pandora

A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

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Murder, Manslaughter, and Assault charges Filed Against Officers In Baltimore

Filed in National by on May 1, 2015 13 Comments
Murder, Manslaughter, and Assault charges Filed Against Officers In Baltimore

This seems like a big deal. Via TPM:

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced on Friday that she had filed murder, manslaughter, and assault charges against city police officers following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

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Anti-Gay Supreme Court Argument Claims Marriage Is Only About Children

Filed in National by on April 29, 2015 4 Comments
Anti-Gay Supreme Court Argument Claims Marriage Is Only About Children

“The state doesn’t have an interest in love and emotion at all,” Mr. Bursch said. “It’s about binding children to their biological moms and dads.”

Several justices were intensely skeptical of that rationale, noting that many gay couples have children. These justices also seemed unpersuaded by Mr. Bursch’s contention that altering the definition of marriage would harm the institution.

This has to be the weakest argument they could choose. It’s so limiting. It also leads to this argument: If marriage is about “binding children to their biological moms and dads” then should people who do not want children, or cannot have children even be allowed to marry?  If this argument is accepted then wouldn’t that redefine marriage, far more than gay marriage?  It also merges quite nicely with the Republican’s forced birth-anti birth control platform.

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Petition To Allow Parents To Opt Out Of Testing

Filed in Delaware by on April 20, 2015 0 Comments
Petition To Allow Parents To Opt Out Of Testing

As usual, please sign. Here’s the petition’s wording.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment is the new state assessment based on the Common Core State Standards for Delaware.  Many states have adopted this assessment as part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Delaware is a part.  This consortium was approved by Governor Markell without any legislative approval.

Many parents in Delaware, as well as across the country, believe the Smarter Balanced Assessment, as well as the PARCC test in other states, is not an effective standardized test.  Therefore, we are electing our Constitutional right to opt our children out of this assessment.  We believe it is a parental right to choose the best educational outcome for our children.  We also believe our children are not the property of the state.  Many of us have experienced, at a minimum, vast confusion in regards to the opt out time period, which began in earnest in February of 2015, from our Governor, our Delaware Department of Education, our schools, and several administrators from our schools.

This legislation would help codify what is already our right, and would prevent the opted out students from adversely affecting the schools in Delaware.  As well, this would also put all the school districts and charter schools in the state on the same level playing field based on a clear and distinct law.

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I’ll Just Drop This Here

Filed in National by on April 17, 2015 3 Comments

On Thursday, the House voted to repeal the estate tax which would… increase the deficit by $269 billion over a decade.  

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College Remedial Courses And The State Test

Filed in Delaware by on April 16, 2015 17 Comments
College Remedial Courses And The State Test

Even though I know there are unique and deserving circumstances, I can’t help but wonder how kids needing remedial courses are even accepted into college, especially University of Delaware which touts itself as highly selective. Okay, I don’t really wonder. Remedial courses are a cash cow for colleges so I understand why they offer them.  Having parents/students pay for non-credit courses makes achieving a degree take longer than four years which adds another semester, or two, in tuition and room and board fees… Cha-Ching!

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It’s Not About Gay Wedding Cakes. It’s About A National Religion

Filed in National by on April 14, 2015 31 Comments
It’s Not About Gay Wedding Cakes. It’s About A National Religion

Take a good long look at this story.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.– Brittany Cartrett recently learned some bad news from her doctor about her pregnancy. She miscarried around five or six weeks along.

“So we made the decision to not do a D&C and to get a medicine. So he said I’m going to give you this medicine, you’ll take it, and it will help you to pass naturally so that you don’t have to go the more invasive route”, said Brittany Cartrett.

The doctor’s office called the Milledgeville Walmart to fill the prescription but they were told no and they were not given a reason.

“So we found another place to fill it but I still had to go up there to get another prescription so when I went up there she asked if I had any questions about this prescription I said no I don’t but I do have a question about the other one. And she looks at my name and she says oh, well…I couldn’t think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription“, Cartrett said.

The drug in question is Misoprostol, which can also used to induce abortions. [emphasis mine]

Everyone okay with a pharmacist overruling an actual doctor’s orders and diagnosis? Everyone okay with a pharmacist deciding, without examining you (not that they would even be capable of that) or knowing your medical condition, if you have a “valid reason” for the prescription decided upon by an actual doctor?

Republicans knew what they were doing making this about wedding cakes and photographers – they knew most people would shrug at cakes, flowers and wedding photos while missing the end game. These pharmacist “conscience clauses” are simply another way to achieve the same end. Religious Discrimination.

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What Am I Doing Today? Getting Ready For The Walking Dead Season Finale

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on March 29, 2015 19 Comments
What Am I Doing Today? Getting Ready For The Walking Dead Season Finale

When The Walking Dead first aired I didn’t pay much attention. Hello? Zombies aren’t really my thing. I was a Game of Thrones addict. Loved Dexter. Orange Is The New Black is sooo good. Rome is still one of the best series I’ve seen. Everyone on House of Cards is scarier than TWD zombies. Sherlock is one of the most perfect, amazing, wonderful series EVER. (If you haven’t watched Sherlock I strongly suggest you do.)

I started watching The Walking Dead (TWD) with my son as a sorta mother-son bonding thing. He liked all things zombie and I’ll admit to rolling my eyes when he suggested we start the series on Netflix. Now, I can’t get enough. This series draws you in. So much so that I’m writing about tonight’s season finale.

If you’re not interested in TWD, I understand. But if you are, share your thoughts, hopes, dreams in the comments!

Note: I have not read the comics. Everything written below is just me guessing.

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Is It Time To Get Rid Of Fraternities?

Filed in National by on March 27, 2015 15 Comments

I will admit I have a strong bias against fraternities. During college I witnessed them in action, and what I see today is no different from what I saw then. I am not saying that all members are all awful, but the mob mentality surrounding them is disturbing.  I don’t see a strong sense of […]

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Redrawing School District Lines

Filed in Delaware by on March 24, 2015 12 Comments
Redrawing School District Lines

I have been on record saying that Delaware has too many school districts. 19 public/Vo-Tech school districts and 18 (and counting) charter districts. Each charter school is its own district. To me, that’s simply too much administrative overhead. Which brings us to the plan of reducing the number of districts in the city of Wilmington. Something I support, but know that the devil’s in the details.

When the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee (WEAC) submitted its report to the Governor, one of its suggestions was removing Christina and Colonial School Districts from the city and having the only two districts (Red Clay and Brandywine) serve the city.

As a city resident the idea of fewer school districts sounds wonderful. Having four districts fractured the city’s voice. It was hard to organize and advocate for city kids since school districts would only listen to people who lived in their district about concerns with their district. I do understand that, but it was extremely frustrating. Especially since 99% of our concerns applied to every district. But those district lines sent us off in four different directions, with less people, and were easily ignored. And, make no mistake, we were ignored. The districts’ go-to solution was always to form a committee to study the problem. Where all those committee reports ended up… I have no idea. And it was infuriating to keep bringing up the same concerns year after year only to have district administrators feign surprise and call for a new committee. So, most city residents would be happy with fewer school districts – if it’s handled correctly.

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Do Men Really Trust And Believe Women?

Filed in National by on March 23, 2015 34 Comments
Do Men Really Trust And Believe Women?

Add this article, Men Just Don’t Trust Women – And It’s A Huge Problem, to another thing I find fascinating. The author admits that he basically doesn’t trust and believe things said by his wife. He downgrades the emotional importance she attaches to a problem. He states: “Generally speaking, we (men) do not believe things when they’re told to us by women.”

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While More Men Are Wanting Babies/More Women Are Considering The Child-Free Option

Filed in National by on March 20, 2015 7 Comments
While More Men Are Wanting Babies/More Women Are Considering The Child-Free Option

I find stuff like this fascinating.

In a nationally representative survey of single, childless people in 2011, more men than women said they wanted kids. (On the other hand, more women reported seeking independence in their relationships, personal space, interests, and hobbies.) A different poll from 2013 echoed those findings, with more than 80 percent of men saying they’d always wanted to be a father or at least thought they would be someday. Just 70 percent of women felt the same.

It really hasn’t been that long since women actually had control in having children. My grandparents had a lot of children. Without effective birth control (along with societal and religious expectations) people of that generation had a lot of kids. The Pill came onto the scene in my mother’s generation – and there was much rejoicing! – however, the idea that people get married and have kids was still the only plan on the table.

And while I’ll admit the “get married and have kids” plan still strongly exists (ask any couple who’s decided not to have kids how often they’re asked when they’ll have kids, or told they’ll eventually change their minds if you don’t believe me.) this survey shows an interesting trend. And the reasons women cite for not wanting children (seeking independence in their relationships, personal space, interests, and hobbies) seem to really come down to this…..

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Forced Birth Improves The Economy? Armed “young, hot little girls on campus” Will Stop Rape?

Filed in National by on March 18, 2015 15 Comments
Forced Birth Improves The Economy? Armed “young, hot little girls on campus” Will Stop Rape?

There’s just so much of this nonsense. As a woman, who’s also raising a teen daughter, it’s overwhelming and frightening. It’s also disheartening when issues that directly impact over 50% of the country are dismissed as single-issue votes. Women do not view abortion or contraception as a “pet” issue. These issues directly affect our economy. Having a child is one of the biggest economic decisions for both men and women. If only we treated these issues with the same freak out we display when it came to a gas tax and tax cuts – and, make no mistake, abortion and contraception are a way bigger deal than things like the gas tax and tax cuts. Mainly because cutting/raising taxes won’t make a damn bit of difference to a woman’s (who’s forced to give birth) economy.

And yeah, I’m going to keep writing about women’s issues, mainly because it’s really all the GOP talks about. They link controlling women to every flippin’ bill they pen. It’s almost impossible to discuss anything the GOP puts forth without discussing women – and religion and gay people. All Republican roads lead to controlling sex.

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Warning: “Choreplay” Isn’t A Cute Phrase, So Don’t Use It. Really, Just Don’t

Filed in National by on March 12, 2015 26 Comments
Warning: “Choreplay” Isn’t A Cute Phrase, So Don’t Use It. Really, Just Don’t

Even as a stay-at-home mom who handles almost all the household work, the term “choreplay” irritates me. Haven’t heard it yet? Well, here’s what it means: Men can get more sex if they do chores around the house.

This NYT article makes a lot of good points, including the part about fathers and women’s voices in business. (Note to beer and car manufacturers: I’m the one who buys most of the beer in our household. I don’t drink beer, but I buy it for my husband since I’m the one who runs most of the errands. I’m also part of the car buying decision. So if your ad is sexist and I don’t like it, I won’t buy your product. Perhaps, you should cater to me, too. I swear, when I watch some of these commercials I know there aren’t women, in positions of power, making decisions, because half this nonsense would never be aired if there were.)

But here’s where the NYT’s article goes off the rails…..

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The New York Daily News Calls McConnell, Cotton, Cruz and Paul Traitors

Filed in National by on March 10, 2015 42 Comments
The New York Daily News Calls McConnell, Cotton, Cruz and Paul Traitors

Sounds about right. As the Daily News reported, the four lawmakers were among 47 Senate Republicans who argued in an open letter to Iranian leaders that any agreement they may strike would not last beyond President Barack Obama’s administration. “We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress […]

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“Free Range” Parents Found Responsible For “Unsubstantiated” Child Neglect

Filed in National by on March 5, 2015 12 Comments
“Free Range” Parents Found Responsible For “Unsubstantiated” Child Neglect

Is it just me, or is this crazy?

Remember the Maryland parents who let their two kids walk home from a park alone and then had to deal with police and child protective services? They heard from the state today. The couple was found responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect, a confusing charge that resolved nothing and left the couple possibly more nervous and paranoid than ever.

In December, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv let their 10-year-old son, Rafi, and his 6-year-old sister, Dvorah, walk 1 mile home through Silver Spring, Maryland, alone. The kids got picked up by the police, who then turned the case over to child protective services. The Meitivs, as it happens, are “free-range parents” who have a very coherent philosophy about giving children more independence. They had let their children walk home alone that day only after practicing and felt the kids were ready.

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Reverend Kilroy Delivers A Sunday Sermon

Filed in Delaware by on March 1, 2015 4 Comments
Reverend Kilroy Delivers A Sunday Sermon

Last week my phone started ringing and emails/texts poured in. Almost everyone began with: “Have you heard?” Why no, no I hadn’t heard. Today Kilroy puts up a post addressing what’s going on. Go read the post.

Those who sit at the right and left hand of the Red Clay God (Merv) better take a hard look in the mirror. Though school superintendents make many request for school board approval it is the school board who makes the final approval with no veto power on the super’s part. In the big picture the super’s failures are the board’s failures. [...]

I am dishearten to hear (rumor of course) some board members want to throw Merv overboard midstream (before the end of his contract). Those who think Merv may be the problem are just as much the problem.

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Science Takes On A Zombie Outbreak

Filed in National by on February 26, 2015 19 Comments
Science Takes On A Zombie Outbreak

Given my and DelawareDem’s love of The Walking Dead, I had to post this. This is for you, DD!

A team of Cornell University researchers has determined the best place to hide during a zombie apocalypse.

A graduate statistical mechanics class was inspired by a reading of “World War Z,” a fictional oral history of a zombie war, and decided to explore what might happen in an actual zombie outbreak, reported Phys.org.

[...]

He said most films or books assume that a zombie outbreak would affect all areas at the same time, leaving a small pocket of survivors after a few months.

“But in our attempt to model zombies somewhat realistically, it doesn’t seem like this is how it would actually go down,” Alemi said.

Cities would fall quickly, the researchers found, but it would take weeks or even months for zombies to penetrate less densely populated areas.

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I Really Didn’t Want To Write About 50 Shades Of Grey

Filed in Delaware by on February 19, 2015 26 Comments
I Really Didn’t Want To Write About 50 Shades Of Grey

In May of 2012 I wrote a post about 50 Shades of Grey called 50 Shades of Agony. I admit to not finishing the book because, well, I couldn’t stand it. It was, without a doubt, the worst thing I’ve ever read. But I was clear that if the book “worked” for you, then enjoy. That’s the thing about fantasies, they’re personal and usually private.

I haven’t seen the movie, but will probably “hate watch” it once it lands on HBO. There’s simply too much talk for me not to watch it. My curiosity is probably due to the million or so articles written about movie – and I don’t think that number is too far off the mark.

So what prompted me to finally write about 50 Shades of Grey? It began with a post over at Delaware Politics (Yes. I know.) by David Anderson titled: 50 Shades A Failure of Modern Feminism.

50 Shades just brought to light what in form or another is normal behavior for millions. What is more interesting to me is that it tears to shreds the emasculation of relationships by modern feminism. 50 Shades is not what I would call the road map to healthy relationships, yet it is popular to near record levels not scene since (ironically) the Passion of the Christ.

I found intriguing this article by frequent guest author, Jon Moseley. His premise is that 50 Shades are a perversion of the natural yearning of many women for real men. It speaks to the void in our society created in the last 70 years of the attempt to cleanse society of “a man’s strength and leadership”. He contends that it is a perversion of the healthy original filling the void left by remake of society by the left.

That’s quite a leap, and one not based in reality.

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DDOE Tells Christina To Close Or Restructure (Charter/Privatize) Its Priority Schools

Filed in Delaware by on February 11, 2015 28 Comments
DDOE Tells Christina To Close Or Restructure (Charter/Privatize) Its Priority Schools

There are actually three choices on the table: Closure, Charter Conversion/Privatization… and handing all 5 of Christina’s city schools to Red Clay. No matter what, Christina loses these schools.

The Christina school board must choose by Feb. 27 whether to close its three Priority Schools or hand them over to charter schools or other education management organizations, the Department of Education said in a letter to district staff Tuesday.

The letter leaves one possible alternative: If Christina works with the state on the possibility of redistricting schools so that it no longer operates city schools, it could be removed from the Priority Schools saga altogether.

The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) is very good at closing down schools. Go speak with anyone at these six Priority Schools and ask them when DDOE showed up to “help” them. Surely DDOE has been in these schools for years – since these six schools have been struggling for a long, long time? Surely, DDOE can point to all the support they’ve given these schools over the years? I hear that DDOE didn’t step foot in these schools or offer assistance prior to Governor Markell’s Priority School announcement last fall. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe DDOE has been working with the six priority schools for years and drastic action was needed because they exhausted all other options?

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Legal Representation For Fetus Of Brain-Dead Women, Or The Next Step In “Personhood”

Filed in National by on February 10, 2015 10 Comments
Legal Representation For Fetus Of Brain-Dead Women, Or The Next Step In “Personhood”

We’ve seen Personhood on the ballot, and we’ve seen it fail in some pretty conservative states. That doesn’t mean it’s going away. It just means the pro-Personhood contingent has switched tactics. They will chip away at the fringes of legalized abortion and they will use the most vulnerable among us.

The proposal by Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, would appoint a representative to speak on behalf of the fetus if a pregnant woman is declared brain-dead or otherwise permanently incapacitated. Krause is working with legislative bill-drafters and has yet to introduce a specific measure in the House.

“You’ll hear what the family wants, and you’ll also give the pre-born child a chance to have a voice in court at that same time,” Krause said. “The judge weighs everything and he or she makes their decision based on that.”

Please notice how the pregnant, brain-dead and/or permanently incapacitated woman’s wishes aren’t considered.

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It’s A Soup Day!

Filed in Delaware by on February 9, 2015 6 Comments
It’s A Soup Day!

Looks like everyone is busy today, so I’ll blog while I cook. The recipe inside is a little labor intensive, but worth it. I always double it! Creamy Potato, Bacon and Cheese Soup!

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Comment Rescue: Jason330’s Step By Step Plan For Dems Not Voting

Filed in Delaware, National by on February 6, 2015 21 Comments
Comment Rescue: Jason330’s Step By Step Plan For Dems Not Voting

On the post “What does being a “Democrat” in 2015 actually mean anyway?” Jason330 lays out a plan. I started to respond in the comments, but realized I couldn’t possibly list all the ways 100% enacting the Republican agenda would take shape. So, I’m turning to our commenters for help creating the list.

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Did You Know That “firing a woman for breastfeeding isn’t sexist because men can lactate, too”

Filed in National by on February 4, 2015 21 Comments
Did You Know That “firing a woman for breastfeeding isn’t sexist because men can lactate, too”

Every new mother is well aware of the benefits of breastfeeding and why they should breastfeed their baby. A pregnant woman and new mother are bombarded with research, flyers, books, advice, advice from strangers, etc. on why the breast is best.  It’s everywhere… except, it seems, at Nationwide Insurance. Although I’m sure Nationwide would claim to be pro-breastfeeding in a “We 100% support breastfeeding… in the home” sorta way.

The Supreme Court has declined to overturn a lower court’s ruling that an insurance company was within bounds when it fired a breastfeeding mother. The woman’s suit was dismissed by the Eighth Circuit Court on the grounds that firing a woman for breastfeeding isn’t sexist because men can lactate, too.

The ACLU’s Galen Sherwin wrote Monday that former Nationwide Insurance Company employee Angela Ames sued her employer when she returned from maternity leave to find that no allowances had been made to enable her to pump breast milk for her baby during the day.

When Ames asked her supervisor for accommodations that would enable her to express milk and store it for her child, the supervisor reportedly responded that Ames should “go home and be with your babies” instead. That supervisor went on to dictate a letter of resignation to Ames that day, effectively forcing her to resign.

Men can lactate, too! They don’t, but they can (or some can), so… hand that baby over to dad and get back to work, Ms. Ames!

I breastfed both of my children, and while I sincerely enjoyed it I would have loved to hand off those 3am feedings to my husband. If only I had known at the time some men could lactate! I would have bought him his very own pump!

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Vaccinations Should No Longer Be Optional

Filed in National by on January 29, 2015 61 Comments

The anti-vax crowd is really an anti-science religion. It’s 100% based on faith, not fact. And it’s time to stop indulging stupid. Vaccination is about public health, and everyone should have to be vaccinated – unless a qualified doctor says otherwise. If you refuse to vaccinate then you should not be allowed out in public. […]

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The Vanderbilt Rape Case Is Horrific

Filed in National by on January 26, 2015 4 Comments
The Vanderbilt Rape Case Is Horrific

We saw this very thing in the Steubenville rape case – the victim consoled their attacker, said that they didn’t believe their attacker had done anything wrong. Little did they know.

It was after Vandenburg and three other football players were charged with her rape that she would see graphic videos of the alleged attack, she testified. Prosecutors played videos of the alleged attack for jurors that they said were shot from Vandenburg’s cellphone. A Nashville detective testified that police were able to recover the videos from a laptop. [...]

Earlier this week, McKenzie testified that Vandenberg was “amped” and coaching players to violate the woman. McKenzie said he did not touch her but took pictures. He also testified that Banks and Batey violated the woman.

There’s also testimony that Vandenberg handed out condoms and covered a security camera. Those acts seem pretty deliberate for a guy saying he was too drunk to instigate rape.

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