Monday, September 15, 2008

Speaking of Alaska: A Rant

Speaking of Alaska

...and Palin
...and Palin
...and McCain
...and McCain
...and Palin&McCain
...and yada yada

Some recent reports from the Geo/Blogosphere (above), mostly about Palin and McCain, have rightfully noted that some McCain/Palin ads and statements have been inaccurate to smelly. I won't at all try to get into (or link to) sites and comment forums that are basically about, "I hate Palin." Those types of statements seem, to me, not much different from earlier, "I hate Hillary" statements - mostly being made by men against women, although certainly not entirely. IMHO, to hate someone you haven't met is absurd and ridiculous - I don't care who it is.

Just for the record, because I have read some truly outrageous and untrue things, here are two on-line sites reporting accurately about the rumors (and bullshit) being spread around the internet about Sarah Palin, who hails from Wasilla, Alaska, just a little bit north of Anchorage.

Where, exactly, these many internet rumors have been coming from (except for one or two sources cited at FactCheck.org), is unclear. Perhaps people have taken Alaska news reports, not read them entirely all the way through, or taken things out of context, and then just enlarged upon and exaggerated these partial quotes or mis-quotes. Who knows? Who cares?

BTW, it's worth reading FactCheck.org - they seem to be a sort of impartial - as far as I can tell - MythBusters sort of outfit.

It does seem apparent, however, that people on both sides of our almost-completely two-party system, have been dissing and sliming the Other Side (whichever side that is to you or them). In some cases, perhaps this over-enthusiastic to inaccurate reporting by both sides is happening to increase readership (one inherent problem with media in general: TV, newspapers, online news webpages, and blogs). The mis-representation of facts by both Democrats and Republicans (although typical of most election years) doesn't bode well for the attempts by Either Side in gaining the so-called undecided or independent vote. I may never vote Democratic or Republican again in my life as the result of this overall fuzzy to slimy campaign. [And Obama isn't clean, either.]

NOTE: As an American, I reserve the right to vote for whomever I please, without revealing who those whomevers might be.

UPDATE: And here's some strange news!

11 comments:

BrianR said...

While I agree that insulting Palin personally is not called for (to be clear, I haven't done such a thing) ... but the McCain campaign has out-and-out LIED over and over again. Blatant lies ... uttered over and over and over.

I couldn't care less about Palin's biography ... she is lying, not spinning, not twisting words, not de-emphasizing, but lying. She has now repeated the "thanks, but no thanks" line herself 10 times (as of 9/15) and McCain, their surrogates, or their TV ads, an additional 22 times. It is a lie. This is NOT the same as a generally negative ad (which I agree w/ you both are doing), it is a lie. And it is only one of numerous. We can debate subjective things like experience, judgment, governing philosophy, etc., but if anyone can dispute these lies, please do.

Sure, there are some misleading or word-twisted statements from Obama that one could point to (and I'm not condoning that) but the degree and intensity that the McCain campaign has been lying is unprecedented. That ad distorting the sexual predator education bill to suggest Obama wanted to teach sex ed to kindergartners is horrific. It is disgusting and extremely offensive. I have grown to deal w/ negative campaigning, but this is something different. I've lost all respect I once had for McCain. It's really more sad than anything.

Silver Fox said...

It really is sad about McCain - seems like he's been taken over - and I don't think he needed that!

I don't watch TV, so don't know what "thanks but no thanks" would be about.

I went to the FactCheck.org site after following your second "here" link. I found their information to be straightforward, informative, and about as unbiased as anything I've seen.

About Palin, a lot of people are telling lies about her, in statements having nothing to do with her biography (her personal life?) - I used the word inaccurate, because people saying things are possibly just very mis-informed and are just repeating things they've heard or read. I don't always know or understand people's motives, but the rhetoric around the web is mostly pretty intense, like I said, no matter who you are reading about. And I do think it's interesting that now that we don't have "that b****" to kick around anymore - (Hillary - does the fact that people use her first name and Palin's second indicate something about respect?) - now we have different people displaying a similar degree of animosity about another woman. Just my impression, mind you.

I think McCain's choice is going to end up backfiring for him, not the least because about half the Republicans think Palin is unqualified, and the right-right isn't really happy with the possibility of having a woman as president.

Even many people in Alaska, people who are behind Palin as governor, don't think she should be a VP.

Silver Fox said...

But quite frankly, I've seen very few presidential elections that didn't seem diry and underhanded to me.

Amanda said...

I agree with the sliming being dirty and underhanded. I'm frustrated that both sides do it and the things they say have very little to do with the facts. I'm also getting tired of (both) candidates repeating lies-- it's as if they say them enough it'll be true. (The "thanks, but no thanks" line is what Palin claims she said to congress about the Bridge To Nowhere. From what I understand, there's some controversy as to whether or not she said "thanks, but no thanks" before or after the state received the money.)

BrianR said...

Silver Fox ... yes the attacks on Palin from pundits, pseudo-pundits, bloggers, etc. is horrible. I agree with you on that. It doesn't take much strolling around the internet to find despicable attacks on Obama too. Those have been around for 18 months now.

I agree these are bad. But, the important thing to point out goes beyond the noise from blogs and pundits. It's what comes right from the McCain campaign's mouth.

In other words, take out all the din of low-level and disgusting personal attacks from a bunch of nobodies and the dishonesty of the McCain ads and statements stands tall. They are doing this themselves.

Where has the Obama campaign ... not supporters or pundits ... but the actual Obama campaign ... even come close to the level of dishonesty coming from the McCain campaign?

Amanda says: "I'm also getting tired of (both) candidates repeating lies-- it's as if they say them enough it'll be true."

What are the lies that the Obama campaign keeps repeating? What is the lie and how many times repeated?

This tactic has backfired for McCain ... independents especially are turned off by this. So, they are going into damage control by saying exactly what you are saying. That both are lying, both are bad. As an anal-retentive scientist ... I need data. Show me the proof for this.

Amanda said...

BrianR: Sorry, I meant both McCain and Palin. However, a quick look at factcheck.org or politifact.com shows that the Obama camp has lied, just, according to those two sites, not to the same degree (or amount) as the McCain camp.

There are some negative ads by the Obama campaign that are a bit loose with dates and exaggerate McCain's position that continues to get air time.

BrianR said...

Sorry Amanda ... I misread, my bad.

Yes, I agree ... I'm not saying the Obama campaign is squeaky clean, just that there is a marked distinction in the degree, tenor, and frequency of distortions and misprepresentations between the two campaigns.

Just this morning, McCain was asked if he thinks his ad about the sexual predator bill was factual. He replied with 'go on our website and read the bill for yourself, I stand by the ad' ... or something to that effect. First of all, Obama never sponsored the bill and second, he's grossly misrepresented what the bill was about. He still stands by it.

McCain did say that the ad that he approved claiming Obama was calling Palin a 'pig' was in fact inaccurate. That's great, but it doesn't matter much now ... they got their message out. They are trying to divert voters attention away from real issues and turn this into a drama. They are trying to turn any criticism of Palin or the policies she advocates as a personal attack. McCain campaign manager, Rick Davis, even said that this election is not about issues, but about personality and character. McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers says: "We’re running a campaign to win. And we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.” Media filters? Calling out lies is not a filter. That is really what a free press is all about.

roads said...

Thanks, Silverfox. Here in Europe it's been absorbing to watch the sparks which have flown following Sarah Palin's selection as Vice-Presidential candidate.

Whilst from this distance we have no realistic right to influence or criticise America's decision this November, it would be foolish to pretend that we won't be fundamentally affected by that choice.

Palin's personal life isn't something which I'd like to comment on. As a scientist and a geologist it is much more remarkably worrying that America could ever consider electing an evolution- and climate change-denier into The White House.

That could never happen, could it? Unless maybe it already has...

Silver Fox said...

I'd like to thank everyone - BrianR, Amanda, and Roads - for commenting and discussing, and for helping to keep me informed on things. Maybe it's too bad I don't watch TV - but I don't really feel like I'm missing out by not watching the political ads.

Brian, your post abpout this is very informative - and quite inspiring, actually. Roads, your post about the campaign and election process over here is, as usual, quite thoughtful.

Amanda, thanks for your reference about the 'thanks but no thanks.' I really doubt she said that to congress about the bridge to the airport at Ketchikan (not really to nowhere). Some people down there are still annoyed that the bridge isn't being built, though it was congress who didn't fund it (and Bush who didn't veto whatever budget bill it was part of).

It's often true that one side in an election year is worse at smearing than the other side, and hopefully Obama won't get sucked in. When that sort of thing happens, it all just goes completely out the window as far as I'm concerned.

I think it's a little strange that Palin is actually saying anything that contradicts McCain - usually a VP candidate has to sign on to the Pres-candidate's (and party) platform.

But her record and statements were already out there - about being a skeptic about global warming, for example - as you pointed out, Roads.

And actually, she's not a "climate-change denier."

[I dislike the use of 'denier' after anything, these days - it sounds so much like we as scientists are dictating some kind of line that must be followed, and if not, then one is branded a heretic - I think there is enough assignment of 'heresy' by religions - when scientists start doing it, it just makes me think: Catholic Church.]

Palin has said she wouldn't say global warming is man-made, but I'm not sure she's said it doesn't exist. That's why I called her a "global-warming skeptic."

"A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location," she said. "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made." - from Newsmax].

According to abcnews,"she created a new 'sub-cabinet' agency last September, to advise her office “on the preparation and implementation of an Alaska climate change strategy.'"

Well, anyway, that's all the energy I have for this right now. It's hard to edit and follow my own comments in this little blogger form. And it's dinner time.

Sorry I couldn't comment earlier - I've been working!!

BrianR said...

Silver Fox ... I do like discussing this stuff, hopefully my tone doesn't come across as combative (when I say it to myself I'm calm). Obviously, I'm an Obama supporter and defending him ... you're right to point out where he hasn't been completely truthful.

roads ... I actually had a nightmare last night about Sarah Palin addressing the nation has she took over the presidency in the wake of McCain becoming incapacitated. Think about it. McCain is 72 and has about a 1 in 6 chance of not making it to 76. To me, this is very scary.

(Just so we're clear, I'm not attacking Palin personally, I'm not sexist, I'm not against hockey moms (I love hockey actually), I'm not against her belief system, etc., she's probably a pleasant person, I just completely disagree with her on just about everything policywise and think she would be a horrible VP)

Silver Fox said...

Brian, I fully get you on those disclaimers - I know you aren't sexist, somehow that comes through completely! I'm glad you are calm when writing; I don't always get that part! Oh, well. :)

Sorry to hear about your nightmare.

And Roads, I meant to say that I think it already did happen here, didn't it? (With Bush, I mean - his stance on climate seems a little unreal, somehow.)

And Brian, I hope you checked out Roads' website. It's in my Reader!