Thursday, July 5, 2012

Good hot first Thursday in July, Everyone.  Hope you are staying cool.  Our temperature on the patio hit 102 yesterday and today is predicted to top that.  I had to zip out and bring my sage in--it had dried out even though it was in the 'wet' category by my touch test and moisture meter.  But it had gone bone dry by late afternoon.  I will keep it inside for the next couple days but a thorough watering and the cooler temps inside have revived it.  On the whole I am very happy with the gardens.  They have come through the brutal weather very nicely--better than in past years.  But I think I will be watering each morning, whether I think the containers need it or not, until this heat breaks.  The nice thing about well drained containers is that you can't overwater most plants.

I saw a headline that intrigued me.  I won't link because the headline was for an article in the Wall Street Journal and I couldn't read more than the first couple of paragraphs.  I refuse to subscribe for the few articles I really want to read.  Any way--WikiLeaks has released some 2.4 million e-mails between the Syrian government and various western companies.  What intrigued me since I couldn't read the details?  The volume.  How in the world does one sift through that much information much less put it into some kind of meaningful context?

So the Fukushima disaster was man-made?  I will let you read the article.  I have long been a skeptic of the whole notion of nuclear energy.  The whole history of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima has reinforced my skepticism.

Economic Collapse has another of the 'evil empire of Wal-Mart' articles.  Though the headline promises  I will be shocked, I am not.  I am not surprised at the number of Americans who shop there each week or who spend $4k a year there.  We were once among that group.  We aren't any more.  Why?  Because of our experience on our last trip, which is typical of the very few such trips over the last half-dozen years or so.  We went in partly because we needed some new bras and were curious about the beef they have been advertising.  The beef--pricey, too much packaging (still), and though the label noted it was processed by Tyson it didn't list the country of origin (something we have become very cautious about.)  The other meats also had the same excess packaging with the nitrogen or CO2 gas to make the customer think the meat is fresher than it may be.  Walking back to the apparel area Mom checked the prices for some other items we normally buy--several cents higher than what we pay at our neighborhood supermarket.  Why drive farther and expend the gas for no benefit?  As to the bras--we found plenty in my size (a definite change from earlier years) but only a couple of black ones in Mom's size.  More often than not we come away from Wal-Mart empty handed because don't find what we want or we find what they offer more expensive that it is worth.  We don't mind paying the price for quality but we resent paying dear money for crap.

The continuing effects from the storms that blew through here and areas east all the way to the coast makes one think about what one really needs as a back up.  Some five days later a lot of people are still waiting for their power to be restored.  I remembered that FEMA recommended keeping a three day supply of nonperishable food and water.  But anyone who does that hopes the emergency doesn't last longer.  All too many emergencies over the last few years have lasted a full week or more.

Don't you just love our capitalist system?  The bankers evidently do.  Although one has to ask where capitalism ends and fraud begins.  I wish I felt sure that justice would be dished out on that case and on this one--but I think justice has been thoroughly purchased and, unfortunately, its price is way beyond my means or anyone in the lower .01% of our socioeconomic system.

We have listened to the news readers presenting various statistics from the FBI or the Chicago Police which claimed that various categories of crime were down.  Our skepticism antennae were raised because all of the categories involved crimes in the news with what seemed to us increasing frequency. I wonder if this report sheds any light on this discrepancy.  It would appear that economic and educational statistics aren't the only ones vigorously massaged to create the appearance the powers that be want us to see.

Franklin Roosevelt is supposed to have once said he wanted to be remembered for the enemies he made.  Perhaps we should remember Mitt Romney for his friends.

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