Friday, September 05, 2008

For Those Who've Asked....

I thought I'd better go ahead and just type up my feelings on Palin. As an Alaskan, with some thoughts on her experience as governor...... Here goes.

Many folks feel she did a great job during her time as Mayor of Wasilla. Bear in mind, Wasilla has always been the last major stop on the drive between Fairbanks and Anchorage. When we made our twice (sometimes 3 or 4 times) yearly trips to Anchorage as a kid, Wasilla was where we'd stop for one last potty-break/fuel-up before that last 45 minutes of the drive into Anchorage. Wasilla was, at that point, little more than a dot on a map with a couple of gas-stations. Now it qualifies as a full-blown town, smaller than Fairbanks, MUCH smaller than Anchorage, but a town in it's own right. However, as town's go, it's highly unattractive. It's all strip-malls and box-stores, lining either side of the highway that runs through the center of the town. Maybe it blossomed financially under Palin's guidance as mayor, but she did NOTHING (from what I've seen, anyway) for the appearance of the town. The "main drag" through town is a 6 lane highway bisecting the Walmarts from the Safeways, strip malls from home depots, major equipment parts & maintanence stores from Arby's. The one picturesque lake that used to sit off to the side of the highway, that used to be bordered (on the road side) by a nice little park, is now looking like many other McMansion subdivisions. The town has little in the way of "curb appeal", very little in the way of Community center or Public Works projects for the betterment of the community.

Maybe she did a GOOD job on bringing in big business (Walmart) to boost the taxes in the city's coffers, but little to none of that money appears to have gone into beautifying the city, or making it a TRUE city.

I DO appreciate the fact that in a very short amount of time she's gone from being a working woman, fishing alongside her hubby in his fishing business and being a PTA parent and hockey mom, to mayor of her city, to governor of our state. In one sense, she's done what I think needs to be done MORE: Governors and Senators and Representatives in our states actually BEING from our states. No more of this "Oh, I moved to New York 2 years ago and now I'm a New Yorker and running for Senate in this, my home state!" That's BS! On a local, State, and Fed. level, we should require that the folks representing us at home and away actually be FROM our fine state! We won't allow a foreign citizen to rule our country (think "Schwartzeneger for president"), why allow a man who grew up in Maine to presume to tell Texans he's "from" their state and should be their governor?

As the Governor of our state, she has done a GOOD job thumbing her nose at the long-time-reigning politicos that have sold out, long since, to the oil, gas and coal companies. She's told BP and Conoco Philips that they can shove their "generous offer" to put in a natural gas pipeline, as it returned only fractions of the likely income back to Alaskan pockets. I DO appreciate that!!! I don't necessarily like the thought of these natural gas wells and pipelines, but she's at least made it clear that if it's GOING to happen, it's going to benefit Alaskans with more than just jobs. (And, really..... A lot of folks from the states come up and work in these jobs, shipping their paychecks back home to Texas and Oklahoma. So even the claims by BP and Conoco Philips and Exxon Mobile that THEIR offer would best provide Alaskans with jobs, is actually somewhat bogus.) Palin, in that sense, is keeping in mind that the state constitution places the ownership of state property with the citizens of the state. Big Oil and Coal have for too long given Alaskans the shaft, drilling for our oil reserves and mining our coal (and gold, for that matter) and then charging Alaskans up the @$$ to buy back the very oil they're drilling out of our soil.

This year, Palin has forced through an allowance that is going to give all Alaskan citizens (if you qualify for a dividend check, you qualify for the fuel-suppliment allowance) $1200 to help pay for fuel and electric costs for the year. Granted (and thankfully!) this is a one time thing. It will buy our state a year to at the very least start implimenting sources of electric other than just coal, oil and gas. (Unfortunately, on an individual level, most folks are looking at this as an extra $1200 per person with which to buy that new TV or car. Some folks are using it to retrofit their homes with woodstoves and buy the wood needed to heat for the winter, some are also using some of the $$ to further insulate their homes. But, most are looking at it as a way to buy more toys.) As a state, though..... We don't seem to recognize the other ways in which we can produce electric for our homes, such as Solar, Wind, hydro-electric and geothermal. We live in a volcanically active state, meaning that Geothermal is an option. (One local businessman HAS tapped that to power his resort. Most people just don't consider it, though.) The Fairbanks area sits between two rivers (Tanana and Chena, with the Salcha just a bit further south) all of which could be tapped for hydro-electric, at least part of the year. (There is already a dam on the Chena, though it's not used at all to generate electric.) Delta Jct. has started investigating Wind farms, seeing as theirs is the windiest town in the state. Even here in NP, though, we get enough wind that it's worth looking into, even if it's on a more personal scale such as wind-mills on the roofs of homes to generate power for lights and water pumps and such. Solar is one option that is being heavily researched, seeing as we get LOTS of sunlight in the summer, but very little in the winter. Last winter, at the Solstice, an intensive study was done at UAF to investigate exactly how much electric can be garnished from solar panels during a week in which we only see about 4 hours of sunlight per day. The results haven't yet been made public, but there is great hope that the results will show that even on days with little to no sunlight, enough electric is garnished from that little bit of sunlight to make it worth-while to invest in solar panels and solar-farms.

Anyway, unfortunately even with the options we DO have for other sources of powering our homes and our lives, Palin still seems to focus MAINLY on oil, gas and coal. She's a little more willing than other of our past governors (Murkowski!) to consider solar, wind, hydro and geothermal, but she's still focusing mainly on fossil fuels. The difference being that she's viewing these fossil fuels as the property of Alaskans and that Alaskans should be getting more money from them than BP, Conoco Philips and Exxon Mobil do. She's tired of seeing Alaskans screwed on this. So yeah, I do kind of like the fact that she's told the big Oil to shove-off if they're not willing to pay Alaskans a fair rate for our state's natural resources. But at the same time, it bugs me that she's focused on MAINLY fossil fuels in that fight for fair prices for Alaskans.

Her stance as staunchly Pro-life hasn't been much of an issue during her 2 years as Governor. And while I appreciate the fact that she stands by her values without letting lobbyists sway her with their buy-outs, I worry that as Vice Pres. (and potentially Pres. if McCain were to keel over while in office) she may attempt to force her very adamant belief in Pro-life on the rest of the country. At the very least, by way of appointing very conservative judges to the Supreme Court. I'm concerned that once in office she'd advocate laws that reverse Roe V. Wade and further even the movement to restrict a woman's right to birth control. (Though, given the spacing of her 5 children, I would guestimate that she may have used birth control herself between pregnancies.) My concern is not that she's going to set out to outright take away a woman's right to effective and non-costly birth control, but that her adamantly Pro-Life stance may be used as a stepping stone by those who WOULD further try to restrict women from using chemical forms of birth control, or might restrict a woman's right to sterilization procedures without first gaining a man's consent to do so.

At the same time, though.... Palin seems to still have some understanding that the Bill of Right's isn't the SOURCE of our rights, that our rights are God given, or right's we're BORN with. The constitution and Bill of Rights are there to remind the GOVERNMENT that we were born with these rights. I do somewhat wonder if she would appoint judges who would uphold the CONSTITUTION and it's values over their own personal religious values.

Mind you, I DO NOT think that Palin has the extreme fundamentalist mentality that some folks ascribe to her. I do not put her on the same leve of republican toxicity as Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. I don't think she's against a woman working outside the home and being a business woman and forgoing children if they so choose. I don't even have a problem with the fact that she is PERSONALLY against abortion. It's my concern though, that when pushed she may give in to the pressure of the extreme religious "right" and appoint judges who will restrict our reproductive rights as women.

(My take on Palin vs Ann Coulter is that while Ann Coulter strikes me as a woman who hates women and sees herself as the rare exception to the rule that women should be confined to the house, "barefoot and pregnant" if you will, subjugated to the will of men. Palin doesn't come across as seeing herself as the only exception to the rule of patriarchy. I DO think Palin loves all her children to such a degree that she cannot grasp why another woman would NOT want to bring a child into the world, but I don't think she believes it is a way to keep women subjugated to men.)

Palin's not perfect, any more than ANY of us are. As a governor, I would vote for her again. But, as Vice President...... I don't think so. I DO believe she goes into it with the best of intentions for the nation as a whole. But, I won't be voting for her on McCain's presidential ticket.

And, at the same time, I'm having some major qualms lately as to Obama. He's shown he's more of a politico than he was letting on at first. He's pandering to those who's support he wants to win. I'm not happy with him lately either. But, I'm sick over all of the almost complete hypocrisy of the republican party. They claim to desire to protect our rights, while pushing through the Patriot Act. They claim to be against beaurocracy, and yet Homeland Security came about while the country was being run by republicans. They claim to be morally superior to democrats, all the while showing extreme lack of judgement (sex in bathroom stalls with male prostitutes; mistresses; taking bribes from lobbyists and big business companies in exchange for voting AGAINST the American people). The republican party has shown that their "moral superiority" is sheer hypocrasy.

(Oh, and FWIW, I LOVED the point in Palin's speach during the RNC the other night where she said she's fighting to bring down the "Good Old Boy" club and reduce the stranglehold that Big Business has on Americans. As much for the fact that she was saying this out loud, in a very public forum, as for the expressions of panic on the faces of a great many of the "Good Old Boy" repubs sitting in the audience. Not saying that I believe she'll be able to do it, but I found it rather comedic to see her words being registered by those same "good ol' boys". And, quite honestly, it was too absolutely adorable the way her youngest daughter was attempting to smooth down the hair on the baby's head by licking her hand and running it over his head. And, gotta say that I didn't disagree with her statement that the only difference between Hockey Moms and Pittbulls is that Hockey Mom's wear lipstick.)

Anyway. I hope that this gives y'all some idea how I feel about Palin, as an Alaskan.


In other news..... *wink* I wound up back at the ER yesterday. To make a long story somewhat shorter, I woke up Tuesday morning with a bit of a crick in my neck on the right side. Didn't think too much of it, except maybe I'd slept on it wrong the night before. Wednesday, I wound up leaving work early because my neck hurt so bad I could barely turn it from side to side or look up at the ceiling or down at the floor. Yesterday (Thursday) when I woke up and could hardly move my head at ALL, I decided enough was enough and took myself in to the First Care clinic (an urgent care clinic, walk-ins only). They got me right in to see a PA (physicians assistant). He decided that given the amount of pain I was in and the stiffness in my neck, that even though I wasn't running much of a temperature (99.5 deg. F), he recommended that I get over to the ER and be looked over there. He was concerned that it might be meningitis, and the First Care clinic doesn't have the means to either test for or treat meningitis. So, on over to the ER I went, crying over the thought of having a needle stuck in my neck (that's how they test, by removing fluid from the upper spine), and called Scott to meet me there. They took me back, got my vitals, got me situated in a private room, and after about 5 minutes of being looked over by a Dr. and asked if I'd had any serious falls or lifted something too heavy above my head (no, to both questions), he'd come to a diagnosis.

It is "Torticollis". That is, "A condition where the neck is turned, making the head tilt toward one shoulder and the chin point toward the opposite shoulder. Spasmotic Torticollis, also called cervical dystonia, is most common in middle aged adults and more common in women. In spasmodic torticollis, the muscles around the neck may spasm off and on, or all the time. There may be other forms of torticollis with varying causes such as an injury." Basically, the muscle that reaches from behind my right ear, where the spine enters the skull, and reaches across the outside of my neck, down to connect to my collar bone in front, is spasming and cramping. I was given a soft cervical collar and a handful of prescriptions for Vicodin, Valium, and 800 mg Ibuprofrin to relieve the pain, calm my body, and loosen the muscles. I've been instructed to keep myself well dosed on all 3 for a couple of days, to allow the muscles to start healing on their own, and to wear the collar as needed, but not all the time. (They don't want me becoming dependent on the collar and my neck muscles atrophying, but seeing as how damned uncomfortable that thing is, that's not something _I_ think is going to happen. *grin*)

Anyway. Go freaking figure. Guess where that big fuel allowance is going for US??? That's right.... All those damned medical bills I've accrued this year! (Well, that and we're going to get our fuel fill-up for the year.)


The bulk of Tay's curriculum for the year STILL hasn't arrived. Her spanish program from Rosetta Stone did, and I need to get that installed on the computer today, but the rest (reading, writing, history, science, art) still isn't here. I just called the Raven program and left a message for our "Teacher" to talk to her about lighting a fire under the Curriculum Company's butt. *grin*

But, she's doing well with her math, having a good time with it and doing a heck of a lot better with it than she ever did with the Every Day Math through the public school. The fact is, she's actually looking foward to learning, this year.


Scott and Al (the FIL) leave tonight for moose hunting across the Chatanika River. They'll be gone for 8 days, unless they get something sooner.

I start my winter hours this weekend. Sunday is the first day of my working Sundays through Thursdays for the work-week, and I can hardly wait. (Except for the fact that I hope my neck is healed enough to NOT hurt while I'm working. *grin*)

Ok. I think that pretty well covers it. That latest dose of Vicodin, Valium and Ibuprofrin has kicked in, so I probably ought to get offline and go put in a movie and doze off. *wink* And I have no freaking idea what I'm going to do about dinner tonight, so I need to figure that out as well. *sigh*

Have a Blessed Day!


Wendy said...

Thank you for that information about Governor Palin. It certainly was an odd pick for VP on Senator McCain's part, but I've been enjoying reading all of the blog commentary. I do think it's interesting, however, that she said she wanted to "reduce the stranglehold that Big Business has on Americans" when you say that during her tenure as mayor of Wasilla she was instrumental in bringing in businesses like Wal-Mart to boost the economy, and interestingly, when our current "Commander in Chief" talks about all of the jobs that have been created in his time in office, most of those jobs are at places like Wal-Mart. If any big business has a "stranglehold" on America, it is they, but, unfortunately, I don't see as any of our leaders are going to do anything about that. More's the pity.

I hope your neck feels better soon ;).

Tori_z said...

Hope your neck stops aching soon.

Is Tey staying home while you go to work or is she going with you and doing some work in the library or something? You might have said already, and if you did, sorry. Just curious and can't remember if you said (and if you did, what you said).

I'm glad she's actually looking forward to her school work this year. :)

Hope Scott catches a nice big mousse. :)

barefoot gardener said...

Thanks for the info on Palin. I had wanted to ask, but didn't know if it would be appropriate. Hehe, trust me to let someone else do the dirty work for me!

As for your THAT'S what it is! I had almost that exact thing happen a few years ago. Unfortunately, I went to a notoriously idiotic clinic and the doc basically yanked my head back into position. After a whole lot of screaming from me (imagine the pain!), he decided I MAYBE should go and have some x-rays done. Of course they didn't show anything since it was muscle pain not a broken bone, and I didn't even get a muscle relaxer out of the deal. Tylenol, I was told, was my friend. Hmph, I am moving to Alaska.

Good luck with Tay's schooling, I am very much looking forward to hearing all about it. I have wanted to homeschool from day one, but I can't seem to figure out how to make it work for us.....

Enjoy your good drugs!

Gina said...

Also hope your neck feels better soon!

thank you for the perspective on palin. I personally thought her speech (when it was not putting the Dems down) was what we would want to hear, but we know won't happen the way we need it to happen. Wendy gave a good example of that.

I wondered how Alaskans felt about her.

Obama gives me some worry too, but not as much as Mcsame and co.

Robin said...

Feel better soon.....

MeadowLark said...

Hope you feel better. I had something similar with my neck but hate doctors so I never knew what it was. Thanks for the diagnosis :)

And appreciate your perspective. I'm really struggling with this election. I'm not happy with either party and think we're in for a rough time no matter which gets elected. Of course, I have to remind myself that my vote counts for NOTHING. It's all the electoral college. :(

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Thank you for this info kati. Here on the other side of the pond, we often get an unbalanced view of the people behind the events which will, like it or not, have an influence on the future direction of our country.

Strange about your library director though, it's small world at times!


whimsical brainpan said...

Thanks for writing that bit about Palin!

Leisha Camden said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Palin. It was an interesting read.