Archive for the ‘parable’ Category

A Perception of Our Future, The Good * The Bad* the Very Ugly* View # 3, The Very Ugly, part 2

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

The 7th year of the reign of Emperor Obama, begins with the passage of the Declaration of  Social Equality Act.(D S E A)

The Tea Party Rebellion of 2013 had  been crushed by the Emperor’s Red and Purple Berret’s..  The fighting had lasted fpr almost 18 months, with the Rebels finally  being forced from most cities and towns.

On the East Coast, the rebels had taken refuge in various mountain communities stretching from North Georgia to Western Virginia.

 The repeated warnings by right wing media on radio and the internet had prepared many for thr necessity to develop survival skills.

Sadly most of these voices had been stilled, but the message survived and resonated .

Conditions in these mountain strongholds is comparatively primitive, but their motto” Freedom ,Equality, Responsibility” , was the rallying cry of Liberty loving Americans.

The Progressives had attempted to confiscate Gold and Guns from the general population , resulting in numerous acts of violence.

The battles in the streets of American had spawned violence and death on a scale not seen since the Civil War.

The Emperors Red & Purples had been trained in tactical house to house combat. The Green Tea militia was fragmented and hard pressed to defend themselves against the relentless encroachment on their liberty.

The families of freedom loving Americans packed their cars, hitched up their trailers, and sadly but resolutelu said good bye to their homes and headed for the safety of Tea Top refuges in the mountains.

Ignore history and it will bite you in the butt, a Parable about Behavioral Insanity

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Economic History

Then & Now

A Parable about reckless behavior.

If we deny history

We are destined to repeat our mistakes.

 

 

The Roaring 1920’s and the economy

                            a 

                 Forest  Parable

The 1920’s and the Roaring economy

Study history so we don’t make the same mistakes again

                                    by

                      Charlie Champion  

The forest was filled with a cacophony of  excitement .

Times were good, and the living was easy.

Several years of plentiful rainfall, moderate winters,  and warm nurturing Springs had turned the forest  into a virtual paradise . 

Food was plentiful.

 The predators had been hunted nearly to extinction by the two legged’s. Those that were not killed had left  for the deep unknown forest  far far away.

The cries, squeaks, craws et. al., of the new babies filled the air .

No predators meant bigger families, but the bounty provided by Mother Nature kept all, well fed. 

The wise old Badger was the local  leader, but his stories and warnings were causing the younger animals  to loose patience . He had lived a long life and was experienced in the  ways of nature . He was concerned that the bad times would come back. The younger animals who had never experienced  the fury of Nature ,refused to believe him..

“Yes my friends.” he warned, ” many of you are young. You do not remember the hard times from before.”

He looked around the clearing.” The Winters are not always so easy. There have been many years when we’ve been plagued by severe drought. ”

   He shook his head sadly,”When the streams dry up, then hunger comes to the forest.”

” Oh go on old man!”  Patty Bunny stamped her foot.” Who has time for sad old stories. Old stories are boreing.”

” Don’t say that,”he responded sternly.”To ignore history is to run the risk of repeating your mistakes.”

“Boo on you” said Ronnie rabit.

“Enough already ,” rasped Willie Weasle,” Lets live the good life. It’s time to party.This is the way it’s always going to be.”

“yada ,ya, ya” They hopped off giggling  and whispering.

Several months passed. The Summer was a distant memory.

A large volcano errupted off the coast. The sky was turned grey almost 750 miles distant.

The weather patterns were  changed. A noticeable drop in temperatures became apparent.

The wild fruits and berries never fully ripened, the tubes and bulbs were underdeveloped.

It was 4 or 5 degrees colder, and..  it it almost never rained.

Food became scarce . No one was prepared.

There were not enough stored acorns.

No stockpiled food.

Shortages developed almost overnight.

And the predators returned!!! Driven by hunger spurred by the drout and the very cold winter.

The happy well fed party generation disappeared in an avalanche of change.

Painful change.

Society altering change.

The 1920’s and the Economy

Want to read more?

Just ask.

A Perception of our Future, The Good* The Bad* The Very Ugly, View # 3 The Very Ugly,part I

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

    When the going gets tough, our leaders look for someone else to blame. Someone else caused the problem.

     For the first 5 years of his administration, President Obama beat on the Bush legacy.

     It was Bush who caused the depression of 07.

     It wasBush who caused the housing crash,

     It was Bush who caused the great Wall Street collapse of 2011-2013.

     Bush created Fannie & Freddie mortgage abuse.

     It was Bush who squandered $ trillions to stimulate the economy, pushing us into an unfunded debt position approaching $100 trillion and counting.

     When the American people finally got tired of the “demon” Bush legacy, the Progressives followed the tried and true path laid out by their Icon ,FDR, and pushed the foolish, but widely accepted, notion that a good expensive war is a savior for the economy.

     “After all, war pulled the United States out of the last Depression, becomes the mantra of a government with little will for hard economic choices.

     The alternative of a greater  war to rescue the economy of the Nation is a grim solution which many find unavoidable.

     The parameters of an exploding  World War III have been fermenting for hundreds of years. 

     The West has been under increasing attack during the past century, with the conflict becoming up close and personal on 9/11/2001.

     While the Progressives have developed an entendre with redical Islam, the opportunity to turn this errupting crisis into an opportunity for political and economic gain is embraced.

     Europe becomes the initial battleground for this conflict, but the soft Muslim underbelly of the Continent makes Europe a hellish place for several decares.

     Terror , reprisals, and retalliations destroy the economies of many countries, and leaves their populations bitter and suspicious.

     North America will become a locked down fortres,  resulting in the stifling of much of our freedoms both civil and economic.

                           End of Part 1 More later

Wally Woodchuck Gets Stimulated by an “Economic Stimulus Package” a parable about Fiscal Irresponsibility

Thursday, October 14th, 2010
 

by

Charlie Champion

 

Wally Woodchuck was full of himself. He was cool, he knew it, and anyone who didn’t recognize his coolness was very uncool.

If you had any doubts about Wally’s specialness, just ask him..” I’m hip, I’m Cool. Lay it on me , baby” He would reply, looking down his nose at such a plebeian question.

Several months ago, while surfing the City garbage dump, Wally had found a pair of discarded, Barbie doll , sun glasses. They were oversized by woodchuck standards, but with the help of a length of salvaged wire, they were able to perch precipitously on the bridge of his nose.

Wally looked at his reflection in a pool of water, ” These glasses are the final touch.” He thought. ” I’m much too fine to do any woodchucking. That type of work is only for suckers and regular Woodchucks.. The other Woodchucks should feed me and take care of all my health and wealth needs.

After all” He continued,” I’ ve worked very hard at being too cool to work. It’s much more fun to drink with my friends, chase after females in heat, and get free food from public storage during the Winter.”

He ambled over to the local wood pile, and leaned against a stump.

There was a group of 10 or 12 woodchucks busy at work, chucking the wood into ragged piles.

His noticed three of his buddies working as part of the group.

He snickered as Warren Woodchuck picked up a length of tree limb.” Hey Willie , look at sexy Wanda Woodchuck.” He pointed off to his right.

When Willie Woodchuck looked away, searching for Wanda, Warren chucked the branch he was holding, landing a glancing blow at the back of Willies head.

” Hey who did that?” Growled Willie, in mock anger. ” Who hit me in the head?” He looked around the work group, while reaching down to pick up a clod of mud.

As Willie straightened up, he threw the muddy clump aiming at Warren’s head.

Seeing the approaching mud ball, Warren ducked. The mud ball sailed over his head and hit group leader Winston, smack in the snout.

The ensuing melee lasted far too long, and left several members of the group nurseing injuries, effectively ending any any additional work getting done.

Still chuckling, Wally went over to his friends.” Look at you guys! What a sight.” He shook his head,.” You all certainly made a mess. All the wood that you chucked is gone, mashed in with the mud.”

Willie’s black nose glistened with moisture, and a splatter of brown mud. ” What do you think we should do, Wally? The Union leaders, and their supervisors will be angry that we ruined all this work.” He rubbed his mouth. ” I chucked so much wood that my teeth hurt.”.

” Who are you kidding?” Sneered Wally. “Your teeth hurt because Winston Woodchuck smacked you in the mouth for hitting him with that mud.”

Willie looked sheepish. ” Perhaps you are right. So what do we do to fix this mess?”

” We go to the Union Hall and talk to Wingo. He’s our representative to the Bosses. They can’t do anything without Wingo’s O K .You know that.”

Willie sighed . ” I forgot. Things have changed so much since the World economy crashed two years ago.Everything is so different.So easy. They tell us what to do. When and how to do it, I get tax rebate checks even if I don’t work.”

Wally Woodchuck nodded in agreement. “As long as the Red Woodchuck’s United party remains in power, we can’t get fired.Our share of the Annual Spending Stimulus (A . S . S . ) Pays for our food. Takes care of our landlord. Pays for our health care. We get a monthly stimulus payment. ” He looked at his friend.” And if we mess up at work, our union covers our ASS.”

Warren walked over and joined his friends. Reaching out he patted Willie on the back.” Wally’s right” He said.” Let someone else clean up the mess. There are plenty of woodchuck’s wanting to work.Let them do it if they are so industrious.. Hard work and responsibility are such old fashioned concepts. .”

” Right on baby,” Said cool Wally. The sunlight bounced off his shades, rendering his eyes invisible.” Pre bailout is pase. Give me my stimulus, and let me go play.Working is for squares.Let someone else do it”

He thought about it for a moment, then smiled.” Yes thats it, Let someone else do it. Our New motto. Let someone elase do it.”

Warren and Willie picked up the chant. “Let someone else do it!” They shouted in unison.”Let someone else do it.”

The Economic Rescue and Stimulus Package.(E.R.S.P.) had accomplished its goal.

Woodchuck ambition and innovation had been replaced by government employment. Everyone got a job. Working was optional.

Healthcare was available to every person in the Country, and the quality was equally low and slow for all.

The standard of living was permanentally lowered, but no citizen was forced to work for their lowered standard.

And of course, most important of all,THE RED WOODCHUCKS UNITED party( TRWU) was the benevolent orchestrator of out welfare, safety, and what we can think from now on.

A very comforting thought.

 

 

 

The Lazy Little Squirrel who refused to gather nuts, a parable about incentives to work

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Stanley squirrel was enjoying his first summer.

He had learned to leap from tree to tree using the spring of the branch to launch himself to his next target.  The feeling of exhilaration as he flew through the air was liberating.

All the first year squirrels liked to play together, chasing butterflies, splashing through the shallow creek and sunning themselves in the warm summer sunshine.

The older squirrels cautioned the newlings, ” play is fine, but as squirrels, we all must spend our time gathering acorns and other nuts for the cold winter when food becomes scarce.  If we don’t work together, we will all go hungry.”

Stanley, being somewhat stubborn and simple-minded , rebelled against the elders.

” I live to play,” He said.  ” I don’t know what winter cold is, but I’m sure it can wait a few more days.  After all, we are young and healthy and food is very plentiful…Why worry?”

Stanley and his siblings resumed their play, pretending to not hear his mothers screech of anger.

Summer passed quickly and the early fall brought cooler nights, but the days were  warm and the sun shone with a  brilliant clarity. Stanley continued to ignore the admonishment of the adults, playing and sleeping instead of gathering nuts for the winter.

One by one, all of his playmates left to join the rest of the squirrels in preparation for the coming season.

Finally it was only Stanley, and his special friend, bushy tailed, Stephanie.

” Look at all those fraidysquirrel’s, running to gather nuts” said Stanley.” We squirrels take care of each other. If we need food, the others will share their wealth,meanwhile we can play.”

Stephanie flicked her tail in his face and sprang away, with Stanley in hot pursuit.

Time passed, and late Fall turned into early Winter.

 The first snowfall of the season hit the forest. Everything was covered with a thin white blanket, and the crystals shone brightly in the morning sun.

Stanley and Stephanie sat on a bare branch of their favorite Oak tree. ” The others are still looking for food” said Stephanie, her black eyes wide with alarm.

“Don’t worry”, said Stanley,” we will look for food tomorrow.In the mean time,  the others will share their wealth with us  if we need it. ”

“Tag you’re it!” he shouted,  and sprang from the branch, sending a shower of snow to the ground below.

A few days later, Winter set in with a vengeance. The snow fell for 2 days, and the winds blew huge drifts against the trunks of the trees.

” I’m hungry ,” whined Stephanie.” All the nuts and berries are gone. What will we eat.”

 Stanley looked around.” Yes I’m hungry too. Lets go ask the others to share their wealth.”

They scampered off and went to see the Top Squirrel and the other elders.

” Can we please have something to eat.” They asked in unison.” We are hungry, and there is no food to be found in the forest.”

The Top Squirrel looked at them sadly, and shook his head.” We have been working all summer and all fall to gather enough food to keep us alive during the long cold winter.”

 He stamped his front paw.” That’s what squirrels do. We work as a community to provide the food to keep us alive. Everyone must contribute or we all die.”

Stanley hung his head.” We didn’t know..” His dark eyes opened wide.” I always thought we were part of a community of squirrels.

All for one and one for all.

From each according to his means to each according to his needs.

Share and share alike

We should be be taken care of by the Community of Squirrels.”

The Top Squirrel shook his head. His eyes blazed with anger.” By ignoring  our warnings, and playing instead of working, you have jeopardised our community.

Everyone must work together for all to survive.

I’m sorry. You and Stephanie must find your own food.

We have only enough to feed those who helped gather the food. If we feed you we all starve. ”

THE MORAL of the STORY: Redistribution of wealth only works if there is some incentive to contribute to the common good.

Are we turning this recession into the next Great Depression?

Monday, September 28th, 2009

It is necessary to revisit an article I wrote last January.

This pertains to a correlation between our current economic situation and the outset of the Great Depression.

There are many disturbing similaritiess, and the critical time line is getting too close.

Read and see if some of these actions taken by FDR sound chillingly familiar.

                             *           *           *
I have been telling you a shortened version of how Hoover and Roosevelt managed to turn a bursting speculative bubble, and a moderate recession into THE Great Depression.

In A previous article I gave you some unemployment data,based upon a Vedder & Gallaway  statistical study in their book “Out of Work”.

 Unemployment in November 1929 , was just over 5% almost two  months  after the market crash .

Unemployment hit a high of 9% + in December 1929, but gradually dropped to mid 6% by the beginning of Summer 1930.

 President Hoover and later FDR began tampering with the economy . They attempting to reduce unemployment  by  imposing  protectionist  tariffs.

This intervention resulted in double digit unemployment , but it was more than a year after the crash.

The more they attempted to fix the economy, the higher the unemployment numbers became.

F D R interfered with the economy more than any President to that time. Previously, it was not considered the business of the Government to  intervene in economic cycles.

The more Roosevelt tried to use government spending to help the economy, the higher the unemployment rates soared.

The methodology which he used , involved putting people to work!  Sponsoring Publick works! Rebuilding and improving the infrastructure! All honorable intentions.

However, let me explain.

Everyone knows the expression,” the road to someplace is paved with good intentions.”

Here is whar Franklin D Roosevelt and several other well intentioned leaders have done, or are about to do.

For clarity, lets shrink everything down to a small parable.

Lets say the President has $ 1 million available to stimulate the economy.The money was from the Treasury , and had come via taxes collected.

He looks at the pile of bills.” Not bad,” He thinks. This is quite a large pile. I should be able to help a great many people with all this money.

He scratches his chin,” My citizens are hurting. Unemployment keeps going up. The people are hungry.”

“What should I do?”

OPTION #1

“I know what I have to do.” He picks up the phone. “Mr Secretary, we must do the right thing. The safe thing.  The Politically expedient thing .”

He holds the phone away from his ear. The voice on the line is speaking loudly.

Finally the President becomes impatient. ” Listen” He says, ” Do you want to help the country, or do you want to get reelected?’

There was silence on the other end.

“We must get money and stimulus directly to the people.” He continues,” We will take our $1 million and create public works jobs .Our people will build bridges, repair roads, construct  hydro electric plants and wind turbine farms.”

” Of the $ 1 Million, $400,000 will go to administer the programs, maybe $250000 will go towards advertising and Public Relations, so that the voters know who created all these jobs.The rest will go directly to the people  to put bread on their tables.” 

 The plan was implemented. The money was spent. The people were put to work… For 1 year…Then what?

In this scenario, which is what happened under FDR, the unemployment rate went up to over 20% and stayed there with a few short term exceptions, for over 4 years.

We had created new dams and new roads, but no new jobs, no new industry, and no new wealth.

OPTION #2

The President takes the $ 1million and calls in CEO’s from 5 small but successful private buisnesses.

” Gentlemen,” He says.” Our Nation is in trouble. The economy is in a slide, and unemployment is growing. “He looks around the room.

“We need your help. Your Country needs your help.

Here is $1million. Taxpayer money. A precious public trust.

I want to give it to you Gentlemen to invest.

Take the money, go back to your businesses and invest this public money. Use it to expand your business. Enter new markets, create new wealth.”

THE GREAT DEPRESSION ENDED IN 1932. A GENERATION OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY ENSUED. A WORLD WIDE VISION OF CORNICOPIA BECAME A REALITY. A LITTLE KNOW RADICAL GERMA, ADOLPH HITLER WAS LAUGHED OFF THE WORLD STAGE.THEY DIDN’T NEED HIM, THEY HAD PROSPERITY.

A parable, Fat Louie, the duck with gout, seeks fowl health care.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Fat Louie was getting old.

He was a fat white duck, and he was suffering with the gout.

He had contracted the gout as a result of eating rich human  foods thrown into the lake at Snapfinger Woods Estates, a complex east of Atlanta.

Snapfinger lake was  man made, as an  amenity for the residents of the condominium complex.

Louie had been top duck when he was younger.

His flock consisted of 12 adult ducks in the spring,usually  expanding to 17 or 18 by fall.

His superior swimming ability ensured that  Louie would be the first to reach the food.He loved to showoff his  speed, and he really loved the morsels that his humans threw into the lake.

The gout is a painful form of arthritis that develops from excessive consumption of rich foods. In ducks this results in elevated levels of uric acid, which can crystallize and form painful deposits in a ducks webbed feet or ankles.

In Louie’s case the crystals settled in his right ankle causing pain and a difficulty in swimming and walking.

The gout is known as the rich ducks disease.

Ducks in the wild, subscribe to the adage,” survival of the fittest”. When Louie developed his painful affliction,the flock turned on their leader.He was chased away and forced out of the water.

Louie   spent his days alone,on dry land, He became a clown,waddling around the Snapfinger Woods grounds.  When he saw a potential  food suplier he would go into his pathetic quacking act ,hobbling with great effort. The “awwws” invariable turned into more food for Louie.

As the seasons passed, Louie became fatter and fatter. He was very lonely .

One day he looked at his reflection in the water. ” Louie, your getting old,” he said to himself. ” I think its time to get my leg fixed.”

The Greater Atlanta Duck Association (GADA) had passed the Universal Fowl Health Reform Act of 09 (UFHRA ’09) . According to GADA, every duck in the greater Atlanta area would recieve  free premium government supplied health care .

” Health care on demand. I’m ready  to get treatment for my gout. ” Fat Louie quacked. ” I’m getting old, and its time for me to get back into the water. Maybe I can even find an old Daisey to keep me warm in the winter.”

Fat Louie went to the GADA satellite office in Stone Mountain.

Two very pretty an very young Dasie’ s greeted him at the front door. “Hello Mr Louie,” they quacked. ” Please wait over there and we will add your name to the list.

Fat Louie walked through the door that they indicated.

It was a very large and very noisy room filled with several thousand assorted fowl.

The noise was deafening. There were birds of every species and every age from hatch lings to the very old.

There were wires and roosts filled with  waiting patients and the ground was crowded with non flying birds .

The floor was covered with upward of a foot of  poop, and the cacophony of  hoots, caws,quacks and assorted bird calls was deafening.

Louie looked around for someone in charge.

The scene was chaotic, and finally Louie found a small group of white ducks off to the side,

He waddled towards them glad for some familiar ducks.” Hello everyone. My Name is Louie, Fat Louie. When do I get to see the doctor?”

The group of white ducks looked at him for a moment then all began to quack at once.

” Hold on, one at a time please, I can’t understand you all talking at the same time.”

An elderly gentleman with molting feathers and a pair of spectacles perched on his nose, stepped forward.” I’m Daniel Duck. and  I have been  here the longest, so I suppose I qualify as a spokesman.”

“How do I get to see the Doctors? How long will this take? I have things to do at home this evening”

Daniel looked at him and shook his head” I’ve been here waiting to see a doctor about my failing kidneys for almost two weeks.”

“Why so long?” asked Louie,” I thought  UFHRA guaranteed us free medical care.”

“It does my friend, it does. The problem is that there are not enough doctors, and most of the good ones have gone away to other cities. Because of the shortages, the government has prioritised our access to medical care based upon our are, and the cost of treatment. ” He had a sad look in his  eyes.

” You see, I’m old, and not worth very much to the greater good, so they keep putting me at the back of the line. Eventually I’ll get a turn, but the fird flu that has hit Atlanta is keeping the nurses and doctors busy with younger more cost effective patients

They figure I don’t have much time left anyway.”

“Universal free health care my aching right foot,” squawked Louie, and he waddled out of the room and headed towards home so that he could at least die in his own pond.

Fat Louie, a duck with gout, a parable about fowl economic stimulus

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Louie was a fat, fluffy, white duck.

He lived on a small private lake, east of Atlanta.

The lake was man-made as an amenity for a small condominium community of rustic, 2 story wooden apartments  known as Snapfinger Woods Estates.

The creek that ran through the small wooded area was known as Snapfinger Creek  and, hence, the name Snapfinger Woods Lake.

When Louie was younger he was the head duck of a small flock  that claimed Snapfinger Lake as their home.

In the Spring, the flock usually consisted of 12 – 14 adults  and would expand to 18-20 by the end of the Summer.

The residents of Snapfinger Estates loved to feed their flock of ducks.  They would throw bread and stale cakes into the water and watch as the ducks raced for the food.

Louie being the leader and the fastest swimmer, usually got to the food first  and he would gobble the morsels in a splashing frenzy of duck gluttony.

As the seasons passed, Louie got bigger and fatter from eating all the rich human foods.

One morning he woke up and realized his right leg hurt. It was swollen and painful for paddling. Louie had the gout.

The Ducks, being wild birds and advocates of the premise “survival of the fittest”  quickly fired Louie from his position of head duck  and expelled him from the community lake.

Louie was devastated.  For weeks he wandered around the Snapfinger Woods Apartments common areas and the parking lots.

He would waddle, dragging his right  foot for sympathy.     The residents  took pity on Louie and continued to feed him.

The following Fall, the greater economy of the Nation fell into a deep recession and many of the human residents of the Snapfinger Woods Apartments lost their jobs.

Fat Louie’s sources of  gratis food became increasingly difficult to find.

He decided that it was time to go to work ,  so that he could afford to buy his own food.

” What can an enterprising, hungry duck with the gout do to earn a living?” He  thought to himself.

“Of course!”  he quacked, ” Humans love down pillows! …And… Who knows more about down  than a duck?”

Louie did some investigating and found that there were 10 duck -owned, Down production facilities in the greater Atlanta area, employing over 10,000 ducks.

During a bad recession, demand for down pillows and comforters is sluggish, but Louie didn’t  care.  He had a business plan to establish himself and his flock as the Down Kings of  Georgia.

He contacted the Greater Atlanta Duck Association( GADA) and requested a meeting with their Drake  financial chief .

Over the years, the Federal Government had been a major recipient of bird droppings, which was valued as fertilizer .  Louie proposed that GADA call in some political favors.

The Congress and the President had appropriated massive amounts of money as part of several stimulus packages to help fight the recession.

Louie proposed a joint venture with GADA to get some stimulus money for a proposed new down factory.

With $3 million of Federal stimulus money, Louie opened a brand new state of the art down factory.

The new factory, with the massive influx of cash,  had a major competitive edge over the more established and conservative down factories.

Soon, Louie’s factory was growing geometrically and he was able to hire 4000 ducks .  He squeezed most of his competitors out of business  by lowering his prices. After they were out of business, Louie raised his prices by 50%.  After all,  he no longer had any competition.  He DID  have all that stimulus money helping to subsidize his operation though.

The net result of the government stimulus program:

6000 lost jobs.

Hundreds of thousands of $ lost tax revenue from former down manufacturers.

A heavy increase in unemployment insurance claims by the ducks of Atlanta.

Fat Louie got fatter yet, and his gout got worse.

The Winter that wouldn’t end,How Fat Louie the Duck Froze his Tail Feathers a Parable about Global Warming

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Fat Louie was a fat fluffy white duck. He lived in a man made pond  called Snapfinger Woods Lake.The pond was located east of Atlanta, and had been created as an amenity for the residents of Snapfinger Woods Estates, a small failed condominium complex that had gone broke,and been converted to rental units.

Fat Louie was called Fat because he was the fastest swimmer of the 12 to 14 ducks who called Snapfinger Woods Lake their home. Every day, the human residents would throw bread, cake, pizza  crusts, and other assorted unhealthy foods into the pond.

The ducks would race  for the food. Fat Louie being the fastest, would usually get there first. He would eat,and eat,and eat some more. Soon,Louie was the fatest duck in the pond.

When Fat Louie developed the gout as a result of eating too much rich food, he was forced out of the pond by the rest of the flock, who considered him defective due to his infirmity.

Following several years of unusually heavy rainfall,Atlanta, and the Southeast in general had suffered through a fairly severe drought, reaching a  high or perhaps low point during the Summer.

When Fat Louie’s recently purchased overflow culvert/home dried up, he defaulted on his mortgage, and lost his home to foreclosure  becoming part of the  subprime statistic.The bad luck of a recession and the untimely drought had  hurt everyone .

Even a fat white duck.

The low water levels and lean times resulted in Fat Louie dropping some  weight. His gout disappeared.and as a result,the other ducks allowed him back into  Snapfinger Woods Lake.

Halloween night in Atlanta was unusually chilly. The  trick or treaters were forced to wear sweaters and jackets, a most unusual occurence that early in the season. The children argued, the parents grumbled, and everyone  shrugged it off as an aberration. After all  global warming was bringing elevated temperatures  and melting ice caps.

Just not this year.

Fat Louie’s downe came in thicker and earlier than in past years.

Fat Louie was invited to a family reunion by his cousins in New York .The reunion was an annual affair usually lasting   for most of the month of November. Donald and Donna Duck, were residents of Hempstead Lake State Park, and this year was New York’s turn to host the festivities.

Donald and Donna had been planning the event starting the day that last years ended. They caught a ride back to Long Island , from Minnesota’s Thousand Lakes, on a poulty truck.  The meetings and committee formations  began as soon as they reached their home.

Accommodation’s and food for several thousand relatives had to be balanced with ecological concerns.

Preserving Nature was a fowl obligation,and the Duck family took it seriously.

November was always the chosen month.It was  Fall yet still mild enough to  allow the family time to migrate  to Wintering destinations before it became too cold to travel.

Fat Louie and 2000- 2500 of his relatives descended upon Hempstead Lake State Park shortly after Halloween.

The weather in New York was also cooler than usual, and became very cold midway through the month.

The celebrations were attended with great enthusiasm by most members of the Duck family, but several of the wild cousins sensing the onset of early Winter , organized their flight formations, and left for winter homes in warmer climates.

By Thanksgiving, the cold blast of winter chill accompanied by blustery winds and single digit wind chills, took the joy out of the Duck family reunion .

The day following Thanksgiving, the assembled Ducks awoke to the news that Grandpa Quillion Duck, the Duck family elder had died of frost during the night.

The panic spread like a Chicken Hawk on the prowl.

The Duck  family took to flight, knocking into each other  , flying in panicked circles.

The cold weather had come early . Heading south was a matter of life and death.

On the lake, some cooler heads prevailed.” Let them go”quacked Fat Louie.” This is the age of global warming.

This cold weather is just an accident. 

Probably the coldest day of the year.”

Epilogue: The winter that seems endless is still dragging on.

 Record cold weather has lingered from Halloween night (Oct.31st) almost without respite.

Multiple layers and wearing hats has become more of a necessity less a fashion statement.

And its only the end of February.

Well the good news is that despite the prolonged uninterrupted cold, we havn’t had very much snow. Snow would make things really miserable.

If it wasn’t for global warming we would really be in trouble.

Maybe even be into a new Ice Age.

Fat Louie, the Duck, Buys a New Home,a Parable about Risk and Responsibility

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Fat Louie was a  fluffy white duck

He lived in an area east of Atlanta, known as Snapfinger Woods, which was comprised of Snapfinger Woods Estates, a converted rustic style apartment complex, and a man made pond known as Snapfinger Woods Lake.

Fat Louie had spent the first years of his life happily swimming and splashing in the pond. He was the biggest and fastest of the small flock of ducks, and soon became head duck .

The human residents of Snapfinger Woods took great joy in feeding Louie and his companions.  They would throw bread, cake, and other foods into the lake, and watch with glee as the ducks raced to be the first to reach the food.

Being the biggest and fastest, Louie usually got most of the food. He would eat, and eat,and eat some more.

One morning, Louie woke up with a constant throbbing pain in his right foot. He had developed the gout as a result of all the rich human foods which he was consuming.

The other ducks quickly rejected Louie as being defective, and a danger to the rest of the flock. They chased him out of the water, forcing him to waddle around on dry land.

Louie became Fat Louie, and most days he could be found waddling around the apartment complex ,limping on his bad foot.

Feeling sorry for the “poor” duck, the human residents showered Louie with  an array of rich human foods, which made the gout worse.

He was forced to sneak quick splashes in the water, hobbling in and out accompanied by  a great deal of squawking and quacking as the rest of the birds rushed to eject him from the pond.

That Spring was unusually rainy, and the small pond gradually overflowed its banks, The water ran down a slight incline, soon filling  a nearby  gully, and forming a tiny secondary pond.

” It is time for me to get my own home” Fat Louie thought to himself as he surveyed the newly formed mini pond.” I have some duck credits saved up. I think I’ll go to the Greater Atlanta Duck Association (GADA) to apply for Duck ownership to the new pond,’Louie’s Little Lake’, as he had already secretly named it.

Drexel Duck, chief real estate liaison between GADA and the general duck population, was a small grey duck. His down was carefully groomed, and his crown was fluffed to give him the appearance of additional height.

He gave Louie a disinterested stare.” So you want to purchase a residence.. From your application, this is a new construction, Unoccupied?”

Louie quacked “yes”.

” I also see that you have a  10% downe payment” He continued. ” and you want to apply for a Fowl loan for the balance.”

Again Fat Louie nodded his agreement.

Drexel paused for a moment.” I will give you a government acceptance voucher. You will have to pay a small fee and a 10 % gratuity for my trouble,” he held out his wing waiting to recieve his “payment”.

Realizing the way that government worked, Fat Louie slipped him a fat envelope.

Drexel glanced inside, seemed satisfied, then continued.” Take this voucher and go to the Greater Atlanta Fowl Realty Authority(GAFRA) They have mortgage money available for disadvantaged  low income fowl.

Fat Louie put down a deposit of 10% and was able to borrow the 90% at 6% interest on a 10 year mortgage.

Louie’s Little Lake belonged to Fat Louie. He quickly settled in, building a soft moss nest on the far end, near the wild grass which Fat Louie loved  so much.

Fat Louie had been on human, public dole so long that he forgot how to feed himself.So, every morning he would hobble over to the  apartment complex, hopeing to catch the big humans before work, and the smaller humans before school.

He would eat until he was ready to burst, then when all the humans were gone, he would return to his new home in the suburbs.

The following Spring into Summer, the rains stopped, and a drought soon developed. The heat of the summer sun caused many of the lakes and streams in the greater Atlanta area to dry up. Water levels fell , and Fat Louie’s new home gradually returned to its previous rocky  dry gully.

Fat Louie went to GAFRA, asking for help. ” My home  has dried up. I can’t live there any more. What should I do?”

Earl Grey, the loan officer in charge of GAFRA looked down his beak at Fat Louie.” What do you want me to do? Pay your mortgage .”

Earl Grey was a very large grey goose. He had stopped off in Atanta during a migration several years ago, and had found it much easier to stay and feed off the locals that it would be to continue the endless flying. Back and forth, north then south then north again.

” Haven’t you heard about our new leader?”Asked Earl Grey.” The ADDOP elected a grey goose as flock leader for the first time in history. The word is share the wealth. We are all brothers under the feathers.

“But my home is worth less than the money I owe. “Complaine Louie.”Why should I have to pay ?”

“Did we force you to purchase this property?Asked Earl Grey.

“Listen,” said Fat Louie. It is my right as a citizen of the common flock to get assistance from the American Democratic Duck  Open Party  .(ADDOP)

“Sorry, ” Replied Earl Grey, ” Due to the prolonged drought, we have allowed our brother birds, including Geese, Swans, and migratory flocks from across the border, to share our lakes and ponds. If you need assistance, get in line with the Illegal arrivals.”

” Quack, quack, o.k.”said Fat Louie.” In order to help my fellow ducks, I will also help the other birds, even though they don’t help us, or work for the common good.”

” That’s the spirit,” encouraged Earl Grey

As a good citizen of Duck, Fat Louie continued to pay his mortgage. The drought and the recession among humans caused many of the humans to move away. The Complex and Snapfinger Woods Lake became somewhat rundown, and more humans moved away.

With the humans leaving the easy food became more scarce, and Fat Louie was now sharing his wealth with  thousands of illegan birds from Mexico.

The good news is that Fat Louie lost weight due to scarcity.

His gout went away.

He met a pretty Daisy Duck, and  what happened next  is a story for another day.