Monday, August 22, 2011

Good morning, All. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. Not too hot, nicely sunny, and dry. We may get showers today but I don't expect much. I am planning to water everything later. You know the seasons are changing when you start planning when you are going to take expiring plants out of the beds, where you will put plants you want to try to overwinter, and which you are going to transplant or take cuttings of to put in pots inside. So far I want to transplant the lemon verbena, rosemary and part of the thyme for inside. All of the other herbs I will put in the beds and cover with a plastic tent over winter. The plum and cherry tomatoes are almost spent so I will pull them soon. Same for the cucumbers. It is almost September and I think I see the first hint of color change in the trees. It is just a hint--like a shimmer of change in the dark greens.

I love the optimism embodied the title of one article I saw (but did not read): With Gaddafi out of power, oil prices should fall. Right!! That assumes a hell of a lot. Such as--the rebels have a coherent power and command structure which will be able to control the country and its oil supply. Such as--the oil infrastructure in Libya isn't too badly damaged and can be brought quickly back up to full production. Such as--the Gaddafi supporters won't be able to mount an effective counter attack. And such as--that the price of oil is really more responsive to supply/demand factors rather than speculators. As the old saying goes: assume makes an ass out of u and me.

I fully understand and agree with your comment on yesterday's post, Kay. I remember reading a good bit in sociology and anthropology in my way too long academic experience including numerous accounts of ancient or primitive peoples 'discarding' the weak or aged or otherwise undesirable among their population. The Romans, Greeks, and Chinese had traditions of infanticide, particularly female infanticide. The Roman sentiment was to 'raise all sons and kill all girls at birth.' Obviously that dictum wasn't followed faithfully. One of the few improvements Christianity ushered in was a prohibition against infanticide for any reason. Spartans rigorously examined all children at birth and exposed any who did not meet their standards. It was not unusual for adults in these and other countries who suffered from serious, debilitating, and incurable diseases to suicide rather than prolong the agony for themselves or their families. Nor was it unusual among nomadic peoples to abandon the elderly who could not endure the rigors of their migration. But all of those exemplars lived much closer to subsistence and the threat of starvation. None of them were affluent as we have been for at least the last 150 years in the West. It feels to me like our culture is losing its right to be called civilized when I read headlines like one yesterday claiming that the 'pro-life' governor of a state (I forget which) slashed funding for the medical care of critically ill infants. Or stories from Arizona and Texas about the cutting of health care and education funding which will most severely affect those who cannot handle any extra costs at the same time the governor of one of those states (Texas, in case you couldn't place the referent) is campaigning for his party's nomination for the presidency on the strength of his economic achievements (which have been seriously questioned in several quarters.) Like you I would like to make some serious changes but I not at all sure where to go with that notion.

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