Thursday, February 11, 2010

Letting Herself Go And Counting Backwards: With A Guest Appearance By Palin's Liquor Cabinet

This is one of the most interesting pictures of Sarah Palin that I have found. It was taken by Spc. Wesley Landrum of the 50th Public Affairs Detachment on July 25, 2007 and posted the next day. This was during Palin's two day trip to Kuwait which, along with a few hour layover in - I believe - Amsterdam on the way home, constitutes her entire foreign travel experience. I found the picture while reviewing photos of her bust size for an earlier post. If you look at the other pictures from this trip, when she knew she was going to be wearing t-shirts, she appears to have packed her enhancer brasserie. Although, to be fair, some of the bosom she is showing here was acquired honestly, with the extra pounds she seems to be carrying at the time.

I thought of this picture yesterday, while I was looking at Kelly Anne Hanrahan's series of pictures of what Sarah Palin looks like without most of her makeup, hairstyles, and accessories, which has also been posted on Palingates this morning. The pictures that Hanrahan chose to work with mostly show Sarah Palin during the campaign. Before the current round of cosmetic surgery, but after, what many observers have noticed, work that was done earlier. It would be interesting to see what Palin would look like in the above picture if Hanrahan gave it the same treatment as the others. (I believe that several people would have to make an apology to Susan Boyle.)

However, what really interests me about the above picture is the timing. You see, much to Sarah Palin's dismay, there are people who know how to count backwards, and I happen to be one of them. According to the letter written by Palin's doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, dated on November 3, 2008 and released the evening before the election, "[Palin] had four term deliveries in 1989, 1990, 1994, and 2000, and one pre-term delivery at 35 weeks gestation in 2008."

There are a number of questions that have been raised regarding this letter, and it has been noted that, in the sentence quoted above, Piper's year of birth is not correct. Less than a year ago, a blogger named Morgan, who did photo detective work, looked closely at this letter and noticed that there were a number of visual irregularities within it - including the fact that the margins of the text didn't line up, suggesting that the letter was manually cut and pasted together, and possibly altered, before it was released. (I cannot link to her blog, because it was taken down after she was seriously intimidated and threatened by Palin's supporters - she is not the only blogger that this has happened to. It would be interesting if anyone with her level of skill would look at this letter again.)

As another aside, and to confirm the things you can find out by counting backwards, Track Palin, born April 20, 1989, is said to be a full-term baby in the letter. Full term is defined as 37 to 42 weeks from the last menstrual period, LMP, (259 to 294 days). Conception, however, typically occurs two weeks after the LMP - thus the most likely window is 37 to 40 weeks. Pre-term is defined as 258 days or less. Sarah and Todd allegedly* eloped on August 29, 1988, assuming that 1989 wasn't a leap year, 234 days before Track was born. In order to be considered full term, as Dr. Baldwin-Johnson's letter states, Track's conception would most likely have occurred between July 13 to August 3, 1988. (Statistically the chance becomes less likely as we move out of the mid-July period.) There is also a reduced chance, this time less likely the earlier the date, that he could have been conceived between June 29 and July 12.

Why is this important? Palin has a history of being anti-choice, although she has publicly mentioned that she has considered other options for herself. She has also actively promoted, along with her daughter Bristol - who gets paid to do so despite the glaring incongruence, abstinence before marriage. Given her own past and daughter's present situation, Palin's stance is extremely hypocritical. As a public spokesperson, and while an elected official, she has tried to limit other people's choices before and after a potential pregnancy. Abstinence only programs have been proven not to work and result in an increase of unmarried pregnancies, heartbreak, and hardship.

Very few unmarried and unemployed women, who find themselves pregnant, have the option of calling up a boy they have been dating, who is working far away from them, and have him risk his life to come back and marry them. There is also very few unmarried and oddly ambiguous employed women who have the substantial family resources to relentlessly sue their nineteen year old former boyfriend, who was willing to marry them, for $1,750 per month child support ($21,000 per year) based on a hypothetical income extrapolated from a probably temporary windfall of income. (His gross income before that being less then half of the support asked for.) In both cases: nice work, if you can get it.

Of course these dates also help in this discussion, which is justified given Sarah Palin's extensive use of her family and the myth of her family values as her brand. Not to mention, once again, the hypocrisy. Since Palin doesn't really have any policy positions that can be pinned down, her myth making around her family is something that needs to be explored. Another part of Palin's brand is her perceived honesty, a shock for many when they realize that is how her fan base views her. This bit of cognitive disassociation on the part of her fans makes it imperative to explore the many contradictions, inconsistencies, and outright lies in Palin's life.

I have, however, digressed from the above picture and we will now go back to counting backwards. Trig Palin's alleged birth date is April 18, 2008. The above doctor's letter states that he was born pre-term at 35 weeks gestation, which, I believe, means completed weeks. More precise then what we were working with Track. Counting backwards puts his conception in the week ending August 16, 2007. The above picture was taken on July 25, fifteen to twenty-two days before Palin would have become pregnant as she states she was.

Compare this picture to all the ones during her pregnancy that survived the scrubbing - when she was picked to run with John McCain - and the ones from her previous pregnancies. She looks more pregnant here, and similar to the her other pregnancies, than when she is stated to be pregnant with Trig - even though we know she can't be according to the above stated timeline. I am taking into account the discrepancies of her belly padding and, like Kelly Anne Hanrahan's series above, factoring out her belly padding accessories. After all, no baby gestrates as a rectangle.

The Palin myth, however, is that the reason that she didn't show during the Trig pregnancy was because she didn't let herself go and she had very tight abs. First, let's state that - to anyone who knows anything about pregnancy - this story does not hold water. (The same holds true for her other hold-the-leaking-water-for-almost-twenty-four-hours-during-her-labour-story.) Second, if you were going to try to tell me that someone has extremely fit and tight abs during a pregnancy, they should be fit directly before they conceive - which includes tight arms and chin. Looking at the above picture, this was definitely not the case. I will admit that, over the course of the alleged pregnancy, Sarah Palin appears to get fitter and miraculously smaller including her bust, if we take the Kuwait pictures as a reference point, as she does here five weeks before she gives birth.

The reduction of bust size is particularly of note given the following comment written over a year ago by Audrey, a lactation consultant, at PalinDeceptions:

"As you examine these photos, screen shots, and videos here are some things to watch for. First, very significant to me as a lactation consultant is her total lack of breast change in any shots, even the ones after she LOOKS pregnant. This is often one of the first signs of pregnancy and one that is pretty much universal, even in women who don't show much. Governor Palin appears to me to be consistently small breasted throughout all of the images."

(Since Audrey had been focusing on the period during Palin's alleged pregnancy - easily dated photographs which could be eliminated, such as the Kuwait series showing a bustier Palin - were not looked at closely or seen at the time she wrote her opening web pages.)

I believe that the Kuwait picture above should be added to any time line of Palin's pregnancy as a reference point of how she looked directly before we are told she got pregnant with her tight abs. Perhaps, in addition, it should be posted any time one of those annoying troll commenters writes "I'll nail that" in response to a picture of Sarah Palin.

* The reason I wrote alleged for the date that the Palins claim to have eloped is because there is no verification that they actually did on that day. The only reason we know the date is because they told us. By now, after so many fact checking posts on various blogs, we know that almost everything they say is untruthful. August 29, according to the story that Todd tells in the link above, is the first day they could tell a small community, who would know and remember when people are away, that they had been married. The community would have known that Todd was away for an extended period of time directly prior to that date. This may account for the odd tale, ironically - in Todd's version - fish play a major role, of their elopement told in Going Rogue.

In that account, they take their broke asses down to the courthouse (as, I believe, she describes her nuptials - please correct me if I am wrong). For some reason, they don't bother to bring anyone they know along, as if what they were doing was shameful and they had to be secretive about it. Because they needed two witnesses, they went across the street and wheeled two elderly residents, who didn't know them, back to the courthouse. Since the court records are sealed for another thirty years and the witnesses would have died soon afterwards, we have no way of verifying their story.

There is one possibility. The first time Palin ran for mayor in 1996, her political allies - referred to as her 'liquor cabinet' - made a large fuss that John Stein, the three term incumbent mayor with a degree in public administration, was not actually married to his second wife. (They also inferred that, because of his name, he was not Christian - he is Lutheran.) A marriage certificate was offered as proof and rejected because "[t]hey said, 'well you could have forged that.'"

Palin is constantly stating that she is being treated by a double standard and she is - no one else would get away with what she does in such a blatant and clumsy manner. Perhaps she should be asked to produce her marriage certificate, just as John Stein felt compelled to do, along with other documents to prove what she says. The liquor cabinet, however, may have already told us, in the above quote, what to be careful of if such documents ever do surface.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Of Course You Know, This Means War

I have written many times about the psychopathy checklist and made reference to how I believe that a strong argument can be made that Sarah Palin scores high on the checklist. The checklist is a continuum and to become a psychopath one must cross over a threshold. For men that the threshold for crossing is set at thirty out of a potential forty points. For women, because the condition manifest itself differently, that threshold is set lower. By the nineties, Robert Hare, after studying and rating psychopaths for decades, had only meet one who had a perfect score of forty. That was Clifford Olson.

The checklist is divided into two sections. Half are inherent traits that people can have - this is where the genetic component of the spectrum lies. The other half are lifestyle choices, to put a rather genteel term on what can turn out to be horrendous outcomes, and this is where the environmental factors play a significant role.

So to recap: to be on the psychopathy checklist one needs to have certain traits that are intrinsic parts of the person's personality. These traits alone will not make you a psychopath or even close to the threshold. Many of the people born with these traits lead productive lives, but may appear slightly 'off' to the people close to them. However, to gain more points on the checklist - enough to move into the zone of the ten percent of the population who cause significant problems to those around them, but have not crossed the threshold, and for those that have crossed that line - requires certain life style choices to be made. Here is where environment, which includes flukes of fate, can result in someone crossing the threshold to being a true psychopath.

No one is born a psychopath, they become one over time. It is a designation that is acquired over the course of a person's lifetime based on the actions taken. If one was inclined to think in certain terms, one could even describe it as a 'calling.' (Although I would argue that it is not a higher one, instead it is more similar to a siren's call.) The intrinsic (genetic) traits make it easier for the individual to move in the direction of making the checklist lifestyle choices and moving them up the checklist. Environment can either push them towards crossing the threshold or guide them away.

As a society, we can choose to help these individuals not answer the siren's call to cross the threshold or achieve even high scores on the checklist. It means having strong boundaries for them and making sure that there are consequences when they cross those boundaries. Part of those boundaries that we need to maintain for them is the law. People on the checklist need to know that they will be held accountable. Research has shown that they do not respond to appeals to their emotions to do the right thing - they respond to consequences and repercussions (although they will always try to manipulate their way out if they can).

As a society, we can also start to discuss the implications of this condition and how we humanely coexist with them. We need to ask ourselves if we should allow people who, by definition, exploit others and have no empathy, which makes them unaffected by others' suffering, to be in positions of power. There is plenty of historical precedent to show us that, when these individuals do obtain power, it does not end well.

I can not definitively state whether Sarah Palin has crossed over the threshold of the checklist at this time. She is, however, on the road to do so, if the current course of events is left to go unchecked. Over the last year and a half, I have watched Sarah Palin opportunistically cruise on the crest of a perfect storm that has taken a small time grifter to potential and real positions of great power.

Palin, when speaking, constantly uses the metaphor of doors opening and closing to her when she describes her opportunistic leaps. It is an apt description in this case. We must work to make sure that the door is closed to her, before she crosses an irrevocable threshold to the detriment of all of us.

Photomontage by John Heartfield