Good News! [DOT 14/6/21]

You'll have your good news and like it

I fully recognize and accept the old adage in journalism that “if it bleeds it leads.”  I get it, I really do.  People, generally speaking, are hard-wired to pay more attention to the rotten shit than they are to the good stuff.  Good news is B-O-R-I-N-G, while the kind of news which makes you want to crawl back into bed and never come out again is Great For Ratings!  It doesn’t help that even the mainstream news outlets tend to treat good news like a novelty—a cherry on top of the shit sundae they just fed you for the last 30 minutes—rather than something that can, and should, be covered with just as much depth as the “hard” news.  Well, today I say “Fuck.  That.”  This post is going to be chock full of good news stories, and not the “fireman rescues cat from tree” saccharin bullshit.  So, brace yourselves.

Good news in healthcare:

As someone who used to work in the pediatric rehabilitation wing of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, I can tell you that spina bifida is no joke.  This kind of surgical intervention looks to be a big deal.

https://wgntv.com/news/medical-watch/operating-inside-the-womb-parents-doctors-share-story-of-life-changing-surgery/

Good Environmental news:

These people sued, and won, against the Trump Administration, which means that even though the Biden Administration created the final rule to set aside this massive protected area, it was the result of the action of the courts, which means the next Republican in office isn’t likely to just reverse it.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/u-s-establishes-new-protections-for-endangered-humpback-whales-in-pacific-ocean/

Good news in Criminal Justice Reform:

Turns out that reforming drug laws in this country has had the effect most people said it would:  reducing incarceration rates.  It also looks like the wider effects of these policy changes have resulted in the repurposing of former correctional facilities into all kinds of far more useful endeavors.  Including, believe it or not, a huge homeless shelter.  Here’s the money line from the director of the program there:  “We’re the only homeless shelter in the universe that improved the property values when we moved in.”

https://apnews.com/article/business-prisons-f32b5148896c798ab586a8701cfac58c

Good news in Renewable Energy:

Yes, it was only four seconds long, but in a state as large as California, this is a big deal for the goal of using renewable energy to supply almost all of our power needs.

https://www.latimes.com/environment/newsletter/2021-04-29/solar-power-water-canals-california-climate-change-boiling-point

Good news in the world of Remote Work:

I am 100% on board.  Now I just need to convince Mrs. Butcher that moving to Italy is a good idea.

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/italy-towns-pay-remote-working-cmd/index.html

Good news in the Automotive Industry:

Another major manufacturer says they’ll be producing 100% electric vehicles within the next 10 years.  That’s not nothing.

https://www.optimistdaily.com/2021/06/italian-carmaker-fiat-to-transition-its-fleet-to-all-electric-starting-2025/

I’ll be straight with you:  it was tough to find even five good news stories that had actual depth and weight to them and that weren’t just “one person did a nice thing today.”  I’m one of those people who says that “pessimism” is what optimists call “realism” when they don’t like the message, so I know I’m part of the problem here.  Which is why this DOT was by-God not going to be another slog through the hellscape that is US politics/world economics/whatever other terrible thing we can find without even trying. 

Tune time!

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About butcherbakertoiletrymaker 568 Articles
When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.

32 Comments

  1. More good news: Trump DOJ apparently sought the same data from former White House counsel Don McGahn that they got from Schiff and Swallwell.
     
    They’ve literally collected evidence against themselves.
     
    Everyone is pissed at Garland for not jumping on Trump shit on day one, but I suspect he shows up to work feeling like he’s drinking from a fire hose every morning and is in ‘sort the shit into workable piles’ mode.

  2. As an optimist by nature I am grateful for this post. On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being Cassandra and 10 being Candide, I’m about a 9, without Candide’s delusions deployed for comic effect. And on a dark, drizzly Monday morning, at least where I am. May more good news come everyone’s way.

    Here on the home front I’m desperately looking forward to the arrival of Primary Day, which is a week from tomorrow. Now I know what it’s like to live in Iowa and New Hampshire during Presidential primary season. We have a slew of offices up for grabs, Mayor, Manhattan DA, Manhattan Borough President, 35 out of 51 Council seats, Comptroller, and loads of candidates vying for each. The NYC metro media market is so expensive, and the outcomes so inevitable, that we normally get very little advertising, if any. In 2016 I didn’t see a single Clinton or Trump ad, and same for 2020 Biden/Trump.

    Once all the Democratic nominees are chosen I hope that the robocalls, spam emails, and unsolicited texts will go away, and my online media experience will return to the usual misplaced ads. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of ads in Arabic from the NYC Department of Health, presumably vaccination-related, but I don’t think we have many Arabic speakers in my zip code.

    When I was working on bilingual pdfs and gmailing them back and forth I got tons of ads in Spanish for the military, fast food chains, and outlets where you can rent furniture month-to-month. I liked the furniture ones a lot but for reasons I bet the advertisers didn’t intend.

    “Better Half, I’m bored with our bedroom. Did you know that there’s a company in New Jersey that will rent us a 9-piece Spanish Baroque/Colonial/Real Housewives of New Jersey bedroom set for less than $150/month, depending on bedframe size?” “All right, you’ve had enough. Take the dog out for a walk and try not to fall over him; I’ll clean up this dinner mess.”

      • I meant to congratulate you on your anniversary BTW. Ours is coming up in August. 35 years. Lived together all that time, just the two of us, and without the distraction of children we slipped into a folie à deux a LONG time ago. To refer back to your post somewhat, our marriage is like Italy: it shouldn’t work, and you can’t describe how it works, but it does. It helps that we coupled off so young and have never known anything different. “You do realize that most couples don’t live this way…?” We, simultaneously, “They don’t?”

        • That’s kind of like the time when Mrs. Butcher and I were with a bunch of my family for my grandfather’s funeral, working on logistics for the service.  She and I realized that it was getting late and nobody had eaten so we took over my aunt’s kitchen and made dinner for everyone–probably 15 people.  At one point in the middle of the meal, one of my other aunts looked at us and said, “do you two eat like this all the time?”  We looked at each other, then at everyone else and said, “yes.”

  3. Good news regarding reproductive rights!
    Scientists in the UK are on the verge of being able to transplant a developing fetus.  Now pro-life women will have the ability to step up and take over for an unwilling carrier.
    (Probably not true; I have no idea.  But wouldn’t this be great as one of those disinformation memes?  Can you imagine RWNJs stumbling trying to respond?)

  4. Question about the electric car makers. Are they marketing them to America, or is this a Euro market only thing? We currently do not have the infrastructure for electric. I do not see that changing by 2030, without literally every politician in the country on board and a massive Eisenhower-Interstate-style overhaul planned. And that’s just *waves arm across the country* out there. Lots of people can’t charge at home, either.

    • A lot of people around me have the Leaf and the Bolt – I think when you buy one – they come out and put a charging outlet(extra expense). I have not researched this so I could be wrong. At my local Walgreens – there used to be two charging stations but they were rarely used and now are just derelict reminders of what our future could be.
      But, in tune with the optimistic feel of this post – my 78 year old angry white man of a father has really gotten  into electric cars and wants to get one once he finds one that has what he has deemed the appropriate range(not sure what that is to him but he has a definite number in mind) and they come down a little in price. So, I feel that the electric car market is starting to make some headway with the nonmillenials.

      • Sure, the boomers have houses. If that’s true (about them installing an outlet for you) that’s great. But what does it mean for people in condos and apartments? Probably gets thorny. I would LOVE to be optimistic, I guess I just don’t have all the information.

        • I don’t know how it would work at apartments or condos – I guess you would have to have progressive thinking owners/property managers – which I’m sure are few and far between.  I suppose if enough people started requesting it – it could just become another amenity like a pool or parking space that they could charge extra for.

          • I have definitely seen them at “luxury apartments” but even then there is like 3 chargers in the whole lot. And of course, most people are priced out of luxury apartments.

    • They’re slowly rolling out, but I think the issue is that supplies are low while they tool up so they don’t want to feed demand they can’t meet.
       
      Ford has an EV F-150 that is launching next year and it’s getting a lot of press. They also have an EV/hybrid Escape that is supposed to launch next year.
       
      Toyota is already selling EV/hybrid Prius and RAV4 models which I hear advertised, but I’ve read supply is low now and there have been dealer shenanigans that have had to been cracked down on.
       
      I think the EV/hybrid model will take off if companies can handle the quality control issues. I’m strongly tempted to get one in a couple of years when the early model shakedown is (hopefully) over. I would definitely drive just on the pure EV side most days, but the extended range from gas would be nice a few times a month.

      • I have a 2006 Toyota highlander hybrid that I drive now. I bought it in 2005. It’s a great car. It used to have fantastic gas mileage – but then Obama did the big klunker buy back and the auto companies started making cars with a little bit better gas mileage – so now the old highlander is on par with most other newer model cars as far as mileage. I’m just going to keep driving it until the electrics are more affordable. Also, I can’t find anything newish that has the same cargo space. It’s basically a station wagon – and it’s incredibly basic and boring but the MF is zippy as hell. 

    • It really depends on where you are.  I am waiting for an EV truck to replace my current car but the one I want is still a year or more out.  Around here, most grocery stores have charging stations and about 1 in 10 newer cars is a Tesla.  As long as you are driving less than a few hundred miles between charges, it is not a big deal.  This is a great site for info on EV’s, Ebikes, and green energy…
       
      https://electrek.co/

    • A coworker of mine has a hybrid, and I believe it can be plugged into a standard 120V outlet.  I think it’s a much slower charging.  Currently there is a more typical car charger near where I work, and I think it’s used by about 3-4 people, they trade off charging their car during the day.  I think my coworker said recently that they haven’t had to put gas in there car in months, since they mostly use it for local travel, and the battery has been sufficient for that.
      Also, I’m in the SF Bay area, so I imagine there are more charging stations around here than in a lot of the rest of the country.
      I don’t think it’s going to take a political mandate, I think this is one of the rare instances where the “invisible hand of the market” might actually get something done.  Gas prices are going to continue to rise – that’s the only reason they are considering stuff like those Canadian Tar Sands, because the price is finally high enough that it makes them economically viable.  We’ve already pulled all the easy stuff out of the ground
      I’m sure as electric vehicles become more common, there are going to be options and such to make charging quicker and more readily available – I don’t imagine it would be that hard to do some sort of circuit to split the battery banks, and allow a single car to use multiple charging cables to further reduce charge times, to make electric vehicles more suitable for longer trips, road trips, etc.  Or maybe just additional battery banks.  I also think it would be fairly trivial for current gas stations to install some charging stations.  They are already connected to the grid,  they’d just need to do a bit of electrical work to set up a charging station, and probably have it attached to a meter and charge Kwatt/hour or whatever.  That would be almost pure profit for the gas station, as you wouldn’t have to “refill” the chargers like you do gas/diesel reservoirs, there is less safety issues, and it would be pretty much a one-time cost to install the things (plus some minor maintenance, and to get the meters calibrated/officially  verified, etc.)

      • So, no one is charging at home? That seems inconvenient. I guess if there are enough outlets to take care of everyone while you shop or are at work (and they actually exist at work) that’s ok. I just looked it up by me, and the closest one is 2 miles away, and is a parking garage, $2.50 per hour, 2 hour minimum. I don’t know if that is the cost to charge or park (so, is there a separate cost to charge?), and is in my downtown center. I’d have to “go downtown” for no reason for 2 hours every time to charge. Unless I could lobby my condo to install an outlet in my garage, but the HOA pays for the elec in the garages….
         
        Or just move.

  5. Sorry, all this good news is sooooo boring… 🙂

    But yes, there IS good news in the world and I’m glad it gets celebrated occasionally. If anything, I’ve always wished the media did a better job of explaining that the reason “bad news” is newsworthy is that a lot of good things happen every day, and thus why bad shit is out of the ordinary. Instead, they hurl disaster at us 24 hours a day and then seem surprised when people respond to a spray-tan fascist telling white people they’re going to die within the next 5 minutes at the hands of a minority unless they give him money.

  6. I’m going with a fluff good news piece, keeping up with the kardasssians has ended. 20 years of rich shallow morons being rich and shallow. Gah, talk about a cultural wasteland.
     
    Late adopter finally got her second shot yesterday, I feel fine except I want a grilled cheese and waffle sandwich. I have resisted this craving for 24 hours and it hasn’t gone away so I guess it has to happen.

  7. This is an interesting bit of old good news.
     
    I couple of nights ago I was giving Farscy a bit of guff about Heineken compared to Belgian beer, when admittedly US beer has been historically weak too.
     
    It turns out Heineken helped the British from behind German lines during WW2. The Germans forced Heineken to deliver beer to German troops after the invasion. Heineken figured out the correlation between beer deliveries and troop numbers in specific locations, and so were able to keep the British apprised of precisely how many Germans were stationed in the Netherlands during the war and where they were.
     
    http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2021/06/adolf-hitler-heinekens-part-in-his.html
     

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