Tag Archives: gardening

Indian Summer in Tidewater Virginia

The torrential rains have apparently stopped. The sun is out. And everyone — including those little black mosquitoes — thinks spring is here again.  Still no sign of honeybees that have not been around all summer. But my lone, helpful little Bubblebee was there this morning, whom I have gotten to know very well,  vigorously pollinating everything in sight. I forgive his breed for all those times they painfully stung me when I was going bar’foot as a child growing up in Nawf Calina.

The pepper plants are exploding. The egg plants have been producing at a phenomenal rate. [Are we into hyroponic agriculture? — they are in big plastic pots!] The goldenbrown legacy basil has taken on new life. Not the big tomatoes, but the the seed from the store-bought toma-toes are still producing for the nightly salad.

Even the phlox around the corner of the house believes it is time to go at it again. They haven’t heard the rabbi begin to intone his Torah lesson which says this is the time of the year when G___ makes his choices, who shall live, who shall die, who by drowning, who by fire, in the new year. For the moment, at least, I am sticking with the Indians and enjoying the last gulps of that wonderful summer, continued nightrains,  possible hurricanes and all!

American virility

American virility

I am looking for a bookmaker: I want to place a big bet against Pres. Barack Hussein Obama’s war on the American economy. It’s a calculation from a worm’s eye view, of course — recent personal experiences and tidbits picked hither and yon. But they do have macroeconomic implications.

Truthfully, I am not really a betting man. [I don’t like to lose.] But were I to plunk down this one, the odds would be long. Given the power of the presidency, the possibility Mr. Obama might get a second term – removing all restraints on his ideology – you see the problem of setting the live price.

There isn’t time and space to argue Mr. Obama’s intentions. In any case, one rarely divines those. But it is harder and harder to counter accusations of a great leftwing conspiracy to wreck the Republic’s fantastic economy, one which has given its people more than any regime in history. The President’s economic warfare speaks even louder than his denunciation of American exceptionalism. Whether it is medical arts, energy or financial regulation, Obama economic policy is a big demolition derby.

  • Energy With the Mideast and its huge fossil fuel resources near turmoil, the Administration blocks domestic industry’s ability to pick up on offshore deepwater drilling – even when ordered by the courts. The President’s disingenuous press conference statement notwithstanding, regulatory agencies defy Congressional and public opinion adding new impediments to utilizing fossil fuels including new coal technologies, our greatest energy asset. Crippling gasoline prices dooming job recovery will not be talked down by the President, but lowered only by full-fledged operating markets exploiting America’s abundant resources.
  • Deficits, regulation and taxes Blithely charging ahead with new “programs” – for example, adding more retraining to the uncoordinated 16 existing programs– the President’s spending cutbacks are miniscule. Another trillion and half dollar deficit is “routine”. Hamstringing a chagrined and immobilized Wall St. at a time when its competitors in London’s City watch HKSBC retreat back to Hong Kong, the White House shirks leadership except to pamper companies exporting technology and jobs to China. Those major miscreants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not spanked much less defanged. Surreptitiously supporting “special interests” – including bloated government unions in Wisconsin and other swing states – highlight Administration efforts to cast budget-cutters as Simon Legree.
  • Social welfare net Having rammed through a mishmash labeled “comprehensive” restructuring of our ailing medical arts, a sixth of the economy, the Administration is adding insult to injury by waiving protocols in order to buy off selected companies and the medical bureaucracies. [It’s probably unconstitutional but then Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. picks and chooses what laws he will enforce.] Betting pork – insurance coverage for children up to 25 on Poppa’s chit, indeed! – will buy off the electorate, the Administration looks to a 2012 victory with Obamacare’s real bill arriving in 2014.

So? If it looks that bad, why my optimism about the end result?

First off, I am growing my own tomatoes this year. Enough already of those red plastics! I’ve been around to my local farmers’ supply store. And I am flabbergasted. In two decades since last I looked, dozens of new products for fellow amateurs obviously reflect revolutionary agroindustrial research and applications. No wonder American agricultural productivity just doesn’t stop. No wonder warnings about individual crop failures often are premature, sometimes turning into lower prices as they did a season or so back for oranges. This is a country with one big green thumb – and not the one the Obama Administration’s elitist Sierra Club sucks on – reflecting a scientific spirit that will not be squelched.

Then there’s “energy”. There’s little doubt Mr. Obama’s legacy will include new abandoned windfarms from Hawaii to California to New England joining those willed us by the misbegotten effort to thwart the markets under the Carter Administration’s first energy “tsar”, Jim Schlesinger. Yes, subsidies are financing Chinese exports to the U.S. from runaway American windmill manufacturers. But the truth is our proved fossil fuel reserves are growing. “Petroleum peak moment” hysteria may tickle the fancy of academic enviromentalistas. But cold, hard cash – including investments from the Chinese! – will inevitably produce a flood of new LNG/LPG shale oil. The fact installations are on a switch, export or import, tells you more than the media about the industry. And just how long does 1600 Pennsylvania believe the public will wait for “drill, baby, drill” if gas goes to $5?

Oh yes, and then there are peaches. Apparently, the public has lost its appetite for my favorite fruit, with imports hounding our growers. What to do? Seems we have developed a new machine selectively wandering through orchards trimming those magnificent blooms, shortly to be the glory of spring here in the southeast. It thins, mechanically, automatically, cheaply, so we will get bigger and better and cheaper fruit.

Now will somebody do something about those $1.75 hot house pimentos, a spice of life, which we bring from the Netherlands, while I wait for the Obama anti-business warriors to collapse of their own dead weight?