McCain – Palin split losing election

October 27, 2008

The reported feud between McCain and Palin advisers seem to be having an affect on Republican support.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said one McCain adviser, “she does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”

For her part, it seems Sarah Palin has decided not to trust her Republican aides:

Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline.

It does seem the feeling is mutual:

“She’s lost confidence in most of the people on the plane,” said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to “go rogue” in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

“I think she’d like to go more rogue,” he said.

The article continues:

Some McCain aides say they had little choice with a candidate who simply wasn’t ready for the national stage, and that Palin didn’t forcefully object. Moments that Palin’s allies see as triumphs of instinct and authenticity — the Wright suggestion, her objection to the campaign’s pulling out of Michigan — they dismiss as Palin’s “slips and miscommunications,” that is, her own incompetence and evidence of the need for tight scripting.

Watching that video convinces me that the McCain aides are right. If ever there was a need for tight scripting then I think that video proves it. Whether Sarah Palin has the competence to deliver a tighter speech is another question.

It comes as no surprise then, that the home states of Palin and McCain seem to be having doubts over their nomination.

The Anchorage Daily News has come out in favour of Barack Obama.

And latest polls from Arizona show increasing support for Barack Obama, in one poll McCain is only ahead by two points!

Of course, it would be a huge ask for the Democrats to actually win either state for Obama. The mere fact that they are gaining support in Arizona and Alaska does show how much trouble the Republican campaign is in.

The McCain – Palin split is just a symptom of this trouble.

But its a clear indication to the voters that the Republican campaign is in disarray. Its a clear indication that McCain will lose the election.

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Sarah Palin and dinosaurs

September 11, 2008

It seems Matt Damon and I have the same concerns about the republican Vice President candidate Sarah Palin.

So does Sarah Palin think dinosaurs roamed the earth 4000 years ago?

Alaska is not normally associated with dinosaurs as its temperature was previously thought to have been too cold for them to survive.

But there have been dinosaur fossils found in Alaska belonging to dinosaurs like this Edmontosaurus:

edmontosaurus

Surely Sarah Palin must have an opinion on whether they existed?

I think we should be told.

Because judging on her creationist ideas, whether she wants Charles Darwin’s books banned and her lack of environmental concern even dinosaurs become a current issue.

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Sarah Palin’s burning issue

September 6, 2008

A row has broken out over which books Sarah Palin actually wants to ban.

This is due to a story resurfacing that on becoming Mayor of Wassilla in Alaska, Sarah asked the librarian if she could ban some books in the local library:

In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her — starting before she was sworn in — about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose.

Emmons told the Frontiersman she flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship. Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, is on vacation from her current job in Fairbanks and did not return e-mail or telephone messages left for her Wednesday.

When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there.

Like many Alaskans, Kilkenny calls the governor by her first name.

“Sarah said to Mary Ellen, ‘What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?” Kilkenny said.

“I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, ‘The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'”

The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, refused the ban and a few months later Sarah Palin tried to fire her for lack of support.

After a public outcry in Alaska, Palin was instead forced to keep Mary Ellen in her post.

Mary Ellen decided to resign in 1999. “[Palin] essentially forced Mary Ellen out,” says June Pinnell-Stephens, chair of the Alaska Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee and a friend of Mary Ellen Baker’s [Emmons]. “She all but fired her.”

Well it obviously wasn’t for the want of trying!

Some bloggers have a list of banned books but in all the blogs I have read the list actually comes from a site naming banned books – at one time or another – in America.

No-one as yet has come up with a definitive list of books Sarah Palin would like banned.

We know Sarah Palin is a creationist. So it doesn’t take a lot of guesswork to deduce that Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution would be one of the books. Or anything by Richard Dawkins.

We know that America is no stranger to book burning either. Even the Harry Potter books have gone up in flames.

Harry Potter book burning in New Mexico

Its incredible in this day and age that people will want to burn books just because they disagree with their premise or theories. Its almost as if the Enlightenment never happened.

“Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” – Heinrich Heine. The Nazis burned his books among others in 1933.

Of course if these religious fundamentalists like Sarah Palin actually burned some of the books that were left in Travelodge hotels then we’d probably complain less about it!

Top ten books left in Travelodge hotels:-

1. Prezza: Pulling No Punches by John Prescott
2. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand
3. Speaking For Myself by Cherie Blair
4. Don’t You Know Who I Am by Piers Morgan?
5. Angel Uncovered and Crystal by Katie Price
6. You and Your Money by Alvin Hall
7. Lessons in Heartbreak by Cathy Kelly
8. Blind Faith by Ben Elton
9. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
10. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

I mean if it was just the thrill of burning books then there wouldn’t be too many complaints if John Prescott and Russell Brands’ books were in the pile, surely? I mean apart from environmental concerns anyway! Not that the environment bothers Sarah Palin in any case.

But no. Its always The Catcher in the Rye and Catch 22 and the rest, isn’t it?

Once the argument for one book to be burned is made, its easier for religious fundamentalists to carry on burning others. That’s why even John Prescott’s Prezza: Pulling No Punches deserves to be spared.

At least until the first bad winter anyway!

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Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter

September 2, 2008

So its been announced that Sarah Palin, the newly picked Republican Vice President, has a daughter who is pregnant.

Over on this side on the pond its hard to see what the fuss is.

OK she is seventeen and that’s fairly young.

Its over the age of consent in Alaska.

I can only see this being a minor issue in the U.S. states that have an older age of consent. Even then they must surely recognise that the laws in other states are different.

Its not going to swing the Republican vote. There is only one other party and that’s the Democrats. Who cares when John McCain knew? He’s not the father! (Its a boy called Levi. I didn’t think wearing Levi’s could help your fertility but there you go!)

I doubt it will influence swing voters. Those that are bothered about this sort of thing are more naturally Republican voters anyway.

What did strike me is Sarah Palin’s daughter’s name.

Bristol.

The very name of the beautiful Alaskan bay that Sarah Palin wants to destroy by permitting the building of a huge mineworks.

Could it be a la Brooklyn Beckham style the very place of conception?

I think we should definitely not be told!

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Sarah Palin and Charles McKay

August 31, 2008

Anyone who read my previous post on Johann Anton Güldenstädt and his 18th century trip to the Caucaus mountains, at the end of the recent Russian – Georgian War over South Ossetia, would have guessed two things: I am a fan of nature and where politics and nature meet it gives me great incentive to blog.

With all the recent fuss over Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska, and now Republican Vice President candidate; that’s all the excuse I need!

Particularly when Sarah Palin is backing destruction of one of the most spectular wildlife areas in North America and that site is intimately linked to a little known naturalist but one of my biggest heroes!

Charles McKay, born in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1855, was the son of a Scottish farmer. He studied Science under David Starr Jordan; a naturalist particularly noted for the study of fish and also a famous peace campaigner he became a president of Indiana University then Stanford University.

When Charles left university he joined the U.S. Army. He was sent to Alaska by Spencer Fullerton Baird as a signal officer. Baird was another naturalist and often used fellow naturalists in the military, sending them to remote places to study the wildlife, whilst carrying out their military duties.

McKay was sent to Bristol Bay in Alaska. He discovered a beautiful, rare and new species of bunting there, now named McKay’s Bunting in his honour.

McKay's bunting

There are only about 6000 McKay’s buntings in the world. They only breed on two islands in the Bering Sea; St. Matthew Island and Hall island. They winter on the coast of Alaska, and can be found in Bristol Bay.

Breeding on two Arctic islands McKay’s buntings could be threatened by global warming as the Bering Sea rises due to melting icebergs and the icecap.

Bristol Bay, the very area where Charles McKay first discovered these buntings, is now under threat from a proposed Gold and Copper mine that would be sited in the area called Pebble Mine.

Bristol Bay is also the site of one of the world’s biggest salmon fisheries. This is also at risk from the proposed mine.

And its this very place that Sarah Palin wants to see the Pebble Mine located.

Its an indication of how right-wing Governor Palin is when you realise that even the American Hunting Organisations are against the proposed mine.

The most worrying thing is that both Sarah Palin and Barack Obama were against Alaska’s Proposition 4 which would have prevented mining companies dumping their chemicals into the state water supply and rivers; it may have even prevented the Pebble Mine being built. It narrowly was defeated recently giving the mining companies a huge boost.

Indeed, it seems Sarah Palin even broke the law to campaign against Proposition 4.

The door is now open for the Pebble Mine.

Sarah Palin won’t stop it. Will Barack Obama?

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