Tag Archives: down syndrome

TLC and Ann Coulter Help to Highlight Sarah Palin’s True Character

This week former VP candidate Sarah Palin’s eight episode campaign commercial series on TLC will come to end. The two hour finale is set for Sunday evening and should tie up any loose ends as to what we know about Sarah Palin.

There’s been a lot of commentary and discussion in the political and entertainment world as to just how well Sarah Palin presented herself to America with this experiment. Most have come to the conclusion that Sarah did a great job of showcasing who she is and it turns out she’s nothing like she’s presented herself over the last several years both to Alaskans and those in the lower 48.


Hunter becomes the hunted as Palin critics say she can’t shoot:

Not only did this week’s show portray field-sports in an ugly light, say critics; it also fuelled scepticism about whether she actually knows one end of a rifle from another.

Ms Palin took no fewer than five shots to hit the beast which wandered on to the hillside where she was eating blueberries with her 72-year-old father, Chuck Snr. However it was her lousy field-craft, rather than wonky shooting, which raised the most questions about whether she really ought to call herself a “lifelong hunter”.

The Conservative blogosphere, usually a forum for cheerleading on behalf the Palin cause, was awash yesterday with suggestions that her outdoorsy image is an elaborate charade.

“I turned on Sarah Palin’s Alaska and she just shot four maybe even five times at a caribou and missed,” noted a typical comment on the Fox News host Sean Hannity’s website. “Needless to say I’m not impressed with her ability to handle a firearm let alone aim it and hit.”

Among the basic items of protocol blithely ignored by Palin as she set off into the wilderness in a Rambo-style headband was her failure to take practice shots, or check the sights of the rifle, which duly turned out to be off-kilter. She failed to carry her own weapon, relying on her elderly father and his companion, Steve, to lug it around. When a beast eventually wandered into range, Ms Palin left Chuck Snr to load the rifle, and discharge spent bullet casings.



“What a joke,” wrote one viewer on Palin’s Facebook page. “I was a fan before the show. No one who is a true hunter lets others carry their rifle or can’t load their own shells. Sarah, you are a phony.”

The Awl, a website which collated reactions to the episode, noted that, while being passed the firearm, Ms Palin immediately moved her finger inside its trigger guard, a breach of basic safety rules. After missing the caribou several times, she then appeared to panic and shot at the beast while it was still moving, a technique usually avoided by all but the very best marksmen.

On leaving her hunting camp one morning, Ms Palin pointed to the horizon and declared “Let’s go west.” There followed an awkward pause. “That’s east,” noted her father.

The cognoscenti was meanwhile perturbed that the fact that Palin seemed scared by her weapon, a small gun described by Chuck Snr as a “varmint rifle”. Several times during the episode, she anxiously asked: “Does it kick?”

Even Chuck Snr’s handling of his weapons drew criticism. “I was surprised to see him using the gun as a walking stick,” noted one user on the Free Republic website.

“I do like the woman but think she needs some serious range time. I had the impression it was her first time firing a rifle.”

What Palin’s show says about us

From the opening credits, Palin’s not actually leading, as the show’s stirring theme song (Follow Me There) suggests. Instead, she’s tucked far under the wings of professional guides, friends, or family members — in a curious subtext, almost all males.

They instruct and coddle her along, at one point literally hauling Palin uphill on the end of a rope. Even post-production editing can’t hide a glaring, city-slicker klutziness.

Most of the show’s escapades bear scant resemblance to the activities of most outdoors-oriented Alaskans. In fact, about half of the Palins’ “adventures” are guided trips aimed at mass-market tourists. You won’t find many Alaskans on those theme park rides, which require no skills beyond a pulse and the ability to open your wallet.

Of course, there are sequences that feature Palin tagging along with working Alaskans. However, posing for hands-on scenes guided by loggers or commercial fishermen (including her husband, who’s obviously a top notch outdoorsman) doesn’t help. Alaskans would be a lot more impressed if she proved she could gut a caribou or set a gill net on her own — skills at which many bush-wise Alaskan women excel — and still keep those immaculately manicured French nails intact.

The caribou hunt episode provides a centerpiece of the series’ excesses, as well as Palin’s ineptitude. According to script, it’s Palin’s turn to replenish the family’s dwindling freezer with wild meat — from an Alaska point of view, all good. But the logistics of the trip defy common sense. Instead of hunting within reasonable distance of home, her party flies 600-plus miles to a remote camp in multiple chartered aircraft. This isn’t subsistence but the sort of experiential safari popular among high-end, non-resident sport hunters. For all that, Palin ends up with a skinny juvenile cow caribou. Boned out, we’re talking maybe 100 pounds of meat, at a staggering cost per pound.

Faced with that hapless animal, this darling of Second Amendment supporters nervously asks her dad whether the small-caliber rifle kicks. Then, even more astoundingly, her father repeatedly works the bolt and loads for her as she misses shot after shot before scoring a kill on the seventh round — enough bullets for a decent hunter to take down at least five animals. (Given Palin’s infamous tweet “Don’t retreat, reload,” we can infer she plans to keep her dad close by.) Later, Palin blames the scope, but any marksman would recognize the flinching, the unsteady aim and poor shot selection — and the glaring ethical fault of both shooter and gun owner if the rifle wasn’t properly sighted. Instead of some frontier passion play, we’re rendered a dark comedy of errors.

When Sarah Palin took us on a hunting/camping trip with her dad Chuck Heath on the latest episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, she said hunting was necessary to “fill her freezer!”:

“For many people in remote areas of Alaska, there’s no grocery store nearby, we just got to get out and hunt,” enthused Sarah.

HollywoodLife.com researched the logistics and cost of Palin’s hunting trip which resulted in a bagged caribou, and discovered that it was a mighty expensive way to feed the Palin family, at $42,400 for the trip.

The grand total to charter a Dehavilland Dash plane from Era Alaska to travel round trip from Wasilla’s Palmer airport to Deadhorse, Alaska was $37,600. In Deadhorse, the Palins switched to a 6 seat Cessna C207 Skywagon which they flew into the Kavik River Camp, at $1200 for the round trip, according to Lori Goodman, director of sales and marketing of Era Alaska, the company which chartered the planes for the Palins. Once in Kavik, the Palins spent two nights at the Kavik River Camp at $250 a person per night, for a $750 total.

Finally, the Deltana Outfitters flew them individually on a Piper Supercub airplane from Kavik into their hunting spot at a cost of $350 per hour for three hours each way, for a total of $2100, according to Deltana.

The grand Palin total to bag a caribou and get it back to the Palin homestead added up to $42,400, or $141.33 per lb. of caribou meat. Sarah shot and killed a female cow which may have weighed up to 300 lbs.

Just to put this is perspective, the Palins could have filled their freezer with ribeye steak at $10.99 a lb. from Alaska’s Mr. Prime Beef, which is based in Anchorage and ships anywhere in the state.

She Can’t Fish Or Shoot A Gun, Ctd

Sarah Palin’s attempt to cast herself as a true Alaskan, in love with the outdoors, fishing, hunting, is, of course, a lie. Her first ever appearance in the Alaskan press, long before she was governor or even Mayor, was in the Anchorage Daily News. It tells you all you need to know about a woman who wanted to be a beauty queen rather than the wife of a fisherman in the boondocks:

    Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney’s cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. ”We want to see Ivana,” said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, ”because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.”

    Desperate for glamour and culture. That’s not exactly Palin’s message today, is it? But what she realized between then and now is that she could use Alaska as a means for her to gain “glamour and culture.” Notice how she admits she smells of salmon and wants to get past it to something Trump-like. Well, she has now, but only by exploiting the mythology of where she was born. How many beautiful clothes can she now buy with TLC’s moolah? More than she could steal from the RNC. Levi got her exactly:

“She says she goes hunting and lives off animal meat – I’ve never seen it,” said Mr Johnston, 19. “I’ve never seen her touch a fishing pole. “She had a gun in her bedroom and one day she asked me to show her how to shoot it. I asked her what kind of gun it was, and she said she didn’t know, because it was in a box under her bed.”

Levi’s Vindication: The Self-Exposure Of Sarah Palin

From the opening credits, Palin’s not actually leading, as the show’s stirring theme song (Follow Me There) suggests. Instead, she’s tucked far under the wings of professional guides, friends, or family members — in a curious subtext, almost all males.

They instruct and coddle her along, at one point literally hauling Palin uphill on the end of a rope. Even post-production editing can’t hide a glaring, city-slicker klutziness.

Sarah Palin Breaks the Law and Has No Common Sense

In Sarah Palin’s Alaska, her TLC TV show, the children are clearly unrestrained in moving vehicles — in clear noncompliance with the statutes of the state of Alaska. The reality of her show is that Sarah Palin is a lawbreaker. What she so contemptuously shows is that she and her family are above the law. She has demonstrated values that are illegal, nonsensical and reckless.

Alaska law says that a driver may not transport children under 16 in a motor vehicle unless the child is properly secured according to state child passenger safety law. Children who are not yet one year old or who do not yet weigh 20 lbs must be properly secured in a federally approved rear-facing car seat.

It is quite clear that from 4.12 onwards that Piper is jumping up and down in the RV while the vehicle is in motion, so she cannot be safely belted up. From 11.07 Trig is also seen standing on the sofa seat without a seatbelt.

There is no doubt that Palin has disregarded state law — and it is a primary offense. Glaringly, arrogantly, and unapologetically. She can argue, if she wants, that seat belt laws are burdensome and intrusive — but maybe she should have changed the laws before she quit as governor! Aren’t commonsense conservatives all about the rule of law? Does this mean because I don’t like speed limits I can do 125 mph in school zones? Or I won’t pay taxes because I don’t support endless wars?

As far as I am concerned she has been caught red handed. But it’s not the first time. Fellow reader, mxm, pulled this little excerpt from the September 7, 2008 edition of the Washington Post:

    WASILLA, Alaska — One Friday in June, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the chief of the state prison system on a tour of the Point MacKenzie Correctional Farm, a 90-minute drive north of Anchorage. It was a routine visit but for the presence of the governor’s infant son, Trig.

    Palin held her baby in her arms as the warden drove a short distance around the facility, said corrections director Joe Schmidt, who sat next to Palin. A few days later, the governor got a warning from her public safety commissioner that someone had complained that she did not strap Trig into a car seat for the ride.
    Palin dismissed the complaint as petty, and the commissioner, whom she appointed, took no formal action. But the incident shows the degree to which family and politics are bound together in Palin’s career.

So we come to conclusion that Sarah Palin’s show doesn’t necessarily show her behaving in the manner of an experienced fisher, hunter, hiker or grizzly-mama or even law abiding citizen but instead as someone who’s rather uncomfortable in those settings, nor does it appear much experience. Wasn’t a surprise here, but anyway……now others know too. But we also have other ways to judge Mrs. Palin’s true character and cojones. Does she really walk the walk of not only a special need’s mother but also that of an advocate for those with special needs?

An issue that has been recently overlooked is that another conservative commentator has publicly used the word retard to criticize a reporter they disagreed with this past week. The GOP’s own verbal agitator Ann Coulter posted the insult Dec 30th on her twitter while encouraging people to watch Republican Christopher Barron be interviewed by a “retarded” MSNBC host.

“Great video: head of GOProud interviewed by retarded person on MSNBC,” Coulter wrote, providing a link to this interview, in which Barron of Republican gay rights group GOProud defends the group’s conservative credentials to Cenk Uygur, after invitees of the Conservative Political Action Conference boycotted the event over the inclusion of Barron’s organization.

As Business Insider points out, Coulter’s use of the “r-word” — which she leveled at Uygur after he questioned Barron’s decision to identify as Republican — may put former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose youngest child, Trig, has Down Syndrome, in a tight spot.

Palin called for Rahm Emanuel to be fired earlier this year after he addressed a group of people as “f*cking retards.”

“I would ask the president to show decency in this process by eliminating one member of that inner circle, Mr. Rahm Emanuel, and not allow Rahm’s continued indecent tactics to cloud efforts,” Palin said.

Following Rahm’s comment, Rush Limbaugh also fired off an attack using the word, an action that earned him a (much less passionate) rebuke.

Yet so far not a word from Mrs. Sarah Palin. Wasn’t even mentioned during her recent radio spot on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. Not a word. Laura didn’t ask and Sarah didn’t bring it up. Wonder why?

Can we assume that Palin hasn’t heard about this?

Or do we assume that again Sarah Palin only has criticisms for those on the other side?

Should we assume that Sarah Palin might be afraid to counter someone like Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter because she’s afraid of their power?

Should we assume that Sarah Palin thinks Ann Coulter used this word as satire, therefore making it ok by Sarah’s standards?

What about when she criticized Down Syndrome actress Andrea Friedman’s portrayal of an independent woman with Down Syndrome on the show The Family Guy?

Was that only because her character’s mother was also portrayed as the Governor of Alaska so Sarah thought they were really making fun of her?

Why does Ann Coulter get pass?

Why does Sarah Palin talk about the joy of having Trig, but never what it is like to raise him?

Just what does it take to raise a special needs child Sarah?

Does she know?

Why does Rush Limbaugh get a pass?

Why was it so easy for Sarah Palin to leave town for five days immediately after Trig had surgery?
That she has gone so far as to use and thereby abuse a child with Down Syndrome whose interests are clearly in seclusion, careful nurturing and care, and constant parental attention, tells you a huge amount. So does this:

    Her young son, Trig, was to have an operation — routine but still worrisome — on the Friday before [mid-term] Election Day, and so the mother was loath to commit to anything. Trig’s procedure went well. That evening, Palin’s political adviser, Andrew Davis, pulled an all-nighter arranging for her to make a Saturday drop-in on behalf of John Raese, the West Virginia senatorial candidate who was trailing the Democratic nominee, Joe Manchin, the popular governor. Raese’s wife, Elizabeth, had issued a personal plea to Palin to save the day.

Yes, she left her two-year-old with Down Syndrome after a “worrisome” operation to campaign half the world away the next day, to save a far right candidate who lost. But she didn’t leave Trig behind on a late-night stop in her red-state tour to promote her last book.

Why is Sarah Silent on this?


Sarah Palin, Andrea Friedman, Satire and Down Syndrome

Sarah, Piper and Trig Palin make a late night stop on book tour


So this time what started it all was an article in The Washington Post. In the article it was mentioned that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel scolded Democrats by calling them F%$&#*@G Retarded for their idea of running commercials against moderate Dems that weren’t supporting Healthcare Reform in a more aggressive manner. Rahm apparently made the remark during a closed door meeting in August of 2009. And just as we would expect Sarah Palin dove right in for one more chance to slam the guy who she thinks is sitting in her office right now where she really believes she should rightfully be. So in true Sarah Palin fashion we got a Facebook Note:

The Obama Administration’s Chief of Staff scolded participants, calling them, “F—ing retarded,” according to several participants, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the “N-word” or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking.

Then Rush Limbaugh felt the need to jump into the fray. It appears he was hoping to antagonize Mrs. Palin a bit as he went on to repeat the word retard over 40 times in just a few minutes. And he used it repeatedly referring to several people not only as retarded but ‘retards’ too. He railed on about our ‘politically correct society’ and practically accused Sarah of being just another pawn in the game. He even went so far as stating that Rahm Emanuel’s recent remarks were going to force The White House to hold a ‘retard summit’.

So how did Sarah feel about Rush’s repeated use of the word on his show?

Not a problem, Rush is a funny guy, he uses satire, sure that’s ok, we find it funny when it’s satire, no problem here, but Rahm, nope he can’t use that word. Ever. Me, Rush and others like me…….now that’s another story.

In fact Rush went back on the air after Palin spoke about his use of the word to tell his listeners that one of Sarah Palin’s aides called him in a panic begging him not to be mad at Sarah. They needed to make sure Rush wouldn’t slam Sarah on his show for being the hypocrite that she is.

When Stephen Colbert went on television a few nights later and called Sarah Palin F*#$%^@G Retarded again not a word. I guess that’s because he was using satire, huh?

Andrew Sullivan had this interesting take on the whole situation:

Palin, in contrast, called her own campaign prop “her retarded baby” in private, according to an eye-witness account from the father of her own grandson who lived in her house for months and knew her intimately. “I was just in shock the first time I heard it,” Levi Johnston told CBS. Unlike Sarah Palin, Johnston has not been caught in multiple indisputable lies. I believe him over her. In fact, in any factual dispute, I believe anyone over her.

While I’m at it, does anyone actually believe that Palin’s name for the child of miraculous provenance was found by her deep knowledge of ancient Norse as she claims in her magical-realism novel, “Going Rogue”? I mean, seriously. She knows about as much ancient Norse as she does English grammar. It’s as credible as the idea that she gave a speech while having contractions, several hours after going into labor, as she claims in her novel. It’s as credible as her amazing journey in labor with a special needs child on a plane where the flight attendants, according to the Anchorage Daily News, did not even notice she was pregnant. It’s as credible as any number of indisputable self-serving, unbalanced lies that she has told in the public record for years.
The medical term for Down Syndrome is Trisomy-21 or Trisomy-g. It is often shortened in medical slang to Tri-g.

Video of Levi Johnston on The Early Show can be seen here.

Then on Valentine’s Day the FOX show The Family Guy aired an episode in which an adult Down Syndrome character was on a blind date with a regular from the show. While on the date the Down Syndrome character mentions to her date that her father is an accountant and her Mother is the Governor of Alaska.

This one sentence was more than Sarah Palin could take and again threw herself into it full force until she had created a faux controversy once again. Sarah easily took the bait and jumped on the show only this time she used Bristol to try and make her point. One has to wonder if this isn’t just her way of trying to create a ‘gig’ for Bristol just as she has for herself. Bristol has after all has registered with the LLC as a Political and PR Consultant so this may have just been attempt to make donations from SarahPac to Bristol’s LLC look legitimate in the future.

People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut. Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, “when is enough, enough?”:

“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks. – Bristol Palin”

She even went back on television this time with Bill O’Reilly to again slam the show and O’Reilly attempted to make her clarify why it’s okay for Rush or anyone using satire, but not okay for Rahm Emanual or a show like Family Guy.

What Sarah didn’t realize or take the time to research is that the voice of the character on the Valentine’s Day Episode of Family Guy was Andrea Friedman, a much accomplished Down Syndrome actress and advocate. Ms. Friedman felt the need to respond so she wrote the NY Times the following e-mail:

Trig on the Going Rogue Tour

My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the “Extra Large Medium” episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine’s day. Although they gave me red hair on the show, I am really a blonde. I also wore a red wig for my role in ” Smudge” but I was a blonde in “Life Goes On”. I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska” was very funny. I think the word is “sarcasm”.

In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.

Although The New York Times decided not to publish the last portion of Ms. Friedman’s statement in an effort to presumably protect Mrs. Palin, Andrea’s comments were e-mailed in their entirety to other outlets as well. You can view the e-mail here.

Andrea Friedman Speaks with The Insider about Sarah Palin’s treatment of Down Syndrome son Trig.

I suspect Ms. Friedman hasn’t been all that thrilled with Sarah Palin. I’m guessing Ms. Friedman is pretty perceptive to what’s really going on here and why we see so much of Trig Palin, yet don’t see his Mother do much to promote the issues important to those with Down Syndrome or their family members. SARAHPAC did after all raise $2.1 million in 2009, yet only donated only $1,000 to Down Syndrome and that wasn’t until the last day of the year 12/31/09. Y

Hell SarahPac spent over $63,000 on copies of Mrs. Palin’s book Going Rogue, which in turn goes right back to Mrs. Palin’s personal income.

She also paid thousands to two individuals that founded the very pro-Palin website Conservatives for Palin. A site that is now that is attacking the Ms. Friedman for standing up for people with Down Syndrome. Most assume Ms. Friedman is being used and doesn’t have the mental capacity to think for herself and we’re wording this in a much nicer way.

I would wager that Ms. Friedman was bothered by Mrs. Palin’s use of Trig on the campaign and his two months jetting/bussing around the country promoting his Mother’s book during the winter months which most likely could make Trig, with a known heart condition more susceptible to a variety of illnesses. There are a lot of pictures on the internet and in Mrs. Palin’s own collection of photos from the book tour of Trig on the road. Quite often the pictures show the climate required adults to bundle up yet often Trig was seen without a coat, socks or shoes and was often transported in less than ideal circumstances. Or maybe it bothers Andrea that Mrs. Palin also recently received over six figures to pose on the cover of a magazine reminding the world that she chose life for her child., but has done nothing substantial to further the cause.

To learn more about the very accomplished and diverse actress Andrea Friedman you can learn more about her HERE and you can preview of the documentary: “A possible dream – The Andrea Friedman story” HERE.

Because of her television activities, Andrea is often invited to be a motivational speaker and supporter of causes that help other challenged people. She has spoken to many local, statewide, national and international organizations, including the students and faculty at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, on the subject of the advantage of a “mainstream” education for people with learning disabilities.

Andrea Friedman


Andrea’s life is certainly very different from that which was predicted when she was born. She lives independently. When she is not acting, she works in the accounting department of a major law firm. She drives her own car and manages her own schedule, budget, housekeeping and social life. Andrea says she has “Up” syndrome, not Down syndrome and wages a personal battle against the words “retarded” and “disabled.” “I am challenged, not disabled,” she insists. “‘Disabled’ means ‘cannot do’, but my challenged friends and I can do. Some things are hard for us, some things take longer to learn; but if we work hard, we can do.” Andrea does work hard and every morning announces, “I love my life. I wonder how many new friends I’ll make today.”


Sarah Palin’s Private Right to Life Speech: Trig Pregnancy Version III

Sarah Palin was in Milwaukee Friday Nov. 6th to speak before the Wisconsin Right to Life group. At the end of her speech she presented the group with a check for $1,000 and encouraged attendees to join her new club Sarah’s Rogues to donate $1,000 too. Certainly most of them have an extra $1,000 sitting around right now and would be more than thrilled to be one of Sarah’s Rogues.

Although the event was closed to the press and attendees were told no cameras, no cell phones, no electronic devices and no note taking, no laptops, no audio recording devices and so on, we were still able to pick up from various sources the bulk of Sarah’s speech. One thing that seems to be a common theme for Palin when speaking to these right to life groups is to remind them that she had a difficult choice to make when she learned of her son Trig’s Down Syndrome.

While most would expect if she is so pro-life what choice or decision she had to make. If she’s pro-life all the time, then she wouldn’t have needed to consider a thing, correct?

But we learned for the first time at her speech to the Indiana Right to Life group that she did have a choice to make. She told the Indiana crowd that she had to choose to keep her baby, that yes thank the lord she has the right to choose whether to proceed with her pregnancy or to terminate the pregnancy. She chose to proceed (although many now believe she was never pregnant with Trig in spite of the MSM saving the bombshell for bigger times)with her pregnancy.

Yes, you heard right Sarah had a choice. Just like the choice she would like to see removed for any other woman in the country, but for Sarah having a choice meant everything.

milwaukee

Sarah Palin speaking in Milwaukee, WI 11/06/09

But each time Palin decides to share with another pro-life group her experience as a woman carrying a child with a permanent and challenging disability the story never appears to be told the same way twice. In Indiana she tells the group she was out of town at a gas and oil conference when she first discovered she was pregnant (yet didn’t know she was pregnant with a ds baby) that right then and there she contemplated ending the pregnancy. Not once she discovered her child would be born with an extra chromosome that would make his health and life and a challenging one, but before that moment.

As reported in Indiana:

“I had found out that I was pregnant while out of state first, at an oil and gas conference. While out of state, there just for a fleeting moment, wow, I knew, nobody knows me here, nobody would ever know. I thought, wow, it is easy, could be easy to think, maybe, of trying to change the circumstances. No one would know. No one would ever know.

“Then when my amniocentesis results came back, showing what they called abnormalities. Oh, dear God, I knew, I had instantly an understanding for that fleeting moment why someone would believe it could seem possible to change those circumstances. Just make it all go away and get some normalcy back in life. Just take care of it. Because at the time only my doctor knew the results, Todd didn’t even know. No one would know. But I would know. First, I thought how in the world could we manage a change of this magnitude. I was a very busy governor with four busy kids and a husband with a job hundreds of miles away up on the North Slope oil fields. And, oh, the criticism that I knew was coming. Plus, I was old . . .

“So we went through some things a year ago that now lets me understand a woman’s, a girl’s temptation to maybe try to make it all go away if she has been influenced by society to believe that she’s not strong enough or smart enough or equipped enough or convenience enough to make the choice to let the child live. I do understand what these women, what these girls go through in that thought process.”

A Wisconsinite that attended the speech this past Friday noted that Palin made these remarks to the Wisconsin group:

“Two years ago I had an ultra sound. I was 12 weeks along. The technician said she saw boy parts. I was like, yes, what could be better than a little baby boy? Then she said the baby’s neck was thicker than usual. I was like yes, that’s great. Then I thought, oh oh. I recall the fear, knowing what a thick neck may mean. More tests. My baby had Down Syndrome. What is amazing is who this child is. My family’s life is so much richer because of this beautiful baby boy named Trig. He’s awesome! Groups like this affirm the value of every life.

That is what I had to hold onto – that seed of faith—when I was afraid.

We know that 80-90% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted. They’re aborted because they live in a society of some people’s idea of perfection, not God’s.

Today I thank God for all of these circumstances. I never thought I’d be asked to walk the walk. It took me a while to get there through my pregnancy. I asked God and I asked Todd, “Why us?” Todd said, “Why not us?”

I want to help you help people to be less afraid and make this world more welcoming for every baby.”

But interestingly enough neither of those versions meet with the version she and Todd told reporter People reporter Lorenzo Benet who interviewed the Palin family before Sarah Palin was selected by John McCain as his running mate. She and Todd spoke to him about the circumstances of the pregnancy, diagnosis of Trig’s condition and how the family dealt with. Benet then went on to write the book Trailblazer based on the several interviews he’d done with Palin and her family. People magazine was Sarah Palin’s preference for press announcements and articles about her family so one can assume it was quite easy for him to begin collecting information.

In “Trailblazer”, starting on page 181, Benet said:

“Sarah kept mum about the pregnancy until October.

Todd had figured it out but was discreet enough not to say a word. When Sarah finally gave him the great news, she said with a shrug, “Life is full of surprises”, she told People magazine. Todd was ecstatic. He had already wanted another son, friends said, and his oldest boy had just signed up for a stint in the Army, and the country was in the middle of a war. There was no telling what might happen if Track were called to serve in the theater, which he eventually was.

For the next five months, Todd and Sarah kept the pregnancy a secret. Any thoughts of breaking the news early to their kids were scuttled when Sarah learned her baby had Down syndrome after having amniocentesis at thirteen weeks. Todd was away working when her family doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, called with the news. Sarah drove over to Johnson’s office, discussed the implications, and received some reading material on the disorder. Then she headed home to ponder her fate.

Over the next couple of days, she read everything she could on the disorder. (…) Some children cannot speak until age four, and half of the infants are born with a hole in the heart, as was the case with Trig. If the holes don’t close, surgery is often required (Trig, fortunately, avoided surgery).

(…) There was never any question about keeping the baby, and Sarah explained later that the one reason she did amnio was simply to be prepared for any eventuality. It was time, she said, to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

When Todd returned from his trip, she broke the news to him gently during a quiet moment at home. Tears welling in her eyes, she said: “The good news is we have a boy. But we have a challenge.” Unwavering in his support, Todd said: “Awesome! I am getting another boy.”

It may not have been part of their plan, the couple believed, but certainly it was part of a greater plan. “Why not us?”, Todd said. Sarah continued keeping her secret from the public and her children. Not discussing the pregnancy with her daughters, she felt, would shorten the process for them and spare them from unwanted attention. “I didn’t want Alaskans to fear I would not be able to fulfill my duties”, she told People.”

So the first time we hear about having an ultrasound is in Wisconsin and a technician not only felt comfortable enough to tell her the baby was not only a boy, but that it also had a thick neck which they could see at 12 weeks gestation. In the interview with Benet she gives the impression that Todd knew she was pregnant before any of the testing was done, yet in Indiana she gives a different version where Todd doesn’t know, nobody knows, yet she knows by 12 weeks that the baby will be born with down syndrome?

And despite all of the security restrictions someone was Tweeting the entire thing somehow.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Bill Glauber was at the event:

The speech marked Palin’s re-emergence on the national scene. The event was emceed by WTMJ-AM radio personality Charlie Sykes. The Journal Sentinel purchased a ticket to cover Palin’s speech.

Security was tight at the Wisconsin Exposition Center. Spectators were told beforehand that prohibited items included cell phones, recording devices, video and still cameras, as well as strollers and car seats. A line stretched across the length of the facility and out to a parking lot as spectators waited patiently to pass through security.

Once they got inside, spectators didn’t have to wait long for what they came for – Palin’s speech. The address began with Palin asking for a moment of silence to remember those killed in Thursday’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas.

As was Politico’s Jonathan Martin:

She then got a standing ovation from most of the crowd, but a few had begun to leave before she even finished and within seconds of her concluding, scores more got up and put on their jackets as they walked away.

In addition to the suggestion that government officials would consider hastening the death of the infirm or handicapped, she began her remarks with a puzzling commentary on the design of newly minted dollar coins.

Noting that there had been a lot of “change” of late, Palin recalled a recent conversation with a friend about how the phrase “In God We Trust” had been moved to the edge of the new coins.

“Who calls a shot like that?” she demanded. “Who makes a decision like that?”
Coins

She added: “It’s a disturbing trend.”

Unsaid but implied was that the new Democratic White House was behind such a move to secularize the nation’s currency.

Maybe someone should have directed Sarah Palin to the internet to the site World Religious News here she would have learned the following about the change in coins that was reported in 2007:

The national motto “In God We Trust” will move from the edge of new dollar coins honoring U.S. presidents to the front or back of the currency. A provision in the $555 billion domestic spending bill for 2008, which President Bush signed into law on December 26, calls for the change to take place “as soon as is practicable.” Greg Hernandez, a spokesman for the U.S. Mint, said the change will occur in 2009.

Even Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic while not at the event, wants to know why Sarah always has such trouble telling the same story twice about the baby she so desperately wanted to give birth to. Most mother’s never forget the moment they learn they’re pregnant and would certainly never forget the moment they were informed their precious child would be born with condition of down syndrome.

Some remaining questions: When exactly did Todd find out about the pregnancy? And when did he discover that his son had Down Syndrome? Or were those two pieces of news delivered simultaneously? Why did the Palins make no attempt to prepare their other children for Trig’s special needs when they had so long to do so? Why on earth did Palin believe that the mere fact of her pregnancy would elicit criticism and disdain – “Oh, the criticism that I knew was coming” – when it would obviously actually redound to her credit as a working mom and governor?

Maybe her “book” will resolve these and other empirical questions about the logic and detail of her pregnancy and labor stories. Maybe someone will even ask her to clarify the chronology of the critical reason for her enduring appeal. It would, you know, be relevant, if not deferent.

Something doesn’t quite add up, but with Sarah Palin there is no simple math, no logical findings, no balance and the story is never the same twice.

Wonder what the next version will be.


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