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Shannyn Moore

This week, President Obama did something I like. (I know, you’re thinking, “Even a secret Kenyan Muslim Socialist gets on base every once in while.”) Actually, there were two things I liked. One, I can hardly wait to visit Cuba. It'll be like going into a time machine -- only warmer. While I realize he had help from my favorite pope, I'm giving the president credit for not continuing to do the same thing we’ve been doing for 50 years and expecting a different result. You know, the definition of insanity...

Shannyn Moore

'Tis the season for so many great things, like Christmas or holiday newsletters.

These days, they have a glossier look, with fancy fonts and graphics. I miss the older ones where you could see the Scotch tape holding down the pictures and fantastic placement of cheeky elf or poinsettia stickers. Maybe they got photocopied at the office or the corner Kinkos; either way they looked like the toner light might have been flashing.

I loved those letters...

Shannyn Moore

Dear Reader: From the time I crossed Kachemak Bay to Homer, drove to Anchorage and caught the flight to Juneau for the inauguration of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott, I tried to remember every detail. I wanted to be the one to share it all with you -- this moment of renewal and hope for Alaska -- before we get busy with our looming financial disaster (thank you, Sean Parnell and legislative Republicans). I’ll skip ahead. I missed my flight home. Partly due to mechanical issues and partly due to celebrating. Alaska Airlines was lovely about putting me on the next plane. (Not a milk run, thank you, Club 49.) I sat next to a charming lobbyist (yes, they exist) and in front of part of the first family -- also charming....

Shannyn Moore

Did you ever hear about gratuity journals? They were part of a movement, somewhat Oprah-inspired, more than a decade ago. The idea was that if you consciously looked for the blessings in your life you'd stop gathering evidence that the universe was against you and maybe you'd stop feeling sorry for yourself...

Shannyn Moore

Alaskans know about airplanes and flying. No other state’s residents fly as much as we do. So we know every plane really ought to have two wings. Same with birds. There are no halibut-style birds, with two wings on one side of their bodies. I find government works best with matching wings, one on the left, one on the right.

For the last few years, we've been trying to fly the Spirit of Alaska with two right wings. As a result, our captain, co-pilot and the rest of the crew never really got us off the ground. They didn’t kill us, they just spent most of their time just taxiing in the wrong direction. Now, at long last, we’ve got a chance to get airborne...

Shannyn Moore

I really hate pumpkin-spice-every-single-possible-product-you-can-think-of season. I guess we're down to two holidays for the last few months of the year -- Happy Pumpkin Spice and Merry Christmas. I heard Christmas music before Halloween this year. Our elections have become the same way, now starting the next round before all the ballots are counted. Before I tear into a rant about that, could we all agree to just campaigning six months out from the election?...

Shannyn Moore

Oh, my darling Alaskans. The wringing of hands and hearts seems a bit over the top in reaction to this week’s election. Despite the bipolar quality of the results so far, I'm hopeful for the future of our state. If I couldn’t find a few silver linings, I'd have to insist that we stop having elections and just put our political offices on eBay. My poll watching this week has been somewhat obscured by a boat and bait, so I was a bit surprised that Dan Sullivan doesn’t want to wait for my vote to be counted. I'm sure it's not because he knows there's no way on God's green earth I'd blacken an oval next to his name, so it must be something else. See, Alaska is a little different, Mr Sullivan. If you’d spent much time here, you’d know we’ve raised cliff-hanger elections to an art form....

Shannyn Moore

In the case of the Alaska National Guard corruption and sexual abuse scandal, it's fascinating to watch the cover-up of the cover-up play out.

Gov. Sean Parnell is pulling out all the stops in his efforts to avoid releasing documents showing that, beginning four long years ago, he ignored warnings and pleas for help from chaplains, military officers, sexual assault victims and retired guard members. He waited for three years -- until February of this year -- to ask for an investigation by the federal National Guard Bureau, and he did that only after learning that an inquiry would be launched whether he asked for one or not...

Shannyn Moore

I was about 10 when I heard a sermon I will never forget. The speaker that day drew a few gasps from the congregation of the Homer Christian Church when he disagreed with a passage from the Bible. He quoted from 1 Corinthians, Ch. 13, the passage you often hear at weddings: "Faith, Hope and Love, the greatest of these is love." "That's not true," he said. "The greatest of these is hope." He explained that his father had committed suicide. There was no shortage of love in their family. His father had simply lost hope that the pain of his illness would ever be alleviated. It was too much to bear. Too bad Congressman Don Young wasn't sitting next to me that day almost 35 years ago....

Shannyn Moore

My social media feeds are stuffed with my fellow Alaskans sick to death of political ads end-to-end on their televisions, and even the staunchest pro-deforestation people are wondering if we'll have any trees left after they've checked their mailboxes. I get emails from people asking, "Is that true?" about something they've seen or read.

Here's the kicker. Political ads, per a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, don't have to be true. I KNOW! You have to swear on a Bible when you're elected, but up until that point all bets are off. Did you know Mark Begich hates puppies? Yeah, and ice cream. Seriously, why doesn't he just join the Taliban?...

Shannyn Moore

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