Author Archives: Dr. Eowyn

California governor signs 15 new gun-control bills, incl. America’s worst red-flag law

On Friday, October 11, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Democrat, signed 15 gun-related bills into law, further tightening the state’s already-stringent Second Amendment restrictions. The laws will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its state affiliate, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, oppose the new laws. (Los Angeles Times)

The 15 new gun control laws include:

“Red flag” laws:

  • AB 12 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) extends the duration of a gun violence restraining order (GVRO) to a maximum of five years.
  • AB 61 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) allows an employer, coworker, or an employee or teacher to file a petition requesting a gun violence restraining order. Note that this bill had been vetoed twice by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown. Even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposes this law because AB 61 “poses a significant threat to civil liberties” in that a restraining order can be sought before a gun owner has an opportunity to dispute the request, and because those making a request under the new law may “lack the relationship or skills required to make an appropriate assessment.” (Fox News)
  • AB 164 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) holds any person subject to a valid restraining order, injunction, or protective order issued out of state to the same restrictions on buying or possessing firearms in California as they are under in the state where the order or injunction is operative.
  • AB 339 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) requires law enforcement agencies to develop and adopt written policies and standards regarding the use of gun violence restraining orders.
  • AB 1493 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) authorizes a person who is the subject of a gun violence restraining order to petition to submit a form to the court voluntarily relinquishing their firearm rights.

Laws on firearms sales:

  • SB 61 by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) prohibits the sale of a semiautomatic centerfire rifle to any person under 21 years of age, and applications to purchase more than one semiautomatic centerfire rifle in any 30-day period, with a few exceptions.
  • SB 376 by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) prevents individuals from selling large numbers of firearms without a license by capping the number of annual sales at 5 transactions or 50 firearms.
  • AB 645 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) requires packaging for firearms to contain a warning statement on suicide prevention.
  • AB 879 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) requires, starting in 2024, that the sale of firearms precursor parts be conducted through a licensed firearms precursor part vendor.
  • AB 1669 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) updates existing law by applying the same gun show regulations that already apply to firearms dealers to ammunition vendors, and ensures that sufficient funding is available for firearm regulatory efforts.
  • AB 1297 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) requires any local authority issuing concealed firearm licenses to charge an applicant a fee sufficient to cover the reasonable costs of processing, issuing and enforcement of the license, and eliminates the existing $100 limit on processing fees for concealed firearm licenses.
  • AB 893 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunitions at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the County of San Diego, the City of Del Mar, the City of San Diego.

Other laws:

  • AB 1548 by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) codifies the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program to improve the physical security of nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of violent attacks or hate crimes due to ideology, beliefs, or mission.
  • AB 1603 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) codifies the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program to help reduce violence in communities that are disproportionately impacted by violence.
  • AB 521 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) requires, with the adoption of a resolution by the University of California, the UC Firearm Violence Research Center at the University of California, Davis to develop multifaceted education and training programs for medical and mental health providers on the prevention of firearm-related injury and death.

There’s a petition to recall Gov. Newsom. To sign, go here.

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Why we should in *all* circumstances, give thanks

Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master!  Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

The human condition is that of suffering.

In one month, I lost the two most important and most loved persons in my life. The losses are immeasurable and my grief ocean-deep. There are times when I have felt abandoned by God.

But then I remind myself of what St. Paul — who was beaten, arrested and imprisoned on more than one occasion, and who was martyred (beheaded) on June 29, AD 67 — said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18:

In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

For indeed, despite whatever travails and suffering that afflict us, there is still so much for which we have to thank, beginning with the fact that we are still alive.

Not only is it right and true to thank God for our very lives and for His many other gifts (can you count and enumerate yours?), being thankful actually benefits us in at least seven scientifically-proven ways:

  1. Gratitude is good for our physical health: Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health — they exercise more often and are more likely to get regular check-ups.
  2. Gratitude is good for our psychological health: Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, found that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.
  3. Gratitude reduces stress and makes us more resilient: For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma by making us more resilient:
    • A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
    • Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – also fosters resilience, enabling you to better withstand trauma and stress. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the 9/11 attacks.
  4. Grateful people sleep better: Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed helps you sleep better and longer.
  5. Gratitude opens the door to friendship: Showing appreciation to other people can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.
  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem: A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude makes us better able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments, and reduces social comparisons which makes us resentful toward people who seem to have more than we have — whether more money, better jobs, better health, or more friends.
  7. Gratitude is good for society by enhancing empathy and reducing aggression: Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were sensitive and empathic toward other people; less vengeful; and less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback.

I know how difficult it is to be thankful when we are in the throes of great suffering. But I will now make a list of all the many, many things for which I am grateful. I invite you to make a list as well.

And remember, always: “In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Inseparable friendship of goose and man

Mike Jivanjee in Lake Oswego, Oregon, rescued a gosling, and now Kyle the goose follows Mike everywhere.

Thinking the gosling to be a boy, Mike named it Kyle after a friend who had just passed away. But Kyle turned out to be a girl. LOL

Below is a more recent video of Kyle the goose:

H/t Kelleigh

~Eowyn

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Because of Trump, American Federation of Teachers union lost 76,000 members and $18M in dues revenue

Founded in Chicago in 1916, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is the second largest teacher’s labor union in America, the largest being the National Education Association (NEA). 

Members’ dues underwrite much of AFT’s political activities.

Since 1980, AFT and the NEA have contributed nearly $57.4 million to federal campaigns, an amount that is about 30% higher than any single corporation or other union. About 95% of political donations from teachers unions have gone to Democrats:

  • In 2008, AFT donated $1,997,375.00 to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, and $1,784,808.59 to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
  • The AFT endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race — Hillary and AFT president Randi Weingarten are longtime friends. Some AFT members felt the endorsement did not reflect the wishes of rank-and-file AFT members because they supported socialist Bernie Sanders.

According to Department of Labor filings, Weingarten, 61, earned nearly $560,000 in total compensation during the 2013-2014 school year.

On June 27, 2018, in a landmark but narrow 5:4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court ruled that public sector union dues violate the First Amendment by compelling nonmembers to “subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern”. Unions will, subsequently, need to gain the affirmative consent of individual teachers before enrolling them in the AFT and NEA.

The Supreme Court’s Janus ruling led directly to the cancellation of membership by a substantial portion of teachers in the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Sean Higgins reports for Washington Examiner, Oct. 9, 2019, on the effects of the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME ruling in the year since:

  • AFT lost 76,000 members and $18 million in dues revenue.
  • AFT membership declined 4% to 1.7 million members, and would have declined even more if AFT had not made a grassroots outreach to build up its membership by adding 8,000 full-time teachers and 8,000 retiree members.
  • In a recent Labor Department filing, AFT reported having lost some  82,000 “agency fee” payers — from more than 85,000 the previous year to just 3,000. Agency fee payers are people who are not members of a union but are covered by a collective bargaining contract which requires them to pay a union a regular fee. The Supreme Court’s Janus ruling, however, means agency fee payers no longer are required to pay a fee to the AFT. The remaining agency fee payers are all at private-sector schools, because the Janus ruling doesn’t cover private-sector employment.

Conservatives must remember this when you find yourself unhappy with President Trump:

The narrow majority of five justices are Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Gorsuch.

The landmark Janus v. AFSCME ruling and the American Federation of Teachers’ loss of members and $18 million in revenue were made possible entirely because of President Trump’s nomination and the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, who replaced the late Justice Antonin Scalia, joined the four justices (Alito, Roberts, Kennedy and Thomas) in the majority ruling.

~Eowyn

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Why Fox News’ ‘Impeach Trump’ poll is junk

Jim Holt reports for Gateway Pundit, Oct. 10, 2019, that just last week, Rush Limbaugh warned about Fox News turning against President Trump.

Rush is right.

Yesterday, Fox News had a stunning poll — that 51% of Americans want President Trump impeached on the Demonrats’ entirely-baseless Ukrainian accusations.

But the Fox News poll is deceptive and bogus because it over-sampled Democrats by as much as 14 points.

In polling, sampling bias is when participants in the poll are collected in such a way that some members of the intended population have a higher or lower sampling probability than others, which means the polling sample is not a random sample in which all individuals are equally likely to have been selected. And so the poll’s results can be due to the (biased) method of sampling, instead of a true reflection of the population.

In the case of the Fox News poll, Democrats were over-sampled or over-selected by as much as 14%. That means the poll was weighted in favor of Democrats by 14 points. All of which renders suspect the poll’s results.

~Eowyn

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Heresy: Journalist claims Pope Francis said Jesus Christ is not God

Eugenio Scalfari, 95, is an Italian journalist, editor of the news magazine L’espresso (1963–1968), former member of parliament in the Italian Chamber of Deputies (1968–1972), co-founder of the newspaper La Repubblica and its editor from 1976 to 1996.

Scalfari is an atheist and reportedly a long time friend of Pope Francis, real name Jorge Bergoglio.

In July 2014, Scalfari reported, in an interview, Pope Francis’s claim that about 2% (or 8,000) of the Catholic Church’s total number of priests, including bishops and cardinals, were pedophiles.

In 2018, Scalfari wrote an article on his interview with Pope Francis, claiming that the pope said Hell did not exist. Scalfari later admitted that some words attributed to the pontiff “were not shared by Pope Francis” himself, whatever that means.

In an editorial in the October 8, 2019 edition of La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari claims that Pope Francis told him that once Jesus Christ became incarnate, he was a “man of exceptional virtues” but “not at all a God.”

One must subscribe to La Repubblica in order to read Scalfari’s editorial, but Niccolò Magnani reports for the Italian-language Ilsussidiario.net (Google translation here) that Scalfari wrote:

Whoever had the good fortune of meeting him [Pope Francis] and speaking to him with the utmost cultural confidence, as I have done several times, knows that Pope Francis conceives Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, man, not God incarnate. Once incarnated, Jesus ceases to be a God and becomes a man until his death on the cross…. Pope Francis told me: “I am the proven proof that Jesus of Nazareth, once he became a man, though a man of exceptional virtues, was not at all a God.

According to Magnani, “the Vatican was forced to correct Scalfari,” as the Vatican did on Scalfari’s previous claim that Pope Francis said hell does not exist” or on Scalfari’s fake interviews with Bergoglio.

Director of the Vatican Press Office Matteo Bruni said in a statement:

As already stated on other occasions, the words that Dr. Eugenio Scalfari attributes in quotation marks to the Holy Father during the talks he had cannot be considered as a report faithful to what was actually said, but rather represent a personal and free interpretation of what he has heard . . . regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Vatican spokesman Bruni then quoted what Pope Francis said in the general audience of December 18, 2013:

“God wanted to share our human condition to the point of doing one thing with us in the person of Jesus, who is true man and true God. But there is something even more surprising. The presence of God in the midst of humanity did not take place in an ideal, idyllic world, but in this real world, marked by many good and bad things, marked by divisions, wickedness, poverty, bullying and wars. He has chosen to inhabit our history as it is, with all the weight of its limits and its dramas. In doing so he demonstrated his merciful and loving inclination towards human creatures in an unsurpassable way.”

Michael Voris of Church Militant observes that Vatican spokesman Bruni “does not actually deny Scalfari’s characterization, merely hinting at the possibility. Likewise, it does not affirm in any fashion that Pope Francis does indeed hold the divinity of Christ during Our Savior’s earthly ministry.”

For his part, Michael S. Chapman of CNS News points out that if Scalfari indeed had repeatedly misquoted Pope Francis, it is curious that the Vatican website and the Vatican publishing house (LEV) have published Scalfari’s interviews with Pope Francis.

So, did Eugenio Scalfari lie?

What I do know is that Pope Francis joked about Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, is ashamed of the crucifix and conceals it so as not to offend Jews, and refuses to genuflect at the consecration of bread and wine into His Body and Blood. Those are not the behaviors of someone who believes Jesus Christ is God.

Pope Francis conceals the cross to not offend Jewish rabbis

See also:

H/t Steve Quayle

~Eowyn

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Hillary Clinton claims she won the presidency in 2016; teases she’ll run again

Hillary Clinton, Hunter College commencement speech, May 29, 2019

That woman has no shame.

In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton lost the electoral vote by a wide 304–227 margin. She then blamed and trashed Americans who had not voted for her, calling them “deplorables,” racists, woman-haters (“misogynists”), and white nationalists.

2016 election voting precincts map

Aided and abetted by then-FBI Director James Comey’s refusal to investigate or indict her, Hillary also continues to deny she had violated the law when, as Obama’s secretary of state, she ILLEGALLY used a non-State Department personal email server to receive and transmit emails and documents, some of which were classified.

On Tuesday, October 8, during an interview on PBS News Hour, Hillary falsely claimed she’d won the 2016 presidential election and repeatedly teased that she may run again in 2020.

Hillary made that preposterous claim in response to host Judy Woodruff quoting President Trump’s tweet earlier that day. Trump wrote:

“I think that crooked Hillary Clinton should try to enter the race to try and steal it away from uber-left Elizabeth Warren. Only one condition: The crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors, including how and why she deleted 33,000 e-mails.”

Hillary replied:

“You know, it truly is remarkable how obsessed he remains with me. But this latest tweet is so typical of him. Nothing has been more examined and looked at than my e-mails. We all know that. So maybe there does need to be a rematch. Obviously, I can beat him again. But, just seriously, I don’t understand, I don’t think anybody understands what motivates him.”

Clinton later responded to Trump’s tweet directly with this tweet:

Ryan Saavedra of Daily Wire reminds us that during the first 2016 presidential debate, Hillary had grandly proclaimed she would “respect” and “honor” the outcome of the election because “To say that you won’t respect the results of the election, that is a direct threat to our democracy.” She said: “Well, I support our democracy. And sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but I certainly will support the outcome of this election.”

According to Saavedra, “Despite teasing otherwise, those close to Clinton claim that she is not going to run in 2020.” Former Hillary campaign strategist Adrienne Elrod told The Hill on Monday:

“It’s silly. It’s a pipe dream. I mean, look, she’s made it very clear that after this last run she’s done. It’s time for new faces to come in. To be honest with you, I don’t know that a run this time around would yield a first- or second-place finish. I think there’s a lot of new people in the party who are stepping forward. I think we’ve got a very deep bench of strong candidates, and she knows this. I would advise against her running, not because I don’t think she’s qualified. Of course, she is, but I think that she knows it’s time for faces and new leadership to step forward.”

~Eowyn

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Cat carries friend’s lifeless body to shelter

This will break your heart.

We are told that dogs, being pack animals, are very loyal. Cats, however, are solitary by nature.

We are also told that non-human creatures don’t have feelings like we humans have.

But a homeless cat in China demonstrated not only loyalty to its companion, but a depth of feeling rivaling — and perhaps surpassing — those of humans.

Tiffany Lo reports for the Daily Mail that on July 2, 2018, in the Songbei district of Harbin, northern China, a stray white-and-yellow cat was seen dragging the lifeless body of another cat by its mouth.

Clearly exhausted, the cat had to stop to gather strength as it struggled to lift up its companion’s body.

Onlookers can be heard in the video saying: “Its friend is dead. Look at the cat.”

The devoted cat eventually succeeded in sheltering the lifeless body of its companion under a car.

~Eowyn

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Having a dog can prolong your life

Dennis Thompson reports for HealthDay News, Oct. 8, 2019, that a pair of new studies of the available medical evidence found that dog owners have a lower risk of early death than people without canine companionship, particularly when it comes to dying from a heart attack or stroke.

Both reports were published Oct. 8 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The two studies are:

  1. A study led by r. Caroline Kramer, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada, which reviewed data for more than 3.8 million people taken from 10 separate studies.
  2. A Swedish study using data from the Swedish National Patient Register.

The findings:

  • Dog ownership decreases a person’s overall risk of premature death by 24%.
  • The benefit of dog ownership is most pronounced in people with existing heart problems. Dog owners had a 65% reduced risk of death following a heart attack and a 31% reduced risk of death from heart disease.
  • Heart attack and stroke victims who own dogs have a lower risk of dying, particularly if they live alone:
    • Owning a dog reduced a heart attack patient’s risk of death by 33% if they live alone, and 15% if they live with a partner or child.
    • Owning a dog reduced a stroke survivor’s risk of death by 12% for those living with someone.
    • In the Swedish study, Dr. Mwenya Mubanga of Uppsala University and her colleagues combed Sweden’s patient database for all people aged 40 to 85 who had had a heart attack or stroke from 2001 through 2012. The investigators identified more than 181,000 heart attack victims, about 6% of whom owned a dog, and nearly 155,000 stroke survivors, of whom 5% owned a dog. Everyone who owned a dog had a reduced risk of death compared to those without a dog, but that risk was doubly reduced in people who lived alone versus those living with another person.

Why dog ownership prolongs life:

(1) Exercise:

Dr. Kramer said part of the benefit is likely due to the physical activity that comes with having a dog. In fact, she undertook the research after noticing changes in her own behavior after she adopted her a miniature schnauzer named Romeo. Dr. Kramer said: “At the time when I started work on this, I’d had my dog for a year and I noticed that I was walking way more. There’s a lot of evidence that people who have dogs walk way more. Their degree of physical exercise is much more.”

(2) Companionship: 

Previous research has found that dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure, healthier cholesterol levels and less stress. Dr. Kramer said one study discovered that “the act of petting a dog reduces blood pressure as much as medication to treat hypertension.

Dr. Dhruv Kazi, associate director of the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said: “My own hypothesis is that the biggest driver of this is what dog ownership does for one’s mental health.” Kazi said isolation and loneliness have been linked to poor heart health outcomes, and owning a dog appears to ease a person’s solitude enough to have a real benefit, which explains why people who live by themselves seemed to derive more benefits from dog ownership.

However, Kazi agrees that there are also physical benefits from having a dog because “If you own a dog, it doesn’t matter how tired you are or how cold out it is, you still have to go for a walk. That’s what you have to do.”

See also “Hearts of dogs and their owners beat in sync“.

~Eowyn

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The ‘Thar She Blows!’ Caption Contest

This contest is now closed.

———————————————————-

This is the 210th world-famous FOTM Caption Contest!

Here’s the video:

You know the drill:

  • Enter the contest by submitting your caption as a comment on this thread (scroll down until you see the “LEAVE A REPLY” box).
  • The winner of the Caption Contest will get a gorgeous Award Certificate of Excellence and a year’s free subscription to FOTM:D
  • FOTM writers will vote for the winner.
  • Any captions proffered by FOTM writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered. :(

This contest will be closed in a week, at the end of next Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

To get the contest going, here’s my caption:

A recent sighting of Rosie O’Donnell

For the winner of our last Caption Contest, go here.

~Eowyn

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