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Pseudo Book Reviewer Ep. I: “Life, in Spite of Me” by Kristen Jane Anderson — April 25, 2011

Pseudo Book Reviewer Ep. I: “Life, in Spite of Me” by Kristen Jane Anderson

Life, in Spite of Me
A book about a truly miraculous survival Image taken from http://www.reachingyouministries.com

Life in Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice (2010) by Kristen Jane Anderson, with Tricia Goyer, is a fascinating and hard to put down read. Kristen was an ordinary, happy girl until she hit her teenage years. A combination of tragedies, such as a friend’s suicide, acquaintance rape, and a family history of major depression, drives Kristen to try to take her own life. Hopelessness, however, slowly turns to hope due to her miraculous survival. Somehow the young woman is run over by a train and lives to tell the tale, her legs severed but otherwise her body intact. At first Kristen still wants to die, but people keep telling her that God spared her life for a reason. Kristen turns from a lukewarm believer in God to a Christian, and dedicates her life to helping other people through God.

The young woman’s story could possibly save lives and shows that everyone is put on Earth for a reason. The book isn’t overly preachy, and Kristen doesn’t consign all suicide victims to hellfire, which is commendable in itself. One might take umbrage, as the author of this review does, with a section in the book where her new preacher tells Kristen that she would not have gone to hell for killing herself, BUT she would have gone to hell for not being a Christian. We’re talking about a 17 year-old girl here, not quite an adult, and Jesus would have sent her to eternal damnation? One also might find that replacing her un-Christian friends completely, as she appears to have done, sort of wrong considering some some of her friends were loyal after her attempt on her life. This isn’t to say she should have continued with their ways, mind. Perhaps she didn’t abandon her friends, but it just wasn’t covered in the memoir? The criticisms though are only a minor sideline in the book in an otherwise excellent story of redemption.

Kristen’s story is told in simple, flowing prose appropriate for both teens and adults. The author doesn’t gloss over the events leading up to the suicide attempt, but she isn’t horrifyingly graphic about what she endured to the point of wanting to slam the book shut. One, however, feels her pain as she relates her feelings before and after her suicide attempt.

This book deserves four out of five stars and is ideal for those touched by depression or suicide, or those looking for a reason to live.

Disclaimer: The author of this review received this book in exchange for a review with no other compensation. Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group’s “Blogging for Books” program is at http://bloggingforbooks.org Got a blog? Get in the program. Free books! 

Fun added bonus part exclusive to  my blog: To my regulars and whoever: Would y’all read this? If you would or wouldn’t,  is it in  part due to my review? Do y’all like my style of reviewing this, and if not, what’s wrong with you? Lastly, would you think it fair for a 17 year-old to be thrown into hell just because she failed to be a member of the exclusive Club Christian? Does calling Christianity a club make me a bad Christian? Discuss!

The Blair Witch Project; or, We Tour the Old Cemetery — April 22, 2011

The Blair Witch Project; or, We Tour the Old Cemetery

Recall, gentle reader, last year I introduced you, in words at least, to Old Rich White People Cemetery where we almost got locked in. Well, it took a year to finally illustrate for you the eerie beauty of ORWPC, but I got you pictures this time before my camera went on it’s once a month vacation to the pawn shop. Consider us both duly blessed.

It was last Saturday after all my  adventures downtown (still got more to that story to tell, but the interesting parts were already told). I wanted to take flower pictures at the cemetery before they all wilted away. The graves themselves, however, are something to be seen.  We’re going on a journey again. This time without the pizza that looked as though it needed buriel rather than ingestion.

And we’re riding in the magic Ford Taurus. Kind of reminds you of that Emily Dickenson poem, that went something like, “Because I could not stop for death, it kindly stopped for me….”

Buckle up.

To get to ORWPC, one must pass through a not-so-garden district, but the bad neighborhood changes abruptly to an  affluent one. When one is riding through the not-so-gardeny district, you pass by a brick garbage can. It’s been said before that “death be not proud”and it certainly wasn’t for the young man who got shot there (I think that’s where a guy got shot a year ago, but it could be I’m mistaken) as evidenced by a roadside memorial sitting between the garbage can and the curb. Poor man, I hope he is in a better place now.

With my luck I’ll probably die in a firey autocrash right by the sewage treatment plant.

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But anyway, we’re still going on a journey. Make sure you look out the window because we are officially inside the pearly gates of Old Rich White People Cemetery.

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I love pink, don’t you? Combining my mother driving by and my superior photography skills, this azalea looks very Claude Monet,  nes pas?

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I include this picture simply because azaleas + dogwoods =pretty.

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The graves here go all the way back to the 1850s (actually before then, because this was The Place to bury your dead relations and bodies were exhumed from other graveyards to plant here). There is even a new section where you can be buried if it’s on your to-do list today. This grave, however, isn’t that old. These sort of headstones were popular in the 1940s if your young child died. This was a baby who was either stillborn or died the same day she was born. Someone is still putting flowers at her grave.

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See the grave that looks like a sideways wooden cross? That’s the young girl who got sick at sea. Her father put her in a keg of ale to preserve her and she was buried in the keg. If that keg is still intact down there, which I doubt, she probably looks the same as the day she died. That’s a creepy visual to me.  I bet the look of chopped wood on her grave signifies that she was ‘cut down’ early in life, but the cross means she remains alive in heaven or will be resurrected. Victorians were big on symbolism.

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Of all the graves in the cemetery, I think I like this one the most. Overdone with adornments, it screams Victorian, and I love it. I did some research on this fellow. He died of “consumption” in 1878. My great-grandfather on my grandmother’s side died of TB too.

The fellow in the grave was only 32 and had two children.

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I bet these were cheery folks. Nothing like a mausoleum with a “county jail” appeal to it.

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Don’t you know these people were rich if they could build something  like that in 1932? I kinda doubt they were working for the WPA.

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This is the Jewish section, also dating back to the mid 1800s.

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Stairway to heaven?

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Score for “different.” A grave that looks Greek and looks like a bird bath at the same time.

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This is the Confederate Dead Soldiers Memorial from the 1870s.

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I include this picture because I heart the tree.

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Score for ingenuity here too. It’s like this married couple are sweethearts.

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A unique grave augmented by a common car.

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A woman, age 20. A boy, age 8. On top of his grave is “Charlie,” which really brings it home to me that that was once someone’s beloved little boy. I wish I knew what was killing children in the 1870s. The Yellow Fever outbreak had passed, thank God, because that was a really awful way to go. I read somewhere that the life expectancy in the 1870s was 45 and 2% percent of people made it to 65. We’re pretty lucky that we didn’t live back then, pretty graves and dresses aside.

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These were probably Charlie’s  siblings, a baby and a toddler. The flower in relief on the toddler’s grave looks to me like a gladiola. Wonder what that symbolizes? Does knowing your children may not live soften the sting since it was a day to day reality in the 19th century? Somehow I doubt Margaret Sanger would be too popular a  woman in the 19th century.178

This section of graves belong to one family, proving the motto: “You can’t take it with you when you go, but you can sure

show you had something here.”

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Here are two brothers from the 1870s. One was 2 years-old and the other 11. Did they both die of illnesses or were some

children killed by misadventure?

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This tree must have come up long after the grave was placed here. Was everyone’s caskets made of wood back in the day and would they disappear years later, just leaving the skeleton, non-biodegradable things placed in the casket, and metal? I know this is a tad macabre, but my mind always wonders what’s happening in the graves. I imagine this fellow’s bones are now cradled by this tree. You can thank me for that visual later.181

Another set of siblings, 3 of them. I hope that family had more children and they made it to adulthood.

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This is the red azalea that I waxed rhapsodic over last year.

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This was the side gate from which we escaped after the graveyard closed last year.

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Here is a close up of the red azalea. It’s darker in real life.

With this I bid you adieu until next time.

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Parade Part II — April 18, 2011

Parade Part II

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We must be on Miami Vice without the water…or the Florida.

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“Weee!”

More bike, less brains.

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What happens if you let your dogs swim near the nuclear plant.

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Where’s Barbie?

Scan33

Siberian Tiger in its natural habitat.

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The glamorous life of circus elephants

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The reality. Look close and you’ll see an elephant snout.

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Only in the South –Southern Belles and Ronald McDonald

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Back in the 40s n’ 50s,  our heroine’s mom used to ride the sideboard up the driveway when her father came home.

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Favorite of the Parade –A youngin’ won an art contest and the reward was a ride in an old car and  be eaten by a “Wild Thing.”

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Tara… on wheels

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Beauty Queen Barbie and Little Miss Such-and-Such

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Teddy Bear a Go! Go! Go!

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Sometimes you got to throw your weight around to get in this parade.

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Now that’s a car! Considering people were significantly smaller then (height as well as girth), both the gentleman in the previous picture and myself would’ve been out of luck.

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It’s not just the cars, it’s the:

A.) Midlife crisis

B.) Erectile dysfunction

C.) The people

D.) All of the above

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These people train dogs to help disabled folks. They even had a bull dog , but couldn’t get a shot.

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The photographer hates clowns, but loves Spongebob.

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The local aquarium’s float scores points for cool.

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Oh, to be so svelte, so graceful!

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In this production we have the peasant girl, faeries, a  queen, and the ever popular Lady America Typical (sitting)

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The photographer has mixed feelings about beauty queens. Nice float though!

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They’re all waiting for Ashley Wilkes.

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More gratuitous Southern Belle footage.

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Black Beauty was one of the photographer’s favorite books as a girl. That’s one gorgeous horse.

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Juan Valdez  tiene un dia en la ciudad.

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Mammy bitch slaps that hussy, Scarlett,  helps the Buffalo Soldiers, and marries Rhett Butler…or at least that’s how the photographer would rewrite the manuscript to Gone with the Wind if anyone wants to know.

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Beautiful faerie resting her wings with a ride.

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Dora the Explorer is actually smaller in person than you’d think.

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‘Fishers of Men’ float. They may have took that Bible quote literally, because the guy in front of the photographer appeared to have a hook in his lip Crying face.

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Beauty queens

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Awwwww!

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Old South Volvo!

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This blog has gotten way too “spidery” of late.

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Infamous Southern Hospitality

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Infamous Dog

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Parade your princess, but…

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…rush off the queen.

End of Parade. Look for “After the Parade” coming soon!

— April 17, 2011

She sleeps on the couch that night reasoning (correctly) that she will wake up early enough to get to The Parade on time. When she awakes, she checks her weblog for encouragement to see  through the task at hand. For she is going on a journey, an adventure, slaying dragons and rescuing miners  all for the benefit of mankind. She is resolved to meet her fate whatever that might be.

Fate is generic frozen pizza, the box foreswearing  that the slivers of mystery meat are pepperoni, FDA approved. She marvels at those who only indulge in mozzarella and tomato sauce only at genteel, temperate hours.

PicturesGEDC0842

This doesn’t quite look like Kiwi Dutch’s Italian food  photography, but Rome wasn’t built in a day  and didn’t have kitty cat plates.

 

After she breakfasted in 2 minutes or so time, she finds herself packing for a lengthy trip.

Book bag with wheels –check.

Purse with netbook inside to hopefully keep the netbook safe inside her book bag. safe –check.

The last personal cassette player in the world actually used in public –check. (She did, after all find her copy of the Boys n’ da Hood soundtrack, a bit ago, from when she was a young, graceful lass of 14 and into gangsta rap).

A couple of books to read –check.

Small cooler bag with 5 different drinks –check

Phone in one pocket, camera in the  other –check (she wishes she knew how to upload pictures from her 2 mega-pixel crap camera phone. There are 3 classics the world should see before the world ends. 1. Rainbow over a Pizza Hut 2. Philippe the cat laying on the stove next to a giant pot –Fatal Attraction or the secret ingrediant in General Tso’s Chicken? 3. The author of this blog sort of looking like that mugshot of Nick Nolte picture).

Her blogging friends say she’ll be fine. She trusts her friends and climbs into the car with half of what she owns in her book bag. She wears over her shorts and T-shirt a denim jacket  because the perfect chamber of commerce weather predicted for the day magically dissapeared and in its place is sent a dreary, slightly cool day (lyin’ bastards!).

She is set out upon the curb literally at the stroke of 9 –seriously the  clock from the old courthouse was a ‘stroking away. With the injunction for her mother to be careful and call her when she gets home so she knows she hasn’t met an unfortunate fate, Fun with the Mentally Ill begins. Yet there is no time to be worried. She knows where she wants to go and that she needs to to go in a hurry to snatch a place in time for the 3 hour long (an hour longer than it really need be) extravaganza.

She is where she watched the parade the year before last. Under a tree, sitting on mulch, wood chips sticking her uncovered legs. She forgot this year before last or perhaps they used pine straw. Eh, at least it’s a place to sit down and watch.

Fifteen minutes later, her phone rings. It’s the coroner. No, wait, it’s her mother. Mom hasn’t expired after all, neither has her daughter. Weird! Why am I narrating this if nothing interesting happens?

And so she watches the parade, with all the wonder and awe of someone who has seen this shit a billion times and still goes, we flash back to the parade’s of the past. 1984 –her first parade. Definitely was the 80s. She recalls the man with his boombox to his ear. 1991 –Almost run over by a car playing Latifah’s Had It Up to Here. 1995? –Cutest baby ever steals her souvenir plastic thingy, the theif sitting in her lap. All females are called “Mama”. and at times the 1 year-old puts used silly string in her own hair. She wonders whatever happened to that baby. Lote 90s-early 00s –she finds a Bible tract and reads it. It’s a reprint from the 70s, portending hell and illustrated everyone leaving their clothes behind (one didn’t see anything though).

The parade begins! Cops in cars, on bikes, motercycles, and horses go by.

 

015

Coming to a theater near you: Criminals don’t have a chance against him, he’s one angry cop. Out to seek justice for the hole poked into his wife, Blow Up Dolly, he’s full of a raging inferno of air. He won’t stop until he blows out, he’s Inflate-a-Cop.

 

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Miss Muffet: Modern Version Late Thursday’s Poets Rally — April 13, 2011

Miss Muffet: Modern Version Late Thursday’s Poets Rally

Clynotis severus, Female, Austin's Ferry, Tasm...
"Loving You is Easy 'Cause You're Beautiful" Image via Wikipedia

 

Big Ms. Lisa sat on her toilet

after eating pancakes of flour and milk,

When along came a creature just then to meet her

hanging from unseen silk.

She closed her blue orbs,  almost frightened away,

for vision she was partial to everyday.

 

“What the hell was that?” asked Ms. Lisa to her three sisters: Me, Myself, and I.

“Maybe it was an angry bee,” she said to Me, who did not disagree.

“Mighta been a ‘skeeter,” offered Myself, eyeing I.

I said, “It ain’t neither. Wonder if we have some pie?”

 

Ms. Lisa dared to  look herself and what did she see?

A spider in mid air, from the coils of Big Lisa’s big hair.

Ms. Lisa knew what had to be done,

and instead of run she grabbed a book

for the spider to be took.

 

Spider, however, had other desires,

book seat declined, he decided instead to go into its spine.

Ms. Lisa then divined that it takes much time

to free a spider when he otherwise is inclined.

Teaser – Pics I Took Wednesday Downtown — April 11, 2011

Teaser – Pics I Took Wednesday Downtown

002

Part horse trough, part human and dog water fountain, this 1915 relic is juxtaposed against modern life.

 

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This is the river. In the background is a World War II battleship and memorial. A few cousins have their names there who were killed in action.

 

PicturesGEDC0836

May we venture to say our perambulation a le promenade ends here?

 

011

Almost Florida

 

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Margaret Mitchell called and she wants her flag back, Bubba.

 

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The infamous Seedy China Hot and Sour Soup. The only bizarre happening that day was a wealthy-seeming woman old enough to know better if she was doing what I think she was doing.

Old Enough: You just short changed me $2.00. This is the second time you did it.

Chinese Woman: Next time we count it out for you, yes?

Old Enough: I always only have twenty dollar bills.

(Oh, the crosses some of us have to bear!)

Teaser – Pics I Took Wednesday Downtown —

Teaser – Pics I Took Wednesday Downtown

002

Part horse trough, part human and dog water fountain, this 1915 relic is juxtaposed against modern life.

 

003

This is the river. In the background is a World War II battleship and memorial. A few cousins have their names there who were killed in action.

 

PicturesGEDC0836

May we venture to say our perambulation a le promenade ends here?

 

011

Almost Florida

 

006

Margaret Mitchell called and she wants her flag back, Bubba.

 

012

The infamous Seedy China Hot and Sour Soup. The only bizarre happening that day was a wealthy-seeming woman old enough to know better if she was doing what I think she was doing.

Old Enough: You just short changed me $2.00. This is the second time you did it.

Chinese Woman: Next time we count it out for you, yes?

Old Enough: I always only have twenty dollar bills.

(Oh, the crosses some of us have to bear!)

quickie — April 9, 2011

quickie

Hi everyone,

Will answer everyone tomorrow! Will try to get a Promising Poet poem tomorrow. Think I have an idear.

And yeah, I went alone and got lots of pics!

Outrageous Fortune — April 8, 2011

Outrageous Fortune

I want to go to the parade tomorrow alone, but I’m worried what might happen to me or my mom once I’m set out to fend for myself.

Nightmare Scenario I:  I go to the parade, but as my mother is driving home from dumping me, she has the misfortune of:

a.) being run down by a Mack truck

b.)having a heart attack

c.) being murdered

You choose the scenario you like the best, but the point is she is deceased…and it all could’ve been prevented had I just gone to the parade with her less than enthusiastic self in tow.

I am alone. I can’t even afford to bury or cremate my mom.  There is no money except my $674.00 every month, and the cats and I are soon hungry and evicted.  My friend takes me and the cats in,thankfully, but I yearn to live on my own for the first time. I give up thoughts of love and all my dreams. There is nothing to live for but my cats, because my friends and everyone might not need me. I am a burden.

Fin

Nightmare Scenario II:  I fall dead.

Fin

But I so want to go alone! If I do I’ll let you know…If I don’t, well, guess you’ll know too!

ophelia

Ophelia: O woe! If only outrageous fortune spared me from Parade’s earthly delight and I knew whither I goest toward danger or iniquity. Harsh, bitter, agonizing fate! Mayhap I ought to not frolic among Danish princes, either, given their penchant to be douches. O woe, I die!

My Planned Parenthood Post was Published! Please have a look. — April 3, 2011

My Planned Parenthood Post was Published! Please have a look.

Y’all remember how I wrote about doing a Planned Parenthood article and how I thought it got rejected? Well, I was wrong! March 28th I enlightened the world without even knowing it!  Think Ann Coulter if he had a brain aneurism and woke up a  liberal. Then you’ll have an idea of how this article was written. Though I don’t know, perhaps he already has some sort of malady.

Conservative Ann

coulter

Liberal Ann

OlbermannPaid.jpg  250×375

Without further ado, please visit Women Like That for my article, “Defunding Planned Parenthood: What’s at Stake?” Please let me know what y’all think honestly.

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