From Governor To Martyr-Saint?

Governor Palin may be guilty of corruption committed when she was a mayor — local government is where most of the USA’s corruption is found — and if she is another crooked politician, she should go to prison.

Resolving the matter is likely to be extraordinarily difficult. The FBI says it is not investigating her, and the “progressive” webloggers who are accusing her of illegal dealings can not be disgraced unless absolute proof of the governor’s innocence is provided. That is utterly impossible. Even if there were an investigation that resulted in her being cleared of all wrongdoing, proof of innocence remains beyond the jurisprudential system; a verdict of “not guilty” is not a verdict of “innocent,” but a statement that the charges were insufficient to produce a conviction. (For more on this, see this explanation and a related Scottish legal concept.)

This newsletter is certain the bitter left-wing campaign of defamation will continue. “Progressives” will spread rumors that Palin is a criminal who got away with her crimes. This is just a small part of the flood of filth that has been directed at the “whore” and “bitch” who “popped out a retard.”

Some evaluate Palin solely on the degree of her acquiescence to orthodox feminism. That is not just a narrow view, but a false one; it is, as this post makes clear, riven with error. It is certainly not true that the governor is an anti-feminist. Feminists inflate their political significance when they assume that Palin is hated because she is “not a woman“. The groundswell of malice that assaults the governor is not just a feminist tsunami, but a much broader cultural antipathy that has much more to do with taste than with gender-based ideology (you will recall that insight, and the link to its origin, from PenPo 68).

Yes, the culture war is still being fought, though it has not received much press coverage lately. The gap that separates the bicoastal elite from the hicks who talk funny is wider than ever. The man who mocked hayseeds for being religious and enjoying the shooting sports is in the White House (and don’t forget, his explanation for their antiquated customs was classical Marxist economic determinism).

The Alaska governor is a combatant in the culture war, whether she wants to be or not, for, as this only-slightly-off-target commentary in the NY Times admitted, “Palin’s popularity has as much to do with class as it does with ideology.”

The facts are just as clear to Palin as they are to anyone. Accordingly, this newsletter does not expect her to be a candidate for political office.

History will record Palin’s time spent in the public eye as an appalling nadir in US political discourse. The poster girl for this Stygian period will be Sandra Bernhard.

As you can see if you clicked on the link, the video of Bernhard’s performance has been removed. Of course it has; it’s too candid to be anything but damaging to the “progressive” cause. The PenPo spent some time trying to find a copy on the internet, but is unwilling to devote hours to the search.

The video articulates Bernhard’s wretched but socially approved state. The crux of her remarks was printed in PenPo 33, but here are the lowlights again: (1) Bernhard refers to Palin’s religion as “Goyish crappy shiksa funky bullshit,” (2) calls Palin a “turncoat bitch,” “bitch,” and “whore,” (3) and refers to Palin’s presence as a “brokedown bullshit moment.” Make of it what you will, but Bernhard does have an absolute right to say such things. In fact this newsletter is glad she said them. They clarify circumstances neatly.

That raises the question of whether the public has an absolute right to see a video of Bernhard’s very public performance. After all, Bernhard also said at one point that she wanted her audience to publicize her remarks; unfortunately the PenPo did not save that comment. It was, if memory serves, “Get this out there,” and related babble.

If Bernhard had the courage of her convictions, she would have the video posted on the internet.

Well, enough; decent folks should leave Bernhard to suppurate in her own bile.

Now consider that the community comprised of parents of special needs children has yet to weigh in. If and when it does, some “progressives” will realize — but probably not admit publicly — that the statements made by their brothers and sisters in the movement have been not only mean-spirited and gratuitous, but (and this will matter a lot more to those people) counterproductive. Fact: in a civilized society, choosing to bear and rear a handicapped child is not a political issue.

With some hesitation the PenPo recalls the line delivered by Alec Guinness in a popular film: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”

What Next For The Gold-Plated State?

Californians, you have a few things you should say to the people who have ruined your state — your ruling elite. What? You say you don’t know who they are? Don’t be silly! They are the unions, state employees, favored ethnics, shadowy but well-connected insiders, wheeler-dealer politicians and lefty journalists who tried to create a Utopia for themselves with your money.

Yes, you know them. You voted many of them into power. They drove businesses away (down with bourgeois capitalism!), turned government into a growth industry, lied to you about how much money they needed, served you badly, manipulated your votes with shameless propaganda and censorship, sowed the state with corruption, and laughed at you behind your back.

Yet they were proving all the while that they did not deserve to rule you. Whatever went wrong, they blamed Proposition 13, even though with each real estate sale, property taxes on the building changing hands were adjusted upward. Did you forget that fact?

Yes, you just rejected their latest “Let us clean you out, Suckers” proposal, but they are still bleeding you white with taxes (like these), and they assume you will never do anything about it. There is no move for reform coming from the ranks of the greedy elite, nor will there be.

Their power remains. They broke Schwarzenegger, who could not revive the moderate segment of the Republican party, so the rascals have no opponents. They despise you because you can vote, and they will, in an unguarded moment, say exactly that (see the link above for a stunningly candid example of this hauteur, and then have a look at this).

The LA Times-Sacramento Bee Axis is still in power.

The People’s Democratic Social Republic of California, a monster created by the worst, most arrogant state government in the nation, still stands…though it is rotten, root and branch.

This newsletter told you a one-party government was a bad idea. What in the world made you think that was wrong?

So what will you do next, Californians? Are you going to accept “cap and trade,” just as you accepted all the other things these demagogic ideologues did to destroy your dreams?

Or has the anger and the determination that passed Proposition 13 returned? Could you mount a genuine taxpayer revolt, defy the Powers That Be, and defend what you have left?

If you can, you might once again show the nation that a government can be forced to behave itself, abandon its lust for power, and serve the people rather than rule them.


For background on what the PenPo calls the culture war, you can visit this discussion of the duality that is the Democratic party, and/or a description of the Democrats’ lack of ideological solidarity that might give the GOP some hope of preventing Obama from having his way.

Old men with young women turns out to be a good thing for male longevity. The PenPo’s anecdotal evidence gains support.

Evidently having been a Soviet spy is either (a) good for your CV, or (b) not something anyone who is au courant will believe. Sheesh! What next, media praise of Alger Hiss, the elegant martyr? — Oh, right…bad example.

“As a Democrat, I detest the partisan machinations that have become standard in Northeastern news management and that are detectable in editorial decisions at major metropolitan newspapers nationwide. It’s why I, like a host of others, have shifted my news gathering to the Web.” Thus spake Camille Paglia; read the rest here.

How modeling climate distorts the facts, making it seem as if carbon dioxide were a villain.

Do you remember Walpin? What, you don’t? Good grief! That’s exactly what Obama wants!

Muslim missionary work has become kinder and gentler. The servants of Allah are known to have spoken with respect about a man who declined to accept Submission (“Islam” in Arabic). Their comments were made after they murdered him.

California, socialized medicine, and the Obama program. Oh, cripes, this is such a depressing mess…. And all of it, every damned bit, is exclusively due to bad government. How is it that the Democratic and Republican parties still exist?

Had enough yet? No? Then consider Obama’s planned Utopia.

Gore is a genuine danger to humanity.

From The Archive

The following remarks all deal with California politics over the period 2003 – 2005. They are arranged in chronological order, and begin with messages that were sent before the advent of The Terrapin Gazette. The recall election that removed Gov. Davis from office and put Arnold Schwarzenegger in was held in the first week of October, 2003.

The PenPo has republished this material, along with a portion of a personal letter, in order to give its readers a sense of recent history. It is also important to make the point that California politics was absolutely not obscure six, five and four years ago. The present collapse could be seen coming. The catastrophe was too big to be stealthy. The author of the following items had no psychic ability to predict the future; the future was announcing its dangerous nature loudly and clearly before it arrived.

If there is no lesson in all this…if no one considers the current national situation similar in vital aspects to California’s experience…then the next catastrophe will be as easy to describe before it arrives as was California’s collapse. And the national collapse will be utterly inevitable.

The reader will have to tolerate a certain amount of repetition in the items below. There are two reasons for this irritating flaw: first, editing was deliberately kept to an absolute minimum, so the current publication of this material would be honest. Second, each item was written to be a stand-alone piece, and not part of a longer commentary. So, Pilgrims, please press on regardless.

Written days after the recall election:

Understanding what just happened in California means understanding the history that brought the state to its recall election. Unless you do that, you make the mistake of thinking that this is all about Schwarzenegger. It is not about him, and it never was. The world’s news media have it all upside down and backwards.

For some three or four decades, the voters have been badly served by one incompetent legislature and governor after another. The result is an accumulation of rubbish that no one, even Arnold, will be able to sweep out.

In the last regularly scheduled election, the single-party state of California sleepwalked its way through another virtually meaningless campaign, and, without giving the issue much thought, restored a cretin to the office of governor. This has been happening for a long time, primarily because the Republican party in California is just about totally dead. With no opposition, the Democrats have been filling state offices with empty suits.

Not long ago, the governor and his crew of idiots presided over a catastrophe that intelligent and informed people could have avoided: the power crisis. The debt burden from this stunning screwup, in the form of bonds, is staggering, and must be paid by everyone who has any connection at all to the use of electricity in California (that last little point is brushed aside by the deceitful morons who caused the crisis). Belatedly, the voters realized the size and importance of their mistake. So a recall was started, and for the first time in the state’s history, it had a chance of succeeding.

Schwarzenegger was not part of that movement from the first. He came on board later. The recall would probably have succeeded even if he had not been a candidate.

The simple truth is that California would probably have been better served if the offices in the state government had been filled by randomly-chosen voters who had no criminal records.

So: the real story here is the recall, and the mess that created it. That simple fact was missed by all the news media. Schwarzenegger is just a footnote, not even a full paragraph in the story. His campaign and his election and his celebrity and his cadaverous wife are all distractions. They are the least relevant aspects of the story.

Having disgraced themselves by making no real effort to understand and explain the circumstances and the significance of the California story, the journalists will of course deny heatedly the truth of this fact.

From the same date, a word on the recall:

The fundamental idea is that the people have a contract with their government, and can cancel it at will. Unless that is true, the government is not the servant and employee of the people. Those who insist that voters must live with their mistakes are making a fool’s argument: the term of office is an arbitrary period, not some divinely inspired span to which voters are irredeemably committed.

If you can’t sack the rat-bastards who run your government, and do it any time you want to and for whatever reason pleases you, you are not free.

A previously unpublished letter to a friend, written just after the recall:

The current mess in California goes back maybe 35 years. The legislature in particular, and the governors for the most part, have been incompetent for that long, and their primary area of greatest incompetence has been in their steadfast refusal to respond to the needs and desires of the voters. Voters don’t know the voting records of the people they send to the legislature, which seems odd but it is more true than untrue. So they keep re-electing the same rat-bastards.

As a consequence, state government has become sort of isolated and secretive. Most of what it does, it does in relative obscurity. People don’t know much and don’t care much; the feds get all the attention. So no one ever really was able to throw the jerks out and clean the place up. With term limits, the party (the Democrats) became more and more powerful, assigning hacks and stooges to run to replace the old-timers. The legislature became more and more inbred. Meanwhile the taxpayers and voters learned long ago that if something needed doing, it would have to be done by initiative, and the result is that all major legislation has been instigated by petition and voted into effect on the ballot rather than passed normally through the legislature. (No, that is not true, but it’s plenty close enough to the truth.)

Well, as the increasingly inbred and isolated state government grew even more resentful of the voters, the problems of governance increased. Meanwhile the Republican party in California was committing suicide. Its stalwarts oppose abortion (want to make it illegal in the state, which is not possible), want to stop the teaching of evolution in the schools, get the US out of the UN, and so on. The mass of the voters reject these policies. But the Republicans are the only ones who preach fiscal restraint and small, responsible government, so the folks who could make a difference in the state have been declining in power and influence for years. Today California is essentially a Democrat state. It’s a true one-party regime, which means the Dems have no real competition, and as we all know, if you don’t have to compete, you don’t have to be good. So California has bad government. Duh.

The anti-business climate is terrible in California, with the legislature finding a zillion ways to discourage startups, tax existing businesses, and so on. Firms that can, shift their inventory to Nevada each year when it comes time to report to the state, so they can lower their taxes. Many businesses have fled. I don’t think we assemble cars in California any more, for example. And so on.

It was no surprise that sooner or later the Democrats would wind up led by a professional politician who has never had a life or job outside government. He is a goof and has been very badly advised. The power crisis was caused by sheer mismanagement of something that should have been easily and quickly done, for example.

This is what happens when the only real political party there is just sits in power, getting its people into office more or less automatically, while the opposition spends its time howling at the moon.

Through it all, we had not only some nutty governors, but perhaps the worst state supreme court in the nation. It has been a bumpy ride, over these last three or four decades. The state has developed an insatiable hunger for money, seeking and sucking dry all the sources of funding it can find. The result is a budget that is out of control, a legislature that bitterly blames the voters for tying the legislators’ hands with initiatives, a bloated state civil service that has a vested interest in the miserable status quo, a school system that is a disgrace, and no remaining cash cows to milk so the state can pay its bills. A (expletive deleted) disaster.

People got fed up. Arnold ran against the professional politicians, and it has been noted that the nearly dead Republican party got some 60% of the vote in the recall election, which means that even though Arnold basically hijacked the party, a middle of the road Republican can run and win. This has come as a real shock to the Democrats, but they won’t admit it.

So the end of the Democrat monopoly is near? No. The LA Times and a lot of state employees and almost all the legislators will never tolerate that. The bias in the pages of the Times has outraged many, for the paper investigated Arnold furiously, while overlooking similar reports that Davis (the governor) was a nutcase who abused his employees. But the paper will soldier on, as will the legislature. These bastions of the Democrat party will simply wait for the Arnold phenomenon to die down.

Which it will. Arnold won’t get the cooperation of the very folks he ran against, of course. They are waiting for him. When he comes into town, everybody will be all smiles and promises of cooperation. When they get through with him, he will be so much cat food.

He made a huge mistake. This will be the end of his political career.

No one can clean up the mess, because the voters are unwilling to toss all the legislators out, hamstring the Democrat party’s power elite, support the business community, encourage the candidacy of some honest and intelligent new people, and keep an eye on what the state government does. In spite of term limits, which we have now in California, the old ways prevail and the power groups still function. The Democrat party lines up its empty suits and puts them into the legislature one after another, all the while telling the Mexicans and Blacks and unions and state employees that it will continue to take care of them. The Republican party will not be able to gain strength from Arnold (strength he badly needs in the legislature, if he is to bring about meaningful reform), and the unending propaganda from the Times and other leftist organs will keep the public ignorant.

There is no hope. It will take another fifty years for things to change.

A pre-Terrapin Gazette message, 30JUN04:

Back From Two Difficult Weeks In California

Herewith some random and useless observations on life on The Left Coast, as well as quick impressions of the contrasts and noteworthy events involved in trans-Pacific travel:

1. Security at LAX, as provided by the Dept of Homeland Security, is thorough, professional, impressive and confidence-inspiring. Never tighter, never better. Employees are anything BUT sluggards and mouth-breathers. Good work, Uncle Sam!

2. Even I was shocked at the constant barrage of pessimistic propaganda the news media are dispensing regarding Iraq. I knew it was happening, but to be subjected to it day after day, from every side, is a disturbing experience. I am free of the defeatist drum-beat here, but only because I have total control of my news sources…which most people do not. Many folks honestly believe that because they watch the major TV news outlets and read two or three newspapers and several news magazines that they are well informed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Given the tireless propaganda machine that is pummeling the US electorate, I am hard put to predict the survival of a firm resolve to deal with terrorism and insure the cultural survival of the West. People can take only so much before their thinking and opinions are distorted.

3. California is doing OK at the moment. The Establishment is cleverly waiting, waiting, waiting…to bring Schwarzenegger down, and with him the moderate Republican party he just might revive. It will happen.

4. Gasoline prices are scandalous, mostly because of the “terror surcharge,” and Californians don’t give a damn.

5. Everyone in California is fat. I don’t mean overweight, I don’t mean plump, I don’t mean in need of some self-restraint. I mean FAT.

From The Terrapin Gazette, 07JUL04:

The Los Angeles Times: A Force In An Important State

Do you live in the LA area, or do you depend to any extent on the LA Times for your news? If not, you might want to ignore the following….

You may recall that, when I returned from La-La Land less than two weeks ago, I commented that I was overwhelmed by the single-mindedness of news reporting, both print and electronic. It was, I claimed, hard to understand how anyone exposed to the steady drone of the omnipresent propaganda could feel optimistic about events in Iraq.

I have also said that the California Establishment is just waiting to tear Governor Schwarzenegger to pieces. Central to this Establishment is the LA Times.

This influential newspaper is spectacularly successful in pressing lies, disinformation, distortions and sloppy reporting on its readers. Somehow it survives all challenges to its degenerate journalistic ethics, shrugging off critics who simply quote the paper’s many errors and deliberate skewing of the facts.

From The Terrapin Gazette, 11JAN05:

Governor Schwarzenegger of California is headed for serious trouble. The Los Angeles Times and the state’s employees and labor union members and ruling political establishment will do all they can to prevent the emergence of a moderate, centrist Republican party in California. The Democrats fear that Arnold might create an effective threat to the establishment’s privileges.

In other words, think of this as the LA Times’s way of pinning this sign between Arnold’s shoulder blades: “Insert dagger here. Firmly.”

Reform the gerrymandered state legislature? Possible, but not likely. Too many powerful insiders stand to lose too much. Reform would require massive support from the voters and the repudiation of a number of political heavyweights. That’s a tough row to hoe.

It’s clever of the newspaper to appear to side with Schwarzenegger. The Times probably feels that the politically savvy Democrats will be able to sabotage reform, blame the failure on Arnold, and abort a centrist GOP. How, exactly? If Arnold takes the lead in attempting to breathe life back into moderate Republicanism in California, discrediting him may be sufficient. That’s where the Times comes in.

Whether the paper will attack him as a political cretin or a testosterone-drenched Neanderthal I can’t guess, but I do expect the paper to serve as the main propaganda organ of the effort to end his political career. Having failed to knock out Schwarzenegger the candidate with last-minute smears, the Times can be depended on to have something more subtle and dangerous ready for Schwarzenegger the governor.

I wonder whether Arnold sees this coming.

From The Terrapin Gazette, 16JAN05:

As I told you in the last TG, I did not expect the assault to begin so soon. But now we have a second indication that the campaign is already under way. What’s going on: the California political establishment wants to discredit Arnold in order to abort the birth of an effective centrist Republican party in the state.

Of course this LA Times lunge for the jugular could be a feint, an attempt to see how Arnold will respond to the coming full-scale propaganda effort, but I doubt it. The Times appears to be deadly serious. See this.

From The Terrapin Gazette, 19MAR05:

As we have told you, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, is trying to lead his state out of the wilderness. It ain’t gonna be easy, fer sure. Over the years, an incompetent legislature and lackluster executive have basically turned the state over to a rabble of special interests; those folks have feathered their nests at public expense. That’s corruption, California style.

Now Schwarzenegger wants to clean out the stables. The howling is deafening.

From time to time the leading paper in the state, The Los Angeles Times, attacks Arnold, usually personally. Ho-hum. They tried that just before the election, and it didn’t work. Now it appears the Times is probing, trying out various tactics, looking for an issue that resonates with the voters.

So far, the theme seems to be, “Arnold is hell-bent on changes that will hurt people. He won’t listen, he tries to fit everyone into the same size box, and when he’s through, the living standard of the average Californian will have gone down the drain. This guy has a plan, and he’s going to enforce it, no matter what.”

Over time, this rather trite line will probably evolve into something more complex. Right now, however, the main emphasis seems to be on the “Arnold does not listen” and “Arnold’s plan is going to get shoved down your throat, unless you stop him” slogans. Stop him how? With demonstrations and confrontations and chanting and blocking stairwells and bringing his appearances to a halt and so on. Agitprop.

State and other public employees are boiling mad, and the labor unions are cackling. It’s going to get nasty. But then we warned Arnold a long time ago, if you recall, so none of this should surprise him.

He should incorporate one of our favorite quotes in each speech he makes: “…reform consists in taking a bone from a dog.”

Perhaps Schwarzenegger will be able to set things right in California; that would be a refreshing change. But statist governors like Jerry Brown and the unions and the state employees have built an empire, and besieging all its fortresses and sowing its arable lands with rock salt will be a challenge worthy of a mythical hero with magical powers.

Perhaps that hero is already working his magic. We shall see.

The quote is from John Jay Chapman, by the way.

From The Terrapin Gazette, 02APR05:

None of this would have happened if Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor of California, did not threaten to rekindle a centrist Republican party on the US Left Coast. What has happened, you ask? A female is suing Arnold in a British court.

The campaign to discredit Schwarzenegger personally continues. We consider this move by the California establishment (the LA Times, the labor unions, the state employees and various ethnic special interest groups) to be nothing less than brilliant. Filing suit in Britain is a masterstroke. Details here.