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12:05 PM on 12/13/2010
I used to be naive enough to believe the Sarah Palins of this world were simply viewed as criminals or psychopaths, by most people anyway (torturing animals being a well-known hallmark of psychopathy). But now these folks are coming out of the right-wing woodwork as political leaders! (One of them was our own ex-Vice-President. Even regular hunters objected to his practice of dumping little birds out of boxes and shooting them on the wing). THANK YOU, Aaron Sorkin, for injecting rationality into the subject. We need all the sanity we can get these days!
01:23 PM on 12/13/2010

* Data shows a significan­t increase in narcissism among Americans in the last 15 years.
* Narcissism is characteri­zed by an unfounded and undeserved sense of entitlemen­t.
* A generation of narcissist­s could lead to problems in the workplace, as well as risky business and political decisions.

The GOP is using Sarah to target these people
11:43 AM on 12/13/2010
I was raised on wild meat. I've read comments regarding Ms. Palin's excursions (ie. seasoned hunters debunking her true familiarity with the process) she knows very little about it beyond what editing and camera work can show. I cannot comment on her "first dude" and father, but grab your ass with both hands people - her "hunting" is a prop - like Bush's "ranch".

Animal welfare? One day on the killing floors or a random visit to large scale ranching operations will show you a world of pain. A free range animal shot cleanly through the lung, by my father, with humility, might look like mercy in comparison. Keep it real! - it's the idea that Ms Palin and my father are a part of a clan of survivalists - and you're in or out - that's absurd.

I don't support Palin or her showboating. She's the worst kind of political figure - one of a growing number cheapening a process that is about governing - securing/fostering a populace/nation - politically, financially, socially - it takes more than gun savvy or bravado. She's UNAWARE of that aspect of the job - focused on personal glory - turning politics into a sport she understands - bullying, blaming and spinning - abilities she thrives at.

We must stop laughing at this woman - she, or her ilk, are a very real and present future - it's not about "to hunt or not to hunt" - that's us or them division politics -
12:38 PM on 12/13/2010
Excellent comment. f and f
01:49 PM on 12/13/2010
Well said. F & F also.
11:09 AM on 12/13/2010
This is perhaps the best article on Palin I have ever read. It is concise and right to the point and accurately illustrates and brings into focus the nuances of this political hack that disgust me so.
10:02 AM on 12/13/2010
I like the fact that in the adds on this page there is one for all natural Elk meat.
Joe B
09:33 AM on 12/13/2010
Loves me some Aaron Sorkin!

Mildly Relevant News:
08:44 AM on 12/13/2010
I won't watch the show, but I would love to see what they edited out.
09:23 AM on 12/13/2010
Maybe WikiLeaks can get its hands on the outtakes.
08:13 AM on 12/13/2010
I'm watching her show for the first time and boy, she is not a representative of the way we actually live here in Wasilla at ALL. The glorifying of the dead things in her dad's house and the preparing to go camping with a lesson with guns to repel bears? I've camped up here for many many years and never even taken a gun, even in bear country! Hub and I are having a great laugh (he watched the first four episodes last night as I slept) Really this whole show is a joke as far as Alaskans are concerned. I just hope that those in the other states of the US and in other countries take it all with a grain of salt.

h/t Wasilla Resident Palingates
03:36 AM on 12/13/2010
Thank you for your excellent post, Mr. Sorkin. I don't understand how this creature Palin still is allowed to inflict her warped and crazy opinions on television. I wish TLC had the good sense to shut up and shut down this program; it's truly disgusting. I watch it only to remain informed of this Pain in the neck's latest.
Tonight I watched the episode with Kate Gosselin and it was really pitiful. Palin endangers the 8 little children by taking them into bear country, selecting a gruesome camp site, and spewing forth more pseudo-pioneer garbage. I don't think Mrs. Gosselin was too smart, either. But, in her favor she did remove herself and children from the worst camping site I ever saw for little ones
Years ago, I took my then 8 year old son and his friend camping in Yosemite: there was a light drizzle after we ate and we spent the night safely in a tent. The next day the rain stopped and we had a good and hiking. However, if the rain hadn't stopped we would have left.
11:11 PM on 12/12/2010
The Pageant Queen doesn't need the food. Is not shooting the moose, bought and planted by the producers for sport and isn't doing anything without a contract for loads of money in exchange. Wise up people. It's reality TV. It's staged, It's planned, There is a budget and actually hunting these animals with an obviously inexperienced novice would cut into the bottom line and Palin's profits.
10:35 PM on 12/12/2010
Dear Mr. Sorkin,
I would not comment on your Huffington Post piece until I saw the Sarah Palin’s Alaska episode in question. It was replayed tonight. I totally understand you hostility toward everything Palin. The show is not up to National Geographic standards, so I can understand why you would dismiss it on professional, aesthetic grounds. However, factually, and contrary to the suggestion in your essay that Ms. Palin’s kill was nothing but a trophy hunt, Ms. Palin and her father did skin and dress the carcass. The meat and other products will be consumed productively.

Nevertheless, I suspect I understand your visceral antipathy to Ms. Palin. You and I are similar … if there were some cataclysmic nuclear or environmental event, neither of us could sustain our families, absent the structures of “civilized society.” We know we would have to watch our families starve or succumb to the depredations of marauding predators, human and otherwise. The Palin and Heath clans, on the other hand, likely would have the skills to survive … including hunting and fishing (which require practice). They would survive, and we wouldn’t. We can never forgive them for that. I would never vote for Ms. Palin for President, but I might want my children and grandchildren to be adopted into her clan if the worst happened.

Jack Couch
Norwalk, Connecticut
No owning ideas. Limit only commercial use.
11:11 PM on 12/12/2010
Shooting wolves from a plane isn't preparation for the collapse of civilization. It isn't getting in touch with anything primal. It's playing at doing both.

I can twist twine into rope, and tie knots well enough to make a net. I can knit, and I'm pretty sure I could cobble together a usable loom if I had to. I can start a fire from an ember, with no paper. In a hypothetical disaster where there was habitable wilderness, think I would be about as well prepared, in terms of wilderness survival skills, as Ms. Palin.

I don't think that has anything to do with the visceral antipathy my political clan has toward her. It's about subcultures, picking sides, us-vs-them signals. The particular features involved are mostly just arbitrary tokens, like the color of a rose or the arrangement of the same three colors on a flag. She flamboyantly proclaims her alienness from us. Most of us give her the reaction she's trying to provoke.
11:15 PM on 12/12/2010
I'd definetly prefer to be in the clan that knows how to hunt meat then the one that knows how to knit. Just me though.
09:37 AM on 12/13/2010
I haven't -- wouldn't -- watch the whole series. Did she shoot wolves from a plane? If so, despicable.

However, there is a lot more to wilderness survival than twisting twine into nets. I suspect you are right that you have skills equivalent to any Sarah Palin actually possesses, but I'm sure that neither of us comes close to the skills of her husband and father. They and other "real" people in the Heath and Palin families would be the providers.

But I come back to my point ... we hate the Palins and Heaths of the world because they are not hothouse urban/suburban creatures like us.
11:20 AM on 12/14/2010
Are you kidding? Like hunting skills would keep you alive Jack? We've wiped out almost ALL stocks of wildlife including fish. The few remaining animals we have left we be decimated within weeks. This is the issue... we are unsustainable as a species. We need to change our ways. reduce the population bomb and pursue a less impactful life. America and the world need to wake up Jack! It's not the old world anymore with vast tracks of land and wild life.... the destruction of the planet is as serious a threat as the cold war and nuclear annihilation... it makes Al Queda pale. Teddy Roosevelt would be sickened by how far we have fallen. But the solution starts with each and every one of us recognizing this... especially people who want to be leaders!
07:52 PM on 01/14/2011
My dad grew up in Alaska, and I lived there most of my life before I moved to California.

In Alaska, there are almost 1,000,000 caribou, tens of thousands of moose, tens of thousands of bears, hundreds of millions of fish, and hundreds of millions of birds.

That is Alaska, but there are NO states where enough can't be grown or hunted to provide for the population of that state.

Just because some people and idiotic city and county planners like urban sprawl doesn't mean that wildlife can't survive or thrive. The deer population in many states is continuing to escalate, while urban gardens also continue to grow in number.

But back to Alaska... many people in Alaska survive on what is officially called "Subsistence" fishing and hunting. Meaning, you take the food for your personal use which isn't part of the sport fishing or hunting regulations.

A large percent of Alaskans survive this way, since there are no roads connecting about a third of the them to any population center, and many Alaskans don't live within a hundred miles of a grocery store.
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10:35 PM on 12/12/2010
I eat meat. If I had to hunt it to live, I don't know if I could or not. But if I did - I certainly would not think it was fun.
10:45 PM on 12/12/2010
You should try stalking elk up and down 12000 ft back country mountain ridges. Working the winds so that you are completely undetected to an animal that has senses greater then your own, survival instincts better then yours, and you are in their terrain. Bugle in a 6x6 bull. It takes years to be able to learn to do all that, and even then you don't gaurantee that you will harvest an animal. But damn is it a lot of fun. You really should try it before you diss it without any knowledge.
02:01 AM on 12/13/2010
"...survival instincts better then yours..."

Hilarious. Only the elk lacks a high powered rifle with which to put a bullet between your eyes. Try hunting a mountain lion with a sharp stick, in a box canyon where he knows exactly where you are. That would come a lot closer to an even match. Then get back to us with your mighty hunter BS.
10:27 PM on 12/12/2010
@Sorkin. Big deal about nothing. I agree with the comments... humans have been hunting animals for thousands of years, human beings in Alaska still do this, and in many many other parts of our country, and in other countries! Imagine!
02:06 AM on 12/13/2010
There is a difference between hunting for survival (food, clothing, shelter, food to trade) and for fun. The former is what humans have done for thousands of years, and still do where it is economically viable. The later is a very recent thing, in the time frame of human history. There is also a vast difference between the kind of hunting people did before modern weapons, and what happens now. To not make these distinctions is being as obtuse as Palin's fan base.
10:13 PM on 12/12/2010
A caribou and a moose are two different things!
10:17 PM on 12/12/2010
Not when your point is to right an anti-Palin and anti-hunting article. Facts like that aren't important.
10:24 PM on 12/12/2010
That should have said "write".
No owning ideas. Limit only commercial use.
11:13 PM on 12/12/2010
Good catch. I didn't notice he said Caribou (inexplicably capitalized) the first time and then moose later.
10:02 PM on 12/12/2010
Okay so I have a few things I would like to point out.

There is a difference between hunting 100's of years ago and now. 100's years ago you hunted animals to survive, it wasn't fun or pleasant but you had to or you went hungry. Since then we have perfected farming for plants and livestock, it isn't fun or pleasant, but it is more efficient and it puts food on the table. To me this is just part of evolution, we don't have to hunt anymore.

I really don't understand how someone could have fun killing a living thing, and considering you don't have to hunt to survive anymore I can't really justify the whole argument for hunting as a sport.

As far as what Sarah Palin did on television, we know it was a political stunt to rile up her base and piss off everyone else. She won't be the next president, that is fact.
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10:07 PM on 12/12/2010
John Kerry and Hillary Clinton both HUNTED during their campaigns and released photos of their hunts to the media.

Such so and so's those two..

Tsk tsk tsk
10:13 PM on 12/12/2010
Yeah, and see what that got them? O...hope it works as well for her.
10:45 PM on 12/12/2010
I didn't vote for either one.
10:13 PM on 12/12/2010
If you enjoy the idea of factory farms, genetically altered meats, and all the other awefulness that goes along with "perfected" factory livestock, then by all means don't hunt. I will not feed that stuff to my family though, so I do in fact need to hunt if I want meat on the table. Meat that I know were it came from, how it was killed, how it was processed. I can enjoy the meat that is on my table (both the wild game and the beef from the ranch). Can you say the same for yours?
10:37 PM on 12/12/2010
You definitely have a point..if you are going to eat meat, let it be from the wild. What I object to is killing for fun or, for profit...that's what the domesticated animals are killed for....hmm, this conundrum has no easy answer.

Let me just say I definitely object to killing for fun or POLITICAL profit....whew!
10:47 PM on 12/12/2010
I generally buy organic meats from higher end retailers. I have no complaints.
eric steven
Wake up ! Hillary is NOT A PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL!!!
09:51 PM on 12/12/2010
Is there a youtube or such of her making happy dance over her kill? i'd like to get a read on her vapidness.

i can't encourage my fellow leftists to criticize hunting and gun ownership. it's a losing battle.

wages in the middle of nowhere america are around $10/hr. a hunting license, gun and freezer can get you all the meat you can eat for a year for less than $500.
09:56 PM on 12/12/2010
2nd year and thereafter there is no cost to buy a freezer and a gun.
10:02 PM on 12/12/2010
Just a new license each year, and more ammo. If you reload, ammo is even cheaper too.