I thought I would share a few of the books that I have been collecting in print, digital, and audiobooks. I have tried to build it up over the past few years since finding my passion and career path. It sounds crazy, but I could never figure out what I wanted to be until I moved here. (My classmates would be amused that I have a library at all since I hated reading for most of my life.)
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Southern Horrors and Other Writings (2nd Edition) by Jacqueline Jones Royster
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire
The Radiant Midnight by Melissa Maimone
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones & The New York Times Magazine
My Reading List
The LSAT Trainer by Mike Kim
Writing to Win by Steven D. Stark
Conversations with God, Book 1 by Neale Donald Walsch
Completed Reads for 2022
Constitutional Law: Governmental Powers and Individual Freedoms (Fourth Edition) by Daniel E. Hall, & John P. Feldmeier
American Government in Black and White: Diversity & Democracy (Fifth Edition) by Paula D. McClain & Steven C. Tauber
Deviant Behavior (12th Edition) by Alex C. Thio, Jim D. Taylor, and Martin D. Schwartz
Introduction to Law for Paralegals: A Critical Thinking Approach (7th Edition) by Katherine A Currier & Thomas E. Eimermann
A 72-year-old man is the suspect in a mass shooting yesterday that killed ten and injured ten more in a dance studio in Monterey Park, California. The shooting occurred while the city’s large Asian American community was celebrating Lunar New Year weekend. The suspected shooter killed himself in a van after a standoff with police. The first reaction from the right was “Yay, the shooter’s not a white guy.”
Look at what Donald Trump Jr tweeted. “You think you’d hear a lot more about the mass shooting of 10 people in California… But don’t worry you won’t hear anything about it because it wasn’t done by a white conservative man with an assault rifle. Doesn’t work for the narrative so it basically never happened!”
Trumpy Jr didn’t even pause to phone in thoughts and prayers. He immediately politicized it to attack the media. And the reason he feels the need…
Legend has it a woman asked Benjamin Franklin a question as he exited Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787. “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin supposedly replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
As I’ve expressed before, I keep looking around at what’s happening in this country, both in our government and among our society, and I’m not liking what I see in either place. I see a nation divided, one in which half the population is increasingly bigoted, intolerant of those who either don’t look, act, or think in the same manner as they do. I see a nation in which violence is becoming an accepted norm. I see a situation that is untenable, that must either be resolved by peaceful means, by acceptance and mutual cooperation, else will be resolved by violent means. With the Big Lie that began even…
Another mass shooting in California yesterday. Two in three days. Today is the 24th day of the year 2023 and we have had 38 mass shootings in the United States already this year. There have been 2,790 gun deaths thus far (as of 12:30 a.m. on January 24th), 21 of them children under the age […]
Please take a few moments to read Keith’s information regarding the debt ceiling. As Americans, it is our duty to be sure that our government is doing and acting in the best interest of the people. If you are not active in democracy, you really are part of the problems that we are facing. EVERY vote counts, and public participation in the democratic process is necessary. You can read the full article by clicking on the hyperlink below.
From the desk of Maya MacGuineas of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. I will offer no additional comment as it speaks for itself. “Today, the Treasury Department announced that it has begun engaging in a set of accounting tools known as “extraordinary measures” to avoid breaching the nation’s $31.38 trillion statutory debt […]
I am happy that I have not waited nearly four months to do a post! I just got home from my full day of Monday classes, and OMG! I should have gotten more sleep LOL!!
All I will say (without revealing too much of my actual schedule) is that getting up at 7 AM and listening to lectures until nearly 10 PM is going to take some practice. I am going to need to find the happy medium on keeping alert enough to drive home. Normally, I am not out after dark, and I got a little sleepy on my way home because the heat was up. I made it though 🤗
Before I start…oh wait. I already started. 🤣
So, before I continue, let me just say that I am not complaining about my classes. I really enjoy this semester (besides the Keyboarding 2 still). Legit is good! It means that I am being challenged, which sometimes is rare for me. I don’t mean that to “toot my own horn”, it’s just the fact of my experience throughout life. School was always so easy for me. Previous college classes were super easy for me. The only subjects that I struggled with were in subjects that I hated, like Statistics and Biology.
My takeaway is that I give these professors big…actually, HUGE…kudos for working all day, going to court, etc., and then giving me a piece of their time to teach me what they do. The way I think about things has already been enhanced (not altered) when thinking about all things concerning law, democracy, constitutional rights, and human rights. It’s a different way to see the values involved in the paralegal profession along with the integrity someone has to have to be a paralegal or legal assistant. Even the office assistants that sit at the front desk get my respect.
With my eyes struggling to look at anymore words tonight, I will close this post for now. This one may get an update after update. It will be good to see the progress on this post.
If you look inside my personal dictionary, you would see “A life worth celebrating” as the definition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He will always be one of my influencers, and I do idolize him. Even though James Earl Ray took him from the world far too soon, his voice lives in the souls of those that loved and respected him. His voice sings into the ears of the people who are just now learning his name, and his memory sits with the fallen heroes that fell in the fight for social justice.
Thank you, Dr. King for making me a better person.
Please take some time to read what Jill has shared below. Click the link to read the entire article.
Today is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday in the United States to honour one of the greatest men who ever lived in this country. I first wrote this tribute to Dr. King in 2017, and each year I reprise it, with slight changes or minor additions, for I find that it still says […]
This is a great post from On The Fence Voters regarding the current situation with the document war. That’s what it is to me…
Let the better person win!
If President Joe Biden did something illegal regarding the current classified document matter, I want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Unlike the MAGA cult, which will never accept such a fate for their dear leader, we progressives should and must accept such an outcome. Doing otherwise only puts us in the […]
This is a great post shared by my dearest friend and sister, Jill, where she comments on the current issue of the Biden documents, and she also shares Robert Reich’s article on the topic. The title of Reich’s post is spot on when it says “false equivalence”, which is something that needs to be said about the comparison of the two situations regarding the classified documents and how they were discovered.
There is a huge difference between the Trump documents and the Biden documents, and Reich’s article points out these differences (truths) about the two situations.
Click the hyperlink below to read the full post from Jill.
I refuse to waste either my time or energy on the game of false equivalencies, on Republicans’ efforts to play the ‘whaddabout’ game, and thus I have little to say about the handful of documents found by President Biden’s own lawyers that were promptly returned to the National Archives. The fact is that it wouldn’t […]
After the long daily response yesterday, this one will be short and to the point.
I have always loved music, and I was attached to my Walkman and all of the cassette tapes that everyone bought me to use with it. I still have a whole double-sided case of the cassettes I used to play sitting out in the garage that I would borrow from my sister (or steal from her rather…until I felt guilty and put them back).
The Walkman played its last tape when I was 15, and I had used it since I was about 10 or 11. I think that was a long life for as much as I used it.
What about you? Did you have an item you were attached to in your youth or even now in adulthood?
I am not sure when it happened, but I became comfortable being Amy. I learned that I was a pretty cool person with a heart and goals that shaped me to who I am today because of the woes and woos of the past. That is why this #dailyprompt has me writing to all of you today about my mission. It’s not just a paragraph or two of my opinion. It’s me…in print form.
As a young girl, I was congenial and social, which is actually the opposite of who I am today. While I still love to take a good selfie, my social game is much different now. I have social anxiety, and I always say that I am socially unacceptable because I lack a filter. Public speaking is scary, but I do it when it has to be done.
I suppose we could start with my legs and my uphill battles that molded me. I was not afraid of taking steps because I literally had to learn to walk the hard way. I think I was 9-10 months old or so when the doctor had to reset my legs to prevent me from walking “bow-legged”. I only know this because of pictures that my grandmother had of me with a cast upon each of my legs. Honestly, I am guessing about the age I was when I sported the casts, but if my sister was sitting here, she could probably tell you exactly.
It took me a very long time to find myself and what I wanted to do with my life. I lacked the life skills to get up, take myself to work, and come home in my younger years. I was 20 years old when I had my first child, and I was 29 when I had my last child. From 1996 until 2012, I was a parent. I was a single parent from 1996 until 2003 when I met “the monster” of my life, and we had a son together in 2005. This is where everything went wrong…not because of having a son, but for who I chose to have him with. That choice led me here.
When you live with the devil, you have to learn to find the light. From my teenage years (age 14 and up) until 2017, my light would go from bright to dim to dark to light to dim over and over again. The first devil was my mom’s boyfriend, and the second time I found the devil…I married him. Twice. (God was trying to tell me something when the marriage did not “take” the first time…and of course, I did not see it.)
In April of 2013, my first suicide attempt happened, and my best friend at the time heard my breath escape me over the phone. I had said my goodbyes, and I was okay with dying. I had nothing left to lose because my choices cost me the only thing that mattered in my life, which is my children. I had been told that I would never get them back no matter what I did, and I had honestly ran out of money to continue fighting. Everyone stopped helping me, and eventually…I gave up too. When I did not die, which I damn well should have after taking a whole bottle of Prozac (28 pills) and a 12-pack of Strawber-ritas, I was a different person. I did not have to go to the hospital and get my stomach pumped, and I did not have any effects of taking all of the pills besides an overwhelming sleepiness. A few cups of strong coffee and the support of good friends, and I was back on my two feet.
There were other ups and downs in the next few years of finding myself all over again. I had to learn how to be a mother that does not have any children that want her. (The story about my kids is a whole other post, or a novel, that is still too hard to write. Those that know me and love me in life know my story, what happened, and why I am here today.)
The reason why all of that is important when telling you about my mission is because my mission also became my purpose.
Mission 1: Finding Amy
Over the years 2007 and beyond, I figured out that there was still life outside of Ash Flat, Arkansas. From 2007 until 2012, I secluded myself in online MMORPG games and SecondLife. Finally, it happened…he found new prey. He found other women.
This was my chance to get free, and this is where I had to leave it all in the past. If I kept looking backward, I would never be able to go forward. I had to make a plan to get well, and then I had to find a way to get away from the abuse. That took me four years.
When I moved to California, my freedom came slowly, but I was on the right path. Everything they said to me, I remembered. In the back of my mind, that became my fuel, but I didn’t realize that I found another version of me. I found an Amy…just not the one that is writing this post, which leads me to Mission #2.
Mission 2: Say Goodbye to What Was Holding Me Back
Even though I was no longer his concubine, it was hard to break free of him without the life skills I needed to make my own money. I had been completely dependent on him bringing home the bacon, so to say. We still talked every single day, and I knew that I was holding on to something that was toxic. It was hard to say “goodbye” to my old life. We both had moved on, but my mindset was still in submissive mode. I relapsed into my old ways, and I tried to die again.
It was like the day in 2013, except this time I did not take a whole bottle of pills…I took stronger ones, and I drank stronger alcohol. No dice. I still woke up again. It made me see that I had some purpose on this planet beyond loving a man or hiding from a broken life. I literally woke up better than the day before; however, I was still chasing the light.
(It’s important to take note that I thought love was that light, and I had been chasing it for far too long. I was looking for it long before any monster in my bed. Love was lacking in my upbringing, so I found it in bad ways.)
Mission 3: Prove Them Wrong
Them…one was my now ex-husband, and the other was my mother. When I made the choice to leave Arkansas permanently and stay with my sister and her family, they uttered the words that drove me to find a way to prove them wrong.
They said, “We’ll see how well you survive out there without me”, and “You’ll be back in no time because you cannot make it on your own”. The main phrase I remember was when he said, “You’ll be nothing without me…you just wait and see”.
In 2018, I met a guy that would show me the world through different eyes. We were together for 2 years, and now we are really great friends. The best part about him was that he had a story, and I got to see how the world really looked instead of looking at it through rose-colored glasses.
When I was fighting for my babies, I did all of the legal research on my case for my lawyer, so when I met Steph…I put those skills to work again. This made me see MY light. I thought he was the light, but what I was doing for him was actually the light I had been looking for.
((Skip bad break-up here in 2020))
In May of 2021, I graduated with two degrees because I met him and figured out that wrongful convictions mattered to me. Civil rights mattered to me. His story led me to my new story. Until my mental health got in the way…
Mission 4: Get Right
No man. No depression. No anxiety. No stress. No worries. Sounds good, right? Pfft…cue next breakdown.
How the hell would I accomplish that? As I sat there looking at my degrees hanging on the wall, I couldn’t help but wonder how to get to the next phase of my life. It was like, “Now what the hell am I going to do with myself?”
For the longest time, I would say, “I don’t want to take a pill to be normal”. As of today, I take several pills to be normal. The truth was that I was scared that I would take the pills and finish what I started in the darkest time of my life.
Getting right began at the end of 2021 and is still happening. I found a psychiatrist that helps me work through my diagnosis, which was Bipolar II Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. The symptoms of the two overlap, but the diagnoses made the most sense than anything else in my life.
I finally knew why I felt like I was weird or socially awkward. I finally knew why I couldn’t look at myself and love myself. The smallest thing when I was unmedicated was HUGE. When my medications began working, life became less dire and much bigger. I had accomplished my mission of getting right with myself.
Mission 5: Pathway to Law School
This is where we are now. That is my mission and my purpose. I want to be a lawyer and help people like me in family courts. I want to help people like Steph that have been thrown into a broken system without any proof. (You will hear his story soon on my first podcast that we are working on.)
When I graduated from West Hills, my daughter bought me a water bottle that says, “Change the World”. When she gave it to me, she said, “Because, Momma, you are going to change the world…I believe that about you!”
I better not let her down.
Now, there is a lot of information in between all of this information that I did not post. As I read through the stories…my story…I realized that I have a lot to share. One of these days, I may write my memoir. Until then, my mission is to help as many people as possible before I die. A higher power wouldn’t let me die, so here I am.
Hi everyone! My Spring 2023 semester will begin on January 17, and it will run until May 24. I had hoped to catch up on here more before the next one started, but life happens. This semester is going to be nose-in-the-book the entire semester. I will try to come up for air when I need the break.
Here are my classes (in no particular order):
I am excited for the majority of those classes, especially the legal research and the civil procedures. I am also stoked to take the law class with one of my favorite instructors from the Fall. The bottom two classes are needed for my Pathway to Law program, and the other three are focused within the paralegal degree.
Instructors should realize that first impressions matter from the students that are accessing the material ahead of time. The reason I say this is because of the first class on the list… He is going to have to work hard at gaining my trust and respect because right now…I’m a bit ticked off.
The reason that I am not excited about the Keyboarding one because of the rules he sets forth seem to be an invasion of privacy and resemble being treated like an 8th grader. I am stoked to learn the advanced features of Word, but I will have to see how him and I get along after the first class. The first impression against him is negative for me after viewing the syllabus and supporting documents.
For example, I buy all my books for school through VitalSource because of the features that accompany the books. So, my tablet will be the main source of my textbook for that class. Sometimes I bring the Fire, and sometimes I bring my laptop. I am pre-law. I have a lot of stuff I don’t want to close out, and I have all my books open to where I left off.
His rule is that every Tuesday when I come to class that I have to bring my tablet up to him for an inspection to gain his approval to use it. Not once…but EACH class period. Then he says my brightness has to be high enough for him to see it when he walks by, and I am only allowed one tab to be open when he inspects it.
It feels juvenile to me, and I am not comfortable with my device being inspected by someone like that. I may have to visit him before or after class to go over what I feel is acceptable of my devices.
Am I being petty, or is it the career path that I am on that thinks this is a huge invasion of privacy?
As a 46 yo woman, I am not going to be snapping or tweeting while I am in class. I am not going to be going live on IG, and I would be bringing my devices to class to work on work in his class. It makes me wonder if anyone else has freaked out about his rules, or if I am just a pain in the ass lol.
I could not imagine living forever, but I also fear dying and watching and feeling myself age.
The ideal situation would be vampirism, I suppose. I would have wanted to freeze myself from aging at around 30. I liked my 30s more than my 20s and 40s. I wouldn’t want to be stuck as a teenager or child because of all the trauma I experienced in those years. However, fangs to attack those that attacked me would have been awesome. I spent a large amount of my younger years being bullied and abused. Thank goodness I am not a person that holds grudges LOL.
When thinking of all that comes with vampirism and the myths…I am not sure that drinking blood and fearing the daylight would prove to be more desirable. There is always a choice of what is acceptable in our lives. Drinking blood and only coming out at night sounds like a better option than losing my life.
While it is unnatural to live forever, it’s also unnatural to be an immortal being. Is there really a choice?
I am not one of those that believe in heaven and hell. If I was to summarize my perception of heaven and hell, I would say that we are already living in hell, and when we die…we go back into the Earth and are reincarnated to live a different life. Life is energy, and it recycles itself. That’s why we get deja vu…
Now back to the question…no. I would not want to live forever. I would just want a life that I would never forget.
For Christmas, my daughter bought me a set of hearing aids. Now, I was born with defective ears, and when I was very young, I think around 8 years old, I tried hearing aids … this was back in the late 1950s when hearing aids meant a box strapped to the chest with wires leading from the box to big, bulky pieces in both ears. Well, long story short, they didn’t work out for me and the audiologist said that my particular hearing problem could not be resolved with hearing aids. As I aged, the problem grew worse and today I am about 95% deaf. But, with the improvements in the hearing aid technology in recent years, my daughter thought it was worth a shot. Her order was delayed, so it was a late Christmas present, arriving just before New Year’s, and a complete surprise to me, for while we…
This is a great read concerning the state of the House of Reps with McCarthy in the seat that none of us with a sound mind wanted him in. In redistricting here in California, I got the displeasure of having this man elected as my district’s representative. I will be a huge thorn in his side because he works for me.
As he so often does, Robert Hubbell has done an excellent job of summarizing the events of last week in the U.S. House of Representatives and what the coming weeks/months might bring.
The loyal opposition!
January 9, 2023
By Robert Hubbell
After the painful spectacle of Kevin McCarthy’s election as Speaker late Friday, I opened the Comments section to all readers to allow them to express their feelings about the confluence of the January 6th anniversary and McCarthy’s corrupt bargain to become Speaker. Several hundred readers took the opportunity to express themselves. Understandably, feelings of upset, anger, disappointment, and dejection were more common than usual from readers of this newsletter. While there is much to discuss regarding what McCarthy’s election as Speaker portends for America, those details will unfold over time (and may shift in the coming days). I want to start my discussion with the emotional reaction to McCarthy’s…
The following is from an email by evangelical Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an ultra-conservative ‘Christian’ hate group … Earlier this week, President Biden signed the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which not only codifies same-sex marriage into federal law but also opens wide the door to endless litigation and persecution of […]