September 22, 2017

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092217)

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: Catholic health care growth a benefit, not a threat, ethicist says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Sep 20, 2017 / 12:03 am

A research paper that depicts the growth of Catholic health care as a threat to reproductive health ignores the attraction of Catholic hospitals and downplays the ethical concerns about procedures like abortion and sterilization, one commentator has said.

The number of hospitals that are Catholic-sponsored or Catholic-affiliated has increased 22 percent from 2001 to 2016, including through mergers or changes of ownership. This growth is the focus of a September 2017 working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Medically Necessary but Forbidden: Reproductive Health Care in Catholic-owned Hospitals.”

“The ‘problem’ that the authors of this study are examining results from the fact that Catholic hospitals and Catholic healthcare systems have been remarkably successful in America’s competitive market,” Edward Furton, an ethicist with the National Catholic Bioethics Center, told CNA Sept. 18.

“Catholic hospitals tend to be better managed, are governed by a sense of social duty, perform greater amounts of charitable care, and have strong ethical safeguards in place to protect their patients.”

Furton attributed the growth of Catholic healthcare to patients’ appreciation for these features.

The National Bureau of Economic Research is an influential domestic policy think tank based in Cambridge, Mass. Its working paper estimated that the expansion of Catholic hospitals reduces by 30 percent the annual rates per-bed of inpatient abortions. The rates of tubal ligations or sterilizations drop 31 percent.

Elaine Hill, a co-author of the working paper, is a professor of health economics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She said access to procedures is part of how to “reduce unwanted pregnancy.”

“Policies addressing the ways in which ownership of hospitals might impede access could be very beneficial to the population of women affected,” she told STAT, a health, medicine and scientific research publication from Boston Globe Media.

Furton, however, said the working paper was written by “a group of economists, not healthcare workers.” He questioned the paper’s use of the phrase “medically necessary but forbidden.”

“Neither abortion nor permanent sterilization can be properly described as a medical necessity. They are typically chosen for reasons other than maintaining health,” he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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September 21, 2017

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092117)

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: For the first time in 30 years, Sistine Choir to perform in US

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Sep 20, 2017 / 12:00 pm

The Sistine Chapel Choir will perform in the U.S. for the first time in three decades, and will sing compositions that one expert says are an important heritage of the American Church.

Italian priest Father Massimo Palombella directs the Sistine choir, which will be singing works by Renaissance composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Antonio Allegri and Tomás Luis de Victoria.

“As in Rome, this style of Renaissance polyphony would be adopted by the Churches of the New World as the standard style of music, especially for the Mass,” Dr. Grayson Wagstaff, dean of the Latin American Music Center at The Catholic University of America, explained to CNA.

On Sept. 20, a free concert will be hosted at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., next to The Catholic University of America.

After attending Italy’s prestigious conservatory and spending years as a theology and music teacher, Fr. Palombella became the director at the Pontifical Music Chapel, and began conducting the choir in 2010.

Dr. Wagstaff applauded the Salesian priest’s efforts to use the Vatican’s historic repertory and rejuvenate this style of music into the daily life of the Papal Chapels.

Fr. Palombella will be performing sounds iconic of the Mexico City Cathedral and the many works of the Spanish composers which had made their way to the “new world.”

“These works by Spanish composers would be the core of music transmitted, taught and copied in manuscripts in Mexico,” Dr. Wagstaff said. “Young boys from Mexico (then ‘New Spain’) would be selected to receive training in music and become boy choristers for the cathedrals.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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September 20, 2017

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092017)

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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AP Enters the Florida-Bashing Frenzy Over Irma, ‘Climate Change’

Tuesday afternoon, Clay Waters at NewsBusters noted how two September 18 items in the New York Times ridiculed Texas and Florida, two recently hurricane-ravaged states whose governors and legislatures are pro-growth and Republican. Josh Boak, an economics writer at the Associated Press, was actually a day ahead of them on Florida, filing a Sunday item which claimed that “Irma’s destructive floodwaters renewed fears about how to manage the state’s population boom as the risks of climate change intensify.” Meanwhile, as if to mock the Times and AP reporters, a study published Monday in Nature Geoscience admitted that the earth “warmed more slowly” — actually far more slowly — than the supposedly sacrosanct global warming models of a decade ago predicted.

(more…)

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September 19, 2017

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091917)

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: The Best-Kept Secret in Disaster Relief — Southern Baptists

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From John Ellis at PJ Media:

SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

s Hurricane Irma leaves behind a trail of destruction and pain, the nation again turns its eyes to disaster relief. Just a few weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey brought out the best in many of us. Desiring to aid the victims in Texas, celebrities traded on their popularity to encourage donations and volunteers. Average citizens opened up their wallets, gave of their time, and expended energy as they rushed to help fellow citizens. Local non-profits and large multi-national corporations alike demonstrated that compassion is a universal trait of humanity. No doubt, the response to Hurricane Irma will be just as compassionate and swift.

As people and organizations rush to Florida to aid those affected by Hurricane Irma, one organization that responds to natural disasters is often overlooked — the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief program. Under the auspices of the North American Mission Board, SBC, the Disaster Relief program quickly moves into devastated areas with well-trained and coordinated manpower, physical resources like food and clothing, and, of course, money. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

I just sent them some money. Based on what I’ve been reading, they appear to be far more responsive and results-oriented than the Red Cross has been.

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DC Media Covered Up Sally Quinn’s Occultism, Hex-Casting For Decades

The reception given to Sally Quinn’s new book, Finding Magic, has been strangely quiet. Perhaps that’s because the book shamelessly reveals that since 1973, if not earlier, Quinn, who was the nation’s capital’s de facto social gatekeeper for several decades, deceived the world about the true nature of her “religious” outlook, and did so with the help of the rest of the Washington press corps — that is, if one considers belief in the occult, practicing voodoo, and supposedly communicating with ghosts (sound familiar?) the foundations of a “religion.”

(more…)

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September 18, 2017

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091817)

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: How do we fund sacred art in the Church? This priest has an idea

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Wilmington, North Carolina:

Sep 16, 2017 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The John Paul II Foundation for the Sacred Arts is rethinking how the Catholic Church should fund well-crafted art. But why is good art in the Church important in the first place?

“When a piece of art, a beautiful church, a flower or a sunset not only strikes the eye but pierces the soul and fills one with a sense of wonder, that is transcendent beauty – it goes beyond mere aesthetic enjoyment to hint at the truth and goodness of being itself,” Father Michael Burbeck told CNA.

Fr. Burbeck serves as founder and director of the foundation, which was launched in March of this year. He explained that his own encounter with Europe’s beautiful architecture and sacred art brought him to convert to Catholicism and ultimately start the organization.

However, beautiful art requires money – and Fr. Burbeck’s project aims to equip artists to create quality, Christ-inspired, original works.

“Works of transcendent beauty have the potential to awaken the soul to the wonder of God, and so are evangelical in their own right,” he said. “This is what we mean by transcendent beauty: the beauty that flows from the goodness and truth of being itself.”

On the group’s website, Fr. Burbeck recalled on how beauty awakened this wonder of God, and enabled him to fall in love with the Church and with Jesus Christ.

Being able to stand before the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral created by Christopher Wren or Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child and along with numerous images of the crucified Christ, the soon to be priest was motivated to give his life to the Church.

“Because of beauty, I found the Catholic Church, fell in love with her, and was convinced of the truth of her teachings.”

When he met artist Cameron Smith, Father Burbeck said that the two discussed a “crowd-sourced, entrepreneurial model” which relied on the beauty of an artist’s work to motivate donations.

“Either a work is ‘popular’ enough to be funded or it is not,” he said, explaining that the foundation’s board of directors will choose which artists to give grants to based on if the “artist is capable of and intent on producing a work in keeping with our mission.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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NY Times Editor Pans ‘Sloppy Conflation’ of Conservatism and ‘Alt-Right’; Bay Area Journo Proves Her Point

On Tuesday, before Ben Shapiro's appearance at the University of California at Berkeley, Bari Weiss, a staff editor and writer in the opinion section at the New York Times, penned an op-ed accurately describing Shapiro's beliefs, defending his right to speak, and criticizing the "sloppy conflation" by leftist politicians and all too many in the press in trying to label all conservatives as "alt-right." Howls of leftist outrage ensued at the Times and on Twitter. Two days later, a longtime reporter in the Bay Area proved Weiss's point.

(more…)

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September 17, 2017

The Scam That Is the Anti-Vaping Movement

Filed under: Activism,Business Moves,Marvels,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:46 pm

There is apparently a serious movement to ban a product with the potential to which is already saving lives: E-Cigarettes.

Big money is at stake, so the people who claim to detest smoking are working to discredit and ban vaping to ensure that cigarette smoking — and the sales revenues and tax collections they generate — never go away.

Ace has posted an interesting personal story.

He also posted this three-minute video teasing a longer documentary on “available on Amazon and maybe Netflix”:

Those who don’t have the patience for a three-minute video can be assured that if the serially deceptive Ed Markey of Massachusetts says that “The dangers of E-cigarettes are clear” and “no better than the Joe Camels of the past” (which he does in the video), you can be almost certain that vaping opponents are trying to accomplish their cherished banning of the product by making things up.

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Positivity: Couple Cancels Wedding Reception To Give Money To Hurricane Victims Instead

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 12:30 pm

Via Daryn Kagan:

September 14, 2017

Ever hear about a wedding where you had complete confidence a couple will do great?

That’s the case with Shellie Schoellkopf and Robert Callaway from League City, Texas.

KPRC reports the couple had a big ol’ shindig set for October 7th.

But in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and all the devastation around Houston, the couple just couldn’t keep things the same, not with how many of their friends and family had been affected by the flood.

Callaway told KPRC, “This person lost everything …This person lost everything …This person lost everything.”

They will still marry on the planned day, but they’ve canceled the reception and instead will donate $5,000 to hurricane relief funds.

They picked a flood ravaged house for their wedding photo shoot to always have the memories of this time of their life and what’s important. …

As Kagan notes, this incredibly humble couple is wrong about one thing: They don’t think they’re doing anything especially noble, noteworthy, or laudatory.

Go here for the rest of the story.

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Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091717)

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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