Sunday, July 24, 2011
This is such a summer of contrasts. While most of the nation has been enduring sweltering temperatures, here in the northwest, we're still marveling at a day with sunshine. We'll get to 89 degrees this weekend so it's safe to use the "s" word; summer is finally here. But it will rain in Portland in a few days. If it doesn't...just wait a few more days. It's what we love about this place. It's the price to pay for the beauty of the green forests, the rivers and streams, and the numerous lakes.
In Arizona, dust storms to rival the Great Depression's dust bowl era have occurred and reoccurred this year. While the rivers and streams in the northwest are loaded with so much runoff that it'll be September before some are truly fishable.
In Somalia, what's left of that country is offering up images of starvation that make the newscasters cringe. Wish there was a way to get some of that excess water from one part of the world to another. It's hard to believe that some of these problems can't be solved. Isn't it just a matter of redirecting our effort and energy from the pursuit of greed and power to preserving and equalizing the resources a bit?
While the weather continues to impress and depress, so does the Congress. We know more about the debt ceiling than ever before. Political posturing reaches new levels. Getting re-elected is clearly the priority. Our polarization is so pronounced it's become a metaphor for the weather. Or vice-versa. Either way, it's fairly dysfunctional.
We have a solution. That's the beauty of our Constitution. Perhaps the President will go the route of Executive order. Then the Supreme Court will get off the bench (wonderful pun huh?) and rule one way or another. Let them battle it out since a game of chicken is all we've got anyway.
What if the U.S. government did default? Certainly it won't come to that. But if it did, what would result. Stock market crash? Loss of prestige in the world community? Gridlock? Hey, wait a minute, don't we have these now?
It's not going to happen. Some last minute "compromise" will emerge and they'll all save face. It's what happens in these situations. After all, the best predictor of behavior is still past behavior.