Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Alaska Progressive Blog Roundup - August 29, 2009 -- An Apology

Today marks the anniversary of the announcement of Sen. John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 American presidential contest. It was the most unfortunate decision of McCain's political career.

In the intervening 365 days, that choice, the inappropriate nature of it, and subsequent further polarization of Alaska politics helped galvanize Alaska's progressive bloggers into a fairly unified force that gained national attention. Because of McCain's action, the changes national attention wrought on Palin's personality, and Palin's incessant need to stay in the national eye, two Alaska issues reached an out-of state audience that might not have been noticed so well otherwise.

The first of those, the plight of the Yupik villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, has been covered here at PA in earlier roundups. The second of these, the long battle for Anchorage's Ordinance #64, has not. In fact, my coverage of how we covered that has been somewhat faulty.

Two blogs in particular warrant special notice regarding Ord. #64, Bent Alaska and Henkimaa. Of the two, PA hasn't given enough attention to the central role Bent Alaska has played in this ongoing civil rights battle. As an example, the timeline PA ran on the day of Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan's veto of the ordinance, I managed to completely misrepresent the importance of Bent Alaska's coverage, not only that day, but in terms of the cumulative impact of that blog on community action on the days and days of public testimony through the late spring and summer of 2008.

I'm truly sorry.

The two above blogs cover LBGTQ issues as well as any other blogs in the world. And they cover other issues of importance too. This past week, Bent Alaska covered local resources for young people who might be contemplating suicide. and today, posting from Homer, I believe, Bent Alaska gave a heads-up on an upcoming play at Out North Theater, Dog Meets God.

And today, Mel at Henkimaa, posted another brilliant investigative article, Miller v. Carpeneti: Where was the Press? (cross-posted at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis). In the article, Mel observes that the lawsuit seeking the U.S. Supreme Court take a very, very judicial activist point of view, by overturning the section of the Alaska constitution that allows the Alaska Judicial Council to play a role in the selection process of our highest judges.

Mel, like most of us, was unaware of the lawsuit, filed in early July, until the Associated Press reported about it last week. Mel, rather than chastising our Alaska press on their negligence in informing the public on this, instead posts a very authoritative rundown of the history of this case, so far. Not only is Mel's article true journalism at its very best, it is one more example of why Alaska's progressive blogging community is providing Alaskans and a wider reading audience important information that might otherwise remain either under-reported or missed.

cartoon from Bent Alaska - by Glenn Harvey


Martha Unalaska Yard Sign said...

Phil, you just can't be everywhere all the time even though we all want you to be! You have a life, and it looks like a very abundant one.

I just read Mel's rundown on Celtic Diva's site - couldn't post there due to a glitch so went to Mel's own blog to thank her for posting and digging into the case to change Alaska's constitution.

Frankly, I don't know how any of you manage to accomplish all the research behind almost each and every post. I think your humility for the Ordinance 64 issue is admirable. I think there are many of us looking back at that complete debacle and have sorrow that it turned out so weirdly.

Mayor Sullivan is a snake, and Prevo is far worse. I got to the point where I couldn't even read the live blogging of the bussed in red shirt whack jobs who hate most of their fellow humans. We all have regrets - mine is that I didn't get my letters out sooner and that I couldn't actually listen anymore to the horror of lying testimonies about Anchorage bathrooms and gay people.

You helped save lives by writing about the YK Delta crisis, you helped feed hungry tummies and warmed cold, shaking limbs. You helped bring dignity back to those who are speaking for their people. You helped open dialogue between rural and urban residents. You helped bring many people together, bloggers, YK Delta residents, and readers from all around the world.

Your posts are amazing, and have accomplished much. Keep up the outstanding work!

Philip Munger said...



Mel said...

Thanks Martha for coming to my blog to make your comment (I'm far more likely to see comments there anyway!).

And thanks Phil for the good words. Ditto to everything Martha said. I was really happy to see what you wrote about Bent Alaska -- E. Ross (the editor there) puts in a lot of time day in day out for good coverage on all issues affecting Alaska's LGBT community. I consider Bent Alaska to be the blog for LGBT Alaskans -- I just supplement it sometimes.

One correction re: Miller v. Carpeneti: it's not yet (& here's hoping it won't be) at the U.S. Supreme Court level. Right now it's in the U.S. District Court fo the District of Alaska. Oral arguments there before Judge Beistline on Sep. 11.

Have a great weekend at the fair! Maybe I'll see you there tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Phil, thanks ! Your misogynist rantings against Sarah Palin, the hate-filled insane comments of your "readership" and your self-righteous censorship of comments regarding the truth about Ted Kennedy have made your blog a fascinating insight into what passes for "progressive" thought in Alaska. Oh, all that and a juicy dollop of anti-semitism too ! Yummy !

alaskapi said...

Appreciated the link to Mel's post as well... have been so busy the last couple weeks I've missed way more than that important issue...

Oh dear anony@11:52...
You do a pretty snappy job yourself with all the fancy perjorative adjectival railing...
Is it Mr Munger or AK progressives or some combination thereof which torches your shorts?
Was there some point in your comment?

Blue_in_AK said...

Anon, why do you come here if Phil disturbs you so much? This is called PROGRESSIVE Alaska, which you obviously are not. Perhaps you would be more comfortable at C4P or FreeRepublic. There's a blog for everyone, you know, and you don't have to visit the ones that you don't like.

Anonymous said...


Love your blog. I read Bent and Diva's piece on the worthless and crappy lawyers suing over how our constitution appoints judges. Great work there. This is very important.

I always go to your progressive blog Saturday round up to see if I missed anything. I have to say I was surprised you didn't mention Just a Girl From Homer's great piece on Lennie-the woman who was macheted and nearly died. Did you read it?

AND...speaking of Shannyn...Mark Begich was on her show Saturday. He is committed to picking up where Ted Kennedy left off. He is for, at a minimum, THE PUBLIC OPTION for healthcare reform!!! Great news for liberals in Alaska and around the country...

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 12:03 am - I read Shannyn's essay on Lennie, but was going to wait until I listened to Shannyn talk about it on her show. I did, but don't feel ready to discuss that show publicly.

There is so much to cover on the Saturday roundup - more Alaska bloggers every week, it seems. I sometimes miss stuff that is important, trying to explain why I had missed stuff that was important at an earlier date, a was the case this Saturday.

All I CAN say is that I did not perceive Mark Begich as endorsing the public option on Shannyn's show. I perceived his statement "I do" to have been ambiguous. I hope I'm wrong and that he ends up going for the most sensible legislation, and pushing openly for it, but I think he will do exactly as he is told.