Last April, right after the horrific bombing in Boston, I wrote about how I “evolved” on guns the night of the manhunt for the two men thought to be responsible for the bombings. Here’s what I wrote last year:
First, a confession: I’ve never owned a gun. I never wanted one in my home and, like a lot of moms, I wanted to raise non-violent children and thought keeping guns out of our home was one way to do that … Then came the day of the Boston Marathon, where bombs set off by baby-faced terrorists killed 3 individuals and injured another 264. I spent the evening, all the way into the next morning, listening to the Boston Police Scanner and followed social media online so I could see the progression of the search for the subjects in real time during the manhunt. At one point, someone tweeted this: “I’m halfway across the country but if someone knocked on my door right now I’d pee my pants.” A moment of levity during a very serious, very scary night. It was the moment I evolved on guns — the moment my support for the 2nd Amendment went from abstract to concrete.
I decided then and there that I could shoot someone in that situation and I wanted the ability to do it in case a terrorist ever walks through my front door, because merely “sheltering-in-place” isn’t going to protect me from the bad guys. My husband, being an experienced marksman, fully endorsed the idea of getting a gun.
The decision process became a little more complicated after that initial decision to purchase a gun for home protection. Figuring out which gun was right for us (out of the gazillions of choices) was even more difficult than finding the exact, right, blingy, perfect shoes to wear to my son’s wedding. Both are life-altering decisions and you want to choose wisely (the difference being that the wrong wedding shoe choice won’t result in a chalk outline of a body at the end of the day). It’s not a decision we took lightly.
The conservative movement faces many challenges as we turn the calendar to 2015. There are ongoing battles with those on the left who think we are stupid or evil (or both) and with those in the Republican Party who find more in common with the big-government Democrats than with those on the right who favor smaller government and traditional values. As we look forward to a new year, it’s a good time for all of us to consider how we can be more effective activists, so I offer a list of some areas for improvement. This is in no way an indictment of the entire conservative movement or an attempt to stereotype anyone — I am fully aware that most movement conservatives already do these things. But I’ve needed to work on all of them at one time or another (and need to do so on a continuing basis) and so I thought perhaps they might inspire you to set some new goals for 2015.
1. Talk to People with Whom You Disagree
It’s tempting to think of people on the other side of the political spectrum — both those in the other party and those within our own party — as enemies. And while it’s true that there are some extremists who are literally trying to destroy this country from the top down (and the bottom up), the vast majority of people we have disagreements with are really decent people who see the world differently than we do. They have children and families and go to work every day and really do want to make the world a better place, however misguided their efforts may be.
The truth is we have very deep divides in this country and they’re not going to be healed if we demonize our opponents and shun dialogue, so let’s resolve to have more meaningful conversations with those on the other side of the political spectrum in 2015.
Lily Tang Williams, a mother of three, testified before the Colorado State Board of Education that Common Core was similar to the education she received growing up in Mao’s Communist China.
“Common Core, in my eyes, is the same as the Communist core I once saw in China,” Williams said. “I grew up under Mao’s regime and we had the Communist-dominated education — nationalized testing, nationalized curriculum, and nationalized indoctrination.”
In a post at FreedomWorks, Williams wrote about her experience with the Chinese education system:
Our teachers had to comply with all the curriculum and testing requirements, or lose their jobs forever. Parents had no choice at all when it came to what we learned in school. The government used the Household Registration and Personnel File system to keep track of its citizens from birth to death.
“I came to this country for freedom and I cannot believe this is happening all over again in this country,” she said in the meeting. “I don’t know what happened to America, the Shining City on the Hill for freedom.”
She said Americans should not compare their children (or their kids’ test scores) to those being educated under the Chinese system.
“I am telling you, Chinese children are not trained to be independent thinkers,” said Williams. “They are trained to be massive skilled workers for corporations. And they have no idea what happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989 where government ordered soldiers to shoot its own 1,000 students.”
The nurse who caused an Ebola scare that closed many Ohio schools and businesses is demanding a refund from the bridal shop she visited during her trip to Akron last month.
The attorney for Amber Vinson, the Texas nurse who traveled to Ohio after treating an Ebola patient, sent a letter to the owner of Coming Attractions Bridal and Formal shop in Akron requesting a refund of $480 in deposit money that her bridesmaids paid to the store for dresses for Vinson’s upcoming wedding.
The bridal shop closed for several weeks after being notified that Vinson had tested positive for Ebola. Anna Younker, owner of the Akron store, said she paid to have the shop cleaned using ultraviolet light technology. In addition, she lost business during the 21 days her store was closed and had customers cancel orders because of fears of infection.
When Younker received a letter from Vinson’s attorney, she thought it was an apology for the inconvenience she caused. The Beacon Journal reported:
Instead, Dallas attorney Stephen F. Malouf requested the refund and notified Younker that Vinson has decided to use another bridal store for her nine bridesmaids’ dresses “in order to minimize additional public scrutiny.”
“Would you kindly advise whether this is agreeable to Coming Attractions?” Malouf asked. “If it is not, would you ask your attorney to contact me to discuss this matter?”
“Are you kidding me?” Younker thought as she read the letter.
Younker said she never received a phone call from Vinson or any of her bridesmaids before getting the request from the attorney.
“This is like the icing on the cake for her to ask,” the bridal store owner said. “By canceling completely because she wants to go somewhere else, that’s like a slap in the face to me.”
The store’s policy typically prohibits refunds or order cancellations, but Younker said she makes exceptions in special circumstances.
“I couldn’t believe she didn’t at least call me and have some discussion on why,” Younker said. “Maybe I would have considered it differently.”
In the letter, Malouf acknowledged that “Amber’s Ebola infection brought significant attention to Coming Attractions, not all of it positive.”
Nevertheless, he asked for refunds of $107 for two of the bridesmaids and $132.92 for two other bridesmaids “due to the most unusual circumstances.” He said it would be best if Younker kept the matter “strictly confidential.”
Malouf said he tried to contact Younker before sending the letter. “I’m sorry that the shop is upset,” he said. “This was an effort to help the shop and Amber. Amber feels strongly that the publicity was such it was harming the business and she didn’t want to add any further scrutiny to it. This was a purely innocent request and I’m sorry it wasn’t received in the spirit in which it was sent.”
“If that’s how she feels, I can’t force her to continue to order,” Younker said. “But for me to hand over a refund, it’s not feasible. It doesn’t make sense. I’m out a lot of money.”
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert joined Sean Hannity on Thursday to discuss President Obama’s speech announcing his executive action on immigration. Rep. Gohmert took issue with Obama’s use of a verse from Exodus to defend his actions:
“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too,” Obama read in his prime time speech, quoting Exodus 22:21.
Gohmert said that people here illegally are not legally allowed to work. He said the president is flaunting the law, which is an offense to the Constitution and to African Americans and Hispanic Americans who have an enormously high unemployment rate. Gohmert said Obama is “going to leave five million people out in the cold” when their jobs are taken by illegal aliens who now have the ability to work here.
Gohmert then pulled out his own well-worn Bible. “But I also want to point out he quoted Exodus 22:1 here. But if you just go over to the next column,” Gohmert pointed to a page heavily highlighted in in yellow, “maybe he hasn’t seen these verses, Sean.”
You must not spread a false report. Do not join the wicked to be a malicious witness. You must not follow a crowd in wrongdoing. Do not testify in a lawsuit or go along with the crowd to pervert justice. Do not show favoritism to a poor person in his lawsuit. (Exodus 23:1-3)
“This man is showing favoritism and he is lying about Congress,” Gohmert said. “And I’ve seen this in another politician that I went up against who would call you everything in the book and would say, ‘Now we’re going to be gentlemen. We’re not going to talk bad about each other.’ Try to keep you from defending yourself. But we’re going to defend ourselves.”
Now, obviously Gohmert engaged in the same kind of cherry-picking that Obama did when he cited a verse that he liked from that same passage of Exodus. I suspect that Gohmert was trying to point out the absurdity of taking one verse out of context (though I wish he had taken a few seconds to explain that).
An Accomack County, Virginia man says that PETA employees came onto his property and stole his family’s beloved chihuahua. Days later PETA representatives came to his home and told him the dog had been euthanized.
According to WAVY.com, Wilbur Cerate noticed Maya missing one Saturday in October when she failed to greet him when he arrived home. “My chihuahua, when she sees my car, she come to me,” Cerate said. “That Saturday she did not come.”
He said the dog, which was well cared for and has a good home, brought comfort to his daughter, who moved to the area from Mexico.
When Cerate checked his security camera, the video revealed that a van with “PETA” on the side had backed into his driveway and two women got out. One of the women walked onto his porch, grabbed Maya, and put her in the back of the van.
Three days later, the two women from PETA were back — with a fruit basket. They told the family that poor Maya had been euthanized. When they failed to provide proof of the dog’s death, Cerate called the police.
“I was angry. I understand they pick up my dog, if it was in a tree or another place, but this is in my house,” Cerate said.
Accomack County Sheriff Todd Godwin told WAVY.com he charged the PETA workers with larceny. He said pets are considered personal property. But the local commonwealth’s attorney told WAVY.com he dropped the charges because there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute. He said the video does not show criminal intent, so he declined to take the case to court. Now, the Cerate family may never get closure.
“We don’t have an answer about why,” Cerate said.
WAVY.com made several attempts to contact PETA to get proof about what happened to Maya and to figure out why she was taken. None of our calls were returned.
Last year the Daily Mail reported about the sickeningly high euthanization rates at PETA’s Virginia facility:
Animal rights charity PETA killed almost 90 per cent of dogs and cats placed in the care of the shelter at its Virginia headquarters last year, it has been revealed today.
The charity, well-known for attention grabbing publicity campaigns such as the ‘I’d rather go naked’ anti-fur campaign, euthanized 1,647 cats and dogs last year and only placed 19 in new homes according to the data submitted to the Virginia Department for Agriculture and Consumer Services.
A spokeswoman for PETA told the Daily Mail, “We have a small division that does hands-on work with animals, and most of the animals we take in are society’s rejects; aggressive, on death’s door, or somehow unadoptable.”
Wilbur Cerate told WAVY.com that his daughter is devastated at the loss of her beloved Maya. “She didn’t want to go to school, she didn’t want to do jobs, she’s crying,” he said.
Ohio May Allow Elimination of Music and Phys Ed Teachers, School Nurses, Librarians, and Social Workers
I am DISGUSTED by the fact that #Ohio5of8 is even a thing up for vote. Elementary children NEED these things. They're not just supplemental.
— Ringless Princess (@_GodsPrincess_) November 10, 2014
Calling it a “horrifying spectacle,” education reformer Diane Ravtich wrote about an upcoming vote by Ohio’s State Board of Education:
On November 11, the Ohio State Board of Education will vote on a motion to eliminate crucial positions at elementary schools. The Board will vote on whether to eliminate “specialist” positions, that include elementary schools arts teachers, elementary school music teachers, elementary school physical education teachers, school nurses, school library media specialists, school counselors, and school social workers. Will they call it “reform”?
Education blogger Peter Greene said the Ohio Board was “gunning” for specialists:
The appeal for districts is obvious. Let’s have one music teacher for 10,000 students. Let’s have no music teacher at all. Great…Do we really need to argue that the poorest, most vulnerable students are the ones who most need these sorts of services and enrichment? Is there somebody in Ohio prepared, seriously, to argue that nurses and music and art and phys ed are unnecessary luxuries, and kids should just pack up their grit and do without?
Is this true? Does the State Board of Education in Ohio really want to deprive poor children of music and art education and social services?
Currently, the Ohio Administrative Code requires that for every thousand elementary students, schools must have in place five of the following eight specialists: art, music, counselor, school nurse, librarian/media specialist, visiting teacher, social worker, or phys ed – called the “5 of 8″ rule. The state board is simply considering allowing boards to have local control over staffing decisions rather than enforcing an arbitrary number of specialists, regardless of the individual district’s needs.
Tom Gunlock, the board’s vice chairman, told the Plain Dealer that the proposed change (the vote won’t likely take place until December) isn’t intended to eliminate those positions, but to let districts make their own choices.
“I’m sure they’ll do what’s right for their kids,” Gunlock said. ”For years, people have been telling me about all these unfunded mandates and that we’re telling them what to do. They keep telling me they know more about what their kids need that we do, and I agree with them.”
This is actually a good thing. Instead of treating children like numbers and treating all school districts the same, it returns control to local districts so they can decide which (and how many) teachers and specialists they need. As we’ve seen with Common Core, one size does not fit all and local control is better than top-down national (or even state) authority. If you don’t like something your local school board does, you can walk down the street and complain to someone who lives in your community. They’re your neighbors and their kids likely attend the public schools in your district. If they make decisions you don’t like, you can vote them out in the next election and get a new school board.
Nevertheless, near panic has set in in Ohio as word has gone out that very soon, art and music will cease to exist in the state — along with the union jobs that must be protected at all costs (whether they’re needed or not):
— PatMcManamon (@PatMcManamon) November 10, 2014
— Mrs. Wiley (@MrsWileyArtRoom) November 11, 2014
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) November 11, 2014
Kids need to have the opportunity to be creative. You cannot take away their art,music, or other classes that will take that away #Ohio5of8
— Jessi⚡ (@stillj17) November 11, 2014
I think we’ve finally solved the mystery of why Taylor Swift has trouble staying in a relationship. In her new video, “Blank Space,” the usually sweet country star transformed into a nightmare of a psycho girlfriend, trashing her boyfriend’s car, slashing his picture with a knife, and shredding his clothes with scissors — all for (apparently) the crime of spending too much time on his cell phone.
If you listen to Taylor Swift for very long, you’ll notice that in approximately 78.5% of her songs (the “science” is not settled on this) poor Taylor ends up in the middle of the street at 2 a.m. crying over some guy. (I’ve said for years that if she would just go to bed at a reasonable time she could avoid this problem.) All this time we’ve thought if Taylor could just quit chasing after these ne’er-do-well guys, she could find someone nice to settle down with.
After watching “Blank Space,” the second single from Taylor Swifts’s album 1989, I’m now wondering if this freaky, axe-wielding Taylor might actually be the problem. The liner notes about the song say “there once was a girl known by everyone and no one.”
Is it autobiographical?
I suppose only Taylor’s ex-boyfriends know for sure.
But one thing we do know for sure: Taylor looks spectacular in this video and her gowns are breathtaking.
Watch “Blank Space”on the next page:
According to “Live with Kelly and Michael” co-host Kelly Ripa, her 13-year-old daughter Lola isn’t her biggest fan. Yahoo News reports:
“I don’t think she likes me, but I don’t care. I’m like, ‘I’m not your friend, I’m your mom,’” Ripa told Wendy Williams. “I just feel an obligation as her mom to keep her living in the real world. I don’t care who you are or what you do, if you’re a mom, you’re a mom.”
Ripa, 44, explained that not only is she a source of embarrassment for her teen, but recently, she and her husband, Mark Consuelos, were forced to punish their daughter. Ripa said she revoked their daughter’s phone and Internet privileges because she was using her phone when she was supposed to be studying Spanish.
It’s an interesting insight into the private life of a very public figure. As if parenting isn’t fraught with enough perils and pressures, Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos, are raising kids in the spotlight — where they’re expected to smile for the cameras and perform anytime they’re in public. Their children are privileged — one percenters by almost any standards — so raising children who are not spoiled brats (see: the debacle they call the Kardashian family) increases the degree of parenting difficulty exponentially.
Kids need to learn early on that the world doesn’t revolve around them and they’re not the center of the universe — they shouldn’t be permitted demand to worship and adoration (things that should be reserved for God). All things considered, Ripa seems to be trying to keep her kids grounded and as she said, “living in the real world,” which is rather refreshing in a culture where discipline and accountability are increasingly out of fashion and parents want their kids to be their BFFs.
But about Ripa’s comment that she doesn’t care if her daughter likes her. Should she care? Should you care if your kids (in particular, kids of the teenage variety) don’t like you? Should your popularity with your kids guide how you respond to them and make decisions about parenting? Or is it better to plow ahead with your decisions, ignoring how your kids feel about you?
When people like Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin first began to sound the alarm on Common Core a few years ago, many people viewed it as a right-wing cause, one of those issues that split cleanly along party and ideological lines and would remain in the conservative camp. The promoters of the Common Core, including the Republican Governors Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and others, surely never saw the tsunami of opposition that was headed their way and now threatens to take down the standards that were adopted by forty-four of the fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Here are 10 Signs Common Core Has Gone From Fringe Issue to Mainstream:
Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, recently addressed the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission on the subject of transgender.
Saying that the gay marriage battle is all but over, Burk believes “sexual revolutionaries are turning their attention to the ‘T’ in LGBT” which will lead to significant cultural changes.
Burk, author of What Is the Meaning of Sex?, said,
At the heart of the transgender revolution is the notion that psychological identity trumps bodily identity. In this way of thinking, a person is whatever they think themselves to be. If a girl perceives herself to be a boy, then she is one even if her biology says otherwise. If a boy perceives himself to be a girl, then he is one even if his biology says otherwise. Gender is self-determined, not determined by the sexual differences that the Creator has embedded into every cell in our bodies.
He doubts that most Americans have thought through the implications of accepting without question that psychological identity should trump biological identity when there is a conflict.
Burk gave the example of a man named John who was featured on Fox News a few years ago. He felt like he was a one-legged man trapped in the body of a man with two legs. “When I see an amputee — when I imagine the amputee — there is this inner pull that says ‘why can’t I be like that?’” the man asked. It wasn’t until after 42 years of marriage that he revealed this “secret” to his wife. He suffers from what psychiatrists call “body integrity identity disorder.” The only known cure is amputation of the offending body part.
“The primary ethical question is whether a man in John’s position would be right to amputate an otherwise healthy limb,” Burk said. “Would it be right for a doctor to remove his leg so that John can feel whole? If John feels himself to be a one-legged man inside a two-legged man’s body, why not encourage him to have his leg amputated? At a gut level, most people recoil at the suggestion. Nevertheless, this is the implication of the view that psychological identity trumps bodily identity,” he said.
Typically, individuals who suffer from such a disorder cannot find physicians to accommodate their requests for amputations, and they are not encouraged to amputate otherwise healthy limbs. Most people would say the individual’s thinking needs to be altered rather than taking drastic steps to alter the body.
Dan McGurk from Toledo had one wish for his 30th birthday — that singer Kid Rock would come to his birthday party to help him celebrate.
“Hi, my name’s Dan and I’m the No. 1 Kid Rock fan,” said McGurk, who has Down Syndrome, in a YouTube video that garnered thousands of hits.
In the video, McGurk shows off his bedroom that is filled with Kid Rock gear — t-shirts, albums, a blanket, and walls covered with posters. “Please be there for my 30th birthday. … I hope you’ll come!” McGurk begged in the video.
This week, McGurk’s dream came true. During a celebration at Clarkston Union restaurant in downtown Clarkston, Michigan, Kid Rock surprised the 30 year old, joining the party and singing “Happy Birthday” as the birthday cake was served. The look on McGurk’s face when he sees Kid Rock is priceless. The singer put his arm around the man and hugged him and then sat down to chat with McGurk for a bit.
“I love that it worked out for me that I was going to be home,” said Kid Rock, who hails from Detroit. “Are you surprised?”
“Yeah! Yeah…yeah!” McGurk said. The two high-fived.
McGurk said that he had seen Kid Rock six times. “I’m the biggest #1 fan of you!”
Kid Rock didn’t come to the party empty-handed. He presented McGurk with a hat, a numbered poster (which he took the time to explain to McGurk), and a custom Kid Rock guitar, which he signed, after receiving permission from McGurk. “I’ll sign it for you if you want me to. You don’t want me to mess it up,” he said.
Before the evening ended, McGurk got Kid Rock to promise to let him hang out with the band the next time they played in Detroit. “He’s smart!” Kid Rock said.
Watch the sweet moment on the next page.
According to Halle Berry, who is hawking a new lingerie line at Target, women need to be prepared “in that area” because you never know who’s going to see it.
Style.com reports that Berry told reporters at a preview of her new Scandale lingerie line,
I have some friends—who will remain nameless—that wear the same janky bras for, like, five years straight. As Americans, we can go there, but what I learned about the Frenchwomen is that they’re always updating their lingerie. … They’re not going to get caught in the emergency room not prepared. If they have to cut their clothes off, they’re going to be fabulous under there.
Lingerie marketing schemes aside, Halle (I can call her by her first name because we went to high school together and I put shaving cream in her hair during band camp
hazing initiation) does have a really good point. While I wish that I could have the freedom that men enjoy — I guarantee you that my husband has spent zero time in the last decade thinking about how ER personnel might be judging him on his undergarment choices — the truth is that because of science (having something to do with the Y chromosome, I think) I am forced to think about what would happen if someone had to cut my clothes off in the emergency room. (In fact, that did happen to me when I broke my leg skiing in the 9th grade and it is every bit as mortifying as you might imagine.)
Last week I was telling a friend about my son’s wedding in September, sharing the events of the morning of The Big Day as we all got ready for the afternoon ceremony. I didn’t realize how early we were going to get our hair done in the morning and as a result, I didn’t end up getting a shower before we all headed out to the beauty shop. So I had to settle for schlepping together a sponge bath and shaving my legs in the bathroom sink before slipping into my formal gown, a memory which, as I’m sitting here more than a month later, still horrifies me.
And it’s no better when it’s not a formal occasion. Last night, my husband had a late meeting, so I decided to run out and grab some carry-out food. Before heading out, I changed my clothes, put on some eyeliner and put lipstick on –as if the fast food workers were going to notice!
Honestly, I wish I could be free from this vanity and narcissism. I have friends who don’t give a hoot about how they look when they leave the house and they own it. Beauty is on the inside, they say, daring people to reject them for the way they look. They seem happy.
The problem is, of course, that our culture screams at women constantly that we must look a certain way, dress a certain way, wear this makeup, weigh this much.
People judge us, we judge others, we judge ourselves. Are we doing it mostly for ourselves — because we’re narcissists — or to impress others? I wrestle with that sometimes.
In his endorsement interview with the Plain Dealer, Ohio Governor John Kasich joined Democrat Ed FitzGerald, and Green Party candidate Anita Rios (who decided to run after she lost her job at an abortion clinic) to discuss issues relevant to the campaign, including abortion, with the newspaper’s editorial board.
Kasich, said to be considering a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, says he is pro-life and has taken some steps since he became governor to regulate abortion in the state. He has closed unsafe abortion clinics, beefed up health code regulations for all abortion clinics, and directed state funding to crisis pregnancy centers. Critics complain that he has ignored the “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortions in the state once a baby’s heartbeat can be detected by ultrasound. They also say the governor hasn’t taken any other steps in the direction of actually banning abortion rather than just regulating it.
All of the political maneuvering and legislative issues aside, I think it’s important to consider how we talk about the issue of abortion, whether it’s on the campaign trail or in our in our daily lives among our friends whom we wish to convince that unborn children deserve to be protected and valued.
Earlier this year I wrote “How Republicans Should Talk About Women’s Issues“ for Ohio Conservative Review. This advice is not exclusive to Republicans, but applies to anyone who wants to effectively communicate the importance of the life issue:
When accused of denying women “reproductive services” we must reframe that issue to express our alarm that a baby is being denied life. While there is a certain radical segment of the population that will continue to oppose us, the tide is turning in the direction of the right to life for the unborn. A recent Quinnipiac poll found most Americans support some restrictions on abortion. A total of 55 percent want a 20-week limit on the procedure and only 23% of women believe abortion should be legal in all cases. When a candidate is asked why he wants to deny a woman the right to “control her body,” he should passionately advocate for the right of a baby to live — citing scientific facts about heartbeats and fingernails and brain waves. He should pull a 3-D ultrasound picture of his child or grandchild out of his suit pocket and ask how a compassionate, just society could tolerate destroying tiny people with little arms and legs. Refuse to accept the narrative that this is only about the rights of the woman. Unapologetically defend the personhood, and therefore the liberty, of unborn children. The truth of the humanity of the unborn is so inconvenient that many will cease asking about the issue if we insist on discussing the personhood of those babies and the tragedy of their deaths.
This should be a no-brainer for candidates who say they are pro-life. The science is settled, as they say, that those flailing arms and legs we peer at on the ultrasound monitor belong to a living human being. No sane, cognizant person can look at a 3-D ultrasound picture and say, “That’s just a blob of tissue” and deny the reality of the life contained within the mother’s womb.
Monica Lewinsky spoke recently to young entrepreneurs and achievers at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia about her sex scandal with the President of the United States and about how her life was forever altered by the experience.
Sixteen years ago, fresh out of college, a 22-year-old intern in the White House — and more than averagely romantic – I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year-old sort of a way. It happens. But my boss was the President of the United States. That probably happens less often.
Now, I deeply regret it for many reasons. Not the least of which is that people were hurt. And that’s never okay.
But back then, in 1995, we started an affair that lasted, on and off, for two years. And, at that time, it was my everything. That, I guess you could say, was the golden bubble part for me; the nice part. The nasty part was that it became public. Public with a vengeance.
Lewinsky, now 40, wrote in Vanity Fair in May that although the affair was consensual, nothing could have prepared her for the aftermath, when attacks came from seemingly every direction:
Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. . . . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.
Monica’s bad and immoral decision – every salacious detail of it – was published on the internet:
Now, my brother – and all his fraternity brothers – were privy to my most intimate details. As were my dad and his fellow doctors. And my stepdad, and his World War 2 war buddies. My stepmom and her knitting circle. Even both my grandmothers, then in their 80s, knew about the internet. My whole family. My friends. My friends’ parents. My parents’ friends.
All of this left Hillary Clinton — the supposedly great defender and protector of all women everywhere forever and ever Amen– in a terribly awkward position. She knew her husband was a serial philanderer. Six months earlier Kathleen Willey had accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault and there was also the 12-year affair with Gennifer Flowers and another with Paula Jones and probably others. But Mrs. Clinton had a presidency to save and her own political future to think about so there wasn’t a lot of time to think about a 22-year-old young woman who had been taken advantage of by the most powerful man in the universe. Feminism and all the implications of what it really means to defend the rights of women and that whole glass ceiling business would have to wait.
In public Hillary played the victim. She appealed to viewers of the Today Show on her husband’s behalf, blaming the “vast right wing conspiracy” for all the scandals plaguing his presidency.
Behind the scenes, Hillary was the mean girl.
Comic books that circulated from the 1950s to the 1970s were jam-packed with ads that promised everything from fame and fortune to live miniature puppies. You could buy a shrunken head, print your own money, or grow 3″ taller, all for 99 cents, C.O.D. (which meant you paid the mail carrier cash on delivery). Most of the items were junk and for many of us, it was the first buzzkill of our idyllic young lives. Millions of boys were disappointed that they didn’t end up with bodies like Charles Atlas and millions more were devastated when the x-ray specs didn’t allow them to see under the dresses of the girls at school. It was probably a good thing that the FTC eventually stepped in and put some regulations in place so kids could find more productive uses for their allowances, like Wacky Packages and Bubble Yum. Nevertheless, it was fun to dream about what might arrive in the mail after you filled out the coupon from the back of the comic book and waited 4-6 weeks for delivery. Because you never knew…
Here are 10 comic book ads that destroyed your faith in mankind before you hit puberty…
I recently wrote about the top 10 reasons to join a homeschool co-op, where I discussed many of the positive aspects of joining with other families in a collaborative effort to educate your children. But like most good things, there can be drawbacks and parents need to consider both sides of the equation before signing up for a co-op.
Here Are the Top 10 Reasons to Avoid a Homeschool Co-Op:
Now that we’re quickly approaching the end of summer, many homeschooling families are making decisions about how they plan to educate their children over the coming months. In the early years of the homeschooling movement there were few options for parents. While many families belonged to support groups and there were plenty of books and magazines that offered information and support, most families handled the actual homeschooling duties completely on their own.
These days, there are countless options for families that desire to reach outside of their individual homes for educational options. There are online classes, community classes and activities, early college options, and a wide range of athletic and extracurricular activities. Perhaps the most significant change in the homeschooling movement has been the development of homeschool co-ops. Ranging from informal playgroups to formal classes that resemble private schools, co-ops offer a variety of opportunities for families wishing to expand learning opportunities for their children.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Co-op:
If you own a computer, you’re going to find yourself in need of a “techie” someday. Your computer will slow down and stop working efficiently, or worse, it will crash completely and you’ll be visited by the black screen of death. When that day comes, you’ll call an IT guy (or gal) and hand your computer and all its precious — and very personal — data over to a complete stranger.
I’m not an IT person, but I happen to be married to the guy who gets the computers after all hope is lost — after the local computer shop has told you it can’t be fixed (and after they charged you an exorbitant amount of money for not fixing it). My husband (Gary) has a day job as a programmer and senior systems analyst for a Fortune 500 company, but by night, he becomes the Computer Whisperer, bringing systems back from the abyss. He rarely charges anyone (unless you count the cookies and other treats he receives from grateful friends) but considers it a hobby and a personal challenge to rescue lost computers. I’ve seen with my own eyes the deep magic of data recovery and the resurrection of a system that had been left for dead, so I’d like to offer a few things I’ve learned from watching him in action these many years.
Here Are 10 Secrets Your IT Guy Won’t Tell You:
If you were a teen (or pre-teen) girl at any time in the 1970s, you probably held in your (amateurly manicured) hands at some point a copy (or many, many copies) of Tiger Beat magazine. Known for glossy covers that featured saucy shots of the day’s most popular teen idols — most of them males and many of them shirtless — Tiger Beat (and its twin magazine 16) usually included a centerfold pin-up of a pop star of such import that the mere thought of his poster on her bedroom wall could persuade a young girl to part with her babysitting money. My bedroom wall was plastered with Bobby Sherman in all his glory — the purple shirts unbuttoned to the waist, the velvet choker necklaces, and those gorgeous blue eyes! Also clad in all black, with his beautiful brown tresses casually flowing in the breeze. And at least a half dozen other iterations of Bobby posing and smiling (or pouting). My cousin had all the Donny Osmond pin-ups, while my girlfriend across the street papered her walls with David Cassidy. We’d carefully remove the staples from our teen idols’ midsections, lovingly unfold our new treasures and smooth out the creases before taping (or push-pinning) them to our bedroom walls.
Did you ever wonder what became of the teen idol whose visage used to cast his gaze upon you every night as you drifted off to sleep?
Here’s what happened to 10 of our favorite Tiger Beat ”Cover Boys”:
Maybe you’ve never considered spending your hard-earned vacation time in Cleveland. It’s certainly understandable because many people only know the city as the “Mistake by the Lake” or the home of the burning Cuyahoga River. But things have changed on the North Coast, and you might be surprised at all the cultural attractions the city on the shores of Lake Erie has to offer — great food, museums, theater, and more. The RTA buses run between most Cleveland locations and Uber just announced that they’re starting service in Cleveland, which will make getting around even easier.
Here are the Top 10 Things to Do in Cleveland:
10. Little Italy
Historic Little Italy is on Cleveland’s East Side, located on “Murray Hill” not far from Case Western Reserve University. It features charming restaurants and bakeries, art galleries, and frequent festivals and art shows. Our favorite restaurant there is Trattoria on the Hill. If you go, try the Shrimp & Gnocchi Trattoria, which features their gnocchi served in Trattoria’s homemade cream sauce with mushrooms, scallions, and a hint of cayenne pepper. If you’re not in the mood for pasta, try the Spinach & Prosciutto Pizza with black olives, white garlic sauce, and feta cheese.
For dessert, stroll down Mayfield Road to Presti’s Bakery for a cannoli or a delicious gelato.
The Feast of the Assumption is the biggest event of the year in Little Italy. Held in August to commemorate Mary being taken to heaven, the festival is an unusual combination of Catholic religious ceremonies, carnival rides, fireworks, lots of incredible Italian food, and heavy, heavy drinking.
Freedom in the United States of America doesn’t just mean expressing your freedom of speech or your right to petition the government. Sometimes, it’s about the freedom to fail … and fail we do … especially, it seems, when beer and explosives are involved.
[Warning: Language advisory]
10) Brazilian Rocket Science
I don’t know any Portuguese curse words, but I’d venture a guess that this video from São Paulo contains some choice epithets. Never, ever, ever hold the fireworks in your hand. Just don’t.
[WARNING: Graphic videos below!! Nature isn't always pretty.]
Public service announcement: If you’re considering an exotic pet, please do your research. There are millions of pets in rescues because of impulse purchases by owners who had no idea what they were getting into. If you’re still set on getting an exotic pet after you’ve done your research, consider adopting one from a rescue organization.
The miracle of birth — it’s awe-inspiring and at the same time terribly gruesome. Anyone who has ever witnessed a live birth must at some point wonder how any thinking creature can choose to go through such an ordeal. Fortunately, our animal friends, including our beloved pets, spend exactly no time contemplating whether childbearing is worth the time and effort. As much as we’d like to imagine a more cuddly, loving narrative, they procreate because they must, not because they desire to create a beautiful family. Those same powerful instincts allow them to (mostly) give birth without human intervention. However, as evidenced by most of these home videos of pets giving births, the humans can almost never resist the urge to lend a hand. Nevertheless, despite their midwifery duties, many individuals have managed to capture some excellent footage of their pets giving birth.
Here are the 10 Most Amazing Pet Home Birth Videos:
Are you a true child of the 1970s? See how many of these essential shoes you owned to find out!
10. Earth Shoes
Going from worst to first, I’m almost reluctant to name Earth Shoes to a list of “essential” anything because they were so completely unfortunate looking. The “negative heel technology” shoes represented one of those terrible moments when fashion tried to merge with health benefits. Anne Kalsø, a native of Denmark, invented the shoes in the 1950s. According to the Earth Shoes website:
Kalsø ‘s passion for yoga led her to study in Switzerland and eventually in Santos, Brazil. It was there, in 1957, that she observed the excellent posture of indigenous Brazilians, and the impressions left by their bare footprints as they walked through beach sand. She observed that the footprints laid were deeper in the heels than in the toes. This natural body position resonated with the thoughtful Kalsø. It echoed a formative yoga pose she knew well – Tadasana (the ‘Mountain’ pose). posture improved, and how her breathing passages opened. She was inspired.As she herself emulated the pose of the native Brazilians, she noticed how her own posture improved, and how her breathing passages opened. She was inspired.
Ten years later, Earth Shoes were born in Copenhagen. The company claimed that many people reported that the shoes eased chronic foot and body problems. It wasn’t until April 1st, 1970 — coinciding with the first Earth Day — that the first ”Kalsø Earth Shoes” store opened in the United States. The shoes became wildly popular, even appearing on the Tonight Show and in TIME magazine. They’re still available, by the way, in case you’re feeling nostalgic or feel the need to have your breathing passages opened.