Friday, August 29, 2008

My take on Governor Sarah Palin

Grace and greetings.

This blog is in response for a couple in Iowa asking for my take on our Governor and now McCain's running mate. I tried to respond to their letter, but for some reason, it kept being denied, so I thought I might as well post it, in case Jim or Pat are still reading my blog.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jim or Pat
To: Ian and Kim MacInnes-Green
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 1:56 PM
Subject: Choice
Hey, you three ---as the only Alaska residents I know, I'd love it if you would share with me your opinion of Sen. McCain's choice of your governor as his running mate. All comments, serious or lighthearted will be appreciated! - Pat

(my reply)

I hope things in Iowa have been drying out, and all is well.

As for Sarah Palin, there is not much I can really tell you. Like Obama, she has been in local government for a while before getting on the "big stage"; a soccer mom who was on city council then mayor of Wasilla, one of the fastest growing cities in Alaska and ran for Governor in 2006. She seems to be a moderate GOP, but with the last election, (last Tuesday), she supported a very contested amendment in favor of the big business of oil and mining. She came in following the corruption of the past Governor, Frank Murkowski. The fall out is happening here in Alaska as top elected GOP State officials are still being investigated and charged. As everybody knows, Senator Ted Stevens will be having his trial in Washington D.C. His son, Ben, is still under investigation for his dealing while head of the state senate. This past month, the first Democrat has been under investigation as well.

Anyway, Sarah promised to come in and clean house, which she seems to be doing. Last month she fired one of her cabinet members without any notice, so there has been a commission to look into the firing. But right now, she seems to be the darling of the GOP without too much history behind her to muddy the waters. The Republicans still feel she is the savior of Alaska politics, at least for the party. She even gave birth to her fifth (or sixth?) child earlier this spring; all her children have names after places in Alaska.

As a moderate, she seems to be able to work both sides of the aisle without too much strong arming through the press. Not sure how she will handle to national spotlight. Just like the Democrats with Obama, the GOP is striking while Palin's ore is hot. Time will tell how far she will go. (But it is nice to know that we will have our Governor back in Juneau come January :-) ).

Hope all is well with you and everybody there. I am still trying to keep my blog going, hopefully I will be adding pictures more often now that we have a digital camera.

Here the cold/flu/respiratory bug is kicking Kim's butt, last night she coughed for close to three hours before she agreed to go back to the "hospital". It was the third time this week she has gone. (The hospital is not known for their advanced medical abilities, anything that requires any real medical attention needs to be sent to Anchorage or Seattle.)

Give my love to all in Columbus Junction. Talk with you later.

Peace and blessings.


First Day Off after coming back to the office

Grace and greetings.

Today is my first day off since returning to the church office. We had a good time off the slope, but still did not get everything done we needed to while in Anchorage; of course we did not realize that until we returned home and started saying, "Oh, we forgot..." Oh well, such is life.

Monday in the office seemed like I was not away at all, received three calls for food, (the Deacons of the church have the only food bank in town), and a request for another funeral. This funeral was expected for a while, as the person had incurable Leukemia, and was not expected to live very long. It was a hard funeral, the person was a few years older than my own daughter, and children about the same age as my grandchildren. Tuesday another death happened in the community, so I will have my 50th funeral tomorrow since arriving on the North Slope, May 2007.

Of course, the big news of the morning is the release from CNN that McCain will pick Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Of course this is news, as the Republicans choosing a woman as VP is pretty historic. The only other Alaska Governor to leave Juneau for Washington D.C. was Wally Hickel to be Nixon's Secretary of Interior; if I remember correctly, he only last two years or so. If the news is true, this will be a historic election regardless of who wins: an African-American President, or a woman Vice President. Personally I would love to see Obama win, but recent Presidential elections have a habit of being questioned on more than one state level, which impacted the national election. We will see...

In other news of our family, our son turned 18 last week and now is registered to vote. (I guess I better get him to sign up with the Select Service as well, but I guess he would only be in harms way if he signed up with the National Guard. Not to make light of our war in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places, but what is the National Guard doing over there in the first place?) On the right is our living room, you can see the decorations and balloons. (This picture is particularly for certain family members who wanted to see pictures in side the house). Yes, our Christmas tree is STILL up; Christmas is a season of the heart, and we have been needing that reminder throughout the past year.
The picture on the left is the table that was set up by our son, with the plastic "blood" filled glasses and the cake with the words of his theme for the past year or so, "Monkeys Rule".
I have a few pictures to share of our trip, but will try and spread those out over other posts.

Peace and blessings.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Coming home to find the real wildlife

Grace and greetings.

We went north to the Denali National Park for a couple of days. The drive was a little longer than I had remembered it, about five hours. But for once, I had planned ahead and we had a hotel reservation waiting for the three of us. The hotel was north of the Park in Healy. I had spent a summer there some odd many years ago working for the Alaska Railroad. Of course, I could not recognize one thing from the time I was there. After driving around a little bit, we returned back to the Park where all the travel agencies had build up the place and many a tourist traps lay about. We found a place to eat dinner then returned to the hotel for the night. 

The next morning, we got up and took a tour of the National Park. There are only certain times and circumstances you can drive your own personal car into the Park. You can drive into the Park if you are staying in one of the several camping spots within the first ten miles; the other way to drive you own car in is to win the annual lottery. For two weeks in September, the Park will pick 40 parties to drive their own car into the Park. So we did not qualify for the car lottery, so we took one of the tours. They have several tour buses leaving throughout the day. There are a couple of tours that only have one or two buses, because they go completely into the farthest part of the Park, a 12 or 15 hour round trip. We took the 8 hour that did not go as far into the Park as I wanted, but I knew that my wife and son would not want to go any longer. 

The buses have a couple of planned rest stops, and will stop for any wild life that is seen along the way. Also, the buses will stop to let people out any where that is open to hike or camp, except in closed off areas due to known wolf dens and other places where the young could be endangered by human contact. The hikers/campers just need to flag down another bus at another time to continue further into the Park or to return. 

For our trip, we saw some caribou, bears and Dahl Sheep for the large animals; saw a few golden eagles and other wild life as well. We ended up on one of the 12 or so days that had actual sunlight for the majority of the day this summer. Headed back to our hotel after dinner and checked out for the drive back to Anchorage. 

Once arriving in Anchorage, we found out that we missed out on the wild life here in Anchorage. A black bear found its way into my parent's garage and the dog treats they keep around for the neighborhood dogs. While reaching for the dog treats on top of the refrigerator, the bear knocked over a jar of beets and splattered beet juice all over, probably scaring the bear out of the garage, with the beet juice bear prints for evidence. Needless to say, the garage door has not been left open for the last few days. 

We have some family gathering for a meal, so I am going to join the fun down stairs...

Peace and blessings.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Out and About

Grace and greetings.

As we are enjoying time on vacation, life continues to happen in the world: the melting ice, Olympics, rain, and even death. There was a man who fell overboard at another village in the North Slope, his 13 year old son dived in to help; it took the Coast Guard three days to find both bodies. I received another phone call yesterday telling me of somebody being sent to the Anchorage hospital, but when I got there, they could not find the person, so I was not able to visit with her or her family. 

Other than that, my wife and I enjoyed two out of three days of sun in Homer and Soldotna. Homer is known for its fishing port, king crab and the Homer Spit. The summer all over Alaska as been a very overcast and wet one, not just in Barrow. Even as I sit here and type this, looking out my mother and step father's window overlooking Anchorage, it is overcast with dark clouds. 

Now that our son has joined us, we will be getting caught up with shopping, (eye glasses for all three; clothes; food, etc), watching movies in theaters, and maybe heading up to Denali Park sometime this week. With the high gas prices and the wet weather, the tourism industry has been down this summer, so we maybe able to get some good deals heading north for a couple of days.

In the meantime, we are enjoying life as it comes, not following any particular script right now, just going with the flow. 

Peace and blessings.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Politics in Full Bloom

Grace and blessings.

We, (my wife and I), have finally made it to Anchorage to start off another part of my vacation. We went to see "Momma Mia" last night, and it was much better than I expected it to be. The music is all written by the writers of ABBA of the '70s and '80s fame. It became a Broadway classic and now is on film. The cast does all their own singing, which surprised me.  If you get a chance to see it, it is a fun movie, and the music will carry you away. 

The blog comment that has been running through my mind the last several days is the emails that I have been receiving at the office. Some are wonderful emails of how God works through our lives, then there are others that make the rounds. Realizing that the presidential elections are this year, politics continue to try and separate one another.  Some of the emails are wonderful statements of how some of the soldiers are being received on their trips home, and on their way back. Whether the soldiers are really being received with applause throughout the airport, I do not know. But their are political statements that are added at the end of the notes, making statements like, "if you support your country, support the soldiers, pass this on. If you do not love your country, just delete this message." The message that is not so subtle, "To be a true American is to believe this way, all others are not true Americans." 

During the 9/11 days and the war that followed, there appeared to be a hijacking of what it means to be a "true patriot", and I believe it is still true today. Of course this is true concerning any war, of any country. One email that I received at the office, the underlining message that I received was: "To be a True Patriot and American, you must be a member of the Conservative Christian movement as well as Republican. We are the TRUE PATRIOTS." I know that the majority of the people do not believe that way, but there are times...

One of the things we all need to remember is that any one political party, any one church, any one country does not have all the answers. When we try to declare that we alone have the truth, the one and only truth, we are farther away from the truth than we want to believe. 

We all like to think that we believe the "right way", vote the "right way", live the "right way".  But when we set ourselves up as the "only way", we are heading to trouble.

Just a quick thought that has been hanging around for a while....

Peace and blessings.