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Sen. Ted Stevens has died in a plane crash.
August 10, 2010 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Ted Stevens has died in a plane crash near Dillingham Alaska.

Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens has died in an airplane crash outside Dillingham, Alaska. Also on board was former Nasa head Sean O'Keefe.

Previously (indictment), and previously (the tubes).
posted by Nabubrush (124 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
====================

(Series of tubes)
posted by nestor_makhno at 12:11 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, that sucks. He previously lost his wife in a plane crash. He was a corrupt, angry man but no one should go out that way, or have to deal with something like that... let alone twice.

If you believe in that stuff may the big truck carry him to the light at the end of the pipe.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:13 PM on August 10, 2010 [28 favorites]


|
posted by brundlefly at 12:13 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


A shame about the other four who died. I hope that Stevens drowns in filth for a billion years in the afterlife.
posted by atrazine at 12:14 PM on August 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


He was no Paul Wellstone, but he was/will be a pretty large figure in AK's history and will be missed by his family and friends, sincere condolences to them.
posted by edgeways at 12:14 PM on August 10, 2010


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.
posted by jtron at 12:15 PM on August 10, 2010 [50 favorites]


Plenty of what Stevens said and did is deserving of ridicule, but his description of the internet, while comical, isn't entirely off base. Many non-technical people do in fact think of the internet as some kind of amorphous and homogeneous blob where all content resides in the same space when in fact there are server clusters here, IP backbones there, etc. "A series of tubes" is silly sounding, but it is descriptive of the patchwork internet as it exists in the wild.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:15 PM on August 10, 2010 [16 favorites]


no one should go out that way, or have to deal with something like that... let alone twice.

Well, he really only dealt with it once.
posted by echo target at 12:16 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Completely apart from any of the man's actual politics, I think I would much rather go out in a plane crash than, say, with a long battle with cancer or alzheimer's. Especially if there's a big fireball.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:17 PM on August 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


.

^ looking down the tube
posted by howling fantods at 12:17 PM on August 10, 2010


So, er, what happens with the name of Anchorage's airport now?
posted by randomination at 12:17 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


A shame about the other four who died.

Don't sell yourself short! I'm sure you can do a little superficial digging and find some way to pass judgment upon them too.
posted by dhammond at 12:18 PM on August 10, 2010 [30 favorites]


.
posted by jquinby at 12:18 PM on August 10, 2010


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.

So this is gonna be a short thread, is what you're saying.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:18 PM on August 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


Also, and, plus, this. (Sorry I missed some stuff the first time 'round.)

I grew up in Alaska and interned for Frank Murkowski one summer. Of course I knew all about Sen. Stevens, and had lived in the same neighborhood as him as a toddler. They herded all of us in to his office for our five minute meet-and-greet. They introduced us and he looked at me and said "I used to live across the street from you".

.
posted by Nabubrush at 12:19 PM on August 10, 2010 [18 favorites]


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.

Considering what you're saying isn't something nice, you should just have taken your own advice.
posted by splice at 12:19 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.

Actually, I find that when I have nothing nice to say (as is the case at this moment), it is absolutely imperative that I share my valuable opprobrium.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:19 PM on August 10, 2010


I was reading his wikipedia entry this morning and was surprised to find he was pro-choice and supported efforts to combat climate change late in his career. No saint, but not all bad I guess. Power corrupts and being a Senator for 40 years corrupts absolutely. And yeah my first thought was "not a bad way to die all things considered."
posted by ND¢ at 12:19 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


echo target, he survived the prior plane crash.

I'm sorry for his friends and family. It was interesting seeing the progression of yahoo.com stories as the day went on:

SMALL PLANE CRASHES IN ALASKA
SEN. STEVENS MAY HAVE BEEN ON PLANE
SEN. STEVENS ON PLANE, NOT KNOWN IF ALIVE
SEN. STEVENS DEAD

I wondered at what point there would be a MeFi post.
posted by yhbc at 12:20 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


A shame about the other four who died. I hope that Stevens drowns in filth for a billion years in the afterlife.

I have absolutely no idea what you know about him and I do not to provoke that sort of a reaction. Certainly, the man was the wrong person to be put in charge of anything have to do with the Internet, and had views I (and clearly you) disagree with but, damn those are some harsh words for the dead. This isn't Pol Pot, for chrissakes.
posted by griphus at 12:20 PM on August 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


.
posted by crunchland at 12:20 PM on August 10, 2010


.

Never liked the guy, still not happy to hear that he died, especially in this manner.
posted by rollbiz at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2010


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.

The penalty for corruption in public office should be death. I don't support the death penalty for murderers, for rapists, or for practically anyone else. I mourn the loss of human life in general and in particular, but corrupt politicians should be publically shot both Pour encourager les autre and to cleanse the Republic of their degraded filth.
posted by atrazine at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.

That's what the dots are for, right? Every obituary thread has dozens or hundreds of mefites ostentatiously refusing to praise the deceased, is my understanding.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2010


Certainly, the man was the wrong person to be put in charge of anything have to do with the Internet, and had views I (and clearly you) disagree with but

He was also massively, massively corrupt.
posted by fatbird at 12:22 PM on August 10, 2010


I'm sure that politicians are just likely to be on short hop flights in small planes more often than other people. But it sure does seem like if a politician you recognize gets on a small plane with you, you should get off.
posted by Babblesort at 12:22 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]



posted by mazola at 12:22 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


A little surprised at the . . . energetic . . . responses. IIRC, he was a lifelong opponent of declawing cats.
posted by Nabubrush at 12:23 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


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posted by jjb at 12:24 PM on August 10, 2010


.

This is the same website that always points out the monsters at FreeRepublic and Red State who said awful things when Ted Kennedy died, right?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:25 PM on August 10, 2010 [44 favorites]


splice: not sure what you mean, feel free to take it to Metatalk.
posted by jtron at 12:25 PM on August 10, 2010


Sucks for his family and friends, but this is no loss for Congress. Maybe Levi Johnston will heed the call to continue Stevens' legacy, drop his mayoral campaign and take up the ticket for his seat.
posted by rhizome at 12:26 PM on August 10, 2010


I have absolutely no idea what you know about him and I do not to provoke that sort of a reaction.

His policies were hardly terrible, and I guess he often did his best for his constituents, but I despise corruption in civil servants, politicians, or anyone with a fiduciary duty to others.

Cheering his death was in poor taste all the same and I apologise.
posted by atrazine at 12:26 PM on August 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


I see what you did there, mazola.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:26 PM on August 10, 2010


This is the same website that always points out the monsters at FreeRepublic and Red State who said awful things when Ted Kennedy died, right?

This is different. We don't like this guy.

Anyway, sincere condolences to the family. At least death came quickly - there are worse ways to go at that age.
posted by AdamCSnider at 12:27 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I understand the plane he went down in was a 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter. Thats an old airframe.
posted by JohnR at 12:27 PM on August 10, 2010


Well, I for one will try to rise above the fray, and say that, although I strongly disagreed with his politics, anyone who can produce a masterpiece like "Cat Scratch Fever" certainly deserves...


...oops, wrong ConservaTed.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:29 PM on August 10, 2010


Only judging from my and my friends' personal experiences with the man, he was a smart, pragmatic, and pretty darn cool guy. And funny to boot. Just a reminder, the media never paints an accurate picture.

RIP Ted.
posted by Beardsley Klamm at 12:29 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


While sorry for the families of the dead, in accidents like these I'm always fascinated by the brief snapshot we get into the relationships of the powerful and influential. I wonder what EADS was trying to cook up with Stevens...
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 12:29 PM on August 10, 2010


Alaska seems to continue to be a dangerous place where Wylie Post, Will Rogers, and Cokie Roberts' dad Congressman Hale Boggs also lost their lives in plane crashes, and Sarah Palin lost any shred of credibility by quitting the job she has sworn to do.
posted by Cranberry at 12:30 PM on August 10, 2010


rhizome, especially no loss for Congress as he wasn't in Congress - Begich took he seat last year.
posted by Nabubrush at 12:30 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


After graduation from high school in 1942 ... in 1943 he was accepted into a Army Air Force Air Cadet program ... received his wings early in 1944 ... served in the China-Burma-India theater with the Fourteenth Air Force Transport Section, which supported the "Flying Tigers", from 1944 to 1946.

In other words, at age 20 (or thereabouts), he was flying combat missions.

At age 20, I was in the middle of a lackluster college career and working at Disneyland. At age 20, I surmise that many of you Internet jockeys were (or are) doing something similarly pointless.

You didn't have to like the man's politics. I didn't. You can express an opinion that he should have been prosecuted. I did. You can even laugh at the series of tubes. I know I did.

But, while he did a bad job in good times, he also did a good job in some bad times. People liked him, and he used to bounce grandchildren on his knee.

Now he's dead.

Safe passage, sir.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:31 PM on August 10, 2010 [62 favorites]


but corrupt politicians should be publically shot both Pour encourager les autre and to cleanse the Republic of their degraded filth.

you would have been terrific during la Terreur.
posted by edgeways at 12:34 PM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


As former Republican Senators go, Stevens wasn't even in the top 10 of "most evil". Most corrupt, possibly. Most comically inept? Also a strong contender. But the cynical rejoicing should maybe wait for the Rick Santorum or Phil Gramm obit threads.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:34 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


"He was some kind of a man... What does it matter what you say about people?"

(Also, a lot of what he did made the world a worse place. )

.

... hope Sean O'Keefe is OK.
posted by Auden at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2010


Sad news. I didn't have much respect for Stevens as a politician, but it's a fact that horse-trading is a fact of political life in many rural areas, and was even more so in the past. His corruption was venal rather than truly wicked.

From the news story...
O'Keefe left NASA in 2005 to become chancellor of Louisiana State University. He is now the CEO of defense contractor EADS North America and oversees the bid for the hotly contested Air Force refueling jet contract. The contract competition, which pits EADS against rival plane maker Boeing Co., is for a piece of what could eventually be $100 billion worth of work replacing the military's fleet of aging tankers.

Groan...before very long, his name will be recycled into conspiracy theory fodder. That sucks for his family.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:36 PM on August 10, 2010


I'm of mixed feelings about this. I would like to feel as sad about it as Stevens must have felt about losing his wife in a similar crash in 1978, but it's hard to gauge how he felt about that. After all, his self-declared "saddest day of my life" was years later, in 2005, when the vote to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge happened. Perhaps this is understandable, as opening ANWR to drilling would have produced enough oil to offset global oil prices. Oh, wait; that's not correct. Well, certainly it would have lessened our dependence on foreign oil. Except that the total amount of oil to come out of ANWR would be about the amount that the US uses in one year, and then, kaput, it's empty. Maybe this would be worth it, as the impact on the refuge must be minimal, mustn't it?

Except that it would require building a network of pipes, shipping lanes, etc., through a delicate ecosystem. There's the threat of oil spills, of course, but how likely is that. In fact, drilling in ANWR nearly passed through in 1989 and then was derailed by ... what was it again?

Oh, yes, the Exxon Valdez spill.

So here we have something that would provide minimal relief to America regarding its oil usage, while undeniably damaging the protected environment it was in. So why the heck would Stevens have promoted such a thing?

Well, he was one of the biggest recipient of oil money in the Senate, and voted, I kid you not, 100 percent of the time in favor of oil interests.

So the saddest moment in his life was when he could not pass through legislation that would corrupt and pollute a protected environment, and the only people who would truly benefit from it would be the oil companies that threw money at him? Not his wife dying in a plane crash?

I would be sad about this, but I am sure there is a piece of terrible legislation coming up that would benefit my friends, and I need to save my tears for that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:36 PM on August 10, 2010 [31 favorites]


Took the Plane To Nowhere, did he?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:37 PM on August 10, 2010


As former Republican Senators go, Stevens wasn't even in the top 10 of "most evil". Most corrupt, possibly. Most comically inept? Also a strong contender. But the cynical rejoicing should maybe wait for the Rick Santorum or Phil Gramm obit threads.

Yeah, he was corrupt - but what senator isn't? He was a republican who was kind-of pro-choice and even warmed-up (heh) to the need for climate change legislation. He wasn't that bad. Now Rick Santorum? There's a guy who I hope dies a longer and more painful death than a plane crash.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:39 PM on August 10, 2010


He and Byrd are in the special ring of purgatory where cantankerous old Senators go, having an eternal Old-Cootoff.
posted by TomMelee at 12:39 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe Levi Johnston will heed the call to continue Stevens' legacy, drop his mayoral campaign and take up the ticket for his seat.

In the name of accuracy, Ted Stevens was defeated by Mark Begich (son of Democratic Representative Nick Begich, also killed in a plane crash) in the 2008 Election.

And now you know.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:39 PM on August 10, 2010


Reuters is reporting that Sean O'Keefe and his son survived the crash.
posted by prinado at 12:40 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was not a Stevens fan, though one had to respect how much water he pulled in the Senate. But I'm not willing to consider him as corrupt now that we know how really dubious the prosecution's case against him was.

My sympathies to Alaska, which lost a strong advocate, as well as Steven's many friends and surviving family.

.
posted by bearwife at 12:42 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he was corrupt - but what senator isn't?

If you have some evidence of corruption against my senators, Franken and Klobuchar, I'd love to see it. Then I will not vote for them again.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:42 PM on August 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


RIP Sir. You weren't the best, but you weren't the worst either.

Saving my jubilant grave dance for the death notices of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gingrich.
posted by contessa at 12:44 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


> having an eternal Old-Cootoff.

Cite your sources, son. He was wearing a HULK tie there.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:45 PM on August 10, 2010


Well I certainly wasn't endeavoring to make it seem like I came up with the term, there, Burhanistan. Daily Show around these parts is common enough fare, well, it's pretty much a meme-in-itself.
posted by TomMelee at 12:48 PM on August 10, 2010


A warning to Charlie and Maxine? Don't fight the ethics charges, just go quietly or you get the Lin Biao treatment. /tinfoil
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:49 PM on August 10, 2010


For his service to our country and his constituents, and for his family and those who will miss him...

.
posted by zarq at 12:54 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


We need some serious federal regulation of airplane safety in Alaska.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:55 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Earlier today I saw a post on Twitter, admonishing "the left" to not treat Sen. Stevens' death the way Ted Kennedy's death was treated by the Right*. Wanted to find it again to post to this thread but made the mistake of searching for it with the term 'Ted Kennedy.' Now my eyes feel dirty.

I hope we can all agree, though, that John Calhoun was a reprobate and a moral imbecile.

* just to forestall derailing questions: "the left" is in quotes because it's anything but monolithic, and the term's used today to describe (usually pejoratively) anything from Rockefeller Republicans to the Revolutionary Communist Party. I chose to capitalize the Right as it's a more centralized, effective, and ideologically consistent movement.
posted by jtron at 12:56 PM on August 10, 2010


Strom Thurmond might be involved in the coot-off, too.
posted by Nabubrush at 12:57 PM on August 10, 2010


I wonder what EADS was trying to cook up with Stevens...

One story I saw said that they were old fishing buddies.

The interesting thing is that they were going to some company's lodge, and the company owned the plane too.
posted by smackfu at 12:57 PM on August 10, 2010


From airplanes to worms: a series of tubes indeed.
posted by swift at 1:00 PM on August 10, 2010


In December 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that Stevens had taken advantage of lax Senate rules to use his political influence to obtain a large amount of his personal wealth. According to the article, while Stevens was already a millionaire "thanks to investments with businessmen who received government contracts or other benefits with his help," the lawmaker who is in charge of $800 billion a year, writes "preferences he wrote into law," from which he then benefits.

Too soon?
posted by Joe Beese at 1:00 PM on August 10, 2010


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.

"....."
posted by Aversion Therapy at 1:03 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's an old story. Irrelevant, corrupt former politician dies many years too late. Condolences to his family, and the families of those he stole his wealth from.
posted by rusty at 1:09 PM on August 10, 2010


Too soon?

Yes. It's fine if you didn't or don't like the guy but turning an obit post into a hyperlinked "here's the way this guy sucked" thread diminishes all of us. MeTa is available for you and others if you feel that this is a necessary and crucial part of your MetaFilter Experience.
posted by jessamyn at 1:09 PM on August 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


Stevens must have felt about losing his wife in a similar crash in 1978, but it's hard to gauge how he felt about that. After all, his self-declared "saddest day of my life" was years later, in 2005, when the vote to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge happened.

While that statement was not exactly a moral high point, you shouldn't take it too literally. This TalkingPointsMemo article talks about his response to losing his wife.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:10 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, he was corrupt - but what senator isn't?

In point of fact, there are good politicians. To call them all corrupt or bad actually helps foster corruption: if you're damned if you do or don't, you might as well give them reason.
posted by JHarris at 1:12 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.

Interesting fact; dancing can be done in complete silence.

Let me show you.
posted by quin at 1:14 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


MeTa
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:16 PM on August 10, 2010


Didn't like his politics, but still...
Poor guy.
posted by Gilbert at 1:19 PM on August 10, 2010


A horrible person but every man's death diminishes us. I hope their death was quick.
posted by phliar at 1:25 PM on August 10, 2010


A horrible person but every man's death diminishes us.

Is this supposed to explain a crappy interpretation of the present-day, that all humanity is continually diminished by the demise of its members? Yikes.
posted by rhizome at 1:31 PM on August 10, 2010


In other words, at age 20 (or thereabouts), he was flying combat missions.

At age 20, I was in the middle of a lackluster college career and working at Disneyland. At age 20, I surmise that many of you Internet jockeys were (or are) doing something similarly pointless.


Unfortunately, when I was 20 World War II wasn't happening anymore. But I've always felt badly about not trying harder to find someone to bomb in my salad days, so thanks for kicking my self-esteem down a little bit more there, guy.
posted by rusty at 1:32 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Series of tubes... Damn.

.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:34 PM on August 10, 2010


: So, er, what happens with the name of Anchorage's airport now?

Probably nothing. Oklahoma City named its airports after people who died in plane crashes.

. for Senator Stevens, whose Value Over Replacement Senator in an oil-slick state like Alaska was probably not as low as it's made out to be. This hasn't been a good week for flying in Alaska.
posted by jackflaps at 1:37 PM on August 10, 2010


Culture's changed, too- 20 is a lot younger than it used to be. Maybe I see this because I live in a college town, but adulthood doesn't seem to strike people these days until the mid- to late-twenties.

Anyway, I didn't agree with Senator Stevens, but I will miss his comical, over-dramatic "NO!" Also, clueless Conservative oldster that he was, someone's dad (and grandpa?) died today. Respect the dead, they only have others to defend them now.
posted by maus at 1:40 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like to feel as sad about it as Stevens must have felt about losing his wife in a similar crash in 1978, but it's hard to gauge how he felt about that.

I'm not sure it's that hard to speculate how upset Stevens was about his wife's death. He carried on in a very public (and to most people, very unfair) manner, how it was (Democrat) Mike Gravel's fault his wife had died, for causing the vote that necessitated the doomed flight.At the time it seemed lik the actions of a man unhinged by grief.
posted by aught at 1:41 PM on August 10, 2010


I understand the plane he went down in was a 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter. Thats an old airframe.

If you ever fly into Fairbanks airport you'll see that it is the final operating base for every old airplane in the country. A 1957 plane is probably just middle-aged up there. It's amazing.
posted by beagle at 1:41 PM on August 10, 2010


You guys are all class.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:41 PM on August 10, 2010


.
posted by effugas at 1:45 PM on August 10, 2010


.

(Sorry, I just can't work-up a good hate-on right now.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:46 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's my understanding that he served the people of Alaska to their satisfaction, and represented their views and opinions in the Senate. Am I wrong in guessing you hate the people of Alaska at least as much as you hate Sen. Stevens?
posted by rocket88 at 1:48 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you can't say something nice, you don't have to say anything at all.

That's what the dots are for, right? Every obituary thread has dozens or hundreds of mefites ostentatiously refusing to praise the deceased, is my understanding.


I will now 1) remind folks of the Unofficial MetaWiki, and 2) link to The Period. In short, writing a single period is (generally) used as the mark for a moment of silence or having no words to express feelings, not a refusal of praise.

posted by filthy light thief at 1:49 PM on August 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm just going to point to this reddit comment which is just about perfect:

Although I wish no man ill will, it's good to know that if Mr. Stevens died, he died doing what he loved: accepting complimentary gifts from a corporate Internet Service Provider.

"That aircraft is a 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter registered to GCI, according to FAA records. The FAA did not immediately provide other information about how it knows that this is the aircraft..."

"GCI is an Anchorage-based provider of telephone, cable TV, Internet and wireless services across the state."

posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 1:50 PM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he was corrupt - but what senator isn't?

Oh shut up. This kind of political cynicism is pointless, poisoning, defeatist, and wrong. The majority of senators are not allowing people with political interests to do home repairs for them under cost or for free or taking donations for their personal benefit.

Yeah, money in our political system is currently very fucked up and sometimes the implications (citizen's united) are terrifying, but to refuse to draw any distinction between the process by which people get elected and outright graft isn't just silly it's counter-productive. "Oh they're all dirty" is surrender by cynicism and a call to everyone to just give up trying to make a better system.
posted by phearlez at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, he was corrupt - but what senator isn't?

Bernie Sanders, pretty sure.
posted by jessamyn at 1:58 PM on August 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


Let ye who has never "borrowed" office supplies cast the first stone.
posted by nomadicink at 2:01 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, er, what happens with the name of Anchorage's airport now?

Probably nothing. Oklahoma City named its airports after people who died in plane crashes.


In ALASKAN plane crashes, no less! And you can, this is not a joke, get to Will Rogers airport by taking Amelia Earhart lane.
posted by norm at 2:07 PM on August 10, 2010


Terrible slow ping, 100% packet loss.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2010


Mr. Stevens died, he died doing what he loved: accepting complimentary gifts from a corporate Internet Service Provider.

really? I mean it is quite possible he didn't pay for the trip, but is there something published saying that is the case? Perhaps he did actually pay something, or perhaps he knew the CEO of the company and they where best buds and a accepted a fishing trip as a private citizen, which Stevens was at the time.

I mean we already have a bumper crop of "clever" MeFi grown vitriol here, no need to import it from elsewhere.
posted by edgeways at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2010



Pour encourager les autres (FTFY)
posted by speug at 2:23 PM on August 10, 2010


Yeah, he was corrupt - but what senator isn't?

Geez guys, sorry. Wasn't actually trying to imply that every senator ever is or was corrupt or whatever. Touchy touchy. I was actually, if you read the rest of that comment, trying to point out a bit of the 'don't pluck the sawdust from your neighbor's eye when you've got a plank in yours' thing going on here.

then again, I suppose this all depends on one's particular notion of 'corrupt,' now doesn't it.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:28 PM on August 10, 2010


Let ye who has never "borrowed" office supplies cast the first stone.

My point exactly.

posted by Lutoslawski at 2:32 PM on August 10, 2010


Let ye who has never "borrowed" office supplies cast the first stone.

Though I have yet to try it, I doubt any of the office supplies I have access to would get me $250,000 of home renovations. That's a lot of sticky note wallpaper, paperclip wiring and ball point pen framing. And office product theft doesn't happen because the office product suppliers have a sweet deal with my company because of me, but because I'm an underpaid staffer who figures there are a few extra pens that no one will really miss.

(NOTE: I don't think I've stolen supplies from work, and I've actually bought pens for work, because we don't get standard colors or sizes re-stocked, and writing everything in red ink or sharpie looks a bit aggressive.)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:34 PM on August 10, 2010


And that's not a bit of sawdust in his eye, but a forest in his back pocket, stolen from his constituents, if we're still playing the analogy game. But we're all dead in the end, and his home renovations aren't going with him, so:

.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:35 PM on August 10, 2010


$250,000 of home renovations

Eh, that's low. I was inclined to say "Knock it off Ted and quit doing that stupid crap. Now get out of here you little scamp!"
posted by nomadicink at 2:40 PM on August 10, 2010


Alaska received $506.34 per capita in federal earmarks in '08. #2, Arizona, got $18.70 per capita. That money wasn't stolen from his constituents, it was stolen from the rest of the US (if you want to look at it that way).

If you're specifically talking about the Girdwood renovations, that was more or less stolen from Veco employees, really.
posted by Nabubrush at 2:41 PM on August 10, 2010


Badly scrambled the numbers there - Arizona came in last. Alaska was number one, though, and consistently received more dollars by far from the Feds than it pays in taxes (and no state income taxes), in large part due to his work.
posted by Nabubrush at 2:51 PM on August 10, 2010


If I manage to make it to age 86 and die in a plane crash I'll consider myself lucky.
posted by imjustsaying at 2:53 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, when I was 20 World War II wasn't happening anymore.

When I was 20 there was the first Gulf War, but I chose my parents badly and can't focus very far past the end of my nose, so I wasn't likely to get combat missions.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:31 PM on August 10, 2010


I don't particularly care to insult the guy and dance on his grave, but people at MeFi are always going to express their opinions of the dead, positive or negative, and scolding is never, ever going to stop it from happening. I won't even suggest FIAMO, because it happens all the time, and the mods rarely delete comments that curse the dead (if ever).
posted by tzikeh at 3:48 PM on August 10, 2010


The interesting thing is that they were going to some company's lodge, and the company owned the plane too.

Apparently the cabin they were flying to is owned by GCI, the main cable/internet provider for Akaska Sometimes GCI lets employees fly out there as a reward for being a good employee, I've heard.
posted by leahwrenn at 3:51 PM on August 10, 2010


Alaska got a lot of federal money under his watch and, as a beneficiary of that, I thank him. I didn't like his politics and was glad to see him lose his senate seat.

But, seriously guys, building a road into the wilderness of AK costs more than maintaining a blacktop in the lower 48. Is it any surprise that Alaska, with it's complete lack of infrastructure, gets so much federal dollar? Never mind that the federal government owns something like 405,211 square miles of Alaska with Nevada coming in a distant second with 93,429 square miles of federal land (calculated by me from two sources).

You bet there are some big huge pork projects but Stevens was pretty straight forward about his goal of getting as much federal money for AK as possible. I celebrated him getting convicted so hard that I had a hangover the next day as I drove down the road that his efforts in the senate made possible. Life isn't so black and white.
posted by Foam Pants at 4:11 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought he was pretty damn entertaining.

.
posted by disclaimer at 4:59 PM on August 10, 2010


Yeah, he was corrupt - but what senator isn't?

Oh shut up. This kind of political cynicism is pointless, poisoning, defeatist, and wrong. The majority of senators are not allowing people with political interests to do home repairs for them under cost or for free or taking donations for their personal benefit.

Yeah, money in our political system is currently very fucked up and sometimes the implications (citizen's united) are terrifying, but to refuse to draw any distinction between the process by which people get elected and outright graft isn't just silly it's counter-productive. "Oh they're all dirty" is surrender by cynicism and a call to everyone to just give up trying to make a better system.
posted by phearlez at 1:52 PM on August 10 [1 favorite +] [!]


It is not counterproductive - it's accurate. Don't let labels ("campaign finance" vs. "bribes") trick you; the map is not the territory.

You don't have to give up, but you do have to be realistic.

In the 1920's, the entire executive branch of Chicago was purchased by the mob. There's a lot more money flowing into and out of Congress now. Do you think people are very different and special now as opposed to then?
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 5:03 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Barrow, Alaska airport, a few miles down the coast from where the famous crash happened, is named The Will Rogers/Wiley Post Airport.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:30 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, er, what happens with the name of Anchorage's airport now?

More importantly, what happens to the Bridge to Nowhere?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:53 PM on August 10, 2010


ROU_Xenophobe: "Unfortunately, when I was 20 World War II wasn't happening anymore.

When I was 20 there was the first Gulf War, but I chose my parents badly and can't focus very far past the end of my nose, so I wasn't likely to get combat missions.
"

When I was 20 we invaded Grenada but I slept through it.
posted by Bonzai at 5:59 PM on August 10, 2010


The 2nd silliest quote about the internet:

The Recording Industry Association of America attributes a 39% drop in shipments of compact-disk singles in 1999 to this Internet downloading system.


-Ted Nugent
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:18 PM on August 10, 2010


You know who else uses a series of tubes?

Blue Men.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:46 PM on August 10, 2010


It is not counterproductive - it's accurate. Don't let labels ("campaign finance" vs. "bribes") trick you; the map is not the territory.

A refusal to acknowledge a difference between graft and spending donations to achieve office is sad even when you accompany it with a cute little quip.
posted by phearlez at 6:57 PM on August 10, 2010


You know, I live in Alaska, have most of my life, and watched this develop this morning. I never voted for Stevens, strongly opposed (most) of his politics and was pleased when he was unseated...but I'm sadder about this than I thought I would be.

He was a good neighbor to some friends of mine. He was cordial and kind to members of my family who ran in his circles. He could tell a good joke and wore awful ties. He loved his grandkids and, from all reports I've heard, was good to the women in his life. He deeply, deeply cared about Alaska and was one of the last of a generation of elder statesmen we've recently lost (Wally Hickel and Jay Hammond among them) who were staunch defenders of the state and of its people.

He was no longer in the Senate and was enjoying his retirement without causing too much trouble for anyone. Alaska is a small place, and given that, I'm sure I'm not the only leftist weirdo up here who feels like it's still worth taking a moment to remember and respect a flawed and complicated man.

.
posted by charmedimsure at 7:09 PM on August 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


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posted by jgaiser at 7:33 PM on August 10, 2010


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posted by XMLicious at 7:38 PM on August 10, 2010


I would like to feel as sad about it as Stevens must have felt about losing his wife in a similar crash in 1978, but it's hard to gauge how he felt about that. After all, his self-declared "saddest day of my life" was years later, in 2005, when the vote to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge happened.

Do you really think he sat down, recollected all the sad events in his life and after careful deliberation decided that it was literally the saddest day in his life?
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 8:37 PM on August 10, 2010


I was reading his wikipedia entry this morning and was surprised to find he was pro-choice and supported efforts to combat climate change late in his career. No saint, but not all bad I guess.

He has always been a social moderate and yes he supported development in a way that has gone out of fashion but he was 86 years old and when he started his career a great deal of rural Alaskans lived in Third World squalor-type conditions. He was a man of his time and worked to bring opportunity to Alaskans the way he knew best- by building infrastructure. He worked to pass the Land Settlement Act and he worked very hard to get power, water, educational opportunities and infrastructure to rural communities. I was on an AK Airlines flight once in Kodiak with Stevens (he was in coach) and when the plane landed all the passengers stood up and gave him a standing ovation as he walked down the aisle. He was widely loved at home and the allegations of corruption all came later in his career.

I didn't agree with a lot of his politics personally but I think he genuinely had his constituents best interests in mind, the way he saw them, for his entire career.
posted by fshgrl at 10:31 PM on August 10, 2010


.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:38 PM on August 10, 2010


He was so dedicated to bringing federal money to Alaska, he even crashed his plane there.
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 PM on August 10, 2010


In short, writing a single period is (generally) used as the mark for a moment of silence or having no words to express feelings, not a refusal of praise.

I prefer my interpretation.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:04 AM on August 11, 2010


.

Like all politicians, nay people, he's a mix of good and bad. He played a huge role in creating the State of Alaska.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:52 AM on August 11, 2010


When I was 20 there was the first Gulf War, but I chose my parents badly and can't focus very far past the end of my nose, so I wasn't likely to get combat missions."

When I was 20, Bosnia was just over and we hadn't started bombing Iraq again yet. It was an uncharacteristically peaceful year.
posted by rusty at 11:35 AM on August 11, 2010


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