Saturday, September 20, 2014


I don't know how much I will get done in the gardens because we may get rain today.  I pulled the tansy root ball yesterday and I was surprised by how extensive it was.  It was in one of the larger containers all by itself and was close to being pot-bound.  I would have had to remove it in the spring even if I decided to keep tansy in the gardens.  I decided to take it out now because I won't continue it.  I did get a good start on another seasonal chore--cleaning and organizing the little greenhouse.

Just saw the Al Jazeera story about the release of the Turkish hostages ISIL had been holding.  The reporters said that Turkey had not paid any ransom so the question is what was the "quid pro quo" ISIL got in return.  They speculate Turkey secretly promised not to take active part in any coalition against ISIL.  Our pundits have noted how reluctant Turkey has been to join the ant-ISIL efforts and attributed that reluctance to the threat to their hostages.  But I wonder if there isn't something more behind the position Turkey's government has taken.  I am reminded of a segment in a novel I recently read.  A merchant in a feudal society pondered aiding a young prince in a clandestine endeavor his monarch would not approve.  The merchant wanted increased influence and wealth for his family and ponders the risks involved and asked the question of what loyalties he owes to whom and to which generation.  The important point is underlined: to which generation.  Should he refuse and earn the gratitude of current rulers while earning the enmity of the generation to whom power will be passed? I wonder if Turkey's president isn't pondering the same question.  How he might answer it depends on whether he sees the U.S. as a strong, major power or declining power.  Does he act in accordance to U.S. wishes earning our gratitude or does he hedge his bets and not antagonize a group which might be a rising power in the region?  Given our actions and the results of those actions over the past fifty years, I think the question is very much up in the air.  Our successes since the end of WWII have been few, far between and highly qualified by how success is defined.

I may sound vindictive but I say "GOOD."  I would love to see the jerk get the 30 years maximum sentence without parole.  He is as bad as gang shooters who go out and spray a neighborhood with gunfire not caring who gets hurt.  Maybe worse.  You know you can't trust gangbangers but you trust that what you bought in our supermarkets won't kill you.

Interesting piece by David Brin that deserves a bit of mental chewing and digesting.

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