My Twitter Feed

February 20, 2024


No Time for Tuckerman -

Thursday, August 3, 2023

The Quitter Returns! -

Monday, March 21, 2022

Putting the goober in gubernatorial -

Friday, January 28, 2022

Parnell & Crew “Summit” Mt. Hypocrisy


Two weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming, state-sponsored “Federal Overreach Summit.”

Well, Alaska, they dug to the bottom of the barrel and managed to make a meeting of it — trotting out all the usual tea party nonsense about how tapping Alaska resources without having to answer to the feds on environmental issues is the embodiment of democracy.

But this summit wasn’t just a pathway to pillaging resources. It was a dog-whistle concert for every wing nut they could get in the door.

The governor’s policy director, Randy Ruaro, said there had been a funding request for “proactive science.” Apparently that is different from, oh, say, “science.” He went on, “It’s good to have your own science when debating the federal government.”

I’m guessing this would be some science that says, “Salmon like copper. It’s delicious. Build Pebble mine.”

Gov. Sean Parnell, or his staff, read my column and explained it to the crowd.

“One newspaper opinion writer said she took offense that on the one hand, we would complain about parts of federal government overreach, while with the other we accept federal dollars under federal law. But that’s faulty logic.”

Really? Faulty logic? I thought I laid out my case out pretty well. Middle finger salute (your summit, for example) vs. hands outstretched (waiting for FEMA funds and “For the love of God and all that is holy, please don’t close the federal military bases here”).

The governor then went on to explain that my argument was like telling an abused woman in a relationship with a “controlling and manipulative person” that “she should be quiet because she’s accepting part of his paycheck and food. That’s just wrong.”

I’m glad the governor went there. It shows how well he understands the plight of too many women in Alaska. If you’re battered, he feels your pain. After all, taking more federal dollars per capita than any other state and having to comply with clean-water rules to protect salmon is exactly like being beaten by a partner. (Oh, and ladies? You got a parade and a slogan, “Choose Respect.” The poor, oppressed Alaska Department of Natural Resources got a summit.)

When is the Abused Women’s Summit, governor? You know, two days at the Dena’ina Center with you and the entire congressional team showing up to bash all men in general?

I want that on my calendar.

Will you attend a “State Overreach Summit” in Bristol Bay? That’s the one where the local people get together to object to your administration shoving down their throats a copper mine in an area that was supposed to protect salmon.

If you need an analogy, don’t use wife-beating; try Alaska as a spoiled teenager who wants the car but no curfew.

You’re welcome.

So, back to the summit.

Congressman Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski railed against the federal government. Pardon me, Don and Lisa, but you ARE the federal government. Did you forget that? Don Young has been on the government dime full-time for more than four decades. Forty years! Talk about a welfare queen. He’s missed more votes than just about any non-comatose congressman but doesn’t blink at cashing those federal paychecks and enjoying government health care.

We’d like to think maybe Young’s bolo tie was too tight as he proceeded to scold federal workers. He’s one of more than 22,000 federal workers here. Nevertheless, he told them, “Feel a little bit guilty, because you are the government, not of the people, but government for government’s sake. And that’s not a democracy. That’s not freedom. That becomes a monarchy. A totalitarian state.”

That’s right, federal workers, think of yourselves as the palace guard, or maybe Nazis.

Yes. This guy is actually allowed to vote on things like war and health care and doesn’t realize he’s a federal employee.

Sleep tight, Alaska.

How did Murkowski overlook the 32 years either she or her father was on the federal government dole? For all her certainty that there’s a problem with the federal government, she sure didn’t seem to be taking any personal responsibility. The woman who voted for the Blunt Amendment to limit women’s freedom to access birth control is talking about “federal overreach”?

Wow, that’s rich. I mean, I get it: government small enough to fit in a uterus, but not so big it can require limits on industrial pollution. Awesome.

And most of these whiners and their audience won’t think twice about wasting federal money by the boatload anytime they get the chance: Knik Arm bridge, Port of Anchorage, Bridge to Nowhere, Mat-Su ferry, and on and on.

When elected officials talk about how bad the government is, they tend to spend the rest of their time making the government bad. They prove their point, over and over, with ideological policy and partisan attacks.

The summit wasn’t about fighting for personal freedoms for individuals — like voting rights or who we love, marry or what we do with our bodies — it was about who is going to have the power to approve projects for wealthy, campaign-contributor, multinational corporations.

Ah, freedom!

Read more here:



22 Responses to “Parnell & Crew “Summit” Mt. Hypocrisy”
  1. JHypers says:

    Aaaand we’re back for another discussion on statism….

    Let us not forget that government (in ALL it’s forms, which includes the widely-worshiped State of Alaska alongside the ever-more fascistic federal government) is force. The article barely addresses this, but does so in a poignant manner by asking if the local Bristol Bay peoples would like to have THE STATE pave the regulatory way for Pebble Mine.

    But you see….Pebble is for “the greater good” is it not? After all, how are we going to get all that copper needed to manufacture more electronic devices that everyone so desperately wants? [facetious]

    The summit is rather amusing…mainly because, if Alaska was really “all grown up” as opposed to being the spoiled teenager, it would secede without so much as a press conference.

    Notice how I didn’t say “we” would secede.

    People and the state are not synonymous. The former are independent, (ideally) free-thinking human beings, while the latter is a legal entity created through contractual agreement by certain people at a given point in time. People have the right (not necessarily the will) to enter and exit any relationship they so choose, yet “the state” refuses to acknowledge this. Even the UN has declared that no human on planet earth can renounce their citizenship from an acknowledged nation-state without establishing citizenship with another.

    Essentially, the logic is as follows: “If you don’t like the tax cage that you’re in, you’re ‘free’ to move to another one that’s more to your liking.” It’s like shuffling animals around to different zoos.

    Inherently, nobody is free. If you can’t assert your right to be “unowned” (citizen, subject, slave, etc.) by ANY hierarchical organization that claims a monopoly over the use of force in a contrived geographical area, such a concept remains simply that: conceptual.

    Now lets get to the nightmare scenario for most left-of-centrists: a world without government, where the militia boys and all their guns are running amok. In all seriousness though, would a voluntary society in Alaska build Pebble Mine? Or a gas line? Would Alaska Natives have more control over their land, resources, and destiny…or less? It is impossible to know for sure. Realistically, Alaska’s people in general would suffer immensely if “the state” simply disappeared overnight, because there’s obviously too many people with the knee-jerk argument against voluntarism of “who will build the roads?”. The collective consciousness (if such a thing really exists) is not yet ready for such a step….but it will happen eventually. People can only tolerate abusive relationships for so long, whether it is person to person, person to employer, or person to government. There are plenty of single people who are self-employed in the world…why can’t there be people who are also self-governed?

    But maybe…just maybe….there are a few things that we blog-commenters can do to help mitigate the need for the state in the future:

    1. If you have children, don’t abuse them – physically or mentally. If enough people go along with that, most societal problems used to justify statist intervention will be solved within a couple generations.

    2. If you espouse the non-aggression principle…practice it! If there’s any reason why libertarian and/or voluntarist philosophy doesn’t resonate with many, it is likely due to the fact that those who claim to be libertarians or voluntarists are either ignorant about what this really means (i.e. Glenn Beck), or are simply hypocrites…

    Which is a perfect segue back to the article. There were a few good points, but the author lost an opportunity to really call out the state…and I’m just talking about Alaska. I guess she’s still a “conservative” when it comes to that particular issue, as I find most “liberals” to be.

    Keep on having fun…

    • Alaska Pi says:

      When you get over the nose bleed from that lofty perch there, please answer a question.
      While I think some libertarian thought has value in maintaining necessary tension between the individual and the group in human affairs, NAP only marginally does.

      Please explain why and how the NAP principle is not just another shot at a geocentric notion of the world substituting the individual for whatever it was the churches proposed for all those years.

      And , yes, I am serious. Anti- statism from either the left or the right assumes some things which are pretty suspect, anti-statism based on NAP assumes some even more suspect notions.

      • JHypers says:

        I may have been a raven in a past life…

        First I will draw an analogy of the American flag. Not the stars and stripes, but one of the originals – the Gadsden flag with the rattlesnake. The motto “Don’t Tread on Me” is closely connected with right libertarians, but I think the phrase somewhat misses the mark…particularly with the word “me”.

        How about “Don’t Tread on Anyone”?

        It’s not about me…or you….it’s about future generations. That’s why I think kids need better parents (and teachers) that won’t screw them up. If one truly means they will not aggress on others, they better damn well mean it. Now obviously it can only go so far. There has to come a point when people cannot and should not tolerate forcible actions against them, whether they be the most justifiable uses of force say in the defense of murder or rape….or when its more mundane things like taxes. So a true NAP only works 100% of the time, when nobody initiates force, anywhere, for any reason. Until then, it will always be compromised.

        As for the NAP being another geocentric notion of the world (i.e. man/earth/whatever is the center of the universe), are you suggesting that it’s another means of justifying man’s actions through convincing others not to “aggress” on him because they don’t like what he is doing? If I’ve fouled that up in any way, please let me know…because that’s the only sense I can make of the statement. I think a better way of discussing this (which I know for a fact we have done in the past) would be to go back to the whole issue of what rights are or aren’t…because isn’t that really what your issue is? I can’t believe that you would have any problems with the NAP if you had no issues with how/what rights are defined/declared.

        Without that, any explanation on my part of why or how the NAP isn’t whatever you think it is….well….let’s just say my time would be better spent on cutting up fresh silvers for the freezer….so that’s what I’m gonna do while you contemplate a response.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          How about a starting point instead of playing games about what you think or I think the NAP is?

          “Aggression, for the purposes of NAP, is defined as the initiation or threatening of violence against a person or legitimately-owned property of another.
          Specifically, any unsolicited actions of others that physically affect an individual’s property or person, no matter if the result of those actions is damaging, beneficial, or neutral to the owner, are considered violent or aggressive when they are against the owner’s free will and interfere with his right to self-determination and the principle of self-ownership.”

          For the NAP to function as a principle it must be able to be stated objectively, eh?

          And per your snarky ” the whole issue of what rights are or aren’t”-personally I’ve chucked all notions of what I think rights are or are not up for review in light of things like NAP.
          There are deep and abiding problems with tying self-ownership to western notions of property rights and free will. Skipping right on by vast experience and thought in eastern portions of the human world has problems. Extending the force of ideas which grew out of the rise of liberal economic thought in Europe into territory of “natural” law has problems. Ignoring the re-positioning of the individual into the center of the universe has problems.
          There are many more…
          I am dead serious about wanting to know why this principle is supposed to be so wonderful we should all jump on the bandwagon.
          Property rights only exist in the human world, economic systems only exist in the human world- we made all that shit up as a way to organize ourselves. There are plenty of problems with any and all of it and I don’t think staking out a patch for the individual as the be all and end all of answers to it all .
          Shifting the subjective experience and thought of a given discrete human as the final arbiter of human moral and ethical life into center stage seems to be the end of following NAP to its logical extension and end.

          • JHypers says:

            Ambiguity criticism

            “[…]There is also a debate around the manner in which libertarians typically interpret the non-aggression principle. Specifically, some libertarians see taxes as a form of government aggression. However, unless their libertarianism is of such an absolute degree that it opposes any kind of state, some consider taxation as a “necessary evil.” They may argue that because of the free-rider problem, enough funds would not be obtainable by voluntary means to protect individuals from aggression of a greater severity. Hence, they will accept taxation as long as no more is levied than is necessary to optimise protection of individuals against aggression (from other individuals and from government itself). On the other hand, many libertarian anarchists, as strict adherents to the non-aggression principle, argue that security should be maintained by voluntary payment to private defense forces, rather than taxation. Both anarchists and opponents of libertarianism in general have made the argument that the non-aggression principle, if embraced in a pure or absolute sense, forbids the existence of states. Anarchists use this argument in their attempts to convert other libertarians to their views, while opponents of libertarianism use it to support the claim that consistent application of libertarian principles would result in the complete abolition of the state – which, in their view, is an extremist and absurd position to hold.”


            As you can see, I wasn’t playing games.

            I never claimed the NAP was a panacea. I see it as an improvement over the current condition of statism faced throughout most of the world, where people can reject the initiation of violence, force, coercion, etc. in favor of well-reasoned, voluntary, peaceful human actions, and can do so, over time, by agreeing with the concept and implementing it in their own lives as they see fit, not by macro-level manipulation – if some disagree and wish to reject the NAP, they are free to do so, but may encounter long-term negative consequences if they continue to initiate force on others. That’s the formal argument I am putting forward. If you wish to make a counter-argument, do so with specific examples as to why statism (or some other concept if you are taking an entirely different stance) should be favored over voluntarism on the basis of the NAP, or by identifying contradictions within my argument.

            As an aside, I revisit one of my previous statements: “So a true NAP only works 100% of the time, when nobody initiates force, anywhere, for any reason. Until then, it will always be compromised.”

            While I find the NAP to be ideal, the extreme nuances in which it would fall if given 100% implementation are ridiculous enough to warrant criticism, but not outright rejection, explained below.

            After reviewing specific arguments on why libertarians should reject the NAP, I’ve concluded that it is hoisted to the level of binary logic by both supporters and opponents. In other words, some think it should apply to literally everything, while some find it absurd if applied to every conceivable situation, and in light of that, reject the entirety of it. This is why I find it only sensible when used individually, where people can decide if it is appropriate or not for given situations. I acknowledge the absurdities when taken to such possible (even if highly improbable or illogical) ends, but do not hold the binary viewpoint.

            As such, it is critical to properly define the word ‘principle’ as used in the NAP. Because I do not see it as a panacea, in my mind it fails to meet the definition of an ultimate prevailing rule that must be followed in all situations to a complete logical extreme (consequently, I view all rules this way). Instead, I find it appropriate to be defined as a standard which should be aspired to as opposed to a logical assumption that must always be followed. In fact, considering the NAP as THE rule of all rules is a monstrous contradiction, because declaring an ultimate universal rule implies that it be universally followed, and given the obvious disagreements surrounding the NAP, such a rule could never gain universal acceptance without facing a paradox: forcing everyone to adopt it.

            So I conclude with how I began, with ambiguity…however I view that criticism more in a constructive sense, to better determine how people can rationally apply the NAP in their own lives.

  2. fishingmamma says:

    I can’t decide which is worse – the nonsense spewing from the proud-to-be-intellectually-challenged Don Young – the intentional environmental damage coming from the self-congratulatory Sean Parnell – or just the overall mess that has become state government.

    No, I know what is the worst part of this “summit”. That it has been allowed to happen at all. The outrageous amount of money spent on this show should be an embarrassment to the administration. The time it has taken to organize, plan, arrange, and present this show, which is, in reality, a partisan campaign event. Brought to you, the voters of Alaska, using state General Fund dollars that could (and should) have been used instead to fund schools and roads. Could have been used to improve the state’s school lunch program to eliminate hunger and poor nutrition for our kids.

    Nope, instead of school nutrition, we are being fed a giant load of rotting fish carcasses in the form of manufactured outrage. This really stinks.

  3. Zyxomma says:

    My mother was a hard working federal employee, unlike Murkowski and Young.

  4. Alaska Pi says:

    I disagree with a lot of the way you have framed this, Shannyn but jumped and shouted “damn straight, bucko” when you took the Gov to task over his:
    The governor then went on to explain that my argument was like telling an abused woman in a relationship with a “controlling and manipulative person” that “she should be quiet because she’s accepting part of his paycheck and food. That’s just wrong.”
    Thank you!
    So Governor Torpedo- kinda like the State and Alaska Native issues? You want me to tick them off for you, sir?
    Starting with underfunding education, law enforcement, and transportation in rural Alaska? Hmmm?
    We can go on , sir… til the end of the day on this one alone…

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Hmm… then we could discuss all your patriarchal pooh-poohing ( and letting it lapse dealie) of the Coastal Zone Management Act- ya know, the deal where Alaskans get some input?
      The restructuring of DNR to exclude any meaningful look at fisheries in relation to mining?
      Kinda like isolating your abused partner, eh?
      You wanna go on with this, Gov?

      • mike from iowa says:

        Ya got bigger problems. I noticed Old Spice has a new deodorant called “Denali”. Parnell probably gave the park and the mountain to korporate ‘merica for their benefit and his,of course.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          He only wishes he could. Is Federal land . 😉

          • mike from iowa says:

            BTW-I scratched and sniffed Denali deo. and got bear slapped and growled at for being fresh. Denali smells like ungrateful grizzlies.Yuck 🙁

        • fishingmamma says:

          We can put it on the same shelf as the ‘Alaska Spring’ Febreze! HA!

        • Bucsfan says:

          I am surprised the Ohio Congressional delegation hasn’t gone after Old Spice for not naming the deodorant McKinley. And someone should tell his governess that he needs to rethink his analogy; abused women should not be used to make a point unless that point is finding away to decrease their numbers and protect them. Whats next on your analogy hit list, guv? Poor kids? Sexual assault victims? The disabled? This guy needs to go back to selling himself out for the oil industry. Oh wait, he is.

  5. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    Where’s the gas line? Who walked away with the $500 million AK handed over to TransCanada to develop it and then never actually did anything at all? Half a billion dollars seems like a fairly large amount of money to me. Where’s the pipline?

    Shall we do some arithmetic here? $500,000,000 divided by $50,000.= about 10,000 liviing wage jobs. Where are they? Well in Canada of course, but probably not in those proportions. The highrollers who set up this deal skimmed off most of the money long before it ever put anyone to work. Someone should look into how much Transcanada has donated to Palin’s PAC, oh wait, they don’t neccesarily have to disclose the source of their donations and besides that TC can hide behind a wall of straw companies and ‘foundations’ who are immune from scrutiny.

    yon dung has for four decades pulled down some serious money, a quarter of a million a year for sitting on his butt in congress part time, countless millions in pay-offs and kickbacks for his sucking off money
    from the national population to benefit his backers – his friends – and himself and he has the audacity
    to tell the tiny minority of AK residents who are lucky enough to have a good job with the federal government that actually effects some positive aim that they are parasites.

    You have to wonder why Alaskans are so easily conned.?

    • slipstream says:

      But . . but . . Sarah Palin stood on the platform at the Republican National Party convention in 2008, television cameras rolling, and proudly proclaimed, “We’re building that pipeline!”

      And the crowd roared its approval.

      You don’t think she really meant “we just donated $500 million dollars of Alaskans’ money to a foreign corporation for nothing in return,” do you? Because that would be incompetence compounded by stupidity compounded by hypocrisy.

      And we all know that Sarah Palin is competent, smart, and honest.

      Don’t we?

  6. beth. says:

    Excellent article, Shannyn. Thank you. beth.

  7. Mo says:

    A nice bit from Hullabaloo today –

    “For that is what conservatism is: a meditation on, and theoretical rendition of, the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.”–[Corey Robin]

    That’s basically it. All the mumbo jumbo about states’ rights and individual freedom and the rest is a conservative tactic, not a principle. It’s about holding on to power. In America that manifests itself as a tool for the wealthy and a cause for certain members of the white majority who are unable to accept a world in which they are not inherently privileged. That’s a suckers game for the working class, but the racialists and patriarchs, along with the women who love them (talk about fools) think their relative status translates to power when it really doesn’t.

    Real libertarians do truly believe all that stuff about the power of the state and freedom’nliberty but they are few in number. Conservatives care about hierarchy and power which, when you think about it, should really make them the libertarians’ greater enemy. It always astonishes me that it doesn’t.

  8. Mo says:

    Such a lot of excellence on one page!

    Why it’s now immoral to vote Republican, chapter 476.

  9. mike from iowa says:

    Your link doesn’t work,at least not for me. Love the sarcasm. Nutters are spoiled brats and should be treated,and dismissed,as such. F@#% ’em and feed ’em Hy-Vee beans.(substitute any brand of beans if you can’t locate Hy-Vee)