WAU opens WBB season with win

Takoma Park, MD – The Washington Adventist University women’s basketball team used a collective effort Nov. 4 defeating rival Oakwood University by a final score of 69-53. The Lady Shock had five players reach double figures in the season and home opener.

In the first quarter, the Ambassadors used a quick 4-0 run to start the contest. The Shock didn’t score a basket for the first four minutes of the contest until Candice Berner(JR/Frederick, MD) knocked down a three for the Shock’s first points. At the end of the first quarter the Shock trailed by one point 11-10. In the second quarter the Shock outscored the Ambassadors 24-8. The surge was sparked by Grace Wallace (JR/Brandywine, MD) who scored eight points in seven minutes, Candice Berner who scored five points in three minutes, and Christine Mabry (JR/Gaithersburg, MD) connecting 2-4 threes from beyond the arc. At halftime the Shock led 35-20.

In the second half, the Shock maintained control throughout the half in route to their 69-53 win. The Shock scored 26 points off 25 forced Oakwood turnovers. The Shock shot 45% (10-22) from beyond the arc for the contest. The Shock was led by Candice Berner who finished the contest with 11 points on 3-4 shooting from beyond the arc. Demyra Selby(JR/Salisbury, MD) chipped in 10 points and a game high 6 assists. Grace Wallace finished the night with 10 points and 4 rebounds. Christine Mabry chipped in with 10 points on 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Amber Morman finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds.

The Shock will hit the road to North Carolina next weekend for their back-to-back games in Asheville, NC against Montreat College and Warren Wilson College. — WAU

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OPM director finds new way to motivate

The quarterly Greatest Places to Work in the Federal Government, released April 1, shocked federal workers with its latest findings. The Office of Personnel Management shot up 20 percent in just a couple of months. OPM topped the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as the favorite place for feds to be employed.opmlogo

OPM ranked just 15th of 27 mid-sized federal agencies in a similar poll last year scoring 66.2 percent. Even in the face of a hiring freeze that is challenging OPM workers, first quarter numbers just released by the Personnel for Optimism and Organization Program (POOP) shows morale has risen nearly 20 percent to 85 for the period ending March 30. FDIC remains steady at 81 percent.

Best Practices

The credit is being given to OPM’s Acting Director Kathleen McGettigan who took a management page out of U.S. Geological Survey Acting Director William Werkheiser’s management book. Werkheiser started “Breakfast with Bill” where he eats breakfast in the cafeteria and encourages employees to join him, share their concerns and ask him questions. The acting director also hosts town hall meetings and participates in fireside chats with employees.

OPM already holds town halls to promote openness, but McGettigan added a personal touch to meeting employees, according to POOP. She hosts happy hour at the local eatery Tail Wagging the Dog from 5 p.m until 6 p.m on Thursdays. She calls it “Crocked with Kitty” and the attendance has been spectacular. There is even talk of having President Trump appear in June to personally tell federal employees how thankful he is for all their hard work.

In spite of the good news at some federal agencies morale problems still exist in some quarters. For example, there is a 22.2 percent difference between private sector and feds in how employees about how employees are rewarded for providing high quality products and services. Private workers are 21.6 percent more likely to think their skills are better used in the workplace. Twenty percent of private employees feel more encouraged to develop new and better ways of doing things.

Some work to keep Christ in Christmas

Although Christmas is too commercial and the obsession with money is an “entrance to sin,” as the archbishop of Constantinople foresaw in 380 AD, some of the music continues to focus on God coming to Earth as a baby born more than 2,000 years ago and sacrificing his life to forgive mankind of its sin. Whether the anthems were pinned a few, for a few hundred, years ago, the message still points to the miracle of Christmas.

 

The hymn “Good Christian Men Rejoice” introduces Jesus Christ in stanza one, announces his mission next, “…He has open heaven’s door and man is blessed for ever more…” Then the savior’s purpose, “Jesus Christ was born to save, calls you one calls you all, to gain his everlasting call.” That paints a clear picture of the gospel message that his stood throughout church history. (That’s not to suggest those who call themselves Christians have always practiced it.)

 

Ponder that today as you have a Merry Christmas.


Another great hymn is “Silent Night.” Forget “White Christmas” or “The Christmas Song,” TIME claimed the Joseph Mohr/Franz Xaver Gruber classic is the most popular Christmas song ever in December 2014. The selection was made in comparing digital registrations in the U.S. Copyright Office since 1978. By the way, the hymn “Joy to the World” is second. That’s a fun fact to share with friends.

 

Often non-Christians think of the Prince of Peace as bringing peace on earth. Spiritually speaking that is impossible, but one doesn’t expect non-Christians to recognize the spiritual realm accurately. However another hymn helps address this. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lamented conditions in 1867 as he wrote “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

 

The symbols of the environment say “peace on Earth,” but all is not well in post U.S. Civil War Massachusetts in the 19th Century. After Longfellow’s narrator hangs his head in deep despair in recognition that “There is no peace on earth. For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will toward men.” As the bells clang the narrator has an “aha” moment and realizes there is hope. “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep; the wrong shall fail, the right prevail; with peace on earth good will to men.” That peace will be on a new earth. If one cannot recognize the symbolism in Longfellow’s work, one will misinterpret it. Ironically, some argue Longfellow was not a Christian, but he was raised in a Puritan setting.

It seems hard to believe, but it has been a quarter of a century since Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene created what has become modern day classic “Mary Did you Know?” Lowry’s lyrics from “…Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you know?… And when you kiss your little baby boy, you have kissed the face of God,” serve as powerful reminders to keep Christ in Christmas.

Johnson, Stein make dog’s 2016 presidential bid look good

 

Smaller parties in the United States have given disheartened American voters two more reasons to write-in Benny, the truly independent presidential candidate, in November. Benny is a beagle; beagles can’t be trained to do anything except eat and sleep. On the other hand, beagles are attractive, friendly and honest. What better change could Americans ask for?

The Green Party’s presumed candidate is Jill Stein. Stein repeated the story of how she contacted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and invited him to lead the ticket and build a political movement. Stein told a national audience on C-SPAN July 15 she had not heard from Sanders. He has since endorsed Hillary Rodham-Clinton.

Maybe it is just me, but how can Stein appoint the party’s nominee before the Green convention unless she is a dictator? Benny cares about how people feel and what they think. Animal rescue workers in Mississippi pulled an undernourished, sick, flea and tick laden beagle from the fields, nurtured him, shipped him to Washington, DC, where the Washington Animal Rescue League continued his healthcare before finding a good home for Benny. Benny believes people, sans politicians, have some good in them. Benny is no dictator.

Johnson’s a good second choice

Stein and Benny agree war has bankrupt America morally and financially. Stein says the United States should yield international law in foreign affairs. Libertarian Gary Johnson wants U.S. troops to destroy the Islamic State, but he wants to get U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. He believes they should have been deployed to go after al Qaeda, but not the Taliban. Benny believes U.S. troops are American and should remain under U.S. control.

Johnson offers a unique view on race relations. He ties the so-called war on drugs of the 1990s root cause of today’s racial tension between minorities and police. That position sounds good and may win some votes, but these tensions existed long before then-President Bill Clinton signed the bipartisan legislation “getting tough on crime.” It created the world’s largest prison system and destroyed U.S. inner cities. While judicial and legislative reform are necessary, as is better screening of police and police candidates, racial passions run much deeper. Minorities must also look in the mirror and ask, “Am I part of the solution or part of the problem?”

Benny knows what it is like to live in a cage. Benny knows what it is like to be multiracial. Benny is black, brown and white. Benny judges neither dogs nor people by the color of their coat, or skin, but by the content of their character. (Giving him some food never hurts.) Like Ronald Reagan, Benny will be the kind American figurehead that Americans, and the world, will appreciate.

Trump drops out of race

trump1NEW YORK (BS) – Donald Trump suspended his presidential campaign April 1. Once Trump learned the Constitution gives the president only limited powers and requires the Chief Executive to live in Washington, DC, at the White House. He doesn’t like Washington and Trump couldn’t afford the pay cut.

“I never expected all these dummies to vote for me,” Trump said. “What’s wrong with them?”

Gov. John Kasich is expected to gain most Trump candidates as the establishment heaps praise on Sen. Ted Cruz.

 

WASHINGTON (BS) – The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation with a veto-proof majority to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Bipartisan support was the difference for H.B. 4141 compared to the other 100 Republican-only repeal attempts.

The bill, also known as the Repeal Insolvent Pills Act, moves to the Senate where it is expected to receive immediate consideration. “I knowed it was just a matter of time,” Senate Boss Mitch McConnell said.

The RIP Act was introduced by freshmen Reps. Imma Notreal (D-ME) and Hank Laughin (R-NV). The president is expected to sign it.

 

WASHINGTON (BS) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his leadership team are the latest victims of the do-nothing-Senate. The Republican caucus, led by renegade Sen. Johnnie B. Badd (R-TN), passed a no confidence vote on McConnell, whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Republican Conference Chair John Thune (R-SD) April 1.

Some experts interpret the action as a threat aimed at the Republican National Committee should it attempt shenanigans at the 2016 presidential convention in Cleveland. Others see the move as a good government measure and an attempt to reassure voters before the November election.

 

RIYDH (BS) – Saudi Arabia dropped 1,000 paratroops to the east of Tal Afar, Syria, and west of Mosul, Iraq, early April 1. A two-hour battle ensued before ISIS was routed, Saudi Gen. Ali Shazam said.

Another 25,000 Saudi infantrymen are expected to arrive by midday as the defenders of the faith prepare to drive the Islamic terrorists out of the oil-rich north of Iraq. The Saudis said this is a Muslim fight and no Westerners are needed.