Monday, July 16, 2012

Good Monday to everyone.  We are in the middle of another heat wave.  Temperature is supposed to reach 98+/- and 100 or so tomorrow.  We looked at that and decided to forego the farm markets until Saturday and went grocery shopping early this morning for the few items we needed instead of waiting for our usual shopping day.  The grocery store opened at 6am and we got there about 6:30.  When we got home I watered everything well and picked some tomatoes and beans.  I noticed some little bullnose peppers, a nice bunch of cucumbers and several vine peaches turning yellow.  They will soon be ready.

Well, the mainstream media has finally taken notice of the drought and are warning people of the probably effect on their food budgets.  We have been watching the situation for the last six months--ever since we read accounts of farmers planting in fields that were likely too dry for germination hoping for either rain or a crop insurance pay outs.  I don't know if you would call us pessimists or realists.  We wondered whether the drought was really over as so many idiots were proclaiming earlier on.  They get a bit of rain and think everything is back to what they think is normal.  We got a couple of brief rain showers over the weekend.  The weather people say we got about 1.22 inches.  Wonderful!  We were at a -3+ inches.  Over the entire region the deficit runs between 9 and 12 inches.  Given the expected temperatures that rain won't do much except, maybe, keep us at the same level of deficit.

Here is another issue that is really taking off on the mainstream media.  It seems to me to be a "damned if you do; damned if you don't" situation.  The economy will still exist whether they extend the Bush era tax cuts or not and whether they cut the spending as they are supposed to under the budget reconciliation legislation they passed or not.  The issue is whether it will grow and I strongly suspect that it won't show the kind of growth they say we need no matter what they do.  Or don't do.  And no one is talking about what the only slightly longer term effects will be if they extend the spending and tax provisions on the deficit.  Or we have Repthuglicans demanding cuts in their most hated programs (the ones more of us depend on) before they will agree to any extension of tax cuts or spending programs.

I found this interesting but for reasons you might not think.  I remember listening to some politician after 9/11 loudly insisting that we had to devise a security system that would detect 100% of all terrorist threats targeted on American soil.  I thought the notion idiotic (along with the man proposing it).  Any supposed 'fool-proof' system underestimates the intelligence of fools and anyone who depends on a 100% secure system is a fool.  Now the politicians at Homeland Security are finding out that such a system is way too expensive in any reality we inhabit.  I guess we could starve to death in a totally secure system because we surely won't have any resources left after constructing it to provide for food (or clothing, or shelter, or medical care, or education.)

Hi, Kay.  I agree on the swipe fees.  We use our debit cards and a couple of the merchants process them as debit rather than credit or ask us to do that.  That way they aren't hit with the fees.  We are happy to oblige in spite of our bank's encouragement to select credit.  The heat has been something, indeed.  They say that by the end of today we will have had 30 days of 90+ temps.  That is more than double the normal.  And with everyone I am glad I decided against signing up for that garden spot at the local church's community garden.  I simply have not got the energy or heat tolerance to manage dragging the water, or tools, or produce back and forth.  My not-so-little container gardens are more than enough for this old girl.  Hope you are keeping cool out your way.

Maha has an excellent post today on Romney and Bain Capital.  The recent debate on this issue has focused on Bain as a 'pioneer of outsourcing,' as President Obama has described it and Romney's very ambiguous role in the post-1999 company.  However, the period between 1985 and 1999 (when Romney was unambiguously in control) is perhaps even more relevant to Romney's claims that his experience as a businessman suits him to 'fix' the economy.  There is something in the argument that, in a healthy economy, sometimes businesses have to go bankrupt, be dissolved, and in the process jobs will be lost.  However, buying a stake reasonably run company with debt and then loading that company with debt to pay off the debt you incurred to buy that stake and to pay your executives and investors handsome dividends which then forces the company into bankruptcy--that is immoral.  What is worse--he thinks that is legitimate capitalism.  It isn't.  It is parasitism and we don't need him and his fellow ticks running our government and economy.  They will get fatter and we will be bled white.

We have all seen the value of our money melt away as oil prices and food prices rose (with only a partial relief as gas prices dropped a bit), but it must be an entirely new sensation for some Canadians to see the physical bills melt in the current heat wave.

I wondered sometime ago when something like this would surface.  It seems individuals aren't the only ones unable to afford health related insurance--some hospitals can't either.  I wonder how individual doctors are doing?

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