June 10, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061018)

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.


Positivity: 7-year-old has joyous meeting with bone marrow donor who helped saved her life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From (video at link):

June 1, 2018

There were tears when Adriana Aviles and Mike Laureano met, but they were tears of joy and gratitude.

Aviles, now 7, was diagnosed with leukemia when she was just 4 years old. She needed a bone marrow transplant, and Laureano, now 29, had signed up to be a bone marrow donor during a drive at his university. “I was a healthy individual living my life, so if I could help allow someone else to do the same then I, as a human being, have an obligation to do so,” he told Inside Edition.

The Be the Match organization lets donors and recipients meet a year after the donation is made, and Aviles decided that she was ready to connect with Laureano. When he arrived, she ran into his arms and started to sob, telling him, “Thank you so much.” Her mother, Jessy Aviles, told Inside Edition that her daughter “might only be 7 years old, but her heart and mind are wise — she knows how incredible this gift of life was.” Now, she said, “we have a bond with him that will last forever.”

Adriana is the daughter of Major League Baseball player Mike Aviles.

June 9, 2018

MSNBC Panelists Become Unhinged Over Trump’s Saturday Morning Press Conference

A highly-informed friend called me early this afternoon and told me how impressed he was with Donald Trump’s knowledge, temperament, and poise at the Saturday morning’s press conference held just before the President was to leave for Singapore. Over at MSNBC, the guests on Saturday’s AM Joy show certainly didn’t view Trump’s performance similarly. They relentlessly attacked Trump’s mental health, physical health, and intelligence with a level of viciousness justifying questions about their mental health, physical health, and intelligence.



Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060918)

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.


Positivity: Judge Rejects Bid to Vacate Assisted Suicide Ruling

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

From Riverside, California (HT Life News):

May 31, 2018 5:00 am

A California judge rejected a bid from assisted suicide supporters to reverse a ruling that threatens to invalidate the 2015 law.

On Wednesday Riverside Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia rejected a motion to vacate his decision declaring the End of Life Options Act unconstitutional. Assisted suicide supporters Compassion & Choices filed the motion on behalf of two terminally ill patients, as well as a doctor who prescribes lethal medication, in an effort to protect the law. Dr. Catherine Sonquist Forest, a clinical associate professor of family medicine at University of California at San Francisco Natividad, asked the court to revisit its initial judgment to avoid “confusion” for patients and doctors.

“The recent decision that the End of Life Option Act was enacted unconstitutionally has left me, my colleagues, and patients reeling as we try to navigate end-of-life care,” Dr. Forest said in a petition. “The resulting confusion has compounded my patients’ suffering.”

Judge Ottolia ruled on May 15 that California Democrats improperly fast tracked the bill to legalize assisted suicide. They adopted the bill during a special session convened by Gov. Jerry Brown to address a $1 billion shortfall in the MediCal program. Ottolia said passing the controversial legislation fell outside the scope of that session …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 8, 2018

Snopes Hides the Truth in ‘Fact Check’ on California’s Draconian Water-Use Law

UPDATE, June 11: TheFederalist.com has also called BS on Snopes’ “fact-check” and Facebook’s determination that the need to do laundry and take showers on separate days under California’s new water regime is “fake news.” Specifically, “Snopes, Facebook, and others purporting to ‘fact check’ conservative frustrations with California’s new water-restrictions law are the ones misleading about its effects.”


Snopes.com’s so-called “fact checks” are so often inane — NewsBusters has caught it “fact-checking” an obviously satirical post — that it’s tempting to dismiss it as irrelevant. That would be a mistake. It’s therefore important to call sites like Snopes out when they play their deceptive “fact check” games. That’s what the site’s Bethania Palma definitely did in discussing a claim about California’s recently-passed water-use legislation.



Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060818)

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.


Positivity: Running for Life: Marathon Runner Jen Titus Runs with a Purpose

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

From Casper, Wyoming (HT Life News):

30 May, 2018

She runs marathons and half-marathons. She runs her four children hither and yon. She runs from her part-time job as an educator to the business in which she and her husband hold partnership with other owners. In many ways, she’s a superhero, especially to her family and the causes which she supports. One of those is True Care Women’s Resource Center, a non-profit pro-life pregnancy center in Casper, Wyoming, which hosts its annual Heroes Run/Walk for Life event this Saturday, June 2.

“Running for charity gives me that extra motivation, extra boost,” said Jen Titus, who has been a runner since high school. “Running for charity also makes me committed, and it brings me great joy. Plus, it’s good to show my children you can do something you like for a good cause.”

Titus and her husband have supported True Care for more than five years after hearing a presentation at church and later touring the facility. As a family, they’ve participated in past fundraising events, and Jen volunteered for a few years before her last child was born. She served as a client advocate for the center’s long-term parenting program called Baby & Me. Titus believes she used her gifts to help women as they prepared to be first-time moms.

“The program tied in with being an educator—I was able to use my teaching background, and since I was also a mom, I could give them tips and share my experiences,” she said. “I felt like I was making a difference. I hope to volunteer again in the future.”

Returning to the classroom after her little boy was born also helped her return to running. She plans to run the center’s 5k event. Last year, the center added a run to the annual walk. Pregnant, Titus assisted with the race as a timer. She looks forward to running this year.

“Two of my biggest passions are babies and running,” Titus said. “This event ties into my passions and my belief in True Care. I’ve seen first-hand the good that True Care does.”

True Care’s Walk for Life began 13 years ago, said center president Terry Winship. Adding the run in 2017 gave the event an extra boost. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 7, 2018

Fox Hosts, on Obama-Iran Financial Access Deception, Cite Double Standard in Calling Out ‘Lies’

On Fox & Friends Thursday morning, the show’s co-hosts discussed the Obama administration’s deceptive attempt to allow Iran to gain access to the U.S. financial system. Its objective was enable Iran to retrieve $5.7 billion in previously frozen funds from Oman, while telling Congress and the American people that nothing of the kind would ever be permitted. The panel relayed a Media Research Center finding that the Big Three broadcast networks’ evening news shows completely ignored the story, and cited a recent Ben Shapiro podcast which called out the press’s glaring double standard in refusing for eight years to describe any of the Obama administration’s lies as, well, “lies.”



Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060718)

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.


Positivity: Man reunited with fellow passengers who saved his life on Spirit Airlines flight

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Detroit:

May 30, 2018, 6:55 PM

It’s a moment that warms Jerry Drouillard’s heart — a chance to say thank you to the strangers who kept that very same heart beating.

Just eight weeks ago, Drouillard boarded his Spirit Airlines flight from Detroit to Orlando after finishing his final round of radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

“I said, ‘Oh great, I made the flight, I’ll take a nap.’ And it was almost permanent,” he said.

While waiting for the flight to depart, he suffered a massive heart attack. Jeff Kruger had just finished his CPR class three weeks earlier. So he and flight attendant Ches Harrison were the first to come to Jerry’s aide.

“There was no pulse,” Harrison said.

Nurse Sue Niehaus was sitting a couple rows away, so was Katie Yombik, who just happens to be a cardiac care nurse.

“This guy was on his way out,” Niehaus said. “You can tell, and so he got the oxygen on him. I think Katie started the CPR and it was a little exciting. So I had to — I started singing ‘Staying Alive’ because they tell you when you do CPR, you sing ‘Staying Alive.’”

Still not responsive, and with paramedics en route, they called for the plane’s defibrillator.

“He didn’t really wake up wake up but he had a pulse,” Niehaus said.

Medics raced Jerry to the hospital for a quintuple bypass. He says he doesn’t remember what happened on the plane. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 6, 2018

Press Criticizes Trump’s Pre-Jobs Report Tweet, Ignored Obama’s Similar Actions

On Monday, columnist James Freeman at the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web” noted the selective memories seen in the vast majority of the press over President Donald Trump’s relatively noncommittal but nonetheless protocol-breaking tweet an hour before Friday morning’s upcoming jobs report. Many of them had a serious case of the vapors, but didn’t recall three instances when former President Barack Obama did the same thing during his presidency, with as much or more specificity.



Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060618)

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.


Positivity: Remembering D-Day — June 6, 1944

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

Civilization hung in the balance on June 6, 1944. Civilization won:

On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high — more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded — but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

Here is a video from the Army with the accounts of some of the men who were actually there:

00:00:00 Erik M. Juleen – During those five days leading up to the invasion, why… we were mostly all prepared at that time — there wasn’t much to do except that, and um, we were ready to move out to a bidwack area. We were in this area and it was unbelievable. For myself it was the anxiety, the thing we were waiting for for a long time.

00:00:31 Joseph Dragotto – Over the loudspeaker, I heard the words “Attention!” I with the other troops, snapped to attention and in the corner of my eye, I could see two men — one wearing an American uniform, the other a British uniform. The American was General Eisenhower and the other was Field Marshall Montgomery. General Eisen said that we were about to embark on a great cause — the liberation of Europe. God be with you. Montgomery said almost the same thing but added that he was grateful for the help and supplies and troops from America.

00:01:10 Harlod Baumgarten – We left the martianry area with full battle equipment — about 100 pounds per man. The harbor of Weymuth was crowded with ships of every size, shape and description, most of them flying the stars and stripes. On the evening of June 5th the harbor came alive. I could see one ship signaling to the other that this was it. We would hit the beach the next morning at 6:30 AM, June 6th 1944, to be called “D-Day”.

00:01:43 Dragotto – Around 00, 01 hours June the 6th I heard the roar of the aircraft. I got up and looked out into the sky and I noticed airplanes and gliders behind them — 101st 82nd Airborne were being flown to be dropped out of the plane.

00:02:04 Juleen – I guess the morning — early, early morning — of June 6 why everything starts moving. Then we went up to our boat foreman, and we assembled with hundreds and hundreds of ships — I had never seen anything like it in my life. And then I guess we were on our way.

00:02:23 Baumgarten – Chaplain Kelly held the mass service on the deck of the Anvil in which he requested God to see us through the landing safely. We left the Anvil on British LCA, and huge bluish black waves rose high over the sides of our little craft, and battered the boat as well as us with unimaginable fury. It was as if the waves were trying to crush our soft boat and we in it. We were all soaking wet. I tried to keep my rifle dry but, I put my plastic cover over the rifle.

00:03:11 Adolph “Bud” Warnecke – We were so loaded down with equipment — every man had at least one anti-tank mine, and we had bundles in the doors, bundles under the aircraft, and the C-47 was loaded to the point where he could take off but he couldn’t land with it so he had to drop it. We had rendezvoused for quite a while to get the air Amanda into a formation. When we crossed the English Channel, I was standin’ in the door. We looked down, we looked out, looked down, and there was the most beautiful moonlight evening. Looked down and had never seen so many ships in all my life and probably will never see ‘em again. You coulda walked across the English Channel — not that you had to walk on water — you could just step from ship to ship — that is how it looked from the air.

00:04:20 Juleen – Its so hard to describe… it was massive, it was massive — I can imagine being a German lookin’ out through a binoculars and seeing all of this (laughing) no wonder Hitler didn’t believe us.

00:04:35 Baumgarten – The fury of the water broke our front ramp and the boat began to fill with icy channel water, but Lt. Donelson rammed his body against the unit door of the ship and said “Well what are you waiting for? Take off your helmets and start bailing the water out.”

00:04:54 Dragotto – As the landing craft inched closer to the beach shells began to explode around us. The craft next to us hit a mine and exploded.

00:05:06 Juleen – But as we were about to land they had huge obstacles in the water. Big railroad tracks cris-crossed and stickin’ up out of the water so nobody could get close.

00:05:22 Warnecke – Well there was a ground fog, we were supposed to be flying at about 600 feet — that was gonna be our jump altitude. We couldn’t see any landmarks, we couldn’t see where we were, where we were going or anything, but the order was before we left, that no one would come back in the aircraft whether we found our objective or DZs or not — we would go out somewhere over Normandy. Just as soon as I bailed out, I knew that was the end of it. I was not coming back anymore because I had never seen so many tracers in all my life. Tracers were all over the place and shooting at us. I’d hardly got the thoughts out of my mind when I went through an apple tree. My feet just barely touched the ground, the top of my canopy had caught my fall and I just hung there real nice — no problem. Took my knife, cut myself out of my harness, and immediately started to gather the people together that jumped from our aircraft.

00:06:40 Baumgarten – I saw the beach, with a huge seawall, at the foot of a massive 150 foot bluff. An 88 millimeter shell landed right in the middle of the LCA on the side of us, and splinters of the boat, equipment and bodies were thrown into the air. The ramp was lowered and the unit door was opened and a German machine gun trained on the opening and took a heavy toll of lives. I waded through the waist-deep water watching many of my buddies fall alongside of me. I expected a bullet to rip through me at any moment, from the right. I reached the stone wall. I looked down and being washed around by the incoming water. I saw the bodies of my buddies who had tried in vain to clear the beach.

00:07:33 Dragotto – When we hit the beach, I knelt down and kissed the dirt, whispered “Thank you God.” I then looked around and saw many dead in the water and on the beach. My company was being held up by machine gun fire from the hill then Col. Peynold regimental commander said “If we have to die, let’s die on the hill.” We moved on and took the hill, and given the Allies a foothold in France.

June 5, 2018

May 2018 ISM Non-Manufacturing: 58.6 Percent, Up From April’s 56.8 Percent

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 10:31 am

From the Institute for Supply Management (bolds and most paragraph breaks added by me):

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in May for the 100th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

The NMI® registered 58.6 percent, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than the April reading of 56.8 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a faster rate.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 61.3 percent, 2.2 percentage points higher than the April reading of 59.1 percent, reflecting growth for the 106th consecutive month, at a faster rate in May. The New Orders Index registered 60.5 percent, 0.5 percentage point higher than the reading of 60 percent in April.

The Employment Index increased 0.5 percentage point in May to 54.1 percent from the April reading of 53.6 percent. The Prices Index increased by 2.5 percentage points from the April reading of 61.8 percent to 64.3 percent, indicating that prices increased in May for the 27th consecutive month.

According to the NMI®, 14 non-manufacturing industries reported growth. The majority of respondents are optimistic about business conditions and the overall economy.

There continue to be concerns about the uncertainty surrounding tariffs, trade agreements and the impact on cost of goods sold.

The 14 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in May — listed in order — are: Wholesale Trade; Mining; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Construction; Retail Trade; Management of Companies & Support Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Transportation & Warehousing; Public Administration; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Accommodation & Food Services; Finance & Insurance; Utilities; and Other Services. The only industry reporting a decrease is Information.

This beats predictions reported at CNBC of 57.6 percent.

Since the report tracks 18 industries, three were flat.

The Business Activity and New Orders indices both went above 60 percent, which is great. If they move into the mid-60s, overheating concerns leading to inflation might become valid.

The Backlog of Orders did a quantum leap from 52.0 percent to 60.5 percent. This is great news, because as I’ve mentioned with the Manufacturing Index, it makes production (and in the NMI’s case, provision of services) more predictable, and therefore more easily planned.