Friday, October 31, 2008

There's Something About Sarah

I realize McCain is the Republican nominee but more focus has been on his choice for running mate. Given the erratic behavior of McCain these past weeks, little wonder so much focus has been on Palin. McCain hasn't been himself since he began campaigning for president.

He used to speak about how he was willing to cross party lines in order to facilitate solutions. It is sad that he has decided to run a negative campaign. We now hear from his campaign phrases such as the 'real' America, 'fake' Virginia, accusations that a raise in taxes for those whose taxable income is over $250,000 is 'socialism' or 'Marxist', and lately trying to paint Obama as a radical because of his ties to Khalidi. He does this while seeming to forget that an organization he chairs gave $850,000 to Khalidi's organization. Does this make McCain an extremist? No, no more than it makes Obama an extremist for listening to Khalidi at a dinner party. You can find out more about Khalidi and Obama.

McCain's campaign has been one of instilling fear. It has waged a verbal war of words against 'elitists'. By his choice of Palin, his campaign has devolved even further.

The United States has been a leader in scientific research. And yet both Palin and Mccain deride scientific research that has been both beneficial and cost-effective.

McCain blasted research on the DNA of bears and Palin blasted research on fruit flies. McCain could perhaps be forgiven for not understanding the purpose of the research on bears, Palin blasted fruit fly research calling it a waste of money. She was in Pittsburgh when she did so and her speech also focused on the issues of disabilities and special needs. Palin's youngest child, Trig, has Down's Syndrome. Too bad she didn't know that some research done with fruit flies includes autism.

Christopher Hitchins blasts her:

With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn't think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a "premillenial dispensationalist"—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.

Videos taken in the Assembly of God church in Wasilla, Alaska, which she used to attend, show her nodding as a preacher says that Alaska will be "one of the refuge states in the Last Days." For the uninitiated, this is a reference to a crackpot belief, widely held among those who brood on the "End Times," that some parts of the world will end at different times from others, and Alaska will be a big draw as the heavens darken on account of its wide open spaces. An article by Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times gives further gruesome details of the extreme Pentecostalism with which Palin has been associated in the past (perhaps moderating herself, at least in public, as a political career became more attractive). High points, also available on YouTube, show her being "anointed" by an African bishop who claims to cast out witches. The term used in the trade for this hysterical superstitious nonsense is "spiritual warfare," in which true Christian soldiers are trained to fight demons. Palin has spoken at "spiritual warfare" events as recently as June. And only last week the chiller from Wasilla spoke of "prayer warriors" in a radio interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who said that he and his lovely wife, Shirley, had convened a prayer meeting to beseech that "God's perfect will be done on Nov. 4."

There's just something about Sarah that I cannot trust. She reminds me too much of a fundamentalist who once told me I was going to hell. Can we really afford someone like that who is just a heartbeat away from the presidency? And what does it say of McCain's judgement in selecting her?

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