Posted in Abortion, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Marriage, News, Off The Wall, Parent, Parenting

Abortion, Birth Control and Online Polls

Oh. My. God.

Of all the disgusting, completely irresponsible things I have seen on the internet, this is probably the worst of them all.

I just came across an article at ParentDish about the Arnold family. Alicha Arnold is pregnant, and apparently didn’t know whether or not she wanted to keep the child…

… So…

She, along with her husband, started a website. The purpose of the site is to poll the public- should they have the baby or abort it?

Mrs. Arnold, who has been married for 9 years, explains her uncertainty by saying, “I’m not convinced that I want to change the status quo… I feel that as I age I’ve actually gotten more selfish and set in my ways. I’m afraid that I will eventually regret starting a family and ‘settling down,’ as they say. I fear that the constant pressure to be the perfect wife and mother while maintaining a full-time job will eventually cause my brain to implode and lead to a nervous breakdown.”

Wow.

The Arnolds seem well-educated and financially stable. They both work in technology, and have been a couple for more than a decade. Certainly for these two upwardly mobile people, birth control was not a mystery, or a myth. They could have easily availed themselves to it, and yet they didn’t. When the inevitable happened (you see, when two people love each other, the man will stick his… well, you know where I’m headed with this…), and she got pregnant, she turned to that which she knows best- technology- to help make the biggest, most heart-wrenching, personal decision she will likely ever face.

No wait.

Allow me to rephrase.

She turned to others– strangers (!) to make that decision for her.

I am disgusted.

Ultimately, it seems the Arnolds, with the public’s assistance, have chosen to continue their pregnancy.

Truly, I have no idea if I’m relieved or not…

… This woman will be a mother soon.

How do you parent a child whose fate you once left to the public? To strangers, freaks, hackers, psychopaths, politicians (sorry- couldn’t resist!)?

“Now look, Junior! You better show some respect! If not for that 51% on my website, you wouldn’t even be here right now! Go clean your room like I asked you to!”

Huh.

I dunno, folks.

I declare I’ve seen it all.

Posted in Blogging, Bucks County, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Discrimination, Education, Lenape Middle School, Matthew Curran, NAACP, News, Off The Wall, Parent, Parenting, Pennsylvania, Race, Racism

Racism, No Wai and George Bush Eats Cats

After reading some recent posts of mine, a friend forwarded the following story to me. She was curious- since I have not jumped on the bandwagon to yell racism at some higher profile stories- to see if this one would be any different.

An 8th grade math teacher, famous for the silly images he places on the homework worksheets he gives to his students, has found himself in a very uncomfortable situation.

While surfing the internet, looking for funny pictures to place on a homework assignment, teacher Matthew Curran came across what he believed at the time to be a perfect choice. The picture was one that would surely cause his students to laugh, and the caption, “NO WAI!” (internet slang for “No Way”) was even better. Mr. Curran had an inside joke with his class- whenever he would assign difficult math problems, and expect them to show their work, the students would always exclaim, “No way!”

The picture was of a black man wearing a straw hat. The man had his mouth wide open, displaying an almost completely toothless mouth.

After assigning the worksheet, a student turned in her seat to the only black person in the class, asking him if the picture depicted the child’s father.

The offended student went home and told his mother about the incident. Upon seeing the image, the mother immediately contacted the NAACP.

The NAACP released a statement:

“It brings into question whether all of our children are being provided a safe and fair environment in which to learn. What happened here is unacceptable, and we will take steps to make sure it never happens again,”

Mr. Curran has since apologized to both the school faculty and the student body. He claims he was doing a Google search on the terms “multiply and divide”, and this image was one of many that he came across. He thought the caption was funny, representing an inside joke with his students, and says he truly did not mean to offend anyone.

The child’s mother states she will not send her son back to school again until she feels it is safe for him.

I did a quick internet search, using Google, as Matthew Curran did, and I can verify that this image is in fact returned as a search result when typing in the term “multiply and divide”. Why this is the case is beyond me, but at least in this regard, the teacher is telling the truth.

Since this incident occured, many students, ex-students and co-workers of Mr. Curran’s have come forward in his defense. Most people agree that the image was a poor choice, but all are steadfast in their support of the teacher, stating that there is simply no way this man meant to offend anyone.

I do not believe we are looking at a case of overt (or even covert) racism. I think, at worst, sine he has already apologized, Mr. Curran may need to take a racial sensitivity class so that he can be more aware of what may be considered offensive to some students and their parents.

I take bigger issue with the student who asked the only black kid in the classroom if the man depicted on the worksheet was his father. The student should be given detention or something. Bang a few erasers together after school for a couple days.

Truly, I am angrier at the black student’s mother than I am at anyone else. This obviously was not a case of blatant racism. The math teacher simply made a mistake when choosing an image he believed would make his students laugh… and therefore make the classroom a little more fun. Hell, I wish my math teachers would have tried half as hard to keep me interested as this guy apparently does. The child’s mother, when deciding not to even try to work the issue out with the school, instead immediately contacting the NAACP, sent a message that is much louder than anything Mr. Curran inadvertantly did.

In bypassing the school, in refusing to allow her son to return to class, she in effect told everyone that she is less interested in working together towards a solution to this problem, and more interested in causing a scene. Getting her face on TV, and causing a ruckus.

15 minutes of fame and all that.

This, my friends, is not the way to racial equality. Actions like this breed animosity and resentment, and are not conducive to the open conversations we so desperately need to have.

It doesn’t mean the kid’s mom shouldn’t have been offended by the image on the worksheet. It doesn’t mean the worksheet was appropriate for the class. It simply means that in handling the situation the way she chose to, she may very well have created a racial divide that perhaps didn’t otherwise exist.

Had the student’s mother first reached out to the teacher, the principle, the superintendent of the school… had she tried to understand what Mr. Curran was trying to accomplish… perhaps this story could have been one of hope, communication and education.

Had she been willing to do her due dilligence, the mother could have learned that this particular image, while perhaps offensive, is part of a widely circulated collection of images, all captioned with various internet slang. Some of the pictures depict the black man while others depict animals with the words “owned”, “pwned”, “my wai”, “o hai”. I even located one of these stupid pictures with an image of George Bush eating a cat with a caption that reads “We can haz… stop teh madnez”. A quick Google search of these images shows that they’re all part of the “I Can Has Cheezburger” internet sensation- a blogsite that has gone viral since its 2007 inception. Click on the website, and one will find plenty of images to offend just about anyone, though I personally find the kittehs (kitties) adorable.

As a bi-racial woman, I have lived both worlds- black and white. I was raised by a white family, I was married to a black man, and I have two beautiful black daughters. It is through these life experiences that I have learned that not everyone who makes a bad judgment is a racist person. Some people, for varying reasons, are simply unaware of the pain their actions can cause. Most of these people truly mean no harm. Once their errors are pointed out to them, once they are educated about the stigmas certain words, images, jokes, etc. contain, they are more than happy to adjust.

When we handle situations like this one in battle mode right off the bat, without knowing or understanding why or how it occured to begin with, we lose our credibility. All too often, once our credibility is gone, so too, are many of the opportunities to open minds and educate each other that may have otherwise existed.

This is a sad story to me. Not because of a racist teacher, but because I realize that yet again, we’ve lost another chance.

Posted in Abortion, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Education, News, Parent, Parenting, Politics, Sex

Growing… Growing… Gone

Ok People, listen up.

For the purpose of this post, I don’t give a hoot what your personal views on abortion are.

Regardless, the above image, found on a T-shirt offered through the American Life League, is inappropriate for your child to wear to school.

Especially if said child is a mere 7th grader, attending an educational institution that consists of Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Duh.

The fact that this even needs to be discussed is quite unsettling.

Even worse is the fact that the school, because officials made the kid change her offensive shirt, is now being sued.

Her parents claim the school violated her first amendment right to free speech.

Please.

Schools have the right and the responsibility to keep offensive clothing- whether it be a too-tight pair of daisy dukes, a shirt with a gang-sign or the Confederate Flag, and most especially a disgusting, adult themed anti-abortion rag- out of the classroom.

My litmus test is this- if the attire in question causes a disturbance, an uproar, a distraction… it’s inappropriate.

This kid’s mom was smokin’ crack the day she let her daughter wear that thing to school. That she is now taking legal action against them for doing what she should have done to begin with- making the child take the darn thing off- is absolutely ludicrous.

Sigh. 

Only in America, I suppose.

Posted in Burger King, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Family, News, Parent, Parenting, Sex, Single Parent

Burger King, Blow Jobs and The Diva

Ok, So I don’t know how funny this Burger King ad really is, but when I saw it, I chuckled.

The chuckle may very well have been more out of embarrassment and less out of any true comedic value, but there you have it, nonetheless.

The controversial advertisement is currently running exclusively in Singapore, which is a little suprising, given that Singapore isn’t actually known for being the sexual freedom capital of the world.

The ad is obviously being used to promote BK’s new sandwich, the BK Super Seven Incher and instructs would-be consumers ot “Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled” and “Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger…”

This, of course, all under a huge tag line that screams, “IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND AWAY” with a profile view of a suggestive looking woman in heavy makeup, mouth open, get ready to blow… err… eat the huge burger.

As I was chuckling, shaking my head at the advertising pervs that came up with this particular campaign, I was reminded of an incident that occured with my daughter a few short weeks ago.

The Diva, as regular readers know, is a pre-teen. She’s 10 years old, soon to be 11 next month.

She is beautiful, extremely tall (already 5’3″), and while it isn’t her fault, looks entirely too old for her age.

My daughter is also becoming aware of sex, and has many questions at the ready… usually asking them at the most unexpected times.

Case in point- I was cooking dinner this particular evening, when my daughter saunters into the room. She had that tone in her voice like she just wanted to engage in small talk with me, perhaps about the weather or some other insignificant topic.

This casual tone always throws me off, and I always fall for it. Make no mistake about it. The weather was the last thing on my child’s mind at that moment.

Instead she floors me with, “Mom? What’s a blow job?”

Huh.

I was so startled by her question- the seemingly randomness of it- and by the fact that such a question was probably the last thing I expected to come out of my 10 year old’s mouth, that I dropped the casserole I had been making.

Yep.

Huge mess, all over the floor.

I explained what the term meant. I stuttered a lot, and blushed even more, but think I eventually provided an honest, though not too detail-oriented description of what oral sex is…

… Even managing to do so without passing out.

I think I’m getting better at this.

This time around, I only threw up a little in my mouth, as opposed to a lot.

I asked her where she’d heard it, and she just sort of shrugged and said, “I’m not really sure. Around, I guess”.

She’d been struggling with trying to figure out what it was, and when unable to, she had come to me.

Thank goodness she did, though I won’t lie and pretend like my first instinct wasn’t to send her to the laptop to google it instead.

That woulda got me off the hook, right?

I was sad that my daughter, at age 10, needs to know what a blow job is.

After looking at this ad, I guess I’m beginning to understand why our babies have become so much more sexually aware than we were at the same age.

Suddenly, the ad isn’t the slightest bit funny anymore.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Conservative, Current Events, Dating, David Letterman, Democrats, Family, Funny, Humor, John McCain, Liberal, News, Parent, Parenting, Politics, Relationships, Sarah Palin, Sex, Willow Palin

David Letterman, John McCain and Willow Palin

Ok, so David Letterman may have crossed a line with his recent jokes regarding Sarah Palin and her daughter, with some people even calling for his termination from CBS.

I thought the jokes specifically about Governor Palin were pretty funny- and not the slightest bit out of line- though perhaps slightly off-color.

I did, however, cringe at his quip about Palin’s daughter.

The Governor had taken her 14 year old daughter to a Yankees game while recently visiting New York. Letterman joked on his show that during the Seventh Inning Stretch, Willow, the daughter, got “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez.

Disgusting, for sure.

I’m not here to condone Letterman’s comments. Personally, I feel that for the most part, children of politicians should be off limits for all of us- late night comedians included. I do make an exception for people such as Megan McCain (John McCain’s daughter) and Bristol Palin (Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter) because A) they are not minors and B) they have chosen a life in the public eye- Megan as a popular blogger, Bristol as a public advocate for abstinence.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the double standard here.

Can you imagine, for example, had Conan O’Brien quipped, during Michelle Obama’s recent trip to London with her daughters, that Sasha (or Malia- pick a kid), had been knocked up by Hugh Grant?

Or worse, Boy George?

David Beckham?

I realize that politically incorrect, often distasteful humor, is par for the course in late night comedic television… but sometimes, as we all know, lines do get crossed, and feelings get hurt.

Unfortunately, and it pains me to say this- as I am a Letterman fan- his so-called apology on the matter was grossly inadequate. Letterman claims that his joke regarding Palin’s daughter was actually geared towards Bristol Palin, but I’m not buying it. Everyone knows Bristol was not the one who accompanied her mother to the Yankees game, and surely,  considering all of Letterman’s staff, if not the big man himself, someone would have picked up on this fact.

This, at best, was a terrible gaffe on the part of his research department. At worst, he knew exactly what he was saying and who he was saying it about.

Regardless, it was a completely inappropriate thing to say.

What enrages me, however, even more than Letterman’s false and disengenuous apology, is certain Republican politicians’ reactions to his comments.

John McCain, for example, when asked his opinion by news source Reuters, stated, “I don’t understand why Letterman would say that about a young woman… They deserve some kind of protection from being the butt of late-night hosts.”

Really?

Funny, considering McCain’s own comments about then-President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, on the Letterman show back in 1998:

Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?  Because Janet Reno is her father.

It makes one wonder… are John McCain and friends truly against the idea of people attacking the children of politicians… or does it only become a no-no when said politician is a fellow conservative?

Letterman was wrong for saying the things he said about Willow Palin, and that family deserves a genuine apology.

… But as we all know, peoplewho live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Willow Palin deserves our outrage on her behalf. Unfortunately, when it comes from such sources as John McCain, the anger appears phony, crafted, politically motivated and most of all, horribly hypocritical.

Pedophilia, rape and teenage sex are not humorous topics- regardless of who is making the joke, or who the joke is about.

It is, after all, a national epidemic, as Sarah Palin and family know first hand.

Perhaps, instead of duking it out over which public figures’ children are and aren’t off limits, our time would be better spent advocating on behalf of the children who find themselves the butt of these most reprehensible jokes.

Posted in Family, Mothers' Day, Parent, Single Mom

Happy Mothers’ Day!

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I had the opportunity to spend the day with my baby girls. We went out for brunch and then spent the afternoon at Grant’s Farm. What a great time!

Hopefully everyone had some time to spend with their mothers, or at least had a chance to reach out to them.

I know I’m blessed with both the best mother in the world, as well as the best children in the world.

My day was definitely a special one, and as I hope yours was too.

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