December 13, 2018

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121318)

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.

Share

Positivity: Laid to rest after 77 years: Dozens of sailors who died on board USS Oklahoma during Pearl Harbor are FINALLY being laid to rest after their remains are identified through DNA tests

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

A long-awaited Pearl Harbor follow-up (HT Weasel Zippers):

PUBLISHED: 00:44 EST, 6 December 2018 | UPDATED: 20:49 EST, 6 December 2018

  • Nearly 80 years on from the attacks, soldiers who died are being returned home
  • 2,400 Americans died in surprise Japanese assault on December 7, 1941
  • A DNA breakthrough helps researches to distinguish between muddled remains
  • 186 sailors out of the 429 who died on the USS Oklahoma have now been identified
  • Funerals for each are being held all over the US on Pearl Harbor’s 77 anniversary

Seventy-seven years after the Japanese launched an infamous surprise assault on Pearl Harbor, members of the US military who died in attack are finally being laid to rest.

On December 7, 1941, a fleet of Japanese fighter pilots descended on the US Naval base in Hawaii, and in less than two hours, 2,400 Americans had been killed in the devastating attack.

The tragedy at Pearl Harbor would mark the beginning of the US’ involvement in the Second World War, but only now, nearly eight decades on, are some of the families bereaved by disaster set to receive closure.

In 2015, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency exhumed nearly 400 sets of remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, after determining advances in forensic science and genealogical help from families could make identifications possible.

All of the remains examined were found on the USS Oklahoma, which capsized during the attack, and had been buried as unknowns after the war.

Altogether, 429 sailors and Marines on the Oklahoma were killed and, only 35 of them were identified in the years immediately after the attack.

The Oklahoma had the second-most casualties of the Pearl Harbor attack, with only the USS Arizona suffering more, losing 1,177 men.

As of earlier this month, the agency has identified 186 sailors and Marines from the Oklahoma who were previously unidentified.

Slowly, the remains are being sent to be reburied in places like Traer, Iowa, and Ontanogan, Michigan.

More of the once anonymous soldiers will be returning home for a proper burial this Friday (December 7). …

Go here for the rest of the story, including descriptions of some whose remains have now been identified.

Share
December 12, 2018

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121218)

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.

Share

Positivity: Here’s the Military Chaplain’s Prayer Before the Army-Navy Game

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

From Philadelphia (HT Weasel Zippers; video at link):

5:04 PM 12/08/2018

President Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis were on hand to start off the annual Army vs. Navy game. Before the stirring national anthem and the coin toss, military chaplain Matthew Pawlikowski gave a powerful prayer.

The chaplain wondered why we would pray before a football game.

“God of wonders, some wonder why we pray for a football game,” Pawlikowski said. “So I tell them in this game, every player on the field is willing to die for every person watching.”

Pawlikowski continued, “And there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for what is truly good.”

The chaplain continued:

And so, God, I do pray for these players on this field and all the good they represent. Their fellow cadets and midshipmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines, firefighters, first responders, police, and countless others who lay down their lives daily in our defense because in your eyes, God, it’s not the critic who counts but those who actually step in to the arena. And so, almighty God, we who are willing to die for others, we salute you. Let this game begin. Amen.

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
December 11, 2018

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121118)

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.

Share

Positivity: Chick-Fil-A Creates Special Restaurant In Philadelphia For Military Members Who Can’t Go To Army-Navy Game

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Philadelphia (HT Weasel Zippers):

5:17 PM 12/08/2018

Chick-fil-A had a solution for military members who could not get tickets to the Army-Navy game.

The beloved fried chicken house opened a special pop-up restaurant in Philadelphia for active duty military, veterans and their families to watch the storied game. The pop-up served food and drink from a special menu and featured games and entertainment.

Chick-fil-A is an official partner of the 119th Army-Navy game.

According to a press release from Chick-fil-A:

Chick-fil-A is proud to support and honor the men and women in the military and their families who have served, are serving, and will serve our country.

The Chick-fil-A pop-up restaurant is designed to bring fans of rival football teams together by creating a shared table. Members of the military will attend the event to participate in spirited competition, a shared meal and a watch party.

Other activities include a card writing station to show military appreciation, giveaways, food and much more. Chick-fil-A will also be flying in Army and Navy veterans nominated by local franchise Operators located across the country to attend the pre-game ceremonies and the game. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
December 10, 2018

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121018)

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.

Share

Positivity: Woman inspires calls for gun training after being hailed as ‘shining example’ for shooting escaped prisoner

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Pickens, South Carolina:

Dec 6, 2018, 5:55 PM ET

Hailed as a “shining example” by a South Carolina sheriff, a woman who shot and killed an escaped jail inmate who broke into her home is giving firearm advocates fodder in their quest to boost the number of good gals with guns in the United States.

“There is a great disparity of force between a woman and a male. The proper use of a firearm really does kind of equalize that disparity,” Carrie Lightfoot, founder of The Well Armed Woman, a nationwide female gun-training organization, told ABC News on Thursday.

“I really see her as an inspiration that women can effectively protect themselves with an equalizer,” Lightfoot said of the armed South Carolina women who took on the jail escapee. “It is the only tool that can literally equalize that disparity.”

‘She came out on the good end’

Early Tuesday morning, a woman who was home alone in Pickens, South Carolina, shot and killed a jail escapee who kicked in her back door, authorities said.

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said the woman, whose name has not been released, has a concealed weapons permit and knew how to use her gun when escapee Bruce W. McLaughlin Jr., 30, reached her bedroom entrance.

She fired one shot that hit McLaughlin in the head, killing him, he said.

“This is a shining example of what this lady did, took the time to get her CWP and set herself up to protect herself and not be harmed, killed or raped or whatever,” Clark said at a news conference on Tuesday. “She came out on the good end and the other guy, the bad guy, didn’t.”

Clark said McLaughlin and Timothy Dell, 32, another inmate at the Pickens County Jail, broke out of the facility around 2:35 a.m. Tuesday, after attacking two corrections officers in what he described as an escape that had been planned for several days, possibly weeks.

Dell was captured by sheriff’s deputies within a half-hour of the jailbreak, Clark said. But McLaughlin got a half-mile away from the facility and broke into the woman’s house while she was asleep in bed, Clark said.

He said McLaughlin had armed himself with a foot-long knife sharpening tool he took from the woman’s kitchen.

“The victim was in fear for her life and she used lethal force to protect herself,” Clark said. “The sheriff’s office has not uncovered any evidence or information in any way that would suggest anything different.”

He said McLaughlin, a convicted felon, was being held at the jail on charges of first-degree burglary and grand larceny before he escaped.

“I want to hammer home how this lady saved her life because she took a half a day out of her life and went and got training,” Clark said. “And when that training came through, she was calm and steady as somebody can be in that situation and she saved her life and stopped the bad guy.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
December 9, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120918)

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.

Share

Positivity: ‘Have to kill me first’ — Florida woman refuses to remove Guadalupe from mobile home

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Bradenton, Florida:

Dec 6, 2018 / 03:39 pm

Millie Francis almost died once. She’s willing to do it again.

This time, she says, it would be for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Property managers at the retirement community trailer park where Francis lives in west-central Florida have reportedly demanded that she remove a piece of plywood from her mobile home, on which she has painted an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

But from the sound of it, they will have a hard time getting her to comply.

“They’ll have to kill me first,” Francis, 85, told the property management authorities, according to the Bradenton Herald.

“You’re not going to tell this old lady what to do,” she told the newspaper. “This is America. As long as I have two arms and two legs, I’m going to do it.”

Francis said she feels blessed to even be alive, after a scrape with death during surgery 16 years ago, during which she says she was declared clinically dead for 15 minutes.

Her fierce devotion to her Catholic faith and to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint of the Americas, have remained strong, and she said she’ll go to court if she has to. She does not plan to remove her painting.

The painting of the Virgin Mary was done on a piece of plywood that replaced a window Francis had removed from her mobile home. She said wanted to replace the window with plywood because of a nosy neighbor, and because light from security guards’ flashlights bothered her at night.

Francis said she obtained permission for the removal from Vanguard Property Management at Bradenton Tropical Palms, the 55+ trailer park where she lives.

The inspiration for the image came to her during Mass, she said, when she was praying about what to do with the piece of plywood that would cover the space where he window once was.

“I don’t want to say I had a vision or anything like that, but felt enlightened and received the inspiration from our Lady of Guadalupe to paint her image. So I promised that I would,” she told the Bradenton Herald.

Janet Nowakowski, a Vanguard property manager based in Tampa, demanded that Francis remove the painted plywood, allegedly because Francis did not have the window removal project completed by Oct. 31, per her agreement with property management.

Vanguard representatives also told reporters that Francis did not fill out an architectural request form, or seek permission from the trailer park’s architectural review committee, before painting the Blessed Virgin Mary on the plywood that replaced the window.

Francis said that the window removal was completed on time, and believes the order to remove the plywood image is an act of discrimination against her Catholic faith.

Other neighbors have decorated their lawns and trailers with all kinds of things, she said, and her painting “isn’t hurting anyone.”

“There’s all kinds of stuff out there, but this is because I’m Catholic and it’s wrong,” she said. “With all the things going on in the world, I would think there would be more important things to worry about than this.”

On November 9, lawyers representing Vanguard gave Francis 30 days to remove the image. The deadline is fast-approaching – and falls three days before the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is on December 12.

But Francis refuses to budge.

According to reporting by Mark Young at the Bradenton Herald: “Documents indicate that Francis did have permission from the committee to replace the window, and she was inspired to have the painting done while at church at the last minute. Francis said she not only completed the project on time, but also there is nothing in the park rules regarding decorating after the fact.”

CNA has contacted Tropical Palms trailer park for a copy of their property guidelines, but did not receive a response by press time. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
December 8, 2018

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120818)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:00 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.

Share

Positivity: Small Irish community seeks help to save a saint’s iconic cross

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:55 am

From Dublin, Ireland (video at link; positivity element bolded):

Dec 6, 2018 / 03:01 am

A unique Irish cross marking the 1,400-year-old grave of a Catholic saint is in danger of destruction due to erosion, and the local community is seeking help to restore the “icon of Ireland’s early Christian heritage.”

St Mura’s Cross is carved into a slab nearly seven feet tall that marks the grave of St. Mura, the first abbot of a sixth-century monastery in the far north of Ireland in what is now County Donegal. The monastery, one of Ireland’s earliest, was founded by St. Colmcille less than a century after the death of St. Patrick. It became a center of religion and scholarship and its surrounding settlements gave birth to the town of Fahan, where nearly 600 people live today.

A nearby gable wall must be repaired before preservation efforts on St. Mura’s Cross must begin.

“Cracks have appeared on the wall and if we don’t stabilize that it could fall. If it does, it will fall on the cross and it will be destroyed forever,” Colm Toland of the Fahan Heritage Group told The Irish News in November.

St. Mura, said to be a descendant of the Irish king Niall of the Nine Hostages, died in 645 at the age of 94. He became the patron saint of the O’Neil Clan, whose leaders were among the High Kings of Ireland. His feast day is observed March 12.

Both a Catholic church and a Church of Ireland church in the Fahan area are named for the saint.

The cross is the only one of its kind to bear an inscription in Greek: “Glory and honor to the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit”. It is considered a unique inspiration of the Irish High Cross artistic tradition of massive and ornately carved stone crosses.

The saint’s cross was carved sometime from the sixth to the tenth century. The gable wall was built in 1608, using stones from the original monastery, the Irish state broadcaster RTE News reports. It is surrounded by a graveyard that includes St. Mura’s tomb.

The monastery and village were sacked by the Vikings twice in the middle ages, though the site’s current ruins date to the 17th century. Some monastery artifacts are now in museums in Dublin and London.

Fahan’s heritage group is seeking support to protect the cross and the nearby church gable ruins. The gable is one of the distinctive landmarks of the village and a favorite stop for tourists and wedding parties, Fahan Heritage Group said in its YouTube video “Save St. Mura’s Cross.”

The stone-carved cross was distinctive for centuries, but now it has faded due to severe erosion attributed to acid rain or other environmental factors. The carving and Greek inscription are almost illegible. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
December 7, 2018

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120718)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 11:20 pm

Apologies for this post going up very late.

_________________________________

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
December 6, 2018

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (120618)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:41 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: National Institutes of Health to not renew contract over fetal tissue use

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 7:35 am

From Washington:

Dec 5, 2018 / 03:00 pm

The National Institutes of Health will not renew a contract with the University of California San Francisco over concerns about the project’s use of fetal tissue.

The National Institutes of Health informed UCSF it will not renew a contract to conduct research into therapies for various ailments, including AIDS and Parkinson’s disease, over concerns about the project’s use of fetal tissue.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the decision was communicated to UCSF last week following instruction from the “highest levels.” The contract was worth approximately $2 million per year.

As recently as October, the expectation had been that the seven-year project would be extended for a further year. The contract, which expires Dec. 5, will now continue for a further 90 days, with not clear indication of its future beyond that point.

The work in the UCSF lab involves testing on what are known as “humanized mice” that have been implanted with tissues from fetal remains. This causes the mouse to develop an immune system that is similar to that of a humans.

The fetal tissues used in these experiments and research is obtained through abortions.

The decision not to renew the contract follows what the federal government called in a September statement a “comprehensive review” over the funding of research involving the use of fetal tissue. At that time, HHS said that it was seeking “adequate alternatives” to the use of fetal tissue altogether….

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share