Vendredi Voltaire: Agriculture

“It is inconceivable how the ancients, who cultivated the land as well as we do, could imagine that all the Voltaire by Houdonseeds they sowed on the ground had to die and rot before sprouting and producing. It would only have needed someone to pull a seed from the ground at the end of two or three days; it would have appeared fine, a bit swollen, the root below and the earth above.”

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Hillary Clinton’s Email Server – Some Things

One of my commenters in another posting, asks:

What do you think of the notion, given the incompetence of the government in keeping hackers out of their computer systems, that The Secretary’s private email system might actually been no worse than the State Department’s system, which, apparently, is known to have been hacked into?

As I understand it, the FBI has no evidence that her private system was, in fact hacked but they, apparently, do have evidence that the State Department’s computer system was invaded by hackers (as by the way as has the Pentagon’s).

There are a lot of issues to cover and I’m going to jump on some of them scatter-shot, then see if I can conclude with a summary of my views, along with some supporting facts.*

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A Sort of Editorial Calendar —

I don’t intend to have a magazine-style “editorial calendar” but rather more like an “editorial agenda.” There are some topics I really want to get into, and greatly look forward to discussing with you. But some events are going to haul me haring off in different directions (like Elie Weisel’s death) so I don’t want to be strictly on a clock. Here are some of the topics I intend to dig into, and how I intend to do it:

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Conversations at Conferences —

A couple years ago, I was invited to do the closing keynote at the ISSA world conference in LA. It was a pretty memorable evening for me because I took the stage after a panel consisting of Richard Clarke, some FBI executive, and another speaker – and they were talking about cyberwar and the need for more government oversight to protect us against cyberterror (in particular) and terrorism (in general). So, I started my talk off by saying “I know it’s inappropriate for a keynote speaker to start off by rattling off a critique of the panel ahead of them, but there was a lot of lying going on…” Things went downhill from there.

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Monday Meslier: 98 – An Oriental Legend

At a short distance from Bagdad a dervish, celebrated for his holiness, passed his days tranquilly in agreeable solitude. The surrounding inhabitants, in order to have an interest

Jean Meslier Portrait

Jean Meslier Portrait

in his prayers, eagerly brought to him every day provisions and

presents. The holy man thanked God incessantly for the blessings Providence heaped upon him. “O Allah,” said he, “how  ineffable is Thy tenderness toward Thy servants.

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Recipe: Mint and Salt Lemonade

In 2009 I visited Saudi Arabia for some work, and while I was there I experienced two absolutely wonderful concoctions. The first was a blood orange juice and strawberry smoothie with a bit of salt in it. The second was a mint lemonade. When I got home I did some testing, went through a bunch of lemons, sugar, and vodka, and finally reverse engineered this recipe.

Since Oligarchy Day (July 4th) is coming up, perhaps some of you might enjoy it.

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