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Palin's family off-limits? Get real



Published: Sun, September 14, 2008 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


By Bertram de Souza

The campaign of Republican presidential nominee John McCain has taken exception to this writer’s posts on Vindy.com, The Vindicator’s Web site, about the 17-year-old unmarried, pregnant daughter of vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin.

“Even Barack Obama has agreed that the family of the candidates is off-limits,” a McCain campaign staffer told Vindicator Editorial Page Editor Dennis Mangan.

Mangan had phoned the operative to inquire about McCain’s attending an on-the-record meeting with members of the newspaper’s editorial board. While the door was left open to that, there was an exchange about this writer’s comments posted on his blog, “Stirfry.”

The first was titled, “It’s not about the pregnancy, it’s about hiding it;” the second, “Republicans to America: Go forth and multiply.”

Here are some facts surrounding Alaska Gov. Palin’s family:

• Her husband and all five children, including 17-year-old Bristol, along with her prospective son-in-law, also a teenager, attended the Republican National Convention and were proudly and loudly introduced to the party faithful and the national television audience.

• It was the governor who revealed that her daughter is five months pregnant, and said the father planned to marry the girl.

• It was the governor who brought her Down syndrome infant to the gathering and did nothing to keep the child out of the spotlight.

Finally, as the Washington Post reported extensively last Tuesday, Palin’s family members are very much a part of her official life.

Her husband, Todd, appears to have a role as a consultant. According to the Post, he was paid by the government of Alaska to fly to Edmonton, Alberta, for “information gathering and planning meeting with Northern Alberta Institute of Technology,” and during the three-day trip charged the state $291 for his per diem. He also billed the state $1,371 for a flight to Washington to attend a National Governors Association meeting with his wife.

The newspaper’s investigation of per diem allowances received by the governor and members of her family included this: The state was billed about $25,000 for Palin’s daughters’ expenses and $19,000 for her husband’s.

In October 2007, the Post reported, daughter Bristol accompanied her mother to Newsweek’s third annual Women and Leadership Conference in New York City. They toured the New York Stock Exchange and met local officials and business executives. The state paid for three nights in a $707-a-day hotel. Airline travel by members of the governor’s family was the most expensive item, according to the Post.

“Flights topped the list for the most expensive items,” the newspaper story said, “and the daughter whose bill was the highest was Piper, 7, whose flights cost nearly $11,000, while Willow, 14, claimed about $6,000 and Bristol accounted for about $3,400.”

Is the state of Alaska so flush with oil revenue that it has no laws governing the use of tax dollars?

Hardly.

The Post asked the state’s finance director, Kim Garnero, about the official policy on charging for children’s travel expenses, and got this: “We cover the expenses of anyone who’s conducting state business. I can’t imagine kids could be doing that.”

So it’s either that Gov. Palin considers her husband and children an integral part of her conduct of official duties, or the family is misusing taxpayer dollars.

Public roles

Regardless, she has chosen to give them a very public role, and that makes them fair game.

The Post story is a must-read for Mahoning Valley residents, who have long witnessed the questionable use of public dollars.

When you run on a presidential ticket that wraps itself in family values, religion (there’s a video on YouTube.com of Palin telling her church congregation that the Iraq war is God’s work) and the flag, you have to make sure not to commit the sin of hypocrisy.

Indeed, McCain’s very selection of Palin smacks of political hypocrisy.

That’s an issue that will be explored in greater depth next week.


Comments

1alaskankid(1 comment)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

It costs the state of Alaska $356,500.00 annually to maintain and staff the Governor’s Mansion in Juneau. That is where the governor of Alaska is supposed to live while serving their term. The State Capitol, and legislature, is about a hundred yards down the street. Governor Palin prefers to live at home in Wasilla, over 600 miles away, and collect per diem, while the state continues to pour the money into the empty Governor’s Mansion in Juneau. That is not efficient or ethical.

http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/09_omb...

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2apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

So the McCain camp has taken exception to anyone pointing out the lies that they are trying to fool the voters with! Isn't that typical Republican crapola. Next they'll blame the "liberal" media.

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3Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

As Mayor of Wasilla, she cut her salary from $68,000 to $64,000. She sold the governor's jet for $2.1 million dollars. She fired the state-sponsored chef. Her expenses are 80% less than that of her immediate predecessor, Frank Murkowski.

These facts are not presented above, because the Vindicator is a puppet of the Democratic Party. If you seek balanced and accurate news, look elsewhere.

By the way, how is Youngstown doing under decades of Democratic Party rule? Have they taken good care of you...or is it time for a CHANGE?

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4Cbarzak(110 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Um, Nonsocialist, you are sort of screwed up in your thinking. Youngstown under years of Democratic rule? Well, yeah, maybe city government. But we have lived until recently under over a decade of State Republican rule that has done nothing but squelch state funds coming to NE Ohio, where it is a Democratic stronghold, and they squelched those state funds for a reason. If you starve a people long enough, they'll eventually come over to your side where the food is. Being a city official in a part of the state the state government is ignoring purposefully isn't anything. You need your state government to be willing to work with you.

And though Palin cut some money that is usually spent on governors, she also has billed the Alaskan people thousands and thousands more than she cut, so she can stay at home in Wasilla, two hours away, rather than live in the capital. I mean, come on, I know you must be a republican, but you don't have to be one of their leashed dogs that bark when you're told to bark, man. Grow a mind of your own and sort through information looking for the bad stuff, rather than follow a party line without question. Jeez. That's like...you know, the Nazi way of life.

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5cambridge(2996 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

It's not up to the government to take care of you, not Democrat or Republican. The governments role is to spend the tax payers money in a responsible way.

When you claim to be against excessive ear marks and have the highest per capita of any state and you deny it you are a liar and a hypocrite.

When confronted with evedence that you were for the Bridge until congress pulled the plug and won't admit it you are a liar and a hypocrite.

When you wave the flag when it's convenient and associate yourself with an organization that wants to succeed from the United States your a hypocrite.

When you claim your going to stop special interest and your campaign is run by lobbyist you are a hypocrite.

When you claim that the Iraq war is "a task from God" or that her fellow prisoners should pray for a pipeline because it is "Gods will", that is a lie.

When your husband and children are cashing checks from the state, that's corruption.

McSame claims to be for the people and consistently votes against better benefits for veterans or equal pay for women for equal work.

What the republicans have done for the past eight years is squander a two trillion dollar surplus, every dollar of tax revenue, and borrowed nine trillion of debt.

Under Clinton household income went up 7,500.00 per family. Under Bush it went down 2,000.00 per family.

McSame wants to stay in Iraq for another hundred years and go to war in Iran while the people that attacked us get stronger every day.

If you vote for McSame you just don't get it. How many times do have to get hit over the head before you figure out who's hitting you?

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6Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Cbarzak,

Nothing I say will sway you. But I am sickened by what has happened to our homeland, and the neglect of our homeland will only continue with continued allegiance to the neglectful Democratic Party.

Please consider that since Black Monday (September 19, 1977) occured, we've also had Democratic Governors (Celeste for 8 years) and now Strickland. During Black Monday, we've had a Democratic President (Carter), and since have 8 years of Clinton. Since Jack Hunter, it's been a Democratic monopoly locally...and the results have been deplorable.

If you dislike all things Republican, than consider another Party. But my God, isn't it time for a CHANGE from the Democrats rule over what's left of Youngstown?

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7Cbarzak(110 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I thought we were talking about McCain, though, weren't we?

I, too, am sickened by what's happened to our homeland. But I don't see salvation in what the Republicans have to offer us at this juncture. I am swayable, but only when real goods are put on the table. McCain and Palin are a poor offer, promising us more of the same of what we have received in the past 8 years.

As for local politics, the mayor of Youngstown was elected as an Independent candidate, and was supported by our local Republican officials. I think that says a lot.

Certainly there were Democratic governors since Black Monday. But we also had a corrupt city government for many of the past thirty years, with which they could not work. With the help of the Federal crackdown here in the past ten years, though, we're beginning to make headway.

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8JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

<During Black Monday, we've had a Democratic President (Carter), and since have 8 years of Clinton. >

Just for clarification, by your math the GOP has controlled things for over 20 out of the last 31 years -- the other party had 8 for Clinton and 3 for the time period after Black Mon. and before 1/20/81. Typical weak and flimsy spin. Make sure you tune in to O'Reilly later this week so he can continue to tell you how to think and act.

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9Proud_Alaskan(1 comment)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I’ve lived out here in the Mat-Su Valley for about 11 years now. And I met Governor Palin when she was in her second term as the Wasilla mayor. I met Sarah through my work as a community organizer, actually. And the responsibilities that I had were, I believe, significant.

Senator McCain said that he chose Governor Palin to be his running mate because she’s going to change Washington D.C. the same way that she, supposedly, brought change to the governor’s mansion in Alaska. There are several examples of how that isn’t, exactly, the case. Her record does not stand up to scrutiny. Governor Palin billed the people of Alaska for 312 nights that she actually spent at home, in her own house, in her own bed. These per diems are intended to compensate state employees to cover for travel costs when they are traveling on official state business.

Governor Palin got paid to sleep at home. She also got paid to attend the Great Alaska Shootout, which is a Thanksgiving Day basketball tournament, here in Anchorage, that’s very popular. In all, according to the -- the Post, that we’ve seen, she has spent -- or she has collected from the people of Alaska nearly $17,000 in per diem in the 19 months that she was been in office, which indicates that she is out of her office more than she’s in her office.

The important question today, I guess, would be -- because Senator Biden released his tax return -- would be for Governor Palin to release her tax returns -- federal tax returns -- to show whether or not she actually paid federal income tax on those reimbursements, for when she was living in her Wasilla home.

I am probably more involved, and pay attention more, to what’s going on in the state than a lot of residents. And I was unaware that she was not in Juneau, doing her job, as much as -- as this report seems to indicate. When she said -- made the announcement that she wasn’t going to stay in the mansion in Juneau, and she was going to -- because she “didn’t need this fancy house,” and she “didn’t need the cook,” and she “didn’t need the housekeeper,” and her home was in Wasilla, so she was only going to be in Juneau when she had to be in Juneau -- that rang pretty true to everybody.

We thought, “Well, that’s really great. You know, here’s this person who’s not, you know, feeling like she gets to -- to live in the castle on the hill. And she was going to be staying at her home in Wasilla,” and, “How noble is that?”

But if she is billing the state to stay at her home in Wasilla, that’s pretty shocking to me, as a resident of the State of Alaska. So I think that this is -- it just raises one problem with the transparency and dishonest government that we have seen in Washington, D.C. And I don’t’ think it’s indicative of her bringing any kind of change to that.

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10Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Let's be clear here:

The City of Youngstown has had pure Democratic Party governance since the term of Jack C. Hunter ended in the 1970s. Under the Democrats rule, the city has fallen apart. We are ranked 14th (up from 9th)in crime nationwide.

If you are happy with these results, keep voting the Democratic ticket.

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11JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Who is talking about the city of Youngstown? The thread deals with the presidency. If you'd like to discuss the city that's fine -- it fell apart because the majority of the time there was a Republican president in office that didn't value hard-working men and women like those in the city. Remember trickle-down economics? A thousand points of bulls***? Those things hurt the Valley more than some small time local politician (GOP or Dem) ever could. Under the most recent Dem administration the city was made an empowerment zone and people were more financially sound than they had been for a long time.

Let's be clear here: the brighter light you shine on the past where the GOP is concerned the more you're going to show all its warts.

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12apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I just love those that like to use Youngstown as the poster child of everything bad about the Democrats. He also forgets that many supposed Youngstown Democrats weren't really Democrats but Republicans in D clothing. Traficant voted almost exclusively with the Republicans his last few terms. McKelvey was against the Chevy centre and then for it when the Republican money was going to be revoked. Didn't Democrat George also endorse Bush, the same Bush who is the worst president of all time.

As others have mentioned, the state is at or near the bottom in nearly every economic category and has been under Republican control for many years.

Not to mention the current financial meltdown ocurring in the United States under the auspices of the genius Bush and his cronies. Gas prices have doubled because of no energy policy that Cheney fought to keep the secret meetings with the oil executives under wraps.

Illegal wiretaps, constitutional shenanigans keeping people locked up without due process by calling them enemy combatants, and numerous other illegal activities that the Neocons have done using fear of terrorism as justification.

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13kblair1055(42 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

apollo "I just love" when it is brought up how dems ruined this area you always use the argument that the weren't real dems. blah blah blah. everything bad is because of the GOP blah blah blah. Get real

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14cambridge(2996 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

The steel mills that were built in the valley in the 1920' helped supply the world with steel. After World War II Japan, Germany and other countries retooled and built new steel mills in the 1950's.

1920 technology can't compete with 1950 technology. What did the valley steel companies do? Nothing, they sat on their hands. When in the 1970's they could no longer compete with out dated technology they closed shop and moved to new digs and 40,000 steel workers loss their jobs.

The valley was the proverbial one horse town. When the horse died so did the town. Instead of rebuilding in Y-town they turned their backs on a labor force that broke their backs and at times gave their lives to make an extra buck down south.

I know some of you are going to tell me it was the unions that drove them out. I had at least a dozen relatives that worked the mills and only one of them had a pool and that was above ground. No one got rich in those mills except the owners.

The same happened in the auto industry. The Japanese were building hybrids and American car companies were building Suburbans and Hummers.

The condition of the valley is not the fault of any Republican or Democrat politician, local or in Washington. It's just what happened.

So you can sit back and wait for someone you vote for to change your life or you can get up off your ass and better yourself to get a good job in the valley or you could move somewhere else where they have more than one horse. But please stop blaming other people for your life.

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15Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Other cities, like Youngstown, have had job losses. Other cities were able to attract new industries and rebound over time. Not Youngstown. Black Monday was over 31 years ago. The Democratic Party was entrusted with the governance of Youngstown during those years, and they failed to attract new jobs through the multiple means and incentives employed by other towns.

Youngstown deserved better leadership.

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16dmets(575 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I think families are not off limits when you are parading them around for everyone to see. Palin is using her pregnant daughter to gain support of prolifers. If she can use them as ponds and fly them everywhere with her, then they should be fair game!

How did we go from Palin's family off limits? Get Real to Youngstown? We all agree Youngstown is a whole so deep there is no sunlight to see. These democates you speak of there republicans in democrates clothing. They knew our area was democrate so they ran on the ticket to get the vote. Then push their republican views in to the area and Washington D.C. So you can't even say that democrates ran the area and have done nothing. Plus who in there right mind would want to come to Youngstown?

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17TheDudeAbides(25 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey, Nonsocialist, here's some food for thought.

http://www.toopoortovoterepublican.com/

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18cambridge(2996 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Historically a very low percentage of potential voters vote in national elections. When a record number of voters turned out in the primaries Mrs. Obama's statement was a reference to the voter turn out. And people were looking for a rope.

Palin associates with and her husband was a seven year member of a political party whose leader expresses nothing but hatred for America and whose sole purpose is to succeed from the United States. Where's the outrage?

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19strojjj(27 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

After all of the years the Democrat party has made promisses to their supporters, then laughed in their faces and did the exact opposite, you'd think the Democrat voters would have gotten a clue. They keep saying thank you for a slap in the face!

The top 3 fastest dying cities in the US are run by Democrats. Youngstown is one of them. The top 3 fastest growing cities in the US are run by Republicans. Figure it out people.

What have the Democrats done for Youngstown???? Promises! Promises! Promises! Zip! Nadda! Nothing!

Democrats have let the city die. How many years has it been since the mills went under???

Stop waiting for the Democrats to give you a handout!

Zip! Nadda! Nothing!

I love this town and am disgusted with all of the people who want to keep following losers. Get off your a$$e$ and do something about it people!

There, I feel better now.

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20strojjj(27 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

By the way, Osama Obama is going to dump Biden. He plans to wait until Biden shoots his big mouth, then dump him, saying Biden doesn't reflect his or the party's view. He's going to throw Biden under the bus.

We call that a scapegoat. He'll then announce that he is picking Hillary Rotten Clinton as his running mate.

Don't believe it? Watch and see. Wanna bet?

How do I know? Observation. It is the party's mode of operanda.

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21dmets(575 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Scapegoat? what do you call Palin a woman with not experience? That is McCain's scapegoat!

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22Scotty_Anderson(1 comment)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Ok you guys some of you are just never going to see the stupidity of your ways! I was born in St Elizabeth Hospital March 29th 1971, grew up in Poland Ohio, and graduated in 1989! I remember Steel Mills every where you looked...hell I remember Idora Park! Can any of you say when the mills closed? What's that? Oh you must have forgotten huh...how about shortly after Reagan took office! Idora Park closed in 1984 my father lost his job from L.T.V. Steel in I think it was 1981 or 1982! So don't give me that Republicans are better crap...oh yeah By The Way registered Republican here! Hated good old Bubba Bill Voted for Bush now listen carefully I AM GOING TO VOTE DEMOCRAT! My little slice of heaven is located in South West Florida and may I just say thank you President Bush for helping drive up gas to over $4 a gallon...as much as I hated Bill when the oil jerkoff's pulled this bullspit of running up the price of gas he let out reserves to keep it in line but not this Texas oil man! Wizz on the little guy till he dies off but hey lets spend a couple trillion bucks over seas and just not give a good damn about home! Hey hunny do you want gas to go to work tomorrow or food on the table tonight? *Screams incoherently at the screen* Stupid Stupid Stupid Stupid Stupid!!!!! Sorry that must have hit a nerve or something!
Lee county Florida has a high...no make that THE highest foreclosure rate in the nation right now so please don't tell me McCain will help out...this black man knows hard times I think he will put things right! I'm not going to say I love everything he wants (only two really hot girls should get married), but damn it if I can keep my house with food on my table and little fat kids running around my yard it will be ok! I'm not for a party any more I'm for the guy or gal that's going to get up off their ass and do something for me! And if I'm wrong...well won't be the first time or I'm sure the last!!!
Hahahaha damn Democrats...hey go get to work Obama...because can we really afford 4 more years of this crap? I don’t trust McCain he’s tainted.

Wait what was the point of this thread again...oh yeah now I remember W.T.F. is wrong with you people wanting to chastise a young girl for getting knocked up yep happened now get over it! So ya wanna get biblical do you? Huh...DO YOU? Well the first one of you with OUT ANY SIN...CAST THE FIRST DAMN STONE or shut up about it! I mean yeah I have a little girl and wouldn't be very happy if it was me but my god you guys make me sick sometimes witch hunt witch hunt witch hunt who can we dig up dirt on next...yep went to college to be an A-whole like this...shame shame shame live a squeaky life before you slay others, have some manners or something...or what ever!
I really don't care if you like it or not this is how I feel at this moment and is subject to change with or with out notice you have been warned!!!
And remember stupid is as stupid does...

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23billoo(2 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I would like to comment on Cbarzak's comments above mainly because a portion of it illustrates how we use partial information to support our ideas. It is like picking and choosing portions of "facts" or skimming the surface of the facts to support our perspective. And everyone is forgetting to do their homework and actual research beyond what we are simply fed. The detail concerns the governor's jet. The McCain camp proactively touted that Ms. Palin sold the jet on Ebay for a profit. The fact is that she listed the jet on Ebay where it stayed listed for six months without being sold. The State's finance director sold the jet to an Alaskan business man at a $600,000 loss. The bigger picture is the McCain campaign lied. Then they feel judged when people actually research the facts and then ask about them. Their defense against actively-thinking people is to judge, criticize and deflect. I recall being taught by my parents, as well as my teacher's in Youngstown's public schools, that you told the truth, you used your brain to take in information, you check to see if the information is accurate; and you use it as a doorway to expand your own knowledge. It is great to have your own opinion, but do it with facts and do it in a way that allows others to respectfully have their opinion. Perhaps in this way, we can take responsibility to improve our society instead of passive/aggressively projecting anger, vitrole, frustration, judgment and the like. Empower yourself and do your homework.

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24billoo(2 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Lebowski,

When a city's crime ranking goes from 9th to 14th, that is actually good news.

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25hafniumcarbide(17 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Do people really think that any local politicians have the power to save an area when the main industry fails? San Jose CA didn't become the center of Silicon Valley because of some politician. It became the center because the early companies were started by people that lived there(i.e. Hewlett-Packard). All in all it is partly luck if an area has people who are able to create an entire new industry.

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26JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

<Most of the rest of the USA, except for other communities with similiar demographics, have been doing pretty well.>

Yeah, things are great all over.

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27ysugrad1999(46 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

hell ya clarkkent...where's superman?

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28ruthcalabria(3 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Let's talk about regular families for a minute.
let's put the blame for the personal unhappiness and heartache of young people where it belongs to make sure they get out and vote. It's not hard to understand. First turn off Dr. Phil, a castrated propagandist who has enough money to buy a trophy wife to cover up the fact that his fast talking is as cross wired as his face is goofy. The problem of the breakdown of love and happiness in America is not a mental problem.

Rule #1: The ruling class has the power to do whatever they want to do.
Rule #2: What they and their managers want to do is dominate all the women, which they do in the workplace and in the schools in various ways.
Rule #3: If you want to keep your job or get an A on that term paper, honey, pull up your skirt, as happens as often as folks drink coffee in the morning.
Rule #4: Every woman comes to know these rules.
Rule #5: No woman talks about them.

Today's women are a harem for the ruling class. The owners and bosses and the worst teachers and priests get to toy with the women (and with the kids) while the men who fall in love with the women are DENIED ACCESS, crowded out by the creepy lechers whose taking advantage insults the women and destroys the self respect and emotional integrity necessary for successful courtship and love, with the problem made all the worse with the cockeyed morality spouted on corporate run TV. And men being made obedient fools out of by bosses, also as common as morning coffee, doesn't improve their attractiveness to women. It's time for a revolution and electing Obama is the first step. We make the case for what we say, as taboo as these truths are in an America where lies rule by swift condemnation of truth tellers as evil or crazy, on www.matrix-evolutions.com , where we use a compelling scientific argument based on a mathematical understanding of evolution and information.

Mrs. Ruth and Dr. Peter V. Calabria
Lubbock, TX

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29ysugrad1999(46 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow, you think voting for Obama will fix the inequality between men, women and the wealthy? I don't think any candidate can do that overnight, or in eight years in office for that matter.

If you want to change the world, start by teaching our children to have respect for their elders, men and women at home and in the workplace. Remember, their little heads are like sponges...they absorb everything the see and hear!

Oh ya, what the heck does Dr. Phil have to do with anything?

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