I grew up in an area that is referred to, not so affectionately, as Tornado Alley. Fort Smith, Arkansas to be specific, which if you look at the picture I’ve included is right in the eye of some of the most severe tornado activity.
Looking at photos of the terrible devastation that occurred in Oklahoma today and the photos of the tornadoes themselves, I felt that old terror that I used to feel when I was still living in that area of the country and I realized that there is not a single thing that could possibly entice me to ever
live in that area ever again.
I lived through plenty of tornadoes during my years in Arkansas, but I still remember one particular instance that scared me more than all the others.
When I was in first grade we lived in a house in Arkoma, which was a ghetto little town on the border between Arkansas and Oklahoma. Most people will tell you that they have cellars or basements that they retreat too when the sirens for a tornado warning start blaring, but our house at the time was extremely old and the basement was poorly constructed. It had been raining for days and the basement had filled with water, several feet deep, as it tended to do when we got big storms (having a company come out to pump the water out of the basement was commonplace for us, several times a year) and there was no way we could go down there during the tornado warning that came through that night.
We had a barn in the back of the house, but it was old and oddly reminiscent in that one scene from Twister where they hide in the barn full or sharp farming tools. Not the best plan.
So we hunkered down in the only hallway in the house that had no windows, on a mattress from the guest room, with pillows piled around us. Just me, my sister, and my parents. The power cut out at some point, but before it did we were watching the coverage of the storm on the TV and the images of that tornado are burned into my memory.
When the power finally cut we sat in the dark, not even using candles, and listened to the storm.
I don’t really remember what the tornado sounded like, I just know that it was loud. It never hit our little area of town, but it passed quite near us and I could hear the noises. The wind picking up to insane levels and the next morning we had limbs down from our very old, very tough Magnolia tree in the front yard.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep the entire night, even after the sirens switched off.
I don’t remember if it was one day or two before I went back to school, but I sat down in my class with my favorite teacher I ever had in elementary school had a bandage on her hand from getting splinters pulled out of her and a horror story about how a third of her house was flattened and it was only by the grace of god that the portion of the house they had been hunkering down in had been spared, though part of the roof of that room had been ripped off.
Tornadoes put the fear of god in me.
Last week I got home from Dallas after BlogCon and I was relieved to realize that I made it out the day before severe storms and tornadoes hit the area.
They are truly an unstoppable part of nature and you can’t really escape from them, you can only try to hide some place safe and wait for them to pass over. Usually ripping your town apart as it passes. Sometimes they kill, sometimes they merely rip apart your material possessions. You can never tell what they will do.
Now that I’ve told you my story, keep in mind that I was lucky. In fact my teacher was lucky too. She was only superficially wounded and her husband and children remained safe and unharmed throughout the storm, but in Oklahoma this week many were not so lucky. So please if you can find the money, donate to Mercury One, where 100% of the donations will be going to the survivors in Oklahoma.
Filled with politics, friends, more politics, booze, food, new people, more politics….and did I mention alcohol?
And a job fair.
And some awesome new guests in the line-up for my podcast.
But I won’t go into things too much right now, I just wanted to let my reader’s know that I did, actually, survive CPAC 2013…though there were moments that were rather close calls on that front I must admit.
I’m working on a post about my adventure’s and what I learned from the whole event, with a few hilarious anecdotes about my flights and the various shindigs I attended.
But first I really need some sleep.
One year ago today, I woke up in my dorm room and checked twitter. At first I thought someone had pulled a prank. There was no way that Andrew Breitbart was actually dead, I knew it had to be a hoax. He was so full of life and energy.
Then the confirmation started to roll in and I stayed in bed for 2 hours, crying for him and his family…and a little for myself. Breitbart was a big inspiration and influence for me.
This following is an excerpt from my book, which is currently in progress. I haven’t even begun to edit it yet and this is the first time it’s been typed up, so forgive the occasional mistakes.
March of 2009 I was living like a bum. I had graduated high school a semester earlier than my peers, I had no job, and lived rent free in my parent’s house. I had no real plans for my life and no inspiration to do anything much at all.
I had come far from being the liberal militant Atheist that I had been between the ages of 14 and 18, but I was still drinking the liberal kool-aid in many ways. I was starting to change in small ways though, such as refusing to vote for Obama in 2008, based on the fact that i knew Obama was a hack who had no actual plan (or worse, a plan he didn’t want to share) but if you had asked me about the GOP or the Tea Party, I still would have had much that was nice to say about them.
In fact, the key words in my response would have followed a very Rachel Maddow-esque set of dialogue “blah blah blah racist, blah blah blah homophobic blah gay marriage blah blah women’s rights blah blah pro-choice blah blah religious extremists blah teabaggers.”
Yeah, I was one of those people. Despite personally knowing Republicans who didn’t fit that mold, including a pagan pro-choice Republican who liked gay people just fine.
I was still in contact with a large number of liberal and atheist message boards where I was active and had acquaintances, the same ones that had convinced me years ago that I had to be a liberal because I was gay, one of those “friends” send me a youtube clip one day and the accompanying email read something like “Haha, look at Bill Maher and Dyson tear this Breitbart guy a new one, lol”.
Anyone who has read Breitbart’s book, Righteous Indignation, knows of which interview I’m talking about.
The problem was that when I watched that clip, instead of laughing at the “stupid” conservative and cheering on Maher and Dyson as I should have, I found myself saying “wait a minute, this Breitbart guy is pretty smart. What he’s saying makes sense and Maher just looks like a buffoon.” (Strangely my opinion on Maher never changed from that day on.)
So I started looking this guy up. I followed him on twitter, which, for those of you who were in the conservative new media world before Breitbart passed away will know this, was an enlighting experience all on it’s own. I started paying attention to more than just the mainstream media and began searching for more avenues of news. Twitter became my morning newspaper and Red Eye my evening nightcap (which made for some weird dreams, let me tell you.)
It was a difficult transition for me. No matter how much I disagreed with the rhetoric and ideals of the Democratic party, I was also a lesbian and my introduction to politics as a teen had come through that frame of reference. The liberals and homosexuals who had formed my support grous when I was “coming out” had spent a lot of time (intentionally or unintentionally, I’ll never know which) indoctrinating me to believe that the Republican party hate me and wanted to put me in a re-education camp to “cure” me.
In a strange way I guess the idea of the “gay community” “indoctrinating” the young is true, but it’s not their sexuality that they influence, but their politics.
No matter my values, I had been told over and over again that I had to be a liberal because they were the ones that wanted equality and fair treatment for me. I would never be accepted or represented by the Grand Old Party because of their inherent religious intolerance and bigotry.
I had yet to see actual concrete proof of this bigotry on a wide scale in the GOP, but I was utterly convinced that it was there, hidden somewhere. So when I interacted with conservatives and shared ideas, I kept my sexuality hidden, hiding a part of myself at the same time. That wasn’t what I wanted either. I wanted openness with my peers, how else could I really exchange ideas, but I was afraid of being shunned by the GOP for my sexuality and I couldn’t freely discuss my recently discovered conservative ideas with those who knew my sexuality for fear of being “the nail that sticks up”.
Strangely enough, when I got the courage to come clean to both sides there was only one group that reacted in an overwhelmingly negative manner and it certainly wasn’t the conservatives.
Once again it was Andrew who hit me over the head and told me I wasn’t alone. Well it was actually a group Breitbart was a part of at the time, GOProud. The reason GOProud even entered my field of view at the time was because of Breitbart. He was on the board of directors and that had caused a large amount of speculation from liberal assholes about his “true” sexuality. Never mind that liberals pushed constantly for the creation of “Gay-Straight Alliances” in schools so that that straight allies could have a place to speak out.
Liberal hypocrisy was alive and well in their speculation that Breitbart, happily married to a woman, had to be a self-loathing closeted gay man if he was going to be involved with GOProud.
The board of GOProud also held other conservative faces, such as Ann Coulter, who I had hated with extreme vitriol when I was a liberal. I hated everything was and everything she wrote and I thought she was the biggest moron in existence. Unsurprisingly I had managed to come to that conclusion without having read a single article she had penned or cracking open a single one of her best-selling books. I knew I hated her because I was supposed to hate her and I knew for a “fact” that she hated me for being gay…but she was on the board of a gay conservative group and I wasn’t quite so sure of myself and the many views I still held about conservative pundits.
Somehow at least 70% of my story of “coming out” as a conservative, seems to revolve around Andrew Breitbart in some way. From the very beginning he was an inspiration to me and I can’t say for sure that I would be the same person today if he hadn’t been for him.
He was one of kind and I don’t think that any one person in our movement can stand in his shoes. I certainly wouldn’t have the guts to rollerblade through an OWS rally, but I think that we can all be a little like Breitbart. Fearless and passionate about our love for this country and maybe he’s watching us now, cheering us on and cursing out the liberal morons we have to deal with on a daily basis.
In his memory and for the future of his children, our children, ourselves, and this country, we have to keep fighting.
It’s studies like this one, from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lead liberals to thinking that they need to pass more regulations for the “common good”.
People like Bloomberg, who want to tell us how big our soda’s can be. *takes a sip out of her 44 oz. big gulp as she writes.*
The report found that Americans had higher rates of chronic lung disease, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, obesity, drug-related deaths, infant mortality and homicides than countries that included Australia, Canada, Japan and many western European countries.
Researchers found that these health conditions are affecting more children and adolescents nowadays.
“It’s a tragedy. Our report found that an equally large, if not larger, disadvantage exists among younger Americans,” Woolf said in a statement. “I don’t think most parents know that, on average, infants, children, and adolescents in the U.S. die younger and have greater rates of illness and injury than youth in other countries.”
The solution to this is not MORE nanny state bullshit, especially when it comes to obesity and other problems in our children. The solution is responsibility. Telling your kids “no” when they want their 3rd happy meal this week, telling yourself “no” when you decided to eat a big mac for lunch “just one more time” this week, having responsibility for yourself and your health, and teaching that same responsibility and self control to our kids.
That’s the direct reason for the rise in STDs. If we could all think responsibly for a minute and learn to control our animal urges, maybe we could go out for a night of drinking with our friends and not go home with a hook-up.
As much as this might absolutely shock people, you can have a fulfilling life without having sex with every attractive (with or without beer goggles) man or woman that gives you the time of day.
“But being responsible is boring!” you tell me.
This is me, not caring.
This is me, playing the world’s tiniest violin for you.
Lots of stuff is boring. That doesn’t mean we don’t have to do it. Being an adult means doing lots of boring stuff, like paying your bills and cleaning up after yourself and buying groceries. If you don’t do those things you will be homeless, hungry, or worse, living on government assistance because you couldn’t get your shit together and you are an irresponsible mess.
We are not children anymore, time to stop acting like it.
Don’t want to be fat? Don’t eat junk all the time and sit around on your couch watching tv and playing video games. (Unless your goal in life is to get so fat that the sidewalk can’t support you, like this New York City woman.)
Don’t want to get lung cancer? Don’t smoke.
Don’t want to get pregnant? Don’t have sex or make sure you are being responsible.
Don’t want your teenager to get pregnant? Teach your kids a little responsibility and let them know that actions have consequences.
Don’t want an STD? Don’t sleep around.
Don’t want to die of an overdose? Don’t do drugs.
Don’t want these things to happen to your kids? Learn to tell them “No!” once in a while, from an early age. Teach them to be responsible. Make them realize their are consequences to their actions. Stop worrying about their self-esteem so much, stop patting them on the back and giving them a trophy for getting 5th place when there are only 5 people in the competition and telling them that the world revolves around them and their super special snowflake qualities.
A good portion of the problems in our society could be dealt with by a liberal (as in large, not liberal politics) application of personal responsibility and a realization that, no, you are not special and, no, the world does not revolve around you. Thank god some people are willing to remind people of this fact, like this teacher.
I’m so sick of people acting like their lack of responsibility constitutes a need for government intervention in their life, my life, and the lives of every person in this country.
I wrote about this back when Nanny Bloomberg decided to take it upon himself to dictate the size of the sodas you can buy in New York City.
Your inability to control your intake of sugar, soda, big macs, alcohol, or cigarettes does not constitute a need on my part to become controlled for the “public health” by the government, whether it be on city, state, or federal levels.
If you want a world with a fleet of Nanny Bloombergs telling you when to sleep, what to eat, how many pain killers you can have, and how many ounces of soda you can drink, then please remember that this means you will lose your freedom.
For every regulation that cossets you and lets the government “take care of you”, you lose a little more freedom.
That’s not what America is about.
So get off your ass and be an adult, the government is not your parent, stop giving them an excuse to act like they are.
Robin Hood is a heroic story of conservative principles, I’ve said that before on this blog.
Now the only real bright point of that Kevin Costner film that clip above is from is Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Especially his death scene.* It’s a crappy movie, but if you don’t judge my brain candy, I won’t judge you for that time you watched Jersey Shore.
The quality of the movie, or lack there of, isn’t the point of this post though.
You see, the Obama administration has effectively placed themselves as the Sheriff of Nottingham in America’s little version of Robin Hood.
They even threatened Christmas! What kind of monster does that?!
A new report from the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers timed to the online shopping holiday “cyber Monday” estimated that consumers could spend close to $200 billion less, while GDP growth could slow by 1.4 percentage points in 2013.
The report also warns that the psychological impact of a looming middle class tax hike could put a huge dent in retail sales over the holidays — traditionally the most important retail period of the year.
“Consumer confidence over the next several weeks is particularly important,” the report warns. “If Congress does not act on the president’s plan to extend tax cuts for the middle-class, it will be risking one of the key contributors to growth and jobs in our economy at the most important time of the year for retail stores.”
As Doug Powers said in his article on MichelleMalkin.com: Raise taxes on the rich or Christmas gets it!
The funny thing about this is that the article was published on Politico on the 26th, but on the 25th Politico reported that there was a “Record start for holiday season”.
It’s estimated that U.S. shoppers hit stores and websites at record numbers over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday.
All told, a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the four-day weekend starting Thanksgiving, up 9.2 percent of last year, according to a survey of 4,000 shoppers that was conducted by research firm BIGinsight for the trade group. Americans spent more too: The average holiday shopper spent $423 over the entire weekend, up from $398. Total spending over the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up 12.8 percent from 2011.
Hmm…so which is it Obama? Is the looming fiscal cliff really going to effect consumers that much? Because it seems like it isn’t doing much at all.
I argue that is because the majority of American’s are morons, I’m certianly not out spending tons of money this Holiday season, but then again my argument is confirmed by Obama winning the election.
People are idiots and sales will continue to pull them in. They are spending MORE now than they were in years previous, which means your little threats that Christmas will be ruined if we don’t let you raise taxes, we’re not buying it Scrooge.
Stop threatening to call of Christmas and do your damn job.
I’m on Robin Hood’s side here. If you are going to raise my taxes, I’m probably not going to be spending much at all. You can’t spend my money better than I can, especially not in the Holiday season. A welfare check doesn’t mean quite as much as buying my sister that new Taylor Swift songbook** and it doesn’t look as nice when wrapped up under the tree.
*Because if there is one thing Alan Rickman is fantastic at, it’s overblown death scenes.
**Here’s hoping she doesn’t read this blog.
I have to admit that right after the election I was in the dumps. The Holiday season was coming up swiftly, but giving thanks was the last thing on my mind.
I had been thrown off the horse, so to speak, and I was exhausted, emotional, and in no shape to contemplate being thankful or singing “Joy to the World” or even continuing with my passion for politics.
But that didn’t last long. I am a middle child and we are the resilient type, I was tormented by an older brother and I helped raise a younger sister. I can bounce back from just about anything, given enough time and the right catalyst.
In this case, about all it took for me to get back on the proverbial horse, was two days of depression and dealing a couple of vulgar liberal trolls.
What can I say? I bounce back fast.
So I’m back on the horse, galloping along at top speed, but I wanted to take a moment today, between the politics and making the pumpkin pie, to mention a few things I’m thankful for.
My best friend
My friends, Ruth, Shane, Mary, Nick, Jessica, Donlyn, Mel, etc.
My readers, my followers, the people who respect me enough to want to know my opinions enough to invite me to write for their blogs and talk on their radio programs.
The fact that I have a place to live and people who love me.
It’s not a bad life and it gives me the base to keep fighting.
Now I have to get back to cooking.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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.
As I’ve recently found my admiration and respect for Glenn Beck to be rekindled (so much so that I’ve been getting up at 6 in the morning to catch his entire radio show before class) and Dana Loesch will be there, you can bet your ass I’m going to be in attendance.
It’s rare to have a local political conference of the conservative type (even in this red state). The last one I attended was Right Online in Las Vegas this summer and that was quite an adventure.
It looks like a great line up of speakers at the event, which will include a 2 hour grassroots training seminar and a 3 hour rally from 4pm to 7pm. If you are a local reader, you should shell out the $15 ticket fee and join me there. Tweet me (@MeredithAncret) if you come.
If you don’t come, never fear. I’ll likely be live tweeting at least portions of the event at that same twitter account and I’ll do a write up of the even afterwards.
For a write up on a previous Freepac event, look no further than Dirty Sex & Politics whose author, Donlyn Turnbull, covered their event in Dallas this summer.
PS: Who else is excited to watch Paul Ryan completely humiliate Joe ‘Gaffe’ Biden Thursday night?
Also Atlas Shrugged Part II comes out this Friday. Buy a ticket, support the movie, and drag your friends to see it. I have it on good authority (from CommunismKills on tumblr who went to an early release) that’s much better than the first one and definitely worth your time and money. I’ll post about that after I go to see it as well.
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.