Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This article on MSNBC asks if the election is really 'just about the economy, stupid.'  The arguments laid out reveal the weaknesses of the arguments about whether the economy is in recession, depression, or humming along just fine, thank you.  Too much relies on 'official' or government sources which have been manipulated over the last few decades to give a better picture than honest data would.  Several bloggers have noted that the data released by the government shows lower unemployment, lower inflation, and better economic growth than it would if the data the government choses to ignore were considered.  The article reinforces the old notion that if one's neighbor has economic pain we are in a slight down turn but if you experience the pain we are in a world of hurt.  My dad always said that figures don't lie but liars figure.  We have a lot of liars figuring and have had for a long time.

Kelly the Culinarian has started a list of lessons she learned from her season gardening in containers.  Her conclusions parallel mine.  We are keeping our egg cartons to start seeds in beginning in around March 1.  We are putting aside various containers that margarine and other foods come in to transplant the seedlings into as the get bigger.  We already know not to harden plants before early to mid May.  We are looking for larger containers for the tomato plants.  Our largest pots were much too small.  We are also keeping and drying egg shells to crush and add in next year.  This year's tomatoes were so much better than last year's (and so much better tasting those in the supermarket) that we are very enthusiastic about expanding our gardening to include more veggies next season.

BobOak at DailyKos has a rant I can relate to.  America has become a nation not of whiners as Phil Gramm would have it but of clerks selling goods made elsewhere to other American clerks selling other goods made in other elsewheres. I have thought for many years now that our once-home-grown big corporations are no longer really American in any meaningful sense.  They operate on a global scale and their loyalties are only to their bottom line.  Any advertising to the contrary is merely self-serving nonsense.  And our politicians, of both parties, have let them get away with it usually mouthing platitudes about  'free trade' or 'free markets.'  He asks a very cogent question: "Is that the America we want, a place where the most predatory, sociopathicme first, fuck you members of our society are deemed the winners?  Is this some sort of reality game show, but with real consequences?  How many more will be booted off the Island?"

I did not remember that in 2001 the Bush Administration cancelled the Clinton rules reducing the amount of arsenic allowed in drinking water.  Thanks to Archcrone at The Crone Speaks for remembering and providing a link.  This is a timely reminder given the news stories last night that link arsenic levels to Type 2 diabetes. It is also interesting that the Clinton administration wanted to set the level at 10 ppm even though the Environmental Protection Agency suggested only 5 ppm.  both were considerably lower than the 50 ppm established in the 1940s.  

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