Yesterday I went racing in to the room where I keep the TV at 6:20 because I realized I had forgotten to watch Obama's speech . When I turned it on, he was smiling and shaking hands with well wishers. I thought that meant it was over and I had missed it and I was kind of sad. Turned out it hadn't even begun yet. . But here's the kicker: I was relieved when I found out. After 8 years of falling all over myself in mad scramble to find the remote in order to miss every single spoken and recorded moment of every George W. Bush speech and appearance, (including fleeting glimpses of him in a montage) this new piece of behavior I was exhibiting made me giddy. I don't easily exhibit new pieces of behavior. I still won't get up in front of other people and dance because of an "incident" at a "dance" that happened when I was eleven years old. Even when I am lying about my age, that still gave me plenty of time to change my attitude about public dancing. Maybe I'll get around to it soon but I doubt it.
I thought it was a great speech. Obama is such an inspiring speaker. Talk about a guy who knows how to own a room. But even if it had been a mediocre speech, how great is it to wake up in the morning to items like this one from the NYT: "Bush administration standards for pollutants like soot are 'contrary to law and unsupported by adequately reasoned decision making' a federal appeals court said Tuesday..."The decision is a victory for the breathing public" said Paul Cort, a lawyer who argued the case for environmental groups."Whee.
I guess the thing I love most about Obama is that he thinks and speaks logically. It is easy to understand him because he is actually saying things. It occured to me, during the last administration, that political speeches which are easily tuned out become that way because the speaker is spinning platitudes and hoping they give the impression of actual content. McCain's speeches, during the election, suffered from this. It was like he was stringing together bits and pieces of ideas, hoping they made cogent paragraphs. Any writer who has tried this trick knows how futile it turns out to be.
My real hope, now that we have this new group of people in charge, is that someone in this bunch...or somewhere...really understands the logic behind how an economy works. Obviously the Milton Friedman theories being used the last 8 years weren't the answer. I just hope that there is a theory somewhere to which logic can still be applied.
Lately I have been reading a bunch of women's magazines from the 1930's to see how that depression was being discussed. For the most part, it wasn't being discussed much . Not so surprising, I guess. They didn't want the gals to have to worry their pretty little heads about this stuff. But in one issue of Ladies Home Journal, circa 1931, I found the following paragraph in an article on health care:
"Recovery ought to be a permanent achievement and it is part of the responsibility of your department of labor to do what it can to discover and promote methods of preventing a return of the dread economic disease from which we have all suffered.
By an infinite inventiveness we have reveled in industrial productive capacity so great that if it were fully employed we could probably produce in 7 or 8 months all that we could consume in 12."
It is that second sentence that I keep thinking about. A fully employed capacity to produce an amount that is more than we need to consume! Whoa! How'd that get in there? A sentence that described the basic engine of an economy. You never hear anything that common sensicle ever said any more. Is that because the world is more complicated now or is it because producing the amount that you need to consume is just too achievable of a goal? Yes, the world is a different place and more convoluted now. Media is different, information moves a lot more quickly, it's become much easier to scream "Fire" in a crowded room. But is the basic stuff really all that different? And did we make the goals of an economy incomprehensible because anything that can be comprehended can not be a good front for back stage profiteering and deceit? And without a good front for deceit, most of what went on for the last 8 years that caused the current incomprehensible mess could not have taken place?I don't know. I'm just saying...
Causes Merrill Markoe Supports
1. The Jane Goodall Institute 2. Tailsofjoy.com 3. Best Friends Animal Rescue 4. The Humane Society 5. PETA
6. The Sam Simon Foundation