Would you charge your kid 4% interest on money he/she borrowed from you? My dad did.
My parents parented intentionally. Their goal was to mold my sister and me into well-adjusted, capable, responsible adults. Rarely was a decision made without some wisdom behind it. I’m not saying they were perfect or didn’t make rash decisions, but, their approach to parenting allowed for those imperfections without losing perspective of their goal.
My father set his mind to ensure that we were wise in managing our money. He also wanted us to be good employees. When he agreed to buy something for us, say a video game, we would have to buy it and then give him the receipt. No receipt? He wouldn’t pay us back. His rationale? That’s how it works in the real world. Travel on business but don’t turn in the receipts? Kiss that plane ticket money goodbye.
When I graduated from college, I got a job in Plano, Texas. I had zero money for any deposits for the apartment, water, electricity and so forth. I asked my dad if I could borrow the money and he said yes, with a 4% interest. We drew up a contract together and set the payment schedule and amount due each month. While some people would argue that he was taking advantage of me, I never felt more loved. He was teaching me about life because he wanted me to be as successful as I possibly could.
I’ve never spent more than I have earned. I’ve never taken a loan I couldn’t repay. I have learned how to manage my money wisely. And, all of this is because my dad was loving enough to expect receipts, charge me interest and treat me as the adult I was becoming.
And now, as a parent myself, my job is to raise my kids with the same goal in mind and yes, I will charge them interest.
Why are random strangers so concerned with what I believe to be true? And why are they so ready to beat me over the head with “science”? I don’t beat them over the head with the Bible. Ever. They’ll cite Darwin as if he’s a god and not just a regular man. They’ll point to graphs and then fall apart when I say I don’t necessarily agree with the findings. “How can I be so blind? How can I be so ignorant? How can I be so trusting of some magical man in the sky when SCIENCE is right here staring me down?”, they say exasperatedly. Well, because I believe differently. I’ve done my research, studied the hard sciences and mathematics, read the findings, taken into account various reports by other men and women and I’ve come to my conclusions logically, rationally and with faith.
I believe God created the heavens and the earth and everything that is in them. I don’t subscribe to everything that Darwin posits but I do understand hybridization and mutation. Those two things are real and repeatable. I do believe that mankind contributes pollution to the atmosphere and that landfills will eventually become a force to reckon with. I don’t believe that mankind has the ability to drastically effect the weather/climate/whatever.
I don’t believe that the government has the authority to define marriage because I believe that marriage is defined by God as one man and one woman.
I believe that individuals are the best determiners of what is best for them. I believe that “the government” is just a bunch of people who don’t know better for me than I do but that “the government” has roles & responsibilities outlined in the Constitution that they should be doing and no more. I believe that private businesses can outperform the government in everything that isn’t in the Constitution (and probably in that too but it’s not their job).
I believe in helping people have a better life for themselves but that just giving people stuff isn’t the way to help them. I believe that the world would be a much better place if people would invest in their relationships with their God, themselves and their families and friends.
I believe that loving people and supporting them is the best way to live life.
And apparently, as I’ve noticed on Twitter and Facebook, my beliefs cause some people great angst. I’m one person, yet I can aggravate the heck out of some stranger because I hold certain beliefs. They will scold me, challenge me, call me names, try to denigrate me – and others – because we have beliefs that don’t align with their own.
Why does it bother some people so much that I don’t believe the same things they do? Why does it bug people that I believe in God? It’s my belief. I haven’t and will never force someone to believe what I believe. What causes them so much strife that they must “troll”, pursue and curse me for what I believe? I’m not a high profile journalist, politician or Hollywood product that has influence over millions of people.
What are they so scared of?
I never got a chance to meet Andrew Breitbart. About the time I came out of my child-induced isolation, he had passed away. From what I know, I would have liked him immensely and I think he would have liked me. Andrew Breitbart, to quote his dear friend Brandon Darby, was “In human terms, a savior to a lot of folks. He helped a lot of people and he helped me.” This is a common theme among those who knew Andrew. He positively impacted many lives and gave purpose to a movement that had lost its bearing.
I started paying attention to politics when Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst were in their primary runoff for US Senate in July 2012. Andrew had passed away some three months before. Everywhere I turned, it seemed, Andrew had been there. My introduction to Andrew Breitbart was when I started going to the Texas Patriots PAC (TPP) meetings in The Woodlands, Texas. Julie Turner, president of the TPP, would smile wistfully as she talked about Andrew. When I read his “Righteous Indignation” biography, I shared a bit of local pride in knowing that his first foray into the Tea Party movement was at the “Tea Party in the Park” in The Woodlands on October 10, 2010.
In human terms, a savior to a lot of folks. He helped a lot of people and he helped me.
My next encounter with Andrew Breitbart was through Brandon Darby, who came to the Texas Patriots PAC meeting and shared his story of moving from left to right. The way that Brandon talked about Andrew, everyone could just feel the love and admiration that people have for this man. Brandon was surprised to meet a man who would selflessly promote another person and that’s exactly how people describe Andrew.
After I started getting my political bearings and signed up on Twitter, I began to be exposed to Andrew Breitbart in a personal and interactive way. I was introduced to conservative online journals and blog sites. Before then, I was only aware of what is called the mainstream media and I had thoroughly given up on them. Drudge.com, Breitbart.com, Townhall.com, RightWingNews.com, HotAir.com, FreeBeacon.com and on and on joined National Review and Weekly Standard as conservative-leaning news outlets. These online journals have become my go-to, not only for learning about current events, but also to help me understand the impacts that the events have on me, my family and my country, which the “lamestream” media omits or skews. Andrew had done this.
Because of Andrew Breitbart and his impact on the Texas Patriots PAC, where I learned more about local conservative politics, fueled with my inherent need to do stuff rather than sit on the sidelines, my Texas Representative asked me to be his campaign manager as he ran for Texas Senate. I warned him that I had NO IDEA what I was doing. He was okay with that. This was my first active step in politics. Campaigns have a steep learning curve and I learned something new every day. Frankly, about three months into the campaign, I was exhausted. I needed some inspiration. So – I went to CPAC for the first time this year, CPAC 2014.
Once I find something that interests me, I go all in. Obsessively. I want to learn everything, meet everyone, read what I can and get smarter. I went to CPAC 2014 as an “Individual” which meant I was a nobody and I was in awe. At first, I went to the speeches, like you do, and I got frustrated quickly. This wasn’t the movement I was learning about and wanting to get involved in. The speeches were moving and smart but frankly, a lot of hot air. At one point, in the morning of the first day, I went back to my room feeling defeated. I didn’t know how to join this movement. Being a Christian, I prayed. I said “Okay, God, you brought me here – so what am I supposed to be doing?” I resolved, as I left my room, to just say yes to whatever came my way. I was in the lobby-ish area and saw Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, and got giddy. I got to meet RICH LOWRY! And then I was off. I hung out at Radio Row and just talked to anyone who would talk to me. Andrew’s influence was everywhere. I met people I’d interacted with on Twitter, like Allan Bourdius, Chris Loesch, Wayne Dupree, Kurt Schlichter, Kevin Jackson, Michelle Ray, and on and on. I felt like I was backstage at the most awesome concert ever.
I was bitten by the conservative conference bug. There was a conservative family out there, birthed in part by Andrew Breitbart, and I wanted to be a part of it. I attended AFP Texas’s TX Online conference, quite possibly the best conference I’ve ever attended (Kemberlee Kaye – you are a rockstar). I got to meet my adopted family in person, the people who had made me smarter even if they didn’t know that’s what they were doing. Two people who talk warmly about Andrew Breitbart are Thomas LaDuke and Fingers Malloy of FTR Radio. When I wasn’t listening to the panels, I was hanging out with them. One of my favorite things to do is to network. I love meeting new people, learning about them and getting them to meet other people who might help them in their pursuits. Duke gave me high praise when he said that was a lot of what Andrew did and that I reminded him of Andrew. I was floored, humbled and encouraged. From then on, I have made it one of my purposes at my family reunions, aka conservative conferences, to network effectively. Ask Fingers – I get giddy when people who didn’t know each other meet each other for the first time.
At TX Online, I got to meet Jim Geraghty, Caleb Howe, Stephen Kruiser, Leslie Dowd, Tony Katz, Larry O’Connor, Morgan Williamson, Amelia Hammy, Jon Gabriel, Loren Heal, Cameron Gray, Lawrence Jones III, Charles C.W. Cooke and so many more I know I’m leaving out. At one point, Jim Geraghty, as he scanned the porch of the bar where we were ending our day, looked at me and said, “You know what? I like us.” All these people, these “Happy Warriors” as Andrew calls us (I’ll throw myself in the ‘us’ category), sitting around enjoying each other’s company, debating topics, sharing wisdom, disagreeing. I swelled with pride for my newly adopted family.
This summer has been a horrible time in our lives. President Obama. I just can’t even. I spend a good amount of time on Twitter and, as I’m typing this, I realize it’s to spend time with my family. I need them. We need each other. Many of us attended RedState Gathering 2014 and I met more of my adopted family members. We got smarter during the day and then attempted to kill off brain cells at night. Leon Wolf, who is the worst, encouraged me to write some blog posts. I have considered myself a pretty terrible writer and I am extremely obstinate so I took on that challenge. (And you have read all the way down to here, so I must not be that bad.) Andrew’s influence continues on.
Just this past weekend, many of us reunited once more at the AFP Defending the American Dream conference. At CPAC, Kevin Jackson of The Black Sphere, recruited me to his team. Currently, I’m the Director of the Tea Party Scholarship, which is an educational scholarship fund with a twist. I got to do radio interviews and I networked all over the conference. I got Twitter harassed by Ed Morrisey (squee!!), who is the nicest man that I know. Jenn Jacques is my new bestie. One day I will get Jenn & Leslie Dowd and we will rock the Kasbah! Once again, I got to love on and be loved by my conservative family. We all hugged goodbye and regretfully noted that our next reunion was probably CPAC, several months from now.
Driving home from the #Dream14 conference, I reflected on what has been the best year of my life and I started sobbing. They were mostly happy tears. The people that I have met, the relationships that I have been blessed with – I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m a ridiculous fangirl. I love promoting my family. And, in return, they love on me. We are good people with an honorable mission to save our country. We are stronger, smarter, more courageous, and fighting hard. We are winning.
Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. Love, Me.
Happy 19th Amendment day! Ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote—a right known as woman suffrage. At the time the U.S. was founded, its female citizens did not share all of the same rights as men, including the right to vote. It was not until 1848 that the movement for women’s rights launched on a national level with a convention in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by abolitionists Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) and Lucretia Mott (1793-1880). I found this information from the website: http://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/19th-amendment.
Women’s rights, or empowerment, seems to be a huge topic at the moment. There are leftist women who claim #Feminism and there are conservative women who claim #RealFeminism and everywhere in between. I have had many a Twitter debate with those from the left who proclaim that they are the true feminists. Their definition of the feminist struggle is something like this: Women are being held back from achieving their goals, be it taking care of their health, improving their self-esteem, expressing their sexual desires, aborting their unwanted babies, earning what they consider a reasonable salary or whatever they want to do. Who or what is holding them back from achieving these goals? Men.
Apparently, the very existence of a man can keep a woman from doing something she otherwise would be able to do.
So, let me get this straight, Feminists. Men keep you from doing what you want to do and they should stop stopping you? How empowering is it that you willingly hand over responsibility for your own life to “Men”? It’s one thing to be held against your will. It’s entirely different to hold yourself against your will and blame others. Empowerment is an internal thing. A personal recognition of your own power over yourself. No one can actually give that to you, so no one can take it away. I gained about 7 pounds over the summer. You know who did that to me? Me. I ate the food. I didn’t exercise. I made the choices. My husband didn’t force feed me. “Men” didn’t keep me from going to the gym. I did. Female (and male) empowerment is a power that comes from within and everyone is given it from the day they are conceived.
Case in point: #Slutwalk. There are women protesting the idea of being catcalled. Now, I admit that it can be somewhat disconcerting, especially if I’m feeling particularly vulnerable that day. But, overall, I don’t mind it because I know I am in control of myself and I get to choose how to handle it. However, there is a huge chasm between catcalling and rape. Huge. My bet is this – the men who catcall, they aren’t the rapists. Men who catcall seem to be men who like what they see and can’t manage to just shut up and enjoy the view. (Let the rage comments begin in 3…2…) In the scheme of struggles, this is on the “not a big deal” level. I had a woman tell me that catcalling caused women to not like themselves. My guess – women who don’t like themselves don’t like catcalls because they don’t believe they are meant in a “We like what we see” sort of way. Insecurity causes that. Not catcalls.
Also part and parcel to the feminist movement is abortion. One cannot call themselves a feminist and be against abortion. To do so means that you align with the oppressive patriarchy, you believe that all women belong barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and you are being forced to wait hand and foot on your man. I don’t understand why abortion is related to female empowerment. Is it powerful knowing that you have the ability to kill another human being? Yes. Is relabeling the state of being of that human to fit your narrative so that it sounds like you aren’t actually killing a person empowering? No. Didn’t work with black people, doesn’t work with babies. Just because you call the person something less baby-sounding doesn’t make the baby less of a living being. This has nothing to do with female empowerment. Oh – but our bodies our decisions. Sure, if every baby had to be surgically removed from our female bodies and we lost part of ourselves physically during each pregnancy, like say losing a finger for each child, then possibly the baby is a part of our body. Otherwise, we are hosts, carrying around a living human being who is separate but dependent on us for its survival. That is incredibly empowering! My body sustaining the life of another person is amazing! I’m amazed that we can do organ transplants. Being pregnant is a people transplant. Take some biological material and create a whole living person. Awe-some!
Another argument I’ve seen is that women don’t have the same level of access to healthcare that men do. Now – I will concede one point, researchers have some catch up to do in regards to medical issues specifically related to women such as how women’s heart health is different than men’s. However, I have never visited a doctor who has said or even implied that because I’m a woman, I can’t get what I need. Ob/Gyn visits are available especially for me. This argument is irrelevant to female empowerment and it’s false.
My least favorite feminist argument is that somehow women are less equal under the law. If justice is blind, how is this possible? With the ratification of the 19th Amendment, women became completely equal to men under the law. Women can vote, we are treated as individuals instead of property, we can own our own stuff. We won our right to be treated equally. The arguments I see regarding equality don’t seem to be “Treat me equal” but more “Everything must be 50/50”. Treating someone equally means having criteria and holding everyone, regardless of sex, to the same standard. Being 50/50 means having different criteria to meet the goal of 50% male and 50% female. If a woman is going to be a firefighter, I want her to be able to drag my 6’ 4” 190 lb dad out of his burning house – same goes with a man. Not as many females can do that. The standard must apply for everyone’s safety, not for everyone’s good feeling of half the force being male and half being female. Men and women are different and we should embrace those differences and let the best of ourselves shine through. That is empowering.
As I mentioned on Twitter in a rant, I can’t think of one man who I could point at and say “Him – he held me back from achieving every one (or even one) of my dreams”. As a friend reminded me though, I can easily look at men I’ve known and say “Him, he taught me how to be a better manager at work – Peter.” And “Those two, they helped me get my Industrial Engineering degree (and let’s face it, I helped them more, – Jared & Rob). I have encountered many men and women over my lifetime who have been more than willing to give of their time and resources to help me on my way. I may not have “needed” the help, but I am a much better person because of it.
As a woman, I am not dependent on a man nor am I being held back by one. My esteem comes from within, from my faith in my Creator and my genuine appreciation of the gifts that I bring to this world. Nobody can give me these things; thus, no one can take them away. The gift of empowerment is available to everyone. No one can hold you back. It’s up to you whether you choose to take it, and the responsibilities and consequences that go with it, or not. Stop blaming men (or women or him or her) and take the empowerment that is rightly yours.
So, what do conservative girls want in a man?
Just kidding, but this article is probably going to sound that way. My dad was raised in south Texas in a small (pop. 5,660 today) town called Elsa. He grew up picking cotton, riding horses and shooting his friends with BB guns. They shot him back. He made All-State football AND basketball. He crossed the border to buy Corona beer and wonders why anyone would drink that stuff now. My father graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1969. Can you imagine the ’69 jokes they made? That they were allowed to make because they were boys and boys make “those kind” of jokes? He played football for the Naval Academy and Roger Staubach was his freshman quarterback coach. After he graduated, he was sent to Pensacola to flight school and became a Naval aviator. (NEVER call them “pilots”.) He flew jets and hueys. He landed on carriers and flew HRT missions. Basically, my dad is a resident bad ass. And I grew up with him as my father.
My father is by no means a model dad. He’s got his faults just like we all do. He is amazingly stubborn (cough, cough, kettle!). He doesn’t like to admit when he’s wrong. All the normal faults. But, Dad ran football plays with my sister and me in the front yard. [Side note: We can both throw a mean, tight spiral and we are allowed to say that Roger Staubach taught us to throw, sort of through osmosis.] We played basketball, shot BB guns (not at each other), etc. He did a great job raising me and my sister and gave us a good understanding of what a real man can be. We both have boys, so we will no doubt impart some of his bad ass-ness onto them. Our daughters too.
So, that brings us to the question of what conservative girls want in a man and I believe my dad can offer four suggestions. First, we’re looking for a man who has done really stupid stuff and learned from it. We like a man who has stories, who can look at us and say things like:
“Yeah, I ran through that poison ivy naked on a dare but I probably wouldn’t do it again”.
Life experiences are attractive. Daring to take risks is more attractive. Knowing that you’ve done all kinds of dumb things and lived to tell about them, and better yet, are ready to move on to more “regular” life stuff is VERY attractive. So, go out there, take some risks, fail miserably, learn and do it again until you feel like you can handle whatever comes your way, more or less. Conservative girls dig it!
Conservative girls are also looking for a man who is willing to make a decision and stick to it, especially if he doesn’t really know what to do…right up until he does know what to do and then can be mature enough to change his mind. Being stubborn is not what I mean. Taking decisive action and adjusting accordingly is, which we also call leadership. A man who is willing to lead us through the unknown allows us to follow willingly. You don’t have to be perfect or even right, just be willing to make the necessary changes. This takes strength of character and humility, both which are attractive features in anyone.
And speaking of attractive features, let’s talk confidence. Confidence is sexy. Confidence also creates a safe place to land. I don’t mean cockiness. Cockiness says “Do it my way because I know best”. Confidence says “Sure, let’s give that a try”. A man who is confident is a man who likes himself, with humility. Confident men usually have a positive outlook on life and believe that they can handle pretty much any situation that comes their way, even if it means running for their lives. Who doesn’t want to be around a guy who likes himself enough that he can let other people be in the spotlight? Confidence is acquired by taking those risks I talked about and also by believing in yourself. Hey – You want to know the epitome of confidence – any person who can safely land a jet on an aircraft carrier. (And sometimes they are just cocky, but who wouldn’t be, really?)
And finally, you know that song, “The Man”? Be the man. As I watched my dad, being the man meant doing the boring stuff like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, killing the snakes, taking care of the cars, driving the family around. When he wasn’t boring, he was doing the protecting stuff like going check to confirm that there were not bad guys in the attic waiting to attack me when I was sleeping but more likely squirrels running across the roof, or like bringing the shotgun to the door when dates would come pick me up. Being the man means being the bore, the protector, the solid, the cornerstone, the weight-bearing load, the steady. My mom could be absolutely hysterical over something, like the canoe possibly tipping over and my dad would say, with the calmest voice imaginable, “Cresa, if you will just go ahead and sit back down and put your paddle back in the canoe, we’ll be fine.” And it was all magically okay. He took care of us and we were safe.
Learning from experience, leadership, confidence, and being the man. These are four things that a conservative girl is looking for in a man. There are other things we appreciate such as honesty, trustworthiness, faithfulness and all those noble character traits. But you probably knew that already. Most of the conservative men I’ve had the pleasure of meeting are well on their way in their pursuit to becoming the men they are created to be. So, carry on, men. The conservative girls are ready!
When I get older, I want to be a fat black grandmother, like the ones in the movies. Like Mammy of “Gone With the Wind” or Oracle in “The Matrix”; the older black women who are full of love and grace and wisdom. You can tell these women anything horrible that you’ve done and they respond with love and grace and typically ask you what you are going to do about your problem with a slice of wisdom to start you off. Now, as a small white woman, this will not happen quite the way I want it to, but I am going to do my darnedest.
Being wise takes experience. Anyone can be knowledgeable. When my son was little, I must have told him a thousand times that the frying pan was hot. That’s knowledge. When he touched the hot frying pan, he became wiser. That’s experience. This is the challenge of youth. Teenagers desperately want to be considered smart because they confuse intelligence with wisdom. They “know” everything yet we all understand they barely “know” anything because they are not old enough to have had the experiences they need. And, let’s admit it, we were all teenagers at one time.
We need people in our lives who are willing to walk with us through our experiences and help us to become wiser. My first project was in Bethpage, which is in Long Island, NY. I was fresh out of college and knew basically nothing about being on my own. In late October, my project manager sized up my Texas “coat” and sent me directly to Roosevelt Fields mall to buy a long coat “past my knees”, hat, scarf and gloves. I had a coat. She taught me that a long coat made all the difference. I will always remember her loving me enough to make me buy those things.
On my next project, I was an abject failure on the subject of wisdom. There was this one guy named Patrick who I despised because he was so unyielding. As I am the definition of stubbornness in my own right, we would literally have whisper fights in our cubicle. God had mercy on me in the way of a woman named Jo Washington. Jo invited me to her apartment for dinner one evening and told me I reminded her of herself at that age. I have no idea how old Jo was at the time but, for me, she was wise beyond her years. She set out to mentor me and I have loved her ever since.
When I look back at my first five years of working after college, I see that I what I lacked in experience I made up doubly for in enthusiasm and attitude. There are a few people who I owe apologies to because I put them in awkward spots or said unforgivable things to them. One manager made me cry and I owe her the greatest of thanks for putting me right where I belonged. Another manager taught me how to live life well. A few of my managers taught me what NOT to do, but even to them, I say thanks because those experiences made me wiser too.
We all act the fool when we are young. We make rash statements and declarations. We have half-formed opinions that we wield uncontrollably. This is the beauty and curse of youth. Young people would do well to ask questions, listen more and speak less. And as we grow more experienced and wiser, we “older” people have a responsibility to share our wisdom. If you want to positively impact someone’s life, the best way is to love them first and then chasten them. This should be our goal as we travel down this road together. As for me, I want to be one of those women who will listen to you as you describe to me the worst thing you’ve ever done in your life, hug you tight, love you with grace and ask you how you are going to make it right. This is how I am going to be a fat black grandmother.
[Note: I removed this initial post from RedState.]
What the hell happened yesterday on Twitter? Conservatives fell apart, exposed as hypocrites and justifying every belief that progressives and the mainstream media have. Conservatives are all about freedom, liberty, choice of the individual and then someone dared challenge the notion that not everyone has to get vaccinated. The conservative world fell apart. Tweets accusing parents of being baby killers, child abusers…it was unbelievable. Safety of the herd! Social contract! Twitter scientists asserting that vaccinations DO NOT cause autism because #Science!
When I expressed my challenge of working to reconcile what I know is right for my family to vaccinate, against the backdrop of freedom to choose for oneself, I was mocked, shamed and told to sit down and shut up. One “conservative” jumped into my TL to tell me to “just get the dam [sic] shot”. Another conservative questioned whether I would report child abuse when I saw it. Ummm…yes. However, believe it or not, keeping your children from getting vaccinated is NOT child abuse or else Africa has a whole continent of them.
“You don’t have the right to give me polio!” True. If I walked over and inject you with the polio virus, I should be punished for it. And the illegal alien who has never seen a vaccination needle and has no idea he/she is carrying polio? Isn’t that what vaccines are for? When I chose to get my children vaccinated, I was only thinking of them. I do not feel a responsibility to the herd. That is, in my opinion, a nice outcome but it’s not an expectation I hold. I wasn’t raised to believe that the world is a clean, nice, disease-free place.
“You can’t just drive crazy on the road & put my life in danger! Social contract!!” Actually, yes…yes I can. I can drive like a maniac on the road. I can easily make that choice. I may be breaking the law but I can still do it until someone or something stops me. The notion of a social contract is a Western idea. I’ve never done it, but the stories I hear about riding in cabs in China and India sound the opposite of a “social contract”. I don’t run stop signs because I choose life. I don’t assume the other guy is automatically making that choice but I do take a calculated risk that he’s not going to speed up quickly after he’s started decelerating as he approaches the stop sign. I’m fascinated with people who run on the road. Why do they assume that people will a) see them, and b) see them? How many people are driving while smartphoning? My greater assumption in driving or flying or anywhere else is that people are self-serving self-preserving folk who want to stay alive but not all of them, so I must stay vigilant.
The worst outcome of this nonsense has been how closely the pro-vaccine people sounded like gun control advocates. “General public safety.” “Think of the children.” “Look at the data.” “You are putting my child at risk.” The shrieking. The panic. The lecturing. The condescension. The eye rolling. Very few people were willing to agree that vaccinating a child is a choice that every parent is free to make. No one really wanted to hear that.
No country can guarantee your safety. From the meltdown I saw yesterday, it seems conservatives really didn’t believe that was true. Vaccines are not a magic shield. Even if you get your child vaccinated, it doesn’t magically protect them from getting sick or worse, contracting the precise disease they’ve been vaccinated against.
If this sounds familiar, it should. No one can keep criminals from getting guns. Even if we mandated that every person in the entire world was vaccinated, it wouldn’t completely eradicate anything. We don’t control polio or Ebola or Hantavirus or even influenza.
I got my children vaccinated. I think everyone should. However, if someone exercises their right to choose differently, I will respect that….probably from a distance.
Women’s healthcare is getting a lot of press these days. Most articles lately are focusing on our below-the-waist lady parts. They call it reproductive health. What they really mean is birth control. The reproductive system is just one of many systems that make up my entire physical body. If I do nothing to my body to interfere with its natural cycles, my reproductive health is just fine. I should visit my gynecologist once a year just to make sure that everything is running smoothly but this is really all that is required for my reproductive system health, much like the rest of the systems that make up my entire physical body. There is a false equivalency between the health of a woman and access to birth control and abortion which needs to be rebutted.
Analyzing a woman’s health starts at her head and works all the way down her body to her feet. Mental and emotional issues take a toll on her body. Malnutrition, lack of strength training and exercise can lead to illness, discomfort and even deformity. Heart issues are the leading cause of death in women. Ulcers, cancer, autoimmune diseases – these are all women’s health issues. Politicians, progressives and ironically, feminists have all implied that a woman’s health revolves solely around her reproductive organs and whether they are allowed to be altered in a manner that causes them not to function as originally designed.
Using birth control is risky, much like using any body altering drug. Caffeine can be risky depending on who uses it – drugs alter your body. Those who laud birth control as a means to improve a woman’s health are deluding their audience. As posted in New York Magazine, “Waking up from the Pill”, “The Pill didn’t create the field of infertility medicine, but it turned it into an enormous industry. Inadvertently, indirectly, infertility has become the Pill’s primary side effect. And ironically, this most basic of women’s issues is one that traditional feminism has a very hard time processing—the notion that this freedom might have a cost is thought to be so dangerous it shouldn’t be mentioned.”
Infertility isn’t the only issue related to using birth control. “Hormone-based birth control often comes with side effects that can range from slightly annoying to bad enough to make you switch. You may not know what you can tolerate until you’ve given a couple of them a try.” – Health.com
- Breast tenderness
- Breakthrough bleeding (aka spotting)
- Decreased libido
- Mood swings, even depression
There are some women who truly need the hormone-laced birth control drugs because without them, their quality of life would be unbearable. Endometriosis is a scarring, painful condition that is relieved by using “the pill”.
Abortion has it’s own set of possible side effects:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Spotting and Bleeding
- Heavy or persistent bleeding
- Infection or sepsis
- Damage to the cervix
- Scarring of the uterine lining
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to other organs
For most women, outside of the “rhythm method”, using birth control is a means to prevent pregnancy. Abortion is the means to end pregnancy. Both of these are touted as being related to a woman’s reproductive health and, except using “the pill” as a means of hormonal treatment to relieve certain conditions, neither birth control methods nor abortion improve a woman’s health.
Women who have never used any kind of birth control are not assumed to be necessarily unhealthy. Using a woman’s physical health as an excuse for preventing pregnancy defrauds the public. If the conservative and overall pro-life movement is to be successful at shedding light on the progressives’ tactic of tying health care to preventing or ending pregnancy, we have to call it out as fraud each and every time and loudly. Birth control and abortion are not about women’s health care. Let’s set the record straight.
The span of my morning will end at noon with me either finishing up a conference call or jumping in the shower. My day began at 5:10 a.m. I ate my breakfast, talked to God for a while, checked in on the news and Twitter and Facebook and email…like you do. At 6:30 a.m., my mom work begins. I put the toast in the toaster, fix chocolate milk, 4 scoops with a lid and a straw as per 10 year-old son’s instructions. No butter on his toast, yes, butter on my 7 year old daughter’s toast. We are supposed to be walking out of the door at 7:20 a.m. to the car to drive to school.
6:47 a.m. I go upstairs and wake up my son with a “Dude – it’s 6:47 a.m. Time to get up.” All goes well. Clothes are out, ready to be put on because that’s the new rule. Clothes on before electronics of any kind. Toast – check. Chocolate milk – check.
6:52 a.m. I start the arduous and delicate operation of waking up my daughter. I have to use my soft, sing-songy, pleasant mommy voice even though I know already that we are going to be later than usual for school, which means no “Active Start” for my kids. “Hey, sweetie, it’s 6:52. We need to get going to school this morning. I’ve put your clothes out so you can put them on before you do the computer.”
Worst mistake ever.
Still sleepy-headed daughter walks in and finds her brother already watching some Minecraft video on YouTube on our only computer.
(Announcer voice) Let the meltdown of epic proportions BEGIN!
“You said I could play on the computer!” she wails as she throws herself onto her bed. “You never let me play on the computer. He always gets to play. You never let me. YOU HATE ME so I. HATE. YOU!”, she screams. At this point, I’m still trying to get lunches packed, myself dressed for the gym, grocery bags set out to get groceries after the gym and water bottles filled.
I spend the better part of the next 12 minutes trying to talk with my daughter so that she’ll calm down and still get them out the door in a reasonable amount of time. Finally, and I mean, finally – the “Worst Mom Ever” manages to get both kids, with lunches, water bottles and backpacks, out the door and into the car – except my daughter has her toast with her, too. It’s 7:43 a.m. School starts at 8:05.
My son cannot stand to hear his sister eat. While I agreed with him when she was younger, now it’s more of a fighting point. We’re driving out of the driveway and he’s already complaining, loudly. My daughter isn’t holding her toast plate and everything keeps shifting as I make the turns (possibly a bit faster than normal…). He’s covering his ears, she’s alternating eating and screaming at him to stop it. He starts kicking her backpack. She starts hitting him – so, he hits her back.
And then…because there’s always an “And then”…there’s a wreck at the ONE intersection that can take us to school by the way I drove. My alternative now is to drive halfway back to our house and cut up the back road, all the while my kids have escalated to WWIII in the back and I’m screaming “Just eat your [argle bargle, grr, gargh, aaaaahhh] toast!”
Finally, we make it to the school area. The car dropoff line is ridiculously long, so the kids hop out and walk the rest of the way – like 500 feet. It’s all I can do to keep my speed at 20 mph. I get to the Y, kill myself with Body Pump and hop into the car to drive to the grocery store when I realize – the list is at home.
So, here I sit, regaling you of the story of my morning. I’ll go to the grocery store this afternoon after I do my conference call and maybe grab a shower.
So – when you see a crazy-eyed maniacal mother in the grocery store one morning, just know – her daughter may not have eaten her toast.