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May 18, 2021

Exxon Valdez – Lessons Learned & Lost

In recognition of today’s 25-year anniversary of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (March 24), this seems a good time to reflect on lessons learned, and lessons lost. 1. Oil spill “cleanup” is a myth: Once oil has spilled, the battle is lost — it is impossible to effectively contain, recover, and cleanup. Exxon spent more than $2 billion trying to clean up its Alaska spill, but recovered less than 7 percent. BP spent $14 billiontrying to clean up its 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, and although they collected some at the wellhead, burned and dispersed some (with toxic chemicals), it recovered only 3 percent from the sea…

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Sullivan Website Screw-Up Quotes Ron Paul

Carpetbagging Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan (OH->DC->AK) is running against incumbent Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) this fall. When serious and professional candidates run for office, they usually hire someone to develop a website for their candidacy. And in the course of developing the design of the website, there’s often something that says this: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum…

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White Power, Blue Uniform

“Black people are so disgusting.” When gawking in horror at the internet’s racist underbelly during a bout with insomnia, one comes across jarring pronouncements like that one.  The comment was one among a long list of similar sentiments under a Facebook meme denouncing biracial relationships. “Who says something like that in the year 2014?” I wondered while clicking through to the commenter’s profile. Well, it turns out US Army Police Officer (!) Troy Roberts of Ft. Stewart, Georgia does. He’s a big fan of a Facebook page called American White History Month, publisher of the now-removed meme. Roberts’ stated employer…

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Palin’s ‘Mazin’ ‘Murrika!

“Git red, wiiiiiiild, and blue, Merrika!” Thus spake the cartoon of a parody of a cartoon that used to be Alaska’s half-term governor, and the Vice Presidential nominee on the Republican Party ticket. Once, as much as Alaskans were horrified by it, the rest of the nation stood in awe watching the sparkly, mavericky mother of five take her place in the klieg lights, delivering a powerhouse speech that turned her into a household name overnight. She was, for a few hours, America’s new kickass sweetheart and future first female Vice President. She roared onto the stage and breathed life…

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Palin’s Going “Rogue” TV

I know what you’re thinking when you make your daily pilgrimage to Sarah Palin’s Facebook page. You stare at your screen with a Crunch Wrap Supreme and Diet Redbull clicking “refresh” compulsively, waiting to be the first to capture the lustrous pearls of wisdom that fall like glistening acid raindrops from the unhinged jaw of the former half governor. You think to yourself, “If only I could capture this experience on video!” Seeing a picture of word salad just isn’t the same as being able to watch and listen. Printed words don’t deliver the jutting jaw, the pursed lips, that…

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Miller Time: My Sunday With Joe

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand? —Jimi Hendrix FAIRBANKS, AK — All three Republican US Senate candidates—Dan Sullivan, Joe Miller and Mead Treadwell—attended the Tea Party-ish Day of Resistance event in Wasilla last Sunday. But only one, Joe Miller, then braved the cold of the interior to attend the rally in Fairbanks. It appears Sullivan and Treadwell would like to peel off a few of the conservative and libertarian activists who are Miller’s base, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them into having to head north. It was just as well, as candidates of tony…

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LGBT Hero of the Day!

Hats off to Alaska Airlines President and CEO Bradley Tilden who sent this letter today to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. It speaks for itself.

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AK Wants Equality. Bigots Want Cash.

Bigots don’t like being called bigots, and they’re not pleased with the idea of equality if it applies to people who are different than them. But if you open your wallets, the world might still be saved. On Monday, Alaska Senate Minority leader Hollis French (D-Anchorage) introduced a resolution that would eliminate Alaska’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. As a straight, married man who already enjoys those legal benefits, he could have sat this one out, but to his credit he made the decision to support those who only wish to enjoy the rights he does. “I believe that we…

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John Oliver Mocks Ubertarians

Whenever the smug and privileged gather to congratulate themselves, as they did in San Francisco this week, it’s always fun to see the hired court jester’s barbs land a bit close to home. A few White House Correspondents’ Dinners ago, Stephen Colbert’s tour de force in causing audience discomfort became legendary along these lines. And so it was Monday night in the epicenter of tech industry wealth and one-percentiness. Pointing out the unlikely feat of gentrifying what had already been a ridiculously expensive city to begin with, Oliver reminded the well-heeled digerati at Tech Crunch’s “Crunchies” awards that they’re no…

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Shell Suspends Arctic Drilling, Begich Responds.

This morning Shell announced that it will not drill offshore in the Alaskan Arctic this year. The announcement comes after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal agency in charge of issuing permits for offshore drilling in the U.S. intentionally downplayed the risks and impacts associated with drilling in the remote and vulnerable Chukchi Sea ecosystem off the northern coast of Alaska. The court ruled that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) failed to conduct adequate impact assessments before issuing permission to drill. According to the findings of the court, the BOEM “based its decision on inadequate…

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