I miss my husband and I can’t sleep and everything sucks.
Dear Ann Coulter of the Day: After Ann Coulter referred to President Obama as a retard in a tweet during Monday night’s presidential debate, Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens penned her this open letter:Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens Global Messenger Special Olympics Virginia
Much more eloquent words than I could have come up with.
I marry my best friend tomorrow!
Some of you may remember that earlier this year, Republicans shut me out of a hearing on contraception. In fact, on that panel, they didn’t hear from a single woman, even though they were debating an issue that affects nearly every woman.
Because it happened in Congress, people noticed. But it happens all the time. Many women are shut out and silenced. So while I’m honored to be standing at this podium, it easily could have been any one of you. I’m here because I spoke out, and this November, each of us must do the same.
During this campaign, we’ve heard about the two profoundly different futures that could await women.
And how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past. Warnings of that future are not distractions. They’re not imagined. That future could be real.
In that America:
Your new president could be a man who stands by when public figures try to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs.
Who won’t stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party.
It would be an America in which you have a new vice president who cosponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms.
An America in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don’t want and our doctors say we don’t need.
An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it.
In which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again.
In which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don’t.
We know what this America would look like. In a few short months, it’s the America we could be. But it’s not the America we should be. It’s not who we are.
We’ve also seen another future we could choose.
First of all, we’d have the right to choose.
It’s an America in which no one can charge us more than men for the exact same health insurance.
In which no one can deny us affordable access to the cancer screenings that could save our lives.
An America in which our president – when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked – thinks of his daughters – not his delegates or donors – and stands with all women.
And strangers come together, reach out and lift her up because they believe in her dignity as a person. And then, instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here – and give me a microphone – to amplify our voice.
That’s the difference.
Over the last six months, I’ve seen what these two futures look like. And six months from now, we’ll all be living in one, or the other. But only one.
A country where our president either has our back – or turns his back. A country that honors our foremothers by moving us forward – or one that forces our generation to re-fight the battles they already won. A country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom – or one where that freedom doesn’t apply to our bodies and our voices.
We talk often about choice. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to choose.
Wonderful speech!!! I’m glad they placed Sandra in prime time!
I love Bradley Charles a whole bunch.
A team led by Luke Rendell at the University of St Andrews [was] monitoring calls and behavior in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) off the northern Chile coast when they accidentally drifted into the middle of a pod of whales hanging vertically in the water, their noses poking out of the surface. At least two of the whales were facing the boat, but not a single animal responded.
It was actually pretty scary. The boat had drifted into the group with its engine off [while] I was below decks making acoustic recordings. Once I saw the situation I decided the best thing to do was to try and sail our way out of the group rather than turn the engine on and have them all react.
I am so fucking happy with my life. It’s amazing to realize how simple the solution was, and to stop doing things for other people and just focus on living and enjoying the company of those around me.