Remember New Year's Eve almost 12 months ago? Were you holding high hopes it would be your best year yet?
Amidst the jubilant celebration were you lifting praise to God for anticipated success and breakthrough in your life?
Looking back over the year do you have to admit things just didn't turn out the way you had hoped? Unexpected setbacks…financial reversals… disappointments… failures... mistakes... betrayals... need we go on? more >>
The North Korea Freedom Federation hosted a press conference earlier this week calling for world governments to take action against North Korea's human rights abuses, after reports emerged that the nine orphans who had attempted to flee in 2013 with the help of a Christian missionary might've been killed.
Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California, who participated at the press conference in Washington, D.C., said in a statement: "The findings of the Commission of Inquiry give us good reason to be deeply concerned about their fate, not just today, but for years to come.
He added: "If these children have met the horrible fate of so many other North Korean refugees, that is a crime against humanity. But if the nine are alive, it is evidence that international pressure can help save North Korean lives. Beijing, in cooperation with UNHCR, must help us find the truth about these nine children." more >>
Susan Patton, better known as the "Princeton Mom," recently shared her views on college and acquaintance rape, which she called a "learning experience."
"We're talking about nothing but rape on campus, it seems like, for the last several weeks or months, but I think what makes this conversation so particularly prickly is the definition of rape," Patton said on CNN. "It no longer is when a woman is violated at the point of a gun or knife. We're now talking about, or identifying as rape, what really is a clumsy hookup melodrama, or a fumbled attempt at a kiss or caress."
The country has been discussing college rape after Rolling Stone published an article about the University of Virginia and the case of a student called "Jackie." The story was called into question and now Rolling Stone, the reporter of the story, and even the alleged victim have been blamed for spreading rumors and/or lies. Patton's comments about the situation indicate one side of the argument. more >>
As somebody who was raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations, the phrase "blended family" has always reminded me of a blender. Yes, a literal blender, like this.
A blender is a machine that takes various soft tissues and liquefies, chops, cuts, etc., with the intent of creating a unique new, whole, thing. It isn't a pleasant process if you happen to be in the role of the blendee. I know that the intent behind "blended family" is to convey something far milder than being put through a blender. It's supposed to serve as a replacement for "step family," which some feel is more harsh or stark.
There is a certain presupposition to the phrase, isn't there? It goes like this: that the blending process will proceed rapidly and smoothly, and will yield a consistent, predictable result. To continue with the cooking analogy, if something can't be blended in a blender we don't even try. Similarly, we don't refer to a smoothie as "blended smoothie." It's the same with other food items. We don't say, "blended bean dip." Either the process works, and therefore "blended" is implied in description, or it doesn't work, and we don't even try it. Isn't "blended" only widely used as an adjective with the word "family?" Can you think of other widely used phrases that use the word "blended" as an adjective? I cannot. more >>
When I speak about enhanced interrogation — or indeed virtually all of our controversial tactics in the war on terror, including the drone program — I tend to begin with three moral propositions.
First, it is immoral to establish legal doctrines that would provide unlawful combatants with all the same protections as lawful prisoners of war. The reason for this is simple. As I said yesterday, doing so provides a terrorist or other unlawful enemy with an incentive to keep violating legal norms and thus provides them with enormous tactical advantages. The laws of war originated in moral norms that aspire to limit combat to the combatants. Terrorists disrupt these legal and moral norms not just by intentionally targeting civilians but also by intentionally mingling with civilians.
But it goes even beyond incentivizing terror tactics. Providing the same protections incentivizes the war itself. Terror apologists respond to the jihadist war crime of concealing themselves within the civilian population by asserting that's their only choice if they wish to fight the U.S. or Israel — they'd be slaughtered in open combat. Yes, they would. And the laws of war dictate that utterly futile combat is a needless waste of life and a further violation of international legal norms. So, in short, don't initiate a war that you cannot lawfully win. more >>
In a remarkable but thus-far unnoticed address on Dec. 5, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain (an island kingdom in the Persian Gulf and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet), candidly analyzed the Islamist enemy and suggested important ways to fight it.
He has much to teach Westerners (starting with his hapless UK counterpart, Crown Prince Charles), if only we would listen. Yes, some Western leaders speak about confronting the Islamist ideology, but the majority avoids this issue by resorting to euphemism, obfuscation, and cowardice. Most frustrating are those leaders (like Tony Blair) who deliver powerful speeches without follow-through.
Prince Salman, 45 and widely acknowledged to be the Bahraini royal family's principal reformer, opens his remarks by addressing the inaccuracy of the phrase, "War on Terror." The time has come, he says "for us to get rid of" a term that dates back to 9/11. "It is a bit misleading, it is not the entirety and the totality of our conflict" but merely a "tool" and a tactic. more >>