With the rather funky summer weather I have no idea what to expect in regards to how good the fall foliage will be. The summer weather can affect the brilliance and depth of the colors in the fall. Only time will tell.
*************I must admit that I have been remiss in checking Rachel Lucas's blog, knowing she was blogging intermittently from Europe as the mood struck and time allowed. Imagine my surprise to find out that after 4½ years in the UK and Italy that she returned to Texas almost 2 months ago. As she says, “Damn, I love this country!”
Needless to say, while her time in Europe was enlightening, she missed the interactions between people she was used to in the US.
It’s not that Europeans are exactly un-friendly, especially Italians, who are in fact very polite and kind to strangers, and warm to friends and family, but I lived in Texas for 15 years before moving to Europe and being openly friendly to complete strangers was (is) deeply part of my personality, and I had to shut that part down until I got back here last week. It was really difficult those first few weeks in southern England, not being able to say “hi” to people I passed on a sidewalk because if I did, they’d avoid eye contact, veer away, and sometimes even give me a pointed look of rejection.I noticed the same thing when I ventured regularly to the UK. Colleagues in the UK noticed just the opposite when they came here to the US, amazed at how open and friendly everyone in “The Colonies” appeared to be. It made them feel a little uncomfortable at first, but in the end they came to revel in it.
Then Italy. It’s the same there, at least in Turin. You don’t say hello to strangers you pass on sidewalks, and most eye contact in that situation is brief and definitely doesn’t involve a grin (unless your dogs interact, then it’s definitely game-on, which was one reason my life improved dramatically when we adopted Primo). All of those sorts of interactions were oddly (to me) formal and structured, always with some distance. Again, I understood it and never took it personally; but I still always, always had to hold back my natural personality.
….I didn’t take it personally, it just made me amazingly homesick.
In any case, I am glad to see that Rachel has returned home and I expect to see her blogging on a more regular basis.
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
*************Any of you regular readers out there, all two or three of you, know I despise zero-tolerance policies, particularly in our schools. They show a particular lack of courage and are nothing more than a respite for incompetent administrators unwilling to make a decision about anything, especially when it comes to those affecting the children in their schools.
In the latest example of education bureaucratic incompetence from Coventry, Rhode Island, comes this story of a student suspended for three days because of a tiny 2” gun-shaped keychain fob that fell out of his backpack. (The keychain was attached to his house key.) As usual, the school fell back on its zero-tolerance policy, claiming that “it could have been ten days or he could have even been expelled”, as if that statement would some how lessen the absurdity of its actions.
The student in question is in advanced math classes and is apparently one of the better students in the school. In a non-zero tolerance school it's likely absolutely nothing would have come from the keyfob incident, or at worst a teacher, guidance councilor, or principal would have merely told the student to not bring it into school again and it would have ended there. But not in Coventry. Instead they are jeopardizing the academic standing of one of their best students and the school by suspending him because of a rigid and over-the-top policy that solves nothing. As the past few years have shown, zero-tolerance policies tend to punish the innocent for things that in normal society wouldn't even be worth a mention.
These folks should be so fired because they aren't competent to teach our kids.
*************David Starr makes the argument that not raising the federal debt limit is not default. Instead it's just another bit of Obama scaremongering.
*************Bogie shares her experiences (and photos) of her trip to last weekend's NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The flyover by the World War II era Boeing B-17 during the national anthem was very cool!
*************Speaking of Bogie, it appears she's recovered most of the data she lost when her laptop melted down last week.
I also sent her some advice about the matter, stating it in three words: External. Hard. Drive.
*************It looks like Scary Yankee Chick had a computer problem too, similar to that suffered by Bogie.
When it rains, it pours!
*************It's bad enough when local police departments misuse forfeiture laws to seize money and property of law-abiding citizens, but when the IRS goes after small businesses the same way and leaves the business owners with little or no legal recourse, then it's time to modify the laws and abolish the IRS, one of the most abusive and criminal government agencies in existence.
As we've seen in other instances, the IRS seems to think that the laws and the Constitution does not apply to that agency. Even mob protection rackets aren't nearly as abusive as the IRS. As I've seen on more than one bumper sticker over the years: “Fight Organized Crime. Abolish The IRS.”
(H/T Pirate's Cove)
*************Things are looking bad for Obama, particularly in the polls. What makes it worse is that the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll is weighted to sample more Democrats than Republicans (40% versus 30%, with the balance being Independents or non-declared) and he still has only a 39% approval rating.
When the approval rating within his own party is falling, you know he's in trouble.
*************In response to abusive lefties trying to out her real name, Sister Toldjah beats them to the punch and announces her real name on her blog and on Twitter. As she writes:
BTW, as y'all are aware, my NC liberal stalkers have been trying to “out” my real name in an attempt to silence me for months. So I did it before they did a couple of weeks ago in a conversational announcement – and today officially on my Twitter page, proving 1) I”m not the GOP operative they think I am and 2) they will not silence me. Ever.As I have seen stated on more than a few blogs here and there, you know you're over the target when the flak is heaviest. So Sister Toldjah must have been royally pissing off the leftist if they've been trying to shut her down.
One commenter to her post quoted Winston Churchill:
One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!Indeed.
*************You know the Nanny State is going too far when you have to produce a drivers license just to purchase glue at Target.
WTF? Has there been a recent epidemic of glue sniffing we haven't heard about? (I could understand maybe if it were a teen buying large amounts of glue, but a middle-aged man buying a single container? Get real!)