A major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, like somebody poked a hole in the floor of the ocean, wild-eyed foreigners streaming across the border in Arizona, or an impending police state, depending on who you ask, and the Goldman Sachs bankers are squirming under the hot lights at a Senate hearing.
And you know who's happy about all this? Pope Benedict. "I'm so glad to be off the front pages," he told me last week.
The Oil Spill. I'm not mad. I might be if I lived down there. Plugging the leak is a challenge of dramatic proportions. It reminds me of the scene in Apollo 13, when Tom Hanks and his crew are lost in space, and Mission Control in Houston faces a technological challenge such as they had never seen before. It's not in the manual. This is not an exercise. Ed Harris, in the movie, says, "Failure is not an option."
That's true down in the Gulf. They have to plug that leak, no matter how dangerous and difficult it might be. At whatever cost. And they have to do it now.
I'm not joining the chorus of weepers with photos of oil-stained birds. And it doesn't serve to be angry. Every bit of energy needs to be focused on working the problem.
The people of Louisiana will not be helpless victims this time. They will act with resolution and courage and do what they need to do to protect their coastline
Bow your heads for the 11 who died on the rig, and the 29 who died in the coal mine, and the seven who died up our way in a recent oil refinery explosion.
And we can do better than this and we will. Disasters focus the mind.
Arizona. I'm way ahead of everybody else. I've been boycotting Arizona since 1975. I used to hang out there with the wrong kind of people, and I got in a lot of trouble. It was my own fault I have to say. But I am not going back to Arizona just the same.
Nevertheless, I'm seeing major over-reactions all over the place. The new crime bill authorizes the local police to act on immigration matters. It would be pretty easy up here in Seattle to call this the hysterical reaction to a non-existent problem. It would be easy to say the people of Arizona "feel threatened."
I would urge more motivated persons to attend and be present on the border, as I have done, for many days and weeks, over many years, along the Rio Grande River in Texas.
That's a country I know. A once peaceful border region in the 1970s has become tense and dangerous. Mexico is a different country and good boundaries make sense.
The boundary needs to be restored in a meaningful way
Bankers. I love to see them sweat. I strongly endorse stricter and more careful regulation of investment bankers. I made a proposal concerning possible regulations. I made this proposal to a banker and he said it was a good idea.
It's simple, I said to the banker. "If I can't understand it, then you can't do it." I'm no dummy. I understand stocks and bonds. I understand trading commodities on the futures market. I know that speculation is a necessary ingredient for market liquidity. But these derivatives and credit default swaps are a pure horn-ball swindle and should be banned out right.
The Pope. Meanwhile the Pope is enjoying the week off.
Our Troops in Afghanistan. Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division, stationed in Afghanistan, made a remix of Lady Gaga's monster hit, "Telephone." Over 1,693,000 people have viewed this on YouTube. It's pure fun. What magnificent young men they are -- the best we have.
But, tell me, what are they doing in Afghanistan? I want these boys home tomorrow. We have no business in Afghanistan. We should depart and leave a post-it note to the Chinese Army -- it's your baby now.
We have problems here in American -- oil spills, financial chaos, and serious problems with immigration -- so why are the troops risking their lives on a foreign adventure that does not enhance our security?
I'm not sure about offshore drilling and how we should respond to this disaster. I'm not sure about the new law in Arizona, whether it's a good or bad thing. But I'm very sure about the military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. We should never have invaded Iraq. We should get of there completely. We should leave Afghanistan. We should get the navy out of the Persian Gulf.
No Politics. I don't have too much energy for politics. I don't spend too much time reading the news either. This comes not from defeat and cynicism. Quite the contrary. I am hopeful that we can solve these problems. I have faith in my own past efforts -- seeds I have planted at one time or another. True words that I spoke. My own good effort. My best intentions. Good things will come to pass. It just doesn't happen all at once.
Farm and Garden News. Frog Hospital readers like the farm and garden news much better than this political claptrap. I believe I cleared the deck here and will get back to the good earth in the next issue.
Spring Subscription Drive. Many thanks to those readers who have sent in checks. Your dollars are greatly appreciated. But there is still time -- the spring drive is not over. You can support Frog Hospital by writing a check for $25 made out to Fred Owens, and mail it to Box 1292, LaConner WA, 98257. Or you can go to the Frog Hospital blog and pay $25 with the PayPal button. Thanks a bunch.
T-shirts still on sale. Frog Hospital t-shirts are now available in three sizes -- XL, L and M. You can buy them in LaConner at La Crema coffee shop, or order them from me direct.
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