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Bright Bursts of Light in The Darkness

And a commercial space agency gets it done…

Maybe SpaceX should talk to this up-and-coming young man before NASA does:

“Hearts and Smarts”: The NFL Draft was over the weekend. Here’s a bright spot in the sea of college football players vying for a pro pick…

Josh Dobbs: The Rocket Scientist QB Who Could Be the Next NFL Draft Steal

Whaaaat?!?!?!? A big tough footballer that knows there’s life outside of football and has exercised his big brain too??? Kudos! So, how did the 2017 NFL Draft work out for Josh Dobbs?

Character mattered for Steelers in 2017 NFL draft

This year, the Steelers added talent at several positions of need, but there was a concerted effort to acquire players with two traits — character and comprehension. Or as Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert calls it “hearts and smarts.”

It was evident with their first-round pick and the trend continued throughout the three-day draft.

[…]

• Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs has a degree in aerospace engineering and the Steelers coached touted his passion for the game.

“That is the type of guy we have coveted always,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “You hear Kevin mention it all the time: ‘Hearts and smarts.’ A lot of these guys excel in those areas. They display a tremendous passion for the game in their play. They are smart, accomplished young men, not only in the game of football, but outside the game of football.”

[…]

This year, the character aspect of the prospect almost seemed to be a prerequisite for the Steelers. Their draft stood in stark contrast to the drafts of their AFC North rivals. The other three teams in the division took at least one and sometimes multiple players with character concerns. […]

I might just have to commit the mortal sin of cheering for The Steelers.

Another unsung intellectual gem coming out of college ball as a free agent and picked up by Dallas is LSU’s Lewis Neal…

Who is Lewis Neal? 5 things on the Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman

4. Lewis Neal could be in the next ‘Barbershop’ movie

Assuming there is a market for more movies in the “Barbershop” series, Neal is qualified to make a cameo. Last summer he became the co-owner of a hair salon near LSU’s campus. Neal earned the money to buy in to the salon by day trading on the foreign exchange market in his free time.

5. Lewis Neal owns his own investment firm

After making money day trading, Neal skipped the middleman and started his own firm. He made a bit of history in the process, becoming the first African-American athlete to start an investment firm on the foreign exchange market.

Neal’s financially-backed barber shop/salon gives free haircuts to first-responders.

Some important Down Syndrome history we rarely, if ever, hear about. Read carefully and know how hopeless and even dangerous it was for people with DS before others came forward to fight for their lives and rights. And realize how even more blessed we are today with our beloved ones with DS. But the fight for their lives and rights continues. For example, Down Syndrome is currently willfully being eradicated from society in most Western countries as Down Syndrome is a primary reason for aborting an unborn baby. Roughly 98% of Down Syndrome unborns are being aborted in the U.S. and the U.K. alone…

A Father’s Love: The Story of Charles and Anne

In World War II, Charles de Gaulle saved France’s honor from the shame of defeat. Few know, however, how much strength he drew from his Down Syndrome daughter.

[…]

Charles de Gaulle was surely the twentieth century’s greatest Frenchman. Yet for all his achievements, the ultimate drama of de Gaulle’s life was his helpless daughter. What Anne gave to him, however, was immeasurable. As de Gaulle confided to a priest at the beginning of his lonely crusade in 1940 to save France’s honor, “for me, this child is a grace, she is my joy, she helps me to look beyond all the failures and honors, and always to look higher.”

[…]

By the time he reached his mid-30s, de Gaulle had settled into a milieu in which his faith, family and profession provided many of the certainties required for an ambitious man intent upon shaking up a political and military establishment committed to obsolete ideas. All this was shattered on 1 January 1928 when Charles and Yvonne de Gaulle’s third child was born. Within a few months, it became apparent that Anne was severely disabled.

It’s important to remember that this was an era in which disabled children were neither seen nor heard in polite company. Down Syndrome children were referred to as “mongols.” Some even speculated that the condition resulted from alcoholism or some form of impropriety on the parents’ part. It wasn’t until 30 years after Anne de Gaulle’s birth that another devout French Catholic, Professor Jerome Lejeune, and his research team discovered that Down Syndrome was caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21.

In the 1930s, it was common for French families to place disabled children permanently in hospitals that were woefully ill-equipped to care them. Charles and Yvonne de Gaulle, however, refused to send Anne to live with, as he would say, “strangers.” In de Gaulle’s words, “God has given her to us. We must take responsibility for her, wherever she is and whatever she will be.” In a way, de Gaulle’s reaction to Anne’s entry into his life foreshadowed the spirit of resistance expressed in his famous appeal of 18 June 1940 to Frenchmen to continue the war against Germany.

The de Gaulles worked hard to build a place for, to use de Gaulle’s expression, “a child who is not like the others” in their family. From all accounts, Yvonne de Gaulle adopted a matter-of-fact approach. She focused on the practicalities of caring for a disabled child. Charles de Gaulle’s contribution was to envelop Anne in a web of affection. According to his son, de Gaulle wanted to give Anne the assurance that he loved her just as much as her older brother and sister—that her disability meant nothing to him.

[…]

Then there was the psychological burden. As Yvonne de Gaulle’s biographer Frédérique Neau-Dufour observes, Yvonne was an exuberant, even care-free young woman before Anne was born. After Anne’s birth, that woman gradually disappeared. Yvonne became a much quieter, even somewhat withdrawn person who dreaded public appearances. This, however, didn’t stop her from undertaking the extremely difficult task of successfully fleeing France with the profoundly disabled Anne in tow as the German Army swept across the country in May and June 1940.

This brings into focus another factor of which Charles de Gaulle was undoubtedly aware: how the National Socialist regime treated the disabled. Eugenics was part and parcel of the Nazi view of the world (and most Western liberal opinion for decades). And, as the Nazis made clear right from the beginning, the disabled had no place in a National Socialist world. They were lebensunwertes leben (life unworthy of life).

Starting in September 1939, the Nazi government began removing Down Syndrome children and infants suffering from other disabilities from their parents. These children were taken to “health facilities” and killed by lethal injection or gas poisoning. In the name of “racial health” and other eugenics nonsense, the regime murdered thousands of disabled children. Among them was a 15 year-old Down Syndrome cousin of the future pope, Joseph Ratzinger.

This would have been Anne de Gaulle’s fate if she had ever fallen into Nazi hands. Although de Gaulle never referenced it specifically, it’s likely that the brutal treatment of the disabled was one of the things he had in mind when referring to the evil of the Nazi regime. When de Gaulle refused to surrender in 1940 and was branded a traitor by France’s political and military elites, it was certainly the act of an intensely patriotic man unwilling to accept his country’s abasement by the Nazis. But de Gaulle’s act of resistance also concerned safeguarding his defenseless daughter from those who viewed her as sub-human. […]

I have been following actress Shannen Doherty’s battle with breast cancer the past year or so. Over the weekend she received some good news…

Shannen Doherty is in remission

“I am blessed, I know that.  But for now… remissions. I’m going to just breathe.”

Battles won. Here’s to the peace that will hopefully mean the end of the war. Stay strong, heart-mind-body-soul. God bless.

Our North Star shines bright again for the USA:

CHILLS: Canadians sing the Star Spangled Banner after mic goes out during #StanleyCup game in Edmonton

Stood, removed hats & some even had hand over heart. Singer even had a hand over his heart. They’ve done this before. Thank you!

The Canadians have done this before:

And we thanked them properly when they came to town

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