Friday, 31 July 2009

Open thread

It's Friday, we have a dinner party to attend and our son is arriving from the UK tomorrow, so I'll leave you with an open thread and some lovely photos of the villages in our neck of the woods.

Our son being silly in Uzerche last year. This particular dungeon dates back to the 10th century.

This is Uzerche, a lovely medieval village. The steep hilly streets are a bit hard on our legs...

Masseret. Beautiful tower and a fantastic restaurant nearby, perfect day out!

Another tower, this time in Turenne. More hills, more aching calves, but the views are breathtaking, as you can see below.


Thursday, 30 July 2009

Sarah Palin, Hollywood, wolves

This is from a pro-Palin site, on Wednesday:

Well, folks - here is a Palin Prediction that took only three days to come true:

$arah Palin, quitspeech on Sunday: do what’s right for Alaska when the pressure mounts, because you’re going to see anti-hunting, anti-second amendment circuses from Hollywood and here’s how they do it. They use these delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets...

Huffington Post, also on Wednesday:

Sens. Diane Feinstein of California and Ben Cardin or Maryland introduced legislation that would explicitly prohibit hunters from shooting and killing wildlife from aircraft.

Delicate, tiny, very talented US Senate starlet Diane Feinstein and action hero Sen. Ben Cardin have mounted a Hollywood circus against hunting and the second amendment...

Yes, Palin fans' perceptions are sooo accurate!

Now, seriously, I found an interesting article by Jill Missal, entitled "The Legend of the Wolf: A Trip to Hollywood".

One passage refers to a film made in 1983, Never Cry Wolf:

Never Cry Wolf (1983, Carroll Ballard), the well-known adaptation of Farley Mowat's entertaining novel, was by far the most sympathetic wolf movie I watched. The movie's main character, a young, inexperienced biologist, is sent to the Alaskan bush to determine if wolves are responsible for the decline of a caribou herd. The biologist observes a small pack of wolves and soon learns to understand their behavior and structure of their society. He sees them as a family (especially after they have pups), but the movie does not sugar coat the facts of the wolves' carnivorous behavior. They are shown hunting caribou and other animals, but never in a way that makes them look irrationally vicious...

Small correction: the plot takes place in Canada, not in Alaska, although it doesn't alter the findings of the biologist or the relevance of such findings regarding the issue in question.

The discussion about wolves an their predatory behaviour appears to have started at least 25 years ago. The author of the article explores the impact of Hollywood on the public perception of the wolf as a bloodthirsty, vicious enemy and how it achieved its bad reputation.

The Board of Game, appointed by $arah Palin, has strong links to commercial and trophy hunting organisations, as highlighted here.

$arah Palin's "Hollywood needs to know, we eat, therefore we hunt" soundbite doesn't reflect the truth. The predator control schemes in Alaska have very little to do with subsistence hunting, it's all about special interests groups.

If anybody is fond of mounting a circus, I would say it's the quitter ex-governor herself. There are: the Family Circus, the Evangelical Circus, the Letterman Circus, to name a few... all bearing $arah's fingerprints all over.

Sarah Palin's Babygate recap

This post first appeared on palingates on May 2, 2009. It's a humorous account of the whole story, based on $arah Palin's own words. As our Sarah is keeping a low profile since her farewell quitspeech, it won't hurt to take a walk down memory lane while we wait for her politically incorrect twits...

We're hoping for Babygate to gain momentum in the MSM, so I'm going to stick with this "gate" for a bit longer.

It ocurred to me that not everybody is familiar with babygate and as it's so much fun to write about it, I decided to produce a timeline:
  • March 2008- On the 6th, Sarah Palin announced to her colleagues that she was nearly 7 months pregnant. They were very surprised because her belly was as flat as a board. Apparently our Sarah has very very tight abs. Sarah told her work colleagues before she told her own family. Only Todd knew about it. Between the announcement and the next item in the timeline Sarah flew 18,000 miles! Many of these miles were long haul flights. Third trimester, long flights? Mmmm... During her whole pregnancy, Sarah didn't seem to have missed any appointments with her favourite hairdresser to maintain her lovely, rich hair colour with attractive highlights. Hair colouring during pregnancy? Mmmm...
  • April 2008- 35 weeks into her pregnancy, at 4:00 am (Texas time) on the 17th, Sarah started leaking amniotic fluid and having contractions that felt different from the Braxton-Hicks she had experienced earlier in the pregnancy, a sign that things were moving along... She was in Texas for a very important conference and had to ring her good friend Dr Cathy Baldwin-Johnson back in Alaska to tell her what was going on. We don't know what the doctor told her during the telephone examination or how she checked how dilated Sarah's cervix was at this stage. But Sarah told the doctor that she had a speech she was determined to give to the conference at lunchtime and would fly back to Alaska after she had delivered it (the speech, not the baby). Sarah and Todd very wisely decided to skip the evening reception and Todd was asked to rearrange the flights so they could leave straight after the speech. Sarah leaked through her speech but she gave it, dammit! At no point was Sarah or the baby checked by a local doctor. But they kept in touch with Dr Baldwin-Johnson for further advice. After another thorough telephone examination, the doctor concluded that things had settled. Sarah and Todd started the journey back home just after lunch. They flew to Anchorage (with a 2 hour stopover in Seattle) and arrived around 10:30 pm (Alaska time), then drove 40 miles to a lovely, cosy, warm little hospital in Palmer, which doesn't have facilities to deal with high risk deliveries (of babies, not speeches). 44 year old multipara carrying a Down's Syndrome baby, leaking amniotic fluid over many many hours, premature onset of labour, not high risk? Mmmm... Anyway, at this point Sarah was induced and baby Trig arrived 5 weeks early at 6:30 am on the 18th. Three days later they were all back to work at the Governor's office! That's right, Sarah, Todd and premature Trig with Down's Syndrome showed up for work after three days. Business as usual, they had a state to run! Aren't things grand in Sarah's Alaska? Even premature babies are born tough, ready for anything! That's why Sarah and Todd defied all odds to make sure baby Trig was born a true Alaskan! Footnote: nobody noticed the Governor's stage of pregnancy during the 2 flights and stopover from Texas to Anchorage. Mmmm... Oh, I forgot the tight abs! (apart from the sarcastic tone, this is our Sarah's very own account of Trig's birth). Life was wonderful for the Palins until...
  • August/September 2008- Late August: presidential candidate Senator John McCain announced his running mate, our very own Sarah... running for the office of vice-president of the USA (whatever it is that the VP does all day when not presiding over the Senate). Sarah was so elated that she got confused and referred to the Palin/McCain ticket at a rally! But, alas, there was trouble brewing. As one would expect, those horrible anonymous bloggers started spreading vicious, salacious rumours. They said Trig wasn't Sarah's baby! She was Trig's grandmother! The real mother was Sarah's 17 year old daughter Bristol! The horrible media reported it! OMG!!! What could the campaign do to dispel these terrible rumours? Show the world Trig's birth certificate with Sarah named as the baby's true and only mother? No!!! They had a better idea! They decided to tell the WHOLE WORLD that Bristol was FIVE months pregnant! Problem solved. Do the maths: Trig was four and a half months old at this stage, Bristol was five months pregnant, so of course she couldn't conceive the new baby while still pregnant with Trig! Silly people, it's all so obvious! The candidate for the other party, now President Obama, immediately issued a statement saying that candidates' families were off limits. The media dropped the story (the bloggers didn't). Then photos of Sarah from the period she would have been very pregnant started disappearing from several websites, notably from the Governor's photo collection on her own website. But the rumours had been dispelled and all was well again.
  • November 2008- Palin/McCain lost the election!!!! (sorry, not part of this timeline). Back to the plot...
  • December 2008- On the 28th (or was it the 27th?) Bristol gave birth to Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston (seriously). Case closed?
  • February 2009- To date, not a single person has seen baby Tripp in any shape or form. Bristol has not been seen for months.
Mmmmmm...... I tried to keep it as short as possible, this was just an attempt to help any new readers not familiar with the story to understand the posts about Bristol, Trig, etc. If you'd like to see a proper analysis of all the ins and outs of this saga, with loads of photos, visit Palin's Deceptions. They conduct very thorough, civilized and dignified research into all aspects of Trig's birth. There's nothing vicious or salacious about it.

This is funny


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Sarah Palin and Down's Syndrome

(This is an old post, revived. You will notice some of the comments date back to June 3.)

Dr Cathy Baldwin-Johnson's letter regarding Sarah Palin's health and the book Trailblazer make references to Trig's heart condition.

I have gathered some information on prematurity, known health risks faced by children with Down's Syndrome, advice on early intervention and funding for children with special needs in Alaska.

Advice on premature babies born without Down's Syndrome:

Even though your nurse practitioner told you it is safe to give birth after 35 weeks, ideally a baby should develop a little longer inside its mother. Premature babies are small (less than 6 pounds), and may have trouble with feeding, breathing on their own, maintaining their temperature, and jaundice. On the other hand, most babies born after 35 weeks will ultimately do well if they receive good medical care in a neonatal intensive care nursery.

Down's Syndrome

Parents who decide to continue the pregnancy should be advised that there is an increased risk of fetal demise in trisomy 21 pregnancies.

The mother and father of a newborn with Down syndrome should be encouraged to take adequate family leave before returning to work outside the home. The most intense bonding between parents and infant occurs in the first few weeks after birth. Bonding time may be especially important for the family of an infant with Down syndrome. Over this period, the new parents can become comfortable providing for the special needs of their child, and they can also begin to develop coping strategies for the future.

When the parents return to work, they may need assistance in finding appropriate day care. Most large day care centers accept children with Down syndrome. However, in these large centers, the infants with congenital heart defects may be at increased risk of infection and resultant congestive heart failure. Alternatives include in-home care or a home day care setting with a smaller number of children. A smaller day care facility can often maintain stricter infection control measures.

Children with DS often have medical problems such as chronic pulmonary hypertension, frequent infections, and pulmonary vascular overperfusion and injury from existing or previous cardiac defects. These problems all may be viewed as risk factors for HAPE (high-altitude pulmonary edema) and thus result in the rapid development of HAPE at low altitudes. Care should be taken when traveling to even moderate altitudes with children with DS.

Early intervention

Early intervention refers to all the ways that services aim to support babies and children with Down syndrome from birth to 5 years. These include health care, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and educational programmes designed to promote all areas of a child's development.

The rate of progress that children made depended on the amount of time their mothers had available to spend with them.

The first years of life are a critical time in a child’s development. All young children go through the most rapid and developmentally significant changes during this time. During these early years, they achieve the basic physical, cognitive, language, social and self-help skills that lay the foundation for future progress, and these abilities are attained according to predictable developmental patterns. Children with Down syndrome typically face delays in certain areas of development, so early intervention is highly recommended. It can begin anytime after birth, but the sooner it starts, the better.

Early intervention is a systematic program of therapy, exercises and activities designed to address developmental delays that may be experienced by children with Down syndrome or other disabilities. These services are mandated by a federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The law requires that states provide early intervention services for all children who qualify, with the goal of enhancing the development of infants and toddlers and helping families understand and meet the needs of their children. The most common early intervention services for babies with Down syndrome are physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy.

Alaska budget for Special Needs Education:

Under Sarah Palin, funds decreased from a planned budget of 8265.3 to 3156.0.

I have a few questions arising from all of the above.

Should a 44 year old pregnant woman carrying a baby with Down's Syndrome have clocked over 18,000 air miles in the third trimester of her pregnancy? These air miles include the wild ride, when said mother was leaking/not leaking amniotic fluid and was in labour/not in labour.

Should a premature baby with Down's Syndrome and a hole in his heart have gone to work with his mother three days after birth? I have a feeling Trig was born sometime before April 18...

Should a premature baby with Down's Syndrome and a hole in his heart have gone on a countrywide gruelling political campaign, flying between venues where he was passed from person to person, subjected to bright lights, high levels of noise, disrupted routines, etc, etc?

When would the above baby have received any necessary therapy to give him a chance to reach developmental milestones?

How could Sarah Palin make rousing speeches during the campaign,

"To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."

then proceed to cut the budget for special schools in Alaska?

Do you believe $arah Palin is Trig's real mother?

Click on pictures to enlarge

Sarah Palin's pregnancy is a hot topic!

Pat Buchanan opened a can of worms when he mentioned the rumours about Bristol being the real mother of Trig.

Since then, three videos have popped up on youtube. Gryphen from Immoral Minority is working on the whole web of deception in Alaska, with good things still to come.

Now we have to keep our fingers crossed the MSM will pick up the story. Please read all the archives on Palin's Deceptions, there's a lot of stuff there.

Here's the third video, by Bree Palin:

There's a storm brewing. I mean that literally. I'm the Trig Truther from France and the weather is a tad unsettled at the moment. I can only hope a kind of storm hits our $arah while I'm offline. I really don't want to "fry" another modem and network card!

A tout a l'heure...

More on Sarah Palin's incredible pregnancy

Here's another $arah Palin pregnancy video, by our friend Bree Palin.


Help Stop the Alaska Wolf Massacre

Since 2003, more than 1,000 wolves have been slaughtered under the State of Alaska's aerial wolf killing programs, shot dead by airborne gunners with high-powered rifles or chased to exhaustion and executed at point-blank range.

Help stop this massacre today.

To artificially inflate Alaska's moose and caribou populations -- often for the benefit trophy hunters that don't even live in Alaska -- outgoing governor Sarah Palin accelerated the killing in recent years. This year alone, more than 250 wolves have been killed -- putting the 2008/2009 aerial wolf killing season on pace to become the deadliest in years.

Congressman George Miller will soon re-introduce the Protect America's Wildlife (PAW) Act, federal legislation to end the controversial practice of using aircraft and gunmen to chase and kill wolves in Alaska.

Urge your representative to sign on as an original co-sponsor of representative George Miller's re-introduced PAW Act help end this awful practice in Alaska and prevent it from spreading to places like the Northern Rockies.

- The Team

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Sarah Palin's amazing pregnancy


Sarah Palin really thrashed her guts

36 year old model Heidi Klum is expecting her fourth child in October. At a slightly later stage of pregnancy with her fifth child, Sarah Palin was in much better form...

Sloppy abs, Ms Klum!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Sarah Palin, God, Sarah Palin...


This is hilarious! Here's a taster:

People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than the world I created in seven days.

Earth's mission? − to contribute to the Universe. It's really strategic IN the universe as the air crossroads OF the universe, as a gatekeeper of the universe.

This planet, blessed with air, water, wildlife, minerals, New Jersey, AND oil and gas. It's energy, you know what I mean? EN-ER-GY. I gave you energy.

People rag on me a lot. I mean a lot of people love me, but generally I get a lot of flak. It's pretty insane − my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with other people's PETTY grievances instead of progressing our planet now.

Please go and read the whole thing.


(H/T to Basheert)

My top Sarah Palin scary pictures

I decided to select my top five scary pictures of $arah Palin. In order of scaryness:

In this photo, her eyes and mouth look very mean, as if there was a bad smell in the room.

Same theme here, with an added contemptuous expression. Nasty mouth.

This is a very hard expression, lacking any warmth whatsoever.

I don't know what prompted this look, but I would be scared if it was directed at me.

This one takes the first prize. It's unmistakably scary. Run as fast as you can!

Sarah Palin's WTF quitter speech

Thanks to Mudflats, we now have a transcript of $arah Palin's quitspeech. I wanted to comment on some passages, but couldn't bear to listen to that voice again.
Together we do stand with gratitude for our troops who protect all of our cherished freedoms, including our freedom of speech which, par for the course, I’m going to exercise.

And first, some straight talk for some, just some in the media because another right protected for all of us is freedom of the press, and you all have such important jobs reporting facts and informing the electorate, and exerting power to influence. You represent what could and should be a respected honest profession that could and should be the cornerstone of our democracy. Democracy depends on you, and that is why, that’s why our troops are willing to die for you. So, how ’bout in honor of the American soldier, ya quit makin’ things up.
Anybody who reads $arah Palin's twits or listens to her speeches would think someone is trying to revoke the 1st Amendment and the country went to war to protect it. As a matter of fact, $arah doesn't understand the 1st amendment at all. She has moved on from "a task that is from God" to fighting to preserve freedom of the press, as far as fighting the present wars is concerned. Apples and oranges, fruit salad, word salad, take your pick.

As for making things up, she should take a leaf from her own book. The media consistently fail to report a lot of stuff about $arah Palin and are very sloppy in verifying the truthfulness of some of her statements, such as ALL ethics complaints having been dismissed and how much they really cost the state, for example. They didn't report much about the energy crisis in Western Alaska or how she took six weeks to act and that her only response was to take Franklin Graham's evangelical circus and some cookies to the wrong villages. The media didn't challenge her version of events regarding the wild ride from Texas to Alaska so Trig could have an Alaskan birth certificate. They haven't reported on the real issues surrounding her "legal" fund: the wording of the trust agreement and the implications of the conflict between what's on the AFT website and what's in the agreement.

If the media really did their homework and researched things properly, they would be informing the electorate more accurately. They gave $arah Palin a free pass on a string of issues. She should be grateful for their sloppyness.
I promised that we would manage our fish and wildlife for abundance, and that we would defend the constitution, and we have, though outside special interest groups they still just don’t get it on this one. Let me tell you, Alaskans really need to stick together on this with new leadership in this area especially, encouraging new leadership… got to stiffen your spine to do what’s right for Alaska when the pressure mounts, because you’re going to see anti-hunting, anti-second amendment circuses from Hollywood and here’s how they do it. They use these delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets, they use Alaska as a fundraising tool for their anti-second amendment causes. Stand strong, and remind them patriots will protect our guaranteed, individual right to bear arms, and by the way, Hollywood needs to know, we eat, therefore we hunt.
Delicate, tiny Ashley Judd and the rest of Hollywood will be shocked to learn that Alaskans eat wolves!
Alaskans will remember that years ago, remember we sported the old bumper sticker that said, “Alaska. We Don’t Give a Darn How They Do It Outside?” Do you remember that? I remember that, and remember it was because we would be different. We’d roll up our sleeves, and we would diligently sow and reap, and we can still do this to carve wealth out of the wilderness and make our living on the water, with strong hands and innovative minds, now with smarter technology. It is what our first people and our parents did. It worked, because they worked. We must be prudent and persistent and press for the people’s right to responsibly develop God-given resources for the maximum benefit of the people.
This bit sounds like something out of the AIP manifesto. It seems to be a constant theme in her speeches... I wonder how her adoring fans from the Lower 48 feel about being called lazy and unresourceful. Well, people have the icons they deserve. They choose to follow her, hang on her every word, so be it.
Now, people who know me, and they know how much I love this state, some still are choosing not to hear why I made the decision to chart a new course to advance the state. And it should be so obvious to you (indicating heckler). It is because I love Alaska this much, sir (at heckler) that I feel it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical, politics as usual, lame duck session in one’s last year in office. How does that benefit you? No, with this decision now, I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right, for truth. And I have never felt like you need a title to do that.

There must be quite a lot of lame ducks all over the country. At least the media didn't swallow that one!
So, as we all move forward together, let’s vow to keep championing Alaska, to advocate responsible development, and smaller government, and freedom, and when I took the oath to serve you, I promised…remember I promised to steadfastly and doggedly guard the interests of this great state like that grizzly guards her cubs, as a mother naturally guards her own. And I will keep that vow wherever the road may lead.
Grizzly mama bear again. How come she's going back on her oath to serve and protect her Alaskan cubs?
Todd and I, and Track, Bristol, Tripp, Willow, Piper (hesitation), Trig…I think I got ‘em all. We will forever be so grateful for the honor of our lifetime to have served you.
As far as the electorate is concerned, SHE was supposed to have served them, not Todd, Bristol, Tripp, Willow, Piper, er...Trig. Alaskans elected $arah Palin, not her whole family.

Trig nearly slipped her mind. Oh dear...

Sarah Palin in pictures - part 2

I had a request for a collection of $arah Palin's pictures showing the whole range of facial expressions she's capable of pulling.

A big thank you to all the readers who sent me some very good photos.


Click on each photo to enlarge