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Mon Mar 23, 2015 at 10:44 AM PDT

Would you burn it?

by Clytemnestra

I'm not here much right now.  God knows I shouldn't be here today.  Too much school work to do.  I'm taking what amounts to a full load in two institutions of higher learning.  It's been tough, especially with our Boston winter from hell, but this I can't ignore any longer.

My father was born in the United States, in Kansas in 1934.  His parents who were both Mennonite, had been born outside the US and came here as children before 1901.  Their families with other Mennonite families settled in central Kansas.  They spoke German, in fact in their communities the only persons who spoke English were the ones who had to deal with those outside their communities .

German was spoken in their churches. German was spoken in their homes. German was spoken to and with the shop keepers, right there in the US in central Kansas. In fact my aunts did not learn English until they started grade school.  My dad wasn't so lucky.

With the rising tide of the Nazis in Germany, German speaking families here in the US stopped speaking German for fear that they would targeted as Nazis and Nazi sympathizers.  My grandparents stopped speaking German sometime around 1937/38.  My father doesn't remember any German.  

What was lost to future generations is immeasurable.  My cousins and I (save one) can not read letters, writings or even recipes from our great grandparents, great-great grandparents, etc.  We've lost knowing who they were, and even what they liked to eat.  The only family member who could, though he hasn't spoken/read/written German in years is my cousin who took German as a foreign language in high school.  He used to write to our grandmother in German for practice and for a time during the Viet Nam war he was stationed in Germany.

For the past few decades speaking a language, other than American English, even between friends in public has been derided, besieged.  Even though those who speak another language have been heavily needed and utilized in war efforts.  Navajo literally saved our ass in the Pacific Theater in WWII.   To speak another language and speak it well requires use and practice.  But in general Americans treat those can with great suspicion, especially if the person speaking is "brown" speaking a "brown language."

We have even had politicians whine that speaking two languages is too hard for native born Americans (read: white people).  Not realizing that in saying that they are saying that immigrants are smarter,  and already work harder.

There is a joke told in Europe:
Q: What do you call someone who speaks many languages?
A: Multi-lingual
Q: What do you call someone who speaks 2 languages?
A. Bi-lingual
Q: What do you call someone who speaks 1 language?
A: An American
That is not a compliment.

We actively seek out and "stomp" on those who do not speak English even among their friends.

Overheard in a grocery store by someone waiting in line behind a woman talking on her cell phone in another language. Ahead of her as a white man. After the woman hangs up he speaks up.

Man: "I didn't want to say anything while you were on the phone but you are in America now. You need to speak English."

Woman: "Excuse me?"

Man: [talks slow] "If you want to speak Mexican, go back to Mexico. In America, we speak English."

Woman: "Sir, I was speaking Navajo. If you want to speak English, go back to England."

- babycenter
(yes I know it's a facebook meme, I just couldn't find it)

In the spirit of inclusion, during foreign language week this year, it was decided that Pledge of Allegiance*,  should be given in Arabic (It was recited in two different languages the two days before).

And this prompted an angry outcry (though there wasn't an angry outcry during the first two days)

PINE BUSH - An effort to celebrate national Foreign Language Week by reading the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic Wednesday has polarized Pine Bush High School into angry factions.

The morning's regularly scheduled announcements included the Arabic reading of the pledge. According to students, the announcement was greeted by catcalls and angry denunciations in classrooms throughout the school by students who felt the reading was inappropriate.
- Times Herald Record

FoxNews got into the act (of course, how could they not) and said that the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic would encourage Muslim youth to join ISIS. smh  The young man who recited the pledge has been called a terrorist.

Angry people demanded that the school apologize

“I would ask what he would be apologizing for exactly. Was his apology directed at those who have spread anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry with hostile comments about this Pledge of Allegiance?” says Hooper [spokesperson for CAIR]. “I mean, what could be more quintessentially American than offering the Pledge of Allegiance no matter what language it’s in.” - WAMC
That hostility is the same sort that my grandparents faced and feared in the run up to our entry into WWII.

Through all of this I have been reminded of an episode of "The Waltons."  It probably was the most transformative episode of the program I ever watched.  It was aired in Oct of 1976, I was 14.  Episode 5 of Season 5, "The Firstorm."

Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in 1937, John Boy Walton (Richard Thomas) decides to publish excerpts from Hitler's Mien Kampf in his newspaper.  Not because he is a Nazi or a Nazi sympathizer but because Hitler laid out his plans for Europe in the book and he wants his fellows to know.  He wants to shine light into the darkness, to overcome ignorance with knowledge.  He wants, in the very finest of the tradition of Sun Tzu for his fellows to know the enemy they may be fighting.

He and his family are targeted as Nazis.  They are threatened.  He also finds out there is a woman in the village who speaks German, but doesn't want it known for she fears she will also be targeted.  

That fear was very real back then.  My grandparents felt it, others in other cities and towns across the US were targetted.  And along with the American-Japanese we did intern a few German-American citizens too.

The village minister (John Ritter) calls him out in a sermon and even plans a book burning.  His plan is to "symbolically" burn Mein Kampf, but someone else finds more books in German to add to the fire.  John Boy tries to stop them, in a speech I cannot transcribe because I get too emotional hearing it, even now.  Then he finds, in the pile of books to burn a book that they, the Christians they think themselves to be, should revere.  It's a Bible in German.

The school did apologize for the pledge being said in Arabic and said it would only be said in English from now on.  Even though there is no official mandate that that is the only language it's supposed to be said in. But should they have?

No one cared about the other two languages it was said in.  It was inclusive that that was fine.  Only ignorance, fear and hatred, pumped up by a network and a party that has a vested interest in making it so, makes it so.

Is this all it takes, for something to be in Arabic?  Is that all it takes to divide, to call up the hatred? Not what the words mean, but the language they are spoken in?

They would then burn a Bible in Arabic?  (it is translated in many different languages, including Arabic)

If the words don't matter, ONLY the language they are spoken in then by all means vilify and burn this:

3 طوبى للمساكين بالروح .لان لهم ملكوت السموات .

4 طوبى للحزانى .لانهم يتعزون .

5 طوبى للودعاء .لانهم يرثون الارض .

6 طوبى للجياع والعطاش الى البر .لانهم يشبعون .

7 طوبى للرحماء .لانهم يرحمون .

8 طوبى للانقياء القلب .لانهم يعاينون الله .

9 طوبى لصانعي السلام .لانهم ابناء الله يدعون .

10 طوبى للمطرودين من اجل البر .لان لهم ملكوت السموات .

11 طوبى لكم اذا عيّروكم وطردوكم وقالوا عليكم كل كلمة شريرة من اجلي كاذبين .

12 افرحوا وتهللوا .لان اجركم عظيم في السموات .فانهم هكذا طردوا الانبياء الذين قبلكم

It's in Arabic after all.  You have no clue what is there.  It might be from the Quran.  You've shown it's not the content that matters only the language its delivered in.  Show your ignorance and hatred to the world.  And in the process stop calling yourselves Christian or even an American.

You've taken freedom away from others.

If the video isn't working try this link - the book burning starts at 44:18

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Sun Nov 30, 2014 at 07:54 AM PST

Send Them a Time Capsule

by Clytemnestra

In a few weeks, after this semester ends, I will be on a plane bound for Denver.  It will be for many reasons, I grew up there, my parents, sister, daughter, son in law and granddaughter are there, as well as an aunt and a few cousins.  But it's not only to visit, and do my part for my parents, but also  to help them  (both in their 80s and pack rats to boot), sort out their house.  It's a trip I have made whenever there is a chance, and a trip I make will the future.

On one such trip I handed my mother a bag of stuff. Papers mostly, or so I thought.  Inside that bag was another bag and this one was full of Christmas cards.  And I watched her read each one.

She would open the card and read the name, often a long passed relative or friend and she'd think about them, talk about them and reminisce. Sometimes she'd admit that she hadn't thought about them for years.  

Sometimes all it took was seeing their signature or a line or two of their handwriting. She'd  go back in time and "touch" them.  

It was then I understood the additional impact of a persons signature. It's not just something that say "this is me," but from the other side "this is you."  This is a part of you, this is part of your character, part of what is associated with you.

This was brought home to me again when I bought my grandparents Carrom/Crokinole board from my uncle.  

My grandparents Carrom/Crokinole board.  It needs to be fixed.   Carrom/Crokinole is once again popular at many board gaming conventions and with board gamers.
It was sent to me pretty much untouched as it had been for decades.  As I opened it I noticed a piece of paperboard stuck to the interior wall of the box.  It was a campaign poster my cousin had made for his campaign for position in high school student government in the mid 70s.

This was my cousin who committed suicide in 2004.  I sat there gazing at this poster that had traveled through time with his handwriting and unique signature and I remembered him with laughter and tears.  I took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook, tagging his widow (she has now remarried).  And for a brief period of time she was transported back too.

No one knows why that poster was in the Carrom/Crokinole box - but it's power as a time capsule couldn't be denied.

I couldn't ignore or deny what I was seeing an experiencing myself as my mother went through this Christmas card collection.  She'd run her hand over the card, read the card, the signature and any letter included (those would also prove valuable), soon my father joined her in the exercise.  It was slow going, but invaluable for two people who have lived so long, done and seen so much, and for the younger people there to witness it, to share in the memories or to learn new stories to add to the family folklore.

We found more bags of cards, and this process was repeated again and again.  

The more we did the more  I also began to understand what we are loosing in our digital e-card world.  

Reading is not only a visual to brain activity, it is also a tactile activity, and it is tied to retention of what we read.  I use to wonder why I preferred some textbooks to be on paper, while others  (my readings for Contemporary Literature) were fine on my Kindle.  It has everything to do with what I am reading and why.  Running my hands over the pages, taking out my highlighter, writing in the margins, flipping the pages, are all part of the tactile need in reading to retain what you read.  It may also be that smell and hearing is also tied to retention, smell of the ink, the paper, the highlighter, hear the page turn etc.

Understanding how reading on paper is different from reading on screens requires some explanation of how the brain interprets written language. We often think of reading as a cerebral activity concerned with the abstract—with thoughts and ideas, tone and themes, metaphors and motifs. As far as our brains are concerned, however, text is a tangible part of the physical world we inhabit. In fact, the brain essentially regards letters as physical objects because it does not really have another way of understanding them. As Wolf explains in her book Proust and the Squid, we are not born with brain circuits dedicated to reading. After all, we did not invent writing until relatively recently in our evolutionary history, around the fourth millennium B.C. So the human brain improvises a brand-new circuit for reading by weaving together various regions of neural tissue devoted to other abilities, such as spoken language, motor coordination and vision. - Scientific  American
It may also be that the smell of the ink, the paper, the highlighter, etc is also part of reading retention.  

Those things also contribute to retaining memories, and recalling them.  

The smell of the ink used way back when, the maybe dated images of boys in bright orange and yellow plaid trousers, the feel of the weight of the paper, the hand written note, or a signature of a beloved but long dead relative, forgotten only because of the hecticness of modern life.  The holiday card is important, and carries more than an ecard ever can or will.

Real time, solid, paper cards aren't just quaint outdated expressions, they are time capsules for the future.  For us, for our friends and family to open again at some later date and remember us.  Maybe after we've died, to stave off our second death - when the last person who knew us and remembers us dies.  

To remember and to be remembered.

This year send some holiday cards. Many cards are made with recycled paper and not only will you be helping the post office, but there are many charities who sell holiday cards that you can help as well.

Here are a few:
American Cancer Society
Art Institute of Chicago
Arbor Day Foundation
Broadway Cares
Children's Hospital of Michigan
Arts for Life
City Harvest
Elephant Sanctuary
Faces of Siberia
Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
Guide Dog Foundation

and I haven't even scratched the surface.
Look here, here, here, and here for more
AND if you don't see your favorite charity listed, look on their web page. They may have some that didn't make it into a link farm.

You can also support Kossacks by looking through the Kos Katalogue.  

Several Kossacks take beautiful pictures and I'm surprised not to see them offered as holiday/greeting cards through Cafe Press, Zazzle or Esty.

Yes I'm hinting heavily at a few kossacks.  But even if I've had little to no interaction with you and you take beautiful photographs, or create beautiful art (which you could also take a photograph of) think about creating some cards for your personal use or to sell in the Katalogue.

SaraR and Winglion could also take pictures of their non dedicated but still beautiful quilts and make them into holiday/greeting cards.

Yes they will be a bit more expensive, they will be "short run" after all.  But sometimes for art and support it's more than worth it.

You may wish to tell your recipients that cards are time machines.  That as much joy as they bring now  . . .

. . . and really since we are far more digitally oriented getting something in snail mail that isn't a bill or trying to sell us something is a pleasure (maybe even more than when we were kids and finally got mail addressed to us) . . .

. . . they can bring joy later.  Gather the cards (and letters) together after the holidays, put them in a bag, and store them in a keepsake box.  

Encourage your recipients  to send you a card too . . . so when you are old, or when they are old and you are gone, you, they, can be remembered and will remember.

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Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:04 AM PDT

And if she had a gun?

by Clytemnestra

In 2002 a few months after 9-11 my husband and I attended a gaming (board/card/table top rpg) convention.  We can usually be found there, when during a game I over heard someone at another table say that we should be allowed to carry guns onto a plane.  I stopped the game I was in and stopped his game and looked at him and said "then my husband would never be able to fly again." (travel was/is part of his job)

I pointed out all the stupidity to the statement and asked if he had noticed all the Islamaphobia, and anti-Arab hatred in America.  He seemed to recognize how bad that wish was (not to mention stupid, 50+ guns pointed at someone on pressurized plane, and what a stray bullet would do)

Later the man became our friend.

Now we have "stand your ground laws"

And people who understandably get rattled and upset when they've almost been in a car  accident. . .

And we still have Islamaphobia, and anti-Arab hatred in America

What if you put those three things together?

Can you image what would have happened if this woman had had a gun?
(NSFW or around children)

He seems to bring out his camera to document damage and to exchange info in case there is a problem. I have used the camera on my cell to take pictures of the white board my prof has written on and friends notes when I have been absent from class - so there are many reasons he had his camera.  But I think the best reason is that he heard her going off and got worried - what if she got his license plate number and he had nothing to ID her?

She too seems to have gotten out an envelope to write information on.

He apologizes but she is so full of hatred it doesn't matter.

She threatens to kill  his mother and his kids (his father and sister too), because she has people who will do it for her.

Crazy White Woman: "You're a Muslim, aren't you?"

Muslim Man: "Yes, ma'am. Proud."

Crazy White Woman: "I goddamn knew it! You abs blow up school bus children.  You goddamn  son of a nigger-loving atheist bitch. Get off of me!"

Muslim Man: "I feel sorry for you. That you're full of hatred,"

He was never "on" her, just near her car door, but far enough away so she couldn't hit him with her hand (or fist).

I wouldn't have kept talking to her, but in the moment one may not pick up on the fact that it's not helping.

Here's the main thing to take away from this video. Yes, she's an angry, nasty racist. While she's hurling vile things at him, you know what he's concerned about? Her safety and well being. Despite hearing all of that, he tells her to calm down before she drives away, clearly worried that she'll cause an actual accident in that state. And how does she respond to that?

She jumps out of her car and charges at him.
- Rebecca Rose, Jezebel

Imagine if she did have a gun

It could/would have gone something like this:

He charged me! He said he was going to kill me! He had that evil look all of em have.  He said that I was an infidel and all infidels must die. He would have cut off my head, the fucking Muslim.  I was in fear for my life!
And without the video she still could have claimed that (even with him still standing) in a police report as soon as she got the license plate number.  And Pam Geller and FoxNews would have picked up on it and run.

This is the America I live in.

It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? You could love three little things so much, watch them grow, they’re in their mid-20s, and they’re inspiring you, and exciting you, and they fill you up with the kind of joy you could never have known.

And yet, something inside you is so horrible or you’re such a coward or whatever the reason that you decide that you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today.
- Shepard Smith

Thanks for helping Mr. Smith.  Those words, your words, did not help.  They hurt not just those who are at the very precipice of that choice, but those dealing with the aftermath of the choice made.

I've been there.  Deeply depressed. On the edge, when a turn of the steering wheel would have sent me and my minivan over a bridge.  I know what accomplished liars about our pain we can be.  We can, especially if we know the drill, because we've been there before, hide everything through our smiles, and our acting.  We can make you believe that it isn't really as bad as it is, we can plan in secret.

How we put on a mask.

Those of us who know, know that this death has written a permission slip for others.  For if Robin Williams couldn't overcome his demons and his darkness, what hope is there for others? (they will reason)

Coward?  You may think it's tough love, but for those on that edge, who've come to that point you are just confirming what they already feel about themselves and what they are. You've just gotten them a step closer.

Shepard Smith apologized today, for the reaction he got was swift.

When called he said this to Mediaite:

I spent an entire hour talking about how much this man affected people’s lives and brought greatness to this world. I was just wondering aloud what could have made this man want to end it all. And it reminds us that we all have responsibility as friends and neighbors to help take responsibility to prevent this from happening. There are people who process suicide as a black-and white-issue. I don’t process anything as black-and-white.

I was sorry to read online the people who see the world in a black-and-white way, and to suggest that they might have a definitive analysis of why he did such a thing. What I wanted to do is celebrate his life and find some meaning in our own lives, since we often do know someone who is reaching out, and we have a responsibility to help that person — maybe a phone call or a door knock is in order.

But no matter how you process it: Look at what this family is going through. I would never presume to know anything about his private life. And if any of his family members and friends were to have seen me use the word “coward,” I would be horrified. I would just to apologize to the end of the earth to anyone who might think that I meant to openly call him a coward.

To the core of my being, I regret it. It just came out of my mouth. And I’m so sorry. And to anyone and their families who see that, I am sorry.

You don't know his reasons, you don't know his demons . . . and you surely don't know his fight or how long he fought

until the weight
always there, maybe lifting for a time
but always returning

was unbearable for one second more.

Shepard do those of us who struggle with depression and suicide ideation, and those whose loved ones are dealing with the pain of a completed suicide ,a favor  . . .

With all the following and gravitas you have at Fox News, spend today's program and many more programs talking about and educating about depression and mental health.

No judgements, just good reality, medical, psychology based education. With people who work in the mental health community.

DO something that truly helps.

Help educate about these issues and remove the stigma.  So that it's not shameful to seek help.  It's as normal as going to the doctor and getting treated for diabetes.

For you are someone who has the power to do that.


Author Naomi Wolf was challenged to read the Bible.  What she found blew her mind (her words) and probably not in the direction the challenger(s) were hoping.

She posted the results on facebook an hour ago:

Okay, so I was challenged below: "Read the Bible! God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people." So....I may get crucified for this but I have started to say it -- most recently (terrified, trembling) to warm welcome in a synagogue in LA: Actually if you read Genesis Exodus and Deuteronomy in Hebrew -- as I do -- you see that God did not "give" Israel to the Jews/Israelites. We as Jews are raised with the creed that "God gave us the land of Israel" in Genesis -- and that ethnically 'we are the chosen people." But actually -- and I could not believe my eyes when I saw this, I checked my reading with major scholars and they confirmed it -- actually God's "covenant" in Genesis, exodus and Deuteronomy with the Jewish people is NOT ABOUT AN ETHNICITY AND NOT ABOUT A CONTRACT. IT IS ABOUT A WAY OF BEHAVING.
Again and again in the "covenant" language He never says: "I will give you, ethnic Israelites, the land of Israel." Rather He says something far more radical - far more subversive -- far more Godlike in my view. He says: IF you visit those imprisoned...act mercifully to the widow and the orphan...welcome the stranger in your midst...tend the justice and love mercy ....and perform various other tasks...THEN YOU WILL BE MY PEOPLE AND THIS LAND WILL BE YOUR LAND. So "my people" is not ethnic -- it is transactional. We are God's people not by birth but by a way of behaving, that is ethical, kind and just. And we STOP being "God's people" when we are not ethical, kind and just. And ANYONE who is ethical, kind and just is, according to God in Genesis, "God's people." And the "contract" to "give" us Israel is conditional -- we can live in God's land IF we are "God's people" in this way -- just, merciful, compassionate. AND -- it never ever says, it is ONLY your land. Even when passages spell out geographical "boundaries" as if God does such a thing, it never says this is exclusively your land. It never says I will give this land JUST to you. Remember these were homeless nomads who had left slavery in Egypt and were wandering around in the desert; at most these passages say, settle here, but they do not say, settle here exclusively. Indeed again and again it talks about welcoming "zarim" -- translated as "strangers" but can also be translated as "people/tribes who are not you" -- in your midst. Blew my mind, hope it blows yours.
Because women are still considered fair bargaining chips, tools and chattel even among educated western minds.
“The only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.” This assertion was made by Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University about three weeks ago on an Israel Radio program. “It sounds very bad, but that’s the Middle East,” added Kedar, of Bar-Ilan’s Department of Arabic.
- Haaretz
Is there ANYTHING that is off limits?  Are we making progress at all?  
To the shocked radio presenter who said that "we cannot take such steps, of course", Kedar replied:

"I'm not talking about what we should or shouldn't do. I'm talking about the facts
- International Business Times

Just the facts . . . because violence is the only thing these ___ understand.  It's just their culture.  

Remove Dr. Mordechai Kedar and put in it's place any historical white person in the US who thought Native Americans savages and the words, meanings and possibilities are well defined and clear.

“You have to understand the culture in which we live,” said Kedar. “The only thing that deters [Hamas leaders] is a threat to the connection between their heads and their shoulders.” When presenter Yossi Hadar asked if that “could filter down” the organization’s ranks, Kedar replied: “No, because lower down the considerations are entirely different. Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live.”
- Haaretz
Bring more innocents into peril.  Destroy more lives and you think it will just end?  Do you not think you will just stoke more rage? Do you think your increased violence or threat of increased violence will end it.  Has it? Have you had 20 consecutive years of peace?  How about 10?

He's a right winger and served 25 years in military intelligence. He's no stranger to chilling thoughts and ideas that disagree with him and his:

In addition to working for the right-wing Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies of Bar Ilan University, Kedar also founded the Israel Academia Monitor website, which is dedicated to fighting left-leaning “extremist Israeli academics who exploit academic freedom in order to take steps to deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
-- RawStory
which means this:
[Kedar] worked for a shadowy organisation, the Israel Academia Monitor, which fights left-leaning academic professors.
- International Business Times
Israeli feminists would have none of his words:
In the wake of the publication of his words, feminist activists today sent a letter to Bar-Ilan University president Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, in which they decried Kedar’s “words of incitement that grant legitimacy to Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Israeli civilians to commit rape, and endanger both Israeli and Palestinian women. Kedar’s words echo expressions that treat rape as a remedial practice, although it is a war crime.”
- Haartz
And they are right.

So there has been a walk back of sorts, though Kedar chose not to be interviewed.

In a statement provided to Haaretz, Bar-Ilan University said that Kedar was not advocating using rape to fight terrorism.

The professor “wanted to illustrate that there is no means of deterring suicide bombers, and using hyperbole, he gave the rape of women as an example,” the statement said. “In order to remove all doubt: Dr. Kedar’s words do not, God forbid, contain a recommendation to commit such despicable acts. The intention was to describe the culture of death of the terror organizations. Dr. Kedar was describing the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and liberal law-abiding country to fight against the terror of suicide bombers.”

But what did he say again?
“The only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.” - Dr. Mordechai Kedar
No, no advocating at all.  Except stating that it is the ONLY THING that will stop them.

Sort of like a "pro-lifer" calling Dr. Tiller "the killer"  who wouldn't stop murdering innocent babies. They weren't advocating for his death or anything, either.

“Rape as a weapon of war is an assault on security and a world in which these crimes happen is one in which there is not, and never will be, peace,”

- UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie to the United Nations Security Council

Well said.
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I have had, for the past few days, tried to put blinkers on so I can focus on my school work and not all the shit going on in the world.

Immigrant children coming to this country not the legal way... not the way our grandparents came over when they arrived at Ellis Island.

Hey DF, they are EXACTLY coming over the way your grandparents came over! This INCLUDES, not even beginning the legal process of immigration  until their foot touched American soil at Ellis Island.  Looking at another way, each state accepting these children is now an Ellis Island.

And I could go on . . .

I/P conflict -- yeah I have an opinion, as anyone friended with me on Facebook knows.

Blinkers (horse tack), on full.

Then I made the mistake of reading this . . .

Pro-Life Nurse-Midwife Who Won’t Prescribe the Pill Sues Family Planning Center for Not Hiring Her

Is “religious freedom” about being free to practice your faith, or just a generic cover story for any and all attempts to try to foist your beliefs on others? In this era of Hobby Lobby vs. Burwell, it’s understandable that many on the right have decided it’s the latter and are eager to start testing the limits of how much leverage the expansive new definition of “religious freedom” gives them to meddle with the private contraception choices of others. Next on the docket: Attempting to force family planning centers to hire nurse-midwives who refuse to let patients plan their families, all in the name of “religious freedom.”





Sara Hellwege, a pro-life nurse in Tampa, Florida, is suing Tampa Family Health Centers after not being considered for a job just because she said she would not do that job, because doing that job, the job she doesn't have but was interviewing to get, would violate her religious beliefs.  

. . . Hellwege was asked about her membership in the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and asked her if her beliefs would prevent her from working there. Hellwege said that while she would be able to “counsel” women about various birth control methods, she would only be able to prescribe barrier methods and sterilization. She then inquired if there were any job openings for antepartum and laborist only.

Mr. Lindsey then informed her that TFHC was a Title X organization, and that there were no jobs currently available that did not require her to prescribe birth control pills. Simple enough.
- Death and Taxes magazine

So she clearly said that she could not meet the job requirements as stated in the  description.  So . . . well . . .  bye! I mean,   I don't expected to get a job if I state that I can't meet the requirements of the job.

But not so Sara Hellwege, she's suing with the backing of  the Christian right organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) which is handling her case.  Because freedom.

“No one deserves to suffer discrimination just because they’re pro-life,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “Federal and state law make it clear that being pro-abortion cannot be a prerequisite for employment, nor can federally funded facilities force nurses to assist with practices that could lead to an abortion.”


The lawsuit, Hellwege v. Tampa Family Health Centers, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, explains that “TFHC’s refusal to consider Ms. Hellwege’s application for employment on the basis of her religious beliefs and association with the pro-life group AAPLOG violates multiple federal laws.”

The lawsuit also explains that “Florida law shall not require ‘any person to participate in the termination of a pregnancy, nor shall...any person be liable for such refusal.’” Moreover, “Ms. Hellwege has the right to refuse to prescribe abortifacient contraceptives where such actions violate her religious beliefs or moral convictions.”


Willingness to commit an abortion cannot be a litmus test for employment,” added ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “All we are asking is for the health center to obey the law and not make a nurse’s employment contingent upon giving up her respect for life.”

 - Alliance Defending Freedom press release


Don't tell me your feelings. Give me your actual peer reviewed SCIENCE behind your claims.

So because Hobby Lobby was not required to prove whether their feelings that certain forms of birth control are abortifacients, and therefore a violation of the owner's of the corporation's feelings religious belief against abortion and there-fore a violation of the corporation's religion, these yaywhos feel emboldened to go after family planning clinics, whether or not they preform the actual medical procedure of abortion.

And then they go to a  safe place where women won't be lied to and get good, reliable information and birth control what ever the type and what ever is needed . . . CAN'T HAVE THAT -- they need to be able to infect every aspect of a woman's life.  Whether she's a believer or not.

This is a war and they are trying to go around our flank.

I guess our clinics need to declare a religion.

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When the Lion of the Senate (Ted Kennedy D-MA) died we here in Massachusetts had a special election.  Many have criticized the way the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley ran her campaign, she "inexplicably" lost in a race she should have won.

There are many valid reasons Scott Brown won that election.  One not so valid reason is that MA was turning red. When it came for him to face a democratic challenger in the general election, he lost and we got the awesome Elizabeth Warren.

Spurned, dejected and rejected, Scotty took his ball, sold his house and moved to his summer house in New Hampshire (like regular truck drivin folks do).  When he established full time residency carpet bagger, and with time on his hands the carpet bagger, he "decided" he'd like to do a MacArthur impression and return to the Senate the carpet bagger. He's running against New Hampshire Democratic Senator  Jeanne Shaheen hoping she's a softer target than (Look at her! She doesn't look Native American) Elizabeth Warren.

But one of the tricks to being a successful carpet bagger candidate is not to remind the people you hope will be your constituents that you  are a carpet bagger have only recently joined them full time. And that you aren't  a carpet bagger still running your last race from another place.

But today while discussing the plight of immigrant children 3,000 miles away and not coming in the "right" way, the carpet bagger Scott Brown seems to forget that he doesn't live in Massachusetts any more.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party was quick to seize on the remark, posting the interview on YouTube with the caption "Brown Forgets Where He's Running." The Washington Post also picked up on Brown's comment, writing a blog post entitled "Brown, repeat to yourself three times 'New Hampshire, New Hampshire, New Hampshire.'"
Now Brown's camp and the radio host say he meant to refer to the "Massachusetts delegation." because the radio show and host are both in Massachusetts BUT he was clearly talking about New Hampshire and Jeanne Shaheen just nano seconds before.

I listened and to me the carpet bagger Scott Brown doesn't seem to remember he acted like a snotty brat (not that that was unusual given the highly unprofessional and embarrassing tirade he lit into at kids at King Philips High during an all school assembly created for him) and left us (which is really no big deal).

But here, listen for yourselves.  It starts around 1:30.  The video itself is "unlisted."

Poor Scottie, he doesn't have the Boston Herald to prop him up anymore
- Joan McCarter
Scott Brown really doesn't want to talk Hobby Lobby
That's Boston Herald Radio . . . he just might have them still
Republicans discovered the cause of uterine cancer, cervical cancer, AIDS and a host of other issues dealing with and in a woman's private areah.

This needs screaming headlines!  Wall to wall coverage on CNN and FoxNews!
 (no MSNBC because slutty feminazis don't need to know this or be saved)

Republicans discover the cause of uterine cancer, cervical cancer, and AIDS

This news is only for upright, Godly, conservative women, no sex before marriage, straight, monogamous marriage marriage.

They probably don't even enjoy sex.  They aren't sluts after all!  (only libbberul wyminz are teh demon slutz)

Republicans discover the cause of uterine cancer, cervical cancer, and AIDS! ! !

But Minnesota House candidate Bob Frey (R) [and son] may have slipped up, or not gotten the memo or something. Yes he said it about gay AIDs, as opposed to straight AIDs, not thinking that we could discern the information bestowed there in.  BUT WE DID!

[W]hen questioned about his position on social issues, [Minnesota House candidate Bob Frey (R)] added that it “does certainly need to be addressed for what it is. It’s not about the gay agenda but about the science and the financial impact of that agenda. It’s more about sodomy than about pigeonholing a lifestyle.”

Frey then explained his view: “When you have egg and sperm that meet in conception, there’s an enzyme in the front that burns through the egg. The enzyme burns through so the DNA can enter the egg. If the sperm is deposited anally, it's the enzyme that causes the immune system to fail. That’s why the term is AIDS – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.” - MinnPost

O!!! M!!! G!!!!

Why hasn't teh news media or the scientific community picked up on this?  

Years and years, tons of research and trillions of tax dollars wasted when we should have just asked a Republican (Ronald Reagan not withstanding).  Specifically super duper scientist with a double secret PhD.  or maybe an MD, it could even be a MD PhD. (It's so secret we don't know!) Bob Frey.

He knows what causes AIDs in gay men.

The implications for straight women are enormous.  If unfulfilled enzymized sperm, go rogue, act like a weaponized disease  (or an out of control missile and no James Earl Jones to turn a key, push a button and tell the person he was never there), and  causes AIDs in gay men, it only follows it does the same to straight women.

Because even Super Duper Double Secret PhD/MD scientist Bob Frey knows* that in straight, for procreation only sex, sperm doesn't always meet egg.

That's why there are basal thermometers - because human persons  don't have a rutting season (we aren't animals, silly) - to help us figure out when the time is right for ovulation.  The sex act is basically a blind date where sperm have a good chance of getting stood up.  A basal thermometer just writes the appointment in a day planner.  Still no absolute guarantee the diva will show.

So what happens to all those heartbroken unfulfilled enzymized sperm?  According to Dr. Bob Frey they act like hooligans whose soccer team has lost, at least in the colon. And another eminent Republican scientist, Todd Akin provides us with the answer to what happens in the bodies of women.  Since a woman's body knows that this isn't rape it won't be shutting anything down.  So all those little unfulfilled enzymized sperm hooligans start destroying the vagina and uterus too.  (vicious little narcissists - they make piranhas look like gold fish)

tsk, tsk, tsk

I think I can understand now the determination of the Republicans to keep women from having sex (abstinence/procreation only) or enjoying it (if you want to have fun read a book or go to a movie).  It's all about our lives and health.

I see that now!

If a woman has straight sex in a limited, for procreation only way, she limits her exposure to the ultimately deadly TSE (Terrorist Sperm Ejaculate) .  Her lack of enjoyment in sex keeps her from wanting it all the time and exposing herself to the unnecessary risk of her vagina looking like the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

The devastation doesn't happen all at once.  No, it's like radiation exposure,  the damage is cumulative.

I get it!

The information that pregnancy crisis centers were giving about the overwhelming failure rate of barrier methods (condoms, diaphragms, etc.) wasn't false at all.  We thought they were lying to women, but they were using their Republican scientist sex knowledge that we didn't have.  I mean if TSE can devastate flesh, it'll/they will eat through latex in short order.  And then angrier than a wasp trying to get out of a closed window move on to a woman's body.

It's actually worse than radiation exposure because at least that is stopped by a lead apron.

This is also why they are so against hormonal contraceptives.  It just pisses the tadpoles off.

Spermacides?  What do you think it is?  The Magnificent Seven?

Really the only way for a straight woman to avoid  a Sand Creek Massacre level of exposure to the little swimming thugs delivering uterine/cervical cancer and AIDs is to STOP HAVING SEX.

Because even in straight sex** the sperm is all dressed up with no place to go.  And according to these GOP politicians, whose only claim to being scientists are that they slept at a Holiday Inn last night, is that it will anger the tads so much that they will go medieval on your insides.


The risk to a woman's health, even straight and married is just too great. (Like cigarettes, men's penises should have a cancer warning label on the side!)

Unless you're the slutty, risky life style, enjoying sex, libbbbbberul woman.  Because remember, even if your married, and/or in a monogamous relationship, it won't save you.  AIDs happens because THE SPERM is not happy.  All hail THE SPERM! The wages of sin (or just women enjoying sex) is death.

No sex = no sperm = no AIDS or certain types of cancer and who knows what else.

Except if you are a lesbian, then carry on.


Continue Reading

It all began innocently enough.  Taking a break from studying for Monday's exam in history I posted this to my facebook status.

Learning more about Shay's Rebellion and wondering if there isn't a "compare and contrast" with the modern tea party paper in there (for a future class) well many of our rebellion s actually. Wish the study of history was more important to Americans.
Which earned several likes, including one from my conservative cat toy FB friend.  He, like most cat toys (he does know I call him this btw)  makes comments.  There are days when it seems he can't resist commenting about anything and everything.  

I don't know him IRL, he's a friend of a friend I gained through the early days of live blogging of the Stephanie Miller show.  He seems genuinely nice and to actually care about me, my life and what's going on. There are also points of agreement between us.  We do agree on marriage equality. But we do go at it on other issues, several Kossak friends have engaged him, and I have found out that many of my silent FB friends IRL or just over the web (here, of FB, etc.) enjoy reading the "set toos."

Anyway he had to comment:

Hear, Hear. "If we don't study out history, we are bound to repeat it". Paraphrase of Winston Churchill
I'm glad he agrees but I think, given other comments and arguments, he thinks it will be the left learnin' somethin.'

("g" drops mine, he is very articulate, he'd just fail most classes that demand his source material)

My response:

Dont assume it will always go the way of the current Republican party. It wont and Tea Partiers wont like the fact that they've been duped with their calls to return to the original Constitution while thinking it guarantees the 2nd Amendment. It doesn't.
and now we are into it

Cat Toy Conservative Friend

The Supreme Court has made numerous rulings throughout the years that it is a guaranteed right, Clytemnestra.* It would take a Constitutional Convention to remove any Amendment from the Constitution.
That wasn't what I said. I was not talking about the practicality or even possibility of their desire to return to the original Constitution. But to their erroneous assumptions of whats there, and being used as pawns by those who do. All due to their under-education and seeming desire to maintain that level.
Oh no I didn't . . . under-education?? Oh it's on:

Conservative Friend:

Under education ? What do you mean by that ? There are many very well educated individuals in the "Tea Party". Please explain your accusations ...
Yeah...because they are demanding a return to the original constitution to protect their rights which was not part of the original constitution. Hence the name "amendments"
I don't remember ever hearing anyone wanting to remove any of the Amendments except for the 2nd Amendment and that's from the Left. Who is advocating repeal / removal of which amendment ?
This is going in a predicable direction


?? Where did I say "remove?" Me thinks you are missing the point.
You mentioned the rights that were not part of the "original" Constitution. A RETURN to the "original" constitution .... Well, hate to burst your bubble, but the Bill of Rights IS part of the "original" Constitution. It delineates the rights of the PEOPLE. Amendments added after the 1st 10 then become part of the Constitution. Last time I looked, the 2nd Amendment is included in the 1st 10, is it not ? So again I ask again, who is trying to remove ANY of the Amendments except the left ?
Oh THANK YOU internet gods.  Or predictability muses, or whatever:


Nope the original Constitution was finally ratified when the last hold out state, Rhode Island, accepted it in 1790. The Bill or Rights was not ratified by all the states until 1791. The US Constitution was written without the Bill of Rights, and passed on to the states for ratification. The first state to ratify was Delaware December 1787. Most states ratified the Constitution sans Bill of Rights by the summer of 1788. The Bill or Rights was not even written until September 1789.

So NO it is not part of the original Constitution, these amendments did become part of it as does every amendment

As for floating the canard that the left wants to remove rights. This is horse crap floated by the right. What the left wants is responsible laws about firearms, not wild west anarchy that the person with the most firepower runs the lives of those around them. No one on the left is seeking to remove amendments. And I invite you to provide links to original, straight from the horse's mouth that any in power are.

On the other hand, there are Republicans in power like Chuck Grassley who are saying thus "Americans want and Americans deserve the real original Constitution" and then goes on to prove he has no idea what the original constitution says. Horses mouth:
Grassley-IOWA GOP Reagan Dinner 9-17-10

Oh and there is the Tea Party backed bills, and state republican platforms that call for the repeal of the 17th Amendment

And then he veers or swerves deeply around the original issue (got your seat belts on?)


Do they have ANY chance of passing ? No. "TEA Party" means "taxed enough already" ... NO mention of repealing ANY amendments. I'm not a fan if the Tea Party at all, but I really do dislike that label being thrown around right and left just to create more division in the population. Makes about as much sense as Nancy Pelosi's recent comments ( which, by the way, she made a rather feeble effort to gloss over as "she misspoke" ) last week.
Well I guess he's put me straight


Again you missed the point of what I was saying. By fanning the flames of that nonsense, like its even a possibility, instead of educating, is only creating more division. If the Tea Party (or as many on the left call them the "Something for Nothing Party")thinks they are taxed too highly now, what would they have thought during the "golden" years of Reagan when their taxes were higher, or under Nixon or Eisenhower when their taxes were even higher still. Many on the right consider that period a golden age of America and American power.
His response?  Acknowledgement that he was wrong and really didn't know a little US history, that he thought he knew??  ROTFLOL ... oh goodness no, we are now off on taxes.

Any original source, horses mouth links to Democrats in power who want to do away with amendments . . . that would be a "no" . . . as I've said he has a problem producing those.  And liberal friends have asked . . .  often.

I just thought I'd share a little bit of fun this evening.  

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There's a rocket standing on a launch pad in Virginia, ready and waiting to fire.

It's not a terrorist rocket or the little rockets that my sons, especially my oldest one, launched into the air when they were kids.  This one is on a  resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), and it's NOT being launched from FL.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, stands vertically at Launch Pad-0A after successfully being raised into position Thursday, July 10, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia
and I'm totally GEEKING OUT about this. (larger photo)

The fact that it's not being launched from Florida, but at the (Wallop's Flight Facility, in Virginia means that many of us in MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, WV, NC, SC can/could see it!

Map of U.S. East Coast showing first-sight viewing times of the Orbital-2 launch.
For us in MA it will be pretty low on the horizon.  As of this morning my family and I are trying to figure out the best place along the ocean shore to see it.  I am lobbying for us to make the drive to the sea shore in Long Island (taking the ferry from New London, CT to Orient Point, Long Island, NY) for better viewing.
Simulated view of Orbital-2′s launch path as seen from Battery Park in New York City.
I found out about this last night during my Astronomy class (in my update of last Sunday I mentioned being back in school).  It's a smart classroom and we were looking at EarthSky for the date and time of the best viewing of this weekend's "Super Moon"  which is the moon at "perigee" = closest to the earth.

(See all them fancy words I'm learnin? ;-)  Actually I'm a Sci Fi geek/nerd so I already knew this word)

Here's how to figure out the best time for you to see the moon on tomorrow at perigee, given that the time listed is in  "Universal Time." How do I translate Universal Time into my time?

Anyway I went to the EarthSky facebook page to find more links for extra credit work (which I need a few to the power of 10 to make up from some really bad quiz grades (also mentioned in my update)  to email to myself.  And there it was.  I was pretty sure my prof didn't know about it so I showed him at break before we headed down to the planetarium.  He didn't.

So in the planetarium I got the "pleasure" of projecting the web page on the dome, and this video, etc. (and yes, all this counts as another tick up the extra credit ladder).  And we are all supposed to learn how to use the actual planetarium projector (Spitz A3PR star projector). It cost thousands of dollars to repair - so no biggie if we mess up, no pressure. /snark

When I found out about the launch it was scheduled for Saturday but it has since been pushed back to Sunday due to weather.

Mission: ORB-2 (ISS resupply)
Launch Vehicle: Antares
Target Date: July 13
Launch Time: 12:52 p.m. EDT

There is also NASA TV and they will be live streaming

I never got to see the space shuttle launches.  Though I wanted too, very badly.  This is kinda in the neighborhood - so I'm going to do my level best.

And in my total spazz geekout way, I wanted to let you know too.

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Navajo wanted me to add a picture taken at my nephew's wedding.  It's below the squiggle


I’m sure many here don’t know me.  That’s fine

Some of you do, and I’ve heard (through facebook) that a few of that number have been asking about me.


Hmm, I’ve learned I have to be careful with that word as a few weeks ago it was taken as a complaint that we had moved from the cool outside to a hot room and not what it was, a comment of awe at “seeing” sun spots.

During the past year I have written sporadic, little seen diary entries here at Dailykos.  And then sort of dropped off the map here almost entirely after October.

What have I been doing?  Here’s my update for those who wondered.

In April 2013 I was finally healed from a car accident that happened almost exactly 2 years earlier, and not so coincidentally, got well after an illness of more than 20 years.

The healing after the car accident came after it was discovered that not only do I have iron deficiency anemia but I have IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA.  Deficiency so ongoingly severe that instead of the “normal” daily dose of iron, I need a double dose, daily.

That was discovered by my GYN’s team, when my fragile and frankly weak and  troubled health took another bad turn, which resulted in 2 uterine biopsies and 2 surgeries, all in the first few months of 2013.  My fragile health, full of chimeras of weird, explainable issues with my health is what lead me to this doctor.  He specializes in the treatment of women who have been exposed to Diethylstilbestrol (DES).  Which my mother only recently remembered.


April 2013, my life begins again.

I began cleaning my house, and de-stuffing it.  I spent 2 years not being able to move and watched a ton of “Hoarders.”  If there was ever a motivational program that is it.  Though never that bad, my husband and I are/were pack rats.  Plus when you have no energy and are constantly laid up with illnesses (as I put it I had an immune system with more holes in it than expensive Swiss cheese) it’s hard to maintain a house.

By Feb 2014 it was done!  Top to bottom things are cleaned and sorted and they have stayed that way. (I left the garage for the summer, which I have already started)    I now have guests over, often.  Dinner parties, friends over to look at the International Space Station when it comes around. We even have a monthly Traveller rpg game group meeting here. .

Walking?  Try hiking . . . I had wanted to hike an easy trial by Maroon Bells when I was last in Colorado, but the weather didn’t cooperate.  I couldn’t even trust walking on any near Denver trails, when every single day there was hail and tornado warnings. Something that I don’t remember happening when I grew up there.

I try to walk a mile a day.

No I haven’t lost the 100 lbs I had set about loosing by this time.  I have only lost 70lbs and have gone down about 6 dress sizes.  It will come. I’ve learned to be content with doing this slowly as I have much more than just 100lbs to lose.

Some of the reason I haven’t lost as much and as fast as I had wanted has to do with what I did last January.

I walked back into our local community college to see what I needed to do to get back in, hopefully at the place I left off in 2006.  I was, once again, jettisoning my major.  I thought when I walked in that I was too late to start for spring semester, but to my happy surprise the semester was only 2 days old!  

A quick look at my records, and with my directive of “change my major to  whatever major gets me out of here as quickly as possible,”  I opted for “General Studies Massachusetts Transfer” major (which will get me to a MA state 4 year quickly) – and viola I only had 4 classes left.

Where did I want to go after I graduated? Already decided, UMASS Boston, majoring in history with either an anthropology or gender studies minor.  I’m set, I know, at almost 52 (September), where I want to go and what I want to do.

Originally I had only registered for one class, content with the idea of finishing in the fall (because I hate summer classes).  The class was “US History from 1847” . . . because I knew I had already taken the first part of US History.  I thought I would be right on time to complete two wishes.  One from my Mom (who has 2 master’s degrees and is listed in the 1963 volume of “Who’s Who of American Women") to see at least one of her daughters graduate with a college degree before she dies, and my son who is completing his studies at a university in Boston who wanted me to get my degree before he got his.

Can do!

However when that son told us that he was graduating in December, I had to move.  I quickly added another class, “Contemporary Literature.” And decided to take classes in summer. I also submitted my "intention to graduate" form.  Which had an impact on me that was unanticipated and under appreciated before hand.

Contemp Lit was great and so rigorous and so enjoyable that it could easily be a 300-400 class.  I don’t think anyone in the class dropped out even though the books chosen were tough:

Interpreter of Maladies
Jhumpa Lahiri
(short stories about people from the subcontinent, either there or here.  She also wrote “The Namesake,” which if you didn’t know when reading, but know the movie, you quickly figure it out)

Stars of the Night Commute
Ana Božičević
(poetry. A journey from growing up in Zagreb, Croatia, during the war, accepting her sexuality, immigration to the US and becoming a citizen )

Brian Evenson
(short story, horror.  If you like Poe . . .
There is a story of AC/DC's Bon Scott in the middle )

Flood Song
Sherwin Bitsui
(Navajo poet - interview)

Writing the four papers on these works was hard.  I even got majorly stuck with "Stars of the Night Commute" and it took weeks for me to write the paper.  However to show that it was an actual case of getting stuck and not an attempt to get out of the work I sent my prof links to many of the things I've written here on Dailykos.  

Our own Navajo helped me with my paper on "Flood Song."  There were Navajo words that needed translation, and a concept that I wanted to put forward in my assertion that "Flood song" IS an epic.  But I needed to check with her about something first.  Finding out that I was on the wrong track, as far as the concept, I went a head to prove my assertion another way.

Navajo read the paper I submitted.  I am very glad she was/is there for the help.

My paper for US History was on Jane Addams, the co-founder of Hull House.  I focused on Leo Tolstoy's influence, including their meeting.

I got an A+ for both classes.

Two weekends before finals my 80 year old father had an accident which he had been impaled through the thigh with a piece of rebar.  The weekend before finals it was discovered that my 84 year old mother broke her heel.  Two days before my first final the school calls me and asks if, since I intend to graduate and that I am within the 2 classes necessary and have already registered and paid for those two classes for summer semester, if I would like to march in the big graduation at the end of May.

I replied a resounding YES . . . Mom's going to get to see it!!!  

Saturday May 17 the day after my last final I boarded a plane for Denver to see and help take care of my parents.  I arrived back in MA three days before the big graduation.  In time to get a cap and gown.

The day of graduation I am fumbling around with things.  I got my cap and gown so late there was no chance to see it if would fit.  It didn't. I can't zip it up.  I also have been "red flagged," which means I need to see someone to get the pronunciation of my last name.  I can't find him.  I rush around to find the building I'm supposed to line up in.  Once there I look down at the card I'm supposed to hand the guy, to say my name as I walk across the stage to get my diploma holder.

I look at the card and there are two words under my name that I, a dyslexic, who had been written off by the principal of the elementary school she attended as someone who "didn't have it for school" never thought I'd see

associated with my name . . .

Cum Laude

I broke down right there and then.

I didn't know I had gained that.  I didn't know until that instant.
I'm even tearing up now thinking about it.

I'm in the middle of summer semester right now.  Taking the US history class I thought I'd already taken (US History to 1860) and Astronomy (which I'm endanger of losing cum laude status because of).  The class is a lot tougher than my son lead me to believe it was, and in actually he says it's a lot tougher than the class he took.  He didn't have to learn Newton's law of universal gravitation, I have to.

School has made it tough on losing weight.  From the changing schedules that challenge me to find an optimal time to eat and not be hungry to just studying with enough kinds of "brain food munchies" that both satisfy but won't kill my diet.

I'm also working on beginning a career as a voice actor. I've taken a few classes already.  AND maybe doing some more writing and actually get something published, or self publish.

Oh AND I've already started studying for the GRE.  My AA is just my first waypoint on the climb on my own Everest.  There's a Ph.D. up there waiting for me.  I already have professors who have, without my asking, volunteered to write recommendations for me.

That's such a high.

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