• TobyWollin commented on the diary post Independence Yea or Nay? by Elliott.

    2014-09-16 09:30:02View | Delete

    Oliver is a hoot but completely right – the Brits (that video of Cameron’s response regarding ‘stupid questions’ is typical) have treated the Scots like garbage for a thousand years. My mom was a very proud Scot – her father came down to Yorkshire from the the Edinburgh area as a young man, but she [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the blog post Pride and Prejudice and the Market in Marriages

    2014-04-06 11:19:47View | Delete

    A couple of notes (which may be of interest to some and not to others): Jane Austen began writing the book which became P&P in the fall of 1796 and completed it the next year. She was 21 years old. It went through rejections and revisions until it was finally published in 1813. Another book, which, in its own way, deals with love, courtship, and marriage (and the disastrous results of poor ones)was published by 1847: “Jane Eyre”, by Charlotte Bronte. In the same period, Thackery’s work, “Vanity Fair” was published and it, too, deals with the issues of money (or lack thereof)and marriages, revolving around the character of the ambitious and covetous Becky Sharpe, she of looks, cleverness, and no money (as compared to Jane Eyre, she of no looks, naivete but strong moral fiber, and no money). Certainly it has to be said that when one considers the fact that within the same 50 year period, three of what have become the most popular and studied novels of the 19th century all have dealt with the same basic theme, that this was a huge issue. Women (and it has to be noted that they were really dealing with women of the middle and upper classes) were in the economically powerless position of having no choices. They had to be ‘chosen’; women did not choose. And if you were someone, like Charlotte Lucas, with nothing to recommend you other than being sensible (that is, no money of your own, no accomplishments per se, and no great looks), then you are going to feel that Mr. Collins is a great pick( I would also like to note that Jane Austen may have felt a good deal of sympathy for Charlotte Lucas; by the time Jane Austen got the request, it was too late). She made the sensible, reasoned choice, unlike Mr. Bennett, who made his choice based on looks and being amused. Another aspect of this (which is in the background) is this: Young people in England at this time (and remember, we’ve got a lot of young men in the army and navy and a lot of young men being killed in the Napoleonic wars)actually did not have many opportunities to actually get to know one another, other than going to church and attending ‘assemblies’ and balls, both situations where the rather formal behavior of the time (and the obvious pressure on both sides to attract, amuse, and make an impression)precluded knowing anything about the people you met other than how much money(land, estates, income) was in play, how well they dressed, how cleverly they spoke and how light they were on their feet. So, if you end up with characters like Elizabeth Bennett, her sister Jane and Jane Eyre,who end up in marriages based on love (but where there is a rather comfortable amount of money as well), then that is just plain great luck.

  • They can also try the New York State gambit after our educational court case (where the supreme court basically said, “you guys are not adequately or with equity funding school districts in the state”), when the state basically… ignored the entire thing. Did nothing despite threats by the court and now we’ve had several years of Andy Cuomo’s eviscerating the state K-12 and state university budgets and promoting charter schools. So, esp in small, rural and center city school districts (ie, not rich white suburban school districts) we are worse off than we ever were.

  • ThumbnailEarlier this week, there was a lot of excitement (nay, elation) expressed over the new guidelines from the FDA on antibiotic use in production livestock situations (i.e., factory farms). It sounded like a huge thing. It sounded as if finally, the FDA was going to do something which would end up cleaning up the dynamic on [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Raise a Glass, and Let Us Give Thanks by Peterr.

    2013-11-28 08:12:07View | Delete

    Peterr — ‘ding’ to all and then some!! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone – and my hope that everyone is safe, warm, and where you want to be today.

  • This is classic Tompkins County/Ithaca regional stuff — probably highest per capita consumption of solar, wind, Berkinstocks, hybrid and electric vehicles, organic locally grown food, and in the Finger Lakes to boot. The guy also probably has his campaign office (if he has one – could be he operated off a kitchen table) at the Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg. :)

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post October: Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness Month by dakine01.

    2013-10-06 08:30:11View | Delete

    ARticle this week on the rise in incidence in breast cancer in men: http://www.walb.com/story/23587168/detection-in-mens-breast-cancer

  • Ellen — so, what is really standing in the way of public banking in this country? How do we get it? Is the easiest thing to do to get municipalities to take their funds out of the big banks and start their own?

  • TobyWollin commented on the blog post Come Saturday Morning: Stand For Food

    2013-07-20 08:40:12View | Delete

    One of the issues here is that by and large, ag schools get their big research money not only from the feds, but also from Big Ag. I went to a workshop last year on growing berries and the number of times I heard, “Just spray with Roundup” (or something of the sort) was pretty amazing. When I asked, “Can’t berries be grown organically or using integrated pest management?” I was told it can’t be done. Funny – we seem to do pretty well here at Chez Siberia doing absolutely…nothing. So, if we’re looking for organic or sustainable messages to come out of the big ag schools, I think we’re going to be waiting a very long time.

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Gabby Giffords’ NYT Op-Ed by Teddy Partridge.

    2013-04-18 13:23:07View | Delete

    When you refer to people like Johnson and Kennedy and Dirksen and Rockefeller and so on, it comes to mind that yes, they were people with a lot of weaknesses and issues – but they also had a strong sense of doing what was right and best for the greatest number of people and they [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Gabby Giffords’ NYT Op-Ed by Teddy Partridge.

    2013-04-18 13:07:19View | Delete

    Two words, Teddy, just two: NO GUTS. Period. They have completely abandoned public service – all of these assholes and craphats have made the conscious decision that they are in the business of keeping their heads in the government trough and keep their hands out for corporate and lobbyist grease. None of us is rich [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the blog post GOP: Obama Budget “a shocking attack on seniors”

    2013-04-10 16:23:13View | Delete

    Every single Democrat in Congress should be saying, “Screw you.”

  • Thumbnail People – get on the horn, email, tweet, whatever to your Congress Critters and Senators about this: “The groundbreaking study was conducted by genetics researchers who analyzed the genomes of MRSA bacteria from patients and their farm animals , and found the samples to be genetically identical. Published on Tuesday in EMBO Molecular Medicine, the study confirms [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post OK, all you women at the top: Zip it. Right NOW. by TobyWollin.

    2013-03-23 12:14:05View | Delete

    The Yahoo CEO also has built herself her own private nursery next to her offices, and I assume she has hired her own private housekeeper/nanny to care for the baby while she’s doing HER job. Outlawing telecommuting was definitely a family-unfriendly thing to do. You combine both of these items (private nursery and not giving [...]

  • TobyWollin wrote a new diary post: OK, all you women at the top: Zip it. Right NOW.

    2013-03-23 12:02:35View | Delete

    Thumbnail OK…so we now have another in yet a seemingly endless stream of women from elite backgrounds, who are playing at the top of their respective games, who are telling other women a) how to live their home and work lives, and b) that they are not trying hard enough. This one is from Katharine Weymouth, [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post NOM Calls CJ Roberts’ Family “Second-Best” by Teddy Partridge.

    2013-03-14 12:05:36View | Delete

    Mary — “real” families only come in one flavor — man/woman and thefruit of that man and that woman’s loins.

  • TobyWollin commented on the blog post Come Saturday Morning: Dirty Energy’s Decline

    2013-02-23 07:57:11View | Delete

    PW – we still have to deal with the fact that the grids owned by the coal/oil/gas/electric utilities are basically over-subscribed. Adding all of this renewable does not help if there is no way to get the energy where it needs to go. literally, generators have to get called by the state or regional ISOs and given an appointment to generate and push power into the grid. This is the bottleneck for us to get rid of coal, oil, and gas-fired generation. Those folks basically are first in line in terms of getting time on the grid.

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Where Does the Shade Go? by TobyWollin.

    2013-02-23 07:54:01View | Delete

    OK guys – as always, thank you so much for joining in. PW is upstairs at the mother ship with a new post on energy. have a great week.

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Where Does the Shade Go? by TobyWollin.

    2013-02-23 07:51:09View | Delete

    Chives are perennials – if you want them bigger, just dig the clumps up, split them up and space them out. Berries are tough – they are subject to all sorts of viruses in the soil, etc. Even with strawberries, the first year is good, the next year is almost as good and by the [...]

  • TobyWollin commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Where Does the Shade Go? by TobyWollin.

    2013-02-23 07:39:17View | Delete

    Kassandra – I don’t know about your county Cooperative Extension, but ours has a tree and bush program every spring and we’re able to buy small trees and bushes actually quite cheaply – sometimes they also do packages of related plants for specific uses, such as stream bank restoration or song bird attraction or wildlife [...]

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