There's just something plain wrong with putting a writer, person, pugilist, and Alaskan like Wally Hickel on the same page as Dan Fagan. At least the Anchorage Daily News had the good taste to put Hickel at the top of the page and Fagan at the bottom in their print edition.
Governor Wally Hickel, perhaps more than any other person now alive, helped shape Alaska into an image we can look up to. Fagan, can't touch much of anything without distorting it and pointing down to something he wants us to despise.
Wally, the author of two important books, numerous pamphlets, scholarly papers and hundreds of articles, has always emphasized the concepts of the commons and collective or shared responsibilities. Fagan, the denizen of a local AM-radio talk show and author of a few dozen op-eds, stresses selfishness when it comes to the economy, calling anything short of blatant me-first thinking in that realm socialism when he's in a good mood, communism if he's bitchy.
Hickel built one of the classiest, and certainly the most Alaskan, of four-star hotels in North America, without outside help. He's spread a lot of his enormous wealth, and has been been the patron of many local causes, one of the saviors of Alaska Methodist University, now Alaska Pacific University. Fagan survives solely through the wingnut welfare provided him by KFQD and the Anchorage Daily News.
Wally Hickel, a boxer from youth through middle age, and a long-time supporter of Golden Gloves and other youth athletic causes over the years, is still as tough as nails in his 80s. Fagan reluctantly accepted a challenge from KUDO's Aaron Selbig to a charity boxing match at Friday Night Fights, but failed to show up for the mandatory physical and weigh-in. But he likes to brag on the air about beating girls at quarter-court basketball. I'm almost ready to spew all over this keyboard over that one, but it gets worse, folks.
Governor Wally Hickel today became the first prominent GOP figure to endorse the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. Obama isn't my first choice, but Hickel's article is compelling:
The race for president has attracted an impressive field of Americans willing to assume the responsibilities of the White House at a challenging time in our history. All echo the need for change. None has better captured and articulated this moment than Sen. Barack Obama.
Hickel says more:
If I were 20 years younger, I would find him and ask, "What can I do?" And I would tell him that Alaska can help our country fulfill his vision.
Fagan's image for our future is more of a nightmare, than a vision:
When government punishes good decisions and rewards bad ones, that society is doomed to economic failure.
If I'm not scared yet, Dan dishes this out:
This is the time of year when government seeks out a segment of our population to punish them for a certain behavior: buying property.
Governor Hickel treats the current state of our union critically, in terms of our global position. He wants us to:
correct our failed foreign policy and reclaim the American vision Obama so brilliantly describes.
Fagan is a shill for the Bushista regime's degradation of our stature worldwide. If he knew more about history, he might learn from it, but he's not very knowledgeable about the legacies of U.S. foreign policy.
Wally Hickel has honestly called himself the little man, smiling. Fagan is pretty darned insecure about his physicality.
Just as Hickel probably didn't ponder Obama's race in his consideration of the man, past what this means for our future hopes, Fagan likes to invoke racist images of past fears. Last summer he wrote about convicted lobbyist Tom Anderson:
Tom Anderson is guilty. Even the O. J. jury would convict on this one....Anderson couldn’t play the race card: He's white.
Hickel knows when somebody is being a racist. Perhaps Fagan is a bit more dense, eh? Go read his column.
and.....feel free to add comparisons.
Update - Tuesday noon: Steve Aufrecht accurately characterizes Fagan's latest rant as Pollution of the Public Discourse.