THE BIG DITCH
Ten years ago, as your editor was writing this article, to
go into the May 1978 issue of Understanding Magazine, there was a continuing
controversy as to the conditions under which we would be allowed to give our
canal to Panama, whose officials had decided that they could operate it better
than we. Besides, it was in their country, they were not very good at reading
treaties and they simply could not understand what the word perpetuity meant.
Panamanian Officials insisted that the gift must be made
in fee simple, with full sovereignty, and that it be accompanied by a donation
of cash sufficient to ease the critical economic situation then existing in Panama
as the result of a degree of fiscal irresponsibility almost as great as that
which exists here.
Opponents of the treaty in the United States, point out
that we already had a national debt about the same size as the rest of the of
the world combined; a currency that loses purchasing power at a steadily
increasing rate, in spite of anything government can or will do about it, and a
rate of inflation that at any moment, may get out of hand and wipe out our
economy completely. They further pointed out that we managed to achieve this
monumental state of fiscal degeneration by our determination to act in 'loco- parentis’
to the rest of the world, and to bail out other countries from the results of
their fiscal irresponsibilities.
It must be realized however, that the Republic of Panama
is unique country which the U.S. itself created, in order to be able to build
the canal, and which it has supported with its money and defended with its army
and navy ever since. It may therefore be argued, with some justification, that
there is a certain parental responsibility involved which must be considered in
any dealings between them.
The principal problem between the two countries seems to
be that Panama, as a state, has reached the stage of adolescence and, as any
psychiatrist can testify, one of the most basic needs of the adolescent is to
free itself of all parental authority, even though it still expects to be
supported by them.
Some portions of the treaty have been reported to the
public, but in the most generalized terms, so that the average citizen has no
real basis for judgment as to its merits, its dangers or its ultimate cost to
him. Since the citizen will have no say in the matter this is not considered
One of the provisions that have been mentioned, in
passing, have been that the U.S. will never construct any other canal in any
part of Central America, thus guaranteeing Panama a total monopoly in
perpetuity. It is difficult to see any logical reason why the U.S. should agree
to any such a restriction, especially in view of the fact that it has
apparently agreed to build one in Nicaragua eventually. (At least the citizens
of Nicaragua are convinced that such a promise has been given.
During the closing months of world war II, your editor
spent some time in Nicaragua, and could not help but notice that every map of
Nicaragua plainly showed (Nicaraguan canal) as under construction.
No one seemed to know exactly which U.S. official or
agency had promised to build the Canal but all were sure that it had been
If your editor were in a position to advise our national
legislators, which (fortunately for both of us) he is not, that advice would
have been have given the Canal in five years with no strings -- but not the
money that was to have been given with it. (If Panama wants money from the U.S.
it should be given on a different basis.) Meanwhile during the five years the
U.S. should arrange to have the Nicaraguan Canal built, either by purchasing
the necessary land outright, or by loaning Nicaragua the necessary money and
contractors to build it themselves (with today’s technology and earth-moving
equipment it could be done for somewhat less than Panama wanted for taking ours
from us. As soon as that Canal was completed we could give it to Nicaragua and
forget the whole thing.
All we want is to get our ships from one ocean to the
other in a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost, a situation which is very
unlikely with one country in complete domination of the only route.
Now we may have to take it back by force if we wish to
block the drug traffic which has taken over the military and much of the
Daniel W. Fry
This is Success
to do Something good
when you can –
where you can –
while you can!
l only know l owe so much
to people everywhere
And when I put my thoughts in verse
it's just away to share
The musings of a thankful heart,
a heart much like your own,
For nothing that I think or write
is mine and mine alone...
Show me the way
not to fortune and fame,
Not how to win laurels
or praise for my name
But show me the way
to spread "The Great Story"
That Mine is The kingdom
and Power and Glory.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar
So, stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things go wrong that you mustn't quit.
THE LEGEND OF THE SHAMROCK
Many years afro in Ireland
St. Patrick looked around
And noticed the tiny shamrocks
Covering the ground...
He picked one and closely studied it
And came to realize
What the three leaves on one shamrock
Might be Said to symbolize...
One leaf to show the Father,
One leaf to show the Son,
One leaf to show the Holy Ghost –
The blessed Three-in-One
And so that is the way
The shamrock came to be
The symbol to remind us
Of the Holy Trinity.
By William Allingham (1824-1889)
Down the rushy glen,
daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
jacket; red cap,
And white owl's feather!
along the rocks shore
Some make their home
live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Of the Mack mountain lake.
frogs for their watch-dogs.
All night awake.
the blessings of love,
health, and happiness
on St. Patrick’s Day
(hand written) I regret that you cannot se all the green
upon this page!! I believe in gnomes, fairies, leprechauns, wee folk and of
course unseen helping angels. Don’t you?
It is with pleasure and pride that I tell you I am totally
Cleona Quigley Fry