Before I get to the touchy stuff I'll begin by saying that this has been a quite nice week. Although we are still not unpacked fully from the season at MACA we have made great strides. We punctuated the effort with a two night three day camping trip at Virgin Falls here in Tennessee. Any of you hike lovers out there should definitely consider a trip there. The falls (all of them) are beautiful, particularly Virgin, which comes out of a cave and drops 110 feet to go directly into another cave! The hiking is excellent too, but I will warn that it is strenuous, and deceptive. Coming in, you don't realize just how long you've been going downhill until you reach a fairly low point at Big Laurel Falls. Even being down near this incredible waterfall with its cavernous rock-shelter you don't realize what the climb out (with packs) will be like until the hike out begins and never seems to end. I found that the best tactic to take here was to strike a somewhat slow plodding pace and keep putting one foot in front of the other, quite relentlessly. Don't let the hike out stop you though, go anyway.
Now for the touchy stuff.
There is a story circulating about a foolish comment our dear president made while sitting in front of a microphone he did not know was hot.
This is not the original story but it's close enough. Now this brings me to the Israel/Palestine issue, the touchy one. How do I feel about this issue? Well, this is the framework in which I see the problem. I own a small piece of land here in the great state of Tennessee. It is not an impressive piece but we have lived here and worked on it for about 13 years. This land was once owned by a different family, we'll call them the Fulks because I cannot currently remember their name, but many people know this piece of land and those surrounding it as "the old Fulk place". Now I do not know how many descendants old man Fulk had, but let's say he had a lot of them, and they all left a long time ago to far flung corners of at least Tennessee but perhaps all over the world. Now let's say that the Fulk descendants have been treated horrendously wherever they have gone. In some places their treatment by their fellow man has included torture and murder on a massive scale as if to wipe the Fulks out of existence. However, some of the Fulk family still remains and they go to the President of the good ole USA and ask him for someplace to live where they will not be tortured. He says, "Well, didn't your grandfather own a scrubby little farm in the hills of Middle Tennessee?" and they say, "Yes, according to our records, he did indeed." So the President says go on back there and set yourselves up a place and we'll make sure no one bothers you. So one fine sunny day a mobile home gets dropped off in my garden and my neighbor's house (which she currently uses only occasionally) gets moved into by some of the Fulk clan. Now, that they were grievously mistreated before moving to our place is indisputable, but does that give them the right to destroy all that we have worked on over the last 13 years? I say it does not. If the Fulks had come to the neighborhood and talked with us all we might very well have worked with them so they could have a place here too, but to circumvent us altogether and then try to take over does not make sense.
Now I feel the President's statement was foolish primarily because I presume he is seeking reelection. A statement like the one he made pretty much puts him in the same boat as Mr. Cain, I believe.