And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... that I sometimes refer to myself as a fair weather flag flyer. How’s that for alliteration? Anyway, this morning, Labor Day, I took the flag with me when I retrieved the morning papers. I had listened to weather news and they said there was a slight chance of an early morning shower, then it would be clear. By the time I got out there, it was raining, and it is still raining at mid-morning.
I have said before that I have mixed feelings about celebrating Labor Day. It seems that those who celebrate most are government workers who belong to unions. And like Thomas Jefferson, I think that sets up an incestuous relationship, in which those union members effectively elect their bosses! Private industrial unions are fine and necessary.
Speaking of weather, I seem to be more concerned with bad weather threats each year. Maybe it is age. But I also blame the weather guys. Many times as a youngster I would hear my elders say there was a chance of a thundershower. Not so scary. Nowadays, it seems many forecasters use the term thunder storm to describe the same situation. Storm is scarier than shower.
Courtesy of cousins and their husbands, I was treated to a pontoon boat ride on a nice weather day recently. As we passed the power plant at Lansing, someone noted that the coal pile didn’t seem as large as previous years with winter and river freeze-up coming. I said I had read that railroads were having trouble moving coal because of all the oil being shipped by rail from Dakota fields. And while river barges bring the coal to Lansing, rail cars do bring it to river ports. And then next morning I read that grain dealers are having trouble getting grain shipped by rail for the same reason.
The world’s obsession with and need for oil takes precedence, which is all the more reason that pipeline from Dakota to Texas should be built. I am convinced it can be done safely, and so are others, even in government agencies which have made studies.
Another thing I noticed on the river ride was the presence of eagles at almost any place along the river. Their numbers prove humans can co-exist with God’s other creatures with only minimum effort.
Now if only humans could learn to co-exist with other humans. One of the dailies Sunday ran a full page on how relations with six Middle East nations have worsened in the past three years, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Gaza and Egypt.
That’s just in that area of the world. China, North Korea and Malaysia could be added to the list.
The two main reasons for the conflict in the Middle East are obviously that same obsession and need for oil mentioned above, and competing religious views. With China and North Korea, it is more political ideologies and wealth redistribution.
It is hard to fight some of those things. Maybe the United States would be wise to follow the old adage of working to change only those things it has the power to change. Like energy independence.
By the way, Putin says if there are any Russians in the Ukraine, it is because they are tourists.
I know he was KGB, but did he also learn to lie from the Internal Revenue Service in this country?

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