So I spent my day manning the Veteran's Aviation Outreach booth at the Alaska Airmen's Association's 11th Annual Trade Show. The weather was clear, sunny and gorgeous but the wind was FRIGGIN' COLD. Our booth was outside and we lasted until close to 4:00 pm, then we closed down.
The show is gi-nor-mous!
More than 245 exhibitors from around the world displayed the latest products and trends in aviation industry, education, and safety.
Last year, 20,000 people attended the event.
Executive Director Dee Hanson said they've already beat that number this year.
I'm now a member as it will help with my work for the Vets. Hmmm...maybe I should learn to fly...
*pictures husband hiding under the seat*
When I got home, I went to Americablog and found one of the funniest videos I've seen about the Demo fight EVER!!!!!
I found it especially funny since my husband starts with Lockheed "owns-a-big-piece-'O-Clinton" Martin on Monday and I've been doing the Darth Vadar breathing while he's been reading his "orientation packet" to me.
"Oooh...Dental and Vision FINALLY! The Dark Side is seductive!"...*insert breathing here*...
Ted Stevens is between a Rock (screwing our Veterans...again) and a Hard Place (throwing McCain under the bus)
On Saturday, at "The Gathering" for Veterans, I had a conversation with Senator Lisa Murkowski regarding Sen. Stevens's stance against the 21st Century GI Bill. I was emphatic that he was on the wrong side of the issue and I asked if there was anything she could do to change his mind.
Interestingly enough, the answer I got from her referenced the new McCain-Graham Bill. She stated that she's absolutely insisting on a "side-by-side" of the two bills to see if it was comparable. That answer threw me off as it wasn't in response to the question I asked. The other interesting aspect is that for the first time during our conversation, Sen. Murkowski seemed a little uncomfortable.
Today, I saw the story on Think Progress discussing Sen. James Inhofe R-OK withdrawal from the Webb GI Bill after McCain introduced his alternative. (Today at VoteVets.org, Oklahoma Veterans slam Inhofe for abandoning the 21st Century Bill for McCain's watered-down version. I can imagine what the response would be if Sen. Murkowski did the same.)
Suddenly Sen. Murkowski's response makes sense. What she can do to influence Sen. Stevens now that McCain's Bill is out is probably "nothing." As a matter of fact, I'm betting that she's asking for a "side-by-side" between the two bills because she's trying to deal with pressure to do exactly the same thing that Sen Inhofe did...and that pressure would be exponentially greater if it's coming from Sen. Ted "fighting-for-my-life" Stevens.
For the first time, Ted's Senate seat is in real trouble. He's under investigations both continuing and new. He's having to answer constant questions and probes into his earmarks. Opponent Mark Begich was running almost neck-and-neck in the polls before his campaign even started.
Suddenly, the fellow Veterans Stevens often ignored have become quite important. Mark Begich has an excellent record with Veterans from his mayoral career. During the campaign, he has continued to demonstrate his enthusiastic pro-Vetaran views by attending important Veteran events and taking a strong stance on the 21st Century GI Bill.
He also points out on his website that Sen. Murkowski is also a supporter.
“(Stevens) has concerns about what it may do to the retention rate,” Saunders said. Saunders said it’s now an all-volunteer force — unlike when Stevens served in World War II. The military has wartime responsibilities, and enlistment is a concern, he said.
Saunders said Stevens wants to work with the bill sponsors and Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. McCain opposes the Webb-Hagel bill and has a proposal for more modest increases in veterans’ benefits.
“When it comes to the Senate floor there will be an opportunity for compromise,” Saunders said.
So...because they volunteered to put their lives on the line for their country rather than being drafted, they should get less? Stevens received the benefit from the GI Bill but doesn't want an "all-volunteer force" to get equal benefits?
Yup, Senator Stevens is in big trouble especially if he's hitched his wagon to McCain. I suspect Sen. McCain is using his alternative bill as a "manhood test" to try and yank the Republicans to him. I'd say that with the track record he has of Repubs NOT supporting him, he may be giving Progressives a really good piece of ammunition down the road. They could use this to show how ineffective he would be as President since he can't even get the support of his own party.
As proof, according to the update to the Think Progress article, there are a total of 7 senators listed as co-sponsoring this bill. However, three of them are still listed as officially co-sponsoring the 21st Century Bill - Susan Collins (R-ME), Pete Domenici (R-NM), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT).
Even "Uncle Ted," while talking supportively about McCain's bill, hasn't signed up as a co-sponsor yet. Could he be hedging his bets?
"Gear Junkies" is the free, premier weekly newsletter sent via email to the Alaska music community. In each issue, the Goddess of the Anchorage Music Scene, Patti Greene, writes an editorial on "music politics" and we post it here! This week, Ms. Patti didn't put an editorial in "Gear Junkies" since she has been runnin' like a banshee between gigs with Lulu and the Aqua Nets and flyin' off to Kodiak with the Mr. Whitekeys show. We are printing one from February.
Greetings, Gear Heads! This month we're celebrating a fundamental law of the Universe: "Change or Die". (That goes for Gear Junkies, too; you'll notice that the format has changed a bit.)
"Change or Die" means taking hard look at what it is we're trying to do in the music biz, whether it's to improve as a player, start a band, find more work, carve out more venues for live music, or to learn how to decrease our reliance on the alcohol industry.
Yeah yeah yeah we know you're just in it for the love of playing, there's no better feeling, you don't want to know more about business blah blah blah. But if you wish to indulge in this passion, you must also accept some responsibility for the overall health of the biz, because every time you set foot onstage, YOU are representing all of us in the music biz, and "the biz" means anything from participating in a VFW jam to planning that big show/tour later this year.
Live music, as it's currently packaged, is in decline, but I got news for you -- it's always been in decline. Always. Radio scared the hell out of musicians. So did the Depression. So did the Beatles. So did disco, MTV, and --- well, you get the idea. Live music has survived because of creativity and business smarts. It will be kept alive by those of us who figure out a way around the obstacles. It'll be redefined by those of us who are motivated enough to learn our craft, who aren't afraid to take creative risks, and who can get past the big steaming piles of ego issues.
Last week I mentioned an article that suggested The Beatles were an excellent example of successful business planning. If you're interested in learning more about it, drop me a line, I'll send you the piece. Stay warm 'n' happy, kids.
AK-AL Race: A great story on Diane Benson by Philip Munger today and an AWESOME early picture of her on Progressive Alaska. The story reminds us that Diane was the first one to demand Congress investigate Young, something they are finally doing.
Philip also discussed Diane's appearance and testimony at the "Building Momentum" conference on the epidemic of physical and sexual violence against Native women. Diane has been a passionate advocate of finding solutions for the plight of Native women in Alaska as well as globally.
Krawchuk said the Web sites are distracting voters from real issues and are damaging to the Democratic party.
“It’s just nasty, ugly campaiging, and there’s no place for it in this race,” she said.
(Good for you, Dana!)
This evening, Mr. Scannell resigned from the campaign and the press release ended with: "This is the final comment the Metcalfe campaign will be making on this subject."
Regarding Ethan Berkowitz, this scandal has allowed him to gain points in the sympathy polls without even trying! He showed up at "The Gathering" as well. Senate Race: Mark Begich has been busy, busy, busy! Friday was his Campaign Headquarters Open House (which I unfortunately had to miss) and then Saturday he came out to Wasilla to"The Gathering" for Veterans, where I did get to see him as I was one of the organizers!
(Yes, I'm using this as an excuse to post our picture one more time...get over it! I want to make my new friend over at Own the Sidewalk jealous!!!! I believe she's Mayor Begich's Official Cyber-Stalker now, right?)
To everyone, especially my fellow Celts, Happy Beltane!!!!!
I actually should have posted this last night as The Fire Festival is held on the 30th of April but many folks still celebrate on May 1st or what is believed to be the ancient celebration time, the first full moon after May 1st.
I am making a vow today: next year, I will somehow find a way to go to Edinburgh, Scotland and attend The Beltane Fire Festival, where most of these pictures are from. Here's a bunch of pictures at BBC News.
The name itself is thought to have derived from a Gaelic-Celtic word meaning 'bright/sacred fire'. It was held to mark and celebrate the blossoming of spring, and coincided with the ancient pastoral event of moving livestock to their summer grazing. It did not occur on any fixed solar date (the tradition of solstices and equinoxes is later in origin) but tended to be held on the first full moon after the modern 1st of May. Some sources suggest that the blooming of the Hawthorn was the primary signal for the event before the development of centralised calendars.
It was a celebration of the fertility of the land and their animals. The main traditional element which was common to all Beltane festivals was the fire which gave it its name. All the fires of the community would be extinguished and a new, sacred 'Need Fire' was lit by either the village head or spiritual leader.
From this source one or two bonfires were lit, and the animals of the community would be driven through or between them. It was believed that the smoke and flame of the fires would purify the herd, protecting them in the year to come and ensuring a good number of offspring. The inhabitants of the village would then take pieces of the fire to their homes and relight their hearths, and dance clockwise around the bonfires to ensure good portents for them and their families.
Pictures from various Beltane celebrations around the UK: - The Fire Man - one of the "fire elementals" during the march to Calton Hill. (Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh) - Dance around the Maypole - (Beltane Fire Festival, Rosewell Centre, Castle Bytham) - The Red Men (and women) "The Lords and Ladies of Misrule" Spirits from the underworld, symbolising chaos, mischief and lust, making their attack on the procession. (Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh) - The May Queen (Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh)
WASHINGTON - Rep. Don Young for the first time offered a public defense of a secretive transportation earmark that so angered fellow lawmakers that they called on the Justice Department to investigate it.
Speaking Wednesday on the floor of the House of Representatives, the Alaska Republican acknowledged that he'd "been the subject of much innuendo" for the 2005 earmark, which shifted $10 million from a road-widening project in southwest Florida to a study of an interstate interchange that promised to benefit one of Young's campaign donors.
Young said that the earmark, part of a $286.4 billion highway bill he oversaw as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was never intended to benefit anyone in particular. The accusations about his role in it have "little if any connection with what actually occurred," Young said in an 11-minute speech.
His remarks came just hours before the House voted 358-51 to join a Senate call for a Justice Department investigation into the earmark. The Senate historian's office said it could recall no example in modern times of the Senate ever asking the department to look into possible criminal conduct by a House member.
Now THERE is a SERIOUS SHOWING OF FAITH AND TRUST! I guess he doesn't represent them either since they voted against him!
Here is his speech - the drinking game word for the day is "road."
In an interview with the News-Miner editorial board on Friday, Parnell described a conversation he had with Young last October regarding the growing rift between the congressional delegation and the governor’s office.
As the conversation got more heated, Parnell recounted Young's words:
“He was very angry, very animated at the governor, and he basically told me, he held out his hand and said, ‘She’s like a crystalline figure in my hands and I’m going to crush her,’ and he basically said I’m going to do the same thing to you,” Parnell told the editorial board.
Before we go on let's pause and think about this for a minute.
Don Young = crochety old fart.
Sarah Palin = 44-year-old mother of five, former cheerleader, likes to snow machine, ski and also enjoys going back to work the day after she goes through labor and delivery.
I picture any matchup between Palin and Young to end quickly with Sarah squeezing Don in a thigh hold until his head explodes. Then she'd get up, grab a mop and clean up the mess herself.
*enjoys the vision for another minute*
OK, continuing on with the story...Young is now very crabby at Sean and says that Lt. Gov. Parnell got it all wrong:
Young said he compared Palin’s political career to a delicate piece of crystal.
“It’s the finest glass in the world, but when it breaks, it shatters,” Young said he told Parnell.
My job had sent me to St. Louis for two weeks around the July 4th holiday in 1997. St. Louis seemed like another world after I’d lived in Anchorage for 13 years.
One night it was close to quitting time and I needed directions. I was 5½ months pregnant and a diabetic, so it was better to shop at a grocery store than to eat in restaurants. However, I was at a hotel in the downtown St. Louis business district and for the life of me I couldn’t find a grocery store nearby.
I asked one of the co-workers and she kindly told me the closest location and gave me directions on how to get there. She also provided this caveat: “If I were you, I would make sure to go there before 7 p.m.”
I asked her why. She came closer in a friendly, conspiratorial way, “It gets a little dark there after 7, if you know what I mean.” Then, she actually winked.
I felt like I’d been struck by a thunderbolt. My stomach had somehow managed to find its way to the floor, there was a tornado raging in my head and the rest of me was having alternating hot and cold flashes. All of that happened in less than a second.
A calm voice came from somewhere and spoke to her. It wasn’t until the voice had finished speaking that I realized my lips had been moving.
“That’s OK, the baby inside of me is a little dark so I think we’ll be right at home.” If I had blown the tiniest breath in her direction, she would have fallen over. The phone conversations that had been going on inside of the cubicles had ceased. There were several folks whose eyes appeared over or around their cubicle walls for just a split second.
That was the moment I realized I had officially turned in my “white girl card” for good. I don’t compare my experiences with racism to the experiences of people of color; you can’t look at me and know I have a multi-racial family unless I’m with my daughter. However, folks have said that after babysitting her over the years, they’ve lost any misconceptions about Alaska being free of racism.
Several weeks ago, I saw an excellent quote from a blogger, digitalmuse, describing her impressions of all the middle-aged white men on cable media claiming to know what is and isn’t racism:
“No political analysts, nor Media pundits, nor anyone, in fact, who has not lived and experienced racism first hand can say what constitutes racism. If you have not lived it and don’t know what we all know and have to live through in our neighborhoods, at work, and at school — you are no expert and are uniquely unqualified to pontificate on what statements are racist and which aren’t.”
This quote pops into my head every time Dan Fagan attempts to wax poetic on race in Alaska. I can’t think of anyone more “uniquely unqualified.”
Maybe it’s because Dan feigns “concern” for Native women in his latest column, then reverts to the same old racist stereotypes several paragraphs later.
Maybe it’s because his attempts at “cultural sensitivity” involve persistent use of insults toward Alaska Natives or “Arabs” on the air.
Maybe it’s because Dan equates the sexual assault of Native women to a “defect” of Native culture. Yet, Alaska ranks number one in sexual assault for Natives and non-Natives. A substantial percentage of suspects identified in sexual assaults against Native women are non-Native. According to Tara Henry, a nurse who co-authored the latest study of sexual assault in Alaska, we only have an overall 16 percent perpetrator conviction rate.
How, exactly, would you blame the “Native culture” for any of that? If Fagan really cared about Native women he could spend less time perpetuating myths and stereotypes and more time discussing sexual assault as part of the statewide epidemic it has become.
I have gotten a lot of nice comments - not too many ignorant ones yet.
- Musician friends are the best! Lulu, Patti and Sandy just kicked some serious butt! My new friend Paul Pike was absolutely wonderful...I was so honored to finally meet him! - I've been an avid supporter of Mark Begich for years but appreciate him even more now.
His actions on behalf of Veterans to make The Military Family Support Initiative available in cities all over the country (his wife, Deborah, won an award for starting it here in Anchorage) and his latest stand against Sen. Stevens refusal to support the 21st Century GI Bill show he's the real deal.
***UPDATE*** Progressive Alaska has more extensive coverage specific to Mark Begich's press conference regarding the GI Bill.
- Diane Benson spent a lot of quality time with individual Veterans who had concerns they wanted to talk about. She was also patient with us when we botched things. Thank you Diane!
- I actually got a chance to talk to Senator Murkowski about the GI Bill and asked her to put pressure on Sen Stevens to support it. She stated that John McCain had come out with a GI Bill and it sounded like they were trying to get her to support. However, she told them she wanted a side-by-side
comparison to see how the bills stacked up. It doesn't sound like they knew if or when that was going to happen.
From what I understand about Sen. McCain's bill, I doubt that ever happens at all.
I told her that Sen. Stevens was on the wrong side of this issue and he can't afford to be on the wrong side of ANY issues right now.
- It's official, I am even more impressed by Gov. Sarah Palin. She showed up towards the end in sweats (and looked perky and cute...in sweats...sheesh, what is it about those cheerleaders?) with NO entourage. She actually rushed from taking the baby to the hospital for some tests, then taking him to her parents' so they could watch him, then running to our event so she could at least catch the tail-end.
Mo Bailey literally almost cried.
I have to say, as much as I STRONGLY disagree with some of her socially conservative stances, I agree with her on more issues than any other Republican. I can also see that she genuinely cares about Alaska and Alaskans...it's not faked. That's why she's so popular.
I'd like to be able to say that we talked about substantive and important issues of the day but we actually talked about preemie kids (my daughter was 32 1/2 weeks)...which was substantive and important to us.
She laughed with the Aqua Nets and joked with (and about) Lulu. (Sheesh - is that a test of being a real Alaskan, whether or not you know Lulu?) I thank them for sending me the picture.
I swear...I'm not a groupie...I have perspective...
Thanks to everyone who came and made the day so wonderful!
The Precinct 1080 Website hasn't seen this much traffic..well...ever! It hasn't helped that Shannyn Moore's Show came on only to be a recording!
There's at least three threads running rampant on the changes happening at KUDO - much of which is rumor and speculation as NOBODY is talking (publicly). However, there are some interesting pieces that folks have put together. (Hat tips to all of the smart KUDOites who've kept their ears to the ground)
Over the last few months, the IBEW, which holds the broadcast license for KUDO, has been negotiating with Mike Robbins' company, TATI Broadcasting, to manage the radio station for them. The deal was finally signed sometime last week.
We all knew there would be changes coming when Mr. Robbins took over operations of KUDO, and I welcomed the change. Change was inevitable. I was never led to believe, however, that my job was in danger in any way. I got along well with Mr. Robbins and Cary Carrigan (who is taking the reins of KUDO), thought that I shared their vision for the station, and was confident that I had a future there.
That changed Sunday afternoon when Cary called me down to the studio to "discuss programming changes" at the station. I was then fired, told that my job was being cut to save money. I asked if I was being fired as Programming Director or as host of the Aaron Selbig Show and was told "both".
That, officially, is all that I know.
The rumor mill is churning, I know, with the notion that I was fired for delving into the Bill Scannell/Jake Metcalfe story over the last week or so. It is true that I have been working on connecting the dots with Mr. Scannell's involvement, and posted this on the KUDO website forum last week, when I realized that Mr. Scannell was using our site to post his anti-Berkowitz misinformation. I have been sharing information with other reporters who are working on this story, as well.
I cannot say, however, that my investigation and on-air condemnation of the Scannell affair was what led to my termination. I was told, as I say, that it was done to save money.
I can say, with nothing but joy in my heart, that I have enjoyed these last three years at KUDO, and appreciate the opportunity that was given to me by the IBEW. It was a fun ride, to say the least, and one of the great experiences of my life. I will cherish the friendships I have made over these last three years and will take what I have learned into whatever adventure awaits me. I wish all of my colleagues at KUDO, especially Shannyn Moore, CC and J.R. Zufelt, all the best as they move forward into the future. I'll be listening.
- Aaron Selbig
I'll miss Aaron terribly and I know he'll have another great job soon.
Rumor has it that Shannyn Moore was in a meeting with management this morning while they played a rerun and "Democracy Now!" during her slot. We don't know what's happening (if anything) with Shannyn and CC.
A Chinese student kicked a South Korean protester yesterday in Olympic Park in Seoul. South Korean demonstrators focused on human rights for North Koreans who are hiding in China. (CHOI WON-SUK/AFP/Getty Images)
SEOUL - Thousands of young Chinese who assembled to defend their country's troubled Olympic torch relay pushed through police lines yesterday, some of them hurling rocks, bottled water, and plastic and steel pipes at protesters who were demanding better treatment for North Korean refugees in China.
Two North Korean defectors living in South Korea poured paint thinner on themselves and tried to set themselves on fire to protest what they condemned as Beijing's inhumane crackdown on North Korean refugees, but the police stopped them, according to witnesses and officials.
The South Korean police and Chinese students also overpowered at least two other protesters who tried to impede the run along a 15-mile route through Seoul. The route was kept secret until the last minute and was guarded by more than 8,300 police officers.
I know and I empathize with the argument that these athletes have poured time, energy, hard work and money into their training. But I think that every Olympic athlete has got to ask him/herself: How will I feel if another Tiananmen Square Massacre happens during the games? How will I feel if nothing happens on that scale, but I still witness Chinese police/military using force on protesters?
I also thought the whole idea that Chinese students were helping to quash the protests in Korea to be both ironic and tragic.
What a difference 19 years makes.
There's also a story in the ADN today about Tibetan exiles living in Anchorage. I will always regret not taking the time to go see the Dalai Lama when he visited here several years ago.
Could it be liberal media elites are afraid to offend or appear racially insensitive by reporting on cultural leanings in the Native community that can foster an environment of abuse?
Dan, couching your racism in "concern" is kinda like covering cow dung with chocolate; the smell leaks through.
The look-the-other-way cultural leaning among some Natives is just one of the reasons a disproportionate number of Native women are sexually assaulted and raped each year.
Oh please...Native Culture is far from having the corner on the market of "if we ignore it maybe it will go away!" We have to look no farther than the Juneau Police underreporting rapes to see that.
I love it when middle-aged white boys get all preachy about race!
The crime reporting from the Department of Justice speaks for itself:
According to the US Department of Justice, in at least 86 per cent of reported cases of rape or sexual assault against American Indian and Alaska Native women, survivors report that the perpetrators are non-Native men. The Department’s data on sexual violence against non-Native women, in contrast, shows that for non-Indigenous victims, sexual violence is usually committed within an individual’s own race.
Let me repeat that again...I know that Fagan fans are slower than most:
...in at least 86 per cent of reported cases of rape or sexual assault against American Indian and Alaska Native women, survivors report that the perpetrators are non-Native men..
Dan, this means that if you REALLY WANTED to HELP Native women you would tell that pack of Neanderthal droolers you call a fan-base to go jump in the ring at "Thursday Night at the Fights" if they feel the need to prove their dominance over another human being. Finding the nearest woman, Native or otherwise, and treating her like a sex slave punching bag or molesting the neighbor's daughter will get them serious jail time.
In most cases, I would simply suggest telling them it is just plain "WRONG". However, it's clear that both you AND your fans are kinda fuzzy on the meaning of THAT word.