November 24, 2017

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112417)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Hero pulls gun to stop woman from being raped on Austin trail

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Austin, Texas:

NOVEMBER 9, 2017

An Austin man takes his weekly trail run armed with a flashlight, cell phone — and a handgun tucked in a Velcro belt. Last month he pulled out the weapon to help rescue a woman who was being sexually assaulted.

Josh Williams, 39, was running about 5:30 a.m. on the north side of Austin’s Hike-and-Bike Trail when he heard a woman screaming and pointed his flashlight in her direction, KVUE-TV reported. He saw a man on top of her and realized she was being sexually assaulted.

“I came up, pulled my gun and told him to get off of her,” he told the station. “I said, ‘Get on your knees and show me your hands.’”

The suspect told Williams that he knew her, but the woman told Williams that wasn’t true.

The suspect ran away, but Williams and the victim were able to give police a description. Richard McEachern, 22, was arrested several days later and faces a sexual assault charge, the station reported. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 23, 2017

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112317)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 pm

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:01 am

This post is a BizzyBlog Thanksgiving tradition.



General Thanksgiving
By the President of the United States of America

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLIC THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

November 22, 2017

Positivity: Pre-Thanksgiving Perspective

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:01 pm

Note: A slightly different version of this post originally went up in November 2007, and has since turned into a BizzyBlog tradition.


I saw this about halfway through this post at Obi’s Sister. It was written to make a political point, which is fine, but it also makes a universal one (paragraphing added by me):

A neighbor (say her name is Mary) sees her other neighbor (say her name is Nancy) and decides to make her a pie. She bakes a lovely pie the next day and takes it next-door. Nancy is overwhelmed that her neighbor would be so thoughtful and thanks her profusely.

The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy thanks her again, but with less enthusiasm.

The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy just says “Thanks.”

The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy says, “Thanks, and you’re a day late this time.”

The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy says “Thanks, but next time, can you make a cherry pie instead of apple? I’m getting tired of apple.”

The next week, Mary makes her another pie. When she takes it over, Nancy says “You know, if you put a little less sugar in the crust and didn’t handle it so long, the crust wouldn’t be tough.”

The next week, Mary has lots to do and forgets to make her pie. When she walked by Nancy’s house, she stuck her head out the door and yelled, “Hey! Where’s my pie?”

How quickly gratitude turns into a jaded sense of entitlement.

…. Why don’t we go back to the original idea? Simple people, pioneers really, expressing their pure and heartfelt gratitude …. A humble heartfelt thanksgiving. Not a holiday, but a state of mind.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

ABC’s Dowd Wants to Bring Back the Bill Clinton Sexual Misbehavior Exception

In a Wednesday morning tweet, Matthew Dowd of ABC News, the network’s chief political analyst, demonstrated once again that he can be counted on to cling to views diametrically opposed to common sense, as he for all practical purposes resurrected the dishonest defense Democrats used to save Bill Clinton’s presidency in the late-1990s. Dowd’s version, tweeted today in reaction to sex harassment and assault scandals which are predominantly affecting DC Democrats, predominantly liberal establishment media icons, and predominantly liberal Hollywood celebrities, is that “there is a difference between those who are flawed who work for the common good and those who are flawed who could care less about the common good.”


Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112217)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Thanksgiving: Gratitude At Home And At Work May Lead To A Longer, Happier Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

Via Forbes in 2016, during the runup to Thanksgiving, in what is now officially a BizzyBlog tradition:

November 20, 2016

I love this holiday! It’s inclusive, family-oriented, and a time to get over ourselves and give thanks. “Thanks” should not be a once-a-year practice; it should be something incorporated into your language, actions, and deeds all year long.

Gratitude can be taught and we can live it by example. It’s even healthy for us and may counterbalance the damaging health effects of our overindulgence all year long, especially at Thanksgiving. I’m being facetious, but if we can extend the “thankful” part of our lives beyond “turkey day.” We may be happier, less stressed, and around to see many more turkey days with our loved ones.

Put On A Happy Face

WebMD has reported on the findings from Robert Emmons, University of California Davis Psychology Professor, who said, “Throughout history, philosophers and religious leaders have extolled gratitude as a virtue integral to health and well-being. Now, through a recent movement called positive psychology, mental health professionals are taking a close look at how virtues such as gratitude can benefit our health. And they are reaping positive results… Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, [and] regular physical examinations.”

Without beating this assumption to death, lack of “gratitude” can lead to creating stress; anxiety can be evidenced at work by reduced productivity, safety concerns, poor morale, and absenteeism. This is not a new phenomenon. Circadian, in a 2005 study called, “Absenteeism: The Bottom-Line Killer,” reported that as early as the beginning of this Century, absenteeism carries with it high financial impact. “Unscheduled absenteeism is a chronic problem for U.S. employers, conservatively costing $3,600 per hourly employee per year and $2,650 per salaried employee per year.”

Gratitude research is suggesting that feelings of thankfulness have a positive value in helping people cope with daily stressors at home and at work. We know that stress can make us sick, really sick. Stress is linked with heart disease and cancer. Think about it. If you are grateful, you are probably more optimistic and that is a “… characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system.” A report from The University of Queensland in Australia also supports the findings that, “A positive attitude can improve your immune system and may help you live longer.” …

November 21, 2017

Out For a Few Days

Filed under: General — Tom @ 8:00 am

Having the long-awaited relatively routine outpatient surgery today, and have been told that I’ll need 24 hours or so to fully recover.

So, given the holiday, I won’t be blogging for a few days, will probably be checking comments in the meantime, and expect to return to the trenches on Friday. In the meantime, the usual Positivity and Thanksgiving-related posts will appear.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Year 13 Christmas/Holiday Layoff and Shopping Searches: Round 1

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 7:00 am

Background behind these annual searches is here and here.

Here are the results of this year’s first round of searches:

Here goes with Google News searches done at 1:00 this morning (for the past month, sorted by date):

This is a bit of an improvement over last year’s Christmas component of 7.0 percent, and 2015′s 5.7 percent.

Now on to the second set of searches (for the past month, sorted by date):

  • Christmas layoffs (not in quotes, also excluding the word “challenger” to ensure that items relating to the mass layoffs report issued by Challenger & Christmas were exluded) — 4,680 (39.9%)
  • Holiday layoffs (not in quotes) — 6,210 (45.0%)
  • Holidays layoffs (not in quotes) — 2,920 (21.1%)

As has been the case in previous years, the press is far more likely to use “Christmas” in connection with layoffs (almost 5 times as likely in the most recent set — 39.9% vs. 8.1%), an obviously negative thing, than it is to use “Christmas” in connection with shopping and commerce, a generally positive or neutral thing.

Additional searches will take place in roughly two and four weeks.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112117)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Man says the Apple Watch saved his life after detecting an irregular heartbeat

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From New York City:

Published 10:57 AM ET Mon, 16 Oct 2017 Updated 2:09 PM ET Mon, 16 Oct 2017

James Green says an Apple Watch saved his life.

Late last week, Green posted an image from the hospital noting that the “stupid lil wrist computer [he] bought 2 years ago” saved his life after it notified him of a spiking heart rate.

It turns out, according to Green, that he had a pulmonary embolism, which wasn’t just a spiking heart rate but is a blockage of the arteries. Green specifically thanked Heart Watch, an app that can be used to help alert a user when it noticed abnormalities in heart rate.

The latest software on Apple Watch, watchOS 4, is capable of identifying similar changes in heart rate and alerting a user. By default, it can ping the wearer if his or her heart rate spikes above 120bmp while it appears he or she is at rest. Apple is also conducting a study with Stanford and telemedicine vendor America Well to see if the watch can be useful in detecting cardiac arrhythmia, a type of abnormal heartbeat that can cause or indicate serious health conditions.

Green says he was discharged and sent home after the incident.

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 20, 2017

AP’s Paul Wiseman Smears GOP Tax Plan As ‘Trickle Down’

At the Associated Press on Friday, Paul Wiseman attempted to rewrite history, pretending that “trickle down” economics has been a staple of Republican economic plans since the days of Ronald Reagan, and that the current GOP tax plan which has made it through the House and is being considered by the Senate is more of the same thing. In fact, Reagan’s policies, which were supply-side, growth-oriented and behavior-changing, did not cause only tiny amounts of money to “trickle down” to everyday Americans; they instead led to explosive and sustained employment and across-the-board income growth which hasn’t been seen since.


Hillary Clinton: Fox News’s 1992 Absence ‘One of the Reasons He Probably Survived’

On Saturday, Hillary Clinton told a friendly audience in Little Rock, Arkansas celebrating the 25th anniversary of her husband Bill’s first presidential election victory that “one of the reasons he probably survived” and won is that Fox News didn’t exist in 1992. Fox should send Mrs. Clinton a note thanking her for the compliment.


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (112017)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.