Beautiful…

Here’s something to ring in the new….

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Watering Hole: December 31, 2013 – I Wish You Enough

This will be my last regular, Tuesday, Open Thread post.  I will still be lurking and I may, on occasion, create a post independent of the Open Thread.  It’s been my pleasure to virtually meet you.

Here’s a little something for the new year.

I WISH YOU ENOUGH Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:”I love you and I wish you enough.”The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left.The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?””I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?” She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,”I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”She then began to cry and walked away.They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

This is our Open Thread.  I wish you enough. Now it’s your turn to Speak Up!

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 30, 2013: Shark Tweets

Western Australia is the world’s deadliest region for shark attacks. In an effort to make it safer for surfers and swimmers to go into the water, officials have set up a Twitter feed (Surf Life Saving WA) that notifies followers when a tagged shark enters the area. Scientists outfitted some 400 sharks with transmitters that send warnings to the Twitter feed. Here is an example of the kind of tweet the system might send. A tweet like this about a tiger shark had been sent every four or five minutes for about an hour and forty-five minutes before this one.

I think this is a brilliant idea and a fantastic way to do something useful with social media. Now you can take your cell phone to the beach and see if it’s safe to go in the water. Of course, most of us don’t live in Western Australia, so unless scientists working near our shores can tag us a bunch of sharks this innovative way to use Twitter won’t directly benefit us in North America.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about sharks, Western Australia, or anything else you wish to discuss.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, December 28, 2013: It Was Never About Free Speech

As you may know by now, A&E Networks (a joint venture between the Hearst Corporation and Disney–ABC Television Group) has lifted its suspension of Duck Dynasty family patriarch Phil Robertson over comments he made in an interview with GQ magazine. The suspension was originally announced as “indefinite,” but it appears that by “indefinite” they meant “nine days.” And since this is in the middle of duck hunting season, and since by contractual agreement there would be no filming of the series during this-two-month period, the effect of the suspension was nil, nada, zip, nothing.

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Ten episodes already filmed will begin airing in mid-January with all the family members included, and when filming resumes all family members will again participate. So, despite the dustup and media frenzy over this, in the end nothing will change as far as the show itself is concerned. As Duck Dynasty is one of the most popular shows on cable television (they supposedly get over 13 million viewers each week, but those are industry estimates based on their own finagling of numbers), A&E just couldn’t bring itself to accept a possible drop in revenue should the family pull out of production altogether, which they threatened to do. Many famous conservatives flocked to their defense (couldn’t resist) and in doing so, they seemed to show a complete misunderstanding of what free speech is about.

Phil Robertson’s right to free speech was Continue reading

The economic impact of ending unemployment benefits

I just read where one community will have 2,000 people lose their long-term unemployment benefits.

Assume, for the sake of argument, that these were minimum wage workers, working between 30 and 35 hours per week. The have been getting about $100 per week in unemployment benefits. Now, nothing.

That means they have, as a group, been spending about $200,000 per week in the local economy. Now, nothing.

Over the course of a year, $10,000,000 won’t be spent in local stores. But business owners won’t see a similar cut in their taxes. They’ll have to cut costs some other way, and the usual way is to reduce their workforce. This, in an area with a nearly 14% unemployment rate as it is.

And remember, unemployment benefits those who lost their job through no fault of their own. While those who just lost their benefits may have to pack up and leave, going whereever they can find work, the small businesses left behind will have to make do with $10,000,000 less this coming year.

Thanks, Congress.