October 18, 2014

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (101814)

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.


Positivity: Pope Francis — Our names are in the heart of God

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Oct 16, 2014 / 04:07 am

In his mass on Thursday Pope Francis encouraged attendees to pray to God by praising him, saying that remembering the good he has done, particularly how he created us in love, helps us to know how.

“Prayers of praise bring us this joy, (the joy of) being happy before the Lord. Let’s make a real effort to rediscover this!” the Pope said in his Oct. 16 homily.

A starting point for this can be to remember how “God chose me before the creation of the world,” he said, adding that our names are in “God’s heart (and) in God’s bowels, just as the baby is inside its mother.”

Pope Francis began his reflections by returning to the day’s first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians in which the apostle praises God for the gifts he has given, and recalls how “he chose us in him from before the foundation of the world.”

When it comes to prayer, most of us know how to ask for things that we want and even thank the Lord for what he has done, but “a prayer of praise” is a bit harder, the Roman Pontiff observed, because we are not used to praying like that.

One thing that can help learn how to do this is to remember “all of the things that the Lord has done for us in our lives,” he said.

“In Him – In Christ – He chose us before the creation of the world,” the Bishop of Rome continued, saying that when we pray, we can say something like: “’Blessed are you, Lord, because You chose me!’ (This) is the joy of a paternal and tender closeness.”

Although at first it might be difficult to conceive that God knew us before the creation of the world and that our names were written on his heart, “This is the truth! This is the revelation!” the Pope explained. “If we do not believe this then we are not Christian!”

“We may be steeped in a theist religiosity, but not Christian! The Christian is a chosen one, the Christian is someone who has been chosen in God’s heart before the creation of the world,” he went on, noting that knowledge of this should give us both confidence and joy.

Because this creation is a mystery, we can only understand it by entering into the Mystery of Jesus Christ himself, who “poured out his blood for us in abundance, with all wisdom and intelligence,” the pontiff said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 17, 2014

As It Cites Countries Successfully Fending Off Ebola With Border Closures, AP Won’t Question U.S. Decision Not To

In an all too typical unskeptical report, Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, allowed President Barack Obama to claim, in Kuhnhenn’s words, that “health and security experts continue to tell him that the screening measures already in place for travelers are more effective” than “restricting travel to the U.S. from the three Ebola-stricken West African nations.”

I’m sure that readers would just love to know who these “health and security experts” are, especially given the fact that the AP itself reported Thursday that nations in Africa which have successfully kept the virus at bay have cited “border closings” as a critical element of their strategy.



NewsBusted (101714)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 6:20 am

Here we go:

– Chinese Economy
– John Boehner
– Syria
– Senator Mark Udall
– Nielsen TV Ratings
– Honolulu City Council
– President Obama
– Starbucks
– Prince Charles
– Barbara Streisand

Best Line: “The Honolulu Ciy Council has withdrawn a proposal to name a popular beach after President Obama. So instead, they will name an unpopular beach after him.”


Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (101714)

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.


Positivity: Latvia turns heads in synod with strong witness of marriage

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Oct 17, 2014 / 12:03 am

In synod discussions last week, the Baltic nation of Latvia caught the attention many synod fathers, who were keen to hear why the number of divorces among their Catholic population is so low.

“In Latvia, it is a pity, but we have the highest number of divorces: 86 percent of marriages are divorced civil marriages. But when our civil mass media started to check how it is in the Church, they discovered that we just have 16 percent, and they asked why,” Archbishop Zbignev Stankevics of Riga told CNA Oct. 9.

Archbishop Stankevics explained that such a low number of divorces inside the Church is due in part to a “serious preparation for marriage, because we have an obligatory course for persons who want to get married in the Church.”

On the other hand, the archbishop explained that although there is naturally a greater sense of responsibility among people who seek sacramental marriage, “people who have faith don‘t resign when they meet the first difficulties during their married life.”

October 16, 2014

Words Can’t Be Found …

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 10:04 pm

… to describe how mortifying it is that Karl Rove was so disinterested in exposing Iraq’s actual possession of chemical weapons (i.e., weapons of mass destruction) that he “kept the public from learning about the chemical shells littered around the Iraqi battlefield.”

So the WMDs were there all along, just as yours truly and others have known, and insisted that everyone else know, for nine long years.

For nine long years we’ve had to listen to jerks on the left ask us why the Bush administration wasn’t claiming that WMDs were present, when anyone looking objectively at the facts knew they were.

Now we know why. Karl Rove (with Bush’s unforgivable acquiescence).

When “your side” won’t fight for the truth, they’re not really on your side. Hence the Tea Party. Hence why Karl Rove despises the Tea Party, because it wants the truth. Karl Rove obviously doesn’t.


Initial Unemployment Claims Hit 14-Year Low; Raw Claims UP 5% From Previous Week

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:34 am

From the Department of Labor:


In the week ending October 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 264,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 287,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000 when it was 259,000. The 4-week moving average was 283,500, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 287,750. This is the lowest level for this average since June 10, 2000 when it was 283,500.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 271,590 in the week ending October 11, an increase of 14,031 (or 5.4 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 37,615 (or 14.6 percent) from the previous week. There were 360,957 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

The seasonal factors didn’t change much from year to year, but this week’s factor of 102.8 is way higher than last week (89.7) and next week (90.2) for no apparent reason (Columbus Day?). Using either of the other two factors would have generated seasonally adjusted claims of about 300,000. That’s actually a bit higher than we’ve seen in recent weeks.

So today’s news is nowhere near as good as it initially appears.


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (101614)

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.


Positivity: Christian hope is no mere optimism – it’s a light for the world

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Oct 15, 2014 / 05:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Wednesday general audience address Pope Francis spoke on the meaning of Christian hope, saying that it consists in our joyful expectation of the return of its source, Jesus Christ.

“Christian hope encompasses the whole person, so it is not a mere desire or an optimism, but the full realization of the mystery of divine love, in which we have been born and in which we already live,” the Pope told those gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 15.

The Roman Pontiff continued his catechesis on the Church, turning this week to the theme of Christian hope as the fulfillment of God’s promises in Christ at the end of time.

In the book of Revelation we read about this encounter with the Lord in St. John’s image of the New Jerusalem which comes down from heaven, he noted, and is prepared like a bride adorned to meet her husband.

This image of a wife waiting for her bridegroom speaks to us about God’s plan of communion with “the person of Jesus that God has traced throughout history,” he said, and this New Jerusalem evokes for us an idea of “the place where all peoples will gather together with God.”

By using this imagery John, the Evangelist who wrote the apocalyptic book of Revelation, reveals to us a profound truth, he observed.

Namely, the truth revealed to us is that “by taking on our flesh, Jesus united humanity to himself, and at his coming we will see the consummation of this mystic marriage in the wedding feast of heaven.”

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 15, 2014

As CDC, NIH Cry Over Money, Press Ignores Their Waste

For years, government watchdog groups have chronicled numerous instances of waste and abuse — at the very least — at the Centers for Disease Control and its National Institutes for Health.

An establishment press corps doing its job, upon hearing the director of the National Institutes for Health claim that “if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine” for Ebola by now, and especially upon hearing leftist poltiticians then claim that it’s all Republicans’ fault, would look into whether part of the problem might be poor bureacratic stewardship. But they’re not doing their job.



WaPo’s Kessler Gives ‘GOP Cut CDC Funding’ Four Pinocchios, Effectively ‘Cutting’ AP’s Disinformation to Ribbons

Early this morning, Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s designated fact-checker gave the left’s claims that Republicans alone were responsible for alleged “cuts” to Ebola research four Pinocchios (i.e., a “whopper”).

That’s nice, but it hardly undoes the damage news outlets like the Associated Press have inflicted on the truth in the apparent name of ginning up resentment among low-information voters. I’ll get to that, but first, here are the key passages from Kessler’s critique, which essentially gets down to who’s responsible for sequestration (the correct answer is that it was President Obama and the White House; bolds are mine throughout this post):



Yours Truly’s ‘Get Involved’ Video: ‘It Matters’ (See Update)

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:32 am

I’m pleased to announce the completion of the “It Matters” music video project:

The video’s current description at YouTube:

“It Matters” is a wake-up call to those who either aren’t paying attention or don’t believe we are living in perilous times.

The song’s non-partisan message is that the political class is out of touch and taking care of themselves, and that this won’t stop until the people stop it.


Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (101514)

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.


Positivity: Father, son lead Army unit 4 decades apart

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Ft. Campbell, KY, a few months old but noteworthy nonetheless:

Jun. 14, 2014 11:45 AM EDT

Like many soldiers, Lt. Col. Patrick Harkins has a veteran father who knows firsthand the stress of wartime deployments. One big difference is that Harkins’ dad led the very same unit of paratroopers known as the Iron Rakkasans into combat decades earlier.

While the military has long had family legacies — and featured them prominently in Father’s Day celebrations — the Harkins’ achievements stand out. Capt. Charles Emmons, a spokesman for the brigade, said it appears to be the first time a father and son have commanded the same unit decades apart.

Patrick Harkins, 41, has led the 3rd Battalion of the 187th Infantry Regiment into combat in Iraq and Afghanistan four times since Sept. 11, 2001. His father, retired Col. Bob Harkins, led the same regiment four decades ago in Vietnam during Operation Apache Snow, more commonly known as the Battle of Hamburger Hill.

“It’s a really unique situation,” Emmons said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.