Monday, September 8, 2008

An Independent voter's concerns about Sarah Palin

Billed by McCain as bearing "a message of reform and public integrity," Sarah Palin is currently under investigation herself. A few weeks ago, a bipartisan panel of Alaska state legislators appointed an independent investigator to look into charges that Palin abused her office. In mid-July she fired the Alaska public safety commissioner, allegedly after he refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law, a state trooper who divorced Palin's sister three years ago and was locked in a custody dispute over their child. In 1996, Palin demanded certain books, at her discretion, should be banned from the Wasilla public library. When Palin was unable to convince the chief librarian, she fired her. From 2003 to June 2005, Palin served as one of three directors of "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.". On July 29, 2008 Ted Stevens was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of money laundering.

As Mayor of the town of Wasilla (population 7,000) Palin, who portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt as mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla "that amounts to $3,000 per resident." The town of Wasilla filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001. She argued that the debt was needed to fund improvements. Palin had already increased taxes by 18% leading critics to label her a "borrow and spend Republican."

As Governor of Alaska, Palin cut Alaska's funding for special needs children by 60%. As a Ted Steven supporter, Palin supported the "Bridge to Nowhere". Palin ran for governor on a "build-the-bridge" platform, attacking "spinmeisters" for insulting local residents by using the term "Bridge to Nowhere." In October 2006, she stated that she favored building the bridges "sooner rather than later."

Critics of Sarah Palin are concerned by her anti-American views. From 1978 through 1996, Palin and her husband Todd were members of the secessionist Alaska Independence Party. While attending the Alaska Independence Party convention, Palin said in a televised speech "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions". Later in the speech, Palin said "The fires of Hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government."

Palin's credentials are based essentially around her "family values". Despite advocating "abstinence only" sex education, Palin's 15 year old daughter, Bristol Palin is pregnant, leading to claims of hypocrisy. Palin has stated that she believes in no birth control (not even for married couples), abstinence-only sex education and no abortion under any circumstance, including rape, incest or where the mother's life is in danger. Palin supports a constitutional amendment to ban abortion under and has said that she would sign an executive order overturning 'Roe vs. Wade' in her first day in office.

Sarah Palin has been criticized by moderates as a religious extremist who pushed for Creationism to be taught in schools. Palin does not believe in evolution and believes that the Earth is only 5000 years old. During an interview with the Anchorage Daily News two years ago Sarah Palin said:

God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats.

In relation to the environment, Palin has a track record of putting Alaskan big oil interests ahead of the environment. Palin does not believe in global warming. Palin has also outraged animal rights activists by supporting the aerial hunting of bears, wolves and eagles. Palin supports slant oil drilling in the Alaskan wilderness and supports mining companies who have depleted the salmon population and increased the toxicity of the rivers and streams.

In terms of foreign policy experience, Palin has none. Palin, who was a sportscaster for a local NBC station in Alaska, does not own a passport and has never left the United States.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"I'm an Alaskan, not an American" Secessionist Sarah Palin member of Alaskan Independence Party

"I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions"

Sarah Palin attending the 2000 Alaskan Independence convention

(AP) Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the presumptive 2008 Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States, attended the Alaskan Independence Party's 2000 secessionist convention while she was still mayor of Wasilla.

Lynnette Clark, the party's current chairwoman, also said that Palin attended the party's 1994 convention. Clark and other members confirmed that Palin was actually a member of the party in the mid-1990s.

Palin recorded a message welcoming party members to its 2008 convention as Governor of Alaska.

Critics are concerned that Sarah Palin is a secessionist who backs Alaskan independence and harbors anti-American views.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

John McCain's dangerous choice - Getting to know Sarah Palin

I just don't know about John McCain.

John McCain may be a grumpy old man but what concerns me most is that he has no knowledge or even interest in domestic or foreign affairs. For someone who has voted with Bush 90% of the time, John McCain is hardly a 'maverick', in fact he's more of a sidekick.

The most disturbing thing about John McCain is his lack of judgment. How can he (after spending the entire campaign criticizing Barack Obama's "inexperience") turn around and appoint a complete novice with zero policy experience as his VP? To be blunt, I think the answer is that John McCain is two beers short of a six pack. I can't decide what bothers me more: McCain's physical health (cancer twice) or his declining mental health (solitary confinement, temper tantrums).

At 72, John McCain is completely out of touch with America - he can't remember how many houses he owns, he admits he knows NOTHING about the economy, and he's not sure who we're fighting in Iraq! The only sure thing in John McCain's life is apple sauce farts.

When reporters question McCain on his cozy relationships with Big Oil, or his closeness to Washington lobbyists or his adultery, he always comes back with the retort "I was a POW for five years". He's basically telling the media that because he was a POW so no one should dare to question his pro-Bush policies.

Everything McCain says seems to go back to him being a POW for five years. I think it shows bad character to not set the record straight about his duty. McCain loves the attention he receives by telling his story about turning down early parole but the facts prove that John McCain is taking credit for doing what he was supposed to do, it's called duty. As an officer in the United States military, he was required to turn down early parole, a fact that can be verified in the Vietnam-era military Serviceman's Code. John McCain is manipulating the American people by taking credit for something that was his sworn duty.

And now John "Mr Judgment"McCain has chosen a VP who's had one year of experience as Governor of Alaska and was mayor of a town of 9000 people! Sarah Palin is an anti-choice religious extremist who would be a heartbeat away from the Presidency! Why does John McCain think Sarah Palin is ready to be Commander in Chief? Was it because she played point guard for her high school basketball team? The last thing this country needs is another opinionated yokel who can be easily manipulated, we just had eight years of that.

Choosing Sarah Palin as VP demonstrates John McCain's complete lack of judgment. It's not that John McCain doesn't care - it's that he just doesn't get it. This is a change election and the only change we're going to get from McCain is him changing his Depends. 82% of Americans think this country is on the wrong track, choosing Sarah Palin as VP means the "Straight Talk Express" has just derailed.

Some more interesting reading:

Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.


Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

  • She was elected Alaska 's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
  • She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
  • She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7
Here's what Alaskans are saying about their Governor:

She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK

Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK

I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.

1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008

2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008

3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008

4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006

5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008

6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008

"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008

"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008

7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008