Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Stumbling on Reality

John McCain is in the news today. It isn't likely that anyone is listening, but he is there. McCain's supporters seem to be those folks who are so tired of hearing reality in the news that they have stopped listening to reality and have attached themselves to John McCain instead, and probably gone back to their infotainment on Fox News.
But meanwhile, a couple of issues arose yesterday. McCain is responding to a Moveon.org advertisement about the idea of a 100-year war in Iraq. Also he snarled himself up with a comment that the Iraq War had something to do with oil. Heaven forbid that a Republican wishing to inherit George W. Bush's seat would say something like that, so he is backpedaling to get out from under that statement.
There seems to be a conflict here between the "Straight Talk Express" that McCain prides himself with and the need to keep reality in the dark, keep it away from being discussed in an open forum like the election process. We all know the war was about oil and America's dependence on Middle East oil. At the very least, it was about preventing all our money that we spend in the Middle East from going toward anti-American or anti-Israeli military capabilities. We didn't want Iraq strong so we took them out. Some would speculate that there was more to it than that, that there was the need to fit Iraq in with respect to Globalization. Iraq wasn't playing the game very well. That may seem like a new idea to you, my readers, but Bush has been talking about this all along.
McCain said as much with his Friday comment, but then the puppeteers told him, oh no, the war was about WMDs, remember? So McCain had to backpedal and somehow explain away his comment that with his energy plan we wouldn't ever need to send our troops back in to the Middle East.
So much for straight talk. Now nobody knows what he was saying.
And the 100 year war? He certainly made that comment, that we could be there for 100 years. But now he's saying that's after we win the war. He's not saying how long he would be willing to fight to win the war. He seems to be denying that we would be willing to fight for 100 years if that's what it took. He's actually denying that idea. So it would appear that McCain is saying we would win the war rather quickly, that success is just around the bend, so to speak.
But the thing is, Bush promised us on day one that the troops would come home as soon as the job was done and not one day longer. So according to this McCain plan, the job isn't winning the war. The job is winning and then maintaining the peace as long as America has energy interests in the Middle East.
Or is it?
Where is the straight talk when you need it? Nobody, and I do mean nobody, knows what McCain is saying. I guess that's how you win the Republican vote. Maybe that's how you win the independents too?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April Depression

I've been feeling depressed lately but I can't quite put my finger on any single cause. My readers may laugh. After all, don't I seem like I am depressed all the time based on the things I write about? I'm sure I do. But this is even worse than normal.
First, I live in north central Maine and up here, winter is always a bit reluctant to let go. The ice isn't out of Moosehead Lake yet, or at least it wasn't out two days ago when I last saw it. Yesterday it rained hard, then it snowed a few inches last night and the wind blew hard for awhile. This morning the roads are slick, but the snowplow has been by. It's April 30. Isn't it time to leave all this behind for a few months? Let's have some sunshine! I know I should be feeling blessed because two weeks ago we had a really nice sunny thaw that took away nearly all of the two or three feet of snow that was hanging on in the woods and significantly weakened the ice in the lakes around here. But today, it just seems like today's weather is what really matters and today's weather just plain sucks.
The second thing that has me feeling down is the political climate. This thing with Obama and his "former" pastor just plain sucks. Maybe I'm somehow being shortsighted here, but I think it's over for Obama. Any high profile political campaign depends heavily on the media perception of a candidate. However the mainstream media chooses to perceive a candidate, and generally a consensus of that perception will be held throughout the media, that is how the average voter will feel about the candidate. It is the mainstream media that makes or breaks any major political campaign.
We all know that the mainstream American media is a propaganda operation. We may pretend that it isn't, but it is. The controversy last week over the media use of retired generals who were coordinating with the Pentagon to serve as propaganda agents shows the extent of media corruption. I mentioned above the consensus that somehow seems to form throughout the media concerning any particular political candidate or any political happening. That consensus doesn't just happen. It isn't the result of independent reporting by the media. It happens because of a concerted effort on the part of corporate-owned mainstream media.
This in itself doesn't have me depressed, although it should. What has me depressed is that Obama doesn't seem to be able to operate independent of this force. Obama has fallen into the muck and mire of this manipulated form of politics. All candidates fall into this pigpen so it shouldn't be a surprise to see Obama fall, but his whole message of "hope" depended on him not falling into this mud. Obama has now turned his back on all of us who believe that America isn't right no matter what. He seemed to understand our concern. Now? Now we just can't tell what he believes. He went political.
All he had to do was keep his mouth shut when the media had its Jeremiah Wright feeding frenzy but oh, no, he couldn't do that. Now he's so deep in the mud he's even slinging mud at his own pastor. Now Obama has no claim at all of a spiritual Christian basis. This church whose leader and pastor was Jeremiah Wright was Obama's anchor in Christianity. Instead of defending that connection, Obama has cut the anchor loose. And for what reason? To save his political campaign!!!
Zip!!!! All gone!
And you can see the toll this is taking on Obama. He just looks drained, annoyed, discouraged, disgusted.
Then there's this thing with rising oil prices and rising food prices and the falling dollar and the mortgage crisis and inflation, all mysteriously tied together by some economic force that, so far at least, no economist really wishes to discuss in public. We don't see anybody anywhere doing anything about it other than scratching their heads and saying, gee I wonder why the price of this or that keeps going up.
I can remember not all that many years ago when the Supreme Court told Florida to stop recounting votes and a few months later when America was cleaning up the mess after airplanes had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York and elsewhere, the stock market wasn't looking like a very good way to turn a quick buck. Remember that? So people started taking their money into another make-a-fast-buck market, real estate. And bingo! A huge bubble formed in the real estate market. People made billions by artificially inflating the real estate market.
But then the stock market recovered and real estate pressures declined and the Fed began raising interest rates and pop! The artificially created real estate bubble burst. Investors panicked. The stock market froze up again. So what did investors then do for a quick buck? They started artificially driving up the futures market for oil and food, the necessities of life. The result? Unbelievably instant inflation at the consumer level.
And what is the President doing about this? What is Congress doing? I just heard this morning that the President's solution is to open up ANWR for oil exploration. Congress pushed through that economic stimulus rebate but already it's clear that that isn't going to help. This week I saw an estimate that 18% of that money will actually be spent by Americans on anything that would stimulate anything.
What are the candidates saying? The Bobbsey Twins, McCain and Clinton, think we should have a "summer holiday" from paying federal fuel taxes. Oh wow! That sure would help, wouldn't it, if we dropped the federal fuel tax which is used to maintain our federal highways and let the increased demand for consumption or the commodities futures speculators drive up the prices to make up that gap? Then what? Tack the tax back on to the higher fuel price next fall? Or just simply not raise any money for highway maintenance until the speculators are finished having their little party? Oh, raise a new "windfall profits" tax on the oil companies? Like that won't further drive up energy futures?
And just how will any of this bring world food prices back down? People are starving out there while our little team of speculators blow bubbles with all their money.
Today is the last day of April. May will be here soon. The sun will come out. I'll take all my clothes off and bask in sunshine, soaking in the warm rays. July isn't that far away. I'll be skinny dipping in the warm summer waters. I need to go on a diet so the price of food isn't that much of a problem. Other than a few trips south, I really don't need to go anywhere so I'll survive the high gasoline prices this year. I'll be OK. But people are starving out there and all we can think about is how we can make money speculating on the inflation of food and energy prices?
Is there any light anywhere in this tunnel? Maybe I should invest in wind-up flashlight manufacturing.