The News Is Different When You’re On Vacation


Somewhere not too far from where the above photo was taken there is an organic olive oil farm for sale. Cheap, too, as these things go — under $1 million. In my dreams I win the lottery and say goodbye to Nashville and start my organic olive oil operation, all sustainable, off-grid, and solar-powered.

I know a lot of you will see this picture and think, “Ick. Too scorched.” This is the landscape I grew up with, though, and to me it’s the prettiest place on earth. And if the nation is going to get embroiled in another military adventure in the Middle East, what better place to hole up than an organic, sustainable, off-grid, solar-powered olive oil ranch? Y’all come. Harvest is in November. Democommie, you can even bring Buddy.

So, I don’t confess to be any genius about Syria, or what Russia and China have to do with it, or any of the larger issues involved. I don’t have a private Joint Chiefs to advise me. I am reflexively anti-war, but I trust President Obama in a way that I didn’t trust President Bush, in part because of the massive Neocon-War-Machine-Halliburton-Blackwater-Big Oil rip-off behind the Bush-Cheney-Rummy cabal. That said, I remain reflexively anti-war, always.

As I sip my chardonnay from a vacation la-la land, I have to say: watching the war dialogue this time — a tad more than 10 years after the Iraq invasion — is an amazing thing to see. Remember when the media lost its collective mind? Remember when we were told, ad nauseum, that Saddam Hussein “gassed his own people”, and so an invasion was justified? Remember when not supporting/trusting the president’s war judgement was tantamount to treason? My, what some distance from 9/11 brings.

I heard today that Britain’s Parliament has voted against military involvement in Syria. Are we going to dump English breakfast tea in the gutters? Will English muffins be renamed “Freedom Muffins” in the Congressional cafeteria? No? Why not?

Just curious: is this reticence to rush to war because we’ve learned some lessons after the Iraq debacle? Or is this just more reflexive If-Obama-Wants-It-We’re-Against-It stuff from the GOP?

These are interesting times, indeed. The United States is now a major oil producer, for the first time in decades. It’s safe to say, oil embargoes are not the threat they once were. Surely that plays into the mix, yes?

I am reflexively anti-war, always. I’m also on vacation and haven’t been watching the news 24/7 as I usually do. From the snippets I’ve received, I’m not hearing “let’s invade/occupy” from the President. I’m hearing, “let’s take action.” I’d like to know more what that means.

I’m also hearing more questioning than I heard in the run-up to Iraq. I’m seeing a news media behave a tad more responsibly. I observe these things and am glad that we’re not so gung-ho for war, but really questioning the motives behind all of it.

I probably shouldn’t look these gift horses in the mouth. I probably should retire to my olive ranch and just breathe deep and go about my business.


Filed under peace, travel, war economy, War On Terror

11 responses to “The News Is Different When You’re On Vacation

  1. I was thinking yesterday that, with a black Democrat in the White House, maybe Congress will finally revisit the War Powers Act and return us to the concept of “declared” war. Unlikely, I know, but hey …

    • yutsano

      Nah. They’re gonna want it intact when one of theirs is in the big chair again. Hell they might not even bother with justifying bombing Iran, they just do it.

  2. Mary Wilson

    SB, I am also holding my breath. I have seen two lists of Congress members who have sent letters to the President asking that he not make the ‘war’ decision. And it was a collection of ethnic minority members, both Dems (64 so far, 165 total HOUSE members) and Republicans, across the country, who know that ANY military action will result in cuts to our vital social programs to “pay” for it. And I believe in our President and I am praying for his best decision.

  3. GregH

    We ain’t gonna get UN Security Council approval for any action, thanks to Russia and China, and now that the Brits are out of the picture, so to me it looks like we have two politically and militarily viable options : 1) Do nothing (admitting that we lack the political and military ability to do what John McCain wants – “change the situation on the ground.” or 2) lob a few cruise missiles at “strategic targets” to save face, declare victory and go home. If developments in Iraq and Northern Ireland have taught us anything, it is that peace and stability cannot be imposed from outside on a society at war with itself. Basically, enough pain and suffering and bloodshed must accumulate on all sides that they admit 1) they cannot win and 2) enough is enough, it’s time for a negotiated settlement. That is very sad for the Syrian people, but I think history bears me out on this one. It’s just a matter of how much the opposing sides want to torture each other and for how long.

  4. Nothing like a proxy war to get the surveillance state out of the headlines.

    Beautiful country in the photo if you ask me. I’d be worried about earthquakes and the availability of extra virgins to press the olives. Otherwise…DO IT!

  5. democommie

    Speaking of certified, Grade Z. MurKKKan Morans:,0,7093629.story

    If I was a bit more cynical I’d say that Chiefie is making a concerted effort to get himself fired, so’s he can spend his afternoon on the “KKKross of KKKristianist Martyrdumb*” before his tour de deadlyforce of the ReiKKKwingRadio.

    * Not intended to be factually true or confused with actual physical suffering

  6. democommie

    You gotta love it when there’s two major league gunzloonzburnin’stoopit moments in one day!

  7. That could be just about anywhere along the coast south of San Luis Obispo, except that just about every golden hillside south of Oceanside or anywhere near the Los Angeles/Orange County Metropolis is graded and built up with business parks, apartments and million dollar mcmansions.

    I still think the oak trees are prettier in Ramona.

    Head south. I know a beach, where, a-baby, it never ends.

  8. Ann

    I’d like to hole up with you when you go. I’m from Northern California, now in Knoxville. Just let me know. I’ll bring good cooking and work skills.