It’s a travel week for me, so the round-up is a little light. Still, a small dose of good news is better than nothing, right?
• The Rhode Island state house voted to approve gay marriage. The bill now goes to the state Senate.
• The New Jersey town of Marlboro is offering residents a property tax credit for shopping locally. Cool idea.
• Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has lifted the longstanding military ban on women in combat roles. One question: will women register for the Selective Service now? If not, why not? We should. Not saying I’d want to, but fair is fair.
• After a New Mexico pharmacist refused to fill a birth control prescription citing his religious beliefs, Walgreen’s instituted new policies they say will ensure birth control prescriptions “are handled as efficiently as other prescriptions without imposing any burden on the customer.”
What a concept. Here’s an idea: tell those people who can’t fill a birth control prescription because it offends their religious beliefs to get another damn job. Seriously, this shit makes me nuts. Have you heard that the Catholic church claims a fetus is not a person in its defense in a Colorado malpractice lawsuit? Love how the church chucks its “pro-life” principles when it serves them. Who’s surprised? I’m not. This isn’t about anything but power and politics. /rant.
• A U.N. treaty limiting global mercury emissions has been signed by more than 140 countries.
• New York City’s murder rate has plummeted.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• A Democratic state representative has proposed legislation banning mountaintop removal mining.
• Smyrna, TN’s Nissan plant, which manufactures the all-electric Leaf and its batteries, will also manufacture two models of Nissan hybrids and their batteries, as well. Green investment, it creates ripples across the economy!
This week’s cool video shows the Arctic blast moving across the continental U.S. I’m in New York City right now, and let me tell you: I have never experienced cold of this type, ever. That includes the winter I spent in Scandinavia back in the ’80s. People, this is unbearable cold. I just want to stay in bed and drink mugs of tea. Brrrr. What strikes me about this video is that it reminds me a lot of that movie, “The Day After Tomorrow” — you know, the one the climate change deniers mocked? Extreme weather is a feature of climate change and yes, that means ungodly cold as well as heat.
Stay warm, everybody.