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Time to be in the Assault Victim’s Corner for Both Men and Women

My musician friend, Mark Fitzgerald, posted the following on Facebook. His post perfectly demonstrates that men get assaulted too, and the life long damage for them is also life changing: "Damn near every female I have become close enough with to discuss such things has been sexually assaulted at one time or another. As children or young women usually. Several of them more than once. Unless my experiences are wildly atypical I think it's obvious that the current stats are bullshit. I have known two men who claimed to have been accused falsely. I know that at least one of…

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“People remember the beginning, the end, and maybe one chapter in the middle in that order. Make those three points painful.”

Selling Yourself Short

I never answer ads for freelance writing jobs that state that the amount of payment depends on a writer's experience. A job is either worth a certain amount of pay or it’s not, regardless of how many years a writer has under his or her belt. The companies that run these ads are trying to get talent for a steal, but the bottom line should be that your time as a freelance writer is money, and should not be dependent on how many years you have been penning your lines. Besides, a company knows what its budget is and what…

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Don’t Overdo the Ellipsis

The Internet has definitely made it easier for writers. A wealth of information is at a writer's fingertips and it has provided a way to work from home for anyplace in the country -- or even the world! But the Internet has also produced many armchair writers who either think that they understand grammar or believe that grammar rules don't apply in cyberspace. One grammatical mistake seen in the real world as well as online is the overuse and over extension of the ellipsis, that dot, dot, dot used to imply that a thought runs on or that certain words…

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Don’t Bless Me

Why do people say, “God bless you” when you sneeze? Yes, I know the story … this response to sneezing dates back to the days of the plague, when sneezing was a sign that you had caught it. People said, “God bless you” because in reality, you were going to need it. In other words, “God bless you because now you’re going to die.” But why today? I find it irritating, to be honest. I sneeze and someone inadvertently says, “God bless you,” and then, because I am a two-to-three-times-in-a-row sneezer, the person says, “God bless you” again, and then…

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Trump’s #FakeParade

This is my father in South Korea in 1968. He originally had received orders for Vietnam but two weeks before he was due to ship out, the North Koreans seized the SSUS Pueblo and his squadron was sent to Osan Air Force Base instead. He was gone for over a year. The risks of serving in South Korea were admittedly less than that of Vietnam and, to be honest, we were relieved although his absence cut a huge hole in our lives. Still, there were dangers and lives lost there even though the Korean War was long over, since there was…

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Florida School Shooting Brings Back Haunting Memories

The Valentine’s Day Massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida evoked a memory of when my own daughter attended Hunter B. Andrews School in Hampton, Virginia years ago and a kid brought a gun to school. My recollection was triggered by the haunting news clip of an anguished mother whose daughter was one of the 17 killed when a former student found his way in and mowed down more than two dozen people with his AR-15. In the sound bite, now all over the Internet and on every news station, the mother screams out to Trump, “What…

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American Christians Need to Ask Themselves, “Who is Our Neighbor?”

Republicans have been good at fanning the flames of fear, linking the entire religion of Islam to terrorism while promoting the idea that there is a war on Christianity in America. And in the now repeated slogan that claims we need to return to our “Christian roots” lays the irony that we are ignoring perhaps one of Jesus’ most famous parables, the story of the Good Samaritan. In Jesus’ time, Samaritans and Judean Jews despised each other. In light of this, Jesus told the story of a man who was attacked by robbers, stripped and beaten, and left for dead…

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Half a Century Later, We Still Mourn

I was six and in first grade when President Kennedy was murdered. My brother was five. It occurs to me on this 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, that my brother’s class is probably the last who will remember where they were, what they felt, and how this tragedy forever changed our country. In fact, “Where were you?” is probably the iconic question of my generation, and one that for those who lived it can easily be answered. My school day started out like any other day that morning. And then came the announcement across the loudspeaker of Kennedy’s death and…

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Pope Benedict Papacy Marred by Failure to Lead

Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down and I for one am happy about the news. As a Roman Catholic, I have had my belief in the church rocked by a decade of scandalous revelations. When Pope John Paul II died, many of us looked to Benedict as an extension of his charismatic leadership, someone who would and could carry on John Paul’s compassion, understanding and leadership for a flock in need of a shepherd. Pope Benedict, it seems, had other goals in mind. In Benedict’s vision, the Church’s problems could be laid at the doorstep of 50 years of modernization. So rather than…

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