Good News Friday

Been a busy week, but I always manage to find a healthy supply of good news. Have a great weekend!

• After some Texas Open Carry loons terrified employees of a Ft. Worth Jack In The Box last week, the chain’s CEO says no to guns in their restaurants. Another big vitory for Moms Demand Action. I do not understand these Open Carry idiots. You walk into a restaurant with AR-15s strapped to your back and what the fuck do you think people expect to happen? If everyone is carrying you can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys, you dumbasses.

• Following Google’s similar action last week, Yahoo has removed misleading anti-abortion ads for violating their policies against false advertising.

• You know the war on Obamacare is over when even the insurance companies refuse to play along.

• Stanford University announced it will divest its endowment of coal company stocks.

• Related: Thanks to Warren Buffet, whose Berkshire Hathaway has just purchased Nevada’s largest utility, one of the country’s most notorious and dirtiest coal plants will be shut down in a three-year phase-out that will see the plant completely put out of commission by 2017. Even better, some of that energy will be replaced with a new solar project.

• The solar panels are finally back on the White House roof. That’s one Reagan-era error reversed. Just a few gazillion more to go.

• Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat and former ER doctor, saved a woman’s life by performing CPR until paramedics arrived. Apparently he was driving down the street and saw a man trying to resuscitate a woman on the road. He had his driver pull over and performed CPR while the driver called 911. Who does he think he is, Cory Booker?

• This doesn’t happen too often! The NRA suffered a big defeat in Florida, of all places — and at the hands of the Florida Sheriff’s Assn. and a Republican legislator from Clearwater. Say goodbye to the NRA’s “Hurricane bill.”

• Related: the Tacoma City Council unanimously voted to require universal background checks for all gun show purchases within city limits.

• “Reason” movement grows in opposition to religious fundamentalism.

• In the wake of Gov. Nathan Deal signing a “guns everywhere” bill into law, the Archbishop of Atlanta has banned guns from all Catholic institutions in Atlanta. The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta made a similar move last week as well.

• Vermont became the first state to call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse Citizens United.

• In response to a petition (started by a Mississippi teenager, no less!), Coca Cola is dropping brominated vegetable oil, which is banned in Japan and the EU, from its Powerade products.

• This story is a couple months old but I still like it: a 16-year-old boy used a 3D printer to make a prosthetic hand for the 9-year-old son of a family friend. Amazing!

• Not one, not two, but fourteen new species of “dancing frogs” have been discovered in southern India.

• Our hippie Pope has called for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor. And suddenly Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum find themselves in a rather awkward position. Hmm.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Some 1,370 acres of critical woodland and watershed in Williamson County, south of Nashville, has been preserved.

• TBI reports crime continues to drop across the state.

This week’s cool video is a real heart-warmer, but it has a bittersweet update:


Filed under Good News

22 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. deep

    Warren Buffett blows my mind. He (usually) uses his billions do the right thing and then on top of it he continues to make a shit-ton of money off it.

    Seriously, am I just being a stupid fan-boi, or is he seriously the anti-Koch?

    • Dear Mr Buffet,

      Do the Right Thing. Recognize me and deep as long lost love children and set up trust funds. Thank You.

      • Y’all are barking up the wrong tree there. Buffet is not passing on his wealth to the next generation. He’s leaving most of his money to a foundation.

        I remember hearing an NPR interview with one of his sons, who is a musician and songwriter. Dad refused to help him, as he did all of his children. Sure he didn’t need to worry about being homeless or starving to death but Buffett insisted his kids make their own way in the world. The musician son, IIRC, is now a really successful composer of film music or some such.

    • I don’t know if he’s the “anti-Koch” but he’s not a giant douchewazzle like the Libertarian “IGMY” parade. The Kochs do give a shit-ton of money to charity but they give even more, in my view, to damaging causes like Americans For Prosperity.

      • The problem with the Kochs’ charity is that, while it’s a shit-ton of money to people like us, it’s fuckin’ walking-around money for them. And all of it is tax-deductible.


      • deep

        That’s a good point. We here stories about assholes like Steve Jobs who apparently parked in the handicapped spot, not because it was close to the building but because he hated handicapped people. (Apparently he was offered a CEO spot right by the building but he refuse. His employees though it was so funny someone put a sticker on the sign that said “Apple: Park Different”)

        And there there was that guy who said it wasn’t enough he was sitting in first class; everyone else had to be sitting in coach.

        Asshole who are so sociopathic that it’s not enough that they are successful (which Buffet seems quite content to be) but that they need to ruin everyone else who might ever be competition.

      • deep

        …and somehow I’m completely incapable of adding the letter s to my plural words. Sorry for the bad grammar.

  2. The best is Buffet’s. All is not lost, after all.

  3. Phantom 309

    It would be nice if the Pope would demand that all personal debt be forgiven immediately. I’d respect the Pope more if he sold off the Vatican and everything in it and gave away the money and then instructed the rest of the Catholic churches to do the same. Jesus didn’t have a church building why should mere clergy? They can preach in a field!

    • The pope already has the plutocrats quaking in their boots; wealthy American Catholic capitalists threatening not to give any more money to the church and all. I love it. I’d say Francis is gonna be the last Jesuit Pope for a long, long time.

      • Phantom 309

        Wealthy American Catholic parishes have always been more about being social clubs rather than places of true religious beliefs and practices. Anything resembling charity is really a “Look at me! I’m rich and I’m helping the poor! Look at me!” display.

      • I just think it’s hilarious, you have these staunch Catholics like Paul Ryan calling for really abusive budgets and policies that oppress the poor and needy and he’s pretending he’s not being a dick about it, he’s all like “we’re freeing people from the bondage of a give-away government so they can understand the value of hard work!” As if the poor don’t work hard, don’t have the deck stacked against them, as if Paul Ryan didn’t enjoy every privilege and benefit he’s now trying to deny others. And then you have the Pope coming along and telling him no, that’s not the way to do it, not if you want to call yourself a good Catholic.

        I don’t know how the conservative Catholics will respond to this new hippie Pope but I suspect they will respond in much the same way as the Evangelical Protestant church has: the older, douchey wing of the church has decided that when their politics and religion collides, the religion must be wrong. Hence you have Andy Schlafly’s “Conservative Bible Project” and people like Glenn Beck saying Social Justice is evil. (And Beck, last I checked, is a Mormon, right? So why are evangelicals listening to a member of what they consider a heretical cult? Because he tells them what they want to hear!) And then you have the young people saying basically, nah y’all are wrong. There’s a big generational split in the evangelical church which absolutely no one is talking about.

      • Phantom 309

        It all goes back to American Catholics thinking that following what the Pope says and the rules of the Catholic Church is optional. Plenty of them believe if you don’t agree with the church rules regarding, say, birth control and what the Pope says about them, well, you can just disagree and it’s all good. You’re still a good Catholic if’n ya goes to church on Sunday. Nope. It don’t work like that. To be a Catholic in good standing you HAVE to follow the whole shebang. Picking and choosing is not allowed. That attitude has always made me wonder why they didn’t start The American Catholic Church and make up their own rules.

      • Good point. Cafeteria Catholicism has always been more than just liberals wanting birth control, though. Plenty of right-wing Catholics favor the death penalty and thumb their noses at social justice.

        I’m not sure this is just a Catholic thing. I’ve seen plenty of similar problems at my Presbyterian church. Living a true Christian faith is hard because it goes against the grain of human nature. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of the lord.” At least the Catholics make you do penance. The Baptists seem to think as long as you feel bad about being a lying asshole, it’s OK — as long as you still believe in Jesus none of the rest of it matters.

  4. I actually used to bartend/wait tables (yeah, I could work with the public–about 40 years ago) at a place in Omaha’s Old Market–it’s still there–and the current Mrs. Buffet, Astrid, worked at the French Café or one of the other jernts in the Market. She was a seriously nice, good looking woman. She liked to shop at the Goodwill and other thrift shops and, according to a bio I read about Warren a while back, still does. Money has never been what Warren wants. He is a bit of a control freak on some issues but he’s actually been lucky enough to have had a career doing something that he would do anyway.

  5. Kathleen

    What? Floridians will not be allowed to shoot hurricanes now? OMG.

    • Ha ha. The ones who don’t have concealed-carry permits can’t take their guns with them in the event of a hurricane emergency to fight off looters and vigilantes. They tried to present it as a safety thing, “we don’t want to leave them behind for looters to steal,” when in fact we all know they really wanted to legalize shooting at the Blackety Black people stealing supplies during the Zombie Apocalypse.

      • Teh arc of “Stand your ground”:

        You’re threatening my life–you look like you might be threatening my life–you’re stealing my property–you’re in a house or store and you come out with some item and no receipt–you’re black

    • But will they be allowed to bomb shark-filled tornadoes?

  6. CB

    In regards to “Guns Everywhere”:

    Now, for the time being anyway, it does make one wonder why all these folks voted for these scumbag legislators in the first place, karma bein’ such a bitch and all.

  7. I do not understand these Open Carry idiots.

    They want to normalize the presence of guns everywhere. Sure, everyone freaks out when they see a bunch of guys with AR-15s walking into their restaurant now, but if it were an everyday occurrence they would eventually adapt. Making everyone else adapt to their desire to be heavily armed wherever they go is the long-term goal.

    • And the cure for that is to do exactly the same thing they always want to do to teh gayzloverz, boycott establishments that willingly give in to the fauxmacho gunzloonz. Yes, it might inconvenience folks but not shopping at a Publix or eating at Shoneys if they allow gunzloonz to do open carry on their premises–when they have the option of not doing so–is a whole different thing than not getting your latte fix at Starbucks. A meal for 4 (even at a Shoney’s) is gonna run to $50-60 bucks; grocery bills for a family of four are about $150-200/wk if the shoppers in front of me at the local supermarket are representative.

      When business people see that catering to a vocal minority of craven bullies is going to cost them a significant chunk of cash, they often have a “Walk away from JESUS (or gunz, or teh anti-gay) moment unless they’re hard core fanatics. If they are hard core fanatics and they piss enough people off they’ll make room for other people who might not be so stupid and bigoted.