Published Friday, November 8, 2013
Already I miss Daylight Savings Time only a couple days into winter. It was almost dark when I got home Monday. No time to do anything to the lawn. No time to blow leaves. No time to do anything but go inside.
Swedish friend’s view of America
My Swedish friend, Ingegerd Olsson of Oskarstrom, had a birthday last week, and I cobbled together a card with a picture of President Obama declaring, “I will not spy on you today.”
She calls herself a conservative, but the term doesn’t mean the same in Sweden as in America. When she visits relatives — my neighbors — and we often talk politics. She is amazed at my cowboy outlook on world affairs — riding in with guns blazing.
More than once I have admitted I was wrong.
She sent me a couple of Swedish political columns in reply. The authors collectively bemoan America’s low estimation in the eyes of others in the world.
She reports that Sweden has its own spy network, the FRA, and it probably works arm in arm with our NSA.
“Our countries suffer from phobia. I think our responsibilities as citizens are to vote for leaders not like the scarecrow from Oz,” she wrote in response to the birthday card.
What I would like is for a little consistency in the political world. If the spy scandal had broken during the George W. Bush administration, the Democrats would be calling for impeachment. Since their own guy is President, there is hardly a peep of protest from that wing.
It seems to depend on who is doing the spying before determining whether it’s wrong or not.
I still have the old fashioned view that right is right and wrong is wrong no matter who is doing it.
Regardless of how a person feels about the spying, it is unsettling how easy it must be to monitor every keystroke of a computer, every cell phone conversation, every digital transaction that is made.
Also disturbing is the seeming ease by which the younger generation accepts that Big Brother is watching, and they are OK with it. Of course they post every photo, every stray thought on the Internet.
The book 1984 about Big Government watching our every move was only off by a few decades.
Leaves finally put on their autumn show
The leaves have started falling in earnest now. Several heavy frosts have given the leaves their traditional fall colors. Before last week, the leaves had been dull, pastel browns. The sharp dip in temperatures finally brought bright yellows to the maples. Poplars, sweet gums and dogwoods also became pretty.
Now comes the not-so-wonderful part of autumn — cleaning up the leaves from the lawn. I spent most of Saturday devoted to that task. Maybe half have fallen. Maples remain my tree of choice for lawns. As if on signal, all the leaves fall quickly. Oaks, by contrast, keep their leaves late — some of them lingering until spring.
We ended Saturday at the neighborhood chicken stew — another signal that the seasons have changed