Archive for the ‘USA 2008’ Category
A little more than two weeks before a U.S. Presidential election. The two candidates have just finished their series of televized debates. Nasty words are flying around. Some important States are definitely too close to call.
And yet: who could manage to get McCain and Obama and their undivided attention for several hours, together at the same charity/society event, forcing them to make fun if not fools of themselves?
Why, RC Cardinal Edward Egan, of course!
Continuing my earlier blog on the biggest issue facing Democrats in the USA: their gigantic superiority complex.
There is a scene in Alan Sandler’s “Mr. Deeds” when three high-society New York types (Kurt the Opera singer, William, and George the New Yorker writer) are shown as bordering on the inhuman, as too full of themselves.
That’s what these words by Expat Yank reminded me of:
Unless they go through “rehab,” as yours truly did — meaning, in short, until they grasp the realization that to be a “non-international” American who attends church regularly does not automatically mark one out as a bigoted nitwit — liberals cannot help themselves. Upon what they believe to be the high-horse is where they are most comfortable. They simply cannot imagine that they are NOT absolutely more sharp-minded and heavyweight than their opponents.
The major reason for that self-delusion? Since the mid-1960s, Democrats have actually come to believe — honestly — their own puffed up view of themselves as the default party of “great thoughts“ […]
the Democratic party has changed: it is no longer the party of FDR and Truman. For the last 45 years it has become instead the party of JFK idolatry and imagined “Camelot.” Reared on an endless diet of “Jack and Jackie in Paris” […] and so much more, many to most Democrats sincerely now appear to believe that to be a Republican is . . . to be a moron. […]
when dealing with what might be considered opposing conservative opinions, liberals are often quick to lose perspective, react emotionally and all too often embrace outright intellectual snobbery.
And as to that latter mostly with so little justification, since few Democrats are themselves actually anywhere approaching nearly as smart as they perceive themselves to be […] a liberal (meaning a Democrat), when confronted with your opposition, might try that for a moment, but if you hold your ground and respond in kind he will tend far too often to descend to the famous argument-tipping “huff,” roll up his eyes and proclaim you obviously just another unworldly simpleton who needs to retake 1st Grade.
Expat Yank is a “disgruntled Democrat turned Republican“. I have a feeling, he knows what he’s talking about.
Trouble is, I do not see Kurt, William and George understanding a single word of the above.
When will all this insanity end?
There’s quite a few websites claiming people have spotted some kind of device in Sarah Palin’s right ear, during the VP debate on Thursday night. A “willyloman” post “What Does Gov. Palin Have in Her Right Ear?” signed “Scott Creighton” seems to be among the most popular ones.
You can also check out the “Palin Appears To Be Wearing an Earpiece During The Debate” thread in the Abovetopsecret forum.
Myself, I cannot see evidence of anything in Palin’s right ear, during the debate.
But that is not as important as the answer to the following question: what evidence would I need to change my opinion? Well, I would need to spot that device clearly in at least one picture. So far, all I have been able to see is perfectly explainable with Palin’s hair, glasses and shape of the ear.
And so my question to Creighton and all the others is: what evidence would you need, to change your opinion?
What was that running down into Sarah Palin’s right ear during the debate? […] This photo was never intended to stand alone as evidence, that is why I include the link to the CNN video itself… That is still below. From that video, and many others now, you can see something that looks like it is attached to the arm of her glasses on the right side. You can see it move with her head, and her glasses throughout the video. I have taken another shot of the straight on view of this object, but please, look at the photos, then watch the CNN video so you can see it isn’t just some fluke; it stays there and is attached to her glasses. […]
Even without zooming, you can clearly see something attached to her glasses and running into her right ear. At first I thought this might be a hearing aid of some sort, so I looked up other pictures of her to see if I could find one of her wearing a hearing aid. I couldn’t. […]
Let’s start with the consideration that the “hearing aid” claim sounds very disingenuous. If Palin really had been hard of hearing, we would have known that weeks ago for sure. Mr Creighton should have definitely tried to look more sincere, if only to help support his case for a “device in the right ear”.
Anyway…the only way to be sure is to check if the “device” can be seen in any picture.
Now, a paranoid mind will find lots of food for their thoughts, as there really aren’t too many photos of Sarah Palin clearly showing her right ear during the debate itself (there is the one with her youngest son, but it was taken after the end of the debate and the aforementioned paranoid mind will surely claim Palin’s removed the “device” just in time). Also, I am not going to argue with anybody believing that the “device” was invisible or very well hidden: that’s akin to claiming a giant white, invisible rabbit was jumping up and down in front of the camera for the whole debate (iow: it cannot be taken seriously).
In any case, the onus is on those claiming the “device” existed at all. So I have scoured around on YouTube, the Getty Images website and the web looking for any “right ear” shot. Results below.
Images are enlarged areas from sources described in each picture. Copyrights remain with the authors of course.
First of all, look at “Palin 05”: that one has been taken at the end of the debate, when Palin was holding her baby son, if I am not mistaken. I included it because it reveals Palin’s ear details in full, with all the “ridges” and “valleys”. Note in particular the rather peculiar “ridge” right underneath the “temple” (“sidepiece”) of her glasses.
Peculiarity in this case is not important. Every one of us has a “special” shape of the ear and I understand it’s the one thing people really have trouble with when disguising.
I believe that “ridge” is what people like Creighton are misinterpreting as a “device”.
UPDATE: a similar conclusion has been reported by “SkepticOverlord” in the Abovetopsecret forum.
UPDATE: an “enhanced image” showing no device can be seen at Plaidlemur. Just to avoid the usual conspiratorial comments, I actually chose not to enhance the pictures posted above.
In fact, I wonder if anybody could please tell me where in every other picture posted above, there is a “device” that is on top, or separate, or in any case definitely not the “ridge” mentioned above.
You may also want to note how in images Palin 08, 09 and 10, taken directly from the live TV pictures, Sarah Palin is showing her right ear to the cameras in ways that would be extremely dangerous were she wearing a “device” of any sort in her right ear.
The above is more than enough to convince myself there was nothing at all in Palin’s right ear, during the debate. At this stage, the discussion can move forward only in two circumstances: either somebody comes out with a very clear picture of the “device”, or believers tell me what more evidence they need, to change their opinion.
UPDATE: blogger Ginandtacos reasons it would have been almost impossible for Palin to be able to talk the way she did, without breaking in apparently incoherent ways.
UPDATE: the claim appears to have moved to “Palin was reading her notes“. I don’t think that deserves any further analysis.
Is there any hope that one day the “liberal” American “people of culture” will wake up and realize that they live… in America?
How can it be that a long list of very fine intellectuals collectively and invariably fail to understand a simple fact: that it is precisely what they despise in Sarah Palin, that makes her popular among many of their fellow citizens.
Take for example the “news” that the Governor of Alaska has spent more nights at home than in the Palace in Juneau, after having been elected. Those who “leaked” this important (or not) piece of information may have tried to demonstrate that Palin cannot be a good VicePresident, since she does not accept the full responsibilities of public office.
But I am sure that many non-liberal Americans (and not only they) have interpreted the same “news” as evidence that the Palin is a “normal person” for whom family takes precedence, above everything else: and that’s what anybody would do, apart from those driven by mission or inordinate ambition.
It does not matter if Sarah Palin performs poorly once, or a hundred thousand times, in interviews that, incredibly, appear too convoluted in her presence. What non-liberals are going to convince themselves of, is that the Press, Academia, and Great Journalism are made up of Republican-hating strange people called “liberals”: whilst Palin is simply an “average person”, perfectly able to lose words and trains of thought in front of aggressive, controversy-seeking interviewers.
Has Palin got the characteristics that would make her a good Vice President and perhaps even a good President? Who knows?. The great satirical strip Doonesbury recently had an episode around the fact that every American is told that he or she may become President, one day. So what’s so strange if “Sarah Palin, average American” becomes Vice President?
And lest we forget: after four years of Dan “Potatoe” Quayle as VP for Bush father, I do not know who could perform worse. And Bush father did win the 1988 elections with Quayle in tow,
It is therefore absolutely foolish to go on with the mantra that Palin is “a bit slow, a bit ignorant, a bit young”: the more the Media will talk of that, the more votes she’s ensured to get.
Is that too hard a concept for contemporary liberal America? When will a leading “liberal mind” begin to think that if someone will vote for Sarah Palin, there may be good reasons for that, well beyond the usual “it’s the idiots that do it”?
Spare a prayer for John Biden then. He’s the one going into Thursday’s VP debate in the worst conditions.
Since everybody expects him to win big time, all Biden may be able to do is meet expectations. That will hardly look impressive: whilst every point conceded to Palin will be seen as a disaster (and a defeat).
From Sarah Palin, on the other hand, nobody expects anything. She can declare herself the winner even if the only thing she manages to state correctly is the time of the day.
If Palin will be able to hold her own against Biden for most of the debate, it will be for her a triumph beyond all hope. That’s after all the same tactics, of appearing “slow witted”, successfully employed by George W Bush to become Governor of Texas, and the President of the United States, persuading opponents to feel infinitely superior to him.
The Democratic VP candidate has everything to lose, at Washington University in St. Louis on Thursday. The Republican VP candidate, she has everything to gain: another gift, perhaps, by the Great “liberal” Minds that I do not think understand their country at all.
Is it a coincidence that in the last 100 years, in the White House there have been 10 Republicans and only 7 Democrats? And during the last forty years, 5 Republicans and only 2 Democrats?
(more on the idiocies of “liberal” America at Mr Cheeseburger 9000’s blog)
Personally I find the following statements bordering on the obvious. For some reason, many people think otherwise, in one sense or another…and unbelievably, abortion is still somehow an issue in US politics.
From the Methodist Church’s “Abortion and Contraception” web page:
- abortion is always an evil
- there will be circumstances where the termination of pregnancy may be the lesser of evils
And in particular:
- the mother should be told clearly of the alternatives to termination
- abortion should be avoided if at all possible by offering care to single mothers during pregnancy, and the adoption of their children if, at full term, the mother cannot offer a home
- the result of the coming together of human sperm and ovum is obviously human
- the right of the embryo to full respect […] increases throughout a pregnancy
- it would be strongly preferable that, through advances in medical science and social welfare, all abortions should become unnecessary
- late abortions should be very rare exceptions
- if abortion were made a criminal offence again, there would be increased risks of ill-health and death as a result of botched ‘back-street’ abortions
- to refuse to countenance abortion in any circumstances is to condemn some women and their babies to gross suffering and a cruel death in the name of an absolutism which nature itself does not observe
Letter to the International Herald Tribune:
Dear EditorsAre you planning to keep subjecting your readers to substantial daily doses of Democratic anti-Palin smugness until the Presidential Elections on Nov 4? One wonders.Just a few examples. Your celebrity columnist Maureen Dowd has dedicated her last six contributions to one and only one topic (Sarah Palin of course). Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame has joined in by pretending to be a liberal roaming around Alaska (“Moose on the loose in Palin Country“, IHT, Sep 18).Even anti-Obamite David Brooks has opined at length about the Governor of Alaska’s preparedness for High Office (“Experience Matters“, IHT, Sep 16).Apparently, the situation for Gov. Palin does not look pretty. Your columnists have described her as a female version of George W Bush for her “inexperience”, “brashness” and “excessive decisiveness”; as a populist, gun-crazied shooter potentially even of a mother and baby moose; as the gay-hating infantile, seductive former mayor of a town smaller than the local Wal-Mart, with intimidation as her preferred political tool; as an anti-intellectual contemporary “My Fair Lady” character hell-bent on getting rid of her enemies.The list could continue for a long long time.Now, am I the only one to think that all the above amounts to (a) free publicity for Palin; and (b) a very good platform to convince “Middle America” to vote for Palin, if only because she’s obviously such a hate figure in the Establishment?In 2008 there are many things pointing towards a success for Barack Obama. However, the Democrats may still lose the Presidential election, for the trivial reason that one will find it very hard to get votes from people one so obviously disdains and look upon condescendingly.regardsmaurizio morabito
Political statements do sound truer if they come identical from actual or potential enemies. Is there therefore a high chance that Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia a month ago, has been “encouraged” by people trying to support McCain, as Russia’s strongman Vladimir Putin has recently suggested to CNN (Aug 28)?
In an interview in the Black Sea city of Sochi on Thursday, Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia.
Putin said his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate — Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush — although he presented no evidence to back it up.
“U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict,” Putin said. “They were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader.”
Just listen now to Thomas Rath, “leading Republican strategist in the swing state of New Hampshire” according to Bloomberg news and the IHT (Sep 7):
“If in October we’re talking about Russia and national defense and who can manage America in a difficult world, John McCain will be president,” predicts Thomas Rath, the leading Republican strategist in the swing state of New Hampshire. “If we’re talking largely about domestic issues and health care, Barack Obama probably will be president.”
In other words, as explained by article’s author Albert R Hunt:
If Russia invades another country on Oct. 20 or Iran detonates a nuclear weapon, advantage McCain; if there’s another Bear Stearns meltdown, or a stock market crash, put a few points on the Obama side.
A similar point is made rather more forcefully by leftist Tony Wood in the pages of the London Review of Book (Sep 11):
So why would the US approve a military adventure it had no intention of materially supporting? Not every development is part of an infernal neocon conspiracy, but it is nonetheless clear that the White House would make palpable gains from the Georgian crisis, whatever the outcome. If Saakashvili succeeded in retaking South Ossetia, he would have faced down Russia and demonstrated Georgia’s increasing readiness for Nato membership. If, on the other hand, Russia defeated Georgia, it would re-emphasise to Eastern Europe the need for US security guarantees. Sure enough, within two days of the start of fighting in Tskhinvali, Poland and the US finally reached agreement on the missile shield. Georgia itself appears all the more in need of US backing, and several politicians and commentators have suggested that the crisis is grounds for the country’s immediate admission to Nato. It could also justify the US increasing its military presence in Georgia, from a mere 100 Special Forces troops to, say, a long-term base. Moreover, the war has created ample opportunity for ramping up the discourse of a New Cold War – considerably improving the electoral prospects of John McCain, whose foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann worked for Saakashvili until May this year. All this, in exchange for a short war the US didn’t have to fight.
“All this, in exchange for a short war the US didn’t have to fight”.