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: March 20, 2011 - 11:29 pm
Eight years ago today, I eagerly turned on CBS to watch the first day of my favorite sporting event—the NCAA men’s Division I college basketball tournament. But the bombs I saw were not basketballs launched from behind the three-point line; they were weapons of mass destruction launched on a people, not for what they did, but for theoretically what they might do. It was like claiming self-defense for shooting a guy for not being able to prove he was not going to attack us.
Posted: March 16, 2011 - 6:49 am
I don’t like this new NCAA men’s tournament set-up. Now that there are 68 teams, the eight worst teams should play for four spots in the final 64. But, for some reason, four teams are playing to become 16th seeds, two teams are playing to become 12th seeds and two are playing to become 11th seeds. Forcing teams like Alabama Birmingham and Virginia Commonwealth to play extra games instead of teams like Boston University and Hampton makes no sense to me.
Posted: March 14, 2011 - 1:25 pm
As Dave Barry used to say, “I’m not making this up.”
New York Representative Peter King who has called for hearings investigating terrorism by Muslims has been quoted as calling the Irish Republican Army terrorists “a legitimate force” and as pointing out the IRA has never attacked the United States.
Give the guy credit for one thing. He doesn’t try to hide his double standard for Muslim and Catholic terrorists. Only, of course, I doubt he’d call the IRA terrorists.
Posted: March 9, 2011 - 1:43 pm
Thanks to Kevin Clarkson for writing about a couple of virtues, principle and honor, that are now threatened species on the fast trick to endangered status.
Kevin agrees with the decision of Brigham Young University to enforce its honor code on a basketball player for alleged pre-martial sex. Kevin applauds BYU’s decision not to exempt athletes despite the school’s ranking in the top ten men’s college basketball teams.
Posted: March 7, 2011 - 2:11 pm
The usual suspects who like to accuse me of being a violent criminal can now accuse me of using a Latin title to violate Alaska’s official English law with a Latin title.
The title literally means after this, because of this and refers to the fallacy of assuming that event B follows event A, then event A must cause event B.
Posted: March 3, 2011 - 3:22 pm
A couple of retired CIA analysts are back in the news. The former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer, actually appeared on a mainstream medium, ”The Colbert Report, when he accused Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama of lying to the American people by telling us Osama bin Laden led the 9-11 terrorist attacks out of hatred for our freedom.
Scheuer appeared on the program to plug his bin Laden biography.
Posted: March 1, 2011 - 12:12 am
I doubt Naomi Klein ever heard of Scott Walker when she wrote her 2007 book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” But I found eerie connections between her thesis and his actions. Saturday morning I called my friend Ceezar to find out whether I was hallucinating or something. Ceezar assured me I am not. Now, I will leave it to readers to decide for themselves.
It’s hard to summarize more than 500 pages, including 60 pages consisting of nothing but footnotes listing sources, in Klein’s book in a couple of sentences, but here goes:
Posted: February 25, 2011 - 11:30 am
I thought I had said all I need to about budgets in this week’s three part series of essays. Then along came the governor of Wisconsin.
I never set foot in that state and have never joined a union. So, until now I’ve kept out of that squabble. But then I related it to what’s going on in the rest of the country, and, to some extent, here in Anchorage.
Posted: February 23, 2011 - 7:30 am
My last essay was about principles. This one’s about how to cut and where to cut:
Our military budget should be more like Canada’s. That country has the second-most land mass in the world to protect. I asked a Canadian friend how they do that with so much less money than we do. Her response was tentative: “We’re nice?”
Posted: February 22, 2011 - 12:44 am
Since I have no power to speak of, my budget ideas are insignificant. But maybe they will help you consider yours.
Estimates vary on the size of the military budget. Smarter people than I have considered all the expenses related to and resulting from the military and have estimated military spending from 46% to 51% of total spending of the federal government. Such estimates will depend on such matters as whether you consider taxpayers’ share of the costs of removing appendixes of retired Army sergeants and the money we send dictators to fight democracy in their countrie etc.
Posted: February 21, 2011 - 12:22 pm
This suddenly-trendy concern with deficit spending and the runaway federal budget reminds me of David Stockman’s book and a 1994 visit with then-Sen. Pete Kelly in his Fairbanks office.
Reagan’s budget director, Stockman, wrote a book about why the Reagan Revolution failed. Stockman says the trickle-down theory—cutting taxes on the rich will yield more profits and hence more tax revenues than maintaining tax rates—failed because special interests hijacked efforts to cut federal spending.
Posted: February 19, 2011 - 11:43 am
I try not to repeat the same theme in these essays. But sometimes I do overlap. And I plead guilty to using the same real-life examples more than once on occasion to illustrate different points.
I’ll try not to cover the same ground I did a year ago when I applied the lessons of bullying at the Bethel High School, where Evan Ramsey responded to being bullied by murdering a fellow student and the principal of the school on Feb. 19, 1997.
Posted: February 17, 2011 - 2:55 pm
If political posturing became an Olympic sport, I wonder who would win the gold medal.
Posted: February 12, 2011 - 11:03 am
When Friday’s paper proclaimed Mubarak won’t quit, I remember thinking the editors left out the word “yet.”
I guess the best way to start my reaction is to state the obvious:
Posted: February 10, 2011 - 8:10 am
I saw “Fair Game” with half a dozen friends at the Totem Theatre last night. The movie about Valerie Plame’s ordeal exceeded my expectations. I hadn’t realized the tremendous suffering the government’s actions did on the marriage of Plame and Joe Wilson, in retaliation for Wilson’s telling the truth about yellow-cake uranium from Niger.
Posted: February 9, 2011 - 12:20 pm
In the “South of the Border” documentary, the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, proposes an Ecuadoran military base in Florida to balance US military bases in his country.
The president’s quip challenges us to re-think the US relationship with smaller countries. Should we treat them as equals or should we use our power to get what we want from them?
Posted: February 3, 2011 - 2:20 pm
Since ESPN is revealing its top ten Super Bowls Thursday afternoon, I decided to reveal my own. My preference is not so much spectacular plays as close finishes, preferably on the last play of the game. My list reflects that bias.
First the also rans in chronological order:
1971- -Colts 16, Cowboys 13. First to be decided in final minute. Exciting finish, but sloppy game throughout keeps it from the top ten list.
1976—Steelers 21, Cowboys 17. Close game. Lead goes back and forth most of the game.
Posted: January 28, 2011 - 1:47 pm
The bad news is that a dispute with the film distributor kept local theatres from showing Oliver Stone’s documentary, “South of the Border,” about the spread of democracy in Latin America.
The good news is that you can see it for free tonight. Stone’s movie shows at the UAA social sciences building, room 118 at 7PM. Even the “concessions,” such as they are—cookies, coffee and juice—are free. Such a deal.
Posted: January 27, 2011 - 1:04 pm
I wonder what Don Smith would say about the prospect of naming something in Alaska after Ronald W. Reagan. The former and present Anchorage politician objected in the 1980s to naming the Performing Arts Center after Martin Luther King, Jr. because King was not an Alaskan.
Neither was Reagan. Should we make an exception to the Smith principle and honor him? Apparently, a state legislator thinks so and is looking for suggestions.
I have a few:
Posted: January 23, 2011 - 10:49 am
any chance you can copy and post this one for me? They haven't updated their system yet, and they still only recognize my old password. Of course, they only recognize my NEW user name, which means that between the two I can't get in at all. And please explain why you had to post this instead of me. Here goes: