Monday, June 29, 2009

Pulling A Palin: My Response to Progressive Alaska Part One

Over the week or so, I will post on this blog a multi part series. Today's installment is the first.

In January, Alaskan Blogger Celtic Diva published a "guest post" by a Labor and Delivery nurse named Lee Tompkins entitled The Birth of a Conspiracy; Delivering the Real Issue. Several days ago, a second Alaskan blog, Progressive Alaska, reprinted this post in toto. The theme of this post was simple: both the original writer and Phil at Progressive Alaska believe that the focus on Palin's birth story should be squarely on what they consider the "real issue," which is the very poor judgment she showed in traveling while allegedly in labor with Trig. They believe that Palin's terrible choices so endangered her child that on that basis alone she should be disqualified from any serious consideration for public office.

Both believe Sarah Palin's birth story, specifically that Trig was born to Sarah on April 18, 2008, after a trip back from Texas that I have chosen to call "The Wild Ride." (For those who don't know, I based that moniker on a quaint Disney theme park ride, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, still operational at Disneyland (and, according to Wikipedia, one of the few remaining attractions that was present at the 1955 opening) but removed from Disney World in 1998. The concept of the ride was based on Kenneth Grahame's children's book The Wind in the Willows, from which Disney had made a cartoon in 1949.)

While Phil at Progressive Alaska obviously continues to take this position (he reprinted this post barely a week ago) i.e., that Trig is Sarah's and was born April 18, 2009, from private conversation with Celtic Diva (again, original source of the post last January though she did not write it), while she may be unsure of the whole truth regarding Trig's birth, she now personally entertains at least some doubts that it occurred as Palin reported. Would she, today, late June 2009, post Ms. Tompkins' guest blog? I don't know but I intend to ask her.

Most of Palin's supporters will not intelligently debate the evidence at all. Their tactics are few - but very consistent - whenever the pregnancy story is discussed. It takes only a moment for a reasonable-sounding authoritative voice, without citing any specifics, to label a theory like ours "irresponsible, incorrect, poorly researched, sensationalistic," or - simply - "bad." It takes much longer to refute these charges. Points, often boring ones, must be made individually. Specific examples, requiring serious research into dates, times, places, and statements, must be discussed. Obstetric minutiae is of little interest to most people, and actually unpleasant to discuss for many.

These are some of the favorite tactics used:
1. Their favorite red herring is Obama's birth certificate. "There's the real story," we are assured solemnly. There may be a story there. I don't know - I haven't looked into it at all. But what I do know is that regardless of where, when, or to whom Barack Obama was born, it's got nothing to do with Sarah Palin.
2. A tactic of "redirection" is employed whenever specific obstetrical facets are considered. Everyone seems to know someone that "never looked pregnant with a fifth child," or whose water broke and she didn't go into labor. All that tells us is that it is "possible" that some aspects of Sarah Palin's story might be true based on others' similar experiences. It does not prove that they are.
3. They simply refuse to believe the evidence in front of their eyes. Shown documented photographs from unimpeachable sources, these folks simply allege (with no proof whatsoever) that the documentation is wrong or suspect and then, because they cannot "verify" the source of the evidence, they will not discuss anything further.
4. The last bastion: Sarah's story is true because Sarah wouldn't lie.

When one (or all) of the four tactics above are employed, it's impossible to have an honest debate with a legitimate exchange of ideas. With Ms. Tompkins post, I can. I can debate her reasoning with my own. What I intend to do here is to go through Ms. Tompkins' post point by point and do my best to, if not refute each one, then at least put forth why I think the real evidence indicates something different: specifically, that Sarah Palin did NOT give birth to Trig Palin on April 18th, 2008. I intend to quote large sections (indicated by blocks) of the original post, though not all of it, just because of length considerations.

Let me say categorically that I think the widely disseminated rumor that Sarah Palin is not the mother of her child Trig is totally false, although I know many well-informed and well-educated people who believe otherwise, and I certainly understand their theory.

I'm going to spend some time discussing the reasons why I think the Palin faked pregnancy story is not true, but first I think it is of interest to comment on why this story has really caught hold of the imagination of many.

... the general public disliked Sarah Palin and when the bizarre circumstances of the birth of her child Trig became generally known, the public wanted to believe that she was capable of faking a pregnancy in order to bolster her standing as a "family values" candidate by avoiding the baggage of a daughter who was about to become an unwed teenage mother. Avoiding that didn't quite work out for Palin as it turned out, but that didn't stop a vocal minority of conspiracy theorists to believe Palin capable of such chicanery earlier. The public wanted to believe the worst of Sarah Palin.
I've stated this before, but I will repeat it for the purposes of this post. I have done more than anyone regarding "Babygate," and while I can't speak for others, I can certainly speak for myself. My initial interest in the story had nothing to do with wanting to "believe the worst" about or discrediting Gov. Palin. I'd never heard of her. I was an Obama supporter and doubt that anything could have made me vote for the Republican ticket but I certainly did not dislike Sarah Palin on any sort of visceral level. In fact when I first heard that a mother of five had been chosen, I was rather thrilled and very very happy for her. I was eager to learn more about her.

In an ironic sense, I set out to defend her, feeling that she specifically and women in general are not well-served when such an unlikely and implausible childbirth story is disseminated. My initial interest stemmed from my desire to set the record straight. Some dim-witted young male reporter who probably barely understood how babies get in much less how they get out, I assumed, had gotten his facts wrong. No experienced mother, having had four prior births, would fly ten hours at 35 weeks while leaking amniotic fluid. Ludicrous. Crazy. Didn't happen.

This was my original premise and it had nothing to do with Sarah Palin at all. It was only after I understood that this WAS her story and she WAS sticking to it, that my B.S. meter went off the chart.
....the evidence very strongly suggests is that Palin was guilty of recklessly endangering the life of her unborn child, which to me is far worse than faking a pregnancy, to protect her political ambition and perhaps the reputation of her daughter. It's just not as sexy of a story, not one the public could latch onto with such fervor. Discussing ruptured membranes ain't exactly something to talk about at the dinner table. And since "life imitates art more than art imitates life" it's highly doubtful the Desperate Housewives' writers will be opening next season with one of the wives flying transcontinentally with preterm premature rupture of membranes.

The public couldn't understand why anyone would do anything other than take the greatest of care and every absolute precaution with the health of a special needs child, whose parent should have been their greatest advocate and protector.

The faked pregnancy theory was easier to believe. And so it was born...
I agree, I think recklessly endangering a child would be worse than faking a pregnancy. Much worse in fact. Where we differ is that I don't think Palin actually did that.

I do not believe that Sarah Palin, under any circumstances, would have risked giving birth on an airplane. Whether she would have been motivated to avoid this by concern for her child (hopefully) or fear of criticism and embarrassment doesn't really matter in the end. What matters is that the consequences of giving birth under such circumstances probably would have been career-ending.

I do not think she would have taken this risk. More to the point, I do not believe she DID take this risk. She was absolutely positive she would not have a baby on the airplane. And how could she be positive? The same way I am positive every time I fly that I will not have a baby on an airplane. I am not pregnant.

We are "working" this story knowing how it ends. We know that Sarah Palin did NOT have a child on an airplane on April 17th 2008. But at 2 PM that afternoon, when Sarah Palin would have been walking down that jetway, she could NOT have known what the next ten hours would hold. If Sarah Palin was 35 weeks pregnant on April 17th, given her obstetric history, not only was it possible she would give birth within ten hours of her membranes rupturing, it was probable. She would had to have guessed, getting on the airplane, that there was a very fair chance she'd have the baby in the air.

She should have known that the odds were against her, and if she did not, any credible doctor would have made it immediately, explicitly, abundantly clear. Several different versions of how much contact she had with her doctor and when that contact occurred on that day have circulated. But if Sarah Palin had been pregnant and had been leaking amniotic fluid, no doctor in the world would have ever told her it was alright even to consider getting on an airplane. Any physician would have made it clear that, if you're leaking amniotic fluid, you have a very high chance of having the baby before you get back to Alaska, certainly BETTER THAN 50/50. That information would have stopped Palin cold. Let's be reasonable. It would stop anyone.

The primary risk she would never take is to her own public image. She cares about what people think - very much. No professional woman - and certainly not the narcissistic governor of Alaska - would have risked for a second the absolutely appalling level of scrutiny and social embarrassment that would have resulted if she had given birth on the airplane... and that is if things came out well. If her preterm baby had been harmed by the choice, she could have been charged with child endangerment and prosecuted!

I have personally seen a baby born after two hours of membrane rupture and one - yes you're reading right - ONE contraction. Palin had boasted, prior to April 18th, about how easy her birth had been with Piper six years earlier, reminding people that after Piper had been born, she'd gone back to work the next day. Sarah Palin may not know the ins and outs of African politics, but she's a practical-minded woman who had given birth four times. She knows where babies come from and just exactly what is involved in getting them out. Do THAT on an airplane? Never. Not in a million years did she chance it.

I have never looked at a map and checked proximity of the hotel where Palin was staying in Texas to a hospital, but in a large urban area, surely she could not have been more than, say, ten minutes away from a good hospital where she could have gone in a hurry. I can accept - and always have - that someone in Palin's position might try to give the speech. MIGHT, though the image of an amniotic fluid "leak" turning into a full-fledged rupture while on stage certainly would have dissuaded me personally. (If you wonder what I'm talking about, dump approximately one and a half quarts of yellowish pinkish kinda funky smelling liquid between YOUR legs all at once. Now picture this happening WHILE giving a speech to other governors. Hmmm. Sort of wrecks the professional aura, doesn't it?)

But no one will ever convince me - ever! - that the image-conscious governor of Alaska risked having to lie down in public, spread her legs, and grunting and panting in a messy puddle of amniotic fluid, mucous, blood, urine and possibly either the baby's excrement, her own, or both, push her baby out on the carpet in the aisle. Risked her own health and her baby's. Risked the public criticism she would have come under for inconveniencing hundreds of other passengers. And taken this chance not once, but twice, on two separate four hour flights.

Would she ever have been able to overcome the eye rolling and snickers? I don't think so. "Oh yeah, Sarah Palin. She's that Governor that had a baby in first class. YUCK YUCK YUCK. Good thing it wasn't coach. HAR HAR HAR." "Didjya hear the one about the Governor that had the baby..." And on and on and on. Millions of people who had never heard of Sarah Palin would have, all at once, and not in a good way. "Pulling a Palin" (or something comparable) probably would have become - for generations - a synonym for: stupidest choice imaginable.

My "comeback" to Ms. Tompkins is that I believe that the faked pregnancy theory (which of course means she was never actually at risk for having a baby on the plane) is in fact far more plausible than suggesting that she risked the incredible level of scrutiny and criticism, possibly career ending, that she would have come under if she'd given birth somewhere over Canada.

And consider this: If you are going to put this forward - that Sarah Palin recklessly endangered the life of her child - you're going to have to be able to offer some plausible explanation for why she did it. That has never happened. Sarah Palin has NEVER offered any credible or even remotely believable explanation as to WHY. WHAT was her utterly compelling reason for getting on the airplane? WHY did she chance this medically risky and humiliating scenario?

So that her child could be born in Alaska.

This is the only reason she has ever offered. So that her child could be born in Alaska. (Or to quote the succinct Todd, "You can't have a fish picker [commercial fisherman] from Texas.") This makes no sense. It is in fact one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

Having a baby on an airplane would almost certainly have ended Sarah Palin's political career, just due to the embarrassment and the criticism she would have come under for inconveniencing the other passengers. If the baby had come to harm, it would definitely had ended her career and might have opened her up to prosecution. If the events of April 17, 2008 occurred as described, at 2 PM on that day when she got an airplane to return to Alaska, she could not know what would happen during the next eight hours. This is the risk the Sarah Palin would not take. This is the risk she did not take.


Saturday, June 27, 2009


Although many others who blog about issues concerning Sarah Palin have mentioned this already, I sure cannot let it pass.

The political blog, Wonkette, yesterday, while jumping with both feet onto the Desecration of Holy Child Special Needs Trig bandwagon, casually called him Bristol Palin's son.

Yes, that's right. "See that photoshop up there of Governor Palin with Bristol Palin’s child, Trig? "

Not one of the comments (and there are many) have yet called them on it. They've not bothered to "correct" it. Not even, an "Oops, our bad. It was just a typo. LOL."


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Grief

That's all I can say.

Sarah Palin's (big) mouth (a.k.a. Meghan Stapleton) is at it again, releasing a statement today that can only be considered more stupid than her last statement - and that one was pretty dumb. I did not do a blog post here on the statement released several days ago, but several other bloggers did, for example, here, so I recommend you take a gander.

However, today's statement was so ridiculous that I cannot let it pass. I just can't. I'm helpless in the face of the sheer stupidity. (And remember - this person gets paid for saying things like this. She probably sits around and thinks and after, oh, two or three hours of thinking she comes up with something profound. Like this one.)

Several days ago this caricature appeared on the Internet.

The original source for this apparently was a blog called "Crooks and Liars." Now this looks like David Letterman to me, and the tags on the what I *think* is the original posting of the cartoon SAY "David Letterman." However, according to numerous people this is NOT David Letterman cradled tenderly in Gov. Palin's arms, but Eddie Burke, a conservative Alaska radio talk "personality."

It doesn't matter who it is supposed to be. The fact is that it's a political cartoon and it's damn funny.

(Update: I have just figured out the sequence here. The original posting was this cartoon shown above. No objections or comments came from the Palin camp at that time. Then, an Alaskan Blogger, Celtic Diva, as part of a fundraiser, created a spoof of the cartoon, in which she did used a photoshopped photo in which the face of Eddie Burke was used. The original image was David Letterman and it was a cartoon; the image that Miss Meg issued a statement regarding was the photo.)

But not to Meghan the Mouth. She posted the following statement to Sarah Palin's Facebook page:

Recently we learned of a malicious desecration of a photo of the Governor and baby Trig that has become an iconic representation of a mother's love for a special needs child.

The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling. To learn that two Alaskans did it is absolutely sickening. Linda Kellen Biegel, the official Democrat Party blogger for Alaska, should be ashamed of herself and the Democratic National Committee should be ashamed for promoting this website and encouraging this atrocious behavior.

Babies and children are off limits. It is past time to restore decency in politics and real tolerance for all Americans. The Obama Administration sets the moral compass for its party. We ask that special needs children be loved, respected and accepted and that this type of degeneracy be condemned.

Now, we digress to a bit of etymology. "Desecration" comes to us from Latin, as so many of our best words do. It comes from "de," which means to do the opposite of, and "secrare," which means to make holy. (Sacred comes from this same Latin word, of course, though that word comes to English via a slightly different path.)

ONLY a religiously recognized holy image or place can be desecrated. Surely she misspoke. Surely in the heat of the moment she said "desecrate" when she really meant "change" or "photoshopped," right? But no, because Ms. Stapleton actually continues this analogy of holiness when, in the same paragraph, she uses the word "iconic." An icon is also a religious picture of a holy person.

So there we have it: an iconic representation of "mother and child" has been desecrated. Don't they burn people at the stake for that? Maybe in Alaska.

If this weren't all so sad, it would be hilarious. Obviously, having failed to keep herself in the public's eye any longer via the Willow/Bristol/David Letterman brouhaha, Sarah Palin is turning to another "offense," this one involving another child, Trig.

Oh, excuse me. The special needs child Trig. And we know that he is special needs child Trig because they tell us he is special needs child Trig three times in three paragraphs.

"The idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling." No it's not. This is a political spoof and a funny one. Trig is not in the cartoon or the photo. Trig's clothes might be, but Trig is not. Whether you are talking about the original cartoon or the subsequent photo, someone else's head is on a baby's body being held by a Sarah Palin.

But again we have the pious stand: Babies and children are off limits.

Well, they might be now, but they weren't when Sarah Palin needed to use her seventeen year old daughter to prove that she, Sarah, had to be Trig's mother, instead of, oh, releasing a birth certificate. They weren't the countless times Sarah Palin trit-trotted onto a stage in spike heels, carrying a five month old (oh, excuse me, special needs five month old) like a sack of (special needs) potatoes then passing him off like a (special needs) football.

But that, I guess, was then and this is now. And now, given the opportunity to rile the rabble with yet another imagined slur to yet another Palin child, (this one special needs - Did we mention that?) into the fray they go.

Good Grief.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Diminishment of Sarah Palin

There's no questioning that life for Sarah Palin must feel very much like a pressure cooker.

Politicians of any stripe feel the heat, but for scandal-plagued Alaskan governor that heat must be intense. Eighteen ethics charges have led to a huge legal debt. The party that once treated her as a rising star seems rather less enamored with her today. Her repeated efforts to keep herself in the news about anything but state business has raised mounting criticism in Alaska. Her public feud with the Johnstons and subsequent revelations have tarnished the holier-than-thou family image she sought to project on the campaign trail. And then, of course, there are the ongoing questions about her claim that she gave birth to Trig.

For Sarah Palin, the heat must be intense. Perched on the cusp of her political future, she looks down to see wolves snapping at her heels. The fact that she's been throwing them red meat since the beginning is of no consequence.  The truth is that this seems to be getting to her.

Some of our readers and researchers have observed both on the blog and over at Team Truther that the stress seems to be showing in Sarah's physical appearance. In this June 17 groundbreaking ceremony at Goose Creek Prison, she looks alarmingly thin:

Even more alarming is this screen shot captured by fellow blogger Enneologic, which highlights Sarah's nearly skeletal hands:

Some could argue that Sarah's marked weight loss could be just a symptom of the vanity she displayed on the campaign trail. Thin is in, after all. But she's always been svelte, and her appearance has gone far beyond that.

There have been hints and whispers that something else is looming, something big, something that has her more worried than ever. We've heard nothing verifiable of what this may be. And besides, from the beginning our focus has been squarely on seeking the truth about Sarah's claims to be the birth mother of Trig.

And that is where it will remain, because even if Sarah is physically diminishing, among her base she looms larger than life. And that's reason enough for us to continue with this quest.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Interesting Slip?

I had wanted to make this blog post before announcing our new discussion board "Team Truther," but I did not get to it. Please read the post below this one as well, if you have not - on the announcing of our new board.


In the last 2-3 days, there have been two comments made by players in this drama to press that have been noticed as - perhaps - being indicative of what we believe the "real story," may be, specifically that Bristol Palin is the mother of both Trig Palin and Tripp Johnston.

One comment, I believe, is NOT significant, but the other may be. First, let's talk about Levi's comment, as quoted in the Daily Beast, that his "boys" were going to be "so mad" when they saw the new clothing he'd acquired in Los Angeles. While it's easy to jump on this, and say, "Boys! He said 'boys'!", I believe that in this context Levi is referring to "male friends." My daughters frequently say that they are doing somthing with "my girls," to mean that they are socializing that evening with an all-female group. (Not large groups of granddaughters that I am somehow unaware of!) Infants and toddlers are not going to be "mad" about parental clothing choices, and I find the idea that he was talking about babies when he said this implausible.

The second comment, however, is, I think, far more worthy of comment. Buried deep in the transcript of Sarah Palin's interview with Wolf Blitzer is the following sentence, regarding the identity of the daughter that David Letterman's joke referred to: It wasn't my older daughter, who's in college and taking care of her young family.

"Family." That word choice is very very interesting.

Long Long Ago and Far Far Away, I was a student. I studied, not medicine or science (areas of endeavor that would ultimately have helped me in what I ended up doing professionally) but history and linguistics. Linguistics is, as we always tried to explain to other tipsy undergrads in bars, the study of "Language" with a capital "L" NOT languages, with a small "l." Although as an adult, I have never done anything with my linguistics degree professionally, nuances of language and grammar have always fascinated me.

To a native speaker of English, I believe "family" in this context implies more than one child. It's a collective noun that implies a group. Now, if someone says, "John and Sue are starting a family," we all know that this means they are having their first baby, because they are having the FIRST member of what might become a group.

But when someone is staying home, taking care of a "young family," this means children. If she had ONE baby, I believe a native English speaker would say, "at home with her baby." The natural way for Gov. Palin to have expressed this would have been: It wasn't my older daughter, who's in college and taking care of her new baby. Or even: It wasn't my older daughter, who's in college and taking care of Tripp.

Of course - this proves nothing. Those of us who doubt Palin's birth tale need no more proof; those who think she walks on water will find this - at best - an insignificant slip of the tongue, and at worst we'll get the typical comments: "Oh, I say 'family' all the time when I mean one child." Yeah, right. And I'm sure you say this to your friend who is nine months pregnant with her fifth eight pound child and who doesn't look pregnant at all! Amazing.

A nail in the coffin? Probably not. An interesting slip o' the tongue to file away? Definitely.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Team Truther

Team Truther? What's that?

A new and, we hope, exciting evolution of

The facts are well-known: I am Audrey, a mother of six, childbirth educator and author, lactation consultant married to a physician. I started this website in September 2008 when I found the birth story told by Alaskan Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin completely unbelievable. I doubted the story from day one and have never wavered from this.

It was obvious from the beginning that I was not alone in finding this story utterly ludicrous. What began as a website raising questions about Palin’s dubious birth story quickly developed such a strong following that a blog was added to keep up with all the developments surrounding the controversy. The blog exploded with readers, with several of my posts receiving more than 500 comments. Over the subsequent months, a group of loyal and dedicated volunteers joined me to form a research team. Although a few people have had to leave the group due to other commitments, etc, the core of the research team (which is now eight people) has remained strikingly constant since November.

Now, more than nine months later, even more is required. Our loyal readers have in many ways become part of the research team. Again and again, they compile information and raise even more questions as the story unfolds. That is why we have decided to add a discussion forum, which we have called "Team Truther."

Team Truther may seem like a curious name since “truther” is generally considered a negative slur. It - along with its childish permutation "Troofer" - is used to disparage those of us who feel the American people are OWED (and I do not use that word lightly) a realistic and accurate explanation for the striking, even bizarre, inconsistencies in Palin's birth story. But if you're not a Truther, what are you? A Liar? (Yeah, that works for me.)

We are devoted to the continued pursuit of exposing Sarah Palin’s claim that the birth of Trig Palin occurred as she has claimed, and on the Palin Deception blog, we’ve limited discussion to topics directly related to this. And while the main focus of Team Truther WILL remain the issue of Trig’s birth, we will allow more latitude for discussion of other Palin-related issues. The rules will be more relaxed, too. We will aim for less moderation on the board than what exists on the blog – which has been the target of anti-truther spammers and Palinites.

The website AND blog are not going anywhere. The blog will of course still accept comments, and will remain the best place for longer, fully-researched posts on this issue. But this new discussion board, we hope, will become the go-to source for breaking developments on the case. The discussion board is a supplement for those who want to discuss things more in depth, offer up their own topics for discussion or even blog a little if they choose. Several of my researchers are eager to write their own blog posts, and they will bring new voices and points of view to our shared research.

Team Truther will have guidelines, however, and we expect contributors to honor them if we are to have the kind of open dialogue we would like to see take place.

In addition, I have made the decision to open a Cafe Press store, which will sell humorous merchandise - sweatshirts, mugs, hats, and the ever-popular canine T-shirts (I don't know how my dogs have survived without them) - related to our search. My out-of-pocket expenses related to this endeavor are now significant. Suggestions that I am funded by the DNC, President Obama, or, alternately, other Republicans who want to get rid of Palin, are all false. I am funded by myself. Period. I have resisted taking "donations," but think that a Cafe Press store (where I get a small commission) and the customer gets a T-shirt "feels" a bit different. (I pray that NO ONE will interpret this as criticism in any way of some fellow bloggers who have put up PayPal buttons, because none is intended! This is just what I personally feel more comfortable with.) The decision to open this store was not taken lightly, but my hope is that the sale of merchandise will begin to help me recoup a small percentage of my actual expenses.

To those readers both new and old, thank you for your support. We look forward to your participation in the new forum.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sarah's Selective Outrage

Does anyone really believe Sarah Palin’s latest display of motherly indignation in the wake of Letterman’s admittedly unfunny comment directed at her daughter?

If they do, then they either a.) have short memories or b.) really don’t know much about Sarah Palin. Probably both.

It’s hard to top blogger Shannyn Moore’s assessment of Palin’s hypocrisy on what has become the Alaskan governor's latest Tour d'Outrage.

However, it's important to point out that, during the campaign, one SNL skit went so far as to suggest that Todd was "doing" the daughters. This SNL skit was far FAR more offensive than Letterman’s bad joke about Willow. Sarah's response? Boycott SNL advertisers? Media blitz? Whip the base into a foaming frenzy? No, actually, she appeared on the show one month later. Oh yeah, I think we all remember her Weekend Update with Seth Green.

But why is it that I REALLY want to get a vomit bag when Sarah drones on endlessly about protecting the young woman of America from exploitation? It's because this is the woman who, in late August, when confronted with ever-more-insistent demands for some proof, any proof at all that she herself had given birth to Trig four months earlier, "outed" her own minor child's pregnancy. She put 17 year old Bristol on a national stage in an ugly and ill-fitting dress, accompanied by a young man that her father reportedly had wanted his daughter to dump so much that he had offered to buy her a car. Instead of producing a birth certificate or a doctor, Sarah Palin made her daughter a walking punchline. How do you spell "exploit?" B - R - I - S - T - O - L

You gotta love these Palin family values. THEY are the joke. Or maybe not. Because they're not funny. And she's arguably done more damage to her children than any comedian ever could. You have to imagine that behind the scenes, her kids have expressed outrage at how they're privacy and dignity have been sacrificed for their mother's political gain. Unfortunately, when they complain, Sarah doesn't listen.

Which is why no one else should listen to her either.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Section of Website Opening

As I mentioned several days ago, I have been working on linked "calendar" pages on the website proper. These pages, one per date for which we have news, events, pictures or video, will be accessible through a straightforward "calendar" interface.

The initial group of pages have been uploaded. More will be added daily.

In general, I will be working to update the website. The initial goal for this endeavor was that the website would be an online repository, easy to use, of all material we could locate on this topic. I have fallen dreadfully short of that goal as this blog has become the core of the endeavor and the website has languished.

But - as I said - we are moving to correct that. New material, whether it's already existing data that is scattered all over this blog and the Internet (just what I hoped to avoid by STARTING the website in the first place) OR new material that we actually prepare de novo for the website, will be added regularly. We will begin moving aggressively towards my goal of making a truly usable archive for this information.

To access the new pages, simply go to the main page of the website, and click on the "Palin Pregnancy Photos" link.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Bit of a New Direction

Almost exactly nine months ago, I woke up one morning very pissed off. Something as plain as the hand in front of my eyes was being ignored by the main stream media to a degree I could not fathom.

And - since it occurred to me this morning - that nine months (rather incredibly) is the length of the average pregnancy, I thought it might be interesting to reflect this morning, on just how this "pregnancy" has gone.

Let's return to September 13, 2008, the day I launched the website. (The blog came a few days later.) It had been almost two weeks since John McCain had announced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, and the initial hysterical joy over the announcement, even among the loyal base, was beginning to erode just a bit. The Charles Gibson interview on the 11th, while not the catastrophe that the Couric interview on September 24th would become, had certainly not not been a smashing success, either. Palin came across as vague, uninformed, and rather ineffective. She was noted most often for saying "Charlie" a lot. A real lot.

In other venues, questions about Palin's ethics, mostly vis a vis "Troopergate" (but including other issues as well) continued to dog the campaign. And of course, what has now been called "Babygate," simply would not die.

As I have said previously, my initial interest in the story had nothing to do with Palin or her politics. As a long time childbirth educator and author, I had always had a "pet peeve:" media misrepresentation of childbirth. Overall, books, movies and TV shows present birth in one of two ways: either impossibly sanitary and easy or staggeringly dangerous. Babies either fall out or die; in birth fiction, there seems often to be no middle ground, and believing either extreme does not help women have happy safe births.

My initial assumption upon hearing Palin's story of Trig's birth was that some male reporter had simply gotten the facts wrong because, of course, no experienced mother of four would get on an airplane, leaking amniotic fluid, eight months pregnant. Just didn't happen. Period.

I've said this before but it bears repeating: birth is not a tidy process. The Governor of Alaska did not risk having to lie down in the middle of an airplane aisle, rip off her panty hose, spread her legs, and push a baby out in a puddle of blood, mucous, amniotic fluid, and, quite possibly, either her own excrement or the baby's. If she were in fact leaking amniotic fluid, she knew before she got on the airplane to fly a total of more than eight hours, that this was a very real possibility. And it is because no one would confront her with this graphic and basic reality back in early September we are here today.

To this day, the only truly concrete statement from either of the Palins as to why Sarah made this choice has come from Todd: "You can't have a fish picker [commercial fisherman] from Texas." Good Lord. Which is more absurd, that anyone ever believed this lame explanation or that people apparently still do?

I knew as soon as I realized that Palin was sticking by this nonsensical version of events that there was a lie somewhere. I have never once wavered from that conviction in nine months. I wasn't sure exactly what, where, or why, but I knew it was a lie. I also could never put together in my mind why so few other people - smart people who, while perhaps not knowing quite as much about childbirth as I do, but who nevertheless have a good basic understanding - did not come out and say, unequivocally and simply, "This birth story does not pass any sort of credible scrutiny. We have a right to ask why. And these questions have nothing to do with Palin's daughter."

Nine months is a long time. Women who became pregnant when I started this website and blog are now having their babies. When I chose to begin collating the information about Palin's pregnancy (and initially, my endeavor was to be nothing more than a repository of documents, photos, and facts that at the time were spread all over the Internet) I did not dream it would be necessary even up until the point of the election, some seven weeks later. The idea that I would still be thinking about Sarah Palin's uterus nine MONTHS later would have nauseated me.

My good friend Gryphen at Immoral Minority said to me recently: Audrey, you don't have to prove anything else. You have proved that Sarah Palin was never pregnant. The problem now is getting people to listen. While I am not 100% sure he is right, I know in my heart that it's close.

So where are we going from here? First, look to this blog for much more frequent and probably shorter posts. When I started the blog, Trig Palin (based on his announced birth date) was approximately four and half months old. Now, he is 15 months old. Although I know there is still information out there for us to find, the plain fact is that it is becoming increasingly difficult. PD posts, while still mostly focusing on the central question of "Babygate," will begin delving into other areas of comment and research direction, often directly related to Palin's overall credibility. After all the blog is called "Palin Deceptions."

Secondly, we are revamping the website, something that has fallen horribly by the wayside as this blog has become the core of the endeavor. Very soon, we are opening a new area of the site, which will, in easy-to-use "calendar" fashion, have clickable links to many many days of Palin's late "pregnancy" with the associated photos. I still find myself astonished when I look at some of the photos, that she has gotten away with absurd lie for so long. When the photos - event after event of photos - are viewed in sequence it becomes laughable.

Look also for posts from others - members of the wonderful research team that have done so much to bring this story to the fore - as well as possibly "guest" posts by long time readers.

And... just as a closing statement... I know many readers have been curious about statements made on other blogs about icebergs and huge revelations and waves crashing onto the shore. (Well, maybe not waves...) Regardless, IS this story going to be over soon?

I think it may be. I think this baby is going to be born soon, and then we can all send a shower gift, and go home.