The Lyin’, the Witch and the Wardrobe – An Alaskan Tale.

26 10 2008

Sarah Palin has “fairy tale” written all over her.  From her humble beginnings to her humble middlings, to her swift Cinderella rise to fame as Alaska’s first female governor.  And now to the surreal celestial realm of national celebrity, riding around in her pumpkin coach with her glass stilleto-heeled slippers trying to be the second-most important person in the land!  I had almost convinced myself that this was the Palin metaphor, except for the one glaring problem.  Cinderella was nice.  Cinderella was humble, and sweet.  She loved the little creatures.  She sang like an angel.  Cinderella was not a diva, or a pitbull, or a hockey mom.  Not even close.  And she didn’t shoot the little creatures for fun.

The quest for the perfect Palin metaphor fell stagnant, until coffee the other day with a couple friends.  We were talking about how Barack Obama truly represents the American dream, but Palin is nothing but a fairy tale.  Quest for metaphor woke up again. “There has GOT to be a perfect metaphor for Sarah Palin,” I kept thinking.  What are her features…She’s beautiful, she’s seductive, she’s not what she appears to be, she sucks people in, she has an agenda that people don’t realize, she has no qualms about throwing people under the bus if it suits her, she’s manipulative, she has a lust for power, she is the center of her world……lights flashing, buzzers buzzing, whirring machine noises……..DING!  A small index card is ejected from the metaphor machine. 

“Sarah Palin, Queen of Narnia”.  Remember the White Witch?  Well…everyone else called her the White Witch, but she called herself the Queen.   Now close your eyes, and imagine…  After struggling through the world of Alaska political corruption, we suddenly find ourselves out in the fresh air, standing by a lamp post, in a strange new place.  We see a sleigh silently moving across the snow. Everything is glittering, and we can see our breath.   It’s been snowing for a long, long time.  The sleigh is pulled by six pure white caribou, (or polar bears…take your pick).  There is the silver tinkling of little bells as the sleigh approaches, and we see sitting there, wrapped in the furs, and clad in something fabulous from Nieman Marcus, is the White Witch.  Stunningly beautiful, icy cold, smiling.

She sizes us up.  She smiles, a radiant glossy, tattooed lip-liner smile.  She winks.  We feel warm and reassured.  She scoots over and pats the white furs on the seat, and we climb in.  We’re special, she tells us.  She’s here to serve us, to help us, to get ‘er done.  She knows what we want.  Even though she’s wearing a $3000 polar bear fur jacket and $400 designer snow boots, under all that, she’s really just like us.  Are we cold?, she asks.  We are offered hot cocoa.  “Thank you”, we say, “That cocoa is just like a breath of fresh air!” ” The last guy that asked us into a sleigh, kind of beat us around a little bit”, we confide.  “He told us we could trust him, but he was a bad bad man.” 

The White Witch bites her lip a little, in sympathy, smooths our hair, and tells us the bad man is gone forever…she saw to that.  He’ll never come back.  She even sold his sleigh on Ebay so we wouldn’t have to think about him any more.  We smile, and start to feel a little sleepy.

You seem so cold, she purrs.  Is there anything I can do for you?  “How about some Turkish Delight?” we timidly suggest…hardly daring to hope.  Her eyes twinkle…”I’ve got something even better.”  A beautiful tin box appears out of the snow.  She reaches down and gently takes up the box.  She sets it  in our lap, with a look that tells us it’s something special.  We coax the top off the box and peer inside….It can’t be!  It’s a check for $1200!  “That will keep you warm this winter, won’t it?” she smiles.  “Thank you!” we say.  “My family of four will be so grateful!”

“Family of four?  Well, gosh, why didn’t you say so?”  Three more $1200 checks suddenly materialize in the box.  We are speechless.  We kiss her cold white manicured hand.  She pats our head, and puts her hand back in the wolf fur muff.  “I killed it myself,” she confesses with a smile and a coy downward glance.  “Now, off you go!” We climb reluctantly out of the sleigh. “I ask only one thing.  Do you see up there between those two mountains?  Right past the big strip mall? That’s where I live.  The castle with the float plane out front, and the windows that look just like the ones in the sports complex next door.  And there’s my church over there.  And there is where I work.  All I ask is that you never ever come there, do you understand?  Do not ask any questions, do not use the freedom of information act, and do not question what I do in any of those places, am I making myself clear?”  Suddenly, her eyes flash.  We’re not sure we like it.  It makes us feel a little uncomfortable.

She tucks the four checks in our breast pocket and pats them.  She kisses our forehead.  We feel all warm and gooey inside.  “OK,” we hear ourselves saying.  We won’t do any of those things….Bye!”  We wave wistfully, ” Will I see you again?”  She turns around and winks as the sleigh moves silently on.  As we give one last look, and as the hot cocoa starts to wear off, we make out something on the back of the sleigh.  It’s….it’s people, but they are all grey and frozen like stone and stacked up in a little pile like cord wood. Like someone used a magic staff of evil to rob them of life and soul… Who are they? If we didn’t know better we’d guess it was our Commissioner of Public Safety, a State Trooper, and 3 or 4 members of the Narnian Legislature! Is it?  Should we tell someone? ….Nah….that’s crazy.  It couldn’t be.  She’s so wonderful!  And besides, we need to run to the bank.

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Energy Emergency in Rural Alaska.

26 10 2008

The Alaska Federation of Natives on Saturday called on the state and federal governments to declare an energy emergency in rural Alaska, and to cap the price of heating oil and gasoline in villages across the state. 

Palin spokesman Bill McAllister said the governor will continue appointing Natives to state posts.

Some village residents pay twice as much as city dwellers for heating oil and gasoline, and rural delegates meeting for their annual convention in Anchorage voted to ask the government to pay the difference.

That should last until low-cost, alternative energy projects are up and running in rural Alaska, said Loretta Bullard, president of Kawerak Inc., a Native nonprofit operating in the Bering Strait region.

AFN delegates also demanded that Gov. Sarah Palin appoint more Natives to influential state posts and commissions, saying Natives have “suffered from inattention.”

“It was an extreme struggle to get an Alaska Native on the Board of Game,” Timothy Andrew, chairman of the Native village corporation in Marshall, told the crowd.

At her recorded announcement to the AFN convention on Thursday, Palin announced that she was creating a new sub-cabinet to deal with energy issues, and the related migration of rural dwellers into Alaska’s urban areas. Energy costs in rural areas can be as much as 40% of a family’s household budget, and many family’s are being forced to reluctantly relocate so they can afford to stay warm.   Heading up this new sub-cabinet will be Attorney General Talis Colberg.  And no, he is not Native.

Talis Colberg, you’ll remember is the Alaska Attorney General who was the subject of a petition submitted to Palin’s office last month, and a whopping giant protest rally – the biggest in state history.  More than 1200 “Alaskans for Truth”  signed a petition demanding the removal of Colberg from office for advising state employees to ignore legislative subpoenas.  What did the governor think of this loud and clear statement from her constituents?  Apparently not much, since Colberg just got this shiny new appointment.  I’m guessing he’s not fearing for his job.  I think Alaskans can confidently say we’ve been roundly ignored.

Back to Native issues.  Try to follow this very Palinesque thread of non-logic.  Natives say she doesn’t appoint Natives.  She says she will continue to appoint Natives.  And then she creates a sub-cabinet to deal with Native issues, headed up by a non-Native.  I have to believe that Alaskans are catching on to this.

So what will Palin do now?  Rural Alaskan families are facing a crisis this winter.  According to Senator Lisa Murkowski, fuel is being rationed, and prices are prohibitive.  Palin has been asked by her constituents to help.  So will she allow families in rural Alaska to go through a life-threatening winter without adequate heat?  Or will she be one of those dreaded socialists that she is constantly vilifying on the campaign trail? 

 

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Will the Real Rogue Please Stand Up?

26 10 2008

I’m sorry…(sticking finger in ear and wiggling)…I’m afraid I didn’t hear you properly McCain aide.  You were saying something about someone in Alaska being “rogue”.  You MUST mean Sarah Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten, or former Commissioner of Public Safety, Walt Monegan.

Don’t you remember when our governor and her mouthpieces told the whole country they were “rogue”?  Yeah, I know…pretty serious stuff that “rogue” talk.  Pretty scary.  Ask any cop on the force.  Being called a “rogue” is fightin’ words.  Yup…   I even looked it up in the dictionary when Governor Palin used that  word. Where’s that definition….ah!  Here it is:

  1. Vicious and solitary. Used of an animal, especially an elephant.
  2. Large, destructive, and anomalous or unpredictable: a rogue wave; a rogue tornado.
  3. Operating outside normal or desirable controls: “How could a single rogue trader bring down an otherwise profitable and well-regarded institution?” (Saul Hansell).

So who was this person who went “rogue” according to a McCain aide?  In a delicious twist of irony, it’s the Governor herself.  And while the wonderful poetic metaphor of the Republican VP nominee being compared to a vicious elephant is not lost on anyone, I think it’s definition #2 and #3 we’re looking at here.

With 10 days until Election Day, long-brewing tensions between GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin and key aides to Sen. John McCain have become so intense, they are spilling out in public, sources say.

Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin “going rogue.” [insert crazy elephant noises here – AKM]

A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to “bust free” of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.

McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls — recorded messages often used to attack a candidate’s opponent — “irritating” even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign’s decision to pull out of Michigan.

A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.

“Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”

A Palin associate defended her, saying that she is “not good at process questions” and that her comments on Michigan and the robocalls were answers to process questions.

Process questions?  What are “process questions”?  Another quick Google search will answer that. [time passes]  Google doesn’t know what a ‘process question’ is either!  But apparently, whatever it is, it makes the rogue elephant go all crazy.

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