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September 22, 2017

Oyster Roundup – Independence Day Edition

Happy Independence Day! Of course, “Alaskan Independence Day” was yesterday, the two year anniversary of the event at Lake Lucille in Wasilla that we like to cal “Quitstock.”  That’s right, Sarah Palin abdicated the governorship and left us in the not-so-capable hands of Captain Zero. We Alaskans were rid of her whether we individually wanted to be, or not. Moving on…

You may notice that my usual John Tenniel illustration from Alice in Wonderland does not grace this Oyster Roundup. Instead may I present oysters from Kachemak Bay in Homer, Alaska that were presumably engulfed by our editor Shannyn Moore. All we got here in Anchorage was this digital variety, which, while it makes us salivate, is less gratifying.


The British are Coming!

Remember when Paul Revere warned the British about the colonists with clanging bells and blazing pistols? Me neither. But this British invasion, that is happening as we speak here in the Great Land, is definitely a “two if by sea” moment.  And this little piece of history,  in addition to having foreign powers trying to exploit America, and a cry for patriots to stand up for our rights, there’s even a Benedict Arnold. True story. Click the link in the title to find out why you non-Alaskans should join the revolution.

Stand and Be Counted

Even if it wasn’t mandated in the Constitution, I’d still love the Census. I felt bad for my census taker who, through a mix-up of address had to come hunt me down in person. He looked a bit anxious when I answered the door, and eventually told me some “interesting” stories about Alaskans who’d been told to fear the census like they fear the federal gubmint itself. Including one of its founding documents, apparently. Yikes.

In any case, the Alaska numbers are now out, not counting those who managed to dodge the questions. Did you know that in the last ten years, Alaska has grown by 13.3% compared to the nation as a whole that has grown by 9.7%?   Alaskan women make up 48.1% of the population, compared to the national 50.7%  which backs up at least half of that old t-shirt slogan about Alaskan men that says – “The odds are good but the goods are odd.”  More fun facts at the link.

Even God Had a Day of Rest

While most of us are celebrating the country’s independence from colonial rule, “The Foundry” – the blog presence of the conservative Heritage Foundation has taken a different tact this 4th of July.  While good patriotic Americans across the land are thinking about all the common principles that unite us, they tweeted:

OUTRAGEOUS: Atheists Take Offense at 9/11 Memorial for Fallen Firefighters

Yes, I clicked. And there was a flag, and a cross made out of iron beams, presumably from the World Trade Center site. And a big, long, screed about how the atheists are trying to trample on the religious intent of the founding fathers… bla bla.  9-11… 7-4… Whatever. Now that they’ve inspired us with this message of American unity and freedom, and God, they can go watch a bunch of communist Chinese explosives.

Which Founding Father Are You?

Here’s a fun little 24-question quiz that answers the question. According to the wisdom of this Select-Smart questionnaire… Well, let’s just say that nest time it rains they’re expecting me to go fly a kite. I can totally live with that, especially if you consider that Ben Franklin was kind of the original anonymous blogger of the colonies. Just ask Mrs. Silence Dogood. If you are so inclined, share who YOU are in the comments. I’d be curious to see.



68 Responses to “Oyster Roundup – Independence Day Edition”
  1. MonaLisa (inCT) says:

    I’m Benjamin Franklin too, by a VERY wide margin, followed by a 5-way tie between Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Adams and Aaron Burr, then a little bit of James Madison and just a smidgen of Thomas Jefferson.

  2. auni says:

    Ben Franklin all the way! Beth–I am dealing with the same sort of thing with my husband. Hang in there. Frustrating and scary.

  3. Bretta says:

    I thought I’d be Madison (my #7) but it turns out I’m Alexander Hamilton. #2 was Thomas Jefferson.

  4. Marilyn says:

    Ben Franklin, which surprised me, I ‘guessed’ Washington who didn’t even register as a distant 7th…lol…so much for my politics!! Makes me wonder if the test was skewed to Franklin, or if we are all REALLY of the same mindset!!

  5. mike from iowa says:

    Near as Mikey can figure,Rethuglican/tea-baggers have found their Earthly god and his name is Satan-not. Its Grover Norquist and he has all Rethug/tea-bag candidates for Potus signed up to his no tax increase/no revenue increase pledge. Not even the anti-abortion league can say that they have all contenders on board. I don’t know if Norquist knows how to sit on an ass and ride one,bnut he certainly is one,IMHO. No offense to donkeys,mules and the like.

  6. beth says:

    Strong (very strong!) Benjamin Franklin, with George Washington coming in a way distant second (green bar less than a quarter inch long). The others were totally negligible — green blips all staying snuggled up tightly to the starting gate on the left-hand side.

    ’twas a fun amusement and diversion from my main task this next couple of days: focusing intently on all DHs symptoms, test results, diagnosis, etc. re: his medical. He’s got some bang up specialists, but damn if they aren’t looking at their speciality and not at the patient! There are way too many test results and symptoms that only fit the specialist’s diagnosis *if* they are squished and smooshed into said. I *know* there is something else going on with DH that they are all totally missing; DH wouldn’t be as ill as he is, if there weren’t.

    And a year’s-worth of their treating their specialty(s) has, as near as I can tell, exacerbated whatever it is that’s also going on…and has been there from the very start of our journey. I’m seriously beginning to wonder if their neat, cut-and-dried ‘treatment’ plan(s) for him isn’t a major part of his problem –a year out– in that those treatments are missing the *actual* medical condition by a country mile. I am not a happy camper. beth.

  7. AK Raven says:

    Mine’s James Madison- Ben Franklin second. I guessed Ben Franklin. I have always admired his life, ideas.

    Interesting. I should check out James Madison.

  8. Baker's Dozen says:

    James Madison. I’ve always liked him.

  9. BeeJay says:

    I’m Washington, Franklin, Madison, and Hamilton. Then I’m a green liberal, a social liberal, and finally, a classic liberal. Hoo boy, some conflict going on here…

  10. Wallflower says:

    I’m Ben Franklin too. when they started asking about arrogance, temper and mortal enemies I was sure I was headed for John Adams, but my love of the written word shifted me back. I’m reading a great book about Franklin right now, so I feel somewhat complimented.

  11. Dagian says:

    I’m Ben Franklin too.

    But I wouldn’t first endanger my son’s life as a child (see below), nor would I imprison him later for disagreeing with me and refusing to let him out of prison to attend his wife’s funeral (which was something other prisoners were permitted to do). He really was a vicious b@stard towards his son.

    “Holding onto the kite by the silk ribbon, Ben flew the kite and once it was aloft, he retreated into a barn so that he would not get wet. The thunder storm cloud passed over Franklin’s kite, whereupon the negative charges in the cloud passed onto his kite, down the wet silk string, to the key, and into the jar. Ben however, was unaffected by the negative charges because he was holding the dry silk ribbon, insulating him from the charges on the key. When he moved his free hand near the iron key, he received a shock. Why? Because the negative charges in the key were so strongly attracted to the positive charges in his body, a spark jumped from the key to his hand. Franklin’s experiment successfully showed that lightning was static electricity. You can experience this same reaction when you shuffle your feet on a carpet and reach for a metal doorknob.

    Franklin was actually lucky to have survived, for after this famous incident, several other would-be-scientists who performed this same kite experiment were electrocuted.”

    “With American’s resistance to Britain stiffening and Franklin’s motives now openly challenged, the people of New Jersey took action against him. On 8 January 1776, Franklin was captured in Perth Amboy at his second home and placed under house arrest. Five months later, he was seized and brought to Burlington for questioning by the independence-minded Provincial Congress. As he refused to relinquish his authority, he was transported to Connecticut and held as a prisoner of war for 2½ years. And a horrible confinement it was.

    Bill Franklin was taken to Litchfield, Connecticut, where he was eventually housed for eight months in a solitary cell with a floor covered with old straw matted from the waste of previous occupants. He was denied writing paper, clean clothes, and even bathing and toilet facilities. Benjamin even forbade William’s son, Temple, who was in Ben’s care, any contact with his imprisoned father. Urging him to abandon William, Benjamin offered his grandson the temptation of France, which the boy took. “I have rescued a valuable young man from the danger of being a Tory,” a satisfied Ben wrote.

    While in jail William lost his hair, his teeth, his health and his wife, who died. When she was on her deathbed George Washington was moved enough to write Congress advocating William’s request to meet with her. His “situation is distressing and must interest all our feelings,” he wrote. “Humanity and generosity plead powerfully in favour of his application.” Ben Franklin did not weigh in with his preference, however, and the request was denied. (The elder Franklin, meanwhile, kept the interests of other prisoners close to his heart. Writing more than 13 letters to his friend in the British Parliament, David Hartley, he begged him to help alleviate “all the horrors of imprisonment” for captured Americans.)”

    • Dagian says:

      He billed his own son for his childhood!

      “Why do so few people today know William ever existed? Because Benjamin excised most references to his son from the final version of his autobiography. Father and son did meet again, in England, nearly a decade after they had last spoken, to settle financial accounts. Benjamin, nearing 80 and on his way to America for the last time, “brought all the warmth of a real estate settlement” to the encounter, according to historian Willard Sterne Randall, who described the scene in his book A Little Revenge: Benjamin Franklin & His Son. Father insisted that son sign over deeds to his American property in exchange for the forgiveness of debts owed him. William soon realised his father was making him pay for clothes and pocket money going back to his childhood. The rest of the “reunion” time was largely spent apart as Benjamin met with old friends from England. On the last day the father slipped away on a ship bound for America, not even saying goodbye.”

    • Dagian says:

      Oops, James Madison was #2, but not by much!

    • mike from iowa says:

      Some of America’s fighting men discovered that electricity and water doesn’t mix well. They were electrocuted in showers in Iraq. The culprit was KBR,a subsidiary of Halliburton. They were given more no-bid contracts as punishment,if memory serves.

  12. benlomond2 says:

    Hamilton, Franklin, as a big margin over Washington, Madison. After reading “Arundel”, I’ve never had a very good impression of Burr…

  13. OMG says:

    I’m afraid that the beloved “founding fathers” would not pass the GOP purity test.

  14. barbara says:

    james madison, about whom i know very little. is it good?

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Me too and it’s a fine thing. All of the founders were human beings , with their own foibles and failures, who stood up during an important time and all added something to what we have now.

      “Madison’s most distinctive belief as a political theorist was the principle of divided power.[20][21] Madison believed that “parchment barriers” were not sufficient to protect the rights of citizens. Power must be divided, both between federal and state governments (federalism), and within the federal government (checks and balances) to protect individual rights from the tyranny of the majority.[22][23][24][25]

      Although blocked by his foes from the Senate he became a leader in the new House of Representatives, drafting many basic laws. In one of his most famous roles he drafted the first ten amendments to the Constitution and thus is known as the “Father of the Bill of Rights”.

  15. yukonbushgrma says:

    Happy 4th, everyone!

    If anyone saw the Boston Pops Fireworks tonight, what did you think?

    It made me kind of miss July 4th in Wisconsin — when it actually got dark and you could see the fireworks that they actually HAD that night.

    The display was amazing — and it was totally coordinated with the music. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any fireworks display so beautiful.

    And the Boston Pops’ music was incredible. The ‘audience participation’ part was the best — all the songs we know and love, and everyone sang along.

    Now I want to go to Boston on July 4 sometime!

  16. CityKid says:

    Hmmm, after all, even our current president ignored a Federal Court ruling to support religion:

    “Wisconsin federal judge rules against National Day of Prayer ”

    and a few days later…

    “Presidential Proclamation–National Day of Prayer”

    I suppose we should blame the troublemakers:

  17. CityKid says:

    I wonder. Could a single man or woman who openly says they DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD win an election for a Federal office? Marriage might help, but a “lack of faith” might scuttle anybody’s chances.

  18. Hmmm, interesting. I’m Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, then Washington. Not sure what to make of those results.

    Happy 4th, everyone. We had (hubby and I) a very quiet day. We went for a walk along the boardwalk at Redondo this morning and chatted with neighbors this afternoon. We BBQd dinner and ate on the back deck. And now we are listening to our nieghbors blowing up their money while we watch everything on TV. We just enjoyed the Capitol Fourth on PBS and it’s about time for the Seattle fireworks.

    It’s all so different than when I was a kid. They set off the fireworks out at the old Air Force base outside of town and everyone drove out and parked along the side of the highway to watch. It was a great view, actually. We were far enough out of town that we didn’t have any city/town lights to interfer. And considering this was the 1950s and cars were huge, we were really comfortable.

  19. ivan says:

    james madison.

    the forth of July feels more like a day of mourning for me.

  20. AKMagpie says:

    Meteor Blades at Daily Kos has a great article about patriotism. Well worth a read. I have bookmarked it to print later.,-as-ever,-eager-to-stifle-dissent-?via=blog_1

    Good comments also.

  21. Lacy Lady says:

    That Crowwoman@ 3

    That guy really knows how to fly a kite! Amazing!!!!!!
    I see by his tan—he spends a lot of time out in the sun.

  22. Pinwheel says:

    Apparently, I relate to Franklin, I choose Patrick Henry. “Liberty or Death”! and he ended up a close 2nd. I bookmarked this site just because.

    Since I came of age in the 1950s, ’60’s, ’70s, The Greatful Dead is the raconteur/balladier/court jester of my time that can never be duplicated, (replicated). I believe the “American Beauty” album is their greatest and “Ripple” among all my favorite experiences of the 1960’s and ’70’s. This album really does compete with the “White Album” of the Beatles as best because it is possible to be in the American Beauty. (Not to say I discount the Beatles, because i don’t.)

    Among all the treasures I have packed around much of my adult life, I have a bumper sticker that reads “I am the Powers That Be”. I acquired this the year of my 40th Birthday, 1988. I’m not too proud of my generations’ leaders that followed. Dan Quayle, Bill Clinton, ‘the shrub’. I continue to be a part of the loyal opposition to religious, hateful, ignorant folks. Naive, maybe, but we have experienced those three. Now we are the voting majority. It is in our hands.

    Thanx, nem

    • Cirrus says:

      Speaking of bumper stickers, I was drawn into a fit of laughter by one I saw recently.

      “What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it’s all about?”

      As you said, “IT” is in our hands.

  23. sugarpie says:

    Another Franklin. Washington 2nd, and then Jefferson. I’ve always thought that Ben Franklin had more fun than any three of the founding fathers. Yay Ben!

  24. PollyinAK says:

    I wish there was a “like” button. So many comments I enjoy and like, but don’t have time to comment. Enjoy reading them all! Thank you everybody.

  25. mike from iowa says:

    So don’t forget whose taking you home and in whose grasp you’re gonna be…. Alexander Hamilton checking in. I checked out the Heritage Foundation whine about atheists and looked up the 7th circuit court of appeals. Dominated by Raygun and both bushwhack appointees which means a fairly closed mind on cases-IMO. Speaking from memory,digital oysters would probably be as tasty as the real things and less aggravating to my mind and digestive system. I trust everyone has had a safe 4th,haven’t heard from any MASH units anywhere.Farm out and right arm America.

  26. 1smartcanerican™ says:

    Ben Franklin is me by a long shot.

  27. ks sunflower says:

    Another great oyster roundup.

    As to the Founding Father quiz, my top three (in order) are: Franklin, Hamilton, Washington.

    That was sort of a surprise because I have always admired Jefferson – his views on religion, his library, his curiosity and sense of wonder. I wish I had his creativity to invent solutions to practical problems such as his turntable book storage, and I could more easily identify with his poetic nature than the pragmatic and scientific Franklin.

    Besides, I am rather ambivalent about Daily Savings Time which Franklin was known to champion. I also must admit that, as a child, I did not respond well to the kite and the lightning story; feeling Franklin to be more foolish than brilliant. Ah, well, the quiz was fun and I’ve added the site to my bookmarks because of the links it makes to further readings in American history and our founders.

  28. jimzmum says:


  29. Gimme-a-break, Sarah says:

    Franklin here….

  30. Lacy Lady says:

    This is really cool. Click your mouse multiple times in the sky of NYC.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      It IS cool!
      Especially since I couldn’t get myself up at midnight last night (even with alarm set ) to watch the fireworks here …

  31. Kat says:

    Ben Franklin with George Washington in second place.

  32. Memphis,NY says:

    Franklin also isn’t that funny that so many of US are

  33. Alaska Pi says:

    Angol Ameeican – PFFFT!
    Pebble mine- PFFFFTTT!!!!

    I like the census too- though am not much liking reapportionment

    Pffft on The Foundry- sounds like an American version of all the reconstructionist horsepunky the Kremlin used to put out.

    Madison, then Jefferson
    Hmm. Watch out whatzername , the original constructionists are on the scene.
    ( Pfft on Jefferson re Native Americans though, also, too and even.)

  34. DuckDriver says:

    Alexander Hamilton by a long shot! (no pun intended) Ben Franklin was my number 2. I thought I would be closer to Patrick Henry but that was way down at the number 6 slot.



  35. Zyxomma says:

    For anyone who hasn’t read it already, here’s a brilliant true story by a fine writer about the shame of his life — his status as an illegal immigrant. Don’t worry if you don’t have paid access to the NY TImes. Linking from a blog doesn’t count toward your 7 free articles.

  36. Zyxomma says:

    Franklin by a mile as well. I predicted Aaron Burr, who was my #8. I think those of us attracted to smart political blogs are all Franklins!

    I don’t partake of oysters, no matter how tasty, but will gladly take out my Dremel and attempt to make wampum of the shells.

  37. justafarmer says:

    Overwhelmingly Ben Franklin, here, with Alexander Hamilton, James Madison & Thomas Jefferson tied for a distant last place.

    • Buffalogal says:

      Also came back big time as Ben Franklin , followed far and gone by Hamilton ( which I thought
      interesting being as a direct descendant of my Mom is Aaron Burr )

      Perhaps Mudflats should pool our resources, buy an island or tract of neutral land and claim
      ourselves a sovereign nation for a year . ( now tell me that wouldn’t translate to fabulous “reality tv”
      ratings )

  38. the problem child says:

    Franklin, by a long way. A Hamilton in distant second. (I really like Hamilton, though. I must have answered the questions about a terrible temper and enemies “wrong”.)

  39. WakeUpAmerica says:

    Ok, I was Franklin too. I’m wondering if that personality type is more likely to read Mudflats?

  40. beaglemom says:

    I’m a Ben Franklin. Surprised myself! Hope everyone has had a lovely day. We’re hoping the local fireworks will be over with by about 10:30 pm. Our second beagle (the noisy barky one) is terrified of loud noises, including fireworks. (Quite ironic given how loudly she can bark.) Some people in the neighborhood were shooting off fireworks late into the night last night. Hopefully they were weekend visitors and have gone home by now. Shoving the dog into the family room last night so I could go to bed was not fun. I really felt sorry for her but not sorry enough to stay up all night calming her down.

  41. Nan (aka roswellborn) says:

    James Madison – who’da thunk it… Geo Washington coming in second, and Jefferson third (I’d have guessed Aaron Burr, but he was dead last. Time for some homework!)

  42. thatcrowwoman says:


    Let’s go fly a kite:

    amazing kite flying:

    Happy just fired up the grill…

  43. laurie says:

    I’m Franklin too. John Adams was my number 2.

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