Tuesday, 31 March 2009

First Dud in Esquire magazine!


Isn't life grand? Sarah Palin gave bloggers a number of priceless quotes when she was interviewed by Esquire. Now we're going to have some gems from the Dud, I can't wait!

A few of Sarah's quotes:

"Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me...."

We've noticed that.

"I eat, therefore I hunt."

The wolves have noticed that.

"This is what I've been telling Bristol, before she gets married, is, Bristol, there are definitely gonna be tough parts in marriage. You have to look at those tough times and remember that you have essentially a business contract with this person."

Oops! That business went under before it started! Somebody didn't read the small print.

"The secret to chili is you gotta have good mooseburger in there. I don't know if you can get moose commercially in New York. You'd have to come up here and visit me in my home, and I'll prepare it for ya."

You betcha!

"I bite my lip when I'm tempted to wisecrack, because I'm always thinking of something that I'd love to say but know that I better not say it because of the position that I'm in."

Tell that to cancer survivor Lyda Green. You forgot to bite your lip when you giggled while some radio jocks called her a fat bitch and a cancer on air.

"In a fishing village called Dillingham, I worked waitin' tables at a bar. Serving people, you learn patience. When someone's mad at you 'cause you're not serving them in the manner that they want to be served, and you've gotta be tempered and graceful."

Hey Sarah, you've gotta be tempered and graceful when Alaskans get mad at you, 'cause you're not serving them in the manner that they want be served...

Todd Palin, "How to be a Man"

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Sarah Palin's e-mails


It looks like Sarah Palin has destroyed evidence regarding the private e-mail accounts she and other government staff used to conduct state business.

Gawker has screen grabs, timeline and other goodies that could prove very tricky for the Governor.

Open and transparent, that's our Sarah!
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Sarah Palin and the volcano


"Fortunately Redoubt has been giving us signs that it was bound to blow sometime this spring," Sarah Palin said. "These warning signs gave Alaskans in Southcentral time to protect their belongings, educate their families, and stock up on air filters and other essential protective gear."

Unfortunately, the Governor didn't take any steps about the Chevron crude oil tanks sited at the base of the volcano before it erupted. She didn't question Chevron or request they drain the tanks while the volcano was still calm despite the appeals from Cook Inletkeeper.

Now it's not safe to drain the tanks and the arrangements for dealing with a possible spill are inadequate. There are 6 million gallons of crude stocked at the base of an erupting volcano that had been giving signs that it was bound to blow.

Alaskans who depend on fishing for their survival know very well how a major oil spill affects their livelihoods. The Exxon Valdez disaster has proved that the oil industry is irresponsible and unaccountable. After 20 years of litigation, the people affected by the spill received $12,000 each as compensation for their losses.

Exxon likes to say how they spent billions of dollars in the clean-up operation, which was inadequate and introduced further pollutants into the waters of Prince William Sound. It made the oil "invisible", but 20 years on, people can fill jars with the crude that keeps popping up. They didn't spend billions in the operation, they claimed it from their insurance companies. Exxon's costs amounted to not much more than the criminal and civil settlements, including the paltry compensation paid to the people who had their lives destroyed. Who knows, they might have been insured for some of that as well!

"We can safely and responsibly develop our resources." That's what Sarah Palin, the foremost energy expert in the country, is fond of saying.

Chevron must have figured that with the levels of safety and responsibility required, it was cheaper to leave the oil sitting there, risk a major spill and they would still be in in the money.

Exxon got off lightly by blaming the drunk captain of the tanker. Chevron can blame the volcano. Mt Redoubt wouldn't even have to serve 1000 hours community service like drunk captain Hazelwood.

If the Chevron oil spills, Alaskans and the rest of the world will blame the Governor's accommodating attitude to the big oil industry she "took on", together with her inability and unwillingness to deal with any crisis that cross her path.

Further reading about Chevron: Shannyn Moore, Progressive Alaska, AKMuckraker
Exxon Valdez

Monday, 30 March 2009

Busy Sarah


There are less than three weeks until the end of the legislative session. Sarah Palin will be rid of those pesky lawmakers for another year and will be able to go back to her nice, warm home in Wasilla and the lovely per diems!

Oh, she's already there? Blame it on the volcano. (Chevron tanks? Spill? Disaster? Whaaaat???)

Honestly, these lawmakers keep bothering the Governor with things like discussing the stimulus package, what are they thinking? She already said "Thanks, but no thanks"! ("I'm a fiscal conservative, I don't want to grow government.")

The Governor has better things to do, like giving interviews to People magazine, chatting (on camera) to her mates at Fox News, attending Christian events, important things!

Of course she hasn't forgotten her duties as governor, but hey, she can do that by press release. Modern technology is truly marvellous. A few clicks here and there and her latest announcement is instantly, in full glory, on her very own website!

Then there are chums to be appointed to various important positions. But that's the fun bit, she doesn't mind it at all and it gives her the chance to issue more press releases and grab some camera time.

(Mental note for all official communications: mention small government. They really like it in the Lower 48.)

Sarah has to check on the progress of her SarahPac, exchange the weekly e-mails with John Coale, it's hard work. (Not state business? Darn! Will have to do it when not on duty. On duty 24/7? Bill McAllister can't keep his mouth shut, why did he say that? Meg, help!)

Sometimes she worries, though. People keep filing "frivilous" ethics complaints and law suits and they cost a lot of money, you know? (Must start that legal fund, pronto!)

The Governor has a very busy schedule. She prays every day for those whining natives to behave themselves and seize some opportunity somewhere hundreds of miles away from their villages and leave her alone. (Why can't they be more like Todd?)

Sarah also prays for some fresh snow so the wolf slaughtering program can progress as planned.

Yes, this Legislative thingie in Juneau is a a pain in the neck, she's counting the days until it's all over!
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Sarah Palin, Scientology and power games


There are too many religious groups trying to infiltrate the government. The Assemblies of God make no secret of it and have a very clear agenda. They target right-wing poiliticians, where they find unprecedented support. George W Bush and Sarah Palin have enthusiastically embraced their cause.

The Scientologists are at it as well, but they're not fussy. John Coale, Greta Van Susteren's husband, is hell bent on "getting in there". He professes to having unusual sympathy for women in politics. Coale is very giving both in terms of money and advice, which he dishes out to the damsels in distress in generous amounts. The fact that two of his famous muses are at totally opposite ends of the political spectrum doesn't seem to bother him in the least.

I find these religious groups very sinister. They want to influence policy making in order to further their own ends, which have very little to do with serving the people who elect those charged with governing the land.

If they are allowed to succeed, government would leave the realm of politics and enter the realm of the surreal.

The case for the separation of church and state has never been stronger. Religion should be placed back where it belongs and elected officials should keep their faith and beliefs out of the public arena, safely behind the closed doors of their churches and homes.

Links
Geoffrey Dunn, HuffPo
John Cook, Gawker
Religion posts, palingates

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Sarah Palin v anonymous bloggers (updated)

Sarah Palin's relationship with anonymous bloggers has not been a friendly one, to say the least. Maybe she should refer to them as progressive or liberal instead of using this blanket term "anonymous bloggers".

There are countless right-wing individuals who write under pseudonyms or creative screen names. Sarah Palin's description of anonymous bloggers was much ridiculed. In her fantasies, are the progressive ones wearing their bedtime attire, tapping their keyboards from some dark basement and the conservative ones wearing suits, writing from plush offices with panoramic windows? In her mental picture is the first group afflicted by skin conditions and the second have flawless complexions?

But I digress...

Let's focus on her grievances concerning the bloggers she accuses of spreading falsehoods. Has Sarah Palin sued any of these people? Even if the identities of the people spreading such falsehoods are unknown, she would still have the recourse of filing a John Doe suit for defamation, libel, whatever. The ball would be on her court to prove the allegations to be false. She would have an excellent case against the Trig Truthers. The Babygate blogs fall outside the political arena and concern Sarah Palin as a mother and some members of her family.

A lawsuit against any one of these bloggers would be the perfect opportunity to weaken the arguments of the political ones as well. Once she emerged, victorious, from a court of law, she could call a press conference where she would be able to state categorically: "I told the world that these anonymous bloggers were spreading malicious falsehoods and today justice prevailed!" Or something like that.

Proving that political dissenters were spreading lies would be much more complicated, as her political record is in the public domain, so she would be disputing their opinions and interpretation of the facts, not the facts themselves. But if she won a Babygate lawsuit, because she lumped all bloggers in the same category, she would be able to claim a moral victory against anonymous political dissenters without having to take any direct action in court. Neat, eh?

Why didn't Sarah Palin jump at this fantastic opportunity to kill two birds with one stone?

Because she would have to win the lawsuit. In order to do that she would have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, by producing documents and evidence from individuals under oath, that the bloggers were indeed propagating lies about herself, her family and the baby in question in a public court of law.

I'm sure she must have all the necessary evidence to win such a case...

UPDATE: I decided to place a comment I received as an update, because it raises an interesting point.

"A gentle correction that makes your point even stronger: the plaintiff in a defamation suit does not have to carry the burden of proof of "beyond a reasonable doubt." The burden of proof on a party who brings a civil case is far lighter, making it yet more inexplicable not to bring a suit if a blogger supposedly had done something actionable."

Link to a conservative anonymous blog, in the interests of balance and fairness.
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Sarah Palin quite contrary


Sarah Palin named Democrat Tim Grussendorf to the open state Senate seat representing the Juneau area, snubbing the choice of the local party.

She is rejecting Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, the only name recommended to the governor by southeast Democratic leaders after Elton resigned to take an Interior Department position with the Obama administration in Washington, D.C.

Grussendorf’s selection must be approved by Senate Democrats.

Press release from Sarah Palin's office:

March 29, 2009, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin today named Tim Grussendorf as her designee to replace Kim Elton as the state senator from District B, representing the City and Borough of Juneau.

Grussendorf has worked as a commercial fisherman and serves as chief of staff to Alaska State Senator Lyman Hoffman. He is currently president of the Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance and a board member of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association. Grussendorf is active in the Juneau community, volunteering his time to coach soccer and basketball teams. He is the assistant basketball coach at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Grussendorf’s father, Ben Grussendorf, was a representative from Sitka and served as Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives.

“Tim’s solid credentials and thorough understanding of the issues facing our state will serve his constituents well,” Governor Palin said. “I am confident he will be able to hit the ground running.”

Governor Palin said she appreciates the interest shown by so many qualified applicants for the position.

“It is encouraging so many dedicated Alaskans stepped forward to offer their services to the constituents of District B and the State of Alaska,” said Governor Palin. “I’m confident the good people of our capital city can look forward to Tim joining Representatives Kerttula and Munoz in fine service.”

Grussendorf is married with two teenaged sons who are involved in Juneau sports teams. He must be confirmed by a simple majority of Senate Democrats.

Sarah's appears to have a new hobby: antagonizing everyone. She won't discuss the stimulus package with the lawmakers, RNC staff are not good enough to pray with her and now she rejected the Democrats' choice for the vacant Senate seat.

I won't mention the media and the bloggers. Being at odds with them is an old hobby of hers.

Report from Juneau Empire and ADN.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sarah Alaska or SarahPac?


There seems to be a problem between Sarah Palin's people in Alaska and her national SarahPac. Nobody in one team appears to know anything about what the other is doing.

Bill McAllister speaks for one camp, Meg Stapleton for the other. Don't they ever speak to each other?

Doesn't anybody at SarahPac speak to Meg Stapleton before accepting invitations to Republican national events?

Too many people are giving advice to the Governor, none of it any good.

"Too many cooks spoil the broth."

Article from Politico
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Anonymous blogging


I have gleaned some material quoted in comments on various sites regarding internet anonymity and added a bit of research for quick reference.

Anonymity

Many people don't want the things they say online to be connected with their offline identities. They may be concerned about political or economic retribution, harassment, or even threats to their lives. Whistleblowers report news that companies and governments would prefer to suppress; human rights workers struggle against repressive governments; parents try to create a safe way for children to explore; victims of domestic violence attempt to rebuild their lives where abusers cannot follow.

Instead of using their true names to communicate, these people choose to speak using pseudonyms (assumed names) or anonymously (no name at all). For these individuals and the organizations that support them, secure anonymity is critical. It may literally save lives.

Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society. (EFF)

Is anonymous speech a right?

Yes. Anonymous speech is presumptively protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Anonymous pamphleteering played an important role for the Founding Fathers, including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, whose Federalist Papers were first published anonymously. And the Supreme Court has consistently backed up that tradition, ruling, for example, that an Ohio law requiring authors to put their names on campaign literature was a violation of the First Amendment. Indeed, the Supreme Court has ruled that protecting anonymous speech has the same purpose as the First Amendment itself: to "protect unpopular individuals from retaliation ­ and their ideas from suppression." (Cyberslapp)

"Anonymous speech on the Internet lets people make criticisms that are difficult to state openly, and share information and support about topics that might be stigmatizing, such as addiction or sexual abuse,"" said Ann Beeson, Staff Counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union. "Unless online anonymity is protected, whistleblowers who want to criticize their employers, parents who want to criticize the principal of their children's school - and many others - may be afraid to speak out. That would be a loss for our country." Beeson pointed out that the Supreme Court has repeatedly found that anonymous speech is a right protected by the First Amendment. (ACLU)

A blogger describes her experiences (2006)

This outing thing is really getting out of hand.

This is the way she informed me that she’d figured out who I was.

And she has. Congratulations, Ann, you guessed right. You know who I am, and where I work. And you’ve been very clear that you don’t like pseudonymity, and you’ve been just as clear that you don’t care for me. You’ve also made it clear that you’re not above threatening to out people you don’t care for when you’re angry. So, what’s your next move?

You could sue me. Of course, as my Civil Procedure professor used to say, “You can always sue. The question is, can you win?”

And what do you hope to recover after all that? A few bucks? A little vindication? Any victory you might have would be singularly Pyrrhic, I would imagine. Your reputation will suffer more from a suit than it would from my comments.

All at a cost of thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs on both sides. More likely tens of thousands of dollars.

And all because you couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to find out who I was. Because it’s pseudonymity that you find so appalling, that you think can be abused. (Feministe)


It would appear to me that Mike Doogan acted impulsively in his need for revenge once he obtained the information he wanted so badly. Mudflats had been critical of some of his actions and instead of defending his position with valid arguments, he retaliated by divulging AKM's identity on his official website. The implications of his actions are immense and the consequences will be far more serious for himself than for AKM. He didn't stop to consider all the possibilities before he opened his big mouth.

Mike Doogan defended himself in an interview with Alaska Dispatch: Doogan said that from his point of view, as soon as she began to influence public policy she gave up her right to remain anonymous. "If this was a group of people sitting around the living room, relentlessly attacking public figures, that would be one thing. But she's been doing that on the Internet--which goes everywhere--for the better part of the year, and she's allowed to do that anonymously? Where's the benefit of that to our state or our country?" (Alaska Dispatch)

The answer to his question becomes abundantly clear by reading the first part of this post.

Perhaps he should have acquainted himself with the Constitution of his country before embarking in such reckless conduct.
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Fighting back

I have collected a few contact addresses in connection with the Mudflats outing. Depending on our locations we can choose to send details of this incident to one or more of the following:

Alaska

rep.beth.kerttula@legis.state.ak.us,
rep.david.guttenberg@legis.state.ak.us

Ethics committee
Representative_John_Coghill@legis.state.ak.us
Representative_Berta_Gardner@legis.state.ak.us
Senator_Gary_Stevens@legis.state.ak.us
Senator_Thomas_Wagoner@legis.state.ak.us

aclu alaska

US citizens

www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
US Atorney General

http://www.eff.org/about/contact

From anywhere

http://citizensforethics.org/about/tipline


There are enough contacts there so we can all participate in the process of bringing justice to AKM and take steps to protect all bloggers should anybody else decide to follow in Mike Doogan's footsteps.

Helpful information to assist in making our case: anonymity issues
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Saturday, 28 March 2009

Keith Olbermann discusses Sarah Palin

OK, I'll leave you with a video as well. Enjoy.


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Quotes


Avalanche - Juneau

Well my friends, it's Saturday, I'm going out to have some fun, so there's no heavy, serious post today. I'll leave you with some relevant quotes that tie with yesterday's events.

You can't take something off the Internet - it's like taking pee out of a pool. ~Author Unknown

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. ~George Bernard Shaw

Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons. ~Thomas Hardy

Character is much easier kept than recovered. ~Thomas Paine

Are right and wrong convertible terms, dependant upon popular opinion? ~William Lloyd Garrison

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence. ~Author Unknown

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour. ~Japanese Proverb

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. ~Abraham Lincoln

You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims. ~Harriet Woods

Do not confuse your vested interests with ethics. Do not identify the enemies of your privilege with the enemies of humanity. ~Max Lerner

A stiff apology is a second insult.... The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt. ~G.K. Chesterton

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. ~Kimberly Johnson

It's easier to apologize than ask for permission. ~Author Unknown

The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology. ~Red Auerbach

When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm. ~Dan Heist

Keep your words soft and tender because tomorrow you may have to eat them. ~Author Unknown

If you mess up, 'fess up. ~Author Unknown

Dedicated to AKM:

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

No road is long with good company. ~Turkish Proverb

Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you. ~Author Unknown

Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things. ~Author Unknown
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Doogan broke a federal law by outing Mudflats


I have combined two comments by an incredibly knowlegeable lawyer so as to look at Mike Doogan's actions from a legal viewpoint. The comments appeared on Shannyn Moore's site and they are worth reading as a post. As a matter of fact, the comments on Shannyn's blog are wonderful and include Doogan's idiotic responses to e-mails from one of his constituents.

Now, the law:

"In matters concerning public interest and/or public figures, there is a first amendment privilege to comment, criticize, satirize, you name it. Further, even if what is printed is false, it is constitutionally protected unless published with actual malice and disregard of falsity. Simply put, the First Amendment protects the right to speak and strictly limits anything that inhibits that right. That’s because someone in Doogan’s position can’t decide what is “true” and what is “false.”

So even if Mudflats were not entirely accurate (and I have never seen anything which was not substantiated), she had the right to speak and to do so anonymously. The fact that Doogan disagrees that she should be able to do so without identifying herself shows only one thing: he is utterly ignorant about the constitution. His opinion that people should identify themselves is meaningless–he can think whatever the heck he wants but the Constitution trumps his personal opinion.

The man Doogan was acting on behalf of the state. He made a determination that someone should exercise her constitutional rights only in the manner he deemed appropriate, not in the manner in which she had the First Amendment right to comment. He also made someone who had taken pains to keep her identity private a public figure.

This is a violation of federal law and of the state common law right to privacy. The fact that he did it on state time and in his capacity is what is called “state action” for a section 1983 civil rights claim.

The point is that, acting in his capacity as an employee for the state of Alaska, he violated someone’s constitutional right to speak and to do anonymously. This is a big lawsuit and filing it will do a whole lot more than anything else to stop it ever happening again–and will get Mudflats the compensation she deserves."

Mike Doogan is in deep trouble...

Link to Shannyn Moore

Friday, 27 March 2009

1st amendment abolished in Alaska

Rep Mike Doogan thought it was a good idea to use his e-mail newsletter to constituents to "out" fellow blogger AKM Mudflats, sending her full name to all and sundry.

What he did was wrong on so many levels, I won't try to list them, but in the present political climate in Alaska, his actions can be described as criminal.

Sarah Palin has declared open-season on progressive bloggers in her press release about Celtic Diva's ethics complaint. It resulted in a barrage of intimidating hate e-mails being sent to Linda because she chose to exercise her rights as a citizen.

AKM had her reasons to remain anonymous and what Mike Doogan did placed her in a precarious position. I cannot imagine how he or anybody else will benefit from his actions in a legitimate way.

Bloggers have every right to their opinions, whether their identities are known or not. The internet is a very democratic medium. There are many people from the left and the right who use screen names to write about the politicians they like and the ones they dislike.

Their real names are not important and the freedom to make their opinions known should not hinge on publishing their real identities.

Mike Doogan's stupid move will not change AKM's opinions, but it may affect her ability to express them.

It is a shame that some politicians in Alaska have no regard for people's civil liberties.

AKM Mudflats
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Sarah Palin: another day, another lawsuit


US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton has issued an order transferring the Sarah Palin Juneteenth lawsuit, brought by America's Hot Musician judge Gregory Charles Royal, from Washington, DC to Alaska.

Royal considers this a positive development because the case, which was reviewed by the judge prior to transfer, was not dismissed on the court's own motion as frivolous.
Following the order, Royal filed a notice to the court of his intent to amend the complaint to add "one or more co-plaintiffs who are residents of Alaska", en route to seeking class action status.

The lawsuit was brought by Gregory Charles Royal, a musician who met Sarah Palin in 1991 when The Duke Ellington Orchestra toured Alaska. On that occasion, Sarah Palin told Royal that she does not "talk" or "mess with" Black men.

The lawsuit focuses on Sarah Palin's failure to comply with the Juneteenth Proclamation in 2007 and that several Alaskan citizens had been trying, unsuccessfully, to consult with the Governor regarding her race record in Alaska.

Royal maintains that "The focus of this action is to hold Governor Palin accountable and to uphold the integrity of our emancipation holiday".

Sarah Palin, accountable???

Links
Report from Mediawire
More about Gregory Charles Royal
Previous post

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Sarah Palin's adviser


Sarah Palin Adviser's Secret Scientology Plot to Take Over Washington

John Coale, currently advising Sarah Palin on running for president in 2012, is a Scientologist. And according to a memo obtained by Gawker, Coale once plotted to use friendly politicians to advance the power-hungry cult's agenda.

Coale is a prominent Washington power broker and husband to Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. According to the Washington Post, he is running Palin's political action committee behind the scenes and "guiding her political image in Washington."

Coale denies playing any role in Palin's political career aside from that of a friend who e-mails her once a week or so. And he insists that he has never used his political influence to advance the aims of Scientology.

The memo obtained by Gawker tells a different story.

Regarding Sarah Palin, the question is, who's the exploiter and who's the exploited?

If John Coale has given Sarah any advice in the past week, either she didn't listen to him or she needs better advisers...

Link to Gawker
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Sarah Palin's war against Alaska Natives


Sarah Palin's record on issues regarding Alaska Natives:

As soon as Palin was sworn in as governor, she set a firm course against Native subsistence rights. One of her very first decisions was to continue litigation that seeks to overturn every subsistence fishing determination the federal government has ever made in Alaska.

The reason is no secret: to diminish subsistence fishing rights in order to expand sport and commercial fishing.


The federal court in Alaska rejected Palin’s main challenge. But that defeat has not deterred Palin.

Palin continues to argue in court that federal subsistence protections are too broad and should be narrowed to exclude vast areas from subsistence fishing in favor of sport and commercial fishing. Palin opposes subsistence protections in marine waters, she opposes subsistence protections on many of the lands that Alaska Natives selected under their 1971 land claims settlement, and she opposes subsistence protections in many of the rivers where Alaska Natives customarily fish.

In her two years as governor Palin has proven herself to be no friend of Alaska Native subsistence.

Palin has also tried to overturn critical federal protections for Alaska Native customary and traditional uses of game, again simply to enhance sport hunting. Palin’s attack here has targeted (among others) the Ahtna Indian people in Chistochina; and although the federal court last year rejected this challenge, too, Palin has refused to lay down her arms. The battle has thus moved on to the appellate courts.

In both hunting and fishing matters, Palin has challenged critical protections that Native people depend upon for their subsistence way of life, merely to enhance sport fishing and hunting opportunities.

At the very same time that she has challenged federal subsistence rights, she has waged a second battle against tribal sovereignty.

While Palin pays lip service to the fact that Alaska tribes are federally recognized, it is an empty statement because she insists they have no authority whatsoever to act as sovereigns despite that recognition unless, she argues, the state first permits a tribe to take some particular action.
From and article on Indian Country Today, by Lloyd Miller and Heather Kendall-Miller, who practice law in Anchorage, Alaska, representing Native interests.

WAR

Wayne Anthony Ross has lobbied Congress over amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. He was co-counsel on the initial subsistence lawsuit, the McDowell case, in which the state Supreme Court tossed out the state's rural-preference law and affirmed equal hunting and fishing rights for Alaskans no matter where they live.

Native sovereignty threatens to create separate classes of Alaskans and would further divide the state, Ross said. ''The idea of Native sovereignty is a 19th-century principle, and we are going into the 21st century.''

Ross, an urban hunter, wants to keep the state constitutional guarantee of equal access to fish and game. ''Rural preference is wrong and not necessary to ensure subsistence foods,'' he says.
From "Who's Wayne Ross?", ADN

I intend to challenge provisions of ANILCA that mandate federal management of our resources, through pressure on our congressional delegation and through court action as well. Alaska’s fish and game resources must be managed by Alaskans and not by the Feds.

The subsistence issue must be resolved. Until that happens, confrontation will continue and politics will rule. The first priority must be protection of the resource. Only in times of shortage of the resource should there be a priority for subsistence use, and that priority should be for those who need the resource to feed themselves and their family. Priority should not be based on an individual Alaskan’s zip code. Once we wrest control of our resources back from the federal government, Alaskans of goodwill can sit down together and resolve the subsistence issue.
From Fish Alaska Magazine, when Ross was trying to run for governor.


Sarah Palin's war on Alaska Natives is out in the open. She has sought to undermine their culture and their way of life every step of the way, with her patronizing attitudes and her attempts to disperse their communities by not supporting their own solutions to address the needs of their people, suggesting instead that they emulate Todd Palin and seize opportunities upon the North Slope, abandoning their villages.

Having the law as her new ally, what's in store for Alaska Natives?

Links
Indian Country Today
"Who's Wayne Ross?"
Fish Alaska Magazine

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Sarah Palin at war with the world

Aides to former Republican presidential nominee John McCain questioned running mate Sarah Palin's ongoing second-guessing of the McCain campaign.

The McCain aides were responding to a report on CNN that the governor got a laugh when she told a GOP audience in Alaska she had declined to pray with McCain staffers prior to her debate with Joe Biden.

Describing the pre-debate atmosphere, Palin told the crowd last Friday, she was "looking for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra."

"And the McCain campaign, love 'em, you know, they're a lot of people around me," she said, "but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray."

A staffer on the campaign said Palin should stop talking about the campaign and talk only about "what's relevant."

"The people that she has, either working at her (political action committee) or advisers in Alaska, aren't exactly making the best decisions for her."


Sarah Palin seems to have engaged in an all-out war against the world:

  • Press release attacking president Obama for remarks about Special Olympics while rejecting federal funds for children with special needs. (Hypocrisy-gate?)
  • Press release attacking lawmakers for failing to discuss Stimulus package with her. (Stimulus-gate?)
  • Press release attacking blogger and citizen for bringing ethics complaint against her. (Cat-gate?, Ankle biter-gate?)
  • Speech branding RNC staffers not fit to pray with her. (RNC prayer-gate?)
  • Speech complaining about the media, again. (Whine-gate?)
  • Appointed crony anti-Native attorney general. (War on Natives-gate?)

What next? A press release attacking Mt Redoubt for frivolous explosions that are threatening to cause a major environmental disaster on account of the millions of gallons of Chevron crude oil sitting at the base of the volcano? (while she does nothing about it, I may add)

Sarah Palin appears not to have very thick skin and lashes out at people at every opportunity. The appointment of the new attorney general is also aimed at shielding her from further challenges.

"I'm wired in a way that I can take the criticism. I can take the shots."

Apparently not...

Report about response from McCain staffers
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Sarah Palin, back in 2006

When I googled Wayne Anthony Ross for an earlier post, I came across a background article about Sarah Palin from the time of her campaign for governor in 2006.

It makes very interesting reading. I condensed it and want to share the juiciest bits with you, with my own comments in bold type.

Palin ran for lieutenant governor in 2002 at the age of 39. She was just finishing her second term as Wasilla mayor. In the last two weeks of the general election campaign, she did her Republican duty, stumping the state and appearing on television for Frank Murkowski. She was still, as she herself put it later, "the golden child."

LOL!

Murkowski offered her several jobs in his administration, she said, including commissioner of commerce or head of the state parks division. Palin turned the governor down until he offered to put her on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Oil seems to be a strong magnet...

Palin, who admitted to having little background in the field, was named chairwoman, with the $125,000-a-year seat designated for a "public" member. She said she took the job to learn more about the oil industry, vital for the state. It wasn't an obvious stepping stone, she insists.

In the same way Alaska is not a stepping stone to her ambitions in the national scene...

The other Murkowski appointee to the commission was Republican Party chairman Randy Ruedrich. He had a professional background as an petroleum engineer. But protests were heard immediately about having a fundraising partisan regulating the oil industry. There were staff complaints about Ruedrich doing party business on state time, a leaked document to a gas-drilling company, perceived favoritism toward companies the commission was supposed to be regulating.

Palin, acting as chairwoman and ethics supervisor, passed complaints up the ladder to the attorney general and the governor's office. By November, as the complaints compounded, Ruedrich resigned from the commission.

Ethics supervisor???

Palin, who was asked to gather evidence from Ruedrich's computer, was bound by state ethics laws from saying anything publicly.
It was especially tough for Palin because one of the main issues Ruedrich had been promoting, shallow-gas drilling in the Mat-Su area, affected her friends and neighbors.

She finally quit in frustration in January, months before specific allegations would become public. She had been on the job only 11 months.


"A good friend told me that in politics either you eat well or you sleep well," Palin said of those times. "I wasn't sleeping well."

Poor thing...

Concerned that the matter might be dropped, she continued to talk to the state through a lawyer, Wayne Anthony Ross, the National Rifle Association board member who had made a right-wing primary challenge to Murkowski in 2002.

W.A.R. rears his head.

"It was a crisis of conscience for her," Ross said. "Her personal integrity is very important to her, and here it appears she's behind a cover-up."

Two months after the Senate election, Palin was invited by Democrat Eric Croft to join him in filing an ethics complaint against attorney general Gregg Renkes, Frank Murkowski's longtime aide and campaign manager. The complaint charged he had a conflict of interest in an international coal deal that had been uncovered by the press. The case against Renkes mounted, even after Murkowski issued a reprimand and declared it closed. In February 2005, Renkes resigned and Palin was one of the heroes again.

Sarah Palin filed another ethics complaint?

Palin found other, small ways to stay in circulation. She appeared on statewide television in an ad for Spenard Builders Supply.

The same Spenard that provided materials for Wasilla Sports Complex at the same time her nice, warm home was being built nearby bearing some striking similarities to the complex.

None of these maverick positions were taken with the goal of setting up a run for governor, she says. When she appeared in the all-Alaska ads, she said, she still didn't know whether she might run for lieutenant governor in 2006 or make a run for governor as an Independent.

Ah, the maverick!

Instead she decided to enter the Republican primary last October, with Frank Murkowski still on the fence about whether to run himself. She said publicly that powers inside her own party wanted her "crucified." Her independence and her high profile on ethics issues captured an insurgent public mood, and by summer she was leading in the polls.

Ethics again...

Those qualities also left her vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy. Public-record requests of the City of Wasilla revealed Palin campaigning for lieutenant governor in 2002 on city time. The records -- obtained originally by the Voice of the Times' Paul Jenkins and distributed by Murkowski's campaign -- showed Palin arranging campaign travel from the mayor's office and using her administrative assistant to write thank-yous to campaign donors.

Hypocrisy? Sarah Palin?

Palin responded by calling the accusations exaggerated and not at all comparable to Ruedrich's transgressions on the oil and gas commission. She said she apologized for any mistakes. Mostly, she dismissed the charges as last-minute smears by desperate opponents.

Sarah Palin's own transgressions are all pink and smell of roses. The tone was the same then as it is now when dismissing complaints against herself.

Her supporters remain avid, and Palin's bright red signs -- the school color of the Wasilla Warriors -- line the roads of Southcentral Alaska. But the campaign has wobbled at times.

Palin missed a few scheduled events and, at others, came off as unprepared or over her head. After an education forum last week, she was mocked by her opponents for submitting a folksy three-year-old essay about her schoolteacher father instead of a plan for improving schools.

Education? What's that?

Then last week she told a hometown crowd in Wasilla she would favor them as governor. "Certainly, people will assume I'm biased toward the valley in the decisions I make. So be it, because I will be.

We've noticed a certain bias, yes.

Another disconnect is with the state's Native corporations. Palin backed away from a scheduled meeting with Native executives several weeks ago, her campaign conceding she wasn't ready to talk about tribal recognition and other Native concerns raised by the group. Subsistence was prominent on the executives' list.

Palin's ties are strong to the Alaska Outdoor Council, whose calls for "equality" and hunting access sound different in rural Alaska than they do in the Mat-Su. It's unclear where the candidate would turn for advice on Native political matters.

Sarah Palin still doesn't know much about Native Alaskans. If in 2006 she was just ignorant, now she has graduated into being absolutely insulting about this issue.

Since her 1996 run for mayor, when signs saying "Positively Palin" adorned Wasilla, the candidate has said she hates negative politics.

Yeah, right!


That was fun. If you'd like to read the whole very long article, click here.
I have realised that there is a part one of this article. If you have the patience to read it, it's here.
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Sarah Palin v Alaska Legislature


Relations between Gov. Sarah Palin and top Republican legislators are deteriorating as battles over acceptance of federal stimulus money grow.

Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, called Sarah Palin’s statements “absolutely false” that legislators would not meet with her to discuss acceptance of stimulus money.

Legislators have expressed frustration that they could not find out from Palin’s staff about her goals for the stimulus money.

Palin said she “has made her position clear on stimulus funds.”

She left Juneau in the midst of the stimulus debate, but said it was legislative leaders who canceled a meeting with her.

“Governor Sarah Palin was scheduled to participate telephonically in a meeting with legislative leadership today when legislative leaders canceled the meeting to host their own press conference,” Palin said in a press release.

Stevens said that was not true. “I am sorry the governor put this out,” he said.

Palin’s legislative liaison, Jerry Gallagher, declined to comment.

Stevens said Gallagher said Palin declined to meet with them, but instead offered to have staff available instead.

That wasn’t acceptable to legislators, who have been meeting regularly with the governor’s staff.

Palin’s staff, Stevens said, “apparently often have trouble answering questions or making decisions or letting us know the intentions of the administration.”


Oh dear, things are hotting up in Juneau!

Full report: Juneau Empire
Better report: Politico.com
Sarah Palin's press release

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Sarah Palin's new Attorney General


Sarah Palin named Wayne Anthony Ross to the post of Attorney General on Thursday, March 26.

Ross, a longtime figure in Alaska politics, twice sought the Republican nomination for governor. He is a former NRA vice president and current director, and an active member of the Alaska Outdoor Council. His position on subsistence is controversial in rural Alaska.

Wayne Anthony Ross was co-chairman of Sarah Palin's campaign for governor.

Full report: ADN
Wayne Anthony Ross: career

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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Sexy Sarah



Sarah Palin was voted 24th sexiest female politician.

UPDATE: I switched the photo with the one from the last post because I think she looks much sexier in this one. No?

Story in the Daily Mail, UK
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Sarah Palin's five W's


Sarah Palin to the Alaska GOP last week:

"Some in the media actually participated in not so much the 'who-what-where-when-why' objective reporting on candidates and positions, those five W's that I learned when I had a journalism degree so many years ago in college, when the world of journalism was quite different than it is today."

Correction - those five W's that she learned when she had a journalism degree so many years ago in many colleges were quite different than they are today: 'whine-whine-whine-whine-whine'.

(The correction above was written in Palinese. My grammar is better than that...)

Full article and videos on Huffington Post

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Sarah Palin's rural Alaska

Following Sarah Palin's visit to Marshall and Russian Mission with the Evangelical circus in late February, Nick Tucker, an Emmonak elder, wasn't very happy with the way his conversation with the Governor went or her answers to his questions.

Quite rightly, Mr Tucker objected to Sarah Palin's patronizing tone and her failure to address any of the problems the villagers have been facing for a long time. Sarah Palin delivered the usual insulting platitudes and that was that.



The Governor and her sidekick Sean Parnell went to Western Alaska for a photo opportunity with celebrity evangelist Franklin Graham and his Samaritan Purse. The trip had the purpose of silencing the Governor's critics about her inaction since the story broke in mid-January and promoting the Evangelical movement.

The residents of the two villages were surprised to receive food they didn't need, but were grateful just the same. Mr Tucker had to fly to Marshall to speak to the Governor.

Sarah Palin's new Rural Advisor, Mr John Moller, responded to Nick Tucker's criticism in a letter.


John Moller, Sarah Palin's Rural Advisor

Here is a snippet:

"I spoke to Mr. Tucker three times while in Emmonak, including just before he left for Marshall. At that time, Emmonak had already received thousands of pounds of food from both state and private resources. Samaritan's Purse made the right decision to deliver aid to Marshall and Russian Mission. The governor and lieutenant governor were guests and not in control of the destinations. Both had also previously made an attempt to fly to Emmonak but were weathered out."

Apart from Rep Jay Ramras efforts to send cash, boxes of food and supplies to the relevant villages, the state had not sent anything other than food vouchers.

Mr Moller ends his letter with this sentence: "The state's efforts will continue."

Mmmmmm...

Links
Jay Ramras and more details about donations in an excellent article
Nick Tucker's letter
John Moller's letter in full

Previous post about John Moller's appointment
Post about the present situation
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More fun before something serious...

I'm not a fan of Madonna, but this is so funny I have to share it with you. (Hat tip to Crystalwolf. Thanks for the link!)


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A bit of fun...


Sarah Palin 7 months pregnant
Nicole Richie 4 months pregnant

Enough said.
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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Sarah Palin, Religiongate part 2

I would like to expand on the ideas explored in Religiongate. The purpose of this further look into the subject is to show a pattern that guided Sarah Palin as mayor of Wasilla and now guide her actvities as the governor of Alaska, a pattern that would be repeated nationwide in the unlikely event of her attaining the office of president in 2012.



2005

In the video above, Pastor Muthee is very clear about infiltrating many areas of society in the name of Jesus and mentions politics and government. He then proceeds to pray for Sarah Palin, asking God to advance her political career because they need the righteous in positions of power. Sarah Palin went along with it.

2006

Sarah Palin was elected governor of Alaska. The righteous achieved a high position in government. As governor, she was invited to many religious events, including the 2007 installation of Rabbi Michael Oblath at Congregation Beth Sholom in Anchorage, as her spokesperson Sharon Leighlow pointed out when the governor was challenged for her attendance at Wasilla Assembly of God on the state's dime, stating that it was the same thing.

The majority of religious events attended by Sarah Palin and her family and billed to the state are linked to Christian churches, mainly Evangelical, and in a few cases Pentecostal.

Considering the agenda of the Assemblies of God and other Evangelical movements of infiltrating all areas of society, including the government, Sarah Palin's attendance at these events - as governor - constitutes a conflict of interest.

2008

Sarah Palin attended the graduation ceremony of the Master's Commission as governor and billed the state for travel and per diem. Her address was deeply personal. She didn't speak as governor, as she probably did at the installation of Rabbi Michael Oblath in Anchorage. She attended the synagogue as governor and could only speak as governor. In Wasilla she spoke passionately as Sarah Palin, while charging the state as governor.

2009

Sarah Palin took the Evangelical circus to the Yukon Delta, visiting two villages where they distributed tons of food to people who didn't need it. The boxes of food had pamphlets promoting the Evangelical movement. She went there as governor and took the opportunity to spread the word of God in the shape of Franklin Graham and the Samaritan Purse.

2007/2008

Juneau Pentecostal church asked the Alaska state government for cash for a new youth center. Gov. Sarah Palin, who had recently started worshipping at the church, vetoed the legislative appropriation from the capital budget, explaining it was “not a state responsibility.”

But by the time this year’s budget negotiations rolled around, Palin had become very involved in the Juneau Christian Center, attending an increasing number of services there, touring the youth center with her family (she charged the state for Willow's travel to visit the center), citing the pastor as among her spiritual guides, and appearing with the pastor at a Martin Luther King Day celebration and a religious conference where he laid hands on her while praying.

During this year’s capital budget writing process, Palin penned a letter to lawmakers “in support of the Juneau Christian Center’s new state-of-the-art youth center,” and she approved $25,000 for the center in May, even as she sparked a backlash from officials around the state for slashing spending from projects they deemed crucial to their areas.

The Hub exists in other communities and their purpose is to offer young people alternatives, taking them off the streets, but with a view to shaping the future of the country. The Assemblies of God have a program called Kidcare America. From their literature: "Kidcare America, once a mind has been stretched it never snaps back into place. For that reason it is vital that we seek after training for the development of our lives for the ministry God has called us into."

Parents seem happy to send their children to these centers:

"My son is shown daily that he matters to the staff, to other kids, and most importantly to God! I thank God daily that North Shore Assembly of God has blessed so many lives to have an outreach such as Kids' Place."

"I am most pleased with my choice to send my daughter to Kids' Place. . . She truly loves the generosity, warmth and caring she receives from all of you. She is also very pleased about learning about the Lord on a daily basis."

As I pointed out in the previous Religiongate post, Juneau Christian Center announced The Hub with the words "Destiny has begun! The new youth center for children through high school youth is taking shape."

The aims of the Juneau Christian Center:

Our Purpose: To win souls and make disciples!
Our Passion: To Love God and Love People!
Our Path: Win, Connect, Disciple, and Send.

SEND:As each believer progresses through the School of Destiny, he/she will branch out into a ministry.

It appears that the idea behind The Hub is to provide services for young, vulnerable and impressionable people in order to shape their "Destiny".

2008

The Evangelical movement is very powerful throughout the US... and very wealthy. During the Troopergate investigation, after it became political thanks to the RNC descending on Alaska to take control of the proceedings, state gift disclosures show it cost Liberty Legal Institute and the two law firms working with it $185,000 to represent six Alaska legislators in an unsuccessful lawsuit to halt their colleagues' "troopergate" investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin acted improperly in firing the state's public safety director.

The legislators listed a $25,000 gift of services from the Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute. Liberty is the legal arm of the Free Market Foundation, which is associated with evangelical leader James Dobson's Focus on the Family, and lists its guiding principles as limited government and promotion of Judeo-Christian values. The lawmakers also disclosed a $120,000 gift of services from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a national firm that appeared at hearings on behalf of Liberty Legal.

The extent of Evangelical and Pentecostal influence is illustrated in this example: D. James Kennedy, the evangelical pastor who blessed Bush before his run for president summed up the essence of the teachings behind the Assemblies of God, its missions and its associates in this quote:

"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."

Here we have come full circle. We started with pastor Muthee and ended with pastor D. James Kennedy saying the same thing.

Sarah Palin was careful to distance herself from any particular church during the vice presidential campaign, but there's a clear pattern in her actions dating back to her time as mayor of Wasilla. She ran her campaign as the first Christian mayor and allowed rumours to circulate that implied that her rival, John Stein, was Jewish. He's a Presbytarian.

During the time Sarah Palin was mayor, her church became involved in taking over the board of the local hospital, Mat-Su Providence. The more conservative, fundamentalist churches, over a period of three or four years, were able to elect and control the operating board of the hospital.

Sarah Palin's actions reflect a distinct blurring of the boundaries between church and state. Throughout her administration Sarah Palin has stated that there are missions from God: the war in Iraq and the gas pipeline, for example.

Many aspects of Sarah Palin's beliefs are puzzling to outsiders. The activities that go on in her favoured churches seem somewhat disturbing to non-believers. She is free to worship anywhere, however strange the rituals involved in the services.

But how legitimate is the bias the Governor shows towards certain Christian movements? The level of involvement of herself and her family in the activities of these groups at the state's expense and the funding by the state of an indoctrination program would surely point to a conflict of interests.

Whilst the Governor has the freedom to worship as she pleases, using her office to promote a church that admits to having a clear agenda of infiltrating every area of society, including the government, does not seem appropriate.

Links
Article from Politico.com
Sarah Palin's letter
Kidcare America, After school mentoring
Kid's Place, quotes from parents
Religiongate
Sarah Palin's church and Mat-Su Providence Hospital Board

Liberty Legal Institute
D James Kennedy's quote
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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Ankle biters unite!


Anybody who questions Sarah Palin's ethics and takes steps to bring her to book is immediately labelled an ankle biter by her judgement challenged supporters.

It's quite cute, really.

Ankle biters, unite! Raise your virtual glasses of delicious ethical ale!

Cheers!
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Sarah Palin's posturing


Sarah Palin appears to be backing off her aggressive stance against accepting some of the federal stimulus money for Alaska, and some lawmakers are disputing whether she "rejected" any money at all.

After Palin's announcement last week, the Empire asked her whether a decision to accept only a portion of the money meant there was a rejection of the remainder.

"If that's the way you want to look at it," Palin responded.

Well, well... she may be backpedaling now, she may claim the Legislature forced her to accept the stimulus money. Sarah wants the best of both worlds: to be seen as a fiscal conservative, yet flexible and compassionate.

What's going to be remembered by Alaskans and people further afield is her cynical, callous, self-serving posturing to impress her idiotic adoring followers in the Lower 48.

As they say: "It's the thought that counts..."

Report: Juneau Empire
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Pebble Mine, a risk to the villages? (updated)


Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of Anglo American, the mining giant providing most of the financial backing for the Pebble copper and gold prospect, is visiting Alaska this weekend.

Moody-Stuart will visit Iliamna, Newhalen, Dillingham, Naknek and Anchorage to meet with Bristol Bay stakeholders and community leaders.

His track record is not all that wonderful. Subsidiaries of Anglo American and Shell, of which he was a director, are responsible for human rights violations.

IPS News, February 2008:

It's an interesting sign of the times when the chairman of a mining company notorious for illegally evicting subsistence farmers to increase international coal exports is invited to lecture on "sustainability".

He says he doesn't believe profit should be the driving force for corporations. "The ultimate goal of a company is to produce quality goods and services," he told the audience. "There is not much trust in big business these days."

Activists, however, weren't buying what Sir Moody was selling. One audience member, a master's student at Saint Mary's University, accused him of "corporate green washing" while others held colour photos of Colombian families displaced by Anglo American's operations.

The Cerrejon mine, owned by Anglo American and two other multinationals, is the largest open pit coal mine in the world.

Bronwen White and other students showed video footage of Tabaco's destruction prior to Sir Moody's presentation. In it, a small girl with pigtails and pink overalls cries and pushes against the shields of Colombian riot police as bulldozers ram her family's home while other community members scream and wail.

Prior to its destruction, Tabaco boasted a school, health clinic, good farmland and a telephone exchange. Today, most former residents have joined three million internally displaced Colombians eking out a living however they can.

Mines and Communities, February 2008:

This is a farming community populated primarily by Afro-Colombians, destroyed by Cerrejon's coal mine bulldozers in 2001-2002 to expand coal exports.

Now Cerrejon might invest on a major expansion, the company president has announced. As a result, villagers from four more settlements - Roche, Pantilla, Chancleta and Tamaquito - are threatened with displacement.

The Independent, UK:

On Anglo Gold, June 2007

Back in 2005, a Human Rights Watch report highlighted the alleged involvement of AngloGold Ashanti, a subsidiary of Anglo American, in developing links with the Nationalist and Integrationist Front in Congo. The report claimed that the FNI, blamed for a number of atrocities, gained help from AngloGold Ashanti in accessing a gold- mining site near the town of Mongbwalu. Human Rights Watch also said local warlords and international companies "are among those benefiting from access to gold-rich areas while local people suffer from ethnic slaughter, torture and rape."

On Shell, May 2001

Shell has refused to publish the independent report it commissioned on its multimillion-pound community development programme in Nigeria, despite denying that the document is secret.

Pressure on the oil giant was increased yesterday when Glenys Kinnock, the MEP and patron of the Ogoni Foundation, a human rights group, wrote to Shell demanding that it publish the independent report.

Shell was driven from oil-rich Ogoniland in 1993 by local people led by the human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiva. He accused the company of destroying the environment. He was executed by Nigeria's government two years later.


In view of these reports, it seems appropriate to ask what will happen to the Alaskan villages near Pebble Mine.

UPDATE: I have just read an article about Kensington Mine near Juneau and the implications of a Supreme Court ruling on other mining projects, including Pebble Mine. It's frightening. Link to previous post about Kensington Mine: Dirty gold but no Sarah Palin... yet

Links
Report about Sir Mark's visit: ADN
Colombian coal mine: IPS News, Mines and Communities
Anglo Gold, 2007: Independent UK
Shell, 2001: Independent UK
Previous post about Pebble Mine

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Sarah Palin and yet another ethics violation


Our friend Linda Kellen Biegel, aka Celtic Diva, has filed an ethics complaint against Sarah Palin.

That makes it 11 ethics complaints filed against her. She may argue that people are out to destroy her, blah blah, but these things wouldn't happen if she didn't use her position as governor for personal gain, would they?

Since coming into office, in December 2006, Sarah Palin has muddled the lines between what's ethic and what isn't.

Troopergate, family expenses, per diems, secret e-mails, Pebble Mine/Clean Water Act (Ballot Measure 4), mixing state and religion, the list is endless...

Sarah Palin had the same style when she was mayor of Wasilla, placing herself above all rules and regulations. "I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't."

As governor she has even more power, but since accepting the candidacy for vice president she has come under closer scrutiny. Her many failings and shortcomings became more public, people started asking more questions.

With power come responsibility and accountability, two concepts that appear to be totally alien to Sarah Palin.

She had the chance to govern responsibly, she was popular and could have done many good things for Alaska. She campaigned on a platform of transparency and accountability but failed miserably to live up to either of these promises.

Sarah Palin cannot blame the people of Alaska for doing precisely what she advocated during her campaign for governor. They are calling her bluff.

And she won't be able to complain when the rest of the country place her administration under a microscope if she decides to run for the presidency in 2012 either.

A lot of people may not like her as a person, but that's incidental to the plot. Nobody would raise public concerns if she wasn't the governor of Alaska.

Nobody is challenging her as a person, people are challenging her record. If she chooses to take it personally, that's her problem.

More details about the picture: Mudflats
New ethics complaint: Celtic Diva

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