July 17, 2018

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071718)

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: Funeral Mass scheduled for Monterey bishop

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Monterey, California:

Jul 12, 2018 / 10:15 am

A funeral Mass will be celebrated July 19 for Bishop Richard John Garcia, the late Bishop of Monterey, California, who died July 11 from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. Garcia was 71.

Garcia was ordained a priest in 1973 in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, was a seminary professor and directed Hispanic ministry, and, in 1998, became an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Sacramento. The bishop was appointed to lead the coastal California Diocese of Monterey in 2006.

He was a board member of Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and involved in several committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in April.

His episcopal motto was “En El Vivimos”- “In Him We Live.”

In a 2017 pastoral letter, Garcia encouraged Eucharistic adoration in the parishes of his diocese, writing that “The Eucharist is a multifaceted, precious jewel in the Sacramental Life of our Church. We cherish and reverence this celebration of our salvation — a perpetual memorial of Christ’s Death and Resurrection.”

In 2007, he wrote “In my life…I have encountered God’s ‘grace upon grace’ even though I did not always fully comprehend or appreciate God’s never being far from me.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 16, 2018

June 2018 Advance Retail Sales: +0.5 Percent, May Revised Up Sharply to +1.3 Pct. From 0.8 Pct.

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:54 am

From the Census Bureau (eventual but not currently available permanent link):

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June 2018, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $506.8 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent (±0.4 percent) from the previous month, and 6.6 percent (±0.5 percent) above June 2017. Total sales for the April 2018 through June 2018 period were up 5.9 percent (±0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The April 2018 to May 2018 percent change was revised from up 0.8 percent (±0.5 percent) to up 1.3 percent (±0.2 percent).

The strong retail results continue.

Let’s review 2018 so far:

  • January — originally -0.3 percent, currently -0.1 percent in the Census Time Series database.
  • February — originally -0.1, currently +0.1.
  • March — originally +0.6, currently +0.7.
  • April — originally +0.3, currently +0.3.
  • May — originally +0.8, currently +1.3.
  • June — currently +0.5.

That’s four out of the first five months of 2018 revised up by a total of 1.0 points.

That’s not exactly random.

Gas price increases aren’t irrelevant, but gas is only about 8 percent of all retail sales. April through June sales ex-gas are up 5.0 percent over the same period in 2017, compared to the over 5.9 percent increase cited above.

It seems likely that the tax cuts passed in December influenced the past four months’ positive results as well as the upward revisions seen during the past six months.


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071618)

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: Catholic Charities Hawai’i to build housing for low-income seniors

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Honolulu, Hawaii:

Jul 13, 2018 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation (CCHDC) recently purchased several acres of land in Kahului on the island of Maui in order to build a rental housing complex for low-income senior citizens.

They closed the deal with Alexander and Baldwin, a Hawaiian real estate company, June 27. Catholic Charities Hawai’i received 3.86 acres, but no other terms were revealed.

“We are pleased to have played a role in helping Catholic Charities Hawaii to bring more affordable housing to Maui, in particular for Maui’s seniors, who are very important to A&B,” said A&B chief real estate officer Lance Parker, as quoted in a July 10 Maui News article. “We are confident that Catholic Charities understands the needs of this special group and will provide housing that they all can truly call home.”

Called the “Kahului Lani senior affordable rental project,” the complex will have over 160 units accompanied by 260 parking stalls. The first of two building phases, it will be funded by low- income housing state and federal tax credits and a multi-family bond.

The second phase includes an 83-unit, six story complex, along with a two-story multipurpose building for Catholic Charities management offices. Construction will begin at the end of this year, and it is projected to be completed in 2020. Costs will total nearly $48 million. …

Go here for the rest of the story.


Positivity: 6-year-old twin brothers save girl from drowning

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Bowling Green, Ohio (HT Weasel Zippers):

Thursday, July 12th 2018

You expect a lifeguard to save someone from drowning, but what about a pair of 6-year-olds?

What started as a fun family vacation turned into a story this family will never forget.

Twin boys from Bowling Green saved a toddler from the deep end of a hotel pool in Florida.

“We are so proud of them we always want them to help others when they can but the fact that they saved a little girl’s life is amazing, especially at 6-years-old,” said their mother Amy Walters.

The family of five was on vacation in Florida when twin brothers Peyton and Bryant Switzer, noticed something wasn’t right.

“Her head was under the water,” said Peyton.

“The toddler little girl sprinted behind and ran to the deep end and jumped in and that’s where the twins were playing,” said DJ Deiter, Amy’s fiancee. “As soon as she was in there they realized that she was in trouble because she was starting to sink and splash around.”

So without hesitation, the little pint-sized heroes sprung into action.

“She ran over to the steps at the deep end and she jumped in, and Peyton jumped in and then put his arm around her and then he [brought] her to the ladder and I helped her out,” said Bryant.

The boys were able to pull the girl to the pool ladder and help her out of the water safely where she was met by her mother.

The family said they credit swim lessons the twins took at the Bowling Green City Pool, which equipped them with the knowledge to react and save the young girl’s life. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 15, 2018

On DiFi and Dems, Two Sentences Which Cannot Coexist at the Hill

Filed under: Activism,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:54 pm

The Hill jumped to a hasty conclusion in the first bolded sentence below contradicted by the second bolded sentence. It’s based on California Democrats’ endorsement of incumbent Senator Dianne Feinstein’s opponent:

The California Democratic Party endorsed progressive candidate Kevin de León for Senate late Saturday in a stunning rebuke of 25-year incumbent and establishment favorite Dianne Feinstein.

De León, the state Senate president pro tempore, secured 65 percent of the party’s vote, while just 7 percent voted to endorse Feinstein.

A candidate needed 60 percent of the vote to win the endorsement. Twenty-eight percent of the body voted not to endorse any candidate.

“Today’s vote is a clear-eyed rejection of politics as usual in Washington, D.C.,” de León said in a statement. “Through years of hard-won progress, we have proven to the world that California can forge a path for the rest of the nation.”

“We have presented Californians with the first real alternative to the worn-out Washington playbook in a quarter-century,” he added.

The endorsement is a sign that the state’s politics are moving to the left as the country heads into a midterm showdown. De León has also secured endorsements from progressive environmental and labor groups.

Still, it is unlikely that he will beat Feinstein in the general election. In the state’s June primary, Feinstein won 44 percent of the vote, far ahead of de León’s 12 percent. The two candidates will face off in the November election because of the state’s top-two primary system.

The first bolded sentence assumes that “the state’s politics” is synonymous with the state’s Democrat and leftist politics.

The second bolded sentence shows, absent a very unexpected contrary result in the U.S. Senate general election, that the state’s politics are NOT synonymous with the state’s Dem-left politics. If they were, DeLeon would walk away with a November landslide. That seems unlikely.

A strong argument could be made the the 85 year-old Feinstein shouldn’t be running again anyway. I know other senators have remained into their 90s and that one made it past the century mark. That doesn’t make it right, and it’s virtually impossible to argue that the states represented by octogenarians didn’t (and in the case of California, don’t) have a single more qualified person available to serve.

Exit question: Should most Republican-dominated states go to a top-two primary system to shut the left out of politics? I believe the top-two approach exists in a different form in only a very few other states. Two which come to mind are Louisiana and Georgia. Georgia’s top-two approach may only apply to party primaries and not the general election.


Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071518)

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: Croatia’s World Cup soccer coach clings to the rosary as he finds success

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From ___:

Jul 11, 2018 / 02:34 pm

On Sunday, Croatia’s soccer team will play France in the championship game of the 2018 World Cup, after running victoriously through a string of soccer powerhouses in the tournament.

Here’s one reason Catholics in the US might be rooting for the small Central European country: Croatia is a deeply Catholic country, and the coach of its national team, Zlatko Dalic, is a man of sincere faith.

Dalic said recently that his current success is due to his faith in God, and that he always carries a rosary to hold onto in difficult times.

Dalic spoke about his faith on Croatian Catholic radio when the World Cup began.

“Everything I have done in my life and in my professional career I owe to my faith, and I am grateful to my Lord,” Dalic said.

Croatia got a ticket to the final match of the World Cup after defeating England 2-1 in a game that went to overtime July 11.

“I can be very happy with my life,” Dalic said, adding that “without strong faith and that motivation, it would be very difficult to achieve it.”

“When a man loses any hope, then he must depend on our merciful God and on our faith,” he said.

In that sense, Dalic explained that “I always carry a rosary with me” and “when I feel that I am going through a difficult time I put my hand in my pocket, I cling to it and then everything is easier.”

Regarding the expectations of the Croatians for the success of their selection at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he indicated that “I know what our people expect, how many people love Croatian football and our team.”

He stressed that “finding the good in life always brings satisfaction, happiness, a result. Man must always be honest with himself and with others. ”

Before the July 11 game, Dalic said of his Cinderella-story team: “we do not fear anyone, not even England.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 14, 2018

Latest Illegal-Immigrant Crime Developments

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:42 pm

No comment necessary:

  • At Weasel ZippersMan Suspected Of Attacking Wife With Chain Saw Was Deported 11 Times
  • At Gateway Pundit — Illegal Immigrant and Cartel Member Beheads 13-Year-Old Girl in Alabama
  • From the Associated Press at KZTV News in Corpus Christi, Texas— 8 MS-13 gang members in US illegally indicted in Texas; “Authorities say eight MS-13 members in the U.S. illegally have been indicted in Texas on charges tied to alleged gang activities including racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder and assault.”

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071418)

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: The deep roots of Portugal’s Marian devotion

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Lisbon, Portugal:

Jul 12, 2018 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- When the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima in 1917, Portugal had already acclaimed Mary as their reigning Queen for hundreds of years. After the coronation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as “Queen of Portugal” by King João IV in 1646, no Portuguese monarch ever wore a crown again.

The history of exceptional Marian devotion near Fatima dates back even further.

Fourteen miles from the Fatima Shrine is the Batalha Monastery, where several dozen Dominican friars were commissioned in 1388 to pray a perpetual rosary in thanksgiving for the Virgin Mary’s protection of Portugal.

The gothic monastery in Batalha was built in dedication to Our Lady of Victory in gratitude for an answered prayer. In 1385 King Joao I made a vow to the Virgin Mary that he would build a great monastery if she would deliver him victory in a battle against the Spanish.

The Dominican community remained in the monastery until 1834, when all religious orders were driven out of Portugal. Today it continues to function as both the local parish and a tourist attraction.

In nearby Alcobaca, a Cistercian monastery has stood in honor of Mary for over 800 years. The king of Portugal endowed the monastery to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1153, shortly before the Cistercian founder’s death. The gothic church was completed in 1223.

Benedict XVI has described Saint Bernard of Clairvaux as “a Doctor of Mariology” because “he understood her essential role in the Church, presenting her as the perfect model of the monastic life and of every other form of the Christian life.”

An altarpiece in the Alcobaca Monastery, added in 1705, depicts the death of Saint Bernard under the protection of Mary. The walls in the monastery’s King’s Hall are decorated with 16th century blue and white rococo tile scenes depicting the history of the Cistercian order. An ornate oval baroque reliquary chapel containing 71 terracotta reliquary busts from floor to ceiling can be found in the sacristy. Napoleon’s troops plundered the monastery in 1811, shortly before the Cistercians, like Batalha’s Dominicans, were forced to leave Portugal.

Fewer than 10 miles from Alcobaca is the beachside town of Nazaré, named for a statue of the Virgin Mary brought from Nazareth by a monk in the 8th century, according to the local tradition.

Before Nazaré became a world-famous surfing destination with 80-foot waves, it was a popular medieval pilgrimage site. In 1182, a Portuguese knight was hunting a deer near the coast. When his horse nearly ran over one of Nazaré’s steep cliffs, he called out “Our Lady, Help Me!” and his horse stopped just at the cliff’s precipice next to the small grotto with the Nazareth statue.

In thanksgiving for his life, the knight had a small chapel built around the statue, which went on to receive so many visitors that a larger church dedicated to Our Lady of Nazaré was built near the cliffs by the King of Portugal in 1377 to house the statue and its pilgrims. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 13, 2018

Arrogant Hillary’s Emails WERE Hacked — Virtually ALL of Them

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:50 pm

I recall, but can’t find a related link proving it at the moment, that when the State Department’s or some other federal government computers were hacked, 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton essentially bragged that such hacking hadn’t occurred with her private server.

What I can show is that the FBI claimed it couldn’t find evidence of hacking in mid-2016, but still didn’t rule it out:

The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server found no evidence that her communications were hacked while she was secretary of state, but it made clear that “hostile actors” here and abroad could have done so.

Clinton “used her personal email extensively while outside of the United States,” FBI Director James B. Comey said, including “in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.”

It was “possible” that they accessed her account, he said. But “given the nature of the system and the actors potentially involved, we assess we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence.”

The finding, like others reached by the FBI, leaves the door open for ongoing accusations that Clinton may have allowed sensitive information to fall into the hands of Russia and China — both of which she visited on a number of occasions — or even Iran and North Korea.

Well, now we know she was hacked — bigtime:


A member of the House Committee on the Judiciary said during a hearing Thursday that a government watchdog found that nearly all of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity and that the FBI didn’t follow-up on that finding.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia,” he added.

Gohmert said the ICIG investigator, Frank Rucker, presented the findings to Strzok, but that the FBI official did not do anything with the information.

Strzok acknowledged meeting with Rucker, but said he did not recall the “specific content.”

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

Of course he didn’t.


Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071318)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:00 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: Kansas ministry brings Adoration Under the Stars

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:55 am

From Wichita, Kansas:

Jul 13, 2018 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Kansas-based ministry led more than a thousand people in Eucharistic adoration last week, allowing Catholics and non-Catholics to worship the Creator among the stars.

Wichita Adore Ministries hosted “Adoration Under the Stars” July 5 at the cemetery outside St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ost, fewer than 30 miles northwest of Wichita.

Jesse Elpers, president of WAM, said the event is a simple yet profound encounter with God.

The event ties “together the creation of God with he who created it on an altar in the middle of nowhere underneath a starlit sky,” he told CNA. “[It] has a beautiful simplicity to it.”

“If nothing else, in such a serene place like that, just to be face to face with your Lord … it’s a beautiful thing.”

An estimated 1,300 people, including 24 priests, attended the event, which also included confession and music.

Elpers said confession is one of the most important aspects of the event. More than 500 people received absolution at the event last year.

Father Dan Duling, pastor of St Joseph’s, has been at the church for the past two years. The event is important, he said, because it teaches young people the value of adoration and emphasizes the glory of God in all creation.

It’s “teaching our young people about adoration and giving them an environment [in which] they can pray and adore Jesus,” he told CNA. “I think the important thing for the people is knowing God’s presence out there in his creation and everything around us.”

The event began six years ago with just over 60 attendees and was one of the first ministries of WAM. The organization is a non-profit solely run on volunteer time.

Last year, WAM handled more than 100 events, including parish adoration and diocesan conferences. The company will also lend out production equipment to parishes to put together adoration events themselves. …

Go here for the rest of the story.