Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"I'm not into politics. I'm into survival." - Gov. Schwarzenegger, The Running Man

Anchorage in June. Looks like Anchorage most of the time, but this is near solstice and this picture was taken about 11PM. I’m not sure what metric time that was. Perhaps 9.8?

It’s time to get ready to pick a new governor in Alaska. I would start with commentary that we might elect the existing one (Frank Murkowski), but that seems unlikely at this point, since he’s about as popular as Jennifer Aniston would be as a sitter in Angelina Jolie’s house. I exaggerate, but the last poll I saw had him running in third place behind John Binkley (no relation to the Bloom County character) and Sarah Palin (probably not related to Monty Python, though when I thought about calling her office she would neither confirm nor deny this in a conversation I imagined). The current governor may yet win reelection, and if he does, I would credit it to his quoting of Napoleon Dynamite, “flippin’ sweet.”

Politics in Alaska is different. A Republican in Massachusetts would be considered a communist in most states, since they can’t think of a social program (Free After Dinner Mints are a RIGHT, Not a Privilege Just for the Rich!) they won’t support.

A Green Party member in Alaska probably drives a big, honking 4WD to get to the log cabin, has a very large caliber pistol, burns tons of wood in the winter, and is almost as concerned about individual human freedom as he/she is about the environment. I like our Greens better than your Greens, since Alaska Greens would be Iowa Republicans (I’m gonna catch hell for this, but it’s true more often than not).

Alaskan politics are funny because Alaska, though huge in area, is small in the number of people kicking around up here. Being the governor of Alaska consists of being the executive of a government that has jurisdiction over 600,000 people. There are probably bigger homeowner associations in the Napa Valley, though we have tons of gold and millions and millions of gallons of sweet, sweet oil, and all the homeowner association has is an over-chlorinated pool and a ping-pong table with one racket and one smashed ping-pong ball.

The biggest issue our governor has had trouble with is the gas pipeline to carry our sweet, sweet gas down to the lower 48 so you have the ability to send your ratty-old money back up this way to pay for our Pez dispensers and pantyhose. The primary problem with the gas line deal that he negotiated (not having read it, along with most other folks) is that the Oil Companies (AMOCOBPEXXONCONOCOPHILLIPS) appear to like it.

This reminds me of Aesop’s fable about the Mouse and the Elephant and the Preacher . . . wait, that’s a filthy joke I heard on the football bus in high school. Aesop’s fable is about the Lion and the Tasty Little Mammal. This fable, if you forgot, is where the Lion was mad all the time and scared all the Tasty Little Mammals that lived in the forest. The Lion and the Mouse walk into a bar. Wait. That’s another one. Dang. Maybe it was the Lion, the Witch, and the Dominatrix?

I can’t remember.

Let’s just summarize this way: people seem to be generally against the gas line, perhaps because Aesop was born in 620 B.C. and his 401k is so totally huge now due to compound interest.

The best thing about being governor, perhaps, is that the capital of Alaska is in Juneau and is therefore inaccessible by road from the rest of the state. This gives the governor the benefit of not having to see many actual Alaskans. If the legislature isn’t in session, I think there are only four other people that live in Juneau. Being governor, you pretty much have the place all to yourself, like Mel Gibson in all those Mad Max movies, but I don’t think anybody kills your dog. And there are fewer Australians and dingos.

Oh, yeah, there’s a Democrat running, too. He’s probably an NRA member.


Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

"Democrat" and "NRA" in the same sentence, the same breath, the same (shudder) thought? John, you blaspheme, even for an Alaskan.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Jill Homer said...

This is what I like about Alaska - politics don't run along cold partisan lines. And by the way, I'm voting for Brinkley, that golden retriever from Fairbanks.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Deirdre Helfferich said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head--the suspicion in the average Alaskan mind is that if the oil companies like it, there MUST be something wrong with the deal...

Dame Koldfoot forgets the famous "I'm gonna go out and buy a pistole" Lieutenant Governor Fran Ulmer...'course, maybe Frannie was faking it.

...and us wood-burning, 4WD-driving, .44-toting Greenies are not at all interested in freezing to death or getting eaten by bears. And some of us bike to work. Or jump up and down at the local watering hole about keeping the gummint out of our lives.

I'll have to take a look at Brinkley's platform. None of the other gubenatorial candidates look terribly sensible...

5:40 PM  
Blogger shawnkielty said...

I am glad I live here in Arizona, where ever one has a place to park an Atv and at least one concealable weapon, and the god given rights are -- the right to make a u-turn, and to drive where ever you want.

There's a few woodburning, guntoting, 4WD greenies in AZ -- just like in Alaska. .. And the politics are simple too.

11:53 PM  
Blogger John said...

dame koldfoot,
Hey, some of them are. 'specially in Alaska. Hell, there are NO non-NRA members when a griz is heading towards them at 35 mph. Come to think of it, there are no athiests there, either.

Yup. I'm not sure how the dog will govern, though. I imagine his administration will be ruff.


That's two out of three voting for Brinkley. I think that he'll have to show dogged determination to win.

Yeah, simple politics are nice, and at the local level that's usually the case. But in Arizona, I think I'd melt.

8:19 PM  
Blogger CabinDweller said...

As I once told a potential boss being hired into our office from Oregon, here in Alaska, even the liberals carry guns.

Perhaps most famously, Alaskan Legislator Richard "Machine Gun" Foster, a Democrat out of a district they've made so large that it encompasses damn near the entirety of Western Alaska.

And we Greens (and I'm not actually a card-carrying one) tote the guns as happily as most other Alaskans. But the NRA, well, I would never give them a dime.

And let's not forget, Tony Knowles, the Democratic candidate, and ex-oil guy, would be a Republican in any state but this.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

When do you get to vote "Tubes" Stevens out of office?

9:05 PM  

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