Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sarah Palin: Why She Named Her Son Trig And What This Means

So by now we all know that Sarah Palin is a rather odd individual. From the notes on her hand at the Tea Party convention ("lift American spirits", really?) to her claims that Alaska's proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience, Palin is of questionable intelligence by even some Fox viewers' standards.

But her recent admonition of Fox's own Family Guy show after they used a character with Down Syndrome to poke fun at the former Governor, not her child, brought to light a potentially interesting character feature.

The Palin's child, Trig, whom she carries around, to quote the actress with Down Syndrome who played the aforementioned character, "like a loaf of French bread...for sympathy and votes", has, of course, Down Syndrome. What is interesting, is the potential reason for naming him "Trig".

Sarah Palin claims Trig is a Norse name meaning both "truth" and "brave victory". Trygg is indeed Norse for "truth" while Trygve is Norse for "brave victory" but at the same time, Sarah's father, Chuck Heath, claims Trig was named after his great-uncle who was a Bristol Bay fisherman, in Chuck's words.

Not one for conspiracy theories, I had originally believe this because, why not? Even though, as I have found, Chuck was born in California, moved to Idaho after meeting Sarah's mother in Washington, and was a teacher in Idaho until moving to Alaska when Sarah was a toddler. There's a chance Chuck's great-uncle pulled a Jack London and ventured north in the 1860's to fish amongst Seward's Folly. But I just the other day stumbled upon another term for Down Syndrome, Trisomy-G.

This would normally mean nothing except for the Palin's penchant for naming their children after either their surroundings or their experiences.

Children with Trisomy-G are sometimes, in the essence of brevity, referred to as Tri-g or "trig" babies.

My theory, corroborated in part by Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic, is that she did not name her child after any Norse words, suddenly breaking from her observational naming habit, but that she continued with that habit and thought "Oh, "trig" babies! That's cute!" and thus named him so.

Keep in mind the following:

Both parents have admitted that Track Palin was named Track because Chuck Heath was a track coach and Sarah loves running

Todd Palin is also a pilot and Piper is both a manufacturer of planes (think "Piper Cub") as well as a type of bird.

Bristol, well, Bristol, Alaska is a place they both love.

More shocking, however, is that Trig's middle names, Paxson and Van, are named because (their words) Paxson is a beautiful area that is great for snowmobiling, Todd's pride and joy, and Van is a neat way to make his name sound like, I kid you not, Van Halen. Trig Paxson Van Palin.

Considering, then, the origins of the other names, it is not at all unlikely that Sarah and First Dude gave their latest child a heartwrenchingly accurate name in Trig.

Remember again, like Andrea Friedman (the Family Guy actress with Down Syndrome) said of Sarah's display and think of the proper way to carry a child. It is acceptable at times to carry a child the way she does Trig but not for long periods of time. The reason, I see, for her carrying him that way is to show off his face and thus, garner sympathy.

To them, Trig is a showpiece whose purpose is to be shown off and have names that either conjure "snowmachines", an 80's rock group, or simply and most importantly, the child's condition.

This is important, in case you had yet to guess, because Sarah Palin is tapping into a conservative movement that, for some odd reason, suddenly feels disenfranchised now that we have a black President who is attempting to assure that they all have healthcare. Palin will likely try to run in 2012 while claiming to come from "small town America" while holding "real values". She is quick to criticize anyone (on the left) for using "the R word" yet she has most likely callously named her child after a rock band and his condition.

Would the name Cleft be acceptable for a child with a cleft lip? Absolutely not.

Trig Palin is a human being but to his parents, he is a "gift from God" use as they wish.

Friday, May 16, 2008

McCain for High School Class President!

When John McCain recently said that he would have a majority of U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of his first term (2013), it sounded to me like he was promising to get better snacks in the vending machine by the gym or to cut the prices of the pops in the machine by the teacher's lounge. Nevermind the fact that he's recently said "maybe a hundred" years that we'd be in this generation's quagmire, he's telling diehard conservatives what they want to hear.

Barack Obama wants to attempt diplomacy with foreign dictators? How dare he!
He just wants to appease the rival football team. Not me, says McCain. That respectable approach to foreign policy is simply naive. The only way to convince rogue nations to succumb to democracy and the American, Christian way is to bomb them. What better way to broker peace then to inject cruise missiles into the apartments of innocent Iranians. Unprovoked attack? Interference in Middle Eastern politics? Sure, please set up a base in Tehran. Don't forget the McDonald's.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nature-Culture Disconnect

If you've happened upon a mall in the last 10 years or been aware of changes in consumer culture, you may have noticed an increase in nature-related goods. Abercrombie & Fitch, L.L. Bean and Lands End, originally created to clothe woodsmen and those with an affinity for the outdoors, have merely become fashion and status symbols, for the most part. Certainly a plethora of comparable stores, including home furnishing stores, now exist with attention to this trend.

While some companies may actually hope for a connection between their customers and nature, others may simply be preying upon the latest trends.

Have you noticed the clothes that speak to "wilderness adventure trips"? How many of these children and young adults have ever done anything close to what their shirts brag about?

Whether this country knows it or not, there is a subconscious longing for the past.

Why were SUVs created? To allow 98% of consumers the feeling that they could go "two-tracking" and off-roading if they were ever "crazy" enough. Having this capability gives consumers, in the back of their minds, a connection to covered wagons, to the frontier which has, sorry to say, been "closed" for at least a century.

Try to think of SUV names...practically ALL are related to the West and the vanished frontier.

Just a few:

Trail Blazer

This list, sickeningly, goes on.

So who's to blame? What's my point? The inevitable shrinking of wilderness via overconsumption of goods and property means that the companies aren't really to blame as most would, hopefully, love the nature connections they depend upon to be true.

Society itself, with its instant-gratification, its ego-centricism, nature-ignorant and human-supremacist mentality make the past something to be bought and not something to be enjoyed nor learned from.

This ignorance of nature and our past is cute and purchasable for now, but it'll catch up to us, and we'll freak out wondering how it can be fixed, when subtle changes now would delay the unavoidable if not alter our country's destiny altogether.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Illegal Immigration: 21st v. 19th Century

While many have been condemning both the immigrants and their reasons ("under the table" foremen and farmers), their reasons for and means of immigration must be put into context.

Opponents of amnesty and supporters of a U.S./Mexico wall frequently cite the large influx of immigrants during the 19th Century through Ellis Island, pointing out their naturalization and dedication to this country's ideals and beliefs. While the former is true, the latter is merely assumed. In addition, those immigrants came from overseas which means places such as Ellis Island were their only way in and thus they had to enter legally.

To our South, however, is a vast border with jobs and families waiting for needy workers. Unlike Irish, German and Italian immigrants often cited, these needy individuals have a choice and the less time they waste, the sooner they can improve the lives of their families back home. And when their employers in the States care not that they speak English nor that they carry papers, what, honestly, is their motivation? Altruism? One could hope for that but when de facto segregation and prejudice still exist, few care enough to take that extra step.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bush impeachment...

Is it because Congress is weak that the Administration or the "Decider" have yet to be held accountable for their actions? It appears that some may be punished for the attorney firings but what about dismissing Habeas Corpus, advocating "enhanced interrogation," and just generally ignoring the Legislative branch? The Republican-lead Congress of the late-90's pounced on Clinton's scandal. Nothing has yet been concrete enough? We're living too close to 9/11 to challenge our 9/11 President?

Would the patriotism of the opposition really be challenged 6 years later or is he in such a lame duck stage that everyone is looking ahead to 2008? Maybe the prospect of Cheney replacing W. makes some reconsider.

All I've heard is that a Democratic majority was elected last fall to get us out of Iraq and to stop Bush from gallivanting around like he's a dictator yet nothing has changed. He's yet to be held accountable for his ignorance and chroneyism.

Elected on a modest foreign policy platform...pre-emptive war. C'mon...Iraq? Yes Saddam was bad but that wasn't the initial justification and they knew that going into it. His genocide against the Kurds was after a George (senior) Bush speech in which he declared that Iraqi citizens should stand up against Saddam. A rebellion ensued and was crushed thanks to mustard gas and friends. U.S. forces occupying nearby were not permitted to act. A rebellion was called for but not supported which resulted in genocide. (The End of Iraq by Peter Galbraith)

Elected on a pro-environment, anti-emissions platform (for a conservative)... Healthy Forests Initiative (increases chances of wildfires while allowing removal of largest, most fire-resistant trees all for profit) and the Clear Skies Initiative (allowing voluntary compliance at pre-Clean Air Act standards). (Strategic Ignorance by Carl Pope)

But no single, definitive, publicizable act has yet occurred and Bush smartly (or with the help of a note from Rove), placed behind him someone the public feels is evil and cruel, thus decreasing any chances of said impeachment.

If anyone disagrees or can opine as to why he hasn't and likely will not be impeached, please comment. I'd love to know.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Global Warming (if true) = Bad; Resulting Conservation = Good

Despite the comment to the previous post, were global warming indeed to become 100% non-anthropogenic (all that carbon released, though?), it would not be bad for the political left. Ideally, the "green" industry wouldn't suffer either. Hopefully, consumers will catch on regardless of the likely outcome because saving our resources both for those in need and our future generations cannot be argued to be a bad thing.

When some on the Right critique global warming, they say that climate is too complex and no one can know for sure. Is it just to attack the Left and preserve all economic freedom? Socialism, when in the wrong hands, is bad, but if anyone brings up conservation with respect to the economy, that's what the opposition says we'd be headed toward. If done fairly, why would legislation aimed at protecting the environment and our future be bad? Are opponents that greedy that they can't give up one iota of economic "freedom?"

Again, resources are finite, but we can push back that final date. Can we not?

Global Warming Fear: A good thing from any angle

The Right continues to attack the "Left's" persistence on the global warming issue, saying it is divisive and merely a political ploy, a vain attempt to regain a majority of voters. Recently, a book entitle "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 years" attempts to dismiss "fear-mongering" from the Left by saying that solar flux varies just slightly enough to create the warming we are currently experiencing, citing the miniature ice age of the Middle Ages. I do agree, however, that such variations have impacts but to harp on this issue so much takes away from the fact that humans have an impact as well, likely the intention of the authors and their sympathizers.

The authors' intention is to calm the global "doom-sayers" and promote economic freedom, concluding that such green/red socialism (inappropriately festive), is a hindrance upon growth and is only hurting poverty, "the greatest problem of all."

Conservation is not the problem, it is the solution! The Right insists on overconsumption and relentlessly sticks to this approach because "The American way of life is a blessed one" (Dana Perino on Bush's answer to whether he would consider reducing consumption of goods/materials, 2003). How can they be so hypocritical to claim that they are pro-human rights when it is the affluence of this country and others that is having such detrimental effects on the Third World countries they pretend to care for?

Resources are finite. No one on the Right seems to get this. If the rich conserve and reduce what they consume, the poor will have more opportunities to better themselves. Not changing our actions and habits will spell disaster, global warming aside.

The Right's stance that the Left's is merely for political strength is hypocritical because it is in itself divisive and economically-based. Are there not "green" businesses? Are they really forsaking their progeny by not quelling their affluence?

The 10 hottest years on record have been in the last 15 years. Is the solar influx peaking or rapidly increasing in order to justify this? Maybe the book goes into more detail than the many reviews lead me to believe. I hope that I'm wrong and that the Right, or at least these individuals, isn't so heartless to promote their agenda in the name of humanitarianism. Carbon dioxide emissions have increased rapidly over the past 15 years, however, thanks to India and China.

Using "green" technology and reducing consumption only extends the life of our "favorite" finite, repeat, finite resources while allowing the poor greater access to goods and opportunities.

-" Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 years" by Dennis T. Avery and S. Fred Singer