The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Saturday, August 27, 2011
Current Affairs ... Politics ...

At the moment, there’s a big nasty hurricane bearing down on my humble abode. The eye of it is still down around North Carolina, but it’s already raining here (no wind yet). So I am finally going to get a taste of all the rough treatment that Mother Nature has dished out to humankind since the start of the year. First off was all the snow that fell on the east coast (actually I did slog my way thru that), then the killer earthquake and tsunami in Japan, then various floods and tornadoes in the USA along with Australia, Pakistan and China. Even some volcanoes and mudslides! And more earthquakes, including one in New Zealand. And even a little one in the northeast US! (Which I experienced, by the way – I felt some strange vibes in my desk chair at work last Tuesday, and first thought that I was having a heart attack!).

By July, the year 2011 was already the costliest one on record for property damage from natural disasters. Not exactly what a world economy struggling to recover from a variety of financial shocks over the past 3 years needs. And now we have a huge hurricane pointed at the New York metro region and New England. So, I’m going to get a real taste of what millions of others around the world have experienced over the past few months. Hopefully that taste will be relatively mild; perhaps by Wednesday the power will be back on and the streets will be cleared of all the trees and debris that will be blown onto them. I don’t see this as becoming a Katrina-like situation, especially in my neighborhood which is on high ground far from any major body of water. But one never knows . . .

Some of this world-wide mayhem can be associated with anthropic climate change, but some cannot (however, hurricane Irene is much bigger than the ones I remember hitting New Jersey in the past – it does make you wonder). Other people say that it relates to humankind’s sinfulness and proves that the end times and Jesus’ return are getting near.

I would imagine that Governor Rick Perry, the not-so-young tyro of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination race, would approve of that notion (especially for a natural disaster in blue-state territory, a lesson against the Sodom and Gomorrah of New York City and suburban Connecticut). Perry put off announcing his candidacy for a few days so that he could participate in a huge prayer rally in Texas. To President Obama and the millions of liberal-minded voters who were raptured by the “yes we can” spirit of 2008, Perry looks like an impending natural disaster. He is the perfect storm, encapturing everything about the GOP, Tea Party and red state way of life that educated liberals just don’t like. And now Perry seems to be gaining strength and momentum, if three recent polls are correct. Some commentators are now taking the notion of “President Perry” seriously. (Including good old David Brooks.) Just like I started taking Hurricane Irene seriously a few days ago.

Human pollution might be partly responsible for Irene, and likewise, President Obama needs to take responsibility for the rise of the Rick Perry threat. Perry appears to be the first politician to successfully ride the Tea Party wave to national fame. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann both tried, but both couldn’t stay on their surfboards long enough. But sooner or later some S.O.B. will come along who has the knack, and it looks like Rich Perry might just be that S.O.B. So, if Perry has become a threat to Obama by harnessing the energy of the Tea Party, why should Obama take the blame for that?

Because without Obama’s determined push to pass the huge and still misunderstood health care reform bill, the Tea Party probably would not have caught fire. Let’s face it, the spark that lit the Tea Party movement was the groundswell of opposition to Obama’s health care reform proposal that was voiced at various congressional hometown meetings during the summer of 2009. Most of those people were from the threatened middle-class, people worried about unemployment, declining home values, and other evolving challenges to the American dream. You would think that a bill meant to assure adequate health care for all Americans would be well received by those people; but its complexity and the growing distrust of government by the threatened middle fueled a mood of anger. Perhaps most of all, people just didn’t like the notion of government forcing “something good for you” down their throats (especially the legal mandate to purchase coverage).

Unfortunately, President Obama did not take these people seriously and burned up all his political capital by enacting the health care law on a totally partisan basis. And then the law of unintended consequences reared its ugly head. Obama’s push to enact health care reform despite unified GOP opposition and some Democratic misgivings turned him into an “elitist dictator from the Beltway”, in the eyes of the summer ralliers. Someone broke out a history book and recalled the protest of the Boston colonists against the elitist British monarchy in 1773. And the conditions for a new political storm grew ripe.

I’m hoping that Hurricane Irene won’t mess my life up too much, and ditto for Hurricane Perry. But for now, it’s raining steadily outside and I don’t see much possibility of avoiding the brunt of the storm. Same forecast for President Obama!

I’ll be back once the power is restored here (sorry, don’t have a battery powered laptop with an aircard and wireless modem).

◊   posted by Jim G @ 2:33 pm      

  1. Jim, At this point I am not going to discuss politics as the storm you are experiencing is of first priority.

    Sending out special “protection” (my special kind of vibe, if you will) for you and yours during this storm.

    If you were younger, you would consider this a wonderful adventure. But as one matures and has more experience with life, situations such as this hurricane are not a “big adventure” but tend to be a worry.

    Special “whatever you wish to call them” (foxhole time, I say) coming your way from the midwest here for the safety of you and yours. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — August 27, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  2. This too shall pass.

    Comment by Jim G — August 27, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

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