Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1, 2011

This picture is from beautiful New Zealand a year ago. We just read about the devestation to the Diocese of the South Island in our local paper. News from the islands keep trickling over here to the states.

I recorded Phil Keoghan's report on Christchurch, New Zealand. It is featured this week on CBS News early morning program. I apologize if the link doesn't work, I just tried it again and it didn't this time.

The devastation is real but the people's resiliency is amazing. As the mayor of Christchurch said, the island's population is one million inhabitants but half of them live in Christchurch, the center of the earthquake's damage. This makes our little storm 24 hours ago seem paltry.

They are already digging out so they can rebuild the best they can. Historic buildings only 100 years old are destroyed. Bridges are being rebuilt and connected to the land again so they can start the cleanup.

The young people signing up to help and already helping looks amazing in the report. Chris's helicopter pilot friend helped him get footage of the damage that is indescribable.

As our country goes through its own self inflicted economic tsunami I find the stories about Ulysses Samuel Grant and Robert Edward Lee very poignant. You can see why Grant is on the five dollar bill and not Lee.

Grant represents to me the poor immigrants of the early states compared to the aristocracy of Lee's peoples and how the war between the states changed our country forever. Over 4 million black slaves were freed but their people have struggled ever since. I guess we can say that about all of us.

People of poverty won the war over aristocracy and both came from Europe. Civil rights and poverty has been a problem ever since this war and the reason for it wasn't just slavery. It was about a way of life including slavery. I highly recommend these series on American Experience on PBS.

On the local front we are very wet now. I can't see us topdressing cereal grains or getting into the fields anytime soon with the forecast. It's starting to look like another interesting year thanks to climatic events.

All we can do is farm planning, records and taxes until we can get into the fields. I am glad to see the recharge of water in our soils but not happy about not being able to feed or manage what we planted during last fall's dry soils. In only 30 days it will be April and we will want to start planting.

Ed Winkle

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