Readers Who Purchased Sarah Palin’s Biography Might Also Like….WHAT?!

30 11 2008
Sarah for Sale
Sarah for Sale

Oh, those crazy conservatives at Human Events….they do make me laugh!  Most of the time they make me cringe, and occasionally they make me nauseous, but somehow they manage to toss me little crumbs that make it all worth while.  Today, I received my daily email from the dark side, and in it, the offer of “Sarah Palin’s New Book” for free!

Of course, the book isn’t by Sarah Palin as the subject line might imply.  And it isn’t new as the subject line might also imply.  This book has been around for at least a year, and I’ve seen it sitting in stacks on the book table at Costco. 

 I’ve even seen it for sale at Wal-Mike’s (left), an interesting little business with lots of “local color,” located on the Parks Highway about an hour north of Wasilla, where they were also selling a ‘Sarah Palin for Governor’ frisbee for $1500.  I didn’t bother to check how much they were charging for the book.  But, I digress…

 Back to the email:

Now, the major media is in full overdrive to smear and rewrite the accomplishments of this courageous young woman and rising Republican star.

But who is the real Sarah Palin?

She is more than a former beauty queen, conservative politician, family advocate, hockey mom with “lipstick” and moose-hunting NRA lifetime member.

She is a true reformer who took on the political and business establishment in Alaska and won.

And she may make history as the first female vice president of the United States.

(screechy brake noise)  She MAY make history as the first female vice president?  Yes, I received this email on November 30th, which means that Human Events doesn’t actually update, or proofread their emails before sending them.   It’s the “Just use that one again” strategy.

In Sarah, the first biography of Palin, author Kaylene Johnson draws upon personal interviews with Palin herself, her family, and closely placed sources to explore her private and public life. Sarah also includes 16 pages of Sarah Palin’s most personal photos!

(screechy brake noise) MOST personal photos?  Couldn’t we just have the regular personal photos?  What makes these the MOST personal??  I solemnly take a vow that the next time I am in Costco, I will take a big deep breath and look at Sarah Palin’s most personal photos, and report back.

In the meantime, those of you who do not have access to this amazing free book deal, can order your very own copy of Sarah at Amazon for a mere $15.95 in paperback.  AND, you know how Amazon has that thing where you can buy two related books, and get a special offer?  Here’s the deal you get with Sarah:

Buy Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political Establishment Upside Down and get Terror Occulta at an additional 5% off Amazon.com’s everyday low price.   Buy Together Today: $25.86

HUH??  No, I am not making this upTerror Occulta….truly.  This is the book, of all books, that Amazon has chosen to pair with Sarah Palin’s Biography. Wow.

Here’s a brief description:

Product Description
In a classic tale of good and evil, in Terror Occulta, author Victor F. Paletta goes to an eerie and wicked place that is wholly unusual and utterly fascinating. His is a distant future where life on earth has taken a turn for the worst. An enemy that once hid from a more technologically advanced people turns the tide, and is now on a relentless hunt for humans.

Could this “distant future” be…(insert creepy organ chord here)….2012???

terror-occulta

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Bedtime in Alaska – Flickr is Up!

29 11 2008

I am happy to announce that the Flickr photo function is now up and running. You’ll see the link to photos in the sidebar towards the bottom. This will make life much easier when posting groups of photos in the future. But to start the experiment, I used some shots I took on Thanksgiving. You may or may not recognize the mudflats you’ve been looking at in the header photo at the top of the page. They are distinctly more frozen than they were last year at this time when I took the photo in the header.

As you can see, I felt like I spent Thanksgiving in a postcard!

The Night Kitchen Open Thread is waiting in the forum!

Night all!





Joe the Plumber Won’t Go Away Either.

29 11 2008

The two people that most of America was hoping would become footnotes in history, or questions in Trivial Pursuit after Election Day, continue to prove that they will not go gently into that good night.

First we had Sarah Palin on the “Victory Tour” with Larry King, and Matt Lauer, and the Governor’s Conference in Florida, and the turkey slaying, and the “Thank you Sarah Palin” TV commerical, and her newly planned trip to stump for racist fear-monger, Saxby Chambliss…

And now….he’s baaa-aaack!  I speak of Joe the Plumber.  I picture him and Sarah Palin as a set of bookends that John McCain used to try to prop up his flagging campaign, and they were the cheap kind of bookends that aren’t very heavy and don’t have that little thing that you slip under the books to hold them up.  In other words, they were for show, and they didn’t work for squat.

Nevertheless, they continue to sit there on the shelf and annoy us, and we have to keep looking at them.

The commentary from Cenk Uygur makes this one bearable. I wonder if Joe will show up in Georgia on Monday? It actually wouldn’t surprise me.

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The Governor of Alaska and the Queen of Georgia.

29 11 2008

chess

Tomorrow, Sarah Palin, like all of us, will make certain decisions about what to do with her time. She, like all of us, will decide where to put her energy and focus and attention. She has a newfound power and ability to influence decision-making on a populist level. And she has made decisions about how she wants to do that.

Tomorrow, Sarah Palin will fly to Georgia to use her influence on behalf of Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. She will appear at four campaign rallies speaking to thousands of voters on his behalf. The run-off election between Chambliss and his Democratic challenger Jim Martin has become an epic struggle, the outcome of which may decide whether Democrats walk away from this election with a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate.

The holy grail of 60 seats has not only elevated the Senate race in Georgia to Olympic proportions, it has focused the magnifying glass on the laborious and exacting recount in Minnesota, and has kept Republicratic-independent Senator Joe Lieberman in his plum committee chairmanship for fear of making him mad and losing him to the dark side entirely. It is politics. It is a chess game. It is, as our current President would call it, “strategery.”

But, as political candidates, and strategists, and voters often do, we get deep into that dark forest of strategy and we no longer look at the trees. To many, Chambliss is a political pawn in this Senatorial chess game, who has suddenly made it to the other side of the board, and now has all the significance and power of a Queen. To others, including Max Cleland, the man who ran against him last time, he is more than that.

Matt Zencey was kind enough to do my homework for me today. In the Alaska Notebook, he reminds us:

Chambliss was elected to the Senate in 2002 by running one of the most reprehensible campaigns of modern times. He was up against incumbent Democrat Sen. Max Cleland, a Vietnam War veteran who lost both legs and his right arm to a grenade during that conflict.

Chambliss avoided serving in Vietnam. He got four student draft deferments, and when his number finally came up, he was medically disqualified with knee troubles.

In the best Karl Rove fashion, Chambliss the draft-evader attacked Cleland the war hero for being soft on terrorism. Distorting Cleland’s votes about workplace rules for the new Homeland Security Department employees, Chambliss portrayed him as a tool of terrorists like Osama bin Laden.

Here’s how the Almanac of American Politics (2006) described it:
“Chambliss ran an ad, much attacked in the press, showing pictures of Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Max Cleland, and saying that Cleland ‘voted against the President’s vital homeland security efforts 11 times.’” (Those “vital homeland security efforts” Cleland opposed were intended to strip homeland security employees of union rights and other workplace protections.)

The man who couldn’t bring himself to serve in the military said a man who left three limbs behind in war was a weakling who would turn the country over to terrorists.

I have no doubt that our Governor is proud of her son Track, who recently enlisted in the army. She wears her blue star pin, and I’m sure there’s not a day that goes by that she doesn’t wonder about his welfare, and worry about his safety as all mothers would worry about the welfare of the child that first made them a parent. She thinks about the military differently than she used to, because she now has very precious “skin in the game.” So, I wonder. I wonder how it is that she, and so many others including John McCain who have a personal narrative that is touched by war and conflict, can stand next to Saxby Chambliss and see him as nothing but the shiny new Queen in the chess game.

And while America prepares to witness the most historic Presidential inauguration of our lifetime, and children of every color look at their TV screen at our new first family and think, “Yes, I can” maybe for the first time, we hear again from Senator Chambliss. Here’s what he said about the neck-and-neck race that brought about this run-off election.

“There was a high percentage of minority vote,” Chambliss told Alan Colmes on Fox a couple weeks ago, “but we weren’t able to get enough of our folks out on election day.”

“WE weren’t able to get enough of OUR folks out on election day.” Who is “we”? Who are “our folks”?

During the fall Senate campaign, Chambliss cautioned his followers that “the other folks” are voting. The senator added that the “rush to the polls by African-Americans” has “got our side energized early, they see what is happening.”

In Chambliss’ world it is “our side” vs. the African-Americans. Our folks vs. the minority vote. I am tired of Chambliss’ world. I am tired of racially divisive politics and the words that keep it alive. It was Gandhi who said, “Words become our deeds.” This country has had enough of those words, and those deeds. And this country has had enough of those who support them. This is not a chess game.

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Bedtime in Alaska – Brian’s Knock Knock Joke.

29 11 2008

I’ve been missing Brian, my local moose, lately.  I saw a lot of him in the fall, but I haven’t seen him for several weeks.  It’s dark early now, and I keep thinking to myself that he could be right outside my door and I’d never know.  But tonight, I knew.

I went out of town for Thanksgiving, and before I left, I meant to take out the little bowl of fruit and vegetable scraps that was ready to toss on my compost pile, but I forgot.  So when I got home, I noticed the contents of the bowl had gotten a little “ripe” in my absence, so I took the bowl and set it outside the back door in the snow, planning on dumping it after I unpacked.  And once again, I forgot.

So, tonight, I was sitting here happily typing away, and the dog raised her head from sleep and let out one of those little, short truncated barks.  More like a “buf!”  But that was it.  I didn’t think much of it.  Then a minute later I hear someone knocking on the sliding glass door.  It’s highly unusual for anyone to knock on that door, especially past midnight, and the door is right next to my computer, so it startled me, and I swung my head around.  There, standing, framed perfectly in the glass of the sliding door was enormous Brian, no more than 5 feet from where I sit!  I almost jumped out of my skin.  I don’t know who I expected to be knocking on my door in the dead of night, but it surely wasn’t a 1500 pound bull moose! Then, I remembered the compost!  Sure enough he was trying to get the frozen plant scraps out of the bottom of the plastic bowl that was just about the perfect size to fit over his nose.  As he licked the frozen veg-sicle that was stuck to the bottom, his head was moving back and forth, causing his antlers to bonk bonk bonk on the glass.

I raced for the camera, of course, and managed to get some pictures.  The flash didn’t seem to bother him too much.  Then I sat on the floor to the side of the door and watched the compost antics.  He became less and less successful in extracting his snack the deeper into the bowl he got.  Finally in frustration he started to stomp on the bowl, which helped, as frozen chunks of carrot and apple core popped out into the snow.  Then he’d nibble them up with his lips and stomp again.  He’d stop periodically and just stare at me trying to decide whether I was something to worry about.  I’m sure he wondered what all the flashing lights were about, but he seemed willing to put up with it in order to enjoy the wonderful frozen treat he’d managed to find.

He stayed a good long while; long after the dog’s hackles had gone down.  He stood like a sentinal, watching me intently with great brown eyes even as I began to type this nighttime thread.  It looks like he’s gone now.  But I have a feeling he will be back, hoping to find another meal at his secret eatery.  I won’t make that mistake again, or I’m likely to have antlers crashing through my door at all hours of the night!

The Open Thread is waiting, as always, in the Night Kitchen!

Knock, knock.

Knock, knock.





Ted Stevens Corruption Timeline!

28 11 2008

Every once in a while, going through my usual rounds online, I come across an unexpected jewel.  This one came from TPM Muckraker in the form of a wonderfully organized and aesthetically pleasing  Ted Stevens Corruption timeline!

It’s a true tale of descent from Last Frontier Icon, to really old semi-pathetic felon. 

The chronology begins with the fateful line, “Sen. Ted Stevens mentions to his friend, VECO CEO Bill Allen, that his daughter could use a new car,” and it’s all down hill from there.

In reading through the chain of events, there were some details I had forgotten, like this marvelous quote from Stevens at the time of his indictment:

“This is an indictment for failure to disclose gifts that are controversial in terms of whether they were or were not gifts. It’s not bribery; it’s not some corruption; it’s not some extreme felony.”

I don’t know why I always get such a kick out of that quote.  No, he didn’t commit murder, or knock over a bank, or kidnap someone for ransom. And that makes us glad.  But by implication, we’re supposed to feel good that it’s just a garden variety felony, a minor felony, a felony hardly worth mentioning.  Whew!  Dodged a bullet, there.  I was worried for a minute. 

The timeline ends on November 20, 2008 when Stevens makes his last appearance on the Senate floor.  I’m hoping the timeline will continue with updates, because Stevens may be out, but the cadaveric spasms of his long career in Alaska politics continue.

David Anderson, the witness who said he lied under oath regarding an immunity deal, has also stated that the prosecution showed him documents before the trial that he wasn’t legally supposed to see.  Judge Emmett Sullivan, who undoubtedly had been hoping he’d seen the last of this trial has scheduled a hearing for Monday to determine whether Stevens’ attorneys can question Anderson, Allen’s nephew and a welder who worked on Stevens’ renovations….the one’s he ‘forgot’ to disclose on his financial disclosure forms.

The circumstances surrounding this sudden and startling confession of perjury from the penitent welder are still unclear.  Kind of like when you question the “Magic 8 Ball” and it tells you, “Reply hazy….try again later.”

We’ll try again on Monday.





Would You Rather Freeze to Death, or Be a Socialist?

28 11 2008

On Thanksgiving weekend, when Americans are thinking of all they have to be grateful for, many are also burdened with worries about the future. Matters as fundamental as keeping warm are very real for thousands of Alaskans living in rural villages where the price of heating oil hovers around $10/gallon. The costs associated with flying heating oil out to rural communities that are off the road system is astronomical. Many communities are experiencing theft of heating oil by neighbors desperate to keep warm, and others in coastal communities are scouring the shore for driftwood to burn. These things are incomprehensible to most Americans, but are a stark reality in Alaska. Many families are abandoning the native subsistence lifestyle that their families have been living for thousands of years, and moving to Alaska’s urban centers because they feel they have no choice. This is causing a whole host of other challenges for the rural communities that are losing residents, and for the urban centers coping with the influx of rural Alaskans coping with culture shock.

For the past three years, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez has been donating free heating oil to Alaska villages, and economically depressed communities in 23 states across the country. This has the effect you might imagine in Alaska. Some are deeply grateful. Those are usually the cold people. Others are furious at the gesture from this unapologetic socialist, and either accept the gift begrudgingly, or have outright refused to take it. Those in the latter category are starting to rethink their position facing the hard reality of the coming winter, and the fact that some rural families will be spending in excess of 40% of their income on heating fuel.

I am unsure if the irony of the socialist free fuel dilemma is lost on Alaskans. While some state leaders are squawking that

a) Chavez is a Socialist

b) Socialists are evil

Therefore we should reject them and all they stand for.

They seem to be OK with the fact that

a) Sarah Palin also gave away money for free fuel to all Alaskans in the form of an energy rebate check.

b) This sounds awfully…..socialist

c) Sarah Palin was openly railing against socialism and all things socialist across the country on the campaign trail.

Many say, “We shall forget this comparison because we don’t like cognitive dissonance and we shall not ever admit that a socialist idea has any merit at all, nor that any Alaskan might think we need to be doing the same thing as Hugo Chavez. Humph.”

The main difference, of course, is that Chavez is providing the fuel to rural communities that have at least a 70% Alaska Native population, and Sarah Palin gave it to everyone, including wealthy Anchorage residents who spent it on…whatever.

Speaking of the $1200 energy rebate check issued by Palin,

Anchorage Rep. Bob Lynn, a Republican, said he doubts the state would cut checks again because oil prices are dropping and the payment was meant to be a one-time measure.

Lynn said it’s not right for Alaska to receive oil from Chavez. “We need to be able to take care of our own. The United States needs to do something about this,” he said.

Still, Lynn added later, “It’s one thing for me to speak philosophical thoughts here in the warmth of my home in Anchorage. It’s another thing to have a wife and kids in danger of freezing to death out there.”

Bingo. It’s time for Alaskans and Americans to stop screaming “Socialist!” like it was a four-letter word and get over the reactionary knee-jerk rejection of an entire political philosophy because of the fear of a label. Fear of freezing should trump fear of a word. We need to address these problems using concepts with long-term solutions, and not be afraid to use what works because of how it sounds. And we need to recognize where the need exists most and focus our efforts there.

It’s going to take some conviction and courage from both sides of the aisle in Alaska to deal with this, especially considering the ironic anti-socialist rhetoric that came from our Governor on the VP campaign trail.