Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Politics and Apocalypticism

Hat tip to Religious Right Watch for alerting us to this article:

Palin's Religious Beliefs Must Be Explored
by Chip Berlet is a transcript of a speech.

Does Sarah Palin share with millions of other evangelicals a nightmare vision of an approaching global battle between Godly Christians and evil Satanic agents of the Antichrist in the End Times? I hope some reporters ask Palin if she shares the vision of an apocalypse soon.

Many evangelical Christians believe in a rapidly approaching End Time confrontation between good and evil. Many liberals and progressives glibly dismiss these beliefs as whacko, but the believers number in the millions, are just as smart and sane as the rest of us, and act out these beliefs in the public square--shaping policies in the domestic and foreign policy arenas.

Pastor John Hagee believes in the upcoming apocalyptic battle, and Hagee and McCain endorsed each other before press reports (based on alternative blogsites!) revealed Hagee's alarming End Times beliefs. So, let's ask Palin. Does she really believe Jesus is returning in her lifetime as some have reported? If so, what other End Times beliefs does she have?. What follows is adapted from a speech I gave a few years ago as a general overview of Christian Dominionist End Times beliefs. Surf the apocalypse--experience the nightmare.

This is an important article. It hits the heart of our polarization in America regarding religion and the direction we need to take as Americans and as a species. Why are not these questions being asked by our media?

Take time to read the article and then I ask you, "What is your vision/belief about our future?"





48 comments:

  1. Well, what do we all think about while affirming the Nicene Creed of the church every Sun?

    "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end."

    Isn't this the belief of the Presbyterian church?

    Seriously, what do Palin's spiritual convictions in all this have to do with her political abilites, anyway?

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  2. I thought that this was America and that there was no litmus religious test for those seeking office. Has this now changed?

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  3. "Seriously, what do Palin's spiritual convictions in all this have to do with her political abilites, anyway?"

    Holy crap what a silly question. When push comes to shove if she gets elected and sje ascends to the White House she might say, "To heck with dealing with those Satanic Russians, I'll just let God deal with them when I push this big red button that will cause all those ICBMs to go off." A person's religious beliefs and spritual convictions have everything to do with their world view and how they deal with others and with adversity. A weak minded person who relies on their evangelical preacher to tell them what their world view should be could very easily be influenced into doing somehting they think is "biblically correct" or into what they think their version of god wants and it may be disasterous for the rest of us.

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  4. A person's religious beliefs and spiritual convictions have everything to do with their world view and how they deal with others and with adversity.

    Exactly. Religious beliefs interfere with sanity.

    Sanity=political actions that further cooperation, peaceful relations, sustainability for future generations.

    Religion=the world is getting worse and we are headed for a violent end. And it is all God's will. There is no future.

    It is critical for voters to know what world view our political leaders have.

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  5. Bush claimed to be an Evangelical, was endorsed by the Evangelicals, and had 6 years experience as the Governor of Texas. But look at the train wreck he turned out to be.

    Jimmy Carter came to office wearing his faith on his sleeve too. He had experience as a governor as well.

    Clinton was a Governor, but did not wear his faith on his sleeve. Reagan was a governor but did not wear his faith on his sleeve. Both of them turned out OK.

    Seems to me that, at least in recent history, wearing their faiths on their sleeves makes presidents either indecisive or dribbling morons.

    But an Apocalyptic Fundamentalist would make these two seem like brilliant men of action.

    Palin has clear political abilities. I mean, mayor of No Place Alaska one day, and candidate for vice president against an old beat up guy in less than two years? No, she's got political skills alright.

    But does she have the judgment? The honesty? The ability to listen to opposing points of view without being manipulated?

    She's already proven to be either a skillful lier or a puppet of the machine.

    Who is seriously going to put her within a heartbeat of the highest office in the nation? I believe the American voters will soon see through her thin veneer. They are not going to reward the Republicans for the mess they've made with another 4 years in office. Palin will have enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame and go back to Alaska and grow old telling her incredulous grandchildren about the big moose she shot, with bigger antlers in deeper snow every year, and the time she almost became president of the United Sates of America.

    And some day one of them will write a best selling novel called "Stories my Granny used to tell"

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  6. "Seriously, what do Palin's spiritual convictions in all this have to do with her political abilites, anyway?"

    Ummmm...

    Abortion
    Gay Marriage
    Don't Ask, Don't Tell
    Stewardship of the Environment
    Healing the Sick
    Clothing the Naked
    Feeding the Poor

    All political issues, grace, and all spiritual ones too.

    The very LAST thing I want is someone with their finger on the button, humming the old hymn, "This world is not my own, I'm just a-passin' through."

    *shudder*

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  7. The very LAST thing I want is someone with their finger on the button, humming the old hymn, "This world is not my own, I'm just a-passin' through."

    Sweet. And y'all are just passin' through with me.

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  8. Most people understand that the general tenet of the article, the "no religious test" was meant to prevent undue influence of any church - as in the Church of England, which was tied inextricably tied to the government of England and of course led to the Revolution - on the governance of the United States.

    Article 6, in its entirety (so there is no question of context), states:
    [1] All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution as under the Confederation.
    [2] This Constitution shall be made to pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution notwithstanding.
    [3] The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

    Two statements, "This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land" [2] and "all...shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution"[3] are critical in this discussion.

    As you may recall, the first time religion was truly called into question during a presidential campaign was with Kennedy, whom many were concerned that, as a Catholic, would hold the Pope in greater standing than the Constitution.

    Public remarks by Palin have renewed those concerns. Will she honor an oath or affirmation to uphold the Constitution when she states publicly that our mission in Iraq is God's will? Or that drilling for oil is God's will? As Monkey and Alan and Jodie have mentioned, what else will she claim is God's will, and at what ultimate cost to the people of this country and the world?

    Does that make this a religious test or a Constitutional test?

    One would like to think there would be a self-culling process; that those who adhere strictly to God as the supreme law of the land would become religious leaders and stay out of public office. But, thanks to Ralph Reed, mostly, we can no longer assume that process will occur.

    So, how do we honor the seemingly conflicting points within Article 6?

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  9. I would like to recommend the following sermon: Exclusivity: How can there be just one true religion? which covers the topic of why religion plays a key role in how people act in the public square. Keller also shows how the uniqueness of Christianity can have a reconciling effect on the world.

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  10. Reverend Shuck, you said:

    "Sanity=political actions that further cooperation, peaceful relations, sustainability for future generations."

    and that,

    "It is critical for voters to know what world view our political leaders have."

    In your honest opinion, out of all the candidates running for President, who do you believe has the most sanity (based on our definition).

    Call me insane, but I believe that
    McCain/Palin's and Obama/Biden's economic and foreign policy is going to lead us into the "apocalypse".

    Paul, Barr, Nader, Baldwin, and McKinney made a pact. Here is what they believe about our foreign and economic policy:

    "Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations."

    Read the rest here.



    Who thinks I am insane for going against the two mainstream candidates?

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  11. Rachel,

    Thanks for the link. One of two candidates will be president in November, Obama or McCain. No third party candidate will be elected.

    Folks can vote for one of the two, a third party, or stay home.

    I will vote for the one (of the only two who will be elected) who is closest to my ideal.

    You can vote for whomever you wish. I think that one of the two main candidates will have a better chance at ending the war and have a better opportunity of seeking global cooperation than the other one.

    I believe that the two main candidates are different and offer different visions for our future.

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  12. The reason I am voting third party is because I am taking responsibility and I want to send a message to the mainstream candidates/parties and the people of the U.S. that I believe they (Obama and McCain camps) are taking us on the wrong path.

    As you vote in November, just remember your post on "Few Are Guilty--All Are Responsible", and if we go to war with Russia know that both Obama and McCain support the entry of Georgia into NATO. That means that if Russia attacks Georgia we will go to war. Also know that we are giving millions of dollars to Georgia to keep control of our oil line. That money could be better spent here at home as 40 million live in poverty and education worsens. Just know that when you vote for Obama and McCain you support this idealogue and take responsibility for it.

    How will change ever come about if we all fall for the "lesser of two evils" crap? I am thankful for people like Paul, Barr, McKinney, Baldwin, and Nader who show real integrity in times of trouble.

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  13. Rachel,

    I appreciate your idealism. I really do. In 2000, I voted for Nader. I was in NY so it didn't matter much as NY went solidly for Gore. I thought at the time I was voting my principles and I was. Nader did not win. He didn't have a prayer. Those who voted for Nader only took votes away from Gore. The only thing I got out of it was at first a warm feeling for voting my principles. That feeling did not last long.

    I was under an illusion that there was little difference between Bush and Gore. I was wrong. As these past 8 years have shown there is a great deal of difference between Bush and Gore.

    The world would be quite different today if Gore had been elected. We would have responded to 9/11 differently. We would have taken a different position regarding the environment and energy.

    Idealistic candidates do not win. Politics is always compromise and we go with who we hope will be closer to our ideals.

    In January 2009, someone will be president. It will not be...

    Ron Paul...
    Ralph Nader...
    Bob Barr...
    Dennis Kucinich...
    Paris Hilton...
    or Pat Paulsen.

    It will be either McCain or Obama.

    Neither of these candidates is ideal. We do not live in an ideal world.

    Yet, there is a huge difference between them not only on particular issues but on their respective visions for our nation and our world.

    One of those candidates will be more likely to be receptive to ideals (such as the war) than the other, and could be motivated to do more to further peace and global cooperation.

    Yes, I am responsible. And, for me, responsibility means as Molly Ivins said:

    "In the primaries, I vote to change the world; in November, I vote for a sliver more for programs that help the needy."

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  14. Paul, I can see why you turned to Christ. It's hopeless. I really like the link you provided. Thank you very much.

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  15. John,

    You say,

    "Yet, there is a huge difference between them not only on particular issues but on their respective visions for our nation and our world. "

    Can you clarify the huge difference between Obama and McCain and why you favor one over the other?

    I don't want to believe the statement below. Can you rebuttal it for me?

    "Pretending that a true difference exists between the two major candidates is a charade of great proportion….The truth is that our two-party system offers no real choice. The real goal of the campaign is to distract people from considering the real issues. "

    source

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  16. Rachel,

    Again, it comes down to practicality.

    ***One of these two will be elected.***

    That is it. It is that simple. Your quote may be true about the two party system. But it doesn't matter.

    ***One of these two will be elected.***

    Which one will be better for the next four years? Or which will be worse?

    Which ***of the two*** will be easier to work with in regards to your ideals?

    None? Then stay home or vote for a third party candidate.

    But in January ***one of the two*** will be in office.

    Questions regarding the two party system and some of the other things you bring up are important.

    But at this point in the game, those questions mean little.

    The choice is between two candidates whether you like either or not. One will win.

    It is like a student becoming philosophical about her career or the meaning of life the night before her final exam. Great questions. But on the night of the final, there is one thing to do: study. You worry about those questions later.

    It is crunch time. One of these two will win and

    --direct American foreign policy, --deal with healthcare, energy and the environment,
    --appoint supreme court justices,

    all for at least the next four years.

    If they are both the same to you, then the election is of little consequence.

    No, the differences are not as big as I would like them to be, but they are significant.

    Dennis Kucinich was asked by Amy Goodman if we would run as an alternative. He said, "No." He would support Obama because working within that flawed party would be the best way for him to put his ideals on the table.

    It is politics. It is compromise. We work with what we have.

    That said, I happen to like one of the candidates. I appreciate what he has done and I admire his vision. I think he will make a difference. You can guess which one.

    But that doesn't mean I won't (in my own small way) put his feet to the fire on issues that are important to me.

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  17. Rachel -

    The biggest difference between the two main candidates is that whichever one is President will likely appoint 3 Supreme Court judges and make hundreds of federal judicial appointments that will affect the lives of Americans for perhaps decades.

    Which one of those two candidates would you rather have making those appointments?

    That's where MY conscience tells me to focus.

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  18. I would add that one of these two will make it easier for the message of "people like Paul, Barr, McKinney, Baldwin, and Nader who show real integrity in times of trouble" to get a hearing, now and in future generations.

    The other takes us closer to totalitarianism and autocratic authoritarianism.

    One of the two only possible next presidents.

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  19. I wrote about this on my blog... in Tennesse the electors will choose McCain, PERIOD. If you are in Tennessee, it does not matter who you vote for, McCain will get all the electoral votes. Virginia is a different matter, though. Visit Real Clear Politics and study the electoral to see why I make these statements.

    Paul

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  20. And that's because of the peace and prosperity Tennessee has enjoyed under Republican rule.

    The rest of us have not been so blessed so I expect a different result.

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  21. Jodie, sorry, I don't get your sarcasm. Have you ever been to Tennessee? It's the greatest place in the world to live. I love it, anyways.

    This will be the last time I play this game with you guys. Seriously, it makes me sick in the stomach.

    I hope McCain wins. I would rather have a fast death, than a slow, drawn out death.

    John, Kucinich has no integrity. Ron Paul also believes that he can make a bigger difference by staying within his party, but he didn't sell out and endorse "the lesser of two evils".

    It seems like if you were really concerned about the real issues that face our country, you wouldn't use your blog to distract people from the real issues.

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  22. While (as I have repeated numerous times) I appreciate your idealism, I'm interested in electing leaders (at every level) who can bring about change. They can only do so if they get elected.

    And, as John points out, there are only two people in the Presidential race with a chance of getting elected.

    Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, et. al. can promise the sun, the moon and the stars, if they wish. But since they have absolutely zero chance of getting elected, I'm afraid their promises don't really amount to much, in my opinion.

    However, the fact that I/we may disagree with you on that point hardly means that I/we aren't concerned about the issues ("real" or otherwise.) I'm not going to speak for everyone but, I for one, am interested in all sorts of issues. Whether or not they're issues you'd define as "real", Rachel, I cannot fathom.

    But suggesting that we don't care about issues because we don't support your candidate? Ah yes, demonize people you disagree with; a classic Karl Rove strategy.

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  23. Rachel,

    No sarcasm. If the Republicans have been good for the prosperity of Tennessee then by all means reward them.

    But I can't say the same here in California.

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  24. It seems like if you were really concerned about the real issues that face our country, you wouldn't use your blog to distract people from the real issues.

    That was a little sharp. But that's OK. I know it is frustrating when folks don't feel the same passion for my way of thinking!

    Keep hanging in there with us!

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  25. June and I were talking about this over coffee - about "voting on principle". She said this: voting for a candidate who has no hope of being elected is voting your passion, not your principle." She went on to say that she felt voting for the last one standing who comes nearest the mark is more pincipled than voting for a non-starter. Interesting.

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  26. Snad, I appreciate June's opinion, but I am also a person with conscience, and I disagree. The system is broken. The "un-people" realize this. The "un-people" is a term Noam Chomsky coined for average people like you, me, and other poor folks of the world. The people running the show do not know that we are suffering. How will the high-up people ever know the condition of the "un-people" if we don't send them a message that we aren't going to take it anymore. Let them know that we want Corporatism and the Establishment to come crashing down.

    Read what Chomsky says vice-president Cheney says about the elections:

    "Recently, when Vice-President Cheney was asked by ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz about polls showing that an overwhelming majority of US citizens oppose the war in Iraq, he replied, "So?"
    "So -- you don't care what the American people think?" Raddatz asked.

    "No," Cheney replied, and explained, "I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in public opinion polls."

    Later, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, explaining Cheney's comments, was asked whether the public should have "input."

    Her reply: "You had your input. The American people have input every four years, and that's the way our system is set up."

    That's correct. Every four years the American people can choose between candidates whose views they reject, and then they should shut up.

    Evidently failing to understand democratic theory, the public strongly disagrees"

    The rest of the story is here.


    BTW: This election is going to come down to either Obama or McCain. Vote your conscience. If your conscience says for you to vote for Obama, by all means vote for Obama. But, after four to eight years of the same ole, same ole, how will you vote in 2012?, 2016?

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  27. "It seems like if you were really concerned about the real issues that face our country, you wouldn't use your blog to distract people from the real issues."


    John, I'm an idiot for saying that above statement. You have one of the best blogs on the net. So good, I can't quit the addiction. But I've got to, school, work, family is suffering.

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  28. snad wrote:

    June and I were talking about this over coffee - about "voting on principle". She said this: voting for a candidate who has no hope of being elected is voting your passion, not your principle." She went on to say that she felt voting for the last one standing who comes nearest the mark is more pincipled than voting for a non-starter. Interesting.


    The latest Rasmussen poll has McCain at 60% and Obama at 35% in Tennessee. So, if the election was held today, the "last one standing" is McCain. Obama has no hope of getting the electoral votes in Tennessee. Using June's logic, voting for McCain is the "principled" vote if you are in Tennessee. A vote for Obama is a just voting your "passion".

    I am not saying this in support of one candidate over the other, since the exact opposite exists in Illinois. Obama is the winner in that state, if the election were held today. A vote for McCain is voting your "passion" in that state, since McCain has no chance of winning in that state.

    I am not saying that I like this situation, it is just the way it is. It is part of the system and current polling technology.

    If you only have one candidate left standing in a state, you are free to vote for any candidate, since, in the long run, it won't make a difference on the outcome. You can waste your vote on a candidate that you don't really like, or you can vote for who you really want. This vote sends an important message. It says what principles you support. Your vote, if you voted outside the two major parties, can be a "swing vote" in future elections that are close. The two major parties will know this and look at how they can win your vote by asking: What principles did the third party candidate have that they can adopt and win your vote?

    So, in states like Tennessee and Illinois, you can vote for any candidate. Why not vote for the one that sends a message of change (third party), rather than one that wants to maintain the status quo (Republican or Democrat)?

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  29. Well, Paul, of course anyone can vote for any candidate in any state. And one might argue that voting at all is voting your passion. And yes, I know perfectly well I will "waste" my vote here in TN, because I would vote for a shining glob if spit on the sidewalk before I would vote for John McCain. How passionate is that!?!

    Moving on, now.

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  30. John, I'm an idiot for saying that above statement. You have one of the best blogs on the net. So good, I can't quit the addiction. But I've got to, school, work, family is suffering.

    Let it be known that Shuck and Jive is not in favor of suffering. Thanks, Rachel! Be well.

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  31. As the lies of the McCain campaign continue to surface I would not be surprised if Tennessee ends up giving Obama a landslide victory.

    It is time for Christians everywhere to take a non partisan stand against false witnessing in presidential campaigns and to hold public servants accountable for when they lie.

    "Know the truth and the truth will set you free"

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  32. Jodie,

    Obama lies his fucking ass off about his positions. If you read the fine print his Hopey McChangealot attitude, as Tom Tomorrow calls it, turns into much more smoke and mirrors than the faithful would care to think about.

    Two myths must be exploded: first, that Barack Obama was a principled and passionate opponent of the war in Iraq; second, that if he were installed in the White House he would resist the temptation to launch new wars and would instead usher in an era of peace.

    President Obama would be a warmonger. He would be a wide-eyed, zealous interventionist who would not think twice about using America’s “military muscle” (his words) to overthrow “rogue states” and to suppress America’s enemies, real and imagined. He would go farther even than President Bush in transforming the globe into America’s backyard and staffing it with spies and soldiers. He would relish the “American mission” to police the world and topple tyrannical regimes.

    If you want more war, vote Obama.

    Jodie if you want to know the truth
    start by reading that Noam Chomsky article I linked to above. I can send you more links if you would like. Better yet, why don't you go to Obama's site yourself and look up his foreign policy agenda.

    "Know the truth and the truth will set you free"

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  33. Rachel,

    Passion is no excuse for cussing.

    And speculation and interpolation about the future is not the same as truth. If I tell you I plan to get up early tomorrow morning to bike ride, you can't say I am lying just because I haven't done that in weeks.

    The McCain campaign is lying about the past.

    And in the past the Republican machine with Bush as its spokesperson lied about everything they were doing. From fresh air laws to their reasons for invading Iraq.

    McCain and Palin are continuing the tradition.

    So lets not confuse the issue shall we? However I do believe the rule should be bipartisan.

    And did I mention I don't like cussing as a form of written expression?

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  34. Sorry for cussing; I'll try to be more Christ-like.

    Maybe McCain is lying about the future; I haven't looked into it, but what I do know is that...

    The Obama campaign is lying about the future or not being totally out-front about their position.

    Listen Jodie, the most important issue that should be on people's minds this election is are you for a Global American Corporate Empire or are you against it. Both the Obama and McCain camps are for the 'New World Order'. The third-party candidates are against this Elitist regime running the world.

    True, Republicans are more hawkish in establishing their Global Empire while the Democrats are dovish about it. For example, a McCain presidency would probably enter us into a war with Iran quicker than an Obama presidency would. Here is what it says on Obama's website:

    "Now is the time to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior. Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress. "

    Questions for Mr. Obama:

    Why can't Iran just be free, Mr. Obama. Why does America have to force Iran to quit pursuing research in nuclear energy. Mr. Obama, don't you know that nuclear energy is the wave of the future?
    Mr. Obama, don't you know that the World Trade Center is a diabolical creation made of greed and corruption by CEO's that want to control the World?


    This was on Democracy Now! this morning:


    "The truth is in the debate of the democrats, the major democratic candidates, the Democratic Party leadership is not against what Bush has done, it’s how he has done it. They wanted the U.N. to be the one that invades and takes over Iraq. They want to share the spoils with Germany and France. They want more international allies when they do their illegal international creations of the empire. You know, I think in America, we need to debate this. One of things—once the primaries are over, there will be no voice against George Bush unless the Green runs.”


    Jodie, I know the truth must be hard to face. This is the apocalyptical battle predicted in the Bible. Now is the time to choose whose side you are on. The choice is yours. In the end, Good will win over Evil, but it is up to us to decide how ugly we want it to get before good wins.

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  35. I meant to say, Maybe McCain is lying about the past; I haven't looked into it, but what I do know is that...

    he is being totally up front about the future (and it is scary)

    Read my previous post please.

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  36. Obama lies his fucking ass off about his positions.

    Rachel, do you have any substantive proof of this whatsoever WITHOUT delving into Black Helicopter Territory?

    He takes a tough line on Iran, but this is a reality for American politicians today. Read or listen carefully and you will see and hear the difference: tough negotiation that gets results, not unlike the Clinton policy toward North Korea.

    As noted by others, the Supreme Court is at stake with two, perhaps three seats to be filled. Believe it or not, Bush picked Roberts and Alito not for their social conservatism (red meat issues like abortion and the gay--the Roberts court has left both Roe and Lawrence firmly in place) but for their fealty to the idea of corporate personhood (and constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment). McCain is promising more of the same. Whether or not you agree with them on social issues, Justices Ginsburg and Breyer have been good about trying to protect the rights of individual (human) citizens, particularly with the atrocious Gitmo issues.

    You describe yourself as a libertarian. Do you really want more of the Guantanamo Kangaroo Court and the ability to detain people indefinitely without charge? That's what John McCain is promising for the court.

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  37. Flycandler, glad your back. My stay will be short; school, work, family duties are calling.

    I don't want McCain to be our next President. I hope and pray Obama is the "lesser of two evils" because he is the most likely to be our next president, given the bias of Mainstream Media, like NPR Radio, for example.

    Evil is evil no matter how you look at it. I am like a child, I don't want war; I want peace. Iran has already said that it will never compromise on the nuclear energy issue, and why should they? Why can't they have autonomy? The same could be said of India, except their government is corrupt, so they will allow the WTO to take over most of their energy resources.

    I'm not buying into the lie that war is inevitable. We wouldn't have wars like the Iraq war if America would change its agressive U.S. foreign policy. Obama is not going to change the Bush foreign policy; read his website on the issues. He is just making it appear that his stance is different by making the Iraq war the forefront of his campaign. If you read between the lines, it is essentially the same--corporate global dominance.

    Flycandler, the UN is set up for peace, but it is corrupted by the same corrupt politicians who corrupted our government.

    I just found out Ralph Nader is on the ticket in Tennessee, so I am voting for him or Chuck Baldwin who is also on the ticket. By voting third party, I am sending a real clear message that I want real CHANGE.

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  38. "Flycandler, the UN is set up for peace, but it is corrupted by the same corrupt politicians who corrupted our government."

    That's not really what I mean. I think what I mean is that the those in power use the UN as a show of global peace all awhile the US ignores the UN. For example, the UN inspections teams have shown multiple times that Iran has **NO** nuclear weapons.

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  39. Flycandler, just one more thing. The tough negotiations that Obama/Biden is pursuing with Iran will lead us into war. I watched this 1hr 49 min C-SPAN video of Biden on U.S. Policy Towards Iran. If you seriously believe that tough economic/ political sanctions will keep us out of war please try to convince me, as this is the one most important issue to me. My biggest concern is for dying souls (civilians) in the Middle East who are killed from our American bombs being dropped on them. I also care if my son gets drafted in a long drawn out war (WWIII) that might begin with Russia if we let Georgia enter into NATO.

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  40. And what message did all the Nader voters send in 2000?

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  41. Flycandler, that's not the point. Polls show that at least sixty percent of the population is fed up with the way things are being handled in Washington. If all those people voted for a third party candidate that would send a clear message to Washington, even if Obama or McCain wins. The point is to add up all the third party candidates' votes. They all have four major things in common. Visit my blog to read about them.

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  42. Rachel, if the combined clout of Nader, Buchanan, Browne, Phillips and Hagelin did nothing for third parties in 2000, an election in which they arguably had the greatest impact, what makes you think that 2008 will be any different?

    And how do you figure that 60% of Americans dissatisfied with the government will miraculously vote for third parties? I'M one of those 60%, and I blame the Republicans in the Senate (who have handily broken all records for the number of filibusters) and obstructionism in the Bush Administration (who has the task of enacting laws passed by Congress). I think a 1932-style realignment election (and people holding the new President and Congress accountable) is what we need.

    And no, we don't "add up" votes for third party candidates to make a composite. If four independent parties each win 15% of the vote in a state, the Democrat or the Republican will still win all of that state's electoral votes (arguably even in Maine or Nebraska). The Electoral College sucks, but it's the system we have to work with now. Even Teddy Roosevelt couldn't beat it.

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  43. flycandler,

    One of the obstacles facing third parties is restrictive ballot access laws. Laws differ by states, but a 5% vote for a third party candidate in certain states could have beneficial consequences in overcoming the hurdles.

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  44. Jodie wrote: I would not be surprised if Tennessee ends up giving Obama a landslide victory.

    If Tennessee were to switch to Obama, it would surely be a landslide victory, as Tennessee is the second biggest supporter of McCain. Only Alabama supports McCain more. So if Tennessee goes for Obama, the electoral vote count would be almost entirely for Obama, with only a handful for McCain. (See Real Clear Politics).

    If this happens, voting for either of the two party candidates won't matter, since Obama will have it no matter what. So, if you are a Tennessee voter, you can have a bigger impact by voting third party.

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  45. Paul, last I read, Tennessee ranked 1st among McCain/Republican supporters. Let us poor saps have something we can be #1 at for a little while, if you please - even if it is an embarrassment like that! ;-)

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  46. snad,

    I am using Real Clear Politics numbers and they have Alabama leading Tennessee right now:

    Alabama: Obama 35%, McCain 59% (+24%)
    Tennessee: Obama 36.3%, McCain 55% (+18.7%)

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  47. When I was in New York last week, McCain was running ads on the morning shows (both Sunday and weekday). My dad (who works for a major media company) says that those ad minutes are some of the most expensive in the business. McCain is spending money foolishly.

    Obama is also forcing McCain to run ads in Georgia, spending money he frankly does not have.

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