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November 23, 2017

Alaska Needs a Hostage Negotiator

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Relationship counselors get a bad rap. Probably because it’s too late by the time one person insists it’s important to do. Oh, you go along, and at some point the therapist looks at you and rolls his eyes and tells you you’re nuts to stick around for more crazy town. OK, maybe that was just my experience, but it’s going to take more than a fancy talker with comfy sofas to help what’s going on in Juneau.

They need a hostage negotiator. A terrorism expert. I’m talking Bruce Willis in “Die Hard” caliber. I’m sure some precious snowflake lawmaker is going to be melting right now because how could I possibly insinuate they are like terrorists and their self-proclaimed honor is so intact. Blah, blah. Stop being such a bunch of babies. When 18,000 Alaskans are terrified they won’t have a job on July 1, your political actions have created a populus who is afraid. They remind me of a conversation I had once.

“You’re such a narcissist,” I said. “I just can’t talk to you.”

He blinked. Hurt. “Do you know how that makes me feel?” he said.

Way to prove my point, bucko. The legislators who don’t like being called obstructionist or hostage takers are masters at victimhood. If you don’t like it, do your jobs and stop whining. I’m not one of those liberals who cares about your feelings when you’re not representing Alaskans and putting them in harm’s way. Sorry. Not sorry.

Representative Dan Saddler, a Republican from Eagle River, compared the situation to Pearl Harbor. I can only guess that Mr. Saddler also thinks if someone hits the car locks and passes gas in a vehicle it is like Nazi gas chambers and blowing wine out your nose is like being waterboarded.

Lance Pruitt, an Anchorage Republican, thinks House Speaker Bryce Edgmon is like Vladimir Putin and Mugabe of Zimbabwe. I’m confused. Mr. Pruitt’s party seems to be quite fond of Mr. Putin these days. And Mugabe? He’s such a bad guy he won’t die because God doesn’t want him and the devil doesn’t either. I don’t agree with Edgmon all the time by any stretch, but as far as I know he hasn’t started any wars or starved the people of Dillingham. Calm down, Mr. Pruitt. I know being in the minority is lame, but you can Google your majority days and maybe figure out why you’re no longer in it.

The Senate majority wouldn’t hear or vote on the budget bill and decided to bag the session even though they’ve taken weeks off during the last 30 days.

Now we get a second special session. Special note: The more there are, the less special they are. Also, if people aren’t able to subsistence fish because of a state shutdown they are going to have lots of time to protest their government.

In happier news, the little hamlet by the sea, Homer, has voted tolerance over tantrum throwing. The recall of three Council members has failed. Whaa-whaa. That’s the sound of a sad trombone. I realize my hometown has a few people living in it who don’t agree with me. Oh, this isn’t new, Homer never has been all one way, but it felt like the church-to-bar ratio was pretty healthy. I don’t vote in Homer, but was really happy to see the recall defeated. Homer named their elementary school after the school janitor, Paul Banks. Last trip in I saw a Volvo station wagon stop to pick up a hitchhiker with sea bags by the airport. When our truck was on the side of the road, it only took a few cars going by before a Dodge truck and a smiling man stopped and gave us a jump.

Homer is a town that has never been afraid to have a conversation until this year. Fearful people funded by Outside money is a bad combination for a little town trying to catch some fish.

Oh, dear hearts, I know we thought compromise would come and there would be less stress for so many this week. Sadly, Bruce Willis was unavailable to help. Keep paying attention even though it’s baseball season. Don’t pass campers on corners. Remember dry brine beats wet every time. And we’re all Alaskans, until we’re Russians. Kidding about that last part. Lighten up. Let’s do this.

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