Obama and the Fourth Geneva Convention

Rebecca Solnit writes for TomDispatch that,

So here I want to lay out an insanely obvious principle that apparently needs clarification. There are bad things and they are bad. There are good things and they are good, even though the bad things are bad. The mentioning of something good does not require the automatic assertion of a bad thing.[1]

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  1. [1]Rebecca Solnit, “The Rain on Our Parade: Letter to My Dismal Allies,” TomDispatch, September 27, 2012, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175598/tomgram%3A_rebecca_solnit%2C_we_could_be_heroes


It’s been my experience in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area—indeed pretty much everywhere around it—that Fall is fleeting. Usually, there is wind, or there is rain, or there is something that washes the Fall colors to the ground. So far, this year appears to be shaping up differently:

Fig. 1. Along Oak Grove Road, leading into Graton, September 25, 2012.

Even so, views such as this (figure 1) are becoming harder to find. Apple orchards—and pretty much anything else agrarian—are disappearing, and being replaced with a monoculture of vineyards in Sonoma County. That doesn’t bode well if Bill McKibben is correct about the unsustainability of our present food systems.[1]

  1. [1]Bill McKibben, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (New York: Holt, 2007).

The new range of acceptable political discourse

“The 2012 presidential election’s battle lines are now sharper and the choices more vivid than at any time since at least the mid-1960s,” begins David Lightman, writing for McClatchy News. Further on, he explains, “Voters will not only select Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, they’’ll send a message about the role of government that could reverberate and reshape how people pay taxes, get help when times are tough and manage their health care.”[1]

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  1. [1]David Lightman, “Presidential campaign offers sharpest choice since the 1960s,” McClatchy News, September 6, 2012, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/06/166930/the-campaign-ahead-sharpest-choice.html