Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 10.13.55 AMI have a history of getting attached to toasters…. except the last one. It was a white thing that had been “designed” by someone who thought kitchens should be white and should converse with their patrons. We never bonded. And it turned out to be a quitter anyways.

Am I somehow at fault for failing to provide a safe place for it? Did I fail to maintain a supportive and fulfilling environment? Was I simply too demanding? Let me answer by suggesting it was tossed in the bin, upside down, and then covered with coffee grounds and gristle (not to suggest any animosity, but that is what happens to things I have no use for.)

The new toaster (a Breville, from an Australian manufacturer battling with US firm Cuisinart for my attention on my local vendor’s appliance shelving)  sitting as it does on the counter just overlooking the bin, seems unfazed. I suppose I would expect no less from something from Oz.

This morning the toast was just fine.  No conversation expected or exchanged. I think we will get along just fine….

That Is the Whole of the Law

שוב מעשה בנכרי אחד שבא לפני שמאי, אמר לו: גיירני על מנת שתלמדני כל התורה כולה כשאני עומד על רגל אחת. דחפו באמת הבנין שבידו. בא לפני הלל, גייריה. אמר לו: דעלך סני לחברך לא תעביד – זו היא כל התורה כולה, ואידך – פירושה הוא, זיל גמור.
I posted the above to Facebook as it cuts through all manner of bon mot about charity and pierces to the heart the matter of refugees Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 2.58.51 PM(to employ an Aristotelian view, it must be an expression of “good” as it appears in almost every human culture in one form or another). Some “Liked” the post (I can only hope they read Hebrew….) but I am sure most had no idea what it was (but didn’t ask). So what does that make me?  Harrrummmppphhhhh…..
The quote is from the Mishna, the first part of the Babylonia Talmud, Seder Moed, Tractate Shabbat, Folio 31a (translation and URL for source below). The Babylonia Talmud contains the ethical principles laid down by the rabbis, and it is the feed stock for the parables of the New Testament gospel canon. There is a generation between Hillel and his arrival from Babylonia, and the ministry of the person purportedly known as Yeshua, and some argue Yeshua was an inlaw of Hillel’s. Yeshua, who was born and who died a Jew, would have been steeped in the dynamics of Judaism of the time and the tensions between form and substance, and between assimilation and tradition. Suffice it to say, that much of the gospels are lifted from the Mishna. In fact Joseph McCabe argues that, “we are then compelled to conclude that the writers of the Gospels borrowed from the Jewish Schools most of the parables they ascribed to Jesus, and in most cases lowered or destroyed the ethical value of the parables in so doing..”

Do not allow another to be treated in a manner in which you would not want to be treated. That’s it.  That’s “good”.  Everywhere you go, throughout history. Except among Christians in the United States in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

We put Emma Lazarus’ poem (New Colossus, written as a donation for the auction to support the funding of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal) front and center so as to avoid the shame of our behavior:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
But we have long ago slammed the golden door in the faces of the wretched victims of our blind self-interest. And thinking of these self-righteous Christians, I come to think of Jonathan Edwards terrifying sermon on the text “Their foot shall slide in due time. Deuteronomy 32:35″ . They are condemned, by their own faith, as sinners in the hands of an angry god, and their foot shall slide in due time.
Hypocrisy is no foundation for any tomorrow.  Garrison Keillor is oft lampooned by the snobs of the Thinkeries, but I would like to borrow his closing and tweak it, just a bit — ‘Be well, do good, and keep in touch.’

On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, ‘Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.’ Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder’s cubit which was in his hand. When he went before Hillel, he said to him, ‘What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.’ [footnotes deleted]

Feingold, Henry L. Bearing Witness: How America and Its Jews Responded to the Holocaust. Syracuse University Press, 1995. See Chapter 6 for a comparative discussion

Mending the Hole in Medicaid

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 2.18.46 PMI was concerned about Alaska’s response to persons seeking to take advantage of the Medicaid expansion and so wrote to the lead on the project. I received a prompt response from Chris Ashenbrenner, and a follow-up e-mail from Sean O’Brien at the Division of Public Assistance (the note from Chris appears second so that the reference to it as “below” by Sean isn’t confusing).
Bottom line?
  • If it you have a medical situation or condition you believe requires immediate attention call 1-844-231-7880.
  • If you have not yet applied for Medicaid expansion, apply for Medicaid online at MyAlaska (under “Services for Individuals” click on “ARIES Self-Service Portal”) or go directly to ARIES at
  • The federal government has set a 45 day limit for the qualification process.
Yes, there is a backlog. Specifics? They were not forthcoming. Problems? We have a desperate need for competent Social Workers as the welfare safety net becomes too complex to navigate.

The letters:
Good morning Mr. Grober,

I apologize for the delay. To add on to Chris’s information below, there are a number of variables regarding the speed of which applications are processed as she indicated. As she indicated, if there is special expediting needs related to the more immediate health needs of the individual which would be identified in the application, it would be processed more quickly. If not, the federal government has set a 45 day period for us to complete Medicaid eligibility determination. In addition, applications that are submitted electronically, either through the or our DPA ARIES websites, generally go through faster than paper applications given the increased speed staff are able to process them. Based on what you indicated below, it sounds like one of our Anchorage offices is checking on this particular case. I’m also including our lead on constituent concerns, Jason Burke to check into this as well. I’m cc’ing his supervisor, Aimee Olejasz so she’s informed as well.

I hope this information helps you and your client in this particular case.


Sean O’Brien, MA, CRC
Director, Alaska Division of Public Assistance (DPA)
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
350 Main Street, Suite 304
Juneau, AK 99801


Good morning, Mr. Grober.

There is a Medicaid application backlog right now – the applications that are being processed the quickest are those that don’t require any additional information to determine eligibility. However, for a full answer to your questions, I’ve asked the Division of Public Assistance to respond to your questions. One thing you might want to relay to your client is that the Division of Public Assistance has established a process for prioritizing Medicaid applications. Here is the information from their website at
Medical Emergencies
Please call 1-844-231-7880, if you submitted an application for Medicaid and someone is experiencing an emergent need for medical assistance such as:
  • Medical procedures to address a life threatening illness or injury
  • Travel for high risk medical procedures
  • Prescriptions that need to be filled
Hope this helps for now – you should hear back for Public Assistance before too long.
Chris Ashenbrenner
Medicaid Redesign and Expansion Coordinator
Alaska Health and Social Services
Alaska Office Building Room 425
(907) 465-5808 – office
(907) 343-9550 – mobile

Pot Luck

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 8.48.40 PMA Primer: You have never been “safe” from terrorism. You can never be safe from terrorism in anything remotely resembling an open society. Increasing arms does not increase safety, nor does it decrease terrorism. When I was a young man we argued that if you were not part of the solution you were part of the problem, which was a “hip” way of arguing that there were no “innocents”; everyone has someone’s blood on their hands.  That means you.  It also means your children and their children. The US is one of the longest standing purveyor of regime change extant in the world today, and to the extent that regime change is terroristic behavior (are you really going to argue that it isn’t), a state sponsor of terrorism. In a world where everyone sees themselves as a victim, where so many see themselves in a position where they have nothing to lose, where it is easier than ever to obtain social validation of what others might see as an extreme perspective, and where arms are easily obtainable, it is likely that terrorism will increase.


Casting the First Stone

How IS a niqab like a gay wedding?

That is my take on the furor going on in Canada right now (more on that later) but first let’s talk scarves and stuff. The Q’uran does not require Muslim women to wear any specific type of garb; it only mandates modesty (and it mandates that of men AND women) and makes oblique reference to scarves and outer garments. It is the fundamentalist interpretations of verses in an-Nur and al-Ahzab that results in some male Islamic leaders insisting on niqab, burqa, etc.  But it IS clear from the Q’uran that the underlying purpose here is modesty – the expressed intent is to avoid inflaming “base” desire.  This may be all well and good until the proscriptions are employed as a tool a) to demean/denigrate, or b) to make unidentifiable (the Q’uran specifically states that women should be known and thereby not abused.)

But the discussion above focuses on the purpose of this dress for Muslims. We can increase the social coScreen Shot 2015-10-09 at 1.56.47 PMmplexity of such proscriptions by adding cross-cultural interpretation. While one may see a specific act as an act of modesty, another may see it as an act of defiance, secretiveness, a token of second class status, etc. Hijab and yoga pants? Can you say form over substance? Frightened yet?

Now fundamentalist Christians are no strangers to ignorance and foolishness, knowing little both as to their own religious history and theology, and as to anyone else’s. They by and large subscribe to a ‘my way or the highway’ philosophy, a policy even more extreme than Islam. And the more ignorant the Christian, the more extreme the position.  Just consider the cross which arguably symbolizes victory over death, in the kind of twisted ass-backwards logic of Paul et al (and Paul was one whacked out nutter….) In other words, the cross is a symbol for many of a categorical rejection of reality, despite the fact that such a position was not historically or theologically present in their religion until long after the alleged Yeshu was dead and gone (as he apparently was born and died a Jew.)

And so, the French look to ban both in secular space because both could be seen as acts of civil violence much as Romans saw Jewish refusal to abide by Roman civil religion (which was not,  in today’s sense, religious at all.) Culture warriors like Scalia, talk about American civil religion; Scalia dreams of being a Roman patrician, and sees the United States through the same kind of rose colored glasses that some of our propounding pops did.  Meanwhile the French, who brought religious liberty to most of the world at the end sharp end of Napolean’s legions, are the ones who argue that the only real way to address religion in a secular state is to ban it from the public square.

I was reading a thread based on a piece by Paula Simons in the Edmonton Journal,  (and the Facebook commentary on that piece) and the thought occurred to me that in as much as the burqa etc are interpretations by fundamentalist clerics of the scriptural prescriptions intended to avoid inflammation of passions, how would the Court address the possibility that the burqa wearer might inflame the passions of another woman by exposing herself to a female Court staffer?  Not what the Q’uran said, but surely closer to what it meant than shrouding all women from head to toe?

At the core all have to realize that we are rapidly approaching, as the battle over rights for LGBT in the US evidence, a time when “religious belief” will equate to whatever any group of bigots decides upon at any given time. The modern state can neither function nor co-exist with such personal freedom. So yes, what is sauce for the goose comes with the gander, but that works both ways, and the arguments in Canada ring strangely similar to those in the US where “liberals” get snarky about “anti-science climate deniers” and then without batting an eye talk bloody jihad on Monsanto. It would be wholly inappropriate to promote any policy without exploring the eventual impact of that policy. And while I would not want to aid and abet a racist, even racists can stumble on something important from time to time (even if they do so for the wrong reasons.)

Neoliberals ignore the fact that Locke was fundamentally inconsistent, but did make it clear that while individuals should be free to elect whether to become a member of some polity on reaching some age of majority, once a member, that individual was subject to the tyranny of the majority. It is the Leviathan or anarchy, says Hobbes, and I think he is correct… Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 1.53.40 PM No line is required until a line is demanded, and as we discussed before, the genius of Canada, if you will, is that Canadians have been able to get by with greater vagary than their cousins to the South. The bigger question for Canada is not where the line will be, but whether they can manage to avoid drawing it…. and avoiding a line is the responsibility of EVERYONE.   Harper and his crowd may well be xenophobic racists twits (I think the evidence in support of such a claim mounts every time one of his crowd opens their mouth) but every bright line drawn renders the system a little more brittle, until the social contract shatters under the strain. Am I entitled to a law that says that I can marry a Doberman (as opposed to a Poodle?)


Surah Al-Ahzab – The Noble Qur’an – القرآن الكريم

Surah An-Nur – The Noble Qur’an – القرآن الكريم

The Qur’an and Hijab | Hijab, The Muslim Womens Dress,Islamic or Cultural? | Books on Islam and Muslims |

Down and Dirty

Your attention please!  The private social club we in Alaska know as “The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center” is holding a soiree apparently prepping the State for the coming attempt to drown us in the “authentic North”!  Yes, the Mausoleum is welcoming drama queen Kleeman to town, in an “Homage to Soil for Scoresbysund”, which apparently involves the artist rolling about in, wait for it, soil.

Kleeman at MuseumIf you need a better gander at the hype for the elite packaging of the artistic rendition of possessive Narcissism’s “me, mine, and more”, click on the link and you will be taken to another window offering the web page for the event, where you can be regaled with the specifics of what you will get in return for your pounds of silver.

I think what you won’t see when you click there is something that I think some might think of as, well, art.  Apparently some, over the years, have argued that doing rather silly things with a serious face while fools intone how impressed they all are somehow magically renders the erstwhile focus, “art”.  Et, voila!  Lino_mandara

Art? Here is a vessel created by Maestro Lino Tagliapetra. Art.  A woman in bra and panties rolling in dirt? Used to be free at Chilkoot’s when I first arrived in Anchorage.

Yes, I am trying to suggest that there is more to art than sun-tanning around the word “Native” (thank you Erika Lord for assuring me of that).  And while I may plead Potter Stewart’s classic argument,  sigh at others’ attempts to lasso up a definition, and snort at the ongoing debate over art vs craft, there are, for me, bridges too far.

And yes, I think art should reflect intention, mastery of material,  an emotional connection, and a further list of notions that are the nostrums of every art student’s training. I am humbled by the efforts of the countless striving to dance with the universe as a way of expressing themselves. And then there are the shuckers and jivers, the wallowers, the deceivers.

577512_10150943434104365_1605701165_n Has “art”, as suggested by some sages, become as meaningless a term as “liberal”, “conservative”, or “belief”? Have we become so gullible that we are willing to finally actually see the Emperor’s New Clothes? Can we explain why the Anchorage elite are happy to celebrate a roll in the dirt as art, but not the likes of the 24″ glass vessel to the left?
Julie Decker makes a fine CEO;  I am sure she will carry on the fine tradition of the Rasmussen Mausoleum – the weirdest social club of the “authentic North”.

Anyone who wants to watch me beat dandelions to death in a jock strap are welcome to attend my new performance piece, “Old Yeller” There will be a no host bar and tickets at the door are $50…


The only impediment to the Governor accepting the Federal funds on offer (since statutes adopted by a previous GOP controlled legislature makes it very clear that he may accept and spend federal funds on 45 day notice to the LB&AC) is the suggestion that those funds are for an additional optional group. However, Sibelius seemingly did not make expansion optional, it just found unlawful the remedy for failing to expand. Hence, it would appear that as the ACA still requires expansion, it would appear the Governor could either defy the law, or comply with it. It would seem that as the majority of the people in this State have made it clear that they wish him to comply with the law, and in as much as it would seem there is no legal impediment, there seems no reason why the Governor would not move ahead. Moreover, since the litigation to be brought by the Legislative majority would have to make it to the Supreme Court, and the State would have to pay both sides of the attorney fees, it is likely that this case could well cost Alaska millions, all for what the majority claims is not an attempt to block expanding Medicaid, lol. Really?

Of course one of the interests of the ACA is to provide a seamless continuity of coverage from all from poverty up. That means, that as you make more money, your insurance will begin to gradually cost more as you can afford it. The suggestion that someone would refuse to work simply to be able to obtain Medicaid smacks of the thinking of GOP apparatchiks who have historically failed to understand that if one drops supports completely at any threshold one undermines and renders the effect of the supports useless.

And as we all know, if Ohio Dan and Murky focused on sustaining the elevated Alaska rate and effected parity between Medicaid and Medicare, the minor issues the current disparity there raise would be resolved to the satisfaction of all… but of course, as long as they fail to resolve this, it provides a basis for their base to make noise about the repercussions of their sloth.

It is also ludicrous to complain about a lack of providers. There are a lack of providers because Medicaid and Medicare put downward pressure on otherwise unchecked provider costs. In fact, Alaska pays better than 48 other States and it is high time that medical providers checked their costs. Medicaid and Medicare are not the only insurers refusing to pay what providers are demanding, and other major insurers in the State are rejecting outrageously high medical fees. Ken Arrow demonstrated that Welfare economics do not respond well to market forces without a bit of arm twisting, and won a Nobel for that wink emoticon

Lastly, a comment about Alaska Policy Forum (the Boyler) If you are going to claim how easy it is to just “google” the support for the Medicaidclaims you make, then google them up yourself and offer a URL. Otherwise, any rational person will recognize that you are just shooting your mouths off (much as you did with the bogus testimony regarding the Medicaid Reform Advisory Commission that you pandered about as fact from the State. Alaska Policy Forum claims tax exemption as an adult education program, rofl…. and yet you can’t even manage to offer the URL which you claim you already know…. You are SUCH an embarrassment!

The Coffey Has Gone Cold

Dan Coffey recently posted (in a discussion of Art Chance’s comments the “rational” conservative approach to public employee unions:

George meany (head of AFL-CIO when Eisenhower was President) cautioned against public employee unions “because there is no one to bargain with”. There is nothing inherently wrong with Unions. We have had “Guilds” for centuries.  What we haven’t had in recent times are elected officials who put the public interest above their own.  These elected officials don’t bargain for the public, they bargain for union support in their next election. The results: See Detroit, the state of Illinois, Riverside County California, Stockton, California and the Mark Begich 2008 APDEA and IAFF and IBEW contracts of 5 year duration, with huge pay and benefit increases and work rule changes passed on votes of 6-5, 7-4 and 6-5 respectively. In my campaign I told many of the union folks I met with about what George Meany said. Most of them did not know who George Meany was. I also told them “I would bargain”with them openly and honestly, but that my job was to guard the public purse.  Of course I was not elected. Now we’ll see what happens when a Union supported candidate is elected. The AMEA contract is on the table so we’ll see shortly.

What we see here an attack on labor generally, thinly veiled as being “in the public interest” by way of the purported innoculatory claim that “there is nothing inherently wrong with Unions.” The argument is that our elected officials put public union support before the public interests; that has been a war cry for the “right”, frankly, since the “right” discovered that much of the “left”s campaign funding comes from public employee unions. In the fight for the public square in which Citizens United has been center ring (though the key case is really ATP), the real battle has been over total campaign dollars. Amazingly enough, however, despite the “right”‘s claims that the unions own government, lol, we see unions back=-pedaling everywhere, and stories of unions voluntarily tightening belts to assist in addressing the impact of the economic nightmare produced in 2008 are everywhere.

Research shows that the claims made by the right as far as cost of public employee unions as opposed to private sector are dubious (Miller 1996),  while analysis  (Tax Burdens Comparison 2013) reflects that Anchorage, even without consideration of the impact of “personal revenue sharing (the PFD) has one of the lowest tax burdens in the entire country. Add in consideration of the PFD and as has been noted over and over again,  most in Anchorage make no net payment for any State or Local service.

In other words, though a tenet of so called “conservative” myth is that public union contracts are unaffordable, that they are the means by which “liberal” politicians “buy” elections, and that these contracts are over funded and unearned, there is virtually no factual basis to any of that.  Indeed, in Anchorage the subsequent behavior of Dan Sullivan made this all too clear by virtue of the facts that he declared a budget surplus despite the contracts, the emergency ordinance he demanded never was implemented, and subsequent contracts  were not all that inconsistent.

To put that all in a nutshell, all the gnashing of teeth was a costly political ploy that blew up in the right’s face, resulting in the election of allegedly the most liberal Mayor in Anchorage’s history with less than a third of Anchorage’s registered voters casting ballots.Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 8.13.54 AM

Enough is enough. Negotiations with public unions has always been tough in Anchorage.  AEA members continue to accept reductions in total compensation packages while public safety and other unions continue face claims that they are thugs despite the fact that numbers of employees should be doubled in order to obtain the most effective results and provide the kind of quality of life that those living in Anchorage have demanded.

In the last Mayoral election the community was able to obtain some actual quantification of the number of people in Anchorage who are under the spell of that kind of mythology, and we are talking about something close to 30,000 people.  It is high time that the rest of the community wrested control of our destiny from  this vocal mean-spirited and ill-informed minority.



Miller, Michael A. “Public-Private Pay Debate: What Do the Data Show, The.” Monthly Labor Review 119 (1996): 18.

“Tax Burdens Comparison.” Accessed May 17, 2015.

Piss it forward


I am told by Modern Educators that we must seek a Return On Investment for educational dollars spent. I am not moved.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am sensitive to the public’s concern that bucks are being burned, funds flushed down the crapper, which is why the public should be ensorcelled into budget review teams that act to bring the community in to the school budgetary process in a real way, while relegating the demagogues to orations in cemeteries.

But I am not impressed with the argument, now actually being repurposed by the likes of Robert Reich and Bill Moyers, that some people only need so much education, the apparent neo-liberal liberal arts education. Where, oh where, you might ask, did the concept of  an education free to the student through post-secondary study flee? All around the country we hear a new chorus; we need to train for employment.

I think it’s great that a student learning Math can count out change (though opponents to so-called New Math, when confronted with the actual instruction that explains how we count change, oppose such instruction…), but I am not sending that student to school so he can work the counter at McDonalds.

Reich and MoTREE-OF-KNOWLEDGEyers will get offended and argue that they just meant that “college isn’t for everyone”, but isn’t that a nice apologist howdy-do.  It amounts to a declaration that college is only for those needing a college degree to get a job. And there we are – education as a tool of capitalism.  We want to educate you so that we can exploit you.

Yes, I would like to see everyone hold a fulfilling job that provides a living, and I am certain that a good education would contribute to that,  but that does not mean that I want to make serfdom priority one. I want our children to have greater compassion and comprehension, to be able to walk in another’s shoes and see with another’s eyes, to know the universe as awe-inspiring but as no object of fear. I want our children to share, in the most fundamental way, in all that we can offer as a species.  I want to share with them the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which is the original blessing…

I am not looking for a return on investment when I educate a kid. I look at it as a foolish waste of money, an act of total caprice, a whimsical misadventure; all these being some gesture of faith in my species, no matter how unwarranted that faith may be. Piss on the bean counters. Piss it forward.

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?