Rice, Ducks, & Hand Grenades
Harry Truman is credited with saying, “The only thing new under the sun is the history you don’t know.”
However, Harry the Haberdasher was just as much an advocate of compulsory schooling as most of his predecessors, so it’s a sure thing he was referring to Fake History.
Now that the stage is set, read the following paragraph after rolling up your pants to save your shoes.
Justin Fox (“Amid drought, California fields to grow rice,” Bloomberg View, May 17, 2015) wrote …
“Much of California’s Central Valley (composed of the Sacramento Valley in the north and the San Joaquin Valley in the south) was once wetlands. The draining of the swamps that began in the 1850s was what enabled the valley’s blooming as the country’s most important agricultural region. It also destroyed millions of acres of wildlife habitat. Rice growers have figured out that, for birds at least, their flooded fields can function as surrogate wetlands. They now try to avoid insecticides in their farming, and make habitat preservation a major priority. State officials and many environmentalists have come to accept that rice fields play a crucial role in maintaining what’s called the Pacific Flyway for migratory birds. For this reason alone, California rice isn’t going away.”
Migratory birds? There are virtually none thanks to the airplane slaughters of a hundred years ago.
Only a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of those migratory birds exist today.
Wetlands? Wetlands in semi-arid California?
Death and Taxes and Fake News are all that’s certain in life.
Do you really think these California rice farmers want trillions of rice-eating birds eating up all their precious rice?
Not to mention stomping all their rice plants into mush, and crapping all over the mess to boot.
Many more birds would be alive today if we all ditched the rice and switched to eating duck.
The rice growers of a hundred years ago made it all sound so sweet and humane.
They just waved magic wands over their precious little rice plants, and all the duckies moved on to greener paddies.
According to “Calusa Woman Chases Ducks in Airplane,” The Rice Journal, Oct. 1920 …
“Mrs. Van Huffman, wife of a prominent Colusa County farmer, claims she is the first woman in California to participate in duck herding by airplane.
“She was taken up by J.M. Fetters in one of his planes that is being used in the Sacramento Valley Duck Patrol.
“The patrol is used to frighten ducks from the rice fields in the valley.”
The Rice Journal makes it seem like the Duck Patrol lifted off the ground to wave hankies at the ducks and yell, “Boo!”
The war against these water birds was blood and guts to the max.
The draining of the swamps that began in the 1850s?
John Edwin Hogg (“The Airplane Duck Patrol of the Sacramento Valley,” Popular Mechanics, Jan. 1921) wrote …
“A few years ago this land was a worthless lowland hardpan. Weeds and cactus were about all that would grow there until somebody conceived the idea of flooding the land and planting the vast areas to rice. The rice throve, and in a few years a great barren valley was transformed into rippling fields of emerald green.”
Then came the “ducks, geese, brant, and other wild fowl.”
The farmers struck back with shotguns, artillery, torpedoes, and rockets (rockets?) to no avail.
So they called in the air force — private pilots wearing raincoats.
John Edwin Hogg (same source as above) wrote …
“It was black with ducks, and resembled a piece of sticky flypaper which had caught all the flies that could find standing room on it. In a few seconds more we had ‘flattened out’ with our wheels almost on top of the rice, and were going through the cloud of ducks which rose out of the marshy rice land like dust before a wind storm. They whizzed between the planes, spattered against the struts and rigging like hailstones, or disappeared as a puff of feathers as they were sucked into the propeller. Something warm and wet struck me in the face, and my goggles became so dim I could scarcely see through them. I wiped my face with my handkerchief. The warm, wet substance was blood hurled backward by the draft from the propeller. Ducks by the million were winging their way with all the speed they could develop right in front of the plane.”
According to the same source …
“Some of the planes now carry a gunner in addition to the pilot, whose duty it is to bang away into the flocks with an automatic shotgun. Hand grenades thrown from the planes are also used effectively.”
I’m an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, but I have no illusions about “saving animal life” by doing so.
One of the only ways a vegan or vegetarian can save animal life is to GROW THEIR OWN GARDEN.
By the way, if you think the Delta Water War of California has anything to do with “endangered species,” I’ve got the Golden Gate Bridge to sell you at a fantastic price.
I’ll even throw in a bottle of fish oil. (*wink*)