ADN’s court historian Stephen Haycox is challenged to a debate



I grow weary of the court historian of the Anchorage Daily News, UAA Professor Emeritus Stephen Haycox. Alaskans have observed his Leftism spewing forth with unlimited and unchallenged regularity. The damage done through his columns and books is incalculable, serving short-term Alaskans with a false interpretation of history that looks upon federal control of Alaska as a benign influence.

Reading his book “Alaska: An American Colony,” one might think by the title that he would actually be advocating what Ernest Gruening told us in his historic 1955 speech, “Let Us End American Colonialism.”

Alas, it is just the opposite. He is a relentless cheerleader for limitless patronizing control of Alaska by the federal government and the shadowy influence of it that billionaires have long wielded.

And like all liberals who have imposed an utterly false interpretation of the Constitution on most citizens, he possesses the junior high school understanding that it is a “living document.”

You can read my online essay Is Alaskan Statehood a Fraud? at the Alaskan Independence Party’s website.

Haycox advocates abandoning the historic statehood compact of 90/10, and the revenues that were promised through federally held property to keep our state afloat. His constitutional ignorance and arrogance likely influenced the late Sen. Ted Stevens and now the entire congressional delegation, which sold out Alaska’s birthright for a 50/50 split in ANWR. Not that it will ever be developed.

He even dared to lecture Walter Hickel: “Hickel apparently did not realize that Congress must be free to change its legislation to conform to changing public opinion, to changes in society’s will.” 

Actually, it is Haycox who apparently does not understand the nature of a contract, which cannot be unilaterally withdrawn by the stronger party without consent of the other. However, any American native tribe would be able to tell the good professor a different story. I guess they did not realize that legislation that constantly re-drew their treaties must conform to “changing public opinion”. 

How racist, Dr. Haycox.

Such unfounded constitutional nonsense ignores the Federalist Papers, the conditions laid out by numerous states when they approved the Constitution in 1788, and in the 10th Amendment. It makes a mockery of states’ rights and presumes to understand “society’s will,” merely by the fashion of the liberal zeitgeist created by academics like himself.

Alaskans can view on YouTube Hickel’s 1993 documentary “Broken Promises,” which lays out clearly how we have for too long been the doormat of the federal government.

Not content with criticizing a then still-living Hickel, Haycox punches the tombstones of even the dead with the likes of C. R. Lewis. Apparently he has never read or even heard of the Venona Papers, which more knowledgeable liberals have grudgingly admitted exonerated the most caricatured man in American political history, Joseph McCarthy. While the term “Deep State” was something that the John Birch Society warned of sixty years ago, and is now almost universally accepted, Haycox still lives in a cocoon spun in the 1960s and continues to pretend it is a fantasy of mindless patriots.

The demonization of anything libertarian, conservative, traditional or constitutional must be set before persecution can begin. Haycox’s erudite sophistries have done a good job for years.

Professor Haycox, I challenge you to a public debate on the warped aspects of the statehood act and state constitution, the abandonment of constitutional principles which has been the hallmark of the federal government and state judiciary, and the direction that Alaska needs to take for the future.

I have offered a similar challenge to the ACLU. Unlike them, I believe that you possess the courage and knowledge to accept.

Bob Bird is a 44-year Alaskan, radio talk-show host and chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party.


  1. Alaska missed the opportunity to substantially reduce the Federal enslavement of our state when all the oil money started coming in and we could have built railroads to the west coast of Alaska. The mineral development and associated wealth would have been a boon tot he state getting on a self sustaining trajectory. The current feeding at the Federal trough has continued to limit the control the state should have over it’s future and the politicians in Juneau refuse to do anything to change that dependence.

  2. William F. Buckley drummed you all out of the Republican Party decades ago. He’s spinning so fast right now there’s probably a mission launch countdown for the ISS at his gravesight.

  3. When this debate occurs (not holding my breath) I’d love a heads up. Mr. Bird, if you’re so lucky to have Prof Haycox accept, this could actually set a small precedent. Who knows, maybe some liberal politicians might find some courage as well to debate the issues that have caused some much division in our communities and across our country. Thank you for issuing the challenge!

  4. Yes Sir Rhee Bob ! A living document, I like the sound of that. Why? Because if we were playing poker with the concept of a living rule, my pair of three’s beats your full house all day long!

  5. A quick couple of things.
    “He is a relentless cheerleader for limitless patronizing control of Alaska by the federal government and the shadowy influence of it that billionaires have long wielded.”
    Let’s face it. Alaska has been treated like a colony to be exploited by oil, timber, fishing, and mining companies, most of them foreign, since the time it was “discovered.” They are the billionaires to which Mr. Bird refers, not the Feds, although they have certainly been helpful to those who wish to rape our state.
    “And like all liberals who have imposed an utterly false interpretation of the Constitution on most citizens, he possesses the junior high school understanding that it is a ‘living document’. ”
    This silliness begs the question as to whether the Constitution is “living” or “dead,” in other words, does the Constitution allow the uninfringed possession only of flintlock rifles or does it also allow for Sherman tanks.

    • Greg R, are you saying that the second amendment applies only to weapons commonly used during the late 18th century? What part of the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed, is confusing to you? Arms, Greg, past pending and future.

      • If you ascribe to the strict constructionist version of Constitutional theory, shouldn’t you adhere to the strict meaning of the words of the time, i.e. arms=flintlocks?
        And I’m pretty sure the “Arms shall not be infringed” part as practiced today doesn’t allow you to own a grenade, bazooka, Sherman tank, or A bomb.
        Just sayin’.

  6. Governor Dunleavy has met your goals of giving out big Permanent Fund checks and giving away State land for homesteaders. Nobody has asked for your guns, so, what are you complaining about?

  7. Democrats live inside their own little world with their own little interpretation.
    Just as the prideful Dunbar and Constant shaming story, this is tradegy! When the elect choose deception over honesty.
    You know what encourages me is meeting intellectural leaders who uses their developed gifts to better and improve a lower educated population, actually protecting them, when that leader can expolit and abuse an innocent and ignorant population without them even realizing it. But they choose not to quadruple their own wealth at the expense of the crowds low education and reading level. This new information took the one last writer i enjoyed reading out of ADN. Now, there is nothing left for me from the ADN. Hahaha

  8. Congress has always had the power to deviate from the Statehood “compact.” Just read the text. Apparently you’d rather perpetuate the fraud that Alaska could enforce a 90-10 split in revenues. Every court has rejected the notion.

  9. Apparently, you do not understand the requirements for a contact to be valid. One of the criterion is the concept of consideration. Exactly what consideration did the Territory of Alaska contribute to the so-called “contact: in the Alaska Statehood Act? Consideration is the value that both parties bring to the contract. The people of the Territory of Alaska contributed no value to the Alaska Statehood Act. As a result there was no contract.

    The Alaska Statehood Act is legislation, and it is not a contract. Like all legislation, it can be overturned. This is what occurred when the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was repealed. This occurs all of the time. Reneging on legislative promises may be immoral, like most broken promises, but it is not illegal.

    I might say I am going to give you $100,000. That is not a contract. I gave something of value, but you have not. If I renege on my promise, you cannot successfully sue, because you have not given any consideration. The U.S. government gave a lot of value in the Alaska Statehood Act, while the citizens of the Territory of Alaska gave up nothing of value.

    You are correct in one matter. The treaties between the U.S. and the various Native American tribes were a contract. There was consideration on both parts. The U.S violated the concept of contracts, when it reneged on those treaties.

    I hope Dr. Haycox consents to you request for a debate, because you are clueless about anything factual.

    • It really doesn’t matter because most of the population under about 50 is so pig ignorant about history and civics that they couldn’t follow a debate and have so little sense of logic that they couldn’t form a rational conclusion. Bird would argue in simple declarative sentences in logically arranged paragraphs. Haycox would whisper the sweet nothings of leftist academia and the young and ignorant would think that Bird was mean, Haycox was nice, and that Haycox won the argument. That is why the US no longer has a res publica informed enough to participate in a democratic republic.

      • Or perhaps it could benefit us to look back to the Reagan era and watch the slow demise of the public educational system as it was gradually being starved to death by administrations that realized educated people wouldn’t buy into the Cinderella phantasy of morning in America.

  10. Haycox is another one of these self-righteous, so-called academics who sees the world through a narrow viewfinder. In his case, he was viewing it with his eyepatch still on. Think of all the young minds he polluted with falsehoods and non-discriminate facts of contempt for the truth. His deceased counterpart, Terrence Cole, did the same thing at UAF. Little wonder an entire generation of messed-up young people are still trying to come to grips with reality. Their History teachers fed them shovelfuls of crap. Haycox is a loser and a scourge for our State.

    • “One-eyed Hay,” as we used to call him outside of class, sees the world through just one eye. Anyone care to guess whether it’s the right eye or the Left?

      • Since one of the “dwarfs” has departed into immortality, can one-eyed Hay become the new dwarf? Just askin.

  11. Count me as another who would LOVE to witness this potential debate. Thank you yet again, Bob, for your tireless and fearless advocacy for truth. I remain your biggest fan.

  12. Thanks for your article, Bob. I was reminded of listening to you in the ’90s, and to C.R. Lewis in the ’60s (back when kids were to be seen and not heard). My mom & I sat with C.R. on round seats at a lunch counter and I got to hear C.R. expounding to my mom’s occasional questions. To a kid it seemed like a historically long lunch (ha), but I’m blessed to have listened to many of the greats. I’d love to hear you debate.

  13. Excellent read, nothing from ADN could possibly be good for our great state. They are the rag of the temporary Alaskans, I quit reading the rag over 27 years ago. Thank you from this 69 year Alaskan.

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