Bedtime in Alaska – Adventure Thread!

16 11 2008

adventure

OK, Mudpuppies!  Welcome to…..Adventure Thread!  What’ makes tonight’s open thread an Adventure Thread?  It involves a bit of travel!  Don’t worry….it’s not far.  I’ll explain in a moment.

In an attempt to improve the functioning of the blog, we’ll be having the Bedtime Open Threads over on the Forum.  Don’t panic!!  Change is good.  The Forum, if you have not been there, is a big series of rooms, each one designed for a particular type of conversation.  Many Mudflatters have been happily conversing over there for more than a month now.  As a matter of fact there are almost 1400 like-minded Mudpuppies signed up to use the Mudflats Forum right now!

The great thing about the Forum is that our wonderful Forum Administrators Snoskred and Sephyroth are able to build new rooms any time we want!  So the latest one is designed to be….the Bedtime in Alaska Open Thread!  It’ looks a little different than it does here, but it serves the same function. It’s a place where everyone can go to have open discussions.  And it also gives you easy ways to use smileys, and send messages, and all sorts of other fun stuff.  And if you don’t want to use those extra features, you don’t have to.  All up to you.

This blog will remain unchanged.  You can still leave comments after a blog post, and I love it when you do, but the blog functions best when comments are related to the topic of the post.  So, if I’ve posted on ConvicTed Stevens, and you are itching to talk about Joe Lieberman, that’s great….just pop over to the Blog chat at the Forum and post it there.

This is good for many reasons:

  • It’s easier for newcomers to the blog to figure out what’s going on, and easily join in the conversation, because it’s about what they just read. 
  • It also reduces the total number of comments on the blog by transferring some of them over to the Forum.  When hundreds of comments pile up on one post, things start to run very slowly.  Then posters get sad and email me and ask why everything is so slow…
  • I probably won’t be regularly posting 6 or 7 times a day now that things have settled down a little.  Don’t worry, I will still be posting as frequently as I can, but if the number of posts decreases, and the comments stay the same….log jam in the series of tubes, and the reloading time to comment gets longer.  So, it will make it easier on everyone if off-topic posts find their natural home over on the Blog Thread on the Forum.
  • The Forum can handle as many comments as you can dish out!

And best of all, there are friendly people on the other end of the jump who will help you and answer any questions you have. 

So, when you arrive at the Forum, you’ll see a bunch of posts, and you’ll see page numbers for the thread, and you’ll see a reddish-greyish button that says “Reply”.  To read the comments click through the pages, and to reply, click…you guessed it….Reply!

(Once you get used to this basic function, you’ll be able to change your settings to put the most recent post on top! Nice!  And you’ll be able to change your settings to keep you right in the thread after you post, just like here.  You can read all about it in this FAQ sheet from Sephyroth – Click HERE)

So, ready?   One…..two…..three….Click HERE!! 

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Sarah Palin Can Be Damaging to Your Mental Health.

16 11 2008

Does anyone have a sock? A cork? A bar of soap, even? Because Sarah Palin will simply not. stop. talking. And I, for one, am willing to try anything that works. For some reason, her siren song of folksiness, labyrinthine sentence structure and downright refusal to be silenced have come together to generate some kind of perfect media storm.

The seamless ease with which Palin bounces back and forth between seemingly opposite and incompatible statements is mesmerizing….or just plain mind-numbing depending on your perspective. It’s the classic example of what’s known in psychology as the “double bind.”

Examples of a psychological double-bind are the mother who says “I love you”, while simultaneously recoiling from a hug in digust, or the father who says “I’m so proud of you, you didn’t screw up again!” The victims of a double bind get two simultaneous and conflicting messages. The feeling we get when we witness, or are victims of a double-bind is visceral. Our senses are telling us two different things. Our mind is in disharmony. Both our gut and our brain tell us there is something very very wrong.

I present for you a case study – Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, ex-VP candidate and double binder extraordinaire. See if you can pick it out of the following clip. It’s right in the beginning. If you want to keep listening you’ll be treated to a huge non-answer about the bailout of the auto industry, and a big “shout out” to George W. Bush.

It would be my honor to assist and support our new president and the new administration, yes. And I speak for other Republicans, other Republican governors also. They being willing, also, to, again, seize this opportunity that we have to progress this nation together, a united front.

[snip]

Well, I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers. And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That’s an association that still bothers me, and I think it’s still fair to talk about it. [snip] I do not think it’s off-base nor mean spirited nor negative campaigning…

It would be my honor to assist and support a terrorist sympathizer. And I speak for other Republicans when I say that.

So what happens to those who are continuously subjected to the double bind? If it’s coming from parents, or someone in a position of power, or someone from whom you cannot get away, the results can be damaging, especially for children. Fortunately for most of the country, Sarah Palin is not someone who wields power, and she is not their parent or our spouse, and they can get away from her with a click of the remote. So my advice from Alaska to the rest of the country is, grab your children and run. Or just push mute.





Does Stevens Want Begich to Win?

16 11 2008

No matter what happens, we are witnessing the end of Ted Stevens.  Either he loses the election to Mark Begich, or he wins the election and faces expulsion by his peers.  Neither scenario is one he would have chosen, or that Alaskans would ever have believed before his Girdwood home was raided by the FBI in 2006.

I hope that Mark Begich wins this seat for a variety of reasons.  But, I think in the deepest recesses of his soul, Ted Stevens hopes he wins too.  Stevens is a tough nut, but I suspect that the humiliation of being voted out by his Senate colleagues would be a lot tougher on him than losing an election. 

The first official action of the Senate, a meeting in which senators will vote via secret ballot whether to oust Stevens from the Republican conference is scheduled to take place Tuesday morning, before the vote totals are even completed in his home state of Alaska.

Ejection from the Republican conference means losing his committee assignments and his vote on party matters.

Following his felony convictions in federal court before the election, Stevens was forced to step down as the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee and on an Appropriations subcommittee. He now appears in danger of losing his seat to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich

The conference meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday, the day after Congress returns from its elections recess. While the vote is on the agenda for 9:30 a.m., it’s not clear whether it will take place. Many Republican senators say they would rather wait for the final election results so they don’t have to cast an uncomfortable vote on whether Stevens should stay in their conference.

Yes, we wouldn’t want to make them feel “uncomfortable” by voting on a secret ballot to eject a convicted felon from the Republican conference.  For those Republican Senators who may be waffling on this decision, I have seven words for you.  Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, aaannnnnd……guilty.

Whatever comes to pass, it won’t be long before Ted Stevens is packing up his undeclared massage chair, his fish sculpture, his stained glass window, and the rest. His Incredible Hulk collectibles, and the rest of his office will be finding its way to cardboard boxes, and leaving the Senate building after more than 40 years.

It’s a new chapter for Alaska, regardless of the outcome.