Saturday, August 30, 2008


I view the choice by John McCain of Sarah Palin to be his running mate as a massive slap in the face to any thinking American. If Obama has little to no worthwhile experience, then Sarah Palin has none, and her hooray for home schooling, fundamentalist, let's drill in the ANWR, NRA loving, keep the troops in EYE-RACK, repeal Roe versus Wade orientation is utterly loathsome. The idea that this stealth candidate- she is essentially a latter day Harriet Miers- could be placed in a position to potentially influence national governance for the next decade or more is worse than appalling. What's in Alaska, (about as unrepresentative a state as exists), should stay in Alaska. Unfortunately, the electorate these days have proven that they are witless enough to vote for a woman with the nickname "Barracuda."


Thai said...

I have to agree, it is a VERY odd choice.

But why throw in an implied slur against home schooling?

While I send mine to the local public school, and don't have any personal dog in that fight so to speak, still I am often impressed with the home schoolers test scores, achievements, etc...

How anyone can be their kids full time teachers and not go absolutely batty is beyond me? But to those who can and still make their family's finances work, I say more power to them.

Thai said...

loathsome is a strong word. Do you have any other adjective?

How is attacking her so vicerally any different than accepting her/voting for her on purely emotional grounds?

Edwardo said...

I'm surprised that you are interested in defending home schooling given your views on the necessity of group cooperation. Viewed in a vacuum, I don't have a problem with home schooling, but too often, with the sort of people I have in mind, it is, not to put too fine a point on it, the province of the deeply weird and anti-social.

Goodness knows the public school system is in poor shape overall, but I don't trust, nor do I have any reason to trust, the overall motivations of folks who opt for home schooling.

Do I overuse the word loathsome, or is it just this particular instance with which you take issue? As for my strong feelings for The governor of Alaska, they are the result of dispassionate thought, or so I like to think.

If this woman were remotely sensible or honorable, she would not have even allowed her name to be placed into consideration as she is vastly out of her depth. Two years ago she was the Mayor of a small town in Alaska, and her signature achievement having been governor of Alaska (a most unrepresentative state) now for a whopping two years, is balancing the budget during ridiculously flush (oil revenue) times.

At this point, I'll only add that "experience" is a concept that gets tossed around with entirely too little scrutiny. George Bush is now, save for one other man, the most experienced man alive with respect to holding the job of President, but no one in their right mind would have him serve four more hours let alone four more years.

Thai said...

Please don't think my views on group cooperation imply that I want our society to look like a version of Star Trek's Borg (which is exactly what 'left wing/communist' Russia/China/Cambodia or 'right wing/fascist' Germany/Italy tried)


My views of cooperation focus around vastly diverse/complex systems. I love diversity to the very center of my being (though sometimes it will scare the hell out of me when I don’t understand it)

As one ‘quaint’ example: I used to care for Amish patients regularly (in fact, my ED actually had a little wooden hitching post in front where Amish could 'park' their horse carriages—no joke).

Anyway, at some level, you can look at the entire Amish society's educational system as a system built around home schooling (though they do have communal schoolhouses as in fact do most homeschoolers in ‘mainstream’ America, if you have ever checked into homeschooling).

Now it is well understood by everyone who lives in communities with large Amish populations that the Amish have some kin boundaries from which non-Amish are completely excluded… in fact the similarities of these kin boundaries with Orthodox Jews is quite fascinating, especially if one considers how successful both groups have been in resisting assimilation into larger communities for as long as they both have (Amish, for instance, will excommunicate children that marry outside of the Amish community).

Anyway, as an outsider, you could take ‘great offense’ at some of these kin boundaries if you really wanted to. But the reality is that most people did/do not-- still non-Amish and Amish cooperate just fine (in fact there is a kind of naive endearment towards the Amish by non-Amish which clever enterprising Amish are quick to make a buck on... as another interesting FYI digression, the Amish tend to be 'relatively' poor, yet still they pay their medical bills with cash (they have no 'formal' health insurance) at a nearly 100% payment rate... I oversee almost $25 million/year in collections (soon to be $40 million/year), and I have NEVER seen any group anywhere in the US come anywhere close to the Amish’s almost 100% payment rate— as a benchmark, most emergency physicians collect 35% on each dollar they bill). Also as an FYI aside, the Amish did not participate in Social security either (but I digress)

If two sleazy Amish wanted to cooperate with their peers to take advantage of honest non-Amish people, in the end they did themselves more harm than good. It was only their own world they were shrinking in the end.

I sense most Amish recognized this at some level (but of course not all).

Thai said...

And how can someone get tp loathsome from dispassionate thought?

The dispassionate thought generates passions?

If you really 'knew' her, I might cut you some slack. But do you really?

That you disagree with the choice from what you have read about her (as do I), I completely respect.

Thai said...

It is things like this that lead me to disagree with McCain's choice of Palin.

From my point of view, the experience issue has always been a smokescreen used by both partys to mislead the foolish.

I have never been truly convinced that the degree of success or experience in one job is that predicitive of success in a future job. Every environment is simply too different.

And what's more, the fractal nature of society often means there is actually a good chance that success in something 'smaller' will predict success in something bigger. Neither Sanford Weill, nor George Bush, seems any 'wiser' than you or me, on that I am quite sure we both agree.

But stuff like this makes me question how different Palin's perceptions of 'reality' is with mine. And that questioning does lead me to fear her somewhat and lose faith/trust in her decsions.

Edwardo said...

I never said Sara Palin was loathsome, but in my view, many of the causes she supports are. I did suggest in the comments section that she was neither honorable or sensible.

Thai, I've conversed with you too many times to imagine that your views on cooperation are somehow informed by Maoist or Stalinist or, pick a totalitarian, doctrine. I was simply highlighting that cooperation, broadly defined, seems, where many home schoolers are concerned, not to be a priority. You obviously have experience I do not, and I thank for sharing it with me. The closest I've ever been to the Amish, were the Mennonites I played soccer against in High School.

So, in short, I don't claim to be an authority on home schooling even if I sound like I think I am. Like so many approaches it really depends on who is doing the home schooling and why. And with respect to Governor Palin, I think you understand me, or are at least beginning to as per the link you provided.

DED said...

Home schooling in this country is often associated with the religious far right who view public schools as secular abominations.

Palin will now energize the evangelicals into voting for McCain, who will then pray for his death after he wins the election (or take the matter into their own hands). I was worried before about who he was going to pick as his age and less than fabulous health meant that the odds of his survival through a 1st term weren't great. Now, I am positively alarmed.

Thai said...


I hear Samosas are associated with Indians?

And sex is associated with the promiscuous?

And free speech, well, we all know who free speech is associated with?

You have me worried... Is there an 'association police' I should report associations to when I recognize them?

Or just those against 'far right religious'?

Edwardo said...

It may be a contradiction of sorts, but I am an anti- zealot, zealot. One of the great contradictions in a democracy, even one as compromised as ours, is that in a democracy the rights of those whose life's work is to destroy democracy (and replace it with, for example, a theocracy) are protected.

And having said that, Thai, you are, in my view, spot on that the evangelicals will all be praying mightily for their kith and kin, Sarah Palin ascend to the Oval office tout suite. Should that day come, the orgasm from the interior of the country will be heard on both coasts and the time table for dissolution of the union will accelerate greatly.