Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Good morning to all out there.  It sounds like a broken record, the weather does.  Cloudy, again, with the possibility of some rain.  The temperatures, as you can guess, are again above normal.  I really don't mind the rain because it will begin to thaw my containers gardens.

I have always liked libraries but for a long time now I have preferred to buy books.  I had access to a couple of very extensive libraries when I was growing up but after most were very limited in their collections.  That didn't matter when I was a university student because the universities had large collections and interlibrary loan.  Valparaiso's public library has a surprisingly large and up to date collection.  I have been making more use of them over the last several years because I have to be much more careful with my money.  I too often have more month than money, as Kay so rightly says.

Bill Frezza at RealClearMarkets has this little editorial that echoes much of what I have been saying.  I don't agree with all of the directions in which he is taking his observation (see the paragraph on 'fairness' for example) but I agree with his overall argument.  Another point of disagreement--the issue of 'tax rate.'  I don't know where he got his figures but it goes hard against my own observations and I trust my lying eyes more than his statistics.  I remember figuring out many years ago that what I paid my own wages every four months from what I paid in taxes and I didn't get back very much of that on my tax refunds.  That is closer to a 20-25% tax rate for me and I certainly never earned close to the average income.  However, I agree that our political/economic system has stripped much of our language of any kind of meaning.  'Religious freedom' for the Catholic bishops and right wing religious reactionaries means the denial of freedom for many who are not Catholic or fundamentalist Protestant.  'Right to work' means the right to work for less and the 'freedom from onerous regulations' means the right to dump poisons into the air and water or on the land with impunity.

Mom had one of her regular quarterly consultations with her doctor this morning and coming back we passed a couple of gas stations that made us shake our heads in disbelief.  The price for regular wasn't so surprising at about $3.40/gal.  But the price for diesel was $3.95/gal.  Most of my life diesel sold for less that regular gas--as much as half the regular price.  Last summer I noticed that it had edged up to about $.30 less per gal.  Now it is $.50 more.  And they are predicting that regular gas will go up to about $5/gal by the end of this year.  Damn!!!  Oh, I forgot--we are lucky because fuel doesn't enter into the official inflation figures.  I found this on MSNBC which perfectly expresses the situation.

I have been repeatedly amazed by the obtuseness of school officials over the last few years.  From confiscating a child's charm bracelet because it contained a miniature pocket knife to giving a child a cheese sandwich for lunch because the parent is late paying for the meal plan to this piece of idiocy.  The food Nazis were out in force.

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