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Kicking Cancer's Ass!

Whoa! It has been awhile since I've posted anything to my blog because of other more pressing issues in my life, specifically I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year. Needless to say, healing from this has been my top priority.

Briefly, I went to the emergency room on my birthday last year. I was dealing with persistent pain issues relating to two previous benign cancer surgeries because during those surgeries I had somehow picked up an infection. For fifteen years afterwards it has been a battle using oral antibiotics to try to kill that infection with limited positive results. Mostly all it did was tear up my digestive system, killing all my helpful ecoli stomach bacteria and leading to other related digestive issues. On my birthday I had taken probably far too many ibuprofen and was bleeding rectally every time I sat down to go poop. So off I went to Providence.

I stayed a total of eight days and found out I had five infected abcessess in a very uncomfortable place. They treated them with Vancomycin, one of the most powerful infusion antibiotics and by draining them. It was nasty, but that brought much needed relief. Then about three days into my stay (my body was more messed up than I realized) my current oncologist visited me and informed me that I had some form of cancer but they couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from. I then went through just about every cancer screening test known to man -- blood, bones, brain, vital organs, lymphatic system... virtually everything was clean and clear. After another day or two and after a colonoscopy they discovered the source of the cancer cells. My colon. Some of the cancer cells had also migrated to my lymph symptom but had not caused lymphoma. Those cells were colorectal cancer cells hiding elsewhere.

A month or two after discussing my options with a gastrointerologist and my oncologist, I began my first series of chemotherapy. I made it through almost the whole course until on one visit I somehow became violently allergic to one of the anti-cancer drugs and almost died because of the bad reaction to it WHILE being infused. I was lucky to survive that day.

So we moved on to a different chemotherapy with another newer drug said to specifically target colorectal cancer. I went through about half of that treatment until finally my bloodwork demonstrated to both myself and my oncologist that it was ineffective. It kept me stable, but wasnt killing cancer cells as well as it should have been doing. So the oncologist came up with yet a third way, an oral anti-cancer drug named 'Stivarga', also fairly new and specific to colorectal treatment.

Side effects have been brutal. Loss of hair, rashes, intense gas and cramping, the gamut of the usual bad side effects of chemotherapy. During this time I've been on pain management opiates and with the approval of my oncologist, medical marijuana to stimulate my appetite and to deal with any breakthrough pain. They wanted to prescribe another opiate for that, but opiates contribute to the gas, cramping, and worst of all constipation. I'd rather take my chances with marijuana than compound a potential future opiate addiction, but without dispensaries or the legal mechanism for them within the medical marijuana laws in Alaska. But that is a tale for a different blog post.

At this point I am unable to work and have signed up for SNAP, SSI disability and other support services, including help from a friend or two at an independent living center who are skilled in filing for these types of necessary support during times of health crisis. The SNAP has already kicked in, as well as expedited medical support from the state of Alaska, a program called CAMA. Alaska also has a program that will pay your SS disability payments now as long as you agree to repay the state once SS disability kicks in. I'm hoping that starts this month because I am at the edge of any finances being available with bills past due.

Last month I was given an eviction notice. I was barely able to scrape together enough cash via gifts and donations from family members and a few friends, but that was last month. My family has no wealth to continue to help. We are and always have been lower middle class. My Dad did have quite a nice nestegg after selling off his businesses nd retiring, but he to is going through his own medical issues, having to deal with a rather large skin cancer.

So instead I have had to rely on pleading for help from friends, many of whom have gratefully donated money, food, medical marijuana (unfortunately never enough to supply more than a few weeks or a month worth), and moral support. For this I am eternally humbled, and thankful. Without this loving support from friends and family, I'd probably be starving nd homeless, if not dead already and frankly I've never felt I was ready to go yet. I still don't. I have an idea I have more important things that I need to do on this planet before I leave, so I'm continuing this fight until I'm in remission.

Many of my friends suggested that I set up a PayPal account as a cancer treatment support fund, so I did. As stated previously, many friends and even some people I didn't even know before stepped up by donating whatever they could afford. Many of my Buddhist friends have been at the forefront of making sure I'm taken care of and not suffering too badly, and for that I am deeply thankful.

So that's pretty much my story up to this point. I'm posting this so I can refer to it in social media and people can get a better understanding of my plight and so that I have a single anchor point to refer to for people who ask me how they can donate to the fund.

To donate, log into PayPal (or create an account, then login) and select Send Money to:

In addition, a friend of mine, Bill Fikes has created a convenient quick pay link to PayPal at:

Either way works and that IS a legitimate web page and my real main email address, so if you can, please consider donating whatever you can. Even with medical insurance, I am still already into five figures of medical debt, and those bills like rent keep on coming... so any any all help and compassionate support is deeply and most humbly appreciated. Hopefully the SS disability will begin on July 1st, 2013 and I won't have to scramble for rent or deal with nother eviction notice. But since I cannot be sure yet that this support from the state and Feds will come through, donations are still appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and again as always, supporting my struggle to overcome this cancer. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here or contact me through the link to my Facebook account.

Randall Warner (aka Lazarhat)


First, Occupy My Own Mind.

Or... Educating oneself about the root causes of the Occupy movement.

(TL;DR version: a lot of everyday Americans are as mad as hell and we are not going to take it any more...)

So you may well be asking, what brings me out of my blog hibernation? Well in addition to the new
process which is much easier to deal with, I have a new topic that I am passionate about and that I
think requires me to write my feelings about, but I need to do it in a forum that is individual to
me and not in a place where I feel it might be inappropriate. That new topic is the Occupy movement
specifically Occupy Wall Street in New York City and other Occupy local groups as well as the 99%
movement nationwide.

A friend of mine recently created a new group called 'Occupy Anchorage' on Facebook after seeing
many of his old friends (including me) posting about Occupy Wall Street and after no doubt following
the story himself via the internet. While I can never be sure of his individual motivation or
intention, I have an idea he thought it would be a good for Anchorage to have its own action and
movement. At the very least in solidarity with the movements spring up in cities all over America.
Surprisingly 60-70 people who attended the first meeting of 'Occupy Anchorage' in a meeting room at
'The Snow Goose' restaurant seemed to agree. It felt like a throwback to the American revolution
prior to 1776.

He mentioned me in a facebook post along with another old friend and facebook basically told both of
us named individuals that our friend was saying this of us: "I bet a couple old friends of mine
would be interested is starting and supporting an Occupy group..." and we were. I assume so because
both friends showed up. The reason why I agreed is because for several weeks prior to this I had
been posting daily links to the Occupy Wall Street movement and was trying to disseminate even more information about it on Facebook to my circle of friends because traditional mainstream media was ignoring this rapidly growing movement. So that is how I personally got involved. I did it to myself by paying attention at a time when I felt many were not.

For those that don't know or have never heard of Occupy Wall Street, I will speak as an individual
as to what I think the movement is all about. It isn't REALLY what it is all about, because this
isn't soley a single issue movement although it remains highly focused, nor does it have any
traditional leadership -- so anyone who says anything about it is being purely subjective, speaking
only for themselves. Which is why I feel it should be kept mostly anonymous and unattributed. Lastly
it should be noted I am writing as a participant in this movement, participating in my own way, just
as everyone else does. I am not a leader. I am not your role model.

From the beginning this movement was created as uniquely non-partisan, non-religious, and non-
violent. The right of those to peaceably assemble cannot be denied. At this point let me issue a
quick aside by doing what most writers inevitably must do when speaking about the Occupy movement: compare it to the Tea Party. Keeping the movement non-partisan and non-religious helps to insure no one faction gains control over it. Because it is also non-violent, guns are discouraged. Weapons are unnecessary for all to stand up for what we support because we have an idea that will not die, and an idea that won't die will always defeat guns, and bullets, and batons, and violence.

I have an idea that Occupy Wall Street was originally created to force accountability upon Wall
Street bankers. These very rich and profitable corporations received a $700 billion bailout that we
were told was because these institutions were "too big to fail" lest they collapse the entire
economic system. In retrospect, this was wrong. I will not waste time placing blame on who's idea it
was to rescue these free market, capitalist companies because it's well-known who's idea it was and
multiple people are responsible for a bailout of all the rich bankers who took a chance, mostly with
all our pensions and deposited monies, and then lost. America paid twice. We are paying even more
than that if we lose our constitutional right to govern this country as "We the people...".

In my opinion, that's just one part of the core message of the movement -- the other part is the
undue influence that modern corporations are currently exerting upon American government. Most will cite the "Citizen's United" ruling generically, but the background of what that ruling allows is
quite important to understand. Because of new 527 groups (political action groups or PACs) and their
ability to give unlimited amounts of cash to issue ads (and whether you like it or not, via slimy
lobbyists, congressional campaigns), I feel that the balance of power has shifted to corporation and
away from individual people. I feel I am not the only individual who feels this way. OWS and OA are
proof that my feelings are correct.

Because of an illegal ruling about the Citizens United case, corporations have been given the power
to donate unlimited amounts of cash to campaigns and for issue ads. This is wrong. Individual people
and corporations under 501(c)3 tax rules have limitations upon donations in place and all must
declare their donations to the FEC. In case you missed it, there are limits upon those donations.

527 groups do not have those limitations. 527 is the IRS designation of those PACs used for tax
purposes. Those groups were created with no limitations on donations, nor it seems are there any
effective ways to track and/or report any of their political donations. Particularly since many 527s
seem to feel that the 'free speech' entailed in their unlimited donations are a constitional "right"
to free speech.

527s or SuperPACs have actively ignored the requirement to report to the FEC and have paid lobbyists to weaken congressional limitations upon the legal activities of 527 groups while also actively paying politicians to vote against full funding for the FEC (Federal Election Commission). The irony is that if you don't have accountability for campaign and political donations and there's no way to trace them, then how exactly are you supposed to tax them like they do with for-profit political
action committees? Those laws are also in place to keep 501(c)3 (non-profit PACs) and 501(c)4 (for-
profit committees or PACs) honest by imposing donation limitations and reporting requirements.

Because of many 527 PACs inability to be honest in reporting as well as their attempting to game the
system, their lack of accountability as particularly demonstrated during the recent '10 campaign
season, we now have proof enough why 527 groups and ALL for-profit political action committees must be outlawed. Individual citizens are narrowly construed on how they can contribute to free political speech when issued in the form of monetary support but unregulated, unsupervised 527 groups? Not so much. So -- outlaw the outlaw 527 PACs. Period.

Right after you kick out the lobbyist moneychangers, of course. Why? Because in recent times in
Washington, D. C. there have been as many as a 6 to 1 ratios of lobbyists to legislators! This is a
bad thing for American democracy. It means that special interests other than the people themselves
are basically already controlling our government. If we are to regain a handle on being a
representative democracy again, we need to outlaw for-profit lobbying groups in general. Most
especially any lobbying that is financed by unaccountable groups and those that feel they are
somehow above the requirements for accurately reporting their contributions towards financing our
campaign system.

In order for individual American voices to be represented again we need to take the money component
away from our professional politicians in a couple of ways. In spite of the idea that votes will
control our politicians, I have an idea that we must have term limits. If a president is limited to
two terms, I do not see a reason why Congress and the Senate cannot be limited to two terms as well.
In fact I believe it would be a healthy thing for American democracy. The reason for that is that we
seem to currently have a cadre of professional politicians rather than citizen politicians allegedly
working 'for' us, as it should be. So if it's good enough for the presidency to limited to two terms
it should be good enough for all political offices at both the state and federal levels.

So now that I have briefly addressed what I personally believe to be the root of the problem I am
left with only a few ideas on how it can be addressed directly since we no longer seem to have a
representative democracy. The idea is if the the politicians will not listen to us directly by us
writing letters, sending them e-mail, or talking to them directly when we meet them in person, the
only thing left for us to do is to make a statement with our bodies -- putting ourselves personally
on the line at occupying spaces to garner attention for a movement that wants to hold the bankers
both responsible and accountable for their actions. If you TRULY want to bring attention to a
problem? Bring 100 or 200 or 500 or 1,000 or 10,000 of your closest friends along with you IN
PERSON, to get that point across. We may be non-violent, but we're plenty angry and fed up at the
partisan two party system bullshit that may be dragging this country into another recession or worse
-- an economic depression. Want a solution to the problem, D. C.? Thousands of us are now saying
"How about you start frogmarching some greedy Wall Street bastards off to jail for their past
misdeeds instead of rewarding them with bailouts and positions of importance within the very
companies they used via their rampant illegal investor unapproved funded speculation to bring this
country low"? How about congress represent their constituency locally rather than the multinational
corporation or banker? Accountability.

It is very sad that the Justice Department has not moved in on and arrested some of these jokers.
There have been few if any arrests of people who I believe have broken the law have engaged in
insider trading, and who have raided pension funds. They did so at the expense of the vast majority
of Americans who trusted them to invest their money in a very risky stock market based system. In my
opinion one of the biggest drivers of failure for the markets has been hedge funds. Hedge funds bet
against success. It's like you're putting all your investment on somebody failing. This is not the
way that things should be done -- in fact hedge funds (or back in the day "short sellers") and
margin calls are pretty much what killed us during the great depression and what in part triggered
the great depression itself. That and a run on banks by consumers that no longer trusted banks with
their hard earned cash is was what really triggered the great depression.

There have been calls for people to move their money from the big banks who are the worst offenders
-- Bank of America, Citibank, and the new mixed banks/investment houses like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs that were created by the removal of the Glass-Steagall act. This act, now repealed, once allowed us a firewall between banks and investment houses. The mixed banks that are more investment brokerages than bank are perhaps even more responsible than traditional banks. Banks used to be a place of trust and now instead they have become a place where your money can go down of the hole of unaccountability perhaps never to be seen again if your 'banker' is using your pensions and deposits to engage in risky short term/high profit investments. In short, people who use banks or credit unions should abso-friggin-lutely transfer all of their funds to something local. A credit union or
a small local commercial bank.

The Glass-Steagall act must be reinstated to put that firewall back in place once again. Banks
should not be allowed to use their customers money to make a risky investments. If customers
themselves choose to make risky investments then they should go to a brokerage house and allow them to do it but the two should be separated. A bank should never be a brokerage house and vice versa.

Rebuild that firewall for consumer safety. I do not wish my savings in a bank to be risked upon some
long-shot venture decided upon by some wet behind the ears 23 year old, entry level, "investment

You may hear some Libertarians (big L party as opposed to 'civil libertarians') say that the real
source of the problem is the federal reserve system. I have to disagree with that as being the
entire cause. A part of it? Surely. The majority of the problem comes from the federal government
agreeing to abide by bad securities or junk bond investment risks in the form of mortgage backed
securities from these brokerage houses/banks. In many cases these banks/brokerage houses acted and
used their own depositors funds in order to make risky bets on the housing market because at that
time the housing market was the market from which to make the biggest profits. And after the fact
they continue to use T-Bills as a method to continue to earn the slimmest of margins (1.5-2.0%) off
of Treasury bill investments. Even at the most dire of times, banks "too big to fail" have worked
out a method to use FED advances and individual deposits to profit off of long term T-Bill
guarantees. Banks have been profiting off of that slim margin since TARP.

Not many people know this was the case because it wasn't exactly front page news. Bankers tried to
make those securities sound like they were liquid and that they could be traded openly and were as
good as cash. Triple AAA. Better than US Treasury bills, right now. They acted in collusion with
ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard and Poor's. But the reality is is they are junk. When they
are written on paper, they are not worth the paper they are written upon. In many cases it is
untraceable who the original mortgage holder was for these defaulted mortgages so you cannot go  back. In time because there is no paper trail to trace where these bad mortgages came from. As a method of trying to establish ownership of the original mortgage backed securities banks have began to, in many cases, commit fraud using a method called Robosigning to automatically go back and sign already defaulted upon documents in order to make them look legitimate. So because of a combination of all these facts, we are at a point where we as Americans need to stand up and demand that justice is
served and that we regain our equality of economic opportunity. Bankers must be held accountable for their bad investments. They cannot be called too big to fail and be allowed to take socialist payments from the federal government for their risky investments made using often their depositors

Of course the housing market bubble burst leaving the FED to buy up $14 trillion of these unsecured
'securities' out there. That's where the Libertarians get there are $14 trillion figure. There are
literally $14 trillion worth of these junk bonds floating around and the agreement between these
banks during the bailout was that the federal government would buy these securities (or as I like to
call them, junk bonds) from them as a form of security for the tarp loans that they got. Now they
have become emboldened and have recently revealed that they have another $74 TRILLION that they want the FDIC and American taxpayers to absorb. Market losses once marketed as profitable financial
instruments or 'securities', no worth than less the paper most of them aren't even written upon. You
see -- there's the ultimate riddle: all this "paper debt" that these banks cannot even produce legitimate paper for, thus the issues you may have heard about injunctions against robosigning by banks in their attempts to legitimize paper debt when they can't even trace back the debt to the original debtor, cannot even exist legitimately because they are artificial financial instruments introduced by investment banks as investment opportunities! And yet they are as naked as an emperor with new clothes! A profit drunk industry cannot even trace back the inadvisable loans they made to many people who couldn't even afford those loans in the first place... their naked greed in offering
loans to those who could least afford same show their greed for raw profits.

So what does this have to do with Occupy Wall Street or for that matter Occupy Anchorage? All
traditional means of enforcement against people who committed illegalities and broke the law are not
working. The American jurisprudence system is not going after these people with situational ethics
in pursuit of profit because these people are continuing to bribe them left and right with the vast
millions that they've recently gained in profits.

In fact it has been pointed out that many of these banks are using TARP fund taxpayer money in order
to bribe... or excuse me -- 'donate' campaign money to our elected representatives in Congress and
the Senate. I do not even know how to describe how that is wrong on so many levels. We are being
sold out using our own money and in a nutshell that is exactly what the occupied movement is about:
combating the status quo -- holding these bankers responsible for their activities. If they made bad
investments. It's on them not on us! If they made bad investments using deposited money and money
from raided pension funds, then they need to go to jail for that illegal activity.

The occupied movement itself is designed to make those people feel uncomfortable about these bad
investments and the actions of all their bad actors. But don't get me wrong, not all bankers are
evil. Some are actually good and will do a good thing for you and your money. But what it all comes
down to is the bad actors that must be jailed for their bad actions. The industry must be regulated
properly and overseen properly. Lately the securities and exchange commission has turned a blind eye
to these bad investments. Bank losses for mortgage backed securities and the fact that they're using
depositors money to make profit is proof enough that it is time that all are held accountable for
thier actions.

The Occupy movement was specifically created to bring attention to these problems because often the
mainstream media is not paying attention to them and by extension not informing Americans what is
really going on with our tax dollars. The Occupy movement is a method of bringing a higher awareness to all individuals in America and that's why it is spreading so rapidly throughout the country. It originally started in New York City which is a major banking center but it has also spread to other cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, Seattle, Dallas, Detroit, Atlanta, and many more cities including even our little town of Anchorage, Alaska. So what can we reasonably do to make things change? Part of what we can do is just to not go away to gain more and more people who are aware of the economic problems that Wall Street and bankers have created for our country and then to acknowledge the economic difficulties they have put all of us through. It is also necessary to continue to grow the movement so that more and more people become aware and educated about present reality and of how broken our financial and government systems have become.

While many people would like to add other causes to the occupied movement I think that that is a bad
idea. The occupy movement needs to remain focused upon the main issues for which it was created. We must not allow the momentum that the occupied movement has gained already to dissipate through factionalism or religious factionalism or by adding too many issues to it that weigh it down or are unrelated to the main issue of holding Wall Street, our government, and our politicians accountable for the current state of our economy. We must keep the occupy movement both nonpartisan and non-religious, as well as non-violent so that all feel included -- all of the 99% of us who are not billionaires should feel that they can become a part of the occupied movement thus keeping it open and available to the majority of Americans to participate and do something real against the Oligarchy or/or Plutocracy that has been dominating lately in our banking system and in our government.

While I certainly realize there are many noble causes to want to champion, whether it be
environmentalism or ending war or rescuing abandoned pets, these things are not really related to
the Occupy Wall Street movement and I would hope that people would not try to include them as part of it. There are is a time and a correct venue for the other issues and similar movements can and
should spring up to fill the void of necessary activism needed. But to include them within the
occupy movement is to dilute its strength. It needs to stay focused on its main issue and it needs
to be self reflecting back upon itself to make sure that it remains the main message otherwise that
message will get lost or even perhaps stolen by people wanting to co-opt the movement for their own
agendas and their own needs.

While I cannot truly fault those looking to take advantage of a rapidly growing movement to push
their own agendas this is not the time or place, nor the correct movement in which to push overall
individual agendas. This movement needs to stay focused on its main issues and despite what you
hear in the mainstream media or from people who have no idea what Occupy Wall Street means or is
about, there is a main message to what we're doing -- it is not our fault if people are a ignoring it.

So the question is where do we go from here? Where we go from here is to continue to organize and
grow the movement, focusing on the main issue of the Occupy movement -- which is accountability for Wall Street and for the vast majority of us to continue to get that message out to more and more
people that if you're not a billionaire, this problem with bankers and Wall Street and the economy
and rampant corruption in politics via lobbying must come to an end if America is to continue as a
viable republic. It isn't someone else's problem. It is ours. If we don't act now, we may never have
the ability as free citizens to ever act on it again.

WTF? Over...

Oh my poor neglected blog. I have not been doing any blogging lately because I've been spending most of my time working and being on Facebook. Like many people I have found Facebook to be a more effective communications medium for reaching more people. I have also found it to be an incredibly huge time sink. Which would explain why not much blogging has been going on lately.

Also after writing two serious long form pieces I found that my biggest difficulty was that the ending process itself was boring and tedious. I do not like typing. I am not the fastest typist. So the alternative to that was to find a reasonable substitute that I could use. My answer initially was to try to dictate things to my android phone and then e-mail them to myself which proved difficult because the android phone only did short messages and it was really quite sh*tty at punctuation, capitalization and doing paragraphs.

So enter Dragon naturally speaking. I have now found it is very easy to just speak to my iPad in order to write my thoughts and then the editing process goes much quicker because I only have to go back and fix a few mistakes. So obviously the process changed in a couple of ways. I am no longer typing. I am no longer trying to dictate short messages and string them together using my android phone and a text editor. Instead (and it wasn't the only reason I purchased it), I bought a used iPad from a friend who was looking to upgrade to the newer version and the results are what you're reading now. I like it a lot and I think it will allow me to write a lot more than I have in the past. That said, let's get on with the next real blog post rather than this post about the process itself.


Trig Truthers vs. Trig Deniers -- more proof of a colossal waste of time.

Against my better judgment, I again published all of your comments for my previous blog post, because I do not want to be accused of preventing any debate. Even though I wasn't really ASKING for debate -- I was stating my OPINION based upon what I know and have covered in the past about the subject of our quitting ex-governor. But here's the deal and I ask you to read this VERY SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY.... you will never be able to prove or disprove the facts of this case. NEVER. Only Sarah and God know the truth. Why can't you accept that and move on?

I am not, nor do I claim to be an investigative journalist. This is a blog. I do this in my free time and nobody pays me to write MY OPINION. And you are all still missing the point. So much in fact that I'm finding myself pretty much writing the same thing again and again, now for the fourth time.

You can't prove Trig isn't her baby. You can't prove that he is her baby. Only God and Sarah will ever know for sure. My position is that it doesn't matter because I already believe her to be unelectable, deceitful, ethically squishy, etc. -- insert whatever negative statement I've already made about her dozens of times in the past on this blog. All this uproar trying to prove what we already know about the character of Sarah Palin is a ridiculous waste of time and effort for you as well as me. She isn't fit to be dog catcher. WE GET THAT ALREADY.

You can lay out reams and reams of what you consider to be proof or evidence and you know what? You will NEVER convince the  unthinking masses who adore her of your case. Because most of them, given all the evidence of what a negative person she is, still love her. They don't care. You will not find the definitive piece of evidence that wakes them up from their mindless zombie stupor EVER. They have fully drunk of the kool aid. Continuing along the path of what you feel to be the 'truth about Trig' ONLY ENTRENCHES THEM FURTHER.

The only way to stop more unthinking people from joining the enslaved Palinbot masses is to STOP TALKING ABOUT TRIG. Focus on her real instances of ethical lapses, her real instances of illegality concerning SarahPAC and the Alaska Fund Trust -- real news, not what I and many other rational people see to be salacious gossip. You just don't seem to get that. In fact, saying what I just did, in the previous post and again just now only seems to make you send more and more comments, some full of links to what you feel to be another piece of the puzzle or what you believe to be the definitive evidence that will finally solve the riddle or even sending comments full of ad hominem attack against me personally. I don't have to prove or disprove anything. Both this post and the previous post are OPINION. Some have sent demands for correction or retraction. This isn't the LA fucking Times -- it's my blog. Get over yourself. I wrote what I did because I feel that it is true to the subject matter. Yes, I've seen a signed statement from her doctor and not the one you keep sending me links to.... I am well aware of that one. What I saw was completely different. I cannot prove it or point you to it, nor will I because what I saw wasn't publicly available. You can either accept what I say as true or not. Your choice. But again what reason do I have to lie? What I saw was part of a disclosure process in a lawsuit owing to my previous job as a litigation support technician. It is a point of personal ethics that I cannot disclose all the details of this or any other case I worked on. I can't and I won't. I can only say I saw it. It looked real to me and you just have to take that at face value. It doesn't really mater to me whether you do believe me or not, but it does prove to me that I am correct in the premise of the blog post and that you continue to miss the point of it.

My point is and still remains that by continuing on this track of reasoning or trying to come up with proof for or against whether or not Sarah is Trig's mother -- IT ONLY ADDS MORE FUEL FOR PALIN TO KEEP BEING A MEDIA WHORE. What is so hard to understand about that? I gave evidence of that in the post yesterday concerning her claiming victim status yet again in the discussion over 'Journolist' in yet another one of her batshit crazy facebook 'press releases'. Once again proving my point because the issue was over whether liberal journalists should go after her on the Trig issue and the owner of the mail list told them to leave the issue alone. And they did, yet Sarah is still able to play the victim for a story about a non-story. Amazing, isn't it? Until we get on to the business of holding her accountable for ethical lapses, for breaking the law with SarahPAC and Alaska Fund Trust or when she decides to make another incendiary call to her Palinbots for violence against her perceived enemies, she will continue to use you as more fodder for her climb to the gossipy top. You are helping her become more of a monster rather than banishing the monster from the kingdom. My post is a call to focus on the real issues where she gets in trouble for breaking the law, not for you to continue to try to prove your point while proving my point. And I think I'm done here. If you aren't getting it yet, I am sorry but there is probably no hope for you.

All comments for the first blog post and probably this one may be cut off because instead of you talking about the merits of MY point, you are trying to use it as another site in your web of convincing yourselves that those on the other side of the issue are wrong. Which wasn't the intent at all. Accept my premise that you are all, on both sides of this issue, wasting your time. Perhaps if you want to send me a link to YOUR blog attempting to prove or disprove the unprovable, I may follow it just for shits and giggles.... but I can no longer allow both sides to use MY blog to further the madness. Both sides need a dose of rationality and hopefully I may have helped to provide it. Highly doubtful because of how entrenched both sides of the issue appear to be on it. But I remain hopeful that everyone learn to focus on holding her accountable for REAL issues and REAL ethical lapses and REAL violations of law while leaving the gossip to the tabloids. Or Andrew Sullivan, who frankly I believe is damaging his own credibility as a REAL journalist by continuing to focus on this issue. Good luck.



Trig Turthers -- ENOUGH ALREADY!

Media whore, Sarah Palin weighs in once again with yet another facebook 'press release' claiming there is "a sickness and darkness in today's liberal media" while trying to make it seem liberals were conspiring against her to publish the 'true story of Trig's birth', based upon a muckraking news release from Tucker Carlson's 'Daily Caller', a right wing website. Tucker's non-story of another non-story, already widely discredited by both the right and left, was about an alleged conspiracy by liberal journalists on 'Journolist', a media mail list server, to spread the story about supposed anomalies with the birth of her son Trig.

Wrote Ezra Klein who was the now-shuttered listserv's founder [admonishing a few independent journalists who were considering running with the story of the alleged controversy surround Trig's birth] : "Seriously, folks? Best case scenario, what's your outcome here: Her daughter, hounded by the tabloids, breaks down that it was her child, and her mother heroically took on the burden and welcomed the disabled boy as one of her own? Palin's relationship with her children -- however they may have come to her -- strikes me as pretty far out of bounds. By all accounts she's a wonderful mother, and devoted to her fifth son. Leave this be."

This is your evil, liberal, lame stream media controversy, Sarah? Here you have a member of the so called 'liberal media' telling his peers in the industry that it is out of bounds (because in my opinion it is). As I've said often times to otherwise normal people who seem to be aligning themselves with the 'Trig Truthers', what difference does it make? What laws did she break? The story of the circumstances surrounding Trig's birth already show her to have bad judgment, but WE ALREADY KNEW THAT, right? Some already think her a dishonest liar and batshit crazy. Proving this conspiracy theory makes her what? More of a liar? More batshit crazy? Thus why I keep saying to the 'Trig Truthers' their 'story' is a waste of time, and even professional 'liberal' journalists have said the same. Now I am saying the same, on the record, on this blog -- not just on facebook in discussions amongst friends.

All this alleged controversy does is provide her MORE FUEL TO PLAY THE VICTIM and keep a high profile in the media by allowing her to come out with yet another batshit crazy facebook press release claiming the liberal media is conspiring against her! Some 'Trig Truthers' may now point to my attitude making ME part of the conspiracy as well, but to what end? For what reason? To curry favor from Sarah herself? To get paid by Sarah for coming out on her side? If you think that then you obviously haven't read ANYTHING on this blog nor do you know ANYTHING about me and my position on Sarah Palin. Nor the fact that I'm firmly on the side of the children both Trig and Trip, as I've written in this blog. Nobody pays me anything for my opinion here OR on facebook and I don't care one whit what Sarah thinks about me. I imagine she doesn't even have any awareness about me, my opinion or even this blog.

Bottom line -- it doesn't matter. What do 'Trig Truthers' hope to prove? That Sarah herself is participating in her own conspiracy to cover up the details of Trig's birth? So what? We already have a signed statement from Sarah's doctor stating that she delivered Trig from Sarah. So what -- have them produce a birth certificate? Are you serious? What are you, teabagging 'Birthers' demanding Obama produce his birth certificate? Trig isn't even running for office and is only peripherally a public figure due to his mother and her position as a former politician and public figure. By continuing to pursue this story as some sort of conspiracy, all you are doing is keeping Sarah in the news for the stupidest of reasons and she gets to continue to play the victim! So please just stop it. Report on her real ethical lapses and any real violations of actual laws. Please stop allowing her to have a platform from which to promote her further craziness. Because after all, how can we make her go away if you keep bringing her back for the stupidest of reasons?



Turning A NIMBY Issue Into A YIMBY Issue....

(I was going to publish this as feedback to the commentary by Cristopher Constant at Alaska Dispatch in the article "Don't let nonprofits turn Fairview into a social services experiment" but decided that the scope of the issue merits a blog post on my part and that my opinion may be strong enough to ruffle some feathers of people I consider friends and an abuse of the trust placed in me as a member of the wider readership and management of those at Alaska Dispatch, so to spare them some measure of uncomfortableness at the prospect of publishing feedback that may be longer than the original article, I chose to publish it on my own blog instead.... my space, my nickel and all that. Only I can be held responsible for my own opinions.)

Christopher, I know you and respect your opinion on many issues, but please allow me to add my perspective as someone who lives near this project but perhaps lives in an even worse area for experiencing the plight of the inebriated homeless -- downtown Anchorage.

I live one block away from the People Mover Transit Center. My living room window literally overlooks it and the Downtown Inlet Inn, one of our hot spots for crime, violence and alcohol abuse. Many times this site is favored by some of the 'homeless' who are fortunate enough to be able to pool their money together so that a group or groups of them can get together to party. In fact, at this very moment, the Anchorage Police Mobile Command Center motor home is parked outside of the Downtown Inlet Inn dealing with who knows what sort of issue. This site is well known for the amount of police and paramedic calls that it generates practically every day. The situation for the homeless downtown is just as dire if not even more dire than Fairview. Frankly I would welcome a guided and directed program to have bought out the Downtown Inlet Inn. Then perhaps someone would actually be around to direct a program to help get these misguided individuals back to a more useful and productive life. Unfortunately that isn't happening for our neighborhood.

You think a lot of the drunk and homeless hang out in Fairview? You should come down and spend the day at the transit center with me. No matter where they camp or where they flop, eventually they all converge here, in various states of disarray and drunkenness. Often times during their walks around downtown they happen to end up in the narrow alleyway between my apartment building and the administrative office of the Holy Family Cathedral next door. Smoking weed, smoking crack, pissing, shitting, sleeping, assaulting, raping, drinking then leaving their empty bottles behind and yes, sometimes even dying. Right under my second story window.

It should be obvious from my tone that I do not approve of their own lifestyle choices. Many times I consider that they are not victims because of the idea that they are doing it to themselves in a world filled with free choices. And yet, in this city, were they to seek treatment for their problem, there are few place for them to go. Especially places that give them long term residential solutions where they can be held as responsible adults and actively participate in their own recovery from their circumstances. One imagines that there will be a guided and directed program to help them recover rather than allowing it to become a 'frat house' type of environment, filled with continuous partying and constant lawlessness. One would imagine that there would be reasonable rules and regulations for them to follow in order to retain residency and that if they violate those rules they would not be allowed to stay. I freely admit that I do not know all the details, but I think my assumptions are quite reasonable. This would be far more of an acceptable solution to the problem of homeless inebriates than what I have next door. In my neighborhood there are no solutions, only more temptations and troubles to compound their problems. I envy that your neighborhood is given the opportunity to try to help solve some of those problems and would wish that someone like RuralCAP could come and do the same with the Downtown Inlet Inn as opposed to what we now have.

I would like to think that it would be best for the mental health of the entire community to embrace such a program not only in your neighborhood but in ALL neighborhoods. From a semi-outsider's perspective I would feel proud to be chosen as the pilot test site for precisely this sort of treatment program. With the recent addition of the Copper River Seafoods Campus next door to the old Red Roof Inn site RuralCAP has selected, I would think it perfectly suited to provide jobs and an alternative to the dead end lifestyle choices many homeless inebriates are making in Anchorage. It may just be the godsend that many need to return some dignity and provide a way back to a more traditional means and method of existence, especially for native Alaskans who are currently experiencing life as homeless inebriates. I would think it would be best if ALL neighborhoods took this from being a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) issue and embraced it in ALL of our neighborhoods as a YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) issue. Why? Because the homeless are dying in our streets at alarming rates and despite their problems and issues, we ALL need to seek solutions to help them.

Instead of looking at this as a blight upon your neighborhood, I would hope that instead it turns into a wildly successful program of what could be done if enough people had the compassion to actually do something rather than decry this effort as yet another NIMBY issue. Think possibilities and compassionate action rather than maintaining a mindset that it will only be detrimental to your neighborhood. How proud would Fairview be if it turned into a very successful model for all sorts of similar buildings around Anchorage? You could take a small measure of pride by rightfully claiming that the site that turned an Anchorage-wide problem into something positive was first located in Fairview. And that would be a wonderful thing for all of Anchorage.


(Randall Warner)


FILE: Too Big To Facebook....

A message for a blogging and facebook friend (and please indulge me by quoting her for a moment. I doubt she expected I'd make it a blog post, so apologies ex post facto.):

Ryan Jaimz Knight Boo. The IRS somehow managed to not have my new legal name, one that I've had for nearly two years, on file, and have thus delayed my refund. Despite the fact that I even have a SS card in said name. A phone call later, I managed to get them the corrected information, but now I have to wait ANOTHER four weeks for said monies. Boo. Boo. Boo.
I wanted to respond on facebook but at times some things are just too damn big for facebook, the concepts and words too sweeping for the passing (sometime) trivialities of facebook.... so my response/opinion is this:

Bureaucrats are being particularly trying this year what with us poor citizens having the audacity to insist upon things like three-figure tax returns on our income tax withholdings or people like me becoming millionaires off of our three-figure  unemployment checks.... ('neocon formatting') because you know it's the poor who have put America where we are financially what with all their taking out bad loans they couldn't pay for (in spite of rampant evidence of predatory lending and numerous abuses of the credit card system by banks) while trying to live above their means. ('/neocon formatting'). A-hem. Trying to clear my throat of the talking point.  Pardon me a moment while I spit, also, too.

Welcome to living life within the neocon narrative and the punishment the poor are now receiving as the last dying vestiges of the past administration and the whole ideology the GOP has foisted upon America, big smelly, steamy pile of shit that it is, since Reagan. It's not right, it's a huge mess, and the sooner we turn out all the dead wood in those agencies as well as replacing similar bad actors in congress, the sooner we ALL can get on with that hopey, changey thing. Neocons are doing everything they can right now to make those of us who don't fully buy into their bullshit, suffer. We get to live it. Lucky us. For just a little while longer, though. Say 2010 or at the latest, 2012.

Fight the good fight, Ryan. We all get through it. The best of us by retaining our humanity rather than giving in to the reptilian brain as they have. In the long run mammals survived. Dinosaurs, not so much. Let those crazy bastards ride their dinosaurs to hell, be it figuratively or literally as demonstrated by the blood made of extinct dinosaurs, now fouling our southern beaches. They (neocon GOP and by extension 'teabagettes') are their own dying breed. These are the noises they make when they become the instruments of their own extinction. Change IS on the horizon. Just continue to embrace your inner lemur.


Poetic Injustice....

Oh look! A blog post. The following was written in a single night and is either a poem or song lyrics. Either way I wanted a forum to publish it and didn't want to put it up on a social network as I would like to retain ownership of it yet allow it to be shared. You have my permission to link to this or to share it, but if you do feel compelled to copy it elsewhere I ask that you please include the title, copyright notice and credit the original author as shown. Thank you.

'Sam Sorrow, a portrait of my uncle'

(C) Copyright 2010 Randall Warner

circle of life
an eagle
her own young

a predatory wolf
caught in steel trap
where freedom means
gnawing a leg off

sniffing at the rotting corpse
of a once great empire
now built upon broken dreams
and disillusionment

piled high with the hubris
of hundreds of years
of mercantilism, of greed,
of genocide and slavery

a formerly great nation
now morbidly fascinated
with violence, with war,
with death, and destruction

the body politic
crucified and bleeding
vultures circling, waiting
to peck out eyes

with faces hardened
in grim resolve
acting as wage slaves
reporting for duty

unsatisfactory satisfaction
with seemingly mundane
automaton-like repetitiveness
another monkey, another typewriter

the blood of noses
sacrificed upon
corporate grindstones

lives ground to dust
families neglected
sweat and toil
harvested for profit

too busy to love
too distracted to live
most often neglected
always denied

indentured servants
either a serf or a lord
a destitute existence
with little reward

and the rich get richer
while the poor just die
rabid wolves fleecing sheep
sheep paying for the privilege

we, like rubberneckers
watching while driving slowly,
past the carnage, the wreckage
of a horrible auto accident

as traffic piles up
causing chains of reaction
turning in slow motion into
an infinite loop of causality

repeating endlessly
lessons never learned
mistakes continually made
with clockwork precision

none seem awake enough
nor aware enough
to cry out loudly
to curse the injustices

to realize compassion
to take real action
to finally put a stop
to this vulgar parade


The case AGAINST open carry firearms....

I support our second amendment, but I am against people feeling empowered to carry their legally permitted weapons openly and here is why: many aren't trained to retain total control of their own weapons and there may come a time when somebody is able to grab it away from them and use it against innocent bystanders.

Americans are used to seeing police openly carrying firearms. But because they are uniformed and easily identifiable and their position in society still commands some level of respect from most of society, most would never dream of overpowering or subduing a police officer in an attempt to grab their weapon away from them and then use it against innocents.

Not so for some schlub picking his nose in a Def Leppard t-shirt, who may or may not have had the proper training in order to maintain control of their own weapon. Some crazy asshole may get it in his head that Mr. Nose Picker doesn't look all that tough and that he could probably wrest Mr. N. P.'s crappy little 9mm away from him and then use it to cause some righteous anarchy.

And that is it in a nutshell. Gun control in this case means maintaining control of who is in possession of ones own weapon. I am not convinced that the majority of Americans are wholly prepared to do exactly that, which is why I'd prefer that those who choose to carry a legally registered firearm keep it concealed.



Update: Slapshot Two: All Politics IS Local!

Here we go AGAIN. Yet another politician paying lip service to openness and transparency and taking a play straight out of the S. P. v. 1.0 playbook. Yes, our mayor Dan Sullivan has morphed into S. P. v. 2.5 by his response to the ethical dilemma that surrounded a $193,000 payout by him acting as Mayor Dan to himself acting as Trustee Dan, head of the Sullivan Family Trust. How does that work? Do you physically have to change hats? So what play out of her political tricks playbook, do you ask? Why the use of an internal ethics board or panel, to investigate possible ethics violations of course.

Flippy McQuitter would be proud. She practically invented this ruse to whitewash her spotty ethics record! I'm only surprised she hasn't released an important facebook press release weighing in on this matter and giving Mayor Dan her full support. Oh that's right. Meg quit. She would have to actually write something herself.

Now we have the municipal ethics board. In Alaskan terms that means a private 'impartial' local attorney. Appointed by and paid for by Mayor Dan Sullivan, saying 'yes what he did was probably unethical' and narrowly limiting that comment solely to the question of whether or not it was unethical to withhold disclosure of his status as head trustee of the trust that received the $193,000 from the municipal assembly before they were asked to vote for approval of the payout. Yes that is wrong. Now prepare for your meaningless slap on the wrist with some soggy angel hair pasta as the deputy municipal attorney, whose paychecks are signed by the mayor, also weighs in by representing that there was nothing fiscally unethical about the whole situation. Basing the opinion upon an obscure 1982 assembly resolution that because of the way it was written, couldn't be honored and should therefore be invalidated. Really?

Mind you I am not saying that either of them are not telling the truth, but one has to wonder if telling the truth or having a nice high five figure/low six figure job is more important than being 100% truthful? Does anyone actually believe that an attorney is going to risk a cushy municipal job if forced to tell a truth that would not be best to disclose if it reflected negatively on the guy who signs the paychecks? Really? At the possible risk of their job? I am NOT saying there is any wrongdoing here, from either the board or the deputy municipal attorney. What I am saying is that the municipality is handling a potential conflict of interest ethics investigation case by having it reviewed and investigated by those whose positions as municipal employees or hired private contractors paid for by the municipality already imply a built in conflict of interest between the investigators and those being investigated! They're asked to investigate the guy who controls the fate of their future employment. Just like Sarah and her phony rubber stamp kangaroo court Personnel Board.

So if everything is all kosher and on the up and up, why not hire a truly independent investigator? I don't know about you but I for one am going to assume everything WAS NOT kosher and on the up and up. That's why. For instance -- how could three past Republican municipal administrations 'reduce the premium' on a non-existent life insurance policy? How does that work, exactly? Or, how does a $19,633 premium blossom into a $193,000 payout over 28 years time? Or, who was responsible for NOT telling the Sullivan family early on that Aetna rejected the muni's request for a policy on the basis that George M. Sullivan was no longer a municipal employee? I've read the supporting deputy municipal attorney's paperwork and understand the assembly wanting to reward the elder Sullivan for many, many years of good work for this city, but why didn't they, once they knew he wasn't qualified for a policy, move to change or modify the original assembly resolution to an annuity or perhaps even a retirement benefit of a fixed value? Why can't the municipality of Anchorage just give them the original $19,633 back, perhaps with some interest and just call it good, a simple misunderstanding? That would have been more fun! To see the mayor of Anchorage suing the municipality of Anchorage on behalf of his family trust for the municipality breaking an implied contract backed up by an assembly resolution. Oh that's right. Because there was no original policy, thus invalidating any promises made by the assembly in 1982 or by the municipality itself to the Sullivan family. So sorry! Here's your $19,633 back. Perhaps an even more important question is when was the family trust itself established? 1982? Or 2002 at the end of the Republican Wuerch administration after it looked like there might be issues with there being no policy or agreement other than an invalid assembly resolution? Was its establishment premeditated as well as predicated on the idea that someday they would be in a position to get a payout from the municipality even though no policy ever existed?

Yes. Politics in Alaska is the wild west, gentle readers. Not surprising since government jobs are the largest employer in this state. From what I'm seeing in my nearly thirty years of living here it seems most politicians aren't there to serve their constituents but rather to amass their own personal power base and build their personal fortunes. And that, speaking as one of those constituents, is just not right. In fact, it is downright unethical.

While I may write more on this subject in the future, I would say the absolute best source for a comprehensive look at the entire mess is Mel's excellent blog henkimaa -- or to keep updated on it all just search the Dan Sullivan tag. Between her site, the ADN reports and the writings of other progressive bloggers like Shannyn, Gryphen, Jeanne, Phil and myself -- Sullivan's goalie in the assembly, Dan Coffey, is going to be taking a lot of slapshots to the face. At least until we get answers. I hope he's ready.

Lastly to answer Sullivan apologist and former Bill Allen employed writer in his latest sad missive in the ADN by Paul Jenkins about 'lefty bloggers' and anonymous ones at that.... I'm a Republican. Look it up. You can also find my real name here and online. So your presumption on who would be 'attacking' your apparent hero was wrong. All citizens should demand and rightly receive openness and transparency from their elected officials and our government at all levels. That's just common sense. That's not partisan. Though you obviously are, Mr. Jenkins.

***** UPDATED *****
(added the link on Paul Jenkins name above to give background on Mr. Jenkins courtesy of Philip Munger at Progressive Alaska)



Say Hello To MY Little Friends....

For lo these many moons I have been a lone progressive Alaskan voice wailing and gnashing my teeth at all things Murdoch.

Preaching, "don't link to their content" and "starve them out". And now, I have an idea I may have reached 'the promised land'. An updated list of advertisers supporting the Faux Noise machine! Comes in a spanky new facebook flavor, too. Can I get an amen? Bravo and Hallelujah!

Now can I get back to writing about local Alaskan stuff other than Flippy McQuitter?

Yes I CAN! Soon.




It is done. Amen.

Well, the House side at least. One last 50 +1 = win vote in the senate and yes we can tell the last vestiges of batshit crazy Reganites, La Rouchies and far right teabaggers to finally STFU. Seriously.

The progressive revolution WILL be digitized. Live facebooked. Watching C-SPAN, munching on popcorn. And damnit if that isn't what America is all about I don't know what is!



Mid-hibernation mumble....

It has been a good holiday and a wonderful start to the new year with many changes afoot. Or ahand. Health-wise I am stabilized somewhat. Still dreaming a miracle on health care reform. Anyhow, some magnificent dream woke me from my teddy bear slumber and distracted me. I will be back writing again soon. But first, another nap.



People of Connecticut, RECALL Joe Lieberman, NOW please.

Here's the deal. Bear with me while I run down the civics. You see, senators and congressmen USED to serve in most states at the behest of the state executive branch. They were appointed to national office by the governor of the state. Not so anymore. Not in Alaska. Our constitution was amended to make it law that they are elected representatives of the people now. Since all states use the same system, the same rules should apply to Connecticut. Our representatives in D. C. are elected by the people and thus THE PEOPLE have the power to RECALL those same elected representatives when and if they feel they are not doing what is in the best interests of those who elected them. It is as simple as that. Petition and ballot initiative for recall. Governor appoint temporary replacement or via special election depending on the law of the state and voila! Say it IS so, no more Joe!

The rest of America waits with baited breath to see what the people of Connecticut will do with their own rogue pitbull in lipstick. Pray that a certain ex-politician prone to fits of quitting isn't cutting her Hawaii vacation short, rushing off to spend Christmas -- errr, I mean Hanukka with her dear friend Joe (and I'm sure she has been authorized by her Dominionist overlords to offer their new neo(theo)con friend Joe a place in heaven right alongside them after the rapture, just like all the good Christians. They're just that darn powerful, by golly. God told them so.You betcha!

Or maybe Joe just went home over the weekend because he obviously needed a meaningful hug. From someone. Anyone. You know. Like that schlub Bernie Madoff, screwing everyone, laughing all the way to the bank. But blames everyone else and their greed, not his. Maybe he just needed a hug. I'm sure he's getting plenty of hugs in prison. Joe just needs a hug and a little understanding of why he insists upon lighting 'Rome' figuratively aflame while he and those last remaining greedhead neocon and neotheocon assholes still in office rob and grift every damn nickle they can grift or graft from us poor taxpaying citizens or by gaming the system of lobbyists and corporations through campaign contributions. Those neocon and neotheocon rats still aboard ship in D. C. until progressive candidates can weed them out during the next two or three election cycles. If you're claiming to be a progressive you had better be thinking big picture and long haul and bring plenty of patience along if you think we're going to miraculously dig this country out of the deep well of shit the past administration left us all in, buried up to our eyeballs. It is going to take some major effort on all of our parts.

Soon Joe will (and in fact already has) announce he's thinking of running again, but this time maybe as an 'R' next election, justifying more grift and graft and bribes. But I predict he quits, takes all his bags of dirty private insurer death and blood money for profit campaign warchest bribes (you know they can keep those even if they lose or run and decide to retire before the poll date, right?) and retires to his country estate forever. Like a fine Lord or gentleman. Didn't America once fight a war against the aristocracy of a country that was run like this? Like a revolutionary one. Where we Americans were the guerrillas? Yeah. Thought so.

Please pardon my boldness by expressing this aloud as an outsider (and appreciate that plenty of outsiders to Alaskan politics have been just as bold with suggestions about OUR political problems) but in my opinion those who currently seem to be treated as the 'serfdom' of Connecticut by their elected representative and the private insurance industry need to tend to the maintenance of its transplanted vine by doing some selective pruning lest it wither. Now, please? Meet the rest of America at least half way on health care reform of I can almost guarantee that what does get passed in D. C. through either reconciliation or the expansion and reform of Medicare and Medicaid as a single payer public option for ALL Americans will absolutely kill the insurance industry in your state and all those jobs forever. In case I'm not making myself clear -- please, I implore you in the name of all things decent and pure and right, people of Connecticut, recall Joe Lieberman now. Thank you.


P. S. -- Housekeeping chores for our reps -- get on their asses about them, people.... write some dead tree letters and fill their offices with mail sacks: Break up the insurance monopolies. Allow more competition in the states. Alaska has one, maybe two major private insurers. Competition doesn't exist when two competitors agree to keep prices the same and never actually compete. More competitors, more competition. Everybody wins and those that can do the best job win more. You know. Like lassiez-faire capitalism. Only really. Then onto banking reform! Are you with me?


Oh, by the way....

In case you hadn't notice I am on a bit of a writing hiatus from the blog. There are plenty of things to discuss and write about -- but lets face it, I'm a lazy bastard. Lately I've mostly been writing while on facebook because its format lends itself to links and the immediacy of sharing amongst friends. When I get bored with doing that or when some bug flies up my ass again and pisses me off, I'll be back. There are still tons of OMFG things about Alaska to share and write about.



The Sleeper Awakens...

In effort to be concise I presume all know about Afghanistan, the situation there, it's American appointed President, and the sorry state of affairs as it pertains to completing the original objective: capturing and prosecuting Osama bin Laden? Okay. Good. For those that don't know (and I encourage you to google and wiki to you hearts content) Hamid Karzai is an ex-negotiator of pipeline right of ways (i.e. a lawyer) for a big oil conglomerate. He was instrumental in getting a pipeline built from Pakistan and Afghanistan to the Caspian Sea area of Russia. So basically doing for the Russians what we (meaning the Bush administration) wanted to do for Iraqi oil. Liberate it for the greater good (and profit) of America(n oil companies)! Only he got the job done for his Russian overlords. Unlike that buffoon al-Malaki that America appointed in Iraq.

What is not so funny, because I find the above hilarious in a disturbing sort of way, is that we are now, as a nation being asked to commit even more blood and treasure propping up an illegitimate Afghan government and I would rather see any armed forces used there focused with laser pinpoint precision upon the true and original target, bin Laden. Time to bring the mastermind of 9/11 to justice. Fuck propping up petty tin-horn dictators and dreams of democratizing the locals. Fuck blood for oil. That is 20th century thinking. Time to move along. Time to fix the problems of America first. Again. We can still help out overseas but is it not well past the time of us thinking we are the police force for the entire world? What the hell is the UN supposed to be if not filling that very role? Time to disband NATO. What is the point? Coldwar is over, right? Time to bring home our troops from Germany and South Korea and Japan and Iraq and Afghanistan and any other place on the planet that isn't legitimate American soil. Time to give Gitmo back to the Cubans and drop the embargoes. Time to force the Israelis and Palistians to hug it out. Time to have a beer (non-alcoholic, of course) with Ahmadinejad. Time for the entire world to be sick and tired of war.

Enough war already, people. Why? Because the world is running out of adult males to continue to fight. Are these the government allies you wish to pair up with our highly trained soldiers, Senator? Congressman? Mr. President? Please. Enough already. Bring our troops home, now. Stop funding perpetual death, before it is too late for us all.



Senryu Update Edition

No sounds, just silence --
breathe in breath out and repeat
sparks fly, hair ablaze.



Team... WHO?

So here's what I'm saying: the expansion of the 'compound' is probably a house for Bristol. Big deal. Who cares. They can afford it now. Her 'compound' is a large house on a public lake visible from the highway. Not some "secluded location" as I got a good laugh from today while reading comments on the 'intarnets'. I have driven past it literally hundereds of times. So unless they've planted some strategically placed trees recently, you can see it from the parking lot of the public pisser right next to the park where people from Wasilla, frolicing on what passes for a beach during summer in Alaska, are crazy enough to swim and boat and jetski and fly planes and such. It's kind of what we do here in Alaska. I know. Shocking! Oh and by the way people of Wasillia -- figure it out! What do you think the pisser drains into? That's right. You're swimming in it, doofus. Criminy. Or is it just some crafty country way of preventing swimmer's itch? If so, bravo Wasilla!

Okay. I'm picking a side. My utmost expression of compassion in the entire soap opera of life that swirls around the entire Palin family is NOT for Levi. Nor Bristol. Definitely not for Sarah or Todd... no, my most heartfelt wishes and hopes should naturally lead me and everyone else to root for and choose Team TRIGG! I wish him the best. Good luck little buddy. You are going to need it. With all the effed up things adults do, let us all hope the best for him and that he is able to grow up vital, alive, healthy and happpy. And loved by EVERYONE in his family. Let us all hope that ALL the Palin and for the matter the Johnston family(s) "stop effing things up!" and learn to do right by each other, which is the just and humane path. Lives and hearts are at stake. But alas, no. Probably won't happen. That doesn't sell books. Or magazines. For ALL involved.

BAH! I'll have none of it! Go peddle your future Murdock sponsored reality show driven conceptual lifestyle infotainment bullshit elsewhere, lady! I leave consumption of any 'reality based' shows or books or magazines or whatever to others. It's not like they need my permission but I suppose they're going to build their little family fame industry. Nothing we can do to stop it other than ignoring it or not participating. But none of them shall ever see a single penny from my pocket. Unless someone wants to hold a TEAM TRIGG fundraiser, of course. Your mileage may vary and you are free to choose, &tc.but -- GO TEAM TRIGG! Woot!

From my own experience I learned that the answer to the problem with the NOOKULUR family model is that you need to ACTIVELY keep it from blowing up. Think of it as '24' only for 50+ years. I personally was somewhat less than successful and McGuyver-like during my experiments with it and yet because of it I have a brilliant son of whom I am very proud and who I will always love. I grew to understand that perhaps some adults need remedial education to learn how to act as adults rather than spoiled children when matters of family and heart come into play. Even myself. Everyone in the equation is human (though in Trigg's case, probably too young to understand much of what's going on for now...) and needs to be treated politely and with a certain sense of tact and decorum. All humans have feelings and emotions and honest communications are required for all concerned to come out relatively unscathed emotionally. The child's wishes take priority and everyone needs to learn to cooperate towards that end. Within reason of course... no driving off a bridge because "little Timmy told me to...".

Anyhow. As a child of divorce, someone who has been through divorce and as both a married then single parent myself, I say -- "Go TEAM TRIGG!" We're rootin' for ya', buddy.


*note the author wishes to acknowledge every where you see 'TRIGG' he is secretly inserting the name of his son Jon. Parents, you understand. Which is NOT to say I am being insincere in my best wishes for Trigg himself. I really do wish young Trigg all the best and really feel he is the most important person in whatever drama if any arises in the near future. So one first and one last time: GO TEAM JON! GO TEAM TRIGG!


Celtic Diva Nails It!

Why oh why do some Alaskans still seem to carry a bit of a chip on their shoulder about the subject and personage of Sarah Palin? Here's why. My friend Linda at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis explains it better than anyone. Part 1 and Part 2. Yes, it takes at least that many parts to explain it because with Palin, "it's complicated". Excellent work, Linda! The only thing missing is Todd's sexy silk NY boxers and you can bet your sweet ass you can pin THAT one on Sarah, too.



...and Furthermore!

Two things in the battletide of health care reform. Notice I'm so non plused I'm not even bothering to capitalize 'Health Care Reform' any longer? Yeah. Me too. Because ultimately I believe the "public option" is narrowing down to equate to "expansion of Medicare/Medicaid" and it WILL happen, if not by majority vote, cloture or any other damn thing then by executive order if need be. Obama wants to grow a huge honking pair, he'd do it that way. Take responsibility for it all and when it is properly run and regulated and profitable, tell ALL the wingnuts to just go fuck themselves. Forever.

But I digress. Here's Wyden insisting there be a public option in the final bill, and here's old 'Independent' Joe putting on the squeeze play. Why the squeeze play? Because the only way it seems able to get through now is if there's an "opt-out" clause on a state by state basis. States rights. Still the possibility exists that the triggers may either be set too high and that having triggers in the first place PLUS insistence upon voiding the private insurers anti-trust exemption could possibly trigger the regionalization of medicine and medical treatment in America. In other words make it more hard to get competent, qualified medical care AND increase the travel cost! Brilliant! We already have that in Alaska so perhaps it won't effect us all that much.

So, yeah -- NO. Yes to the public option. Yes to the expansion of M/M. NO to any sort of trigger. It's part of the Medicare/Medicaid package, we're reforming and expanding the system to cover the uninsured, either you're in or you are out at the state level. Are any states presently NOT enrolled in both? End of story. Eureka. You have found the pot o' gold. You have freed the dragon. Public Option. Now move along.

Eventually and as stated I expect it will all be part of M/M so "no big whup..." THEN yes, reform of M/M is a must and please pass the anti-trust hammer. It's clobberin' time!


Mmm... CEOs Are Bad, M'kay?

...both National and Local ones.

Okay. I agree. It's not the people in corporations that make them so bad. I'm sure there are boatloads of people who are perfectly nice, upstanding and honest fellow citizens working for many corporations. It's really about your leaders. Well -- our leaders. Some of them are righteous assholes interested in only money and power. Some of them are paid vast sums of money to make the heart wrenching decision over whether to fire 10,000 or 20,000 factory workers or just eliminate all corporate pension and health care fund contributions in order to maintain the 14% ROI (return on investment) that "stockholders DEMAND". Some of them seek to use their money and power to influence a government "of, by and for the people." -- especially here in Alaska.

Yeah. I'm touched. I'm sure the cost of therapy alone could run six figures. I mean how could you sleep at night knowing that your bad decisions were going to wreck the lives of families nationwide, cast them to the winds? Meanwhile please enjoy your $25 million severance package and your $50 million retirement/pension.

Or for you future prisoners, please enjoy your stay with "three hots and a cot". You can probably even find a way to do some "day trading" from inside the joint, eh Bernie, eh Bill? You know... to parlay all the money bad guys like you looted from Americans and America and stashed offshore in the Caymans or Dubai. Keep spreading the money and influence around while America pays for your extended stay at one of our fine penal hotels. Chin up, new meat. Lucky for you it's a "white collar" country club kind of prison and you will all probably be out in 5-10 years anyhow. If that long.


(this message brought to you by the number 2 and the letter(s) "Senator B")


When they outlaw net neutrality, only outlaws will have net neutrality...

(or "they can have my net neutrality when they come and pry it from my cold, dead fingers.")

Zoiks! Cranky Grandpa is back on the loose and he's looking to "scratch the back" of some of his biggest campaign donors, telcos.

As a side note (or 'rant' as many readers have been known to say ;) ), speaking only for myself but using the word 'America' to represent... well, myself and America -- America is SO sick and tired of business as usual in Washington, D.C., seriously. Not necessarily gun-totin' crazy pissed off crazy (though some few number are), but calculating crazy in the voting booth crazy -- voting AGAINST all obstructionists and do-nothings (hello, Congressman Yon Dung!) and voting AGAINST those that would choose corporations over unions and the little guy workers of America... voting them all out out OUT!

Change is a'comin', I can smell it. I can feel it. Very soon someone in high political office may get upset enough with all the stinkin' 'moneychangers in the temple' to start tossing them out. They're starting to do that with bailed out companies and bonuses by getting clawback from essentially majority publically owned companies (due to them still owing America both me AND the entire country). America is beginning to demand responsibility, accountability and mostly PAYBACK for all the monies we taxpayers LOANED these companies -- BEFORE they give out fat bonuses for failure. If these are new hires, not responsible for past mistakes then okay, but if these are rewards passed out to rats abandoning a sinking ship, that they themselves scuttled like pirates to pilfer for the booty -- then yes, I have a problem using taxpayer money to reward these pirates.

Though I'm clearly kidding by comparing through allusion the implications of Obama as 'a savior' or 'messiah' for America (this time the country and I suppose by extension even me), change DOES need to come starting with, as he was told to do by advisors from the outset, curtail and sharply regulate and control lobbyists. Corporate influence over D. C. must end in its entirety. 527 groups with 501(c)3 status eligibilty must always be and should always remain tightly controlled to only narrowly allow non-profits and their public members to form coalitions in order to access their representatives in D.C. in cases where people feel the cause needs to cary more clout and gravitas (and then by extension employ an actual living, breathing person to go 'lobby' the representative). This naturally carries more impact than that of a lone constituent sending a letter to their congressman or senator to discuss an issue. The bottom line is that it should all be done through non-profits with all elections publically funded to eliminate corporate control and undue influence on our government.

Yes, corporations are people too, but MONEY must be removed from the equation for us to be able to make good law based upon facts, science and reality. Reform the way Washington works FIRST and THEN Obama and his administration could really work through health care and labor issues and human rights issues and DADT and getting us out of bad wars while protecting America issues and &tc, ad infinitum. Ahem. Oh and he'd SO be able to take care of that nuclear non-proliferation thingy while he's at it, too. Here's to hoping Axelrod reads this. Ah screw it, maybe I'll just email him the link. ;)

TL;DR version for Dave: Change Washington, D. C. first, then change everything else to what is good for ALL the common citizens of America, not just a select few. P.S. -- KEEP NET NEUTRALITY!



Hark! Yon Dung doth approacheth!

Weigh in on this from the ADN?

Does any of this surprise anyone from or now presently living in Alaska? Really? Who pays for Don's picnics? Hello? The sponsors all have banners at the events. Right down to the gas grills.

I've already posted about our sole congressman and said he needed to be replaced. I'll support the best candidate that runs against him in the next election. So should you. So should we all.

Let's get ALL the corrupt bastards back in court and finish all the sentencing already. Is the court waiting for a written invitation from the people to proceed with the machinations of justice and due process? Consider it grated, please proceed.



Hallelujah! (and) Progressive Blog Links Rodeo Roundup!

Is this the bill you're looking for? Why yes thank you! It's all starting to make sense now. From here until election day it's firebrand progressives like Grayson and Weiner and Franken laying down the legislative smack. HARD.

"We're attaching  some amendments to your pork laden, war profiteering, home district rewarding Department of Defense spending continuation bill..."

"Hey! Wait now... let's all simma down naow..."

"You [Republicans] don't like what we [Democrats] are doing, then filibuster. Or vote no."

 America needs more critical thinkers. Though sometimes you get rogues.

By the way, Rep. Anthony Weiner actually supports a true single payer system, as do I. Just expand Medicare/Medicaid and reform the hell out of it.



Things Are Tough All Over...

Okay. This has got to be a joke, right? I doubt that Palin has ever even heard of LinkedIn, let alone personally know how to sign up for one of their accounts or post he resume there! But I will say in all honesty, if she really needs the work I could seriously use a housekeeper. Seriously. I realize she may be vastly overqualified for the position (or perhaps not if we are to believe Levi Johnson's Vanity Fair account of behind the scenes life within the Palin household) but I'd be willing to pay her $250 for a day and provide her with the HAZMAT suit she'll most likely need to come over and clean my little four room apartment. Standing offer Sarah. Call me!



I Love The Smell Of Deperation First Thing In The Morning...

Not mine but rather Sarah Palin's seeming desperation. Remember this is an independent, ad-free and unpaid blog -- thus I have no financial gain or benefits to disclose for writing what I write. It is my personal opinion covered by my right to freedom of speech. Period. Nobody is slipping me money under the table nor paying me either directly or indirectly, in fact it costs me over $600 a year for my broadband access. I have never even asked for any donations to support this blog, myself or my writing! Lastly, Google provides the blogspace for free. So there you have it. That is MY disclosure statement, so please indulge my whims again for a moment by allowing me to relate the following bits of recent Palin related information with those thoughts in mind.

There are two items of recent note about our ex-governor, the perpetual second runner up, that I now discuss -- first, she announced yet another PAC yesterday. Why? According to Fred Malek, apparently one of the few former McCain campaign staffers still willing to talk about her, "She wants to continue to be in a position to help causes dear to her heart and help people close to her". Hmm... does that not sounds exactly like what she herself said on the day she quit her job as governor of Alaska? Perhaps Fred helped her write her July third abdication speech? So basically then it is the announcement of a new PAC funding Sarah and her aparent megalomaniacal personal ambitions, right Fred? At this point you may be wondering as much as I am just what exactly is wrong with the old SarahPAC which would cause the need for an announcement of an entirely new PAC? Incidnetly, even after this announcement the old SarahPAC is still functioning online and continues to beg for more money from her supporters. So really -- why a second PAC?

Allow me to take a stab at explaining this from the perspective of a non-lawyer but as someone who has done extensive research concerning her troubles with personal finance and her various online fund raising efforts. At face value this new PAC appears to be exactly the same thing as SarahPAC, which again immediatly begs the question as to why she needs yet another PAC? Why Sarah, WHY? Is it because the hammer of justice is about to drop hard on SarahPAC due to its original thinly veiled charter that essentially makes it a slush fund to pay her friends, family, cronies and the monthly fees of spokes-model Meg "The Mouth" Stapeltongue rather than actually supporting political candidates and causes other than Team Sarah itself? My short answer is yes I believe so, yes precisely. Here comes the hammer, Sarah and lovers of Sarah. Better brace yourself.

As a PAC, the FEC has already officially grumbled about SarahPAC's legality based upon its original charter, pretty much alleging hers is NOT truly legal under the rules, regulations and laws governing what qualifies as a tax exempt 527 group. It has also been suggested by some at the FEC that there are glaring legal difficulties with the original charter of SarahPAC in claiming it to be a 501(c)3 which would allow her donors to write their contributions off on their taxes. Since Sarah is not currently running for political office how can she and her team continue to ethically claim tax exempt status? It's not a campaign fund. Add to that the fact that  the limited amount of FEC disclosures available also show only small portions, indeed a minor percentage of the donations to SarahPAC have actually been passed along to support other political campaigns and causes of interest to her and her team. A comparatively miniscule amount, even. Essentially it seems thus far that the money mostly goes towards furthering her personal ambitions which presently appear to be a nothing less than a personal money making venture for Sarah and her team. No pun intended but the cash cow seems to be Sarah herself as is the direct majority beneficiary of the PAC amply demonstrated by FEC disclosures of the percentage of total monies doled out from the PAC towards other legitimate political causes and concerns. So unless she has declared herself PERSONALLY to be a non-profit entity, a candidate or a registered lobbiest concern and is willing to back it up with public disclosures to both the FEC and IRS, she seems to be dancing around with the truth in a murky gray area both legally and ethically about the usage of funds donated by her supporters to her original PAC.

Her recent FEC disclosures show a limited amount of actual "political actions" or "causes", mostly in the form of donations to a select few of her fellow Republicans and their campaign funds (John McCain and Michelle Bachman amongst them). In addition, the few times she and team Sarah even bothered to actually spend PAC donations on something recognizably political OTHER than her or team Sarah, they over donated above the legally permitted per annum amount which in turn then had to be reimbursed back to her PAC just to keep everything within the law. Fair enough. A simple mistake for which I will not cruxify them. These things happen. Those campaigns returned the excess amounts when directed to do so by the FEC because of excess per anum dollar amount violations, so no problems there other than the seeming perpetual stupidity of her PAC administrators. But as has often been the case in the recent past with so many of her legally required public personal financial disclosures, she and her team may have been playing fast and loose with the truth, the rules and their adherance to actual law. The FEC disclosures I have read show that she has been just as lax at reporting SarahPAC expenditures to the FEC as she has been in declaring (within a legally mandated set period of time) the financial value of gifts given to her while serving as governor of the state of Alaska. I cease to be surprised and -- surprise! -- she has been just as late complying with FEC rules as well. Sarah and team Sarah always seem to be late with their legally mandated "homework", having to erase the smiley faces and hearts and replace them with properly dotted i's and properly crossed t's.

Most interesting to me however is that her team's actions appear to be a literal demonstration of an acting and actual confederacy of dunces! You bet'cha! She has hired herself her very own circular firing squad! From my perspective it is obvious that perhaps she is getting somewhat less than what she is paying for from her employees who continue to act as some sort of perpetual newsmaking gaffe machine. It would almost be funny if it weren't so damn sad. It makes it hard to decide if I should feel cynical or maybe even sorry for her. In most cases I'm going to choose cynical because often it seems intentional and almost orchestrated rather than accidental. On top of all of this it appears, again through the limited disclosuers team Sarah HAS actually made to the FEC and in both the main stream media and as reported on various partisan or non-partisan political blogs, that many of these very same dunces may be directly paid out of her SarahPAC slush fund. Which of course only further compounds her potential problems with the FEC and IRS and their rules. Team Sarah will probably claim otherwise but though their own initial and perhaps accidental uncoordinated press releases and in words taken directly from her spokesperson Meg "The Mouth" Stapletongue, it was originally disclosed that this was actually the case before someone had a cow (Sarah, doing damage control C.Y.A. work as undoubtedly advised to do by her more politically savvy hired gun mercernary attorney, I'd wager) and quickly tried to claw those statements back by asserting that Sarah was actually paying for all these employees personally. Sorry folks. You already said it was paying for Meg and the Team Sarah folks at first. Once you hit the 'SEND' button it it nigh well impossible to 'UNSEND'. In my opinion all of this crazy sideshow freak circus amounts to the appearance of her and her team wilfully skirting the bounds of what is both legal AND ethical and serves only to confirm the hapless antics of her confederacy of dunces perhaps even in a craven effort to only get her still more press merely to keep her name in the headlines. Sad to contemplate that possibility but how esle is one to explain the veritable Keyston Cops nature of her and her team and their crazy press release circus? It's almost like the Three Stooges, only without the funny parts! Oh wait... never mind. Anyhow, the news and press releases are out there in the wilds of the untamed internet and I don't feel the need to provide citations. I've seen them, I've read them and I have now reported them. If you are truly interested in unraveling all this crap (and I pray for the sake of your sanity) then I encourage you all to go look for it yourself. Again, I have nothing to gain from retelling all of this other than amusement at the total and continued ineptitude of her team plus the personal satisfaction of reminding everyone of their possible lies concerning her, her ambitions and the somewhat shadowy financial details of her and her political machine. It totally boggles the mind just how badly one could possibly screw up what supposedly started out as a bright political career and yet from all appearances that seems to be the case.

Whatever the causes or reasons it does appear to help keep her name in the news which is probably the most important issue for Sarah and team Sarah. Especially considering the other item of note today: her popularity. According to a newly published Gallup poll, her popularity numbers nationally are still on the wane as they have been since the end of the McCain campaign. Don't even get me started on how low they have dropped for her within her own state! I'd go as far as to say that even the majority of Alaskan Republicans no longer favor or support her. Most Alaskans don't like quitters. Especially ones that quit on Alaska. Ask former governor Hickel. The latest numbers show fourty percent overall average favorable opinion nationwide, with sixty-nine percent of polled Republicans still seeing her favorably. So nationally many Republicans who didn't have to live with her as their governor still seem to have the wool pulled over their eyes. Perhaps more telling is that twenty-five percent of Republicans nationally see her unfavorably with just six percent registering no opinion. Still even more telling is the approval rating of those valuable "swing voter" independents: a full fourty-eight percent register as unfavorable, with eleven percent registering no opinion and only fourty-one percent registering approval. It goes without saying that the vast majority of Democrats both nationally and locally register as unfavorable.

All of these factors lead me to believe that her announcement of another new PAC is precisely because they already have an inkling that the old one is about to be shut down for both FEC and IRS violations. But as has been the case for her sketchy and incomplete (not to mention LATE) personal gift disclosures while the governor of Alaska, we have yet to have an official declaration of any legal violations and any subsequent penalties or remedies, so this story isn't over yet. Not by a long shot, unfortunately. As an Alaskan I am comfortable with the idea that many of us would prefer that her and the questionable antics of her political machine just go away forever. She has become an utter embarassment for many, many Alaskans and with every hapless gaffe continues to reflect negatively on both the state and it's inhabitants. As far as I am concerned we Alaskans need only be patient a little while longer until the she and the whole shebang implodes on her, her employees and her supporters at NewsCorp (including but not limited to Fox News, Harpers, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal who continue to promote her as Rupert Murdoch's (mostly undisclosed to those NOT in the know) pet project). May we all collectively offer a deep and loud sigh of relief when this impending implosion occurs and she fades into personal and political obscurity as a sad Alaskan hisorical footnote. May we also cheer at her and her hapless minions repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot (as they still continue to do), thus liberating us and the rest of America from any further news about her, her causes and her political ambitions (whatever the hell those may be now she's been branded a quitter and hasn't yet announced for any office) now and forever. Then and only then we will ALL be able to breathe that collective sigh of releif and we Alaskans can return to rebuilding our now sullied reputation as hardy and THINKING rugged individualists. From my fingertips to your eyeballs to her ears. Amen.