Monday, September 28, 2009

Sarah Palin, gone rogue

Sarah Palin, gone rogue

Just read the press release announcing the November release of Sarah Palin’s memoir, titled “Going Rogue: An American Life.”

I don’t care that she has written a memoir, won’t read her memoir, and am stunned that Harper has commissioned a first printing of 1.5 million copies.

However, what is really bothering me is the use of the word “rogue” in the title. Rogue is not a flattering word. Seeing it in the title drove me to the dictionary.

I opened my worn, thin-paper copy (“THIN PAPER” is actually printed above the title) of “Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary,” copyright 1959, by G. & C. Merriam Co., and looked up “rogue.” The definitions follow.

1. A vagrant; an idle sturdy beggar; a tramp.
2. A knave; cheat.
3. Scamp; rascal.
4. A rogue elephant.
5. Biol. A chance variation:--usually applied to inferior or nontypical plants.

Following this we find “rogue elephant” defined.

Rogue elephant: A vicious elephant which separates from the herd and roams alone.

Then we find “rogue’s gallery,” defined as “A collection of portraits of persons arrested as criminals, for the use of the police.” And “rogue’s march,” “Derisive music for a person driven away under popular indignation or official sentence, as when a soldier is drummed out of a regiment.

After reading the definitions I’m making the elitist assumption that neither Ms. Palin nor her collaborator, Lynn Vincent, have a feeling for the subtlety of language. Did they check a dictionary? Did they think “rogue” is a synonym for “maverick?”

Ms Palin supposedly spent several days in New York working around the clock with editors at Harper after she and Vincent finished their work. Didn’t any of those editors look up the word “rogue?”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


If individuals or families cannot afford to buy health insurance, how can they afford to pay the fines that will be levied upon them if they don't buy insurance?

I ask this after reading an Associated Press article that states that the latest plan from Montana Sen. Max Baucus would levy fines for not having health insurance, starting at $750 for an individual and $1,500 for families.

Does this mean that more people will die because if they show up at ER without an insurance card they will be fined? And turned away? And how will anyone know if all 50 million or so of the currently uninsured individuals buy a health insurance policy? Won't this be a bureaucratic nightmare? A whole new police agency? Wouldn't it be cheaper to offer a government funded health insurance option?

I often wonder lately, is there is anyone in Congress besides Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders who has courage and sanity?