Tag Archives: Miss South Carolina

Tribal Sovereignty means uh… you’re a sovereign entity, with a US passport.

Remember when George Bush couldn’t define “sovereignty?” Maybe it wasn’t his fault. How would you describe sovereign lands where US extraction and exploitative industries can operate without regulatory oversight, and tribes can issue identification papers unless they mean to travel somewhere. When the original Indian treaties were signed, US destiny was manifested with promises that the former landholders’ sovereignty would be respected. The Iroquois Lacrosse team have just learned tribal sovereignty means carrying the occupier’s passport.

The US State Department at first refused to grant travel permission to the sovereign Iroquois because they didn’t have the newfangled, traceable, trackable, American passport. When congressmen intervened on behalf of the Iroquois who did not wish to submit to United States stinkin’ papers, the government relented, granting a one-time exemption.

How do suppose they mean to explain that? A just-this-once exception on the sovereignty whatsit.

But the lacrosse team’s destination was England, and British bureaucrats held firm on the original argument that the sovereign Native Americans required non-Native American passports. Post 9/11 days are no time apparently to permit international travelers to pass themselves off with rinky dink documents issued by who knows what maize-republics. The USA may foist whatever charade it wants on its captive vanquished aborigines, that doesn’t mean England has to play dumb too.

Maybe the British are mindful not only that the Iroquois were among the inventors of lacrosse, but that they once used the pretext of a game to successfully storm an English fort. Is that among their worries, Post 9/11?

Post 9/11 is no time for the pretense of sovereignty. Whether schoolchildren can grasp its contradictions or not.

Here’s Bush again, doing his best Miss South Carolina:

“Uh, tribal sovereignty means that. It’s sovereign. You’re a, you’ve been given sovereignty and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities.”

Th-Th-Th-Th-That’s all folks, in lipstick

Full text of Alaska Ex-Governor Sarah Palin‘s poetic address, porky pigwherein she explains that her contract with the voters of Alaska has a “lame duck” escape clause, stuff about a God-given right to despoil, some veiled threats to shoot gun-control revenuers, and the protections of both First Amendments.

Sarah Palin, July 26, 2009, Fairbanks AK:

“What an absolutely beautiful day it is,
and it is my honor to speak to all Alaskans,
to our Alaskan family
this last time as your governor.
And it is always great to be in Fairbanks.
The rugged rugged hardy people that live up here
and some of the most patriotic people
whom you will ever know live here,
and one thing that you are known for
is your steadfast support
of our military community up here
and I thank you for that
and thank you United States military
for protecting the greatest nation on Earth.
Together we stand.

And getting up here
I say it is the best road trip in America
soaring through nature’s finest show.
Denali, the great one, soaring
under the midnight sun.

And then the extremes.
In the winter time
it’s the frozen road that is competing
with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty,
the cold though, doesn’t it
split the Cheechakos
from the Sourdoughs?

And then in the summertime
such extreme summertime
about a hundred and fifty degrees hotter
than just some months ago,
than just some months from now,
with fireweed blooming
along the frost heaves
and merciless rivers that are rushing
and carving and reminding us
that here, Mother Nature wins.
It is as throughout all Alaska
that big wild good life
teeming along the road
that is north to the future.

That is what we get to see every day.
Now what the rest of America
gets to see along with us
is in this last frontier
there is hope and opportunity
and there is country pride.

And it is our men and women in uniform securing it,
and we are facing tough challenges in America
with some seeming to just be Hell bent
maybe on tearing down our nation,
perpetuating some pessimism, and suggesting
American apologetics, suggesting perhaps
that our best days were yesterdays.

But as other people have asked,
“How can that pessimism be,
when proof of our greatness, our pride today
is that we produce the great proud volunteers
who sacrifice everything for country?”
Now this week alone, Sean Parnell and I
were on the, um, on Ft. Rich
the base there, the army chapel,
and we heard the last roll call,
and the sounding of Taps
for three very brave, very young Alaskan soldiers
who just gave their all for all of us.
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 quite makin’ things up?
And don’t underestimate the wisdom of the people,
and one other thing for the media,
our new governor has a very nice family too,
so leave his kids alone.

OK, today is a beautiful day
and today as we swear in Sean Parnell,
no one will be happier than I
to witness by God’s grace
Alaskans with strength of character
advancing our beloved state.
Sean has that.
Craig Campbell has that.
I remember on that December day,
we took the oath to uphold our state constitution,
and it was written right here in Fairbanks
by very wise pioneers.

We shared the vision for government
that they ground in that document.
Our founders wrote “all political power is inherent in the people.
All government originates with the people.
It’s founded upon their will only
and it’s instituted for the good of the people as a whole.”
Their remarkably succinct words
guided us in all of our efforts
in serving you and putting you first,
and we have done our best to fulfill promises
that I made on Alaska Day, 2005,
when I first asked for the honor of serving you.

Remember then, our state so desired
and so deserved ethics reform.
We promised it, and now it is the law.
Ironically, it needs additional reform
to stop blatant abuse from partisan operatives,
and I hope the lawmakers will continue that reform.
We promised that you would finally see
a fair return on your Alaskan owned natural resources
so we build a new oil and gas appraisal system,
an is an equitable formula to usher in
a new era of competition and transparency
and protection for Alaskans and the producers.

ACES incentivizes new exploration
and it’s the exploration that is our future.
It opens up oil basins and it ensures
that the people will never be taken advantage of again.
Don’t forget Alaskans
you are the resource owners per our constitution
and that’s why for instance last year
when oil prices soared and state coffers swelled,
but you were smacked with high energy prices,
we sent you the energy rebate. See,
it’s your money and I’ve always believed
that you know how to better spend it
than government can spend it.

I promised that we would protect this beautiful environment
while safely and ethically developing resources, and we did.
We built the Petroleum Oversight Office
and a sub-cabinet to study climate conditions.
And I promised I’d govern with fiscal restraint,
so to not immorally burden futre generations.
And we did…we slowed the rate of government growth
and I vetoed hundreds of millions of dollars of excess
and wtih lawmakers we saved billions for the future.

I promsed that we’d lead the charge
to forward funding education,
and hold schools accountable,
and improve opportunities for special needs students
and elevate vo-tech training
and we paid down pension debt.

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.

I promised energy solutions and we have,
we have a plan calling for 50% of our electricity
generated by renewable resources
and we can now insist that those who hold the leases
to develop our resources
that they do so now on Alaska’s terms.
So now finally after decades of just talk,
finally we’re seeing oil and gas drilling
up there at Point Thompson.

And I promised that we would get
a natural gas pipeline underway and we did.
Since I was a little kid growing up here,
I remember the discussions,
especially the political discussions
just talking about and hoping for
and dreaming of commercializing
our clean, abundant, needed natural gas.

Our gas line inducement act, AGIA,
that was the game-changer
and this is thanks to our outstanding gas line team,
and the legislature adopting this law, 58-1.
They knew, they know AGIA is the vehicle
to drive this monumental energy project
and bring everyone to the table,
this bipartisan victory,
it came from Alaskans working together
with free market private sector principles,
and now we are on the road
to the largest private-sector energy project
in the history of America.
It is for Alaska’s future,
it is for America’s energy independence
and it will make us a more peaceful,
prosperous and secure nation.

What I promised, we accomplished.
“We” meaning state staff,
amazing commissioners,
great staff assisting them,
and conscientious Alaskans
outside the bureaucracy –
Tom Van Flein, and Meg Stapleton
and Kristan Cole, so many others,
many volunteers who just stepped up
to the challenge as good Alaskans,
but nothing, nothing could have succeeded
without my right-hand man Kris Perry.
She is the sharpest, boldest, hardest-working partner.
Kris is my right-hand man and much success is due to Kris.

So much success, and Alaska
there is much good in store further down the road,
but to reach it we must value
and live the optimistic pioneering spirit
that made this state proud and free,
and we can resist enslavement to big central government
that crushes hope and opportunity.
Be wary of accepting government largess.
It doesn’t come free and often, accepting it
takes away everything that is free,
melting into Washington’s powerful “care-taking” arms
will just suck incentive to work hard
and chart our own course
right out of us,
and that not only contributes to an unstable economy
and dizzying national debt,
but it does make us less free.

I resisted the stimulus package.
I resisted the stimulus package
and we have championed earmark reform,
slashing earmark requests by 85%
to break the cycle of dependency
on a stifling, unsustainable federal agenda,
and other states should follow this
for their and for America’s stability.
We don’t have to feel
that we must beg an allowance from Washington,
except to beg the allowance to be self-determined.
See, to be self-sufficient,
Alaska must be allowed to develop –
to drill and build and climb,
to fulfill statehood’s promise.
At statehood we knew this.

At statehood we knew this,
that we are responsible for ourselves
and our families and our future,
and fifty years later,
please let’s not start believing
that government is the answer.
It can’t make you happy
or healthy or wealthy or wise.
What can? It is the wisdom of the people
and our families and our small businesses,
and industrious individuals,
and it is God’s grace,
helping those who help themselves,
and then this allows that very generous
voluntary hand up that we’re known for,
enthusiastically providing those who need it.

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.

And we have come so far in just 50 years.
We’re no longer a frontier outpost
on the periphery of the world’s greatest nation.
Now, as a contributor and a securer of America,
we can attain our destiny
in the promise of our motto “North to the Future.”
See, the pressing issue of our time,
it’s energy independence,
because there is an inherent link
between energy and security,
and energy and prosperity.
Alaska will lead with energy,
we will prove you can be both
pro-development and pro-environment,
because no one loves their clean air
and their land and their wildlife
and their water more than an Alaskan.
We will protect it.

Yes, America must look north to the future
for security, for energy independence,
for our strategic location on the globe.
Alaska is the gate-keeper of the continent.

So, we are here today at a changing of the guard.
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.

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.
Todd and I, and Track, Bristol,
Tripp, Willow, Piper, Trig…I think I got ’em all.
We will forever be so grateful
for the honor of our lifetime to have served you.
Our whole big diverse full and fun family,
we all thank you and I am very very blessed
to have had their support all along,
for Todd’s support. I am thankful too.
I have been blessed
to have been raised in this last frontier.
Thank you for our home, Mom and Dad,
because in Alaska
it is not an easy living,
but it is a good living,
and here it is impossible to lose your way.
Wherever the road may lead you,
we have that steadying great north star to guide us home.

So let’s all enjoy the ride, and I thank you Alaska,
and God bless Alaska and God bless America.”

Sympathy for Sarah Palin’s self mockery

Even with the official CBS transcript cleaned up, the Couric-Palin interview remains a riveting embarrassment. Fortunately online videos have archived poor Sarah Palin in all her Bush-league ignobility, if you can bear it. Don’t the Republicans appear to be unfathomable mockeries of themselves? Yet they elicit sympathy as they are seen being mocked.

If a person says something so irresistibly stupid that a bystander cannot fail to laugh, even if it’s embarrassed laughter, and if a third party characterizes the laughter as mockery, who comes out the winner?

(I once watched someone walk out of the bathroom with a tail of toilet paper sticking from his pants. Wherever he turned people were stifling their laughter, especially as he looked into our faces for what we found so funny. Finally he discovered the toilet paper, and I still ache at the memory of anticipating his next eye contact. I have no question who emerged the loser.)

But let’s resume our previously scheduled laugh track:

1. The Interview

COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land — boundary that we have with — Canada. […]

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our — our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia —

The entire world has got to be referencing Miss South Carolina’s famous “US Americans, SUCH AS” essay answer. But these days who can doubt Ms. Upton was plenty qualified to be Miss Teen USA. It seems so long ago now, what was it? Early 2008? Now she could stand in for GOP running mate.

I’ll address the […] in a moment.

So now even some media talking heads are piling on, as if they cannot bear NOT TO call Sarah Palin on her obvious lack of qualification beyond the wading pool. I think the moral outrage is refreshing, and I love watching Wolf Blitzer for example, cling to the party line in the face of a colleague’s truth talking.

But I have to wonder, where were the dissenters when George Dubya was performing his interview follies? Did these now-malcontents think George Dubya was doing just fine? Were his answers making them proud? Was Dumbya’s imbecility just opaque enough that these same pundits could reassure us in good conscience that they thought Bush was the right man for the job?

2. The Debate
For yet other TV news personalities, next week’s Vice-Presidential debate cannot come soon enough. I’m sure their eagerness matches overwhelming public anticipation for Palin’s moose-in-the-headlights face plant. Oh My God is that going to be some Reality Television! It’ll be the Special Olympics, in the Roman Coliseum, costarring the Honorable Senator from Delaware as the lion.

I do not envy Joe Biden as he tries his best to be a kindly Ray Bolger Lion enlisting Dorothy’s help to find his heart. (Do you doubt that’s a task tailored for him?) While everyone knows he’s expected to eat her.

No, I think Senator Biden is going to prove his worth as a politician if he can pull this off. It’s hard enough for a man to play a woman in tennis without being seen as ruthless cad, or worse, a ruthless patronizing cad. You have to lob your serves, declare long balls to be in, spoil your swings, take foolish risks, fall behind in the score, and still rally for the win. Or not. To win.

I’m intending here only to contrast stronger athlete versus weaker, against a duel of experienced versus fish-out-of-league. But certainly sexism is going to be an elephantine domestic hazard for a rich white male, if not likely an imposing statesman chauvinist.

But mostly I do not envy Sarah Palin. She may be stupid. She may be stupid as a pit bull, as her hockey boast turns out to be more than literal. In a dog, Palin’s quality describes tenacity, in a human it distills into temerity. To judge from her interview performances so far, Sarah Palin doesn’t know much. I think it’s also clear, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, Sarah Palin knows what she doesn’t know.

Would you have the courage to ascend a stage knowing what Sarah Palin knows? I’d sooner go up against Mohammad Ali.

* […]
Here’s the unexpurgated snippet:

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It’s funny that a comment like that was kinda made to caric– I don’t know, you know reporters…

COURIC: Mocked?

PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

3. “Mocked”
It was the worst acting I’ve nearly ever witnessed. Sarah Palin didn’t want to be seen accusing reporters of mockery, because a proper victim doesn’t point the finger. Nor could she be seen choosing the precise word which she wanted Couric to interject. So Palin started the word “caricature” but interrupted herself and then waited for her interviewer to finish the sentence.

Now if Couric was genuinely trying to fill in Palin’s phrase, she would have had to suggest “mock” in the present tense. Not “Mocked.”

And if Palin had really intended to use the word “caricature,” she would have had to preface it with something like “paint a caricature” to make sense. Although, should I presume to straighten Palin’s English mis-usage? Maybe she was about to invent the word “caricaturize,” the way I’m self-satisfied with misusage.

I am confident enough, however, to conclude that Couric was holding the “mocked” term at the ready. And Couric was probably plenty embarrassed at the awkwardness Palin displayed in delivering her cue. And to further taint Couric with complicity, it was imperative that “Mocked?” be conjugated in the past tense because it is declarative of a deed done, not timidly alleged.

Mockery has been an Election 2008 keyword ever since the RNC, where Rudy Giuliani led the Republicans in unspoken ridicule of the Democrats. “Community Organizer.” Arms punctuating the term as if it was a question. Pause for laughter. That was mockery, and yet ever since their convention, the inherently accusatory “mock” has been attributed as a perpetration of the Democrats. When Barack Obama criticizes McCain, it’s mockery.

Of course, if Obama so much as debunks an accusation of McCain’s, it’s mockery. But isn’t that due to the simplistic dishonesty of the Republican lie? Someone accuses you of being a Martian, any refutation is going to be a mockery of their intelligence. It’s a brilliant trap.

Probably there are a wonderful variety of words to describe it, but the media is keeping it simple for the American public. One slander fits all: MOCK. Specifically, Dems Mock GOP. I’ve yet to see it the other way around.

4. “Pushback”
Here’s another term that the media has been happy enough to adopt en masse. What does it mean? You tell a lie, you are called on that lie, you PUSH BACK. Tada!

Refutation doesn’t cut it, because you don’t actually make a case to justify your initial lie.

Repudiate fits. So does reject. So does deny. But those words explain a little too much about what you’re doing. If the media reported that the Republicans were standing behind their lie, and rejected what’s on record as contradicting the lie. They wouldn’t get far in the court of public opinion.

And the news reporter’s current function of avoiding having to challenge untruths would become untenable.

PUSHBACK gives the illogical untruth longer legs. It turns the debate into a shoving match, where arguments are treated as having equal weight. Push and push back. Playground verbal exchanges of nonesense. I know you are but what am I?