Pharyngula

From the horse’s mouth

Here’s the other side: Sarah Palin made some policy statements in her run for governor, so we can see what to expect. She’s pro-ignorance and anti-civil rights all the way, opposing gay marriage, sex education, and reproductive rights for women. No surprise at all, I know. Here are some answers that jumped out at me:

2. Will you support the right of parents to opt out their children from curricula, books, classes, or surveys, which parents consider privacy-invading or offensive to their religion or conscience?Why or why not?

SP: Yes. Parents should have the ultimate control over what their children are taught.

She wants kids to be taught only what the parents believe, which is a disaster for education. It dictates that the next generation can be no wiser, barring exceptional effort from the kids themselves, than the previous. This is an angle to give religion a trump card over science, and jingo priority over history, by making it easy to prevent kids from being exposed to reality.

10. Do you support the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling that spousal benefits for state employees should be given to same-sex couples? Why or why not?Why or why not?

SP: No, I believe spousal benefits are reserved for married citizens as defined in our constitution.

The constitution once reserved voting rights to men, and allowed people to be held as slaves. So?

And this last one is simply hilarious.

11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

See Question 2 above. Do we really want stupid people dictating what people should learn?


Here’s another answer from Palin that suddenly has more significance:

3. Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?

SP: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.

Now, are you ready to hear this?

Sarah and Todd Palin say their 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant.The couple said in a statement released by John McCain’s presidential campaign that Bristol will keep her baby.

I’m flummoxed. Here’s another personal issue that is none of the voters’ business, that will distract the media from discussing the issues, yet it speaks directly to Palin’s support for bad reproductive and educational policy.

Comments

  1. #1 Jared
    September 1, 2008

    I think McCain shot himself in the foot here, I sincerely hope Palin never gets into any public office again.

  2. #2 Maria
    September 1, 2008

    I wish people (and by that I mean pundits) would stop just saying that she’s a woman, and would focus on her policy stances. Just as they would with any other candidate.

  3. #3 wÒÓ†
    September 1, 2008
  4. #4 Ginger Yellow
    September 1, 2008

    “If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me ”

    Well, it wasn’t. So it isn’t good enough for you, then?

  5. #5 Lago
    September 1, 2008

    Our founding fathers from the 1950s..

    now that is effin’ funny..

  6. #6 Rob J
    September 1, 2008

    Wow, “under god” wasn’t added to the pledge until the 1950′s, which means our founding fathers were pushing 200 years old at the time.

  7. #7 Matt7895
    September 1, 2008

    Indeed. Here in the UK there’s so much excitement around the Republicans picking a woman for their VP candidate, that nobody has actually said, “Hang on, what does this woman actually THINK?”.

  8. #8 Blake Stacey
    September 1, 2008

    “I believe that additional representation should be given to the states based on three-fifths of the Other Persons who reside within them. . . .”

    Sung to the tune of “That Old-Time Religion”:

    It was good for the Founding Fathers,
    It was good for the Founding Fathers
    It was good for the Founding Fathers
    And it’s good enough for me!

  9. #9 Lago
    September 1, 2008

    I just realized she is going by a creationist time scale,,,so she may be onto something there…

  10. #10 mona
    September 1, 2008

    Oh, I get it. The US was founded by Joseph McCarthy. It all suddenly makes sense now.

  11. #11 S.Scott
    September 1, 2008

    If you’ve been following the rumors about Palin, you will laugh your arse off with this one. Maybe PZ can make it go viral. This girl just posted it today.

  12. #12 Monimonika
    September 1, 2008

    11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

    SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

    One of the obvious replies to this would be stating the fact that the Pledge of Allegiance did not have “Under God” in any of its lines until 1954, loooong after the founding fathers could approve of anything.

    Of course, she’s of the mind that she has the right to rewrite the history taught to her children to whatever she wants, so I guess she’s being consistent(ly ignorant).

  13. #13 The Cheerful Nihilist
    September 1, 2008
  14. #14 Sili
    September 1, 2008

    I don’t care that she’s a woman. And idiot’s an idiot’s an idiot.

    Presumably she’s the real deal and not a deep (deep deeeeep) undercover liberal?

  15. #15 Shane Killian
    September 1, 2008

    “She wants kids to be taught only what the parents believe, which is a disaster for education.”

    No, she said she wants parents to be in control of their children’s education. What’s the alternative? Kidnapping them and teaching them something the parent doesn’t agree with? How would you feel if the creationists got into power and did that to YOUR children?

    “It dictates that the next generation can be no wiser, barring exceptional effort from the kids themselves, than the previous.”

    I don’t see how that logically follows. Parental control of education doesn’t mean you only teach what the parents know. That isn’t even true of the home-schooled!

    The creation/evolution debate must be wrangled out in the marketplace of ideas. And I’m completely confident that evolution will emerge the victor. What we’re seeing from creationism is, I believe, dying gasps.

    “Do we really want stupid people dictating what people should learn?”

    No, but with government education, I don’t see how that’s avoidable.

    I also don’t see why we need a Pledge of Allegiance AT ALL. I thought we were supposed to be a free society? That’s the biggest peeve I have with the “Under God” debate: it implies that the rest of it is a-OK.

  16. #16 Joel
    September 1, 2008

    If you’ve been following the rumors about Palin, you will laugh your arse off with this one. Maybe PZ can make it go viral. This girl just posted it today.

    I don’t know, looks like a cheap shot to me and I don’t find it funny at all. Originally I was going to comment about how I appreciate that PZ has taken the high road here and kept the argument about the issues.

  17. #17 Bad Albert
    September 1, 2008

    She wants kids to be taught only what the parents believe, which is a disaster for education.

    Never thought I’d say this. I guess it’s a good thing kids don’t listen to their parents.

  18. #18 Al
    September 1, 2008

    #7 Matt7895
    I don’t know if it’s in the dead tree editions, but the online version of teh Grauniad has mentioned Palin’s political leanings;
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/30/johnmccain.palin2

    (And slightly off topic, their science section has a link to the video of Richard Dawkins reading his e-mail:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2008/aug/26/dawkinsemail )

  19. #19 Lago
    September 1, 2008

    I am takin’ a wild guess and suggest some of the people posting in here are card carrying Libertarians?

  20. #20 Roxie Gemini
    September 1, 2008

    I’m posting from the future via my chronocomputotron to bring you good news and bad. The good news is that John McCain will not win the presidency. The bad news is that due to the sheer number of people not happy with the current choices, Tom Cruise will win the election thanks to overwhelming support via write in votes, thus ushering in the Age of Scientology.
    All is not lost though, as this sets up the second Rennaissance. Which is unfortunately followed by the Monkey Uprising that only lasts for nine hours but is quite devastating.

  21. #21 Kryth
    September 1, 2008

    What a stupid tool.

    Is she just stupid, ignorant, a lier, or just does care?

  22. #22 Sili
    September 1, 2008

    *An

    (Now who’s the idiot …)

  23. #23 Bevans
    September 1, 2008

    Yay, more stuff to infuriate me!

    I agree that the media really needs to stop going “omg it’s a woman!” or wondering about whether her newest kid is really hers or her daughter’s and focus on her insane issues. If they did that, she’d become a cement block tied around McCain’s leg, holding him back. Maybe that’s why they’re not…

    As for the pledge issue, I wrote a post about that on my blog a few days ago, if anybody cares: http://dubiositysite.blogspot.com/2008/08/pledge.html

  24. #24 Blake Stacey
    September 1, 2008

    The problem with the “marketplace of ideas” is that the idea which grabs the largest share is the one with the sexiest advertising, not necessarily the one which best corresponds to reality.

  25. #25 Lago
    September 1, 2008

    “The problem with the “marketplace of ideas” is that the idea which grabs the largest share is the one with the sexiest advertising, not necessarily the one which best corresponds to reality.”

    And the fact that almost everyone thinks they have the right to vote on the reality of the idea based on how they feel about it, rather than what facts support it,,,

  26. #26 Blake Stacey
    September 1, 2008

    Al (#18):

    That video link isn’t working; at the moment, this one seems to be better.

  27. #27 Robert Madewell
    September 1, 2008

    As far as #2 goes, parents have always had the right to opt out of public schools alltogether and send the welps to private schools. There’s even scholarship programs that allow less financially able parents to send the kids to a christian school. If they don’t like what’s in public school curriculum, that’s what they need to do.

    #11: The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892, and didn’t even exist during the founding of our country. So arguing that “under God” was added in the 50′s is irrelevant. Palin made a big boo boo here. It’s obvious that she knows nothing about the history of the pledge that she defends.

  28. #28 spwoso
    September 1, 2008

    “If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me…”

    This immediately brought to mind the (probably apocryphal) line from “Ma” Ferguson:
    “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for Texas schoolchildren.”

  29. #29 Mold
    September 1, 2008

    She’s VPick to satiate the salivating two-digit IQ base. She’s literally one of them.

    Her alleged youngest is more likely the bastard child of the eldest daughter. Yes, I am old enough to recall “mono” as a euphemism for oopsie. Treatment and symptoms (none of which is a swollen abdomen) are found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000591.htm. Seems that Palin is an inveterate liar.

    Troopergate and now BabymamaGate. Reminds me of the KKKristian boss I once had. Always lied…even when the truth was just as good or besser.

  30. #30 Lilly de Lure
    September 1, 2008

    And the fact that almost everyone thinks they have the right to vote on the reality of the idea based on how they feel about it, rather than what facts support it,,,

    Apparently the Right to Ones Own Facts is also good enough for the Founding Fathers according to Ms Palin.

    It’s obvious that she knows nothing about the history of the pledge that she defends.

    When did that ever hold back a republican candidate?

  31. #31 Steve
    September 1, 2008

    Unfortunately, Palin’s stupidity will be irrelevant to the voters. McCain should have been sunk by this totally irresponsible pick, but no. Not in America.

    Hey, look she’s a mom! She’s a hunter! She has a Down’s Syndrom baby! Who cares if her positions puts on the extreme right? She’s one of us! She makes me feel good!

    This is how we got George W, and this is how we’re going to get McCain. I’m soooo depressed.

  32. #32 illusory tenant
    September 1, 2008

    I’m sure her answer to question 10 is in reference to the Alaska constitution, which has a marriage amendment.

  33. #33 DrFrank
    September 1, 2008

    I am takin’ a wild guess and suggest some of the people posting in here are card carrying Libertarians?
    I think you’d find that libertarians would be strongly in favour of letting each individual decide whether they wanted to carry a card or not.

  34. #34 raven
    September 1, 2008

    Palin is a rapture , creationist, and a Dominionist. Right there is enough to make anyone sane run like hell the other way.

    McCain is 72 and would be 80 if he made it through 2 terms without dropping dead. The probability that Palin would end up president is unusually high in this case.

    This VP candidate shows either desperation or an astounding lack of judgement on his part.

  35. #35 Electric Monk
    September 1, 2008

    “If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.”

    That, plus her pro-gun stance, makes me think she’s in favor of armed revolution against a government that’s not working well. This quote makes almost me like her.

  36. #36 Joel
    September 1, 2008

    Her alleged youngest is more likely the bastard child of the eldest daughter.

    Do you have anything to back that up, or are you just talking out of your ass.

  37. #37 Lago
    September 1, 2008

    “I think you’d find that libertarians would be strongly in favour of letting each individual decide whether they wanted to carry a card or not.”

    From this, I have no idea if you got the joke or not,,,

  38. #38 just john
    September 1, 2008

    If she’s a Young Earth creationist (and I haven’t heard confirmation of the YE part yet,) then, given the importance of oil to her state, I’d like to hear her answer to: What is petroleum, and how do the big oil companies know where to look for it?

  39. #39 Lago
    September 1, 2008

    “Do you have anything to back that up, or are you just talking out of your ass.”

    I am going to need to agree here. Before one makes such a suggestion, you really oughta have a crap load of evidence…

  40. #40 JStein
    September 1, 2008

    Wow, the accusations in these comments are really bizarre. The idea that her youngest child is the product of her youngest daughter is a little far fetched, especially given that having a child with down syndrome makes sense given Gov. Palin’s age.

    That said, what’s important shouldn’t be the absurd accusations, just the objective assessment that this woman is a complete moron.

  41. #41 just john
    September 1, 2008

    Counter-evidence to the child-5-isn’t-hers claim:

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/us/international-usa-politics-palin.html

  42. #42 Lilly de Lure
    September 1, 2008

    Lago said:

    I am going to need to agree here. Before one makes such a suggestion, you really oughta have a crap load of evidence…

    And after that, a reason why it is any of our business. Given her strong anti-choice stance I could see why an alleged abortion in the family would be our business as an example of unbridled hypocrisy on her part, but illegitimacy? None of our business.

  43. #43 anthropicOne
    September 1, 2008

    “The creation/evolution debate must be wrangled out in the marketplace of ideas.”

    Um…no, it doesn’t. Creationism is NOT science. It’s religion. End of story.

    Next case. Next case. Next case (in my best George Carlin impression).

  44. #44 Sleeping at the Console
    September 1, 2008

    What I don’t understand is how someone can oppose progress. Take a look around! Progress made this world what it is. Without progress we would have no advanced societies, no technology at all, no ideals about equality, no understanding of the world beyond what is described in the Book of Genesis.

    And there are still people who want progress to stop. They want to turn back time. Do they honestly think that the world in which they live today could have been possible without progress?

    Obviously schools should have sex education. It feels very weird to say anything like that, since we already have good sex ed in my country, and it’s obvious why we have it. If parents think it’s better for their kids to be ignorant, then that really is child abuse.

  45. #45 Maria
    September 1, 2008

    From the Huffington post:

    In November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped.

    Granting exceptions only if the mother’s life was in danger, Palin said that when it came to her daughter, “I would choose life.”

  46. #46 Blake Stacey
    September 1, 2008

    They’re discussing the daughter/granddaughter business over at Ed Brayton’s place; I think the suggestion was first floated at Daily Kos.

  47. #47 Sleeping at the Console
    September 1, 2008

    In November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped.

    Granting exceptions only if the mother’s life was in danger, Palin said that when it came to her daughter, “I would choose life.”

    Abortions are legal, free and confidential, even for teenagers. Oh wait, I was thinking about my own country…

  48. #48 Rudi
    September 1, 2008

    “If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me”

    That just seems like a sick joke. Actually, it IS a sick joke.

    How can ANYONE vote for these ignorocretins?

  49. #49 Holbach
    September 1, 2008

    “Alaska under god, with no liberty and injustice for all.” How’s that Palin; does that cover it?

  50. #50 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

    She doesn’t know anything about science and she doesn’t know anything about history. Our founding fathers would never have agreed to stick Mr. God in a pledge of allegiance.

    Yesterday I read that theocrats love Palin and many of them who were going to skip the election are now going to vote for McCain.

    Parents should have the ultimate control over what their children are taught.

    Palin probably wants to let fundie students skip biology.

    PZ’s governor is a lot like Palin. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty:

    Pawlenty came the closest to touching on the potentially uncomfortable subject of Palin’s belief that creationism should be taught alongside evolution and possibly intelligent design in public schools. “Allow them both to be presented so students could be exposed to both,” Pawlenty said on Meet the Press. “They are competing theories. … Intelligent design in my view is plausible and credible and something that should be taught.”

  51. #51 co
    September 1, 2008

    The idea that her youngest child is the product of her youngest daughter is a little far fetched

    You’re telling me!

  52. #52 J'Carlin
    September 1, 2008

    I am all for Christian? parents opting out of anything that might cause their children to be able to compete in the modern world.

    It is true that this is child abuse, but good parenting is an evolutionary necessity, and evolution does not make value judgments on child abuse. Abusive parenting is quickly removed from the gene pool. Liberals need not fight the battle of Religious Child abuse. Evolution will do it for us.

  53. #53 Skwee
    September 1, 2008

    Ouuuuuuch.

  54. #54 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 1, 2008

    Listen, McCain knew exactly what he was getting with this woman. It was a shrewd choice, because it shored up the fundamentalist base that was threatening not to vote this year. Now, they have a True Indication that McCain is willing to pander to get votes.

    If he’s elected she will not see the outside of the VP’s office… She will be ensconced in Blair House and as relevant to policy as Hubert Humphrey was during Johnson’s administration, and Johnson was in Kennedy’s administration.

    McCain doesn’t trust nor like women to think. He only needs them to be purty. And Palin, if McCain wins this election, will disappear until and if McCain dies in office.

  55. #55 Colugo
    September 1, 2008

    I seriously considered it myself when I first caught wind of it, but the ‘bogus pregnancy’ theory is wrong. It had been debunked by early yesterday. Photos, the timeline, eyewitnesses together disprove it. (For example, one of the ‘pregnant teen’ photos is from 2006. Sarah Palin looks plenty pregnant in some photos from this year. And on and on. It’s overdetermined.) Sarah Palin is the child’s mother.

    Yet today I am still seeing speculation about the rumor. I thought the blogosphere moved faster than that.

  56. #56 Oz
    September 1, 2008

    @ #21:
    “Is she just stupid, ignorant, a lier, or just does care?”

    Don’t you love it when the illiterate call people stupid?

    Onward…

    As far as parents opting out of classes that offend them, try reversing the circumstances. I bet you’d be squealing for exemption if a public school went creationist. You’d probably be demanding the same Constitutional adherence that you just derided as the hobgoblin of small minds. As to those who insist that going to a different school is a sufficient answer, that option still leaves you paying for an education that at best you aren’t using and at worst you oppose. Would you be okay with paying for creation science classes even if your child wasn’t taking them?

    Of course, the pledge stuff is just ignorant, but it’s a fairly commonly held myth that the pledge is as old as the country.

    (Disclosure: I’m not voting for either major party for president. I may leave the ballot blank.)

  57. #57 Kryth
    September 1, 2008

    This immediately brought to mind the (probably apocryphal) line from “Ma” Ferguson:
    “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for Texas schoolchildren.”(/i>

    Too funny. Glorious proud ignorance.

  58. #58 Irene Delse
    September 1, 2008

    From the article just john #41 posted:

    “Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin’s five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.”

    Interesting. So, basically, this means that Palin’s ideas on “abstinence only” sex education didn’t even work in her own family… She still manages to not aknowledge it, but she can’t hide the fact.

  59. #59 Ryan Jensen
    September 1, 2008

    The constitution once reserved voting rights to men, and allowed people to be held as slaves. So?

    I think she’s talking about Alaska’s constitution. I have a hard time believing that Alaska’s constitution allowed slavery or restricted voting to men only.

    I also don’t believe the US Constitution mentions marriage at all, does it?

  60. #60 Blake Stacey
    September 1, 2008

    Of course, the pledge stuff is just ignorant, but it’s a fairly commonly held myth that the pledge is as old as the country.

    So, run-of-the-mill ignorance is acceptable in people aiming for the highest offices of the land. . . because it’s common?

  61. #61 Steve
    September 1, 2008

    “Parents should have the ultimate control over what their children are taught.” – Sarah Palin.

    …including, I assume, about birth control.

    Palin’s seventeen-year old daughter is pregant. – CNN

    This won’t change a thing, but the irony of it, the justice of it, oh, it’s so sweet. I may have to re-think my position on the existence of God thing.

  62. #62 SC
    September 1, 2008

    Her daughter has great timing.

  63. #63 Wow
    September 1, 2008

    Good for Sarah not asking her daughter to kill her baby by having an abortion.

  64. #64 abb3w
    September 1, 2008

    I suspect your metaphor may have the ends of the horse mixed up.

  65. #65 Kingasaurus
    September 1, 2008

    Look, I know plenty of people here have their problems with Mitt Romney, and I do too. But at least I can say he’s been a full-term governor of a decent-sized state, and a successful businessman who IS NOT an evolution-denier. I would argue he’s a smart dude who panders to religion more than being a real hardcore guy himself, despite his reputation as scary-Mormon-guy.

    Even if you disagree with almost everything he wants to do, at least you can argue he could hit the ground running as President if McCain keeled over. This woman makes Romney look like a freaking statesman. Sadly, it’s the right-wing religious nuts that probably kept Romney off the ticket, as McCain was worried about those people staying home. Those Baptists don’t like Mormons anyway, So McCain felt like he had to pick someone like her instead. Sad, really.

  66. #66 craig
    September 1, 2008

    Stop with the stupid “it’s her daughter’s kid” bullshit.

    That whole idea is based solely on the observation that in a photo from an unknown time, her daughter isn’t anorexic looking, and that she herself recovered from her pregnancy pretty fast.

    She’s a disaster based on reality, no need to start fantasizing.

  67. #67 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    Palin’s seventeen-year old daughter is pregant.

    Isn’t that a good thing? If people don’t reproduce the human race could go extinct.

  68. #68 LongRider
    September 1, 2008

    Several years ago I worked for an internet used book seller (where I really learned the meaning of freedom of speech and expression.) And hoo boy, did I see some weird and glorius stuff! Incuding an old KKK tract for one of it’s youth groups.

    Why does the Pledge of Alegience matter at all, with or without the godbothering? Any moron can spout off the “Pledge” to prove their so called patriotisim. This was brought home to me one time when the bookseller had a late ’40s early ’50s tract from the KKK for one of thier youth groups before the godbothering was added to the pledge. In the tract there was lots of weird religious crap and the pledge, which was without the “under God” in it. The tract was not dated but this gave an idea of it’s age.

    I found it to be a very interesting arifact–important in it’s way to give me an idea of the history and scope of such organizations and their dedication to funie religion and perverted sense of nationality. Very creepy.

    I agree that the pledge should not have the “under God” in it, but is that really an appropriate question for a prez cannidate? No, but her answer was insightful.

    As for parents being in control of what their children learn—I can’t agree with her answer. I don’t have kids, but was a kid once who both experienced Catholic and public schools. Hell, if my parents had tried to tell either of the schools what they did or didn’t want their kids to be taught, we would of not learned very much from either school.

    Oh, and being from a family of 11 children, I firmly believe in comprehensive, science based sex ed for all kids and easily available contrceptives (with medical supervison when needed) for any man or women who wants them.

    Palin makes me sick!!!! :(

  69. #69 CalGeorge
    September 1, 2008

    Bristol is pregnant again?

    Wow, that was fast!

  70. #70 Lynn
    September 1, 2008

    Follow the links!

    Stone of Tear (linked above) has a link to that (2006 Gubernatorial Candidate) questionnaire.

    For her responses, click Sarah Palin palinforgovernor.com and you are redirected to http://www.johnmccain.com/gustav.htm
    “For our fellow citizens, let’s put our country first…”

    Hit the back key to return to the questionnaire and you’re here: http://www.johnmccain.com/

  71. #71 me
    September 1, 2008

    NBC is taking a poll on ‘ In God We Trust ‘ to

    stay on our American currency.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10103521/

  72. #72 Julian
    September 1, 2008

    The Constitution doesn’t say anything about Marriage. That is an issue the founding fathers explicitly left up to the states. It infuriates me that reporters allow such idiocy to pass unchallenged.

  73. #73 PZ Myers
    September 1, 2008

    I really detest that rumor about Palin’s baby actually being her granddaughter — it’s the kind of bizarre and unbelievable and personally damaging story that ought to be researched into certainty before there is all the degrading public speculation. The evidence so far is all incredibly circumstantial.

  74. #74 craig
    September 1, 2008

    “The Constitution doesn’t say anything about Marriage. That is an issue the founding fathers explicitly left up to the states. It infuriates me that reporters allow such idiocy to pass unchallenged.”

    In order for the press to challenge people’s mistakes, they’d have to know that they were mistakes.

  75. #75 Robin
    September 1, 2008

    I’ve already seen some comments on wacko sites along the lines of “But now if McCain dies, there’ll be a *woman* in charge of America!” so if he did just pick a woman as a stunt, there’s some hope it’ll backfire.

  76. #76 Dutch Delight
    September 1, 2008

    11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

    How do people even come up with these stupid questions?

    Does the interviewer actually expect a “christian” politician in the US to affirm that the pledge is divisive or what? And whats with framing it as “taking offense”? Is that how the complaints against the changed pledge are being portrayed in churches or something?!

    If we combine this all with her irrational fear towards the intentions of the founding fathers, I think we might go as far as officially declaring her in “not even wrong” territory.

  77. #77 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    September 1, 2008

    SC @62

    Her daughter has great timing.

    Not if she was trying to use the rhythm method for contraception.

  78. #78 Ktesibios
    September 1, 2008

    Oh, J.R. “Bob” Dobbs on a flaming popsicle stick!

    I’m an iggerant uneddicated prole and even I knew that the pledge was written in the late 19th century (by a Socialist, no less) and that the “under God” was shoehorned in during one of our periodic national fits of paranoia.

    There’s been so much written about it in the past few years that if you have an Internet connection and a brain capable of retaining information longer than 24 hours, it’s essentially impossible to escape knowing those facts.

    That poor woman appears to be a tragic case of Terminal Incuriosity.

  79. #79 Maria
    September 1, 2008

    As far as parents opting out of classes that offend them, try reversing the circumstances. I bet you’d be squealing for exemption if a public school went creationist. You’d probably be demanding the same Constitutional adherence that you just derided as the hobgoblin of small minds. As to those who insist that going to a different school is a sufficient answer, that option still leaves you paying for an education that at best you aren’t using and at worst you oppose. Would you be okay with paying for creation science classes even if your child wasn’t taking them?

    This analogy is completely off-base. Children are taught science. If they are taught *wrong* science, then that’s cause to complain. If they are taught science that I don’t like, then that really isn’t. There is room for the curriculum to be discussed, but not to say we want them to know math, but would rather they say that 1 + 1 can be 2 or 3, depending on religious considerations.

    Creation science is not science.

  80. #80 daveb
    September 1, 2008

    I really detest that rumor about Palin’s baby actually being her granddaughter — it’s the kind of bizarre and unbelievable and personally damaging story that ought to be researched into certainty before there is all the degrading public speculation. The evidence so far is all incredibly circumstantial.

    I think “so far” is probably leaving the door open a bit much, considering Bristol actually turned out to be pregnant with her own child.

  81. #81 raven
    September 1, 2008

    Good for Sarah not asking her daughter to kill her baby by having an abortion.

    Yes, of course.

    Also good for Sarah for not telling her 17 year old daughter where babies come from. These surprise pregnancies are always so fun and work out well.

    Good for Sarah for explaining that 17 year old children don’t need to have a life, get some education, and have some fun before settling down into an 18 year career as caregiver/parent.

    Good for Sarah for explaining that teen age pregnancies and shotgun weddings always lead to the most stable marriages. Guys who knock up their girl friends always make great husbands.

    Good for Sarah for explaining that there is a huge shortage of people in the world and we need more oil consumers to use up the tremendous surplus of petroleum, produce carbon dioxide to keep the planet warm, and eat up all the food before poor people overseas get it.

    Palin reminds me of some of the fundies out in the backwoods. Incredibly religious while surrounding themselves with drugs, alcohol, teen age pregnancy, other social problems, ignorance, and white trash poverty.

  82. #82 Julian
    September 1, 2008

    Shane: The alternative is what we have now, where parents can tell their children whatever they want, but if those children do not put the correct answers on their homework they get poor grades. Parents do not have control over their child’s education beyond their right to be involved in school-district politics and her statement that the situation needs to be changed to give parents more authority really begs the question of what exactly she’s saying. Knowing her politics, Dr. Myers is pointing out the obvious conclusion to be drawn from her comments; that she thinks state and federal governments should reach into a school teacher’s lesson plans and mandate equal rewards for religiously-motivated answers, or that students who’s parent’s “opt out” of a certain lesson sequence should be given passing grades without having to do any of the work required.

    What she’s proposing is a significant change from every pedagogical model currently in operation publicly in the U.S.A.

    As to the Pledge, it isn’t mandatory. It came to prominence popularly, that is through the will of the people, and for specific historical reasons. If you care to find them out, you can check out wikipedia which has a decent article on the matter. The big deal is that loyalty to one’s state is a secular idea and one should not be asked to pledge believe in a higher being to care for one’s nation, or more importantly, the universal ideals it is built upon.

  83. #83 Julian
    September 1, 2008

    Dammit. That should be “belief”.

  84. #84 C R S
    September 1, 2008

    PZ, I don’t think it was the horse’s mouth that spewed forth that crap.

  85. #85 Julian
    September 1, 2008

    craig: Shush you! I’m already depressed enough as it is *knocks back a bottle of Wellburtrin*

    This isn’t helping any :(….

  86. #86 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    September 1, 2008

    BobC @ 67

    If people don’t reproduce the human race could go extinct.

    ‘Could’ go extinct? ‘Would’ seems a better choice in that sentence.

    Fun with words aside, the biggest problem this planet has is over-population. If humans were as rational as we like to think we are and not driven by our emotions and instincts, we would not be at 6 going on 7 billion.

    Religious incentives for higher reproduction rates are evil. Think of the world your child’s child will be living in, before you have another one.

    I wonder what the ratio of humans born versus species driven to extinction is. One million to one?

  87. #87 bullfighter
    September 1, 2008

    Bristol’s pregnancy is a legitimate issue because of the policies Palin has supported and campaigned on. If she is not able to inspire her own children to adhere to her (purported) principles, how can she expect to lead a nation? Yes, it also provides anecdotal evidence that abstinence-only education doesn’t work, but this one example isn’t going to convert anyone on that issue (nor should it). However, the leadership issue is relevant no matter which side one supports policy-wise.

    As a bonus, earlier this year, Palin warmly addressed a secessionist party that considers American soldiers in Alaska “occupation troops”. In turn, the party’s vice chairman said Palin was a member before she became mayor. See it for yourself; you couldn’t come up with a more damning stuff if you tried to make it up.

  88. #88 mayhempix
    September 1, 2008

    Apparently Bristol’s parents were responsible for her contraception education.

    I wonder how the boy felt after seeing Sara shooting an automatic rifle on TV? I can just see him thinking, “If Cheney got away with it…” No more hunting trips with the Palin family for him.

  89. #90 Interrobang
    September 1, 2008

    The “Founding Fathers” comment puts me in mind of those King James fundie schismatics who will proudly tell you “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.” Same level of head-desking stupidity.

    I went to high school with dozens of the pupal forms of women like Sarah Palin; she scares the shit out of me.

  90. #91 JStein
    September 1, 2008

    Time for me to put my foot in my mouth.

    It does seem as though there is legitimate evidence that the most recent Palin child is not Palin’s child so much as her grandchild.

  91. #92 Noni Mausa
    September 1, 2008

    Good old Wiki, a nice big scoop of irony:

    The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian Socialist, and the cousin of Socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850-1898). Bellamy’s original “Pledge of Allegiance” was published in the September 8th issue of the popular children’s magazine … as part of the … Celebration of Columbus Day…

    Bellamy’s original Pledge read, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    The pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be stated in 15 seconds. He had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided they were too controversial since many people opposed equal rights for women and blacks.

    Note the implicit meaning of the last eight words:

    The Venn Diagram of prejudice — the set “people” does not include elements “female, blacks”.

    I used to work for the census. After a day or so I get used to asking people, “How many people are living here? That includes children.”

    Noni

  92. #93 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    ‘Could’ go extinct? ‘Would’ seems a better choice in that sentence.

    Right. Thanks for the correction.

    Fun with words aside, the biggest problem this planet has is over-population.

    I agree but who wants to volunteer to have no children? Unfortunately religious idiots have a tendency to reproduce more than educated people. The result could be what was described in the movie Idiocracy.

  93. #94 CalGeorge
    September 1, 2008

    “Good for Sarah not asking her daughter to kill her baby by having an abortion.”

    Good for Sarah for helping to get us to 9 billion people by 2050.

  94. #95 Chiroptera
    September 1, 2008

    Shane Killian, #15: Parental control of education doesn’t mean you only teach what the parents know. That isn’t even true of the home-schooled!

    The creation/evolution debate must be wrangled out in the marketplace of ideas.

    Ah, yes. The great majority of people who choose to homeschool their children do so in order to expose their kids to a much greater diversity of thought.

    -

    Kidnapping them and teaching them something the parent doesn’t agree with?

    Ah, yes. Exposing kids to thought contrary to their parents’ isn’t exposing them to “the marketplace of ideas” but rather kidnapping.

  95. #96 mayhempix
    September 1, 2008

    I can just see the spin coming on Palin’s Pledge gaffe…

    Limbaugh: “Please folks, its so clear that Sara was talkng about the fact that the Founding Fathers were Christians, not that they wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. Those Liberals want you to believe she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but what else do you expect from them? Liberals will lie and cheat about anything to destroy this country. Why this woman is a patriot while Obama, who the media is afraid to criticise because he’s black, but not me folks, not me, Obama, the supposed “Christian”, will just bend over and sell us out to Iran…”

  96. #97 Maria
    September 1, 2008

    “Good for Sarah not asking her daughter to kill her baby by having an abortion.”

    Good for Sarah for saying this decision was her daughter’s to make. Oh wait.

  97. #98 Dave
    September 1, 2008

    Hi, I’m English, please don’t let this person be elected for, all our sakes..

  98. #99 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    Good for Sarah not asking her daughter to kill her baby by having an abortion.

    This might sound politically incorrect, but I agree. Of course Palin doesn’t want her future grandchild murdered. I’m all for the legalization of abortion. It’s none of my business and none of the government’s business. However I think it’s disgusting. It’s illogical and horrible to end a pregnancy. However it’s worse for the government to stick its nose where it doesn’t belong.

  99. #100 mayhempix
    September 1, 2008

    “Good for Sarah not asking her daughter to kill her baby by having an abortion.”

    “Good for Sarah for saying this decision was her daughter’s to make. Oh wait.”

    Good for Sarah for teaching her daughter about how babies are made and how to avoid getting pregnant by using birth control. Oh wait.

    I guess this what they mean by Abstinence Only education. Brain abstinence.

  100. #101 Bill Dauphin
    September 1, 2008

    (Disclosure: I’m not voting for either major party for president. I may leave the ballot blank.)

    Forgive my rudeness, but this is really stupid. With or without you, a choice is going to be made between the two major candidates. Even if you’re disappointed with both candidates, it’s impossible to imagine there’s not one of them you’re less disappointed in. Refusing to vote for your preferred (or even least disliked) candidate doesn’t accomplish anything or send any message; it just silences your own voice. Driving to the polls in order to leave the ballot blank is not only stupid, but also environmentally irresponsible!

    If you are really convinced that both candidates are so bad that the nation would be irredeemably screwed with either of them, why in FSM’s name aren’t you packing to move out of this country? We’re not the old Soviet Union; we’ll let you leave.

    Of course, you have every right to stay even if you do leave all the decision making to the rest of us. But please stop acting like your indecision is some sort of badge of honor.

  101. #102 eddie
    September 1, 2008

    Re J’Carlin #52

    I am all for Christian? parents opting out of anything that might cause their children to be able to compete in the modern world…
    …Liberals need not fight the battle of Religious Child abuse. Evolution will do it for us.

    No. Enough with the social darwinism. Us atheists are a lot more moral, compassionate than that. Never leave a child in danger. No-matter how distasteful its parents are

  102. #103 Ashley
    September 1, 2008

    # 19

    Some of us might be…is there something wrong with that?

  103. #104 Bill Dauphin
    September 1, 2008

    Dave (@98):

    Hi, I’m English, please don’t let this person be elected for, all our sakes..

    Good point. I meant to add to my rant @101 that there are probably plenty of non-U.S. commenters here who desperately wish they could vote in this election, and to whom wanting to leave the ballot blank must seem utterly shocking.

  104. #105 386sx
    September 1, 2008

    As far as parents opting out of classes that offend them, try reversing the circumstances. I bet you’d be squealing for exemption if a public school went creationist.

    They’re not supposed to teach religion myth stuff in schools.

    You’d probably be demanding the same Constitutional adherence that you just derided as the hobgoblin of small minds.

    What Constitutional adherence you talkin about? I think once they pretended like they wanted a marriage amendment added to the Constitution, but that was only so they could get elected.

    Palin apparently thinks they passed that amendment, and probably thinks it was passed by the founding fathers, George W. Bush and Benny Hinn. Believe me, it’s a hobgoblin. A really small one.

    Of course, the pledge stuff is just ignorant, but it’s a fairly commonly held myth that the pledge is as old as the country.

    So’s the creationist crap too. Ignorance and myth. I guess that means it’s okay then.

  105. #106 N.K.
    September 1, 2008

    Post number 52 is laughable, least because the writer put a trademark symbol after the word Christian.

    He seems to equate evolution with, “Leave children to deal with their parent’s woeful and dangerous ignorance on their own.”

    Atheists are more moral than to want to subject a child to that.

    Anyway, for me, this confirms just how crazily right-wing Sarah Palin is.

  106. #107 Zeno
    September 1, 2008

    Her mother’s decision to accept the position of McCain’s running mate is turning Bristol Palin’s life into a nightmare. Mommy should have thought of that.

    And a funny thing: Abstinence definitely works, but abstinence education doesn’t.

  107. #108 toddahhhh
    September 1, 2008

    #36 “Her alleged youngest is more likely the bastard child of the eldest daughter.

    Do you have anything to back that up, or are you just talking out of your ass.”

    I would say it is still circumstantial evidence. But not telling anyone that you are pregnant until 7 months in, her waist size not changing at all, deciding to stay and finish a speech after her amniotic sack allegedly broke, family pictures of the daughter around that time showing an increased waist size. I couldn’t say for sure, as I sure wouldn’t want to defame an innocent, but the evidence is pretty damning, from the articles and photos I’ve seen about it. Google “Sarah Palin illegitimate” and decide for yourself, as she won’t let it slip, if it is in fact true.

  108. #109 Maria
    September 1, 2008

    I don’t think we need any rumors to disqualify. All freely available information is enough. And as vetting continues, I expect we’ll find out more.

  109. #110 TimJ
    September 1, 2008

    Raven@34 : “This VP candidate shows either desperation or an astounding lack of judgement on his part.”

    I don’t see why these two options need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I see both of these in fair abundance in McCain. Unfortunately, it does still seem he has a real chance. Long ago (well, at least 4 years) I’ve been continually surprised at my own inability to underestimate the rational decision making abilities of our fellow Americans. And now Vancouver is way too expensive. *sigh*.

  110. #111 SC
    September 1, 2008

    I’m all for the legalization of abortion. It’s none of my business and none of the government’s business.

    Perhaps you haven’t heard, but it’s already legal, and has been for some time.

    However I think it’s disgusting. It’s illogical and horrible to end a pregnancy.

    You go right ahead and carry your future pregnancies to term, BobC.

  111. #112 CalGeorge
    September 1, 2008

    Rush Limbaugh and Fox spend years lying to the world and spreading nasty rumors yet the Right has nothing critical to say of them. Ever.

    Liberal blogs speculate about a pregnancy because of a picture of Palin and the Right freaks out.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  112. #113 chariots of iron
    September 1, 2008

    zeno is right – Bristol’s life is really screwed up now – she has been turned into a perfect example of Mommy’s politics not working.
    I wonder how many years/different programs/family members getting pregnant, etc will it take for Christians to realize that abstinence ed does not work?

  113. #114 Dlux
    September 1, 2008

    This ‘motivational’ poster pretty much sums up why Abstinence-Only is doomed:

    http://goodshit.phlap.net/abonly.html

    The sooner the religious right accepts reality the sooner we can mend the goddam planet.

  114. #115 Chiroptera
    September 1, 2008

    CalGeorge, #112: Rush Limbaugh and Fox spend years lying to the world and spreading nasty rumors yet the Right has nothing critical to say of them. Ever.

    Liberal blogs speculate about a pregnancy because of a picture of Palin and the Right freaks out.

    Not only that, but if you check out PZ Meyers’ and Ed Brayton’s blogs you’ll see that there are numbers on the Left who are also critical of the comments made about Palin and for Moore’s recent comments on Hurricane Gustav.

  115. #116 raven
    September 1, 2008

    Palin doesn’t have a few skeletons in her closet. She has a whole freaking cemetary.

    I would have expected the Theothuglican leadership to have vetted her and maybe had some words of advice for McCain before he started self destructing. Apparently there isn’t any leadership.

    Oh well, from the last 8 years, being completely unqualified to lead the country seem to be no problem when getting elected. We have consistently chosen the worst possible candidate. This means McCain is still well in the running.

    The old saying. “Never attribute to evil what stupidity can accomplish.”

  116. #117 dan
    September 1, 2008

    Hey WOOt at #3; that is a beautiful booby! One of your best, thanks for throwing them out there!

  117. #118 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    SC (#111), I know abortion is legal and I’m glad it’s legal, but I think abortion is a bad idea. Some women have good reasons to have an abortion, but I bet most eventually regret it. It’s not logical for people to murder their own children.

  118. #119 SC
    September 1, 2008

    Some women have good reasons to have an abortion, but I bet most eventually regret it.

    Oh, you bet, do you?

    It’s not logical for people to murder their own children.

    A pregnancy is not a child, and terminating a pregnancy is not murder. Women can decide what is logical and right to do with our own bodies. Your concern is noted.

  119. #120 Blake Stacey
    September 1, 2008

    It’s not logical for people to murder their own children.

    Since you’re trying to go all Vulcan on us, I figure a Star Trek picture is appropriate.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8311021@N03/2331862131/

  120. #121 Pete Rooke
    September 1, 2008

    This experience issue may really come back to haunt McCain. After imitating Giuliani’s “a noun, a verb, POW/9.11 (delete as applicable)” tactic he has now diluted his primary selling point even further with the addition of Palin.

    I can only hope that Ron Paul decides to run as an independent as has been widely rumoured because at the moment we have Obama // who seems enamoured with radical liberation theology which bears little resemblance to this country’s Christian majority // and McCain who must be bordering on senility.

  121. #122 karen
    September 1, 2008

    #99 BobC, why do you consider it to be illogical to end a pregnancy?

  122. #123 Dlux
    September 1, 2008

    BobC: “It’s not logical for people to murder their own children.”

    Which is PRECISELY why God does it all the time.

    Mysterious ways, and all that.

    PS: This bears repeating every time this comes up – Bob, who is responsible for the greatest, by orders of magnitude, number of abortions in all of human history? This only applies if you are religious, btw.

  123. #124 freethinker
    September 1, 2008

    Why does Palin’s daughter have to get married because she’s pregnant? How does forcing two kids to marry solve anything? For crying out loud she’s only 17!!!

  124. #125 SC
    September 1, 2008

    By the way,

    http://www.apa.org/releases/abortion-report.pdf

    This only applies if you are religious, btw.

    BobC most definitely isn’t.

  125. #126 Chiroptera
    September 1, 2008

    BobC, #118: It’s not logical for people to murder their own children.

    Well, besides the point that having an abortion is not the same as murdering one’s own child, there is nothing logical or illogical about abortion. Or, to be more precise, the logic can only be determined by examining the decision to see whether it is consistent with one’s overall moral framework. If in one’s framework fetuses aren’t children, a woman’s physical and emotional well-being is a positive value, and the negative effects of being born in a negative situation is a bad thing, then aborting may very well be the logical decision.

  126. #127 Pete Rooke
    September 1, 2008

    yet it speaks directly to Palin’s support for bad reproductive and educational policy

    Another unwarranted assumption by Dr. Myers. Why is it that a teenage couple – who are having a baby and who are apparently going to get married – speaks anything about any policy other that their own personal life choices. We have no idea if this child is unwanted, if they weren’t ready to have sex, if they were using contraception…

  127. #128 karen
    September 1, 2008

    BobC, never mind my question in #122; it seems people are posting more quickly than I can, and it seems I should have refreshed the page before posting.

  128. #129 CalGeorge
    September 1, 2008

    BobC: “It’s not logical for people to murder their own children.”

    It’s especially illogical if the woman has been raped.

    Palin: “I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society, we cannot condone ending an innocent’s life.”

    The poor rape victim has to go along with the mistake that “society” made.

  129. #130 Irene Delse
    September 1, 2008

    @ BobC (118): The point is that nobody but the pregnant woman should have the right to decide whether she carries the pregnancy to term or not. What happens during the pregnancy is, basically, the fetus making use of the woman’s body resources (blood, oxygen, etc.) in order to build its own. Maybe the unwanted pregnancy is due to rape, maybe it’s a contraception accident, maybe simple ignorance, especially if the woman is young and wasn’t taught how her own body works and how to use contraception… And of course, choosing to terminate a pregnancy is not a “happy” solution, even when it’s a responsible one. But the important thing is that the woman should be able to make that choice herself, with sufficient information and no pressure to follow other people’s desires!

  130. #131 Dlux
    September 1, 2008

    Apologies to BobC – I was posting in two forums at the same time and didn’t take the time to read all the comments here. My mistake for the presumption.

  131. #132 Karey
    September 1, 2008

    I’m afraid its terribly logical to end a pregnancy, to the point that evolution has created plenty of mechanisms for it to be done. In times of environmental stress, its illogical to make the woman carry the baby to term, as both she and the baby might die. Spontaneous abortions are all about saving the woman’s life to concieve another day. Similarly in our society, a woman can look at whether or not she will be able to aquire the resources to raise both a child and support herself, and if not, it just makes the most logical sense to choose to end the pregnancy. Republican attitudes that discourage welfare and social programs only reinforce the logic of such a decision.

  132. #133 Rik.
    September 1, 2008

    @BobC:
    You’re calling abortion murder, yet still think it should be legal? Excuse me for being somewhat confused.

    (Wether it really IS murder or not is also questionable, with the whole “when does life begin?” question that’s attached to it, but I don’t feel like I’m qualified to answer that question, so I won’t attempt to)

  133. #134 dan
    September 1, 2008

    Palin is not forcing her daughter to marry against her will; she is expressing her love for her child by telling her it is the right thing to do. I am sure that the two young people (unless the father-to-be is in his thirties) are in love; why would they be procreating otherwise?

    (Snark)

    The truth is, the daughter is 17, and now she is going to compound her first mistake with another. It is very sad, especially now that this poor girls predicament is being dragged out in front of THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!

    Way to look after your family.

  134. #135 riemann
    September 1, 2008

    Strictly (or maybe mildly) irrelevant but can someone direct a beginner like me (and even that is an understatement) to a comprehensive guide about the particulars of the upcoming experiment in the LHC of CERN?

  135. #136 Chiroptera
    September 1, 2008

    Rik, #133: You’re calling abortion murder, yet still think it should be legal?

    Actually, murder is killing that is contrary to law. So as long as it is legal, abortion can’t be murder by simple definition.

  136. #137 Rik.
    September 1, 2008

    #136
    Huh. I didn’t know that the term murder only applied to illegal killings. I think my meaning was clear enough though ;)

  137. #138 Maria
    September 1, 2008

    I know abortion is legal and I’m glad it’s legal, but I think abortion is a bad idea. Some women have good reasons to have an abortion, but I bet most eventually regret it. It’s not logical for people to murder their own children.

    And I bet if they told you they don’t regret terminating their pregnancy, you wouldn’t believe them.

    Abortion is not murdering children.

  138. #139 riemann
    September 1, 2008

    Oops, i thought i was posting the above comment under the thread regarding Obama’s scientific manifesto, sorry. Better post is there too.

  139. #140 Rey Fox
    September 1, 2008

    “I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.”

    Frankly, if I was a major elected official, I’d pick my battles more carefully. Fight for a bunch of words? Come on.

    I had the unpleasant thought today that if Mr. Newdow hadn’t made an issue out of the “under God” bit in the Pledge, then the Pledge might have eventually died of neglect and apathy. Now it’s a stupid political litmus test, and of course, a nice distraction issue for cynical would-be patriot politicians.

  140. #141 Chiroptera
    September 1, 2008

    Rik: I didn’t know that the term murder only applied to illegal killings.

    It is often used to describe killings the speaker disaproves of, but I think you can see the problems with this approach (mainly that when a murder occurs depends on the speaker, and so clouds an issue with unnecessary emotion, like BobC is doing).

    -

    I think my meaning was clear enough though

    Indeed. I wasn’t contradicting you as much as adding to your point.

  141. #142 Paul Burnett
    September 1, 2008

    …can someone direct a beginner like me (and even that is an understatement) to a comprehensive guide about the particulars of the upcoming experiment in the LHC of CERN?” – riemann, #134

    You might try with their official website at http://lhc.web.cern.ch/lhc/

    And if it does cause the end of the world, it won’t hurt at all – it’ll happen so fast you won’t notice.

    Now back to Sarah Plain and Tall (btw, how tall is she? She played basketball…?)

  142. #143 The Dancing Kid
    September 1, 2008

    According to the March of Dimes website it’s possible that as many as a whopping 50 percent of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions (miscarraiges):

    “Miscarriage is pregnancy loss that occurs before 20 weeks, before the fetus is able to survive outside the womb. About 15 percent of recognized pregnancies end this way (1). As many as 50 percent of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage, because many losses occur before a woman realizes she is pregnant (2).”

    References
    1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Management of Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss. ACOG Practice Bulletin, number 24, February 2001.

    2. Wilcox, A.J., et al. Incidence of Early Loss of Pregnancy. New England Journal of Medicine, volume 319, number 4, July 1988, pages 189-194

  143. #144 BMS
    September 1, 2008

    Just read this at Shakesville:

    “I have heard some of the news on this and so let me be as clear as possible. I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people’s families are off limits, and people’s children are especially off limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics, it has no relevance to governor Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18. And how family deals with issues and teenage children that shouldn’t be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that is off limits.”–Democratic nominee Barack Obama, on GOP veep nominee Sarah Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy.

  144. #145 Alan Kellogg
    September 1, 2008

    When did the Vice President of the United States of America get the right to have his (or her) every whim, pronouncement, belief, or opinion automatically turned into the law of the land without discussion, protest, or even review?

    When, exactly, did Ronald Reagan declare abortion illegal?

  145. #146 mothwentbad
    September 1, 2008

    Man. What’s the matter, McCain? Was Ted Haggard too busy to run with you?

  146. #147 craig
    September 1, 2008

    Bush had skeletons worse than Palins, Bush was elected to be PRESIDENT, not VP which is a job many see as unimportant.

    I’m afraid none of the negatives will matter. The positives will be that she’s a social conservative, and female.
    Not that feminists would vote for her, but the social conservatives will LOVE to vote for her. They get one of theirs in, AND they can shove it in the liberals’ face that she’s a woman… all the while actually HURTING the cause of gender equality.

  147. #148 mothwentbad
    September 1, 2008

    “Under God” was added by Eisenhower during a time in which godless commies were on the radar as Public Enemy #1. So if she wants to say “good enough for our founding fathers”, then she must mean that in a highly unconventional sense of the words.

  148. #149 I am so wise
    September 1, 2008

    If Sarah Palin had listen to the Republican and stayed at home and raised her kids, this would not have happened. Anyway, where is the conservative leadership? Shouldn’t they be condemning this or is okay to get knocked at 17 provided your mommy is a member?

  149. #150 OriGuy
    September 1, 2008

    One item that is just starting to come out: before she ran for mayor, Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. This is a far-right party whose primary aim is to secede from the USA. The co-chair of her campaign for governor was Wally Hickel, a member of the AIP. She also spoke at this year’s AIP convention.

  150. #151 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    Just to make myself more clear, I am glad abortion is legal. I repeat, I am glad abortion is legal. I also said it’s not logical to have an abortion. It would be more accurate to say that it’s usually not logical to have an abortion. My point is people naturally want to pass their genes on to the next generation. That’s hard to do if a woman aborts her fetus.

    I also called abortion murder and some people had a problem with that. Fine, call it what you want.

    I noticed the people most likely to never get a abortion are the worthless wacko fundies. I’m strongly in favor of those subhumans getting an abortion but instead they have a tendency to have large families. I fear that 500 years from now the result might be as described in the movie Idiocracy.

    In the year 1992 I watched Clinton giving a speech outside in downtown Chicago in front of hundreds of thousands of people. He had just kicked Bush Senior’s butt in a debate the night before. When Clinton mentioned he was in favor of keeping abortion legal, the crowd went wild. I thought somebody was going to start yelling “Kill the fetuses!”.

    My point is definitely abortion should be legal, but I think it’s a bit nuts to say abortion is a wonderful thing.

  151. #152 JoJo
    September 1, 2008

    I can only hope that Ron Paul decides to run as an independent

    It would be better if Paul admitted that he was a racist instead of trying to explain away all those racist remarks in his newsletters. It’s hard to respect a liar when his lies are easily exposed.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/10/paul.newsletters/

  152. #153 The Cheerful Nihilist
    September 1, 2008

    Just read a comment at the Miami Herald site. Somebody came up with this: Palin will withdraw from the race in the next few weeks citing “family issues,” and McCain will replace her with Romney.

    This way he gets all the family values cache plus the disgruntled female vote because he chose Palin originally. He then gets the added bonus of Romney’s mainstream conservatism.

    If this happens, I may vote Republican for the shear brilliancy of the move in the first place. B-b-b-ut, I’ll convert to Mormonism first.

    (And at #142: she was a point guard.)

  153. #154 Opus
    September 1, 2008

    You folks are ALL missing the point. There’s are real concrete issue at hand:

    Given: If McCain is elected the odds of him surviving his term are about 50:50, at best.

    Given: In rural communities it is traditional for young children in such circumstances to move into modular housing (mobile homes) on the parents’ land

    Question: Will President Palin use an Executive Order or a signing statement to overrule the National Park Service and put Bristol’s trailer in the Rose Garden?

  154. #155 Meh
    September 1, 2008

    The establishment clause was the thing that was actually good enough for our founding fathers, but you don’t see Palin fighting for that.

  155. #156 RamblinDude
    September 1, 2008

    Just read a comment at the Miami Herald site. Somebody came up with this: Palin will withdraw from the race in the next few weeks citing “family issues,” and McCain will replace her with Romney.

    I have to say, this is believable. This makes sense. Romney will suddenly look good by comparison.

    There is something very surreal about choosing Palin, and perhaps this explains it.

    Of course, it can still can backfire (and if McCain’s first pick of Palin seems bad enough, then it will backfire) but at least it makes some political sense.

    We’ll see….

  156. #157 SC
    September 1, 2008

    It would be more accurate to say that it’s usually not logical to have an abortion. My point is people naturally want to pass their genes on to the next generation. That’s hard to do if a woman aborts her fetus.

    That’s your point? So if a woman doesn’t want to do so, or doesn’t choose to in specific circumstances, she’s being “illogical”? Logic is to be dictated by some alleged biological imperative, rather than a rational consideration of the situation?

    I noticed the people most likely to never get a abortion are the worthless wacko fundies. I’m strongly in favor of those subhumans getting an abortion but instead they have a tendency to have large families. I fear that 500 years from now the result might be as described in the movie Idiocracy.

    Ah, eugenics. Lovely. You scare me, BobC.

    When Clinton mentioned he was in favor of keeping abortion legal, the crowd went wild. I thought somebody was going to start yelling “Kill the fetuses!”.

    Wow. BobC, you might be interested in this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/im_voting_republican.php#comment-931312

    (and that whole thread, really.)

    My point is definitely abortion should be legal, but I think it’s a bit nuts to say abortion is a wonderful thing.

    It’s often a very difficult thing for a woman to undergo (then again, so is an unwanted pregnancy, childirth, and caring for a child). I believe it’s often the right and logical choice, and that it’s mine as a woman to make. I celebrate that a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body is not being taken away by the state. Your remarks about abortion being “disgusting,” “illogical,” and “horrible,” and the fact that you call it “murder,” give me reason to believe that your support for our rights is pretty flimsy.

  157. #158 raven
    September 1, 2008

    “I have heard some of the news on this and so let me be as clear as possible. I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people’s families are off limits, Obama

    Oddly enough I would agree with this. I would also add girl friends, boy friends and so on. If we tossed every politician who ever fooled around with someone or did a line of something or smoked a joint in college, there wouldn’t be anyone left. We are expecting perfection in our leaders and humans are anything but. I once knew the son of one of our governors. He was a long term, hard core heroin addict. Since he was connected he got on a free drugs maintenance program easily.

    The reason why we can’t and don’t ignore social blunders is simple. One party’s private life is private while the other party’s private life is evidence of dark evil. Ask Bill Clinton about how that works. A lot of the thugs trying to impeach him had mistresses and children out of wedlock and chased young boys or hung around in restrooms in Minnesota.

    Obama is smart to take the high road. Everyone will agree and promptly ignore him. Palin is a gift from the irony and hypocracy gods.

  158. #159 SC
    September 1, 2008

    Just want to draw attention to this once more: BobC is strongly in favor of abortion for “worthless,” “subhuman” religious people.

  159. #160 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    …give me reason to believe that your support for our rights is pretty flimsy.

    If you believe that you would be wrong. I have to talked to fundies about this. I tell them if they don’t like abortions then they shouldn’t get abortions. I tell them their desire to stick their noses into other people’s business is a thousand times worse than a woman getting an abortion. I tell them nobody likes people who don’t mind their own business and nobody cares when they drop dead.

  160. #161 ThirtyFiveUp
    September 1, 2008

    Bill Dauphin #101 and #104

    What you said.

  161. #162 SC
    September 1, 2008

    I tell them their desire to stick their noses into other people’s business is a thousand times worse than a woman getting an abortion.

    There is nothing wrong with a woman getting an abortion.

  162. #163 Pierce R. Butler
    September 1, 2008

    BMS @ # 144: Thanks for passing along Obama’s perspective, but he’s right only on an ethical basis – not a factual one.

    So long as Gov. Palin and her party continue to insist on abstinence ignorance-only education, the case of Bristol Palin is politically relevant.

    So long as Palin and her party insist that the government can and must intrude into the decision-making of every other pregnant woman and her family, it is not only “in limits” but necessary that the issue of their claim of special privilege stay under the spotlight.

  163. #164 SC
    September 1, 2008

    Pierce R. Butler,

    You may be interested in the “What Obama says” thread. :)

  164. #165 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    SC, just for the record I’m not in favor of forced abortion for fundies. I just think the world would be a better place if they stopped reproducing. I think they are a disgrace to the human race. There’s definitely something seriously wrong with them. They brainwash their own children and if they had their way they would brainwash everyone else’s children. These people would also like to make abortion illegal. They think everyone else’s business is their business.

  165. #166 DCN
    September 1, 2008

    I have no problem with her first answer; children are not property of the state. That her other positions are horrific should go without saying.

  166. #167 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    There is nothing wrong with a woman getting an abortion.

    Right. I’m sorry if you thought I implied it is wrong. It was my fault if it sounded like that’s what I meant.

    There could never be anything wrong with a person’s private decision that affects nobody else. I earlier suggested some people might regret their decisions, but I really shouldn’t have said that because I can’t read people’s minds.

  167. #168 Ron Sullivan
    September 1, 2008

    SC in #159:

    Just want to draw attention to this once more: BobC is strongly in favor of abortion for “worthless,” “subhuman” religious people.

    All else* aside, he seems to think that religion is hereditary.

    Nope.

    *great mountainous festering heaps of “else,” there

  168. #169 SC
    September 1, 2008

    BobC,

    Do you really not realize how scary you often sound when you talk about religious people?

    (And I’m leaving aside the obvious contradiction between your statements about how abortion is horrible and murder and your suggestion that you strongly favor it for the fetuses of certain mothers.)

  169. #170 SC
    September 1, 2008

    There could never be anything wrong with a person’s private decision that affects nobody else.

    Happy to hear you say this. Are you the same BobC who was just calling it horrible, disgusting, and murder?

    I earlier suggested some people might regret their decisions, but I really shouldn’t have said that because I can’t read people’s minds.

    Indeed. But you may want to check out the APA report from a couple of weeks ago that I linked to at #125.

  170. #171 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    SC, did you not read this sentence: “SC, just for the record I’m not in favor of forced abortion for fundies.” Did you notice the word “forced” and did you notice I’m not in favor of it?

    Do you really not realize how scary you often sound when you talk about religious people?

    I have a low opinion of religious idiots. I’m not going to apologize for that.

  171. #172 L
    September 1, 2008

    And she probably thinks the bible was originally written in English, god’s own language.

    Are there any Republicans that aren’t stone-cold loons?

  172. #173 Kel
    September 1, 2008

    Wow, what a bunch of hypocrisy and ignorance coming from her. No wonder she’s being championed by the conservative base…

  173. #174 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    Are there any Republicans that aren’t stone-cold loons?

    Barry Goldwater.

    Or did you mean Republicans who haven’t died yet?

  174. #175 KiwiThom
    September 1, 2008

    Gotta love how the whole world enjoys ripping on our young friend McCain.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/0a17216.html

  175. #176 SC
    September 1, 2008

    SC, did you not read this sentence: “SC, just for the record I’m not in favor of forced abortion for fundies.” Did you notice the word “forced” and did you notice I’m not in favor of it?

    The contradiction doesn’t hinge on whether abortions would be forced or not, but I was comforted to hear it.

    I have a low opinion of religious idiots. I’m not going to apologize for that.

    Having a low opinion is one thing. Referring to people as subhuman or saying that there’s “definitely something seriously wrong with them” is something else. You’ve implied that religiosity is somehow genetic. You’ve made comments in the past about eradicating them and so forth that are difficult to distinguish from eliminationist thinking. Honestly, I don’t know what to think.

  176. #177 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    SC, I would like to live long enough to witness the complete eradication of religious beliefs. I never suggested genocide. What I have suggested is better science education and relentless ridicule of all religions.

    I have called religious extremists subhumans and I have said there’s definitely something seriously wrong with them. I stand by those statements.

  177. #178 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    The reason I said in #174 that the Republican Barry Goldwater was not a stone-cold loon is because he never sucked up to the religious extremists of his political party. He often criticized the religious right and he said they had a lot of nerve to try to stick their fake moral values into our government. I should look up some of his quotes about the religious right but I’m too lazy to do that right now.

  178. #179 SC
    September 1, 2008

    BobC,

    I don’t think there’s anything more to be said, then. You stand by your statements. I stand by my contention that they can be scary (I speak only for myself, of course). And so it goes… :)

  179. #180 Cujo359
    September 1, 2008

    Re: PZ Myers @73
    The evidence so far is all incredibly circumstantial.

    It’s based on classic arguments from ignorance – “We don’t know she was pregnant on such and such a day”, and “Why did she fly back to AK after her water broke? What’s she hiding?”

    I’d suggest we leave the loose thinking to the Republicans who started this rumor, but that’s not going to happen.

  180. #181 Oz
    September 1, 2008

    “Forgive my rudeness, but this is really stupid. With or without you, a choice is going to be made between the two major candidates. Even if you’re disappointed with both candidates, it’s impossible to imagine there’s not one of them you’re less disappointed in. Refusing to vote for your preferred (or even least disliked) candidate doesn’t accomplish anything or send any message; it just silences your own voice. Driving to the polls in order to leave the ballot blank is not only stupid, but also environmentally irresponsible!”

    Forgive my rudeness, but go fuck yourself. Given the choice between the CPUSA’s pick and a proud enemy of the First Amendment, I choose not to give my sanction to either. For what it’s worth, I vote by mail, so there’s no impact. Also, in case you forgot how elections work in this country, there are other issues and offices on the ballot.

    “If you are really convinced that both candidates are so bad that the nation would be irredeemably screwed with either of them, why in FSM’s name aren’t you packing to move out of this country? We’re not the old Soviet Union; we’ll let you leave.”

    And go where? Bad as it is right now, this is still the best place to live overall. Are you one of those ‘love it or leave it’ assholes? Let’s just go ahead and make raising a concern or complaining punishable by exile.

    “Of course, you have every right to stay even if you do leave all the decision making to the rest of us. But please stop acting like your indecision is some sort of badge of honor.”

    Stop acting like voting for the lesser of two evils is somehow not voting for evil. Hypothetically, who would you vote for in an election between Hitler and Stalin? I’m guessing Stalin, but for my part, I’ll choose none of the above.

  181. #182 Corey Schlueter
    September 1, 2008

    Palin has said that she would sign in a death penalty law if the legislature passed it.

  182. #183 Olorin
    September 1, 2008

    Just think! If PZ had another daughter, he could name her “Bristol.” Bristol Myers. Sounds familiar somehow….

  183. #184 clinteas
    September 1, 2008

    I have 2 issues with this story that havent been pointed out yet :

    -The coverage this gets in the US mainstream media.I have been watching CNN b/o Gustav for the last 24 hrs,and all Ive seen is Palin parading her poor daughter in front of the convention,no one pointing out the hypocrisy and irony of it,the fact that the tough-on-abortion,abstinence-teaching mother of 5 now has a pregnant 17yo daughter,that this is dragged out into the open now for all to see,that she will be forcefully married like this was the middle east.
    You should think that even without party bias there would be more to report than just the mere fact,but nothing !

    - Whos the father? I cant find any information at all on that anywhere.Is that not someone you could present together with the daughter to uphold the holy-family image? And if not,than why?

  184. #185 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 1, 2008

    I meant to add to my rant @101 that there are probably plenty of non-U.S. commenters here who desperately wish they could vote in this election, and to whom wanting to leave the ballot blank must seem utterly shocking.

    “Probably”? “Must seem”?

    I have to say, this is believable. This makes sense.

    And this is exactly why McSame will not do it.

    He actually is stupid, you see.

    Are there any Republicans that aren’t stone-cold loons?

    Barry Goldwater.

    The scary thing is: this is the guy who wanted to nuke North Vietnam, this is the one of whom “in your guts you know he’s nuts”, and in spite of this he comes across as not a stone-cold loon in comparison to today’s Reptilian Party.

    Verily, the FSM has a cruel sense of humor.

    I should look up some of his quotes about the religious right but I’m too lazy to do that right now.

    From my collection:

    I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell’s ass.

    However, on religious issures there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism”.

    ———————-

    BobC, are you aware that only Nazis and BobCs ever use the word “subhuman”? Think a little about what your choice of words implies.

  185. #186 Julian
    September 1, 2008

    Majonovic makes a good point about Goldwater. The Daisy campaign ad by Johnson gets thrown around allot as an example of below-the-belt tactics by politicians but remember; It was close enough to what Goldwater was saying to be believable.

  186. #187 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 1, 2008

    And go where? Bad as it is right now, this is still the best place to live overall.

    O RLY?

    Stop acting like voting for the lesser of two evils is somehow not voting for evil. Hypothetically, who would you vote for in an election between Hitler and Stalin?

    Stop acting as if there were no grades of evil. Obama is more or less like Clinton. McSame is like Fearless Flightsuit. Who would you vote for in an election between Billyboy and Captain Unelected?

    If you live in a swing state, you will vote for the lesser evil, and you will like it. You will feel an immense sense of relief a few hours later.

    If you live in a safe state, vote for Conan the Destroyer, nobody cares… stupid Electoral College.

  187. #188 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 1, 2008

    It was close enough to what Goldwater was saying to be believable.

    Goldwater actually was nuts.

    And yet, he was outright sane in comparison to… <headdesk>

    (BTW, if you can’t pronounce or otherwise spell my name, just copy & paste it like everyone else. :-) )

  188. #189 Kel
    September 1, 2008

    You are sounding very objectivist there David. We have compulsary voting in Australia and a preference system so I really can’t relate to not voting at all. But is what you are saying that not voting is the moral equivalent to voting for the greater of two evils? Is there no room for not voting as being a statement on it’s own? How do you feel about third party candidates in that case? Is voting for one of them again the moral equivalent of voting for the greater of two evils?

  189. #190 SC
    September 1, 2008

    David Marjanovi?,

    Which syllable of your name is stressed?

  190. #191 Cath the Canberra Cook
    September 1, 2008

    I think it’s hilarious that someone named Oz would spout off that America is NUMBAWAN!11!!one!!1leventy!1!! bullshit. “Bad as it is right now, this is still the best place to live overall”

    Sorry guys. The real Oz down under is actually better. There are plenty of measures, but try the worlds most livable cities and quality of life surveys for a start
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World's_Most_Livable_Cities
    We have more than you in the top. Way more.

    Or maybe you prefer life expectancy. You’re number 42. We’re number 8. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20228552/

    On the bright side, you do get to be better than most of the third world. And you have most of the world’s richest people. Go you.

    (Sorry to all sane Americans. Hope you get better.)

  191. #192 Kel
    September 1, 2008

    Funny that Sydney is listed in the top 10, that city just prices itself out of affordibility for so many people.

  192. #193 rp
    September 1, 2008

    IS SHE STUPID???????!!!!!!!!!!
    11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
    SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

    In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, ‘under God,’ to the Pledge.
    Source “http://history.vineyard.net/pledge.htm

    WOW, this means the USA is only 54 years old, if we accept that the founding fathers put that in the pledge. The progress we have made is amazing.

  193. #194 Chewelah
    September 1, 2008


    I’m afraid its terribly logical to end a pregnancy, to the point that evolution has created plenty of mechanisms for it to be done. -Karey

    And again, the existence of evolutionary explanation for a phenomena does not justify an argument on whether it is right or wrong. You can come up with evolutionary reasons for the existence of homosexuality, and you can come up with evolutionary reasons for the existence of homophobia. You can come up with evolutionary explanations for creating “plenty of mechanisms” for abortion, and you can use an evolutionary argument for holding an unborn child “sacred”…Hmmmm…I wonder whether that feeling might have contributed to some increased fecundity? Do we see any modern examples of it doing so? Once again, just because evolution created it (which is rarely demonstrated sufficiently anyway) doesn’t mean that it is justified.

  194. #195 BobC
    September 1, 2008

    David Marjanovi?, OM (#185):

    BobC, are you aware that only Nazis and BobCs ever use the word “subhuman”? Think a little about what your choice of words implies.

    I don’t use the word subhuman for any one race of people or for people of a specific religion. The only people I call subhuman are religious extremists no matter what their race or religion is. These are the people who fly airplanes into buildings or yell at biology teachers because they are doing their jobs. They do not deserve to be called humans, so I call them lots of other things. I am convinced the world becomes a better place every time one of them drops dead, not that I would do anything to speed up that process.

    So call me a nazi if you want. I plan to continue having nothing but contempt for religious scum.

    By the way, thanks for the Goldwater quotes. If only today’s Republicans had his common sense.

  195. #196 MartinH
    September 1, 2008

    2. Will you support the right of parents to opt out their children from curricula, books, classes, or surveys, which parents consider privacy-invading or offensive to their religion or conscience?Why or why not?

    SP: Yes. Parents should have the ultimate control over what their children are taught.

    It would be interesting to know how far Palin would take this. Would she support me if I decided not to have my daughter taught to read?

    Education is for the adult, not the child. Deciding what kind of educational background makes a citizen suited to independent life in society is not a private family matter, any more than is deciding what laws will govern that citizen’s behavior. Sure there’s a risk that wrong-headed educational choices or laws will be made by the government, but the alternative – in the USA at least – is worse.

    Anyway, if you raise your kids to demand evidence, and to think critically, they are pretty much immunized from nonsense. I’d get a kick out of someone trying to indoctrinate my kids with creationism. Odd how raising kids to be religious doesn’t seem to immunize them in the marketplace of ideas.

  196. #197 Alan Kellogg
    September 1, 2008

    Nothing can bring out the bitch like politics.

  197. #198 Shawna
    September 1, 2008

    In response to:
    “See Question 2 above. Do we really want stupid people dictating what people should learn?”
    I find it hard to judge Palin as stupid based on your comments here. There are just as many “stupid” democtrats as there as republicans (Bill Clinton. Intern under desk. End of arguement.) As a matter of fact, I think my local reps are lacking, but I don’t call them stupid, nor are they incompetent just because I don’t agree with their ideologies.
    It is shameful to consider such commentary, based on her personal life, as politically relevant. Is anyone familiar with Michigan’s Jennifer Granholm? Can anyone say “Catholic” + “pro-choice” = oxymoron? Their personal life should not dictate OUR political motivations. Just for the record, J. Grnaholm should be ex-communicated… hehe

  198. #199 Matt
    September 2, 2008

    Let us pray that Sister Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy will open her eyes to the evils of abstinence only sex education. “Evils” is a bad choice of words, but what I mean are the problems that arise from gettin’ busy and the consequences of doing it with young dudes who might get overly excited and not abandon ship in time before he sends his men overboard. And that all this can be prevented by making sure your man wears a “hat.”

  199. #200 Janine ID
    September 2, 2008

    Shawna, Bill Clinton having sex with his intern is a reflecting of an alpha male taking advantage of his power. It is foolish but it does not make him stupid. Though his trying to weasel out of the fact falls into the stupid category. Though it still is not as ignorant as Palin’s statement about the pledge.

    Also, please pay attention. Many people here are worried about Barak Obama’s pandering to to the evangelists. Stop painting with such a wide brush.

  200. #201 Bob Vogel
    September 2, 2008

    #54, Mike. Yes, this exactly what will happen – and what should happen.

  201. #202 Bill Dauphin
    September 2, 2008

    Forgive my rudeness, but go fuck yourself.

    Ah, if it were only possible! But in that case I don’t imagine I’d have much time for blog commenting.

    Given the choice between the CPUSA’s pick and a proud enemy of the First Amendment, I choose not to give my sanction to either.

    Parsing your cryptic IDs, I’m guessing you mean the latter to refer to Obama (though I thought it was the Fourth Amendment he’d supposedly singlehandedly “destroyed”). Later in your response, you accuse me of not knowing how our government works; if you think you can nail down any senator’s political philosophy based on any one vote, I’d suggest it’s you who doesn’t understand how our government functions.

    If you actually pay attention to the totality of Obama’s public record, it’s bizarre in the extreme to suggest he’s an enemy of any part of the Constitution… and nothing about either his FISA vote or his (widely misunderstood, if not deliberately misrepresented) comments about faith-based initiatives changes that.

    For what it’s worth, I vote by mail, so there’s no impact. Also, in case you forgot how elections work in this country, there are other issues and offices on the ballot.

    So glad to hear your foolishness isn’t adding to your carbon footprint. As for the rest, I’m well aware of the other issues on the ballot — in fact, I’m personally involved in several down-ballot campaigns — but it’s unimaginable to me that, if you really believed the choice at the top of the ballot was equivalent to Hitler vs. Stalin, you could simultaneously believe it made any real difference who you sent to Congress or your state legislature. Really? You think your State Senator could save you from Hitler? Your Congressman could save you from Stalin? The mind boggles.

    “We’re not the old Soviet Union; we’ll let you leave.”

    And go where? Bad as it is right now, this is still the best place to live overall.

    You actually believe, simultaneously, that we’re facing a Hitler vs. Stalin type of choice and that we’re also better off than the rest of the world? In that case, I amend my question: I had been wondering why, if you were so hopeless about the U.S., you weren’t planning to leave it; in light of this recent clarification, I now wonder why, if you’re so hopeless about the whole freakin’ world, you aren’t planning to leave it?

    Are you one of those ‘love it or leave it’ assholes? Let’s just go ahead and make raising a concern or complaining punishable by exile.

    I’ll let others decide whether I’m an asshole or not, but I’m not that sort of asshole: It hasn’t been me suggesting that the choice in this election was so fatally flawed that there’s no right answer. You’re the one who seems to think the ship of state is irredeemably sinking, so it’s fair to ask why you’re not heading for the lifeboats; I don’t think we’re sinking, so I have no logical reason to talk about abandoning ship.

    “But please stop acting like your indecision is some sort of badge of honor.”

    Stop acting like voting for the lesser of two evils is somehow not voting for evil.

    I’ve never advocated voting for the lesser of two evils, because I don’t accept your assertion that both of them are evil, and I certainly don’t accept the notion that both of them are so evil that any difference is inconsequential. That’s your formulation.

    But “lesser of two evils” is loaded language, anyway: If you measure them against some theoretical standard of ideological perfection, then all candidates are flawed. If you then act as if there are no gradations of flawed-ness, and that being “flawed” is the same thing as being “evil,” then you can characterize any election as a choice of “the lesser of evils.” But I, for one, reject the notion that elections are generally futile and we’re all doomed. YMMV. (And as an aside, I’d love to hear about the down-ballot candidates who are so much closer to ideological perfection that you’re willing to vote for them even as you compare Obama to Stalin. You’re very lucky to have such paragons on your ballot!)

    Hypothetically, who would you vote for in an election between Hitler and Stalin? I’m guessing Stalin, but for my part, I’ll choose none of the above.

    Oh, pulling out the “Commie!” card, eh? Nice.

    Hypothetically, if I really believed the choices were that historically bad, I wouldn’t vote for either… but I also wouldn’t sit quietly by and let my neighbors choose for me: If it were really that bad, I’d either rise up in revolution or get the Hell out (depending on what sort of state the rest of the world was in, and on what sort of moral risk the hypothetical U.S. dictator might pose to the rest of the world).

    To me, your combination of alarmist rhetoric and blase acceptance is very reminiscent of anti-abortion activists who claim to believe abortion is murder, yet advocate only weak legal sanctions (or none at all) against those who seek or perform abortions: The action you advocate is entirely out of synch with your assessment of the situation.

    I guess it’s not rare that political rhetoric gets overheated… but I don’t consider myself bound to accept the resulting bat guano uncritically.

  202. #203 eddie
    September 2, 2008

    Speaking as a non-american who’s wondering when the *UC* I get to vote for the ‘leader of the free world’, would someone please tell Oz that he’s not particularly welcome out here. US is probly the best place for him as he’ll not need to come on blogs to get called an asshat. He’ll get that all over the place.

    For me the worst thing about this Palin for VP debacle is that she was the one who decided to parade her kids in front of the cameras at RNC (turns to McCain – say hello to daddy) shouting about what a great mom she was. Then to force her daughter to have a child to cover her earlier mistakes: That’s straight-up child rape. Game over.

  203. #204 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    September 2, 2008

    It’s illogical and horrible to end a pregnancy.

    This should make for an interesting syllogism.

  204. #205 kmarissa
    September 2, 2008

    @194,

    The quote you pasted is addressing BobC’s claim that abortion is “illogical” (specifically with regard to the passing of genes), rather than whether it is right or wrong. I haven’t seen anyone in this thread make the claim that abortion is right or wrong because it occurs in nature.

  205. #206 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    September 2, 2008

    Is there no room for not voting as being a statement on it’s own?

    You go ahead and make your “statement”. I’ll be busy doing something useful and voting for Obama so McCain doesn’t get to add a couple more “Scalitos” to the SCOTUS.

  206. #207 Katharine
    September 2, 2008

    I find pro-lifers in general to be repugnant.

    Au contraire, it is not illogical or horrible to end a pregnancy. It is illogical and horrible to carry a pregnancy to term if one is not financially or emotionally able and willing to take care of the product of it.

    Pro-lifers are responsible for the United States’ unwanted, unplanned children. Fuck them for destroying so many children’s emotions.

  207. #208 Lurker
    September 3, 2008

    Wow. This place reads like DailyKOS or the Democratic Underground. All emotion. No thought. I thought this place was about science. Apparently not.

  208. #209 Bor
    October 2, 2008

    The USA will face so many problems starting 2009…
    Any one of them will be able to do the USA in.
    Whoever will occupy the White House will be largely irrelevant. Poor future President and V.P… They will be the last. They will be just executing PR functions.
    The USA Government is bankrupted and completely powerless to do anything.
    The current Administration has accomplished the mission completely. Whatever was created over more than 200+ years was destroyed in only eight.

    Sarah Palin? She does not matter. Let her talk. It is even funny.