Monday, March 28, 2016


David Kaiser always has good posts and the one he put up today is not exception. Our tragedy isn't that we might elect an American Hitler/Mussolini but that we can't seem to find a Franklin Roosevelt. As, perhaps, the most individualistic nation on the planet, maybe we shouldn't be surprised that we have lost the ability (and willingness?) to organize society for the common good or that we can't even agree on what that good might be.

Sunday--Happy Easter


Slow days both yesterday and day before. We had Easter dinner with my Brother and his family. A good meal and good company.

To shift the discussion to food more generally, I found this almost right off the bat this morning. As I have said before I don't see that the companies' aversion to labeling is due to the "expense." Changing the labels is part, I am sure, of their marketing budget. This whole campaign to forestall labeling GMO products is simply a "support Monsanto and similar companies" bill.

Japan is experiencing a rise in crimes committed by its over-65 population. And evidently that group is also more likely to repeat the offenses--often. It is a dismal situation and one which isn't unknown over here. The new hasn't covered it lately but I remember stories of elderly bank robbers who got the money and sat down in the lobby to wait for the the cops to arrest them. The money wasn't the motive--rather the shelter, food, and medical care they would get in jail or prison. Lately though our media has been more fixated on the bloody shootings that happen all too frequently. I asked Mom this morning if we really wanted to hear about the latest Chicago shootings. No, but we have to go through that to get to the weather report.

I have long been skeptical of the psychobabble preaching a "positive" attitude prescribed for everything from relationship problems to getting a better job to "combating" physical ailments. That is why I loved Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-sided which told of her bout with cancer and encounter with the cult of positive thinking. This article provides fresh fuel to my skepticism. As the quotes indicate I am not too keen on the notion of waging war on illness either. Wrong metaphor.

Tom Englehardt has another good post on just how strange our political situation is. At first I thought it a bit of a strange notion that the stories comparing Trump to Hitler or Mussolini were "comforting, reassuring or consoling." But his point is well made. We are trying to dredge up past devils and hells we have conquered before because, if we did it once, we can do it again. But thinking that the situation we see before us is merely an rhyme of past themes may blind us to the fact that it really isn't and old patterns of thought and behavior may be counter-productive, counter-survival even.

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