Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Welcome to Fall--although it has felt like autumn for a while now and the trees have been turning for the last three weeks.  I have been clearing the containers for the last couple of weeks--in the dry periods between some vicious rain squalls.  It has been a very strange growing season--a feeling quite a few of the gardening bloggers I read have also felt.  Blessed Equinox to you all.  I always know when that occurs because the shadow of the house touches the top of our fence.  The gardens are now in shade because little light gets reflected off the white of the fence onto the poor plants.  The light they do get comes early in the morning reflected from the northeast corner or late after reflected from the northwest corner.

A NY Times segment (I haven't linked because it comes with several other pieces and is well down the page) quotes Vice President Joe Biden saying "Politics has become too personal." to explain why Washington doesn't work any more.  I had a similar thought some time ago.  I grew up during an era when the Feminist chant was "The personal has become political."  Whether a woman wasn't hired or was fired because of her gender was (and is) intensely personal and became political.  Whether a woman would be admitted to an elite college or be denied because the school had limits on how many seats would go to women was (and is) intensely personal and totally political.  Whether a woman has access to affordable birth control and safe abortion was (and is) intensely personal and very political.  The problem, it seems to me, is that too many of us expect everything around us, including politics, to reflect our own personal beliefs and prejudices exclusively.  We have lost any sense of toleration and restraint.  It isn't enough that person X thinks women should confine themselves to tending the home, husband, children and church (Kinder, Küche, Kirche as the National Socialists in 1930s Germany would say), s/he wants to enforce that belief on everyone else. It isn't enough that person Y thinks abortion and contraceptives are morally wrong and conforms his/her own behavior accordingly, s/he wants everyone else to conform as well. It isn't enough that person Z thinks homosexuality is sinful and conforms his/her behavior, s/he insists on the right to force everyone else to live the same way.  The personal has always been political; but the politics of the personal has simply become far more vicious.

I saw two headlines, one following the other, on one of my lists.  One wondered if the rains in Texas heralded the end of the drought while the other announced a prediction that the drought would intensify in the coming year.  I didn't read either.  I just thought the positioning was amusing and somewhat revealing.  No one really knows what is going to happen but spout off anyway based on nothing more than their prejudices and wishes.

This story proves that the old saying about those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.  Sometimes you know the history but simply hope that this time will be different.  But why would anyone think that pest plants that have evolved glyphosate resistance won't do the same when exposed to 2,4-D?

I figured out sometime ago that the Miss America and other such patents were a lot of smoke and no BBQ.  I just didn't realize how little meat was behind their claims of providing tens of millions of dollars for scholarships for women.

Charles Hugh Smith has a very nice critique of GDP as an economic measurement.  I have often thought that we have a totally screwy system when the sale of cancer causing chemicals and the treatment of the cancers they cause are both considered growth.  Or that cleaning up the pollution created by companies producing goods are as much a part of growth as the value of the goods and the profits generated from them.

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