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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

So, Palin

Cleverly but cheaply waiting to make the announcement at a time calculated to blunt the impact of what was nevertheless a highly successful speech given by B. Obama in the great outdoors of Colorado after he had finally been ratified as the official Democratic candidate for President, J. McCain, the Republican, said that he had decided on Sarah Palin as his VP running mate.

A lot of people professed to be surprised, though the likelihood had been in the air for as many as two days.

S. Palin is a young, pleasant-faced woman, not the sourpuss man that you would expect from that end of the spectrum. Neverthless she is the governor of grizzled, hard-drinking Alaska, a place said to be a U.S. state, though I wonder how many from the other 49 states have ever set foot there. A tiny number I would bet. And barely more than 160 years ago the Russians had been able to lay enough claim to it to be able to "sell" it to the U.S. for what was a steal even in those days. Still enough Americans were scornful enough of the deal to call it "Seward's Folly," but that was before even Wyatt Earp reported there in his older days to pick up some of the gold lying on the ground, and in the next century oil was discovered under the ground, and now in this third century -- or so McCain and the Repubs desperately hope -- we have yet another precious, just discovered resource in the person of Ms Palin.

Still you have to wonder. Statehood or not, if you've ever been there and taken a modest look around outside its only two towns of any consequence, Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska will seem as if it is a separate country, like Canada, and just on loan from the Eskimos and the Inuit. It's indistinguishable from Canada's British Columbia and the Yukon, which you have to cross a lot of to get there, if you're not flying, and Alaska is disconnected from the rest of the U.S. by much more than just geography. It is bigger than Texas and more beautiful and awe-inspiring than any of the states including California, not least because it has fewer people than all but one or two of the states. Alaska is a world apart, so that, while campaigning through the next two months, S. Palin will really be introducing herself to the country of which the Repubs will try to lead us to believe that she deserves to be the leader-in-waiting.

Granted I was last in Alaska -- and the only time I've set foot there -- way back in 1968, but I haven't heard of anything happening, not even the oil pipeline, that could've changed it much. And before becoming governor, Ms Palin's executive experience politically was confined to having been the mayor of a town of 6,000. And now -- as the saying used to be, but now is likely to be snuffed out by the Repubs wherever possible -- her virtues are apparently so numerous that she has more prospect than any other American except J. Biden, of landing just a heartbeat away from the presidency.

And in this case what a shaky heartbeat that would be. In this very interesting article, another Navy man who was detained by the North Vietnamese two years longer than McCain and who definitely doesn't think McCain's candidacy is a good idea, says that their group of ex-prisoners is sadly experiencing a notably lower longevity rate than non-POW's.

S. Palin has already been attacked because of her lack of experience in the areas thought necessary for being President. Some Republicans especially are not at all happy with the way that her choice immediately shot down what they had thought was one of their strongest arguing points against B. Obama, his perceived lack of experience. But in her short tenure of only two years at Alaska's helm, Palin has already taken some flak for her readiness to damage Alaska's greatest asset, its environment, for the sake of extracting and selling petroleum. In Alaska she uses this to say that she did it to enrich Alaskans, but in the lower 48 she will argue that she did it for the sake of all those good folks down there.

Until McCain tapped her she was also about to be the subject of an ethics investigation, a complicated affair involving her sister's ex-husband, and pressure she is alleged to have exerted to get him fired, by having herself fired his boss. But in all likelihood this will be quietly and thoroughly quashed, now that the big brawling "Lower 48" is in the picture.

But just lately it has also turned out that Ms Palin is in favor of shooting wolves.

...Ok. That's it!

Behind that perfidy alone I would say that it is a shame that she couldn't have been left to stay at her sister's side back in Alaska, inside of at J. McCain's side, in putting the screws to her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper. Poor boy.


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