Columns 2017

The miseries of flying

The last time I traveled by plane was just a day after the incident on a United Airlines flight where a customer was dragged off the plane with a bloodied face, missing teeth and a concussion. As I deplaned from my Alaska Airlines flight in Anchorage, I turned to the attendants and pilots waiting at the front of the plane to say goodbye and thanked them for not beating up their customers. This was met by a moment of confused (stunned?) silence. As I continued out the door, I heard a delayed whoop of laughter.

I fly Alaska Airlines almost Continue reading →

Scribblings

Why is anyone surprised

Why is anyone surprised about the incidents recently captured on video showing altercations between flight staff and passengers. The industry has made flying one of the worse experiences in life. Plane seats have shrunk to Lilliputian size while people have grown larger and larger. You have less leg room than you did in your mother’s womb. You are always on a full flight with no space to stretch or be comfortable. Restrooms are so small you can barely turn around in them. You are herded around like cattle. Everyone’s nerves are ready to snap by the time the plane takes Continue reading →

Scribblings

It must be spring

I sneeze at least ten times every morning before I even make it to the coffee maker to turn it on. Why is it that my body seems to hate everything green and pretty? I lived almost thirty years in Barrow without a bad allergy season. Then I moved to Anchorage and all those memories of childhood visits to Dr. Dittenfass for allergy shots came rushing back. You’d think I’d outgrow it but no. I am apparently destined to be allergic to all natural things for the rest of my life. Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Fantastical thinking… budget category

I’ve always wondered how Republicans can call themselves the party of fiscal conservatism when faced with the stark reality that the federal debt goes up under Republican presidents and down under Democratic presidents. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

And now here we are faced with the same dilemma in Alaska. The Republican majority in the Senate crafts a budget that does not balance the budget; that calls for unspecified cuts in state government that they are too chicken to actually name; that depends on what can only be called voodoo economic reasoning; that relies on pots of money that Continue reading →