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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Gathered

“You never realize how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
Part 2 of 3

I won’t say it was easy to just walk away, drop his stuff in a box, and act like the last two years of my life hadn’t happened. Every five minutes or so I was freaking out, thinking I had somehow lost my engagement ring. (I loved that ring. If it wasn’t completely improper, I admit I might have kept it.) I suppose I was even slightly vindictive spraying his shirt with the perfume he’d bought me before I packed it to be shipped. Everywhere I turned, I was somehow reminded of him: something he’d said, something we’d done together, even if it was just a TV show we’d liked to watch.

My family… God bless them. My mother, my grandmother, my bridal party – they made the hard calls for me, cancelling the church, the reception hall, the DJ, etc. I told my bridesmaids, of course, and they handled a great deal of the tiny details. Invitations hadn’t yet gone out, just Save-the-Dates, so we were saved the trouble of calling the whole guest list. Days passed by in a blur. I didn’t quite fall into a depression – I had this insane 3-month old kitten to care for, and she was (and is) quite the fuzzball of entertainment and hilarity.

Then… the distraction. The one thing that could have made the whole situation worse, did. A long-lasting, muscle-cramping, body-thrashing dystonic storm. I’ve talked briefly about dystonia in the past. If you haven’t read about it, I suggest going back and doing so here. I ended up out of work for six weeks, which may have been longer had summer vacation not rolled around. At any rate, it was two months before I could see the specialist, and a few more weeks until even more new meds started to allow for some physical, if not emotional relief.

I would have thought then that my heart could not be broken any further, but as usual, I was wrong. I re-shared an article on my Facebook about a woman who was raped and decided to keep the child. Even now, I don’t remember if she raised the baby or gave the child up for adoption, but right now, it doesn’t matter. Several of my friends, including one I thought was a sister to me, picked a fight over it and when I took it to private messages to tell them to knock it off and no fighting on my wall, I was called a “horrible” person, a “false friend”, a “fake Christian”, “judgmental” and so many more names. I can’t say I came out entirely clean from this episode – there were things I would have done differently, but she wouldn’t even talk to me. The entire argument was done over text messaging and Facebook.

Do yourselves a favor. If you ever wish to have a shred of integrity, no matter how angry you are, at least speak to the person and hear their voice. If it’s worth fighting over, it’s worth that much.

So in less than three months, not only had I lost my fiancée, I’d now lost my best friend, too. Cut off entirely.

I ran. Thank God for vacation, because I ran. I hitched a ride with a cousin and when she went to a concert, I visited a friend in the same area… 8 hours away from home. I turned 5 days of working at camp into 9. (Should have been 10, but a sinus infection got the better of me.) I followed that with a week at the beach, spending most of it in isolation, even though I shared a house with my family and was sleeping in the living room. Actually, I did a lot of that in the intervening months. Spent a lot of time alone. Writing. Thinking. How things used to be. How I could have changed them. What it would have been like if I had gone through with it. Am I truly better off now than I would have been. Lonely vs. angry – which is worse?

Camp was probably the best place that I could have been. For all that nature and I don’t get along… I first went to this Camp when I was a junior in high school, and went the following year as well. I returned five years ago to babysit the younger members of the families that founded it. It’s a God-camp, and it’s the only real judgement-free zone I’ve ever experienced. It’s a place of renewal, a place think, to pray, to let go. We always joke about the camp being within a bubble and how hard it is to leave, but it’s true. It wasn’t often that I had a few minutes to sit and talk without my charges (little boys are VERY active!) but during those two weeks, it seemed like the blinders I’d been wearing since February started to lift.

A few weeks later, in early September, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the priests who had been at camp and who is also a dear friend. I explained what had happened – all the gory details about the broken engagement (he was supposed to marry us, so he was among the first to know the wedding was off, and he had even tried some premarital counseling when things started getting bad. Needless to say, Lenny wasn’t into it and just said what he knew I wanted to hear.) I told him what my friend had said and done.

And I told him that an old friend from long past had asked me to dinner.

“Blondie,” Father Joe said, “I have known you for how long now? Six years? Seven? I see you every summer with those kids – patient, loving; by the end of the week half of them are calling you “mom” too. Don’t ever accept being told that you are anything but gentle and kind. You have a heart of gold, and it’s to their detriment that they can’t see it. Pray for them. Now tell me about this man who asked you to dinner.”

gathered

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Shattered

To Thine Own Self Be True

Part I of 3

It isn’t often that I delve into the personal on here, but the past year has taught me much about the overcommercialization of the heart, the true meaning of love, where to look for strength and courage, and the importance of doing the right thing over what the world may say the right thing looks like.

Take a look at my profile picture (as always, courtesy of Decadence Photography. I can’t recommend her highly enough). I’m a girly-girl. I like makeup and fancy curls and fairy tales. This isn’t to say I can’t handle firearms or a half-ton horse, but I’m more Belle than I am Brunhilde. Ergo, I’m a firm believer in love and romance.

Or at least I was. I admittedly was a bit of a late bloomer. My girlfriends still like to tell stories about how they had to bring me home and teach me how to walk with my hips and in high-heels and flirt a bit so I wouldn’t get so tongue-tied talking to the hottest guy in the eighth grade…which I still did. A true talent, as the conversations we had were limited to the scripts in our hands. A year later, I fell hard for one of my best friends. That was at the end of freshman year. We dated until midway through senior year and saw each other through a lot- thick and thin, good and bad. It was hard to let go. Harder for me, I think, and that made it worse for him, because despite how angry I was most of the time, he really is a good man, and I thank him for it. Five years of on-again, off-again is not the way to let one’s self heal and move on though.

Move on we both did, finally, and eventually when all the dust settled I met this guy I’ll call Lenny. We hit it off pretty much right away and even though we lived about an hour apart, saw each other nearly every weekend and quite a bit during the week. I got along well with his family, and he with mine. He proposed after we were together for only nine months, and I accepted. Things were chugging along great. Wedding plans were falling into place perfectly; my dress was ordered, the church was booked, the reception venue arranged, bridesmaids fitted for their gowns, our wedding bands were purchased…

…then he lost his job. And the people who rented property from him moved with almost no notice. His parents, who lived with him, started pressuring him and making him feel guilty that he’d be moving out with his wife and they’d be all alone. (His parents were perfectly capable of being on their own; his mother still worked full-time.) Things he promised me about our life together, important things – suddenly he’d change his mind 24 hours later and there’d be no further discussion on it. His siblings started sticking their oars in, and practically accusing me of breaking up the family and throwing their parents into the street (yet I noticed how none of the siblings offered to help with the parents’ bills, rent, etc.; it was all to be on us.)

Something in all this seemed Not Right to me. I felt like I was getting buried, not married, and this shouldn’t how a joyful bride feels. I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping. As far back as February my own mother asked me, when I was ranting about such and such situation, “Is this something you’re willing to live with for the next 30 years?”. That was the first time I really caught myself and thought about it. As her words turned over in my mind, heavy as lead, I was forced to look at her and say, “I don’t know”. We were seven months from the wedding then.

It snowballed. Stupid things – refusal to come to my nephew’s birthday party. Blowing me off to drink and watch sports with his brothers at the bar instead. Shutting down completely when I tried to get him to see that the financial situation as it stood was not sustainable and we needed to do X, Y, and Z so that we wouldn’t go bankrupt right after we signed the marriage contract. He would agreed to a plan and then again change his mind almost instantaneously.

The final straw was the argument over the budget. As it was, with both of us working picking up the tab for his parents and the property was not going to work and there was no way in hell I was going to move in with my in-laws. Not when they were capable of looking after themselves and we newlyweds. It would have been different had one or both of them been ill and incapacitated, but that was not the case. The day before we’d had a plan to sell property, help them find an apartment, get ourselves one with cheaper rent, etc. Then, again, I was accused of insulting them, throwing them out to die, oh, and we won’t think of selling for at least ten years or so. I don’t lose my temper often, but I did that night. A broken mirror, a broken pair of spectacles, and 125 miles added onto my car. A complaint that his parents were worried sick and frightened that I had driven out there in the middle of the night, but he’s my fiancée – shouldn’t I be able to see him whenever I want? I’m 30, not 13, thanks. (For what it’s worth, I’m five feet tall and weigh just over 110lbs. A friend once described me as the “least threatening person he’d ever met”.)

That sealed it, I think. I am an adult. I needed to be treated like an adult, in an environment of adults. I was not going to live with my in-laws any more than I would expect Lenny to be happy about living with my parents. I wasn’t going to be lied to, or be expected to obey his parents or siblings because that’s what the women do. I’d lost nearly 10lbs and couldn’t remember that last good night’s sleep I’d had. On the drive home from his house I had my last good cry over him. I hadn’t broken the engagement, not yet, but it was pretty inevitable. That was a Thursday night, Palm Sunday weekend. Friday morning, the ring came off. I adopted a kitten, instead. Looking back, good trade.

Friday, a friend slept over and we cold-bloodedly analyzed my choices from every angle. I think it was most telling when she said that if I did go through with this, she couldn’t stand by my side and be my Maid of Honor. I appreciated this honesty. I went to work and spoke with a few of my coworkers whom I’d known for a long time and trusted almost as if they were family.

Sunday, I went to his house and told him that it was clear we had different expectations on what a marriage should look like, and I wanted out. The worse part, I think, is that he didn’t even fight for me. Not an, “I’m sorry, let’s try to work this out,” or “We can put the wedding on hold and get through this,” but just let me walk away. Five months before we were to be wed, I was instead putting his stuff into a box to be mailed back, including the three rings, single yet again.

End of Part I

shattered

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An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

On July 19, 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury of his peers of the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter relating to the death of Trayvon Martin, you said this:

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.

Mr. President, with all due respect, the life Trayvon Martin led, like the life that Michael Brown led, are nothing like the super-privileged, star-studded, hyper-protected lives your daughters lead. Although you and your wife rightly keep your young girls from the public eye, it is no secret that the First Daughters attend a private school with a tuition to rival that of most universities, rub elbows with celebrities, and take luxurious vacations the likes of which the rest of us can only dream. No, Mr. President, if you had a son, that is the kind of life he would lead.

There are other parents out there, though. Parents who can point to the blood on the ground, Mr. President, look you in the eye, and say “This! This is my child, my son! Where is your outrage now, Mr. President? Where are your protests? Where is my son’s justice? Where is our peace?” These are the parents, the siblings, the husbands and the wives, the coworkers who, when you and your political hacks walk by will slowly but surely to a man, turn their backs on you.

On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, freeing the slaves. Between 1860 and 1865, 596,670 soldiers were wounded, captured, went missing, or were killed to prove that all men have the right to be free, regardless of their skin color. Constitutional Amendments 13, 14, 15, 19, 24, and 26 all acted together to level the playing field when it came to citizenship and voting rights for all, regardless of race, skin color, or sex.  Jim Crow laws were abolished fully with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

No, Mr. President, right now, in this country, the biggest problem you have is not a couple of teenage thugs who, most unfortunately, ended up on the wrong side of the law. It is not an extremely obese man who got caught selling loose cigarettes, resisted arrest, and died of the complications thereof. Were their deaths necessary? Of course not. As has been said so often in the last few days, life is precious, no matter whose it is. Mr. President, you have been complicit in inciting riot across these fruited plains, together with your soon-to-be-former attorney general, Eric Holder, and professional race-baiting lap dog, Al Sharpton, even in your silence:

Obama added that he “institutionally” could not say whether he thinks the grand juries should have indicted the police officers, because his comments may compromise ongoing federal investigations. (Huffington Post, 12/08/14)

“It is clear that I think that acts of violence threaten to drown out those who have legitimate voices, legitimate demonstrators, and those acts of violence, cannot and will not be condoned,” (Eric Holder, 11/25/14)

“What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” (Protesters at an Al Sharpton march, 12/13/14)

Well, Mr. Sharpton. You have gotten your wish. On Saturday, December 21, two members of the NYPD were assassinated while sitting in their squad car in Brooklyn. Their murderer took the coward’s way out and committed suicide before he could be arrested. Yesterday, a Florida officer responding to a noise complaint was shot and run over. In less than 72 hours, Mr. President, seven children are left fatherless. Three families will have to deal with an empty chair at their Christmas table. Where are the marches for their families? The protests? Those two policemen in New York were both of minority races – will you send Mr. Sharpton to eulogize and professionally mourn their deaths? The deaths that he called for?

Every day, those who walk that thin blue line go in knowing they might not come home. It is a thought they merely push to the back of their heads, as they will do what needs to be done, no matter what. Each of them chose to walk that line for a different reason. For some, yes, it’s a way to get back at the people who treated them like crap growing up. For others, it’s a true desire to protect and serve. For others, it’s a legacy, that thin blue line a family crest. Whatever the reason, they will step in front of a bullet, literally, for a stranger.

Mr. President, so often you speak of “hope” and “change”. You, sir, are the leader of this country. The change needs to start with you and your administration. Take them to task. No more words, sir. No backhanded support while communities burn themselves down. No more blanket condolences while allowing Dr. King’s dreams to come apart at the seams. No more silently condoning a return to “separate, but equal”. Start by looking at your Secret Service. They are your first line of defense. The local police are ours. They are MY family. MY brothers. MY friends.

Don’t let your ego or your legacy kill any more of them.

thin blue line

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Teacup Children and the Socially Impaired

Since the mid 1980s, a trend has been developing that has me severely worried for my generation. Lately, that trend is coming to a head and I’m afraid that we as Millennials are not going to be able to handle the inevitable.

I couldn’t put my finger on the cause. It could have been one thing, or several. It could have started way back in 1974 when Timothy O’Bryan’s father slipped a cyanide-laced Pixie Stix into his Halloween bag, killing the child and frightening parents into thinking there were child-hating maniacs handing out candy for decades. (How many of you weren’t allowed to eat your candy until your parents checked it first?) Maybe it was when Mary Kellerman, aged 12, became the first victim of the Chicago Tylenol murders. Perhaps it was the Satanic daycare sex-abuse hysteria of the 1980s and 90s. Whatever it was, it led to the rise of “helicopter” parenting, the practice in which parents hover over their children to ensure the child never fails, is never allowed to fall, never allowed to take risks or experience pain.

These are the parents who won’t let their child ride a bike without knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and a helmet.

They are the parents who made sure the monkey bars and the swings were removed from the playgrounds to reduce fall and choke hazards, and there isn’t dirt or grass under what remains, but several inches of recycled shredded rubber or mulch.

If their school system still uses traditional grades, and Johnny gets a poor grade on a test, Mom and Dad will be in the next day to negotiate a better one, or finding out why the teacher didn’t teach better.  Often, Mom or Dad will just do Johnny’s work to make sure it’s done right.

Afraid to let them out of their sights, parents schedule as many after-school activities as possible. From t-ball to soccer to dance, everyone gets a trophy just for existing. There is no concept of “winning” or “losing” and thus no chance to fail in a fairly safe environment. Where there is no chance to fail, there is no room to grow. No internal motivation is developed. Children learn to depend solely on external motivators, a trait which will not serve them well in the “real” world. One would think it ludacris for a parent to accompany her grown child to a job interview or complain to the dean of students about a test grade, but it happens.

An argument between friends or classmates is immediately sorted out by teachers or parents. Children don’t learn crucial social skills, and often any conflict is immediately labeled “bullying”. What children DO learn is to quickly manipulate the system to their advantage, crying “wolf” (or “bully”) to gain attention from adults.

This lack of social skills leads me to my other big worry: the millennial generation today doesn’t have any. For that, I can go back to 1992 and IBM. Most 20-somethings today could barely remember their home phone number then and were too busy memorizing their colors, numbers, and ABCs, but that was the year IBM introduced the first smartphone, nicknamed “Simon”. Since then, we’ve all gone downhill, and it’s been well-observed that most people under the age of 35 are lacking the basic skill to carry on a conversation. It’s difficult to sit through a dinner with someone who is constantly checking their phone for email, texts, Facebook, etc. Eye contact is impossible – many can’t maintain it. When our eyes are glued to a screen all day, we forget what real interpersonal contact is like.

I firmly believe this is what has given rise to the #YesEveryWoman and #ThatsWhatHeSaid, as well as videos in which people with hidden cameras walk around for hours and record the reactions and statements of others. As human beings, we have lost the ability to interact properly with each other. We have become so used to hiding behind a screen that we have become incapable of just being.

The world of social media means never hearing emotion. You read what is written without hearing the reflection or intent. How many conversations have spiraled out of control because something was misinterpreted? Have we become completely desensitized to others’ emotions and feelings? Has that lack of seeing and hearing someone’s reaction allowed for the rise of disrespect, whether real or imagined, between the sexes?

Not too long ago, what is now considered “catcalling” was thought of as a man getting his act together, taking the plunge, and saying hello to a lady. Sadly, today’s society is severely lacking in ladies and gentlemen equally, but unless your friends had sisters, sometimes randomly addressing an attractive stranger was the only way to meet someone. Often one ended up saying something incredibly stupid as he stumbled over himself in his nervousness, hoping that in the approximate 12 second window that he had to make a good impression that she would either be willing to continue the conversation or let him down gently.

To the men out there, you kinda stink at this these days. Women, you’re pretty bad at it yourself.

Men: The way to get a lady’s attention is NOT to make any blatant sexual comment. Just, no. Don’t even go there. Do not touch or follow a woman without her permission – that’s illegal. Say hello, or something funny, or compliment her.

Women: If a man, stranger or acquaintance, says hello or compliments you, it is polite to respond “hello” or “thank you”. If you don’t wish to converse, that’s all you need to say. “F*** you” is not appropriate. If you think you’re in danger, or if you’ve been grabbed or touched in any way, scream and call the police.

Everyone should have a few fall-back subjects to talk about that don’t involve television shows and Buzzfeed lists. Read a book or two. Have informed opinions on national politics and stay current with current events. Find a hobby. Start challenging yourself to put the phone away one day a week (or if that’s too much, one day a month) and dedicate that day to one of those things.

It’s time to put on our big kid underpants and learn to be big kids, without holding Mom and Dad’s hand or the equivalent – the smart phone. Let’s learn to be people, not robots.

free range

I highly recommend the article The Overprotected Kid for more on helicopter parenting, bubble wrapped kids, and how one community is trying to give kids a new chance at childhood.

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Dear Reactionary

Earlier this week, I did something I never expected I would do. At least, not spontaneously.

I’d had a doctor’s appointment for something extremely routine after I got out of work. This particular provider is a specialist and I had to travel to nearby Big City to see him. Nearby to this office is the local Planned Parenthood. I knew this more as academic fact than anything, though I knew a few people who went and stood outside to simply pray or distribute literature once in a while.

On my way home, I had to drive past the building complex where PP is located. Outside, in the rain, was a middle-aged man carrying a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and an elderly woman with a sign that said “Abortion Hurts” with a picture of a young woman and the name and number of a local pregnancy crisis center. I don’t know what possessed me, but I pulled into the parking lot, got out, walked over, and asked if I could join them.

They asked nothing of me beyond my name, if I was familiar with the 40 Days for Life campaign (I am) and if I was affiliated with any church. I stayed with them, and another woman eventually joined us, for about 45 minutes. It was rush hour, and there was a lot of traffic at the 3-way intersection where we stood. The reactions we got from people were interesting. Many people honked horns or waved. Many would not make eye contact. One woman leaned on her horn, flipped us the bird, and screamed at us. I can only guess what she was saying, because she didn’t roll down the window. So because letter-writing is so popular these days…

Dear Woman,

I will not pretend to know your story, or why you chose to make the remarks to us that you did. I could presume to know, considering that you were pulling out of the Planned Parenthood patients’ parking lot, just as you may have presumed to know our stories as we stood in front of the sidewalk of that same building. The thing is, neither of us knows the other, so both my silence and your actions are moot points.

What we cannot deny is what goes on in the building behind us. We cannot be okay with what is done to women and their children within those brick walls. We can no longer allow “reproductive health” or “choice” to be euphemisms for pain and murder.

What I can no longer do is stand aside and let these things slide. Please look beyond the politics to what you are supporting. Those people on the street are waiting for you with open arms and open minds and open hearts.

From,

Another Woman

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You Ought To Be Ashamed of Yourselves

There is a very, very disturbing trend overtaking the nation right now. It is rearing its ugly head in social media, print, “performance art”, news media – pretty much everywhere one looks. It’s something that has been building slowly for the last thirty years or so, and I am afraid it will only get worse before it gets better.

It goes back to language. Some groups of people have, over the years, been determined to take a word “back” and make it theirs in order to take the harshness or sting out of it. Black people are perhaps the most famous for doing it with the “n” word. Women, more recently, have done it, if somewhat more quietly, with “bitch” and “slut”, especially after Rush Limbaugh called out Sandra Fluke for being, well, a slut.

Definition of SLUT (courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

1 chiefly British : a slovenly woman
2 a : a promiscuous woman; especially : prostitute; b : a saucy girl : minx

If you have to get on national television to beg for someone else to pay for your contraception because you’re having that many sexual relations with that many partners, then yes, let us call a spade a spade. Your partners aren’t blameless, either. Unfortunately, the English language is devoid of a colloquialism of equal bite.

So which word is it this time, and why?

Shame.

1 shame (noun)
: a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong

: ability to feel guilt, regret, or embarrassment

: dishonor or disgrace

For whatever reason, the hysteria du jour of the Feminazis is to remove the “shame” and “stigma” from having an abortion. Women are writing letters to their unborn children and telling those babies, “sorry, not sorry, but I’m killing you next week”, writing near-romantic poems about their baby girls whom they paid a “doctor” to rend limb from limb. They are putting these out there and begging society for our seal of approval so that they won’t feel ashamed any longer.

They want us to be okay with the fact that they killed their children.

In a way, this is how I know there is still hope. If we were a society completely and 100% devoid of any moral fabric, we would not be seeing, or hearing, these stories. There would be no need, as there would be no shame. Going to murder your child would be like any other routine office procedure, like getting a flu shot. There would be no sorrow, no regret. The fact that there is gives me hope. The fact that there people like Wendy Davis sawing off the branch she’s standing on shows me how desperate these progressives are, those who hold up abortion to be a holy sacrament.

Ladies, there is a reason you feel shame.

There is a reason you feel sorrow.

There is a reason you feel regret.

To those ladies, I say this:

Dear friends:
You were given a precious, irreplaceable gift, and you chose to destroy it and throw it away. I am sorry you made that choice. For many of you, I’m sure it was a difficult and painful choice to make, and that, more than anything, is the validation you are seeking. Not that it was okay that you killed your child, but that you hurt, too. I am not judging what you did, for judging indicated forming an opinion. I am simply observing a tragic fact. The shame of what you did may never go away completely, for grief for a loved one never goes away completely. It is, however, possible to heal. There are many, many places and people who are waiting for you with open ears, open arms, and open hearts.

Much of what you have been told by those in the pro-abortion movement regarding pro-lifers is wrong. We do not and will not hate you for what has happened in the past. We want to help you to move past your past. To help you to heal. To show you that there is a better way than anger, pain, and grief. To introduce you to the beauty of life instead of the darkness of death. We are everywhere. Rachel’s Vineyard is a good place to start, as are any local churches or synagogue, crisis pregnancy centers, or simply Google “pro-life” and your zip code.

 

There is a reason for feelings. There is a reason shame has always been associated with having an abortion. One would have to have some sort of psychosis not to. Enough is enough. It is time to embrace what has happened and do what we can to stop any more from occurring.

Can you love people into truth? Absolutely. I think the better question is: are you willing to? Are you willing to look past their sin and see the creation that God made? Are you willing to reach out with mercy and love instead of anger and condemnation? Are you willing to just meet people where they are and care for them no matter how far they are from where you want them to be? Can we attempt to love like God loves? -Abby Johnson

 

 

 

 

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