Here are five things that caught my attention:
Good news: It is a New Year and we all should look ahead to a better year! Our 2022 started with an arson attack on our home and then continued with us battling Lorena’s breast cancer so we are very optimistic that 2023 will be better:) But this column from Nicholas Kristoff gives us all a reason to be optimistic. The news is focused on conflict and chaos, but there are reasons we should all recognize that many things are getting better – tremendous advancements in renewable energy, healthcare, and poverty! We have plenty of work ahead, but it isn't all bad! Happy New Year!
Documentary I recommend: A while back I read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah – I highly recommend this book. It is a story about Elsa Walcott and the tragedy and travails of life in the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Over the holidays, Lorena and I decided to watch a Ken Burns documentary series that we hadn’t seen – we picked The Dust Bowl. We learned a ton, but something I hadn’t fully appreciated was the extent to which really bad agriculture practices contributed to the dust bowl conditions. When you don’t respect nature, it can cause tremendous ramifications – lessons we still struggle to grasp today.
Pete 1, Fox News 0: I respect that Secretary Pete Buttigieg regularly takes the fight to the air waves of Fox News. I am not sure it sways folks, but it is good he engages in the fight. Take a minute to watch this exchange about his spouse and flights to official events. Well done, sir!
Win for Workers: While everyone was watching congressional Republicans demonstrate that they are not a governing party, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took a big step in defense of workers by proposing a rule banning non-compete agreements in labor markets. Non-compete clauses prevent more than 30 million Americans from working for another employer in the same or similar industry, and prevent them from starting competing businesses. The result of non-competes is lower competition among employers which lowers wages for workers and stifles innovation and entrepreneurship. This FTC action would help close the power imbalance employers have long enjoyed and will raise workers wages.
Poem for the New Year: Invictus remains not only my favorite poem but something I recite to myself every morning. But I thought I would branch out a little bit for the New Year–take a moment to read Desiderata by Max Erhmann. Happy New Year!
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Have a great weekend!