Good News Friday

Gosh, it is so gorgeous here in Nashville this morning: lows in the 40s, high will just hit 70. I wish I could bottle this weather because we’ll need it come August.

It’s going to be a perfect Memorial Day Weekend. What’s happening in your world today?

• Good news, bad news: The Boy Scouts have lifted their ban on gay youth (they had a ban on gay youth?), but they’re keeping their ban on gay troop leaders. Honestly, I was talking to some friends about this last weekend, and they seemed to feel like scouting in general is losing steam in American culture — kids today have so many other opportunities, and there are so many other things to do. The idea of everyone wearing identical paramilitary outfits while pledging to be clean and courteous just seems so hopelessly quaint and irrelevant.

I know when I was in middle school, nothing got you branded as a big LOSER faster than wearing a scouting uniform to school. So I think this decision is just a reflection of the demise of scouting in general. People will raise a stink and make a big hoo-hah, I’m sure the right-wingers will want to enroll their kids in one of the many religious/conservative alternatives to the Boy Scouts but all in all, the decline of scouting will continue because it’s not 1950 anymore and kids would rather play on their XBox.

So yes, glad you’re not banning gay youth, something the Scouts never should have done to begin with. But you’re pretty culturally out of touch in general, and I see this as closing the barn door long after the horses escaped.

• New home sales rose 30% in April, reaching near record levels, and prices have risen to near-record levels as well, all signs of a strong economic recovery. Obama is the worst Socialist ever.

• The Ninth Circuit has struck down an Arizona law banning abortions after 20 weeks, calling it unconstitutional because it “deprives the women to whom it applies of the ultimate decision to terminate their pregnancies prior to fetal viability,” and therefore is unconstitutional “under a long line of invariant Supreme Court precedents.”

• Remember Kiera Wilmot, the Florida teen charged with felonies and expelled over a science project gone wrong? She’s been cleared of all charges and given a scholarship to the U.S. Space Academy’s “Space Camp” program, courtesy of a NASA veteran who in high school was accused of starting a forest fire when his science project went wrong.

• Women’s nipples will not be dubbed indecent in North Carolina, at least for now.

• We may not have Michele Bachmann to kick around much longer.

• Tesla says it has repaid its federal loan almost 10 years ahead of schedule.

• After just three years, the Great Crane Project has successfully produced the first crane egg in southern Britain in more than 400 years. Cranes are functionally extinct in Britain.

• Britain’s House Of Commons voted to approve same-sex marriage. The House of Lords needs to pass the bill for it to become law.

• The Peace Corps will allow same-sex couples to serve together starting next month.

• Delaware becomes the seventh state to ban shark fins.

• What hellish hairy beast is this?


It’s a “Strawscaper,” a skyscraper covered in “hair” (actually straws) which harness wind energy and turn your typical skyscraper into an urban power plant. This creepy vision brought to you by Swedish design firm Belatchew Labs.

• Another culture-war battle lost for conservatives: Illinois has banned abstinence-only sex ed.

• It’s not all burqas and backseats for Saudi women: meet Raha Mobarak, the first woman from Saudi Arabia to scale Mount Everest.

Good News, Tennesee Edition:

• Tennessee Congress Varmint Rep. Scott DesJarlais has been fined by the Tennessee Board Of Medical Examiners for having sexual affairs with two patients.

• One of the great things about being the next “it” city is that Nashville has become foodie central. I mean geez, I remember when I first moved here the most exotic food you could get was bad Thai. But innovative chefs have been flocking to our fair city over the past few years and now it seems like there’s an exciting new restaurant opening every week. One newcomer is Chef Sean Brock’s Husk, which opens Thursday. We’ll probably be able to get a reservation sometime around Christmas.

• Congratulations to 2012 Brentwood High grad Mark Daniel, recipient of a $100,000 Thiel Foundation fellowship. Daniel will spend two years launching his start-up, StatusHawk. Much is being said about the fellowship’s requirement that recipients leave school for two years to focus on their entrepreneurial ideas, but I don’t see what the big deal is. Mormon missionary kids leave school for two years to do their thing and no one cries bloody murder. Good luck, Mark.

• First Lady Michelle Obama visited our fair city last weekend to deliver the commencement address at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. It was a tremendous thrill for the kids, especially since this will be the only high school commencement address she will give this year. You can hear her speech at the link.

• On a related note, students at Knoxville’s Sarah Moore Greene Elementary School who helped Michelle Obama plant her White House vegetable garden have been invited back to see the results of that hard work and help with the summer harvest.

• Memphis’ infant mortality rate has dropped.

This week’s cool video comes from CNN: Wolf Blitzer was shocked to find an atheist in a foxhole the Oklahoma tornado rubble. It’s hilarious. Blitzer is taking a lot of flak for his “you gotta thank the Lord” question, but really I think this just shows how trite and cliche American religiosity has become.


Filed under Good News

29 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. democommie

    “It’s going to be a perfect Memorial Day Weekend. What’s happening in your world today?”

    It’s 43 degrees and raining at the moment. The “good news” is that by later today it will be 50 degrees and raining. Typical weather in May, in Central NY. The fact that it follows three or four days of temps in the mid 70’s to low 80’s should not be construed as an indicator of future weather performance.

    “they had a ban on gay youth?”

    The Church of Latter Day Scolds has and has had inordinate influencer in the BSA. That scouting is losing its steam may be attributable to their being out of touch wit today’s “Yute”. They need to catch up. There should be a merit badge for video gaming; check that, there should be a BSA video game, “Eat Lead, Eagle Scout MoFo’s!”.

    Since one has to smile in the face of adversity…

    My caption for the still of Wolf Shitzler and the young woman with the child:

    “Oh, my goodness, I’m embarrassed to have you show up at a moment like this when the house is such a mess!”.

  2. democommie

    The Missy Bachmann linkyloo fails. Try this one:

    I was hoping that it would be something like her and Sally Kern (Wingnut–OK) revealing that they have been in a long term lesbian relationship and announcing their respective divorces from their husbands and engagement to be married as soon as the new MN gay marriage law is implemented!

    • deep

      it still blows my mind the tribal mindset that makes people continue to vote for someone even after they have been investigate/arrested/tried/convicted. It’s not just Bachmann, but plenty of politicians throughout history. To think that her opponent is only a head by 2 points now is incredible.

      • Seeker

        Mark Sandford. HOW was this guy re-elected? He’s a sleazebag, but I guess even an embezzling, lying scumbag *man* is better than a smart, hard-working woman?

      • HOW was this guy re-elected?

        House of Representatives. Conservative district. Same ol’ story.

        I kinda wonder if he would’ve stood a chance at another state-wide office. Somehow I doubt it. I mean, Scott DesJarlais got re-elected in his wingnut district. Mr. Super Christian Family Values except that one time he had an affair oh yeah there was that other time, and then the time he pressured his mistress to have an abortion and she caught it all on tape ….

  3. greennotGreen

    About Blitzer’s statement, “You gotta thank the Lord…” I wonder if that’s just another way of saying, “You gotta thank your lucky stars.” Very few people would take that as a proclamation of belief in astrology; I think “thank the Lord” may be moving in that direction.

    Since I am a person of faith, I hope that had I been in that woman’s shoes, I would have replied, “Yes, the Goddess was kind.” That’d drive the Christianists right up the wall!

  4. Hey, SB, regarding the ’20 week law, shot down by the Judge in AZ’, there is still the insanely, ludicrous, hateful bill proposed by the haters of females in MS that would require JAIL, if a female had a ‘stillborn or a miscarriage’. Why don’t these ignorant, hateful, old white men just get impregnated so they will know how their total lack of accurate sex information punishes all females in MS ???

    • I had read some state was pushing a law requiring women to “report” their miscarriages with local police or law enforcement — maybe it’s the same thing you’re referring to, or it could be another state, I’m not sure.

      I’m sure local police departments would be THRILLED to have the added responsibility of being womb police. But yes, by all means, keep reminding us how conservatives want to keep the government out of people’s lives. I’m ALL ears.

  5. barbdominey

    Comment from an Icelandic friend re: the Blitzer interview:
    “This woman’s name is “Vitsmun” which is Icelandic for “Intelligence”. The word as used in Icleandic is actually “Vitsmunir” and the way it’s spelled it’s literal meaning is “Difference in Intelligence”. And she’s talking to Wolf Blitzer.

    How about that :D”

  6. kosh III

    I don’t see a DesJarlais’ as being punished, not really. A 500 dollar fine is just a slap on the wrist. It’s doctors looking out for other doctors.

    • Agreed, with a caveat. He should have had his license yanked, and probably would have, had the women filed complaints. But he was reprimanded as well, and also had to pay $1,000 in fees. So while the financial hit wasn’t great, the public humiliation has stung far worse.

  7. democommie

    The real asskicking for Dickjarlais could be coming down the pike. He’s basically admitted to sexual impropriety, violations of medical ethics (not his, he doesn’t seem to have any) and possibly sexual predation. If somebody else that he’s abused comes forward with a civil suit, he could lose LOTS of shit.

    • But he can still be a scout leader.

      • Sure, for that merit badge in “Pressuring your mistress into having an abortion so your wife doesn’t find out,” and, “Writing scrip to your girlfriend/patient,” and also “NRA Family Values Merit Badge in putting a gun in your mouth and dry-firing it so your wife doesn’t leave you because you’ve been a cheating scumbag.”

  8. *marks off 42 straight months of unemployment*

    sigh. 😦

    • God that’s awful. I’m so sorry.

      • …I can’t really complain – it could be worse, =much= worse. It wears on a person, though. What drive me nuts is the whole good-ole-boy-club mentality that pervades this town.

        If I should ever win the lottery, I think the =one= semi-foolish thing that I would do would be to open a business here – not sure what, but something I would enjoy doing – and pay all the employees an honest living wage, just to see those fuckers’ heads explode.

      • Well, know that you aren’t alone. I can’t tell you how many people in my life have been struggling with unemployment. Everyone seems to be bouncing back though, but pretty much all of them had to change careers.

      • …Aye, there’s the rub. “changing careers”.

        There =are= no careers to change to out here, at least not ones that I would seriously consider given my known strengths and weaknesses.

        Going back to school, at 40+ no less, presents its own set of challenges, first and foremost being ‘How To PAY For It?’, going to ‘Is It Even Going To Be WORTH It When I’m Done?’

        I truly wish that I had been able to make the decision to GET OUT and gone to college Somewhere The Fuck Else when I graduated High School…

      • I’m in the middle of a certification program to help enact my own career change, since freelance writing in this media environment means going the way of the dinosaur. At 51 years old I thought I’d be the oldest person in the program … but surprisingly, no. I’m about average.

        Again: you’re not alone. We’re all trying to reinvent ourselves these days.

  9. democommie

    Late entry for the week’s good news:

    Anything that discomfits Arpiehole and his goons is good news.

  10. democommie

    Hmmmm. Jimbo must be out oiling his gun or ironing his flag.

    • Jim in Memphis

      Nice to see you miss me DC. Took a weekend vacation with the wife out into the Smoky Mountains. I was a nice getaway for us. P.S. I do not own a gun and have never fired a gun in my life.

    • Jim in Memphis

      Nice to see that you miss me DC. Just to let you know though, I do not own any guns, have never fired a gun, and I don’t own a flag either.