Poor Joe The Plumber

Must have been a great outside weather weekend, I note that we did not receive that many visitors to the site over the past couple of days. The news has been nothing short of terrible here lately, perhaps everyone just kicked back and got drunk, I dunno.

But alas, don’t give up, hope is on the horizon!

I see where President Bush has announced that he is going to “host an economic summit in the United States” to inform the other countries around the world on the present economic situation. Which is kind of tantamount to sending a fox into the chicken coop to watch the chickens if you ask me. When they announced this on TV this weekend, the first thought that ran thru my mind was Robert Oppeinhimer (sp), The Father Of The Atomic Bomb. When watching the first detonation of the weapon he commented, “I am death, the conqueror of worlds.”

Which is what Bush is to anything remotely connected to economics.

Our president, is the Dr. Kevorkian of economics’ (Dr. Kevorkian is what is known in this country as the Suicide Doctor, he assists people who wish to die). Which brings me to my next thought, “If Mr. Bush is the Dr. Kevorkian of economics’ and he assists you and your economy still thrives despite his well intentioned efforts …. Can you sue him for malpractice?”

If you have not been living in a cave somewhere or off the planet recently then you are aware of our Poor Plumber Joe.

I appears that “Plumber Joe” kind of stepped in it. He mistakenly assumed that because he was attending a political rally, and he was here in this country, that he could ask a question of a candidate at a public function. He instead found out that it is another totally different world than the one he lived in.

This is what happens when you try and cross over from your realm (reality, life, taxes) into their world (Politics’, elite, chosen and privileged) you can find yourself being ground up fairly quickly by the machine. Joe figured he “had the right” to step up at a political meeting and ask a question of his leadership, this was of course, wrong.

This is an arena that if you are not a player is very dangerous. Plumber Joe found out rapidly as things started to disintegrate in his world that in politics, you either suck your way in or you are invited, but you do not, just cross over. This is their world, and they are very protective of it. Now his life is being dissected much like a frog in biology class, one item at a time, and he is being fed into the media grinder.

Not a good weekend for Plumber Joe.  Or as Dr. Phil would say … “What were you thinkin?”

It was announced that he really doesn’t have a plumber’s lic. which is bad, because it is required where he lives (he said he is studying for it), and that he owed $1,298.00 in back taxes to the I.R.S. And that he was a half-cousin to …… oh well, you get the picture, don’tcha? The media jumped on this guy faster than a pit bull at a mailman convention, poor Joe.

Three men were on there way to a political meeting when their automobile broke down. One was a butcher, a plumber and a politician. They went to a farmer’s home and asked if he could put them up for the night. The farmer agreed, but stipulated that one of them would have to sleep in the barn, as he only had room for two in the house. The butcher said, that is not a problem, I will sleep in the barn.

So he went off to sleep in the barn, and the other two men stayed in the house.

After a short while, there was a knock on the door. The farmer opened the door and there stood the butcher. He said, “Y’know I have smelled a lot of rank things in my life, bad meat, rotten food, stuff like that. But I cannot stand the smell in that barn.”

So the plumber told the farmer, “That is okay, I will go out there.” This was okay for about 45 minutes, and then again, there was a knock on the door. The farmer opened the door and there stood the plumber and he said, “I have smelled a lot of nasty things in my career, septic tanks, clogged sewers, you name it. But I cannot stand that smell.”

So the politician volunteered to go out to the barn. Same deal, about thirty minutes later, a knock on the door, and the farmer opened it up and there were ALL THE ANIMALS FROM THE BARN standing at his door.

It now appears that the much ballyhoo’ed era of change has arrived sooner than expected in America.

Now it seems very likely that we are no longer allowed to even ask a question of our political wanna-be’s. Bush effectively squelched the “free speech issue” by banning protests within five miles of anywhere he speaks, and now we have this.

Which is for lack of a better word … just downright sad.

Kind of like the guy who stood up to Premier Putin recently at the Russian Assembly and said, “Sir, my name is comrade Dobacheq, and I would like to know how come I have no heat in my Moscow apartment?” and Putin replied, “We will tell you next year.” So the following year, Dobacheq stood up and said, “Premier Putin, I would like to know, why there are no groceries in my local store?” and Putin replied, “we will tell you next year.”

The following year, another comrade stood up and he said, “Premier Putin, my name is comrade Mannski and I would like to know where comorade Dobacheq is?”

Now all you political neophytes who dream of “change.” Go back to your cheap seat, sit down and shut up.

This is America for cryin’ out loud.

000

Highlighting History

Here lately, a great many of our political hopefuls, presidential wanna-be’s and vice presidential what-evers have been running fast and loose with not only the facts, but our recent and past history. So I figured, what is good for the goose, is good for the gander and I have taken time today to correlate some history for all our readers.

The staff of Creative Endeavors and I got together over a period of several minutes, perhaps twenty-five or thirty, and came up with some interesting facts and history about our country for you in the spirit of the 2008 electorate.

On August 3rd,l 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present day America’s. Sailing on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Juilo Englasis, he arrived just before noon on a Friday. America at this time was basically a developing nation, a few Burger Kings, one or two Wal-Marts, but they were not Super Centers. There was visible evidence of many brush fires and incredible amounts of devastation everywhere. There was plenty of oil because cars had not been invented and we had no Congress.

In 1914, Germany declared war on France. France in retaliation, sent to Germany Rene Monette Anton Bush to convince local German governments to build replica’s of the Eiffel Tower and to give up this insane idea of war instead. To not service their women, tear down the French language, and to encourage them to drink more wine. This was quickly brushed aside for obvious reasons. She was promptly deported back to France as an illegal alien, and a undocumented speaker. Germany at that time, appropriated funds to build a fence to keep Frenchmen from entering their country.

In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the United States, following the defeat of Warren G. Harding. On this day Billy Raye Bushwhacker Sr. was defeated in the World College Bowl when he selected “History” for $100 and incorrectly answered the question …. “What Was WWII?” … with the answer …… some fish? NBC ran a story on if you yelled for 8 years and 7 months, some six days, you would produce enough energy to heat one cup of coffee. General Motors announced a new model of Chevy that got zero miles per gallon … but had lot’s of chrome.

In 1936, the State Department urged Americans in Spain to leave because of that country’s civil war. Oklahoma City started abandoning buildings in what is now called Brick Town because of rapid expansion to the suburbs. An Oklahoma court, on a suggestion of a local celebrity, granted custody of a ten year old Boy Scout to a 14 year old girl. This was promptly overturned by the local chapter of the ACLU.

In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed despite the protests of the not yet formed NFL. The Oklahoma Representative in Congress announced that “for twenty five thousand dollars each, any lobbyist in the building (excluding Petroleum related industries) would be allowed to kiss him fully on the lips.” The University of Oklahoma announces that if you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, you would produce enough gas to create the energy of an atomic bomb. Which was quickly debunked by the Department of Defense. 1949 was a slow year, America did not attack anyone in the name of Democracy.

In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. A non candidate for any office, Billy Raye Bushwhacker Sr., meets with the heads of the state of England, France, Norway, Sweden and Germany at a family picnic in his backyard in Pecos Texas. He refuses to run on the “conservative” ticket, claiming that a race for Governor would negate his chances of being King or even God, someday in the near future.

Dick Clark turns sixteen years old …. Again.

In 1980, closing ceremonies were held in Moscow for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, which had been boycotted by dozens of countries, including the United States. Ronald Reagan cannot remember if he approved the sale of arms to that place east of New Jersey. In a historic decision the Republican packed U.S. Supreme court rules that six apples in one sack is to be considered one item, this was a five to three vote. A new Republican protege comes on the scene, Billy Raye Bushwhacker Jr. enters Yale for his first year of c- studies.

In 1981, U.S. Air Traffic controller go on strike, despite a warning from President Reagan they would be fired. President Reagan then announces that at that time, the price of his souvenir beer mug has been reduced to on $3.99 and one building in Brick Town is being given consideration as a possible comedy club. No building permits or business licenses are issued after the Governor intervenes and declares “Living in Oklahoma is not funny.” Oklahoma University announces that a cat’s urine glows under a black light.  The practice of bathing in Swan Fat and Donkey Milk is declared illegal in 62 counties in Oklahoma and one U.S. protectorate south of Guam.

In 1988, the Soviet Union released Mathias Rust, the young West German pilot who had landed a light plane in Moscow’s Red Square in May 1987. Billy Raye Bushwhacker Jr. announces that for $500 a month, he will have breakfast with any registered Republican in the North Eastern Corridor of the United States. IBM announces that they have purchased space on the side of the Russian Station Miers for advertising and at a bargain price of only $18 million dollars. General Motors re-introduces the zero mileage car with lot’s of chrome.

In 1993, the Senate voted 96-3 to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The national basketball association announces a new team in Florida to be known as the Incredibly Huge Bloodsucking Insects and will be home courted in Orlando. Bill Gates buys Guatemala and most of Honduras in a sweeping takeover bid. Judge Bork receives the “worst looking beard in the world award” by cast members of The View in 4 to 4 decision. He is subsequently is rejected from the court for oblivious reasons and in a related decision it is announced that it is no longer illegal to pray at Cock Fights, but you can still “make a wish, as long as you do not offend anyone else.”

In 1994, one day after Iraq invaded Kuwait, thousands of Iraqi soldiers pushed to within a few miles of the border with Saudi Arabia, heightening world concerns that the invasion could spread. A place called Chad dukes it out with some place called Libya and the arms race in America escalates. Stock in gunpowder and small arms increases exponentially and business is good on the NASDAC. People living north of the United States in Canada, tiring of their tree’s humming and glowing in the dark, demand that we do something about our acid rain. 1,200 dead people were discovered at a Neil Diamond concert in Michigan over the weekend.

Five years ago: OJ Simpson is hot on the trail of his wife killers, searching out every golf course in America. A 19 year old kid flies a Cessna airplane into Red Square and the Soviets are livid, Dick Cheney orders 6,000 Cessna airplanes for the U.S. Air Force. The Senate Transportation Committee recommends that all speed limits be increased nationwide to 80 MPH to help out the Saudi’s and it is increased, everywhere, except Oklahoma where all the roads are in disrepair or being patched. Judge Judy makes a definitive socially defining historic ruling on wrinkle creams being sold across the counter, that do not go deep enough to control crows feet in middle aged women.

One year ago: Congressional Republicans, shrugging off a presidential veto threat, nailed down the details of an agreement for a 10-year, $792 billion tax cut. Arbitrators ruled the government had to pay the heirs of Dallas dress maker Abraham Zapruder $16 million for his movie film that captured the assassination of President Kennedy. The first issue of Talk Magazine hit the newsstands and to celebrate this Congress passed a whopping pay raise (unanimously) in both houses.

Dick Clark turns …. Sixteen …. Again.

Which brings us to today: The Republican National Committee announces that so far, things have been pretty dull, so the handlers of Sara Palin have decided to allow her to speak. DVD sales in the United States reach record numbers. Joe the Plumber announces that he is depressed and constipated in Cleveland. Dick Cheney was to speak, but at his last public appearance he was interrupted 32 times by applause and two times by mild heart attacks. The Democrats have been declared legally brain dead in all but the swing states where the majority of the voters are still “not sure” and Joe Biden is strangely quiet.  Our second term soon to be gone President comes on television to announce that “the sap of a tree is a good conductor of rain and that is how you get electrocuted” while giving a press conference in the rose-garden in the rain.

And finally …. In an effort to clarify the new bailout proposal to the American people the political hopefuls came on PBS last night and laid out the proposal in a manner that was understandable by most of the population. In the spirit of Hillary and Good Time Bill it was patiently explained:

Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. The villagers renewed their efforts and started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished even further and people went back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf.

During the man’s absence, the assistant told the villagers “Look at all the monkeys in this big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.”

The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 850 billion dollars. They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys. Now you have a better understanding of how the WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN WILL WORK!

History in a nutshell ……When Columbus started out for the New World, he didn’t know where he was going; when he would get there, when he got there, he didn’t know where it was he was; and when got back he didn’t know where had been.

Kind of points out what we all knew to begin with ….. History has an awful bad habit of repeating itself.

000

Thanx Jim in WA.


The Short Rows

Don’t really know where the term “The Short Rows” originated, I first heard it as a lad, applied to the practice of plowing a field. When you are harvesting or plowing a field, and you are almost done, you are in “the short rows” which is the very edge of the field.

It also could apply to a person’s life, when you reach that point, where you have more of it behind you and very little of it left in front of you.

And last, I guess we could apply it to the year, being close to November, we are in “the short rows of 2008,” and 2009, is just around the corner.

I remember a long time ago, walking in a graveyard in Livermore, California, I came across a tombstone (head marker) that read: “As you are, I once was. As I am, you someday shall be.” That always stuck with me for some reason. A grain of truth in that believe it or not. What goes round … Comes around … Where I am at, you are some day going to be.

That is, if you are not already there.

There are three things that will eat your proverbial lunch in this life. Most folks would agree with me on this, and they are: (1) Taxes. You have them always, they never go down, and they never, ever, go away. (2) Insurance. You are dammed if you have it and dammed if you don’t. Almost like heroin, it is something you cannot live without. (3) Health Care. Which is of course, a form of insurance, but never the less, something you desperately need. A very necessary economic fact, especially on the downhill side of life.

So, as I am so fond of saying, down the road you go. You work hard, you build something, and hopefully you rest a bit.

Youth has a way of slipping by without your really noticing it. One day you stand before the mirror as you have day after day, but this day it is different. What was youth, is no longer there staring back at you. You get busy working, raising a family, watching the kids grow, spending every waking hour searching for that little extra each month, to kind of nudge it over the top.

You plan and you scheme, you cry and you dream, God smiles,and life just sorta slips by unnoticed.  The weeks into months, months into years, first thing y’know.

Looking back to 1974 (which to me, doesn’t seem all that long ago, but it was) I can remember stretching my monthly dollar value to buy the best possible house I could afford. It cost me and the bride, $118 a month, and at that time, I was really concerned that I would be able to meet that $118 obligation each month. Today the taxes alone, are over that amount. By the time I had finished paying off that house, some seven years early on a thirty-year note. My payment had escalated to over $269 per month. Why?

Taxes and Insurance.

It is almost impossible for me to even wonder where all of this is going to end up in the end. My only consolation being, I more than likely am looking at the short rows on this at this point in my life. So in retrospect you wonder if you made a change. Did you leave something for the next person down the pike?

I am not sure if I have or not, to tell you the truth.

In a way, you want to warn young people of the apparent dangers of government that is clearly running a muck. You want to try and point out the pitfalls of life, and give them a friendly “heads up” on what is really going on. You don’t want them to have to deal with the misery and pain that you have experienced, you feel the need to pass something onto them, so hopefully, their generation can make a positive change.

Most of the time this simply doesn’t work, and falls on deaf ears. As such was the case when my father and those before him, tried to pass it on to me. Generational curse or something I guess.

It is often difficult trying to deal or explain things to someone twenty years old or younger. They see the world in a totally different light than others. The American Dream is totally out of reach or foreign to them in scope or concept and the moral foundation is completely different from people my age. It often screws things up big time, communication is at best, difficult.

Just in case you weren’t feeling old enough today, the remainder of this will certainly change things.  If you have hung in here this far, might as well stick around for the rest.

The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were for the most part, born in 1990. they have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he was shot. They know nothing of LBJ’s Great Society, Nixon’s resignation and shame, Woodstock or Kent State.

They were infants when the Persian Gulf War was waged, pre-pubescent when Saddam went down, more than likely, have only known one Pope in their lifetime. They were children when the Soviet Union broke apart and the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, they do not remember or possibly even know of the meaning of the word, Cold War.

The majority of them are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up. Tienanmen Square means nothing to them. Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic. Jay Leno has always been the host of the Tonight show.

Atari predates them as do vinyl albums and hot wax. The expression “You sound like a broken record” sounds foreign to them and more than likely has no meaning. They have never owned a record player. They have likely never played “Pac Man” and never heard of “Pong.” The CD was introduced when they were one year old.

All homes have always had an answering machine, home computer, most have never seen a television with only thirteen channels or a black and white TV. They have always had cable TV available to them. There have always been VCR’s but they have no idea what BETA was. They cannot fathom life without the use of a remote control.

They don’t know what a cloth baby diaper is, or know about the “Help Me! I have fallen and I cannot get up commercial” famous years ago. They were born in the year that Walkman’s were introduced by Sony. Roller skates have always meant “in line” to them. They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool and country music was not.

Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave. They have never seen Larry Bird play. They never took a swim in the ocean and worried about “Jaws.” The Viet Nam War is an ancient history to them as WW I, WW II, Civil war and Korea.

They have no idea that American’s were once held hostage in Iran. They can’t imagine what a hard contact lens might be. They don’t know who Mork was or where he was from (it was the planet Ork, if anyone cares to remember). They never heard the expression “Where’s the beef?”… “I’d walk a mile for a Camel or “de plane!, de plane! (Fantasy Island ABC).”

They have no idea as to who shot J.R. and more than likely even who he was.

Michael Jackson has always been white (or kind of off white). Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places they have heard of, not bands. They never new Cassius Clay but followed Muhammad Ali and have seen the movie of his life and times. There has always been MTV. They don’t have a clue as to how to use a typewriter, have never purchased a 19 cent hamburger from McDonalds or purchased .22 cent per gallon gasoline.

So when you stop and try to explain something to the younger set, you are more than likely not on the same page, level, plain, or neighborhood. It is entirely possible you could not even been remotely close to their zip code.

Having no earthly clue as to which way the wind will blow in this country in the coming years, having no crystal ball to look down the beaten path a ways, I just do my best to pass on what it is that I do know. The future for me is just as hidden as the past I can no longer see.

So in the time that I have, I feel it is my duty to try and pass on something, anything that I can. To humbly explain whenever possible that there should be more to life than just being a tax slave for the U.S. government (or any damn government). The longing of the human condition to search out and find life, we deserve it, we need it.

It seems so necessary now, to just to take the shot, plant the seed and hope it lands somewhere where it will grow. Because as you see …We are all morally challenged (like it or not) to give something back as we pass thru life, we are all designated to try and change it and make it better.

Take time today to stop and consider one important aspect of life.  If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.  If you want to make a change for the better … then it is up to you.

As my friend in the U.K. puts it … “Mind The Gap” … Celebrate life, don’t let it grind you down. Before you know it, you could find yourself like me, standing here in the short rows wondering where it all went. If there is one scintilla of truth in all of this it is this … As you are … I once was … As I am … You someday shall be.

Bet your last dollar on it.

000


Water Woes

All day I face, the barren waste, without the taste of water, cool, clear water. Old Dan and I, with throats burned dry, souls that cry for water, cool, clear water.” Did you know that “Dan” in that song was a donkey?

Yup, true.

The last time I ventured into these familiar waters (pardon the pun) I was called an “Eco Freak” by some knot-head that wanted to go round and round with me on the subject. Personally I prefer the term “Tree Hugger” it just seems to me, more personal and friendly.

The city is raising the rates on my water again. Not because I am using a lot of it, but because they are a city, and they KNOW that they can always milk the consumer for the life blood that he needs, and he will pay it.  You see, “You need water, and if you live in a city, you are going to pay for it.”

Some big challenges facing this country in the future, providing we make it thru this Wall Street debacle. One of them is going to be water. Fresh water is running out on a grand scale worldwide. The world is running out of potable water, which unfortunately, is a key ingredient to life as we know it. The last time I checked, the current numbers reflected less than 5% of the worlds water is now drinkable (potable) and that number is shrinking.

The latest data suggests we might be in big trouble, when it comes to water.

North America: The United States and Canada are the largest per capita consumers of freshwater, double that of our neighbors to the south in Mexico. Though supply has been abundant in the past, that may change. The High Plains Aquifer in the central United States that Mr. Pickens wants to deplete is expected to “decline dramatically.” Pollution, invasive species and under-priced water add to the stress of the region. In Canada, the demands put on water to harvest oil-sand petroleum is ruining the Frazier River Basin at an alarming rate.

South America: Due to fast population growth, the region’s major environmental problem of the next decade is expected to be a shortage of potable water.

Europe: Western Europe is pricing water at levels that allow for reinvestment and management of an adequate water supply. Easter Europe and the former Soviet Union, on the other hand, are still using more water per capita than Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, a business-as-usual scenario estimates water use will nearly double. Overall, water issues have more to do with quality and ecosystems than with quantity, which appears for the time being, sufficient.

But then again, Global Warming enters into the picture. A lot of people in Europe live below quickly melting glaciers, their primary water supply, when the glaciers have receded and are gone, then what?

Africa: More than half the population has no access to safe water, fewer today than in 1990. Almost half the population of the areas suffer from water-related diseases. In southern Africa, a business-as-usual scenario estimates water use will rise by half in just a few short years.

Asia: Nearly a third of the region has no access to safe water. Central Asia is already using 85% of available water, and South Asia nearly half that. Per capita availability of water has dropped by 70% in Central and Southern Asia since roughly 1950. In China the same applies, another business-as-usual scenario sees water consumption doubling in that country by 2025. Recently China has had to import huge quantities of rice, because acid rain has ruined the water in the surround country side and they are now growing crops in sterile soil.

Australia: Water usage increased by 25% in the mid ‘90’s, compared with the mid 80’s. At the same time, the water supply has been degraded, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin in the southeast. A prolonged drought hasn’t helped matters at all.

You pick up any newspaper in this country and each day there is an item in there about the shortage of water or the possible contamination of an Aquifer that is used for public consumption. Water who most of believe is just plentiful and everywhere, is in fact, a precious resource (mostly non-renewable) and is being squandered.

Monroe Louisiana – Sixteen parishes in northern Louisiana depend on the Sparta Aquifer for drinking water, but one expert said the water is slowly deteriorating in quality because of drawdown. Ben McGee, a supervisory hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said the aquifer is tapped into at a rate of 70 million gallons a day by users from paper mills to residential homes.

Shapleigh MAINE – Voters in Shapleigh, in a setback for bottler Poland Spring, imposed a six-month moratorium on the testing or large-scale extraction of water. Residents voted 204-38 to adopt the moratorium, intended to give the town time to work on a regulatory ordinance.

Rockingham, North Carolina – Residents in three counties are concerned that pesticides used by peach farmers decades ago may be polluting well water. The Charlotte Observer reports that tests by health officials found 117 tainted wells in Montgomery, Richmond and Moore counties. For now, state officials are delivering drinking water weekly to affected homes.

Lubbock Texas – Billionaire T. Boone Pickens put plans on hold for a pipeline to send water from a Panhandle aquifer to cities downstate. A Pickens spokesman said the suspension of the Mesa Water pipeline has nothing to do with a Justice Department ruling in August that blocked changes to Texas law that helped create a water supply district. The district was dominated by employees of Pickens. He is all set to drain this aquifer (Ogallala) to supply Dallas with drinking water. He has however one big snag, “no one has asked him to provide them with water at this time.” Meanwhile, on the western fringe area’s of this water system they are starting to suck sand.

Slowly people are starting to realize that we have to do something to conserve this resource or we will perish. This week in Tucson Arizona, a dry and arid portion of the United States legislation was passed to conserve or re-use water. Homes built there after 2009 will be required to have wastewater systems that use drainage from sinks, showers and tubs to irrigate landscaping.

The ordinance adopted by the City Council requires new homes to have “gray-water” plumbing systems separate from piping that takes toilet waste to sewers. The new systems will cost about $500 per house.

It isn’t much, but at least it is a start.

000


Bread Basket

Found myself looking for a statistic this day, but I could not find it.  It was on the American Farmer, I am doing this from memory, it went something like this, “The American Farmer feeds himself and _________ so many other people.”  But I could not remember if it was his family and 46 others or his family and 125. 

Anyone know which one of the two it might be?

Just north of Okie City up on Seventy-Four highway there is a little town in Logan County by the name of Crescent, Oklahoma.  Small, rural farming community on the plains, nothing all that special about it, except that some of my family lives there.  Wheat farmers and cattle ranchers. 

My mother grew up there with her brothers; they used to walk to school on sandy roads, looking over their shoulders at the fresh footprints in the sand, and marveling at how they looked.  Poor kids, depression raised Okies.  Living in an America when shoes were worn for church, visits to town, school, most of the time they went barefooted.  Not a whole lot of money, grew what they needed, and lived off the land.

This week I was thinking about the CO-OP in Crescent, what a big deal it was when it first was established.  A CO-OP is a co-operative for all those who are not farmers or perhaps not familar with the term.  I was thinking this morning how forming a CO-OP benefited these folks.  How it helped the farmers in the area, and brought new prosperity to their little town.  All the farmers in that town (actually in that surrounding area, other towns too) got together and formed a CO-OP and things gradually got better for them. 

The point being that “pooling their resources paid off for the majority” and it improved the quality of their lives.

One of my apparent drawbacks in life is that I have a fertile mind and over active imagination, if you haven’t noticed by now.  So I am thinking.  “Why do we put up with this S*** from all these two-bit countries around the world that happen to be sitting on vast pools of oil. When we are sitting on this breadbasket of wheat, corn, barely and other agricultural products.” 

Why aren’t we making these American products “a valuable commodity in this so-called world market.”  Especially when the government of the United States gives out ample farm subsidies each year to the American Farmer and U.S. AG Business. 

LET ‘EM EAT THEIR OIL.

If they want to eat beef, if they want a bushel of wheat, corn, maize or soybeans, then let us trade for it.  You give us the oil, and we will help you with the groceries.  We are the world’s largest producer of these products, why aren’t we taking full advantage of it.  Other grain exporting countries such as Argentina, the Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, France and certain areas of the U.K. could join in … We could form a Global CO-OP and trade for what we need.

Which would be a lot better than rushing over and “begging for it” as been the case here lately. This, in my opinion, would certainly beat this form of Texas Chainsaw Economics we have now, which is feed and protect these foreign nationals, while “they bank huge sums of money” and we go farther in the hole.

Before we had a money system in this world, before some banker or politician invented paper money (backed by nothing) we “traded for what it was we needed.” (Barter Systems)  Perhaps it is now time to go back to that, this world banking situation doesn’t seem to be working in our favor.

Last year, Syria imported 890,000 metric tons of corn and maize, 147,000 metric tons of wheat, 483,000 million tons of soybeans.  Our good buddies over there in Iran, they came shopping for 1.8 million metric tons of soybeans, 1.8 million tons of corn/maize, and 231,000 million tons of wheat.  This is just two of the many countries that visited our breadbasket, you can add to that:  Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Nigeria and Russia even came knocking on our doors, all of them calling for enormous quantities of grains from the United States to feed their people.

Clearly I do not advocate starving people for oil, but why not, trade for what we need?  Here is the rainbow in the entire idea.  Doing this would not sufficiently increase the cost of products to the American consumer at all.  As much as I hate this expression … It is a Win/Win kind of thing.

A global CO-OP makes good sense.  Especially when it is apparent that we have so much of it with which to trade.  Why aren’t we taking full advantage of this obvious tilt on the scale in our favor?  Taking it one step further, I guess the next question would be:  “Why aren’t we doing it right now?”

In case you missed it … Here it is again …. Let ‘em eat their oil, get a taste of what it is like to be on the “receiving end of some of this” like the rest of us. 

000