September 23, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092318)

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

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September 22, 2018

Positivity: Columbia restaurant employee shoots, kills armed robbery suspect

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 5:00 pm

From Columbia, South Carolina (HT Weasel Zippers):

September 21, 2018 at 8:53 AM EST – Updated September 22 at 1:33 PM

The Columbia Police Department is investigating a shooting that left one man dead at a Chinese restaurant in Columbia.

According to CPD, the incident happened at China Kitchen on Forest Drive between an armed robbery suspect and an employee around 11 p.m. Thursday. The suspect was shot and killed during the incident after an employee acted in self- defense, deputies said.

When officers arrived on scene, they found a man on the ground with a gunshot wound to the upper body. After speaking with several witnesses, including restaurant patrons, officers learned that the male was identified as an armed robbery suspect.
The suspect was described as a male wearing all black, including a hoodie and a bandanna over his face. He’s accused of entering the store and demanding money from employees at gunpoint.

Initially, the suspect is accused of victimizing two female employees while demanding money from the register. The victims immediately ran to safety at another location inside of the restaurant.

Another female employee heard the commotion at the front of the store and reported that the suspect also pointed a gun at her to demand money.

She complied with his demands and while she was opening the register to hand over the cash, she was able to grab his gun. During the struggle between the victim and suspect, a co-worker/relative came to the front of the store, saw the incident, and used his handgun to shoot the suspect. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092218)

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

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September 21, 2018

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092118)

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

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Positivity: As Florence subsides, Catholic Charities in NC ready to offer assistance

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

The Raleigh Catholic Charities website is here. Their donations page is here.

From Raleigh, North Carolina:

Sep 19, 2018 / 03:01 am

While Hurricane Florence has decreased to a tropical depression, it is still churning up tornadoes and bringing record flooding throughout the affected areas.

Many volunteers and donations will be needed to help with clean-up and rebuilding efforts, so Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina has already set up a website where information about disaster relief assistance, volunteer efforts, and donation links can be found.

“A disaster can be one of the most traumatic things a family can experience,” Daniel Altenau, Director of Disaster Services for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, told CNA.

“During this vulnerable time, our staff compassionately work with families to help them recover and persevere through this troubling time.”

Hurricane Florence rolled through North and South Carolina and the surrounding areas over the weekend, dumping rain that brought one of the most deadly parts of the storm – historic flooding that is expected to last for days. As many as 32 deaths have been linked to the storm thus far, but officials have said the danger is far from over.

“Flood waters continue to rise in some of the impacted areas and may not crest until Monday or Tuesday,” Altenau said.

“It won’t be until after the flood waters recede that we are fully able to understand the damage of the storm. There are projections that some rivers may rise to higher levels than were experienced in Hurricane Matthew two years ago,” he added.

Catholic Charities staff are prepared to help families by providing groceries, diapers, food gift cards and clean-up supplies, as well as assistance with finding housing, Altenau said. Because Hurricane Florence swept through smaller towns which have fewer available apartments, finding housing after the storm could prove difficult for the displaced, of whom there are thousands.

As for volunteer opportunities, a primary need at the moment is for box truck drivers who can take supplies from a warehouse in Raleigh to impacted areas in eastern North Carolina, including Fayetteville and Wilmington.

Other volunteer opportunities can also be found at the Raleigh Catholic Charities website, as well as a link to provide donations for disaster relief. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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September 20, 2018

Here We Go Again: Initial Unemployment Claims Hit Another 49-Year Low

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:54 pm

From the Department of Labor — After the hurricane wreckage clears a few weeks from now, it would seem that a seasonally adjusted drop below 200,000 is quite possible:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending September 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 201,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 204,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000. The 4-week moving average was 205,750, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 208,000. This is the lowest level for this average since December 6, 1969 when it was 204,500.

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Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092018)

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

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Positivity: This 87-year-old woman feeds the homeless in Chile every week

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Santiago, Chile:

Sep 18, 2018 / 12:06 am

Every Wednesday night, 87-year-old Elena Donaire goes out onto the streets of Santiago, Chile, to meet the homeless and attend to their needs.

For 40 years, Donaire has taken part in the “Street Route” of the Hogar de Cristo (Christ’s Home), an organization that includes numerous outreach programs and facilities to help the poor.

Donaire starts her evening by fixing sandwiches, boiling water and organizing the warm clothing that she will give to the people she encounters on the streets. When everything is ready, the volunteers leave in their van.

Donaire is often the first to get out of the van to begin serving. Many of the homeless people on the streets of Santiago know her and greet her by the affectionate title “Dear Mama.” The other volunteers call her by the nickname “Grandma.”

In an interview with the Archdiocese of Santiago’s communications office, Donaire explained that her mission has its origin in her friendship with Saint Alberto Hurtado.

Known in Chile as Padre Hurtado, the Jesuit priest, author and lawyer founded Christ’s Home, a network of homeless shelters that also included trade schools, rehabilitation centers, and other facilities to serve the poor.

He was beatified in 1994 by Pope John Paul II and canonized in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Before Hurtado died in 1952, Donaire said she had “promised him to continue serving the people just as he did.”

“That’s the biggest reason I have to continue helping – it’s a joy for me,” Donaire said. “I am going out on the street until he calls me from above. I know that if he were alive, he would be here on the street helping along with me, I would like to be at his side.”

Remembering the Jesuit saint, Donaire said that “he didn’t smile a lot, but when it was an occasion for smiling, he was always there with us. He enjoyed sharing with the people, especially the children, he treated them with such love and affection that it still moves me to this day to remember those moments. I have never met a person as good and committed as he was.”

For Donaire, who lives alone in a small house and works selling clothes in a street market, “It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, or cold, there are no excuses for not going out on Wednesdays.”

“I anxiously wait for [the other volunteers] to come and pick me up for the simple reason that I want to be with these people. I like them and they make me happy. I know their stories and they tell me them.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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September 19, 2018

Wedneday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091918)

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

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September 18, 2018

‘Blue Wave’ Update: Texas State Senate Seat Flips to GOP For First Time 139 Years

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:15 pm

It was “only” a race for a state senate seat, so I guess the press will say it doesn’t mean anything.

Horse manure:

Flores defeats Gallego in Senate District 19

Voters elected political newcomer Pete Flores to the Texas Senate on Tuesday, flipping a Democratic district red for the first time in 139 years and further bolstering Republicans’ supermajority in the chamber ahead of the November elections.

… “This district has not been Republican since Reconstruction. And in September of 2018, it’s Republican once again,” Flores told supporters. “The work starts tomorrow.”

Flores’ win marked an incredible upset in a district that political observers said shouldn’t have been competitive for Republicans. Low turnout in special elections and high-level GOP interests in preserving a Senate supermajority helped push Flores across the line, they said.

Democrats should have been just as interested preventing that supermajority — and didn’t. Flores won by six points. That’s pretty amazing, because in the August 2 election which caused Tuesday’s runoff between Flores and Gallego, Democrat candidates took 59 percent of the vote, while Republicans took only 40 percent. Tuesday’s result was a 25-point swing (from -19 to +6).

For some reason (we know what it is), the linked article provide no vote-count specifics. I had to go to another website to find the out about Flores’s 53-47 victory margin.

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Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091818)

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

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Positivity: Mystic and religious founder Mother Alphonse Marie beatified in Strasbourg, France

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Strasbourg, France:

Sep 14, 2018 / 08:45 am

A personal encounter with Mother Alphonse Marie Eppinger inspired “conversions which were far more miraculous than the raising of the dead,” recounted her spiritual director, Father Jean-David Reichard. The nineteenth century French mystic and religious founder was beatified this week in her native Strasbourg after a miraculous physical healing through her intercession was confirmed.

Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Causes of the Saints, celebrated the beatification Mass in the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Sept. 9 in Strasbourg, France.

Mother Alphonse Marie had “the gift of seeing people, what is in their souls,” wrote Abbe Glöckler, who knew Eppinger personally and later wrote her biography.

“She had a right word and advice for everyone. God gifted her with a good mind and right judgment. Many left her with the decision to change their lives and to walk the right path.”

Eppinger was able to “scrutinize human hearts” and “reveal things that were hidden,” using these spiritual gifts to advise the priests who would “visit her in abundant numbers” seeking counsel.

“God gave her a specific commission for priests,” Glöckler continued, “She told them about dignity and the grandeur of the priesthood. She prayed a lot for priests, the Holy Father, and the Diocesan Bishop.” Eppinger also composed many several prayers for confessors.

Speaking at the Mass of beatification, Cardinal Becciu called the occasion a “providential opportunity to rediscover, 150 years after her death, … the testimony of an authentic Christian life and a deep spirituality.”

The eldest of eleven children, Elizabeth Eppinger, was born into a peasant family on Sept. 9, 1814, in Niederbronn, France.

Her devotion to Christ’s passion stemmed from an episode in her childhood, which Cardinal Becciu recounted in his homily:

“As a child – when she was still called Elizabeth – one day on the way to a station of the Stations of the Cross, she asked her mother, ‘Why did they crucify Jesus?’”

“‘My little one, he was killed because of our sins,” he replied her mother.”

“‘But what is a sin?” insisted Elizabeth. ‘It’s an offense to God …’”

“‘Well, I do not want to offend him anymore!’” she replied.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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September 17, 2018

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091718)

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

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Positivity: Algerian martyrs to be beatified in December

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Oran, Algeria:

Sep 14, 2018 / 06:01 pm

The Algerian bishops’ conference has announced that the beatification of Bishop Pierre Claverie and his 18 companions, who were martyred in the country between 1994 and 1996, will be held Dec. 8.

The beatification will take place at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Cross in Oran.

The new blesseds “have been given to us as intercessors and models of the Christian life, of friendship and fraternity, of encounter and dialogue. May their example aid us in our life today,” the Algerian bishops wrote.

“From Algeria, their beatification will be for the Church and for the world, an impetus and a call to build together a world of peace and fraternity.”

In January Pope Francis had authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to recognize the martyrdoms.

Claverie was a French Algerian, and the Bishop of Oran from 1981 until his Aug. 1, 1996 martyrdom. He and his companions were killed during the Algerian Civil War by Islamists.

In addition to Claverie, those being beatified are: Brother Henri Vergès, Sister Paul-Hélène Saint-Raymond, Sister Esther Paniagua Alonso, Sister Caridad Álvarez Martín, Fr. Jean Chevillard, Fr. Alain Dieulangard, Fr. Charles Deckers, Fr. Christian Chessel, Sister Angèle-Marie Littlejohn, Sister Bibiane Leclercq, Sister Odette Prévost, Brother Luc Dochier, Brother Christian de Chergé, Brother Christophe Lebreton, Brother Michel Fleury, Brother Bruno Lemarchand, Brother Célestin Ringeard, and Brother Paul Favre-Miville.

The best known of Claverie’s companions are the seven monks of Tibhirine, who were kidnapped from their Trappist priory in March 1996. They were kept as a bartering chip to procure the release of several imprisoned members of the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, and were killed in May. Their story was dramatized in the 2010 French film Of Gods and Men, which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

Go here for the rest of the story.

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September 16, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091618)

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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