Category Archives: Alaska

Animal’s Daily Local Level News

Alaska’s state flower – the Forget-Me-Not.

Before we get started, check out the conclusion of my latest fiction series over at Glibertarians – and next Monday, a new series begins.

Now then:  This is one of the reasons I’ve always said that the best government is that which is closest to the people:  Mat-Su school board bans transgender girls from school-sponsored girls teams and sports. Excerpt:

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School Board held a second reading of a proposal Wednesday night, banning transgender girls from school-sponsored girls extracurricular and co-curricular activities in the district.

The proposal — Board Policy 6145 — was initially introduced at a school board meeting on June 1, where it received overwhelming support among the board members.

However, a large portion of those who provided public testimony spoke out against the policy, saying it would open the district up to potential lawsuits.

After public comment had concluded, every board member voted in favor of passing it — a 6-1 tally — except for member Dwight Probasco, the lone vote in opposition.

The board states that there are significant biological and physiological differences between males and females including strength, speed and endurance capabilities, giving males a competitive advantage.

“I would like to thank the board for bringing forth this fairness in sports bill,” Rhonda Witt said. “I think it’s very important for our girls.”

The one council member who voted in opposition questioned whether this was even an issue in the Mat-Su:

Probasco questioned how many transgender girls are currently competing in sports around the district, and requested a legal opinion on whether the proposed revision to extracurricular and co-curricular activities would interfere with BP 0410 — a Nondiscrimination in District Activities and Programs — which requires activities and programs to “be free from discrimination based on sex… sexual orientation, or any other consideration.”

“I believe strongly that this policy is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist right now so I will not be voting in favor of it,” Probasco said.

He may well be right, but that’s not the point.  This policy is just as fair and effective as pre-emption as in reply.

This, True Believers, is the stuff of which cultural revolutions are made.  Pushing back against the entire biological-boys-competing-as-girls nonsense will best start at the school board level, and work up from there; it’s much more effective than hounding the Imperial City to take some nebulous action that won’t be enforced.  Of course, for this to happen, parents and serious folks have to start paying attention to their local school boards and, when necessary, taking them over in the elections – and gosh, haven’t we been seeing some of that lately?

Let the Mat-Su show the way, folks.  You can call up  your local pols and talk to them.  Try getting an appointment with one of your Senators.  That’s why government should be as close to the people as it can be, as much as possible.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Bacon Time, Pirate’s Cove and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

It looks like the final field for Alaska’s special Congressional election is set:

  1. Sarah Palin       27.5%
  2. Nick Begitch   19.2%
  3. Al Gross             12.6%
  4. Mary Peltola    9.4%

Excerpt:

Republican Sarah Palin maintained her lead over the rest of the field, even as the total percentage of votes she’s corralled shrank slightly, going from 28.19% of all ballots cast on Wednesday to 27.59% Friday. The former Alaska governor leads by over 12,000 votes over her nearest election competitor, Republican candidate Nick Begich, who now holds 19.27% of all ballots.

The latest count by the Division of Elections shows 150,036 ballots counted, up from Wednesday’s count of 134,179, in the race to decide who will finish out the term of the late Rep. Don Young. The 150,036 ballots currently counted represents a 25.55% voter turnout.

Behind Palin and Begich are nonpartisan candidate Al Gross with 12.65% of the vote and Democrat Mary Peltola with 9.44%. The top four vote-getters advance to the Aug. 16 special general election.

Peltola’s lead over Republican Tara Sweeney grew slightly, going from over 4,000 votes to now more than 5,000 — Peltola currently has 14,133 votes to Sweeney’s 8,671.

The Associated Press on Wednesday declared Palin, Begich and Gross would advance. On Friday, AP called the final spot for Peltola.

Now, of course, the whole thing goes over to our new (and ill-advised, if you ask me) “ranked-choice” election process, and I’ll be damned if I can muster a confident prediction as to who will come out on top of that deal.  From my own informal polling (by which I mean, folks I know around the neighborhood and people I’ve talked to in town, and so forth) support for Sarah Palin is pretty strong here in the Mat-Su.  I know Mary Peltola has strong support in the Native communities, and Nick Begitch comes from an old Alaska political family.  He’s a strong Second Amendment guy, which can only help here in the Great Land, but he’s easily tarred with the “GOPe” brush.  Al Gross musters a surprising amount of support, but to my thinking, a guy running “non-partisan” in a state as red as Alaska translates to “Democrat but doesn’t want to say so.”

My ranked choice will probably be exactly the same as the ranking you see above.  As I’ve said before, a first-term Congresscritter can’t really do much, but sending Sarah Palin to the Imperial City will make a lot of leftist heads explode, so it’s worth doing if for no other reason than that.

If I was forced to place a bet right now, the numbers would make me lean pretty strongly towards Mrs. Palin.  But I guess we’ll find out for sure on August 16th.

Animal’s Daily Alaska Politics News

Before we get into today’s topic, check out my latest over at Glibertarians!

Meanwhile, up here in the Great Land, last Saturday was the due date for ballots in Alaska’s special election primary.  This is the election to fill (for a few months) the seat left vacant by the passing of Don Young, who had been Alaska’s sole Representative since I was in high school.

At the moment, it looks like Sarah Palin has the election pretty much in the bag.  Nick Begitch is running a respectable second, with Independent (and by “Independent” mean “a Democrat running in a red state”) is in third.  Democrat Mary Peltola looks to be rounding out the four-position ranked-choice ballot for the general election.  Mind you, that just puts the top four in the mix for the general in August.

At this point, even with the goofy ranked-choice voting that we have here, it sure looks like Mrs. Palin is the best bet to win.  And I hope that goes through.  Why?  Well, I’m a-gonna tell you.

For a while now, I’ve given up any hope that we can salvage much of anything out of the Imperial City.  We have $30 trillion in debt.  Both parties seemed determine to make the money printers go brrrr and spend us into oblivion.  The GOP, granted, is selling us out a little more slowly than the Dems, but only a little.  Equal protection under the law?  That’s now a sad joke.  Our tax system is so horrendous that it takes literal armies of lawyers to sift through and figure out what the hell means what.  I could go on all day, but it all boils down to ‘we’re pretty fucked.’  As one great American once said:  “I got news for you pal – they’re gonna nail us no matter what we do!  So we might as well have a good time.”

So if we can send Sarah Palin to Congress, that will make plenty of liberal heads explode – just like when we sent Donald Trump to the Imperial Mansion.  And that’s worth it right there.  Forget reform, it’s too little too late for that.  At this point all we can hope for is entertainment.  As my kids are fond of saying, it’s worth it just for the lulz.

 

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

As I’ve noted (only yesterday in fact), spring comes late to the Great Land.  But we share a  harbinger of spring with most of the upper tier of the Forty-Eight, that being the return of our robins (Turdus migratorius).

Our robins have only been back for a week or so, and they’ll depart in mid-September, if last year was any gauge.  They’re mostly ground-feeders and depart about the time snow starts to fall.  We had them in our old digs in Colorado, too, but there they were year-round residents.

Here, they are again the sign of spring that they were in the northeast Iowa hills of my youth.  There’s one singing in the top of one of our big birch trees as I write this, and it’s nice to hear him; they have a cheery, pleasant song, and it’s a promise of warm, sunny days ahead.

Now then…

On To the Links!

I live in a free speech zone.  It’s called the United States of America.  Still, good for Georgia.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  The GOP hasn’t exactly been on fire about pursuing corruption.

WH Tacitly Endorses Intimidation of Supreme Court Justices.  I can’t add anything to that.

Biden speaks, a nation groans.  Yeah, with embarrassment.

Well, this wouldn’t be good.

This wouldn’t be good either.

Get woke, go broke.

Oh, rats!

Eleven corrupt speed-trap towns.  What assholes!

Dammit, Bill Maher, stop  making me agree with you!

Human brains were bigger 3,000 years ago.  No television, I’m guessing.

On de-extinction.  Good, I want to go mammoth hunting!

Phrases you never heard before:  “Mouse sperm hook.”

Mob secrets coming to light.

Groomer breakfast cereal?

This Week’s Idiots:

The Nation’s Elie Mystal (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Nation’s Sasha Abramsky is an idiot. 

The Nation’s Joan Walsh (I’m sensing a pattern here) is an idiot.

Vox’s Ian Millhiser is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert)  remains a sawed-off runt, and an idiot.

New York Magazine’s David Klion is an idiot.

USA Today’s Richard Wolf is an idiot.

Vox’s Rebecca Leber (I’m sensing another pattern here) is an idiot.

USA Today’s Jill Lawrence is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Ja’han Jones (I’m sensing yet another pattern here) is an idiot.

Salon’s Chris Hedges is an idiot.

OK, that’s all I can take this week.  I actually do read these, you know.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

In his eponymous 1980 album, Peter Gabriel had a number of good tunes, but one I’ve always found interesting is the song Games Without Frontiers. 

While this song is often described as an ‘anti-war’ song, and it is that, it seems to me to spend more verses poking fun at the whole world of international relations, not only war but also our attempts at diplomacy.

It’s an interesting listen, and the video – well, the video is very Eighties.  Here, check it out:

Animal’s Daily Great Land News

Before we start, check out part II of my latest series over at Glibertarians!

Spring has come to the Great Land in full force, with snow melting all over, landslides blocking roads and ice dams flooding small towns.  But that’s life up here; we’re a lot closer to nature untamed than most of the more-developed Forty-Eight.

Last weekend Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. took a drive up to Denali, just to see how the springtime was looking that far  north.  We hit some light snow around Broad Pass, but  it wasn’t sticking, and the highway remained clear and no more than damp.  It was a pretty drive, but north of Talkeetna there is still a lot of snow on the ground.  If any of you ever visit Alaska, this is a beautiful drive any time of year (although it can be a bit dodgy in winter) but in summer it’s one of the greatest displays of scenery you’ll find anywhere.

What’s really fun to contemplate, and what is hard to wrap your mind around until you’ve been here a while, is the scale of this place.  There are a few places in my old Colorado stomping grounds where you can park your truck and walk for twenty miles before you cut another road.  There are lots and lots of places up here where you can walk for a few hundred miles and never see any signs of humans.  There are places along the Parks Highway where you can walk due west and hit the Bering Strait before you encounter anything built by humans.  Oh, there are some villages out in the bush, but they’re pretty scattered, and it’s a big, big country out there.

And that’s a big part of the appeal.  This is the only place I’ve ever lived where I have never felt hemmed in.

Back to spring arriving.  I’ve been going over fishing tackle.  New line on the reel, checking that I’ve got all the spinners, lures, and so forth that I’ll need.  Last year we didn’t meet the residency requirements; this year we have no such issues.  Let the fishing begin! There are a bunch of salmon, trout and maybe some halibut with my name on ’em.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at the Casa de Animal, and we’ve got some busy weeks ahead.  Snow is still melting, but we’re starting to see patches of actual yard surface.  Getting hit by two major winter storms in February left a lot of snow on the ground even for south-central Alaska, and with the snow’s melting comes a lot of spring cleanup.

We’re also tilling up the garden plot and prepping the greenhouse for sweet corn, potatoes, tomatoes and whatever else we can grow.  Right now, given the current state of national affairs, being as self-sufficient as possible just seems like a good idea.

If possible, True Believers, I suggest you do likewise.

Now then…

On To the Links!

No shit, Sherlock.

Grafters gonna graft.

The New York Post belabors the obvious.

Welcome to the 1970s.

Why humans sleep less than other primates.  Interesting.

I’m not anxious to try Windows 11, and my big main computer is “not compatible,” but if you’re wondering how the roll-out is going, here’s where to find out.

DeSantis on Constitutional Carry in Florida.

Color me skeptical.

Imagine a Darwin Award for an entire state.

Sooner or later this kind of shit is going to explode.

Joe Manchin (D-WV) endorses a Republican.

It took a Carter to bring us a Reagan.

I’m your huckleberry.

This Week’s Idiots:

The Guardian’s Siva Vaidhyanathan is an idiot.

The New Republic’s Daniel Strauss is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Dr. Charles Darwin, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Brian Stelter (Repeat Offender Alert) is a potato, and an idiot.

CNN’s David Zurawik is an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a sawed-off runt, and an idiot.

MSNBC’s C. Miller-Idriss is an idiot.

Biden deserves no respect, Juan, you idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

One of my favorite John Wayne movies for a number of reasons (at least one of which should be obvious) is the 1960 film North to Alaska, which also starred Stewart Granger and featured a great performance by Ernie Kovacs as Frankie Cannon, the slimy antagonist of the piece.  Check out the trailer:

One of the best bits of this film was the soundtrack, led off by Johnny Horton’s song of the same name, North to Alaska.  Here, then, is that song – enjoy!

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Whores and Ale, Bacon Time and Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!  And thanks to our pals at The Daley Gator for the call-out.

Up here in the Great Land, we recently had our GOP state convention.  Sounds like Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka wowed them.  Excerpt:

At the Republican State Convention’s opening breakfast, Tshibaka said that she has visited over 50 communities in Alaska, that she is hearing from people who are tired of feeling like their government is against them, rather than for them. Tshibaka said that Lisa Murkowski, by her votes to confirm 90 percent of President Joe Biden’s nominees, has hurt Alaska families repeatedly. She mentioned Murkowski’s vote to confirm Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was devastating to Alaska.

Tshibaka addressed the millions of dollars Murkowski has in her campaign war chest.

“She cares so much about being popular with the leftist insiders in DC that she votes a large majority of the time with Chuck Schumer and is taking substantial campaign contributions from Big Tech, radical environmentalists, and leftist organizations,” Tshibaka said. “She’s also getting millions of dollars from [Mitch] McConnell and his team of D.C. insiders. I expect Murkowski and her surrogates will use those millions to continue attacking the endorsed Republican in this race … They’ll use it to continue mocking my faith, launching personal attacks, and making up more allegations against me. But they aren’t really attacking me, they’re attacking us and our Alaska values. And fundamentally, McConnell is attacking the decisions our Republican Party has made – to formally censure Sen. Murkowski for all her votes against the interests of Alaska and to officially endorse me as the Republican candidate for Senate,” she said.

I hope she pulls it off – I’d like to see Murkowski gone, and most of the folks I know from around here would like that as well.  The wild card in this whole thing will of course be the new “ranked-choice” voting system.  Nobody (at least, nobody who’s honest about it) really knows how this is all going to shake out.

Hopefully Murkowski won’t pull enough support from Anchorage and Juneau Dems and independents to keep herself in the Senate.

I’m not certain about the “unity” message.  To Dems, “unity” means “Republicans do what we want.”  To Dems, “compromise” means “Republicans do what we want.”  And to Dems, “democracy” means “shut up and do what you’re told, peasants.”  They aren’t really interested in unity.  Kelly Tshibaka may be better off promising to go scorched-earth.

Be that as it may – we’ll see what happens in November.  As for my vote, well, Murkowski isn’t anywhere on the list.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks again and as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

Now then:  Alaska’s special election to replace the late Rep. Don Young is getting crowded, and there was one late entry into the race that is making some eyebrows rise:  Sarah Palin.  Excerpt:

Just one day ahead of what is expected to be a massive memorial service at Anchorage Baptist Temple to honor the late Rep. Don Young — who died earlier this month after 49 years of serving as Alaska’s only representative in the U.S. House — dozens of people filed for office to fill his seat.

It’s expected to be a wild ride with a crowded field. By Friday evening, more than 50 people had filed to run to fill Young’s seat.

Some well-known names on the list include Nick Begich III (R), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), John Coghill (R), Republican Sen. Josh Revak, and Jeff Lowenfels (nonpartisan). Other big-name contenders include Chris Constant (D), and Independent Al Gross, a former orthopedic surgeon who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2020.

Palin announced her decision to enter the race on Friday afternoon on her Facebook page, filing paperwork with the Alaska Division of Elections shortly before the deadline.

In the post, Palin said she plans to “honor” Young’s legacy by adding her name to the race “in the name of service to the state he loved and fought for, because I share that passion for Alaska and the United States of America.”

This is going to be interesting.  Here’s how this special election will work:

The first special election takes place on June 11, a primary. Every candidate’s name will be listed. Voters cast their ballot for one person and the top four candidates move on to the special general election on Aug. 16.

The special primary will be held as vote-by-mail only and will determine the top four names that will be listed in the special general election, which will be a ranked-choice ballot, the first in Alaska.

I’m still skeptical of the whole “ranked-choice” thing, but it was put on the ballot, and the people of Alaska voted for it.  If it turns out to be, as an old Brit friend of mine would put it, a complete dog’s breakfast, I suppose we can vote to get rid of it as well.

Many of these candidates, of course, will end up being also-rans.  If I had to guess as to who will move on to the general, right now I’d probably hazard a guess that it will be Nick Begitch, Sarah Palin and Al Gross – I’m not certain about the fourth.  But we still have a ways to go, and there will probably be plenty of advertising and speechifying before the primary.

And the time when Mrs. Palin swung a big political stick in Alaska has been past for a while.  So I wouldn’t be too shocked if she doesn’t make the cut.

Animal’s Daily Alaskan Representation News

The race is on for Alaska’s at-large House seat, and none other than Sarah Palin has indicated some interest.  Excerpt:

Former Gov. Sarah Palin said today she would love to be the next congressional representative for Alaska — if asked.

Palin, who in 2008 joined the presidential ticket of Sen. John McCain, told Newsmax host Eric Bolling, “If I were asked to serve in the House and take his place I would be humbled and honored … In a heartbeat, I would. We will see how this process goes in filling that seat – it would be an honor.”

The lifelong Alaskan then criticized the Biden administration, focusing on surging in gas prices, “because of their lack of education or purposeful destruction of so many sectors of the economy,” Palin said on Newsmax.

It’s going to be an interesting race, especially since until very recently nobody expected to have one.  Personally I’m kind of leaning towards Nick Begich, even if he is a scion of one of Alaska’s old “machine” political families, but he’s a solid Alaskan, and great on the 2nd Amendment.  Of course, he could scarcely expect to win a statewide election in Alaska otherwise.

Alaska’s a funny state, politically, as we already knew before moving here.  We are still gaining insight on just how different Alaska is from other red states; Alaska is a red state in a “hands-off, leave us the hell alone” sense, which can’t always be said for red states like Alabama, which has a larger proportion of social-issues conservatives.

That’s understandable when you consider the Last Frontier aspect of Alaska.  A lot of folks who live here and who move here do so because they like being left alone.  In conversations with folks hereabouts, that’s the single most prevalent comment you get when talking about government – “leave us the hell alone.”

That attitude will probably be an issue in the upcoming primary.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale, The Other McCain and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Alaska’s sole representative in the House, Rep. Don Young, has died.  Excerpt:

Don Young, the seemingly indestructible politician who was Alaska’s sole congressman for more than three-fourths of his state’s existence, died Friday.

His wife, Anne, was by his side, his office said in statement.

“It’s with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we announce Congressman Don Young, the Dean of the House and revered champion for Alaska, passed away today while traveling home to Alaska to be with the state and people that he loved,” the statement said.

Young, a Republican and the longest-serving member of Congress, lost consciousness on a flight from Los Angeles to Seattle and couldn’t be resuscitated, said Jack Ferguson, a lobbyist who once served as Young’s chief of staff.

“Everyone’s learning about it right at the moment. The phone’s ringing off the hook,” Ferguson said in a phone interview Friday evening. “I’m sad to lose such a good friend, and a person that I’ve known all his political career.”

Young served in Congress since 1973. He was sworn in after winning a special election to replace Democrat Nick Begich, who disappeared on a campaign flight.

Our condolences to Rep. Young and his family.  There’s a point here to be made about the necessity of term limits at the Imperial level, but I’ll make those another day.  Out of respect for Rep. Young’s family, it doesn’t seem right to argue that issue now.  For now I’ll just say that, judging by the number of times Alaskans sent him back to the Imperial City, the residents of the Great Land obviously found him to be a worthy public servant.  And, if your employers find you worthy of staying in your position, well, that’s as good a reference as you need.

RIP, Don.  We’ll take good care of Alaska for you.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.