Lord how I wish I could be a fly on the wall in the room where Sarah is watching this
February 26, 2010
February 23, 2010
You know that glazed look your teenagers give while you’re attempting to explain why they can’t just drop all their math classes because they will actually need a working knowledge of math in order to succeed in life – no matter the path they choose? Well, that’s the look my spouse now fires off at me whenever a sentence of mine begins with the two trigger words, ‘Sarah Palin’.
Even my stateside friends can be heard over the long-distance wire heaving a heavy ‘ohmigodhereshegoesagain’ sigh, followed quickly by an ‘ifIholdreallystillmaybeshewon’tnoticeI’mstillontheline’ inhale – to which I have adeptly given my curt… “I know you’re there I can hear you breathing!” reply.
The truth is, most of the world is tired of hearing from or about Sarah Palin. Rational people from all walks of life have dismissed her as a non-entity, as done a deal as the poor turkey in the 2008 Thanksgiving Pardoning death cone. I’ve personally heard the comment “She lost – she quit – she’s done – move on.”
But some of us can’t just ‘move on’. Some of us can still see those little legs twitching in the background, ignored and on-camera, symbolic of how Sarah Palin treats all her family, friends and peers and for us, there can be no stopping until we know the list of Sarah Palin Victims is finished as well.
The blog list on the right of this post is made up of very dedicated, quite remarkable yet ordinary Americans who continue to donate their time and energy researching and writing without pay, that the rest of us might keep focused on the real Sarah Palin rather than succumb to the Madison Avenue image created by the John McCain staff in particular, the Republican Party in general, and her own personal greed, made fat by Harper-Collins publishing house.
The fact is, in 2008, Sarah Palin perpetrated a hoax on the American people. A hoax far worse than anything Tiger Woods could ever have done behind closed doors with a consenting adult, and yet Mr. Woods’ transgressions are all over the media while Sarah Palin’s hoax still remains sealed in a cardboard box in a locked storage room behind a well-marked ‘Keep Out’ sign. For those of us who have glimpsed the contents of this box, it makes no sense whatsoever that the politicians, private citizens, educated physicians, and government officials who know the truth should remain silent, or that the media should not be scratching at the door en masse.
No other political aspirant to the White House Executive Staff in any history I can recall has ever, ever been allowed to skate past the press with such arrogant aplomb and total disregard for truth as Sarah Palin. To watch the national press allow this ne’er-do-well politician to slide by with garbled interviews, and outlandish personal stories a blind man could shoot holes through was appalling.
Last December I published a post on the discrepancies between the photos of baby Trig, (1) home from the hospital and cradled in Aunt Mercede’s arms and (2) just hours old in his grandmother’s arms in the hospital hallway. (Sarah, remember, couldn’t be photographed because she was ‘too-tired’.) It’s never made sense to me that the photo of the baby in the hospital corridor, just hours after birth, could show a Trig much bigger than the photo of him taken days later, after he’d been released and sent home.
It also seemed – to me – a bit out of character for a woman bold and brash enough to make a 12+ hour trip, in bad weather, on two separate airplanes with layovers in public airport lounges, to suddenly feign ‘fatigue’ as reason to not sit perfectly still in a comfy chair and have her photo taken holding her brand new ‘this is what I did all this travelling for’ newborn son.
For a woman who craves media attention the way Sarah does, that was like walking barefoot in the snow all the way to the candy shop only to ask the shopkeeper for asparagus instead.
A verbal comment which I’d never published came from the mother of the newborn bub I’d used to illustrate the difference between an actual 6+ lb newborn and Trig who was supposedly born at 6+ lbs. The two newborns were only a few ounces apart in birth weight, but their newborn photos were dramatically different. After reading the post she called to chat – and her very first comment about the two photos [above] of Trig were “Wow. It doesn’t even look like the same bub. No really, they look like two completely different infants.”
I’d only been trying to show that the birth date had to be wrong. My focus was on disproving Sarah’s wild ride from Texas to Alaska to give birth after her water had broken at a political conference. I hadn’t picked up on the actual visual differences between babies in the photos, purportedly all of baby Trig, other than the discrepancies in size on the date and first week of his little life.
So while I heard her comment, it didn’t raise any flags. Until…
Last month, I engaged in an email exchange with two different readers on the subject of Trig Palin’s true identity. These persons each purported to be a ‘friend of a friend’ who’d each had an odd conversation they wanted to pass along. I’ve combined them into one conversation. It went something like:
Emailee: If you and others know the truth about Trig’s birth, why on earth would you [or them] not come forward?
Response: What if the truth were so awful, so unimaginable that baby Trig would be traumatized if the truth came out?
Emailee: Trig is just a baby – he’s too young to be traumatized by anything in the press, and whatever huge secret this is, it’s better out now than later when he can be actually traumatized, don’t you think?
Response: But what if it doesn’t involve just Trig. What if other children are involved? What if all the children are involved?
One of the emailees was concerned about being responsible for ‘putting things in motion’. When asked what that meant, the reply was:
Well, there are so many lunatics out there – and on both sides of the fence – I would feel completely responsible if any harm came to anyone over my raising certain questions – putting those questions into people’s minds who hadn’t thought about it. I mean, if police or doctors, or even those people closer to the inner sanctum of Sarah Palin’s world wanted to go forward, then it would be okay I guess but out here – I would be concerned for people’s safety and welfare.
And then you realize – one day Trig will be old enough to read all this stuff said about the person he grows up to know as his mother. Think about what happens to him then?
I have thought about it. I grew up in a family, in an era where bad things were hidden in closets and no one was ever allowed to speak of them. It’s a crap way to live. Nothing good ever comes from secrets and inevitably, there’s a flood or a fire or a nosey real estate agent and someone does show up to clean out the closet whether you want them to or not.
Gryphen, over at The Immoral Minority is, as you read this, leading a cleaning crew straight for Sarah Palin’s closet door. With the help of some qualified advisors, and other hard-working bloggers, Gryphen is about to smash through that “Keep Out” sign and march the truth about little Trig right out into the daylight.
And I proudly stand with all the other bloggers (see list on right) who are watching his back.
Sarah Palin perpetrated a hoax on the American people during the 2008 Presidential campaign, claiming to have given birth to a Down’s Syndrome baby. She continues to perpetrate this hoax even now. She deserves to be held accountable. America needs her to be held accountable.
The infant known as Trig Palin needs her to be held accountable.
This is completely off the top of my head but… in chatting with the commenters below, it AGAIN struck me as odd that Sarah Palin’s parents were the ones to present the governor’s new baby to the world without even a sibling or the dad present.But this time, as I’m reading and replying to comments, the penny has dropped that they are in a hospital ‘corridor’. As many times as I’ve typed “hospital corridor/hallway” in my posts regarding this issue, it’s only now just come into my line of sight that wait a minute – why a hallway? Without any activity going on around them, they might just as well have walked into the hospital off the street – met with ADN reporters then got into their car and drove off immediately after the interview.
How about it ADN? How’d that interview take place? Did any of your crew actually see Sarah or Todd? The delivering doctor? Were they even in the maternity ward? How about on the same floor as the maternity ward? Where’s the busy background? The nurses? The nice lady with the teacart? If Sarah was too tired to present her baby to the press, why didn’t they just take a statement from Todd and come back after she’d had some sleep? The first-ever Alaska governor to give birth in office and she lets somebody else stand in for the photos?
Could it be that none of the Palins were actually ‘admitted as patients into maternity’ that day? Could this have been just another Palin-staged photo-op?
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: Trig Palin: For a little guy, you sure make a lot of big waves and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
February 21, 2010
(Please Note: It’s entirely possible that I’ve written about this event in another post. If I did and you’ve already read it, mea culpa. Just pretend you’re as senile as I am and this will all be brand new! I promise!)
It was one of those days Agatha Christie would have described as blustery. It was the autumn before my sons second birthday. We’d only had a couple of months to get used to the idea that the reason he wasn’t walking yet, and that his left arm was bent and his left hand clenched was because he had Cerebral Palsy. My two other daughters were five and nine. My adopted daughter hadn’t bounced into my life yet.
Too cold, windy and rainy to play outdoors, the girls were taking turns reading stories to their baby brother on the heavily carpeted living room floor. Dad was in his comfy chair, reading and I was stretched out on the sofa either knitting or embroidering. Even the dog was sharing the family afternoon indoors, curled up in front of the fireplace and occasionally snoring.
We probably had John Denver on the stereo, playing softly in the background. This was before the days when we had the television in the living room. One TV set, placed strategically in the kitchen/family room where one could make a mess with food and not be scolded for staining furniture or carpets, and lent the comfortable living room to entertaining company or just enjoying our own.
All our other rooms were a wreck. School projects, craft and sewing projects, sports gear, piles of books daring us to make more shelves, never-ending laundry for an active family of five, and a half-built airplane spilled over into every corner of the place we called home. But we did make admirable strides at keeping the living room clutter free. Well, most of the time, anyway.
On this particular blustery day, with all of us tucked into the room with the nice, warm fire, my husband and I watched in awe as our daughters took up the unasked, unsolicited challenge of teaching their brother something new.
He had this toy. I’m thinking it was made by Fisher Price, but it could have been another company. It was a talking camera. It was bright blue and orange and neon green, shaped like an old box Brownie and was just about the same size. Small enough for a child to play with, but my son had motor skill issues, exacerbated by a bent left arm and accompanying clenched fist.
In order for the camera to talk, one needed to hold onto the camera with one hand, pull the string taut with the other, let go of the string and push the button. To get the full experience, one pulled the string taut, held the camera up to look through the fake viewfinder, then pushed the button as if one were actually taking a photo. On the push of the button, the string recoiled and the voice box said something clever like “Watch the birdie!” or “Say cheeeese!”
My son was on his knees which caused his lower legs to fan out to the sides. This allowed him to sit up straight. (He rather looked like a frog but it was an endearing quirk.) My oldest daughter was behind him, practically doing the splits to accommodate her brother’s position without interfering with his independent stance. She would guide his arms by placing hers on the outside of his while he learned the sequence. My middle daughter very carefully and methodically showed her brother each step, pausing for him to catch up to her. The two girls together, came up with a way he could balance the camera without needing to hold it in both hands. Then they worked out how to pull the string taut and have it free to recoil without getting tangled in either limbs or clothing.
The finished sequence went something like this: My son would place the camera, lens side down on the floor between his knees and spin it 180 degrees. This put the pull string by his good hand. He then put his left forearm firmly on the camera to secure it (leaning in with his body weight) while with his right hand, he pulled the string toward his torso and around his back until it ‘caught’. He would then let go of the camera, sit up, turn it 180 degrees back, lift it up, flipping it over to look through the viewfinder. Holding the camera up to his nose he’d tell you to hold still and smile! Then he’d place the camera back on the floor between his knees and toss the string away. With the string now stretched out in front of him, he’d click the button, the string would recoil without snagging on anything, and he would listen to the random saying.
When he finally performed the entire sequence without assistance from his assistants, the five of us burst into applause and laughter. Loads of attaboys, pats on backs, kisses on foreheads and shouts of “hooray!” woke up the dog and even he jumped into the giggling pile of bodies on the floor.
It took almost three hours.
Beyond getting drinks and snacks and at least once taking my son to the bathroom, neither my husband nor I interfered with the task. Clearly they were all three on a mission. The girls were patient, kind, thoughtful and creative. My son was determined, listened and took instruction without complaint. All good traits in anyone but these were babies. 20 months, 5 years and 9 years old. I remember thinking they were building a bridge between them that could last a lifetime.
And like any good parent, I held this afternoon’s events over their heads and wielded it each time they had a quarrel (hey remember that time you guys worked together for over three hours and nobody whined not once!? Do it again please!), or threatened to tell a boyfriend when one was too busy to set the table, or – you get the picture. I consider myself a good parent. But bribery and blackmail were never beneath me
My son was five years old when he took his first unaided step. When each of my girls took their first steps we all clapped and giggled and hugged and praised them for their accomplishments. When my son took his first steps we all sobbed with joy. Sobbed! All of us. Family, friends, neighbours, grocery clerks, everyone who even remotely knew my son welled up with tears when they saw him walking for the first time. It was the ray of hope after a long struggle. A glimmer, that the future might not be so bleak for him after all. It was the culmination of a lot of work and the beginning of a lot more.
I share this with you because in Andrea Friedman’s interview, posted on Progressive Alaska, she mentions more than once that being challenged (mentally and/or physically) is hard work. That her parents gave her a normal life – but it didn’t just happen – for special needs kids, normal doesn’t just happen. It is hard work. Learning is hard work when you not only have to get your brain wrapped around an idea, but you also have to tell each muscle in your body how to do its job. And keep after it without giving up until the sequence is hard-coded into your brain. Andrea speaks with great clarity, but she didn’t always. She worked hard for each and every aspect of her normal life.
And this is a common theme we’re all of us out here in the blogosphere trying with tireless pertinacity to convey to others: Trig Palin isn’t getting his rightful chance at a normal life. His mother talks a good talk about how precious life is, and about how DS babies deserve a chance at life just like anyone else – but then falls short of the hard work necessary to make even her own son’s life better.
So who is she helping? This woman who claims to have chosen life over abortion – what example is she setting for other parents to follow?
Sarah Palin claims to be an advocate of right-to-life because Trig Palin has DS and then thumbs her nose at the very process that’s necessary to give Trig the best possible head start. It’s equal to saving a boatload of refugees from a bad storm, only to sell them into slavery once you hit land.
It isn’t all about the saving, Sarah. It’s about what happens to them after, as well.
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: It Takes a Whole village to Raise a Child (Part 3) anc click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
February 20, 2010
The breaking story of Andrea Friedman defending herself against the FB attack by Sarah Palin and follow up by noting Sarah Palin’s inability to take a joke, recognize the correct subject of a joke, and rebuff the claim of Sarah being spokesperson for all physically and/or mentally challenged people everywhere can be read in detail on The Immoral Minority and on Palingates.
In a nutshell, Andrea likens Sarah’s carting her son around on the campaign/book-signing trails to carrying him around like a loaf of French bread, clarifying her parents would never have done this to her. Andrea had loving, committed parents who provided her with hands-on, quality care and guidance.
Most parents of special needs kids instinctively enjoy that common ground; putting their child’s needs first. As a matter of fact, raising a special needs kid actually increases the instance of divorce among special needs parents because one or the other can dive so deep into commitment of care, they stop tending to the needs of their marriage. Inevitably, this pushes the neglected spouse out the door.
But when parents can work together, becoming their own support system and balancing the care of their special needs child with other, familial and personal needs, it’s magic. And the resulting, well-nourished, well-rounded, intelligent child shows it.
Andrea Friedman is a finished-product of such magic. She is a lovely human being. She’s well-mannered, educated, poised, talented and warm. She’s independent, drives a car, works and manages her own income. On the subject of special needs, while Sarah can only give lip service, Andrea can actually speak. And she does. She travels the US guest-lecturing at fundraising events aimed at educating the general public about and raising funds for Down’s Syndrome charities. She does it for love of the cause, not media attention.
Some of Sarah’s supporters (comments can be read here – scroll down to update #3) have begun negating Andrea’s letter to the editor, inferring anyone with DS could not possibly have written the email received and published by Huffington Post in Andrea’s name. Why? It was coherent. It was legible. It was thoughtful.
It does my head in to realize there are still such ignorant people out there – adults who believe all mentally challenged people are blithering idiots. Well to be fair, I suppose when your idol is the Word Salad Czar it would be difficult to digest the possibility of anyone less genetically-endowed to be more eloquent, gracious or morally superior.
It takes a whole village to raise a child. But whether the child is a special needs kid or just a kid, that village needs to include full-time parents. Parents who play a key role in the nurturing process, not ones who just make guest appearances when the cameras are rolling.
I had another thought. But the microwave dinged and as I ran to the kitchen to retrieve my cuppa, in frantic effort to silence the annoying sound, the thought fell out of my head and now I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
Keep an eye out will you? And if you happen to spot my errant thought please leave a comment telling me where to look . (Stop laughing. Someday you’ll be this old too!)
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child (Part 2) and click the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
February 18, 2010
youtube clips of Sarah Palin’s interview on Fox Channel (sorry, I refuse to call it ‘news’) with Bill O’Reilly regarding her appearance at the First Nat’l Teabagger’s Ball (If you dare, Google the term ‘teabagging’ to get the full impact of my referring to the event as a ball ) in February was recently posted at The Immoral Minority . I had occasion to go back to it this morning and found a gemstone I’d missed the first time around.
Well really, it’s so easy to miss something said by Sarah Palin. Her word salad sentences and garbled verbiage tacos wrapped in ‘talking points’ tortillas tend, after more than a year, to go in one ear and straight out my ass.
This morning as I was making coffee, a little voice chirped in my ear saying “Go back missy! Go back! It’s right there! Go back!” So albeit reluctantly, go back I did and sure enough it was there. Right there. A tiny little nothing phrase that droned in the air with all the other little nothing phrases like the buzzing of bees on a sunny day. You had to listen for it. You had to wait for the other nothing words to go far enough away that this one little phrase became audible.
Bill O’Reilly has just made the point that the Tea Party is not organized. There is no leadership. There is no central theme beyond wanting change (the sole identifiable unification of Tea Partiers to date).
Quote: “They (Tea Party) really want change. But you’re never gunna get that unless you get political clout and power <snip> unless you drive the other people out.”
Quote: “I beg to differ <snip> There is a common theme <snip> It’s smaller, smarter government, more freedom allowing our small businesses and our families to make our own decisions and prioritize our own incomes and re-investment opportunities so that we can grow and thrive and create more jobs – so there is that common theme and a strong national defense <snip>”
Where to begin, oh where to begin…
First and foremost, it is not lost on me that Sarah ‘let the kid drop out of high school we don’t need no stinking diplomas!’ Palin is suddenly the champion for ‘smarter’ government. I’m just saying.
Second, never in all my years in the USA do I ever once recall a government representative of any type coming to my home, school or business and dictating to me what I should do for a living when I grew up, how I should conduct my business once I had, or interfered with me and my family in making one, single family decision.
And if people are struggling to find jobs, pay mortgages or get healthcare in the USA at present, it certainly is NOT because the current White House Administration has somehow usurped the basic rights of American citizens. When were these basic freedoms taken away? Did I miss the communist coup?
Where does any government official tell any American citizen they may or may NOT make a financial investment (barring illegal investments or trades). Show me where any government official dictates how an American citizen may or may not prioritize their income? Is she talking about taxes? Do the Tea Partiers and Republicans seriously think that the cure-all for everyman’s everything is no taxes?
If the Republicans feel that strongly about taxes, then they can give me back all the tax money collected from my pay envelope under the Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush administrations. I’m happy to take a cheque.
But here’s the rub. Here’s the hypocrisy in the buzzwords of the bees: Sarah and her teabaggers want Americans to spend all the money they earn without the burden of taxes… and… A N D… enjoy the protection provided by “a strong national defense.”
A strong national defense doesn’t grow on trees. Without taxes, who pays?
When Sarah speaks – are there ever any grownups in the room?
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: Hypocrisy Thy Name Is Sarah and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
February 17, 2010
We raised a son with cerebral palsy. And when I say ‘we’ I mean myself, my husband, our daughters, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours, friends, husbands new wife after we divorced and all her relatives. Then there were the therapists, doctors, nurses and special ed teachers, classmates, really, the list goes on ad infinitum.
When my son was in high school, he and I had a standing date to watch a television series called “Life Goes On”. It was about a normal family with normal everyday problems – mom, dad, two teenagers (brother and sister) and their collective dilemas creating the weekly plots. Corky, the boy, had Down’s Syndrome. I think this was the first-ever tv show to normalize a special needs kid. The actor, Christopher Burke, was actually a Down’s kid himself, and epitomized the truth that special kids do grow up to be healthy, self-sufficient, independent men and women who not only grasp life’s challenges, but embrace them, just like anyone else. So for about three years, I think, my son and I tucked in after dinner on Sunday evenings to watch this show which more closely portrayed the social problems he faced in life than any other tv show around.
By this time I was a single mom and really quite on my own as my other children were grown and off building familes of their own. This series was like my support system, reinforcing manners and values I was attempting to instill in my son.
From the beginning, he had been mainstreamed. That meant he attended regular schools, with a mixture of regular and special ed classes, tailored by his needs and ability to handle the workloads. For him to be able to watch another male (Corky) work through so many of the social problems he, himself lived, was not just amazing – it helped teach life lessons in a way his teachers and I couldn’t. I was so grateful to the writer’s and producers of this show…
There was a particular episode where Corky, tired of being Mr. Nice Guy, spent the hour behaving like a jerk. At some point, one or both of his parents sat him down and let him know that his ‘handicap’ was not a free pass to behave badly. He was subject to the same social code as the rest of us mere mortals. My son had been hearing from me since he was able to throw a spoon across the room that a bad temper and poor manners were not God-given rights just because he had a couple of physical problems. I expected the same respectful behaviour from him as I did his sisters and that a jerk was a jerk and an asshole was an asshole, regardless of how a person’s legs did or didn’t properly function.
Not too long after the airing of this episode, my son and I were at a bake-sale fundraiser which involved a stack of other CP kids. One of them was in a wheelchair and a bad mood. He kept running his chair into people. They would grimmace, but then not comment as soon as they saw he was ‘challenged’ (good grief why can’t we say ‘handicapped’ anymore?). My son was chatting with a girl when this kid tried to slam into her walker. My son grabbed an arm of his chair, stopping him in his tracks and got in the kid’s face. “Hey pal, that wheelchair doesn’t come with a license to be an asshole. Knock it off.”
I was so proud.
Sarah and Bristol Palin’s outburst over the ten second Family Guy joke about Down’s Syndrome and the Governor of Alaska made me remember this incident, this time in my life, because ‘they’ are the classic jerks. By constantly placing all physically/mentally challenged persons into a bubble to shield them from the rest of the world, they are the ones engaging in discrimination. Publicly pointing the finger and saying SEE OVER HERE! THESE PEOPLE ARE ALL DIFFERENT! COME LOOK! creates a barrier, immediately separating ‘them from us’.
By treating the DS girl like anyone else in their scripts, Family Guy served to incorporate DS kids into the mainstream, not the other way around.
I’m guessing Chris Burke laughed at the Family Guy bit. It included him in society, with full rights to be made fun of, laughed with and gave him a bit of recognition.
A bit of nostalgia for those who may remember:
This isn’t Corky. What – you thought Chris Burke was the ONLY Down’s kid actor?
Sarah, Bristol – stop helping. It’s discriminatory and distasteful. Plus, no one’s asked for your help and you do it badly.
commentor junasie14 brought up the point that the voiceover of the girl in the Family Guy episode portraying the Down’s Syndrome character actually is an actress who has Down’s Syndrome. Her name is Andrea Friedman and coincidentally is the same actress who portrayed Corky’s girlfriend and love interest in the aforementioned series Life Goes On.
Talk about bringing a discussion full circle!
I’ve seen Andrea in episodes of Law and Order, ER and Touched by an Angel and I think she’s a terrific actress.
Hey Sarah! You think maybe it’s constitutionally ’okay’ for a person to make fun of themselves? Or do we now need to get your personal approval before cracking a joke?
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: It Takes a Whole village To Raise a Child and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
February 11, 2010
The problem of Sarah Palin isn’t really Sarah Palin at all. The problem is all those entities who keep granting her seconds on her allotted fifteen minutes of fame so they can cash in on it. Because in any other universe, at any other time in history, Sarah’s erratic public behaviour, total disrespect for her Commander In Chief, wild stories of impossible childbirths and outright lies about and to the American people would never have led to a multi-million dollar book deal or a lecture circuit worth $100k per gig. In any other universe, at any other time, reputable journalists and news commentators across the nation would have dispelled, disproved and discarded her the day after she quit her job as Alaska’s governor. A year plus change after her failed bid for the White House, Sarah’s tales would, at most, be page three lining for the bird cage.
But not today. Today Sarah is the poster girl for purchased-politics. By allowing a television station to buy their candidates and run their campaigns for them, Republicans have embraced technology. (No, not for useful things like teleprompters or IT researchers, silly.) Republican goals have replaced the American vote with television ratings. What they get in exchange for their unquestioning servitude to the Gods of Fox News Channel is a public forum upon which their candidates are granted the unabashed ability to speak unaccountably on any subject, at any time, sans consequences. A pollie’s dream come true. No longer shackled by the cumbersome ritual of fact-checking, the new Republicans can make any claim they so desire regarding the Democrats or even Republicans they don’t especially like. Protocol is a thing of the past. Decency to one’s fellow man was never even a twinkle in Rupert Murdoch’s eye.
Don’t like your opponent? Can’t back your statements with facts? Heck just smile into the camera and tell the nice folks on the other side that your opponent did crack in college. Doesn’t matter if it’s not true. You said it on Fox News. That’s all that counts.
Sarah Palin represents the new and the worst of Republican politics. Her motivations have nothing to do with improving the quality of her government. Her strategies have nothing to do with professionalism or educaton. Her qualifications have nothing to do with recorded accomplishments or public service. Her bible-spouting, apocalyptic ideals upon which she rests all her expertise, have nothing whatsoever to do with governing a nation of three hundred million people, organizing necessities like health care, seeing to it Americans aren’t cheated by unscrupulous insurance companies or making the rewards of living in the land of plenty available to everyone, not just the wealthy. The Republican’s new brand of politics with Sarah Palin at their helm has little to do with governing at all. It’s now all about turning a profit and – television ratings.
Those who subscribe to this brand of politics get away with their nonsense because Fox News Channel isn’t about reporting news at all. It’s about delivering entertainment. And entertainment doesn’t require being factual.
Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck bombard the airways daily with their uncouched, fact-challenged rhetoric, holding the prime spots on FNC because they successfully rile up the already discontent, those people who would do practically anything to change their lives. Bill, Sean and Glenn are well-paid for making outrageous, unfounded claims (that only truly uneducated people would absorb without question) because their constant promise to overturn current government so their viewers lives will be better - keeps their viewers coming back. That’s not politics. That’s entertainment – and entertainment = ratings
And now Fox News has won the trifecta of ratings races. They’ve found a genuine cash cow, guaranteed to deliver the goods for them no matter how she performs. When she’s good her fans love her. When she’s awful, her fans love her more. When she insults her president, the youtube hits soar. The FNC Execs need only to keep her away from the other Fox News commentators because she has this one little quirk of alienating everyone with whom she comes into contact who doesn’t share her personal brand of religious fanaticism. Solution?
Fox News Channel is setting her up with her own studio in Wasilla Alaska where her self-harming inadequacies can’t be readily observed or exposed by angered colleagues or underpaid staffers who might decide to make a buck on their own and sell her Faux Pas to Harper-Collins. Safely tucked behind a fence sporting a No Trespassing sign she’ll be insulated from any and all intelligent scrutiny. She already refuses all other media access to her speaking events. Sarah’s the new FNC Cash Cow. Plain and simple.
In 2012 the FNC will profit even if their cash cow doesn’t make it to Washington. They could care less how it turns out for Sarah. The cameras are in place. Exclusive rights to her inevitable, disasterous end is already paid for, in full. All they have to do in the interim is milk the cow for all she’s worth – and wait for self-destructive bombs to start dropping.
A word of advice to the FNC Execs: Don’t forget to shut and lock the barn door boys, you know how mavericky these Alaskan bovines can be…
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: Catching Up: Cash Cow Politics and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
PS. Forgot to thank the contributing commenters from the previous post for the information, links and thoughts provided which helped form this post. Oz
February 8, 2010
One thing you learn while out in the business world is how valuable a commodity ‘senority’ is in the workplace . In any company there is a hierarchy and any employee stepping over another’s senority to get ahead is usually so shunned by the employees he or she stepped over, they don’t stay very long. When a company brings in an outside star, plopping them in a coveted prime spot, ignoring senority, it automatically puts a wall between the new employee and the rest of the crew. Employees like to know that a person who got the slot ahead of them, earned it. Otherwise, what’s the point of their hard work?
In the nightclub business, this was called ‘paying your dues’. It meant you’d done your share of grunt work and taken the shit shifts without complaint. You’d earned the right to be called a team player. On a busy weekend night, team players reaped the rewards of their efforts. But if you were the club’s prima donna, you might be the one who was always sent off the floor to fetch something, while everyone else was on the floor making money. You might be shoved into the worst corner of the room, or be the brunt of several practical jokes, all designed to keep you looking just a bit inept.
I’m going to go way out on a limb here and give my gut-reaction-opinion of Sarah Palin’s Telehand notes, used on her recent Q&A at the Nat’l Tea Party Convention, following her $100k speech. Whole story here.
I believe someone who knew better told her it would be ok – no one would notice. Whether it was Sarah’s idea to put cheat notes on her hand or someone else’s makes no difference. The ‘backstage’ areas of these events are enormously crowded. Camera crews trying to capture behind the scenes footage, hair stylists, make-up artists and speech writers are all over. Gofers run around making themselves available to the guest speakers. Event coordinators are always scrutinizing those about to go onstage to see that hair, make-up, clothing is just right and no one has spilled soup on a tie or blouse before walking into the spotlight. Someone in prep had to have seen Sarah writing on her hand prior to giving her speech. Someone had to. Yet no one told her how badly it would affect her image.
Mark my words. Sarah Palin’s star slot on Fox News Channel and in the Republican Party is a coveted position. There are stacks of people who believe she hasn’t earned her prestigious status. There are bound to be those among the staff who believe her spot would be better-filled by someone else. These are the very people Sarah will need to tell her if there’s spinach on her teeth or wrinkles on her jacket. And I believe these otherwise kind folks are deliberately going blind.
FNC has surely paved the way for Sarah by instructing all their paid commentators/pundits/crews to watch out for her (she’s new, she’s green, but the party needs her – be a team player and do whatever you can to make her look good…) but you can see the disappointment in the faces of people like Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly when they’re each one on the air with her, as they begin to realize their highly-paid star is not so bright and shining after all.
So how long do you think this is going to last? Sarah has already been given horribly bad-hair advice prior to appearing on Oprah. She’s not been told to brush her hair over a lump on the side of her face so obnoxiously big a camera was certain to capture it, (and that would be the story, not her speech). And now she’s seen on-camera, live, reading cheat-notes off the palm of her hand like a 14 yr-old taking an exam for which she’d not properly prepared.
Sarah Palin, despite her ignorance of facts, ineptitude towards current events and poor judgement of human behaviour in general may well be a driving force in the Republican Party. But so is jealousy. Minutes before Sarah sat down for her live Q&A on 8 Feb 2010, shown where the camera would be and handed a microphone, someone in the Republican Party knew what was on her hand. They knew her intention. They knew it would make her look really bad.
And that ‘someone’ let her go on-camera anyway.
I don’t think it’s going to be very long before Sarah is ‘on her own’ with the regular folk at Fox, either. And if she insists on broadcasting from Wasilla, rather than migrating to NY to be an actual part of the Fox crew, she will alienate herself even more.
Sarah hasn’t paid her dues and everyone knows it. Her political platform is one of party reform but her expertise is limited to criticising her opponent. She offers no solutions, no real discussion for actual reform. To Republicans and Tea Partiers who do believe in political reform, Sarah’s routine of not answering questions put to her – even when the answers are right under her nose – has got to be wearing thin.
Mark my words: Everyone at the convention knew how much money Sarah would be taking home in her pocket. One of these people knew Sarah had written cheat notes on the palm of her hand and sent her out in front of the camera anyway. And as long as Sarah continues to behave like well, Sarah, this grade of poor counsel is going to keep on coming.
8 Feb 22010 4:50pm
Channel 7 (Australia) evening news just reported on Sarah Palin’s criticizing of President Obama using a teleprompter – then using cheat notes on her hand to deliver her own speech at the National Tea Party Convention. I just about killed myself scrambling to get from my desk to the living room and only caught the very last of the report but this last comment was clear as a bell. I quote:
“… with the Republican Party duly noting that Sarah Palin -only- speaks to friendly audiences…”
Oh dear oh my… were they saying this like it was a good thing? Or… oh dear, oh my…
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title Catching Up: Mark My Words and click the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
February 7, 2010
…because you can’t fit all that shit into a shoe.
How many Ethiopians can you fit into a phonebooth?
…all of ‘em.
How many Ethiopians can you fit into a bathtub?
…none of ‘em. They keep sliding down the drain.
Why do Greek men never volunteer for the army?
…because they don’t want to leave their brothers behind.
What do you call a paraplegic in a hot tub?
What do you call a paraplegic on your wall?
What do you call a paraplegic on your doorstep?
What do you call a paraplegic at a Giant’s game?
How can you tell which is the groom at a Polish wedding?
…he’s the one with the clean bowling shirt.
How do you babysit a black kid?
…wet his lips and stick him to the ceiling.
How do you get him down?
…give a Mexican kid a bat and tell him he’s a pinata.
What do you get when you cross a Mexican with a black man?
…a thief who’s too lazy to steal a car.
A Jew and a Polak meet on the street corner. The Jew points to the bag the Polak is holding and asks “What ya got in the bag?” to which the polak replies “Chickens!” The Jew shakes his head and mutters “Oi we haven’t had chicken in a long time.” The Polak says “Tell you what – you guess how many chickens I have in this bag and I’ll give you BOTH of ‘em!” The Jew thinks for a moment and answers “Three?” The Polak opens the bag, looks inside, counts the chickens, sighs, and hands the bag over.
Before there were blonde jokes or how many [blanks] does it take to change a lightbulb jokes, there were ethnic jokes galore. No culture was safe. The above is a sampling of the ethnic jokes I personally grew up with. Left out are the Irish police, Russian mafia and Catholic priest/alterboy jokes but only because I can’t remember any of the punchlines off the top of my head. (Don’t even get me started on the dead baby jokes.)
I’ve just now typed ‘ethnic jokes’ into google and judging from the gahzillion hits it generated, I’m guessing not much has changed in the past 50-60 years. The jokes on a lot of these lists, actually, are almost verbatim to those I remember hearing in high School as a teenager, or while working in San Francisco Nightclubs as a young adult. Over the years the brunts of the punchlines have changed to fit the political clime of the day, but the majority of the jokes themselves have remained intact. Well it’s nice to know we’re good at recycling SOMETHING!
How do you bury a [insert race] guy in New Jersey?
*NOT TO DEEP! (You don’t want to be the guy who finds Jimmy Hoffa.)
*Upsidedown – then you can use him as a bicycle rack.
*Skin ‘im first – then you getta free wetsuit.
Then there are the ethnic jokes that morph to fit the day’s headlines. This joke from my High School days, for example: “If a girl from Arkansas marries a boy from Oklahoma, do they still call each other brother and sister after the wedding?” morphed into this during the O.J. Simpson trial, years later: Why couldn’t O.J.’s trial be held in Oklahoma? Because all the DNA is the same.
Humans poke fun at each other. It’s what we do. Making fun of oneself is considered a sign of maturity in most cultures. We have roasts for famous people for heaven’s sake… If we ever reach a day when every word written, spoken or mumbled requires a politically correct litmus test, we will have lost the better part of our humanity.
Had Rahm Emanuel stood at a podium, addressing a room filled with special needs kids and hollered “fucking retards!” then I’d be up for neutering him myself. But my guess is that simply would not have happened. And point of fact: Mr. Emanuel referred to a ‘policy’ as retarded, not an actual person.
So this feigned outburst of shock and demand for immediate atonement by Sarah Palin to Rahm Emanuel, over one pollie frustratingly referring to a (quite possibly inept) policy written by other pollies “fucking retarded” in a roomful of his peers is just another example of how very disconnected the woman is from any form of reality.
And you know, she did the exact same thing to David Letterman. Maybe these men should start a club.
First of all to Sarah: You’re late. This non-event took place a while ago and has since been apologized for by Mr. Emanuel. Might I suggest, when your ghost-facebook-writers are experiencing a slow news day, they might check the dates of tidbits they google? I mean before they put you in a humiliating light.
Second, does this woman who purportedly shoots wild animals, works on a fishing trawler and is mother to five children – never curse? Never? You’re telling me she’s never said one thing out of line, ever? pfft.
Shut up Sarah, just sit down and shut up.
Ok – Three guys walked into a bar… (you’d think after the first one walked into the bar, the other two would’ve had more sense and walked around it.)
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title: Catch Up Week: The ‘R’ Word (or) Why Is Italy Shaped Like a Boot? and click the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
February 4, 2010
My new computer system is magnificent. Seagate. 250 gigs of real estate and 4 gigs of memory makes quite a playground. I can make non-fuzzy .mpg files out of my photos, use Word 2007, harvest my crops on Farmville, chat on Facebook and open emails all at the same time with no hiccups or lag. It’s geek heaven.
So this arvo I’m out and about shopping for a backup drive. The last time I had a backup drive it was called sneaker net. Sneaker net was the technical term used to describe loading all one’s work onto as many 3″ floppy disks as necessary and walking them across the room to either another computer or the filing cabinet. Today you get this little thing that looks like either a short, fat pen or a very small remote control, stick it into a port on your tower and it beeps when it’s done, just like the microwave oven. One Terrabyte – one-hundred-forty-four dollars. No more disks. God I love technology.
The purchase was swift and painless so as long as we were in civilization, spouse and I wandered around the mall. He drooled over a 24″ monitor. $400. Good grief, we each recalled when the 21″ monitor first hit the market about fifteen years ago at $2000.00 and techies couldn’t shell out the cash fast enough. The Veronica’s have their own line of little girls clothing. Adorable. The stretchpants each come with a plastic bag attached, containing a silver heart on a chain. Chocolate Easter bunnies are everywhere and I’m not even sure where Easter falls on the calendar this year. But I am pretty sure we haven’t done Valentine’s Day yet. So these must be those legendary ‘early bunnies who catch the early worm’. (heh ok, ok sorry!)
And while spouse strolled off to inspect the newest in light bulb tehnology, (he’s finally embraced the whole ‘incandescent bulbs are bad’ concept) I spotted the bookstore and grinned.
Clerk 1: G’day may I help you?
OzMud: Do you by any chance sell the Sarah Palin book?
Clerk 1: Oh I think we do. It’s not out there is it?
OzMud: Nup. I’ve looked through all the front racks, even the one marked 50%off.
Clerk 1: Well let me look it up for you.
The clerk busied herself typing on the register. A second clerk came out of the back room. “The register acting up again, is it?”
Clerk 1: No, I just can’t seem to find Sarah Palin’s book. I thought we had it.
Clerk 2: What’s the actual title?
OzMud: Going Rogue. An American Lie. I mean life, sorry.
Clerk 1 let go of a big, broad grin. Clerk 2 disappeared into the back. I leaned closer and said quietly “You know, I don’t actually want to purchase this book. I’m just very curious as to how many copies you may have sold. I have a blog you see, and my readers and I have been curious about Sarah’s overseas sales.”
Clerk 1 began typing at the register again, her grin even bigger than before.
Clerk 2 reappeared from the back and flopped a hardcover copy of Going Rogue right in front of me. Dust flew off the cover as it landed. I waved the air with my hand, trying not to imagine what horrible disease a person could catch from getting Palin dust up their nose.
Clerk 2: We have a boxful. Full.
Clerk 1: It doesn’t look like any copies have been sold, actually, according to the store’s database.
OzMud: Well, it’s not like she actually wrote it or that anything in it is true.
Clerk 2: That’s $43.95
Clerk 1 and I flinched in unison.
Clerk 2 figured out there was no sale to be made and left for coffee, muttering something gnarly about Americans. I’m not clear if it was directed at me or Sarah or both.
Clerk 1 leaned close to me and whispered “If you wait about 6 months the paperback will be out and the price won’t be quite so dear.”
I leaned in and replied “If you wait about a year, the truth will be out and we won’t have to bother reading it at all.”
They didn’t have a copy of Game Change. I might have sprung $43.95 for that one. So I thanked the helpful clerk and told her I’d be back when they got their supply of Levi’s book. Then I bought a copy of Logic Puzzles by Mensa, The High IQ Society to send to my oldest daughter in the US. Clerk 1 smiled through the entire transaction. In fact, she was still grinning when I walked away. I’m guessing she had the same silly picture in her head as I did of Sarah tryng to solve a Mensa logic puzzle:
*The Land of Zoz
In the land of Zoz, there live three types of person:
-Truthkins, who live in hexagonal houses and always tell the truth
-Fibkins, who live in pentagonal houses and always tell lies
-Switchkins, who live in round houses and who make true whatever they say
One morning 90 of them gather in the city in three groups of 30. One group is all of one type. Another group is made up evenly of two types. The third group evenly comprises three types. Everyone in the first group says “We are all Truthkins”. Everyone in the second group says “We are all Fibkins”. Everyone in the third group says “We are all Switchkins”.
How many sleep in pentagonal houses that night?
ROFL – yuh Sarah g’head – give us the answer to that one
*Excerpt from Logic Puzzles, British Mensa Limited, copyright 1996
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title The Land of Zoz and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
[click image to enlarge]
Just so it’s clear to everyone that I did NOT cheat… I got it wrong! rofl (My kid is going to love this book!)
February 3, 2010
Australian bank officer David Kiely was opening emails while behind him cameras were busy filming a live financial report for the morning’s Channel Seven News. Not realizing that (a) the cameras were rolling or (b) that his monitor was facing the cameras rolling, Mr. Kiely took his time perusing some nude photos which apparently popped up in one of the emails.
Kiely is busily chatting with a co-worker who finally sees the nude shots appear on one of the live monitors and leans in to tell Mr. Kiely the good news – that his email porn was being aired on live television. This can only be described as a priceless, unforgettable moment in Australia’s history. See mr. O’Reilly? Australia’s not racist. Just randy!
Within minutes the bit had been broadcast to the US, Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand… oh the joy of youtube. Welcome to the new millenium, boys! Zip up! There’s always a camera on somewhere!
Full story is here and it’s well worth the read. What a great way to start the month!
Computer’s up – I’m almost back