Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Que Sarah, Sarah...

I'm probably just tilting at eco-friendly, bird-dodging, serenely sustainable wind mills here.

When it comes to Sarah Palin, after all, it seems people's minds are pretty well made up, and no number of pesky facts nor nettlesome contexts will make a whit of difference. She's a theocratic zealot bumpkin wolf-killing book-banner who misuses the privileges of her office and callously neglects her errant and altogether too-numerous children...for Jesus. Right?

Well, maybe not so much. Seems her opponents just can't seem to gin up ethics violations, outright illegalities, and personal peccadilloes as fast as she keeps getting cleared of them (at considerable and still-mounting taxpayer expense).

It's a good thing that a compliantly hostile media machine isn't busy blazing every lurid accusation across the clouds like the Bat-Signal, and allowing every subsequent refutation to sink with nary a bubble, because...oh...wait...

Say, did you hear that Sarah Palin has bed slippers made from Real Puppies?

7 comments:

Steven Givler said...

Kitten fur. That's what you need for slippers. Puppy fur is SO last century.

Noocyte said...

Yah, but then you lose that whole Crusader Chic (kittens are halal, yes?).

BTW, damn fine paintings, Maj. Were I a rather more affluent fellow, I would surely lighten you by a landscape or two.

Thanks for It All.

Mike said...

OK, I read the linked article and mulled it all over for a while, and I still don't get what you're saying here.

She managed to beat all the charges leveled against her. Does that mean she's innocent? If she's innocent of those charges, does it mean she is no longer a religious zealot? Does it mean she never hunted wolves from a helicopter? Can she now tell the world what newspapers she reads? Does the ability to see Russia now give her legitimate foreign relations experience?

I am genuinely confused here.

Noocyte said...

Well, good to see the Kool Aid is as richly-mixed in Buenos Aires as it is up North. Globalization is a wonderful thing. :-)

She managed to beat all the charges leveled against her. Does that mean she's innocent?

Why, yes, it quite does. One might even go so far as to say that the presumption of her innocence has failed to be disproved, if one were inclined to approach the matter fairly.

If she's innocent of those charges, does it mean she is no longer a religious zealot?

That would depend entirely on where one sets the slider. If by "zealot" you mean someone with deeply-held religious beliefs with which I strongly disagree, but which it is her Constitutional right to hold and express, so long as she does not endeavor to mix it up with the business of governing (which, contrary to some very actively promulgated media memes, she has not done to any appreciable degree [the people of Alaska would never sit still for this, being of a decidedly Libertarian bent])...then, yes. Still a "zealot."

Does it mean she never hunted wolves from a helicopter?

I'm not finding any convincing evidence that she personally did this. However, yes, she has authorized predator control measures (different from 'hunting' as such. It's a game management tool, in a vast wilderness that can't be effectively managed any other way) involving aircraft. It is a legal means of predator control. Instead of spending millions having state employees do the same thing, the state has opened it up to private citizen pilot/gunner teams. Fish & Game monitors the packs and sets a take for each season. Typically weather prevents the desired take per season.

I love wolves, and this practice bruises my delicate urban sensibilities as much as you'd think. But the practice predates Palin's Administration in AK, and is a cudgel which is trotted out to discredit her...along with all the others.

Can she now tell the world what newspapers she reads?

Actually, she already has (i.e., pretty much all of them, mainly on-line. Links can readily be found by those who devote the energy to look), now that she is no longer in a "Gotcha" interview with a partisan hack "reporter," whose intent was to rain condescension on the poor hick governor babe.

Does the ability to see Russia now give her legitimate foreign relations experience?

No more than the ability to quote a Tina Fey 'comedy' routine gives one legitimate political analysis skills. The "You can see Russia from the shore of Alaska" comment was a humorous aside by Governor Palin (who was talking about her dealings with the Canadian government and the periodic probings of Russian bombers into American airspace, IIRC) which has been quoted so tendentiously out of context it has become more or less a test case in the erosion of journalism in this country.

I am genuinely confused here.

Indeed. Fortunately, that state is curable.

OK, off to the arms of Morpheus, and thence to New Orleans. Pity you couldn't make it; some splendid conversations over beers and gumbo might have ensued! Another time.

Mike said...

Well, good to see the Kool Aid is as richly-mixed in Buenos Aires as it is up North.

I wouldn't know. The wine and Espresso are so good and cheap that I've been drinking virtually nothing else :).

One might even go so far as to say that the presumption of her innocence has failed to be disproved, if one were inclined to approach the matter fairly.

One would also then say that OJ did not kill Nicole Brown and Ted Stevens did not take any bribes. I forgot that the courts are infallible. Thanks for reminding me.

If by "zealot" you mean someone with deeply-held religious beliefs with which I strongly disagree,

No, by "zealot" I mean someone with deeply-help religious beliefs.

Actually, she already has (i.e., pretty much all of them, mainly on-line. Links can readily be found by those who devote the energy to look)

I googled it and found nothing but links to the infamous interview and some vapid commentary about it on the first 3 results pages. So I'll just have to take your word that she is the greatest speed reader the world has ever known.

now that she is no longer in a "Gotcha" interview with a partisan hack "reporter," whose intent was to rain condescension on the poor hick governor babe.

"What newspapers do you read?" is a gotcha question? Exactly how long would it take you to answer it? Would you need to "get back to" the person asking the question? Or would you rattle off a few of your most frequented rss feeds followed by a cute comment about newspapers being SO last century?

Pity you couldn't make it

Indeed, living on the other side of the world has its downside :(.

Noocyte said...

One would also then say that OJ did not kill Nicole Brown and Ted Stevens did not take any bribes. I forgot that the courts are infallible. Thanks for reminding me.

OK, senor Snarky. I suppose it's my bad for using the "presumed innocent" phrase, since it evokes criminal courtroom imagery. But do recall that OJ was subsequently found liable for the wrongful death of Brown, under the "clear and convincing" (vs. the "reasonable doubt") standard of evidence. Palin has been exonerated under even less stringent standards of evidence, employed by bipartisan/independent boards of inquiry. When the bar is set so low for finding someone at fault, and the public sentiment is so overwhelmingly disposed to portray someone in an unfavorable light, then, yes, I'm pretty confident (though no more certain than I am about just about anything) that the results reflect a decent share of what one may call Reality.

No, by "zealot" I mean someone with deeply-help religious beliefs.

Ah. Well, then. For my own part, I am not disposed to dismiss the beliefs of so many people, so long as there is no indication that they will try (or that, if trying, they stand a credible chance to succeed) to impose them on me or anyone else who does not share them.

I trust you will acknowledge, though, that your position would itself be viewed as a form of zealotry by those who espouse a religious world-view...

Re: the Couric Newspapers question

I googled it and found nothing but links to the infamous interview and some vapid commentary about it on the first 3 results pages. So I'll just have to take your word that she is the greatest speed reader the world has ever known.


After recovering from New Orleans (and from the dismay at how long that took, and what that says about my age...), I Googled this myself...and found it just as difficult as you did! Turns out, I was remembering an interview I had seen, and overestimating the ease with which one might turn up the information! A transcript of that interview can be found here.

Key segment:
____________________________

CAMERON: Well, what do you read?

PALIN: I read the same things that other people across the country read, including the "New York Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" and the "Economist" and some of these publications that we've recently even been interviewed through up there in Alaska.

Because, of everything that we're doing with oil and gas, a lot of the investment publications especially are interviewing us, asking us how are being so successful up there in contributing to our nation's step towards energy independence.

CAMERON: Sure.

PALIN: So, my response to her. I guess it was kind of filtered.
But, I was sort of taken aback, like, the suggestion was, you're way up there in a far away place in Alaska. You know, that there are publications in the rest of the world that are read by many. And I was taken aback by that because I don't know, the suggestion that this was a little bit of perhaps we're not in tune with the rest of the world.

___________________________



The "gotcha" aspect of this question was not in the content of it, but in the frame which it established ("What do you quaint, rustic people do for the sake of parroting the sophistication we enjoy down in the Lower 48?"). Palin rather astutely grasped this frame, and stumbled in how to respond without buying into that frame. One might rightly argue that she should have been more fluid in this aspect of the exchange. What is not justified is the superficial reading of her response: that she really doesn't do much reading because she's a rustic bumpkin.

Noocyte said...

To be clear: it is not my contention that Sarah Palin is some sort of intellectual superhero (few if any politicians would pass muster on that one!). I am not even all that sanguine about her as a candidate (there is much to like about her on a policy level, but she is WAY too much of a SoCon for my tastes).

What chaps my chalupas is the extent to which the media memes about her as some sort of lame-brained Annie Oakley have been actively promoted, to the point that otherwise critical thinkers simply swallow them whole, and are shocked, shocked that someone with an undamaged cerebral cortex might see her otherwise.

Pity you couldn't make it

Indeed, living on the other side of the world has its downside :(.


Or is it 'living on the downside of the world has its other side?'

It was a profoundly silly time. N'Awlins is a complex and very interesting town...some of which I actually remember!

I intend to return (armed with some important lessons on pacing and and moderation!). Hope you can find your way up for that.