Linux, politics, and other interesting things
Until very recently I thought that it would be almost impossible to get someone worse than George W Bush as the leader of any significant country. Unfortunately it seems that I was wrong and John McCain and Sarah Palin promise more of the economic, regulatory, and military disasters that are the trademarks of the US Republican party (or at least the dominant Neo-Con branch).
Here are some links about John McCain:
The Obama campaign is highlighting the connection between John McCain and Charles Keating . McCain was one of the senators helping Keating while his bank (the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association) was going under. In the end 20,000 people lost their savings and the US taxpayers ended up losing $120,000,000,000.
Frank Rich has written an article for the New York Times about the racist attacks on Barack Obama . The current actions of the McCain campaign only barely stop short of calling for an assassination.
The South Florida Times has an interesting article about the McCain family’s history of slave ownership . Now John McCain is not responsible for the actions of his great-great-grandfather in owning slaves, and there’s nothing wrong with having black relatives who are the descendants of some of those slaves (even though there is doubt about whether the female slaves were legally adults or even consented to the sex acts in question). But he should be honest about it. Denying having non-white relatives in the face of the facts seems to be strong evidence of racism. It is however understandable that John doesn’t want to discuss the fact that some of his relatives have announced plans to vote against him.
Rolling Stone magazine published an interesting article about John McCain’s history as a spoiled brat in the navy . It seems that if your father is an admiral you can ignore orders, crash planes, and basically do whatever you like. It also reveals that John was broken by the Viet Cong torturers and provided the name of his ship, the number of raids he had flown, his squadron number and the target of his final raid. I’m not going to criticise John for breaking under torture – I think that the assessment of wing commander John Dramesi (who was tortured by the same Viet Cong torturers but didn’t break) should be accepted. John Dramesi says that McCain “wasn’t exceptional one way or the other” while in captivity. However McCain’s use of his former POW status in propaganda is quite dishonest. John McCain is also documented as having described his wife as a “cunt” and a “trollop“.
Here are some links about Sarah Palin:
Former US Army Brigadier General (retired) Janis L. Karpinski writes about Sarah Palin , it’s interesting to hear what an intelligent female soldier has to say about her. One thing that I found noteworthy was the repeated references to “murdering” wild animals, shooting at a defenseless animal is of course quite different from shooting at a person who can shoot back (and different again from commanding an army). Janis also makes reference to Sarah setting the feminist cause back decades – I think that is what Sarah desires though. Also Janis points out the emotional problems for which pit bull terriers are known.
There are many claims that Sarah is a “Maverick” and has a record of opposing corruption. This article in the Village Voice documents some of her corrupt activities – including having her home built for free in exchange for assigning the contract to build the Wasilia ice-hocky rink .
Thomas L. Friedman has written an article about Palin’s Kind of Patriotism . According to Sarah it’s not patriotic to pay taxes, it seems to me that encouraging citizens to disobey the law should disqualify her from being elected without all the other issues. Thomas notes that Sarah is promoting the interests of Saudi Arabia by prolonging the US dependence on oil imports.
The Huffington Post has an interesting article about Sarah Palin’s church . It’s strange how little notice has been taken of Sarah’s former pastor who stated that people who didn’t vote for Bush were likely to go to hell.
Update: Corrected URL .