Effect Measure

Annals of McCain-Palin, I.: the energy expert

That anyone would think — much less say — as John McCain did of Governor Palin that she “knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America” means either McCain is one of the stupidest people in America (doubtful, since the competition is too strong); or that he doesn’t mind talking bullshit if he thinks it will help him and he thinks most Americans are stupid. You choose. But surely Governor Palin must know the basic data about energy, given it is Alaska’s main source of support. “Don’t call me Shirley“:

Challenged by [ABC’s Charlie] Gibson on her “national security credentials,” Palin cited her experience as the governor of a “state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy” as a credential that she “brings to the table”:

PALIN: Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that’s with the energy independence that I’ve been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States. [Gibson interview transcript]

Watch it.

But, as the non-partisan FactCheck.org points out, Palin’s claim about Alaska producing 20 percent of America’s domestic energy supply is “not true. Not even close.” In fact, “Alaska’s share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent.”

Palin would have been closer to reality, but still incorrect if she made the claim specifically about oil production rather than energy supply:

Palin would have been correct to say that Alaska produces just over 14 percent of all the oil produced in the U.S., leaving out imports and leaving out other forms of power. According to the federal government’s Energy Information Administration, Alaskan wells produced 263.6 million barrels of oil in 2007, or 14.3 percent of the total U.S. production of 1.8 billion barrels.

But Alaskan production accounts for only 4.8 percent of all the crude oil and petroleum products supplied to the U.S. in 2007, counting both domestic production and imports from other nations. According to EIA, the total supply was just over 5.5 billion barrels in 2007. [FactCheck.org]

Furthermore, Palin said “energy,” not “oil,” so she was actually much further off the mark. According to EIA, Alaska actually produced 2,417.1 trillion BTUs [British Thermal Units] of energy in 2005, the last year for which full state numbers are available. That’s equal to just 3.5 percent of the country’s domestic energy production. (Think Progress)

But I guess it sounded good. In fact it sounded so good, John McCain decided to repeat the 20% number. I guess if you claim Governor Palin is the country’s greatest energy expert, you don’t mind repeating whatever she says:

McCain: Well, I think Americans are going to be very, very, very pleased. This is a very dynamic person. [Palin’s] been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America’s energy supply. [Gibson transcript]

Why would anyone believe anything these two fabricators say? Of course I know the answer. Because to a lot of people it doesn’t matter if what they say is true or not. they just want to beat Obama and Biden. Whatever it takes.

Haven’t we just had 8 years of that?


  1. #1 daedalus2u
    September 15, 2008

    I guess that McCain is simply showing that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed person is king (or the foremost expert on energy in the US). McCain is so ignorant about energy and so energy illiterate that everyone who knows more than he does looks like an expert.

    It is easy to laugh when he says something that is so obviously ridiculously false. But he says he isn’t lying, so he believes it.

    If McCain is such a poor judge of expertise, there is no way he is qualified to be president.

  2. #2 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    he thinks most Americans are stupid

    No. He knows most Americans aren’t stupid revere.

    her experience as the governor of a “state that produces nearly 20 percent

    Slightly less than 14 percent revere. Nit picking baloney. But please, get into the tiniest detail to discredit her and McCain.

    Maybe you’re just unknowingly upset that it’s really East coast against West coast. West and east coast people think and feel differently about politics.

    And … the American people have allowed it to get it to this point because there were and are enough Americans who were and are satisfied with their lives.

  3. #3 revere
    September 15, 2008

    Lea: No. Read what FactCheck.org wrote. 3.5%. Do you think they are satisfied or want to do better? Are you better off than 8 years ago? I’m not and neither is my son and neither is my daughter. But maybe we are just unlucky.

  4. #4 abc
    September 15, 2008

    It terrifies me that someone who can’t properly pronounce the word “nuclear” could potentially be the one with a finger on the red button…

  5. #5 Edmund
    September 15, 2008


    As it is already clear, 3.5% is the number she should have used.

    But even if it were 14% instead of 20%, let’s think about this… 20 is 42% more than 14. That’s a pretty big difference that I wouldn’t call nitpicking.

  6. #6 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    No to what revere? You often call commenter’s on not being more exact, what are you referring to with the ‘no?’
    Questions lead to more questions that go unanswered or are left to the ‘by and by’ syndrome.

    Who is behind the Annenberg Foundation? Oh, it’s an east coast organization based in Pennsylvania. Reporters to the stories are educated in philosophy, international relations and theater studies, Political Science and Public Communication, journalism, journalism, journalism, covered the media for nine years as an editor and writer for American Journalism Review, has written extensively on the press, politics, and presidential campaigns, office administrator, news researcher at Congressional Quarterly,
    AND the only one that would make any sense to me personally is Jessica Henig Staff Writer, with a BA in history

    of science and earned her BA in history of science from Smith College, and her MA in English from the University of Maryland.
    Maryland aye? Is that on the east coast?

  7. #7 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    No-thing is clear Edmund, nothing. We are being used and abused and amused.

  8. #8 revere
    September 15, 2008

    Lea: No to 14%. It’s 3.5%. Walter Annenberg was a famous American publisher. Most famous publication: TV Guide. Annenberg is very well known in journalism. What does it have to do with whether Gov. Palin knows her ass from a hole in the ground about energy? Nothing.

  9. #9 M. Randolph Kruger
    September 15, 2008

    Or its yet another parsing of the facts to bend it to the wind of what Revere wants…and that would be that no more conservatives enter the White House. Hey the media isnt biased, right? Check out the Village Voice


    But courtesy of the EIA here are the numbers…. En toto and it is much higher according to the state numbers (US is only updated to 06) here are the numbers. They are of course subject to interpretation.. But Revere the state page on this is way too convoluted to bring down the numbers… It wont fit on the window. But these are the feds numbers.

    eserves Alaska Share of U.S. Period
    Crude Oil 3,879 million barrels 18.5% 2006

    Dry Natural Gas 10,245 billion cu ft 4.9% 2006

    Natural Gas Liquids 338 million barrels 4.0% 2006

    Recoverable Coal at Producing Mines W NA 2006

    I know that wont format well but all together in 06 it was about 22% of the nations needs for these marketable products. No guarantee that it was sold to the US markets. But there it is.

    I for one would rather discuss a real issue for a change… The woman is close but I am not about parsing in politics when you are outnumbered 2 to 20000 or so lefty media types. Looks like to me its an about even match…But I would be parsing.

    The abortion was was valid and without the balance of an Obama bash or two ….this is more smear. It was clearly above Obama’s pay grade.. Hmm.. big issue and it was down home and in the cotton at the Palin household… a 17 year old was taking minimum wages for it.

    I have no doubt that GWB who cant pronounce nuclear worth a damn would hit the button one half second after the need arose. Nor do I doubt that Sarah Palin would fail to hit it either… Neither can pronounce it. But even now the launch orders and hierarchy of procedures have been changed. I dont fully know the process and it has been changed twice that I know of. Once after the fall of the Soviet Union, and then as of late to a more aggressive stance that is reminiscent of the Cold War. Bottom line is that we have Launch on Warning capability still, we also have weapons that have been fitted with nukes at the end of both ALCMS and SLCMS, not to mention anti ship missiles that could easily reach Teheran if necessary. But most of you watch just a little bit too much TV and movies. The truth is that on a LOW-1 status the commanders have their orders and I will leave it at that. Dont think that the President is in charge of this….we have the capability to respond.

    Now I will say this. Hillary may have had my total disrespect in most areas (Fully 85%) but in one area I had no fear for her position. That was that the female wannabe president senator of New York would have dropped the big one. It is one of her positions that I agreed with totally. If you built all of these weapons systems and didnt use them when it was supposed to be then what do you do, capitulate? Nyet!

    Bill on the other hand I had my entire doubts about and I think he would have done a poll first…I mean if it was legal for Bill to go to Kosovo without a resolution, bomb Afghanistan and enforce the no fly zone then it was legal for Bush to invade Iraq with a resolution… Cant impeach the President if you are provided the same wrong info as he got. It looks more and more like a set up each day. But that would just be me.

    But I digress. There is an interpretation to be made above from the federal information and I wont even try to say 20% of the nations energy…I would say fully 20% of an energy resource. I mean their stuff is used primarily for gas, oil and diesel. Its because of the type of the goo they produce. LNG is a big product but they use more of that than any state too. There is a lot of it and they are working to get that more available but you find gas where you find it. You can have gas and no oil and those environmentalists, well they’ll just fire up their solar powered furnaces and wind driven turbines for their heaters. We all know thats viable in Chicago in the winter time.

    But back to LNG. They are number one for use… Didnt know that but thats why I like the prickly Reveres, they do make us trot our data out. They use more liquid gas than anyone in the US… It might be because its cold up there in that warming arctic. No ice means that the temps are warmer right? Well, I guess we need to tell them to conserve…Its not cold out there at 50 below, and well you werent cold this summer because it only made the 80’s for two weeks total and not at all to the north. Ever notice that Al Gore hasnt bagged a moose in Alaska… It might be because his fat butt cant get through the door of that G-IV anymore? What the Hell, he cant skin one anyway… Have to call Sarah P. in for that.

    Revere… there are 50 days to the election? Are we going to have 50 days of this? If so can you give us a bit of lead time and titles so we can have our rebuttals ready to go? Really, if you arent going to delve into Obama then this is nothing but smear and one sided. Obama and especially Biden have so much to Revere revel in that only by the pluralism of the rattling of the rat cage can we assume no bias.

    Oh, you have heard me say it before… I have had a lot of problems with McCain, I have fewer with Palin. She is a hard core conservative and anyone who flies to DC pregnant, handles some state business and then starts to lose her amniotic fluid in the concourse is a tough lady. She could have stopped and had her baby in DC, but no she took an 8 hour flight back to Alaska to have her kid. But the lefties smeared her up with that one and said it was her daughters baby…. uh-huh. Sounds to me like she has more cajoonies than most guys.

    And Revere, it would be by what yardstick that you determine if I am better off now than I was 8 years ago.

    Price of gas? Worse… drill and build. Remember they said this 20 years ago and that would be that we would outstrip the supply in 15 years. I think that has happened.

    Cost of living… Worse…. drill and build. And do build nukes of the third generation so we dont have to worry about Chernobyls or TMI.

    Price of food….Worse… drill and build and quit building ethanol plants… they are eco disasters and we are putting our food into our gas tanks.

    Alternative energy sources… better but not much. Not viable in about 80% of the country. Sounds pretty good though…keep working it. Sooner or later they’ll come up with something.

    Health care…. about the same…. costs a bit more. Obama offers us everything under the sun to get elected. 1/2 of the country will benefit from it, the other 1/2 will have to pay for it.

    Taxes… MUCH BETTER…..That AMT thing needs to go though… Lefty Congress has had it in their hands for the last two years and done what with it?

    Stock market….. much better except for the last year…..The policies of one Cuomo allowed Freddy and Fannie to start down their paths in 98… Yep Bush should have caught this kegger going on… But, its the free market. You dont have to sign unless you want to. Now we are into this give away a house party by the government….A taxpayer now has to buy you a house because you were stupid.

    Housing….. much worse. Stupid people getting into houses they couldnt afford. he policies of one Cuomo allowed Freddy and Fannie to start down their paths in 98… Yep Bush should have caught this kegger going on… But, its the free market. You dont have to sign unless you want to. Now we are into this give away a house party by the government….A taxpayer now has to buy you a house because you were stupid. Typical… but American.

    Airlines…. shitty before, shitty now….. Worse.

    People bombing US territory…..stellar….near perfect record…. Previous 8 years to GWB 40 incidents in 8 years….. And I dont think he let anyone go. In fact he fought with the Congress and the courts to keep them. Now they are released and practicing recidivism against governments and our troops…Now if we could just get those cops with tasers to quit whacking up kids.

    So you see my yardstick is different from yours…. but both of ours are agenda based. It should be very interesting to see how it comes out. I do think we are jointly screwed by a piss poor body politic and one that is sharply divided.

    I have heard… It cant get any worse. Wanna bet?

    We could be saddled with a possibly lefty Supreme Court, a very do nothing left leaning spendaholic Congress, and a fully leftist leaning suit and a snoot as Pres and VP. Fine.. It might be just the thing to jolt the US awake again. If they get elected it will be a one term presidency and maybe if for no other reason that we get whacked but good in a nuculear exchange or one that is one sided with us on the receiving end.

  10. #10 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    quit building ethanol plants…
    Love it MRK, or is it Randy? or Randolph? Or M? Or MRK? or Charles or Charlie?

    “prior plannning prevents piss poor performance”. Sounds Democratic to me. After all, the 110th Congress has done a might fine job of bringing the American economy online.

    It’s important to keep up apperances and not suspecious’s.
    Congratulations revere, you have got yourself a turkey and it goes by the initials of BHO. Boo!!!! Fool, time and time again, fool. But hey, Phila will come up with something intelligent right? Or Edumund revere?

  11. #11 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    Excuse me, the finger’s on the keyboard seem to have a mind of their own. Imagine that!!

    Suspicion’s. …….

  12. #12 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    Oh. HOLY /revere/Revere, forgive me, …….

    Definition: English, imagine that, English!!!!!!!
    Plural, suspicions: duh or aye? or It Just Is: The act of suspecting something or someone, especially of something wrong.
    The condition of being suspected.
    Uncertainty, doubt.
    A trace, or slight indication. A suspicion of a smile
    The imagining of something without evidence.

    Without evidence …………

    [edit] Derived terms

  13. #13 revere
    September 15, 2008

    Lea: So that’s your response to 3.5%?

  14. #14 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    [edit] English
    [edit] Pronunciation Audio (US)help, file

    Rhymes: -ɪʃən

    [edit] NounSingular

    suspicion (plural suspicions)

    The act of suspecting something or someone, especially of something wrong.
    The condition of being suspected.
    Uncertainty, doubt.
    A trace, or slight indication.
    a suspicion of a smile
    The imagining of something without evidence.

    [edit] Derived termscking

  15. #15 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    Plural: SUspicions: suspicion (plural suspicions)

    The act of suspecting something or someone, especially of something wrong. the condition of being suspected.
    Uncertainty, doubt. A trace, or slight indication.
    a suspicion of a smile.

    The imagining of something without evidence. “Gas prices will shoot up”

    A game,nothing but a frakking game. Nothhing more than a game and :YOU: HERE anbd NOW need to OWN UP to IT. Own it bOR get over over It. Wake Up!!!! IUb nyt stypor5b Tennessee Whicasky whichy stuborhmk0 UI sutkk get ut!!!!!!

  16. #16 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    Naw revere, MRK covered it well greatly, only thing is you dont have the “balls” to address OR recognize It.

    But of course, and predictably so, you will find a reason or cover story for your false and oh so readily subjective words. Wouldn’t want to be subjective now would we revere, Revere? Hhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

  17. #17 Lea;
    September 15, 2008

    AND by the way; Screw you and your, Now on ScienceBlogs: 1,000,000 Comment Contest!”

  18. #18 Lea;
    September 16, 2008

    Such is Life.
    Because Life is beyond the rehetoric and the bullshit that you believe to be Truth revere/Revere.
    Oh wait, there IS more to life? Oh no, we are no more than a piece of genetic DNA.

  19. #19 idlemind
    September 16, 2008

    Surely MRK would know the difference between “reserves” and “production?”

    (Of course, one would also think he’d know the difference between McCain and a “conservative,” but whatever…)

  20. #20 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 16, 2008

    Well, it’s pretty clear that Lea has nothing substantive to offer on the subject of the falseness of Palin’s claim and McCain’s support for her lies and fabrications other than to attack the source of the correction of those claims.

    How much of an expert on energy can Palin be if she gets her facts wrong? Or is it the East Coasters who are being unfair to Sister Sarah for calling her on her B.S.?

  21. #21 Reginald
    September 16, 2008

    Isn’t it true that most of that energy gets siphoned to Japan too so that even 3.5% is grossly inflated for American consumption?

  22. #22 Jonathon Singleton
    September 16, 2008

    Surely, surely… Yes, surely — don’t call me Shirley — we all need to talk ’bout prepandemic H5N1 vaccination!?!
    Look, Australia — especially WA — is gonna give you Yanks (Obama, McCain, Kermit Frog with a crack habit, Palin-hates-women-and-fags, blah, etc) ample raw uranium for nuclear, but…

    Here we all are in the schoolyard making loud noises, and…

    Who really gives a flying duck if a significant percentage of the American population are dead form antiviral resistant H2H-H5N1!?!

    H5N1 Blog — A promising local flu blog (updated) (September 13, 2008)


    Reader response by Victoria — September 16, 2008:


    I am also frustrated with the lack of preparedness.

    The whole nightmare Pandemic sceario is not looking any better than it did 5 years ago. We are running out of time.

    Randy’s latest soapbox “Day five for patient X” scared the hell out of me. I have had to rethink my stratetic stocks in a big way. Even thinking about buying litres of cooking oil to replace petrol.

  23. #23 Grace Colasurdo
    September 16, 2008

    If (God help us all) the McCain/Palin ticket sneaks into the White House in January, it will be primarily because enough Americans said under their breath inside the voting booth “I’m not voting for a ******”

    It’s about race in American in 2008 amd covered up by alot of other topics. Americans prefer the known (old rich white men) in the WH rather than embrace change and elect a
    young, intelligent person ofsome other color/ethnicity.

    Let’s be painfully honest about it America. Many of us are
    still fearful of young black men, especially if you think they are smarter.

  24. #24 M. Randolph Kruger
    September 16, 2008

    Idle-Yup I do and the difference is in as I said the interpretation and what that number represents en toto….Give or take 22% of a useable energy commodity so what she said wasnt exactly incorrect, but nor was what McCain said either. Picking up the ball and running with it a bit in an election I would say.

    I guarantee you that in the 70’s we were on our asses because of the oil embargo. Then we got the vote which passed by one created the pipeline. Now we have ANWAR which should have been approved two years ago along with more refineries. I am a closet environmentalist. Dont do things generally that will screw it up. Everyone could do a lot more in that respect but this drop we have seen is demand based and carbon footprints and all of that crap isnt going to change the fact that we are now energy deficient in this country. The eco nutz are going to put people out of work, make them freeze in winter, and above all the ones that will suffer the most will be the elderly. Yep, I do know the difference Idle. I know that if Alaska fell of of our energy map we would lose 22-25% of an energy resource. That probably would be more accurate by either interpretation.

    I wouldnt go as far as to say that the puff is the same as the fluff either.

  25. #25 M. Randolph Kruger
    September 16, 2008

    Oh and one other thing…. Palin has a customer for Alaskan Oil. Unless I am mistaken and there is an unknown source on Center Hill Lake for bio-diesel, this assertion that it runs on the stuff is pure crap.

    Nice panels though…Russians would never nuke it, they know an ally when they use a satellite to see one.


  26. #26 Phila
    September 16, 2008

    If (God help us all) the McCain/Palin ticket sneaks into the White House in January, it will be primarily because enough Americans said under their breath inside the voting booth “I’m not voting for a ******”

    I don’t think they’ll say it or think it. I think they’ll do it righteously and confidently, believing that they have some other perfectly good reason. There’ll be some theoretical argument against him that magically doesn’t apply to McCain, or some easily debunked lie that for some reason wasn’t worth factchecking, or some suspicion that’s impossible to disprove and therefore feels to them like a serious problem. Don’t know how many people will approach it that way, but God knows every town has ’em.

    Obviously there are plenty of people who have policy disagreements with him, and wouldn’t vote for him no matter what race he were. Race may be an issue in how they’re criticizing him, but not in how they’re voting. But I’m afraid that some more “moderate” people will be looking less for reasons than for excuses.

    In other news, I like Lea’s new approach to assessing evidence: ZOMG teh peoples who said that is from teh East Coast!!11 I will not listen!!!

    If only everything in life were that simple.

  27. #27 Phila
    September 16, 2008

    this is nothing but smear and one sided.

    Maybe we need a Fairness Doctrine for blogs, eh? For every post criticizing Palin, there must be one criticizing Biden. I’m sure everyone, regardless of their political position, will agree to this, effective immediately.

    Obama and especially Biden have so much to Revere revel in that only by the pluralism of the rattling of the rat cage can we assume no bias.

    Revere has explained the biases at this site many times, and defended them. Everyone has them, and that’s the nature of the medium in any case. People who don’t like the “bias” at a given blog are always free to start their own.

    It’s amazing to see a political movement that treated the Fairness Doctrine as some kind of socialist outrage, and that worships the free market, get their panties into a twist when bloggers don’t give equal time to their pet issues.

    Also, considering that you’re free and able to write frequent comments here that are often ten times longer than Revere’s (and at least as biased), it’s really hard to see what you’re bitching about. There are plenty of right-wing blogs I regularly read that do not allow me (or anyone else) the luxury of commenting.

    So stop whining, for fuck’s sake. When did conservatives become such goddamn crybabies?

  28. #28 M. Randolph Kruger
    September 16, 2008

    Maybe when the media became openly biased rather than hiding behind their typewriters Phila.

    The FD is an outrage and is just another lefty process to stop the train thats already rolling.

    BTW-I wont vote for Obama because I think he is a closet racist and I am absolutely sure his wife is… but she aint running. His connection to Ayers is one that I couldnt stomach and he should have renounced him a long time ago rather than getting into a foundation and serving on the board of directors with him. Thats an avowed terrorist who is confessed to the crime. Bristol Palin isnt running either but they are all over this kid like paint. How about that little deal. Whats worse getting pregnant or being involved in a bombing? Seems to me that falls under the provisions of the Constitution… treason clause.

    But since there wasnt a declared war it really is just on the fringe….right?

    Wont vote for him because he is a nigger? Go ahead and say it. There are a lot of people who wont because of his skin color….. Me, I wanted Colin Powell to run and having served under the good general I would have followed that man straight into Hell while I was in the military. Most of us would who were there when he was CJS.

    Hell the Dems could have alway voted for an old rich white bitch. But Obama is so far left that he makes Hillary look like Barry Goldwater. But thats if I was denigrating any of them. Nope, I think that Barry Obama is not legal and has yet to prove it.

    He also has to come up with something better in his program other than all them people down south with their guns and religion. He can go to church wherever he pleases but when the Reverend Wright starts goddaming the US of A, only a moron thats a senator would sit there and listen to it. He certainly needs to wake up a bit and understand that America is ready for a black prez…. Just not this one.

    Maybe you can do a write in for Edwards…….

  29. #29 A.
    September 16, 2008

    Maybe when the media became openly biased rather than hiding behind their typewriters Phila.

    When you go after Fox News with the same enthusiasm you go after the “liberal media”, we’ll start taking you seriously.

    Wont vote for him because he is a nigger?

    Is there nothing this man can say that won’t get him banned? Does Effect Measure have to be a hangout for the net’s Paranoid Schizophrenic (and Apparently Racist, Too) All-Stars?

  30. #30 A.
    September 16, 2008

    Let me correct the double negative there: “Is there nothing this man can say that would get him banned?”

  31. #31 Joe
    September 16, 2008

    Calling Senator McCain out on the b.s. he spreads is like shooting fish in a barrel. After watching the Professor Gibson/Sarah Palin interview on YouTube McCains assertion that Gov. Palin knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America” is just plain funny.
    My take is that McCain and his handlers are true cynics that will say anything to get elected. If the average U.S. voter is willing to accept and vote for this team then they deserve what they get.

  32. #32 M. Randolph Kruger
    September 16, 2008

    Well now A. I am about the most racist person that is out there. If you hadnt noticed (I know Bush and Cheney didnt, and me) that Colin Powell was black.

    Indeed I wish he was running instead of Ties to the PLO, Ties to domestic terrorist Ayers Barack H. Obama.

    All Obama needs to do is to bring his laundry out and lets take a look at it and he can answer how those stains got in there. Some will come out, some wont…

    I was raised in Mississippi during the 1950’s to the mid 70’s and I can safely say you aint got a clue what racism is until you go to a march as a young child of 9 and get cups of piss thrown on you. And I bet your mother didnt go to her grave with a huge scar on the back of her head from a Klan thrown coke bottle. And I bet you never knew that while mom and dad were at work that one Laurinda Johnson, female black woman and one of the best people I have ever known was my nanny from the time I was 2 until I was 12.

    Yep, racist… thats me.

  33. #33 revere
    September 16, 2008

    A: If I thought Randy meant it in a racist way I’d ban him. But it is clear to me, from long and often frustrating experience, that this is the way he expresses himself sarcastically. I’ll grant you it could be misunderstood but this was not a racist comment or use of the word in its worst sense. Since there is no sarcasm tag in HTML it doesn’t show, but I am quite convinced that he is not a racist, as odious and morally offensive as I find many of his views. So yes, you can get banned here (it has happened a few times) but this wasn’t a racist comment, however it might be construed outside the wacky world that is the Randy-context.

    We are now in the last 50 days of the most contentious and historic election any of us have seen in our lifetimes and I’ve been through some bad ones, including 1968. I’m making allowances for tempers to get hot although I won’t tolerate racism. But believe me, this isn’t what’s involved. Usually I let Randy lie in his own bed after he’s made it, but I have to come to his defense in this instance because it is clear what he said could easily be misunderstood and he doesn’t deserve it (even if he brought it on himself).

  34. #34 A.
    September 17, 2008

    Randy, all I can say is that whatever bravery you and your family may have shown in the past, it doesn’t excuse your present behavior. I find your hypocrisy sickening, and I find the paranoid, insinuating way you talk about Obama revolting. Do you honestly think that the black men and women alongside of whom you (allegedly) marched, all those years ago, would welcome you as a friend if they heard you say some of the things you’ve written here? Don’t you realize that, to many men and women of color, half of what you write about him essentially is the N-word, over and over again, couched beneath a veneer of rumor and B.S. masquerading as macho-man plain-speaking? Do you not realize that “Obama is a Muslim” is code for “Obama is a n—er”?

    Again, I reiterate: if you don’t go after McCain, and Fox News, and Limbaugh et al., with the same virulence and mudslinging with which you attack the left, then I can’t see how you’re anything but the worst, most cowardly sort of hypocrite, who pretends to be interested in “fairness” and “balance” when what you really want is anything but. I loathe that sort of person, whether they’re on the left or on the right.

    (And by the way, the idea that Obama is “far left” is completely and utterly delusional, not to say a goddamned, cowardly lie. Try rereading the policies of Eisenhower and Nixon. Try looking at what tax rates were under Eisenhower. Obama is to the RIGHT of them on many issues.)

  35. #35 A.
    September 17, 2008

    Revere: understood, and for the record, I don’t think that Randy is a racist per se. If he did what he claims to have done, I salute his bravery, and he’s obviously a person with a great deal of experience to share. But Effect Measure often feels like a poisonous, monomaniacal place as soon as you step into the comments section, and Randy’s over-the-line behavior is a big part of that (in addition to the paranoid schizophrenic outburst above that took place 24 hours ago). I guess I just couldn’t take it any more without saying something.

  36. #36 A.
    September 17, 2008

    (I mean, Randy, look: I’m sure you love your wife and kids, and I’m sure that you’re the kind of guy who, if he sees someone broken down by the side of the road, will stop to help whether they’re black, white, or whatever. But that’s not the picture that most of your comments paint.)

  37. #37 daedalus2u
    September 17, 2008

    I think that Randy is showing the difference between conservatives and liberals. To Randy, any use of the term “war” is not a metaphor. “War” is a state where there are no rules, where “all is fair” including killing your opponent, his family, his neighbors, his allies, and scorching the earth where he used to live. It is like the ultimate game of chicken, a fight to the death where the other guy has to back down or compromise. When a conflict is couched in the metaphor of “war” by conservatives, they are not using it as a metaphor. It is a conflict where “all is fair”. Winning the election by negotiating with the Iranians behind the President’s back is “fair” (even if it is treasonous). Selling weapons to Iran to fund right wing death squads it “fair”. Breaking and entering to get dirt on your opponent is “fair”. Blowing the cover of agents working on stopping WMD is “fair”. It is only a crime if you are caught, prosecuted, found guilty (and then not pardoned by the president).

    In this sense all “war” is fundamentally a war of genocide, a war to eliminate from the gene pool your opponents. This sense of war dates to when human ancestors were still in the trees in Africa, so some of the feelings and behaviors are not chosen and acted upon on a conscious level. The higher the level of stress, the more individuals revert to the kill or be killed mind set, whether it is effective or necessary or not. In the heat of the moment an infant not of your “tribe” is the “enemy”, or will be when he grows up in 20 years. Better to kill that “enemy” now. That is what alpha males did in the trees in Africa, that is what Moses told the Israelites to do, that is what Americans did to Native Americans, that is what happened in Kosovo, in WWII, in Cambodia, in China, in Rwanda, that is what stressed out Americans have done in Iraq.

    I am not “blaming” the GI grunts who find themselves in such a desperate situation that they kill infants. I think that can happen to anyone if you put them under enough stress. They are given training to try and foster that mindset, they are put in a pressure cooker to induce that mindset, their stress level is ratcheted up until they are in that mindset. I blame the “leaders” who put them under such circumstances such that the reasonable person would know they would break. “Leaders” who then throw up their hands and say “no one could have predicted” and then bring the hammer down on the grunt who did behave completely predictably, all the time pushing more GIs into the meat grinder.

    This is what ratcheting up the stress in the economy, in society does, it shifts most everyone to a more desperate mind state where they are willing to do desperate things, as Palin says, “without blinking”. Do “what ever it takes” “without blinking”.

    To such “leaders”, war is simply another tool to obtain and consolidate power by eliminating rivals, the rivals’ supporters, the rivals’ support base, the rivals’ means of production. This is why the tax burden has been shifted from the wealthy to the middle class.

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