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August 31, 2014

Big Brother Feels Bad. Really.

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Remember 1984? The book, not the year. You probably read it in high school. It’s a dystopian novel, published in 1949, that takes place in a world of perpetual manufactured war, state sponsored torture, omnipresent and intrusive government surveillance, and propaganda posing as news, all controlled by an elite and privileged “Inner Party” bent on squashing independent thinking and dissent in order to keep itself in power. The whole shebang is controlled by a powerful, merciless entity called “Big Brother,” who may or may not be just one person. No really, it’s just a novel. The hero of the story,…

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Bird of the Week – Trumpeter Swan

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Alaska’s biggest bird by weight, the Trumpeter Swan: At 23 pounds, with a wing span of nearly seven feet, this is one Big Bird. Their distinctive bugling call is one of WC’s favorite sounds of Spring. The species was nearly extirpated in the Eastern half of the U.S. by the feather trade, but has made a steady recovery. While there are certainly still Alaska waterfowl WC could post, it’s time for a break from the pond and lake crowd. We’ll change bird families next week. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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Palin & Olbermann on the R**Skins

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It’s not often these days that we at The Mudflats get to write about Sarah Palin AND our old friend Keith Olbermann in the same story. It brings us back to that odd time when Palin went from being Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States, to ‘The Quitter.’ But by some magic they’ve both been talking about the same issue – the despicable name of the Washington DC football team.  I’ll give you Sarah Palin’s word-salad first and then follow up with Olbermann’s fun take on the team owner Dan Snyder. Palin, ever the martyr, makes this about “the PC police” and…

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Sullivan – The Deadliest Fail, Homer Edition

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It’s almost become a sport now – like shooting fish in a barrel. In the primary debates, and now as we head into the general election, there is a new kind of question being presented to Senate candidates.  It falls under the genre “How Alaskan are You?” In the primary debate between Mead Treadwell (the most Alaskan), Joe Miller (the next most Alaskan) and Dan Sullivan (the DC beltway guy from Ohio for whom these questions are intended) there were questions like: Have you eaten salmon this week? Have you ever been to Koyuk? Kipnuk? Kake? Will you retire in…

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Wannabe for AK Senate Shoots Stuff

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A DC operative from the Cleveland metro area, whose candidacy is responsible for gazillions of dollars worth of outside negative campaign ads flooding Alaska’s airwaves, is a little miffed that his opponent’s candidacy will also result in gazilions of dollars worth of negative campaign ads flooding Alaska’s airwaves. Now that the GOP establishment Senate candidate, Dan Sullivan, has dispatched with Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, and Alaska’s milquetoast Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell in the primary, he’s decided that anyone using Outside money to talk smack about his own candidacy is unacceptable. Because he doesn’t like that, and it makes him…

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Top 10 Deleted GOP Sullivan Tweets!

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The internet is forever… especially when you see stuff and grab it before it’s deleted. For progressives and left-leaning voters all three GOP senate candidates were nightmares on social issues. It got down to splitting hairs about which combination of mother or baby should be allowed to die while denying a medically necessary abortion. And in a state like Alaska where a rapist is allowed to sue for custody or visitation rights of his offspring when he gets out of jail (yes this is really true), you wouldn’t think anyone would want to force women to have those babies if…

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Sir Patrick vs. Palin – Ice Bucket Challenge

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I’ve refrained from commenting on the “Ice Bucket Challenge” until now. But I present these two, juxtaposed for your consideration. First, Sir Patrick Stewart. And now, Sarah Palin. Hers is, seemingly, inspired by his. If the class and elegance of the first were, let’s say, replaced with yammering, ghastly acting, and Doctor Pepper. And the end part which goes horribly and hilariously wrong. You may want to turn the sound down for the last few seconds, or at least watch out of the proximity of delicate stemware.

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The Silver Lining on Prop 1

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Congratulations, Alaska! Thirty-one percent of registered voters decided for 100 percent of us what is “best for Alaska” in an election this week. Last week I knew we were in trouble when employees of oil companies were bussed to the early polls. Buses with gift baskets and snacks. Must be nice. The election worker balked when I asked for a Republican ballot. I smiled. I voted. Voting early on Tuesday, I drove into town and kept seeing signs made of bed sheets on the overpasses. One in particular got to me. It was the eight gold stars with “Vote Yes”…

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Bird of the Week – Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan in Flight, Peat Ponds, Fairbanks, Alaska

While a little smaller than it’s Trumpeter Swan cousin, the Tundra Swan is a big bird, weighing in at just under 14 pounds. They are truly lovely in flight. The “ski jump” shape to the bill, as opposed to the Trumpeter’s wedge-shape, as well as the yellow patch at the corner of the eye, distinguish Tundras from Trumpeters. The size difference is difficult to judge unless you have both species, side by side, in the field. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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Primary Post Mortem

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Alaska’s primary election night is over, but the election itself is not quite done. About 14,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted, and the final results will not be known for days. That said, it will be a tough hill to climb for the passage of Ballot Measure 1, which would reinstate the ACES oil tax system put in place by former Governor Sarah Palin and a bipartisan coalition in the Alaska legislature. Sean Parnell, former ConocoPhillips lawyer and lobbyist, and Palin’s former Lt. Governor dismantled ACES with Senate Bill 21 which would give billions from Alaska’s treasury to the…

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