Friday, April 8, 2011

Oil prices, Sharia law and a super hero stopped in his tracks

A bit of a diversion into politics. This place is going sort of nuts. First, the silent governor appointed a guy to a council that chooses judges for the governor to pick from for his nominations. In an interview, the guy he named said he thinks extra marital sex should be against the law. Wow. As the cliche goes, wrong on so many levels. Imagine the overcrowding in prisons if that were the law of the land ,,, and how much lawbreaking would be going on INSIDE. Today he withdrew from the nomination saying he didn't want to distract from the important work of the Judicial Council. Thank you so much.

This next one will take some explanation. There is a tax structure set up for the oil companies here that among other things has a graduated scale that goes up when the oily's profits rise. Of course the industry had objected to that for years. The silent governor, who used to work in the oil industry, made it his legislative priority this year to repeal that tax. He says the cut is to induce the industry to do more exploration, development and production In Alaska, however there is no guarantee that will happen. Since the Legislature has been in session, that has been the primary issue. The state revenue department said repeal would cost the state about $2 billion a year in lost income. Nevertheless, a repeal bill passed the state House but the leader of the Senate said earlier this week there will be no oil tax cut in this session, which would effectively kill it for at least another year. Then yesterday, the head of Conoco Phillips Alaska said the company would invest UP TO $5 billion in Alaska next year if the tax cut passes. Talk about your blackmail. "Up to" is no guarantee they WILL spend that much or any. Any amount, even $5, could qualify as UP TO $5 billion. Politics is often a matter of compromise though that seems a lost art these days, so, with compromise in mind, I have a better solution. How about you do this Conoco, you spend UP TO $4 billion and we will keep our $1 billion which is paid ostensibly because the people of Alaska own that oil, not you and not the governor and not the Legislature.

OK, now that is solved, there's this. As the rich in this country (read Republican overlords) continue their assault on the rest of us, a state Legislator here, MY representative in fact, entered a bill attacking public employees' collective bargaining rights. Good grief. I doubt there is a working person in this country who doesn't owe some part of his income to a union somewhere back in history (think six degrees of separation) and yet now as governments give away billions to industry (read above, or better yet look into the subsidies provided to the oil industry just to do what they do while they make obscene profits) the regular old workers with collective bargaining take the blame for the economic problems. There is way too much involved in that issue to put in a short blog post but you get the idea. Give billions to profit-hungry industries and blame teachers and policemen and firemen, that's the ticket. Fortunately calmer heads prevailed in Alaska and the bill was withdrawn. But, the guy was not to be dissuaded from pushing another outrageous issue. He actually introduced a bill in the Legislature that would make it illegal for an Alaska court to make a judgment based on sharia law. Are you kidding me? Sharia law? Make women wear burkas and allow honor killings? Hey Gatto, we have a Constitution and more than 200 years of precedent law. We won't be stoning anyone anytime soon. The thing is, I get to vote when that guy runs again next year. I already have a campaign slogan for him: Gatto's gotta get gone.

Enough of a rant I guess for one day. The only thing left is this headline that showed up today: "Arctic Man delayed by blizzard." Lots of interpretations for that one, aren't there, but in the long run this question: Who is this Arctic Man and what kind of a wimp is he to claim that title and be stopped by a blizzard. Hell i walked the width of Wasilla Lake in a blizzard yesterday and it was in the Governor Interrupted's home town where being a liberal is a shooting offense. Ok some explanation for Outsiders. Arctic Man is a gathering every April in the Hoodoo Mountains (Not kidding). As many as 12,000 people show up in motor homes with snowmachines and form the third or fourth biggest city in Alaska for a few days. It is based around a competition where a snowmachiner tows a skier up a mountain, then releases the skier to ski down, picks him up at the bottom for a tow sometimes at as much as 80 mph to the top of the next hill before another ski to the finish line. There are other events, too, but mostly it is a huge party. Still you have to admit it does seem a bit ironic that Arctic Man can be stopped by a blizzard.

As the Beatles and Muppets used to sing: "Letter B, Letter B, there will be an answer, Letter Beeeee.

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Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve