Thursday, June 27, 2013

Good Thursday, Everyone.  Foggy this morning--though it is dissipating now.  We may get more thunderstorms later this afternoon.  Hope not.  I am so ready for a dry spell which might come over the weekend.  Everything survived in the garden but it was ugly.  The rain and wind laid down six of my peppers.  They now have support stakes.  One, and only one, of the large containers failed to drain properly and had about three inches of water on top of the soil which settled and compacted badly.  I punched more drain holes so it eventually drained.  Why that one container and not a single one of the others didn't drain I have no idea.  I checked everything a bit ago.  I think I see buds on the cypress vine and am still waiting for the hibiscus to open.

So this labor dispute has been settled and the hostage boss is now free.  I saw an interesting interview on the standoff on CNBC, I think.  Evidently the interviewee reads Chinese and said that the accounts in the Chinese press gives a different picture.  Notice how the linked story mentions that the workers demanded severance pay even though they still had jobs and the company assured them the plant wasn't fully closing.  Evidently, according to the account from the CNBC interview, the workers saw an entire division of the plant close and the jobs shipped to India.  The workers in that division got severance pay.  But they also saw the machinery in other areas of the plant boxed up which caused serious concern among the rest of the employees for their jobs.  Should they believe their eyes--or what the company tells them?  How much do you trust your employer to be honest with you?

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism posted a link to this article.  We look very skeptically on all medical therapy.  There are always side effects or possible negative consequences to all medical interventions.  Treating depression (not curing--treating) at the risk of diabetes, however low, doesn't sound all that appealing to me.

I didn't read all of this article but it presents a new study which contradicts a key argument Monsanto, et al., present in favor of their GMO seeds--increased yield.  Recent studies have contradicted the biotech companies' arguments that their seeds require fewer applications of herbicides and pesticides.  As the weeds become Roundup resistant and the insect pests become bt resistant, that is less true (if it ever was true).

Gene Logsdon posted this on the Contrary Farmer yesterday.  I have seen stories about the efforts of Chinese governments (local and national) to "encourage" rural folk to move into high rise apartments in cities.  I have also seen stories about "ghost" cities being built in areas where the infrastructure (power, water, sewage) simply can't sustain the planned population.  Or cities already built but where people are most definitely not beating down the realtor's door.  The sentiment of that official is rather telling: if they can induce half of the Chinese people to start consuming the economy will take off but they are living in rural areas where they don't consume.  Once upon a time everywhere, people lived in a "household economy" where most of the family's needs were produced in the household and consumed there.  Only surpluses were sold outside the family.  Notice the attitude that the people who produce their own "don't consume."  Well, they do consume--they just don't exchange money for the items they consume but are produced elsewhere.  I have noticed that modern economics ignores the household except as a locus of consumption of goods and services produced outside the household.  The twenty-two pounds of stewed tomatoes I got out of my gardens last year only added to the general economy when I bought the seeds last spring.  I can imagine that economists might actually view my gardening as a drag on the economy. After all, because I grew my own I didn't buy about $35 worth of canned stewed tomatoes.  I think the economists are screwy.

I never knew a sports injury at a military prep school could be a "service related" injury that would qualify a business owned by the "injured" party as a "service-disabled veteran-owned small business."  Neither did Tammy Duckworth who does have service related disabilities.  Thank you, Tammy, for calling the asshole on his scam.  His actions may not have been illegal but it certainly was unethical.

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