Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good morning, all.  It is starting cold but sunny.  They say, however, that clouds will increase later this afternoon.  Supposed to have warmer temps--high 50s or low 60s.  I got the last of my dried herbs ground yesterday.  Plenty of oregano, rosemary, ginger mint, lemon balm, and lemon verbena until next season.  Mom was able to smell the lemon verbena as soon as I opened the baggie.  I love the smell of the herbs.

This surprised me.  Since when do we expect truth in political ads?  (Yeah, that is sarcasm.)  I wish I could believe that this would mark a real change in politics but the ad is still running in other areas.

I notice that the MF Global scandal has, for the most part, disappeared from the broadcast media--even the financial media.  I continue to follow it in comments on the blogosphere like this post at Jesse's Cafe Americain.  The story confirms several of my own assessments of the American financial system.  First, the vast majority of us are outsiders in a system that really only works for insiders.  Second, most of it is just a vast casino and we are not the house.  And, as everyone knows, the house always wins in the end.  Third, the rules don't apply to the well connected movers and shakers.  Bernie Madoff is only the exception that proves the point.  I doubt we will see any prosecutions for the MF Global mess and very little of the missing funds (if any) will be recovered.  And then there is this indication of just how classy the new management (the bankruptcy trustee) is--but then termination by e-mail or news report seems to be the norm now-a-days.  (And, yes, that was also sarcasm.)

Here is one for the 'what's old is new again' file.

I rather like this article.  Since Alabama passed its restrictive immigration law the field hands (mostly Hispanic and, many, illegal have disappeared.  The farmers can't find Americans willing to do the work.  The author notes the most commonly accepted syllogism: there are jobs available but they are dirty jobs; Americans won't take those jobs even in hard times; therefore, Americans are too soft to do those jobs.  But, he also notes that there are plenty of 'dirty' jobs that Americans are very willing to take.  But those jobs differ from the agricultural jobs in that they pay better and most have benefits attached.  Perhaps American business, including agricultural business, does need a new business model; one that respects the workers who do the work by providing a living wage and benefits.

Something went click as I was perusing the internet news and commentary this morning.  The thought crystalized when I saw this story about the Penn State scandal and this one about the disciplining of SEC employees for their parts in the Madoff scandal.  In each case the miscreants got away with their crimes for so long because they are 'like us.'  Sandusky and Madoff both had sterling reputations with only a few seeing and taking seriously the warning signs.  However, the failure of those individuals and of the institutions that should have investigated and taken action chips away at our faith both in the possibility of individual ethics and institutional integrity.  I wondered as I watched the news coverage if the rage displayed by the rioting students wasn't in part the result of loss of trust in a formerly trusted person and institution.  Unfortunately, those ethical, moral, and, often, legal failures are occurring much too frequently.

Those blasted Repthuglican a$$holes in Ohio must be powered by the Energizer Bunny.  They never quit.

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