Saturday, May 3, 2014

Saturday.  Hope we get the warmer temps and sun the weather people promised.  I want to start cleaning up the mini-greenhouse.  I may put the roses out on the patio to get some sun. (Update: the roses are basking in the sun.  I also took my soil test meter out and checked the fertility and pH levels.  Need to add some fertilizer and I will definitely start using the fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.  The pH is just above 7 so I want to bring it down just a bit.

Since we live about an hour south east of Chicago, we have seen this repeatedly on the morning TV news.  I have been following reports of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) since they first surfaced a while back.  I figured it was only a matter of when not if it would surface in this country as I have seen reports of it popping up in UK and other places.  One interesting comment from an epidemiologist this morning: the actual mortality rate may be much less than the 30% or so noted so far.  Those numbers reflect the death rate among those who were hospitalized with identified cases of the disease.  No one knows how many people have actually been infected and recovered with minimal or no medical treatment.  As I have said before: isn't globalization wonderful.

I saw two headlines that set my mind going in intriguing directions.  The first asked "What would America fight for?"  I think the question would be more accurate if expressed as "What would Americans fight for?"  I don't think many of us would think Ukraine is ours to fight for or that we really have anything of value involved there.  The American government might decided to get more involved but the American people will be half-hearted about it and, I think, resentful of the costs in lives and wealth.  I noticed another story (which I can't find now to link) which claimed that the number of Americans moving abroad and renouncing their citizenship is on pace to beat last years record setting pace.  True, the numbers last year were only about 3000, but it seems to indicate a softening of American identity or patriotism.  I just watched Angela Merkel talk about holding to our "principles" to which I have to ask "What principles?"  And it is evident that German multinational companies don't share what ever principles she was talking about.  I saw a news segment that listed several of their largest asking her government to tread carefully so their very lucrative business relationships in Russia aren't damaged.  That leads to the second headline "Together against Putin--for the moment."  The underlying them of that piece, as I read it, is the fragmenting of the post-WWII world order.  That world order has been fragmenting since 1989 when one of the poles of the international alignments (the Soviet Union) collapsed and fractured into a lot of nationalistic shards.  So what is my point?  Simply this--buckle up, darlings.  It is going to be a very bumpy ride and what comes out on the other side is going to be very different from what we grew up (and, in the case of my generation and earlier ones, grew old) with.

My thoughts on this bit from Sovereign Man:  what's next?  Travel permits inside the US?  I can understand  State Department warning that travel to certain areas and countries is dangerous and citizens should travel there at their own risk.  But to ban it outright with prison sentences?  What if you have family there?  You can't even send funds home to help them?  I have seen some promos for a documentary on our prison system which makes the point that "the Land of the Free" has the highest percentage of the population in prison than any other country.  Makes me wonder if this is the prelude to making all of us prisoners.

Now this is a fascinating piece of history.  Enjoy!

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