Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Musings: Think About It

I don’t know what it is about 3:30 a.m. — a clairvoyant friend calls it “the spirit hour” — but I nearly always wake at that time, usually from a vivid, strange dream, and quite frequently I indulge the restless urge to go outside and see what’s happening in that dark, silent realm, and of course, Koko is always good to go.

That’s what happened last night, and after a comforting little visit with the stars I was able to settle down and fall back to sleep, waking up at a more “reasonable” hour, when only Jupiter remained in a sky of palest blue just waiting for the sun to rise and deepen its color.

As we walked, Waialeale’s cloud cap tilted jauntily, then flew off and joined the masses forming around all the horizons, and after releasing a blast of pink, the sun disappeared altogether, leaving the sky gray instead of that vibrant September blue.

I was resting on a bench at a school bus stop when Andy rounded the corner, walking two dogs that belong to his daughters, along with his own, so we joined the gregarious family pack and Andy and I began, as we often do, talking politics.

Gov. Palin was the first on the list. It really irritates me that she’s dodging not only the press, but the public, too, repeating the same tired speech and same old lies, and refusing to take questions until her handlers decide she’s ready.

I’m sorry, but when you’re picked to be VP you’d better be ready to meet the press, and it blows my mind that the media is letting her get away with this. They should be asking questions, and when she refuses to answer, that becomes the story.

Instead we’re supposed to wait, breathlessly, as if its Angelina and Brad releasing their baby pictures, for her interview with hand-picked journalist Charley Gibson of ABC News.

One can only wonder what kind of sucking up he had to do, and concessions he had to make, ala Barbara Walters and her celebrity interviews, to get the assignment at all. And of course, the McCain campaign never would have chosen Gibson if they thought he’d be tough on her.

Speaking of the McCain campaign, I was sent a link to this youtube video prepared by someone who really picked up on McCain’s body language. More amusing was this clip from the Daily Show, in which Jon Stewart skewers right wing talking heads talking out of both sides of their mouths.

And if you’re tired of the McCain as war hero myth, you might be interested in hearing what one of the guys who was in the POW camp with him has to say about McCain’s fitness for the presidency.

Personally, I think someone who has been a POW isn’t the best choice for president. I mean, don’t you think that being imprisoned for years and tortured would kind of tweak somebody’s head? Look at the guys we detained and tortured at Gitmo. They emerge from the experience as shattered shells, and weren’t the Commies in Hanoi supposed to be even more vicious?

Of course, anybody running for president has to be a little bit whacked, or why would they even want the job to begin with? Still, it doesn’t make sense to deliberately pick someone who was psychologically scarred at a tender young age. And if it didn’t affect him, shoots, that’s even worse.

While I find it hard to believe that any thinking person could actually cast a vote for the McCain-Palin ticket, a friend warned me: “Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public,” a statement with which Andy immediately concurred.

One only has to teach college to know it's true, Andy said, because those kids come in and they don’t know anything — aside, perhaps, from how to operate a Blackberry. They’re good at that kind of stuff.

His suggestion: If the Republicans get in again, just go along with them and let them destroy public education, dismantle the NEA, because it would be obvious then that it wasn't working and they'd clearly never taught people how to think.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems so incredibly narrow-minded to assume that people who fundamentally disagree with your world view are stupid and unthinking.

Joan said...

Well how else would you explain it?

Anonymous said...

That's pretty uppity coming from you, Joan.

Joan said...

I was just teasing. Don't take things so seriously. I don't think that people who have a fundamentally different world view are stupid and unthinking. I do, however, find it hard to believe that bright, thoughtful people would think that McCain-Palin are effective representatives of that world view.

Vegreef said...

Just read that: 1) Palin's church says it can "heal" homosexuality through prayer; and 2) they are often speaking in tongues at her church (although her pastor says Palin herself does not speak in tongues (at least).

Anyway, interesting how Obama was taken to task for his minister's views, but Palin get a free pass when its learned that the Church she regularly attends thinks homosexuality is an abomination that can be cured through prayer.

Oh yeah, did any catch her statement that the soldiers in Iraq are fighting for God's will. So apparently she, like GW, feels that her Christian God supports war.

Anonymous said...

Just read this on Salon...

Remember when Sarah Palin said, "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity" during her speech at the Republican convention last week? Well, it seems that quote wasn't just the Norman Rockwell infused nostalgic musings of a Republican speech-writer.

The source of that quotation, as Tom Frank pointed out in an article in the Wall Street Journal, is actually notorious right-wing columnist Westbrook Pegler. Philip Roth has called Pegler's staunch anti-Semitism, a "casual distaste for Jews." By the end of his life, Pegler was opining that it was "clearly the bounden duty of all intelligent Americans to proclaim and practice bigotry."

Of course, none of this is to suggest that Palin agrees with Pegler's more controversial positions. But it is odd that she would quote someone like Pegler in the age of The Google.

Anonymous said...

The difference is Obama's minister was not taken to task for his religious beliefs or practices but for his caustic views of the country. These criticisms of Palin's church go to religious beliefs and practices. And, I'm sorry, but everybody's religious beliefs and practices look kooky from the outside.

nomorejethros said...

Can you take it just a wee bit further on Obamaʻs minister?...the basis behind his comments regarding the country WERE based on a religious aspect.
OK, I guess I have to spell it out for you: this countryʻs leaders/policies murder people; thatʻs part of religion last time I checked -
Thou Shalt Not Kill.

Anonymous said...

Just because its a religious belief does not make it politically irrelevant. If the V.P. goes to a church that teaches that gay and lesbian people need to be healed, and that killing people in a war is justified because their souls will live-on anyway, and God wills America to win wars, that will certainly bleed into her politics. I don't want Palin for the same reason I would not want Jim Jones, or G.W. or Ted Haggart - they are religious wackos that will treat me (and anyone else who does not openly accept Jesus as lord and savior) as heathen bound for hell - and I don't want to be governed by someone who thinks of the country's intellectuals that way.

nomorejethros said...

"Just because its a religious belief does not make it politically irrelevant."

Well said! Same goes for sexist. And since the McCain cult has focussed on Plainʻs physical characteristics, they are open game. They opened the door.

Sheʻs a moron. So is Bush. And McCain. Is it a republican ʻthangʻ? Only BUBBAS need apply?

Anonymous said...

From Sunday's Washington Post re whether cons are dumber than libs:

"Liberals wish. Democrats like to think that voters who sympathize with their views are smarter than those who vote Republican. But a 2007 Pew survey found that the knowledge level of viewers of the right-wing, blustery "The O'Reilly Factor" and the left-wing, snarky "The Daily Show" is comparable, with about 54 percent of the shows' politicized viewers scoring in the "high knowledge" category.

"So what about conservative talk-radio titan Rush Limbaugh's audience? Surely the ditto-heads are dumb, right? Actually, according to a survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Rush's listeners are better educated and "more knowledgeable about politics and social issues" than the average voter."

nomorejethros said...

REPUBLICANS.
Besides being immoral morons they seem, more often than not, to suffer from rampant sexual deviations; donʻt know about any of you but this is not the kind of person I want preaching to kids.

Incestuous bubbas - all of them.

CHECK IT OUT and wake up:
http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&zx=1ayjfjwpyp8qr&shva=1#inbox/11c4d30bc7c36618

Katy Rose said...

I consistently take issue with the subtly classist bigotry of some liberals who believe that the conservative "bubbas" are stupid. In my experience, conservative working class whites, to whom I assume the term "bubba" refers, are no stupider than the rest of humanity, but have reached much different conclusions than I have about the most justified and compellng method to achieve security and contentment in our communities and personal lives. While I am often perplexed at the way any working class person can support policies that are baldly beneficial to a tiny elite at the expense of everyone else, I don't find it necessary to denigrate their intelligence or link their supposed stupidity to their class identity.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that "the average voter" elected laundry soap salesman Reagan and village dumba-- Bush to two terms each. Now, when given the choice between someone who graduated from Columbia, was president of the Harvard Law Review and was a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago and someone who was at the bottom of his class at Annapolis, or someone who was the mayor of a town smaller than Kapaa and governor for a whole twenty months and someone who was a US Senator for more than thirty years, the average voter may still make the choice based on who knows what.

Anonymous said...

The journey from Reagan to McCain/Palin scares me only half as much as the rising high school dropout rates and dropping SAT scores of the people joining the electorate.

This isn't about liberalism vs. conservatism, it's about Democrats allied with Republicans in the Corporate Party -- a party that will keep selling its message of fear as long as there are people dumb enough to buy it.

Anonymous said...

Don't these idiot masses know who are their betters? How dare they not vote for a Harvard Law graduate!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, vote for the guy who almost flunked out of the Naval Academy, he's a regular guy, one of the masses (whose father happened to be an admiral). So's the sportscaster/hockey mom. And she's the governor! Whoops, maybe she's overqualified.

Anonymous said...

The average voter recognizes that the academically brilliant can be some of the stupidest people around - that academic achievement says nothing whatsoever about leadership capability. We vote for people based on their policies, not their transcripts. If we elect someone whose policies you hate, too bad. You just happen to be on the wrong end of things this time around. You can comfort yourself with the fantasy that you're smarter than everyone else.

nomorejethros said...

"The average voter recognizes that the academically brilliant can be some of the stupidest people around - that academic achievement says nothing whatsoever about leadership capability."

Actually, thereʻs a catch to that: At least we can rest assured that the ʻacedemically brilliantʻ have the brilliance to honor the brilliant constitution. And that is what makes good policy. Once you deviate from the set standard of rules, constitutional, rule of law...all aspects disconnect and you can never put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Anonymous said...

Did you vote for Bush because of his foreign policy or his economic policy? Did you vote for Reagan because of his economic policy or his energy policy? Maybe you should try voting for someone with a better academic record instead of the person with the snazzier TV personality.

Anonymous said...

For those who are mystified, horrified or just plain bewildered by the hoopla over Sarah Palin, Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein hits it smack on target, in my opinion...

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1840388,00.html

Anonymous said...

Leadership capability? Do you mean the capability to lead us into another foreign policy disaster like Iraq? If that's what you mean, I'll take the brilliant academician over the class dunce.

Anonymous said...

"At least we can rest assured that the ʻacedemically brilliantʻ have the brilliance to honor the brilliant constitution."

Where on earth did you acquire THAT fantasy?

nomorejethros said...

You call the constitution a ʻfantasyʻ??
If it were not for the constitution, you wouldnʻt be able to join in this little tete a tete, would you? Amongst other things.
Had it not been for the last years of it being dismantled, we wouldnʻt be the most cruel and ugly world state that we are now. Granted the U.S. has always been an ugly neighbor but I guess itʻs just a lot more apparent now since they donʻt have to follow that pesky constitution on the moronʻs watch.
Iʻd say when the many americans donʻt outright reject another imbecile like McCain and the bumpkin that has the audacity to attempt to position herself as a U.S. leader...Iʻd say thatʻs fantasyland or the BUBBAS have been smoking some heavy stuff. Actually they do, arenʻt they the ones with all the meth labs?

Anonymous said...

"You call the constitution a ʻfantasyʻ??"

Duuuuuuh, no. I call the belief that the ʻacedemically brilliantʻ have any claim to have honored the constitution a fantasy.

Anonymous said...

"You just happen to be on the wrong end of things this time around."

We're all on the wrong end of things this time around, unless you happen to favor attacking a country without provocation and spending billions occupying it for years on end.

Anonymous said...

"At least we can rest assured that the ʻacedemically brilliantʻ have the brilliance to honor the brilliant constitution."

Apparently supporters of the 'acedemically brilliant' don't think so. Saw this on Planet Kauai today.

"While 82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule [based] on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree"

Might have to rethink that honor the constitution myth.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the 'academically brilliant' at it again today. The Obama campaign has a new ad ridiculing McCain for not using a computer. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail," Obama's spokesman said to the AP. The thing is, McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from typing on a keyboard, combing his hair, or tying his shoes. Look for an another apology from the academically brilliant any hour now.

nomorejethros said...

"McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from typing on a keyboard, combing his hair, or tying his shoes."

Like Iʻve been saying, look at the slop running for president. Is that the best America can do? I guess so cause them thar BUBBAS is a prolific bunch, theyʻre everywhere and even got the smell of dung all over the White House.

Anonymous said...

So is that sensitive soul who was disturbed to see a feminine pronoun used to denote a fictional crime victim going to be equally offended at calling someone with physical disabilities "slop"?

Anonymous said...

"Like Iʻve been saying, look at the slop running for president. Is that the best America can do?"

Wow, Nomorejethros is the left-wing Gadfly!

nomorejethros said...

Itʻs really quite astonishing that I would have to point out the fact that the Main and Plain ticket is not presidential material. It is evidence of the denigration of already previously questionable standards of the U.S.
Maybe itʻs got something to do with the fact that the U.S. has no culture of its own and why they go around destroying other nations cultures, substituting them with Macdonalds.
Sorry if BUBBAS are offended but I can say outright that I am a snob on this issue.
I expect some very high standards.
I canʻt imagine the outrage and insult my father would be experiencing watching this circus if he were alive, being a highly decorated officer, JAG and Pentagon official.
Thatʻs all Iʻve got to say anymore because the recent commenters are boring me.

Anonymous said...

I wish the academically brilliant would not allow a comment like that on September 10, 2008 at 1:55 PM to go unchallenged. Walter Annenberg was a conservative icon; a close friend of Reagan and Nixon. He bankrolled his own little conservative think tank which was the source of this comment about Limbaugh's knowledgeable and educated listeners based on one of their own surveys. That's right, a survey isn't even the equal of a bad study. Come on already.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Obama/Biden represent presidential material either. He's thinner on experience than Palin.

And, no, I do not count his Harvard law degree. Any president will have a raft of Ivy League lawyer consulars surrounding him (her).

Anonymous said...

Will Palin understand what the "raft" tells her? Palin's nomination and the millions of people who are enthusiastic about her being a heartbeat away from the presidency tells you all you need to know about the media, the American voting public and the sham that is our electoral process.

Anonymous said...

One could say the same of Obama.

I really did like the waffles box, though.

Anonymous said...

This from the Boston Globe:

"I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated," McCain told the Wall Street Journal in late November.

In December he said, "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," as the Globe reported on its "Political Intelligence" blog at the time.

Here's the link:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/26/mccain_tested_on_economy/

McCain/Palin, just what the country needs in these troubled economic times.

Anonymous said...

And Obama knows sig more on those issues??? Maybe econ, maybe.

Both sets of runners are less than adequate, but it appears to be the best either side can come up with.

Now, what does that say?

I'd still go with McCain/Palin because I just like them better and I like their positions on the issues.

USA/NRA...shoot them all and let God sort them out.