Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Yesterday was busy and exhausting.  We had errands that took us out and about most of the day and left me with a bruising headache and very low energy.  As a result no gardening done.  But I am feeling much better so we'll see what happens today.

I don't know if it is much of a surprise that Volkswagen lied to its customers and actively evaded the Clean Air regulations to mask the true emissions of its touted "clean diesel" cars.  This article covers the story from a slightly different perspective: the effect of the scandal on Germany, the European Union as well as the company and its customers.  I find it so reminiscent of the situation with the BP/Deepwater Horizon situation a few years ago when the British government leaned on the U.S. government to soften its treatment of BP's dereliction so all the poor pensioners whose pensions were tied up with BP stock wouldn't suffer because BP was criminally negligent and more interested in its bottom line than the environmental damage it caused.  That little people over here were devastated and had their livelihoods crushed didn't seem to matter much.  At least no one died because of VW's fraud unlike the GM and Toyota cases.  But I don't see that as a reason to let the company off the hook.  And I would love to see something I haven't seen in any of the cases mentioned:  the prosecution of company executives who have, at the least, not addressed a corporate culture that encouraged fraud.

I wonder how true this story is.  We have watched Scott Walker for some time.  Hard not to since our news comes out of Chicago which is a stone's throw from Wisconsin.  I really hope the story is true and it spells the end of Walker as a political entity.  And Walker isn't alone.  One of Rick Perry's big donors also wants the money they gave his super PAC returned.  I agree with the commenter on this one.  those boys, the Kochs and the Deasons, gambled and lost.  You don't go to the casino after you lose and demand they return the money you so imprudently gambled away.  Your choice.  You lost. Suck it up.

Gene Logsdon has another good post looking at the Syrian conflict.  We have often complained about the stories the news media carries and the stories it slights or doesn't carry at all.  I have read of massive sand storms in Iraq, Syria, Iran and other areas but the news makes little comment on them.  I have also noticed that the news spends almost no time on agricultural news of any kind.  Most of that is on line or in print.  We all have to eat but the news media ignores how we get our food (unless it is a story about massive food poisoning thanks to a break down in our industrial food manufacturing sector).  The war and the agricultural collapse in Syria have progressed in lock step.  Which came first is an unanswerable question.  The prepper bloggers I read make a frequent point that our own society is only 9 missed meals away from food riots--three days.  The Egyptian revolution which toppled Mubarak rose over a rapid increase in food and fuel costs.

And for another aspect of the Syrian war which won't get any attention, check this article out.  Researchers who would normally have gone to a facility in Aleppo, Syria, for the seeds they wanted to study have instead asked the "doomsday vault" in Svalbard, Sweden to supply them.  This is the first time anyone has asked to withdraw seeds from the vault.

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