What is This–True Confessions?

Is this a dig at her former running mate?

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sarah Palin’s much-anticipated memoir now has a title and a new release date, two advisers to the former Alaska governor confirmed to CNN on Monday.

The former Alaska governor’s book will be called “Going Rogue: An American Life” — referring to anonymous criticism directed at Palin by aides to Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona during the final days of last year’s presidential race.

Or is it inadvertently revealing?

rogue (rg)
1. An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.
2. One who is playfully mischievous; a scamp.
3. A wandering beggar; a vagrant.
4. A vicious and solitary animal, especially an elephant that has separated itself from its herd.
5. An organism, especially a plant, that shows an undesirable variation from a standard.
1. Vicious and solitary. Used of an animal, especially an elephant.
2. Large, destructive, and anomalous or unpredictable: a rogue wave; a rogue tornado.
3. Operating outside normal or desirable controls: “How could a single rogue trader bring down an otherwise profitable and well-regarded institution?” (Saul Hansell).

Or maybe the pit bull has changed species…

Rogue elephant is a term for a lone, violently aggressive wild elephant.

Or maybe ‘Quitter’ lacked panache.

Update: there must be good rogues and bad rogues. Mudflats reports on how the label was thrown around by Palin herself, and not in a nice way.

Another Update: Todd Palin has quit one of his jobs in order to spend more time with his family. I can totally understand that. I work two jobs and it really cuts into the family time, not to mention the blogging time. Good luck Todd. Keep it honest.

Just for a Laugh– here’s Pat Buchanan telling Todd what he should do to Levi Johnston. I’d like to see Pat say that to Levi’s face.

Autumn Reading for The Newport Review at Barrington Library

As a Board Member for The Newport Review, I will be attending a reading we are holding at the Barrington Library tomorrow evening. Here are the details:

Autumn Evening Reading

Please join authors and editors from Newport Review for an Autumn Evening Reading on Tuesday, September 29 at 7 PM at Barrington Public Library.

Poets and prose writers featured in Newport Review will share their work, and Newport Review editors will be on hand to talk to local writers, artists and other members of the arts community about how they can get involved with this locally published, internationally-read online zine.

Amanda Surkont, author of Pondicherry Square (Little Pear Press, 2009), will be the featured reader, and copies of her new book will be available for purchase and signing.

This program is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served.

Should be a very enjoyable occasion for the literary-minded folks, and those who just like to get out to a free event with refreshments!

Having the Right Disease

Jennifer Nix survives with a socialist kidney…

Sept. 28, 2009 | The day after this country elected Barack Obama its 44th president, a doctor told me I’d inherited from my father a rare form of cystic kidney disease and that I was already in renal failure. Beyond the devastation I felt on hearing this news, and despite having health insurance, my greatest fear in those first, foggy days was one that haunts millions of Americans. I was more terrified of being dropped or denied treatment by my insurer over some minuscule technicality than I was of facing the disease. After four years of progressive activism, delivery of Obama’s campaign promise of universal healthcare suddenly became very personal and urgent rather than simply a political goal for me.

Veterans, Medicare, Medicaide and a few select conditions will get you health security. We already know how to do it, we just need political will to replace a fragmented system that loses information and leaks money with a regulated system, a strong public option, and a determination to insure all Americans.


I don’t see what all the fuss is about…

A political brawl rocked the California Republican Party state convention in Indian Springs this weekend. On the griddle was Meg Whitman, former former eBay exec and current candidate for governor. The issue was Whitman’s failure to vote, or even register, for the first 28 years she was eligible. Making matters worse, she often did not bother to vote after she finally registered.

If she plays this right it could be an advantage. Whitman is unsoiled by contact with the American political system. California can secede from the Union and when the big quake hits Whitman can be the queen of a new island nation. Democracy is so much work, who has the time?

Fangirl and Fanboy

In today’s Huffington Post there’s two excellent examples of the Roman Polanski celebrity fan club. They think he’s being persecuted. He’s rich, he’s charming, he made a lot of movies. The survivor of the assault he committed thirty years ago wants a normal life, and has kept her privacy.

Polanski, on the other hand, invited a documentary filmmaker to show his side of the story, and these two Huffpo writers watched it. What more do they need to know?

This from Joan Z. Shore, Women Overseas for Equality…

But there is more to this story. The 13-year old model “seduced” by Polanski had been thrust onto him by her mother, who wanted her in the movies. The girl was just a few weeks short of her 14th birthday, which was the age of consent in California. (It’s probably 13 by now!) Polanski was demonized by the press, convicted, and managed to flee, fearing a heavy sentence.

This astounding piece of victim-blaming leaves me wondering whatever ‘Women Overseas for Equality’ stands for.

It’s pretty much the line that the press swallowed in the 1970’s when the poor, troubled film director succumbed to the conniving nymphet who seduced him. And in Shore’s version it’s not rape, or even seduction. She ‘seduced’ him. Jeeze, maybe they should put her in jail instead.

One of the nasty aspects of this crime is that Polanski used his famous charm to deceive the mother and daughter to get the child alone. I can’t imagine the guilt and shame, the damage to the relationship, that resulted. Parents who trusted their children with priests, camp counselors and other authority figures that betrayed them do know.

For an alternate view, the Huffpo has ‘John Farr– Leniency for Polanski’.

Watching Wanted and Desired, I did not get the impression that the now-adult lady Polanski seduced, who after all bears the most right to carry a grudge, would herself want to see the aging director slapped behind bars at this stage. (Perhaps others who saw the film had a different impression.)

Well, Farr watched the movie too. And the fact that Samantha Geimer has not devoted her life to seeking revenge is taken as evidence that she was not wronged. Her life wasn’t trashed enough to satisfy people who expect their victims to display bruises. If she is able to forgive that is very much to her credit. But Polanski has never acknowledged his real crime, or asked forgiveness.

If this were happening in Rhode Island, I wouldn’t want our tax money to pay for three squares and a cot for this loser. We have more offenders than our parole officers can keep track of and we don’t need to import them from France.

I guess he would end up in a court in California. He could appeal to a Governor who himself is from the movie business. Who himself has faced allegations of sexual bullying and sex with a minor. Who as governor pleases his constituency with a tough stance on offenders. That would be interesting to watch.

A majority of Californians decided to give Schwarzenegger a pass on his dubious history. Americans in general are more tolerant of consensual adult sex and less tolerant of exploitation of children than we were in the 1970’s. But we still revere power and hate to deal with the messy contradictions of human nature.

Florida puts its sex offenders under a bridge. We don’t know what to do with people who are fine with adults, but a danger to children or the vulnerable. The press, especially the film industry, doesn’t want to put the scarlet ‘P’ for perp on one of their own. But what do you do with a story like this? It’s not a satisfying narrative where justice wins out. It’s just messy reality. It’s discouraging to see the same distortions and evasions thirty years later, after all we should have learned.

Update– Samantha Geimer wants the case dismissed. Polanski’s thirty year game with the US legal system has ensured that the whole story will keep on coming back to haunt her and her family. Her wishes should be respected, and understood. The enabling press will take a dismissal as exoneration, but she has a right to try to put an end to the notoriety. Polanski, on his part, should stop trying to justify himself and do his best to make amends by leaving her alone.

Another View– Salon has a strongly worded post on why the case should not be dismissed. Dodging justice is not just an offense against a victim, but an offense against the law.

And besides that– the Wikipedia entry for Nastassja Kinski says that Polanski ‘had a romantic relationship’ with her when she was 15.

An opposing view–Mary Elizabeth Williams argues that the legal process of reporting a sexual assault is so traumatic to the victim that justice would be served by letting Polanski go. Williams doesn’t condemn a legal system that is hostile to victims, she seems to take is as a given, like the weather. You could apply her logic to all personal crimes and conclude that none of them should ever be prosecuted.

Too Hot for Salon– just noticed at 6:50pm they have taken Kate Harding’s toughly worded post off the front page and left Mary Elizabeth Williams’ ‘If you want justice for Polanski, let him go’ up. What, is someone there afraid they won’t eat lunch in Hollywood anymore? What is aggravating is that Harding is very blunt in telling it like it is, where Williams says that really, it’s ‘all of us’ who harmed Polanski’s victim. That must be the theory of dispersed culpability that fogs up the painful truth.

More of What’s Not on Salon– okay, this is a year old. Bill Wyman’s analysis of the bias in the documentary, ‘Wanted and Desired’ and the distortions in the press. Tough reading, as it includes testimony from the victim. An ugly crime.

More Links– on Feministing links to opinions on the case. It’s just such a relief to see so many discussions that take it as a given that there was an actual crime.

Not Singing With the Choir–Anna Wainwright short post on Salon just so it’s not all about how the poor guy is being persecuted.

Turns the Tables– Nina Burleigh at Huffpo calls out Polanski’s defenders who think that the genius of the Great Man is worth the sacrifice of a few nobody girls.

Doubletalk–Salon’s Glenn Greenwald calls out the Washington Post for putting mushy untruths on its editorial page and then criticizing ‘the left’ for the same thing.

Priesthood of Fame–Eve Ensler, author of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ questions the defenders of Roman Polanski’s crime.

Bad Choices

I had a lot of arguments with the anti-reform people while I was holding a sign outside three of the Town Hall meetings last month. I sought common ground in the proposal that no one should suffer or die from lack of health care. The response was that people make ‘bad choices’ and stuff happens.

I had pointed out that young people out of school and not yet in a good paying job are especially likely to lack health insurance. Americans are dying unnecessarily. Working people are risking their health and lives because they can’t afford insurance and they can’t afford medical bills. How do you make ‘good choices’ when there are none? Kimberly Young gambled on her youth and health and lost, dying of the flu…

Her roommate’s mother said Young worked several jobs, none of which offered insurance. She eventually went to a public hospital’s emergency room after showing signs of kidney failure and dehydration. In critical condition, she was soon after transferred to another facility, where she died.

The people I argued with, who enjoyed their government benefits but rallied to prevent others from getting the same were showing us one path we might follow. Limited vision, harsh judgment on anyone who falls out of the system, and a deep fear that they might end up excluded too. In a new millennium we can look back on Charles Dickens’ world and see our own reflection.

Flashback: Roman Polanski Arrested

Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland for the conviction he walked away from thirty years ago. Last year he was trying to get his record cleared in the US without actually having to come here and face a judge.

Polanski is not the only criminal who used wealth and power and friends to evade the law by hopping a plane. Maybe it’s a good thing that there are consequences.

At this late date, it’s hard to imagine he would do any prison time. But he’s had thirty years to publicize his version of events, and the child he preyed on is now a woman who must only wish he would stay away from her life and her family.

She’s already spoken to the press, they should leave her alone.