Good Sunday morning to you. The sun is up and looks really pretty. They say we are in for a week that would be more normal for mid May--60s and 70s. I got my tomato seeds started yesterday. I used pint half&half cartons with the top cut off. I can't start anything else till mid week when I will get some more potting soil.
I get e-mail messages from several seed companies. I don't mind getting some ads and these are always informative and thought provoking. This morning Burpee sent me one that is intriguing: grafted tomato plants. They are pricey and I won't be buying them but it is interesting to see heirloom varieties grafted onto hybrid rootstock. So far they are offering three: Black Krim, Brandywine Pink, and San Marzano.
Gaius Publius at Americablog asks an interesting question that Paul Krugman asks in his column: do the very rich need the rest of us? Unfortunately the answer may well be a resounding 'NO!' Krugman's op-ed piece centered on higher education and it is right on the bull's eye. However, as I read the article, I remembered a couple of movements in Missouri and Vermont (I think) to remove the legal barriers on child labor and mandatory school attendance. Gingrich has proposed teaching poor children 'good work habits' by making them do janitorial chores (without pay) in school. It isn't just Repthuglicans pushing the education bus over a cliff. Even Democrats and supposed liberals have gotten on the 'charter' school bandwagon which allows for-profit 'educators' to skim off the cream leaving the rest for an increasingly impoverished public school system. An educated workforce is not necessary in a global economy where companies are able to either import foreign workers or export jobs. Nor is an educated workforce necessary when the production processes are so broken into unskilled segments that minimal training suffices to fit a worker into an industrial slot. Nor are American consumers necessary because newly affluent populations in India, China, or Brazil are buying like there is no tomorrow.
And don't forget the changes in our education system that enrich the standardized testing industry while providing minimal educational benefit.
Undernews posted this article they found at the Washington Post that sheds some interesting light on the government and the banks. Both have trumpeted how much of the TARP money has been paid back. None mention that the banks are paying TARP money back with money borrowed from other government loans. So nothing is really being paid back. The debt simply migrates from one government balance sheet to another and taxpayers are still on the hook. It makes me wonder exactly how healthy the 'too-big-too-fail' banks really are?
Also from Undernews this bit on the Alan Stanford conviction on fraud. What is really interesting is the account of political contributions which the receiver is trying to claw back but the recipients are refusing (so far) to return. Another indication that there is very little difference between Damnocrats and Repthuglicans.