Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Good Wednesday morning, Everyone.  We have another round of overnight snow flurries.  Not much accumulation and if the temps go up today, as they did yesterday, it will be gone by this evening.  (I may be wrong on that--it is still snowing and our temp is 40F)  I didn't get anything done on either the tablecloth or the deconstructing yesterday.  I remarked yesterday that our shopping trip Monday was disappointing because some of what we wanted wasn't available at our usual grocery store.  Well, we decided to go out to the other nearby grocery to see what they might have and check out the prices.  We did find our spaghetti squash and many of the prices are comparable.  We spent some time in the spice aisle also because Mom is making up her own seasoning mixtures.  She was totally shocked by the amount of salt the ones we had been using contained.  I had to remind her that we had homegrown basil, oregano, and thyme.  She almost bought some other herbs--ones I don't grow.

On the same trip we dropped by the nearby Lutheran church.  They have a food bank so we donated several canned foods we are no longer using because of the salt.  We are constantly amazed by how much salt is in the things we have unquestioningly eaten over the years.  We didn't think it would be so complicated but we have to consider not only how much salt is in each serving but the serving size.  The salt in the soups didn't seem so bad until we realized that our serving size is one can each.  Theirs is 2.5 per can.  Supposedly that is half a cup but we have never had less than a full cup for a meal.  We decided then and there that we can do without prepared soups.  Other things we decided to keep using because we use a small amount to flavor a pot of food that will provide meals for two or three days.

It seems to be a morning for unintended consequences.  I remarked after a news segment this morning concerning the 'accidental' burning of the Korans in Afghanistan that the burning was not accidental.  The riots that ensued were the unintended consequence of an intentional act.  Then I found this story.  Authorities have closed a border crossing between Chile and Peru because recent heavy rains have swept land mines onto the road.  The article didn't say when those mines were laid.  I doubt that anyone intended to close a road.

Well, this should get interesting.  When the news stories first came out about abusive banking fees and how much some banks rely on those fees for their profits I thought it said something unsavory about the banking industry.  I can understand charging customers a fair amount for overdrawing their accounts to cover the expense the bank incurs.  But it certainly doesn't cost them as much as they are charging.  But there is another facet to the story that isn't mentioned.  The bank not only charges the customer who overdraws the account.  The person to whom the check was written may also be charged a fee by their bank.  This is especially true for commercial customers as I found out working for a small retailer some years ago.  My boss was charged a fee for every NSF check she tried to deposit that she had received from her customers.  Thankfully, the local prosecuting attorney had a policy of prosecuting these cases and she could get back both the amount of the check and any fees she was charged in the handling.  But the process could take a while and in the mean time she was out the amount of the check and the fees which was deadly for her bottom line.

I was wondering why the news shows were interviewing so many Republican politicos this morning (so many I turned off the news early).  Then I discovered that they are having yet another debate tonight.  As you can tell these have long ago exceeded my tolerance.  I am ignoring them as much as possible.  Evidently, I am not alone.  I would disagree with one of their experts though.  I don't think Americans are uninterested in elections.  Granted that, in a good year, only about half of Americans vote.  But that isn't due to a lack of interest.  I don't care about the candidates' personal lives or religion.
I am going to have to amend that.  Normally, I don't care about the candidates' personal lives or religion.  However, I am not Catholic and I heartily resent Santorum's intent to enforce his understanding of Catholic doctrine on my behavior.  I would like to trust the politician to tell me the truth but I find it hard to trust the promises of a man who has violated his marriage vows not once but twice.  I also find it hard to trust the steadfastness of a man who disavows everything he has done in the past to garner votes now no matter how effective or how beneficial those actions.  And I believe that some level of government is necessary and we should be very careful about dismantling government.  You can agree all you like with the old saying that 'government governs best that governs least' or that we should have a 'small' government. But what is a small government considering that we have a country now of over 300million and communications/transportation that has collapsed the distances between the states?  It certainly wouldn't be the government of the Founding Fathers when the population was just over 5million (1800) and it took two weeks to travel between Philadelphia and Boston.

And this is why I think all of the idiots pushing for the elimination of unspecified regulations on business and industry are full of crap.  They treat 'capitalism' as a branch of Christianity--a moral and religious system.  The only moral values involved in capitalism are imposed from outside it.  Otherwise the only value is the bottom line and you can kill as many people, pollute as much of the land and water, or sell as many defective products as you can convince an unsuspecting public to buy so long as you make a profit.  And its boosters will trumpet the jobs created while hiding the lives lost or blighted in the process.

Why I don't believe the talking heads when they tell us the economy is getting better.

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