AK Voices: Geoff Kennedy

Geoff Kennedy lives in Anchorage.

Nineteen signs you are an anti-Semite - 2/7/2014 4:18 pm

Let's all sing together: George Zimmerman Bridge, George Zimmerman Zimmerman Bridge, etc. - 1/30/2014 9:45 pm

There you go again, and again - 1/22/2014 12:34 am

Whining "victims," anyone? - 1/11/2014 10:19 pm

Sanctions, anyone? - 12/14/2013 11:59 pm

Irony, anyone? - 11/29/2013 11:28 am

Polo (and for that matter dressage), anyone? - 11/18/2013 9:48 pm

A belated Happy Anniversary, Mr. Fortunate Eagle - 10/14/2013 9:57 pm

Nineteen signs you are an anti-Semite

A while back, columnist Charles Krauthammer resorted to the anti-Semite card. He accused those of us who oppose handouts to Israel of racial prejudice. It’s a lot easier to indulge in the ad hominem fallacy than to try to defend that country’s attacks on human rights.

In response, my friend Hajj and I decided to have fun spoofing the paranoia of the extreme Zionists and their sense of entitlement with these 19 signs you're anti-Semitic:

You’re “mean-spirited” enough to mention that others besides Jews have suffered persecution.

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Let's all sing together: George Zimmerman Bridge, George Zimmerman Zimmerman Bridge, etc.

I wonder if those folks at the New York—New Jersey Port Authority are taking steps to avoid another massive traffic jam on Super Bowl Sunday.

I sure hope enough New York politicians have endorsed the Jersey governor so traffic doesn’t get clogged all the way to Yonkers. But how about after the game? Have Port Authority officials figured out if there are enough New Jersey endorsements to enable New Yorkers to get back home before Tuesday?

As an Alaskan of nearly a half century, I’m entitled to tell others how to run their own states. So here goes:

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There you go again, and again

I’ve been doing my Tevya self-dialog for the past couple of days. Just when I thought I would go ahead and do something, like the “Fiddler on the Roof” character, I would remind myself “On the other hand.”

But the caption over the sunset photo on the first page of Tuesday’s paper convinced me to write this essay.

As it has done for too many years for me to count, this newspaper commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday by reprinting the final paragraphs of his speech about his dream.

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Whining "victims," anyone?

This past week must have been National Victims Week.

First New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie posed as the victim of Bridgegate. Those commuters, emergency vehicle drivers and that 91-year-old woman on the way to a hospital who were stuck in traffic for hours, didn’t show enough compassion for the governor to suit pore ol’ Chris.

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Sanctions, anyone?

I’m outraged that the president used Nelson Mandela’s funeral to shake hands with a notorious international war criminal.

What message is Pres. Raul Castro sending to the Cuban people? Does his handshake really mean he approves of Barack Obama’s “death panels” that send drones to kill innocent children—one of them American—in the Middle East while Obama's government spies on the American people and the rest of the world?

Here’s my question: Does Cuba deserve sanctions for Pres. Castro’s tacit approval of Obama’s crimes?

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Irony, anyone?

A couple of weeks ago, someone alerted me to a Richard Cohen column arguing that gagging at the sight of an interracial couple wasn’t racist, but merely acting according to conservative tradition.

I found that completely weird. How can being upset merely at the color of a person’s skin be anything but racist? Isn’t Cohen in effect accusing conservatives of having a tradition of racism? How in tarnation is he defending conservatives? Or is he saying racism isn’t racism? Makes no sense to me.

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Polo (and for that matter dressage), anyone?

Tennis shmenis.

We already have tennis courts in town, some of them conveniently on the Park Strip. What we are really missing are polo fields.

Yeah, I know polo players are a distinct minority, probably less than 1 % of the Anchorage population. But that’s no reason to discriminate against oppressed polo-less minorities.

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A belated Happy Anniversary, Mr. Fortunate Eagle

This essay is 20 days too late. I should have posted it on September 24, but I procrastinated because I was unsure of the exact date of the discovery of Europe. I read various accounts of the publicity stunt perpetrated by the man then known as Adam Nordwall who stuck his spear into the tarmac at the international airport in Rome and claimed it for an American tribe.

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Arbitrarily-concocted groups don't kill people; people kill people.

My friend recently sent me the following e-mail:

“46 year-old Michael Dunn shoots 17 year-old Jordan Davis to death in a convenience store parking lot in Jacksonville, FL because he didn't like the loud "rap music" Davis and his friends were playing in their van, and has claimed "self-defense".

White Americans believe they have inherited the founding fathers' love of "freedom", but none of their love for white supremacy. As long as this belief remains prevalent to where it guides public policy, incidents like the above will keep happening.”

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Time to get real about race

Just when I thought I had said everything I wanted to say about racial attitudes in my country, our local paper and the national news media continues to obsess about the Zimmerman trial.

But now I realize it’s time to dispel some of the false assumptions and outright lies about racial attitudes in this country. So, I will iterate and in some cases reiterate what I have said before. I will use this essay to refute some of widely-accepted misconceptions if not lies about race:

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Standing my ground

I rarely write a whole column in response to a single letter to the editor. But a recent letter from Eagle River provided me with so many nuggets, I yielded to temptation. The letter writer commenting about the George Zimmerman fiasco wonders “if all this furor would take place if the race issues were reversed.”

Wonder no more. I remember two racial incidents in South Central Alaska a while ago.

1. A young black man in Muldoon shoots a white supermarket employee who accuses him of shoplifting.

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Today’s a good day to declare our independence.

Over the years I have found more and more how allegiance to Israel drives our foreign policy. Last year both parties argued over which one was more loyal to Israel. Neither even questioned the extent to which our nation’s capital has become in the words of one wag, “Israeli-occupied Washington, D.C.”

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Minshall promises never to forget

I continue participating in this series in part to challenge the assumption that political, economic and military power entitles some countries, some corporations and some people to double standards and special privileges. In 1945, German soldiers were not tried for war crimes in occupied countries in their own country by German military tribunals. So I fail to understand why Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is not standing trial in an Afghanistan court by Afghan judges and an Afghan jury.

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Minshall promises never to forget

I continue participating in this series in part to challenge the assumption that political, economic and military power entitles some countries, some corporations and some people to double standards and special privileges. In 1945, German soldiers were not tried for war crimes in occupied countries in their own country by German military tribunals. So I fail to understand why Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is not standing trial in an Afghanistan court by Afghan judges and an Afghan jury.

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Written without authorization of the Israeli government

On the 46th anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty, I find it interesting to review the excuses offered on these cyberpages for Israel’s killing 34 crewmen, wounding over 170 US sailors, and strafing the wounded in their stretchers and on their lifeboats.

The excuses send a curious message—that getting military handouts from the US entitles foreign countries to slaughter Americans and require unquestioning obedience from the taxpayers who finance the handouts.

Consider these arguments:

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Gitmo or drones?

Obama blew it.

Faced with criticism over Bengazigate, IRSgate and Reportergate, the president wimped out and went on the defensive.

Look, we’re at war. This is no time to play nicey-nice with the bad guys. As we learned back in 2003, people who criticize the president are traitors; they give aid and comfort to the enemy. It’s time to disregard the Marquis of Queensbury rules, take off the gloves and stop just slapping wrists.

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Hijabs don't kill people; people kill people

A recent Paul Jenkins column apparently illustrates an obvious truism: A major problem with contemporary satire is that, as a friend and former colleague once pointed out, truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.

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How do you say "Go ahead; make my day" in Arabic?

Readers know that the Fox commentators are my role models. So when one of them pointed out that slavery would have ended a lot earlier than it did if slaves had had access to guns, I became inspired.

This month, an independent commission of Republicans and Democrats found that torture not only doesn’t work because people tortured will say anything to stop being tortured, but also violates the principles and values we uphold as Americans.

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Let's privatize oil money in Alaska

One of my personal gripes against corporate welfare is the inefficient way of administering it.

I take a rather conservative position on corporate welfare. Once we accept the premise that corporations deserve welfare more than poor people because corporations pay the politicians more, then it’s really about the best way of transferring wealth from you to the corporations.

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Wet or dry--maybe it's time we had each other's backs

“Do you know what we call illegal aliens in your country?” asked a Honduran man in Spanish in New York in 1974.

Then he answered his own question:

“Espaldas mojadas,” the literal English translation of which is “wet backs.”

A year earlier at the University of New Mexico, a Mormon classmate had asked me if Eskimos practice polygamy.

A dear Fairbanks friend, a Mescalero Apache civil rights activist married to an Inupiaq woman, once dropped the dreaded n-word on me.

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