Saturday, May 17, 2008

According to the weather forecasts we can expect some truly spring-like weather--finally, maybe.  We had nice clear blue skies yesterday and the clouds have cleared away for a nice sunny morning today.  I hope the temperature gets to the 70s again and, if it does, my cats can go out on the patio today.  They have been more insistent on getting out lately.  Thankfully our landlords fenced all of the patios in their units a couple of years ago, so the monsters have gotten used to their little world outside.

Over the last week and a half I got my African violets transplanted.  They are recovering and spreading out nicely.  They are in blooming mode again and are covered in blossoms.  I also got my tomatoes sorted out.  I had planned to start some plants from seed back in February.  But for most of February we had ice, freezing rain, snow and freezing temperatures.  The shed where we keep our limited gardening supplies was inaccessible.  The blasted lock on the door was frozen and we couldn't even get the key in.  Instead, I started some seeds early last month and, when the garden shops put out their plants, we bought a very well grown plant to start us while ours come up.  I just repotted that one and the two strongest of our own.  We are so looking forward to our own vine ripened tomatoes this summer.

 I was at loose ends after finishing the little boy quilt for my nephew and his wife.  They e-mailed the birth announcement a few days ago.  Mother and baby are fine and doing well.  Next project--a wall quilt for my sister for her 50th birthday.  The idea for it is pretty well fixed in my mind and, if I can transfer pictures to cloth, will be a striking and unique piece.  I need to get busy on it if I am to have it done in time.

I want to thank Lynn for stopping by yesterday and commenting.  She made a couple of very good points.  It is difficult even for fairly well off people with sufficient income to make healthy eating choices.  And it is even more difficult if those people want to make healthy and environmentally responsible choices.  We did not buy any tomatoes over the winter.  They were transported a long distance from warmer areas, expensive and, we know from experience that the flavor has been bred out of them.  I suspect much of the nutrition as well.  Nor do we buy out of season fresh fruit.  We hear news stories frequently urging seniors especially to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet but rarely do the stories mention the cost.  Lynn mentioned the meals provided in the school lunch programs.  I haven't followed this topic very closely.  I do, however, remember when the Reagan administration tried to have catsup classified as a vegetable.  Couple that with the item on our local news last night, or within the last couple of days, asking for increased donation to the local food pantries.  The person interviewed noted that the school year is ending and many children will loose a significant portion of their daily nutrition when they no longer get the free lunch.  Researchers studying how many excess calories the average obese person consumes should take into consideration the choices available to that person and should remember that 'average' can be a very misleading description.

I have followed the stories over the last week centered on Bush's speech in Israel and Obama's response to it.  As Nikki Stern noted we have always talked to our enemies.  Mr. Bush seems to have forgotten the old saying "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."  He has alienated our friends as well as our enemies.  But I found something else on line that I didn't think to book mark and so can't link. Sorry.  During a segment of an interview program where 'experts' discussed the speech and the response, the interviewer took on one of the participants who likened Obama to Chamberlain.  Asked what Chamberlain DID that warranted the comparison he simply replied that he was an 'appeaser.'  When pressed to cite what it was Chamberlain did to merit that description all the fellow could do was fall back on the description of appeaser.  Even when the interviewer mentioned Munich the man couldn't get beyond the description to describe the deed.  
That segment illustrates why I so very rarely watch or listen to many talk shows.  They are merely shouting matches where whoever gets in the most words at the loudest volume thinks he has won.  It doesn't matter if his argument makes sense or has any evidence.  That aside this man totally failed to understand the question and failed to answer it.  He had been asked what Chamberlain did not how future generations judged his action.  He could not, apparently, tell the difference.  If he had written this on a history exam I had to grade he would have been given an F.  However, he is in good company in his historical ignorance.  His commander in chief, and his speech writers, knows as little.  Bush cited 'a Senator' who lamented just after Hitler marched into Poland that he could have changed things if he could only have talked to Hitler.  Bush failed to note that the Senator was Senator Borah, a Republican and a staunch isolationist.  He also failed to note, as did Borah at the time, that French and British diplomats, including Chamberlain, had tried to talk to Hitler and those efforts failed to deter Hitler.  For our President, on a selective basis, the words "talk" and "appeasement" have become synonymous--as long as he is talking about Democrats.

I don't watch much of George Carlin but I think this is right on target. Thank you, History Mike.  Makes you wonder what dear Mr. Bush really meant when hoped to privatize Social Security and establish an 'ownership' society.  Just what would the majority of us own?? 

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