Wanted: Young Women Ages 18-26

Conscripts for the US military, that is.

Possible draftees, you know.

The House Armed Services Committee took a big and unexpected step toward making women register for the draft Wednesday night…

photo of American women soldiers

This amendment to the House’s annual defense authorization bill requires 18-to-26-year-old women to register with the Selective Service System. Read it all

“That Should Be Common Sense”

That’s a quote from one of the stories quoted below (though the quote itself does not appear below).

These are five stories whose headlines caught my attention at CNS News this morning.

Individual Choices at Stake as Laws Take Effect

Gun owners with permits can carry concealed weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol in New Mexico and Virginia. Young and old alike must show proof of age when buying alcohol in Indiana. Georgia and Kentucky are hitting the delete key on texting while driving.

New laws taking effect Thursday reflect states’ ongoing debates over individual freedoms, touching on everything from smoking restrictions to measures seeking to fight crime.

Maybe you don’t live in a state where any of those apply. (I think I do.)

But here’s one for everyone:

Consumers Can Avoid Bank Fees with a Little Effort

A seemingly simple rule on debit card overdraft fees is making banking more complicated for millions of consumers.

Starting July 1, banks must get permission from customers before they can charge a fee for covering a debit card purchase or ATM withdrawal if there aren’t sufficient funds in the account. […] If consumers elect to forgo overdraft coverage, banks stand to lose a large chunk of their income. […]

To make up for the lost revenue, many banks are doing away with free checking, and adding monthly or quarterly maintenance fees. Consumers can often avoid these new fees, however, if they take steps like linking multiple accounts or arranging for direct deposit of their paychecks.

But that requires paying attention to correspondence from banks, and a lack of attention had a big role in creating the problem to begin with.

No wonder I’ve been getting that call-to-action screen every time I log in to online banking. I just keep brushing it off. I guess I should look into it more. I need to ask my bank if I can link accounts.

Now to think of a comment to transition you to the next story…. Oh, I know! Parents can avoid nagging children with a little effort. That’s a statement rich in alternate interpretations, but never mind that; here’s the story:

Liberal Group Threatens Lawsuit Against McDonald’s If It Doesn’t Stop Giving Toys to Children

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a liberal consumer advocacy organization, has announced it will sue McDonald’s unless the fast-food franchise stops using toys to market its “Happy Meals” to children.

“This morning, CSPI notified McDonald’s that we will file a lawsuit against the company unless it stops using toys to beguile young children,” said Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

“We contend that tempting kids with toys is unfair and deceptive both to kids who don’t understand the concept of advertising and to their parents who have to put up with their nagging children,” he said.

Whaddayaknow — protect parents from nagging children. 😯

Maybe this next story alludes to a better answer than keeping trinkets out of food.

Congresswoman Proposes Ban on Corporal Punishment in U.S. Schools as Some Schools Move to Reinstate It

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday introduced a bill to end corporal punishment in all public and private schools that receive federal funding or services. But at least two school districts, one in Tennessee and one in Texas, want to reinstate corporal punishment on campuses described by one city councilman as “war zones.”

“Twenty states still permit corporal punishment in public schools and studies indicate that this type of discipline has a negative effect on students,” McCarthy said in a statement released at a Capitol Hill press conference.

“This legislation (the “Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act”) amends the General Education Provisions Act so that no funds for programs administered by the Department of Education shall be made available to any educational agency or institution that has a policy or practice which allows school personnel to inflict corporal punishment on a student.”

Well, that much makes sense: You must use our money in ways we approve. If a school takes government funds, the government may have a say in how the school operates. Works for me.

But such a statement should cut both ways. Government agencies and personnel who use taxpayer funds shall use our money in ways we approve. Imagine that!

So…if such a law were in place…would Hillary Clinton be in trouble?

Hillary Clinton Urges State Department Employees to Let Teens Know It’s Okay to Be Homosexual

“We’ve come such a far distance in our own country, but there are still so many who need the outreach, need the mentoring, need the support to stand up and be who they are and then think about people in so many countries where it just seems impossible,” Clinton said.

“So I think that each and everyone of you, not only professionally, particularly from State and USAID and every bureau and every embassy and every part of our government have to do what you can to create that safe space, but also personally, to really look for those who might need a helping hand; particularly young people; particularly teenagers who still today have such a difficult time,” she added.

“And who, still in numbers far beyond what should ever happen, take their own life rather than live that life,” Clinton said at the event, billed as a human rights and U.S. foreign policy speech.

“So I would ask you to please think of ways you can be there for everyone who is making this journey,” Clinton said.

And there you be: five headlines/excerpts to introduce you to July 2010.

Now you know (more of) the rest of the story. Good day?

In Practice: Church and State

Over the last weeks and months in particular, as I have less-than-studiously observed American politicians in operation, I have wondered if I operate the same way in helping make church decisions.

In what ways should the Church differ from the State in making weighty decisions?

The 220-215 vote cleared the way for the Senate to begin debate on the issue that has come to overshadow all others in Congress.

The fewest should not decide for everybody.

Boiled down to the bare reality, three people in Congress made a decision for hundreds of millions of Americans.

To make such decisions with the simplest of majorities seems a major breach of justice.

Let it not be so in my church…even if “my side” would win.

“It provides coverage for 96 percent of Americans.”

Do not use words to obscure and twist truth.

This is so easy for me to do!

In the run-up to a final vote, conservatives from the two political parties joined forces to impose tough new restrictions on abortion coverage in insurance policies to be sold to many individuals and small groups. They prevailed on a roll call of 240-194.

Ironically, that only solidified support for the legislation, clearing the way for conservative Democrats to vote for it.

If something is wrong in principle, don’t accept its premise by working to make “improvements” to it here and there.

Each so-called improvement serves to make the flawed whole more palatable to those most prone to compromise.

If something is wrong in principle…well, stand on that principle and don’t budge. (Just make sure you’re standing on Biblical principles and not on mere stubbornness!)

Nearly unanimous in their opposition, minority Republicans cataloged their objections across hours of debate on the 1,990-page, $1.2 trillion legislation.

United in opposition, minority Republicans cataloged their objections across hours of debate on the 1,990-page, $1.2 trillion legislation.

OK, my first point here isn’t about church. I just think it’s interesting how the writers and editors at AP forgot to remove one of those paragraphs. In this article apparently written pre-outcome, they apparently had sections saying things slightly differently to account for various potential outcomes. Then they could quickly strip out what didn’t apply and quickly run with a story. That makes sense. But requires extra vigilance against leaving more in the story than you meant to.

As one who writes a lot, that’s very instructive. 🙂

But to the lesson for the church….

Do not spend the congregation’s money lightly…or in advance of having it.

If I want a fellowship hall or a gym or a church bus, use existing funds. Don’t saddle others with future debt and other financial obligations.

Do not cram and cram and cram issues and provisions and language into a single motion.

Keep it all short and simple and clear. Especially clear. So that everyone can hear or read the entire motion in its entirety. And understand it. And vote sensibly. (Yes, recently I’ve had several congregational opportunities to put my practice where my keyboard is.)

If you don’t understand it or haven’t even read it, do not vote for it.

Can that possibly need any sort of explanation? 😯

But with little doubt about the outcome, the rhetoric lacked the fire of last summer’s town hall meetings….

Hey, AP! The “little doubt about the outcome” doesn’t really relate to the lack of fire. The fire at the town hall meetings didn’t come from the politicians…. But now I got sidetracked again. So to the lesson for the church….

When you’re in a position to make decisions that affect others, tune them in.

I think it’s very easy to forget that on church boards and committees. And I say that as one who serves on our congregation’s School Board and Mission Board.

Source: House narrowly passes landmark health care bill; my screen capture

Above all, love God!