Hello, again, my dear faithful fellow readers. I do hope y’all enjoyed my little tribute last week to that wonderful brew known as BEER! I had forgotten to mention my dear old Auntie, Laurie, opining that nowadays BEER is no longer just a breakfast staple. The delightful refreshment can be enjoyed most any time of day or night.
While there is an awful lot of ugliness in our dear old world which needs discussion, I feel so cheered after reporting on BEER-IN-HAND RUGBY (BIHR) that I want to do a whole blog on nothing but positive items. My old pappy doesn’t think it’s possible, but here goes a trial!
How about this one (o:
The City of Seattle has passed an ordinance to raise the minimum wage level of workers in the city to $15 per hour. The higher rate (Seattle already has a relatively high minimum wage of $9.32 per hour) will be phased in over several years. The new law has a bunch of caveats, has some uneven provisions for various businesses, will probably be challenged in court, but still is a step in the right direction. Reportedly, some 120 cities and 26 states have by now raised their minimums to higher than the $7.25 Federal Law provides. Now, if congress could just get around to eliminating some of the infamous corporate welfare embedded in our tax laws which encourage the “multinationals” to move work overseas!
Here’s a little good news/ bad news number from vox.com: America’s four highest earning hedge fund managers pulled down more last year than the combined salaries of all 157,800 kindergarten teachers in the country. Yikes!! Pap said it was hard to find pure good news. He may have a point since this one was only good for four slicksters!
Here ya go – According to a new survey for the Centers for Disease Control, today’s teens have lower drug, alcohol, and cigarette use, have fewer babies, and exercise more frequently than any generation since the 1950’s! This good news opposite the current crop of college students allegedly engaging in virtually perpetual bacchanalia. Gives one a glimmer of hope for the future, eh what?
Also, heard that the FBI may drop its ban on hiring anyone who’s smoked marijuana in the last three years in order to attract tech-savvy young people. “Some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” said FBI Director James Comey. Things are definitely lookin’ up!!
Workplace Flextime! When Best Buy experimented with giving some employees 100 percent freedom over their schedules, the results were “surprisingly positive,” In exchange for the ability to work from anywhere, unlimited vacation and sick days, and an attendance-optional policy for all meetings, workers were held to strict productivity goals. Not only did employees report less stress, better health, and improved morale, the flexible teams’ productivity increased 41 percent, while voluntary turn-over rates decreased by as much as 90 percent. (From Seth Stevenson in slate.com.) If more of BIG CORPORATE could only follow suit, we could be competitive with the ridiculously low pay foreign sources, and simultaneously reduce, and maybe even finally eliminate, our disastrous balance of trade problem. Apparently, there is a smidgeon of hope!
Wow! A couple of good news items from the international scene from whence there hardly ever comes a cheery note these days (as reported in The Week – June 6, 2014)
Assisted Suicide for the healthy: The Swiss right-to-die group, Exit, has been offering its suicide assistance to elderly people who do not have terminal illnesses. At its annual meeting this week, Exit added “suicide due to old age” to its list of services. The group said it had received numerous requests from elderly individuals who had been mulling suicide for years. Religious groups and doctors’ groups condemned the new practice. “It gives us cause for concern,” said Dr. Jurg Schlup of the Swiss Medical Association, “because it cannot be ruled out that elderly healthy people could come under pressure to take their own life.” Euthanasia has been legal in Switzerland since 1942.
Wouldn’t it be nice if our good old U. S. of A. could act all grown-up and responsible, and let people out of this “vale of tears” when they wish to leave for their well-deserved reward? Old pappy’s search of the net indicated that Belgium and The Netherlands also permit assisted suicide. In the U.S., Oregon, and recently Washington, Montana, and Vermont all allow for some help in various circumstances. Of course “right-to-lifers” here at home are against any kind of assistance in this regard. Oddly enough, they claim to loath the govamint telling us how to conduct ourselves. One must wonder, isn’t a person’s deciding when to end his or her own life as important as the “right” to carry weapons which may possibly end someone else’s life?
Here’s an old hound dog’s perspective. Those same “right-to-lifers,” when faced with the prospect of their old dog’s loss of its quality of life, have no qualms about “putting down” the old critter. Apparently, something or someone has convinced them that the life of a canine is somehow different than the life of a human bean.
Now, here is a good idea if ever there was one:
Modi extends hand: Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was sworn in this week and spent his first day on the job meeting with the leader of India’s historic enemy, Pakistan. Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, described their 50-minute talk as “good and constructive,” and “held in a warm and cordial atmosphere.” It certainly could be a positive development for these two “Nuke” club members to continue talking versus pursuing an armed conflict! Even a wild and crazy Irish Setter could figure this one out!!
Finally, a good human bean friend of mine, whom I shall call “Artist X,” has gotten very good news. This fortunate person, upon completing an eye exam, will need a weaker prescription due to having improved eyesight!
So long for now, going to prepare some more (potential) good news regarding our military which will be ready in two weeks. Might have a small note or two next week.
Your neighbor, Buster.
That’s me back in Charm City before I was a big, famous blogger.