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Good Sunday morning to you, , and welcome to today's . To all you folks at NN13 who are still sleeping after Saturday night's , I hope your hangover is short and mild. I am not going to write about NN13 because I'm , but feel free to talk about it in the comments as much as you wish.

I have been wanting to write about today's topic for the last week. One of my former AP students, Morgan Mohr, was our class valedictorian this year. She was my student assistant for a year (2011-12) and we talked politics almost every day. Last week she wound up with her picture on a blog at the Huffington Post.

Follow me below the double gnocchi for the full story.

I'm so proud

Morgan Mohr is a brilliant young woman. She was the top student in my AP class year before last and was the valedictorian of Kokomo High School this year with a GPA of 13.121 on a 12-point scale (AP weighting takes her above 100%). She gave an outstanding valedictory speech with strong feminist themes on May 31 before 450 fellow graduates as well as hundreds of family members and friends. Our local paper, the Kokomo Tribune, said on June 1:

She delivered a speech meant to empower all of the other women in her class.

She made a joke that actor Ryan Gosling once sent Hillary Clinton a text message that said, “Hey, doll.”

The former secretary of state responded with, “It’s Madame Secretary.”

“I now expect all of you to vote for Hillary in 2016,” she said, with a laugh. “We need more female leaders.”

Mohr told her classmates that it’s startling that women hold only 16 percent of the board seats in this country and make up only 18 percent of Congress.

“Girls, we have 7 billion people on this planet,” she said in her address. “Consider doing something other than parenting. The patriarchy must be dismantled.”

It’s only fitting that Mohr is heading to Indiana University in the fall to triple major in political science, gender studies and economics.


Mohr told her classmates that employers are calling their entire generation narcissists, but she knows that’s not true.

They all have the opportunity to do something special with their lives.

“Reach for the stars,” she told them.

Well, I was pretty proud of Morgan when I read that in the paper. But that's just the beginning of the story.

On June 2, the day after the article appeared, the commencement speaker at one of the local county high schools had a different view. The speaker was a social studies teacher at that high school named Peter Heck. He is locally infamous as a Rush Limbaugh-wannabe. He has a local radio program and for a time had a regular column in the Tribune. He spouts the usual Limbaugh/Beck insanity. According to the Huffington Post, Heck had the following to say to female graduates at Eastern High School:

I challenge you to devote yourself to your families and your children. If you choose to have a career, God's blessings upon you. But I challenge you to recognize what the world scoffs at, that your greatest role in your life will be that of wife and mother. The greatest impact you could ever contribute to our world is a loving investment in the lives of your precious children. To solve the problems plaguing our society, we don't need more women CEOs. We need more women as invested mothers.
Reaction among the students was mixed. HuffPo says:
The Eastern High School community seemed split on Heck's message. "It jumped out at me that he said they shouldn't pursue a professional career," junior Corey Parton told RTV6. "Maybe that's not how he meant it ... but it was a little out of place." But junior Marina Swaggerty appreciated the speech. "It was good that he said that. Parents need to be there for their kids. Lately people are getting too into their jobs and not caring enough about their kids," she said.
Well, Morgan is a debater. A very good debater. She was at the National Debate Finals last week. To quote from A Few Good Men, Heck "f*cked with the wrong Marine" when he took on Morgan Mohr. She wrote a brilliant rebuttal which appeared in column form in the Kokomo paper and in a slightly modified form on HuffPo.

Quoting from the Tribune, she said, in part:

As commencement approached, I thought of the students who made jokes about women’s rights, and the religious leaders who told me I belonged in the kitchen. I wanted to force every person in the gymnasium to face the hard facts about gender inequality. I wanted to liberate the little girls in the gym, who tell me that they want to be princesses instead of the president of the United States. I wanted to encourage the tired mothers to see themselves as individuals, not just a means of producing individuals. I wanted to tell my fellow female graduates to be unafraid of ambition.
After pointing out that studies show that children of working mothers have no adverse effects, she goes for the jugular:
While it seems Heck centers on the importance of child-rearing, at no point in his commencement address does he attempt to refute the vast amount of scientific data that demonstrates the positive effects of maternal employment. Instead, Heck seems concerned only with the emotional state of husbands. Heck tells girls “the greatest role of your life” will not only be that of mother, but wife. In a later part of the same speech, Heck says “we need more men acting as fierce defenders of their wives and providers for their children.”


Heck is not warning young women of the negative effect their jobs will have on their children; his primary concern is for their husbands, who will lose their roles as “defenders,” “providers” and “protectors” if their female companions show any autonomy or financial freedom.

Then after citing a study that shows marriages are less happy when women outearn men, she skewers him with this:
Perhaps Peter Heck is not simply an ultraconservative rural voice, but an indication of the veiled, and even subconscious, distress of men who are encountering a growing number of financially independent women.
I think ol' Pete better get used to it.

You folks want to know why I love what I do? You want to know how I learn from my students? You want to know why I am so proud of Kokomo High School?

Morgan Mohr.

Photo of Morgan Mohr courtesy HuffPo

Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the New Day sunrise cloud

Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.


Click >>>HERE to see a list of all the regional Kossack groups that have organized for social and activism events. There are handy links to contact each organizer to join.


:: Events Currently on the Books for ALL Kossacks ::
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Monday, June 24th

SFKossacks Hike Cliff House Coastal Trail, Muir Woods & Marin Headlands

TIME: 11:00 AM - Meet at parking lot of the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center, north of the Cliff House on Point Lobos Avenue
LOCATION: Cliff House Coastal Trail • San Francisco

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

1. navajo
2. belinda ridgewood
3. kimoconnor
4. Dave in Northridge
5. Glen the Plumber
6. Mark E Andersen
7. slksfca
8. Sharoney
9. Spousal Unit
side pocket

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Tuesday, June 25th

SFKossacks take the Ferry to Tiburon for Lunch at Guaymas

TIME: Ferry leaves at 12:10 PM so have your ticket purchased by NOON at be in line then at ferry dock to Tiburon.
LOCATION: Meet at Ferry Terminal Pier 41
Embarcadero & Pier 41 • San Francisco
Lunch at 12:30 PM

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

1. navajo
2. belinda ridgewood
3. Lorikeet
4. dharmasyd
5. norm
Glacier National Park
June 27- June 30th

Glacier National Park Kossack EPIC Meetup!

TIME: 24/7
LOCATION: Glacier National Park
402 9th St W • Columbia Falls, Montana

ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.

1. BlueJessamine
2. arizonablue
3. Mr.arizonablue
4. Truman
5. Ojibwa - arriving for the weekend
6. MTmofo
7. figbash!
8. spottedbear
9. jakedog42
10. Oke
11. cooltraveler
12. Mr.cooltraveler
13. state of confusion
14. Lute the Norwegian
15. Josh Blue
16. Thinking Fella
17. Blu Gal in DE
18. NormAl1792
19. winifred3

Joan McCarter
Ed in Montana
BoiseBlue GF

Latest diary: Glacier National Park Check In! Glacier National Park Meetup - Part II w/ lodging and campground info!
Houston Area Kossacks banner
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Saturday, June 29th

Houston Area Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Goode Company Taqueria and Hamburgers
4902 Kirby Drive • Houston

ORGANIZER: Send Chrislove a kosmail to attend.

1. Chrislove
2. nomandates
3. suesue
4. Mr. suesue
5. cosette
6. Delilah
7. MarciaJ720
8. jmbar2
9. mister mustardhead
Mr. cosette
Bridgitt (honorary Kossack)
Latest diary: Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-Up Scheduled for Saturday, June 29!
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Sunday, June 30th

SFKossacks Watch the Gay Pride Parade

TIME: Meet 10:00 AM, Parade at 10:30 AM
LOCATION: One of the Montgomery BART Stations
The one at Montgomery and Market, across Market from the Palace Hotel • San Francisco

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

1. slksfca
2. dharmasyd
3. kimoconnor
4. navajo
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Sunday, July 7th

Chicago Kossacks Go to a Ballgame!

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Fifth Third Bank Ball Park
34W002 Cherry Lane • Geneva

ORGANIZER: Send NormAl1792 a kosmail to attend.

1. NormAl1792
2. figbash
3. broths
4. Mr. broths
5-10. edwardssl & her family
Jennifer Clare
Mr. luvs
Latest diary: Chicago(land) Kossacks Meet-Up July 7: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

New York Hudson Valley Kossacks

Saturday, July 13th

NY Hudson Valley Kossacks' First Meet-up

LOCATION: Hudson House
2 Main Street • Cold Spring, NY

ORGANIZER: Send boran2 a kosmail to attend.

1. boran2
2. thankgodforairamerica
3. betson08
Latest diary: [Coming soon!]
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Thursday, July 18th

Phoenix Kossacks Meet-up for navajo

TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Rancho de Tia Rosa
3129 E. McKellips • Mesa

ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.

navajo's in town one day, even though it's a Thursday we hope you can make it.

1. arizonablue
2. Mr. arizonablue
3. navajo
4. Azazello
5. Mrs. Azazello
6. ninothemindboggler
7. Mrs. ninothemindboggler
8. thomask  
9. mrs. thomask
10. BluejayRN
11. Late Again
12. Mother Mags
Kane in CA
Kane in CA friend
cosmic debris
Mr PSzymeczek
Mr. Late Again
dewey in the desert
Latest diary: ATTN Phoenix Kossacks: Let's Welcome Navajo to the Valley of the Sun!
Dkos Asheville
Saturday, July 20th

Dkos Asheville, North Carolina Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville

ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.

1. Randallt
2. Gordon20024
3. davehouck
4. Joieau
5. SteelerGrrl
6. SteelerGuy
7. Captain Sham
8. Smiley7
9. DawnN
10. Phil S 33
Latest diary: DKos Asheville Open Thread 5/18/13: Frogs and tomatoes and snakes, oh my!

Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.
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