Like everywhere else, Paeonian Springs, Virginia is sweltering. Being outside is potentially dangerous to one's health. Between rolling blackouts I have been able to catch some news. Here are my thoughts:
Cuba - Power has shifted in Cuba. Fidel Castro is ill or possibly even dead. Who knows? Nevertheless, thousands of Cubans in Miami are rejoicing. Entrepreneurs and politicians in the U.S. are salivating at the prospect of moving into Cuba and building our trademark icons of McDonalds, cell phone stores, and pharmaceutical brand names. The tourist industry sees a low cost, low fuel destination, ninety miles from our shores. Democratization in Cuba will probably be smoother than what we are attempting in Iraq. Despite the propaganda coming from that island nation of 11 million, I suspect, some day, Cuba will be one of our greatest allies in the Caribbean. Time will tell.
Iraq– It's not going away. Despite the indications that a full-scale civil war is in progress, the United States does not seem ready yet to declare victory and leave. The war is definitely going to affect our politics this fall, but I do not think that new leadership in our Congress or even in our presidency is going to bring our troops home. No elected American leader of any ilk is going to let that part of Middle Eastern geography that is so critical to our present energy needs, fall under control of leadership that will shut off our oil spout.
John McCain - I can't help but letting my cynicism reign when I see that his eighteen-year-old son, Jimmy, has joined the Marines. Although I doubt that McCain will personally bring this up in his presidential campaign, I don't think his various supporters will restrain themselves in pointing out that his support of our involvement in Iraq is not without personal commitment. This will be a campaign plus for McCain – no doubt.
Mel Gibson - I bet six months from now that most people will have forgotten Mel's drunken anti-Semitic foray in Malibu. Mel's spin-doctors will not allow the industry that is Mel Gibson to self-destruct.
Israel– is distracting attention from the war in Iraq. I think 9-11 has effectively resulted in Americans not having too much sympathy for the plight of Lebanese or Palestinians. The Bush Administration will not seriously move towards a ceasefire or brokering a peace deal until the polls go south. Our allies in the European Union are the biggest hypocrites in this entire matter. This meltdown is in their backyard, why are they not more proactive in bringing about a solution? Why does it always have to be us?
The Heat – I've sweated through a number of heat waves in my life and nearly been blown away by at least five hurricanes. Why are these now political issues? Our planet has had ice ages, prolonged periods of warmth and tropical growth – which created the oil by the way; volcanic emissions have darkened the skies and lowered the temperature. Why are we now bent around the axle about something that I think is more of a climatic issue than a political issue – global warming - the geologic record shows it has happened before.
Floyd Landis – It will truly be a shame if this Tour de France winner is found guilty of using synthetic testosterone to enhance his chances of winning. If it is true – given the intense screening – why did Floyd think he wouldn't be caught?
Okay, the sun is starting to go down, time to finish mowing the lawn. I hope the lights on my tractor are still working. See you next time…