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April 19, 2014

Bird of the Week – Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear, Eagle Summit, Steese Highway

There is a bird that winters with elephants and giraffes, and summers with us in Alaska. The Northern Wheatear has one of the longest migration routes among the passerines, the small singing birds. The species breeds on rocky slopes like the White Mountains and Brooks Range in Alaska. Once the kids are fledged, it packs up and flies to Africa – yes, southeastern Africa – for the winter. 9,000 miles, each way. The bird weighs just 25 grams. It’s a privilege to photograph them. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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“Russia with Love”: Alaska Gas Scandal is Out-of-Country, Not Out-of-State

FromRussiaWithLove

“Russia with Love”: Alaska Gas Scandal is Out-of-Country, Not Out-of-State (via Desmogblog) Fri, 2014-04-18 10:28Steve Horn A legal controversy — critics would say scandal — has erupted in Alaska’s statehouse over the future of its natural gas bounty. It’s not so much an issue of the gas itself, but who gets to decide how it gets to…

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Putin Snubs Alaska – Not Invasion-Worthy

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You can finally stop scanning the horizon with binoculars from your porch, Alaska. Turns out Vladimir Putin doesn’t want us. At least that’s what he’s claiming in front of the cameras. The Russian President and former KGB agent participated in an annual televised call-in show, where he answered questions from viewers on a wide range of topics. One of those callers asked Putin if he had any plans to “acquire Alaska.” Apparently Vlad does not find the 49th state invasion worthy. “What would you need Alaska for?” Putin asked, reminding viewers that even though Russia had sold off Alaska on the cheap back in…

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God Hates Changepoint & Bieber

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The Westboro Baptist Church is making plans to picket another Anchorage location on its whistle stop Hate Tour of the Last Frontier. Their destination? Changepoint Church. WBC had already announced plans to picket the Alaska Native Heritage Center on the morning of June 1 to voice their distaste about all that unholy Native Heritage and “diversity.” While they’re in the neighborhood, they’re going to stop by Alaska’s #2 mega-church and let ‘em have it for being “lukewarm” about their Christianity. There is only one other mega-church in the city – The Anchorage Baptist Temple – which so far has been passed…

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God Hates Alaska Native Culture Says WBC

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Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas is dead and gone, but the institution of intolerance and hatred is still on the march, and headed to Alaska. WBC has a long history of organizing anti-gay protests, and picketing military and other funerals with crude and offensive signs. Now, Westboro Baptist Church has announced plans to picket the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage on the morning of June 1. Why, you ask? A news release posted on GodHatesFags.com, replete with Bible quotations, states two reasons for protesting the Alaska Heritage Center. “…you make a religion out of…

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Show Me Your Budget

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Show me a political flyer in Alaska and I’ll show you a candidate whose only reason for living is supporting the Permanent Fund and education, and fighting “government waste.” There’s an old saying, “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” This week we got to see what the Republican majority in the Alaska Senate values. Rest assured, their budget, written by Sen. Pete Kelly, does not value birth control for irresponsible women. In fact, amendments to accept millions in federal funds for family planning — to actually reduce abortions —…

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Bird of the Week – Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin

Alaska is at the northerly limit of the range of the Pine Siskin. Even smaller than the Common Redpoll, it’s a member of finch family and a big fan of bird feeders. Pine Siskins are gregarious; you find them commonly in large flocks. The yellow in the primaries and heavily streaked breast, with the buffy wingbars, make this a pretty easy bird to recognize. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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The Floodgates are Open

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This week I listened to one of the right-wing sock puppets yammer on about what a victory for freedom the most recent campaign finance court decision was. Honestly. The guy was more about “free and dumb” than freedom. The court, in yet another 5-4 decision, basically created eBay for elections. What we didn’t need was more stinking money in our election process but the five say otherwise. Freedom of speech is now equated with how much money you have and are willing to spend. Of course, the reverse doesn’t work. You can’t walk into a store and purchase items with…

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Bird of the Week – American Dipper

American Dipper with a Snack

When folks think about birds that winter in Alaska during the long, dark winter, they often forget one species. The American Dipper, a bird that spends a big chunk of its life under water, stays in Alaska all winter. Dippers forage by walking and swimming in shallow, fast streams, catching fish and invertebrates. It survives by staying in the air pockets under river ice, where the temperature is a relatively mild 32 degrees. In the summer, you’ll see the bird along fast-flowing streams, doing its namesake dipping movement. The old name for Dippers was Water Ouzel, a name that calls…

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Palin on Tonight Show – Actually Funny

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Sarah Palin was featured in a skit on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He played Vladimir Putin, and she played herself. And it’s actually really funny. After all she put us through, she owes us a smile every once in a while. Enjoy!

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