Barack Obama drops everything to visit sick grandma

Obama leaves the campaign to visit his grandmotherA person’s character really shines through in so many ways. Obama leaves the campaign to visit his grandmother, who is seriously ill and perhaps dying.

Meanwhile, McCain and Palin do nothing to stop racist attacks on Obama, smear him with guilt by association, and ludicrously try to parlay fraud against a voter-encouragement office into fraud with votes.

Is this supposed to be a serious debate?

Obama Pictures and Sarah Palin Pictures
see more John McCain pictures

You wouldn’t know it from the way John McCain treats it. Women’s health is the issue of abortion: women are ten times more likely to die in childbirth than from legal abortion.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Barack Obama pictures

Wolves are, too, smarter than dogs

The Economist cites an experiment that shows that a chance to learn human behavior, not intelligence, is the key to understanding human gestures. An experiment that concluded dogs understood gesture better because of selection to understand humans was flawed. It used wolves that had not been raised with humans. A second experiment found that wolves brought up by humans understand gesture better than do dogs.

Jimmy Carter on abortion

Reviewer of Carter’s book:

Carter is opposed to abortion, as what he calls a tragedy “brought about by a combination of human errors.” But the “pro-life” forces compound rather than reduce the errors. The most common abortions, and the most common reasons cited for undergoing them, are caused by economic pressure compounded by ignorance.

Yet the anti-life movement that calls itself pro-life protects ignorance by opposing family planning, sex education, and informed use of contraceptives, tactics that not only increase the likelihood of abortion but tragedies like AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. The rigid system of the “pro-life” movement makes poverty harsher as well, with low minimum wages, opposition to maternity leaves, and lack of health services and insurance. In combination, these policies make ideal conditions for promoting abortion, as one can see from the contrast with countries that do have sex education and medical insurance. Carter writes:

Canadian and European young people are about equally active sexually, but, deprived of proper sex education, American girls are five times as likely to have a baby as French girls, seven times as likely to have an abortion, and seventy times as likely to have gonorrhea as girls in the Netherlands. Also, the incidence of HIV/ AIDS among American teenagers is five times that of the same age group in Germany…. It has long been known that there are fewer abortions in nations where prospective mothers have access to contraceptives, the assurance that they and their babies will have good health care, and at least enough income to meet their basic needs.

Ah, well, you see, it’s not about the sanctity of life: it’s about punishing women for having sex.

Republican firm tricks voters into registering as Republicans

People who thought they were signing a petition for sidewalk activists have found that they were actually joining the Republican party.

By Evan Halper and Michael Rothfeld, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 18, 2008
SACRAMENTO — Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.

“I am not a Republican,” insisted Karen Ashcraft, 47, a pet-clinic manager and former Democrat from Ventura who said she was duped by a signature gatherer into joining the GOP. “I certainly . . . won’t sign anything in front of a grocery store ever again.”

It is a bait-and-switch scheme familiar to election experts. The firm hired by the California Republican Party — a small company called Young Political Majors, or YPM, which operates in several states — has been accused of using the tactic across the country.

Election officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM workers in Florida and Massachusetts. In Arizona, the firm was recently a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and Ventura counties say they are investigating complaints about the company.

The firm, which a Republican Party spokesman said is paid $7 to $12 for each registration it secures, has denied any wrongdoing and says it has never been charged with a crime.

The 70,000 voters YPM has registered for the Republican Party this year will help combat the public perception that it is struggling amid Democratic gains nationally, give a boost to fundraising efforts and bolster member support for party leaders, political strategists from both parties say.

Those who were formerly Democrats may stop receiving phone calls and literature from that party, perhaps affecting its get-out-the-vote efforts. They also will be given only a Republican ballot in the next primary election if they do not switch their registration back before then.

Some also report having their registration status changed to absentee without their permission; if they show up at the polls without a ballot they may be unable to vote.

The Times randomly interviewed 46 of the hundreds of voters whose election records show they were recently re-registered as Republicans by YPM, and 37 of them — more than 80% — said that they were misled into making the change or that it was done without their knowledge.

%d bloggers like this: