2018-04-14 / Viewpoints

The Old Timer

By Howard ‘Mac’ McDonald

This is the time of year when the In­ternal Revenue Service is not especially popular. That agency has an important mission, but for some reason it seems to attract the worst of the hooligans.

Once they are hired, they get even more power-crazy. Their philosophy is “guilty until proven innocent.”

We need to teach our IRS employees some basic people skills. They need to realize that the people they are dealing with are human beings and have feelings. Instead, they come into every encounter assuming that you’re a crook who is try­ing to get away with something.

I tried to persuade my wife to allow me to return to Emporium and enter the Cameron County Canoe and Kayak Clas­sic this year, to no avail.

I brought up some of the things we did in our younger days, but Shirley said there was a difference between being young and foolish and being old and wiser.

That was the end of the discussion.

College basketball’s March Madness came and went with Villanova strutting its stuff in the big dance.

Sports seem to be the number one concern in the United States institutions of higher learning. We are lagging behind the rest of the world in the subjects of importance, but we have the best sports teams.

According to my crystal ball, we are going to have a World War III within the next decade. All of the diplomatic skills will not prevent it. It will be between the radical Muslim extremists versus the rest of the people in the world who do not share their philosophies.

They are building their cells in Europe now and they probably have a pretty good foothold in this country.

I am very skeptical that we can succeed in our 100-Year War to establish democ­racies in the Middle East. Our system of government runs counter to their reli­gious beliefs and so many of them live by their religion. Sanctions only make them angry. All we can do is fight fire with fire.

One thing that is the same here in Arizona as it is back in the Pennsylvania mountains is the TV programming. Most of it stinks.

If not for the History Channel and the channel with all the oldie shows, I don’t think I would turn on the tube.

President Trump said he wants to deploy troops to our border with Mexico. I have been calling for that ever since I started writing this column.

As far as I am concerned, we are being invaded. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. If you want to become one of us, follow the rules and obey the laws,

Today we had seven guys at our break­fast bash and the main talk was about the large number of people moving into this part of Arizona. Most of those in our group live in Pinal County, which borders Maricopa, the fastest-growing county in the USA. The population is growing by almost 6,000 per month. Contractors are build­ing housing like crazy to handle the influx.

Our con­versation was about the supply of water for all these residents. Thanks to Teddy Roo­sevelt, there are six dams that trap miles and miles of water on the Salt River. The water comes from snow melt in the high country and the rainfall that sometimes is very sparse.

The Verdi River also has three man- made lakes that are very large.

All of the dams make electric power. These lakes are controlled by the Salt River Project, which controls the electricity and the water. They have a four-year supply of water scored under­ground. I think that the water will last for my lifetime.

One of my readers said that, since I live in Arizona, it’s not hard for me to keep my powder dry. This is true, although I would rather keep mine dry in Cameron or Potter County.

By the way, Maricopa County has more registered boats than Dade Coun­try, Fla. Living here in the desert, that really blows my mind.

As much as I hate to admit it, this black box is much smarter than I am. When I try to get online, sometimes it puts me through the wringer and refuses to follow my directions. If it weren’t for my happy pill, I would take my two- pound mall and beat it into a pile of black dust.

My temper is a fragile part of my makeup. Over the years it has cost me a lot of money. Getting angry at other people is not my nature, but when it comes to be something I cannot accom­plish I get really upset.

As I grow older you would think this flaw in my personality would diminish. I am patiently waiting for my bad attitude to fade. They say that one out of every ten people in the USA is crazy. Some­times I think I am the one.

An organization has given high marks to the Pa. Game Commission for its man­agement of the deer herd. That agency may be worthy of such an honor today, but it wasn’t all that long ago that the PGC seemed intent on eliminating the species so the forest industry and car insurance titans would be happy.

The deer hunters themselves have also changed. One of the pieces of required hunting gear now is a measuring tape to score the size of your buck’s antlers.

Even the hunting jargon has changed and that leaves me out of the conversa­tions. There is not as much storytelling in camp because if you forgot your measur­ing tape, you have nothing to talk about.

Always drink your apple juice, keep your powder dry and your shooting iron ready to fire.

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