Month: March 2018

6 Christian Communities that Can’t Practice Their Religion Freely This Easter

As Christians around the world prepare to observe the holy weekend of Easter, many will be asked at their services to pray for the persecuted around the world. After years of advocacy groups raising awareness, the plight of the Christians of the Middle East, particularly in the former Islamic State territories, has become common knowledge among American Christians. Yet they are far from the only group that will celebrate Easter this year in defiance of state persecution, mob violence, and repressive cultural norms imposed by groups threatened by the spread of the Christian faith. Click here for a list of six countries where Christians struggle to practice their faith freely against systematic institutional and cultural pressure.

And this is nowhere near the full list.  It doesn’t even mention N. Korea, where the practice of Christianity is punishable by death.

Ted Nugent on Parkland Gun Control Activists: ‘They Have No Soul’

Rocker and NRA board member Ted Nugent used an appearance on the “The Joe Page Show” to describe the Parkland gun control activists as people who “have no soul.” The Hill published excerpts from the interview, with Nugent describing the gun control push as “ignorant and dangerously stupid” and “soulless.” He added, “These poor children, I’m afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul.” Nugent believes the media is not only propping up the Parkland gun control activists but also giving them direction in what to say. He said, “The dumbing down of America is manifested in the culture deprivation of our academia that have taught these kids the lies, media that have prodded and encouraged and provided these kids lies.” His comments come after more than a month of intense criticism of the NRA and politicians associated with it. On March 17 Breitbart News reported that David Hogg, one of the Parkland gun control activists, released a PSA in which he asked, “What if our politicians weren’t the b*tch of the NRA?”

Gotta love Uncle Ted not holding back, and calling it as he sees it.   Excellent!     🙂

11 Easter Sunday dining deals

No matter how you celebrate, Easter is a wonderful time to gather loved ones and ring in a new spring season with a beautiful meal. Whether you’re busy with work, travel or simply don’t want to cook for the holiday, one of these chains near you is surely serving up delectable fare. Though restaurants will likely be less crowded on April 1 than other food-centric holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, making advance reservations is still an egg-cellent idea. And sure, Easter falls on April Fool’s Day this year, but these deals and steals are no joke… Click here to see our list.

Happy Easter!!   🙂

Opinion: MLB’s Opening Day: What the NFL could learn from Major League Baseball

On Major League Baseball’s opening day Thursday, hope springs eternal across the country. Even as Chicago Cubs fans shiver in their puffy blue jackets, New York Yankees fans rub their hands together in the Bronx, and millions of baseball fans search box scores at work, a unity among people from all backgrounds not only exists, it flourishes. So does patriotism. The “Star-Spangled Banner” actually debuted in the sports world thanks to baseball. In 1918 during Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Babe Ruth – a man who would become arguably the most iconic home run hitter – and his teammates first sang along to the national anthem. The Cubs followed suit, and the pageantry quickly spread to every team across the league. Appropriately, baseball earned the nickname “America’s Pastime.” Now, compare that to the modern-day National Football League, where the en vogue trend has been to kneel for our country’s most emblematic sign of solidarity. This movement, spearheaded by the now-unemployed Colin Kaepernick, is meant to protest police brutality against African-Americans. Supporters will tell you it has nothing to do with the flag … despite players using the American flag as a prop to give themselves the most publicity. When President Trump weighed in on the matter, which he repeatedly and rightfully did, at least 200 players knelt or sat during the anthem last Sept. 24. Many of those players – on the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars rosters – actually had the audacity to still stand for “God Save the Queen” prior to kick off in London. It was a blatant sign of disrespect, followed months later by an even more egregious act. The league rejected a print ad for this year’s Super Bowl program that read “#PleaseStand.” In response, a NFL spokesperson said the Super Bowl has “never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.” Hey, Commissioner Roger Goodell, how about you tell your own players that? You know how many baseball players have knelt during the national anthem? One. Bruce Maxwell, a catcher for the Oakland A’s, joined in the protest late last fall. It was short-lived and he failed to garner any participation from teammates. This is in part because most baseball players see the consequences of an ongoing problem in this current political climate: Debate isn’t just relegated to politics anymore. Athletes and coaches increasingly use America’s beloved pastimes, and their participation in them, as a method of division. But in reality, sports should exist as a way to bring Americans together. Just one regular baseball season provides 162 opportunities for refuge from tiresome rigors of everyday life or from the wounds of tragedy. At Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, baseball helped Americans transcend the most horrific act of terrorism on U.S. soil – 9/11. Against security recommendations, then-President George W. Bush decided to make an appearance and throw out the first pitch. He strode onto the field waving one hand and holding a baseball in the other. Smiling ear to ear, the president took the mound and calmness instantly enveloped the stadium. As soon as the ball hit the catcher’s mitt, cheers and chants of “U-S-A” erupted. “The country, which was rallying at the time, had further caused a rally to see baseball being played, and I was just a part of that,” President Bush told ESPN. “I didn’t realize how symbolic it was, though, ‘til I made it to the mound.” Even before that game, baseball helped bring Americans back to normalcy after 9/11. The Mets and Braves played each other when games resumed that season after the tragedy, and for one beautiful, brief moment two bitter division rivals tipped their caps to the people of New York City and shared a feeling of resiliency. That same embodiment of hope propelled an already extremely talented Houston Astros roster to a World Series clinch over the Dodgers last year. Game 6 scored Fox its best ratings in almost a decade after the Dodgers staged a rallying comeback. Even though the larger market team didn’t win the Commissioner’s Trophy, it felt like the whole country shared a piece of joy with the Astros. As Houston learned from Hurricane Harvey, catastrophe can strike from Mother Nature too, and even though thousands of Houston residents lost most of their belongings and homes, a baseball team managed to rekindle their spirit. All of our spirits will once again reignite with pleasure as the 2018 baseball season kicks off. As you enjoy a hot dog, watch a flyover, and tip your cap to veterans, take a minute to appreciate the beauty of a sport that, unlike the NFL, contributes to and enhances the patriotic fabric of our country.

Agreed!  And, well said Britt!  Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry is the author of that spot-on op/ed.  Excellent!!     🙂

Analysis: Scott Pruitt Is #Winning, Bans Junk Science from Environmental Protection Agency

Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” – the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data. Pruitt told Daily Caller: “We need to make sure their data and methodology are published as part of the record. Otherwise, it’s not transparent. It’s not objectively measured, and that’s important.” This decision will correct a longstanding injustice at the EPA, perpetrated against the U.S. taxpayer. For years the EPA has been able to behave as a law unto itself, cavalierly passing regulations which restrict freedoms, hamper business and hold back the U.S. economy for reasons which have much more to do with left-leaning environmentalist politics than with objective science. The problem dates back to the early 1990s when the EPA decided it wanted to regulate fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 but couldn’t find any hard scientific evidence proving it was harmful.

Kudos to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for trying to bring some sanity to the EPA.  For more on this excellent op/ed from James Delingpole, just click on the text above.    🙂

Extreme vetting: State Dept. to demand tourists’ social media history

The State Department will publish new rules this week that would require most visitors and immigrants to the U.S. to turn over their recent social media histories, carrying out one of President Trump’s key security enhancements from his extreme vetting executive order. Travelers would also be asked to list previous phone numbers, email addresses and international travel during the previous five years, and to detail any immigration problems they’ve had, whether with the U.S. or elsewhere. They’ll also be asked about potential family connections to terrorism. And in a striking human rights move, would-be immigrants from countries where female genital mutilation is prevalent would be directed to a website ensuring they’re aware the practice — common in some African countries — is illegal in the U.S. The proposals are laid out in two new documents slated to be published Friday, kicking off a comment period before the government finalizes the policies. “This upgrade to visa vetting is long overdue, and it’s appropriate to apply it to everyone seeking entry, because terrorism is a worldwide problem. The aim is to try to weed out people with radical or dangerous views,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies. She also called the effort to discourage female genital mutilation “innovative.” “The message needs to be sent that ‘we don’t do that here,’ ” she said. Security experts have demanded the government collect more information from visitors and immigrants for years, but civil liberties groups have been wary of the move. Homeland Security had floated plans to track social media of immigrant applicants, but the State Department’s new proposal would apply to tourists and others coming on temporary visas. Some 14 million people would be affected by the request for information, the department’s documents say. Don Crocetti, a former senior fraud investigator for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said it makes sense to collect the information — but said officers need to stay within privacy rules, too. He said in the immigration context, looking at social media can help an adjudicator assess whether the story the applicant is telling for applying for a benefit rings true — such as in the case of a marriage petition. But Mr. Crocetti said someone’s refusal to turn over the passwords or other non-public social media information can’t be used on its own to deny approval. “The use of social media is a wrench in their tool box. It’s not that you use that same wrench for everything you do, but it’s a wrench, it’s a different sized tool, and you have use that selectively,” he said. The State Department said it already collects limited information about travel history and family relations. The new information will go beyond that to include prior passport numbers, information about family members, and a longer history of past travel, employment and contact information. “Collecting this additional information from visa applicants will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity,” the department said. Ms. Vaughan said she wished the State Department had also requested information on the visitor application asking whether female travelers are intending to enter the U.S. for the purpose of having a child. She said that could cut down on what’s known as “birth tourism,” where women in the late stages of pregnancy visit the U.S. in order to give birth on American soil, which secures citizenship for the child.

Donations Pour in for Rifle Team After School District Rejects NRA’s ‘Dirty Money’

A Pennsylvania high school rifle team is being flooded with donations from local businesses and residents after its school district voted to reject a National Rifle Association grant. The Stroudsburg Area School District’s board voted 6-2 Monday to reject the $4,730 grant, the Allentown Morning Call reported, with one board member calling it “dirty money.” The president of a local contracting company, upset by the decision, spearheaded a fundraiser in which several businesses bundled more than $6,000 to replace the grant money. Brian Winot’s group of local business donors put out a press release criticizing what they called the politicization of the situation. “[The business owners] are all members of the NRA and strongly disagree with the school board’s decision and further attempt to politicize guns in this country, on the backs of our kids,” the business owners stated. On top of that, a Democratic state lawmaker set up a GoFundMe campaign so that the rifle team would be funded without help from the NRA. “We have students organizing marches in Washington [and] all around this nation crying out for their lives. God forbid anything happens in this school, how are we going to feel about taking that money?” said State Rep. Maureen Madden (D-Tobyhanna). The funding call brought in more than $5,000 in the past few days. According to an AP analysis, about 500 U.S. schools received more than $7.3 million from the NRA from 2010 through 2016 to promote the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp, rifle teams and hunting safety courses.

Of course the dominantly liberal mainstream media doesn’t want you to know that.