This will not be a technology post, but I ran into some computer/Internet issues that I will touch upon since they impact many other people as well. If you want to skip the technology topic and get right to my take concerning the debate, go here.
I don't have a TV; however, I did want to watch and listen to the Biden/Palin debate of 10/02/2008. I went out onto the Internet searching for the video to watch. YouTube came up top, as it usually does; however, it wouldn't play very well. That set me to wondering just what the problem always seems to be with watching videos in general. I assumed I just don't have a powerful enough computer. Nevertheless, I wanted to check into it more since so many people seem to not be interested in reading or writing commentary but rather just pointing to this or that video.
I ended up trying the different browsers. Low and behold, Opera does have a bigger problem playing back videos than say does Firefox. Firefox though is not without its hiccups. So, I searched some more and ended up installing the Firefox Add-on called Download Helper. That was a mistake, not because it doesn't work. It does work. It was a mistake in the sense that it's no quick solution. Downloading video can take "forever" depending on the size of the video. I'm talking hours here. Then, if you want to convert videos to other formats in the hope that they will play back better, that requires downloading further add-ons and learning how to use them and on and on. That's okay if that's what you're after at the time. I actually tried converting the debate. 12 hours later after having set the thing to do two passes to enhance the quality, it still wasn't done. It showed no progress bar or percentage indicator, so I decided to quit the process. I did realize though that I should not have left the Convert Queue open. Leaving it open apparently swallows half the CPU usage that could have been used completely by the converter. So, the 12 hours might have been 6 and the 6 hours might rightly be divided by 2 since I asked for 2 passes. Therefore, a pass might have completed in a little over 3 hours. I'm not prepared to start over right now though just to find out. It's seeing the debate that is the task at hand and not setting up for future time savings. I'll keep all of this in the back of my head though for future reference if and when I have the time and inclination to tackle it.
Anyway, I went back out and after some more searching, decided to try the C-Span site. That streaming seems to be working much more smoothly, enough that it's tolerable for reading facial expressions, body language, "fashion" statements, etc., which are of interest here. They do speak just as do word choice, inflection, and so forth.
Make Up Your Mind, Sarah: Regulation or Not
Well, after the first 17 minutes, I'm compelled to point out Sarah Palin calling for governmental oversight (regulation) while at the same time calling for government to get out of the way. I say this without having read anyone else's critique of the debate yet. I had other pressing issues. I'm not at the bleeding edge of the news cycle right now. It certainly doesn't always pay to be either.
New Deal or Reaganomics: Not Both
Sarah has one foot in the New Deal and the other still in Reaganomics. You can't have it both ways. Of course, I'm speaking here in the mundane since I know that neither is ultimately the right path. Neither is voluntary. Both are coerced via so-called democracy. Neither is following righteousness as the real law, which it is regardless of what any of the mundane law claims. This is also not to suggest that Joe Biden has the right focus. I didn't count the number of times he used the term "middle class," but it's been often. Where are the lower class and homeless and hungry?
Great Depression: Jobs
Let me just say at this point that the rich have always had their hired guns spreading the lie that they, the rich, are the wealth creators. They want the common people falsely believing that taxing the superrich removes investments in job creation. Well, we've seen the results of the tax cuts for the wealthy. We have returned to the days before the Great Depression in terms of the income gap between rich and average-income earners. Now we are seeing the economic meltdown that greed always, always brings. So what is the truth? Can't you see the fruit that defines the tree and root? The results of the tax breaks and deregulation, etc., are the rotten fruit that is the economic meltdown. It means that the tree and root, the system, is also rotten and wrong. The system that brings us the income disparity is evil — plain and simple. It's why Jesus had so much to say in warning everyone about the evils of seeking after mammon for self. Seek for the sake of others and all. That's the right path.
Environment and Energy
After about the first half hour, they moved on to environmental and energy issues more directly. Sarah Palin attempted to appeal to both sides on the global-warming issue and to walk carefully so as not to offend the oil companies anymore than she ever has. She's actually touted her windfall profits taxing of the oil industry in Alaska, but at the same time she advocates that that industry be allowed to do more offshore drilling, etc. So, she won a popular vote in Alaska by getting more of the money to stay there, but she gives back to the industry by pushing less regulation (while calling for more regulation of Wall Street — no specifics — but less government or for government to get out of the way — hyper-confusion there and it's not just a matter of context).
Not only that, but since Sarah used the term over and over again to co-opt it ("greed"), if it's bad, then how much greed is bad? I'll give the answer, just as I did in my last post at length. All selfishness is evil. Overcoming it is the call.
Clean Coal and Safe Nuclear: No Such Think Yet
Now, Joe Biden is no anti-corporatist. He's singing "clean coal" and safe nuclear. However, you have to mine coal. Coal mining right now is mountaintop removal. That's a major environmental disaster. It's killing Appalachia in many places. It's killing people literally. I've posted on the subject several times. It just doesn't get much attention, because it's the poor mountain folks who are most directly affected. Also, nuclear requires mining. They use leaching now, and it's far from safe. Then there's the waste that stays hot for thousands of years. Of course, there's always the risk of plant accidents, etc. A meltdown can happen, and double-wall containment is no guarantee. Anyway, it isn't cost-effective either. The same amount of money pumped into nuclear would render more if pumped into solar or geothermal. Nuclear will become more expensive where solar would become cheaper.
Natural Gas Green: Wrong
Sarah called natural gas "green." It is not. Burning natural gas increases global warming. Where did she get this ignorant idea? Why didn't Joe correct her? Doesn't he know either? How can they not know? Gas is carbon. Burning it results in more greenhouse-gas in the atmosphere.
If all of the energies that are being planned for pouring into the old, dirty energy system were instead poured into truly clean and safe alternatives, we could completely eliminate carbon-based fuel. Sarah isn't talking about that. She gleefully emotes about increasing the use of the very fuel that is causing the problem. That's far from bright. It's plain dumb.
Homosexuality: No Right to Teach Harm as Harmless
Concerning the issue of homosexuality, it was simply glossed over. It was concerning civil benefits and civil marriage and constitutionality. As a Christian, I will say that Christians are not to coerce others. We are to ask others and to warn others in the spirit of the Golden Rule about the negative (harmful) consequences of bad choices. Joe Biden mentioned the U.S. Constitution here, but it is not a Christian document, not consistent with the example of Christ. It is based upon coercing others. I don't hold with it. I will hold those to it who hold with it though. I will use it to point out the hypocrisy in positions. Yes, he's sworn to uphold it. My point is that he's not a Christian. A Christian can't uphold the U.S. Constitution. As I said, it's coercive and that's antichrist. I will say that the real law (divine law of God and Christ) fulfills everything to which that flawed Constitution pretends.
"Homosexuals: What they ignore" is important here. Come back to this to read that article. It is given in the spirit of the Golden Rule, as a warning to the wise who will heed. Those who nevertheless choose unwisely and engage in homosexuality, I won't coerce them. They won't end up with me though where I'm going and returning with Jesus to God.
Sarah the Warmonger
Wow, 40 minutes into this debate and now I'm hearing real warmongering. Here's Sarah Palin, who claims to be a Christian, talking about war, war, and more war, as if that is ever Christian. The Surge she lauds is based upon ethnic cleansing, death squads, false imprisonment, torture, dark sites, renditions, tens of thousands of dead civilians (women and children), millions of war refugees, and all based upon the lie that Iraq was involved with 9/11, al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden (who incidentally is not on the FBI Ten Most Wanted List (specifically for 9/11 in spite of a supposed video confession) because there is zero hard evidence linking him to 9/11).
The Surge: Failure Forever
Sarah Palin is supporting unmitigated evil. She talks about the Surge but doesn't condemn the invasion or occupation as being evil, which both have been and remain and always will. The Surge is no success. The city is now a hodge-podge of walled neighborhoods. The Sunnis have been nearly purged from the city, whereas the story at the beginning of the Surge was how only al Qaeda in Iraq would be swept from the neighborhoods and not all the Sunnis. The Surge is a gross lie and distortion that is far, far, far from a success. It is an utter failure and misdirection or sleight of hand devised for the weak minded and those who want to be duped with a duplicitous wink (the inside joke of the selfish who covet Iraq's oil).
Biden No Pacifist
Of course Joe Biden is no pacifist. He supported and pushed in the Senate all the fighting done in Macedonia under the Clinton administration. That too was done based upon a tissue of lies. We were all told how there were probably 250,000 killed in ethnic cleansing by the Serbs, that there were mass graves that would be unearthed. It never happened. It was all forgotten afterwards. They all just moved on as if it never mattered. It mattered and still does matter.
Lies for War
It matters just the way it still matters that the George W. Bush administration lied and lied and lied to get American public opinion to go along with invading Iraq. It mattered just the way it still matters that George's father, George H.W. Bush, lied about Iraq and so did Dick Cheney, his Defense Secretary, in the first Persian Gulf War. There were no incubator babies killed in Kuwait by Iraqis (Bush's lie) and there was no Iraqi troop build-up on the Saudi border (Cheney's lie). It's all in the long U.S. tradition of lying to take the nation to war. It happened concerning Vietnam. It happened concerning WWII. It happened in the Spanish-American War and on and on.
Sarah is talking about victory over a people who have been trampled down by empire for the sake of oil and cultural domination. When I hear her speaking in this debate, I hear antichrist-talk. Everything she's promoting is antichrist.
No Judging or Condemning
Do I judge and condemn her here and now for it? No, I do not.
She's making common errors. She's the product of her environment. She's repeating the garbage she's been raised on that she hasn't seen clear to identify as garbage and to go on to overcome it. How long though will it take for the rest of society to catch up to realizing and speaking the truth that Sarah Palin and all those who agree with her militancy are not Christians anymore than are the greedy that she and others are finally speaking out against?
As I wrote in my post yesterday, the greedy and violent and sexually depraved all come out from the same evil source that is utter selfishness. That's the enemy of the soul. Selfishness is the enemy of God.
Support the Troops Murdering People for Empire: I Refuse
Sarah is promoting hard-heartedness. She's not being compassionate about the innocent children who have been murdered by the U.S. war machine that includes the "troops" she supports. The Universal Soldier really is to blame, as Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote.
Joe Biden is the consummate imperialist. You thought I was only going to talk about Sarah? Joe isn't against using U.S. military power. He isn't against antichrist. He's for what is clearly antichrist. His brand is just a little different from Sarah's. It's a tweak on evil. The question unfortunately that is posed to the American people is which move of the coercive system do you see as being the best for you and yours in your estimation, your self-centered estimation. That's not what Jesus wants. Who doesn't know that?
Misquoting Ahmadinejad: A Republican/Neocon/Zionist Pastime
Ah, here's Sarah misquoting Ahmadinejad about Israel — taking him out of context for the sake of appealing to the vote of the militant, antichrist, false Zionists (I say false, because Zion means peace and the self-styled Zionists are far from peaceful or peacemakers). I don't support Ahmadinejad and his Islam. He too is in error. However, I don't support the Likudniks either, not at all. Sarah and her kind look the other way when it comes to the atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinians and Lebanese and others. She looks the other way concerning all the land coveting and grabbing done by certain (only certain) Jews. I don't and neither do God and Jesus in Heaven. Count on it.
Biden Mundane Pragmatist, Anti-Democratic
Joe Biden comes back as the imperialist/pragmatist. He reminds us how Obama and he were against elections in Gaza because Hamas would win. Well, how hypocritical is it to be for democracy but against democracy? He's for democracy only where the outcome will be consistent with what is supposedly best for the American Empire.
Look, if you think the U.S. Empire is right and should be the coercive superpower dictating as the world's police state, then choose between Obama or McCain or Palin or Biden. It's not Christian. All four of them claim to be Christian, but Christianity (Jesus) is adamantly opposed to such coercion. That's the way it is, and no amount of obfuscation is going to change it. The truth is the truth. It's absolute. There are no grey areas. These people are not Christians. They say an untruth when they claim to be Christian. They know full well that they aren't putting forth what Jesus came and put forth. Yet, they go ahead anyway and claim Christianity. That's basic dishonesty. Everyone knows it too.
Joe Biden, being a pragmatist in the imperial and mundane sense (not truly pragmatic since Jesus is the ultimate pragmatist), did say before the Iraq War that it would not be the cake walk that Dick Cheney and his ilk were spewing. What's the point though? Joe is arguing over the when-and-where of war and not whether-or-not-ever war. Jesus though says to turn the other cheek. He doesn't say turn it sometimes. He says turn it, period. Why does he say that? Well, because ultimately if everyone gets on that page, there won't even be any cheek hitting in the first place. Souls will not even do what will get others upset. They will have the good of the other in mind first and foremost and will therefore be watched out for by all the others as well. It will be full-circle consideration and care. That's the solution. It's the only way, and it's why Jesus advocated it and still does.
Again, Sarah says John McCain and she will clean up the greed and corruption on Wall Street but that the government bureaucrats must get out of the way of business and the individual. What is she talking about? Who's going to clean up greed and corruption on Wall Street without governmental regulation? She is talking about more regulation of Wall Street. She's not appealing to the Wall Streeters to turn to Christ. She doesn't know how to do that. Either the government as the people's choice (the people's government) has the mandate to regulate or it doesn't. She is making zero sense here, and it's fundamental even on the most mundane level.
More on Taxes
She also continues talking about keeping taxes down. She's doing the bidding of the ultra-rich with that one, over and over. Raising taxes on the ultra-rich doesn't reduce jobs.
I'm not for any taxes. There are no taxes in Heaven. I'm for Heaven on Earth.
If you're going to have taxes though with your so-called democratic, secular government, don't be duped into thinking that the New Deal was worse than what went before it. We've cycled full circle with this current economic crisis to pre-New Deal economics. More anti-New Deal isn't going to get anyone out of this crisis. If you're going to vote for your selfish interest, why listen to the ultra-rich lie about what's good for you. What they wanted and received has not been what's best for the most. What they wanted resulted in all the debate about bailouts. What they wanted resulted in what unbridled greed and corruption has brought on Wall Street that Sarah Palin seems not to be able to connect with deregulation even while she's calling for greater regulation of Wall Street but less governmental regulation in nearly the same breath. Joe Biden never even mentioned her inconsistency though.
College Education and Healthcare: Universal or Privileged Few
Sarah talks about how families sit around the kitchen table discussing how to pay for college tuition and healthcare. Why do we have a system where people have to do that? Why don't we as a nation and as human beings have a system where all of our children can go to college and where all of our people have healthcare? What is wrong with the hearts of the world that some can go to college and some can get healthcare but others aren't allowed? It's sick. It's wrong, and Sarah Palin isn't promoting universal education and healthcare. She's for private, special privileges and advantages. Jesus though doesn't discriminate when it comes to the poor. We are to feed all the lambs and sheep.
Dominionism: Unholy Holy War: Sarah Palin, Christian Crusader?
There was no question to Sarah about her qualified Dominionist beliefs. She has said openly in her church that the war in Iraq is a holy war, that it must be a war God supports. It is the central issue about her, but it was completely avoided. That speaks volumes about the system.
Russia Didn't Rate or Avoid Hypocrisy?
We just went through a raft of hypocrisy concerning the Russians and South Ossetia and Georgia, but there was not a word about it. There's Russia with the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world being bad mouthed constantly now by the utterly hypocritical Bush administration, but not a word about Russia.
Also, where were the other candidates? The two major parties changed the rules so that no third party may be represented. That too speaks volumes.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)