Gotten Chillier; some post election thoughts (Palin: Africa is a country?)

Winter is arriving; no snow or anything but one can hear the wind gusting. So, I’ll try to get in 5-7 miles prior to class and then to catch up on everything that I’ve gotten behind on. 🙂

Update though the winds have really kicked up, it is still 61 F. Hence I went out in shorts! One other runner didn’t look at the weather; she had on long pants, a jacket and a stocking hat and looked, well, hot…as in literally hot. 🙂

Good thing I made a last minute check of the weather; I “ran” a hilly 5.3 mile course in 53 minutes and used a headlamp (3 led setting)

Sarah Palin:

Oh my. John McCain would have been much better off picking “Mittens” Romney.

Also, though I am eager for us to work with many Republicans to get this country back on the right track, I am also eager to say “good bye” to a certain subset of them, as Paul Krugman says:

for the past 14 years America’s political life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.

And in our national discourse, we pretended that these monsters were reasonable, respectable people. To point out that the monsters were, in fact, monsters, was “shrill.”

Four years ago it seemed as if the monsters would dominate American politics for a long time to come. But for now, at least, they’ve been banished to the wilderness.

Keith Olberman is jubilant…

(and has a point too)

But help is here. Many scientists are thrilled with the Obama election and the refutation of the “ignorant and proud of it” part of our political leadership:

During the campaign, Obama promised a host of changes, such as fresh investments in science and technology, including a $150-billion push in alternative energies; in his acceptance speech last night he cited “a planet in peril” among the many leading challenges for his presidency. The question now is whether those promises will be translated into reality come inauguration day on 20 January.


Thirty-five of the Senate’s 100 seats were up for grabs in this election. The Democrats strengthened their hold on the Senate, but have fallen short of the 60-seat majority that would have eased the passage of new legislation. The Washington Post reports the current balance at 54 Democratic, 40 Republican, and 2 Independent seats. But with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and in the executive branch, Democratic priorities such as climate-change legislation may now gain traction.

We shall see.

Some are misreading Obama and what his election means for “religion” and “faith”:

The Obama presidency is great news for almost everyone. It’s bad news for some odd ideological bedfellows: the Religious Right and the so-called New Atheists.

Into the all or nothing culture wars, and the all or nothing wars between the so-called New Atheists and religion the election of President elect Obama reintroduces nuance. President elect Obama’s ability to believe in Jesus, yet question, is going to rescue American religion in general and Christianity in particular, from the extremes.

There is no way to understand President elect Obama’s victory as anything less than the start of not just a monumental political change but a spiritual revolution as well.

I don’t know about revolution, but it is nice to see fundamentalism knocked off of its perch, if you ask me.

The New Atheists don’t seem to “get” grown up allegory any more than the fundamentalists of the Religious Right do, let alone literary imagination. And both the Religious right and the New Atheists also seems oblivious to serious religious thinkers from Confucius to the Sufi poets, from Reinhold Niebur to one of Reinhold Niebuhr’s biggest fans; President elect Obama.

Maher’s world contains no Pastor Deitrick Bonhoffer (martyred for trying to assassinate Hitler, and who defined the intellectual and theological terms for resistance to state tyranny based on Christian ethics), or the intellectual man of letters and convert from atheism to the Roman Catholic Church, Malcolm Muggeridge, let alone an awareness of the prayers written by the “atheist” W.E.B. Du Bois for his students, a poignant demonstration that faith is not so easily abandoned.

Wrong. Believing in religious myth as allegory is not what many of us are attacking; what I can say for myself is this: I don’t want a leader who thinks that we will solve X, Y, and Z by invoking some deity to intervene supernaturally to do A, B, or C.

I don’t want a leader who thinks that I am a bad American because I reject the literalness of a particular myth: one doesn’t have to believe that some figure “rose from the dead” in order to be a good American.

Praying (or meditating) so that one will have a better view of what to do or using some myth or allegory so as to get yourself to do the right thing is great!

Think of it this way: prayer won’t magically get your car out of a ditch. But prayer might make YOU more willing to stop and help someone else get their car out of the ditch, and that makes us all better off.

Frankly, this The God Delusion reading atheist is thrilled to have backed Barack Obama.

What to expect from Barack Obama: Tammy forwards an excellent article: don’t expect too much.
Points 3, 4, and 5 are especially important. Yes, Obama will make mistakes. Yes, he isn’t an ideologue and will appear to take too conservative of a path at times. Yes, there will be compromises along the way. And yes, much of the change that we need will be up to us.

Some election maps The red state/blue state maps don’t show everything.

It is true that most of the country did “shift to the left” (e. g., whereas Utah was “redder” than Massachusetts as usual, both were “bluer” than normal) and curiously, the over 200,000 dollars a year demographic actually leaned Democratic this year.

A few counties did become “redder” than in 2004 and it was mostly in one region of the country.

Follow the above link to see how most places got bluer.

Then, a nationwide “by county” map shows that we are really not sliced into blue/red states:


I‘ll conclude with a link to a thoughtful post by someone who voted for John McCain.

Yep, we can work together, even if we don’t agree on everything. 🙂


November 6, 2008 - Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, John McCain, mccain, obama, politics, politics/social, religion, republicans, sarah palin


  1. Glad you liked the John Scalzi article too. Thanks for the hat tip.

    Comment by Tammy | November 6, 2008 | Reply

  2. Do you post on as Ollie? Someone is posting idiotic comments and linking your website to the name. Almost seems sarcastically motivated. It’s hard to tell cuz all these republicans are so stupid literally.

    Comment by unknown | November 6, 2008 | Reply

  3. I admit to blowing off steam by, uh, slightly repackaging and posting some of the more moronic stuff that I’ve received here from various trolls….er…visitors. 🙂

    I pick on Mexicans because I am one. 😉

    But yeah, things have become so bad that it is hard to tell when someone is being serious from when someone is doing satire; I try to drop little hints here and there (e. g., it is unfair that Obama won just because he got more votes, science and reason are bad things, etc. )

    Come to think of it, Sarah Palin appears to be a fake figure; this ditz didn’t even know that there were individual countries in Africa????

    Gads, how close to satire can one get?

    Comment by blueollie | November 6, 2008 | Reply

  4. Palin is not smarter than a 5th grader either

    Comment by Nameless Blogger | November 7, 2008 | Reply

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