Thursday, May 10, 2012

Good morning to you all on this very cool (40F) but sunny Thursday.  I brought the patchouli in on the off chance that we would get the frost predicted.  The roofs were well frosted but all of the plants outside are fine.  I got five trays of lemon balm that filled a jar when dried.  That was only one plant.  I will harvest from the other later--after the temperature rises a good bit.  I found a little green tomato on the Cherokee purple.  All of the transplant tomatoes have blossoms.  I have some flower seeds I plant to start in vinegar jug pots sunk into the beds where I intend to leave them for the season.  And I need to transplant my last stevia.  I put in three this year so I can harvest enough to last through to next year.  I may try to over winter one of them along with the tender herbs.  I have a spot I can set up one of our TV tables with one of the daylight balanced lamps to provide extra light.  We'll see how that works.

I will have to check out that site, Kay.  I haven't been a fan of Richard Lugar's but the hard right shift of the Repthuglican Party has made him seem almost moderate of late.  Having now checked out rude pundit I think you are absolutely right as is he on Lugar and the whole political morass.  I am glad your irises are coming up and look to bloom well.  I have discovered that some flowers need to be seeded in the fall to sprout and bloom in the spring.  They need the cold to 'activate' them.  My poppies are that way which is why I got such a pitiful stand last year.  I plan to start them in the garden late this fall or early winter for next spring.  I have an unfortunate habit of sticking a seed in the ground to see what happens.  Then I go looking for information on why what I thought would happen didn't.  Pictures will be posted in the next couple of days.  I just saw a couple of the corn plants popping up.  Yeah!!!

As I noted yesterday, I have a lot of reasons for not liking the notion of expanded reliance on nuclear energy.  This article from Reuters provides another.  Britain wants to expand their nuclear facilities but they have been told that they can only do so if the government is willing to 'absorb' the spiraling costs of construction--a process that will 'allow' private investors to come in.  The nuclear industry is famous for failing to meet construction deadlines and for massive cost overruns.  The analysts cited in the story claim that without the government (read: taxpayers) taking on the construction costs the companies will not be commercially viable (read: able to provide affordable power and make a profit.)  If the private companies can't build these plants and make a profit they should get out.  If the governments want nuclear power but private companies can't do the job, the government should do it and run the companies themselves.  If governments need to contract with private construction companies to get the plants built the contracts should penalize the companies for failing to meet time requirements and cost overruns.  No government should agree to a so-called 'private-public partnership' in which the costs are borne by the public while the profits are grabbed by the private.  That is not a partnership.  It is corporate socialism.

And in another case of 'corporate socialism,' how stupid can local officials get?  We started out something like 30 years ago with infrastructure improvements and tax abatements to lure business and industry and now they have upped the ante.  I have long considered these bribes which would have been illegal if the it were public officials accepting the payments but since it is private companies it is excused.  But as history has shown bribes have a way of getting larger over time.

I feel soooooo sorry for the poor American millionaires and their foreign banks.  They won't have as many ways to hide their income from the tax-man--just like the rest of us who don't have foreign bank accounts.

Michael Klare has a new post on tom dispatch this morning.  Klare deals with oil and international politics and that is the primary focus of his piece.  However, as I read along, I noticed something that Englehardt points out in his intro:  how little of the 'incidents' (or what ever you want to call them) appear in the mainstream news.  I remember sometime ago the tensions between Argentina and Britain over the Falklands (Las Malvinas, to the Argentines) were mentioned but only because Argentina protested which ever prince was their with his military unit.  I also remember a couple of mentions of the tensions between Israel and Egypt over the gas pipeline but no explanation.  But I guess our  scant information on international affairs is ok since the news media gives us such wonderful detail of who got booted from Dancing With The Stars.  (Sarcasm alert!!!).

Robert Reich sums up the problem with the current political silly season: too much focus on bedrooms and too little on boardrooms.

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