We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Poll illustrates California voters' anger - Nearly 3 in 4 say the country is on the wrong track, and nearly half favor slashing government spending — a potentially dismal finding for President Obama, who will unveil a jobs plan this week.
Re: the "fear of terrorism" Reason article - what rubbish.
I do not live in fear of lightning strikes, drowning in bathtubs, automobile accidents, or terrorism. Just because it is called "terrorism" does not mean that we live in terror.
What I do expect is that sensible precautions be taken. I don't splash about in puddles or stand under tall trees during lightning storms. I protect the electrical circuits that my more expensive electronics live on. My home is grounded and I expect taller buildings to use lightning rods.
I never use bathtubs alone and refuse to fall asleep in them.
I drive carefully, minimize talking on the phone or even talking when I drive, never text, wear seatbelts, and when conditions are bad I drive accordingly.
I try to be aware of my situation and not get myself into dangerous positions where my advancing years and failure to maintain my self-defense capabilities would place me at great disadvantage and make me a target for would be thugs and potential murderers.
All these things I can do for myself. More importantly, none of those potentially lethal dangers are acts of warfare directed against me and my fellow citizens.
Despite the relative unlikeliness of my ever being among those who are murdered by a islamist or other lunatic bent on committing mass murder, I expect my government to take reasonable actions to prevent when possible, and minimize when not, civilian (and our military) casualties and deaths as we fight the war the islamists have declared and prosecute.
We can and should wage the war more sensibly (and thereby more frugally) but the war must be waged.
The real organic food scam is that there is such a category. Organic food has never been shown to be healthier in any way: it's no cleaner, it contains no more or fewer calories, it contains no more vitamins or minerals. It's more expensive because the "organic" label has some kind of cachet and because organic methods are less productive.
The only potential benefit, I suppose, is to avoid trace elements of herbicides and insecticides. Since plants often contain their own herbicides and insecticides, it's hard to say if the consumer is really any better off. No evidence indicates that we would be.
"Organic" foods have the same blessings as "carbon clean" energy, that is, none known.
Geoff ... There's always trouble ahead when crusades are based on falsity. Firstly, all foods are organic. If they weren't organic, our bodies couldn't absorb them, as victims of *pica*, for instance, have learned. I try never to buy foods labeled as organic, because it's a con pure and simple, paying more for foods which have been raised with no preventive measures against insect invasion, worms, etc.
I agree with you in spades on the elimination of insecticides and herbicides. I ran a fifty-foot orchid greenhouse for twenty years. I was careful about which insecticides I used, but was darn grateful to have them. Outdoor plants have their own built-in insecticides, as you point out, and planting some plants which have built-in insecticides next to vulnerable plants is a good way to keep your garden clean.
This ongoing dispute reminds me of other entrenched nonsense, like AGW global warming.
I understand that "organic" vegetables are commonly fertilized with "natural" fertilizers (read manure). IIRC this has caused some health problems recently.
Also, not only do "organic" vegetables cost more because of the cachet of "natural" and "organic" stuff, but also because the yield is often much lower than for when modern agriculture procedures are used.
Al Gore: I swear he just keeps digging deeper and deeper holes for himself - he just doesn't get it. Kevin Trenberth? Seriously? He was the lead author of the '97, '01 and '07 IPCC Climate Change report - in short, the one in charge and the one who made the most "mistakes". The guy is a loon. He's the inventor of the any event that looks convenient may be blamed on man-made climate change while any other event that could produce evidence against the man-made theory is an artifact of the natural variability. He's a loon.
He's also the guy who tried to explain why the CERES (Clouds and the Earth s Radiant Energy System consisting of five satellites to measure upper atmosphere heat flow and transder) data was off by 8 watts per square meter - or 24 watts per square meter which is about six times cooler than the model data predicted by a wide margin. His answer was obviously the satellite data was incorrect because there weren't enough satellites to properly demonstrate the validity of the computer models - too small a data set apparently. Which is odd because the CERES system data set was cross correlated with the GOES system data set and they matched perfectly. He called it a "stubborn error".