Even here in near paradise we do have our occasional problems. We had a relatively brief but severe wind and thunderstorm that left large areas of North Idaho without power, some for a few hours, some, like us, for two days, and I believe there may be a few still without power. You just forget how dependent you are upon electricity these days until you have to go without it for a while. No computers, no hot water, no TV, no decent light to read by, no furnace (although this was hardly a problem this time) and so on. We are probably a bit better off than most as we do have a propane barbecue and a two-burner stove that runs on butane, to say nothing of assorted oil lamps, candles, and flashlights. Except for showers we managed pretty well.
If the storm was not enough we also have computer problems. One of our computers somehow became infected with viruses (several). For us, this entails a trip to Coeur d'Alene, some 80 miles away. And, of course, expense (we could almost have bought a new computer for less). Then, to add insult to injury, there is supposed to be some kind of "restorative" disc. Except, we were informed, the company no longer makes such a disk (this computer is only three years old). If you try to fix anything like this yourself you end up talking with people in India, the Philippines, Pakistan, and elsewhere, some of whom speak passable English and some not so passable, some very knowledgeable and some not very knowledgeable, and etc., etc. Technology is rapidly outstripping our meagre resources to deal with it.
Then there are the deer. I never realized the deer were so smart. We do have a fence. It is true the deer can jump over the fence but they do not ordinarily do so unless something is chasing them. Our deer don't even consider jumping over the fence, the nuzzle around and around until they find someplace they can squeeze under the fence. UNDER THE FENCE! You'd think they were squirrels or rabbits rather than full grown deer. When we find a weak spot we reinforce it. But they soon find another spot and the game goes on. Today they devastated many of our bean plants. Tomorrow, who knows? It is seemingly impossible to keep them out. While I like the deer, and don't really bear them any ill will, I don't really want to share my garden with them. There's plenty for them to eat around here without our garden. It's all very depressing.
Beyond these mundane everyday tribulations there are the broader questions of local, national and international relations. Locally, we have a woman who was put in prison for meth violations. A judge released her and while she was out she married and had a child who is now 3 months old. She has been clean for two years, loves her child and is trying to do right, but they want to put her back in jail (they say the judge did not have the authority to release her). Now, I ask you, what earthly purpose might be served by sending her back to jail? She has appealed to our Governor, Otter, who says he can't be involved with such matters and she should hire a good lawyer (no doubt she has unlimited funds for this purpose). This once again points up the absurdity of our drug laws. Meth shouldn't be a criminal offense in the first place, but, rather, a medical problem. But as we have criminalized all drugs it becomes a criminal rather than a medical problem. If drugs were made legal most of these "problems" would vanish and our jails would be significantly emptied. Here in the U.S. you gets no points for common sense.
On the national scene Obama has said he thinks impeachment would be inappropriate as it should not be used politically and should be reserved for particularly serious occasions. I guess Obama thinks that lying to the American public and the Congress to get us embroiled in an illegal and unconstitutional "war," condoning torture, violating the constitution in more ways than one, war profiteering and many other war crimes, just doesn't constitute an important enough problem for impeachment. Way to go, Barack. Pelosi has said she won't support impeachment because she has her eyes on 2008 and winning the White House. If this is not politics, pure and simple, I don't know what is. And while she has her eyes on the White House our troops continue to die in greater and greater numbers. But what are a few more deaths when compared to the glorious political points you might score. Disgusting.
On the international front things are just as bad or worse than ever. There is a serious move afoot in Iraq, by Iraqis, to form a new government that would help them avoid breaking their country up into pieces, solve many of their problems, and get rid of Maliki in favor of someone not in the hands of the U.S. Naturally the U.S. is doing everything it can to not allow them to succeed. We want Maliki because he is our puppet and will (presumably) do our bidding. Why should we allow the Iraqis to form a government on their own to solve their problems when we can form a government for them which keeps them from solving their problems? Our pretend President Bush has enlisted the aid of his father to make nice nice with Putin in Kennebunkport. I hope he got approval from Dick the Slimy first.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad."