December 10, 2018

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121018)

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

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Positivity: Woman inspires calls for gun training after being hailed as ‘shining example’ for shooting escaped prisoner

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

From Pickens, South Carolina:

Dec 6, 2018, 5:55 PM ET

Hailed as a “shining example” by a South Carolina sheriff, a woman who shot and killed an escaped jail inmate who broke into her home is giving firearm advocates fodder in their quest to boost the number of good gals with guns in the United States.

“There is a great disparity of force between a woman and a male. The proper use of a firearm really does kind of equalize that disparity,” Carrie Lightfoot, founder of The Well Armed Woman, a nationwide female gun-training organization, told ABC News on Thursday.

“I really see her as an inspiration that women can effectively protect themselves with an equalizer,” Lightfoot said of the armed South Carolina women who took on the jail escapee. “It is the only tool that can literally equalize that disparity.”

‘She came out on the good end’

Early Tuesday morning, a woman who was home alone in Pickens, South Carolina, shot and killed a jail escapee who kicked in her back door, authorities said.

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said the woman, whose name has not been released, has a concealed weapons permit and knew how to use her gun when escapee Bruce W. McLaughlin Jr., 30, reached her bedroom entrance.

She fired one shot that hit McLaughlin in the head, killing him, he said.

“This is a shining example of what this lady did, took the time to get her CWP and set herself up to protect herself and not be harmed, killed or raped or whatever,” Clark said at a news conference on Tuesday. “She came out on the good end and the other guy, the bad guy, didn’t.”

Clark said McLaughlin and Timothy Dell, 32, another inmate at the Pickens County Jail, broke out of the facility around 2:35 a.m. Tuesday, after attacking two corrections officers in what he described as an escape that had been planned for several days, possibly weeks.

Dell was captured by sheriff’s deputies within a half-hour of the jailbreak, Clark said. But McLaughlin got a half-mile away from the facility and broke into the woman’s house while she was asleep in bed, Clark said.

He said McLaughlin had armed himself with a foot-long knife sharpening tool he took from the woman’s kitchen.

“The victim was in fear for her life and she used lethal force to protect herself,” Clark said. “The sheriff’s office has not uncovered any evidence or information in any way that would suggest anything different.”

He said McLaughlin, a convicted felon, was being held at the jail on charges of first-degree burglary and grand larceny before he escaped.

“I want to hammer home how this lady saved her life because she took a half a day out of her life and went and got training,” Clark said. “And when that training came through, she was calm and steady as somebody can be in that situation and she saved her life and stopped the bad guy.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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December 9, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120918)

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

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Positivity: ‘Have to kill me first’ — Florida woman refuses to remove Guadalupe from mobile home

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Bradenton, Florida:

Dec 6, 2018 / 03:39 pm

Millie Francis almost died once. She’s willing to do it again.

This time, she says, it would be for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Property managers at the retirement community trailer park where Francis lives in west-central Florida have reportedly demanded that she remove a piece of plywood from her mobile home, on which she has painted an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

But from the sound of it, they will have a hard time getting her to comply.

“They’ll have to kill me first,” Francis, 85, told the property management authorities, according to the Bradenton Herald.

“You’re not going to tell this old lady what to do,” she told the newspaper. “This is America. As long as I have two arms and two legs, I’m going to do it.”

Francis said she feels blessed to even be alive, after a scrape with death during surgery 16 years ago, during which she says she was declared clinically dead for 15 minutes.

Her fierce devotion to her Catholic faith and to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint of the Americas, have remained strong, and she said she’ll go to court if she has to. She does not plan to remove her painting.

The painting of the Virgin Mary was done on a piece of plywood that replaced a window Francis had removed from her mobile home. She said wanted to replace the window with plywood because of a nosy neighbor, and because light from security guards’ flashlights bothered her at night.

Francis said she obtained permission for the removal from Vanguard Property Management at Bradenton Tropical Palms, the 55+ trailer park where she lives.

The inspiration for the image came to her during Mass, she said, when she was praying about what to do with the piece of plywood that would cover the space where he window once was.

“I don’t want to say I had a vision or anything like that, but felt enlightened and received the inspiration from our Lady of Guadalupe to paint her image. So I promised that I would,” she told the Bradenton Herald.

Janet Nowakowski, a Vanguard property manager based in Tampa, demanded that Francis remove the painted plywood, allegedly because Francis did not have the window removal project completed by Oct. 31, per her agreement with property management.

Vanguard representatives also told reporters that Francis did not fill out an architectural request form, or seek permission from the trailer park’s architectural review committee, before painting the Blessed Virgin Mary on the plywood that replaced the window.

Francis said that the window removal was completed on time, and believes the order to remove the plywood image is an act of discrimination against her Catholic faith.

Other neighbors have decorated their lawns and trailers with all kinds of things, she said, and her painting “isn’t hurting anyone.”

“There’s all kinds of stuff out there, but this is because I’m Catholic and it’s wrong,” she said. “With all the things going on in the world, I would think there would be more important things to worry about than this.”

On November 9, lawyers representing Vanguard gave Francis 30 days to remove the image. The deadline is fast-approaching – and falls three days before the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is on December 12.

But Francis refuses to budge.

According to reporting by Mark Young at the Bradenton Herald: “Documents indicate that Francis did have permission from the committee to replace the window, and she was inspired to have the painting done while at church at the last minute. Francis said she not only completed the project on time, but also there is nothing in the park rules regarding decorating after the fact.”

CNA has contacted Tropical Palms trailer park for a copy of their property guidelines, but did not receive a response by press time. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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December 8, 2018

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120818)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:00 am

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Positivity: Small Irish community seeks help to save a saint’s iconic cross

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:55 am

From Dublin, Ireland (video at link; positivity element bolded):

Dec 6, 2018 / 03:01 am

A unique Irish cross marking the 1,400-year-old grave of a Catholic saint is in danger of destruction due to erosion, and the local community is seeking help to restore the “icon of Ireland’s early Christian heritage.”

St Mura’s Cross is carved into a slab nearly seven feet tall that marks the grave of St. Mura, the first abbot of a sixth-century monastery in the far north of Ireland in what is now County Donegal. The monastery, one of Ireland’s earliest, was founded by St. Colmcille less than a century after the death of St. Patrick. It became a center of religion and scholarship and its surrounding settlements gave birth to the town of Fahan, where nearly 600 people live today.

A nearby gable wall must be repaired before preservation efforts on St. Mura’s Cross must begin.

“Cracks have appeared on the wall and if we don’t stabilize that it could fall. If it does, it will fall on the cross and it will be destroyed forever,” Colm Toland of the Fahan Heritage Group told The Irish News in November.

St. Mura, said to be a descendant of the Irish king Niall of the Nine Hostages, died in 645 at the age of 94. He became the patron saint of the O’Neil Clan, whose leaders were among the High Kings of Ireland. His feast day is observed March 12.

Both a Catholic church and a Church of Ireland church in the Fahan area are named for the saint.

The cross is the only one of its kind to bear an inscription in Greek: “Glory and honor to the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit”. It is considered a unique inspiration of the Irish High Cross artistic tradition of massive and ornately carved stone crosses.

The saint’s cross was carved sometime from the sixth to the tenth century. The gable wall was built in 1608, using stones from the original monastery, the Irish state broadcaster RTE News reports. It is surrounded by a graveyard that includes St. Mura’s tomb.

The monastery and village were sacked by the Vikings twice in the middle ages, though the site’s current ruins date to the 17th century. Some monastery artifacts are now in museums in Dublin and London.

Fahan’s heritage group is seeking support to protect the cross and the nearby church gable ruins. The gable is one of the distinctive landmarks of the village and a favorite stop for tourists and wedding parties, Fahan Heritage Group said in its YouTube video “Save St. Mura’s Cross.”

The stone-carved cross was distinctive for centuries, but now it has faded due to severe erosion attributed to acid rain or other environmental factors. The carving and Greek inscription are almost illegible. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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December 7, 2018

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120718)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 11:20 pm

Apologies for this post going up very late.

_________________________________

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December 6, 2018

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120618)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:41 am

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Positivity: National Institutes of Health to not renew contract over fetal tissue use

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 7:35 am

From Washington:

Dec 5, 2018 / 03:00 pm

The National Institutes of Health will not renew a contract with the University of California San Francisco over concerns about the project’s use of fetal tissue.

The National Institutes of Health informed UCSF it will not renew a contract to conduct research into therapies for various ailments, including AIDS and Parkinson’s disease, over concerns about the project’s use of fetal tissue.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the decision was communicated to UCSF last week following instruction from the “highest levels.” The contract was worth approximately $2 million per year.

As recently as October, the expectation had been that the seven-year project would be extended for a further year. The contract, which expires Dec. 5, will now continue for a further 90 days, with not clear indication of its future beyond that point.

The work in the UCSF lab involves testing on what are known as “humanized mice” that have been implanted with tissues from fetal remains. This causes the mouse to develop an immune system that is similar to that of a humans.

The fetal tissues used in these experiments and research is obtained through abortions.

The decision not to renew the contract follows what the federal government called in a September statement a “comprehensive review” over the funding of research involving the use of fetal tissue. At that time, HHS said that it was seeking “adequate alternatives” to the use of fetal tissue altogether….

Go here for the rest of the story.

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December 5, 2018

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120518)

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

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December 4, 2018

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120418)

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

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Positivity: Highway Patrol trooper stops speeding van in Wake County and helps deliver baby

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

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

Posted 9:26 a.m. Sunday
Updated 1:07 p.m. Sunday

Most State Highway Patrol troopers are used to seeing and responding to cars that are exceeding the speed limit.

But a speeding van that Sgt. Brian Maynard pulled over Saturday night on N.C. Highway 64 had more going on in it than just a driver who was in a hurry.

The vehicle was carrying a Nash County man and his pregnant wife who was in the throes of giving birth — four days earlier than expected.

During the traffic stop, Jimmy Baker and his wife, Laura, told the trooper about their plight and said they needed him to lend a hand.

“I was telling them the baby was in my pants and he needed to help me,” Laura Baker said.

A dash cam mounted in Maynard’s police cruiser captured footage of the family’s van as it was traveling about 85 miles per hour around 11 p.m. on the highway. They pulled their vehicle over on NC-64, just west of Exit 429.

Maynard called an ambulance to the scene but everyone on the side of the road realized the baby wouldn’t wait for paramedics to arrive.

“The labor came so quickly that (we knew) they weren’t going to be able to make it,” Maynard said.

He retrieved a blanket from his police cruiser and gloves and helped the couple give birth.

“It was scary, yet rewarding at the same time,” Maynard said. “It was the first time I had to do that.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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December 3, 2018

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120318)

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

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Positivity: Good Samaritan rescues four-year-old boy after his family’s SUV slid from an icy bridge into an Indianapolis pond

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:50 am

From Indianapolis (HT Weasel Zippers):

PUBLISHED: 07:29 EST, 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:17 EST, 27 November 2018

A passer-by rescued a four-year-old boy from a retention pond in Indianapolis after his family’s SUV apparently slid from an icy bridge into the frigid water.

The vehicle was one of two that drove into the pond around shortly before 6.30pm Monday evening.

Roads were icy after a wintry Midwest storm brought wet snow and strong winds.

The fire department says the boy’s mother, 37, told authorities that her SUV hit a patch of ice before plummeting down an embankment.

She was driving a Dodge Nitro with her three children, 17, 11 and the four-year-old.

Police said the unidentified Good Samaritan swam to the SUV and carried the small boy to medics before leaving. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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December 2, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120218)

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

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