Palin Pardons a Turkey in the Name of “Peace and Harmony.” Let the Slaughter Begin!

20 11 2008

Yet again, my Governor, Sarah Palin has left me speechless. Today, in her home town of Wasilla, she decided to pardon a turkey. To my knowledge, this has not happened before, and I wonder if it might be the only thing left that made her feel “Presidential.”

That aside, she arrived at the turkey farm, with temperatures in the single digits in a short black skirt, and high heels. Then, she stood in the turkey shed, and read her statement.

Within the first 10 seconds I expected a lightning bolt to blow a hole in the roof of the turkey barn and strike her dead, leaving a little black pile of ashes with a pair of stylish glasses frames resting on top. Had I been there in person, they’d have seen me literally dive for cover.

I, Governor Sarah Palin, friend to all creatures great and small…”

(AAAAAAHHHHHH!   I run for it, and dive through the air landing behind a hay bale, face down, covering my head which is filled with horrific images of moose being field dressed, polar bears drowning, wolves being hunted down and shot from helicopters, beluga whales silently disappearing from the waters near my home…..but nothing.  No lightning.  Is anybody up there???  I spit a piece of hay off my tongue.  I look around cautiously.  It seems safe.  Surely, it can’t get any worse than this.)

do hereby deem this fowl creature worthy of pardon for the following reasons…..turkey was almost national bird, bla bla…turkey didn’t even have a trial…bla bla…”finally, whereas Alaska doesn’t even have the death penalty…”

Now, Sarah Palin actually advocates the death penalty, but I figured if the “friend to all creatures great and small” line didn’t get a lightning bolt, we were safe for now.

But the worst was yet to come.  As she took advantage of the media opportunity after the magnanimous pardon, business as usual was going on at the turkey farm.  And it was going on right behind Palin, and on camera.

The following video has had the most graphic parts blurred for the faint of heart. But still, be warned that sensitive individuals and children may wish to avoid this one.

Yes, that’s right.  Sarah Palin actually said the campaign trail was “pretty brutal” while some guy behind her was slitting the throat of a turkey and draining it in the cone of death, right in front of the cameras. Turkey #2 met its demise while the reporter asked what programs in the upcoming budget might be “on the chopping block.”

When asked why she came out to pardon the turkey, Palin responded, “For one, you need a little levity in this job,” and went on to say that it was nice to do something that wasn’t so “heavy-handed politics, that invites criticism. Certainly we’ll probably invite criticism for even doin’ this too.” A correct prediction from our Governor as she stood there on Channel 2 News, with a backdrop of blood-soaked snow and dying birds.

Before you believe that maybe Sarah Palin didn’t know about this, or was horrified when she realized sitting in front of the TV later that night what had happened, remember that when a photographer asked her if she wanted the turkey slaughter as a backdrop, the “friend to all creatures great and small” said, “No worries!”

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I Want a Franken-Mammoth.

20 11 2008

I’m generally not one who likes tinkering with Mother Nature. But living in Alaska brings with it a sense of adventure, and possibility, and the limitless imagination that comes with vast landscapes at your doorstep. Ever since I came to Alaska, I have had a secret fantasy. I want a mammoth. Not personally, but I want Alaska to have a mammoth, or a whole herd of them. I want Jurassic Park, only with herbivores.

In the spirit of this fantasy, I even purchased a clump of mammoth hair that was excavated from the permafrost up by Nome, Alaska, where the old land bridge used to connect this continent to Russia. If Sarah Palin had lived 12,000 years ago, she could have WALKED to Russia from her house.

I bought the clump of hair not to try to create a franken-mammoth in my basement, but just to hold it, and to marvel how much the soft undercoat felt like the musk-ox wool that, in Alaska, is known as qiviut. These creatures got their outerwear from the same place. And unlike cold, hard dinosaur bones, or fossilized impressions of fish in ancient mud, this was the real thing. You could actually know what a mammoth felt like. You knew what color it was. You could see the guard hairs, all crinkly and thick, and the actual sense of a living mammoth was literally within your grasp.

I’ve toyed with fantasies about giving the endangered Siberian tiger a safe place to live in Alaska, and I’ve wondered what would happen if penguins were transplanted here under cover of night, and if they could survive. But the mammoth dream was so much bigger. It was epic.

So when I saw the article in today’s Anchorage Daily News entitled “Regenerating a Mammoth for $10 Million”, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, and my first thought was, “I need another Paypal button.”

Scientists are talking for the first time about the old idea of resurrecting extinct species as if this staple of science fiction is a realistic possibility, saying that a living mammoth could perhaps be regenerated for as little as $10 million.

The same technology could be applied to any other extinct species from which one can obtain hair, horn, hooves, fur or feathers, and which went extinct within the last 60,000 years, the effective age limit for DNA.

Though the stuffed animals in natural history museums are not likely to burst into life again, these old collections are full of items that may contain ancient DNA that can be decoded by the new generation of DNA sequencing machines.

If the genome of an extinct species can be reconstructed, biologists can work out the exact DNA differences with the genome of its nearest living relative. There are talks on how to modify the DNA in an elephant’s egg so that after each round of changes it would progressively resemble the DNA in a mammoth egg. The final-stage egg could then be brought to term in an elephant mother, and mammoths might once again roam the Siberian steppes.

Considering the fact that human hunting was a likely factor in the mammoth’s extinction, it can be argued that we owe them. And while we’re at it, we could pay off our karmic debt to the carrier pigeon, the ivory billed woodpecker, the dodo, and the woolly rhinoceras which also once roamed Alaska.

And while this controversial science offers the possibility of reconstructing a Neanderthal, whose extinction we also had a part in, I’m happy to begin small (or big, depending on how you look at it) with a herd of mammoth taking up residence in ANWR. It might be a great way to keep the area “green” while encouraging tourism and making a ton of money from a renewable resource.

This has definite possibilities.

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Small Victory for Obama in Alaska

20 11 2008
Number of Precincts 438
Precincts Reporting 438 100.0 %
Times Counted 325054/495731 65.6 %
Total Votes 323820

Baldwin and Castle AI 1652 0.51%
Barr and Root LIB 1575 0.49%
McCain and Palin REP 192631 59.49%
Nader and Gonzalez IND 3757 1.16%
Obama and Biden DEM 122485 37.83%
Write-in Votes 1720 0.53%

Obama did not win in Alaska. Polls had him on an average of about 11 points behind in the weeks before the election. Alas, the numbers reflected in the polls turned out to be worse for Obama in the general election. At one point it looked like McCain-Palin took a whopping 65% of the vote.

With all the excitement of the Senatorial race, all anyone could think about was Begich vs. Stevens. First Stevens up, and Begich down. Then separated by 3 votes. Then Begich up and Stevens down. Begich more up. Uh-oh, Stevens gaining. Begich up again. It was dizzying, and everyone’s laser-sharp focus was trained on those returns.

But there’s one small victory that hasn’t been talked about much. After the whopping 90,000 votes that were counted in Alaska after election day, there was a shift in the presidential race. After the final tally, McCain-Palin won by 59.49%. LESS than 60%. And we can even round down to 59%! I’ll take it.

2008 McCain/Palin 59% Obama/Biden 38%

2004 Bush 61 – Kerry 35
2000 Bush 59 – Gore 28

Obama won the hearts of more Alaska voters than any Democrat in recent memory. And McCain-Palin, despite their surface appeal, with the Alaska Governor on the ticket, frankly, didn’t do all that well comparatively. I’m looking forward to 2012. I think we’re headed in the right direction.

Bedtime in Alaska – Blue Light Special and Upcoming Mudstocks!

20 11 2008

To celebrate Alaska’s shift from ultra-red to distinctly plum-colored, now that Ted Stevens has conceded, please enjoy the “Blue Light Special” in the Mudflats Shop to celebrate Alaska’s new shift to blue! As spirits are lifted, prices are lowered! And a special thank you to Mudflatter Lisa who redesigned and organized the shop brilliantly!

And if you’re anywhere near Pittsburgh, PA the “Yes We Did” Mudstock (aka Mudstock III) will be meeting up this Friday, November 21. Check out the link at the forum HERE.

And the Mudstock IV in California date has been set for Sunday, December 4 7. (Please note corrected date!) Interested? Click HERE.

And any Mudpuppies lucky enough to be in our nation’s capitol for this historical innauguration, and want to meet up for Mudstock V in Washington D.C., please check out the thread HERE.

As always, pictures and write-ups are most welcome! Mudstocks I and II were highly successful thanks to Hamlets Mill, Chief Shikago, and all the others who contributed. A wonderful time was had by all. The power of the internet…gotta love it.

And for your open thread of the day, the Night Kitchen is open for business! Actually the “Night Kitchen” is open 24/7 for off-topic posts and conversation. Come on over!
Lila aka Bang Walmart Hussein Palin, Obama Campaign Mudfriend #2, HamletsMill aka Rot Pipeline Palin, LJP aka Revolver Trooper Palin, Eyes Wide Open in Pgh, PA aka Wasilla Resistant Palin

L-R Bec Hussein in Illinois, Shannon (Bec's daughter), Lila Bang-Walmart, Chicago, Lurker Liz, USA Barbie, Joe (no screen name) Big Alaska fan!, Walt (Lurker Liz's husband), Shikago aka Chief Hussein Shikago

Top – Mudstock I in Pittsburgh, Bottom – Mudstock II in Chicago