By Dale Lucht
Most of my readers know the rest of that poem. I could not think of an issue to write about this month. I was told not to rebut the rebuttal that Isaac Everson sent in. Truth be told I probably agree with him more than I disagree. My main disagreement was that he said all farmers were inhumane. I come from a long line of farmers and I took that personally. I’m going to talk about my father later, so I’ll leave that for now.
I applaud Isaac for his passion, and his knowledge of where his food comes from. I caution him to be ever vigilant on the quality of his food. Agribusiness has Congress and the Courts in their pocket and plan to monopolize all farming.
What is your vice?
By vice I don’t mean something sinful or harmful, but something that you love to do or somewhere you love to go. Some people go to bars, some to bowling alleys or golf courses. Gardeners and joggers have their devotees. There are some people who go to college for 20 years. My vice is books and bookstores. If I had the money that I spent on books over the last fifty years, I would be on easy street now. I have so many books in my basement -read and unread – that I stubbed my toe last month. I tore the nail off my toe and wrenched my knee. I have finally come to the realization that I am not going to be able to read every one.
Why didn’t I use the library? I suppose it had something to do with materialism; I like looking at them in the bookcases. It makes me feel good. I own them. That is my passion, my vice.
The other day I was down in Beloit, and I drove by the junk yard down there. That was what made me start thinking of my father. My father’s vice was farm auctions. He didn’t go to bars, but did keep a jug of Mogen David wine in his workshop. It would last him the whole year, until my sister married. But Dad loved to go to auctions. Periodically he would buy machinery and cannibalize them. That means taking the useful parts off and leaving the rusting hulks out behind his shed. Once a year or so a black man from Beloit would come up and buy the metal from my dad. To the best of my recollection his name was Joe, and I know that he took that metal and sold it down at that junkyard I drove by.
Another thing that I remember from those visits was that I never saw my Dad speak disrespectfully or treat Joe poorly. I didn’t think of it at the time but I never saw him show any prejudice or bias. Fifty years after “I Have A Dream”, I started to think about my father and wondered why I never heard him say anything prejudicial.
My dad’s been gone now for 31 years but I attended his last sister’s funeral a month ago. All eleven children owned farms, but my father was a little bit of a maverick. Before he settled down he travelled the country, a rancher in Montana, lumberjack in northern California, and worked on shrimp boats in Louisiana. He also worked on road crews, but mostly he worked as hired hands on farms.
I never thought to ask him how many years he was on the road. I heard some of his stories, ignored others. I’m sure there was probably a moral in his stories. But I think I learned more from his actions. I believed that he met so many people of different races and nationalities and religions that he learned to judge every man for himself. I am very grateful for that lesson and I tried to pass that on to my kids.
One other remembrance of my dad’s junk. At auctions they’ll always have at least one box of odds and ends. Wrenches and nuts and bolts, doorknobs and blowtorches. You know, junk. That was his biggest joy, you should have seen his eyes glow. He was living his vice.
War! What is it good for?
The problem with writing for a periodical is that current events change and one’s point of view may be pointless when read. That being said, what are we going to do in Syria? Should we do anything in Syria?
Evidently, chemical weapons have been used in Syria. It is known that Syria owns these weapons, and it is known that these weapons have been used. What is not known is who ordered the use.
For well over 50 years the United States has acted as the world’s police force. It has fallen to us to once again take up the chastisement of another nation. President Obama is suggesting a limited attack on Syria. What will happen then? Will their ally Russia attack? Will their ally Iran attack us or Israel? This could turn into a powder keg.
Who hired us to be the World’s Police Force (WPF)? We don’t get enough respect and we definitely don’t get enough money for doing the job. I say we as the WPF unionize and negotiate for back wages, lower gas prices, and more vacation days.
If only we had a League of Nations of some sort that would combine to police rogue nations. Thankfully, France seems to be coming to our aid. Remember France, the country that was invaded in both World Wars and got kicked out of Viet Nam in 1954. Evidently they needed fifty years to lick their wounds and are again ready to join in World Events. The French are interested in food and wine and love, which would benefit Muslim culture. Remember the saying from the sixties, “Make love, not war”.
Thankfully, Russia has joined in the fray, and have brokered a deal with Syria. Syria would give up their chemical weapons and also sign the Treaty banning chemical weapons. If this works out it would be relief to the Middle East and the whole world. I just hope that there isn’t a catch.
President hasn’t looked like a very strong leader throughout this crisis. His comment about the red line, and then not acting on it appeared weak. There has been some talk on right wing radio that this whole fiasco was a master plan from radical left wing Obama to weaken the United States in the World’s eyes. This sure opened my eyes, all this time I thought President Obama was Moderate Corporatist.
Hopefully by the time you read this the issue of Syria will be resolved without us entering into it. Let them finish their Civil War amongst themselves. The only aid we should give is humanitarian.