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January 25, 2006

By Terry Haines - Alaska's senior U.S Senator, Ted Stevens, noted recently that criticisms leveled at him regarding "unethical" use of his public office for the benefit of pals like Exxon, Boeing, and Trident Seafoods made it harder for him to tote buckets of money home to Alaska.

"If I'm corrupt, which I don't think I am, then I'm not going to be listened to, all right? And that sort of thing reflects back on us," he said. "It's the state that gets hurt in the long run as long as they continue to attack us."

By us, he is apparently including his son, coincidentally president of Alaska's Senate, who has endured harsh criticisms from stiff necked moralists for similar reasons. Sure Ben Stevens gets millions of dollars in consulting fees and secret sweetheart deals to funnel federal funds from father. But that's not immorality. That's called vertical integration. It is time for all of us to get with the new reality. Corporate reality. Its corporations we have to thank for everything we love to consume, and if they are finally demanding the reins of government, God bless them!

Just ask yourself: how can Nike afford to bring such wonderful celebrities to our televisions to endorse their foot liberating products, and still only charge fifty dollars per shoe? By offering gainful employment to little brown Balinese children. By filling their long empty hours with honest labor, and in this way keeping them off the streets, away from needles and street gangs and child prostitution, all for pennies per hour! It's the new global reality.

Likewise, old fashioned ideas about torture and preserving our natural environment could use a little redefinition of terms. The extraction of information and energy are vital to our national interests. If the preservation of our SUVs and our security means pumping the air full of the incinerated contents of every grease filled hole on earth and poking white hot pokers into the eyes of big brown Balinese adults, then so be it, and lets get on with it! Enough of this hand wringing and self loathing in the name of "human rights" and "ethical behavior". Our President, a High Priest of sliding scale morality, has recently championed secret torture prisons and unwarranted wire taps, and rightly so. Instead of all this puffed up outrage America should be saying "Hey- Whatever works!" If you don't want to be torture prisoned or wire tapped, then keep your mouth shut and your nose clean. Especially you brown people.

Recently three members the Advisory Panel for our North Pacific Fisheries Management Council were tossed off the panel and onto their sympathetic ears. It is no coincidence that these three were vocally concerned about how "fisheries rationalization" would devastate coastal communities. I was present when the Chair of the Council publicly berated the Chair of the Advisory Panel for allowing such sentimental prattling to slow the rationalization process.

Damn straight! So what if the bloated city and borough governments of our fishing towns will no longer have a tax base? Who are they building schools and roads for anyway? Rationalization means this guy owns the fish and that guy owns the factory, forever. They really don't need a town anymore.

The good news is, I hear Nike is interested in making salmon skin shoes.

© AlaskaReport News and Terry Haines

See Terry Haines' Previous Posts Here

Terry Haines is a Kodiak deckhand and representative for Fish Heads, an advocacy group dedicated to preserving the vitality of Alaska's fishing communities. Contact Terry Haines

See Terry Haines' Previous Posts Here
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