Bill Donohue comments on the Vatican’s response to the Islamic State terrorists:
The Catholic Church’s just-war doctrine allows for a military response to grave conflicts, provided that several criteria are operative. The Vatican has made it clear that the mass murder being committed by Islamic State terrorists meets that standard.
No one has been more pointed than Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations. He said this week that “there might be occasions in the life and in the relations between states when dialogue, negotiations, fail and large numbers of people find themselves at risk: at risk of genocide, at risk of having their fundamental, their basic rights violated.”
“In this case,” Tomasi said, “when every other means has been attempted, article 42 of the Charter of the United Nations becomes possible justification for not only imposing sanctions of economic nature on the state or the group or the region that violates the basic human rights of people, but also to use force. All the force that is necessary to stop this evil and this tragedy.”
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue also released a statement calling on “religious leaders, especially Muslims,” to condemn the genocide. It cited “The execrable practice of beheading, crucifixion, and hanging of corpses in public places”; “The choice imposed on Christians and Yezidis between conversion to Islam, payment of tribute or exodus”; “The imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation” [female genital mutilation]; “The forced occupation or desecration of churches and monasteries”; and “The destruction of places of worship and Christian and Muslim burial places.” It also made it plain that “No cause can justify such barbarity and certainly not a religion.”
Kudos to the Vatican. It is speaking with greater clarity and urgency than our golf-vacationing president.
I hardly ever watch Meet the Press (or any other Sunday morning news show). Tim Russert was excellent - a real journalist. David Gregory ,a biased, mediocre interviewer, and Chuck Todd will be even more so.
"The oldest running television series in American broadcasting history", and the best they can do is Todd? My father used to work for NBC; he must be sitting on a cloud, shaking his head in disgust.
The girl had left her village in Russia's northeastern Sakha region with her dog on July 29 to stay with her father, who lived in a neighbouring hamlet. But he had gone to fight a wildfire and the girl apparently walked into the forest alone to find him.
With no mobile phone signal in the sparsely populated region, where native Yakut people live from hunting and reindeer herding, her mother only realised four days later that her daughter had gone missing.
Despite a massive search, the breakthrough only came when Karina's puppy traipsed back to the hamlet - in which eight people live - allowing rescuers to send search dogs on the puppy's trail.
A report on the channel said the search party kept to creeks and meadows, going into the forest only in the presence of special forces because there are so many bears in the area.
The search team came across Karina's footprints two days later and found her lying in tall grass about four miles north of her village.
"It's simply incredible that she was found safe with so much wildlife in the forest," a spokesman of the regional rescue service told the paper.
Television pictures showed the wide-eyed girl in a T-shirt and leggings just after she had been found gulping water before being carried onto a helicopter.
She said she ate berries and drank water from the river to survive.
The Sakha region in northeastern Russia is one of the country's most remote, known for its icy rivers, permafrost, and rich wildlife that includes reindeer and brown bears.
The 2Q13 price decline was driven by outflows from exchange traded funds as investors saw the onset of tapering by the Federal Reserve dampening inflation expectations.
By contrast, gold prices held within a relatively narrow sideways range in 2Q14, keeping volatility well below average.
Much of the slump was attributed to large declines in jewellery, bar and coin investment. Jewellery demand - which historically accounted for over half of global gold demand - fell by almost a third in 2Q14, while bar and coin investment fell to less than half the levels seen in 2Q13.
... a few names culled from as many as 31 million owners of accounts held by New York State as unclaimed property — accounts surrendered by banks, insurers, utility companies and others that said they had tried but failed to find the rightful owners of deposits, dividend checks, back wages, rebates and other forgotten funds, which have grown to a record $13.3 billion.
More than $700 million from abandoned and dormant accounts flooded into the state in the last year alone.
Several years ago a friend of mine told me she'd found some unclaimed money that was owed to her. I thought "well it can't hurt to look" and it turned out I collected a couple of thousand dollars owed to me or another family member.
And it is really easy to look into it and in most cases very quickly collect. Here's the NY State website -
Ahhh, this is really great. I mentioned yesterday that he did lots of entertaining with the troops. This is all ad libbed.
The Retreat Ceremony "signals the end of the official duty day and serves as a ceremony for paying respect to the flag. Because the time for the end of the duty day varies, the commander designates the specific time for the retreat ceremony . . . When persons not assigned to a formation are outdoors and in uniform, on the first note of retreat, they should face the flag..."
I was no particular fan of Robin Williams, but amazing talent. He also was a philanthropist and did a great deal of traveling to support and entertain our military. This was in 1981. The clip is less than two minutes long.
"What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision," Obama replied. "Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government."
Here's a draft of the "highlights" update video Tim will be sending around to various colleges and universities. His 2014 outdoor track throwing video (so far about six schools are interested in Tim; we've visited with one campus and coach - Manhattan College - and other visits and meetings are in the works) is here 2014 outdoor throwing season
Also, the music is better in this one. Just a draft; he's got one more summer meet.
The world is awash in change that affects us and our allies. We must recognize this and strengthen our military capabilities, set effective strategies, and be prepared to support our principles and oppose those who seek to destroy them. To do so, we must get our economy really rolling again. How? Everyone knows how. We just need to take action:
(1) Cleanse the personal income tax system of deductions and lower the marginal rate on a revenue-neutral basis. ...
(2) We all know that corporate taxation is an anachronism. Why do we want a system that encourages American companies to reincorporate abroad? Let the earnings they make in other countries be taxed there, and that's it. Why give incentives for companies to keep their cash offshore rather than invest it in the U.S.? And let's lower the corporate tax rate to be competitive with the rest of the world. How about 20%?
(3) We all know that the maze and uncertainty of the regulatory octopus is stifling the economy. Regulations are needed, but they can be made simpler and designed to work better. ...
(4) While we are reducing uncertainty, why not take the mystery out of the Federal Reserve? The Fed can establish a rules-based monetary policy with the ability to deviate from the rules as long as they publicly explain why, using cost benefit thinking in the explanation.
(5) Get control of spending. Otherwise the burden of servicing government debt when normal interest rates return—a burden that already amounts to hundreds of billions annually—will be unbearable.
The problem is entitlement spending. There are many well-known ways to put the Social Security system back on track so it will be there for young people in the future. One way is to change from wage-indexing to price-indexing as a method of calculating benefits, and apply the change only to people under the age of 55. That means younger people will receive benefits at least as large as those now being paid with protection against any future inflation.
Another change is to index the normal retirement age—when people can receive full benefits—to longevity. And when workers reach age 65, stop any payroll deductions and employer contributions to encourage them to stay in the labor force. Their pay will increase and they will be less costly employees. Incentives work.
(6) Health-care finance is more difficult, but here is a simple formula to use as a basis for further work. Right now, health-insurance companies are pass-through agents that receive money from the government, employers, and other sources that they spend on a wide variety of health services. But insurance is about risk. The main risks in the health-care area are catastrophic events that have high costs, so high-deductible catastrophic insurance is what is needed. Even young people will buy such coverage because the cost—particularly if insurance companies have to compete across state lines—will be low and the protection these policies give is important for everyone.
There's a bit more if you hit the link. It's all so obvious - but it also to a degree de-powerizes the central government. And we know who's against that happening.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are making the most of their downtime in the Hamptons.
The former U.S. President and his ex-Secretary of State wife were pictured this morning enjoying a stroll on the beach in Amagansett, where they are paying $100,000 to rent an $18million five-bedroom property for three weeks.
The couple, who were accompanied by their dogs as well as a Secret Service agent, were dressed in very casual clothes, with President Clinton decked out in black SoulCycle shorts and green sneakers and his wife in a bright blue muumuu and slippers.
UPDATE: I'd forgotten that the miracle that led to her canonization occurred in Boston. I know people who know the Melkite Catholic priest whose daughter was cured. You can read a bit about it in her wiki entry linked below. And here is the wiki entry to the priest whose daughter was cured. Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
Edith Stein in 1920
A fascinating person who someday may be named a Doctor of the Church. A philosopher and convert from secular Judaism. Yesterday was an "optional memorial" on the Catholic Calendar. Here's her wiki entry Edith Stein and-
Their appeal was heard just two weeks later - and dismissed the next day. A final appeal for clemency was rejected by the Home Secretary on 11 August. Less than five weeks elapsed between conviction and execution.
The speed of the process, even with two lives at stake, was not unusual. A delay covering three Sundays between sentencing and execution was all the law stipulated.
"The three Sundays rule dated back to the Victorian era," explains Steve Fielding, a criminologist and author of more than 20 books on executions.
"It was felt to allow enough time for any new evidence to come to light, the convict to make his peace with his or her God and also to not prolong the inevitable wait to die."
An appeal might hold things up for slightly longer - but not by much.
Another contrast is the speed of the process itself. In the UK, an executioner and his assistant were expected to carry out their grisly duties in moments.
"On the stroke of 8am they would enter the condemned cell, strap the prisoner's arms behind his back and lead him to the gallows. The whole procedure often took less than 10 seconds from the hangmen entering the cell to the prisoner dropping to his death," says Fielding.
There is evidence both that support for hanging and interest in it as an issue have declined over time, says Anthony Wells, associate director of the political team at YouGov. "In the past it was the example of public and political opinion being out of step. Twenty or thirty years ago it was indisputable that a majority of people supported the death penalty.
"These days you can't really say that a majority of people are still in favour. People have grown up in a country where it's something that is not done. It isn't part of a political debate so doesn't come up as an issue."
“We are being slaughtered!” she sobbed, her voice raw and worn out, as seen on this parliamentary video. “We are being exterminated! An entire religion is being exterminated from the face of the Earth. In the name of humanity, save us!”
The mountain is inhabited by tens of thousands of exiled residents, many who belong to a little-known but ancient ethnic group, the Yazidis. There, according to this harrowing report by Morris, they can’t dig into the earth, so dead children and elderly are buried under stones.
“There are children dying on the mountain, on the roads,” Marzio Babille, the Iraqi representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund, told The Post. “There is no water, there is no vegetation, they are completely cut off and surrounded by Islamic State. It’s a disaster, a total disaster.”
The Yazidis are just the latest minority group the Islamic State has targeted in its brutal campaign of religious persecution and killings. While many recent Iraqi conflicts have been framed as clashes between Sunnis and Shiites, this one is different. The Islamic State has declared war against anyone different, anyone unwilling to convert to the its ascetic brand of Islam. It’s worse, Iraqi religious leaders say, than Genghis Khan. Overnight, the BBC and others reported that thousands of Christians were fleeing the minority’s biggest town in Iraq, Qaragosh, after militants captured it.
Most analysts agree there’s not a religious or ethnic minority in northern Iraq — Shabaks, Turkmens, Yazidis, Christians — that isn’t in danger. “How in the 21st century could people be forced from their houses just because they are Christian, or Shiite, or Sunni or Yazidi?” Louis Raphael Sako, the head of Iraq’s largest church, recently told Reuters. “Christian families have been expelled from their houses and their valuables were stolen…. This has never happened in Christian or Islamic history. Even Genghis Khan … didn’t do this.”
there's more -plus pictures - if you hit the link.
Activities cited by the Pope as futile were: "chatting on the Internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas, and (using) the products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve the quality of life, but distract attention away from what is really important."
BUT - is he being hypocritical?
The 77-year-old Pope has Twitter accounts in several languages. They were first used by his predecessor Pope Benedict in 2011, and his English language account has 4.3 million followers.
They beat New Zealand. The last time the New Zealand women had lost a World Cup match since 1991. Since Ireland has already beaten the USA, New Zealand and the USA will play for second place in their pool, for an opportunity - but not guarantee - to get into the semi-finals. The loser of that match is definitely out.
Cuzick said that taking aspirin "looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity, and will probably be much easier to implement".
In a briefing to journalists, the scientist added that he had been dosing himself for the last four years, keeping the tablets beside his bed. "I take aspirin as part of a bedtime ritual every day and I can achieve that quite easily," he said.
However, to obtain the newfound benefits of the drug, people would have to take aspirin for at least five years and probably 10, the review said.
Aspirin was originally developed as a painkiller and treatment for fever and inflammation, but more than a century after it was first synthesised from willow bark, researchers have found more medical uses for it.
It has been demonstrated to reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes as well as the chances of some cancers. But the big question has been whether the benefits outweigh the harms, because aspirin can cause stomach bleeds, which could be potentially fatal in some people.
Concluding that the benefits outweighed the risks, Cuzick's team, writing in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, said that by taking low-dose aspirin every day for 10 years, bowel cancer cases could be cut by about 35% and deaths by 40%. Aspirin could reduce rates of oesophageal and stomach cancers by 30% and deaths from them by 35% to 50%.
“She’s a very good questioner, and you can tell she’s an attorney,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former federal prosecutor who is now leading the House inquiry into Benghazi, said in an interview. “I think you always bolster your credibility when you show objectivity and when you are an equal opportunity questioner … No one is your client, you’re not protecting anyone. Obviously, when you’re attractive, you can get away with things that ugly people like me can’t get away with.”
Leaving no doubt who’s in charge, Kelly steers the interviews to make news, quickly calling out guests for being “boring” or cutting them off if she deems their answers not clear enough for the average viewer.
In June, for instance, she shut down Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) as he tried to explain the nuclear option.
“My bad for asking a lawyer and a U.S. senator to try to explain something so complex in a quick 30 seconds,” Kelly said, adding later in the program, “If you’re boring, I tend to just call you out.”
In another memorable and widely covered putdown, Kelly interrupted Bill Ayers and told him, “You sound like — with respect — Osama bin Laden” when the ex-Weather Underground leader was trying to justify the use of violence.
“If you have something that is of substance, she will sit back and let you say it and not feel the need to interject,” Bozell said. “The journalist who was the master of this was Tim Russert; it’s why he was seen as the gold standard in the business. Megyn does that as well. She’ll ask you a probing question, and if you’ve got a 60-second answer, you’ll get 60 seconds to answer. If it takes you five seconds, that’s what she’ll give you. I do know that when I go on her show, I can prepare a thorough response … as opposed to other machine-gun interviews.”
Shortly before her show’s debut, Kelly, who Fox declined to make available for an interview for this story, told Jay Leno that she was a “straight news anchor,” not an ideologue, and she said during an appearance with O’Reilly that she wasn’t aiming to become the “female Bill.”
Observers on the left and the right say she’s mostly lived up to that pledge.
Kelly made waves for taking on former Vice President Cheney in a June interview.
“In your op-ed [in The Wall Street Journal], you write as follows: ‘Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” Kelly told Cheney. “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well, sir.”
“I think Fox definitely sees her as someone who speaks to the future of Fox,” Hall said. “They need people who can be seen as lively and interesting to watch as well as people who are talking about what’s the line of the day. She has the advantage of being a woman who’s very attractive and also very good live, she can hold her own.”
Lord said it was an easy decision to hire her years ago, calling Kelly a “breath of fresh air” — both to his newsroom at the time and now to Fox’s lineup.
“She’s a very dynamic person. There’s an edginess to her that keeps you on the edge of your chair; you don’t know what’s going to happen next,” he said.
“People give me credit for discovering her, so to speak, but honestly it was a no-brainer,” Lord added. “Here’s someone who is smart as hell, good looking, who has all the skills and has the aggressive personality to go out and be a great reporter. How could you not see that?
An interesting analysis. Despite "official" numbers, many less people live in poverty than when the "War on Poverty" began in 1965. however the percent of people who are not "self-sufficient" is unchanged - or even a little worse. The article - which is not very long - contains a simple graph illustrating this. Note that the graph goes back to 1950, and the War on Poverty began in the mid-60's.
The answer is simple: The U.S. Bureau of the Census official “poverty” figures are woefully incomplete. The Census defines a family as poor if its annual “income” falls below specific poverty income thresholds. In counting “income,” the Census includes wages and salaries but excludes nearly all welfare benefits. The federal government runs over 80 means-tested welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans. Government spent $916 billion on these programs in 2012; roughly 100 million Americans received aid from at least one of them, at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient. (These figures do not include Social Security or Medicare.)
Of the $916 billion in means-tested welfare spending in 2012, the Census counted only about 3 percent as “income” for purposes of measuring poverty.
On the other hand, the Census poverty numbers do provide a very useful measure of “self-sufficiency”: the ability of a family to sustain an income above the poverty threshold without welfare assistance. The Census is accurate in reporting there has been no improvement in self-sufficiency for the past 45 years.
Ironically, self-sufficiency was President Johnson’s original goal in launching his War on Poverty. Johnson promised his war would remove the “causes not just the consequences of poverty.” He stated, “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.” Johnson did not intend to put more Americans on the dole. Instead, he explicitly sought to reduce the future need for welfare by making lower-income Americans productive and self-sufficient.