Thursday, April 11, 2019 

Good morning!

From an overnight raid in London, a pro-life victory in Ohio and a snowflake student at Michigan State who felt threatened by a Ben Shapiro video, here are some of the headlines we’re following:

  1. Virginia Basketball Coach’s Five Pillars Provides Blueprint for Success.

Focus President Jim Daly lauds Tony Bennett (not THE Tony Bennett):

A former star college player in his own right who also played three seasons in the NBA, Tony Bennett shepherded his team of collegians to a national championship a year after having suffered an embarrassing loss in the first round of the tournament.

What was Coach Bennett’s reaction after [Monday’s] overtime win?

A strong Christian, the Wisconsin native was clear about his priorities, saying in a post-game interview, “I do want to thank the Lord and my Savior.”

 “If my life is just about winning championships—if it’s just about being the best—then I’m running the wrong race,” he once said. “That’s empty. But if it’s about trying to be excellent and do things the right way, to honor the university that’s hired you, the athletic director you work for and the young men you’re coaching—always in the process trying to bring glory to God—then that’s the right thin

  1. Ohio House, Senate pass ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban

Great news from the Buckeye state:

The Ohio General Assembly sent a bill to Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday afternoon that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The House passed the bill 56-40, mostly along party lines, as people on both sides of the abortion debate loudly protested outside the chamber.

Shortly after, the Ohio Senate voted 18-13, also largely on party lines, to agree to changes made in the House to Senate Bill 23.

 During the campaign for governor, DeWine said he would sign a heartbeat bill.

The bill would ban abortion as soon as six weeks into a pregnancy.

  1. Early Morning Raid Ends 7 Year Assange Stand-Off

 Breaking news this morning from London:

 Julian Assange was dramatically arrested by British cops today and dragged screaming from the Ecuadorian Embassy after seven years hiding inside.

 The pale and bearded WikiLeaks founder, 47, was pulled out in handcuffs as Ecuador withdrew its asylum status – ending Assange’s 2,487 days holed up since 2012.

 As he was hauled from the building – looking grey and clutching Gore Vidal’s History of the National Security State – he appeared to shout “The UK has no civility” and “the UK must resist”.

  1. Heritage CEO Responds to Attacks from the Left              

 In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Kay Cole James addressed accusations from Google employees that she is anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ.

Last week, less than two weeks after the AI advisory council was announced, Google disbanded it. The company has given in to the mentality of a rage mob. How can Google now expect conservatives to defend it against anti-business policies from the left that might threaten its very existence?

I was deeply disappointed to see such a promising idea abandoned, but the episode was about much more than just one company’s response to intolerance from the self-appointed guardians of tolerance.

 It was symptomatic of where America is heading. Whether in the streets or online, angry mobs that heckle and threaten are not trying to change hearts and win minds. They’re trying to impose their will through intimidation. In too many corners of American life, there is no longer room for disagreement and civil discourse. Instead, it’s agree or be destroyed.

 Uncivil discourse is an illness in America. We can do better — we must strive to show the world what a pluralistic society should be, a place where people of different faiths and viewpoints are willing to engage and willing to listen to others, especially when they bring different ideas to the table. From those conversations come a deeper understanding and better policies — and ultimately a better, more civil society for all. 

  1. Physical Touch is Good for Your Health

 As The Atlantic reports, it may be good for you – but pay attention to social norms:

 Tiffany Field has spent decades trying to get people to touch one another more.

 Her efforts started with premature babies, when she found that basic human touch led them to quickly gain weight. An initial small study, published in the journal Pediatrics in 1986, showed that just 10 days of “body stroking and passive movements of the limbs” for less than an hour led babies to grow 47 percent faster. They averaged fewer days in the hospital and accrued $3,000 less in medical bills. The effect has been replicated multiple times.

Field, a developmental psychologist by training, went on to found the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. She was a pioneer in highlighting the effects of “touch deprivation” among kids, famously those in orphanages. She explained to me that the effects are pervasive, influencing so many bodily systems that kids are diagnosed with “failure to thrive,” resulting in permanent physical and cognitive impairment, smaller stature, and social withdrawal later in life—which often includes aversion to physical contact.

  1. Parents: Stop Playing the Comparison Game

 A Washington Post writer calls for parents to walk together in solidarity:

 My sweet friend, sitting across my dining room table with her hands wrapped around a cup of coffee, tears up as she shares her parenting stress. She has two children, and the weight of motherhood is wearing her down today. I see it in her eyes — that dull ache of everything just being “too much” this week, of feeling like she is failing on every front. I have been there repeatedly — and sometimes feel as if I live perpetually in that state of mind. I reach out to offer empathy and watch her snap back.

 “I’m sorry,” she says, “I don’t even know why I am complaining. I have only two kids, and I don’t work. You have four, and work, and twins . . . and I don’t know why I am complaining.” The empathy I felt for my friend falters for a second, and I feel shame. Have I led her to feel this way? That her struggle isn’t struggle enough for me to commiserate?

  1. Research Finds that Firstborn Children Are the Smartest

 From The TODAY Show:

 Research has found firstborn children are set up for more academic and intellectual success. The advantage begins early—with firstborn babies and toddler already scoring better on cognitive tests than their younger siblings at the same age- and it’s likely due to a “broad shift in parenting,” according to a study published in the Journal of Human Resources.

 Parents give the same amount of love and care to all their children, but firstborns get the most mental stimulation, with families unable to keep up that level for subsequent kids, the study found. Parents spend less time reading to their later-born children and teaching them basic concepts, like the alphabet. They’re also less likely to provide engaging toys or activities.

 “The lesson here for parents is that they type of investments you make in your kids matter a lot, especially those that you make in the children’s first few years of life,” Lehmann said.

  1. Eric and Lara Trump Announce Second Child on the Way

 Eric and Lara Trump are about to be parents for a second time.

 According to The Hill, Eric Trump, the 35-year-old son of President Trump, and his wife announced Wednesday that they are expecting their second child later this summer.

 With the new addition to the family, the 72-year-old president — a dad of five — will become a grandfather of 10.

  1. Student Files Complaint against Roommate for Watching Ben Shapiro Video

 For real!  National Review reports:

 A student at Michigan State University actually filed a bias complaint against his roommate for watching a Ben Shapiro video.

The student woke up from a nap last September and noticed his roommate watching the video, The College Fix reports. Apparently horrified by this discovery, he then filed a bias complaint with the administration.