The moon, whittled down to a wedge, but still bright enough to illuminate the darkness of its whole, was directly overhead, not far from Orion’s belt and brilliant Sirius, when Koko and I took our walk this morning.
Within 20 minutes the stars were gone, lost to light and thin clouds, both streaming in from the east, the latter hinting at rain, but still the moon shone, white through a gray veil, as the birds awoke and began to sing.
As Wall Street continues to sing the blues, the FBI has opened an investigation into “possible fraud involving the four giant corporations at the center of the recent turmoil — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and the American International Group," according to the New York Times.
Apparently the agency has opened 26 corporate fraud investigations in the last week, in addition to the 1,400 inquiries already under way for suspected mortgage fraud.
Gee, do you suppose there really was some wrongdoing behind this giant shakedown, with billions of dollars, professional careers and lavish personal fortunes at stake?
But have no fear. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has assured us that “the F.B.I. will pursue these cases as far up the corporate chain as is necessary to ensure that those responsible receive the justice they deserve.”
Yes, perhaps they should be treated like the economic terrorists they are, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. As Larry Geller noted on Disappeared News, even one of our closest allies is pointing fingers at the culprits:
The finance minister of Italy's conservative and pro-U.S. government warned of nothing less than a systemic breakdown. Giulio Tremonti excoriated the "voracious selfishness" of speculators and "stupid sluggishness" of regulators. And he singled out Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with startling scorn.
"Greenspan was considered a master," Tremonti declared. "Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most. . . . It is clear that what is happening is a disease. It is not the failure of a bank, but the failure of a system.
Hmm, maybe it’s not so surprising after all that I heard a song by The Clash, one of the original punk bands, playing in the bank yesterday. Unfortunately, it wasn't the one with the lyrics: "You're frettin, you're sweatin, but did you notice you ain't gettin?"
More surprising, given our usual slack showing at the polls, was the news that Kauai actually led the state in voter turnout for the primary election, with some 46 percent of our registered voters casting ballots. But still, where were the other 54 percent?
Speaking of elections, I noticed Gov. Lingle is heading over to America to campaign for the McCain-Palin ticket.
I can’t help but wonder two things: is she using vacation time to do her little six-state soiree? And who, really, cares what Hawaii’s governor thinks, either here or on the mainland? I can’t imagine she’ll hold much sway with voters.
As for her rationale, it falls into the realm of seriously lame. According to the Advertiser:
Lingle said the Mainland swing, paid for by the McCain campaign, would be beneficial for Hawai'i because she will inevitably speak about the state at her appearances.
Yes, that should be extremely valuable. I’m sure they’ve never heard of Hawaii. Her other reasoning isn’t much better:
Lingle said that being involved in the national campaign puts her in a better position to have access if McCain is elected president. The governor campaigned on the Mainland for President Bush during his 2004 re-election.
But what if Obama is elected? Does that mean then that she, and so the state, and so us and our concerns, will have no access? And can anyone elucidate how her similarly gained “access” to President Bush has helped Hawaii?
Lingle then whined about Palin being held to “a different standard” than a male candidate, when in fact she’s been held to no standard at all. Then the guv went on to prove she’s totally out of touch, and perhaps her mind, by observing: “she's done very well in answering all of the questions that have come her way.”
Oh, you mean like Palin’s “huh?” answer to Charley Gibson’s question about the Bush Doctrine?
Of course, it’s not surprising that Lingle is sucking up to the national GOP. It’s her only hope for a political future. Once her term ends, there’s nothing left for her here.
While the McCain/Palin ticket grates, I’m not keen about Obama’s support for beefing up the war in Afghanistan and bleeding on into Pakistan, all in search of the elusive "foe" that has thus far evaded us and likely will continue.
A friend described the candidates well:
”Neither will bring peace,” he said, “but one will bring chaos.”
I’m sure you can figure out which is which.
Since too much political thought always leaves me feeling low, and maybe you, too, I’ll counteract that by sharing this truly heartwarming little video clip. Ignore the raunchy ads (unless you’re into that stuff) that run alongside.
If you’d rather get really crapped out, this video from Disappeared News should do the trick. It’s all about new technology designed to read physiological cues to determine if we mean harm to our fellow airline passengers.
Great. Now you can’t even be thinking, “shut that kid up” or “don’t try to cram that bag into the overhead on top of my stuff” without worrying you might be branded a terrorist — of the ordinary, not elite economic so no need worry, kine.
Welcome to the brave new world. Yikes. Where’s the exit?