The Virtue of the Tomato.

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This is a call to the tomato lovers of Shenzhen.

Everyone loves tomatoes. In the USA anyone who has a square foot of yard plants a tomato bush or two each summer. They are easy to grow and yield seemingly unlimited supplies of the succulent Solanums. There are literally hundreds of varieties available, so everyone can pick and choose the ones they like best.

I have been thinking of starting a group called Tomato Lovers of Shenzhen. I envision having monthly meetings where we could discuss the beauty of the tomato, argue about which variety is best, share our favorite tomato pictures, and compare recipes.

Some topics for group discussions might include:

1. Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

2. The tomato is sometimes called a “love apple.” Is this name justified?

3. Do you agree with me that the tomato is the most handsome of all vegetables and fruits?

4. Hybrids or heirlooms? Which do you prefer and why?

5. If tomatoes could talk, what would they say?

6. The tomato in the art of the Old Masters.

If there is anyone in Shenzhen who shares my love, respect and reverence for the tomato and is interested in forming a group, please let me know.


The End Is Near

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Of course we have all heard of the coming end of the world brought on by man-made global warming. But there have been dozens of other doomsday scenarios floated around in the past few years. Some include:

The hole in the ozone layer leads to skin cancer, blindness and two-headed frogs.

Air pollution causes all sorts of health problems and leads to early deaths or careers in politics.

Over fishing is depopulating the seas, and the few fish that remain are full of mercury.

Erosion of our best farm land will make growing our food ever more difficult. And what land is not eroded away is being paved over for parking lots and suburban sprawl.

Toxic waste contaminates what land is left making much of the world’s surface unusable.

Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. If the bat-winged fruit fly can go extinct, can humans be far behind?

Microbes, germs and viruses are evolving into ever more virulent strains. The new strains laugh at our vaccines and antibiotics.

Insects and rodents are consuming our food supplies and spreading diseases. They are increasingly immune to our feeble attempts to control them.

We are running out of clean water. What water we have left is full of lead, arsenic, and 100 other cancer causing elements.

Bees are disappearing, except for killer bees, which seem to be doing quite well.

Acid rain is killing forests and all life in our fresh water supplies.

Soon all natural resources will be depleted. And unlike through the whole of history, mankind will forget how to overcome various shortages with scientific and cultural advances.

The oceans are turning acidic from the excess carbon in the air. Before long only sharks will be able to survive in the seas.

A few days ago an asteroid came out of nowhere and brushed by the earth. It is only a matter of time until one hits us.

Cancer rates are up, exercise rates are down.

The food we eat is unhealthy and is killing us. What isn’t actually poison is full of cholesterol, trans-fats, and empty calories.

Nuclear waste is so dangerous it can neither be disposed of nor stored. Soon we will all glow in the dark.


I came up with this list in 10 minutes of thinking. If someone did a serious study, I feel sure they could come up with 100 times more problems. My conclusion: It’s all b.s.

Lessons in Hypocrisy and Politically Correct Living

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AL GORE. After all his whining about the dangers of fossil fuels and coal-powered electricity plants, and after assuring us we can be “carbon free” by paying attention to “where we set the thermostat, [and] keeping [our] a/c and furnace filters clean,” Gore’s 2006 utility bills for his Nashville home topped $30,000. His home energy use was literally 20 times the national average.

CHERYL CROW. She called upon the public to refrain from using more than one square of toilet paper per visit (“except on those pesky occasions when two or three are required”) and who was leading a Stop Global Warming concert tour across America. It was revealed that while Crow travelled in a biodiesel tour bus, her 30-person entourage followed in a fleet of 13 gas-guzzling vehicles.

JOHN TRAVOLTA  notoriously encouraged the British public to do its bit to fight global warming — after flying into London on one of his five, yes, five private jets (one of which is a Boeing 707). In 2006 his piloting hobby produced an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions, more than a hundred times the output of the average Briton, according to the Carbon Trust.

JENNIFER ANNISTON told reporters that to save the Earth’s precious water resources she brushes her teeth while in the shower. But she also flew a hairdresser to Europe to accompany her on a recent publicity tour for the film Marley & Me.

TRUDIE STYLER, film financier and wife of Sting. Not only do she and her husband run seven homes and travel between them in private jets and a fleet of cars, but in 2007 an employment tribunal revealed Styler was furious when her pregnant chef refused to travel 100 miles to prepare some soup and salad. (The chef had regularly made the trip in the past, travelling by train and taxi.) And Sting recently had to contend with accusations that the Police were “the dirtiest band in the world” because of the scale of their last tour and the carbon footprint of the fans who went to see them.

CHRIS MARTIN, Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow, has been fingered as one of music’s biggest eco-hypocrites. George Monbiot, a writer and environmental campaigner, noted on his blog that Martin flew thousands of miles on his private jet, including brief trips between LA and nearby Palm Springs. Monbiot calculated that Martin’s trips back and forth to see his family produced 250 times the carbon emissions of an average Briton.

LAURIE DAVID, soon-to-be-ex-wife of Seinfeld co-creator Larry, and producer of An Inconvenient Truth and other save-the-earth extravaganzas. Though she boasts about using recycled toilet paper and compact fluorescent light bulbs, David has been pilloried for, among other excesses, flying on private jets.

TOM CRUISE, who has campaigned for the LA-based environmental group Earth Communications Office, also has an air fleet and a license to pilot his five planes, including a top-of-the-line customized Gulfstream jet he bought for his wife, Katie Holmes.

HARRISON FORD, who is vice-chairman on the board of Conservation International, voices public-service messages for an environmental federation called EarthShare, and once shaved his chest hair to illustrate the effects of deforestation, is another hobby pilot. He once owned a Gulfstream but now makes do with a smaller Cessna Citation Sovereign eight seat jet, four propeller planes and a helicopter.

MADONNA invests in oil companies.

BARBRA STREISAND wastes water by demanding 120 bath towels at each appearance.

BARBRA STREISAND, (again) while on on tour in England, was busted by the British press for touring in a private jet with a massive entourage that required 13 trucks and vast amounts of laundry—in other words, for sponsoring a traveling CO2 extravaganza.

OPRAH WINFREY, who preaches eco-virtue from her TV pulpit, travelled in a 13-seat Gulfstream IV private jet for years — the preferred model for celebrities and the super-rich. (She has replaced it with a faster Bombardier Global Express.) The public first became aware of her private-jet habit when her plane had to make a forced landing in California in 2005; it was reminded of it this year after one of her stewardesses was fired for allegedly having sex with the pilot while Oprah and other passengers were asleep.

THE COPENHAGEN SUMMIT will generate vast quantities of hot air. It will see 16,500 people coming in from 192 countries. That amounts to 41,000 tons of carbon dioxide, roughly the same as the carbon emissions of Morocco in 2006. Also, the organizers will lay 900 kilometers of computer cable and 50,000 square meters of carpet. More than 200,000 meals will be served and visitors will drink 200,000 cups of coffee — at least that will be organic.

THE PRINCE OF WALES, aka the “Green Prince” has been mocked for, among other alleged crimes, chartering a plane to South America to raise eco-awareness. Prince Charles’s spokespeople responded saying it would have been impossible to make 48 appointments across three countries in 10 days by regularly scheduled flights.

BOBBY KENNEDY, founder of the conservationist Waterkeeper Alliance and a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, was completely unconvincing when forced to explain why he opposed a windmill farm that would generate large amounts of clean energy while imposing ever-so-slightly on the view from his family’s compound in Hyannis Port. So hollow were Kennedy’s arguments that a slew of other environmental groups and leaders implored him to drop his opposition, which he has yet to do.

BRAD PITT has been quoted as saying “There are a lot of problems in the world right now because of our dependency on oil.” But it looks like he and Angelina — well, they’re more dependent than most. According to The Daily Mail, in 2007 alone, “Brangelina” literally crisscrossed the globe in private jets dozens of times. Now, is that really necessary?

Why Won't the U.S. Government Investigate the CRU Emails?

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Even though the relic media in the USA has given the CRU emails showing data manipulation almost no coverage, most people are aware that something fishy was going on among the global warming cultists. The headlines in the news today were that the United Nations was going to investigate the CRU emails that show the climate change data was fudged. This sounds like a good idea. But the U.S. government and its handmaiden, the relic media, has continued to ignore the story as it plunges headlong into legislating many life altering taxes, regulations, and programs. All are aimed at stopping the emission of carbon dioxide into the air. I wonder why?

So do a few congressmen, like Issa White, for example.

Currently there are several huge taxing, spending, and regulatory bills floating around congress that are based on the assumption that global warming is real, it is caused by man, and it can be halted. But if the “science” of global warming is based on manipulated numbers, why not take a deep breath and figure out what is indeed true and correct?

The reason seems clear to me. It is not about global warming. It is about increasing the size, scope and wealth of the government at the expense of the governed. But the governed are at their breaking point. They are largely finished with new tax and spend programs that grow every year and seem to accomplish little. And they are tired of having their lives micro managed by the nanny state, various experts, and blowhard politicians. However, if the world is going to end without the programs being pushed through congress, enough of the peasants might be convinced to get on board.

Didn’t Rahm Emanuel say “never let a good crisis go to waste?” Well, if we don’t have a good crisis, why not invent one?

Duck Dinner in Shenzhen

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There is a small restaurant about 5 blocks from my house where they are having a deep fried duck special. I had dinner there last night. They had a pressurized deep fryer out on the sidewalk where they were cooking the ducks. I could smell it a block away. I ordered one for 20 Yuan (about $3.00 USD). It turned out to be a whole duck, a giant plate of fat, grease, and  cholesterol.

The duck was about as good as I have had since I’ve been here, but it was not the Beijing duck I have been wanting. And even now I feel a little sick from all the grease and oil.

The last time I ate at this particular restaurant it was cold. The owner gave a a little shot of a clear liqueur to warm me. I bought a little bottle of the stuff to go with dinner. The waiter said it was called “black beer.” The bottle was a little larger than an airplane liquor bottle and cost 9 Yuan (about $1.35 USD). It wasn’t as good as I remembered it. Maybe because it wasn’t as cold tonight as when I had it before.

Anyway, that was my duck dinner last night. Today I still feel a bit sluggish from all the fat and grease I ingested last night. Hopefully a walk in the cool morning air will fix things.

Some Thoughts on Global Warming

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For the last 20+ years I have been hearing about global warming. A few years before that I was told by scientists that the world was cooling. I don’t know what to believe, if anything.

A few days ago some emails have hit the net that clearly show certain scientists have been cooking the global warming books. That led me to a few thoughts.

First, during my entire life I have not noticed any change in the climate. The summers are hot, the winters are cold, and the autumns and springs are in between. The ocean is is exactly the same place as it’s always been, neither higher nor lower.

Second, the global warming alarmists are being funded by government money. In turn, governments are attempting to extract new taxes from the governed in response to the science being produced by the alarmists. There is an unholy  symbiotic relationship between the government and science.

Third, the governments of the world are using global warming to extend ever more control over the lives of their citizens. It is the nature of all governments to want to usurp every more power.

Fourth, I am sure the earth’s climate has changed in the past, even before man was around spewing toxic gases into the atmosphere. For example the desert middle east must have once been lush enough to produce enough vegetation to form vast pools of oil. Same with the Alaska tundra.

Fifth, Al Gore wrote an opinion piece a few days ago calling for “sustainable capitalism.” This is clearly an example of a rat realizing the global warming ship is sinking trying to find another “cause” to promote.

My conclusion is that global warming is a scam.

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