Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday.  Expecting warm temps and some sun today with possible storms later.  But all week looks springlike--finally.  I got the geraniums and tomato planted yesterday and trimmed back the area where a combination of hyssop and bird seed were sprouting thickly.  I don't need as many hyssop as were popping up but I did want some for the bees--and it does add a nice flavor to tea.  I may not have to reseed the cypress vine.  Though damaged they are still alive and may come.  I have most of the mini-greenhouse straightened up.  Now for the shed.

I thought the same thing when I was listening to and reading our sanitized news reports on the various controversies at the time--democracy in Europe is pretty much dead (unless the results can be jiggered to reflect what the money interests want.)  And our democracy is pretty much moribund because there is not much difference between our two "major" parties--except in their rhetoric around election times.

Wednesday.  Wet outside after a stormy night.  I rushed around last evening covering everything could and moving the rest under cover because the weather people said we could get sever thunderstorms with hail.  Their weather maps indicate the hail stayed well west of us.  I haven't uncovered anything yet.  An unexpected chore for yesterday--moving the purple and sweet basils.  They may like full sun but evidently not as much as they were getting where they were.  Oh, well.  I'll see if they prefer a shadier place in their own pots.

The latest mega-beef recall is disturbing for a couple of reasons.  First, the CDC and other agencies are not telling consumers where that beef went so there is no way of avoiding it with any certainty.  It appears that the government is more interested in protecting the profits of restaurants and retailers than the health of consumers.  The second reason is encapsulated in this paragraph
 Wolverine officials said their products did not test positive for E. coli O157, but CDC and FSIS epidemiological and trace-back data indicate that meat from the firm was the likely source of illness.
Notice that the company claims its product didn't test positive for the bacteria and the CDC and FSIS have said only that the meat from Wolverine is the "likely" source.  In other words:  the CDC and FSIS don't know for sure what the source of the E. coli is.  This reminds me of the salmonella outbreak of a few years ago when officials identified the source as peppers and then shifted to peppers and in the end, having devastated farmers in two countries, had to admit they didn't know where the salmonella had come from.

And then there is this item.  I can understand Petco and Petsmart deciding to discontinue sales of dog and cat treats from China.  I can also understand the delay.  For the last seven years government agencies have tried to trace the cause of pet illnesses and death--and have not found a confirmable cause.  And I am sure they have contracts with their Chinese suppliers which would be difficult to cancel abruptly without a confirmed cause traceable to their operations.  For pet owners an interesting dilemma.  I have said before that if I still had pets I would be making their food and treats at home.

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