Do you go to a church that plays a countdown prior to the service beginning?
Videos | 10th Jan 2015
Videos | 10th Jan 2015
In case you haven’t heard, House Democrats want to remove all gendered language from their legislation, while the prayer to open the 117th Congress ended with, “Amen and A-woman.” I kid you not. Who would make up something so insane?
Let’s start with the PC prayer, which has to be seen to be believed. It is offered in “the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and ‘god’ known by many names by many different faiths.” And it concludes with, “Amen and A-woman,” as if the “men” of “Amen” was somehow a gendered term. How patriarchal and bigoted to use the “men” word in prayer!
Of course, “Amen” comes from the common Semitic root ’-m-n, with the word itself meaning, “So be it.” And it is used in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic liturgy, being found in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Arabic (along with English and many other languages).
But who said being PC had anything to do with truth or reality? To the contrary, it is quite often based on the denial of reality, or, in this case, complete ignorance of a common word.
Following the logic of this prayer, we would have to learn new phrases like, “making awomends,” since “making amends” contains the dreaded m- word. Or, we would have to learn to be “awomenable,” lest we allow a male-dominated word like “amenable” to remain on the books. (Go ahead and make up your own list of words containing “men.” This is madness.)
Not to be outdone, though, House Democrats have revealed their new, “future-focused” rules, which include the following: “In clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, gendered terms, such as ‘father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, grandson, or granddaughter’ will be removed.
“In their place, terms such as ‘parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild’ will be used, instead.”
So, this is what the future looks like? This is what it means to be inclusive?
A particular highlight of the new rules is this: “The Office of the Whistleblower Ombudsman, for instance, is renamed in the rules to the ‘Office of the Whistleblower Ombuds.’”
How can you not love this? How creative! How futuristic! How absurd!
The best response was that of the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who tweeted, “This is stupid.
“A father, son, and brother.”
Well said. Stupid it is.
For others, however, these were bold and commendable reforms. As expressed by Rep. Ilhan Omar (with reference to the entire rules package, in particular, with regard to Medicare), “End of Nov, the Progressive Caucus decided on a set of progressive rules reform priorities: Paygo reform and MTR reform ranked high on that list.
So grateful to Chairman @RepMcGovern for helping us secure these reforms and setting the stage for us to push for bolder agenda.”
But as easy as it is to poke fun at this ridiculous proposal, it is highly significant when one of our major government institutions wants to remove all gendered language. As the saying goes, this does not end well.
Looking to Canada as a case in point, the Religious Tolerance website reported that, “The Ontario Court of Appeals issued a decision on 2003-JUN-10 requiring the province of Ontario to provide marriage licenses to, and to register the marriages of, same-sex couples. However, 73 pieces of existing legislation in the province violated this court ruling by referring to wife, husband, widow, widower, and similar sex-related terms. In order to bring the legislation in synchronism with the court decision which legalized SSM [same-sex marriage], each of these laws had to be amended to include gender-neutral language.”
You might say, “So, what’s the big deal. This is just technical, legal language. It hardly affects the person on the street.”
Not so. This reflects both a mindset and a legal logic, and these things reflect where a culture is headed.
Consequently, over time, these things do trickle down, especially in the wake of the wave of transgender activism, where the war on gender-specific language becomes more pitched.
That’s why, in 2016, Canada passed Bill C-16, which critics claim was all about compelled speech, specifically with regard to charges of hate speech for failure to comply with transgender preferences.
The most famous critic was Prof. Jordan Peterson who rose to international fame when he said in an October 2016 interview, “If they fine me, I won’t pay it. If they put me in jail, I’ll go on a hunger strike. I’m not doing this. I’m not using the words that other people require me to use. Especially if they’re made up by radical left-wing ideologues.”
Having studied the methods of totalitarian regimes for many years, Peterson drew the line when it came to compelled speech. He knew all that it implied.
As to where this kind of legislation can go, in 2019, I spoke face to face with a Canadian man involved in a legal dispute over his daughter’s desire to transition to male. Not only did the court rule that he could not interfere with her getting hormone treatments, but he was forbidden to call his own daughter by her given, female name or to use female pronouns with reference to her, even in private, under penalty of immediate arrest.
And we have recently documented the new “hate speech” laws in Norway.
So, as laughable as the “A-woman” prayer might be, and as absurd as the House’s “gender-inclusive” rules might be, we should take both with complete seriousness and say, “Not on my watch.”
We can be compassionate to people in their struggles without engaging in gender madness.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Angelina Jolie’s friend and former Cambodian business associate, Sarath Mounh (pictured) helped the desperate Hollywood star push through Maddox’s adoption by becoming his adopted father
Angelina Jolie’s former right-hand man in Cambodia – who helped the desperate Hollywood star push through Maddox’s adoption by becoming his adopted father – reveals why she chose her son out of the hundreds of orphaned babies in the country.
Maddox turned 20 on August 5, and the actress’ friend and former business associate, Sarath Mounh, tells DailyMail.com he couldn’t be more proud of the way he’s turned out.
Angie faced a red-tape headache with the adoption back in 2002 and asked Sarath to help her out by acting as Maddox’s dad on his adoption court documents.
Maddox was also added to Sarath’s family records, which shows that Maddox was his third child.
Having a Cambodian father cut through many of the legal problems Angie faced as a foreigner especially as there was a government crackdown on international adoptions due to baby trafficking.
Sarath says he then signed a document for Angie to adopt Maddox from him.
Now he reveals why the 46-year-old wanted to adopt from Cambodia after falling in love with the place when she filmed Tomb Raider there in 2000.
Sarath tells DailyMail.com that baby Maddox was ‘clever, sharp, smart, a lovely kid, who smiled at people more than any of the other babies’
‘When she visited the [orphanage] and saw Maddox, he smiled at her and got up, instead of crying like all the other babies,’ Sarath said. ‘He was smiling right at her, it touched her heart, that’s why she chose Maddox’
‘There are a lot of children in the world that need good care, need a better life. By that time, she wanted to be a mother, but thought it was better to be a mother to some baby who desperately needs good care,’ says Sarath. He’s pictured in Cambodia (right) with Angie and Maddox in 2003
Sarath (pictured) tells DailyMail.com why Angie specifically chose Maddox when there were hundreds of babies up for adoption in the developing country
Sarath tells DailyMail.com why Angie specifically chose Maddox when there were hundreds of babies up for adoption in the developing country.
‘There are a lot of children in the world that need good care, need a better life. By that time, she wanted to be a mother, but thought it was better to be a mother to some baby who desperately needs good care,’ says Sarath.
‘That’s why she decided on Maddox rather than a biological baby. That’s what I heard from her, we talked about everything.
‘He was clever, sharp, smart, a lovely kid, who smiled at people more than any of the other babies. I always remember his smiley face.
‘As far as I understand from her, when she visited the place [orphanage] and saw Maddox, he smiled at her and got up, instead of crying like all the other babies.
‘He was smiling right at her, it touched her heart, that’s why she chose Maddox.’
Maddox and Angie are pictured at the ‘First They Killed My Father’ premiere during the 2017 Toronto Film Festival. The whole family also visited Cambodia for a screening of the film
Maddox, who has the last name Jolie-Pitt after Brad Pitt, is seen in 2006 with his parents and sister Zahara – also adopted – in Mumbai
Three of the couple’s six children are adopted, while the other three, Shiloh and twins Knox and Vivienne are biological. The family are pictured in Tokyo
Sarath has no regrets with personally helping out Angie by becoming Maddox’s father. They had become pals after Sarath’s non-profit worked alongside the Maddox Jolie Pitt Foundation on conservation issues.
‘Baby trafficking was very bad at that time in Cambodia, a lot of legal issues needed to be covered and she didn’t want it to go wrong,’ says Sarath.
‘My role as a friend and colleague, I was there to help with the legal issues and register Maddox as my adopted son, then I signed a legal document for her to adopt Maddox from me. I don’t know why they wanted me to help, or how they got into that position.’
Now Sarath hopes that Maddox and Angie can stay true to her word that Cambodia will always be a part of Maddox’s identity.
The whole family visited Cambodia for the premiere of her directorial debut First They Killed My Father in 2017, with Angie saying: ‘We’ve been coming back and forth for 17 years, it feels like a second home to me. The children have close ties to the children here, many of them are their best friends. Maddox is happy to be back in his country.’
Maddox was added to Sarath’s family records, which shows that Maddox was his third child, before Angie adopted Maddox from him
This is Maddox’s court certificate which states that Angelina Jolie’s fixer in Cambodia Sarath was named as Maddox’s father
Sarath adds: ‘Cambodian people, we were proud and happy for him growing up in such a high class life. Many others in the population don’t get that chance. We’d love him to go back and understand his culture.
‘She was planning to return as much as possible, it was going to be the second home for Maddox.
‘He grew up in a modern life, if he could make a contribution back to his own people, that would be very nice. If he could learn about his heritage and culture, how he came to be in the orphanage – a horrifying part to his early life.
‘He could have turned out to be a street kid, a lot of them fall through the net and go out into drug addiction, glue sniffing. The orphanage system in Cambodia is not well managed, a lot of the kids are not protected, donor money only goes so far, and the government doesn’t do anything.
‘He is a lucky boy compared to many, many in Cambodia. It would be nice for him to come back and help the community.’
Recently, Maddox’s adoption has received widespread publicity after The Sun revealed that fellow Cambodian adoptee Elizabeth Jacobs was making a documentary to find out the truth about adoptions at that time in the late 90s/early 2000s, entitled The Stolen Children
‘Society is not much different since Maddox was adopted,’ Sarath says of Cambodia. He fled the country and now lives in Canada
Recently, Maddox’s adoption has received widespread publicity after The Sun revealed that fellow Cambodian adoptee Elizabeth Jacobs was making a documentary to find out the truth about adoptions at that time in the late 90s/early 2000s, entitled The Stolen Children.
‘People ask me if I know if Maddox’s parents are still alive and I have no clue,’ adds Sarath, a father-of-three, who now lives in Toronto.
His family was forced to flee the south East Asian country when the current prime minister Hun Sen banned the opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party in 2017 and threatened to put its high-ranking members, such as Sarath, in jail.
‘Society is not much different since Maddox was adopted,’ he says.
‘But the political and diplomatic issues have got worse. I can never go back, unless the government changes. If they are still in a dictatorship, I can’t go back at all. That’s not just me, a lot of opposition members are exiled right now.’
CLEVELAND, Ohio — How gray are Cleveland skies?
Cleveland last month was ranked the fifth “gloomiest city” in the nation, by move.org, with 202 cloudy days. The rankings were based on annual cloud cover nationwide as reported by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
We haven’t had a purely sunny day since November.
In December, Cleveland had 25 cloudy days, six partly cloudy days, and zero clear days, according to the National Weather Service. Of January’s six full days, all of them have been cloudy.
That’s on par for winter in Cleveland, or really, Cleveland in general.
Last January, we had 22 cloudy days and 9 partly cloudy. Throughout all of 2020, we had 202 cloudy days, according to NOAA, which measures cloud cover from sunrise to sunset.
Our summertime playground causes clouds because of lake effect.
As colder, dry air moves over the warmer lake, it gains heavy heat and moisture from the lake surface. The warmer, moister air rises and mixes with the colder air, leading to evaporation from the lake surface that forms stratocumulus clouds. Hence the thick, blanket-like coating over the sky we so commonly see in the winter.
The days are mostly gray (or snowy) when we have predominantly westerly winds. The west-to-east wind pushes the lake-enhanced clouds right into the snow belt region from Northeast Ohio to New York.
If you want a sunny day, hope for southern winds.
We felt our last warmth past November — remember November, when temperatures spiked above 70 degrees? — had 11 cloudy days, 12 partly cloudy days, and 7 clear days. Over September, October and November, Cleveland’s skies averaged 57% cloud cover.
Of course you could always cross your fingers for the lake to freeze.