Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

Grab the popcorn, the VP debate is here!

October 2, 2008

It has been interesting, as an Alaskan resident, to see the pre-debate commentary floating around.  I find the headlines warning of Palin’s debate talents laughable, and I just want to assure everyone – DON’T WORRY.  Palin really doesn’t know anything.  She really is an empty vessel.  She isn’t fumbling because McCain has been keeping her from being herself.  She isn’t incoherent because she has been trying too hard to use sound bites.  She is fumbling and incoherent because she really knows nothing.  As my husband says, there’s only so much information you can cram into a completely empty head. 

Yes, Palin is choking on her force fed sound bites like Mary-Kate Olsen in anorexia rehab.  But even if in desperation the McCain camp lets her “be herself” this will be even worse than her befuddled mumblings.  Because Sarah Palin is a hick!  She’s as cogent as a hooker at a truck stop.  Palin speaking as Palin would involve 101 recipes for freshly clubbed seal oil, tips on how to properly store automatic weapons in a root cellar, or how to tell the difference between the severed leg of a Siberian husky and a wolf.  Trust me, the best thing that could happen to the Obama campaign would be to set Palin loose as the real Palin.  Yeah, Mathew McConaughy’s brother Rooster (who legally named his son “Miller-Lite”) and the Left Behind book club will love her, but that’s about it.  Trust me.  So pop the popcorn, grab the twizzlers and look forward to the debate.

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Alaskan hunters oppose Palin’s hunting policies

October 1, 2008

So if you’ve read my blog you’ve noticed I write a lot about hunting as a part of Alaskan culture.  You might even wonder if I’m unduly obsessed with hunting, a wacked out “liberal tree hugger” as some of my hate mail proclaims.  But I want to press upon you the fact that hunting is EVERYWHERE in Alaskan culture, it is so in your face at every corner it is impossible to ignore.  I’m not exaggerating or looking for something that really isn’t there.  Trust me, if I could I would prefer not see the ubiquity of killing animals for pleasure in my daily life.

A few recent examples – I pulled up to a drive through espresso stand and they had tacked up a sign reading “hunter’s special: skin’ em pilgram toffee latte!”.  On a hiking trail a few days ago I passed a family with three young kids and a puppy.  Petting their puppy and chatting I realized that the father and son were not carrying fishing poles, but rather a hunting bow and a backpack full of arrows.  Just a few paces down the trail we encountered a shocking no hunting sign, of course riddled with bullet holes.  Walking in the Homer foothills to see the fall colors this week we stumbled upon a pickup truck that had run off the road, surrounded by hundreds of shot gun shells.  The truck was littered with bullet holes, and a fire pit filled with liquor bottles and trash sat nearby.  Nothing like gettin’ drunk and shooting up a truck to pass a friday night.  I could go on and on…

Which brings me to another hunting topic – the fact that hunters in Alaska do not support Palin’s hunting policies!  In yet another installment of Sarah Palin’s nonsensical interview with Couric, she mentions growin’ up huntin’ and fishin’ with the boys and fillin’ her freezer with good Alaskan game meat.  And it ircked me that people would see Palin as someone who is just your average Alaskan who hunts for food.  Because the truth is Palin is not your average subsistence hunter.  Her policies towards hunting are ultra conservative even for sport hunters, and hunters have opossed several of her public hunting policies.

Alaskan sport hunters oppose aerial hunting of bears and wolves, something Palin vehemently supports.  The last ballot measure to limit aerial hunting was actually brought forth by a group of hunters!  Sport hunters also oppose the shooting of bears habituated to human bear viewers, something Palin also supports.  I hope people can realize that Palin is not your average Alaskan hunter feeding her family with game meat.  She has a pathological vendetta against wildlife that is opposed by most Alaskans and most Alaskan hunters. 

Her extreme hunting views are not surprising given her parent’s house looks decorated by Norman Bates.  Did you happen to see the interview at her parents’ house recently?  Her father points to a photograph hanging on his wall to show that he has been to Russia.  And the photograph is of bloody, clubbed seals smeared into the snow!  Palin’s father clubs baby seals for fun which explains a lot about Palin’s hatred for animals.

Another 1,000+ Anti-Palin Rally in Anchorage!

September 28, 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!

The Alaskan Accent

September 28, 2008

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.

Alaska screws over Army and Air Force families

September 23, 2008

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.

Alaska has the highest rape rate – update…

September 23, 2008

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.

Alaskans Love Guns, part 2

September 23, 2008

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. 

Alaskans love them some fur

September 17, 2008

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. 

Sport Hunting

September 16, 2008

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.

What makes Alaska special

September 15, 2008

A few readers have asked why I live in Alaska.  Well – this photo explains why.  Isn’t this mother grizzly beautiful?  How lucky am I to live in a place where animals like this grizzly bear still exist!  If you’ve read my blog, you probably gathered that I’m not too fond of the humans in Alaska.  But I am head over heels in love with “Alaska” – the non human part.  Alaska is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen on the planet.  You can stroll down the street and stare at glaciers so big they punch you in the face.  I can glance out my window and see a bald eagle with a seven foot wing span, or a mother moose and her two fuzzy babies chomping on grass. 

I spend as much time as possible camping near grizzly bears in Katmai National Park – you can read my many, many stories about grizzlies and wolves on my website www.grizzlybay.org.  What breaks my heart nearly every single day, however, is that the Alaskan human culture is founded upon exploiting the natural world and wildlife, exploiting the very things that make Alaska so special.  Every industry in Alaska is about extracting something from the natural world – be it fish, oil, gold or timber or wolf hides.  My hope is for people to understand what it means to come from a culture that is founded upon the complete and total exploitation of the natural world.

Another reason I live here is I found Homer, Alaska which is the only town in the state I could imagine living in.  Homer is known for halibut fishing, hippies, and art.  It is quite an anomaly in Alaska -a liberal town that has very few dead animals on the walls.  Homer is a town in the most scenic location I’ve ever seen – on a bay with views of mountains and glaciers stretching as far as the eye can see.  Unfortunately when I first moved here I lived 20 miles outside Homer – you can read about the folks I met out there on this blog – which I think represent more of the typical Alaskan mentality. 

Please take my blog with a grain of salt and a dash of satire – of course not everyone in Alaska refuses to bathe or molests their children.  I’m talking about the predominant culture – not every single individual Alaskan.  Of course there are exceptions to the noisy, violent, stinky, stop sign shooting Alaskans I talk about on this blog.  But the predominant Alaskan culture remains one based on violence and exploitation of the natural world -you can’t deny that, and I’m trying to teach Americans that those roots produce a culture very different from the rest of the U.S.  The other thing that makes living here tolerable is the fact that there are so few people here.  There were twice as many people in the county I moved from in AZ than in the whole state of Alaska!  I absolutly love that, and how easy it is to escape humanity here in Alaska.

*photo copyright 2008 grizzlybay.org