Pharyngula

Palinanity

This is a terrifying video. It’s Sarah Palin going on and on in front of her Assembly of God church, talking about the war in Iraq as “a task that is from God”, promising the congregants the gift of prophecy, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…it ought to make any rational human being ill.

But that’s not the scary part. The truly frightening prospect, and the thing that we must not forget lest we underestimate Palin, is that huge numbers of people in this country will find that blithering speech uplifting and wonderful. We atheists view it with alarmed horror, that an idiot like that could be considered vice-presidential material, but there are people in your neighborhood right now who will watch that and say that she is obviously a good person, they will identify with her, and they will vote for her.

While most of her positions are outside the mainstream, this flavor of Jesus-talk is not. While her hypocrisy of talking small government and detesting federalism while expanding government and raking in pork may grate on people who look at her record, all most are going to see is that she is pretty and upbeat.

I know. She sounds like a moron. But get ready, she’s also a walking advertisement for the corrupting power of religion to mask substance and elevate superficialities and lies to the status of perceived truth.

McCain/Palin could still win this election, unbelievable as that may sound.

Comments

  1. #1 I am so wise
    September 3, 2008

    She’s not a real christian. Real christian women remember that rebellious children who get themselves knocked up are stoned and that women before who have sex before marriage stoned.

  2. #2 Steverino
    September 3, 2008

    “McCain/Palin could still win this election, unbelievable as that may sound.”

    Oh, I think there is a much better chance of this happening than we think. The Right Wind machine is adept at tearing people down and causing doubt and fear among the voters. Not too mention, that selection of a (hypocritical) fundie like Palin will play to and motivate that ignorant White-Christian base.

    Advantage, Republicans.

  3. #3 Sigmund
    September 3, 2008

    Its like Maude Flanders returned from the grave.
    We’re done-diddley-done-for!

  4. #4 Kel
    September 3, 2008

    Woah, insanity. If she’s a heart attack away from being the most powerful man in the world, we’re in a lot of trouble.

    How McCain could have picked such a nutter over Lieberman is beyond me. He’s a fool, a fool who panders to the biggest moron group on the planet! Though I guess if you are going to target gullible fools, target the ones who will submit to “God bless you”

  5. #5 Stwriley
    September 3, 2008

    Well, it might not be as bad as all that. For one thing, this is an Assemblies of God church, not exactly popular with the majority of Christians (especially the more moderate ones.) These people even scare other Christians; they’re avowed theocrats (dominionists), they practice what’s called “third wave” Christianity, and they think all other Christians aren’t really Christian at all. The former mayor of Wasilla (that Palin beat in 1996) has publicly said that she ran against him on the slogan of “now we need a Christian as mayor”, to which his response was “well, what does she think I am, a Muslim?”

    That’s the essence of the religion she’s really a part of and I doubt that the far larger number of Christians who are not part of this very extreme sect are going to be attracted to her once they know what she is.

  6. #6 Wowbagger
    September 3, 2008

    Remember, Dubya won it – twice. Between the cluelessness of a sizable proportion of the US public and the dirty tricks of the rethugs I wouldn’t consider anything impossible.

  7. #7 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 3, 2008

    Jesus fucking Christ. She sounds like a nitwit.

    When is she going to blame the active hurricane season on the “Homos” and Sinners? Really that’s next in the timeline of christo-crazy.

    one. heartbeat. away.

  8. #8 J
    September 3, 2008

    Actually I don’t see whats so horrible about this clip. Yes it’s inane but it’s basically just cutesy Jesus-talk. I’m surprised that PZ couldn’t find anything more damning.

  9. #9 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 3, 2008

    Its like Maude Flanders returned from the grave.
    We’re done-diddley-done-for!

    She does have some Flandiddlyanders aspects to her.

  10. #10 Nick Gotts
    September 3, 2008

    If she’s a heart attack away from being the most powerful man in the world, we’re in a lot of trouble. – Kel

    Hmm, I didn’t realise a heart attack could cause a sex change – let alone a sex change in someone else!

  11. #11 Philip1978
    September 3, 2008

    Gaaaaaaaahhhhh Noooooo!

    Please America, I am but a humble English gent with a crap Prime Minister, don’t let me down, vote Obama in for goodness sake! I like him, he seems competent enough, don’t let those bloody idiots McCain and Palin win the election – I dread to think about having another Christian fundy in the White House! I mean, what if Palin turns Rapture Ready one day – we will never see the end of it… :)

  12. #12 Mold
    September 3, 2008

    She’ll do what she’s told. She submits to ToddMan in all things. The KKKristian Reich vetted her for McCain, all the issues that we keep learning about are inconsequential compared to her troo beleefs. How many Republican women of achievement were overlooked for whitetrash BobbyBarbie?

    The hair, the speech, the jockhole hubby, the preggers (again!) daughter….all the signs and symptoms of crackerdom. And we are expected to be thrilled to have four more years of having to listen to stoopid. To allow lesser intellects having any say in our lives and persons.

    Sorry. If someone is to be guiding this country, I want the candidate that surpasses me in IQ.

  13. #13 Sigmund
    September 3, 2008

    I worry that McCain’s choice of Palin will attract away from Obama all the christian fundamentalist, pro-life, evolution denying, homo-hatin’, NRA lovin’, war-cheerin’, flag-wavin’ patriotic voters that are currently likely to vote for him.
    So, that’ll be about two votes less, I guess.
    The big question is how will this play out with the middle ground independents. Clearly this is a cynical attempt to force the religious right to come out and vote as there has been some indications they were more likely to abstain this election. Even they realize McCain is not one of them. Will the likely boost in evangelicals voting be counteracted by independents who don’t want a heart attack or stroke in a 72 year old suddenly landing them in a theocracy?

  14. #14 Ed Darrell
    September 3, 2008

    Seeing the church video, I immediately thought of Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.” Alas, I’ll wager McCain’s never read it, and it would go over the heads of way too many voters.

    http://thewarprayer.com/war_prayer.html

  15. #15 Ed Darrell
    September 3, 2008

    For one thing, this is an Assemblies of God church, not exactly popular with the majority of Christians (especially the more moderate ones.

    Hmmmm. Is there any tape of her talking about Rudolph Giuliani? Mitt Romney? We might at least get some entertainment out of it.

  16. #16 jim
    September 3, 2008

    I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the deeply misogynistic Religious Right’s attempt to scotch forever the chances of a female president by fielding one so unutterably awful as to put people off the idea once and for all.

    Hey, don’t knock it. It worked for Star Trek captains. (Some might say it worked for British prime ministers as well–but I couldn’t possibly comment.)

  17. #17 Ompompanoosuc
    September 3, 2008

    Sigmund @ #4
    lmao

    From that fateful day when Maude met God:

    Maude: I’m going to get some hotdogs.
    Ned: No footlongs!
    Maude: I know, they make you uncomfortable.

    On a serious note, IMHO there is no longer any “cutesy” in any Jebus (or any other sky fairy) talk. I am going to have to put up a warning sign at the end of my driveway. Saturday I dropped the F bomb on some JW’s. I’m not proud of that and my trophy wife wasn’t impressed either. It was self defense, I thought their words were going to give me an aneurysm.

    Pompy

  18. #18 Pat
    September 3, 2008

    Americans don’t vote competence. But there’s a thin line to tread now:
    Vote John McCain! He’s folksy but experienced. Not that experience means much, because his Vice Presidential running mate is gutsy. Because guts matter more – unless you’re talking about George Bush’s guts, because they were sometimes wrong. But not wrong enough to make him wrong or Republican thought wrong. It’s called “the Right” for a reason.

    Don’t vote for a wet-behind-the-ears Illinois senator. Vote McCain/Whoagain?

    Experience matters; unless it’s ours.

  19. #19 Kryth
    September 3, 2008

    “Imagine there’s no Heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace”

    Is this a pipe dream?

  20. #20 Davey
    September 3, 2008

    Ouch, that voice. Screech Palin.

  21. #21 386sx
    September 3, 2008

    I like waffles. I’m praying for waffles. Times are a changin for waffles. God bless waffles. Everybody pray over waffles. Outpouring of waffles please!

  22. #22 Sleeping at the Console
    September 3, 2008

    Bush won twice. Things are worse now than before… and people still are ready to vote for McCain. Perhaps this is because they can’t make up their minds on who Obama really is; a sleeper terrorist, Satan or Osama’s brother.

  23. #23 Robin
    September 3, 2008

    She has become quite popular around here (Central Illinois). I shudder when I think she has the potential to be in charge of the country. Her choice as VP clearly indicates McCain is no fool. He knows he can’t win the presidency without the Religious Right, even Dobson says he can pull the lever for McCain now.

  24. #24 386sx
    September 3, 2008

    I mean, what if Palin turns Rapture Ready one day – we will never see the end of it… :)

    She’s already rature ready. You can tell from the “praying over” and “outpouring” crapola. That’s 100% genuine rapture type emptiness vacuum fundie talk.

  25. #25 Another Primate
    September 3, 2008

    Two words… “Fuck Tard”….

  26. #26 Cronan
    September 3, 2008

    But at least she’s hot. Right? ;-)

  27. #27 Nick Gotts
    September 3, 2008

    The Assemblies of Gaaad are foul, but are they really that much worse than the Catholic Church (Obama’s running mate’s denomination)? Admittedly, the chances of Biden becoming President if Obama wins are much lower than those of Palin doing so if McCain does – assassination aside.

  28. #28 386sx
    September 3, 2008

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assemblies_of_God

    Look under “Sixteen Fundamental Truths” for sixteen of their non-negotiable idiotic beliefs.

  29. #29 Matt Heath
    September 3, 2008

    As a foreigner I WANT to ignore your election, but it’s the best soap opera ever.

    I’m particularly looking forward to the episode where Biden asks Palin “Do you consider secessionist movements like [some neo-Confederate racist group], [those guys that want the South West to be Mexican] and Alaskan Independence Party to be traitors?”

  30. #30 Kel
    September 3, 2008

    Hmm, I didn’t realise a heart attack could cause a sex change – let alone a sex change in someone else!

    Palin is a guy in a girls body… and what a body too!

  31. #31 386sx
    September 3, 2008

    The Assemblies of Gaaad are foul, but are they really that much worse than the Catholic Church (Obama’s running mate’s denomination)?

    Yeah but you don’t think Biden actually belives all that crap do you? So naive!

  32. #32 Jag
    September 3, 2008

    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

    H. L. Mencken

  33. #33 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 3, 2008

    The Assemblies of Gaaad are foul, but are they really that much worse than the Catholic Church (Obama’s running mate’s denomination)?

    Ever been to a Catholic church? Check out my detailed comments at Greg Laden’s Blog. To Palin, God is just another item of policy. Catholic churches don’t allow political speeches and blasphemies (certainty of being saved, certainty of what details of secular policy and economy are God’s will…) within their walls.

    (Well, maybe they do in America. What do I know.)

  34. #34 Axis of Weasel
    September 3, 2008

    God’s will? Destiny? WTF — Sieg Heil, y’all?

  35. #35 Holbach
    September 3, 2008

    I am surprised she did not admit that her god told us to invade Iraq. Now she invokes it’s imaginary powers to protect her son from the enemie’s god. And there is a good chance she will be with McCain in the white house and subject our country to a religious battering of which she is so well qualified. Scary.

  36. #36 Bill Dauphin
    September 3, 2008

    But at least she’s hot. Right? ;-)

    That’s the hell of it: Some segment of the Larry-the-Cable-Guy crowd will vote for McSame because he picked a hottie for veep. Not that any of those guys would’ve voted for Obama anyway, of course, but some of them might not have voted at all.

  37. #37 HazyD
    September 3, 2008

    Gamerpolitics just picked up a story about Palin looking to ban books in a public, scary that she could be leading the country one day.

    http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/09/03/republican-vp-choice-sarah-palin-tried-ban-books

  38. #38 Mystyk
    September 3, 2008

    We really do need to come to terms with the fact that a sizable portion of this country wants to continue with the same kind of knuckleheads in power. The majority of these people fall on the not-so-favorable side of the IQ bell curve, but they still vote.

    Palin has the ability to shore up votes in a segment that before this was going to sit out this election. They don’t care that she’s as strongly convert-or-die as Al Qaeda or the Taliban in her heart, because she’s part of the same religion and citizenry as them.

    The Republicans can’t afford to do a last-minute switcheroo, so this is (for better or for worse) going to be their candidate. We need to point out continuously and loudly how out of touch she is with mainstream America (thanks for using my link, PZ). We need to show where her positions fail, such as “abstinence only sex ed” and her own damn daughter. And we absolutely need to remind them that if they attack a position of ours for some tangental reason then it’s fair game to point out the same (I’m thinking Rev. Wright for one and the “family is off-limits” stuff for two).

    This country can’t afford one more year of these bastards, let alone four. Reality has a strong, known liberal bias and we need to use that in our favor. Obama may not be the best choice theoretically possible for true progressives, but he is electable, reasonably close to us in views, much closer to mainstream than the alternative, and I’d rather him by a long shot than any more time with the distinctly “regressives” running on the other ticket.

  39. #39 Chris Nowak
    September 3, 2008

    This makes me a sad panda :(

  40. #40 Matt
    September 3, 2008

    If McCain and this zealous nut-job get into the White House, I’m moving to Europe. Seriously. This religion madness has to stop.

  41. #41 Curt Cameron
    September 3, 2008

    I’m surprised someone thinks this video is even remarkable. It’s standard Christian pap, a tad on the fundamentalist side. To me, it just sounds empty and cutesy. Are you folks here not familiar with the populace that makes up 80% of our country? Note that she was not making a political speech for general consumption, she was speaking to the folks in the room, which happened to be the church she was from. Any political candidate who is a devout Christian could have given this talk (with the exception of the Iraq war comment). I challenge you to find a single Christian who would say that this video portrays her in a negative light.

    The objection that I have is “is she really stupid enough to believe all that Jesus crap?” But I realize that 80% of our country believes it too.

  42. #42 Julian
    September 3, 2008

    I think its hilarious that she asks the people there to pray for that pipeline then calls it god’s will that it be built. Which is it; do we humans have control over it or is god the infallible and perfect going to make it happen? It’s like these Christians aren’t even trying to be consistent anymore or something!

  43. #43 Bjorn Watland
    September 3, 2008

    I echo the call to not underestimate Palin. If you can’t understand where she is coming from, and where her supporters are, read The Psychopathology of The Republican by Richard Greene.
    http://airamerica.com/clout/blog/2008/sep/02/psychopathology-republican

  44. #44 Lago
    September 3, 2008

    Ooh, gosh now, she is like a moron, isn’t she like?

  45. #45 Reginald Selkirk
    September 3, 2008

    The Assemblies of Gaaad are foul, but are they really that much worse than the Catholic Church (Obama’s running mate’s denomination)?

    Yeah but you don’t think Biden actually belives all that crap do you? So naive!

    Biden has an actual record from which people can judge his positions.
    Biden on Religion’s Role in Public Life and Church-State Issues

  46. #46 Curt Cameron
    September 3, 2008

    I just re-listened to the Iraq war comment, and the sentence was clumsy, but with the extra clauses removed here’s what she said:

    “Pray that our leaders are sending soldiers out on a task that is from God.”

    Is that so bad?

  47. #47 Julian
    September 3, 2008

    If we all do our part, McCain ain’t going to win. Pat Buchanan is for Obama now. Pat-mother-fucking-Buchanan. Boarder Fence Buchanan. Blacks are too dumb to take care of themselves Buchanan. White America must be preserved Buchanan. The Secessionists had a Point Buchanan. When Obama can win over someone like this, do you really think McCain has a shot?

    I’ll tell you why people will still vote for McCain. It isn’t because they’re stupid. It isn’t because they believe. It’s because they don’t want to lose. Their whole lives they’ve been told “you’re a Republican” and “The Democrats, our rivals, are capable of anything”. Their whole lives politics has just been one big football game to them; the Eagles vs. the Jets in the form of Elephants vs. Donkeys. They’ll vote McCain because in every other way in their lives they’ve been losers and they’ll be damned if some successful black man who made his own way to greatness while they vegetated in Asscrack, Nebraska shows them up by becoming the President they never had the drive and discipline to be. The problem is, that ain’t enough to get him elected. Obama’s lead among people below 35 is vast, and they are energized and ready to get out there. Obama inspires loyalty and activity whereas McCain only inspires a grim holding-on, a voting by the skin of the teeth.

    We shouldn’t get cocky, and its good to have our eyes always on the other side, but lets not abandon hope just yet; lets not abandon hope when the polls are showing an ~10% lead for Obama (TPM Muckracker had them up yesterday), and when everyday sees more fiscal conservatives realizing they are going to, just this once, have to vote for a Democrat. We’ve been in this campaign for more than a year but I tell you now; this is only the beginning. We’ve got two months until the chickens get counted so lets not give up before the eggs are even laid.

  48. #48 AJ Milne
    September 3, 2008

    Lessee. Comes across as a total lightweight? Check. Oozes vapidity? Check. Evangelical-friendly? Check. That aw shucks just one of us smalltown folks thing? Check. Thinnish CV for the office in question? Check. Peppy/chipper/all-so-optimistic? Check. But kinda creepy when you really make eye contact? Check…

    That’s not a woman, baby. That’s Dubya in drag.

    Seriously, it scares me. I watched Americans somehow manage to elect that last dangerously vacuous loon two elections in a row, disbelieving both times, from the ‘compassionate conservative’ (honest) 2000 version to the ‘war president/mission accomplished/stay the course/how do you wear a flight harness anyway’ 2004 version. Apparently, there’s a large enough segment that’s just a huge sucker for that whole aw shucks routine, and I’m pretty sure that’s a big part of the McCain campaign’s calculations, here.

    But fuck. Seriously. Don’t go there, please don’t do it, America. When you glance at her and think ‘lightweight’, as you’re inevitably going to do, please reflect seriously on why that’s probably going to be an incredibly bad thing. Just the same as it was last time.

  49. #49 Bill Dauphin
    September 3, 2008
    The Assemblies of Gaaad are foul, but are they really that much worse than the Catholic Church (Obama’s running mate’s denomination)?

    Ever been to a Catholic church? …. Catholic churches don’t allow political speeches and blasphemies (certainty of being saved, certainty of what details of secular policy and economy are God’s will…) within their walls.

    Depends on what you call “political.” They certainly don’t advocate for candidates (in my experience)… because that would be illegal for a tax-exempt church… but there’s considerable overlap between politics and issues that are inherently important to church teaching (mostly around aspects of sexuality and reproduction, as you might imagine). You hear a lot about “respecting life” in church. At least, unlike their right-wing fellow travelers, Catholics are generally internally consistent in their “pro-life” position, in that along with abortion they oppose capital punishment and anything smacking of mercy killing.

    Also unlike many of their right-wing protestant coreligionists, once you get past those pesky issues of sexuality and reproduction (IMHO, in the Catholic mind, “sexuality and reproduction” is a redundancy), Catholic social teaching is actually very progressive. (Jebus was a communist, after all!) If you think of government (as I do) as an extension of the will of the people, the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy reads like a liberal social civil agenda! I’ve often thought that if we could somehow drive a stake through the heart of the abortion issue, Catholics would be a natural base of support for Democrats and social progressives. Lot’s of them vote (and run for office) that way anyway, of course, but if we could set abortion aside, I can’t see why they all wouldn’t.

    Catholics, like most good progressives, believe that we are our brothers’ keepers, unlike wingnuts who say “f*ck my brother, I got mine!

  50. #50 ck
    September 3, 2008

    I agree with those who dissent from PZ’s “terrifying” remark. The comment “task from God” in this context doesn’t mean that we’re on a holy jihad, but that those soldiers in the military have a responsibility to perform their jobs well. In Pentecostal-speak, everything is infused with divine purpose. From my experience, it becomes a meaningless verbal tic. In college (I went to Grove City College) many of the speak-in-tongues Pentecostals would use “Jesus” the way others use the word “like.”

    It’s actually less scary to me than some of the theocratic folks who follow Rushdoony. Sure, she uses “Jesus” and “blessing” and “word” in ways that sound strange to the secular, but what she gave was basically a Christian version of a graduation pep talk (that seems to have been the occasion).

    I did think it was funny, though, how she pointed out that the Christians there “looked cool” and people would be interested in Jesus “just because of how you look.” Um, yeah, just like Michael W Smith gave George Michael a run for his money in the nineties. (Okay, so he did perform well, but where is he today?)

  51. #51 CalGeorge
    September 3, 2008

    Spread the word: she is a book banner!

    People for the American Way:

    “People can disagree about a lot of things, but censorship is completely beyond the pale. Our democracy was founded on the belief that government shouldn’t tell people what kinds of books to read or what kind of beliefs to hold. No one with that kind of history should be anywhere near the White House. Sarah Palin needs to clarify her stance on freedom of speech immediately, and John McCain needs to explain why he chose a running mate with so little regard for the Constitution.”

    http://site.pfaw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=media_2008_09_people_for_response_to_revelations

    Completely unacceptable. No matter how amusing she is for the Democrats, she has to go.

  52. #52 Lilly de Lure
    September 3, 2008

    Mystyk said:

    Palin has the ability to shore up votes in a segment that before this was going to sit out this election.

    I agree and that’s the really scary thing. If the republicans do pull this off and win the election it will, to a very large extent, be down to the Evangelicals who are leery of voting for McCain but are quite willing to come out in favour of Palin.

    If this happens then the old-style republicans won’t be able to just drag her out to rally the faithful for elections and then ignore her the rest of the time the way republicans have traditionally done with the fundies because she and her voters are the only reason they’ll be in the White House at all! If they try and get rid of her or ignore her she can have them out of the White House again with one snap of her fingers. She and the rightwing nutjobs she represents will be in a position of unprecedented power and if he thinks that they’re going to be happy with the occasional bone thrown their way the way they have with previous republican administrations then he really is a fool.

    McCain may think he’s played things smart by hiring a religious wacko as his sidekick, but if he does win I’ve a horrible feeling he’ll find out that he’s the one being used as the puppet, not her.

  53. #53 Shinobi
    September 3, 2008

    I had to stop watching when she said “I got saved here.” Gag.

  54. #54 Northern Virginia
    September 3, 2008

    For anyone who thinks Sarah Palin is a joke, I have two words for you: Ronald Reagan.

  55. #55 Margaret Nelson
    September 3, 2008

    On this side of the Atlantic, some of us watch with mounting alarm. Can this be real? What’s especially galling is that a substantial proportion of Clinton supporters (they like to think they’re “feminists”) will switch parties and vote Republican, just because there’s a woman on the ballot paper. I despair!

  56. #56 whateverman
    September 3, 2008

    Severino (#2):

    Oh, I think there is a much better chance of this happening than we think.

    I have to agree; the election is by no means a shoe-in for Obama.

    In some respects, though, I think I want to see these two candidates fight for the office. I tend to be more of a moderate/centrist than leaning liberal or conservative, demo or repub. Right now, I really think this country needs Obama much more than his opponent – but I still want them both to explain loudly why they deserve the position.

    I’m guessing that anti-liberal sentiment is what motivates most McCain supporters. These are the same people who repeatedly referred to G Dubya Bush as “the lesser of 2 evils” – they brought him into office, and are threatening to help maintain the conservative ideology. The neo cons put us into Iraq, and I’m loathe to do anything to even remotely support them.

    To keep this on topic, Palin is definitely interesting. I guess I don’t have a problem with a Christian being in office, but I sure wish she wasn’t making me feel like she’d bring Christian values into office.

  57. #57 Julian
    September 3, 2008

    Besides, if you want to be frightened by her religious connections, search for Joel’s Army. She believes in things much nuttier than the above vid.

  58. #58 AJ Milne
    September 3, 2008

    For anyone who thinks Sarah Palin is a joke, I have two words for you: Ronald Reagan.

    Yep. Amiable but vapid. Elect that puppy. She’s one of us. Looks like the kinda person I’d have a beer with. Let’s do this thing.

    It’s a bad sign, a sign of the ongoing collapse of the political system of a major democracy in the age of PR. That process is now so owned by the spinmeisters and the media so prone to their sleight of hand the GOP especially no longer looks for thoughtful and intelligent representatives so much as malleable, camera-friendly mascots who happen to project that tried and true aw shucks persona… This has been more or less the strategy for Reagan and Bush Jr… So let’s try it again, why not.

    By 2016, I figure they’ll probably just go all the way, nominate some popular sports team’s plush mascot or a nice, non-threatening cartoon character with a flag pinned to its lapel. Gumby for president. Look. He’s smiling. Must be a nice guy.

  59. #59 negentropyeater
    September 3, 2008

    I am surprised she did not admit that her god told us to invade Iraq.

    This is what Sarah-nutcase says :

    Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that is what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that this plan is God’s plan.

    So guess how our “national leader” (Bush) found out if this was a task from God ? He must have prayed very much and God told him to invade Iraq.

    And this video is not from 2003, but from June 2008 !

    The more I learn about Palin, the more it seems as if she could potentially make an even worse president of the USA than G.W.Bush (who thought it would have been possible ?).

    She’s more extreme religionut, ultra-conservative, utterly clueless about the world outside of her little state of Alaska, than G.W.Bush was.

  60. #60 Jason
    September 3, 2008

    What the hell is McCain doing making this woman his VP choice. This whole election he’s been going on about how the world is full of evil freedom hating terrorists who will do anything to enslave and destroy America; and that he is the only man capable of stopping them and saving you… but if anything happens to him this nice (crazy) hockey mom can handle it?
    Jackass.

  61. #61 Matt Heath
    September 3, 2008

    #2

    Oh, I think there is a much better chance of this happening than we think< \blockquote>.

    Well, there’s good reason to think intrade gives this best available estimate of the chances (because it would make anyone with better system of judging the odds rich).
    It’s been hovering around 60/40 Obama/McCain for months. So it’s pretty open.

  62. #62 Phaedrus
    September 3, 2008

    Hooooweeee…. you Americans are in deeper trouble than I thought. That anyone would vote for this froot loop.

  63. #63 Stwriley
    September 3, 2008

    Ompompanoosuc @ #17

    I know it’s usually quite a disturbance to one’s wa to have to eject religious nuts from the property, but occasionally it can be very amusing. A case in point is my own encounter with JW’s many years ago.

    Normally, of course, I politely but firmly refuse them on the (now rare) occasions they show up, and the ones around here take that at face value and don’t try to push (i.e., they’re polite too) but at an old house of ours the situation was rather different; it was a much poorer neighborhood, more JW presence, and it was still a time when the old door-to-door evangelizing was still preferred.

    My brother came to visit one week, and since he was sleeping in the front, when the JW’s first rang our bell on a Saturday morning he was the one to answer and (purely as a prank, he’s an inveterate practical joker) he made like he was interested and took a Watchtower but told them he had to go to work to get rid of them before we woke up.

    Of course, that’s like chumming the water for sharks; they figured they’d actually got one and kept coming back, week after week. At first (when they rang my bell at 8:30 on a Saturday) I politely told them that the person they were looking for had only been visiting and wasn’t going to be there again (a bit of an exaggeration, but I did want them to go away) but they didn’t take the hint. By the fourth week, I was yelling at them to go away and never come back, but that too was ineffective.

    Finally, I’d simply had enough. One the sixth week of this nonsense, I didn’t even bother to throw on a robe when I got up and answered the door with my waist-length hair flying, buck-naked, and reciting the Lord’s Prayer (which JW’s particularly revere) backwards. They literally ran from me and they never came back to that house again while we were there.

    While we may decry it’s usual applications, shock and awe does have it’s place (well, shock anyway.)

  64. #64 negentropyeater
    September 3, 2008

    you Americans are in deeper trouble than I thought.

    Sorry, but if Sarah Palin were to become POTUS, it’s not only Americans who’d be in deep trouble.

  65. #65 clinteas
    September 3, 2008

    Lilly said @ 52:

    // McCain may think he’s played things smart by hiring a religious wacko as his sidekick, but if he does win I’ve a horrible feeling he’ll find out that he’s the one being used as the puppet, not her.//

    I think that is an excellent assessment,and I think it might even be thus if he does win.

    Seriously,I firmly believe that this election is pretty much make or break for mankind,if we end up in political apathy with McSame,or a theocracy if he falls over dead,in either case the world will suffer greatly.

    But if McCain/Palin get elected,then the american public will have voted them in(unless theres major vote rigging of course),and I guess it will just be evolution in progress in a way.Im reading “Collapse” as we speak.

  66. #66 Cynthia
    September 3, 2008

    I’m having a really hard time believing that Sarah Palin is a real honest-to-god prolifer… After all, no woman who lives and dies by the pro-life creed would ever endanger the life of her unborn child by having an amniocentesis and especially by hopping on a plane after her water breaks!

    Oh sure, both of these actions carry a small risk for a miscarriage, but these risks are statistically significant nonetheless.

    And sorry, but the argument that Palin had an amniocentesis in order to better plan her unborn child’s future just doesn’t hold water. Any sort of family planning measure, especially amniocentesis, flies in the face of pro-life thinking!

  67. #67 Tim H
    September 3, 2008

    Do you think we could be so lucky as to be treated to a speaking-in-tongues moment during prime time tonight?

  68. #68 Paul Phoenix
    September 3, 2008

    I thought the evangelicals believed all that stuff st paul wrote about not allowing women to have authority over men??

  69. #69 Kseniya
    September 3, 2008

    Please. Make it stop. I’m too young to have my spirit broken.

  70. #70 Cynthia
    September 3, 2008

    And it strikes me as grossly hypocritical that Palin, as a staunch pro-lifer, wants to keep her daughter’s pregnancy a private matter, but at the same time, she wants to make the reproductive lives of all women a public matter!!!

  71. #71 Jason Dick
    September 3, 2008

    Oh, man, flashbacks to my youth. She reminded me so strongly of a bunch of shit I bought into in my younger, more brainwashed days. So, so glad that I’m out of all of that now, and this little speech just reinforced ever more strongly how much I do not want to see her in the White House.

    Oh, and am I the only one that giggled at her comment, “Alaska is all over the world map right now”? Because, Palin, it’s not really. It’s still right where it’s always been.

  72. #72 negentropyeater
    September 3, 2008

    Curt #41,

    Any political candidate who is a devout Christian could have given this talk (with the exception of the Iraq war comment).

    But that’s a very important exception ! Especially taking into account the fact that this speech was made in… June 2008. I don’t think even G.W.Bush could make that comment.

  73. #73 clinteas
    September 3, 2008

    @ Cynthia No 70,

    yes it is hypocritical,and all this information is out there for voters,if they only cared.
    The issue is,the american public does not seem to care,and there is a frighteningly real chance they will vote her and McCain into the Oval Office.Which is just unbelievable really,if you think about it.

  74. #74 raven
    September 3, 2008

    The available data says McCain/Palin have a good chance of winning. The data:

    1. The US has a recent trend of scouring the land for the worst available candidates….and then electing them. And reelecting them. (This isn’t a joke, think about it, it is true.)

    2. Studies have shown that people elect people like them. The median IQ is 100 and most people are middle class. People won’t elect intelligent people like professors, MDs, scientists, etc.. Bill Clinton’s genius was to come out of nowheresville and appear to be an overeducated cracker from Arkansas while, in fact, being very, very smart.

    3. Every civilization and empire in the history of the world has ended. In my lifetime, the British and Soviets collapsed. It just might be our turn. They get overextended militarily like the Soviets and Romans. They elect incompetent leaders, it is said that Russia is resurging because Putin is one of their few leaders in decades that isn’t alcoholic or way too old.

    OTOH, maybe not. There is a backlash against fundie Death Cultists. Whether it is significant or not is to be seen.

    The fact that anyone thinks someone barely above white trash who thinks the earth is 6,000 years old and would torture her own daughter is indicative that something is drastically wrong in the USA. We may end up living in the ruins of our civilization while a few critics say, “I told you so.”

    I’ve worried about this for so long I’m just about burned out. If McCain/Palin get elected, wave good bye to the USA as we knew it. Anyone can survive a hit, repeated hits are eventually fatal. Stockpile wine and snacks and frequently raise a glass to the world’s former and last superpower.

  75. #75 Lilly de Lure
    September 3, 2008

    Jason said:

    This whole election he’s been going on about how the world is full of evil freedom hating terrorists who will do anything to enslave and destroy America; and that he is the only man capable of stopping them and saving you… but if anything happens to him this nice (crazy) hockey mom can handle it?

    If you are really so sure that the idea of a hometown, honest-to-goodness mother with pluck and principles battling it out with the forces of evil (note I say idea – I don’t believe for one second that this is an accurate view of Palin but it is how they’re spinning her) isn’t going to fly with an electorate you really should google “Margaret Thatcher”.

    *Shudders at Memories*

  76. #76 Kseniya
    September 3, 2008

    “Inconceivable!”

    John Kerry was leading Bush, the incumbent, in the polls four summers ago.

  77. #77 Mary
    September 3, 2008

    I’m readying my house to get it on the market the moment McCain is elected *shudder*. We are looking into moving to Europe if anyone has any recommendations on the best places to live over there :)

    I really can’t take the stupidity in this country anymore and I have very litle faith in the American people that they will vote for Obama.

  78. #78 marc
    September 3, 2008

    Over the past 8 years, I have always stated the optimistic prediction to others while maintain an internal pessimism. With the exception of a very minor victory in 2006 (so minor, in fact, that no noticable changes occurred), my instinct has proven correct. You may take the various polls at face value, but remember that the polls looked quite favorable for Kerry in 2004. All it takes is a little thumb on the scale, and there you have it.

    The right has not yet begun to smear. McCain will win by a narrow margin and the runner-up Miss Alaska will put a pretty face to right-wing fundamentalism.

    I blame the DNC (the Generals to the RNC’s Globetrotters) mostly, but a share of the blame goes both to Obama True Believers and Hillary True Believers who allowed themselves to be manipulated by the right-wing-owned media.

  79. #79 negentropyeater
    September 3, 2008

    Curt #46,

    “Pray that our leaders are sending soldiers out on a task that is from God.”
    Is that so bad?

    ck #50,

    The comment “task from God” in this context doesn’t mean that we’re on a holy jihad, but that those soldiers in the military have a responsibility to perform their jobs well.

    This is what she says :

    Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that is what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that this plan is God’s plan.

    So I don’t think she’s just saying that soldiers need to perform their jobs well !
    But, there’s every indication that she thinks of the Iraq war as a just war, cautionned by God, part of God’s plan, and that our current leaders are somehow capable of discerning that plan.

    And you don’t see anything particularly crazy and dangerous in this for a potential POTUS in charge of the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet ?

  80. #80 raven
    September 3, 2008

    The Assemblies of Gaaad are foul, but are they really that much worse than the Catholic Church (Obama’s running mate’s denomination)?

    Yes by a long ways. There is a huge gulf between the celibate old man clergy and the members. The RCC is the ultimate, pragmatic don’t ask, don’t tell organization. The priests say one thing, everyone ignores them and no one gets worked up about it. If the RCC kicked out all catholics who didn’t follow all their dogma, they wouldn’t have anyone left and no one would be tossing money in the plate. At 23% of the population, catholics en masse approach the US norm.

  81. #81 Colugo
    September 3, 2008

    Odds are low indeed that McCain-Palin will beat Obama-Biden. And a lot depends on her appearance at the RNC tonight and the coming weeks. But here’s an interesting comment from an Alaskan observer to Christopher Orr.

    http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/09/02/the-case-against-the-case-against-palin.aspx

    “Watching Palin operate over the past few years has been like witnessing a dramatic reading of All the King’s Men…

    What the Republicans missed about Sarah Palin then-and what the Democrats seem poised to miss now-is that she is a true political savant; a candidate with a knack for identifying the key gripes of the populace and packaging herself as the solution. That keen political nose has enabled her to routinely outperform her resume. Nearly two years into her administration, she still racks up approval ratings of 80 per cent or better …

    (I)t would behoove the Democrats and the pundits to shed the notion that they are dealing with some dimwitted bumpkin … or that Palin is the townie who was brought into the Skull & Bones initiation night for the amusement of all; or that somehow the prom queen ballots got mixed up with the Alaska gubernatorial poll. Trivialize her at your own peril.”

  82. #82 Rebecca C.
    September 3, 2008

    “[T]here are people in your neighborhood right now who will watch that and say that she is obviously a good person.”

    I dunno, I live in Oakland. I like to think that my neighborhood is immune.

  83. #83 Cliff Hendroval
    September 3, 2008

    #55

    What’s especially galling is that a substantial proportion of Clinton supporters (they like to think they’re “feminists”) will switch parties and vote Republican, just because there’s a woman on the ballot paper. I despair!

    While there’s a fair bit to despair about, this isn’t worth bothering. The “Clinton supporters voting for McCain” story was totally overblown by the So-Called Liberal Media; their numbers are minuscule and even the few who were wavering have been so insulted by McCain’s pick of the mayor of Wasilla that their support for Obama has solidified.

    Obama won’t be a saviour, but he’s certainly better than McCain.

  84. #84 foxfire
    September 3, 2008

    Thank you PZ, for making available data that is relevant.

    Does anyone have any comments about this possible resource?:

    http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Main_Page

  85. #85 Matt Heath
    September 3, 2008

    Colugo: “Odds are low indeed that McCain-Palin will beat Obama-Biden”

    McCain as president: 39.5% on Intrade right now (slightly up from yesterday).

    Not exactly lottery ticket odds.

  86. #86 negentropyeater
    September 3, 2008

    raven,

    The available data says McCain/Palin have a good chance of winning.

    For the moment Obama/Biden has a comfortable lead of about 8 points.

    If the secular voters, who represent a good 20% of the electorate, would stop endlessly arguing about how Obama is not exactly the candidate that they’d wish for, and go and vote en masse for this ticket, this would counter any potential positive effect that Palin could have in energizing the ultra-conservative basis.

    If McCain/Palin ends up winnng this election, it will be because the ultra-conservatives are actually more intelligent when it comes to moving their fat asses and actually going to cast their votes, than the secular voters.

    Then, they can only blame themselves.

  87. #87 Curt Cameron
    September 3, 2008

    negentropyeater wrote:

    But that’s a very important exception ! Especially taking into account the fact that this speech was made in… June 2008. I don’t think even G.W.Bush could make that comment.

    I clarified this in a later post – she didn’t say that our leaders are sending them on a task that’s from God, she said to pray that our leaders are sending them on a task that’s from God. It’s religious-person-speak for asking that God give our leaders wisdom. There is no story here.

  88. #88 Kseniya
    September 3, 2008

    Russia is resurging because Putin is one of their few leaders in decades that isn’t alcoholic or way too old.

    Essentially true, though I don’t think anyone would have described Gorbachev as “alcoholic” or “too old” during his reign. Perhaps more to the point, however: Putin is an old-fashioned Party man, a former KGB/FSB guy, a bred-in-the-bone authoritarian Soviet the likes of which the West has not seen since the pre-Gorbachev era. Gorbachev and Yeltsin were seen as weak and pro-capitalist. Ironically, it was Yeltsin (with help from oligarch Boris Berezovsky) who engineered Putin’s ascent, only to later learn that Putin would tolerate no dissent and was bent on undermining the republican trend of government in Russia. Incidentally, Berezovsky – the man Putin once called his “brother” – is now in self-imposed exile rather than in a Russian prison, or dead, over a disagreement with Putin.

  89. #89 ndt
    September 3, 2008

    Posted by: Matt Heath | September 3, 2008 9:04 AM

    I’m particularly looking forward to the episode where Biden asks Palin “Do you consider secessionist movements like [some neo-Confederate racist group], [those guys that want the South West to be Mexican] and Alaskan Independence Party to be traitors?”

    Biden won’t ask that. There’s still a lot of sympathy for the Confederacy in parts of this country. That Palin once belonged to a secessionist party won’t count against her in the least. Many voters’ great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers belonged to a secessionist movement.

  90. #90 Steve_C
    September 3, 2008

    They are keeping Palin away from the press right now and McCain has been getting grumpy with the media for having to defend his choice. I think they’re really starting to crack.

    The choice may look good to a lot of religious conservatives.
    But to the 20-30% who are in the middle not so good.

    Democrats are much more energized and ready to vote for Obama. Independents are leaning to Obama. Women and College students are going for Obama in a big way too.

    Could McCain win? Sure. But they aren’t running a competent campaign. Palin and McCain are horrible speakers. The debates are really going to hurt them.

  91. #91 Norman Doering
    September 3, 2008

    foxfire asked:

    Does anyone have any comments about this possible resource?:

    http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Main_Page

    It looked like it had potential until I tried to get to the hard numbers:

    Permission error
    From Sunshine Review
    You do not have permission to do that, for the following reason:
    The action you have requested is limited to users in one of the groups user, Sysop.

  92. #92 Fergy
    September 3, 2008

    I don’t know whether the idea of Palin as vice president is more breathtakingly funny or terrifying. Five days later the shock of this announcement still hasn’t worn off; the new details coming in about her background and about McCain’s irrational, impulsive decision to choose her just add to the craziness. This hilarious YouTube video may help explain McCain’s real motives:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RN5xbWtNSU

    Palin is a sign the United States is the the brink of collapse, the inmates truly are running the asylum.

  93. #93 PZ Myers
    September 3, 2008

    DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. The religious right is going to suck this stuff up — Palin is NOT a horrible speaker to them (McCain is, though).

    This is how we got screwed in the last two elections. We assumed that everyone thought the way we did about reason and knowledge and expertise, when a big chunk of the electorate figures that putting up an illusion of being able to parrot the bible is sufficient qualification for the presidency.

    We have got to defeat religion if ever this country is going to dig itself out of this hole.

  94. #94 BobC
    September 3, 2008

    McCain/Palin could still win this election, unbelievable as that may sound.

    After watching this video I now understand why she’s a creationist. She will easily win the fundie vote and the American idiot vote.

    People like Palin have large families while many atheists cheer for abortions. The movie Idiocracy is going to come true. It’s inevitable.

  95. #95 Darth Wader
    September 3, 2008

    I’m very worried about the election. As strong as the Obama/Bidden ticket is and the perceived weakness of the McCain/Palin ticket, I still know the GOP is the party of dirty tricks.

    Like Bush, I think Palin is to quote Homer Simpson “Stupider like a fox”

  96. #96 raven
    September 3, 2008

    (I)t would behoove the Democrats and the pundits to shed the notion that they are dealing with some dimwitted bumpkin … or that Palin is the townie who was brought into the Skull & Bones initiation night for the amusement of all; or that somehow the prom queen ballots got mixed up with the Alaska gubernatorial poll. Trivialize her at your own peril.”

    Good point. If one looks at Palin’s extended family and friends they look barely above white trash. Her son in law to be calls himself a redneck who “doesn’t want any kids.” Oops. Palin and some of the others have their share of DUIs. But she didn’t go from shooting moose for dinner to governor of Alaska without some innate talents.

    The Clintons were the same story. Palin has a lot of baggage but trivilizing or making fun of her or underestimating her would be a huge mistake.

  97. #97 Jennifer Ouellette
    September 3, 2008

    I sometimes disagree with PZ’s opinions on the subject of science and religion, but he’s dead-on about this. We should be very, VERY worried. Palin is the worst example of a right-wing religious ideologue; she even appalls liberal evangelicals (and yes, they do exist). But she’s NICE. She has a baby with Down’s syndrome. She’s a very sympathetic character. So yeah: McCain could still win this thing. I have lost all respect (what little I had) for John McCain for putting our country at such risk as this. If he buckles to pressure from special interest groups so easily in his campaign, he certainly won’t stand up to them when he’s in the White House.

    But it’s not about “defeating religion” — it’s about defeating a very specific religious group that has taken over a political party and has absolutely no qualms about strong-arming their views and policies on an unwilling populace. Religion is just a cloak. It’s not the evil underneath.

  98. #98 Colugo
    September 3, 2008

    Interesting video: Palin in the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial debate.

    http://gregransom.com/prestopundit/2008/09/sarah-palin-debates-tony-knowl.html

    It’s a long video; I just skipped to the parts where Palin was speaking.

  99. #99 foxfire
    September 3, 2008

    @ #91: Thanks Norman D. Interestingly, the website for the city of Wasilla does not apparently include city council and commission meeting minutes: http://www.cityofwasilla.com/

    Amazingly, my little town of around 700 does: http://www.ci.yachats.or.us/

    I’m highly suspicious of fancy government websites that lack information of substance.

    P.S. If anyone does locate Wasilla city council/commission meeting minutes please post the link! Maybe I just didn’t check the website all that thoroughly.

  100. #100 negentropyeater
    September 3, 2008

    Curt,

    It’s religious-person-speak for asking that God give our leaders wisdom.

    And you don’t think that’s particularly crazy ? Wether you believe in God or not ?

  101. #101 Tired and Frustrated
    September 3, 2008

    #74 raven

    I’m not sure it’s over yet, but it’s getting closer if people insist on voting for the worst alternative. Add to that the increase in antiscience sentiments. Creationism edging its way into science education, while teachers are afraid to teach proper science because ignorant and deluded parents want to keep their kids ignorant and deluded as well.

    Then the general ignorance. People have no clue what the candidates are about, their platforms and their plans for America. Not a good recipe.

  102. #102 Scott from Oregon
    September 3, 2008

    “hypocrisy of talking small government and detesting federalism while expanding government and raking in pork…”

    I am oten baffled that a college professor type can be so bizarrely clueless when it comes to this very issue. I hear it mentioned quite frequently.

    Let me make this clear–

    THERE IS NO HYPOCRISY IN THIS INSTANCE!!!

    If you are not aware, federal taxation trumps all other forms. You do not, as a state, get to opt for less federal tax per individual, so that more state tax can be made available (there is a limit to how much tax an individual will/can tolerate).

    THEREFORE, if you need or desire for your state income to accomplish a task, adding infrastructure, for example, YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE FEDS WHO TOOK ALL YOUR TAXABLE MONEY AWAY and beg for it back.

    Pork projects are nothing more than LOCAL projects with two added steps. 1)The tax is taken to a federal pot. 2)You have to figure out a way to get it back into the state’s coffers, (perhaps even conceding on issues your consituency are opposed to…)

    This very physical reality is why many of us are calling the federal dominance of America “An ignorant way to govern fifty disparate states with differing needs and populations that desire differing things from their governments”.

    IF pork projects were funded locally with local taxes, there would be far more public oversight as to the viability of the project and its necessity. If I knew my money was going to repave that country road… I just might drive over there and have a look to see if it really needed it.

    Aside from wasting huge sums of people’s money on interest payments (20% of your taxes go to interest payments on federal loans, many from China)the money that gets doled out back to the states is done in a very haphazard way, resulting in more and more US citizens’ taxes being pissed down into the federal black hole, where regular citizens have NO SAY as to where the pissing occurs.

  103. #103 hje
    September 3, 2008

    Bachmann vs. Palin in Moral Highlander: “In the end, there can be only one.”

  104. #104 raven
    September 3, 2008

    DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIANITY. The religious right is going to suck this stuff up — Palin is NOT a horrible speaker to them (McCain is, though).

    After they wrecked the country in the last 8 years, no one can afford to underestimate the death cultists.

    But xianity isn’t the least bit unified. The sects have been killing each other for millenia by the millions.

    The pentacostals and evangelical fundie protestants don’t much care for each other. They are competing for the same group, religious bigots. The fundies hate the catholics as the church of satan. The catholics claim to be the one true church and protestant churches are illegimate. The mainline protestants don’t like the fundies one bit.

    The Assembly of God are Third wave creo rapture monkey dominionists. An ugly vicious group of cultists. That will appeal to some segments of xianity. It will horrify others.

    It remains to be seen whether being a death cultist will gain the GOP more votes than it will cost them among the 78% of the population that describes themselves as xian believers.

  105. #105 PZ Myers
    September 3, 2008

    Alaska receives far more federal largesse than its inhabitants pay out, making your argument rather ridiculous. They aren’t asking for their share back, they’re demanding their share AND MINE, while claiming that they are being independent. That is hypocrisy.

    (And no, I don’t mind that there is a distribution of federal wealth. That’s the point and the virtue of good government — equalizing inequities is a role I want it to fill.)

  106. #106 Scrabcake
    September 3, 2008

    She knows her audience in this video…and it’s not Atheists. It’s not a national audience. She’s speaking as a believer to believers. If you were talking to the Cat Fancier’s Club, you’d talk about how great cats are and how you have one and your daughter has calendars with kittens on them. I don’t think that should be held against her. I think her assessment of the Iraq war is a bit creepy, but again, she’s speaking to a bunch of young missionaries.
    Most of all, it seems like she just hasn’t prepared a speech.

  107. #107 Steve_C
    September 3, 2008

    Exactly. If you hadn’t noticed the federal government has been working backwards… taking from the middleclass and giving to the rich.

    Corporations and the top 1% of the economic scales have done very well under Bush. Everyone else has done worse. And that’s the way they want it.

  108. #108 Matt Penfold
    September 3, 2008

    Alaska receives far more federal largesse than its inhabitants pay out, making your argument rather ridiculous. They aren’t asking for their share back, they’re demanding their share AND MINE, while claiming that they are being independent. That is hypocrisy.

    I thought Alaska was supposed to be rich in natural resources. Where is all the income going ?

  109. #109 foxfire
    September 3, 2008

    PZ wrote:

    (And no, I don’t mind that there is a distribution of federal wealth. That’s the point and the virtue of good government — equalizing inequities is a role I want it to fill.)

    On the other hand, allowing HHS to redistribute funds to push a particular social agenda under supposed concern for discriminatory policies is a bit much. What’s the virtue of bad government with too much power?

    ALSO: OT but Obama is going to appear on O’Reilly this coming Thursday so hopefully this OTness is forgivable:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/02/AR2008090202730_pf.html

  110. #110 raven
    September 3, 2008

    #74 raven

    I’m not sure it’s over yet, but it’s getting closer if people insist on voting for the worst alternative. Add to that the increase in antiscience sentiments. Creationism…

    If McCain gets in, I’m going to give up.

    I’ve always been nationalistic without being jingoistic and happy to be an American. We are the world leaders in science and technology and that has translated into progress for all as it diffuses rapidly around the world. We once were the world leaders in such progressive ideas as individual freedom, egalitarian rights, and democracy.

    It’s all slipping away rapidly into fascism and extremism. You can’t fight history or 300 million lemmings. There has been a personal toll in 2 dead friends in Iraq and other things.

    Going to have some hard decisions to make. Whether to move out of the USA or not for one. We don’t have to live here. As a boomer, getting a bit old to emigrate. There are family ties and a sentimental attachment to the landscape. The TV set was destroyed long ago. I may just have to point my internet connection elsewhere and start drinking more and paying less attention to the unfolding in slow motion disaster.

    Survived Nixon, Reagan, and Bush. But this is the worst I’ve ever seen the country in my lifetime. How depressing.

  111. #111 negentropyeater
    September 3, 2008

    I don’t think that should be held against her. I think her assessment of the Iraq war is a bit creepy, but again, she’s speaking to a bunch of young missionaries.

    Are you saying she doesn’t believe what she is saying ?

    I atually think it’s with this kind of speech that you can get a better idea of who she really is.
    Not the speech she’s going to make today at the RNC.

  112. #112 Scott from Oregon
    September 3, 2008

    “Alaska receives far more federal largesse than its inhabitants pay out, making your argument rather ridiculous”.

    Ummm, No. Because Alaska was never mentioned in my argument. Insert any other state, the argument remains solid.

    Not only that, but the very fact (if true) that Alaska has undue influence over YOUR money just further compounds my argument.

    Why are the feds taking YOUR money (which I presume you would like to see have a positive effect on your community) and giving it to Alaska?

    The answer is- there is UNDUE INFLUENCE in Washington, completely out of your control (and probably having much to do with oil companies)causing this.

    Again, supporting my argument that the present system of national control and dominance is faulty.

  113. #113 BobC
    September 3, 2008

    I’m going to watch the theocrat Palin give a speech tonight (9:30PM in Minnesota, 10:30PM eastern time), and I’m going to try to count the number of times she invokes Jebus.

    By coincidence, or maybe it’s not a coincidence, the movie Idiocracy will be on HBO tonight at the same time as Palin’s speech.

    I’m a lazy person and I have been thinking about skipping the election, but this YouTube video convinced me I will have to get out of bed and vote for Obama on November 4th.

  114. #114 Steve_C
    September 3, 2008

    Scott. You have it wrong.

    Even on the state level it doesn’t work the way you think it should. I live in New York City so I KNOW. The advantages for states with smaller populations and economies are much larger than for economic powerhouses.

    The point is that she says she’s a reformer and wants to end the “pork”. She’s the PORKIEST of them all.

  115. #115 Steve_C
    September 3, 2008

    I bet she won’t mention Jesus at all. God, 5 or 6 times. She’ll brag about being a reformer, and wanting to change Washington. She’ll do a lot of flag waving and how it’s hard to be a mom and she’ll sprinkle in a bit of fear of terrorists and winning in Iraq.

  116. #116 Jesse
    September 3, 2008

    Something else really scary:

    Obama: Doctor of Law
    Biden: Doctor of Law

    McCain: Bachelors from Naval Academy
    Palin: Bachelors in communication

  117. #117 Ruth Sponsler
    September 3, 2008

    She and her 5 kids with one teen pregnant are obvious r-strategists.

    Do we really want r-strategists in the White House?

    I wrote something about it (maybe the first?), but I think you should expound on the matter for a wider audience that includes lots of evolution folks who understand the implications of r-strategist humans in leadership positions.

  118. #118 Scott from Oregon
    September 3, 2008

    “The advantages for states with smaller populations and economies are much larger than for economic powerhouses”

    Ummm, no. And I only say this because I happen to live in one of those smaller states and we have no police service, no library, no “after school programs” or any other “service” that we may wish upon ourselves.

    Yet we all pay our 20 % (or whatever) income tax nonetheless…

    And the reason? The feds decided to send our money to Iraq, and to pay for a navy that cruises up and down the coast of Japan, burning fuel and contibuting carbon…

    And are we offered a CHOICE as to which we’d rather have, a library or a new bomb?

    Umm, no.

    Palin is that weird new conservative, the one who decries government intrusion while trying to use it as a moral mallet… For that I say send her packing…

    As for the “pork” issue, think about it like this — One state’s pork is another’s “services”.

    And yes, why should one state pay for the services of another? Again, buttressing my point…

  119. #119 Norman Doering
    September 3, 2008

    negentropyeater wrote:

    I atually think it’s with this kind of speech that you can get a better idea of who she really is.
    Not the speech she’s going to make today at the RNC.

    I’m inclined to agree. I find it suspicious that she hasn’t yet been interviewed, even by a soft-baller like Larry King or a sympathetic like O’Reilly or Hannity. They seem to be locking her away and telling her who she’s going to be and what she can say for the rest of the campaign.

  120. #120 RamblinDude
    September 3, 2008

    DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIANITY.

    Exactly so.

    Listening to Palin speak made me feel nauseous. I grew up hearing people talk like this in church, and my upbringing was normal.

    Many people find Palin comforting. When videos like this leak out and she talks about JESUS! it makes them feel good inside, and they give a silent prayer of thanks that, finally, “God’s will” is being fulfilled. Finally, someone who truly puts JESUS! first–before everything else–will be in the White House!

    The belief in “end times” and the rapture is very prevalent in this country; do not underestimate it.

  121. #121 Milo Johnson
    September 3, 2008

    The video seems to have been withdrawn now. Looks like freedom of religion (or at least, kristianity) has trumped freedom of speech…

  122. #122 Run-DMS
    September 3, 2008

    Pray for a pipeline … pray for our military … Iraq occupation is god’s work … son named Trak. That’s all I could take.

  123. #123 Tired and Frustrated
    September 3, 2008

    Oh and by the way, the Bible instructs women to shut up in church. Hm.

  124. #124 Kseniya
    September 3, 2008

    Ummm, no.

    Ummm, no.

    Ummm, no.

    Geez, Scott from Oregon – could you possibly try to be less condescending? Or is that your baseline?

    And yes, why should one state pay for the services of another? Again, buttressing my point…

    Interesting question. Well, ask yourself this: When and why should any person subsidize, to any degree, services rendered to another?

  125. #125 heddle
    September 3, 2008

    Raven, (104)

    The pentacostals and evangelical fundie protestants don’t much care for each other. They are competing for the same group, religious bigots. The fundies hate the catholics as the church of satan. The catholics claim to be the one true church and protestant churches are illegimate. The mainline protestants don’t like the fundies one bit.

    I’ve spoken to about 20 Baptists, and about the same number of Presbyterians. They don’t just like Palin, they (we) love her. (And, they are reporting similar responses from other evangelicals.) I mean, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. This whole demographic was ambivalent one moment, and fired up the next. The Baptists especially, should not be expected to be as enthusiastic about Palin as they were about Huckabee. But they are much more so. I could only bore you with guesses as to why this is so. Your theory that non-charismatic evangelicals will be leery of Palin’s Pentecostalism is not what’s happening. Catholics–I couldn’t say, although Mark Shea is blogging about her, and I’d characterize the comments that I’ve read as mostly favorable but not ecstatic, with the negatives pointing to the experience question, not the Pentecostalism.

  126. #126 BobC
    September 3, 2008

    The video seems to have been withdrawn now.

    It’s still there. Try this.

  127. #127 BobC
    September 3, 2008

    I just noticed there’s a 2nd video: The Sarah Palin Church Video Part Two

    It’s disgusting. I don’t recommend it.

  128. #128 zy
    September 3, 2008

    People here are letting a cultural divide color their views so much they completely miss the skepticism toward our current leadership:

    Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that is what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that this plan is God’s plan.

    It isn’t that she’s so 100% behind what our leaders are doing, it’s saying “we have to make sure we are praying for” God’s work to be done, and you might not know this but God’s work usually in a context like this involves bringing mercy and healing into peoples’ lives. This is very different from Mark Twain’s “War Prayer”, in fact it’s an implicit admonishment that we shouldn’t pray like that but should be sure to focus on God, not nationalistic conquest.

    She also asks them to pray “that there is a plan” – not something you’d do if you were convinced Bush had it all worked out. Moreover, pray “that this plan is God’s plan” and again, that opens the door that Bush & co. are getting it all wrong, even if they know what they’re doing. And I do think she is intentionally ambiguous on this, to allow for the differences of opinion among prayerful people.

    I’m saying, criticize where it’s due, but there’s nothing worse here than in most mainline churches. If that’s the point, say so, but I got the impression this was being offered as evidence of something worse.

  129. #129 Sven DiMilo
    September 3, 2008

    The pentacostals and evangelical fundie protestants don’t much care for each other. They are competing for the same group, religious bigots. The fundies hate the catholics as the church of satan. The catholics claim to be the one true church and protestant churches are illegimate. The mainline protestants don’t like the fundies one bit.

    Or, as Tom Lehrer put it some 40 years ago:
    The Catholics hate the Protestants / And the Protestants hate the Catholics / And the Moslems hate the Hindus / And everybody hates the Jews / Because it’s / National Brotherhood Week…

    And Heddle, that anybody is enthusiastic about Palin just makes me want to puke. Arbitrary (and/or Revealed) religious opinions trump everything else, as usual. It’s insane.

  130. #130 Scott from Oregon
    September 3, 2008

    “Interesting question. Well, ask yourself this: When and why should any person subsidize, to any degree, services rendered to another?”

    Ummm, that’s easy…

    Humans cannot create community without communal sharing.

    An individual cannot do what a collective can do, and so individuals need to pool resources to pay for services they want in their communities.

    BUT THAT IS WAY DIFFERENT than being forced to pay into a federal dictatorship, with only an A or B offered as “choices” for community direction, and where leadership is so insulated from the community that huge discontent means nothing…

    Bush– “I am the decider”.

    Cheney– (When asked what he thought about public discontent) “So?”

    Now we have Obama telling half the nation that he will dictate to them what type of medical system they will have. He is telling the nation that he will take from some and give to those he deems “in need” (as if he knows better than those who are in need to begin with). He will decide which jobs to form and what is a worthwhile way to spend your money, that he will collect from you by threat of jail…

    … And McCain telling Americans who can and cannot get married. Which medicines he thinks aren’t good for them… Why he has a right to dictate morality… Why we need to spend your money dropping bombs and shooting people on the other side of the world…

    Why feed this system of insanity any longer?

  131. #131 heddle
    September 3, 2008

    Sven DiMilo,

    And Heddle, that anybody is enthusiastic about Palin just makes me want to puke. Arbitrary (and/or Revealed) religious opinions trump everything else, as usual. It’s insane.

    That is clear enough as the, to use an understatement, prevailing view here–I’m only reporting that Raven’s theory of a Pentecostal revulsion backlash is, shall we say, wishful thinking.

  132. #132 Steve_C
    September 3, 2008

    I wouldn’t be surprised if all her videos get scrubbed from youtube.

  133. #133 CalGeorge
    September 3, 2008

    “If that’s the point, say so, but I got the impression this was being offered as evidence of something worse.”

    Some people have a lower threshold than you do for what they consider to be bad.

    The right wingers are proving (yet again) that they would tolerate just about anyone in office as long as their ideology is pure.

  134. #134 Ichthyic
    September 3, 2008

    I’m only reporting that Raven’s theory of a Pentecostal revulsion backlash is, shall we say, wishful thinking.

    or just jumping the gun a bit.

    aside from watching Heddle do his usual bit of projecting, I rather think Raven is likely seeing the future that Heddle really, REALLY, wishes were not so.

  135. #135 frog
    September 3, 2008

    Scott From Oregon: Now we have Obama telling half the nation that he will dictate to them what type of medical system they will have. He is telling the nation that he will take from some and give to those he deems “in need” (as if he knows better than those who are in need to begin with). He will decide which jobs to form and what is a worthwhile way to spend your money, that he will collect from you by threat of jail…

    See, here’s the problem: folks who don’t understand democracy or want it. Now, if Scott was arguing that we should eliminate the presidency and replace it with a more democratic process for making collective decisions, maybe he’d have a point.

    But I don’t get the sense that he’s ranting about presidential temporary dictatorships, but about the entire process of making a collective decision and enforcing it. It’s trivial to show that collective decisions are impossible without some method to enforce them, whether top-down or distributed, but somehow we have to get the cheaters, and somehow we have to make decisions at a high-level. Libertarianism abrogates those obvious requirements by simply ignoring them – simply being delusional.

    But then Scott thinks that his community of tough-hewn farmers aren’t welfare queens – even though it is objectively true.

  136. #136 Nerd of Redhead
    September 3, 2008

    Scott, you seem to be having some problems. Your arguements are becoming more strident. This makes your argments even less likely to be read. A number of us are ready to add you to the killfile. Time to take a break, just a day to two, from posting here. When you come back, make sure not to get strident. Keep in mind, just because you believe something, that we don’t have to believe it too.

  137. #137 negentropyeater
    September 3, 2008

    I’ve spoken to about 20 Baptists, and about the same number of Presbyterians. They don’t just like Palin, they (we) love her.

    Typical sheep-like religionut response. Just need to watch Fox News to understand why.

    There will always be an assymetry here : on the other side, Obama has to count on a very different type of voters including secular ones, but I doubt he could have found a VP they would all have immediately “loved”.

  138. #138 Ichthyic
    September 3, 2008

    …and if Heddle is wondering “why”, I really think he should try to think about the fundie reaction to a rather recently famous Mormon who was running for president…

    “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”

    …at least, today.

    fuck, even the Disinformation Institute was inviting Harun Yoyo under the big-top tent.

    How long does one think that would last, eh?

  139. #139 nobody
    September 3, 2008

    You and your horde are scared. It is to giggle.

  140. #140 Longtime Lurker
    September 3, 2008

    Could you imagine serial harasser Bill O’Reilly interviewing Palin?

    “Put the microphone a little closer to your mouth…uhh… yeah, that’s it.”

    Is there a word for lauging and crying at the same time? Craughing?

  141. #141 Barklikeadog
    September 3, 2008

    Slightly OT; this from a former classmate at Anapolis and a POW w/ MCcain.
    Very Interesting.

    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/#97305

  142. #142 raven
    September 3, 2008

    I’m only reporting that Raven’s theory of a Pentecostal revulsion backlash is, shall we say, wishful thinking.

    Ummm, no. There is data on this. Barna, a fundie polling organization, had a poll not long ago. 49% of the US population is sick and tired of fundies trying to tell everyone else what to think, do, or live. Of those 49%, about 78% of the population is xian so the majority of them are xians.

    It hasn’t escaped too many people that the theothuglicans wrecked the country in the last 8 years. The war in Iraq is widely unpopular and Bushcos approval ratings are among the lowest in history. Few people don’t know someone who was killed or maimed in Iraq.

    There is no doubt a backlash. I’ve always said it remains to be seen how deep or how durable it is.

    The fundies may well be able to destroy our American civilization. History says someone will, sooner or later. They’ve made a great start and have some momentum going here. If it happens, it happens. When we are sitting in the ruins of the country, people will figure out who caused it. And it isn’t going to be good for xianity.

    We are far too apathetic and law abiding to do anything violent. Most likely the best and brightest and a lot of the others will just quietly leave the religion except on sunday morning if that. While cultist nihilistic extremism sounds like fun to some in the short term, in the long term we all want a better life for us and our kids rather than living in desperation on a heap of rubble while fascists rule the country for their own benefit.

  143. #143 heddle
    September 3, 2008

    Ichthyic

    …and if Heddle is wondering “why”,

    I wasn’t, and after reading your explanation (that wasn’t requested) I see that my lack of interest was not in vain.

  144. #144 Steve_C
    September 3, 2008

    So should nobody. They’ll come for you too.

  145. #145 Scott from Oregon
    September 3, 2008

    “It’s trivial to show that collective decisions are impossible without some method to enforce them, whether top-down or distributed, but somehow we have to get the cheaters, and somehow we have to make decisions at a high-level. Libertarianism abrogates those obvious requirements by simply ignoring them – simply being delusional.”

    There is nothing lost by inverting the power structure to hand governmental control to local government and much to gain.

    For those who argue that you’ll get bad government I simply say, “you’ll get the government you deserve”.

    There is nothing “libertarian” in my views, they are simply a result of looking at the current situation and all of the complaints, and devising a solution.

    I am amazed that simple solutions stir up such animosity, especially when it comes from those who complain loudly about the current situation.

    You complain about the loss of the 4th Amendment, the 5th, and the 1st, yet keep handing over more power to the usurper.

    It would be funny if it were not so detrimental…

    “Scott, you seem to be having some problems. Your arguements are becoming more strident.”

    My arguments are far less strident than more than half the arguments found here. It just goes to show that even independent secular atheist are predisposed to group-think and do not welcome views that go against the herd.

    There is nothing “evil” or “ignorant” about arguing for more local accountability and control of locally generated revenue.

    No matter who gets to be in charge of the federal government, I can still see that I am far more capable of knowing what my community needs than a Washington insider jostling for my money.

    Put me on your “no read” list and feel secure rubbing wool with your buddies…

    Or call me names.

    Whatever.

  146. #146 heddle
    September 3, 2008

    Raven,

    I didn’t say there wouldn’t be a backlash among the general voting public. Maybe there will be. Maybe picking Palin will cost McCain the election, or make him lose in an unprecedented landslide. I have no clue about that. But you originally implied that “fundies” would be turned off by her Pentecostalism.

    Well, it ain’t gonna happen.

  147. #147 ThirtyFiveUp
    September 3, 2008

    Blogger Dogemporor has been researching rabid Xtians for a long time.
    From the beginning of his long post with many research links,

    “Much has been made of the recent revelation that Sarah Palin may be connected to the “Alaska Independence Party”, but not revealed is its connection to the far-right Constitution Party–and she not only has attempted censorious campaigns in office, but was also apparently put in the GOP vice-presidential spot by none other than the kingmakers of the dominionist movement in the US.”

    More here: http://dogemperor.newsvine.com/_news/2008/09/02/1817283-new-revelations-re-stealth-dominionist-sarah-palin

  148. #148 raven
    September 3, 2008

    …and if Heddle is wondering “why”, I really think he should try to think about the fundie reaction to a rather recently famous Mormon who was running for president…

    True. In recent history, the majority persecuted and killed the Mormons. Who persecuted and killed them back. The two belief systems are pretty far apart.

    A lot of fundies including Huckabee consider them heretics. They consider themselves the One True Church with a prophet in SLC.

    The two groups no longer kill each other but relations are not always all that cordial between them. It’s said that Romney was never in contention for the VP because Dobson and the humanoid toad bunch would have had a major hissy fit. Because he is Mormon.

  149. #149 Colugo
    September 3, 2008

    It was pretty sad that Mitt, a decent governor from a liberal Republican Mormon family, felt he had to give up his essentially pro-gay, pro-choice beliefs in order to appeal to the religious right.

    The religious right has the GOP’s balls in a vice grip.

  150. #150 PZ Myers
    September 3, 2008

    It hurts to admit it, but I’m going to agree with Heddle. Idiot America will view this as Christian Palin vs. Muslim Obama (I know, he’s not, but that’s what they think), and they will set aside sectarian differences to vote against the Evil Liberal (Obama isn’t that, either).

  151. #151 aratina
    September 3, 2008

    We have to remember that her main opposition in Alaska was not Democrats, but Republicans themselves, and now, after a week of this VP tap sinking in, the entire GOP in Alaska is strongly behind her (except Lyda Green, of course). This is their chance to get rid of her and take back Alaska.

    From my perspective, the GOP has been extremely jealous of Obama’s popularity within his party. Palin has now given the Republicans a hero to worship, a Joan of the Arc. They have been frothing at the mouth for the entire election cycle to hit liberals with the charge of sexism and infanticide. Looks like their prayers were answered.

    Frankly, I was elated that McCain picked Palin at first (because of my irrational state pride), but this public vetting has put Alaskan journalists to shame and made a fool of Alaskans everywhere. She could do more to damage Alaska’s economy and its natural resources than Ben Stein could ever do.

    She rode into office on the coattails of the worst governor in Alaska’s history and her term coincided with the largest increase in the price of oil ever. If you go back to 2002, she would never have made it to the top in Alaska. I think I am not alone among Alaskan liberals and atheists in feeling nauseated at all the crap she has hidden under the rug and her behind-the-curtain, iron fist style of leadership.

    The only silver lining I now see if McCain-Palin wins is that McCain will likely not make it through his first term. Then guess what? We have a Palin-Pelosi, XX Whitehouse. I’m sure that would help balance out Palin’s contemptible views toward sex education and women’s reproductive rights.

  152. #152 bonefish
    September 3, 2008

    I’ve been having nightmares ever since This Creature was named veep pick. Didn’t help that I had been reading “American Fascists,” either.
    Judging from her record while in office, she isn’t just a cute little homebody. She would appear to be a full-bore dominionist neopente. I would bet that the Republicrats are hoping the media focuses on the pregnancy issue, her sex and how “cute” she is. Perhaps they are also counting on disillusioned Hillary-supporters to abandon ship, en masse, because she is “a woman.” (OK, fine, anyone remember Geraldine Ferraro?)

  153. #153 BobC
    September 3, 2008

    Palin has the fundie vote, the idiot vote, the “don’t take my money just because I’m filthy rich” vote, the “brain-dead women who only care that she’s a woman” vote, and the “brain-dead males who only care that she’s not bad looking” vote.

    Add those votes up and it looks like another very close election. Not to worry, I’m usually wrong about these things.

  154. #154 becominginvisible
    September 3, 2008

    #99 foxfire
    what little record is available is Departments- City Council- City Council Meetings- View Past Events. Only minutes for August were still available. Seems Alaska is a bit slow to figure out the press will find out, one way or another.
    Heard an ad for ABC show “EXTRA” this morning claiming to have the latest on Mr. Palin. Politically cynical bloggers have been keeping tabs on Sarah since she became Governor. No shortage of exploits. Packing on the pork. “Whistle blowing” on her fellow republicans as long as it gets them out of her way. She thinks Rev. Hagee is liberal. Husband works for BP oil. The whole fifth child episode, with all the questionable behavior and lack of looking pregnant. Mat-Su Regional Medical Center she claims to have given birth to Trig at has no record of the birth. Trooper-gate. Rumblings for months about the possibility of co-wives. Now the latest of putting out a press release about the daughter’s pregnancy and then screeching because they want privacy. McCain did whimper this election isn’t about the issues. Possibly the only thing he will ever be right about.

  155. #155 Norman Doering
    September 3, 2008

    PZ wrote:

    I’m going to agree with Heddle. Idiot America will view this as Christian Palin vs. Muslim Obama (I know, he’s not, but that’s what they think), and they will set aside sectarian differences to vote against the Evil Liberal (Obama isn’t that, either).

    Well, if we’re going to talk about “Idiot America” then you might want to look at their newspapers, the grocery store tabloids, to see how they’re handling it:

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/liveblogging/2008/09/how-palin-is-pl.html

  156. #156 Bill Dauphin
    September 3, 2008

    Kseniya:

    “Inconceivable!”

    John Kerry was leading Bush, the incumbent, in the polls four summers ago.

    What’s keeping me awake is an image from years earlier: In my mind’s eye, I keep seeing Jon Lovitz, playing Michael Dukakis debating George H.W. Bush in an SNL debate skit, turning to the camera and plaintively declaring “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy!!” [shudder]

    aratina:

    The only silver lining I now see if McCain-Palin wins is that McCain will likely not make it through his first term. Then guess what? We have a Palin-Pelosi, XX Whitehouse.

    Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. Think back to how we ended up with Nelson Rockefeller as VP after Ford succeeded Nixon: The President appoints the VP (IIRC subject to Senate confirmation). For Pelosi (assuming she’s still Speaker) to end up in the executive branch, both McSame and Palid would have to drop dead more or less simultaneously… or perhaps be raptured, eh?

  157. #157 Philippe
    September 3, 2008

    #29 : I wish I could ignore their election, as a foreigner. But they are my FREAKIN neighbors. Heck, my country actually stands between Her Nibs’ home state and the mainland.

    How long before god tells her that she must invade Canada?

  158. #158 pati b
    September 3, 2008

    Dear #8
    Cutesy Jesus talk?
    Have you read about the Crusades, The Troubles (Ireland), the Inquisition …
    the list is way too long …
    http://justsaynotoreligion.com/religious-wars/

    obviously this isn’t all Jesus, but it’s all in the name of God….

    whenever someone starts with This is God’s War and God’s Will and what He wants us to do …
    DUCK!
    Don’t EVER make the mistake of thinking it is CUTE …

  159. #159 SteveM
    September 3, 2008

    Cheney– (When asked what he thought about public discontent) “So?”

    While I have no love of Cheney, his response did not end there, and I believe he was echoing this,

    “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”
    –Edmund Burke

    That is not to say that I agree with Cheney’s judgement about the subject of that interview, but I do agree strongly with Burke that Representatives should be chosen for their judgement and not just their pandering to public opinion.

  160. #160 Norman Doering
    September 3, 2008

    Heddle wrote:

    Baptists, and about the same number of Presbyterians. They don’t just like Palin, they (we) love her. (And, they are reporting similar responses from other evangelicals.) I mean, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. This whole demographic was ambivalent one moment, and fired up the next.

    Sure they are, they’ve now got the most solid support ever from any party for one of their culture war issues: abortion. But you’ve got to ask yourself why the Republican party has not played that card so strongly until now.

    That culture war card is going to be used to distract from the more important issues – the war, the economy etc.. They’re using pro-life to mask the pro-death of a war build up.

  161. #161 Gary
    September 3, 2008

    The Creepier thing is that these Jeseus freaks like Palin and Jindal are the future of the Republican Party. Though I am not a fan of Obama either (for the record I am a Libertarian supporter) but Obama has to do something really stupid to lose this election, which I am highly doubtful of. But we also must be weary of such Jesus freaks like Palin and Jindel in 4 year, 8 years, 12 years and so on.

  162. #162 Patricia
    September 3, 2008

    #139 – Nobody – “You and your horde are scared.” Go giggle yourself off to the pitchfork closet. All the ice in Hela will melt before I fear any fellow snake kisser.

  163. #163 Benzion Chinn
    September 3, 2008

    See told the people that she is going to do her job, the government, and they need to do their job, winning the country for Jesus. I am not a Christian or a believer in Jesus, but to me this sounds like she was sticking to keeping Church and State separate.
    I don’t agree with her religion, but I do not see her as a threat.

  164. #164 Qwerty
    September 3, 2008

    Local wisdom in St. Paul had it that Pawlenty would be the VP ticket up to the last minute. Anyhow, some female bigwig at the convention called her Sarah Pawlenty. Apparently, someone forget to change the text of this person’s speech! Or Repulicans are awfully stupid. Or both.

  165. #165 Jason
    September 3, 2008

    So, should we just gear up for Civil War II: Liberals vs Fundementalists? (also known as: The Confederacy Strikes Back)

  166. #166 Scott from Oregon
    September 3, 2008

    “That is not to say that I agree with Cheney’s judgement about the subject of that interview, but I do agree strongly with Burke that Representatives should be chosen for their judgement and not just their pandering to public opinion”.

    Cheney was never a representative of mine, and yet he has controlled where my income goes and to what deleterious end it finally gets spent.

    Again, that is the problem with too much central power. One man’s “judgement” affects an entire nation.

    So while I would agee with you IF the representative actually represented my interests, I cannot agree with you here.

    The Bush/Cheney administration has been a great lesson in central power, and I hope people eventually get it, and stop trying to smply get control of it for themselves…

  167. #167 Amy
    September 3, 2008

    I agree, it’s a mistake to think it’s “cute”.

    I grew up in this environment, having been raised in the Assemblies of God church (V.Beach -Pat Robertson country) during my early years, and there should be no under estimation of the power of persuasion that these people have over those most motivated to vote -on what they believe are the best and only “morals”- when they invoke God and insinuate righteous authority.

    Her belief system, despite any hypocrisy (don’t even bother calling them out on it b/c IOKIYR), will finally get their meat and potatoes out to vote this election. Where many of them were not overly tickled about McCain, this choice can potentially secure their continued allegiance for what seems to be a one-issue vote -screw all the other crazy shi*t going down in the country and world we need to police ovaries and uteri.

    What scares me is, for as determined as they are to knock out Roe v. Wade, and for her belief that abortion (and contraception) are wrong period, well…if they had their way and I had another miscarriage and was bleeding to death, would I be denied the emergency D&C that I needed? Seriously. They want to tell me that if I got raped I shouldn’t have access to pill that prevents conception, but forces me to give birth to a child via rape? They are so to the extreme “right” and it worries me. Because I was around and paying attention the last three elections and I just won’t believe it’s a sure thing until I hear it and we live through umpteen re-counts and arguments about ballot buying and deleting.

  168. #168 Steve
    September 3, 2008

    That was a great speach. Go McCain/Palin!!!

  169. #169 Steve_C
    September 3, 2008

    It’s clear that this was a choice to start up the culture wars all over again.

    I just think that people have wised up just enough after the last 8 years to see that that shit isn’t as important as the big picture stuff.

    And they see the Bush has been a massive failure on those things.

    I still think it’ll be close, but average Americans are hurting in the wallet and their kids are in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I don’t think they think McCain knows what average Americans are going through and that he wants their kids to come home safe.

  170. #170 Kseniya
    September 3, 2008

    Scott from Oregon:

    Ummm, that’s easy…

    LOL! :-D

  171. #171 Kseniya
    September 3, 2008

    Scott, pretty good answer, by the way, but do you realize you’re flirting with a strawman? The question was, “Why should one state pay for services rendered to another state?” and you answered it with talk about federal dictatorships, health care, marriage rights, and foreign wars. That’s not really an answer at all.

    I don’t disagree with your point of view, not really, but you still haven’t addressed the question, nor have you succeeded in demonstrated (buttressing or no buttressing) why PZ’s comment about pooling resources to alleviate inequities – across state lines, in this case – is so off the mark, or why it specifically is “way different” from communal resource-sharing on a smaller scale.

    It’s surely different in scale, yes, but the dynamic is not radicallty different. Even in a small town, the process isn’t purely egalitarian: Some people are in charge, some are not; some people agree with the decisions of the ruling body or majority, while others do not.

    Discontent is part of the human condition. Have you ever lived in a medium-small town with more than one elementary school, and witnessed what happens when the school board decides that, to save money, one of the elementary schools should be closed down? It can get pretty ugly. You just can’t please everyone…

  172. #172 deang
    September 3, 2008

    Thanks for pointing out that Palin’s appeal will likely be broad. That’s probably why she was chosen. And she could tip the scales in McCain’s favor. Of course, if she doesn’t, they can always steal another election, since the Democrats won’t try to stop them (it’d be too “divisive”, y’know).

  173. #173 Roy Latham
    September 3, 2008

    I’m as thoroughgoing an atheist as ever lived, but Palin scares me a whole lot less than Obama. As governor, she has been good at separation of church and state. When she’s speaking in her church, it’s appropriate to give it a religious spin. However, even in that context she says it her job to get the pipeline built and the parishoners job to sell religion.

    I gather that her audience is young and she is using the Valley Girl speech pattern to attempt to appeal to them, the way Bill Clinton picks up a Southern accent when he thinks the occasion calls for it. In both cases, this is obnoxious but not moronic.

    What scares me about Obama is that he seems to espouse ultra-left beliefs in general, but he doesn’t articulate them in particular. Moreover, even if his beliefs are wonderful, there is no chance he would know how to “get a pipeline built,” since he has no experience of substance in anything beyond running for office. Thus he must be accepted totally upon faith in the generalities of his beliefs, and there is no chance he will keep those beliefs separate from the job of being President.

    Palin is transparent, Obama is opaque. McCain is both transparent and reasonably moderate.

    Incidentally, neither VP is of much importance in terms of assuming the presidency. McCain’s life expectancy is around 97, and Obama no doubt has better chances.

  174. #174 BobC
    September 3, 2008

    I just read in today’s Wall Street Journal that Palin, during her first week as governor, sold the governor’s jet and got rid of the governor’s personal chef. I was very impressed by this, not that I would ever vote for a “let’s teach intelligent design magic” theocrat like Palin. The problem is other Americans who are having trouble paying their bills are also going to be impressed by what Palin did to save taxpayer money. I think McCain’s choice for vice-president was a terrible choice for the country, but it might have been the best choice he could have made to get elected.

  175. #175 Bill Dauphin
    September 3, 2008

    Kseniya:

    Even in a small town, the process isn’t purely egalitarian

    Especially in a small town! The fatal flaw in Scott’s inversion-of-powers model is that smaller governments are much more vulnerable to being coopted or corrupted by a few individuals than larger ones are. “Inertia,” when applied to government, is usually intended as an insult… but inertia has its uses.

    BTW, somebody please tell me Roy Latham (@173) is a Poe! There’s “no chance [Obama] would know how to ‘get a pipeline built,'” but Sarah Palin would?? How?? By praying for it???

    And this…

    neither VP is of much importance in terms of assuming the presidency. McCain’s life expectancy is around 97, and Obama no doubt has better chances.

    …is purest, Grade A bat guano: Statistically, one-third of all VPs become president, one way or another. In addition, while it might be true that an average 72 year old today can expect to live to 97, the average 72 year old hasn’t been through 5 years in a POW camp, 4 plane crashes, and 4 bouts with cancer. McCain is, I’m quite convinced, much older, in physiological terms, than his years. And he doesn’t need to die for her to succeed him; he only needs to be sufficiently unhealthy (or just tired) that he resigns early, or declines to run for a second term.

    I don’t even want to think about how Biden might end up succeeding Obama.

  176. #176 Scott from Oregon
    September 3, 2008

    ‘…why PZ’s comment about pooling resources to alleviate inequities – across state lines, in this case – is so off the mark, or why it specifically is “way different” from communal resource-sharing on a smaller scale”.

    PZ’s original statement was to imply that if you were FOR smaller federal government and less government in general, then taking money back from the federal government FOR state or local purposes was hypocritical.

    And I maintain that IF the system is broken and you participate in a broken system while voicing your opposition to it, you are not hypocritical.

    Ron Paul got the same slam for his taking money back from the feds for use in his district.

    Both are being unfairly criticized for something neither supports.

    “Even in a small town, the process isn’t purely egalitarian: Some people are in charge, some are not; some people agree with the decisions of the ruling body or majority, while others do not”.

    This isn’t news to anyone. But the point is, your discontent is your failure to win over your friends and neighbors to your point of view. That means you ARE responsible for your discontent.

    As is presently structured, I CANNOT be responsible for my discontent because I am such a diluted (as opposed to deluded) political animal.

    All I can control is which of the two main parties I vote for and very little else.

    My choices– Being governed by a Chicago southside lawyer who knows nothing about Oregon forests…

    …or Uncle Fester…

    In 92, The Woman’s League of Voters used to run the debates and Ross Perot stepped in and got 1 in 5 votes. In 96, guess what happened? The Reps and Dems ganged up and took over the debates, so that Perot would not disrupt the monopoly.

    The point being, the illusion of federal representation is just that.

    Please stop trying to tell me it is a question of “scale”.

    No it is not. It is a fact that representational government no longer exists in America.

    We no longer function as a “government by the people”.

  177. #177 round guy
    September 3, 2008

    I am vaguely troubled by the fact that I have that exact same rug in my living room (it’s from Target).

    I’m not sure why that bothers me.

    As for her sermonette, I frankly couldn’t get through it. A whole load of nonsense that.

  178. #178 Norman Doering
    September 3, 2008

    BobC wrote:

    … Palin, during her first week as governor, sold the governor’s jet and got rid of the governor’s personal chef. I was very impressed by this, not that I would ever vote for a “let’s teach intelligent design magic” theocrat like Palin.

    Yes, it sounds good, but how much money is that compared to the budget a governor is trying to balance? One sloppy pork project and all that money saved is spent on something more worthless. It’s symbolic in the end and what if she had to go somewhere in that jet for an emergency? Might have been better to rent it out when you know you’re not going to need it.

  179. #179 chgo_liz
    September 3, 2008

    Margaret @55:

    Don’t worry: it’s only the Republicans who are convinced that Hillary voters will magically switch their vote to a completely opposite woman who is working to demolish everything that Hillary stands for. It’s not actually true.

    One of the best points made by MANY bloggers and posters to other sites is that Hillary supporters know all too well from life experience how young (usually male) upstarts will “jump the line” ahead of more qualified middle-aged women instead of working diligently and waiting their turn. They’ve pointed out that there are so many more qualified and experienced Republican women out there (whether you like their politics or not) that cutesy little Palin has no business being nominated first.

  180. #180 scrabcake
    September 3, 2008

    re: 111,
    I do think she believes everything she says. But I also think she’s a more complex person than is shown here. She’s showcasing a certain aspect of her personality that is relevant to this particular audience. It is not the only part of her personality, and this speech is not *supposed* to show any complexity in her views. She’s giving a pep rally.

  181. #181 Bill Dauphin
    September 3, 2008

    Scott from Oregon:

    There is evidently no area of intersection in the Venn diagram of your political thought and mine, so it’s pointless to engage you on larger themes… but I can’t resist addressing one detail:

    My choices– Being governed by a Chicago southside lawyer who knows nothing about Oregon forests…

    You’re probably never going to get to vote for a president who knows anything about Oregon forests, and even if you do, that knowledge will be instead of something else someone else cares about equally. What you want is a president — and this is true at every level of executive leadership, right down to pissant Alaska towns — who’s smart enough to appoint a department head (in this case, Secretary of the Interior) who does have the required knowledge. Leadership isn’t about one person who knows everything; it’s about one person who can find, and direct, lots of people who, between them, know everything. And BTW, if how he’s run his campaign (which I’m guessing has more employees than there are state employees in Alaska) is any measure, Obama’s pretty damn good on that score.

  182. #182 roadrider
    September 3, 2008

    The Democrats might have more credibility in making an issue of Palin’s fundamentalist beliefs if they hadn’t appointed a chief executive of their convention who speaks in tongues, believes in faith healing and sees nothing wrong with teaching creationism in public schools:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/magazine/20minister-t.html?ref=magazine

    also if the guy at the top of their ticket wasn’t proposing to build on Bush’s plan for giving tax dollars to religious charities

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/us/politics/02campaigncnd.html?scp=8&sq=+Obama%20+faith-based&st=cse

  183. #183 Shade Tree
    September 3, 2008

    I’m with #106 and #128. I really didn’t get the same sense of terror out of this speech as PZ did.

    It struck me as a spontaneous, unscripted speech, where this congregant spoke about what’s in her heart (maybe with a few talking points thought up ahead of time). I have absolutely no problem with that–there is a time and a place for that kind of speech, and it is quite appropriate here. If she continues that kind of speech during the campaign, and shows no capability for rational discourse, then you can pile on her–but you’re being way too premature with this video.

    And most of what she’s praying for is discernment for missionaries, troops, etc. I have absolutely no problem with that either, and I would suspect that few people here do, even if we vociferously disagree with Ms. Palin about where that discernment ought to come from.

    The two places where I did I hear her where cross over into conflating religion with politics–suggesting God’s will is being done in the war in Iraq, and with the building of pipelines in Alaska–are the parts that I disagree sharply with–but that is the kind of cheap political rhetoric that you can find from 99.9% of American politicians, and it was very quickly passed over. Ms. Palin’s no better or worse than her colleagues on this point. So color me unsurprised.

    This is not to say I support Ms. Palin by any means–either theologically or politically. There’s plenty there to criticize, as I’m sure you will see. But I’m afraid your arrows all missed the barn on this one.

    And for what it’s worth, #125: you may count me as one Presbyterian who will be steering way clear.

  184. #184 Norman Doering
    September 3, 2008

    Shade Tree wrote:

    … you’re being way too premature with this video.

    If it were just this video it would be true.

  185. #185 Canuck
    September 3, 2008

    Wow! That almost makes a man long for Dan Quayle.

    What a frightening thought that this may be the VP of the US. Holy fuck. She’s fucking nuts.

  186. #186 DrClown
    September 3, 2008

    Honestly it just sounded like she was saying they should pray that the war be in accordance with Jehovah’s will. Question is, how could it not be?

    I want to know why her Wikipedia entry was changed to show her religion is “Christian”, not “Assemblies of God”.

  187. #187 Chico
    September 3, 2008

    Reginald Selkirk (#45):

    Biden has an actual record from which people can judge his positions. Biden on Religion’s Role in Public Life and Church-State Issues

    Interesting…

    From an October 2007 interview with The Chicago Tribune:

    [Senator Joe Biden:] How was it that in ’92 and in ’96, Bill Clinton could get a majority of the Catholic vote, and 40 some percent of the Christian vote and 78 percent of the Jewish vote, and how was it that that Al Gore and John Kerry couldn’t do that?

    Because I think Democrats have it wrong. They think in order to get that vote, you have to demonstrate you’re born again, or you have to quote the bible or you’re a religious person. I don’t believe that. I think the reason why Bill Clinton won that vote even though they knew he wasn’t a paragon of virtue–and Al Gore was–was because when Bill Clinton sat in that fundamentalist pew, that Catholic cathedral, that Jewish synagogue, the guy sitting next to him believed Bill Clinton respected him, and respected his views.

    The Democratic Party has become elitist. At fundraisers with wealthy guys, they are uncomfortable when I say that. I say let me ask you a rhetorical question: Do you think it’s possible for someone to go to a fundamentalist church tomorrow, make an altar call, profess he’s born again, and have a high IQ? They all smile. The truth is we have communicated–the elite in our party have communicated–that we really don’t respect that.

    Exactly. This is what Obama’s rabid supporters STILL haven’t learned. “But, but… religious people are so stupid!” Fine, enjoy 4 more years of Republican rule.

  188. #188 Norman Doering
    September 3, 2008

    Chico wrote:

    This is what Obama’s rabid supporters STILL haven’t learned.

    But you’re voting (or not) for Obama and Biden, not us.

    That’s what makes them stupid.

  189. #189 khan
    September 3, 2008

    Crazier than an outhouse rat.

  190. #190 DingoDave
    September 3, 2008

    ‘Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition’

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
    And we’ll all stay free

    Praise the Lord and swing into position
    Can’t afford to be a politician
    Praise the Lord, we’re all between perdition
    And the deep blue sea

    Yes the sky pilot said it
    Ya gotta give him credit
    For a sonofagun of a gunner was he, shouting

    Praise the Lord, we’re on a mighty mission
    All aboard, we’re not a-goin’ fishin’
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
    And we’ll all stay free

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=dryBNYaj1sA

  191. #191 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 3, 2008

    Sorry, I don’t have time to read beyond comment 120 right now. I need to go to bed.

    I challenge you to find a single Christian who would say that this video portrays her in a negative light.

    Is that so in the USA? That’s frightening. Because, you see, over here just about all Christians would be shocked. Shocked, I tell you. For a longer explanation see my comment here.

    I just re-listened to the Iraq war comment, and the sentence was clumsy, but with the extra clauses removed here’s what she said:

    “Pray that our leaders are sending soldiers out on a task that is from God.”

    Is that so bad?

    Listen to it again. She says that the Iraq war is that “task that is from God”.

    She’s insane, she’s unconstitutional — and she’s blasphemous by the criteria I grew up with!

    Pat Buchanan is for Obama now. Pat-mother-fucking-Buchanan. Boarder Fence Buchanan. Blacks are too dumb to take care of themselves Buchanan. White America must be preserved Buchanan. The Secessionists had a Point Buchanan. When Obama can win over someone like this, do you really think McCain has a shot?

    :-O :-o :-O :-O :-o :-O :-O :-o :-O :-O :-o :-O :-O :-o :-O

    Verily, there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Could you please provide a link or something? You see, I have serious trouble believing my eyes.

    That’s not a woman, baby. That’s Dubya in drag.

    You’re on to something.

    I watched Americans somehow manage to elect that last dangerously vacuous loon two elections in a row

    Supreme Court, Kenneth “Katherine” Blackwell… “somehow” indeed.

    Catholic social teaching is actually very progressive.

    Guess where the general leftiness of Europe comes from: from the conservative parties — which call themselves “Christian-Social” and “Christian-Democratic”.

    I agree with those who dissent from PZ’s “terrifying” remark. The comment “task from God” in this context doesn’t mean that we’re on a holy jihad, but that those soldiers in the military have a responsibility to perform their jobs well. In Pentecostal-speak, everything is infused with divine purpose. From my experience, it becomes a meaningless verbal tic. In college (I went to Grove City College) many of the speak-in-tongues Pentecostals would use “Jesus” the way others use the word “like.”

    Interesting. Color me culture-shocked.

    John Kerry was leading Bush, the incumbent, in the polls four summers ago.

    He was still leading in the exit polls, lest we forget.

    a sentimental attachment to the landscape.

    Which landscape?

    As for the “pork” issue, think about it like this — One state’s pork is another’s “services”.

    We are talking here about the bridge to nowhere. Remember? Palin voted for it before she was against it (…and lied about having voted for it — in her acceptance speech).

  192. #192 pcarini
    September 3, 2008

    Whatever you do don’t watch the convention live, it’ll do your head no good. Or it’s at least not doing mine any good… all of these people dancing horribly out of time to bad country music vote?

  193. #193 scooter
    September 3, 2008

    pcarini

    Whatever you do don’t watch the convention live,

    I’m listening on radio, I hear the place is half empty, are they showing the empty bleachers ?

    it’ll do your head no good.

    I find it very educational. Mike Huckabee informed me that Crash McPlane sacrificed and spilled his blood so Huckabee could have a school desk. I was unaware that we were slaughtering Vietnamese over school desks. I guess that finally answers Country Joe’s question.

    Or it’s at least not doing mine any good

    I’m certain Saras Palin-Drone will woo the whiteys with her awesome rack. Guliani is stumbling all over himsewf.

  194. #194 foxfire
    September 3, 2008

    @ becominginvisible #154: Thanks and I doubt (although I will check) that there is much of substance to be found. I guess I’m into a my-tiny-town-can-kick-your-ass–much-bigger-town with respect to availability of public information.

    VGN (Valley-Girl North) is speaking as I write at the RNC. I am *not* impressed although I will attempt to re-establish a contentious position for the purpose of garnering more data and tormenting negentropyeater (whose posts I adore. Hey Neg – won that Nobel yet?)

    In defense of Scott From Oregon: He probably lives in Portland or Eugene. What a nightmare! I wouldn’t live in Multnomah or Lane County if somebody offered me money to move. I live in Lincoln County where many people *volunteer* to keep their taxes down (and it’s not some religious volunteer effort). If I had to move it would be to Benton county (where OSU lives and continues to thrive). I have yet to meet a volunteer who is vocal about somebody’s religion, sexual orientation, who’s pregnant, yadda. The only contentious people I’ve run into are some uber-superstitious locals or summer/out-of-town people who demand the services that they are accustomed to (hint: Bring it with you or buy Internet if ya don’t find it locally). The contentious are not among the regular, familiar, volunteer faces. Give Scott a break!

    Hypothesis: Too many people in the world is a direct path to extinction.

  195. #195 pcarini
    September 3, 2008

    Scooter: I didn’t see much in the way of empty bleachers, perhaps because I was watching the stream from the RNC’s site. They made sure that we saw Palin’s family over and over and over again. Her speech wasn’t really anything to write home about, either.

    Also, did anybody else think that McCain’s “surprise” appearance was rather awkward? He went out there, said something to the effect of “we made a good choice, huh?” and then stood there looking old while the crowd obviously wanted to hear more. Then everyone on stage (Palin’s family + McCain) stood around a while before shuffling off.

  196. #196 Scott from Oregon
    September 3, 2008

    “Scott from Oregon:

    There is evidently no area of intersection in the Venn diagram of your political thought and mine, so it’s pointless to engage you on larger themes… but I can’t resist addressing one detail:

    My choices– Being governed by a Chicago southside lawyer who knows nothing about Oregon forests…”

    I’ll bet you and I agree on about 80% of things. We just don’t agee WHO or WHERE the power for those agreements should reside.

    Why should Oregonians who have lived and breathed these forests their entire life have to travel all the way to Washington to complain when management is being screwed up?

    It is expensive and impractical, and promotes corporate logging (which can afford a federal lobbyist while the huggers can’t). All ou are doing is rewarding those who can afford to pay for influence and giving the ream-job to the communities who live local…

    (Again, I give very specific reasons that our system is ineffective and they are ignored for platitudes and “supposed lessons” in civics…)

    The Dept. Of The Interior has screwed these forests up royally and you think Obama is going to appoint some new wiz kid to fix it all?

    Um humm…

  197. #197 LUFTRITTER01@GMAIL.COM
    September 4, 2008

    “GOTT MIT UNS” (god with us) all over again. The germans believed that during World War I and they lose…
    This idea that ones country’s plans are God’s, I founded really disturbing. It’s like something from nineteen century propaganda.
    We must not forget muslims believe the same thing.
    It’s horrible!
    For stuff like this I became an atheist!

  198. #198 foxfire
    September 4, 2008

    Hey becominginvisible #154: The suggestion you provided:

    what little record is available is Departments- City Council- City Council Meetings- View Past Events. Only minutes for August were still available.

    Having no-joy in opening some non-informative pdfs. Enough open to get the picture. I do have the most current version of Adobe reader. Noticed the “Agenda” column indicates data is available and the “Minutes” column states “Not available”

    Way to go 7K town of of Wasilla, AK. Little coastal Oregon town a magnitude less can kick your ass on the web with regard to availability of public information. On the other hand (to be contentious) you do promote business related infrastructure improvements better than my town.

    Anybody out there analyzing non-kin related tribal rivalries?

  199. #199 Curt Cameron
    September 4, 2008

    David Marjanovic wrote:

    Listen to it again. She says that the Iraq war is that “task that is from God”.

    No, listen again. The full paragraph that she says is:

    “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right, also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God – that’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.”

    Take out the extraneous clauses, and it says: “Pray… that our leaders are sending our soldiers out on a task that is from God.” She’s hoping that our troops are doing God’s will, not saying that what they’re doing is God’s will. There’s a big difference.

    I feel as if commenters here have shed their usual reasonableness and attended the Rush Limbaugh School of Attacking Your Opponent by Taking Quotes Out of Context.

  200. #200 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    BobC,

    The problem is other Americans who are having trouble paying their bills are also going to be impressed by what Palin did to save taxpayer money.

    Palin is all about what’s “impressive”. When you look under the 1mm varnish-window-dressing, it gets far less impressive…

    During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had
    gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.

    Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

    The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece
    of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

    While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once.

    These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

    http://www.andrys.com/palin-kilkenny.html

  201. #201 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    Curt,

    “Pray… that our leaders are sending our soldiers out on a task that is from God.” She’s hoping that our troops are doing God’s will, not saying that what they’re doing is God’s will. There’s a big difference.

    What do you mean a big difference ? It’s all the same bullshit. Don’t tell me she doesn’t believe this is a just war, or that she wouldn’t be praying for this if she didn’t beleve that it was God’s will. How would this translate if she were the leader ?

  202. #202 bastion
    September 4, 2008

    At #11 wrote:
    Please America, I am but a humble English gent with a crap Prime Minister, don’t let me down, vote Obama in for goodness sake! I like him, he seems competent enough,

    Shhh.

    You do know, don’t you, that Obama’s popularity with foreigners is one of the reasons to vote against him according to the Republicans?

    Apparently there’s little more damning and damaging in one’s quest for the US presidency than to be popular in Europe.

    Which may explain our current administration.

  203. #203 Bill Dauphin
    September 4, 2008

    Scott:

    I’ll bet you and I agree on about 80% of things. We just don’t agee WHO or WHERE the power for those agreements should reside.

    But the “who” and “where” is everything.

    All [y]ou are doing is rewarding those who can afford to pay for influence

    Don’t you get that moving the “influence” to smaller state and local governments just makes it cheaper to pay for? I grew up in Texas, son, so don’t try to tell me that state governments are more efficient or less corrupt than Washington! ;^)

    Mind you, I don’t agree that influence is inevitably for sale: Most elected officials are, IMHO, honest and well-intentioned. But when influence is for sale, town halls and statehouses are the bargain bins.

  204. #204 negentropyeater
    September 4, 2008

    You do know, don’t you, that Obama’s popularity with foreigners is one of the reasons to vote against him according to the Republicans?

    Sure, but republicans only represent 35% of the population, and we already know they won’t vote for Obama, whatever he says.

    What about the rest of the population ? The 35% democrats and the 30% independent voters ? That’s where Obama needs to get his 50+% from to win this election, and I doubt very much that for them, having a President who is very popular in Europe is an inconvenient, quite the contrary.

    Can we please stop making irrealistic arguments about Obama’s image, seen from the most neo-conservative republicans point of view ?

  205. #205 Marco
    September 4, 2008

    Hi guys
    this comment reaches you from Europe, where we have troubles enough with the various churches, bishops and “intelligent design” trying its way into schools.

    Boy, with a vice-president like Palin you won’t need any enemies!

  206. #206 Vanessa
    September 4, 2008

    Is anyone else struck by how much evangelicals are (starting) to sound more like other extreme fundamentalists? Replace ‘Jesus’ with ‘Allah’ or ‘The Prophet Muhammad’ and well…it sounds eerily similar to me.

    But, what would I know? I’m just a soul-less, godless infidel anyway.

    This whole thing is unbelievably frightening to me. Have we really come to this? If they (McCain/Palin) are elected, so much for any remaining separation of church and state.

  207. #207 Rickey Miller
    September 4, 2008

    I wanted the businessman to be elected to see how that would play out. Perot failed and now Romney crashed. So now my desired option is to see how the Chicago Muscle Boys would shake up the executive office. But, alas. The Palin gambit is effective. Eight weeks to go and the DEMs are focusing on low probablity issues. Either keep hammering McCain’s record (hard to do because he’s not such a bad Republican) or somehow mightly build up Barrack Obama.

  208. #208 Chico
    September 4, 2008

    “Pat Buchanan is for Obama now.”

    Incorrect.

    http://buchanan.org/blog/2008/08/pjb-and-if-obama-loses/

  209. #209 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Incorrect.

    Oh. Good I forgot to trumpet it all over the world as I wanted to yesterday night.

  210. #210 Kel
    September 4, 2008

    Is anyone else struck by how much evangelicals are (starting) to sound more like other extreme fundamentalists?

    What do you mean, starting? ;)

  211. #211 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 4, 2008

    I feel as if commenters here have shed their usual reasonableness and attended the Rush Limbaugh School of Attacking Your Opponent by Taking Quotes Out of Context.

    Ah, “striving” it was? I didn’t notice. I’m considerably less good at understanding spoken western American English than written English. I’ll listen to it again tomorrow.

  212. #212 SC
    September 4, 2008

    “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right, also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God – that’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.”

    What could this possibly mean?

  213. #213 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 4, 2008

    Now we have Obama telling half the nation that he will dictate to them what type of medical system they will have. He is telling the nation that he will take from some and give to those he deems “in need” (as if he knows better than those who are in need to begin with).

    Ehem. All those who don’t have health insurance are in need of health insurance — and that’s not just their own need, but also their employers’, in other words, The Economy’s™. Go ahead, try to deny this. We’re waiting.

    What scares me about Obama is that he seems to espouse ultra-left beliefs in general […] McCain is […] reasonably moderate.

    Man.

    Obama would fit into Europe’s conservative parties without much hassle. (On some issues, notably the death penalty, he’s even far to their right.) McShame doesn’t even fit on the map where I come from (though he might in Poland).

    Ultra-left? Would you even know an ultra-left belief if it bit you in the proverbial ass?

    other Americans who are having trouble paying their bills are also going to be impressed by what Palin did to save taxpayer money.

    Like voting for the bridge to nowhere (and then lying about it) and throwing Wasilla into debt. What are you, a concern troll?

    I want to know why her Wikipedia entry was changed to show her religion is “Christian”, not “Assemblies of God”.

    Her Wikipedia entry was massively prettied up recently, by a single user who for example removed all mention of the beauty contests. The entry is now semi-protected.

  214. #214 Bill Dauphin
    September 5, 2008

    Obama would fit into Europe’s conservative parties without much hassle. …

    Ultra-left? Would you even know an ultra-left belief if it bit you in the proverbial ass?

    These things are always relative to the political culture in which candidates are running, and by U.S. standards, Obama is definitely to the left of center. OTOH, he is not (as you point out) the wild-eyed liberal his opponents portray him as (as if “liberal” were a bad thing). On the gripping hand[1], he’s probably really a bit farther to the left than he appears in the current campaign, because it’s a truism of presidential politics that nominated candidates run to the center for the general election. (Note that I am not suggesting he’s lying about anything, nor that I expect him to “flip-flop” on anything after he’s elected; it’s just a matter of campaign marketing.) His hardcore supporters are probably farther left than he is, though still, I’m sure, most of them are not even close to “ultra-left” by European standards.

    What frustrates me about people who dream of, and advocate for, an American future that is sharply to the left of where we are now (and mind you, I count myself among those people) is that they seem to lack awareness of electoral dynamics: There’s only a limited ideological distance from the current political center any politician — and in particular, any presidential candidate — can get and still have a chance of being elected… but every election redefines the center. A candidate twice as far left of center as Obama would stand no chance in this election cycle… but if Obama’s elected, 8 years from now that (currently) unelectable candidate will look just like Obama does now, in right-center-left terms, and might well be just as viable as Obama is.

    My fellow liberals who want to move this country to the left need to stop trying to do it with a single hammer blow and start tapping instead. (And, BTW, the same principle applies to those of us who want this country to be more secular.)

    [1] Sorry for the obscure term. It’s from the SF novel The Mote in God’s Eye (by Larry Niven and Jarry Pournelle) and its sequel The Gripping Hand, both of which feature three-handed aliens. The pattern on the one hand, on the other hand, and on the gripping hand is so often convenient that I can’t stop myself from using it; I only wish more people recognized it.

  215. #215 Matt Heath
    September 5, 2008

    #186: Actually i think her wikipedia entry was changed from AoG to “Christian, nondenominational” because AoG was out of date. Her “home” church in Wasilia was AoG but her current home church in Juneau isn’t (for whatever difference it makes). I went looking for scandal behind this and it seems there is none.

  216. #216 bastion
    September 6, 2008

    At #204 negentropyeater wrote:
    I doubt very much that for them, having a President who is very popular in Europe is an inconvenient, quite the contrary.

    Aw, I was just trying to have a little fun with you.

    I, for one, would be delighted to have a president who’s popular in the rest of the world.

    And while I hope that the majority of other votes feel the same, I can’t claim that I represent the typical US voter, and I haven’t seen any polls on this issue, so I don’t know if the majority of voters feel as I do on this issue.

    I’d like to think that no matter what they feel about Obama’s popularity outside the US, the voters in this year’s election wouldn’t vote based on that issue alone.

    The more rational voters aren’t “one issue” voters, and know that there’s unlikely to ever be a candidate that they’ll agree with on all issues. The best we can do is make the most reasoned choice we can based on the totality of the issues. Kind of like selecting a long-term roommate.

  217. #217 Adv00cate
    September 7, 2008

    PZ Myers has it ever occured to you that your position is out of the mainstream?

    The majority of Americans would NOT agree with you.

    Where did you come up with your garbage?

    And you teach our kids?

    That makes me ill.

  218. #218 bric
    September 7, 2008

    #217 looks like that old ‘Might is Right’ argument again

  219. #219 Sven DiMilo
    September 7, 2008

    He’s teaching your kids Biology, idiot, not what to think about the Republican vice-presidential model candidate.

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