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Abby's Odyssey: In Defense of the Sunderlands (Should they be blamed for this dangerous adventure?)
American Thinker ^ | 06/13/2010 | Tim Gordon

Posted on 06/14/2010 6:58:42 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Abby Sunderland's recent adventure has everyone questioning teen safety. It all depends one how one defines it.

Parents, where are your teenage daughters? They had better be "safe" at home watching the perverse antics of Disney role models like Miley Cyrus or Lindsay Lohan on TV. Perhaps they're "safe" at school, where they are being educated about the sexual revolution, and in some states, being ushered "safely" by administrators to a clinic where the abortion procedure will be administered with you parents none the wiser. At the very worst, one can rest assured that even if America's daughters have ventured to a house party -- where the parents have purchased and readied all the alcohol and prophylactics -- never fear, because those parents have taken each attendee's keys. All are locked inside and "safe"!

In any of these cases, parents, hit your knees and thank God that your daughter does not run the risk that Abby Sunderland does. As far as I can tell, that is the ruggedly individualist risk of running roughshod, acquiring and exercising true grit, and cultivating a classical skill a tad more aged than cheerleading or speed-texting. The progressive parent asks: Is Abby Sunderland a teenage girl at all? Not a typical one: this aberration from the norm, and not any safety violation, is the true charge against Abby and the Sunderlands.

Cue the chirping sectaries in the news media; they're up. It's always a little strange -- and quite awkward -- when those relativists in the news muster enough moral sentiment, from time to time, to actually impugn someone. When they do so, it is never the right target. News folks have usually by that point stepped around dens of thieves and vipers to get to their next "fall guy": usually just a harmless, individualist soul not well-attuned to the drumbeat of liberalism. This is the case, no doubt, with the Sunderlands, whose foreheads are now feeling all the applied moral heat of the progressive-parent crucible, represented by popular news sources. Happily for the Sunderlands, progressive heat is rather tepid.

In a befuddling combo, society mavens prescribe both naturalist coddling and sexual prompting for our daughters. While the progressive approach to parenting has usually sounded that "children should make and learn from their own mistakes," stalwart young Abby's adventure has proven that liberal parents mean this only in the moral and sexual contexts. Trying your experienced hand at a legitimate craft which requires fortitude, skill, and even phronesis (Greek for practical knowledge) ought to be excluded from the relevance of such a dictate, apparently. In other words, the goal of child-rearing is, according to these "progressives," to cloister our daughters from the reality of the amoral, natural forces of the world while exposing them to all the immoral, conventional ones. And contrary to the teachings of the best thinkers ever produced, it is false that there are things worse than death.

This renders young Abby Sunderland neither fish nor fowl. She is neither parentally coddled from the earth's forces nor suffering from ennui sufficient to land her in the toil and moil of "harmless" teen concupiscence. The lib establishment cannot accept that a young woman has looked for her jollies outside the musty teen world that they have so deified. Hollywood, for one example, is an industry of middle-aged burnouts looking fondly backward to the empty promise of the teens; conversely, Sunderland is a teen who looks to the horizon of more meaningful post-teen endeavors. Neither fish nor fowl also because she was neither made male, like her brother, who performed the same feat at seventeen, nor made supple and mediocre like the pseudo-sexy pudgemeisters on the Disney channel (whose corporate aim, I've gathered, is to muddle all the bright-line age requirements in the heterosexual book).

In that vein, where in the world are the feminists, if not at the side of the Sunderlands? Surprisingly, feminists might be of some use in this case (perhaps they've forsworn usefulness): A young woman would be denied the facility of her well-honed skills on account of her gender! If the true aim of feminism is to show that females possess all the desiderata males do, one might mistake the silence prompted by Abby's sailing excellence for laudation. To those who deny that Abby possesses the skills requisite for her journey, please take another look at the course that she pursued. She made it halfway around. One abjectly unequipped for such a try would not make it that far. So why did she fail?

Answering this question is perhaps the most prominent lesson instructed by the whole affair. It's the ultimate classical lesson, learnable from the ultimate classical craft: the tragic worldview amor fati, loving life through both success and failure. One can make all the right moves and possess all the right skills and still fail. If our pudgy youth had a dose of well-fought, weather-worn failure, it would be a national shot in the arm. Contrary to the bumper stickers, this is not "mean" or "unfair." It is life. Abby Sunderland is hip to this tragic lesson, stoically quipping, "The long and the short of it is, well, one long wave and one short mast." God bless her...and her parents, who evidently made the way ready for such precocious wisdom. Such practical wisdom will grace her life with successes in the long run, no doubt, just as the failure to acquire it will render an overly soft, overly safe, overly sexed society...and one ironically impotent.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abbyconcussion; abbysconcussion; abbysellsshoes; abbysrealityshow; abbysshoes; abbysunderland; adventure; adventuressunderland; childabuse; childendangerment; concussionatsea; realityshow; shoesalesgirl
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1 posted on 06/14/2010 6:58:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

If they paid for this fiasco out of their own pockets, then it’s their business.

Please tell me that taxpayer funds didn’t go into helping a 16-year old kid try to score some meaningless “first” and get her name in some book somewhere.


2 posted on 06/14/2010 7:01:33 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Parents, where are your teenage daughters?

Mine is in the Coast Guard. She won't get her own reality show, of course, but you can follow her adventures on the Seaman Anoreth Ping List.

3 posted on 06/14/2010 7:02:26 AM PDT by Tax-chick (A cat may look at a queen.)
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To: jimbo123
Place Abby in child protective services and charge all the sponsors of this reckless stunt with child endangerment.

Boycott the REALITY SHOW which is entitled, Adventures in Sunderland.

4 posted on 06/14/2010 7:02:29 AM PDT by hennie pennie
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

>> Please tell me that taxpayer funds didn’t go into helping a 16-year old kid try to score some meaningless “first” and get her name in some book somewhere.

Sorry, “Dave”. I can’t do that.


5 posted on 06/14/2010 7:02:39 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Eat more spinach! Make Green Jobs for America!)
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To: Tax-chick
Mine is in the Coast Guard.

Congratulations. I have two Nephews in the Coast Guard. GREAT SCHOOLS. Teaches character and survival skills.

The next course the coast guard should teach is HOW TO CONTAIN OIL SPILLS.
6 posted on 06/14/2010 7:04:14 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Please tell me that taxpayer funds didn’t go into helping a 16-year old kid try to score some meaningless “first” and get her name in some book somewhere

Thus far, we can thank the Aussie taxpayers for the initial contact and rescue attempt.
7 posted on 06/14/2010 7:05:23 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; jimbo123
The captain of the French fishing boat which rescued Abby fell overboard and had to be rescued from the treacherous seas himself.

What a selfish, self serving family, and now to learn that the dad signed a contract to have a reality show - how dispicable!!

I think that Abby should sue all of her sponsors for child endangerment -- jimbo123 has a long list of the sponsors of this fiasco debacle in which Abby AND the Frenchman almost lost their lives.

8 posted on 06/14/2010 7:06:03 AM PDT by hennie pennie
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To: SeekAndFind
The next course the coast guard should teach is HOW TO CONTAIN OIL SPILLS.

Certainly somebody ought to be taught those skills!

Anoreth's cutter is in Borneo, for some reason.

9 posted on 06/14/2010 7:06:21 AM PDT by Tax-chick (A cat may look at a queen.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Many of Abby’s supporters give us a false choice for kids:

1- Let you 16 year old daughter, who is barely old enough to qualify for a juvenile drivers license, sail a boat around the world by herself.

2- Or, let her sit home playing video games and watching the adventures of Lyndsey Lohan on TV.

I am raising two teen age daughters. And I would not recommend options 1 or 2 to them.


10 posted on 06/14/2010 7:09:11 AM PDT by earlJam
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To: earlJam

Excellent post!


11 posted on 06/14/2010 7:10:05 AM PDT by Tax-chick (A cat may look at a queen.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Go to abby16.com. Then tell me that these are fit parents. It sure looks to me that this child's life and those of her rescuers have been put at risk so the parents could sell shoes.
12 posted on 06/14/2010 7:10:20 AM PDT by July4 (Remember the price paid for your freedom.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The real faults here were leaving too late in the year, and continuing on after early half as... repairs to the boat. She took unreasonable risks with the weather and with the condition of her equipment. Typical get-there-itis, which often kills. Not sure where the blame should lie, but there is the blame.


13 posted on 06/14/2010 7:11:58 AM PDT by JoeFromCA
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To: Tax-chick

>> Anoreth’s cutter is in Borneo

US Coast Guard... in BORNEO? LOL!

Well, I guess they DO have coast to guard...


14 posted on 06/14/2010 7:12:55 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Eat more spinach! Make Green Jobs for America!)
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To: Nervous Tick

Well, if they were here, they might be doing drug interdiction or stopping illegal aliens, and we can’t have that!

Anoreth sends interesting descriptions of the animals, bugs, and weird foods of Borneo.


15 posted on 06/14/2010 7:14:25 AM PDT by Tax-chick (A cat may look at a queen.)
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To: All

I heard several days ago that her family were kooks, and that they home=schooled their children. In other words this person was saying that because they homeschooled, the family were kooks. I heard this on Fox and Friends right after they found her alive. Don’t know if it is true or not. Have not heard anyone else say she was homeschooled so it may not be true.


16 posted on 06/14/2010 7:14:46 AM PDT by ncpatriot
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To: SeekAndFind

This was better than living on Facebook or a cell phone.
The only way she could have done better would be if jury-rigged a sail and went on in under her own power.


17 posted on 06/14/2010 7:15:08 AM PDT by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!)
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To: ncpatriot

Yes. They homeschool.


18 posted on 06/14/2010 7:16:02 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If Bam is the answer, the question was stupid.)
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To: hennie pennie

You should be locked up!!!


19 posted on 06/14/2010 7:17:29 AM PDT by dalereed (in)
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To: Little Ray

This trip wasn’t about wind-blowing-in-your-hair freedom. IT’S ABOUT SELLING SHOES — $$$$$$$$!!!!!

Again, please see abby16.com.


20 posted on 06/14/2010 7:18:02 AM PDT by July4 (Remember the price paid for your freedom.)
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To: Little Ray

I just wonder how people’s reaction would be had Abby Sunderland actually SUCCEEDED in her solo trip to be the youngest world circum-navigator...

Would it be as hostile as the reception she’s getting now ? Or would she be hailed as a hero...

I mean Christopher Columbus went on his trip to the New World with just a theory and lots of tax payer money. Had his ships sunk, would this adventure have been called fool hardy ?


21 posted on 06/14/2010 7:18:09 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Oh, heavens, these parents endangered this girl by letting her sail around the world.

Oh heavens, her parents don't need to know a thing about us spiriting her across state lines to have an abortion.

Sorry - I'm just wondering how many on the left are having heart palpitations over the parents letting this girl sail alone, but have no problem whatsoever standing against parental notification for abortions.

Personally, I wouldn't have let my child try to sail around the world by herself. I think it's dumb, and I have a feeling the parents allowed it because they needed the publicity.

22 posted on 06/14/2010 7:18:21 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: SeekAndFind

He wasn’t alone and 16.


23 posted on 06/14/2010 7:19:22 AM PDT by traderrob6
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To: Little Ray
This was a foolish stunt undertaken at the wrong time of year. I also read that she was knocked out when her mast broke and was unconscious for an unknown period of time.

And there are alternatives to Facebook and cellphone usage that don't include risking death for a reality show and an "I DID IT!" record.

24 posted on 06/14/2010 7:20:02 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If Bam is the answer, the question was stupid.)
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To: Tax-chick

Probably anti-piracy protecting tankers.


25 posted on 06/14/2010 7:20:20 AM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: SeekAndFind

“One can make all the right moves and possess all the right skills and still fail.”

Sure, but the evidence in this case suggests that they heedlessly ignored expert advice and let her sail during a disproportionately dangerous time window due to delays in getting her boat ready to embark. There’s a large difference between prudent risks (where you’ve done everything to minimize inherent risks to their lowest level) and reckless risks (where you’ve abandoned caution and essentially put life or limb into the hands of fate).

To use an analogy. Climbing Everest is inherently risky and never will be devoid of risk no matter what precautions are taken in terms of preparation and/or equipment. But even for the most prepared and well-equipped climber, trying to climb it in January is suicidal: you either will die or need to be rescued. The chances of getting to the top are virtually nil.


26 posted on 06/14/2010 7:21:19 AM PDT by DrC
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To: Nervous Tick
US Coast Guard... in BORNEO? LOL!

They actually DO deploy Coast Guards on worldwide missions.

One of my nephew's first assignment was actually near the Borneo area, coordinating rescue trips when the Asian Tsunami that killed 250,000 people struck almost 4 years ago. He made a lot of Australian Coast Guard friends there.
27 posted on 06/14/2010 7:21:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
I just wonder how people’s reaction would be had Abby Sunderland actually SUCCEEDED in her solo trip to be the youngest world circum-navigator...

So next year it will be a 15 year old. Then a 14 year old. Maybe a 10 year old will try. Where are you willing to draw the line?

I mean Christopher Columbus

Wasn't 16 and looking for a reality show.

28 posted on 06/14/2010 7:22:38 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If Bam is the answer, the question was stupid.)
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To: traderrob6

Abby Sunderland’s brother made the same trip when he was 17. He was alone then.


29 posted on 06/14/2010 7:22:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Tax-chick

How did I miss that? Congrats to Anoreth! ... and your and DP, of course!


30 posted on 06/14/2010 7:25:07 AM PDT by pgyanke (You have no "rights" that require an involuntary burden on another person. Period. - MrB)
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To: July4

I’ve got to disagree with you... The trip is not about selling shoes, selling shoes is about paying for the trip. I read in another article that she took the initiative to find a corporate sponsor on her own.


31 posted on 06/14/2010 7:25:31 AM PDT by OHelix
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To: SeekAndFind
“Christopher Columbus went on his trip to the New World”

Christopher Columbus was sent on his trip by a narcissist King and Queen that hope to make a ton of money on his trip.

Abby on the other hand... oh never mind.

32 posted on 06/14/2010 7:26:15 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: SeekAndFind

If this had been a grown person seeking a challenge, no problem. A skilled kid on an attention-seeking, record-breaking attempt with financial implications? Sorry, it’s sick in addition to being seedy.


33 posted on 06/14/2010 7:27:04 AM PDT by qwertypie
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To: Cold Heart

Now there’s a thought! She said she hasn’t gotten to shoot at anything except “an imaginary small-boat attack,” but that could be the mission. She’s appropriately cagey about operational information.


34 posted on 06/14/2010 7:27:33 AM PDT by Tax-chick (A cat may look at a queen.)
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To: OHelix

A 16 yr. old cannot sign a contract.


35 posted on 06/14/2010 7:28:01 AM PDT by July4 (Remember the price paid for your freedom.)
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To: pgyanke

Thank you! Today is her 1-year anniversary.


36 posted on 06/14/2010 7:28:21 AM PDT by Tax-chick (A cat may look at a queen.)
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To: DJ MacWoW

And there is where this endeavor lost my support. Set up for a reality show a week after she left on the trip? It does explain why they had her continue on after she made port in SA. So Abby’s life really didn’t mean anything but another shot at fame.

I was wrong. You weren’t. Sorry.


37 posted on 06/14/2010 7:28:21 AM PDT by ex 98C MI Dude (Alea Iacta Est)
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To: ncpatriot

Today Fox says they home-school and the neighbors rarely saw them out, implying therefore they are quirky.


38 posted on 06/14/2010 7:28:25 AM PDT by GnuHere
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To: SeekAndFind

If I had a daughter I would rather have her out at sea than in a public high school.


39 posted on 06/14/2010 7:28:41 AM PDT by exist
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To: July4

What’s your point?


40 posted on 06/14/2010 7:29:06 AM PDT by OHelix
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To: GnuHere
Today Fox says they home-school and the neighbors rarely saw them out, implying therefore they are quirky.

My cousin is going to recent the quirky remark. She homeschooled her kids, both of whom are doing very well in college and on the Dean's List.
41 posted on 06/14/2010 7:30:40 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: I cannot think of a name; SeekAndFind
Abby on the other hand...

Was sent out as part of the reality show "Adventures in Sunderland"

Laurence Sunderland, a sailing instructor who lives in the middle-class Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks with his pregnant wife and seven kids, opened their home to film crews four months ago.

42 posted on 06/14/2010 7:30:48 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If Bam is the answer, the question was stupid.)
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To: DJ MacWoW

Its still better than anything 95% of kids her age are doing. I know of a few who have done as good or better - Mission trips to Haiti, or other hideous places that I wouldn’t have the guts to go to (esp. now that I old, fat, and married...).

But pre-teen kids served on (and died on) sailing ships for centuries before we started wrapping kids in fuzzy, padded cocoons. We should be proud of her, even if this was about “selling shoes.”


43 posted on 06/14/2010 7:31:20 AM PDT by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!)
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To: ex 98C MI Dude
Set up for a reality show a week after she left on the trip?

Well, what can I say ? It's what motivates people doesn't it ? FAME ? FORTUNE ? Those things aside from the sense of achievement.

I don't believe that Chris Columbus and all of the other famous circumnavigators of the old world attempted their trips without these things in mind as well...
44 posted on 06/14/2010 7:33:12 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: ex 98C MI Dude
I'm sorry too. I really do think this kid is a good kid and deserves better.

It scared me to read that she'd been knocked out when the mast broke and had no idea how long she'd been unconscious.

45 posted on 06/14/2010 7:34:05 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If Bam is the answer, the question was stupid.)
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To: SeekAndFind
TYPO : My cousin is going to recent resent the "quirky" remark.
46 posted on 06/14/2010 7:34:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: OHelix

abby16.com is a commercial venture. It is my understanding that since Abby is not of a majority, she could not have entered into contractual agreements on her own. This whole thing smells.


47 posted on 06/14/2010 7:34:35 AM PDT by July4 (Remember the price paid for your freedom.)
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To: DJ MacWoW

When she’s older can she sue these vile companies who footed the bill so that she put her life at risk?

I think that Child Protective Services should assume custody of her, and check into the safety of her siblings.

What a bizarre stunt for her parents to encourage, so utterly dangerous — and then the captain of the boat who rescued her fell overboard, and HE had to be rescued.

What a selfish, self serving, pathological weird set of parents.
How dare they, and these vile sponsors, risk so many lives?

I suspect that more than one child from this family will pen a “Tell ALL” autobiography in years to come....


48 posted on 06/14/2010 7:34:42 AM PDT by hennie pennie
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To: SeekAndFind

Oh, my family is quirky and goofy and all those other things. Too bad for those who are boring and go to school ;-).


49 posted on 06/14/2010 7:35:44 AM PDT by Tax-chick (A cat may look at a queen.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Fame and fortune for the one doing it, not the ones sitting at home waiting to rake in the ducats. There is the disconnect. She does (or in this case, nearly does), and her parents try to capatilize on it. I am not against making money, but there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. They crossed it.


50 posted on 06/14/2010 7:36:08 AM PDT by ex 98C MI Dude (Alea Iacta Est)
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