It’s been two looonnngg years since March 12, 2020. Here are a few highlights from the “Weekly Comments” I wrote that day.
“In the last couple of weeks, the Dow Jones has dropped from 27,000 to 21,000 because of the China virus and our reactions to it. Everything is being cancelled or postponed. Businesses and college classes are online instead of face-to-face. People who are sick or have the virus are supposed to self-quarantine. NBA games are cancelled. The NHL, baseball spring training, and all NCAA basketball tournaments and all other sports being CANCELLED.
“Yes, these actions, including shutting down schools for a few weeks, make sense to slow down and tamp down the illnesses and deaths from the China virus. Let us not forget this started in China and became a pandemic because the Communist government avoided actions that could have contained the virus instead of letting it spread out of control.
“In January when the ‘medical professionals’ in the Trump administration became aware of the virus and started planning, where were the Democrats in Congress? They were concentrating on Impeachment. When Trump cut off all incoming travel from China, did they agree? No, they complained that Trump was being xenophobic against Chinese people.
“Let’s avoid crowds as much as possible. Wash our hands for 20 seconds. Use sanitizer. Don’t contaminate your older relatives. In case you have not noticed, farmers will continue to take care of their livestock, milk the cows twice a day, and prepare for spring planting.”
Ok, back to 2022. Last week we had 300 farmers and agricultural professionals at our annual Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference in Ada, Ohio. Many of the 70 presenters and panelists focused on practices to improve soil health, water quality and assist with climate change issues. The most interest this year was on speakers who helped answer the question, “How can I reduce the cost of raising a crop? Thanks to inflation, supply chain issues, and Putin’s war on Ukraine, our farmers are dealing with high prices for diesel fuel, plant protection chemicals, and animal feed. Fertilizer is two to three times higher. We had better pray they don’t cut back on these expensive inputs because we’ll need every bushel, pound, and gallon they can produce. The world will suffer shortages of the vast amounts of grain that farmers in Ukraine and Russia normally grow and export.
Do you realize our corn growers could help replace the banned crude oil from Russia? We’re all used to filling our gas tanks with fuel that is 10% ethanol. If President Biden would allow that to raise to 15% ethanol, we can grow enough corn for ethanol to replace the Russian oil. However, Biden is determined to create shortages and raise the price of gasoline and diesel so high we’ll all want to trade for an expensive Electric Vehicle. The joke’s on him because 60% of our electricity is generated by fossil fuels he wants to eliminate: coal and natural gas.
Meanwhile in Ukraine, President Zelensky, the former comedian turned statesman, is setting a defiant standard unseen since Churchill during World War II. While the rest of the world leaders are quivering at Putin’s threat to unleash nuclear weapons on Europe and the US, he is leading his over-matched citizens in standing tall against Putin’s evil invaders. When the nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize are opened, there should be only one. We hope and pray Zelensky lives long enough to accept it.
Here’s Will Rogers, 90 years ago, “People are taking their comedians [Zelensky?] seriously and politicians [Biden?] as a joke, when it used to be vice versa.” (Nov. 22, 1932)
The State of the Union speech last week fell flat. Instead of the President trying to tell 330 million Americans what shape we’re in, they should have reversed the process. They should have selected a dozen ordinary citizens from across the country and had them each speak for 5 minutes on the “State of the Union” as they see it. And President Biden, V-P Harris, the Cabinet, Congress, and top staff people would have to sit there, listen, and take notes.
St. Patrick’s Day is this week, a day celebrated by many Americans, even if they aren’t Irish. You probably know that Will Rogers was proud to be one-quarter Cherokee. He was also proud of his Irish heritage. In 1800, his great-grandfather, Robert Rogers, immigrated from Ireland to what is now West Virginia. In 1815, he married Lucy Cordery, who was one-half Cherokee. Interestingly, a small community in the middle of West Virginia, named Ireland, will celebrate all week, culminating with the arrival of Spring next Sunday at 11:33 a.m. EDT.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Ireland’s got ’em all beat for beauty, romance, humor and hospitality, and the best horses in the world.” DT #1450, March 17, 1931
“Ireland treats you more like a friend than a tourist.” DT #36, Sept. 8, 1926