Cider Press Hill

Surrounded by stupid

Monday, 9:27 pm

Even without a television, I can’t escape all the babble and screeching going on in the media about poor Wesley Clark’s misguided statement: “I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”

Misguided only because he left himself wide open for concerned parties to throw sensational hissy fits over it.

I’m so sorry that John McCain got shot down and spent five years in Hanoi Hilton. I am. No one should have had to endure that. But you know, that was 40 years ago. Time marches on and just what does being a POW forty years ago have to do with the price of eggs (which were $4.99 at my grocery store this weekend)? He’s the one running on his war record and POW status rather than on his vision for the future. The media eat it up with great big spoons.

Have the media happened to notice lately that things in this country are in bad shape? I’m sure it’s more fun to write about so-called scandalous statements that seem to be mostly of interest to the insulated and privileged journos, but come on.

It’s getting rough out here. Gasoline is well over $4 a gallon here. Diesel is over $5. Heating oil is $5/gallon. Natural gas has taken a leap upward. Electricity has taken a huge leap upward. Food has taken a monstrous leap upward. And probably will get monstrously worse after some 5 million acres of prime corn and soybean crops got washed away this past month in Iowa and immediate environs. Corn prices have already exploded. Cattle eat corn, too. Watch meat prices soar now. Watch ranchers slaughter their herds because they can’t afford to feed them this winter. Iowa is, incidentally, the leading corn producing state in the US—and one of the leading exporters.

We also have a teensy credit problem ongoing in the country. We have foreclosures at record highs. Consumer confidence is in the crapper. We have people living in their cars and in tent and parking lot cities. We have bank failures happening and more about to happen. More and more economists are starting to talk about a total banking system collapse in the near future. Scares the hell out of me. It’s beginning to make the Great Depression sound quaint.

Does anyone in the media care? Beats me. They can’t seem to focus on anything important. No one talks much about things coming apart at the seams. If they ignore it, maybe it’ll go away? I don’t think so. We are coming apart at the seams.

I agree with Wesley Clark. I just don’t find John McCain’s POW experience particularly germane to the overwhelming issues at hand in 2008. Middle Eastern terrorism isn’t the only war we’re fighting. Lots of people are just plain fighting for survival. Like the 125,000 households in Massachusetts who had their utilities terminated this summer because they can’t afford to pay—with thousands and thousands more about to hit a brick wall this coming winter.

What I want to know is what these political dudes plan to do about it. I want to know why the journalists and reporters aren’t asking questions about these things and demanding some on-the-record answers. I want to hear in-depth energy policies. Serious answers that have roots in reality and not in the most generous lobbyist’s purse. I’d like to see something that resembles Vision. They’re hard questions with hard answers, but being the president is no walk the park either. If they want the job, they need to offer us something relevant to current issues. After a certain point, I just don’t give a rip about what happened 40 years ago. Character only carries you so far. I want answers to things that are important here and now, dammit. And I want the journalists and reporters to care enough to Do Their Jobs.

I’ve been accused of being an idealist before, though.

Posted by Kate on 06/3008 at 09:27 PM

LOL. I certainly don’t think that you are asking too much! I could throw in a few more questions I would like to see answers to.

Posted by justme on 07/01  at  06:13 AM

Oh, I’m sure I must be asking for too much. The price of oil is up another $2 a barrel and the DOW is down this morning. That’s only lost about 1300 points in the last month. No biggie. I shudder to think what it will take for these people to start talking seriously about What We’re Gonna Do. Because, as far as I can tell, the media are still yammering about what an awful person Wes Clark is and Obama is delivering a speech today about expanding faith based government programs and McCain plans to do some talking about illegal immigration.

Meanwhile another Pentagon official expressed fresh fears that Israel is going to bomb Iran before the end of the year.

Sigh.

Posted by Kate on 07/01  at  10:10 AM

**Standing Ovation** For you! Thank you for asking the questions.  Yes I am tired of hearing about drilling for more oil, instead of alternative eneregy or better public transportation.  I worry about our environment, the homeless problem which will get worse as people just can’t afford things. War? I am sure that at some point Bush would love to go after Iran, he is chomping at the bit. Lets hope we get some queston answer soon. *sigh*

Posted by canyoncottage on 07/01  at  12:56 PM

Well color me a disgusting realist, but someone needs to start banging the conservation drum pretty loudly any day now, too. We aren’t going to alternative energy our way out of this...nor drill our way out, either. It has to be a comprehensive plan that also includes trimming our sails and expanding public transport and rail significantly. What are the chances of anyone embracing that idea? It sounds too hard and totally unsexy. We haven’t suffered enough yet, I guess.

It’s easier to blame someone else for our problems. It’s always someone else’s fault.

Posted by Kate on 07/01  at  01:39 PM

We’re going to hell in a hand basket and there’s no one - not the press, the legislators, the leaders - no one who gives a fig.
Our country has become so fractured that I think we’re duplicating the last days of the Roman Empire.
Check your history - and you’ll find it’s true and just a bit scary - and what’s the coincidence that my word to type in to prove I’m human just happens to be Athena - a Roman god.

Posted by MorganLighter on 07/01  at  08:01 PM

I’ve been of the opinion that the American Empire has been on its last legs for a while now. It’s not a popular (Patriotic) opinion, but whatever. I was kind of hoping it would take longer. It probably would have if not for the last 7 years of misrule. All empires come to an end eventually. It’s just the way of things. What will replace it and how we’ll get there gives me some sleepless nights, though.

Posted by Kate on 07/02  at  12:58 PM