Friday, September 28, 2012

Things to Know - 29 September


1.   I have just returned from a beautiful 2-week car trip of California.  Kind of a nice break between two hip surgeries.  From Claremont, we went up to Manzanar, one of the  internment camps where U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were forced to live during 
a very dark chapter in our history.  From there, it was up to Mammoth, Lake Tahoe, and then joined with great friends for the continuation of the journey up through the maze of agricultural fields of the Sacramento Delta, and the Sierra Nevada Brewery.   From there we went to Shasta Dam, and then on to the Pacific Coast and Arcata/Eureka via a part of the state I have never seen before.   Later it was driving down through the Giant Redwood Forest, and every back road in getting to the wine region of the Napa Valley from the north.  We finished off the trip by heading on down to Santa Cruz, the Monterrey Peninsula, Paso Robles, Ojai, Santa Paula, and home.  Most of the trip was concentrated on back roads where the diversity of natural resources and the vast agricultural industry of California is vivid and healthy.  Upon reading my first article for this job's resumption, I knew it was the perfect one to get back on track.  California is a beautiful state, with so much diverse geography, flor and fauna, people and natural resources.  This land is your land:

2.  In the business of satire to depict the news of the day, one really has to wonder at what intellectual level the Iranians in Ahmadinejad's immediate power structure are operating.   When an Onion story is the basis of fact for their reasoning, only Romney's advisors approach that level of incompetence:

3.  It is getting very difficult to take Romney and his campaign very seriously.  He has so severely boxed himself into tight corners on every issue that he has no wiggle room.   Watching him squirm is laughable.  The only serious matter is to wonder if the Democrats have the will, power, and backbone to work hard enough to get the vote out.   In the meantime, let's enjoy the Looney Tunes entertainment:

4.  Todd Akin really does not know when to quit.   He's as insensitive to women and their reproductive system as he is to the fairness of the Lilly Ledbetter Act.  Freedom is what allows an employer to pay a woman less than a man, didn't y'all know that?:

5.  Jim Webb takes Romney to the shed for his lack of respect shown to the military.   If Mitt does not realize how much he erred in his casual neglect for those who served, and his casual classification of veterans as moochers on the public dole, he should see and read this.  Romney has made many mistakes, but his lack of service experience, and his poor choice of words will forever haunt him.  Jim Webb does a great job here in hammering it home to his Mittness:

6.  The FiveThirtyEight NY Times column by Nate Silver has become the go-to calculator a good reputation of predicting the future.  According to his latest, Romney is toast - done for.  Obama can just plan to maintain a solid and safe journey for the next several weeks.  Romney, on the other hand, can be expected make very desperate actions, most of which will probably not help, since he has tried all along to find something that works, and nothing has.   What will be interesting to see is where House and Senate races are close.  Romney seems to be dragging the rest of the GeeOpee candidates down, and some may cut and run against him, and disavow any connection.   Also, the GeeOpee Super Pacs will either back out of Romney completely or shift their resources to protect their legislative candidates:

7.  College and University rankings by U.S. News and other magazines play on the frenzy that both the schools and parents of soon-to-be high school graduates face every year.  The rankings make good reading, and may or may not help at all in the selection or rating process.  There are schools who are so driven that some of the data is fudged to make them look better.   Some parents and their kids make decisions for all the wrong reasons.   As a volunteer alumni interviewer for a long-standing "top-tier" college, I am always interested in what the buzz is all about this time around.   It is my opinion that some colleges and universities use the ratings to set their tuition costs, kind of like wineries use reviewers ratings to price their products.  If you have a 5-star wine, price it accordingly.   If not, find out where the rest of the field comes in and settle in.  Some parents get carried away and force their kids into interviews that the prospective student is not prepared for, or does not really want:

8.  One disappointment in voting for the Democrats, is that the younger set is not as fired up this time around for Obama as they were last time.  However, neither is his opponent doing well with the youth vote, and is even worse off.  New demographics in play this time around that will be respected from here on out will be the Hispanic and Women voters.   The GeeOpee has done a very good job of alienating them both:


"If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission." 
       -- Grace Murray Hopper
"I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, Damn. I am less nurturing than a desert." 
       -- Demetri Martin
"People ask for criticism, but they only want praise." 
       -- W. Somerset Maugham
"Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen." 
       -- P. J. O'Rourke
"Someday we'll look back on this moment and plow into a parked car." 
       -- Evan Davis

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