Saturday, September 5, 2009

Good Morning, again, everyone. We expect sun and temps in the mid 80s today. It has been a very pleasant week. Just warm enough during the day to be comfortable and nights just cool enough to make for good sleeping. We spent the day out yesterday: an appointment followed by a visit to my sister followed by a hamburger and shake on the way home. We haven't gone out to eat very much this summer. That has been a trend for the last three or four years. We have watched the price go up and the enjoyment go down so we just haven't gone out as much. This year has been so cool that any kind of ice cream hasn't provided any real temptation.

I found a refreshing link this morning on Frump Gazette. The reporter says most of what I have been thinking (and saying) for a long time and many other bloggers as well. We have reached a point in our political life where facts don't seem to matter, where reasoned arguments don't matter, and where common sense doesn't matter. All that matters is how high they can ramp the volume and rudeness so that the other side and any centrist voices can't be heard over the cacophony.

Archcrone at the Crone Speaks makes similar points on this new 'debate' concerning Obama's planned speech to school children on the value of education and staying in school. I remember thinking that the critics had to stretch their arguments to the breaking point to find fault with the comments. But, if the samples Archcrone features are any indication, they have no real arguments. All they have is character assassination, prejudice, and bile.

Erica Barnett at shakesville has this take on the 'good news' lately trumpeted in the mainstream press: women have lost fewer jobs than men overall. My take: so what??? Women are greatly over represented in low paid jobs, often part time, and for wages that don't even cover marginal living arrangements much less adequate ones. My response to the stories that the workforce is not only more feminine but grayer is the same. And seeing the very select older women who were interviewed did not encourage me. Not many of us are hospital administrators or other such professionals.

Helen at Margaret and Helen make similar points. And in case any one is wondering, I raised my hand in favor of calling bullshit by name. And there is a hell of a lot of it going around.

As I noted at the beginning, we spent the day out yesterday. We hadn't traveled the route we took for about a year and it was interesting to note the changes. The last time, about a year ago, we saw all kinds of signs for 'business condos.' Strip mall builders or owners were trying to sell the spaces just like builders of residential condos did (and, I assume, still do). This year I saw only one similar sign telling potential buyers that there are only three spaces left. The implication is, of course, that they are going fast and you had better cash in. They probably hope that not many would wonder, as I did, why there are three left after a year on the market. We saw a lot of empty retail space and I DO mean a lot. Several of the strip malls (new and old) were almost empty. We saw empty store fronts in malls that had never been empty before. Only one of the car dealerships was closed. It had been stripped of even the sign. We don't remember what was there. I always take the economic and financial news with a large grain of salt. Too often it seems the mainstream news is at a wide variance with my experience. What we saw on the drive does not reveal an economy on the verge of recovery or likely to see a swift recovery.

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