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Zer Netmouse
September 22nd, 2008
09:59 am

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PBS poll needs your input

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From:mjwise
Date:September 23rd, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
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Note that I do believe rational thought and a belief in science and facts are qualifications to be vice president of my country. I'm crazy that way.

Hah, you're telling me! Next thing you're going to find out is that her church peddled the conspiracy theory that the CIA created AIDS to spread among black people and she just let her kids sit and soak up crap like that. Hm, oh, wait, who are we talking about again? Just how do you get upset over Sarah Palin's religion and not Barack Obama's religion?

P.S. No, Sarah Palin did not try to get creationism taught in schools, no, she did not ban any books, no, she did not argue for abstinence-only education and as public school students in Alaska that's not what her children receive/received, and yes, her father was a science teacher.

P.P.S. Yes, I'd probably feel a little odd at her ex-church of 6 years ago, and yes, I'm sure I'd feel completely unwelcome at Barack Obama's ex-church of 6 months ago.
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From:netmouse
Date:September 23rd, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
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She does not believe creationism should be a required part of the school curriculum, but she thinks it should be given air time if the students bring it up (and I'm all for admitting people don't believe in evolution and instead believe that the world was literally created 6000 years ago and dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, as long as you *clearly* teach that all the physical evidence indicates that dinosaurs and humans did *not* live at the same time.

Science teacher father or no, she did (does?) believe in creationism SFAIK (do you have a reference that says otherwise?). That whole dinosaurs thing again. Which means she chooses to disbelieve scientific evidence. I have heard nothing indicating that Obama's religion leads him to refute facts firmly agreed upon in the scientific community. It is possible to be christian and scientific, but not, IMHO, to be both creationist and scientific.

She did ask a librarian to remove books from the library, then try to get her fired (the attempt failed) when the librarian refused, SFAIK.

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From:mjwise
Date:September 23rd, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
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Re: creationism. While we can speculate about her personal beliefs, the fact remains she never apparently pushed the issue at any level or capacity. This remains the best news article that addresses the issue, contemporaneous with the 2006 gubernatorial election. She seems to be a proponent of some rather old-school conservatism that states, whatever her personal beliefs, she doesn't necessarily believe they will make a good public office crusade. I realize that doesn't completely square with modern politics, which is more govern-how-you-believe - it's a rather old-fashioned position lost on both sides of the aisle. The tone of that article I linked certainly presents the idea that the state is divided enough on the creationism issue that, had she pressed it and given her extreme popularity at times in Alaska, she could have likely had some influence on the curriculum. She probably just doesn't see her role as either scientist or pastor in chief, and I happen to agree with that.

And re: book banning. No one can actually produce a book title that she tried to have banned. See here and here. She did apparently challenge the librarian on how the librarian would react if she asked if a book was to be banned (although the sole source for this, as far as I can tell, was a political opponent and thus is suspect - the librarian herself has never spoken on the issue). The librarian was briefly fired, but then re-hired a few weeks later and served until the end of Palin's first term 1999 without further incident. My own speculation says it was a personal conflict that ended up being resolved, not an ideological one (if she had really wanted to ban books, she wouldn't have rehired the same librarian that refused to engage in such a thing).

I have heard nothing indicating that Obama's religion leads him to refute facts firmly agreed upon in the scientific community.

But he sat in a church that espoused AIDS conspiracy theories and spewed hateful and racial invective? The pastor that did so was his close friend and spiritual counselor? For 20 years? Married him to Michelle? Baptized his kids? This really doesn't bother you?

That said, I actually do agree with you that that is not likely what Barack Obama believes. Based on his own statements (which boil down to: church is a vehicle for social change), I think his church was a means to climbing a political and social ladder in the Chicago area more than anything, and he just adopted the religion, lingo and the pastor as a means to an end. That's actually the least offensive version of events for me at least, because if he has a fervent belief on the kind of racial politics played out at that church, well, "eek." I'll take a dullard's creationism fantasies over race/class warfare crap like that any day.

But you know what? Even if he didn't really believe it, he stewed in that crap for year after year, just like he stewed in Chicago politics, going with the flow and not rocking the boat (until the church proved politically inconvenient, at least). As far as (not) displaying leadership traits, frankly, I don't think he's fit to be a governor, let along President. But the voters shall decide.
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From:netmouse
Date:September 23rd, 2008 10:43 am (UTC)
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If you believe her "political opponent" -a housewife who was part of the citizens group who defended the librarian (see here for a copy of the letter she supposedly wrote), Palin re-hired the librarian because she was forced to. 5000 to 7000 people is a really small town. Have you ever lived in a community that small? I lived in Grinnell, Iowa for 4 years, and we had 13,000 people, or twice as many, and it was still a really, really small town. I could easily see 100 citizens pressuring the mayor to reverse a decision.

And if you take the letter as a resource, Palin took that town and overspent and put it into debt, and made all sorts of other decisions I've not heard the republicans refute, that I don't think sound particularly fiscally responsible (or "fiscally conservative"), and what successful administration was done of her city was done by a hired administrator who worked for her. A friend of mine recently forwarded me an email about a rally of 1400 people in Anchorage against Palin. I'll forward it to you. Just having held an executive position doesn't mean you did it well or have learned good lessons from it. consider GW Bush - did it make sense to mention he'd been CEO of companies that he'd run into the ground as proof he had executive experience? This is not as bad, but it seems similar - pointing to the title and not her actual record.

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