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March 20, 2000

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Issue 10 Commentary


SAVE YOUR PFD AGAIN

Freedom Writer
Anchorage, AK
March 20, 2000

Yes, the politicians in Juneau are "eyeballing & salivating" over you Permanent Fund Dividend again to pay for their programs, their pay, & their perks. Even after the Alaskan voters' rejection last September by an 84% NO VOTE against the politicians' & bureaucrats' plan to spend your PFD monies to pay for state government, the solons won't give up. There may be good legislation, however, being considered to forestall their voracious appetite.

The following URL link gives you the current status & legislative history of HJR 50 & access to it's full text (Proposed Constitutional Amendment to limit state appropriations unless there is a 2/3 vote by both legislative houses to increase spending).

The following URL link gives you the current status & legislative history of SJR 35 & access to it's full text (Proposed Constitutional Amendment to guarantee the permanent fund dividend, to provide for inflation proofing, and to require a vote of the people before changing the statutory formula for distribution that existed on January 1, 2000).

The following URL link gives you the current status & legislative history of HB 411 & access to it's full text ( An Act relating to the market value of the permanent fund and to distribution of income of the permanent fund, which is being proposed at about 80% for PFD distribution & about 20% for general revenue spending).

Of these 3, the FIRST 2 DEFINETELY NEED YOUR SUPPORT. They would provide an effective "ONE-TWO PUNCH" to PERMANENTLY PROTECT YOUR PFD. The third proposal (HB 411) is a little more complicated, but it affords no constitutional protection like the first two, as it is just an Act (a statutory law) whereas the first 2 are proposed Constitutional Amendments.

Why is there the necessity to protect your PFD via the State Constitution? One just has to look at the Charter of the Permanent Fund Corporation for the answer, specifically from the mission statement of the home page of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

" Mission Statement

A public trust investing for Alaska's future

To maximize the value of Alaska's Permanent Fund through prudent long-term investment and protection of principal to produce income to benefit all generations of Alaskans.

The Permanent Fund is made up of two parts: principal and income. The principal is invested permanently and cannot be spent without a vote of the people. Fund income, however, can be spent, and decisions about its use are made each year by the people's elected representatives--the legislature and the governor. (emphasis mine) The Fund is managed by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation."

Therefore, only a Constitutional Amendment, or two, can change how the fund's income can be spent differently or saved differently than is currently practiced. Please contact your legislators in the State House and State Senate & tell them how you feel about each proposed piece of legislation. Hopefully, they will do the right thing by listening to you & keep their hands off of the PFD, but ONLY IF YOU, THE ALASKAN PEOPLE, STAY VIGILANT & ACTIVE & MAKE THEM!

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ALASKA WANTS TO BE INDEPENDENT & SELF-SUFFICIENT
Freedom Writer
Anchorage, Alaska
May 10, 2000

On April 1, 2000 in Wasilla, Alaska there was a small but important gathering of delegates to the Alaska Independence Party State Convention. I had a feeling this was going to be a great day because as I approached the parking lot of the Mat-Su Resort, I noticed this large bald eagle perched atop a spruce tree at the parking lot's entrance, as if guarding the participants and the ensuing ceremonies. Even the weather cooperated by blessing us with sunny warmth while there were still patches of snow surrounding the property. Yes, this was going to be a great day in Alaska.

The morning's session began with AIP Chairman Mark Chryson gaveling the attendees to order and a prayer & the music of the Alaska Flag Song filled the room with a draped Alaska flag in the background behind the speakers table. Mr. Chryson then proceeded with an opening address on the State of the AIP with its 18,993 registered voters as of March 1, 2000 making it the largest third party in any of the 50 states, as confirmed by the University of California-Berkeley.

After the usual party financial & secretarial reports & officer comments were given, mention was made of the announced AIP candidates for various offices across Alaska. Then the important dramatic progress began on committee reports & platform changes & their ratifications. All unanimous work was conducted before lunch.

Oh what a lunch it was! Attendees had a choice of either Beef Burgundy or Baked Chicken as the main entrée & were served by two beautiful young Alaskan waitresses from the Mat-Su Valley (yes, our own valley girls!). Scrumptious indeed!

After lunch, John Glotfelty from Delta Junction gave a presentation on his Initiative Petition to amend the state constitution to remove the Legislature's role in proposing Constitutional amendments since lately they have been making it harder for people to get their initiative petitions circulating (by wanting to require a minimum from each election district, which is a change to what it has been, or by wanting to reverse the outcome of initiative votes passed by the people). The section to be amended is Article XIII, Section 1, & Article XI, Sections 1 thru 4. Later on in the day, the AIP delegates voted their support for the petition & began circulating it to get signatures.

David Moore, a Vietnam veteran, gave a stunning presentation on "Voter Fraud in Alaskan History", detailing the instances where the federal government allegedly pulled some shenanigans to deprive not only the Alaskan Natives but also the rest of us from partaking of our full sovereignty as a state, citing several federal actions & treaties. His conclusion: "We are not a republic state but federal region."

Officer nominations & elections followed. Mark Chryson was unanimously re-elected Chairman, John Glotfelty was elected Vice-Chairman-North. Vern Rupright was elected Vice-Chairman-South, Paul Chizmar was re-elected Treasurer, & Bernadette Rupright was elected Secretary.

Remaining resolutions and platform changes and by-laws were voted on accordingly in the afternoon. A short State Committee meeting ended the business sessions when it was moved up on the agenda prior to dinner instead. You can view the specifics of the convention at:

http://www.akip.org/conv.html

Dinner saw the attendees partake of a another culinary spectacle of a Roast Turkey & Roast Beef Buffet with the accompanying expert services of a beautiful valley girl waitress while listening to two additional speakers. The first speaker was Al Anders on what it takes to get initiative petitions circulated these days & he reported on the various attacks on citizen initiatives by those in power. The second speaker was Uwe Kalenka, who successfully spearheaded the initiative drive to get the 10 mil property tax cap on the statewide ballot, who reported on is reason for starting the drive & how it has become the most controversial ballot proposition for this fall's election & why the politicians & bureaucrats fear it being passed by the voters.

Contrary to what some in power would have the rest of us believe, these AIP members were not a rogue gallery of radicals. It was obvious to me, an invited guest at the convention, that these folk were ordinary citizens, many of whom had suffered at the hands of either the federal government or state government. What they were trying to do was go through the appropriate civil remedies to get "a redress of grievances" as allowed by our Constitution No one there advocated violent secession or overthrow of the existing order, as some in power would have us believe. That's not to say that the revolutionary option has been discarded entirely, however. Let's hope it never gets to that point.

In the meantime, Alaskans want to develop their resources so they can become self-sufficient & not rely upon the federal government so much, even though Sen. Ted Stevens, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, still pork-barrels millions back to the Last Frontier. In the meantime, Alaskans want to be treated like the other citizens of the other "Lower 48" states when it comes to federal-state relations. As long as the federal government owns or controls most of the land & resources in Alaska, they will not relinquish those so easily, for whatever reasons, good or bad. But Alaskans cannot give up hope. Yes, it was a good day in Alaska on April 1…with the hope & promise of a better tomorrow always hanging in the white clouds in a blue sky on a sunny day over the emerging springtime greenery mixed between the mountains, lakes, & rivers of God's Country.

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NADER'S VISIT TO ANCHORAGE REVEALS MEDIA'S INABILITY TO DO THEIR JOB

FREEDOM WRITER
Anchorage, Alaska
June 19, 2000

When Ralph Nader came & spoke to many groups & the general public (at the Methodist Church on Anchorage's Park Strip) on Friday May 26, 2000, his eloquence was ignored by the mainstream corporate media. As a result, many people who could not attend his public lectures missed his thoughtful & insightful analysis & commentary. I will outline some of those ideas that I thought to be most profound.

On the media in general, Mr. Nader spoke about the 6 conglomerates that own most of the media outlets in America & how they determine what the American public sees or hears on the nightly network news or their daily newspapers, which is why the public only gets what the those interlocking corporate boards want the public to see or hear.

On the importance of civic involvement, Ralph paraphrased the philosopher Cicero, who, 2000 years ago, defined "freedom as participation in power". He mentioned that "Cynicism is a function of powerlessness & apathy". He cautioned also that "To know & not to act is to not know".

On "corporate welfare", Mr. Nader blasted those giant corporations seeking handouts from our political leaders in exchange for their lobbying gifts to finance the campaigns of members of Congress & the administration. "If you're a big corporation, you don't go bankrupt, you go to Washington." As a possible alleviation this abuse, he advocated a $200 check-off on your tax return to finance federal election campaigns.

On general economics, Ralph warned that "Absentee ownership is the worst kind of economic experience".

On the current administration, Mr. Nader called Pres. Bill Clinton a "transactional leader". He concluded, "What we need is a transformational leader."

On the upcoming federal Presidential debates, Ralph said, "Buchanan can't get on the debates without me & I can't get on the debates without Buchanan."

On a more personal level, Ralph also stressed that consumers should organize consumer buying groups over the internet to negotiate the best contract terms for purchasing products, like cars.

Even the local public TV station KSKA was not immune from acting like its corporate mainstream media counterparts, when it taped an interview with Mr. Nader but refused to air it, citing the old "Fairness Doctrine" which mandated that the broadcasters who use public airwaves must offer equal time for candidates & divergent issues. How many presidential candidates ever come to Alaska? Not many. When a candidate does travel the thousands of miles at much expense, the publicly financed KSKA drops the ball, & is afraid of the possible loss of its increased corporate funding sources to its operational budget now that the public sources (State of Alaska & Congress) are diminishing. There was such an outcry from the individual members of KSKA that the TV station finally relented & aired the taped interview last Friday nite (6-16-00) & repeated it over the weekend. It should not matter that Nader was critical of corporate influence or that he was speaking on any other controversial subject matter It should matter that the media outlets do their job properly since they have the First Amendment as their protection & they are the public's "check & balance" against government. To paraphrase some old anonymous realist & to show that Mr. Nader was correct & prophetic about the need for civic involvement: "The squeaky wheel gets the grease".

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STAND FOR SOMETHING!
By FREEDOM WRITER
Anchorage, Alaska
July 20, 2000

I would be most happy to post your articles on Alaska politics on FREEDOM WRITER. Since I finance my site myself with sales from my products & ads I don't have to worry about possibly offending any potential or current advertiser. I welcome controversial articles even if I don't necessarily agree with it (in which case I could present/post an opposing view) but most if not all of my articles so far are from those with whom I have agreement, & those who might have had a view different from mine have seen the viewpoint of the public expressed to support my view (e.g., the 84% NO VOTE MAJORITY last September 1999 on using the PFD for funding state government). I am non-partisan (independent) so I call them like I see them or how I wish they could be, not how any political party, persuasion, or ideology wants me to see things.

The corrupt Clinton Administration & their Democratic defenders of the "indefensible" in Congress and the "oily" Knowles Administration & their "give away everything to the Feds or oil companies" or "more State government & taxes" mentality have forever lost me from the Democratic Party for good. The "regular Republicans" at both the national & state levels are not doing a good enough job of recruiting me since they either turn a "blind eye" to what's going on or are a part of the "compromise" problem. I like the pragmatism & patriotism of the Reform Party & the youthful ideals of the Green Party & the overall ideals & platform of the Alaskan Independence Party & most of the platform of the Libertarian Party (except for free trade which is a myth or a rationale for just the greedy CEO's of multinational corporations to exacerbate labor relations problems & sometimes rip-off the consumers but I must confess it is a good theory on paper if all nations would equally practice it in which case I would be for free trade) & even a lot of what Ray Metcalfe's Republican Moderate Party stands for. The bottom line here is, for me, that those "third parties" which I mentioned at least stand for something, & they just don't "go along" to maintain a power base for themselves (by increasing their own pay & perks while asking the taxpayers to reduce their quality of life & paychecks to pay for those increased pay & perks & our loss of freedoms in the process).

I would happy to be a conduit or forum for those extra articles about Alaskan politics besides my America & World headlines. Believe it or not, there are many former Alaskans who read my site & they would like to keep up on some things going on up here & many Alaskans are practically "starved" for "the real news" from the Lower 49 & elsewhere about "what's really happening" since the outside mainstream corporate media controls most, if not all, of Alaska's newspapers & radio & TV outlets. Even though my current website host is in Oregon & my web technician is in Arizona, they are from Alaska. Since I own my site (sole proprietorship), I can call FREEDOM WRITER a truly Alaskan website.

I have witnessed the struggle of special interests versus the public interest or the people of Alaska for many decades. Sometimes the special interests are right in advocating their causes but sometimes their interests conflict with those of the people in general in terms of public policy. Yet the answers are not always found in Big Government or more government. Most active Democrats today are liberal statists (advocating more government) rather than our historically traditional liberal individualists (like most of our Founding Fathers). While the current Republican Party (both national & state) cannot seem to be found on the populist side of many issues most of the time & therefore appears to be impotent when they could be sure winners all, if not most, of the time. In general, the political philosophical ideologies normally expressed as liberal or conservative (or even moderate) ARE RELATIVE TERMS and have changed their practical meanings or applications since the turn of the century (1890's to early 1900's). They are RELATIVE to each other & with respect to issues, both old & new. Hence they are no longer STATIC. So I cannot subscribe to any of those LABELS anymore, even though I have friends from all of those categories and from all parties mentioned thus far.

I have been an employee, a manager, a union representative, & now a business owner. I can see many issues from all of those perspectives. No one perspective is necessarily the right one unless you are advocating your own interests at the time. However, there are BASIC CORE VALUES that should be maintained to preserve what's left of our culture while we can still have a LIVE & LET LIFE PHILOSOPHY most of the time. People can have different political philosophies or platforms but they should adhere to those COMMON VALUES (like honesty & fairness & abiding by the law) that are the underpinnings of our society & the corrupt Clinton Administration, is the best (or should I say the worst) example of not "standing for something" other than maintaining it's own power base AT ALL COSTS. I view the Knowles Administration (& Tony in particular) as coming very close to repeating those "malpractices against the people". Therefore, I do what I can in whatever mode or format or medium I can do it in to be effective or to help out or to be a part of "the right things at the right time".

I hope you continue to enjoy FREEDOMWRITER.COM & urge you to purchase some of my products at the TRADING POST.

FREEDOM WRITER

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SUPPORT THE PROPERTY TAX CAP!
By FREEDOM WRITER
Anchorage, Alaska
Sep. 25, 2000

FREEDOM WRITER urges all Alaskan voters to express their opinion at the ballot box on November 7, 2000 on a wide array of ballot measures & candidates for public office. One particular Ballot Measure #4 is the Property Tax Cap Initiative. Opponents of this tax cap say that this will cripple our local schools. Article VII (Health, Education and Welfare), SECTION 1 (PUBLIC EDUCATION) of the Alaska Constitution states that "The legislature shall by general law establish and maintain a system of public schools open to all children of the State, and may provide for other public educational institutions." That means the State, not local government, in Alaska must properly fund public schools, not always just the property owners. Rural schools are funded at 100% of their needs by the legislature, while Anchorage only gets 60-70% of its school funding from the legislature. Given the latest fiasco of the Anchorage School Board by allowing a con-competitive contract to be awarded to the incumbent School District Superintendant, in lieu of his continuing as Superintendent, that was done in apparent violation of the Open Meetings Law (thank God he resigned to prevent further legal controversy), FREEDOMWRITER strongly supports this property tax cap initiative as a means to reduce growing government & to make government more responsive to the real needs of Alaskans by taking some financial control from the local school bureaucrats & giving it back to the people & their elected state representatives for the latter to properly execute their oath of office & constitutional duties.

See you at the polls on Tuesday, November 7, 2000!


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