Beam Kucinich up

By Phil Plait | October 31, 2007 2:39 pm

I want to like Dennis Kucinich, I really do. He is one of the very few people taking a firm, logical stance on issues like the Iraq war, the crimes of this Presidency, and the erosion — heck, the wholesale destruction — of our Constitutional rights.

But then he goes and sees a UFO. Sigh.

I heard about this on the radio the other day. Shirley MacLaine outed him, apparently; he was with her when he saw whatever it was he saw. Now, I am a big of Ms. MacLaine’s movies from the 60s, but of course over the past couple of decades, she has, um, well, she’s become a bit of a flake. So her version of the story about Kucinich has him seeing this as a soul-changing event full of all sorts of New Age stuff:

Kucinich, she writes on page143-144 of the book, “had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there. Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless, for ten minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn’t comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind.”

That’s her version, of course, not his. I haven’t heard his own side with any details, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. But I still have some concerns over a Presidential candidate who says that he’s seen a UFO, and then says it’s OK because Jimmy Carter did too — when it’s been shown that Carter’s UFO was actually… wait for it… the planet Venus.

Sigh.

I know a lot of folks who like Kucinich, folks I respect. I think the man has some great ideas, so I think he would be better in an advisory position to the President as opposed to being in the Office itself — as long as his advice sticks to politics, and not Roswell.

I still haven’t made up my mind about the candidates. I’m not thrilled with any of them, but there’s still time. I’m very curious where they stand on issues of science suppression (besides Hillary Clinton) — that may be a small issue in the scheme of things, but I think it’s a bellwether on a lot of other issues.

Sorta like UFOs.

Comments (71)

  1. DavidHW

    One thing you gotta say about Kucinich: even if he believes he saw an extraterrestrial craft, his belief won’t get a million people killed. OTOH, believing in similarly fantastic pseudoscience like American exceptionalism and pre-emptive war *will*.

  2. Kucinich, bless him. I think he is the only candidate worth voting for but when I heard that my heart sank too.

    His version: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/10/31/kucinich-i-saw-a-ufo/

  3. For what it’s worth, I like Edwards.

  4. Chris R.

    Is thinking he saw an alien spaceship any more wacky than believing in Yahweh and his Zombie Son?

  5. KaiYeves

    I think Newsweek put this best:
    “He says he saw a UFO. Was it the VP in a black helicopter?”

  6. Dizzy

    Oh, come on…..he said he saw a UFO. A UFO is an Unidentified Flying Object. He didn’t say it was aliens, just a UFO. Lets not impeach the man’s character simply on that basis. Let’s allow him to say what he thinks in more detail. Don’t get me wrong….I don’t believe in alien spacecraft, or that such are visiting earth. But I do believe in unidentified flying objects. It’s just that they all have some kind of rational explanation (other than space aliens), even though in the heat of the moment, they may appear to have very fantastic attributes.

    Lots of very reputable people have seen something like that. Once, while sitting in the Dallas airport, about 1975, I saw a black aircraft hovering over the airport at some distance, and it wasn’t a helicopter, but some kind of jet-powered aircraft. It then slowly ascended and then accelerated off over the horizon. I am sure it was some kind of experimental military aircraft. But as much of a skeptic as I am, I might have described it at the time as a UFO too.

    Sheesh, and sheesh.

  7. there’s still time

    Not much, though, it’s almost November!

    Oh… ’07. I almost got all excited there.

    America. *eyeroll*

  8. B. Dewhirst

    He said he saw an unidentified flying object… as in, he couldn’t identify it, and it looked like it was flying.

    Frankly, his religious beliefs are more troubling (in short, he’s a hippy)… and if you’re voting in the next election, you’re going to have that problem a lot.

  9. Actually, I just saw an interview with him where he does agree with what Ms. MacLaine said. So theres no sheeshing involved, unless it’s aimed at him.

  10. Sili

    Wait. Wasn’t this in Frasier?

  11. Hey, I’m a pretty hardcore skeptic but even I’ll admit that I’ve seen a number of UFO’s.

    That is, I’ve seen moving things in the sky and I didn’t know what they were. They might be planes, helicopters, balloons, skydivers, birds, burning space debris etc. They could be just about everything.

    Seeing a UFO is no big deal. Insisting that it’s an alien spacecraft, that’s something else entirely.

  12. Hey, I’m a pretty hardcore skeptic but even I’ll admit that I’ve seen a number of UFO’s.

    That is, I’ve seen moving things in the sky and I didn’t know what they were. They might be planes, helicopters, balloons, skydivers, birds, burning space debris etc. They could be just about everything.

    I’d agree with your point if he’d just seen weird lights in the sky, but the description, which Kucinich isn’t disputing, is:

    he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless, for ten minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn’t comprehend.

    That sounds like alien woo-woo to me.

    As to whether Kucinich makes sense on other issues — so what? Sharpton and Buchanan make sense 90% of the time, too. It’s that other 10% of the time that makes a difference.

  13. Chris Dodd is also running on the platform of constitutional restoration. He has also been one of the first to act out against telecom immunity and the recent nomination of Michael Mukasey as another carte-blanche attorney general. I’m starting to favor him over the do-nothing Obama, and a pandering Hillary.

  14. Clay

    Ok,

    So some people want to carry water for Mr. K. I’m going to back the train up a stop here and point out something that no one else seems to have made it around to noticing…

    …he was at Shirley MacLaine’s house.

  15. Skepterist

    Dizzy, when you saw the UFO (probably a Harrier or predecessor), did you hear directions in your head, or feel a connection in your heart? If not then what Kucinich saw was completely different than an human-made aircraft.

    On the other hand, it didn’t say what he was doing before he walked out onto that balcony. I’ve heard that certain beverages or substances can alter one’s perception. Perhaps the scent of the roses caused a momentary euphoria, which coincided with the appearance of a bird coming towards him.

    B-)

  16. Sci_Tchr

    He sounds like a typical left wing Democrat. An airhead.

  17. Skepterist

    Oh, and he’s a hippie? Well, there ya go!

    Now I’ll have to consider voting for him!
    ;)

  18. Chip

    During the Democratic debates Kucinich said “it was (an) unidentified flying object, okay. It’s like — it’s unidentified. I saw something.” He also appeared to have denied having the spiritual or moving experience that Shirley MacLaine described. Kucinich joked about moving his campaign head quarters to Roswell. He doesn’t appear to be taking it seriously and probably wishes it would fade.

    After the debate, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico said he is happy to promote tourism in Roswell, but he never saw a UFO.

  19. John Howard

    It was in the sky and moving. Thus, it was a “flying object”. I didn’t know what it was. Thus, it was “unidentified”. Wow! I must be a real kook.

    Not only that, but I respect the constitution. I need serious help.

    So I’m voting for Ron Paul to bring me back down to earth.

  20. Caledonian

    Go ahead and throw your vote away! I’m voting for Stephen Colbert, the only candidate who would not only admit he saw a UFO, but claim that it was an experimental military craft just returning from Venus, where it converted the Venusians to capitalistic democracy.

  21. Phil,

    I hate to disagree with you on Dennis..

    Of all people, me being a creationist and all, you wouldn’t think that I would advocate “sightings” of unidentified craft.. but just last week.. here in Thornton CO , right around the corner from you in boulder.. my wife and I both saw a “daystar” object at about the 12oclock position at approx 11am MST.

    It was moving from NW to SE above other jets leaving contrails at about 30,000 ft..

    I watched it with my “celestron 70X150 binoculars, gave the binocs to my wife , we both watched this silver transparent sphere as IT split into 5, then 12 different smaller glowing speheres, 3 of which became red (keep in mind this is against the pure blue backdrop of 11am colorado sunshine), the group of objects then moved upwards and disappeard into the upper atmosphere.

    This has challenged my whole worldview, my entire outlook on things has changed in this last week.

    Just thought you might want to know that indeed there are UFO’s.. its just a matter of whether they are government craft or ET.

  22. John

    erosion — heck, the wholesale destruction — of our Constitutional rights.

    What the hell are you talking about? You lefties are always hyperbolating about this.

  23. Corey

    It was just a flock of ducks. I have a quasi-spiritual awakening when I see a flock of ducks sometimes, too. I just realize they’re ducks. Dennis saw them, didn’t realize they were ducks, and thus assumed it was a non-natural experience. Ducks are awesome; they form big, pulsating, perfectly triangular shapes in the twilight sky through instinctive, non-intelligent self-organization. In a way, the observation of nature IS mystical. No matter how much you understand, there is another layer of mystery beneath it. I mean, sure, it might have been a flock of ducks, but what KIND of ducks? How do they navigate? Do they taste good?

    The “big triangular UFO” phenomenon is most amusing, because of all the thousands of people who have claimed to see these so-called craft, none of them were duck hunters. Most are seen during the spring and fall, the peak of waterfowl migration. And duck hunters, of all people, really should be seeing some of them, because they spend so much time hiding in remote places in the semidarkness, staring at the sky until they hallucinate.

  24. C’mon, Phil. I see people beat me to the “Unidentified” and “Great Sky Daddy” comments, but if you’re going to judge a candidate on some fanciful beliefs as opposed to, say…policy statements and actual leadership in Congress, then you might as well vote based on who you want to have a beer with.

    You’re supposed to be rational.

  25. Wolverine

    That’s her version, of course, not his. I haven’t heard his own side with any details, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. But I still have some concerns over a Presidential candidate who says that he’s seen a UFO…

    Phil, I’m ordinarily inclined to agree in regard to extending the benefit of the doubt, but my opinion of Kucinich plummeted after doing a bit more digging. It’s never a pretty thing when woo meets politics.

    I give you his Space Preservation Act of 2001 (more), which shed most of the included tinfoil in each of the three subsequent revisions since its original introduction, but still… um, yikes. Check out the definitions listed under Section 7. “Psychotronic” weapons? “Chemtrails”?! (And, more yikes, with an egad, even.)

    The man may have some great ideas, but in my book they’re completely overshadowed by such heavy pandering to UFO advocacy groups, new-agers, and pseudoscience.

  26. Wolverine

    Sorry about the glitch in the first URL — take two: Space Preservation Act of 2001.

  27. “The man may have some great ideas, but in my book they’re completely overshadowed by such heavy pandering to UFO advocacy groups, new-agers, and pseudoscience.”

    Yeah, that stuff totally is overshadowed by his work to extricate our troops from a quagmire, provide healthcare for all Americans, and hold the administration accountable.

    Soooooper priorities! Now…let’s invade Iran.

  28. I’d also observe that the Act in question lists a variety of weapons, potential or otherwise, clearly as a way to include anything that any agency might develop or classify. Remember the Soviet Union studied “psychotronic” weapons, and certainly an administration or the Pentagon could try to claim something falls under that category as opposed to lasers or whatnot to justify weaponizing space.

    Rather than parsing things as silly as Edwards’ haircut, how about focusing on legitimate policy issues when deciding on a candidate? Crazy enough, it just might work…

  29. Wolverine

    Ntodd: Sorry, I neither support nor wish to even see legislation hitting the floor of Congress that’s drafted and driven by participants in Steven Greer’s “Disclosure Project”, regardless of the fact that I agree with Kucinich on several policy issues.

  30. Debra Poss

    Are humans the only form of intelligent life in the universe? I can’t, for a moment believe anything THAT extreme!

  31. For what’s it worth, I like Barack Obama the best. Hillary is next after reading her views on science here (thanks!).

    Last on my list? Any Republican and John Edwards.

  32. ThePug

    I’m heartened at seeing “restoring the Constitution” being taken seriously, but at the same time I’m a bit disappointed because I know for many (including, from his previous statements, the BABlogger himself) this includes only the portions of the Constitution they like. Habeas Corpus? Civil Liberties? Right to Privacy? All great! Don’t dare mention that things like NASA and the government subsidization (and, inevitably, corruption of) science are blatantly unConstitutional, though. The First, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments are inviolate (rightly so), but somehow the Tenth doesn’t count.

    Ron Paul’s not perfect, but at least he doesn’t pick and choose which parts of the Constitution are inviolate and which are “inconvenient” and to be ignored.

  33. Jesus Christ!

    I’m sorry, but please don’t listen to the spin Chris Matthews is putting on this.

    I listened to the debate.

    He said he saw a UFO, and then STRESSED that it was UNIDENTIFIED.

    It seemed pretty clear to me that he saw something that didn’t look like anything he was familiar with but was NOT jumping to the conclusion that it was a “space alien”. He NEVER said those words.

    Chris Matthews would have make exactly the same fuss if when Obama was asked whether or not he believed in aliens, he’d said something completely rational like ‘yes, given the size of the universe.’

    It was Richardson who made himself out to be a crackpot, going on about how the government hadn’t been completely forthright and was still covering stuff up about Roswell.

    He had like 30 seconds to answer this dumb and completely irrelevant question. How exactly was Kucinich supposed to expond on seeing something weird?

    Unidentified means unidentified. Not aliens. We complain about other people making this mistake, why are we now making the same mistake?

  34. Richard B. Drumm

    Mike B:
    My 90 (yes, 90!) year old mother just sent me this link:

    http://johnedwards.com/watch/debate/

    Which makes Mr. Edwards seem like the sorta guy I’d want up in DC!
    Rich

  35. Dianne

    Dennis is a cute little fella… :heart:

    On a sidenote, in Australia we will be having a federal election in about 4 weeks. Some folks have suggested that the politics of allies to the USA may be a strong indication of things to come in the upcoming US federal elections.

  36. Sigh – I have a wish for Christmas – a presidential candidate that both understands the world as I see it – and can get elected by EVERYBODY.

    Not just the military gun nuts with testosterone on their breathe – but also the tree sitters trying to save old (not ancient, ‘just old’) Redwood trees. We need a president for EVERYBODY. All of us. The United States in their entirety.

    King Dubya had the most amazing chance to unite the world. He spoke with a forked tongue. He said he was a uniter – King Dubya chose to divide the world. ‘You are either with us or against us.’

    And so the story has unfolded.

    Now I watch the Democratic Candidates bicker and fuss all about who voted for what and when they voted for who.

    And the only two that really excite me as LIBERALS and Progressives are both considered crazy by the ‘popular press’.

    Gravel wants to strip the ‘republic’ part out of our constitution – everything would be voted on by the people – very democratic. And not real smart – I think the founding fathers made a balanced government for very good reasons.

    And now Kucinich sees UFOs.

    Not something that inspires confidence.

    Why can’t we have a real, smart progressive – someone that can inspire us to rise to the great heights we need to rebuild our world after 8 years of a crook and liar – a fool managed by some very smart and evil handlers.

    We have a great deal of work to do.

    Happy Halloween!

  37. Quiet Desperation

    Are you kidding yourself? There’s no one to pick. They’re all megalomaniacs and sociopaths. You *have* to be in order to even reach the Presidential primaries. There’s no one there to ponder over and pick. They all just want to control you and yours.

    How do you pick one? Do you listen to what they say and actually believe it? They’re like the robots than explodes via paradox when told “everything I say is a lie”. If one of them were to ever admit they lie, it might spin the Earth out of its orbit or begin the collapse of the false vacuum.

    That’s why I’m so astonished when someone tells me I should be happy to pay more taxes and make sacrifices. Why? So I can further fund the mentally ill follies of these steaming piles of human debris? Am I so selfish and blind when I ask is we can MAYBE spend existing funds a little more wisely?

    > “Which makes Mr. Edwards seem like the sorta guy I’d want up in DC!”

    I just don’t see it. It’s just words.

    Edwards wouldn’t understand what the Founding Fathers intended if you coded the truth onto RNA strands and injected them directly into his cerebellum. Can you even see he’s attacking one monolith (big corporations) and suggesting just another monolith (big government)? Edwards is *one* of the rich who wants to control me and mine. His chosen path is just in government instead of business.

    And if you want some real skeptical meat, Edwards made a lot of money lawsuits based on junk science. Look up his record suing and blaming ob/gyn doctors for cerebral palsy. He’s an exploiter and oppurtunist of the worst kind.

    > “Rather than parsing things as silly as Edwards’ haircut, how about focusing on legitimate policy issues when deciding on a candidate?”

    There’s two reasons, actually.

    1. Behavior is consistent, and such things reveal underlying character.
    2. Anything they say on issues cannot be trusted, and hence useless.

    Yeah, I know #2 leaves us pretty much with no way to pick a candidate. Sorry, but I didn’t create the system.

  38. Quiet Desperation

    > ” We need a president for EVERYBODY. All of us. The United States in their entirety.”

    Impossible. The ideological dichotomy is too far gone, and too many people think they know everything about everything with complete perfection, so further discussion produces nothong more than chants and mantras.

    This country WILL split asunder. It may take another 50 to 100 years, but it will happen.

  39. ThePug

    “They all just want to control you and yours.”

    I don’t want to sound like a paid shill, because I have my own disagreements with him, but a frequent line Paul uses in his speeches is “I don’t want to run your life, I don’t want to run the economy, I don’t want to run the world.” Like I said, he’s not perfect, but for the first time in a long time there’s a candidate who’s presenting a serious “less government” platform, not just empty rhetoric like Reagan.

  40. Orlie

    I love this blog. I care nothing about Kucinich. I’m disappointed that you took his comment that he saw something unusual and twisted it to say he thought it was ET. He didn’t say that.

    In the video, he sure sounded a skeptical note about what he saw.

    Aren’t most unknown flying phenomena sighted near air force bases? That would seem to suggest that they are military projects and not ET.

    Shouldn’t we ask some details before branding him an anti-skeptic?

    He said he saw something and didn’t know what it was, and that is why he classified it as unidentified. He didn’t say he thought it was ET.

    I saw something once hovering high overhead. I lived near an air base at the time.

    I only noticed it because I have an eye towards the sky, the same reason I love this blog. Also, I was shooting hoops with my kid, and I wouldn’t have seen it if not for looking up to shoot a basket.

    It was a brief glint of light, and just a dot in the sky.

    I got my binoculars and watched it.

    In binoculars, it was a black cylinder with small arc cut out of it. It was spinning slowly, and that part where the arc was cut out was shining a light which would brighten when it turned in my direction, that same light that caught my attention.

    I went in the house to get the video cam, but when I came back it was gone.

    It might have been some elaborate kite, or a balloon. To me, the bright light implied weight, which to me meant it was more likely to be associated to the nearby air base, than to an amateur kite or balloon project.

    When you hear hooves, don’t assume zebras.

    I still assume it was either a military project or a very nice amateur kite or balloon project.

    I wouldn’t blame someone for claiming they saw something unusual, or call them an ET fanatic when they are simply describing something unusual and calling it unidentified.

  41. RE: Flying Saucers and Alien Abductions.

    Considering the most commonly reported ‘medical tests’ done on supposed abductees, wouldn’t that mean the Aliens are from Uranus?

    J/P=?

    and I DO differentiate between UFO and Flying Saucers, besides, I don’t trust Shirley MacLaine in ANY of her lives.

  42. Craig

    “Ron Paul’s not perfect, but at least he doesn’t pick and choose which parts of the Constitution are inviolate and which are “inconvenient” and to be ignored.”

    Damn right he’s not perfect, if it was up to him the only federal agency would be the department of defense. He’s against the IRS, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, NASA, Department of Transportation, etc. His whole policy, once you get past the “restoring the constitution” bs is to let rich people pay no taxes and let the poor suffer. Because lets face it rich neighborhoods will have schools, cops, libraries, fire departments, etc. Who will pay for them in poor neighborhoods? The poor? News flash if they had money they wouldn’t be called THE POOR. He’s just another priveleged upper middle class whiner who thinks uncle sam takes all his money. Meanwhile I’m sure he’s more than happy to use government services if he can get them.

    Hell he supports “health freedom” which is right wing code for keeping the government out of healthcare so the giant businesses can continue their raping of the public. Not to mention he believes in the so called NAFTA super highway. An idea so idiotic its been ridiculed by everyone who’s heard of it.

  43. Kurt

    So let me get this straight. Most of the commenters on this site don’t believe in UFO’s? Why not? The universe is fairly good size, and if we humans think we are the only ones in it, then I must say that is really selfish. Why is it so hard to believe in Aliens? Statistical probability says they must be out there somewhere! I am all for being skeptical, but sometimes you just have to believe in something. Phil, do you believe there are other intelligent beings out there? I sure do.

  44. Stuart

    Kurt:

    No-one said that they didn’t believe that there is probably intelligent and sophisticated life “out there”.

    They just said that they are extremely skeptical that Earth has been visited by intelligent extra-terrestrials, given the near-total lack of credible evidence to support it.

    You cannot go from “there is a high probability that intelligent life evolved somewhere else in the universe” to “There is intelligent life beyond Earth, and these life-forms are responsible for some or most of UFO sightings.” You’re leaving out a LOT of steps.

  45. Quiet Desperation

    > “Most of the commenters on this site don’t believe in UFO’s? Why not?”

    Well, you need to change the phrasing. It’s impossible NOT to believe in “Unidentified Flying Objects”. If someone see’s something flying around, but cannot identify it, it’s a UFO.

    What most here don’t believe is that any recorded UFOs are alien spacecraft. Personally, I think a *lot* of them are just secret aircraft tests. There were quite a few UFO sightings suddenly explained when the Air Force released the details of the stealth fighter, for example. Same with the B2, which is a favorite of mine because I love me some flying wing.

    As for why, well, there’s the whole distance/speed thing.

  46. Quiet Desperation

    ThePug: While I sympathize with Ron Paul’s general outlook, he and the rest of the Libertarian faithful want to take it too far in the other direction. Maybe we could reach a society where everyone followed a path of enlightened self interest that worked well, but not with the world in the state that it’s in. And you have to take the rest of the world into account. We’re at least 500 years from such a thing in my best estimates.

    And if anyone thinks that’s a high number, Christianity is 2000 years old and still causing trouble. Islam is 1400 years old and causing more trouble than ever. Politics is probably as old as language, if not older. You can win a lot of debates over mastadon hunt spoils with a good, heavy club and the loudest hooting. ;-)

    It’s all about balance, folks, and currently we have NONE, and none of the current crop of candidates represent it. The system filters out anyone representing balance before they can even get within femur tossing distance of a major elected position.

  47. Daffy

    I have seen a UFO. I don’t know what it was (hence the term “unidentified”), and don’t have a guess. I don’t have any evidence that it was extraterrestrial, though.

    I guess that means I can never be President.

  48. Doc

    QD,

    “… he and the rest of the Libertarian faithful want to take it too far in the other direction.”

    It scares me when we agree.

    I always say that the Libertarians have forgotten the lesson of 18th century France – If the rich don’t take care of the poor, then pretty soon the poor with throw a party with the rich as honored guests.

    I don’t expect our current crop of politicians to solve any big problems, but I do want them to watch each other to make sure they all don’t cause any more big problems.

  49. Gary Ansorge

    Are there UFOs? Sure. Are they ETs? Probably not. However, I am reminded of the anecdotal tales of Ball Lightening, which were considered by knowledgeable people as so much silliness, until one floated thru the window of a chemists lab and grounded out in his rain barrel. The scientific method works on repeatable phenomena. Some such are random, and therefore difficult to deliniate.

    What’s with the denigration of hippies? I love them/ They’re so blasted ,,,innocent,,,. Some have even referred to me as a hippy( I guess it’s the long hair and beard), but I’m just a DeadHead, as are a number of Hells Angels, people with 22 inch arms who are anything BUT innocent. I know lawyers, doctors and scientists who are also DeadHeads, which is another way of saying, people who are into excellence in music.

    We may somday discover a way to replicate psychic phenomena and identify the origen of such, but for now it seems to be all swamp gas. It’s a wise idea however, to never discount the POSSIBILITY of some phenomena, just because we have no way of explaining or replicating it. It often results in getting ones butt bitten,,,

    Anyway, I like everything about Hilary, except her attempts to be more hard ass than that New York ex-mayor dufus( I erased his name from my mental data base, and I’ll thank Y’All not to remind me).

    GAry 7

  50. Lyle Gaulding

    If someone sees something strange in the sky and reports it, does that automaticly make that person a nut or credulous, or what ever? There are, after all, difficult-to-recognize natural phenominon, experimental aircraft, and maybe some natural events we don’t understand yet. I can’t see condeming someone for ‘seeing a UFO.’

  51. Skepterist

    Seeing something you can’t identify is one thing. Hearing voices in your head when it happens is another. Will those voices direct his actions at his job? That’s the question.

    The problem is, I don’t know if hearing voices in your head makes one a better or worse candidate! ;)

  52. Scott McLean

    I live in Ohio, where we are forced to daily deal with the madness that is Dennis. Although he periodically (through no fault of his own) has his lunacy match up with something logical, his norm is to blither incessantly and pander to emotion rather than facts. The only unexpected aspect of this latest Dennis antic is the fact that he doesn’t claim that aliens took him on a tour of the galaxy and taught him the value of cosmic socialism.

  53. Quiet Desperation

    > “It scares me when we agree.”

    Why? :-( I base all my opinions on the observed and measured evidence available, and I read a LOT. I am skeptical an ALL things, even if I have to wrestle my own biases and preconditionings to the ground first. Maybe I use language in a bit of a provocative manner, but life’s too short, ya know? And “I hate all teh politicos” isn’t exactly a fringe POV these days.

  54. Lurchgs

    Craig,

    whatever else thre is going on – I think you are missing information here. Doing away with everything but the department of defense would have little effect on highways (Interstates in particular), fire/police/ etc. Local services. Local services get very little funding from the federal government – it’s almost entirely… local taxes.

    By my philosophy, the federal government has two jobs: Defense of the Realm, and enforcement of contracts.

    They have no business getting involved with anything else.

    no, it’s not reasonable to assume that my desires will be met – and certainly not by one individual. But anybody who’s in favor of drastically reducing the federal government and in favor of restoring civil rights (The Constitution), is somebody absolutely worth a second look.

    Reducing the size of the federal government will have serious drawback in the short term – assuming any organization were to spin off into the private sector, the first order of business would be to trim dead wood. Ergo, there would be a huge pile of unemployed people running around. On the flip side, there would be a boom market in schools to teach these morays some actual useful skills.

    We’d also, each of us, and every company, have loads more money to work with. Instead of supporting government leeches, we could invest in things, start companies, etc. In general, be productive for ourselves, instead of spending half the year supporting BS.

    It sounds simplistic – and as written, it is. But would be no more difficult to attain than the welfare state in which we currently live. Just not something that would happen over night (any more than the welfare state did)

    to all:
    As for the other candidates – the only one at this point I will absolutely rule out as being marked on my ballot is Hillary. Despite her claim to be pro-science, her “The government is here to take care of you” history abslutely eliminates her.

  55. Daffy

    “As for the other candidates – the only one at this point I will absolutely rule out as being marked on my ballot is Hillary. Despite her claim to be pro-science, her “The government is here to take care of you” history abslutely eliminates her.”

    As opposed to who?

    Name the party which has consistently done the most to expand the role of government in our lives, and spend us into bankruptcy. (Hint: Bush is a member.)

  56. Does anyone else get the distinct impression that ideological struggles broken down by party lines then applied to reality in general are a bad thing?

    If we wait for some sort of True Man ubermenschen, we’re going to be waiting a long time. As far as the system goes, we have to rationally make our choices, warts and all, in foreknowledge that said choices will have their positives and their negatives, and that the positives in our reckoning outweigh the negatives.

    If Dennis wants to believe he saw something that may have been extraterrestrial, or if any other candidate wants to be a practicing member of a religion, that’s fine. Kennedy got to be President and he didn’t turn the United States into a puppet of the Vatican, as some people feared. Do we have to stay alert and wave elected officials away from pushing their irrational agendas? Yes, but disqualifying people based on relatively unimportant events probably does more harm than good.

  57. GaterNate

    Wouldn’t it be so nice to have the extremely hot Mrs. Kucinich for a first lady?

  58. RussPJ

    The Skeptics Guide to the Universe had an interview with President Carter earlier this year on the subject. He, at least, doesn’t think it was an alien space ship; nor does he think it was Venus.

    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/skepticsguide/podcastinfo.asp?pid=105

  59. It’s disappointing but beer in mind, even with the UFO thing, he’s still the most rational candidate out there.

  60. Clay

    ” MR. RUSSERT: The godmother of your daughter, Shirley MacLaine, writes in her new book that you’ve cited a UFO over her home in Washington state — (laughter) — that you found the encounter extremely moving, that it was a triangular craft silent and hovering, that you felt a connection to your heart and heard direction in your mind. Now, did you see a UFO? (laughter)

    REP. KUCINICH: I did. And the rest of the account — (interrupted by laughter) — I didn’t — I — it was unidentified flying object, okay. It’s like — it’s unidentified. I saw something.”

    Ok.. so I thought that what I said was open to criticism as we all spend time w/ some people who have odd beliefs. But this takes it to the next level and justifies, or at least validates the suspicioun of, my first comment.

    Second thought: Isn’t UFO, in spite of its plain meaning, a euphemism for belief that someone has seen some sort of alien spacecraft? I don’t think that most people use the phrase “UFO” to mean that they don’t know what they saw, they use it to mean that they saw E.T.

    C

  61. Dizzy

    @Keith
    “It’s disappointing but beer in mind….”

    Was that an intentional misspelling? If it was, it’s brilliant….and I laughed out loud. I’ve got to remember that one.

  62. Changcho

    Oh man, what a disspointment….

  63. Lurchgs

    Daffy -

    I tdo believe I said I’d not done any significant research on the other candidates. Merely that I’d discqualified Ms. Clinton from my list of choices.

    Also, once a candidate declares he’s running – *everything* he says can be much more easily measured. Take a look at his history. In such instances where the candidates statements disagree with his past action trends, you can attribute a negative value (i.e. it’s not only a lie, it’s a damn lie). In the event where his statements agree with the past, you can assign a positive value (nothing new here, it’s just a lie).

    If there is no past activity on an issue to measure, anything said is of null value. In polite company, this is referred to “a political promise”. Where I grew up, it was referred (to use a euphemism to keep this board family safe) as “Bovine Excrement”

    Further, I didn’t mention any particular politcal party. I focused specifically on an individual who, – based on a past history of opportunism and protectionism, not to mention questionable judgement – I consider unfit for the office.

    Since you bring up parties, how about you find ONE that HASN’T done more than its share to pin you into a tiny box of regulations in the past 75 years? Hrm… can’t be the socialists/fascists… er Democrats.. nor is it likely to be the fundamentalist/isolationists..
    um.. Republicans.

    ————

    Clay,

    Such is certainly *my* take on it. If you say “UFO”, I don’t immediately think of some amorphous fuzzy blur in the sky or some aricraft-looking thing that flies funny. My first thought is of the proverbial ‘flying saucer’.

    I think it’s deeply ingrained enough in our culture that, despite what the acronym actually is supposed to mean, unless it is clearly stated otherwise, UFO = Unimaginable Space Boogie.

    Given that Ms Mclaine’s testimony is so above reproach… do we have in evidence anything from Rep Kucinich, from roughly the date of the observation, that might indicate whether he’s doing the cat-covering-up-on-linoleum trick now, or whether that’s been his stance since day one?

  64. Evan

    I think you’re over-reacting a tiny bit. Seeing something in the sky, thinking it’s unusual, and not being able to identify it doesn’t make you a Little Green Men believer. Shirley McLaine’s version of events could easily be confused, conflated, or exaggerated – after all, as you said, she’s a bit flaky. And of course, while it’s a little nasty to point out, all of the candidates claim to believe in an invisible consciousness pervading the universe, whispering secret messages to true believers, impregnating Judean women, etc.

  65. Yes, the UFO thing is weird. No, it’s not something that would disqualify me from supporting him (it’s mainly his stances on the issues that do that). Believing in UFOs is fringe, I’ll grant that, but it’s not really harmful fringe in the same sense as so many other beliefs that politicians have. Besides, polls show that some double digit percentage of Americans believe aliens have visited us in modern history, so, he isn’t really all that out there. At least he’s being honest and admitting to it.

    Now if he supports teaching creationism on schools, in the other hand, then we have a problem.

  66. cic

    My son and I saw a “UFO” one night in the early 80′s. It was the night before the last airshow at the local airforce base, which has since been closed. We attended that airshow and both agreed that what we saw was the B-2 bomber. Apparently this was one of the first public viewings of it.

    Until we saw it sitting on the tarmac, it was defiantly a UFO

  67. Andrew Wang

    [This irrelevant comment was deleted.]

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