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YEAR END & NEW YEAR OLD & NEW BUSINESS

By FREEDOM WRITER
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Winter 2002-2003

For those of you who were awaiting my next commentary & issue of FREEDOM WRITER & FREEDOMWRITER.COM, I'm sorry it took so long. With the holidays & family matters & a few technical glitches, I decided to finish my commentary after the hustle & bustle that everyone experiences during this holiday time so as not to get others, my loyal readers, further behind in their endeavors. Hopefully, that karma will come back to help me down the road. Plus, the extra time gave me the opportunity to update my planned thoughts. So, here it is: The Year End & New Year Old & New Business.

ALASKA:

At the local level, 2002 saw an arrogant Anchorage Assembly confronting not only its politically philosophical opponent in the Mayor's seat but also many of the rank-and-file citizens, especially those who appear to testify at public hearings. Those confrontations included traditional budget discussions, the increasing power of the liberal majority on the Assembly from fixing election districts to practically hand-picking a district's vacancy winner, to trying to usurp private property rights through a bureaucratic land use clearing ordinance. The latter example was abruptly halted temporarily when an enormously attended public hearing finally got the Assembly's attention that the legislative body was going too far. Thank you Rick Rydell, radio talk show host, & others, for increasing public awareness on the disastrous land use clearing ordinance.

Also part of the local-state mix was a last minute attempt by the outgoing "lame duck" Democrat Gov. Knowles administration to try to slip through the decision process an extension of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail bike path with federal funds by condemning (through eminent domain) homeland of over a hundred & seventy private property owners who would lose some property & not be given adequate consultation & review time on the project. The favored route by state DOT planners would also go through environmentally sensitive wildlife & wetland areas that SHOULD HAVE INCURRED THE WRATH OF THE EXTREME ENVIRONMENTALISTS BUT DID NOT. After all, they did support the Knowles-Ulmer administration for eight years. Such hypocrisy! Let's also not forget the price tag: A $30 million project with 90% federal funding but NO CONSIDERATION OF FUTURE MAINTENANCE COSTS TO BE INCURRED BY THE LOCAL PROPERTY OWNERS VIA THE PROPERTY TAX THAT WOULD PRECLUDE ANY MAINTENANCE FUNDING OF EXISTING BIKE TRAILS IN ANCHORAGE. This comes at a time when local government is searching for ways to finance existing public safety concerns, school budgets, & existing road maintenance. One of the first things that incoming Gov. Frank Murkowski did was to order the state DOT to increase the public review time an additional 60 days before implementing or discarding the "Phony Tony Vanity Trail". The deadline for Interested parties to express their comments was Jan. 8, 2003. You can review the project by going on-line to: http://home.gci.net/~southtrail/ . Thank you Mike Porcaro, radio talk show host, & others, for increasing public awareness on the disastrous South Coastal Trail.

Anchorage & Alaska saw the birth of a new newspaper in it's largest city. The ANCHORGE CHRONICLE appeared as a weekly & it's already very competitive daily liberal ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, concerning local & state issues. Yes, they even print your Letters to the Editor when the ADN won't, & that's a good sign & start. For those of you who are concerned with MEDIA BIAS, here's a positive alternative to the ADN, for a change. Thank you Alex DeMarban, editor, & to Alaska Newspapers, Inc., owner, for filling the void created by the near monopoly of the incumbent print media.

At the state level, the big news was the election results in Alaska. Despite the incumbent, but outgoing, administration's attempt to "gerrymander", by mandated re-apportionment from the recent US Census, the State House & State Senate districts that resulted in many conservative Republicans having to compete against each other or retire, the national Republican victories in the "Lower 49" were mimicked, as the Alaska Republicans not only retained control of the State House & State Senate but also captured the Governor's Mansion. People everywhere are tired of the same old liberal tax & spend & bigger government policies. US Senator from Alaska Frank Murkowski surprised many with a "come from behind in the last 3 weeks" effort that surprised most political pundits who had predicted a close race, which turned out not to be. Even though an initiative to move the Legislature from isolated Juneau closer to the main population centers in Wasilla & Anchorage failed, the voters overwhelmingly voted to push for an ALL-ALASKAN NATURAL GAS LINE even if the state had to start doing it. So the "powers-that-be" won one & lost one to the people. Concerning mixed results, Murkowski surprised many by selecting his daughter, Lisa, a liberal-moderate Republican who narrowly won re-election in a close race against another conservative Republican, to replace him in the US Senate. This has drawn the ire of many Alaskans from all corners of the political spectrum. Not only was it NEPOTISM, but Lisa's voting record for MORE TAXES definitely contrasts with her father's voting record in Congress, as the elder Murkowski said he would find someone to replace him who shared his philosophy & principles. In the end, Gov. Murkowski did select, as Lisa's replacement in the State House, the same woman she narrowly defeated in the primary election: Nancy Dahlstrom. So the state legislature loses a liberal-moderate but gains a conservative. Mixed results... yes, but there is still optimism that, after 8 years of stagnation & threatening new taxes, the new administration will get Alaska working again in 2003.

AMERICA:

At the national level, as mentioned earlier, the Republicans, mostly more moderate-conservative, maintained control of the US House of Representatives & recaptured the US Senate, also surprising many political pundits. Here's the message again, if you did not remember it from the previous paragraph: "People everywhere are tired of the same old liberal tax & spend & bigger government policies." Alas, even Congress forgets its original purpose of serving the public -- the voted AGAIN to increase their pay (by not voting against the bill that automatically generates pay increase language) -- but not passing an annual budget -- their main business -- before recessing for the election. It's too bad that you & I in the PRIVATE SECTOR cannot automatically increase our pay & put off our required work. To the dismay of many civil libertarians on both left & right, many provisions of the Patriot Act (passed without congressional committee review right after Sep. 11, 2001) & the newly passed Homeland Security Act (also without Senate committee review) now confirm that BIG BROTHER IS HERE TO STAY, at least until the war on terrorism is over. Did you believe that the traditional scope of the Republican Party was still LIMITED GOVERNMENT? It's no longer apparent -- as Patrick Buchanan, former presidential candidate & political commentator, was proved correct again: both parties are on opposite sides of the same coin & the coin is bad. I believe that Jerry Brown, also former presidential candidate & former Governor of California & current Mayor of Oakland, CA, had a similar expression also: Both major political parties are the wings on the same bird of prey. Does it make you wonder if the war on terrorism is just a rationale for increasing government control over you? We can send our military all over the world but we leave our homeland's borders wide open to illegal immigration. That leads to domestic terrorism, increased burdens on our welfare system (these illegals get free services that our citizens are denied!), & increased public budgets, yet our political leaders want to thrust new invasive laws against us law-abiding American-born citizens & have us pay for them, but turn a "blind eye"when it comes to pandering for the votes of those illegal aliens & using them as cheap labor to compete with the American worker & small business owner.

Also nationally in 2003, Pres. George W. Bush, fresh from realizing his party controls the reigns of government in Washington, DC, proposes huge tax cuts. Now the Democratic Party resurrects its old war chant of "class warfare" by crying that the cuts favor the rich. Never mind that the tax cuts help everyone, including those who are successful financially & who also pay the most taxes, as the liberal left wants tax cuts to be a "share the wealth" redistribution plan to help those who don't contribute as much to our economic society, instead. Never mind that corporate dividends are currently taxed twice (thereby stifling possible investments & distributions at both the individual & corporate levels), or that your heirs have to pay a "Death Penalty Tax" if they inherent your assets (after you already were taxed on them beforehand, whether its a small farm or small business or other capital gains), or that your family could use increased child care tax credits so you can retain MORE OF YOUR OWN MONEY TO STAY INDEPENDENT & NOT DEPENDENT UPON THE GOVERNMENT, as the (to repeat again in case you forgot what I wrote earlier) "liberal left wants tax cuts to be a "share the wealth" redistribution plan to help those who don't contribute as much to our economic society, instead." The bottom line is this: IT'S YOUR MONEY, PEOPLE, IT'S NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S MONEY! The more of your money you retain, the more freedom & opportunity you have.

During 2002 & continuing into 2003, the American Civil Liberties Union has conducted a warfare campaign against American values & traditions by suing school boards & cities & others for celebrating Christmas, for supporting the Boy Scouts of America, & for posting the Ten Commandments. It seems the ACLU only wants to promote a woman's right to kill an unborn child & illegal adult-child gay sex (vis-a-vis NAMBLA) rather than to protect those good & decent values & traditions & expressions that were, & still are, representative of most Americans. It is no wonder that I am NO LONGER A MEMBER of the ACLU, which has turned into a fascist liberal organization. Thank you Bill O'Reilly, cable TV host & author, for exposing the true current agenda of the ACLU.

Somberly & anxiously, the American people, & the world's citizens, are awaiting any concrete evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction BEFORE THEY GIVE FULL SUPPORT to Pres. Bush's probable attack on that cohort of international terrorism. Our military may be ready to jump on Saddam Hussein's ass once Bush gives the word, but here at home we are not ready to defend or protect ourselves against the retaliatory attacks from terrorists lurking inside our borders. We, the American people, may say we will defend ourselves & protect our communities, IN SPIRIT, but we have not trained or practiced such civil defense or civil preparedness methods since the early days of the Cold War in the 1950's & 1960's. We have just started to have smallpox vaccines available to our military, our political leaders, & our health care providers, but the masses of Americans do not yet have access, assuming they even want to risk the possible deleterious side effects associated with using those vaccines.

Other possible threats of usage of weapons of mass destruction that could be unleashed upon us as retaliation for any of our possible attacks on the Islamo-fascists have not produced any large scale availability of protective devices such as gas masks, radiation detectors, or air tight containment shelters to the American consumer, except in small markets to those who wish to maintain their awareness of such. While the former Clinton-Gore administration dismantled the remaining civil defense/civil preparedness plans under those 8 years of corruption, we had Sec. of State Madeline Albright & former Pres. Jimmy Carter negotiating with the North Korean dictator, a known liar & terrorist supporter & treaty breaker, for our food, money, & oil for the communist's promise not to develop nuclear missiles, which he is now breaking, by starting with the expulsion of international nuclear energy inspectors. While the former Clinton-Gore administration was funding its re-election campaign using money from the army of Red China, we had our own nuclear secrets either given away by those industrial defense contractors who also contributed financially to Clinton-Gore or stolen from our nuclear laboratories under the noses of our lax administrators & security personnel appointed by the same Clinton-Gore political machine to those very same communist Chinese dictators. Is it any wonder why we Americans are reluctant to trust our own government any more?

WORLD:

At the international level, many things are still unchanged. Terrorism is still rampant in the Middle East between the extremist Palestinians against the Israelis. A ship loaded with missiles from North Korea was intercepted off the coast of Africa, headed for Yemen, a known hideout for Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaida terrorists. Communist China still has its sights on reclaiming the island of Taiwan (formerly Nationalist China) -- the last bastion of free enterprise & democratic elections in that corner of the world since Great Britain returned Hong Kong to Red China a few years ago. America's trade deficit with Red China continues to reach historic high levels as the mainland communists continue to grow their own economy & military AT OUR EXPENSE & point their nuclear tipped missiles towards our west coast cities. Afghanistan is still not totally secure as their warlords continue in-fighting while our military sentries stationed there as peacekeepers are being picked off just like our domestic victims of the DC snipers last year. Our leaders still don't know if Osama Bin Laden, once our nation's public enemy #1, is hiding or dead. The justice promised to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism remains unfulfilled.

As we near the end of this long holiday season stretching from Veterans Day, through Thanksgiving, through Christmas, through Hannukah & Kwanzaa, & through New Year's Day, we cannot give up hope. While our political leaders sell us out & promise us the moon, we must not give up the fight to protect our freedoms & liberties. The friendships & charity we extend to others during this season must continue throughout the new year. If we do nothing else, then we must continue to pray to our Creator for peace & understanding, & humbly beg for His Forgiveness for our confessed shortcomings, & give thanks for those blessings that we have been given, in spite of all the troubles around us, in our communities, in our state, in our nation, & in our world.

Freedom Writer

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