Columns 2017

Seven years of bitching and they still didn’t think about coming up with a good replacement

So we are once again caught up in a health care debate that will probably end as badly as every attempt by Republicans to repeal Obamacare. And I once again have to wonder how Republicans could have spent the past seven years attempting to repeal it without ever thinking of what comes next. How could they spend seven years screaming like stuck pigs over this health care law and forget to come up with a decent replacement plan?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not perfect; far from it. Premiums can be so high that families opt to pay the Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Learn the lesson from the Vietnam War generation

As a member of the sixties hippie generation, I am also a child of the Vietnam War. I don’t know if there are enough words to express what an overwhelming presence and force that war was to my generation. It encompassed us like a tsunami. When it ended, it felt as though the whole world shuddered in an attempt to find the new normal. I think we all regret that the new normal turned out to be the seventies.

I started the sixties as a good little Catholic schoolgirl. It wasn’t until I got to college in the mid sixties Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Perception is sometimes everything

A story in Sunday’s paper described a lawsuit filed by the Southcentral Foundation against the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) over compensation paid some board members and its chairman. The amounts seem extremely high given they are within a system that is chronically stretched to its financial limits in trying to provide health care to Natives throughout the state. The compensation for the chairman in particular looks questionable given that the gentleman apparently is working two full time jobs at once. Both jobs are very demanding and that leads to some legitimate questions about how anyone can claim to Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Not all heroes are really heroes

Columbus Plaza was a block away from my childhood home in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In it was a large statue of Columbus. Given that I grew up in an Italian-American immigrant community, finding the statue so nearby is not really a stretch. He was an Italian hero; the man who discovered America. He stood on the only patch of green for miles around my neighborhood. In fact, his statue stood in the nearest I could get to nature back then – an approximately two block square of grass with pigeons, a few trees and the statue of Columbus. Along Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Alaska Native Health care

Here’s the quote from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price that I never thought I’d hear from a Fed. “They (Alaska Natives) know best how to care for their people, and we need to facilitate that.” For someone who came to Alaska as an employee of the Indian Health Service (IHS) in 1972, that statement is mind blowing.

When I arrived in Alaska to serve as a nurse in the IHS Barrow hospital, the entire attitude of the organization was paternalistic in the extreme. It’s not that the people working for IHS were bad people or had some prejudice Continue reading →

Columns 2017

White supremacists seem to be drawn to losers

Given that the current occupant of the White House has declared loudly and frequently that he only likes winners, one has to wonder what he sees in some of the groups who supported him so strongly during his run for the presidency and who now claim their votes put him into office.

Let’s take a moment to recap what these white racist groups admire the most. For starts, they claim to want to take America back while defending and adulating a country – the Confederate States of America – that fought a war to separate from America. The Confederate flag Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Fox just seems to attract them

Fox News is really having a rough year. Not as rough as the years women working there had to endure a culture of sexual harassment, but a tough year nonetheless. Yet another employee of the organization, host Eric Bolling, has been suspended for texting lewd photos of male genitalia to women who had definitely not asked to see them. Given how badly this type of activity has gone in the past (can you say Anthony Weiner?), one has to wonder what these men are thinking when they indulge in this creepy pastime.

I’m not a prude. I’m well aware that Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Religious right attempts to curtail equal rights for all Anchorage citizens

I’m not sure when the idea of equal rights became so scary to a very conservative portion of the Christian right, but it has. And so a petition has been filed with the Anchorage City Clerk’s Office to get the question of equal rights for all Anchorage citizens on the ballot. This ballot measure would be an attempt to take away equal rights from a certain portion of our population that the Alaska Family Action group, headed by Jim Minnery whose wife spearheaded the petition, doesn’t like.

That’s right, I said doesn’t like. Because under all those flowery words of Continue reading →

Columns 2017

It’s treason… plain and simple treason

Am I the only one who wonders just how far the Republican Party is willing to go in selling out America so it can remain in power? Am I the only one disgusted by the total silence emanating from that party’s leaders over the actions of the current occupant of the White House and his family?

Remember how many hearings they held over Hillary’s emails and what they considered her mishandling of Benghazi? Despite the fact that exhaustive examinations of both issues by a variety of panels found no indictable offense, they kept holding hearings trying to smear her. They Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Alaska

My first summer visitors arrived last weekend. They arrived amidst the rain and clouds that have defined the summer in Southcentral so far. Of course, we’ve had our occasional sunny days. But they have been far outweighed by cool temps and rain since the beginning of June.

I realize that this weather is a bummer for many Alaskans who view the summer as their chance to squeeze six months of outdoor fun into two months of possible sunshine and above freezing weather. My heart goes out to them as they attempt to grill in a downpour, fish in weather making Continue reading →