April 30, 2019

Positivity: Sheriff’s deputy, woman form deep bond after dramatic rescue of choking baby

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 2:30 pm

From Ocala, Florida (videos at link and at original story):

Updated: 10:39 AM EDT Apr 29, 2019

Almost one year has passed since Nechole Crowell, a Florida mom, crossed paths with Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremie Nix under a very stressful set of circumstances.

On May 9, 2018, a desperate Crowell flagged down Nix, who was in his patrol car, because her infant son, Kingston Crowell, was not breathing.

Crowell saved the baby’s life that day, and ever since, the families have been inseparable.

Crowell and her son met Nix’s wife, Nikki Nix, and the families got together to celebrate Christmas last year and Kingston’s first birthday in January. They also regularly get together for playdates.

As their relationship strengthened over time, Crowell asked Jeremie and Nikki to be Kingston’s godparents.

Reflecting on the past year, Nix believes he was meant to meet the Crowell family.

“I think it was a God thing,” Nix told WESH-TV.

“I think it was the right place, right time and being put in that position for the right reason.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (043019)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.

April 29, 2019

Monday (Moderated) Open Thread (042919)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.

Positivity: Trump Admin Steps Up Defense of Pro-Life Doctors, Nurses Who Don’t Want to be Involved in Abortion

From Washington, via Life News:

The Trump administration is stepping up to address a growing number of complaints from medical workers who believe it is wrong to abort an unborn baby.

Last year, it created a new division under the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights to defend Americans’ religious and moral liberties. In its first year, the HHS division has received more than 300 complaints about religious and moral discrimination, Roll Call reports.

Roger Severino, who runs the HHS Office of Civil Rights, spoke with the news outlet about what they are doing to protect individuals from religious discrimination.

“The word has gotten out that we’re open for business and we are going to take the laws that we enforce seriously, “ Severino said. “There’s a real issue out here where people feel their rights have been violated and that they need redress and I think that explains the big growth in the number of complaints. It’s been long overdue that they need attention.”

He said they were able to stop two state policies that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortions. The states were Hawaii and California. In the California case, the U.S. Supreme Court also blocked the pro-abortion policy, saying it violates free speech.

According to the report, the office received 343 complaints in 2018 about religious or moral discrimination, compared to just 10 during entire Obama administration. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 28, 2019

Joe Biden on Anita Hill During Clarence Thomas Nomination: ‘She Was Lying’

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:31 pm

2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden has been lying about the facts and circumstances surrounding Anita Hill’s testimony and his conduct during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination battle — bigtime.

Sunday (Moderated) Open Thread (042819)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.

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6:00 a.m.: The Vatican has a fund called Peter’s Pence. Its money is “taken up throughout the Catholic world either on 29 June, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, or on the Sunday closest to this Solemnity.”

In return, the Vatican promises that “The faithful’s offerings to the Holy Father are destined to Church needs, to humanitarian initiatives and social promotion projects, as well as to the support of the Holy See.”

The latest reported contribution is a disgraceful use of the fund’s resources:

Pope sends aid to migrants stranded at the US border

Pope Francis has donated 500,000 dollars to assist migrants in Mexico. The funds, from the Peter’s Pence collections, will be distributed among 27 projects promoted by sixteen Mexican dioceses and religious congregations, which requested assistance in continuing to provide food, lodging, and basic necessities to the migrants.

According to a statement from Peter’s Pence, “In recent months, thousands of migrants have arrived in Mexico, having travelled more than 4,000 kilometres on foot and with makeshift vehicles from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Men and women, often with young children, flee poverty and violence, hoping for a better future in the United States. However, the US border remains closed to them.”

The caravans have been organized by “three groups—La Familia Latina Unida, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, and Centro Sin Fronteras. … (They) use the Lincoln United Methodist Church as a rallying point for illegal immigration activism, using a tax-exempt church as cover to advocate for foreign violation of our country’s border laws.”

The hard-earned money largely contributed by U.S. rank and file Catholics is thus effectively being used by Peter’s Pence to subsidize and extend the mess created by groups who are openly dedicated to smashing U.S. control over its southern border.

Meanwhile, in Venezuela (71 percent Catholic and 17 percent other Christian denominations), a humanitarian crisis of unspeakable proportions continues unchecked. Millions of people are starving. Thousands have died, while thousands more are dying.

What, if anything, is Peter’s Pence doing about that?

Positivity: Trump Personally Added Pro-Life Language to State of the Union After NY Legalized Abortion Up to Birth

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington, via Life News:

APR 23 2019, 5:35PM

President Donald Trump received praise from one of his top staffers this week for his commitment to religious liberty and pro-life policies.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump personally added pro-life language to his State of the Union address in February amid national outrage about late-term abortion legislation in Virginia and New York, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Mulvaney shared the story with the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

He said Trump added pro-life points to his speech just minutes before his Feb. 5 address to the nation.

“The president was looking at it the very last time before he went out to give the speech, and he made some notes—he didn’t tell us what he was doing when he made the notes,” Mulvaney said, according to the report. “If you remember the speech, you heard what the president was writing. The president was writing more about how important it was to protect life and how terrible it was to see what Virginia was doing.”

In his clear and forceful message, Trump slammed the governors of New York and Virginia for promoting abortion up to birth and infanticide. He also called for Congress to pass a ban on late-term abortions on babies who are capable of feeling pain.

Here are the president’s remarks:

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days.

Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.

And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.

And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth — all children — born and unborn— are made in the holy image of God. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 27, 2019

Saturday (Moderated) Open Thread (042719)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.

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1:30 p.m.: Code Pink’s bitter-enders are still supporting Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro’s murderous regime while denying the humanitarian crisis he, predecessor Hugo Chavez, and their Bolivarian socialist government have created (see Item 2 at the link).

Unlike that country’s citizens (warning: video at link is disturbing), the Code Pinksters are apparently eating quite well.

Positivity: “Brain Dead” Woman in Coma for 30 Years Wakes Up and Regains Consciousness

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, via Life News:

APR 25 2019, 9:58AM

A woman who spent almost 30 years in a coma is now alert and talking after her family refused to give up hope for her recovery.

Munira Abdulla, of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, suffered brain damage in a car accident in 1991 and never regained consciousness, according to Tribune Media. She had been picking up her 4-year-old son, Omar Webair, now 32, from school.

The National reports her son spent countless hours by her side, hopeful that the doctors were wrong and his mother would wake up eventually. And 27 years later, in 2018, she did.

“I never gave up on her because I always had a feeling that one day she will wake up,” Webair said.

Webair remembers the accident well. He said his mother and her brother-in-law came to pick him up from school, and he and his mother were sitting in the back seat when they saw a bus coming toward them, he said.

“When she saw the crash coming, she hugged me to protect me from the blow,” Webair said.

He survived with minimal bruises, but his mother suffered severe head injuries. According to the report, Abdulla was moved around to multiple different hospitals for treatment.

Here’s more from the Daily Wire:

Omar would visit his mother every day, walking more than a mile to see her. He said he spent hours with her each day and could tell whether she was in pain, even though she couldn’t speak. He said it was tough to hold down a job due to his mother’s condition, but he didn’t regret anything.

“I never regretted it. I believe that, because of my support for her, God saved me from bigger troubles,” he told The National.

In 2017, the family received a government grant for special treatment at a hospital in Germany, according to the report. While there, one day, Webair said he got into an argument in his mother’s hospital room, and his mother seemed to sense that something was wrong. He said she began to make sounds, but doctors dismissed them as not being unusual.

Three days later, however, Webair said his mother screamed his name and then the names of other people she knew.

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 26, 2019

Huge: 1Q19 GDP’s First Reading Comes in At An Annualized 3.2 Percent

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:39 am

I only have one direct link to a lowball prediction (see below), but I’ve consistently heard and seen predictions of 1.5 – 2.0 percent for months.

The sources I CAN quote are these:

Well, the first reading for the first quarter came in at 3.2 percent, blowing away expectations (bolds are in the release):

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.

The Bureau’s first-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The “second” estimate for the first quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on May 30, 2019.

Real GDP: Percent change from preceding quarter

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, exports, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased. These contributions were partly offset by a decrease in residential investment.

The acceleration in real GDP growth in the first quarter reflected an upturn in state and local government spending, accelerations in private inventory investment and in exports, and a smaller decrease in residential investment. These movements were partly offset by decelerations in PCE and nonresidential fixed investment, and a downturn in federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, turned down.

Current dollar GDP increased 3.8 percent, or $197.6 billion, in the first quarter to a level of $21.06 trillion. In the fourth quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 4.1 percent, or $206.9 billion.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter. The PCE price index increased 0.6 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.3 percent, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent.

Personal Income

Current-dollar personal income increased $147.2 billion in the first quarter, compared with an increase of $229.0 billion in the fourth quarter. The deceleration reflected downturns in personal interest income, personal dividend income, and proprietors’ income that were partly offset by an acceleration in personal current transfer receipts.

Disposable personal income increased $116.0 billion, or 3.0 percent, in the first quarter, compared with an increase of $222.9 billion, or 5.8 percent, in the fourth quarter. Real disposable personal income increased 2.4 percent, compared with an increase of 4.3 percent.

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UPDATE: Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press conceded that the news was good, but then tried to convince readers that the result is a one-off (bolds are mine) —

The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.2% annual rate in the first three months of the year, a far better outcome than expected, overcoming a host of headwinds including global weakness, rising trade tensions and a partial government shutdown.

… However, about half the gain reflected two factors not expected to last — a big jump stockpiling by businesses and a sharp contraction in the trade deficit.

The “big jump in stockpiling” contributed 0.65 points to GDP. What’s remarkable is that this contribution follows a huge +2.33-point contribution in Q318 and a smaller +0.11-point contribution in Q418. What’s really happening is that businesses are confident that consumers will continue to spend, and are making sure they have those goods on their shelves or available for delivery.

Trade data contributed 1.03 points, but it doesn’t look like a one-off from here. Imports declined (contributing 0.45 points) and exports increased (+0.58 points). It’s reasonable to believe that President Trump’s aggressive fair-trade efforts are bearing fruit. If so, the positive contributions from trade will likely continue.

UPDATE 2: I should also remind readers that, as CNBC’s Rick Santelli notes in his reax video at CNBC, that first quarter is supposed to the “dog of the year.” During the Obama administration, there was incessant whining about “residual seasonality” which supposedly penalizes the first quarter every year.

We’re not hearing a word about that today from anywhere else, are we?

UPDATE 3: The economy has grown by 3.21 percent during the past four quarters.

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (042619)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.

Positivity: Hospital Stunned by 12-Year-Old Boy’s Miraculous Recovery After Hundreds Pray for Healing

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Grayson, Kentucky (HT Weasel Zippers):

Published April 24, 2019 at 12:20pm
Modified April 25, 2019 at 12:44pm

Faith in the midst of crisis is a beautiful thing, for it is often a crisis that truly tests our beliefs and teaches us about the undeniable power of prayer.

With the new faith-inspired film “Breakthrough” released this year, we are seeing powerful prayer from many different angles. Now the amazing community of Grayson, Kentucky, is being thanked for praying for a young man who collapsed during a little league practice.

William Burton, 12 years old, suffered a cardiac arrest on the field on April 9. He was taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center and soon was airlifted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Kentucky Today reported.

“It was chaos,” Grayson First Baptist Church pastor Josh Schmidt told Kentucky Today. “So much was happening, and he was in bad shape.”

Schmidt went on to say that William’s mom, Amy Burton, “began quoting scripture and singing.” The boy suffers from long QT syndrome and is prone to heart problems.

Kentucky Today has followed the story closely. The news outlet not only shared about the family’s strong prayers — including William’s prayer warrior grandmother Teri Huffine — but also reported that the community and beyond took to praying for him. He was even getting prayers from Zimbabwe!

“We know God is hearing the prayers of His people on behalf of William!” Derrick and Amy Burton wrote on Facebook April 10.

“We are humbled by the love and support all over the world!” his parents went on. “Our beautiful son is in a fight for his life … Our God is a Mighty Healer and he loves William more than any of us can ever imagine. We feel your prayers and thank you for your love and support for our boy and our family.”

Miracle after miracle took place in William’s body in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. The community even sent cards wishing him well. “It feels amazing that I have been loved like this my whole life,” William shared with Kentucky Today.

William was able to go home just in time for the holiday weekend. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 25, 2019

Positivity: Appeals court: House not required to accept ‘secular prayer’ at start of work day

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 2:00 pm

From Washington:

Apr 23, 2019 / 10:59 am

A D.C. federal appeals court has ruled that the chaplain for the House of Representatives cannot be forced to allow a self-described atheist to proclaim a secular prayer publicly to the body.

The decision, delivered on Good Friday, said the House rules allow for a religious invocation at the start of its work day, and a secular prayer does not qualify as a religious invocation.

The suit was raised by Dan Barker with the Freedom from Religion Foundation. He had asked to be a guest chaplain for the House of Representatives, but had been rejected by the House chaplain, Fr. Patrick Conroy.

Barker claimed that he had been rejected because he was an atheist, which he said amounted to an unconstitutional establishment of religion by Congress.

But the appeals court said the prayer was rejected because it was non-religious in nature, which renders it irrelevant that the proposed minister was an atheist.

“Even though we accept as true Barker’s allegation that Conroy rejected him ‘because he is an atheist,’ the House’s requirement that prayers must be religious nonetheless precludes Barker from doing the very thing he asks us to order Conroy to allow him to do: deliver a secular prayer,” wrote Judge David Tatel on behalf of the three-judge panel.

He noted that Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution allows the House to make its own rules. “Accordingly, we accept the House’s interpretation of its own rules as requiring a religious prayer,” he said.

Conroy, who has served as the House chaplain since May 2011, made headlines last year when he offered his resignation but then rescinded the resignation two weeks later.

He told then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) that he would not leave voluntarily and that Ryan would have to fire him if he wished for him to leave his role.

Conroy said Ryan’s chief of staff had asked him to resign, commenting on a prayer that he had offered several months earlier, which was perceived as critical of the Republicans’ tax bill. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Thursday (Moderated) Open Thread (042519)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.

April 24, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (042419)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.