My bicycle takes a rest during the cold weather. It doesn’t complain, mind you. It is a willing and trustworthy machine, and works as well in a cold November as a blazing July. It’s the pilot who grows shy of starting the day with a frozen face and inoperable fingers.
Modern political strategy rests on seeking the most flamboyant and attention-grabbing way of doing nothing. You must appear to be decisive in indecision, consequential in ineffectiveness and earnest in amorality. That is the right thing to do.
So, are voters stupid? That’s often the question asked by the losing side in the last election. Since the voters did not choose us, the thinking goes, they must suffer from cognitive disabilities, or perhaps they were wooed by the clever and devious schemes of our enemies, who know they will not win on the merit of their ideas, but only by subterfuge and tricks to lure the gullible masses.
As they say in business, we are at the mercy of the supply chain. Having the best apples, hay and potatoes in the world is well and good, but not worth much unless the products can reach the customers. Close the West Coast ports and that’s it — half the customers in the world cut off.
They celebrate already. Based on a flood of leaks, it is certain President Obama soon will take executive action granting a temporary reprieve from deportation for illegal immigrants with close family ties in the United States, and visas for high-tech workers and others. Action may come as soon as next week, says The Wall Street Journal. The president says the action is justified by the perpetual do-nothing Congress, fiddling away in a time of obvious need.
Labor disputes with all the ugly trimmings — strikes, walkouts, lockouts, slowdowns, threats, etc. — are often baffling to the innocent bystanders. You can’t choose sides, not knowing what makes those people so angry. You know they fight over profits and who gets what, but right and wrong are in disguise. When both sides look rich, we ordinary people will never understand.
For reasons I can’t quite explain, I recently found myself sitting in a rental car on a freeway, somewhere near the center of Houston, Texas. This is one of the biggest and busiest cities in the hemisphere and so I wasn’t surprised to be trapped in the vast regional gridlock, crammed in with a few million people on six lanes of hell. Time is money, I thought, as I tried to figure out which of a hundred dash buttons turned on the radio. Good thing for them I’m not getting ...
City limits are arbitrary things. There’s nothing natural about a city’s’ boundary ending at the shore of a river, for instance. If there is a natural city limit, better it be where city ends and country begins. Far better that those receiving municipal services be constituents of the municipality.
The Columbia Basin Development League held its 50th annual meeting at Moses Lake last week, and paused only briefly to dwell on a half century as advocates for an economic miracle. As is typical, the focus of the meeting quickly turned to the great work ahead. The Columbia Basin Project is not complete. Land needs water, the nation needs food.
What if we invested hundreds of millions in the recovery of a once-disappearing salmon species only to discover nearly half of the fish that return to the Columbia are eaten by rapidly multiplying, out-of-control, ravenous mammals? The fish-eaters simply ignore the Endangered Species Act, dine without regard to regulations and legal protections, care nothing about salmon survival, and spend their days feasting on some of the most valuable fish in the world.