News sources defile footage of dead tyrant

In this era, people love to see. They loved to see freedom springing up from some of the harshest governing countries in the world. They also loved to see the death of one of the harshest dictators of this century. But how much should be shown of the death of someone? Is it not satisfying enough for us to hear that a person who has done so much wrong has been killed? Is a picture of his corpse still not enough? Apparently we needed to see clips of the final moments of Muammar Gaddafi’s life in order to be satisfied with his death being a just one. We needed to see him bloodied and bruised, tormented and crying out for mercy. Just because the video clips of his last minutes alive were available doesn’t necessitate broadcasting them to the world through American news sources. True, Gaddafi was a terrible ruler, and many innocent people lost their lives under his regime. But he also had a family. He had people who cared about him and to show his death in such a widely celebrated, graphically detailed way seems to disrespect their right to grieve more than it does to highlight the justice done. This is not only the fault of the news organizations that  broadcast the videos, but also the people watching them. They push the view count up on the videos and the site traffic up on the websites. But is it OK to continue showing the videos simply because they are increasing viewership and essentially making money? Or perhaps the better question is why are people so interested in watching the final moments of Gaddafi’s life? Technology has forever changed the way Americans get information. They have access to almost anything with a few simple clicks. They demand instant access to whatever is trending at the time. Whether it’s a song, a game, a joke, a country or even a person’s death, people want to know and see it all immediately. For Gaddafi’s death though, it doesn’t seem that people want to know and see his last minutes for the purpose of claiming justice for those he killed while he was in power. We didn’t have to see videos of those  innocent people’s last minutes to label them as unjust. So why must we plaster Gaddafi’s final steps on every news website and in every time slot of the evening news? If news stations reported on Gaddafi’s death, telling us how he was killed, who killed him, when and where he died, that should be enough. If they showed a picture of him after he was dead, that...

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MEW welcomes nations to campus

Whether it’s in the states or overseas, many UMHB students spend their free time serving in missions. Perhaps it’s because of the willingness to go that the university tries to promote such travels. Missions Emphasis Week is an annual event because of the school’s history with and love for ministry. This year, 42 missionaries flooded the campus Oct. 24-28, offering insight into the areas where they serve. Co-director of this year’s Missions Emphasis Week junior psychology major Jessica Rivas worked for months to prepare for the event. Because missions are important to her personally, she was deeply invested in the planning and execution of the week. “I can think of no better way to spend my life than to do what Jesus asked me to do by going to all the nations, or at least starting here, and making disciples through sharing about God restoring our relationship with himself through Christ,” Rivas said. Her passion for sharing Christ’s hope with the nations is something she thinks everyone can gain through participating in MEW. Rivas said, “Every year, I have seen the campus culture change the week of and week after. … The campus needs this sweet reminder to stop sitting and absorbing all the information we can about scripture and start applying it daily.” Though the missionaries were on campus for only a few short days, their presence was obvious. They spoke in 71 classrooms, 28 seminars, 12 organizational meetings and participated in five larger evening events. Assistant Director for the Baptist Student Ministry Jena Coulson was one of the two staff members in charge of the event. She and Director of the BSM Shawn Shannon oversaw the week, which was led by the 35 students serving on the steering committee. Coulson wanted students’ perceptions of missions to be changed and clarified with this year’s Missions Emphasis Week. “To be a missionary you don’t have to have a calling to a certain people group,” Coulson said. “Being a missionary is living missionally  where you’re at. I think that concept is new for some people.” One of the goals of the event was to engage students who have never considered missions before and to introduce them to what that life would look like. Coulson enjoyed seeing students meet with missionaries and start to understand that they can live missionally where they are. She said, “It helps students understand missions is more than a word. It’s a lifestyle, which means you strive to do that every day. And you can engage the people around you. You don’t have to go far away.” Another aspect of MEW is to provide connections and...

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Occupy Austin protests government
Oct18

Occupy Austin protests government

The sidewalk chalk outside  the Austin City Hall isn’t hopscotch or artwork sketched out by children present. It’s calling for anarchy. The music played on the steps isn’t for a large music festival. It’s being sung so that the people passing by on the streets will hear opinions of the corruption of the American government. This is the Occupy Austin demonstration. UPS employee and part-time protester Roxanne White joined the protest because she believes that Americans are all born into slavery, but that as a nation, the people are strong enough to realize this. She said they should exercise their right to change it. “Every little aspect of our lives has been programmed for us,” she said. “When you’re born, you’re not even given to your mother, and you’re born into bright, artificial lights.” She believes that all of the societal issues the country is facing stem from the economic system. Her solution begins with anarchy and leads to the people cultivating their own resources. “I don’t believe in any form of government whatsoever. Power leads to corruption- always,” White said. “The best thing to do is start taking back the land. Start growing vegetables everywhere and start feeding your families.” The Occupy Austin movement started October 6 and has had a steady group of people protesting in downtown Austin ever since. They hold signs,  play music, share ideas, and make themselves known because they hope to be a catalyst for change. A stench hovers outside of City Hall, one that rises from people camping out without showers or bathrooms. Some protesters are clothed in thin yoga pants, some in costumes, some in shorts and T-shirts and others with hardly any clothing at all. But what kind of change do they want? Are they unified in their protests with the rest of the world, the country or even within their own group? Austin resident Jacqueline Edwards, 20, is concerned with what she says is the corruption of America’s government and the implications that has on citizens. “I’m for the cause. I really feel like what we’re doing here goes to show (the) downfall of our government and how they have ruined our economy and also how it’s affected the American people and that’s why we’re all here,” she said. Edwards joined the protest the first day of the rally, believing that the political system of the United States needs to be re-thought. “A Democratic Party and a Republican Party are really just a party, and they are faces in the media. We have to come together. There shouldn’t be a Democratic and Republican party,” Edwards said. “I want change....

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10 days at UMHB

Ten days without coffee, without caffeine, without any beverage except water. That’s what 10 Days at UMHB is about. And with every sip of water, participants will be reminded of those who have no choice but to drink water — and dirty water at that. Junior psychology major Jasper Gates became aware of the program which is a part of Living Water International last year and approached the Campus Activities Board about the university’s participation in the event. “What Living Water does is they are a ministry that provides clean water wells for impoverished countries. They go in, get a clean water system going and they share the gospel. Also they do a lot of sanitation,” he said. The more Gates looked into the organization, the more passionate he became about doing something. The point of the 10 Days campaign is for colleges across America to give up beverages and donate the money they would have spenton those to build water wells. Gates knew it was something UMHB could do. He said, “I believe about 50 universities are participating in this.” The event started Oct. 10 and goes through Oct. 19. Gates hopes students will continue to join in and support the cause. “It is campus wide. A lot of people are going around with wristbands and promoting. We are passing out little information cards,” he said. “We hope that it opens a lot of people’s eyes about the water crisis.” Assistant Director for campus activities Jeff Sutton is participating in 10 Days and is promoting the event through CAB. He said, “CAB always wants to do a variety of events … that raise awareness of things that are going on around the world.” When Sutton heard about the event from Gates, he was excited for UMHB to be a part of it. “This just seemed like the right fit. The fact that we get to partner with other schools across the country, it’s kind of that common bond thing,”  Sutton said. The goal is that in 10 days, the colleges participating would raise $100,000 to provide 10 Rwandan communities with clean and safe water sources. Though UMHB is smaller than other participating schools, supporters are dedicated to raising money and spreading awareness. Junior accounting major Audrey Ohendalski is participating in the event and is helping promote it. “For me, personally, mission has always been something I know is important and something we are called to do as Christians is be missional in everyday life,” she said. “But that’s not something that comes naturally to me, so that’s why I’ve been involved.” Ohendalski enjoys being part of the event...

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Fake news cries wolf

The well-known satirical news source The Onion pushed its limits this past week, publishing on its website and Twitter feed stories of children kidnapped by congressmen. The original tweet, posted the morning of Sept. 29, simply said, “BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building.” Though people who follow The Onion know the stories are published for entertainment purposes, this story idea may have gone too far. Stories of disturbance in U.S. government buildings are usually not taken lightly by officials or the public, especially a day after a threat of attack by terrorists using   model          airplanes. True, The Onion is protected by the First Amendment, but just because a story can legally be published doesn’t mean it’s ethical or amusing to do so. This goes back to the general rule of not shouting fire in a crowded   theater. The Capitol is on guard already against any possible threats, and tweeting a line about an attack there could potentially cause chaos for anyone previously unaware of The Onion’s status as a satirical tease. Possibly the best example of chaos spreading due to a false journalistic broadcast was Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds, which was broadcast over the radio just before Halloween night in 1938. The story of aliens invading earth was read like a news broadcast, and though completely fictional, caused some listeners to believe the events were actually happening. Were congressmen holding children hostage? No, but did The Onion have to resort to tweets like, “Obama: ‘I know this Congress well. Trust me, they will kill these kids’” to get the response they desired? It seems some of their followers didn’t think so and didn’t find the story humorous or appropriate. One Twitter follower, Joseph Gonzales, tweeted back  at The Onion saying “There’s nothing about killing kids that’s amusing. This whole series of tweets today is irresponsible.” Journalistic ethics and credibility are always questioned by the public, but especially when cases like this come up. The Onion is a satirical news source, but it looks and operates much like a real news source. Will its less than amusing story have wider implications beyond those mentioned? It will be interesting to see what comes out of this situation. Legally they are protected by the First Amendment. And even though specific individuals were mentioned, such as President Obama and Speaker Boehner, they are public officials and would most likely lose if they chose to sue The Onion. Maybe the story and tweets were a clear example of stories that were intended to be funny and weren’t received as well as the publishers would have anticipated. Or maybe...

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