Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More plants emerging. When is a choice not a choice?


The borage that peeked out yesterday has been joined today by summer savory, the Martino's roma, and Amish paste.  Looking good so far.  And we can see broad swaths of lawn where the snow has melted.  The mountains on the patio lost several inches in height and I can see pots I haven't seen in a couple of months.

The first quote in this article floored me.  The Obama administration sold the ACA to Americans largely on the 47million uninsured who would finally be able to get health insurance.  Evidently they didn't think it necessary to record the actual statistics on how many uninsured individuals actually sign up.  One would think that might be an important metric for determining the success of the program.  I guess not.

Oh, my, I feel like I might be back in the 1950s watching TV with rabbit ear antennae.  And it is Comcast because the snow is on all channels.  First time I have see that kind of interference in a very long time.


We have had a couple of very wet snow overnight.  Perhaps enough to move our area from fourth on the list of snowiest winters to third.  Maybe even into second place since we have several hours before the system moves out entirely.  (morning news just announced that this year is now in third place officially.)

From the plant nursery--all my tomatoes are showing now.

I have seen a couple of stories about how the oil "boom" has strained the transport system.  Last fall, at the height of harvest, the demand for diesel fuel to fill tanker trucks to transport oil had farmers scrambling for diesel to fuel their tractors.  Also last fall, we had a minor fracas here because the long trains of tanker cars were forcing commuter trains to the sidelines enraging businesses and commuters.  If this story is accurate the squeeze on transport is on going.  It is wonderful that the grain harvest was so good in the Dakotas last year but what good does a record harvest do if you can't get it to market?

Huffington Post had this interesting article on the Crimean referendum on whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.  When is a choice not a choice?  When your options all lead to the same end and you don't have the right to reject that end.  It occurs to me that we over here aren't in a much different position.  We have two parties vying for our votes but both serve the ends of the business at the expense of the rest.  It is just a question of do we get domination by global business quickly or a tad more slowly.  We don't have the option of effectively saying we don't want that domination.

We (here in our little patch) have often said that if businesses depended on us and others like us to stay profitable they would not survive for long.  Usually we make that observation when we see a particularly annoying ad urging us to save money by buying something we don't need because it is on sale.  We save even more by not buying any.  So I smiled a bit as I read this piece on The Automatic Earth.  Not because of my own memories.  I was born less than half a decade after the end of WWII.  Rather because of the 180 degree shift in in our cultural attitudes.  During WWII Americans were urged not to buy something they didn't need.  When George W. declared war on terrorism he urged us to go shopping.

But then business--especially big, global business--doesn't rely on us as consumers.  They rely on us as taxpayers in a system in which we have little or no control over where the tax monies go.

Interesting set of questions these!!  And an uncomfortable answer.

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