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September 22, 2021

The Bible, False Prophets and Pete Kelly

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate this day. Polls show Alaska is one of the least religious states in the nation. That’s probably true for organized religion but I suspect most Alaskans are pretty spiritual people. It’s hard not to stand at the top of a mountain, in the middle of the wilderness or at the base of a glacier in Alaska and not believe in some higher force. When Sunday morning rolls around and my partner says, “You wanna go to church?” I will be on the boat halibut fishing pretty soon. If I were to generalize, I’d…

Are We All In This Together?

An email from a reader this week asked me to remind Alaskans, and myself, to “appeal to the better angels of our nature.” I’ve been rolling around that phrase, “better angels,” for days. It was first used by Shakespeare in his play, “Othello,” later by Charles Dickens in his novel “Barnaby Ridge,” and still later by President Abraham Lincoln in his inaugural address. (His secretary of state, William Seward, added it to the draft. Yes, our Seward, the guy who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia.) With Alaska news outlets reporting daily on the fiscal crisis facing our state,…

We’ve got the Legislature we deserve

Want to know what’s really wrong with the Alaska Legislature? The voters who sent this crew into office. For a long time I have thought the citizen legislature is a really quaint and fine representation of who we are as everyday Alaskans. If that is the case, we are in more trouble than we think. I hope to heaven that our populus is in better shape than who we have representing us. This week there was a giant surprise to the very lawmakers who voted for that hideous oil legislation known as SB 21. Shock, I tell ya, shock! What?…

Shannyn Moore: Republicans Go From Clown Car to Carnival Freak Show

Reprinted from Alaska Dispatch News I need a serenity prayer to recite before these presidential candidate debates. “God grant me the serenity to accept that politics in my country is now about spray tans, small hands, penises, outspoken racism and how the will of the people can be thwarted come convention time.” (Apologies to Reinhold Niebuhr.) Yes, I’m talking about you, Republicans. The Democratic debates have been relatively boring, what with all that talk about economic and foreign policy, but you Republicans are awesome entertainment, better than a carnival freak show. Chris Christie, the bridge saboteur and failed presidential candidate, joined…

Quiet, 26 Years After the Spill

Several years ago Shannyn Moore, Jeanne Devon and I went out to Prince William Sound [read the post from Jeanne Devon] on an assignment from BBC World Service. We were sent for the odd request that could only come from a international news agency like the BBC… gather sound. They didn’t need video, or pictures, just sound. BBC had certainly been there before and had much in their catalogue to make it sound like their reporter was in Alaska – but they were looking for sound from right then. It was July 4th weekend so instead of BBQ and beer the…

Coffey Tape Reveals Illegal Donations (AUDIO)

The following is a press release from Michigan public radio reporter, and former Anchorage radio personality Aaron Selbig. The audio tape is the subject of this week’s Alaska Dispatch News, and Mudflats column by Shannyn Moore. Her commentary can be found HERE. *** The audiotape of former Anchorage Assembly members Dan Coffey and Bill Starr discussing illegal campaign contributions first aired February 26, 2008 on the Aaron Selbig Show on KUDO 1080AM. It was later replayed by KUDO hosts Camille Conte and Shannyn Moore. The tape came to Selbig after it was recorded on the home answering machine of former…

Coffey Spilled the Beans Long Ago

Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey has a problem — a big problem. I’m not sure if it’s a medical issue that has affected his memory of events over the last decade or so, or if it’s just way easier for him to pretend some of the things he’s done or said didn’t happen. Shall we climb into the not-so-way-back machine? Oh, it was an exciting time, and I was in the middle of it. We’re only going back to 2008 — for now. There was this wonderful character named Alan Tesche. He was an assemblyman and used to get on…

Gasline Secrets as Parnell Exits

Alaskans know about airplanes and flying. No other state’s residents fly as much as we do. So we know every plane really ought to have two wings. Same with birds. There are no halibut-style birds, with two wings on one side of their bodies. I find government works best with matching wings, one on the left, one on the right. For the last few years, we’ve been trying to fly the Spirit of Alaska with two right wings. As a result, our captain, co-pilot and the rest of the crew never really got us off the ground. They didn’t kill…

Oil Companies Deceive and Divide Us

I listened to a public radio story this week about Anchorage neighbors and their sign war. They are friends who trade snow plowing for boat storage space, but can’t talk about the most important vote for Alaskans in my lifetime. Instead they keep making their signs taller and bigger. Another woman had her “Yes on One” sign burned in her yard and a “No” one put beside it. I have friends who are on their fifth “Yes” sign because they keep disappearing. That’s what millions of dollars have bought, and brought to our state. Sign wars – millions of dollars…

Five Things Alaskans Can Agree on. Maybe.

I was thinking of writing about less controversial things this week… you know, like fish allocation wars or immigration. I’m never sure what’s going to throw people down a rabbit hole of rage, so I’ve decided to focus on a Top 5 list that I would hope we Alaskans could all get in agreement with. First — If it’s illegal to have five cars stacked behind your motor home pulling a skiff full of four-wheelers, why don’t I ever see that guy pulled over by the red and blue lights? I don’t know how many times I’ve driven the New Seward…