Monday, August 13, 2007

some politics stuff

i am kind of tired of blogging. my attitude towards blogging is sort of like that of dr. philo drummond, who also has some problems with it that he wrote about in his blog a few months ago, in the second of only 2 blog entries he ever wrote. i think my most recent post about religion is kind of stupid, like most of the crap i write for this stupid blog. so i just want to post something to replace it as the top item showing on my blog, even if it isn’t that much better. i am going to talk about politics mostly, i think, because i have been watching some c-span and getting back into reading blogs and news websites again, which i hadn’t been really doing for awhile.

ok so first of all, presidential candidates. i think most of them, regardless of party, seem to be perfectly well-meaning people who want to do something good. but with human fallibility, nobody has all the right answers, and a lot of these characters are going around spouting nonsensical bullshit. now not all of the stuff they say is bullshit, by any means. but each of the candidates seems to spend at least part of the time saying stuff that is bullshit. usually anything the candidates say regarding religion is wrong. and this is true for both democrats and republicans. republicans are more full of bullshit on this, by far. but this institution known as christianity that all the candidates belong to is such an eclectic mix of old traditions, newer traditions that people think are old, silly superstitions, sound moral values, corrupted or skewed moral values, real science, pseudoscience, sound logic, twisted or circular logic, and social clubs known as churches where people can talk to each other in a friendly, encouraging manner. religion is such a mix of good and bad, but usually people have to either take it or leave it, with regard to the whole thing. i find it funny that there are couples where each parent is a different religion and the children are raised in both spiritual traditions and given a choice of which to follow. religion, science, and politics are all tainted by human fallibility, the tendency of people to just be plain wrong about things and not realize it, or to actually do bad things, which is even worse. science corrects for this with peer reviews and the scientific method, and politics has things like elections and polls which work okay but are not that great at keeping misinformed fools out of office. in religion, people mostly vote by deciding whether to participate or not and which religion to be a part of, and which congregation to be a part of. so in a sense there is somewhat of a self-correcting democratic mechanism. but self-absorbed self-righteous pompous blowhards who think they know everything broadcast propaganda on the radio and on religious television networks, and these tend to be the most misinformed preachers who have the least understanding of science and logic. and people like that, people who claim to have all the answers to everything, seem to be the ones who attract the most followers, for whatever reason. i, for one, have a profound distrust of human fallibility and its byproducts, and do not wish to participate in institutions that encourage devolution and maximization of one’s fallibility. i do not want to try to be as wrong as possible. so while the religious candidates for united states president all recognize islamic terrorism as a major religiously motivated threat, they all seem to have a serene confidence that their religion is the one true religion and that none of the problems of the terrorist version of islam occur in american christianity. i see things differently, and i see all religions as similar to each other, and all as creations of the human imagination, all subject to being perverted and ruined by people when the religions, instead of trying to stamp out wrongness, encourage wrongness. encouraging people to believe in 6-day creationism followed by 1 day of rest is no doubt much less dangerous than encouraging people to become suicide bombers and blow up large crowds of innocent people in order to get 72 virgins in heaven. but the parallel is very important to recognize: in both cases, people are being encouraged to have a completely dead wrong point of view about something. and in the presidential candidates, all of them are right about some of the issues. most of them are actually right about most issues they talk about. why is this? because they do not want to be saying unpopular things, so they make sure what they are saying is popular before saying it, and they also only say things they believe in, so that means there is some amount of testing of whether their ideas are true before they actually say them in front of large crowds. but this only catches some of the errors, and the human fallibility of each candidate is such that they are still wrong about at least some of the things they talk about. i appreciate the good intentions of politicians in both parties. but politicians cannot be trusted, because their human fallibility is too great. you can trust a lot of them to always do what they think is right, but adolf hitler thought it was right to commit genocide against the jews. politicians cannot be trusted to be right about the difference between right and wrong, or about what is best to do. they usually do what they think is right, but they have a tendency to be wrong, despite the fact that democracy teaches them the right answers on at least some of the issues. like, for example, health care. a politician who has heard lots of people complain about not having health care is not likely to say that people who don’t have health care don’t deserve any health care and should continue having it denied to them. a politician who has heard the uninsured and wounded veterans complain about lack of health care is far more likely to advocate some sort of solution whereby these people have health care of some sort. the problem arises in how to provide this health care, and who pays for it, and who is in charge of it, and all those messy little details. those are the parts politicians are likely to get wrong. but the general idea, almost any politician will get correct, which is, when lots of people are complaining about a problem, fix it. the real problem is, politicians usually have no clue about how to fix these problems, they just know something has to be done, and when they pick a solution, it is actually somewhat random.

so mitt romney won this iowa straw poll. the funny part about this whole thing is, he spent millions of dollars on winning this thing, and basically bought the votes. the second place finisher was a surprise, arkansas governor mike huckabee. and the third place, also a bit surprising, was kansas senator sam brownback. what these old white men all have in common, besides being republican politicians, is they are all men of deep christian faith who like to talk about it a lot. they are all anti-abortion. they are “family values” social conservatives. now rudolph giuliani and john mccain were not even competing, and did quite badly there. internet sensation ron paul also did quite badly. and tommy thompson did so badly he will probably drop out of the race to be replaced by the other thompson, fred thompson. fred thompson is incredibly annoying as a public figure to deal with because he is not officially in the race, even though everyone else is, even though everyone knows he has a campaign staff and is going to run. it is just not official. and that is incredibly stupid and dishonest and reduces his credibility quite a bit. it is like how wesley clark stayed out of the 2004 presidential election for quite a while, until he finally joined. he did not actually do that well after he joined. i have a lot more respect for someone who is able to tell the truth and say they are running for president, and not try to hide behind pretend indecision about whether or not they will run. or if someone actually is that indecisive, they certainly are not presidential material. anyway, the point of this is that the republican race had its front-runners giuliani and mccain chosen by the media at first. but now the republican party base, the hardcore social conservatives, are tearing those 2 guys a new one, and neither of them stands a chance. neither of those 2 candidates is “conservative” enough. out of all the people left once those 2 are removed, the only one with lots of money is mitt romney. and mitt romney can simply use his money to buy the election, and become the republican nominee. that is all there is to it. mitt romney will buy his victory with cold hard cash. rudolph giuliani and john mccain are both incapable of winning the republican party base, because the party base is full of misinformed superstitious silly people.

hillary clinton is kind of an annoying person to have to deal with. there are so many people who are anti-hillary and who have books or websites denouncing her, and it has been a cottage industry for years. back when i first got to college in the year 2000, the campus republicans were recruiting freshman with the slogan “hate hillary?”. i never quite understood the crazy hatred of her that right-wing fanatics have, because they seem to think she is this evil twisted liberal feminist communist hippie revolutionary who will have everyone smoking marijuana. they still have this crazy hate thing going against the hippies, who were basically just one big joke that nobody should have ever taken seriously in the first place. in reality, hillary clinton is not liberal at all. she is a centrist democrat of the type joe lieberman used to be before he became independent. she is a democratic leadership council-style “new democrat”. what this means is, she supports having the corporate ruling class establishment continue making all the decisions, and doesn’t want to rock the boat at all. if she became president, one of the few differences about her from her predecessor would be the opposite gender. another difference would be a slighty (but not that much) higher intelligence, and the people in power would shift from the “conservative” wing of the ruling class establishment to the “liberal” wing of the ruling class establishment. now, that is totally different from the real conservatives and the real liberals, who form the respective bases of the republican and democratic parties. the ruling class establishment is actually half neoconservative and half neoliberal. they like to reinvent themselves every 5 minutes in order to make more money, so of course they are “neo-”. it is just the golden rule. whoever has the gold makes the rules. hillary clinton raises more money than anyone else running for president. and she is #1 in the polls.

but what about howard dean? he raised the most money and was #1 in the polls 4 years ago, in the year 2003. his campaign fell apart leading up to the iowa caucus. who knows what will happen? hillary clinton or mitt romney could easily implode like that, any time between now and january. barack obama or john edwards could replace hillary clinton as the front-runner. barack obama is more likely. but most likely of all is hillary clinton winning and having barack obama as a running mate. barack obama is notable for not trying to pander to each different special interest group as much as some of the other politicians. and he has the most bipartisan appeal, despite his strong antiwar stance. so, in a sense, barack obama is the best candidate of all. but would he be the best president? who knows. i feel sorry for all the less-well-known candidates, especially mike gravel. mike gravel’s candidacy, like the hippies, is basically just one big joke. he is not too serious about things, and he is kinda playing the role al sharpton played the last time around. mike gravel is like the class clown out of the democratic presidential candidates. he has one campaign video that is nothing but a campfire burning, and another that is just some guy throwing a rock. it is stupid. he says it is “art”, but basically he is just trying to mess with people’s minds by having unconventional ads. bad idea. it won’t work. mike gravel is just making a fool of himself. but i think he is having fun. at least dennis kucinich is serious about it. he would probably make the best president out of any of the candidates. i voted for him in 2004 in the primary. he deserves to win. that is why he won’t.

now for congress. congress has a very low approval rating. they failed to impeach bush, they failed to end the war in iraq, and while they have good debates on the congressional floor, democrats keep letting the republicans win even though democrats are the majority in congress. i do not know why the congressional democrats have embraced a strategy of self-destruction and letting the other side win. but recently there was a bill that passed to “update” the foreign intelligence surveillance act to allow alberto gonzales to wiretap whoever he wants, and to legitimize all lawbreaking that has occurred in the past with bush’s violations of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. it is interesting that republicans want to enforce our immigration laws but not the foreign intelligence surveillance act. they want the rule of law to apply to non-citizens, but not to the president of the united states. some are more equal than others, eh? equal protection under the law, a thing of the past. rule of law? no way! selective enforcement! the unitary executive theory! let the president of the united states get away with whatever he wants! that is how they think things ought to be done! and what is the democratic strategy in congress? concede defeat, let republicans win, and move on to other legislation so the same thing can keep repeating, with republicans winning again and again despite being in the minority. this all happens thanks to the blue dog caucus, the democrats whose party affiliation may be democratic but whose loyalty to the party is virtually zero. my congressman is actually part of this blue dog coalition. the main strategy of blue dogs seems to be to threaten to nancy pelosi that they will become republicans unless she meets their demands. and then she goes ahead and meets whatever their demands are, and they stay democrats. it is really the opposite of how tom delay ran the house of representatives. the inmates are running the asylum. this must be 1984.

Friday, August 3, 2007


i have been thinking a lot about religion. well, i always think a lot about religion. i guess it is inescapable. most people believe in religion, and for those of us who don’t, the constant bombardment with religious propaganda is quite annoying. so many problems in this world seem like they are caused by religion. wars in the middle east, terrorism, hatred between groups of people... but then... if these problems really are caused by religion, are us atheists any better? anyway, it seems every major religion is full of a majority who believe in the religion but are not that religious, and a small minority who actually are very religious. that small minority are the fundamentalists. fundamentalists almost always seem to be doing the work of evil forces, causing conflict, creating trouble, taking the wrong stands on issues, even doing acts of senseless violence, and justifying things that should not be justifiable. if you judge them by their fruits, by their actions, the fundamentalists of all the religions certainly are an evil lot, despite all their claims to righteousness. so what is the cause of this problem? why have they gone astray? it is because they get their so-called wisdom from ancient books that are out-of-date, from societies where people owned slaves and made sacrifices, where men were in charge of all the women, where people were executed for minor offenses, where democracy and freedom of speech and modern values like that were unheard of. there may have been times when the holy books of today’s largest religions had values that were progressive compared to the societies that existed at that time, but those times are long gone, and nowadays, the most religious people cling to archaic values systems that have been replaced with better ones. it is true, most conservatives today do not argue in favor of white supremacy or women being property or other things that were the conservative traditions 100 years ago. but, conservatives are always the people who are the most behind-the-times, who have taken the longest to catch up with social progress. and the most conservative of all social institutions is the religion. so then why are there liberal and progressive religious people? alas, in order to survive, religions have to constantly redefine themselves and update their ideologies to be slightly more modern but not too modern. while christians once argued that the sun and stars all orbited the earth, now they accept the fact that the earth orbits the sun, the copernican theory. many of them still dispute evolution, of course. they claim we were just put here a few thousand years ago. well who is to say we weren’t just put here a few seconds ago? you can’t prove that the universe is older than a nanosecond. we could have all been created less than a nanosecond ago, right where we are. so why several thousand years? because some old books say that, and some people think those books have all the answers? please. anyway, the way religious people respond to atheism is very troubling. they do not listen to reason. they stick to their beliefs no matter what. they are almost impossible to convince, no matter how much evidence you have. and what they love to do is gang up on and insult and be mean to atheists. they think that if more of them are denouncing someone, it makes everything all of them are saying that much more true. sadly, they have all been severely brainwashed. people have been brainwashed all their lives, and they react in a predictable, pre-programmed manner to anyone who questions their idiotic belief systems. and if, for instance, some atheist girl has a video posted online where she advocates her point of view, religious people all act like cult members while denouncing her, even though most of them are not that religious. most of them are the type of people who listen to popular music and do the things regular people do, rather than living some uptight fundamentalist deprived livestyle. and they talk just like other people their age, some of them talking like they are thugs, a lot of people using bad grammar and misspelling things and sounding idiotic. and a lot of them say the girl is a stupid bitch and should shut up and suck on their dick, or suggest all sorts of ways to sexually violate the girl, whose only crime is not believing in religion. they keep insisting that she has no right to have her own opinions or express them, and needs to be silenced, and also sexually violated. these repressive tendencies towards fascism exist in the majority of youth today who post on comment threads on youtube. these people are poorly educated, or at least, the educational system has failed to educate them properly. they have no decent morals. and they want to sexually violate anyone who threatens their beloved institution of christianity that they hold so dear, even though none of them seem to have gotten anything decent out of that religion. yes, a good percentage, less than half, of young people who post in these comment threads, less than half have common decency and behave themselves. but i swear... if you combine a potty mouth and bad morals and a desire for male domination of women and poor education with a belief in christianity... well, let’s just say christianity does not end up looking very good. here are the awful comments posted by these neanderthals. aren’t they just atrocious? these guys have no respect for women. and i think religion encourages that sexism, since all the major religions were founded back in times when sexism was deeply rooted and their so-called sacred texts, which are really just human creations, deeply reflect the times and cultures they were written in. just face it, anyone who bases their life on a book written 2 thousand years ago is going to have some pretty old-fashioned ways of dealing with things and that is not always good. so what bothers me, i am not sure if it is less than or more than the fundamentalists that are so evil and so wrong, are the more moderate or progressive religious types. it bothers me because they are keeping these old traditions and beliefs alive, breathing new life into it, attaching more modern, more progressive values systems to it, to make it more authentic, more realistic, less like some pathetic attempt to re-create modern society in the image of the society of 2 thousand years ago. what is the danger in this? well, firstly, the more religious people there are, the less atheists, and the less people to protect atheists from the fundamentalist religious types who would like to exterminate us. secondly, if you get to re-define all the ancient traditions to be something completely different, who is in charge of that redefinition? how do we know they will have a sensible system of moral values and not one that is oppressive and fascistic and overly harsh in punishing the innocent? and how do we know people will not try to pretend like supernatural phenomena are happening in today’s world, or that they are great prophets or messengers of god, or other things that could stir up trouble? you see, the difference between cults and religions is, religions used to be cults but now they have more members. it is mainly just a question of popularity. it has nothing to do with the actual quality of the beliefs, whether they are true or not, that sort of thing. according to each religion, all of the other religions are wrong. at least that holds true for all the “one true religions” out there. there are some religions that do not believe all the other ones are false, but they just do that mainly to get more people to think they are open-minded. but religious people, by and large, are not terribly open-minded. christians, for instance, tend to think that only christians get into heaven and everyone else goes to hell. yes, that is primarily a fundamentalist teaching, but a large percentage of the less religious christians who don’t go to church every sunday still have some fundamentalist beliefs like that one. that is why rebellious youth who talk like thugs and are poorly educated and misspell things send death threats and sexually harrass innocent young girls just because the girls happen to express atheist points of view online. now, granted, these lowlifes would probably harass and try to intimidate any member of a minority that is looked down upon. but for some reason, people think it is okay to be mean to atheists but do not feel the same way towards the jews. even young lowlife jerks are probably civilized towards the jews. all because of the holocaust. it is strange, the stupidity of humans. people learned that it is wrong to be mean to people just because they are jewish, but for some reason they did not generalize this to all other religious or non-religious persuasions, or all other oppressed minorities. so, in its stupidity, the american public still gives special treatment to the jews out of sympathy for the holocaust, not realizing that the next genocide could be against an entirely different group of people, and that if they were supposed to learn anything from the holocaust, it is that genocide and discrimination against any group of people is bad. but, dear reader, you have probably found that i am condemning myself a bit here, since, after all, earlier in this blog post i was generalizing about groups of people. but, be that as it may. my point is, the level of discourse on the internet has gotten to be quite nasty and uncivilized, and even i get drawn into those sorts of conflicts on the internet, including in the comments thread for that video, because i was so upset over the comments i read there. i cannot believe i live in the same country as all these lowlifes who would do all those awful things to that girl and deprive us atheists of our rights just because we have different beliefs. but then again, what would i like to do with religion? am i not opposed to it quite strongly? i wonder whether i would favor depriving people of their rights in order to eradicate religion. i don’t think i would, but i am not entirely sure. it is hard to say. religion has caused a great deal of harm, it seems. and it does pose a threat to the continued survival of the human race, as well as the majority of the species on planet earth. but, then again, we must not oppress individuals for the good of the collective. we ought to cherish human rights like freedom of speech and the right to make up your own mind and not be discriminated against. still, i cannot shake a feeling that something is wrong, that maybe we have to give up some of our freedoms in order to defeat terrorism or prevent nuclear war or something like that. maybe i have just been brainwashed. but i arrived at atheism on my own. nobody taught me to be atheist or anything like that. i have been atheist ever since i was a kid, and never really believed in religion in the first place. no adult ever really taught me religion in such a way that i would actually believe what they were teaching me. it all seemed just like stories, like fiction. maybe because that really is what it was. but then why isn’t that just as obvious to everyone else as it is to me? why does religion work on other people? what is wrong with them that makes them so gullible that they are dumb enough to fall for anything people tell them is true, if it is told to them at a young enough age and repeated over and over again? i think if religions want to be honest they should stop indoctrinating people younger than 18 into their belief systems, and wait for people to become adults before they get taught anything at all about religions from anything other than a neutral point of view. if you can convert adults and get them to join, fine. that is your right. but stop messing with the minds of our children! they are behaving like brainwashed zombies, and it is all the fault of the adults who carried out the brainwashing so successfully. you know, if a religion is the largest one in a nation and has the apparatus of the state and of the media to back it up, brainwashing can be much more successful than the brainwashing done by some obscure ufo mind control cult. so really, the most dangerous cults are the largest ones, the ones that have already become major world religions. just look at al qaeda, an entirely islamic fundamentalist religious organization that happens to be a major terrorist threat against all humanity. al qaeda would not exist if it were not for the religion of islam, a religion that is promoted by both the media and all the nation-states of the arab world, as well as by the mosques, the schools, and the families. in every major religion there are moderates and extremists, and the most extreme element among the extremists usually pose a threat to society at large. this is one of the the dangers posed by religion. i will tell you this much, at least: religion is 100% to blame for the attacks of september 11, 2001. if it were not for religion, those attacks never would have happened. this does not mean religion is all bad, or even that it is more bad than good. but you know what? atheists have value systems such as secular humanism that are just as good if not better than the value systems taught to people by religion. people can be taught good strong moral values, without all that superstitious supernatural nonsense. the only problem is, not enough people are taught this way. you know, before the internet, atheists like me were isolated, afraid to speak up or stand up for ourselves, or let anyone know what our real opinions were. we had to pretend to believe in religion to avoid being harassed and looked down upon. nowadays, we still are discriminated against, but we can find other atheists online, and this has given us the courage to write several best-selling books advocating atheism. none of that would have ever happened before the internet. but it is a shame that society at large still looks down upon us and condemns us, despite having learned not to treat jews that way. even christian fundamentalists have forgiving attitudes towards the jews. you do not see them as forgiving towards homosexuals, for instance. anyway, social progress sometimes makes a u-turn, and sometimes society actually devolves, and gets less advanced rather than more. and in many ways, the insulting low-class people who fight in flame wars on the internet are a part of this vanguard of the social counterrevolution, making progress go backwards. and i am saddened to know that i am one of the participants in these flame wars sometimes, and the things i post sometimes get a bit too mean and nasty towards those i disagree with. but that is how you have to talk to this kind of lowlife scum who posts such awful comments on the internet. it makes my blood boil interacting with these people. i guess the internet is where the dirtiest, sickest, creepiest parts of society all are displayed in full view to the public. these lowlifes are not lowlifes because they are christian, they are just lowlifes who happen to be christian because they were born and raised in a predominantly christian country. still, people like that really rub me the wrong way. they ought to act more civilized. people ought to be nicer to each other. i still find it remarkable the bullshit people are able to believe in. as for me, i just pretend to believe in bullshit, because everyone else actually does believe in bullshit. pretending is actually quite fun. but at least i know i am pretending. when i was a child, i played make-believe all the time, but i always had a very clear understanding of the difference between fantasy and reality. and now i am an adult and i see most of the other people have quite a bit of difficulty telling fantasy and reality apart. oh yes, other people do draw a distinction between the two, but the place where they draw the line between fantasy and reality is not the right place. too much fantasy, not enough reality. fantasy is all well and good for fun and games, but don’t go around actually believing in it! that is nothing but foolishness. now probably half the people who read this will disagree with pretty much everything i said in this post. but that is always true. let us at least be civil. i, for one, will reform my ways and act civil, if anyone posts any comments here that are insulting. anyway, the level of intellectual discourse on the internet on sites popular with people younger than me is pretty low. people need to learn to behave themselves. and as for religion, i am glad it is not government-subsidized in the united states like in europe. i would rather have my taxpayer dollars embezzled by corrupt politicians than have them spent on religion. the only church tax that should exist is a tax on churches. i find it remarkable that europeans are willing to put up with having their governments openly subsidize religious groups. after all, religion is much less popular in europe than in the united states. i guess wherever you are, atheists and atheism are still very unpopular. then again, what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular, as the saying goes. the popularity of religion does not prove it is true. rather, quite the reverse. because religion is what the uneducated, underpaid masses of poor people around the world believe, it is probably not true. wealthy, well-educated people are probably much closer to finding the truth. and the wealthiest man in the world is an atheist.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

enough silliness

i have had enough of the silliness of my blog posts lately. there has been too much of me pretending to believe ridiculous bullshit, of both the variety that is obviously just one big joke that nobody takes seriously, and the variety that lots of people do take very seriously even though it is still bullshit. anyway, what is the point of that? it is just silly. and i don’t think there is anything wrong with that, except for one thing. it is supposed to be funny, but i don’t find it funny anymore. it is just old humor now, old and worn out, long ago having ceased to be funny. and what is the point of peddling your wares when all you have to offer is old, stale, unfunny humor? i ought to have something new and fresh to say. besides, there are plenty of serious topics to talk about. like, for instance, i could talk about presidential candidates. i have not been keeping up with the news about them because that requires watching a lot of long debates. i know that my favorite candidate, dennis kucinich, has no chance of winning, and the democratic candidate will be hillary clinton or barack obama, probably. i still dislike hillary clinton, but it has never been an intense dislike, just a mild one. i can still vote for her if she runs against a republican. but against fellow democracts, i would definitely pick anybody but hillary. the other democrats are all ok i guess. i don’t like any of the republicans except ron paul, but even he is kind of annoying and i disagree with him on lots of issues. he is the only republican i would consider voting for. so, the only way i could vote republican is if he ends up running against hillary clinton. in any other matchup i would vote for the democrat. i did hear in the news that clinton had a dispute with obama about whether we should talk to our enemies. obama supports talking to them and clinton opposes it. naturally, i agree with obama, and think that diplomacy is a good idea. hillary clinton agrees with the bush administration and prefers to be “tough” on our enemies. what does that mean? letting them do whatever they want, and doing stupid things like economic sanctions that never work to try to punish them, unsuccessfully... or using military force. anyway, john mccain and mitt romney are both bad candidates, and the real contenders for the republican nomination are rudolph giuliani and fred thompson. rudolph giuliani used to live with homosexuals, has been divorced, and was pro-abortion. and fred thompson is a hollywood actor who used to be a lobbyist for a pro-abortion group. mitt romney is also famous for being a flip-flopper on this, but then again, who among the republicans is not guilty of that? fred thompson keeps playing this stupid game of pretending he doesn’t know whether or not he will run, even though he is like 2nd place in the republican polls after rudolph giuliani. and everyone forgets rudy giuliani was unpopular as mayor until 9/11/2001. as for hillary clinton, her only selling points are her gender and her husband. if she were a male senator of the same age without an ex-president spouse, she would be maybe 1% in the primaries, if that. why can’t we look for someone with substance instead of someone packaged as a black or a female, the hot new brand name candidates that just arrived on the market? and does anyone remember there was a candidate in 2004 running in the democratic primary who was both black and female at the same time? and hardly anyone voted for her that time around. how times change. i just hope people look seriously at the policies the candidates are presenting, and examine the personalities and intelligence level of each of the candidates, and their stands on all the important issues. unfortunately, i do not seem to have done that very thoroughly, at least not yet. there is too much information to process.