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Sunday, May 31, 2015 ISSUE #834

Is the Economy recovering (Part 2)? And Waters of the US rule by EPA

       The recent economic news out of Washington was disturbing. The government announced what most people already suspected, that the U.S. economy went backwards in the first three months of 2015. The Gross Domestic Product lost ground. The President responded to the bad news, saying that declines in winter are not a surprise because for the last ten or so years our winters have been colder with more snow. Naturally, caused by global warming.

      In my previous Weekly Comments (May 17), I asked: is the economy recovering? It was answered last week, kind of, in an official poll. Only 40 percent of Americans feel the recession is over. That’s all. However, most economists and the Federal Reserve say the other 60 percent are wrong and that we have gained steadily since the snow melted. Good times are ahead. We’ve heard optimistic opinions before, and I sure hope these economists are right.

            All the Republican candidates for President were in Oklahoma recently. That kept the Governor busy for a few days, but they have all cleared out by now. I rather doubt that any of ‘em will be back before the election, even the nominee. Probably no Democrat candidates either.

       Gov. Fallin has been dealing with floods; a month ago it was severe drought, but drought has disappeared from the state. Same for Texas. Meanwhile, California is wondering, what’s the Lord got against us? Last winter most of the snow that rightfully belongs to California wound up in Boston. And now, when Texas and Oklahoma would have gladly given half their rain to California, they got none.

            I’ll be in Oklahoma this week, speaking at the national convention of ecological engineers in Stillwater.  Yes, they are real engineers. It’s not a made-up name, like domestic engineer. In case you’re wondering, the difference between ecological engineers and traditional environmentalists is that ecological engineers develop solutions that work for both sides, not just one side.

       Probably every farmer and rancher in the country would say they wish an ecological engineer was running the EPA instead of the environmentalist, Gina McCarthy. She ramrodded through the Waters of the U.S. rule, which is totally one-sided against agriculture as farmers see it. Administrator McCarthy, said the new rule “will not add to or expand the scope of waters historically protected” by the previous EPA rule. Which raises an obvious question: why spend taxpayers’ dollars preparing, lobbying, and arguing over a new rule if it doesn’t change anything.  Are farmers and ranchers riled up over nothing? They see the new rule as an attempt by the government to control all water, including farm ponds, ditches, drain tile, and dry gulches. Despite denials by the EPA, farmers think it should be called the “Lands of the U.S.” rule because the government wants to control what they can do on their land.

Historic quote by Will Rogers: (advice to speakers)

“Another Decoration Day [Memorial Day] has passed and Mr. Abraham Lincoln’s 300-word Gettysburg Address was not dethroned. I would try and imitate its brevity if nothing else… Yours for shorter and better speeches.” DT #268, May 31, 1927

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