Twenty Things That Caught My Eye: Seven Killed in Nigeria Church Attacks, the Scene on the Border & More

Political News

1. Catholic priest and six others killed in attack on church in Nigeria

2. New York Times: Suicide and Self-Harm: Bereaved Families Count the Costs of Lockdowns 

3. Jillian Kay Melchior: Biden’s Border Crisis, Up Close

President Biden has criticized Donald Trump’s immigration strategy as inhumane and vowed to treat migrants compassionately. Yet his policies have created perverse incentives for vulnerable migrants to enter the U.S. in dangerous ways. Those policies enrich the Mexican cartels that extort, kidnap, rape and exploit Central American migrants.

4. Reuters: Last 3 schoolkids on Nokdo beach trace South Korea’s arc to demographic crisis 

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5. Mark Tooley: Leaving Afghanistan

America’s drawdown from Afghanistan will empower the Taliban, with tragic but almost inevitable consequences.

6. Church leaders decry Indonesia bomb attack on Palm Sunday

The bombing, which occurred at the end of Palm Sunday Mass, has left the two perpetrators dead and at least 20 people wounded, drawing worldwide condemnation and solidarity with the Church in Indonesia. 

. . .

Indonesian Bishops have expressed “concern, prayer and deep sorrow for the attack” saying “it is not just on the Catholic community but on the entire Nation and State of Indonesia”.  It “degrades human dignity, destroys human values and adds to the long list of acts of terrorism in our beloved archipelago”, a communiqué reads.

7. Christopher F. Rufo: The Invisible Asylum

In the absence of the old asylums, Olympia’s mentally ill are now crowded into a city-sanctioned tent encampment, then shuffled through the institutions of the modern social-scientific state: the jail cell, the short-term psychiatric bed, the case-management appointment, the feeding line, and the needle dispensary. In the name of compassion, we have built a system that may be even crueler than what came before.

. . .

Following the downfall of the old regime of state asylums, local jurisdictions have had to create their own makeshift mental-health systems. In Olympia, as a growing population of mentally ill and addicted individuals began to overwhelm downtown, the city council decided to open the “mitigation site,” a publicly funded tent encampment for 150 residents. In theory, the site would provide centralized shelter and access to services; in practice, it functions as an open-air asylum—with none of the protections of the old hospitals.

. . .

The irony is devastating: as a society, we recoiled from the old asylums, but we have built in their place a parallel system that serves the same function, often under even more brutal conditions. We have adopted a new moral logic that says, “You have the right to be mad, but if you follow that madness to its logical conclusion, there is a prison cell waiting for you.” Under the weight of a cultural revolution against the asylums and civil rights lawsuits against involuntary commitment, a prison sentence has become the easiest option. The mentally ill get subsumed into the criminal class.

9. Community Members And Students Helped Thwart Nearly 70 Potential School Attacks Over 12 Years, According To Secret Service

The study found that between 2006 and 2018, at least 100 individuals planned attacks at schools, and adults or friends and classmates detected most of the plots, contributing to the prevention of an attack, the March 2021 report said.

10. Eric Talley funeral: Catholic father of seven ‘died a hero’

 A funeral Mass was held Monday in Denver for Officer Eric Talley, a Catholic father of seven who was killed while responding to last week’s mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, CO.

“Eric has shown what is best about the service you give to our community, our cities, and to our country,” Archbishop Samuel Aquila said in remarks to the shoulder-to-shoulder packed congregation, many of whom were police officers.

11. Jay P. Greene, Albert Cheng, and Ian Kingsbury: Are Educated People More Anti-Semitic?

When we administered these double-standard measures in a nationally representative survey of over 1,800 people, our results differed widely from the conventional view about the relationship between education and anti-Semitism. In fact, we found that more highly educated people were more likely to apply principles more harshly to Jewish examples. By preventing subjects from knowing that they were being asked about their feelings toward Jews, we discovered that more-highly educated people in the United States tend to have greater antipathy toward Jews than less-educated people do.

12. Tom Hoopes: In a World Gone Mad, What Would St. John Paul Do?

We have Pelosi and Biden’s plans for the U.S. That’s bad, but it’s better than having Hitler and Himmler’s Nazis take over your country and create Auschwitz 40 minutes away from your home. We hope sanity might return in future elections. Political change came for Poland on “Liberation Day,” which the nation’s new communist overlords made a compulsory holiday while suppressing Catholic feast days.

13. Marian statue, once desecrated by Islamic State, returns to Iraqi parish

The statue returned to Karemlesh March 18, and on March 19 it was placed in St. Adday church with a simple ceremony.

“Having Her here is a sign of courage and bravery for our people. That everyone can see that the destroyed and restored image returns to the church with a new appearance is a beautiful sign. This encourages them to have the courage to continue,” Fr. Thabet Habeb, pastor of St. Adday, told CNA.

14. Twins with Down syndrome spread awareness about ending the use of the “R” word

“The “R” word, years ago it was an acceptable medical term for someone with an intellectual or cognitive disability,” McConnel explained. “But over time, it really just became an insult. It’s hurtful, it’s painful, it hurts our families. I know for a lot of people that word is just a habit, and it was a habit for me when I was younger. It just never occurred to me that it would be hurtful to someone. It never crossed my mind and I think a lot of people are in that same boat. So now, we’re just trying to educate so when people know better they can do better.” 

15. Family let homeless couple live in their garden SHED after they were forced to sleep in a tent when they lost their jobs 

Suffering with the bitterly cold weather and the fear of further attacks, Mr Johnson started to beg outside Tesco in Bulwell, near Nottingham, hoping they could raise enough cash each day to get a hotel room.

Little did they know that Ian and Lisa Marshall, both 43, of Bulwell, were about to offer them the most generous gift they could have asked for.

Heartbroken by what they saw, the pair offered them a roof over their heads in the form of a shed at the bottom of their garden while they sorted themselves out.

16. Crux: Children write meditations for Pope’s Way of the Cross

The meditations are divided into 14 stations, each including a passage of the Gospel, a short reflection, an intention and a prayer. They often pose questions that are hard to answer, even for most adults.

For instance, a child asks if it’s possible to forgive the wrongs against children committed by organized crime: “How is it possible to commit such terrible actions? Is it fair to forgive something like that? And I, would I be able to do it?”

“Jesus, dying on the cross, has given us all salvation,” continues the meditation from the twelfth station. “He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners who have the humility and courage to convert.”

17. Daryl Austin: What You’re Saying When You Give Someone the Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is a particularly insidious form of abuse because it might force the victim to reconcile with the perpetrator in an effort to end the behavior, even if the victim doesn’t know why they’re apologizing. “It’s especially controlling because it deprives both sides from weighing in,” Williams said. “One person does it to the other person, and that person can’t do anything about it.”

. . .

One study found that social rejection provoked a response in its victims similar to that of victims of physical abuse; the anterior cingulate cortex area of the brain — the area thought to interpret emotion and pain—was active in both instances. “Exclusion and rejection literally hurt,” John Bargh, a psychology professor at Yale, told me.

18. Peter Funt: An Epidemic of Memoir-Writing

Today, anyone with a computer, free time, and a few bucks can upload a manuscript and have it printed on demand. With luck, it might sell tens of copies.

There’s also a robust market for what could be called memoir-middlemen. Life Chronicles Publishing, a small operation near Seattle, says business is up 90% during the pandemic. The company charges an average of $2,000 to whip a memoir into shape — then has it printed by Amazon.

Andy Ross, an Oakland, Calif., agent, says, “I get multiple proposals for memoirs every day of the year, including Christmas. Most of the stuff is terrible, so it ends up with Kindle.”

19. The 50/50 Problem: How the Internet Is Distorting Our Reality

20. Tom Hodgkinson: The beauty of the ampersand and other keyboard symbols

The semi-colon is a funny fellow. It was invented by a Venetian printer called Aldus Manutius in 1494 for editions of Dante and Erasmus. He adapted it from a bit of musical notation called the punctus versus, and it was Ben Jonson who really made sure it stuck by including it in his 1640 style guide, The English Grammar. In the 18th and 19th centuries writers went mad for it and in 1837 two rival French legal experts fought a duel over its use: one favoured the semi-colon to end a certain passage, the other a colon. The semicolon supporter was wounded in the arm by the apologist for the colon. Today I still find it an impressive piece of punctuation and young people would be well advised to use it in emails in order to impress their bosses.

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