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Schrödinger’s State — Why Now?
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Schrödinger’s State

Alaska is and isn’t what you think. It is one of the most confounding places on earth. I know of no other location where libertarian-communist could describe someone, but they can be found in Alaska. It is the most and least sexist state in the Union, the most and least patriotic, the most and least liberal or conservative. Understand that I am not talking about shades of difference, grays, I’m talking about a place where most things is black or white, but at the same time.

Maurice Robert “Mike” Gravel is an excellent example. First off, he’s weird, OK? He is apt to do almost anything, but among the those things are some really good things, like including the Pentagon Papers in the Congressional Record while the Nixon administration was blocking their publication.

Mike claims he ended the draft. That claim is true and false. He filibustered the draft extension, and because of that the draft law expired, which ended the draft for a while. However, the Senate finally rounded up enough votes for cloture and passed a two-year extension. Like I said, both true and false.

Lambert noticed that Mike wrote about Sarah Palin’s Clean Slate. Arthur Silber was also impressed by the piece, which gives you some background on Alaska and why Governor Palin is the person she is.

I’m impressed that people discovered one of my favorite cranks, Joe Vogler. There wasn’t a lot that you could afford to do on a military salary in Fairbanks, so the local characters were always worth watching. When the article says that Vogler didn’t like aspens, that doesn’t begin to cover it. I don’t know if people who joined his Alaskan Independence Party were serious or not, probably both.



1 Steve Bates { 09.04.08 at 11:22 pm }

I’ve often wondered about Schrödinger’s catbox, and what is and isn’t in it.

This isn’t just about Alaska. Right after sElection 2000, hostility toward Texas among liberal bloggers and their commenters was so great that I was thrown out of several blogs’ comment areas just for being Texan and reminding people that a goodly percentage of us… what was it, about 40 percent? … voted for Gore. They didn’t want to hear it.

It’s true that I do not understand Alaska very well… Alaska, like Texas, is well-known enough to be stereotyped, and if it were not for Stella’s travels up there, I’d probably hold the same stereotypes most people do. But I most certainly understand encountering raw discrimination based on one’s origin. Regionalism is ugly, and is no more rational than racism.

2 hipparchia { 09.04.08 at 11:53 pm }

i thought the aip looked mostly like a bunch of lovable [or not] cranks, but dogemperor is asserting that they’re a dominionist group. your thoughts? i’m not worried about secessionists, but the dominionists scare the living daylights out of me.

3 Bryan { 09.05.08 at 12:35 am }

Try being from Florida for the 2000 and this year’s primary, Steve. When liberal blogs start using Florida GOP videos to make fun of Florida Dems, it makes you a little cranky.

Hipparchia, I was there a while ago and these people were eccentrics, but there were rules. A lot of them were miners, so if they left the bar you waited a while before you left. You didn’t want them to think that you were trying to follow them to their claim. Did I mention that the bars had gun racks and they wouldn’t serve you until you turned in your gun(s). Fairbanks was more than a little “frontier”.

It is very possible that dominionists have taken over since Vogler’s murder. A lot of them have been forced out of the “lower 48” and people don’t ask questions in Alaska, as long as you don’t cause trouble locally. Keep in mind that everyone outside of cities has guns. If you eat meat, that’s how you get it if you don’t live near a population center. Local people aren’t easily frightened or they wouldn’t live in Alaska.

As for Palin belonging to the Juneau Christian Center, it is down in Juneau, the capital, where she spends very little time, and certainly not often on Sundays. Not staying in Juneau is one of the many complaints against her. I’d have to check to find out what church she transferred to in Wasilla in in 2002, but I remember it being described as non-denominational. The JCC is Pentacostal and according to their website, the Governor occasionally drops in but isn’t a member.

There are probably as many atheists as evangelicals in Alaska. You have to live in a town to even have a church, and Alaskans are not noted for clustering.

[edited to insert bold text]

4 hipparchia { 09.05.08 at 1:29 am }

i’ve got family in alaska, so i’m familiar with some of the ‘eccentricities’ of which you speak [particularly the frontier part] but not with any of the religious stuff, since all my family knows better than to bring up religion in my hearing. 🙂

5 Bryan { 09.05.08 at 8:18 pm }

Hipparchia, it’s the Wasilla Bible Church, which isn’t Pentacostal, i.e. no speaking in tongues. Biblical inerrancy is the prime feature like all conservative evangelical churches, but no grand shows at the services.

6 hipparchia { 09.05.08 at 8:45 pm }

ah, thanks for the link.

on the not-clustered, i can identify. that describes huge swaths of my family, which is why you can find us spread out from here to alaska [and across the pacific, actually, now that i think about it]. i’ve been trying to add them all up, i think 6 people is the maximum number we’ve got in any one state, and that’s the more gregarious bunch.

7 Bryan { 09.05.08 at 8:57 pm }

I’ve been discussing Hanna with a cousin in Myrtle Beach, and dealing with my brothers in New York and California. If Hanna had chosen a more westerly path it would have been a cousin in Jacksonville, but probably through her sister in Oklahoma City, who always knows how to get hold of her brother in Idaho.

I assume that my New England cousins check in here, although they don’t comment often.

The group in the MidWest don’t seem to follow hurricanes.

It’s hard to believe that at one point we all lived in a twenty mile circle in upstate New York.

8 hipparchia { 09.05.08 at 9:42 pm }

that’s some explosive entropy y’all got there.

our clan was an early adopter of the infernal combustion engine, and apparently of all other means of transportation too, as we’ve been dispersing for some generations now. i think the original batch [the ones who came over from yurrup awhile back anyways] started out somewhere in new york. and just kept going. and going. and going.

hmmm… nobody in oklahoma that i know of, and i think i may be the first and only in several generations to have spent any time at all in new england, but other than that, it looks like we’ve got similar taste in families. 😈

9 Bryan { 09.05.08 at 10:36 pm }

The basic two roots started off in Massachusetts and the Mohawk Valley of New York. The secondary groups joined them in upstate New York.

The “diaspora” began in the 1950s when the jobs started disappearing, being out-sourced to the South in the case of the factory jobs. Following jobs was the key to spreading out – you went wherever the company sent you or there was work.

Of course in my immediate family we were military brats, so moving was a normal part of life.