The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in Western Illinois. March 20 was the first day of spring. The winter of '09 is no more. Soon we'll talk of April showers for May flowers. But, for now, we are having a bit of March showers to settle the ground.
Be on the look out, as you go about your yard work, for the massive spring migration which is under way, as birds move north along the Mississippi flyway.
Watch for killdeer, field sparrows, turkey vultures, warblers, red winged blackbirds, robins, ducks, geese, and great blue herons.
A watchful eye will bring fun and variety to your outdoor activities.
As the days get warmer, chipmunks end their hibernation. The striped eastern chipmunk is actually a small terrestrial squirrel and is really not a true hibernator.
It spends the winter months in its extensive underground chambers, snacking on a stash of nuts, seeds (especially corn), and berries.
Come planting time, those pesky little devils know just where to dig to retrieve seed from the exact spot where you have placed it in the soil with all due diligence.
In spite of trash whippers, depth control wheels, clod control, GPS-that little bugger has the location down precisely.
Three known cures for those costly little critters are: 1) lead poisoning after flushing them out of the hole with a bucket of water; 2) a chicken hawk circling overhead and/or resting on a nearby pole or tree awaiting lunch; 3) an insecticide with a strong odor such as furadan, which distorts the squirrels sense of smell to locate the seed kernels.
Some have tried placing leftover seed on top of the ground to distract them, while others have utilized smoke bombs.
Short of that, an extra wet spring can drown a goodly supply of them. Replanting the large circular areas, where they have destroyed seed, only refeeds them.
I added up the measurement of one 80 acre field they had worked over in the past and found they destroyed over 5 acres. It was the worst I ever saw and was next to a cemetery. Mostly, tho, they destroy a row or two along the road banks. That previous time, they went out into the central part of the field in mass. Maybe, something spooked them out of the cemetery!
Old Ben Franklin stated: "Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that have not wit enough to be honest". After following this weeks politics, it becomes obvious what he meant.
President Obama appointed former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, as USDA Secretary of Agriculture, supposedly because being from Iowa he was an expert on agriculture.
Well, that is comparable to making me poet laureate, because I came from Illinois of if I lived in Galesburg, Carl Sandburg's home town.
Vilsack never was a friend of the farmer, as governor, and he continues to prove the same slant as Secretary of Agriculture.
Vilsack's rhetoric "attacks" farmers and ranchers. A number of senators have beseeched him to refrain from his volatile remarks. Recently, Vilsack defended the Obama budget, which drastically changes farmer support, by stating it boiled down to feeding 30 million that are hungry versus giving payments to 90,000 farmers. Never mind how many might go hungry if the infrastructure of producing food is destabilized and/or destroyed in our nation.
Vilsack would prefer we be dependent upon others (who might, by the way, hate our very existence) for food, as we are now dependent on others for energy.
That would be a fine, "how do you do"!
To make up for Vilsack's ineptitude, Obama has nominated National Farmers Union Chief of Staff, Jim Miller, as Undersecretary for farm and foreign affairs. Dalas Tonsager, from the Farm Credit Administration, has been nominated as Undersecretary for Rural Development.
Both, "have farm backgrounds" so we are supposed to feel comfortable with them as nominees. What is that supposed to mean? I raised a right smart monkey on the farm once, but I would hardly think it qualified him to represent my interests and general welfare in farming!
Obama's spending plan of over $3.6 trillion will generate $9.3 trillion in red ink over the next decade. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour states: "As states and families are struggling to cut spending, the president's budget spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much".
It is, "Chicago style politics at its best". Downstate suffers at the decisions of Chicago politicians because Chicago has the largest number of votes, partly because many are able to vote from the grave.
Look at Governor Quinn's proposed budget and how it mimics Obama's. It validates former Governor Rod Blagojevich's spending mistakes and proposes to raise taxes and fees, just as was predicted by our former tarnished governor.
To me there ought to be a requirement for proficiency in math before anyone is allowed to run for political office.
Obama states that corporate executives need to better understand the public's outrage over bonuses. He goes on to state that executives need to get out of New York and spend time in Iowa or Arkansas, where people are thrilled to be making $75,000 a year with no bonuses.
This type of talk is inflammatory and against his campaign promises. Has he checked his salary as well as congressional salaries and perks lately?
Many Iowa and Illinois citizens fall way short of that mark and would gladly trade incomes. And, what about presidential bonuses after they leave office. Clinton commanded millions of dollars and so will Obama. Maybe that should be taxed at 90%?!
Speaking of hypocrisy, what about Treasury Secretary Geithner who knew about the AIG bonuses before the money was issued. You don't suppose AIG campaign contributions exceeding $100,000 for Obama's election had any influence do you? No, I suppose it was just a goodwill gesture with no thought of strings attached!
And, why do you suppose the majority party (Democrats) stripped from last month's economic stimulus bill a provision that could have banned such bonus payments totaling $165 million as was given AIG employees? It was a last minute altering of a provision in Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill to cap executive compensation for firms receiving government bailouts.
Shucks Afire! Had that provision remained in the stimulus package, the President would have lost his opportunity to prance around the countryside, like a "Banty Rooster strutting his tail feathers, crowing about "the messed up system" he so eagerly "inherited"!
President Obama condemned earmarks during his campaign for presidency. He now believes he can wave through 8,500 of them in his spending bill, part of the biggest spending increase since WW II. Never mind that no one even had time to read the spending bill they voted on!
President Obama says the economy is fundamentally strong with the Dow at 7486 and unemployment at 8.1%. How easily he forgets attacking John McCain last September for saying the same thing when the Dow was at 11,000 and unemployment at 6.2%.
Candidate Obama promised to end, "the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned politics". And yet, he leads liberal attack dogs of a left wing coalition, to pressure and demonize Republicans and centrist Democrats and runs ads depicting Republicans as the party of "no".
Obama did not work with any bipartisan coalition, other than Pelosi and a select few on the budget. He then proceeded to attack those with opposing views as "mindless obstructionists."
I repeat-as stated earlier-"Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that have not wit enough to be honest" (Ben Franklin). Substitute politicians for fools and see what you come up with! Many a candidate feels that because his rival has been fooling the public for years, they should now be given a chance to do the same thing! Forget about any attempt at honesty.
Winston Churchill said it best: "The inherit vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherit virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries".
As for democracy, it has been said that "it is a process by which people are free to choose the person who will get the blame."
"In democracy you can speak your mind; the only difficulty is to get someone to listen."
"Democracy is a form of government where you can say what you think even if'n you don't think."
And finally, I have heard it stated: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all other forms of government that have already been tried!"
Keep on smilin'
Catch ya later