Do you spend more time on what’s urgent – or what’s important?
“Your days are numbered,” wrote the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius. “Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.”
Some executives appear to be taking this counsel to heart:
1. Executives Are Quitting to Spend Time With Family … Really
The urge to resign is not confined to frontline workers. Chief executives, chief financial officers and other C-level executives are walking off the job, too. And while some are inevitably leaving one role to take a new one, some are dropping out altogether, at least for a bit.
Many of the executives leaving top jobs are fortunate enough to quit without having to worry about how to pay their bills, and they say their decisions aren’t driven by finances. Instead, they are propelled by a mix of needing a break, reassessing the role of work in their lives and wanting to pursue new ventures.
Sanjay Poonen was in line for the big job. As the chief operating officer of VMware, the large cloud computing firm, he was a top contender to replace the departing chief executive.
But in the end, the C.E.O. role went to someone else, and last year, Mr. Poonen left the company. “It was a good time for me” he said. “I’ve never really taken a break in my life.”
Now, Mr. Poonen finds himself with an abundance of time to spend with his family and his faith at his home in Los Altos, Calif.
His three children are in middle school and high school, and he is soaking up as much time with them as he can. “I love being a chauffeur for them in the morning and going to all their soccer and basketball games,” he said.
Mr. Poonen, a practicing Christian, is spending his days listening to an audiobook of the Bible while riding his bicycle, and looking for ways to be more charitable — donating to the needy and volunteering his time.
“The pandemic has opened my eyes to so many people who have less than I do,” he said. “I want to make my life a blessing to everyone I come in touch with.”
- What do students’ beliefs about God have to do with grades and going to college?
From The Conversation:
In America, the demographic circumstances of a child’s birth substantially shape academic success. Sociologists have spent decades studying how factors beyond students’ control – including the race, wealth and ZIP code of their parents – affect their educational opportunities and achievement.
But one often overlooked demographic factor is religion. The U.S. is the most devout wealthy Western democracy. Does a religious upbringing influence teens’ academic outcomes?
Over the past 30 years, sociologists and economists have conducted several studies that consistently show a positive relationship between religiosity and academic success. These studies show that more religious students earn better grades and complete more schooling than less religious peers. But researchers debate what these findings really mean, and whether the seeming effect of religiosity on students’ performance is really about religion, or a result of other underlying factors.
My latest research underscores that religion has a powerful but mixed impact. Intensely religious teens – who some researchers call “abiders” – are more likely than average to earn higher GPAs and complete more college education. By religious intensity, I refer to whether people see religion as very important, attend religious services at least once a week, pray at least once a day, and believe in God with absolute certainty. Theological belief on its own is not enough to influence how children behave – they also need to be part of a religious community. Adolescents who see an academic benefit both believe and belong.
- Abortion Proponents Likely to Concede Defeat Over Fight to Federally Fund Abortion
From The Daily Citizen:
Democrats in Congress will soon “concede defeat” in their push to directly fund abortion with federal funds, according to a new report in Politico.
For months, Congressional negotiators have been in discussions over the FY22 spending bill. Congress passed a short-term stopgap spending bill back in December 2021 to continue funding the government through February 18. This continuing resolution has kept the government funded while debate over a longer-term spending plan has played out.
But with February 18 coming up quickly, Congress is rushing to approve either another continuing resolution, as the House did recently to provide funds through March 11, or a bill to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year.
The Hyde amendment has been an annual provision in Congress’ spending bills since 1976. It is a pro-life measure that stipulates that American taxpayer dollars can’t fund abortions through Medicaid.
Last year, for the first time 45 years, the House of Representatives passed a spending bill without Hyde, followed promptly by the U.S. Senate’s decision to do the same.
Thankfully, the effort to exclude Hyde from these bills, which fund the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Departments, among others, may ultimately end in failure.
- Pro-Life Group Poised to Help Moms, Babies Born If Roe v. Wade Is Overturned
From The Daily Signal:
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List is preparing to provide care for all the additional babies that will be born if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
“When the Supreme Court releases its hold on abortion policymaking, we will show the world that we are ready and willing to empower women and promote life,” Lynn Fitch, Mississippi’s pro-life attorney general, said in a statement.
The Susan B. Anthony List announced Monday that it is launching a campaign in partnership with Fitch that will benefit a slew of pro-life pregnancy centers across Missisippi.
The state has more than 30 pro-life pregnancy centers, according to a Susan B. Anthony List press release, centers which have served more than 12,000 people and provided almost $2 million in resources in 2019 alone, according to an impact report conducted by the Susan B. Anthony List’s research arm, the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
- Judge Blocks Air Force’s Efforts to Discharge Christian Officer with Religious Objection to COVID-19 Vaccines
From The Daily Citizen:
Our nation’s military is charged with defending the Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees to all American citizens. When one of those citizens is also an Air Force officer, those guarantees still apply.
So ruled Judge Tilman E. Self, III, a United States District judge in Georgia on February 15 while granting a preliminary injunction in favor of an unnamed female Air Force officer who objected, for religious reasons, to receiving the COVID-19 vaccinations required by the Department of Defense.
The officer, a 25-year veteran with an unblemished military record, was ordered – along with the rest of the nation’s armed forces – to get fully vaccinated by November 18, 2021, or request and receive an exemption from doing so. She officially requested an exemption on religious grounds due to the vaccines’ connection with the use of aborted fetal tissue cell lines used in their testing or production.
One additional fact in her favor: She already had COVID-19 in 2020, and two antibody tests since that time showed that she still has natural immunity to the disease.
However, her request was denied along with every other member of the Air Force who requested a religious exemption until just recently, when a few requests were granted. But not hers. She was given the option to either retire or be compelled to leave with her career in tatters. The financial loss alone would have amounted to over $1 million in lost pay and benefits.
The US Navy has a religion problem
From The Washington Examiner:
The purpose of our military is to protect our way of life and support our interests and allies overseas.
But what would happen if we stripped our all-volunteer force of some of the traits that make them Americans? Would our military be as effective if we told the men and women who want to fight for our values they must first abandon those values?
This isn’t a hypothetical question. The last few weeks have shown us that the Pentagon — and, in particular, the U.S. Navy — is casually stomping on the religious freedom of our service members.
The problem was exposed after the Navy established that all active-duty and reserve sailors must be vaccinated by late 2021. At the start, Navy leaders promised sailors would have the option of seeking a religious exemption to vaccine mandate. But as the weeks unfolded, nearly 3,300 active-duty sailors asked for the exemption, and each one of them was rejected.
COVID-19 and the Failure of America’s Major Religions
From The Daily Signal:
For two years, Americans have been partially or entirely deprived of fundamental freedoms—of assembly, speech, religious liberty, making a living, a child’s right to an education, access to early treatment for a potentially deadly virus, and more—for the first time in American history. That half of America, especially its elites, has either made peace with or supported these deprivations of freedom is why many of us worry about America’s future as a free society.
Even more concerning has been the reactions of America’s great religions—specifically, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons (Latter-day Saints), and Jews. The government issued irrational (as well as anti-religious and unethical) edicts and nearly every church and synagogue obeyed.
These churches and synagogues closed their schools to in-classroom instruction despite the fact that COVID-19 presented virtually no threat to young people.
Exponentially more children have been hurt by closing religious and secular schools and, later, by making children wear masks—even outdoors—than by COVID-19. This has been made clear not only by relevant data in America but by Sweden, which never closed its schools for children under 16—and not a single student or teacher died from COVID-19.
- Youngkin signs bill codifying school mask opt-out, likely ending state’s mask war
From The Washington Examiner:
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill into law Wednesday codifying his controversial executive order allowing parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates.
The new law likely spells the end of the commonwealth’s mask wars, which have pitted school districts that refused to lift mandates against parents who had sought to take advantage of an executive order Youngkin had signed on his first day in office allowing them to opt their children out of school mask mandates.
The executive order had sparked a flurry of lawsuits from school districts and parents. A state judge in Arlington had issued a temporary restraining order against the executive order, ruling in favor of seven school districts that had sought to block it.
In another case, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit by a group of parents who had challenged the order. Meanwhile, several other parent groups throughout the commonwealth had sued their respective school districts for failing to follow the order.
Challengers to the order had argued that it violated a state law requiring school districts to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in order to reopen safely.
The newly signed law passed both houses of the state Legislature in recent days. In the state Senate, a handful of Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the bill, while the vote in the House of Delegates was strictly party-line.
7. Father’s Rights Revoked Over Pronouns, Then He Gets Charged $200,000 for His Son’s Gender Transition
Noted writer Abigail Shrier is warning parents about how one particular case concerning a transgender-identifying minor shows how gender ideology has “infiltrated” family law.
Writing recently in the City Journal, Shrier tells the story of Ted Hudacko’s combative divorce case in which a California Superior Court judge not only took away of his custody over his 16-year-old son but that he would also have no say in the boy’s medical gender transition.
Shrier noted the judge kept pressing Hudacko to accept that his teenage son was actually a girl.
The judge even corrected the father in court about the use of pronouns when referring to his son in court, reminding him to use the word “they” instead of “he.”
Hudacko “had used the ‘he’ pronoun because he remained deeply skeptical that the boy he’d coached in little league—the son he’d once seen crushing on a cute girl in his fifth-grade class—was actually a young woman,” Shrier explained.
The father told the judge he did not want his son to begin a medical transition. But within a few months, the court ended his parental relationship with the boy, giving him no say in stopping a scheduled medical transition for which he would later be charged more than $200,000.
- NY Fed: Household debt grew by $1 trillion in 2021, most since before the Great Recession
From Fox Business:
Household debt grew by more than $1 trillion last year, driven by rising prices on cars and housing, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This is the largest annual debt increase since before the Great Recession of 2008.
“The total increase in nominal debt during 2021 was the largest we have seen since 2007,” said New York Fed Senior Vice President Wilbert Van Der Klaauw in a statement. “The aggregate balances of newly opened mortgage and auto loans sharply increased in 2021, corresponding to increases in home and car prices.”
Notably, credit card debt soared by $52 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, which is the largest quarterly increase in the 22 years since the NY Fed began collecting this data. Outstanding mortgage debt grew by $258 billion during this time, and auto loan balances increased by $15 billion.
9. What’s with all the Democrats watching Fox News?
From the Deseret News:
If you’re a Republican and watch cable news after putting the kids to bed, you’re probably watching Tucker Carlson on Fox. If you’re a Democrat watching cable news at the same time, you are possibly watching … Tucker Carlson on Fox.
That’s a surprise twist in cable news ratings that many people didn’t see coming, especially at MSNBC, where Rachel Maddow is the marquee liberal voice and shares the same time slot as Carlson.
But Nielsen MRI Fusion found that “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the top show in that time slot in October among both Republicans and Democrats ages 25-54. As The Wrap reported, “Of those demo-aged viewers surveyed who identified as Democrats, 39% chose Fox News, 31% chose MSNBC and 30% chose CNN for programming from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET.”
Why are Democrats tuning into Fox, which is so frequently derided by those on the left? And why do younger Democrats choose Carlson over Maddow?
In fact, Democrats likely tune into Fox for the same reason that Republicans do. It’s good entertainment. I do not mean that as a slight.
10. See Chicago Carjacking in Your Chevrolet
Bob Greene writes in the Wall Street Journal:
For lovers of the freedom of the open road, the Chicago Auto Show—the largest in the nation—has been a happy destination since the days of the Model T. But at the 114th annual show this week, there’s a new feature destined to tamp down the lightheartedness.
Situated among the nearly 1,000 gleaming vehicles on display across a million square feet of the McCormick Place convention-hall complex near Lake Michigan is a booth sponsored by the office of the Cook County Sheriff.
It’s a carjacking booth—specifically, a booth staffed by sheriff’s office personnel to warn attendees of the deadly dangers presented by the current wave of violent carjackings on Chicago’s streets and to give those car-show fans tips about how to avoid becoming the next victims.
Sheriff Tom Dart, in announcing the reason for the plan, was blunt: “This is a terrifying and dangerous crime that enables additional crimes to be carried out with the stolen vehicle.” Chicagoans have become numb to constant news reports of motorists being ordered out of their cars and beaten or shot if they resist giving up their keys. So the sheriff’s office is going to the place where people who care the most about cars gather.