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Showing posts from 2016

Happy birthday, Jane

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I hold the page and smile. I touch the face I loved.It’s become famous, this image, and called like and unlike by those who knew her. And I gaze at it and see what they see and see what they do not. I’ve tried to draw too, though not skilled in the art, and hold this example, that like my own attempts, has captured the cheek and the hair that wisped against it, the brow and the eyes that enjoy its shelter. They are orbs of beauty, glistening just as I remember, looking at me, as I always wanted, windows to the soul that I loved more dearly than I loved cheek, eye, brow or hair. It is the nose and the mouth with which the artist has failed. I do not fault her – she loved, perhaps if not better than I, at least longer, as sisters always will. But the nose cannot be drawn to capture the way it looked at this angle or that, once pert, then smart, Grecian and then curled like a tulip’s petal, in all its dimension impossible to accurately portray in this medium – perhaps in any. But the mou…

Confessions of a NanoWriMo Failure

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I'm a failure. A big fat failure. I'm so sick about my failure, I write this post distracted. Don't expect pithy sentences or clever metaphors. Expect cliches, danging participles and archaic expressions. I'm too upset to even try to impress you.
Why am I a failure and what are my excuses?
Read on, dear reader.
It's all because November is over, which means National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWRiMo, (the silliest acronym ever created by people who are supposed to be good at this stuff), is also over.

And I have failed to reach any NaNoWriMo victories. Any!
I know I shouldn't take it so hard. Failing at NaNoWriMo doesn't mean I'm a failure at writing. I wrote two novels before I had ever heard of NaNoWriMo. I wrote my third manuscript (currently being shopped to publishing houses by my hardworking agent ... stay tuned!) without participating.
And yeah, "participating" is a weird term to use about writing -- the most solitary o…

Rescue Me

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In the wake of last week's election results, do you feel the need to be rescued?

I ask because I'm confused by all the feminine outrage I've read since Donald Trump was elected. I mean, I get not liking Trump -- I don't like him either. And I still can't quite wrap my head around the idea of him being our president, but I suppose I'll get used to it.
If you were a Hillary Clinton supporter, I even get being upset that your candidate lost. I remember how I felt when Barack Obama won. I was worried about what kind of policies he would enact and how they might infringe on my personal freedoms. So you're worried about Trump's leadership? How he'll interact with Russia? Or how his economic policies will affect us?  That's totally valid as far as I'm concerned.
But how far do we take our concerns? How much hand wringing should we do? Should I be weeping and wailing like a damsel in distress? And just how much time should we spend protesting, ranti…

I know you are, but what am I?

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Liar. Thief. Crooked.
Bully. Pig. Criminal.
Name calling in politics is nothing new, but with less than a week until election day, America is engaged in a presidential battle like never before, taking us back to the darkest days of our childhood, when taunts, shoving, stuck-out tongues and sing-song comebacks were the fiercest weapons we knew how to launch. But when the ballots are cast and the election is won by either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, will all that hair pulling and huffiness end?

No.

Because after multiple October Surprises (Rolling Stone counted 23, Fox News reported eight), we can only dream of a world where the controversies, lawsuits, investigations and theatrics surrounding these two individuals are behind us. And we'll be stuck with one of them as Commander-in-Chief.

And don't forget those who are bemoaning (or maybe "pre-moaning"?) our fate as a nation should Trump manage to pull out a win, threatening to take their toys and leave America for …

Case Study: Haitian Earthquake Relief and the Clinton Foundation

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For the past couple of months, I've talked a lot about media bias: the forms it takes, where we find it, how it's manipulated by candidates and how to identify it. Today, I want to take a practical approach by analyzing a current event and how it is covered by several media outlets.

Our case study involves Hillary Clinton's State Department giving preferential treatment to Clinton Foundation donors in the wake of the 2010 Haitian earthquake. To summarize the story, recently leaked State Department emails show a pattern of preferential treatment for "FOB" (friends of Bill) or "WJC VIPs" (William Jefferson Clinton very important person(s)) in contractors looking to help aid earthquake victims, in both emergency response and with more long-term rebuilding roles.

As you might expect, liberals contend there's nothing to these stories -- no one financially benefited from an association with the Clintons, the emails in question simply express typical networ…

Label Me, I'll Label You

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Juliet said that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Maybe. But only if I'm holding the rose and smelling it while calling it an onion. If I don't have a rose in my hand, I mentally "smell" something very different when the words "rose" or "onion" are mentioned.

The fact is, words have rich, full-bodied value. We attach meaning to them without even thinking about it. We make judgments based on words we didn't even consciously hear. And that, my friends, is why labels are so important to politicians, strategists and media types.

About this time four years ago, a friend of a friend posted something about the Obama/Romney election on Facebook that I (unwisely) decided to respond to. (I don't remember every word she wrote, so I'm paraphrasing, except the part in bold, where my recall is perfect.) Here it is:
She:  I know one thing about this election: you just can't vote for the party that supports corporations and big banks…