2010-June


The old saying is “Everyone who’s surprised raise their hands”. Well not me. I’ve been waiting patiently on the side anticipating this (or a similar) discovery concerning the La. federal judge overturning the moratorium on deep-water drilling in the gulf.

Watching the rogue oil spill despoil every living thing in and surrounding the gulf, and listening to a resident judge decide openly to make President Obama’s  cautionary cessation of deep-water drilling redundant, it was just the only thing that made sense.

Rachel Maddow connects the dots, here. Please watch.

(I really do need to learn how to embed videos other than just youtube… OzMud)

It looks like Sarah’s found her niche`. Comdey! It looks like she might actually be good at it too! I’ m not surprised. It’s a natural progression from runway queen to lying politician to stand-up comic. People do it all the time. And of course we know Sarah quit her job as governor of Alaska to progress the state so she may have inadvertently kept a campaign promise as well.

Sarah’s turbulently-anticipated speaking engagement at a California University last night reportedly grossed over $450,000 with a net profit of $200,000. The L.A. Times reports 370 dinners were sold at $500 per plate. (Private donations gleaned from the event created the balance.) University spokepersons have clarified that a third of this profit will go towards student scholarships, with the rest going towards university programs.

Anyone want to do the math?

I’m betting that if they’d never heard of Sarah, or the event hadn’t been publicized nationally, the university would have made the same profit and without the legal headaches they still face.

This was the 50th anniversay of a very old, beloved institution. The alumni would have been equally generous with their donations regardless of the name of the main speaker. What they might have lost in not charging $500 per plate, they would easily have recouped in not having such elaborate overhead. Stan State graduates feature quite a selection of famous athletes, politicians and even an actor or two from which to draw without the catch of exhorbitant speaking fees, luxory accomodations and attorneys to sort through the pile of little illegalities Sarah seems to leave behind wherever she goes. It hardly seems ‘a wise use of time and materials’  to have procured the over-charging,  prima donna of the north, but that’s my opinion.

At the end of the day, against her objections, even though the press was allowed to attend the event, Sarah surprised us all by showing up anyway and apparently wooed the crowd with all her wonderful little anecdotes about bendy straws and fast jets and people poking fun at her, the poor little rich girl from Wasilla. I’m betting she plugged her new book inbetween snark comments but you know what? All good comics make snark comments and plug their new books so why shouldn’t she? (You go girl!)

I just wish she would understand that what she does best ‘is’ comedy. Maybe if she stopped thinking of herself as the next messiah or US President, she could embrace her true talent, enjoy her newfound fame and fortune, and let the rest of us enjoy her as the clown she truly is – too, also 🙂

Who knows – maybe one day we’ll be seeing her doing impressions of Tina Fey!

Pros and cons of Sarah’s appearance can be read:
Modesto Bee
L.A. Times

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title “Herrrrrrrrrre’s Sarah!” and click on the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

Julia Gillard was voted into office yesterday by the Labour party, deposing Kevin Rudd and making her the first ever female Prime Minister of Australia. Mr. Rudd has fallen so out of favour by party members that passing the baton to his Deputy, Ms. Gillard, was in the end, a unanimous decision by her peers.

Ms. Gillard is a champion of higher education, and has actively sought to better the Australian school system since taking her place beside Mr. Rudd as his Deputy Prime Minister in 2007.  She is well-spoken, well-liked, hard-working and has proven herself  firm in her commitment to public service.

Wikipedia is currently the best  source of information regarding Ms. Gillard and how she came to be Australia’s 27th Prime Minister.

Congratulations Julia! And from someone who has watched other women in office may I also add my personal thanks… 

…for never writing on your hand.
…for never once saying you betcha!
…for not using Facebook to talk to us and most of all
…thanks for
 not being a quitter!

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title “The New Face of Australia” and click on the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

By Faith Karimi,
CNN June 21, 2010

 South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers was on call one night four decades ago when a devastated rape victim walked in. Her eyes were lifeless; she was like a breathing corpse.

“She looked at me and said, ‘If only I had teeth down there,’” recalled Ehlers, who was a 20-year-old medical researcher at the time. “I promised her I’d do something to help people like her one day.”

Forty years later, Rape-aXe was born.

Ehlers is distributing the female condoms in the various South African cities where the World Cup soccer games are taking place.

The woman inserts the latex condom like a tampon. Jagged rows of teeth-like hooks line its inside and attach on a man’s penis during penetration, Ehlers said.

Once it lodges, only a doctor can remove it — a procedure Ehlers hopes will be done with authorities on standby to make an arrest.

“It hurts, he cannot pee and walk when it’s on,” she said. “If he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter… however, it doesn’t break the skin, and there’s no danger of fluid exposure.”

Ehlers said she sold her house and car to launch the project, and she planned to distribute 30,000 free devices under supervision during the World Cup period.

“I consulted engineers, gynecologists and psychologists to help in the design and make sure it was safe,” she said.

After the trial period, they’ll be available for about $2 a piece. She hopes the women will report back to her.

Read entire article here.

To say I have mixed emotions about this would be an understatement of massive proportions.  Google the term Rape-aXe and read the comments generated by the different postings of this news. Absolutely no one can agree!

I would want to know more about how immobilizing an effect it has on the male. If, in fact, the man cannot walk, this would possibly give the female a chance to get away from her assailant prior to a violent response.

During a girls’ self-defense class in high school, we were told – if all else fails – to bite off the end of an assailant’s nose as he would then be focused on his own pain, creating an opening for escape.

Rape-aXe may prove to be a deterent to those men in Africa who (if rape was not already considered a normal act of sex) do not have violent tendencies themselves, but for the life of me I can’t see how this does not exacerbate aggressive behaviour on the part of men who have a predisposition towards violence in the first place. 

That said, I can think of a few instances in my own life where the wearing of this condom would have made me smile – just a little 🙂

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title “Rape-aXe: Condoms With A Bite” and click on the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

So there was – in fact – an actual visit to McNeil River during it’s bear-viewing season by Sarah Palin in the summer of 2009. It just didn’t happen quite the way Sarah’s Facebook post implied.

Sarah did – in fact – spend a day watching the bears in their salmon-feeding habitat. She was – in fact – accompanied by a biologist. However, she was also accompanied by both her parents, making it a family outing, not an invited scientific observation she implied in her post.

And this defines my on-going gripe with Sarah: Her continual need to exaggerate, embellish and wring the truth out of all her experiences before showing them off. It’s like having a precocious 4 year old who insists upon carrying her own glass of chocolate milk and you’re left to follow along, cleaning up the little spills as you go.

Here’s one now…

Sarah spent her last few weeks in office not in the office at all. Rather than stay in Juneau and help the new team make the sudden transition she’d thrust upon them without warning, she instead fired up the Palin Express and took to the road. Under the auspices of signing laws in different towns across Alaska, Sarah went sight-seeing and Twittered away her last hours as Public Servant No.1.

There are archived articles at the ADN pertaining to these last few weeks, (which include the McNeil trip), written by a couple of perturbed Alaskan journos, who are not at all shy about voicing their displeasure with Sarah’s exit strategy.

One writer observes how Sarah and her parents displaced three paying customers who’d put in their applicaton on time and waited patiently for their turn to view the bears, only to be ousted by the Palin entourage. He makes the point that Sarah and her father, Chuck Heath were an unlikely pair to be bear-viewing at all, considering their propensity to slaughter bears rather than observe them.

A second writer shows his disdain for Sarah’s lack of commitment to the people of Alaska, not just in quitting before the end of her term as governor, but by not even sticking around to help the new governor and his team get organized.

From Sarah’s Facebook:
Last summer I stood on the grassy bank of an Alaskan waterway that was teeming with salmon to watch part of Alaska’s brown bear population forage, fight, feed, and fend off enemies to survive. I joined Fish and Game biologists to observe 42 of these majestic wild animals all within eyesight, all at once.”

She stood with her parents on that grassy slope. She didn’t ‘join’ F&G biologists, they were her mandatory chaperones, as no one is left to wander through the state habitat alone. No biologist(s) ‘invited’ Sarah to join them. A full staff of qualified biologists are at all times on the property, specifically to escort the public and to hopefully educate them as well regarding the plight of the Alaska Brown Bear.

A plight, I might add that Sarah, her father and the current Acting Gov Sean Parnell continue to make worse.

Please visit the links and read the full articles.

*          *          *          *          *

Special thanks to all the commenters who took the time to research this subject for me, digging up the old twitters, setting the timeline and especially to HistoryGoddess and Aussie Blue Sky for sharing the above links.

My having zoned in on this particular Facebook post of Sarah’s may seem petty to some, but I happen to believe that people who elevate themselves  to role model status, be it celebrity or politician, should be held accountable for the things they say to the public;  for the image they portray  to the public, and that those images are truthful.

I happen to believe that telling the truth should be the knee-jerk response of an elected (or wannabe elected) official. Now, if I could just persuade the pollies to get on board…

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title “The Bear Truth (Revealed)” and click on the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

“See McNeil River Bears” is an archived article posted on the Alaska Fish & Wildlife website in their February 2008 edition.

To wit:

The following access permits are available to visit the sanctuary:

Guiding Viewing Access Permits: Formerly known as “Regular” permits, these are drawn in a lottery in which all applicants have an equal opportunity of being selected. Applicants may select a first and second choice for the four-day time block to visit the McNeil River Sanctuary during the period of June 7-Aug. 25. A total of 185 individual permits, each valid for a four-day period, are available through this lottery. Applications must be submitted by March 1.

Camp-Standby Viewing Access Permits: Formerly known as “Standby” permits, these are drawn in the same lottery as the Guided Viewing Access Permits. Visitors holding Camp-Standby Viewing Access Permits are allowed to stay in the sanctuary campground, visit the beach seaward of the campground, and view bears in the campground/beach area. These permit holders are eligible to fill vacancies that occur when visitors holding Guided Viewing Access Permits fail to use their permit(s). A total of 57 Camp-Standby Viewing Access Permits, each valid for a four-day period, are issued each year.

Biologist Joe Meehan is the lands and refuges program coordinator. He said 97 percent of the people on standby get to spend at least one day out at the bear viewing site. “The vast majority go for two or more days,” Meehan said. “There’s often very good viewing around camp, or on the beach. Or out on the McNeil Lagoon Spit.”

Sarah’s Facebook plug didn’t exactly ‘plug’ the program, however, as she could have easily promoted the McNeil River bear viewing project by adding the article’s last two paragraphs:

Application must be made by March 1 online. Mailed applications must be at the Alaska Department of Fish & Game by March 1. Application forms are available on line at http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=mcneil_river.mainor by calling 907-267-2182.

There is a non-refundable application of $25 per person. Applications are entered into a lottery. If drawn, by May 1 residents must pay a $150 viewing fee and non-residents pay $350

H/T to walkaboutstory for the wildlife.alaska.gov link which led to the above archive and the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary link, promoted by ADF&G Division of Wildlife conservation – which reads (not-so-surprisingly) just like the Facebook post:

To wit:

The largest known gathering of brown bears in the world happens at McNeil River. Visitors get an unparalleled opportunity to watch the bears mating, fighting, playing, and feeding. In early July, chum salmon return to the river to spawn. A series of cascading rapids and pools slows the migration of the salmon and makes them easy prey for hungry bears.

and…

McNeil River is the world’s best wildlife viewing site for the magnificent Alaska brown bear. Usually solitary animals, as many as three dozen bruins may be seen at the river’s falls dining on chum salmon

Alaska commenters from yesterday’s post add some unique observations regarding their ex-half-gov and how it’s entirely possible her bear-watching claim is true. However, rather than walking away feeling satisfied that Sarah actually took one of these ‘day trips’ to McNeil’s River, I found myself simply rewording my original questions… Where are the photos of Sarah observng the bears? Where are the photos Sarah would have taken of the bears she observed? Where’s the printed story of this adventure?

If Sarah Palin took one of these day-trips to McNeil River in the month of June, while she was still governor, where’s the activity listed on her oh-so-busy governor’s schedule? What’s the likelihood she didn’t sieze this opportunity to tout herself as a concerned conservationist to the environmental voters?

This would have been a no-brainer photo-op showing she was such a great governor that she took time out of her busy governorshipness to show the biologists how to properly observe bears.

Where’s the story?

If she took the trip in July or August, after her marathon week-long quitathon, where’s the ‘I spotted Sarah’ story telling all of us how (even though she quit her job) she’s still concerned enough about Alaska that she’s gone off to observe the bears yadda yadda… I mean really, isn’t it logical that the  people she would have encountered on such a trip have had, oh I don’t know… cameras?

I’m just saying… prior to quitting, Sarah was all over the news cycles shilling herself as the greatest governor Alaska ever had and this story is nowhere to be found.

After she quit, people in all 50 states were  on a 24/7  Sarah-Watch trying to figure out where she was and what she was doing. She didn’t emerge from hiding until just before her book release, part of which (coincidentally?) overlaps with the Alaska Brown Bear viewing season. I find it extremely hard to digest the idea that NO ONE thought to snap a candid shot of her at the campground. Especially when the price of a candid shot of the ex-half-gov would have so nicely lined the pockets of another bear watcher or underpaid biologist.

I’ll believe this fairy tale when one of the biologists comes forward with his or her photo-essay of the day he or she escorted his or her ex-half-gov around the bear habitat.

Until then, I think her FB hack should stop signing Sarah’s name to the bottom of her posts and start signing it honestly:

The Googling-Ghost springs to mind.

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title “The Bear Truth (cont.)” and click on the word comments just beneath. Thanks, OzMud

Sarah’s ghost-writer is at it again on Facebook…

Last summer I stood on the grassy bank of an Alaskan waterway that was teeming with salmon to watch part of Alaska’s brown bear population forage, fight, feed, and fend off enemies to survive. I joined Fish and Game biologists to observe 42 of these majestic wild animals all within eyesight, all at once. Even though I’ve lived all my life in the “Last Frontier,” I still find days like that absolutely fascinating! And I swear the hardest workers on the water were those “mama bears.”

Blah, blah blah, blah blah blah – and then…

“Now, scanning the political landscape, here’s a new “Mama Grizzlies” field report! There are great guys running for office all over the place, but I hope you will join me in supporting three more bold Commonsense Conservative women who are willing to put it all the line to get our country back on track: Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Star Parker, and Mary Fallin.”

So the whole ‘bear’ theme has a point and I get it. Women should embrace women in politics. And, quite admittedly, I can think of several reasons why some women would make better politicians than some of the men I’ve observed in office but – being deified by Sarah Palin is not among them.

In fact, after the ensuing descriptions of the three candidates are given, one of Sarahs ‘FB Fans’ had this to say:

 (I left the top one just for chuckles – it’s the second one that should be carefully read)

 

How about that! I I guess people have paid attention to how Carly Fiorina wormed her way into California politics on the end of Sarah Palin’s fishing pole and aren’t so sure they want the same thing to happen in their home state… and… are actively calling her out on her bad choices. I’m loving it!

However… and here’s the ‘but’… I’m having a wee bit of trouble with the timeline in the first FB paragraph. During the summer of 2009, (you remember, the summer she quit her job as governor to ride off into the sunset, stopping at Lake Lucille just long enough to feed the fish with her wedding ring to write, co-write, oversee the writing, edit the writing, have a facelift and boob job while someone else did the writing of her book) when did she have time to go off with some biologists and watch bears feed on a river teeming with salmon?

And if she did, where was her entourage to capture the whole governor-ny experience on film? I couldn’t find anything at ADN. Google turned up stacks of references to Sarah vs. polar bears and biologists but nowhere to be found are any references to the then Gov.Sarah having an outing with any fish & Game biologists.

Does Alaska’s summer start earlier than June? When do the bears hunt salmon? How close is ‘within eyesight’?

Sarah announced her intent to quit her governorship of Alaska on 3 July 2009. Leading up to this main event were all the kerfuffles between Sarah and the unhappy legislators, including the whoop-dee-do over her AG nominees W.A.R. and ‘ol whatshisface…  There’s the birth of the Alaska Fund Trust because ‘all her time was devoted to answering whimsical ethics complaints’ but I neither recall an outing like her FB ghostie describes, nor can I find any post or article even remotely similar to it’s description.

Ok people… who’s got a copy of Sarah’s schedule from last summer? Show me the bears!

To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title “The Bear Truth” and click on the word comments just beneath.  Thanks, OzMud

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