June 22, 2018

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062218)

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: Meet the Catholic man who invented the World Cup

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From a Catholic News Agency blogpost:

June 15, 2008

Starting this weekend, an estimated 3.2 billion people the world over will tune in to watch the 2018 World Cup, an international soccer tournament founded by a Catholic man from a small village in France.

Jules Rimet was born on October 14, 1873, in the small village of Theuley in Eastern France to a modest family; his father was a grocer, and when Jules was just 11, they relocated to Paris in search of better work following an economic crisis.

Rimet’s background, as well as his devout Catholic faith, heavily influenced the way he viewed the world. Even after becoming a successful lawyer, Rimet had a heart for the poor, and was inspired by the social teaching of the Church.

He was particularly inspired by Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum, according to The Catholic Herald, and helped found an organization that provided social and medical aid to the poor.

Rimet also loved sports and was a firm believer that it could unite people across race and class. At the age of 24, he founded a sports club called Red Star, which was open to anyone regardless of class. He insisted that the club included soccer, even though he didn’t play himself and at the time the sport was looked down on as being for only Englishmen and the lower class.

“Men will be able to meet in confidence without hatred in their hearts and without an insult on their lips,” he once said of his vision for sports.

In 1904, Rimet helped to found the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football, or FIFA), though the start of World War I delayed his plans of hosting an international tournament.

By 1921 Rimet became the President of FIFA, and is the longest-serving president of the organization to date. Seven years later, he was able to hold the first World Cup in Uruguay. He carried the now-famous Jules Rimet trophy on board a ship to South America in his bag.

Rimet served as FIFA’s president until 1954, and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1956 for founding the World Cup. He died in France in October 1956 at the age of 83. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 21, 2018

Husband: Mother and Crying 2 Year-Old in ‘Iconic’ Border Photo Were Never Separated

Pictures may sometimes be worth 1,000 words, but they often either don’t tell the whole story or tell a misleading one. Significant issues have emerged with what the press has read into the “iconic” photo taken of a crying two year-old at the U.S.-Mexico border by Getty Images photographer John Moore. The most important one, according to a UK Daily Mail interview with the girl’s father left behind in Honduras with the couple’s other three children, is that mother and daughter “were never separated by border control agents and remain together.”

(more…)

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Juan Williams: Fonda’s Tirade Only ‘Poorly Worded’; Other Fox Hosts ‘Delight in It’

On Wednesday’s edition of the five on Fox news, Juan Williams passed off Peter Fonda’s tweet wishing that 12-year-old Barron Trump would “be put in a cage with pedophiles” as “poorly worded.” He also claimed that his fellow hosts were “taking delight” in the appearance of Fonda’s series of threatening tweets, because talking about them “takes away from the conversation focusing on what President Trump did.”

(more…)

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Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062118)

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: Armed civilian took down shooter in Washington state Walmart, police say

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Tumwater, Washington (video at link):

Updated: Jun 18, 2018 – 6:15 AM

An armed civilian took down a shooter after at least two people were shot Sunday night at a Washington state Walmart, police said.

Tumwater police said the civilian, described by officers as a good Samaritan, shot and killed the suspect at the scene.

The shooting happened just after 5:30 p.m. PDT at the Walmart Supercenter in Tumwater, about 65 miles south of Seattle.

“I heard two bangs. It sounded like gunshots to me,” witness Robert Berwick said. “I looked down the aisle and saw a person running.”

That’s when Berwick ran, too. There was chaos in the parking lot, and he said the shooting suspect tried to carjack another man. That’s when the suspect was shot.

“I thanked him for saving my life,” Berwick said of the attempted carjacking victim who shot the suspect. “He didn’t look like he had any regrets. I hope he doesn’t have any.”

Another witness to the shooting, Megan Chadwick, said her husband saw the civilian take down the shooter.

“He said he watched him (the shooter) take his last breath,” Chadwick said. “There were three civilians going after him (the shooter) to shoot him and two of them had their guns up – and then the third guy shot him through the window of the car.”

Chadwick said her husband was armed, as well. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 20, 2018

Media Ignores Starbucks’ ‘Wage and Regulatory’ Issues As CEO Announces 150 Store Closings

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced Tuesday that the company is about to turn in its worst quarterly year-over year same-store sales performance in nine years. While that is being seen as a one-time hit by many as a result of the company’s half-day racial bias training store closures, the bigger long-term news is that the nation’s number 3 fast-food outlet (by number of locations) is closing 150 U.S. stores, three times the normal annual number. It’s not difficult to read Johnson’s comments as indicating that the shuttered stores will primarily be in “blue” or liberal sections of the U.S. At the same time, he has specifically targeted “middle America and the South,” i.e., more conservative “red” areas, for expansion. The business press isn’t even trying to make the obvious connection between Johnson’s announcement and the respective presence or absence of high minimum-wage laws and excessive regulation.

(more…)

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Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062018)

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: HS receptionist belts out Etta James classic over PA system

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Lincolnton, North Carolina (video at link; HT Weasel Zippers):

June 16, 2018

A North Carolina school receptionist on Wednesday stunned students on the last day of school when she belted out the Etta James classic “At Last” over the PA system.

Regina Ballard, the songstress, posted the video on Facebook, and the clip went viral.

“I love my job, y’all, but I look forward to summers when I can spend time with my grands & family, sooo…here it is…At Last!!!” Ballard wrote in her post.

The video of Ballard’s hearty ballad sung at North Lincoln High School has around 165,000 views in a recent tally Friday night.

“That’s it. It’s 3 o’clock, y’all. At 3:15, it’s official,” Ballard said before raising the volume of the classic song’s instrumental version on her computer.

In between hitting all the high and low notes, she flashes a big, bright smile.

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 19, 2018

Not News: Planned Parenthood Runs to Trump’s NLRB to Stop SEIU Unionizing Effort

The establishment press, which never seems to miss a chance to highlight conflict among Republicans and conservatives, is ignoring a major dispute involving two of the left’s most prominent organizations: The SEIU and Planned Parenthood. The union has tried to organize workers at the Rocky Mountains affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion provider. Planned Parenthood is not pleased with the unionization effort, and has run to — get this — the Trump administration’s National Labor Relations Board in an attempt to stop it. None of this is news at national establishment press outlets, or even at the local Denver Post.

(more…)

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May 2018 Housing Starts and Permits: Raw Numbers Show Strength and Continued Improvement

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:52 am

From the Census Bureau:

Building Permits
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,301,000. This is 4.6 percent (±1.4 percent) below the revised April rate of 1,364,000, but is 8.0 percent (±1.3 percent) above the May 2017 rate of 1,205,000. Single-family authorizations in May were at a rate of 844,000; this is 2.2 percent (±1.0 percent) below the revised April figure of 863,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 421,000 in May.

Housing Starts
Privately-owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,350,000. This is 5.0 percent (±10.2 percent)* above the revised April estimate of 1,286,000 and is 20.3 percent (±14.4 percent) above the May 2017 rate of 1,122,000. Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 936,000; this is 3.9 percent (±10.6 percent)* above the revised April figure of 901,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 404,000.

Housing Completions
Privately-owned housing completions in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,291,000. This is 1.9 percent (±13.7 percent)* above the revised April estimate of 1,267,000 and is 10.4 percent (±12.1 percent)* above the May 2017 rate of 1,169,000. Single-family housing completions in May were at a rate of 890,000; this is 11.0 percent (±12.7 percent)* above the revised April rate of 802,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 389,000.

There’s some hyperventilating over the drop in seasonally adjusted permits which appears to be completely unjustified:

HousingStartSAandNSA0115to0518

No one can look at the raw numbers and fail to see anything other than pretty decent improvement. By contrast, the raw numbers for starts are similarly positive but nowhere near as strong as the 20.3 percent reported year-over-year seasonally adjusted increase.

This (for the umpteenth time) is why complete analysis requires a look at the raw numbers.

The bigger, long-term picture is that starts and permits are still some distance from but nonetheless heading towards the pre-housing bubble levels of the late-1990s.

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Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061918)

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: Trump Admin Stops Justin Trudeau From Using G7 Summit to Promote Abortion

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

Via C-Fam, posted at LifeNews.com:

JUN 14 2018, 4:07PM

In the lead-up to this year’s G7 summit in Quebec, Canadian officials were explicit: women and children were going to be central, and an essential component of their health and empowerment is abortion. But when the final declarations were released, all language about “reproductive rights” was removed, and, according to Devex, “the U.S. delegation…was responsible for the softer official language.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, following the famous example of Sweden, has characterized his government and its foreign policy as “feminist.” He employs quotas to ensure that half his cabinet members are women and imposes regulations on his party to support only pro-abortion policies and candidates. For the first time, as G7 host, Canada established a Gender Equality Advisory Council which submitted its recommendations to integrate gender into the G7’s work. Other inputs included a statement from more than sixty feminists that included a call for an end to the “criminalization or restrictive regulation of abortion.”

The Gender Equality Advisory Council also included abortion in its recommendations, which called for the withdrawal of the U.S. Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy (also called the Mexico City Policy), the provision of abortion as a component of humanitarian assistance, and funding for abortion advocacy, and government-subsidized coverage of abortion.

According to the chairman’s summaries of the discussions, several leaders called for the inclusion of “reproductive rights” language in the official declarations, but this proved impossible without U.S. agreement. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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June 18, 2018

Press Found Unaccompanied Children Released to Human Traffickers in Jan. 2016, Did No WH Follow-up

The press has gone into hyperbolic overdrive criticizing the Trump administration for separating families caught illegally crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. They clearly want the public, against all evidence, to believe that questionable treatment of illegal-immigrant children and their families only began after Donald Trump took office last year. But in January 2016, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and a Senate committee issued lengthy reports about unaccompanied children who were released to human traffickers. White House reporters, particularly at AP, utterly failed to push the Obama administration over how this was allowed to happen.

(more…)

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061818)

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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