My time is winding down here in McCarthy, and so I’m trying to enjoy the last week of my time in Alaska, which isn’t hard to do with all the September sunshine, a welcome relief after an Angry August of rain and cold. It’s also easy to enjoy the time here because as more and more folks disperse in the annual Alaska diaspora, the bar empties out save for locals. Last night I was chatting with a local buddy at the bar. He lives in McCarthy now, but he’s originally from California. We started talking politics and culture, and eventually he began reminiscing about attending Iraq War protests, back during the Bush years. The protests seemed to have left a distinct impression on him, mostly negative. They felt a bit ineffective, quixotic even. He mentioned a certain festival type of atmosphere, with fire jugglers.
It’s getting a bit cold in my tent, these September mornings. I wake up, I feel a blast of cold air hitting my face as my head pokes itself out from my cocoon of sleeping bag and blankets, and then I glance at the thermometer next to my bed. If it shows 40 degrees or higher, it’s a warm morning. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to warm Cali weather and Santa Cruz sun, coming in just a few short weeks. But I’m not the only one traveling to California. Our classy Ex-Prex is kicking off a tour around California, as regards that hoped-for “Blue Wave” victory in the November Midterms. However, this is not a political post. It’s about words, and on that count I have to question Obama’s choice of words.
This is either a watershed moment of Watergate proportions, or else someone just pulled off a satirical prank of historical propprtions.
“I’ve worked in Ukraine, Iraq, I’ve worked in deeply corrupt countries, and [the American] system isn’t very different.” — Sam Patten, one of the Swamp Monsters involved in the clusterfuck of Trump campaign corruption, from The Guardian
I want to pass along a great opinion piece that ran in the Guardian a few days back, written by Kim Heacox, an Alaskan writer who lives in Gustavus, a very small bush community snuggled up next to Glacier Bay National Park. I worked two summers in Glacier Bay, one of the truly special and one of the most wondrous places I’ve been, and I met Kim during my stint there. It’s a good piece and a plea for some sanity: Over the years, I’ve walked many visitors into the Tongass national forest in Alaska, and watched the city tinsel drop from their eyes. They often sit quietly and look around, and for the first time in a long time breathe from the bottom of their lungs.I live here, I tell them.
Americans may be pre-programmed to fear the s-word, but what happens you pitch socialist ideas, like Medicare-for-All? What happens when you work hard to make the case for socialist programs? Well, sometimes even the Fox News audience gets on board. Check out this story:
It was encouraging to read about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders visiting Wichita, Kansas, for a massive rally in support of congressional candidate James Thompson. Is the red state ready to turn blue? For those of you who live outside the Midwest, you should that there’s an anti-Trump sentiment that is strong — and growing, and slowly morphing into activism. It’s slow because, frankly, most of us born in the Midwestern aren’t activists, by nature. I won’t be surprised, though, to watch the Midwest develop their own version of a progressive movement and to watch this movement grow deep roots in the heartland.