ERROL CASTENS: Flotsam, jetsam and the occasional rant

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

Voice-to-text note taking on smartphones is the best new invention since crackling bread.
• Pedestrians who are shown the courtesy of having a driver stop to let them cross the street should return the courtesy by not stopping to have a conversation in the crosswalk.
• With social media, we have a new way not to be judgmental about how other people think. Sometimes “like” doesn’t mean “like”; sometimes it just means “I want to keep up with this entity or this issue.”
• Eleven-year-old girls cannot drive, vote, enter into a contract or marry. And without a parent’s permission, they may not go on a field trip or take so much as an aspirin at school. Yet a federal judge says they have a constitutional right to the morning-after pill without supervision by either a parent or a physician – an absolute abuse of logic, law and life.
• On a related note, this paraphrase from Pastor Les: The Bible, read as a morality tale, becomes a hammer, because we cannot measure up. Read any way other than as the story of Jesus – past, present and future – it is life-crushing.
• From the Heritage Society: “Senator Thad Cochran (R–MS), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, recently told the North American Agricultural Journalists group that food stamps should continue to be included in the farm bill ‘purely from a political perspective. It helps get the farm bill passed.’”
If federal farm policy doesn’t serve the national interest – and www.heritage.org/research/factsheets/2013/05/farm-bill-ripe-for-reform gives a small sampling of why it doesn’t – it’s downright corrupt to hold Food Stamps hostage to get urban representatives and senators to vote for the Farm Bill.
• This from Rasmussen, the survey folks: “Talk about a trust deficit. Just one-in-four Likely U.S. Voters (24 percent) now has confidence that when the federal government acts it’s doing the right thing most or nearly all the time.” I have to wonder where those 24 percent get their information.
• Even most tomato plants advertised as bearing until frost don’t last a full season against the blights that our long, hot, humid summers offer. If your local farm-and-garden-supply store still has tomato seedlings, now is a good time to start a second planting to extend your harvest into late summer and early fall.
• Heard a conversation about an overlook point in the Grand Canyon where the winds are so fierce that they’ve actually blown people over the guard rail. Sounds like advertisement for fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
Contact Daily Journal Oxford-area reporter Errol Castens at errol.castens@journalinc.com.