Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good morning, Everyone.  Sunny this morning and the weather people say the temps will get to about 50F.  Reality is supposed to set in Thursday and Friday when the temps will be more normal with the possibility of snow.  The local news presented its usual gardening feature and evidently their experts have been getting questions about tulips and other early flowers emerging.  A lot of plants are confused.

We have had some few stories over here about Murdoch, Nicola.  Usually, the stories hit the news when one of our celebrities have been involved.  A couple of stories popped up when the Senate, I think it was, threatened to hold hearings and when one or another of our criminal investigative organizations or financial regulators made noises about investigating.  I haven't heard much about the investigations in the UK but I am not surprised by that.  I find I get more information from the internet than from our mainstream media.  Unless there is some drama (like the pie in the face episode) stories never get past the filter that considers endless stories about Beyonce's baby more news worthy.  I expect the mess will go on for a long time.  We never seem to get resolutions on these corruption cases for years and then the punishments are mere slaps on the wrist without any admission of guilt.  I wonder how high up in the British and American governments the slime goes.  I haven't heard anything about the efforts some on the boards of Murdoch's companies to get father and son out.  I hadn't heard of Sky News.  I found it on line but its video doesn't work with my computer and my cable carrier doesn't offer it.  From what little I have seen the Murdochs appear to have taken arrogance and sleaze to all new artistic levels.

And I am not surprised about the concerns, Lois, over what a reduced military might mean.  Although I am reserving judgement about exactly how 'reduced' it will be.  All of the hoopla over the automatic cuts that were supposed to go into effect made it sound as though those would be actual cuts in the amount of money the Pentagon would get now.  However, the cuts involved future increases in the budgets not anything immediate.  And a good many of our legislative critters, of both parties and both houses, are furiously trying to figure a way around the mandated cuts.  What I don't see in any of the debates is any consideration of just how effective our trillion-dollar-a-year military is just how effective it has been of the last 60 years.  And by what criteria do we judge effectiveness.  Unfortunately, I think Catwoman's assessment of the rent-a-cops in Batman Returns is right on here:  too many of our politicians "confuse their pistols (the military) with their privates'.  Unfortunately, I think the military towns (here and abroad) are going to face the same problems that many other towns that depend on only a few employers will face if (when?) that employer leaves.  Take a look at Detroit.  Or at some of the towns affected by the last big round of base closings under Reagan.  And, also unfortunately, the means by which our political leaders made those cuts (a dedicated commission whose recommendations had to be voted on in and up-or-down process without amendment) probably won'd work this time.  Look at the results from the deficit commission and the so-called Supercommittee.

The evening news yesterday carried a similar story to this one.  It was only a mention and one story noted that the figures included the debts owed by one government department to another (read the treasury bonds held by Social Security as an example.)  What I find interesting in all of these economic stories is how nicely the numbers can be trimmed to get the results desired for whatever purpose.  If you eliminate the debts owed between government agencies suddenly the debt is 70% of GDP.  But honestly, debt is debt.

The teaser headline on this article was 'Be it ever so humble,' but there is nothing humble about the homes of the main GOP contenders.  And these boys are trying to convince us that they are 'regular' guys who really understand the problems the rest of us face.

A couple of days ago I linked to the Self Sufficient Gardener noting that I liked his writing but disagreed with his point.  Evidently, that post was somewhat tongue in cheek.  That went totally over my head.  His newest post indicates a far more adventurous spirit.   And I had to look up 'naranjilla' because I had never heard of it.

1 comment:

Nicola said...

I have tried before now to watch programmes on ABC but it won't stream for the UK. Can you get BBC iplayer on your computer or is it blocked for the States.

If you do get it BBC 24hour news is a good news station. Also besides the TV check out the radio stations on BBC iplayer.

Radio 4 have some really good discussion programmes. There are also some wonderful dramatisations of novels and plays, spoken documentaries etc., I enjoy stitching and listening.

Please let me know if it works.