July 18, 2017

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071817)

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 priest wins brewing’s highest honor

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Fort Worth, Texas:

Jul 15, 2017 / 04:02 pm

Long blessed by Catholics as a “healthful drink for mankind,” one Texas priest has managed to take beer to new heights – winning the highest award in the United States for home-brewed beverages.

“It’s surreal,” Fr. Jeff Poirot told the Fort Worth Star- Telegram. “After we were done screaming from excitement when we won, it was hard to put it into words what winning the Ninkasi means to us.”

Yet, for the brewing priest, his hobby doesn’t detract from his vocation.

“This is a hobby, and it’s a hobby I’ve done all right with. So I would never want it to eclipse what I do … because my role as a priest takes precedence,” he told the newspaper.

“You can have a busy life. You can have commitments with family and work, but you can still do something you love.”

Fr. Poirot serves as pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Fort Worth, and brews with his homebrewing partner Nick McCoy, who is also a Catholic. Together one of their beers has won the 2017 Ninkasi Award from the American Homebrewers Association, and is the highest award for the best drink judged in the annual National Homebrew Competition.

Together their beer was chosen as the best drink submitted among all 33 categories of beers, meads, and ciders submitted for the competition. Over 8,500 beers were submitted in the competition. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 17, 2017

Despite June ‘Clarification,’ AP’s False ‘All 17 Agencies’ Trump-Russia Claim Remains Ubiquitous

On June 30, the Associated Press issued a “Clarification” acknowledging that stories published on April 6, June 2, June 26 and June 29 had incorrectly “reported that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump.” One has to wonder why the AP even bothered. That “Clarification” has failed to affect the content of a key, still-present June 22 story the wire service “somehow” failed to identify. Further, the AP issued another story on June 30 — that’s right, the same day it issued its “Clarification” — which contained, and still contains, the same “all 17 agencies” error.

(more…)

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Press Downplays Seattle Mayor’s Party ID As New Evidence of Teen Abuse Surfaces

In May, as noted at NewsBusters, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray ended his run for reelection in the wake of “mounting allegations that he sexually abused underage boys in the 1980s.” On Sunday, the Seattle Times reported that records previously thought destroyed revealed that “An Oregon child-welfare investigator concluded” that” Murray “sexually abused his foster son in the early 1980s.” The Times, as well as related wire reports from the Associated Press and Reuters, have only told readers that Murray is a Democrat in very late paragraphs.

(more…)

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071717)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:35 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: Court sides with NY archdiocese in major religious liberty decision

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 8:30 am

From New York City:

Jul 14, 2017 / 05:00 pm

A federal court ruled Friday that the Archdiocese of New York had the right not to hire a diocesan school principal in a First Amendment religious freedom decision.

“The court saw right through this blatantly anti-Catholic lawsuit, agreeing with the Supreme Court that the church, not the state, should pick religious leaders,” Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at Becket, which represented the archdiocese in court, stated July 14 in reaction to the decision.

The case before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals involved St. Anthony’s school in Nanuet, N.Y., 35 miles north of New York City.

The school had decided in 2011 not to renew the contract of its then-principal Joanne Fratello because of her alleged “insubordination” shown to the pastor of St. Anthony’s parish.

Fratello later alleged that the contract decision was a case of sex-based discrimination, and she filed a lawsuit against the school and the archdiocese. She said that she had been hired in a lay capacity, and thus the archdiocese would not be exempt from a discrimination lawsuit under the “ministerial exception.”

The “ministerial exception” forbids the government from intervening in the employment of a minister by a church, as part of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The exception was upheld in 2012 in the Supreme Court’s Hosanna-Tabor decision, which clarified that the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School’s decision to fire a teacher who had the title of “minister” and who worked in a ministerial capacity could not merit an employment discrimination claim.

Regarding Fratello’s claim, the archdiocese argued in court that she had indeed been hired on a ministerial basis and that their decision not to renew her contract was protected under the ministerial exemption.

Becket clarified that Fratello was given a “lay” contract for her job as a principal not because her job was a secular position, but because she was not a religious who had taken a vow of poverty. A diocesan priest would have received a similar contract for the job, Rassbach explained.

On Friday, two judges for the Second Circuit and one district court judge upheld a district court decision that favored the archdiocese.

“We conclude that the plaintiff?s claims are barred because she is a minister within the meaning of the exception,” the opinion said.

“Although her formal title was not inherently religious, the record reflects that, as part of her job responsibilities, she held herself out as a spiritual leader of the school and performed many religious functions to advance its religious mission.”

Judges cannot ultimately determine whether ministerial cases constitute true discrimination, the opinion stated. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 16, 2017

AP’s Crutsinger Ignores All-Time Record Monthly Spending in Covering June Deficit

Records are supposed to be newsworthy, right? But in his Thursday coverage of the federal government’s June Monthly Treasury statement, Associated Press reporter Martin Crutsinger only told readers that the deficit for the month was $90 billion. He did not disclose receipts or outlays. Why? Because if he had, he would have had to tell readers that the government spent an all-time record $429 billion during the month.

(more…)

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Andrea Mitchell Tweets That U.S. Entered World War II 100 Years Ago

Friday, July 14 was the 228th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in France in 1789. Bastille Day is a national holiday in France. NBC News noted the anniversary in a tweet. Longtime network correspondent Andrea Mitchell provided the comic relief in a tweeted Saturday evening reply, claiming that Friday marked “the 100th anniversary of US entering WWII.”

(more…)

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Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071617)

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: These youth feed 2000 homeless people every night in Uruguay

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Montevideo, Uruguay:

Jul 13, 2017 / 12:32 am

For many people, a warm meal is a way to come together, celebrate, and spend time with friends and family. For homeless people living on the streets of Montevideo, Uruguay, it’s an experience that’s rare. But about 500 young people in the city are working to change that.

Every night, especially in wintertime, around 16 groups coming from universities, parishes, and movements in the archdiocese go out to distribute more than 1900 meals to the city’s homeless residents.

The volunteers get together in late afternoon to cook, using donations from parishioners, businesses and the young people themselves. When night comes with its low temperatures, they set out to meet the most needy.

One of these groups is the Luceros Movement, made up of more than 100 volunteers who gather Mondays and Wednesdays at the Virgin of Carmen and Saint Therese Parish to prepare more than 100 meals.

This group came about after a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Salta, eight years ago.

After returning from the pilgrimage, the young participants formed a growing prayer group, and started to “make chocolate milk and some sandwiches to hand out to the people on the street,” Juan José Malvárez told the Catholic Church’s TV channel (ICM) in Montevideo.

“It’s common, if you live in Montevideo, that when you leave your house, on your block or the next, there’s somebody sleeping or living on the street. It’s shocking,” explained Felipe Silva.

“The food is really just a means, it’s a vehicle,” Silva said. “It’s important to fill the belly, but a lot more important to fill the hearts of these people.”

The name “Luceros,” which means “bright stars,” came out of the experience in Salta.

“It’s to be a light in the night, to not hold back the lamp so it can be raised high, to shine down light. It’s to be little lights that illuminate the darkness,” Silva said. The Virgin of Salta speaks about this a little: “you will soon see how you will be transformed into little lights that will illuminate,” he noted.

The spirituality which they have maintained over the years leads the volunteers to pray a Rosary under the title of the Immaculate Mother of the Divine Eucharistic Heart of Jesus before heading out. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 15, 2017

Fake Analysis: Jeremy Peters at the NY Times Strikes Out in Claiming Conservative ‘Veneration’ For Putin

There’s fake news, and then there’s fake analysis. Jeremy Peters at the New York Times published a particularly odious example of the latter (“Reverence for Putin on the Right Buys Trump Cover”) Friday evening (for Saturday’s print edition). Longtime blogger and particularly effective Time critic Tom Maguire had this succinct but understated take: “He (Peters) paints with far too broad a brush and inevitably splashes paint on himself.” I’d say the Times reporter is swimming in the type of paint which can’t wash off. This effort should permanently peg Peters as a shameless, unapologetic propagandist.

(more…)

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071517)

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: Niagara Falls boy reunites with doctors who saved his life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Niagara Falls, New York (video at link):

Posted 6:41 PM, Jul 12, 2017

An emotional reunion as Vikki Avino gives hugs to the doctors who saved the life of her precious baby boy Kaden Mitchell

“I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Avino said.

The 7-year old was viciously attacked by two rottweilers in Niagara Falls six weeks ago. Today his head was wrapped in bandages and he wore a brace around his neck. Kaden suffered severe injuries to his head and face. The dogs ripped both of his arteries from his neck.

Kaden was put in a medically induced coma while doctors at both Gates Vascular Institute and Women and Children’s Hospital worked to get blood flowing again. Not only was this a scary situation for Kaden and his family, but this was a scary situation for doctors as well.

“Not a lot makes me nervous. I’ve seen a lot. In this town I’ve seen a lot. To be honest this one I thought if we could not open up these vessels, we probably would be looking at a tragedy,” Dr. Elad Levy with Kaleida Health Stroke Center and cerebrovascular surgery said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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July 14, 2017

Vox Writer Wants Readers To Believe the Decline of St. Louis Is Ronald Reagan’s Fault

Timothy B. Lee is the Lead Writer for the New Money section of the reflexively leftist Vox.com. He has looked at what has happened to the city of St. Louis during the past 60 or so years, and thinks that Ronald Reagan is largely to blame. Too bad for him that most of the reasons for St. Louis’s decline have absolutely nothing to do with the Gipper — and even the alleged damage done in Washington in relaxing previously overzealous antitrust law enforcement that he erroneously cited as a major factor occurred during several presidential administrations.

(more…)

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Census Bureau Retail Sales Revisions Mostly Up in Recent Months; Year-Over-Year Comps Mostly Better Than 2016

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:12 am

With Census Bureau help, the press has been claiming that the retail sector is struggling more than it really is

I think we’re seeing the beginnings of a trend where retail sales get initially lowballed for negative publicity purposes than then get quietly revised up:

It’s not enough to sound alarms, but it bears watching.

Meanwhile, despite most recent months coming in initially negative, the year-over-year comparisons of 2017 to 2016 look significantly better than 2016 vs. 2015:

RetailSales0115to0617asOf071417.jpg

I don’t think you can rule out the idea that the data-crunchers at the Census Bureau might be toying with and lowballing initially reported results.

Crunch the numbers above for January through May 2017 vs. 2016 (excluding June, because I think the chances of yet another upward revision are high, and one finds that seasonally adjusted sales are up by 4.7 percent, and not seasonally adjusted sales are up by 4.0 percent. Those are reasonably strong numbers. The comparable percentages for calendar 2016 vs. calendar 2015 were 3.0 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.

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