Thursday, October 2, 2014


Welcome to October.  And it does feel like it.  Our temperature topped out about 60 yesterday.  Supposed to be a bit warmer today which will be nice for checking out what is left in the gardens and clearing a bit more.

Tom Englehardt is always interesting.  I love the term "subprime intelligence."  Way, way back in 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution erupted in Iran and our government was caught flat footed, I was stunned when I heard a report that our Iranian embassy had fewer than a dozen employees who spoke Farsi, the national language.  I wondered then how we expected to really know anything about the country when so few of our people were linguistically or culturally knowledgeable.  Collecting all that "metadata" sounds like a good idea until you ask how the analysts will filter that amorphous mass and make sense of it.  Especially, when a significant part is in languages we don't know and from cultures we don't understand.  Data is nice but it needs a mind that can make sense of it and those minds need a base of information from which to view that data.  And a modicum of common sense which seems to be in equally short supply.


We have been watching the fall colors develop for the last two weeks and a bit.  The change is quickening and I expect that it will go faster over the next week.  Our weather people predict overnight lows in the 30s and 40s. Supposed to be a bit wet today so I won't be doing much in what is left of the gardens.

Watching and listening to the news stories about the Secret Service snafu with respect to the White House intruder I have a bit of a sense of deja vu.  It isn't so much that this particular situation has occurred before but that, once again, the government agency comes off like Keystone Cops who can't do much right.  I have had that feeling more frequently since the disgraceful failings of FEMA (under "Brownie" whom Bush the Younger praised to high heaven for pitiful performance) during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Over the last half-dozen years I can honestly say that the only government that has performed well has been our local city government.  What a waste of money and manpower.

Actually my mood concerning politics this mid-term election season can be summed up by what I said to a canvasser who came by last night.  I have no intention of voting for any Republican above the city level.  Our Republican mayor has done a very good job and I don't give a damn that he is Republican.  But that doesn't mean I like the Democrats much.  Though I dislike much about Democratic Party policies, I thorough LOATH the Republicans, especially in this state where they have a supermajority and pass policies (whatever the merit or lack of merit) simply because the PARTY wants them running roughshod over everyone else.  For what I think of national politics, see the above paragraph.

I am so glad to see this.  I never believed, from what little I read of the case, that the idiot "felt" threatened.  He was frustrated because the kid didn't obey when he demanded the music be turned down.

This Grist article has a lot of good sense.  I agree with the author on the point that labeling of GMO isn't the be-all, end-all of concerns over our food and labeling won't fix the other concerns.  We want to know what is in our food and where it comes from.  Labeling is the only way we get that information.

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