Once again we have senator Murkowski talking as though she actually knows about the subject she is addressing. Has she actually had cancer, or other diseases where appetite is affected, and tried marijuana to see if it helps or not? If not, how does she know? And before the “I don’t need to jump off the cliff to know it’s bad” adage, I submit that even though I don’t have diabetes, if someone tells me that insulin helps why should I disbelieve them? Because it’s not addictive? What about the ritilan we give our kids for being overactive (it’s an addictive stimulant), are giving it to them to get high and have a good time. Of course not, and I would get nothing but indignation to make that claim. What about the people who are legally getting oxycontin for terrible pain, are they just trying to get high? Why is the bar set so high for marijuana? No other medicine has to cure the world and make you feel better too in order to pass the test. Nobody is advocating consuming it to figure out the big questions in life; just to relieve certain types of pain, and restore appetite (which, since I have had lymphoma I can say really does help the appetite, whereas the drugs they give you for chemo are certainly on the destructive side).
It’s like the horrible health care law. How dare anyone try to make it easier to get treatment. This is America, by God. We can take care of ourselves, and when it’s time to die we go sit under the tree. That’ what “free” people do. We can suffer with dignity while we throw up and finally end the whole thing with whatever pride we have remaining. People say “I think I’ll have a shot of brandy to warm up.” First of all, it doesn’t warm you up — and you’re just probably trying to find an excuse to get stinkin’ drunk!
I don’t generally vote based on a single-issue, however in this election, that’s is all I need to make my decision. One radio ad in the swarming buzz of political overload rings true. “I trust salmon.” We trust the fish to return annually to provide income and food for the winter. They are the backbone of the Alaskan coastal economy yet, they have no voice of their own in the political process, instead are taken for granted to be there when we need them. Therefore, the fish must rely on us, all those who use the resource for subsistence, sport and commercial, to make this election count.
I am putting my faith in Walker and Mallot to do what is best for the salmon. I trust this bipartisan team is on salmon’s side because they oppose Pebble Mine being built in Bristol Bay, clearly seeing such a project is bad for fishing jobs, bad for Alaska, and threatens a magical and sustaining resource. Walker has also made it clear that he will to listen to the fishermen and appoint a location for the Board of Fish meetings that we can all agree on and participate in.
Gov. Parnell has a different idea about the salmon and Pebble Mine. He has issued countless permits for mine exploration in Bristol Bay and even appointed a former spokesperson from Pebble to be his fisheries advisor, with no fishing experience! Remember his attempt to ‘Silence Alaskans’ by pushing House Bill 77? Now, a recently leaked video shows Parnell helping Northern Dynasty seek new partners after Anglo-America stepped out. That’s not siding with salmon; it’s anti-salmon!
Begich and Sullivan have also faced salmon fueled debates. Recently, they faced off at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, when asked if they supported the development of the Pebble Mine, Begich answered no, while Sullivan’s “I support the process” response got boos. Sullivan has growing laundry list of anti-salmon behavior. As DNR Commissioner he also granted Pebble permit after permit, pushed House Bill 77, and was a key player in the lawsuit against iconic Alaskans Vic Fischer and Bella Hammond. In Washington D.C. he lobbied for GMO salmon (Frankenfish)! That is so anti-salmon, the fish couldn’t find a stinkier flounder to be their representative!
The race for congress is no less polarized when it comes to fish. Forest Dunbar has built his campaign around being a strong opponent of Pebble and vows to undo Young’s measures to promote mining in Bristol Bay. Young has been highly critical of the EPA’s involvement, to the extent of being “embarrassing” at times.
When you’re up to your gills with all the political propaganda you just want to scream, “I’m staying home Tuesday!”, remember, it is up to us to vote for the salmon. If fish could vote, 100 percent of the salmon would vote for Walker, Begich, and Dunbar. They would mark ‘Yes’ on Proposition 4, one more layer of protection for this valuable resource is one small step for man but a giant leap for the fish. We need the salmon; they need us. Please vote.