Elitism is not a four-letter word

I just got this in the mail, and smug elitist that I am, I thought it was worth passing along.

Dear friends, In these times, with extremely serious, complicated crisises confronting us both economically and internationally, we need to have intelligent, educated people as president & vice president:

Educational Background:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A.
Political Science with a Specialization in
International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

vs.

John McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

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That just about says it all.

From my experience, college hopping like Palin did is usually caused by either money problems or academic problems.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Or just being a dumbass.

We don't need those eggheads running our country. We need good, down-home country folks. Even if they run the country into the ground, they'll at least do it with a smile and a folksy accent.

And what would Obama do? Even if he made America a better place, he'd do it while being MUSLIM. And EDUCATED.

while being MUSLIM

I'm sure that Rev. Wright, whose church Obama belonged to for years, might have something to say about that. Where did you get your information? Faux News or the Drench Report? And why lie about something so easily disproved.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Maybe we should write Truman, Washington, Eistein, Jobs, Gates, Dickens,Bach, etc. out of the history books before people start to think that a Degree is not required for, nor creates intelligence or genius, and certainly, not honesty integrity or charity .
Of course, why should we listen to the advice of someone who is only an associate professor at the University of Minnesota,,,,,,,,,at Morris no less.
Just sayin'

Did it really say "crisises"?

Two lawyers vs two non lawyers.
Some fracking choice.

By Eric Atkinson (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Of course, why should we listen to the advice of someone who is only an associate professor at the University of Minnesota,,,,,,,,,at Morris no less.
Just sayin'

And why should we listen to you about anything? After all, Einstein did get a degree from the ETH in Zurich.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Nerd of Redhead, I'm fairly certain that Stephen was being facetious.

By Sadie Morrison (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Sarah Palin has a B.A. in journalism yet can't even name one news source she reads! I agree that her many college changes is pretty fishy. Her family doesn't seem to value education. Her son did not attend college and her soon-to-be SIL dropped out of high school. There's no talk of her eldest daughter attending college. Her 7-year-old must not attend school either because she does a lot of appearances with Palin. I don't think she values education very much. I read that her father is a science teacher though!

By Unstable Isotope (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

@#8:
Yes, we all know how terrible presidents lawyers make. I mean, John Adams? Thomas Jefferson? Abraham Lincoln? What a bunch of losers!

Hey PZ a while back you were asking for creepy, Hammeresque movies and TCM is showing a great one right now: PEEPING TOM (1960). With divine (excuse me) Anna Massey, who later starred in Hitchcock's last great movie, FRENZY.

And have people recommended SCANNERS to you? It's sort of about thalidomide. And Patrick McGoohan plays a very unusual role for him: someone who actually cares about other people.

In 1935 Sinclair Lewis wrote one of his lesser-known novels, It Can't Happen Here, a story of a fascist takeover of the United States. I read it a while back, but I remember that it comes from withi8n, wrapped in a flag, a Bible, and populist sentiment.

Just now I opened it up, and came across a speech early in the book, given by one Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmich, DAR. I thought I'd share part of it:

"What this country needs is Discipline! Peace is a great dream, but maybe sometimes it's only a pipe dream! I'm not so sure -- now this will shock you, but I want you to listen to one woman who will tell you the unadulterated hard truth instead of a lot of sentimental taffy, but I'm not sure but that we need to be in a real war again, in order to learn Discipline! We don't want all this high-brow intellectuality, all this book-learning. That's good enough in its way, but isn't it, after all, just a nice toy for grownups? No, what we all of us must have, if this great land is going to go on maintaining its high position among the Congress of Nations, is Discipline -- Will Power -- Character!"

You betcha.

Wow none of them are smart enough to study math or physics or even biology.

I don't recognize all the regulars. After all the other posts today, it can be hard when one of us is putting on a joke. If that is the case, my apologies.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

I don't recognize all the regulars. After all the other posts today, it can be hard when one of us is putting on a joke. If that is the case, my apologies.

Might or might not be a regular, but was definitely being facetious.

"Even if he made America a better place, he'd do it while being MUSLIM. And EDUCATED."

By Owlmirror (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

1) I agree, Stephen was being ironic. It's difficult for a good number of people to grasp irony. I think especially redheads.

2)ETH, yes, but it was only a lowly polytechnic at the time, not a REAL UNIVERSITY like where Obama went. Einstein was no Oxford man.

3) yes, and why should you listen to me...I'n not spouting off arrogantly, and have no wish for a cult following. I bet you're still listening though.....stop following me.....I said go to bed!!

SC@7: Nice pickup - I missed that one.

I suspect there'll be accusations relating to credentialism, but political science and law are surely very relevant to the position.

By John Morales (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Glad I heard of this blog. I don't spend much time reading blogs, but after hearing about the author: This site could be a morbid obession of mine as well. Myers is a much grander Quat. Certainly rivals Dawkins for silliness when he steps outside of his field.
Quat on.

quat, go DIAF

By nanu nanu (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Sastra,

I've read It Can't Happen Here as well. Lewis' picture of what a fascist takeover of the country would look like is spot on and we see much of the character of the fictitious rhetoric he crafted for that book mirrored today in the actual rhetoric of the right-wingers.

I just got very depressed.
Palin is more educated than I am, and more traveled.
Oh well, she's certainly not BETTER educated.

Glad I heard of this blog. I don't spend much time t all reading blogs, but after hearing about the author: This site could be a morbid obession of mine as well. Myers is a much grander Quat, and certainly rivals Dawkins for silliness (and well, hatred and meglomania as well) when he steps outside of his field.

Quat on.
(I said stop following me Red)
man, am I in a bitter mood lately.

man, am I in a bitter mood lately.

Have you tried reading "Garfield"?

That should turn that bitterness into pure acidic nihilistic suicidal despair. Fun with mood alchemy!

By Owlmirror (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

McCain also attended the National War College after he returned from Vietnam. Both the Naval Academy and the National War College are elite institutions, but in both cases McCain got in because of his father, not because of merit, just like George W. Bush.

Quat, the Redhead is my wife. My hair color is bald.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Oh, looky here. Yet an other self important dumbass here to show how we are all followers of the Cult Of PZ.

Quat, you bore me already.

By Janine ID AKA … (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Holy Crap!

I just realized my OWN FATHER got degrees from Harvard AND Columbia, too!

Does that mean he's ALSO a Secret Anti-American Terrorist Muslim Socialist? I even "palled around" with him when I was eight years old!!!

Thank you for pulling the wool from my eyes. If only he'd gone to a community college in Alaska.

By los tacos (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Uh, I did some university hopping in my time. *Extends hand a la Colbert* (vice)Presidency, please?

The cult of PZ??
I'm in a cult?
I haven't been in a cult since I left Christianity.
It's like coming home again, but without the human sacrifice and cannibalism ritual.
Can we have a cannibalism ritual?

Posted by: ggab | October 25, 2008

Can we have a cannibalism ritual?

All you need to do is mistreat a cracker.

By Janine ID AKA … (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Wow! Maybe I shouldn't go to grad school. Then I can have half the votes in this country guaranteed!

Oh wait! I really am Arab and Muslim. Crap!

PZ
What incantation would we have to say in order to transform a cracker into your flesh?
And also, would you mind if we used low sodium crackers.
I'm trying to be careful with sodium.

Our chancellor has a PhD in physics. Yarrr!

There may be great people and politicians without a high university degree, but they have earned merit in other ways. I don't really see what Palin has done in any way to earn merit.

ggab, we admire cephalopod photos every Friday. And give PZ grief if he doesn't post one. We hail the praises of the Flying Spaghetti Monster if we feel playful. Otherwise, not much of a cult.

For example, they still haven't shown me the secret handshake to get into the meetings in Morris where they plan to take over the world.;)

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

PZ could never rule the world.
I heard he palls around with atheists, which is even worse than terrorists. They'd never let him lead.

Posted by: Nerd of Redhead | October 25, 2008

For example, they still haven't shown me the secret handshake to get into the meetings in Morris where they plan to take over the world.;)

There is no handshake, the paws are too small. But you have to show some respect to the mouse with the Orson Wells complex.

By Janine ID AKA … (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Something that has annoyed me about people bringing up Sarah Palin's educational history: bouncing from college to college is not a sign of stupidity. [anecdata]Many of the smartest people I know have taken longer than 4 years and more than one college to get a degree.[/anecdata]

Doing well in college is less an indicator of intelligence and more an indicator of work ethic, ability to adapt, mental stability, and whether you picked a college that you fit into in the first place. The first three of those may indicate an inability to rule a country, but they don't make her stupid.

Of course, I'm not saying she's not stupid: her religious beliefs incontrovertibly prove the opposite. I'm just saying her college history is not evidence for her stupidity.

No handshake but there is a code word.
Tell them you're there to see Dr. Jiggleitalittleitllwork.
(My favorite Pinky and The Brain line, but you may have to read it a couple times)

@ Quat,

It's a respect for learning that made those men you mention great. They were autodidacts, but didacts they were. With their anti-intellectualism, McPailin have made it clear they are uninterested with informing themselves.

Hell, Lincoln wasn't a military strategist, but the first thing he did when he realized that war was coming, was go to the library of congress and get as many books as possible about military strategy. I don't see either McCain or Palin doing anything similar in a crisis. I see them falling into the laps of advisers with their own agendas (like Bush).

As for Einstein not being an Oxford man, he was actually a cut above an Oxford man- he went to ETH when Europe was the Place To Be(TM) for advanced physics and the US was still a comparative physics backwater (this would change with the advent of Big Science and the migration of European professors to the US).

Oh come on everyone...

Sara has a BS in Palintology from Ubetcha U.

By mayhempix (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

I am sorry to be completely off topic but what is this? I have no problem with PZ deleting my post.

By Janine ID AKA … (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Gov. Palin gets credit for her BA in journalism even if she nickel-and-dimed her way through several schools to get there. One would like, however, to see that some of it soaked in.

I think degrees from exclusive schools are all very nice and I congratulate those who earn them. But degrees from less exalted schools are also fine by me. And some people do well without any degrees at all (but that's an increasingly less viable course -- unless you're Bill Gates or someone like that).

Of course, I'm really impressed that McCain was in the top 900 of his graduating class. Perhaps that explains all the crashed planes.

As for Obama, he graduated from Harvard magna cum laude. Only "magna"? What? No "summa"? I am so disappointed.

I've been a long time reader of this blog, but this is my first time posting. At the risk of making a horrible first impression, I'm going to have to agree that Quat has a very good point. I am a 3rd year University undergraduate with plans of going further in academics, but there's a good reason 'elitism' has normally been considered a negative word. The education of the presidential candidates can be used to conclude some things, especially when taken together with what we already know about them. But any conclusions to the effect of "this person is better because he/she holds a degree" is ridiculous.
As was pointed out, there have been several worthy presidents of your country that had no post-secondary education, and I don't think they were lesser men because of it.
I agree with most of the opinions I read on this blog, and don't know what PZ's thoughts on this post are (he didn't say) but I thought the backlash against Quat was quite juvenile.
We should be governed by smart people, but you can't tell who those people are by the degrees they boast.

[Quote]Maybe we should write Truman, Washington, Eistein, Jobs, Gates, Dickens,Bach, etc. out of the history books before people start to think that a Degree is not required for, nor creates intelligence or genius, and certainly, not honesty integrity or charity .[Quote]

The thing is, all of these people did well with their work. McCain was what 5th worst in his class, and then crashed multiple plains and got captured. Now he claims he can find Bin Laden, but hasn't said a word about it. Yeah, he's going somewhere with that military education

Palin on the other hand can't name a single periodical she reads, even something like People.

We don't need those eggheads running our country. We need good, down-home country folks. Even if they run the country into the ground, they'll at least do it with a smile and a folksy accent.

And what would Obama do? Even if he made America a better place, he'd do it while being MUSLIM. And EDUCATED.

You are going to be stunned to see this monstrous video.

By FishyFred (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Brian, yes there have been many presidents without degrees, but since 1897 only Truman. This speaks something to the changing systems of understanding and expected knowledge in political figures.

Maybe we should write Truman, Washington, Eistein, Jobs, Gates, Dickens,Bach, etc. out of the history books

Quat tries to lump Sarah Palin and John McCain in with these people. Just one post and I knew I could skip every one of his subsequent posts without missing a thing. Well done, Quat. Very efficient.

bouncing from college to college is not a sign of stupidity.

I wouldn't be able to agree or disagree with you on that. All I know is that Palin proves her stupidity empirically and repeatedly without reference to her education background almost every time she speaks.

Hi Brian and welcome.
I assumed that quat's chilly reception was actually more due to the fact that the first thing he did was try to insult PZ.
This is PZ's blog after all. That kind of rudeness won't make you a lot of friends.

I am sorry to be completely off topic but what is this?

That is comment spam. There's a bunch of it hanging off of old threads. Some of it even in Turkish.

Presumably, they long for the power-boost of Pharyngulan Googlejuice.

By Owlmirror (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

@7: This is really dumb, but a lot of people are speaking "crisises" because the switch from "crisis" to "crises" doesn't match the general method of pluralizing English nouns, and it's not a word they've previously used or read much.

Of course, it could also be someone hedging their bets because they don't know if it's "crisis" or "crises" that's the plural.

---
Looking at Palin's education history, I'm not really all that bothered, since it looks like she first went to Hawai'i because of the exotic locale, found out it wasn't working (too expensive? too far from home? too much slacking off?) then did a community college in preparation for the university in Idaho. I'd not be surprised if the other college is in Alaska and it's a summer semester, or something.

Still, only 9 semesters to get a degree? That's not so crazy, and almost twice as fast as me. (stupid half-time enrollment so I can work to pay tuition) Besides, check it out, it's not like she went to Bob Jones or Liberty Universities. That's worth something, right?

(I'm not so sure the journalism degree is quite worth it, though. I know a lot of people who've done journalism because it's an "easy" major.)

I am sorry to be completely off topic but what is this? I

Comment spam from some site that sounds like it's scamming World of Warcraft players out of money. I didn't follow the links, so can;t say for sure.

Gotta jump on the "It Can't Happen Here" bandwagon.

What this country needs is Discipline! Peace is a great dream, but maybe sometimes it's only a pipe dream!

Reminds me of "Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time" by Gang of Four.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25waL5oTWDI

Commence rump shaking!

By Longtime Lurker (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Malimar, I have interviewed candidates for jobs where I have worked over the years. Looking at Palin's record, 9 semesters to get a BS is not necessarily a problem. In some fields, it may even be the norm. But that many changes in colleges would need to be explained. The explanations would be part of the overall evaluation for the job. If the explanations are good, no problem. But if the explanations aren't good, that many changes can be the sign of somebody who is not all there; a problem. So I can't draw any conclusions based on her college record, but a warning flag is up.

My conclusions as to her intelligence is based on what I have heard from the media. And that hasn't been very favorable.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

@51
There's nothing wrong with expecting your leaders to be knowledgeable, but having a degree isn't the only measure of knowledge. Simply saying one person is more suitable for the presidency than another person, based entirely on whether or not they earned a degree seems petty. My best friend has spent... I don't really know how many years at University without earning a degree. 5 or 6 at least. Put on academic probation twice. But he's traveled the world and has a much more enlightened perspective on worldly matters than most people (including me). But I'll have a degree in a year and he won't.

@52
I'm not sure why everyone assuming Quat was promoting Palin and McCain. Does disagreeing with a characterization of 'non-university graduates as stupid' automatically makes me a Republican to? And yes I agree that the two Republican's have shown they would do horrible things for the country and the rest of the world if elected, but Quat was making a point about their degrees (or lack thereof).

@51
There's nothing wrong with expecting your leaders to be knowledgeable, but having a degree isn't the only measure of knowledge. Simply saying one person is more suitable for the presidency than another person, based entirely on whether or not they earned a degree seems petty. My best friend has spent... I don't really know how many years at University without earning a degree. 5 or 6 at least. Put on academic probation twice. But he's traveled the world and has a much more enlightened perspective on worldly matters than most people (including me). But I'll have a degree in a year and he won't.

@52
I'm not sure why everyone assuming Quat was promoting Palin and McCain. Does disagreeing with a characterization of 'non-university graduates as stupid' automatically makes me a Republican to? And yes I agree that the two Republican's have shown they would do horrible things for the country and the rest of the world if elected, but Quat was making a point about their degrees (or lack thereof).

Well, gee, Brian . . . .Palin thinks the earth is 6,000 years old, and dinosaurs and men lived together.

She can't complete a sentence without talking points spoon fed to her.

Palin can't name a single magazine or newspaper that she reads. She thinks Jeebus is coming back in her lifetime.

If you, Brian, are comfortable with this non-thinking, uneducated, provincial, clothes-horse breeder hick in posession of the nuclear launch codes (she says nu-cu-lar - she can't even pronounce the word) then you are welcome to her.

I'm happy for her to return to Alaska and spend her days huntin' and fishin', by golly. You betcha.

By waldteufel (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

I'm going to have to agree that Quat has a very good point.

Not really. He missed a vital point. The people in his list may not have had degrees or done well academically, like McCain and Palin, but they *did* strive and succeed in later life. They applied their natural intelligence and made names for themselves that way. That's why we remember who they are.

McCain and Palin has done nothing to distinguish themselves and will likely become obscure footnotes in history in a week and a half.

Laugh it up filthy liberals. You think that achievement was easy for McCain? It's not easy to make it among the top 5 at the bottom of the barrel.

By LotharLoo (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Keri, the misspelling of crises is interesting because it's in an exhortation advocating the importance of education. Whether it detracts from or adds credibility to the attempted suasion is a matter of interpretation, of course.

By John Morales (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

@7: This is really dumb, but a lot of people are speaking "crisises" because the switch from "crisis" to "crises" doesn't match the general method of pluralizing English nouns, and it's not a word they've previously used or read much.

Of course, it could also be someone hedging their bets because they don't know if it's "crisis" or "crises" that's the plural.

---
Looking at Palin's education history, I'm not really all that bothered, since it looks like she first went to Hawai'i because of the exotic locale, found out it wasn't working (too expensive? too far from home? too much slacking off?) then did a community college in preparation for the university in Idaho. I'd not be surprised if the other college is in Alaska and it's a summer semester, or something.

Still, only 9 semesters to get a degree? That's not so crazy, and almost twice as fast as me. (stupid half-time enrollment so I can work to pay tuition) Besides, check it out, it's not like she went to Bob Jones or Liberty Universities. That's worth something, right?

(I'm not so sure the journalism degree is quite worth it, though. I know a lot of people who've done journalism because it's an "easy" major.)

Sorry for the double post, Firefox did something screwy there.
@53
I'd understand that if he actually attempted to insult anyone. I'd say what he did was pretty fair, take a second to reread it just to be sure. PZ's a great, intelligent guy. But was he top of his class at Yale? This whole thread is about judging people by their college degrees, and that's what Quat was pointing out. It was a pointed criticism of the attitudes expressed in the first few comments, as PZ didn't give his own comments.

Gotta jump on the "It Can't Happen Here" bandwagon.

What this country needs is Discipline! Peace is a great dream, but maybe sometimes it's only a pipe dream!

Reminds me of "Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time" by Gang of Four.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25waL5oTWDI

Commence rump shaking!

By Longtime Lurker (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

@61
Read my posts before speaking this way to me please.
I stated my opinions of Palin and McCain.

I have a couple of degrees I can sell to Palin, they sure the hell ain't doin' nothing for me and she needs to pad her edumication.

By Gary Bohn (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

What this really proves is that college is overrated.

ack, apologies for repeating my comment. I'm going to have to blame it on the cat, because I haven't the foggiest why else that happened, except random pushed buttons.

I did understand why the misspelling would undermine the purpose of the email, I just thought I'd point out that I hear "crisises" a lot around here, with my guess about why. Maybe all the people using it haven't had much of a higher education? It reminds me of how the word "data" has shifted to encompass both the singular and plural.

Science blogs asked me to resubmit my post, so here's hoping it doesn't double post:
@61
If you're going to write to me that way, could you at least read my posts? I stated my opinion of Palin, and do NOT think she would be good for your country, or the world.

@62
Again, I'd agree here if he Quat had endorsed either of the Republican candidates. He didn't. It's unfair to casually label him as the enemy in this situation.

The list of candidates' credentials is interesting, but the real issue isn't a mere comparison of the candidates' levels of formal education -- it's whether or not they exhibit intellectual curiosity. And after eight years of a president whose curiosity compares poorly with that of a cinderblock, maybe the voting public is starting to figure this out.

I personally don't care whether Sarah Palin attended five colleges, one, or none. There's nothing wrong with taking a circuitous route to a college degree. But if a person gives absolutely no indication that she cares to learn anything about the world, she's a poor choice to hold a national office.

By Julie Stahlhut (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Brian
I see what you mean. I was actually looking at a later post from quat that I felt was insulting. I agree with your reading of the first one.
I rushed through most of the posts when I got to this thread and only had the overall impression that he was a tool. I guess it wasn't from his first post though.

Brian @66:

This whole thread is about judging people by their college degrees, and that's what Quat was pointing out.

I draw your attention to my post @21, where I've pre-emptively addressed this.

By John Morales (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Julie Stahlhut proves that she is better with words than I. Although a little less of a confrontational spin than I put on it. ^^

What this really proves is that college is overrated.

Does disagreeing with a characterization of 'non-university graduates as stupid' automatically makes me a Republican to? And yes I agree that the two Republican's have shown they would do horrible things for the country and the rest of the world if elected, but Quat was making a point about their degrees (or lack thereof).

Um...

3) yes, and why should you listen to me...I'n not spouting off arrogantly, and have no wish for a cult following. I bet you're still listening though.....stop following me.....I said go to bed!!

-quat

What point?

Just out of curiosity, wouldn't coming out no. 894 of 899 qualify as a fail? Surely it would in a high school setting?
Ok, it is the military, so they need all and anything, even the dimwits like McCain (aka 'songbird'), in their ranks.
McVain must have been a real source of pride and honour to his family!

B.A. in Political Science? I'm not impressed. I think the world could easily survive without professional politicians.

B.A. in Journalism? That's almost as worthless as a B.A. in Political Science.

Class rank: 894 of 899? That's disgraceful. After watching the first debate I'm not surprised. McCain doesn't seem too bright.

I find it fascinating how having an IQ above room temperature and being able to read a book and summarize its contents has become "elitist"in your country,and what strongly negative connotations this ability apparently has.

The movie Idiocracy comes to mind.

I just didnt think I would actually see it come true in my lifetime.

Brian, No, I am not saying a degree is a true measure of intelligence. But in the same way I don't want a doctor who doesn't have an MD, I don't want a president who cannot fulfill his or her job do to a lack of knowledge.
What knowledge is this? A broad understanding of the law, economics, history, political science, math, the physical sciences, etc. Now I am not calling for an expert level knowledge of any of these, but something beyond primary education would make sense for the job.
Additionally, McCain outright failed miserably at his college. For someone selling himself as a military force to be reckoned with, you would hope for at least the top 90%

@John Morales
Heh, prescience. I'll readily agree that degrees in Political Science and Law are very relevant. I agree that the presence of degrees goes towards a persons character, but argue that their absence does not count against it.

Brian, this is the reason I snapped at the dumbass.

Posted by: quat | October 25, 2008

3) yes, and why should you listen to me...I'n not spouting off arrogantly, and have no wish for a cult following. I bet you're still listening though.....stop following me.....I said go to bed!!

I realize he is making a Life Of Brian reference. But fuck him for being yet an other parachuting troll pointing out the "cult" atmosphere here.

By Janine ID AKA … (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

There's another fact that's buried in the Christian rewriting of this country's history: Aside from the fact that many of the founding fathers were not theists, or were theists whose knowledge of the world made them advocates of separation of church and state, they were also among the most educated people of their time. Many had college degrees at a time when achieving that level of education was a rarity. And yes, there were lawyers among them.

The Christian Right gets one thing right without knowing why: we need to return to the values of the founders on many issues (but without reverting to the status racial minorities, women, and gays had, obviously).

Throughout U.S. history, those who were known for their "folksiness" had the reputation for folksy honesty and straightforwardness, not folksy dumbness. Politicians who have lacked education had to compensate for it by being intellectually brilliant. It's only today that someone would list her qualification for being Vice President as "I'm a mom. I'm a soccer mom." If we should make those into Vice Presidents, we're going to have way too many of those.

Brian @83, it's relevant mutatis mutandis.

And I suspect that the Democratic candidates, given their educational qualifications, would not need to look that term up.

(Disclaimer: I have no tertiary qualifications)

By John Morales (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

@84
I didn't even catch the [i]Life of Brian[/i] reference, I just thought he had started being silly. Whoops. As for the "cult" atmosphere... well, this is a blog who's readership has fairly similar opinions on most things. I wouldn't call it a "cult", but you can see where he's coming from when his posts elicit responses such as #23. I don't necessarily agree with the tone of Quat's last post, but I'll say that it does take a but if bravery to go against the flow in a forum such as this.

@ 87,

well, this is a blog who's readership has fairly similar opinions on most things

Nothing could be further from the truth methinks.And uniformity is not a virtue.

Ok, so my attempt at using HTML failed. Oh well.
John Morales @86
I -did- have to look it up. ^^;
And I can see where you're coming from. If I was hiring for a job and looking at two similar resumes, one with a relevant degree and one without, it could very well make the choice for me. But (and I'm having trouble writing this because I know it'll sound bad, I really DO support Obama/Biden) I would also look at whether or not either candidate for the job had relevant real world experience. Other things you have done with your life matter, not just your University years.

Posted by: Brian | October 26, 2008

I didn't even catch the [i]Life of Brian[/i] reference, I just thought he had started being silly. Whoops. As for the "cult" atmosphere... well, this is a blog who's readership has fairly similar opinions on most things. I wouldn't call it a "cult", but you can see where he's coming from when his posts elicit responses such as #23. I don't necessarily agree with the tone of Quat's last post, but I'll say that it does take a but if bravery to go against the flow in a forum such as this.

What bravery does it take to post on a message board?

Also, when people make cracks about a cult being here, they are getting ready for the bullshit argument that "atheism is a religion".

Sorry but I dislike parachuting trolls. And Quat is acting like one.

By Janine ID AKA … (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Janine ID @90
I think it takes a bit of bravery, or self confidence, to speak up in a forum where you know you'll be the minority voice. You may not be physically present, but your argument is still vulnerable to dissection and ridicule. It may flavour all your future conversations on that board. I know I was nervous about it today.
Also, by the end of his posts I agree Quat wasn't exactly acting respectably. But his initial criticism I believe, was still valid.

Regardless of her college career, Palin has proved to be genuinely stupid.

She came out of hicksville (Alaska) not knowing a whole lot about the outside world. In the time she has been VP she hasn't learned much of anything new. Just repeating fundie talking points, science is useless, we're all just plain old folks who managed to con the GOP into a shopping spree that would buy a house in some parts of the USA, and so on.

She's like Bush, a dull witted moron who isn't going to get any better no matter what happens.

Palin is also running for president. Everyone has written off 2008, she is running for 2012. The Theothuglicans are in a full scale civil war between conservatives and christofascists, the two parts of the Frankenstein monster. The betting is the Death Cults will win and nominate Palin in 2012.

Cheery thought isn't it, the slow witted Hater for Jesus is going to be around for a long time. She may even get to be president yet.

Oh, and I never had the impression that we were judging people's intelligence entirely by their college degrees. I definitely would have picked up on such a simplistic and bigoted conclusion. (College dropout here.)

I'm seeing the point of this thread as a backlash against the idea that intellectual capacity (which is often honed by formal education) and sophistication are hindrances to running the country. And as much as I appreciate that people can and do educate themselves, if I were planning to run for the U.S. Presidency, I would put finishing college on my immediate to-do list.

(And yeah, I'm joining the pet peeve club over people who comment on other peoples' comments without first reading them. There are enough misunderstandings on such fora without that.)

Palin is just white trash who managed to finagle more than a little money playing the politics game in the Upper Boondocks.

And as several have noted, white trash doesn't value education.

Her oldest son seems to have had more than a little trouble with the law and joined the army rather than go to college. Her 17 year old pregnant one is about to marry a high school dropout. That is a smart move for someone who wants to participate in the Hi Tech era of the 21st century.

Brian,

... but I'll say that it does take a but if bravery to go against the flow in a forum such as this.

This is a pretty scary forum on which to de-lurk, and it's not for the faint-hearted - but I encourage you to persevere. I wish I could say the same for Quat.

I've certainly had my ego battered (most recently by truth machine), but it's a good acid test of one's opinions. I love it. As to bravery, sometimes it's indistinguishable from obstinance or recalcitrance, and very rarely it's vindicated.

P.S. re HTML, use the angle brackets (< and >) for tagging.

By John Morales (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

@ 93,

Oh, and I never had the impression that we were judging people's intelligence entirely by their college degrees

No,not entirely,but to a degree....(pardon the pun lol)

I think,however,that being No 894 of 899 in your class does indeed tell one something about that particular person's abilities and performance.

Sorry Brian, I cannot agree with you at all on that point. What risk is taken? What bravery is shown? I think you are giving too much credit to a person whom you do not seem to have any use for.

By Janine ID AKA … (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

John Morales,
Ah, thanks for the tip on HTML I really should have known that. Perhaps I'm getting tired, especially as I look back over my previous posts and notice all the errors. I think I'll retire for the evening, but I promise to check this thread when I wake up and scan it for anything addressed to me. Thanks for not tearing me apart too badly; maybe this exchange will make me more willing to post in future threads.

One last thing (you people make it hard for a guy to sneak away).
Janine (gonna try to quote):
I think you are giving too much credit to a person whom you do not seem to have any use for.
I may not agree with all his views, but it's possible for people to raise valuable points, even if it's possible the remark wasn't in the best spirit. You can't write off everything a person says, just because you don't share the same viewpoints.

I would say that sums up Bible Spice pretty well.

Sorry if this has been posted already but it's too good to pass up:

JESUS CHRIST FOR PRESIDENT

ETH a 'mere polytechic'?
You use this word a lot. I do not think it means what you think.

In much of europe a polytechnic is a techology and science biased university. (In the UK it used to mean a more technician biased college; typically a college a tad closer to a school than the 'get it done for yourself' university. Some time ago the UK just renamed them all universities) ETH is right up there with Cambridge and Oxford and even Imperial.

Einstein got a degree from ETH (then called EPS) in 1900 and a doctorate in 1905. To include him in a list of people without qualifications is just plain stupid.

By tim Rowledge (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Brian, the easiest way to quote is <blockquote>blah</blockquote> - be aware blank lines will spoil this so use the <br> tag for that.

By John Morales (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

John, you are mistaken on that. It works that way for italics. But for blockquote, paragraphs and breaks will show up.

By Janine ID AKA … (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

I can't believe we're even having this discussion. People should not have to defend their education from those who brand that education "elitist."

Seriously. Let's just pretend you're all bosses of some big, happy company called America, and these lists came across your desk as part of a resume.

Thanks Janine, I stand corrected. I've just tested it (preview) and you're right - though I note the first line feed is removed, any subsequent ones remain and the blockquote as an entity is unaffected. I live and learn.

By John Morales (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Brian @ #76 posted, "Julie Stahlhut proves that she is better with words than I."

Well, you helped some.

By Ferrous Patella (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Ferrous Patella gets a mars bar or a dinner with Todd and Sarah Palin for most hilarious new nick on Pharyngula for October.......

Hate to jump in late, but everyone here should realise that graduating dead last at Annapolis is likely to be just as difficult as being in the top ten at an Ivy League.
Every student who graduates at the top of their high school class would probably get into Harvard if they bothered to apply. The military acadamies are actually very selective, to the point that one has to not only fill out the reams of paperwork, but also meet physical requirements just to get the chance for an hour long interview with a sitting congressman who helps to vet the applicants.
I happen to think McCain is a nutbag who is not a good choice for president, but I know what the process for admittance to the Naval Academy is, and I know it is a fine sieve that only allows the best to enter.

Palin, on the other hand, seems truely dim.

Being graduated low in your class at USNA is not as bad as it sounds. It is tough to get in (although being an admiral's son helps), a lot of people flunk out (50%?) and IIRC, the school flunks you out if you are not getting better than a C average.

By Ferrous Patella (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Thank you Capitol Dan.
I graduated 12th grade, and my whole clan is proud of me.

Some here enjoy bein' a smarty pants.

I happen to think McCain is a nutbag who is not a good choice for president, but I know what the process for admittance to the Naval Academy is, and I know it is a fine sieve that only allows the best to enter.

Just to play Devil's Advocate, do you think that him being in the Naval Academy had something to do with who his grandfather and father were?

I believe I may be responsible for forwarding this comparison of academic credentials, which I received from a friend, to PZ (a tip of the hat to our host for posting it). Before I did, I ran Outlook's spelling checker against it and the spelling checker did not flag "crisises" even tho it looked funny to me. Spelling is not my forte (pronounced "fort" around here, thank you). Moreover, Google shows 51,000 "results" for "crisises," so it's commonly and shamelessly used.

I also appended the following note to it when I replied to my friend:

True. And one would think that the choice is easy and obvious. But not so fast. Roughly half of all Americans are below average intelligence, and a whole lot more are not very much smarter than that. Many of them are not only stupid and gullible, they are, as a direct result, resentful and angry towards and frightened of anyone smarter than they are. They would see this comparison from a VERY different perspective, even more so if they know what a J.D. is. e.g. Jabba the Hut's fugly little sister: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4wQfQtpDAc

AND THEIR VOTE COUNTS THE SAME AS YOURS!

Bill

By William Gulvin (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

#108 "Hate to jump in late, but everyone here should realise that graduating dead last at Annapolis is likely to be just as difficult as being in the top ten at an Ivy League."

Really? I mean.... REALLY? This really pulls at my incredulity. Obviously there are plenty of non-Ivy League schools that are easily as, or even more, competitive and challenging.

However, graduating "dead last at Annapolis is likely to be just as difficult as being in the top ten at an Ivy League" is bad hyperbole.

http://jdfettblog.blogspot.com

By Jordan Fett (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

IIRC, the school flunks you out if you are not getting better than a C average.

Ok, let's say that's accurate.

so, we're then comparing a c average student in a military academy with someone who graduate with at least a 3.9 gpa and high honors from Harvard.

was that supposed to somehow vindicate McCain?

I must be missing something.

William @112, (taking you at your word), kudos.

I think this shows that relying on spellcheckers is no substitute for knowledge, and I've previously raised the issue that they don't help to correct homonyms or malapropisms.

I also note Google indexes words regardless of their validity, and suggest if you want to check spellings, you might try the define:&ltword> option rather than search for the word itself (or just use a dictionary/wiktionary).

By John Morales (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

@Jordan Fett,
Okay, it's hyperbole, but not that bad. The military academies are so much more selective than other colleges and universities (undergraduate, of course) that pointing out the class rank of McCain can be viewed as dirty pool in that many readers will not realise how much of an accomplishment it is. It is actually a lot like the poster who sarcastically criticized Obama for not making Summa cum Laude.
No, I am not trying to downplay Obama's accomplishments, simply pointing out that being the worst of the best is still good.
And yes, McCain's familial legacy may have greased his entry into the USNA, but is was probably a hinderance in his plebe year, and certainly didn't help him pass his physics and math classes.

Just swap the word 'president' with 'doctor' and have a bit of a think about it.

Who are you going to go to when you get sick? The college-educated 'elitist', or your neighbour who you think's pretty good guy?

Because, you know, book-smarts don't mean anything.

By Wowbagger (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

Of course, this is the same woman who once took me to task for objecting to the appearance of a creationist at my job site.

Hey Scott!

how goes the experiment in Blogging these days?

Every student who graduates at the top of their high school class would probably get into Harvard if they bothered to apply.

I don't know who you are or where you come from, but considering I know very little about Annapolis (the movie wasn't particularly enlightening, and it sucked) I'll take you at your word.

However, BY NO MEANS is graduating at the top of your HS class enough to get into a school like Harvard. I say this as someone whose parents selflessly shelled a goodly portion of their income so their kids could go to a fancy prep school. The competition for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton is always fierce. It's not enough to be at the top, you need to be tops in honors classes with a variety of extracurriculars that demonstrate you are a well-rounded person and your standardized test scores need to compete with those of the best in the country (and out).

Then, if you're unfortunate enough to be middle class and can't get a scholarship (which some say is even harder than getting into Harvard) you could just end up another admit-deny. You're in, but you can't pay for it.

It's no cakewalk, I knew guys at the top of my class who applied to Harvard, all honors students with GPAs technically above 4.0. None got in. Though many of them got into great universities elsewhere: Northwestern, Perdue, George Washington, Texas A&M. Still, Harvard is extremely competitive, just speaking from my experience.

It's my understanding that the only reason McCain wasn't thrown out of Annapolis was solely because he was the son and grandson of admirals. He should have been thrown out for being insubordinate to superiors (his instructors). He should have been thrown out for dealing in contraband on campus. If anyone else had been on probation as much as McCain was, he would have been thrown out. But McCain wasn't.

Matt Taibbi was right: McCain is just another GDub, who constantly fell upwards, thanks to his daddy's influence and friends. Or as the old saying goes, he was born on third base, and thought he hit a triple.

I'm pretty sure I heard that this Upton Sinclair Lewis guy was a commie, anyway.

I believe most of you all have missed the educational backgrounds, namely Barack Obama.

Here Barack Obama graduates from a top 10 school, Columbia University and finishes off with Harvard where he was the President of the Law Review. But here is what you are missing...

Barack Obama has ordered both schools not to release any records of information that would dicate any activity Obama had in those years. No grades, no nothing!

Let me tell you something, it's really strange because if you graduated from from such elite schools, you would want to show the people who might hire you for President to what a great student you were! To show what sort of person you are as part of the resume for running for President. Yet, Obama is hiding all of those school records, why? Why on earth would you want to hide something as special as that? Perhaps there is some negativity among those records that he doesn't want the public to see so those years remain a mystery.

"Every student who graduates at the top of their high school class would probably get into Harvard if they bothered to apply. "

My niece not only graduated at the top of her class, she got a 1600 on her SATs, yet Harvard turned her down.

She ended up graduating summa cum laude from Duke.

@The Chemist,
I really didn't mean to diminish the achievements of those who attend, or aspire to attend, prestigious universities, only to point out that very few graduates of well-known "prestige" schools will ever have their class rank brought up, as it is assumed by most that those who get into private colleges are automatically better than the best of the public-college crop.
I just see too many examples of folks treating military academies as community colleges (and I don't mean to deride community colleges either) because it isn't something that a lot of Americans have looked into.
I do admit that my high school was rather good, and I projected my own assumption of honors classes, AP credits, and so forth onto my hypothetical bunch of top high-school graduates.
McCain is still an idiot for his lack of any sort of knowledge of what an average American even is, much less what one may need, and Palin, as I said above, is seven beers short of a six-pack.

Why on earth would you want to hide something as special as that? Perhaps there is some negativity among those records that he doesn't want the public to see so those years remain a mystery.

maybe those were the REAL terrorist years!

*shock* *horror*

or maybe your mastubatory fantasies aren't worth even responding to.

"Yet, Obama is hiding all of those school records, why? Why on earth would you want to hide something as special as that? Perhaps there is some negativity among those records that he doesn't want the public to see so those years remain a mystery."

I'll bet the records show that he was a muslim terrorist born in Kenya. That must be it.

That's also why McCain won't release his medical records - his medical records obviously show that Obama was a muslim terrorist born in Kenya.

I'll bet the records show that he was a muslim terrorist born in Kenya.

Yes, that's one of several promising hypothesises being advanced.

@123: Are you suggesting that maybe Obama had to struggle to get through school, and that it was only through hard work and perseverance that he made it through and earned his diploma? That he may have had to fight against unknown problems in order to accomplish what he did?

I'm not thinking that this would make him look bad, or make me feel any less euphoric about having voted for him.

Barack Obama has ordered both schools not to release any records of information that would dicate any activity Obama had in those years.

Try to get my grades from my school. You'd be out of luck there too. (See: FERPA) They can't release Obama's records 'cause it's AGAINST THE LAW! Obama doesn't have to order them to do anything, genius. The

Then there's the fact that he graduation magna cum laude. Look it up, his grades obviously didn't suck.

Meanwhile, any details in the filing cabinets at Harvard are likely just grades, possibly old tests and essays. It's not like they have every waking detail of his activities. Please explain precisely what you expect to find in his old student records?

I really didn't mean to diminish the achievements of those who attend, or aspire to attend, prestigious universities, only to point out that very few graduates of well-known "prestige" schools will ever have their class rank brought up,

I didn't think you were, intentionally or otherwise, trying to diminish anything. I just wanted to set the record straight that Harvard isn't as easy as being top of your class.

I'm actually aware that Annapolis is not just another college, and considering that the children of Medal of Honor recipients are given admission, you get the sense that it is a rather prestigious accomplishment.

I am less concerned, to be honest, with McCain's education rather than his lack of respect for education- as demonstrated by his running mate and a host of other factors.

John McCain goes to War College. McCain went to War College after he got back from his POW days. Did he learn anything there, or did he flunk out? All I can find about this time is his physical therapy.

Icthyic wrote:

Hey Scott! how goes the experiment in Blogging these days?

Well, hello yourself. My rate of posting is not as high as it was before my school year started, due to being stuck in a trailer without sinks for the first few months while my site undergoes modernization. I've just moved back last week, and I'm still blogging about my work, science education and other things. You can read about that here:

http://monkeytrials.blogspot.com/

The University of Delaware?

Syracuse Law School?

Better to be governed by the first two pages of Duponts in the Wilmington phone book than a man so disloyal as to forsake the University Of Scranton

By Polyester Mather DD (not verified) on 25 Oct 2008 #permalink

due to being stuck in a trailer without sinks for the first few months while my site undergoes modernization

Scott,where do you live,Nigeria??
Like the blog tho....

Slightly OT :
Just watching Real Time from Friday,turns out Bill is anti-abortion(WTF is wrong with this guy,he's soooo brilliant otherwise),but I loved his quotes of McCain saying cunt instead of cut,and totally fucking up the speech at the Pennsylvania rally....

Now,I cant contribute to the Annapolis vs Harvard debate,but let me tell you as a top 10% medical graduate that 894 of 899 does say something about you,your commitment and your abilities.

I must say that there does seem to be a deep-rooted anti-intellectual tendency in American politics, which is somewhat mystifying to British people. President Bush, for instance, despite being an Ivy League-educated scion of a three-generation New England political dynasty (and born in New Haven, Connecticut), appears to have spent his whole political career playing up his rural Texas upbringing and pretending to be less educated than he in fact is (with too much success, to the point that he's widely considered an idiot). I am concerned as to Palin's abilities; she seems to be something of a mediocrity, and hasn't demonstrated much awareness of economics or foreign policy. I don't know how far to trust the media portrayal of her - generally I'm inclined to be sceptical - but there really isn't any basis on which to conclude that she knows what she's talking about. In most countries, she would have little chance of being elected to high office - and it's a strange feature of American political culture that someone like her has risen so meteorically.

If this race were Obama vs. Palin, I would have to support Obama simply because his intellect is undoubtedly greater; when it comes to an international crisis (which is quite likely at some point), it's important to have someone with good judgment and an awareness of policy answering the red phone. But I do trust and admire John McCain. I think he has a lot of courage, and he's done many good things in the course of his career. So I feel relatively confident supporting him, but, like many British conservatives, I would be far, far more confident if he'd chosen someone more able for his VP.

Walton @ 136

But I do trust and admire John McCain.I think he has a lot of courage, and he's done many good things in the course of his career

Well,I wouldnt trust him to fly me from A to B mate,he has this funny habit of crashing his planes.
As to courage,I think they called him the Songbird while he was POW.

http://www.counterpunch.org/valentine06132008.html

And as Bill Maher pointed out,if McCain had been President during the Cuban missile crisis,none of us would be here to talk about it today.

Go on and feel confident supporting him,while the world moves on and selects Obama....

Those statements of fact have a clear liberal bias.

By DangerAardvark (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

McCain was initially rejected from the war college. He used his connections, namely Daddy's cozy relationship with then-Sec of the Navy Mr. Elizabeth Taylor...er, John Warner. He did graduate, although with so-so marks. If he had graduated top of his class, you know we'd never hear the end of it. "How dare you say that about the top-rated graduate of the 1976 War College class?!!! Where did your loser finish? Oh yeah--he didn't go at all, that slacker terrorist Amerca-hater!"

Fortunately for the Navy, McCain's legacy could take him only so far. The sad thing is that if he had tried at all, if he hadn't expected everything to be handed to him and had actually given even a half-ass effort at being competent at any position/rank he held, he would have become an admiral like he thought he was entitled to be. He had everything going for him, but his arrogance and prima donna behavior destined him for failure.

"I happen to think McCain is a nutbag who is not a good choice for president, but I know what the process for admittance to the Naval Academy is, and I know it is a fine sieve that only allows the best to enter."

Um,..and the fact he his father and grand father were generals in the Navy had noooothing to do with him gettin' in??

I guess "W" got into Yale and Harvard on his own merits as well, huh?

Naive much?

Posted by: Jim1138 @132
John McCain goes to War College. McCain went to War College after he got back from his POW days.

Maybe the War College wanted to learn something from him. Like how to win wars, he had been hanging out with the North Vietnamese for five years, he must have picked something up on how to win a war.

i'm past trying to argue for things like education.

now, i'm trying to convince people that john mccain is a foreigner (he was born in panama) and that sarah palin is a socialist (alaska owns natural resources and redistributes the profits).

but happen to actually be true. sort of.

By arachnophilia (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

McCain has done a lot of horrible things as a politician. See: Keating, where McCain was willing to be bought in the name of "deregulation" that allowed a jackass to rob old people of their savings. SSee: Voting for measures for increased deregulation of insurance, banking and financial corps, which have led to this catastrophic financial meltdown. See: Voting to allow the US to continue to torture enemy combatants, a shocking stance for a former prisoner of war. See: Pressing for waging war against Iraq well before 9/11. See: Voting for a year-long moratorium on making any laws regarding regulation, including any changes for safe drinking water and meat inspections. I mean, never mind if science determines that the level of mercury allowed in our water needs to be lowered; by supporting that position, McCain would have supported not changing the standards, never mind how many people get kidney damage! To him, all government regulation is bad. Even the ones that demonstrably help people. But McCain doesn't care about people. Just making himself and his rich buddies richer, which gives them even more power than they already have.

He voted against the new GI Bill (which is a piece of crap thanks to having to pander to selfish rich pricks like McCain in a futile effort to get their vote for it), against a small increase in Pell Grants, against raising our laughable minimum wage, and against funding for children without insurance. He's never met a tax cut for the rich he wasn't willing to cut, but the middle class's tax burden...well, that's negotiable. He's consistently voted against abortion, and anytime he can take a slam at unions, he does it. All of these things contribute to the ultimate Republican goal of CHEAP LABOR, which is based on one premise: If you have a lot of dumb, poor and desperate people, they'll take any job you hand them, at any pay, never mind job conditions or benefits, and for the rich that means profits, or more colloquially, mo' money, mo' money, mo' money!

John McCain is a classic cheap labor conservative; ergo, he's a disgusting excuse for a human being.

An astonishing article, clinteas@137! I had no idea McCain's "heroism" was so completely mythical, nor he so twisted, as this Counterpunch piece claims - if it is right about him, and he wins, we'd better hope Palin does push him down the stairs pretty sharpish, as we'd be safer with her! But if the allegations are true, I wonder why Obama hasn't publicised them? Even if you accept McCain's word on his torture, the extent of collaboration described, if it's accurate, shows that the Vietnamese had "broken" him. Can a person recover from such a devastating humiliation without permanent and disabling psychological damage?

By Nick Gotts (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

Nick,

I obviously dont know if the stuff in this article is true to the letter,all I can say is that it has been floating around here for a while now.

I am careful with blaming anyone on rolling while a POW,I would probably tell the enemy what they wanted to know the first day,I freely admit.
But I believe the fact that McCain has run his whole campaign based on this shit makes it fair game to at least quote these sources.

Can a person recover from such a devastating humiliation without permanent and disabling psychological damage?

The answer would have to be NO.

So why won't Obama release his grades and his LSAT scoores?

What could there be to hide?

By Obama Fan (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

Obama Fan,

go jump into bed,hide under the doona,pull your manhood out,and think about all the juicy secrets Obama is hiding,will ya....Come back when you feel better

Voting for measures for increased deregulation of insurance, banking and financial corps, which have led to this catastrophic financial meltdown. - This claim is wrong, as I've repeatedly pointed out elsewhere. Banking is pretty much the most regulated of all industries, apart from defence, pharmaceuticals and energy. There are plenty of far less-regulated industries which do not screw up so badly - giving the lie to the suggestion that "deregulation" is to blame for everything. The subprime mortgage trend began with US government policies aimed at making mortgages more widely available to poor urban residents, via the GSEs and the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. (I'm not claiming that all, or even most, subprime mortgages were given by CRA-regulated lenders, since this isn't the case. The private sector undoubtedly jumped on the bandwagon.) We won't know for a while exactly which factors caused the recession; but it's also very likely that the Fed's monetary policy choices were a causative factor, just as they were in the Great Depression. It's incredibly silly to assert that "deregulation" is the major cause of our current problems. In fact, the only major deregulation of the US financial industry in recent years, the bill sponsored by Phil Gramm in 1999, has actually saved some banks in the current crisis by allowing commercial and investment banks to merge.

To him, all government regulation is bad. Even the ones that demonstrably help people. - Most government regulation, though not all, is bad, however well-intentioned. The problem, as I've pointed out on other threads, is that while there are certainly areas in which the free market will always fail to deliver a desirable result, due to the problems of externalities and public goods - water pollution being a good example of this - government decision-making isn't necessarily superior. Those who stand to gain the most from a government decision are most likely to vote and campaign in its favour, based simply on their rational self-interest. (See the analysis of US farm subsidies and tariffs, which I've discussed at length on other threads, as an example.) Thus, government regulation most often serves the needs of the few rather than the many, and distorts the market.

...against raising our laughable minimum wage... - Raising the minimum wage would be an extremely bad idea. In time of recession - such as the present - employers have to tighten their belts; the more they are compelled to pay their employees, the more likely they are to make staff redundant or to hire fewer staff. Thus, unemployment increases - and the people who are hit the hardest are young, unskilled workers with few employment opportunities. Exactly the people that the minimum wage is supposed to help. So quite apart from any ideological objection, the minimum wage hurts, not helps, the poor. Here in the UK a minimum wage was introduced in 1997. Since then, we haven't had a recession until the present, so we haven't felt the cost; but unemployment here is now rising rapidly.

If you have a lot of dumb, poor and desperate people, they'll take any job you hand them, at any pay, never mind job conditions or benefits, and for the rich that means profits, or more colloquially, mo' money, mo' money, mo' money! - This is a simplistic and entirely unfair remark. Those of us who support the free market do not do so out of self-interest. (For the record, I personally have no stocks, shares, investments or real property, and have no major stake in any of the issues under discussion. Self-interest doesn't enter into it.) In the end, we all want people, of whatever origins, to have economic opportunities, the chance to work and to obtain a decent standard of living. That cannot be achieved without wealth creation. It's easy for you to sit here and condemn corporations and "the rich", but how do you think the wealth in our society is generated? Central planning has been discredited. And putting millstones around the necks of business, in the form of excessive regulation and red tape, is inevitably going to hinder the creation of wealth - and the people who will be squeezed, in reality, are the poor. A thriving economy is good for everyone.

You rant and rave about "cheap labor". But in a competitive, globalised world, if labour becomes too expensive and the labour market too inflexible, business will simply move elsewhere - leading to job losses and more poverty. Ditto for regulations, and for high corporate taxes. It's easy to say "corporations are evil, we must enact laws to protect the workers". But it doesn't work, and you know it. If your country is not business-friendly, business will - surprisingly enough - go elsewhere. The most successful economies in the world are Hong Kong and Singapore, because they have adopted free trade, low taxation and a free market.

Clinteas @ 135: Just watching Real Time from Friday,turns out Bill is anti-abortion(WTF is wrong with this guy,he's soooo brilliant otherwise)

I just watched it, he was not taking an anti-abortion stance, he was describing how the Abortion issue in third term has relevance as an emotional issue, as compared to anti-gay marriage, which only resonates with loons.

Maher is pro choice.

He's got some other problems but he's pro-choice.

scooter,

I might have mistaken what he said,but the whole "i get it when its in a petridish,but not when its sucking its thumb" stuff sounded dodgy to me....

Gates is only the CEO of Microsoft! How much is he actually involved with the development of Windows?

Dickens and Bach were just artists, anyone can write or compose music. It doesn't actually require a lot of brain cells to do that.

Truman and Washington were presidents; 'nuff said.

Einstein had a degree. ETH is actually highly regarded.

Nice one Mena.....:-)

I got to know some of the ROTC instructors during my teaching days. Going to the War College was necessary for promotion past colonel (army/air force) or captain (navy). That is why strings were pulled to get McCain into the War College. But the navy must have flagged enough minuses in McCain's performance that they didn't give him the commands necessary to obtain admiral. That doesn't say McCain is stupid, but he just didn't have the character/performance the navy was looking for.

Now, his picking of Palin for his VP does say something about his intelligence.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

So why won't McCain release his medical record?

What could there be to hide?

By Dutch Delight (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

Clinteas@150:

Third term abortion is a highly charged issue. There is no third term abortion on demand in the US, I don't believe there ever was. There has to be some pretty horrendous circumstances, life of the mother, viability of fetus, the fundies use third term abortion as a wedge issue, and renamed it 'partial birth abortion'. It's red-herring..

Maher definitely garbled the issue with his comment, but the context was comparing same sex marriage to third term abortions as a charged issue.

Third term abortions are very traumatic, especially for the mother, and it will always be surrounded by nervous trepidation, however, it's not an issue pertaining to pro-choice as that right is enjoyed in the US.

Third term abortion isn't a right granted to the mother by Roe v Wade, you have to get a doctor involved.

That's the way I understand it, hope I'm not mangling this topic the way Maher did, anyway, he's got a record of pro-choice statements.

I try to catch Real Time on the net weekly, and his past statements are clear on the issue.

I don't want to get too far into Maher's politics, suffice to say he is a good comic, hires great writers, is very quick, but his overall understanding of politics seems a bit shallow at times.

Gerafalo called him out on his Israel, right or wrong mantra and shut him up for a few minutes once, but he still drags it out occasionally, maybe he plans to run for office :-/

Abortion, safe and legal, on demand, no 'excuses' needed.

That is the only acceptable 'standard.'

as for other matters:
@ #8 Posted by: Eric Atkinson wrote, on October 25, 2008 10:31 PM:
Two lawyers vs two non lawyers.
Some fracking choice.

I have long held that the best professional career for the aspiring candidate for US President would be as a criminal or civil trial lawyer, someone who is a fierce, dogged, vicious, bloody-minded advocte FOR the "people."

Corporate lawyers and prosecutors owe their loyalties to abstract institutional imperatives. Trial lawyers (the best of 'em, anyway) are a different breed.

It's been my experience that people who hate or malign trial lawyers either have never really needed one, or have been beaten by a better one...

Abortion, safe and legal, on demand

So you'd allow elective abortion, without any medical grounds, on a perfectly healthy, normal foetus in the third trimester, a few days away from birth? Are you serious? Is that really any different from infanticide? (Obviously, it's different when it's a health issue. But there has to be a limit, IMO.)

I agree that having a degree in something completely and utterly random is more suspicious than not having a degree at all. Someone without a degree may have ended up dropping out or not applying at all due to money problems, for one, but spent their evenings reading textbooks borrowed from their local university.

However, I think the fact that McCain nearly failed out and Palin hopped colleges is very significant.

And it it has nothing to do with intelligence, or what they currently know.

After all, no presidential candidate can know everything. If you insist that your president knows everything, just get a computer with internet connection.

To me, it's not important that the President knows all. It's more important to me that, when a crisis shows up, the President is willing to read a dozen books and consult with experts to create a tailored solution. Instead of applying a blanket rule of "Bomb, bomb, BOMB!", for example.

To me, college degree speaks more for work ethic than actual intelligence. I'm pretty sure most people would agree that the people with the best GPAs are the ones who work for it, not the ones who are just naturally smart. Case-in-point: myself. I'm 44th out of over 700, which just places me out of the 95th percentile. Yet even seniors taking classes I haven't even heard about ask me for homework help (mostly because I have this uncanny ability to read textbookese and translate it into real English.) Oh, I'm a sophomore in high school.

The difference between me and number seven, for example, is simply hard work. She's an A-student. I'm AB. And as for why, I simply don't care. For me, it doesn't matter what grade I get, as long as it's not too bad. Next year I'll probably be attending a high-school replacement college-level 'school' at my local university. And whatever I made at my current high school won't matter the slightest. So why bother?

McCain and Palin...what I think is that they're doing the same. Just plain out not trying. And that scares me more than if they were actually stupid.

I have an excuse for not trying. I'm in high school. Getting a A in my health course (a pile of propaganda to start with) is useless. But learning things like Mandarin Chinese or Calculus is useful. So I'm basically putting out the bare minimum, literally doing my chemistry homework in the ten minutes before class starts.

But this does not apply to either John McCain or Sarah Palin. They were college, and in college every point matters. I mean, there's no reason why they would slack off courses they were taking to learn other things. They could have taken a course on whatever seemed important. Or maybe even switched majors. After all, if someone came up to me with a BA in fashion and wanted a recommendation to a position in some scientific laboratory, no matter how much they protest they studied on their own time, I wouldn't believe them.

So I'm forced to conclude they had either had money problems that prevented them from attending to their schoolwork, or they were just plain old slackers who don't want to learn. Or don't want to make the effort to learn. And sadly, the evidence points to the second option.

I would rather had a president that had no college degree at all but was willing to learn instead of having a president with a blow-off degree who remains in his or her own little, biased viewpoint.

But we don't have to choose between the aformentioned choices. We have a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate with the work ethic to get into and graduate from the most prestigious universities in our nation.

And maybe we'll have candidates that will ask for help. This economic crisis--I'm surprised that the United States government hasn't flown in a couple of Swedish economists to help with the bill. The Swedes faced the same thing we are facing. Why are we not learning from them?

Also: A surgeon's scalpel is far more useful than a blunt knife, but only in the hands of a surgeon who knew what they were doing. And I'd rather have a medical apprentice performing a surgery than a hockey mom who's medical experience amounts to Tylenol and Band-Aids. And if I had to pick from two people who have absolutely no idea what to do, I'd pick the one who would at least take a look into a few textbooks before hand. This election, we have one candidate who is still doing surgery without anesthesia with a vice presidential choice of someone whose experience amounts to Band-Aids and maybe (I'm being generous) CPR, compared to two people who know what they're doing, although one may be a bit green. Maybe they aren't specialists, but if some emergency comes up, I at least have the assurance that they'll look in a few books before hacking the patient up with a butcher knife, hoping something will work.

By Nightshadequeen (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

So you'd allow elective abortion, without any medical grounds, on a perfectly healthy, normal foetus in the third trimester, a few days away from birth? Are you serious? Is that really any different from infanticide? (Obviously, it's different when it's a health issue. But there has to be a limit, IMO.)

Yup. Unquestionably. Not my body = None of my business...

Why would you oppose it? Do you suppose women would maliciously, or heedlessly, or carelessly consider aborting a healthy child if all else were equal?

Do your female relatives know of your low opinion of them, or how low it actually is? Do they know you regard them all as frivolous murderers?

just askin...

"Dickens and Bach were just artists, anyone can write or compose music. It doesn't actually require a lot of brain cells to do that."

Really, not a lot of brain cells? May I ask, are you a musician?

"Hate to jump in late, but everyone here should realise that graduating dead last at Annapolis is likely to be just as difficult as being in the top ten at an Ivy League.
Every student who graduates at the top of their high school class would probably get into Harvard if they bothered to apply. The military acadamies are actually very selective, to the point that one has to not only fill out the reams of paperwork, but also meet physical requirements just to get the chance for an hour long interview with a sitting congressman who helps to vet the applicants."

Um, yea, that is bull. I have applied to many Ivy's (went to one, but two state schools otherwise), and it isn't something that is easy for anyone to get into, no matter what position they are in.
As for last at Annapolis (what 70% average) vs. Cum Lade at Columbia (90% at least), there is an obvious big difference in how they applied themselves, the levels of understanding, etc once they were in. Additionally, I can tell you from first hand experience that no matter how easy it is to get into Columbia, it isn't a cake walk once you are there.

Isn't it "qat"? Chew on, bro.

Diffident, reticent
Thomas A. Edison
Known by his teachers as addled and fey...
They have all slouched to obscurity; Edison,
Autodidactically,
lighted their way.

Simple formula: judge by credentials, judge by accomplishments, add.

Biden: Moderate cred, excellent to sub-zowie accomplishments in government though all legislative
Palin: Zero to minimal cred, very minor small-time accomplishments in government, but executive government

Obama: Zowie cred, light to moderate accomplishments in legislative arena
McCain: Moderate cred, substantial to zowie accomplishments in government though all legislative

As autodidact/accomplishers:

Biden: very strong AD; working class rise, checkered past, yet much knowledge and efficacious operation, creation of valuable legislation etc.
Palin: Gets AD credit for rising above her station, but some demerits for building that on beauty-queenitude and a great pair of gams (sexist, I know). Zero- to substantial subtraction for evident stupidity, cynical corruption, and snake-handling religiosity. Some deflection reduction for a charley-foxtrot of a family life, but some AD cred for political savvy in maneuvers to capitalize on chromosomal accident, poor parenting. More credit for "mama grizzly" routine to punish sister-in-law's husband and cover up Todd's and Track's illegal activities.

Obama: Molto autodidactical credit for rising above numerous once-presumed fatal liabilities for high office outside of Illinois: Scary color, mixed-race, huge ears, and the shame of saddling honest Kansas white folks with a colored son. Also rose above numerous name-ickinesses, already amply chronicled. Open about teen drug use. Overcomes clear complicity in attending Muslim school while cleverly supporting terrorist Bill Ayers from 8,000 miles away.

McCain: Stretched a triple into a stand-up single with silver-spoon admission into highest levels of "merit-based" Navy, then tested limits of Annapolis' toleration of mavericks, led way for a new generation of Private Jokers. Some AD cred for across-the-aisle work with avowed Stalinist-Leninist-Maoist Russ Feingold and nimble juking of Keating criminality into a touching personal struggle meme. Monster AD cred for dumping mangled first wife in favor of tasty wealthy wife 2 then persuading Dobsonian reptiles that he's a "good family man." Also political autodidact in that he suffered egregious racial smearing at hands of W and, rather than be offended, simply adopted the people and practices for his own campaign.

I call it a push.

ice

@146: Why won't Obama release his test scores and grades? How about because the McCain/Palin campaign is trying to imply that Obama isn't stupid enough to our president. He can't very well fight the accusation of elitism by releasing information that would have to show that he's quite intelligent and diligent, which we already know about him because that's what we've seen during his campaign.

The "legacy" privilege that McStain received at the USNA was actually very similar to the (false) narrative that often attends Blacks who gain admission to privileged positions via "Affirmative Action": that without special treatment, they wouldn't be where they are. McStain was and is a stupid, stupid man, who got ahead on the basis of his birth connections, and the wealth of his trophy trollop...

The legacy system (the Academies, the Ivies, the 7-Sisters, Chicago, etc) really IS an unearned advantage. If you think the Admiral's grand/son was ever gonna be kicked out of the Academy for anything short of pre-meditated murder, you don't understand the system of military privilege at ALL...

"...to BE our president."

Dammit.

Ah, abortion debate now. Nice.
Woody @160,
I am highly pro-choice, but I'm not a fanatic. Abortion in the third term is very iffy because often (depending on the exact date) the child could live on it's own at that point. I don't agree that life is life from the moment of conception, but I don't think it's right to use the time of birth as the point when life begins. So no, I don't think abortion of a viable fetus should be openly available. Especially when it could be born, and instantly adopted by a waiting family. And please before you take the same petulant tone with me as you did with Walton @158, know that not all women share your point of view.

Brain, what business do you have criticizing people for criticizing people?

You appear to have not looked at reasons for third term abortions. They are not done for convenience, as you tend to imply. That brings your truthfulness into questions. They are usually done either to save the life of the woman, or because the fetus has major abnormalities, like no brain. I don't see the anti abortion people running in to pay for the cost of care for severely damaged infants. So I find their opinions to morally shallow.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

And please before you take the same petulant tone with me as you did with Walton @158, know that not all women share your point of view.

If your name were "Briana," I might be inclined to grant your drivelling stupidity with tolerance, "Brian." Otherwise, eat my petulance and expire, dickhead...

I think too few people distinguish between 'smart' and 'educated'

By Andrew Campbell (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

@169
Wow, someone's having a bad morning. I never really understood the whole 'being a prick online' thing. Anyways, thinking that all of a given group agrees with your position is ludicrous, I don't think I should have to be female to say that not all women agree with third term abortion. Maybe you could dial back the 'raving lunatic' a little Woody?

Sorry, missed reading your post before writing my most recent Nerd of Redhead.

You appear to have not looked at reasons for third term abortions. They are not done for convenience, as you tend to imply. That brings your truthfulness into questions. They are usually done either to save the life of the woman, or because the fetus has major abnormalities, like no brain.

I would view this as a perfectly acceptable reason for a late term abortion. Maybe I should have been more clear; I would not be in favour of a full ban on these abortions. When I said "I don't think abortion of a viable fetus should be openly available" I meant the emphasis to be on openly. I think they should definitely be legal, I just think there should be a medical reason for it in all cases.
Could we please try to keep the tone of this conversation a bit more civil than it is at the moment?

@170
I've heard that argument so many times before and I think it's specious. Regardless, we've read their resumes and given the interviews and, to me, the choice is clear. McCain and Palin and neither educated nor smart and deserve to go down in flames.

Walton @148:

That was a lot like Atlas Shrugged . Right down to the refrain of "Braaains. Braaains. Braaains." echoing dimly in the background.

Brian, last I knew almost all states banned third term abortion except for medical necessity. The statistics for third term abortion that I've seen bear out that this is the case. Still, your point appeared to be a woman with a healthy fetus could walk into an abortion clinic just prior to her due date, demand an abortion, and get one then and there. If you meant that, then I stand by what I said. BTW, I've kept up on the abortion debate since Roe V Wade.

Civility is in the eye of the beholder. We get a lot of critics here who demand that we be civil to them, but they can dump on us. Abortion seems to be a very touchy subject with a lot of people. I live by the creed, if you don't like abortion, don't get one. More people should do the same.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

I live by the creed, if you don't like abortion, don't get one.

Yes, very yes.
But you took my comment to mean that I was in favour of easy, unnecessary, third term abortion?
"So no, I don't think abortion of a viable fetus should be openly available."
-me #167

I definitely do NOT agree with:

woman with a healthy fetus could walk into an abortion clinic just prior to her due date, demand an abortion, and get one then and there.

I also admit to not know a whole lot about American abortion laws. I'm a Canadian and our laws on abortion are... non-existent? ^^;

According to Rolling Stone Magazine Article "Make Believe Maverick", John McCain used his War College sponsored trip to go to Rio to "Get Laid". War College must be McCain's VP vetting expertise?

Brian, the anti abortion people here in the US keep playing the myth that a woman can get an abortion of healthy fetus through the last trimester. They use some of the same terminology you were using about families and adoption. One of the late term abortion methods has been under attack by these people, even though it may be the best choice for the situation. So those of us who are for choice feel very much under attack by these amoral people. Still, I think we are on the same side, so my apologies for misreading your posts.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

Nerd of Redhead,
Oh I definitely understand being defensive on an issue. You might have heard of the recent ruckus caused up here by Henry Morgentaler being awarded the Order of Canada. It really brought the abortion debate back to the front page for us. As for the point I made about families adopting children that the parents would have terminated in the last month of pregnancy, I think it's still valid. Late term abortion should be legal, especially when there are good medical reasons; however, I think aborting a healthy fetus just because the mother has decided she doesn't want it, late in the pregnancy, should at least not be encouraged.

But yes, I think we're on the same side here.

When I hear the word "elite" I think of things like Albert Einstien, The Mayo Clinic, Harvard, Navy SEALs, and Green Berets. I am still confused why Republicans think this is an insult. Could this be because the opposite of elite, is average, or in their case, below average?

Only an unreconstructed academic could think that having two lawyers run the country is a good thing!

Maybe we should write Truman, Washington, Eistein, Jobs, Gates, Dickens,Bach, etc. out of the history books before people start to think that a Degree is not required for, nor creates intelligence or genius, and certainly, not honesty integrity or charity

The thing is, they had a life long desire to learn. McCain and Palin are anti-intellectuals and have clearly done on the absolute minimum to "just get by."

Vastly different approach to learning.

And, by the way Einstein, it's Einstein, not Eistein.

#108 "Hate to jump in late, but everyone here should realise that graduating dead last at Annapolis is likely to be just as difficult as being in the top ten at an Ivy League."

No it's not. In fact, that is one of the stupidest things I've heard. The average SAT to Harvard is almost 1500. The Academy is somewhat around 1225. The average to a CSU school, like San Diego State, is about 1150.

As the scores fall within a normal distribution, the difference between Harvard and the Naval Academy is significant. The difference between SDSU and the Academy is real, but not even close to being as significant.

And, frankly, having been in the military and served with Academy "gentlemen," I firmly believe they're nothing more than a bunch of mid-level managers with the occassional bright man who goes far.

So, the fact is, most anyone that could get into, oh, San Diego State could have gone to the Academy out of HS. No way could that pool of students could reasonably expect to get into an Ivy League school. And, having served with those gentlemen, they aren't Ivy League guys by a long shot.

What happened to the tags in my post 182? That was bizarre.

Posted by: Autumn | October 26, 2008 2:25 AM

@Jordan Fett,
Okay, it's hyperbole, but not that bad. The military academies are so much more selective than other colleges and universities (undergraduate, of course) that pointing out the class rank of McCain can be viewed as dirty pool in that many readers will not realise how much of an accomplishment it is. It is actually a lot like the poster who sarcastically criticized Obama for not making Summa cum Laude.

But it's not. It's not even close enough to be good hyperbole.

The kids that go into the academy are not "the best." Even the ones that make it out. They're, well, compared to Ivy League admission... Dolts. Only those in the Top 25% are qualified for the bottom-half of admissions to an Ivy League School.

And while the Academy is difficult. The difficulty isn't the education, it's the stupidity of the military training. The bizarre rules. The hazing. The deliberate and intentional cruelty to promote brainwashing before they start to rebuild you as a "military man."

Posted by: Autumn | October 26, 2008 1:51 AM
Hate to jump in late, but everyone here should realise that graduating dead last at Annapolis is likely to be just as difficult as being in the top ten at an Ivy League.

How did you work that out?
It is not as if the military is run by the best and brightest all through the ranks, is it?
And in McVain's case he got in because of family connections, not because of intellectual capacity or intelligence.

Michael slandered:
Here Barack Obama graduates from a top 10 school, Columbia University and finishes off with Harvard where he was the President of the Law Review. But here is what you are missing...Barack Obama has ordered both schools not to release any records of information that would dicate any activity Obama had in those years. No grades, no nothing!
Let me tell you something, it's really strange because if you graduated from from such elite schools, you would want to show the people who might hire you for President to what a great student you were! To show what sort of person you are as part of the resume for running for President. Yet, Obama is hiding all of those school records, why? Why on earth would you want to hide something as special as that? Perhaps there is some negativity among those records that he doesn't want the public to see so those years remain a mystery.

When all else fails to damage your opponent's greater popularity than you, resort to telling outright lies. Sorry, but that won't fly here!

Hey, I made it back!!
Let me address a couple things.

I am not familiar to Chat/blog life so, well, what the hell does DIAF mean? And is it really legal since it apparently involves some kind of action.

Next, don't mean to be out of line, but as to insulting PZ on his own blog: certainly I shouldn't be insulting, but it seems a general ambience of some blogs, and I kind of have a little fun giving and taking sarcasm. It can quickly get out of hand, however. Maybe that's one reason I don't get in discussion of this sort that is not face to face. In a deeper sense (deeper sense, wow, that just sounded smartish) I figured blogs that gave opportunity for comment were actually wanting comments, and not just, well, I don't know, praise, redundacy, repetition (wait, is that redundant?)

One last thing about blogs: can I really spellcheck this?

On to some fighting points:

I do find it interesting how spelling (potato; potatoe) and pronounciation (did I spelt that right,) are so laboured by some people of "high" and "low" educational background and intellectual ability when they are attemtpting to discredit someone. It can make for a quick bit of humour, but nothing else.

The really interesting point in my mind is that, while surely, as pointed out by a number of bloggers, an ability to gather and interpete information is certainly necessary; I think the salient thing that is being either overlooked (thought not totally), or maybe just assumed - and maybe that's what a blog is about, people who all think alike keeping to "their" blogs, which I can understand- is that, while I don't want an ignoramous (sp?) holding an elected position - I certainly DO want someone whose philosophy on governing is akin to mine.

PZ's intial comment is humorous, but only partially relevent.

Well both canidates have adjusted their positions, and certianly Obama has, out of necessity, one-eightied on a number. We all know their life long, deeply held views: McCain is most general Conservative, and Obama is 100% Liberal.

Any real question concerning the candidates might ought then revolve around whether you understand cuts in Capital Gain taxes to be historically beneficial to an economy because it indeed keeps and creates more jobs, and thus give Old Joe the Plumber and his employees the chance to have some security and save and invest.

Or do you think it's intrinsicly evil, (sorry, I take it that some of you are atheist...didn't mean to assume that there is anything intrinsicly good or bad in the world,...only what we imagine, yes only what we imagine, imagine..wake up, it's all a dream) despite all that "good", simply because it does indeed make those who have become rich..well, richer (and will also enrich those few poor people who will, trickle by trickle become rich in the future.)

Well, are my political views leaking out.

Thanks for the comments,
Quat

OK.....

Palin is an Idiot.

McCain has one foot in the grave.

Obama is in tight with the Terrorist du-jour.

Sorry, I don't pay enough attention to know what to say about Biden.

Blah... blah.... blah..... None of you are going to convince the other side anything.

The most important thing that everyone seems to be forgetting is that you have to vote. You can not rely on the polls showing one or the other being in the lead. The only way to make a difference is to vote!

Vote Early! Vote Often!

Quat -
Man, are you a fucking dimwit. Spellcheck would've caught a bunch of your semi-literate mistakes and made you look semi-cogent. I'm thinking "Eistein" that you posted at #6 that the faithless here (hear) somehow let you slide by with for what I can assume was the entire thread. Not that it's "intrinsicly" (your spelling) necessarily a sign of general ignorance, but the fact that a preview would have flagged this misspelling leaves me to think that you're somewhat of a dumbass who doesn't take advantage of the availabile technology at hand. (Granted, one has to have some command of the English language to override the prudishness of a spellchecker.)

And not to offend the esteemed SC (by me, mostly), I have to call you a minge cunt in the UK-sense 'cause, well, that's what you are. Capital gains tax have always been an advantage for . . . [wait for it] . . . capital. Why do you think the current economic crisis (crisises) involve so much capital? You think the average American taxpayer benefits from capital gains tax cuts? Yikes! What was your write-off these last 8 years?

Uh, about what mine were. Nil.

(See that's where I came up with this name. Almost.)

By The Cheerful N… (not verified) on 26 Oct 2008 #permalink

same college as Palin

which same do you mean? Any/all of the five?

And maybe you are VP material. Wow. Talk about career track.

Lets bring some canadian common sense here.

First Obama and Palin are from groups given quotos for higher education.
Obama probably got pushed ahead overtly or covertly because othe underachieving Blacks.
Same with the Girls.

Another point is that looking at these degrees for competence over other people means logically Whites should be seen as better then blacks or Hispanics and men over women and much more identity conclusions.
There should on sight be more confidence in White/Men/etc then others. ON SIGHT.
Yet to say this would be presuming superiority and charges of race/se ism's laid.
A line of reasoning,
What Myers ask for in the micro would be not PC in the macro.
For the record. These degrees must be for certain studies and not related in any way to the needs for being top bosses.
In short its not about learned thinkers in subjects but intelligence level.
There is no evidence that people in their late teens/early twenties are then or later smarter because of degrees earned in school. Only motivation and envirorment is revealed. Thus the identity demographic anomalys.
All four poeple, from my watching their thinkings/words are like the previous ones.
Worthless for intellectual insight in national affairs.
Reagan was the last one. Not degreed but a long time thinker and talker revealing thinkings.
What a mess
Starting with people saying education matters. Back to victorian class system?
Education is seen by most people as irrelevant to "intelligence".
just intelligent people get educated too.
Again however its about kids and kid motivations.

By Robert Byers (not verified) on 27 Oct 2008 #permalink

Byers, what are you talking about?

I'm not sure whether I wish you would learn to write coherently, since, from the hints of racism in your post, I suspect I don't want to understand what you're trying to say.

Byers, what are you talking about?

I don't think anyone here knows. Half the time I don't think Robert Byers knows himself. His posts are an enigma, much like Prince Charles' love for that horse.

Robert Byers wrote:

Lets bring some canadian common sense here.

I doubt you'd know Canadian common sense if it dressed as a mountie and rode a moose through your bedroom squirting maple syrup on the walls and singing Oh Canada in E flat.

By Wowbagger (not verified) on 27 Oct 2008 #permalink

Unfortunately, I think I get the gist of Robert Byers' comment. Let me attempt a translation.

"canadian common sense": I'm objective and not elitist, but you are not.

"...from groups given quotos for higher education [...]pushed ahead overtly or covertly [...]": I'm racist and sexist, and think that blacks and women don't succeed based on merit but on preferential treatment.

"...these degrees for competence over other people means logically Whites should be seen as better then blacks or Hispanics and men over women...": I think "whites" have more degrees than other "races", and men have more degrees than women, therefore when choosing people with degrees, we should choose from the most numerous group.*

Etc. I can't muster the will to continue, but the whole comment smacks of reverse snobbery and racism.

Most notable: "Starting with people saying education matters.[...]Education is seen by most people as irrelevant to "intelligence"." - which I think translates to
I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum ...

* No, it doesn't make any sense, but that's not my fault!

By John Morales (not verified) on 27 Oct 2008 #permalink

Hm, on re-reading my last comment I think I may have misunderstood RB's intent regarding "degrees for competence over other people". I now consider he refers to his belief that if whites and men can still get degrees - though they are not preferentially treated, this is an indication of their innate superiority.

Kel, I should've paid you more attention, and apologise for my hubris.

By John Morales (not verified) on 27 Oct 2008 #permalink

Robert "Needs to take his meds" Byers

Obama probably got pushed ahead overtly or covertly because othe underachieving Blacks.

Bobby, I think you tripped over your robe and hit your head on something.

I think he tripped over his sheet

Back to the topic, briefly.

Palin's undergraduate resume isn't stellar, but I've seen worse. Mine doesn't look a lot better (4 schools including community college, 6 years to get a degree), and it didn't stop me from going to graduate school, but it did mean I got to explain a bit about what was going on at the time. Biden's is fine (must be hardworking to get through law anywhere), McCain's raises a question (what does this say about his focus/work ethic) when you realize he was a legacy student. Annapolis wasn't tremendously hard to get into, one of my uncles was there about the same time. Obama went to two highly competitive schools, and attained some distinction there. Interesting.
None of this tells us much about the candidates and how they would govern, though. On paper, Bush 43 didn't look bad from the educational background, so take that as an example where this approach will fail. Same for IQ: Nixon was the sharpest, Kennedy was the dullest of presidents since 1960, but Nixon was a failure, Kennedy was much better.
I want to know about the curiosity, mental flexibility, conscientiousness, and ability to delegate for each of the candidates. How well can they communicate and lead, how responsive are they to the facts of the world? On that basis, I have to put the two Democrats ahead of the two Republicans.

It;s a sad fact that the qualities to get elected are little related to the qualities needed to govern well. In 2004, there was an article on personality traits of Kerry and Bush, that looks quite good in retrospect. Here it is. http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=64456

Washington, Einstein, Jobs, Gates, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Franklin, Buffett, Elluson etc..... None of these individuals worship(ed) Yahweh.

By CharmedQuark (not verified) on 27 Oct 2008 #permalink

Stephen@4,

Even if he made America a better place, he'd do it while being MUSLIM. And EDUCATED.

It's MUSLIN and EDU-MA-CATED.

i'm really impressed with walton. most americans don't know that the british spelling of 'fetus' is 'foetus'. best fake british troll ever!!!!1!!

Another way of picturing it: you're preparing to embark on a long flight. There's a lot of turbulence forecast en route and it's a wild, stormy night. You have a choice of two aircraft to board. One is operated by DNC AIR and the other by RNC AIR. The former is piloted by Captain Obama and co-pilot Biden, the latter by Captain McCain and co-pilot Palin. Just visualize them in their professional flight uniforms. Driving the airplanes.

By Arnosium Upinarum (not verified) on 27 Oct 2008 #permalink

More indoctrination into liberal weenieism makes for poor leadership qualities.

Yeah. You must be a punk if you think being well educated adds anything to your ability to be President.

I mean, it took Palin 9 semesters to get a BA in Journalism, all that edumacating didn't help her none.

I'd like to make a couple of points about Obama's resume.

1) He first attended Occidental College, a highly regarded undergraduate institution, before transferring to Columbia (leaving it out is like saying Palin only attended U. Idaho).

2) Obama taught Constitutional Law at U. Chicago Law School (I'm recollecting here; someone may correct) for 12-15 years. Don't we all wish we had someone with a bit better understanding of the constitutional in the Oval Office for the past 8 years!

Stewart,
nice post. I won't spend time bashing Kerry.

What I find is that Obama, McCain, and Palin are all very open and honest people. I differ enormously on Obama's views, but I think he is very honestly driven towards his views. We'll see how he stays to his more moderate views of the last several months, once he is elected.

But Biden, just for the hell of it, folks, you should really look back on all the things he has said and done. Certainly you'll agree with some of his voting pattern, but mostly what he has said was for political convenience. He is so pathologically good (possibly a sociopath) at looking people straight in the eye and just making things up. Instead of making a general comment, he must put in details and andecdotes that are so wonderful, and so wonderfully erroneous. It's not just continually plagurising (really, someone throw me a bone, and tell me how I enable spell check on this thing...thank "God" that most folks on this site are able to sound out words and use context to figure out the mystery of poor spelling....except for that Cheerful guy) speeches and saying it's of no consequence, or coughing up historical inaccuracies for the moment ("back in '29, as President, Roosevelt would say on the TV...", no TV, no president Roosevelt....oh, and no Diner back in his home town for past 20 years where he is allegeding hearing them currently talk about the horrible economy.)
I mean, this guy is supposed to be the Foreign Policy expert, but really, how can he be trusted on anything.

I understand why Obama gave into him for VP on the ticket, but boy oh boy.

Biden is a wonderful case study.

I think Obama has no real intent on using Biden as VP, any more than most presidents (wasteful, but when you pick someone to pick up votes and not because they are useful in your cause, that's what happens.) Look at how Obama stayed so unabashedly far from H. Clinton. He knows of her ways.

Not going to sway votes, but Biden should be no where near the White House or the congress. He and Arlene Spectre need to be put in a nuthouse where they can call each other King.

Quat

To be fair, why not post Sen. McCain's degrees and the class rankings of Sen. Obama, Sen. Biden, and Gov. Palin. Obviously, the source who sent this to Dr. Myers was rather bias. In the spirit of dialogue that Dr. Myers endorses both in his blog and in his classroom, let have accurate information:

Senator John McCain (more accurate rendition from the Senate website):

United States Naval Academy - B.S.
Wake Forest University - LL.D.
Captain (O-6), Retired, U.S. Navy 22 years
Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Prisoner of War Medal

Oh gawd. An epic debate between Marijuana Byers and Walton. We'll all be fossils before this one ends.

you could say the same about george bush II
b.a from yale --gpa better than john kerry
mba from harvard - top 10%
governor of texas
educated does not equal smart or mean having common sense.

the dems talk a lot about tolerance and equality but do not hesitate to knock down the common man- saying disgusting things like she went to a cow college or they from small towns in a disparaging way. they say she (actually it was the rnc) spent 150,000 on clothes while forgetting that obama has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his suits and millions on his greek temples. tey forget to mention the clothes are property of the rnc and will go charity after mccain wins next week.
the dnc = the new sexism.

I agree with PZ. I think the only people allowed to stand for elections must have atleast one Ph.D. Obviously not every Ph.D. would count.

1. Ph.D.s in shit fields like Literature, Women's studies, Social Work, Social Sciences will obviously not count.

2. The Ph.D. granting department must be ranked in the Top 25 in its field in the US

Similarly we should do away with Universal Adult Franchise. The franchise should be restricted to only those who are able to stand for election as per the criteria outlined above.

#210 Big Dog

Regarding your second point, Obama was obviously a shit lecturer, that is why he didn't get tenure.

Robert Byers:

Another point is that looking at these degrees for competence over other people means logically Whites should be seen as better then blacks or Hispanics and men over women and much more identity conclusions.

Men over women? Women receive the majority of college degrees in the US. Women earn 57% of all Bachelor's degree, and 59% of all Master's degrees. Maybe you should check on this stuff before presenting it....

By Jeff Satterley (not verified) on 31 Oct 2008 #permalink

i'm really impressed with walton. most americans don't know that the british spelling of 'fetus' is 'foetus'. best fake british troll ever!!!!1!!

Erm, why exactly would I be lying about my nationality? What conceivable advantage would there be in pretending to be British if I were not? (In fact, it's actually reduced my credibility around here, since a lot of the regulars think I don't really understand American issues.) If I were a troll or impersonator, surely I'd be making a more impressive claim than being a 19-year-old British university student?

But I actually take it as a compliment that this idiot thinks I'm an American pretending to be British, since it presumably indicates that I have enough knowledge of American cultural and political norms to fool people.