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Shannyn Moore

I could write about last week's Juneau dysfunction but at this point it would be like publishing a headline saying, "BREAKING NEWS! Gravity is sucking us onto the surface of the Earth and there's no sign of it stopping."

This is a holy week to many. Recent events have made places sacred and reminded me that friends are the family we choose.

Happy Easter...

Shannyn Moore

Show me a political flyer in Alaska and I'll show you a candidate whose only reason for living is supporting the Permanent Fund and education, and fighting "government waste."

There's an old saying, "Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value." This week we got to see what the Republican majority in the Alaska Senate values. Rest assured, their budget, written by Sen. Pete Kelly, does not value birth control for irresponsible women.

In fact, amendments to accept millions in federal funds for family planning -- to actually reduce abortions -- were voted down by our "pro-family" Republicans. As far as they're concerned, as soon as you have that kid, you're on your own...

Shannyn Moore

This week I listened to one of the right-wing sock puppets yammer on about what a victory for freedom the most recent campaign finance court decision was. Honestly. The guy was more about "free and dumb" than freedom.

The court, in yet another 5-4 decision, basically created eBay for elections. What we didn't need was more stinking money in our election process but the five say otherwise. Freedom of speech is now equated with how much money you have and are willing to spend. Of course, the reverse doesn't work. You can't walk into a store and purchase items with your words. It's insane. If money is speech, most of us are mute.

Justice Stephen Breyer, in his dissent said, "If the court in Citizens United opened a door, today's decision may well open a floodgate."...

Shannyn Moore

Potholes and school repairs aren't nearly as sexy as presidential elections. I mean, really, there are no catchy campaign tunes (except for that Mike Gutierrez song that stuck in my head for two years). Too many of us ignore the elections that affect our day-to-day lives the most.

People fought, went to prison, starved themselves and died so you can ignore your right to vote. That seems a bit ungrateful, to put it mildly. Democracy freeloaders. I'm betting more folks in Anchorage filled out a Sweet 16 bracket than will vote in the April 1 election. (One, sorry if you picked Duke; secondly, yes, our election is on April Fools' Day; this is not a joke.)...

Shannyn Moore

I had a plan to write a column that was going to make the Anchorage municipal elections coming up to be the sexiest most riveting thing you've ever read. Then someone did something stupid in Juneau, so you'll have to wait a week while I sort this doofus out.

First, the reporting on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders from Kyle Hopkins and Marc Lester for the Anchorage Daily News has been incredible. Disturbing, and incredibly needed. Two percent of children born in Alaska have FASD. We need solutions and education. Sadly, we have a "think tank" formed by Sen. Pete Kelly that is sitting on empty...

Shannyn Moore

I'm still getting used to seeing the Walter J. Hickel Expressway signs. I still think Wally's Way would have been better, but it gives me a chance to remember to read "Who Owns America" again. My copy has a brown signature inside. A treasure.

So, as I pull onto Wally's Way, heading south, the voice of Lori Townsend making me feel better about the news on my radio. Seriously. If there's a meteor bearing down on Earth and we're all gonna die, she should be the one announcing it-she makes even Alaska news sound better.

My phone rings.

"Did you know about Cathy Giessel's crazy payback bill?"

I'm sorry, bring me up to date, I can't track all the crazy that woman has to give...

Shannyn Moore

"WHY do YOU have to argue with the professor EVERY class?! Can't you just let him talk so I can write this stuff down, take a test, graduate and get a job?!"

Oh, that was a weekly conversation with some of my UAF classmates. (You're shocked, I know.)

I sat enraptured by Terrence Cole's take on history. He was right, the historical truth was often most boldly told in political cartoons rather than in textbooks. I listened in Dr. Pierce's class. He was quite old, with even older maps. I told him once the continents had moved since his maps were made. He smiled.

I behaved for the most part until I was in Dr. Claus Naske's class. I took every course he taught. He was assigned to be my advisor...

Shannyn Moore

When you can't win, change the rules.

I've wondered why our legislators have spent the better part of their time on bills likely to struck down as unconstitutional. They are trying to rewrite our constitution to hand public money to schools, deny women reproductive justice and deny citizens the right to weigh in on resource development.

Lawmakers will vote on bills that they know will end up in court. That takes money that they don't have to pay for on either side. Maybe we need an amendment that requires those who vote for bills deemed unconstitutional have to pay the legal costs, not the state of Alaska.

I have been disappointed by some decisions by Alaskan judges, but I've had to shrug and know it's our law. Oh, and there's that handy appeals process...

Shannyn Moore

The muck-raking writer Upton Sinclair once said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

He wrote that after running for governor in 1934. It would seem the business of politics was even more messy than the meat packing industry he exposed.

I'd go a bit further than Sinclair. It's difficult for someone to continue getting a salary if he does understand some things and still acts on them...

Shannyn Moore

I enjoy painting. Really. Maybe it's because my grandfather was a painter and I really liked him, but for whatever reason I don't mind being on a ladder with a brush for hours at a time. Oh, did you think I meant painting bowls of fruit? No. I like painting houses.

But the best part is when you're done. You stand back and see the transformation to a new look that was long overdue. From the first drop of color on the wall to the trim caulking. There's a start and an end.

Painting is satisfying. (I realize some people have gotten divorced over paint jobs gone sideways and not everyone feels the same, but it's my column.)...

Shannyn Moore

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