December 31, 2014

Positivity: Large families are schools of solidarity and sharing, Francis affirms

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:06 pm

From Vatican City:

Dec 29, 2014 / 01:27 pm

In an address on Sunday to Italy’s National Numerous Family Association, Pope Francis thanked the members of large families for their cultivation of virtues that benefit society at large, as well as themselves.

“The fact of having brothers and sisters is good for you,” he said Dec. 28 to the children among the some 7,000 members of large families from across Italy at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“The sons and daughters of large families are more inclined to fraternal communion from early childhood. In a world that is frequently marred by selfishness, a large family is a school of solidarity and sharing; and these attitudes are of benefit to all society.”

The audience was on the occasion of the association’s tenth anniversary, and marked the feast of the Holy Family.

“You have come here with the most beautiful fruits of your love,” he said to the parents of the families. “Maternity and paternity are gifts from God, but your task is to receive this gift, to be amazed by its beauty and to let it shine in society. Each of your children is a unique creation that will never be repeated in the history of humanity. When we understand this, that each person is willed by God, we are astonished by the great miracle that is a child! A child changes your life!”

We have all seen, he reminded them, men and women who have profoundly changed “when a child arrives,” adding that a child is “the unique fruit of love,” coming from and growing in love. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Stop the Presses: Jesse Jackson Said Something Sensible — On Immigration

Call the Ripley’s Believe It or Not people. Have smelling salts available. What follows will surely be one of the more unusual things you’ve seen or heard this year.

In the midst of his otherwise odious Silicon Valley race-hustling shakedown effort, Jesse Jackson said something that made sense — so much sense that the rest of the press, which usually hangs on every word of his nonsensical pronouncements, has virtually ignored it, and will probably continue to.

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LAT Laments How Mega-donor Steyer Was Not Decisive in 2014 Midterms

Chris Megerian at the Los Angeles Times, in a report first published online on Tuesday, had a difficult time trying to downplay the fact that Democrat and leftist mega-donors outspent their Republican and conservative counterparts by an overwhelming margin during the past election cycle.

But Megerian made the best of it, giving readers the impression that David Koch, of the supposedly evil Koch brothers, was the fourth-largest such donor. Times editors did their part to keep the news as quiet as possible by publishing the obviously national story in the California secion of its Wednesday print edition.

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de Blasio Pressured Pols to Condemn Police; Will Other NYC and National Media Ignore?

Let’s say that a Republican or conservative governor or big-city mayor (yes, there actually are quite a few) was in a heated dispute with his state’s or city’s police union. Let’s further say that this official decided that his or her best method for whipping up support was to order the staff to (ahem) “ask” party legislators or council members to issue public statements of support while bashing the cops. If such a campaign were exposed, that town’s or state’s press would appropriately be all over it. That public official would also get plenty of negative national attention, especially if he or she already had a bit of a national profile.

So let’s see how far and wide — my prediction is “not very” — the following report from New York City online publication DNAinfo goes — especially at the New York Times, which has itself editorially attacked the police while indulging and ignoring the serious transgressions of “protesters” who have threatened them (HT Weasel Zippers; bolds are mine):

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At CNN, Brittany Maynard Was One of ’11 Extraordinary People of 2014′

If CNN is searching for reasons why its ratings are at an all-time low, it doesn’t need to look any further than one entry in its group of “11 extraordinary people of 2014” published on December 5.

Aside from the inanity of publishing such an annual list almost four weeks before year’s end — as if no extraordinary people or extraordinary acts ever take place in December — the network’s fourth selection was patently offensive, and had no substantive basis for being considered “extraordinary.”

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Initial Unemployment Claims (122414 and 123114)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:56 am

The two most recent reports from the Department of Labor (Dec. 24 here; Dec. 31 here) show 280,000 and 298,000 seasonally adjusted weekly initial unemployment claims, respectively. Last week’s 280K was revised to 281K today.

Unadjusted claims in the two weeks were 341K and 390K, respectively, well below the prior-year comparable figures of 418K and 453K, and quite low by historical standards. Given that fact, it’s hard to get too worried about this week’s seasonally adjusted jump.

That said, it should not be forgotten that the government’s quarterly estimate of “covered employment” (workers who would get benefits if let go), at 132.73 million, is still below the late 2008 peak in that figure (133.90 million) — indirect evidence that many of the new jobs being created are not covered, i.e., part-time or temporary, and that the workforce is nowhere near anything resembling a return to normalcy.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (123114)

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.

December 30, 2014

NY Times Attacks Cops and Indulges Protesters — Just Like de Blasio

Earlier this evening, Clay Waters at NewsBusters noted the New York Times Editorial Board’s blistering attack on Gotham’s finest.

The Times editorial insisted that the NYPD has “squandered” its presumptive respect in its treatment of Mayor Bill de Blasio since a bi-racial grand jury’s December 3 decision not to indict officers on the scene in July when Eric Garner died on Staten Island. This is from a newspaper which has squandered its own credibility in this matter by either ignorantly or deliberately — I would argue the latter — failing to identify the true nature of the assorted “Justice For All” march and “protest” participants and the killer who claimed to have murdered NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in their name.

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Global Sea Ice Hits Record, Warming ‘Pause’ Continues; Alarmists and Their Media Friends Hardest Hit

The Associated Press is obsessed with global warming. It currently has seven items at its national site containing that term.

Two of them relate to how the U.S. is allegedly exporting more pollution, and therefore more global warming, to other countries even as it supposedly is cleaning up its act. These are the kinds of stories which the rest of the press would eagerly jump on if a Republican or conservative were in the White House, but they’re basically getting the silent treatment (AP’s Monday afternoon before Christmas publication may also have dampened interest). But the item I want to pick on predictably comes from the wire service’s “Science Writer” and chief global alarmist Seth Borenstein, who two weeks ago set out to convince readers, with the help of a ginned-up federal report, that “The ice is melting! The ice is melting!” (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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At AP, Josh Lederman Glosses Over Ugly Afghan War Truths, Goes Gooey Over the Obamas

At the Associated Press on Christmas Day, reporter Josh Lederman carried out what might as well be his official administration stenographer duties with special aplomb.

Three paragraphs will illustrate how Lederman glossed over realities relating to the 13-year war in Afghanistan and went all gooey over Barack and Michelle Obama’s vacation:

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Thanks, Permissive Welfare State

Read the whole thing, and weep:

Confessions of a Public Defender

“Michael Smith” is a pen name. Readers will quickly understand why.

He relays his truthful experiences. The truth is not pretty.

Smith is a liberal, with a very unfortunate blind spot:

I am a liberal. I believe that those of us who are able to produce abundance have a moral duty to provide basic food, shelter, and medical care for those who cannot care for themselves. I believe we have this duty even to those who can care for themselves but don’t. (Bad choice, Michael. — Ed.) This world view requires compassion and a willingness to act on it.

My experience has taught me that we live in a nation in which a jury is more likely to convict a black defendant who has committed a crime against a white. Even the dullest of blacks know this. There would be a lot more black-on-white crime if this were not the case.

But he’s not blind to the nature of the clientele he serves:

However, my experience has also taught me that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.

I do not know the solution to this problem. I do know that it is wrong to deceive the public.

Too bad the press and the left don’t see it that way.

Though in my view Smith should have made it clearer that he was referring to underclass blacks and those involved in crime, we need to note that he — a lawyer who knows how important it is to be precise with words — felt no need to qualify many of his remarks. Examples:

  • “… everything I say to blacks must be at about the third-grade level. If I slip and use adult language, they get angry because they think I am flaunting my superiority.”
  • “A black man will never call me Mr. Smith; I am always ‘Mike.’”
  • “Unlike people of other races, blacks never see their lawyer as someone who is there to help them.”

I do not know the solution to this problem either — but I do know that I’m tired of our media and government gatekeepers pretending it doesn’t exist.

I’m also tired of people acting as if the welfare state hasn’t directly caused this. From Smith’s damning essay:

Part of the problem is that underclass black women begin having babies at age 15. They continue to have babies, with different black men, until they have had five or six. These women do not go to school. They do not work. They are not ashamed to live on public money. They plan their entire lives around the expectation that they will always get free money and never have to work. I do not see this among whites, Hispanics, or any other people.

The black men who become my clients also do not work. They get social security disability payments for a mental defect or for a vague and invisible physical ailment. They do not pay for anything: not for housing (Grandma lives on welfare and he lives with her), not for food (Grandma and the baby-momma share with him), and not for child support. When I learn that my 19-year-old defendant does not work or go to school, I ask, “What do you do all day?” He smiles. “You know, just chill.” These men live in a culture with no expectations, no demands, and no shame.

Press Barely Notices Obama Admin’s Computerized Health Records Fiasco

The old saying — “To err is human, but to really screw things up, you need a computer” — needs an update. In this case, it’s “To err is human, but to wreck an entire industry, you need to have the federal government try to force it to computerize.”

I’m referring to the government’s attempt to coerce doctors into using its mandated, “clunky, time-sucking” electronic health records system. Somehow, it’s barely news, with a story by Politico Magazine’s Arthur Allen constituting a rare exception, that over a quarter-million doctors, i.e., half of all who are eligible, face fines next year for “failing to use the systems in the way the government required.”

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Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (123014)

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.

Positivity: How the Church has helped fight AIDS in Uganda, Malawi

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Kampala, Uganda:

Dec 23, 2014 / 09:35 am

Catholic leaders in Uganda and Malawi have issued largely positive informal progress reports on local Church efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in the African nations.

A report from the Uganda Episcopal Conference that was provided to CANAA (Catholic News Agency for Africa) stressed “the contributions that the Catholic Church has made through one of its currently running projects to the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.”

It explained that the Ugandan bishops’ AIDS Care and Treatment project has provided care to more than 54,700 clients from September to the beginning of December. Seven percent of those clients were children under the age of 15.

Catholic Health facilities in Uganda have reported providing care for 90,646 clients, though Ugandan bishops said the actual numbers may be much larger since some Catholic Health facilities have not yet switched over to a new reporting software program.

The Uganda Episcopal Conference also restructured its secretariat to bring both the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau and the HIV/AIDS department under the umbrella of the bishops’ health commission.

The report stated Catholic bishops in Uganda were involved “from the very outbreak of the epidemic in the country” in 1982. Today, all 19 dioceses in Uganda have established HIV/AIDS offices to work alongside local health coordinators. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 29, 2014

Really, AP? Wire Service Covers Tiny Group Nostalgic for Ceausescu

What is it with the establishment press and communism? The earth’s most murderous political philosophy and its most murderous practitioners still get undeserved and occasionally even complimentary attention, while their crimes against humanity get brushed aside, ignored, or downplayed.

A Christmas Day item from Romania at the Associated Press illustrates the point. The first six of its eight paragraphs follow the jump (underlines are mine):

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