I know I said that I am "dialing down" the politics, at least while the games are on this summer. Well, one of the beauties of blogging is that you are your own managing editor, when it comes to content selection.
Anyone who has made even a cursory perusal of international news the past few days will recognize that the Middle East, a virtual geopolitical powderkeg, just got even hotter. Israel, reacting to the kidnap of two of its soldiers (I wonder how many Lebanese, Palestinian and Arab soldiers are sitting in Israeli jails?) by Hezbollah, has launched their own Zionist-driven shock and awe campaign against Lebanon. Consequently, global markets, particularly oil, have reacted accordingly. Oil hit the $76.70/barrel mark yesterday, an all-time high, btw, on its march towards $80/barrel. According to the AP's Brad Foss, breaking the $80 barrier is inevitable. If that happens, those that track these things say that $100/barrel will follow soon thereafter.
Government, politics, or even sweet Jesus won't save us. Our government, which should have been working towards a two-state solution in Gaza, has been strangely silent about Israeli bombs raining down on the Lebanese. Bill Clinton wasn't a perfect president, by any means, but at least he recognized the importance of this for a viable future for the Middle East (as did Martin Sheen, my president [see West Wing]). The over-used trump card of global terrorism has just about run its course. The Guardian, always a place for interesting perspectives, has this one on how the definition of terror is motivated by the self-interest of the user. Big surprise there, eh?
If gas is $3.00/gallon at the current price of crude, where's it headed if we see oil at $100/barrel? Of course, Barack Obama and the Democrats are out on the highways, trying to drum up support for more E-85 (Ethanol), so we can continue to drive just as damn much as we always have, chasing down our cheap trinkets, made courtesy of Chinese slaves, at the local Wal-Mart. No problem--we'll just have to plow under the entire Midwestern corridor (flyover country to you folks in the east) and plant corn!
When I look at the seriousness of the big picture and see how little effect I am able to make, as well as the utter lunacy of those who should be doing more, because they have the power, I don't feel so bad about my little garden, riding my bike, or even listening to the Red Sox on the radio.