Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday.  Last day of March.

Not sad to see March go.  I wish April would start out warmer but at least the temperature will be in the mid-30s to mid-40s (instead of ten degrees lower) after the mid-60s today.  I don't think enough of the patio will thaw out enough for me to do much outside.  I just scooped off a large part of the snow remaining on the one container still covered and spread it on the patio.  It should melt nicely.  Several containers have lost the ice layer that remained on them.  I also transplanted the borage plant that needed a larger pot and planted more borage and epazote seeds.  The epazote didn't come up at all.

My first rose has arrived.  I brought in one of my large pots and will plant it when the soil thaws out in a couple of days.  I don't think my containers will be ready to work for another couple of weeks.

Now for a minor contrary rant.  The TV (local) news this morning finally took notice of the U.N. report on climate change that (as far as I know) is only available in a leaked version--that is, not officially released yet.  I have been reading about parts of the leaked report for the last two or three weeks and the news media has been mum about the whole thing.  The reporter today noted that the report used the word "risk" five times per page on average.  And that the report insists that unless "something" is done we are in for a very rough time.  Problems:  what is the "something" that is to be done and who is the "we" who will do it?  And I have noted my skepticism (often) that we can actually roll back the part of climate change that is human caused.  By the time people (as a group) come to a consensus about a major problem, it is usually well beyond any attempts to roll it back to any reasonable starting point.  Another major problem is that most of the situations that become major problems are not really under human control however much we wish they were.  But then humans seem to be consistently afflicted with hubris.  Update: according to the MSN story the report has just been released earlier today.

One of the things I most resent about our (not)news media is how the focus on important stories moves away before the issues are resolved leaving the impression that everything is fine.  This Crooks & Liars coverage shows how wrong that impression might be.  How long will it be before people along the Elk River feel comfortable using their tap water or have much faith in their governmental agencies/officials?

Now this is an interesting notion!!  My major problem with our current legal treatment of corporate crime is that we have no way to exact an appropriate punishment for corporate crimes.  The owners or managers are insulated from personal responsibility for what the corporation does unless some direct evidence is found that links them to the action.  Financial punishments rarely provide any great deterrent since most corporations consider those "costs of doing business."  And if the financial pain seriously threatens them they simply file for bankruptcy and reorganize as a different entity with no responsibility for the damages the predecessor corporation caused.  If Hobby Lobby wins its case against the ACA the separation of owners and the corporations they own may disappear and the owners (or managers) can be held to account.

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