greg (grysar) wrote,

Vacations and Speculation

This trip has been a lot of fun so far. I'll have a fair number of pictures when I get back home, because I've just got my parents a digital camera (Canon Powershot A40) and we've been having a lot of fun with it. However, Internet access costs by the minute so you people will just have to wait til I can upload them for free.

I continue to love San Antonio Texas' riverwalk. It is a fairly long canal below streetlevel, with fair number of resturants, some rather good. The place has real atmosphere. Although it is rather touristy, I could walk around there for hours.

I apent the weekend there and after a two hour train ride spent today in Austin. Saw the LBJ presidential library and wandered around U of T for a bit, not a bad campus. Also, Texas has a nice statehouse. While their lower House has the same number of Representatives as Maryland's, the desk and spacing are as large as the areas we give our Senators. Guess everything really is bigger in Texas.

Yet, on that note, I'm afraid I've got to support the sentiment that portions,particularly for deserts are really getting too huge. Had a great dinner tonight, place called Truluck's, but I don't think I'd have wanted to take any of those deserts on alone. Now admittedly I tend to have big lunches on vacation, but increasingly for our larger meals I prefer to split two meals and an appetizer or the like. This tells me something, because my appetite is fairly big, how do the rest of you people eat?

Next: I'm going up to St. Louis tomorrow then meeting up with dad's side of the family near Springfield Illinois. Friday is my cousins wedding, Saturday I'm back home. Don't expect internet access, but I may find it.

On a different note, my Wam account is deactivated now. So if you want me to get it send mail to ( will also work).

Now for the speculation. I'm wondering if the Bush Administration is leaking many of these drips and drabs about Saudi Arabia. They have motive to, they can play good cop to Congress' bad cop when trying to get more cooperation in the war on terror. Now I'm not saying I disagree with this strategy, if it is a strategy, but it is fun to ponder.

If President Bush were actually pursuing a strategy like this it may indicate that we should increasingly expect a harder line on Saudi Arabia after Iraq. We still need them for that war and the terror war in general, but once we're occupying Iraq we won't need them for military bases, or oil for that matter.

My evidence for this? Increasing the antagonism of the American populace towards Saudi Arabia is a dangerous thing to do if the Saudi's are gonna be our ally's for the long term. I say this because there are good reasons for Americans to distrust that country, enough that I'm not going to bother to review them. So will be difficult to repair the relationship as there are factions on both sides that could benefit politically by causing trouble to win points with those constituents that dislike the other country. Heck, it might even be in the best interests of Saudi Arabia for its regime to have more distance to the U.S. The fanatics would lose a big issue, perhaps leaving the regime more able to modernize if it wants to. There are greater potential benefits for the U.S. but that's a different rant.

Although I will veer off topic for a minute. Anyone want to be in a pool to predict the start and end times of the war on Iraq? No money at stake, just for fun. Feel free to also predict it won't happen, just don't expect to be right. ;p

Think I'll try to figure out my predictions soon, they have to be made before the upcoming deadline (december 8th) for Iraq to report on it's weapon programs to be truly challenging. :)
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