Top Ten Tuesday

I haven’t done this one in a while

Disregard advice
Accept help
Blow off steam
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Just breathe
Follow your gut
Don’t waste time on what doesn’t matter
Cherish those who deserve you
Compassion and empathy are key
Follow your dreams

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11 Great Quotes In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

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French Newspaper Charlie Hebdo Releases First Cover Since Attacks

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Despite the recent attack, Charlie Hebdo refuses to be silenced. The magazine has become a symbol for freedom of expression in the wake of the terror attacks.

The magazine has prepared a massive print run of three million copies, compared to its typical 60,000. It will be sold in 25 countries in 16 different languages.

I’ll For My Children ~ Poetry Challenge 2015

'Mother and Child Reading,' Mary Cassett

‘Mother and Child Reading,’ Mary Cassett

I’ll not be perfect

I’ll make mistakes

I’ll tell you the truth

I’ll always love you, my children

I’ll always be human

I’ll try to recognize my faults and improve

I’ll try to be true to myself

I’ll try to do what I know best

I’ll try to give you better

I’ll try to find balance

I’ll always comfort you

I’ll lose it

I’ll hug you when you’re sad

I’ll protect you

I’ll let you down sometimes

I’ll be your hero at least once

I’ll learn as I go

I’ll try to teach you what I know

I’ll get frustrated

I’ll forgive you

I’ll let you mess up and then we’ll talk about the right way

I’ll lose my way

I’ll make sure we figure it out together

I’ll let you figure out what’s right for you

I’ll let you get away with things

I’ll make you hate me sometimes for your own good

I’ll always be your Mom first

*This poem is part of my 2015 Poetry Prompt Challenge, if you want to play along, join in, do the prompts and I’ll post your link on my blog. Today’s prompt is “Write a Poem that begins with a proclamation.” I decided to take it to the next level and make all the lines a proclamation.

 

Patterns

Subtle fleeting patterned footpath zigging and zagging downward driveway.

This way and that- leading to angels that lay scattered behind gleaming forts and balls of white.

Red-nosed glee, icy wrists, layers of disseminate warmth.

Forever treasured will these patterns be.

Snow angel pattern in snow, close-up

*This poem is part of my 2015 poetry prompt challenge- today’s prompt was “use the word ‘pattern’ in the first and last lines of the poem.” *Let me know if you want to take part in the challenge and I will link your poem at the bottom

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Calvin and Hobbes Really Is the Best

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A New Year of Poetry Prompts

I won’t bore you with stats about my 2014. I won’t humblebrag or give you a link to my highest clicked post from February or some such month where I ranted on about something from my computer soapbox that we now don’t care about in December. I won’t bore you with resolutions that I probably won’t adhere to- I’m sure you have those of your own. We’re (well just me actually- and you can watch) am going to just keep moving full steam ahead- except I’m going to try something a little new this year.

Darth Vader says Happy New Year

Darth Vader says Happy New Year

I found a random page on the internet of poetry prompts. 120 of them, I believe. I haven’t even read them all, because I’m a skimmer and most of them sounded fun. Poetry, to me is like an exercise in words. Fun to write, interesting (sometimes) to read, and good for people like me with short attention spans. Maybe they’re a little self indulgent- but aren’t all blogs, really. If you want to partake in the prompts- then cool-let me know- I like writing buddies. I guess I lied about confessing my resolutions, my goal for 2015 is to get through them all. We’ll see.

Today I’ll kick it off with no prompt at all- it still being 2014 and all.

Year End

The year comes to a wilting conclusion.

Cold, wintery wispy finish.

It wasn’t a bad year.

Had it’s ups and downs as they all do.

As you do.

Peaks and valleys. Rivers and streams. Rushing waves and trickling babbling spaces.

Smiling faces. Tears too.

New beginnings. Commencement I suppose.

Let’s fathom up some arbitrary goals.

Ones we’ve mentioned before. Maybe last year perchance.

New inspiration in forms of forced blossom to strive for the better.

Seeds.

By June you’ll forget what they were.

Old Long Since, it goes, as we glance at the big hand turn.

Count downs and turn downs, sips and dips and jovial flips.

Old acquaintances slipped-

Past tranquil fingertips.

Consumed by other things.

Goodnight dear year, goodnight.

On you we will look with starry eyed affection, forgetting the nooks and crannies that sadness trickled into.

Good night.

Good morning sweet- new year. Hello new friend, new path of mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Darkness, Inside Glow

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Early darkness

inside glow.

By the tree, children glisten and hum.

Things to be done, left as they are

Suppose they’ll be there tomorrow.

Wrapped in fleece and swaddled in comfies, the chitter and the chatter is what keeps us warm.

Ornaments hung and hot cocoa enjoyed.

Trying to forget about the bustle and things yet to be.

They’re not going to be this young forever they say.

Excitement, anticipation, joy and love.

A little bit of whining, cause let’s really be honest.

We wouldn’t imagine it any other way.

Tidings are good, and that’s what we treasure.

Togetherness, cuddles and uncertain anticipation.

Popcorn and snippets, advent and snowflakes.

Late December nights, oh you – we do cherish.

 

 

 

 

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:
https://trackbill.com/campaigns/beforethevote