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Dodged a few bullets… 13 September 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.


Galveston 1900 Seawall Memorial [KM&G-Morris via Flickr]

No to minimise the disruption, evacuation of people, pets and animals… a million forced to the roads, more than a little damage… but .. what it might have been is breathtaking.

From NYCO in the previous thread…

Here is a Twitter feed from people on the ground in Galveston:



I realise it does not work for everyone, but I have found my amusement for the next little bit, all the so heartfelt, hand wringing despair over what McCain so surprisingly turned out to be… Where were all these damn dumb chumps, thru all the years? Sully, Marshall, Jonathan Alter too, the other night on with CRose…

I quite agree [with his emailer]. This campaign has shown that while we know McCain has physical courage, he has bad moral character. And in this respect he’s found a true partner in Sarah Palin.

–Josh Marshall

Take that John! BAD MORAL CHARACTER! Turn in your boy scout badges! Now! Any more BAD MORAL CHARACTER and we will break your arms again. Well… of course we won’t but we will huff and puff and blow down one of your houses. We will. Take that.

Of course her opposite is BIDEN, of whom even the fully orgasmic NYT says now has two minders. Two. Shift work I guess.

I so wish it were otherwise, but this is it. I am not doing without some amusement.



1. marisacat - 13 September 2008

At the end of the last thread, NYCO mentioned that the Austin American Statesman seems to have good reporting on Ike and aftermath.


2. NYCO - 13 September 2008

Continuing the “email/tech” rant…

On Monday, a new “low-tech” mobile email device, the Peek, is coming out on the market. It’s a $100 device that does only one thing: receive and send unlimited e-mail, from up to 3 accounts, for $20 a month, with no contracts or fees. It runs off the national T-Mobile network, although it isn’t from T-Mobile.

There’s no phone, no web browser, no MP3 player, no GPS, no fancy ringtones. (You can view JPGs as attachments, however). It basically looks like a Blackberry, but is much cheaper and just for e-mail.

It’s been funny watching the reaction to this from the young male techies who dominate the Internet. They simply cannot understand why anyone would find such a device useful. They almost take it as an affront to human progress, because “we’re all supposed to be integrated now.”

What’s not understood is that there are legions of people who only use the Internet mainly for email. They don’t do blogs, don’t do Google Maps, don’t even do instant messaging (I know, hard to believe). And they don’t have the money to pay for a 2-year phone contract that costs $40+ a month and includes bells and whistles they don’t want or need.

I personally don’t understand how so many people can pay up to $70 a month for smartphone services in a sinking economy, but that’s just me. Aren’t these people running up pretty big credit card bills by now? They don’t seem to understand that the combination of mobile e-mail access and escaping a phone company contract is going to seem mighty good to a lot of people living outside the “creative class.”

The Peek website claims they have sold out of their stock of the device in two days (since positive reviews of the device started appearing in Wired and the New York Times) but on Monday they go on sale at Target.

My point is, re the Obama campaign’s bizarre fixation on desktop tech and email knowledge as “leadership virtues,” is that there really does seem to be a subtle class divide they wish to promote – haves and have-nots. It’s not being “tech-friendly” they worship, it’s being “tech-enabled” (and therefore wealthier). Being able to afford (or “afford” as the case may be, depending on how much credit card debt they carry) an iPhone or the money and time to play around online with all kinds of bells whistles and time-wasters, is the whole point. Introduce a no-frills, working device that poorer people might actually be able to afford — free of a contract — and of course they’ll sneer at it.

3. marisacat - 13 September 2008

All I know is I am not giving up my landlines… LOL

4. NYCO - 13 September 2008

3. I have a pay as you go cell phone, which I rather like. I can’t do jack squat with it other than text messaging… but the alternative is to buy a new phone (easily affordable) with a minimum of $30-$40 per month plan on a two-year contract. I can’t do that. And something with the capabilities of an iPhone is absolutely out of the question – again, the monthly fees mainly. Oh, sure, I could run it up on my credit card and pay a monthly minimum, but I don’t do that either.

Adding together my pay as you go phone expenses, my monthly Internet access, and a $20 mobile email device, I might be paying almost as much monthly as for a single iPhone or Blackberry service. But, none of this is under contract. I’ve been continually amazed at how much “smart” people will submit to from the phone companies so that they can keep up with the Joneses.

5. diane - 13 September 2008

Really glad you escaped physical danger bay….I hope it hasn’t left you in another hell though….but if it has, yes at the end of the day, co-mingling with our own species…and receiving compassion from them…is the ultimate on this earth………….


NYCee: I should have written earlier how your recent posting re how the ‘WINNERS’ are so enticing, in this upside down world…inspired me,..to my mind, you hit a nail on a head.

Miss Devore

Your c word diary on the “Free Speech Zone”….wasn’t a failure….. There is something about that c word. Ah, I hear DB whine about the d word,…the fact remains,…the d word, in these times, indicates success, whereas the c word indicates a subterranean rape and a most certain desolation and despair, which one cannot prove on this earthly realm……….hugs to you honey……

6. marisacat - 13 September 2008

I have heard and read nothing but horror stories on the contract schemes. I am relieved I don’t have a need for a cell phone. And if I did I would get the simplest least involved set up.

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

Oh, give me a break. The woman belongs to a church that speaks in tongues, she is a global warming denier, she believes in talking snakes and imaginary friends in the sky and thinks that she should base her life, and gov’t policy, on what her imaginary friend wants.

Assuming that she doesn’t read, or at least comprehend what she reads, is the LEAST insulting thing you can say about her and people like her.

8. diane - 13 September 2008


the question remains…exactly what should one believe in?…..and the reality is…it is still a mystery……likely, as it should be…..

what do you beleive in Madman?

9. diane - 13 September 2008

jeez…i before e, except after c with so many exceptions….this realm is just so fucking tiresome………………(too many times)…..

believe (not gonna look it up, everyone knows exactly what I mean, although I do think there should always be an effort towards clarity….)

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

I believe that people should use reason to try to comprehend their world. I believe that the only value and morality that we have in this world is the value and morality we create for ourselves, and I believe that dressing those decisions up in crusty old mis-translated books written for different people living with different issues is something that only conmen and simple children would do.

I believe that Americans should grow up and quit handing the public square over to superstitious nutballs and bigots.

As for the “why are we here” and “where do we go” etc, who the fuck cares? We’ve been born into this exciting, beautiful and challenging world. Why isn’t that enough, and if it’s NOT enough, why can’t people keep their fairy tales and security blankets where they belong, in their PERSONAL lives to make THEM feel better.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

Sarah Palin will be interviewed by Sean Hannity next

Needs a hug after that meanie Charlie Gibson.

12. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

Apologies if already posted – NYT story for tomorrow’s paper, p. A1 In Office, Palin Hired Friends and Hit Critics.

Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.

In other news, a gecko materialized (post-Ike) in my bro’s apartment. Bro wondered if geckos like ham.

Hope you had a good night out in Austin, bay, and that you can get back home soon. (Or enjoy the vacation, if not.)

13. diane - 13 September 2008


…this exciting, beautiful and challenging world.

I’ve never gotten the impression you find this world “beautiful,” what am I missing?

14. diane - 13 September 2008

and folks will say: they have been using reason…what exactly is reason?

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

RFLMAO!!! Biden prepares for more prominent role in campaign.


Biden privately told reporters traveling with him last week that Palin was a smart political choice who has changed the race but is not prepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. The Associated Press is not among Biden’s traveling press, but the off-the-record comment Tuesday was described by two people who were there and confirmed by a senior campaign official.

Biden’s focus will be on McCain, not Palin, campaign officials say. They are calculating that the election will be determined on voters’ feelings about Obama and McCain. Biden is in a unique position to help convince voters that McCain is the wrong choice, they say, because of a relationship that goes back even beyond their 22 years of working together in the Senate.

In the late 1970s, when Biden was a young senator and McCain was the Senate naval liaison, the two traveled the world on Foreign Relations Committee fact-finding trips. They became friends, as did their families.

Biden’s argument will be that he knows McCain well enough to say that even though he’s right on character, he’s wrong on the issues, advisers said.

He’s scheduled to give two major speeches framing the race before the presidential debates get under way — one on domestic policy Monday in Flat Rock, Mich., and another on national security Sept. 22 in Baltimore.

Biden’s other responsibilities will include top campaign fundraiser and helping validate Obama with communities that have been skeptical of his candidacy to varying degrees — Jewish voters, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s backers, union members and other middle-class voters. His travel is heavy on the industrial Midwest, with this week’s itinerary including Saint Clair Shores, Mich., Media, Pa., and two days traveling by bus through Ohio.

Part of Biden’s appeal as a running mate is his comfort in debating rivals and tearing them down — something that isn’t always Obama’s strong suit, although he is taking a more aggressive tone in the campaign’s final weeks.

Some Democrats have privately complained that Biden hasn’t been a more prominent attack dog. In a memo Friday, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe outlined a more aggressive campaign against McCain. “Biden will be integral to that effort, both in pushing back on the lies that we’ll continue to see from our opponents and in keeping the debate focused on delivering for everyday Americans,” he said.

Biden spokesman David Wade said the Delaware senator will be “Mr. October.”

“He’s a closer,” Wade said. “He’s the vice presidential nominee you want slugging it out in the late innings when proven campaign skills, intestinal fortitude, expertise and experience matter most.”

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

13 – Not my problem that you haven’t noticed.

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008
18. diane - 13 September 2008

do you deny that many, are jumping off bridges because of their valid reasoning?…is that earth’s beauty?

19. diane - 13 September 2008

13 – Not my problem that you haven’t noticed.

Ahh, I think you jest……

20. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

Madman – your link at 16 is ephemeral.


21. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

18 – sure I do.

20 – oops, but now that you mention it I think I’ll let it be.

22. diane - 13 September 2008

19….on my computer, I’m unable to link, I don’t get the little pointy hand when I put my cursor over “reason” with the dashed line under it, at what is currently comment 16, above, despite getting the little pointy hand when I place my cursor over ” Madman in the Marketplace” in the same comment.

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

Seriously, I link to art and music and book reviews. I love to sit in a park, enjoy nature. I’m disgusted by society’s disgust with sex and the human body. Would I get so angry about the wars and degradation in the name of profit if I didn’t think something worthwhile and beautiful was being lost?

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

From a William Gibson interview I stumbled across today:

[snip} In fashion, are certain shopping decisions related to a kind of magical or religious behaviour?

WG: Brands are stories, and we’ve always defined ourselves in terms of the stories we believe in. I don’t think that’s by any means a bad thing. The bad elements are all related to branding abuse, that is, situations in which the actual product – the units you are hoping the branding will move – turn out to have nothing to do with the story you were sold. You buy the story and you get the actual unit home and it’s not the vision they sold you at the store. That’s bad, that’s bad branding.

There is my problem w/ both most Religion and with our politics … the story has nothing to do with what is being sold. Hope, or security, or change or “tradition” … and yet what you end up with is death and control and disappearing freedom.

Ah, serendipity is our friend.

25. diane - 13 September 2008

? Would I get so angry about the wars and degradation in the name of profit if I didn’t think something worthwhile and beautiful was being lost?

good question…..although I disagree that beauty, in the sense you imply (to my mind), can be destroyed….in my humble opinion…it is the end all be all…and will last (and, in fact, exists) beyond the planet we call earth…

26. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

Excellent techie rant, NYCO. Can hardly wait for the generations of electrobionic “enabling” yet to come.

Google News still isn’t showing any update on the Galveston jail prisoners left (with skeleton crew) to ride out the storm. Grist for Breakfast was following that story.

27. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

Johnny Cash died five years ago today.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

though I disagree that beauty, in the sense you imply (to my mind), can be destroyed

I think a mother holding the shattered corpse of her child dead by one of our bombs would disagree.

29. diane - 13 September 2008

How is that beauty destroyed when you are so able to vividly recollect how beautiful it was….bombarded, diminished, denied…most certainly!….Destroyed…I hardly think so…how then,….do you remember that beauty?

30. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

Didn’t wanna post this folk song last night. Glad it fits only as companion with the memorial photo today.

Galveston Flood

It was the year of 1900 that was 80 years ago
Death come’d a howling on the ocean and when death calls you’ve got to go
Galveston had a sea wall just to keep the water down
But a high tide from the ocean blew the water all over the town.

Wasn’t that a mighty storm
Wasn’t that a mighty storm in the morning
Wasn’t that a mighty storm
It blew all the people away.

The sea began to rolling the ships they could not land
I heard a captain crying Oh God save a drowning man
The rain it was a falling and the thunder began to roll
The lightning flashed like Hell-fire and the wind began to blow

The trees fell on the island and the houses gave away
Some they strived and drownded others died every way.

The trains at the station were loaded with the people all leaving town
But the trestle gave way with the water and the trains they went on down
Old death the cruel master when the winds began to blow
Rode in on a team of horses and cried death won’t you let me go.

The flood it took my mother it took my brother too
I thought I heard my father cry as I watched my mother go
Old death your hands are clammy when you’ve got them on my knee
You come and took my mother won’t you come back after me?

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

why this need to resort to poesy to explain a real loss? Needless loss?

It excuses it, allows it to continue, be repeated.

32. diane - 13 September 2008

love Johhny Cash hon, dust bunnies await…to test my mettle…likely…I’ll post some sort of thing soon…and say…think I’ll go listen to “blind” Roy Orbison and Blue Bayou…….…..

33. diane - 13 September 2008

but before I go hon…..one of these nights I’m gonna snatch that ipod…and download Pat Boone……and then you’ll really know what a test is…I might even enlist catnip after that sneaky thing you said about her hip…I’m the one who’ll likely need a new hip sooner (by the way mr. moneybags!)……

34. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

Good diary at GOS by thinkbridge, with excerpts from Democracy Now interview with David Bacon, author of Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants.

Migrants Fear Evacuating Ike: the Dark Side of Patriotism.

(Total of ten thoughtful comments, natch.)

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008
36. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

32 – Well, Operation Augean Stables has had its limitations, to be sure.

37. NYCO - 13 September 2008

23. I remember when I was a wee one, I saw a TV-VCR combo and wanted to get it. Mom and Dad looked at me like I was nuts, and reminded me that if the VCR ever broke, I’d have to take the TV in for repair as well, as there was no way to separate them. Swayed by their impeccable logic, I quickly forgot about the TV-VCR combo. Because I knew things could break.

Then again, I grew up in a time when component audio was a cool and sensible thing. Integrated stereos were for kiddies. (Oh how badly I wanted that 5-disc changer to add on to my wimpy lil stereo…)

How things have changed. These days, integrated devices are worshiped, as are the CEO’s who provide them (ie Steve Jobs). Of course, you now have an entire generation of techies who furrow their brows over problems with their God-Phones, because they’ve invested all of their connectivity into them. They let the phone companies screw them (or obsess over “unlocking” the devices, so they can let another phone company screw them).

I just don’t understand it: They purport to be revolutionaries, and yet they’re tied to integrated God-devices. Oh, they write apps and make hacks and stuff, but it’s still the corporations that provide the ground rules. “Component connectivity” seems more and more like a good idea, if the price is right.

38. diane - 13 September 2008

…keep that land line ..as long as you’re living on this earth……it’s cheap…and won’t die on you when the electricity runs out…further, those emgs really are bad for your health..if quite a few international scientists, who’ve studied the implications of electromagnetic waves, are correct…..If they call you old, Just say that, in fact,…you are old, old enough to know better…..

39. diane - 13 September 2008


I exagerated some, but fact is, the power for landlines comes from transmitters which will likely be in service far more faithlfully than the electricity provided into your living space . For those real young ones unfamiliar with land lines…when your neighborhood electricity goes out, you can still (at the present time) get some sort of signal on a land line (if it’s not a wireless one that needs to be plugged in)…when the lights go out and your cell phone battery is out of juice.

40. marisacat - 13 September 2008

2 of Madman’s out of Moderation…. one of diane’s as well…

Sorry for the delay!

41. diane - 13 September 2008

one of the sweet things…the land line phones are currently going for an average $10, versus how much for an ipod?, for which you’ll surely pay out the ass for services only the wealthy have the ‘needs’ or leisure* time to use. Ironically, (gas in your face), the really wealthy (puppeteers), likely have far more ego gratifying (human labor intensive) vehicles than ipods…for their motivations and pleasures………

Too many Millers…well perhaps….but; then again, perhaps not…….I really don’t see that there are that many out there anymore who’s voices are allowed to be heard, that I would put any credence in if they said I had too many Millers….Is that a problem ? Why yes, in fact it is.

*may I point out another, rather odd, i before e exception in the ‘proper order of things?’

42. marisacat - 13 September 2008


Biden spokesman David Wade said the Delaware senator will be “Mr. October.”

HA! Wade was referred to by the NYT as a “minder” just two days ago.

Talk about a fluffy report designed to shore up a failing choice.

43. marisacat - 13 September 2008

“He’s a closer,” Wade said.

How do they even know this about Biden, after his being a fixture for 36 yearsin the senate?

The bleat thru Kerry camp was that he was a “late closer”.

They have to get a better argument than “yute vote”, “landlines get polled” and “late closer”.

44. diane - 13 September 2008


jeez, not very clear..was I? if it’s not a wireless one that needs to be plugged in by “plugged in,” I meant a two pronged “plug,” versus a “phone jack” which will generally (currently) work even when your electricity is out.

An asides: In the early eighties I cleaned the house of an engineer from Texas who had his house lamps extracting their voltage from houseplants…they weren’t plugged into a wall socket/outlet……still wondering what happened to that technology?…..Lucid? .

45. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

15 – Mr. October the Slugger? Soon as he stops giving McCain the endless syruppy Best Man’s Toast.

Finally! A polar bear costume sighting!

One person strolled through the crowd in a polar bear suit. The bear was holding a sign that said, “Polar bear moms say No to Palin,” a reference to Palin’s opposition to placing the polar bear on the threatened species list because that could interfere with drilling for oil off Alaska’s coast.

(Anti-Palin rally draws hundreds in Alaska, USA Today.)

I have a landline only, no cell. I wish the landline was cheaper, but I too am very suspicious of McGod-bundling all one’s essential services together, and I resent the hell out of cultural expectations that I be reachable/trackable/interruptable at every single waking moment. All the same, this winter I’ll probably finally look into one of those pay-as-you-go phones NYCO talked about upthread, just for driving-in-rain-and-blizzard purposes. In fact, maybe Triple A can help me with that.

My most immediate (and confusing) technical dilemma is acquisition and funding of an affordable laptop computer, another radical evolutionary advancement I have not yet attained.

46. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

I heard a local radio mention of Biden doing a $500 fundraiser in Mt. Holyoke (as in Massachusetts, Manfred) the other day.

47. marisacat - 13 September 2008

Headline at The Page:

Obama Camp Tries to BreakThru on McCain Palin Credibility – With a Memo

And the memo. They need new grist. More than “She Refueled at Shannon!” “She supported selling oil to Asia!”.


and frankly tonight it sounds like KGO is trying to rev up the Ob camp. Well god knows we are at some turning point. Or, we were…

48. marisacat - 13 September 2008

I’ll probably finally look into one of those pay-as-you-go phones NYCO talked about upthread, just for driving-in-rain-and-blizzard purposes.

Oh if I drove, I’d have a cell, no question.

49. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

42: Biden as “Mr October” – well, the Dem “management” knows as little about baseball as they do about anything else. Biden is unlike Reggie Jackson in all ways except for talking about himself constantly. But in Jackson’s case, the egocentrism was well-deserved. He was actually quite a remarkable and useful ballplayer. As Dizzy Dean observed years earlier, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can do it.”

Biden, on the other hand….

50. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

Correction. It was Holyoke, (not Mount Holyoke) and this article sez $500 was the minimum for meet-and-greet, and the dinner-and-photo was $2300.

“I came here tonight kind of cynical and not to get moved. He was incredibly moving. He was very concise and really framed this as the most important election of our generation and I think it’s true,” said Paul Spector, a Northampton resident.

And, with less than two months left in the campaign, Biden and fellow Democrats are getting the party’s message out to people in Western Massachusetts. After a visit to Boston and Nashua, N.H. Wednesday, Sen. Biden’s motorcade made its way to the Log Cabin to a crowd of an estimated 300 guests.

51. NYCO - 13 September 2008

The thing you keep running into is the stipulation that you must have a $30-to-$40 monthly voice plan in order to get an additional data plan (which is often $20/$30 a month itself). For those of us who can’t afford monthly voice plans — ie not constantly yakking on the go, use the cell mostly for emergencies or quick calls — that makes phone-based email/web connectivity unaffordable.

52. diane - 13 September 2008

I’ve got a floating comment out their in the world of such precious and special technology…the irony makes me laugh my ass off!

53. marisacat - 13 September 2008

think I just got that commetn out diane… not sure which one it was tho…

…………… 8) …………

54. diane - 13 September 2008

52 (currently)

the missing comment is now posted.

55. marisacat - 13 September 2008

Good luck to the Democrats…

“No! Her Daughter was SIXTEEN when she got pregnant!!”

This is not a winning strategy.

56. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

7, Madman: there are several things that I find objectionable about the mindless attacks on Palin. The main thing is that many of the liberals/left (and a sizable chunk of the conservative right) are viewing her as their own version of Emmanuel Goldstein, projecting upon her every possible evil and Otherness they can imagine, and getting their rocks off directing an endless barrage of Two-Minute Hates at her. This is a stupid, self-indulgent waste of time and energy. Plus, it is sexist. No way in hell would they be able to sustain such obsessive animosity toward ANY male VP candidate.

Fine if you and others want to criticize Palin or her positions, but do it in a rational manner based on actual fact. If you have evidence that she speaks in tongues and talks to snakes, or whatever, that’s wonderful, certainly criticize her for that. But if not, you’re sunk deep in irrational hyperbole and are just another chanter in the Two-Minute Hate.

I mean, Andrew Sullivan pissing his pants and shrieking for days on end because Palin is OMIGOD, UNQUALIFIED and a FUNDAMENTALIST (supposedly) is one of the more absurd sights I’ve ever witnessed. As if Washington is not already crawling with unqualified Christian wackos of every bizarre stripe, Dem as well as rightwing.

57. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

44 – Talk about green energy! Too cool.

BTW Madman – apparently those alligator shoes (“in the Marketplace”) continue to conjure a Moneybags air!

55 – Jesus Christ. Who the hell is that now?

58. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

Tina Fey is on SNL, as rumored.

59. Intermittent Bystander - 13 September 2008

Side by side with faux-Hillary, no less.

60. marisacat - 13 September 2008


karel, a host on KGO…

Mostly these days I am reminded of High Crimes and Misdemeanors of the era of Monica Gate. EVERYBODY in view was throwing themselves agaisnt their own self constructed wall.

The Demcrats and pundits and bullshitters are going crazy, as I see it, as Obama is officially in trouble and floundering. So while it has nto worked to slime Palin (by which I mean, stand between her legs which finally means stand between the legs of all women) for two weeks, it is the grist they have for the mills they built.

It’s nto working. But I think the Dems and mouthpieces should froth on.

61. raincat100 - 13 September 2008

35 Madman

yes. this is central.

62. NYCO - 13 September 2008

Well, it’s nice to know that Hillary Clinton gets some time off from being Highly Polarizing. Let Palin tote the weary load for a while.

63. marisacat - 13 September 2008

Well… LOL it seems to be working for McCain Palin. Frankly.

64. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

56 –

Pentecostalism is one of the fastest growing branches of Christianity in the world, and the Assemblies of God is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the country, claiming 1.6 million members. Pentecostals are generally characterized by a strict adherence to moral codes–no tobacco, no alcohol, no social dancing, no sex outside of marriage–and by their belief that the Holy Spirit bestows upon some the gift of “speaking in tongues,” a reference to Acts 2: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues.” A spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign has said that Palin attends many churches and does not consider herself to be Pentecostal.

This past Sunday, worship at the Assembly of God fellowship in Wasilla was as euphoric as the Bible Church was staid. The congregation of about 100 was on its feet, shouting and clapping. Some members on another Sunday might murmur and keen in low voices, the sound of speaking in tongues. But the purpose of the sermon this Sunday was to prepare the church for the media onslaught that was sure to follow. “Because Jesus Christ died on the cross,” the senior pastor, Ed Kalnins, told the crowd, “we can worship in public. How many people are thanking God for what’s happening to Governor Sarah?”

Kalnins guessed that about half of the people in his church have the gift of tongues. He has it himself, he says, though he rarely demonstrates it. “It’s not meant to be shown off,” he said. “It’s not like flexing muscles. I received the gift in college, and it transformed my life.” It’s not something like from the “remote parts of the jungle,” he adds: It’s a decision.

And if the staff of Wasilla Bible Church shies from taking political stands, Kalnins does not. Homosexuality, he says, is a choice. He would not vote for a pro-choice candidate. When asked about the evolution-creationism debate, Kalnins is clear: “You present the facts of creation versus evolution and the truth will come out,” he says. What does Palin think? “This is something inside every human heart of a believer,” he answers. When Palin worships in Juneau, she attends an Assembly of God church there. Sarah Palin may not call herself a Pentecostal, but she has deep and long experience in Pentecostal churches. And as the race wears on, this biographical fact will likely become another religious Rorschach test–pleasing to some, discomfiting to others.

65. diane - 13 September 2008

Intermittent Bystander (ya know, intermittant is a rather difficult word, was that deliberate honey?), you are a serious troublemaker (unlike my innocent slef/self)…forevermore now…I will think of alligator shoes….whenever Madman posts a comment…

66. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

64 – how does this brand of Christian wackitude differ from, say, Catholicism?

And I see snake-handling mentioned not at all.

I don’t care what strange religion people have as long as they don’t try to foist it onto me. If Palin wants to do that, fine, I will fight her on that. But she hasn’t yet, so I reserve judgment.

Mormonism is a very strange religion, possibly even stranger than Pentecostalism, but I didn’t hear too many squeaks from anyone about Harry Reid taking over the world. Also I can’t think of any female Mormon politicians. Are there any? Enlighten me please.

67. marisacat - 13 September 2008


I read that article the other night from the Eminences, Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn. And you can just hear them holding back. I sure don’ t know why main stream smarming (as Meacham is famous for) of say, oh I forget his name, the 60 year evangelist who has serviced every president for decades (Billy Graham, finally got it), why is that better than Palin’s version of Jesusing?

And let’s nto forget, Obama and his lust for preachers, preachering and he wants to deliver the national homilies, for a few years.

Shove them all off a cliff.

68. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

62, NYCO – Well, it’s nice to know that Hillary Clinton gets some time off from being Highly Polarizing. Let Palin tote the weary load for a while.

Well, only until the next Highly Polarizing Vagina shows up. Hey, a new band name!

69. baypraire - 13 September 2008

looks like crystal beach is completely gone, as is gilchrist. haven’t heard anything about high island but its so close it might not be there either. nor any news of anahuac. surfside beach, to the southwest, at water level, appears 70% gone as well. san leon, kemah, clear lake, clear lake shores, seabrook, NASA all flooded and the houston bayous backed up from the surge. 12.5 feet is what ive heard, much less than what was predicted, thank goddess. even with the reported 5 million people without power it could have been worse, although i think the death count will grow as the east bay/west beach/bolivar news comes in.

but galveston, the oleander city, made it throught the night and while damaaged isnt anywhere near destroyed. political will made that possible. it looks like this.


The 1900 Storm’s tidal surge inundated Galveston, leaving thousands dead and millions of dollars of destruction and damage. How should the city be protected from future hurricanes?

The first step was the building of the seawall. On September 7, 1901, the Texas State Legislature approved an act providing for the construction of a seawall for Galveston. A board comprised of three engineers, Brigadier General Henry Martyn Robert, Alfred Noble, and H. C. Ripley, organized to draft plans for the future protection of Galveston, including the construction of a seawall and the raising of the city’s elevation. In January 1902, the Board issued its report, calling for the construction of a seawall that ran from the south jetty near 8th street to Avenue D and 6th Street, and westward to 39th Street along the Gulf of Mexico. The Galveston County Commissioners’ Court adopted a resolution on February 5, 1902, that the county would underwrite its construction through the issuance of bonds. On September 19, 1902, J. M. O’Rourke and George Steinmetz signed the construction contract, which provided that the work was to be completed within fifteen months. The initial segment of the Seawall was completed July 29, 1904.

This portion, made of concrete, was 3.3 miles long, 16 feet at its base, and 5 feet wide on top, and 17 feet high. The outer face of the Seawall was curved to carry waves upwards. Riprap was placed along the base facing the Gulf of Mexico to break up wave action. The initial segment was completed at a cost of almost $1.6 million. It proved its worth first during the hurricane of September 21, 1909. Its critical test came with the hurricane of August 16, 1915. The seawall dramatically lowered the loss of life and destruction.

A second segment was built between December 1904 and October 1905 to protect Fort Crockett. It received Congressional funding. This portion ran 4,935 feet from 39th to 53rd streets. The Seawall was extended westward to 61st Street in 1927 and 99th Street in 1963.


After the Seawall was completed, Galveston undertook the raising of the grade. The original elevation of that portion of Galveston Island probably averaged around five or six feet above mean low tide. Afterwards, the elevation varied from eight feet along the Bay side or waterfront, to about twenty-two feet at the Seawall or Gulf side. The expense was borne by the taxpayers and the individual property owners.

In order to complete the project, it was necessary to dredge a canal through the heart of the city. Residences within the limits of this canal were moved to each side and the material dredged from the canal was pumped toward the seawall where the heaviest filling was required. Hopper dredges then filled themselves with sand from between the jetties, steamed up the canal and discharged their load through a network of pipe lines. People continued to live in their raised houses during the time the filling process was going on, travelling to and from on boardwalks fastened to the top of fences.

When the filling was complete the canal was dammed at intervals and refilled. The houses that had been removed from the area of the canal were then moved back to the original site, all of the filled land was sodded, streets graded and paved, and street railway tracks relaid. The last area filled was completed in 1928.

70. marisacat - 13 September 2008

from what I read not every Assembly of God is into snakes.. nor speaking in tongues. But also, she went to that church longest… and think the baby had some sort of ceremony, not a baptism that is reserved til later, but some welcoming or affirming ceremony at the Wasilla church.. but she has I think three churches, latest a Juneau Christian Center.

Hard to keep track.

71. marisacat - 13 September 2008


hey bay… 😉

72. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

67 – this is one of the reasons I admire George Washington – he evidently prayed, and believed in some kind of “Divine Providence” but would never take communion (he would leave the church beforehand – Martha would stay behind) and when various clerics tried to pin him down about his beliefs in Jesus Christ as a savior, etc. (because such a belief had political and social ramifications, then as now) he skillfully evaded their traps and committed to nothing.

He never once mentioned Jesus Christ in any of his writings, as far as I have seen.

73. baypraire - 13 September 2008

and just to keep spirits up.

Alison Brown Quartet with John Doyle

(I’m Naked And I’m) Going to Glasgow

and #5 and everybody? thanx!

74. marisacat - 13 September 2008


Agree, I had read the same… Washington would attend, but leave.

75. raincat100 - 13 September 2008

69 baypraire

thanks for that link and image

*somewhere* in the past day i read that people were puzzled by the odd stuff washed up…concrete things… i wonder, after looking at that photo, if it was concrete bits and pieces from the other side of that wall? thoughts?

hope that you are safe, dry, and cool.

76. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

Hi bay, thanks for letting us know how you are – this was a scary one. I’m so glad it didn’t turn out as horrific as it was threatening to be. I hope your home base is safe – if a bit wet. I think you said you had pets with you – how are they?

77. marisacat - 13 September 2008

I see a headline at Wapo a quarter of the total US oil production knocked out for two weeks.

78. diane - 13 September 2008

69 Thank you bay!

What a wonderful thing was done over one hundred years ago, so hard to even imagine that anything currently is being made to last one year, let alone over one hundred…To add insult to that insanity, apparently we’re all expected to prostrate ourselves before today’s “titans” as gods and godessas of progress…..

79. baypraire - 13 September 2008

*somewhere* in the past day i read that people were puzzled by the odd stuff washed up…concrete things… i wonder, after looking at that photo, if it was concrete bits and pieces from the other side of that wall? thoughts?

i’m thinking that its most likely the decking from the flagship hotel, the one built on a pier. that pier was all concrete as was the drive leading up to it which is destroyed. as i understand things a lot of the seawall is granite, although some portions evidently were laid with concrete. so i suppose its possible.

kitties are a little disagreeable but more scared than anything. we’re keeping them in my host’s bedroom when we open the outside door in case they decide to flee. but mostly they’re just out of sorts and seem more or less ok.

80. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

66 – not that I expect you noticed, but I pretty much mock and attack all of the variety of religious nut, except maybe Unitarians.

Nevermind, you see sexism in everything.

81. diane - 13 September 2008


you’re so welcome bay! and thanks for that Alison Brown link!

82. lucid - 13 September 2008

Just passed through the Maher show tonight.. again replete with misogynist crap. But something struck me [as it did the last time I saw Garofalo on his show] – she really has the mannerisms of one who is coked up, rubbing her nose and teeth constantly. I hope she’s OK.

83. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 September 2008

Rail Line Says Train Ran Signal; Death Toll at 25

LOS ANGELES — An engineer who ran a red signal here and crashed head-on into a freight train likely caused the nation’s deadliest commuter train wreck in nearly four decades, a spokeswoman for the rail line said Saturday.

The death toll rose to at least 25 from the collision on Friday of the northbound Metrolink train carrying about 225 passengers and the freight train in Chatsworth, a mostly residential district in the northwest San Fernando Valley, officials said. The number of dead may rise, they said, because of the 135 people injured, 40 were in critical condition.

The federal investigation into the crash had just begun, but a rail line spokeswoman, Denise Tyrrell said, “Our preliminary investigation shows it was a Metrolink engineer that failed to stop at a red signal and was the probable cause of the accident.” She acknowledged that it was unusual for the agency to announce findings before a federal team investigates.

The crash was the deadliest commuter train accident in the nation since 1972, when 45 people died in Chicago, and the deadliest train crash of any kind since the 1993 Amtrak crash in Mobile, Ala., in which 47 people died.

At the crash site, firefighters and other rescue workers toiled nonstop Saturday, sifting through and searching for bodies under tons of twisted metal, shattered glass, charred seats and engine parts.

The engineer was the only one of five train workers — three on the freight train and two on the commuter railroad — to die in the crash, Ms. Tyrrell said. She said the engineer, whom she did not identify, worked for an Amtrak subcontractor that had been used by Metrolink since 1998.

Ms. Tyrrell said her agency’s preliminary findings determined that the signal on the track was working properly, and that both trains appeared to be traveling about 40 miles per hour. The conductor of the train, who gives the commands to the engineer, was being interviewed by law enforcement officials, she said.

84. raincat100 - 13 September 2008

82 lucid
i have lost track…what channel is maher on?

85. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

79- bay, great to hear the kitties are all right. That’s the thing that bothers me the most about the idea of evacuating anywhere in an emergency – when you have a bunch of pets, what do you do? It’s difficult enough moving them from place to place when you have plenty of time and there’s no pressure.

Some of the worst stories about Katrina, to me, were the ones about people not being allowed to take their pets with them on the rescue boats. And the stories like the one about the woman who helped her Labrador climb into the attic with her to escape the flooding, and lived with him there for days.

As far as architecture being lost, I hope that it’s all the new ugly shit and not the beautiful old buildings. I recall that’s what happened back with Hugo – many of the oldest buildings survived because they were built properly in the first place.

86. marisacat - 13 September 2008


The engineer was the only one of five train workers — three on the freight train and two on the commuter railroad — to die in the crash, Ms. Tyrrell said.

This seems pretty amazing. From what I saw adn read, the freight train barreled into the Metrolink and sheared the engine car to bits.

87. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

80, Madman – good, so run off and mock all the Pentecostals or whatever who are not female – since you pay so much attention to the matter, I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are a bumper crop of them out there – and then maybe I’ll reconsider my view that your focus on Palin is sexist.

If it helps, you are in the same doghouse as Andrew Sullivan.

88. baypraire - 13 September 2008

As far as architecture being lost, I hope that it’s all the new ugly shit and not the beautiful old buildings.

well last night i was worried at the 20 foot surge predictions but im thinking based on what i read today everything is there, even if flooded a few feet.

but the hooters restaurant is gone. its washed in the sea. so maybe you get your wish!

89. lucid - 13 September 2008

and folks will say: they have been using reason…what exactly is reason?

That’s pretty well established by 400+ years of Enlightenment philosophy. It is, simply put, the ability to abstract universalizable precepts about scientific, social and moral phenomena based upon the best data available obtained by the most updated standards of the scientific method. In more flowery language? It is the fundamental recognition that all standards for ‘knowledge’ rest on our own ability to objectify the world in ways that explain phenomena via means that are universally repeatable.

90. lucid - 13 September 2008

84 – Maher is on HBO. The show has gone really down hill over the years. I always had trouble with him, but at least he used to have good panels and let them take the reins. Now it seems like a clusterfuck and he’s putting his foot down more. But I’m worried about Janine – she does not look healthy, and even her speech patterns are starting to conform to those of one with a serious substance abuse problem.

91. diane - 13 September 2008

Enlightenment philosophy?……choke, choke……zzzzzzzzzzz …..

good night.

92. diane - 13 September 2008

but before I go to sleep just have to say that so many proclaimed “truly enlightened” fuckers have sanctified some of the most hideous things that human beings have ever done to one another, that I am absolutely dumbfounded by your comment.

93. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

74 – here are some quotes that illuminate Washington’s attitude toward religion, his absenting himself from communion, etc.

The first part of the page shows quotes that everyone should already know the gist of from their study of the American Revolution and the separation of church and state:

Every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.
— George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789, in Anson Phelps Stokes, Church and State in the United States, Vol 1. p. 495, quoted from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta of our country.
— George Washington, responding to a group of clergymen who complained that the Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ, in 1789, Papers, Presidential Series, 4:274, the “Magna-Charta” here refers to the proposed United States Constitution

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

— George Washington, letter to the congregation of Touro Synagogue, Newport, Rhode Island, August, 1790

This is the one that tickles me the most:

“Dr. Rush told me (he had it from Asa Green) that when the clergy addressed General Washington, on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never, on any occasion, said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion, and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to disclose publicly whether he was a Christian or not. However, he observed, the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly, except that, which he passed over without notice.”
— Thomas Jefferson, quoted from Jefferson’s Works, Vol. iv., p. 572.

Gotta love that story. I have a big engraving of a George Washington portrait hanging in my house because of that story.

94. marisacat - 13 September 2008

but the hooters restaurant is gone. its washed in the sea. so maybe you get your wish!

I read in the Houston paper that when it crashed itno the sea there was a large popping sound. hmm

95. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

91, diane – the George Washington quotes are examples of Enlightenment philosophy.

96. Heather-Rose Ryan - 13 September 2008

88, bay – but the hooters restaurant is gone. its washed in the sea. so maybe you get your wish!

Gaia hates Hooters!

Or more likely, the place was built by incompetent/corrupt contractors.

Goes to show ya.

97. lucid - 13 September 2008

Well Diane, you did ask. And there is 400+ years of a clear definition of ‘reason’. And the beautiful thing is that this definition too evolves [and evolution is central to its very idea], to keep pace with the state of human knowledge itself.

As to your other comment, if you are referring to ideas of equality, subjectivity, self-determination, science, self-government, and universality, then I am dumbfounded by your comment.

I’m going to go back to a comment I made here several days ago, which came up again over the weekend with an old fundie high school friend. If one had any remote knowledge of human history in the 800-00 bce period of history, they would realize that many theologies were converging toward an idea of universal humanism and equality. A lot of it had to do with the Greeks and the spread of their ideas from the Indian Peninsula to the Atlantic, but a lot of it also had to do with the Mahayana philosophers and the spread of their ideas from the Pacific to Persia. The only ‘scholars’ in the ancient world were those expounding on religion – religion at the time was the attempt ‘to explain the world’ [when it wasn’t busy conglomerating the power of aristocracy – which is the way it was manipulated by those in power, incidentally not so dissimilar than today]. The myth of Jesus would never have existed if it weren’t for the two myths it was stolen from – Dionysios and Prometheus – the founding ideas of humanism. The founding idea of that old fragment from Protagoras which started science, ‘Of that which is, that it is, humanity is the measure’.

Yawn and choke all you want. But I refuse to live in a world where anti-humanist ideas hold sway. And I am eternally annoyed by those who cast of the history of ideas as a fly on their sleeve. Especially when they seek harbor in ‘magical thinking’ without even realizing that they betray the history of their own thought.

98. TheHater - 13 September 2008

So, after my ritual month-long blog vacation, I try to log into PFF and.. poof… nothing! Anyway, I know y’all aren’t necessarily the biggest fans, but what happened?

99. lucid - 13 September 2008

Heather – you are dead wrong about Madman and Wilfred and I really hope you stop this shit. Specifically in this thread, Madman has always been universal in his criticism of religion and you know that. It has nothing to do with whether he is criticizing a woman or a man. Lay off it.

And just one more point… from several days ago, the problem is that your critique is ‘Feminism 101’ and there is a serious flaw in that. I always thought your notion of feminism was based on the idea of equality – that’s what you’ve always touted. But as you seem to impute any legitimate criticism of Palin as a priori sexist, I have to wonder, and it reminds me of those who have just read Catharine MacKinnon for the first time and completely misunderstood her. Sorry to be harsh, but I really don’t know why you are pursuing this line of argument with a group of people who are all admitted humanists and who all, on the most fundamental level, believe in equality… and further, who have all have demonstrated over years of online writing that they are extremely attuned to misogyny in speech, behaviour and policy.

100. lucid - 14 September 2008

btw – Bay, I’m so glad you are safe and that the worst seems to have been avoided. I hope you are able to get home soon!

101. marisacat - 14 September 2008

gnu thred…….


……… 8) …………..

The Hater...

there is a gathering of many of the PFFter posters at a site a commenter opened:


Shorthand for what happened, imo, peeder was pretty off the rails blunt in his assessment of Obama, denali kept calling him a (iirc) Jew Racist… ro some such similar.

It escalated… and peeder shut it down. Bored angry lost interest, who knows.

I have to say, for a place that meant to be freewheeling, it had too many Dem and Dem enforcer operatives around.

Just my opinion…


102. TheHater - 14 September 2008

Thanks Marisa, I appreciate it.

103. Heather-Rose Ryan - 14 September 2008

hey lucid, up ypurs, and wilfred’s and madman’s too. As I have said many times here, I welcome criticism of Palin as long as it doesn’t rely on mindless sexism.

In terms of being “extremely attuned to misogyny”, no, I don’t think you guys are.

“admitted humanists”, funny how you can’t make the next step to say you’re FEMINISTS. Ooh- too painful!

Sorry, I like you but this line of discussion is not going anywhere.

104. lucid - 14 September 2008

I said ‘admitted humanists’ because Mcat herself does not define herself as a feminist. I do define myself as a feminist – and proudly so, and while I think Wilfred and Madman would do the same, sorry for trying to speak broadly for others in a discussion that has gotten completely out of control.

And I just love the idea that you are somehow a telepath and can witness first hand the individual responses that each of us ‘guys’ have to the misogyny we encounter everyday. And I am amazed that you can just completely ignore everything each of us have written over the years and claim we are all misogynists just because we disagree with you on certain points in the Palin critiques.

I’m actually flummoxed as to why you see Palin as remotely redeemable… Not that Obama, Biden or McCain are either – but you know full well, I’m not voting for any of them. Why should any of us be limited in the scathing critique we give Palin, when it’s fine to gut the other political chattel? It has nothing to do with her being a woman – and if you really believed in the ‘feminism’ you tout, you should hold her to the same standard you hold the other unredeemable fucks.

105. diane - 14 September 2008

Well Diane, you did ask. And there is 400+ years of a clear definition of ‘reason’

hmmmm, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, and we all see where that reason has gotten us…………..

human beings do not act “reasonably’ despite the oh so pretty whitepapers…..

I like ya hon…but woe is you if you think what has haunted my life as I’ve lived it,…every bit as considerate of others as you have been (I consider myself a humanist too….discount that, if you think you can), and the questions I ask near the end of my day, are just so much idiocy.

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