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September 24, 2008

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1. An ugly side to McCain, reported by a professor who was at a resort
Posted by: "William and Barbara Taylor" wrbftaylor@comcast.net
Date: Fri Oct 3, 2008 2:45 am ((PDT))

For those of you who don't know her, Mary Kay Gamel
>> is a
>> literature and classics professor at UCSC. She is
>> asking people to
>> send the letter she wrote far and wide.
>> MY HOLIDAY WITH JOHN McCAIN
>>
>> It was just before John McCain's last run at the
>> presidential nomination
>> in 2000 that my husband and I vacationed in Turtle Island
>> in Fiji with
>> John McCain, Cindy, and their children, including Bridget
>> (their adopted
>> Bangladeshi child).
>>
>> It was not our intention, but it was our misfortune, to
>> be in close
>> quarters with John McCain for almost a week, since Turtle
>> Island has a small
>> number of bungalows and their focus on communal meals force
>> all vacationers
>> who are there at the same time to get to know each other
>> intimately.
>>
>> He arrived at our first group meal and started reading
>> quotes from a pile
>> of William Faulkner books with a forest of Post-Its
>> sticking out of them. As
>> an English Literature major myself, my first thought was
>> "if he likes this
>> so much, why hasn't he memorized any of this yet?"
>>
>> I soon realized that McCain actually thought we had come
>> on vacation to
>> be a volunteer audience for his "readings" which
>> then became a regular
>> part of each meal. Out of politeness, none of the
>> vacationers initially
>> protested at this intrusion into their blissful holiday,
>> but people's
>> buttons definitely got pushed as the readings continued day
>> after day.
>>
>> Unfortunately this was not his only contribution to our
>> mealtime
>> entertainment. He waxed on during one meal about how
>> Indo-Chine women had
>> the best figures and that our American corn-fed women just
>> couldn't meet up
>> to this standard. He also made it a point that all of us
>> should stop Cindy
>> from having dessert as her weight was too high and made a
>> few comments to
>> Amy, the 25 year old wife of the honeymooning couple from
>> Nebraska that she
>> should eat less as she needed to lose weight.
>>
>> McCain's appreciation of the beauty of Asian women
>> was so great that
>> David the American economist had to move his Thai wife to
>> the other side
>> of the table from McCain as McCain kept aggressively
>> flirting with and
>> touching her.
>>
>> Needless to say I was irritated at his large ego and his
>> rude behavior
>> towards his wife and other women, but decided he must have
>> some redeeming
>> qualities as he had adopted a handicapped child from
>> Bangladesh. I asked
>> him about this one day, and his response was shocking:
>> "Oh, that was
>> Cindy's idea - I didn't have anything to do with
>> it. She just went and
>> adopted this thing without even asking me. You can't
>> imagine how people
>> stare when I wheel this ugly, black thing around in a
>> shopping cart in
>> Arizona. No, it wasn't my idea at all."
>>
>> I actively avoided McCain after that, but unfortunately
>> one day he
>> engaged me in a political discussion which soon got us on
>> the topic of the
>> active US bombing of Iraq at that time. I was shocked
>> when he said, "If I
>> was in charge, I would nuke Iraq to teach them a
>> lesson". Given McCain's
>> personal experience with the horrors of war, I had
>> expected a more
>> balanced point of view. I commented on the tragic
>> consequences of the
>> nuclear attacks on Japan during WWII - but no, he was not
>> to be dissuaded.
>> He went on to say that if it was up to him he would have
>> dropped many more
>> nuclear bombs on Japan. I rapidly extricated myself from
>> this
>> conversation as I could tell that his experience being
>> tortured as a POW
>> didn't seem to have mellowed out his perspective, but
>> rather had made him
>> more aggressive and vengeful towards the world.
>>
>> My final encounter with McCain was on the morning that he
>> was leaving
>> Turtle Island. Amy and I were happily eating pancakes when
>> McCain arrived
>> and told Amy that she shouldn't be having pancakes
>> because she needed to
>> lose weight. Amy burst into tears at this abusive
>> comment. I felt fiercely
>> protective of Amy and immediately turned to McCain and
>> told him to leave
>> her alone. He became very angry and abusive towards me,
>> and said, "Don't
>> you know who I am." I looked him in the face and
>> said, "Yes, you are the
>> biggest asshole I have ever met" and headed back to
>> my cabin. I am happy
>> to say that later that day when I arrived at lunch I was
>> given a standing
>> ovation by all the guests for having stood up to
>> McCain's bullying
>>
>> Although I have shared my McCain story informally with
>> friends, this is
>> the first time I am making this public. I almost did so in
>> 2000, when
>> McCain first announced his bid for the Republican
>> nomination, but it soon
>> became apparent that George Bush was the shoo-in candidate
>> and so I did not
>> act then. However, now that there is a very real
>> possibility that McCain
>> could be elected as our next president, I feel it is my
>> duty as an
>> American citizen to share this story. I can't imagine
>> a more scary outcome
>> for America than that this abusive, aggressive man should
>> lead our nation.
>> I have observed him in intimate surroundings as he really
>> is, not how the
>> media portrays him to be. If his attitudes toward women
>> and his treatment
>> of his own family are even a small indicator of his real
>> personality, then I
>> shudder to think what will happen to America were he to be
>> elected as our
>> President.
>> --
>> Mary-Kay Gamel
>> Professor of Classics, Comparative Literature, and
>> Theater
>> Arts
>> Cowell College
>> University of California, Santa Cruz
>> Santa Cruz, California 95064

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