Thursday, August 3, 2017

Another cool morning that feels more like fall than summer. The autumnal equinox is still a month and a half away. The weather people predict scattered thundershowers but whether we actually see any rain is anybody's guess. So far those storms have been more miss than hit. I hope it will hold off long enough for me to collect a the couple of cucumbers and whole lot of cherry tomatoes I saw on the plants yesterday.

Found this item browsing the news. So #45 criticized his military advisors for not having a winning position on the war. Considering the fact that, as the article noted, he is the third Commander-in-Chief to flounder around looking for such a strategy perhaps he should be asking 1) whether there is any winning position and 2) have we defined winning in any way that is "winnable." That has been the problem with all of the wars since WWII: what, precisely, are the goals? And the nebulous notions of "anti-communism" or "anti-terrorism" simply don't work. Especially since the definitions are so malleable--any you don't like become an communist or a terrorist.

I will admit that several times over the last 20 years I have fantasized about emigrating because the politics here so disgusted me. However, even a quick look at the immigration requirements for likely destinations (like Canada) demonstrated that legal emigration was not likely. They have a system much like the one #45 has just endorsed--a so-called merit based system. I don't see there is much to disagree with on the broad notions described. The devil is, of course, always in the details and those might be objectionable. I do resent his hyping the program on restricting any legal immigrants from welfare benefits for five years. That is already on the books and has been for almost 30 years. The labor implications are frustratingly complex. How much of our economy depends on low (or lower) wage employees. At various times we have encouraged foreign nurses and doctors because we had a supposed shortage but I would almost bet, though I can't prove it, that the major effect was to reduce wages overall. Which may also be the major result of the high-tech H1-B visas. Will the proposal slash legal immigration by 50%? Who knows and I don't trust anyone's guesses.

Busy morning in the kitchen and in the gardens. Mom did eggplant Parmesan from the last of the Patio Baby eggplants and I pulled the plants. They had almost stopped producing and the fruit was too small to be of great use. I harvested two large pickling cucumbers which are now in brine in the fridge. They completely filled the quart jar and I put two quarts of cherry tomatoes in brine also. I will pull the two patio tomatoes for the same reasons I pulled the eggplants: production slowed to a near stop and the tomatoes are really, really small. Checked over the cuttings and the lemon mint, two lavenders, and lotus vine are all still doing well. Two of the three strawberries, the two with full root growth, are doing well also. I think it is time to take cuttings from the rest of the herbs as well. The prescription bottles with vermiculite seem to do well for rooting cuttings.

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