Friday, April 27, 2012

Timing is Everything

Don't panic!  I removed my last post because my energy is being redirected, even as I write this, to a family need. I won't be at the computer or even thinking about the blog for as long as it takes to take care of this. It's a family situation.

I know how close this community has become, I feel close to many of you whom I've never met, but please, do not worry about my personal health. I'm fine.  I thank you now, in advance, for the kind wishes I know you will leave, even if I'm not here.

Again, what came up late today is not Palin related, not prostitution related, and is in my real, everyday, world. It needs my full attention and that's what I'm going to give. You guys are the best and your understanding will be appreciated.  Please come back when I turn the lights on again.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Watergate, Babygate, Nixon and Palin

Last weekend's headlines: Watergate’s Chuck Colson is dead. 

Dubbed the “evil genius,” Chuck Colson was among the first of the dirty political tricksters tracked down and exposed by modern investigative journalism. The  1971 burglary of the Democratic election headquarters a the Watergate hotel put the suffix “gate” into the English language to turn a noun into an accusation of criminally malicious political maneuverings. 

Babygate, Sarah Palin’s fake pregnancy in 2008, may have more things in common with Watergate itself, than most, if not all, the other “gates” since Chuck Colson, John Dean, Paul Ehrichman, and H.R. Haldeman served the Nixon White House. As I've done many times this post  looks back into history help us with Babygate today.  Clues get overlooked. Hindsight gives us a different vantage point. Whatever… there are truths to be unearthed by looking at the pieces again. 

Watergate and Babygate have the same plot line -  covering up of an event, denial by elected officials that there is anything to investigate that’s worthwhile, putting out the word that it is ludicrous to consider a high standing elected official could be involved in such a stunt.  In both cases, the tip-of-the-iceberg events don’t sound extraordinary, not a big deal when taken in the larger context of national or statewide politics. And,  at first, no one links the Watergate break-in or the Trig Palin birth announcement to top-level political maneuvering with the potential to manipulate presidential election results.   

In 1972, the Watergate break-in story was a little filler of a newspaper story. In 2008, Sarah Palin’s announced delivery of Trig Paxon Van Palin was a feel good piece with a tiny target audience -  voting-age Alaskans.  Because the governor of Alaska had her sights set on the White House, Alaskan tax dollars were spent putting her story into magazines with national readership, and Trig became a useful prop, but few suspected he was anything more than that.

The 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain has never been openly confronted about what he knew or should have known about Babygate, but if he were, we can be sure he would not only deny any knowledge of a fake pregnancy by Governor Palin but would bluff and bluster and attack the interviewer for daring to repeat the gutter-level rumor. 

Nixon denied knowing anything about the actions that small group that entered the Watergate offices 40 years ago, too.  Yet, on August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon, disgraced, stepped down from the highest office in the land.  

Four weeks ago, presenting a lecture at the University of Tulsa, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein spoke about events 40-years ago.  As cub reporters for The Washington Post assigned to look into a break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters on June 17, 1972, they had no reason to suspect that the assignment, their reporting, and subsequent congressional investigations would lead to the uncovering of  a multi-faceted plan to steal the 1972 presidential election.  A massive campaign of political espionage and sabotage was underway, to “make your vote - everybody's vote - not count through illegal and unconstitutional means," Bernstein said. They named five wars Nixon waged during - and even before - his presidency; targets, i.e. enemies were the Democratic Party, the anti-Vietnam War movement, the press, the U.S. justice system and history itself.

Let’s stop there and compare how far we’ve come in the four decades that moved us into the age of  Babygate.  Below are headlines from 2012.

RE: Stealing elections:
Palin: We can’t let ‘leftist groups…steal this election     CNN October 13, 2008
Democrats warn that GOP is trying to ‘steal’New York election like 2000    CNN April 3, 2009
Which Side is Trying To Steal the Election? The Other One October 27, 2008

RE: espionage and sabotage:
Truthout senses attempted sabotage in McGinniss leak of Bailey book manuscript
Anchorage Daily News September 2nd, 2011 12:30 PM

“Evidence Seized” in Shailey Tripp Matter DESTROYED by the ANCHORAGE POLICE
Malia Litman's Blog, January 12, 2012
 Frank Bailey: Sarah Palin knowingly broke election law      Alaska Dispatch Feb. 19 2011

RE: Making sure votes don’t count:
Good ol’ days voting law undermines democracy    Orlando Sentinel April 25, 2012
Americans for Prosperity Accused of Voter Suppression in Wisconsin Recall Elections   Huffington Post April 25, 2012
How states are rigging the 2012 election  Washington Post (opinion writer) June 19, 2011

Palin Republicans are this generation's Nixon Republicans.  To understand that, we must remember that Watergate was about Nixon as a person. Nixon as a small, vindictive and vengeful man with a lot of power. Babygate is about Sarah Palin. Sarah is a small, vindictive and vengeful woman with a lot of clout.  Nixon’s five wars in the sixties and seventies are now Palin’s wars.  

Democratic Party, members of which she put “in the crosshairs.” And specifically the head of the party, Barack Obama, for whom she has a personal loathing which she cannot contain and does not attempt to hide.

--Anti-War Movement – In the former governor’s eyes, every American in a uniform is a patriot and a hero. She never spoke publicly about her hometown hero Jeremy Morlock’s participation in cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians.  She turns a blind eye to the reality of war, and was ignorant of why the U.S. became involved in a war in Iraq even though her own son was to be deployed in that war.  According to Game Change, she thought Saddam Hussein was behind the 911 attacks.  Blindly pro-war. Any of ‘em, all of ‘em.

--Media AKA the lamestream media with whom she will not sit down and talk.  Katie Couric is Palin’s most hated newsperson because she asked her what papers she read to inform her understanding of events. Last June 10. Politico ran the headline "Palin emails show history of media distrust."

--Justice System – Sarah would like to see Roe v Wade overturned, thinks a kid who figured out her Google passwords deserved jail time, and had no problem with her own husband and staff ignoring subpoenas in the Troopergate investigation.

--History – Sarah loves to revise history. From Paul Revere’s ride to her support for the Bridge to Nowhere.  She’s even given different locations for the birth of Trig Palin – the Mat-Su Valley and Anchorage are quite different locals. 

All of you can add to the list above. Like the break-in, each is relatively small. The accumulation is what boggles the mind. To the audience in Tulsa, Bernstein said the Watergate burglary "was the key to unlocking the Nixon presidency and understanding what it was fundamentally about."  Woodward said, one could not help but be struck by the fact that the tragedy of Watergate was more than the crimes and abuse of power, it revealed "the smallness of Nixon…It was always about Nixon. Let's use the presidency as an instrument of personal revenge." 

Long forgotten in the history of Watergate are the little, sneaky, mean things Nixon’s henchmen carried out to win his approval. Preferring to run against Democratic Sen. George McGovern rather than Senator Edward Muskie,, the White House stopped at nothing to halt the Muskie campaign."Sen. Muskie's chauffeur - the Nixon campaign literally hired him to spy and photocopy all of the documents that were taken between Muskie's Senate office and his campaign headquarters," Woodward said.  No plot was beneath them. After long days on the road, campaign workers would leave their shoes outside their hotel room doors to be shined. Even shoes became targets. Woodward said, "One of Nixon's people would come around with a trash bag and collect all of the shoes, including Muskie's, and throw them in a Dumpster a couple of miles out of town.”

Like  Dick Nixon, Chuck Colson and the lot , John McCain, Steve Schmitt and the 2008 campaign staff  know more than they are willing to admit. In the movie “Game Change” we were sold a storyline wherein John McCain was protected from hearing about the dead-awful ignorance and dishonesty of his super-star running mate.  Who among us believes that? I don’t. I  have a “Nixon Now” button in my junk drawer that reminds me what happened in that election. I am able to retain the history lessons I learned in real time during the 70s.  I’m sure there are people in high places who want us to believe that “Game Change” got it right, and John McCain hardly got to know Sarah Palin, and his staff protected him from the bad news of their bad advice and his bad pick.  I’m sure  journalists everywhere are missing a great story.

Just think for a minute what it is we are asked to believe.  McCain had to name the leaders of foreign countries, pronounce them correctly, recite policies held by foreign leaders and explain in detail how he would or would not approach them about US interests.  National security gives him his bonefides. “He fought for you.”   And once the real vetting began, and Steve Schmitt was briefed on findings, it’s not credible that he did not learn of Todd Palin running an illegal business that influences high ranking government and military personal to give big military contracts to Todd Palin’s clients. Wouldn’t that  be a potential risk to national security?   You betcha.  And John McCain would have to be told. Absolutely. 

Shailey Tripp isn’t the only woman Todd Palin paid, used, and pimped. Todd’s emails to Shaily in the book Boys Will Be Boys are not the only emails Todd wrote while conducting interstate prostitution business.  When the teen’s MySpace pages got scrubbed, imagine what got scrubbed from Todd’s email!  Don’t even try to tell me  Senator John McCain is unaware of all this. The truth of this matter, is that the man running for POTUS in 2008 and who sits in the senate today knows almost everything about the lives of Sarah, Todd, Track, and Bristol Palin that could have come up during the 2008 campaign. If it came up as a question by a rogue reporter, the campaign could not have him be blindsided. He was told about Todd's prostitutes. 

John McCain knows Sarah Palin did not give birth to Trig Palin. He  knows how many pregnancies Bristol Palin had before delivering Tripp.  Who other than the Arizona Senator and 2008 Republican presidential candidate could have arranged to have the Palin family members’ Social Security data sealed tighter than that of any other governor in history – an action that included the baby born to Bristol after the November, 2008 election?  John McCain knows everything the National Enquirer knows. He probably has even heard and forgotten the name Dylan Kolvig. No doubt in my mind that the senator from Alaska, who wants to see America’s war in Afghanistan go on indefinitely,  knows that Todd Palin pockets illegal profits servicing military officials to clinch big military contracts for big corporations. I’m not so stupid or naive as to think he’s stupid or naive.

In an hour’s meeting with fellow journalists at the Tulsa World, the Pulitzer Prize winning reporters talked candidly about today’s political climate.  Woodward said his biggest worry for the nation is the secretive nature of government; as "the concentration of power in government grows, the secrecy is increased, (and) the capacity to manage and control the message goes up," he said.  

How true that is. Again, take Alaska as an example. Sarah Palin’s administration used personal email and confined it’s actions to a small group of intimate friends of the governor. A recipe for secrecy and control of the message. No wonder we have yet to learn who really gave birth to Trig Palin, and when, and how the plot was hatched to make him the key opening the door for Sarah to run for an office she was not fit to consider. 

 Woodward said that when big problems arise, the public still wants to know what really happened. Bernstein was less optimistic: "People in this country are less interested in real truth, the complex truth, contextual truth." 

I wonder if  Woodward and Bernstein  have even heard of Babygate. I wonder if either has read Frank Bailey’s “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin."

Both men said they could not have done the work they did without the support of their publisher at the Post, Katherine Graham.

She would not take anything less than the full story. Woodward said he remembers the day he had to tell Graham that the public might never know the full story. "I remember looking at her, and she had this wounded look on her face, and she said the following: 'Never, don't tell me never."

I can identify with that.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Was Bristol Palin Inspired By Huffington Post's Pulitzer Prize?

The Huffington Post and Politico won  Pulitzer Prizes this week! This is the first year that new media has been given that recognition even though the categories were expanded in 2007 to allow entries by online-only news sources.

Huffington Post was the journal that outed the Palin's in 2010 for evading property taxes on a remote cabin that was gorgeous and probably, from what we now know, built with Todd's illegal prostitution money, or possible from a good year of gambling winnings.

Is it only coincidence that on Bristol's blog today she put up pictures of the cabin?  Yup, the same one. The one Sarah and Todd failed in their civic duty to pay the taxes on it until a certain blogger got an anonymous tip and outed them in the Huffington Post.

Bristol's post has only six comments so far.  My thought is that maybe a few Palin Place readers would like to add to the conversation over there.

Before you go, let me provide some material for you to mix and match and make the thread over there more interesting than the usual pablum of simpering  platitudes posted by Palin sycophants.  All of this comes from Jeanne Devon's blog published by the Huffington Post Feb, 3, 2010 .  Some of you might want to link to it.

Sarah ran for governor on a campaign promoting herself as ethical, being different, being a reformer. It was a sham.
Palin Declined to Appear in Ads for A Candidate Because He Had Not Paid His Property Taxes. In 2004, it came to light that Republican Rep. Vic Kohring owed the borough $2,277 in unpaid property taxes on property he owns off Knik-Goose Bay Road, according to borough records. "That bothered former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin enough that she declined a campaign request to do a pro-Kohring TV commercial. As a former mayor, Palin said, it made her uncomfortable to back someone with unpaid taxes when the city relies on property taxes." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 10/28/04
After John McCain and Sarah Palin were defeated, 17 months had passed when Ms. Devon received the information below by anonymous letter delivered by the U.S. Postal Service:

Todd and Sarah are now millionaires, but they shirk their responsibility to pay local property taxes.

Attached are printed copies of Matanuska-Susitna Borough tax assessments from the public website (address shown at the bottom) regarding two lake frontage properties the Palins own in the Petersville Hills. Safari Lake is a gorgeous location, with stunning views of Mt. McKinley and the surrounding terrain.

Please note that two parcels total almost 20 acres and are assessed for a total value of $30,000. Also, there is a $0 value regarding any buildings on the property.
Any photos or visual inspection of the properties would clearly reveal that there are two large "cabins" on the property that are well built, and include thousands of dollars worth of improvements and amenities. The buildings are clearly nicer than many people's homes.

Also on the property is a large shop for snowmachines and four-wheelers.
These buildings have been on the property for years now - yet the Palins have done nothing to correct the assessment.

Fridays and weekends are pretty quiet around here and around the blogosphere in general. Maybe together we can stir things up and cause some discomfort  for Sarah, Todd and Bristol.  At the very least, we will make Nancy French, (Bristol's ghost blog writer), earn her PAC money today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

HBO's "VEEP" - Female VP Scrolling Her Blackberry but they say it's Not Sarah Palin

Premiering Sunday night on HBO, Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays a flighty Vice President with minimal responsibilities.   “Veep” has been described by Entertainment Weekly as “a bleak vision of American political folly that would be pretty depressing if it weren’t so amusing.”   Bleak but amusing – we’ve tasted that recipe here at the  Palin Place, over at Immoral Minority, and half way around the world at Politicalgates. Recipes are tweaked for personal preferences, but the main ingredient is the same - in this case, it's the half-baked Alaskan governor  Sarah Palin. reports that Veep’s main character, Selina Meyer is a “once rising star in an undefined political party who suddenly finds herself U.S. vice president… She and her frantic Blackberry-addicted team spend their time dodging political minefields, making and fixing public relations gaffes, and waiting for the president to call. He never does.”  The intro clip below looks like someone we know, except that VP Meyer has a penchant for swearing. You might recognize the clenched fist emphasis in her delivery behind a podium, and get a sense of deja vu when your worst nightmare is played out in the scene where she's told the president has taken ill..

Sound familiar?  Well, you are wrong. Not only wrong, you are…are…what’s that word Sarah uses?....Whacked! That’s it.  You’re some kind of Whacko!  VEEP is not based on Sarah Palin. Ms. Louis-Dryfus has said so in interviews.   I wanted to post a clip of  her Letterman interview as an example because we know how much he means to Sarah, but after 11 minutes and no mention of SP I gave up on that idea. But the Truther in me laughted at got the inside joke when Julia came out wearing Look-At-Me shoes with Tower of Babel heels that glitter and makes a comment right away about them. But of course, we aren't supposed to think about Sarah Palin.  And she mentions the shoes first thing.  But we aren't supposed to think about Sarah Palin. Oh, sure, okay Julia.  I mean,  VP Meyer curses a lot, so, obviously this is not Sarah Palin. We get it.

If HBO wanted to do a show based on Sarah Palin, they’d have a fake pregnancy and a pimp-daddy dude holding the Bible while his wife took the oath of office.  Now that would make for some bleak but amusing comedy.  Cans  bouncing off the refrigerator.  A daughter driving around with license plates spelling out the name of her dad’s rebellious former slave who escaped to the south and wrote a tell-all…  

HBO has an official website for VEEP.  Some of us  might want to visit and suggest a spin off about the first female VP’s husband. They could call it  Tripped Up.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Shailey Tripp's Blog Going Silent

Take a few days to wrap up the income tax and enjoy having company for the weekend and look what happens!  A small earthquake hits Palinland.
I'm as surprised as anyone that Shailey Tripp is going to close her blog, yet, having digested the news, I see it is the next reasonable move in her progress toward making healthy choices and improving stability for her children.  Many, maybe even most of us, know that being a mom to young children is a demanding, 24-hour job. In Shailey’s case, “demanding” is magnified by the children's disabilities.  I would not even try to imagine what added stresses, costs, and care that involves. 

Combine the full-time job of childcare with another full-time job - looking for work.  Looking for work is also mentally and emotionally taxing.  In this economy there are plenty of people who can tell us about that. None except the insane among them would want the same Google problem as Shailey Tripp. Looking for work when “PROSTITUTE” comes up next to your name in all the search engines is another thing that is beyond my imagination.  In this century, we have to expect a vetting by potential employers. Human Resources professionals checking out Shailey Tripp find more than the usual number of hits. Some of them can be sourced back to me.

For one year, Shay has faithfully carried the additional and voluntary responsibility to check her blog, answer questions, delete the garbage left by bullies and a$$holes, find something interesting to write about, and write it in an interesting way – that I understand.  And drawing it to a close is not a sign that she's been less than honest. Though it takes time away from other things, blogging can feel really, really good.  Shailey spent a lot of time building her blog and it served as an outlet for her message. She was generous with other bloggers and shared her stories, not keeping everything to herself. Strangers commenting and building a  community, some giving a cheer, some challengers, and the useful ones who take time to correct you and each other -  all making your blog their place, too.  Shay put in the work to maintain it. Blogging is not for the faint of heart, it's on your mind every day, and tugs at you like a little child wanting to be picked up. You love it, even when your arms are tired.
In one way, Shay was lucky because she had a ready made audience. But that wasn't always lucky. That audience came with lots of assumptions. The only other blogger I can think of to compare that to in Palinland is Mercede Johnston who,  when she started to blog, also had a ready made audience who came with assumptions.  But those two bloggers were different in approach and maturity and dedication for readership. Mercede posted sporadically for a while and disappeared without the courtesy of an explanation, while Shailey worked at her blog, made herself available every Friday for a full year to answer our questions.   She didn't want to stop blogging just to walk away, I'm very sure of that. She is stopping in order to strengthen other areas of her life and she's provided a week’s notice that she has decided to step away.

I may be surprised, but I’m not disappointed, and I don't feel like I'm owed anything. We have been very lucky to have heard her story in her voice, to have seen documentation, and to have been invited to ask questions. She published a  book, named names,  and if we chose to, we can share that book with others.  Talk about someone who took one for the team! Yay Shay!

The fight will continue. Shailey herself will land more punches. She doesn't need to blog to do that. Todd and Sarah Palin may think they've knocked her out, or at the least, thing they won this round. They didn’t. The bell rang, and Shailey is catching her breath. She’s being given advice, she’s being tended to by the experts, she's toweling down and concentrating on what she needs to do to be strong when the bell rings again. 

Just like the rest of us, Shailey needs to take care of herself, find a good job - one where she uses her brain. She needs good health insurance for herself and her kids. When she finds that sense of security; her kids will sense it, too.  I can't begrudge her any of those things.  If she wants to put out a message through this blog once in a while, she will be welcome here. If she wants to let us know that the next round is about to begin, that would be great. We'll be here to cheer when the bell rings again and she's ready to go another round, be it in court, in print, or in an interview.   

Like I said, Shailey has not been knocked out by the Palins, the Anchorage Police, or the National Enquirer. She's taking a break between the rounds.  The referee may be crooked, but she’s still going to fight. And in order to last through to the last round, she needs to make the most of this time out. Put things in order.  I'm going to quietly let her do that.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

PICTURE of Track and Britta's Baby - Kyla Grace Palin

For whatever it's worth, here is the first picture I've seen of Track and Britta's daughter Kyla Grace.  Correct me if that isn't Britta and Kyla, I'm making an assumption because, as you all know,  I don't "really know these people."

This is from a picture on Bristol's public Facebook, part of a large picture of "the whole family." (If you click on the picture it should enlarge.  If that doesn't work, hold down the control key and press the + key several times.)

Umm, where's Willow?   Oh, I know, she must be the one taking the picture. But why not have Gino take the picture instead of a real Palin clan member ?  Ummm...

George Zimmerman Killed Poor Trayvon Martin, Now Ain't the Time for Your Tears

If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.  In 1963, on the day Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, a court handed down a six month sentence to a young white man for the unprovoked murder of a docile black woman.  The nearly fifty-year old case has disturbing similarities to the malice evidenced in the baselessness killing of Trayvon Martin and its impact on society.  Twenty-two year old Bob Dylan penned, sang and recorded the true story of poor Hattie Carroll, sparingly using poetic license (William Devereux "Billy" Zantzinger becomes "William Zanzinger"; Hattie Carroll had eleven children, the song says ten) to describe the events of February 9, 1963:

The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath’rin’
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears
William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was snarling
In a matter of minutes on bail was out walking
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears
Hattie Carroll was a maid of the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn’t even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears
In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now’s the time for your tears

Monday, April 9, 2012

After Changes Upon Changes We Are More or Less the Same

Christopher Lamb, a professor at the University of Charleston, is on to something.  In a new book, he reminds  us that this country had a politician of  Sarah Palin’s ilk in those not-so-fabulous 1950s. She is the present-day  Joseph McCarthy, this century’s version of a man who pitted Americans against each other before Sally Sheeran met and married Chuck Heath. Sure, the 1950s were a long time ago.  But  somehow Sarah, the "latest in a long line of American demagogues" has stirred up the feelings of the era of the Red Scare and updated them to fit an equally frightening infiltrator - the President is a Muslim! With a Socialist agenda! He's palling around with terrorists! 

The 1960s were a long time ago, too, and yet, here we are facing some of the same battles that erupted after Joe McCarthy was disgraced. Social battles we thought were won way back then.  First, the reincarnation of McCarthyism, then the resurrection of the 1960s culture wars.  The Tea Party idiots said they wanted to take this country back, and they have,  led backward by Sarah Palin.

Maybe there is something we can learn by looking into the years since Sarah was planted in Alaska and raised by the school teacher and his wife. What was Sarah's 1960s life like and what were her early life lessons?  How did the events of that era and those of the 70s affect her values, beliefs, and judgement?  Why would she want to return this country to a time earlier than she can remember? Maybe the answer is in that last question. We know Sarah never paid attention to history. She knew nothing when she was tapped for VP by John McCain. According to Steve Schmitt and the authors of Game Change they had to start with American history at a seventh grade level.  Being ignorant of history, she may think she's on the cutting edge today.  (It would be pitiable if she weren't so smug and if her influence would dry up.)

 In “Going Rogue” Sarah describes a childhood that sounds familiar to me. Small town life, limited exposure to the bigger world, controlled access to pop culture.

The young Sarah Heath and her siblings watched tapes of television shows flown in to Alaska and aired one week after those of us in the lower 48. We might both have heard the words “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” on the same night, but for Chuck, Jr., Heather and Sarah it was a  tantalizing tease for “next week’s episode” – an episode  that my sister and  I already had watched from start to finish three time zones away.   Even the 1969 moon landing was on tape when Sarah and her siblings saw it.   I can remember staying up late on a summer night to see images of Neil Armstrong broadcast in real time from Houston to our black and white television in the Southern Tier of New York State.  My real time access didn’t make me any more worldly than Sarah, Chuck, Heather, and Molly Heath.   Sarah’s life where television antennae were useless doesn’t sound weird to me.  There were no television antennae in my hometown, either.  Nestled between the hills of northernmost Appalachia, television broadcasting signals didn’t reach us. Everyone was a customer of a family run cable service that provided three stations – the BIG three.  Eventually they added a “local station” – a camera  on a tripod swung slowly back and forth showing a series of clocklike faces – the time, the temperature, the month and date.

Our two radio stations were also privately and locally owned and they played only  what the owners liked. My mother, working  in the kitchen, listened to Don MacNeil’s Breakfast Club out of Chicago. Her music was big band, saccharine sweet songs sung by Doris Day, Eddie Arnold adding a male voice to the lineup, and Louis Armstrong for color. By the mid-sixties Burt Bacharach and Herb Albert shared some air time with Frank Sinatra. My mother’s station was run by a middle-aged local high school history teacher. Socially acceptable stuff? Absolutely.   Groovy? Not even close.

I had a transistor radio because I won it. It was the biggest thing that happened to me that summer when I was ten; a television game show host pulled my postcard out of a drum and called me to play against another postcard-selected contestant. I’d spent ten cents of my 25 cent allowance on a brightly colored cartoony-type postcard at the drugstore on Main Street.  Every month they dumped the postcards and started again. Lucky me, mine turned into a paying investment.  That radio was the size of a box of Triscuits, and I tuned it to the other station in town to pick up the sounds of the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, the Monkees, the Doors, and Simon and Garfunkel.

Before I hit high school, I heard the hauntingly honest words of “Seventeen” sung by  a young  Janice Ian…”I learned the truth at seventeen. That love was meant for beauty queens. And high school girls with clear skin smiles who married young and then retired…”  With my coke bottle glasses, I sang along with so much passion it could have been a hymn.  And while that made me feel somehow worldly and wise, it really didn’t teach me anything I hadn’t  already figured out for myself.  So, you know, when I see Sarah’s childhood pictures – the girl with the glasses and one slightly wonky eye, I see a little bit of me.  And when  I see the solid young woman in the red gown, no glasses, holding a bouquet of red roses, a crown on her head,  I think “that must have felt amazing.”  Kind of like being ten and winning a transistor radio.

I was being manipulated by media. We all were (and still are).  “I Love Lucy” reruns on TV every morning; “Leave It to Beaver” reruns every afternoon.  On Saturday evenings, I’d be at my grandmother’s house watching the Ed Sullivan show and she wouldn’t know the difference when groups with number one hits sang changed lyrics because he found certain words too controversial for his “really big show.” Janice Ian’s appearance on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" (1967) was censored in many US television markets because she performed  her hit song, the one about a boy whose “face is clean and shining black as night.”  You didn’t have to be living my sheltered  adolescent experience in a Wasilla-sized town to have missed out on the message of  “Society’s Child” or the  controversy that surrounded it.  The local radio in my town, like  many stations in the country, banned  Ms. Ian’s “Society’s Child.” No matter how hip the  station’s driving-in-from-the-big-city disc jockey pretended to be, he wasn’t spinning any platters like that. No messages about race. I didn’t even know  the song existed. Interracial dating was probably a topic and a reality at the college 20 miles away, but I was protected from the very idea.  In my 98% Caucasian town, I was probably laughing at  “hello mudder, hello fadder” while Janice Ian was getting hate mail.  How pathetic.

I didn’t hear “Society’s Child” until 2008. That’s when I read Ms. Ian’s 2008  autobiography and performed a search for a clip on YouTube. How wonderful it is that right now, 45 years after the Smother’s Brother’s Comedy Hour  was censored to prevent  you and I from such an unseemly topic, Janice Ian’s sincere rendering can be heard singing in her 16-year-old voice, the rhyme she finished sitting outside the guidance counselor's office two years before.

Talk about an “old soul”! That girl had a real message, and for speaking up, she got hate mail and death threats. At 16 ! Janice Ian made people face their bigotry. No one was exempt.  A schoolgirl from East Orange, New Jersey,  she saw both whites and blacks demonstrate racial distrust and dislike toward those who were not of their color. Racial bias wasn’t pretty no matter which race the perpetrator belonged to, and Janice had the guts to speak out about what she saw – about the state of race in America in the mid-1960s.

I wonder if Sarah Heath ever heard “Society’s Child”? She was much too young to have appreciated the Smother’s Brother’s and their anti-war jokes.  By the time Sarah was coming of age, disco was almost history. It’s possible that, like me, decades of living  didn’t bring Ms.  Ian’s song into her life – not until right now.  Now is a good time for “Society’s Child” to make a comeback. We are in a struggle with the same issues as that previous generation. The current bunch of GOP presidential wannabes are trying to undo society’s progress and take this country back to pre-Civil Rights. The arguments about women’s privacy, health and choices, the racial strife and religious intolerance, the ugly name-calling directed at the President of the United States because of the color of his skin, and the emotional divide between persons who see any young man of color who is wearing a hoodie as a threat and those that see that same person  as just a typical kid who could be their own kid or one of his friends.  Sarah Palin has remained silent on the subject and twenty-one- year-old Bristol Palin  wants the President of the United States to call her to acknowledge how tough and unfair she’s been treated in the public realm.

The stupidity of Bristol’s fame-whoring blog has been dealt with on Gryphen’s blog -  no need to rehash it here. The point is that we must remind ourselves and others not to  get so wrapped up in the daily drivel of  Palin absurdities that we lose sight of the very real threat Sarah represents to the hard-fought sociological gains of the latter half of the twentieth century.  Did Sarah teach her children about Civil Rights?  Though she was too little to understand what was happening in 1968 with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and only two months later, Robert F. Kennedy - the fallout rained down through all of her childhood years and she should have learned a lot about that in school. Wasilla public schools employed her parents. Yet, Sarah’s parents probably didn’t have conversations about black people when they came home. Sally more than likely hid her head in the Bible, and Chuck went hunting. It’s pretty obvious that, if it wasn’t happening in Wasilla, it didn’t matter to the Heaths and it didn’t matter to the next generation with the surname Palin, either

Sadly, Sarah's public ignorance of American history, her hate-filled rhetoric about the first black President of the United States, and her snarky put downs of our beautiful, strong and caring First Lady, has given her followers.  The kind that would have listened to Joseph McCarthy 60 years ago.  

I’m hearing another song in my head.  A song that came out  while Nixon was in office, and was on the first record album I bought.  It was the summer of ’70 and my family took our 1968  Chrysler Newport on the road for a trip to the city 70 miles away for our annual single day of back-to-school shopping. On the 80 minute ride home, I sat in the back seat between my sisters and studied the jacket cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” memorizing the lyrics of all the songs.  In  “The Boxer” I read: “All lies and jests. Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest …" 

A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.  What a timeless truth.  We witness it in Sarah’s rantings, and it sums up how Sarah gets away with the lying and the contradictions and the whole crazy conservative Tea Party stuff she spews. It explains the accolades left for Sarah on  the Conservatives4Palin site. People  hear only what they want to hear and disregard the rest.  

Simon and Garfunkel appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in March, 2008.  They sang The Boxer with an additional verse. A verse as thought-filled as the words that preceded:

Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin' even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than I'll be, that's not unusual
No it isn't strange, after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same.. la la la li la li
Li la la la la la li la li
La la la la li

We Truthers are older than we once were. We've lived our lives, paid attention to history, weighed the words of politicians. Do we hear what we want to hear? What do we disregard?  I wonder. 

Maybe each one of us  could each start a conversation with our closest Palin-bot and try to listen to things we don’t want to hear, so that we will be armed with a greater understanding.  Try to tell them what you feel and why. Our country can’t afford to go backwards; if we have a greater understanding, we might be able to argue more persuasively that Sarah Palin is dangerous to the freedoms she claims to love.  We can try.

Some of us survived the sixties, all of us have benefited from them.  Those were times when Americans engage in epic public conflict and political battles.  Before those battles,  Joe McCarthy used fear to shape government policy. Conservatives as ignorant and smug as Sarah either can't remember them or think of the 1950s as the good old days. Either way, they don't want to learn from that blot on America's past. They clapped when Cindy McCain, trying to put down Michelle Obama,  said with a satisfied smile, "I've always been proud of my country."  In the Conservative heart, and in a good portion of America, after changes upon changes,  things are more or less the same.  

Professor Lamb says McCarthy’s spirit lives today in Sarah Palin.  I think we've witnessed that. It shone out from the stage at CPAC and received cheers. It comes through in every Fox commentary, and speech she gives.  She lies. She does not jest. We cannot afford to disregard it.  

If Janice Ian could handle death threats at 16, we can individually  live with the derogatory names our relatives might call us for speaking the truth about society’s ills in 2012.  Become  an activist in your own family or in your circle of friends.  Tell someone something they don’t want to hear. Then give them equal time.

 It’s worth a try.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Today Show: The name Palin and the words Prosititution Ring together on the screen

I didn't watch the Today show live on Tuesday, I set the DVR and recorded it.  Later on Tuesday, I watched some clips of the broadcast from the Today Show website. Sarah being cutesy with newspapers. Sarah being cutesy in Matt Lauer's dressing room.  Sarah has no new gags. She and they are getting old.

Nevertheless, I felt I should sit down and get the feel of how the show went from the point of a viewer who tuned in at the start. It's a morning show and as such, it doesn't expect people to be glued to the screen like it was the final episode of "Lost."  People come in at different times and stay for different lengths of time.  It's a show you might be listening to but not looking at while  shaving, making coffee, or organizing a briefcase.

There were people who never looked at the television but heard Matt Lauer ask Sarah Palin for her thoughts on Mitt Romney.  Those folks missed the subliminal message on the screen.  I captured it for them, and for you:

So, I'd like to ask Sarah if this was:

A)  The lamestream media showing a liberal bias

B)  An act of God

C)  Friends of Katie Couric exacting revenge

D) A coincidence

Sarah doesn't believe in "D." That one is in there because there is always one easy throw away in a multiple choice question.  Usually there is another answer that gets eliminated after just a wee bit of thought.  That would be answer "B" if you think like Sarah Palin.

No matter how it happened, the fact is, those words were going across the screen accompanying a Palin face and voice.   Subliminally that registered with who knows how many viewers.  Yay for you, Sarah!  Want to brag some more about how many people tuned in to WATCH?

The actual story running under Matt and Sarah has many parallels to the Todd Palin story. The biggest difference may be that it was a woman running the business instead of someone who walks around with a small, two-toned penis between his legs.

The Scottish-born Ms. Gristina,  a 44-year-old parent of four, has been charged with running a multimillion-dollar Manhattan prostitution ring, may have made millions of dollars during 15 years of arranging trysts,  and boasts of ties to law enforcement.  She pleaded not guilty and is in jail after a judge declined to lower her $2 million bond.

The accused claimed she had “connections in law enforcement” who'd let her know if charges loomed. The charges of promoting prostitution, stem from a five-year-long investigation by a Manhattan district attorney's office unit that pursues cases against police and other uniformed city workers.  A co-defendant has yet to be arrested and hasn't been identified. 

Ms. Gristina has a secluded home in a wooded area off Lakes Road in the town of Monroe, New York (The Town of Monroe contains three villages and its claim to fame is being the home of the original Velveeta Cheese factory, located in the Village of Monroe. )  The house sits atop a hill at the end of a long driveway. According to the Associated Press, "Several children's bicycles lay beside the driveway. A sign for “Nick's Pet Resort” was affixed to the door.   Property records indicate a limited liability corporation called 881 Lakes Road bought the house and 12.2-acre propety in 2000 for $305,000."

AP also reports that "Gristina has business contacts around the world, counts many wealthy people as friends and clients and was with an investment banker friend when arrested, having been to his Morgan Stanley office for a meeting to try to raise money to finance what prosecutors believe may be an online prostitution business. 

If convicted, Gristina, 44, could face up to seven years in prison."

Seven years. Hey, that would be enough for the world to move on and forget the Palins. One can only hope there is a parallel investigation going on in Wasilla, Anchorage, Seattle, etc. into the activities of Todd Palin and Greg West.

So, even if the story in the news feed was not about Todd Palin and his interstate prostitution ring, he is in the business, and he needs to look over his shoulder. He probably doesn't sleep well. Unless he takes some of his wife's meds.

But, dang! What's the media waiting for?  Shailey's book is out.  Cover it, people!  Even Sarah gets something right once in a while, like when she said the darned lamestream media is run by people who, as she said,  are limp, weak, impotent... 

"Those who are impotent and limp and gutless and they go on their anonymous -- sources that are anonymous -- and impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them as being factual references," Palin continued. "It just slays me because it's so absolutely clear what the state of yellow journalism is today that they would take these anonymous sources as fact."

This doesn't exactly fit the Shailey Tripp story because she is not an ANONYMOUS SOURCE, the type that Sarah decries, but still, the mainstream media is loathe to carry the story of being coerced by the First Dude of Alaska into performing sexual acts on him and his "clients" in order to buy food (but not always diapers) for her two disabled babies.   Shailey's documentation appears to be factual,  too. But, Sarah has not once publically mentioned "Boys Will Be Boys: Media, Morality and the Coverup of the Todd Palin Shailey Tripp Sex Scandal," the memoir of a strong, single mom, raising two kids and working two, three, four jobs at once - one being a part of Todd Palin's prostitution ring.   Sarah loves "hard workin' single moms."  Ha! Life as Shailey Tripp certainly makes "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp" look like the fairy tale it really is.

Oh, and the "Volume One" designation on Amazon is not a mistake.  If you haven't bought Ms. Tripp's  book yet, I encourage you to do so asap. It will help Shailey accrue what she needs to publish the book in e-format and get it in front of a wider audience.  Which then will help her afford to publish Volume Two.  Press the purchase link and consider it a poke in the eye to Todd Palin.