Archive for August, 2011

08/16/2011

Bachmann & God’s Plan: Deny Liberty

Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and other Republicans at the Iowa Straw Poll this past weekend, showed their willingness to impose fundamentalist religious beliefs on all Americans, as they advocated social policies outlawing abortion, gay marriage, and other freedoms.

At the Straw Poll were: 2 Evangelical Lutherans, Bachmann and Pawlenty, 2 Mormons, Romney and Huntsman, 2 Baptists, Paul and Cain, and 2 conservative Catholics, Gingrich and Santorum.

In the 1960 presidential race, Democrat John Kennedy, a left-of-center Catholic, made every effort to separate church and state, by distancing his personal religious views from the public policies he advocated. He made no effort, while campaigning, or as president, to convert his religious beliefs into federal law. He understood the 1st Amendment ban against the establishment of religion.

In the 2012 campaign, Republicans like Bachmann, Santorum, and others, do not understand the letter, spirit, or intent of the Constitution. They don’t appreciate the secular nature of the American system. If they gained control, they would establish a Christian Nation, by imposing their religious views on us all.

Instead of embracing the secular right to liberty found in the 5th and 14th Amendments, which allows women in the first trimester of their pregnancies to have an abortion, Bachmann would instead implement her non-negotiable religious convictions, which were solidified for her at the Oral Roberts Law School. She believes the termination of a fetus is the same as murder, and wants to force all Americans to live under the rules established by her church.

While former Penn. Sen. Santorum correctly described Bachmann as one who demands everything, and compromises nothing, he too harbors uncompromising views derived from his conservative Catholic beliefs, as he promised to criminally prosecute all doctors who perform abortions, even though it is legal to do so.

Bachmann pledged not to nominate activist judges, but what she meant to say was she would not name any liberal activists. She certainly intends to nominate right-wing activists, like Supreme Court Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts, who share her views. She apparently does not realize that the conservatives on the court are just as active in shaping the law, as some liberals.

As to the issue of marriage, Bachmann was asked to explain a comment she once made that wives should be submissive to their husbands. She instead dodged the question, saying submission meant respect, an entirely new definition, not in any dictionary.

Although laws as to marriage and divorce have always been made at the state level, Santorum wants to throw out the 10th Amendment, and govern all families from Wash. DC. He disapproves of states’ rights on this and would rather dictate his religious dogma nationally. He was proud of his efforts in Iowa, where he helped defeat state justices, who found illegal the ban on gay marriage.

Romney joined Santorum in his ill-conceived idea to govern marriage from Washington. He wants the Constitution amended, so marriages are limited to just one man and one woman.

Huntsman, the only reasonable Republican as to social issues, said civil unions are acceptable. He warned the Republican audience that they need to do a better job on equality. Perhaps what the Republicans should do is start listening to Huntsman, and stop hearing voices from God.

Advertisements
08/15/2011

Paul Wins Foreign Policy Debate (8-11-11)

Congressman Ron Paul, unelectable as a Presidential candidate due to his extreme views on the economy, was however a lone voice of sanity on foreign policy issues, and a shining star among the Republicans at the Iowa Straw Poll Debate on Aug. 11, 2011.

MIDEAST: Paul, the only military vet on stage, courageously said it is time to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places. America’s wars have been costing trillions, Paul said, and the U.S. has to stop spending so much money on them.

AFGHANISTAN: Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, most likely to be the nominee, incorrectly said Afghans are now free from the Taliban. He then adopted a weak position for an aspiring commander-in-chief, by pledging to follow the lead of the generals, which is code for not withdrawing from abroad. Former Minnesota Gov. Plawenty said we were justified in going into Afghanistan, but also offered little hope for the future, saying the effort there was still worth it.

IRAN: When former Penn. Sen. Santorum said Iran first became our enemy in 1979, Paul had to give him a history lesson, saying the U.S. started the rift when we meddled in their internal affairs and overthrew their leader in 1953. Paul also had to explain to Gov. Pawlenty that Iran wants nuclear weapons as a defense against their well armed neighbors, who already have the bomb, such as: Israel, Pakistan, and Russia. Paul correctly pointed out that Iran is no threat to the U.S. Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, a bombastic hot-headed extremist, who should never herself have a finger on the trigger, ironically promised to make sure Iran didn’t get the bomb. When Pawlenty suggested the U.S. impose sanctions against Iran, Paul warned that they could provoke yet another war, and he again had to educate the Governor, saying such measures did not work in the past against states like Cuba. Paul added it is time to end our 50-year old trade embargo against the island-nation.

BIN LADEN: None of the Republican candidates congratulated the Obama Administration for successfully eliminating Osama Bin Laden. Bachmann instead offered the incorrect view that our poor treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo had something to do with it.

ARAB SPRING: With regards to the Arab Spring, Pawlenty criticized Obama for not demanding the departure of Syrian leader Assad. Former Congressman Gingrich said he would not have intervened in Libya, and we have to rethink our strategy in the entire region.

SHARIA LAW: Herman Cain, who never held a public office, and was in the debate only because the Republicans needed a black face on stage, received ridiculous applause from the partisan audience, as he promised to remove Sharia Law from U.S. Courts, a problem that doesn’t even exist.

ISRAEL: Cain also pandered to the Israeli Lobby, saying Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map, and Pawlenty did the same, by baselessly accusing Obama of sticking a thumb in Israel’s eye.

CHINA: With respect to Asia, former Utah Gov. Huntsman, who served as Ambassador to China, said a President should know something about the Peoples Rep., and the U.S. needed a dialog with them.

IMMIGRATION: As to immigration, Paul again led the charge saying we should stop paying attention to Afghan borders, and instead worry about our own. Huntsman, in favor of securing U.S. borders, was reluctant to send all illegal aliens home. Romney simply promised to crack down on immigration, but of course gave no specifics. Gingrich said secure the borders, and make English our official language. Cain had the worst response of all, promising to empower each state to develop 50 separate immigration policies.

FOREIGN POLICY: Paul is the only candidate to articulate a clear foreign policy, which is to withdraw from foreign wars. He understands the Persian Gulf and Mideast far better than his opponents. Huntsman was reasonable for a Republican. Romney sounded like another weak leader, like George W. Bush, as he would let others control foreign policy. Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum and Cain were frankly too frightening to even consider as president.

08/12/2011

Restaurants: Dinner in America

Dinner in America is typically a choice between Asian, Barbeque, Chicken, Fish, Greek, Italian, Mexican, or a Steakhouse.

ASIAN: American Asian, whether Chinese, Japanese, Thai, or Vietnamese, is almost always served with rice. A Vietnamese place in Pinellas Park, FL, named Pho Quyen, served a very tasty chicken stir fry with ginger. I just can’t seem to find it anywhere else. I noted Japanese restaurants are more expensive. I gave the best restaurant name award to a Chinese place called Hu Hot.

BARBEQUE: Ribs can be great if the meat is thoroughly cooked and falls off the bone. Most barbeque places add carbohydrate loads, by serving baked beans, potato salad, corn bread, and Texas Toast. I like the beans, as long as the sauce is not sweet. Potato salad has to have a kick. The toast and corn bread must be fresh.

CHICKEN: Like ribs, a chicken has to be in the oven long enough to separate the meat from the bone. Pollo Tropical Chicken sells a descent chicken dinner, with bread, beans, rice, and mashed potatoes. At Boston Market, you can pick up turkey, or a tasty chicken pot pie. I gobbled up a turkey served with gravy, mashed potatoes, dressing, and corn bread. A pumpkin pie slice was thrown in to complete the picture. I don’t care for chicken wings.

FISH: If the smell of fish is in the air when you walk in, you’re probably in a proper seafood restaurant. Fish is one of those dishes I don’t know how to prepare, so I want it done right. Although deep frying is unhealthy, it can really hit the spot, like it often did at the St. Petersburg Ale House, where I would order the 36-piece shrimp dinner. It was large enough to feed two people, and cost just over $10. At the Cajun Café on the Bayou in Pinellas Park, FL, I had a good Catfish dinner, with bread and butter, and a superb dirty rice, which was actually white rice, laced with beef. Blackened salmon with garlic mashed and rice can be surprisingly good. Though Long John Silver is a catchy name, don’t go there, as they serve a horrible frozen batter-fried thing dipped in grease.

GREEK: I love gyros made with warmed pita bread, covered with the perfect sauce, and then loaded with meat, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes, to a point where napkins are needed, because the bread is too hard to hold. Greek salads are also a great choice, if they have ricotta cheese, and are served with fresh bread and butter. Athenian Gardens on 9th in St. Pete had a tasty potato salad and a superb Gyro Platter, with pita bread, onions, and sauce.

ITALIAN: The Italians load up on pastas, breads, and other carbs. I usually ordered lasagna, or a cheese manicotti, but I didn’t care for the manicotti, if the correct sauce was not used. The problem was I didn’t know what sauce was correct. All I know is most in St. Pete didn’t have it. Also, the garlic bread has to be fresh, and served with butter, not olive oil. Can we stop the olive oil trend?

MEXICAN: Someone once told me Mexican food is always some sort of bean and rice combination. I like burritos, but I won’t go to Taco Bell, where they serve a wrap that has no food in it. On the other hand, the Chipotle Mexican chain is serving a filling burrito.

PIZZA: I want a thin crust, with as little bread as possible. Please, no deep dish, which is 90% bread. I generally do not care for chain portions or prices. I stay away from Pizza Hut, where the toppings are invisible. Toppings should include at least sausage, cheese, onions and peppers. Do pizzas need mushrooms or olives? All pizzas need a tasty kick, but please, no greasy puddles.

STEAK: A good steakhouse for a formal dinner needs a relaxed atmosphere and soft lighting. Outback is not bad for a chain, but I don’t like low-hanging bright lights in my eyes. Start with a crisp lettuce salad, with cheese and ranch dressing. Add fresh soft bread with butter. Follow up with a soft baked potato, and a medium-cooked, but juicy, sirloin steak. That is about as good as it gets. The Longhorn Steakhouse in Largo, FL perhaps did it best. A Brazilian Steakhouse in Pinellas Park, FL let the customers eat all they wanted for $15. After doing the salad bar for a lettuce salad, potatoes, and other tasty stuff, the chef keeps touring each table, and continues slicing off excellent cuts of meat.

08/11/2011

Wisconsin Recall: What Results Mean

The results of the Wisconsin Recall Elections that targeted six incumbent Republican State Senators should not be misconstrued by spin artists, who may now suggest that Gov. Scott Walker is off the hook. Instead, the outcome means Walker is in trouble.

Since all six of the State Senate Districts up for grabs on Tues. Aug. 9 were held by incumbent Republicans, some of whom had been in office a long time, any flip was a success for Democrats.

In two districts, each with college towns, the Democrats were in fact able to throw the Republicans out. In Western Wisconsin, where every town along the Mississippi River from La Crosse to Prairie du Chien was named by French explorers, the 32nd District, home of the Univ. of Wisconsin-La Crosse, was lost by an incumbent Republican to an Assemblywoman from La Crosse.

In East-Central Wisconsin, where the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is located (18th), the Deputy Mayor of Oshkosh, also a female, beat another incumbent Republican Senator.

While Republicans kept four seats, two were maintained by slim margins. They easily won a rural area, west of Green Bay (2nd), and the easternmost part of suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul (10th). In suburban Milwaukee (8th), however, normally a safe seat for Republicans, Democrats couldn’t overcome the demographics, but got close with 46%. In a rural central part of the state (14th), where Democrats have not won since Grover Cleveland was President, the Republican barely held onto his job, with only 52%.

Republican victories in the 2nd, 8th, 10th and 14th were not surprising, since Democrats are a much smaller minority in those places, and help was needed from a large number of independents. The fact that the Republicans received only 54% in the 8th, and just 52% of the vote in the 14th, means they barely kept control.

One must remember Milwaukee, Madison, and other heavily Democratic areas, were not at all involved in these recall elections. If the results this week in Wisconsin mean anything, they spell trouble for Walker, if he is forced to go through a recall next year. He may likely end up serving only ¼ his 4-year term.

08/10/2011

Restaurants: Lunch in America

“Lunch in America” defined generally means: unhealthy fast food eaten rather quickly by passengers and drivers of motor vehicles.

BURGERS: Fast Food places, beginning with McDonalds, started popping up in the 1960s. While McDonalds has continued to hold their lead and maintains fairly good quality control, Burger King, once a competitor, lost their oversight and the place took a dive. Wendy’s, another chain that had a good run, recently snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. If I find myself in of these places, I look at their burgers, and wonder where the beef came from.

FRIES: French Fries, the universal staple in all fast food places, is undoubtedly the greatest single contributor to obesity in America. There is just nothing at all healthy about dipping potatoes into hot grease and then adding loads of salt.

CHICKEN: Although breaded deep-fried chicken is unhealthy and is also helping fatten up the American public, the menu at KFC has always been a tasty winner, and I have to admit I like it.

PIZZA BY SLICE: Pizza by the slice is now part of the fast food madness. Now sold in gas stations, they use more and more bread to fill up and fatten an already obese America. While there is nothing worse than a frozen grocery store pizza, the pre-cooked slices warmed up and sold in filling stations run a close second.

SUB SANDWICHES: The sub is a later-day lunchtime invention. These sandwiches can be cool and refreshing, if they are done right. Subs should never be made with day-old, dry, or too much bread. The bun has to be soft and tasty. I just like tasty buns. Cousins Subs got it right when they said: it’s all about the bread. Ham and cheese with onion, lettuce and tomatoes is probably my favorite. The quality of a hot Philly cheese-steak depends on the cook. Quiznos came up with a reliable formula, and Firehouse has a tasty “hook and ladder.” I won’t go to Subway, where the pressure is on as you walk in the door to make your own food. If I knew how to cook, I wouldn’t go out in the first place.

08/09/2011

Restaurants: Breakfast in America

If you take a vacation in the U.S. and want to know what Americans are eating, the logical place to start is breakfast. I realize most Europeans don’t even have breakfast restaurants, and their days often start with just a plain croissant, here in America, big breakfasts are a tradition, consumed by millions.

NEWS: Breakfast is when many get out and read the newspaper. A daily news box will be located by the restaurant door. Buy one.

COFFEE: While Europeans make strong coffee, by slowly grinding beans, and then pouring hot water over them, into a small cup, not much larger than a shot glass, Americans reject that hard-core approach, and instead make large, but relatively weak pots of coffee, so they can continue pouring all morning into large American-style cups. Americans are satisfied with coffee this way. Most will not go to a Starbucks, because they just don’t need or want expensive brews. All they want is hot coffee, with unlimited refills. Americans just want to keep the coffee flowing.

SPECIALS: Americans like to order the special at family-owned places, which usually means: two eggs, bacon or sausage, two pieces of toast, potatoes, and coffee, all for a reasonable price.

OMELETS: The stereotypical American breakfast would have to be the Western or Denver Omelet. Ham, peppers, and onions must be cut finely, and cannot be too numerous. In the Upper Midwest, every omelet has cheese–it’s an absolute necessity. QUICHE: I am surprised more places don’t offer a ham and cheese quiche, but I suppose it sounds too French for most manly-men.

BACON: American breakfasts include some kind of meat, usually bacon or sausage. Since the origin of a sausage is unclear, bacon is usually my choice. The bacon has to be served hot; it cannot be burned to a crisp, or worse yet, undercooked.

TOAST: Toasted whole-wheat or whole-grain bread is usually best. Some restaurants seem to be using less butter these days, but I for one just cannot eat toast, if it is cold, or too dry. BAGELS: Some have deviated from toast, by opening bagel shops, but for me, food from an Einstein’s Bagel place just doesn’t cut it.

POTATOES: I could skip potatoes, in any form, but everyone now seems to be serving them, and in much larger quantities than needed. In the North, they are known as hash browns, and in the South, they are called home fries. Whatever their name, they have to be laced with grated onions, and seasoned, so they are not too bland. The worst potato crime of all is to serve them raw.

FRUIT: Some forward-leaning restaurants are now offering a fruit substitute in place of potatoes. A place in Florida offered bananas.

PANCAKES: I have to admit I always liked the Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s, consisting of 2 eggs, 2 sausage, 2 toast, and 2 pancakes. There is however something unhealthy in pancake mixes that must be avoided. Regular syrup, loaded with sugar, is also a killer. So, go somewhere other than an IHOP or Perkins.

BAKERIES: Sweet rolls have a way of calling out your name. We must learn to ignore them. We must deafen our senses to the taste of sugar. Dunkin Donuts wisely switched to an egg and cheese combination, since they know the days of sugar are doomed. Their reformed menu now serves tasty sausage and egg croissants.

CONCLUSION: Buy a newspaper, as you enter. Order coffee, not tea. Pick the special. You’ll get eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns. Just eat it. Try a Western Omelet, if you want to unload more cash. Eat fruit, if they serve it, but turn down pancakes, syrup, and sweets. When in America, eat like an American.

08/08/2011

Restaurant Rules in General

While living in Florida the past 2½ years, I made the following observations about restaurants.

CROWDS: Pick a crowded restaurant over an empty one. Busy places usually have lower prices, tastier food, and better service. If the parking lot is empty, drive on.

COST: Keep driving if you see valet parking: you can’t afford it.

CHAINS: The problem with chain restaurants is they generally charge more for less.

TABLES: You don’t want to sit outside when the temperature is too hot, the humidity is too high, or the wind is too strong. Go inside. There is nothing appetizing about eating next to road kill.

MUSIC: Chose a place with a relaxed atmosphere and soft background music. Customers should never have to raise their voices over loud or annoying sounds. Clarinet and violin players went out when the Beatles arrived–someone should just tell them.

MENUS: The menu should be no more than 4 pages. Big chains, like Applebees, Chilis, and TGI Fridays, now use massive picture books, instead of old-fashioned menus. The one at Applebees was actually 14 pages, filled with pictures of food one can only dream of eating. Some have even gone to the point of sticking one menu inside another, as if we didn’t already have enough to read. The menu should simply tell us in plain English what they do best.

DRINKS: While restaurant menus should be short, they should never delete the drink prices. Since more and more restaurants are now doing this, consumers need to fight back. One way is to order nothing but water, until they get the message.

CLEAN DISHES: Kitchen helpers just have to get the soap out of the coffee cups, before they put them back in circulation. Cream in coffee is ok, Borax cleanser is not.

SERVERS: Table servers, known as waitresses in the day, can make or break the experience. I do not care for those who ask how is the food is tasting, because I am always this close to giving a serious long-winded answer. I also don’t like it when they come around too often, since I don’t want to be pampered. I do however expect a few things.

ORDERING: I sometimes don’t know what I want to eat, so I ask what they are good at. I am disappointed when the server is dumbfounded. It also troubles me when they direct me to the most expensive item in an attempt at increasing their tip.

COOKING: After ordering, the food should be prepared within a reasonable time. If they are going to microwave everything, the least they could do is not tell us. One place made it painfully obvious by serving everything in microwavable bowls.

DELIVERY: Before delivering the food, the servers should be sure the kitchen prepared what was ordered. If it is supposed to be hot, please don’t serve it cold. If the order is totally screwed up, the server has to take it up with the kitchen. At a Chili’s, I ordered a pita with steak, but received no meat or lettuce, too many onions and peppers, and no sauce at all. When the server failed to even offer to solve the problem, my disappointment turned to despair.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I don’t mind busy places, if the food and service is good, and the prices are reasonable. Just give me a table where I am not subjected to excessive heat, freezing air, or noise. Give me a simple menu that says what the restaurant does best. Post all prices. Clean all dishes. Hire table servers who are interested in their jobs. And most of all—serve what was ordered.

08/05/2011

Obama Turns 50 Despite Opposition

The following story from The Onion, Issue 47-31, Aug. 4, 2011, was so good, I had to reprint it:

WASHINGTON—After months of heated negotiations and failed attempts to achieve any kind of consensus, President Obama turned 50 years old Thursday, drawing strong criticism from Republicans in Congress.

“With the host of problems this country is currently facing, the fact that our president is devoting time to the human process of aging is an affront to Americans everywhere,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who advocated a provision to keep Obama 49 at least through the fall of 2013. “To move forward unilaterally and simply begin the next year of his life without bipartisan support—is that any way to lead a country?”

According to White House officials, Obama attempted to work with Republicans right up until the Aug. 4 deadline, but was ultimately left with no choice except to turn a year older.

08/02/2011

Cable TV Could Be So Much Better

When I was young, the TV set was known as a “black and white,” because nothing was broadcast in color, until 1964. “Rabbit ears” sat on top of it, so we could receive of one of the three VHF Milwaukee stations. We could also get one UHF channel, but the picture quality was grey and fuzzy, and frankly not very good.

The three networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC, had regular programs that allowed us to plan our TV viewing. The Green Bay Packers always kicked off their weekly game on Sunday, at Noon. The Johnny Carson Show started at 10:30 p.m. Most prime time entertainment comedies ran new episodes in their usual weekly half hour slots, the entire season from Sep. through May.

The major networks also carried a certain amount of educational programming. 60 Minutes first aired in 1968. The Sunday morning lineup included Face the Nation (CBS) and Meet the Press (NBC). In those days, networks adhered to quality standards. Facts were distinguished from opinion. People needed credentials to appear before national audiences. They behaved while on TV. No one shouted down, cut off, or interrupted other guests. The best part about TV in the day was that it was free.

Cable TV gradually replaced the old-style of broadcasting. While it made TV reception better, particularly in rural areas where there had been no broadcast signals, the quality of programming went down, despite additional stations, since most new ones carried nothing worth watching, and competition weakened the networks.

On the plus side, ABC, CBS and NBC remained on the air. Although PBS is still shown, they are routinely threatened with extinction by Congress. I like it when cable offers the BBC, because American networks are weak as to international news. The Weather Channel comes in handy in a storm. CSPAN is a plus when Congress is debating something important. The History Channel occasionally has a good story, and Discovery once in a while carries solid science. The Travel Channel is sometimes educational. MSNBC was needed to counterbalance Fox, the Republican network, and to replace CNN, which inconsistently jumped from serious news, to frivolous stuff.

But cable could be so much better, if consumers were allowed to pick a minimum basic lineup of 12 stations, for $1 per channel. I would select PBS, BBC, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, the Weather Channel, C-Span, C-Span-2, ESPN and the Big Ten Network. After purchasing a basic 12-pack, consumers could then select additional stations, again for $1 each. I would add History, Travel and Discovery, bringing my total to $15. I might also add a few movie channels, depending what they carried, for $1 sums.

We currently subsidize many stations not worth watching with our monthly payments. By allowing consumers to choose, we could remove most of the junk from cable, as several stations would find themselves without enough viewers. Why should I be forced to subsidize Fox, the Republican political network? Does anyone really watch religious programming? Degenerate entertainment like the hideous Jerry Springer Show, where people swear and throw chairs would die. How many Sci-Fi ax murderers do we need? Dumb Hollywood-types, like Paris Hilton, Ozzie Osborn, and the Kardashians, who have never done anything to deserve TV attention, would come to an end.

Viewers are smarter than cable companies assume, and most would turn to quality programs. We should let consumers choose their cable shows via their pocketbooks and improve TV viewing.

08/01/2011

African Development: Go To Cape Verde

African development requires at a minimum the elimination of hunger, improved health care, and greater education, but to reach these goals, smaller preliminary steps must first be taken, and instead of tackling all of Africa at the same time, a concentrated effort should begin in the island-nation of Cape Verde.

Why begin in Cape Verde? It has a population of only 491,575, and a unique geographical location, 350 miles from the West African Coast. It has year-round temperatures between 77 F and 84 F, dry air for nine months (Nov.-July), beautiful beaches, and an abundance of seafood for fishing expeditions. The islands could and should be promoted as a tourist destination, which would in turn provide jobs and money to achieve other goals. Once conditions are elevated throughout the island-nation, it can then become a base for improving life in the other African states.

Currently, Cape Verde has three international airports that provide daily flights to Europe, but additional air traffic from the U.S. and Brazil could transform the island-state into a continental stepping stone, like Hong Kong is for China, or London is for Europe.

While the local use of the Creole/Portuguese language is a match for tourists from Portuguese-speaking Brazil, Cape Verde needs English teachers to help them with travelers from the U.S.

But the area of development that would benefit the country more than anything else is drinking water. The problem now is usable water is in short supply, since there is no rain for nine months straight, and water wells cannot be dug, because the country is volcanic. Desalinization plants and drip irrigation methods are currently in use, but much more water is needed.

Cape Verde needs to make regional arrangements with nearby Guinea and Sierra Leone, two of the wettest places on earth, to pump rain water through pipelines, along the ocean floor. Usable water is needed to develop livestock, like cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry. Although Cape Verde currently grows bananas, corn, beans, potatoes, sugarcane, peanuts, and coffee, more water would allow for a much stronger agricultural sector.

Once Cape Verde was fully-irrigated and green year round, foreign traffic would increase several times over. The arrival of tourists would trigger side trips to the nearby continental African countries, and economic development would spread.

Development has to start somewhere. Let’s start in Cape Verde. Upon making it a success, the neighboring states will follow.