An Open Letter To Russ Millette

Dear Mr. Millette:

It seems as if you have had a rough go of it lately. Back in January you were ousted from your position as Chairman-Elect of the Alaska Republican Party. I think that means you never got to be the actual Chairman, and that in retrospect your tenure was basically the equivalent of an internship? That stinks. I'm sorry. To make matters worse, right around that same time you were hit with a bill for about $50,000 in legal fees because you tried to work the system and squeeze money out of some guy who accidentally tapped your vehicle with his. That stinks too--and it must be especially confusing for you because as a fan of liberty and freedom you surely also want justice to always prevail. So what does it mean when some judge finds that you acted unjustly? I can't even wrap my head around that. I bet your mind is spinning too.

I wish I could tell you that all that is in the past and that better days are ahead. After all, those problems popped up during the long, cold, dark Alaska winter. Now spring is upon us and...well, now you are faced with another problem: you want to shed light on what you allege are financial shenanigans being perpetrated by the Alaska Republican Party (the same people who fired your from your internship), but lawsuits are expensive and you don't have the resources to take that battle on alone. That must be really frustrating.

I only know about what is going on in your life because the Alaska Dispatch has done some fine reporting. I learned a lot more after the Dispatch pointed me to a few of your websites, including your Facebook page (which has a really cool picture of you looking thoughtful and discerning, but also kind of like you are going to cry, underneath Barry Goldwater's giant head) and your, I guess it is your personal website/news website/online radio talk show website.

Whatever it is, it also has a great picture of you. In this one you are looking wistfully off into the distance. You look a little sad in this picture--as if "Freedom" and "Liberty," two words you really like to use, are beyond your reach; you can see them, out there on the horizon, but if only you could reach them, grasp them, clutch them close to your chest, and hold on to them forever...alas, the longing in your eyes tells us that will never be.

You look a lot happier in the smaller picture below the banner. Much more festive.

Now I want to get down to business. I am writing this open letter because I have a bone to pick with you. While I sympathize with your recent struggles, and I share your love of freedom and liberty, I'm afraid you have committed a few trespasses that I simply cannot ignore. The first: stupid hats. Seriously. That floppy Uncle Sam-ish hat you are wearing in the little picture on your personal/news/Internet radio talk show website looks ridiculous, especially when contrasted with your serious and longing visage in the picture above it. At this point you may be wondering what business I have questioning your patriotic sartorial choices? Well, I actually have a lot of experience with criticizing what people wear. And I specialize in criticizing strangers on the Internet; I'm actually really good at it. See here (scroll about halfway down for the fashion police portion of the post), here, and here for examples of my previous work. So you should take this comment seriously. I'm basically a professional at this.

Second, while I too am a fan of freedom and liberty, I cannot abide poor sentence structure, use-of-English mistakes, and an overall lackluster respect for grammar when it comes to discussing these cherished concepts. And your personal/news/Internet radio talk show website is riddled with these sorts of problems. To wit, this is what the text on the front page of your site says:

Mr. Millette, I hope you aren't upset. In fact, you shouldn't fret at all, for I am not here to just criticize. I am here to help. I offer you--free of charge(!)--editing assistance. I proofread the introductory comments on your site, marked it up, and offered some comments and suggestions:

In the days ahead (let's be honest: it will probably be months before I get around to it), I will also tackle the messes that are your Mission Statement and About Us sections. And, if I can enlist some friends to help, I may even be able to find a graphic designer who can suggest a different look for your site--perhaps something that does not include stars shaped like the kind of stars found in a package of stickers for children.

Good luck with the challenges you face and with your quest to further liberty and freedom in the great State of Alaska.

Onward and upward,