Dr. Jill Biden: A Worthy And Empowering Woman

Dr. Jill Biden:
A Worthy And Empowering Woman

By Anna Hessel

Visible Courage

Dr. Jill Biden, is a classic blonde beauty, who served admirably as Second Lady of The United States from 2009-2017, during the historic Obama-Biden administration.  She has, from the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, proved a standout surrogate for her husband. She has guts. On Super Tuesday, Jill displayed that courage when protesters charged the stage during  Joe’s speech. Like a star fullback Jill shielded her other half in the midst of the fracas.

Jill-of-All-Trades And Master Of Many

Dr. Jill Biden was the only Second Lady to have a job during her husbands tenure as Vice President.

Dr. Jill Biden was the only Second Lady that ever held a job during her husband’s tenure as Vice President.

This faithful and spirited lady, while being friendly and feminine, has a backbone of pure steel.  Like many of our finest First Ladies, Dr. Jill Biden is an accomplished woman in her own right.  She has been married to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, since 1977. While Second Lady she held a paying job (outside of government). Jill Biden is believed to be the only Second Lady to have ever worked during a spouse’s tenure as Vice President of the United States.

Education Her Passion

Jill Biden is a proud wife, mom, grandmother, pet owner and lifelong educator.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware. She has two masters degrees, the first from Villanova University and the second from West Chester University. And, impressively, a doctoral degree from her first alma mater, U. of Delaware. Dr. Biden has worked diligently to raise awareness of issues important to women, such as preventing breast cancer, the importance of community colleges, and the sacrifices our military families make for America’s future.

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Evangelicals Fail At Evangelism

Evangelicals Fail At Evangelism

Jesus died on the cross for man's salvation

On Easter it is important to remember the meaning of the day and the sacrifices made by Jesus and those that have over centuries evangelized his words to a frightened world.

Evangelicals Fail At Evangelism 

By Anna Hessel

Health And Wealth “Gospel”

Evangelical pastors have failed in evangelism

The evangelical pastors have failed in evangelism, and appear to be promoting health and wealth. Forget humility and poverty.

Evangelical pastors, who’s goal should be to teach faith and humility, are doing just the opposite. In the name of God, they take Biblical content out of context to breed a “health and wealth” gospel.  This is in direct opposition to those who serve God faithfully in poverty with humble hearts. Far right-wing “evangelicals”, such as Joel Osteen, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, tout the idea voiced by Osteen’s sister Lisa Osteen Comes, “planning a financial vision and working with God guarantee a profitable return.”  Ms Comes quotes Proverbs 21:5, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity”. This truth is followed by verse 6, neglected by Comes, which says, “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.” (NIV) She goes on to say, “it starts with the decision to change”

More To It

I need to stop here. As a follower of Christ, I ask you, can one change the onset of a debilitating illness, which more often than not, brings upon undue financial hardship?  The collapse of a corporation that leads to unemployment cannot be blamed on the employee. Can anyone, other than God, stop a natural disaster, or a pandemic?

Lavish Lifestyles

Joel Osteen declined to offer housing to those left homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey left many people homeless but there was no help from Joel Osteen.

The Bible clearly teaches us to give to the poor – Proverbs 19:17 “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done” (NIV); Joel Osteen, who drives a Ferrari 458 and makes no apologies for his lavish lifestyle, yet claimed in an interview with Oprah that, “money should never be the focus of your life”, calling it “shallow”.  Osteen faced criticism in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey for not opening his Lakewood Church, in Houston as shelter for those left homeless. Church officials claimed the building had flooding issues. Yet pictures showed the parking lot to be dry as a bone.

Woe To You

I am sometimes inspired by comments from Osteen, but I cannot condone his behavior.  As Jesus said, in Luke 6:24, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort”, and “Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:25, NIV).

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OPINION: Hope in the Era of COVID-19


Hope In The Era of COVID-19

COVID-19 is the scariest health risk most living humans have ever seen.

COVID-19 virus is the worst pandemic the majority of humanity has ever seen.

By Anna Hessel

Disaster In Progress

The COVID-19 virus is the worst pandemic the majority of humanity has ever seen. Public panic is on a level with the Yellow Fever epidemic which broke out in Philadelphia, PA, in 1793.  Over that spring and summer more than 4,000 people died. Paranoia of the “black vomit of death” had people covering their mouths and noses with vinegar-soaked cloths.  The death toll included the first husband of then-future First Lady Dolley Madison and their baby boy.  Some are saying this pandemic is similar to a resurgence of tuberculosis or polio.  We are a nation living in fear, not faith, because of the gravity of the COVID-19 crisis.  Feeling helpless, anxious and abandoned, we yearn for a return to normalcy.

Those Most At Risk

Even well-known celebrities and the wealthy are coming down with coronavirus. The most vulnerable in our society are being the hardest hit. The elderly, disabled, immunocompromised, and lower-income people are more likely to contract the virus than the wealthy. Blacks and Latinos are suffering the most deaths. The most vulnerable are less likely to recover, due to lack of health care benefits. They are suffering in other ways during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well.

The Most Fragile

Hunger is a real danger in the time of COVID-19.

Hunger is a new reality for many more Americans.

These fragile people are the ones most in need of government help. Crowded Human Service offices are being shut down.  Food pantries typically have small waiting areas and limited shelf stock. Many food banks can now only offer a couple of bags of food in a drive-through environment. Folks without access to a vehicle who rely on public transportation or their own two feet and need food assistance may not receive the needed help. These life-line organizations are running low on provisions and in fact are likely to run out of food. Recent cuts to food stamps are an extra threat to food security. Furthermore, those dependent on apartment laundry rooms or commercial laundromats, face an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, because of the communal areas.

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We Wish You A Happy Birthday

We Wish You A Happy Birthday

By Anna Hessel

 It Only Comes Once A Year

Have you ever thought about why we celebrate birthdays?  Is it because everyone deserves a special day of their very own; or do we just want an excuse to eat cake?  Many of us have photos of that momentous first birthday with cake smeared all over the baby’s face. Some bakeries now even sell miniature ‘smash cakes’, for a nominal fee, of course.

No Pictures

I recall birthdays of my youth, complete with frosting pink roses on my cake. And great games like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. Was thinking  of reprising the classic pinning game for my upcoming b-day, but alas, I have no picture of our current Oval Office occupant, no insult intended to all the donkeys out there.

The Way It Was

Children’s birthday parties of yesteryear included goody bags with sugary treats and plastic trinkets, and had old-fashioned fun, like board games and music from a stereo set up on a card table.  Today, children’s parties are much more elaborate events, with clowns, bowling, pony rides, bouncy houses, kiddy-size race cars, and a trip to visit that gigantic cheesy mouse.  Every little girl is a princess, and every little boy is a ninja.  School treats must be individually wrapped, unlike the box of bakery cupcakes we all proudly passed around when I was in grammar school. Continue reading

Be Your Own Valentine-Humor

Be Your Own Valentine-Humor

By Anna Hessel

It’s That Time Again

The cold and blustery days of February are here, once again bringing one of my favorite holidays, Valentine’s Day. Of course, reminders are everywhere.  Just like pumpkin spice in the fall, this month brings us heart-shaped everything, from butter knives to nail files, and the phrase “Be Mine” is emblazoned on nearly every surface of retail establishments.

A Heart Shaped Pizza

This year, my husband and I will be celebrating by attending a screening of my favorite film, “Legally Blonde”, at the library, followed by the requisite romantic dinner, or maybe we’ll opt for a heart-shaped pizza – mine just might be topped with a pair of heart-shaped gold earrings.  Of course I have my story ready, “Honey, I found them by accident, really; I mean I wasn’t snooping in your sock drawer, or coat pocket – I was looking for the heart-shaped butter knife, and just happened upon them”.

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Gut Instincts in 2020-Humor

By Anna Hessel

Good Intentions

Well, we are a month into the new year. I suppose we are all keeping our healthy New Year’s resolutions; or perhaps they have gone awry?  I find more often than not good intentions dealing with weight loss, visiting the gym, or other health-related  resolutions, by this time of year have hit the back burner.

Times are a Changin’

Cafe Latte

The power of mocha lattes cannot be denied.

Gut health seems to be big on the resolution scale this year.  Back in the day, it was rather unladylike to discuss one’s guts, unless, of course, you were prepping fish.  The times, they are a changin’, since it is now quite stylish to converse about your innards.  I’m sure that mine are pretty and pink, happily filled with mocha latte, with maybe a few probiotics thrown in for good measure.

Fashionable Friends

My dear fashionable friend L.J., has taken an unusual interest in my gut health this year. She has gone so far as to suggest that I embrace ginger. L.J. recommends I take some ginger root and steep it in boiling water giving me a yummy little elixir that will do truly exemplary things for my mocha latte-challenged gut.  Should I have the guts to actually drink this ginger miracle, I’m sure my system would dance an Irish Princess jig.

Following Through

I did actually go so far as to buy the ginger root, which looks like the dried up root stump of a dead bush.  It now sits on the pantry shelf, taunting me – my gut reaction is to use it the next time we have sushi.  My gut instinct tells me perhaps a simple cup of tea with a Krispy Kreme jelly doughnut chaser should perhaps replace the ginger culinary potion.  Mind you, I’m not speaking of an exotic fig twig kumquat pomegranate purple berry blast tree bark tea – but an uncomplicated cup of chamomile laced with honey, drunk with one pink-polished pinkie extended.

Stand Up

Perhaps my gut advisor, the rather debonair L.J. will join me in a simple respite of Earl Grey, or orange pekoe.  I think I will just resolve to stick to non-GMO, preservative-free, low-sodium, plant-based, meatless-Monday, actual-dairy, high-protein, real food in 2020 with a once-a-day multivitamin thrown in to top it all off. With that recipe I will allow my insides to take care of themselves. Furthermore I resolve to make frequent trips to the pool for water aerobics, to have the guts to stand up for my convictions, and of course, I’ll do it all with style…..

Anna Hessel is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Want more Anna Hessel? She’ll be back, Calamity News and Politics loves her too.

Resolutions For The Next Decade

Resolutions For The Next Decade

By Anna Hessel

Resolving for the New Decade

Happy 2020!  This start of a new decade makes me ponder the tradition of New Year’s resolutions.  Hopefully, we are all resolving to show peace to all, abolish intolerance, and offer acceptance to those who are different from us.  I realize many of us have personal resolutions to enrich and better our own lives, but I think there are times when we must be resolute in our compassion to pray and work to fulfill the needs of others.

Where We’ve Been

In the latter half of the past decade, we have regressed from working to provide health care for all Americans, to legislation designed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. We’ve gone from sanctuary cities to children in cages at our southern border. We’ve gone from the establishment of affordable housing to the greatest percentage of homelessness in American history.

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Holiday Decorating

Holiday Decorating

Holiday Decorating

Yes, I admit I am guilty of a bit of tawdry tastelessness when it comes to holiday decorating, but my spouse has me beat hands down.

By Anna Hessel

Its hard to believe the holiday season is already here. As we prepare to celebrate, who can forget decorations? Sometimes I wish my husband would. Don’t get me wrong, I love a tasteful wreath on the door and a holly berry candle glowing on the mantle. And this year, thanks to my recent DNA test, we will be including a menorah along with the family creche. My significant other, however, is not a Clinton Kelly when it comes to holiday embellishment.

As I sit watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, I glance up in unmasked horror to see my spouse, attired in a Santa hat and flashing Christmas tree tie, hanging a string of bells on the bathroom doorknob. Curious, but cautious I enter the powder room, which he has transformed into a winter wonderland, as in, “I wonder what the heck happened to my bathroom?”

Gone are the tasteful lace-edged fingertip towels and gold-edged ceramic soap pump. In their place, is Hallmark’s ‘Jolly in the John’. Jolly is a talking snowman, holding a plunger, telling our guests they “look a little flush” and singing the “Potty Song”. My husband loves this little guy as much as he loves his Saab. Jolly doesn’t come alone. Joining good ol’ Jolly is his pet reindeer, another Hallmark creation, sporting a roll of toilet paper on one of his antlers. And, rounding out the tacky trio is Mr. Jolly’s “wife”, a plastic snow woman soap pump.

A purple garland now adorns the shower curtain rod, and the shell toilet seat has been covered with a giant Santa face, gloved hands covering his eyes. Do you blame him?  He has replaced my attractive celery green with chocolate-brown polka-dots bathrobe with a latch hook creation of eight tiny reindeer, a rather unfortunate garage sale find. As I turn to flee this holiday horror I nearly knock over hubby who is nailing mistletoe above the ‘necessary’ room’s door.

Taking refuge on the couch I resume my paused holiday-inspired film. I take a fortifying gulp of
my mocha latte and I watch suspiciously as my husband makes his way to the kitchen. There is a devilish glint in his eye, and our bell-collared pug, Maggie, follows close behind. In my better(?) half’s hands I can see he is carrying a pair of Rudolph pot holders and a Grinch tea towel. Visions of plastic glitter sugar plums strung on the stove dance in my head, threatening a migraine.

Did I mention, our cats, Zoe and Latte, are wearing kitty-sized elf ears? Does murdering a spouse still hold a life sentence?

I am the first to admit I have one of those aluminum trees (mine is pink), and a hodge-podge of sentimental ornaments. Yes, I am guilty of  a bit of tawdry tastelessness, but over the years my spouse has acquired a plethora of assorted kitschy Christmas items, right down to the glow-in-the-dark snowman boxers. I do not lie.

We have certainly decked the halls with a unique bevy of holiday decor, but always in the theme of “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”

I married a man with style…and a love of garage sale finds.

Senseless Killing: Trophy Hunting

SENSELESS KILLING                               

By Anna Hessel

The Senseless Death of One Lion

In the summer of 2015, Minnesota dentist Dr. Walter Palmer, having reportedly paid $50,000 in US dollars to hunter-guide Theo Bronkhorst as the price for an innocent lion’s head, shot and killed a majestic creature named Cecil.  Palmer first shot Cecil with bow and arrow, then tracked the wounded king of the jungle for about a 40-hour period, finally killing him with a rifle on July 1st near Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

A Song Too Late

Public outrage at this prompted many celebrities and politicians, among others, to publicly condemn the murder of this animal.  Musicians composed songs of tribute in Cecil’s honor, while artists worldwide such as Aaron Blaise, a former animator for Disney, created works to celebrate his life and mourn his death.

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