Elise Sereni
     Patkotak
Saturday, August 02, 2014

The temps are dropping lower at night. There are some stray leaves appearing on my lawn. Fall is approaching and that means it may soon be cold enough for me to venture out of my house again and into the great outdoors. I can’t wait to wave goodby to summer… or, at least, what passes for summer here.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:39 AM •
Friday, August 01, 2014

You know you’re old when your competition with your cousins and siblings center around who had the better quarterly or annual report from whatever specialist is dealing with whatever chronic disease old age has inflicted on them as opposed to debating who got more wasted over the weekend or who picked up the hotter date. The only possible exception to this rule is my cousin Joe, and he knows why.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:36 AM •
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Matthew 19:14 King James Version:  “ But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

For a country that seems to make a lot of noise about following Christian values no matter what the Constitution may say about separation of church and state, we are apparently very particular about which passages of the New Testament we follow. Corporations can claim the religious right of personhood to allow them to not cover medical care for women that offends their sensibilities. Christians can make much ado about a (fairly non-existent except in the minds of Fox News commentators) war on Christmas. Tea Partyers can wave their bibles and shout out those passages most conducive to what they want to do anyway. In those cases, apparently, Christianity works just fine.
So given this pride in proclaiming America a Christian nation, where did those horrible people come from who stood in front of refugee children screaming at them to go back where they came from? Where is Christianity to be found in those states refusing to house these children? Perhaps above all, where are all those Christian leaders, pastors and priests, bishops and lay preachers? Where is their voice denouncing this hate towards children?
I am horrified, embarrassed, chagrined and ashamed of the pictures that have recently been seen around the world of Americans screaming at children seeking safety and hope. The wonder at this point is how bad the situation in their home country must be that parents send their children to face the hateful speech and actions of people who call themselves Americans and Christians.
And again I ask, where are these so called Christian leaders – the preachers who rush to condemn same sex marriage because of what the bible says; the legislators who deny women the right to make the most personal and private of decisions between themselves and their doctors because it doesn’t jibe with their Christian beliefs. Where is the moral outrage that is all too often seen over programs that help the poor? Why are the people who insist, again despite that pesky separation clause in the constitution, that this is a Christian country that has to follow Christian values so silent on this Christian value?
These politicians and church leaders are quick to condemn homosexuality but not people who would defy Christ’s dictum to allow the little children to come to him. Notice that Christ did not say suffer only the children of Nazareth or Bethlehem to come to him. He didn’t confine his words to only the children of the Jewish faith or the offspring of his followers. No, he left it pretty wide open to any child in need of love and comfort. He embraced them all despite the fact that it was probably a strain on his budget given that he had no paying job.
I was raised steeped in Catholicism. One of my earliest memories is of the picture that hung in my first grade classroom of a blond Jesus in blinding white robes with a bright yellow halo over his head sitting on a stone and bending towards the little children running towards him. The picture didn’t need words. It was all there. Jesus was the safe place for children to run towards whenever they needed comfort, safety or just a big hug. And Christianity is supposedly the embodiment of Jesus’ beliefs in today’s world.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet that if Jesus returned to this earth today… and I seriously wonder why he would bother at this point… he would be standing with the children and not the ranting adults who seem bent on singlehandedly resurrecting the image of the Ugly American to the world.
There are huge refugee camps all over the mid-east where war has seemingly raged for millennia. Countries poorer than us do everything they can to help those refugees. They don’t send them back to be beaten and killed. They do this, at least in part, because of the dictates of Islam to care for others. Too bad the people who claim Christianity as the cloak to all else they want to do in controlling our country have forgotten that was also part of Christ’s message. Suffer little children indeed.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:42 AM •
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Bird TLC takes donations of all kinds of fish except fish that has been processed in some fashion. We are especially looking for some hooligan to stash away for the winter. Some of our injured eagles come in preferring hooligan to all else. Go figure.
And to any hunters, we also take donations of red meat for our raptors except for any that has been processed into sausage or hot links, etc. Rabbits and squirrels also appreciated.
Our new address is 7800 King Street. That’s north of Dimond on King between Dimond and 76th.
As always, the birds and I all thank you.
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:50 AM •
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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She was part dog, part cow. She stood high to your thigh and could knock you over with her insistence on being close enough to not lose you. She loved nothing more than being with her family. Unless it was when she got to walk Elaine. She’d let Elaine think she was in charge because she was holding the leash. But everyone knew that Angel was really the one in charge. Walking her gave Elaine all the aerobic exercise she needed on any given day. Thanks to a lady named Bessie, who found her abandoned in a parking lot, Angel got to live the life all dogs deserve, full of love and scritches and just the occasionally always bit of table food. And when the kids came along… well, Angel could lick their faces and get another whole meal out of it.
We all still miss her. She was the best.
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:45 AM •
Monday, July 28, 2014
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After annoying him for a lifetime, it’s nice to know I haven’t lost my touch. So this dog pictures is just for you, Joe. Because I know it’s what you live for.
In this lovely photo, Carm (playing the part usually assigned to my sister Judy) is trying to pull a recalcitrant Snowy (usually played by me) through the fun of an afternoon walk in the sun. Neither Snowy nor I like the sun. And once Snowy has put his butt down, Carm has no better chance of moving him than my sister does of getting me to do her Bataan Death March… which is how normal people refer to her version of a brisk walk. Did I mention that she took a dog on this walk and halfway back, he sat down and refused to go another step until his owner came to pick him up in a car. It’s like I said… the Bataan Death March.
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:29 AM •
Sunday, July 27, 2014

Apparently there is some concern that Alaskan Republicans will have difficulty differentiating between the two Dan Sullivan’s running for office in the upcoming primary. Here’s a suggestion. Don’t worry. They are cut from the same cloth. One and the same. The conservative Republican Alaskan mold is stamping them out in droves. So it just really doesn’t matter. To say nothing of how insulting it is to suggest that voters won’t know the difference after being bombarded with 80 gazillion ads for the Dan running for Senate. Here’s a thought… just vote for Joe Miller and don’t worry about getting confused.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:26 AM •
Saturday, July 26, 2014
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Where the hell are my sunglasses? Damn unreliable staff I have. You’d think they’d keep track of these things.
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:24 AM •
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Even a cursory review of history reveals that prohibition is a failed policy. Whether it’s forbidding your teen from seeing the boy of her dreams or forbidding a nation to have a beer after work, the result is the same. The forbidden will somehow be accessed. All prohibition does is drive the behavior underground, thus making it that much harder to deal with the consequences.

America’s War on Drugs has been a colossal failure. Not only has it not even come close to achieving its stated goal, it has driven the issue so far underground that the only people who truly benefit from it at this point are the drug lords who live high off the tastes of America’s citizens.
While I can understand the concerns of people over the potential for abuse if pot is legalized, keeping it illegal has not made much of a difference in its availability or people’s use of it. For village leaders concerned that if pot is legalized it will make its way into their villages, trust me that it’s already there in abundance. Keeping pot a prohibited substance does not diminish its availability.
I’ve always wondered why alcohol, a proven destructive substance, has received so much support while pot is viewed as so evil. People spill out of bars on Fourth Avenue at closing time and fistfights and gunfights ensue. But no one is demanding that alcohol be banned. Instead we turn ourselves inside out trying to adjust hours of operation, defining when the last drink can be served, and putting more police presence nearby at high violence hours. We do all that to keep a substance legal that creates more family and societal destruction than pot ever has in its history.
I think one of the reasons no one is calling for a prohibition on alcohol is that we’ve already seen where that leads. It leads to exactly the same place the war on drugs has led us, a place where gangs rule with violence and make money hand over fist. Our infamous War on Drugs has created some of the most successful businesses in the world. They may be illegal and murderous but you can’t deny they are very profitable.
Here’s something else I often wonder. Why does no one look at the success of the campaign against smoking and have some light bulb go off over their head that says here may be a realistic model for discouraging use of an addictive substance. And if one successful campaign doesn’t convince you, how about the campaign against drunk driving? In both those instances, it was public and peer pressure, public embarrassment and public information that won the day, not making cigarettes or alcohol illegal.
Do we still have smokers in our midst? Sure. But they smoke surreptitiously, knowing that their habit is almost uniformly viewed in a negative light. How much has this changed since the public information campaign began? Well, when I first started nursing in the early seventies, anyone who wanted could smoke at the nurse’s station in the hospital. Imagine trying to do that now. As for drunk driving, I grew up at a time where you could kill someone driving drunk and alcohol was considered a MITIGATING factor. You were too drunk to know what you were doing so the charge was less serious, if you were charged at all.
Pot has been in Alaska a long time. It’s in every village and city. Alcohol is also in every city and village in this state, local option laws notwithstanding. I don’t know how far you have to stick your head into the sand to know that prohibition of substances people want badly enough simply doesn’t work. It was a failed policy in the twenties and it’s a failed policy now. I say let’s take this issue out of the shadows and into the light of day where people with a problem can feel free to seek help without fear of criminal penalties and people who simply want to relax on a weekend with a joint and a movie don’t have to go to an underground dealer for their stash.
Let’s dump what is obviously an overwhelmingly failed approach to pot and deal with any problems that arise in the light of day and not the darkness of prohibition.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:36 AM •
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Commercial advertisers should complain about the number of mind numbing political ads are running on our tv. Sometimes the same ad runs twice, back to back. So I have given up watching live TV completely. I’d rather read and tape the show. Then I can fast forward through all the commercials. This stops me from want to scream in agony at hearing one more time about why Dan Sullivan protects Alaska hunters or why Mark Begich is opposed to carbon tax or why… oh crap. Who gives a damn anymore? Just make the noise stop. My brain feels like it wants to take a vacation from my head and go somewhere quiet. In fact, at this point, I may not vote for either of them just because they have annoyed me more in the past few months than George Bush did in his entire eight years in office.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:40 AM •
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

He was an integral to my youth as Little Joe. Both taught me what good men were like. Both showed me the kind of man I most was attracted to. And both clarified my someone hazy understanding of boys versus girls and that I most definitely was not gay.
Now they are both gone and a little part of my childhood has died with them.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:37 AM •
Monday, July 21, 2014
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I slept in on Saturday morning. This is what I found when I came out of my bedroom.
Guilt anyone?
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:04 AM •
Sunday, July 20, 2014

I guess Sarah Palin wouldn’t understand the enormity of the issue of impeaching a president or any given elected official since she didn’t hang around long enough as our governor for us to impeach her. And trust me, all signs indicated there would come a point where we would have.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 02:02 AM •
Saturday, July 19, 2014
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“Just look the other way and maybe he’ll go away.”
“But he’s sniffing my butt and he’s really big.”
“Just keep walking and maybe he’ll be too busy sniffing her butt to notice. Move slowly and quietly.”
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:27 AM •
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“Just look the other way and maybe he’ll go away.”
“But he’s sniffing my butt and he’s really big.”
“Just keep walking and maybe he’ll be too busy sniffing her butt to notice. Move slowly and quietly.”
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Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:27 AM •

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