February 26, 2014

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Destructive Missions, Partially Accomplished’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Friday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022614)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Boy gets prosthetic hand made by 3-D printer

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

This goes back a few months … but wow.

From Marblehead, Massachusetts (HT Daryn Kagan):

OCTOBER 28, 2013, 2:55 PM

Two years ago, Paul McCarthy began searching for an inexpensive yet functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one of his hands. McCarthy came across a video online with detailed instruction on how to use a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand for his son.

A local news outlet has more complete coverage.

Unhinged Sun Sentinel Cartoonist Ridicules Common Core Opponents; Paper Tweets Endorsement

At the rate he’s going, South Florida Sun Sentinel cartoonist and variable-length commentator Chan Lowe may turn out to be this decade’s Ted Rall.

On Tuesday, Lowe had a column and cartoon (link may require subscription) satirizing the Sunshine State’s “Stand Your Ground” law and gun owners in general (“Angry White Males,” of course), characterizing them as treating their weapons with perverted reverence as compensation for their other failures in life (e.g., not getting along with their classmates at the playground, or with girls). The day before (link may require subscription; HT Twitchy), he went after parents who oppose the top-down, privacy-invading, testing-obsessed, instructionally-impaired Common Core curriculum with a vengeance. Readers should put down all drinks and other objects before skipping to the jump, because what you’ll see will almost certainly be upsetting:

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February 25, 2014

AP’s Tomlinson Hauls Out Tired ‘Heavily Edited’ Jab at O’Keefe as State Launches Investigation of Battleground Texas

At the Associated Press on Friday, Chris Tomlinson wrote a story of national significance (“State officials investigating Democratic activists”) which the wire service appears not to have ever carried at its national site.

It is nationally significant because the establishment press, both in print and over the airwaves, has chosen to make the Lone Star State gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Wendy Davis a national matter. However, continuing a pattern going back several months (examples here and here), when negative matters relating to her campaign or to those assisting it surface, all of a sudden we’re supposed to believe nobody outside of Texas cares.

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Leftists Try (and Fail) to Suppress Krauthammer’s ‘Settled Science Myth’ Column; Fox’s Kurtz Is Not Amused (and Shouldn’t Be)

It would be easy to dismiss the attempt by the leftist groups Credo Mobilize and Forecast the Facts to prevent the Washington Post from publishing Charles Krauthammer’s February 20 column (“The Myth of ‘Settled Science’”) as the whining of immature children who cover their ears and say “la-la, we can’t hear you, and we’re going to shut you up” every time they come across inconvenient facts.

Howard Kurtz takes the failed effort more seriously, and properly so, given that the petitioners are constantly trying to convince WaPo, the New York Times, and eventually the rest of the establishment press to do what the censors at the Los Angeles Times have already done: stop publishing any op-ed or letter to the editor from anyone they consider a “climate change denier.” Excerpts from Kurtz’s Monday “Media Buzz” post at Fox News, plus a Fox News Special Report video showing Krauthammer brilliantly summarizing his column in 89 seconds, follow the jump.

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NewsBusted (022414)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 7:35 am

Here we go:

Topics:
– Presidents Day
– President Obama
– Jimmy Carter
– Ray Nagin
– Jimmy Fallon
– Michelle Obama
– Piers Morgan
– Denmark Zoo Giraffe
– Ellen Page

Best Line: “Jimmy Fallon is now being accused of having a pro-Obama bias. But Fallon totally denied that charge last week during Michelle Obama’s appearance to pitch Obamacare.”

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022514)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Late Iowa farmer hid generosity throughout life, priest says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

From Des Moines:

Feb 18, 2014 / 04:08 am

Edwin “Bud” Skalla, who died last November, was a bachelor farmer whose magnanimity was made known only after he passed away, according to the man’s pastor.

“I don’t think people realized that he had as generous a heart as he did, because he hid it very well from everyone until after his death,” Fr. John Dorton, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Portsmouth, Iowa, told CNA Feb. 14.

“And then when his will became public, his generosity towards 13 churches sprinkled throughout southwest Iowa became very apparent.”

At his death, Skalla left 282 acres of farmland to St. Mary’s, his home parish, and another 858 acres to 13 parishes located in Iowa’s Harrison and Shelby counties. Those 858 acres were auctioned off Feb. 15 for $7.9 million.

In addition to the bequeathal of land, Skalla’s cash assets of some $2.5 million will be distributed among the parishes.

Skalla was born in 1921 on his family farm outside Portsmouth, where he spent all but the last 13 years of his life. He had moved in 2001 into a retirement community in Harlan, about 10 miles away.

“Bud was a very frugal man, a bachelor farmer … he wasn’t a real outgoing or terrifically generous person to other people during his lifetime,” according to Fr. Dorton, who also said he “wasn’t real communicative” and “was almost a hermit,” but who “had a deep love for the land.”

Skalla’s frugality can be attributed to his having grown up during the Depression, the priest continued. Shrewd investments and saving his money allowed him to accumulate the wealth he did.

“It made him appreciate money and success in a material way; I think he felt the poverty he grew up in had been overcome and defeated and that he was a successful person, and I think he took great pride in that.”

His obituary at Paul Jones Funeral Homes noted that while he never married, Skalla “was extremely dedicated to his family, especially his mother. He always saw to it that she was well taken care of until her death in 1984.”

Of the 13 parishes benefited by Skalla’s will, one, St. Rose of Lima in Denison, is in the Sioux City diocese; the remainder are in the Diocese of Des Moines.

“Bud was engaged in the most noble of professions, farming,” Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines wrote of Skalla. “Through his dedicated work, he provided nourishment for the human body which fortified countless thousands. Now, in death, through his legacy, he will enrich the human spirit through faith and spiritual development.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

February 24, 2014

Coverage of Dingell’s Retirement Emphasizes Involvement in Obamacare, Omits His Post-Passage ‘Control the People’ Comment

Michigan Congressman John Dingell announced his retirement today. The Democrat’s career as Congress’s longest-serving member will end with this session.

With the help of a related statement by President Obama, press coverage predictably placed great emphasis on Dingell’s decades-long advocacy of universal health care coverage and his involvement in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which used to be the law governing the scope and implementation of state-controlled health care until the Obama administration’s regime of pre-implementation waivers and post-passage changes turned it into the mush which should now and forever be called “Obamacare.” That emphasis on Obamacare “somehow” overlooked an infamous but truthful statement Dingell made to WJR Radio’s Paul W. Smith shortly after the original law’s passage in March 2010. It’s the kind of statement the press would have covered when Dingell originally made it (they didn’t), and would never have forgotten if it had been made by a Republican or conservative.

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Common Core Is a Uniter, Not a Divider: Groups From Across the Political Spectrum Are Blasting It

Filed under: Activism,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:48 am

Criticism of Common Core from sensible conservatives, known in the establishment press as “the far right,” is well known.

Criticism from the teachers’ unions, better understood as “the designated indocrinators of the far left,” is far less known, but real (links are in original; bolds are mine):

The NEA once enthusiastically supported Common Core, making (National Education Association President Dennis) Van Roekel’s criticism noteworthy. POLITICO said it meant a “rocky road ahead for the Common Core standards” and would “give opponents of Common Core a boost.”

In his letter, Van Roekel stops short of completely abandoning Common Core, calling instead for a “course correction” to fix implementation.

“NEA members have a right to feel frustrated, upset, and angry about the poor commitment to implementing the standards correctly,” Van Roekel writes.

The National Education Association’s concerns come nearly a year after the American Federation of Teachers raised problems with implementation of the standards. AFT President Randi Weingarten said, “they simply don’t get it in Washington.” She also called the implementation of Common Core worse than HealthCare.gov.

Just last month, New York State United Teachers, part of AFT, voted to pull its support for Common Core. The union consists of 600,000 members in New York.

The one thing the teachers’ unions should do unanimously is call for repeal. Other the New York group, I doubt it will happen.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022414)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: La. principal’s success is a lesson in perseverance

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

From Port Barre, Louisiana (HT Daryn Kagan):

February 7, 2014, 7:37 PM

PORT BARRE, La. — Here at Port Barre Elementary in Port Barre, La., we found the most contagious smile in Cajun country. It belongs to elementary school principal Gabe Sonnier and it comes so naturally, it’s like his face has no other option.

Mr. Sonnier can’t even make a frown if he tries.

“The smile just wants to break out,” he said. “That’s just me. That’s just me, Mr. Hartman, that’s just me.”
The guy clearly loves his job.

He’s new to the principal position, but he’s been working at this same school for more than 30 years. In fact, Mr. Sonnier began his career in education just down the hall.

“This was my office right here,” he said, opening the door to a small closet.

Office in the most liberal sense of the word.

“This is a mop room,” he acknowledged.

Mr. Sonnier’s incredible journey from janitor to principal began in 1985 when then-Principal Westley Jones pulled him aside one day.

“He said, ‘I’d rather see you grading papers than picking them up,’” Mr. Sonnier recalled.

No one had ever believed in him that much.

“I took it to heart,” he said. …

… “Don’t let your situation that you’re in now define what you’re going to become later,” Mr. Sonnier said. “I always tell them it’s not where you start, it’s how you finish.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Positivity: Be patient even in the midst of trials, Pope encourages

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Feb 17, 2014 / 11:48 am

In his daily homily Pope Francis emphasized that God is not a “sorcerer” who does what we want, but rather has a plan that we should wait for with patience even when we face challenges.

“God does not behave like a sorcerer, God has his own way of proceeding. And God is patient,” the Pope said during Mass on Feb. 17, adding that “when we endure trials with faith they ripen our lives.”

Pope Francis celebrated Mass this morning in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse alongside the members of the council of eight cardinals, who are holding their third meeting on matters of Church governance and reform this week.

Referring to one of the day’s reading taken from the book of James which speaks of having joy in difficulties, the pontiff said we ought to “consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

Patience has nothing to do with resignation, but rather “when we endure trials with faith they ripen our lives,” he explained, adding that those who want everything immediately are like spoiled children who don’t understand the wisdom of patience and perseverance.

These people, observed the Pope, cannot grow or face life as it comes, adding that another temptation for the impatient is the power of having what they want immediately. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

February 23, 2014

Alec Baldwin, at NY Mag’s Vulture.com: ‘It’s Good-bye to Public Life’; Equates Fox and MSNBC As ‘All About Hate’

In a lengthy item “as told to Joe Hagan” at NYMag.com’s The Vulture, actor, commercial pitchman, and brief MSNBC host Alec Baldwin makes it very clear that he is fed up with a lot of things.

There is plenty of material for discussion in his writeup. I want to focus on what he sees as his mistreatment at the hands of MSNBC and the self-described “progressive” community. Unfortunately, after said mistreatment, it’s clear that he still doesn’t get the difference between legitimate if strident criticism and expressions of over-the-top hatred, as the excerpts which follow will show (bolds are mine):

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