Trevor Noah Defends ‘Africa’ World Cup Joke, After Letter From French Ambassador

Trevor Noah

After France’s World Cup victory on July 15, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah made a racial joke congratulating Africa. The comment landed him in hot water with several fans including French ambassador to the U.S., Gerard Araud, who wrote the South African-born comedian a letter, critiquing his comments. During his Between The Scenes segment on Wednesday, he […]

The post Trevor Noah Defends ‘Africa’ World Cup Joke, After Letter From French Ambassador appeared first on EBONY.

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Monumental auction will feature a handwritten letter by Rosa Parks and unpublished pages by Alex Haley

Lights, camera — auction!

A note written by Rosa Parks detailing her meeting Martin Luther King Jr., Alex Haley’s “lost chapter” from “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and early photos of black film stars including Eartha Kitt, Sidney Poitier and Paul Robeson are among the 700 items up for bidding…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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Resignation Letter Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

Whether you need to quit your job because you are going back to school or have found a better opportunity somewhere else, it’s a common courtesy to hand in a Resignation Letter to tell your employer that you are leaving your position. Generally, you want the outcome of your resignation to result in the least amount of animosity possible between you and your former boss or supervisor.

Taking the time to write a Resignation Letter that is polite and straightforward is a good idea, especially if you plan to ask for a professional reference down the road. In this post, we’ll discuss some common do’s and don’ts for you to consider before you start writing your notice letter.

Do: Give Notice That You Are Leaving

Although there are probably no actual laws in your state requiring that you tell your employer you are leaving your job since most states have adopted at-will employment standards, it is good practice to give notice anyway. You should include your notice time frame in your Resignation Letter.

Keep in mind that some employment contracts specify requirements for termination, which means that you might be obligated to give a certain amount of notice that you are leaving in order to maintain a good reputation with that employer or within your industry.

How much notice should I give when I quit my job?

Typically, people give their employer two weeks’ notice that they are quitting their job. The two weeks normally starts from the day you deliver your Resignation Letter. However, the amount of notice that you need to give may vary depending on the terms set out in your Employment Contract.

Don’t: Include Emotional Language in Your Resignation Letter

When you’re writing your Resignation Letter, it’s important to remember that positivity is always the best policy—even if you don’t actually feel that way about your job or boss.

What should I say in my Resignation Letter?

Your Resignation Letter should include only the details you absolutely need it to—so leave out anything too specific. For example, instead of saying, “I strongly dislike so and so and that’s why I decided to get a different job.” say, “I found a new opportunity” and leave it at that.

For more examples of reasons you are leaving your job, you could say that you:

  • Are going back to school
  • Have found a different opportunity elsewhere
  • Want to make a career change to a different industry
  • Are exploring new opportunities for career growth
  • Are moving
  • Are retiring

Do: Give Your Resignation Notice to Your Manager

Best practice for handing in your Resignation Letter is to give it directly to your manager or supervisor, in person. If this isn’t possible, for example, if you work remotely or your manager is away, it might be appropriate to send your resignation via email or even letter mail. The way you choose to submit your resignation will likely depend on how quickly you want your notice to be received.

Don’t: Give Your Resignation Notice by Text or Social Media

It’s not typically appropriate to give your notice through text message or social media. They are considered informal forms of communication and can contribute to making the message seem more negative and unprofessional to the recipient.

Resigning Professionally

Making the choice to leave your job can bring a variety of emotions from sadness to excitement. The best thing you can do for yourself professionally is to take the time to be mindful of what to include in your Resignation Letter so that you are only saying what you need to, and not allowing your thoughts about leaving to take away from the professionalism of your letter.

 

Do you have tips for writing a Resignation Letter? Share them in the comments!

The post Resignation Letter Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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NYT: Trump lawyers sent special counsel letter arguing President can’t obstruct Russia probe

President Donald Trump’s lawyers argued in a confidential January letter to special counsel Robert Mueller that the President cannot illegally obstruct the Russia probe because the Constitution empowers him to “terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon,” The New York Times reported Saturday.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Letter: USA Taekwondo wasn’t shy about punishing Lopezes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two-time Olympic champion Steven Lopez complained to the U.S. Olympic Committee that he was subject to an “institutionalized witch hunt” designed to undermine his success — a piece of Congressional testimony offered by USA Taekwondo to undercut the notion that the organization was unwilling to discipline its top athletes for sex-abuse and other cases.
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76-year old man sends thank-you letter to Tim Cook after the Apple Watch helped save his life

Apple Watch

Apple may have initially positioned the Apple Watch as something of a fashion accessory, but it’s become apparent in the years since its release that most users are drawn to the device for its fitness and health tracking capabilities. In turn, one of the more interesting aspects of the Apple Watch is that there are a growing number of stories involving Apple’s wearable actually saving lives.

Last October, for example, an Apple Watch wearer named James Green received a notification that his heart rate was abnormal. Upon going to the hospital to get things checked out, doctors discovered a pulmonary embolism, a condition that could have proven to be fatal if James didn’t seek immediate medical attention.

Continue reading…

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76-year old man sends thank-you letter to Tim Cook after the Apple Watch helped save his life originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 13 May 2018 at 15:25:18 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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‘A Conga Line of Bush Women’: Jenna Bush Honors Her Mom and Grandmas in Sweet Mother’s Day Letter

Jenna Bush Hager is paying tribute to “the Bush women who came before” her in a heartfelt letter to her daughters, Mila, 5, and Poppy, 2, in honor of Mother’s Day.

The letter published in Southern Living magazine, where Jenna serves as editor-at-large, especially honors Jenna’s mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, or “Grammee” as her two granddaughters know her.

Jenna calls her mother “one of the all-time greats” and praises her for always putting Jenna and her twin sister, Barbara, first.

“I watched her ‘mother’ for many years, but it wasn’t until you were born that I really understood what motherhood meant,” Jenna writes to her own daughters. “And it wasn’t until I first held you — with Grammee by my hospital bed — that I really understood my mom.”

Jenna also describes how her mother and father, former President George W. Bush, desperately wanted children but had trouble conceiving so they filled out an application to adopt.

“The day they found out they were accepted by the adoption agency was the day they discovered she was pregnant with your Aunt Barbara and me,” Jenna writes.

Jenna goes on to recall a childhood “filled with love” with mom Laura at the helm. “After our baths every night, we danced around the house (hair wet, pajama clad) to The Pointer Sisters’ ‘Fire,’ a conga line of Bush women,” she writes. “Barbara and I following in our mama’s footsteps — we always followed her lead.”

Jenna also pays tribute to her grandmothers in the letter: her mother’s mother Jenna, for whom she was named, and her late grandmother Barbara, who died just a couple weeks ago on April 17.

I “think about my strong mama and my grandmas — the women who came before me. And I am so grateful that you are mine,” Jenna tells Mila and Poppy.


PEOPLE.com

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Ryan Reynolds Celebrates Infinity War‘s Success With Deadpool’s Avengers Rejection Letter

Avengers: Infinity War roared to a $ 250 million opening at the box office this weekend, edging out Star Wars: The Force Awakens to earn the highest domestic debut of all time. And Ryan Reynolds knows that Deadpool had absolutely nothing to do with that.

The DC anti-hero actor took to Twitter on Sunday to congratulate Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and all the rest of the Avengers on their massive success by sharing his character’s rejection letter from the Marvel superhero team.

“From a guy who never knows when to quit, I’m glad you guys never did,” he captioned a photo of the Stark Industries memo. “Congrats .”

The note—which is dated April 14, 2012 and signed by none other than Tony Stark—lets Deadpool know in no uncertain terms what the Avengers think of his application to become one of them.

“Re: Joining the Avengers,” it reads. “No. Absolutely not. Go bother Prof. X. No.”

Deadpool 2 is set to hit theaters on May 18.


Entertainment – TIME

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Michelle McNamara wrote a letter to the Golden State Killer, and it’s chilling in light of today’s arrest

Michelle McNamara wrote a letter to the Golden State Killer, and it’s chilling in light of today’s arrest


Michelle McNamara wrote a letter to the Golden State Killer, and it’s chilling in light of today’s arrest

It has been more than 30 years since the serial killer known as the Golden State Killer murdered his last victim. And today, April 25th, after decades of searching, Sacramento police have arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo in connection to the case. Since the arrest was announced, true crime writer Michelle McNamara’s posthumously published book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, is being credited with restoring interest in the case. And fans are pointing to a particularly haunting letter addressed to the killer at the end of her book.

The serial killer is believed to be responsible for the rape of more than 45 women and the deaths of 12 people from 1976 to 1986. Until DeAngelo’s apprehension it was unclear if the Golden State Killer — also called the Original Night Stalker and the East Area Rapist — was still alive, although the FBI estimated that if he was, he would be between 60 and 75 years old. But McNamara was convinced that the criminal was still out there, as is evident in the letter to the Golden State Killer.

McNamara’s admonishment of the serial killer was published on January 10th in the New Yorker, a little more than one month before her widower, comedian Patton Oswalt, would publish I’ll Be Gone in the DarkIn the letter, McNamara painstakingly imagined the Golden State Killer’s arrest, writing about him opening his door to, presumably, face the police.

“Take one of your hyper, gulping breaths. Clench your teeth. Inch timidly toward the insistent bell,” she wrote in the letter. “This is how it ends for you. ‘You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,’ you threatened a victim once. Open the door. Show us your face. Walk into the light.”

In a press conference today at 12 p.m. PDT, Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones relayed the details of DeAngelo’s arrest, saying that, just like in McNamara’s letter, the suspect had been arrested without a struggle after he stepped outside of his home.

McNamara’s fans pointed out the seemingly prophetic nature of the letter.

We are simultaneously in awe of McNamara’s incredible reporting and heartbroken that she isn’t here to see her work pay off. But even so, it’s clear that her book has had a huge impact on the case. We just hope that, after evading prison for decades, the Golden State Killer will be brought to justice.

The post Michelle McNamara wrote a letter to the Golden State Killer, and it’s chilling in light of today’s arrest appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Anti-Semitic letter by Wagner sold at auction in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A letter written by German composer Richard Wagner that underscored his anti-Semitism was sold to Jewish collector from Switzerland at auction in Israel on Tuesday for $ 34,000, the auction house said.


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Bill Mechanic Blasts Academy Leadership in Farewell Letter

Producer Bill Mechanic issued a blistering broadside against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a letter resigning from the Board of Governors last week. The letter, obtained by Variety, faults the Academy’s diversity push, says the Oscar broadcast is “long and boring,” and takes issue with the handling of sexual harassment allegations […]

Variety

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Letters of the Law: Letter of Intent, Demand Letter, and Cease and Desist Letter

There are a few legal documents that take the form of letters. A Letter of Intent, a Demand Letter, and a Cease and Desist Letter work similarly in that they serve as notices or declarations that are often used to keep transactions or proceedings due to disputes out of court.

With that in mind, here is a brief look at each of the documents and the circumstances in which they can be used.

What Is a Letter of Intent?

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a statement or declaration made in writing that expresses the intentions and understandings between two parties. The LOI is usually not a legally-binding document because, in most cases, the drafter will make it clear that they are not making a binding offer. Generally, the letter only serves as a promise to continue negotiations in good faith.

Good faith is a term that refers to two parties’ commitment to act honestly and fairly in an agreement without taking advantage of the other. It means that each party is offering a sincere commitment to keep their promises.

The letter is often considered a foundation for a definitive agreement, but on its own does not usually enforce legal obligations on either agreeing party.

There are many uses for a Letter of Intent, some of the most common ones being:

  • During negotiations for the purchase of a business or real estate
  • To receive scholarships (athletic scholarships in particular)
  • In post-secondary applications
  • To receive financing (e.g. loans or grants)

What Is a Demand Letter?

A Demand Letter, also known as a Letter of Demand or LOD, is a formal notice requesting payment or some kind of action (e.g. finishing up a job you hired someone to complete) from another party (usually a person or a business). Generally, demand letters are used to resolve conflicts outside of court so that a solution can be found quickly and without spending money on legal fees.

There are several types of demand letters:

“Debt Owed”: This is a letter used by an individual or creditor trying to collect a payment that is past due. It describes the amount of the debt and a description of the transaction that caused the debt, e.g. money owed for providing freelance writing services. Usually, immediate payment is demanded, but other settlements can be proposed to avoid litigation, like some form of collateral so that the creditor can still get some kind of repayment.

“Action Required”: This letter is used to request that a specific action be performed by the recipient of the letter. It’s usually used to demand that the person or party deliver on a promise they agreed to in an existing contract or agreement that they’ve since neglected. For example, if you paid someone to paint all of the rooms in your house and they didn’t finish the job.

It’s best to back up the demand claim with other documentation, so in the case of painting, you could include a copy of the Service Agreement and highlight the job description.

“Insurance Claim”: Most commonly used by accident victims, this letter serves to reach a settlement with an insurance company. The letter will contain a description of injuries, expenses, and any other information pertinent to the claim. The victim will also include a settlement amount with a deadline that the insurance company can accept in exchange for the victim’s right to sue. If the insurance company doesn’t accept, the claimant can take legal action.

“NSF Check”: This letter is used to request payment after a debtor’s check bounces due to insufficient funds or an account closure. The letter will have the check details (number, date, and payment amount) and the bank’s explanation for the check bouncing. Usually the letter will request payment of the amount plus any bank or mailing fees in order to avoid litigation.

“Stop Payment”: If a debtor pays a creditor in the form of a check but then instructs their bank to stop the check, thereby preventing the creditor from receiving the funds, the creditor can issue a “Stop Payment” Demand Letter. The letter will request full payment and to cover costs of bank and mailing fees.

In each of these demand letters, the recipient is advised that if they don’t comply with the demands, legal action will be pursued so the demands are met.

What Is a Cease and Desist Letter?

Simply put, a Cease and Desist Letter (C&D) is a formal notice that requests that a party (an individual, several individuals, or a business) stop a specified action. The letter informs the recipients that if they don’t comply, the issue will be taken to court.

A Cease and Desist Letter can be issued for a variety of reasons. Generally, they are used to demand that someone quit harassing, stalking, libeling, or slandering someone else, but they can also be used to resolve property disputes, e.g. a neighbor’s unkempt tree branches encroaching on another neighbor’s property.

There are some specialized forms of C&Ds:

  • A “Debt Collection” letter can be used to cease inappropriate harassment from debt collectors. For example, if a debt collector calls you nonstop at all hours of the day or becomes abusive with profane language to intimidate you into paying.
  • A “Copyright Infringement” letter can be used to demand another party (a person or an organization) stop infringing on the intellectual rights of your copyrighted work. This could range anywhere from someone posting your photos on their Instagram or website without giving credit to a competing business stealing your trademarked product ideas.

It should be noted that a Cease and Desist Letter is different than a Cease and Desist Order, which is a legally-binding order issued by a judge to halt illegal activity.

Which Letter Suits Your Situation?

As mentioned above, each letter has its own purpose to fit a variety of scenarios from securing payment to halting harassment. What’s important to remember is that these letters are used to avoid litigation, and, because of their nature as settlement documents, the recipient isn’t required to comply with your demands.

Usually most people are willing to settle out of court because it saves everyone time and money on legal fees, but if you do end up with someone who isn’t satisfied with a letter, you’ll either need to try and negotiate or you’ll have to take your claim to court. If you find yourself in the latter case, be sure you’re prepared with documentation and a good attorney.

Have you ever had to use one of these letters before?

The post Letters of the Law: Letter of Intent, Demand Letter, and Cease and Desist Letter appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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A letter to my son about the weird things parents do (and never imagined)

by

Maggie Downs

posted in Life

Dear son,

Last night you screamed for me.

You’re well into age 3, so you’ve been sleeping through the night for a while now. A scream at 2 a.m. is unusual. That means when you cry out in your sleep, as you did last night, it slices right through the dark like an arrow and pierces my dream bubble. (Wait for me, Jon Hamm. I’ll be back soon, I promise.)

The moment I hear your bold, brassy cry, I leap from my bed and run to your side. Like Miss Clavel in the Madeline books, I know at once something is not right.

The world's most adorable boy, sleeping in a bed full of stuffed animals

 

In this particular instance, however, you screamed because you had to pee.

You are a child who knows how to wake up and use the bathroom by yourself. You’ve done it before. You do it all the time. But last night you were too tired to move. In fact, you shrieked at the very idea of getting out of bed, as though I asked you to do something reprehensible, like cuddle with a rattlesnake.

“No get out of bed,” you whined.

I get it. Trust me, I do. But on this one thing, I had to stand my ground.

“You must get out of bed. You’ll feel so much better,” I coaxed.

“My bed is a boat,” you said, obviously still dreaming. Then you stood at the edge of your mattress and tugged at your pajama pants. “I know! I will pee in the ocean. That is a great idea.”

“Nope. No peeing in the ocean,” I said, reaching for you. “Uh, sharks are in the ocean. And sharks smell pee. And you don’t want sharks to find you, do you?”

You’re a big boy now, so close to being 4 years old, which means when I have to carry you into the bathroom in the middle of the night, you’re heavier than a Volkswagen Beetle.

I held your upper body while my husband, who roused during the ruckus, grabbed your feet. Together we levitated you above the toilet and hoped for the best. Like, imagine a crop duster flying low over a field to spray fertilizer, but an airborne child hovering over a toilet in the dark. That was you.

Once the flow started, it was like a garden hose that has been turned on with full force and has a mind of its own, spraying everything everywhere, dancing away from the very people trying to contain it. After about two weeks, you were finally done peeing.

The world's cutest toddler, standing in cream and black pajamas, smiling

 

They say close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but I think it should also count with toddler urine and bathrooms. Most of it made it into the bowl — and absolutely none of it was in your bedroom — so I considered that a win.

Once you were finished, I pulled up your miraculously dry pajamas and wrangled you back into your room. As soon as your head hit the pillow and I placed your stuffed cat in your arms, you began to snore.

Your daddy and I were up for much longer.

“This is parenthood,” I said, gazing up at the ceiling.

“Yeah, most of the things we do, I never even imagined we would do,” my husband said. “Gross things. Weird things. Bizarre situations. And it’s just another Sunday night for us.”

Tonight you cried out in your sleep. Again.

This time you had a nightmare about sharks — and that is totally my fault. I’m sorry.

Love, Mommy

Does your child scream out in the night?

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6 Common Cover Letter Mistakes

When companies put out a new job position, they can receive hundreds (sometimes thousands) of resumes. This means that a hiring manager needs to find a way to filter out weaker candidates and trim down the stack of applications.

In many instances, employers reviewing applications will ignore cover letters altogether (especially for positions that don’t require a high level of written or verbal skills), but as an applicant, you have no way of knowing how much the person reviewing your application will care about your Cover Letter.

Unless the job you’re applying for indicates that no Cover Letter is required, it’s best to have your bases covered and submit one—it might be the thing that bumps you ahead of other equally qualified applicants for an interview.

To give you an advantage over other applicants, we’ll discuss the six most common mistakes people make in cover letters that can cause employers to disqualify candidates.

1. Typos and Other Errors in Your Application

Typos and other grammatical errors may not seem like much of a problem, but they continue to be one of the top Resume and Cover Letter mistakes employers use to disqualify candidates and cut down the stack of resumes they’re reviewing.

The easiest way to avoid grammatical errors is to have someone else look over your work after your own self-editing efforts.

You should also double-check:

  • That your contact information is correct (e.g. you included your preferred email address and spelled it correctly and you didn’t make any mistakes in your phone number)
  • You’re addressing the proper person in the right department and company (when people are sending out multiple applications, it can be quite simple to mix up which company you’re contacting)
  • You have the correct version of your Resume and Cover Letter sent to the proper job posting (many people accidentally send an application tailored to a specific position to the wrong posting)

2. Focusing Too Much on Yourself in Your Cover Letter

When an employer puts out a call for resumes, what’s really happening is they have a problem that needs solving. The problem, in this case, is that there’s a hole in their ranks that they need filled to keep the company running smoothly.

The point of a Cover Letter is to demonstrate to an employer how you are the answer to that problem. It can be tempting to spend the whole time talking about how great you are as a worker, multi-tasker, and team player, but you need to make sure you’re always relating back to the company. What can you do for them? How does your previous experience speak to your ability to deliver on the promise to solve all of their problems? These are the things you need to focus on.

3. Discussing Your Entire Work History

Odds are you’ve had dozens of jobs—probably since you were a teenager—but that doesn’t mean all of that work experience is necessary in your Cover Letter. Sure, it’s great that you got a steady job flipping burgers at McDonald’s when you were 14, but it’s probably not terribly relevant when you’re applying to be a Financial Analyst at AT&T.

Discuss your related training and be sure to illustrate how those experiences show you can tackle any challenges you may face in this new position.

4. Discussing Too Little Work History

Although disclosing too much job history is problematic because it can dilute your relevant work experience, the opposite (i.e. not discussing enough of your work history) can also be an issue.

Many people make the mistake of simply repeating their Resume in their Cover Letter, but that doesn’t provide the hiring manager with any other details about your skills—they’ve already looked over your Resume, they don’t need to see it twice. An employer will want to see your accomplishments from previous jobs and they’ll want to know how they relate to the position you’re applying for now.

5. Clichés in Your Cover Letter

As we’ve already mentioned, someone sifting through applications is probably glazing over hundreds of resumes and cover letters. The last thing you want to do is sound like everyone else. Everyone believes they are “the perfect candidate for this position” because they are a “team player” with “exceptional customer service skills” who “takes pride in their work.”

Although it’s important to use some of these buzzwords (especially if an employer is using an electronic system to sort resumes), you need to make sure you don’t just blend into the herd.

If you really want to make your Cover Letter stand out, be sure to include some concrete examples of your accomplishments (i.e. facts and figures). Something like “In my last position, I was an expert salesman” is fine, but “I had the top sales average on my team, which amounted to $ 10,000 per month in revenue for the company” is better.

6. Being the Company’s “Super Fan”

Applying for jobs can be a stressful experience—especially in turbulent economic climates—and it often results in people applying for and accepting positions they don’t want at companies they don’t know, want to work for, or care about.

A common tactic people use in situations like this is pretending to be the company’s biggest fan, so their cover letter reads more like fan mail than a professional summary of skills. The end product comes off as very disingenuous.

Put yourself in the hiring person’s shoes. If you read that type of Cover Letter, would you fall for the ploy? What would you rather read about? It’s likely that writing about what you can do for the company (how your experience and expertise can solve their problems) will resonate better than random praise.

You can tailor your letter so it aligns with the company’s values and culture to show you’ve done your research, but you don’t need to pump up their ego.

Crafting the Strongest Cover Letter

Although cover letters don’t carry the weight they used to in the hiring process, you don’t want to waste anyone’s time by submitting a poor one. You need to give yourself any advantage you can in a competitive job market, and you only have about half a page to prove to a hiring manager that you’re worth pursuing as a contender for the open job position. By avoiding these six common mistakes, you can get ahead of the competition.

Be clear about your skills, provide concrete examples, and convince the reader that you are the answer to their problem.

What do you do to ensure your Cover Letter stands out? Let us know in the comments!

The post 6 Common Cover Letter Mistakes appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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Republicans Say Forced Labor Is Good for Detained Immigrants in Letter Defending Private Prison

Getty

Private-prison companies that force undocumented immigrant detainees to work for little or no money have a powerful new group of advocates: Eighteen members of Congress.

The members, all Republicans, sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of Labor, calling for them to help private-prison company GEO Group defend itself in lawsuits by former detainees.

Over the last few years, immigrants’ rights activists have filed a number of lawsuits against private prison companies related to immigrant work programs. The lawsuits argue that these companies, including GEO Group and CoreCivic, break a law against human trafficking by having detainees work for a $ 1 per day or less.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘Free! -Take Your Marks-‘ Review: A Decent Love Letter to Fans

While Free! -Eternal Summer had a decent amount of closure to it, fans love these characters and want more. Four years later, director Eisaku Kawanami is here to give the people what they want.

Picking Up Where It Left Off


Free! Take Your Marks the Iwatobi Swim Club

Free! -Take Your Marks- picks up where the anime left off in 2014. Makoto helps Haruka search for an apartment in Tokyo. Rin prepares to leave for Australia, but not before Aiichiro and Momotaro can properly thank him and Sosuke for their help.

Meanwhile, the remaining members of Iwatobi’s swim club work on a plan to attract new members to the team. Despite having placed 6th at nationals, Rei, in particular, worries that their welcome video won’t attract enough members to keep the club going — thanks to a foreboding dream.

The Problem With Multiple Storylines


'Free! Take Your Marks' Samezuka team members

If it sounds like this is a lot for a single film to take on, that’s because it is. While ambitious, the multiple storylines in Free! -Take Your Marks- (which are closer to four separate episodes than a movie) often detract from the characters themselves.

The need to set up each storyline takes priority, which results in cardboard-cutout-like characters. Their actions don’t move the plot forward. Instead, the plot drags them along without stopping to ask if they were ready to go. As a result, we lose much of the emotional depth and heartwarming moments that we’ve come to expect in the anime.

Sure, interesting moments come up. But the payoff is often either unsatisfying or non-existent. For instance, we see that Sosuke’s shoulder injury still bothers him. (The injury that may prevent him from ever swimming again.) While the movie continues to point the injury out, we never learn Sosuke’s plans for the future.


Sosuke in Free!

Is he seeking special treatment? Will he go into sports medicine? We can only assume that he’s going to continue to pursue swimming, but the idea is never explored. Leaving that bit of info out is kind of strange when you consider the entire film focuses on these characters preparing for their futures.

Another missed opportunity occurs when Rin returns home. Although Rin appears happy to spend time with his family, he also makes it clear that he doesn’t spend much time with them. His sister and mother appear to have a bond that rivals the one he has with Haruka. In fact, for a second, it appears that he’s been left behind.

In a sense, this works. Rin will soon pursue his big dream in Australia, so this shows that he doesn’t quite fit at home anymore. But this scene goes by so quickly that the movie misses an opportunity to deepen his character even more.

When It Works, It Works


Free_Take_Your_Marks muscle poses

Despite these missed opportunities, Free! -Take Your Marks- still manages to weave in a few heartwarming moments. When Aiichiro and Momotaro thank Sosuke and Rin with a trip to a spa, we finally get to see Sosuke in a new light. His brooding nature melts away as he has fun with his teammates one last time.

Rin tickles him to get him to smile for a picture and that smile stays on his face for the rest of their trip. It’s a lovely moment for fans of the show who know that Sosuke’s swimming career is over. However, this moment leaves those unfamiliar with the show in the dark.


Haruka and Makoto hunting for an apartment in Free! Take Your Marks

Another slice-of-life moment that works happens during Haruka’s apartment search. Overall, the filmmakers underplay Haruka’s dry yet humorous line delivery. His ridiculously specific expectations and need to remain in his comfort zone are what made him a standout character in the series.

During his apartment search, Haruka turns down several apartments because they don’t meet his unique needs. While other students would be happy with a place that fits their bed, Haruka needs a large bathroom and a grill.

Fans in the know will chuckle at these strange requests. Haru spends much of the series soaking in a bathtub in his swim trunks and cooking and eating grilled mackerel. Moments like this, when their individual personalities come through, are where the movie truly shines.

Pacing and Repetition


Free! Take Your Marks Makoto and Haru

It’s too bad that the film’s slice-of-life moments between the characters fall flat here and drag down the movie. In the series, these scenes helped us to learn more about a member of the team. For instance, when Nagisa ran away and wouldn’t tell anyone why, or when Sosuke decided to coach Aiichiro to help him make the relay team.

These moments didn’t necessarily move the plot forward, but they did serve the plot. Learning that Nagisa’s parents were going to kick him off the swim team and that Sosuke watched over Aiichiro to prevent him from injuring himself as he did, helped us understand why these characters were so motivated to swim.


Haruka and Rei in Free! Take Your Marks

In Free! -Take Your Marks-, heart-to-heart scenes serve a different purpose. They are a gateway to nostalgia. We don’t discover anything new. Instead, these scenes simply reaffirm what has already happened.

We see this when Aiichiro tells Sosuke that he wouldn’t have made the relay team without his motivating words. Aiichiro has already thanked Sosuke in other ways. Telling him this doesn’t serve any purpose other than being a nice thing to say about the past. It won’t motivate Sosuke to solve his current problem, at least not by the time the film ends.

Swimming on Dry Land


Rei and Nigasa swimming on dry land in 'Free! Take Your Marks'

For an anime about swimming, there isn’t much in this movie. Of course, the focus of the anime wasn’t solely on swimming either, but it was always present. In fact, it was so important that it felt like it was its own character. This is why it’s so surprising for Free! – Take Your Marks- to basically eliminate swimming from the equation.

The series spent two seasons telling us how swimming relay brings people together, forging bonds that transcend time. However the characters, now forced to walk separate paths, don’t seem all that concerned with swimming together. It’s a bit of a letdown when you consider how central a focus this is to the show.


Rei in Free! Take Your Marks

Sadly, the lack of swimming led to a lack of drama and competition. As a result, the animation suffers. Not for lack of skill, but lack of opportunity to showcase what the animators could do.

Don’t misunderstand, the film looks great. The backgrounds are vibrant and the characters look like they could leap off the screen at any moment. But the shots of Haruka diving into the water, legs moving like a fish, are sorely missed. We get teased with it here and there in order to build up the big ending. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to satisfy our need for dramatic, spirit-animal-led races and glorious muscles.

A Fitting Love Letter to Fans


The cast of 'Free! Take Your Marks'

Free! -Take Your Marks- may not be a perfect film, but it is a perfect love letter for fans of the anime. Throughout the movie, fans will find special moments that were included just for them.

We see the return of Hayato, Kisumi’s little brother who was afraid of swimming until Makoto became his coach. We get to see Haru desperately strip down to his swimming shorts to leap into the water. In addition, there are running jokes that carry over from the show, such as Gou‘s obsession with muscles and Momotaro’s obsession with Gou.

He even gifts her a value size bag of stag beetle food after meeting with Gou and the others to discuss a surprise party for Rin.  Their meeting leads to a hilarious misunderstanding that builds like a game of Telephone and ends with Rin and Haru competing against brothers Momotaro and Seijuro.

So, yes, we finally get to see a race.

Is ‘Free! -Take Your Marks-‘ Good?



Yes, and no. Fans of the anime will enjoy getting to spend more time with their favorite guys. However, they may miss the drama and competition that was present in the series and previous films.

In addition, where the second season tied up all of its loose ends, by revisiting the same timeframe the film introduces new plot elements and characters without any resolution. Season 3 will likely pick up where the film left off, but leaving so many questions unanswered is unsatisfying in an anime that claims to be a film.


Aiichiro coaching team Samezuka

However, we do finally get to see each character become comfortable with life apart from each other. They know they will meet again. It’s just a matter of when. Despite its shortcomings, Free! -Take Your Marks- captures the essence of the anime (although imperfectly): bonds formed through swimming last forever.

Unfortunately, this sentiment is lost on those who come into the film with little or no knowledge of the anime. If you’ve been following the series, then this movie is a must-see. Even with all of its flaws, it’s still a feel-good story about friendship that will tide you over until season three starts. For those unfamiliar with the anime, we recommend binge-watching the series first.

The post ‘Free! -Take Your Marks-‘ Review: A Decent Love Letter to Fans appeared first on FANDOM.

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EXCLUSIVE: Model Christopher Cates Pens Letter Calling for Action Against Harassment

As the uproar continues over sexual harassment in industries stretching from entertainment to media to finance, the fashion world has remained relatively on the sidelines so far even as numerous models came forward months ago to allege they had been mistreated by photographers, designers and casting agents.
Model Cameron Russell’s Instagram account continues to grow with anonymous individuals posting stories about their mistreatment in the industry. Last October, Terry Richardson was dropped by the leading fashion magazine publishers but only after years of allegations surrounding his behavior, while model Jason Boyce filed a lawsuit against Bruce Weber in December claiming the photographer harassed him. Weber has vigorously denied the claims.
In November, 27-year-old British model Edie Campbell penned an exclusive letter for WWD to the fashion industry in which she said, “We operate within a culture that is too accepting of abuse, in all of its manifestations,” going on to admonish the mainstream media for its silence about the sexual abuse suffered by male models, which she described in her letter as “more complex.”
Now a male model, Christopher Cates, 33, has come forward with his own story – and a call for other male models to step forward in a moment he

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Over 200 women in the U.S. National Security community signed an open letter on sexual harassment: “We, too, are survivors”

Over 200 women in the U.S. National Security community signed an open letter on sexual harassment: “We, too, are survivors”


Over 200 women in the U.S. National Security community signed an open letter on sexual harassment: “We, too, are survivors”

More than 200 women who work on national security for the U.S. signed an open letter saying that they have survived sexual harassment and assault or know someone who has experienced it.

Signed by current and former diplomats, civil servants, servicemembers and development workers, the letter calls for stronger sexual harassment reporting, mandatory training and outside data collection on how often it occurs.

“This is not just a problem in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, newsrooms or Congress,” reads the letter, which was shared with TIME. “These abuses are born of imbalances of power and environments that permit such practices while silencing and shaming their survivors.”

The open letter is titled #metoonatsec, a reference to the “Me Too” movement which sprung up on social networks in October over sexual harassment in the aftermath of explosive reports about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s years of abusive behavior, along with allegations about other notable men.

“Assault and harassment are just as much as a problem for women working on the night-shift cleaning offices as it is for diplomats,” says retired Ambassador Nina Hachigian, who co-authored the letter with former State Department official Jenna Ben-Yehuda.

Signatories to the letter include 223 women who have served across the federal government — in the State Department, in the intelligence community, at USAID, and at the Pentagon — and at institutions within the national security space who all say that they have either witnessed or survived harassment and assault.

No specific allegations are outlined in the document, which Ben-Yehuda and Hachigian began sharing with their networks last week, but the former officials say many used it as an opportunity to open up about their experiences.

Still, some instances of harassment within the national security community have already been made public, such as the private Facebook group that Marines used to share naked photos of female service members, or the incidents former Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley detailed in an interview for the July/August 2017 edition of the The Foreign Service Journal.

“There was one occasion in the department when a boss touched me and I told him if he did it again, I’d knock the s— out of him,” she said. “He did not repeat it, but he did try to get me to curtail from the position.”

In sharing the letter with their respective networks, both women say the stories they’ve heard were not unlike the stories that have been shared by women in Hollywood and in media. The current and former ambassadors Hachigian connected with through the group she co-founded, Women Ambassadors Serving America, voiced concern about how vulnerable women in contract support positions and locals who are hired to work in U.S. embassies can be.

Related article: Al Franken says he “let a lot of people down” over sexual misconduct allegations

Ben-Yehuda, who served in the State Department from 2001 until 2013 and founded the Women’s Foreign Policy Network, says that she has never experienced harassment herself, but recalls being told to avoid being alone with certain colleagues early in her career.

“I think that this national conversation has led a number of us, even those of us who haven’t been the direct victims of assault to really harken back to moments like that and realize what a toxic environment even comments like those can create,” she says.

Both women also say that many of the people they have heard from said that they tried to report the misconduct they faced or attempted to work through existing systems, but were left feeling like their voice was not heard. Even worse, says Ben-Yehuda, some said they felt like they became a “problem child” after coming forward. “Certainly didn’t create an environment that was conducive to coming forward,” she says.

To be clear, the federal departments and agencies that are named in the letter have sexual harassment policies in place, as required by federal law.

Within the Department of Defense, anti-sexual harassment training, data collection, oversight, and analysis is handled by the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity. The Department also keeps track of the number of sexual harassment complaints it receives and how offenders are punished. According to the Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Defense Sexual Assault report, the Military Services and National Guard Bureau received and processed 601 sexual harassment complaints; by the end of the fiscal year, 363 of the 415 alleged offenders had been disciplined and punishment was pending for the remaining 52.

Related article: It’s not just Congress. Sexual harassment plagues California Legislature too

U.S. Army Major Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, told TIME via email:

“There is NO room for sexual harassment within the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense. Sexual harassment violates the responsibility of DoD military and civilian personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect. Not only that, it jeopardizes combat readiness and mission accomplishment, weakens trust within the ranks, and erodes unit cohesion. The DoD maintains a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ for sexual harassment and is firmly committed to eliminating it from our ranks.”

The State Department’s anti-harassment policies are posted on the Department’s internal and external websites. Those policies are also discussed at employee trainings and included in the Foreign Affairs Manual, according to an official. The Secretary of State also release statements on diversity and harassment to the entire workforce at the beginning of their tenure. An official says that statement is reviewed annually.

The State Department’sOffice of Civil Rights handles sexual harassment complaints and collects data on reports of harassment.The Office also instructs employees on how to report concerns of harassment to officials and the resolution process that exists within the Department. That process includes some specific deadlines that must be met and steps that must be taken and there are some limitations on who can file Equal Employment Opportunity complaints within the department, according to the Office of Civil Rights website.

According to an official, the State Department reviews its anti-harassment policies on an ongoing basis and the recent scandals have provided the office “an opportunity to assess its anti-harassment program and determine that additional resources are necessary to ensure that each report and allegation receives attention.”

The Department of Homeland Security has an Anti-Harassment Unit that “ensures that Headquarters DHS employees are aware of the DHS Anti-Harassment Directive through training as well as through information on the DHS intranet site.” Training is mandatory for new hires and conducted regularly as a part of DHS’s compliance with a 2002 law that protects federal employees from discrimination and retaliation. Also, that Anti-Harassment unit tracks complaints that are reported to the Equal Opportunity Commission. The department is also reviewing its current policies in light of recent scandals “both to further reinforce its policies to employees, as well as to remind employees on how to file a harassment complaint.”

“As Acting Secretary, I will not tolerate workplace harassment of any kind, and together with DHS leadership will continue to ensure any and all reports of intolerable behavior are addressed swiftly and in accordance with our laws and department policies,” Acting Secretary Elaine Duke told TIME in a statement.

“DHS employees are expected to treat everyone they encounter with respect and professionalism – including their coworkers.”

The National Security Council is a component of the Executive Office of the President, which has a policy against sexual harassment and discrimination, but because NSC staff includes personnel that is detailed from other departments and agencies, those staff members must also comply with the training and anti-harassment policies of their home agency.

An NSC spokesman says it conducts recurring Workplace Harassment Training to address both sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct. Its last training for managers and employees was conducted in June of 2017. Another training has been scheduled for December and January so that NSC can meet its “semi-annual training objective.”

After this story was first published, a spokesperson for USAID told TIME via email that the agency makes its sexual harassment policy available to employees on its Office of Civil Rights and Diversity’s internal webpage. That office conducts anti-harassment training with new hires, collects data on harassment, and regularly reviews its anti-harassment policies. The spokesman said the office has been reviewing its anti-harassment program in the wake of recent scandals.

The women behind the letter also note that reporting mechanisms exist, but call training “erratic” and “irregular” and say policies often go unnoticed among staff.Theletter calls for a number of reforms including a clear indication that leadership will not tolerate certain behavior, the creation of “multiple, clear, private” channels to report abuse without fear of retribution, and regular mandatory training for employees. The letter also demands external data collection of abuse claims and mandatory exit interviews for women who leave federal service positions.

Related article: “This is the moment!” U.N. welcomes the flood of sexual misconduct cases

“I think the more we know about the women in this space and their decision to stay or to leave, the more effectively we can work to put policies in place to stop it,” says Ben-Yehuda.

The also letter suggests that the spectrum of harassment that women face — from inappropriate comments and behavior to unconscious bias in promotion and hiring — could be keeping them from ascending to leadership positions at the federal agencies that deal with national security.

“Many women are held back or driven from this field by men who use their power to assault at one end of the spectrum and perpetuate-sometimes unconsciously-environments that silence, demean, belittle or neglect women at the other,” the letter reads.

According to an April 2017 Center for a New American Security report on Women in National Security, although they are underrepresented in top positions, women have made up a “stronger and more visible portion of the national security establishment” since 9/11.

In 2015, the report found, five out of 24 under and assistant secretary positions at the Pentagon were held by women. That same year, women made up 16 out of 34 of deputy, under, and assistant secretaries of state. Women also make up 15% of active duty military— up from 11% in 1990— according to Pew and around 7.1% of all U.S. military generals and admirals are women. In November 2016, three of the 11 National Security Council members were women, as were six of the 11 deputy committee members, according to CNAS.

The letter’s authors hope that conversations that are sparked as a result of them going public will lead to more data and better answers: the more that is known about composition of women in this space and their decision to stay or to leave, the more effectively leaders can put policies in place that aimed at curbing attrition, they say.

And like many who have begun to speak out on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, Hachigian and Ben-Yehuda acknowledge that policies alone may not be enough; to change behavior, the culture of what is and is not tolerated should change, too.

“Everybody can be a leader on this, no matter what your rank or what your position there are so many opportunities to set the tone to create a workplace that is safe and more inviting for women,” says Ben-Yehuda.

Adds Hachigian, “it’s about doing what is right for women, but also about improving foreign policy.”

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Roy Moore writes open letter to Sean Hannity after Fox News host’s ultimatum

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore published an open letter to Sean Hannity on Wednesday night pushing back against allegations of sexual abuse that have placed his campaign at the center of a national firestorm and prompted prominent members of the Republican Party to call on Moore to withdraw from the race.
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Barack Obama’s Lesson In The Lost Art of The Love Letter

The Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame yielded a gem of a story on Thursday morning: “Barack’s passionate love letters to college girlfriend,” the headline teased. “Obama wrote of making love and ‘breaking sweat’ to girl who eventually wed Serbian boxer.”

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Mothers of NFL Players Pen an Open Letter to Donald Trump

President Donald Trump called the protesting NFL players a "son of a bitch" during a rally last week, and the players themselves aren't the only ones upset about it. A group of NFL moms wrote an open letter to the President of the United States, expressing their dismay at his message.

"[We] believe in promoting a positive image of professional football players as athletes and young men

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Mothers of NFL Players Pen an Open Letter to Donald Trump

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NFL moms ask Trump to stop ‘divisive language’ in open letter

NFL mothers have sent an open letter to President Trump, defending their sons and pleading for him to “put a stop to the divisive language” he’s been using against them. “[We] believe in promoting a positive image of professional football players as athletes and young men of character,” reads the letter, which was sent by…
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Barack Obama Gave Trump A Letter With Advice, Cheeto Clearly Paid No Attention

Barack Obama gave Donald Trump plenty of advice in the Inauguration Day Letter he gave the newly elected President. It should come as no surprise that Cheeto clearly paid no heed to the sterling advice.

The letter has recently become public, and it reads like a perfect outline on how not to f*ck up your epic new gig as POTUS.

Obama offered this particularly poignant passage:

Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.

Considering Trump fired James Comey for daring to investigate possible Russian collusion in our election and that he pardoned the racist ex-Sheriff Arpaio, he must have missed that part of the letter.

Read the full letter below. Obama, forever and always Presidential.

Dear Mr. President –

Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.

This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.

First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.

Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.

Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.

And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.

Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.

Good luck and Godspeed,

BO

H/T CNN


Photo: Getty

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MORE: Bush’s letter to Obama; Clinton’s letter to Bush; Bush’s letter to Clinton


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Intel chief sheds light on ‘beautiful letter’ Trump says he wrote him

When former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper questioned President Donald Trump’s “fitness to be in this office” after the President’s wild speech in Phoenix Tuesday night, it was likely only a matter of time before the President aimed his Twitter ire at the retired general.


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Why Sansa’s Letter Could Drive the Stark Girls Apart on ‘Game of Thrones’


Arya and Sansa Spoiler Gif

Quite a lot happened on Game of Thrones season seven, episode five, “Eastwatch.” Jon Snow’s not a bastard! Wolf Team Six headed north of the Wall to capture themselves a White Walker to take to Cersei! Gendry is back and he’s got a sweet hammer! It would be easy to dismiss Littlefinger’s trap for Arya as a minor plot point, but it has serious implications.

The letter that Littlefinger requested was written by Sansa way back in season one, and it was written under duress. In the letter, Sansa requested that her brother Robb bend the knee to the newly crowned Joffrey, despite the fact that the young king had just imprisoned their father (Ned Stark) for treason.

Sansa wrote the letter because Cersei threatened her and she didn’t have many options. She was fourteen years old, alone save for her sister in King’s Landing and she wanted to be queen. Joffrey hadn’t gone completely mad with power just yet, and Ned still had his head. Context gives Sansa’s letter meaning, and Robb understood that his sister hadn’t betrayed them in signing her name.

There’s just one very serious problem…


Arya was like this in season one. She’s even more stabby now.

So what does the letter say, exactly?


The letter that could divide Winterfell.

The letter, written in front of a very insistent Cersei, reads:

Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert’s brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne. The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark.

Think about what this means to Arya. She thinks Littlefinger is working for Sansa, and that he had this letter removed from the records at her behest. Arya believes her sister is trying to hide the contents of the letter, which are pretty damning without context.

The only context Arya has is her own memories. She watched her father lose his head courtesy of Ilyn Payne, under Joffrey’s orders. She watched the Lannister soldiers parade Robb’s corpse around with his direwolf’s head attached following the Red Wedding. Sansa advocating for Joffrey is the worst kind of treason anyone could commit, at least to Arya.

Arya’s Embraced the Dark Side


Quite a few murders ago.

Arya always walked a fine line with morality, but she embraced a pretty evil ideology in her studies at the House of Black and White. She swore herself to the God of Death. Sansa, by contrast, has tried to remain true to the ethics she was raised with. Sansa is very much her father’s daughter, whereas Arya is definitely more true to her wolfish nature.

Arya will either confront Sansa with the letter, or she’ll keep the information for herself and let it fester within her like an infection. She’ll never trust Sansa again and will likely lash out at some point. The sisters didn’t get along well before they were split, and their reunion has already been tense.


This is how they got along when things were good.

Showrunner D.B. Weiss confirmed that Littlefinger is trying to drive the sisters apart on the “Inside the Episode” featurette for “Eastwatch.”

“Arya is very used to being more clever and more stealthy, and smarter than any of the people she’s up against, but she hasn’t dealt with Littlefinger for a while. She gets roped into spying on somebody who’s actually leading her by the nose to something that he wants her to have,” he said.

“He’s looking for a way to prevent this sister bond from developing further because the tighter they are the more definitively he is caught on the outside of it.”

Sansa’s seen how stab-happy Arya is and was disconcerted with her display in the yard with Brienne of Tarth. She already thinks her sister is dangerous. It won’t take much from Arya for Sansa to be convinced she needs to be locked up or sent away for her own good. She’ll likely turn to Littlefinger for counsel, cementing his (uber-creepy) bond with Sansa.

Regardless of what Arya does with the letter, it’s going to drive a wedge between the Stark girls. That’s exactly what Littlefinger wants.

The post Why Sansa’s Letter Could Drive the Stark Girls Apart on ‘Game of Thrones’ appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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An Apology Expert Analyzed Greg Gianforte’s Letter To Ben Jacobs

Montana Republican Greg Gianforte, who was elected to Congress last month, issued a letter of apology on Wednesday for an incident in which he physically attacked Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs. 

“I had no right to respond the way I did to your legitimate question about health care policy. You were doing your job,” he wrote.

Gianforte is accused of body-slamming Jacobs after the reporter asked a question about health care policy. It was reported that Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck and broke his glasses. Gianforte was charged for misdemeanor assault that evening and won Montana’s lone congressional seat the next morning.

Jacobs accepted the congressman-elect’s apology shortly after it was released. Gianforte is expected to appear in court on or before June 20. He faces a maximum punishment of six months in jail and a $ 500 fine for his behavior.

Experts agree that apologies, private and public alike, should contain several elements to be considered effective, according to Roy Lewicki, an apology expert and a professor emeritus of management and human resources at the Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. 

“The tone of the letter conveys a certain amount of sincerity and genuineness,” Lewicki said. “There’s multiple expressions of regret.”

What makes an apology effective

Research by Lewicki suggests that there are six elements to an effective apology. They are, in order of importance, an acknowledgement of responsibility; an offer of repair; an expression of regret; an explanation of what went wrong; a declaration of repentance and a request for forgiveness. The more elements an apology includes, the more likely the apology is to be accepted, Lewicki said.

Gianforte’s letter is well-rounded based on these standards. Lewicki, who has analyzed prior public apologies, reviewed what makes Gianforte’s note stand out. Below is the letter to Jacobs, re-typed, with annotations of where these apology elements come into play:

Dear Mr. Jacobs: 

I write to express my sincere apology for my conduct on the evening of May 24. My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful [acknowledgement of responsibility]. As both a candidate for office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public [acknowledgement of responsibility]My treatment of you did not meet that standard [expression of regret].

Notwithstanding anyone’s statements to the contrary, you did not initiate any physical contact with me, and I had no right to assault you. I am sorry for what I did and the unwanted notoriety this has created for you [expression of regret]. I take full responsibility [acknowledgement of responsibility]

I understand the critical role that journalists and the media play in our society. Protections afforded to the press through the Constitution are fundamental to who we are as a nation and the way government is accountable to the people. I acknowledge that the media have an obligation to seek information. I also know that civility in our public discourse is central to a productive dialogue on issues. I had no right to respond the way I did to your legitimate question about healthcare policy [declaration of repentance]. You were doing your job. 

In the hope that perhaps some good news can come of these events, I am making a $ 50,000 contribution to the Committee To Protect Journalists, an independent non-profit organization that promotes press freedom and that protects the rights of journalists worldwide [offer of repair].

I made a mistake and humbly ask for your forgiveness [request for forgiveness]

Sincerely, 

Greg Gianforte

Gianforte’s apology repeatedly accepts responsibility and shows remorse over his actions. That matters, according to Lewicki.  

“One of the things we found in our research was that acknowledgements of responsibility were probably one of the most important components of an apology and he comes back to that several times,” Lewicki said.

Lewicki said Gianforte’s request to repair ― aka, the $ 50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists ― is somewhat remarkable and does a good job of expressing genuine concern. 

“That’s not chump change,” he said. 

How the apology is being received

Gianforte’s expression has received mixed results, from praise to criticism. Some believe the apology is genuine:

Others denounce the apology for glossing over the initial statement released by Shane Scanlon, a spokesperson for the Gianforte team. Immediately after the body-slamming incident, Scanlon blamed Jacobs for initiating the altercation. 

The apology letter says, “you did not initiate any physical contact with me,” but does not go into detail about the original effort to cover up what happened. 

But Lewicki says what’s more critical now is the apology Gianforte is making directly to Jacobs. However, one letter cannot determine if Gianforte is truly sorry. For that, Lewicki says time is the ultimate decider on whether the contrition sticks.

“You’ll have to look now at how Gianforte handles himself in the future,” he explained.

A solid apology is a good first step.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Check Out This Letter Hemingway Wrote to His Old Boss at Esquire

It’s expected to sell for thousands at auction.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Tired Of ‘Pink And Princess’ Shirts, 5-Year-Old Writes A Letter To The Gap

Five-year-old Alice Jacob loves race cars, superheroes and science, and like many kids, she wants her clothing to reflect that. That’s why she wrote a letter to The Gap Inc. asking for “cool girls’ shirts.”

Alice’s mom, Beth Jacob, wrote for The Washington Post about how she has a difficult time finding clothes that her daughter wants to wear in the so-called “girls’ section” of stores. While Beth was doing some early spring shopping for her kids, she picked out some shirts online from the Gap for her son. Alice saw her mom’s selections and realized that the girls’ category has vastly different options. 

“She said it wasn’t fair that all her favorite stuff was only in the boys’ section, and when we looked in the girls’ section, the options were totally different,” Beth told The Huffington Post. “No ‘Star Wars,’ no superheroes, no race cars, wild animals or danger. Alice loves that stuff, and she’s a girl. She doesn’t get why the things she’s into have to be labeled for boys, when the things labeled for girls are nothing like her.”

This prompted Alice to send a letter to the Gap. She dictated it while her mother typed. In it, she explained that she is almost 5-and-a-half years old and that she likes “Superman and Batman shirts and race car shirts, too.” But she can only find those kinds of shirts in the boys’ section.

“All your girl shirts are pink and princesses and stuff like that,” the letter reads. “The boys’ shirts are really cool. They have Superman, Batman, rock-and-roll and sports. What about girls who like those things like me, and my friend Olivia?”

Then, Alice made two important suggestions:

“Can you make some cool girls’ shirts please? Or, can you make a no boys’ or girls’ section — only a kids’ section?”

Beth stressed to The Huffington Post that Alice doesn’t care about a specific brand over another. She simply wants clothes that “are comfortable and let her run” and also reflect what she likes. She loves bright colors like red, blue and orange and wants pictures of things “she thinks are cool” on her clothes. 

“Every parent has a story of their kid’s obsession with something ― dinosaurs, trucks, sea animals, rock ‘n’ roll, Batman,” Beth told HuffPost. “These passions aren’t divided by gender ― why do their clothes have to be?”

Alice sent the Gap two copies of her letter: one to corporate and one to its foundation. Each letter included a personalized drawing from Alice and her signature. Beth told HuffPost she heard from the Gap that the company has not received the hard copy of Alice’s letter yet, but she has not otherwise spoken with anyone from the company yet. 

In August, the Gap came under fire for a promotional email it sent to customers in the United Kingdom. The email included a photo of a boy wearing a shirt with Albert Einstein’s face (and misspelled name) on it and a girl wearing a logo sweater. The ad labeled the boy as a “little scholar” and the girl as a “social butterfly.” Many parents spoke out and tweeted their disappointment with the ad.

Beth is proud of her daughter for speaking out about gender stereotypes. Their family loves superheroes, and Beth has taken this opportunity to show her kids to “be brave enough not to be like everyone else.”

“As a mom, I want both my kids to be unafraid of liking what they like, being who they are and speaking up when things are unfair,” she said. “I’d say Alice wanting to send that letter accomplishes all three.”

The Huffington Post has reached out to the Gap for comment and will update this post accordingly.

The HuffPost Parents newsletter, So You Want To Raise A Feminist, offers the latest stories and news in progressive parenting. 

H/T Babble

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Lady Gaga, JLaw And More Sign Letter Opposing Texas Anti-LGBTQ Legislation

Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lawrence are among a group of over 140 artists who co-signed a letter on Feb. 14 opposing several anti-LGBTQ bills currently pending in Texas.

One such bill is Senate Bill 6, which is similar to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, that would require transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds with the gender that they were assigned at birth.

The celebrities banded together to release the statement in hopes of thwarting legislative bigotry against the LGBTQ community.

“Transgender and gender non-conforming young people are already subjected to bullying and harassment,” a portion of the letter reads. “Can you imagine the message these bills send to children – the message of ‘that child is different, that child is dangerous’? Transgender and gender non-conforming young people also already face higher rates of family rejection and homelessness, mental health issues and suicidality, and they already find it more difficult to find work and housing. How much more can you punish them for living honestly and openly?”

They published the letter on the coalition website sponsored by Equality Texas, GLAAD and The Ally Coalition ― head there to read the letter in full.

North Carolina’s House Bill 2 brought a seemingly endless series of headaches to government officials and citizens alike. The NCAA pulled championship games from the state and a multitude of artists and businesses boycotted events there. Though a recent study said Texas could also stand to lose billions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs due to the legislation, Attorney General Ken Paxton remains confident that the bill is good for the state. He claims that parents are “just concerned about the safety of their children,” implying that allowing trans people to use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity would somehow invite sexual predators into these spaces ― something that just doesn’t happen.

Let’s hope Texas heeds the lessons of North Carolina and realizes that discrimination isn’t good for anyone: parents, kids or a state’s economy.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Greatlookz Great Memories Ladies Monogram Handkerchiefs, Red Letter C

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This Holiday Card Is A Single Lady’s Love Letter To Pizza

When you’re single, the holidays are not so much “Joy to the World” as they are “Dancing on My Own.” (Which, to be fair, is arguably more delightful.) 

In total understanding of this sentiment, Redditor myredditfakename5 ― who is 28-year-old Sarah Collins IRL ― uploaded a Christmas card that’s sure to resonate with single women everywhere. 

It can be tiring to see family photos around a tree or couples cuddled up with their pets and/or children. Why not just take a photo with your true true love ― pizza ― and call it a day? 

“I am single and most of my friends are married and have kids and give out cute Christmas cards each year,” Collins told The Huffington Post. “I wanted to show myself and my love this Christmas season.”

This card is clearly iconic. We’re particularly fans of the pizza in utero.

“I chose pizza because it’s always answers my calls, comforts me when I need it, and gives my stomach a warm hug,” said Collins of her pizza partner.

“I foresee that Pizza and I will be together for a long time to come. Even if I find another love I believe that pizza and I will keep an open relationship.”

Commenters indicated that the card doesn’t feature enough cats (because apparently if you’re single, you MUST have cats *eyeroll*), to which Collins indicates will be “next years card.”

The only thing that would make this card better would be if the pizza were real (it’s a pillow).

Mmm, who’s down to go halfsies on a pepperoni pie?

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Heart Gift 8: Our Humble Little Bricks: A letter from 1953

My Heart Gift today is one of my favorite letters from my father. It is a letter that he wrote to his step-father, from Turkey in 1953-63 years ago. Aged just 23 at the time of writing, his words are poetic, profound and as relevant today as they were in 1953. The letter was published in his book, The Unbeaten Track in 1970. I include his description before the letter as I think it is a beautiful example of my father’s word alchemy. I hope you enjoy it!

“A fortnight later, rucksack on my back, I had hitch-hiked right across Europe and into central Turkey. A letter from home awaited me in the little town of Kayseri, the Caesarea of antiquity. I stopped there for a couple of days, putting up, by invitation of the headmaster, at the local college, empty for the summer vacation. There I started a friendship with Orhan, a student who still remained in the college waiting for his parents to come from Istanbul before joining them in their native village close by. ‘Why don’t you come along with me?’ Orhan said, ‘and see life in a Turkish village?’

It was from that village that I re-read Tadeusz’s letter. ‘What in hell draws you to these countries?’ he wrote. ‘Are you still as keen about it, or have the poverty and primitive conditions cooled you off a bit by now?’ The evening light was failing, as I sat in the porch of my host’s modest cottage, and smiled to myself. The village square was deep in fine dust. Chickens scratched around in the animal droppings for food; a flock of ducks came wobbling across the square hustled home by a ten-year-old in baggy trousers with missing fly-buttons, his round chubby face in striking contrast to his oversized cap. He whistled sharply, raising his stick towards the laggards who were trying to dispute the droppings with the chicken, and shouted gaily ‘burda, burda!’ (‘this way!).

Now a herd of cattle ambled to their sheds, trailing dust, lowing softly, the resonance of their bells mingling with long- drawn shepherd calls which the hushed clear air seemed to hold for ever, so that they lingered lazily like the dancing dust that tarried over the square. Last of all the bullock-carts lumbered in, ponderous on their spokeless wheels of solid wood, their axles whining and complaining with a note of ever-changing pitch.

Lost in thought, I didn’t notice Orhan, who had brought a hurricane lamp and a dish of sour milk. ‘There!’ he smiled, ‘you can’t write home in the dark. The night falls fast here. Eat this soon, or it’ll be swimming with gnats.’ ‘Tashakur’ (‘thank you!’), I grinned back at him, ‘I wish my Turkish were half as good as your English!’

‘You ask me if I like it here,’ I wrote. ‘Oh yes, intensely, but how can I explain? It’s a bit like meeting a girl, when everything clicks, and you fall in love. I feel gloriously alive and very much at home, almost as if I were regaining a homeland. But probing more deeply what can I say? You have to feel it and to live it. These lands suckled the earliest civilizations, nurtured the first roots of man’s timid gropings towards the tree that we are now. Beneath the outward poverty, under the grime and the tatters there is a culture as time itself, infinitely complex and wise. These weathered lands hold out the corrective to our brave new world, of the sobriety of age and experience, of diversity in life’s options: especially to those seeking to apprehend the ultimates and the quiddity within the ebb and flow of appearance. To me this last is particularly appealing: the directness and immediacy between man and his natural environment.

At the same time there is so much need here, so much wretchedness that could be remedied. The challenge is enormous. The poverty is crushing, perhaps less so here in Turkey than in other parts of Asia, a poverty often aggravated by the former exploitation by European colonial powers. I believe everybody in the West should be aware of this and its profound consequences for all of us. Help and alleviation of this wretchedness can come essentially from a better understanding of its causes, nature and extent, and in this every one of us can help, can contribute his humble little brick.

I daresay this may not answer your questions very satisfactorily, for it is written in the heat of the moment, real no less than for it is figurative – 96°F in the shade!”

* Heart Gift is a community of people who give from their hearts. You are invited to join to be inspired and, when ready, to share your favorite quote, letter, joke, prayer, advice, music, art piece, story, song, ritual, Grandma’s recipe – anything. We can all help create a more beautiful world when we are Permissionaries – giving each other permission to be authentic, vulnerable and heart led.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Lady Gaga Wrote an Emotional Open Letter About Her Struggle with PTSD

Being touched by strangers sent her into a panic.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Jim Selman reads a thought provoking letter he wrote to a dear friend

Jim Selman reads a thought provoking letter he wrote to a dear friend

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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A Letter to My Fellow Caregivers

Dear Caregiver,

I want you to know that what you’re feeling is normal.

It’s normal to feel like caregiving is a burden, not a blessing.

It’s normal to want this all to be over.

It’s normal to momentarily hate yourself for feeling that way.

It’s normal to enjoy aspects of your parent’s age and illness — like the quiet time it gives the two of you to just sit and be together.

It’s normal to silently scream, “HURRY UP,” as your parent shuffles on a walker or a cane.

It’s normal to have judged your mother or father for how they talk, walk, dress or eat, and wonder, “Why do they have to act so old?”

It’s normal to question what will last longer: Your parent’s illness or your marriage, because the strain of caregiving is creating a rift at home.

It’s normal to feel nothing as you plow through your to do list, because it’s better than being felled by a wild range of emotions.

It’s normal to never cry.

It’s normal to burst into tears whenever someone asks you how you’re holding up.

It’s normal to wish you could quit your job, because pretending to care about your paid work is too much right now.

It’s normal to swear at a medical insurance rep on the phone and then feel bad about it. It’s not nice, but it’ normal.

It’s normal that you have no clean laundry and wear sweat pants everyday because who has time to wash clothes or get dressed anymore?

It’s normal to look at other middle-aged daughters who accompany their parents to the doctor’s office and wonder how they could let themselves go.

It’s normal to look in the bathroom mirror and realize you have let yourself go.

It’s normal to resent caregiving for robbing you of the prime of your life.

It’s normal to find the beauty in life and in death, in joy and in sorrow.

It’s normal to spend a good chunk of your day just holding your mother or father’s hand.

It’s normal to like the fact you are needed and capable and able to return the gift of caring for someone you love.

It’s normal to ask your parent’s doctor 20 questions and form a medical opinion based on research you did via Google.

It’s normal to feel guilty because you made time for a manicure, or a run or a nap.

It’s normal to miss your friends because time with your friends is at the bottom of your to-do list, right after sleep and self-care.

It’s normal to want to hurt anyone who tells you that you should take care of yourself.

It’s normal that your diet consists of Twizzlers and Diet Coke because it’s all you have time for and you can throw a bag of candy and a can of soda in your bag every day.

It’s normal to doubt your ability as a mother, a daughter a wife and an employee.

It’s normal that you want to be with your kids when you are with your parent, your parent when you are with your kids, at home when you are at work and at work just so you can feel in control again.

It’s normal to just want to be alone.

Caregiving is a roller coaster. Sometimes you have to hang on for dear life and sometimes you need to just let go. It’s normal.

This post first appeared on Hello Ladies.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

47 Republican Senators Write Letter to Queen Demanding Congress Approves Royal Baby Name

2015-05-11-1431355151-3059103-QueenonThrone.jpg

Photography via VOA News (Public Domain)

The 47 letter writers, otherwise known as virtually all the Republicans in the Senate, have put pen to paper again.

Led once more by self-proclaimed international law expert Tom Cotton, the Senators have written to the Queen of England to express their profound displeasure at not being consulted about the new royal baby name.

Their latest missive was delivered to Buckingham Palace today and stated the following:

Dear Queen Elizabeth II, or if you prefer, dear Supreme Ruler of Great Britain,

It has come to our attention through leading diplomatic sources — People Magazine, The National Enquirer and The New York Post — that Her Royal Highness, Kate the Duchess of God-Knows-Where, has given birth to a child and named it Charlotte, Elizabeth, Diana without our permission.

We Americans would have undoubtedly chosen Jolene, Mary Lou or Tammy Fay. Thus, we consider the names that you have picked to be nuclear options and reflective of the growing proliferation in your country of names that are too British-sounding, to say the least.

This is unacceptable to us and may fundamentally undermine diplomatic relations between our two great nations. (Well we’re great. You however, are not, despite the fact that you still use the word “Great” in your country’s name.)

We are therefore writing to remind you that as you are a signatory of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance — the entente that established NATO just in case you didn’t know — you will have to obtain agreement from the US Government before this baby’s name becomes official.

And although you may be tempted to deal with our lame duck and chicken-livered President, Barack Obama, on this matter, please be advised that Congress alone has the power to approve royal baby names! Which means dear Madam, you are going to have to negotiate with us!

So given our declared opposition to your chosen names, we would urge you to submit alternatives for our consideration. If Jolene, Mary Lou or Tammy Fay do not pass royal muster, we are prepared, in the interests of diplomacy, to consider Billie Jo, Peggy Sue, or Trixie Bell. At a push, we might even be persuaded to approve Chardonnay.

We hope this clarifies our position with regard to the royal baby name and we look forward to hearing from you forthwith.

As news of the letter to the Queen reverberated around Washington D.C., and outrage about it increased, 46 of the 47 Republican Senators who signed it ran for cover, leaving Tom Cotton holding the bag — or as Brits like to say, holding the baby.

Cotton, in a desperate attempt to avoid an international incident, said: “OK, OK, Chardonnay might be a name too far. Trixie Bell it is then! I will introduce a bill to that effect tomorrow and I expect it to be passed quickly by my colleagues in the House and the Senate.”

In a statement released by Buckingham Palace, the Queen also made her views known on the letter from the 47. She said: I would like to thank the 47 Republican Senators for sharing their thoughts with me on this matter. And I would particularly like to thank their ancestors for the American Declaration of Independence.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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American Sniper Chris Kyle’s Wife Pens Love Letter On Their Anniversary: I’ll ‘Love You All The Days Of My Life’

“Today, I have a choice. I can bury myself under the covers and acknowledge the pain of missing you and mourn the future anniversaries without you. Or, I can celebrate never having a day without you in my heart because you loved me enough to leave me a lifetime of memories and beauty.”

Those are some the words penned by Taya Kyle on March 17, the day that would’ve marked 13 years of marriage to her husband, the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

Kyle, who was credited with being the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, was shot and killed at a Texas gun range in 2013. His life story became the subject of the Clint Eastwood film “American Sniper,” which was based on the best-selling autobiography of the same name.

To mark their wedding anniversary, Taya posted the poignant love letter on Facebook. It has since gone viral, with more than 530,000 likes.

Read it here:

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Eric Wilson’s Front Row Diary: Dolce & Gabbana Design a Love Letter to Mom

Eric Wilson is InStyle’s Fashion News Director. Sit front row at Fashion Week with him by following him on Twitter (@EricWilsonSays) and Instagram. The invitations to Dolce & Gabbana’s fall runway show today featured the kind of children’s drawings you might find taped to refrigerator doors across the world. A child handing a rose to […]
InStyle
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A Letter to the New Big Sister

Dear Kennedy,

Things abruptly changed for you about six months ago when your little sister got out of mommy’s belly and came home from the hospital with us. You were used to having mommy and daddy all to yourself. You and I spent all summer together. We went to the library, Chick-fil-A, played with friends and watched a little too much TV. It was a blast.

No matter the amount of talks and “big sister” books we read, it probably didn’t prepare you for what was to come. All of a sudden, there was a tiny little baby in our house. The baby was loud — probably much louder than you anticipated. The baby was always being held, and the baby always needed mommy.

If this upset you, it was hard to tell. You embody grace, especially for such a big girl who’s 3 years old. Even though you showed a big interest in the baby, you continued your life as usual and you didn’t seem to mind that the baby needed a lot of attention.

This had to be hard on you. I know it was. I know this because you had trouble in other areas, like using the potty. It was your one thing you could hold on to for control, and I guess I don’t blame you. But, you never seemed jealous or upset with mommy and daddy.

I’m a big sister, too. Sometimes, there’s a lot of pressure on us to set an example, not act like a baby and try new things to show that we are so big and so independent. Sometimes, we just have to be flexible, whether we like it or not. Sometimes, we get less attention and less praise. Big sisters have a tough job, but you were cut out for it. You’ve got this.

Now that your little sister has been with us for a little over six months, you use the potty like a big girl, and you are becoming so independent. The struggles you were having before seem to be no more. That doesn’t mean life is easy from here on out, but I have a feeling you will handle those with that same grace.

Kennedy, you need to know that we are proud of you. I don’t tell you this enough. You have a kind spirit, a hilarious sense of humor, a vocabulary that amazes me daily and the potential to be anything.

Most importantly, you have love. I realized this the other day when the first thing you asked from waking up from your nap was, “Where is Caroline?” Then later, you sat there and hugged her face with gusto (maybe a little too much gusto). And a little bit later, you found such joy feeding her puffs. Your little sister smiles from ear to ear when she sees your face, and always looks for you when she hears your voice. Even though I’m her mommy, I have a feeling that you’re her favorite person.

Want to know why?

It’s because of the love that radiates out of you. In the future, I know you will probably dislike her for taking your toys or borrowing your clothes. There may be some days or years that you aren’t very good friends. But she’s your sister. And this love right now? Promise me you’ll always carry it in your heart.

Keep shining, sweet Kennedy. I adore you!

Love,

Mommy

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This post originally appeared on Meg O. on the Go. To keep up with Meg, you can follow her on Facebook or Instagram.
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Weddingstar 1188-78-c45 Parisian Love Letter – Paper Blooms Vintage Gold

Weddingstar 1188-78-c45 Parisian Love Letter – Paper Blooms Vintage Gold


An enchanting stationery design inspired by old world Parisian Love Letters. Poetic French script combined with regal crests and embellishments results in a design that will add elegance to a wide range of wedding themes. The entire coordinating collection features many versatile products that can be used to create a distinct feel throughout an entire wedding design. These exquisite paper blooms will add heightened elegance wherever they appear. Whether used to adorn place cards table numbers other stationery components or are scattered to enhance table top d cor – these miniature blooms will make a big impression. Some assembly required. Brads and jewels sold separately. Product Material: Printed on White Pearl Shimmer cover weight paper with flat print digital technology. The white pearl shimmer cover weight paper has a beautiful texture that results in a vintage chic feel for the stationery due to slight imperfections that occur in the printing process which mimic a handwritten love letter.
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Betsey Johnson Antique Gold-Tone Crystal L Letter Single Stud Earring

Betsey Johnson Antique Gold-Tone Crystal L Letter Single Stud Earring


Spelling bee-utiful. Betsey Johnson’s single stud earring alphabetizes your look with an L-shape embellished with crystal accents. Crafted in antique gold-tone mixed metal. Approximate diameter: 1/3 inch.

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Red Letter Day

Red Letter Day


Graduation Day at Barack Obama High School. The day the Red Letters arrive, the day that students get a glimpse into their own future. But a handful never get a letter and no one knows why. One teacher has an idea though, a teacher who never got a Red Letter herself, a teacher who will finally have answers before the day is out. Called “a fresh, solid, entertaining take on time travel” by Tangent Online, “Red Letter Day” was chosen as the best short story of 2010 by the readers of Analog Magazine. International bestselling writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch has won two Hugo awards, a World Fantasy Award, and six Asimov’s Readers Choice Awards. For more information about her work, please go to kristinekathrynrusch.com.

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Dear Mom: My Son’s Hilarious Summer Camp Letter

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Last year my 8-year-old son went to summer camp. It was the first time he had been away from home for more than a night. An hour after he left, I missed him. By the time I went to bed, I found myself wandering into his bedroom, just to feel close to him. As the days passed, I wrote to him daily. Each hour dragged as I’d wait for the mailman, hoping and praying for just one letter from him. By that point I missed him so much, I began to imagine what he might write to me. I fantasized I’d receive a letter something like this:

Dear Mom,

Thank you so much for letting me go to camp. I have learned so many cool things, like how to take a fish off the hook, tie sailing knots, and even how to groom a horse. Thanks for packing the sunscreen. I’ve been out on the lake a lot, so it has really come in handy. You sure think of everything! Since it’s been so hot, I’ve been drinking tons of water! See? I really listen to all your good advice.

The other boys here are really smart and nice. I’m making some lifelong friends I will cherish forever. We’ve had fun learning camp songs, playing cards, and catching frogs in our free time. During quiet time, I read the book you sent along. What a great selection! And just because you’re my mom, I made a special gift for you in arts and crafts!

I’m trying a lot of new foods, just like you suggested. You were right, the oatmeal at breakfast really isn’t bad when I add raisins. And don’t worry, Mom, I’ve been using all the manners you’ve taught me over the years.

We are camping under the stars tonight. I hope to see fireflies.

I love you,

W

xxoo

P.S. Tell my brothers I miss them!

Yesterday I received a letter. It’s just slightly different from what I imagined:

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This year I’m sending a whole book of stamps. I can’t wait for more letters!
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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