Agenda: Photo shoot, check.
Get a new movie script, check.
Donate a million dollars to charity and go build houses for refugees, check.
There is nothing that disgusts me more than actors, musicians, and writers who talk a big game about charity and helping people, but when push comes to shove they would much rather just raise the money from other people or ask the government to take care of the problem for them. *coughMattDamoncough*
But then there are people like Angelina Jolie.
Whatever you feel about her politics (she seems ambivalent on the topic of Obama, unlike most Hollywood stars, and she’s a registered Independent and not at all ashamed of it and her dad is Jon Voight so…) you have to admire a woman who puts her money where her mouth is in both her personal and professional life.
Professor At State University Pressures Students to Stomp on Paper with “Mohammed” Written on it, White House Expresses Outrage at this “Horrible Assault of First Amendment”
A Muslim student in a class at a state university was horribly perturbed when, last week, one of his professor’s gave an assignment to his class that involved writing the name of Mohammed on a sheet of paper in large letters. The professor then requested that they put the paper on the floor and stomp on it.
The student refused to take part in the assignment and lodged a complaint with the school against the professor.
The professor, who has claimed that the assignment was only being used as an exercise in critical thinking and was not intended to be offensive toward Muslim students, has been place on administrative leave until the case can be looked at further and a formal apology on the behalf of the University has been given to the student who lodged the complaint.
The leader of the organization CAIR (The Council for Islamic-American Relations) has filed a lawsuit against the university and openly called them out for hiring such a blatantly Islamophobic professor.
Meanwhile the President and Secretary of State personally called the student in question to apologize for their 1st Amendment rights being so horribly violated and swore that they would “get” the person who published this horrible lesson plan that was so disrespectful to Islam.
Burning of the American flag has gone up in the Middle East and many fear that more riots will be occur in the Middle East as result of this culturally insensitive action taken by a professor.
Oh wait, no…that’s not the actual story. The actual story is that a Christian student was almost thrown out of his university for refusing to take part in a lesson that involved writing “JESUS” on a sheet of paper and then stomping on it.
The professor hasn’t been punished, the incident hasn’t been investigated, there has CERTAINLY not been any calls made to the student from the President or the Secretary of State (they save that kind of time for people like Sandra Fluke and blaming youtube videos for inciting riots) and the student was only recently allowed to come back to school because of several lawyers offering to take the case pro bono and the extreme amount of public outrage on the issue.
The scenario I laid out would be realistic if the professor had chosen Islam as his example for a lesson on “critical thinking”, but when it happens to Christianity the person who files the complaint nearly gets kicked out of school.
Yeah, that’s some equality we got here.
Apparently Piers Morgan believes that armed guards or civilians should actually be Tom Cruise in disguise, able to stop a shooter before the shooter pulls and fires their gun.
Mother Jones doesn’t think that any shooting where the shooter has less than 4 victims is a “mass shooting”, but Piers apparently lives in the opposite extreme where, even if an armed guard foils the attempts of a 15 year old would-be mass shooter, it doesn’t really count as stopping the mass-shooting because 1 person was shot.
“REVEALED: Armed guard was NOT able to stop Atlanta school shooting,” Morgan posted via his official Twitter account. He then linked to a story with a headline that completely contradicted his questionable claim. “Armed guard disarmed teen in Atlanta school shooting, says police chief,” the headline read.
No one ever claimed that armed citizens or armed guards are sci-fi heroes who could stop crimes before they even happen. We don’t have pale, naked, bald psychics laying around in vats of water in our basements that alert us to when and where someone is going to commit a crime; contrary to what Piers seems to believe.
When I interact on social media sites like twitter or tumblr, I see people of my generation and the generations that will follow me into becoming the leaders of this country.
Often I am inspired by genuinely intellectual young people who are intelligent, well-spoken, and share a love of freedom with myself and an understanding of the fact that the style of governance our founding fathers gave us is the key to that freedom, not this false “equality” that liberals want to sell us.
But very often I am brought face to face with an element of our future generation of leaders that depresses me. These are the people who have bought into the idea of “equality of outcome”, “wealth redistribution”, “anything goes moral relativity”, and the idea that everything bad that happens to them and every bad decision that they make, is a product of society “oppressing” them. They want the government to even things out, make sure they succeed, and hand them everything on a shiny silver platter.
As readers of my blog, you all need to help keep me accountable and working hard on this book.
Obviously I won’t be ‘live blogging’ the writing of a book, since that would defeat the purpose of writing a book, but you can follow me on twitter and watch for the occasionally frustrated, rending of clothing and tearing of hair, tweets about my progress…among other things.
How do you keep me accountable?
Well if you are interested in the book, send me a tweet or leave me a comment on the blog to nag me about when I will finish the book.
Of course when it’s done I’ll have to find an agent and a publishing company, so if you have any advice on that, feel free to include that along with the nagging.
What’s the book about, you ask?
What do you think? It’s a non-fiction political book which, among other things, tells a bit of my own personal story of transition from liberalism to conservatism, a discussion of what being a gay conservative means (mostly a lot of being insulted by gay liberals), clearing up some misconceptions about what it means to be conservative, and quite a large section devoted to motivating young conservatives (gay and straight) and encouraging them to get their views out there and argue their beliefs.*
Also there is will be some vague threatening posturing towards a few conservative pundits, who have their own shows *cough*GregGutfeld*cough* about what will happen if they don’t invite me to come on their show.
*any and all parts of this description could change. In fact, the whole book could become an argument about why koalas are superior house guards than dogs. I make no promises.
In my last post I mentioned having to second guess the posting of a cartoon of Mohammed on tumblr. I have written “I’m posting this anyway, because I like living on the edge” as a joke, but I recognized the seriousness of the action.
I mentioned a certain amount of trepidation and nervousness about sending in this letter to the editor at my school paper.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t stand by what I wrote. Feeling fear is not the same as lacking conviction in your words. Fear means that you understand the potential cost of speaking your conviction.
If you are afraid and you speak your beliefs regardless of that fact is the best kind of bravery. It brings with it a sense of certainty and strength, even if you are still nervous and worried.
A coward feels their fear and lets it paralyze their actions and freeze their words in their throat. It forces them to shut their mouths when they see something is wrong, instead of speaking out against it.
I said that liberals are terrified of Islam in that previous post. It’s the truth, I stand by every statement I made.
But I must add, conservatives are terrified of it as well. I’m terrified of it, as a woman, a lesbian, a believer in freedom and free speech and the ideals of America. I feel that fear when I speak my mind, when I publish my words, but I harness that fear and don’t allow it to control me…much.
Sometimes I get a little lost and a little bit more afraid and I wish that I could withdraw my words and remain anonymous, but my friends and family fish me out and remind me that my words are worth saying and worth hearing and that they should be shared. That gives me the strength to ignore the fear.
When I said in my last post that I would die for my freedom of speech, that doesn’t mean that I want to die or that I would prefer it. I would very much like to remain alive for many years. (Definitely until 2066 at minimum, which The Conservative New Ager will understand the reason for as we were discussing it today.) However, I won’t let my love of life curtail my words, because a life of cowardice is not a life worth living.
However that doesn’t mean that I won’t carry my mace a little closer after publicly making a statement that offends or that I won’t remind myself where my family’s guns are and refresh my knowledge of them at a gun range.
Ignoring fear doesn’t mean you turn off your common sense after all.
Maybe this was a bit more philosophical than I normally get, but after the day I’ve had you’ll have to bear with me.
Read the comments on my letter to the editor to see what sort of day I’ve had, along with my phone deciding to crap out and die and my hormones acting like my body is a bouncy castle. Being a girl sucks sometimes.
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.
I don’t usually discuss education, though I feel strongly about the subject, but as a college student who isn’t exactly rolling in cash, this topic had to be written about.
ThinkProgress (a “news” site that always leaves me wondering exactly how many “glaucoma” patients they have on staff*) has apparently taken issue with something that Romney said recently (surprise, surprise…not). Specifically they had a problem with this part of his speech on the 27th in Virginia.
I think this is a land of opportunity for every single person, every single citizen of this great nation. And I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot. They get as much education as they can afford and with their time they’re able to get and if they have a willingness to work hard and the right values, they ought to be able to provide for their family and have a shot of realizing their dreams.
Oh I get what they think they are upset about, but honestly they are just looking for a reason to dislike Romney. If they were paying any attention to his record they would know they were being ridiculous, but really…if a website posts an article named “Four Reasons Why The Court’s Decision To Uphold Obamacare Is Good News For The Economy” they aren’t really trying to be taken seriously anymore.
But I digress.
People are trying to make this statement look like Romney doesn’t care about the poor and don’t want them to get an education, but that’s just ridiculous!
See the key word here is “afford” and that word doesn’t mean what you think it means.**
The definition of afford:
1. To be able to do, manage, or bear without serious consequence or adverse effect.
2. To be able to meet the expense of; have or be able to spare the price of.
When you bring this term into a conversation of “can I afford this 60″ flat screen TV” it actually means “Do I have this money in my bank account right now?” Or “Will I be able to pay this off with the job I have?”
When you are talking about something such as a smart investment opportunity or education, the question becomes “can I spare the money right now for the pay off later?”
When I went back to school I weighed the cost very carefully. I was very aware of the amount I would have to take out in federal and private loans and I considered whether I could afford the cost and then decided that I couldn’t afford to not return to school.
Then, of course, you run into people *cough99%’scough* who complain that they spent SO much money that they couldn’t afford on their education and now they can’t find jobs and they can’t pay back all those loans they took out while getting degrees in Underwater Basket-weaving and Canadian Studies and Music Therapy. (Those last two are actual degrees…I sincerely hope that the first one is not.) Or perhaps one of these other, equally pointless and wasteful, degrees.
Can these people afford to get these degrees? (Well clearly they couldn’t, or they wouldn’t have been camping out in New York City, protesting other people’s better college choices). The only people who could afford that sort of degree would be someone like Paris Hilton, with outrageous amounts of family money (and even Paris isn’t that stupid, she, to my knowledge, never went to college. Instead she just started her own companies and became successful…without college, imagine that.) Instead maybe they should have gone to get a degree in something that could help them get a good career. Instead of dicking around in Women’s Studies majors, maybe they should have gone to nursing school. Instead of majoring in Religion (sorry Dylan***) maybe they should have gone to Business school or at the very least gotten a teaching degree.
Yes, I’m aware that the cost of college is outrageous, but you can only blame the government for that. You can’t blame them for your stupid choice of major, but youcanblame the government for subsidizing every stupid degree that colleges make available.
Wait, you say, I had to get a college degree to get a good job.
Bullshit. I’ve had good paying, full time jobs, that never once cared about whether I had a degree or not. You either haven’t looked in the right place, or you are looking for a job you will “enjoy”. I will admit, those full time jobs were boring as hell and I hate them, but I was also independent and made plenty of money to do whatever I wanted after paying my rent and saving a little.
But, you say, I want a job I will enjoy. I want a career, so I have to get a degree because those jobs won’t hire me without a degree.
Once again, blame the government and the subsidization of colleges. 50 years ago, people got college degrees for jobs that needed serious training. Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, (some) Scientists. General jobs didn’t all come with a “those without college degree need not apply” disclaimer. The government subsidized and then degrees, the likes of which wouldneverget you a job, began popping up all over the place just to reel in the students.
So even if your broke can you ‘afford’ college? Well that depends on whether you have a plan and whether you know what degree to get to carry out that plan and whether you are willing to do the work to become successful. If you have those three things anyone can afford to go to college, that’s what Romney meant.
*No offense to those people I know who have LEGITIMATE pain management issues that are helped by a little mary-jane, but I think it’s clear this stuff (or whatever they are taking) is not helping the writer’s at ThinkProgress to ‘progress’ anywhere but the snack food aisle.
**Sort of like how the word “fair” and “equal” have somehow gained new, interesting, twisted definitions for liberals.
***That is what my brother majored in…