July 22, 2019

Monday (Moderated) Open Thread (072219)

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Positivity: Hugh Jackman Stops Performing in the Middle of Concert To Help Fan Propose to Girlfriend

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From St. Paul, Minnesota:

Published July 2, 2019 at 9:38am

Hugh Jackman of “Logan” and “The Greatest Showman” fame has become a household name over the years. However, Jackman is one of those stars who isn’t above recognizing and appreciating his fans.

Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, are dedicated to using their celebrity status to help others. The Broadway singer and actor has even taken to social media to speak out against bullying.

Recently, the world-famous actor stopped everything during his live show to change the lives of two long-time fans.

Sanaa Ahmed, 24 years old, has been a fan of Jackman’s since she was just 5 years old. According to the Daily Mail, her boyfriend, 25-year-old Joe Kripal, gifted her VIP tickets to Jackman’s “The Man. The Music. The Show.” performance for Christmas.

TRENDING: Cop Visits Doughnut Shop on Wedding Day. But Walks in Door to Find Three-Year-Old Blacked out From Seizure

Secretly, Kripal wondered if he could take the gift a step further. Without telling Ahmed, he sent the “Wolverine” star an email in the hopes that he would help Kripal pop an important question.

“I had already been planning on proposing for a while but thought I’d take a complete shot in the dark by reaching out,” Kripal told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal.

Although hopeful, Kripal never really expected to receive a response. He was surprised when he heard back from the actor, who promised to help out with the proposal.

“I couldn’t believe my luck when I got the response and not sharing the exciting news with her was super difficult!” Kripal said. “I had to share with my other friends, some of which didn’t believe that I actually heard back.”

However, Kripal never expected Jackman to go to such great lengths to make their special moment unforgettable. When the couple attended the show in St. Paul, Minnesota, Jackman stopped the entire performance for them.

Kripal posted the following moments in a YouTube video. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 21, 2019

Sunday (Moderated) Open Thread (072119)

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Positivity: Good Samaritan Drives 1,250 Miles To Rescue Stranded Family

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Gippsdale, Tennant, and Darwin, Australia:

Published July 12, 2019 at 1:33pm

Life is full of joys and disappointments, and handling each of those situations with grace and poise is what builds good character. Even the most resolute person can still experience disappointment, though, and the younger you are the more difficult it can be to deal with that disappointment.

The Melrose family is from Gippsland, Australia. The two Melrose daughters, aged 8 and 10, had spent the entire previous year honing their skills as they prepared for the national minnow sailing championships.

As they crossed Australia from Gippsland to Darwin with their two small boats towed behind them, they experienced a major setback: their car broke down.

After covering over 1,800 miles, they were stranded in Tennant Creek — nearly 600 miles short of their goal. Without a miracle, it looked like their countless hours of training and high hopes were set to be dashed.

Hearing of their plight, ABC Darwin decided to send out a call for help on social media, to see if any caring soul would be willing to reverse the situation for the family.

“Daryn Melrose and his family are stuck in Tennant Creek after their car broke down — and they need your help to get to Darwin!” they posted. “Their two daughters aged 8 and 10 need to get here in time for the National Sailing Championships this Sunday.

“Are you headed to Darwin through Tennant Creek today or tomorrow? Or know someone who is? They need someone who can tow their small trailer and offer a lift into town.

“If you can help let us know and we’ll put you in contact with the Melroses!”

Rodney Sims in Darwin spotted the post and generously volunteered his services. He was prepared to make the trek out and back, totaling nearly 1,250 miles, just to rescue a family he didn’t even know — but there was a reason behind his seemingly spontaneous kindness.

“About 30 years ago, strangely enough, I was in a similar situation with a broken-down car and someone helped me out,” he told ABC Darwin. “This was my time to give back.”

With just three days to go until the competition, time was running short. So out he went, until he met up with the Melroses, picked them up and connected their trailer to his vehicle.

“He drove all the way down to us, hooked up the trailer, and drove us all the way back to Darwin,” said Daryn.

“My daughters and I could not be more grateful for his efforts. They got here on time and are hoping for podium finishes after their competitions. Territory folk are incredibly special.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 20, 2019

Saturday (Moderated) Open Thread (072019)

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Positivity: President Trump’s Nominee for UN Ambassador, Andrew Bremberg, is Solidly Pro-Life

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington, via Life News:

July 12 2019, 4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump nominated another solidly pro-life leader this summer to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.

Andrew Bremberg currently serves as the chief of the White House Domestic Policy Council. In the past several years, he has been a key advocate for pro-life policies within the Trump administration.

The Guardian reports Bremberg encouraged Trump to expand the Mexico City policy, which prohibits foreign aid from funding groups that provide and promote abortions overseas. The policy defunded two major abortion chains of hundreds of millions of American tax dollars. The International Planned Parenthood Federation alone estimated a $100 million loss from its budget.

He also helped bring other pro-life leaders into the Trump administration as co-chair of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services transition team, according to the report.

And in June, he refused to back down on his defense of the unborn when a top Senate Democrat grilled him during a Foreign Relations Committee meeting. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 19, 2019

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (071919)

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Positivity: Court Rules President Trump Can Defund Planned Parenthood, Will Cut Almost $60 Million in Taxpayer Funding

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington, via Life News:

July 11 2019, 2:22 p.m.

A federal appeals court today ruled President Donald Trump can partially defund planned Parenthood while the abortion business’ lawsuit against his administration’s new rules moves forward.

As LifeNews reported in March, the Trump administration finalized an administrative rule that would partially defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business and deprive it of as much as $60 million in taxpayer dollars. This action adds to President Trump’s record of defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion company.

The abortion chain receives about $50 million to $60 million in Title X funds annually, but that could change now that the new rules are being implemented. The administration’s changes to Title X family planning grants have angered the abortion chain Planned Parenthood, prompting a lawsuit, but they provide hope for life-affirming pregnancy centers, which can now compete with the abortion giant for the federal funds.

Title X funds are supposed to be used to help low-income women and men receive birth control, cancer screenings and other health care services. While the tax money cannot be used to pay for abortions, it indirectly funds Planned Parenthood’s vast abortion business.

Last month, a three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Trump administration’s request to lift national injunctions ordered by lower federal courts in Oregon and Washington state, as well as a statewide injunction in California. The panel said the Trump administration will likely prevail in the legal battle over the Title X family planning program since similar Reagan-era rules were upheld by the Supreme Court almost 30 years ago.

The full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals then blocked the defunding while considering the case further. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 18, 2019

Thursday (Moderated) Open Thread (071819)

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Positivity: Doctors Said Boy With Rare Disorder Wouldn’t Survive. Grayson Just Turned 6

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Birmingham, Alabama, via Life News:

JUL 12 2019, 12:58PM

Just weeks after Grayson Smith was born, he was sent home on hospice, expected to die.

The Alabama boy was born with a long list of abnormalities, and doctors told his parents not to expect their son to live long, Fox News reports. First, they thought he might live a few weeks and, then later, no more than a few years.

That was in February 2013.

Today, Grayson is 6 years old, and his parents, Jenny and Kendyl Smith, believe his life is a “miracle.”

“We have always been hopeful of finding another child like Grayson but we’ve never been able to find anyone like him,” his mother said, noting that they still do not fully know what Grayson’s condition is. “He is the only person ever known to have all of these birth defects. There is no one else to compare him to.”

She said her pregnancy with Grayson, the youngest of four children, was normal. Only after he was born did they realize that something was terribly wrong.

“As soon our baby made his grand entrance, we waited for the sound of his first cry. And waited. Nothing. My heart sank,” she wrote on the family’s Facebook page. “The first look a this face he was my precious gift from God. However, I knew something was terribly wrong. his face was severely swollen.”

“Of course, I was still in love with him but we were very scared,” Smith continued. “His eyes were swollen, he was very small and he had a huge bulge on his head. We have no idea of the cause or why he was born like this. Doctors have done genetic testing, DNA tests but they all came back fine.”

Quickly after he was born, he was transferred to another hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. His mother said they joined him there several hours after she gave birth; she insisted, against doctors’ recommendations, that she be discharged so she could be with her son.

In Atlanta, doctors gave them a long lost of Grayson’s anomalies and predicted that his chance of survival was zero, Smith said.

Two weeks later, Grayson was discharged to hospice in their home, she continued. Then, he began to do things that doctors thought he could not. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 17, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (071719)

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Positivity: Archbishop Fulton Sheen to be beatified

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Vatican City:

Jul 6, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis approved the miracle attributed to Archbishop Fulton Sheen Friday, making possible the American television catechist’s beatification.

The Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgated the decree approving Sheen’s miracle on July 6.

The miracle involves the unexplained recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, a boy born apparently stillborn in September 2010 to Bonnie and Travis Engstrom of the Peoria-area town of Goodfield. He showed no signs of life as medical professionals tried to revive him. The child’s mother and father prayed to Archbishop Sheen to heal their son.

A seven-member panel of medical experts advising the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave unanimous approval of the miracle attributed to the famous television personality and evangelist in March 2014.

Archbishop Sheen was a beloved television catechist during the 1950s and 60s in the United States. His Emmy-award winning television show “Life is Worth Living” reached an audience of millions.

Sheen was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois at the age of 24, and was appointed auxiliary bishop of New York in 1951, where he remained until his appointment as Bishop of Rochester, New York in 1966. He retired in 1969 and moved back to New York City until his death in 1979.

On June 27, Sheen’s remains were transferred from the Archdiocese of New York to Peoria, Illinois following a long legal battle over the late archbishop’s burial place that had put Sheen’s sainthood cause on hold.

The Peoria diocese opened the cause for Sheen’s canonization in 2002, after Archdiocese of New York said it would not explore the case. In 2012, Benedict XVI recognized the heroic virtues of the archbishop.

In September 2014, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria suspended Sheen’s cause on the grounds that the Holy See expected Sheen’s remains to be in the Peoria diocese.

Fulton Sheen’s niece Joan Cunningham filed a legal complaint in 2016 seeking to have her uncle’s remains moved to the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria. The Archdiocese of New York repeatedly appealed the attempt to transfer Sheen’s remains to Peoria.

On June 7, the New York Court of Appeals denied further appeal of the New York Supreme Court decision upholding Cunningham’s petition and later that month Sheen’s remains were moved to Peoria.

No date has been given for Sheen’s beatification. Another recognized miracle attributed to Sheen would lead to his canonization as a saint. …

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Positivity: 7-Year-Old Boy Saves Sister’s Life After She Has Seizure in Swimming Pool

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Brantley County, Georgia (video at WJAX link):

Published July 3, 2019 at 8:38am

Some siblings don’t always get along. Brothers and sisters are often expected to bicker and annoy one another. However, a sister and brother duo from Georgia are reminding everyone how incredible a sibling bond can be.

The two were in the family’ s pool on a hot summer day when 20-year-old Morgan Smith realized something was wrong.

The woman told WJAX that she was sitting on the pool ladder’s bottom step as dark spots filled her vision. Suddenly, Smith began to lose her balance.

Although she doesn’t remember what happened next, her 7-year-old brother Aiden McCullough watched her tip backward into the water. He immediately realized that his sister was in terrible danger.

“I was thinking like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God. She’s going to die,’” McCullough said.

At just 7 years old, the boy knew exactly what to do to save his sister’s life. Screaming for help, he grabbed Smith’s hair to lift her out of the water. Soon, the adults came running.

Smith, who was having a seizure, likely would have drowned without his help. Thanks to her little brother’s quick reaction, she survived the incident unscathed.

When asked how he knew what to do, McCullough smiled and shrugged.

“I don’t know. I just done it,” he said.

The two siblings have always been close, but this situation has solidified their strong bond. Smith has never been more thankful to have such a little brother. …

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July 16, 2019

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (071619)

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Positivity: President Trump Delivers Lifesaving Deregulation

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washinton, in a Forbes.com column:

July 11 2019, 3:33 p.m.

How many of you noticed the most life-changing story of the week? Yesterday, President Trump made a stunning speech announcing regulatory changes that will save thousands of American lives each year.

As the President noted, roughly 100,000 Americans with kidney disease are awaiting a transplant from a donor. About 20,000 Americans are awaiting transplants of other organs.

These estimates are, if anything, on the low side. Indeed, there are many people who never bother with the transplant waiting list because, under the current system, their prospects of receiving a transplant are so low. Last year, there were about 21,000 kidney transplants in the United States, but the transplant waiting list has remained stuck in the 90,000 to 100,000 person range for some years. If you are old, or even a young person in frail health, you won’t receive a kidney. Donor kidney’s are reserved for more “deserving” recipients. Shockingly, it’s estimated that 43,000 Americans die prematurely each year because they don’t receive a life-saving kidney transplant. For context, this exceeds the number of people who die in car accidents each year.

The shortage of kidneys and other organs is substantially, and probably fully, the fault of inhumane government regulations. The federal government has regulated national organ procurement since the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984. Since then, the waiting lists have increased in length.

The shortages of kidneys and livers, the second most needed organ, are especially sad. After all, an adequate supply is readily available. Unlike other organs, kidneys and livers can be donated by living persons, who, after their donation, can continue to lead normal lives. Recently, Fox News correspondent Ed Henry announced that he will donate part of his liver to save the life of his sister with liver disease. He not only anticipates saving the life of his sister, but also leading a normal life after the donation.

President Trump’s life-saving executive order is multipronged. The change that will probably save the most lives is the provision that allows for reimbursement of organ donors’ lost wages and childcare expenses. Currently, organ donors spend money out of their own pocket and time to donate. My good friend and longtime collaborator donated one of his kidneys several years ago. For his efforts, which included traveling to a distant hospital and undergoing multiple tests and interviews, he received free parking at the hospital’s garage and a free lunch at the hospital’s cafeteria. In the process, he burned up a significant portion of his annual leave time.

The reimbursement provision that is contained in the executive order will offset some of the donors’ costs. Accordingly, the provision will substantially increase the supply of kidneys. It also makes excellent economic sense. Kidney dialysis costs $76,000 or more per year and can last for years while a patient slowly works to the top of the kidney transplant waiting list – or dies first. By avoiding the heavy costs associated with dialysis, transplantation has a very rapid payback period of less than two years. In consequence, the expansion of the supply of kidneys will save the federal government, which pays the expenses of dialysis for patients not covered by private insurance, billions of dollars a year. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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