Vegetable gardens may be popping on abandoned land in Detroit, Michigan, but nearby Oak Park apparently likes broccoli as much as does George H.W. Bush. At least, that is, when it’s growing in a homeowner’s front yard.
Resident Julie Bass is learning this the hard way. After Bass’s lawn was torn up during a sewer line’s replacement, an ambitious green thumb and the price of organic food inspired her to pursue a botanical project a bit more interesting than watching grass grow. The result was five large planter boxes boasting fresh basil, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, cumbers, and more — all visible from the street. Explains Bass, “We thought it'd be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help.”
But one neighbor wasn’t so helpful. He called the city and complained, prompting a visit from a code enforcement officer. Bass related what happened next to ABC News, stating:
No one is more of a master of political talking points than President Barack Obama. Remember "shovel-ready projects"? These were construction projects where the shovels were supposed to start digging the moment the government gave them the "stimulus" money.
Two years later, Obama can joke about the fact that the shovels were not as ready as he thought. In reality, the shovels were never ready. It can take forever to get all the environmental approvals to build anything in today's political and legal climate.
If Obama didn't know that, his advisers surely did. He can treat it as a joke today but it is no joke for those who are saddled with the debts produced by his runaway spending in the name of "shovel-ready projects."
City and town clerks across New York are preparing for a surge in same-sex (aka LGBT or GLBT) nuptials, the New York Times reports.
Such is the size of the coming fairytale wedding contingent, thanks to the state’s new law legalizing“same-sex "marriage,” that New York City will open its clerk’s offices on July 24, a Sunday. That is the day the law takes effect.
What Christian (or observant Jewish or Muslim) clerks plan to do about being forced to participate in sin is unknown. What is known is that an alleged Catholic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is not a homosexual but is living with with his girlfriend, signed the bill legalizing “marriage” between members of the same sex.
Archeologists are hoping to piece together from ancient remains the history of one of the Bible's great antagonists: Goliath. Most of the excavating has taken place at the remains of what the team believes is the Philistine city of Gath, Goliath's hometown, where scholars are hoping to garner a better understanding of these fierce biblical enemies of the Israelites.
The Blaze writes:
Close to three millennia ago, Gath was on the frontier between the Philistines, who occupied the Mediterranean coastal plain, and the Israelites, who controlled the inland hills. The city’s most famous resident, according to the book of Samuel, was Goliath — the giant warrior improbably felled by the young shepherd David and his slingshot.
As the last flight of NASA’s space shuttle began with a photogenic launch this morning, the future of manned space flight is far from certain. From the first shuttle mission — designated STS-1 — in April 1981, when astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen flew the Columbia, through today’s launch of Atlantis for STS-135, the shuttle program has been the focus of much of the praise and criticism in public analysis of America’s space program. Now, as Atlantis begins its twelve-day mission, the debate about the future of human space flight centers on the role of public and private involvement in such endeavors.
Since the beginning of “space race” between the Soviet Union and the United States, outer space has primarily been the domain of governmental space programs. National security concerns led to the development of spy and weather satellites, global satellite communications, and the global positioning satellite (GPS) system. Other programs — such as the Apollo — mixed science and "national prestige" interests.
The Obama administration is in the process of preparing gun safety measures, just six months after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot. The proposal is expected to anger both gun advocates and gun opponents, the latter of whom will likely assert that the measures are not bold enough.
The White House has been unspecific about the details, but according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, the new safety rules will be made public “in the near future.”
The Blaze explains, “What is proposed is not expected to involve legislation or take on major issues, like banning assault weapons, but could include executive action to strengthen the background check system or other steps.
Unnamed White House and U.S. Treasury sources told MoneyNews.com that options to handle the government’s debts in the event no debt ceiling deal is reached are being explored, despite official protestations to the contrary.
Mary Miller, Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets, is in charge of paying the government’s bills, and on June 21 she repeated the party line in London to bankers holding substantial American debt that there is no "Plan B," assuring them that the debt limit would be raised before August 2. Official Treasury spokeswoman Colleen Murray expressed practically the same thing:
There's little that's intelligent or informed about Time magazine editor Richard Stengel's article "One Document, Under Siege" (June 23, 2011). It contains many grossly ignorant statements about our Constitution. If I believed in conspiracies, I'd say Stengel's article is part of a leftist agenda to undermine respect for the founding values of our nation.
Stengel says: "The framers were not gods and were not infallible. Yes, they gave us, and the world, a blueprint for the protection of democratic freedoms — freedom of speech, assembly, religion — but they also gave us the idea that a black person was three-fifths of a human being, that women were not allowed to vote and that South Dakota should have the same number of Senators as California, which is kind of crazy. And I'm not even going to mention the Electoral College."
It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not.
Not only among politicians, but also among much of the media, and even among some of the public, the quest is not for truth about reality but for talking points that fit a vision or advance an agenda. Some seem to see it as a personal contest about who is best at fencing with words.
The current controversy over whether to deal with our massive national debt by cutting spending, or whether instead to raise tax rates on "the rich," is a classic example of talking points versus reality.