Monday, 31 May 2010

Behind the Fence


Guest post by Tyroanee

I am no stranger to fence builders. They have been built to hide behind and or take a stand, or some might feel it is a right of passage and ownership.

Just as we have the right to bear arms, building walls came easily to man, so simply in fact, that creating two countries from one is how the imaginary lines are drawn. By tearing a country in two what is left behind are the victims of misunderstanding and distrust in which words can never be fully comprehended (click on pictures to enlarge):


This is my neighbor, he lives across the street on the right, and that is my metal fence (middle of picture) on my property that surrounds my pasture which keeps my horses from entering onto the roadway. He had decided he would erect this fence so I wouldn’t catch him in the act of one of his many tirades.

His mind works mysteriously and highly unpredictably, and at times mimics that of an adolescent child. But over the last ten years it has developed into something like Palin’s: Unpredictably mean spirited, and just a downright quirky demeanor that all must adhere to.

He follows no rules, only those of his own, they change frequently and conform to his way of life for that minute in time, and if anyone chooses not to adhere to these rules? They pay the price.

Well, when all else fails in the making up of lies to the authorities, he doesn’t retreat, he reloads his 50 caliber weapon and shoots repeatedly so all can hear him in the valley floor. Throwing rocks and wood fence posts at passing cars has become routine for the five families that live down this dead-end road. The neighborhood must accept this behavior as he hurls spittle across your path. We now know he has a mental illness of some sort, it just has gone on hidden behind fences and undetected for so long it’s just become routine for us all, even for his family.

That was until last July, when I had installed a 24 hour surveillance system to monitor his behavior…


So this is the smile we look at as he jumps out across the roadway- lurking behind bushes and trees. To erect this fence on my property to shield him from being caught in the act of his ridiculous behavior that we have endured must have taken balls… or is it that fences make better neighbors?

What could have been going through his mind to construct such a thing eight feet high? Was it the guilt and shame he was hiding from, or was it the fact he knew he was finally caught in this web of lies that he must cover it with a fence so no one ccould see proof of his behavior?

He had even taken it one step further and painted the other side bright white so as you round the corner in the dark, a large white wall would be glaring to meet you. The neighbors soon dubbed it our own private drive-in movie theater screen.

So the world has its Great Wall of China and we have a drive-in movie theater. Thousands pass over year after year to see and walk upon this manmade wonder peering out from as far as outer-space. It is this overwhelming presence felt from space that leaves but only one question:

Why and how could it have gotten so toxic that walls are laid to hide behind without people fully understanding one another?

Thousands of lives are altered and given ultimatums to conform as the cold structures surround their very lives, and ultimately their minds. They are entombed in a shroud of darkness from the real world as it haunts them, gnawing ever so quietly as each revolution passes round without them feeling or knowing what the other side is all about. Their knee-jerk reaction leads to endless frustrations, not only for themselves but the the children that will never fully understand it.

Granted, given sufficient time, the world has evolved and sees this behavior as irrational and therefore tearing down walls has become monumental, and sometimes with grandiose celebrations of tearful reunions of the loved ones left behind.

It is in sharp contrast to the building of the walls; this has always seemed somber, and therefore strangely morbid, in hindsight. Stone by stone, a little colder it becomes and we must ask ourselves have we as humans learned from our past mistakes, or is this the ultimate conquest man shall never overcome?

Man has built a better mouse trap, but we have yet to build a fence that has cannot be breached in someway or another. Whether it is emotionally or physically, it deeply penetrates from within one's pride, not intelligence.

If over time a pit-bull (without lipstick) can learn to love a feline, then why as humans have we become so uneasy with one another and life’s challenges that we need fences to hide true self?

.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Palingates Weekly Roundup - May 24 to May 29

By Blueberry Tart



This past week got off to a glorious start, as Palingates revealed Sarah Palin's secret speaking fee paid by CSU Stanislaus. The information was received from reliable sources and many news outlets in California and elsewhere linked to Palingates in their reports. CSU Stanislaus Foundation president Matt Swanson tried to dismiss our claims as political grandstanding, but didn't dispute the figure of $75,000 paid to the Washington Speakers Bureau in two instalments. Senator Leland Yee published a press release with this comment: “If these figures are accurate, clearly CSU got a bad deal and Sarah Palin gouged California students. Celebrities should not be trying to line their own pockets at the expense of students, especially at a time when our public higher education system is in such dire straits.” The newspapers called Palingates an "anti-Palin" blog, but Sen. Yee had a better description: "Sarah Palin watchdog" site. The LA Times confirmed the amount a few days later, citing two unnamed sources within the university. Patrick was taking a break from all things Palin, but that didn't prevent him from writing three excellent posts in the past few days. Whenever one of the team takes a break, things tend to happen!



The excitement continued, with the news that author Joe McGinniss has rented the house right next door to Sarah’s family compound on Lake Lucille! We learned this wonderful news from none other than Sarah herself, in a Facebook rant extraordinaire, in which she managed to insinuate that McGinniss is a peeping Tom, titillate her fan base by describing her plans to mow the lawn in shorts and tank top, and, sadly, cast blueberry desserts in a bad light! (We later learned that Sarah had stiffed her neighbor for the cost of renovations she requested while renting the property; apparently once the Palins bought the other adjacent lot, they no longer needed the rental house and reneged on their agreement with the house owner, who subsequently sought out McGinnis as a tenant... in short, karma is a bitch.) The comments fantasized about potential weekend guests (Maddow, Olberman, Stewart, Dunn, the Johnstons, etc.) and speculated about why Sarah seems to have a thing about her daughters being the object of some imagined sexual perversion. Other comments highlighted the numerous media outlets that picked up the CSU speech cost revelations (later confirmed by LA Times), critiques of Sarah’s real estate conference speech, and a hilarious spoof of her FB rant copied by Palinoia from HuffPo comments.



The next post was straight out of the theater of the absurd. Bristol and Tripp, along with Willow, are featured in a glossy spread in Harper’s Bazaar, with the girls wearing elegant evening gowns while in the kitchen of Bristol’s condo (and outside wearing gown and rubber boots). Of course, Tripp is the barefoot baby prop du jour; it seems a Palin trademark to exploit their children for personal gain. One of the photos is of a make-believe tea party, with silver teapot and china service and many elegant cakes. This photo shoot was taken during the last week of the Tea Party Express bus tour, perhaps inspiring the theme. As several commenters noted, it would have made more sense if the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit made an appearance, since we know that the Queen-without-a-Heart was working behind the scenes. The only semi-sane interpretation I could muster about this truly absurd photoshoot is that it was a none-too-subtle spoof of Bristol’s utter hypocrisy about being a hard-working single unwed mother with a tough life (gag me). Either Harper’s was mocking her and she was too dumb to know (my take), or else they should really change the spelling to Harper’s Bizarre.


Sunnyjane offered us a sobering guest post about right-wing authoritarianism in the U.S. She reviewed John Dean’s 2006 expose, Conservatives Without Conscience, which draws heavily from the work of psychologist Dr. Robert Altemeyer. This post focuses on the takeover of the Republican party by right-wing extremists who bear close parallels with other authoritarian regimes (both fascist and communist). The leaders of the radical right-wing have social dominance traits and their followers are submissive to authority, self-righteous, ultra-moralistic, dogmatic, prejudiced, hypocritical, punitive bullies. This, combined with personality disorders, makes Sarah a rich subject for psychological profiles. The post also deals with one of the most interesting characteristics of the ultra-right – that they preach morality and attempt to impose their religious views on others, but they are often woefully immoral themselves; the author explains that they are able to shed their guilt through “cheap grace.” The post aptly describes how Sarah wields her religion to foster division in this country, all under the guise of righteousness that plays into this extreme authoritarianism. I can’t begin to do justice to this interesting post or the 540 comments.



Regina followed with an interesting post on a topic brought up in the comments: how Sarah makes her daughters the objects of her imagined sexual innuendo. The question is whether this reflects Sarah’s own disturbed psyche (“mentally unstable” per the McCain-Palin Campaign) and/or whether it is a tactic to divert attention from unflattering news. There is a long list of bad news for Sarah recently, and her over-the-top reaction to Joe McGinnis next door has diverted attention from the list of losers whom she backed in recent primaries and the scandals floating around some of the candidates she endorsed. (Mother Jones has a good article on this as well.) Patrick then updated the post with the fascinating information that the same house that McGinnis rented served as a rehab center for recovering addicts for several years, apparently without generating any reaction by the Palins about the need to build a barrier. Fencegate reminds us that whining and making slanderous insinuations about Sarah’s perceived critics is her art form. She has used this technique repeatedly to garner sympathy and put her critics in a defensive position.



Regina easily debunked Sarah’s faux outrage about McGinnis being able to peer in her kitchen window by showing four different photo shoots in the Palin’s kitchen. In all, the blinds are closed at the only kitchen window on that side of the house. Also too, there does not appear to be any easy way to view Piper’s window from the house next door. Perhaps fencegate is yet another of Sarah’s many tempests in a teapot, meant to play the victim card, generate sympathy about all those who are out to get her, put her critics in a defensive position and distract and divert attention from her numerous candidate endorsement failures and other bad news (as Regina had posited earlier). Through the comments, we also learned that McGinnnis had notified Wasilla’s mayor to say that he would be renting the house next to Sarah’s. Several readers speculated that the mayor, an ally of Sarah’s, most likely called the Palins right away with the news, and that the whole righteous indignation and outrage thing was most likely planned and staged in advance.



Patrick (still on holiday...) made another appearance with his excellent post on the Nikki Haley scandal. Haley is another candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin, who almost immediately after Sarah’s kiss of death, became the subject of claims of an extra-marital affair. What did Sarah do? Shut her mouth until the facts were known? Nah! Instead, she took to Facebook to defend Haley and decry the media for reporting the affair. Except that the affair was actually reported by Haley’s paramour himself, who has provided substantial documentation that what he is saying is true. But Sarah would never let the facts get in the way of a good story, and no one is more experienced in cleverly flipping the truth on its head to cover up her brazen deceptions. Haley seems to be taking Sarah’s advice in how to deflect investigations of a scandal – deny deny deny and refuse to provide any documentation of her claims. Hey, it has worked for Sarah (so far). Nikki, maybe not so much.


Comments of the Week

I picked out a few favorites from the past week’s mother lode of more than 4000 comments, for your reading enjoyment (I confess that I have not even gotten through all of the comments yet, so there are undoubtedly more hidden gems among them – this is just to whet your appetite if you have not read the comments yet.) .

Posted by Consciousatlast:

Matriculate, Gesticulate, Winky-Gate, But did she GRADUATE??
The ICE QUEEN-Making of a Divisive, Vindictive and Incompetent Politician
Who's Your Daddy? -- A Menard a Trois!
Fakin' Bakin' a Bun in the Oven -- OR-- This Little Triggy went to the Book Tour and That Little Triggy stayed Home

Posted by More_Cowbell:

I've used this example before but she reminds me so much of Mark Twain's great essay on how unbelievable Fenimore Cooper's books were: "Of course a man who cannot see the commonest little every-day matters accurately is working at a disadvantage when he is constructing a "situation."..... the inaccuracy of details throw a sort of air of fictitiousness and general improbability over it."

Posted by Patrick (quoting from another site; forgot which – referring to Bristol)

1 Fans
She's a beautiful girl and if more single moms got off their butts and worked instead of going on welfare we would all be better off. Libs don't like her because she didnt have an abortion and is not an elitist. Congrats for taking resonsibility!!!!

kejia 1 minute ago (12:02 PM)
16 Fans
Follow
Wow, for a second I thought you said Bristol had acted responsibly. Then I realized you had created a new word:

Resonsibility [rɪˌsɒnsəˈbɪlɪtɪ]
n pl -ties
1. the state or position of blaming everything on Lame Stream Media
2. a person who makes money preaching what she did not practice
3. the ability or authority to be at home without supervision, and to choose to have premarital unprotected sex during that time.

Now that makes sense!

Finally, a few snippets: grasshopper dubbed Sarah “HerHeinous” and another poster reported that people are suggesting that the Gulf be renamed “Lake Palin.”
.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

The "Sanfraudians" in action: Sarah Palin endorses and defends Nikki Haley - UPDATE!

Sarah Palin endorsed Nikki Haley, who is running for Governor in South Carolina, as a part of Sarah's great masterplan to conquer the USA. This plan is simple and sounds quite effective in theory: Make valuable allies which will later endorse you in return, attack Obama as often as possible and finally become the first female President of the USA.

On May 14, Sarah Palin appeared alongside Nikki Haley in South Carolina. A longer clip of Sarah's speech has been posted by Nikki Haley's campaign HERE. A short campaign clip has also been published:



But there is trouble in paradise.

Some "dirty secrets" have been revealed. Will Folks, a conservative blogger, claimed that he an affair with Nikki Haley a few years ago.

Will Folks is the editor of www.fitsnews.com - a website most of you probably have never heard of. I certainly hadn't. It's a conservative blog with the humouros self-description: "Unfair. Imbalanced."

The story of the affair is quite complex, but is being unveiled in greater detail on Will Folks website. "Fitsnews" have published several posts - you can find them HERE in an overview.

It started with a long post by Will Folks on May 24 with the fitting title: "Letting the Chips Fall", which was not a blog post, but more a personal statement by Will Folks:

Will Folks wrote (excerpt):
"In recent weeks, however, a group of political operatives has attempted to do just that. In fact, on a very personal level I have become the primary target of a group that will apparently stop at nothing to destroy the one S.C. gubernatorial candidate who, in my opinion, would most consistently advance the ideals I believe in. For those of you unfamiliar with the editorial bent of this website, the candidate I am referring to is S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley.
This network of operatives has made it abundantly clear that in the process of “taking down” Rep. Haley, they will also stop at nothing to humiliate me, destroy my family and take a sizable chunk out of the credibility this website has managed to amass for itself. Such is the blood sport of S.C. politics, I suppose – particularly in the wake of the scandal that consumed my former boss, Gov. Mark Sanford.
Specifically, within the last forty-eight hours several pieces of information which purportedly document a prior physical relationship between myself and Rep. Haley have begun to be leaked slowly, piece by piece, to members of the mainstream media. I am told that at least one story based upon this information will be published this week. Watching all of this unfold, I have become convinced that the gradual release of this information is deliberately designed to advance this story in the press while simultaneously forcing either evasive answers or denials on my part or on Nikki’s part.
I refuse to play that game. I refuse to have someone hold the political equivalent of a switch-blade in front of my face and just sit there and watch as they cut me to pieces.
The truth in this case is what it is. Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki.
That’s it.
I will not be discussing the details of that relationship, nor will I be granting any additional interviews about it to members of the media beyond what I have already been compelled to confirm."
Here is a picture which shows the two main protagonists, Will Folks and Nikki Haley - together with Mark Sandford, who famously once hiked the Appalachian trail (picture taken in 2007, following a fundraiser for Nikki Haley):

Sandford - Will Folks - Haley
Mark Sandford, Will Folks, Nikki Haley

This reveation by Will Folks caused a political firestorm.

But who was one of the first to make a forceful rebuttal of these claims? A woman who was not involved in this affair at all: Sarah Palin.

Apparently Sarah thought that her extensive experience in (quite successfully) covering up and denying her own numerous personal scandals would qualify her to lead the fight against the smears, and therefore she immediatlely published on the same day, May 24, a fierce response defending Nikki Haley on facebook:
"Well, whaddya know? South Carolina’s conservative candidate, Nikki Haley, recently zipped to the front of the line in her state’s race for governor; and lo and behold, now accusations of an affair surface.

Nikki categorically denies the accusation that was spewed out there by a political blogger who has the gall to throw the stone, but then quickly duck and hide and proclaim he would not comment further on the issue. Quite convenient.

When Nikki and I held her endorsement rally on the steps of the beautiful and historic South Carolina state house a few weeks ago, I warned her and her family that she would be targeted because she’s a threat to a corrupt political machine, and she would be put through some hell. That, unfortunately, is the nature of the beast in politics today – especially for conservative “underdog” candidates who surge in the polls and threaten to shake things up so government can be put back on the side of the people.

South Carolina: don’t let some blogger make any accusation against your Nikki if the guy doesn’t even have the guts or the integrity to speak further on such a significant claim. And don’t believe anything a liberal rag claims or suggests unless the reporter involved has the integrity and the facts to report to you so you can make up your own mind. For traditional media to rely on an accusation via some blog entry is almost laughable, but I know the seriousness of it because that’s exactly what my family and colleagues have had to put up with, every single day, for the past couple of years.

As I said to Nikki this morning, “Hang in there. I’ve been there. Any lies told about you will strengthen your resolve to clean up political and media corruption. You and your supporters will grow stronger through things like this.”

Reaching her from Wasilla, I then joked with Nikki that I was calling her from one of the many locations the lamestream media claims I moved to. (Let’s see, I think the last I heard I was living in the Hamptons, or was it Montana? No, supposedly L.A. is where they claim I moved when I “left Todd” in their idiotic reports.)

South Carolina friends, don’t let ‘em just make things up.

- Sarah Palin"
According to Sarah Palin, it's the usual suspects: The "corrupt political machine", the "liberal rags" and the "lamestream media."

However, the problem is: It ain't that easy, Sarah. It appears that Sarah Palin possibly couldn't imagine that Will Folks had evidence, especially documentary evidence in his possession - the type of evidence which could prompt the MSM to investigate the scandal.

On the same day, Nikki Haley also swiftly issued a statement, denying the allegations:
Haley Releases Statement On False Allegations
Contact: Tim Pearson
803-767-8943
tim@nikkihaley.com
(Columbia, SC) – Today, in response to the allegations made by a South Carolina blogger, Representative Nikki Haley released the following statement:
“I have been 100% faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage. This claim against me is categorically and totally false.”
“It is sad, but not surprising, that this disgraceful smear has taken form less than a week removed from the release of a poll showing our campaign with a significant lead. It is quite simply South Carolina politics at its worst.”
“These attacks – and those sure to follow – are an effort at distraction, but I will keep my focus on what matters, and that is delivering South Carolina’s government back to our people. That’s a fight I have fought for the last five years.
That’s why I entered this race for Governor. And that’s what I will continue to do, despite any outrageous and false claims that are thrown at me.”
100% faithful?

Well, let's see.

Faced with these strong denials, Will Folks came under huge pressure - his credibilty and also ultimately his livelihood was (and still is) at stake.

Following these attacks, www.fitsnews.com released in a very clever, honest and transparent way more information and evidence during the following days, fighting to maintain their credibility. A pretty clear picture is slowly emerging, and it doesn't look good for Nikki Haley - and Sarah Palin.

Some of the posts which followed on www.fitsnews.com were:

Free Times Confirms It Was Working On Haley Affair Story

Cell, Email Records Could Solve “Haley-gate”

The Curious Libel Law Of Haley V. Folks

Clearing The Air

Then, the first bombshell was dropped. In a post appropriately titled "Haley-Gate: The Storm Before The Storm", fitsnews released a whole pack of SMS messages, exchanged between Will Folks and:
  • Tim Pearson, Nikki Haley's campaign manager
  • AP-reporter Jim Davenport
  • Wes Donehue, a Republican political consultant whose role in this scandal still isn't 100% clear (LINK to Wes Donehue's blog)
These text messages are revealing indeed - excerpts:

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 2:55 PM

I just don’t know who has told more people, you or Nikki.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 13, 2010 3:21 PM

I am getting a lot of buzz about the me/nikki rumor today. Word is donehue is behind it.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 3:26 PM

I am too. Free times apparently called some legislators. Assuming it’s hutchins.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 3:29 PM

Can you fuck donehue up?

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 5:01 PM

Here my promise to you, man to man. If you tell me that a story will fuck up your marriage, I’ll do everything in my power to kill it.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 5:33 PM

Sorry – took longer than I thought. What are you hearing?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 13, 2010 5:54 PM

Free times

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 10:20 AM

We need to talk.

—— SMS ——
From Will Folks
To: Wes Donehue
Sent: May 14, 2010 10:24 AM

You’ve already rolled the dice.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 10:25 AM

Actually, I haven’t.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 10:36 AM

Now, I don’t give a fuck of you believe me or not. Your the one who screwed her. You’re the one who bragged about it. She’s the one who told BJ. Yall point fingers at your own damn selves and leave me the fuck out of it.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 11:50 AM

I’m going to try to kill it. You need to get BJ to back down. Nothing good will come of this getting out. I’ve already helped bust up one family. No need to take down another one.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 12:28 PM

I didn’t start this. I just told too many people that it was happening.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:05 PM

Tks for your help this am.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:11 PM
Subject: Sure.

Sure. I still think he ends up running something

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:12 PM

Really … Interesting.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:20 PM

Word I hear is that wes is shopping an affidavit

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:21 PM

Ah. My initial thought is if it aint from you or nh then its a tough sell

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:40 PM

Mine too … But …

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 2:39 PM

Hearing hutchens will be at statehouse and trying to ask nh the question. Just a heads up if you’re there.

—— SMS ——

From: Jim Davenport
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:31 PM

What is this stuff about ur having an affair with Nikki Haley?
Jim Davenport-AP_ 803-917-9562

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Jim Davenport
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:32 PM

?

—— SMS ——
From: Jim Davenport
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:33 PM

Call. Talk.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Jim Davenport
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:39 PM

Can’t talk right now. You are not writing on this are you?

—— SMS ——
From: Jim Davenport
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:40 PM

Supposedly someone is. Just chasing tip.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:37 PM

Davenport is texting me asking about this now. WTF? Did something happen at Palin event?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 15, 2010 11:58 AM

Davenport calling again.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:10 PM

Ok. Keep me posted.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:20 PM

What you thinking?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:48 PM

His mssg said “you know why I am calling”

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:57 PM

I think we both deny it. I think an affadavit is something we can beat down. Legally and politically.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:58 PM

I’m telling you man, we keep this under wraps and nh is going to win.

+++

It has been confirmed that these text messages are authentic:
Since the texts include Haley’s campaign manager, they contradict her earlier statements that the campaign was unaware the story was going to break.

Nikki Haley nor her campaign manager, Mr. Pearson would comment.

Haley’s campaign manager confirmed to CNN that the text messages are authentic.
In the same article and the news clip, Wes Donehue also makes it clear through his remarks he made to the reporter who "ambushed" him that the text messages are authentic.

+++

OK...well, for the people who think that this is not compelling enough, fitsnews published more evidence during the following days:


Witnesses, Evidence Mounting Against Haley:

By FITSNews || For a campaign employee she claims to have barely known, S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley certainly paid plenty of late night visits to our founding editor’s town house in early 2007.
In fact, multiple witnesses are coming forward to say that they saw Haley’s white Cadillac SUV – identified by a Haley campaign sticker and State Legislator licenses plate – outside of Will Folks’ downtown Columbia, S.C. town house at all hours of the day and night during the time period that Folks’ alleges he and Haley had an “inappropriate physical relationship.”
One of these witnesses even preemptively contacted Folks on the day the story broke in an effort to distance himself from the pressure that was being exerted on the blogger by Haley’s enemies.

Another witness who walked by Folks’ town house every night during early 2007 on his way home from work claims to have seen Haley’s car parked there on multiple occasions late at night.
It is expected that both witnesses – whose names are being protected for fear of retaliation – will testify to what they saw, along with numerous other witnesses who were aware of the relationship at the time and can provide details of what they saw.

And there is an ominous photograph:

Additionally, in early 2009 Folks now acknowledges being confronted with a photograph of himself and Haley in what he calls a “compromising position.” The photograph was allegedly taken by a private investigator hired to uncover dirt on him, not Haley.
“They were looking for dirt on you,” a source familiar with the photo tells FITS.
“What they got was you and her.”
Just as he did with the information he was receiving prior to this scandal breaking, Folks contacted Haley to warn her about the existence of the photograph.
“I pray you escape all this,” Folks wrote Haley in an email message in mid-March of 2009.
Haley wrote back encouraging Folks and apologizing for the situation.
“Stay strong. Have faith,” Haley replied to Folks. “I’m sorry for any pain you are having to go through. You will be ok and better for it.”

The last strike by fitsnews comes with another major revelation:

By FITSNews || S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley and FITSNews’ editor Will Folks exchanged over 700 phone calls during the past three years – most of them during the time that Folks admitted engaging in an “inappropriate physical relationship” with the front-running Republican gubernatorial candidate.
Folks released nearly 1,000 pages of phone records to local reporters on Thursday, without comment.
On its own, the massive volume of calls doesn’t prove that an affair took place – particularly seeing as Folks worked with Haley for a brief time during some of the high frequency calling periods. In fact, as Haley campaign manager Tim Pearson told The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper Thursday, “of course they spoke on the phone.”
But what’s raising eyebrows across the state isn’t necessarily the number of phone calls (although more than 700 calls seems like an awfully high number given Haley’s recent claim that she “barely knew” Folks), it is the time – and the length – of dozens of late night calls.
Read the list of the phone calls HERE.

+++

On May 27, Nikki Haley made a move which seems to be just right out of Sarah Palin's "The Art of Denial" textbook. Haley refused to release the telephone and email records which could clear up the allegations and exonerate her:
Nikki Haley said it’s not worth her time and energy — or the state’s tax dollars — to release phone or e-mail records between her and a blogger who has claimed the two had an inappropriate physical relationship …
“I am not wasting any energy on this — none,” Haley said when asked if she would respond voluntary to a request by The Post and Courier for the release of her phone and e-mail records on her state- and campaign-funded accounts.
“If y’all have asked for them, I don’t know about that yet. But I can tell you this right now: I am not wasting any energy on this. It is not worth the time and money of people in this state and it’s not worth the time and energy to get distracted off of this campaign.”
Nikki Haley allegedly strongly supports government transparency - well, this doesn't seem to apply when she herself is the one under scrutiny!

+++

Then something happened which would also bringing somebody like Sarah Palin down within approximately 48 hours, if it ever took place: The media picked up the story and started to ask inconvenient questions.

A local news channel did what journalists are supposed to do in this situation - GO OUT AND ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS:



That's how you expose the "Sanfraudians"!

Unfortunately, in Alaska, no one has asked any inconvenient questions in public so far.

Too bad! Because apart from frantic denials, Sarah Palin has no other defense regarding her various personal scandals. Her strategy worked in Alaska - in other parts of America, however, journalistic courage apparently still exists.

+++

Please visit the progressive SC blog "Indigojournal" for more background info about Haley, Folks and Donehue.

+++

UPDATE - The "second affair"

Huffington Post is on top of this one:
Lobbyist Larry Marchant, who on Wednesday became the second man to claim he had an affair with South Carolina Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley, is dishing details on his alleged one-night stand with the candidate.

"I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki Haley," Marchant explains in an interview with WCBD in Charleston. "We had gone to dinner, I had some drinks, and things happened and that was it. It was one time and one time only... I spent the night with Ms. Haley and we had sexual relations, we had sex."

Marchant added: "I know in my heart what happened, and she's knows in her heart what happened.
That's the guy - it doesn't look to me that he is lying:



Nikki Haley now has chosen the worst possible defense strategy. Chance of success: 0%

Huffington Post again:
"I have been so clear with this up front, I don't know how more clear I can be. I have been absolutely faithful to my husband for 13 years, no there is nothing," Haley said in an interview with the Columbia radio station WVOC.

Haley added: "It is this kind of South Carolina dirty politics, that has to stop, the people of this state deserve more."

WVOC radio host Keven Cohen asked Haley if she were elected whether she would leave office if the affair allegations are ever proven true.

"If something were to come out that validates the claims against you in terms of stepping out on your husband, on your marriage," Cohen asked, "would you resign as governor?"

"Yes," Haley said.


Cohen followed up: "Yes you would resign?"

"Yes," the GOP contender said.

+++

NEW CLIP - Nikki Haley denies everything:



+++

Please show your support for Joe McGinniss by joining this Facebook group.
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Friday, 28 May 2010

Sarah Palin can't see the truth from her kitchen window

Sarah Palin has been going on and on about how her new neighbour could see right into her kitchen: "He's 15 feet away from my kitchen window!"

That's what she told Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and what she wrote on Facebook:

"Yes, that Joe McGinniss. Here he is – about 15 feet away on the neighbor’s rented deck overlooking my children’s play area and my kitchen window."

It really bugged me that I couldn't remember seeing a kichen window on that side of Palin's property, so I sifted through my files and found the window! But it has a venetian blind that appears to be permanently down. These photos were taken on several different occasions (click on pictures to enlarge):






Sarah Palin is technically right, there is a window 15 feet away from the house nextdoor, but the deck faces the lake, not that side of her property. There might be a window on that side of the neighbour's house, but Joe McGinniss would need to have X-ray vision to see anything.

Sarah also made a remark about Piper's bedroom window.

"Wonder what kind of material he’ll gather while overlooking Piper’s bedroom, my little garden, and the family’s swimming hole?"

Piper's window is too high to be seen from the deck, which, as I said above, is not directly opposite that side of Palin's house.


No deck facing the Palins' kitchen or Piper's bedroom

Could Sarah Palin be distorting reality and exaggerating just a little bit?

Here's a nice article about Sarah Palin's fence and how it may be in breach of Wasilla's municipal codes.
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Thursday, 27 May 2010

Sarah Palin's imaginary threats to her daughters - projection, marketing strategy or distraction? - UPDATE: Oxford Houses


When Sarah Palin drops hints about perverts targeting her children, we get suspicious.

This is not the first time she has used her children in some imaginary scenario where her children are at the mercy of sex predators.

Sarah Palin used some alleged threats of gang rape against Willow and Bristol as an excuse to move them away from Juneau.

From Going Rogue:

"In that first year, I was alerted to threats against Willow by students at her Juneau school, one particularly disturbing. Someone posted a note on an Internet site threatening to gang-rape her at school. I never felt safe for her after that. Later, the same thing happened to Bristol."

Last year David Letterman was depicted as a dirty old man who craked jokes about the statutory rape of Willow.

FB rape willow

Now Joe McGinniss is supposed to get a kick out of peering through Piper bedroom window and watching her children swimming in Lake Lucille.

"Wonder what kind of material he’ll gather while overlooking Piper’s bedroom, my little garden, and the family’s swimming hole?"

Why does Sarah Palin have such an unhealthy preocupation with sexual threats against her daughters? Why does she paint an image where her daughters are the objects of men's fantasies? Who is sexualizing her underage daughters?

Bristol is now a famous teenage single mother. Encouraged by mom Sarah, Bristol associated herself with a company that uses sex in the most cynical way to sell their shoes and clothes while promoting abstinence as the only form of birth control.



Sarah Palin's own image revolves around a sexy image. Her own father thought it was appropriate to wear a t-shirt proclaiming his daughter to be the hottest governor of the coldest state.

chuck heath - hottest governor

Sex sells and Sarah Palin exploits the interest people have in all things sexual to stay in the headlines.

If she decided to become a pole dancer or pose for Playboy, good for her. But she's putting her own daughters out there as sex objects.

The grizzly mama conjured up images of Bristol and Willow being gang raped, of Willow being raped in the Yankee Stadium, of Piper taking her clothes off in her bedroom being observed by a dirty old man.

Sarah Palin has a very strange mind and projects her darkest thoughts onto men whose minds are NOT dominated with dreams of illegal sex with minors.

But there are plenty of other men who must be very grateful to Sarah Palin for providing them with the sexual imagery involving her own famous, good looking daughters to fuel their fantasies.

Sarah Palin uses sex to sell herself and uses her daughters sexuality to exact revenge on any man who dares to challenge or mock her.

Her latest stunt is generating many headlines and has Fox News in a frenzy. While they're discussing her fence and Todd's wrestling prowess as an alpha male, while people are debating the perceived threats to her daughters by the presence of a journalist and author too close for comfort, a number of other things that happened in the past weeek are not being discussed:

Rand Paul made a fool of himself.

Vaughn Ward lost the primary in Idaho.

Tim Burns didn't win
the vacant congress seat in Pennsylvania.

Nikki Haley's skeletons
are falling out of her closet.

Sarah Palin's speech in Las Vegas was a disaster.

She put her foot in her mouth regarding BP's donations to Obama.

The fee for her appearance at CSU Stanislaus was disclosed.

Chuck Heath
said she doesn't make her own decisions.

Is it a coincidence that she turned the spotlight on her new neighbour when she was being criticized by the media? Is it a coincidence that she portrayed him as a threat to her daughters?

Yes, sex sells, sex distracts. In Sarah Palin's case, sex is a weapon she reloaded when things became a bit tricky.

What a cynical move by a woman with a very disturbed mind!

+++

UPDATE (by Patrick):

Shannyn Moore revealed on the Huffington Post that the house which Joe McGinniss now occupies was used as an "Oxford House" for recovering alcohol and drug addicts from 2005-2008.

We followed this story up. ABC made a report about Joe McGinniss (CLICK FOR VIDEO) and knocked on the door of his new home, asking for an interview - which Joe McGinniss didn't appreciate.

In this report, ABC also showed the address of this property:

ABC Screenshot address

If you google the address, you find the property still mentioned on the website of Oxford Houses. They state that the "Lake Lucille Oxford House" was provided for a group of six men:
Lake Lucille Oxford House
1160 West Lake Lucille Drive
Wasilla, Ak. 99654
907 357-9085
Six men a mile west of Wasilla
Screenshot:
Oxford Houses - addresses - new with red

"The Alaska Oxford House website exists to help substance abusers recover from their problems by providing and encouraging the creation of democratically self-run and self-supported Oxford Houses all across Alaska."
The Oxford House Model in Alaska

The International Oxford House Model

All Oxford Houses have in common these characteristics:

* The House must be democratically self-run.
* The House members are responsible for all household expenses.
* The House must immediately expel any member who uses alcohol or drugs Oxford House is tool for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

In its simplest form, an Oxford House is a democratically run, self-supporting home free of drugs and alcohol. A typical Oxford House in Alaska has 7 to 10 residents, while those Outside have 6 to 15 residents. Past experience Outside shows that co-ed houses do not work well, so there are Oxford Houses for men, houses for women, and a few houses for women with children.

Anchorage has one house for women and four houses for men. Fairbanks now has two houses men. There is a home for six men on Wasilla's Lake Lucille in the Matanuska Valley. A house for men in Bethel will open soon; others are in the works. There is an effort underway to create a new Anchorage house that can become the home for several women and their children.
In order to obtain more information, I called the head office of Oxford Houses in Maryland. However, due to the fact that the house is no longer used for Oxford Houses, they couldn't tell me from the computer database when the organization first took over the organization of the house - however, they did indeed confirm that it was closed in 2008.

We are not saying that recovering drug and alcohol addicts necessarily pose a danger to the public! In fact, the concept of Oxford Houses is commendable, and we are very supportive of such organizations.

However, it is hypocrisy to the extreme on Sarah Palin's part to imply that Joe McGinniss, a renowned author with impeccable credentials, poses a possible threat to her children and is a potential pedophile - while Sarah Palin herself had apparently no problems at all to live next door to recovering alcohol and drug addicts for several years. And her children, not to forget, were very young at that time - Track was born in 1989, Bristol in 1990, Willow in 1994 and Piper in 2001.

While former addicts are certainly in most cases not dangerous at all, they are still people who often had to deal with serious problems in their life - and who could in theory be potentially dangerous. Because that's what we are talking about here: Pure theories, or fantasies, developed in Sarah Palin's crazy brain. We are not talking about incidents which actually happened.

And anyone with a sane mind should know that Joe McGinniss poses no danger to anybody!

Sarah Palin has now built a huge fence which most likely is a gross violation of building codes. But since when did Sarah Palin believe that laws apply to her?

Pictures from the fence, as shown in the ABC clip:

ABC Screenshot fence 3

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Palinbots in the meantime published a death threat against Joe McGinniss in the Anchorage Craigslist. Who is in danger here? Certainly NOT Sarah Palin or her children!

joe mcginniss - anchorage craigslist

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Websites which link to this post:

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Right-Wing Authoritarianism: How Sarah Palin is Wired

Guest post by sunnyjane

Please note that this is a considerably shortened version of sunnyjane's post. You can download the full post HERE.

During a recent trip to my local library I picked up an audio book titled Conservatives Without Conscience by John Dean, Counsel to President Nixon during the Watergate scandal. Dean’s initial purpose in writing the book was to try to understand how the Conservative Party had moved so far to the right during the thirty or so years he had been out of the political mainstream.

conservatives without conscience

What he discovered was that an entirely new breed of conservatives – the right-wing authoritarians – had taken over the Republican Party, and that they were completely without principles, ethics, honor and scruples, those traits that make up the human conscience.

In the preface Dean writes, “Contemporary conservatives have become extremely contentious, confrontational, and aggressive in nearly every area of politics and governing. Today they have a tough-guy (and, in a few instances, a tough-gal) attitude, an arrogant and antagonistic style, along with a narrow outlook intolerant of those who challenge their extreme thinking. Incivility is now their norm.”

He goes on to say that “the right-wing presidency of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney took positions that were in open defiance of international treaties or blatant violations of domestic laws, while pushing the limits of presidential power beyond the parameters of the Constitution, aided and abetted by a conservative Republican Congress that refused to check or balance the president.”

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At Palingates we have all tried to label Palin’s character, from the serious (sociopath) to the mocking (whack job). John Dean names GOP political leaders who are very familiar to us (Rove, Gingrich, DeLay, Chaney, etc.) as those who fit the right-wing authoritarian profile.

However, when his book was published in January 2006, Sarah Palin was virtually unknown below the 60th Parallel, and was only then gearing up to run for governor of Alaska. And yet, it is obvious that the profile of a right-wing authoritarian fits her so perfectly that it is shocking and very unsettling. At last, we get some insight into Sarah Palin’s personality and its associated behavior.

And it ain’t pretty.

Understanding Authoritarianism

In Conservatives Without Conscience, Dean relied heavily on the work of Dr. Robert Altemeyer, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Altemeyer has studied authoritarianism for more than forty years, has written extensively on the subject, and has refined the theory into the concept – and clinical measure – of Right-Wing Authoritarianism.

+++You can download Dr. Altemeyer's complete book

"The Authoritarians" for free HERE+++

According to Dr. Altemeyer, authoritarianism is a situation authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders plot between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want – which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal.

“In my day,” he states, “authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared.” And he goes on to present the case that “…the greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation.”

Some understanding and insight into why they act the way they do, which is often mind-boggling:

- They revere those who give their lives defending freedom and then support moves to take that freedom away.
- They go on believing things that have been disproved over and over again, and disbelieve things that are well established.
- They think they are the best people in the world, when so much of what they do should show them they are not.
- Their leaders so often turn out to be crooks and hypocrites.
- Both the followers and the leaders are so aggressive that hostility is practically their trademark.

____________________________________________________________

Is a picture of Sarah beginning to emerge here?

Why We Need to Understand Right-Wing Authoritarianism

Dr. Altemeyer believes that if we are concerned about what has happened in America since a radical right-wing segment of the population began taking control of the government in 1994, we will find a lot that says our fears are well founded. The concept of a constitutional democracy has been under attack – by the American government, no less. The mid-term elections of 2006 gave hope that the best values and traditions of the country will ultimately prevail. But it could prove a huge mistake to think that the enemies of freedom and equality have lost the war just because they were rebuffed at the polls.

Dr. Altemeyer: “I’ll be very much surprised if [the right-wing] leaders don’t frame the [2006] setback as a test of the followers’ faith, causing them to redouble their efforts. They came so close to getting what they want, they’re not likely to pack up and go away without an all-out drive. But even if their leaders cannot find an acceptable presidential candidate for 2008, even if authoritarians play a much diminished role in the next election, even if they temporarily fade from view, they will still be there, aching for a dictatorship that will force their views on everyone. And they will surely be energized again, as they were in 1994, if a new administration infuriates them while carrying out its mandate. The country is not out of danger.”

Authoritarian Leaders…

Right-wing authoritarian leaders, also referred to as individuals with social dominance orientation, are take-charge types who want to be submitted to. As John Dean notes, they “…appear to be best positioned to become leaders of right-wing movements and undertakings, a group Altemeyer describes as ‘scary’.”

_____________________________________________________________

Additional research I did on this subject revealed what some researchers call "The Personal Power, Meanness and Dominance Scale". Briefly, it outlines statements authoritarian leaders would agree with:

It’s a mistake to interfere with the “law of the jungle.” Some people were meant to dominate others.

Winning is not the first thing; it’s the only thing.

If I have power in a situation, I should use it however I have to, to get my way.

I would be cold-blooded and vengeful, if that’s what it took to reach my goals.

Money, wealth, and luxuries mean a lot to me.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world where you have to be ruthless at times.

It would not bother me if other people thought I was mean and pitiless.

I enjoy having the power to hurt people when they anger or disappoint me.

I will do my best to destroy anyone who deliberately blocks my plans and goals.

I like other people to be afraid of me.

Social dominance scores correlate very strongly with these answers to the Power Mad scale. High scorers are inclined to be intimidating, ruthless, and vengeful. They scorn such noble acts as helping others, and being kind, charitable, and forgiving. Instead they would rather be feared than loved, and be viewed as mean, pitiless, and vengeful. They love power, including the power to hurt in their drive to the top.

Typical traits that distinguish a right-wing authoritarian leader are:

  • typically men
  • dominating
  • opposes equality
  • desirous of personal power
  • amoral (unprincipled, unethical, dishonorable and unscrupulous)
  • intimidating and bullying
  • faintly hedonistic (self-indulgent)
  • vengeful
  • pitiless
  • exploitive
  • manipulative
  • dishonest
  • cheats to win
  • highly prejudiced (racist, sexist, homophobic)
  • mean-spirited
  • militant
  • nationalistic
  • tells others what they want to hear
  • takes advantage of "suckers"
  • specializes in creating false images to sell self
  • may or may not be religious
  • usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

___________________________________________________________

Again, it is easy to see that Sarah Palin possesses all of these traits except the first, “typically men.”

…and Their Followers

Altemeyer reminds us that an authoritarian leader must have authoritarian followers.

Psychologically, these people have personalities that are highly submissive to established authorities in their society; are highly aggressive in the name of their authorities; and are highly conventional, i.e. conservative.

“We shall probably always have individuals lurking among us who yearn to play tyrant. Some of them will be dumber than two bags of broken hammers, and some will be very bright. Many will start so far down in society that they have little chance of amassing power; others will have easy access to money and influence all their lives.

On the national scene some will be frustrated by prosperity, internal tranquility, and international peace – all of which significantly dim the prospects for a demagogue-in-waiting. Others will benefit from historical crises that automatically drop increased power into a leader’s lap. But ultimately, in a democracy, a wannabe tyrant is just a comical figure on a soapbox unless a huge wave of supporters lifts him [or, in this case, her] to high office. That’s how Adolf Hitler destroyed the Weimar Republic and became the Führer.”

As Altemeyer points out, we need to understand the people out there doing “the wave.” Because, ultimately, the problem is the followers.

Altemeyer characterizes right-wing authoritarians as “especially submissive to establish authority”; as showing “general aggressiveness” toward others when such behavior is perceived to be sanctioned by established authorities; and as highly compliant with social convention endorsed by society and established authorities.

They are submissive to authority, aggressively support authority, and are conservative in matters ranging from religious, in their dress and behavior, and believe themselves the country’s true patriots.

Traits affirmed to be those of authoritarian followers include:

- They travel in tight circles of like-minded people.

- Their thinking is more likely based on what authorities have told them rather than on their own critical judgment, which results in their beliefs being filled with inconsistencies.

- They harbor numerous double standards and hypocrisies.

- The are hostile toward so many minorities they seem to be equal-opportunity bigots, yet they are generally unaware of their prejudices.

- They see the world as a dangerous place, with society teetering on the brink of self-destruction from evil and violence, and when their fear conflates with their self-righteousness, they appoint themselves guardians of public morality, or God’s Designated Hitters.

- They think of themselves as far more moral and upstanding than other – and self-deception aided by their religiosity (many are “born again”) and their ability to “evaporate guilt.”

Altemeyer goes on to say, “Authoritarian followers, who have always been there but were usually uninterested or unorganized, are now mightily active and highly organized in American politics. They claim to be the “real Americans,” but the America they yearn to create seems quite antithetical to the nation envisioned by the founding fathers. Far from seeing the wisdom of separating church and state, for example, they want a particular religious point of view to control government and be spread and enforced by the government. Furthermore, if research of abolishing the Bill of Rights and tolerance for government injustices is to be believed, authoritarian followers frankly don’t give a damn about democratic freedoms.”

Typical traits that distinguish a right-wing authoritarian follower are:

· men and woman

· submissive to authority

· aggressive on behalf of authority

· conventional

· highly religious

· moderate to little education

· trust untrustworthy authorities

· prejudiced (particularly against homosexuals, women, and followers of religions other than their own)

· mean-spirited

· narrow-minded

· intolerant

· bulling

· zealous

· dogmatic

· uncritical toward chosen authority

· hypocritical

· inconsistent and contradictory

· prone to panic easily

· highly self-righteous

· moralistic

· strict disciplinarian

· severely punitive

· demands loyalty and returns it

· little self-awareness

· usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

Evangelical Conservatives, the Founding Fathers, and the Constitution: An Unholy Mess

“Whether the issue is divorce, materialism, sexual promiscuity, racism, physical abuse in marriage, or neglect of a biblical world view,” wrote evangelical theologian Ronald J. Sider in The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, “the polling data point to widespread, blatant disobedience of clear biblical moral demands on the part of people who allegedly are evangelical, born-again Christians. The statistics are devastating.”

Dr. Altemeyer offers an explanation to this paradox by telling us that right-wing authoritarians employ “a number of psychological tricks and defenses that enable them to act fairly beastly, all the while thinking they are the good people. For instance, they do not realize they are more prejudiced and hostile than most people. In fact, they do not realize any of the many undesirable things that research has discovered about them.”

He goes on to say, “Right-wing authoritarians shed their guilt very efficiently when they do something wrong. Typically they turn to God for forgiveness, and as a result feel completely forgiven afterwards. Catholics, for example, use confession. Fundamentalist Protestants use a somewhat different mechanism. Many who are ‘born-again’ believe that if you confess your sins and accept Jesus as your personal savior you will go to heaven – no matter what else you do afterwards. (This is called ‘cheap grace’ by those within fundamentalism who hold its members to higher standards.)”

In brief, Altemeyer says, “When a great deal of misbehavior is engaged in by born-again Christians it troubles their fundamentalist consciences very little, for after all, they are the Saved. So by using their religious beliefs effectively, right-wing authoritarians have high moral standards in many regards, but pretty ineffective consciences.”

_____________________________________________________________

This works out very nicely for all right-wing politicians, but especially so for Sarah Palin. We are all too familiar with her penchant for deceit and hypocrisy, but in her case I believe she moves ‘cheap grace’ into the realm of a premium-free sinner’s policy issued by the Get Saved, We Gotcha Covered Christian Insurance Agency.

In all my research on Sarah Palin and her religious zealotry, I believe Micah J. Stone, freelance writer for the Portland Humanist Examiner, summed up the issue most effectively in his article, Sarah Palin: Religion as a political tool, dated December 5, 2009:

“Sarah Palin demonstrates mastery of the Christian vernacular, deftly wielding the language of religion as a political tool. In a recently released interview, Palin urged the United States to dedicate itself to seeking God’s will, arguing a humble spirit could help leaders get more answers on issues such as health care, energy and national security.

If Sarah Palin has a secret weapon, it is religion. Palin can talk the talk, and the Christian right can't get enough of it. Palin is not embarrassed to make the feeble minded intellectual claims required of a Christian fundamentalist."
____________________________________________________________

Sarah Palin, the GOP attack dog (she proudly said it herself: a pit bull with lipstick) is responsible for the negative reaction to President Obama’s election. Single-handedly, she stoked the base fears and hatreds of America’s right-wing followers. With her “pallin’ around with terrorists” and “we love comin’ to these small towns where real Americans live,” Palin provided the duct tape that has permanently bound the out-of-power right-wing leaders to their uneducated, incurious, non-discerning, obedient minions.

Now, with expanded opportunities to stir the fear-and-hatred pot with her highly paid verbal Keystone Kops rants, she intensifies the polarization of a nation that began with John McCain’s announcement of his vice-presidential running mate on August 29, 2008. In my mind, that was a day of national disgrace.

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