Monday, September 19, 2011

Tomatoes and Sagging Gates

Farm News

By Fred Owens

I notice we haven't done politics in a while, so it's time.

I never could decide whether George Bush was dumb or just acted that way. But Rick Perry is fairly sure to be dumb from start to finish. It's no act.

It's true there are Texans who, out of modesty perhaps, adopt a low profile in the intellectual parade, but old Rick is the genuine article -- smarter than a cow and equal in brain power to the average Oklahoman.

I hope he gets the Republican nomination, because he will be easy to beat.

Meanwhile, our beloved President has not run out of chances. All you people who think he's finished need to understand this -- Barack Obama is smart and lucky.

California is Not a Sinking Ship. All the numbers and statistics point to a Golden State meltdown.
When I decided to move down to California last year, most people thought it was a bad idea -- the government is terrible, the freeways are falling apart, the smog is bad, the cost of living is outrageous, the state parks are dirty, the schools are radical cesspools and the immigrants are swarming on every block with obnoxious odors and foreign-sounding accents.

True, true, and if you're a quitter, I hope you enjoy your new life in Idaho,

But those same facts don't measure attitude, especially my attitude. I'm not really crazy, I'm just five years ahead of everybody else. I like it here. I see opportunity. I feel energy. I meet people who have dreams. I meet people who are willing to work. The sheer amount of talent in this state is incredible -- from film-making to farming, they have everything in California.

Compare Texas and California. Think of all the wonderful movies about Texas -- John Wayne in Red River, Fess Parker playing Davy Crockett at the Alamo, William Holden in The Wild Bunch, Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove -- so many films that captured the true spirit of Texas.

And all those movies were made in California by the creative energy of California's film community -- with a few location shots, of course.

You know, I think Rick Perry ought to make a personal pilgrimage to the Hollywood moguls, those godless liberals, and thank them for creating the wonderful image of freedom and strength that is so strongly identified with the Lone Star State.

But that's glitter and hype and propaganda, real life is about substance, so we need to look at the basics of life and the good of the soil. Where does our breakfast come from, our lunch, our dinner, and our late-night snacks? Which state is the mightiest, most abundant and most fertile producer of agricultural products in the country, in the world, and in the entire history of agriculture -- California.

California leads all of the other states in farm income. We have food and we have movies, We have substance and style, we have facts on the ground and we turn them into legends on the silver screen.

I wouldn't bet against California. It's not over. Wait and see.

Governor Perry has other ideas. He dreams of a country without a minimum wage law, with fewer restrictions on child labor, no social security, no unions, and no environmental restrictions. But all he has to do is drive south until he gets to Mexico where all his dreams of freedom can come true.

If Governor Perry lived in Mexico his grandchildren would be free to work in the fields and to sell Chiclets by the side of the road, and they better work hard at it too because they will be supporting Grandpa Perry in his old age -- Isn't that the good old-fashioned way?

The funny thing is that so many Mexicans want to give up this free-market freedom and come to the United States.

I talked to a migrant worker last month. He was from Mexico, he said to me in Spanish. Seeing my age, he asked me if I got Social Security. I said yes. And he looked like he had died and gone to heaven, and I thought, good buddy, mi hermano, just hang on, get legal and some day you'll get Social Security too.

Amen to that.

Right here in California, working on a farm -- that migrant worker and me, sharing the same dream.

Note: Texas is suffering from a terrible drought this year. My heart goes out to all those good people I know in Texas. What I said here is just politics. I love you all. I'm praying for the rain -- and it will come.

Tomatoes and Sagging Gates. New readers of the Farm News might have expected a story about Tomatoes and Sagging Gates. Instead they got a political angle about Texas and California. Please don't feel confused and misled. Experienced readers of the Farm News are used to these sudden changes -- they realize they are in the presence of a great mind at work.

And I thank you for your time.

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Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

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Fred Owens
7922 Santa Ana Rd
Ventura CA 93001

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