Since my post here last Tuesday, I came down with a horrendous cold. Mrs. Dada lectures me I need to stay inside more during dust storms instead of being outside atop a ladder painting under the eaves, flipping off low flying military aircraft. But this spring the windy season just keeps on rolling along as El Paso sends its top soil to Midland - Odessa and points beyond in exchange for top soil from New and Old Mexico, leaving me little choice but to paint if I'm to finish before the house turns into a summer-long project. Besides, I think by painting during a dust storm, the sand gives the new coat a nice texture.
But for someone who hasn't had a cold in a couple of years, I find it a little strange this is my second this spring already. As the latest government weather data indicates, the rising temps in the American West are approximately double the average global increase elsewhere. So I don't know if I'm a victim of global warming or just the demise of my own aging immune system.
As if that wasn't discouraging enough, a headline in today's El Paso Times reads, "Experts say 'dust bowl' coming," and we can expect it to be twenty times worse (and more widespread) than the infamous dust bowl of the 1930's! This makes getting my painting done outside all the more urgent, I suppose.
I remember as an impressionable anthropology student in the 70's musing at where the Southwest's Anasazi culture, which flourished in this area for 900 years between 400-1300 A.D., went after suddenly abandoning their elaborate communities that grew over the centuries. Maybe us folks of the American West will soon find out when we join them?
Maybe they went to Africa. That's just speculation on my part after reading further in the dust bowl article that China is steadily buying up huge tracts of land in Africa and South America. Will China eventually "relocate" out of Asia?
That stimulates the thought if American politicians were a bit more astute, maybe we could find a way out of the tremendous lien the Chinese hold on America's future. Like, perhaps we could sell 'em huge tracts of land here. I don't know how much we owe 'em or how much, say, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico are worth, but maybe we could make a deal. I'm forgetting, of course, these are future dust bowl states and the Chinese probably already know this. Besides, our politicians aren't that astute anyway.
However, it amazes me how every election year our politicians in Washington, D.C. have a 'momentary recovery' from their Alzheimer's for a few months and pretend to remember who the hell they're really sent to the nation's capital to represent--us!
I'm talking about the senate vote this week that passed Bush's Iraq war funding bill by a 75-22 margin. Against the president's threat to veto the bill if congress added on extraneous crap like additional GI Bill educational benefits for our military, plus a 13 week extension of unemployment insurance, home heating assistance and other domestic spending add-ons bullshit, a defiant senate went ahead and did it anyway!
Now the "Fart Boy," who is used to getting his way, said he would veto that because we, as a nation, can't afford to spend money here at home on Americans. It's just simply an extravagance we don't have the money for. (NOTE: Senator "Bush twin" McCain concurs.)
But half of the senate republicans snubbed Bush and voted with Democrats. As one article I read said, "It’s interesting how vulnerable republicans" (up for re-election) "suddenly start to notice the merit of democratic legislation six months before Election Day, isn’t it?"
(The house, meanwhile, went even further. They voted down Bush's $165 billion war funding bill, so the unfolding saga continues.)
All of this serves to illustrate how congress can get balls for a couple months when their asses are up for reelection. I, for one, favor negotiating with the Chinese for one of their small tracts of land in sub-Saharan Africa or South America where we can evacuate all the DC pols from the corrupt, poisonous environment Washington has become.
Who knows, in relocating, maybe our deportees will discover where those vanished Anasazi went?
In the meantime, I'm going back to bed in hopes of curing this cold; of unclouding my thinking.