Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What a wild night we had.  Thunder, lightening, heavy rain.  For only the third or fourth time since we moved in here (eight years ago) the tornado warnings wailed at a time other than the monthly test.  Interestingly, two of those times came this year.  I won't make any claims about global warming.  After all, as we are reminded every now and then, weather is not climate.  But we keep remarking each year how strange the weather has been over the last decade or so.  When I was a child growing up just a few miles north of Griffith and Hobart (which suffered some major damage last night) we used to have long, steady rains lasting two, three, or four days.  The kids often recited the old rhyme "Rain, rain, go away--come again another day."  Those rains have come infrequently of late.  I wish for them now.  We, in our area of Valparaiso, seen to have gotten off lightly.  Our power is on.  Our house is intact.  Only lost a half dozen tomatoes when high winds knocked the plants knocked over.  The plants are much too big for the pots and are very top heavy. Mom complained that every time we have a nice growth of plants on our patio something comes along to damage it.  Two years ago hail severly damaged the begonias.  They finally recovered just in time for the first frost.  Right now we have lightening and thunder that appears to be a bit south of us.  We are about to get this morning's storm that has already hit just south of Chicago about an hour ago.

Another blessing is that we don't have the problem with hornworms this blogger has.  She is the second blogger whose container grown tomatoes have been nearly wiped out.  I have been looking out for them but, knock on wood, they haven't found me--yet.

There hasn't been much of interest to share so I haven't written much lately.  Last week I was feeling very contrary about the political scene.  You know the old feeling that you are a mushroom and everyone is feeding you BS.  I have had that feeling often over the last I don't know how many years and the feeling comes with increasing frequency lately.  I got it when President Bush announced our invasion of Iraq.  I got it when he laid out his case for the invasion.  I got it when I heard repeated reports of large job lay offs in one news story while the next touted the low unemployment rate.  I am getting it again with the coverage of both campaigns.  Senator McCain's new ads have received a lot of play but what do they really say.  Nothing more than the repeated refrain that McCain has experience; Obama does not.  The ads, of course, don't give us any indication of how Senator McCain has used his experience.  How about all of the very conservative votes to restrict reproductive rights for women?  Or the votes to continue the tax breaks for the oil companies? The Senator, it seems, wants to run on his experience but not tell us the record of that experience.  Unfortunately, Senator Obama has spent much too much time answering these meaningless attacks.

On the 'everything seems to be falling apart' front, read this new post at tomdispatch.  Of course, the powers-that-be don't really care because they and their friends are well taken care of.  It is the rest of us that are in deep s**t. 

I have been bemused for some time by the fact that all of the proposals, from both sides of the campaign, for dealing with the energy crisis involve somehow increasing supply; or, more specifically increasing the proportion of our energy supply that is 'home grown.'  McCain insists on 'drill, drill, drill' by opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off-shore sites while conveniently leaving Obama the task of noting that 1) the oil companies have tens of millions of acres of land already under lease they could explore and drill on NOW, and 2) that any reduction of price at the consumer level is marginal, 5-10 years down the line and depends on demand will staying at present levels going down.  Now he pans Obama for noting that individuals can reduce their need for gas by properly maintaining their cars and properly inflating their tires.  I have watched this dance noting all of the proposals to attack the supply side of the equation and wondered when someone would be bold enough to mention the demand side.  I think we need less of the 'more, more, more' mantra (thank you, Comcast) and more of how to do more with less.

I found the story about the 1.9% increase in GDP quite interesting also.  Our idiot of a President and his toadies thought it wonderful proof that the economy is growing and that we are not in a recession.  I asked myself how much the increase in prices had to do with it.  Didn't get any answers, though.  You pay more for less but the economy is growing.  I keep thinking of Mom at the grocery checkout last month.  When the clerk told her the final damages she protested "I didn't get THAT much!!"  That has been our story for longer than I care to think now.  We get less and less while paying more and more.  But the economy is growing. President Bush says so.

The dueling proposal to give everyone (maybe) a $1000 rebate paid for by a windfall profits tax on oil companies (from Obama) and promise not to raise taxes (McCain) struck me as more BS for all of us little mushrooms.  Especially since the news reported, without much fanfare, that the new budget deficit will be the largest EVER.  This Bush Administration milestone supersedes the previous 1st place deficit which was also set by this administration.  Someone is going to have to pay the piper someday.  I suggest that Senator McCain remember the fate of George the Elder who made a similar promise (remember 'read my lips'), reneged and then was defeated for re-election.  But I really did hope to get something more realistic from Obama.  I do hate being pandered to.  And I also hate feeling that both sides think I am some sort of moron with the attention span of a gnat.

I will save the rest of my contrariness for another post.  The way things are going I am sure that the feeling will not pass soon.

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