Sunday, September 2, 2012

Good day to you all on this first day of September.  The year is now two-thirds over.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like only a day ago or so that I was starting the seeds for the garden.  Now I am planning what plants to take out, which ones to move where for the coming winter, and where to put the cabbage and kale for the fall.  We had a bit of rain last night as the leading edges of Isaac moved in. That is the pattern for the entire weekend.  All of the cuttings and seedlings are doing well.  Indoor work and errands today.

I can now wish you a good second day of September.  I didn't find anything to comment on yesterday and my attention has been focused for the last week on Kuma.  Most of you may remember that he is the last of the three cats I brought here with me.  Two years ago the oldest two died at age 19 (they were litter mates).  Kuma, now 17, has been declining for the last several months and the decline has accelerated over the last weeks.  We have had a couple of discussions about whether to take him to the vet to be put to sleep; but, so far, have decided against it.  He hasn't eaten since sometime yesterday.  And I found him wedged back into a narrow space between the planters.  I don't know if he didn't want to get out or simply didn't have the strength to get out.  Same thing this morning.  We found him in the space between the fridge and wall tangled up in the mop and broom.  How long he had been there we don't know. He got in there sometime overnight.  Now we think that, if he makes it to Tuesday, it is time to say good-bye.

We will spend another day inside thanks to the remains of Isaac.  We are getting some much needed rain.  But throughout this hurricane I have had some dismal thoughts about our infrastructure.  When the news reporters were telling us that the rebuilt levees around New Orleans had held at the same time nearby communities were flooded, I wondered if there was a connection.  After all, the water has to go somewhere.  Then the authorities called a mandatory evacuation not because of Isaac but because a dam might break.  Now, this morning, they are evacuating because a weak lock might fail.  I wonder if the governments involved will scrape up the money to bring the levees outside New Orleans, the dam, and the lock up to some condition that will protect the residents.  My guess--once the news focus is elsewhere they will quietly ignore the problems.

As if we needed another drought-related housing problem!!  I have some questions that aren't answered in the article.  Given how expensive the repairs are how are people paying for them?  Do they have good enough credit scores to get loans and are banks giving such loans?  Do the homeowners have a mortgage and are they underwater?  What happens if they can't afford the repairs?

I love Susie Madrak's commentaries on Crooks&Liars.  She has another good one and a nice quote from Matt Taibbi that sums up one of my reasons for not supporting the Mitt & Paul show the Repthuglicans have put on.  She is absolutely right in her comments about the root cause of our economic woes.  All of us who grew up in a society that indoctrinated us into the cult of 'more is always better,'  'cheap is good,' and 'unlimited growth is normal,' have contributed to the problem.  Some of us have begun to break the mental shackles that keep this fantasy going.  Unfortunately,  they aren't in the Repthuglican party.  All those boys (and girls) promise is to restore those fantasies.

And then there is this piece from Crooks&Liars that is a hilarious 'biopic' on Mitt Romney narrated by Leonard Nimoy.  My own take--Mr. Spock is far more coherent that Dirty Harry.  And, frankly, more trustworthy.

I notice that the local morning news today reported a story I saw on my computer yesterday.  Deutsche Welle has the same story here.  Mom and I had the same reaction: only took you bastards fifty years--too little, way too late.  I really believe that the thalidomide story is a major argument against fast tracking drug approvals.  Yes, I know the other side.  How many people suffer from conditions that a developmental drug might relieve if only the damned FDA would get off its ass, etc., etc.  But the only reason the U.S. didn't have more children suffer from birth defects thanks to thalidomide was because the FDA hadn't approved it.

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