McCain—Survivor, hero, villain, family man.

I've been thinking about Senator John McCain—survivor, hero, villain, family man? In mourning the passing of a one-of-a-kind U.S. senator, I've concluded he was a complex character, defying pigeon holes.   McCain—more than a survivor, hero, villain, family man. I get the impression that McCain was inventing himself as he went along. —1st. A rebel and later a poor student at Annapolis, frustrated that his family pigeon holed him as a Navy Man  given that his dad and grandfather were … [Read more...]

Male privilege, sex, and the fall of a cleft icon.

An op ed piece in Friday's Washington Post helped make up my mind re former congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). The op ed author described a classic case of male privilege in action. The writer Melissa Richmond* is currently vice president of Running Start, an organization that encourages women to run for political office.   Richmond wrote that she thought she'd lost out on a career in politics after an encounter with Rep. Franks eight years ago. In her own words: I’ve always been proud … [Read more...]

How to be a CLEFT HEART book booster and reap rewards.

Thought some of you Cleft Heart book fans might get a kick out of seeing a photo (top right of the collage below) of politicians Pelosi and Schumer under an umbrella in D.C, back in the day. Actually, it's my sister Barbara and me in front of the U.S. Capitol after my dad mustered out of the military as a journalist in Washington, D.C. for the Navy's All Hands magazine. My loving sis  wrote last year about growing up with a brother with clefts here and here. She wanted to add to the book I'd … [Read more...]

Peyton Manning: Special treatment re sex scandal?

Today's blog begins to transition from the main prior focus of the website (clefts, disabled heroes, etc.). It embraces a newly added focus, loosely called 'discrimination' which includes special treatment of males, superstars, etc. by society. This blog features a compelling combination of both the former focus and the current focus of my website. The key phrase is "Peyton Manning cleft palate special treatment." Peyton Manning cleft palate special treatment. A little known fact about Peyton … [Read more...]

Celebs with cleft lip & other birth defects——I.

For much of the information and photos in this blog and the followup one, I'm indebted to  Listverse.com  and Madame Noire (MN). Madame Noire is a sophisticated lifestyle site launched by Usher's ex-wife, Tameka Raymond. It is a classic fashion and beauty site. What else would you expect from an Oakland born former hairdresser to the stars (e.g., Lauryn Hill)? Hop on over to Madame Noire's site for more fun, especially for info on African-American lifestyles. Let's mention Joaquin Phoenix's … [Read more...]

My brother’s clefts: When birth defects aren’t defects-Compete & Cooperate

A Disability, or Not? By Barbara Schonborn I didn’t think my brother Karl had birth defects. Nor did I think his cleft lip and cleft palate were disabilities. When we were children, Karl was just my competitor or my buddy. Brother with no birth defects completes the family. Steven, my second brother, was born when our family lived next door to our grandparents Schonborn in a rural neighborhood of Puyallup, Washington. Steven had no birth defects. His nose and mouth were normal, and he … [Read more...]

My brother’s clefts: When birth defects aren’t defects – Infancy to surgery.

I didn’t think of my brother Karl’s cleft lip and cleft palate as birth defects or disabilities.   These birth defects a disability, or not? Guest blog by Barbara Schonborn** Part One: From Infancy to early surgeries. A Princess Usurped. Until I was almost two years old, my life was idyllic. My mother read to me often—I sitting in her lap, a book in mine. She sewed clothes for me, cooked for my father and me, and took me to the Sunday nursery at our church in Boise, Idaho. I knew how … [Read more...]