Macaluso: Using our resources intelligently

Started out thinking about Christmas, about unique gifts, and somehow began to believe a Jack-in-the-Beanstalk gift might be a one-size-fits-all solution.

Pause, rewind and realize that the idea of some magic, cure-all-ills seeds is what got us into today’s troubles.

For all our formal education, we haven’t learned there’s a give-and-take to everything on our planet, that the cure for beautiful imported water hyacinth might not be nutria, or that allowing the use of silver and bighead carp to control algae in catfish ponds is good in the Far East, but not such a hot move in Mississippi because when they escape, they could take over at least five major river systems.

There’s no easy cure for the scourge that’s come in the forms of water hyacinth, nutria, silver/bighead carp, nor any of the other hundreds of nonnative species in our state.

Wait, there’s way to control nutria?

Yes, pay cash to those with licenses to shoot these critters that threaten the very survival of Louisiana’s marshes. Just bring us the nutria tails, and we’ll hand you cash on the barrel. Several million nutria have gone to the great marsh in the sky because this bounty system was put in place.

Sure, I know that’s not the kind of Christmas spirit-like column any of you expected to see, but it illustrates a point we can all hope our government will heed in the coming months, that there are direct ways to deal with a problem that might provoke a vocal minority’s anger, but at least it’s a simple something that could work and not spend billions doing it.

We can hope that our local, state and federal governing bodies and the executives of each understand that we hire them to run our country. Seems like we elect, and instead of the elected taking a manager’s job, they take ownership.

All we want is honest, wise, intelligent use of the resources given them to do their job.

But that brings to mind a story about Thibodeaux driving along A1A in Florida last summer. He was alone, the road was mostly deserted (it was 4 a.m.) and a cloud appeared, then parted in front of his car.

A voice boomed from the cloud: “Thibodeaux, I know you’re a God-fearing man, a man who has lived his life by the Golden Rule. Is there any way I can reward you?”

Thibodeaux said he’d always wanted to go to France to find any ancestors he might have there but explained that he had a great fear of flying. Could someone build a bridge across the Atlantic so he could drive to France?

“Can’t do that,” the voice responded. “It would use the entire resources of your planet to build such a span. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Thibodeaux responded that he’d been thinking on the morning after the second presidential debate that he would like to have a president and Congress that acted in a wise, prudent and responsible manner.

The voice shot back, “Do you want the bridge two-lane or four-lane?”

Merry Christmas!