I know, I know, this is old news, but let me ramble.
I recently tangled with an idiot over whether or not Sandra Fluke wanted her college (or the American people) to pay for her sex life (and the sex life of every other woman on the campus). Their argument, as is typical, is that Fluke wasn’t making an argument about needing birth control for sexual reasons, she wanted the school to provide it for medical reasons. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarioan Syndrome) being the most popular of these medical reason for liberals (and Fluke herself) to bring up. She claimed that students who had PCOS, or other medical needs the necessitated using birth control, could not get the birth control they needed because of Georgetown’s insurance policies.
This was, of course, a load of horse manure and 1o seconds on a google could prove it. So it always struck me as odd that so many people spent time debating Fluke’s demands based on the morality of them or the 1st amendment issues. Yes, the 1st amendment is hugely important, but common sense is important too, which is why smacking Fluke in the face with the actual Georgetown student insurance policy (specifically the FAQ section of it) several times would have been more useful.
A thought experiment (via Conservative New Ager) and a few follow up thoughts on my letter to the editor.
Before we begin this thought experiment, a disclaimer. If you burn anyone’s holy book intentionally you’re an asshole (burning a trash heap and they just happen to be in there, that’s not intentional). That is a given. No need to really discuss it because the assholishness of the act is self-evident. It shouldn’t be a crime, but if you do it just to be obnoxious, there is something wrong with you.Now for our thought experiment.
If I burned a copy of the Tao Te Ching, how many Taoist do you think would riot?
If I shredded….(continued at link)
via A thought experiment.
As one of the intelligent responses (probably the only one) said: Your reactions were all very dramatic and, ultimately, only proved that Ms. Walker’s assessment was, at least in part, right. The reaction to her criticism was completely disproportionate to the criticism itself.
So from me, to the State Press and all those who responded to my letter, I extend a heart felt thanks.
You proved my point completely. Learn to take criticism where criticism is due. This religion is not based around peaceful ideology (which was my point, my point was not ‘all muslims are crazed terrorists’ as you seem to be thinking, can you read?), this religion is not respectful of women, homosexuals, or Jews.
Quite simply, you are lying through your teeth…or still deluding yourself.
Please press #1 to heap verbal abuse on customer service until upper management decides to get involved.
I had an interesting day today, dealing with financial aid at my university. Honestly this debacle has been weeks in the making and I won’t bore you with endless back story, I’ll try to just give you the major points.
Because of being under the age of 24 (despite having filed my taxes as a single independent for the last two years, supporting myself financially, not having insurance through my parents, and living alone for the past two years as well) for some reason the FAFSA considers me a dependent when it comes to financial aid.
My initial argument with my financial aid department revolved around the fact that, legally, FAFSA is asking me to commit fraud against the federal government, because I’m filing as an independent with the IRS (and no one wants to screw around with the IRS) but filing as a dependent for financial aid services with my school. How does this sound reasonable at all?
Finally I was told that I could submit a dependency review. Two pieces of paper from the school and 3 letters (1 from me and 2 from people not related to me) talking about my current and past relationship with my parents. To prove that I’m an independent.
So I filled out the form, I got a former teacher who I still talk with to write a letter, as well as my friend Robert. I didn’t think there would be ANY possible problem, because (aside from a short few days after I had a lumbar puncture, I haven’t lived with my parents full time (not counting vacations like Thanksgiving and Christmas when I visited) in over two years.
After being jerked around with lost paperwork and incompetent people all over the place…my file finally made it to a financial aid counselor (who I never met, because they keep their offices hidden behind locked doors and work/study peons). What happened?
It was denied.
I got a call from one of those peons I just mentioned and I refused to talk to them. I told them to find me someone who knew what they were talking about and get THEM on the phone, because I refused to ask my questions through a 3rd party and sit on hold for 10 minutes to get an unsatisfactory answer to each one.
I may have raised my voice.
But it’s the only way to get anyone on that level to pass you on to the next person. They have CREATED a system in which, the only way to talk to the people in charge, is to verbally abuse their office workers.
I got passed to a financial aid specialist. Who I argued with for 10 minutes before finding out that SHE wasn’t the woman who had looked at my dependency review either. I told her she needed to pass me to someone who had actually looked at my review and who could actually make executive decisions.
It may have taken some level of shouting and verbal abuse and threats that the college wouldn’t receive ‘ONE GODDAMN PENNY FROM ME OR ON MY BEHALF’ if someone didn’t solve the situation to my satisfaction.
I fully believe that I was channeling 2 parts Ann Coulter and 1 part my own mother at the time.
Now I’m talking to a financial aid counselor…25 minutes after the beginning of the phone call. Half of which was me being on hold, by the way.
Now we get down to the meat of the issue and the most outrageous and incomprehensible conversation I have ever had.
Gabby, full first name Gabriella, tells me that the federal government doesn’t care that I’ve supported myself financial for the past 2 years or that I don’t live with my parents or that they don’t pay for my college education at all.
Her exact words were ‘financial independence doesn’t qualify you as independent’.
Wanting to know if SHE at least knows how batshit crazy that sounds. I ask her “could you please tell me what your PERSONAL opinion this is. Please let me know that SOMEONE here understands how insane that sounds”.
No surprise that she wouldn’t give me an answer.
I ask her what WOULD qualify me as an independent. She tells me that I would need documentation from a teacher/clergy member/counselor/police officer of ‘abuse, neglect, or abandonment’.
I kindly inform her that, per federal law, since I moved out after the age of 18 and any difficulties with my parents occurred after that, that I could not legally be the victim of neglect or abandonment and that I also can’t claim abuse, because I’m over the age of 18.
She had no answer for that either.
I asked her to give me a reasoning for why I’m forced into filing as a dependent in the first place.
She told me it was because current federal law allows me to remain on my parents insurance until I’m 24 (my parent’s don’t provide me insurance, they don’t have insurance, so this doesn’t apply…something I told the financial aid department on my dependency review) so unless I’ve been abused or neglected they can’t consider me independent.
Now this next part is the part you really need to listen too.
being that I know some of the coming consequences of Obamacare, and I know that one of them is the ability to stay on your parents insurance until the age of 26, I asked the, very flustered, financial aid counselor a question that she probably didn’t mean to answer.
Me: So does that mean that next year, when Obamacare goes into effect, the age that it takes to become an ‘independent’ in the eyes of the federal government and FAFSA will be 26?
FinAid counselor: Well yes!
So there you have it, this was a long post just to get to this main point. However, I wanted people to understand the backwards thought processes these people operate under.
Live by yourself, make your own money, support yourself, haven’t relied on your parents in 2, 3, 4, years?
You’re still dependent on them.
Because the federal government is run by incompetents.
No surprise there I guess.
Also, that’s the news no one is talking about when it comes to Obamacare and financial aid. Every moment of Obama’s reign, every decision made, can be traced to one final ending.
Keep people children, keep people dependent, keep them jumping through our hoops and thinking that their only option is to be reliant on us. The more they lean on the government, the more they feel like children, the more rights they will let us take away in the name of ‘supporting them’ and ‘taking care of them’.
That’s what people are missing here. This isn’t about insurance or federal loans. This is about making us into children, with no support system. We can’t let that happen.
After a lot of difficulty and maneuvering I got a ticket for the full event at Right Online, which was sold out this year.
So Friday morning, my family* packed up and headed to Las Vegas.
The conference was held at The Venetian, which is apparently the only non-union business on the La Vegas Strip. Which made it ideal for a meeting of conservatives.
Anyway, I got to the Venetian in time to get registered and get my copy of Culture of Corruption signed by Michelle Malkin.
The Andrew Breitbart Tribute Reception was extremely moving with dozens of stories about Breitbart’s life and how he had affected the lives of those he worked with over the years. In fact, stories about Breitbart were brought up in almost every speech.
It made me incredibly sad to see how many people he had affected in his 43 short years and the fact that I never had to chance to meet him.
I can’t even begin to describe the awesomeness of the speeches at this event or how much they affected me. So I’ll simply include the videos and encourage you to listen to them.
I hope to also implement some of the ideas I got in the breakout sessions, where I heard a lot about making a blog successful and building an audience. Including the possibility of doing a roundtable podcast with other conservative voices and covering more of my city and state local politics.
To the speeches.
Andrew Marcus, Breitbart Tribute
Former Governor Sarah Palin
Michelle Malkin on June 15th
Michelle Malkin on June 16th
Congressman Joe Heck
Who I got to take a photo with.
*They wanted to go on vacation and Las Vegas seemed like a good choice.
I’d pay good money to see what happens when a Christian wants to be President of the Muslim Student Association.
I’d like to thank Mel, from Gay Conservative for posting the link to this article, that I’m about to write about, on facebook.
The only ever time that I’ve mentioned Vanderbilt University on this blog was when I was doing a review of Ky Dickens documentary, Fish Out Of Water. Vanderbilt was her university.
Now they’ve just reached a level of stupidity that is hard to match…unless your part of the Obama administration that is.
Vanderbilt’s new nondiscrimination policy requires all groups, including religious groups, to accept members of different sexual orientations or faiths and allows them to seek leadership roles.
As a result of the change, Vanderbilt reviewed the constitutions of every registered student organization to make sure they were in compliance with the policy after a dispute between the university and a Christian fraternity that expelled a homosexual member.
Student groups now have a choice – they can either revise their membership requirements or they will not be recognized as an official student group. That means the groups will not receive funding and they will not be allowed on campus.
Do I find the practice of banning homosexuals from certain organizations to be utterly stupid? Yes, I do. After all, at the very least, if you are trying to reach out to them, the last thing you want to do is tell them they can’t be part of your club because they are gay.
However, that should be up to the clubs to decide.
Luckily there are groups on the campus who have decided that this change in policy is…well…bullshit. They aren’t just going to change their constitutions.
The student religious groups have formed an organization called “Vanderbilt Solidarity.” They said they could not in good faith alter their constitutions to comply with the university’s new policy.
However, the groups represented by Vanderbilt Solidarity have submitted their applications without making any changes to their constitutions – an act of defiance said spokesman Pieter Valk.
“We don’t want to cause trouble,” Valk told Fox News. “We want to make it clear where we are coming from. We want to be back on campus next year but there are certain principles we cannot move from.”
The absolutely ludicrous part of this law is in two parts.
First of all, if the group doesn’t want homosexuals or people of other faith in it, it will not matter if they are forced to change their constitutions, they are not going to be any more welcoming to the new students.
And why would you want to join a group where you aren’t welcome? I make a concerted effort to not go places where I’m not wanted if I don’t have to. Case-in-point, avoiding the “Mexican” Wal-Mart on the west side of town. I don’t have a problem with the people who shop there and, in fact, there is a lot of great Hispanic food and spices that I’d like to buy there, however the people who work there and the majority of the people who shop there are not altogether pleased with the pale, Irish, red haired, white girl shopping in their store.
I also don’t intentionally interject myself into debates on Christian forums (anymore) or go attend church services at my parent’s Southern Baptist church. They don’t want me there and I have better things to do with my time than make myself, and others, feel uncomfortable just to stir up trouble.
Other than the gay student kicked out of the fraternity, I’d like to hear how many other students of different faiths or sexual orientations have been ejected from clubs.
The second problem is this.
Vanderbilt’s new nondiscrimination policy requires all groups, including religious groups, to accept members of different sexual orientations or faiths and allows them to seek leadership roles.
So…wait. Let’s take the least horrible way this could go and look at this from that angle.
So, say that the Lutheran Student Fellowship (one of the groups protesting this change in Vanderbilt policy) suddenly had to deal with an influx of Catholic students. These students skewed the voting and put a Catholic president in charge of the group.
Lutherans and Catholics don’t get along all that well, in case you didn’t know. (How do I know this? I went to a Lutheran private school in middle school, there was a Catholic church down the street. It wasn’t pretty.)
So now there is a Catholic in charge of a Lutheran group…and a significant number of a Catholics in the group. Now, not only do the Lutherans in the group feel like they can’t discuss their Lutheran beliefs because the Catholics don’t like it, but they can’t even get the President of the group to allow Lutheran based activities.
Now here’s another possibility. A group of Atheists performs this same feat with the Vanderbilt chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or some other Christian group, and hobble the group. Even if they did not become President and they simply filled the room with Atheist members at every meeting and derailed every conversation about religion into a debate. That would be just as harmful.
Can you imagine the uproar if a group of Christian students did this to an Atheist group or to the Muslim Student Association?
If I went to Vanderbilt I would be breaking my own rule of not going where I’m not wanted and I’d be doing exactly that. Why? Because it would prove a point.
Now here’s another problem.
This new rule only mentions faith and sexual orientation correct?
Well why is Vanderbilt being so sexist?
What if I wanted to join the “Men Promoting A Solution”?
What if a man wanted to join the “Women Law Students Association”?
Why can’t they join up.
Why can’t a man join a sorority?
Why can’t a woman join a fraternity?
Now here is the final nail in the coffin of this issue.
Vanderbilt may be a private university, but that doesn’t mean they can ignore federal laws or Supreme Court decisions.
What the heck am talking about?
Well I’m talking about the 1995 Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, Supreme Court Case.
[T]he Court ruled that private organizations, even if they were planning on and had permits for a public demonstration, were permitted to exclude groups if those groups presented a message contrary to the one the organizing group wanted to convey. More specific to the case, however, the Court found that private citizens organizing a public demonstration may not be compelled by the state to include groups who impart a message the organizers do not want to be included in their demonstration, even if such a law had been written with the intent of preventing discrimination.
- Wikipedia (Whatever, I know, they have good summaries. You try slogging through a supreme court case brief.)
So, in other words, this new rule at Vanderbilt is violating the Freedom of Association/Assembly of these groups.
[T]he United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others.
Expressive associations are groups that engage in activities protected by the First Amendment—speech, assembly, press, petitioning government for a redress of grievances, and the free exercise of religion.
So really, Vanderbilt, what are you thinking?
This is wrong on so many many many levels.
My day could not possibly get any better.
(okay, I’m a crazy political fangirl. Getting my picture taken with a political figure is cooler than meeting an actor in my book.)
I had the good fortune to be able to attend a meeting of the ASU College Republicans this afternoon and Maricopa county Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, was the guest speaker.
He is nothing like the papers describe him, and he had more than a few comments on journalistic bias and the press in general.
He is a very funny, personable man, with an extremely “no non-sense” point of view and an awesome tie pin.
He joked a lot, took some (extremely polite) jabs at democrats, and refused to comment on “operation fast and furious” because he doesn’t like to talk badly about other law enforcement agencies.
He cares a lot about his deputies and their families and about his duty as Sheriff, to the people if his county and to the laws of our country and state.
I was amazed to hear how many years he has worked in law enforcement and how diverse his background is. He’s worked in numerous countries and spent many years protecting the Texas/Mexico border.
If I hadn’t been planning to vote for him already, I would be now.
It was a great honor to meet him and I hope that I will get to hear him speak again.
Not really a huge deal, since I don’t go to class that many days a week, but still…
I take a completely ridiculous number of notes in my classes. Ridiculous!
Mostly because I have that little New Year’s Resolution to study more and note taking is a major part of that. I let myself slide a little last semester. But then again, most of my classes were so ponderous that taking notes would have felt like going from the frying pan into the fire.
Alright, here’s some neat little tidbits I picked up today.
Review of social contract theory, Declaration of Independence, Constitutional compromises….blah, blah, review, blah.
The first half of class was fairly average. We discussed the Articles of the Constitution. Order of ratification by the states. Steps to amend constitution. That sort of stuff. You would have to be there to really get how interesting my professor makes it all. The class is, as I’ve said before, my favorite. I will be looking for more classes taught by this professor in the future.
The best part of class came when we were polled about what our favorite amendment (from the Bill of Rights) was. About 3/4s of the class raised their hand for the 1st amendment, myself included. I have a lot of feelings about the first amendment alright?
Then came the 2nd amendment. I was shocked, for a state like Arizona, that only 3 or 4 people raised their hand. Once again, as we were voting on our top two, I raised my hand.
Our professor asked us to tell why we chose the 2nd amendment and I was completely honest. I said that, “even if the government isn’t on your side about your natural rights (Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness…Property, though it’s not named specifically) that if you have the 2nd amendment you can protect all the rest on your own…no government needed.
So I’m from a family of pro-gun people. I’m not ashamed. My dad is part of the NRA.
But the best answer came from one of the guys who had also answered the 1st amendment like me. He said “The First Amendment is the first step to abolishing a tyrannical government. The Second Amendment is the last step.”
My teacher said that would make a good bumper sticker.
It totally would. I want one when I get a car this year.
So on to the next class.
First of all, while discussing the Weimar Republic, our professor says that Germany was home to Hegel and Marx and was a “font of wisdom, knowledge, and civilization.” I’m going to hope that those two things are considered separate and having nothing to do with the other.
Who am I kidding. That was a slim hope.
Though while talking about what brought about the fall of the Weimar, the professor did surprise me by admitting the “deep-seated antisemitism” of Germany at the time. I was thinking he would gloss over that.
The reasons for the fall are all ones that we have heard before.
1. Exorbitant war reparations
2. Hyperinflation of the German Mark.
3. Deep resentment of those that were ‘responsible’ for the German defeat.
An interesting story that I once heard, I don’t know how historically accurate it is though, was that the inflation of the mark in Germany made is so worthless that a man could burn single mark notes for longer than the wood that he could buy for the same amount would last.
Not a good situation.
Not hard to see where a charismatic leader like Hitler, with big promises to fix the economy and restore Germany to its proper place in civilization, could come to power and take over.
Other than 3 pages of notes on the Portuguese “Revolution of Carnations” we didn’t talk about much else and the Revolution of Carnations doesn’t really seem interesting enough to write a lot about, other than that it is apparently considered the “beginning of the 3rd wave of Democratization” in the world.
Also there are some interesting photos from the revolution, such as this one. Which gives a clear reason behind the name of the revolution.
I told a friend of mine from high school that there is a very special part of hell reserved for that man. For those of you who are Joss Whedon fans, yes I do mean “The Special Hell”. Paterno may not have been a child molester, but, in my eyes, he wasn’t much better.
In Dante’s Inferno, the lowest level of hell was reserved for for betrayers. Satan, Judas, Brutus, and Cassius were depicted as being some of the main people imprisoned here. Why do I bring this up? Because Paterno was guilty of treachery that is, or should be, on par with any of these. What did he betray? His duty, as an adult, to protect the children of the sports program that Sandusky was involved in. They were under his care and to betray the job of protecting children under your care is one of the most evil things a person can do, in my opinion.
Don’t get me wrong. Mike McQueary is guilty of this treachery just as much, but this post isn’t about McQueary. It’s about the ridiculous notion that we shouldn’t “speak ill of the dead” and the idea that we should say “rest in peace” to the memory of a man who, when knowledge of sexual molestation of children came to him, said (this is satire) “You know what, calling the cops in this situation just seems like overkill. I’ll just tell my boss and hope he does something about.”
A friend of the friend I mentioned earlier said that people “don’t know what they would’ve done in that situation”. Well in that exact situation, if I was McQueary who saw the abuse happening, I would only have a hard time deciding how much to “accidentally” hurt Sandusky as I was pulling him away from the boy. If I were in Paterno’s situation, I might be hard-pressed to decide whether to call the cops first or find Sandusky and kick him in a very sensitive place.
Some might say that Paterno only acted as he did because he didn’t have first hand knowledge of the abuse, he only had a second hand statement from McQueary and he didn’t want to preemptively cause a scandal.
Paterno (and McQueary, who should have made the report himself before talking to his boss) is in a field that is covered by the Pennsylvania Mandated Reporting law.
(a) General rule. Under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6311 (relating to persons required to report suspected child abuse), licensees who, in the course of the employment, occupation or practice of their profession, come into contact with children shall report or cause a report to be made to the Department of Public Welfare when they have reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of their professional or other training or experience, that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of child abuse.
Having another member of your staff report sexual child abuse to you, would seem to fall under the “reasonable cause to suspect” part of that, would it not?
And frankly, Pennsylvania state law shouldn’t even enter in to this argument at all. This is a matter of ethics and morality. If you have even the slightest suspicion that child abuse of any kind is occurring, it is your moral duty to report it to the cops, even if it may cause a scandal. It is your moral duty to hound the police and insure that something is being done. It is your moral duty to, if you are in a position to do so, keep the abuser in question away from children until the police have done their job and investigated the situation.
And so Paterno becomes one of those men who make me sincerely wish that I believed in Hell…or reincarnation. At least The Conservative New Ager has hope that Paterno will pay for his actions in his next life.
I think that makes this one of those times that I hope I’m actually wrong about something and that there is an afterlife (or just another life) waiting after this one.
I missed writing my post for Thursday, but there wasn’t much interesting that we discussed to be honest. Also I had to work a 4 hours shift after class and I worked almost every day after that as well…so I have an excuse.
This week’s topic in my Politics and Government class has been The Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
We spent most of our time on Tuesday going over the Declaration and rather than posting anything of my own thoughts (I think we all know how I feel about the Constitution and Declaration, I mean seriously, if you’ve read even 3 posts by me you should know that.) I’m just going to post a few quotes from the Declaration that I feel are especially timely.
Words in bold are those that I feel you should pay special attention to.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Personally I feel this is one of the most beautiful and elegant political documents ever written. Maybe I’m biased…but so should all Americans be.
My professor for this class is brilliant and has a knack for summing up things in a succinct and hilarious, if not as elegant way, her exact words to sum up the Declaration were. “They weren’t America, not yet, they were just 13 independent states, collectively telling Great Britain to piss off.”
Definitely my favorite teacher this semester.
We talked about the Articles of Confederation, which, for those of you unfamiliar, was an exercise in lopsided governmental power and futility. They gave the congress legislative power to spend money, but no power to tax. So they could spend money on outfitting a ship for the navy, but when it came time to cough up the money, the states could simply say “nah, I don’t feel like it” and not pay their share.
And because only the states could make (and enforce) laws that affected their own citizens, if someone committed a crime or refused to pay a debt in one state, they could simply move to another state. There was no extradition and the state they moved to could not prosecute them for a crime committed under another state’s law.
Amendments to the Articles required unanimous agreement from all 13 states, which meant that it only took one state with sour grapes to ruin an entire amendment. This whole “majority” thing we have going these days seems a little bit better.
There is a lot more, but I’ll leave it up to you to do some research. Suffice to say that it was an interesting start of the United States.
Also, this teacher is my favorite because she played this video in class.
She is secretly a huge nerd I think.
In my Comparative Government class we didn’t do a whole lot of lecture, we merely spent a lot of time looking at these two websites.
Freedom House (Which, according to our professor, is ethnocentric because it’s definition of Democracy is too similar to the United States Bill of Rights. All things considered…we have to base the definition off of something and I think that our Bill of Rights is probably the best thing to base it on.)
And that’s about it.