Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crystal Meth Capital of Alaska...

You've probably already seen the Tina Fey imitation of Sarah Palin on SNL. Although just in case, I'd wanted to include the YouTube link here. Unfortunately when I click on it now all I get is an error message saying "this video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NBC". Such a pity. But you can still get some tidbits if you go to YouTube and enter "Sarah Palin Tina Fey"

What you won't see in those abbreviated verions is the description of Palin as mayor of the crystal meth capital of Alaska. It reminded me so much of my Montana impressions. Which is what made the comment ring true.

Catch and Release

All the talk of Sarah Palin's hunting has made me reflect yet again on my week in Montana, and particularly on the day I went fly-fishing with my host and friend.

We actually went twice. He took me once in the morning so I could get the hang of casting the fly, and then once again in the evening when the fish would be biting.

The results weren't spectacular, but I did catch one small fish. And we released it. Because actually, my friend's mother had a lot more meat in the fridge than she could possibly use, and clearly we weren't going to eat this little guy.

Which got me to thinking about what I had just done. See I'm omnivorous. I do eat meat, and I do eat fish. So I don't have true moral qualms about catching a fish and eating it. If I weren't eating that fish, I'd be eating another one, maybe farm raised, but still a fish.

But catch and release is a different thing. It means the whole fishing exercise was just a sport, and the poor victim was the fish. The fish who was strung up with a hook in his throat, and then thrown back into the water to perhaps be caught again. Just as sport. And that I can't justify. In fact I can't figure out what the pleasure can possibly be.

So. I caught one fish. I released it. And for the future - I'll either go fishing to catch my supper, or I won't go at all.

And that's the way I view hunting too. If you want to hunt an animal and then eat it, I guess that's ok. We're animals, we are (mostly) carnivorous, and that's one of the ways we feed ourselves. But catch and release; there's something fundamentally wrong about that.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sarah Palin

I'm pretty appalled at the way the Obama campaign is handling (or ignoring) the issue of Sarah Palin. And how the liberal parts of the media are handling it.

How can they knock her on experience when the counter is Obama? What's the big deal if she was once Miss Congeniality.

Let's give credit where credit is due. She came from nowhere, no family backing, no Ivy League school, no powerful husband, and by age 44 has five kids and is governor of Alaska, and an apparently very successful governor. What's not to admire here?

Problem is, for me, of course, her politics. For anyone who cares about "progressive" ideas - individual freedom (as in, yes, right to abortion), war in Iraq, and what another Republican presidency would do to the supreme court, the idea of another Republican victory is scary.

But if the Democrats don't get off their butts and figure out how to make these items the central ones of the campaign, it's not looking good...

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I have to admit, when I heard the father of Bristol Palin's child was named Levi I kept wondering - could he be Jewish???? It seemed unlikely, a football star can't be Jewish. And I think that last name, Johnston, kinda seals it. He's not. No, no no.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bristol Palin and the Baby

So what are my thoughts on the pregnancy of Sarah Palin's daughter? Well, multiple.

On the one hand, I think it cements Palin's credibility with the "social conservatives". After all, it's proof positive of her anti-abortion stance.

But was that cementing (cementation?, cementiment?) really necessary? I don't know. Seems to me that her Down's Syndrome baby was enough for that.

One the other hand, I believe there's a certain McCain swing vote that will be dissuaded by it. Why? Because it brings to light everything that's problematic in the "social conservative" stance. First of all - why did her daughter get pregnant in the first place? Did the governor neglect to tell her daughter about The Pill? Was she preaching abstinence and now finding out that it doesn't always work?

But more than that - what really happens to a girl who has a child at 17? Well, I recently met a 25 year old guy with two kids. He met the girl when they were both 19. After four months together they found out she was two months pregnant. Did he ever consider an abortion, I asked him. "Never" he said. So they ended up getting married, had two kids. Now, six years later, they're divorced. He's trying to achieve his dream of becoming a successful actor in L.A. She's still living in Ohio. He's got a girlfriend who's a "hip hop model" (in case you're not familiar, the look is pretty but slutty, basically shots from the back in a g-string). When's the last time he saw his kids? It's been a few months.

The guy is great looking, charismatic, smart. I'll bet his ex-wife is too. But the difference is that she, at 25, is saddled with two kids as a single mom. He's relaxing in between rehearsals. And I'd say this is the most likely outcome for Palin's daughter as well. By age 25 (actually I'd guess 22) she'll be a divorced single mom. Yes, she may get some child support, but not much. Will she be able to go to college? Well, in this special circumstance - big name Mommy - maybe yes. But normally, no. Just another kid stuck in a low paying job struggling to raise her kids.

So Governor Palin chose to keep her Down's Syndrome baby? Truth is, even though I wouldn't do it, I have a certain degree of respect for that decision. This thing with her 17 year old daughter - that I have absolutely no respect for.

Bottom line, even I, who am normally a bit blase about politics, suddenly feel a need to make absolutely sure Sarah Palin doesn't show up at the White House.