Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, September 5, 2021
ISSUE #1077
Floods, Remembering 9/11, Afghanistan, Army Worms, and the Value of Work

Hurricane Ida damaged Louisiana and Mississippi, but not as bad as Katrina did 16 years ago. The Billions spent on New Orleans levees prevented a repeat. But hundreds of thousands are still without electricity.

Ida got a lot more attention on Network News when it dumped several inches of rain on New Jersey and New York City. More than 25 people died. The subways were flooded. Senate Leader Schumer doubled down on his insistence that $10 Billion for a rail tunnel under the Hudson River be included in the $3.5 Trillion tax bill. You might be wondering, if New York can’t prevent flooding of subways, how can they expect to keep a tunnel under a river dry? They will probably request another Billion for pumps. Naturally the pumps must be solar powered. Yes, in a rainstorm.

Another question, since people are abandoning New York City by the thousands, and working from home, why do they need a newer, bigger, better way to get INTO New York? So far, New Yorkers have had no problem finding a way out of town.

In Afghanistan, another humiliation. Six planes loaded with Americans and our friends have been prevented from taking off… by the Taliban. Do you suppose they are demanding a payment? We all know that “hard power” is expensive. It was not cheap to maintain military control in Afghanistan. Now we’ll learn what it costs for “soft power.” President Biden aims to be the last of five Presidents dealing with radical Islamic terrorists there. Chances are he will be paying them millions, and maybe billions, in ransom to get our American hostages out over the next three and a half years. I may have to repeat Will’s quote every week, “Our foreign dealings [by diplomats] are an open book, generally a check book.”

I know we all hope 9/11/2021 passes without any radical Islamic terrorists using “hard power” against us or our European allies. (Later this week I’ll send out the Weekly Comments I wrote on 9/11/2001.)

Here in the USA, farmers are being attacked by army worms. Not the farmers personally, but their crops, especially alfalfa and other grasses. But lawns, parks and ball fields are also being eaten overnight by voracious army worms. This “invasion” is not new. Will Rogers commented on the “army bugs” 92 years ago, “You know we always figured that the Lord and the elements and Congress was all on the side of the rich against the farmer. So, it was certainly gratifying to learn there is a bug that is eating up the greens on the golf courses. It’s called an army bug, for it comes in droves. That just shows you that the ‘worm is turning,’ and the leisure class is going to have their boll weevil, chinch bug and grasshopper, too. Won’t that be great to hear the golf player hollering for relief!” (DT #995, Oct. 3, 1929)

Tomorrow (Sept. 6) is Labor Day. Remarkably, anybody who wants a job can get one. ‘Help Wanted’ signs are everywhere. Also remarkable, millions of unemployed are at home because they have been receiving more for not working than for working. This may end soon. Of course, Covid has been a factor. A parent had to stay home because schools were offering online classes only.

Most adults know that work has value. On a farm a kid might start by feeding cattle, gathering eggs and shoveling manure. In town the first jobs might be babysitting, mowing lawns, or waiting tables. Learning the basics of work has more value than the income. A “learning wage” is more important than a “living wage.”

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Tomorrow is Labor Day. I suppose set by act of Congress. Everything we do nowadays is either by or against acts of Congress. How Congress knew anything about labor is beyond us, but any how tomorrow is Labor Day. It’s a day in the big cities when men march all day and work harder than they have in any other of the 365. Even the ones that ain’t working labor on Labor Day.” DT #967, Sept. 1, 1929

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