Tag Archives: Good News

Counterbalance: Polarization Can Be Good!

First, let me wish people a belated joyous Spring Equinox, and an early Happy Easter.

Aside #1: I wonder what all these fundamentalists in Walmart and elsewhere would think if they knew the actual origins of the Easter Bunny, eggs, and so on.  They’d have a fit!

Ok, now for today’s “good news” monthly post…

There was an enormous March for Our Lives last weekend, with hundreds of thousands of kids and their supporters marching all over the country, to advocate for gun laws.  Cable news had all-day live coverage, and the organizers (the Parkland school students) were being interviewed quite a lot.

As the country seems to move to opposite positions on gun control, I am actually pleased by this.  I am pleased because the contradiction between positions can’t stay at this heightened awareness for long, and change is coming.

We’ve reached a kind of tipping point regarding gun violence, and it’s about time.  Only the most hardened, stupid, reactionary people would argue against some firearms restriction now.

Those few folks…and the National Rifle Association – which is basically just a firearms manufacturing lobby group – might object, but it’s too late for that now.  No one buys their bs.

Also helping is the information that the NRA has apparently been laundering money from Russia (“Senator Seeks Documents on Russia Money Links to the NRA”, Desmond Butler, Associated Press via the PBS website, 2/2/18).  I’m fairly sure that won’t sit well with most Americans.

I’m not sure what kind of legislation will come out of all this, at least until the Democrats regain control.  I’m glad the dialogue has appeared to move from the “mental illness” emphasis to the “availability of assault rifles” focus.

So, that’s the first good piece of news.

Big news for Tool fans (and I am one of those) – the band is finally releasing a new CD in April.  It’s been 12 years since their last CD.   Also being released next month, a new CD from one of Maynard’s other bands, A Perfect Circle.  It’s been 14 years since they released all new material.

Maybe they’ll go on tour, too, though I doubt I could afford the tickets and if I am still in central PA they most likely won’t play at a venue near me.  Plus, I don’t know anyone who would be willing to take me – Tool has a cult following, mostly comprised of people far younger than I (though Maynard himself is 53).

Great news on the Russian investigation – Mueller’s team wants to interview 45 soon, and 45 doesn’t have decent legal representation.  Most of his legal team has quit, and two of the remaining lawyers – McGahn and Cobb – are attorneys for the office of the presidency, not the for the president himself.   Jay Sekulow is his only personal lawyer left (“Trump’s Legal Team is in Shambles. The Timing is Terrible.” Zachary Fryer-Biggs, Vox website, 3/27/18).

The Mueller investigation is also looking into Jared Kushner’s business dealings with Russia, China, and Qatar (amongst other places), and how these contacts and business deals might be connected to 45 and his election campaign (“Mueller is Taking a Closer Look at Jared Kushner”, Abigail Tracy, Vanity Fair website, 2/20/18).

Aside #2: I’m not going to comment on the “president and the porn star” news, because I don’t think it’s going to amount to anything.  I think there are much more important issues than 45 paying someone off to not talk about his disgusting sex life.  

Terrific news on the fight against cancer:  A Canadian woman is in remission from lung cancer due to a Cuban vaccine.  She had been given only one year left to live, and her husband went searching for a way to help her because the traditional chemotherapy she was receiving wasn’t working.  He found an organization called CubaHeal, paid $135 and submitted paperwork to the company, and his wife was approved for treatment.  So, off they went to Cuba, she got treatment, and now there is no evidence of cancer (“Woman in Remission After Treatment in Cuba”, Colton Wiens, CTV News Regina website, 3/13/18) .

It’s not cheap, this Cuba thing – a trip to Havana, plus injections, costs $14,500 (Ibid).

But, thanks to the Idiot-in-Charge, Americans can’t travel to Cuba now (“Trump Administration Sets New Restrictions on Americans’ Business Ties and Travel to Cuba”, Tracy Wilkinson, LA Times website, 11/8/17).  He’s just mad that they wouldn’t let him build one of his monstrosities of a hotel there, so of course everyone else has to suffer (“Trump’s Conflicts of Interest in Cuba, Carolyn Kenney and John Norris, Center For American Progress website, 6/14/17).

I am hoping maybe researchers/drug companies will look at this medication, and make it available here.

For those who can’t/won’t take fish oil supplements, some good news for you: A recent meta-analysis of 10 trials involving 77,917 participants published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found “no significant association with reductions in fatal or nonfatal coronary heart disease or any major vascular events” (“Associations of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement Use with Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Meta-Analysis of 10 Trials Involving 77,917 Individuals”, Theingi Aung, MBBS, FRCP, Jim Halsey, BSc, Daan Kromhout, PhD, et al, JAMA Cardiology, 3/18).

So don’t waste your money.  Hey, I think they are nasty-tasting things, anyway, so I am delighted to impart this news to my PCP’s intern, who keeps insisting I take them.

I scoured the internet for more good news, but I was OD-ing on human interest stories, cat and dog rescue narratives, and the like – so that’s all for this week.

Now for the weird news: From Punxsutawney, PA, this great quote – “It’s probably a misunderstanding on their part, because Phil is the messenger.  He doesn’t actually create the weather.”

The context? “Punxsutawney Phil Wanted by Police for Bad Weather Forecasting”, David Moye, Huffington Post website, 3/26/18.  Because the latest snow really pissed off some Pennsylvanians.

Pennsylvanians are weird.  Everyone knows this!

Recommendation for the week:  Are you old enough to remember the TV series “The Avengers”, starring Dame Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee?  I found episodes on Daily Motion!  Here’s the link.  For those of you not old enough, check it out – it was a very amusing, well-written bit of madness and you might enjoy it.

Be good. Be kind.  If you see Phil, don’t blame him!








Counterbalance: Good News Wednesday

It’s Girl Scout cookie time!  Head out to one of their usual haunts in front of retail stores (usually a grocery store) and buy some!  No, I am not a Girl Scout but I think they’re a great organization.  And their cookies are good!

Besides the Great Cookie Arrival, since this is the last Wednesday of the month, this post will be all about good news.

One of the biggest pieces of good news is that Rick Gates – former assistant campaign director for 45 – has had all charges dropped by Mueller in exchange for his full cooperation.  Some people are angry that he got his charges dropped, but I say, “whatever works” and anyway, if Gates goes back on his agreement, Mueller will refile charges (“Robert Mueller Just Flipped His Third Former Trump Aid”, Andrew Prokop, Vox website, 2/23/18).

Aside #1: Mueller wouldn’t have made this deal if the information he was going to get out of Gates wasn’t substantial – and about higher-ups.

Next good piece of news is that a W. Virginia judge has dropped a defamation suit filed by a coal industry executive against John Oliver (comedian and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight). Mr. Oliver referred to Murray Energy Company CEO Robert Murray as a “geriatric Dr. Evil” (“Judge Dismisses Coal Magnate’s Lawsuit Against John Oliver, HBO”, Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone online, 2/24/18).

Aside #2: The judge ruled that Mr. Oliver’s speech is protected by the First Amendment.

A California judge has ordered the Dept. of the Interior to reinstate the ruling (that was made during the Obama administration) restricting methane emissions.  The agency can no longer stall and refuse to enforce this.

Judge William Orrick stated that “the delay is untethered to evidence and is likely to cause irreparable injury to California, New Mexico, and other states” (“Second Judge Says Trump Can’t Keep Stalling Clean-Air Rules”, Matthew Daly, Associated Press via the U.S. News website, 2/23/18).

Aside #3: For more on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his awful policies, go here

The Supreme Court has rejected 45’s appeal of an injunction in January of this year that stopped him from ending the DACA program.  45 had ordered the phasing out of DACA to begin next month, in March (“Supreme Court Rejects Trump Over ‘Dreamers’ Immigrants”, Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung, Reuters website, 2/26/18).

Now that can’t happen.  Hooray!

Aside #4: It’s going to be a long fight, but I think eventually it will be won and DACA will endure.  A huge majority of Americans support this program.

A U.S. Appeals Court has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does include protections for workers against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (“U.S. Appeals Court Says Title VII Covers Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation”, Daniel Weissner, Reuters website, 2/26/18).  This is great news!

Aside #5: This ruling was in response to the 45 administration filing a brief that claimed sexual orientation was not intended to be protected under Title VII.  Because Republicans are all about “keeping government out of peoples’ business”, unless they don’t like you – then it’s ok for them to do it.

And, finally, this bit of nonpolitical good news…

Music icon Dolly Parton founded an organization called Imagination Library, which donates books to children aged 0-5 in the U.S, the U.K., Canada, and Australia.

The organization donates 1.1 million books every month!

Yesterday, they donated their 100 millionth book to the Library of Congress, and announced a partnership between the two organizations – an “Imagination Library Storytime” streamed live from the Library of Congress to libraries across the U.S. (“Dolly Parton Donates 100 Millionth Book, Announces Partnership with Library of Congress”, Maggie Jones, Knox News website, 2/27/18).

I have always liked Dolly Parton.

Ok, on to the weekly weird news…Here’s an interesting slide show about daydreaming:

“Daydreaming Again? 5 Facts About the Wandering Mind”, Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, Live Science website, 9/15/16

It asserts that, while daydreaming can help motivate people to accomplish goals, it also can cause you to forget what you were thinking about before you…wait a minute, let me go back and look at the slide show again…oh yeah, forget what you were thinking about before you drifted off.

I am a chronic, lifelong daydreamer.

Recommendation for the week: The Cost of Living Calculator on the PayScale website.  You just enter where you live now, where you want to live, your current salary and job title (or the title of the job you want in the new city), then hit the calculate button.  I stumbled across this as I was looking into a move back to Memphis, which I’ve been daydreaming about lately heh.

Don’t know how I am going to manage it, so any suggestions would be appreciated.  I have a new grandbaby to meet!

Be good.  Be kind.  Don’t give up on your dreams.