March 3, 2011

Craig Medrid loves Soapy Smith?

(Click image to enlarge)

Back in November 2009 I began a lengthy correspondance with Craig Medrid over the way he handled Sarah Palin's comments regarding Soapy Smith in her book Going Rogue. I don't like any politicians per say, but Mr. Medrid has a special dislike for Republicans. Basically, it's not possible for them to be correct in his mind and so we went round and round over his comments regarding Soapy's history. Well, thankfully I didn't sour him on using Soapy's legend for comparisons. Check out the two articles below that he wrote for the Alaska Dispatch.

It’s great that Mr. Medrid continues to help us spread Soapy’s fame by using him to compare items he considers "bad." We thank him very sincerely for helping us keep people's minds on Soapy. However, I have to wonder if one day someone will ever use Soapy’s good deeds as a comparison, such as, “That Mr. Jones is a fantastic human being, giving so much to charity the way he does. Why he's something of a modern Soapy Smith!”

If only Joe Miller had been what he said he was
Upwards of 60,000 Alaskans clung to the myth of Joe Miller on election night in Alaska despite the storm of revelations that followed the Senate candidate's victory in the August GOP primary, and there is something noble about that. Yes, there were some cynics in the Miller camp, old-school, party-line Republicans who cared not a whit that Miller was something of a modern day "Soapy" Smith.

"Sarah Palin in pants'' is how one of them, who is not a Palin fan, described him. But Miller was the party's guy, the winner of the primary, the man chosen by the party faithful, and by God, the thinking among this group went, "If that's what the party faithful want, then it is the responsibility of a party member to hang in there, hold his or her nose, and cast the Miller vote." But these people were a minority.

Voting for Miller was a lot easier for most of the 70,000 Alaskans who blacked in the oval of the Yale-educated lawyer from Fairbanks by way of Kansas. They believed. They took Miller for what he claimed to be -- a sensible conservative. I refuse to use that Palin-spawned label, "commonsense conservative," here. I've spent much of a lifetime writing about people dead in the Alaska wilderness because sense isn't common.
Miller, to his credit, didn't really seem to buy that common-sense idea either. All campaign long, the first words out of his mouth were that he was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Yale Law School. Old, established, elite, East Coast institutions, these are two of the best schools in the world. They aren't in the practice of counting on common sense to help young people get ahead in life. They are in the practice of teaching people to think. And Miller excelled at both institutions.

What the hell happened afterward became the big question of this year's election. What the hell was Miller's story in Alaska?

Alaska tends to attract two kinds of immigrants. Adventurers who want to live in or on the edge of America's Last Frontier, where life is a little edgier than anywhere else. Even metropolitan "Los Anchorage," we must remember, bills itself as the "Big Wild Life,'' and it is. Almost nowhere else in the world do you run the risk of stumbling into a grizzly bear in a city park. And that up-close-and-personal encounter with a moose, as portrayed in the old TV series "Northern Exposure,'' is more likely in Anchorage than in any city anywhere. Some Alaska immigrants come for this, or for the authentic, closer-to-the-land connection to the still truly wild Alaska that exists just beyond the road system.

And then there is that other group Alaska attracts -- con artists, schemers, ne'er-do-wells and end-of-the-roaders looking for that place at the edge of civilization where the rules are lax and the tolerance for oddballs is high.

Animal-loving, grizzly-bear petting, destined-to-die-early Timothy Treadwell was drawn to this like a moth to a light. The same for scripture-quoting fanatic, and later convicted child molester, "Papa Pilgrim." And then there was John Lindauer, the onetime chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage who tried to buy an election as governor with his wife's millions and ended up so deep in charges of election fraud the GOP actually withdrew its nomination of him; and Victor Jorge, Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher and trusted Anchorage television anchorman (back in the day when people in the media were actually trusted) who turned out to have concocted nearly his entire backstory, and, of course, the aforementioned "Soapy" Smith, who Anchorage author Charles Wohlforth has described as running a "scam-pire" in Skagway back in the Gold Rush days.

There is a bit of many of these people in a lot of Alaskans living here now, too. It's what helps make Alaska interesting. Some of the most entertaining people I've met in almost 35 years of Alaska journalism are those whose only connection to the truth is a half-truth.

That Joe Miller turned out to be one of them is unfortunate. That he took some Alaskans for a ride on a Soapy Smith railroad is just sad…

There is more to the article but Soapy isn't mentioned, so why bother. If you wish to read the remainder of the article click the link at the start of this article.

Not even CPR can save this TV show
Could "Alaska State Troopers,'' the reality series, possibly be as bad as some of the national reviews make it out to be?

You betcha.

What did we learn from the first episode of this National Geographic TV series?

Wrestlers bundled in cold-weather clothing, be they drunk or sober, are slower moving and seemingly less dangerous than those in shorts and T-shirts. Some of our troopers are really nice and others are as shady as Soapy Smith

Once again I did not post the entire article, for the same reason. If you wish to read the whole writeup please click the link at the top of the article.  

Here are links to other posts on this blog pertaining to this topic:


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