Sunday, October 24, 2010

I should also note that I finished a sock yesterday. I should note that, because otherwise it makes no sense that I cast on the second sock today, and knit a good 1/4 of it. I made an error early on in the pattern, but I told myself, it's a sock. No one will see the error, when it's in its natural habitat: on a foot. It was either that, or frog it back to the toe, and I didn't want to do that.

As is usual for me, the second sock is likely to take much less time than the first. I started this pair, what, in August? Well, September at the latest. I had it with me when I went to Oregon, last time, which was the end of September, beginning of October. I'm likely to finish the second sock this week. Funny thing-- most people get tired of their socks when they're on the second. I find the prospect of New Socks! gives me the motivation to get through the second without interruption. I've occasionally taken months to get through a first sock, because I've stopped to, oh, knit a couple of blankets and a sweater. That's not hyperbole; I did that last winter, in the middle of my first colorwork sock.

We now interrupt this knitting blog to bring you this important historical lesson:

There is a bit of history, and interpretation of history, that I've known for as long as I can remember. It is directly relevant to the world today, but has not been noted in the mass media, ever. I don't know why I know this. It may be, because I've grown up in California (which was once part of Spain), or it may be because my mother was an educated woman from Latin America herself. It may be because my mother went back to school when I was a kid, first to pick up a second Bachelor's degree (this time in Spanish), and then to get a Master's (also in Spanish). I don't think it's because I took four years of Spanish in high school, and another year in college, because then I wouldn't have had this knowledge when I was a child.

Spain took a lot of gold and silver out of the Americas, back in the day. Everybody knows this. Spain is also a poor country, now, and has been for a long time. The gold and silver Spain took out of the Americas when it was a colonial power didn't stay in Spain, because they didn't make the things they wanted to buy in their own country. The gold and silver flowed from the Americas to Spain, and thence to Belgium and Holland, where the luxury goods the rich Spaniards wanted were manufactured. Belgium and Holland are not poor countries. They got to keep the Spaniard's stolen gold.

If the US doesn't get back to manufacturing, in a big way, all our money will eventually flow into the countries that do continue to make things. Pushing figures around on a computer screen is not a way to build wealth, even though it has been an effective way to concentrate (for now!) wealth in the hands of a few figure-pushers.

When I first heard that pet food from China was killing American dogs and cats, I though it was a hoax. When the stories turned out to be true, and related to contaminated wheat gluten, I wondered, why are we buying wheat products from China? We grow wheat here. Then it was baby formula, and candy, both made with milk. Why are we buying dairy products from China? We have dairy farms here.

We need to be more self-reliant, both as a nation, and as individuals. The opposite of self-reliance is poverty.

Thus endeth the lesson.


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