Keystone XL: Conflict coming down the pipe
Feb04

Keystone XL: Conflict coming down the pipe

For years, progress on the Keystone XL Pipeline was slowed due to stringent opposition of environmentalists on the left. It’s a shame, seeing the pipeline promises jobs.   The climate-consciousness oppose the pipeline, claiming it to be an environmental killer. Our president happens to be one of them. Even after the Senate voted 62-36 in favor of the energy infrastructure project (nine of which were democrats), President Obama will most likely seek to veto the bill.   Al Gore, who’s known to blow smoke of all kinds, has become the Obama’s administration leading source for facts on climate change.   He told the Huffington Post the pipeline is a threat for climate change reasons.   In his climate speech last June, Obama said he’d support Keystone XL if it “does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”   Keystone XL’s effects will resemble a pin-prick, not an atom bomb. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates Keystone’s greenhouse gas emissions currently amount to less than one percent of the United States’ total per year. The U.S. produces 5.5 billion metric tons of carbon pollution of the world’s 32.6 billion tons, coming in second to China, which puts out 8.7 billion tons. Keystone’s maximum addition to the nation’s greenhouse gas footprint: a measly .04 percent maximum. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions stated it a small increase. Nothing significant, Mr. President.   Keystone XL Pipeline’s benefits certainly outweigh any risks associated with it.   U.S. State Department reviews show global oil demands bid Canadian Oil come to market one way or another. These oil sands, the future of North America’s oil industry, could enter the U.S. by train, a hazardous endeavor.   Or, policy makers can approve the pipeline, not a foolproof transportation system, but with proper staffing and monitoring, a common sense routing system.   The Canadian Energy Research Institute says the United States can become the beneficiary of the following should an agreement come concerning the pipeline be reached: nearly half a million new jobs, more than $500 billion in U.S. government revenues by the year 2035 and energy security.   Go big or go home, America. Go Keystone XL. But then again, we don’t really have a say in the matter. Go pray 2016 will come...

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Opinion: Terrorists confirm negative views of Quran

The hashtag “Je Suis Charlie,” (I am Charlie), infiltrated Twitter as millions across the world paid homage to the 12 killed in the terrorist attack on a Paris satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Two more subsequent attacks raised the death toll to 17.   Dialogue on national media programs immediately channeled its attention to the attack which claim more than lives, but free speech as well.   This is true: satirists are at risk when producing work that criticizes the prophet Mohammed and certain aspects of the Islamic faith.   We must be people who recognize Islam as a multi-faceted practice.   All faiths are. Not all Muslims approve of what happened in Paris; not all Muslims resort to terrorist action to spread their faith.   Islamic faith calls for Sharia to be implemented worldwide. The way that Muslims go about that, though, differs.   So to blame the Islamic faith as a whole is wrong.   Are Christians to blame when the Ku Klux Klan burns crosses in a black family’s yard?   No. Christian theology reprimands such deplorable action.   Laws found in the Old Testament required adulterers, disobedient children and homosexuals to be put to death, though. Do Christians abide by them today?   No, and it is all because of Jesus Christ. His teachings were revolutionary; they reformed the religion.   Islam is different from Christianity in that regard. Years of reformation and enlightenment led to a positive turn for the Christian faith.   Recent trends have sent Islam in the opposite direction. Extremism has become the predominant face of Islam. Its Reformation has become one of war. The Paris terror attacks confirm this. Few in the Islamic faith criticize these terrorists’ attacks and many more applaud them.   Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the attacks in Paris were not the act of a “lone-wolf gunman. This was not an ‘un-Islamic’ attack by a bunch of thugs—the perpetrators could be heard shouting that they were avenging the Prophet Muhammad.”   Within the Islamic faith, these actions are justified. Jesus Christ taught His followers to turn the other cheek.   The prophet Muhammad commands his name be honored and violators be ushered to death.   But there is much the West does not know of the Islamic culture and faith. Most believe what they see on television: the beheadings, kidnappings and terrorist attacks.   Six-time NBA champion and notable Muslim Kareem Adbul-Jabbar probably said it best in a post he wrote for Time magazine.   “Ironically, terrorism is actually an act against the very religion...

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New music shop rocks belton
Jan22

New music shop rocks belton

Music and ministry merge together at a new music store off Highway 190 and Loop 121 in Belton.   Texas Tour Gear co-owners Seth Vance and Jon Cooper are both Christian, “and people who come in here definitely know that,” Cooper said, “and we don’t try to hide it.”   Both play a vital role at Vista Community Church.   Cooper used to work at Heart of Texas, Temple’s music store, before it closed down.   He developed relationships with local musicians during his time there.   “A lot of guys know my background. I had a rough past, and I’m pretty open about it,” he said. “They still come in and talk about stuff.”   Vance and Cooper also don’t hide good deals. For $20 an hour, bands can come into the store’s fully stocked stage and practice. For $150 a month, bands can rent the space. They receive a guaranteed two-hour time slot each day.   Senior Christian studies major, musician and Texas Tour Gear employee Matthew Boden believes that’s a great deal when it comes to renting practice time. He noted that some places in Austin charge $100 a day.   “UMHB students who bring their Cru Card can receive an extra five percent off their purchase,” Cooper added.   Vance is involved in doing professional church installations which include sound, lighting and all things A/V.   “We’re going to start having live events here,” Cooper said.   Since the May 5 opening, business has been steadily increasing.   “It’s really cool working for these guys because they’re my friends and my bosses,” Boden said.   “It’s neat because I like music and I’ve learned about pro audio, guitar care and they rely on me for guitar theory.”   Customers find Boden to be an asset when they’re looking for that perfect sound.   “Finding out more on how guitars work on the mechanical side,” has been beneficial to Boden’s own music, he said. “It’s been a really enriching experience. And plus, I get to play music all day.”   Boden said they see a lot of high-school-aged kids come into the store. Also, they’ve seen an influx of an older demographic, which used to frequent Heart of Texas.   “Really we get a bunch of different ages and a bunch of different people coming in.”   Texas Tour Gear also offers rentals, repairs and lessons as well as a variety of guitars, drums, keyboards, gear, both new and used, for sale.   Shop employees welcome anyone who wants to go in and talk about the music industry.   It is, after all, as Cooper put...

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Jesus said Love combats commercial sex industry
Nov25

Jesus said Love combats commercial sex industry

A metal pole entraps the dancer; she is on the clock, paid to entertain. Strobes light the cold stage as she begins her act. Onlookers gather. Their lusts fuel her salary, her slavery. She continues.   These women are victims of the commercial sex industry. According to marketresearch.com, a strip club, sometimes called a “gentlemen’s club,” is a $2.5 billion profiteer in the United States.   Travel Interstate 35 or head down Highway 190 toward Killeen and you’ll see a decent portion of that money infiltrating central Texas.   But there are Christians standing up to help the victims of this industry.   “Jesus Said Love began in Waco, Texas. Brett and Emily Mills are the founders, and they have been going into clubs, loving women right where they are with no strings attached, and connecting them to spiritual resources for a little over ten years now,” senior English major Kat Pasichnyk said.   She is a part of JSL’s college movement known as Campus Love. Their main goal: spreading awareness and raising funds.   Pasichnyk sold JSL merchandise last week to raise money for a transitional fund to help women leave the industry. All proceeds were given to the ministry. According to Pasichnyk, the event was a success: funds were raised and Campus Love is beginning to spark at UMHB.   “We asked God that more supporters would join in on this mission, that these women would be freed from shame and sin through Christ’s blood, and that our generation would put an end to the objectification of women.”   Junior education major Savannah Davis had never heard of the ministry before, but believes it could have a great impact on the community.   “It shows them that somebody is willing to talk to them and cares about them,” she said. “Sometimes, just a little bit of love is all it takes to get someone out of the slump they are in.”   JSL has branches in Dallas, College Station, San Antonio, and in December, a new branch will open in the Temple/Killeen area. It will be headed up by alumnus Lauren Rodriguez.   Rodriguez was Pasichnyk’s roommate last year, and after many conversations on “how the church should be reaching out to the marginalized,” Pasichnyk said, the two took it upon themselves to make a difference.   Rodriguez spent her summer working in with women in the sex industry in East Asia. Her stories inspired Pasichnyk.   Students wanting to get involved can sign up for Campus Love at http://jesussaidlove.com/campuslove/.   A pledge of $10 per month for one year can help JSL continue their work.  ...

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Students, organizations help community as holidays approach
Nov25

Students, organizations help community as holidays approach

Boxes for Operation Christmas Child filled the downstairs faculty lounge in Heard. Sigma Tau Delta members were hard at work, wrapping up their work.   Secretary for the English and Modern Foreign languages departments Sandra Rodriguez said today is the last day to contribute gifts.   She was moved by Operation Christmas Child after hearing stories on KLOVE of how children in third world countries have so little.   “Children in the United States often take things for granted,” she said, and was moved to help.   Rodriguez has spurned Sigma Tau Delta to give more for about eight years now.   If you weren’t able to help, there are several other opportunities this holiday. One of those is Helping Hands in Belton.   Helping Hands’ Director of Community Relations and Administration, Thomas Strickland, said “For the holiday season, the primary thing Helping Hands does provide holiday food for families, food for Thanksgiving and Christmas.”   Helping Hands sees a boom over the break. Colder weather and holiday traditions cause a greater demand for families in need. “Normally we serve about 750 families a week, so that averages about 250 families a day. Last Thursday alone, we saw about 300. A 50 family increase is quite significant,” Strickland said. “We’re going to serve about a thousand client families for each holiday.”   He said several volunteers will be needed to meet the needs of those families. They will need stockers, baggers and more.   Students wishing to contribute can contact Strickland by email: ts@helpinghandsbelton.org or cell: (254)-913-3682.   The holiday food: “turkey, cornbread, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, fixings, that kind of stuff,” Strickland said, will be given to families today and tomorrow from 9am to 6pm.   On Friday, Nov. 21, Helping Hands is teaming up with HEB Plus in Belton for an event known as Food 4 Families. Between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. shoppers there can lend a hand to this ministry.   “[You] can come and drop off food at HEB or purchase the food there. It’s all going to come to Helping Hands,” Strickland said.   Helping Hands is continuing to grow and serve more.   Strickland also hopes that Helping Hands will become a warming shelter in the near future.   “On nights when it gets below freezing, we could have the homeless come and stay here,” he said. “I don’t season any reason why a college student couldn’t help with that.”   To become a certified shelter, Helping Hands was required to build a shower, a project which is close to completion, and receive the OK from the fire...

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