Updates on the Voc Rehab Guide

Here are a few things going on with the website here and within the local community in Minneapolis. I wanted to take a second to write to you about it. First, we will get into the guide. Then we will talk about farmers markets and programs for veterans who are incarcerated.

Updates on the Voc Rehab Guide

The new edition of our book on Vocational Rehabilitation is about to go big. Last March, I was able to convince the Dept of Veterans Affairs to help me edit the beast.

Here is a little story about the Voc Rehab Survival Guide and how it made its way into the 4th Edition. It’s getting pretty good now, after my most recent additions using legal research techniques from law school. It seems to help.

 

Recent Voc Rehab Testimonials

Here are a couple testimonials from the past two weeks. I have left the names off for their own privacy.

 

VA Vocational Rehabilitation Approves Disabled Veteran for Dental School

Hello Ben,

I contacted you earlier this year with a question about Voc Rehab, and now have some great news.

I used the GI Bill to pay for a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, which I graduated with 2 weeks ago, and was hoping to use Voc Rehab to pay for dental school, which I have already been accepted to and starts this Fall, since I only have 9 months of GI Bill left. I spent weeks of my free time reading your Survival Guide over and over again earlier this year putting together a three ring binder with all the information you recommend having and documentation to counter any arguments a counselor might use to disqualify me. During my appointment with the counselor I heard all the same excuses that everyone else hears about the 48 month rule, and that dental school being too expensive, but I persisted and would tactfully provide a printed out and pre-highlighted copy of title 38 for every road block he put in front of me.

It has been five months since my first Voc Rehab appointment, and many tests, emails, and appointments later, but I have finally received my rehabilitation plan. My program goal states “To obtain and maintain employment as a dentist.” Voc Rehab is going to pay for all $200,000+ of my four year dental school, plus books, fees, and equipment while I will be receiving GI Bill BAH all thanks to your help. Nothing would have stopped me from reaching my goal of becoming a dentist, but it was your Survival Guide, and reading about your story that gave me hope that it could be paid for by the Voc Rehab program that I knew I qualified for.

I appreciate your help and the work you have done more than I could every put into words.

Thank you,

 

VA Vocational Rehab Approves MBA

Dear Benjamin,

I bought your Voc Rehab Survival Guide, and it worked out very well for me.  I am eager to give you something to post on your site, since this is probably the most valuable book I ever bought. The VA will fully fund my MBA at one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Thanks Again.

 

The Voc Rehab Guide Story

During my first year of law school, I wrote 7 different “primers” for disabled veterans. The primers were short guides that helped disabled veterans get their Vocational Rehabilitation benefits. These have become the guide we sell here.

The proceeds from sales went to pay for webhosting, site development and costs associated with investigative journalism. That is where the sales are still used for today.

My goal was and is to reach as many veterans as possible. Given that goal, I approached the Department of Veterans Affairs last August. I wanted them to buy my guide and deliver it to all disabled veterans who apply. This way, no one is in the dark during the process.

Unfortunately, the Director of Vocational Rehabilitation was not interested. I asked instead if Vocational Rehabilitation would be interested in helping me edit the guide, to at least be sure everything is accurate. They refused. “You are a for-profit.”

During a trip to Washington DC, March 2012, I met with Director Fanning again. We talked about numerous issues disabled veterans are struggling with while using Vocational Rehabilitation.

We sorted out a couple issues relating to information and problems veterans have in getting straight answers from their Voc Rehab counselors. I was also able to get the VA to agree to pay for health insurance for all disabled veterans who are in Vocational Rehabilitation should the school they attend require it.

Last, I revisited the guide issue and requested that Director Fanning write some posts on my website. They started off, “we cannot help because you are a for-profit.”

I responded, “Well, Director Fanning did write some articles for Military.com, which is owned by Monster.com. Both are for profit, and Monster.com is publically traded. Why won’t VA help a small business owned by a disabled veteran in Vocational Rehabilitation? Plus, you helped Military.com compete against me with Search Engine Optimization, and all they are doing is selling adspace to for-profit colleges, many of which may have questionable practices.”

This got the pot stirred a bit. Imagine how this would look. VA will help a nonveteran owned business over a service-disabled veteran owned business. The argument of “for-profit” began to fall apart.

I went on, “Doesn’t Voc Rehab have a duty to ensure I succeed? I want to publish a guide for veterans to help them get their benefits. That is my business. Voc Rehab is supposed to help veterans succeed. And, what better an opportunity to help a veteran but to help them get their benefits?

After browbeating for a while, they agreed to have a look. Two months later, I received a letter from VA Vocational Rehabilitation that they agreed to review the guide. Here is a link to the Voc Rehab Survival Guide for those interested:

 

Things Outside Disabled Veterans

I want to start writing about things outside of the VA once in a while. After all, only a part of who I am is a veterans advocate. If you guys like reading my musings, I’ll keep it up. Let me know.

 

Minneapolis Farmers Markets

I have decided to start shopping at farmers markets with the extra money I receive for my disability from the VA. It seems like a good idea. I get better food and support my local economy. In exchange, I make friends with local farmers and get healthier. Not a bad deal.

As I write this, I’m thinking about my walkabout earlier today.

I just walked back from a local farmers market here in Minneapolis. It was great to have a chance to talk with some of the farmers about issues on their farm. I’m trying to find someone to buy meat from where the meat isn’t loaded with chemicals, at least more than necessary.

There was a man there from Peru highlighting how he makes rugs using a loom. His name was Wilbur.

Amazing. I cannot even begin to express how incredible it was to watch. The colors are vibrant and the materials last a lifetime or longer.

Wilbur was homeless at 8 years old and slept in the tree next to a bakery. Every year, he comes back to America to work and sell these amazing rugs for two months. Then he returns to Peru and feeds his family for a year. The company that supports him is Art Andes.

I’ll tell you one thing, rather than buy a moderately priced rug from the Room & Board Outlet, I will pay a little more for a rug that will last a lifetime. My purchase along helps that man support his family for a year. There’s not Wall Street. There’s no Dow Chemical. It is just a man on a loom making a rug to feed his family.

Maybe, as I get older, these things matter to me more. Being connected. Caring about those around me and helping them to succeed.

 

Minneapolis “No Coast Craft-o-Rama”

Afterwards, we walked across the Stone Arch Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River, to look at the crafts and arts festival.

As I get older, my appreciation for people who work in the trades and crafts has grown. A part of me wishes I still had my wood shop to make cabinets and other things. Maybe some day.

I have been working on ideas to help with veterans who are either unemployed, recently released from prison, or severely disabled. Areas of work veterans seem to enjoy tend to center around working with their hands. While at the No Coast Craft-o-Rama, it occurred to me that may a solution would be to start some woodworking businesses for vets.

I started thinking about it when stumbled across Cooper Ternes with Nordic Woodenware.

I ended up buying some prints from a guy named Jeff Leedy, a great guy and artist out of Texas. He specializes in art that cracks you up. I laughed my ass off and bought a couple prints from the guy. My favorite was “The Trouble with Big Dogs” followed by “Heaven.”

In all, it was a nice day. Relaxing.

Some things next week on Veterans Benefits

Next week we have a few things coming up that I’ll talk about tomorrow. The subjects relate to Vietnam Veterans and Veteran Employment.

I’ve been working with many for-profits and nonprofits to figure out how to help lower veteran unemployment here in Minnesota. I think we have a good, sustainable model that I will unfold online. My hope is to get feedback from all of you.

 

Last week, Veterans Justice Corps and AmeriCorps

I met with some veterans working within the Veterans Justice Corps. The Veterans Justice Corps provides help to veterans who are incarcerated and the Veterans Courts. These men and women provide services to veterans who strayed a little too far from the law.

Their goal is to help these same veterans find jobs after serving their time. Right now, the job market is tough, which makes finding work tricky. It also makes recidivism an issue, though veterans struggle with repeat offenses less than civilians.

Anyway, I wrote my first speech as to why veterans should be treated differently than other criminals. First, the United States did train them to become good at committing acts that would be against the law off the battlefield. Therefore, since we training them to commit acts of violence, we should also train them to be good civilians after service to country.

Second, if our country does not take care of veterans, families will not be as likely to allow their children to enlist. This would cause the quality of our Armed Forces to be diminished. Therefore, caring for veterans is a National Security issue.

I’ll post the speech in its entirety next week. I’d like to get feedback regarding crime and veterans.

Have a great Saturday night! I’ll be back tomorrow, Lord willing.

Voc Rehab Survival Guide Benjamin Krause is an award winning investigative reporter, Veterans Benefits Law attorney, and disabled veteran of the US Air Force, where he served in its Special Operations Command. He attended Northwestern University and  the University of Minnesota Law School using VA Vocational Rehabilitation.

While in law school, Benjamin won his decade-long fight for full disability benefits and now helps others do the same with this website and his guide, the Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans. Since its first publication in 2011, the guide has helped the veteran community receive millions in untapped benefits through the VA Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment program. 

Connect with Benjamin on  Google+,  Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn.

Comments

  1. Denise says

    Ben, FIRST I WANT TO THANK YOU! I was in school for the VRAP program, ( I am in “Hades” ( Texas ) now that isn’t to say all Texans are bad, but some of the things that go on here ( POLITICALLY CHALLENED AKA RICK PERRY and his Attorney General Abbot,they baffle my mind! I was going for LCDC ( chemical dependency) it was interesting, but, you know that dependency is an addiction, which means, is a disease. I remember a few discussions with the younger kids-maybe this is how they teach them in school, “pot is a gateway drug.” I stated, “why do you think it’s a gateway drug? Well, if you smoke pot, that leads to taking other drugs.” This logic is extremely flawed. So, I began to tell them, “a person who smokes pot, it doesn’t mean they will go right into heavier drugs. In fact, the studies are out and the ‘proof is in,’ people who suffer from chronic pain, Fibromyalgia being one, trust me, there is no way for anyone to see the pain because it just doesn’t expose itself on the outside, it does however limit abilities of those who suffer. And this is exactly how this pain in my backside, well, all over, all the wonderful legal drug pushers, known as Pharmaceutical Companies, just have a “magic cure all in pills they push.” I injured my back in the military, should have listened to go for disability, but I have this extremely proud stubborn streak, it’s me, and it also is the reason I explained to these “young ones,” that it was not a gateway drug.” 1. Most individuals do not go out and buy pot first. 2. The gateway drugs are going to be found in their homes, alcohol, tobacco products, and the good old medicine chest that may have pain medications in them, or other medications.” They tried to argue this point, I asked, “who taught you this?” Well school of course! And as they studied more, gee, this woman was right. But it is not a matter of right or wrong, being from California, I guess during the 1970′s and even taught by a police officer, how kids get involved with drugs. And yes, rather funny, for a biology teacher to teach us in Drivers Ed, the best ways to smoke any tobacco products, ( including pot) was water cooled, known to many as a bong then, or here, nice glass art pieces of work). I sit on the fence between the two, but now knowing the two chemicals that one gives you that “high feeling” the other takes away the pain, and no high feeling. I guess because one, my PT Cruiser, and my GPS downtown Dallas we managed a car accident. ( first ever with a vehicle, no the garage door, can’t count, taking out the lawn mower, can’t say that either, because I kept saying, I don’t like parking on that side of the garage-that worked-the side easier for my vision I got to park in!) but what I had told my doctor, “I refuse to be a pharmaceutical walking lab rat,” and this is why, Lyrica, oh so many cures! But gaining 20lbs a month, finally the spine doctor listened! Celebrex, another loser, and then the who aray of anti-depressants that if it states weight gain, then I will not take it. After three back surgeries, that car accident, which by the way, I had not taken any meds because the one for my lovely nerve damaged leg, I never did think to read up on it, slurred speech. YUP, do I wish to sound drunk when I am not? Oh heck no! I was volunteering for the data entry homeless count, my fault, I “own it.” I don’t need to lie, my kids when young stated, “she doesn’t have eyes in the back of her head, they are all over her head.” This began a steady decline of my back. This also kicked off that damn FOG stuff. But I am a firm believer we can do our best to retrain ourselves to relearn as much as possible. ( if you know the UofM great studies on this!) it also created intense migraines from flourecent lights. ( dang, can’t escape those poison lights!-I do mean poison!) nor sit on a computer too long-hence an IPad. But a speech class, my professor in this course, I swear he knew my medical background, as we debate in the courts and that damn Supreme Court regarding Laws that govern abortion. Again, let me educate kids. I explained how Roe v Wade came about, and how we had back door butchers, or those wire hangers, the rich, flew out of the country, the poor ended up in ER’s all of these women fell! Often more times than not, gee, cause of death, fell, or permanently damaged and no future families. Knowing my biology and my A& P, I explained that conception does not begin how you’ve been led to believe, of course, the zygote stage, just a bunch of cells, ( some guy stated that since they were energy, then they were living entities, flawed logic, they must get energy from a source-the hosts body) I can go deeper into this, but when I was done, I hope I left them something to research on their own. But, this is about my back, and the annoying effects of Fibro. 3 back surgeries, 3 1/2 years to get rid of drug weight, patience, I have that, mostly- the accident and the Fibro hit me hard. Pain medication, “Thanks DEA,” not all of us like popping pills and do know what can happen, so as I got worse, my pain meds became less, bad thing. Active, and Activists, turned my life into a nightmare. You see, when you have severe pain, it cycles up the Fibromyalgia, ( recent, with this FOG) so you begin a journey that is stuck on those old ( never to me) Lp’s, I began to call it the pain brain cycle-no control, but did turn my work in early because constant VA Dallas dare I say doctor?, although I had to get five notes, wondered, did I need my doctor to come in and explain it to the disability office,at this school just as I wondered how a “judge” felt my notes didn’t apply to her class, heck, I threw in the damn towel! A school that states, must take intro to computers again, asked each time why, “the silly Texas laws,” but, I asked over again each time since I expect if you should know your job, you should read the law-that applied to those who had less than 30 credits-I had more. ( Yup, I will challenge you!) I have this problem-”think outside the box,” because I read, and you know, not just paper books, nope an E-Reader, over a thousand books. (Eclectic collection) and the news which seems to pit “the liberals against the conservatives,” I saw this and thought, um, do these individuals remember college, or junior high? Most individuals have a middle of the road view. And as learned, you can be a little bit on either side. But, I saw things not being reported. FUKUSHIMA ANYONE? How about that Air craft carrier USS RONALD REAGAN and our Government knowingly sent the ship that way? Um, yeah, asks those who served, medical conditions, and a ship docked. ( pretty expensive ship built to be docked, but knowing Reagan and his everyone was a communist issues, didn’t care for the guy, also wondered, dementia? Well, we now know what he had) when I got a copy of my records, I began my own campaign, “get a copy of your VA records.” It was a warning bell that I was ringing-because you think, yes FOG, but remember adapt, there is always a way we can! My medical experience, my love for helping, doctors who shared knowledge and procedures taught, I loved it all. But, after all my active exercise, no more running, but a gym rat, not a lab rat, I suggest to EVERYONE, if it is a new medication, easy enough to look how long the study went for. ( most called a double blind) 32 weeks? Not long enough. Read what patients experience, if you see a commonality, “QUESTION IT, WAIT TO TAKE IT!” Now, my own records, oh boy, if you cannot report was is stated, or you decide to “fill in the blanks for the patient,” you do not deserve to be a doctor. Remember, expansive knowledge, that includes billing and coding. You have to justify a tests by justifying why this test, and considering my first appointment for my back that was getting worse, I do not quite get why one must say kidneys, I was there for my back.
    I am highly mad as hell, and I learned a lesson to outsmart the regional office, the doctors or nurses-leave a message. Simple-but evidence.
    Now, why do I feel the need to bring in all this medical and political? Because they both are intertwined as well with how are PUBLIC SERVANTS, like a cushy job, but time we do revamping of a system that one must realize, and “question,” do we really have a two party system? Think back when Nancy Pelosi stated this, “see we can reach a decision and work together.” Does anyone know what that was? It was in regards to get more air traffic controllers so less wait times. What was the motivation? They didn’t want to wait, so it was nothing more than a self serving ploy where the rest of us waited! Again, think outside the box. Because my pain has done it again, my blood pressure tells no lies that the pain is severe enough to have a “repeat.” That is, after my goals to rid the extra 120+ pounds from those earlier mentioned drugs, get off those blood pressure meds, 5 pils a day, back again-”welcome to my nightmare.” The repeats of going over laws passed, hey, tax payers, this is your dollars at work, or is that hardly working? When Chief Justice Roberts stated, “we don’t really need this law,” some parts left, many removed, and man Texas was ready! Two hours, they had this all ready planned and mapped out! “JIM CROW LAWS ANYONE?” Because I am a “sarcastic wonder,” definitely the nature verses nurture, I thing definitely a genome on a DNA strand-yes, passed on, and we can’t help it. I decided as it was the first election to test this theory out, again, politically active history, I gave two reserve ID cards, my Geneva Convention Card ( gee, I wonder, we sure seemed to ignore much of it) and of course my Texas I can drive a car in the states. I baffled the minds of those who sat there, “I want to make sure I am covered!” My partner. He quickly became a poll judge, “reason,” intimidation by republicans were expected, and did happen, but hey, don’t test his limits!
    Yes, a rather lengthy response, to what we celebrate, but what I see outside the box, and question, are we truly even aware of all that goes on? I served, yes, some really bad things happened to me, but when I can do therapeutic approach mixed in with meditation, I asked, “bring up my movies, remember it is the past, the past can no longer hurt you, this worked. Funny, my friend in Scotland referred to a short book with a WWII veteran, I never knew. But since I happen to know therapeutic approaches, please, do it right. Don’t chop it up, slice and dice, and then call it what it is not. ( yup, brought a witness for this one!) now, being the 2% of the population who ends up with an opposite reaction to my pain meds, I wish they made me sleep! Heck, I am wired, so if pain hit me up, take way before night time! I keep my doctor of 19 years informed as well as my Pharmacist, who loves to laugh at my antics like wearing a “gay pride shirt, I am all out for Obama!” He tells me, you are one brave woman! Damn straight, or LGBT! ( actually LGBTQI-but whatever) now, my partner who would go hang with his “free thinkers” club, and feed these kids that came out to parents, and the parents kicked them out. I cannot understand how a child you brought into this world, you kick out when they speak their truth. ( I always knew a friends youngest child was gay, a family of cops, dad excepting, mother not, sad period) which brings me to POTUS. I worked my backside for his re-election, now he has really pissed me off. To sign an executive order effectively immediately, any MST victim, they now can ask or investigate your sexual history? WTF? Did he have a recent brain trauma injury? It has already been stated, even in marriage, that no man should force a wife, if done, that’s rape. But hey, go for it. Should I state “oh yes, at 18 I already racked up 10,000 sexual partners?” I am a sarcastic wonder-again, definitely in the DNA for us to be this way! Interesting fact, my paternal grandfathers side, his mother, a Boyle. Related to the First Earl County Cork-but English, his last son was the father of being the first alchemist, or chemistry, but not the chart, remember, this is the 1600′s. Boyle’s Law-founding member of the Royal English Society, asked to be the first president, declined the role. And I think I am onto something, seeing numerous times through those ages, a common factor, arthritis. But, since I was given my diagnosis, already investigating Fibromyalgia, he never married, but close to a sister, letters, some good days, some bad. A clue. I enjoy knowing that many castles rented became castles owned from our family, shh. They don’t want you to know! My signs of Fibro kicked in after horrific events, but who knew?
    Now what does all this have to do with a day besides annoying fireworks my DEMON DOG HATES ( Scooby-but she is my protector from mail carriers, also strangers-a good thing) it is the facts that we go back to George & Cheney-a war they wanted, no plans or anyone allocating monies for vets who come with missing limbs, TBI’s, and would need much care. And be real, some of us Veterans, my husband and myself, we weren’t cry babies, but please, Do not think in one way we do not care, we care too damn much! Bush-Cheney, how interesting they got by that XII Amendment, how interesting ( staged I am sure) that Bush on a bike ride with those and the artificial limbs was asked if he felt remorse ( look, this guy feels nothing, and the only thing he flew high on, cocaine! I know way too much regarding flight physicals!) he had stated, “no, they are not complaining for service to their country and seem to be fine with it.” Really? Does he know what PHATOM pain is? Maybe one day he will, it is not pleasant, and obviously he has no clue that those big bad Harley riders raise funds for those who need serious assistance. The VA is extremely flawed. And Obama, can you not think either outside the box? Choice of some guy to head the VA with no medical knowledge what so ever, well gee, here is one for you-my spouse, vice-president of operations to a smaller company, oh, you betcha he could rip the Dallas VA apart, then me, I do know who is a sour grape that needs to be replaced, yup, in ways one would not know. I am talking the professionals here. And if you work as the janitor, don’t ask if anyone is in a woman’s bathroom, announce yourself of who you are. Because an MST survivor gets ready to defend themselves. I am not in a job or career for money ( a point of contention with the spouse, I have worked many jobs, money is not why, no, great customer service is) Cheney, how damn interesting the amount of money he made off that war-do you see this as patriotic? In the days that followed after the air planes crashing into buildings, as well as those in their covert actions, just plain common sense should say, now, how much heat would it take to melt steel, one plane, the way the buildings went down as one would plan to do when wanting the impact to go down in a swift implode that does not go all over, but more interesting, a third building went down and no plane hit it? I believe one huge thing, “QUESTION EVERYTHING.” And I do. Ben, I would love to send you a recorded message after Obama won. It really wasn’t a “grass roots effort,” save that for one Jesse Ventura. Sorry Minnesota, see how much he took in, that is a grass roots effort. A term now everyone uses. Then we have the Tea Bagger, who gives up his Canadian Birth-no need, but did. And not an original in the least- quoting the Constitution, I wonder, can he do the same for one of two states that have really ridiculous ones? ( Sarah Palin, not a governor, a quiter, but why all those visits here?) when you see a man who states back to constitutional beliefs, but comes out of an elevator with cable companies who wish to decide your ability of what you may research on the web, I question everything. According to his father in a church, some celestial being came down and wrote the constitution, is that not off just a bit? The right to bear arms, I get it, but they skip a part, “to form a militia,” gee, shows how little America has paid attention. As we celebrate, I think, regarding what was written by mere mortal men, and some misgivings by Thomas Jefferson, who felt a bit more should have been added, “welcome his nightmare!”
    We do not have a so called two party system, we have “EGOS WHO ARE SELF SERVING, AND LOBBYISTS WHO BECOME IN CHARGE OF AREAS SHOULD. BE A MAJOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST.” As I requested assistance to my reps office, damn, what a wild goose chase-or Loon chase! And annoying to see this same man who stated, “A veteran who has had issues, “like my Facebook page.” Seriously? Facebook page? How about getting realistic and do the job by the numerous complaints that after the director who went on faux pas news and stated, “we have wait time issues, but nothing else or no other complaints?” HAH! Not so you moron! I have proof! Again, even though you really have helped, Obama and his “thoughts regarding you, wow, that is a biggy for me.”
    I do hope people would rise against the powers that be, become a pain in the ass while doing so, need to realize-turn off that box-TV, and read those electronic papers, “like the Cascadia Times,” that even I went in and gave the low down of truths, regarding nuclear power plants that are ticking time bombs across this country-but Fukushima, 3 tons of radiated water being dumped into the Pacific Ocean each day and has led to so many issues regarding the OCEAN sea life-as well as the 3 scientists that quit from G.E., exactly why such a drastic measure, FUKUSHIMA! It was their concerns.
    Let’s get back to what is real, why we celebrate, and why we need to ditch the system that is broken and needs more than a body cast to repair it, it needs the people to remove their Rose colored glasses, research, a term used-peel away each layer of the onion, and see what you find when you do so! My family does have a history of the disease of chemical dependency, that is why, “gee, this is my calling!” No, good to learn, but before my own brother died from AIDS related death, he stated this, “Denise, do you know what your biggest issue is?” I asked, “what do you mean?” He responded, “you need to learn no matter the challenge, do it with this one thing, “NO FEAR!” I really had to think, “what fears?” But then I got it. I wish to get into Social Work, and be one hell of a fighter for VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES. (ADVOCATE) Especially the denial of a government who refused, “agent orange isn’t an issue.” Oh hell yes it is, and has effected the genome on the strand of DNA that now has become “the gift that keeps on giving!” Do you honestly think that our morally corupt politicians wish to help those who will become afflicted by this gift that keeps on giving? I loved the denial that no chemical weapons used in Desert Storm, gee, a friend, a Corpsman or as the Marines say “Doc,” we kept connected via phone, can’t say in regards to what, but he knew when they were used. You learn these things.
    Ben, you are a fantastic resource of information, yes, I plan on buying that book, I do fear I might have a scooter as the damage has made my right leg worse and now messing with the other. And, me who is OCD, ( don’t ask, it too is a thing that is genetic, as I told my beautiful daughter, “Tara, I am going crazy because I cannot clean up my room with my scattered books, and all other things!” She a middle of two brothers, and don’t push her, her brothers have learned! Stated this, “mom, do not look, there is nothing you can do, so worry later then go back to your OCD ways!” ( easy for her to say!) yes, of course parents think all their children are beautiful, no, she truly is, and I swear as she catches up to my being only 36, and she just turned 30, I realized one thing, the beauty of any child comes from within, and radiates out! We both agreed during the last election, we didn’t care for either candidate. But again, I peel the layers and damn good at it!
    Again, a system that is broken, and why would Obama sign such an executive action? Does he think people who went through a horrible event would lie? I only hope none of his daughters go through this, because rape, most go unreported, mine, a good reason.
    I will only think of one thing this July 4th, and it is a quote by a wild and crazy young youth who settled here, he was another “spot on person.”
    “We have given the people a country, it WILL BE UP TO THEM TO KEEP IT!” (BEN FRANKLIN) we have not kept it because we the people have ignored way too much. And the bible hour in public Texas Schools? I thought, separation of church and state, Federal Dollars that go to funding public schools-big problem, no child should be made to defend their religious beliefs-but it goes on. And Rick Perry, a thief wishes to move to my state? Go for it Rick, the word is out, and you may find they will want you out quick!
    I wish you a happy 4th, but with “eyes wide open too!” And I agree, Minnesota is a wonderful state, I love farmers markets, but must say, you need to see what California has! Like buying basil leaves in large quantities, so I could make pesto-the only geen I could get in the youngest child, ( home made Pesto pizza) Or the weekly street farmers markets that flowers, Eucalyptus bought in large quantities, spread through out my home-fresh scent, kept my sinues clear too! I am no quitter, I want my back fixed, and be ready, because I have decided to cut loose, that means, no military restrictions or the ones in my youth-so if one day, you happen to see a woman, her hair maybe pink, purple, my choices, earrings? YUP! And the wild side of “NO FEAR” is in my blood now, and I do intend to be heard. I have a t-shirt bought there, “Irish with Italian Attitude.” Think on that-maiden name means winner of war when translated, and I plan to win! Arguments, no, well researched and ready to cut loose, better warn Ted Cruz, I would love to take his EGO down! And just know I COULD!
    Blessings and may the “Fourth be with you!”
    Denise or aka P.I.T.A. ( figure that out!) :-)

    P.S.
    I was in a store, happened to just throw on a t-shirt and shorts, t-shirt, Obama, didn’t really notice. A guy came up and a converstaion began, he left California because of all the liberals there. I stated really? Because I grew up in an extremely conservative household, and so did most of my friends. He stated he was with the Tea Party, I asked why? Because I believe in “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Here is the fun beginnings of a baffled mind who forgot what he was in that area of the store for. I asked, okay, when you say life explain, well, life begins at conception, and it has a right to life. ( I didn’t want to confuse him, it would be too easy. So, I asked, so do you think that women should be allowed birth control pills? No, but they can get those implants in their arm, and I know I always use protection. ( yes, and where you lived in CA., happened to be known a big city of LGBT) so, if a woman needs to take them for health reasons, because truly it is a medical reason, again, those things in their arm, I guess he didn’t understand that was birth controll. I said, I could possibly see your point, but my daughter has to take them, for health reasons, she started when she was young, she saved herself for marriage, a gift. But, she has one child, my granddaughter, if she happened to conceive again, she has a 50/50 chance that her and the fetus would die. So do you think it would be okay that she leaves a child with no mother? He couldn’t answer that. So I moved on, what are your thoughts on the death penalty? Why they should die of course! Now back up, you stated life-so isn’t a bit of an oxymoron? You can’t say I decide to pick and decide with one word. Ready for the easy? I asked, do you know the approximate numbers in U.S. Constitution? He did not. So I asked another, how about the two states that have way more poorly written ones that are way much longer, here is a clue, you are living in one of the states. Still no idea. I stated, okay the U.S. One is over 200 hundred words when written, Texas has more than 2000 words and growing, the other state that pretty much equals it? Alaska. Now, I told him, I hope you do realize that there is only one true way to prevent a pregnancy, abstinence. ( unless of course a hystrectomy was done) I think he got a bit baffled by simple questions, and if all the Tea Baggers know one line-we are in some seriously confusing trouble that they have not learned more. This is the example of “remove the Rose colored glasses,” and buy a pocket size book, not expensive, of the U.S. Constitution, and read a bit each day!

So what do you think?