MUSTARD

I ate some “sell by February 28, 2007” generic Publix honey mustard yesterday and it was fine. Just sayin’.

FLUSTERED

Later, I had dinner with three college seniors – a microbiologist, an avian ecologist, and a history major – none of whom knew what a filibuster was. Which meant they don’t follow the news. How do we fix this?

(I thought Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert were our answer to that, but apparently not enough.)

PLASTICS

It seemed like a good idea in “The Graduate” –

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Just how do you mean that, sir?”

– but wait til you read about the Great Pacific Waste Patch. And, no, cleaning up the oceans probably isn’t environmentally viable, as you’ll read. The good news: San Francisco has made the kind of progress every city should and can.

I’m going to try even harder to remember to bring our recyclable bag to the supermarket . . . I no longer put apples inside plastic bags: they can sit loose on the scale just fine . . . and have I mentioned tap water?

TORTURE – ONE LAST TIME

Mark Budwig: Regarding what Mike Martin says of the Viet Cong, one might consider also the Japanese soldiers in hopeless island positions in the last days of WWII in the Pacific. Their officers sought to induce them to fight to the death rather than surrender by portraying Americans as monsters who tortured and killed prisoners. Our enemies now needn’t bother themselves with such anti-American propaganda; stupid American ‘patriots’ do it for them. Indeed, it’s astonishing to think how well Japanese prisoners were treated considering the ferocious anti-Japanese sentiment of the time, certainly equaling or exceeding the anti-Arab, anti-Muslim sentiment of today, bad as it is. And the country then was fighting against a truly existential threat. Even so, people were less concerned with safety and more with values – ‘with liberty and justice for all’ – they were fighting for.”

☞ Even at our worst, I don’t think most people saw us as monsters; and by now I think most realize we have largely rejected Abu Ghraib and the rest. But Mark has a point.

VIRGINIA, ONE LAST TIME

Rachel Maddow’s take on the new Governor and Attorney General.

Coming: Offshore Windmills! (And a Health Care Bill?)

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