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May 16, 2021

Parnell’s War on Education

Our governor gave his State of the Colony speech this week. In it, he tied “school reform” (by which he apparently means amending the Alaska Constitution to allow spending public money on private and religious schools) to raising the state’s contribution to each student’s education. I guess taking hostages is now Standard Operating Procedure for Republican elected officials. And even if those of us who like our constitution just the way it is were to acquiesce, Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposed “increase” in education funding wouldn’t come close to replacing what schools have lost to inflation in just the last three…

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Heeeere’s the Kickoff! Let the Session Begin!

They’re back! Those wacky kids at Alaska Robotics are in Juneau to call the legislative session play by play. Grab a bag of peanuts and a beer, and enjoy. Also, be sure to “like” Alaska Robotics on Facebook! And mind the drones!

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Quotes of the Week – A Sixpack

Oh no they di’int! It’s been quite a week for the gum-flappers, the yammerers, and the makers of opinion – some good, some bad, and some that make you just want to slam you head on the desk until they go away. Let’s dig in. Sarah Palin on Race What better way to start the week in which we celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. than with a little race baiting from our ex-half governor? Not sure if judging someone by the content of their character is really where she wants to go. Rush Limbaugh on Chris Christie…

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Bill Seeks to Silence Constituents (My Testimony)

Saturday at 9:00 am, members of the public stood in long lines to sign up to testify at the Loussac Library. It was the first public meeting of the year for the Anchorage Legislative Caucus. The meeting was called so the legislators could hear from their constituents before they headed off to Juneau in two weeks for the start of the legislative session. It was clear that the main issue on the minds of the majority of the approximately 150 people who showed up, was education. Teachers, parents, students from the Service High Seminar Program, professors, doctors and other members…

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Good Tidings & Great Pain – Ch. 6, Christmas Future

We all know someone who does it. We may even have been guilty of it ourselves. I call it the “I had a dream” speech. It usually goes something like this: Oh my God! I had the weirdest dream last night. It was so freaky, but it felt really real. I was wearing roller-skates, and I was trying to skate down the hall of the place I used to work, but the carpet was really thick so I couldn’t, and then my mom showed up, but she wasn’t really my mom… and she was only wearing underwear, and speaking some…

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Good Tidings & Great Pain – Ch. 5, You are Bad

It’s still Christmas. 9 Ladies Dancing Day. I still have a few days to finish blogging Sarah Palin’s book. I took a little intermission, but the 12 drummers loom, and it’s time to git ‘er done. The title of Chapter 5  is “Bad News, Good News.” The last three words are unnecessary. The chapter begins with an inspirational quote. “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr. This particular quote is taken from his famous “I have a dream” speech in 1963. Because when Dr….

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AK Teens Rate Credibility of Famous Figures

A group of Anchorage high school juniors in an advanced placement class were asked to do the following in class: Analyze the following list of famous figures. Rank them from 1 on down based on their credibility. Remember to weigh honesty, wisdom, and credibility equally. Margaret Thatcher Martin Luther King, Jr. Sarah Palin Hillary Clinton Bill Gates Sandra Day O’Connor Martha Stewart Thomas Jefferson Lady Ga Ga George W. Bush Barack Obama Anthony Weiner After each student had compiled his or her personal list ranking, they were asked to come together as a class, and present one list that they…

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Walker/Wielechowski – Right for Alaska

We like Sen. Hollis French, and respect him. He’s been an outstanding legislator. We think he’d make a good governor, and have donated to and voted for him in the past. Our issue with the senator’s contemplation of another gubernatorial run is not the candidate, but the fact that the candidate cannot and will not be elected governor. The problem is math. Sen. French retained his own state senate seat in his newly drawn district by the skin of his teeth. The statewide political terrain is far less friendly to him than West Anchorage. The far right made French the…

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Mudflats Chats: Paul Begala on Pebble & Democrats

I sat down with Presidential adviser Paul Begala, and asked him his thoughts about the proposed Pebble Mine project, Senator Mark Begich, blue lawmakers in red states, and what it really means to be a Democrat. One of the lead advisers to President Clinton, Begala and James Carville shaped a moderate campaign agenda that focused on balancing the budget and creating 22 million new jobs. I’d been told that Begala is an avid hunter and fisherman, and has been fishing near Bristol Bay. So, I knew where I wanted our conversation to begin – with an issue that is of…

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1 Simple Act You Can Do to Save Alaska

On this day when even the most ardent curmudgeon can’t help but feel a little patriotic stirring, even if it’s only for what has been… or what might yet be, you have something to do, Alaskans. Santa says. And so does this guy.   Yes, I am talking to YOU. NOW. This is the last week to sign the petition to repeal the most devastating legislation Alaska has ever seen – Senate Bill 21 (SB21). You don’t have to think of him as Uncle Sam. He can be Uncle Jay (Hammond), or Uncle Wally (Hickel), or Uncle Bob (Bartlett), or…

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