ACLU Threatens to Stamp Out Diversity by Shuttering Faith-Based Adoption Agencies

"Specifically, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Michigan over a 2015 law that allows religious adoption agencies to decline placing children with same-sex parents, in accordance with their religious convictions.

"If the ACLU prevails in court, it would overturn the Michigan law and force numerous faith-based adoption agencies to choose between following their beliefs about marriage and family, or going out of business, leaving thousands of foster children out in the cold without families.

"Despite the ACLU's attacks, Michigan's law is neither unconventional nor unprecedented. It simply preserves the status quo in which religious adoption agencies and foster families can serve children on equal terms with secular adoption agencies and foster families."

Alice's Oxford | Peter Hitchens | First Things

Peter Hitchens writes (beautifully)of the Oxford of the past, the Oxford of the imagination, and the Oxford of today.

"So as I walk along the riverside pathways, or slip into the college gardens at dusk, as autumn turns to winter, I am seldom free of the fictional Oxford, or of the small part of its immense, intricate past that I myself have seen. Here I watched England change from being one sort of country to another. That parking lot was a cattle market, fragrant with the smell of damp livestock, herded by suspicious, terse men in brown tweeds, with boiled red faces, for whom the market pubs stayed open all the day. That apartment block was a brewery, whose yeasty stink perfumed the whole city every Wednesday, as that week's mild and bitter, brown and pale ales were made by the methods of the middle ages. That tourist café was a used bookshop, room after room of tottering piles of aged volumes, its uneven staircase climbing upwards almost to the rafters, classics read, sold, reread, and resold over decades by forgotten students. That university building was a grammar school where girls from housing project estates were introduced to Shakespeare and the sciences. Now only money can buy you that, and the children of the poor know nothing of these things. That pretentious hotel was a prison, where men had been hanged for murder and buried in the precincts, within living memory. Now we have none of that sort of thing, but we have more murder, and if our trauma surgeons were not as brilliant as they are, we would have even more of it, for the knife is now a horribly common weapon.  And these colleges, now so modern, gender-fluid, multicultural and progressive, were stern all-male institutions, whose doors were barred at night against the opposite sex and whose walls were savagely spiked to stop adventurers climbing in (and out) on feline expeditions."

Musician Cindy Cashdollar injured in Marbletown accident

Wishing the immensely talented Ms. Cashdollar, formerly with the western swing band Asleep at the Wheel, a speedy (west) recovery.

"Grammy Award-winning musician Cindy Cashdollar was injured Thursday when she fell asleep at the wheel on U.S. Route 209 and crashed into a tree, according to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office....

"Cashdollar suffered numerous cuts and complained of head and neck pain and was taken to the HealthAlliance Hospital's Broadway Campus in Kingston by Marbletown Rescue, the Sheriff's Office said."

Against Princeton | R. R. Reno | First Things

R. R. Reno writes:

"Not only have Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and other elite universities become decadent, they have failed in their self-appointed task. The leaders they proffer our society are increasingly incapable of leading. Our academic leaders oversee a campus culture often riven by conflict. These schools have become hotbeds for identity politics, and administrators kowtow to student extremists. Meanwhile, graduates too often condescend to ordinary citizens, thinking them ignorant bigots or 'takers.'...

"The culture of our time is not overseen by old-fashioned Methodist matrons in the Midwest, nor do today's opinion-leaders emerge from ag schools. Charles Blow is the only regular columnist for the New York Times under sixty years old who did not go to an elite university. For the last half-century, graduates from places like Princeton have been in charge. They are making a wreck of things--not for themselves, of course, but for the rest of society.

"Over the same period of time, these institutions have become fully owned subsidiaries of the Democratic Party. This hyper-partisanship has contributed to the polarization of our politics. Instead of engaging the range of political and moral thinking that has shaped and continues to shape public life, our talented future leaders are fed a party line. Young people are not trained at these schools to be judicious, generous partisans in our political battles. The ideological homogeneity makes liberal students smug and insular--and conservative students radical and combative. There's no denying a simple fact: Elite universities, subsidized by gigantic endowments, have failed as civic institutions."

Christianity Is Just A Better Religion Than I | The Daily Caller

Allan Fimister writes: "This is the West's problem: in itself Christendom, armed with truth and right and freedom, has more than enough resources to resist and overcome any rival civilization. But the 'renaissance' injected into western man an absurd inferiority complex in regard to pagan antiquity and then the 'Enlightenment' insisted on eliminating from public policy and public law the very Christian revelation which defined and ennobled western man. The 'Enlightenment' is a parasite, it will not survive the death of its host. But it is strong enough to weaken the West to the point where its traditional external enemy the Islamic Ummah can strike the killer blow. Deep down the liberals know this is case, as they contracept and abort and legislate our civilisation into extinction, but in the end they don't care. Their ultimate motive was always less the love of 'liberty' and more the hatred of Christ."

Self-driving shuttle crashes in Las Vegas hours after launch | Fox News

Human driver of a semi is being blamed for bumping into a self-driving shuttle that drew too close to the back of the truck and failed to allow it room to back up. The reaction of the authorities suggests that human drivers will be expected to make accommodation for the limitations of automated vehicles and be blamed for accidents that are due to those limitations. This is the slippery slope: Allowing autonomous vehicles on the road creates a safety justification for banning vehicles with human drivers. At that point, the automobile will cease to be a tool of personal autonomy, taking you and your stuff where you want to go, and will become a limited-purpose utility, moving you only to those places where the Powers That Be allow you to go. The only defense against that outcome is to ban autonomous vehicles from public thoroughfares.

What is a sheepdog? -- Sheepdog Seminars

This is an organization devoted to making churches aware of the need to take active measures to protect their congregations from predators and to provide the training to do so effectively.

"When we refer to a 'Sheepdog Seminar for Churches,' we are appealing to churches to form Eyes and Ears Teams at their houses of worship: men and women (sheepdogs) who's assignment on that particular day is to watch out for anyone and anything that threatens the safety of the congregation."

You Know You're from Tulsa If: Homes lost to the Inner Dispersal Loop

Mike Lins has posted photos of a Craftsman-era home that stood at 1233 S. Norfolk Ave. His grandparents owned it, but it was bought under eminent domain to make way for the eastern leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop, which damaged inner-city neighborhoods and their connections to downtown for the sake of facilitating suburban commuters. Lins prompted reminiscences and photos from other Tulsans whose families owned property taken for the expressway. For example, Jim Murray mentions his grandparents' home near 14th and Owasso, and their corner store, Rowan Market, at 14th Place and Rockford.

7 totally mean things women do to men - Grumpy Sloth

"Scolding him in public, telling him what he ought to be doing, complaining about him on social media like he's a naughty dog -- these are all ways of infantilizing and invalidating a person's agency, and you would be livid if he did it to you. Adults speak TO each other. Can you imagine if he said at a party or posted online, 'She was crying over a dog food commercial like a little baby'? That's how he feels when you say, 'Who puts dirty dishes on the counter when there's a dishwasher right there? Five year olds. That's who.'

"The conversation should be happening at home, in private, at the moment of infraction. 'HONEY. Dishes. Come on. We're a team here.' And if he says the same thing to you about your stuff all over the bathroom counter, respond the way you'd want him to respond to the dish issue."

Something is wrong on the internet - James Bridle - Medium

"Someone or something or some combination of people and things is using YouTube to systematically frighten, traumatise, and abuse children, automatically and at scale, and it forces me to question my own beliefs about the internet, at every level. Much of what I am going to describe next has been covered elsewhere, although none of the mainstream coverage I've seen has really grasped the implications of what seems to be occurring.

"To begin: Kid's YouTube is definitely and markedly weird. I've been aware of its weirdness for some time. Last year, there were a number of articles posted about the Surprise Egg craze. Surprise Eggs videos depict, often at excruciating length, the process of unwrapping Kinder and other egg toys. That's it, but kids are captivated by them. There are thousands and thousands of these videos and thousands and thousands, if not millions, of children watching them....

"The above video is entitled Wrong Heads Disney Wrong Ears Wrong Legs Kids Learn Colors Finger Family 2017 Nursery Rhymes. The title alone confirms its automated provenance. I have no idea where the 'Wrong Heads' trope originates, but I can imagine, as with the Finger Family Song, that somewhere there is a totally original and harmless version that made enough kids laugh that it started to climb the algorithmic rankings until it made it onto the word salad lists, combining with Learn Colors, Finger Family, and Nursery Rhymes, and all of these tropes -- not merely as words but as images, processes, and actions -- to be mixed into what we see here."

In the spotlight

Specific language and detailed analysis of the seven proposed amendments to the Tulsa City Charter, plus a bonus: a timeline of the history of changes to Tulsa's municipal election process.

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