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Don't fall into the Palin trap


Fri, Oct 17th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

My family recently returned to Minnesota, the home of our birth, after nearly 13 years of dairy farming outside of Wasilla, Alaska. The straw that broke the camel's back - our Alaska Governor Sarah Palin!

It's a long story how we got to Alaska, but the main message I want you to focus on is not to let Sarah Palin mislead you and our country like she did us and the dairy industry in Alaska!

The State of Alaska owned and operated the only dairy processing plant in South Central Alaska, through a repossession back in the 1980s. The State kept operating the plant because of the traumatic effect it would have been to close it. Closing the plant would not only affect dairy farmers, but grain farmers, the elevators, the equipment and repair shops, and the work force from the farm helpers to the truck drivers, and beyond. So the State kept the dairy processing plant open.

Somehow along the way, the C.E.O. was allowed to reign over control of the plant, and while he did a great job at saving the plant and turning it into a profit making business, the business and its employees became the center of attention over the dairy farmers making a profit. Hence the price paid to dairy farmers remained stagnant and the dairy industry began to crumble. Even a decades-old University dairy closed its doors!

Despite the outcry to the state to take back control of the business, and its original intent to be the infrastructure to the dairy industry, each successive governor continued to lack the foresight to do something about this problem, choosing to create 'boards and commissions and audits and studies' to determine what to do! So, the plant continued to grow,, expanding into water bottling, and orange juice, yogurts and various milk drinks, but due to the growth of the sales, the plant was now processing more Washington State milk across its assembly line than Alaskan milk because it was cheaper to purchase (the plant could buy a lesser value milk - 2% and skim - as Alaskan milk supplied all the higher butterfat product needed, purchased from a milk handler versus farmers).

Then came the increase in Washington milk prices, a law disallowing purchase from milk handlers, and the dramatic increase in fuel costs! The plant all of a sudden needed more Alaskan milk than 'outside' milk, but guess what? It was nearly gone, with only 5 local dairy farms remaining in operation.

So along came Sarah Palin! She just came from being Mayor o .....
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Why do people vote against their own self-interest?

Fri, Oct 17th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In 2004, Thomas Frank published "What's the Matter with Kansas". It was an attempt to explain why Kansas, once a bastion of cultural liberalism has become a fortress of conservatism, both culturally and economically. Reading the book, one can't help ..... 
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So, you're a Maverick

Fri, Oct 10th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

As we know all too well, Senator McCain and Governor Palin like to characterize themselves as mavericks. And, as many of you know, the first definition of a maverick is a calf that has strayed from its' herd. In other words, some poor little creatur ..... 
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People need to take responsibility for their actions

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

On my walk to the Post Office and back each day, I glance at the sidewalks, gutters, window sills, and planters along those three blocks. I pick up and discard cans, bottles, cigarette packs, and candy wrappers. Yesterday, I picked up three cans wit ..... 
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Embarrassed and unfortunate

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Embarrassed

Well, after the party comes the hangover. The Sarah Palin rise to political stardom - beauty queeen, hockey mom, bear shootin', corruption fighting governor - is grinding back to an ugly reality; as vice-president in waiting she's ..... 
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Going back in time

Fri, Sep 26th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Sarah Palin? Really? I get a regular side dish of news from Colbert Report and Jon Stewart because a little bit of humor makes the nonsense go down so I thought this idea was perhaps a new South Park pilot or something but it seems the GOP means it. ..... 
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Politics and prejudice

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

After watching the Democratic and Republican conventions, I realized that the word impartial does not apply to me. I watched the Democrats with what I hoped was a critical eye and liked what I heard and saw. I watched the Republicans with an attempt ..... 
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It's the economy, stupid

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

There are four months to go in the George Bush debacle, perhaps the worst presidency in the history of our country. At this writing, investment bank Lehman Brothers has filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch has been taken over by Bank of America at di ..... 
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You might as well tell the truth

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Well before the two major political parties held their coronations each party put out ads on radio and television touting their candidates' positions and simultaneously offering information about their opponents' positions and programs. Most of us w ..... 
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