I was rather spacey when Koko and I went out walking this hazy, humid morning, having just emerged minutes before from a vivid dream where I was staging a production of “Wizard of Oz” with about 50 inner-city high school students who were grinding crayons into the floor and mixing cement in a sink, among other antics.
Where does this stuff come from? I asked farmer Jerry, whom I encountered on the road for the first time in a long time, but he had no answers, only laughter, which is always a good way to start the day.
My neighbor Andy offered up both laughter and answers, although not to the dream question, which I didn’t ask him, but to what’s next in the Presidential campaign now that Palin has been pressed into service as an attack dog? It seems she's now busy spreading half-truths about Obama’s association with former Weatherman Bill Ayers.
I guess since she doesn’t have any credibility to begin with, the campaign figures they’ve got nothing to lose to set her loose lying. At least the press is calling her on some of her shibai, although whether that gets through to American voters, whom blogger Andy Parx aptly described as “too stupid to live” is another question.
“Well, Obama can always bring up the Keating Five ,” Andy said, in reference to McCain’s role in the savings and loan scandal of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. And voila, when I returned home and scanned the news, sure enough that’s exactly what he’s doing.
The politicos work fast. They’ve already created a website with a YouTube clip and text that notes:
The Keating scandal is eerily similar to today's credit crisis, where a lack of regulation and cozy relationships between the financial industry and Congress has allowed banks to make risky loans and profit by bending the rules.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that:
Seven aides to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have reversed course and agreed to testify in an investigation into whether the Republican vice presidential nominee abused her power by firing a commissioner who refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law.
Guess everybody’s dirty laundry is going to get a good airing, what with the election less than a month away and Obama leading in the polls. As Andy and I agreed, the campaign is only going to get nastier.
Just like the financial news. Seems like the economy is tanking despite the big bailout, which if I recall correctly, was supposed to make everything rosy again. Instead, the stock market continues to plunge and the rest of the world has gotten a serious case of the jitters. And horrors, now Americans have even stopped shopping, which the NY Times says all but guarantees “that the economic situation will get worse before it gets better.”
I find it fascinating that so many people seem to understand that everything is connected in regard to the financial markets, but then they have a big disconnect when it comes to applying that interrelatedness to anything else, like the environment and social issues.
It’s so hard to know how much of this current “economic crisis” is real and fixable, and how much is manufactured fear-mongering hype exacerbated by the usual media feeding frenzy. Yesterday, I interviewed Ira Rohter, a UH political science professor who helped found Hawaii’s Green Party. He was talking about how people can deliberately create a FUD effect — fear, uncertainty and distortion — to confuse voters, and while he wasn’t referring to the financial situation, it certainly seems applicable.
I think the best thing to do is hang tight and remember my favorite bit of roadside graffiti, spray-painted on a concrete block along Kuamoo Road. It says, simply: NO FEAR.