Sarah’s Golden Summit

sarah_palin_gunBy Karla Fetrow

All That Glitters

Well, she did it.  The woman from Alaska who stole the attention of America with a bid for the Vice-Presidency, has once again turned the media lights and cameras her way with a book mainly produced by a ghost writer, but already destined to become a best seller.  While she enlightens the world with such statements as, “if God didn’t want us to eat animals, He wouldn’t have made them out of meat”, and assures the public she prays for her grandson, Levi Johnston, who has also found ample means of capitalizing on celebrity worship, the American viewers forget for awhile their common struggle to overcome a widening recession, and unite in their fascination; whether it be negative or positive; for Sarah Palin.  Not even Ted Stevens, who was a major influence in the White House for over fifty years, engineered the proposal to make Alaska a state, heralded in the pipeline, and was the Senate Majority leader for over twenty years, has drawn as much attention as an Alaskan figure, as ex-governor Palin.  Now, with her photo in every newspaper and magazine, tweaked into every talk show on the air waves, she has even taken the spotlight away from President Obama.

This must make Sarah giddy with joy.  Although she refuses any interviews with people like David Letterman, whose ample wit would expose her limited education and intelligence equivalent, she still hopes they will continue to talk about her as it will promote her book.  Sarah is all about promotion.  Her worthy causes include a return to Christian values found only in the same unwritten dogma of social elitism that provoked the Crusades and the great witch hunts, raising capital for attorney fees to defend herself against ethic complaints, and to rigorously defend the rights of large scale mining operations.  She is openly critical of Obama, using emotionally based rhetoric to rally people to her side, instead of taking an objective view of the problems involved and how we are to resolve them.  While still acting governor, she refused the incentive funds for green development, defiantly telling Obama Alaska had plenty of money of its own, and reassuring the anxious public who still had their jobs but whose incomes no longer had the same buying power, that Obama’s package was way too restrictive.  This was to say, the package was for the development of renewable resources, something Sarah apparently doesn’t have much expertise in.  While throwing her weight around with the oil and natural gas companies, she turned down a proposal for a hydro-electric plant because it might disturb the mosquito beds. Trampling on Obama’s initial health care proposal as a “killing machine”without offering any real solutions of her own, she elevated suspicion and distrust in a public still reeling under the deflated balloon of US economics.

According to David Bauder of the Anchorage Daily News, the former Alaska governor said she’d rate President Barack Obama’s performance a 4 out of 10. She criticized him for his handling of the economy and for “dithering” on national security questions.  When one considers that during her tenure as governor, she hacked away at crucial social programs, fish hatchery funds, and hydro-electric projects while favoring expenditures in the same type of wild real estate development she had exhibited as the mayor of Wasilla, leaving the citizens of Alaska with such an expensive cost of living energy debt, they were each given a four hundred dollar cash bonus to relieve the burden, and openly admits she supported the first bail-out, one has to wonder just how much understanding she has of economics.  She has learned from her mistakes however, or so she assures us.

On an even deeper level, one has to wonder how a woman whose only comprehension of International affairs is a country she had assumed she could see from her back door, although Wasilla is quite a few hundred miles away from Nome; the only mainland town in Alaska that has a possibility of glimpsing Russia on a very cold, clear day.  And Canada, a country whose Northern territories have more influence on the cultural aspects of Alaska than the Continental United States.  While Sarah shines in the celebrity spot lights, concerned only with what she can do next to impress the media, President Obama has been touring the Mid-Eastern Nations, mending some very estranged relationships.obama-friends-415x2752

Global Affairs at Stake

Nothing is better for National Security than good International relationships, and according to the November 17, 2009 editorial of the Kahleej Times, Obama is doing an excellent job.  He stunned his Chinese hosts  when he turned a visit to the Shanghai University into an impromptu, US-style town hall meeting and question-and-answer session, establishing immediate rapport with Chinese students.  He struck an additional chord with the people when he talked about respect for other cultures, saying no country should impose its system of governance on another.

According to the editorial, “Obama visits China at a time when Beijing’s stock has gone up in all areas. In fact, China has perhaps never been in a better and stronger position in its entire history.  It’s seen as the next superpower and is widely respected around the world for growing economic clout and its non-interfering foreign policy.  And China holds trillions of dollars in the US bonds, having the sole superpower and the world’s biggest economy where it wants – in its debt, literally! In direct contrast, America’s stock has plummeted around the world largely thanks to its disastrous foreign policy and its meddling in other countries’ affairs.  Under Obama’s predecessor, Bush, things got only worse with the US invading Afghanistan and Iraq and its so-called war on terror and blind support of Israel, antagonizing the Arabs and Muslims and rest of the world.”

Also, according to the Kahleej, Obama has become the first US leader to engage Burmese junta. Meeting Prime Minister Thein Sein, the highest-level US-Myanmar contact in half a century, on the sidelines of APEC summit in Singapore, Obama directly appealed to the junta for the release of Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

While Sarah Palin basks in the eternal glory of celebrity sunshine, President Obama is on a journey to face the greatest problems the world has seen since the turn of the twentieth century.  The big question that hasn’t been resolved within the summit meetings, is what kind of value should be used to measure world currency?  Real estate agents painfully admit they speculated on a housing market until the prices shot unrealistically out of the range for buyers’ to pay back. Manufacturers just as painfully acknowledge that their supply has out-stripped the demand.  What is left?

Intellectual property is apparently of very little value.  Icelandic research company deCODE genetics Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States on Tuesday to facilitate the sale of its assets, the company announced.  The company was an attempt to trace the human genome for inherited diseases and identify their treatments.  Although its research is incomplete, they have hopes that someone will be willing to take the company over; if not for a profit making venture, at least for the contributions to science their discoveries would make.

The Palin Touch

While the value of the dollar is being weighed on the world market, its decreasing value is reflected in the gold market.  The price of gold backed by American currency is now at nearly $1,100 an ounce.  This has caused an epidemic of mining operations, churning out more gold than has been produced by gold fever since 1916.  Last year’s gold production hit a record 800,00 ounces.

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According to the Anchorage Daily News, this certainly does effect Alaska.  Investors, mainly outside Alaska, are bankrolling drill projects all over the state, hoping to build modern mines out of some of the state’s historic gold fields.

The increased profit from high gold prices also is enabling mines such as Fairbanks’ Fort Knox, which opened in 1997 and employs about 480 people, to invest large sums to extend their life spans.

Today, most of Alaska’s gold is extracted from a handful of big mines rather than from stream beds and the old-fashioned underground mine shafts of the past.

“We now have two large gold mines operating. We’ve never had that before,” said Steve Borell, executive director of the Alaska Miners Association. He was referring to the open-pit Fort Knox mine and the underground Pogo mine near Delta Junction.

Together, those two mines were responsible for 84 percent of the gold produced in Alaska last year. Overall, gold production from Alaska’s major mines rose nearly 11 percent last year.

Has the Midas touch affected Alaska?  Actually, this was the Palin touch.  One of her last acts before abandoning her governorship for writing,  was to shoot down the Clean Water Act that discourages large mining operations because of the open leech fields.  This left an ability for large mines, that had been as successfully detoured as much in previous years by environmental efforts to keep water sheds clean as low gold prices, to expand the size of their operations.

The Fort Knox gold mine opened 12 years ago when gold prices were less than one-third of their current level.  The mine recently spent millions of dollars to build a so-called heap-leach pad, which will use cyanide to extract gold from lower-grade rock. The mine is also getting ready to increase the depth of its open pit. With the new leach pad, which is beginning production this week, the mine could keep running past its previous closure date of 2019, said Delbert Parr, the mine’s environmental manager.  None of the mines combined, however, would create as massive an imprint on Alaska’s environment as the proposed Pebbles project, which got its foot in the door through Palin’s invitation.

While gold miners revel in the deflated dollar, expanding their plans for increased open pit mining and their accompanying leech fields, the fishing industry is fighting back.  The battle has been taken into some of Seattle’s finest restaurants. The establishments featuring wild Alaska salmon on their menus, dished it up recently with warnings about the future of Bristol Bay salmon if the copper, gold and molybdenum Pebble’s mine is authorized and built in southwest Alaska.

One of the Pebble Mine’s most prominent supporters over the weekend called for a boycott of the restaurants taking part in Trout Unlimited’s Savor Bristol Bay campaign.

Gail Phillips, the president of Truth about Pebble, a group of mine supporters, sent out her appeal for a boycott via e-mail to her “family and friends” — including the chefs — following an Associated Press story featuring chef Kevin Davis at the Steelhead Diner and chef Seth Caswell at Emmer & Rye. The chefs are among those participating in the Trout Unlimited campaign.

The e-mail from Phillips, also a former Alaska state legislator, prompted food blogger Ronald Holden — Seattle’s Global Gourmet — to ask a question Monday.

“Seriously, Ms. Phillips, are you nuts?” Holden asked on two blogs, including his own.

“Every single visitor and every single local knows Seattle is famous for salmon,” Holden responded to Phillips. “Like it or leave it, salmon is at the heart of Seattle’s restaurant economy.”
What the World Needs Now

world hunger

Food is at the heart of all economy.  While the miners bankroll on the gold train, freely admitting that their good fortune will last only as long as the dollar is weak, the global summit on hunger wrings its hands as it realizes a food shortage that could leave as many as 470 million of the world population dying of famine next year.  It looks at the limited availability of arable land and clean water, stating nothing can be more important than maintaining the food chain.

Sarah Palin offered out Alaska like a sacrificial lamb on the table of artificial wealth; one entirely absorbed with the extraction of minerals and stones for personal gain.  Yet, what the world needs most would be destroyed by her Midas touch; healthy foods and clean water, something Alaska, along with most of the northern rim, sparsely populated areas is currently able to provide.  President Obama is on a tour of some of the world’s most needy countries; war torn and deprived of adequate food and water sources for a long time.  He is on a tour of the devastation created by the global economic collapse.  He has taken that journey with a mind that hasn’t reached an assumption that it knows all the answers, the first priority of any research academician.  He’s willing to open the doors of communication and listen to opposing views.  It makes more sense to follow the person we have chosen as our leader into this unknown future of global values and diplomatic relations than follow someone who has already proven that she believes the answer lies in the destruction of our renewable resources

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http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=&section=editorial&xfile=data/editorial/2009/November/editorial_November33.xml

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=&section=editorial&xfile=data/editorial/2009/November/editorial_November33.xml

http://www.adn.com/money/industries/mining/story/1005008.html

http://www.adn.com/money/industries/mining/story/1015903.html

About karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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15 Comments on “Sarah’s Golden Summit”

  1. wow, what a wonderfully written piece … I loved the depth of the connections that have to be considered when thinking about any complex problem, not that Sarah is a complex anything, but this writing shows how the dots have to be connected to get anywhere when talking about the concerns the world faces .. thanks !!

  2. Now we’ve all just learned why Sarah quit her position. She couldn’t handle the real responsibilities associated with running a state. It’s quite easy to criticize the President; especially now that she’s relieved herself of any governmental decisions of which a comparison in effort and moral contribution could have been made. Well at least she can take advantage of the situation and create a brand name for “Sarah Palin”. It almost seems as though she’s attempting to redeem herself for all of the past insults she’s encountered. You know, a chance to mass market herself and eradicate any thoughts of ever being a witless twit. It’s a shame that her pretty smile wasn’t enough to make all the boo-boos go away.

  3. Maya, it’s wonderful to hear from you again. Sarah Palin abandoned any pretense of real governorship when she ran for vice-president. At the time she took up the challenge, there were already some major upsets over some of the assignments she made within the law enforcement; including the chief of police for Anchorage, and the demotion of a popular Matanuska Valley state trooper. When her actions caused an enormous furrow, and she was accused of using prejudice and favoritism in her decisions, instead of meeting the challenge of negotiating a fair hearing that would take all viewpoints into consideration, she took a my way or the highway attitude, ran off to join McCain’s band wagon, and left the State with no choice but to file an ethics complaint. Rather than face charges once she returned, she chose to step down, stating it cost her too much in lawyer fees and it was consuming too much of her life.

    Sarah looks for the easy way, not the best way. What Obama is trying to do is not easy. He has taken over the reins at a time when our economy has already been destroyed, when foreign relations have been destroyed, when paranoia, distrust and dissatisfaction is simmering in every alley, every bus station, every work place, every street corner. The people of Alaska have breathed pretty easily over some of his decision making and are patient enough to wait and see if other promises show potential of developing. Obama has reigned in federal interference with State affairs. He has vetoed any further plans for the development of the Northwest Passage until a more comprehensive environmental impact report has been made. He has encouraged the development of our renewable resources, which as given the people high hopes as we have abundant water, wind, and even the ability to tap geo-thermal energy. I spend a lot of time studying Iceland as they have historically used their renewable resources so well; resources that are much the same as Alaska’s. Alaska’s future, along with the rest of the world, lies in protecting our natural renewable resources, not in glutting our minerals, spoiling our land and polluting our waters.

    Rich, from the top of the world, it’s like being one of the fringe ends of a spider web that weaves its silky maze to the center. The dots are connected from the circumference, traveling inwards, plaiting over each other, tangling flies and other unwary creatures, while the spider itself; the master of this web; remains hidden.

  4. “Sarah looks for the easy way, not the best way” This sentance pretty much sums it up for me. She behaves like the archetype of the “popular girl” in High School, giving no care to what it takes to stay on top or who she tramples to stay there.

  5. “Her worthy causes include a return to Christian values found only in the same unwritten dogma of social elitism that provoked the Crusades and the great witch hunts….”

    Karla, from her Fundamentalist stand on religion to her clueless lack of understanding regarding any form of foreign policy and her dismal understanding of history, Sarah Palin is, by any yardstick, irrelevant.

    In the era of Kennedy, the intellectuals of America would have rapidly consigned this woman to the File 13 of bad humor; not because she was female – but because she is a MORON.

    Today, however, genuine intellectuals (Obama is likely among their number) are frowned upon; even jeered. Kennedy, as we all know, fared no better (the “Wanted for Treason” posters popping up in Dallas ahead of his fateful visit).

    We live in an age where morons are revered for their antihero status; rather than aspire to greatness, Americans seem hell-bent to bring everyone down to their own institutionalized mediocrity.

    Palin is just the cheerleader and calendar-girl for this bunch; assault rifle in hand, she flaunts her American-flag bikini and flashes her idiot-grin; Cletus and DaisyMae cheer, and stand in line to have her scribble an autograph on a book which will be on Ebay in a year to pay the grocery tab.

    That it won’t fetch a fraction of the $25.00 they paid is a foregone conclusion.

    In that, we have a microcosm of America — sold down the river by morons, with the leavings picked over by foreign countries at a trifle of what they were once worth.

    –Will

  6. What I see in this article is not one but two examples of the weakness exemplified in the United State’s present situation: the obvious one being the destruction of our natural resources by the likes of Palin and her cronies, but there’s also the subtle one in the government’s relationship with the Chinese – they own much of this nation’s debt due in large part to the bailouts the Bush and Obama administrations (the so-called “stimulous package” didn’t pay for itself, you know…).

    Both sets of politicals are selling out this nation’s long-term best interests – the only question is… who will be the ones to profit from the disastrous policies they cram down our throats?

  7. what a great picture from someone in a position to know. Ms. Palin is certainly not one of Alaska’s greatest exports, and that is putting it mildly….. She is, without question, deeply flawed.

  8. Couldn’t be more impressed with this website and the great content. Please keep up the good work. Good, informative sites are getting harder and harder to find.

  9. That is really insightful. It provided me some ideas and I’ll be writing them on my blog shortly. I’m bookmarking your blog and I’ll be back. Thank you again!

  10. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post

  11. Definitely concur with what you stated. Your explanation was certainly the easiest to understand. I tell you, I usually get irked when folks discuss issues that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail correct on the head and explained out everything without having complication. Perhaps, individuals can take a signal. Will most likely be back to get a lot more. Thanks

  12. The Old Guard republicans? Who are THEY? Tolerated Reagan and Palin ?!?! C’mon what does THAT mean? Old Guards rnniung Independents? Isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron? What have They Given Us ?? Who is US??? Frankly, the Old Guard allowed us to Tolerate a biased and non productive system that costs taxpayers huge amounts of money.. .money that They are not willing to take the responsability to pay. You really need to find some better way to express yourself. Baiting with meaningless rhetoric is not very productive, and frankly, its getting old.

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