Friday, June 5, 2015


Turned out nice and warm yesterday with warmer temps but bouts of rain.  I want to trim the lemon verbena to encourage it to branch out.  Did get all of the tumbler tomatoes on the fence trimmed a bit and added some soil to several of the pots.  They are all showing flower buds.  The Roselle tomatoes are finally starting to catch up to the others after lagging behind all year.  If the weather cooperates I should have a good harvest.

This was good for a chuckle this morning.  Well deserved recognition for the big guy.

Is anyone at all surprised by this development?  All you need to use anything as a weapon is what ever justification your little mind and minimal moral standards will allow.  Are you dealing with infidels?  They have no right to live so you can rape their women, torture them, starve them or cut off their water.  Are they savages?  Send them smallpox infected blankets.  Mutually Assured Destruction?  If we both die, I'm going to heaven and you're going to hell.  Sounds like a deal to me.


Cooler today. Didn't get the trimming done but I will get it done today.  I need to check plants for moisture since we didn't get any rain yesterday and, probably, won't today.

Over the last few years I have become convinced that the U.S. government should find a way to cancel all student loans (guaranteed or otherwise, public or private) and cancel a loan programs.  Higher education in this country has become so corrupt that that is the only way I can see to reset it.  This story demonstrates the worst of the abuses.  Although the focus is on for-profit schools the problems pervade even the public institutions.  Students have been assured for the last 30 years (and perhaps a bit longer) that student loan debt was "good" debt, and that the degrees they earned would guarantee them good jobs with salaries that would both allow them to live a comfortable life and pay back the loans (with interest.)  Most of that was either a lie (there is no such thing as "good" debt; debt is debt) or an illusion that depended an economy the fragility of which was not readily apparent. Whatever the student loan program was to begin with it has become a scam and should be done away with.

Long but interesting post on Jacobin on the the various food movements advocating a return to some mythical golden era when we got "fresh, natural and unprocessed" foods.  Since mankind discovered fire and fermentation we have processed foods and, for the most part, it was a good thing.  It made foods more digestible, or preserved the nutritive value for a not very future season of scarcity, or neutralized toxic elements making the foods available for human consumption, or killed not-so-friendly bacteria that would have caused disability or death.  We don't have a bug about processing foods but we do have a bug about some of the chemical additives whose major purpose is to disguise the condition of the food (nitrogen added to packages of meat to make them seem fresher than they are), or to enable the sellers to keep the item on the shelf until some poor idiot buys it however long that may be, or that allow ersatz conglomerates of ingredients to masquerade as something they are not ("fruit bits" that have nothing of the fruit in them.)  Those I consider a sham and fraud.

David Kaiser has an interesting post which cuts to the core of any debate over glass ceilings and women in any position of power.  Women are no more a homogenous group than men and, more often than not, they absorb the values of their group rather than change those values.  Unless the corporate, or academic, or political culture changes the values won't change not matter how many women are in positions of power.

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