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One Man’s Alaska – Wasilla

In tooling around looking for items about the town of Wasilla, I discovered a marvelous blog.  Here’s a look at an entry on the town of Wasilla:

Notes on Wasilla, Alaska

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

With Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin now being Vice President Candidate Palin — and also being the Mayor of Wasilla just two years ago — I thought it might be a good time to share my thoughts on Wasilla. I think I have a relatively unique perspective of having lived 44 years in The Lower 48, and five months in Alaska last summer.

The things that stand out about Wasilla are:

  • As far as I can remember the town has about five traffic signals, maybe 10, tops.
  • Wasilla largely consists of stores and fast-food restaurants along the Highway 3 corridor.
  • The town roughly marks the half-way point between Anchorage and Talkeetna, about one hour’s drive in either direction.
  • Wasilla has a “normal” Lower-48 grocery store (a Fred Meyer, where a 12-pack of Coke cost over $7), and a Wal-Mart.
  • As a tourist, you either close your eyes for a few minutes when you pass through Wasilla and think “Oh yuk, here’s a town”, or you stop at the Tesoro gas station, the grocery store, Wal-Mart, or a fast-food chain.(As a tourist Wasilla is not a town you want to spend any quality time in.)
  • When I was looking for a place to live last summer, some crazy old guy in Wasilla wanted to rent a metal shed to me for $700/month, with the added benefit being that his daughter would live in the metal shed next to me.
  • Read more.

Ellen DeGeneres Tells Sarah Palin Where to Stick It

Ellen has a little something to say to Sarah Palin.

Palin’s $150,000 Makeover, Obama’s Resoled Shoes

It’s been reported that Professor Higgins, er, the RNC has spent $150,000 on clothes and other items in their continued attempt to turn Sarah Palin into a socially acceptable Eliza Doolittle. Meanwhile, this photo of Obama was discovered in a great collection of campaign shots from Callie Shell).

Since taking to the campaign trail a year ago, Obama admits he’s already had them resoled once.  It’s a little thing, but it says volumes about the man.

Meanwhile, $150,000 can’t make a silk purse out of a polar bear’s ear.*

Obama's stumping shoes need a second resoling.

Obama's stumping shoes need a second resoling


*In an ironic twist, Defender’s is trying to raise $150,000 so they can show the ad in battleground states. Does that amount of money ring a bell?!

Science vs Sarah

The borders are slippery between Knowledge and Palintology

SCIENCE

Biologists Note Polar Bear Cannibalism

Andrew C. Revkin: Published: June 13, 2006

www.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/us/13brfs-006.html

“Providing hints that a reduction in coastal sea ice may make life difficult for polar bears, government biologists from Canada and the United States say they observed three instances of cannibalism among polar bears in a three-month stretch in 2004 along Alaskan and Yukon coasts. In the journal Polar Biology, the researchers said that no previous examples had been observed in the region in at least 24 years. Computer simulations project that the Arctic Ocean could become largely free of sea ice later in the century in summers if global warming intensifies.”

Global Warming Pushes Polar Bears To Cannibalism

by Mira Oberman Chicago (AFP): Published  Jun 16, 2006

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Global_Warming_Pushes_Polar_Bears_To_Cannibalism.html

While bears will kill and then eat other bears in fights over territory or females it is extremely rare for them to hunt other bears as prey, Armstrup said. In nearly 40 years of studying polar bears in northern Alaska and Canada, researchers had never observed such behavior.

Agency Proposes to List Polar Bears as Threatened

By Felicity Barringer and Andrew C. Revkin: Published: December 28, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/28/science/28polar.html?_r=1&fta=y&oref=slogin

The International Conservation Union, in its latest red list of endangered wildlife, gave polar bears threatened status in May, projecting a decline of 30 percent by midcentury from current populations, mainly due to projected losses of sea ice in a warming world.

Polar bears are dependent on sea ice as a platform for hunting seals, and as a pathway to coastal areas. The ice shrinkage has meant that polar bears, which are strong swimmers, have had to cover longer distances between ice and land.

They have survived previous Arctic warming periods, including the last warm stretch between ice ages some 130,000 years ago, but some climate experts project that nothing in the species’ history is likely to match the pace and extent of warming and ice retreats projected in this century and beyond, should emissions of heat-trapping gases continue unabated.

SARAH

Palin loves bears

Palin loves bears

Gov. Sarah Palin on polar bears, climate change, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/index.php/csw/details/palin_polarbear_climate_anwr/

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2008

In September 2007 Governor Palin formed the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and charged it with preparing and implementing an Alaska Climate Change Strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and responding to the effects of climate change.  But Palin opposed listing the polar bear as threatened by global warming and loss of sea ice habitat, in spite of the findings of a scientifically based status assessment put together by the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Marine Mammals Management Office in Alaska and the clear requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

“Alaska’s marine mammal scientists agreed last year with federal researchers who concluded polar bears are threatened with extinction because of a shrinking ice cap,” the Anchorage Daily News reported on May 25.  “The state’s in-house dispute seems to refute later statements by Gov. Sarah Palin that a ‘comprehensive review’ of the federal science by state wildlife officials found no reason to support an endangered-species listing for the northern bears.”

SCIENCE

CNN.com/Technology

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/09/23/arctic.ice/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

The best known consequence of disappearing sea ice in the Arctic is the loss of the polar bear habitat.  Learn more about polar bears and their habitat.

“The Arctic sea ice melt is a disaster for the polar bears,” according to Kassie Siegel, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. “They are dependent on the Arctic sea ice for all of their essential behaviors, and as the ice melts and global warming transforms the Arctic, polar bears are starving, drowning, even resorting to cannibalism because they don’t have access to their usual food sources.”

In May, the U.S. Department of Interior listed the polar bear as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. In a news release, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne stated, “loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat. This loss of habitat puts polar bears at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future, the standard established by the ESA for designating a threatened species.”

SARAH

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

By SARAH PALIN

Published: January 5, 2008

Juneau, Alaska

ABOUT the closest most Americans will ever get to a polar bear are those cute, cuddly animated images that smiled at us while dancing around, pitching soft drinks on TV and movie screens this holiday season.

This is unfortunate, because polar bears are magnificent animals, not cartoon characters. They are worthy of our utmost efforts to protect them and their Arctic habitat. But adding polar bears to the nation’s list of endangered species, as some are now proposing, should not be part of those efforts.

Read more here   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/05/opinion/05palin.html

SCIENCE

Gov. Sarah Palin on polar bears, climate change, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/index.php/csw/details/palin_polarbear_climate_anwr/

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2008

In September 2007 Governor Palin formed the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and charged it with preparing and implementing an Alaska Climate Change Strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and responding to the effects of climate change.  But Palin opposed listing the polar bear as threatened by global warming and loss of sea ice habitat, in spite of the findings of a scientifically based status assessment put

Palin endangers wildlife

Palin endangers wildlife

together by the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Marine Mammals Management Office in Alaska and the clear requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

“Alaska’s marine mammal scientists agreed last year with federal researchers who concluded polar bears are threatened with extinction because of a shrinking ice cap,” the Anchorage Daily News reported on May 25.  “The state’s in-house dispute seems to refute later statements by Gov. Sarah Palin that a ‘comprehensive review’ of the federal science by state wildlife officials found no reason to support an endangered-species listing for the northern bears.”

SARAH vs SCIENCE

E-mail reveals state dispute over polar bear listing

POLAR BEAR LISTING: Biologists disagreed with administration.

By TOM KIZZIA

tkizzia@adn.com

Published: May 25th, 2008 01:54 AM

http://www.adn.com/news/environment/story/416432.html

A newly released e-mail from last fall shows that the state’s own biologists were at odds with the Palin administration, which has consistently opposed any new federal protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act….The e-mail was released…to a University of Alaska scientist who had filed a public records request seeking information on the state’s polar bear decision-making.  Rick Steiner, the university Marine Advisory Program professor who obtained the memo, said it undermines the Palin administration’s scientific defense as well as its claims to being an open government….

“Even the petroleum-loving Bush administration couldn’t find a way around the science on this issue,” Steiner said. “This perpetual denial of environmental harm posture is what gives Alaska a very bad image nationally and globally.”

In its final response to Steiner this month, the state generally withheld all substantive in-house comments on the bears, saying these were private policy discussions among executive officials, a category exempt from release under state public records laws.

Why would someone who doesn’t care about the survival of the polar bear wear a pin in it’s image? It may be a coincidence, but the polar bear happens to be the logo for the Alaskan Independence Party.

Palin's pin
Alaska Independence Party

Alaska Independence Party

My Daily Rant – October 17

McCarthy Redux

by the Tall Twin

Okay. I’ve really come to the point where, if this were a manuscript, I would get out my red pen and strike out the plot turns that are just too hard to believe. Instead I must rant. In fact, I have a lot to catch up on, so my daily rant may turn into two or ten rants.

Let’s start with a general statement. Governor Palin announced at a rally that she loved visiting the Pro-America areas of the country. Short of one or two secessionist pockets that have recently come to the attention of the media, can we just agree that all areas of the country are Pro-American. In California, Alaska, Nebraska, Florida, Hawaii, New York, or any other state, our ideas and opinions may vary, but from sea to shining sea, we are Americans. Whether we chug beer or sip Chardonnay…we are Americans.

Nonetheless, on the Chris Matthews show, Hardball, Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota said that she thinks the media should take a probing look at the views of people in Congress to determine who harbors anti-American views. Is the Representative a conservative or a liberal? Doesn’t matter. Where’s the line between acceptable American views and those that are anti-American? Are protestors bad guys? If you work to save a plot of land that has been marked for development, are you anti-American? How about if you march for better job benefits? Smaller cars? To save the polar bears?

If you believe in universal health care, free trade, Buddhism, flat tax, global warming, school vouchers, gay marriage, gas-powered lawn mowers, pro-choice, or evolution does that make you anti-American?

If you’re a hunter, a nurse, a creationist, pro-life, a college professor, a real estate developer, a CEO, a Wiccan, a liberal, a conservative, a vegetarian, or a belly dancer, does that make you anti-American?

How do you know? Who decides? Should we be more careful about what we say out loud? What we write? Once we start this kind of labeling, where does it lead?

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”

(Inscribed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.)

Electing Morons

Thanks, Libba!

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