Monday, October 13, 2008

Musings: Manna and Mana

I almost rolled over and went back to sleep, but the slightest glimmer of pink light filtering through the window pulled me up and out into a morning that prompted both farmer Jerry and my neighbor Andy to remark upon its beauty when Koko and I encountered them as we walked along the road.

In the east were mackerel skies, brushed with broad streaks of vibrant coral, as silvery-white mist huddled above a lush pasture soaked by last night’s frequent rains. The air was chilly enough to make me shiver in my sweatshirt, and Waialeale, bare and bold, flushed first lavender-pink, as the sun emerged, then green, as it rose higher.

It was a continuation of the splendor I’d witnessed the day before, sitting in the long golden rays of a lowering sun, the air heavy with the scent of hinano — hala flowers — watching rainbows flying off the backs of big North Shore waves, dark squalls along the horizon transformed into what my friend termed “rainbow columns.”

Driving home, beneath a fat moon encircled by a ring, I was called to a favorite quiet spot inhabited by pohaku where I received, for lack of a better phrase, a spirit infusion.

It was a much different energy than the cash infusion that governments around the world are pumping in to the financial markets to keep the material world going. And the great god Dow Jones was appeased and rewarded his followers with manna. I know you can’t take mana to the bank, but I find stockpiling it to be far more rewarding.

A persistent AP reporter got his reward when he bagged the interview we’ve all been breathlessly waiting for: Levi Johnston speaking out about what it’s really like to be marrying Gov. Palin’s daughter.

I’ll give you the highlights: he dropped out of high school to get a job to support his pending family and tattooed Bristol’s name on his finger so he wouldn’t have to bother about a ring. Oh, and he didn’t get around to registering, so he won’t be able to vote, but he’s still rooting for his future mother-in-law.

Now a real scoop would have been discovering he was an Obama supporter.

Meanwhile, his future mother-in-law is busy making like ”troopergate” was no big deal, blaming it all on partisan politics as she “she glossed over the findings that she had broken ethics rules, which amounted to an abuse of her office.”

Now, that’s not a great start for a possible future President, who is at least supposed to wait until he/she gets into the Oval Office before they start abusing power.

Even more troubling is another sort of abuse of power, and that’s the hate mongering and rabble rousing at which this self-described pit bull is so adept. It’s a strategy that’s prompted lifelong Republican, Frank Schaeffer, to equate McCain/Palin rallies with “lynch mobs:”

“John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as ‘not one of us,’ I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

“At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, ‘Kill him!’ At one of your rallies, someone called out, ‘Terrorist!’ Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee—an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.

This would be troubling no matter who is running, because more hate is one thing we definitely don’t need. But given the sort of institutional and mob violence that has been directed at African-Americans, it’s even more alarming.

The question now is whether McCain and Palin want to — or even can — raise this particularly ugly vibration.


Anonymous said...

From the Los Angeles Times...

...McCain's choice [of Sarah Palin for Vice President] was cynical and undercuts his own claims to moderation, as even McCain seems to know. Time and again in the second debate, he cited his friendship and cooperation with Sen. Joe Lieberman, the former Democrat who now straddles the parties as an Independent. But McCain sought to extract advantage from that association even though he passed over Lieberman in favor of Palin. With that decision, McCain rejected a bipartisan political veteran in favor of an unqualified neophyte -- one prone to divisive rhetoric -- in order to placate his party's right wing. Palin brought us "drill, baby, drill," this year's polarizing and vulgar bit of political speech. McCain then unleashed Palin to tear down Obama, and she responded by suggesting that Obama liked to "pal around" with terrorists. Palin's boast that "the heels are on, the gloves are off" is just too embarrassing to warrant response.

McCain since has tried to cool off his supporters, but he lit this fire -- he and no one else is responsible for those who shriek at Palin's rallies, who proclaim that Obama is an Arab and who wish him harm. This campaign is more crass and more virulent because McCain made it so. That Palin has ended up alienating not only moderates but also conservatives is this race's enduring irony.

On the question of who will best bind up this torn nation, we are far more troubled by what we know about McCain than what we don't know about Obama. It is proper to admire McCain's service to his nation -- as a military man and as a senator -- and he deserves our respect. On the question of who best can reunite us, however, we cannot put our faith in a man who has done so much to drive us apart.

Full text at,0,2874580.story

Anonymous said...

Just because Obama "knows" Distinguished Professor Bill Ayers is not enough to make me vote for Obama. Now if former Black Panther co-founder and current U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (who defeated Obama) was running for President I would consider voting for Rush. I guess McCain assumes associating Obama with Ayers is a "bad thing" which shows how out of touch the guy is.

Anonymous said...

The Republican Vice Presidential Nominee shoots animals from helicopters and wants your daughter to bear the child if she's raped. The Republican Presidential Nominee is channeling Spiro Agnew.

Situation normal.