They Just Stood Watching as a Prisoner Died… And They Weren’t in Afghanistan, they were In California

Jailhouse video reveals California sheriff’s deputies watching and sometimes laughing as a schizophrenic man who had been strapped naked to a chair for 46 hours writhes on the floor of his cell, loses consciousness and eventually dies.

The Tribune of San Luis Obispo on Friday posted a nearly eight-minute video of Andrew Holland’s death on Jan. 22, 2017. The newspaper said it reviewed more than 100 hours of jailhouse surveillance video in all.

San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer Wade Horton called the footage “extremely painful to watch.” Click here to view footage, but be warned it contains content that is graphic. 

“What happened to Andrew Holland was a tragedy that impacts our entire community,” Horton told The Tribune in an email. “Although we can’t bring Andrew back, our county has made and continues to make changes in response to this terrible event.”

These cops need to go to prison.  Such indifference to human life…

The Purpose of Higher Ed is Education, Not a Guaranteed Job

Sam Gyimah is very taken by Moneysupermarket.com. Seven years ago, the newly elected Tory MP for East Surrey wrote an article for Conservative Home, bemoaning the fact that there existed no “Moneysupermarket.com for universities … to allow students to easily compare what’s on offer”.

Last week, Gyimah, now education minister, announced a new “tool” through which to grade degree courses, by giving them gold, silver and bronze stars, depending on teaching quality, dropout rates, career prospects and average salary earned. Students will be able to assess universities in the same way as services on Moneysupermarket.com, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

While Gyimah was explaining his shiny new tool, Pok Wong, a student from Hong Kong, was suing Anglia Ruskin University for providing her with a “Mickey Mouse” education. Her degree in international business strategy management had not helped “secure a rewarding job with prospects”. “I hope that bringing this case will set a precedent so that students can get value for money,” she said.

Moneysupermarket.com. Value for money. A rewarding job. Welcome to the new vision of what universities are for. It’s not that “value for money” may not be important. A rewarding job certainly is. But when these become the main metrics by which higher education is judged, then we have a problem.

Read the whole piece.

Why Christians Ought to, Need To, Get To Worship Services

From an essay in the Raleigh News and Observer:

Here are the reasons why, all things being equal, Christians must go to church:

Christianity is a team sport. Permit me a humble analogy. You might see yourself as a terrific baseball pitcher. But if you only throw baseballs in your backyard at a plywood cutout, you won’t progress. You’re not even really playing baseball.

To discover the full extent of your abilities, to understand the true game, you need a catcher, a coach, infielders and outfielders — and even someone standing in the batter’s box ready to swat your best fastball right back at you.

Same with being a Christian. You can’t do it well by yourself.

Communion is among our faith’s central sacraments, a ritual that celebrates Christians as members of a spiritual, God-ordained community. We’re many individuals who, joined together with Jesus and each other, form one great cosmic body. It’s in our spiritual DNA that we rely on one another; no one stands alone.

Attendance is commanded. The writer of Hebrews, for instance, warns us never to forsake assembling together with our brothers and sisters.

It’s not all about you. We’re sent to church to serve others as much as we’re sent there to be served. Believe it or not, you possess gifts and talents your brothers and sisters need. If you’re not present, you’re denying them benefits God intended them to enjoy.

Your fellow parishioners, including your pastor, will make you mad, hurt your feelings and get on your last nerve. This is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Finding ourselves offended and disappointed lets us see just how shallow and petty we are. It sands down our rough edges. We discover that, by gosh, we’re no better than all those other hymn-warbling yahoos!

Also, watching God work miracles through the smelly, imperfect, hypocritical men and women who make up a congregation reveals to us the unfathomable depths of God’s grace and love. It renews our faith. We realize he can use anybody — even us.

Your fellow Christians will reveal aspects of the Lord you’ve never seen. As we get to know our fellow pilgrims, as we hear them tell and retell their sordid stories while they’re bumbling along, we find they’ve experienced God in ways we haven’t. They’ve seen revelations we’ve never imagined. Over time, all these very different visions merge into a greater portrait of him than we’d ever otherwise behold.

Your fellow churchgoers will inspire and comfort you. Sure, some Christians will let you down, because they’re human and that’s what humans do. But you’ll also find disciples who’ll sit beside you in court when your kid’s up on drug charges, and who’ll hold your hand when your spouse is lying in a coffin, and who’ll bring you soup when you’re sick with the flu. When everything’s going wrong, they’ll assure you it’s going to be OK in the end, because they — and God — have your back.

To the extent you honor your church, you honor Christ. “In as much as you’ve done it to the least of these my brothers and sisters,” Jesus said, “you’ve done it unto me.” When you dishonor or ignore his church, you’re dishonoring or ignoring him.

You’ll get plenty of laughs. You’ll sing and pray, sure. You’ll snore. You’ll grow fidgety. But as much as anything, you’ll experience joy — and mirth. Each church is a microcosm of the human comedy. When you’re not cussing about it, the sheer surreal madness of it just leaves you clutching your rib cage, shaking with laughter, tears of gratitude streaming down your cheeks.