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Friday, January 28, 2022

They Think We’re Idiots. Are We?


The GOP mammoth, Jamie Smith,

I will admit to outrage fatigue. The “Shock and Fraud” campaign in Juneau is working. Legislators, drunk on one-party power, are trying to jam so much crazy through — well, it’s mind-boggling. We’ve just passed the halfway point of the session — think of it as solstice; Alaska’s future only gets darker from here.

We had it too good for too long and didn’t even realize it. The petty, preposterous, personal-issue bills were ignored for years. But now that we’ve solved our energy issues, jobs are plentiful and every education challenge is behind us, the Legislature has entire weeks to “solve” problems we don’t have, with time left over to rain gifts on special interests with deep pockets.

Sean Parnell is what you’d get if Frank Murkowski and Sarah Palin had a baby governor: A pro-oil evangelical busily concealing his own lack of substance by demonizing the federal government.

For example, this week Parnell stated his support for HB69, the nutty “nullification” bill. He also rejected federal dollars that would have insured 32,000 Alaskans. He sided with Alabama rather protect the voting rights of Alaska Natives. He continued to dodge a real debate about his big oil bailout. And he’s preparing to punish state employees with skids on their paychecks.

It’s absurd.

Here’s the oath that “all public officers, before entering upon the duties of their offices, shall take and subscribe to … I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alaska, and that I will faithfully discharge my duties … to the best of my ability.”

This is the pledge lawmakers take. Did they cross their fingers? Did they not swear on a Bible? Any lightning bolts seen over the Capitol?

Where is: “I do solemnly swear to give billions in tax cuts with no strings attached to the richest oil companies in the history of the world.”

I can’t find the promise to “defend the people of Alaska from affordable access to health insurance.” Did they confuse “faithfully discharge my duties” for “happily discharge a billion gallons of cruise ship sewage into coastal waters?”

In his quest to force victims of rape and incest to have babies, Sen. John Coghill of North Pole apparently couldn’t find an Alaska doctor to help him stack the testimony on his bill. He trotted in Outside hacktivists to justify the elimination of “medically necessary” abortions for poor women, regardless of the diagnoses of their doctors. The Alaska front in the War on Women has never been more fierce, so prepare yourself, ladies, for more “barefoot-in-burkas” legislation.

We can’t afford to fund pre-K programs, and we have to cut post-K programs but the coal industry can get a cool $326 million for a railroad spur line.

Let’s change our Constitution so we can fund religious education but don’t ask what it’s going to cost us. I guess if we’re paying for praying, we should have faith it’ll all work out. No fiscal facts for us.

The Lady Republicans in the House accessorized themselves to vote for the unconstitutional gun bill. Camo scarves — that’s so clever! “We went shopping!” OMG!

Apparently Sen. Mike Dunleavy’s constituents came to him and begged for a bill allowing insurance companies to set all our rates based on our credit scores. Really? So if we’ve never had a loan or a credit card, we get to pay more? Genius. Who writes this stuff? Oh, right: insurance company lawyers.

An advertisement starring former lawmaker Glenn Hackney, paid for by mysterious oil industry donors, has been airing. It compares Gov. Jay Hammond’s leadership in creating the Alaska Permanent Fund to Parnell’s effort to save big oil companies billions in exchange for … exactly nothing.

They think we’re idiots. And if we let this continue, maybe we are.



36 Responses to “They Think We’re Idiots. Are We?”
  1. Mo says:

    A nice essay demonstrating what’s been hiding under the Libertarian mask:

  2. JHypers says:

    I am thoroughly amused by how indefensibly statist you mud-flatters are. Where is the morality in providing access to health care, pre-K education services, or any other feel-good program, with funds seized under threats of violence (taxation) towards private citizens and businesses? I realize we have the most impersonal tax cows in the union in the form of a corporate-run pipeline and oil wells, but it took the leadership of a libertarian in the Alaska House (Dick Randolf) in the 1980s to finally rid this state of a personal income tax. Thanks to him, you progressives stuck in the mud down there in Anchorage are only tax cows for the feds…and of course the muni if you “own” property (you don’t really own something if you are forced to pay a recurring tax).

    Consider adhering to these two things:
    1. Individual private property rights
    2. The non-aggression principle

    Y’all might still be statists, but you are only idiots if you refuse to learn from your mistakes.

    Keep on having fun.

    • Mo says:

      Oh hey, everyone come look at JHypers, a texbook specimen of the Dunning-Kruger Effect!

      • Takashi Sheffiled says:

        How would you know?

      • JHypers says:

        Impressive ad hominem, Mo. If you are going to label me with an inferior intellect, the least you could do is reply with an actual criticism or rebuttal of any of my points, identify potential fallacies, etc. Perhaps you could reveal some breath-taking knowledge in order to convince me that the use of force (violence) should be tolerated in a free society for any reason other than self-defense. Otherwise, I’m left with the potentially false assumption that you are only capable of name-calling.

        Keep on having fun down there in the mud.

    • Wugmump says:

      Well, I don’t know – because we belong to a community, perhaps? We gather together in unison, or union if you will, and make things work. Together. All of us. We pay taxes for things that make a community work. I pay taxes for the school district, even though I have no kids. Because some of the people in the community that I’ve chosen to live in have kids and those kids need schools. And so on.
      Or, I guess we could all just go out and stake our little territories in the woods and be rugged individuals. Oh, you already have yours? Sit down and shut up. This community is big and has a constitution and includes even selfish, greedy fucks like you.

      • JHypers says:

        This has nothing to do with individualism…or collectivism for that matter. The primary premise is the use of force. Should we be involuntarily coerced into an immoral system which consistently lies, steals and initiates or threatens violence in order to achieve its ends? You have obviously revealed you have no problem with this, given that I’ve been told to sit down and shut up like a wayward student who needs to listen to his supposed moral and intellectual superiors. Given the inflammatory language used against me, I would say you have provided evidence of the need for the state in our current paradigm far more than I have.

        Keep on having fun.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          This is all pretty silly 🙂
          As a far left libertarian, I see a lot of mixed flags /tags from various libertarian schools of thought in your remarks but no real flesh- certainly not enough to begin to make an argument that you have brought enough to the table to have established any credentials to drop in and Pffft! all over those who are here.
          The so-called principles of individual-property-rights and non-aggression have occupied better minds than yours and mine for a long , long time, neighbor.

          is a good read and a good place to have a conversation from- no matter what your POV is or how thoroughly you agree or disagree with the author.
          Also, a discussion of anarchist schools of thought v statist schools is useful and entertaining but I don’t see it here.
          Big pronouncements of knowing/owning-the-TRUTH one’s own lil self whilst deriding one’s audience is generally a pretty big Fail! and is here too- especially given the lack of flesh given your “principles”.
          Folks here put up with my periodic ravings about the tyranny-of-the-metropolitan-majority,anger over the twisted marraige of social justice and neoliberal economic principles that Centrists have made, and the like .Some even engage in real conversation about things that are out of their comfort zone . Imagine that !?
          Insulting people right off the bat might be fun but it doesn’t facilitate conversation nor should emotional slapback be presumed an inadequate response to your “argument”.
          It is merely an emotional slapback to a high and mighty attitude- no principles have been argued. Argument never got out of the box…
          Enjoying my break from all things AK politics but always up for seeing what people think as per the broader arguments.
          Don’t see any adequate arguments here…

          • JHypers says:

            Pi – It’s amusing how words on a screen can written one way and read another…but let’s be honest, I think it goes without saying name Mudflats offers up a few ways of poking fun. And I firmly assert that idiocy is only the result of refusal to learn and willfully approach self-destruction. To say that I’ve insulted anyone is a bit of a stretch…but I appreciate the considerate response at least.

            In the effort of providing a more clear “argument,” whether you find it worthy of your consideration, it is this: I don’t think another human being, or group of human beings, should be granted a legal monopoly over the use of force to get what they want (or need) when they want it, and that includes those who would use capitalism as their efficient tool of choice. If I thought I was the sole owner of this idea, I certainly would be a classic example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

            Looking over the link you provided, I considered it reasonable discourse on libertarianism up until expansionism was mentioned as a tenet. This was downright laughable. To assert that libertarians justify the use of force in the name of “freedom” is quite frankly a misrepresentation of the philosophy.

            • Alaska Pi says:

              I’m going to skip right on by the *idiocy* remark for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the implicit notion that disagreeing folks do so only within a refusal-to-learn . I think all human constructs of thought , philosophies, ideologies , whatever , should be wide open to criticism and I wish we could disabuse ourselves of the notion that “proper”education necessarily leads us all to the same conclusions/same place.
              Both left and right libertarianism contain expansionist notions in terms of economic growth, a less used notion of the word than the common one of policies of states/governments so while it may have struck you as wrong, it is a piece of libertarian thought in terms of economic notions. Also, Mr Treanor is not asserting that libertarians are justifying the use of force in the name of freedom- he is pointing to an inconsistency in thought, a blind spot in libertarian thinking. Where he fails in that passage is in expanding it with the hypothetical if-US-libertarians-become-less-isolationist. remark because isolationism is fundamental to US right libertarian thought at present and he doesn’t create a potent enough argument to see beyond it.
              As per not seeing an argument in your original remarks :
              “Consider adhering to these two things:
              1. Individual private property rights
              2. The non-aggression principle”
              Why would people want to consider adhering to these 2 things? What are they to you?
              What makes them most important to you when discussing politics ( politics in the sense of the business-of-the-polity/the people) ?

              There are multiple schools of thought on NAP within right and left libertarian philosophy. Mr von Mises came down on the right libertarian front
              and there multiple criticisms from within and without the schools.
              Left libertarians ( like me) also have multiple takes on NAP. I tend to come down nearest to the Steiner-Vallentyne school with a dash of the George school but not solidly with any of them.

            • Alaska Pi says:

              Expand the legal-monopoly argument? Is not fleshed out enough to see how it dovetails with your other remarks.

              • JHypers says:

                Why should people consider those two principles? Highly cliche, but my reasoning is that the world wold be a better place. It is obviously not some flip of the switch. The whole thing revolves around an ongoing battle over consciousness (if this is what was meant by expansionism I would have to concede, but the interpretation is still up for debate). Almost from infancy, many of us are taught (subtly or overtly) the initiation of force is an acceptable way to resolve issues. One notable anarchist (Stefan Molyneux) has been adamant for years that the most effective way to bring about a stateless society would be to convince parents to stop abusing their children, even through “acceptable” means such as spanking. In order to consider anarchy even as a possibility, I think one has to form critical questions about “human nature” and what it actually is…if it even exists. As for property rights, that one really should be listed as #2, because it seems in order for any respect or recognition of private property to ever occur, it would have to be as a result of the NAP. An impossible sell for most left libertarians and anarcho-communists given that under Marxist philosophy property is viewed as theft, but that’s a bit much to go into at this moment. As far as your question about why this is important when discussing politics….well, consider what politics actually is: who gets what, when, and how. The use of force for the “how” is ubiquitous. After all, this is why we argue all the time for this or for that, because, like with the current GOP-stacked AK legislature, if things get passed, crazy or otherwise, they become the force of law…and that scares some people, unless of course the Law is being used to provide those people’s group with a benefit.

                Now, if there’s any way for me to tie any of this together, it is with the following. We all have choices…but most of them are illusions. When you come to the realization that government, and anything relating to it, is a form of coercion, any decision made within the society under this “social contract” is an amoral decision. So, how does one do anything moral in that situation? Some may argue it is impossible, but one thing you can do, as individuals (as I have done), is begin preparing yourself to live as though “the state” did not exist. Now, that can be interpreted as becoming a so-called “prepper” who has weaponry and food and such…but what I am talking about is a mental preparation that embraces these principles of relating to one another that would avoid devolving into the use of force.

                To conclude, I can only further expand on the legal monopoly in terms of justification. The state retains the monopoly over the initiation of force (agression, not to be confused with defense) through legislation. As a result, the state amasses what Bastiat referred to as legal plunder. Bastiat’s essay “The Law” elaborates on this position a bit more.


  3. Mo says:

    In a lower post, ivan commented on the religious intransigence of a certain portion of the electorate:

    in my opinion we are nearly past the point ( if not already) where we can vote our way out of this cesspool.
    i have no faith in fair elections at this point, certainly national elections are lost and local is not far behind.
    It is growing more apparent to me that i will have to flee this country as it descends into chaos and destruction.</i?

    Today's Hullabaloo had an interesting essay that seems to echo that sentiment:

    We are fortunate in that most people don’t accept the conservative vision. But for a variety of reasons tied mostly to the short-term self-interest of the wealthy who fund electoral campaigns, as well as the racial and social insecurities of older white men in large sections of the country, the conservative vision has just enough clout to make addressing our challenges utterly impossible through the political process.

    Don’t be deterred by the subject title. Pour some coffee and read the whole thing.

    • Mo says:

      sorry about the messed up italics tag. an edit feature sure would be nice.

  4. Carol says:

    First line in this article, I swear I wrote it. On my list of things to do today is POM the legislature my disgust over the medical necessity on abortion (I agree there should be standards, but disagree strenuously about who decides – the woman and her doctor are the only ones involved with mednec); shit in seafood bill and ignoring public input and actions; school vouchers – sure, just change the constitution, who cares?; the unconstitutional arrest the feds over gun issues – hey, what’s money for but to support lawsuits that will surely come if that passes; Oh, and sure, use time (there’s always special sessions) to chastise President Obama for Executive Actions – don’t need to read and understand what they are, since whatever this POTUS does has to be fought against. Safe and responsible gun ownership- don’t need none of that, just buy more guns. Grrrrr.

  5. Beaglemom says:

    Much the same has been happening in Michigan. In the last weeks of 2012 the Republican Legislature rammed thought anti-union laws, anti-women laws, and pro-gun laws. Our Republican governor made much noise about being opposed to some of it but most of it is now in place. Can anyone imagine “right to work” laws in Michigan, the home of the UAW? ALEC, the Koch Brothers and their teabagging sycophants are running the show and the state right now.

    I don’t understand what the big rush was in December 2012 because the GOP/teabaggers still control the Legislature – both houses – and we’re still stuck with our rich GOP governor. He doesn’t live in the governor’s mansion in Lansing but in his larger house in a gated community in the Ann Arbor area. So we get to pay for his daily commute. (Does that remind you of someone?)

    • Mo says:

      I keep wondering if Michigan is the poster child for our corporate fascist oligarchy.

  6. yukonbushgrma says:

    “He also rejected federal dollars that would have insured 32,000 Alaskans.”

    >>> I’d really like to know how this will impact my family. In 2014, parts of the Affordable Care Act take effect, including pre-existing conditions. In October 2014, I will be eligible for Medicare – and in May 2014 my husband will. What did Parnell give up on our behalf when he rejected those dollars? How will his Alaskans suffer because he didn’t take the funding? How can he do this to his own people? There are so many of us baby-boomer age types living here, and now Parnell doesn’t care? What gives?

    • mike from iowa says:

      From an “outside” perspective, Parnell is doing his own people-big oil- quite nicely(about 2 billion bucks per year nicely). I feel your exasperation and am hoping the voters in Alaska finally wake up for everyone’s sake.

  7. An outstanding summary, AKM. If de Tocqueville was right, and we get the government we deserve, we must have done something very, very bad.


  8. Mo says:

    The electorate in this state is Republican, or so-called “Independents” who always seem to vote Republican.
    Republican voters will die before they vote outside their party. Self-righteousness is a hell of a drug.

  9. AKjah says:

    Yes I am an idiot. An idiot for love,compassion,Transparency. Most of the VOTERS in Alaska have said so.
    Perhaps some day we could get more people to the polls armed with fact and not lies and hyper boil.

    It is sad to watch what goes on in our state government. But then should i not have compassion for schizophrenics.

  10. TallymaBananas says:

    An idiot is someone who accepts a government employee at face value, namely everyone in DC right now. An idiot is someone who ignores President Obama’s many lies, his team’s many manipulations, and democrats race-baiting and hypocrisy.

    Are you an idiot? It’s all there, on youtube, on tv, in print. WIll you think objectively or follow other ignorant liberal sheep?

    Oh and THIS is all the proof one needs in knowing the media is leftwing based.

  11. tallimat says:

    So you must know my auntie! She said the same thing about Parnell’s mommy & daddy.
    Except she included something about a boat with no engine, floating happily in a sea of oil… then Parnell introduced “the cruise ship poop on our beaches” bill and said something about floating debri and brain matter. Or was it afterbirth. Who knows, she speaks a older version of inupiat sometimes…
    Auntie is so hardcore sometimes….

  12. John says:

    The oath says “to the best of my ability.” That allows them to do pretty much anything they want, and blame it on their own incompetence. Not much different than national politicians who claimed an Obama presidency would be terrible for the nation, and are now doing everything in their power to make that prediction come true.

  13. mike from iowa says:

    I truly believe nutters would cut off their noses if they thought they could stick it to libs. As long as they feel libs get the shaft there probably is nothing they won’t vote for.

    • Carol says:

      There is a book about the Israeli-Palistinean conflict called (something like) Success for us is to see you suffer. I look at the party of NO and see the same thing.

  14. Ivan says:

    This liberal thinks that this is why we need our right to bear arms, or is that bare arms , ( if only there was an intelligence test to own them. )
    Apparently conservatives ( and many moderates ) are happy to give up their rights and freedoms so longs as they can keep their guns ( what good are they if you don’t use em to take back your freedom? )

    If the people who are so afraid of ” BIG GOVERNMENT” keep voting in the politicians who continue to take away civil liberty’s and freedom, than armed revolution is inevitable. (MORONIC? YES!)

    in my opinion we are nearly past the point ( if not already) where we can vote our way out of this cesspool.
    i have no faith in fair elections at this point, certainly national elections are lost and local is not far behind.
    It is growing more apparent to me that i will have to flee this country as it descends into chaos and destruction.
    ( a self fulfilling prophecy i might ad because if validates their belief in their god and his plan to punish, kill and destroy everyone except themselves because they are the chosen. )

    Another way to say it is that : the ones helping to create the problems are the ones who are armed, a recipe for anarchy as they blame others for the problems they created.

    • Mo says:

      You’re moving to Somalia, amirite?

      • Ivan says:

        i am unclear as to your point, are you defending America by pointing out a struggling third world country that clearly has more problems than America ?

        Is it a way of saying you are unaware that there are countries that are free, safe and treat people with respect and allows participation in how their government functions ?

        Despite Americas arrogant – we are better the rest of the world and continually asking god to bless us further- attitude; there are countries that surpass us in education, health care and many other quality of life issues and the people are happy to contribute to sustain that.

        i am saying that i can only take so much of this crap before i decide i can no longer effect change and have to find a new home. i do not care what anybody thinks of that.

  15. Alaska Cod Piece says:

    They can’t do it to us without us!

    • Zyxomma says:

      Do you mean you’re complicit in your victimization? There’s a lot of that going around, Alaska Cod Piece.