PAC Man: Joe Miller Redux


Another scary Hallowe’en story: Joe Miller, unindicted criminal, defeated senatorial candidate and chronic resumé exaggerator reports he is “presently chairman of the Western Representation PAC, Restoring Liberty Alaska PAC and Restoring Liberty Action Committee.” So WC will call him PAC Man for short. For those who are new to these events, Joe Miller has a footnote in Alaska history as…

Mikhal’s Story: Chapter 3


A few years ago, WC completed a first draft of a novella. It’s not all that good, and publishers have not been leaping at the opportunity to buy it. But it’s likely good enough to blog… So WC will inflict his fiction – well, his overt fiction – on his long-suffering readers. Chapters will posted…

Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal


The Mob, a British film production company, has made three of Terry Pratchett’s novels into movies now: Hogfather (Amazon link), The Color of Magic/The Light Fantastic (Amazon link) and now Going Postal (Amazon link). With each movie, they do a better job of capturing the essence of a Pratchett novel. Going Postal comes very close…

Leucistic Vole – Update


Mrs. WC successfully live-trapped one of the white Red-backed Voles in our yard for the University of Alaska Museum of the North. So he is going to live at the University of Alaska, where his DNA will be studied. Voles don’t live very long – 18-24 months – but there’s a good chance this fellow…

Review: Te Vaka


Fairbanks Concert Association presented some serious world music Wednesday night with a concert by Te Vaka, which translates as “The Canoe” in Polynesian. It’s hard to describe the music, partly because it is eclectic and partly because it includes a kind of pop-Polynesian fusion that is certainly unique in WC’s experience. Most of the band…

Book Review: Snuff, by Terry Pratchett


Snuff, Terry Pratchett ISBN 978-0-06-201184-8, Harper 2011 Sir Terry, a few years ago, was diagnosed as suffering from posterior cortical atrophy, a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease. It has affected his ability to type but not, WC is very pleased to report, his ability to craft a fine novel. He dictates now, and uses an assistant…

A Few Words About One of WC’s Heroes


As WC’s patient readers know, WC is a serious fan of Sir Terry Pratchett. He’s the author of 50 books – 39 Discworld novels – and among British authors, only what’s her name, the lady that uses initials instead of her name, has sold more books. WC has attended a Pratchett reading, shaken the master’s…

Perspective


While charts can be deceptive, they can also communicate and explain more effectively than columns of numbers ever can. At a time when a certain kind of American citizen wants to demonize all Muslims because of the actions of al Qaeda, and a certain kind of Muslim wants to demonize all Christians because of the…

Paying Part of the Price: Citigroup


The New York Times reports that  Citigroup has agreed to pay a civil fine of $285 million to settle a civil fraud complaint. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Citigroup, claiming that Citigroup misled investors in a $1 billion derivatives deal involving bundled housing mortgages, then bet against those investors as the housing market began to crash. The $285…

Mikhal’s Story: Chapter 2


A few years ago, WC completed a first draft of a novella. It’s not all that good, and publishers have not been leaping at the opportunity to buy it. But it’s likely good enough to blog… So WC will inflict his fiction – well, his overt fiction – on his long-suffering readers. Chapters will posted…

Why WC Is Proud of President Obama


WC has criticized President Obama from time to time because no president of the United States is ever above criticism. If you examine his actual record, as opposed to the mischaracterizations, lies, distortions, hyperbole and – frankly – racism from the right, it’s a pretty remarkable set of achievements in very difficult times. The truth…

Occupy Wall Street Explained


It turns out Calvin and Hobbes explained the Occupy Wall Street movement years ago, back on April 4, 1993. WC won’t post the cartoon that does the job, but here’s a link to it. If Bill Watterson or his publisher force Sly Oyster to take the cartoon down, you can find it in Volume 3…

Bills of Attainder: The Son of Anwar al Awlaki


Readers may recall that WC expressed some reservations about the United States’ decision to assassinate American citizen Anwar al Awlaki, rather than capture him and bring him back to the U.S. for trial. Assassinating United States citizens is a bad idea, and the argument that this one was a Very Bad Dude is a classic…

Kott Got Caught; Abhoring Kohring


The News-Miner reports that felons and former legislators Pete Kott and Vic Kohring will cop a plea to one felony count each. All the others will be dismissed. They won’t serve any additional time; each will have some probation. There may be modest fines. U.S. District Judge Beistline doesn’t have to accept the pleas, but it would be…