It’s been a gorgeous week here, and I’ve got lots of exciting news which I’m not ready to share yet, but things are definitely on the upswing at the Beale household. So I’ve been really busy and it looks like things will only get busier.
Without further ado, some good news from the past week:
• Yay!! The solar panels are back on the White House roof! End of a huge error. St. Ronnie the Clueless had them removed back in 1986, one of the stupidest, most short-sighted acts of hippie punching in American politics.
• Wisconsin’s Attorney General says Catholic hospitals can’t deny admitting privileges to abortion providers.
• Zoologists at the Smithsonian Institute have discovered a new species of carnivorous mammal which lives in the Central American rainforest. It looks sort of like a terrifying cross between a possum and a spooky Teddy bear, though apparently it’s related to the raccoon:
Those eyes will haunt my nightmares.
Four other nominees this year are women as well — and two of them are from Tennessee: Oprah Winfrey and Loretta Lynn.
• Two Roman Catholic communities in central Kentucky told the oil and gas industry to stuff it, they can’t have their land for their poisonous pipeline:
Two Roman Catholic communities, which collectively own more than 3,000 acres in Central Kentucky, are refusing to permit access to their historic properties for a proposed underground pipeline that would transport flammable, pressurized natural-gas liquids across the state.
The Sisters of Loretto in Marion County and the Abbey of Gethsemani in Nelson County have denied representatives of the pipeline developers permission to survey their property and said they won’t consent to participating in the project.
“We’ve been on this property since 1824,” said Sister Maria Visse, service coordinator for the Sisters of Loretto, whose 780-acre property includes its motherhouse, retreat centers and a farm. Close to 100 nuns and co-members (lay people affiliated with the order) live on the site.
“We feel entrusted with this,” Visse said. “It’s a gift. it’s not a commodity.”
• The track and field World Championships were held in Moscow this week and in defiance of Russia’s ban on “homosexual propaganda,” American silver medalist Nick Symmonds told Russian news media that he was dedicating his win to his gay and lesbian friends. Symmonds became the first athlete to openly buck Russia’s anti-gay law.
• Related: the pro wrestling world’s first openly gay superstar comes out of the closet: congratulations, Darren Young.
• Gay spouses of members of the military are now eligible for the same spousal benefits as hetero spouses, including medical care, housing allowances and survivor benefits.
• A Federal judge has ruled that New York City’s “stop-and-frisk” policy is unconstitutional.
• Gov. Jerry Brown signed California’s transgender student rights bill into law. It’s the first of its kind in the country.
• Arkansas colleges and universities have unanimously opted out of a new law that would allow faculty and staff with concealed-carry licenses to bring their weapons on campus.
• Nancy Judd turns trash into high fashion.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• A new program offers free community college or technical school to all graduates of metro Nashville high schools.
• Tennessee Senator Frank Niceley wants to legalize industrial hemp in the state.
• The Tennessee Supreme Court has overturned an antiquated rule that labeled the victims of statutory rape as accomplices.
This week’s cool video comes courtesy of Stephen Colbert, in which he introduces us to Johnny Cummings, mayor of tiny Vicco, KY. Cummings is gay, out, and has the full support of his small Kentucky town and its council — and Vicco has just become the smallest town in America to pass a non-discrimination ordinance.
Let me say, as someone who has lived in my fair share of small towns in the American hinterlands, this whole “small town vs big city” nonsense we hear from the likes of Sarah Palin is just divisive, partisan crap. People in small towns are no different from anyone else, as this story makes clear:
[UPDATE]: Okay, apparently the YouTube version has been yanked but you can see the video over at Colbert Nation. Unfortunately WordPress won’t let me embed Comedy Central videos using their embed code, don’t know why.
Have a great weekend!