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John McCain, priest and Barack Obama
(Use the “comment” section to suggest a caption. Lots of possibilities!)

Polling the polls

The only polls that count are those on election day, but that hasn’t stopped the pollsters!

While virtually every poll shows Senator Barack Obama in the lead, his percentage over Senator John McCain is all over the map as suggested by an interesting Wall Street Journal graph. For instance, a CBS/New York Times poll gives Obama a 14-point lead while Gallup poll shows him with just a two-point edge, equal to the margin of error.

Most political scientists also predict an Obama victory according to PS: Political Science and Politics, a journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA). “Six out of the nine presidential election forecasts predict an Obama victory with popular vote totals ranging from 50.1 percent to 58.2 percent, while two predict a race too close to call and one predicts a narrow McCain victory.”

I tend to put more stock in the non-mainstream-media, non-ivy-league polls. Rasmussen Reports, a research firm, has Obama winning the election with 50 percent to McCain’s 46.

And you can take my totally unscientific poll at my 2008 Election page (margin of error, 100 percent). You’ll also find lots of humor and commentary there including “WWJD? Who Would Jesus Elect?”

My numbers much better than McCain’s

I feel like I’ve won the election, the lottery and Indianapolis 500 after Tuesday’s announcement that my Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) number is 2.9! The “normal” number is 4. Both the urologist and radiologist were amazed at how low and how quickly my number had dropped indicating that the 42 radiation treatments were effective in destroying the cancer. Click here for details.

I really did have cancer

A new online phenomenon is faking one’s fatal illness. Psychologist Marc Feldman has dubbed it “Munchausen’s by Internet.” In the real world version, Munchausen’s by Proxy, caregivers intentionally cause illness or injury to someone so that they can heroically “save” them.

Online, people fake their own illnesses (or death) to elicit attention. According to Feldman, “people with the disorder frequently target communities devoted to medical issues, such as support groups for cancer patients or people with anorexia.”

Death and Deception on the Internet documents the story of Evie who blogged about her serious illness, then when she “died” became Adam, her “husband,” who encouraged people to post tributes. When people became suspicious (no online obituary, her husband spent all his time online rather than grieving her death, both Evie and Adam had a unique punctuation style, etc.) her “sister” came to Adam’s defense.

Bizarre! So, yes, I really had prostate cancer and I do appreciate your encouraging emails!

And somewhat related . . .

Are “online churches” an oxymoron?

The deception and dishonesty in online communities makes the promise of online church ring hallow as well. So here’s why I believe that there are bats in the cyber church belfry.

And totally unrelated . . .

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

Yep, it’s time again for that annual debate. Google “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?” and you’ll get about one thousand sites covering everything from “it’s completely harmless” to “it’s completely hellish.” At my annual Halloween page you’ll find site 1,001 that’s somewhere in the middle plus a look at other creepy things.

Have a great weekend!