December 21, 2014

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (122114)

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.

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Positivity: The Real Bedford Falls

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

From TheRealBedfordFalls.com:

Too Many Coincidences to Ignore…

Seneca Falls, NY — Was the Upstate New York village of Seneca Falls Frank Capra’s inspiration for the design of Bedford Falls in It’s A Wonderful Life?

Karolyn Grimes, the actress who played Zuzu, one of the children of George and Mary Bailey (James Stewart and Donna Reed) in the American movie classic, thinks it was.

“When I came around the corner and saw [Seneca Falls’] main street, I gasped and said, ‘This is Bedford Falls!’” Grimes then saw the steel bridge that flows over the canal: “It is nearly a replica of the same bridge that George Bailey had grown up with all his life.”

Physical similarities between Seneca Falls and Bedford Falls are striking. In addition to the architecture along the main street and the steel truss bridge, Seneca Falls has many Second Empire Victorian homes (like the large, old house George and Mary owned in the movie). Both towns have a canal. In 1945, when the movie was shot, Seneca Falls was a mill town, just like Bedford Falls. Seneca Falls had the globe street lamps seen in the movie and even had a median on a portion of its main street.

There were also similarities in the towns’ characters. Both had a large Italian community and both had a neighborhood where people of modest means could live comfortably, courtesy of the generous terms of a community leader. In the movie it was “Bailey Park,” named in honor of George Bailey’s family building and loan; in Seneca Falls it was “Rumseyville,” named after the owner of one the town’s large pump manufacturers.

Seneca Falls’ town leaders are so sure it served as Capra’s inspiration that they have created an It’s A Wonderful Life festival. This year’s event is December 7-9 and will include a screening of It’s A Wonderful Life, during which featured guest Karolyn Grimes will discuss her experiences shooting the movie. (Her character closes the movie with the famous line, “Look, Daddy; teacher says, ‘Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.’”) The downtown will be decorated with replicas of the Christmas lights of Bedford Falls, and the shops and restaurants will serve up It’s A Wonderful Life fare.

So why does Seneca Falls think it is Bedford Falls? After all, Bedford Falls strikes a chord with millions of people in small towns across the country. Jimmy Stewart said the set reminded him of his hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania. Many towns have similarities to Bedford Falls. Why isn’t the movie set just an excellent depiction of the look and feel of small-town America?

Seneca Falls’ claim begins with geography. It’s hard to dispute that Capra set Bedford Falls in New York State. Rochester, Buffalo, and Elmira are mentioned in the script and referenced as being relatively close. All three are an easy drive from Seneca Falls. And, a reference to Cornell University in Ithaca, just 40 miles south, was taken out of the script by the studio’s rights clearance lawyers.

There are road signs in the movie pointing to Katonah and Chappaqua, both of which are in Westchester County and near the towns of Bedford and Bedford Hills. Maybe they were Capra’s inspiration?

Go here for the rest of the story.

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Daily Beast: Some in Bedford-Stuy Are Cheering NYPD Officers’ Murders

In New York City, police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were killed Saturday afternoon by a man who indicated online that his motivation was to seek revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner on Staten Island.

At the Daily Beast, M.L. Nestel didn’t find it particularly difficult to find people who thought that the officers deserved to die, and seemed to make excuses for their feelings.

(more…)

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December 20, 2014

NY Official Bans Fracking to Protect ‘My Child’ and ‘My Family’ He Doesn’t Have

In discussing a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing announced Wednesday according to the New York Daily News carried comments made by Howard Zucker, the state’s Health Commissioner, about fracking’s impact on public health.

Zucker asked two rhetorical questions: “Would I live in a community with (fracking) based on the facts I have now?” and “Would I let my child play in a school field nearby or my family drink the water from the tap or grow their vegetables in the soil?” His answer: “After looking at the plethora of reports … no.” Cuomo reportedly described Zucker’s remarks as “very sobering … because if the state health commissioner doesn’t want his kids living there, I don’t want my kids living there and I don’t want any New Yorkers’ kids living there.” Too bad for the truth that Zucker has no children, and is unmarried. Too bad for New Yorkers unaware of what the Daily News found that the rest of the press will pretend that Zucker’s false pose as a family man is unimportant, and won’t report it.

(more…)

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AP, Other Reporting on New York’s Fracking Ban Ignores Awful Upstate Economy

The establishment press is virtually giddy over New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cowardly, self-serving decision to ban fracking in New York. It’s cowardly because Cuomo is publicly pretending that he’s only deferring to his environmental and health commissioners, when everyone with an ounce of sense knows that he’s getting the recommendations he wanted. It’s self-serving because it enhances his political cachet with environmental zealots while disregarding the frightening plight, with the exception of Metro New York City, of the Empire State’s seriously decaying economy.

Examples of pathetic press coverage, plus a depressing look at the state’s non-New York City job market, follow the jump.

(more…)

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (122014)

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.

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Positivity: How calling out sick for work may have saved this woman’s life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Henrico County, Virginia (video at link):

POSTED 8:41 AM, DECEMBER 10, 2014
UPDATED AT 06:25PM, DECEMBER 10, 2014

Twenty years ago, nearly half percent of all patients who suffered a brain aneurysm did not survive. Those who did survive were at great risk of living with stroke-like symptoms the rest of their lives.

Today, rapidly improving techniques for treating brain aneurysms are being put into play at Bon Secours’ St. Mary’s Hospital in Henrico, thanks to a collaboration with the University of Virginia Medical Center.

St. Mary’s new technology saved the life of avid runner Sharon Dajon.

Dajon was training for October’s Marine Corps Marathon when, after a morning workout, something just did not feel right.

“I had a headache most of the day and didn’t feel very well,” Dajon, president and managing director of American Health Consulting, said, “but I just brushed it aside.”

She did call in sick to work; a phone call that may have saved her life.

When Dajon called in sick, a co-worker noticed her voice sounded strange.

Dajon was then rushed to the hospital where it was determined she suffered a brain aneurysm – a weakened area of a blood vessel had ballooned over time. When the blood vessel ruptures it causes bleeding in the brain. That can lead to long-term disability or death.

About 20 percent of people who have a brain aneurysm rupture die before they get to the hospital, Dr. John Gaughen, Neuro Interventional Surgeon with UVA Medical Center, said.

Dr. Gaughen is using new technology, that is only out of trials and approved by the FDA since 2011, at Bon Secours St. Mary’s hospital in Richmond. The partnership between the two health care systems had allowed them to share specialists and research in the field of neuroscience.

In Dajon’s case, the wall of an artery in her brain had ripped. Dr. Gaughen used a flow-diverter stent to repair Dajon’s aneurysm. He went through an artery in her hip, up through her body, and placed the stent in position.

“We’re able to block of or fix problems without having to take off a piece of the skull and go in and do open surgery,” Dr. Gaughen said.

Six months later, Dajon’s follow-up showed the stent is doing its job.

“We’re going to consider her cured,” Dr. Gaughen said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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December 19, 2014

Cuban Sanctions and Decades of Communism Seriously Weakened Its Government

Filed under: Activism,National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:08 am

At the Daily Signal:

Contrary to what President Obama has asserted, U.S. sanctions have worked. Communist Cuba is so economically weak it cannot export Marxism-Leninism as in the past, and pro-democracy advocates have become emboldened.

For more than five decades, presidents, Democratic and Republican, politically isolated and economically sanctioned Communist Cuba for the best of reasons. Here are four of them:

1. Cuba has been a communist prison since Fidel Castro came to power. From 1959 through the late 1990s, more than 100,000 Cubans were placed in forced labor camps, prisons, and other places of incarceration. Between 15,000 and 17,000 people were shot. …

2. Communist Cuba exported Marxism-Leninism throughout Latin America, in Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela, and especially Nicaragua, which was taken over by the Marxist Sandinistas in the late 1970s. Another target was the small island nation of Grenada … As a Venezuelan communist leader explained, the Cuban revolution was like a “detonator.”

3. Communist Cuba often provided the ground troops for the Soviet Union’s strategy of inciting Third World revolution, especially in Africa. …

4. Communist Cuba brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 when it allowed the Soviet Union to build sites for offensive nuclear missiles aimed at major cities in the United States. … Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev has said that Castro requested a Soviet nuclear attack on the United States.

… President Obama pledged to lift economic sanctions and establish diplomatic relations at the precise moment when Venezuela’s economic miseries seriously threatened its huge billion-dollar subsidies of Cuba and when more and more Cubans were pressuring the Castro regime to allow fundamental human freedoms.

The Castro regime was on the ropes, but in the words of Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez, “Castroism has won.” Today, Fidel must be smiling and lighting up a large El Rey del Mondo cigar in his Havana palace.

Kowtowing to enemies and mistreating friends has been what the Obama administration has been all about from its beginning. Now the President wants to save an enemy which would have nuked us if it had its way, with no apparent conditions.

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NewsBusted (121914)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 6:33 am

Here we go:

Topics:
– Time Magazine Person of the Year
– China’s Economy
– Iran Facebook Campaign
– President Obama
– Nashville
– California Drought
– World’s Fattest Man
– Kathleen Sebelius
– Obamacare
– Large Baby Girl

Best Lines:

  • “Time Magazine has chosen the Ebola fighters as Person of the Year. Good choice. Thanks to these heroes, Ebola is now even less widely circulated than Time Magazine.”
  • “It’s official. China has surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest economy. Of course, America could buy and sell China, if they would just lend us the money.”
  • “Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Obamacare needs a new name. Here’s an idea: How about the Unaffordable Care Act?”
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Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121914)

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.

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Positivity: Buffalo wrestling coach thanks impossibly convenient team that saved his life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Buffalo, Minnesota (video at link):

Posted: Dec 11, 2014 9:13 PM EST
Updated: Dec 11, 2014 11:34 PM EST

Jason Maurer is back with his Buffalo High School wrestlers, back where he belongs. Maurer’s heart stopped the night of June 5 while playing rec softball with his best friends. He coaches the wrestling team, and one of his wrestlers watched the scene unfold in horror.

“I was really scared,” Buffalo senior wrestler Hunter Durand said. “It was really hard to watch.”

Maurer, on the other hand, was certainly there, but only knows of the incident what he’s been told.

“Yeah, as far as I know, I was dead. I don’t know the medical terms, but I think I was dead for two minutes,” he said.

Fortunately for Maurer, though, emergency help was literally a foul tip away. On the opposite team, anesthesiologist Dave Prybilla jumped into action clearing his airway. On the next field over, two teams of first responders, police and fire, were squaring off and came running. An automated external defibrillator would shock his heart and with CPR, he lived.

“I don’t exactly know who all helped out, but know I was very lucky they were all there,” he said.

A Thursday night thanks

Thursday night in Buffalo was about saying thank you. Coach Maurer had a difficult recovery, but has returned to teach special education and coach the varsity wrestling team. His heroes were honored for their quick-thinking before the Bisons’ first home meet of the season. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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December 18, 2014

Cuomo to Upstate New York, Especially Its Blue Collar Workers: Drop Dead

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:56 pm

The news:

New York Gov. Cuomo moves to ban fracking

New York officials on Wednesday moved forward with an effort to ban fracking across the state, citing excessive environmental and health concerns.

… A ban would end the state’s current six-month moratorium on fracking.

The process of fracking involves shooting a mix of pressurized water, sand and chemicals to split rock formations to release natural gas and so-called tight oil.

The widely used, deep-drilling process has resulted in a surge in domestic-energy production and has created millions of new jobs.

However, state and local governments are pushing for bans over the health and environmental concerns, including the potential for earthquakes and the contamination of natural water supplies.

New York sits atop the Marcellus shale formation, which stretches 600 miles along the Appalachian Basin and is rich in natural gas deposits.

Fracking supporters immediately expressed opposition to the state’s plan.

“Today’s action by Governor Cuomo shows that New York families, teachers, roads and good-paying jobs have lost out to political gamesmanship,” said Karen Moreau, of the New York Petroleum Council, an arm of the American Petroleum Institute, which represents some of the world’s biggest energy companies.

American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson:

Despite intense efforts to discover actual negative health effects from fracking, none has been found. Oh, there’s that movie Gasland showing flames being lighted from a water faucet, but that was exposed as a fraud, since the natural gas in the water pipes predated fracking. But Cuomo is demanding proof of absolute safety, an almost impossible standard that is applied to almost nothing.

But it’s a standard which, if universally applied, would prevent all future progress.

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Fox’s Shepard Smith Hopes Cuba Relations Thaw Doesn’t ‘Ruin the Place’

Those who rail at Fox News for allegedly being a haven of unbridled, uninterrupted conservatism usually and conveniently fail to remember that Shepard Smith is there.

Smith’s take yesterday on the potential pitfalls of a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations, particularly on the commercial front, was nothing short of astonishing. His primary fear, expressed in an interview with Gerri Willis of the Fox Business Network, is that the new arrangements might “ruin the place.” It would be “the last thing they need” to see “Taco Bell and Lowes” locations there. Smith also posed as a market analyst, wondering if the Dow was up 300 points because of President Obama’s related announcement. Video (HT Mediaite and PJ Media’s Ed Driscoll) and a transcript follow the jump:

(more…)

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Initial Unemployment Claims (121814): 289K SA; Raw Claims 21% Lower Than Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:45 am

Note: I can’t seem to get to the DOL’s report at the moment. Zero Hedge has reported that seasonally adjusted claims dropped to 289,000 last week.

From the Department of Labor:

Waiting …

Bloomberg only predicted that today’s number would be “litle changed from last week.”

The seasonal adjustment factors for this week (113.3) and the same week a year ago (112.6) were basically the same.

UPDATE: I’ve backed into last week’s raw claims, which were roughly 327,500, or about 21% below the same week last year.

UPDATE 2, 9:10 a.m.: I’m through waiting. On to other things …

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Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121814)

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.

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