Amazon sheds $53 billion in market value after report on Trump threat

A loss of $53 billion? It’ll probably bounce back by morning. But he’s saying he’s worried about who?

Trump talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he is worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business, the Axios website reported.

Source: Amazon sheds $53 billion in market value after report on Trump threat

I see Amazon as more of a savior of the mom and pop shops than a threat to them. Amazon market place is chock full of mom and pop businesses that couldn’t otherwise compete with the big box stores operated by national and regional retail giants.

There’s never been a safer time to be a kid in America

When I was a kid my mom didn’t watch me that close when I was in the neighborhood playing. In fact, when I was two miles away from home playing in a thicket of woods I wasn’t under any adult supervision. As long as I checked in at lunch and at supper and was in for the night by sundown I was left to play.

My kids didn’t have quite that much freedom but almost. My grandkids are rarely unsupervised at all. It’s kind of a shame too because it’s never been safer to be a kid in America than today.

So where does that leave us in the debate over “free-range” children? Kids are dying less. They’re being killed less. They’re getting hit by cars less. And they’re going missing less frequently, too. The likelihood of any of these scenarios is both historically low and infinitesimally small.

Source: There’s never been a safer time to be a kid in America – The Washington Post

The article is three years old but the numbers haven’t changed that much. We think things are much more dangerous but that’s due to hearing about every child in danger across all fifty states fifteen minutes after it hits the news.

 

 

US Falls Behind Other Wealthy Countries in Infant Mortality Rates. Really?

So Common Dreams is reporting on the dismal failure of the U.S. health care system in preventing the death of infants.

A report by the United Nations’ children’s rights agency found that the United States’ infant mortality rate is below average for high-income countries, and is only slightly lower than that of less economically-stable countries including Ukraine and Sri Lanka.

Source: US Falls Behind Other Wealthy Countries in Infant Mortality Rates

How dismal is this failure, though? Howard Herrell, MD, FACOG, has a pretty good breakdown of how infant deaths are categorized and he explains it like this:

Most developed countries don’t count very low birth weight babies against their Neonatal or Infant Mortality rates (considering them miscarriages instead). For example, Germany, Austria, and Canada ignore infants born weighing less than 500 grams, but we do not in the US. Mortality in this group of small babies approaches 90%. Switzerland some other European countries don’t count births of babies under 30 cm (or about 12 inches) in the Neonatal Mortality category; these types of inconsistencies, poor data collection, and under-reporting abound all over the world and conspire to make even Russia look like it has better Infant Mortality than the United States. Walker Ray summarizes some of these points in this piece.

Source: Child Mortality

Maybe we actually should be doing better than those other countries even with the type of bias and cheating explained by Dr. Herrell but the point is that the numbers being used aren’t accurate or we aren’t comparing apples and oranges.

If It’s Plant Based It Isn’t Meat – Period.

I love a black bean burger as much as any vegetarian or vegan but….

But Ethan Brown, the CEO of Beyond Meat says it’s time to rethink that definition.

“The reason we want to use the word meat is that we firmly believe that this is a piece of meat. That if you look at meat not in terms of its origin… but if you look at meat in terms of composition – we are hitting all of those key points of composition,” Brown said

Source: Cattle industry fighting to bar “meat” and “beef” from plant-based protein packaging – CBS News

He keeps using the term “plant-based meat” just isn’t. He can firmly believe all he wants but meat comes from animals and you get even more specific with the terms “beef”, “pork”, and “poultry”. It is confusing to the consumer when the terms “meat” or “beef” are used in the labeling to describe a plant-based protein source.

I’ve been busy.

I’ve been heavily involved in genealogical research for my family. Kind of obsessed with it so I haven’t had time to update here. Also, I’ve been preparing for a bike ride, my first in a number of years.

This weekend I’ll be riding the Dirty Pecan Gravel Ride out of Monticello, Florida. I’ll be doing the 60 mile route and hopefully I will complete it. It’s an unsupported ride, which concerns me a little but it’s flat and the weather is supposed to be perfect for it.

Also, today I’m turning 63. My wife decided to take a friend with her to the area so that she will be close by just in case I die.

Thursday night was bittersweet for Ben, Gary and me. We closed down Communicycle at McKendree. For six years we provided truly affordable bicycle, bicycle repair and bicycle maintenance instruction to hundreds of youth and adults in the Lawrenceville area. It was a good run but it was time to shut it down. Thank you, McKendree UMC, for the support. Thank you, Ben and Gary, for your help.

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Happy Candlemas!

Today is Candlemas. You have no excuse left to not take down your Christmas decorations.

It’s also Groundhog Day. Yesterday was Embolc or St. Brigid’s Day.

Why are these days all hitting on the first two days of February? It has to do with the seasons. It is exactly halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. You will have noticeably more sun today than you have been use to over the past six weeks. Herdsmen will need to be watching for new editions to their herds and its time to start preparing your garden.

Finding God through Atheism?

This may be stretching my idea of inclusivism to its limits but it seems to me that these atheists are finding God through their religious application of their atheism.

“There was so much about it that I loved, but its a shame because at the heart of it, it’s something I don’t believe in,” Jones said. “If you think about church, there’s very little that’s bad. It’s singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people — and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?”

via Atheist mega-churches take root across US, world.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:17 NIV