a break…

Posted on Sunday 29 July 2007

Last Sunday [July 22nd], I took off for Northwest Arkansas with some friends and colleagues involved in our Trail Tree Project, and I made a mental note not listen to or watch the news, not to read the blogs or the papers. I call it "news restriction." I did it for three weeks before the 2004 election because I was too "into" what’s happening in Washington. In 2006 during the election, I voted, then we went camping on an isolated mountain for the same reason. This time, I was just plain disgusted with the shoddy way our governmental officials were acting. It didn’t help that I’d spent three weeks in Eastern Europe learning about how those people lost most of a century because their leaders went crazy and lost sight of what government was for.


This last week was great. I kept my vow and we had a fine time roaming the woods of Arkansas and Alabama looking for Indian Marker trees from the early 1800’s [and before]. If you’re interested, take a look at my "other" blog for a brief report of how to get a break from the sad news from Washington. Northwest Arkansas is a beautiful place. Where we were, there were no fast food restaurants, no "MacMansions" or new subdivisions. Except for the new trucks in the driveways, it looked like my world looked when I was a kid in the 1940’s travelling with my parents. The motels were owned by one person. The restaurants were mom and pop places. The people were wonderful and beyond hospitable. It was ironic that the World Headquarters for Walmart was just one county away from us, but I saw no sign of them except for an occasional road name and an ad for the Walmart Bass Tournament on nearby Beaver Lake. It was Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Donna Reed Show country through and through. Made it easy to take a break from the daily news.

But even in the absence of stimulus, it wasn’t too far from my mind – the Bush Administration. Northwest Arkansas is Bush Country. I found myself wondering how these fine people who treated us so well were taken in by the Republican messages. I sort of get the patriotic thing, and the religion thing, and the fear thing – but I’m just being generous in saying that. George Bush and his cohorts have not only been the most incompetent Administration in my lifetime, have not only been the most deceitful Administration in my lifetime, they’ve been the most disdainful of the people – people like the ones in NW Arkansas. It was in the slightly Democratic Eastern Arkansas where they attempted to replace Bud Cummins with Timothy Griffin – the mastermind of "caging" and their "voter fraud" plan.

I’m hoping this nightmare may end in 2008, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again. The same sentiment, the same vulnerability, the same voters will still be out there in our future, even if we squeak by next year. I’m going to rest my sore muscles for a day or so, and ponder this more deeply. I think there must be something we’ve done to allow this Administration to so radically polarize and hoodwink this country. I’m just not sure what it is…

    July 29, 2007 | 11:43 PM

    Welcome back! I kept thinking that your right to leave the mess we call Washington DC. The stuff going on there is absolutely terrible. I get no satisfaction learning how corrupt the Bush Administration is. Now we have the Congress recess the month of August. Congress and the President are complaining about the Iraqi parliment taking the month of August off but so is Congress and the President. I’ve just written Harry Reid and my senators asking them not to have a recess because Bush will be free to do more wrecking in the China closet, and if he breaks anything we will be paying the price. I thought that Reid and the senate could do teleconferencing and someone I read today said that Reid should leave a skeleton crew in Congress to do the business in Congress and prevent Bush his recess appointments. I don’t want Bush and Cheney to have Christmas in August.

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