Good morning to you all on this chilly morning. I have a very unhappy kitty because it is much too cool to leave the door open for him to go in and out at will. The temperature is at 50 F right now and until it gets up to 65 F that door stays closed. I got three meals worth of green beans yesterday along with a couple of tomatoes and peppers. All are in the freezer except the tomatoes which will be in sauce later today. I took out the ginger mint. Like the spearmint it was totally root bound. The roots surrounded the entire outer edge like a second basket or pot. I decided against taking cuttings. I saw an orange mint at my favorite farmer's market/garden store late in the season and the smell was wonderful. I will try it next year. I have a few plants that I need to take out--like the early tomatoes they have pretty well run their course. The season is definitely winding down and my gardens are jungles no longer.
I saw yesterday that Romney has released his 59 point plan to 'create jobs.' My first reaction, admittedly superficial, was similar to the one that critics leveled against Woodrow Wilson when he proposed his "14 Points" to end WWI: God only had 10. I will make two points that aren't so superficial. First, most of his focus was on business on the premise, not proven but assumed, that cutting taxes and regulations on business will translate directly in jobs. Second, it was heavy on non-sensical slams on Obama. That pay phone analogy was crap. Especially given that Romney's answers are just as firmly mired in antiquated ideology as he claims Obama's are.
I saw something about this a few days ago but didn't stop to read it. I am not surprised that Del Monte would sue on this matter. I remember the Taco Bell (and other fast food outlets) that were hit with an e. coli outbreak a couple of years ago. Officials pointed at lettuce, then tomatoes, and finally peppers; but, in the end, they couldn't definitively pin point the ultimate cause. By then numerous farmers had taken big hits as they had to plow under fields of ripe vegetables. And think about the sprouts that caused those salmonella deaths in Germany last spring. Officials think the ultimate source were seeds from Egypt contaminated before they were even sprouted. But Spanish veggie growers were devastated when their crops were blamed initially. I don't know where the negotiations for compensation went but the costs were already phenomenal and the issue wasn't over at that time. And this is a complex problem because, even if the contaminated vegetable can be identified, who is ultimately responsible is a big question. I remember an episode of contaminated spinach three or four years ago where the source was actually run-off from a feedlot neighboring the farm that grew the spinach. The growers had no idea of what went on and, therefore, no one else up the supply chain knew either. This is the major problem we have not acknowledged in our food system where items we consume come from farms very far away (perhaps, as in the Del Monte case, in other countries) and pass through numerous corporate hands along the way. And in a world where the bottom line is the only real concern for most companies, how does one handle the monetary loss that is inevitable in a system that may not be able to identify the source of contamination or apportion blame?
And then there is this complication. We just got the new food safety law passed to great fanfare (by the Damnocrats at least). If we want a food safety program it has to be funded but the only kind of safety that seems to get unquestioning monetary support in this society is safety from terrorism, however the hell that is defined. But, as with the health care overhaul, this program is getting starved of the money to do the job defined in the law. This sets up a lovely circular confirmation of the Repthuglican wing nut philosophy. Government can't really do anything adequately. Therefore why waste money on it. And when government can't do the job without money it simply proves that government can't do anything adequately. There is another question we should be asking and we should be asking it not only in the matter of food safety but in the matter of public safety from terrorism: what level of security do we want and can we achieve that level at a price are willing to pay?
Crooks & Liars has this post this morning which I suggest should be sent on to Mitt Romney and President Obama. For use when Rick Perry starts touting his 'Texas Miracle.'
Susie Madrak does a nice job of calling crap crap. Whether it is Repthuglican crap or Damnocrat crap it is still crap.
Wasn't it so nice to see Rick Perry forego the round-table set up by DeMint in South Carolina Monday? He was so concerned about his fellow Texans in jeopardy from those fires that he simply had to go home and comfort them. T'would have been nice if he had shown that concern when he was cutting subsidies to local volunteer fire departments.