader Joe’s. All businesses that have a reputation for being “family friendly”.

We cannot count on the “powers that be” to advocate for our safety. We need to do it ourselves. Put pressure on places like Target* by shopping elsewhere. Don’t enroll in universities before checking their policies thoroughly. Do your research. It’s election season. You have to be ready to back yourself up practically every time you post an unfavorable opinion (read: not something the MSM or the liberal left would agree with) on Facebook.

Gandhi-great-quote

*Target started jumping the shark a few years ago, after there was a massive leftist outcry following a donation by the company to a politician who did not support gay marriage. They’ve been “atoning” for this mistake ever since, with massively public displays of affection for the LBGTABCQMXYZ crowd, eliminating gender-specific sections in their children’s clothing and toy departments, and demanding that guns not be carried on their premises, despite a very legal right to do so by those holding concealed carry permits. (Massachusetts has an open carry law, though most people don’t take advantage of it because of the Chicken Little effect it would cause; would they prefer that right be exercised?) Anyway, Target is not the only company pushing this dangerous gender-neutral nonsense. Starbucks and Barnes and Noble have also joined up to shoot themselves in the foot. As of midnight on Friday morning (when I’m updating this, because my stupid radiatiors sound like they’re possessed) the #BoycottTarget petition has reached 1,002,916 signatures.

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Filed under culture, current events, education, humanity, men and women, politics, War on Women

This Post Brought To You By an Unbelievable Level of Stupid, Courtesy of the Liberal Left

Otherwise entitled: Society has lost its collective mind and I just can’t right now.

  1. Seattle, WA: A man undresses in a women’s restroom, citing a new rule in the city that allows people to choose a bathroom based on gender “identity”
  2. Prince William County, VA: A man dressed as a woman was arrested after police say he was caught peeping/filming into restroom stalls three times in the past year.
  3. Palmdale, CA: A 33 y/o Palmdale man who allegedly dressed as a woman while secretly videotaping females using a department store bathroom was charged with six counts of unlawful use of a concealed camera for the purposes of sexual gratification.
  4. Ontario, Canada: A biological man claiming to be transgender so as to gain access to women at two Toronto shelters was jailed “indefinitely” after being declared by a judge a “dangerous offender”. The man assaulted and raped multiple women, including a Deaf woman.
  5. Toronto, Canada: The University of Toronto recently changed its transgender restroom policy after multiple peeping incidents.
  6. Smyrna, TN: William David was arrested in Wisconsin but was extradited to TN to face felony charges relating to filming women inside Smyrna restrooms, including aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
  7. Orange, CA: A 24 y/o man was arrested after a hidden cell phone was recording video inside a unisex, single-stall restroom at Chapman University.
  8. Pitman, NJ: A teacher, school bus driver, and high school student were among 16 people facing child pornography charges in New Jersey. Thomas Guzzi Jr., 36, of Pitman, is also charged with 3rd degree invasion of privacy for allegedly hiding a tablet computer in a bathroom stall to record video of others using the toilet.
  9. Logan County, OK: 43 y/o James Curt Rose sits behind bars for videotaping a 13y/o in the showers at a YMCA
  10. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa police arrest a man connected with the videotaping of a women who was showering in a residence hall.
  11. Quarryville, PA: 19y/o James Thomas Shoemaker was arrested and faces child porn charges for hiding in a woman’s restroom and taking pictures of young girls on his cell phone.
  12. Montgomery County, PA: A man was arrested at a Target Store after a female patron caught him attempting to spy on her while she was in the dressing room.
  13. Athens, GA: A man was seen on security cameras in a local Target sneaking into a women’s restroom and using his cell phone to take pictures of the ladies in there. He was detained by store security until police arrived.
  14. Brentwood, MO: 26y/o Matthew Foestrel is accused of holding a camera under a Target dressing room door while a female patron was trying on bathing suits. He was convicted of “knowingly and intentionally” filming an 11 y/o girl in a dressing room while partially nude. Foestrel was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
  15. Petersburg, FL: To demonstrate the absurdity of the Target policy, a man, dressed as a man, acting as a man, records a conversation between himself and the store manager in which the man asks if it’s okay that he uses the women’s room because he “feels uncomfortable” in the men’s room. The manager assures him that it is, and he will deal with any complaints from women already using the facilities. The man leaves, as he was only proving a point.
    no_trouble

There are more, of course, but I’m sick of looking at double screens to get the details. I think you begin to get the gist: the idea of allowing one to use whichever restroom or fitting room, or any other place people of a single sex usually gather while in a state of dishabille, they “feel” best suits their “identity” at the moment, is a truly terrible idea.

Now, allow me to clarify one thing. I am not talking about the roughly 700,000 people (out of 323,439,000) in the nation that are transgender. (Although it is biologically and scientifically impossible to turn a man into a woman, or vice versa, that is a post for a different day.) No, I’m taking about the 808,675 (and growing) registered sex offenders in this country and her territories. Now, that’s about 0.25% of the population. Transgenders make up even less than that, even less than the usually reported 0.30%- it’s more like 0.22%. Ergo:

Sex offender population > transgender population

So I’m sorry, but my safety and security as a woman, and the safety and security of other women and girls trumps your “comfort”. Sure, there are plenty of perverts and deviants who would assault women before policies like this, but now we’ve just opened Pandora’s Box and made it extremely easy for them to do so, because now no one will initially question their presence in what should be a ladies-only area. But think about it. I stop at one of these quietly gender-neutral friendly stores after work (because it sure won’t be a vocal one like Target. #BoycottTarget) to pick up a few things. I was in a rush to get out of the building and have to use the restroom. Like most store restrooms, this one is tucked in an out-of-the-way place, away from most of the other patrons. I’m carrying my purse and I’m wearing high heels- not conducive to running. Inside the ladies’ room in a man, dressed as woman, and he’s not there to pee and leave. I’m 5’1 and barely over 100lbs. What are the odds that your average male is not going to have a super difficult time overpowering me?

Ladies, before you get all gung-ho about equal-rights rah-rah-rah, think about how often you already have your guard up, walking alone on the street, in a bar, etc. How often are you made to feel uncomfortable by something uncouth a man does, or says. How frequently do we already go to the restroom in “packs”? It’s not because we need someone to help us wipe our butts. It’s protection for ourselves and each other. Why on God’s green earth would you support something to further endanger yourself?

 

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April 27, 2016 · 9:33 pm

Just When I Thought I Was Done Being Surprised…

Generally speaking, there isn’t much that surprises me in the political arena. Catfights, he-said, she-said, insults, and downright sabotage is all sadly becoming pretty run-of-the-mill, but lately, I am bitterly disappointed in the lack of decorum coming once again from the left-wing, liberal, progressive, special snowflakes.

At first, I was surprised and frankly taken aback that we suddenly needed “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” to protect college students from opposing viewpoints. Are you kidding me? I went to college to be challenged, to learn, to expand my horizons. Pretty much no one agreed with what I had to say, so I quickly learned to back myself up with hardcore facts and statistics (Shut it, Mark Twain.) The more facts I had to support my opinion, the stronger my argument. Someone wanted to challenge my pro-life stance? A graphic description of exactly how an abortion was performed changed more than a few minds. A disagreement over Common Core? I demonstrated “new math” and explained the lack of phonics used when teaching kids to read. (Really, it’s the equivalent of memorizing license plates.) I read everything I could get my hands on. Novels. Newspapers- local, national, and international. Blogs. Magazines. Biographies. I watched stuff on TV like “How It’s Made” and “Mythbusters” as well as “The X Files” and “The Walking Dead”. I learned a second language. I took classes in political science and eastern philosophy and culture and literature, both eastern and western. Only once did I come across any sort of “trigger” warning, and that was one I put in a paper I wrote about self-injury and suicide, and then only after the recent death of a student by suicide.

Now, we are expected to block those precious babies from conservatives, from pro-life groups, from Christians and Jews, from military recruiters, from anyone not kowtowing to the liberal beat. For example:

Lately, the most appalling disruptions have come in the form of organized protests of Republican political rallies, including the shutdown of a Donald Trump rally in Chicago, Illinois, which Trump decided to cancel out of concern for the safety of those attending the rally. Slightly ironic, really, given Chicago’s astronomically high rates of murder and gun violence (despite having the strictest gun control laws in the state). Now, I’m not denying anyone their right to protest. However, when it comes to interfering with another group’s right to gather, we have issues. Considering that the Trump protest had plans to essentially rush the stage, that’s a problem. Look at the riots in major cities stemming from so-called “police brutality” over the last few years. Ferguson. Baltimore. Not cities with conservative leadership. Cities left to rot for decades under liberal progressive policies. Policies that discourage growth, but encourage dependency upon the government.

It’s funny. Go into any national park and one will find literature about not feeding the wild creatures. Why? Rangers don’t want the animals to become dependent on people for sustenance and get lazy, refusing to hunt or forage for themselves. The government should take a page out of its own book.

The next several months are going be interesting. I have several opinions on several topics (because of course I do) but I shall save those for another evening.

Save the mudslinging for a raining day.

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I’m not a psychologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn…

I would like to throw this next question out, because it is a seriously legitimate question. I am in my first full year of teaching, and my students are anywhere in the range of 11- to 14- years of age. I teach a variety of subjects, depending on the day, and I live and work in a very urban and very poor area. Despite the economic troubles, there is a strong sense of family and culture penetrating the city.

So here is the question: What is WITH kids today?

I didn’t think I was that old, but (and I didn’t think I’d be saying this for at least another twenty years) when I was that age, I didn’t know such foul language existed, and I was far from being a sheltered child. To paraphrase Lewis Black, the “f-bomb” isn’t so much a word as it is a comma. Sexual suggestions, slurs, and commentary one would expect to hear in “Fifty Shades of Gray”  can be heard just passing through the hallways. Students are aggressive toward each other, constantly threatening to throw punches. At best, none can stop talking for more than a minute or so, and their silliness leaves them falling out of their chairs and knocking their books onto the floor.

It’s amazing if any actual knowledge is absorbed.

We try. We go in there, battle-hardened warriors, day after day, never sure if anything we do is making any sense. Are we educating? Are we passing along the facts? Are we getting them to think? Are they interested in the material? Do they want to learn more? Are we giving them the tools to succeed outside the classroom? How can we tell if they’re not responding to us?

I don’t have an answer. I know if I behaved like that when I was in middle school, well, no one in my school would have ever behaved like that. Ever. How does an entire system get turned upside down over the course of a mere 15 years? When did the inmates start running the asylum?

I love my students, but a solution has to be found, or I may burn out of my career before it really even starts.

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Do not be deceived by appearances…

Recently, and by recently I mean today, there have been a lot of memes and notes on Facebook about the Planned Parenthood sky falling. By this, of course, liberals are in a tizzy because those mean old terrible Republicans are threatening (finally with gumption) to cut off government (read: public, read: my money and yours) funding to those child-killers.

In any normal, civilized world, this would be a good thing. Unfortunately, America has been turned on her head.

Instead, said liberals and worse, liberal feminists are screaming about losing the one* source of women’s healthcare and unrestricted access to abortion yadda yadda yadda. In reply,kindly let me point out a few things that the MSM and the pitiful excuses that pass for “newspapers” print.

myth and fact

  1. the 3% Myth
    1. This myth consists of the belief that abortion is only 3% of PP’s services. It’s actually a strategic little marketing/bookkeeping ploy on the part of the finance office. Abortions being the most expensive procedure offered, the last thing that PP wants to do is cut off their Golden Egg. Instead, former PP workers have reported being told to counsel women toward abortion in almost every case. Dead babies = $, and we need to stay near that $300 million profit margin! So to even things out and make themselves look better, a single visit for a year’s worth of contraceptives might be listed as 12 separate visits, while the number of visits needed for an abortion will be lumped into one.
  2. Health Services
    1. Here is an experiment you can try at any time, and it will only take you about five minutes. Call up your local PP clinic and ask to schedule a mammography. Go on, I’ll wait.What? Couldn’t do it? You’re right. There are 700 PP-affiliated centers in the USA. Not one of them has its own mammography machine. Comparatively, the 9000 community health centers located throughout the country boast slightly more than 424k. At most, a woman might receive a manual exam at PP and a pap smear (the latter? Nearly 2 million to PP’s 378k.)

      Planned Parenthood. Providing all sorts of healthcare for women. As long as abortion, contraception, and willful nondisclosure of sex trafficking and child abuse are your ideas of healthcare.

 

America does not “need” Planned Parenthood. American girls do not need a woman like Margaret Sanger, eugenicist, to look up to an admire. Women do not need a place where they are valued only by what is between their legs.

“Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
-Margaret Sanger, heroine of the  feminist liberals

*statistics courtesy of “Democrats for Life of America”

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Filed under abortion, current events, humanity, politics, pro-life, War on Women

When Lions Trump Babies, You Know We’re Screwed

 

Imagine, if you will, your friendly neighborhood veterinarian. We’ll call her Dr. Farrell. Dr. Farrell loves dogs. She loves dogs so much, that she runs a dog-specific clinic. She especially loves puppies and mama-dogs, so she concentrates on them. She says she treats them for all types of diseases and testings and screenings to ensure their health, but she’s most concerned with the ones who are pregnant. She knows that the ones who are pregnant and have owners that want the puppies will be fine, so she tells those dogs to go somewhere else for their care. Dr. Farrell takes care of the dregs. She specifically sets up her clinics in areas that have a lot of poor, stray dogs. Dogs that don’t have owners, or have owners that don’t care about them. Dogs that aren’t spayed. Dogs that wouldn’t be able to take care of their puppies. So everyday, Dr. Farrell makes sure her clinic looks hip and inviting, with comfortable doggy beds, bones to gnaw on, fresh food and water. When a pregnant lady dog comes in, Dr. Farrell assures her that she doesn’t have to worry about half a dozen new mouths to feed. She’ll take care of the problem and send the dog on her way.

So Dr. Farrell forces open the dog’s cervix, and reaches in with some sort of suction device and a knife (curette) to cut the puppies apart and extract them from the womb. One of Dr. Farrell’s assistants will have to put all the pieces together again later to make sure all the puppy-tissue was gotten. Sometimes, if Dr. Farrell didn’t get to the dog early enough, she might burn the baby puppies to death with saline, or wait till the puppies are almost born, then as they’re coming through the mama dog’s birth canal, she’ll just stab them in the back of the skull with scissors. Whatever way she chooses, the puppies are dead and no longer the lady dog’s responsibility.

Running a clinic like this is hard though, and even though places like PETA give her a lot of money to keep the unwanted puppy population down, Dr. Farrell has found that she can get a lot of money by selling those puppy bodies to cosmetic companies. People get so angry when they hear that companies test their products on animals, but no one seems to care about the puppies that Dr. Farrell has killed. For whatever reason, they are blind to it. So Dr. Farrell is able to sell those bodies to Covergirl and Bath and Body Works, and they pay enough to buy Dr. Farrell a new car. All thanks to dismembered puppies.

 

Now, be serious. If an undercover journalist had come out in the last 10 days with videos proving that PETA was dismembering and selling unborn puppies or kittens, the country would be in an uproar (see: Cecil the Lion). Instead, an undercover journalish has undeniable evidence that abortion giant Planned Parenthood is selling the bodies of unborn children. More than that, they are line items. They are profit. They keep PP in the black. There is good evidence that many of these children are intact, which means PP is blatently ignoring the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban one way or another. As of this writing, three states (NH, AL, and LA) have cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, and several others have launched investigations.

As Americans – hell, as decent human beings, why are we even pretending that this is okay? What makes us think that it is okay to kill a child at any stage of his or her development? If one killed a panda in its mother’s pouch, he would be in as much legal trouble as if he killed the adult panda. Probably more. Why? Because a developing panda is still a panda. Why are animals protected, and not human babies? They are equally defenseless.

Planned Parenthood is beyond defending. Please, if you haven’t already, watch the videos or read the transcripts. (All of which can be found here.) Urge companies like Pepsi and Bath & Body Works to stop their donations, as others like Coca-Cola have already done. Write your members of Congress on the State and Federal level to defund them; you do not want your tax dollars supporting state-sanctioned murder.

Save the humans.

save-the-baby-humans-panda

 

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Filed under awareness, family, humanity, politics, pop culture, pro-life

High-Stakes Testing, Turning Brains to Zombie Fodder…

This month and next, all around the country, children in various grades will be subjected to state and government mandated standardized tests. Some of these are the most infamous and panic-inducing names and acronyms ever to enter a classroom. Regents. MCAS. FCAT. I-STEP+. MontCas. NECAP. STAAR. WESTEST. PAWS. Finally, the Common Core aligned PARCC (pronounced “park”).

Standardized testing is nothing new to me, as I spent a week every other year since first grade doing the Iowas, or the CAT-5s, and then switching over to the state-sanctioned standardized test when it was approved. Mine was the last class that didn’t need to pass it to graduate, and as I was out on medical leave the year it was given to my class, I never even saw the test. I made up for my lack of standardized testing with two rounds of PSATs and 2 rounds of SATs, just to be on the safe side. Since my own high school days, nothing has driven teachers, staff, and students into a bigger frenzy than testing season.

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and guardians, this is where you come in:

The PARCC testing is not mandatory. You may opt your child out of these tests at any time.

In my state, the education commissioner sent out a memo last year that although not highly publicized, reminded building administrators that parents did have a right to instruct their child not to take the test and to provide an alternate educational setting. The only tests the students need to take are, like in New York, the Regents required for graduation in English, math, and science. To opt your student out, a simple letter stating that you have told your child not to take the test and a simple, polite request to the building principal for separate work is all it takes. Please do your research and Google “opt-out, PARCC”. It’s so easy to find the material. Not only will you save yourself and your child a lot of hassle, but you will be pushing back against the Education Establishment and reining some degree of control back into your life and family.

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Mended.

“One day, someone is going to hug you so tight that of your broken pieces fit back together.”
Part 3 of 3

Months were passing, and yet one day still loomed large on the calendar: that of my now very-cancelled wedding. I had very mixed feelings; mostly, I didn’t know what or how I should feel about it. Frankly, I was afraid to face it. How would I react? Would I be an emotional, teary mess? Angry? Nonplussed? Could I ignore the whole thing?

One of the things that drove me to write this whole messy story down is that when I was hovering at the brink, trying to decide whether to go through with the engagement or call it off, I couldn’t find any advice anywhere on the internet. Stories and blog postings fell into two camps: the “OMG he left me I’m ruined” camp and the “I hate men” camp. I was somewhere in the middle. Mostly, I was pretty much right back to where I was before I met Lenny, just… stronger. It wasn’t an external change, and a lot of times, it was hard to find internally, too. It was there, though. The past few days, I keep thinking about what Rafiki said in 1994’s The Lion King: “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”

It’s been a learning experience, and I kept moving forward. A blessing in disguise came in the form of an old friend who’d invited me to dinner at the end of the summer – my first co-ed outing in months. Conversation flowed easy between us despite the years since we’d last met, and allowed me to form a framework of trust -again, that learning- that there’s still hope.

So when the Big Day arrived, I awoke… cautiously. Like one does when injured, and is slowly sending bits of consciousness down each nerve and limb as though checking for damage, and assessing the conditions. I can’t say that my mind, my emotional well-being was a blank slate. There was a certain amount of sadness there, for what was. A lot of bitterness for what should have been and wasn’t, and a great deal of trepidation for what was to come.

I have said before, and I will say it again, I’m sure. I am eternally blessed in my family and my friends. My parents have been a wonderful rock of strength throughout this whole thing, as have my siblings and their significant others, and my friends have been there, from coast to coast, when I truly needed them. I received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from one of my “bridesmaids” on the other side of the country, and my phone blew up with texts all day. (If any of y’all are reading this, you know who you are. I love you all.)

Without getting into details, let’s just say that beyond what I ever would have dreamed in my wildest daydreams, my afternoon and evening made me believe that there might be a second chance for me. And that feeling grows each any every day.

Hope.broken_heart_xlarge

Edit 10/11/16 – It has recently come to my attention that on the day vows were to be exchanged, he contacted my best friend via text. Now, for reasons I am unwilling to disclose, she and I were not speaking at the time. I had blocked him from my phone and FB, but email was still (then) a valid means of communication as there were still wedding-related loose ends to tie up and I needed a way to get a hold of him if necessary. Long story short, he asked how I was doing, (“I don’t know, I’m not speaking to her.” and told my friend that he thought HE had “dodged a bullet of crazy”. God bless my friends. For all that we weren’t speaking, she reamed him out, telling him that *I* was the one who had dodged a “bandoliers” of crazy and if he was that curious as to how I was doing, the time to ask would have been when I was standing on his porch, not five months after the fact. 

I love my friends.

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