So I am driving my old Benz to the Ted Stevens Monument to Alaska Pork (aka the airport) around Rosh Hashana and I am hit with Eddie Grant’s Electric Avenue refrain, “And then we’ll take it higher” and I am rocking out. The buzz diminishes as I drive in circles trying to put the car in the correct lane at the correct terminal in the bleary rain-soaked darkness (bear with me as I hope this is allegorical) and I turn apparently so serious that having picked up my passenger I virtually shove the recent donnybrook over the Yom Kippur Cook Inlet Conference cross-country race in my unsuspecting passenger’s face.
My passenger, a family gadfly who supports the Seventh Day Adventist perspective of legally challenging religious discrimination seems ecstatic over the turn of events (ASD adopting a short list of holidays that will be safe from school scheduled events) . I, a recovering Funkaholic who has been lost in the Kafka-esque twists and turns of modern transport, am not so sure.
With all the high emotion having faded perhaps its time to look back over the furor concerning the stance taken by many dentists over the plan to allow non-dentists to perform procedures previously reserved for dentists. The argument seemed to be centered over the perceptions of many Natives that they could not obtain adequate dental care in the Bush without this option. Dentists were horrified that the plan would allow persons not professionally prepared to perform the procedure to become what amounted to seat of the pants dentists, arguably creating a second-class dental system for Natives. Natives then claimed that it was the dentists being racist.
What can finally be distilled from this once the facts have been distilled is that the underlying problem is that Bush Natives won’t pay what the market demands to have real dentists come to them and so they are willing to pay less for non-dentists. One cold simply chalk this up to a consumer decision (perhaps an unwise one, but a consumer decision nonetheless) until one remembers that the federal government owes a duty to these same consumers because they are dependent peoples.