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Ailurophobia — Why Now?
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I told you that there were substantial reasons not to like Palin, and Paul Krugman scores a direct hit: she’s a cat phobic.


1 mapaghimagsik { 09.10.08 at 5:04 pm }

How can you trust a cat hater?

2 Bryan { 09.10.08 at 5:18 pm }

Apparently, she’s afraid of them, which I obviously can’t relate to in any way.

3 Bryan { 09.10.08 at 5:18 pm }

Oh, I loved yesterday’s strip.

4 Kryten42 { 09.10.08 at 8:30 pm }

Hmmmm. I don’t get that either. Scared of the big felines (Lions, tigers, etc), I can understand… but domestic kitties? And she hunts moose??! What’s wrong with this picture!

Cat’s know things… 😉 And they know BS when they smell it.

5 Bryan { 09.10.08 at 8:41 pm }

There are apparently a lot of people who have this problem. It may be the result of an incident in childhood, or the tales of cats being linked to witchcraft. I know they killed cats during Plague outbreaks in Eur0pe in the belief that they were responsible. Of course, since fleas on rats were responsible that made things worse.

Alaska was pretty much dog country, because sled dogs were the emergency back-up mode of transportation.

6 hipparchia { 09.10.08 at 9:19 pm }

i could invite her to tea at my place!

7 Bryan { 09.10.08 at 10:06 pm }

My ferals would prefer breakfast or supper 😉

8 hipparchia { 09.10.08 at 11:37 pm }


my wannabe ferals are much friendlier than your real ferals, but all 6 of my black cats [they’re the friendliest of all] would try to sit in her lap at once.

9 Bryan { 09.10.08 at 11:45 pm }

To a phobic there wouldn’t be a lot of difference between being surrounded by hate or love – she would have a panic attack either way.

10 Moi { 09.11.08 at 8:25 pm }

Right there, that’s enough reason to throw the biotch to the moose. GitRDone.

11 Bryan { 09.11.08 at 9:41 pm }

She did some reasonable things as Alaska’s governor, but she has already shifted to the party line since becoming the nominee. Can you imagine the screaming if she backed the same kind of windfall profit tax on oil companies that she pushed through in Alaska?

12 hipparchia { 09.11.08 at 10:07 pm }

i want so badly for someone in the media to ask her about windfall profits tax.

13 oldwhitelady { 09.11.08 at 10:18 pm }

Wasn’t John Ashcroft afraid of calico cats? Actually, I know several people who’ve mentioned fear of cats. I don’t know what causes it, but I guess it’s similar to fear of snakes and spiders.

14 Bryan { 09.11.08 at 10:54 pm }

She has done a number of things that would freak out the entrenched leaders, Hipparchia, but they don’t want to talk about them. You mentioned her vetoing the benefits bill because it was unconstitutional. A Republican that actually follows a constitution would be a new phenomenon.

I think it is something that is taught, OWL, and I know if I had been exposed to my maternal grandmother I would be terrified of all kinds of bugs. My Mother had it under control, but she had to work on it because it was part of her childhood.

If you are taught all your life that some things are “evil”, after a while you believe it. I can understand why people might not like cats, but I don’t understand being afraid of them. We had a cat, Torch, who terrorized our German Shepherd and would take a notion to jump on your head from the stair landing, but I was never afraid of her. We lived in an old [more than 100 years] farm house and she kept it rodent free.

15 hipparchia { 09.11.08 at 11:24 pm }

i still think it’s likely she’s going to turn out to be a stealth dominionist [my dad is convinced the entire republican party is dominionists], so i’m leery of her, even with what looks like a moderate record.

otoh, it sure looks an awful lot like she mostly gave her constituents — all of them — what they wanted, whether or not it was what she wanted, which is an outright novelty in politics these days.

please don’t feel obligated by any means, but if you find yourself in need of some reading material to wade through, i’d be interested in your take on troopergate. while waiting for my computer at work to do its thing the other day, i read through most of the pdf files in the sidebar to this article and it sounds to me like maybe wooten shouldn’t be in a job where he’s got a badge, a gun, and a taser, though there’s not a lot of hard proof there. lots of he said, she said, they said.

rodent-free, i has it, though not by much i think, because there are a couple of spots in the walls that the kittehz keep staring at and attacking. curmudgeon cat is strictly a bird and rottweiler specialist, but the rest of the crew are all mousers i think.

16 Bryan { 09.12.08 at 12:52 am }

In the sidebar to that article you will find the PDF of the Memo of Findings, which has the results of the internal investigations.

I occasionally worked internal affairs. I didn’t like it but it was part of my job. I would have fired him in an instant for either of two incidents. One is obvious, the use of a Taser on his 10-year-old stepchild. The investigating officer noted he was a trainer on the use of the Taser, so it is more serious than just any cop doing it – he had received extra training to train other officers. Claiming it was a training exercise is just ludicrous.

The second incident may seem odd on the surface, the shooting of the moose. The reason I would have fired him over that is because he claimed he thought it was legal to shoot the moose and use his wife’s tag. As the investigator noted, Investigator Wooten worked in the Wildlife Investigations Unit and knew full well what he did was illegal.

Those two are incidents in which he willfully did something that he, personally, had more reason than an ordinary Trooper to know were in violation of the rules, procedures, and laws, and he lied about them.

Not all charges were sustained, only those where there were witnesses beyond his wife’s family and actual evidence.

He is 35 years old and he talks about making mistakes when he was younger, like when he was 30! I would have fired him, not a doubt in my mind because he is a law suit waiting to happen.

Obviously the Troopers Union is a major force in the state, and they are required to fight for their members, but they aren’t helping anyone by keeping this guy around. They managed to get all personnel records sealed, which is unusual. The standard personnel file is usually sealed, but this is the only jurisdiction I’ve heard of that seals disciplinary records when the charges are sustained. Until they were released in the divorce no one knew the charges had been investigated, or that he had received time-off.

I would have fired him and fought the Union in court if necessary because the liability was just too great.

17 hipparchia { 09.12.08 at 1:44 am }

tasering the kid looked like a huge judgment/liability problem to me, especially when coupled with the i’m above the law attitude that the moose incident suggests. if i’d been a member of the community, i’d have wanted him off any force that was policing me.

unions definitely ought to be looking out for their members, but this dude is just plain scary, as is the group that was looking out for him. as i understand it, the original punishment was 10 days suspension, which isn’t ear enough in my book [i admit to being biased] but the union got it taken down to 5 days.

i forget which document it was in, but they interviewed his wife [palin’s sister] where it came out that he’d maybe [depending on who you believed] knocked her down a couple of times, once when she was holding the baby. they apparently asked her several times about whether she’d actually felt any pain as a result. sure, she might have been making it up and they might have been trying to trip her up in retelling her story, but that sure left me thinking gee, i wonder why alaska has such a high rate of domestic violence? can it be because maybe they don’t even count it as violence until the victim is beaten black and blue?

18 Kryten42 { 09.12.08 at 6:13 am }

OK. I have pretty much been staying out of this apart from my cat comment above because I really didn’t know much about Palin. That changed tonight. I saw her on SBS here when they reran an ABC (USA) interview with her. She’s a lunatic.

She started out by saying the USA should be worried about Russia, for which I was giving her a tick, and then when rapidly into Bushworld! I suggest that before she digns to make statements of *fact* about Russia, she may want to at the very least check a map. One statement she made was that from Alaska, you can actually see Russia! When the interviewer tried to correct her that she meant the Ukraine & possibly Georgia, she made the claim taht that was the same thing (paraphrasing her diatribe here)! She doesn’t know the difference between the old USSR and the current Russia! And then she went on to say that the USA had the legal and moral obligation to help it’s NATO allies like Georgia in times of trouble, such as when Russia invaded the democratic Nation of Georgia. Then she got onto helping Israel against Iran and Iran’s nuclear WMD’s… and I almost violently regurgitated my dinner! She even made veiled threats about attacking Pakistan! LMAO (Granted that Pakistan possibly deserve it… but even China wouldn’t be that stupid!) LOL

She is a typical right-wing ignorant lunatic. If McCain and she win the election, I think you may discover Bush wasn’t so bad after all.

Good luck with that. 😉

19 Bryan { 09.12.08 at 9:55 am }

Ah, Kryten, there are two islands in the Bering Strait that are 4 kilometers apart. Big Diomede is Russian and Little Diomede is Alaskan. Both Sarah Palin and Michael Palin know, as does every schoolchild in Alaska, that you can see Russia from Alaska. The International Date Line passes between the two islands, so you can also “see the future” from the Alaskan side, or “watch the past” from the Russian side.

I would note that if you bring up Google map in the “map” view, they don’t show Big Diomede, but if you switch to the “satellite” view, there it is. Obviously they used Soviet maps initially for their map graphic, because there are a lot of things missing and mispositioned on Soviet maps.

She is following the neocon line on foreign policy, which isn’t good, it turns your brain to mush, but she paid attention in social studies class in Alaska.

20 Bryan { 09.12.08 at 11:24 am }

Hipparchia, I’m assuming that Alaska still has the same type of “domestic violence” laws that we had in New York until the 1970s which made such offenses a civil matter, and not criminal. The fact that the judge in the divorce case cautioned the wife and her family from continuing to “attempt to deny him his livelihood” indicates that the judge didn’t have access to the disciplinary file or we would know they weren’t making “allegations” because the Troopers had investigated and found substantiation for some of the charges.

Apparently the court system is Alaska accepts a high level of violence as being normal.

As a law enforcement management-type at the end, I look at the cost of a “negligent retention” law suit, and say good bye to Wooten. If Wooten screws up again, the state is liable because they could have and should have fired him. If they tried and lost, they eliminate the liability, but if they don’t try, they are saying they accept the behavior as not being all that bad.

21 Kryten42 { 09.13.08 at 5:49 am }

That is not what she said and certainly not what she implied Bryan. And I do know about the islands. She was playing the standard Republican bedwetters card because that’s all she has as evidenced by her piss-poor performance in the Interview. And I am nor the only one by far who thinks so (and that includes Americans as evidenced by several US blogs I read after I saw the interview). EG:

Ho. Lee. F*ck.

She has no clue what the Bush Doctrine is. The Bush Doctrine, of course, is the doctrine of preemptive war, probably the most defining characteristic not just of the Bush Administration’s foreign policy, but of the administration itself. And Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential candidate, doesn’t know what the f*ck it is. I know what it is, for f*ck sake, and I’m a grocery store cashier.

This has gone beyond ridiculous and crossed over into terrifying.

Palin’s ABC Interview – The Horror

As well as being an extreme warhawk, she dissed just about everyone who has any real-World experience by saying that Jo Biddens extensive Resume and experience in foreign affairs wasn’t important (mainly because she has none what so ever of either).

The Politico reported:

In her first televised interview since being unexpectedly tapped as John McCain’s running mate and instantly becoming the dominant story of the campaign, Sarah Palin sounded a hawkish line on national security matters ranging from Iran to Russia to Pakistan.

Palin defended her minimal foreign policy background by citing a strong familiarity with energy issues so key to her home state, but also sought to frame her inexperience in a positive light.

Conceding that she had never met a foreign leader and had only traveled to Canada and Mexico before visiting U.S. troops in Kuwait and Germany last year, the Alaska governor offered implicit criticism of her counterpart, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a 35-year veteran of the upper chamber.

“We’ve got to remember what the desire is in the nation at this time,” Palin told ABC’s Charlie Gibson in a foreign-affairs-focused interview taped Thursday in Fairbanks that led the network’s “World News Tonight” broadcast. “It is for no more politics as usual and somebody’s big, fat résumé maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state.”

Calling a nuclear-equipped Iran a threat to “everyone in the world,” Palin said she wouldn’t question Israel were they to strike an Iranian nuclear facility.

“Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don’t think that we should second-guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security,” she said, before reiterating twice more to Gibson that the U.S. should not second-guess such a measure.

Palin sounds hawkish note on ABC

The line that had me LMAO at the sheer ignorance and brazen hypocrisy of it was this:

“For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable,” she said.

(Especially when taken in the context of the whole interview). Whenever in doubt, she plays her “proud mother of son going to Iraq” card. Which of course makes her eminently qualified to be Vice President of the USA. 🙂 I wonder if she’ll play the “proud mother mourning the loss of her brave son in Iraq fighting the Terrorists over there…” etc. card later. 🙂

She is the atypical Republican ignorant thug. She only understands the use of fear and intimidation tactics. The Republicans want everyone focussed on anything *outside* the USA. If people begin to look inwards, they might just start wondering and asking questions. Questions about things such as how two trains could collide head-on in CA in such an advanced and modern society, killing several people.

The delicious irony of it is that the World has been willing the USA to look outside it’s borders for many decades. Now, the World wishes the USA would pull it’s head in and never gaze across their borders ever again! LOL

“Be careful what you wish for! You may get it!” 😀

22 Bryan { 09.13.08 at 12:59 pm }

I didn’t mean to jump on you, Kryten, and there is no reason for you to know about Alaska and Russia. She is on a “short leash” from the McCain handlers or she could have gone through the litany from Alaskan history class:

Alaskan was a Russian colony that was purchased by the US in 1867, a purchase that also included parts of northern California. Russian is still a spoken secondary language in parts of Alaska and the Russian Orthodox Church is still alive and well in the state. There are direct flights between Alaska and Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. There are constant contacts between Alaska and Russia over fishing and trading, as well as the contacts that all of the Pacific Rim states have with the Asian nations through an established program that has been in place for years.

The governor may not be directly involved, but there are a good many more contacts between Alaska and Russia, than between Florida and Cuba. The flow of people from Russia to Alaska isn’t as visible as between Cuba and Florida, but it still happens.

Now, about the “Bush Doctrine”. The phrase was coined by Charles Krauthammer in February 2001 to refer to the Shrubbery’s approach to national missile defense and nothing else. As the Washington Post points out Many versions of ‘Bush Doctrine’ with the subhead “Experts say Palin’s confusion in interview understandable”.

The media make up their own definitions and then jump on you if you don’t know what they are referring to.

Part of the conventional wisdom is that Georgia attacked South Ossetia. The logistics say this was a Russian attack from the start. Look at the timing, the Russians had to have been moving before the Georgians did anything to have engaged when they did. The Russians won the propaganda war, but they lied all the way starting with their claim of 2000 dead civilians, while only able to prove a total of 44 people, most of whom were military. The devastation of the city that wasn’t that badly damaged.

I don’t like Sarah Palin because I think that once she makes up her mind she refuses to change. The media have made such a fetish of flip-flopping that you can’t get elected if you are willing to reconsider your stance in the face of new evidence.

As for the whole problem of backing for Israel, everyone running has entirely too much “loyalty to Israel”. It is another touchstone of your “fitness” for President. If you are willing to treat Israel as you would any other allied country, you will be viciously attacked, just ask Jimmy Carter. Obama is just as bad from his speech to AIPAC in the primaries.

It is electing Presidents who cared more about foreign policy and national defense than domestic issues that created this mess. I don’t want a “commander-in-chief”, I’m looking for a President of the United States. I don’t want someone who is going to muck about in the Pentagon and State Department, I want someone who is going to really deal with energy problems, the economy, health care, and human rights.

Russia needs the expertise of an organized crime task force, not the State Department, because the current government has more in common with the Mafia than the Soviet Union.

The current US government has screwed things up so totally that the only way the US can regain any credibility to leave the international stage and let someone else handle the load while we rebuild.

23 Kryten42 { 09.13.08 at 8:27 pm }

I didn’t think you *jumped on me* Bryan. 😉 I’m not that thin skinned m8! LOL As you say… different perspectives etc. Which is a good thing. I was simply reporting on the interview and what people were saying about it. *shrug* The impression is that she will at the very least continue the *Bush Doctrine* even though she obviously doesn’t even understand what it is, and she may even be worse! 😉

The whole Israel Lobby thing in the USA has gotten out of hand big time. For such a small minority group, they wield an amazing amount of power over American affairs. One might suspect that the Capitol of the USA is Jerusalem. It may not be geographically accurate, but speaking in a geopolitical sense (especially regarding the current US foreign policy) that case could be argued.

For such a supposed stronghold of Christianity, it amuses myself (and many others) that the Jews (who had Jesus Christ killed, the head of their Christian faith (not to forget John) , God’s will not withstanding) have such a strong voice and control over their actions. Any Psychiatrist might possibly see parallels to battered wife syndrome, or simply the cowering victim mentality (a kind of National Stockholm syndrome I suppose). It really does seem to many outsiders that the USA is intent on being a victimized Nation. I love the way the Jewish spin doctors have been trying to convince people for decades now that if you believe that they killed, or had killed (they love playing with semantics) Jesus, you are an antisemite. LOL And don’t even think about checking for historical accuracy! 😉 They write their own history. Seems the Bushmorons have learned this particular lesson well, it suits their purposes. 🙂 The other argument they use is that the Old Testament is the only true Gospel and was the Gospel of the Jews before it was hijacked by the Gentiles and corrupted into the New Testament and is full of lies and inaccuracies (they say), especially the book of John! LOL For myself, I am wholly sick and tired of *Religion*in any and all forms. Once upon a time… People had faith in God (whatever God they believed in). These days, people talk about God, but their faith is actually in whatever religion they choose to agree with, and the two are often confused. God is NOT religion, and religion is NOT God. God didn’t create religion, man did. 🙂 There is talk today of the separation of State and Religion…. I think there should be a separation of God and Religion first and Religion is seen for what it is. A bunch of special interest groups. LOL

It’s sad that these days, people are so easily swayed by propaganda and marketing hype. Thinking for oneself (not to mention learning for oneself) seems to be more of a lost art each day.

IMHO Israel should be ignored and allowed to fix their own problems, many of which they created, and let them screech and howl accusations as much as they like. And the same for any other Nation. I would think that by now Americans would realise that they have far too many of their own problems to worry about without being conned into fighting others battles or solving others problems. I have never understood how anyone (whether an individual or a Nation) can help anyone else, when they cannot help themselves.

Of course, the Israel (and/or Jewish) lobby in the USA isn’t simply fighting for (what they say is) historical accuracy, or Jewish faith, or Nationalism… It’s about money, power and control mostly. The rest is simply a smokescreen. 🙂

I don’t want a “commander-in-chief”, I’m looking for a President of the United States.

I couldn’t agree more. That’s what we wanted when we elected Rudd. Rudd better realise that, or his *reign* will be a short one. We were badly bitten by Howard. We won’t forget any time soon. 😉

There ya go. Two rants in one thread. 😉 LOL Wahoo! 😀

24 Bryan { 09.13.08 at 9:15 pm }

Underneath it all Palin is a populist. In Alaska she has an 85% approval rating because she does what people want the state government to do. The Republicans are never going to allow that to happen, someone bending to the will of the voters over the interests of the lobbyists.

The people in Alaska wanted the oil companies taxed, so they got taxed. They want better access, so she does everything she can to build roads and bridges. She doesn’t get along with the entrenched power centers, because her power comes directly from the voters.

On the surface she sounds great, and has done great things for Alaskans, but she doesn’t understand that there is a a limit to going along with everything people want. At some point you have to give them what they need, not what they want, and make them understand the difference. She doesn’t understand that, and I don’t think she can do it.

She appoints people she knows and trusts because she has learned not to trust the Republican Party of Alaska. The Alaskan GOP is headed by a guy she filed an ethics complaints against, and made it stick to the pain of a $12K fine. The outgoing head of the Republican state senate hates her guts.

She is very blunt. If she doesn’t like you, she’ll tell you flat out. She is not into “coalition building” and won’t compromise willingly, but she can be reasoned with.

At some point I wouldn’t be surprised if she called bullshit on the whole thing. She is thrilled at being asked, but I’m not sure she is going to be happy working for someone else. She needs to calm down and prepare. It would have been better all around if someone had suggested much earlier that she read the international news.

There is entirely too much ink being used on Sarah Palin. She’s the Vice Presidential candidate. People should be concentrating on McCain.

As far as Israel goes, look up the USS Liberty. I went to school with some of those guys. They were doing in the Navy what I did, at the time, in the Air Force, and we all worked for NSA. I’m not exactly a fan of the government of Israel. Killing my friends, doesn’t endear a country to me.

But back to my main point – the government of the United States should be concentrating on the problems of the United States. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas doesn’t get the bridges repaired or build levees. That’s why I won’t vote for the major parties.

25 hipparchia { 09.13.08 at 9:19 pm }

bush doctrine — i don’t know what it is either, so i’m not going to fault palin for dodging that question in her interview. besides, i think cheney’s 1 percent doctrine is the one that’s been in effect and is the one we really need to worry about going forward with or killing off.

as for israel, it’s not my belief that they wield power over us, but that we keep them around as our vanguard/redoubt for our imperialism in the middle east and that aipac only provides plausible deniability for our real motives. but hey, color me foily.

26 hipparchia { 09.13.08 at 9:21 pm }

But back to my main point – the government of the United States should be concentrating on the problems of the United States. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas doesn’t get the bridges repaired or build levees. That’s why I won’t vote for the major parties.


27 Bryan { 09.13.08 at 9:45 pm }

I would be nice if someone starting talking about what these people intend doing about the problems at home.

28 Kryten42 { 09.13.08 at 11:56 pm }

I suspect that people are more interested in who the VP nominee is because they don’t really expect McCain to be around as Prez (assuming he wins of course) for long. 😉

The Israel lobby (and other similar groups) have been allowed a lot of control since Reagan precisely because the doctrine of the GOP has always been focused on the Mid East (or more accurately perhaps, an oil/energy monopoly). The current situation arose for the most part because their supposed loyal lap dog, Saddam, wanted independence from the USA (for a whole lot of reasons). The GOP could not allow that! It would have set a precedent that would have destroyed generations (3 at least) of work and plans. It was for similar reasons in Cambodia when they finally (under some duress and with only grudging support) helped oust their puppet Pol Pot. It had nothing whatever to do with the fact that he was a mass murderer and genocidal nutter, he wanted to slip his leash and do his own thing. I was there. I know.

The USA really needs to start looking for better *friends*. Oh, right… They had some. Once.

29 hipparchia { 09.14.08 at 12:34 am }

The USA really needs to start looking for better *friends*.

😆 as in, if i don’t laugh, i’ll cry. it’s downright un-american to think of associating with and borrowing ideas from civilized countries… like adopting a health care system like france’s or canada’s or god forbid real socialized medicine like they’ve got in the uk.

30 Bryan { 09.14.08 at 12:38 am }

If you don’t think he’s going to live, you don’t vote for him. Frankly I think he could start receiving Hospice brochures at any time. People talk about how pale he is. It’s because he can’t be in the sun very long before skin cancer pops up again. Listening to him in unscripted situations rings bells for PTSD and the onset of Alzheimer’s. He was a POW and I doubt he ever completed the complete “debrief” that includes a psych work up.

I have never understood the whole AIPAC disease. Nothing ever gets resolved because the Israeli government knows there’s no penalty for being jerks. I really don’t see any vital US interest that is served by Israel and they keep getting caught spying on the US.

The GOP seems totally incapable of absorbing the reality that the “enemy of your enemy, may not be your friend.” They keep supporting evil bastards because of a shared hatred. That’s no way to run a foreign policy.

31 Bryan { 09.14.08 at 12:43 am }

I think the concept is, Hipparchia, sure, it’s an obscenely expense, totally dysfunctional, absolutely abominable system, but it is ALL AMERICAN. What can the US possibly learn from foreigners who seem to get better results for a hell of a lot less money.

32 hipparchia { 09.14.08 at 12:58 am }

well, y’know, they have all that rationing, and long wait times, and crowded emergency rooms, and canada is always shipping their patients to the us for cancer treatment, and….

and you could be right that it’s only shared hatred, but i’ve long thought that israel is our sleeper cell for when it’s time to drop a nukular bomb on somebody in the mideast.

heh, i’ve been reading on various blogs that the theocons are hoping he’ll drop dead on jan 21, giving us president palin.

33 Bryan { 09.14.08 at 1:04 am }

The problem is that we are going to get blamed for anything that Israel does, regardless of whether we approved or even knew about it. It’s kind of like having a spy who wanders about wearing a CIA employee badge – you not fooling anyone.

I would hate to be on McCain’s security detail.

34 Kryten42 { 09.14.08 at 7:36 am }

Sadly, you are correct Bryan (about all the above) IMHO. And you make good points hipparchia, of course. 🙂

The thing that angers me the most is that I KNOW there are many good and decent American people. I lived and worked in the USA and met many, and still know many. I feel their frustration, anger and fear. Everything is so complicated there that good people really just don’t know what to do any more. And the GOP make damned sure the good people have more than enough to keep them occupied simply trying to survive. And what angers me the most, and many American’s, is that it appears that the Democratic party has decided to be the *me too* party and are simply a pathetic imitation of the Republican party. All the Dem’s have done is to make many voters simply decide “Well, it’s better the devil we know”. That’s very similar to what our idiotic Labor Party did before Rudd took control and brought them (kicking and screaming) back into at least some semblance of an opposition party, and they were elected because of that. The Democrats could learn a thing or two from that, but I know they won’t.

And I am sorry to say, but no matter what the rhetoric on the enlightenment of Americans is, I cannot see a black President (even if he is more accurately a mulatto) being voted for by many (especially in redneck USA) any decade soon. I think it’ll take another couple of generations or so before the enlightenment gains much of a real foothold for many, and for similar reasons, even if Hillary had beaten Obama, she wouldn’t have had much more of a chance either. If the name had been Harry Clinton (or even Bill, ahem)… that would make a big difference. 😉

35 mapaghimagsik { 09.14.08 at 12:53 pm }

Its a great discussion asking what to do about the problems at home. Alaska gets far more federal money in than it puts out, which would make you rather popular in your home state.

Unless there’s a way to reproduce that model at the federal level, that tactic is gone.

36 hipparchia { 09.14.08 at 1:18 pm }

The problem is that we are going to get blamed for anything that Israel does, regardless of whether we approved or even knew about it.

that’s true enough. as you can see, *i* already believe it’s going to be our fault, whatever happens.

37 hipparchia { 09.14.08 at 1:20 pm }

kryten, we’ve got our bigots just like everywhere else on the planet does, but really, most of us don’t care what color or what sex the president is.

38 Bryan { 09.14.08 at 2:34 pm }

On a side note, Kryten, one of the oddities of Americans is that while mulatto is an accurate term, in the US it is considered derogatory. Please don’t ask me to explain why, because I don’t know. I’ve gotten in trouble for it, but I lived outside the US for a significant portion of my life.

As far as race as an issue goes, things are better in the South, than the Midwest and Northeast. The really bigoted people I’m aware of in this area are from Iowa, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Upstate New York is another problem area. There are pockets in the South, but most people would just as soon get on with their lives.

People forget that the school board in the Brown vs Board of Education school desegregation ruling was in Topeka, Kansas.

That’s the problem for the Obama campaign. The South is in the GOP’s pocket, so the problem will be in the normally Democratic areas.

39 Bryan { 09.14.08 at 3:05 pm }

Map, if you want to see a monument to roads and bridges, see what Robert Byrd [D-WV] has done for his state. Alaska gets $1.84 back for every $1 in Federal taxes. New Mexico gets $2.03 and Mississippi gets $2.02. [figures from the Tax Foundation for 2005]

The Federal government is the largest landowner in Alaska. That figure includes the amount spent for the Defense Department facilities, Coast Guard, Border Patrol, Customs, and all of the other Federal agencies that are in Alaska because of its borders with Canada and Russia, as well as the Arctic.

It is a lot of money per person, but Alaska doesn’t have an income tax and nothing that takes place on the Federal lands or the Native Alaskan lands is taxable by the state, and the Federal government does use state facilities.

Another point that most people don’t realize is how expensive it is to live in Alaska. People have been complaining about milk going for $4/gallon in the US recently – it was $4/gallon in Alaska in 1967 when I lived there.

While Alaska is an oil producer it doesn’t have any refinery capacity, so the crude is exported while the gasoline, diesel, and heating oil has to be imported at some of the highest prices in the US [I remember Hawaii being higher].

Nothing is as simple as a sound bite or a bumper sticker. Your cartoon is right, Map, McCain is the target. If McCain isn’t the President, Sarah Palin is a moot point.

40 Bryan { 09.14.08 at 3:08 pm }

Well, it is our fault in a way, Hipparchia, because we never say no to Israel.

41 Kryten42 { 09.14.08 at 7:29 pm }

As I said. It’s all too complicated. 🙂

I know what you mean Bryan. The Israel *thing* isn’t really *your* fault (as in, the people’s fault) except perhaps insofar as the average citizen just didn’t understand the issues and until the past several years, the Gov’s fawning all over Israel and ass-kissing didn’t really affect the people, at least, at any visible level. Now the people are beginning too see that sometimes it’s what you don’t see that hurts and costs the most. As I said, The *GOP* have been working towards this for a few generations, and have had a LOT of time to plan and slowly put things in place. When you talk about events on that scale, it’s very difficult for normal people who are not trained or are used to looking for patterns too see the *trees for the forest*. 😉 People such as you and I Bryan have the benefit of training and experience, and a healthy distrust of all things. 😉 LOL We *KNOW* the ‘sneaky bastards'(tm) (Whichever group of sneaky bastards that happens to be at any given time) will be doing *something* behind the scenes we will regret one day. 🙂 If for no other reason than that they can (of course, we also benefit from a historical perspective and the knowledge that humans are human). 😉

And you are correct hipparchia about bigots everywhere (as I have said before). And there are worse bigoted nations than the USA. But they are not facing a critical election that will effect the entire World in some way. 🙂 As far as I and many can see, Obama would possibly be the lesser of all evils at this time, primarily because given their recent history, we don’t trust the Democratic party any more than we trust the Republicans. Why do you think any of us *out here* gives a damn about the election? What happens in the USA will have a definite effect on us all. Too bad most ordinary Americans don’t really consider that. *shrug* But that’s by design also. 🙂 Also, speaking for myself, as I have said before (and meant it), I don’t blame the average American and I do care about several I know. Heck, I was *dating* an American woman for some years before the *distance* thing made it too difficult. *shrug* Shit happens. 😉 Believe me, I was much tougher on my fellow Aussies for *allowing* Howard to run rampant for so long! LOL But they finally came to their senses before we were totally destroyed. So I have hope the same will happen there, one day. 😉 🙂

Oh, and don’t forget, some of the GOP are Jews, and the most vocal pundits such as the loud mouth bigot (which given her racial heritage is an endless source of amusement) Malkin. 😉 LOL And I don’t give a rats about BS antisemitism garbage. Facts are facts no matter how much certain people would love for others to believe otherwise! 🙂

42 Bryan { 09.14.08 at 8:47 pm }

The thing is I know a number of North African Jews who live in this country because of all of the crap they had to put up with every time Israel did something. They had lived in their cities for centuries, and it only since the founding of Israel that they had problems. They’ll tell you that the problem is the Israelis don’t want to live like they are in the Middle East, they want to live like they are in Europe. Arabs are some of the most conservative people on the planet and they live among the ruins of some of the root cities of Western civilization. They try to live with the land, not fight it and make it live with them. There are major complaints about the way Israelis waste water and don’t value it as the native cultures do. Most people miss that conflict – the Israelis as European colonialists – but it is a major unaddressed problem.

The problems I have with Israel have nothing to do with their religion, which they wield as a shield to protect them from valid complaints. Not all Israelis are Jews, and not all Jews are Israelis, not matter how much the Likud wants it to be true.

43 Kryten42 { 09.14.08 at 9:24 pm }

That’s very true Bryan, and I should have pointed that out. (Actually, I have pointed that out in some comment’s a while ago). There are several parallels between what it happening in Israel and the USA in the way the people and the message are being manipulated. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are following the same playbook. As you say (and i was not actually trying to imply) this isn’t about *Religion* per-se, but about the gross manipulation of Religion in Israel and the USA (and elsewhere) by the State.

I actually have a couple of friends in Israel BTW, one I have known for almost a decade now and is ex-military. They don’t like it either.

I supose the best way to explain is that when I talk about the ‘USA today’, I am really talking about the *criminals-in-charge*(tm), and the same goes for Israel. If I am talking about the people per-se, I usually say so, though I know I am sometimes somewhat ambiguous. Apologies for that. I still have some *mind* issues I’m trying to deal with. 🙂

Two years ago, before my breakdown, I was actively investigating the link between the GOP and Israel, and began to see some… curious… patterns emerging, stretching back some ways in time. When I’m better, I might revisit that research and see where it eventually leads. :)For now, it’s all I can do to focus on one thing for more than an hour at a time. And I get tired easily. But I am improving! And I am (as always!) determined! LOL Determined people can be dangerous people, right? 😉 LOL And I am getting seriously pissed off about several things. 🙂 Various people will not like it when I am *seriously* pissed and in some position to do something about it! Believe me.

Hey… (I have no idea why this popped into my head just now… My mind currently works in mysterious ways! LOL) There is a site that I have been visiting for more than a decade. He created a HTML tool at the dawn of the modern *Internet* called Arachnophilia. 😉 LOL It’s GPL (and everything he has on his site is GPL, or as he calles it, CareWare). He is a very interesting guy and has some very interesting topics of discussion (or, rants) on his site. 🙂

Home Page:
Arachnoid – A playground for thinkers

His views on the state of the OS (Operating System) industry:
An introduction to Linux, including some history

I thought you might like a bit of a change. 🙂

PS. Try out the Arachnophilia Editor! It’s completely written in Java (1.5) so is platform independent (though he does have a Windows install package version also.) It’s a deceptively simple editor with a lot of customizable power hidden in it’s depths. 😉

He also has other nifty app’s, tools and code in Java. PHP & Ruby. 🙂

Cheers. 🙂

44 Kryten42 { 09.14.08 at 9:47 pm }

Ahhh! I think I know why Arachnoid popped into my head! LOL

I had read this (and the following articles) some time ago and it’s appropriate here. 🙂

Consumer Angst

In this story there are no heroes or villains, just people who believe they can buy happiness, and advertisers who support this belief. Consumerism is one of religion’s modern replacements, and, like religion, it actively encourages, then exploits, dissatisfaction with everyday reality.

And this:

How we confuse symbols and things

In my opinion, the greatest single failure of American education is that students come away unable to distinguish between a symbol and the thing the symbol stands for.

It is no accident that modern education doesn’t teach the distinction between symbol and thing — if it did, education as we know it would fall apart. After that, after education reshaped itself to provide actual knowledge instead of the symbolic representation of knowledge, the society around us would be transformed.

But in the meantime, most “educated” people cannot tell the difference between a fact and an idea, the most common confusion of symbol and thing. Most believe if they collect enough facts, this will compensate for their inability to grasp the ideas behind those facts. And, because of this “poverty of ideas,” most cannot work out the simplest conceptual questions, such as “why is the sky dark at night?” (unless you are in a small minority, the actual reason is not what you think — see more here ).

(That’s a fairly succinct summation of one of my rants a while ago). LOL

A Society of Victims, or, How to Whine your way to Sympathy

On Being Perfect, or, The narcissist’s guerrilla war against reality

To expand a bit on the above points, narcissists are typically rather shallow people, forever stuck in a preliminary stage of intellectual evolution. In the normal course of individual development, one goes through a phase of acquiring established facts from what seem to be sources of unimpeachable authority, followed by a much more creative phase in which one may make a personal contribution to the store of human knowledge by assembling known facts and ideas into something new. In a narcissist, the second of these phases of personal development never takes place. Instead, the narcissist gets stuck in phase one, complete reliance on external authority, and may never realize the second, more risky stage, that of of personal creativity, even exists.

45 Bryan { 09.15.08 at 12:36 am }

You mentioned that you had been called anti-Semitic. So have I and so has Eric Alterman who is Jewish, because we criticize actions by the Israeli government. Frankly watching the political leaders of Israel from the perspective of someone who was the only “goy” on the floor of dorm for my first two years at university, they don’t act very religious. Understand that the guys in the dorm would be classified as “reform” at best, but they actually observed the rituals of the religion while attending a university founded to train Baptist ministers.

The surnames of most of them weren’t noticeably Jewish and they were spread out geographically. It was the luck of the draw, because we scored the best two dorms in both years, and I was on scholarship, so money didn’t matter.

Watching the recent prime ministers in videos I can imagine some of the cracks my friends would have made, because they made them about other Jews on campus who attempted to prove how observant they were.

They have a lot in common with the Shrubbery when it comes to religion, i.e. it’s used as a political tool not a belief.

I’ll add more this tomorrow, as I need sleep.

46 Kryten42 { 09.15.08 at 10:13 pm }

Hi Bryan. 🙂 Yeah… sleep is good! I had to get some also. 😉

I’ve been called many things. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t care what people who have an agenda or simply don’t know me or can’t be bothered to ask what I mean etc, say about me or think about me. *shrug* I always have and will listen to people who’s opinions I care about. 😉 If you were to call me an antisemite (and I believe you would be more likely to point out that what I said or the way I said something was antisemitic), I’d try to explain and/or apologize, and mean it. However, in the above, I am auguring against the *State* and the way they use the language and beliefs as a weapon or a tool. IMHO, the State of Israel is as antisemitic as possible, and the State of the United States of America as anti-Christian as possible. 🙂 I also don’t have time for *political correctness* garbage either, you may have noticed. 😉 LOL I have common sense, a good upbringing where manners were thoroughly taught, and a real education. I don’t need to be told how to behave or speak. I don’t have time for the many narcissists. They can get their ego’s inflated on someone else’s dime (to borrow a phase I learned when I lived in the ISA). 😉 The GOP Have proven by their many years of ignorance and lack of any creativity, that they are narcissists, and their loyal moronic followers also. It’s obvious to anyone who understand the meaning. Read my friend’s piece about that above. 🙂 Sadly it seems, that whilst there is a majority of narcissists on the right, it would appear that the left has it’s share also.

I do not have any problem’s with a person’s beliefs, so long as they are true and follow their belief. Sadly, there are far too many hypocrites around the entire World. So I take them all with a big pinch of salt. I no longer care what anyone (I do not know well) says. I’ll believe them, or not, when I see what they do!

Put your money where your mouth is. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Etc! 😉 😀 This is what amazes me about narcissists getting away with so much! They are all talk! If one looks at what they *do*, one would quickly realize they are fakes. Because they produce nothing, other than what they can steal.

I am currently working on a complex design for a dear long-time friend who, because of our history, has faith in me, even when I’d lost faith, to be able to do it. I have never tried anything so difficult in my life! But… I am making slow progress. It’s painfully hard, but I am determined now. 🙂 I am working at a fraction of my abilities from a decade ago when I believe I was at my peak. But that is improving also. I have won several industry and Queens awards for excellence. And now it’s all I can do to create a simple thing. But I am determined, and I will not allow my own mind to fail me. I have discovered through trial and error, that I can work solidly for up to an hour, and then I must do something basic (read, watch TV, garden, take the dog for a walk…) for at least a half hour. Then I can do another hour, etc. 🙂 My biggest problem is memory. I have a lot of gaps and missing pieces, so I am forced to relearn things or learn new things. *shrug* 🙂

We all have our problems. 🙂

47 Bryan { 09.15.08 at 11:35 pm }

You generally write about politics, military affairs, or foreign policy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m totally unaware of any stereotyping in those fields. The procedures, methods, and goals are all rather universal, most going back centuries or millennia.

Screw ’em if they can’t handle the criticism.

I just don’t understand why people don’t understand that they are being lied to. They are living in the same world and they don’t seem to notice that what is being said has no connection to reality as everyone can see it. The surprise isn’t that Bush’s approval rating in this country is so low, but that it is so high. How do the people who approve of what he has done remember to breathe?

Yeah, doing something you have done in a long time sometimes takes longer than doing something new because you make mistakes based on false memories. I’m feeling that effect in the project I currently doing because it involves converting a system I haven’t worked on in decades in a language no one uses any more. Fortunately I still have the software and reference books. It is going a lot slower than I assumed because of the hurricanes. I have to stop what I’m doing to prepare my house and my Mother’s for a possible landfall, and decide if my Mother needs to evacuate. Totally different skill set.

It sounds like you are making progress, and as time goes along things will get better. None of us is getting any younger and the days of working straight through for three days to get a project out the door are long gone.

48 Kryten42 { 09.16.08 at 12:14 am }

You are correct again. 🙂 I don’t really understand that blindness either, even though I do understand the psychology that enables it. *shrug*

One day, I’d love to meet and get drunk (even though I’m not supposed to imbibe these days!) LOL As an old Russian friend once told me (when we were drunk) “Never trust anyone you have not been drunk with!” LOL (And NOT that I don’t trust you. I thought you had probably heard that also in your time). 😉

I have good and bad days. Some days I can work, others I can do nothing. Again, that’s improving. 🙂

I have access to a lot of tools and books (eBooks), papers, etc if I can help with anything. 🙂 I’m currently studying UML2 (2.1 actually), XML2and others, and relearning IDEF (IDEF0, 1 & 1X) which being ex-USAF, you may have come across. 😉 And things I knew well, but have problems with now such as PHP, Perl and others. I am also rereading all my old notes and papers on BPR (Business Process Reengineering, which I have a cert in, but have forgotten most of the processes). Good fun! Student again (or still?) LOL

Cheers. And thanks for allowing me a venue to vent the spleen now and then. 😉 I am always aware that this *IS* your place! So I do try not to leave a mess. 😉

49 hipparchia { 09.16.08 at 12:32 am }

i always enjoy your rants, kryten.

50 Kryten42 { 09.16.08 at 12:49 am }

LOL And my Recipes hipparchia (which I do promise to post more of once it stops raining for more than a day and I can unpack the boxes in the shed, one of which has all my recipe books, including my Mothers, with some great recipe’s! I want them for me too so I do have an ulterior motive!) 😀

You are also one of the reasons I enjoy it here, and others. 🙂 I like sane people, and you love, and are loved by, cats (As is Bryan and others here)! Bonus there. 😀 I believe that if a person is liked and cared about by animals (moreso than the other way around), it says a lot about that person. 🙂

And anyway… they are not *ALL* rants! Hmmph! Only… most. LOL 😉

51 Bryan { 09.16.08 at 1:27 pm }

I, too, have to pass on alcohol these days, one on the many vices you have to refrain from when you get older, but yes, any Russian will say that, it is their version of in vino veritas, and rather necessary under the Soviet system.

I wouldn’t claim the cats like me, more that they recognize a source of readily available food and a way to get the area on the back of their heads and between their shoulder blades scratched.

Well, I guess we both just need to plug away at our projects. It will all come together, like always, but it will never be as quickly as it did when we were doing it every day without a break.