Wednesday, October 10, 2012


     These may not be original musings, but they are relevant.  Anything that gets the candidates thinking and talking in front of a live format is revealing and a lot better than packaged and paid advertising.  But--  I wonder if we didn't cross a Rubicon when JFK and Dick Nixon opened the era of television campaigning and debates.  Charisma became a factor in Presidential Campaigns. Looks, style, manner and "appeal" became "values" by which Americans rate and choose their chief executive. Though it is more sinister than that.
     I know 2 or 3 men, who have played on the national and international stage and who were involved in the presidential sweepstakes who could have made good presidents, but they lacked something- media gloss and sizzle. Probably brighter and deeper thinkers than most of their peers, their intellect and experience got trumped by media appeal.
    Jim Lehrer tried to open a format to allow Obama and Romney to present and counter with some depth, but still the rigidity of debate forces the contestants, and we viewers, into an artificial frame of scoring points by attack,  defense, or presenting a zinger. The goal is to beat the opponent, as if that determines how a man or woman would serve.
     Perhaps the evaluation and revelatory outcome helps us to better understand and to decide, but it all seems like it is spawned from the same mind set of a Super Bowl, or World Series-winner take all.
     The Presidency demands more than presentation or debate skills.  Perhaps helpful in some way, it is still an example of the disconnect between the business, and now industry, of elections and the real job of governance.
    We can count on the media yak hacks to be pumped up
on scoring the next rounds, as though it means something.
   Today delivers the first measurable rain of Central California's "rain season." 
    After an extraordinary year in 2010-2011, last year was under average, so we celebrate each drop.  Though, this is a dicey time of year.  Grape growers and vintners are someplace along in harvest and too much rain at the wrong time is bad news.  Stay tuned for an update from Wine Country where
     We may romanticize the life of a winemaker, but do so
at the cost of overlooking how hard is the work.  Case in 
point-during harvest there is an endless list of things to do.
One item is just keeping the equipment clean.  Here we see
premier wine maker John Munch and a colleague doing just that. 

    I had a relative who used the old bromide "There's a place in hell for people like that!"  I don't want to open a theological debate or a discussion about judgement, BUT as I read about the Taliban attack on a teen female who had been an advocate for full educational rights for girls, that old saw came back to mind.  Along with words like, idiots, cowards, ignorant, stone age ass holes and evil.
    Truth is, full equality for women in Islamic nations could do more to remove those evil mullahs and imams and their influence of ignorant fundamentalism than anything else.  Oh, a lake of burning sulfur comes to mind as well!
     Really hard to bring yourself to forgive someone like that isn't it? A struggle!
    See you down the trail.


  1. I have a blogger friend in Pakistan who first alerted me to this terrible attack. Evidently, people in Pakistan are furious about this, but not enough to do anything about it.

  2. A year or so ago. a woman was stoned to death in Iran by a mob of men, including her husband and son, for being seen in the company of a man she was not related to. Not uncommon but part of the video was circulating the internet. And yet, when Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University within days of that horrific event, he was applauded by the students. I wonder if the reaction would have been the same had they played the video behind him while he was charming the hell out of those kids. A burning lake too good for the likes of him. But the bigger problem...what are they teaching those students at Columbia?

  3. At the risk of offending your vintner friend, the photo essay reminded me of a greeting card I received long ago from a friend who was a wine afficionado..."I was going to send you a special red I made myself..." read the front cover, and inside, "but I thought I'd wait until my athlete's foot cleared up."

    Larry Landis

  4. Oh, Larry, that is too personal. -w-

  5. I love those rainy days in California pictures. Good day to go to the beach.