Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Why I Won’t Be A Short-Order Cook

TheFederalist

But I did learn a few important lessons:

  1. My mother’s life did not revolve around my whims.
  2. If I wanted something, it was up to me to make it.
  3. An orange a day can prevent scurvy.

Was my mother cruel? Was she lazy? Many of my friends’ parents thought so. My friends were jealous I could make myself dinner every night, especially because it was mac and cheese.

Fast forward to my early teen years, and my mother, who had expected me to complete minor tasks like making a sandwich in my toddler years or a microwave dinner in grade school had stepped up her game. I was practically running entire parts of the household solo. I handled some of the bills, balanced checkbooks. There were even a few credit cards that were in both of our names. Those credit cards were my responsibility: I charged to them, I paid them in full with my own money—earned babysitting and by doing chores—and was expected to do so on time. At restaurants, calculating the tip was left on my shoulders. At the doctor’s office and hospitals, giving medical history and insurance information was, as well. My mother’s friends told her that she was making me grow up too soon, that it was too much responsibility for a young girl to manage on her own with minimal supervision.

After my mother died, all of the lessons I was taught about balancing checkbooks, paying bills, and living as an adult went from supervised practice runs to reality. At 18 years old, I was living in a studio apartment alone in the Bronx, going to school and working, both on a full-time basis. I hit some bumps in the road in the beginning; my power was turned off once because I forgot to pay the bill. Overall, though, my first year on my own in the adult world, living hand-to-mouth in a cockroach-infested apartment in a seedy neighborhood, was fairly uneventful. I was able to keep my head above water with bills, time management, and cooking because my mother forced all of these responsibilities on me when I was “too young.”

My mother, thankfully, never believed in such a thing. Her philosophy was “if she’s able to do it, she’s not too young.” Parents might think that getting three healthy meals into their picky eaters a day is the best thing for their future health. But catering to a young child’s every demanding whim is unhealthy, no matter the calorie count of her dinner.

Catholic bishops scrap welcome to gays in sign of split

WashingtonTimes

Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document earlier in the week.

The revised paragraph had said “people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy.” But the paragraph failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Two other paragraphs concerning the other hot-button issue at the synod — whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion — also failed to pass.

It wasn’t clear, though, if the 118-62 vote on the gay section was more a protest by progressive bishops who refused to back the watered-down wording. The revised paragraph had deleted the words of acceptance of gays’ sexual orientation and acknowledgement that gay unions can provide “precious support” to partners that had been contained in the draft.

Francis insisted in the name of transparency that the full document — including the paragraphs that failed to pass — be published along with the voting tally. The document will serve as the basis for future debate leading up to another meeting of bishops next October.

Eric Holder’s Top Deputy Resigns Amid Revelation Fast and Furious Guns Used in Phoenix Crime

Breitbart

The top deputy to Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation on Thursday amid revelations that Operation Fast and Furious scandal guns were used to harm Americans in Phoenix in 2013, a development top congressional Republicans say President Obama’s administration sought to cover up.

Documents released by conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch—and put forward by Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)—show that an assault rifle purchased as part of Fast and Furious was used in a Phoenix-area crime in July 2013 that left two people wounded.

Part of a police report shows the rifle’s serial number, 1977DX1654. Judicial Watch obtained the documents from a lawsuit it filed against the city of Phoenix, Judicial Watch v. City of Phoenix, to get officials to release the documents. Judicial Watch had filed an Aug. 5, 2014, public records request with the city, which it ignored, forcing Judicial Watch to file the lawsuit on Oct. 2.

“Thanks to our lawsuit, Congress has been able to confirm what Judicial Watch already reported—that a Fast and Furious weapon was used in yet another violent crime that terrorized and injured residents of Phoenix,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a Thursday statement:

Our lawsuit against Phoenix exposed how the Obama cover-up of Fast and Furious is ongoing. Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is a mess. It has endangered the public and is engaged in an ongoing cover-up of its insanely reckless Fast and Furious gun-running operation. Judicial Watch appreciates the refreshing diligence of Senator Grassley and Congressman Issa in pursuing the truth about Fast and Furious.

Bully pulpit: Houston subpoenas pastors’ sermons, then backs off amidst outcry

WashingtonTimes

After calling church sermons “fair game” for subpoena, Houston Mayor Annise Parker backed down Wednesday from the city’s effort to force local pastors to turn over speeches and papers related to a hotly contested transgender rights ordinance.

The city had asked five pastors for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons” on a variety of topics, including the mayor, and “gender identity.”

The subpoena prompted a storm of criticism when it became public Tuesday. The pastors are involved in legal efforts to overturn the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as the “bathroom bill.”

The pastors and their allies called the city’s broad demand a threat to religious freedom and proof that gay and transgender rights bills can be used as weapons to demonize Christianity.

“The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican.

Ms. Parker’s office initially doubled down in the face of such criticism but issued a statement late Wednesday saying the mayor “agrees with those who are concerned about the city legal department’s subpoenas for pastors’ sermons.”

City of Houston’s Subpoenas of Pastors ‘Shocking & Shameful’

Breitbart

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has weighed in regarding the controversial subpoenas that the City of Houston sent to several Houston area pastors, demanding copies of their sermons and speeches, as well as communications with church members.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, the dispute stems from an anti-discrimination ordinance passed by Houston regarding discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. The pastors’ churches were part of a coalition of hundreds of churches in the Houston area that opposed the ordinance. After a referendum petition seeking to get a repeal measure on the November ballot was tossed out over allegations that the petition signature gatherers were not qualified under Texas law, a lawsuit was filed, but the pastors were not a part of the litigation. The pastors have obtained legal representation and filed a motion to quash the subpoenas, arguing that they were an illegal demand of their “their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications.”

Cruz agreed with the pastors and their attorneys, releasing a statement Wednesday that echoed the religious liberty and free speech arguments they made. “I’m proud to stand with the pastors,” said Cruz. “Religious liberty is the very first protection in the Bill of Rights, the foundation of all our liberties. The City of Houston’s subpoenas demanding that pastors provide the government with copies of their sermons is both shocking and shameful. For far too long, the federal government has led an assault against religious liberty, and now, sadly, my hometown of Houston is joining the fight. This is wrong.  It’s unbefitting of Texans, and it’s un-American.”

The senator also criticized the subpoenas as a “grotesque abuse of power” by the city government. “The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons. These subpoenas are a grotesque abuse of power, and the officials who approved them should be held accountable by the people. The Mayor should be ashamed. And we should all be proud to stand up and defend the pastors who are resisting these blatant attempts to suppress their First Amendment rights.”

Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, remains stubborn in her desire to pursue these subpoenas against the pastors, posting two tweets just before midnight last night calling the sermons “fair game” and taking a swipe at her critics as uninformed:

We’ll Tell You How Dangerous Ebola Is After The Election

DailyCaller

There had never been a case of Ebola in the U.S. until a few months ago. Since then, thousands of people have died of the disease in Africa, and millions upon millions of dollars have been spent treating Ebola patients in the U.S. who acquired it there, one of whom has died.

But the Obama administration refuses to impose a travel ban.

This summer, the U.S. government imposed a travel ban on Israel simply to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu into accepting a ceasefire agreement. But we can’t put a travel restriction on countries where a contagious disease is raging.

It’s becoming increasingly clear this is just another platform for Obama to demonstrate that we are citizens of the world. The entire Ebola issue is being discussed — by our government, not the United Nations — as if Liberians are indistinguishable from Americans, and U.S. taxpayers should be willing to pay whatever it takes to save them.

Maybe we should give them the vote, too! If Ebola was concentrated in Finland and Norway — certainly Israel! — we’d have had a travel ban on Day One.

Naturally, Obama is sending troops from the 101st Airborne, the pride of our Army, to Liberia. Their general should resign in protest.

Quite obviously, the only way to protect Americans is to prevent Ebola from coming here in the first place. The problem isn’t that Ebola will leap across oceans to infect Americans; it’s that Obama doesn’t want to protect Americans.

At least he’s only putting expendable Americans on the frontlines of the Ebola epidemic — doctors, nurses, members of the 101st Airborne.

Obama Is Risking a U.S. Ebola Outbreak for His Own Ambitions

TheFiscalTimes

The president, who opened his 2013 speech at the University of Cape Town by saying, “Some of you may be aware of this, but I actually took my first step into political life because of South Africa,” is desperate to rebuilding his standing. He is trying to do so in foolish and dangerous ways.

Sending 4,000 American troops to the epicenter of the viral outbreak, to help build medical facilities and generally contribute manpower to the stricken and chaotic nations, can only end in tragedy. This is not what our troops signed up for.

At the same time, President Obama is refusing to cancel flights to the United States from the most stricken nations.  Other nations’ airlines starting banning flights to and from Liberia, Sierra Leon and Guinea in August. By the end of that month more than one third of international flights to the region had been cancelled. Countries in the area, including South Africa and Senegal, closed their borders with their neighbors to help stem the spread of the disease. Chad closed its border with Nigeria after that nation saw an outbreak of the deadly disease.

Instead of banning the flights, the White House has TSA workers taking the temperatures of passengers arriving at five U.S. airports. The fact that people may carry the virus for as much as 21 days before displaying any symptoms – including fever – renders this effort half-baked at best.

In fact, the entire response to the Ebola outbreak by our government so far seems half-baked. Tom Frieden, head of the Center for Disease Control, recently wrote on his blog, “The U.S. health system has been preparing since late March” for the arrival of the Ebola virus on our shores.  In light of the death of Thomas Duncan in Dallas and infection of one of his healthcare providers, many Americans are wondering: what exactly was the nature of those preparations?

Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors

Telegraph

Memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors, according to new research that may explain how phobias can develop.

Scientists have long assumed that memories and learned experiences built up during a lifetime must be passed on by teaching later generations or through personal experience.

However, new research has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA.

Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, found that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences – in this case a fear of the smell of cherry blossom – to subsequent generations.

The results may help to explain why people suffer from seemingly irrational phobias – it may be based on the inherited experiences of their ancestors.

Attend diversity training? No, it’s brainwashing they want…

This Guy Cited His Christian Faith in Refusing to Make T-Shirts Advertising a Gay Pride Parade — and Now His Company Is Being Punished

A civil rights commissioner has found that a Kentucky T-shirt company that refused to print shirts for a gay pride parade is guilty of discrimination, calling for its employees to attend diversity training — but the company likely won’t be backing down.

Greg Munson of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission announced last Tuesday that Hands on Originals, a T-shirt company based in Lexington, Kentucky, discriminated against the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington when it refused to print the shirts.

As TheBlaze previously reported, the gay rights group filed a complaint against Hands on Originals back in March 2012, alleging that it had been discriminated against due to sexual orientation.

Company owner Blaine Adamson has since argued that Hands on Originals is a Christian business and that the views espoused by the T-shirt — which advertised a gay pride festival — violated his religious beliefs.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal firm, has defended Adamson throughout the two-year legal process, with senior counsel Jim Campbell telling TheBlaze that the commission’s preliminary ruling isn’t definitively clear.

It reads, in part: “The Respondent’s refusal to provide goods and services of public accommodation to the Charging Party constitutes unlawful discrimination against the members of the [Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington] on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity in violation of Local Ordinance 201-99.”

Campbell said that local human rights commissions often times have “scattered, unclear rules.” At this point he said that Munson’s ruling will not officially stand until it is either adopted or modified by the full Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission.

The name really is a non-issue

Controversial Navajo Nation president and his wife join Washington Redskins owner in his VIP box at NFL game – as protesters gather against ‘racist’ name outside

RedskinsWashington Redskins owner Dan Snyder sparked even more outrage over his team’s name on Sunday when he invited the president of the largest Native American reservation to sit in his box at a game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Outgoing Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and his wife Martha even wore Redskins hats to rub elbows with Snyder, amid intense public debate over whether the D.C. team should be allowed to keep its name, which many civil rights groups have deemed insensitive and racist towards Native American people.

Shelly, however, is not the most convincing Native American ally as he does not have an overwhelming support from his tribe.In August he finished seventh in the presidential primary elections, and will be exiting office on January 14.

Snyder is currently in a legal battle with the U.S. Patent office, which cancelled the Redskins team name last June. Snyder has vowed never to change the name – saying it actually honors the legacy of American Indians.

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