Good news for people who like good news

Good news for people who like good news May 11, 2013

In the long run, the arc bends toward justice and love wins. In the short run, things don’t often look quite so hopeful. But sometimes they do.

Here are some reasons to celebrate.

• “Rhode Island Becomes 10th Marriage Equality State.”

• “And Delaware Makes 11

Men demonstrate in support of women’s rights. And not just any men — fraternity brothers. And not just any fraternity brothers — Muslim fraternity brothers. And this happened in Texas.

• Maryland takes a big step toward offshore wind.

• And Cape Wind gives them some competition, winning billions in backing for offshore wind in Massachusetts.

(I’ll believe it when I see the turbines up and spinning. Based on America’s dismal track-record, I still doubt we’ll have any operating offshore wind farms until sea levels rise enough to swamp turbines now based on shore.)

Five evangelical pastors and a gay activist walk into a coffee shop

This is not a joke. Nor is that story a conclusive step in any particular direction. But it’s a good step, a good start, and good news.

• Bunk will give you a ride to the grocery store. To his grocery store, anyway.

Actor Wendell Pierce — who played Det. William “Bunk” Moreland on The Wire — started the Sterling Farms grocery chain to provide access to healthy, affordable food in underserved neighborhoods in New Orleans:

Pierce, along with his business partners, has been working to place markets and convenience stores in food deserts in his native New Orleans. Sterling Farms is not just putting nutritious, fresh food where there was none before — the people behind the business are working to figure out how to tackle the problem of food access from many different angles. One perk the stores offer is especially great — the chain gives free rides to those who spend more than $50.

• “Scientists find new key ingredient for anti-malaria drug

US scientists … said they had used baker’s yeast to make a key ingredient of malaria drugs, a feat that could iron out fluctuations in supply caused by sourcing the chemical from a Chinese herb.

One of the revolutions in malaria treatment in recent decades has been the advent of artemisinin drugs, whose active ingredient comes from a traditional Chinese herb, Artemisia annua.

But weather can affect harvests of the plant, causing shortages and price spikes.

This discovery could prevent those shortages and price spikes. Cool.

• “U.S. Infant Mortality Falling

Infant mortality in the U.S. has declined 12 percent since 2005 after holding steady for many years, according to data released … by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The infant mortality rate in 2011 was 6.05 deaths per every 1,000 live births, down from 6.87 in 2005, according to the report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Greensburg, Kansas, is coming back. The town was hit by a massive tornado six years ago, killing nine people and leaving nearly all of its 1,383 residents homeless. They resolved to rebuild — and to do it right by making Greensburg the greenest town in Kansas, a model of sustainable living. And it’s working.

The HPV vaccine seems to work — at least in places like Australia, where it’s actually used and not rejected, as it is by many here in America, by those who feel that our daughters will turn into slutty little sluts if we remove the sexual deterrent of preventable cancer.

• People can be pretty cool: “College Athlete Gives Up Final Event to Save Someone’s Life

• People can be pretty cool, cont’d.: “Tender moments caught on Russian dash cams” (via)


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  • ngotts

    So they’re acknowledging that God created people to fail to adhere to his standards

    But isn’t that a fairly standard (I know, not universal) Christian belief? Original sin and all that? And aren’t we supposed to emulate Jesus’s supposed sinless existence, even though he had the unfair advantage of being some sort of divine-human chimera?

  • ngotts

    Do you think reason cannot be applied to ethics and priorities? If so, why?

  • ngotts

    OT (and I admit I haven’t read the whole conversation), but that’s interesting. I recently did a bit of research on Iran for a talk to my local CND group (which overturned a number of beliefs I’d absorbed from mainstream media), and discovered that just over half of all students in Iran are now women, but that rises to 70% in science and technology.

    They still can’t be judges or run for President, though.

  • dpolicar

    I can’t speak for guest, but I would certainly say that reason can’t tell me what my priorities and ethical values ought to be, but it can tell me what they in fact are, and it can tell me how to best optimize my environment for them, and it can tell me whether they’re consistent.

    I’m not sure if you would agree or not, since “applied to” is a pretty broad term.