Spank my peepee!

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 7.40.28 AMClick on the photo to check out the most recent Victorian episode in the Raj — I mean Anchorage, Alaska.  “Come now!”, you say, every civilized society frowns on the sale of intoxicants to the intoxicated. That may well be the case, but it is NOT what is in issue here.

From the ADN article:

Thompson said she took steps and spent money to comply with the council’s requests.

“They asked us to upgrade our security camera system. We did that. They asked me to work with (APD officer Sally Jones) to come up with ideas for better lighting, so we did that,” she said.

At the same time, starting in October 2013, Anchorage police were gathering surveillance footage of Spirits of Alaska to document the kind of behavior residents were complaining about.

They edited the footage into a kind of supercut that shows, condensed, what Gilliam says is the problem: “Apparent drug deals. Assaults. Straw purchases — where individuals buy alcohol and sell it to drunk individuals. An allegation that one clerk is working in conjunction with a known drug dealer … People have difficulty getting up. People standing on corner drinking. Female employee leaving with a known drug dealer. Guy smoking crack. Public defecation on south side of building …” he said.

Gilliam says it is clear to him that Spirits of Alaska is selling largely to street alcoholics.

In other words, as was the case with the hysteria promoted by the “liberal” East side Assemblyman, Paul Honeman, this is not about stopping the sale of alcohol to the inebriated, but about stopping the sale of alcohol to people who drink. I understand that there may be some of my readers, as few as you are, who cannot fathom the difference; this is for you.

Anchorage is aflame!  We have public drunks! And the bright lights of Anchorage, living as they do in the seat of universal logic, have determined that the best way to rid the community of public drunks, is to shut down liquor stores that sell booze to the poor, unimportant, people. Think of it as a modern day equivalent to Henry Anslinger‘s 1930’s attempts to stop crime in its tracks by shutting down the Negro scourges of jazz and marijuana (oh, wait, that was before we became a “post-racial” society, so that was OK!) Apparently either rich important people aren’t drunks (well, we know THAT’S not the case) or we don’t care that you are driving around looped to the gills, as long as we don’t see you (and please watch out for those little bundles of flowers along side the roads). And therein lies our tale. But I am getting ahead of myself.

DRUGS! BENGHAZI! DRUGS!  I mean, associating with a known drug dealer! THAT is certainly not Constitutionally protected!  But what about consuming an intoxicant while not intoxicated in a public place? Well THAT is unlawful AMC 8.35.400, and THAT is not the responsibility of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board; that is the responsibility of the very same Anchorage Police Department that has been the target of attacks by the Mayor and is seriously undermanned and underfunded. So what have the Assembly done? Of course, they gave them more to do – now they have to write $100 tickets for public pot smoking (of COURSE they still need pot sniffing dogs!) As one can see from reviewing Anchorage’s alcohol ordinances, the licensee is NOT responsible for any conduct off the licensed premises, and is subject to a very clear standard of care.  Nor is there anything in the story which suggests that the licensee has not met her duty.

These efforts are cut from the same cloth as Honeman’s past efforts, which were based upon the premises that as homeless people rarely have ID in their possession, requiring people to show ID would keep homeless people from buying booze. I argued it was an indirect attack that could not stand constitutional scrutiny; the local ACLU was fine with it (apparently the ACLU folk did not want scruffy street people living near their homes…  Go figure.) In other words, if we don’t want dogs in town, we raise the price of dog feed to $500/bag and require that the feed be purchased by someone wearing $1000 pumps — problem solved because now, though we still have dogs, the dogs are well groomed.

So, let me ask you, Ms. Demoski,  if I publicly urinate in front of your house, are you going to organize a protest to make water fountains illegal? If I think you are a bit overweight, should I raise the price of food at all the stores you can shop at?


Baby it’s cold out here

The Reformation, while feeding the concept of natural rights (which many see as eventually leading to much of what girds the spirit of the US’s founding fathers), also succored its antithesis. For while natural rights flow from natural law which is a byproduct of the Enlightened view of natural order (part and parcel of the Deist clockworks), it also brought to our shores the narrow minded intolerance of the Puritans, whose a priori view of the universe is still a curse on these shores.

To make matters worse, the unwashed masses confuse the concept of divine authority to engage willy-nilly in any activity they wish, with serious the jurisprudential questions. Of course there is a long history of the abuse of such confusion, as we see in the concept that a king is the annointed of the gods, or even that the individual is the annointed of the gods (in both cases authority flows from Zeus’ head as it were, not as a matter of human construction.)

Modern jurisprudence is not founded upon lighting bolts and plagues; as Professor Hohfeld noted a century ago, it is founded on a matrix of reciprocity – or as early British law put it, there is no right without a remedy.  And so here we have from one perspective the chasm that in part divides ‘Mirka.  On the one hand is a religious conviction which brooks no debate, while on the other we have a communitarian effort at managing all resources to everyone’s benefit.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 10.20.45 AM

Photo by Dara Ahrens

The crux of the antagonism, then, is the belief that anyone proposing legal guidelines that are inconsistent with Graham Crackers’ belief in what his deity intended is condemning one and all to unlawful acts in the eyes of that deity, with the likelihood of real time retribution (as in the water is rising because so is the amount of butt-fucking.) And this is where the Puritans enter, Stage Left, not because they were seeking individual religious freedom, but because they were seeking to create Sidney’s republic of saints. [And here we can note the nominal value Steve Salaita could have brought to UICU, the comparison of the “zionism” of the US with that of Israel, however defective his thesis may be.]

There is little to be gained in argumentation here. The ‘godly’ may from time to time deign to suggest that this or that policy is or is not acceptable to their mightiness (it would be difficult to attack Christians here as sole offenders as even Christian are hard put nowadays to agree on what a Christian is, and Christians are not the only ones whose deity is apparently ignoring the admonition of one purported prophet, to render unto temporal authority that which is of the temporal authority, lol) while the ungodly try to juggle the demands of billions of semi-sentient creatures, millions of whom are stomping their feet and screaming, “Me! Mine! More!”

Through the crack, sprightly

It occurs to me that I have yet to meet a parent who didn’t feel that their child, not recognized as exceptional by their school, was very special and not adequately served by their school. Go figure. Indeed, one of the more frightening areas in which the far right and liberal left seem to make common cause is over “educational reform” — code for , “choice”.

When looks at the response to parental demands (read ‘low cost” private and charter schools), we see of course quite a bit of quackery, bigotry, but more importantly we see that these schools are mostly about parents being able to push educational staff around. Not that educational staff in many institutions shouldn’t be pushed around, lol, but I would prefer to see the pushing towards greater educational efficacy, as opposed to greater responsiveness to parental images of self-importance.

I am afraid we do have hordes of lousy teachers, but I don’t think a greater percentage than that of lousy parents, and while some might argue that with adequate educational leadership something can be made of even the worst teacher (presuming the existence of educational leadership, a matter I think in some dispute) the same can’t be said of parents.

Yes, I am outraged by a teacher who flunks his entire honors history class, but I also have to ask myself how such a class was filled with students who could not read or write to the standards necessary to take that class. And in the instances where I have witnessed such behavior, not a single parent though their child unprepared.

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 8.42.28 PMI will certainly admit to the fact that countless children escape an education, but qualify that confession with the observation that the wee toads are aided and abetted by their parents, who are of legal age, if not necessarily of sound mind, and whom, if the truth be told, are hustling their precious little devils through those cracks as quickly as their little chubby legs can carry them. And while some of us see down the rabbit hole as delightful interlude from the humdrum of our obligations, for some the illusion becomes all too real

While there are undoubtedly many exceptions, most of “us”  are fearful, bigoted, and superstitious. We tend to think we are well educated while we are often almost functionally illiterate. We know very little history and less of any other social science, are largely innumerate, and have a good deal of trouble with our own language, let alone any other. We are tribal, snooty, and abusive while calling out others for being tribal, snooty and abusive. We are incredibly selfish, greedy and jealous.  And now we want to be able to educate our children so that they don’t have to be near “Them”.

The most critical aspect of Education is learning about Others. The most critical target of Educational Reform can, I believe, be consistently seen in your mirror (as opposed to being found on the other side of it).