McCain Endorses Obama’s Energy Plan – A Mathematical Proof.

19 10 2008

Yes, I think I can prove this mathematically.  And it’s not that complicated.  Follow along.

If a = b, and b = c, then a = c.

No one is arguing right?  Next step.  Let’s define our variables.

a = John McCain said that “Sarah Palin knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America.”

b = Palin likes the Obama energy plan, as evidenced by the following press release in the news archives of the State of Alaska’s official website from August 4, 2008, mere weeks before Palin was tapped to be McCain’s running mate.

Palin Pleased with Obama’s Energy Plan
Includes Alaska’s Natural Gas Reserves
August 4, 2008, Fairbanks, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today responded to the energy plan put forward by the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

“I am pleased to see Senator Obama acknowledge the huge potential Alaska’s natural gas reserves represent in terms of clean energy and sound jobs,” Governor Palin said. “The steps taken by the Alaska State Legislature this past week demonstrate that we are ready, willing and able to supply the energy our nation needs.”

In a speech given in Lansing, Michigan, Senator Obama called for the completion of the Alaska natural gas pipeline, stating, “Over the next five years, we should also lease more of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska for oil and gas production. And we should also tap more of our substantial natural gas reserves and work with the Canadian government to finally build the Alaska natural gas pipeline, delivering clean natural gas and creating good jobs in the process.”

Governor Palin also acknowledged the Senator’s proposal to offer $1,000 rebates to those struggling with the high cost of energy.

“We in Alaska feel that crunch and are taking steps to address it right here at home,” Governor Palin said. “This is a tool that must be on the table to buy us time until our long-term energy plans can be put into place. We have already enjoyed the support of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, and it is gratifying to see Senator Obama get on board.”

c = Obama’s energy plan.

If McCain (a) chose Palin in part because of her knowledge on energy, and if Palin (b)  is on board with Obama’s energy plan, then McCain (a) must be on board with Obama’s (c) energy plan.

That was easy.  Next!


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The Palins’ Imperfect Union.

8 10 2008

Sarah Palin has taken her position. She has shown her cards. She has stuck her flag in the ground. She has crossed her arms.

Palin likes the spotlight, she likes power, and she has decided she will do or say anything to get it. That much is obvious to anyone who has been watching her performance over the last week. Many Alaskans have watched, sickened, at Palin’s insinuations, before cheering crowds, that Senator Obama is a terrorist sympathizer. Others, have agreed. She stands in the glow of the lights, soaking up the energy from a crowd, whipped into a frenzy of hatred, engendering comparisons to a Nazi rally or a KKK meeting. Shouts of “Kill him!”, and “Terrorist!” referring to Senator Obama have been picked up on media microphones covering the McCain-Palin roadshow.

Hatred, like an iceberg, leaves 90% of its mass below the surface. The media has not picked up on comments that aren’t screamed at the camera – the conversations in living rooms, the knowing nods, and the dark thoughts that McCain and Palin have given people permission to think.

“He doesn’t think like we do,” she tells us. We love the country. We are patriotic. We are like us. We can’t turn our country over to THEM.

The Republican party has become very good at pointing fingers, both literally, and figuratively, at Obama. Last night, McCain pointed a finger at him during the dabate and referred to him as “that one.” The undercurrents of dehumanization, objectification, and scorn rose to the surface.

Attack Obama on his “lack of patriotism” and his “otherness”, and he’ll spend his time defending it. It’s never good when you have to defend your position. The attacker always has the greater position of power.

Strangely, in light of this new patriotic furor, the following video has not gained much traction in this election. It surfaced some time ago, and I’ve posted it here before, but its worthy of another look. This is a meeting of the Alaskan Independence Party. The speaker is Vice Chairman of the AIP, Dexter Clark. A partial transcript is below. It’s worth watching in full.

The Alaskan Independence Party believes that Alaska may have become a state against its will. Anyone in the party today, is likely there because they think Alaska would do just fine without the rest of the country being attached to it. The image, on most maps, of Alaska detached from the rest of the country in its own little box works for them just fine.

They don’t like the way the statehood vote was worded, and Clark explains why.

The basic argument of the Alaskan Independence Party has always been the number one plank in our platform – the question of our vote to become a state. So…the most blaring disparity in that vote was the definition of an eligible voter. Among those qualified to cast a ballot were 41,000 American soldiers and 36,000 dependents. Now, to the native population of Alaska, to me, these were occupation troops! And they were made eligible and, in fact encouraged to vote. There were educational meetings held on the military bases. I can’t imagine them telling anyone that anything but that statehood would be very good for the military – in fact they still have 6, 7 big bases and numerous smaller holdings in the state. Statehood would be good for the military. Now can you imagine the international uproar if American troops had all went and got their purple fingers in Iraq?

After Clark’s discussion of the American ‘occupying troops’ getting the right to vote on Alaska statehood, he goes on to say that Alaskans should have been able to vote to remain a territory, become a commonwealth, become a state or become an independent nation. In reality, voters were only given the option: Statehood? Yes or No.

Now, we get to the interesting part, just before 6:00 on the video.

“Our current governor, we mentioned at the last conference, the one we were hoping would get elected, Sarah Palin, did get elected. There’s a joke, she’s a pretty good looking gal, there’s a joke goes around we’re the coldest state with the hottest governor. (laughter) And there was a lot of talk about her moving up. She was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town — that was a non-partisan job. But to get along and go along — she eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won’t go into that. She also had about an 80% approval rating, and is pretty well sympathetic to her former membership.

What Clark is saying here, is that Palin’s philosophical loyalties lie with the Alaska Independence Party, but in order to get elected, she had to distance herself from the AIP and pretend to be a Republican, because that was the only way for her to get elected. But not to worry, Clark reassures those in attendance, her heart is still with us at the AIP, and her sympathies are with our agenda, namely, Alaskan ndependence.

He goes on:

If there is ever a time that is right for change, this is it. [snip] The pitfalls of an organized political party – you don’t have any control over who joins that party. They put the X next to it on the registration form, and if they join the — go into the primary, and win that primary, they’re your candidate, like it or not. I think Ron Paul has kind of proven that. He’s a dyed -in-the-wool Libertarian. He came to Alaska and spoke as a Libertarian. And he put the Republican label on to get elected. That’s all there is to it. And any one of your organizations should be using that same tactic to infiltrate.

Palin claims to have been a member of the Republican Party since 1982. Clark is telling us that Palin ‘marked the Republican box”, but she isn’t one. He loves the fact that she got elected. He’s already dreaming about ripping one of those stars off the flag. And though Sarah Palin’s membership is not documented officially, there is no dispute that Todd Palin was a card-carrying member of the AIP as recently as 2002 when his wife was the mayor of Wasilla. After that, he decided to change his registration to “Unaffiliated.”

How does the rest of the country feel about the concept of Alaska secession, especially considering the strategic importance of the oil reserves in Alaska of which Governor Palin is so fond of reminding us? Works well for the nation of Alaska, but not so well for the truncated version of the United States of America it leaves behind.

I don’t think that the Alaskan Independence Party stands much of a chance of getting their wish of an independent Alaska. But, how can we allow Barack Obama’s patriotism and loyalty to his country to be challenged, without ever mentioning the fact that the woman who may be a heartbeat away from the Presidency of the United States, and her husband have legitimately condoned and supported a secessionist group?

And finally, here’s the quote of the day from AIP founder Joe Vogler.

“The fires of Hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government, and I won’t be buried under their damn flag! I’ll be buried in Dawson, and when Alaska is an independent nation, they can bring my bones home.”

Reverend Wright suddenly sounds stunningly patriotic.

Sarah Palin, meanwhile, is saying that the fact that Barack Obama served on the same non-profit board as Bill Ayers a Weather Underground member 40 years ago, “is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” She continued, “This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” Palin said.

Here’s Palin addressing last year’s Alaska Independence Party’s convention.

So, how does Sarah Palin “see Ameirca?” Does she see it as “so imperfect” that one of its 50 states needs to vote on whether it wants to secede from the Union? Should a political party in this state “target its own country,” and if successful, devastate energy reserves, and compromise the national security of the rest of the nation by taking its oil, and leaving? Maybe, maybe not. But you just watched her tell the group whose purpose it is to vote on that issue to “keep up the good work.”

If Senator Obama had made such an address to an Illinois secessionist party, or any other group who wanted to make off with 13% of the nations oil supply, what would be said about his patriotism?

Another Alaska

7 10 2008

We talk an awful lot about Wasilla these days. Americans now know more about the inner-workings of the city council, the library, the police department, and local churches than they ever imagined they would. We also talk a lot about the North Slope of Alaska with its oil fields, and the larger city centers of Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks. But look at a map of Alaska superimposed on a map of the Lower 48. Most of Alaska, which some call the “real Alaska,” is much larger, and much less known that the parts that make the headlines.

For every person who has lived in “the bush,” there is a different story. But universal is the opinion that bush Alaska has some very real problems, that have not been adequately addressed. The remote location of many bush communities makes many aspects of construction and infrastructure difficult. Communities often do without what the rest of us would consider basic neccessities. Health care and education face unbelievable challenges. The rates of domestic violence, rape, and alcohol abuse are alarming. Alaska State Troopers are too few, underpaid, and often underequipped.  Sadly, our previous Commissioner of Public Saftey, Walt Monegan, was on track with a plan to address some of these issues. You’ll recall that he was fired by Sarah Palin, and his termination has become the focus of the “Troopergate” investigation.

Mudflats reader Josh shares the following story.


Sarah Palin has stated in one of her now famous blurbs with Katie Couric that she was excited to debate Joe Biden to talk about energy and ideas. Interesting. Maybe if she had been doing that in her own state for the past two years, we wouldn’t have the Mayor of Anchorage, and the Anchorage School District Superintendent writing her office asking for help with a very real problem.

With growing evidence of an Alaska Native exodus from villages to the city, Mayor Mark Begich and Schools Superintendent Carol Comeau sent a letter to Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday asking her to organize an emergency task force to find ways to stem the migration. Anchorage and the state “cannot stand by and tolerate the deterioration of rural Alaska,” the letter read. (continue)

My wife and I have been teaching and living year-round in bush Alaska for the last four years, and recently moved to Anchorage. We left after trying to make changes in an extremely broken system that has been ignored and overlooked by the state and its officials for far too long. Our jobs were threatened, we had no union to go to, and therefore no recourse. Our issue was targeted at education , but the poor state of education in the bush can be easily attributed to a broader problem of isolation, poverty and lack of oversight that no one at the state level is willing to get a handle on.

Anchorage and the state “cannot stand by and tolerate the deterioration of rural Alaska,” the letter said.

The major problem that my wife and I are running into when we tell people our story is that many believe it is the Alaskan Native’s problem as a federally recognized tribe and therefore is no different than the many cases and issues that exist on the lower 48 reservations. This is not the case. Alaskan Native tribes are not a sovereign nation. There is no legal difference in the villages that exist off the road system in Alaska, and a small rural town in Kansas. The only difference is that if a small rural town in Kansas had overwhelmingly high suicide rates, rape cases, domestic violence issues, no infrastructure, no running water, poor electricity, energy bills that exceed thousands each month and no money or jobs to help cover the costs, someone would do something about it!

We became very close with a family in our village that had a child drown in a stell container of raw sewage. Let me say that again. They had a child drown in a steel container of raw sewage. Their child was simply outside playing and since there is no playground equipment for the kids to play on, they play on anything, often things too dangerous for children. In this case it was something commonly referred to as a “honey bucket.” This is a steel container where house sewage is dumped since there is no indoor plumbing.

Many of the problems that face rural Alaska are not solvable in a day, a month, even years. But, when you have a Governor bragging about her reforming ways, it does make you wonder. Why was she so unable to even start real reform in her own state over a two year period?

So as you watch Sarah Palin talking about energy issues, ask yourself one question: If Sarah Palin is so knowledgeable about energy and has had executive experience, why is the Anchorage Daily News running a story like the one above?

Sarah Palin has been in office for almost two years and managed to sell a plane, is under investigation for an abuse of power, and gave people that do not need it (including people no longer in Alaska) $1,200 rather than funding real energy relief for rural Alaskans. The Washington Post has stated in a recent article that in 2002 through lobbyist ties related to Ted Stevens and Don Young she secured $900,000 in upgrades for Wasilla’s infrastructure. There are still many rural villages today without roads, electricity, indoor plumbing, and some even have their sewage leaking into the water supply. Money is needed, but more importantly, someone that is willing to spend the time to start a conversation.