Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Bread baking day. Also need to transplant some of my seedlings. Otherwise not much planned.

Found this by way of Naked Capitalism and it does make a lot of sense. Our economy has left a lot of people behind. Not all want to be entrepreneurs, or academics, or IT workers. I took a couple of courses once in computer programming and found I had zero interest in pursuing such a career. I have worked in retail enough to know that I am not an entrepreneur and running a store is a real pain in the ass. I know people who went through an academic program but hated every bit of it. Not all of us are cut out to be academics. As the author said--the policy wonks aren't dealing with the core questions. They aren't even asking those questions.


Not much planned for today. I didn't get the transplanting done but it isn't critical right now. I have some errands planned but nothing else.

I have ignored as much as possible the political machinations. Every now and then though something comes through like this item. It was on the TV news this morning indicating none of the three remaining Repthuglican contestants will honor that "loyalty" pledge. I find it absolutely fascinating that the GOP leadership insisted on a pledge of "loyalty" which only went one way--from the candidate to them--and not reciprocate by showing their "loyalty" to the candidate. They extracted the pledge back when everyone said Trump was a flash in the pan and would disappear soon. Now he leads in the polls and the very worried party establishment has expended considerable energy in trying to derail Trump by any means, fair or foul. Of course, everyone should remember the old saying: nothing is fair in love or war. I would add politics to that list.

On a technology note. I recently put the Kindle software on my Apple laptop because I found some books I wanted but which weren't available from Barnes&Noble for Nook. I noticed that many of the prices were also lower so I now check out both sites before I buy. But I really was thinking that I would rather be able to read books from either list on one device and went looking for possibilities other than buying a new tablet computer. I thought it should be possible because my latest Nook is on a Samsung Galaxy tablet. Well, it is. All I had to do was download the free Kindle software onto the Samsung and I am in business. Nice!!

Monday, March 28, 2016


David Kaiser always has good posts and the one he put up today is not exception. Our tragedy isn't that we might elect an American Hitler/Mussolini but that we can't seem to find a Franklin Roosevelt. As, perhaps, the most individualistic nation on the planet, maybe we shouldn't be surprised that we have lost the ability (and willingness?) to organize society for the common good or that we can't even agree on what that good might be.

Sunday--Happy Easter


Slow days both yesterday and day before. We had Easter dinner with my Brother and his family. A good meal and good company.

To shift the discussion to food more generally, I found this almost right off the bat this morning. As I have said before I don't see that the companies' aversion to labeling is due to the "expense." Changing the labels is part, I am sure, of their marketing budget. This whole campaign to forestall labeling GMO products is simply a "support Monsanto and similar companies" bill.

Japan is experiencing a rise in crimes committed by its over-65 population. And evidently that group is also more likely to repeat the offenses--often. It is a dismal situation and one which isn't unknown over here. The new hasn't covered it lately but I remember stories of elderly bank robbers who got the money and sat down in the lobby to wait for the the cops to arrest them. The money wasn't the motive--rather the shelter, food, and medical care they would get in jail or prison. Lately though our media has been more fixated on the bloody shootings that happen all too frequently. I asked Mom this morning if we really wanted to hear about the latest Chicago shootings. No, but we have to go through that to get to the weather report.

I have long been skeptical of the psychobabble preaching a "positive" attitude prescribed for everything from relationship problems to getting a better job to "combating" physical ailments. That is why I loved Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-sided which told of her bout with cancer and encounter with the cult of positive thinking. This article provides fresh fuel to my skepticism. As the quotes indicate I am not too keen on the notion of waging war on illness either. Wrong metaphor.

Tom Englehardt has another good post on just how strange our political situation is. At first I thought it a bit of a strange notion that the stories comparing Trump to Hitler or Mussolini were "comforting, reassuring or consoling." But his point is well made. We are trying to dredge up past devils and hells we have conquered before because, if we did it once, we can do it again. But thinking that the situation we see before us is merely an rhyme of past themes may blind us to the fact that it really isn't and old patterns of thought and behavior may be counter-productive, counter-survival even.

Friday, March 25, 2016


We had snow overnight coating the grass, cars and roofs. The paved areas are too warm for it to stick there. Ah, springtime--warm and sunny days alternating with cold and blustery. I finally figured out the pattern instructions for a row on that shawl that has been sitting in the basket for a bit. I tried it several times but couldn't seem to make sense of it. Yesterday I picked it up again and after a couple of tries could see where it was going. I should be able to make some progress on it now. I am frogging another shawl (i.e., unraveling it). I am not happy with it so I will try something else with my bits and pieces of left over yarn.

McClatchy has an excellent article on the essence of this election cycle: us vs. the Establishment.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Another example of why we don't watch much news on TV any more. Light on any real information, heavy on the emotionalism, and definitely biased toward what our government is doing that we know doesn't work.

Motherboard posted an interesting article on how the biases of researchers and software developers have produced facial recognition (and other software used by TSA) that has a hard time seeing people who aren't white or "traditionally" gendered. My rather unruly mind went back to a trope of the movies way back when where a white character would be asked to describe a black person and would respond "they all look alike to me." But what happens if your bank uses that software as a security measure and you get locked out of your account because the computer doesn't recognize you?

This is a good development. A friend has been urging all her Facebook friends to buy seedlings certified to be from pesticide free seeds and now I can see why. That crap stays around for a good long time. I wondered as I read the piece why the state was compensating the beekeepers but, as it states in the article, the pesticide application occurred at the site where the seed was prepared and packaged not at the farm where the seed was planted. A nice gray area that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Nice and sunny today. The gardening itch is becoming stronger but the temps are just a bit too cool yet. We are still a month and a half away from our "frost free" date. Instead I content myself with mentally mapping out what I plan to do and when I should be doing it. The mizuna, sunflowers, and tong ho are all sprouting. All my tomatoes peppers and other seedlings are doing well also. Some I will have to put into bigger pots--again.

Gene Logsdon makes a very good distinction between "factual science"  and "maybe science" here. Unfortunately, so much of what we read and view in our media is the "maybe" variety masquerading as the "factual."

Crabby Old Lady (Ronni Bennett's alter ego) posted a bit on loud movies and hearing loss especially as experienced by older people. We stopped going to movies years ago because there simply wasn't anything we really wanted to see and the cost greatly exceeded the pleasure. But the volume was getting to be a problem. For us it was a "total body" experience of pressure that bordered on pain with the deep tones penetrating to our bones. Even at home the variability between the soft, conversational scenes and the more active scenes is troublesome. Half the time I adjust the volume down and then have to adjust it back up. There seems to be no happy median.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Exhausting day yesterday. We decided, after talking for some time and after Mom's phone gave her problems, to get new ones--and a new carrier. But the process took a bit more time than we anticipated. By the time we accomplished the task we were both tired so I treated her to lunch/supper/whatever out. Besides our shopping we got nothing else done.

James Kunstler has another good post at Clusterfuck Nation. This election season is turning out to be interesting--nerve-wracking, scary, and irritating but interesting.

And then there is this on an entirely different theme from Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By. Interesting thought that we tend to think of the end of life as a time of regret for the things we might have done because those are the questions psychologists, sociologists and such ask of their elderly respondents. Every time I get into a disgruntled mood and think of what ever it is I think I regret to have done (or not done) in my life, when the mood lifts I realize that those dark clouds weren't as dark as I remember and some silver came out of the all.

Cute idea, this--finish with a wood pencil, plant it in soil and grow a plant.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Good morning, on this first full day of Spring.

Perusing the internet I found this article on Vermont's enforcement of its GMO labeling law. I have a couple of thoughts on the matter. First, I think my right to know what is in the food I eat trumps the right of these companies to make a profit on my ignorance. Second, the whole argument about the "prohibitive" costs of changing their labels is a crock. They change their labels often just for esthetic reasons, to give the impression that the product is "new and improved," to trumpet that they were getting in on the consumer demand for salt (or fat or sugar) free products, or for what ever reason their marketing divisions think appropriate. Why should the cost of complying with the law be more onerous than any other label change? Third, I read the text of the Vermont law and it merely requires the company to put a line on their label that says the product "contains," "probably contains," or "may contain" genetic engineered components.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Welcome Spring and Happy Equinox to all.  The shadow of the house is receding and the sun actually lit up the top couple of inches of the fence reflecting a bit of light onto the patio all day. That is my sign to start getting serious about outdoor gardening. If we have a couple of warm days this week I will start getting things cleaned up, dug up, filled up, and moved around. I started sunflowers, orach, mizuna, and tong ho yesterday. I just changed out the door wreaths putting the spring wreath up and hanging the winter wreath in the closet until next year.

We had an odd winter: warmer than normal with a lot less snow. Evidently we aren't alone.

This is a fascinating crime story. I found one story by way of Naked Capitalism which raised some questions because the numbers didn't seem to add up. The story I linked to clears up the discrepancy. Cyber criminals tried to steal nearly $1billion from the Bangladesh central bank of which $81million is still missing in the Philippines. Transfers of the rest were stopped by the U.S. Federal Reserve and by a bank in Sri Lanka. Computers do make a lot of things easier and faster--including spectacular crime.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


I repotted the last of the tomato and pepper seedlings. I have almost filled up the tray under the large grow light and have the lemon verbena cuttings under the other. One pot has failed but the other is hanging on as are the rosemary cuttings in water by the front window.

Death Valley is in bloom for the first time in 11 years. It is really beautiful when it happens.

This should scare anyone who has any sense of history. But then I don't know what the schools teach as history any more.

This hit home. We bought a pressure canner from Walmart and I searched for canned hams at their site. Since then we have had ads for canning supplies and other products we "might be interested in" popping up where ever we go on line. I get my e-books downloaded directly to my reader and suddenly I get similar books (or, maybe, not so similar) popping up for my perusal. Even if I just look up a book I found recommended on a blog I find ads for that and others. What ever we look at, buy (or not) or just roll over seem to trigger those ads. Annoying as hell!!

Friday, March 18, 2016


I truly hope the Repthuglicans get hosed this election cycle. This alone gives them, in my book, a special circle deep in hell.

Fascinating little article on a phase of the pharmaceutical industry I knew little about beyond the names of the companies. This reminds me of the incestuous relationship between the ratings agencies and the financial organizations which pay for their services. We saw how that worked with the financial crash of 2008. The agencies rated dodgy instruments highly to the benefit of the financial groups offering those instruments while people and organizations buying those "investments" took a bath when they failed--as they were designed to do. That is exactly the kind of relationship between the big pharmacies and the pharmacy benefit managers when they are no longer independent companies able to negotiate with each other. And the customer is the one who will get it in the pocketbook.

Another good article, from Alternet this time, on the obscenity that is our pharmaceutical industry.

This looks like another nail in the pipe dream of "Saudi America." Bill Clinton won election on the slogan "It's the economy, Stupid." We can amend that a bit: it's the economics, Stupid.

Infidel753 has a nice dissection of what is happening in the Repthuglican Party. It is fascinating to watch the meltdown of a Party which hates its own candidates almost as much as I do.

I love Al Franken's comments on the Senate Repthuglican's determination to not even consider any nominee for the Supreme Court Obama puts forward.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Happy St. Patrick's Day

I started this a bit late today. Basically I got side tracked by plant tending. Almost all my peppers are now in larger pots. I started my seedlings in pressed paper pots so I just cut the pots apart and dropped the whole little pot/seedling into the larger pots. Minimal disruption of the root system. I moved as many of the 3 and 4 inch starter pots inside before winter as I could find room for so I have a fair number of those though I might just be running short now. I will have to bring in a couple of the larger pots because those first tomatoes and peppers will need a new home--again--very soon. I did get some cuttings from one of my rosemary plants and have them rooting, I hope, in small containers by the window.

I found this opinion piece at Market Watch with which I totally agree. I wouldn't find it so offensive if they met with the nominee, held hearings, and then voted down the confirmation. That would be doing their jobs, doing what we pay them to do.

The author of Big Picture Agriculture reposted a review she wrote a couple of years ago of James Galbraith's The End of Normal. Sounds interesting and I have always liked Galbraith's work. Will have to pick it up.

Gene Logsdon has another interesting post. Shows how slippery demographics can be. People are rarely entirely one thing or another. The census bureau had to add a number of different categories for race because so many people found that the old Black/White/Other categories simply didn't fit. It doesn't surprise me that so many highly productive and creative people are also engaged in some form of farming. Growing plants and raising animals can be very therapeutic.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Another good Clusterfuck Nation post from James Kunstler.

This is one of those stories that makes you laugh and then should make you mad as hell. We are paying those idiots for that crap!!


I just pulled off a couple of pots I had covering two of the 5 gallon buckets in the gardens. I may not bother next year because everything has thawed and drained nicely. I was surprised to see the only strawberry in a pot from last year--the one I was too lazy to take out-- is coming back. I will see how well it does. I might put strawberries in pots in the fall to keep outside over winter. The key seems to be good drainage and small pots on racks might be a good way to go. I also saw a small plant poking itself up in the bucket I had the bee balm in last year--I think. I will see how it grown before deciding for sure what it is. The lemon verbena cuttings are doing well so far--still crisp and green with no sign of fading. I plan to take cuttings of my rosemary plants to root in water. Some sites on line say rosemary does that easily. I will find out.

I like Infidel753's post today. I am no Republican so I haven't been enthusiastic about any of those candidates. To be honest I am not much of a Democrat either so you can say that my enthusiasm for this election is way far down the drain. I did think Rubio one of the least repulsive among a field of repulsive personalities. But not "least repulsive enough" to earn my vote.

Monday, March 14, 2016


The mild weather continues but it is very wet. The same weather system that provided the south with flooding rains gave us a steady spring rain. I got a couple of seedlings repotted yesterday and took cuttings of the lemon verbena. They are in the micro-mini greenhouse I cut out of vinegar jars. As of this morning they seem to be doing well.

And now for a bit of humor on this gray and damp Monday. Is anyone optimistic that the ladder will be removed any time soon? I'm not.

We laughed all the way through this graphic. We have often said that the lists of side effects for drugs often are more frightening that the conditions for which the drugs are prescribed.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Matt Taibbi has an interesting post at Rolling Stone on the Trump phenomenon and the "mainstream" endorsements now rolling in.

Good!! But I think all religions should not be tax exempt. If churches engage in charitable work they should be credited for that. But they should not be exempt from all taxes.

The current election cycle has various pundits positing various theories about what is happening and what is likely to happen. The situation is so nebulous and unformed that are various Sybils are reaching very tentative conclusions and nothing is certain. David Kaiser has another post looking at both where we have been and where we might be going.

An interesting little historical article. Poisoned articles of clothing are an old theme going back to Ancient Greece where Euripides wrote The Medea.

Friday, March 11, 2016


Good morning, all. Cold enough to put frost on the rooftops but than means it is about normal for mid-March. Nothing much planned for the day--just tending some of the plants and repotting a few of the larger ones. Maybe I'll put a few more stitches into one of the needlework pieces.

The news this morning said the Republican "debate" was actually a civil affair last night. I haven't seen what other commenters have to say about it. The adds however are very much uncivil. We are avoiding those as much as possible largely because our TV is mostly off these days.

The TV news yesterday referred to a new dietary study which reported that most calories Americans consumed came from "processed foods." I put that in quotes because our first question was how did they define "processed" and how was the study conducted. I found that study linked in one of the blogs I normally read and its authors used far more nuanced definitions than the news reported. Their categories reflect our own classifications of what we buy when we shop for groceries. We have cut out nearly all of the ultra-processed foods listed. Most of what we buy is in the unprocessed or minimally processed categories and what we get from the list of processed foods have little to no added sugars, salt and fat. And we do spend a lot of time reading the labels. We would have to move our breads, cakes and pies to the minimally processed list because they are made from scratch. We do use a small amount of cane sugar but most of our sweeteners are molasses, honey, and pure maple syrup. I am not surprised at the findings considering what a big part of life so-called convenience foods have become.

Cute animal picture and a very interesting story. Enjoy!

Something to think about in this political season. Where are we in the process where little changes accumulate till everything changes?

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Good morning to you all. The weather has turned warmer but then we haven't really had a winter this year. We had sixties the last two days and expect another several days of 60s after today which will only reach into the 50s. This is the kind of weather that has the gardening itch going but we know that we are still two months away from safe planting season. Oh I will probably starting putting plants out in late April with hot caps and other protection but we still haven't reached the equinox yet. The patio is getting more reflected light early morning and late afternoon when the shadow of the house is in a spot that allows the sunlight to reach the fence. I won't get anything near enough sunlight until mid-April. I checked out the compost bin and turned some of it over. I haven't checked the garden containers yet to see how much they have thawed out. All of the seedlings I have started so far and that have sprouted are doing well, and I have several that should be repotted. I also want to experiment with rooting lemon verbena slips. We spotted some stuff a neighbor was throwing and went over to nick the useful items: a large pot, a small iron and glass table, and a little stool. The pot is big enough for one of the tomatoes I plan to keep inside. The tomato variety is supposed to do well in low light levels and the table is the perfect size for that pot. I don't know what or where the stool will be put to use but I will find a place for it.

I didn't finish this Tom Englehardt post. As usual he writes well but I find the topic depressing and infuriating. The U.S. has defined its role as a "superpower" largely, if not exclusively, by its military. That means we have always had it lurking in the background of our foreign policy. Our negotiations usually reduce to "Do what we want or we will use our military might to obliterate you." Basically we haven't become the world's policeman so much as the world's thuggish extortionists.

I love this one. It is a bit long but Trump as the personification of a trickster god--yeah, I can totally see it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Interesting NY Times article on the Iditarod and weather conditions in Alaska. Three of the six warmest November-January seasons have occurred over this and the last two. The biggest worry for the race: the dogs getting overheated.


It looks to me like the EU has been played by a consummate conman in trying to deal with Erdogan. What is especially appalling is that the EU has shafted Greece economically and has delivered damned little help with the refugee problem and Greece is already a member of the EU. How about giving Greece the 6billion euros, shutting up about how they spend the money and moving the refugees there somewhere else? That sounds like a better plan. Oh, and while they are at it, get the hell off their fiscal/moral high horse.

I have a couple of thoughts on this story from the Guardian. First, the pollsters are having a problem. Their predictions simply aren't holding up. Hillary goes from a 20+ point lead to lose? Second, Hillary's pattern continues. She trounces Sanders in states the Dems probably won't carry in the Fall and loses in traditionally Democratic states?? That doesn't bode well for the fall if she becomes the nominee. Third, I think both "mainstream" parties are in trouble no matter who wins the respective nominations. The party establishments are putting a lot of money to defeat insurgents and getting marginal bang for the bucks.

The Contrary Farmer has another contrary point of view. I rather like it.

R.I.P. Barney the Cemetery Cat.

Monday, March 7, 2016


A good article by David the Good on how to become an expert gardener. Though I am far from an expert I can say his methods work. They are exactly what I use. What are those methods? Experiment and fail, and then try again. Last year I tried lemon verbena (again), wintergreen and blueberry (again). Result: two of three lemon verbena are still alive as is the blueberry. All three of the wintergreen died. I tried sweet potatoes. They were a qualified success. I got a meager yield, a lot of nice foliage and a couple of blooms. I won't try again because I have limited space and other plants are better suited. I put in sunflowers, the big ones, to provide support for bean plants. That was another qualified success. The sunflowers did well as did two varieties of beans while the other two either failed totally or provided a scant harvest. Each year I try new plants and new methods. Some work. Some don't.

I double check Natural News articles I come across. They have a tendency to push their own agenda to absurd extremes and to exaggerate on occasion. However, on this item they seen to be right on the money. I think it tells a lot about this bill when you consider that the really big cosmetic manufacturers are supporting it. They, of course, will be able to absorb the various costs of complying with the bill's provisions, raise their prices just a bit and still make money because they will have less competition. And they won't have to change their formulas one iota.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Not much doing today. I have definitely have a couple of lavender sprouting. I need to move them over to the other grow light. Most of the second round of tomatoes have come up. I need to move them also. I think I will also put a couple of other plants, peppers I think, in new pots because the small starter pots dry out too quickly. While I do that I will start some of my other seeds. By the end of April I will have a nice selection of plants to put in--under frost protection since our average last frost date is mid-May.

Evidently others have also noticed the lack of news coverage of the Sanders campaign. We don't really have news any more. It is "infotainment" with the emphasis on "tainment" because there is damned little "info."

A new stress-induced psychological malady: "Trump anxiety."

I looked at the headline on this article and sincerely hoped the writer was wrong and that Trump is not an uncomfortable reflection of the U.S. mainstream. As I read the article I realized that the author was referring to the U.S. political class not the mass of U.S. voters when he referred to "mainstream." Unfortunately, he is very right. We are governed by psychopaths and sociopaths. Our society creates them wholesale and elevates them to high positions.

As the saying goes: dogs have owners; cats have staff.

I hadn't intended to comment on this but we have heard so much about "aging" populations and so many of the stories had a tinge of panic about having too few youngsters working to support all the oldsters. Evidently, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Martin Armstrong has a good article: "Freedom of Religion and Severus Alexander (222-235AD)." As he notes, cramming one's religion down other people's throats doesn't go over well. Too bad so many of our evangelicals won't listen.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Snow again overnight--maybe 2 inches. It won't last long since the temperatures are supposed to be well above freezing today and for the next several.

Interesting little analysis of Trump voters in the recent primaries. We have been noting that our society is permeated by anger. The news is full of stories that flow from that anger: the shootings on the streets, the mass shootings, the muggings, the senseless robberies in which the victim is seriously hurt or killed for damned little money, the road rage, the aggrieved idiot who is turned away from a party and returns with a gun. The response to Trump's moronic blasts at Mexicans, Muslims, and whoever reflects a deep anger. Along with the anger people are more likely to act on it. Trump, himself, is very aggressive (latent anger there?) with a strong sense of entitlement. Trump's anger/aggression strikes a chord in his supporters which he then intensifies and reflects back to them as the cycle repeats and ratchets higher with each round.

Chase Padusniak writes a good indictment of both sides of our political system: their neglect of the interests of the poor, especially the working class poor and more especially of the white working class poor, has allowed for the rise of Donald Trump. For anyone who wants to know who wrong that situation can go read a good treatise on the rise of Hitler and Mussolini. The same dynamic fueled their ascension to power.

Friday, March 4, 2016


We did get the snow but only about 3 inches which was light enough to simply sweep off the walk and patio. More is coming overnight but we should get temps in the 50s next week. Roller coaster weather--in other words, typical late winter/early spring.

Time to start a few more of my seeds. The peppers and most of the tomatoes (second planting) are sprouting well. The first planting tomatoes and pepper are doing very nicely. And I think I have a lavender seedling coming up. That would be the first I have ever managed to start from seed.

I have seen a couple of accounts of Picher, Oklahoma--the town this article calls the most toxic city in America.

David Kaiser has a good article on the influence of the Boomer Generation on American foreign policy. Hint: it isn't a pretty story.

Here's one to make you smile. Everyone needs a daily "cute" fix.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


We got the snow overnight the weather people promised in the promised range of about 2 inches. So far. It is supposed to continue through mid afternoon.

So what is worth reading today? Take a look at these:

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone has a savage account of how a President Trump wouldn't be the beginning of the end for the Republican Party and the Presidency. The end of each actually came with George W. Bush.

The Rise of American Authoritarianism at Vox spells future trouble for the U.S. political system whether Trump wins or loses.

"What the Press Won't Tell You About Trump and Populism" at Fabius Maximus.

"How Can I Move to Canada" Was Top Google Search After Trump's Super Tuesday Wins" at Alternet.

"The Poison In Tennessee" by Charles P. Pierce at Esquire.

Mattea Kramer's "Killing Someone Else's Beloved" and what the American Style of War really means.

"Mitt Romney Pulls No Punches In Major Speech Trashing Donald Trump" at TPM.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


We got freezing rain and a bit less than an inch of wind driven snow yesterday. More is coming overnight tonight and into tomorrow but it should be considerably less that the 12+ inches we had last week. Good time to stay inside and warm.

I do love this analysis of the Trump phenomenon from Truth Out. His last description of Trump reminded me of Mussolini in his prime (arms crossed and chin thrust out while supporters savaged protesters). Has the American Il Duce arrived? And, yeah, I have seen that grainy newsreel footage.

Let's hope this style of debt "collection" doesn't come over here. Our style of debt harassment is bad enough.

Another interesting article on American anti-intellectualism. Daniel Moynihan is one to whom the saying "you are entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts" is attributed. Unfortunately, now-a-days we can't agree on what is fact much less what those facts mean.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


No new snow--so far. Can't tell if we got any of the freezing rain the weather people thought we might. We have no reason to go out so we won't have to deal with it. We chatted with the secretary at our landlord's office. We could mail them our rent but it is so much more fun to hand deliver it and talk to them for a bit. Anyway--she lives outside town and lost power for a couple of days. Luckily she has a generator. We only had a couple of flickers--nothing like the two hour blackout that awful wind storm almost three weeks ago caused. From what one of the men said some residents seem to have confused the snow removal crews with god and complained about how long it was taking. According to one of our neighbors the crews had been working from 3 am when they reached our buildings in mid afternoon. Thankfully, we have nothing like that coming up.

I do love Margaret and Helen. They say what this old broad thinks and has often enough said out loud. And Victoria Stilwell and Sarah McGregor at Bloomberg Politics also note factors in the rise of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders that I have noted for a long while. Ever since the economic pundits declared the end of the recession in 2009 I have wondered what they were smoking. The major, if not the only, reason the unemployment rate is down is because the labor participation rate is also down. Not a case of that many more people being hired as that many more people dropping out of the labor market. Wages going up? Well, not enough to be more than a statistical blip and certainly not enough to counter inflation. But there is no inflation they say? Well, they obviously don't do the grocery  shopping. The fact that we are paying as much, or perhaps a bit more, for smaller packages doesn't seem to register. People have every reason to be angry and the traditional pols simply don't get it. Follow that up with Andrew Bacevich's commentary on how Trump is remaking American politics, and perhaps more if he is elected.