Friday, April 16, 2010

Sarah Palin's Canadian Roots

When Sarah Palin spoke last night in Hamilton, Ontario, she said the Palin family -- her husband's family -- have two grandfathers from Canada, one from Saskatchewan and one from Manitoba. But she said she visited Canada often as a child with her own family.

Here's a verbatim transcript of Sarah Palin's comments about Palin ancestors in Canada:

"Relatives from Canada too. We have the foundation of the Palin family, one grandfather was born in Manitoba, this was a farming family there. And then another one born in Saskatchewan and there were some pretty funny stories of our relatives who were bootleggers I guess. This was many, many years ago. Don't blame me. There's never a boring story when it comes to the Palins."

Todd Palin's grandfather, Frederick Palin, was born in southern Manitoba, in the town of Hartley, Brad Coe, a history buff in Hartley, told the Toronto Sun. Coe says Frederick Palin eventually moved to Washington state where his son James Palin -- Todd Palin's father -- was born. Todd Palin was born in Alaska.

On her comment that some of the Palin ancestors were "bootleggers", Coe said that was a common way to make money in Canada during prohibition in the U.S. “A lot of guys fed their families that way. It was money, and you couldn’t get it otherwise. We had a lot of connections with rum-runners. They would make hooch up here, and then run it down to the States."


I've always thought the vilification of Palin in the media was rooted in classism. Rex Murphy had that take on it too in his recent column in the National Post. He thinks Palin is "smart" and that the vilification of her is rooted in class snobbery.

I recall when Palin was running as VP, I was listening to Ian Punnett hosting Coast to Coast radio, a guy who presents himself as a liberal Episcopalian minister. He opened the show by sneering at Palin for "dropping her g's" during a debate. He didn't talk about positions she took during the debate, just the fact that she was dropping her g's. I saw Punnett as a snob at that moment, and have never really shaken that impression of him.

These phony liberals are a constant on the Downtown Eastside. Like Brenda, who years ago worked at the Livingroom on Powell. Her ex-boyfriend told me that she lived on Bowen Island so that she didn't have to run into anybody from the Downtown Eastside on her off hours.

This morning I was walking up Main St. with a guy who was complaining about Pivot hypocrisy, but I told him I hear far more complaints about Carnegie. He said he knew what I meant, that management at Carnegie expects you to act meek. "Just look at the way they talk to people", he said, as though he knew he didn't have to elaborate.

Leonard, a guy who drops in to Carnegie but is not prone to criticizing staff, was chatting about them a few months ago. "They look down on us, you know", he said in a voice tone that suggested he thought they didn't that know he knew.

Just as it upset povertarians when Downtown Eastsiders started blogging to reach taxpayers with their opinions, I think it bugs elites that Sarah Palin can sit at her kitchen table in Alaska and twitter and reach voters.


wilfr said...

Speaking of the Carnegie...I only go there now to pick up my library holds, and once in a blue moon up to the caf for a dream bar, which was an excellent sugar/chocolate fix. Not worth my going up the stairs anymore though, at the new price of $1.20.

One of the last times I went to pick up my book, the crowd of pushers and users out front was particularly bad, and I couldn't get through without turning sideways and maneuvering through the people offering all manner of drugs. I felt a little tired of having to do this on this day, and noticed the security guard standing against the wall next to the entrance. So, I walked over and asked him why security was letting this loitering go on like this. As he noticed me heading over to him to ask this question, he spoke to a man standing on the next step down from him getting ready to light up his crack pipe. He, the security guard, asked him to move along, which he did down to the sidewalk level next to the gate to go up to the patio, then proceeded to finish lighting up.

The guard told me that there was only so much they could do, and that the police get called to come around, but they really don't do that much. Essentially, he was telling me it was just one of those things you have to live with.

I'll send the second part next.

wilfr said...

Not happy with that answer, I decided to relate my experience in an email to mayor and city council.

I got a reply that my email would be circulated to mayor and council as well as City Manager, Carnegie Director and Assistant Director.

A short while later, I got a response from Ethel Whitty stating, "...however, the sidewalk outside of our front door is public property and we have no legal mandate to ask anyone to move from there in the same way that any security team working for a local business has no right to move members of the public along. The security team are asked to keep the front step clear and they do quite well in that regard. They also sometimes ask people to stop their drug related behavior if they are really close to the front stair but they have no jurisdiction there. They can only depend on the good will of the crowd to comply.", and then this, "The drug market is a social problem that we have no control over and is a great frustration at times.". She hoped it wouldn't deter me from coming, and thanked me for my interest.

I wasn't clear about what Ms. Whitty was saying about the property lines, jurisdiction and authority, so I sent another email to the city, asking where the dividing lines were and who was responsible for each area. I was also wondering about the fact that the Carnegie is city property and run by the city, and the sidewalks are city, so it's not really like there's a private property issue here, as Ms. Whitty was saying. However, I didn't include that in my email not wanting to confuse myself at this point (anymore than I already am :-)).

My response came directly from Ethel Whitty this time, and got this, "The property line of the Carnegie Centre is the fence line on Hastings st. and the patio fence on Main st. The entrance to the men's washroom is outside of the property line. Those two fence lines curve around to meet each other. The entrance to our wheel chair ramp is on Carnegie property and the staff make every effort to keep that clear and often have to ask people to move when someone with a disability wants to enter by that entrance. The property line includes a small area on the Main St. side of the building in front of the entrance stair. The responsibility of security is to keep patrons and staff safe and to provide first aid to anyone injured. They are not to engage in any physical confrontation with patrons outside of the building and are directed to call police if anyone is put at risk in that area. I assure you that I regret that patrons and staff are faced with entering through the drug market activity so often. We ask for and receive police assistance with the overcrowding on that corner on an ongoing basis."

wilfr said...

So, I checked out VanMap and the City website for a little more information. On VanMap, it shows the property line a lot further out than Ms. Whitty stated, but I'm not a proficient user of the map, and again I don't know how it works when it's all city property and what the arrangement is with the Carnegie. Seems to me, it should be more clearly divided between Carnegie Security and the VPD, and I would have expected that Ethel Whitty could have explained that in her first email to me.

They've made some organizational changes since the new crew moved into City Hall. Can't remember what the previous organizational chart looked like, but now the Carnegie is under the Social Development Department, which is under the Community Services Group, one of ten groups which come directly under the Office of City Manager.

The short job description of the Social Development Department states in part this, "The Social Development Department advises Council on policies and action plans relating to the social development of the city;..." From what Ethel had said to me about the drug situation being a "social problem", it didn't make sense that she would say they had no control over it, so I sent another email.

I explained what I had found and asked how it could be that Ms. Whitty worked within the Social Development umbrella, and could call the drug dealing in front of the Carnegie a "social problem", and then in the same sentence say she had no control over plan of action, or regular meetings with the police or whatever...not doing anything, not even trying?

I still have not got an answer to that email. I have followed it up once and no response to that either. That was 10 days ago, and I intend to keep sending.

(RS - not sure if you want to use this in this post or somewhere else or just for reference, but feel free.)

reliable sources said...


Thanks for sending that info. It's always interesting to be reminded of the priorities of Ethel's guards.

If somebody pipes up inside the building and a staff person doesn't want to talk to them, they just call security. But if somebody lights a crack pipe outside on the front steps....not so much of a problem.

So many people are like yourself in that they have just realized it is easier not to go to Carnegie.

I was surprised to learn that the dream bars are now $1.20.