Friday, May 9, 2014

gardening progress, a new Concorde??, back to the future??, no longer left behind but discarded,


We got rain overnight.  And more coming.  Thankfully it was neither plant-crushingly heavy nor accompanied by hail.  This has been a year of jaw-dropping weather conditions.  I have been watching the weather on the news and can hardly believe what I see.

I don't think I will get much gardening done unless it dries out by this afternoon.  I got my roses put in their permanent place.  Also put in shiso, roma and patio princess tomatoes, and lipstick peppers.  I still have some peppers, tomatoes, basil, and lavender to plant.  I lost my Amish paste when the root ball fell apart and it broke just at the soil level.  I will look for something similar at the local garden shops.

Our temperatures hit 89F--90s in some areas.  If we hadn't waited so long for warmth we would be complaining.  It was hot enough that I did my gardening in spurts.  Moved the roses and rested.  Filled the pots for and planted the pole beans and freebee mellon and rested.  Positioned the hangers, filled the pots and planted two more strawberries and rested.  Tilled the dirt in a container, added soil and fertilizer, and planted shiso and tomato--and rested.  I did that a few more times until I finally decided I had done enough for the day and put everything away.  It got hot enough that I would have removed the cover on the mini-greenhouse if we had been expecting more.  The next week we expect cooler temps and plenty of sun with showers every now and then.

I rather doubt that this project is seriously under consideration--at least on our side of the equation.
A good part of the Repthuglican party probably wouldn't support it because of the funding it would require even though the article says the Chinese are willing to foot most of that bill.  And the only reason I can see for a high-speed rail along the proposed route would be national pride--U.S. and Chinese pride specifically.  I doubt there is enough traffic to make it profitable.  A reincarnation of Concorde???

Is this really where we are headed??  I hope we aren't headed "back to the future."  "Did he really witness that??"  Mom asked.  I don't know but, sadly, it is believable given the demands from religious assholes for the right to discriminate in business based on their religious beliefs.

I think Tom Streithorst has hit on something here although he doesn't  push a key point as forcefully as he might have.  Universal manhood suffrage had already become a fact in many European countries and America well before WWI.  The major beneficiaries of their wartime efforts were women who finally joined men in the voting booth during the decade after.  What really drove movements toward social equality was the fear of socialism.  In the 1860s Bismarck's Germany became the first modern industrialized nation to implement social security--though few of the lower classes could expect to live long enough to collect.  With the emergence of the Soviet Union after WWI the fear of socialism became much more acute.  But by the time Reagan and Thatcher assumed their offices it was clear the Soviet Union was dying and by 1989 was dead.  The only way socialism remains as a threat is in the minds of the political hacks who support the upper .01% and who use the cry of "socialism!!" as a club against anyone who would redress the imbalances in our society and economy.

I said a long time ago that the "No Child Left Behind" was accurately named because Left All Children Behind.  I should amend that to we leave no child behind unless that child is poor, doesn't speak English as their first language, are non-white minorities or simply don't do well with the damned tests.  So what is a hard pressed school district (or state education department) to do when their grant monies rest on good aggregate test scores, or teachers and administrators whose pay raises, bonuses or even continued employment depends on their students doing well as a group?  Well, here is the answer.

Oh how politics have changes--and not for the better.

This piece at Crooks & Liars asked why the seven Democrats who voted with the Republicans to establish that Benghazi Select Committee are still Democrats.   All you need to answer the question is look at the states they represent: two from Arizona, one each from Florida, West Virginia, South Carolina, Minnesota, and Georgia.  All hot purple or red with right leaning electorates.  And remember--the entire House is up for election this year.

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