Going Rogue, Ch. 1 §
Palin's writing is not as stilted as I expected it to be. There have been a few howlers along the way--ludicrous folksy dribble that has no place on the printed page--and the occasional informality that I would have asked her to take out if I had been her editor at Harper. But overall, it's not such a horrendous read. I certainly write more fluently than I speak, and the same could easily be true of Palin.
Palin's life is far less interesting than that of her father, Chuck Heath. She does a decent job of depicting the man as a hardworking, generous and upright person. By his daughter's account, Heath was a dedicated educator and coach as well as a highly talented athlete.I'm from a blue-collar family, and I appreciate her stories about her parents' hard work and frugality. What bothers me is when Palin suggests that her small-town upbringing makes her morally superior to others. My parents have toiled away to provide for me, and they raised me to live responsibly and to make good decisions. They did this without instilling me with some sense that we are extraordinary or especially praiseworthy.
They also managed to turn me into a functional adult without a pervasive Christian faith. Palin's sanctimonious discussion of her attempt to fill the "God-shaped vaccuum" in her soul is the most difficult material to get through.
Palin has a sister name Heather Heath. I hate people who give their children stupid names. Plenty more of that to come.
The Pledge of Allegiance never gave me a warm feeling in my heart. It never seemed like anything other than a hollow exercise to me, and that was reinforced in 2002 when the state legislature tried to make it mandatory that all public school students say the Pledge every day. None of the kids in any of my classes--even in highly Republican central Pennsylvania--ever showed any enthusiasm for the words in the Pledge. The more history I learned, the more obvious it became to me that the words in the Pledge were hypocritical. It painted America as a country that didn't keep its promises.
"I developed a love of reading and writing early on." p. 15
I was utterly astounded when I read this. I can't force myself to believe that the young Sarah Heath was a bibliophile. The idea that that women enjoys poetry or literature is totally baffling.
"The downside [of the economic development spurred by the completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline] was the concurrent spike in social problems. Without the law enforcement resources to keep things in check, prostitution, gambling and illegal drugs proliferated in the growing population, especially in the pipeline towns like Fairbanks." p. 21
Shouldn't someone who glorifies the frontier lifestyle be a little more accepting of prostitution, gambling and substance abuse? Those activities are hallmarks the American frontier. It is precisely because law enforcement has better things to do that these things are the last priority in frontier areas. Palin earlier complained about being pulled over on a snowmachine and wondering whether the officer involved didn't have better things to do. I think someone who rides a snowmachine where it doesn't belong is--depending on where exactly the incident happened, which Palin didn't specify--a much bigger threat to public safety than someone who gambles or buys a hooker.
I count Palin's complaint about being pulled over as her first indication that she thinks the rules don't apply to her. Everyone who gets pulled over sneers that the police have better things to do than enforce traffic regulations. But she doesn't seem to have any problem with state resources being used to police victimless activities like gambling and drug use.