September 26, 2017

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092617)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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Positivity: Lady Gaga Sings the National Anthem at the 2016 Super Bowl

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

It’s not Whitney Houston in 1991, but it’s pretty darned close:

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September 25, 2017

AP Appears to Take Steelers’ Side Over Player Who Left Tunnel for the Anthem

In a NewsBusters post yesterday, I noted how the Associated Press, ABC, and likely several other major outlets initially ignored Alejandro Villanueva’s appearance outside the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room at Soldier Field in Chicago for the national anthem. I originally thought that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wouldn’t have objected to what Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, did. Boy, was that wrong. Naturally, the press is trying pretty hard to defend and cover for the Steelers, despite how this controversy makes Tomlin and the Steelers look absolutely awful and Villanueva even more heroic.

(more…)

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092517)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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Positivity: Whitney Houston Sings the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at 1991

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

Gosh, no one had a problem with this.

Does anyone who is sane really believe, despite the nightmare of 2009-2016, that the day-to-day plight of this country’s average citizen is worse than it was in 1991 (yes, I know there are deeply troubling long-term financial issues, which is why I framed it as “day-to-day”)?

Here’s Whitney Houston’s unforgettable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl in January 1991:

I still find it hard to hold back the tears when I see this, even after all these years.

And Whitney Houston left us way too soon.

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September 24, 2017

Story of our National Anthem, and Why ‘I’ve Got Better Things to Do’ Than Watch Sports

Filed under: Activism,General,Positivity — Tom @ 6:28 pm

Watch the story of Francis Scott Key and Fort Henry:

Now it will perhaps be easier to understand why the histrionics of NFL players in response to the national anthem, whose story is described in the above video, and the apparent spread of such nonsense to other sports, in response to what a legally elected President has said to criticize people who just … don’t … get it, has, for now, with the exception of having to monitor mostly off-the-field stuff in sports because of my “job,” caused me to decide … “I’ve got better things to do“:

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AP Initially Ignores Steelers Player, Former Army Ranger, Who Came Out of the Locker Room During the Anthem (SEE UPDATE)

UPDATE: It turns out that the AP, and much of the rest of the media, also erred in claiming that almost all Steelers players “stayed in the locker room” See the photo at the end of this post.

The Associated Press is virtually celebrating how, in reaction to “President Donald Trump’s criticism of players who protest during the national anthem,” there was “a mass increase in such activism Sunday, with more than 100 NFL players sitting or kneeling, others raising their fists and whole teams standing with locked arms to display unity.” The AP also reported that “One team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, stayed in the locker room during ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’” That’s just plain false, and the wire service more than likely knows it.

(more…)

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Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092417)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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All About Hillary: Carlson Asks Rob Reiner Why His ‘Investigate Russia’ Group Ignores Chinese Cyber Warfare

As Corrine Weaver at NewsBusters noted on Tuesday, an alliance of far-leftists and Never-Trumpers has formed a group called the “Committee to Investigate Russia.” In a video posted on Monday, octogenarian actor Morgan Freeman contended that the United States is “at war” with Russia. On Thursday, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson interviewed actor and director Rob Reiner, a member of that group’s advisory board. Despite Reiner’s outwardly cool demeanor, Carlson’s lines of questioning seemed to catch the guy who is still perhaps best known for having played “Meathead” back in the 1970s on CBS’s All in the Family utterly off-guard.

(more…)

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September 23, 2017

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092317)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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September 22, 2017

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092217)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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Positivity: Catholic health care growth a benefit, not a threat, ethicist says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Sep 20, 2017 / 12:03 am

A research paper that depicts the growth of Catholic health care as a threat to reproductive health ignores the attraction of Catholic hospitals and downplays the ethical concerns about procedures like abortion and sterilization, one commentator has said.

The number of hospitals that are Catholic-sponsored or Catholic-affiliated has increased 22 percent from 2001 to 2016, including through mergers or changes of ownership. This growth is the focus of a September 2017 working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Medically Necessary but Forbidden: Reproductive Health Care in Catholic-owned Hospitals.”

“The ‘problem’ that the authors of this study are examining results from the fact that Catholic hospitals and Catholic healthcare systems have been remarkably successful in America’s competitive market,” Edward Furton, an ethicist with the National Catholic Bioethics Center, told CNA Sept. 18.

“Catholic hospitals tend to be better managed, are governed by a sense of social duty, perform greater amounts of charitable care, and have strong ethical safeguards in place to protect their patients.”

Furton attributed the growth of Catholic healthcare to patients’ appreciation for these features.

The National Bureau of Economic Research is an influential domestic policy think tank based in Cambridge, Mass. Its working paper estimated that the expansion of Catholic hospitals reduces by 30 percent the annual rates per-bed of inpatient abortions. The rates of tubal ligations or sterilizations drop 31 percent.

Elaine Hill, a co-author of the working paper, is a professor of health economics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She said access to procedures is part of how to “reduce unwanted pregnancy.”

“Policies addressing the ways in which ownership of hospitals might impede access could be very beneficial to the population of women affected,” she told STAT, a health, medicine and scientific research publication from Boston Globe Media.

Furton, however, said the working paper was written by “a group of economists, not healthcare workers.” He questioned the paper’s use of the phrase “medically necessary but forbidden.”

“Neither abortion nor permanent sterilization can be properly described as a medical necessity. They are typically chosen for reasons other than maintaining health,” he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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September 21, 2017

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092117)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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Positivity: For the first time in 30 years, Sistine Choir to perform in US

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Sep 20, 2017 / 12:00 pm

The Sistine Chapel Choir will perform in the U.S. for the first time in three decades, and will sing compositions that one expert says are an important heritage of the American Church.

Italian priest Father Massimo Palombella directs the Sistine choir, which will be singing works by Renaissance composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Antonio Allegri and Tomás Luis de Victoria.

“As in Rome, this style of Renaissance polyphony would be adopted by the Churches of the New World as the standard style of music, especially for the Mass,” Dr. Grayson Wagstaff, dean of the Latin American Music Center at The Catholic University of America, explained to CNA.

On Sept. 20, a free concert will be hosted at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., next to The Catholic University of America.

After attending Italy’s prestigious conservatory and spending years as a theology and music teacher, Fr. Palombella became the director at the Pontifical Music Chapel, and began conducting the choir in 2010.

Dr. Wagstaff applauded the Salesian priest’s efforts to use the Vatican’s historic repertory and rejuvenate this style of music into the daily life of the Papal Chapels.

Fr. Palombella will be performing sounds iconic of the Mexico City Cathedral and the many works of the Spanish composers which had made their way to the “new world.”

“These works by Spanish composers would be the core of music transmitted, taught and copied in manuscripts in Mexico,” Dr. Wagstaff said. “Young boys from Mexico (then ‘New Spain’) would be selected to receive training in music and become boy choristers for the cathedrals.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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September 20, 2017

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092017)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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