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Review of Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Lion

Via APPaul did it spiritually, Jared from Subway did it physically, and Bobby Kennedy did it politically. In Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Lion, Larry Tye chronicles the complex liberal hero who traversed the ideological spectrum throughout his all-too-short life. He did more than flip-flop; he sandaled.

Born to an infamous and influential right-wing father, Bobby jaggedly maneuvered to the left throughout his life. The ideologue who worked with Joseph McCarthy somehow turned into the idealist that reminded people of the ripples of hope that can cause waves of change.

Known as the “runt of the litter,” Bobby was smaller than his brothers growing up. He didn’t stand out, which is not that surprising when you grow up as the little brother of a future president and another who would be known as the Liberal Lion of the Senate. His mother worried that he would grow up to be a “sissy.” But this runt sissy spent much of his childhood, according to Tye, trying harder than any of his brothers to get noticed or receive acclaim.

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'National Coming Out Day'—4 ways to respond

Sipa via AP ImagesYesterday was National Coming Out Day. The "Human Rights Campaign" has published a "resource guide to coming out" as well as ways straight people can "demonstrate your support for LGBTQ people and equality worldwide."

As I have discussed often, the Bible consistently forbids homosexual activity. Not because God hates gay people, but because he loves them. Their Creator wants what is best for them and knows that all sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage are damaging to those who engage in them.

My point this morning is not to revisit this issue, but to think with you about ways to relate biblically to LGBTQ people. God's word has much to say not only about homosexual relationships but also about how best to relate to those who engage in them.

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Ken Bone: Why is he an internet sensation?

Credit: Rick T. Wilking via APHe came to the debate undecided but he left decidedly the winner. Ken Bone has taken the Internet by storm. Not since we debated the color of a dress has the online community been so consumed with a topic (it was blue). This father of one that works at a power plant asked a question at Sunday's debate, but he left the debate causing Americans to question, "Who is Ken Bone?"

The thirty-four-year-old Bone is from a steel town right outside of St. Louis. He works at a power plant, hence the question about energy to both candidates. Wearing the now famous comfy, bright-red sweater over a white-collared shirt with his black-rimmed glasses perched above his full-bodied mustache, Bone asked: "What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?"

Very few remember the answer each candidate gave (or elusively maneuvered around), but we all are talking about Kenneth Bone two days later.

The Internet immediately exploded in excitement over Bone, though the debate had yet to finish. As the debate ended, former President Clinton reached out to Bone to talk with him briefly. This only served to place kindling on the bone fire. Then, in his final moments, Bone was caught taking pictures of the debate venue with a disposable camera, thus causing the Internet to erupt and it has not stopped since.

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What Christians can learn from Samsung phones

Credit: Lee Jin-man via APSamsung Electronics has made headlines with the announcement that they are killing their troubled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The New York Times calls this a "major setback" for the world's largest maker of smartphones.

The company has been struggling to address reports that the phone could overheat and catch fire. Last month, it said it would recall 2.5 million phones to fix the problem. But users complained that the repaired phones were overheating, smoking, and even bursting into flames. Last Monday, the company asked Note 7 customers to power off the phones while it worked to fix the problem.

Now the company says it has made a "final decision" to stop production. Samsung will no longer manufacture or market the phones. It has already lost $17 billion in market value and could lose $10 billion more.

An editorial in South Korea's largest newspaper said, "You cannot really calculate the loss of consumer trust in money." And that's my point today.

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Why has California been spared the 'big one'?

Credit: Michael R Perry via FlickrCalifornia is more than a century overdue for the "big one," an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 7.0. But seismologists are now reporting that they have discovered an undersea fault line that may be absorbing pressure from the San Andreas Fault and preventing the earthquake everyone fears.

Their discovery is a metaphor for our day. As cultural pressures escalate, we need hope for a future better than the present. But our hope as a nation does not lie in our nation.

Name this country: the richest in the world, the largest military on the planet, the global center of business, the world's strongest educational system, the world's leading currency, and the world's highest standard of living. The answer: Great Britain in 1900.

A century ago, the United Kingdom was the largest empire the world had ever seen. As late as 1937, the "sun never set on the British empire" as it controlled lands in each of the world's twenty-four time zones. Today the UK ranks far down the global charts for prosperity, literacy, life expectancy, and gross domestic product per capita.

My point is not to criticize Great Britain. I'm actually an Anglophile who loves visiting the UK and is fascinated by British culture and history. My purpose is to note that no nation's future is guaranteed.

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2 thoughts on how empathy resolves conflict

Credit: Jacob Lund via FotoliaConflict in life is inevitable. All of us are going to run into people that press our buttons and act in ways that lead us to believe they want nothing more than to make our lives miserable. The diversity that makes this world such a remarkable place can also be one of the most infuriating aspects of living in it. But whether that conflict arises from cultural differences, personality quirks, or even something as simple as one party not getting enough rest the previous night, the fact remains that people are going to tick us off in this life and it's hard not to take it personally when they do.

A recent study by Gabrielle S. Adams and M. Ena Insesi, professors at the London Business School, however, illustrates that we often make those conflicts far larger than they need to be. They found that, much of the time, those responsible for a transgression never meant to cause any harm and, upon discovering that they had, felt genuinely guilty for having done so. For five days, they asked the participants in their study to keep a diary of those whom they wronged and those they felt had wronged them. It revealed that most people greatly overestimated the degree to which other people intended them harm and greatly underestimated the degree to which others perceived their actions as harmful.

Essentially, people tended to judge others more harshly than they judged themselves. As Adams pointed out, most of us can remember a time when we felt as though we'd been bullied but far fewer believe that we have bullied someone else. And while the idea that we tend to see ourselves in a better light than others is hardly revolutionary, Phyllis Korkki of the New York Times reports that the pair's solution just might be.

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Wikileaks: New Emails Confirm Old Notions of Clinton

Credit: Jim Bourg via AP

Hillary Clinton might be the modern day Willy Loman. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller depicts Willy's singular goal to make a name for himself in business. His myopic focus on being well liked and successful at his job causes a slow, tragic demise over the course of the play. He gave his all in business, and business failed to return on Willy's life investment.

"I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. 'Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?"

The death of a salesman sounds eerily similar to the life of a politician.

On Friday, thousands of hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, were posted online. Included in these emails were what appears to be excerpts from transcripts of closed-door speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street companies after leaving the State Department. WikiLeaks posted more than 2,000 emails from Podesta and promised to release more from a trove of more than 50,000 the group said it has access to.

The emails appear to only confirm what many already believed about Clinton – that she says whatever that audience wants to hear. She oscillates her positions like a fan. Unfortunately, the Clinton fan often blows air that leaves many hot and frustrated.

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Is that really locker room talk?

Credit: Julio Cortez via APIf you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. But what if something nice is utterly degrading?

On Friday, video surfaced that depicted Donald Trump describing in vulgar terms his approach towards women. "I've got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her," Trump says from a bus as he and host Billy Bush are about to make a cameo appearance on the daytime show "Days of our Lives." Trump goes on to say, "You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait."

During a 2005 conversation with Billy Bush, then of "Access Hollywood," Trump spoke of how "when you're a star, they let you do it." "It" being such actions as groping women without their consent and moving on them like he is a magnet and they are the fridge. Trump, apologizing if anyone was offended, called it locker room talk. If that is locker room talk, we need to hit the showers.

Since then, Billy Bush has been suspended by NBC, but Trump continues his pursuit of the presidency. "I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am," Trump said.

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The presidential debate and hope for the future

Credit: Saul Loeb via APLast night's debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton capped a tumultuous week in the presidential race. The candidates did not shake hands before the debate began, a sign of hostilities to come. The town hall meeting focused on issues ranging from Obamacare to Syria, but the negativity of the evening mirrored the divisiveness of the larger campaign.

Trump is facing widespread criticism for scandalous sexual statements he made eleven years ago. Even Mike Pence, his running mate, stated that he was "offended" by Trump's words and actions and "cannot defend them."

Clinton is under fire after WikiLeaks published transcripts of lucrative paid speeches she delivered to elite financial firms prior to the presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders and his supporters are reportedly furious over statements they believe prove her collusion with "big banks" and other entrenched institutions.

Prior to the media firestorm that began last Friday, Gallup's polling showed that Trump is viewed unfavorably by 63 percent of the public, Clinton by 55 percent. These ratings are by far the worst since Gallup began such polling in the 1956 election. The previous worst rating was Barry Goldwater in October 1964 at 47 percent. After the weekend's events, it is plausible that the candidates' ratings will go even lower.

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'This storm will kill you'

NOAA via AP"This storm will kill you." That's how Florida Gov. Rick Scott described Hurricane Matthew as he warned residents to flee the strongest storm system to threaten the US in a decade.

The western eyewall of the hurricane brushed by Cape Canaveral this morning, producing wind gusts of 115 mph. More than 300,000 people are already without power across the state of Florida. Officials are predicting that power will eventually be lost to 2.5 million as further "catastrophic damage" is expected.

Forecasters warn that this storm could be "unlike any hurricane in the modern era." About 3.1 million people are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in three states. Some areas in the hurricane's path could be uninhabitable for weeks or months to come.

The region has instituted the largest mandatory evacuation since Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. However, the storm surge is expected to be much larger than the New Jersey shore saw during that tragedy. As the hurricane continues to hug the coast through Saturday, the National Weather Service warns that Matthew could deliver "the strongest, most destructive winds anyone in parts of the northeast Florida coast and Georgia coast has seen in their lifetime." Catastrophic flooding is predicted as well.

How should we respond today?

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