Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another Mayoral Cannadate? Charlo Green's Victim Youtube


Nat Herz tweeted a link to a video of Charlo Greene proclaiming that the War on Drugs is really a War on You and Me.
"As I stared down the barrel of a police officer's gun, they made it very clear that the war they're waging is one for power over us. .  .   Anonymous reports were all the Anchorage police department needed to knock down my front door, put a gun in my face and rob me and the eight medical marijuana cardholders on-site of our cannabis, computers, and cards, a month after we legalized recreational marijuana."
Screenshot from Youtube video
Here's how the ADN portrayed the March 20 event:
Anchorage police served a search warrant on the Alaska Cannabis Club's downtown clubhouse on Friday afternoon, taking boxes of evidence from the residence as club owner Charlo Greene watched.
Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro told reporters on scene later Friday afternoon that police had received reports of illegal marijuana sales occurring at the clubhouse. No charges had been filed Friday, Castro said.
Police arrived about 1 p.m., Greene said. Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, is a former television news reporter who achieved national notoriety in September when she quit on-air after announcing she was the owner of the club. . .


. . . Two marked police cars were outside the residence on Friday afternoon, with a few more arriving as the search wore on. Greene said about seven officers were boxing up marijuana plants, computers, papers and other materials in the clubhouse. Greene said she was free to go but chose to wait while police took evidence from the home.
An officer on scene confirmed no arrests were being made Friday afternoon.
At 3:10 p.m., police began to load evidence in paper bags and cardboard boxes into a white van from the back door of the clubhouse. At about 3:15 p.m., a red pickup and black Jeep were towed away from the house.


Nothing about a broken down door or a gun in the face.  You'd think she would have told them when she described the other things that happened.  (I've emailed the reporter Laurel Andrews to see if she just left it out. I'll update when I hear back.)

All I know about Charlo Greene is what I've read in the newspapers - as a news anchor  she pushed for legalizing marijuana while she was (unknown to the public) also the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club.  She got fired for that.  And she's, apparently, not waiting for the legislature to enact the legislation regulating marijuana as the initiative called for it to do.

I'm not unsympathetic to victims of overzealous or biased police, though it helps someone's cause if the police were actually abusive and the person arrested was innocent.  I can't help but be a little skeptical of her victimhood here.  Sounds like she's taking advantage of the 'police treat blacks differently' meme.  Not that she mentions race and not that I don't believe that blacks do get stopped by police more often and treated worse by police than do whites.  Rather than saying it's race related, it could be (and that's all she's claiming) marijuana related.  Is it possible it's law related too? 
"The officer had his hand on the trigger as I, a law-abiding citizen, stared down the receiving end of an assault rife that my tax dollars paid for.  And in that moment I thought, I've done everything right."
Pretty dramatic.  Why wasn't this in the March 20 story?  And the thing about paying taxes.    Clearly, criminals don't get a pass because they paid their property taxes.  I think the point she's making is that she's not a criminal.  

Perhaps this is a cross-cultural issue:
"In spite of growing up in poverty, I became the first of my six brothers and sisters to earn a college degree.  I chose positive friends, I haven't had so much as a speeding ticket in the last three years.  I've dedicated my life to healing our community, with cannabis."
People growing up in poverty grow up in a different culture from people growing up in the middle class.  At the political corruption trials, I mused in a post about how Bill Allen related his life story in a family of itinerant farm workers, moving from place to place, missing lots of school and dropping out at age 15 to become a welder.  It was clear to me that he got little or no help from government and probably had no education about the rule of law.  He seemed to me to be a man who truly worked his way up from poverty through smarts and hard work.  For him, it seemed,  the law was yet one more obstacle, that a businessman had to overcome.  I don't agree or condone that stand, but I can understand it.

Is Charlo the same?  She did what she was supposed to do - went to school, got positive friends, stopped breaking the law.  The American Dream the Republicans so cherish.  Though another story about her dispute with the other tenant in the Cannabis Club building, suggests she's sugar coating a bit.  And if she graduated from college, she had a lot more opportunity to benefit from and learn about government and the rule of law than Bill Allen.  And since she seems to treat truth lightly, I can't help but want more evidence before I completely buy her portrayal of her childhood. 

But surely we shouldn't hold her to higher standards than we do other mayoral candidates, such as Dan Coffey who even confesses his and asks for absolution on his website.  This was even too much today for the last surviving dinosaur from the Anchorage Times, Paul Jenkins

Now we have two women candidates in the race.  But we have so much better potential women candidates.

Hairy Woodpecker and Friends At Still Icy Potter Marsh



One more post from last Sunday's outing.  [The other two were Always Looks Different:  Turnagain Arm and McHugh Creek]  We stopped at Potter Marsh on the way home [as we did two weeks before.] 






The only birds we saw this time - and this is not a complaint - were a pair of hairy woodpeckers and a flock of bohemian waxwings. 

The woodpeckers were fun.  Maybe it's my early introduction to Woody as a kid.  Surely the red patch helps, and the tapping noise.  And one of my favorite posts, which still gets hits from weird folks like me, is Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Brain Damage? 









The waxwings too, but they're more common, and we'd recently had a very close view as they came to feast on the Mt. Ash berries in the tree in front of our house.  Here their spectacular colors aren't visible.

This time without such an obvious single food outlet as the Mt. Ash, they were scattered in pairs and small groups around the marsh. 









Here's a typical view of the marsh, though the summer tourists don't get to see it with the ice.









The boardwalk has signs prohibiting, among other things, dogs.  And as we got back to our car, we saw this one waiting patiently in the car for it's servants. 



Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blogger Ethics: Leave Comment From Kidney Trader?


One of  my 2013 Anchorage Film Festival posts included a short overview of the film "Tales from the Organ Trade."  A documentary about selling and buying kidneys and the people involved - on various sides, sellers, buyers, and doctors.  
Today someone left a comment - basically, it's an ad for a hospital that buys and sells kidneys in India. 
So, what should I do with it?  Delete it?  Leave it as a comment on the movie?  When I went to get the link for that old post, I saw that there was already another similar type of comment.  I can't remember if I saw it and decided to leave it, or I never saw it.  It was posted a few months after the original post.  
The film itself was not a clear cut condemnation.  While it showed how poor folks risked their lives for pitifully small amounts of money and rich folks spent huge amounts to get a kidney, it did show some strong arguments for letting people who need a kidney pay for one.  
Thoughts? 


Hi friends greeting from Apollo Hospital India (Dr. Leo Gomez).
Specialist hospital that buy human kidney.
If you are Interested in Selling or buying Kidney
Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Phone number : +9191678XXXX
Email : apollohospitalkidneydep@gmail.com
Dr. Leo Gomez


SteveSaturday, March 28, 2015 at 1:49:00 PM AKDT
I don't know. Normally I'd delete that message, but it's an eerie reminder of what the movie was about. Readers, what should I do with it? Leave it? Delete it?

Blogger Ethics: Leave Comment From Kidney Trader?

One of  my 2013 Anchorage Film Festival posts included a short overview of the film "Tales from the Organ Trade."  A documentary about selling and buying kidneys and the people involved - on various sides, sellers, buyers, and doctors. 

[UPDATE March 30, 2015:  Inspired by the most recent Anon (3/30/15) comment, I'm adding a link to HBO where you can download the movie "Tales From The Organ Trade."  You can also go to the movie's website where you can watch the trailer.]

Today someone left a comment - basically, it's an ad for a hospital that buys and sells kidneys in India. 

So, what should I do with it?  Delete it?  Leave it as a comment on the movie?  When I went to get the link for that old post, I saw that there was already another similar type of comment.  I can't remember if I saw it and decided to leave it, or I never saw it.  It was posted a few months after the original post.  

The film itself was not a clear cut condemnation.  While it showed how poor folks risked their lives for pitifully small amounts of money and rich folks spent huge amounts to get a kidney, it did show some strong arguments for letting people who need a kidney pay for one.  

Thoughts? 


Hi friends greeting from Apollo Hospital India (Dr. Leo Gomez).
Specialist hospital that buy human kidney.
If you are Interested in Selling or buying Kidney
Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Phone number : +919167859153
Email : apollohospitalkidneydep@gmail.com
Dr. Leo Gomez
ReplyDelete

SteveSaturday, March 28, 2015 at 1:49:00 PM AKDT
I don't know. Normally I'd delete that message, but it's an eerie reminder of what the movie was about. Readers, what should I do with it? Leave it? Delete it?
ReplyDelete

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Suppose Your New Job Was To Betray Your Brothers

Two couples have tried to create the Perfect Arrangement.  It's the 1950s.  Bob Martindale works for the State Department.  Neighbor Norma Baxter is his secretary.  They live in adjoining apartments, appropriately connected by a closet.

March 19 - April 4 Thu/Fri/Sat 7pm
Out North - Primrose and Debarr (kitty corner from Costco)

So this doesn't get lost:   this is a funny play, and you'll laugh, but it packs a punch.  

Bob's assignment of late, has been to root Communists out of the State Department, but they're mostly gone and now his boss has assigned him the task of getting rid of the deviants.  He undertakes this job knowing that he and his lover and Norma and hers are safe in their Perfect Arrangement.

Opening Night Reception After The Performance at Out North
This is a neatly done play by Topher Payne - who was here last Thursday for the West Coast premiere of his work.  There's lots going on in the play.  There are the two different worlds - a social facade of voice and intonation and topic for straight visitors where the ladies chatter about recipes and shopping, the men disparage the women,  and then there's the more open expression of ideas in uncensored vocabulary when the two couples are alone.

But the play is not simply a play about being in the closet or homosexuals for that matter.  Rather it's about marginalized people who have learned to act one way in the outside world and another at home, and who are always worried that their real being will be discovered and always tortured because it can't be.  This play could be about black slaves in the south, or women in a male dominated work place, or undocumented workers. . .

And as the tension rose when Bob was required to make lists of deviants to be fired, I couldn't help think about the Jewish capos in concentration camps who got slightly better treatment for cooperating with the Nazis and keeping tabs on the others.  The dialogue was explicit about the conflict between trying to save oneself and one's duty to the others.  About the small benefits of blending in versus the great losses of denying one's true identity.  We could see the characters' slow debilitating stress of staying hidden, the fear of being discovered and the change it will mean, and the enticing but dangerous thought of standing up and declaring one's identity.  Echoes of the struggle in Selma.  

This is a powerful play with strong acting -  well worth seeing.  Below is a video of the playwright, Topher Payne, talking at the reception after the performance.  You can also see a video with directors/actors Krista Schwarting and Jay Burns here.




McHugh Creek


Here are a few pictures from Sunday's hike on the Johnson Pass trail from McHugh Creek.  The cottonwoods - and everything else - are still naked.  Below you can see them in different states.



Devil's club was budding. 




A couple of weeks ago, we came by and only the lower parking lot (right)  was open, but Sunday, the gate to the upper parking areas was open. 








And the creek was still flowing mostly under the ice. 




Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Missouri Senator Blunt Offers Budget Amendment To Preclude Future Carbon Fee

 From Sen. Blunt's website:
 Blunt image from SemoTimes
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) introduced an amendment to the FY2016 budget today to protect families in Missouri and across America from a carbon tax, which would lead to skyrocketing energy costs for families nationwide. Blunt’s amendment, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Senator John Thune (S.D.), would create a Point of Order against any bill that contains a tax or fee on carbon emissions from sources that are direct or indirect sources of emissions. To read the text of the amendment, click here.
This amendment's intent is to preempt legislation that would create a carbon fee or tax and require 60 votes to override this amendment.  The press release also falsely predicts rising energy costs and lost jobs.  (Actually, it probably depends on the assumptions they made about what such a fee would look like, assumptions that are radically different from the carbon fee proposal of Citizens Climate Lobby that I'll discuss below.)

SEMO Times  [Southeast Missouri], seems to just print the press release as is:
 WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) introduced an amendment to the FY2016 budget today to protect families in Missouri and across America from a carbon tax, which would lead to skyrocketing energy costs for families nationwide. Blunt’s amendment, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Senator John Thune (S.D.), would create a Point of Order against any bill that contains a tax or fee on carbon emissions from sources that are direct or indirect sources of emissions. To read the text of the amendment, click here.

Actually, a carbon fee, such as the one proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby, would distribute the money raised by the fee back to the American public - much like the Alaska Permanent Fund. 
"A national carbon price, with full revenue return and border adjustments, will do four things:
  • internalize the social cost of carbon-based fuels, 
  • rapidly achieve large emission reductions, 
  • stimulate the economy & 
  • recruit global participation.[1]"
I know about this because I'm a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby and I've been going to their monthly international phone meetings and have done the homework to see that the carbon fee proposal is the most politically feasible option to reduce carbon emissions.  A carbon fee is supported by a number of conservatives because it uses market forces rather than regulation.  


A REMI study showed that the 'dividend' paid back to the public would off-set any additional costs of carbon products.

"The results of the study demonstrate that there are probable benefits to taxing carbon dioxide emissions and returning the money to consumers through F&D [Fee and Dividend]. The following are highlights of the national level results of the study in 2025.
    • 2.1 million more jobs under the F&D carbon tax than in the baseline
    • 33% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from baseline conditions
    • 13,000 premature deaths saved from improvements in air quality 

  • These principal results are not to say the outcome is universally positive, and there are certain industries and regions in the United States that may do better or worse under a carbon pricing system. For example, the industries tied directly to households, such as healthcare, retail, and housing construction, tend to do well because F&D increases the overall level of consumer spending. There are other important results in 2025. The F&D rebates return nearly $400 billion to householdsor almost $300 per month for a family of four, and the carbon tax aids in retirements of coal plants and accelerates investments in wind, solar, and nuclear power. The impact to the total cost of living is less than 3% from the baseline, and gross domestic product (GDP) increases between $80 billion and $90 billion."
The REMI study assumes a carbon fee that is refunded to the public. 

"Such a carbon tax would begin at $10 per metric ton in 2016 and escalate in a linear fashion at $10 per year upward, although this study’s timeline ends with the models’ horizon in 2035."
REMI (Regional Economic Models Inc.) is an economic modeliing research company that specializes in projecting the economic impacts of various proposals on the economies of states and the US as a whole.  It used the same basic model it uses for the many studies commissioned by US states and its assumptions about the carbon fee were those in the CCL carbon fee proposed legislation.  CCL commissioned the study. 

In contrast, a study by NERA, presumably the same study or a similar one used for the dire predictions of Sen. Blunt's press release used different assumptions:
"A carbon tax that begins at $20/metric ton of co2  in 2013 and increases at 4 percent per year."
The revenue is not used to pay US consumers as in the CCL proposal that REMI tested.

So, while the NERA study is probably just as accurate as the REMI study, it starts with different and questionable assumptions and numbers.  I didn't find the proposed legislation  they used to make those assumptions.  The way to produce the kind of results your clients want is to use the right assumptions as you start your modeling.

The REMI study also showed that the fee would create jobs, not reduce them.

So, which study should you believe?  One commissioned and paid for by corporate interests whose basic product is the source of climate change or one commissioned by a citizens group that is concerned with the sustainability of the planet and whose motivation stems from concern for their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren?  Actually, CCL was hoping that such a study would show that the economic impacts were much less damaging than opponents (like Blunt) claimed.  They were pleasantly surprised to find out the impacts would actually add jobs and stimulate the economy.  There certainly can be biases in both studies, but we seen how the tobacco industry fought tooth and nail to hide the health effects of tobacco and a new movie - Merchants of Doubt - is supposed to show how a similar campaign is being waged to attack legitimate climate change science.

Sourcewatch (Center for Media and Democracy)  has this entry about NERA and a study for the coal industry: 
In June 2011, a coal industry front group, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) released a report stating that clean-air rules proposed by the Obama administration would cost utilities $17.8 billion annually and raise electricity rates 11.5 percent on average in 2016.[2][3]
ACCCE paid for National Economic Research Associates Inc. to conduct the report, which a Bloomberg report described "as part of a campaign to delay compliance deadlines in the pending rules." The report estimated that regulations cutting emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides would lead to the “premature” retirements of coal-fired power plants that can generate 47.8 gigawatts of electricity, about 15 percent of coal’s U.S. production capacity.
Representative Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican and chairman of the energy subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said he plans to introduce a bill to give utilities more time to comply with the rules. New maximum levels for nitrogen oxides, a component of smog, and sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, are scheduled to take effect in 2012. The US Environmental Protection Agency is under a court order to produce a final mercury rule in November 2011. Utilities would have as long as four years to meet the mercury standard.[4]
Unfortunately, this doesn't analyze the data or compare it to other studies on the topic.  Its key point is that the study was for a coal company front group that Bloomberg says was a campaign to delay regulations.  A red flag, but not quite damning proof.

I found this portrait of Blunt on what appears to be a Boston College  Model United Nations website
The United States Chamber of Commerce has awarded Blunt a 97% pro-business rating, he has consistently voted in favor of deregulation, and he maintains close ties with the Koch Brothers in Kansas City. [Koch's are headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, just 63 miles from Kansas City, Missouri.]  With a son that was a former governor and considerable real estate holdings in Missouri, Blunt is among the most powerful Senators in terms of constituent influence. Among the largest businesses located in Missouri is Monstanto. Blunt's Farmers Assurance Provision was dubbed the "Monsanto Protection Act" by liberal lawmakers. It is more than likely that Blunt maintains close ties with Hugh Grant, Pierre Courduroux, and Brett Begemann, Chief Executives at Monsanto. Blunt is consistently accused of promoting corporations and providing slack to companies that benefit his son, Andrew, and power brokers in Missouri.
Republican Allies
Blunt allies with Senator Ted Cruz, as well as much of the Tea Party core with his radical stance on healthcare. Conversely, his conservative stances on business, social issues, and public insurance enrage Democratic leadership.

 I think there are probably a lot of loose ends here, but you get the point.  It probably wouldn't hurt to call your Senator - whatever state you're in - and let him or her know that you oppose this amendment and they should vote against it.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lazy Blogger; Low Budget Candidates; Who We Be

I've been having trouble getting posts finished.  It's not for lack of subjects, it's just they weren't coming out right.  So this is going to be a quicky just to get something up.

Low Budget Mayoral Candidates

First there was this sign:

I think I heard Dustin has spent less than $100 on his campaign. 

And then yesterday I saw this sign:



This is a fence that's seen a number of signs posted and then get removed.  This was the only one up.

There's an advantage to not having much money - it forces you to think differently about how you're going to do things.  These signs have a refreshing simplicity and homemade quality that clearly distinguishes them from all the very similar professional signs. 

Then I went to the Bartlett Lecture at UAA tonight.  The audience size was a bit disappointing.  Jeff Chang talked about his new book Who We Be and the evolution of race as an issue in the US from the 60's to today.  From a time when the majority was be
hind fairness and equality, through the backlash period, to today when things are particularly polarized.  Jeff has a passion for hip-hop and he talked about how it was the non-establishment multi-cultural movement.  (Sorry if I'm putting words in your mouth.)  There was also a good audience Q&A that got into questions about young activism in Anchorage - whether it was happening or not. 


  Here are a couple of the people I talked to afterward.  



Troy Buckner is the Executive Director of New Life Development in Anchorage, a non-profit that works with prisoners as they come out of prison and transition back into life without bars.  He also worked with Jeff years ago on documenting hip-hop.    He's with one of his board members, Carey Brown. 






Jeff Chen works at the Student Conservation Association (SCA) which involves students in various conservation projects.  No, that's not his conscience sitting on his shoulder, it's one of the book sellers in the background. 







Here's Jeff Chang after the talk listening to one of the audience members talk about Soviet multi-culturalism in the 1920s. 

Jeff, if you see this, here's a link to the movie Shield and Spear I mentioned to you. 


There's just so much going on in Anchorage and the weather's so good.  It's nice having easy walking and biking so early in the year. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Alaska Legislature Runs State Finances Like Poor People Run Theirs

I want this to be a short, to-the-point post, but I have a feeling it's going to wander a bit, because life isn't as simple as we'd like to believe it is.  [Not too long.  Just be patient.]

What Do Poor And Rich Mean?

I'm talking economically rich or poor - not spiritually, emotionally, culturally, or one of the many other ways people can be rich or poor.

Poor, in my head, means that you are in danger of not being able to cover your necessities - food, shelter, health - because you live on the edge.   While homeless folks probably come to mind first, this also includes people working at minimum wage jobs where food gets scarce toward the end of the pay period.  And while we think of this being month to month, for some it's a slightly longer time frame - maybe year to year. 

Rich has more levels.  

Basic:  A family could be self-supporting, without cash -  hunting, gathering, possibly some farming, and self-sufficient enough to build their own homes and make their own clothes.  Alaska Natives lived like this for thousands of years.  They were poor, only in the sense that a bad year could threaten their survival.

Similarly, It could be a working family that has a sustainable source of income - a job with a steady salary and even better, a defined-benefit retirement plan.  There are dangers.  One could get sick and be unable to work, or the company could go out of business, or be bought out by another company that liquidates the pension fund. 

Strong:  A family that has not only a steady income, but a nest egg that can keep them going if the steady income is threatened.

Really Rich:  A family that has so much wealth, that there is almost no conceivable way that their money will ever run out.

You'll notice here that security is a relative term.  No one is totally secure.  Disasters come in many expected and unexpected forms.  Natural and human-made disasters can threaten the richest families. But the really rich can use their money to influence the social, economic, and political systems so that their security is protected, not just by their family, but by the governmental system.

The key is access to the political power of the society. In the past, royal families simply owned the country and the governmental structure including the army.  Today, large multinational corporations are able to do this better than most others.


Why Are Rich People Rich?

They are rich, not because they have a steady income, but because they've invested enough of the excess income, so that it provides a steady stream of money to meet all their reasonable (and in extreme cases, unreasonable) future needs.   They have resources, they store their excess wealth.  They can sell when prices are high and buy when they are low.  The society protects their interests.  In capitalistic societies, they have financial investments that earn and grow.

OK, here's where this is all leading.

The state of Alaska has managed to set up some funds for the future.  That's what the Permanent Fund was all about.  Recognizing that today's Alaskan's shouldn't be the only beneficiaries of the unsustainable oil resource.  The Permanent Fund was supposed to capture that wealth and sustain Alaskans in the future.  But it's become, in too many people's minds, a quick, easy October cash infusion.  And other budget reserve funds were also attempts at protecting the wealth for future generations.

But we're spending and saving like poor folks.

Alaska Headlines Sunday March 22 and Monday March 23
"State sells $4B in stocks:  Cash may be needed as budget reserve is emptied to cover deficit"  [Note:  the online headlines are different from the paper versions] 
Alaska lawmakers look to once-forbidden sources for money
Those forbidden sources are the funds that some in previous legislatures managed to stash away for rainy days.  But rich people, and when Alaska discovered oil it won the lottery and became a rich state, make those funds sustainable.  They don't drain them, because that means they will stop being rich.

Groups of people will always have a hard time managing finances.   Collective management is tough.   Different folks have different ideas of what to spend their money on and how to manage it.  Even families have those kinds of problems.  And there are always the sharks and vultures that sense wealth and coming running to find a way to get their share. 

But let's not let the Republicans in this state pull the wool over people's eyes.  It was legislatures with Democratic majorities and/or with Republicans whom today's Republicans would call Democrats and socialists, who created the Permanent Fund, and many other rainy day funds.

But it's been a totally Republican controlled state government that has had the highest state budgets, ever, and by a large margin.  And it's Republicans who are running the state like poor folks.  People who won the lottery but didn't stop thinking like poor folks and quit their jobs (abolished the income tax) and then spent all the money.  Some was spent on important stuff - like schools and health care, but a lot was spent on boondoggles and luxuries.  Rural Alaska still has honey buckets after all these years, but we've got the Dena'ina Center and the newly refurbished Legislative Office in Anchorage.  And there were Democrats who took part in some of the frivolous spending as well (the train station at the airport), but Republicans have held sway for much longer.

And now, instead of seriously looking for a job (in state terms that means finding revenue sources like taxes) to pay for things, our legislature is raiding the piggy banks.  I say piggy banks because that's where the poor, if they save at all, save their money.  And that's how our legislature is responding to the crisis.  They're going to stop paying basic bills and raid the piggy banks they can find.  OK, some of the stashed away money is left over money on projects that we probably shouldn't spend on, but some are endowments to help sustain important programs. 

I hope readers realize that I do not mean to disparage the poor - at least those who are poor because of structural societal systems that keep them from having a good education and good health care and jobs that pay a decent wage.  Poor people have fewer choices - even if they manage to secure a decent wage, their education hasn't prepared them for all the sharks waiting to take their money - bar owners, gambling establishments, sellers of fancy consumer products at "Amazing deals" and promises of painless credit, "Worried about your credit?  DON'T BE!  Let our credit experts help you now." [From ADN Saturday, p C-8]

A number of our legislators have moved up from being poor.  They still think like the poor.  And they're still dazzled by their corporate sponsors and do as they're told, while thinking they have power and independence. 

And the people of Alaska are watching our wealth drained by their ignorance and greed. 


Sunday, March 22, 2015

It Always Looks Different: Turnagain Arm

Thirty eight years later, Turnagain Arm still is awesome (in the original sense of the word.)

Driving south from Anchorage is never just a drive.  It's a beautiful adventure.

So, let's start with the typical post card picture of Turnagain Arm and then will look at some variations that I took today.  None of these were altered except for some cropping.



Now, let's look just at the wet stuff.  Every time you look, it's different.








And  back to another typical post card view.