November 19, 2018

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111918)

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.

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Today is the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre.

Leftist folklore tells us that Jim Jones was a “fundamentalist Christian.”

What garbage:

… Jones was in fact a socialist fanatic who, far from the theological and cultural fringes, was a key player in left-wing San Francisco politics.

The New York Times, for instance, described Jones’s preaching as “fundamentalist Christianity” immediately after the tragedy. They knew better.

… In reality, Peoples Temple used the trappings of Pentecostal Christianity to win over large numbers of people to socialism. Jim Jones ridiculed the Bible, stomped on it in front of his flock, and instructed his followers to use it as toilet paper when their supply of the luxury ran out in Jonestown.

Jim Jones held private meetings with Jimmy Carter’s running mate Walter Mondale and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, during the 1976 presidential campaign. San Francisco Mayor George Moscone appointed him chairman of the city’s Housing Commission Authority, effectively making him the city’s largest landlord (scary when thinking of how he treated his tenants in Guyana). Jane Fonda, Huey Newton, Angela Davis, and others heaped praise upon him. Willie Brown compared him to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.

Jones was very much in with the in crowd. Then he orchestrated the murders of more than 900 people. At this point, the evangelical atheist and committed Communist morphed into a “power-hungry fascist” in the words of Walter Cronkite, and his followers became “religious zealots” in the words of the Associated Press.

Read the whole thing.

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At TheFederalist.com: “How Misguided Environmentalism Is To Blame For California’s Wildfires” —

… Article after article blames two things for California’s frequent fires: global warming and human action. For example, a BuzzFeed article is titled, “How A Booming Population And Climate Change Made California’s Wildfires Worse Than Ever.” While dry conditions make fires more likely and people often start them, this misses the big picture. President Trump summed it up on Nov 10. He wrote, “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor … Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

Trump is right. Mismanagement and overregulation deserve most of the blame, but he should keep in mind that the federal government owns 57 percent of California forest land. This mismanagement is also not a result of a lack of care. Believe me, Californians care.

Growing up, we spend almost as much time talking about fire safety as we do hiding under our desks practicing for earthquakes. We see just as much of Smokey the Bear as we do of Mickey Mouse. California and federal agencies have mismanaged forests, not because they don’t care, but because they chose the agenda of environmentalists over commonsense forest management. The result has been deadly.

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Positivity: ‘I’m going to get you out’ — Good Samaritan recounts saving pilot from crashed plane

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (HT Weasel Zippers):

November 12, 2018 at 2:23 PM EST
Updated November 13 at 9:21 AM

The Myrtle Beach Fire Department responded after a two-person plane crashed into the ocean near Springmaid Pier, according to Lt. Jonathan Evans with Myrtle Beach Fire.

Only one person was inside the plane at the time of the crash, Evans said. Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Chief Tom Gwyer said a good Samaritan pulled the pilot out of the plane and brought the person to shore.

That Good Samaritan spoke with WMBF News about the incident.
21-year-old Brady didn’t want to reveal his last name or show his face because he didn’t want the attention on himself.

He says he was walking along the beach, watching planes go by as he does frequently since he’s an aviation fan trying to get his pilots’ license.

Brady was on the phone with his brother as the plane crashed into the ocean. He then called 911.

“After I got off the phone with 911, I just went into the water and started to go and swim towards it,” Brady said.

By the time Brady got to the plane, the water was just above his head.

“I was just like, ‘Hey man, don’t worry. You’re going to be all right sir,’ and stuff like that,” Brady said. “‘I’m going to get you out.’”

Brady then brought the pilot to shore with the help of another Good Samaritan: a hotel employee. Brady says he helped significantly.

“He did all that he could’ve done. So I’m thankful he was there, because it would’ve been extra hard for me to get him on land without him there,” Brady said.

Brady had the chance to meet with the pilot at Grand Strand Medical Center. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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November 18, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111818)

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.

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Positivity: Hero California Nurse Gets New Truck After Vehicle Damaged In Camp Wild Fire

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From California (HT Weasel Zippers):

November 14, 2018

A nurse whose truck was destroyed while helping patients escape the wildfires of a Northern California town was offered a new vehicle by Toyota, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Allyn Pierce told The New York Times he was on his way out of Paradise — where a wildfire has claimed 48 lives and destroyed 7,700 homes — and decided to turn around and help his community. He said he drove to the town’s main hospital to help evacuate and treat patients.

The report said he drove back to the hospital in Paradise with colleagues, where they broke in to get supplies and “got to work” in the parking lot.

“This truck literally saved my life today,” Pierce wrote on Instagram. “My little Paradise was literally burning down around me and @the pandra got me to safety where I could help others … twice.”

Pierce posted a photo of his destroyed truck on his Instagram. When Pierce’s followers tagged Toyota, the company took notice. Several days later Toyota commented: “Hi Allyn, we are humbled you’d risk your life and Toyota Tundra to drive people to safety. Don’t worry about your truck, we’re honored to get you a new one!” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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November 17, 2018

Social Media and Online Manipulation: L.A. Band Threatin Faked a Fanbase To Land a European Tour No One Attended

Filed under: Scams — Tom @ 8:10 am

I know I shouldn’t be enjoying this (too much) — and I do feel the victims’ pain — but to quote the late Robert Palmer, this story is “Simply Irresistible” for its sheer audacity:

Talking up your own band a little bit to make it appear that you’re more popular than you are is a rite of passage for young acts. We’ve heard of plenty of bands that’ve exaggerated sales or live show numbers to land a gig or two, or talked themselves up to national media for some press attention. It comes with the territory, and it’s usually harmless.

But the Los Angeles band Threatin have taken that idea to a level previously thought unimaginable: the band was able to book an entire tour of Europe despite having no fanbase whatsoever, and it’s all in the process of crashing down around them.

To do it, the band’s frontman and leader, Jered Threatin, posed as a nonexistent booking agent / promoter to land the gigs, used faked live footage of allegedly packed shows in L.A., bought Facebook likes, event RSVPs and YouTube views and lied about ticket sales numbers to swindle venue owners and talent buyers into taking on the shows.

Of course it all came crashing down, as was inevitable — which leads one to wonder what “Threatin” (if that’s his real name) was thinking.

The bigger message is that you can’t presumptively trust those whose only claims to fame comes from online “sources.”

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Positivity: Tennesseans gather in Veterans Cemetery to pay respects to Vietnam veteran with no family

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 7:55 am

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

Published 1:39 p.m. CT Nov. 9, 2018
Updated 2:37 p.m. CT Nov. 9, 2018

Mourners overflowed from the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery rotunda on a cold and gloomy Friday morning, many braced with umbrellas and raincoats after the early morning drizzles. And they huddled together to honor a man they never knew.

Leo Stokley died Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Waters of Cheatham in Ashland City. The Murfreesboro man was 69.

According to his obituary posted by Boyd Funeral Home, Stokley was born June 5, 1949 in Greenville, South Carolina. He served in the United States Marine Corps and did a tour in Vietnam. He was buried with military honors Friday morning at the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Pegram.

That’s about all many people knew of Stokley when they arrived at the cemetery Friday.

Bob Counter of the Cheatham County Veterans Service Office said that as he and his staff filtered through paperwork so Stokley could be buried with military honors, they learned that Stokley is considered an “unclaimed” veteran.

“When we found out that he was considered an unclaimed veteran, which means he has no family, we wanted to make sure that he got claimed,” Counter explained.
(more…)

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111718)

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.

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November 16, 2018

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111618)

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.

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November 15, 2018

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111518)

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.

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Positivity: There’s scripture backing up Trump’s idea to arm houses of worship

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

From Mississippi and other parts of the U.S., in an article which somehow got published at CNN.com:

Updated 6:30 PM ET, Mon October 29, 2018

When Rabbi Hillel Norry walks though the valley of the shadow of death, he carries something more than a rod and a staff to comfort him.

He tucks a large-caliber handgun in his waistband and keeps a watchful eye on his synagogue.

A black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Norry says he armed himself years ago after a man who had left anti-Semitic messages on his phone appeared at a synagogue he once led and threatened to harm him.

A lanky man with a salt-and-pepper beard, Norry says he is a man of peace — he’s a vegetarian who believes in “ethical eating.” But he also says it’s ethical for clergy and parishioners to be armed. He cites the Bible’s description of religious leaders as “shepherds” as proof.

“If we’re the shepherds, the first job of the shepherd is to protect the flock from the wolf,” says Norry, a visiting rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Gulfport, Mississippi. “Why does a shepherd carry a stick? So he can whack the wolf.”

… (The Rev. Brady) Boyd cites a saying from Jesus in Matthew 10:16 to justify why he now has armed security at his church: Jesus said his followers should be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

… As opposition to him mounted, Jesus told his disciples in Luke: 22:36-38, “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” …

Go here for the full story.

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November 14, 2018

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111418)

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.

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Positivity: Irish archbishop — The sacrifice of Protestants and Catholics in WWI should unite us

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

From Belfast, Norther Ireland:

Nov 12, 2018 / 04:56 pm

Irish Protestants and Catholics should see the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day as an opportunity to build peace and reconciliation, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Ireland said at an interreligious memorial service on Sunday.

The service, held at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, was attended by Dean of Belfast the Very Reverend Stephen Forde of the Church of Ireland, and several other religious and political leaders. Other services were held simultaneously throughout the country to mark 100 years since the end of World War I.

“The brave people we are remembering are calling us to recognize their shared suffering by building a better future where difference is accepted and respected,” Martin said.

“…it is difficult for any of us to imagine the thoughts and feelings of the young men on the battlefields of the First World War who… in the darkness, prayed for home, for family, for peace.”

But one way to honor their memory is to remember their shared suffering and sacrifice as something that unites, rather than divides, Protestants and Catholics, he said.

“Sadly, because of the cruel twists and tensions of our history of conflict, the fact that Irish Catholics and Protestants fought and died, side by side, was neglected for too long – and perhaps conveniently – by all sides, both north and south of the border,” he said.

“People preferred to cling on to a history of difference and separation, rather than recognise and embrace our shared story of common suffering.”

Religious disputes have long been part of the history of the majority-Catholic Republic of Ireland, which gained its independence from Britain in 1916, and Northern Ireland, which is predominantly Protestant and a part of the United Kingdom.

In his address, Martin recalled a peace pledge he and other religious leaders had made earlier in the year at another World War I memorial in Belgium: “…as Protestants and Catholics, we apologise for the terrible deeds we have done to each other and ask forgiveness …we appeal to all people in Ireland to help build a peaceful and tolerant society …we affirm that a fitting tribute to the principles for which men and women from the Island of Ireland died in both World Wars would be permanent peace.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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November 13, 2018

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111318)

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.

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Positivity: Sr Thea Bowman’s cause for canonization could open at US bishops’ meeting

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Baltimore, Maryland:

Nov 11, 2018 / 04:01 pm

Sr. Thea Bowman was the first African American woman to address the U.S. bishops’ conference. Most likely, she was also the first person to get them to hold hands and sing and sway to a Negro Spiritual.

“We shall overcome,” she intoned at their 1988 spring meeting in her signature rich voice, before exhorting the bishops to join in with a hearty “Y’all get up!”

Sr. Thea, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, a daughter of the Deep South and the granddaughter of a slave, was sick from battling cancer and confined to a wheelchair at the time.

But that didn’t stop the 51 year-old from doling out more instructions when the stiff group still wasn’t swaying to her satisfaction: “Cross your right hand over your left hand, you gotta move together to do that,” she said as the bishops crossed arms and held hands before continuing the song.

“See in the old days you had to tighten up so that when the bullets would come, so that when the tear gas would come, so that when the dogs would come, so that when the horses would come, so that when the tanks would come, brothers and sisters would not be separated from one another,” she told the bishops, referring to the days of the Civil Rights movement.

“And do you remember what they did with the bishops and the clergy in those old days? Where’d they put them? Right up in front. To lead the people in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Church,” she said.

That keynote showcased Sr. Thea in her element – sharing her faith and love of God, urging racial awareness and reconciliation within the Catholic Church, joyfully belting out Gospel hymns and convincing everyone around her to join in.

Now, nearly 30 years after her death, Sr. Thea will once again feature at the U.S bishops’ conference – but this time, they will be voting to approve the opening of her cause for canonization. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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November 12, 2018

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111218)

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

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