Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good morning on this very frosty Sunday.  The weather people last night showed statistics that indicate this winter has been among the 15 snowiest and coldest winters on record.  It certainly feels like it.  We are supposed to have sunny days even if they are cold.  Good.  It is so much easier to do needlework in strong natural light.  A couple of years ago we purchased a couple of daylight balanced fluorescent floor lamps hoping they would help.  They haven't really.  We work the projects that require good light when we have it and I do those that don't in the evening.

The news last night had an update on the salmonella situation.  In the middle, Mom exclaimed "Oh, God, turtles are on the list."  She had been given a box of the candies for Christmas and we just opened them yesterday.  In fact we had each just eaten them.  I doubt there is anything to worry about since the brand is not in any way associated with the recall.  But it does make you sit up and take notice.  We are also watching the pet foods.  So far our feline lords and masters are fine.  The recalls appear to be limited to the dog food isles.  I do feel for dog owners.

Donna commented yesterday on my post yesterday that we may never know the ultimate cause of the contamination but she thought it might be a Tyson style concentrated animal feeding operation.  CAFOs seem to have been nearby in at least one such incident (the spinach recall).  Grist had some stories on the increase in e. coli contaminations of ground beef associated with the beef feedlots.  Last night one lawmaker (sorry, I don't remember who) was on the news mentioning the lack of a field-to-table safety system in this country.  She is pushing for such a system.  Problem--how do we track the large amount of food that comes in from outside our borders?

Kay wondered how I stand MSNBC.  In small doses actually and with a good deal of skepticism.  But I do that with ALL news media, which, to my mind, have shifted from real news to entertainment.  They cover, incessantly but superficially, anything dramatic making sure that the drama (if not the information) is heightened as much as possible.  I go to MSNBC because I have, and have for years, had a hotmail account.  It has served me well so I haven't changed.  Every now and then something catches my eye in transit. But I always read with my skepticism antennae on high alert.  As far as FOX goes, the only thing we watch on that station is 'Bones.'  The 'news' pegs my irritation meter within seconds if I happen to get there by accidentally hitting the wrong button on the remote.

Patti Haskins has put some 'Pickles' comic strips featuring a needlework theme.  The exchanges remind me of a conversation with my husband at that time.  He complained that he couldn't quit smoking because he needed something to do with his hands.  I told him he should take up needlepoint (a craft I then indulged in).  Huffily he rejected the notion because it wasn't manly.  I pointed out that Rosie Greer, a retired football player, did needlepoint.  He merely commented that he wasn't built like Rosie Greer.

Dean Baker at TPM Cafe notes that the banks are coming back for more money after having burned through $350 billion with little to show for it.  He says it is enough and I agree.  I hope that the Obama Administration looks deeply and carefully into where the money has gone and takes serious names and kicks serious butt.  Especially if another the circumstances laid out in another couple of stories are in any way true.  A couple of weeks ago a '60 Minutes' segment detailed the working of speculators, many associated with some of the largest banks, in running up oil prices.  One expert interviewed (sorry, I can't remember the name) called Morgan Stanley 'the largest oil company in the country.'  Add that to this post by Raymond J. Learsy on the HuffingtonPost which claims that these banks used TARP money to speculate in oil and it is enough to get your, and my, blood pressure up.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to remember that TARP was 'sold' to our lawmakers as a way to unfreeze the credit markets.  Methinks we have been sold a pig in a poke, a bill of goods, what ever other phrase that comes to mind to describe a fraud.

Robert Reich at TPM Cafe has an excellent term to describe TARP and other bailouts--'lemon socialism.'  Taxpayers, via the bailouts, 'own' the lemons while the 'capitalists' keep the good stuff and make even more money.  Sounds like the assessment others have made about our whole, allegedly, capitalist banking system--Socialism for bankers and capitalism, with all its penalties and few of its rewards, for the rest of us.

That is about all for today.  It is definitely time for breakfast.  Keep warm, everyone.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

Colder than hell here and we got another inch of snow. I am doing sun dances.

If you knew the working conditions in the poultry plants, you'd understand why we keep having these problems. Most of the processing plants only hire hispanics mostly because they're the only ones who will do such filthy work and haven't good enough English to complain. Trust me on this.

RE: MSNBC: I suspected as much. I'm a CNN fan but don't swallow it whole except for Jack Cafferty who would toast his mama if she got caught doing a no-no.

Rosie Greer even had a needlepoint book published. His work is lovely.

Why am I soooooo not surprised about the banks? I predicted this from the beginning.

Q: How do you know a banker is lying?
A: His/her lips are moving.