Guest Post: Abandoned by My Academic Wolf Pack

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in the wake of election day 2012, a GrizzlyMom reader asked if she could post an entry to this site regarding her own thoughts on the election and its consequences.  It is now with great pleasure that I present this heartfelt piece from this young woman (whose name has been changed to protect her from those leftists who make it their life’s work to silence the free expression of their opposition).

Abandoned by My Acadamic Wolf Pack

By Sobree Kay

The wolf is an amazing animal, but it is this supreme predator’s pack structure that has drawn people’s fascination and admiration for so many years.  What’s rather remarkable about the wolf pack is that it reflects the, dare I say it, traditional nuclear family quite accurately.  The pack is led by the mating pair, while their offspring, and perhaps an adopted younger wolf, plus an aunt or uncle or two, make up the rest of the members of the pack.  Usually, when the pups reach young adulthood, they go out on their own to find their own life’s mates and to stake out territories of their own.  If one runs into problems along the way, the lone wolf can return to its original pack, its family, until it is able to go out on its own and try again.

As a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, I can’t help but feel abandoned by my beloved academic Wolf Pack.  Voters aged 18 to 29 made up 19% of the electorate, and a total of 60% of those voters helped to reelect President Obama on November 6th.  In doing so, they stunted our futures in an already suffering society, where joblessness and “moving back home” is now the norm for our generation.

As a part of the now dubbed “Boomerang Generation” (also known, now quite appropriately, as the “Lost Generation”), I am experiencing what the majority of people my age are facing: bleak futures, mountains of debt, and very little of the opportunity that originally made this country what it is.  It took me almost three years after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree to find a job, where I am underpaid and working in a field unrelated to my education.  The fact is that my current position has traditionally been held by high school graduates with little to no higher education.  Was this what I spent years studying for and working toward in college?  I would have been better off looking for a job right out of high school, rather than wasting my time and accruing an enormous amount of student loan debt.

While I am grateful to my own family pack for embracing me once again with open arms, living back in the home of my childhood was not where I had imaged myself by the time I reached my mid-twenties.  This is the reality that other young adult Wolf Pack members will have to come to terms with upon their graduation this winter .  Congratulations to the students with the Hope-Hole bumper stickers plastered on the backs of their cars.  You voted for the guy, now let’s see you find a decent career-type job by this spring.  And don’t come crying to me, or anyone else, when you can’t.


Sage Parental Advice from the Obamas for the New Year

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Just before jetting off recently for yet another of their luxury, multi-million-dollar sojourns in Hawaii, the Obamas took the time to offer yet more of their sage advice — mandated new year’s resolutions, if you will — to the peasants.

First, as part of Michelle Obama’s ongoing war against obesity (read that phrase any way you wish), the First Lady lauded the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” that will regulate what children eat in federally funded meal programs. The cynical among us see this as only the first shot fired in Obama’s ongoing attempt to mandate what children eat in their own homes and restaurants, as well, evident from the FLOTUS’ illuminating comment at her husband’s signing of this act that “we can’t just leave it up to the parents.”

Obama continued, stating that “childhood obesity isn’t just a public health threat, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat, as well” (oh, if only she, her husband and their rabidly devoted minions would describe extreme fundamental jihadists with those same words). But fear not, America. Though Mrs. Obama has targeted many of America’s best-loved foods for abolition in her war against this alleged national-security threat, let us take solace from the fact that she does from time to time grant us permission to partake of those forbidden, national-security-threatening foods. Indeed just this past November, she granted us permission to eat pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.

Not to be outshone by his wife, Barack Obama offered his own words of wisdom several days later, when he took time from his busy schedule as leader of the free world and commander-in-chief of the American armed forces to promote some children’s book, that, like several other books we might name, lists “Barack Obama” as the author. The leader of the free world’s topic on this day as he spoke to a group of Virginia schoolkids: poop scooping.

“….a lot of times, I walk Bo at night, and that’s fun,” a folksy Obama told the kids in reference to the dog he named after himself. “Sometimes I run around with Bo, although I have to — sometimes I have to scoop up his poop, because I don’t want to just leave it in the lawn.”

Obama continued, “So if you guys have a dog, you got to walk your dog, too, and clean up after him a little bit,” not only speaking down to the kids, but doing so with improper grammar, using an example that showed them what it means to be perfectly unpresidential. (It’s a safe bet he, shall we say, fudged the truth, as well, since we know there is no way he has ever scooped poop at the White House or anywhere else).  No word on whether Obama needed a teleprompter for this event, or if Bill Clinton was waiting in the wings to push him off the stage to offer the kids sage poop-scooping advice of his own.

Mythical Obama Set to Appear on Mythbusters

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UPDATE (10/20/10):  In his grand mission to appear as unpresidential as is humanly possible, Barack Obama, it was just announced, will be appearing on The Daily Show on Comedy Central, as well.  What’s next?  Guest appearances on Jersey Shore and Dancing with the Stars?  This man has made a laughingstock of our great nation, and rest assured that those who oppose us are watching.  And salivating.

So I see that Barack Obama is taking leave yet again from his duties as leader of the Free World to appear on yet another television show.  This time he will be gracing the set of Mythbusters, a cable program that dispels urban legends, to promote the educational importance of math and science.

Just one question: What the heck does Barack Obama know about math and science? Indeed my son, who is buried daily under mounds of math and science homework, asked that very question when he heard that Obama would be appearing on a show he once respected until today.

 Surrounded as I am in my family by crowds of people who are extremely well educated and degreed in these subjects (not me, mind you), I would venture that these family members, as well as my high-school-aged son and his friends, would be far more qualified to discuss this topic than a man whose legendarily thin, non-mathematical, non-scientific, non-work-experience-of-any-kind resume has been the topic of great debate for months now.

But this President is in panic campaign mode right now, traveling the country making his increasingly shrill and strident speeches, while finding it all far less gratifying than it was back in the glory days of 2008 when he was regarded a god. While he seems to have decided he’ll have better luck on TV, the results of this have been lackluster at best.

In the meantime, I urge the Mythbuster guys to keep their radar sharp, ever focused on their mission to debunk myths and mythical creatures, especially mythical creatures that happen to wander in front of their cameras. I urge them, as well, to remember that their own credibility could be at stake if they play patty-cake too enthusiastically with this White House.

Happy Birthday, Boy Scouts of America!

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February 8, 2010 | Comments

Today the Boy Scouts of America celebrates its 100th birthday. As a scout mom, I thank the BSA for all it does to promote character, loyalty and patriotism in the young men of our nation. Here’s hoping it continues to deflect the efforts made to undermine its foundation in this crazed world of ours, so it may celebrate 100 more years in February, 2110. Cheers!

Betsy Siino | Comments

Teleprompter in the Classroom

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January 27, 2010 | Comments

Just when we thought we could not be more embarrassed because of this President, and, more importantly, just when we thought we could not be more embarrassed for our beautiful country…

We find an official presidential teleprompter set up last week in a 6th-grade classroom in Virginia – official presidential podium and all — for a speech, an inspiring one about himself, no doubt, that the President gave to said class.

A 6th-grade classroom!

I have never seen anything so ridiculous in my life. How could anyone, student or teacher, have entered that classroom, taken a gander at the electronics occupying half the room, witnessed the President’s predictably self-important expression as he spoke with his equally predictable robotic cadence, and kept a straight face? And how could anyone stand at that podium and keep a straight face?

Of course amid the deafening laughter this image has inspired among what the President likes to refer to so arrogantly as “ordinary Americans,” his spinners claim the teleprompter was necessary for a meeting with media following his inspiring talk to the 11-year-olds. (Gotta wonder why he would need the teleprompter for that, too, but you know him…)

Much has been made of the President’s addiction to his teleprompter. The man truly seems unable to give a speech without his electronic crutch — kind of a problem when your one claim to fame, and the reason you were elected in the first place, is your alleged, self-proclaimed gift as a “great orator.” This recent incident has nevertheless taken me back with a giggle to a video from the satirical website The Onion, featuring the trauma of a teleprompter malfunction at the First Family’s dinner table. It’s a must see:

Obama’s Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner

We all have to keep our sense of humor, now more than ever. Enjoy…

Betsy Siino| Comments

College Students, Wake Up!

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January 21, 2010 | Comments

The results of Tuesday’s election in Massachusetts have left me thinking about a conversation I overheard this last Christmas.

Our family was flying west to California for the holidays as we do every year, this time with stopovers in both Las Vegas and Reno. On the flight between those two cities, I was seated in front of an older woman and a young female college student. As we took off over the glittering lights of the Las Vegas strip, the older woman introduced herself to her younger seatmate (and, by extension, to me) as a medical-school professor, a recent transplant to Nevada from the East Coast.

Sounding almost like a young schoolgirl herself, this mature professional woman chirped with abandon about her love for her new state. Compared to her life spent entirely in the east, Nevada was in every way living up to its reputation as “the wild west,” she said, a genuine “frontier.” Her enthusiasm for her new home was so infectious, I wanted to jump off the plane and enroll in her medical school.

Anyway, the young woman next to her, a native of Reno, she said, was in her first year at a small Massachusetts college – an International Relations major (whatever that is). The physician spoke to her about her own years training, practicing and teaching in Boston, and they chatted a bit about living in the Bay State. Then the doctor popped the big question: “So how does it feel moving from a state that has no income tax [Nevada], to a state that has one of the highest tax rates in the country [Massachusetts]?”

“Well,” said the girl, “I’m in college, so it doesn’t really affect me.”

I grinned, imagining the wise smirk the International-Relations major’s comment must have inspired on the face of her seatmate. “Oh, it will affect you,” said the doctor. “And I’m sure it’s affecting your parents, and the new federal taxes coming are going to affect them, too.” (As a parent myself, I would not be very happy to think my daughter considered punishing tax burdens as something that “doesn’t really affect me.”)

The girl’s ensuing silence indicated that she didn’t want to talk about this anymore (not a good sign for someone who wants to relate internationally). I’d like to think that once she got home, she made a similar comment to her parents, who in turn decided to look in to the education they were financing for their beloved daughter. If nothing else, I hope the physician’s statement at least gave the girl some food for thought.

It certainly gave me food for thought, as I now think back and wonder if Tuesday’s election in this young student’s adopted state has in any way “affected” her. How has it been presented and discussed, I wonder, in her probably elitist, liberal, kumbaya International Relations classes? I have my assumptions, of course, but do she and so many others like her now realize the gravity of what is at stake for her and for all of us in this country? Do they realize that this election “affected” the state in which this girl now resides, but also in her home state? And my home state. And yours. And every other state in the union.

Perhaps before this girl embarks on her career in International Relations (whatever that is), she should learn about the dangers her own country is facing at the moment – including the tax burden that will await her once she graduates and embarks on that career. I’ll wager she is learning nothing like that in those International Relations classes of hers. We can guess what she is probably learning: the Blame-America curriculum embraced by the President and his advisers and colleagues during their formative years.

As someone more in line with the American-Exceptionalism curriculum, I ask you college students out there to start thinking beyond the walls of those classes. Before you agree to packing your university auditoriums to cheer on the President and provide him with a backdrop for his latest photo-op, as happened last Sunday in Boston (and will surely happen when he campaigns for Harry Reid next month in Nevada), think about the effect this man, this Congress and their agenda could have on your long-term goals, your long-term hopes and dreams. Battles are being waged right now in all of our own backyards that you think “affect” only your parents at the moment, but if this President gets his way, the outcomes of these skirmishes will profoundly affect your future – and not in a positive manner.

So look to Massachusetts and be grateful for what happened there on Tuesday, despite what your professors may be telling you in class. Time to see the big picture and your place in it. Time to think about long-term consequences and, to paraphrase JFK, what you can do, not for this President and his colleagues, but for your country, your family and your future.

In short, wake up. It does affect you.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Poet Laureate Gore

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December 8, 2009 | Comments

In his ongoing attempts to evade debating his religion that is global warming/climate change, Al Gore has expanded his evasive efforts into yet another passive arena. He has decided to try his hand at poetry, including in his new book a poem that begins:

One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun

Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea

Predictably heralded by Vanity Fair as “beautiful” and “evocative,” it sounds to me like the scribblings of a self-absorbed, overly dramatic, overwrought 19-year-old girl in a lower-division college poetry class. In fact, I think I wrote this poem myself when I was 19, overwrought, overly dramatic and self-absorbed. And so did all the other 19-year-olds in my lower-division college poetry class.

But no one ever called our writing “beautiful” and “evocative,” even though we, too, peppered our poetry with such powerful words as “fever” and “vapors,” and howled about disappearing continents and acid seas. No, we faced more truthful judgment. Don’t be so overwrought, scolded our prof. So dramatic. So self-absorbed.

Hear that, Al? To paraphrase my college poetry professor: Nix the pretension. Then maybe you’ll win the Nobel prize for Literature, too. Nah, never mind. You’ll probably win it anyway. And maybe another Oscar, as well, when Michael Moore turns your poem into a movie. In the meantime, I’m off to get some Christmas shopping done before the continent disappears.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Leaks in Time for Copenhagen

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December 1, 2009 | Comments

Every year, as part of their science classes, my kids are taught the Scientific Method – the basic tenets by which scientific theories are tested to confirm that yes, they are indeed correct, or no, go back to the drawing board and start over.

I guess my kids are lucky still to be learning this, as it seems the Scientific Method has been replaced by a new technique that is much quicker and easier: the Consensus Method.

First, get some willing scientists together, particularly those affiliated with a university — oh, say, Britain’s University of East Anglia, for example. Now, get these scientists to agree to a consensus that fits your agenda (use threats, bribes…whatever it takes). Next, recruit some high-profile political types — a Nobel Peace Prize/Oscar winner, the leader of the free world, the United Nations, socialist-minded legislators – and some Fortune 500s (General Electric perhaps?), the mainstream media, and the nation’s school systems. Using pictures of cuddly polar bears, convince these entities to behave as though your theory is a given, that the science is “settled,” dispose of any pesky evidence that may prove otherwise, and there you have it. Your scientific theory is proven, a done deal, case closed. No Scientific Method necessary. No science at all, actually. Easy.

Of course this is exactly how the whole idea of manmade global warming, a.k.a. climate change, became accepted and “settled science” – touted by such highly trained scientific minds as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, various supermodels, the President of the United States, your kid’s English teacher, and most of Hollywood’s TV and movie stars.

But these folks were faced with a problem a couple of weeks ago when emails were leaked from the University of East Anglia, one of the world’s leading institutions in the proliferation of the global-warming agenda, essentially proving what we heretical non-believers knew all along: There is no evidence that we humans are heating up our planet, and evidence defying the global-warming theory is being destroyed, ignored and disregarded, like the Scientific Method itself.

Unwilling to abandon their efforts to promote global warming, however — and the power grab that comes with it — those who have made it their mission to further the concept, many of them making hefty profits by selling carbon offsets, squiggly light bulbs and tiny, tin-can automobiles, refuse to give up the ghost. The media, GE, various Congresspeople and the White House continue to preach to us huddled masses the accepted science that record cold, record heat, hurricanes, arson-sparked brushfires, tornadoes, earthquakes, record snowfall, record rainfall, ice storms, tsunamis, droughts and floods – all are caused by manmade global warming. The message is embodied in artsy, self-congratulatory commercials, sponsored in part by Coca-Cola and Siemens, celebrating the upcoming Climate Change Conference not in Copenhagen, but “Hopenhagen.”

Despite the mounting evidence, and despite the stupid Hopenhagen ads, I don’t see much shame evident in the global-warming crowd. Nor is there any sign of them changing their travel plans when a week from now they make the pilgrimage in their fleets of private jets and limousines to Copenhagen. The President of the United States among them, there they will gush on about the climactic dangers our world is facing and the income that needs to be redistributed to fix it, glad-handing each other over feasts of Kobe beef and caviar for their mutual heroism in saving the world.

I can’t help but wonder, though, will anyone dare mention during these sumptuous feasts the East Anglia emails? Will there be a moment of conscience among at least a few of the attendees as they ponder their own involvement in what many are calling the greatest scientific hoax in history? Will any dare whisper the word “Climategate?” It doesn’t matter. The secret is out, and all the self-congratulation and avoidance in the world can’t erase that.

So a week from now as the Copenhagen attendees stand before us, their peers, and their teleprompters in their black-tie finery, spouting the now-even-emptier rhetoric of climate change, they will look more and more foolish with every uttered phrase. And I think they know it. We’ll see it in their eyes. We may see fear in those eyes, too, as they start worrying about investigations and mobs with torches at the castle gates.

Indeed outside those gates, we angry mobs are demanding, “Let the investigations begin!” Let’s start with the guys in the tuxes – the ones with the look of worry in their eyes. Time to find out what they knew and when they knew it – and how much money they’ve raked in because of it. Follow the money, and you will find the truth – and the Scientific Method — waiting to be set free. That will be a show worth watching. I can’t wait.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Aftermath of the Great Speech

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September 8, 2009 | Comments

I felt kind of nauseous most of the day. All because of the President’s speech today to the schools.

I read the text of the speech yesterday (remember, they had to release the text to appease us wingnuts).  It was fine and dandy, just as I expected. Carefully crafted. Expertly designed to answer all the criticisms that arose over the last week when it was announced the President would be addressing the nation’s schoolkids. What kind of barbarian can object to a President, especially this President, urging kids to work hard, be responsible, stay in school, all that exalted stuff? Well, a barbarian like me, I guess.

The speech was fine, but I just couldn’t shake that pesky “original intent” thing – the accompanying lesson plan that, before backlash revision, asked kids to “help the President.” After my call to the school district last Friday got me nowhere, as a parent, I had to make my own decision and do what I thought was right. And my decision was no, I’m not buying.

The kids and I looked at the speech yesterday. Nothing new for them. They’ve heard it all before. At home. Many times. As it should be. Today one school aired it, one didn’t. I politely told the one that did that my youngest would not be participating. Apparently, according to an NBC pundit this morning who shall remain nameless, I am thus too stupid to raise my own kids. This was the same guy, who, on the morning of the 2008 election, proclaimed LBJ to be one of the greatest Presidents in history, so I’m not putting much stock in his assessment.

My reason for resistance was not that I feared indoctrination, and, as my offspring would tell you, I’m not one who believes in wholesale sheltering or isolation. No, it was the principle. I have taught my kids that what matters isn’t what they say, but what they do. The same applies to those around them, as well. This national event, following on the heels of debate about all the President’s czars (one of whom — an avowed communist and so-called “9/11 truther”– stepped down this weekend), set the perfect example.

A pretty speech does not erase the fact that I find this administration’s actions dangerous and diametrically opposed to what I want for my country and my family – and what is outlined in our Constitution. I was nevertheless left feeling tonight like a lone voice in the wilderness, so much so that I have second guessed today’s decisions over and over. Had I to do it again, perhaps I would have chosen a different path. Perhaps not. I don’t know. I guess this is what made me nauseous.

But I found my elixir tonight when I spotted a random quote from Sir Winston Churchill. I was reminded of an image once described to me of those dark days in the 1930s when the British Parliament was scrambling to appease the escalating aggressions of Adolph Hitler, assuming that would keep their island nation safe. But there among them could be heard one lone voice: “This is a terrible mistake.” Indeed I have always found strength in Sir Winston’s courage, not simply in standing strong against the Axis powers during World War II, but standing strong himself in the lead-up to the war, when his belief in what was right and what was dangerous made him one of the most vilified men in Britain.

So I will use Sir Winston’s strength to quiet my own lonely inner conflict. And the words of the brilliant Tammy Bruce, too, who said last week that “you are your child’s moral tutor, not that shady lawyer from Chicago.” As for my second guessing, well, as I told my husband tonight, “I have to get over this. I’ve never been a parent during an attempted socialist-fascist-whatever-this-is takeover of the government before.” Sir Winston knows what I mean.

Betsy Siino | Comments

My Fair School District

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September 5, 2009| Comments

My Dear School District:

Well, you certainly played me when I called your office yesterday, didn’t you? It actually didn’t hit me until after we hung up. After 30 minutes on the phone with you, I was no better informed than I had been a half hour earlier when I dialed the phone.

Allow me to remind you how it went. I called to see how you, dear school district, would be handling the President’s address to the nation’s schoolchildren, set for Tuesday, September 8th. You acted as though you weren’t quite sure what I was talking about. I patiently told you about the speech, when it was scheduled, that it was to be a “welcome-back-and-stay-in-school” message to the kids from their leader, and that there was some controversy surrounding it. Yes, I played along, but you knew all that already, didn’t you? You knew full well that this event was being met with such words as “indoctrination,” and “inappropriate” from parents suspicious of the motives behind it.

Nonetheless, as you will recall, I told you that it was not so much the President’s speech that concerned me, but the original “lesson plan” that was distributed to the nation’s schools by the U.S. Department of Education to accompany the speech. Included within this original material, I explained, was an instruction to kids – grades pre-K through 6 – to write letters to themselves about what they might do to help the president. First you had heard of this, apparently (again, just playing along).

Then, suddenly, you had the paperwork in front of you. Remember that? The very Department of Education material we had just been discussing. You scanned it, and, wouldn’t you know, you saw no mention of schoolkids being directed to help the president. I reminded you that it was the original lesson plan to which I was referring, and thus the original intent of this speech. In the wake of parental controversy the content had been revised. You continued to feign innocence. You asked if this original material I quoted appeared on official Department of Education letterhead. Nice touch.

In the midst of this, you implied I was the only person who had called your office, the only individual in our entire community who had inquired about this. Oh, but wait. Yes, there were other calls. Now you remembered. Your office had actually heard from quite a few parents earlier in the day. You then insinuated that perhaps I, and those others, perhaps we are simply confused and not properly informed. You were even rather specific in less than the most complimentary terms, about where we probably got our information.

You seemed surprised to hear that my information actually came from original source material – original source material that still, even after the White House revision that deleted the “help the president” directive, includes suggestions that students study the lives of the Presidents (preferably the current President, the only one referred to by name), that they reflect on what the President wants them to do, and that they ponder why it is important for them to listen to politicians. Well, Barbara Bush once spoke to schoolkids, you added (and, yes, I know, so did her husband and Ronald Reagan), but the difference, I responded, was that her talk did not include a lesson plan designed to help her husband, the president. You conceded I was right. Remember?

The bottom line is that I was simply seeking information, knowing that school officials nationwide have been setting district-wide policies in response, again, not to the speech, necessarily, but to the accompanying, unprecedented lesson plan. Given my fact-finding experience, my district apparently chose to remain vague and confusing: “most of the kids will probably be at lunch anyway….school just started so there is a lot going on….everyone has so much to do.”

When finally I accepted that there was no official policy, no concrete information to be had, I bade you farewell and said I’ll just have to see what happens. You, gratefully I think, followed my lead. But you sounded tired. Sad, even. I don’t know what that meant. It just wasn’t really what I expected.

You may be interested to know that after our conversation, I decided to tune in to left-wing radio and see how the situation was playing there. I was greeted immediately by a raspy rant that now to appease the “trailer trash,” the White House was being forced to release the content of the speech on Monday. As “trailer trash” representative, let me say I’m glad to hear it. Oh and just so you know….that comment was exactly what I expected.

Thanks for your time.

Betsy Siino | Comments