April 19, 2018

Positivity: Greeks for God — College ministry brings fraternities, sororities to Christ

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 9:00 am

From Denver:

Apr 19, 2018 / 12:50 am

Fraternities and sororities are widely known for two things on a college campus.

These communities, collectively known as Greek life, are known for attracting some of the highest achieving and most involved students. Some of the world’s most influential leaders, including numerous U.S. presidents, 40 Supreme Court justices, a majority of the members of Congress, and 43 out of 50 of the world’s most powerful CEOs were once involved in Greek life during their college years.

But there is a flipside: Anyone who has been to college, or has seen movies about American college life, knows the stereotype of fraternities and sororities as the powerhouses of the party scene and hookup culture on a college campus.

Studies have shown that Greek college students are more likely to binge drink than their non-Greek peers, and are also twice as likely to engage sexually with someone without their consent.

It is within this intense culture of both achievement and partying that missionaries with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) embed themselves, building friendships with Greek students and inviting them to bible studies, Mass, and a relationship with Christ.

“We’re just trying to meet people where they’re at in the beginning, so we’re going onto campus and finding people where they’re naturally going to be hanging out already,” Katie Moran, a FOCUS Greek missionary at the University of Alabama, told CNA.

“So we’re going to their philanthropies and going to their fraternity and sorority houses and places where they’re going to spend their time,” she said.

According to their mission statement, FOCUS “is a Catholic collegiate outreach whose mission is to share the hope and joy of the gospel with college and university students…FOCUS missionaries encounter students in friendship where they are, inviting them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accompanying them as they pursue lives of virtue and excellence.”

FOCUS’ main methods of outreach include bible studies, one-on-one student-missionary mentorships known as discipleships, mission trips, and other events. Within the organization, there are subgroups designed to reach more specific groups of students – such as FOCUS Greek for Greek students, or Varsity Catholic for student athletes.

The ultimate goal is to unite all students together at the Catholic Church, Moran said, but FOCUS Greek (and other subgroups) “helps expose (students) to others in Greek life who are experiencing the same things, and helps them to have a community of people striving for faith within the Greek community.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041918)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

April 18, 2018

Press Obsesses Over EPA Pittances, Ignores Huge 2016 Problems at HUD

After nearly a decade of indifference, the press has again began to question federal expenditures, focusing on trivial items to score political points. There’s nothing wrong with watching pennies, but the uptick in such efforts contrasts sharply with the failure to notice monumentally larger stacks of pennies wasted during the Obama administration. The most recent example, covered by the Daily Caller and virtually no one else: nearly $2 billion in HUD-FHA loans disbursed in 2016 to borrowers who should not have been allowed to receive them.



CNN’s Don Lemon: Some Pro-Trump Guests Don’t Mean What They Say

In a podcast posted on Monday, CNN’s Don Lemon told National Review’s Jamie Weinstein that some pro-Trump panelists on his show have admitted that, in Weinstein’s words, “they don’t believe what they are saying” — as if knee-jerk leftists never engage in such disingenuous behavior (sure, Don). Lemon apparently has no problem allowing people who have allegedly admitted to this behavior to continue serving as panelists. Lemon’s statement is a de facto admission that he and his network are willing to broadcast fake opinions.



Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041818)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Is it Realistic to Think We Will Ever End Abortion? Yes. Here’s Why

Filed under: Activism,Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:55 am

From by Brad Mattes:

APR 12, 2018, 12:48PM

Pretty much wherever I go, people ask if it’s realistic to think we can end the brutality of abortion. Except for being asked about my grandchildren, nothing more easily brings a smile to my face.

No longer do those of us in the pro-life movement ask, “Will we succeed?” We ask, “When will we succeed?” And I believe pro-abortion advocates look upon our optimism with dread.

Here’s a significant reason why we’re going to end the suffering, death and pain of American’s unborn children.

It’s true that technology and science are important reasons for our ultimate success, but the nation’s youth and young adults are proving to be a crucial asset for the babies.

Polls show that millennials and their younger cohorts, Generation Z, are more pro-life than their parents. Plus, they have a zeal and passion for justice.

What greater injustice is there than killing innocent preborn children in the womb?

I became involved in the movement at the age of 18 when young people were more or less a novelty. It showed in 1977 when I first attended the annual March for Life in Washington, DC.

Now, easily two-thirds of the 100,000-plus marchers are 25 or younger, and the event has transformed from a somber commemoration into a celebration of life complete with drums, joyful chanting and songs, complimented by cheerful balloons and matching scarfs and caps.

After 45 years, the media and other abortion advocates are both mystified why we’re still here and alarmed by the increased momentum reflected in the election of more pro-life politicians and life-saving legislation – and most importantly, a continuing decline in the number of abortions.

The annual body count is lower than any time since Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton legalized abortion on demand throughout pregnancy.

But we have a long way to go, and pro-life advocates, including its youthful members, understand the urgency of the situation. 2,500 babies are killed each day in abortion chambers across our nation.

The exciting news is that young pro-lifers are bringing their talents to the table. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 17, 2018

Amazon, Jeff Bezos Continue to Get a Virtual Pass For Alleged Sweatshop Practices

One way to look at the grief Starbucks has received for enforcing a reasonable policy at a Philadelphia store — namely, “If you’re not here to buy something, you don’t have an automatic right to be here” — is to ask why current and Executive Chairman and former CEO Howard Schultz didn’t buy some protection by purchasing a major newspaper. Fellow Seattle-area resident and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos did that with the Washington Post in 2013. Amazon’s alleged engagement in 21st-century sweatshop practices and union-busting has gone virtually unnoticed in the establishment press since Bezos bought the Post.



Evidence-Free Ron Brownstein on CNN: Comey Hurts Trump With White College Grads

CNN’s Monday Situation Room tortured its audience with an out-of-thin-air assessment by Ron Brownstein that James Comey’s book and his public visibility would hurt President Donald Trump’s standing with white, college-educated voters — because they “look like” him. This is what passes for “analysis” on the formerly serious cable news network.



Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041718)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Stranger on a Plane Adopts Woman’s Baby After She Decides Not to Have an Abortion

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

Via LifeNews.com, as story from Arkansas:

APR 12, 2018, 12:15PM

Samantha Snipes initially considered abortion when she found out she was pregnant to her abusive boyfriend.

But encouragement from her mother and then a chance encounter on a plane led Snipes down a very different road. She chose to make an adoption plan for her son, Vaughn, now 2, and “couldn’t be happier.”

Sharing her story on the blog Love What Matters, Snipes said she got pregnant at age 24 while in an abusive relationship. She said she clung to hopes that her boyfriend would change because of their unborn child, but he did not. At three months of pregnancy, Snipes left and flew home to her mother in Arkansas.

“I was discouraged and depressed,” she said. “I was trying to imagine a place where my child was going to be nurtured and grow.”

Her mother encouraged her to consider parenting or adoption, and Snipes chose adoption. She also said she eventually met another man online and began corresponding with him.

When she was eight months pregnant, she booked a flight to North Carolina to meet him for the first time. On the plane, she said she sat next to a friendly woman named Temple Phipps whose warmth and interest in her made her feel at peace.

“Nervous as I was about the flight, I found comfort in getting to know her. We only had an hour together, but I felt as if we had been friends for years,” she said.

They discussed adoption and exchanged phone numbers; three days later, Snipes gave birth to her son, away from home and family, Fox News reports.

“He was healthy, and that is all that a mother could ever want,” Snipes said. “Yet, I still didn’t feel like a mother to the point that I should.”

She called Phipps the next day, and the woman came to the hospital to support her and her newborn son.

“I told her I had the baby and needed someone to talk to,” Snipes said. “She agreed to come see me and keep me company.

“After Temple got there, I had asked if she wanted to feed my son. She excitedly accepted. She was so nervous, she shook a little as she raised the bottle to his mouth. I watched as she fed him, bonded with him. They were happy to meet one another. They were smiling back at each other as they spent time together,” she continued.

Then, she knew she wanted Phipps to be the one to adopt her son.

“We talked while she was there visiting and during our conversation I asked Temple if she would like to adopt my son as her own,” Snipes said. “She was caught so off guard. She was in disbelief that I even asked her, a stranger, but a stranger that felt more like family to me than anyone.”

Phipps agreed, and two years later, Snipes said she is so happy she did. The two families live about an hour apart, and Snipes often gets to see her son and his adoptive mom.

She said she hopes her story will encourage other pregnant moms who are struggling through difficult situations. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 16, 2018

‘Fact-Checkers’ Continue to Ignore Keith Ellison’s Growing Pile of False Claims

Friday, Minnesota Congressman and DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison told a “progressive” audience that “Women are dying because we are losing elections,” specifically alleging that this is the case in Texas and Missouri.

It was yet another false claim — even if numerically true, the results would have to be traceable to specific actions by Republican lawmakers in those states, and they aren’t — in what has been a series of them during the past several weeks. The Democratic Party operatives posing as “fact-checkers” have been predictably AWOL.



Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041618)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Pro-Life Students at Hundreds of Schools Walk Out to Protest Babies Dying in Abortions

Filed under: Education,Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington, via LifeNews.com:

APR 12, 2018, 10:12AM

Students at hundreds of schools across America walked out of their classrooms Wednesday to protest the violence committed every day against babies in the womb.

The event originated with Sacramento, California high school student Brandon Gillespie after his history teacher was suspended for talking with students about whether pro-life students would get the same support for their human rights concerns as those who engaged in the walkout regarding gun violence earlier this spring, according to Students for Life of America.

It did not.

While students at hundreds of high schools and colleges across the country held walk-outs Wednesday, their efforts received very little media attention. Some also faced obstacles from school administrators regarding the 17-minute protest.

“One principal tried to intimidate a student out of promoting his pro-life walkout,” according to Students for Life. The student told them: “My principal has proposed a compromise, he wants me to meet with the FCA and do a ‘meet at the pole’ at 8:30 so that ‘we don’t disrupt instruction.’ He also told me it doesn’t need to go to the media (I’ve already made a press release and sent it to local press.”

Gillespie said he did not receive the same accommodations from his school that those protesting gun violence did several weeks ago.

“I really was not surprised when they told me that they were not going to give me the accommodations and that they were not going to sanction this walkout as they did the previous one,” he said prior to the event. “It just confirms for me that there is a political double standard, at least in my school district, but I’m still going to be out there.”

His school administrators contend the gun violence protest was “viewpoint neutral,” while Gillespie’s pro-life protest was not. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 15, 2018

MSNBC Descends Into a ‘Wag the Dog’ Obsession Over Trump and Syria

It turns out that Rachel Maddow’s speculation, articulated twice on Friday, that President Donald Trump ordered air strikes in Syria “because of scandal” is not limited to one far-left MSNBC host. It’s a perceived, widely-shared likelihood which has frequently been tied to Wag the Dog, a movie which appeared just before the late-1990s Clinton-Lewinsky scandal broke.



AP Furiously Dissembles in Four-Paragraph Item on McCabe IG Report

The press has clearly chosen to downplay the Inspector General’s damning Friday report on the conduct leading to former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s dismissal. The worst such example was a grudging Saturday item at the Associated Press.

The IG’s report had a quote which the press could easily have used:

We concluded that McCabe lacked candor on four separate occasions in connection with the disclosure to the WSJ. Three of those occasions involved his testimony under oath.

Those who avoided directly quoting that succinct, readily understandable, unmistakable statement included the AP; Reuters, whose headline contended that the IG only “faulted” McCabe; the New York Times, which also used “faulted” in its headline, but at least described the IG’s report as “scathing”; and CBS News, which headlined the IG’s clearly stated conclusions as mere “claims.”

Two AP reporters devoted only four paragraphs to their story, and furiously dissembled on McCabe’s behalf:


Addressing the underlined items above — “Misled” understates McCabe’s offenses. The word is not present in the IG’s report, because it contains several direct conclusions that McCabe lied:

  • Item 2 of 4 states that “he falsely told the agents that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ and did not know who did.” Such a statement isn’t an example of misleading, it’s a flat-out lie.
  • Item 3 states that McCabe “falsely stated that: (a) he was not aware of Special Counsel being authorized to speak to reporters around October 30 and (b) he did not know, because he was out of town, ‘where [Special Counsel] was or what she was doing’ during the relevant time period.” That’s two lies in one item.
  • In one of three examples of “lack of candor” in Item 4, McCabe “falsely told the OIG in a recorded interview that: (a) he told Comey on October 31, 2016, that he (McCabe) had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ and that Comey agreed it was a ‘good’ idea.” Obviously, that’s another lie.

The headlined term “on media” is incoherent gibberish. The “news media disclosure” in AP’s text avoids telling readers that, per the IG, “McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation … (into the Clinton Foundation) violated the FBI’s and the (Justice) Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”

The AP reporters acted as if the IG invented the term “lack of candor” on his own. The term is official FBI-speak for “untruthfulness or an attempt to dissemble from the point of view of the investigator” — a description going far beyond “misled” which “confers an obligation to disclose relevant information even if an investigator has not directly asked about it.” A 21-year veteran of the FBI genuinely interested in candor would have studiously avoided being “misunderstood,” as McCabe alleges.

The AP was not shy about using the L-word with President Donald Trump’s pardon of Scooter Libby. Its Friday evening report on the pardon said Libby was convicted of “lying to investigators.” Its timeline coverage of the story used that phrase four times.

Cross-posted, with potential revisions, at NewsBusters.org.