While much of the nation is basking in the sun, Floridians are baking in the oven that is the Sunshine State. Yesterday, the thermometer reached 95-plus and the humidity snatched the air right out of one’s lungs. This kind of heat makes one weary.
As a result, I will postpone (maybe indefinitely) my rants regarding the Tea Party movement and NRA, because (frankly) I am just too disgusted with the bile and anger that spews from Washington and the national media echo chamber on these subjects to even care that much anymore. Instead, my thoughts turn to some general inanities, the kinds of issues that people should be thinking about:
“The Year of the Women” — It is fantastic that so many women are running for prominent political office this election season. However, the moniker begs the question: are these the right women? Case in point, we have Carly Fiorina. First, did the world collectively forget that Fiorina got canned at H-P for essentially running the company into the ground? I wrote about this all the way back in 2002 in an article in The American Prospect. Then, she gets “caught” off-mike commenting on Barbara Boxer’s “so yesterday” hairstyle. Her lame apology — of course on Fox — would not really qualify as an apology, but did emphasize that the senatorial race is “a serious election about serious issues.” Ever notice that it is the individuals who turn campaigns away from real topics that are the ones always saying that issues matter?
Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO and Republican gubernatorial in California is another example that forces one to ask if this is the right woman? Her claim to fame thus far in the campaign seems to be a vulgar attempt at breaking the self-financing record for an American election. She’s already pumped $91 million into her coffers and claims she will spend up to $150 million, according to a report at the San Jose Mercury News website. Given the state of the economy in California and nationally, this kind of self-aggrandizement seems simply unjust, if not downright immoral.
On the subject of immorality, there is now an industry sprouting up to go after the debt former homeowners incur due to lost homes through foreclosure or short sale. According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, debt scavengers are “buying” the debt at pennies on the dollar from banks, then establishing collection agencies to pursue the money. Given that the banking industry — banks in collusion with mortgage brokers and other pieces within the machine — created the real estate bust by knowingly giving loans to people who did not have the means to repay, enacting a system that further attacks consumers is a slap in the face of countless people who got taken by the system. One heartless bastard even had the nerve to say, “People are broke right now, but they won’t be broke forever.” Here is an alternative scenario: how about this guy and the other debt vultures are forced to live with some of the people forced into foreclosure/short sale for a couple months and see the pain and devastation that layoffs, losing one’s home, and general societal degradation play on people. Then, perhaps, they would not be so eager to chase dollars in lieu of being humane.
BP, ’nuff said.
It is easy to stop thinking about the multitude of challenges that confront the world when the summer sun warms the days, even as the media pounds the airwaves with waves of sensationalism. Some of it, like BP and the ecological apocalypse it is unleashing, are real. Other stuff, like the incessant blathering by pundits on the left and right in DC, can be ignored when minds turn to barbecue, long weekends away from home, and the carefree nature of summer.
Yet, over and over again, when people get distracted by summer’s pleasures, institutional entities jump in to fill the void, happily maintaining society’s reigns. Then, when the summer ends, we are into the fall slide of holidays — Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year’s — and all the sudden, the world is trying to grope through winter. Before we know it, it is spring and the whole cycle starts over again.
Here’s to a little thinking this summer, or at least, some collective kindness.