Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Good sunny Wednesday morning to you all.  We should have temps in the mid 70s today and tomorrow before the temperature goes up to the 80s again.  I finally got off my butt yesterday and dried two trays each of lemon balm, stevia, and basil.  I also got all the plants on fence watered yesterday.  I was surprised by how dry some of the plants got.  With the cooler temperatures I thought they would be moist yet.  Several definitely were not.  But I got to them in time.  I have several projects in mind for today: watering everything else, moving the shepherds hook and hummingbird feeder (we would really like to see any bird that might come by and we can't now), transplant the lemon verbena and a small oregano, move the large oregano and replace it with the marigold in the place it will reside, raise the soil levels in several of the pots and fertilize everything.  I often read gardeners' blogs and many recommend diagramming out where everything will go.  That never seems to work for me.  I always have to move something--often several somethings.

Well, all the news pundits are dissecting the recall election results from Wisconsin as though they were ancient augurs and oracles examining the entrails of a sacrificed sheep.  The question they all are asking the 'gods' of the polls is what the results mean for the Presidential race in the fall.  Ezra Klein has some interesting thoughts on that here.  When coupled with this story from southern California it shows a far more significant result: organized labor is continuing its long slide from its height of power in the middle of the last century.  The question I would really like to ask is: where will the power centers be in the future and where will the balance be.  I sincerely hope there will be a power that can balance the corporations and the billionaires.  And I hope it will be on my side of the issues.  Right now not many figures out there are speaking my language for me.

Welcome, Prairie Cat.  Glad you stopped by.  I know where you are coming from.  I remember telling one of the people manning the phones at the Student Loan offices that the loans I amassed were the worst 'investment' I had ever made.  And it is one of which I can't get out from under thanks to the sweetheart gift our legislators provided for the lenders making it non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.  I hope your new job) lead to better opportunities in the future.  I saw a brief mention on the news this morning that the Obama Administration is drawing up some new guidelines for schools in dealing with students and for counseling them on student debt.  They want the schools to be up front on repayment costs, on the proportion of borrowers who are in default and to provide other relevant information.  But I somehow doubt that the information will be presented in a meaningful manner.  They won't ask the potential borrower to think about what would happen if--if the jobs in their field disappeared (that happened to me twice), or if the pay scale isn't what they expected (also happened to me), or if the information they are relying on to make their decisions isn't reliable (also a part of my past experience).  But, to be brutally honest, I don't know that the answers to those questions would have made a difference in my decisions.  After all, the path to my career goals led through that degree and, at the time, I don't think I had the experience or the imagination to think outside the channel I was in.

I found this item from Natural News shortly after I finished my comment to Prairie Cat and I think it is the flip side of the problems we discussed.  Natural News recently got burned (as you can read on their site) by an 'expert' whose doctorate was bogus.  On the one side we have people with legitimate degrees which they (we) got by spending a lot of good money (often thanks to loans) for the privilege of attending classes that we worked hard to succeed in and which aren't now worth nearly what we had thought they would be when we started.  But on the other side we have people who spend neither the money nor the effort to get the credentials they use to get good jobs.  And then we see people who work hard in a profession, get legitimate and demanding credentials (not degrees) from legitimate professional organizations but have difficulty getting a new job in their field because they don't have a totally extraneous bachelor's degrees that some idiot human resources director seems to require.  I grew up at a time when education was respected, valued and encouraged.  There was no such thing as 'over educated.'  For the last ten years of my working-at-a-job life I was 'overeducated, underemployed and over the hill.'  Education has become another industry that is geared to pushing as much 'product' through the pipeline at as big a profit to the institutions engaged in the industry as possible.  I have talked about the fallacy of the industrial model of production before.  The only difference is that widgets don't have to eat, or pay rent, or repay loans.  A widget can sit on the shelf until the market improves.  Can the 50% of 2011 graduates who are either unemployed or underemployed do the same?

To shift gears--sad day in science fiction.  Ray Bradbury has died at age 91.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mary - so glad I found your blog. I too am saddened by the Wisconsin results and discouraged that we haven't been able to come together to outline a practical response to the citizens united decision. We may need to look to organizations other than organized labor to lead us toward out goals in the future.