Wednesday, July 2, 2014
-- Not for the first time, the people in charge of surveillance programs in the United States (NSA et al) have written themselves a clean bill of legal health. Maybe the programs could use a tuck here and a tuck there, but in general the rules meet criteria interpreted by the people implementing them: Some very real threats (never specified, of course) have been thwarted.
-- In California, one of the nation's most important agricultural regions, water is so scarce that the price has gone through the roof. Water, like food, is important enough so that perhaps we will come to thank god for the surveillance techniques -- and the body armor that goes with it -- of an increasingly militarized government structure.
-- The leader of a self-proclaimed caliphate in the Middle East has called on Muslims throughout the region to flock to him and -- using violent means -- help set up a region that is immune to the corruption he sees on every hand. Will someone please tell me how exceptionalism, whether in the U.S. or England or France or China or Japan or the Middle East has ever managed to do much more than nourish dictatorship and leave an endless trail of literal or cultural mangled bodies in its wake? Well-dressed or clad in rags, the arrogance is always the same.
-- The U.S., which has a moderately good football/soccer team, lost a 2-1 match to Belgium yesterday in the World Cup games being held in Brazil. The game between Switzerland and Argentina (1-0 Argentina) was more exciting in my eye.
Anyway, the corn seems to be doing OK on this viscous July morning.