- Politics and Social Issues»
Animals Are People Too - Disgusted With Humans, Voters Write In Cat for Mayor, Register Dolphins as Human
Veteran actress Betty White's autobiography If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't) indicates that she likes animals better that people, because they do not lie. That is interesting when considering for whom to vote in any election, even the 2012 Presidential Election. I've placed a number of write-in candidates' names on the ballots over the years, but I never entered the name of an animal. Some voters have felt so disenfranchised that they have enter the names of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, though. For 2012, many voters have write-in names ready and the results might be interesting.
In what appears an animals-first trend for the 2010s, a town along the Alaskan Iditarod Sled Dog Race route elected an animal to serve as its mayor. It is not a sled dog or any species of dog.
Talkeetna, Alaska is an unincorporated, Census-Designated "Place" of 900 residents that have not much liked the candidates running for mayor in the last decade or so. In a concerted effort, they wrote in the name of Stubbs the Cat, who won re-election as a 15-year old yellow tomcat. Residents felt that he had kept a good eye over Talkeetna and deserved the office. Incredibly, Stubbs was first elected as a kitten, 15 years ago. He has been mayor ever since, although he has delegated most of his duties to human aides.
We have heard of many cats and dogs that were the sole inheritors of large estates from their human companions, but none were ever elected to office. Stubbs does not have a lot of money, but he is very comfortable in his usual spot at the Talkeetna General Store, north of Anchorage, Alaska..
- Nagley's General Store
Office of Mayor Stubbs the Cat. Store motto: If we don't have it, you don't need it!"
General Store in Downtown Talkeetna
Downtown Talkeetna is a preserved National Historic Site, featuring commercial buildings dating from the early 1900s. These include Nagley's General Store where Mayor Stubbs receives visitors, the Fairview Inn, and the Talkeetna Roadhouse. Quite a number of people feel that the TV show Northern Exposure was based in Talkeetna and its local community radio station and bush pilots, but that is debatable. I was surprised to learn that the show was filmed in Washington State.
At the base of Mount McKinley, this town is home to several Air-Taxis and flightseeing services for visitors that want to see the mountainscape from the air. Climbers can engage a guide and climb Mt. McKinley (April through July). Others can rent a canoe or go fishing, ski, or take a lesson in mushing with sled dogs. The town is certainly a tourist attraction, especially during the Iditarod weeks, but the population was serious about not liking their candidates for mayor and have kept Stubbs in office since about 1997.
A public arts display begins in May every year and includes moose art. Called Moose On Parade, the event features moose of various decorations like that of the Cows On Parade and Pigs on Parade (Cincinnati) in other cities. Columbus OH had artistically represented ears of corn around the city one year - kind of strange. Downtown Talkeetna offers free concerts throughout the spring and summer each year. During the entire month of December, Talkeetna celebrates Winterfest with many activities.
First Nations/Native Alaskans are under study in the large park surrounding Mt. McKinley and an archeological page is planned for addition to the national parks website for this park. Native Village Councils of Nikolai and Telida asked researchers to write down their histories. Interviews with tribal elders made this possible.
- KTNA Talkeetna 88.9 FM - Talkeetna, Alaska
Community Radio for Alaska's Northern Susitna Valley - Local, National and International News and Music. Broadcasting from Talkeetna, Alaska.
- Denali National Park & Preserve - Denali National Park & Preserve
Six million acres and the largest mountain in North America. An artist-in-Residence program at Denali began in 2002
- Denali National Park and Preserve – Vacations, Hiking, Tours, Rafting in Mt. McKinley, Alaska – rese
Reserve Denali is six million acres of rugged wilderness providing visitors a chance to explore this rare and incredible place through one of our many tours or shuttle buses.
Across the Sea to the Far East - Registered Dolphins
Dolphins have not yet held elective office (as of 2012).
However, in order to further the work of conservationists against the wholesale killing of these mammals around one island in Japan, the island residents coordinated a successful campaign to register dolphins as people. Therefore, any attack and harvest of a dolphin by a dolphin fisherman near the island is tantamount to human murder. This is a very clever way of supporting conservation in this area.
What other animals might enjoy human offices and status in the future?
- Are Dolphins People? - Dolphins As Registered People In Japan
You may have seen or heard the debates in society over whether animals have emotions, souls, spirits and sentience - especially such creatures as the uncanny dolphin. Some Japanese islanders have pursued this another step by helping some dolphins bec