Editor’s Note: This article was first published as “Seven Last-Minute, Do-It-Yourself Gifts for Under $20” in 2011 and is now resurrected and republished as part of the Ghost-Lists of Christmas Past Series.
If the pepper-sprayed shoppers at Walmart on Black Friday are any indication, Americans are desperate for a good deal (and lacking in basic social skills). There are some good buys at the big box stores and I’m not against shopping at them, but this year even they are too pricey for our single-income household. Not only are times tough for my family, but for the country too. It is distressing to be unable to find items made here — or even Canada for that matter — or any other country that doesn’t hate us. Even toys that say “Made in America” turn out to be merely assembled here after the parts come from China. Retailers are catching onto the public disapproval and are changing the labels to use sneaky wording like “Made in PRC,” otherwise known as the People’s Republic of China, for the unsuspecting.
Inevitably, when you buy the plastic stuff made in “PRC” a few weeks later you’ll nearly disable your foot on a piece of it on the living room rug in the dead of night while trying to get to the bathroom. Or, even worse, that thing your precious cherub wanted so badly sits collecting dust and ends up in a give-a-way bag. Don’t pour money down the drain to China this year. Instead, support local businesses while working on your creative skills with these homemade gifts that your family will cherish. If you have any cooks in the family, this first gift is made just for them!
Editor’s Note: See some of Megan Fox’s previous posts about her activism to change the policies at the Orland Park Public Library. (Note here how her work even inspired a sympathetic joke on Saturday Night Live.) Today she now reports on the concrete effects of her activism and journalism as the library has changed policies and further corruption has been revealed through her Freedom of Information Act requests.
Porn, child porn, and public masturbation are big problems for public libraries nationwide. But parents who fight against these things often get discouraged and give up when met with the aggressive resistance on the part of the libraries who defend their no-rules attitude when it comes to the “rights” of sex offenders and perverts who like to view adult material around children. One year ago, it was discovered that child porn was accessed at the Orland Park Public Library in Illinois and staff covered it up for more than two years and never alerted the authorities. Several other incidents involving illegal sex acts in the library were found where police, again, were not notified. You can read about all that here. After a solid year of battle, several accomplishments were made despite an unwilling board that has dug in deeper than NORAD in their attempt to prove a point (that they are not wrong) and ingratiate themselves with the American Library Association (which is run by crazy people who think it’s okay for a six year old to have access to video games where raping and killing prostitutes and stealing cars is “winning”).
In just one year, positive changes at the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL) have been enormous. Be encouraged that you truly can bring change to your community with a little perseverance and optimism.
10. How hard it is to change a diaper on a tiny human
Newborns are tiny (at least mine are), and you forget how tiny until you try to change a diaper. There’s that umbilical cord to avoid which is awkward and nerve-wracking (even for an old pro like me). First, you have to take off the soiled diaper, then you have to pry those curled up legs away from the area to be cleaned (which is not easy… they are strong suckers!). Finally, you must attach the new diaper to this tiny, struggling being. This can take several tries.
During that time, you most assuredly will be peed on, causing you to have to reach for a new diaper. This scenario can repeat several times before you get it right. Also, newborns hate diaper changing. HATE. They scream the whole time. Dressing them is next to impossible, too. For some reason they anchor their little elbows to their sides like their life depends on NOT putting sleeves on. Sleeves are damned near impossible. When will someone invent an infant straitjacket-like garment where one can just put their arms inside their clothes?
OMG. Someone has.
As I sit here, 3 days shy of the due date of my third child, I have had time to reflect on all that really annoys me about this last stage of pregnancy. Chief among them is the stupid things people say. Yes, some of you people are people I love, but I’m allowed to be grouchy. Someone is literally sitting on my last nerve causing my right leg to be numb most of the time. There are lots of things you don’t say to pregnant women like “Hey, you’re not really eating for two!” or “You look tired,” but nothing rankles more than when in the last days of pregnancy people seem to lose their sensitivity controls. The following are things I’ve heard in the last week that make me want to high five someone… in the face.
7. “Enjoy this time. You’re going to miss it.”
I did enjoy this pregnancy and that ended about one month ago. The belly was fun, the cute maternity shirts were fun (back when they fit me). I enjoyed walking back then, I sort of remember what that was like to get out and stroll about without pain and constant fear of a jab to the cervix at an inopportune time that almost sends me to my knees weeping. But at about 8 months along all of that became a distant memory. There’s absolutely nothing I’m going to miss about being 40 weeks pregnant. Every fetal movement is painful and most of the time it’s excruciating; strangers look at me with their finger on the 911 button because I’ve just cried out in public and grabbed my extended belly and they think I’m in labor. Nope, not labor, just a future martial-arts expert kicking the crap out of my spleen.
But thanks for the concern.
I’m not going to miss having to pull myself into the car in three deliberate maneuvers trying not to aggravate the round ligament pain flare-ups. (If you don’t know what that is, just thank God and move on.) I will not miss the searing heartburn and acid reflux that no amount of antacid will quench and that wake me up literally gagging for air every hour every night. I will not miss the constant trips to the bathroom only to find out there’s nothing in my bladder, just someone on it. I will not miss dropping things I care about on the ground and leaving them there to avoid having to bend over to fetch them. Goodbye iPhone. That’s what insurance is for. I will not miss crying for no reason while chopping vegetables and having to explain to my children why Mommy is sobbing. “I DON’T KNOW, OK?? You people cry whenever you want, why can’t I?”
Please stop telling me I am going to miss this time. It makes me want to throw things at your head.
I knew this day would come. I’ve been wondering when I would feel compelled to write about the “other” Megan Fox who is a part of my daily life whether I want her to be or not. Grocery store checkout girls gasp and giggle at the sight of my credit card, AT&T phone operators in India ask trepidatiously if I’m really HER. Several times a day, I hear, “Megan Fox? Like the movie star!” Why yes. Yes I am. I’m becoming like that poor guy named Donald Trump who is not Donald Trump but gets reservations anywhere he wants while disappointing countless hostesses. It’s mostly tiresome but sometimes funny. Recently, Fox (the other one) made the news for speaking truthfully about the state of her heart when it comes to making movies when she has small children at home:
“I’ve never been an extraordinarily ambitious girl or career-oriented, but especially once I got pregnant with my first son and now [having] my second, it’s so hard to be a working mom especially when your heart is not in your work, when your heart is with your family.”
Megan Fox is experiencing what most mothers feel the moment they set eyes on their tiny new child. Suddenly, everything else becomes less important, even when you’re a big time movie star. Regardless of what faux feminists tell women that they can “have it all” or they should never give up the rat race and press ahead by hiring nannies and using daycare, Fox isn’t falling for it, and neither do most of us. This is not to say there aren’t countless women who have to work who would rather not. They are in the same category as Fox. Necessity demands they work but deep down, here are the reasons they’d prefer not to.
5. Your giggling baby.
You never know what’s going to set them off. You don’t want to miss it when it happens.
Walt Disney’s Frozen is a huge hit and is causing some serious angst among mothers (like me) who are frantically trying to find Elsa and Anna costumes for their little girls. Normally, The Disney Store would be stocked with dresses and merchandise in preparation for a new release. For some reason, the brains in marketing dropped the ball on Frozen and there are now empty shelves where merchandise should be.
The most coveted items are the costumes. Disney makes these for around $50 each. You’ve all seen them: shiny, itchy ball gowns for little girls to play pretend. At some point, Disney stopped making quality items and outsourced everything to China where everything is cheaply manufactured with hideous material that falls apart within a year of playing. Up until now, we’ve all just put up with it and accepted that we must buy these costumes so our daughters can have their fantasy play.
It is a lot of fun to watch them pretend in these get-ups, but I started to realize they are seriously not worth the money when my oldest daughter, Kit, was visiting Walt Disney World for the first time. She had just visited the Bibbity Boppity Boo Salon where they give the children a princess makeover and do their hair and nails and give them a princess costume and a photo shoot, for the bargain price of $200 per child. (I did NOT pay for this. My parents decided they had to have this for their grandchildren. For the record, I objected to this foolish expenditure but grandparents are entitled to do what they want.)
Kit was beyond thrilled. She chose a Jasmine costume for her makeover and she looked adorable with a pink hair piece and crazy nails. However, within 10 minutes of leaving the air conditioned salon she began to sweat profusely in the Florida sun. By the time we reached the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland she was ready for her cotton shorts and teeshirt back. Her fantasy of wandering the parks in her costume ended there. Whose bright idea was this to make these things out of non-breathable polyester and non-washable acrylic?
As she got older, she began to stop dressing up, claiming she itched too bad and the costumes were uncomfortable. Who could blame her? They feel like scouring pads. Her little sister, Kat, still loves to dress up and it is she that sent me on the hunt for the elusive Elsa costume.
What I found disturbed me.
Here they are selling Elsa costumes (the same cheap, Chinese manufactured garbage) that goes for $50 at the Disney Store for $225 by Amazon poachers. The comments are especially entertaining. This is because Disney didn’t have the foresight to have enough merchandise for the demand and now enterprising scalpers are pillaging the pockets of desperate parents. Since Kat’s birthday is in July, I want an Elsa costume to give her by then. Clearly, I am not going to find the Disney version in time. It occurred to me to search Etsy, a website where handcrafted items are sold, and what I found there has turned me off from cheap and itchy Disney costumes forever.
Here are the 10 best, most creative Frozen costumes on Etsy that you can buy right now with no waiting or supporting of stupid companies that don’t seem to care about customer service.
I just returned from a vacation to Walt Disney World with my family and I took plenty of video to highlight the new changes that are happening at the Orlando resorts that are billed as “the happiest place on Earth.” I doubt I’m the only one who thinks they have been happier in the past.
By way of introduction, we waited until we were 30 minutes outside of WDW (or “Disney” as most people I know call it) to tell our daughters (ages 8 and 4) where we were going. They were in the back of our van on a 20 hour trip without knowing where we were headed because we wanted to give them the magical experience of thinking they were headed to a dreary, dusty-sounding place called “Rattlesnake Ranch” and then be delighted to discover they were in that “happiest place on Earth” instead. That surprise was truly fun.
But imagine after finding out you’re headed to ”Disney” that the minute you get there you are turned away like the Griswold family at the fictional Wally World in the old National Lampoon’s Vacation movie with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. Seriously. This began my first experience with the Not-So-MagicBands you may have heard about.
Is it the fluoride in the water? The GMOs? The petroleum-based dyes in all the food and body products? Is it the constant addiction to social media? What is it that we’re doing to ourselves that has zombified the world? Why are people so oblivious to things that would have made them jump for joy 40 years ago? What has happened to humanity that we can stand on a train platform and hear THIS… and ignore it?
Am now taking on a limited number of piano students. Direct message me for more info..
— Henri Herbert (@HenriHerbert) January 29, 2014
To Henri Herbert, I’d like to apologize for the majority of humanity surrounding you when you gave them this gift who never even noticed. And thanks for trying to bring joy and happiness into this dark, strange place where beautiful music doesn’t move people anymore. (Even the ones paying attention stood there listening as if it were a lecture on economics… zzzzzzzz.) I’m terribly sorry you are giving piano lessons for pay and Britney Spears is buying another mansion. I also would like to apologize that you must live in a world where Justin Bieber would have been mobbed and you sat there, playing your heart out while some guy next to you listened to his iTunes (probably Bieber). Good Lord, what is happening? If anyone needs reeducation camps, it’s these clueless people. WAKE UP to the beauty around you, folks. It’s everywhere (not just on your iGadget).
I first saw it at the Super Bowl performance when Beyonce gyrated and snarled at an adoring audience through a wall of fire. That performance went beyond symbolism and into revelation. It was the coming out of a very old and very powerful spirit revealing itself to the world, and I’m not the only one who noticed:
“We are very disappointed in the failure of the public to recognize the existence of a divine Deity walking among them,” the church’s founder Pauline John Andrews stated. “Deity’s often walk the Earth in their flesh form. Beyonce will transcend back to the spirit once her work here on Mother Earth has been completed.”
“As our congregation continues to swell, we ask that you consider what is more real; an invisible spirit on high, or a walking, talking, breathing Goddess who shows you her true form daily? Beyonce’s spirit is entrancing. We know that she was sent to this place to spread love, peace, and joy. While we do not believe Beyonce to be the Creator, we recognize that she still sits among the throne of Gods.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but they’re right (sort of). Beyonce is definitely not the Creator. But she is channeling the ancient spirit of a goddess everyone knows, although her powers are not “peace, love and joy” but sexuality, violence and death. She is Astarte, Asherat, Ishtar, or Aphrodite, whichever name you prefer, and the spirit that has come to rest in her is one that has been here for a very long time meting out all kinds of destruction on human kind. Sexual immorality, disease, death, murder, war — these are her calling cards. She also needs the adoration of the throngs. She craves it, and she gets it. That thing that sort of looked like Beyonce at the Super Bowl commanding people to reach out their hands so she could “feel their energy” was not Beyonce but an ancient goddess coming out in plain daylight. Whether you believe it literally or figuratively is of little importance. Idol worship is alive and well and today’s idols are no different than the ones made out of gold thousands of years ago.
Watch the video on the next page.
I was born on Tax Day, April 15, 1976. It was the bicentennial, the 200th anniversary of our country’s founding and all babies born that year had their photo taken in front of a flag. There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to those of us born in 1976 (granted, it only has about 26 likes so I guess no one really cares about the bicentennial anymore.) As a child, nothing out of the ordinary struck me about my birthday, aside from my dislike of the month of April in Illinois which is usually rainy and very cold (this year it’s actually snowing.) I do remember that my Dad never forgot my birthday and he seemed to find that funny. He used to laugh and call me “Daddy’s little tax deduction,” which, of course meant nothing to me as a care-free child. As I got older, that all changed and as I became politically aware (and very conservative) the irony of my birthday began to sink in.
My birthday took on a whole new significance on April 15, 2009 when I attended my first Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Rick Santelli’s epic rant on the trading floor of the Mercantile Exchange. It was bitterly cold (as usual during April in Chicago) but hundreds of people showed up and walked for hours protesting the unreasonable ever-growing federal power over our lives. At the time the bailouts of corporations and the corruption of Fannie and Freddie were hot topics. The middle class was suffering under huge tax burdens and the government was growing bigger every day. (Nothing has changed.) The Tea Party as it exists now did not exist that day. It was just the beginning.
I’ve always believed God has a sense of humor, and my birthday is proof. Every year I’m forced to snicker at the irony that I was born on what would become the symbol of all that’s wrong with America, and in the very year that celebrated our independence from tyranny. Prophetic? Most definitely, considering I would end up spending my adult life exposing government idiocy, tax waste and fraud and fighting against our ever-growing government.
While researching how public libraries became a popular spot for weirdos to go and watch porn (especially child porn) on free, untraceable WiFi, I discovered something truly hideous. There is an entire community out there who film themselves masturbating in libraries (usually while watching porn on publicly funded WiFi) and then upload these videos to porn sites. People are making porn in public libraries.
Don’t take my word for it; go to any porn site and type in “library” in the search function (preferably on your own WiFi at home where there are no children present). But I warn you, it’s gag-inducing. But even so, I do believe it’s important to know what’s potentially lurking at your public library.
The American Library Association is to blame for this. They have adopted such a radical position against censorship of any kind (unless it’s censorship of the Second Amendment) that they actively promote porn watching in public libraries that leads to the making of pornography on publicly funded WiFi. The ALA has been voted consistently on the list of the Dirty Dozen, twelve organizations that are the biggest purveyors of porn in America as compiled by PornHarms.com.
There are those of you out there who will say the ALA is not actively pushing porn and that it is a side effect of freedom. You’re wrong. Judith Krug, the person solely responsible for the ALA’s pro-porn position, didn’t even want to censor bestiality! (These are the same librarians who censor conservative books and websites like White Girl Bleed A Lot, btw.) Krug was not afraid to voice her thoughts on “censorship.”
Blocking material leads to censorship. That goes for pornography and bestiality, too. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it…. Every time I hear someone say, I want to protect the children, I want to pull my hair out.
Parents who would tell their children not to read Playboy don’t really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore. (9/18/95 Citizen, quoting Judith Krug)
Because protecting children is so 1950s. Grow up, kids! Seeing a little goat sex or a creep fondling himself while staring at you won’t hurt you. And if it does, it’s your parents’ problem, not publicly paid employees who are supposed to be seeing to the general welfare.
Sharyl Attkisson, who recently gave up her job at CBS citing censorship of her investigative reporting on the Obama administration has reported some interesting facts about journalism today in an interview with Chris Stigall. After spilling shocking details about the level of coordination between the press and the White House (including pre-arranged questions with the press secretary) she went on to dish about how investigative reporting is dying out.
She also said it is more and more difficult for investigative reporters to get their stories published or on the air because of the trouble it may cause.
“Nobody was interested in the stories. It didn’t seem to matter what the topic was.
I’ve experienced this on a local level first hand. When I uncovered sex crimes including public masturbation and even the viewing of child pornography at Orland Park Public Library, I was completely unable to get any news source to report my investigative findings. The story made all the papers, but only parts of it (and none of the salacious parts that would make people angry like the masturbation near children or the viewing of child porn.) Instead, “journalists” I dealt with avoided the juicy details all together in favor of a much more watered-down version of the truth. Instead of reporting the crimes that occurred in the Library and the Library’s neglect to involve authorities, they turned the story into “Mom Sees Boobs, Library Protects First Amendment”. This, of course is far from the truth.
I had an interesting conversation with Evelyn Holmes from ABC-TV Chicago when she came to interview me about the Library issue. I handed her the internal documents and police reports that showed the accounts of public masturbation and child porn and said, “No one will report these documents. Please be the first. This is the story. It’s not about me or what I saw. It’s about what I found after that during my investigation.” I will never forget that she looked right at me and said, “My job is to get your story and then get the Library’s story and report both. I don’t take sides. Our viewers decide on their own.” Seeking the truth is taking a side?
This shocked me. I thought news reporters wanted the truth! I thought that’s why they went to journalism school! Didn’t they all idolize Woodward and Bernstein, those intrepid reporters who took down a sitting president? Didn’t they all want to be the one to uncover the next big scandal and government corruption? Later that evening, Evelyn’s report ran on the nightly news with only a cursory mention of the reports I cited and then ABC allowed the Library’s spokesman, Bridget Bittman, to call me a liar, saying “There have not been sex crimes here at this library,” denying the very reports I gave to Holmes. No one at ABC bothered to investigate those reports further. (Last time I checked public masturbation is still a sex crime and it’s an actual assault if the person is looking at you while doing it, making you feel threatened.) A police report showed that one such sexual assault occurred there against a teenager while she was studying and a man was masturbating right in front of her while leering at her, prompting her to call the police (and snap a photo with her phone for evidence). That’s a sex crime. ABC wasn’t interested in that part of the story.
That would have been a great follow up to Bittman’s whopper (if any real journalists had shown up), “Actually, sex crimes were reported at this library including A, B and C.” Now that is investigative reporting. Whatever it was that Evelyn Holmes put together, (along with FOX, WGN, Telemundo, CBS and NBC) it wasn’t news.
This video is 15 minutes and once you start watching it you won’t be able to stop. Ran Gavrieli, researcher on gender at Tel Aviv University, has an uncanny way of pointing out the damaging effects of pornography on our minds and relationships. Porn equals the death of sex, not the truth of sex. It is only possible to be truly open to sex and the wonders of it when we delete porn from our minds.
My colleague Susan L.M. Goldberg wrote “Our Bodies, Our Only Sense of Self” about the effect of second wave feminism on women and girls that has reduced them to throbbing genitalia and bad choices. She’s absolutely right and her assessment of the way women now view themselves as nothing beyond vessels of self-gratification is sad but true. There was only one thing about the story of Belle Knox, college student turned porn star, that Goldberg overlooked:
“Women’s studies major. Good thing she’s in porn, considering her future career choices at this point don’t rise far above McDonald’s worker”
In a sane world, yes. However, one must consider the world in which we actually live. Knox is not stupid, despite her ridiculous choice in major and profession. She is angling to follow in the already well-worn paths set before her by other women’s studies majors who have made very lucrative careers on the university circuit
hawking teaching “sex positive” techniques and toys to college students (100% paid for by parents!) There is an entire industry out there of “sex positive sex workers” who are profiting from the idiocy of slut culture. Tristan Taormino is my favorite “sex educator” to mock who has made a killing on unsuspecting parents. Look at her advertisement for university speeches.
Tristan is available to give keynote addresses for events such as Sex Week, Women’s History Month, Take Back the Night, V-Day, National Coming Out Day, LGBT Pride Week, and others.
Is that all? Perhaps she could speak on Columbus Day too. All those men cooped up on ships for years at a time…
..She’ll cover a wide variety of topics, including sexual anatomy, masturbation, orgasms, improving your erotic communication skills, finding the elusive g-spot, myths and truths about female ejaculation, sex toy tips and techniques, and the wonders of anal sex.
This is exactly the kind of “smarmy, feel-good chatter” Camille Paglia railed against in her latest column about real sexual education. Taormino is an expert at anal sex. She loves it and she aims to make sure your college-aged daughter does too! She’s written at least two books devoted to the “mind blowing pleasure” of rectal spelunking. She is also, of course, a pornographer.
Hear about her first foray into porn on and off camera and what led her to form her own company, Smart Ass Productions.
Camille Paglia is my hero. Strange, I know. What does a homeschooling, conservative, Christian mom have in common with a lesbian who is also a feminist and an atheist? The answer is common sense and courage. And she’s showing us how it’s done once again.
I have long been highly critical of what passes for sex education today from the stupidity of putting condoms on bananas to pretending that there is no such thing as a biological clock for women. Paglia has written a common-sense guide for sex educators that we should take very seriously.
First, anatomy and reproductive biology belong in general biology courses taught in middle school by qualified science teachers. Every aspect of physiology, from puberty to menopause, should be covered. Students deserve a cool, clear, objective voice about the body, rather than the smarmy, feel-good chatter that now infests sex-ed workbooks.
Second, certified health educators, who advise children about washing their hands to avoid colds, should discuss sexually transmitted diseases at the middle-school or early-high-school level. But while information about condoms must be provided, it is not the place of public schools to distribute condoms, as is currently done in the Boston, New York and Los Angeles school districts. Condom distribution should be left to hospitals, clinics and social-service agencies.
Sing it, sister! Show those photos of weeping sores. Teenagers need to see the burning, bleeding, puss-filled infections up close.
Similarly, public schools have no business listing the varieties of sexual gratification, from masturbation to oral and anal sex, although health educators should nonjudgmentally answer student questions about the health implications of such practices. The issue of homosexuality is a charged one. In my view, antibullying campaigns, however laudable, should not stray into political endorsement of homosexuality or gay rights causes. While students must be free to create gay-identified groups, the schools themselves should remain neutral and allow society to evolve on its own.
Someone give Camille Paglia Arne Duncan’s job right now! I would like to add that those teachers answering questions about anal sex should also objectively provide the information that this practice can make you very ill and even kill you. How many of those super cool, anything-goes sex educators ever discuss bowel perforation and anal fissures? This is a highly important part of sex education considering there is a push by media like the Huffington Post to convince heterosexual college kids that anal sex is the best thing since the iPhone 5.
The genders should be separated for sex counseling. It is absurd to avoid the harsh reality that boys have less to lose from casual serial sex than do girls, who risk pregnancy and whose future fertility can be compromised by disease. Boys need lessons in basic ethics and moral reasoning about sex (for example, not taking advantage of intoxicated dates), while girls must learn to distinguish sexual compliance from popularity.
Contrary to the claims that conservatives do not want kids educated about sex, we actually want them better educated about it. We want them to learn about all the risks just like Paglia describes, while leaving the political ideology to the families and individuals to decide for themselves.
I’ll remember it forever as the day masculinity died, like the day the music died in a plane crash or the day Happy Days died when the Fonz jumped a shark on skis. On March 9, 2014, a man, Lee Palmer, a member of the human race known for taming tigers, building skyscrapers, leaping off tall things, and creating something out of nothing, called 911 because his house cat had trapped him and his family in a bedroom. He called police to rescue him and his family from this dire situation (a 22 lb. cat with an attitude problem). This cat had attacked his 7-month-old child and this man’s response was to run with the child and his wife into a room and lock the door (with the dog).
There is now every reason to believe that humanity is on a downward spiral. That a grown man feels it’s the right decision to call the police on his pet instead of taking a few scratches for the family and protecting his brood by himself proves we’re all too reliant on government. It is so bad that if the government were to suffer some sort of fatal malfunction and cease to exist tomorrow, most of us would die. Cat Boy would be first. Perhaps it’s the War on Men Camille Paglia has written about or perhaps testosterone is being sucked out of human males by the excess fluoride in the water. Whatever it is, it’s disturbing!
This is one of those times you hope people who have passed on have no knowledge of what is happening on earth. Imagine the disgust and embarrassment of our ancestors who once battled mastodons (and ate them). Palmer wouldn’t survive glamping. My suggestion is for a new reality show where we put Cat Boy and Pajama Boy and any other incapable millennial male (sorry, but it’s mostly your generation who can’t take care of yourselves or anyone else) and put them on a Survivor-type reality show but actually let them starve to death or be eaten by animals (or angry cats) if they aren’t smart enough to live.
It’s times like these I’m grateful for the real men still left. They may be a dying breed, but I’m grateful nonetheless. Here’s to you hunters, fishers, fixers, and wrestlers. Women may complain about your uncouth behavior or excess body hair, but it’s infinitely preferable to being stuck in a room with a “guy” who can’t fight off a cat.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in August of 2013 as “9 Politically Incorrect Secrets to Keep Your Daughter from Twerking.” It is being reprinted as part of a new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle collecting and organizing the top 50 best lists. Where will this great piece end up on the list? Reader feedback will be factored in when the PJ Lifestyle Top 50 List Collection is completed in a few months…
If you don’t know what twerking is yet, I’ll explain it one more time. To “twerk,” as the kids say, is not your average Jennifer Gray/Patrick Swayze dirty dancing. In fact, it makes their bump and grind look like the foxtrot. I was in Oklahoma last year hanging out with my cousins at a rodeo bar (yeah, I know it’s cliché but when in OK City, it’s A-Ok to go full-on cowgirl). I was beyond perplexed when I realized I brought my red leather cowboy boots down hard on some poor girl’s fingers on the dance floor. What were her fingers doing on said dance floor, you might ask? She was twerking. Imagine, if you can, what kind of position a girl must be in to have her hands on the floor and ass in the air, while gyrating around like an acrobat on LSD. It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty ugly. I can tell you that I and the five other people I was with had a great time discussing and laughing (as was the guy she was twerking on, btw). No one thinks this is sexy. It’s a big joke. It’s as if the guys in the room (not men) are all waiting to see who they can fool into trying this “move,” which is nothing more than a scene from a XXX movie.
This video pretty much sums up how ridiculous and stupid people look while twerking.
So, what can you do about it, you who have daughters and a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that they too might slide down the way of tongue-out twerking?
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in March of 2013. It is being reprinted as part of a new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle collecting and organizing the top 50 best lists. Where will this great piece end up on the list? Reader feedback will be factored in when the PJ Lifestyle Top 50 List Collection is completed in a few months…
The joy of children also comes with the horrors of what motherhood does to the body. Trying to recapture some semblance of my former self, I joined a few fancy corporate gyms with salons and spas and pretty associates selling banana-choco-gluten-free $12 shakes, but I never achieved the results I wanted. It turns out that quitting was the answer. I finally discovered how to get fit and have a great time doing it. I joined a family-owned, martial arts gym. The following truths will convince you to ditch your corporate gym membership in favor of a much better option that actually produces results while improving every area of your life.
9. “Do you believe in love at first sight or do I have to walk by you again?”
A simple Google search on “picking up girls” will lead to hundreds of smarmy articles advising men on how to hook up at the gym. This particular sentiment — from someone claiming to be a gentleman — sums it up about perfectly:
Utilized properly, the gym is one of the finest hunting grounds for the well prepared cocksman.
Wow. Where to begin? If you’re 20 and this is the kind of thing you’re into, I’d say that guy is right. Big corporate gyms with lots of young, dumb girls would be a good place for a sexual predator to stalk his kill. However, when you’re a married mom or dad, this is not the kind of environment that will encourage your marriage. Further, it’s uncomfortable to feel as if you are being sized up by people who refer to themselves as “cocksmen.” It’s also disconcerting trying to avoid that one guy who stalks you with his eyes when you’re trying to use that embarrassing machine where you pretend to strangle someone with your thighs. Awkward.
A small, family-owned gym that caters to both children and adults has a totally different vibe for more mature members with the goal of family fitness. Many people don’t know that most martial arts programs have cardio classes and training for adults. My family belongs to Randori Jiu-Jitsu, where we can take a variety of classes like jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, boxing, judo, karate, mixed martial arts, and conditioning and strength training all without a nightclub atmosphere or threat of venereal disease.
No one but an Illinoisan understands the particular type of embarrassment that comes with having to admit you live in the most corrupt place on earth. Especially when a disgraced former Illinois Congressman, Mel Reynolds, is arrested in a foreign country for yet again having illegal pornography in his possession. Last time, he served time in prison for child porn and we all know a tiger doesn’t change his stripes. This is a guy who was luring school girls into his car and taking them home for photo shoots. You have to wonder who Bill Clinton’s other choices for pardon were when he selected Reynolds for reprieve. It must have been a pretty terrible list.
He was elected to Congress in 1992, and was indicted on charges of criminal sexual assault, obstruction of justice and child pornography in his first term.
He was convicted and jailed in that case in 1995 and was later convicted of misusing campaign funds and defrauding banks, federal crimes that earned him an additional prison sentence.
And then, my favorite part of Reynold’s story is shared (one that could be repeated for almost all of our disgraced politicians the minute they trade in their orange jumpsuit for street clothes),
After his release, Reynolds tried repeatedly to regain his congressional seat, including an attempt last year to succeed disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
It’s hard to choose between two disgraced
scumbags public servants.
We can only hope Zimbabwe justice might be a little more creative than ours. Castration anyone?
(This ongoing investigation into open pornography including child porn access at Orland Park Public Library and the lengths an out-of-control board will go to to keep it goes back to October of 2013. To read more about it, please see the following link: Child Porn Accessed At Orland Park Public Library, Staff Doesn’t Believe Witnesses)
After the Orland Park Public Library Board meeting on January 20th where they made up arbitrary and extemporaneous rules to silence public comment, I complained to the Attorney General for sanctions against the library for violating state law. This was the response I received in short order.
At 9am on Wednesday, February 12th, I got wind of a Chicago Tribune article announcing the Orland Park Public Library was calling a last-minute “special meeting” on a legal holiday at 6pm to discuss and vote on continuing to allow access to pornography, including child pornography, on their computers, or to install filters as requested by both the public and the mayor of the village. This struck me as exceedingly strange because their regular meeting was already scheduled to occur the next Monday, the 17th. Why was there a sudden rush to vote?
The open position on the board was being filled at the “special meeting” as well. So they had decided to not only swear in a new member but also immediately vote on the most controversial issue their library had ever faced in a hurried, cobbled-together meeting giving the public one day’s notice. In the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) it was discovered they possibly broke two provisions in calling this meeting. First, the public notice was in question. The OMA requires 48 hours notice be given to the public in an easy-to-find location on their website and in their building. The website homepage was empty of any such notice, the Events calendar was also devoid of any notice (even though the regularly scheduled meeting appeared there), their Facebook page did not include any notice and their Twitter account also did not tweet any notice of the special meeting. The only notice that appeared was buried many clicks into their website where no member of the public would think to look. These are the steps a person would have to go through to find the “public notice.”
Go to www.orlandparklibrary.org then click ABOUT then ABOUT US then scroll down and click on BOARD OF TRUSTEES and then finally find the PDF OF AGENDA.
There is no reasonable way to argue that this is easy for the public to find when normally, if the Library has something it wants people to know (like the “warning” they posted about me or Library closing dates) they put it on the Library’s home page, Facebook and Twitter!
Further, the Open Meetings Act in IL states;
“All meetings required by this Act to be public shall be held at specified times and places which are convenient and open to the public. No meeting required by this Act to be public shall be held on a legal holiday unless the regular meeting day falls on that holiday.”
In Illinois, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is a legal holiday and the government is shut down on that day. I found this out because I called the Attorney General’s office to report the illegal meeting and get an emergency injunction and they were closed (conveniently enough for the Library.) Chicago public schools also had the day off, Springfield government offices were closed and I found the law passed in Illinois by the legislature indeed making Abraham Lincoln’s birthday a legal holiday. The Library board held an illegal meeting.
Worse than that, they held all the controversial issues to vote on for this illegal meeting of which the public had no notice and were unable to attend. By provision in the OMA, special meetings are not required to allow public comment. The Board was able to vote on keeping obscene material available on their computers without having to worry about those bothersome taxpayers having anything to say about it.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in October of 2012. It is being reprinted as part of a new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle collecting and organizing the top 50 best lists. Where will this great piece end up on the list? Reader feedback will be factored in when the PJ Lifestyle Top 50 List Collection is completed in a few months…
The title of this article is polarizing and I expect to get in trouble for writing it. As a homeschooling parent, I’m not supposed to think homeschooling superior to institutionalized education. I’m supposed to take the stance that all choices are equal in the effort not to offend anyone who prefers public schooling. It’s a hot topic in the mommy circles and one that most homeschooling moms want to avoid. We all encounter the same comments and exclamations like, “How do you do it? When are you going to put them in real school? You must be crazy! How long do you plan to do this?” My personal favorite: “I could never do that!” This article is a response to all the times I’ve wanted to answer truthfully but held my tongue in order to preserve peace.
Disclaimer: Let it be understood that I believe in the freedom of every individual to choose how to raise their own children how they see fit. This does not prevent me from having an opinion as to the nature of public school and what state-run education inflicts on American children. This is based on personal experience and years of study and research. Further, many of you will argue that none of the examples in this article have ever happened to your child in your school. My answer is, not yet. I warn you, if you are a public schooling advocate and you continue to read this article you may become unhappy with your current choices and find yourself at a homeschooling conference and facing disapproval from your social circle. Read at your own risk.
8. Social Programming for Dummies.
Most people worry that homeschoolers aren’t properly “socialized,” whatever that means. As if uncivilized children should socialize each other (bad idea). Anyone who has read Lord of the Flies knows how that ends. And if the teachers are supposed to do the socializing, why can’t parents? Every homeschooling family I know (and that’s quite a few) has as many, if not more, extracurricular activities for their kids as everyone else. There are 4-H, Girl/Boy Scouts, Jiu Jitsu (that’s us), music lessons, art lessons, metal working, speech and debate, sports and more.
But the most important difference in home-school socialization is that the social values taught come from the parents instead of the state. During our lessons we learn about reading, writing, math, science, history, Bible, Christian character, and art. We spend absolutely zero time on fictional, apocalyptic “global warming.” We don’t preach at them about marriage “equality” or teach them how to put condoms on bananas. We do, however, teach them the nutritional value of bananas and how to be a good steward of the earth by composting the banana peel after we eat it. The state’s values have no effect on our children. When we teach history, we teach them the values of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. We do not blather on endlessly about the supposed heroics of mass murderers like Che Guevara. Because of this difference, homeschooling parents produce inherently American children.
A person isn’t American simply because he was born here and exists here, but rather because he has internalized and embraced American values. Home-teachers have the freedom to teach the real history of America that includes the Bible and its influence in American government and in the lives of our Founders. Without this knowledge (whitewashed from public curriculum), a child will learn a false history of his country and never truly understand the concept of rights that come from the Creator and not men. This one idea is so important, so vital, yet it is left out of context. As a result, these children grow up to attend colleges where “speech codes” punish free-thinkers and no one thinks it’s odd, not to mention illegal.
Publicly educated kids grow up too susceptible to the idea that “hate speech” should actually be silenced instead of balanced with more speech. They sit at the feet of the progeny of Marxist professors who fill their heads with ideas as old as civilization, ideas of madness and tyranny disguised as “fairness” and “equality.” This kind of education does not create Americans. Our children are being robbed of their rightful inheritance. Gone is academic excellence and here to stay is social programming.
My home is a happy vacation from such wrong-headed and stupid ideas. (And my children’s teacher wouldn’t be caught dead on strike in a Che shirt.)
I have watched my children go from contented and happy to screaming with uncontrollable rage in the time it takes to ingest one red sucker. I will never forget the day I put it together. I watched my child transform from a sweet, happy little girl into a tortured soul right before my eyes. Since I have eliminated red dye (and most other artificial dyes) from their diets, the tantrums and emotional upset has significantly decreased. If you have kids, you’ve written all their Valentine’s Day cards to hand out at school and you have or will have received in return bags and bags of cute cards and loads of bright red candy. For those of us with dye sensitive children, Valentines Day is worse than Halloween. It is a bloody red nightmare.
Even a homeschooling family like mine has to be ever watchful because at every extracurricular activity or co-op class we go to someone is handing my child a bright, red heart-shaped sucker I have to rip out of their hands and either give back or hide in my purse. My 8-year-old is very conscientious about not ingesting anything red because she knows it makes her feel out of control and angry. But my 4-year-old is still struggling with impulse control and will devour any candy anyone gives her. Without the watchful eye of her sister, she won’t make a good choice.
I’m not one of these insufferable parents who lecture other parents about recycled diapers and the dangers of aluminum foil. In fact, I never bring up the dye issue unless someone asks but I’ve noticed more and more people are curious about what artificial dyes might be doing to their children.
There are lots of personal anecdotes of children with behavioral problems, including children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, whose symptoms completely disappear when petroleum based artificial dyes are eliminated from their diets. There are some in my own family. My own children are sensitive to red dye 40 and yellow 6. There are easy ways to tell if your child suffers the same problem, but why even test them? Just take them off of it. If artificial dyes can cause some children to have fits of rage, inability to concentrate, temper tantrums for no reason, crying jags and emotional upset, do you really think that substance is one you want your kid eating?
Many of our big companies like Kraft and General Mills already make dye-free everything to sell in the European market because artificial dyes are illegal there. With more public knowledge of this fact, perhaps we can convince them to offer us the same healthier choice. There is no nutritional value to food dyes as they are used solely for aesthetic purposes and to sell brightly colored objects to children who, let’s face it, are like birds attracted to shiny objects.
This does not mean all foods must have no color and be boring to look at. On the contrary, natural food dyes are so similar to artificial colors I can’t see a difference. Rainbow Goldfish are now made with all natural dyes including beet juice and carrot juice among others. My children love them and there is no taste difference. Finding dye-free food is challenging but not impossible. The following are my four favorite finds for this Valentine’s Day.
During the four month long investigation into unfiltered pornography offered to Orland Park Library patrons, I have had many interactions with the Village of Orland Park but none as interesting as the last one. My main contact at the Village has been Joe LaMargo, Public Information Officer and designated “Crisis Manager”. My first meeting with him was very cordial and he explained to me that the Village has zero authority over the Library, they have their own board of directors and the Village people aren’t allowed to ask them to do anything and barely even speak to them. I believed him, until I found emails between Village Manager Paul Grimes and Library Director Mary Weimar where he offers her advice on how to deal with “those people.” (Namely, Kevin DuJan and myself and anyone else who objects to porn in the Library.)
This revelation made the Village look like liars and the same day I discovered it and confronted LaMargo in his office (where he continually rubbed his hands over his face and jiggled his left leg under the table at around 200 beats per minute) the Mayor of Orland Park finally decided to enter the fray and ask for filters in a letter to the Library. His previous response to my phone calls and requests for a meeting went unanswered or cancelled. Only when I caught the Village telling lies did the Mayor suddenly decide to make a statement and side with parents. (It should be noted that I hadn’t planned on disclosing this bit of information but with the Village breaking bad on me I don’t feel like I owe them any professional courtesy that I otherwise would have granted them.)
Even after that point, LaMargo continued to be friendly with me and help me with any FOIA requests I had. He was very responsive and always gave me what I asked for well before the deadline. However, the minute I started asking about the laws that govern Sexually Oriented Businesses (S.O.B.) in the Village (there are no S.O.B.s in Orland Park unless you count the ones on the Library Board) his demeanor changed to ice cold. Suddenly, he wasn’t responding to me personally, he was dodging my phone calls and was “out to lunch” when I dropped in to see him. He started having his secretary return my calls and emails as if he were suddenly promoted to Village Pope. For the last week before this rapid change in attitude I had been asking him informally to point me to the Village code that governed any S.O.B. in Orland Park. Surely, the Village must have such a thing because in the entire area there are no businesses selling sex; no porn shops, peep shows, strip clubs, bathhouses or adult book stores. The answer I got (through his secretary) was to “look it up” on a highly confusing website that houses the Village codes. I need not tell you what a government website is like. You’ve no doubt been to your state’s “Obamacare Health Exchange Website.” This one is no exception to the rule that government-run operations are overly complicated and difficult to navigate.