July 19, 2014

Nanny State on Steroids

Filed under: Privacy/ID Theft,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:22 am

Michelle Obama’s overreaching attempts to get people to “eat healthier” have gotten creepy:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to “nudge” Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.

The agency commissioned an “expert panel” to make recommendations on how to guide the more than 47 million Americans on food stamps into spending their benefits on fruits and vegetables.

The group released an 80-page report this month presenting their ideas, which include talking shopping carts and a marketing strategy for grocery chains that would feature better store lighting for healthier items.

… “These strategies, in particular, draw on principles of behavioral economics to nudge consumers towards healthier choices,” the report said.

The panel came up with six preferred strategies: discount coupons for SNAP recipients; rebates of up to $60 for healthy purchases on EBT cards; buy one get one free deals for SNAP recipients; a targeted marketing plan to promote healthy food; a USDA loyalty card; and new specialized shopping carts.

… The cart would be color-coded, physically divided, and have a system installed so that when the shopping cart reaches its healthy “threshold” it would congratulate the customer.

There is no escaping people who want to treat us all like two year-olds, is there?

Share

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071914)

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.

Share

Positivity: CatholicFest mixes camping, encounter with truth, beauty

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Green Bay, Wisconsin:

Jul 14, 2014 / 04:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- For the past three years now, Catholic families in the Diocese of Green Bay and beyond have been marking their calendars for July 4th, and not just because it’s Independence Day.

Since 2012, families have camped out by Kangaroo Lake near Bailey’s Harbor, Wisc., for CatholicFest, an event over the holiday weekend that offers a chance to pray, meet other Catholic families, and experience truth, beauty and goodness in the arts.

“Our society is attacking the family, it’s under attack,” CatholicFest director Jen Lowery told CNA.

“But I think CatholicFest seeks to really minister to families….it’s just to come up and experience the good, the true and the beautiful through those mediums and to be together.”

Families register online for a camping spot on the grounds of the St. Joseph formation center. Once they arrive, their schedule includes prayer and Mass, as well as presentations by Catholic artists on film, art or literature. In the evening, up-and-coming Catholic artists give concerts on the back lawn.

Lowery, 31, helped direct the first CatholicFest as well as the most recent one. The event is an outreach of Catholic Youth Expeditions (CYE), founded in 2002 as a part-summer camp, part-retreat ministry that brings young adult staff members together to live in community and host various high school and young adult expeditions of prayer, community life, camping and outdoor activities.

Simplicity and prayer are the bread and butter of CYE and all its apostolates, including CatholicFest.

“You’re up here, you’re away from the world, and the three constants are morning and evening prayer, Eucharistic adoration and Mass,” Lowery said. “Everything else is icing on the cake.”

CatholicFest was started as a way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the CYE ministry. Instead of high schoolers or young adults, Fr. Quinn wanted to serve the families of the Green Bay Diocese while promoting Catholic culture through the arts. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
July 18, 2014

AP’s Crutsinger Thinks Today’s Econ News Was Good; Bloomberg’s Glinski, Not So Much

There were two pieces of significant economy-related news today. The first was that the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators increased for the fifth straight month, this time by 0.3 percent, while May’s increase was revised up to 0.7 percent. The second was that the University of Michigan’s preliminary June reading on consumer confidence came in at 81.3, a decline from May. Both results trailed expectations.

Predictably, the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger put a smiley face on the news, believing it shows that “that economic growth should accelerate in the second half of this year,” while Bloomberg News’s Nina Glinski was more sanguine, interpreting the confidence report as an indication that “Americans’ outlook for the economy dimmed.” Excerpts from both efforts follow the jump.

(more…)

Share

As World Tensions Mount, State Dept.’s Psaki Tweets on Being ‘Smart, Savvy and Fashionable’

The Obama administration is probably wondering why so many people of all political stripes don’t believe that they take foreign policy seriously, up to and including charges that the president and his minions are doing the equivalent of fiddling as some parts of the world burn, and others threaten to.

I don’t see why would anyone think that (in case it’s not obvious, that’s sarcasm). After all, wasn’t Bush 43 press secretary Ari Fleischer linking to a friend’s column on men’s suits after the Bali bombings in 2002? And didn’t the London bombings in 2005 lead the otherwise hapless Scott McClellan to wax eloquent on the importance of tie-shirt coordination? The answer to both of those questions is, “Of course not.” But yesterday, on a day when Israel invaded Gaza, pro-Russian forces shot down a passenger airliner with almost 300 aboard, and diseases this country hasn’t seen in decades continued to be carried over the U.S. Mexican border by “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (that DHS’s term), State Department spokesman Jen Psaki tweeted on the dreadfully important topic of how you can be “informed” and fashionable (HT The Blaze):

(more…)

Share

Latest PJ Media Column (‘D’Souza’s Next Film’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Share

June Ohio Jobs Stats: 5.5% Unemployment; 13,500 Payroll Jobs Added; Workforce Shrinks Again

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:22 am

June’s Regional and State Employment and Unemployment News release tells us that Ohio’s unemployment rate remained at 5.5 percent, that the state picked up 13,000 payroll jobs, and that its workforce shrunk by 4,800.

And once again, the state’s “honor roll” performance in “significantly” adding jobs, supposedly 29th in the nation in adding jobs during the past 12 months, really isn’t:

12monthJobGrowthByStateThru0614

“Ohio: We’re number 34!”

As to the workforce and payroll employment growth:

OhioUSandCbusLaborForceAndPRjobsTo0614

While the nation’s civilian labor force has increased a bit during the past 3-1/2 years — but by nowhere near enough to absorb all new potential workers, thereby causing millions of discouraged Americans to go to the sidelines — Ohio’s has shrunk.

In the three years ended in May (latest stats available), Metro Columbus’s labor force has grown, meaning the shrinkage in the rest of the Buckeye State has been even more severe than statewide stats would otherwise indicate.

The state’s payroll employment growth during the past 3-1/2 years trails the rest of the nation, while Metro Columbus’s beats it.

Take away Metro Columbus, and payroll employment growth in the rest of Ohio is less than two-thirds of that seen in the rest of the nation — and volumes have been written about how job growth since the recession ended has been completely unacceptable.

Share

NewsBusted (071814)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 9:20 am

Here we go:

Topics:
– John Boehner
– President Obama
– Record cold in Australia
– Joe Biden
– Gun Control
– Illegal Aliens
– Oklahoma Earthquakes
– Megan Fox
– L.A. Marijuana Farmers Market
– Obama Fundraisers

Best Line:

  • “Recent data shows it would be 99 percent cheaper to fly the illegal aliens now swarming our border back to their home countries rather than processing them here. And most of the cost could be paid for with Michelle Obama’s frequent flier miles.”
  • “Oklahnoma has had more earthquakes than California in 2014. See, government regulations and taxes are so bad in California even the earthquakes are leaving.”
  • “President Obama has attended nearly 400 fundraisers since taking office. Wow — It’s amazing he finds time to play golf.”
Share

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071814)

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.

Share

Positivity: Thai bishop sows seeds of evangelization in mission diocese

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Jul 15, 2014 / 04:02 am

The bishop of Thailand’s northernmost diocese, which is largely rural and dominated by hill tribes, has begun himself working in the fields alongside his flock, noting the importance of agriculture there.

“I try to understand the farmers, and to promote Catholic social teaching so that they can contribute to a holistic human development, can work for the common good of their family and for the entire nation,” Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana of Chiang Mai told CNA July 10.

The diocesan economy is largely agricultural, and the mountainous region lacks many amenities such as electricity and modern communications and highway infrastructure.

Relating how he began to work in the rice fields with his tribal flock, he said that “in fact, I did not want to work in the field, but I would like to support them; and one of the local nuns encouraged me, asking, ‘bishop why don’t you work with us?’”

And so Bishop Arpondratana took to the rice paddies with gusto.

“When someone asks, I would like to open my heart and mind and be with them,” he explained.

His work with farmers has inspired both them and catechists in the Chiang Mai diocese. He has organized a Lenten rice campaign in the diocese centered on prayer, penance, and alms giving.

The bishop is concerned for the local people, and is helping develop a strong sense of solidarity among the local ethnic groups: “I am aware of the economic situation of Europe, so we cannot ask help from there. We have to make the local people understand they must help each other locally, and not only receive help from afar.”

Bishop Arpondratana,58, was ordained a priest of the Bangkok archdiocese, 430 miles south of Chiang Mai, in 1981, and served there until his appointment as bishop in 2009. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
July 17, 2014

AP Quickly Buries Bad Housing News, While Reporter Crutsinger Blames It All on ‘the South’

Late this afternoon, I went to the Top Business Headlines page at the Associated Press’s national web site to get today’s new home construction news. Because the AP didn’t have a story there (saved here for future reference), I knew it had to be bad, especially because to ignore it, the wire service made room in its Top 10 stories for an item on Toyota experimenting with fuel cells and aircraft orders at an air show in England.

The Census Bureau reported that seasonally adjusted housing starts fell by 9.3 percent in June after declining 7.3 percent in May. Seasonally adjusted applications for new building permits declined by 4.2 percent after a 5.1 percent revised May drop. Reporter Martin Crutsinger, doing his utmost to earn the “Worst Economics Writer” tag the National Review’s Kevin Williamson conferred on him last year, blamed the weather, blamed “the South” without telling readers how the Census Bureau defines it, and ignored how, even after a very bad month, that region is still outperforming other regions in new homebuilding. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

(more…)

Share

Megyn Kelly Eviscerates Jon Stewart, Leftist Ideologues on Abortifacient Birth Control Methods

Fox News’s Megyn Kelly has clearly had it up to here with the disinformation, misinformation, distortions and outright lies coming from the left in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. A recent dishonest rant by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart (noted at NewsBusters by Jeffrey Meyer early Tuesday morning) and attempts by certain doctors to deny scientific truth caused Kelly to correct the record on the air.

The topic is the science behind whether or not the contraceptive methods Hobby Lobby’s owners would not cover in its employee health insurance plan on conscience grounds are or are not abortifacient in nature. In the video seen after the jump (HT Gateway Pundit), readers will see her identify certain perhaps unexpected entities which have admitted that they are:

(more…)

Share