Greetings from Iceland. I’ve hung out with my new friend Lief Erikson, visited a lagoon full of hot blue water and hundreds of semi-clad people (I was not one of them), seen enormous glaciers, volcanoes and waterfalls and, twice, stood astride the European and North American tectonic plates. The people are friendly, the food (especially the lamb stew) is terrific and it hasn’t been too cold. Some call it a Nordic Hawaii. I see it as a cross between Hawaii and Yellowstone. And it is as close to the east coast as California. I highly recommend it.
Today we visited Thingvellir National Park. This is one of those places the tectonic plates meet. It is also a location of great significance to the Icelandic nation.
It was here that the newly independent nation of Iceland was proclaimed in 1944. It is here that major national celebrations are held. It is also here that, at the end of the first millennium, the people and their leaders met to decide important matters of law and government.
They met at a spot called Law Rock (if you stand there you can imagine why they met there, the back drop is amazing and the vista spectacular). The met for two weeks and disposed of all their business in that time.
For some reason (perhaps that I’m a dork), it made me think of the fact that we have not been able to pass a basic law like FAA reauthorization for four years. Yes, things were very different back in those days and politics in contemporary America is a messy business – for good reason. But still. FAA Reauthorization. The basic business of government. A shutdown and 21 extensions? I’m not saying we need to pass everything in two weeks every time. But how about we aim for that when Congress comes back – a two year extension of current law passed in less than two weeks.