Friday, August 25, 2017 – Snarky Friday is Hunkered Down for Harvey

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Friday, July 21, 2017 – Snarky Friday and Hotty Toddy Escort my Body Out of Here.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – Pack Up the Babies and Grab the Old Ladies; That’s Right, You’re Not from Texas

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The Positive Reframe: Why Trump’s Inauguration is Not the Beginning of an Era — but the End

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John Lewis Is a True American Profile in Courage

January 14, 2017 by

This post first appeared on

High from his gilded throne room in midtown Manhattan — like Zeus from Mt. Olympus — Donald Trump has been hurling tweeted spitballs at Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. He’s a man of “no action,” typed Trump with his tiny (manicured) fingers, of one of America’s true heroes of the modern age — a man so brutally assaulted by state troopers during the l965 march from Selma to Montgomery that he nearly died from a fractured skull.

Time and again Lewis was on the front line of the fight for civil rights, spat upon, insulted and vilified, while far to the north, Donald Trump was using the fortune handed him by his father to launch a real estate empire without ever getting his fingernails dirty.

Now, for daring to say that Trump cannot be “a legitimate president” because of Russia’s help in electing him, John Lewis is #1 on Trump’s hit list. Yes, Donald Trump — whose political career took off with a campaign of lies about Barack Obama’s birthplace with the intent of denying the president his legitimacy.

John Lewis needn’t be worried about what Donald Trump thinks of him; he’s faced down bullies and bigots before, tough guys with billy clubs and water hoses in the streets instead of a wannabe tinpot of no class glowering from his penthouse lair and showering loutish insults at his betters below; Trump isn’t fit to be a carbuncle on John Lewis’s posterior. Take a look at a real hero in this profile we produced of Lewis on the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. Arm-in-arm with Martin Luther King and other giants of the time, John Lewis walked right into the history books.

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Two Words


Two Words

Dec 25, 2016

CAMDEN, S.C. — When my wickedly witty father wanted to insult someone, he’d say, “I have two words for you — and they’re not “Merry Christmas.”

At least this is what he thought he might say because I don’t think he ever insulted anyone. Even in private, he spoke only favorably of others, which impressed me as a young girl. I liked that he expressed admiration for others’ better qualities — their intelligence, humor, honor, dignity, generosity, grace, erudition, and other attributes of the sort.

His wit — usually deadpan and dry — wasn’t for sissies, to borrow from his vernacular. His touch was light but his cut deep and true. My older brother and I became expert at the parry and the three of us spent many a night, often around Christmastime, galloping through gales of laughter and reveling in the rapport that attaches to those who’ve gazed upon the landscape of humankind’s collective consciousness and reached the same wordless conclusion.

Popsie, as I called our father, would simply smile, point to the heavens and lift his brow. Translation: It’s a joke.

Meaning, God’s playing one on us. While we humans hustle to and fro making plans and promises, vexing over life’s tribulations, most of which we create for ourselves, God wanders the clouds plucking raindrops for his soup, waiting.

One day, the creator of infinity must imagine that his most-dubious progeny eventually will recognize that meaning won’t be found in wars or profits, in sporting victories or headboard notches, or among the other trophies, trinkets and totems we collect to deflect the possibility that we are only nothings after all.

Religion, mostly, has filled the void of unknowing. If one looks closely, one sees the rituals, symbols, icons as the motions of a people ordering their anxieties much as obsessive compulsive people do. Nothing wrong with that. The mind — or at least my mind — can only get so far before it hits the void of the inconceivable and, therefore, the unknowable. You can either take a pill and hire a shrink or accept on faith that there’s something more. As a disciple of preparedness, I do both.

Because I was raised a Christian, Christmas is what I do.

If Jesus wasn’t precisely the literal Son of God — I’m very comfortable with metaphor, parables, symbolism and, frankly, not knowing — then he was certainly God incarnate in that he embodied the eternal truths that make life bearable.

His essential message was so simple: Love.

Love thy neighbor as thyself.

It would take a lifetime to list all the sonnets and songs written to love, an idea and ideal so compelling that the ancient Greeks had at least four words for the different kinds of love — “agape” (unconditional love between man and God, parents and children); “eros” (romantic or sexual love, encompassing physical attraction); “philia” (love between friends, based on common values and interests); and, finally, “storge” (rooted in fondness or familiarity, as well as acceptance, as in tolerating the king or tyrant). I had the same thought: Republicans have overdosed on “storge.”

Plato argued that eros can be understood as seeking spiritual truth. We love Plato. What he meant was that in connecting with another through desire, we recall beauty. Essentially, he was talking about transcendence, another path to which is surely laughter. Maybe it’s because laughing is a complete mind-body meld or because to laugh is to surrender.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you couldn’t stop? I’ll bet you’re smiling now as you think of it. As to Plato’s suggestion, confess sinners: When do you feel closest to God? In prayer, of course. That’s what I meant.

It’s funny but I only realized as I’ve been writing that what made those kitchen nights so special, in addition to excellent wine, was love. We three became transcendent together, our souls connected through laughter, yes, but something else, too. I’m not sure what to name it, but we had agape and philia wrapped up with a bow.

Those times are long gone, the moments past, never to be repeated. My father has been gone 20 years now. My brother lives alone on a boat, far from the buzz of yuletide. Ever the anchor, I’ve been feverishly decorating my house so that when a certain 3-year-old arrives, she will feel love and joy.

To all of you reading, I have two words and it’s no joke. Merry Christmas. And may your new year be filled with laughter.


Kathleen Parker’s email address is

(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Using Scholarly Argument in your Literature Review

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Writing the Implications Section: Explaining How Your Study Contributes to Positive Social Change

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Significance of Your Study Answers “Who Cares?”

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Be the Glue: Writing Sticky Sentences

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