Peter and Linda Lou Davis, of Resume Speed, Texas, circa 2003. Linda Lou passed away on June 26, 2013.

Peter and Linda Lou Davis, of Resume Speed, Texas, circa 2003. Linda Lou passed away on June 26, 2013.

[If you can’t see the donation widget raising money to help Peter Davis, click here.]

My friend and favorite commenter, Peter Davis, of Shakey Pete’s Shootin’ Shack, lost his wife, Linda Lou on June 26 to pneumonia and MRSA. Over the last few years, Linda Lou had struggled with injuries from falls, broken bones, recovering from knee replacement surgery and infections, until infections finally claimed her life.

I hope my dear gentle readers will read their story below and donate to Peter by clicking the GoFundMe button above. The donation goal is $1500 with the hope that if he doesn’t need it to cover the costs of Linda Lou’s final care and cremation, or the skyrocketing costs of his own prescriptions, that he can use it to buy a much-needed new computer to stay in touch with family and friends. It’s not easy for Peter to do that by phone because he is hard of hearing, what with all those decades of shooting firearms. I’m hoping that for all the years of service to his country and in law enforcement protecting strangers, that strangers will thank him with a donation to express their gratitude and help him heal from his loss. (I have set up this GoFundMe account especially for Peter and all the proceeds will go to him.)

Peter is a Viet Nam war veteran and Texas sheriff’s deputy retired on disability and coping with Parkinson’s disease. Peter loves German shepherds — police dogs — and Linda Lou loved pugs, so they had both, until May, when Peter had to find a new home for his beloved Cochise Apache Princess because she was getting to be a bit much to handle with his Parkinson’s. Peter is left with Bingo T. Pug (formerly known as Lt. Commander Fatboy).

I lost my own life partner of over 20 years on Dec. 7, 2004, to complications of multiple sclerosis. So, for Peter, and everyone who is facing the loss of a spouse, or who is newly bereaved, here are a few things you may need to know about how to survive the loss of your spouse:

  1. No matter how much time you had to prepare for the loss of your spouse, you will feel like every nerve in your body has been torn when it finally happens. No one can tell you how long the feeling of being ripped and raw will last. Crying helps. So does laughing with loved ones about the good times you had. Sometimes the crying and laughing go together. Don’t expect to have a lot of energy — you are recovering from a wound.

2. Rescue Remedy, a Bach Flower Remedy, is a homeopathic remedy that soothes the shock and pain of grief. The liquid form is preserved in brandy, but it also is available in non-alcoholic currant-flavored pastilles. (I mailed four tins of the pastilles to Peter and he’s enjoying them.)

3. The second hardest time of the day is when you remember your loss as you are falling asleep.

4. The hardest time of the day is when you wake up. That’s because it is likely to be several months before you wake up remembering your spouse is gone. Until then, you will wake up thinking he or she is still there, and then you will remember and be bereaved all over again.

5. It is normal to be absolutely furious with your spouse for dying and leaving you. This is because the loss hurts, and for a lot of us, pain triggers anger. (Note to married persons putting off getting that lump/cough/mole/chest pain checked: your widows/widowers will be the angriest of all.)

6. It also is normal to be overwhelmed with guilt, especially if you were angry and/or frustrated with your spouse for not doing enough to prevent his or her own illness and death. This one is a good reason to see a bereavement counselor for at least a few sessions. People who were indeed neglectful don’t often feel guilty about it. But bereaved spouses who did their best and now are second-guessing themselves to shreds will benefit from the specifics about dying and bereavement that really good bereavement counselors can provide.

If that’s not affordable, then try writing a letter to your departed loved one using the love letter technique, which I learned from John Gray, of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus fame, before he was famous. Write one paragraph expressing each of the following emotions: anger; sorrow/hurt; fear; guilt/remorse; love, clarity, understanding, forgiveness, release, gratitude, happiness and/or joy. There’s a good example here, but do NOT follow that author’s advice to write a page for each of the five emotional states because most people get too tired to finish. If you don’t get to the final section of love and clarity, you will stay stuck in the negative emotions, so don’t clean house, instead, peel the onion. If you don’t clear everything with one letter, write another one. Just be aware that your healing process has its own schedule, which can’t be rushed, and you will heal quicker if you are patient with yourself.

7. There is no such thing as closure. Ignore people who think there is.

8. The loss of someone you love will always hurt. It hurts the most when it is new because then it fills your entire horizon. But if you let life carry you on, gradually, in a natural way, the loss becomes a part of your horizon, but not all of it. It will hurt whenever you put your attention on your loss, but most of the time, your mind and heart will be occupied in your present.

9. Wear your wedding ring as long as you want. The right time to take it off is when YOU are ready. (See “Monk” and “The Mentalist.”)

10. Peter reminds me at his blog that when anyone in recover hits a rough patch like the loss of a spouse, that’s the time to go to AA meetings again, if you’ve stopped, and even double up on going to meetings.

I asked Peter to tell me more about Linda Lou so I could write about her in this post, but I can’t do better than Peter’s reply:

Yes, I was Linda Lou’s third husband, she was my third wife. We met on Feb. 2, 1988, it was my turn to set up for the 6 PM [Alcoholics Anonymous] meeting. She showed up wearing clothes too light for the winter weather, homeless and about to lose her job at the Post Office, and you know how hard it is to lose a post office job. It’s kind of funny, the Employee Assistance guy at the P.O. was a casual sorta friend of mine, he told her to stay clear of me because I was (and am) a loner by nature and such men don’t stay sober. Linda Lou and I went to his funeral after he died of an OD.

Her elderly daddy had bought her a cheap motel room near her job and she was set to go into treatment, paid for by the USPS. We started dating shortly after Linda Lou got out of treatment. Not long after that she chased off the other women I was dating.

I was then sharing a house with another divorced guy, out of the edge of town. We called it Morality Manor.Well, what else would you call a house with two divorced guys? Linda Lou started spending nights once in a while, then weekends. So I gave her a drawer in my chesterdrawers, so she could have some clean underwear, and a little space in my closet.

It should have dawned on me that something was amiss when I noticed her new kitten was there, complete with litter box, but then, nobody ever accused me of being too bright. Then one morning I woke up and looked in my closet for something to wear and there was nothing there but her stuff. I stumbled out and got a cup of coffee and asked, “Ware my clothes?” The answer was something along the lines of, “You guys walk around in your underwear, so I moved your stuff in the hall closet.”

That’s when I knew I was in trouble. A few months later I was sitting around trying to read my newspaper and having my morning coffee when Linda Lou started in about how she’d feel better about herself if we were married and how her health insurance was so much better than mine and all those other advantages to being married. Well, I wanted to drink my coffee and read my paper so I said, “Yes, dear, anything you say.”

Well, she wanted to have a wedding anniversary that I couldn’t forget, so we got married on November 10, 1989, on the Marine Corps’ birthday.

We got married following the Friday night Birthday meeting in our old home [AA] group. As luck would have it that group met only a few blocks from where the Rolling Stones were having a big concert in the Cotton Bowl. So the preacher said, “I now pronounce you man and wife,” and ever since then I can’t get no satisfaction!

Linda loved to read. Some time shortly after we moved out here to Resume Speed, Texas, we discovered that the field mice kept invading our house. This was well after her cat went out and never came back, so Linda Lou went to the pet adoption at PetsMart to collect a cat to be a mouser. The cat scratched her, so, being Linda Lou, she brought home Bentley, who soon became Captain Fatbob, The Black Pug Of Doom. Thus began Linda Lou’s lifetime love of Pugs. I don’t think Linda Lou ever forgave me when Lieutenant Commander Fatboy (aka Bingo T. Pug) decided that he was my Pug.

Linda Lou was born in Topeka, Kansas. I, on the other hand, was born in northern California in a railroad town. My momma was an Okie, actually from Herrington, Kansas. She went out to California as a girl during the Dust Bowl. It is a family joke that I had to go clean to Texas to find a Kansas woman to marry.

Hope this helps, love, Peter

Peter wants me to add that Linda Lou was proud of staying clean and sober since her rehab in 1988. Linda Lou Davis was born on November 23, 1945, the daughter of Emit Elmer and Jesse Mae Henderson. She passed away on June 26, 2013, and in addition to Peter, she is survived by her sister, Martha Wilson, and her children from previous marriages: Andy Romero, Robin Corner, Michael Corner and Stephanie Rosnett. And, as Peter writes, Linda Lou was “Granny to nine hairy legged boys and two beautiful girls. Wife to a guy who never did deserve her.”

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With its decisions announced today striking down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and its two-fer decision that effectively struck down Prop 8 because the proponents in the appeal did not have standing to object to the district court’s 2010 ruling against Prop 8, the Supreme Court today declared that lesbians and gays are almost 30 percent human and endowed by their Creator with semi-alienable rights, the exact alienability of which they will decide in the future.

The good news for conservatives in the DOMA decision is that it just made gays and lesbians a gettable constituency for opposing death taxes — the federal ones, that is, and those in the 13 states plus the District of Columbia that allow marriage equality. That’s because the lawsuit was brought by Edie Windsor over the $368,000 federal estate taxes she had to pay after the death of her wife, thanks to DOMA, which DOMA-approved widows and widowers do not owe.

I’m calling the Prop 8 decision a two-fer because it let stand the district court’s ruling against Prop 8 (read Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision here, it’s very entertaining) but also as a standing ruling — a decision on who is allowed to challenge a lower court ruling — it was a decisive smackdown that will discourage others from this tactic for a good while.

Regarding Prop 8 and standing, Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog has a great explanation (read the whole thing for a plain English explanation of both the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions):

For a lawsuit to proceed in federal court, both sides must have (among other things) “standing” – a legal term for a real and specific injury that can be cured by a court decision in your favor. In this case, the two same-sex couples won in the federal trial court, and the state officials who would have otherwise enforced the law didn’t appeal that decision because they agreed that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. Only the sponsors of the initiative wanted to appeal – but the district court hadn’t ordered them to do (or not to do) anything, so they “had no ‘direct stake’ in the outcome of their appeal.” Simply disliking the law, the Court explained, is not enough to create “standing.” Nor does California law justify allowing the sponsors to participate in the case: California election laws don’t give them a special role in enforcing Proposition 8, and a ruling by the California Supreme Court that state law allowed the sponsors to appear in court on behalf of the state doesn’t help them here. The Supreme Court, it explained, “ha[s] never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to.” Thus, it continued, it “decline[d] to do so for the first time here.”

Soon after the Prop 8 decision was announced, California Governor Jerry Brown ordered all the state’s court clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as the Ninth Circuit lifts its stay on the district court’s ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.

By striking down section 3 of DOMA, which defined marriage for federal purposes as being between a man and a woman, the Supreme Court gave same-sex couples married in states and countries that legally allow same-sex marriages access to the 1,138 and counting federal rights and privileges accorded to married couples. However, the decision did not address section 2 of DOMA, which was designed to thwart same-sex couples marrying in states that permit it and then having equality under the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution everywhere else. So legally married lesbian and gay couples only have equality in 13 states and the District of Columbia and must cobble together assorted contracts, wills and powers-of-attorney to have anything remotely like the protections straight married couples have in all the other states.

Over at DoubleThink Online, dear gay libertarian Bruce Majors has the best summary I’ve ever read of the major arguments for and against marriage equality. I’m very honored that he writes I am the first to make one of them (read the whole thing):

But my favorite argument in the debate, and one of the newer ones, was elaborated by blogger Cynthia Yockey (A Conservative Lesbian) just a couple of years ago. Ms. Yockey notes that some churches (synagogues, etc.), like the gay oriented Protestant Metropolitan Community Churches, perform gay marriage. So if the government defines a church sacrament, marriage, to mean only one set of churches (and their sacraments) are recognized in the law, and other churches and their sacraments are not, the government has established a church (or set of churches) as approved State churches. This is a violation of the First Amendment. Ms. Yockey concludes that gay marriage must be legally recognized because of the First Amendment clause supporting freedom of religion and prohibiting the establishment of a state church.

While I wholly agree with Ms. Yockey, and take delight both in her original argument and in the fact that I am friends with someone who has produced an original argument, I also would like to emphasize my corollary to her argument: traditional marriage (at least state establishment of traditional marriage) also violates the First Amendment.

However, I must remind dear Bruce that the government does not establish religion by regulating the civil rights and responsibilities associated with marriage — 1,138 at the federal level and about 400-500 for each state and D.C., so over 21,000 altogether. Government regulation of the civil rights associated with marriage is the only thing that assures freedom of religion, another argument I am the first to make. When the government controls the civil rights associated with marriage, it ensures your right to change religions, or have no religion and still get married.

I’m also the first person to point out that the anti-gay religions funding and driving the opposition to marriage equality are after a much bigger prize than denying equality to lesbians and gays. To wit, the anti-gay churches have as their ultimate goal grabbing from government ALL the powers over married couples, both civil and religious, in order to gain virtually absolute control over their followers. For example, under the Catholic definition of marriage, Catholics cannot divorce. However, thanks to the government’s control of the civil rights of marriage, which levels the playing field regarding all religions, Catholics CAN divorce AND re-marry, and their church only gets to deny/stigmatize their subsequent marriage(s) but not preclude them.

The idea for this power grab must have come from the Mormon Church, which has three definitions of marriage (civil, celestial and plural). The Mormon celestial marriage can only occur between two Mormons with temple recommends, which are only accorded to Mormons whose church taxes (tithes) are paid up and who are obedient to every command and whim of the church hierarchy. The purported benefits of the celestial marriage hold great sway in the minds of Mormons. In contrast, what Mormons call a civil marriage is regarded as spiritually dead and is highly stigmatized. It is a second-class marriage. Likewise, the proposition that if gays are accorded marriage equality, they should only be allowed civil unions, which they cannot legally call “marriage,” is a deliberate effort to degrade same-sex marriages as spiritually dead, even though there are religions that celebrate same-sex marriages–the Metropolitan Community Church and both reform and conservative Judaism. (By the way, the Vedic literature of Hinduism holds that gays and lesbians are indeed born that way — see Parashara on Jyotish — and provides support for the belief that if you are born gay and try to be straight, you have committed the worst possible sin of falling off the path of your individual dharma.)

Returning to the benefits of the Court’s decision striking down section 3 of DOMA, same-sex married couples in our military and diplomatic corps need their marriages to be defined by the federal government to have the same rights accorded to straight married couples, such as death notice rights for spouses of soldiers, the right to military housing, the right to diplomatic housing and more. The Court’s decision should clear the way for this.

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Gov. Palin is right on Syria, let Allah sort them out

by CynthiaYockey on June 16, 2013

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made news yesterday addressing the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., when she said the following as reported by Breitbart.com:

Militarily, where is our commander-in-chief? We’re talking now more new interventions. I say until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander-in-chief who knows what he’s doing, well, let these radical Islamic countries who aren’t even respecting basic human rights, where both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line, “Allah Akbar,” I say until we have someone who knows what they’re doing, I say let Allah sort it out.

In other speeches Gov. Palin wisely has pointed out that one of the most important factors in deciding whether to send American soldiers into another nation’s conflict is America’s own best interests. America’s interests are not served by interfering in Syria, regardless of the atrocities being committed there.

But the reason I’m writing this post is that there is a fascinating history to the phrase, “Let Allah sort them out,” which dates from July 22, 1209, when Pope Innocent III ordered the slaughter of a Christian sect called the Cathars because they rejected his authority:

De Montfort [commander of the army sent to kill the Cathars] demanded that the leaders of Beziers turn over the town’s Cathar heretics to him. They refused. The Crusaders attacked.

According to accounts written decades later, as the attack began, a soldier asked Amalric [the French Cistercian monk there as the Pope's representative] how they would be able to tell which Beziers townspeople were Catholics and which were Cathars.

Amalric supposedly answered (in French): “Kill them all. God will recognize his own.”

Some sources give the alleged quote as “Kill them all, for the Lord knows his own” or as “Kill them all. The Lord knows his own.”

It eventually came to be most commonly paraphrased as “Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

[snip]

Amalric’s infamous quotation was updated during the Vietnam War, when the saying “Kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out” became popular among American special forces troops.

This “witticism” was put on unofficial military patches, pins and t-shirts that are now sold as “collectibles” on eBay.

More recently, American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan updated the saying again in the form: “Kill ‘em all. Let Allah sort ‘em out.”

T-shirts with that variation are now being sold online by the SEAL Team Gear store.

The awful truth is that there will only be a semblance of peace in Syria when one side seeking absolute power has crushed the other side, which also is seeking absolute power. There is no advantage to America in interfering with this process because it would be like trying to stop an avalanche. The forces involved are too powerful to stop until they reach an angle of repose on their own. It also would be the Obama administration’s excuse for a flood of Syrian immigrants to the U.S.–immigrants whose religion requires them to kill or subjugate all unbelievers. Let Allah sort them out.

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Note: I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long and I’ve missed my dear gentle readers. I think I have my health issues sorted out now and will explain more about that, soon. Now that I am well enough to work, I am finally able to create a career that will generate the income required to pay off the debts and taxes for my father and me that accumulated as a result of my health challenges. I don’t entirely know yet exactly how I will do that. But I’m starting to see my way and this blog is part of my plan, so I can write again without worrying that I am blogging instead of making a financially self-sufficient life for myself. I also want to thank one of my faithful subscribers for his donation yesterday. I promised him in my thank-you e-mail that I would write a post. I’m several hours late, but I’m here.

Sorting through the current embarrassment of riches, scandal-wise, dear Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection was the first to point out that Democrats are going be able to pass their illegal immigrant amnesty bill, aka “immigration reform,” because Republicans won’t focus on the one menace they actually could stop in its tracks with enough phone calls, e-mails and letters to Congress. (I can’t find the link so I used a more recent one!)

Ann Coulter made an eloquent speech at CPAC in which she pointed out that research shows Republicans are not going to win the Latino vote with amnesty because the majority of Latinos embrace the welfare state. Click here to see Ann’s interview with John Phillips on PJ Media’s Next Generation TV. (Sorry, there’s no code to allow me to embed it here.) About three-quarters of the way through, Phillips says something I’ve pointed out for years: Mexico, our chief supplier of illegal immigrants, is an oil-rich nation with lots of other natural resources and it ought to be a prosperous country.

In her column this week, which I recommend you read, Ann makes the case that amnesty is suicide for the Republican party and Latinos don’t want it:

Who convinced Republicans that Hispanic wages aren’t low enough and what they really need is an influx of low-wage workers competing for their jobs?

Maybe the greedy businessmen now running the Republican Party should talk with their Hispanic maids sometime. Ask Juanita if she’d like to have seven new immigrants competing with her for the opportunity to clean other people’s houses, so that her wages can be dropped from $20 an hour to $10 an hour.

A wise Latina, A.J. Delgado, recently explained on Mediaite.com why amnesty won’t win Republicans the Hispanic vote — even if they get credit for it. Her very first argument was: “Latinos will resent the added competition for jobs.”

But rich businessmen don’t care. Big Republican donors — and their campaign consultants — just want to make money. They don’t care about Hispanics, and they certainly don’t care what happens to the country. If the country is hurt, I don’t care, as long as I am doing better! This is the very definition of treason.

Hispanic voters are a small portion of the electorate. They don’t want amnesty, and they’re hopeless Democrats. So Republicans have decided the path to victory is to flood the country with lots more of them!

I think Ann is correct that the Republicans pushing for amnesty are driven either by greed for cheap labor, or greed for votes, or both. But I think there’s another factor no one else is mentioning that is wearing down the resistance to amnesty, which is the idea that is would be an enormous, expensive hassle and really, really mean. However, I have a cheap solution that will make illegal immigrants not only want to leave the U.S. immediately but also pay their own freaking way home. To wit, if property confiscation is a good enough weapon for the war on drugs, then it should be employed to secure our borders, too. How? By passing a law that whistleblowers who turn in illegal immigrants get to keep 60 percent of the value of their confiscated assets with the balance going to local law enforcement. Bank robbers do not get to keep their ill-gotten gains if they get a certain distance from the bank before they are apprehended. There’s no reason for illegals to get to keep theirs, either.

UPDATE, 6/28/13, Fri.: The Senate passed its immigration reform bill yesterday and at HotAir.com, Gang of Eight member Sen. John McCain finally got on Allahpundit’s last nerve with his 1,001st trashing of his own party (the links to polling expert Sean Trende indicated in the text below are clickable in the original and very much worth reading):

And that’s not the worst part [i.e., that McCain trashes the GOP]. The worst part is that he [McCain] continues to peddle the self-serving double-barreled lie that (a) the Latino vote sunk Republicans in the last two elections (it did not) and (b) that immigration is an insuperable obstacle to being more competitive among Latinos. The man you want to read on that is Sean Trende, who’s had three indispensable pieces about it published over the week or so. First, he reveals the real culprits in why Romney lost last year, namely, economic-populist white voters who supported Perot and now stay home because the GOP no longer really talks to them. Second, he reminds the GOP that immigration reform isn’t as simple as winning Latinos, it’s winning Latinos at the expense of losing some white — and black — voters who might otherwise consider the party. Has McCain, Graham, Rubio, or anyone else on the amnesty spirit squad ever once been asked to address the prospect of losing some votes too in passing this bill? Do they have the faintest idea of whether they’d lose more white/black votes than they’d gain among Latinos? Do they care? If we’re going to pass a terrible bill purely in the interests of helping ourselves electorally, it’d be nice to have some idea of whether passing it really will help us electorally.

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On ‘Being Gay at CPAC’ at National Review Online

by CynthiaYockey on March 16, 2013

Friday afternoon at CPAC I had a pleasant conversation with National Review Online fellow, Betsy Woodruff, who was trying to, as the headline says, sort out what it is like this year being gay at CPAC for a post at The Corner at NRO. I won’t keep you in suspense. It is a joy. I am re-connecting with blogger friends and others whom I love and respect. I’m in love with CPAC, just as I’ve been since my first one in 2009 when I had barely sat down at the very first panel I attended and panelist Andrew Klavan opined that conservatives really ought to do more outreach to gays and I astonished him by popping up and thanking him.

Chatting with Betsy, I talked a mile a minute and laid out a comprehensive analysis of why there are gays in the conservative movement, the Constitutional reasons why gays have an unalienable right to equality and why the progressive approach of advocating for gay equality by demanding people change their religious beliefs and emotions is wrong. Respectively:

  1. There are gays in the conservative movement because discrimination by our own families, religion and government forces gays to cope by becoming entrepreneurs in large numbers, to be self-reliant and also work together to create the businesses, services, organizations and charities the gay community needs. In other words, the gay community embodies fiscal conservatism in action. To exist, the gay community needs free enterprise and a small government that lets us keep the lion’s share of the fruits of our labors. That’s why there are gay conservatives and over a third of gays vote Republican.
  2. Unalienable rights, as Ted Olson points out, are not subject to majority rule, so federalism does not apply to them. The Constitutional protections of equality for gays are due process, equal protection, the Establishment clause, the right to free exercise of religion and the full faith and credit clause. To assert that the best path to equality for gays is any form of majority rule is identical to asserting that gays are subhuman, not created equal or endowed with unalienable rights. It also is identical to saying that religions are entitled to define various groups as unworthy of equality and then use civil law to disadvantage or even destroy them.
  3. Progressives are wrong to demand tolerance and denounce rhymes-with-late. People advocating for the liberty to love must also protect the liberty to rhymes-with-late and leave others be regarding their beliefs and emotions. The correct approach is the conservative one, which is concerned with limiting the coercive powers of government. This means that social conservatism has no business coveting the coercive powers of government to impose religious beliefs in civil law. It means that in a nation founded on the protection of religious liberty, social conservatives must be content with what they can accomplish in the marketplace of ideas using only the powers of persuasion. In the marketplace of ideas, they can believe anything and be as rhymes-with-lateful as they want.

I also told Betsy that our national political conversation now is one of dueling totalisms: the progressive serfdom of the all-controlling nanny state vs. the social conservatives’ ideal of an all-controlling theocracy. This explains the political homelessness of the fiscal conservative/social liberal, whose would-be leaders are barred from rising in either political party.

Oh, and I called social conservatives the architects of the Left because so many of its constituent groups are natural fiscal conservatives but social conservatives purged them on theocratic grounds. Progressives welcomed these groups but do not serve them unless they are useful in destroying free enterprise. Gays depend on free enterprise, which is why progressives use gays primarily as worker bees and cash cows and the only other places where gays are welcome on the Left is at the back of the bus or under it.

That is how I tore into social conservatives when I spoke with Betsy. But I did it entirely in conservative terms. I can’t stand the thought that conservatives reading her column will assume that I used progressive ideas to critique social conservatives. I did not. Ick.

However, regarding conservative gays being treated courteously by conservatives, I do say there is no such thing as a courteous way to tell gays they are unworthy of equality. It is indeed an intrinsically offensive statement to make and position to hold. (It’s worth noting I first said this to Mark Steyn when he was standing in for Rush Limbaugh in 2010 and he invited gay conservatives to call in and discuss how we were being treated by the tea party. I told him I’ve been treated very well by the tea party — except for that.)

This brings me to Betsy’s encapsulating the gay experience at CPAC 2013 as a place so genuinely inclusive of diversity that Rick Santorum and Cynthia Yockey are both there and greet one another pleasantly. Genius. It’s true. That is how CPAC and the conservative movement do diversity.

Technically, on Friday Sen. Santorum and I were only metaphorically face-to-face since he was about 15 feet away from where Betsy and I were sitting. I didn’t see him coming because I was facing Betsy and turned away from former Sen. Santorum as he walked past us with his entourage. Betsy kindly pointed him out, perhaps expecting an explosion since Sen. Santorum is the great Satan of gay progressives. Instead, I remained serene. That’s because the only limit I want imposed on Sen. Santorum concerns his ability to impose his religion on me through the coercive powers of the state.

(I actually have met Sen. Santorum because he had the wits and class to visit the Bloggers’ Lounge at CPAC 2010 or 2011 and my friend Stacy McCain introduced us, including the name of my blog. Sen. Santorum was pleasant and courteous and so was I.)

So, what is it like being gay at CPAC? More than ever, it’s a joy. The only true friends gays have are conservatives. We can settle our differences in Constitutional terms, which will be articulated by conservative attorney Ted Olson before the Supreme Court when he argues for marriage equality in the Prop 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases before it on March 26 and 27.

As I told the gay Left in October 2011, equality for gays will come from the Right. The watershed moment for gay equality at CPAC came together in an organic way in the “Rainbow on the Right” seminar this year, thanks to ACU board member and Competitive Enterprise Institute founder, Fred L. Smith, Jr., who just thought it was the right thing to do.

This is my fifth CPAC and my fourth as an official CPAC blogger. I can attend CPAC thanks to generous donations of my dear conservative gentle readers. In fact, I’ve been able to haul myself back from the brink of death and have just recovered my health thanks to the donations of my dear conservative gentle readers. I fell in love with CPAC in 2009 and I am even more deeply in love with CPAC now. For me, that is what it is like being gay at CPAC.





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Rainbow on the Right at CPAC 2013

by CynthiaYockey on March 15, 2013

On Thursday evening at CPAC, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is a sponsor of CPAC, held a panel called Rainbow on the Right, which featured only conservatives who favor equality for gays. (!!!!!!!111!!!!111!!!) CEI founder, Fred L. Smith, Jr., told me in a phone conversation a few days ago that he sits on the American Conservative Union’s board and he was surprised this year that GOProud had not applied to be a sponsor. Since sponsors are allowed to have seminars on the topics of their own choosing with panel members of their own choosing, the idea just naturally came up at CEI that they ought to dedicate one of their seminars to the subject of gay equality and include GOProud co-founder Jimmy LaSalvia. The rest of the panel was comprised of Fred, Republican campaign strategist Liz Mair, Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, author and CNN political contributor Margaret Hoover and author, Fox News commentator and National Review Online editor-at-large, Jonah Goldberg.

I was very happy with all the speakers and the fact that most of the audience gave them enthusiastic applause. (I think the ones that didn’t were a mix of wary social conservatives and even warier progressives, mostly the latter, since there were plenty of progressive journalists attending, including two I recognized immediately, Mike Signorile and Sally Kohn.) The room wasn’t just standing room only, it was packed and I heard later that a number of people who wanted into the room just could not squeeze in.

So none of my dear gentle readers will be surprised that in the question and answer period I made several points that I make here frequently, which obviously astonished the progressive gay journalists (and probably some of the panel members). But I had learned something amazing and vitally important, which is that most of the arguments I’m making for gay equality are original and unique. That is, I’m the only one making them. There was really only one overlap of my ideas with Margaret Hoover’s and it’s because we both lifted it from conservative attorney, Ted Olson, who will be arguing in the Supreme Court March 26 and 27 respectively for the repeal of California’s Prop 8, which repealed marriage equality in that state, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. (DOMA was passed to thwart federalism and the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution, thus revealing the reverence with which social conservatives observe federalism and the Constitution — you should totally read Elizabeth Birch’s takedown of Bill Clinton’s recent self-flattering revision of the history of why he signed it into law).

So the point that Margaret and I both lifted from Ted Olson is his research into decisions of the Supreme Court on marriage starting from 1888 include 14 ruling that marriage is a right. Unalienable rights are not subject to majority rule, therefore they are not delegated to the states. Neither fiscal nor social conservative commentators have bothered to read up on this, so it is going to be a bolt from the blue for them. Well, that and the tsunami of amicus briefs countering every objection to gay equality ever raised in gay equality cases.

But the most important thing I learned is that I am making unique arguments for gay equality. Without going into specifics, if I step lively before March 30, I can pull together a book proposal and have a shot at getting a literary agent. So I will put up as many posts as I can manage with the equipment I have during CPAC and the day after (Sunday), then I’m going to concentrate on that. While I’m doing that I will blog here as often as I can manage on the topic of overcoming blockers to one’s progress toward an objective, and of course, I doubt I’ll be able to resist commenting on the coverage of the Prop 8/DOMA cases.

P.S.

Props to Mike Signorile on interviewing me for his Sirius radio show after the panel and being reasonably fair. He said he would read this blog. I hope this opens up a dialog. The biggest problem that gay progressives have in arguing for equality is that they don’t know they don’t understand the principles and constituencies of the conservative movement with the result that they never address our concerns in ways we find persuasive. As an ex-liberal, I speak both Left and Right. I’d like a shot at explaining these things to him (after I’ve written the book proposal).

Also, Jimmy LaSalvia told me that GOProud did ask unofficially whether they would be allowed to sponsor CPAC this year and, although Jimmy didn’t say it quite this way, they were given to understand that GOProud was welcome to sponsor CPAC as soon as hell froze over, but not until. So they never officially applied. Instead they went about minding their own business. It’s 4:40 am now and I have to get up at 6 am, so as soon as I can, I’ll pick up the story of how the GOProud/CPAC story blew up in an entirely organic way, beginning with an opinion piece and a tweet.

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CPAC 2013, baby!

by CynthiaYockey on March 14, 2013

Thanks to my dear generous readers and donors, I’m at CPAC! The first person I recognized when I walked in was DaTechGuy, dear Peter Ingemi, and the second was Jonah Freaking Goldberg (!), who was registering at the media desk as I walked up. I got to tell him his work in 2008 was instrumental in my transformation into a fiscal conservative and thank him. Then he remembered that I (@conservativelez) occasionally josh him (@JonahNRO) on Twitter.

Next I found my way to the media area in the main ballroom. There’s plenty of room, but not many electrical outlets. I have a netbook (don’t mock, scroll down for my PayPal button and hit the tip jar!) and its battery only lasts about an hour, so I’m using my iPhone to post.

I thought it was extravagant to have an iPhone, too, until last May when I forgot I was making ghee and got involved in the computer until I smelled smoke. I bought the iPhone on the way home from the Johns Hopkins Burn Center while I was still on morphine. With the iPhone, I can work and stay near the stove and it has timer and reminder features I need that the netbook doesn’t have. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Where was I? OK, back in the ballroom, I waved to Chris “Smitty” Smith of The Other McCain as I was looking for a place to sit. I found a nice spot on the aisle and soon dear Moe Lane came up to say hello and we went to the back of the room to chat. On the way back to my seat, I tripped and fell flat on my face, and when I was finally able to get up, there was dear Jimmy Bise of The Sundries Shack, who kindly let me cling to him for easily 10 minutes until I stopped shaking. (I’m fine now, I took some Bach Rescue Remedy, which I keep in my briefcase, and it cleared the shock in a few minutes.)

Oh, and, for new gentle readers, I really do love anyone I call “dear.”

My next stop is the National Blogger Club’s press briefing, then the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s panel, “Rainbow on the Right,” which includes dear Liz Mair, GOProud’s (YES!) dear Jimmy LaSalvia and dear Jonah Goldberg. Then it’s on to BlogBash!

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Andrew Breitbart is shown arguing with Leftist media gadfly, Liz Glover, who is accusing him of homophobia while he has his arm around blogger Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian.

Because conservative donors sent me to CPAC 2012 in February, in this photo (and elsewhere, a video), I am standing with Andrew Breitbart, spoiling the Leftist narrative of gadfly, Liz Glover, who was accusing Andrew of being homophobic while he had his arm around Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian.

I started this blog on January 12, 2009, after becoming a fiscal conservative during the presidential campaign of 2008 and changing my voter registration from Democrat to Republican that December. I am a writer and was a newspaper reporter for a couple of years in my well-spent youth, and conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin educated me about what conservatism really is, so it was a natural evolution. My mission is to speak to the Right about gay equality, to the Left about fiscal conservatism and the Second Amendment and to everyone about health.

The biggest reason that I ran out of the Left like it was a house on fire was that I finally realized that liberalism/Progressivism/socialism are about destroying what I was counting on as my lifeline — capitalism, or as I now know it, free enterprise. That’s because to survive now, let alone after my almost 97-year-old father passes on, I have to be able to create my own business.

And why is that? Because I have floundered since my late teens with sleep disorders, although I didn’t find out they were killing me until March of 2003 when I Googled “depression daytime sleeping,” and every result came up “obstructive sleep apnea.” When I was diagnosed the next month, my doctor said my condition was so advanced that I was dying. My apneas were very long and I was close to that tipping point where the blood oxygen/CO2 feedback mechanism tells the brain to stop sending the signals to breathe. My weight had climbed to 217 pounds — sleep apnea gives you ferocious cravings for sugar and salt. My body felt like lead and my joints and muscles were wracked with pain. I had headaches almost every day. My resting heart rate was in the 120′s, irregular, and just walking from one room to another made it jump to the 160′s and 170′s. The road to recovery looked so very long and shrouded in darkness. I felt hopeless and frightened out of my wits. But my life partner, my parents and my cats all needed me. I could not shirk that duty. So I clawed my way back to life and gave my life partner and my mother excellent care until they died in December 2004 and April 2006, respectively.

However, in February 2004, despite using my CPAP respirator whenever I slept, I was still being overpowered by daytime sleepiness and needed long naps every day. My sleep doctor had me do a sleep study followed by a multiple sleep latency test and diagnosed me with idiopathic hypersomnia. I was unable to tolerate the medications for this condition. With no cure or treatment I could stand, I realized I had a disability and would have to adapt my life to cope with it. I knew my overwhelming sleepiness would get me fired from practically any job, and my resumé of caregiving and computer consulting wasn’t competitive, so I resolved to create my own job as a writer so I could work around the naps. But I was unable to pull this off because of another symptom of idiopathic hypersomnia: you never feel like you are really awake. This was costly because I bought courses to learn how to make money creating information products to sell online, but I didn’t have the energy and clarity to put all the pieces together.

In October 2006 I moved back home to live with my father, who will be 97 next month, to care for him and give him, as he says, a very happy old age. I first saved my dad’s life in the fall of 1997 by getting him away from the doctor who failed to diagnose his ostentatiously obvious case of idiopathic congestive heart failure and into the care of a cardiologist who hospitalized him immediately. He has been caring for Dad ever since (after giving him a year to live at age 81). I saved my dad’s life again in July of 2003 when I got him to a sleep doctor, who diagnosed his very severe obstructive sleep apnea. (Idiopathic congestive heart failure hasn’t really been “idiopathic” since 1996, when the first research was published pointing to obstructive sleep apnea as the cause of idiopathic congestive heart failure.)  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve saved Dad’s life since I moved back home. Fortunately, he’s been mostly stable since getting a pacemaker-defibrillator implanted in December 2008. That’s why I was able to start this blog the next month and redouble my efforts to save my own life and create a career for myself.

Since I have had this blog, when circumstances have forced me to ask for help, it is the kindness and generosity of other bloggers, especially dear Instapundit and dear Stacy McCain, and conservative readers, that have given me the resources that I needed to save my life.

Since I was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia, I’ve done everything I could think of to cure it or cope with it. To regain my health I gardened, started playing the bassoon again, exercised, went on 5K morning walks, improved my sleep habits, improved my diet and took off over 60 pounds. I wanted so much to be able to blog my triumphant progress in recovering my health and beating an incurable, rare disease. But by June of 2012, I had to acknowledge that while I was healthier, idiopathic hypersomnia was still making it impossible for me to function well enough to have any hope of supporting myself. It was killing me. So I decided that I would have to blog about that.

That decision saved my life.

Idiopathic hypersomnia is a horrible way to die. Because it makes you fail at practically everything, it destroys your soul because it makes you despair and lose your belief in yourself. You seem lazy and unmotivated because you are never really alert. More vigorous people who wish they could take a nap in the daytime don’t realize you aren’t taking a nap as much as you have involuntarily lost consciousness. Instead of getting the help and understanding that other people with terminal conditions receive, you get abused and abandoned to death.

To be able to explain this to my dear gentle readers, I began to look online for research about how idiopathic hypersomnia kills. Luckily, instead, last July I found ONE study on TWO persons that SAVED MY LIFE: “Successful treatment with levothyroxine for idiopathic hypersomnia patients with subclinical hypothyroidism.” It’s looking to me now like ALL patients with idiopathic hypersomnia are hypothyroid despite having fairly normal blood test results. We are outliers who need higher doses of thyroid hormone than most other people do in order to be able to have refreshing sleep, be alert and free of daytime sleepiness/napping.

I e-mailed the study to my doctor and asked for an experimental 12 microgram bump in my levothyoxine dose. He agreed immediately, which made me suspicious and I requested my recent blood test results. But the new dose threw me for a loop for most of August and I didn’t wind up looking at the results until November, just before a follow-up appointment with my doctor.

When I looked at my blood test, I found out that for the last 10 years, the doctors who were supposed to be monitoring my TSH levels to ensure I was on the correct dose of levothyoxine had ignored them and failed to make sense of what should have been obvious symptoms of a common thyroid disorder, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: fatigue, dullness and sleepiness.

What had happened started in 2003 when I was taking 100 micrograms of levothyroxine in the morning and four 5 microgram tablets of Cytomel (the T3 thyroid hormone) spaced every few hours throughout the day. (This is the equivalent of 180 mcg of levothyroxine.) However, my rapid, irregular heart rate made the endocrinologist I was seeing as part of a longitudinal study at the National Institutes of Health drop the Cytomel to see if it was causing the problem. It was not. But at the same time, I started CPAP therapy, which did cure my heart rate problems by stopping the apneas that had been putting an enormous strain on my heart. However, since two variables had changed at the same time, it was not possible to discern what had helped. And when the Cytomel was stopped, it was like a light went out in my head but I was not able to tell what had gone wrong to fix it. Plus, my life partner was in the last year of her life. I had a lot going on. So from the spring of 2003 to August 8, 2012, I was only taking 100 mcg of levothyroxine a day when I really needed 180 mcg.

I lost my home near NIH to foreclosure in 2002 because my sleep apnea was so bad I couldn’t work, so my life partner and I had been forced to move 60 miles north and live near my parents. I didn’t have the alertness and stamina to make the drive to Bethesda, so I dropped out of the study in the spring of 2003. If I’d stayed in the study with the same doctor, probably she would have increased my levothyoxine dose or put me back on Cytomel over the course of the next year. But, as I wrote above, none of the doctors I had for the last 10 years connected my symptoms with my TSH level and an insufficient thyroid dose.

I’ve been putting the puzzle together, piece by piece, since last July after reading the study I cited above. Since November, my doctor has continued increasing my levothyroxine dose in 12 to 25 mcg steps. It takes about a month to adapt to a new dose of thyroid medicine and until I found what my old dose was a couple of weeks ago, we weren’t certain where my dose would end up. When I got to 162 mcg a couple of weeks ago, I finally felt the light go back on in my head. In two more weeks, I will go to 175 mcg of levothyroxine, which I think will be the correct dose. My idiopathic hypersomnia is almost completely cured. I sleep well and wake up refreshed. If I’ve had a full night’s sleep, I feel alert all day and don’t need a nap.

Now that it looks like I have my health back, my next campaign is to create a career for myself, get on my feet financially and pay off my father’s debts and back taxes, which were racked up in his efforts to save my life. The very next step to do that is for me to attend CPAC, which starts tomorrow.  Attending CPAC allows me to meet other bloggers and undemonize myself with people who don’t believe there can be such a thing as a conservative lesbian. Last year, dear Instapundit’s generous readers’ donations sent me to CPAC and put me at Andrew Breitbart’s side at the moment when he was paradoxically being attacked as a homophobe and/or gay. And my being there gave Steven Crowder and Chris Loesch the ammunition to fight the HuffPo/Gawker/Mediaite accusations the rap song they debuted there was racist because they used a photo of me to prove their point — Steven and Chris were able to call them for mocking a conservative lesbian.

This year Stacy McCain kindly asked his readers to donate, so I am able to cover someone to care for my father tomorrow. (And congratulations to Stacy, who was named editor-in-chief of ViralRead.com today!) However, I still need to raise $300 to pay the  caregiver for Friday, plus my gas, parking, tolls and food for Friday and Saturday. (For people who wonder why I don’t get a job — besides my health, it’s the cost of the caregiver to look after my father while I’m out of the house. But not to worry, I really am busy creating a career that will support me.)

I am grateful to everyone who donates, or sends prayers or kind thoughts. Please be patient with me regarding “thank you” e-mails — the next few days will be very long, with at least a 90-minute commute each way — I will send them Sunday after CPAC. In fact, I’ll be sending a “thank you” e-mail to everyone who has ever donated to this blog because I want them to know their generosity played a role in saving my life and that I am grateful. My plan is that once I’ve gotten all my “thank you” notes sent, I will post a few times a week while I’m finishing a writing project and then when that’s done, I will start posting regularly. I’m so glad to be back!





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Brett Kimberlin photo from 1981 and newsclip showing he was convicted of planting a bomb that maimed a man, who later committed suicide due to his injuries.

Brett Kimberlin, aka “The Speedway Bomber.”

Conservative bloggers Stacy McCain and Ali Akbar report today that progressive activists/terrorists Brett Kimberlin and Neal Rauhauser have been working for weeks to derail Blog Bash, which was inaugurated in 2010 as a party for conservative bloggers and is held during CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. At Blog Bash, bloggers meet, network and present awards recognizing the achievements of outstanding conservative bloggers.

In 2012, I joined dozens of top conservative bloggers to stand as a united front against Kimberlin and Rauhauser because they had successfully been destroying the lives of conservative bloggers who were shining a light on Kimberlin’s criminal past as part of their investigations of his progressive activist organization, Velvet Revolution. Kimberlin was using Velvet Revolution to destroy James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles for their video exposés of ACORN. Instead of working to build a life that would show he had put his violent past behind him, Kimberlin leveraged his past as a bomber to intimidate the employers of Aaron Walker and his wife, causing them to be fired, as well as the employer of Stacy McCain’s wife, forcing him to move. Team Kimberlin is now leveraging Kimberlin’s bomber street cred against the owners of the venue hosting Blog Bash to frighten them into cancelling the event.

Dear Stacy is gathering all the news on this story, so please go to The Other McCain for the full scoop.

Stacy also is kindly sending his readers here urging them to donate the money I need to attend CPAC. My father will be 97 next month and I only leave him unattended a few hours at a time to do errands and go to the gym. To attend CPAC, I have to hire someone to care for my father while I am away, plus cover gas, tolls and meals. Dear Stacy’s readers already have donated about a quarter of the funds required, but I need $570 more to attend the whole conference. I am very grateful for every donation and every kind thought and prayer. In my next post I’ll finally explain why my blogging has been so spotty since November 2010 — I’ve been fighting for my life and I didn’t want to discuss it because I wasn’t winning. But thanks to all the donors to this blog, I think I’ve found the cure for the incurable condition that was killing me.

Now that it looks like I’ve overcome my health challenges, I’m finally able to tackle the career and financial challenges that developed as a result. Being able to attend CPAC is a vital part of my ability to build my new career as a blogger, author and speaker. I became a fiscal conservative in the fall of 2008 during the Obama/McCain presidential campaign. I started this blog on Jan. 12, 2009 and attended CPAC about six weeks later, thanks to an invitation to coffee by dear Joy McCann, aka Little Miss Attila, who introduced me there to Stacy McCain.

I was only in my first seminar at CPAC 2009 about 10 minutes when Andrew Klavan opined the conservative movement ought to do more outreach to gays and I astonished him by thanking him for the welcome. (GOProud hadn’t been founded then.) At that CPAC I also met PJ Media’s Roger L. Simon, Melissa Clouthier (Blog Bash co-founder), Pamela Geller (I went total fan girl on her and wept), Fausta (an authority on Central and South America), Instapundit and many others. I fell in love at CPAC. As a consequence of making friends with Stacy, shortly after CPAC he made sure I was invited to a reception where I met and chatted with Andrew Breitbart (the progressive blog, Sadly No, made my photo with him viral). I also met Moe Lane and Jimmy Bise and soon was being invited to events by Matthew Vadum, the leading authority on ACORN.

Since then I’ve moved heaven and earth to get to CPAC because meeting other bloggers and prominent people in the conservative movement is the best way to undemonize myself and build rapport and trust. My career depends on being there and doing that.

While CPAC has had its issues with GOProud, they have consistently been very good to me and have given me official CPAC blogger credentials every year since I first applied for them in 2010. This worked out very well for the conservative movement last year because my arm was around dear Andrew Breitbart for a photo when a progressive gadfly reporter attacked him as a homophobe for his departure from GOProud’s Advisory Board (the video was posted on Mediaite, the story is quoted and linked by libertarian Bruce Majors–and includes the reporter’s remark that he likes me after meeting me at CPAC in 2009). With Breitbart’s arm around me, the gadfly reporter couldn’t frame him as a homophobe. Also last year, HuffPo used a photo of me dancing to a rap song that Steven Crowder and Chris Loesch debuted at the blogger awards meeting in an attempt to ridicule conservatives as racists and bigots. It went viral on Gawker and Mediaite (I have the links in a post I wrote last year, if you’re curious). Steven and Chris were able to point out the lefties were mocking A Conservative Lesbian and because he recognized me from CPAC, Warner Todd Huston made their attacks on the three of us a laughingstock.

I don’t know what contribution I will make at CPAC this year, I just know I will go intending to make one. I am grateful in advance for everyone who sends a donation or kind thought or prayer. Thank you.





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My turning point day

by CynthiaYockey on February 5, 2013

Today was a turning point day. I only have a small stack of papers left to clear in my de-cluttering campaign. For the first time, I had a sense of an orderly sequence of projects that I needed to accomplish. For the first time, I was free of feelings of pain, confusion and mental and emotional pressure that being surrounded by the clutter of bills and notes and flyers gave me when I sat down to work. For the first time, I was enthusiastic and happy about sitting down to work at my computer.

And after handling several chores, I was easily able to clear another blocker that had been frustrating and frightening me. To take this blog where I want it to go in the next few months, I have to upgrade to the current versions of WordPress and the Thesis framework. I was nervous about upgrading WordPress because a couple of years ago I upgraded it without backing up my blog first and it corrupted my database. So the first step was to ensure I had back-ups from my back-up service and my web host (i.e., belt and suspenders). The next time I do this it will take no more than half an hour, but it took a couple of hours today to find my way through the process and sort out some little snafus that it was very lucky I discovered and resolved in time.

My success in upgrading WordPress made me brave enough to upload Thesis 2.0 and get most of the way through the process of copying the settings I have to move by hand. Thesis 2.0 handles the settings for a blog’s design very differently than the 1.x versions. So it may take a few days for me to get that figured out. But once I do, I’ll be free to make the additions I’m planning, which will be a dream come true.

What am I up to? These upgrades and transformations of my blog will make it possible for me to create a mastermind group of my dear gentle readers. The purpose of the group will be to demonstrate success in our own personal lives, cheer one another on and share our success stories in a way that demonstrates to progressives how conservative principles generate prosperity.

Stay tuned.

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