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Against Palin: A vice Against Palin: A vice
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-09-03 09:01:11
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These last few days I have tried to follow the tsunami of information coming about McCain’s running mate and I must admit most of this information has something of a tabloid taste, while I would definitely want to learn more about Obama’s running mate Joe Biden, who, the more I read about, seems a person who has a lot of interesting things to say. Here I must admit that I was happily surprised to find out his love for Greek culture and apparently his knowledge of Greece.

However, the Barracuda Tsunami is just so strong I cannot avoid it and oddly enough her answers and reactions to all the media rubbish somehow insulted me and despite all my efforts she made it personal to me. As I have often mentioned I’m not an American citizen and naturally I’m not voting in the US presidential elections but - and this ‘but’ is huge - the way the USA has handled its power, the way they have manipulated countries and events has forced me to be interested and have an opinion; after all, as George W. Bush has already proved, the next president of the USA is going to influence my life in too many ways.

But then again in a democratic election all have their chances and I might like the idea of an Obama administration but I wasn’t against an Al Gore administration eight years ago, still George W. Bush became the president and McCain has an equal chance to become with Ms. Palin in the position of the Vice-President of the USA. American history so far has shown that the role of the Vice-president can be decorative but it could be critical at the same time.

Lyndon B. Johnson was under the shadow of J. F. Kennedy and Kennedy’s shadow was pretty heavy even after his assassination, still Johnson became president leading a nation into one of its worst war moments. Harry S. Truman is another example, living under the shadow of Franklin D. Roosevelt still he was the one to end the war in a very …explosive way and picked up the pieces, not only of his nation, but of a trembling continent on the other side of the Atlantic.

There were the decorative ones, except the scholars who can remember the name of Carter’s Vice-President? Would you remember Al Gore if he didn’t have continue on a very environmental road that gave him even an Oscar award? But then again during the Clinton scandals period there was the thought of a Clinton retirement and then Al Gore would have become the president. Over the last decades the candidate presidents of USA have chosen their running mates with only one thought: to cover possible handicaps they have.

Usually and that comes to Al Gore’s case, to bring states and votes they have secured. Well, Alaska is not exactly the voting well, so there must be other reasons. Age, perhaps! But then again we live in the 21st century where 71-years-old doesn’t seem so old anymore, especially in the western world. So the whole talk about age in my opinion is in vain, there are members in any parliament or congress representing millions of people much older than 71 and a young age doesn’t necessary means young ideas.

Actually age has nothing to do with idea; I have met men and women over 80 that have ideas far more progressive and modern than a 20-year-old. Then again you get a young person in her early-40s that scares you for her conservatism. So is this the reason McCain chosen Palin? Because she can attract this conservative part of the American society that is proud to be a red neck white and Anglo-Saxon? Proud to carry a gun and hunt moose? What instincts come out every time she kills one with her automatic rifle? Do you know how they kill moose all these …sports people? They put a log in the forest smeared with salt; the poor animal loves salt, especially mothers and young calves. So the brave hunters wait for the animal to reach the log and then they exercise their sportive spirit! 

But that was not enough, Ms Palin made loud by giving birth to child with Down's syndrome that she is pro-life! I never got this pro-life thing. What do they mean? Is that because I believe that the mother should have the choice that makes me pro-death? Does she know how many kids are born with Down's syndrome every year all around the world? Does she know how many of these families can handle, afford, and live with the fact that their kid has Down's? No because she’s a busy woman and she has the money to afford it as well.

I’m cynical, I know, but this is the angle she understands since the feelings of the parents mean nothing to her, the sense that they brought in life a kid that cannot have a normal life, cannot fall in love, play football and express his or her feelings, a kid that is destined to depend upon others. No, I’m not going to talk about it because she will not understand it. She will not understand that she lacks tolerance when she believes that her act is the only right one and discriminates against millions of others labeling them as pro-death!

A comment I read in one of the sites lately says everything: A President/VP is elected to represent the views of the people, to protect them and run the country in a fair and unbiased way. Palin is against abortion, not pro choice, but against. Can you guarantee that her views will not be pushed onto the rest of the country? McCain chose her to woo the Hilary voters? Why would anyone change party just to vote for a woman? Does he think that we are all stupid? We just want what is best for the country, regardless of sex, age, and race.

The pictures of Ms Palin with her family say everything, here is her pregnant 17-year-old daughter carrying the baby brother with Down's syndrome, while the mother enjoys the results of her opportunism. In this photo you can see who’s going to carry Ms Palin’s pro-life decisions or as the comment said before, hers against abortion beliefs.

I prefer to stop here because the look in the daughter’s eyes says it all. It says that what they need in this house is not a Vice-President but a mum and I really hope the American people will help her to get back their mum!


   
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Emanuel Paparella2008-09-03 12:43:03
Well, Thanos, as I remember Carter’s vice-president was Walter Mondale and in my opinion he was even better than Jimmy Carter. He ran for president and lost to Regan. Had he won he would have been one of the finest presidents this country ever had. It does not surprise that Joe Biden would know quite a bit about the ancient Greek world; after all he was educated by the Jesuits. Had Clinton been found guilty at his impeachment trial, indeed Gore would have been our next president. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-03 12:45:34
On the moose issue, and in fairness to Palin, my daughter who has lived in Alaska for several years, tells me that moose is not just killed for sport but for survival too. It is put in the garage which becomes a sort of refrigerator in the winter and then cut piece by piece as needed. Ms. Palin says that she eats moose’s meat; perhaps we can give her the benefit of the doubt on that one? It’s of course harder to do that when it comes to preaching creationism in Alaska’s public schools, interpreting the Bible literally as a science book, and prescribing abstinence to teens as a way of preventing unwanted pregnancies; something that her own daughter could not muster very well. Here too we may give her some slacks since the daughter is not the mother and surely, as somebody who reads the Bible not only for scientific enlightenment, she ought to know that if Christ has taught us anything it is that one ought always to distinguish the sin from the sinner: condemn the former but be compassionate to the latter, especially if he/she happens to be one’s own son or daughter. Remember the Prodigal Son? The tragedy is that even the concept of sin and unethical behavior has gone out the window nowadays. When Christ dismissed the woman caught in adultery whom he saved from “the holier than thou” mob out to execute her, he didn’t say go and continue what you have been doing all along, but go and sin no more. In any case, in my opinion Obama’s advice is timely here: keep private family matters out of bound, not to be trashed in public, albeit one must admit that such an advice is hard to carry out when the girl is proudly presented on the national stage under the glare of the media. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-03 12:46:10
I think you have it on target when it comes to the caving in of McCain to the extreme right of the Republican party, which alas includes evangelists using the Bible as a scientific book. So much for independence and fiery Maverick status! However, in my opinion, despite the interesting points in your piece, you have it less on target when it comes to not understanding what the slogan “pro life” means. It means just that, period. There is another side to not understanding “pro life,” and it is not understanding “pro-choice.” What I have never understood is who chooses for the unborn’s right to life, even a defective life? When the Spartans exposed their defectives babies to the elements they were obviously thinking of the viability of the state and not of the individual family, not to speak of the right of every individual to his her life. The Athenians were a bit more enlightened in that regard, even if they were not so much enlightened in regard to slavery. They protected life out of the womb. They understood that such life needed protection since it would not be mature and autonomous till the age of 18 or so. Closer to our sad times, when the Nazis placed mentally defective people in concentration camps together with other “undesirables” they were following the same utilitarian mind-set. One would like to believe that we have come a long way since the Spartan mind-set in their utter disrespect for the sanctity of life. Alas, the Nazis prove otherwise. The guaranteed that Palin ought to give to people that disagree with her is that she will not circumvent the law to impose her views. However, in a democracy, she and everybody else has a right to attempt to change a law which in conscience she considers misguided, for indeed there are misguided laws such as the ones in Spart and in Berlin 60 years ago.


AP2008-09-04 02:20:03
Yup, that daughter seems pretty lost.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-04 12:19:10
Some further musings on the above issue: while most “pro-choice” advocates support the protection of human life by the government and in fact consider it one of its duties, when it comes to protection of the unborn they somehow manage to get a sudden bout of amnesia on such a role. That is predicated of course on ignoring this question: is there a third party after conception, effected by the man, in the womb of the woman causing gestation of -- what? That is the question: EITHER IT IS A FETUS EN ROUTE TO BIRTH—A HUMAN ORGANISM-OR IT IS A TOMATO. What never fails to astonish me is the refusal on those who wish to peddle the notion that a fetus is nothing else but an extension of the mother’s body (like nails or hair or a tumor) to be guided by the hypotheticals in the discussion. If there are three parties, as biological objectivity would appear to certify, then the argument focuses on the extent to which the third party is entitled to protection. One view is: Totally. Another view: Not at all. In between there is the view that what began as a tomato after six months or so becomes more human than vegetable and only then entitled to protection. Be that as it may, consider this: at the turn of the nineteenth century, there were those who opposed slavery on the grounds that blacks were human beings. As a percentage of the population, the abolitionists were fewer than those who now believe that fetuses are human beings. That does not mean that there will be a parallel development in thought and that a half-century from now an American Supreme Court is going to pronounce an Emancipation Proclamation for all fetuses. It does mean that, arguing back then with an abolitionist, it wouldn't have furthered intelligent discussion simply to say that Negroes were tomatoes, so what role has government to play?


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-04 12:53:08
P.S. One can easily imagine the comment of a pro-choicer at the turn of the 19th century: "Well, I'm personally opposed to slavery, but I'm pro-choice. If you want to have slaves, go ahead. That's your choice."


Alexandra Pereira2008-09-04 18:37:48
"EITHER IT IS A FETUS EN ROUTE TO BIRTH—A HUMAN ORGANISM-OR IT IS A TOMATO"
This is ridiculous!

That girl, the daughter of Palin, looks profoundly sad in the videos and photos. Will that be good for her or the baby? I don't think so.

To compare the right to choose abortion or not with slavery is, in the minimum, absurd. Unless you think of women as "conception slaves"!


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