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Bozell: Cultural Fascism has Arrive in America"

Internalize that fact. Now what are we going to do about it?

“Cultural fascism has arrived in America,” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said Friday in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. “Tyranny is knocking at our door,” Bozell said.
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Now Head Transplants? Transhumanism on the Rise?

Straight up nuts. Seems that some scientists are more interested in headlines than actual heads.

A cover story for New Scientist reports, "First human head transplant could happen in two years." We read: It's heady stuff. The world's first attempt to transplant a human head will be launched this year at a surgical conference in the US. The move is a call to arms to get interested parties together to work towards the surgery. The idea was first proposed in 2013 by Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy. He wants to use the surgery to extend the lives of people whose muscles and nerves have degenerated or whose organs are riddled with cancer. Now he claims the major hurdles, such as fusing the spinal cord and preventing the body's immune system from rejecting the head, are surmountable, and the surgery could be ready as early as 2017.
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Japan Needs Babies, Builds Robots Instead

Disaster.

Over at Reason, Pete Suderman has a great piece about how Japan is looking to robots to help care for its geriatric citizens. It’s funny and creepy and you should totally read it. Japan probably has the worst demographic problem in the world. The country’s fertility rate has been below replacement (way below) for three generations. First, this slowed population growth to a halt; the contraction has now begun and will accelerate in the coming years. Today, Japan has just under 127 million people. If its fertility rate were to stay constant from here until the end of the century, Japan’s population would drop to 59.5 million. (Go and play with the U.N. Population Division numbers; it’s fascinating.)
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Chicago Archdiocese Offers 24 Hour Forgiveness Festival

To Catholics, others.

For 24 hours, the doors of Chicago area Catholic Churches will be open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike seeking forgiveness and prayer as part of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Festival of Forgiveness. Beginning at noon Friday to noon Saturday, two dozen Catholic churches, campus ministries and shrines will offer opportunities for Catholics to participate in the sacrament of confession and reconciliation and for other visitors to receive prayers of healing. That includes Holy Name Cathedral, where Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich will offer the sacrament and prayers. Other parishes will offer special opportunities to do likewise, the archdiocese said. The archdiocese’s first-of-its-kind 24-hour forgiveness festival is in response to the call of Pope Francis, who has described the Catholic Church as a field hospital comprised of the wounded and a place that, by God’s grace, is an instrument of healing and forgiving mercy.
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Christian florist: Why I can’t agree to provide service to gay weddings

Hot Air has the story:

She’s soft-spoken, has 23 grandkids, professes love for the gay customer who tried to hire her for his wedding and helped him find another florist when she politely declined (it was Washington’s AG, not the customer, who filed the discrimination complaint against her), and stands to lose her business and possibly her home if the state keeps coming after her for this. There may be more sympathetic spokesmen for religious freedom out there but offhand I can’t imagine one. The polling on whether businesses should be required by law to cater to gay weddings is mixed, but I wonder how long that’ll last if the Stutzman case breaks big nationally.
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Never Alone on the Lenten Journey

Sherry writes:

It takes a lot of courage to enter into Lent, and then to be mindful that one has done so. I suspect it is a reason that many Catholics give up things like chocolate or Diet Coke; things that had become ubiquitous but required parts of our everyday life. Lent is designed to make our relationship with God the ubiquitous but required part of our lives. Even on day one, I hear friends say, “I really miss chocolate.” and I understand; but what we’re supposed to get from this journey, is to the point of recognizing, we should miss God even more than we miss our daily indulgences. The stereotypical self-induced guilt that often gets slapped on a Catholic’s head like a scarlet “C” is a misunderstanding of what we’re supposed to discover by engaging in self reflection and conscious examination. Every time we begin to look at our relationship with God, we can see how it could be, could have been and should be deeper. We all know our own temptations and rationales for our own moments when we allow ourselves this one exception. “God will understand.” And He does, but do we understand what we are asking when we ask for that one exception, that one sin we cling to so fiercely?
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ISIS Abducts 56 "Crusaders"

Horror. But don't you get on your high Christian horse. Because...Jim Crow.

ISIS militants abducted 90 Assyrians -- from a group with a long history that's now predominantly Christian -- from two villages in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group reported Tuesday. The militants abducted the Assyrians from Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermz, near the town of Tal Tamer in Al Hasakah province, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The group said that "reliable sources" overheard ISIS militants talking on wireless devices about having detained "56 crusaders" in Tal Shamiram alone.
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Fr. Bradley: Notre Dame is Damaging the Church

The Implications of Extending Marriage Benefits to Same-Sex Couples:

Many Catholic institutions use marriage to define some of the benefits they make available to their employees. Now that civil marriage is legally available to same-sex couples in most states, and perhaps soon in all, these Catholic institutions all face the question: may we, or indeed should we, extend marriage benefits to same-sex couples who contract such a civil marriage? The University of Notre Dame and many other Catholic institutions have given their answer, loud and clear: we may, we should, and we are doing so right now. It is a morally indefensible answer. And the bad consequences of persisting in it will surely be far-reaching and very damaging. The whole Church, and everyone concerned for the future of our country and the children who are or will be growing up in it, has an important interest in the answer that Catholic institutions are giving.
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Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert

The Cardinal Newman Society reports:

Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Kleponis, a licensed clinical therapist and one of the foremost Catholic experts on the subject of pornography, recently shared his insights from a new book, discussed his pornography recovery program, and argued for the necessity of similar services to help students on college campuses. A second article will follow detailing his comments on the state of campuses and how pornography affects college students.
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Video: Archbishop of San Francisco defends morality codes for Catholic-school teachers

Ed Morrissey writes:

Why do parents send their children to Catholic schools for their education? Certainly part of that decision comes from the better performance that such schools have over their public-school counterparts. For most Catholics, though, the choice of church-run education is to provide substantial catechesis integrated into their primary education. The Catholic Church contracts with its instructors not just to provide Catholic instruction but to abide by Catholic teachings. When Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone communicated those expectations to teachers in the the Archdiocese of San Francisco with a new morality code in teachers’ handbooks, California lawmakers demanded that Cordileone remove the “divisive” language:
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Florida School Backs Down on "God Bless America" Ban

The Daily Caller reports:

A Florida high school that made headlines earlier this month for banning students from saying “God Bless America” during the morning announcements has backed down, First Coast News reports. The Nassau County School Board reportedly voted to approve saying “God Bless America” during morning announcements after talking with lawyers. Earlier reports indicated that though the school did not believe there was a constitutional violation, school officials would not allow students to deviate from the script for morning announcements.
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How to Live Lent as a Busy Mom

Call Her Happy:

We moms who want to nurture our relationship with God—but also lead busy lives with children—often find ourselves caught between a rock and hard place. Prayer practices seem to require 1) undivided chunks of time; 2) quiet; 3) a peaceful environment. I don’t know about you, but those three almost NEVER occur at our house, at least not at the same time! So I’ve learned that realistic expectations for prayer are essential as a parent. Lent is no exception. Over the years I’ve tried to live by these 3 simple ideas, and each year I find that they lead me in surprising ways to a deeper Lent.
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A Lenten Prayer

From the Sycamore Trust:

O God of Mercy and Compassion, Each year You call Your people to a season of repentance, conversion and renewal. Be present with us as we respond to Your call. May Your Holy Church guide us along the path that leads to righteousness, to holiness, to salvation, and to love. Our Holy Father, Francis, Universal Shepherd of the Church, has invited us to a unique fast this year, a fast from indifference. In humble obedience to the Vicar of Christ, may we truly embrace this fast.
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The State Dept is Saying They Think You're Too Dumb

Marie Harf: My comment about ISIS needing jobs was ‘too nuanced’ for you boors.

This is precisely how any organization would hope their spokesperson might respond when entangled in a controversy of their own making: Doubling down and petulantly insisting that your many critics are idiots. On Monday, Harf was the subject of criticism after she claimed that the only real way to neutralize the danger posed by a messianic death cult that threatens to erode the foundations of Westphalian sovereignty is to provide them all with good paying jobs. Allahpundit pondered whether Harf was articulating administration policy that is aimed at absolving the White House of fault when they inevitably fail to address the ISIS threat comprehensively:
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What Men Look for in a Spouse

A little humor and honesty.

What does a man want in a woman? It’s been an unanswered question for centuries mostly because men aren’t stupid enough to try to answer it. But I am. Recently, Catherine Frank wrote about the traits a woman seeks in a man. It’s a good list that made a lot of readers think (and comment!). I do believe God has someone out there in mind for everyone, but unfortunately God doesn’t give us an exact roadmap to find “The One.” We all need help sometimes, so here’s some thoughts on very important things a man wants in a woman.
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"We Hide the Word 'Catholic' from Prospective Students"

Catholic identity.

Instead of acting to reclaim and strengthen Catholic identity, however, many Jesuit universities are actively downplaying their religious affiliations in an effort to court secularized students. The fear seems to be that an institution with a strong Catholic identity might be a deal breaker for these students. As Jones points out in her article, Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri has removed “Jesuit” from the university tagline, while Denver’s Regis University actually hides its Catholic affiliation. “We hide the word ‘Catholic’ from prospective students,” said Traci McBee, who helps oversee fundraising efforts at Regis University. “We focus on the Jesuit piece rather than the Catholic piece. We’re able to transform a little quicker because we are not waiting for the archbishop to give us permission. We don’t have to ask the Pope when we want to make changes.”
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Hozier's Ridiculously Anti-Catholic "Take Me to Church"

Tom Hoopes takes him to school with this post:

“Take Me to Church” is the song by Hozier that debuted in September 2013 but is getting attention now, notably at the Grammys, where he sang it with Annie Lennox. The problem is Hozier — Andrew Hozier-Byrne is his name in his small Irish town’s phonebook — sings a song that would have labeled him as a detestable bigot if he was singing about anything but the Catholic Church. He sings: “Take me to church / I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies / I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife.” But of course he would never sing: “Make me a Jew / I’ll worship like a dog at your temple of lies.” Because people who hate Jews say exactly that kind of thing and civilized people have learned that these are evil things to say. And Hozier definitely would never sing this: “Take me to church for a gay wedding / I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies.”
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Archbishop Cordileone: A True Shepherd of Catholic Schools

The Cardinal Newman Society reports:

Despite severe criticism, Archbishop Cordileone is taking a stand and helping Catholic schools fulfill their true mission, argued Bob Laird, vice president for program development at The Cardinal Newman Society, in his San Francisco Chronicle op-ed. As part of an updated Catholic school faculty handbook, Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco recently released a “Statement of the High Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Regarding the Teachings and Practice of the Catholic Church.” The statement provides clear guidance for the moral conduct of archdiocesan teachers, explaining why they cannot publicly support causes or issues that are contrary to the teachings of the Church. Revised teacher contracts that clarify and further affirm the schools’ Catholic identity and mission were also developed.
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To the Only Person Who Didn’t Leave the Walmart Bathroom When My Son Needed Help

Wow. A kind deed goes a long way.

When your child with special needs is little and cute, people can be sympathetic. But when he’s bigger and still getting sick over and over, well, you try not to bother people. You just smile and pretend everything’s fine. Inside, I often felt alone. My younger son is diagnosed with Down syndrome and autism. He also had a lot of digestive problems. I made sure he went to the toilet every two hours. Most days we were lucky. One day, our luck ran out. My nonverbal teenage son and I were standing in a long check-out line at Walmart when he had an attack of explosive diarrhea. He was 14 at the time.
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The Best Wedding Present

Great piece from Laura Wright:

Just a few short weeks ago I stood beside one of my best friends from childhood while she took her vows at a Catholic church in Virginia. It was a biting cold January day with wind that whipped across our faces and gave us that “I’m uncomfortable but I’m doing this because I love you” kind of grin that you sometimes see in posed pictures. As we pulled up to the gorgeous church all I could think was, “Finally friend, your day is here.” You see, for so many people in my generation, the millennial generation, saying “I do” at the altar can seem like a monumental feat. Many decide to live together before marriage, often unknowingly stalling the process to marriage. Others have commitment issues because of problems in their past, like their parents’ divorce.
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How to Have a Happy Marriage...Even When You're Busy with Kids

Betsy Kerekes writes:

Marital satisfaction tends to take a dip once that first baby comes home from the hospital (or out of the bathtub, birthing centre, etc.). This shouldn't be surprising to anyone. Let's face it - kids, particularly newborns, are difficult. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying, or a grandparent. But you can maintain a happy marriage despite the strains and difficulties on your new life as parents. Here are ten tips for a happier marriage — with children. 1. Remember that love is a decision, not a feeling. It’s impossible to keep warm fuzzy feelings for your spouse constantly, especially when you have children taking up so much of your time and energy. Just remember that your relationship with your spouse comes first. Period. If you want the best for your children (and who doesn't), the success of your marriage is paramount. A Google search will render you a dozen different studies all saying the same things about the negative effects of a broken marriage on children. If you want your kids to be happy, keep your spouse happy. Be happy together. 2. Don't let Robin rule the roost. If your devotion to your children has gotten to the point where they walk all over you (be honest, do things tend in that direction?), there is bound to be tension in your home.
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Southern Poverty Law Center Puts Ben Carson On “Extremist” Watch List…

Laughably absurd:

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson rapidly ascended as a far-right political star after publicly scolding President Obama, whom he sat a few feet away from, at a National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013. Carson’s reproach of Obama for his health care and tax policies went viral, unleashing a flood of adulation from right-wing media and hate groups. Carson’s own story as an “up by the bootstraps” black man reared in poverty translated into an inspiring, magnetic narrative that captured media attention. Soon he was appearing as the keynoter at a rash of right-wing
and hate group gatherings, linking gays with pedophiles, comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany and endorsing biblical economic practices for 21st century America. Continue reading>>>

How Not to Preach

Advice to priests from a priest:

The Vatican has recently become a fount of advice on how to preach. Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” gives tips on the Sunday sermon, and the Congregation for Divine Worship’s new Directory on Preaching analyzes the nature of the liturgical homily. As a veteran of 60 years in the pews and 30 years in the pulpit, I would like to offer my own advice on how not to preach. 1. It’s all about you. Keep the sermon strictly autobiographical. Your congregation is dying to know all about your last vacation. There’s no need to discuss that pesky reading about Abraham and Isaac and the knife.
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Feminist Aborts Son Because He Was A Boy; “I Couldn’t Bring Another Monster Into The World”

Wait, who's the monster?

Adoption was not an option as the baby was a male. Via Pundit Press In a stunningly evil and disgusting article, a feminist only willing to identify herself as “Lana” has described her decision to abort her child, based solely on the fact that he was a boy.
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Pope Francis: It's OK to Smack Children as Long As their Dignity is Maintained

I've never smacked my kids but when I hear other parents talk about spanking I don't think "abuse." I'm pretty sure it can be done responsibly.

Pope Francis told parents it is OK to spank their children to discipline them – as long as their dignity is maintained. Francis made the remarks this week during his weekly general audience, which was devoted to the role of fathers in the family. Francis outlined the traits of a good father: one who forgives but is able to “correct with firmness” while not discouraging the child. “One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face so as to not humiliate them’,” Francis said. “How beautiful.” he added. “He knows the sense of dignity! He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.”
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Marquette Begins Firing Process of Prof. McAdams

This is a disgrace. There is no greater indictment of how far Marquette has abandoned its Catholic identity than how it's treating Professor McAdams.

Dr. John McAdams recently confirmed on his blog that the Marquette University administration has revoked his tenure and begun the firing process against him. In a letter sent by Dean Richard Holz, made public by McAdams, Holz wrote that McAdams had “clearly, convincingly and substantially impaired [his] value” as a professor through his personal blog—the same blog McAdams has used to reveal instances of Catholic identity concerns at Marquette for several years.
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Do You Know What Happened To The Little Girl In This Famous Photo?

I had no idea about this story. Great work. Inspiring.

The testimony of a little girl from Saigon that became a symbol of war's horrors and a call to love
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Move Over Che Guevara. All the Cool Kids Are Wearing Pope Francis

Zelda Caldwell reports:

Remember when, not long ago, any hipster college student worth his weight in clove cigarettes could be seen wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt?
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Celebrating Our First Christmas with Alzheimer's. Laughter Allowed

Wow. Amazing story of faith, love, marriage, and disease.

I guess the first time I realized that something was really wrong was about a year and a half ago. I have a bedroom I turned into an office, and I was sitting at the keyboard clicking away. I sensed someone behind me and turned to see my wife, Marty, standing there. She had a strange look on her face. I remember the moment because fear was etched across her face. “Hey,” I said. “What’s the matter?” Then I noticed she was trembling. I stood up and went over to her and put my hands on her shoulders. She stammered and sort of whispered, “I don’t know. I think I need your help.” “Okay, what is it?” Marty turned and headed down the hall past the living room and into the kitchen. I followed and noticed that she had her “cookie” stuff out. As she had done so many times in the past, she was about to make the best old fashioned, home-made, chocolate-chip cookies I have ever had. Like a child, I said, “Oh, awesome, you’re making cookies. So, how can I help?” She sighed and shook her head. She began to cry and, looking at me, said, ” What is all this? I don’t know what it is for.”
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Wow. This is Bad. Brian Williams Has Been Lying for 12 Years About Getting Shot Down in Iraq

Sadly, he's continuing to lie, even in his non-apology apology:

In his fake lying non-apology, Williams implied -- he all but flat-out affirmed -- that he had only told his "shot down in Iraq" story a single time, in order to honor a dead general. The Lie he admits to telling (calling it a "mistake") is in the video below.
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DePaul University Students Hold Fundraiser For Palestinian Terrorist On Campus…

I wish this were surprising.

A DePaul University student group is set to fundraise for a Palestinian terrorist facing deportation after she was convicted of immigration fraud this past November. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is carrying out the fundraiser tomorrow evening for a former organizer for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Rasmea Yousef Odeh. Rasmea Yousef Odeh was convicted in Israel in 1970 for two terrorist attacks: a supermarket bombing that killed two students and an attempt four days later to blow up the British Consulate. Tweet This The page for the event, hosted by the Chicago chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), says the fundraiser will include “a comedy performance from Amer Zahr, spoken word and dance performances, and a speech from Rasmea’s defense committee.”
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Stephen Fry is Wrong. Without God the World Would be Worse Off

Must read of the day from Fr. Ed Tomlinson:

A video featuring Stephen Fry is going viral. In it he condemns the Christian faith because of the presence in the world of natural evil. As one who takes Christian apologetics seriously, I want to reply to him… Dear Mr Fry, I came across an interview in which you were asked what you would say to God? The answer you gave was clever, which is unsurprising given your clear intellectual gifts, but also unfairly damning. As a priest, who loves the God you denounce, I want to respond. Not to proselytise or dismiss your argument but to offer a different perspective and help you and others understand the value of the faith I seek to follow.
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Iraqi Christians Form Militia to Fight ISIS

"This is our last stand, if this fails then Christianity will be finished in Iraq.”

Christians in Iraq have formed a militia to take back their Nineveh Plains homeland from ISIS. The organisation, the Nineveh Plains Protection Units, has more than 3,000 troops serving or awaiting training, and has the backing of the Iraqi Government and the Kurdish Peshmerga.
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Christendom Restoration Society Issue Alarming Study of Priest Shortage

Uh-oh.

Christendom Restoration Society presents a critical analysis of the crisis of the shortage of priests in the United States. With few exceptions, this serious crisis exists in varying degrees in most Catholic regions throughout the world. While reading this study, bear in mind that the results are not adjusted for population growth. Such adjustment would yield even more disastrous results.
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The Key to Living a Holy Life

Fr. Najim writes:

The name of my blog sometimes frightens me because I fear I’ve set myself up as someone who knows how to be holy or who knows how to give advice on how to live a holy life. Neither of those are true! The truth is that I don’t believe I’m holy or that I have the best advice for living a holy life. However, I believe that my deepest desire is to be holy and that on my best days I aspire to live in union with Jesus. And because I’m a pilgrim on the journey of life like all of you, my dear readers, I like to share my thoughts on how we can together aspire to friendship with Jesus. In my almost fourteen years as a priest, I’ve spent countless hours in the confessional and counseling people in so many different situations. Those hours are some of the most fulfilling hours of my life. I’ve learned many things during those countless hours. But there’s a simple piece of advice that I like to give over and over again. It’s a piece of advice that I give because it’s one that I try to live on a daily basis. This piece of advice, I believe, is the key to living a holy life. What is it? Two words: Begin again.
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The Nuns Next Door to Russian Spies

Neighbors.

Meet the New York nuns who had no idea the neighbors' pet birds they were tending belonged to Kremlin agents. The two Catholic nuns who reside on Liebig Street asked the family next door to keep an eye on their house while they got away from the Bronx to Miami for nine days. The nuns, Sister Anne Queenan and Sister Catherine Naughton, had happily done the same when their neighbors went on ski trips. The nuns had taken in their neighbors’ mail and even tended their pet bird.
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Taxpayers to Pony Up $570,000 for Obama's Violation of Religious Liberty

How long 'til this guy's out of office?

The Obama administration has agreed to pay $570,000 to the owners of Conestoga Wood, who along with the owners of Hobby Lobby won their lawsuit against the federal government's contraception, abortifacient, and sterilization mandate last summer. The money will not go to the Hahn family, who own Conestoga and were represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Independence Law Center, and Proctor & Lindsay. The settlement will first go to those firms, and then any legal costs paid by the Hahns will be reimbursed.
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