The nearly finished pieces are the most fun to look at. For three and one half years, we've talked about a baby with Down syndrome, a girl who got pregnant by her high school boyfriend, a woman who told a wild story about being in labor, and a dad we couldn't really figure out for a while but who seemed to be the better parent of the two. All that stuff is pretty normal, except maybe faking a pregnancy part. Even that isn't totally out of the norm if you are old enough to remember the 50s and 60s when "sisters" of newborns were actually the moms. While working these pieces, we have not left our collective comfort zones. And that is part of the reason we have not finished. We did the fun stuff and left the hardest areas for “later.” I’m suspecting that most puzzles are attacked this way.
When people began writing books from an investigative perspective, or a supposed tell-all, we cheered and expected to have some of the missing areas filled in by their work. One by one, we put our hope in the books that came out in 2011. Each one eventually fell short when it came to exposing Trig's parentage. We were disappointed that these authors avoided what are arguably the toughest and most controversial parts of Sarah’s life. But have we done the same? It’s fun talking about wigs and set design for Fox broadcasts, and laughing when she wears shoes two sizes too big. There’s a time and place for that, sure. But the things that tie the whole picture together need more work. The things that will make the entire picture begin to make sense are the things that support the Palin life style of interpersonal, social and political corruption. Understanding those things will (if anything can ) lead to an interest in the media to expose the Babygate hoax. I say if because I’m having my doubts, even about us Truthers. We all like to laugh, most of us like to be clever, many of us like to work puzzles. Few people like to squirm. I think it’s that last part that prevents anyone from finishing the puzzle.
To look at the “big picture” I've been searching for the essence of Sarah Palin's Alaska - not the show, but the place. I’ve done this by reviewing stories from people living in Wasilla, Anchorage, and Juneau and finding reports from people who visited Alaska to write for magazines, make movies, or write Palin-based books. I've looked at Todd Palin's Alaska, and Track and Bristol Palin's Alaska, too. We Truthers have known all along that Sarah Palin's Alaska, the TLC program was fictionalized. The real experiences of Sarah and Todd, Track and Bristol, would not make for family viewing. Yet, I was disconcerted to experience for myself what one journalist described eloquently in Vanity Fair in 2010 : “anywhere you peel back the skin of Sarah Palin’s life, a sad and moldering strangeness lies beneath.” Sad. Moldering. Strange. These words are perfect in their application to not only Sarah, but to Todd and to Bristol.
Nothing I found was new, you’ve heard what I’ve heard, you’ve read it, too. It’s all been said. But it came in bits and pieces. Now, when put together, side by side, all at one time, the picture is grim. I, for one, felt a sense of darkness; darkness that had the weight of a shroud. I’m not exaggerating when I say, the reading I’ve done this week made me want to turn my head, close my eyes, redirect my thoughts. It took me a week to write this post.
I think my readers know I don't live in Wasilla or any where near it. So I have no pictures in a shoebox in my closet. There is nothing in my house that isn't in the home of everyone reading this blog. Each of us has a computer. We have access to the internet, an interest in the Palins and their lives (they started it!), and we have sharp minds. Most of you have probably found the things I’m going to list, and each of them can be found again by inserting into the Google search box the name "Palin" and certain combinations of other names or words. Troubling is the nicest way I can describe these things. Shocking fits, too. As does tragic, depressing, and disgusting. Now, again, these things of which I speak are not things that I can prove, but there are hundreds, thousands, even millions of internet hits (depending on the topic) that will give you more information on any one of them.
I’ll start with fear.. Fear of crossing the Palins has been well documented. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The fire of Sarah’s temper. The black smoldering fire of Todd’s temper. The searing flames of Sarah’s vindictiveness lapping at anyone who offends her, from a blogger, to a comedian, to a college kid who guesses her email passwords, to the neighbor petitioning for traffic control. Sarah is like a heat seeking missile out to destroy reputations. All of it can be found over and over and over on the World Wide Web. So put fear into the picture behind everything else I’m going to remind you about here today.
Protection by the authorities. In the darkness of Sarah Palin's Alaska, Todd Palin found cover while he, according to Ms. Shailey Tripp, promoted prostitution and used vulnerable people to satisfy his sexual needs. Todd Palin's position of influence as the First Dude and then as the spouse of the former GOP Vice Presidential candidate would certainly have given him connections to law enforcement personnel who could help hide any involvement in the business of sex trafficking. We know the Anchorage Police issued a news release at the request of the Palin attorney. We know it was not entirely factual. Malia Litman should be credited for taking that on and finding the truth. Shailey Tripp should be credited for speaking out about sex trafficking in Alaska. The internet now has copies of email between Shailey and Todd. It's out there for the world to see and to consider.
Sexual abuse is a statewide problem in Alaska. Lisa Murkowski is raising the issue currently. It’s in the culture. In June, when Malia Litman's blog carried an article about Bristol and her memoir, someone named Thomas entered the discussion thread and convincingly claimed to have had a career in children and family protective services working in Child Protective Investigations as an Investigator (CPI) and Supervisor (CPIS). He was trained, worked, and was certified in that field, and specialized in sexual abuse cases. He left a lengthy comment supporting his opinion that the Heath/Palin clan exhibits clear signs of sexual abuse. Sarah and Bristol, in particular. And we can't prove anything, and certainly the media isn’t going to dig into this, but that doesn't mean we can't listen to Thomas and other professionals and consider what they say. We need to ask pointed questions about these people who want to influence the direction of this country in women's rights, freedom of choice, access to healthcare, and quality of education. Alaska has a terrible problem with sex crimes against children and women - Google it! I know it's not easy to talk about. Even we Truthers would rather talk about dirty wigs than dirty daddies.
Moving on, here’s something everyone can talk about - sex among teenagers. This is the stuff of prime time television. Bristol had her acting debut on a show with fictional story lines about unwed teen moms. Teens and sex, it's a fact of life. It's mainstream. Bristol quotes the statistics in her book, obviously learned them as part of her high-paid gig for the Candies foundation. "Blah, blah, x-percent of teenagers have sex by the time they are eighteen." At a passing glance, this doesn’t look like it belongs with the others. It’s not a deep “moldering” evil – that is, unless you dig deeper.
Alaska has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation. Facebook and other personal pages give alarming first-person accounts of Alaskan fourteen-year-olds engaging in sex with multiple partners as part of their routine eighth grade social life. In Juneau, popular and wanna-be popular girls Bristol's age had been sexually active for at least two years before the Palins arrived there in January 2007. Yes, I've read their posted conversations and blog diaries. Eighth graders were "hooking up," riding boys "like a cowgirl," agonizing over their need for "A MAN !!!," agreeing with each other that it's a shame the "little asian kid” moved away because he had an unusually big penis, and asking for advice on whether or not to settle for being "benefits buddies" with someone who isn't ready to make a public commitment to "go with" them. These girls were not yet in high school, but they were very comfortable having these conversations.
We who are Babyboomer tend to think of high school pregnancy as a situation that occurs from long term high school relationships in which intimacy evolved over time. Kind of bitter sweet, and totally understandable. That’s not what the girls and boys entering Juneau Douglas High School in the fall of 2005 were talking about. They were talking about recreational sex, partnering up with new acquaintances, priding themselves on horniness and putting out. There are people who have said Bristol was similarly experienced by the time she met her Juneau peers. Nancy French did her best to make it sound otherwise when she ghost-wrote Bristols's book, but that dribble doesn’t put out this fire.. And, while some of us might think this is rather shocking, unhealthy and socially harmful, if it is true about Bristol, and we are searching for truth, then it's a piece of the puzzle. It fills in a part of the picture. A dark and murky part of the picture.
Lest you think I exaggerate that this is dark and repulsive (sex is a beautiful thing, la la), I ask you to consider this – these young teens engaging in recreational sex were doing so while using recreational drugs. And abusing alcohol. That's a recipe for heartache. I think Sarah has seen heartache. Remember the first National Enquirer story about the Palins? Drugs. Alcohol. Track. Bristol. Sound familiar? Oh, yeah. Old stuff. The N E told us about Track and Bristol's matching behaviors using OxyContin, smoking, injecting, snorting, whatever. But were they right? Did they have real sources? Well, fast forward two years. They put Shailey Tripp through multiple polygraph tests, I have to believe they took some steps to test the credibility of their sources about the drug use of a soldier headed for Iraq whose mom was running for VP.
Related to all this – do you remember the comments that got posted at Mudflats and other blogs naming Dylan Kolvig as Bristol's baby daddy for the Trig-era pregnancy and making a big point about the two of them using hard-core drugs? For me, Babygate is beginning to pale in comparison to these possibilities. It’s been suggested in blog comments for years that Dyllan Kolvig fathered a FAS baby with girlfriend Bristol. When the “two babies” post exploded over at Immoral Minority, a theory quickly emerged that Ruffles was affected in vitro by drug and alcohol consumption by his mom (whoever that was). Our American media isn't going to go there; they aren’t going to present any stories that include real life recognizable celebrity names and talk about the use of drugs and alcohol early in pregnancy. That's a recipe for heartache, the kind of thing Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson might help a family deal with, but not for public consumption. Bristol Palin's Alaska is not a place people want to visit in their imaginations. People refuse to go there, and it’s perfectly understandable. No author has gone there either. It's too dark, too sad, too horrible to contemplate. Critics would rather make fun of her chin. I know I would.
I warned you this post is about dark things – squirming yet? Here is a question that's a tad lighter. How many pregnancies did Bristol have during her teen years? Most Truthers will agree it was more than one. It doesn’t take a degree in psychology to recognize that as a cry for attention. On the internet you’ll find plenty of conjecture that Bristol has had more than two pregnancies. She's a real Alaskan girl. Like so many, she became a teenaged mom. But how many times? There is the Dancing With the Stars baby, which could be number three; and, if there was a fetus under the green sweater in 2006, the DWTS baby was the fourth pregnancy which extended Bristol the pistol's belly. Beyond belief? Not really. For a lot of us, it's distasteful but not impossible to imagine. Physically possible? Yes, of course. It's one pregnancy each year in 2006, 2007, 2008, and the fourth in 2010. How does it fit the Palin family dynamics? It fits with absentee parenting, out of control teenagers, peer pressure and socially acceptable practices in the Alaskan teen community. It fits. It's not something the media wants to talk about. Not ever, and it is probably one of the big reasons Babygate is off the table for any mainstream media coverage.
Okay, let’s see what have we covered – fear of retaliation, protection and cover by law enforcers, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, serial teen pregnancy with possible chemical-related complication, sex trafficking and sex slavery. Wait, sex slavery? Shailey's first book, "Looking For Inspiration" included a "Special Sneak Preview" into her next book. Now that we are counting the days leading up to that book being released, I don't feel it is unfair to Ms. Tripp to tell what she already published. In the "preview" it she says that the team that arrested her at her place of business included members of local law enforcement and members of the FBI. A misdemeanor prostitution charge with the FBI involved? Hmmm. They wanted Shailey to name names, and they said they knew there were big names she could give them. Her employee was grilled about whether she was a sex slave. Shailey said she was not and did not claim to be, either. Nevertheless, these officers of the law had reasons for bringing up specific criminal behavior and names. They were the ones who brought up Todd Palin. It wasn't Shailey. They asked about specific crimes ie sex trafficking, prostitution, sex slavery, young girls. This was not a television script, it was a day in the state of Alaska, the city of Anchorage. It certainly suggests that Todd Palin’s Alaska is a dark place.
All the above are repulsive in one way or another. Taken one at a time, or as an off-topic comment left on a blog, each of the things below can be tolerated. We’ve seen or heard each idea, suggestion, theory, and fact on this list and have continued our mutual campaign to reveal Babygate. But right now, looking at this list as belonging to one family, a family with national attention for promoting “family values,” I’m saddened and almost ill.
Blog readers have, perhaps, been spared the details by those who know. Maybe knowing won’t lead to closure. I can understand now how Babygate could be ignored and/or covered up rather than exposed in some Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles. Because the implications of what can be found on the internet - by anyone with a keyboard and curiosity - point to things so revolting to mainstream America that editors everywhere refuse to go there. If people want to go there themselves, well that's protected by the Constitution, right? But our free press ain't gonna put it on the top of their home pages. The possibilities of what we Truthers may uncover include some things that are so dark the media will not shine a light on them. For sure, we aren't going to hear about it in a movie like Game Change.
And now, I need levity. I need to start working on a lighter post. Looking this deeply into Sarah Palin and Todd Palin’s public record has given me the creeps. No wonder there are people in Alaska who keep to themselves, learn to shoot at an early age, and want to escape the laws of our nation by suceeding from the union. With a former governor who wrote down the license plates of a blogger after an interview, it's got to be uncomfortable to ever stick out from the crowd or speak against a person with connections to Sarah.
Even as far from Wasilla as I am, I’m feeling kind of fortunate to have a relative in the Secret Service. He used to be in the CIA. Now, don't get me wrong, I would never ask him for any information. Neither would he ever abuse his connections or his access to information, or his power. He’s an honest man, he keeps confidentiality, and he's highly respected by his peers and higher ups for good reason. He's the best. And we don't talk politics - he’s a Ronald Reagan Republican. But you know if I suddenly become accused of being a pedophile, or of not liking Piper’s lemonade stand, he’d be there for me. You betcha.