Just Beacuse Janay Rice Has Forgiven Her Husband, Doesn’t Mean We Have To

As much as it turns our stomachs that Janay Rice has chosen to forgive her (thenrayjanayrice Fiancé and now husband) Ray Rice for punching her so hard in the face that she was knocked out cold and him then dragging her limp body like a corpse out of a hotel elevator earlier this year, she has that right to forgive him. That choice is hers and hers alone. Even when we are sad for her, plead with her to leave him, tell her she could have died in that elevator, only Janay can leave Rice, and as her recent statement has made clear, she has no intention of doing so. It’s heartbreaking, and it happens all too often in domestic abuse situations. The cycle of abuse. The victim blames themselves, takes their partner back, believes their lies and believes them when they say they’re sorry, or when they say it’s not going to happen again, or is scared of their abuser’s threats, scared to be out on the street without a roof over their heads, or for whatever reason, they stay.

Janay Rice's statement

Janay Rice’s statement

Janay was the victim in this situation, first and foremost. I hope that she has family support at home. I hope they can get counselling both together and separately. I hope she really can lead a happy life and he doesn’t do this again. I hope he doesn’t kill her, because he really could have, and in many domestic abuse cases, this is where it eventually can lead if she doesn’t leave.

That being said, despite her personal forgiveness and her statement pleading with the Ravens and the media, she does not have to power and autonomy to decide his fate legally and by the hands of the NFL and the Ravens.

I’m not really a fan of football, but I know enough about sports and organizations to know there is a code of conduct. Don’t laugh; these guys often get away with a lot, but the Ravens have decided that Rice’s actions have warranted his dismissal. Albeit, it was months later than it should have happened, but thanks to TMZ releasing the video, they no longer could pretend they didn’t understand how it looked when a man in the NFL knocked a woman out cold. I mean, let’s pretend we didn’t see the video. What did they think it looked like when a man strong enough to run on a field daily with the most athletic and brutal men in the nation punched a woman in the face and dropped her to the floor unconscious. None of us imagined a little tap, and there were plenty of witnesses after the fact who could have attested to what she looked like in that hotel hallway.

But there are two separate issues here: 1) Janay Rice as an unfortunate victim of domestic abuse, and 2) Ray Rice being fired from the Ravens football team for his actions in the attack.

The Ravens giving Ray Rice the boot has nothing to do with whether Janay has forgiven him or not, whether she has now lost her share of his NFL salary and most certainly everything to do with Ray Rice punching a woman in the face. She does not have the power to accept and forgive his behavior on behalf of the NFL, or us, consumers of professional football.

I’ve heard people say that Janay loses out (financially, socially, etc.) with his dismissal. Even Janay in her statement has expressed displeasure with this mess and the Ravens decision interfering with their life together, but it still remains that Ray acted how no man should act, and he should pay the consequences of his actions, whether Janay Rice wishes him to or not.

The Balance of Power Has Shifted

Guest Post by Chris Beckmann.

In Washington, there is an ever-present struggle for power between Congress and the President. Technically, the President is only meant to execute laws passed by Congress, not create his own. But favorable rulings on Presidential power and the electoral mandate have resulted in independent Presidential action becoming a political reality.

Lately, many people have cited the ever-increasing overreach of presidential
power. Just last week, Speaker John Boehner sued President Obama for failing to carry out laws passed by the House and acting on his own. But as much of a
spotlight as there is on the President, the Supreme Court may be the political
institution that comes to prominence in the near future.

The current Supreme Court has been very active lately, delivering rulings
killing the near-future dreams of internet television with Aereo and stopping
police from looking through our cell phones unwarranted.

But this week, the big ruling came when the Court decided that Hobby Lobby (and any religiously affiliated employer) can deny its employees access to healthcare coverage to contraception and other services on the basis of religious freedom. This broader interpretation of freedom of speech could make waves in the legislative world. For example, the previously stalled No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance full disclosure Act of 2014 could make serious progress in with the momentum of the new ruling. Now, proponents of the bill can argue that denying individuals abortion coverage is simply freedom of religious expression and that legislators need to follow in the guidance of the court.

With the outcome of this ruling, I can’t help but raise the question: will
Supreme Court rulings start to change the way Congressman write legislation? In an era that seemed to be heading in an increasingly progressive direction on
social issues such as gay rights and abortion rights, will increased religious
influence lead to Congressman writing more reserved legislation?

Whatever your stance on these issues is, just remember to keep the court in the
back of your mind when thinking about politics. While you may not hear about it
nearly as much as Congress or the President, an aggressive court like the
current one can have a sweeping, non-alterable influence on the political
landscape. Forget Interest Groups and SuperPAC’s. One of the quietest powers in politics is hiding in plain sight.

*Chris Beckmann is a political science major at Johns Hopkins and a
marketing associate at TrackBill, a legislative tracking service.

Find out more about today’s most controversial legislation:

Can We Just Stop Calling it an Abortion Pill Already

Biology is hard. And I should know because I much rather liked to pass notes around to my friends in class instead of listening to my high school bio teacher, which obviously didn’t bode well for my final grade that year.

It seems like I wasn’t the only one not listening to the lesson plans because for some reason a surprising number of internet pundits, big box store owners, religious zealots and even members of the Supreme Court have failed to grasp a few scientific facts.

Today’s lesson of the day is no, emergency contraception is not an abortifacient or “a drug or device that causes an abortion,” in layman’s terms.

Emergency Birth control products like the “morning after pill” won’t stop an already fertilized egg. In reality, it can take up to six days for the sperm and egg to meet after having sex. Betcha didn’t know that, which frankly is sad. Emergency contraception pills work by keeping a woman’s ovary from releasing an egg for longer than usual. Pills like Plan B can continue to reduce the risk of pregnancy for up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex. IUDs, another form of emergency contraception, can be placed in the body for up to five days after sex. They also don’t kill fertilized eggs. Emergency contraception is just like your typical pill form of contraception, but it’s sort of like taking many pills at once. That being said, some religious people (and that is their prerogative) don’t believe in any contraception at all (Hey Duggers)! But let’s not mince personal choices with facts here. The distinction between the pill and the morning after pill is they are not really that much different.

This confusion about what the facts about birth control is and isn’t reminds me of the season two Orange is the New Black episode “Whole Other Hole.”

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch it, it’s hilarious- basically the women are in desperate need of an anatomy lesson. This is why anatomy and sexual health should be mandatory lessons in schools; it’s amazing how little we know about our bodies and the science of what medicine and sex and birth control is all about.



You’re Going To Want To See This.. Sir Mix A-Lot Does ‘Baby Got Back’ With Seattle Symphony

Oh yes. Apparently Sir Mix-A-Lot is still milking this song for al it’s worth.. but we love it. Also notice all these ladies dressed up for the symphony getting down on stage. The woman in the black dress kills me. Love.

Further Proof That Conveniences Are Making Us Think Much less

I’ve blogged in the past that convenience makes us lazy.
A shining example of this is the way LEGO now prints their instructions.

The old way was Lego just showed you a picture of what you needed to build and you had to sift through and figure out how to get there by looking at the pictures.

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Now they put little boxes in the (upper left) corner to show you exactly what pieces you need before you build.


Yes, it’s plenty more convenient, but also takes some of the brain power out of the mix. Sometimes it’s just little nuances like this that that are scattered throughout life that makes us just have to think less on a daily basis.

Combine this with autocorrect, GPS, etc and our kids are learning less and less how to do things without some device or instructions telling them exactly how to achieve the end.

Protecting Our Children Online

Guest Post written by Sarah Upton.

children friend girls playing internet with smartphone

Summer is fast approaching, and children are quickly being released from schools all across the nation for their summer vacation. While this might be the best time of the year for them, it can be some of the most worrying months for parents. Our children having infinite free time each day to get into trouble while we are unable to supervise from work is a problem many parents face, and it can be difficult to keep track of what our kids get into while we aren’t home.


When we were growing up, all our parents had to worry about was us coming home with cuts and scratches or bruises, but the with the growing impact of technology in the modern world, many children have access to personal smartphones and computers. Reports from a study by Common Sense Media back in 2013 suggest that three in four children have used a smartphone or tablet by the age of 8, and nearly twenty percent use them on a daily basis. While the access to smartphones and tablets grows by the day, children are getting more and more linked to the internet at all hours of the day.


It can be difficult to monitor what your children are doing all the time even while you’re home, but when you’re at work it is nearly impossible. Many parents stress out all day over what their children are doing online while they aren’t looking, and this is likely to be a problem that affects all of us at some point in our children’s lives. While some parents might want to try limiting their family’s access to technology in an effort to keep them safe, it is becoming far too easy for children to get access through the rest of the community. Here are some tips for how to help your children remain safe while they are wired this summer.


The first step any parent should take with their children is to simply educate them about safe use. Microsoft published an article explaining what to teach your kids, and it is definitely worth taking the time to do if you haven’t already. Many tips seem obvious to adults but are not so for children, such as never sharing your passwords, logging out of websites when using public computers, and not giving out full personal information. Remember that you should set guidelines for what your child can do online—anything posted to the internet can potentially be seen by everyone, even if posted privately, so if you are not comfortable with everyone seeing what your child does, it is time to set stricter rules.


In addition to ordinary parental supervision, there are apps that can assist with the daunting task of tracking your child’s online habits. Verizon Wireless wrote an article about protecting your children online, and they list many helpful apps. They carry helpful tools for parents such as FamilyBase, a service which allows parents to monitor their children’s phone activity and set limits for when and where they can access the web. Not only can this enable you to track their phone use, but you can see which apps they have installed and which apps they use the most. As smartphones are quickly becoming the main source of online connection for children, being able to directly monitor their usage through your mobile provider is the most powerful tool you have.


The article also mentions other apps which are independently published for you to download. One of these apps is MamaBear, which parents can install on their phones for help monitoring their children. This app gives feedback to parents about everything their child does, including where they are and how they are interacting with friends on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. It can even track how fast your teenagers are driving and alert you if they are going above a preset limit! My Mobile Watchdog is similar in practice but also gives parents the ability to monitor their kid’s text and picture messages. It gives parents an email summary of their child’s activity and alerts them if any boundaries are broken, however, it is Android only.


There are many other apps which can give you some control over how your child uses their mobile devices or computer. Even if you do not wish to place hard restrictions upon your family, these apps can still give you the peace of mind you deserve this summer. Rather than limiting your child’s access entirely, simply monitoring them can help you ensure they are using modern technology safely while you aren’t there to supervise. While modern technology has given children greater access than ever to unhealthy sites, it has also empowered parents to know more about their children’s activities and habits.

~ Sara Upton is an avid reader and dog enthusiast. When she isn’t reading or writing, she likes to take long hikes and experiment in the kitchen with new recipes.





20 Inspirational Quotes By Maya Angelou




















Brilliant Writer, Maya Angelou, Dies At 86

I’m heartbroken that such an inspirational woman, Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. Maya Angelou was the writer of the classic autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” as well as a brilliant activist, author, poet, performer and speaker. She was found unresponsive in her Winston-Salem home.

I’ve read almost all of her books, she will be missed.







Meet The Wests

Meet The Wests

It’s official, Kim and Kayne are married, they wed Saturday May 24 in Florence, Italy, at the 16th-century Forte di Belvedere. This is a pic of the couple at a pre-wedding party