Saturday, February 26, 2011

Good morning, everyone, on this last Saturday of February. Good Lord, this year is already two months old. We actually got a good bit of sun yesterday and the snow that had accumulated wasn't all that much--maybe two inches. We got another, perhaps, half inch over night. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be a sloppy mess with snow followed by rain followed by more snow. I hope that by the end of the week I can get my garden containers uncovered. I laid out the peppers and tomatoes to start in one of the starting trays. No sign of the ground cherry yet but I didn't really expect to see them since they are a very slow germinating plant.

The Libyan situation still dominates most of the news but there isn't much to say with respect to it. We noticed that our gas prices have gone up--drastically. For the last month they had been fluctuating between $2.95/gal and $3.15. Tuesday they hit $3.29. Thankfully neither of us have to go to a job or any other daily activity and, if necessary, we can curtail our driving even more. I feel for those who can't. It can be amusing to watch the CNBC stock ticker. Yesterday, the price of oil seemed to fall a bit (evidently when the Saudis promised to make up for any shortfall by ramping up their production) and then started rising again, slowly. For the first time I saw an industry commentator question whether they really have the excess capacity they claim. As he said they won't let independent auditors in to actually check their claims.

It seems another source has realized that this recovery is a recovery only in the sense that cooked numbers say it is. And that the jobs are economy is 'creating' are in no way comparable to the ones it is losing. I think we are well on our way to finding out how closely something can resemble nothing.

There are some interesting cartoons on MSNBC dealing with the rise in gas prices. Go to the business section where the link is on the right hand side. I especially love the one in which 'Egypt,' 'Libya,' and 'Bahrain' yell 'Freedom,' 'Democracy,' and 'Liberty' while the 'USA' mumbles 'What about gas prices? What about gas prices?' About says it all, doesn't it.

Earlier this week, I said I would love to see a graph which showed union membership over the last 30 years, wages (adjusted for inflation) over the last 30 years, and the percentage of private industry employees with health and pension benefits over the last 30 years. Haven't seen that but one of the commentators on CNBC did come out yesterday and note that union membership has gone from just under 25% (I think) to just about 12% while the yearly wages have declined by $3,000/year (adjusted for inflation). That pretty well sums up our predicament, don't you think?

I love this item from Grist and I find Ms. Silk exactly the kind of rebel I can relate to.

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