Published on: November 17, 2015
First of all, a quick note about all the emails I got reacting to my story about the importance of knowing how to drive stick. The volume of emails was enormous, with the vast majority of them essentially offering loving and detailed stories about people's various cars that had manual transmissions. I appreciated all of them, and thank you for sharing them with me.
MNB yesterday took note of a Christian Science Monitor
report that Starbucks has announced that 97 of its stores in the Seattle area have been declared to be official "Safe Places" for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. According to the story, the declaration was made in partnership with the the Seattle Police Department’s “Safe Place” program, which requires employees to be trained “how to respond to and engage with LGBT victims of violence and effectively report hate crimes to police."
One MNB user responded:
You are very correct in saying… ”It is a shame that any city has to have a 'safe place' program to protect any of its citizens."
There are so many other situations happening in the US but yet, everyone has some kind of issue with the LGBT community. I am thankful that I work for a company that accepts and holds high standards for ALL.
I don't think the Starbucks move suggests that it is only accepting of people in the LGBT community. Far from it. I just think that in this case, there clearly was a hate crime problem that the Seattle Police felt needed to be addressed, and this was one way of doing it.
Another MNB user wrote:Don't you find it just a little bit ominous that the government is declaring responsibility for ensuring that nobody's feelings ever get hurt?
No. Don't you find it a little ominous that you are reducing the serious issue of hate crimes to people getting their feelings hurt?
I'm guessing that you've never been the victim of a hate crime because of how you look or act or because of who you happen to be. Lucky you.
From another reader:As a conservative Roman Catholic, I think….. Never mind. I’m sure you’ve already formed your non-biased tolerant opinion of what I have to say.
Never said I wasn't biased. I do try to be tolerant. Sometimes, though, it is hard.
As for your conservative Roman Catholicism ... I'm reasonably sure that the Bible doesn't sanction hate crimes, even against people with whom it has fundamental disagreements. Then again, it has been a long time since I studied my catechism, so maybe I'm misremembering. (I'm pretty sure the beatings that Sister John Aquin perpetrated upon my second grade self - probably deserved because I've always been a bit of wisenheimer - didn't rise to the level of "hate crime.)
Responding to our story about the food industry's reaction to final rules issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the dictates of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), MNB reader Jessica Duffy wrote:Considering the food industry’s efforts to prevent the labeling of foods made with GMO ingredients, I would be generally distrustful of anything where “Food industry executives were generally laudatory in their responses”. I am thinking it can’t have much in the way of teeth.
We had one MNB user react to our story detailing the degree to which tattoos are becoming more acceptable to businesses:This is fantastic news. I’m 25 and have multiple very large tattoos, none of which are inappropriate, that I have to cover up while in the office (A few months ago I’m pretty sure I sent you a picture of a large Jimmy Buffett piece on my leg). All of mine can be covered by a button up shirt and dress pants. I also have gauged ears that I have been asked to remove while in the office (very small, not the ones that are the size of a saucer or a Frisbee).
Caution: Millennial mindset ahead… Contrary to popular belief, wouldn’t you know my tattoos and earrings don’t have any impact on who I am as a person or how I perform on the job?! That’s fine if people want to judge others with tattoos, but that is their problem, not mine. I understand presenting oneself in a professional manner, but as more Millennials enter the workforce and begin to hold more prominent positions, expect your grandparents’ idea of “professionalism” to change.
We had a story last week about a horse in the UK who may have been scared to death by a drone, which led one MNB user to write:Interesting story on the horse and the drone…just recently a family in our residential development started flying a drone. We back up to a golf course, so I can see the fun that would provide. The problem comes when the operator hovers the drone over my back yard in front of our picture windows, given that I have three teenage girls.
I asked our HOA to state what their position is on drones in our bylaws. There response was that legally they cannot take a stance. As a resident of the HOA, I demand that they have a position. Personally I would like to see certain types of camera equipment prohibited from use on a drone in a residential neighborhood. A camera is fine, but a super zoom lens is not! Again, the HOA said they are not hearing anything about this in their channels and will not take a stance.
Obviously, the first course of action is for me to go to the neighbor and ask the simple questions and promote the conversation. If that fails, then I will expect the HOA to intervene. I say all this to make the example that many, many entities are ignorant to the issue of drones, be it privacy, surveillance , or environmental disruptions. It will be out of hand and too late to rein in...
You make an excellent point.
We had another story last week that quoted an analyst as saying that "Walmart is much better placed to catch up to Amazon online than Amazon is to catch up to Walmart in brick-and-mortar …"
One MNB user responded:I’m wondering if Moody’s investment analysts do much shopping.
Has the analyst spent time trying to park in the lot at Walmart, made his/her way across the parking lot dodging crazy drivers, stood in front of the shelf to find it empty, picked up a few items only to find the lines at the check stand to be 12 people deep, then arrived back at the car to find a loose cart now perched on the bumper? I think he/she may find many of the “investor class” more inclined to press the enter key, or better yet, simply ask Alexa, and have purchases magically appear at their door.
Got the following email from MNB reader Bill Nace, responding to yesterday's Eye-Opener about how some churches in New York are changing the way they teach Sunday school in order to be more relevant and engaging to young people:As always, I appreciate your insights and opinions, and that is no less true for what you posted today on Riverside Church.
I agree that churches and businesses need to be differentiated, authentic and relevant to survive. And many churches conceive of that in the same way businesses do.
But some churches see it as a problem, because for the church to model itself on business or pop culture is to lose its distinctiveness, which comes from following biblical norms instead of cultural ones.
I carry no special brief for Sunday School, since it's only been around for a few hundred years. I just see Riverside continuing a departure from traditional Christianity it began almost the moment John D. Rockefeller and Harry Emerson Fosdick founded it.
I don't know how Riverside is doing, but many mainline churches have been shrinking for generations, and some attribute it to their abandonment of distinctive Christianity.
I know very little about Riverside Church specifically, and am hardly an expert in theological institutions. But, that won't stop me from having an opinion. (When has it ever?)
I think there is a difference between parting with core values and parting with traditional delivery systems. This goes for religions and
businesses. Also, I think that companies and religions often have to re-examine what they mean by "core values." Sometimes, I think, belief systems are created within the framework of a specific time and/or place, but these beliefs may or may not be in synch with core values. Distinctions need to be be made. And again, this goes for religions and
I'd also make another point about the "abandonment of distinctive Christianity." Some would make that same argument about Catholicism - that when they stopped saying the Mass in Latin and turned the priest around to face the congregation, the religion lost some of its distinctive magic, and it has been all downhill from there. But I lived through that change - I went from being an altar boy who had to memorize the Latin mass - Dominus vobiscum ... Et cum spiritu tuo
- to one who actually understood the words being said. And my problems with the institutional Catholic Church have nothing to do with that.
We had a story yesterday that quoted REI's CEO about why the company decided to make the culturally authentic decision to close on Black Friday and pay employees to go hiking ... which led one MNB user to write:Thank you for adding this story.
My wife and I are huge REI fans….Last year we made a good investment in our goal of hiking the PCT (Oregon) over ten years. We started our training over day hikes the grew to long weekend hikes. Getting ready for our first overnight 40 mile trek. Loop around Mt Hood...
This is when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Needless to say that challenge comes first and foremost. She is in her 4th stage of Chemo with two more to go. Surgery in January 2016 and healing after that. We think it will be around June when we can hit the trial again...
Not a day goes by without one of use bringing up how much fun and how rewarding our brief trips were.
Black Friday means nothing to me but those days trudging, taking selfies and spending the precious time with my buddy, Well I think that says it all.
Indeed it does. Life, like cancer, is filled with variants of uncertain significance ... but it sounds like the support you are providing your wife, and the way in which you are looking forward to your hike, provide a variant of certain
significance. Which, to my mind, is hugely important.
Good luck. You are in my thoughts.