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September 27, 2021


Open Thread – Fear (Updated)

I took these pictures last winter when I visited the Museum of the North on the campus of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.  If anyone knows the name of the artist, please post it in the comments because I didn’t get a photo of the name of the piece, or the artist.  I did stand in front of it for a long time.




UPDATE: Thank you to Mudflatter Karen who sent me this photo of the information on this powerful piece.



59 Responses to “Open Thread – Fear (Updated)”
  1. lesa_r says:

    I work for the courts. Judge Postma is an honorable and courageous judge who has unfortunately confronted the wrong people in court system about their bigotry. Now, they are trying to embarrass and humiliate him because he confronted them. This whole situation makes me sick. I hope the voters see through this and retain Judge Postma.

  2. Village Reader says:

    I notice the ad for retaining District Court Judge Richard Postma here on Mudflats, even though he is the only judge to receive a recommendation of ‘NO’ retention by the Alaska Judicial Council. The ad is paid for by friends of Richard Postma.

    I was wondering why the ad is here? AKM, do you know something about him that contradicts the Alaska Judicial Council Recommendation? I’ve found your insight into politics extremely enlightening and would like to know if there is something that we should know before November, since ads don’t seem to pop up on your website without reason.

    The Alaska Judicial Council wrote about Judge Postma….

    ‘The Commission has found probable cause that Judge Postma violated Alaska Law and Alaska’s Code of Judicial Conduct by engaging in inappropriate communications with fellow judges and court staff and by willfully violating confidentiality requirements.’

    ‘The Commission has also found probable cause that Judge Postma’s personal needs take precedence over his judicial duties and require unreasonable accommodations. An independent mental health expert retained by the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct has determined that Judge Postma suffers from a combination of mental health difficulties that is or may become permanent and which render him unable to fulfill the duties of his office.’

    ‘The Alaska Court System, a third independent constitutional body, unsuccessfully attempted to work with Judge Postma to improve the situation. The court decreased the judge’s responsibilities, placed the judge on paid administrative leave, and temporarily assigned the judge to a different venue. These efforts have not been successful in improving Judge Postma’s ability to function as a judge on the Anchorage District Court.’

    ……. ‘ The Alaska Judicial Council concludes that, while performing acceptably on the bench, Judge Postma demonstrated an inability to function appropriately with other judges and court staff and that he did so in a manner that seriously interfered with the performance of his judicial duties, disrupted the functioning of the Anchorage District Court, and makes him unfit to retain his office.’

    I would like to know what others think of Judge Postma. Thank You

    • wasamattau says:

      Village Reader:

      Judge Postma is the vicitm of a witch hunt. The local bar is in an uproar over the judicial council’s “no” recommendation. Two weeks ago, the Anchorage Bar Association voted Postma to be its President for next year.

      If you want more information, you should click his ad or go to Basically, what you will find is that he filed a report about observing court employees discriminate against other employees. The court system accused him of intemperate conduct by reporting discrimination. I have heard at least one court administrator foaming at the mouth, hurling ethnic slurs about Postma, and I have never heard Postma raise his voice except to ask them to stop.

      You should read the pleadings posted on Postma’s website. Basically, it reminds me of how the old East German and Soviet Union labeled dissent as “inappropriate conduct” and dissenters as “mentally ill.” What he is going through is atrocious. He should be retained. I can name a few other judges who should be voted off.

      Just my thoughts,

      Anchorage DA

  3. Karen says:

    The title of the piece is “Be Afraid” by Ken DeRoux, 2005

  4. here_in_PA says:

    I read on the ktuu site that they are livestreaming the debate shortly before 8:30 PM AK time.,0,7822950.story

  5. Saint Roscoe says:

    McAdams should ask Murkowski how independent she’d be if the GOP threatened to take her committee assignments.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors – Murkowski and the GOP leadership are in complete cahoots. They had to pretend to back Miller, but allowed Murkowski to keep her energy and natural resources committee so she could fund raise off of it. Now they release an NRSC attack ad on McAdams and push miller knowing that any McAdams votes shook lose would go to McAdams. If they were serious about helping Miller they would have attacked Murkowski, seeing how she was polling in close second place to Miller afterall.

    It’s all kabuki.

  6. benlomond2 says:

    trying to read all the comments on ADN about Miller’s records release… gave up, but enjoyed the pushback on the Birther Trolls that’s going on, and the effort to keep the thread on discussion…lots of attacks on the judge by people who don’t understand (purposely) how judges are appointed in Alaska… after seeing the explaination posted about 10 times, you’d think the trolls would finally give up on it…There’s another debate tonite ??

  7. Baker's Dozen says:

    Some sane election rally pictures. Yes, there’s some tea. No, there’s no Palin or Millstone. Yes, there’s Lisa, just before she spoke to the Fairbanks Curlers. At first I thought, oh she’s gonna get a new ‘do! But then, from my non-curling state, I remembered it didn’t have anything to do with shampoo, brushes or curling irons! 🙂
    Maybe that’s been Palin’s mistake all along and why she seems to know nothing about Breck, Pert, Sauve, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Pantene, or even homemade lye soap.

  8. scout says:

    “AK-Sen, Major Papers Circle the Wagons for Mrs. Ludowskee”,-Major-Papers-Circle-the-Wagons-for-Mrs.-Ludowskee

    LOL – AKM – you ROCK!

  9. Terpsichore says:

    Well, I’ve gone and done it. Sort of. At least I’ve started doing it.

    The other day I was very depressed and feeling like I couldn’t do anything to stop the dreadful tide of whatever might be coming our way in this election, and, well, a little mudlove went a long way.

    Anyhow, I half jokingly said I should start a Think Tank.

    So guess what I’ve done? No really, guess!

    Right now it’s called The Synthesis Group. It’s basically just a blog/gathering place for discussion about what the Tank should be/do, an experiment, as it were. If you are interested in joining the experiment/discussions, the web address is

    In the interest of full disclosure, there is very little there right now of any deep interest.

    The role of Fear in what is happening, and historically what has happened in the past, will no doubt be part of that discussion. As will the use of art to spread messages (fearful or hopeful).

    • Moose Pucky says:

      Good on ya Terpsichore.

      Ya mean the Flats isn’t a think tank?? With all our muck and stuff??

      And don’t forget, anyone can blog on KOS also. It’s a ready-made forum of thinkers across the nation. Just sign up and write your own diary!

      Be checkin’ yours out also, too.

  10. Moose Pucky says:

    Juneau Empire and ADN have both endorsed Mrs. Lidowskee. Seems like the Republican wagons are circling and it isn’t around Joe.

    So let go of those Joe Miller fears and vote Scott McAdams if you want Congress to start serving the American people and not the corporations.

    • Baker's Dozen says:

      But corporations ARE people. Except you can’t throw them in jail. Except they don’t need food. Except they don’t need clothes (and most are exposed as not having any, anyway). Except they have limited liability.

      • thatcrowwoman says:

        and except they wriggle out of their fair share of taxes, also, too.

        • Baker's Dozen says:

          I have decided to get a corporation as my new BFF. It will be great! I’ll leave my spouse home (what has he/she done for me lately?) and we’ll go on a cruise. Maybe I’ll choose BP for my BFF. Then we’d get free fuel for the ship. BP and I can play shuffle board, go swimming, and I’d love to be seen with BP at every port of call. Imagine the publicity! We could dress up for those great cruise dinners and dance the night away.

          Or, if we want to be a little more daring, we could do dinner at the Hilton in San Francisco, go to the theatre in London (BP’s gotta have a great jet!) and then end the evening with a few innocent hijinks–blowing up a few offshore drilling rigs! It’ll be just like Independence day, only the fireworks will be real!

          Now, that’s a BFF you can really party with!

      • jojobo1 says:

        Thats one thing I ake umbrage at.If coporations have the same rights as we do.The CEO or owner should be jailed don’t ya think.If something is done to make it that kind of offense

  11. LoveMydogs says:

    I am thinking of throwing some greenbacks to our local NPR (fundraising week) but I cannot decide whether to do it in the name of DeMented or $P. Any thoughts????

  12. blue_in_AK says:

    That’s one of my very favorite pieces in the Museum of the North. Unfortunately, I don’t recall who the artist is either, but this a great piece of art.

  13. beth says:

    In an older thread, a mudpeep allowed as how they’d seen some ‘irregularities’ at the polling place. A second mudpeep asked if the ‘irregularities’ had been reported. First mudpeep responded with: “I didnâ��t report it because this is the very issue that the Democratic Party is threatening to sue over.”

    The problem with *not* reporting e.a.c.h…a.n.d…e.v.e.r.y incident of voting irregularity is that when a suit *IS* filed, those defending the nutjobbery that’s become de rigueur in AKs voting (and in some of it’s candidates *cough*Miller*cough*) this election, will be able to say, “But there were only [insert very low number: here] complaints; it’s not a big problem…the Democrats are blowing this all out of proportion.”

    I would urge –strongly– each and every person report ANY voting ‘irregularities’ they observe to the workers at the polling station, to the poll worker’s supervisor, to that supervisor’s supervisor, *and* to the Department, Branch, or whatever entity it is that’s in charge of elections in the state. Speak up! One, ten, or two-dozen ‘irregularity’ observations can be put down as anomalous or as ‘crackpot’ complaints; a whole flood of them, cannot.

    If you observe a voting ‘irregularity’, please, Please, Please report it! And if you are with someone, have them report it, too. It takes *all* our voices to keep things on the straight and narrow; *all* our voices to make our Democracy work. beth.

  14. biglake says:

    Third party candidates have favored this system for a long time, since the current process heavily favors the 2 party rule.
    The so-called Australian ballot is a ranked ballot used by the Aussie House. ( As I understand, their Senate uses a slightly different type.) But it’s an elimination system based on how you ranked your ballot.
    Say, for example, you had 3 candidates whose names happen to be Scott, Lease-a and Joe. You’d write 1,2,3 beside their names, indicating which you liked best, next and so on. The last place vote-getter is automatically eliminated, with ‘his’ vote going to the other candidates, based on how the voter had ranked the ballot.
    In our situation, I think I’d vote Scott – 1 ………and leave it at that.

  15. CRFlats says:

    Enjoy your own virtual visit:

    The Museum of the North. Take your time to browse.

  16. mag the mick says:

    I lived on a Strategic Air Command base in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in those days. At the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I saw my dad called up in the middle of the night. He left the house in his flight suit and with a side arm, and was told to go sit in his B-52, which carried activated nuclear weapons and await orders. The next day in class, we were ordered to go down into the crawl space/utility tunnels under the school for a “drill”. The other kids seemed to treat it as a great lark. I broke down and became hysterical, and was ordered to go home with a note that said I was disruptive and a bad influence to the other children. (I was nine years old.) I learned that later, my mother got some sort of official reprimand from the base commander for not having a sufficiently disciplined family. I think of the whole idea of “civil defense” now and still get angry. It was deliberate propaganda spread by the government to delude the population into thinking we’d be safe, so that the military could continue the arms race at full spped. Looking back, I am immensely proud of myself for being disruptive and a bad influence. I had the best reasons in the world to be.

    • Bretta says:

      Powerful story. I am glad you are/were disruptive and a bad influence.

    • leenie17 says:

      May you continue your tradition of being disruptive and a bad influence if it means revealing the truth, and may we all learn from your shining example!

    • Juneaudream says:

      Thank you good sir..for even-then..being able to..connect-the-dots!

    • dreamgirl says:

      I am immensely proud of your 9 years old self.

    • Good for you. And what a horrible way to be treated by the school and the base commander! I dated a guy whose dad was in the Air Force and had something to do with the Strategic Air Command during that time. He told me that there were missle silos all over the mid-west and pointed out how you could tell where they were – circular piece of land with high fences and no trespassing signs. There were some in Kansas that I saw. That scared me more than the drills because I was sure it made us even more of a target. It’s creepy, to me, that after they were disabled, some of them were up for sale and turned into homes. Not some place I would want to live.

    • North of the Range says:

      Very powerful. Your story has affected me a lot. Thank you for sharing it.

    • jojobo1 says:

      Thinking back i agree Mick. I lived and still live in a small village about 30 miles from a major city and I knew that if that city was bombed,or even the smaller one that had a factory that made bullets had been bombed no one would have been left we all would have been gone. I used to have nightmares about the bombs coming.

  17. Sourdough Mullet says:

    I have a question:
    I’ve been wondering for a long time if it’s possible to change the electoral ballot system in this country and allow for “ranking” of candidates. It seems especially pertinent in elections like the current one, as we have so many races nationwide where the prospect of a 3rd-party candidate threatens to win by splitting the (more mainstream) vote. I know it would complicate the ballot counting, but isn’t this done successfully in other places? I can’t imagine that it could be so difficult as to make it impossible. And it sure seems like it would make a lot more sense – I just keep thinking how different the world might be right now if GW Bush hadn’t won by a sliver of a margin that didn’t really want him there in the first place. Anybody care to weigh in…?

    • I’m not sure I see how that would help? A majority is still a majority. And besides, Bush didn’t really win if the votes had been properly counted. I think that’s where we need to fix the system. Voting is different in every state and can even vary throughout a state. How the ballots are handled is the key. Machines are still being used that have proven to be faulty and still provide no paper trail in the even of problems. There just needs to be some new standard set that puts our voting process in the current century. And people still need to be trained and observed if they are working at polling places.

      • Pinwheel says:

        My favorite proposal would be to eliminate the electoral college. Success thru the popular vote is a reflection of popular will.

          • toto says:

            A survey of 800 Alaska voters conducted on January 27-28, 2010 showed 70% overall support for the idea that the President of the United States should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states. Voters were asked “How do you think we should elect the President: Should it be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, or the current electoral college system?”

            By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 66% among Republicans, 78% among Democrats, 70% among Nonpartisan voters, 82% among Alaska Independent Party voters, and 69% among others. By gender, support was 78% among women and 60% among men. By age, support was 68% among 18-29 year olds, 70% among 30-45 year olds, 70% among 46-65 year olds, and 70% for those older than 65.


        • toto says:

          The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

          Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

          Now 2/3rds of the states and voters are ignored — Alaska and 18 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states, and big states like California, Georgia, New York, and Texas. The current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states, and not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution, ensure that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Voter turnout in the “battleground” states has been 67%, while turnout in the “spectator” states was 61%. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

          The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

          The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

          The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

          In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska — 70%, DC — 76%, Delaware –75%, Maine — 77%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 74% , Massachusetts — 73%, Minnesota — 75%, New York — 79%, Washington — 77%, and West Virginia- 81%.

          The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia (3), Maine (4), Michigan (17), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), New Jersey (15), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (11). The bill has been enacted by the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These seven states possess 76 electoral votes — 28% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


      • Sourdough Mullet says:

        Check out ChiCat’s link:

        • physicsmom says:

          Yeah, that’s brilliant. As long as the machines which tally the votes are reliable and can provide a paper trail if needed, this should be a quick way to determine the winner. If these votes were on paper ballots (my preferred methodology given the state of current electronic voting machines), this process would take forever to play out. So, good idea if the infrastructure to support it is there. Thanks.

    • Terpsichore says:

      Yeah, I’m not crazy about our voting system entirely either.

      For example, we’ve got an exciting three-way race here in Florida, and even though Rubio is leading in the polls, it’s by a good 5-8 points less than 50%.

      So that means he can still be elected when less than half the population agrees with his positions, on, say, something like a federal version of the AZ “Papers Please” law. Or overturning Roe v. Wade. Or wasting time trying to repeal all of the Health Care Act rather than just fix the bits that need tweeking.

      My fear is that, if elected, Rubio would follow Repub. party platform in lockstep, even if 51% or more of his constituents directly contacting him about a vote asked him to vote the other way. That’s not a represenative of the people. We are not voting for a party, we are voting for someone we hope will represent our wishes – the party is just a convenient way to group people with similar beliefs.

      But as I said, in this three-way race, Rubio cannot claim that he represents the majority of Floridians’ opinions if he wins with less than 50% of the vote.

    • ChiCat says:

      Instant Runoff Voting!
      This guy put together an interactive example:
      I’ve heard a few states are trying it at the local/state level, but I hav’t heard much about it lately. It certainly can eliminate the “3rd party spoiler candidate” effect. And once everyone can see the support that the 3rd parties are getting when people vote how they want instead of how they feel they have to, we might see some serious changes! I’d be really curious to see how it would work out in Alaska where a number of people are trying to vote against Miller, but may wind up giving him the election because they can’t believe either a Democrat or write in candidate can win.

      • Sourdough Mullet says:

        Thank you for the link, ChiCat! That’s exactly what I was referring to. I didn’t know what it was called, and I didn’t know the AK Republicans had an initiative petition about it in 2002. I’ll have to look up the details of that election to see what happened.
        I think it makes SO much sense. And I’ll bet the idea will have a whole lot more support in light of all the Tea Party candidates threatening to actually win in this year’s elections.

        Worth a look for folks who aren’t familiar:

  18. beth says:

    Powerful! Incredibly so. Thank you, AKM!

    To me, *much* more powerful than an actual US Flag with writings of protest or whatever on it; when I see one of those, my hackles raise and no matter what ‘message’ the piece is trying to convey, it gets completely lost on me. My first, foremost, and *always* reaction to an actual flag as protest art is: That is MY flag, you don’t mess with it!

    As for ‘living those years’, I was not in the US, then. Our school didn’t have drills for ‘nuckler’ attacks, but we did have them for earthquakes….we’d scramble under our desks. Funny thing was: we had earthquakes quite frequently – at least 3 ‘good’ ones and half-a-dozen tad-smaller ones that’d send us all under-desk diving during any school year…and yet we still had monthly earthquake drills to make sure we knew what to do in the event of one. I never could figure that out. beth.

  19. Very powerful, indeed. I remember when I was a child how afraid we were, even living in southwest Kansas, of a nuclear attack. In our Weekly Reader there was a drawing showing how far the devastation would be because missles based in Cuba could reach us. We had drills where we sat in the hallway with our heads covered – like that was going to do any good. (Reminds me of my rabbit who used to hide her head, thinking that if she couldn’t see us then we must not be able to see her.)

    A person still chooses how they live, how they view the world. One can live in fear and be consumed by it, or one can choose to find the things that are good and live with hope. If, as a child, I had really believed things were as bad and dangerous as they said, I’m not sure I would have ever tried to do anything with my life.

    The artist has completely captured that mentality and it’s disturbing that all that fear was coming from people who were in charge of our country for eight years.

    • jimzmum says:

      Pat. I remember those drills. I remember being happy because we would be fine there in the hallway. Our teachers told us we would be.

      I like that piece as well, AKM. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Juneaudream says:

      I ..’lived those years’ in Oregon. I too..chose to move into the answers..and join the fight for good answers, healthy forward moving answers..and..from conversations..from around this world. This bunny..stays wet, muddy and the search for better, healthier tomorrows. 🙂

    • Baker's Dozen says:

      I believed we would all be OK, living here in California, because our teacher said so, too. Which was fine. I mean, what do you tell little kids?
      It was fun, actually, because we got to hide under our desks (no interior hallways) and in case we had advanced warning, we got to go home! Well, we practiced going home, and I had to go to a friend’s house because we lived too far from the school for me to make it home “in time.” (Like that would have mattered.) We had a whole lovely afternoon to play at her house. As far as I was concerned, we could have those Cuba days all the time.
      While hiding under the desk was silly and really made no difference to me, I think it gave the adults the feeling that they were doing everything they could to protect us. And perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.

      • We had some interior hallways, but some had windows onto a courtyard or the playground side of the building. I think the time that someone actually questioned just how safe we would be was when we were in the hallway with all those windows. Maybe that’s why that particular drill still stands out in my memory. And actually, then seeing the film of what would happen in a nuclear attack where things were completely anihilated was enough to give us all nightmares. That and seeing the signs go up showing which building around town had “safe” shelter. Yeah, right.

        I do think that the adults felt the need to do something because it all was so scary. And living in southwest Kansas, it wasn’t a bad idea to have those sirens installed that could warn a whole town – they were used to warn of tornados as well – different signal, I think. Only problem for Garden City was that the one time we had a tornado that did a lot of damage, the sirens didn’t go off. Oh, well – we were prepared, sort of.

  20. OtterQueen says:

    Wow. Now I want to know who the artist is!

    I googled it, and found a few more pics of the piece, with captions like, “I don’t remember who the artist is.”

    Anyway, maybe you could ask the museum. Let us know, if you find out.

  21. megacephalus - berlin says:

    ‘g-d bless amerika’, land of the obese and obtuse! stand beside US and guide US… etc. ad nauseam…

  22. MonaLisa (inCT) says:

    I don’t know who the artist is, but it’s a powerful piece – a comment on the ugly, morning-after reflection of our once great nation, which has become hawkishly safety-pinned into a mat of fear-mongering, threats and justification….

  23. Blooper says:

    Powerful piece. Thanks for sharing!

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