"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Open Thread

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Open Thread

A moose family cavorting in an Alaskan backyard.


  1. That made my day...I love it!

    Who knew a moose could play?

  2. Mammalian jollity. I have very similar footage of my kids running nekkid through our sprinkler!

  3. Just to confirm, this is not Sarah Palin's back yard.

  4. Sarah Palin rocks for V.P.!

  5. mia from the llc8/31/2008 07:31:00 PM

    I disagree. Sarah Palin seems like a very likeable down-to-earth woman, but that does not give her a shoe-in for the VP spot in my voting booth.

    Her loyalties are quite apparent, and they don't include very many things that I support.

  6. I say "You GO, girl"! :-)

  7. Yep! Right back to Alaska! ;-)

  8. Of course McCain picked someone loyal to his ideas!

    I swear the only way the Libs on this forum would have been happy is if McCain had picked someone like Gephardt for a VP. (Here's a clue. It wasn't gonna happen!)

    I personally haven't made any decision yet about Palen, and since I ain't gonna vote for McCain, it's a moot point. However, what I've heard is that she brings a bright intellect, a positive outlook, strong family values and upbringing, at least some executive experience, and she asks for accountability and responsibility from people.

    So why don't you like her? If you want her to go back to Alaska, tell me why, beyond the fact she is a Republican.

  9. is not a question of LIKE, my dear Cvow. She could be one of my girlfriends from our small-town high school who married early but got an education and ran for the PTA. Not terribly sophisticated but capable and driven. (And fun! But enough with the make-up!)

    My issues are not with her personality but her qualifications and policies. She has no experience in international affairs and apparently, no ideas about them either. (We both studied communications in college, and let me tell you, it is not a preparation for the presidency.)

    She is anti-intellectual, anti-environment, anti-choice, no fan of equal pay for equal work, and wants abstinence and creationism taught in the schools.

    She is under an ethics investigation for abuse of power in attempting to get her jerk brother-in-law fired, and then firing the guy who would not do her bidding. Apparently there are other incidences of powermongering, including unexplained sackings of a police chief and libarian in Wassila, when she first became mayor.

    Her "family values" are not mine. Proudly returning to work three days after giving birth? Knowingly exposing her daughter's messy personal life to run for VP?

    It all adds up to ambition, not sound judgment.

    Someone should have told her, when McCain comes knocking, abstain, abstain. Just say no!

  10. I should have said "abstinence-only" as abstinence can and should be taught as part of birth control education, but abstinence-only has a dismal success rate.

  11. Hey, this falls almost in the category of gossip, but I guess in politics all is fair game: I saw a picture today (posted on www.kunstler.com) of Mrs. Palin posing in an American-flag bikini (red-and-white striped top, blue star-spangled bottoms) holding what looks like a machine gun and smiling vacuously for the camera. This is apparently a pool party, with a younger man in swim trunks standing behind her, smoking a cig. Whew. Looks like "white trash" to me (as someone looking over my shoulder said), or a close-enough approximation. I guess the moral might be: If you're going into politics, better be careful of what you do in fun! MTH

  12. Too funny! Can anyone say, "Yee-haw!"

  13. Hmmm, looks Photoshopped to me. But this photo has the same effect: Palin in a t-shirt that says "I may be broke, but I'm not flat busted."

  14. Bill O'Reilly:

    "On the pinhead front, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. The sister of Britney says she is shocked. I bet. Now most teens are pinheads in some ways. But here the blame falls primarily on the parents of the girl, who obviously have little control over her or even over Britney Spears. Look at the way she behaves."

  15. Free, you're right. It's photoshopped. Look at the side of her head. Her hair goes STRAIGHT down where they chopped it off.

    Even though I wouldn't vote for her, I still think it's such a cheap shot. I saw it this morning and it bugged me all day...the image it portrays, and the way people talk about her. Now I'm mad I wasted any energy on it.

  16. Sarah Palin: A breath of conservative, independent fresh air.

  17. I will take Palin`s executive experience over Obama`s non-executive experience any day. Its ok to disagree with a candidate`s policies, but it is very ironic when liberals say she does not have the experience to be prez. when their candidate has less than her, and to boot, he hasn`t accomplished anything of significance in the senate. Palin, on the other hand, took on her own party, defeated an incumbent republican, and is a true reformer. I, for one, am proud of her!

  18. Talking dirt and white trash.....it is AMAZING that our friends Bill and Hillary still show their sleazy little faces. If he has not knocked anyone up, he has sure tried. Palin is a breath of fresh air compared to the Clintons!

  19. The worst part is that all of the Clinton supporters are going to be the ones making the biggest stink about Palin's daughter. If Palin's daughter happened to be around Slick Willy......watch out!! If we are comparing experience.....Obama or Palin? Hmmm...........sure is a toss up.

  20. Oh dear readers, I offered you substance. I tried, I did, I really did.

    Let's be done with posting as anonymous, okay? Pick a moniker and stick with it. Thanks.

  21. Free, if you don't allow anon. comments, your blog will probably dry up! Most sites that require names/handles end up with the same 5 people talking to each other!
    Just my .02.

  22. A bit of trivia - Sarah Palin's dentist and the current mayor of Wasilla is from my area. I heard him speak at a high school graduation in the mid 80's, and it's one of the few speeches that I remember! He spoke about having a balanced life, and there were four principles, as in the shape of a cross. I can't remember what the attributes were though! I'm thinking work, family, faith, rest? Anyway, it was a good speech. This man's son was a godfather to Sarah's oldest son, and he was killed in an airplane crash several years ago.

    Sarah's small-town roots are unmistakable, but I think they are going to be an asset when it comes to the national election. Middle America is going to love her. The beltway and urban areas will not. I don't think they can understand this background and the values that come with it - and will underestimate it. There is so little original thinking in the commentaries I'm reading against her - they simply mirror and mouth the same platitudes back and forth and let it go at that, with no interest in really seeing the other side - the values that were more common a couple of generations ago, and which we've drifted so far from today.

    An instructor once said that people in certain groups found it so difficult to move forward, because they didn't really want to see one of their own get ahead. Like monkeys in a barrel, if one of them was about to get out, the others would pull him back down to the bottom again. This is what not just a woman, but a conservative woman, has to face, to get ahead in politics and in many other spheres. Stay silent, be politically correct, go along with the flow, be one of 'us'. Don't do or be something different, or face the consequences.

    A man, or a liberal woman, would not be treated the way Ms. Palin is being treated. Disagreeing on policy is one thing, but the personal attacks are not acceptable in a free society. And who is foremost in trying to not only silence her, but force her out? The media. They must think she has a chance of winning, otherwise they wouldn't even bother with her, would they.

  23. whoa, sorry - I'm not admin - I'm Norah - Admin is a holdover from another blog I set up for someone. lol

  24. I agree with 4eyes. There is some stuff I have shared on this blog, that I would have chosen not to share, had it not been for being able to sign in anonymous. The anonymous allows people to join the discussion every once in awhile, without having to actually set up a blogger account. I think that is nice and allows more people to participate.

  25. The problem I think some are missing is that Palin's experience is McCain's problem, because it throws a monkey wrench into the central theme of his campaign. The Obama campaign hasn't been running around trumpeting their experience--the McCain campaign has. Further, to say that McCain kept his promise of finding the person most ready to be President if he should be incapacitated is just not something a serious thinker can say with a straight face.

    While I think Palin was a poor choice, I deplore any gossip or sexism directed her way. She's a poor choice because of her extremism and troubling political record, not because of her personal life.

  26. Nora, who is trying to "silence" Palin? I can't wait to hear her speak for herself and defend her choices.

    Yes, the personal attacks are deplorable, but they come with elections, and Palin knew it, and that is one reason we should seriously question her judgment.

    The "media" cover a lot of territory, and they certainly gave us an earful of Obama's preacher. Will we also get an earful of Palin's? Or would that be sexism?

    During the primary, Palin criticized Hillary for complaining of sexism.

    "She does herself a disservice to even mention it, really," Palin said. "When I hear a statement like that coming from a woman candidate with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism, or maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think, 'Man, that doesn't do us any good, women in politics, or women in general, trying to progress this country."

  27. Sarah Palin won't have any trouble defending her choices because she doesn't have to appear different from what she is. That's what I get from her after these few days in the spotlight. She's not afraid of attacks either, after taking on Alaska politicians, including those of her own party. She isn't complaining, but as an observer I'm complaining - some of the tactics are extremely low, especially concerning her children. It has usually been the practice to protect the children of all politicians, but this was quite dramatically the opposite.

    We'll see who will attempt the silencing in the coming weeks. She did a good job tonight. It's going to be an interesting election cycle. Maybe some day it won't be something unusual to elect a woman, or a person of a different race, but rather on their principles and character.

    Elections truly are messy and mean, on both sides. That's a given.

  28. I agree that Palin was an effective and confident speaker. She didn't persuade me that she is ready to be president, or vice.

    Apparently Repub Peggy Noonan agrees.

    With Palin and the speakers before her, I was surprised by the outright lies ("Palin got more votes than Joe Biden"), distortions (Obama will raise taxes) and generally snarky insult-mode that prevailed.

    It smelled of desperation. Even our 9-year old noticed, commenting that the speakers were being "mean." (Only Huckabee, bless him, showed some respect for the opposition.)

    Sorry to keep banging on this one issue, but as a mother, I am interested in how other mothers view her candidacy. I think a lot of moms, regardless of politics, will question her priorities regarding her family.

    Should a woman with her ambitions and away-from-home commitments choose to have 5 children, especially when Dad is not willing to stay home with them? It is wonderful for women to have choices. That doesn't mean all choices are equal.

    (Norah, would you mind changing your "admin" moniker to something less confusing for new visitors? Thanks!)

  29. I don't think the Republican convention speakers are any more snarky or mean than the Democrat speakers last week, and I watched a good quantity of them. And absolutely no desperation - funny how it looks different to different people.

    The issue of whether mothers should be careerist, or career politicians, is valid for discussion - but that decision has been made by Sarah Palin, and should I determine whether or not this is appropriate for her? I don't think so. Some women handle these things better than others, and it seems as though these choices are not overwhelming for her.

    We all have a story, and this is her story. Only time will tell whether she will be successful in this. I do think that she is inspirational, even in the mundane, day to day things that occupy my own time.. as I've said before - we all have more power than we think, even if it's in just doing what's put before us each day.

    Peggy Noonan says the rest so well here http://online.wsj.com/article/declarations.html ... There's not much more I can say about this whole subject, she says it all.. as well as explaining that video clip in which she seems to be saying McCain's campaign is over (which she was not).

  30. Peggy Noonan can spin it three ways to Sunday, but she is on tape saying, when asked if Palin was the most qualified woman Republican the McCain camp could have found:

    "The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --"

    Ilmarinen, I agree that Palin is a poor choice because of her extremism, and that her personal life should be personal, but the campaign made it public, trumpeting her family choices as exemplary.

    Because more people can understand baby-making than foreign policy, it is an easy point of entry for debate. I think most women will find her views and actions extreme, and often hypocritical (e.g., cutting funding for unwed mothers).

    And I look forward to hearing Palin talk about health insurance for children, about equal pay for working mothes, and about food safety in our country, to name a few.

  31. I don't think her positions are extreme, to me she is mainstream -so I guess that makes me an extremist as well :-). Peggy Noonan expressed an opinion about the process and reasoning Palin's selection, but whether she is right or not remains to be seen. It is, after all, her own opinion.

    It's easy to dismiss the country's ability to understand babymaking versus foreign policy, but it shouldn't be underestimated. There is more to this than reducing the issues to the lowest common denominator. A national conversation should be just that - a conversation and willingness to be open and listen.

    Given time, I'm sure Gov. Palin will do just fine in explaining her positions on those other issues as well. She is one who is actually willing to publicly defend her positions and her choices, not like the rest of us who post anonymously on blogs lol.

    I'm behind her 100%, and urge ya'all to vote McCain/Palin in November!

  32. The discussion on Palin raises a critically important issue that has not been raised in my memory regarding women running on the Democratic ticket and that is their judgment regarding family obligations. And this is where we can be of some help to the Republican women…. It seems as if they need some guidance as they don’t seem to get it right.

    I propose the following rules for Republican women thinking of running for office.

    1) The youngest child must be no younger than 10 years of age.

    2)The oldest child must have graduated from high school.

    3)If you have more than three children you have to wait until the oldest leaves home.

    4)A special needs child must be counted as two children for the sake of qualifying.

    5)If three children are in the family she must have a signed affidavit from her husband or significant other stating that he is willing to share the child raising responsibilities.

    If anyone can think of any more additional rules, I would be happy to hear them.

  33. It's not just the Dems talking, my friend. This evangelical Christian from Wasilla (with a Downs child) has a few thoughts on the matter. Seems some Christians take family values quite seriously.

  34. Extremism, mmmmm, lets see, Gov. Palin is a pro-life conservative Christian. If that is extreme, than call me a terrorist!

    As far a her being a poor choice for V.P, what difference does it make to a Democrat that isn't going to vote for her anyway?

    I would think an Obama supporter would be overjoyed at such a "poor" choice. This will make Obamas election easier, right?

    But, the Obama supporters are outraged! Could they be a little worried? Are they thinking that maybe he should have picked Hillary instead of 1% Joe?


  35. 4eyes, I am not "a little worried." I am terrified. Palin is on the far right and she makes McCain more palatable for far right evangelical voters.

    Our country needs a correction of course from 8 years of Republican rule. What has it brought us? Aggression, recession, depression. War and debt and corporate welfare (explain how bailing out Freddy and Fanny is "small government").

    With a great narrative, some class warfare, and outright deception, Rove & Company is mobilizing its base. They are also mobilizing us Obama supporters.

    Palin's speech raised an unprecedented$10 million (in 24 hours!) for Obama.

    "I hope she gives a speech every single day," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

    Maybe that's why the McCain campaign is keeping her from the press? "Silencing her," as it were.

  36. Tell me how Obama's tax and spend leftest cradle to the grave policies are going to pull us out of our present recession? (We are not in a depression) With the liberal Reed leading the Senate and liberal Pelosi ( another bad mother with 5 kids) leading the House, and the most liberal democrat ever to run for President, we will be on the way to a Socialist State if Obama is elected.
    I believe Gov. Palin is mainstream not extreme. Liberals who are for abortion, gay marriage, and against a strong military are extreme in my view.
    Of course, I won't change your position and you won't change mine, but you also won't make me and people like me believe that we are out of the mainstream!

  37. My two cents on the whole McCain/Palin Obama/Biden thing:

    It was a brilliant move by McCain.

    a) He tossed a bone to the social conservative base. Based on the responses I've heard here and elsewhere, they have grabbed the bone and are chewing on it vigorously. Note that he hasn't changed any of his positions on anything, and the VP has no real power under the Constitution other than breaking ties in the Senate, and assuming the office if something happens to the President. But now all the social conservatives that hated McCain now love him. Good job, McCain!

    b) He took the whole "historic" aspect of the Obama campaign off the table. Now both sides can vote for something "historic."

    c) He shook things up, bringing a lot more interest to what was getting to be a pretty boring campaign on the McCain side. Now he can try to take the change message away from Obama.

    d) If there were any Hillary Clinton supporters stupid enough to vote for a ticket just because there is a woman on it, he's thrown a bone to them too.

    I've made no secret of my support for Obama. I still support him because the issues that are important to me have not changed, and Obama is best on those issues.

    First, I believe the war in Iraq is something that never should have happened, has wasted money we don't have, and has distracted us from getting Bin Laden. Obama was the only major candidate that was against the war from the very beginning.

    Second on my list is health care. I have good health insurance through my employer, and McCain's plan will not only force me to pay extra taxes on that health plan, but it will likely destroy the tax incentives that cause my employer to provide it in the first place. I think anyone who gets their insurance from their job should be very worried about what McCain wants to do with your health insurance.

    Third, taxes. Contrary to what McCain said at the convention, most of the middle class will be taxed more under a McCain administration. Check out http://alchemytoday.com/obamataxcut/ to see how you'll make out. Small business will also be taxed more under McCain.

    I don't think there was ever any question that social conservatives were going to vote McCain. The only issue was how energized they would be. Does Palin on the ticket really energize them more? Maybe, maybe not. Even if Palin wasn't on the ticket, does anyone really think that they wouldn't have been energized over Supreme Court justices or some other bone?

    I feel sorry for social conservatives. They have been played for fools again and again by Reagan, both Bushes, and now McCain. Yet how much of their agenda has actually been accomplished? You are being used by the Republican party. In my opinion you'd be much better off practicing your morality on a personal level, and voting in your economic interests. That way you wouldn't be captive to and taken for granted by a single party.

  38. I'm taking a break from chewing on my bone to say I don't agree with you, Tomte, but I defend your right to say it. Ok, back to my chewin' :-)

  39. Tomte,

    Well thought out and worth responding to although your “bone” theory is a bit weak, as it furthers the already ridiculous notion that conservatives are basically not deep thinkers.

    I am not going to vote for Obama for the following reason:

    I don’t know whether he is a racist or not but he sure has hung around a good many of them over the years and considered them his friends. He felt comfortable enough in a definitionally racist black liberation philosophy and I suspect this is because he was buoyed by the academic attempt to define blacks out of the possibility of being labeled so. (Guanier et al.) I do not trust this type of thinking.

    Secondly, his criteria for picking justices for the court are not based on justice but on whether the nominees will side for the underdog or not. This compassion sounds very charitable but is not a good basis for a court in determining law and justice. Compassion in the hands of law is by its very nature, unjust.

    He is basically a socialist who will tax heavily the middle class to put his policies in play. I am opposed the government having any more money than they do now because liberty is always diminished by higher taxes. This is a constant problem particularly when dealing with the federal government.

    Another reason is his support of higher capital gains taxes even though he admits that it will not increase revenue. He thinks that it is fair… I prefer to have someone give tax increases a little more thought than that.

    I don’t claim to think for Hillary supporters but I trust that they will decide for themselves for a variety of reasons. Labeling them stupid should they decide to vote for McCain because of Palin being on the ticket is interesting for this reason. A large part of the Obama appeal has been the fact of his being black. Tom Hank’s endorsement (I support Obama because he is black.) is simply one small example of this. It has been my experience that this somehow is portrayed as being noble but stupid for those women who supported Hillary because of her gender cannot intelligently move to another party for the same reason. It is worth noting that Palin is a good example of feminism and perhaps that is her appeal.

    I am a social libertarian and vote Republican but not exclusively and have been obviously disappointed many times. Your advice to conservatives is a bit misplaced. They do not live in a perfect world and feel that the Republican party is closer to their values and I believe that they are right. One could easily say the same things about blacks and their overwhelming support of the Democratic party… It seems as if they have not gotten much from them… Most major cities in the country have been run by Dems for most of the past 40 years or so and they are still in terrible shape… ????

    I would ask you to consider your apparent support of getting your health insurance from your job. I have always felt this to be one that diminishes choice and thereby freedom. There are much better ways of doing this and I have written about this on this blog. This is an uphill argument though because most people, it seems, would prefer to have this given to them by someone else and give up both the responsibility and bother inherent in the problem.

  40. Well said, Stylux!

  41. Stylux, we probably have more in common than we realize. I'm socially libertarian, fiscally conservative, and most of my presidential ballots have been for third parties. It's only in recent elections that I've decided I can't afford to vote third party, and need to find candidates within the major two that speak to the issues most important to me.

    I wouldn't say that either candidate fits all of my views. I do worry about high taxes, higher deficits, and unintended consequences.

    All that said, I'm still voting Democrat this time around. Obama's tax plan really does cut taxes more for the middle class and small business than McCain (see http://www.factcheck.org).

    As far as health care goes, I agree with you that having it through an employer is not ideal. However I am taking the "one bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" approach here. I'm all for ideas to expand coverage, but not at the risk of losing what we already have.

    As for Obama being racist, I don't believe its so, any more than I believe that Sarah Palin thinks people who voted for John Kerry in 2004 are going to hell (something her former pastor allegedly said that I assume we'll be hearing more about in the weeks ahead.)

    Being ex-Laestadian, I have special empathy for people whose pastors say crazy and erroneous things. :)

  42. Tomte,

    I share your empathy for pastors saying crazy things and like you, I assume, have had to overlook a good deal of nonsense. But so it goes. However there is a qualitative difference between Wright and whoever Palin's pastor is. Wright would never hit the intellectual landscape weren't it not for one of his parishioners.. his views are pretty marginal and like David Duke, I am sure he loves his mother and it serves no political purpose because it is not persuasive to try and soft pedal his racism. It would be refreshing to hear from the Dems (because it would increase their credibility on this issue) if they would say... Yes, Wright is a racist and Obama chose to sit in the pew for twenty years but I am giving him a pass and voting for him anyway.

    Thanks 4 eyes.

  43. Stylux, good to hear from you again.

    I've watched this topic being discussed and have been tempted to jump in with something inflammatory as usual, but restrained myself.

    Perhaps it's because we were recently blessed with our first granddaughter that I am in a benevolent mood. She is absolutely adorable, and a great gift to us.

    I have come to the conclusion that I like (most of) the people on this forum, and while we could hurl rhetoric back and forth, and badmouth each other's candidates ad nauseum, in the end it would serve no purpose and all we'd do is hurt each other's feelings. I think we've all pretty much decided who we're going to vote for, arguments here will not change our minds so I ask you all to consider this: Go to the polls. Search your hearts and consciences and vote for the candidate(s) of your choice. Pray over it if you wish, although I'm not sure God is overly concerned with the political perambulations we humans conduct in the theatres of our minds. If your candidates win, accept success graciously. If they lose, refrain from wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  44. Cvow, congrats on your new grandbaby! You must be tempted to lock the doors, cancel the cable, shut out the cacaphony of the world, and just bask in her sweet newborn splendor. I understand and respect your "restraint."

    We spent the weekend camping with friends, one who had some very "interesting" political views. Over a campfire, it would have been rude to argue as we do here. (And more difficult, sans Google.)

    But this blog is a safe place to get real and mix it up. I think former Laestadians place a pretty high value on dialogue and dissent, and whether or not you change any minds, you learn more about yourself and others.

    Cvow, I can't promise not to wail/gnash teeth if Obama loses, but I will take this opportunity to say something gracious about your candidate. Reagan had a fabulous smile.

  45. Even though I have my reasons for voting for Obama instead of McCain, I do want to say that I have an enormous amount of respect for McCain as well. I think either of them will make a fine president, and both of them will be way better than what we've had for the last eight years.

    While I'm obviously rooting for Obama and really want him to win, I have much more peace of mind about this election than in 2004, or 2000 for that matter.

  46. Ah, CVOW, the voice of reason.

    Congratulations on the birth of your grandaughter! What a joy, indeed!

    And what a linguist you are! "political perambulations we humans conduct in the theatres of our minds"

    And now I must go and look that up!

  47. Congratulations on being a Grandpa, cvow.. doesn't that sound strange at first? But it truly is wonderful - that's when you know there are PERFECT children in the world, and you can say it knowing full well, and admitting, you are biased. And it's great :-).