City of Kotzebue News

City of Kotzebue News
Next city council meeting

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Green For Life Season 1 Episode 6


This week Jon and I are joined by Robert Frederiksen, better known as Ravenspeaker! We talk to Ravenspeaker about the importance of storytelling and culture.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Green For Life Season 1 Episode 5


This week Jon and I are joined by Zak Carter from The Free & Equal Foundation, a grassroots organization that runs open presidential debates.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Green For Life Season 1 Episode 1 Robert Sheilds


I return to podcasting to host Green For Life with Jon Olson! For our first episode we're joined by The Chairman of The Green Party of Alaska Robert Sheilds.

Next Sunday, January 13th, The Green Party of Alaska will hold its first general assembly meeting of the year. Anyone interested in being involved be sure to check back on this website for more details.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

A call for Greens to work together

Last Sunday on November 12th I participated in my first Green Party meetings in a long time, and my first two as an office holder. I found myself being volunteered into the position of treasurer of the state party. If you find yourself asking the question which green party in Alaska I’m referring to then you know all too well about the nonsensical drama that has surrounded The Green Party of The United States. Most people and voters don’t dabble into this party’s inner drama, and look for good candidates to vote for by the time election season rolls along.

Tonight I look forward to going to a city council meeting where important topics like The Ambler Road Project is going to be brought up. Before that, I’m going to participate in a Green Resistance meeting, with the discussion being around The Green Party’s new candidate for President of The United States, Dr. Jill Stein, and the party’s inability to manage itself to be political opposition to either The Democratic or Republican Parties. In a time when voters find themselves not aligned with what The Democrats or Republicans are doing with our government you think that voters would be happy with a party that offers them something different, like The Green Party. But when we look at The Green Party now what we see is a mess.

We can ask ourselves who is to blame for the state in which The Green Party is in today. I attempted to work with The Co-Chairman of The Green Party of Alaska and the national party’s nominee for president Howie Hawkins to get him on the ballot in Alaska in 2020. But I found myself being threatened with a lawsuit because I refused to submit paperwork without Chairman Shields’ signature. The Green Party’s presidential primary in 2020 was very controversial, with Alaska's votes not being counted during the candidate selection process at the national convention. Chairman Shields wanted to talk to Hawkins before agreeing to have him be our candidate and on the ballot, a call Hawkins never made. After donating hundreds of dollars to his campaign I had to cut myself off from Hawkins’ campaign. A vote was held and The Green Party of Alaska put Jesse Ventura on the ballot as our presidential nominee instead of Hawkins. The Green Party of The United States understandably unrecognized us as their state affiliate. We now have this confusing situation where there are two “Green” parties in Alaska, one with the name and the other with the recognition of being affiliated with The Green Party of The United States, whatever good that does.

I wish to state now that I don’t want to waste my time with continuing this drama. How does The Green Party expect to win anything when it fails right now to work with each other? When this situation is explained to voters how do we expect them to think of us as anything more than a joke? While many people think of Greens as “Democrat lite” I’d compare this situation more like what’s happening with The Republican Party over the debt limit and the house speakership. They have made themselves look like fools because the extreme wing of their party with their small numbers took control, while Republicans broke their deal with Democrats to keep the government going. The only saving grace for The Green Party is this mess has led them to irrelevance, allowing candidates to be viewed by voters with a clean slate.

The Green Party of Alaska (GPAK) holds weekly meetings on Zoom on Sunday afternoons, and in the last one Co-Chairman Robert Shields and I discussed what it means to be a Green, and how that makes us different from the other parties. We agreed that to say you’re a Green means that you believe that humans should be good stewards of this planet, with everything else being secondary. Is that the reason we’re dividing ourselves right now? No! We’re embroiled in a struggle over party politics, with people telling each other it’s going to be my way or the highway. That didn’t work well for us in 2020, and it’s not going to work well for us in 2024. I’m going to invite the members of The Aurora Party to a future GPAK meeting where I believe we should hash this out. Because if we can’t make this work The Green Party as brand will be garbage to the voters.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Israel's genocide must end


When I decided to go back into blogging, I wasn’t expecting to talk about something like the events unfolding right now in Israel, the genocide and potential ethnic cleansing of the Arab people in The Occupied Palestinian Territories. The actions being taken right now by Israel’s fascist government is very similar to those Russia is doing to Ukraine. But for various reasons we’re seeing different reactions from commentators from their stance on the war in Eastern Europe. For the people who treat politics like a sport you see people quickly to jump on the side of either Israel or Palestine, and you can predict how they feel about it is depends on their feelings on Western Hegemony. Perhaps more important at the moment is our government is standing with Israel in this conflict, but why when we’re clearly spending money and weapons to Ukraine to fight fascism, the opposite of what our goals seem to be in Europe. I think the most important factor here is the influence of The Military Industrial Complex (or The Permanent War State) on our government and outdated cold war thinking that Israel being on our side is absolutely necessary. But as the genocide of the Arabs in Palestine continues unwavering support for Israel will become a liability for countries like The United States.

To call what is happening in Israel right now a war is a joke. Palestine is not a real country, rather it is territory occupied by Israel, with The Gaza Strip often being called an open-air concentration camp. Hamas isn’t Palestine, and if the issue were solely with the Islamist militant group than why is Israel also attacking areas in The West Bank? Hamas is the group governing The Gaza Strip, but they don’t have control of The West Bank area of Palestine. What’s really going on here is Israel’s continued policy of genocide going full throttle, continuing to take land from Palestinians whose ancestry in the area go back all the way to the times of Jesus Christ, and probably even further back than that. Palestinians are forced to flee from their homes as Israeli forces drive them out for settlers they arm. And now we’re getting to the point where parts of Gaza look like cities in Ukraine that Russia has whipped off the map. There was a necessary response to Hamas’ terrorist attack, but it wasn’t this.

The reality is that many people leading Hamas want Israel dead and off the map, and while we can look at the conditions in Gaza and the history of this conflict and sympathize with Palestinians, Israel had to do something to get their hostages back. Unfortunately getting the hostages back isn’t Israel’s main goal at all. Just the indiscriminate bombing alone would lead you to think that they’ll probably kill the hostages along with the terrorists. Israel has not and is not interested in a peaceful solution, but rather continue its policy of ethnic cleansing and settling in land stolen from Palestinians. Where are Israel’s demands of Palestine for an unconditional surrender of The Hamas Terrorists? Instead of leveling Gaza why aren’t the Israel Defense Forces sending in special operation forces to rescue the hostages? To make sense of what is going on here we have to look at the big picture and see what Israel’s long-term goals have been.

Israel’s policy of genocide and the government’s response to Hamas’ terrorist attacks are only going to make this conflict worse. We’ve seen this with our own interventions in Iraq and Libya, where toppling their governments opened a void for groups like The Islamic State (ISIS) to fill. Or you can even look at what happening in the war between Russia and Ukraine, where every commentator expected Russia to win the war quickly, have gone to see what a quagmire it has turned out to be for them. Israel not only continuing to occupy territory but also steal land will make tensions worse. We’re almost 80 years into this policy of Israel occupying land they took from Palestinians, and I don’t see it ending tensions any time soon. To defeat Hamas the Israeli Government, need to give the Palestinians their land back, and work toward a one state solution where everyone has rights under the law.

The United States should really consider its support for Israel. President Biden said as a senator decades ago that Israel is so important to The United States militarily that if it didn’t exist that we would make such a county exist. But we have to question how good of an asset Israel really is when we consider our goals for stability in The Middle East. This genocide Israel is perpetrating is also raising tensions with other counties in The Middle East, who are also being attacked by Israel as well. I think it would be better for The United States to end weapon sales to Israel until genocide ends because right now there is no line they can cross before we do anything. And as long as well continue to back a country with a ride or die mentality we are going to weaken our position with the rest of the world. President Biden even failed to stop Israel’s bombing campaign before the 600 American citizens who are stuck in The Gaza Strip can get out. Failing to even create a line that Israel cannot cross is extremely embarrassing for the biggest superpower in the history of the world.

This war has been harmful for President Biden and the Democrats, and while I don’t want to get into the politics of this, it’s necessary to learn about what is happening here at home. President Biden has lost a lot of support from younger voters who see what is happening in Israel and Palestine and are really turned off by it. And as they should, as supporting any kind of genocide should be politically harmful. The way I see it, and I imagine any others, is President Biden’s weak response to the genocide is a calculation is part of an effort to keep his opponents from calling him antiemetic, the same ones who probably call him a communist too. But this also comes off as very weak by The United States, who looks like their more beholden to Israel rather than a proper ally, being forced into whatever conflict they decide to get into. It’s also strange that we’re spending more money on protecting democracies like Ukraine and Taiwan’s but are also backing a fascist country whose streets erupted in protests this summer over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempting to shut down Israel’s Supreme Court.

We can continue the bloodshed that has gone on for a century, claiming there’s nothing we can do over the false narrative that these people have been at war with each other for millennia. Or we can use our power to push for positive change like we’re doing with the war between Russia and Ukraine. We’re at a point America needs to demand a ceasefire so that the real work of solving this issue can begin. I don’t know how far something like ending our deal to give Israel weapons would go to ending the conflict, but clearly, we need a different strategy than what he had for decades. Both Israel’s occupation of Palestine and South Africa’s Apartheid started in 1948, and the divestment from South Africa from the international community helped end the apartheid. The question is do we want to be a part of positive change, or do we just want to look the other way?