Cindy Versus Cindy On War

8 10 2008

Guess you heard about Cindy McCain today, taking the national media stage to attack presidential candidate Barack Obama over the Iraq war and her own son’s equipment funding. He must not be one of us, that one . . .

Except — last election cycle, it was Cindy Sheehan as the mom, and her equally heartfelt public policy message was the opposite.

“I have tried ever since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful,” she wrote.

“Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.”It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years, and Casey paid the price for that allegiance.

“I failed my boy and that hurts the most.”

Whatever her failures and disillusionment, is there anything better one individual struggling within massively failing systems could expect?

Maybe the Dueling Cindies give us some insight into why President Eisenhower’s son is now urging the Pentagon to keep prez children off the front lines, never mind their own career or honor? When it’s your child (especially if your mantra is Country First!) good judgment for the greater good might be just too much to ask of any dad or mom commander in chief.

Both Democrats and Republicans — who together “are” by definition the entrenched political system — are naturally resisting and ridiculing . . . these efforts, as they have successfully done to Sheehan, manipulating all the media they can dominate to keep systemic change from being taken seriously by real, regular, reasonable people going about their private business and wondering who can save them from what they have wrought.

I think — although Sheehan herself [much less the Other Cindy] doesn’t seem capable of such analysis — that the opening trick we can’t manage, is thinking well enough to understand what “saving” the system even means, in such complicated plot lines populated with infinitely interdependent characters, aka the Real World.

Making it do — what? Making it work — how? Making it serve — whom? Because we fail at that, we fail at everything we attempt after that.

When Fear Drives Our Decisions, Forget Logic

8 10 2008

So sayeth the New York Times:

. . .the market has become a case study in the psychology of crowds, many experts say. In normal times, it runs on a healthy mix of fear and greed. But fear now seems to rule, with investors often exhibiting a Wall Street version of the fight-or-flight mechanism — they are selling first, and asking questions later.

“What’s happening is people are crawling into a bunker and pulling an iron sheet over their heads because they think the sky is falling,” said William Ackman, a prominent hedge fund manager in New York.

And that bunker is getting very crowded, so much so that some analysts are starting to suggest the markets are showing signs of “capitulation” — another term of art to describe what happens when even the bullish holdouts, the unflagging optimists, throw up their hands and join the stampede out of the market.
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If All Gallons Are Created Equal, Are They Interchangeable?

8 10 2008

Yesterday at the convenience store, I bought both milk and gasoline at the same place at the same time. Both essential commodities that my unschooling family depends upon every day.

I paid exactly the same price for one gallon of milk and one gallon of gas, three dollars and forty-nine cents each.

What does that mean? Anyone, anyone? Bueller?