Still Blogging in Berkeley
Yes, life continues in Berkeley. Or a reasonable facsimile thereof. I have been too busy to write for a few days, and I wanted to think about the direction I’m heading with this blog. Plus there’s always stuff to mull over in the world, new stuff being discovered, old stuff being blown up, people muddling through one way or the other. In any event, I have put the blog on full moderation. There were a number of reasons for taking this step. I’m not going to allow any anti Ron Paul comments for example. Joke! The one overwhelming reason was to limit the size of comments, more details can be read under the comment policy tab above.
I was also annoyed that I put up a mislabelled picture on the last post. So much of the media is deliberately deceptive, so I suppose it was inevitable that eventually I fell for something without checking carefully. Heck, I’m sure I make all sorts of mistakes. In any event I left it up because even if not technically accurate, the story is real. And frankly that it’s a picture of the New Orleans SWAT team doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence either. My comment is just as germane with them, do they look like they are interested in protecting and serving? This leads into the whole issue of the militarization of the police in this country. I recommend this article from a Salt Lake City paper on the subject, not exactly a bastion of liberal philosophy.
The mainstream news coverage of Bush’s wars gets weirder every day. Now apparently everything that goes wrong in the Middle East is caused by Iran. And every person we kill in Iraq and Afghanistan is an Al Qaeda agent. Talk about reducing an incredibly complex situation to something so silly and simplistic it wouldn’t pass muster as a comic book plot. Organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda didn’t spring up out of nowhere, they were all born as a direct response to misguided and short sighted Israeli and American foreign policy. And as long as we pretend otherwise, the problem is just going to get worse.
In science news though, the situation is much more heartening. Especially in the realm of space exploration, we are in a golden age of space exploration. There’s so many probes planned and en route that I don’t know where to start. Let’s just say that a new era of space exploration is upon us. The pioneering era of space exploration was epitomized by the Moon landings, Viking, Voyager, Pioneer and the other lesser known missions of the late 20th century. While these missions were ground breaking, in many senses they were very primitive and even unscientific. The Moon landings in particular were more a PR stunt than real scientific explorations. Still, they paved the way, and the fleets of incredibly sophisticated robotic rovers and probes that are exploring the solar system now were all made possible by these earlier explorers.
I haven’t seen Michael Moore’s latest movie, Sicko, but I suppose I might. I laughed at the poster, which is why I used it above. On the other hand, only fools and liars claim that the US health care system is working fine. We pay more for health care and get less for it than any other nation. Which sadly is a hallmark of much of modern America. I look out my window and watch them build a ten billion dollar bridge to replace a bridge that wasn’t broken. And yes, they are over budget and behind schedule like everything government touches in modern America. Oddly enough they chose the most expensive design and route for the new bridge. Coincidence? Feh. Welfare for contractors. France managed to build the world’s tallest highway bridge on time and on budget, and Americans look down on France? They pulled off this feat for $600,000 dollars. The effing scaffolding for the new Bay Bridge is costing half that.
In local news, I am slowly turning green from eating cucumber sandwiches. I love cucumber sandwiches. Heck, I eat cucumbers just like apples I like them so much. Most stuff I grow in my garden goes from harvest directly to the compost pile. Not corn, cucumbers, or tomatoes though. And looking like it’s going to be a good year for all three. Now if I can just keep the raccoons out of my corn, all will be well with the world. Raccoons love corn the way I love cucumbers, and the furry little thieves can shuck and eat an ear of corn so fast it makes my head spin. This year I’m using barbed wire and claymore mines to keep them at bay, it’s part of a Pentagon program to transfer military technology to civilian use. Wish me luck.
(The above reproduction of the poster for Sicko is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is a low resolution copy of the poster, it contributes to the post significantly, it does not limit the copyright owner’s ability to sell copies of the film in any way, no free equivalent is available at this time, and it’s not being used for profit.)