More and more these days while sitting before the computer screen, I glance down to find Sam, Editor-in-Chief of Dada's Dally, gently resting his head on my tummy, staring ruefully up at me. I know what he's saying:
"It's August, Dada. We've already missed nearly 3 weeks on the French Riviera. Why, even our own government's on recess, leaving peace assured in Iran until after the U.S. Labor Day. So, why are we still here?"
It's probably just some genetic recessive gene reemergence from Sam's distant Dalmatia, European roots where, in many parts on the continent August isn't a month, it's a holiday. I know he's right.
Why, even local angst of El Paso's economy and desert sustainability with its exploding growth in the face of dwindling water resources has taken a holiday. This was evidenced by recent visits from our two Texas Senators, Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn during their recess.
First came Hutchinson to town to cut the dedication ribbon on the world's largest inland desalination plant. Named the "Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant" (which probably explains why she was the one with the scissors), it will provide 1/4 of El Paso's daily water. The $85 million plant is being studied as a model by other arid communities like Tucson and San Antonio.
It is precisely because of this solution to El Paso's water problems the local army fort is inheriting 20,000 more soldiers over the next four years and is being considered to receive even more! Fort Bliss "is going to be one of the greatest Army bases in the world," says Hutchinson.
A few days later Senator John Cornyn dropped by the city. During his visit he calmed fears expressed by some El Pasoans about the future of their huge army fort should the U.S. suddenly "go to peace."
"If the war ends, it's only going to get better," said senator Cornyn. Our military "is just too small" and, as a result, will grow, with or without war, he assured.
And with those words, I thought back to the end of the last millenium when economic booms resulting from microchip technologies exploded in places like Silicon Valley. And I smiled.
Who would have ever thought the new millennium's economic surge would result from the increased militarism and global domination of the U.S. and that El Paso would reap its windfall of economic prosperity and environmental sustainability?
The future looks really good. We got the water. Bring on the troops!
Maybe Sam's right. Things aren't as desperate as I like to think. Maybe we can take a recess without things going to hell. But instead of Côte d'Azur, maybe I'll just fill Sam's backyard kiddie wading pool.