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mygif

Ooh why so harsh. A speech like that is great if you’re running for vice president … of the student council

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malakim2099 said on September 4th, 2008 at 12:21 am

MGK, do you remember Buchanan’s speech in 92?

Were the parallels just there for me, or did other people see it too? I only saw highlights, but the visceral “U R TEH EVUL AND WE R TEH GUD!” red moose-meat of that speech couldn’t be missed. Sheesh.

I’m not sure what’s more pathetic. The pack of hate or the fact that the idio… er, delegates were eating it up.

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mygif

Please tell me why those people are so brainwashed that they think this person can be a vice president.

Please. Americans. PLEASE TELL ME. I’m a humble foreigner that doesn’t understand your … minds.

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malakim2099 said on September 4th, 2008 at 12:52 am

Please tell me why those people are so brainwashed that they think this person can be a vice president.

Please. Americans. PLEASE TELL ME. I’m a humble foreigner that doesn’t understand your … minds.

Dude, I just live here. Don’t ask me to explain it, because I can’t understand it myself.

Hrm. Canada is still in invasion range, maybe I should consider a relocation to Australia. There’s eBay there…

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mygif

Please. Americans. PLEASE TELL ME. I’m a humble foreigner that doesn’t understand your … minds.

We’re pretty easy to understand. Alaskan governors were good enough for our founding fathers, so they’re good enough for us!

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mygif

” ‘I think Sarah Palin can do a one-two punch better than Muhammad Ali,’ said Karin Brownlee, a state senator from Kansas. ”

NO. NONononosomanythingswrongwiththatstatement.

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mygif

Please tell me why those people are so brainwashed that they think this person can be a vice president.

Please. Americans. PLEASE TELL ME. I’m a humble foreigner that doesn’t understand your … minds.

They used to use a lot of lead paint in nurseries I think.

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mygif

I hope that Senator Biden remembers to leave her family life out of the equation when the time comes. Everything else is now fair game.

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mygif

The speech wasn’t written by Palin, it was written for her by Bush’s speech writers before Palin was picked for VP.

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Meanwhile, Jindal is handling the relief efforts in Louisiana and looking like a competent bureaucrat-wonk as he shores up credential to be the Republican Obama for 2012.

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Sorta hoped her speech would be worse. I mean it was quite lousy, but after eight years of Bush talking, a speech needs to be well nigh godawful to make people take notice.

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mygif

Yes, what possible brainwashing could explain the average American’s belief that fighting corruption, attempting to reduce unnecessary government intervention in the average individual’s life, could at all be a good thing? What possible reason could they have for believing that an aggressively speaking individual with over a year of executive experience in control of a state and more on a local level could be at all prepared for a job that, constitutionally, amounts to little more than a tie-breaker, public speaker, and in-case-of-death replacement?

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mygif

This may have already been said, but isn’t the Alaskan Independence Party really just the Bloc Quebecois of the west?

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mygif

” ‘I think Sarah Palin can do a one-two punch better than Muhammad Ali,’ said Karin Brownlee, a state senator from Kansas. ”

Only because Ali has Parkinsons. And even then it’s a stretch. Fucking Palin

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Master Mahan said on September 4th, 2008 at 3:06 am

The speech wasn’t written by Palin, it was written for her by Bush’s speech writers before Palin was picked for VP.

…I’m sorry, but I’ve read that sentence five times, and I still can’t find any point to it.

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Thomas Wilde said on September 4th, 2008 at 3:43 am

Yes, what possible brainwashing could explain the average American’s belief that fighting corruption, attempting to reduce unnecessary government intervention in the average individual’s life, could at all be a good thing?

The track record of the Republican party suggests rather boldly that this is the last thing they intend to do, or rather, that the “unnecessary government intervention” they stand most boldly against is the ability of the government to regulate corporations. They seem to feel rather comfortable using the government like a club to frighten people away from certain lifestyle choices.

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mygif

My essential problem with Palin is that she practices what I like to call “politics”.

For example,

– Running on a platform of “The Jesus”, working furiously to prevent state benefits to be granted to same-sex couples on the grounds that it is immoral, and then asking everyone to leave her unwed, teenage, pregnant daughter out of it, despite that act also being considered immoral in the Bible.

– Claiming to be a “maverick” (is it just me or have I heard John McCain and Palin called mavericks like 100 times this week alone) while giving a speech in which 99% of those people she apparently goes all maverick on are cheering for her every breath.

– Rallying against earmarks despite previously attempting to get 20+ million dollars of pork funneled to the town of which she was mayor.

– “Fighting corruption” in the sense that she is currently being investigated for firing the man who refused to fire her sister’s ex-husband. Yep, definitely tackling corruption head on.

– And Republicans sure seem to enjoy calling her the governor of “the largest state” but failing to mention that a percentage of Americans think Alaska is below Hawaii because of their placements on green-screen weather maps. And her mayoral experience amounts to deciding whether to pardon Drunk Uncle Earl for stealing Joe’s snow plow again.

And yet, she has the semi-hot thing going (well, for a politician) and seems to have the backing of Republicans (oh wait, two key party members were just caught essentially saying they are fucked) and well what else does she have.

Is being a “hockey mom” really a qualification to be Vice President. And for those who keep saying that she’ll just smile and nod, and doesn’t have any real power, well I have to ask you: What about Dick Cheney?

I pray to God that we are smart enough to realize that 4 more years of unnecessary defense spending, Reaganomics (which apparently isn’t what we’re calling it anymore) , a hawkish foreign policy, and a “Fuck you, American people, you got yourselves into this mess, you get yourselves out” mentality in the Executive Branch might not be exactly what this country means.

But, John McCain was a war hero. He was tortured you know. For this country. Which means half the population of Iraq should run for their country’s highest level of office. Because the ability to lead a nation is based off how long and how bad you were tortured.

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mygif

Psst–Gattsuru! When your candidate is seventy-fucking-one years old, being an “in case of death replacement” kind of means something significant. :)

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mygif

Seriously, when I watch my country news I feel uncomfortable. When I watch the international news, I start to feel depressed. But when I watch the USA’s news I JUST CAN’T SLEEP AT NIGHT.

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mygif

I spent a bit of time wondering, you know, why Sarah Palin? It just can’t be the Hillary-replacement thing. They are other experienced women Republicans. What does she, explicitly, get McCain?

Now I think I get it. She has a son actively serving in Iraq (or, at least, shipping out in the near future). People spent a lot of time joking that Republican statemen never vote for a war their sons have to fight, so they dug one up who has. No one can second guess her when she starts rattling on about supporting our troops. It would look downright monstrous to accuse the Republican leadership of throwing away American lives when she’s in the room.

Second, of course, she’s not an insider. She’s completely new meat. The McCain campaign has revved up referring to Obama and Biden as out-of-touch congress-babies, lost in the voluptuous teat of the Beltway, obese breastflesh literally plugging their ears as they gnaw away as vivisected money-nipples with razor-sharp teeth, rows and rows of them, pin-like, like a piranha. It boosts his maverick status for this nobody to come down from the might north, hale and healthy and well-exercised from driving her kids to school, and stand before the Democrat monolith, the media conspiracy and senators who beat the president into submission with their dicks and the strange black-suited men, resembling Alex Trebek and Jessie Ventura, who break into your house at night and rough you up if you dare to equalize the income tax — she stands before this dark heart of Washington that has secretly and maliciously controlled the entire U.S. Government since the start of the Reagen Administration and she says, “Fuck you, Mr. Shadow President! The People are taking back the United States!”

And third, she’s probably not going to ask for anything big — a little pork barrel here, a glass of wine there, a poolboy named Brad to lick cocaine off her feet when she’s bored — her desires are probably reasonable and everyday.

Fourth, she gives me a chance to pretend I’m Hunter S. Thompson. I paid McCain a lot of money for that privileged….

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Lister Sage said on September 4th, 2008 at 10:15 am

Makes me wish that Thompson was alive again. It also reminds me why Thompson shot himself.

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mygif

Palin’s speech confirmed one all-important thing for me:

SHE’S NOT CHANGE, SHE’S MORE OF THE SAME!

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mygif

So when will Biden start to actually tear her the fuck apart? Because going by what I’ve read in the news this morning, his response so far has essentially been along the lines of “Hey, wow, that was quite a speech! And you know what? She had some pretty funny zingers!”

I think the Democrat response to her so far, that she didn’t say a word about the actual issues in this election is valid. But at the same time I wish they were punching back a little harder.

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Harry Connolly said on September 4th, 2008 at 11:25 am

Please tell me why those people are so brainwashed that they think this person can be a vice president.

Dave Silva, I recommend you watch the movie DAVE. The U.S. has a longstanding mythology around the Expert Amateur, the regular joe who succeeds at some difficult, highly technical field by virtue of his folksy common sense. The Expert Amateur outwits the CIA, eludes the cops long enough to catch the real murderer, and cuts through the graft and corruption of D.C. politics to bring sensible governance to the citizens.

In storyland, anyway. In real life, you get internet bozos who think Einstein was a crackpot and eight gajillion vanity-published novelists.

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mygif

Gattsuru:

You are 100% fucking kidding me, right?

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mygif

No, Gattsuru’s not.

The survival of the Republican party can largely be attributed to the triumph of branding over experience.

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mygif

Sorry to feed the troll, but…

Gattsuru, you seem to imply in your comment that you are voting on the issues and on an individual’s specific record. The problem is, the general examples you bring up are not part of Sarah Palin’s record.

Part of her executive experience was Wasilla. As mayor there, Palin expanded government expenditures by over 30%, raised taxes on the citizenry by over 35%, and still left the city $20 million in debt. When she entered office, Wasilla had zero debt. Part of all this was due to Palin’s aggressive use of eminent domain. I fail to see where she was fighting for less government intrusion there.

As mayor, Palin also fired a police sheriff for disagreeing with her, and a librarian for refusing to allow Palin to ban certain books. As governor, she fired a public safety commissioner when he didn’t fire her sister’s ex, a state trooper. I fail to see how that activity matches with your statement. Perhaps you meant to say that pettiness and abuse of governmental power is something that an Average American finds to be a good thing.

Part of the story they’re selling you is how the Governor chose to bring her pregnancy to term, even after learning her child would have Down’s Syndrome and how Palin’s 17-year-old daughter will chose to give birth over having an abortion. Choosing being the key term here. While I don’t deny that the Palins are well within their rights to choose to give birth (a choice that will give them many hard challenges, but challenges made easier given the far above-average wealth and health care politicians receive), you can’t deny that Sarah Palin is prepared to make that choice–should I remain pregnant–for every woman living or yet to live in America. And that is a breathtakingly arrogant intrusion of government into everyday life.

So the fact that you and so many others from both political parties make such wild. general statements supporting politicians for actions that they not only don’t take, but in fact take the complete opposite of–that’s why others think you’re brainwashed.

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mygif

– Running on a platform of “The Jesus”, working furiously to prevent state benefits to be granted to same-sex couples on the grounds that it is immoral, and then asking everyone to leave her unwed, teenage, pregnant daughter out of it, despite that act also being considered immoral in the Bible.

Gasp, and her first kid was conceived out of wedlock. So was Obama, and from what numbers I can find, McCain. I’m not religious, and it’s been a while since I bothered reading the book, but last I checked, after the antithesis of the law sex before marriage was just put under “bad and needs a five minute confession”. Hell, even the evil attack dog Republicans weren’t bringing it up for Obama, even though it was literally blinking them in the face, and Obama doesn’t want to attack the teenager.

Also, she also vetoed a law to prohibit state benefits be granted to same-sex couples, effectively providing those benefits to state employees. That’s because it would have been found unconstitutional rather than some scheme of fairness, but hey, Obama gets off scot-free on the whole Second Amendment thing because of Heller, I think it’s not unfair to do the same here.

– “Fighting corruption” in the sense that she is currently being investigated for firing the man who refused to fire her sister’s ex-husband. Yep, definitely tackling corruption head on.

Who tasered an eleven-year-old, threatened to shoot an unarmed and unresisting old man, and drank and drove while on duty. Yeah, I can certainly see that as taking corruption on head-on, especially since the man she fired thought repeated violating the law was apparently worth a couple days suspension for a state trooper.

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mygif

Discussing a different political viewpoint is trolling? Okay, have fun with the echo chamber, and don’t bother replying.

I’d note that the Wasalla police chief’s political activities included using his office to campaign against Article I, Section 19 of the Alaskan State Constitution. I suppose that couldn’t count for anything.

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mygif

Okay, have fun with the echo chamber, and don’t bother replying.

Ignoring, naturally, the multiple substantive responses to its earlier statement. It’s good to see the finest traditions of trollery being upheld.

using his office to campaign against Article I, Section 19 of the Alaskan State Constitution.

I see it is also familiar with the fine and time-honored practice of throwing out random buzzwords without explaining what on Earth it is actually talking about.

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mygif

@gattsuru
“Who tasered an eleven-year-old, threatened to shoot an unarmed and unresisting old man, and drank and drove while on duty.”

From everything I’ve read so far, that is indeed what he was alleged–as part of the proceedings of what all observers have termed a very bitter divorce–to have done, but that had not been proven in a court of law. Due diligence, investigation before verdict, innocent until proven guilty, etc.

I’d note that the Wasalla police chief’s political activities included using his office to campaign against Article I, Section 19 of the Alaskan State Constitution. I suppose that couldn’t count for anything.

(For those who can’t be bothered to look it up, Article 1, Section 19 of the Alaska state constitution is basically a word for word copy of the 2nd Amendment of the Federal Constistution. So given an effort on the part of a police chief to change local gun laws, where is the line drawn between acceptable and unacceptable campaigning?)

However, that’s actually moot in this case, because she (according to a report in the Anchorage Daily News) asked EVERY department head to resign, as a “loyalty test”. So he wasn’t fired for using his office to campaign, he and the librarian were fired because “I [Palin] do not feel I have [their] full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla.” (Quote from the letter the police chief received, as reported in the Anchorage Daily News.) The librarian was similarly “fired”, then rehired the very next day because Palin felt the librarian supported her. (All salient details from articles in the Anchorage Daily News, January 31, 1997 & February 1, 2007.)

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mygif

Who tasered an eleven-year-old, threatened to shoot an unarmed and unresisting old man, and drank and drove while on duty. Yeah, I can certainly see that as taking corruption on head-on, especially since the man she fired thought repeated violating the law was apparently worth a couple days suspension for a state trooper.

Oddly, she seemed to find this behavior just fine while she was married to her sister. All of this behavior occured DURING the marriage.

And given that the man who replaced Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan (who refused to fire her former brother-in-law) was Chuck Kopp – a former police chief who was investigated and issued an official letter of reprimand after he sexually harassed one of his employees, one has to question Palin’s investigation abilities, if not her integrity.

I’d note that the Wasalla police chief’s political activities included using his office to campaign against Article I, Section 19 of the Alaskan State Constitution. I suppose that couldn’t count for anything.

That depends… do you think it counts for something when Palin violates Article I, Section 5 of the Alaskan State Constitution when she tries to use her office to force censorship upon a library?

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mygif

I don’t agree with Sarah Palin’s politics at all, but if I could choose the final nail in the coffin, it would be that she wanted to ban books while she was a mayor.

http://www.librarian.net/stax/2366/sarah-palin-vp-nominee/

And Jonah Goldberg calls liberals Nazis. What will she do if she’s president? Will book burners receive her blessing? I don’t even want to think about it.

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mygif

Sorry for the third post, but I posted too soon. That list above is fake.

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Read this and forward to everyone. It is amazing (and horrible).

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/09/04/douglas-rushkoff-on.html

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Rande:

Interesting commentary on the speeches. His last couple of paragraphs make a crucial point: that Obama is a weaker man by choosing to abstain from making a decision a lot of things and that indecisiveness is a potential crucial flaw in any President.

A good friend of mine told me he was voting McCain because “he makes a decision”

I’m worried that the American people will confuse decisiveness for certainty. Is decisiveness still a beneficial trait if you consistently make the wrong decision? Wouldn’t we rather our President have a cooler head? What happened if Kennedy had been “decisive”?

I just find it funny that the two things the RNC seem to be pushing on voters is that John McCain and Sarah Palin are decisive, experienced mavericks hellbent on overturning our current system and replacing it with theirs. Yet, it seems probable that military spending on Iraq will remain the same or only slightly lower, Reaganomic policies such as upper class tax cuts will be given year after year, and that the Christian Bible can be used to determine what constitutes legal and illegal in America. So I’m curious if Mr. McCain or Mrs. Palin will ever provide us with the answer to the question: What exactly do they intend to change?

As an aside, an old poly sci theory is that democratic countries don’t go to war with each other. So I ask, if it weren’t for the current situation in Iraq, do we really need a military? By all accounts, the men we’re supposed to be fighting are not dressed in a uniform, do not claim a country with recognizable borders, and are not organized like a traditional military. In many ways, we are witnessing the first kind of war, a truly civilian war. A war in which the fighters and victims are not trained soldiers.

I’d really like some unbiased (meaning no “I hate America because you are stupid and lazy”) opinions from our brethren from non-American countries. From the outside looking in, how do you view our current policies?

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MGK spake:
“After the incredible amount of abuse and bullshit she just doled out, she just gave Joe Biden permission to tear her the fuck apart.”

Sorry, MGK, it doesn’t work that way. Being strong and assertive is only ok if you are a Republican. If Biden so much as mentions she left her city in 30 million debt (or anything else), her gutless surrogates will immediately start whining about how mean and sexist Biden is being…

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mygif

I like the over-use of the word “maverick”. McCain’s a maverick! So’s Palin! They’re Maverick’s Gone Wild!

Except they’re not. McCain started being called a “maverick” around 1999, and he’s reversed himself since then. Palin’s not that diffirent, a career politician.

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Sofa King:

Exactly. A maverick is someone who plays by his own rules and has a general disregard for accepted institutions and other societal norms. If John McCain was really a maverick he would have picked a homeless guy off the street as his Vice President and talked about turning America into a Aristocracy where only those with an IQ of over 130 are allowed to serve in prominent political positions. And also all members of America are forced to throw McDonald’s hamburgers at anyone who says the word “kablam”.

Kicking off your campaign trail with a pro-life speech to a bunch of religious figures in South Carolina seems rather un-maverick like to me.

Plus, he always looks at his cards when playing poker.

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Jonathan Stokes said on September 4th, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Scott Says:
September 4th, 2008 la 5:52 pm

“I’d really like some unbiased (meaning no “I hate America because you are stupid and lazy”) opinions from our brethren from non-American countries. From the outside looking in, how do you view our current policies?”

British guy here. From our perspective, it mostly seems like you’re divided into Conservative and Liberal camps, and that no side is willing to even acknowledge the other side is remotely sane or ever has a valid point about anything. Liberals read liberal newspapers, have political conversations with liberal friends of varying liberal beliefs, watch liberal news programs, and vice versa for the conservatives.

It mostly doesn’t occur to us that maybe some americans ARN’T dyed-in-the-wool mindless supporters of one party or another, and that the majority of you are intelligent, complex individuals who are capable of weighing up the pros and cons of both sides and coming to semi-informed conclusions before voting. You’re pretty much all just fat, lazy americans.

Don’t believe for a moment that Europeans are signiciantly less ignorant, judgemental, and jingoistic as you lot. We like to pretend we’re better, but a pretense is all it is.

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mygif

“Discussing a different political viewpoint is trolling? Okay, have fun with the echo chamber, and don’t bother replying.”

And the forum gets its first post from Earth-R. Hope you guys pull through in Final Crisis!

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mygif

the strange black-suited men, resembling Alex Trebek and Jessie Ventura, who break into your house at night and rough you up

I would read this comic book.

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mygif

Yes, what possible brainwashing could explain the average American’s belief that fighting corruption, attempting to reduce unnecessary government intervention in the average individual’s life, could at all be a good thing?

First, having an honest difference of opinion is fine, but when you show up where most of the other people disagree with you and get sarcastic, you can’t realistically expect everybody to be civil.

Second, I might have been able to maintain some respect for Palin if she chose to take the high road. But instead she decided to be a nasty, mean-spirited little bitch. Even if her political positions mirrored mine, I would not want her to become Vice President because I happen to hate nasty, mean-spirited people and do not believe they should be rewarded.

That’s the reason I did not want Hillary to get the nomination in the Democratic primaries, because while I agreed with most of her positions I was disgusted by the tactics she used. And not even Hillary at her most ruthless has (to my knowledge, but I’ve followed her campaign pretty closely) ever said “Hey, look at my opponent! Look at what a joke he is! Look at how ridiculous he is! Let’s all laugh at him! HAHAHAHAHAHA!” That is exactly what Palin (and others, like Giuliani) are doing, and to me that is unforgiveable.

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mygif

I’m an American if that matters to the discussion at all, and i was surprised at just how awful that speech was.

Maybe she didn’t mention her stance on things because (many, but by no means all) are based on nothing more than her religion and love of disregarding reason (but i repeat myself).

Example 1: she is strongly for abstinence-only sex-ed, which major medical and psychological associations (as well as “common” sense, but that is not, of course, enough to base such a decision on) say is *at best* not accomplishing anything and very likely helping the spread of STD’s by making people that have been through it extremely unlikely to take preventive steps. But apparently to her it is more important to take the “moral high ground” than to even consider that maybe something she doesn’t like all that much is necessary to make any difference.

Example 2: her anti-abortion stance is perfectly summarized with her mind-numbingly inane answer to the question of what she would do if her daughter was raped; “I’d choose life”, Which is a juvenile reframing of the question that would have been laughed at in a high school debate.

(my favorite)
Example 3: Asked about “creationism”: “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both”.

Someone with this level of dogmatism to poorly articulated bronze-age superstitions does all politicians an enormous disservice, and only furthers the stereotype of female irrationality.

But I could be wrong.

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@gattsuru

Yeah, Palin’s totally against unnecessary government intervention in peoples’ lives… unless those people are women (not only is she anti-choice – even in cases of rape and incest – but her stance on womens’ reproductive privacy is basically… um, that women should not have any), gay (she’s opposed to marriage equality), librarians or, um, literate, for that matter (see: the book banning issue) or even vaguely concerned about STDs, teen pregnancies, and other issues related to safe sex (she strongly supports abstinence only education in schools).

Palin’s policies do anything BUT decrease unnecessary government intervention in “the average individual’s life”. How is telling people who they can and can’t marry and what they can and can’t read, learn, and do with their bodies – even in potentially very traumatic situations – not intervening in peoples’ lives? Seriously, that line of thought makes absolutely no sense to me. Were you so taken by her “forceful speaking” that you forgot all about her actual, um… policies?

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mygif

I’ll say one last thing before I leave, just because after watching Palin’s speech I have never been more vehemently against a presidential or vice presidential candidate.

She is the worst kind of politician. One who uses her personal viewpoints as a methodology for governing and who tends to ignore logical and efficient solutions to problems because said solutions violate her beliefs. Instead of speaking about her viewpoints on crucial issues she delivered one-liners and hurled insults at her competitors. How is this acceptable? A pitbull with lipstick? Really?

I’m more shocked that in the past decade or so, that more Americans haven’t been outraged that most of the Republican party’s rhetoric is based on a Christian moral code, yet this country was founded on the principle that religion and government should be entirely separate.

I have an awful feeling that McCain/Palin are going to steal this election for all the wrong reasons and that they will win this election because more people are uninformed voters than informed citizens.

John Kerry lost by 45 electoral votes which means Obama needs to turn one crucial swing state (Ohio or Florida) or win three out of Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana while not losing any states.

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mygif

“I’m more shocked that in the past decade or so, that more Americans haven’t been outraged that most of the Republican party’s rhetoric is based on a Christian moral code, yet this country was founded on the principle that religion and government should be entirely separate.”

Yeah, its laws (a lot of which are still in force today) were also largely based on those “bronze age superstitions” and the moral code found in the Bible, along with that whole “In God We Trust” thing. I just find it funny that people on the other side of the fence often see things just as one sided as they proclaim the others do. The country was founded on the principle that religion and government should be separate, but it’s NEVER been. The idea was to not let a single religion become the ruling body, in the way that the Catholic church had in Europe, but our founding fathers let their spiritual beliefs dictate what was considered morally right and lawful just as much as politicians today, so it’s not like this is a new trend or anything.

It’ll always be that way, because your personal beliefs are going to, obviously, affect how you feel about things- just as the people who don’t happen to agree are speaking out about it now. That’s the problem with a democratic society made up of peoples from many different backgrounds, beliefs, etc. Just trying to keep things in perspective.

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mygif

“I have an awful feeling that McCain/Palin are going to steal this election for all the wrong reasons and that they will win this election because more people are uninformed voters than informed citizens.”

See the past two presidential elections.

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mygif

“Yeah, its laws (a lot of which are still in force today) were also largely based on those “bronze age superstitions” and the moral code found in the Bible, along with that whole “In God We Trust” thing.”

The highly overstated – i refer you to the fact that in the language of the time (and indeed, our own, to a much lesser degree), “God” did not necessarily refer to Yahweh, it was often used to express the abstract idea of nature’s awe inspiring qualities – fact that some of the United States laws are based on certain aspects of Christianity lends no validity WHATSOEVER to the logic behind any laws that are based on the ‘unquestionable’ moral assertions in an internally inconsistent folk history of the middle east (this is by definition an accurate classification – i do not in this instance argue for the books inaccuracy in relation to reality).

Laws in the UK were based much more heavily on Christian dogma, so that’s why it’s still a crime to blaspheme there – but ONLY about Christianity, anything negative about Buddha, Krishna, Shiva, Thor, that’s perfectly legal. (This law has not been enforced in a long time, to my very limited knowledge) Under your argument (as I understand it), that absurd law is acceptable because that’s the way the legal system began?

That seems to me to be a dangerous mix of an appeal to tradition (“…so it’s not like this is a new trend or anything”, “The country was founded on the principle that religion and government should be separate, but it’s NEVER been.”) and ecumenism.

You bring up a point that I think is a conceptual problem is discussions about many things in our (the United States in my case; i defer to people living in different countries as to the local applicability) culture. The problem is the dramatic overuse of dichotomies when interpreting information. (“I just find it funny that people on the other side of the fence often see things just as one sided as they proclaim the others do.”) I am not on the side of a fence, heckling Christianity because of personal dislike for it’s mythology or symbols. What DOES bother me is when the facts – that abstinence-only sex-ed does not help and most likely (i do not say definitely, being intellectually dishonest in that manner is an insult) worsens it by a significant amount – are superseded by PERSONAL conceptions about right and wrong. As they are with her on this issue, and the current president’s administration.

Surely we can agree that the pain and suffering that the spread of STD’s cause is a bad (evil, if you prefer. i do not) thing. The decision to ignore information because it disagrees with your (Palin’s) dogma is disgusting. That is my point.

As for “keeping things in perspective”, i assure you I am well aware of the enormous christian population in my country, it is very vocal in nearly all of it’s denominations. As to my beliefs, one of the things I value most highly in ethics is the actual results of a decision on the people concerned – it is not focused on my personal moral comfort but the impact on others; this is not an unreasonable position. What bothers me is when the priority becomes assuaging your (her) conscience above the results to other people. I feel no reason to say anything about the value of person’s belief in a set of stories AS LONG as it is not the primary (in Palin’s case i would like to say ‘sole’, but that is unfair as i do not know her personally) factor in her decision making process. When an adherence to a personal mythology (the morals of christianity are for the most part intertwined with the ethics in their CURRENT revision) is vocal and public, treating it with the same critical thinking that we would with any other idea is more important than the juvenile ecumenical notion of taking critique of ideas as a personal insult.

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mygif

James,
I don’t disagree. Like I said, I was only trying to put things into a bit of perspective. Personal beliefs and viewpoints have always been a guiding force in the laws of just about every government on the planet. I made some generalizations as I wasn’t intending on presenting a research paper, but the fact remains Christianity was an influence on the founding fathers and the laws, statutes, etc. that they brought into play, as many of them were devote Christians coming from a society that was very much influenced by religious belief. I’m not saying it should remain that way, I was simply pointing out that it isn’t something new that the republican’s have just started harping on in the last decade.

To clarify, the following isn’t directed at anyone in particular: As long as human beings are making decisions and deciding what is to be considered “right” and “wrong” personal belief, and often religion, is going to play a deciding factor. Because for those people who do feel strongly about their personal religious beliefs, they aren’t just a set of dogmatic rules or mythology, but are instead what they personally believe to be irrefutable facts concerning morality. This doesn’t just apply to Christians or other religions, either. Atheists, agnostics, etc. all have a similar problem, only instead their guiding influence is science or logic or what have you as opposed to “mythology” or religious doctrine.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it can be just as blinding when you remain narrow focused and convinced that you’re right. What we consider to be “fact” can change, and does very often as we learn. There are just as many zealots who have no personal religion to speak of as there are on the religious side of the fence. Dismissing all religious teachings and beliefs as mythological, superstitious, or moronic is just as ignorant as blindly believing in it. The goal is to find a balance point, as much as we are able. As a society made up of many differing backgrounds, beliefs, religions, creeds the goal is to find a common ground and what is in the best interests of all involved. No one has all the answers. No one has it all correct. Blaming any specific religious doctrine, denomination, or belief structure- religious or scientific- is stupid and completely missing the point. It’s not the religion or the science that’s wrong, it’s the people who do stupid shit in it’s name out of ignorance, pride, or greed.

People like Palin tend to make decisions based on religious doctrine that they don’t fully understand or have studied themselves- and that is obvious to anyone who has. Just because you read a Bible and go to church on Sunday doesn’t make you a moral authority on what is right and wrong, just as being a well educated person doesn’t either, and I’m getting so sick of hearing both sides of the fence slamming the other rather than realizing that NO ONE has it all down. You show me a perfect person and I’ll show you an arrogant jerkoff that just thinks he/she is.

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mygif

“This doesn’t just apply to Christians or other religions, either.”
Obviously, but it does apply more OFTEN due to the massive number of christians in this country. Unfortunately this statement implies (intentionally or not) that since it’s applicable to more than one group, it’s not so bad.

“I made some generalizations as I wasn’t intending on presenting a research paper…”
If you’re not interested in discussing this more that’s not a problem, my intention was not to rope you into a “defend your faith at length while i make snarky comments about it” thing. But the way that MOST religious people (i am referring specifically to christians not because i have some sort of vendetta against them, but because of the number in my country is overwhelming, and well, i can’t remember the last time a Taoist said “The Way is meant to flow towards an oil pipeline. It came to me in a moment of quiet reflection”) are unwilling to make any kind of self examination about their beliefs or empathize -and empathy CANNOT be the strong suit of a person who thinks that if what other people do with their sex lives (OF COURSE i’m excluding rape) doesn’t fit with their ideas, they don’t get retirement benefits- with people who disagree with them will always lead to bad things.

Inability to accept new information and evaluate it intelligently without the desire to confirm any preconceived notions is the problem in this regard. If Palin was able to remove herself from the decision and honestly think about the best of accomplishing her goals, I wouldn’t have too big a problem with her (the removal of library funding to help pay for a sports arena is still a bad thing).

“Atheists, agnostics, etc. all have a similar problem, only instead their guiding influence is science or logic or what have you as opposed to “mythology” or religious doctrine.”
Questioning is just as prone to error as unquestioning belief? You really believe this? Really? That people who are from birth told to believe in the stories (i.e., don’t just adopt ethics) are as equally prone to critically evaluate information as people who are not? (Atheist is a misleading term because it implies a system of thought when it is the opposite). The whole basis of science is investigation, not declaration. The simple fact is that many – NOT ALL – religious facilities operate under the idea that they DO have all the answers (‘God works in mysterious ways’ or ‘it is not for us to know Yahweh’s will’.

(Incidentally, the use of the word mythology on my part is not a cheap shot on the truth of the stories, it’s using the word according to it’s definition [specifically definition 1. on dictionary.com], it was not to be a jerk)

“Dismissing all religious teachings and beliefs as mythological, superstitious, or moronic is just as ignorant as blindly believing in it.”
Aside from the fact that that is a sweeping generalization without explanation of why – I (almost) agree. But I have a problem with the way that your argument is going towards the “science is just another religion” angle that a lot of people use. It’s not truths come from investigation of what is around us, not through ancient texts or rituals. No matter how well read you are in whatever holy text you like, the act of having faith in what you are told alone will not help anyone when an accident occurs and the cause needs to be investigated. To do so requires the gathering and analysis of data – which is what the servant religion actively oppose on many, many occasions.

“Blaming any specific religious doctrine, denomination, or belief structure- religious or scientific- is stupid and completely missing the point.”
I’m sorry, what?! That kind of generalization is indefensible. “Any belief structure”? Any? The idea that being critical (blaming is done out of desire to look good, being critical is about bettering our understanding) of a belief system is “stupid and missing the point” is unbelievably dangerous. I understand that you are not advocating this, but the way in which you said that makes it so that (hypothetically) getting angry at a father who decides that his pacifism is more important that saving his daughter from being gang-raped to death is wrong because pacifism is a belief system. I am not twisting your words and going “ha-ha, stupid”, really, i know that’s not what you were thinking of, but it needs to be pointed out that blanket statements that vilify ANY criticism (which, again, as intelligent adults, should not be taboo) are incredibly dangerous because they enable the kind of people that do have dangerous beliefs (surely i do not have to argue that they exist).

As for your last paragraph (too long to paste), c’mon, you are a smarter person than that. what you’ve said in that basically amounts to “well, we can’t really judge anything because nobody’s perfect”. We aren’t, but improving our ways of thinking can make us better, doing that requires calling bad ideas bad and abandoning them without any emotional motivation; not saying anything will make it so we will never even have the CHANCE to be more than we are now.

You’re right; no one has it all down, but some people are closer than others.

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mygif

–And let me be blunt: a speech like that in Canadian politics gets you laughed out of the room.–

Citations or it never happened.

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mygif

A speech like that, in Canadian politics would most certainly get the speechifier laughed out of the room. And lose his or her party the election, in all likelihood.

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mygif

James,
You seem to be under the impression that I was attempting to debate you or make an argument. I was just stating an opinion and even prefaced most of my last post with “To clarify, the following isn’t directed at anyone in particular”. I don’t agree with Palin, don’t like Palin, and in fact am sickened by Palin and most of the rest of the douches in politics in general. My posts were not intended to defend her in any way. I was, however, trying to bring a little balance to the religion bashing fest that tends to happen whenever the republicans are involved, and remind everyone that most people have a belief structure of whatever kind- determined by experience, life, study, whatever- and they tend to see things from that perspective. However:

““Atheists, agnostics, etc. all have a similar problem, only instead their guiding influence is science or logic or what have you as opposed to “mythology” or religious doctrine.”
Questioning is just as prone to error as unquestioning belief? You really believe this? Really?”

Uh, check out that next few sentences. I admit I hit enter there when I should have after the following sentences which probably gave it an emphasis I didn’t intend. Anytime you blindly believe and or follow something, convinced you’re right and not open to the points of views of others, then yes, it is a problem. A big fat glaring one. Religious people aren’t the only ones with a membership card to the “I’m smarter than you and my beliefs are correct” club. Unfortunately they just tend to be the more vocal ones that are dumb enough to spout off in front of a camera. I know just as many elitist assholes that aren’t religious at all that think their opinions on things are right and everyone else is a moron as I do the religious ones. Sure, they give off the impression that they’re open minded and constantly “seeking” etc. but they have just as many beliefs that are iron clad to them as religious people do with theirs.

“No matter how well read you are in whatever holy text you like, the act of having faith in what you are told alone will not help anyone when an accident occurs and the cause needs to be investigated. To do so requires the gathering and analysis of data – which is what the servant religion actively oppose on many, many occasions.”

Again, just as you accuse me of making sweeping generalizations, you’re doing that a bit too. Again, you’re focusing on the more vocal jerkoffs, and I do admit there are a lot. I’m not even saying that religious folk aren’t more closed minded about things than most. We’re not ALL like that. In fact, I’m a licensed minister. I spent 4 years of schooling researching not just “holy scriptures” but a lot of different things- philosophy, other religions, etc. Some of my professors even worked on the translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most of them taught me to QUESTION. I had one professor that actually made students cry the first day of class because he completely tore down their “the Bible is perfect” world by pointing out some of the glaring contradictions etc. When i was working at a church I actually taught all my classes that way as well. I taught my kids (Jr High and High School) to think for themselves rather than blindly believing what they’re told by ANYONE.

“I understand that you are not advocating this, but the way in which you said that makes it so that (hypothetically) getting angry at a father who decides that his pacifism is more important that saving his daughter from being gang-raped to death is wrong because pacifism is a belief system.”

You’re right, I didn’t phrase that very well and I didn’t mean for it to come off that way. Of course you should be critical, but there’s a difference between educated criticism and ignorant criticism. All too often people who criticize a specific religion, science, etc. tends to be fairly ignorant about the subject and is just going off of what other ignorant people have told them or demonstrated. Which was really the point: more often than not it’s the people, not the subject, that are the issue. It’s their misinterpretation, ignorance, etc. that causes the problems.

“As for your last paragraph (too long to paste), c’mon, you are a smarter person than that. what you’ve said in that basically amounts to “well, we can’t really judge anything because nobody’s perfect”.”

No, again, it’s more about constructive, educated criticism than not and a lot of times people on both sides of the fence are taking pot shots about stuff that is more about the moron that said/did it than the religion, science, practice, whatever. Crap is misquoted, misinterpreted, taken out of context, etc. and people hear/see this and automatically believe that’s how it is.

Look, I’m the first person that calls people on their bullshit- especially in the religious sense. The problem I have is this general idea that seems to be popular in the media and on the web that all “Christians” are uneducated, close minded morons and the jackasses like Palin are the ones making it even worse. We don’t all believe like that. We don’t all think like that. In fact, though they probably don’t advertise, a good number of “believers” don’t. They can sit in a church pew and nod their heads, etc. but you’ll find their beliefs etc. to be just as varied as most. If you aren’t constantly questioning what you believe, know, etc. then you aren’t learning or growing. Questioning isn’t bad- dismissing without investigation is. In fact, I think from this very post it should be pretty apparent that even though I’m a “minister” I’m not like you’d typically find. That’s because my beliefs are my own- what I’ve found to be true for me through investigation, study, and personal experience. And those beliefs constantly adjust as I learn more and experience new things. I’m not disagreeing with you on anything you’ve said regarding Palin or the Republican party. I wasn’t trying to defend them or make it sound like we shouldn’t question, but again I wasn’t intending to make some detailed argument. I was pretty much just ranting.

“We aren’t, but improving our ways of thinking can make us better, doing that requires calling bad ideas bad and abandoning them without any emotional motivation; not saying anything will make it so we will never even have the CHANCE to be more than we are now.”

I absolutely agree, but that also involves looking at everything in detail and context rather than at face value- something that doesn’t always happen regardless of what side of the fence you’re on.

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mygif

I wasn’t trying to turn this into a debate (in a combative sense anyway), I apologize if the verbose way I phrased my posts gave it that appearance. I just found your responses to the topic interesting and felt like continuing the discussion, not to draw you into something, but as an intellectual exercise for myself.

I hope that it is clear that I used the term “bronze age superstition” because of the ludicrous nature of Palin’s stances on the issues above, I would’ve (whatever would’ve means) said something like “pseudo-scientific deception” if she based her far-reaching and dangerous opinions on an immoral extrapolation of evolution (like social darwinism), because when someone behaves as she does, it should be ridiculed – but not in a scatter-shot fashion. As I hope came across, when I was responding to things you said, I was not making a broadside attack on the historical accuracy of the christian mythos (again, i do not imply or dismiss the idea of it being fiction with the word choice).

Again, I take issue the fence expression because of the simplistic dichotomy (and symmetry) it implies; it’s true that there are many people on the internet who are especially caustic and inarticulate in their condemnation of christians – not the ideas, the people – in contexts which make no sense (i.e., virtually any youtube comments), but I believe that implying a ‘for-or-against’ categorization with phrases like that worsen the idea of ‘winning for your side’ that far too many people have already, as well as the fact that many people are articulate and self aware enough – in many varieties of thought – so as to be beyond the very limited (and, in my opinion, insulting) categories in the fence metaphor. (I’m aware that you know this, but I think it should to be stated)

Anyway, I’m not gonna take up more of your time. I just wanted to tie up the loose ends of my point (of which there were too many).

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mygif

“I wasn’t trying to turn this into a debate (in a combative sense anyway), I apologize if the verbose way I phrased my posts gave it that appearance. I just found your responses to the topic interesting and felt like continuing the discussion, not to draw you into something, but as an intellectual exercise for myself.”

Not a problem. I enjoy discussions such as this as well, as long as both parties know that it IS a discussion. 😉 It’s often one of the best ways to learn. My friends and I do it quite often, even if it means “defending” a side that we don’t personally believe in. I’ve found that the best way to learn, grow, and get along with others is when you’re able to see things from their point of view, even if you don’t personally agree.

I agree with you about the fence metaphor and I should have used a better one. I used it for simplicity sake which was far more out of laziness than it was meant to be an implication.

Feel free to drop me a line if you’d ever like to have other conversations.

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mygif

I think Sarah Palin is hot, but I have no interest in anything but her appearance, she hasn’t impressed me yet, and I doubt she will.

The speeches given by our current president would get him laughed out of most rooms, whether they are political or not, so say she is going to get laughed out of a Canadian room set aside specifically for politics doesn’t really mean much, American leadership has gone to shit, by all appearances, which is really all that matters.

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