September 21, 2016

As NFL’s Rating Dive Continues, Poll Shows Players’ National Anthem Antics Are Turning Off Fans

Two weeks ago, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said, as the Associated Press paraphrased it, that he “disagrees with Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the national anthem, but recognizes the quarterback’s right to protest.” Sunday night, Goodell seemed to go all-in with the players, telling AP (again, accurately paraphrased) that he “is encouraged by the direction players are taking with demonstrations related to the national anthem.”

The Commissioner might want to reconsider. For the second straight week, the NFL’s year-over-year ratings were down considerably, and, according to a poll discussed on Fox Sports, the antics of players from several teams during the national anthem represent a significant factor in that decline.



Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092116)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:55 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: These friends with Down syndrome are dominating the Argentina pizza market

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:50 am

From Buenos Aires, Argentina:

ep 19, 2016 / 04:32 pm (CNA).- Mateo studied baking and Leandro pastry making. Franco and Mauricio wanted to be waiters. These overlapping interests led the four friends with Down syndrome to start a successful pizza service in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

With more than 10,000 followers on Facebook, this group of friends has held nearly 30 events in just two months. Wherever they are called, they always arrive with their own oven and outfits. The offer pizza and empanadas, and they even have a menu for those who are gluten intolerant.

Each one knows his role in the undertaking, which is coordinated by Leandro López, president of the Crecer Sumando (Growing Together) association, which is dedicated to serving young people with Down syndrome.

López told CNA that “the idea was to try to change a little bit the paradigm regarding persons with Down syndrome,” in order to help normalize their inclusion in society’s workforce.


September 20, 2016

Clinton Originated ‘Birther’ Rumors, But AP Pretends It’s Still Trump’s Problem

Investigative reporters at the Associated Press have occasionally come up with meaningful nuggets putting Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s conduct and record in a bad light. Examples include several scoops in the email/private-server scandal and its research finding that “More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money” (or had money given by their corporate entities) to the Clinton Foundation.

The same cannot be said about its beat reporters covering the presidential race, who, with most of the rest of the establishment press, completely deserve the sharp criticism contained in a Monday Investors Business Daily editorial. IBD observed that “the ferocity of the media campaign against (Donald Trump)” while giving Mrs. Clinton serial passes “should give everyone pause.” In a Sunday afternoon story, the AP’s Laurie Kellman offered up a perfect example.



Not News: Clinton Campaign Allegedly Charging Small One-Time Donors Repeatedly

In early August, a CNN reporter tweeted an email he purportedly received from a donor to Republican Party nominee Donald Trump’s presidential campaign alleging that there was no way that a donor could cancel a recurring contribution. That got the attention of several establishment press outlets and the left-biased “fact checkers” who thought they smelled smoke, but ultimately found no fire.

Several days ago, the New York Observer followed up on a documented complaint by a Minnesota woman first reported at a local TV station in early June. Claiming communications with “multiple sources,” reporter Liz Corkin asserted that the Clinton campaign is “purposefully and repeatedly overcharging” small-dollar contributors “after they make what’s supposed to be a one-time small donation through her official campaign website.” Establishment press interest this time? None — except to have one of the so-called “fact checkers” dismiss Corkin’s contentions as “unproven.”



Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092016)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:05 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: EWTN family shares favorite memories of Mother Angelica

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:00 am

From Irondale, Alabama:

Sep 19, 2016 / 02:10 pm

The legacy of Mother Angelica, the Poor Clare nun who founded Catholic cable channel EWTN, continues to live on in those who watched her or worked with her.

At the 10th annual EWTN family celebration, the first since Mother’s death on Easter Sunday this past year, both viewers and staff of the network recalled their favorite memories of the formidable nun over the years.

Brother Leo (of Hey Brother Leo! fame) joined the friars with the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word in 1992, the order of friars founded by Mother Angelica. Soon after he joined, he began floor directing Mother Angelica for her live show.

The most difficult part about getting Mother ready for her shows was making sure she was in her seat on time, he told CNA.

“She loved to talk with people (in the audience) before her live show. Trying to get her on the set was not easy,” he said.

Brother Leo added that although Mother was not always this way with everyone, she was especially gentle and motherly to him.

“My mother died when I was three and so she was like a mother to me,” he said. “She was there to encourage me…because she probably knew that I needed that type of comfort. She would encourage me when I was floor directing and smile at me. I always enjoyed working with her live shows.”

During a talk at the family event, Fr. Wade Menezes recalled Mother’s propensity for taking chances, especially on people.

It was early in the Jubilee Year of 2000, and Mother Angelica’s sisters needed a priest in residence who would say Mass for the sisters and could help the friars at EWTN. Mother called Fr. Menezes’ superior at the time, asking if he had any priests.

Because of Fr. Menezes’ background in journalism, his superior decided to recommend him for the post.

“Mother I have just the man for you,” his superior told the nun. “But there’s only one problem. He’s not ordained yet.”

“We’ll take him!” Mother responded.

“So I always saw that as Mother being a mother,” Fr. Menezes said. “She was taking on this baby priest and being a mentor to me of sorts – there was something very special about mother willing to take that risk.”

But Mother’s influence extended beyond the staff and clergy working with her at EWTN. Throughout the course of the weekend, many viewers shared their stories of conversion after watching the nun on T.V.

Kate Eberwyn was a lapsed Catholic who was “very negative about Catholicism”, and although her family remained devout, she “thought they were all stupid.”

But as she watched the Twin Towers collapse on T.V. on Sept. 11, she thought the world was ending. Flipping through the T.V. channels, she saw a nun talking to a friar – Mother Angelica and Fr. Benedict Groeschel.

“They said that in a time like this we should pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe who is the patroness of the Americas,” she recalled.

“So, I said to (God), ‘I don’t know much about you, I don’t even think I like you, but I’m going to pray.’”

She went back to confession and to Mass, and has been a devout Catholic ever since, she said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 19, 2016

How Liberal Pollsters and Leftists Define Racism Is Completely Bogus

I’m posting this because a post earlier today targeting NewsBusters was edited for length when it was published (that is of course their perogrative).

What got edited out was a detailed look at the five “magic” question a Reuters/Ipsos used to identify “racism.” Those questions do no such thing, and it’s a good idea to dedicate a discrete post to tear them apart.

So here goes.

The questions Reuters asked (framed the question in comparison to “whites,” but the issue is blacks compared to all other Americans):

  1. Are blacks less intelligent than non-blacks?
  2. Do blacks have a weaker work ethic than non-blacks?
  3. Are blacks more rude than non-blacks?
  4. Are blacks more violent than non-blacks?
  5. Are blacks more criminal than non-blacks?

According to Reuters, the media and the left, especially in academia, if you answer “yes” to one or more of these five questions, you are a racist, end of argument.

Horse manure.

Holding any of those views is not an automatic indicator of racism — and this fallacy, which should be obvious to anyone, has seriously polluted political discourse in the U.S. for far too long.

You identify a genuine racist by asking the “born that way” question. That is, are blacks as a race inherently inferior because they are born less intelligent, lazier, more rude, more violent, and more criminal than members of other races? Only people who would say “yes” would likely qualify as racists. I would argue that fewer than 5 percent of all non-black Americans agree with even one of the five statements; my guess is that it’s more like 2 percent (to be clear, this was not always so; it’s a credit to the people of this nation that these attitudes have changed as much as they have in the space of no more than four generations).

There are perfectly good reasons why respondents who are not racist in any way, shape or form would agree with each of the five statements in the Reuters/Ipsos poll:

  • Intelligence — A disproportionate percentage of the black population receives substandard educations at inferior urban public schools and/or live in family situations where the parent or parents fails to treat childhood education with sufficient seriousness. Affected children leave school with lower test scores and lower levels of basic literacy. Non-blacks, on the whole, attend stronger schools and have more stable and education-oriented family environments. Sadly, this means that blacks on the whole enter the adult world less educated, both in terms of how far they progressed through school, and in what they have actually learned, know, and can do. Those who have seen this disparity play out in real life will regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that black adults in 2016 America are on the whole less intelligent than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so.
  • Work ethic — 50 years on, LBJ’s Great Society programs have devastated the black family and urban areas. Two-thirds of black children grow up in single-parent households, many in far less than ideal financial circumstances. It takes a dedicated parent or parents with the time, energy and motivation to push kids to develop a work ethic. It doesn’t happen as if by magic. Minimum-wage laws shut young blacks out of work ethic-building opportunities. There are many other influences here, almost all of them negative. Sadly, all of this means that blacks on the whole enter the adult world less prepared for work and less willing to work hard. Those who have seen this disparity play out in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that black adults in 2016 America on the whole do not have as strong a work ethic as non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so.
  • Rude — Again, we go back to the disastrous influence of the Great Society and its impact on the black family. Then add in the cultural influences which have filled the void, including violent and pornographic rap music. Too many black kids haven’t been taught manners and have instead picked up what they believe are cultural norms from people who behave badly. (Just one small example: Kanye West suffered little to no negative impact on his career for disrupting an awards ceremony because his favorite singer didn’t win Artist of the Year; in fact, it probably advanced his career.) Sadly, this means that blacks on the whole enter the adult world with less of a sense of politeness than non-blacks. Those who have seen the difference in behavior in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole are more rude than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so.
  • Violent and Criminal — The voluminous violent crime and other crime statistics, especially among black juveniles and early adults compared to non-blacks, speak for themselves. Sadly, those who are aware of the crime statistics are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole have a record of more violence and more criminality than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so.

Failing to agree with the Reuters/Ipsos poll’s statements does nothing to disprove whether one is a genuine “born that way” racist. What that failure all too often shows is an inability to recognize or admit the sad realities in America today — again, as much as one sincerely wishes that these conditions did not exist. One could also argue that Donald Trump’s overwhelmingly non-racist supporters are more willing to recognize those realities, unintimidated by misguided commentators and thought-police enforcers.

If the left continues to define “racism” as Reuters did and probably still does, the American people will continue to tune them out in increasing numbers. People who should “racism” based on the criteria used by Reuters are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but their own ignorance and the obsession with stifling civil discourse.


AP Is Already Fretting Over St. Cloud Stabbing Spree ‘Backlash,’ Relegates Hero Who Stopped the Attack to Paragraphs Near End

As has so often been the case in the wake of terrorist attacks, the press is de-prioritizing what actually occurred during the St. Cloud, Minnesota mall stabbing spree in favor of a “watch out for the backlash” narrative.

This is what occurred at the Associated Press late Monday afternoon, where the headline at the dispatch by Kyle Potter and Amy Forliti reads: “SOMALI COMMUNITY BRACES FOR MINNESOTA MALL ATTACK BACKLASH.” It’s as if the awful “backlash” will definitely happen, even though in so many other analogous instances it hasn’t. Meanwhile, details about the attack and how it was thwarted before more innocents were harmed have been shunted down to far later text, including saving the name of the hero who shot and killed the perpetrator for two out of the final three of 23 paragraphs.



Juan Williams: Hillary Was Right About Trump’s ‘Deplorables’

It’s been ten days since Hillary Clinton made her “basket of deplorables” remark, claiming that “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters, i.e., essentially one-fourth of all Americans, is one or more of the following: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic,” and a catch-all in case she missed anything, “You name it.”

Since then, the most revealing aspect of the fallout from those remarks, other than the fact the Mrs. Clinton couldn’t bring herself to simply say, “I was wrong, and I am sorry,” instead issuing an all too typical non-apology apology — is how many leftist commentators have come out and insisted that she was right in the first place, and that she therefore need not and should not apologize. Some pundits believe that she should have hit all Trump supporters with the “deplorables” tag. One of the more visible members of the “it really is half” club is columnist and Fox News contributor Juan Williams.

Williams’s Monday column at The Hill is an opportunity for readers who aren’t aware to learn the kinds of statements one might make to “earn” the “racist” tag in the media and on the left (but I repeat myself), and how misguided the name-calling really is.



Positivity: Maryland School Bus Driver Pulls 20 Children From Burning Vehicle

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 11:09 am

From College Park, Maryland (HT Good News Network):

POSTED 7:37 AM, SEPTEMBER 13, 2016, UPDATED AT 08:46AM, SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

A College Park, Maryland, school bus driver was hailed for her heroic actions after the bus she was driving caught fire Monday.

The fire was reported at about 4:45 p.m Monday along the 9600 block of 51st Avenue in College Park, according to Mark Brady, the public information officer for Prince George’s County, MD Fire and EMS Department.

Twenty children from Glenarden Woods Elementary School were on the bus when the blaze started, apparently originating near one of the rear wheels, he said.

The driver, identified by a parent as Reneita Smith, safely got each and every student off and away from danger, KTLA sister station WTVR reported.

She “was able to remain calm throughout the ordeal” as the vehicle was evacuated, according to Brady.

“A big THANK YOU to our school bus driver Reneita Smith who just saved 20 elementary school kids from a bus fire that completely destroyed the bus,” Fazlul Kabir posted on Facebook. “Reneita [not only] took each one of the 20 kids from the bus one by one, but also went into the empty bus again to check if everyone was out, while it was still burning.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091916)

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.

September 18, 2016

Virginia Democrat Legislator and Talk Show Host: Trump Appeals to the ‘Mentally Deficient’

During the Obama years, the press has been perpetually on the prowl looking to expose anyone on the center-right perceived as insulting President Obama.

One example: A non-elected Orange County official committed the thought crime of forwarding — not creating, forwarding — an internal e-mail she received from a friend depicting Obama in very unflattering terms. This was a national story at CNN, the Associated Press, and other national outlets. The woman involved apologized, as she should have. Now let’s see if the press demonstrates any interest in elected Virginia Democrat Mark Levine’s outrageous description of Donald Trump supporters as “mentally deficient” in a Fox News Saturday afternoon discussion.



Press Ignores Nationally Visible Utah Immigration Activist’s Rape Arrest

Utah-based Hispanic activist Tony Yapias has drawn a fairly high level of national attention during the past six years.

Most recently, Yapias’s name came up in coverage of a clash between “protesters” and supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Salt Lake City in March. A search on his full name at the New York Times returns eight in-house items between 2010 and 2014. He has been variously described as “director of an immigration advocacy group,” “a longtime Latino leader in Utah,” and as “an activist with political interests.” A week ago, Mr. Yapias picked up another tag: accused rapist. I haven’t been able to locate any nationally distributed establishment media coverage of Yapias’s arrest.



Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091816)

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.