Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ben Stevens cost US a lot for his father to try groom

In a recent article, I mentioned the concept of "the ends justify the means." I remember learning this concept in high school during the height of the Cold War.

It's sunset for the way Alaska State government has operated the last couple of decades.

It was used strictly in association with the Communist ideology. Why is it so commonly seen poking it's ugly head up around here then? It's the antithesis of free enterprise and it is why Johnny can't read, the deficit is so large, etc. It's pure self-centeredness by politicians and others in power. You want change? elect people that have a history of unselfishness. Campaign promises? Fugetabowdit.

A lot of us are relieved that we don't have to put up with the Ben Stevens brand of politics any longer. As Peggy Noonan says, "If he pierced his ears, gravy would come out." We just have to be more vigilant. As everyone knows, one rat can do a lot of damage. Please don't send a rat from your district to Juneau.

The only difference between our Cold War nemesis and us it seems is that the State built the hunting lodges for their favored henchmen to entertain ideas for legislation with, but both systems seem to be geared to stifle free enterprise and individual initiative. The first-mentioned system did it from top to bottom. The other just in select, high profit margin industries like resource extraction (and Internet services). You can flip all the hamburgers you want, they don't care.

Here's a real Stevens "the ends justify the means" letter I got recently from a reader.

"Good Morning John,

The news that one of the Generals of Fish Rationalization has fallen is great news and might be a very important sign that the needs of a greedy few don't outweigh the rest of Alaska. Like many stories about Alaska's ethically challenged Father and Son team of corruption, the reason for dropping out of the Senate race given by Ben is questionable. Considering the forthcoming scandals; regarding Adak, taking unreported stock options from Enstar while he was supposedly representing all Alaskans' interest in a fair gas pipeline bill, are we now to believe that a few weeks after filing to run, he has decided that 120 days is too much time away from his children? What about other unreported stock options and cash bonuses? Are they that big that it will shock people into action?
Or is it after numerous (pitifully small) fines for willful non-reporting he now realizes it will all unravel? Notice the attempt to bring the kids into it, who can argue with that?

But do not cry for poor Ben, as the headlines of missile launches are all over the news, and as his father says "we will shoot them down." Rest assured he is well taken care of by Aleut Corp's cash cow of leasing dock space, obtained for free from the Navy, back to the Navy's missile radar boat. Seems like the Navy's scrapping of Adak was bad idea. One has to wonder, when they were building this huge boat many years ago, where was it going to go?

Ted is Alaska's "smartest" senator; supposedly a leading visionary of defense issues, and advocate of big weapons systems, large defense contracts, missile launching in Kodiak, moving Coast Guard from Seattle, and of course the big base improvements in Alaska. (ex: Ted wrote letters to Generals threatening them if they stopped using his then-partner John Rubieni on a $400,000,000 base renovation in Anchorage.) So why did he let Adak be shut down without a word? Why did we not hear of Ted putting on his Hulk tie to stop the Navy's closing a $3,000,000,000 base? Is it that if his son is going to profit, then anything or any behavior is acceptable? Even if it means destroying 3 billion dollars of tax payers' toil, while putting Alaska and the rest of the country at risk?

To be fair, I looked hard for news about Ted Stevens making a case against closing this base, all over the net, back newspapers, etc, and all I could find was his stance against bases closing in Dillingham, Fairbanks, Anchorage, etc, not a peep about Adak (except for his involvement in changing the laws to give fish to his son's company in Adak, beneficiaries of the closed base.) Has the world suddenly changed? Do missiles now have different ways of flying without following Laws of Physics? Did Ted think North Korea was going to change into a friendly country?

One has to wonder, after his asinine speech about the changes needed to the Internet, what exactly Ted knows. I do know that he knows a lot more about the Internet than he does about the Fishing Industry, which isn't much.

The Internet, fishing Ratz and Ted Stevens actually have more linkages than you might think. Ted claimed big problems in the fishing industry which did not exist, which he had to solve by turning the free enterprise system upside down, and giving the rights to own fish to a billion dollar company that flew him and his family around in a Falcon jet and had his son Ben on the dole. Now we find him claiming that "the internet tubes are clogged up." And although the access to high speed web is rapidly getting better just about everwhere, without goverment inteference, this is all going to hell if Ted does not change the laws to allow his Comcast buddy to start charging for services that should be free. Maybe the internet is just fine, and maybe what changed is that Comcast's Mr. Roberts is now flying him around in a Falcon Jet for the Ted Stevens Foundation. Just like last years' big event at El Capitan Lodge in Southeast Alaska where countless CEO's of only the biggest companies showed up to "honor" Ted.
I guess some qualty time fishing with Roberts allowed him to explain "clogged tubes." Chuck Bundrant of Trident Seafoods [$700,000,000 annual sales] was also there with his Falcon 50 jet, but I guess Comcast [$5,600,000,000 sales in 2005 & profits up 64%] was much fancier. Comcast also has a Gulfstream IV and a nice Beaver on floats.

When a bully like Ted can hold kangaroo court hearings with hand-picked guests, with carefully predetermined testimony, he can and has created "problems" that he then solves by middle-of-the night, non-debated changes in laws which rip at the very core of being an Alaskan. Fortunately it is a different world where Ted has to stand up in front of his colleagues, and in front of the public, and try to explain these non-existent problems. Imagine the damage he has done in 20 years of addressing the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, cloaking his statements with double talk about the harm the fish resource will sustain if such and such doesn't happen. Can he now do that with people who use the internet? I don't know a single person who believes that an email (or an "internet" to use his words) will be delayed because unrelated internet users are downloading a movie.

His son is gone, let's retire this guy too."