Shannyn Moore

I know I’m the writer here, but you tell me: Is there a word to describe the abject cowardice of some Americans over the issue of admitting Syrian victims of terrorism into the U.S.? You could call them crybabies, but, really, they’re much worse. Faced with the prospect of listening to state Sen. Pete Kelly or presidential candidate Donald Trump fear-monger about Syrian refugees for no reason other than their religious faith, I’d rather sit in the last row, middle seat, between two moms with colicky babies for a 10-hour plane trip. Hell, I’d prefer a 3-inch wood screw in the temple. The terrorist attacks across the globe have been horrific and effective. They’ve been especially effective in stampeding Republican candidates and officeholders into a display of moral cowardice, bigotry and...Shannyn Moore
I realize it's fashionable among the Alaska resource development crowd to bash just about anything the federal government does, except when it comes to the federal government giving us lots of money. Sometimes it's justified. Often it's some politician trying to justify their existence. Take the outrage being spewed by Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan about the decision not go forward on the Keystone pipeline. Sure, the pipeline would be great for the oil companies who have invested billions in the Canadian tar sands, and for the Koch Brothers, whose refineries would refine that oil, but how would this pipeline benefit Alaska? How would 830,000 more barrels on the market competing with Alaska's oil help Alaska? Answer: it wouldn't. In fact, it would probably exacerbate our financial...Shannyn Moore
The divorce between Alaska and TransCanada became final this week. The Legislature voted to buy TransCanada’s share of a prospective natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. How the state ended up in that shotgun marriage is a lesson in corporate power and Republican legislators' willingness to kowtow to it. Our story begins with Gov. Sarah Palin’s attempt to encourage a natural gas pipeline. It wasn’t a terrible idea to try to get an independent pipeline company directly involved in the project. When the Legislature passed the Alaska Natural Gasline Inducement Act in 2007, the idea was to incentivize a gas pipeline to the Lower 48, where the Henry Hub price of natural gas was on its way to $12 per thousand cubic feet. Ship 6 billion cubic feet of gas for $5 per thousand cubic feet and...Shannyn Moore
Not sure what I was thinking when I suggested the use of the Permanent Fund as the first place to go to pay for our deficit. It seemed like such an easy answer: we need money, we have the Permanent Fund sitting out there. Let’s just use that. But like so many issues that seem easy at first glance it’s not quite that simple. Some argue the Permanent Fund was meant to be a rainy day fund. Maybe. Others say it was meant to be “Permanent” -- to share our resource wealth fairly with future generations. Regardless what was meant when the Permanent Fund was set up, it has become something that Alaskans now rely on -- for food, housing, fuel, and yes, an occasional big screen TV. And it’s not only the individuals who rely on it -- it’s vital for our economy. Ask any small business person how...Shannyn Moore
It’s been a month now since Pope Francis visited the United States. I have to admit, when I watched his address to Congress I was distracted by House Speaker John Boehner’s tears. Oh, I have thought for years Boehner should be a Kleenex spokesperson instead of third in line to the presidency because of his tendency to melt into waterworks so often. Can you imagine him during a Hallmark or a Subaru commercial? He’d need to wear a life jacket. Then I checked myself. Mr. Boehner was having an episode of authenticity in front of the whole world. He had worked for several decades to bring His Holiness to this moment. The next morning Boehner quit Congress. After years of invited infiltration to the Republican party of ideologues -- people who claimed government was bad and worked hard to prove...Shannyn Moore
Am I my brother’s keeper? The question keeps rising in my mind while reading the news this week. The original question was posed to God by Cain after killing his brother. I think the short answer was “yes.” We are to be the keepers of our brothers and sisters. When life wasn’t as easy in Alaska we seemed to take better care of each other. We relied on each other because of the difficulties of navigation without electronics, the lack of cellphones, very limited communications, and it was a time before anyone had a friends list on the Internet. We all had to know our neighbors, and look after them the way we hoped they would look out for us. I realize I sound like I’m 80 years old, pining for the good old days of pie auctions when someone got sick and every truck having a tow strap or...Shannyn Moore
In the wake of the latest school shooting, I read this on Facebook: “Hey, how about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion -- mandatory 48 hour waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence ... “Let’s close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun. It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than with women and health care, right? I mean, no woman...Shannyn Moore
In 1920, the Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Even today we recognize that decision as one of the worst in the history of baseball. Today, we Alaskans are facing an even worse trade: wild salmon for coal. In the next two weeks, the Walker administration must decide whether to grant the right to keep water in a salmon stream -- something most Alaskans would consider a no-brainer -- or instead award the water rights to a coal company so it can dig up the stream, kill off the salmon there forever and export the coal. I’m talking about the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine across Upper Cook Inlet from Anchorage. Alaskans who fish and hunt in the Chuitna watershed applied to reserve water in Middle Creek -- a tributary of the Chuitna River -- to keep it from being...Shannyn Moore
The plethora of financial mixed messages is particularly rich in the sadly broke state of Alaska. We are running the state at a deficit, paying oil companies more than they pay us, and yet just announced our record Alaska Permanent Dividend Fund checks. It feels like a family has lost their house, is moving into their car, and suddenly get to go on a surprise trip to Disneyland. Yeah! Oh, wait. Do we get to move back in our house when we're back from seeing giant rodents dressed in clothes, princesses and riding scary rides? Please? No. Now, forget about it! Let's all have a good time. Some of our lawmakers seem to be most guilty of this disconnect. Almost $100,000 spent on a junket to Seattle this summer. Some hotel rooms for $450 on the state dime? Please, Speaker Chenault, does the...Shannyn Moore
Someone recently asked me about the Black Lives Matter movement in this country. "Why isn't it 'All Lives Matter?'" Well, people who say "Save the rainforests" aren't saying to cut all the other ones down. Firemen can say "All Houses Matter" but they show up to the ones on fire. Our American culture is becoming one of more overt racism -- ignorance that is cooked over a fire of bigotry and distilled into hate, and is nowhere more observable than in the current political debates. I realize it may seem strange that I am writing this as someone who through no fault of my own was born into white privilege. I'm tired of the parade of unarmed black people being killed for nothing. Just imagine how these families feel. I haven't been to church in a while, but as far as I know this verse hasn't...Shannyn Moore