From Politics

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Is John McCain a Manchurian Candidate?

McCain with one of his Commie buddies.
Was John McCain Brainwashed?

Was john McCain braiwashed by the Chinese while he was a POW in Vietnam? Was he programmed to destroy the American way of life by reaching the highest levels of power and then subverting the foundations of our democracy?

Some think so. Let’s look at the facts:

So, is John McCain the Manchurian candidate who will, when the trigger is given, leap up and destroy this “Country First?”

No, he is not.

I can support all of the statements I made above, but all of the statements above are complete crap, just like all of the statements that Sarah Palin is making about Barack Obama are complete crap.

John McCain is no more a deep cover operative for the Chinese government than Barack Obama is a sleeper agent for Al-Qaeda. Anyone making or implying either of these accusations is suffering from paranoid delusions so great that they should seek professional help immediately.

Of course, the fact that both claims are absurd does not stop Sarah Palin from saying that Obama “hangs out with terrorists.” She then gives us one of her patented little winks to let us all know what she really means: Barack Obama is a closet Muslim terrorist who will steal your Bible and kill you in your sleep.

If you are even entertaining the possibility that the venomous madness that Sarah Palin is spewing could be true, please stop and think about your own friends and work mates and whether–just by knowing them–you should take accountability for everything they have ever said or done. Yeah, I didn’t think so. But that is all that Sarah Palin is saying, and, like everything else she says, it is a hollow message born out of desperation.

Sarah Palin: “The Flintstones was a Great Documentary!”

Flintstones: Fact ot Fiction
The Flintstones: Fact or Fiction?

Does Sarah Palin believe that human beings and dinosaurs lived side-by-side a few thousand years ago? Palin is not answering that question now; of course, right now she’s not really answering any questions without John McCain by her side to moderate. However, she is on record as wanting Creationism to be taught in American science classes. Creationism puts forward a “theory” that the universe is much younger than the figure of 12-14 billion years widely accepted by scientists and then has to do a lot of fancy foot-work to make the physical evidence fit their theory.

However, if Palin is being tight lipped on the issue, where can we go to find out about what she believes about Creationism? The Creation “Museum” was set up as an alternative to the secular museums to give fundamentalists a place to go and learn the truth about the history of the Universe. Through its exhibits, this museum puts forth the pretense that it uses the same data as secular scientists, but comes to a different conclusion:

Everyone has the same facts, but we don’t all have the same starting points. Using the Bible as your starting point, prepare to travel back 6,000 years to the dawn of creation as you enjoy the Six Days Theater. Witness the true time line of the universe unfold through the 7 C’s of History [Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation].
Creation Museum Web Site, Plan Your Visit

If the Republicans had put forward a candidate that did not accept that the Sun revolves around the Earth we would assume that she was a quack. Yet the same science that tells us that the Sun is only one star amongst  70 sextillion stars in the Universe also tells us that the Universe must be billions–not thousands–of years old to explain how we can see stars that are billions of light-years away.

Why do Christian Fundamentalists have to believe in a 6,000 year old Universe? They believe that their Bible is the literal truth (and I will not point out here all the inherent problems with that line of thought), therefore everything that has happened since the beginning of the Universe is in that Bible. The Young Earth Creationists (as they are known) take this one step further, claiming they can compute the age of the Universe by using that Bible as a time-line.

So, why does our best (secular) science tell us that the Universe is billions of years old? According to the Young Earth Creationists, God just made it look that way. Think about it: they are saying that the God they believe in is intentionally trying to trick us by creating a Universe that looks much older than it actually is simply to test our faith.

This is what Sarah Palin believes too, whether she will now publicly admit it or not. If she believes in the literal truth of her Bible, then she believes in a 6,000 year old Universe, she believes that dinosaurs and humans lived side-by-side, and she believes in a Universe run by a God who would deceive its creation just to prove a point.

And John McCain believes in Sarah Palin.

End the War (on Science)!

Who will end the war on science?
Who will end the war on science?

ScienceDebate2008 is committed to discussing today’s most important scientific issues and the candidate’s stand on each. To go even further and allow for public feedback, ScienceDebate2008 will allow you to read each position statement and then rate McCain’s and Obama’s responses with a letter grade from A to F. There are 14 topics and a 15th open discussion topic where you can post your own question for the candidates.

With all of the events of the past few weeks in the U.S. economic markets, many vital issues  are being overlooked by the majority of voters thinking about who they want for President. Although the collapse of huge multi-national investment firms may seem important now, where the candidates stand on scientific and technology issues will have a greater impact on on your daily life in the long run.After all, Wall Street might collect wealth, but it’s science and technology that makes it.

There is little debate amongst scientists that the Bush administration has waged a war on science. This Republican administration is infamous for ignoring or undermining scientific consensus and cherry picking scientific results that support their ideology. The next administration will have to correct this trend for the US to remain a leader in the 21st century.

We need to know what the candidates say now on these issues so that we can hold them accountable later for their actions. ScienceDebate2008 places both McCain’s and Obama’s position statements side-by-side for easy comparison.

Go, vote now, and let me know what you think, and if you posted a 15th question (mine is the third in the list) tell us about it here.

The 14 topics covered are:

  1. Innovation
  2. Climate Change
  3. Energy
  4. Education
  5. National Security
  6. Pandemics/Biosecurity
  7. Genetics Research
  8. Stem Cells
  9. Ocean Health
  10. Water
  11. Space
  12. Scientific Integrity
  13. Research
  14. Health

Should McCain be Able to Use a Computer? has answered the question “Is McCain unable to use a computer because of war injuries?” with a NO. McCain can use computers, although, because of his injuries, it is uncomfortable. As someone who works with computers and the problems of accessibility, I know that a lot of disabled persons find ways around their discomfort with using computers (using speech synthesizers, voice recognition and other non-keyboard devices) so that they can interact with the world around them. The computer is a fundamental communication medium in America today, and anyone not participating is showing a deaf ear to that fact.

Is this a compelling political issue? Probably not.

Whether McCain chooses to use a computer or not will not change how you view his stand on major issues. But it does speak to the candidate’s day-to-day life experience, further showing his distance from most Americans. It also tells us a lot about how he views innovation and technology. As Marshall McLuhan said,  “The medium is the message.” How we communicate directly affects how we think about problems and how we express our ideas. Can John McCain really understand the problems and promises of a future he seems to stubbornly refuse to participate in?

And the Winner Is…

See how each state is leaning at a glance.
See how each state is leaning at a glance at

Tired of searching the Web or sifting through endless news articles just to find the latest presidential poll standings? Me too. That’s why I keep two links at the top of my browser to help me track who’s ahead.

My first stop every morning is to get a quick overview of where things stand. Although not the most attractive site, what it lacks in glossy graphics it makes up for in simplicity and ease of use. Quickly see- according to an averaging of state polls - where each candidate stands in the Electoral College, which, as we all know from the 2000 election, is what matters when all is said and done.

If you want more details or to play out different Electoral College scenarios, then head over to the USA Today Presidential Poll Tracker. Here you can get up to date poll data, poll histories, and use the interactive Electoral Vote Tracker map to see how your favorite candidate might win the day.