Hijabs don't kill people; people kill people - 4/29/2013 12:25 am
How do you say "Go ahead; make my day" in Arabic? - 4/20/2013 9:03 am
Let's privatize oil money in Alaska - 4/9/2013 5:07 pm
Wet or dry--maybe it's time we had each other's backs - 3/31/2013 3:46 pm
A Matter of Choice - 2/18/2013 12:49 pm
What's in a name, anyway? - 2/8/2013 10:43 pm
How about a ban on vicious and mindless gun politics? - 1/18/2013 9:50 pm
Smedley Butler got it right in 1935 - 1/3/2013 11:06 am
Posted: April 29, 2013 - 12:25 am
A recent Paul Jenkins column apparently illustrates an obvious truism: A major problem with contemporary satire is that, as a friend and former colleague once pointed out, truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.
Posted: April 20, 2013 - 9:03 am
Readers know that the Fox commentators are my role models. So when one of them pointed out that slavery would have ended a lot earlier than it did if slaves had had access to guns, I became inspired.
This month, an independent commission of Republicans and Democrats found that torture not only doesn’t work because people tortured will say anything to stop being tortured, but also violates the principles and values we uphold as Americans.
Posted: April 9, 2013 - 5:07 pm
One of my personal gripes against corporate welfare is the inefficient way of administering it.
I take a rather conservative position on corporate welfare. Once we accept the premise that corporations deserve welfare more than poor people because corporations pay the politicians more, then it’s really about the best way of transferring wealth from you to the corporations.
Posted: March 31, 2013 - 3:46 pm
“Do you know what we call illegal aliens in your country?” asked a Honduran man in Spanish in New York in 1974.
Then he answered his own question:
“Espaldas mojadas,” the literal English translation of which is “wet backs.”
A year earlier at the University of New Mexico, a Mormon classmate had asked me if Eskimos practice polygamy.
A dear Fairbanks friend, a Mescalero Apache civil rights activist married to an Inupiaq woman, once dropped the dreaded n-word on me.
Posted: February 18, 2013 - 12:49 pm
After writing maybe a hundred or so columns since May, 2009, I don’t remember whether I have written about this before. But the way I look at it, if I happen to write about the same thing twice in four years, it is not a major catastrophe. After all, maybe some readers forget as much as I do about what I write.
So here goes:
Posted: February 8, 2013 - 10:43 pm
Joe Vogler and Ernest Gruening differed quite a bit in their political ideology but they converged on at least two beliefs. Both insisted a democracy has no business colonizing others and both opposed what they considered the US colonization of Alaska. Gruening opposed the fishing industry’s draining off Alaska’s wealth and leaving little in return. Vogler railed against what he considered interference in Alaska matters by what he called federal posey sniffers.
Posted: January 18, 2013 - 9:50 pm
I was unaware of gun politics when I arrived in Fairbanks from New York in 1967. My first remembrance was a bumper sticker slogan sported by Rep. Howard Pollock: “The west wasn’t won with a registered gun.” I don’t know if that’s entirely accurate. The guns issued to the army that slaughtered Native Americans and drove them from their lands were probably registered, if the military then was anything like the military today.
Posted: January 3, 2013 - 11:06 am
The most important thing I’ve learned this century as it becomes a teenager is that politicians like Ronald Reagan and the Bushes were not aberrations but followers of a long tradition of meddling, bullying, stealing, and terrrorizing. It’s taken a while to fully grasp the concept that our country’s crimes started way before I started to recognize them.
Posted: December 17, 2012 - 8:19 pm
The word “essay” is taken from a French word meaning to “try.” That’s what I’ll do in this essay—try. Specifically, I’ll try to link several different aspects together.
When I was a kid, ABC ran a Saturday afternoon television program called “Wide World of Sports.” Sportscasters used to use the expression “world of sports.”
Posted: December 13, 2012 - 10:55 am
Shortly after I wrote an essay praising our Alaska electoral system for avoiding some of the obvious voter suppression techniques in other states, I read Rep. Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage wants to change it.
Bob wants to force Alaska voters to get photo IDs before being allowed to vote.
Here’s what’s wrong with that plan:
Posted: December 9, 2012 - 4:33 pm
Apparently the Fox cable channel is reviving its annual holiday tradition of complaining about a “war on Christmas?” Maybe this year Fox can update its data on how many innocent people have been killed in the war this year. And maybe they can tell us if surviving this war until Dec. 26 entitles us to veterans’ benefits.
Posted: November 15, 2012 - 1:09 pm
It’s been a more than a week since Election Day, but only a couple of days from a robo call asking me the extent to which I am a liberal or conservative. I didn’t answer that question; so I don’t know if the pollers counted my other opinions.
Posted: November 10, 2012 - 10:57 am
Working at my neighborhood polling place Tuesday left me proud to be an American and even more proud to be an Alaskan.
Posted: November 5, 2012 - 11:45 am
I was reading a book about the unthinkable when the unthinkable happened again. I was about halfway through the book by Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton about the 9/11 commission they chaired--when Hurricane Sandy struck New York, Long Island and New Jersey.
Posted: October 31, 2012 - 12:05 pm
I disagree with the decision to show the movie, “Compliance” earlier this month. The Bear Tooth theatre should show it today. Halloween is an appropriate day to show the scariest movie I have ever seen.
The movie has no vampires, werewolves, ghouls, mummies or zombies. At least literal zombies. Instead, the movie arouses our fears by being based on true-life incidents, some 70 of them according to a message at the end of the film.
Posted: October 19, 2012 - 10:26 am
As someone who spent 30 years writing for a living, I am reluctant to quote other people. I prefer to speak for myself.
But sometimes I have to admit defeat. That’s why I sent out Ray Mc Govern’s essay yesterday. He knows a lot more than I do because he’s smarter and has more experience than I.
Today, I’m sending another essay. Kevin Tillman has suffered from US foreign policy infinitely more than I. The evil politicians spent my money. The evil politicians spent his brother.
Posted: October 18, 2012 - 11:20 am
By Ray McGovern
October 16, 2012 "Information Clearing House " - If you prefer charade to reality, inquisition to investigation, trees over forest — the House Government Oversight Committee hearing last Tuesday on “Security Failures of Benghazi” was the thing for you.
Posted: October 12, 2012 - 4:53 pm
This is a warning to readers with heart conditions. You may not want to read any further if what I am about to say in the next paragraph is too much of a shock to your system.
Posted: September 29, 2012 - 12:36 pm
After a Mike Doogan column 15 years ago this month, I had to do a mental u-turn.
Before he served in the state legislature, Doogan sparked lots of controversy for years with his column in this newspaper. But for me one stands out more than all the others. He remarked on the strange juxtaposition in the 1997 deaths of two prominent European women—Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. One, Doogan pointed out, lived in fabulous luxury without having work for any of it while the other toiled all her life with sharing the poverty of those she served.
Posted: September 27, 2012 - 8:45 am
Friends, we’re in big trouble.
A poll conducted in May but released only this month shows the American people’s approval rating is down to 53%. That means Mitt Romney approves of only 47% of us. If things get much worse, the unthinkable could happen. Mitt Romney might not vote for us in November.