Convicted Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen has been in the local news recently. The photo caption in the Anchorage Daily News reads, “Convicted serial killer Robert Hansen with the horns from a record-class Dall sheep he killed”. The FBI has recognized the connection between animal cruelty and serial killers since the l970s, when analysis of the life histories of imprisoned serial killers suggested that most, as children, had killed or tortured animals. Other research shows consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse, and elder abuse.
Archive for September, 2008
Over 1,000 Alaskans gathered in Anchorage to protest the McCain campaign hijacking of Sarah Palin’s abuse of power investigation! Here’s the link to the Anchorage Daily News Article on the protest!
Everyone agrees – Tina Fey nails Governor Palin’s accent. But the real funny thing is no one in Alaska talks like Sarah Palin! In fact, Alaskans in my opinion are curiously without an accent. Sarah Palin has developed her very own, unique, red-neck meets Fargo North Dakota accent. I swear, no one in Alaska talks like that! Sure, you run into the occasional Alaskan who (like some southerners) never speaks in the past tense, but overall Alaskans have pretty good grammar, and have a neutral, flat speaking voice. Palin’s propensity for poor grammar and talking like a hick isn’t regional but just a reflection on her ignorance and lack of education.
I just read that Army and Air Force families that live and work in Alaska are excluded from the resource rebate which is alloted to Alaskan residents to help offset the high cost of gas and fuel in the state. Palin likes to talk on the road about the $1,200 she is giving Alaskans to help pay for outrageous fuel costs here. Too bad she is screwing over the military families who live in Alaska by excluding them from the rebate. Way to “lead” the military Palin!
Only residents who qualify for and file for their permanent dividend fund (yearly oil bribe) are allowed to receive the resource rebate. Since military families in Alaska do not file for the PDF they are automatically excluded from the resource rebate even though they live in Alaska and pay the same high fuel costs as everyone else.
Lots of local chatter will also tell you that $1,200 doesn’t go very far when you pay $9/gallon in bush communities for gas. Propane which many Alaskans use to heat their houses is also outrageously expensive. Click here to read Alaskan military families discuss being excluded from state benefits.
I found a reference in The Anchorage Daily News, stating that “Alaska has the Nation’s highest per-capita rate of forcible rape”. Click here for the full article. Alaska’s rape rate is 2.5 times higher than the national average. The state that hunts the most rapes the most, not surprising.
Welcome to Alaska, there’s a sale on “youth rifles”! Nothing like killing animals to help with childhood development, it really gets ’em primed for date rape once they hit puberty. I snapped a few pictures around town because I’ve gotten several emails from Alaskans telling me that they have lived here for 20+ years and NEVER seen anything like what I’ve written about on this blog. Hmm, maybe these folks were born without, say, eyes?
I didn’t have to go further than my local drug store to get pictures of piles of guns that would make David Koresh drool, or to see a dead animal head mounted on a wall. Just today I wandered into a local brewery for the first time and was greeted at the door by a stuffed grizzly, murdered and forced to spend eternity wearing a macrame beret with a dusty bouquet of dried roses jammed in his mouth.
Ever since Palin joined the McCain ticket it has been raining here on the Kenai Peninsula. As if Alaska was in mourning, it has been nothing but doom and gloom – about the same as my mood as I contemplate Palin’s destruction going National. But just as I finished pulling out my last strand of hair with visions of extinction swirling through my head – the sun broke through. What a relief!
Although I’m still afraid of the masses who find ignorance endearing, it seems that word is getting out about Sarah P. and that people are pretty horrified. I mean come on, could there be any graver an example of BLAME THE VICTIM than charging a raped woman $1,200 for the swabs and speculums used to collect her forensic evidence? Way to run a town Sarah! Barbarians for Palin! But I digress…
So the sun is finally shining, and it’s a super high, high-tide, and I’ve been out enjoying the non human Alaska. The crashing waves of this highest of high tides comes lapping right up to a park bench I visit, and I’ve been sitting in the sun watching otters floating by on the crest of waves. It doesn’t get much better than this. There’s a silver salmon run on a nearby river, and the beach becomes a corridor for animals feasting on fish. I’ve been watching harbor seals with their fat, round, black eyes pop up and spy on me (the most curious of all marine mammals – they never pass up a chance to watch what you’re doing on land). Sea otter after sea otter floats gently by. I even saw a sea lion (rare around here), with her huge, black nose which reminds me of a bear, bursting through the water’s surface for swift sniffs. And of course, the ubiquitous bald eagles soaring above, being chased down and bullied by a gang of frisky ravens. The gulls rule the shore, however, packed on every inch of sand with their dusty grey babies learning what life has in store. There’s so much life here, the energy just bursts at the seams.
And as I sit staring into waves under the three hour sunsets that make this state so special, I’m also reminded of how much has been lost. Because when you live where there still is abundance – abundance of life from the tiniest scallop to a humpback whale, you can’t help but realize how much has been lost everywhere else. This is it folks. Alaska is all that’s left. It’s the last intact ecosystem in our country. But it won’t be for long with Drill Baby Drill at the helm. And if this psycho goes global – I can’t even imagine that. It’s why I’ve been in a wretched funk for the past few weeks, and why I’m avoiding the computer and looking into the sun. But I’ll be back soon with lots of grody pictures from THE LAST FRONTIER…
You will be hard pressed to find a shop in Alaska that doesn’t sell fur like wolf pelts, fox tails and bear skin rugs. Fur can be purchased nearly everywhere – from gift shops to gas stations. Stacks of wolf pelts as tall as my waist sit on the floor of nearly every tourist gift shop.
Animal parts such as walrus ivory, moose antlers, whale bones, bear claws, sheep horns and of course fur are used to make most “Alaskan art” and souvenirs. I even saw a fur jock strap hanging in a store window in Sitka, Alaska. It was really depressing walking around Sitka, everywhere I turned there were fur stores, every lobby had a stuffed dead animal, and I even looked up and saw two polar bear hides drying on someone’s balcony. Most Alaskans wear some sort of fur, and fur stores are located in nearly every Alaskan town, especially where cruise ships dock.
Alaskans are probably the only US citizens who can physically show you more than one way to skin a cat. Most Alaskan children learn how to shoot squirrels before they learn how to tie their shoes. Shooting animals for fun is the number one past time in Alaska. Alaskans always need an excuse to go out in nature, and shooting animals is the number one reason they spend time in the great outdoors. The hunting culture is a “way of life” that is viciously defended by most Alaskans. Sport hunting is a great excuse to have lots of guns, which means there are lots of guns in Alaska being used against women in domestic violence situations. No wonder Alaska has twice the violent crime rate as the rest of the US.
Sport hunting of predators is especially damaging because predator species do not have the reproductive capacity to recover from predation by humans. Bears take 3-5 years to raise one or two cubs – since bears are meant to be at the top of the food chain. Even prey species like moose are struggling due to sport hunting in Alaska.
* I draw a clear distinction between sport hunting (hunting for pleasure) and subsistence hunting (hunting for food). I believe that subsistence hunting is less cruel to animals than commercial agricultural practices.