Are Dennis and Ron Going to the Devil?

With all the conservative media pumping so much smoke into the air (in Alaska that should be sufficient to set this blog on fire….) it is dangerous to try and have an intelligent discussion about issues of late. Would anyone really care if Craig was gay if he hadn’t made such a big deal out of gay-bashing?

But what I want to talk about is the inherent defects in a non-parliamentary system. Here we have two very viable candidates, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich who are both taking on the issues with frank and candid campaigns, who are in no small sense being ignored because of the issue of “winnability”. [NB-I wondered about the double “n” but as the source for win is the Anglo-Saxon winnan I have to once again pity those who even hope to master English in one lifetime] The pundits tell us that voting for these two guys is a waste of a vote because neither can actually win. Unfortunately, our system does little to encourage or reward those who we might want to elect!

In a parliamentary system Ron and Dennis might be candidates from smaller parties who could assemble a government out of a coalition of Greenies, Libertarians, Progressives, etc. As it is now, while we shudder at the prospect of the election of the current front runners (Rudy, Hillary or whomever) we can’t as a society apparently bring ourselves to collectively throw away enough votes to elect somebody who we know is lying to us.

The result is that more and more of us refuse to vote, become ensnared by the sound-bite fear based politics made “popular” by Richard Nixon (see the NY Times Review of Nixon and Kissinger, or read the book) or are told how to vote by cults focused on their own bizarre agendas. Ehrman’s “Lost Christianities” should be required reading for anyone presuming to tell anyone that according to Jesus they are going to Hell. But the thought I want to leave you with is that the far religious right may have it right! Yes, since Satan comes from the semitic word meaning nemesis or opponent any correspondent questioning the government, is (you guessed it) the Devil…

The Milkman Runneth

Dear oh dear!

Does anyone else feel that Sarah’s recent change of heart about the Mat-Maid Dairy is based on information at least as obscured from public view as the basis for the extraordinary swings in the dairy’s financial condition?

Alaskans are happy to purchase local milk and milk products at a premium price, but what continues to get my goat is that the Dairy could lose so much money. Compare the Mat-Maid mess with petrochemical prices; are our Alaskan refineries losing money? Not in this lifetime! Even if Mat-Maid was only selling milk from Outside, the public has a right to understand how so much money could be lost packaging milk products here, as opposed to packaging them in Oregon, Minnesota or Iowa.

Perhaps it is time for the Alaska Dairy Industry to focus exclusively on local value-added product. Things like high-end yogurts (with wild raspberries and blueberries), cheeses (why should we import cheese from Italy, Holland, etc.) and coffee additives (the suppliers of latte junkies have already indicated an interest in half and half and cream.)

But before we write off Mat-Maid, we need a full accounting so that we understand what went wrong. Then we can add this experience to the other annals of Alaska economic history (this can sit right next to the explanation of why the fish plant became a church on my bookshelf) so that at some point someone might have reason to pause in the middle of some pork fit and contemplate just what is being done with Alaska resources.

Got Milk?