November 30, 2015

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (113015)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 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.


Positivity: This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, earlier this month (HT PJ Media via Patterico):

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!

This is not a day care. This is a university!

November 29, 2015

ESPN’s 2-Year Subscriber Loss: 7 Million Homes; Viewership Losses Likely Worse

The Walt Disney Company filed its annual 10-K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

The “getaway day” timing of the filing may not be a coincidence, at least as far as its 80 percent-owned ESPN subsidiary is concerned. That’s because the report contains bad news which Disney would surely want to see downplayed. Confirming problems yours truly observed in NewsBusters posts in September and October, Clay Travis at Fox Sports’ “Outkick the Coverage” blog observed that annual subscriber revenue at the the sport network’s various entities— even before considering likely accompany advertising losses — has declined by about $700 million dollars in the past two years (HT Instapundit; links are in original; bolds are mine):



AP’s Rugaber, Despite Wednesday’s Weak Economic Data: ‘Fundamentals Remain Solid’

As yours truly noted in several posts at my home blog on Wednesday and at NewsBusters on Friday and Saturday, the torrent of pre-Thanksgiving “getaway day” economic data was largely disappointing.

That didn’t stop the Associated Press’s Chris Rugaber from pushing the “All is well” meme late Wednesday afternoon, declaring, contrary to what anyone’s eyes could see, that “the fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain solid,” that “Consumers appear relatively confident in the economy,” and that “Americans are unleashing pent-up demand for big-ticket items such as homes and cars.”



Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112915)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 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.


Positivity: Restaurant owner thankful for fire that saved her life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Newell, Iowa:

November 22, 2015 8:00 am

Angilia Durham gives thanks for a fire that temporarily closed her new restaurant.

It may ultimately save her life.

Durham comes from Waycross, Georgia, in March, eager to open the Newell Cafe in this Buena Vista County burg.

She lands in Omaha on Easter Sunday and is robbed of $375. Things like that can happen when you’re recovering from foot surgery and hobbling on crutches, leaning on the alleged “kindness” of a stranger who helps with luggage and makes off with cash.

Lacking funds for a bus ticket north, Durham accepts a Good Samaritan’s offer of transport to Storm Lake.

“The woman was on her way from Omaha to Okoboji and she got me as far as Storm Lake,” Durham says.

A Realtor makes sure Durham makes it to Newell, where she purchases the downtown restaurant site, the adjoining laundromat and the apartment upstairs, her residence. She opens her new restaurant on May 5, her 50th birthday.

The Seattle, Washington, native changes her menu in a hurry, observing a buffet would click with customers here.

“People here want to come in and eat as much as they want and then either leave or sit and visit,” Durham says. “I made this into a buffet and the people responded. They helped me set up three tables of Crock-Pots.”

Six weeks into her new venture, the self-cleaning mechanism on her oven shorts. The fire closes Newell Cafe for five days.

Durham is treated for smoke inhalation at Loring Hospital in nearby Sac City, Iowa.

“It’s a blessing,” she says. “The X-rays showed something. I had what the doctors call inductral palinoma, or a breast tumor.”

Had her cafe not had the fire, Durham wouldn’t have suffered smoke inhalation. She wouldn’t have gotten the X-ray, which led to a diagnosis, which led to surgery in August and then chemotherapy.

“I took 11 days off after surgery in late August and reopened on Sept. 3,” she says. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 28, 2015

AP’s Rugaber Hides the Overall Decline in Thanksgiving and Black Friday Sales

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 6:30 pm

The truth about this year’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday store and online sales is out there. It’s just that Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, wasn’t interested in clearly revealing all of it.

Instead, the AP economics writer told readers about the dollar amount of this year’s and last year’s Thursday and Friday store sales, but failed to quantify the increase in online sales. People who don’t follow the economy closely likely don’t know that an increase in online sales is quite unlikely to offset a decrease in brick-and-mortar store sales. The way Rugaber wrote up his piece ensured that news of the economy’s continued malaise will remain elusive for low-information news consumers and, ultimately, low-information voters.



AP’s Boak Says New-Home Sales ‘Recovered’ In October; No They Didn’t

On Wednesday, the Associated Press’s Josh Boak added to the wire service’s collection of weak “Getaway Day” business journalism by declaring that new-home sales “recovered in October.”

No they didn’t. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000 units reported by the Census Bureau was the fourth-lowest monthly level seen this year, even well below the 521,000 and 545,000 reported in the supposedly unprecedentedly awful winter months of January and February, respectively. Boak also claimed that “Americans recovered much of their appetite for owning new homes this year,” even though current levels are at best about 70 percent of what one would expect in a pre-”new normal” healthy market.



Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112815)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 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.


Positivity: Kernersville businessman, church use 3-D technology to tell Christmas story

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Kernersville, North Carolina:

Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2015 12:10 am

More than 2,000 years ago, in the little town of Bethlehem, a baby was born — the one who would be called Jesus Christ.

This year, at a church in Kernersville, the Nativity story will come to life in a new way.

Local businessman Bobby Davis has created and produced The Christmas Experience, which uses 3-D projection technology to immerse people in the story of Christ’s birth.

First Christian Church Ministries in Kernersville will play host to the outdoor walk-through event, which runs from Friday through Dec. 22.

Guests will visit five custom sound stages and sets to watch each part of the story. Recorded actors will be projected onto the stages like holograms.

Two years ago, Davis approached his pastor of First Christian, the Rev. Pete Kunkle, with the bold idea. Now the vision will be a reality.

“We want to tell the Christmas story in a new and innovative way, and Bobby made that possible,” Kunkle said.

The project, which features an original script and music, has been a major undertaking. Davis wrote the script and searched for experienced singers and actors, who recorded music in a studio and were filmed over the summer. Davis and his team have been editing video and marketing the project while crews built the final sets.

“It’s definitely a brand new Christmas experience,” Davis said.

Sharing the story

The production will be like a walk-through movie or a theme-park experience, Davis said.
Davis’ company, Core Techs, is financing most of the project and will probably spend somewhere around $300,000.

He is partnering with First Christian Church Ministries. Five temporary structures with sound stages now stand on what used to be First Christian’s softball field.

So why invest all of this time and money in the project?

“We believe in the story,” Davis said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 27, 2015

AP: Japan, in a Real Recession, Is Trying to ‘Pump Up (a Non-Existent) Recovery’

Twenty years of average economic growth of less than 1 percent have failed to convince Japan’s leaders — and apparently its citizens — that Keynesian-style government spending and handouts are not the answer to turning that long-suffering nation’s economy around.

So the Shinzo Abe government, fresh from learning that the country is in yet another recession — its fifth since 2008 — is doing more of the same, while counting on press shills around the world like the Associated Press’s Elaine Kurtenbach to be gentle in their coverage. Kurtenbach cooperated as expected early Friday morning (bolds and numbered tags are mine):



AP Accentuates and Makes Up Positives, Ignores Most Negatives, in Covering October Durable Goods Report

Ever since the White House changed hands almost seven years ago, press reports on the U.S. economy have annoyingly overaccentuated whatever positives reporters might find (or think they have found), while ignoring glaring negatives and omitting key items.

One example of such biased reporting came from the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger on Wednesday. In covering the Census Bureau’s October Durable Goods report, Crutsinger praised its one-month seasonally adjusted increases in new orders and shipments. While that news was welcome, the AP reporter ignored the ugly fact that October’s actual (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) year-over-year figure was lower than October 2014, marking the seventh straight month of year-over-year declines. He also didn’t address shipments, which have been flat compared to to the same month last year for the past four months, at all.



AP Headlines Oct. Consumer Spending As ‘Weak’; Crutsinger Opens by Claiming a ‘Modest Increase’

Economic news on Wednesday’s pre-Thanksgiving “Getaway Day” was largely dismal. The government’s report on October’s personal income and outlays headed up the disappointing news. While incomes increased nicely — at a rate which needs to be repeated about two dozen more times before it can be seen as genuinely impressive — spending only rose by 0.1 percent, and prior months were revised significantly downward.

Perhaps because they were all in a pre-holiday hurry, the headline writers at the Associated Press and AP economics writer Martin Crutsinger had fundamentally different takes on the news. Additionally, Crutsinger was apparently in such a rush that he didn’t worry about the fact that his first two paragraphs’ characterizations of the result disagreed. Finally, the AP reporter failed to note that total consumer spending in October was lower than what was originally reported in September after the previously mentioned downard revisions.



Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112715)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 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.


Positivity: Mystery Teen Suprises Mom And Toddler With Kind Deed At Target

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Via Daryn Kagan:

November 19, 2015

Young mom Megan Shufflebarger says her heart is about to explode.

She shares an encounter that led to a kind deed at her local Target Store in Lafayette, Indiana on her Facebook page.

She wasn’t expecting anything special as she helped her little girl, Kinley, go up and down the aisles making a wish list for her upcoming birthday.

Megan writes:

“My heart is about to explode. We were in target tonight and this younger couple was walking thru the toy aisles listening to Kinley ooh and ahhh and make her birthday list of doll goodies. He asked her which one she picked out and she showed him and said yeah and I really lub dis one. They chuckled and he walked off with the doll and said try to stay over here. I thought it was odd at first but was quickly distracted with more oohing and ahhing. Kinley asked where the dolly was she picked and I told her it would be okay there are more. He came back a few minutes later with her doll, in a bag with a receipt and told her happy birthday, you enjoy your dolly. Seriously. What a reminder to never loose faith in humanity and to be generous and pay it forward. To this generous young man, whoever you are, I hope you see this and more importantly, I hope you know what a good young man you are.” …

The young man has since been identified.

Go here to see who it is.