Good Saturday to everyone. Yesterday was something. We didn't get to 90 because the rains came in. I described the afternoon thunderstorm on the blog. Thanks for the good thoughts, Annie's Granny. The garden came through very well. Didn't lose any plants and no serious damage to any. But I had an unsettled night as new storms rolled through. For all that we only got, maybe, half an inch. Welcome, yes; but not enough to dent our dry conditions. The weather people predict the same for today. Glad to see you back, Kay. Hope you are keeping cool while working for the Obama campaign. We change up our activities to avoid the heat as much as possible. The only one really put out by the heat is Kuma because we keep him in. He simply doesn't understand that it is for his own good.
Did everyone notice how the mainstream media have ballyhooed the legislation passed last week to extend the low interest rates on student loans and a 2-year highway program? Here is an article which details what they didn't emphasize--the other burdens students will have to balance out the low interest rates. No more grace period so new graduates (most without jobs) must start repaying immediately after graduation. Graduate students have to pay the interest while still in school. Fewer Pell grants for shorter time and students will find it more difficult to qualify at all. What Government giveth with one hand it taketh away with the other. The one thing that isn't discussed at all is the wisdom (or lack thereof) of incurring debt for education which may or (more likely) may not lead to a prosperous and secure future. I don't think encouraging debt as an 'investment' as we have for the last forty or fifty years is a rational policy and it is even less rational in an era of insecurity and declining prosperity.
If our faux news media failed to fully inform us on the student loan bill, they have been very derelict on the issue of the Affordable Care Act. Take a look at this from Crooks & Liars. The only feature of the ACA that isn't popular with the poll respondents was the individual mandate. But most didn't realize that those features were included. And what was the only part of the act that was worried over constantly by the media and the conservative gasbags interviewed by our empty talking heads? You guessed it--the mandate. I think we are beginning to realize the truth of two only sayings: a democracy functions well only when there is an educated electorate and only when that electorate is well informed. Our system of miss-education is destroying the first and our entertainment-masquerading-as-news media is doing a real job on the other.
And now for another 'Oh shit moment' from the nice folks at Grist. Anyone, like us, who wants to know the source of their food is basically told to shut up because we can't be allowed to infringe on some company's right to sell us crap.
I have seen various stories about voting machines over the last several election cycles. These machines are generally unreliable and are easily hacked/manipulated. Now the Irish government is abandoning these same machines in a laudable fit of reasonableness.