Adrienne Ross: Review of "Our Sarah: Made in Alaska"
Review of Our Sarah: Made in Alaska by Adrienne Ross I had the honor of reading an advance copy of Our Sarah: Made in Alaska, written by Sarah Palin's father and brother, Chuck Heath, Sr. and Chuck Heath, Jr. Below is my book review of their intimate story of the person who captivated America upon becoming the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. While many have only seen her through the biased lens of the mainstream media, the authors take us beyond that veil, allowing us to see who Sarah Palin really is and how that person came to be. - Adrienne Ross How often have you embarked upon a reading journey only to find yourself so captivated by the words on the page that putting the book down is not an option? If you're lucky, you might encounter such a scenario a handful of times throughout your years. During these experiences, we allow neither hunger, responsibilities, nor sleep to pull us away because we find ourselves glued to the words on each page. These moments, though refreshing, are extremely rare. Our Sarah: Made in Alaska was one such moment for me.When it comes to Sarah Palin, everyone has a narrative, an impression, an opinion--and most have expressed them. Indeed, the verbiage on the subject is without parallel. But who would you rather hear from--those who claim to know her, or those who know her well, who have seen her at both her weakest and strongest moments, and have shared a lifetime of memories with her? Chuck Heath, Sr. and Chuck Heath, Jr. have promised readers an intimate look into the life of this political lightning rod who has captured the minds, if not the hearts, of all of America. They delivered. While many view her, and thus refer to her, as the former governor of the remote state of Alaska, her father and brother's vantage point is much closer--so close, in fact, that they're able to do what most, even her most ardent supporters, cannot do: refer to her, in earnest, as "our Sarah." The magic they have performed, however, is that the pages of their book, which hold the chapters of Palin's life, convince us that we on the outside are in that same place of familiarity, or, at the very least, that it's well within our reach.I had been curious about the logistics of how Chuck, Sr. and Chuck, Jr. would co-author a book in which they shared family experiences. For example, how would they refer to certain people? Would Mrs. Heath be "Sally" or would she be "Mom"? Would Sarah be "my daughter" or "my sister"? Simple things like that grabbed my curiosity. The style they chose was perfect. Through alternating chapters, each author is able to share his own reflections and emotions surrounding a particular event, as he remembers it and as he feels it.Though she is the subject of the book, and not the author, Sarah's spirit is very much there, from the first page. She penned the foreword, and like a tour guide, she leads us as we set out on the journey. But then she withdraws, handing us over to the capable leadership of authors she trusts. Trusting them, however, did not shield her from feelings of apprehension when they decided to write the book, and she candidly tells readers why she was conflicted.I began the reading with the knowledge that the father-son team intended to provide stories of family adventures, Sarah's foundation of faith, and the influences that brought her to the place where she now stands. Yes, I found those things. What I also found was that Our Sarah is every bit their story as it is the story of their daughter and sister. The quotations they use to open each chapter provide evidence of that; while they highlight words that she has spoken, they also highlight their own. I grew to understand them more through the things they experienced--some joyful, some quite painful. Chuck, Sr., in particular, gives a heartwarming depiction of his upbringing and the regrets with which he's had to live. Palin refers to her brother, Chuck, Jr., in Going Rogue as "all boy." The sense of adventure he inherited from his father is evident in Our Sarah, as he continues to enjoy activities that he enjoyed as a youngster. By allowing readers to view them so intimately, they provide a closer view of Sarah. No doubt, both father and son would tell us she has impacted their lives, as she has the lives of many, but through the experiences they detail, it is obvious that she is who she is, in large part, because they are who they are. Chuck Heath, Jr. and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giluiani campaign for the McCain - Palin ticket in 2008 In Our Sarah, Chuck, Sr. and Chuck, Jr. give us a look into a family that worked hard, played hard, and loved hard, with details of each. Their portrayal of both Sarah Heath and, later, Sarah Palin confirm the belief that, should she ever choose to do so, she could walk away from political life, remain in Alaska, and be every bit as happy. Alaska is in her, just as the lessons she's been taught there, through the lifestyle she's received there, are in her. She doesn't need the national stage, but it has managed to get in her as well. She chooses to live the life she lives--not out of a need to be center stage, but out of a desire to make a difference. The authors inform the readers that even at a young age, big things seemed to be on the horizon for Sarah, and they tell us of people who, during the course of her upbringing, recognized her as someone "special," someone who just had a certain "something," and someone whose destiny called for greatness. They don't belabor the point, but it's certainly there.Our Sarah took me through the full gamut of emotions. In the span of neighboring pages, I found myself seething with anger, laughing uproariously, and weeping uncontrollably. I was riveted while reading just how close death was at different times, and moved at how far away answers to life's biggest questions sometimes were. I saw the frustration of both a protective brother, as he realized that there were battles he could not fight for his younger sister or shield her from, and a dad, as he observed his daughter so viciously wronged. Sarah's brother and father show us their lives and her life, so ordinary that as I read of their regrets, challenges, and questions, I thought of my own. Though we're all so very different in background and experiences, it's all quite familiar. The range of emotions, therefore, is only natural. Readers who have fixated on how different they are from Palin should be prepared to come away realizing something else altogether.Sarah Palin's father, whose love for the great outdoors took him and his growing family to the Last Frontier, was eager to find rewarding work, satisfying adventures, and robust competition. Their family of athletes learned to push themselves to the limits, and they reaped the rewards of perseverance and hard work. As I turned the pages of Our Sarah: Made in Alaska, I became increasingly aware that Palin did not arrive at such heights of personal and professional achievement by accident. Chuck, Sr. and Jr. show us how Sarah grew up with a competitive spirit, a stubborn streak, and dogged determination. Concerning sports, it was tenacity, not just talent, that brought her the success she enjoyed. She refused to give up. This didn't dissipate as she got older and faced bigger challenges. She enjoyed greater successes with seemingly insurmountable odds. Her own self-determination and hard work, coupled with her ability to garner the support of others, propelled her into a career of public service that eventually propelled her onto the national stage. Her faith in God, though it was misrepresented and ridiculed on the campaign trail, remain at the forefront of her life, something she inherited from her mother, Sally. And this is the first time, at least as far as I know, that Chuck, Sr. opens up about faith, as he transparently tells of the impact of God and church on his wife and children.Never before have I read a book that so passionately details the events of a life that it made me want a do-over. These authors stirred that within me. As I read, I began to feel that I had been cheated as a child. An upbringing in the cold wild of Alaska is not what I'm talking about. Snowmachining, hunting, and hiking sound wonderful, but that's not what I'm talking about, either. What the authors manage to do is adequately describe how they view the world around them, which they see in a way that I could not fathom as a child. Admiring mountains and lakes and the history contained in them never dawned on me when I was a kid. Getting up before school and hunting was certainly not something I ever did. Neither did it ever cross my mind that others were doing it. Even as a youngster of faith, I never led a group of my peers at school in prayer. Reading their details of this kind of life, the kind that Sarah enjoyed, made me wish I could go back and do it again, do childhood again, and do it the Heath way this time--with the adventures, the expectations to work, and the deep family bonds. Granted, it wasn't all fun and games in their family. There were hardships, too. There were risks, estrangement, discovering dead bodies--and almost becoming one. But their account of their upbringing sounds like truly living to me. Their book makes me want to love deeper, dream bigger, and run faster--literally and figuratively. I already knew much of Sarah Palin's fascinating life story, and I didn't think there was room to grow in my respect for her, but this intimate look, through the distinct perspectives of two of the closest people in her life, made me respect and admire her all the more. I do not know if that was the authors' intent, but they certainly accomplished as much.Of course, Chuck, Sr. and Chuck, Jr. take us through the 2008 vice presidential candidacy. Where were they when they learned she was Senator McCain's running mate? Did she ever drop a hint before then? What stood out at the start of her RNC speech? These answers are all in Our Sarah, along with deeper things like what causes resentment to build in a father and what causes it to melt like the snow at the end of an Alaska winter. Turning pages, I recognize names of people in the grassroots and blogosphere who have made an impact on Sarah and her family, promote her cause, and continue to provide support since the 2008 election, and I am reminded that she, like they, never forget even the little people who help along the way.Our Sarah helped me understand the humility that Palin exemplifies, as well, in spite of her fame and success. Chuck, Jr., having been a gifted football player, relates one of his favorite lessons from his father: "When you get to the end zone, act like you've been there before." Sarah epitomizes that type of grace. Never one to toot her own horn, you get the distinct impression that she takes everything that has occurred, particularly since 2008, in stride--the instant celebrity, the fortune, the opportunities. She's made it into the end zone, but she never spikes the ball. She acts like she's been there before. She acts like she belongs. Through the stories relayed by her father and brother, we see that she has been there and she does belong. With every early morning hunt, every basketball practice, every mile run, every child born, every sign-waving gathering, every campaign, and every speech she stepped into that end zone, and she learned how to handle it well because of her character, which was carved out of those lessons taught, people encountered, and experiences lived.Our Sarah: Made in Alaska lives up to its promise as an intimate look into the various adventures, challenges, and influences in the life of Sarah Palin. I couldn't put the book down. It inspired me, it fed my curiosity, and it left me wanting more. Glancing at the cover, before reading a word, I sensed the aura of family, home, and love that I also found waiting once I opened the book and began reading. Chuck, Jr. is not pictured on the cover, which I admit I find a questionable publisher's decision for a book that pictures both his co-author and his subject. However, on the cover or not, Chuck, Jr. is very much present within the pages of the book, as is his father, and, of course, as is his sister. The more I read, the more I connected with Sarah Palin and her family. The more pages I turned, the more deeply I understood who she is, not through the ill-intentioned--or even well-meaning--words of someone who doesn't really know her, but through the words of two people who have known her all her life and whose book has helped to make their Sarah our Sarah as well.Our Sarah: Made in Alaska will be released on September 25, 2012. The People for Palin thanks our friend and colleague, Adrienne Ross, for sharing her book review with our readers. We highly recommend following Ms. Ross's blog, Motivation Truth.
Demonstrating Joy: Oklahoma is OK with Palin
"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power..." (I Corinthians 2:4) Not one to just talk-the-talk but instead to walk-the-walk, Governor Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, demonstrated their belief in God's abundant life by giving birth to a precious baby boy with special needs. Trig Paxson Van Palin made his world debut on April 18, 2008 at the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer, Alaska. Gov. Palin and her son Trig soaking up some sun in Arizona on November 5, 2008 "The moment he was born... my heart overflowed with joy... I felt a love I had a never felt before and a compassion I didn't even know was there... Trig is a miracle", Gov. Palin often says of her fifth child. Speaking to more than 9,000 at the Women of Joy Conference in Oklahoma City on April 15, 2011, Governor Palin made it known in no uncertain terms that when it comes to Trig, "There are our standards of perfection, and then there is God's standard of perfection." Women of Joy worshipping the Lord in Oklahoma City where Gov. Palin made the keynote speech Governor Palin continued demonstrating God's goodness to those present with her encourarging faith-building words of wisdom. The following are excerpts from her message of exhortation: "Your passions and interests were given to you for the service of others and our Creator.” “In Matthew [Chapter] 5, Jesus taught something… ‘Bless those who are hurt and mourn’, and He said they would be comforted… they’d be blessed… when people insult… and make things up about you, or say false things because of His Name.” “Jesus’ blessings are directly tied to getting out of self and risking our hearts in service to others for His sake. That is what our purpose is, and He didn’t promise it would be easy.” Gov. Palin demonstrating God's power and grace to Oklahoma's Women of Joy “Our road… I know the Palin’s road, hasn’t been easy… if you were to ask people like my parents or your parents if their most important growing years were their easiest years, they would tell you ‘no’, because with trial and struggle comes significance and the power to live with purpose.” “My prayer for all of you through this conference, starting tonight, is that this year you’ll really hone in on seeking opportunities to focus on taking the steps forward into what God’s prepared for you… to grow more tender to Jesus [and] to really listen to his voice… forgo any role of victim to pursue the role of visionary.” “You’ve got to learn to deal with unnecessary criticism because the critics will always be there.” Dance, Sarah, Dance! “The bottom line, gals, is to be a ‘woman of joy’, you might as well dance.”
The Light is Still Here
I believe America is at a pivotal moment. Like the Israelites, we can choose to either go into the Promised Land -- the "shining city on a hill" -- or be satisfied with wilderness living. ___________________________________________________________________ "In the hour of my favour I gave heed to you; On the day of deliverance I came to your aid. The hour of favour has now come; now, I say, has the day of deliverance dawned.” (II Cor. 6:2) Some years ago the Mills family, long time friends of mine, ministered the Word of God at the Fairbanks Inn in Fairbanks, Alaska. Fairbanks was experiencing an ice storm; the temperature was between 15-20 degrees below zero. They had never experienced such cold weather. About 11:15 a.m. an Eskimo couple came into the room fully dressed for the cold weather. They had come 26 miles from a small village populated with only 10 - 12 families. They were the only Christians in the village, and the husband functioned as the Constable. Both were very concerned about the spiritual condition of their community and were discouraged by the lack of response to God and His Word. Pastor Mills ministered to the couple saying, "The Lord will create over your dwelling place a light! A pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. This covering shall be a canopy and a defense." (Isaiah 4:5). The message was given at 11:45 a.m.. At that same moment in the couple’s village, a light appeared over their home. Light phenomena in the North Country is not unusual. Such terms as "Northern Lights", "Prismatic Refractions" and "Aurora Bourealis" go with the territory. However this light over their home stayed and stayed. The next day, the couple returned home and were greeted by the ladies in the village saying that the light over their home appeared shortly before noon Saturday (the men of the village were away hunting caribou). The Constable’s wife showed the women Isaiah 4:5 and told them the message they had received from the Lord. All of the villagers became Christians. The village became a missinary outpost, and two years later when the Mills returned to Fairbanks, the whole village came and gave their testimony. The thrilling conclusion happened when one of the women said, "When we left yesterday the light was still there!" America, the light it still here. And like the light seen over the village near Fairbanks, it comes from the North Star in the voice of Governor Sarah Palin. She is like a bright light illuminating the darkness of the current White House Administration. Don't despise the light, and don't confuse it with darkness. That is what America's enemies do. Like President Ronald Reagan, Gov. Palin sees a strong, prosperous America as an example to the rest of the world. She unapologetically and unconditionally loves our country and believes that the best days are ahead. Gov. Palin connects with people. She "gets it". Remember the Israelites? After the death of Moses, the children of Israel once again stood at the edge of what God had promised them. They had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and were about to enter the Promised Land. The last time they’d stood at this place, they had refused to cross the Jordan River. But 40 years later, they were finally going to step into the blessings of God. During the Israelites’ time in the wilderness, they had to rely constantly on God to provide food and water. They had only just enough to get by and never came into the fullness of what God intended for them. Unfortunately, many of us today feel as though we are living in a wilderness. We need to realize, however, that God wants us to have everything He promised in His Word. He wants to do some wonderful things in our lives. Before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, Joshua told them, “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Josh. 3:5) Joshua was telling the people to get ready, because they were going to a new level of living. They were going to experience a new level of provision and blessing. This was the hour they had been waiting for. This was a new day—a pivotal moment for them. I believe America is also at a pivotal moment. Like the Israelites, we can choose to either go into the Promised Land -- the "shining city on a hill" -- or be satisfied with wilderness living. It's time to cast off the darkness of the past and realize that the dawn -- the light -- of a new day is here. "This is our time for choosing... how we answer will be our glory or our shame." - Gov. Sarah Palin speaking at Reagan Ranch Center on February 4, 2011.
From India with Love
Governor Palin speaks in India Guests packed the India Today Conclave 2011 on Saturday, March 19th in New Delhi to get a glimpse of Governor Sarah Palin, the gutsy 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee and self-proclaimed "Mama Grizzly" as she gave the keynote address at the evening's gala. Gov. Palin's husband Todd was by her side for this important occasion, and she talked lovingly of his undying devotion and support of her and her political career. She wistfully mentioned regret in that their schedule did not allow the opportunity for them to reaffirm their love, teamwork, and committment at the Taj Mahal, a monument "to eternal love", as Gov. Palin described it. Keeping the love theme alive during her speech, Gov. Palin spoke of her love of Alaska and the great outdoors, her love of family and community, and her love of America and the exceptional spirit shared between America and India. Always gracious and compassionate, Gov. Palin offered comforting words of encouragement to the Japanese people in the wake of the recent national disasters that shook that nation to its core. "Thoughts and prayers are with you, Japan. Life is fragile - precious - we're in this together; may Japan know our caring heart at this time." Transcribed below is Gov. Palin's keynote address as reported in India Today (photos from various news sources): Thank you! Such an honor! I appreciate getting to see some of your magnificent city - this is my first time here and I sincerely hope it won't be my last! During my brief time here I've enjoyed India's famous "Gift for Hospitality." And next time, I want to visit the Taj Mahal with my husband, Todd. Considering how patiently he's endured during my political career and been so supportive, it would be nice to reinforce our teamwork/commitment before that monument to eternal love. Todd is here with us tonight. Always by Her Side-- Todd Palin supports his wife Monument to Eternal Love--- Taj Mahal When I had the honour of meeting your Prime Minister a few years ago, I expressed my admiration for your country's rich history & culture & most recent achievements! I now am humbled with this opportunity to express that to you, here, in this beautiful ancient land. This has so captured the imaginations of artists & poets & explorers throughout human history. Todd & I are honoured to be here to see the site of some of the world's oldest civilizations...the birthplace of major religions, the crossroads of the ancient "Spice Route & Silk Road". Republican VP Candidate Palin shakes hands with India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York in 2008. All those precious resources of their day: spices, pepper, silk, indigo - My country was essentially "discovered" in the age of exploration, because Western Europeans were looking for a route to your country to exchange & enjoy those resources! (Yes, the connection between our two countries was there from the beginning!) During the flight here, between our countries, it did not escape me that Japan lies about halfway between my Alaskan home & India. I trust you will join me in expressing solidarity with the Japanese people as they recover from such tragic events. Their determination & resiliency won't fail them. The world community stands united to offer help to them in the "Land of the Rising Sun". Thoughts and prayers are with you, Japan. Life is fragile - precious - we're in this together; may Japan know our caring heart at this time. I've been asked to speak today about my vision for America, & share with you a little about my background. I grew up in a very small town, perhaps like some of you (though half-a-world-away). My town's tucked between two grand mountain ranges, in a valley quite far from the avenues of political power. There, in my home state of Alaska, we're so proud of nature's beauty & our towering mountains, but certainly here relatively near the spectacular Himalayas can I appreciate an even greater sense of nature's enormity! One of the mountains near my home (I see it everyday from my kitchen window!) is called "Pioneer Peak" - named in honour of the brave pioneers who settled our Valley just a few generations ago. By the sweat of their brow & rugged work ethic - they turned raw land into a valuable agriculture community. Majestic Pioneer Peak as seen from Palmer, Alaska I have loved my upbringing thereâ€¦big family, Todd's from a big family. I was a school teacher's kid, loved sports & anything outdoor. I tell my parents the greatest gift they ever gave me was this upbringing in AK, the young, 49th state of the United States. AK is known as the "Last Frontier" & it's a place that IS rugged & you can still feel an optimistic, pioneering spirit - like the spirit that had inspired Americans to carve a nation out of the wilderness! It was "pioneer families" - strong & hopeful - who made a good life (though not an easy one) for themselves in the Northern Wilds! That "pioneering spirit" shaped me. It instilled in me a sense of independence & self-reliance. And: a belief in the 'Power of Ordinary People' working together to help one another. In a small community in such a vast state (AK's about half the size of India), you learn to help your neighbour; & to help yourself. And you learn to value (& have faith in) personal freedom - especially the freedom to chart your own course! So, it was there I learned there's no limit to what you can achieve with strong work ethic. That optimism & respect for (& empowerment of) individual liberty shaped both my political beliefs & my vision for my country. I started in politics on the local level two decades ago; inspired by a desire to serve the ordinary folks in my hometown! As a city councilman, then a city mayor, I led the fastest growing area in our state. I experienced firsthand the power & success of the free market, & the proper role of government in fostering economic growth. I cut property taxes, I invited business in & focused on building infrastructure (roads, water & sewer systems); not a lot of glamour in that - but I have a solid belief in what government's proper role is & it shouldn't be glamorous. It's not government business to spend the working man's tax dollars recklessly - & certainly not government's business to centrally "plan" an economy & control an entrepreneurial spirit! That doesn't work. Government should lay infrastructure, level the playing field, then get out of the way. Allow the private sector to grow/thrive/create jobs & generate wealth! Then as governor of my state, my goal was to clean up corruption & develop our rich natural resources: Our abundant oil, gas, minerals & our robust fisheries! An important project that was a 'center-point' was jump starting a natural gas pipeline project that had been stalled for decades. We brought all stakeholders together for mutual benefit - our state, the energy industry, our neighboring country, consumers & together with ordinary citizens (who are the resource owners) & major energy producers who 'bid on the right to develop our resources', AK was finally able to move forward on a project that can help lead America towards energy independence. Through my work in AK (as an oil & gas regulator, then as governor), I've seen firsthand how energy development, job creation & national security are inextricably linked. Access to affordable, reliable energy is the key to economic growth, which is the key to job growth. Securing that stable domestic supply of fuel will lead to a more peaceful & prosperous America - an America that's not subject to the whims of foreign dictators who could cut off energy supplies & seek to control. Governor Palin and team at the Alaska Pipeline Of course, energy issues are critical to the whole world's stability & economic opportunities! By 2030, the world's energy consumption will increase by 50% & almost half of that will come from here in India & from China. We all face similar challenges in this arena & this makes America's quest for energy security all the more crucial as we seek to stabilize our economy, secure our homeland & cooperate with our allies who would also seek peace on earth. Energy is key! My vision for a free & prosperous America has much to do with energy. Now, we hear a lot about "green energy" today. And I am a true believer in environmental conservation & responsible stewardship of our lands. (It's why I live in AK! A pristine environment to be passed on to future generations - I don't want to mess it up! I am a conservationist. I married into an Alaska native family, where Todd's connection to the land through his Yupik Eskimo heritage, an indigenous people, reinforces my respect for God's creation. And we've made our living off the land - as commercial fishermen & Todd working in North Slope oil fields - so we don't want to mess it up!) So, I'm in favour of "all-of-the-above" approach to energy security. But "all-of-the-above" means including "conventional" resources! That means, the kind we actually use to reliably fuel our economy. That means crude oil, for example. And our natural gas, our coal, nuclear power. Unfortunately, some have stymied resource development - like responsible domestic oil drilling. As a result, hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs won't be created in the U.S. until we change course; it means Americans get hit with huge gas prices at the pump unless we change course; it means we're continuing to transfer hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars to foreign regimes to purchase energy from them - regimes that don't have our best interests at heart. And I'm not just talking about gasoline here. Remember that 'petroleum products' are all around you! Look at your everyday surroundings - the foodstuffs; the agriculture products grown with fertilizer; the plastics all around you; medical supplies; the transportation of all these products. It's not just gas that increases as the price of crude increases: Everything is affected. Basic commodities. So as government locks up land & we lose good jobs in the 'Conventional Resource' arena, you may hear that "green jobs" will be the saviour! But look around the world & try telling that to the thousands of English & Scottish workers who've lost jobs as a result of government investments in "green energy" projects. A recent UK study shows that for every "green job" created, nearly four jobs were lost elsewhere in the economy due to lack of affordable energy! Same story in Spain - investment in "green jobs" brought massive debt, skyrocketing energy costs & 20% unemployment. This push for 'green' at the expense of 'conventional, reliable' sources is not a credible energy policy or economic policy. It's "Social Engineering" by Central Government Planners. And it leads to nothing but more debt & more job loss. And taxpayers will be stuck subsidizing the failure and paying more for energy. Gov. Palin: "I'm in favor of an "all of the above" approach to energy security." The good news is there's a choice/another option! Instead of funding non-viable special interest projects, Americans can capitalize on our own viable resources that are just waiting to be tapped - they're right on our doorstep! Billions of barrels of oil warehoused underground in AK! And so much natural gas - Clean, green, affordable! Easy to transport, abundant across the U.S. - Whether used conventionally, or to power natural gas cars, or run power plants that charge electric cars, natural gas is an ideal "bridge fuel" to the future. (A future when renewable gas can someday become more available, reliable & affordable.) I warn Americans so often: it's a 'false, utopian fairytale' told that would want you to believe we don't need to drill for oil today. No, government manipulating energy supplies? Manipulating any aspect of an economy - it leads to more people becoming more dependent upon government to meet needs - it is social engineering, it's immoral, & it's a problem we-the-people must be brave enough to take on. Our need for energy independence is only one of the strategic challenges we face today. The other is an unsustainable government debt which hampers economic growth. On this: there are no "easy" solutions, but there are "simple" ones, if we just apply courage & political will to confront the problem squarely. Obviously, we need to stop digging the hole we're in; cut spending; cut government back down to size; get rid of overly-burdensome regulations. And most of all, we need job growth! And that won't come from 'top-down government planning'! It'll come from the 'Free Market Ingenuity' of ordinary American entrepreneurs! To release creative energy, we need to do on a national level what President Ronald Reagan did in the 1980's. It's what I believed in as a 'Reforming Mayor & Governor' in my state, because I want the free economic choices of ordinary men & women to power the marketplace - rather than distant bureaucrats thinking they can plan & grow an economy by "government decree". (That just doesn't work!) I know you understand this, because in the early 1990's, due to clear, commonsense, pro free-market reforms, India's economy took off! You abolished import licenses; cut import duties; removed investment caps & broke the union's grip on industry. You unleashed the creativity & hard work of the Indian people; you turned away from a system where 'Central Government' sets targets for all sectors of the economy, to a system that lets the market set its own targets. That works. People no longer speak of India as a "struggling economy" as they would have 30 years ago. Today we speak of India as a "dynamic & vibrant economy". You empowered individuals & in doing so, you've reminded America of the free, entrepreneurial model that made our country great, prosperous & exceptional! See, if we unshackle the creative energy of our workers, & entrepreneurs, there is no reason in the world why we can't get back to rapid growth & prosperity! "My faith has never been in big government, my faith is in the American people." Friends: some people want to claim that the geopolitical stage is 'so changing' & some actually claim 'America is in decline'. "The United States," they'd say, "will soon be a shadow of its former self." I completely reject this! It represents wrong-headed thinking by some friends & wishful thinking by our enemies! America's demise has been predicted before. It didn't happen then. It won't happen now. No, America is not in decline! What is in decline? It is the idea of a 'Tax-&-Spend, Centralized Bureaucracy' that has brought America to the point of debt & deficits in the first place. These "Big Government" ideas are once again being consigned to the ash heap of history - though they won't go quietly to the grave. From the beginning: my faith has never been in Big Govt. My faith is in the American people, & we are turning things around! All great nations face the challenges that come with a changing economy, demographics, & new technologies. The nations that succeed in the face of these challenges are the ones that show innovation & ingenuity - & will empower a free power! These qualities are the hallmarks of the "American Experience" & the unique strengths of the American people. My vision for my country is a strong America that unleashes those strengths & confidently engages in leadership in the world & can welcome the healthy competition & partnership of rising economic powers in a democracy, like India. The relationship between our countries could shape the course of the next century! Tilting it in the direction of free people & free markets! The future lies with us! We're half-a-world apart geographically, but connected with much in common! We both have deep & historical 'democratic traditions'. We are the world's most diverse, tolerant & dynamic societies. Our peoples enjoy very close ties (& in recent years our governments have been catching up!) There are few limits to what India & America can do together to allow a more peaceful & prosperous world. Tragically, we have both been the targets of terrorism. We have both witnessed the courage of our people in combating terror. Both our peoples want it defeated. And we both want to ensure that China's rise is peaceful - while hedging against risks that it could be otherwise. We both want to expand trade & investment with allies in a liberal international order that will soon boast India as its fastest-growing major economy. Our diplomatic, military & political ties are deepening, because we have a genuine strategic partnership! But it is our people who are driving this relationship! Indian entrepreneurs are investing in the U.S., even as U.S. businesses expand here. Indian students are throughout American universities & more Americans seek to study here - including through an expanded Fulbright programme. Our tech companies are working together in impressive ways. And our ethical partnerships could transform both our development trajectories. Gov. Palin: "We are on the side of religious tolerance and women's rights." Our ties & bonds are deep! And they're not driven so much by "political leadership summits" & bureaucrats - they're driven by free people & free markets! That's why there are no natural limits to the future of U.S.- India relations. And that is why the world's largest democracies - NOT its largest autocracy - will lead the 21st century. We will lead because we are on the side of empowering individuals to make choices for themselves. Not government /not some New World Order organization making decisions & decrees for us. We are on the side of religious tolerance & women's rights! (And in recent years, India has helped lead by example in the area of women's education by narrowing the gender gap in women's literacy. You've helped remind the world that a culture cannot advance when it holds back half its creative & intellectual power!) And its political power! I admire India's tradition of strong women leaders - at home & abroad! In fact, last year, I had the honour of supporting a strong American woman of Indian descent when I endorsed the candidacy of South Carolina's new governor - their first female - Nikki Haley! Governor Palin endorses Nikki Haley, the GOP South Carolina gubernatorial nominee in 2010 I met Nikki's parents & was impressed by their story, work ethic! And, by Nikki's upbringing that led her to become part of a 'grassroots movement in American politics' that's known as "The Tea Party"! (I'm proud to be a part of this movement as well.) The "Tea Party" is named after that famous event in American politics that was a precursor to our Independence! In 1773, when American patriots were upset about British taxes, they dumped tea into the Boston Harbor. (The British had forced a monopoly on the American people that prevented us from importing tea from anyone but the British East India Company. See, even back then we believed in free trade!) Today's "Tea Party" is a strong & vibrant movement in the U.S. & it's only going to grow & become more influential! India Conclave: the theme of this conference is the "Changing Balance of Power". Well, the present day Tea Party is a perfect example of that! It's all about the empowerment of ordinary, everyday, independent patriots who are rising up & making their voices heard to positively change the "Balance of Power"! To protect our U.S. Constitution & live out our Declaration of Independence! It reminds our 'Central Govt' that our Constitution gives great power to our 50 individual states - and to individual citizens - & that these powers (these God-given 'RIGHTS') aren't to be trampled on. The "Changing Balance of Power" throughout the world today is driven by the empowerment of the individual - & mankind's desire for freedom! The American people understand this. And India understands this, too. Back home in AK, where the fresh snow blankets the ground today, where my kids texted me to report they see a Mama Moose & her two baby calves outside our door by the firewood pile: There at home, I have a beautiful pencil drawing on my kitchen wall. A framed drawing by Robin Coran. It's a picture of Mother Teresa, of Calcutta. She's holding a precious child (a baby). Gov. Palin: "I have a beautiful pencil drawing on my kitchen wall... Mother Teresa." It was said of Mother Teresa that "perhaps the greatest message she has given to the world is the value & dignity of human life!" From India, she was able to share this crucial message with the world! And it is a crucial message because the freedom & empowerment of the individual is rooted in an understanding of every man & woman's inherent dignity & worth! I looked at the picture as I typed out this speech on my home computer set up there in the kitchen. I was struck with this: Countries that deny that message of individual worth (& destiny) inevitably stifle their own advancement because the fire of human progress is spaked by the aspirations of ordinary men& women seeking a better life! These simple "working class" aspirations for a good job, a home, a good education for our children are what motivate economic progress & positive change! Not bureaucrats! Not 'Central Planners'! Not government decrees! Just hard-working women & men seeking the freedom to chart their own course & succeed by their own merits! When people realise even the briefest glimpse of this freedom & opportunity - even a hint that they can succeed through honest hard work - they run towards it! They embrace the promise of "better days ahead!" They will sacrifice today for a better tomorrow for their children & grandchildren. With individual responsibility, drive & determination, they will work together to carve a life for themselves out of the wilderness! They'll voluntarily contribute to help their neighbours even those half-a-world-away! That's the 'Optimistic/Pioneering Spirit of America's Frontier'! That's the spirit of India's progress too. America has long been famous for our rags-to-riches stories. Now India is, too. Take pride in this - it's inspiring! Together, as the worlds' largest democracies, we are a testament to the positive force of human aspirations! Today, all across the world, we see individuals, "ordinary" men & women, rising up/moving to advance (& a great tool they're using in this 'demand of human rights' is social media). We don't know where all of this will lead. But we should look at it as opportunity to advance the cause of human freedom - not naively, but optimistically. Gov. Palin: "The hunger for freedom and opportunity... the American dream" Friends: our two democracies understand this struggle for freedom. It's the struggle of those who defiantly dumped tea in Boston Harbor to protest a British tea tax. & it's the struggle of those who courageously marched to the seacoast near Don-dee to make their own salt in defiance of a British salt tax! This hunger for 'Freedom & Opportunity' is proof that what we call the "American Dream" is not just "American." It is the universal dream of people everywhere! I believe it's created within us! And that is where the march for freedom has found its most eager advocates: 'ordinary people' who have 'extraordinary determination' to seek justice & make a better life for their families. This is as true in AK, as in Andhra Pradesh. Half-a-world-apart? And yet we are connected by this. My 'Vision for America' is one of a country that lives that dream! And, in turn, inspires & empowers women & men around the world to live it, too! We can lead by example. What America can show the world is what is possible - the potential of human possibilities when women & men are freeâ€¦Yes, may we be free! Thank you and God bless you! Gov. Palin with Editor-in-Chief of India Today Group, Aroon Purie, following her keynote address Editor's Note: Gov. Palin spoke with wisdom and compassion with a heart of gratitude today in India. She is everything that is good and right about our America. How blessed we are that she was given such an important platform from which to speak into the lives of the Indian people on behalf of America. This scripture is for you, Governor Palin: "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6). God bless you, Governor Palin!!
Don't Stop Believing
Journey… the archetypal rock bank of the 1980s. I recently downloaded some Journey tunes to my iPod and climbed aboard an elliptical for some sweat equity. Listening to Steve Perry belt out, “Don’t Stop Believin’”, with his madcap catchy lyrics about small town girls, city boys, midnight trains, streetlights, and people who lived just to find emotion, I was reminded of what it takes to keep our heads up, our eyes forward, and our feet moving in the face of great disappointment. When your heart is broken… Don’t Stop Believin’ When you get the wind knocked out of you… Don’t Stop Believin’ When you are in a situation that seems hopeless… Don’t Stop Believin’ When your world is falling apart and you find yourself lost and alone… Don’t Stop Believin’ and When Governor Sarah Palin, the most qualified conservative public servant to come along in three decades, decides not to run for president in 2012… Don’t Stop Believin’ Remember when we were kids and we sang that song about God having the whole world in His hands? When we grew up, instead of leaving “our world” in His hands, we thought that now we could handle anything life threw at us on our own, thank you very much. But in our own strength, we can’t do anything. Neither can Gov. Palin. She has prayerfully placed “her world” squarely in her Creator’s hands letting Him guide her compass. Gov. Palin wants us to keep moving forward with her and “don’t stop believin’” that America’s best days are ahead. We are an exceptional nation. Everything will be all right. Just you wait and see! Our country is in a dark time. We’ve been in darker. We need to see the bigger picture. In the beginning, independence from the most powerful Western nation (Britain) on earth was a long shot at best. But those patriots didn’t give up. Even in the bloody snows of Valley Forge they found strength to keep fighting. And they won. What darker time could be imagined than the Civil War when brother fought against brother and the very fabric of the republic was being ripped apart? Then the great leader who had struggled to keep the nation together was murdered. But we’re still here. The Great Depression, two world wars, we could go on. But America has an indefinable quality that is found nowhere else. We will make it. Those common folks that have cheered Sarah Palin on are still around and they still have the same fighting spirit that is in her and attracted them to her potential candidacy in the first place. Don’t stop believing. Believe in that ideal called “America.” Believe in something bigger than yourself. It’s for sure that Sarah Palin does.
The Perseverance of Sarah Palin
It takes more than horsepower to win the world's longest toughest snowmachine race over an unforgiving Alaska landscape, just ask four-time Iron Dog Champion Todd Palin. Drivers also need skill, knowledge, and the determination to stay in the race. Iron Dog contendors also race with perseverance. Perseverance means “the ability to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.” Perseverance keeps going and moving forward no matter what opponents say or do. I once heard someone describe perseverance as "stick-to-it-ness". Todd Palin is a world class snowmachine racer Four-time Iron Dog Champion Todd Palin Team #22 Davis/Palin ready to hit the Iron Dog Trail, the longest toughest snowmachine race in the world Like her world class snowmachine racing husband Todd, 2008 GOP Vice Presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin personifies perseverance. No matter how the mainstream media elite, the liberal political pundits, the late night talk show hosts, or even the nosy neighbor peering through a wooden fence may slander her, Governor Palin consistently perseveres. She forges ahead endorsing commonsense conservative candidates, speaking the truth with boldness at fundraisers and rallies, and shares personally from her heart at pro-life events without giving a fleeting thought to inevitable media backlashes and hit-pieces. In contrast to the Iron Dog Champion's perseverance and Governor Palin's "stick-to-it-ness", how then shall we describe the liberal agenda of this generation? It is like children calling to their playmates: "We wanted to play wedding, but you didn't want to be happy; so we wanted to play funeral, and you didn't want to be sad. So, in other words, what DO you want!? What would make you happy!?" The answer is, sadly, NOTHING! You might as well not even try, and thus Governor Palin does not TRY to accommodate the liberal agenda. No doubt she provokes furious responses from those who oppose, but at the end of the day, I am certain that their spitting, their foaming at the mouth, their wide-eyed carryings-on leave them confused as to why they are going so insane over the self-proclaimed hockey mom from Wasilla. Here's how I'd like to apply it to commonsense conservative freedom-loving Christian Americans. Jesus said in John 15:18-27 that the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord. If they were so offended with the Master, do you really think Governor Palin, a woman of devout Christian faith, can get by without getting anybody riled up? Well, she CAN'T. In fact, she does everything exactly right, and she does it well, and humbly, and patiently, and with a good motive... and the liberal elite get so upset that they blame her for every ill on the planet. According to them, she must have had a hand in planning the September Attacks in 2001 and the Wall Street plunge last fall. She is the one causing the ice caps to shrink! She caused the deadlock in Congress, she engineered the Bird flu virus in her basement, and in their minds, there never WILL be peace and security as long as Governor Palin is on the loose. (Yes, it really is as Mahalia Jackson sings in Sweet Little Jesus Boy: That's just the way things are down here below). Silly, isn't it? Gov. Palin with FL AG candidate Pam Bondi Endorsing Miller for AK US Senate Campaigning with Nikki Haley for SC Governor So what do we do? We vote for Palin-endorsed commonsense conservative candidates on November 2nd. We smile with both good humor and a heart of trustfulness, and pray, "Dear Lord, You know—much better than we do—how things are 'round here. Continue to give Governor Palin the bold strength to expose the socialist agenda seeking to take over our country. Protect her from the scornful enemies who plot to stone her dead! Keep her alive and her voice loud, Lord, and send her as many faithful supporters as can be gathered together across the nation. And one more thing dear Jesus: HEAL THEM ALL!"