What a coincidence! On a day of jimsonweed panic, goat achievements

Today’s edition of West Side Rag had another story about jimsonweed –– this time, it’s expansion into tree pits.

You’ll recall when I first broke the West Side Rag’s breaking news about the jimsonweed (how many generations away from an original story can be considered “breaking”?), I wrote something like, “Why don’t we get a Riverside Park goat back to clean out the jimsonweed?”

Well, also today in West Side Rag is absolute proof that those goats, occasionally pictured as snoozing, were doing a hell of a job in Riverside Park.

Take a look.

So, back to the jimsonweed invasion. Calling Cheech and Chong! Calling Cheech and Chong!

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Uh oh. More jimsonweed

Could this be considered a panic? Like a tulip panic, except not?

More jimsonweed has been detected up here on the upper west side.

I’m just going to stay in my apartment, seal up the door and windows and maybe never go out again.

Just kidding. But, hey, some of my neighbors are not. And what’s more upsetting to a New Yorker than learning none of our usually protective City agencies is responsible for New York tree “pits” without any trees? Which is where the jimsonweed is growing, into big bushes — if this photo is an accurate representation.

See, if there were a tree in the tree pit, it’d be the Parks Department purview. But there’s no tree, so a Parks Department spokesperson advised,

“We welcome New Yorkers to care for the tree pits in their neighborhoods,” she said.

In other words, remove the Jimsonweed yourself.

“It is not fatal or toxic to the touch, just do not ingest it in any way, shape or form,” Howard said. “Put on a pair of protective gloves, get a big garbage bag, pull out the weeds from the roots, put them in the bag, throw it away, and you’re good to go.”

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Two sorts of people I do not vote for, with specific examples

Businessmen.

A businessman such as Wilbur Ross who, like virtually every businessman without any civic experience whatsoever, does not grasp the difference between being the top boss of a company and being an official in government.

Here’s one simple difference: a businessman believes he can hire and fire whomever he wants. A government official in a democracy can’t.

Businessmen — including Tom Steyer — do not seem to get democratic governance. I get it. I’m a voter, I read stuff, I think about stuff. How on earth is it that I understand more about government than very rich businesspeople?

So why on this earth would a very rich businessman think I’d consider voting for him?

The arrogant miscalculation leading someone like Tom Steyer to run for the presidency turns me off.

Military men.

I don’t entirely understand the automatic worship so many people have for top soldiers like Jim Mattis. Maybe it’s because as we rage through our national nightmare people need to believe in and trust the apparently straightforward righteousness of someone, so why not a general? Someone who is a stoic, who stands erect, at attention.

“At attention.” That’s why not.

A country does need a military, for at least one reason. But as I understand it, the training and nature of a soldier is — and, I guess, must be — to obey the commander. It’d be a pretty wacky army in which soldiers would get to question orders. (Which, by the way, is why I do not have the character to be in the military.)

But as necessary as absolute obedience may be in soldiers, it’s the antithesis of what we need in a political leader. From everything I’m now reading about Mattis, his reluctance to criticize his ex-commander is part of his rigorous military philosophy.

But we don’t need that military philosophy in the White House. We need an independent brain with the capacity to understand that following orders does not apply here. What we need is someone who understands that in a crisis he must follow a glorious cause that rises high above his commander in chief.

 

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