Category Archives: Current Events and Editorials

The Suspense is Over for Dog Lovers The Obama’s New Pet Will Be a Portuguese Water Dog

This post may seem a bit atypical for W@C blog but under the “Just For Fun” category, I thought some of you dog lovers out there might be interested in the lastest “first family” news.  Hot off the presses,  according to the CNN Political Ticker

“First Lady Michelle Obama told People magazine that her family has decided to adopt a Portuguese Water Dog.” 

The First Lady pointed to the breed’s medium-size and good-natured reputation as the main reasons for the choice.  She also added that  the breed is also hypoallergenic — a must, given daughter Malia’s allergy to dogs.

The Baltimore Sun quoted an American Kennel Club representative Michelle Barlak in reference to inquiry about the breed.  Barlak stated, “The Portuguese Water Dog is a fun-loving dog with a lot of energy, it’s a great family dog, but they have to understand the dog will require quite a bit of exercise. … Two young girls who are very active are good companions for the dog.”

Many of you out there are dog lovers, what do you think about the Obama’s choice?  Do any of you have any experience with this breed? 

It seems like an unusual choice to me since the breed currently ranks 62nd in popularity amongst all dog breeds in the U.S., but then on the other hand IMHO anything Portuguese has got to be great!

Just for fun,

Maryellen Stipe

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For All You Shoe Lovers–What Do You Think About Red Shoes?

Greta Van Susteren reported on her blog  “GretaWire” today about a pair of red hot shoes worn by Gov.  Sarah Palin.  I happen to like Sarah and red shoes so I thought this was definitely blogworthy.

Greta following this incredibly important story stated,  “A pair of shoes worn by Gov. Sarah Palin during her campaign for vice president netted $2,025 in an online auction Tuesday morning, according to the Anchorage, Alaska, TV station KTUU.

The pair of red, Naughty Monkey Double-Dare pumps were sold in an eBay auction that ended Tuesday. They usually go for about $100.

Someone calling herself Palin’s niece was selling the red shoes she said the governor gave her, according to the auction site. She claims that the shoes were purchased, not by the Republican National Committee, but by the governor herself at a Juneau store.” 

For more on this story follow this link: http://gretawire.foxnews.com/2009/01/29/governor-palins-shoes-by-the-way-what-brand-does-our-president-wear/

 Other “red shoes” I admire — every Colorado cowgirl needs a pair of “Red Ropers.”

And when speaking of “red shoes” “Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers” should never be forgotten and even I own a pair of red loafers!

What do you think about red shoes and which are your favorites?

Do you own any? 

Please comment!

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The “March for Life” on the Mall Ignored by Media

Fox News’ Religion Contributor Father Jonathan Morris, has reported on the Fox News Blog that “an estimated 200,000 people marched on the Mall in Washington last week on Jan. 22nd in protest on the 36th anniversary of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling.”  

(Roe vs. Wade as you know is the ruling that has provided legal cover for the termination of more than 50,000,000 pregnancies in the United States over the past thirty-six years.) 

Well, what the good Father is also reporting is that the event received no media coverage and that his readers are plenty mad about it.  His readers on the blog have been e-mailing him with bitter complaints that basically go like this:

“Why has the liberal mainstream media once again refused to cover this event? After all, every year this march draws a huge crowd. And besides, aren’t the more than a million abortions every year a disgrace for our nation, by anyone’s standards?” — isn’t that news worthy.

For a full reading of Father Morris’ replies to his readers click on the following link. 

http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/01/23/frj_abortion/ .  I would be very interested to know what our readers @  the Women at Crossroads Weblog think about this topic.  Please read the article and add your comments to this thread.

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The First Lady’s Fight to Protect Her Girls from Exploitation Begins…

It has only been days since the inauguration and the media and marketing empires of the United States are already speeding to exploit the privacy of the newly installed “first family.”  The toy company responsible for the “beanie babies craze,” Ty, came out this week with a pair of dolls mimicking the two “first daughters.”

 

In reaction to the release of the dolls, (which are named: Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha), CNN reported that,

 

“The first lady’s office said Friday that Ty was out of line “We feel it is inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes,” said a spokesperson for Michelle Obama in a statement.”

 

In reply after questioning Ty the news agency reported that,

 

 “A Ty representative told CNN the company generally avoids naming dolls for “any particular living individual” because doing so might interfere with how kids use their imaginations to play with them.  But they wouldn’t reveal the source of their inspiration for the new figures, telling CNN that information relating to the development of the merchandise—including how it comes up with products, product names and trademarks—is proprietary.”

                                                  

It has also come to light that the dolls by Ty are only the tip of the iceberg. 

 

 

It was similarly reported by Fox News that, J. Crew, who designed the two Obama daughter’s outfits for the inauguration are also well aware of the marketing potential of the Obama sisters. 

 

Fox News stated that, “J. Crew’s phones have been ringing off the hook as moms across the country try to get the colorful coats Malia and Sasha Obama wore to see their dad sworn in as president of the United States.”

 

What will the new President and his wife do to head off the media and marketing frenzy targeting their daughters?  The BBC taking an interest in our new first family pointed out that,

 

“Before the inauguration President Obama and self-declared mom-in-chief Michelle vowed to protect the children’s privacy while in the White House.” 

 

The English news service cannot help but draw comparisons between Michelle’s vehemence to protect her girls and Diana’s quest to protect her son’s during her tenure as Princess of Wales.

If you remember back before her death in September 1997, Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, following continuous media intrusion into her private life, confronted the British press in a vain plea for privacy for herself and her sons. 

Ironically, earlier in 1997, the British Government had passed a Protection from Harassment Act and the Princess of Wales had tried in vain to use it to protect herself. Many freelance paparazzi (professional photographers who specialize in taking photographs of famous people and selling them to the media) had refused to heed Diana’s pleas for privacy, believing that she was a fair target. 

It is common knowledge that this war with the unrelenting media was a point of constant aggravation for the “people’s princess” until the day she died.  In fact, many believe that it was the paparazzi gone wild who were the cause of Diana’s death. 

Looking into the Protection of Harassment Act of the British takes on special interest as we consider the plight of the Obama girls. 

According to Wikipedia, “The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 is a piece of United Kingdom law, which, among other things criminalizes, and creates a right to protection from, stalking, and persistent harassment and bullying. Under this act the definition of harassment is behavior which causes alarm or distress. The Act provides for a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine for damages awarded in civil court.”

The Protection from Harassment Act was the only recourse Princess Diana had against the stalking of world-wide media and even it failed to protect her.  What is equally suprising is that currently over ten years later there is still no explicit right to privacy law in either the U.S. Constitution or in British Law.

A survey of Privacy Laws throughout the world found online at, http://gilc.org/privacy/survey/surveylz.html reports that,

“The Supreme Court has ruled that there is a limited constitutional right of privacy based on a number of provisions in the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments. This includes most specifically a right to privacy from government surveillance into an area where a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” and also in matters relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing and education. However, records held by third parties such as financial records, telephone calling records (and even photos, my add) are generally not protected.  The U.S. has no general privacy protection law.”

With this in mind, Michelle Obama will have her work cut out for her as she seeks to protect her kids.  As it stands she can expect very little help from the legal system. The BBC in reporting Michelle’s dilemma, quoted Tarshia Stanley, associate professor at Spelman College a historically black college for women in Atlanta as she highlighted the media focus on the girls. 

“What we are seeing portrayed in the media” the professor stated, “are little black girls who are respected and cared for – it’s not an image we often see. Michelle Obama will need to be careful the girls are not seen as icons – particularly in an age where there is an obsession with visual representations of people. She will need to ensure the girls are not seen as some version of Disney stars.”

Well, considering such warnings on the part of this professor and others, as we reflect on the developments of the past week it seems that, that Michelle Obama’s job of protecting Malia and Sasha will be a chore that is much easier said than done.  Nonetheless the first Mom is reported to be quite an active, involved and devoted mother and it will be interesting to see how she fares against the various forces that are focused on exploiting her young girls. Hopefully, she will be more successful than Diana was!

What do you think the “First Mom” should do?  Any opinions on how the U.S. Laws should be changed to better protect its citizens from privacy infringements? Please take the time to comment below.  This fight against the media and marketing agencies world-wide is one that the Obama’s are just beginning and it will be interesting to see what evolves!

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Sarah Palin Calls for Intercession Believing God Will Do the “Right Thing for America”

While many are accusing Sarah Palin of arrogance and religious fanaticism, I view Sarah as the ultimate woman of faith.  She is calling for prayer believing that in the end God will listen and what is right for America will happen on Nov. 4.  Please heed Sarahs call to action and pray!

CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby reported today:

In an interview posted online Wednesday, Sarah Palin told Dr. James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” that she is confident God will do “the right thing for America” on Nov. 4.

Dobson asked the vice presidential hopeful if she is concerned about John McCain’s sagging poll numbers, but Palin stressed that she was “not discouraged at all.”

“To me, it motivates us, makes us work that much harder,” she told the influential Christian leader, whose radio show reaches millions of listeners daily. “And it also strengthens my faith because I know at the end of the day putting this in God’s hands, the right thing for America will be done, at the end of the day on Nov. 4.”

Dobson praised Palin’s opposition to abortion rights, to which the governor affirmed that she is “hardcore pro-life.”

She said giving birth to her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, has given her the opportunity “to be walking the walk and not just talking the talk” in her long-standing opposition to abortion.

She also thanked her supporters — including Dobson, who said he and his wife were asking “for God’s intervention” on election day — for their prayers of support.

“It is that intercession that is so needed,” she said. “And so greatly appreciated. And I can feel it too, Dr. Dobson. I can feel the power of prayer, and that strength that is provided through our prayer warriors across this nation. And I so appreciate it.”

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/22/palin-god-will-do-the-right-thing-on-election-day/

          http://www.citizenlink.org/clspecialalert/A000008476.cfm

 

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Sarah Palin―more than just a pretty face―the perfect VP for McCain.

On this blog we have had numerous comments questioning Sarah Palin’s ability to fulfill the role of vice president.  There is a tendency to want to compare her to Obama who is obviously running for president.  President and vice president are two distinctly different job descriptions and it is my opinion that Sarah Palin will have no problem more than adequately fulfilling the requirements of the office of VP.  I also believe that VP is a role well suited to a woman and that is what this post is all about.   

 

What does the Vice President do anyway?

 

According to the Constitution the role of vice president only involves two specific things beyond the general role of supporting and serving as a strengthening agent for the president.

 

1).  The Vice President of the United States is the first person in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death, resignation, or removal of the president.

 

2) The vice president serves as the President of the Senate, and may break tie votes in that chamber.  The Constitution goes on to say, regarding the vice president, “He or she may be assigned additional duties by the president but, as the Constitution assigns no executive powers to the vice president, in performing such duties he or she acts only as an agent of the president.”

 

With this in mind, Sarah Palin’s job description as VP (aside from being around in case John dies and breaking the occasional tie) will be what John McCain needs her job description to be.

Walter Mondale, who is now 80 years old, is known for serving as the 42nd vice president of the U.S. under Jimmy Carter.  He is also known for being the first presidential candidate to choose a female running mate. Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro to run along side him is his presidential bid in 1984.  Mr. Mondale understands the VEEP job well and was recently asked to weigh in on McCain’s choice of Palin. Mondale stated that a key question that would determine whether she was suited for the job or not would be to determine what role John McCain would have her in; he stated “ask John McCain how he sees Palin strengthening him in the role of President?” 

John McCain has answered this question clearly, in Minnesota at the RNC he told audiences he would make Palin, “the public face of the country’s drive for energy independence”; a job Sarah Palin is more than prepared for.  According to McCain’s website “As Governor, Palin is chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multi-state government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. She also serves as chair of the National Governors Association Natural Resources Committee, which is charged with pursuing legislation to ensure federal policy in the areas of energy, environmental protection and natural resource management. 

Jerry Bowyer, a respected economist and contributing editor on CNBC said of Palin, Sarah knows the oil industry inside and out. She can back McCain in the defense of drilling, transporting and refining oil. Who knows drilling and the issues surrounding it better than the governor of Alaska?

The second role John McCain is expecting his running mate to fulfill was also made clear at the time of her nomination.  At the RNC McCain said he wanted Sarah Palin to continue developing her reputation as a government reformer. Later on the television show “The View” John McCain said “Sarah Palin is good for the country because of her reformer credentials, she will reform spending for lawmakers’ pet projects.” Palin is also extremely well equipped for this role.  She defeated incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski of Alaska, before winning the governor’s seat in 2002 and ethics was the centerpiece of her campaign.  

In reference to Sarah’s role as a reformer, Clark Judge, who wrote speeches for President Ronald Reagan and now heads the White House Writers Group, a Washington public affairs company, said “No political figure in the US has more experience in taking on privilege and vested interests than Sarah Palin.”

In summary, the vice presidential job description becomes what the president desires it to be and Palin is a great choice because she meets McCain’s specifications and needs and meets them to a “T”.  Tim Shipman a reporter for the Sunday Telegraph in St. Paul Minnesota aptly reported on McCain’s ideas and strategies surrounding Palin’s nomination and nominations for his cabinet. 

On Sept 10th, Shipman wrote “Finding a substantial role for Mrs Palin is just one of Mr McCain’s plans for government. Campaign officials say that Joe Lieberman, the independent democrat… has been promised a job in Mr McCain’s cabinet. Mr Lieberman is pencilled in to become Secretary of State or Defence Secretary in what insiders say will be a “government of national unity on foreign affairs”.  Mr McCain has been seriously considering naming senior cabinet posts before the election, to emphasise the breadth and experience of his team and demonstrate that he plans to reach across the political aisle.  

In short, McCain’s choice of Palin was not a spur of the moment move based on her charisma value—or the “hottie” factor.  McCain has strategically thought through a team that he feels can support him well.  Sarah Palin just happens to be the key member of that team and is actually a perfect choice for vice president considering what McCain needs.  Even in regard to the age question, in my opinion Sarah is a perfect balance for McCain, she brings a youthful exuberance to the ticket while at the same time matching McCain’s reputation as a “maverick” and a reformer at every juncture.

Finally, perhaps the greatest asset Palin brings to the Republican ticket at this time is her gender. 

In reviewing a recent poll of “women only” done by the Lifetime channel some definite turn-arounds–indicative of who women will be voting for in November–became evident.  Bringing Ms. Palin to the Republican ticket has been a very galvanizing factor for the McCain campaign in terms of their posture with women,” said pollster Kellyanne Conway, for the Lifetime Network. Ms. Conway also reported, “more women will vote than men this fall – as has happened in every presidential election since 1964 – and they  will be a deciding factor. Less than two months ago, Mr. McCain was trailing Mr. Obama significantly among women, and now they are now pretty much neck and neck.” Among women who had supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primaries, this poll showed now 72 percent have swung to Mr. Obama and a strong 20 percent have changed sides to join Mr. McCain.

What is the reason for this turn-around and desertion to the other side by so many female democrats? It is quite simple many women in the Democratic Party feel betrayed and dismissed by Obama. They went for Hillary in huge numbers and the democrats didn’t hear there cries for female representation.  Sarah Palin on ABC news said she thinks Barack Obama regrets not making Hillary Rodham Clinton his running mate, off the cuff she told Charles Gibson, “I think he’s regretting not picking her now.”  In contrast McCain choosing a female running mate at this time was nothing short of genius on his part. 

I believe many women have realized that they would like to see female representation as part of the Executive branch of this government sooner rather than later.  Some of the evangelicals that are taking a look at Palin because of her pro-life stance may have difficulty with a woman as VP of our nation.  But personally, I am one Christian commentator who has no problem with the second highest office in the land being held by a female and I equally have no difficulty squaring this with my biblical beliefs. 

Women along side men in a complementary role in leadership can be found throughout Scripture.  Deborah worked with the Hebrew general Barak (not to be confused with Obama) to set the Jews free from oppression in the Old Testament book of Judges.  In the biblical narritive the text calls Deborah, “a mother over Israel.”  She is referred to as that because she did not try to lead as a man she led as the woman God had called her to be.  I believe that Sarah Palin also knows how to lead along side men with grace and sophistication and that she will lead as God has called her and positioned her to lead. Time will demonstrate that Sarah Palin was indeed a wise choice as running mate for John McCain and as I have avowed in other posts on this blog there is no doubt in my mind that Sarah Palin will prove to be the ideal female leader “for such a time as this.” 

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Sarah Palin, a candidate “for such a time as this.”

I am the proud grandmother of a granddaughter named Avery Grace who will be one year old this month.  My granddaughter is a very active one year old, beautiful in all ways, who also has Down Syndrome.  Because of Avery’s developmental disability you can imagine that I was very interested when I heard that the republican candidate for vice president Sarah Palin also has an infant son with Down Syndrome.  To say the least this gave me a new interest in the youthful candidate and caused me to make a point of listening to her acceptance speech. I anticipated that she might speak about her baby boy and I was not disappointed.    

 

When Sarah Palin introduced Trig alongside her other children at the RNC she said, “We were so blessed in April; Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig.”  Children, she said, with special needs inspire a special love. To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message for you. For years, you have sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.”

 

Sarah Palin in a few short sentences had grabbed my heart and my hopes and tears came to my eyes.  I have to admit however that it was my emotions she had touched first and I had not yet had a chance to contemplate the gravity of her statements.  The next day as I perused the blogs to see what other viewers thought about Sarah, I came upon this quote, from Dr. Mark Mosert.  Mosert, a long time Christian advocate for those with disabilities explained:

 

Last night, “Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin put both her supporters and detractors on notice that people with disabilities would no longer be ignored in civic life.

 

Palin chose not to genetically discriminate against her unborn Down Syndrome child, Trig.  She chose to show him off (proud mom that she is) along with her other children.

 

She faced the camera squarely and said what no other politician on either side of the aisle has, so far, been willing or able to say:  That all people with disabilities matter, that they will no longer be ignored.  That they have a rightful and unmistakable place at the table of civic life.  That they are, before anything else, Americans.” 

 

My heart was lifted by Mosert’s optimistic interpretation of Sarah’s message.  In Mosert’s opinion the now VP candidate’s words represented sentiments that the families of those with disabilities could rally around.  Palin was choosing to actively acknowledge the value of people like Avery and her son Trig in a society that has tolerated aborting 90% of all in-utero babies diagnosed with Downs.  I tucked Mosert’s words away with Palin’s in my always hopeful grandmother’s heart and thought to myself “Thank God for Sarah Palin.”

 

Then on Sunday I was working the women’s ministry counter in our church lobby and I became aware of a young man passing me by.  It was Brandon, a young DS man from our congregation and as he strolled by he shot me a huge smile and an elated thumbs up, “I’m voting for McCain” he told me with pride. 

 

At this point his dad caught my eye and told me “Sarah Palin has given us all a good reason for getting politically active.”  Brandon’s dad nodded in affirmation at his son and said, “Brandon’s over eighteen and he gets to vote.”  “Yeah,” said Brandon “I’m an American.”  And with that, father and son were gone and I suddenly found my heart pounding.  I couldn’t help but think she’s like Queen Esther. “For such a time as this,” this young hockey mom from Alaska is gaining a platform to stand up for the rights of those with special needs not only that they might live but that they might be considered worthwhile contributors to our nation.” 

 

Whatever your politics, take note, Sarah Palin is engendering the confidence of a whole population of people and their families.  She is inspiring the hopes of a group who have desperately needed an advocate for years and her role is not being taken lightly.  I am only one grandmother from Colorado and I cannot guarantee who will win this election.  But I can tell you one thing: I am hopeful that regardless of who wins, our country will become a better place because of the light Sarah Palin has shed on all people with disabilities.  It is my hope that in the future citizens like Brandon, Avery and Trig will be recognized not only for the value they bring to society but acknowledged as an important part of the fabric of this great nation.

 

Note from Author:  Obviously the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president has impacted my world and caused a reaction on many levels of my being.  How has this unexpected and controversial nominee caused an impression on your world?  How has she touched your heart? How has she caused you to think, differently perhaps?  How has she touched your life?  What hopes do you have tied to this influential woman?  Please comment.

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