Columns 2017

Political ethics… more ephemeral than spun sugar

I don’t know about you but I am personally ready to beat on any Alaskan politician claiming to cut the fat from the state budget to make ends meet without offering a single instance of where that fat is.

We are in the middle of a statewide fiscal crisis. Combine the budget gap with the recession and you have a perfect storm for wreaking havoc in the lives of ordinary citizens. Yet our state Senate seems intent on making that situation worse by offering a budget fix that would destroy thousands of jobs, deepen the recession and only be good Continue reading →

Columns 2017

The two levels of American justice

The question all Americans should be asking themselves at this point is why Jeff Sessions is still Attorney General. Or, to phrase it not so politely, why isn’t Jeff Sessions in jail.

He lied to Congress. He took an oath, swore to tell the truth and then outright lied. He is the top law enforcement officer in our country. His actions should be above reproach. But instead, he lies under oath and then tries to squirm out of it by claiming he met with Russian officials as a member of the Senate and not as a campaign advisor.

It’s hard Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Where did all those patriots go?

Let’s take a stroll through nostalgia lane, back to the time when you had to wear an American flag lapel pin to be considered patriotic. God help the politicians who forgot to put one on because then they were accused of being Kenyan born Muslims who hated America. And if you refused to stand for the national anthem… well, you were just about as close to an ungrateful traitor as you could get without actually being one.

You remember those days, right? It was back when right wing conservatives screamed and tore their hair out if someone didn’t put their Continue reading →

Columns 2017

We all know how she got the job

Let me state at the outset that I am friends with one of Lisa Murkowski’s siblings. But our friendship is based much more on a shared love of food than any political discourse. So when I write about Lisa, I’m writing from the perspective of someone who knows her only as a public figure.

Having said that let me say this. Would all Alaskans who are still fixated on how she got her job please get a life. I’m sure I’m not the only Alaskan who is sick and tired of the rant about how she’s only our senator because Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Shop Nordstrom’s. Piss Orangeman off!

I have never been accused of being fashionable. My idea of dressing up is to put a bra on under my sweatshirt. And of course, in case of an accident, I always wear clean underwear. Mom taught me well on that point.

My mother was a fashionista. Or, at least as much of one as she could be on the very limited income of a grocer’s wife. The day she died, she was packing to go to Europe. We found her bed covered with new clothes she’d laid out for the trip. I, on the other hand, get ready for Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Alaska’s silent legislature

Be quiet. Quieter. No, I mean really, really quiet. Because I’m sure if you get quiet enough you’ll be able to hear the healthy and vigorous debates going on in our state legislature over our fiscal crisis and how to handle it so that we can still pay the light bill.

Hmmm… seems no matter how quiet we get, we hear nothing. But just wait a few months and then hear the sounds of our legislators explaining their need to go into overtime because this is a problem that simply can’t be solved in a week. Listen to them explain Continue reading →

Columns 2017

And Anchorage snow day

Alaska finally seems to be getting the winter it deserves, which is full of snow and cold. Also, it’s full of a white, frosted beauty that only real Alaskans seem to be able to appreciate. So after way too many years of waiting for winter to happen, I finally had the one that eliminated any excuses for not cleaning out my closets and garage.

I must say, it was revealing. I have apparently not done this since moving down from Barrow. That would explain the 30-year-old backpack tossed into the top of my closet. Or the twenty-five mug warmers that Continue reading →

Columns 2017

How we treat mental illnesses

Once again we face the dismal reality that as a society, we have made little to no progress in understanding and treating mental illness. Over the centuries, people with mental illnesses have been considered touched by the gods, possessed by the devil and full of the wrong humors. Once we understood mental illness was just that, an illness, you’d think we’d have come up with a rational way to deal with it. But this, of all illnesses, seems to be the one we can’t wrap our heads around. No matter what society says out loud, privately most people just want Continue reading →

Columns 2017

Both parties need to retire

Has it occurred to anyone else that both the Democrats and the Republicans have become the parties of dysfunction? Is it perhaps time to retire them both to the dustbin of history and start anew?

Look at the Dems. They lost the election and since then have pretty much been curled up in a whimpering ball of shaking goo. If Hillary had won and then it became public knowledge that her win had been at least partly assisted by the Kremlin, the Republicans would not be curled up and quivering. They would have fourteen special committees investigating it. They would Continue reading →

Columns 2017

A country of war

I’m probably not the only person in this world who is very, very glad to say goodbye to 2016. It was a horrible year. And I’m not just talking about the Orangeman’s election. Yes, that will probably be the downfall of democracy and our country as we know it, but it still wasn’t the worst part of 2016. That honor goes to the endless wars in the Middle East.

We are now in our 15th year of war there and are no closer to solving the problem of terrorism than we were the day after 9/11. In fact, there Continue reading →