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March 30, 2017

From ObamaCare to Trump Don’t Care

copyright Zach D Roberts

Well, it’s a brand new day for my white Alaska friends who have been under the oppressive regime of “Obamacare,” otherwise know as the Affordable Care Act. Finally, after promising for seven years to repeal and replace it, congressional Republicans have introduced Trumpcare as a solution. Included in the pushback is the 10 percent tax on tanning beds. As a person of such blinding whiteness this time of year, I feel liberated. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that just this change will cost $600 million over the next 10 years. For those of us who nerd out and actually read bills,…

EPA, Pebble and The West Wing

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I’m sorry to report that watching box sets of “The West Wing” isn’t enough distraction from our real politics. I am tired. I can confirm a fresh batch of baby sea otters, riding on their mama’s bellies, blown in by the latest storm can provide some relief. Their cuteness is enough to make anyone ovulate – I don’t care who you are. Their squeaks and mewing are impossible to ignore. I learned about something called “embryonic diapause.” It’s really fascinating and a little science-y. See, lady sea otters can get pregnant and put a pause on implanting the embryos for…

Let It Be… Resolved.

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The good news is baseball is back on the radio. Hearing the familiar voices calling plays of players I like so much I named a boat after one of them has been a healing balm after months of political coverage. The league has a new rule — it no longer requires four pitches to intentionally walk a player to first — you can just wave them there now. I don’t like it. Those pitches should count, but it’s all about making the game faster. The whole point of baseball is that it takes time. If this were the only major…

Missing Uncle Ted

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I’ve been nostalgic for the great political patron saint of Alaska — Ted Stevens. Lord, how I miss that Incredible Hulk tie and his fearlessness. Oh, it’s not like I’ve forgotten the arguments he and I got into. But we didn’t question each other’s love of country or state. With Russia making bold motions toward the United States this week — planes buzzing our destroyer in the Black Sea, a spy ship patrolling within 30 miles of the coast of Connecticut — and the installation of illegal missiles around their country, I feel nervous. I haven’t dug a bunker yet,…

Calling the Mosquito Fleet

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My darling Alaskans, I am starting to feel like these columns I write are more like letters to the people and place I love. It is blowing sideways on the bay today and the snow, defying gravity and all rules, seems to be traveling upward while accumulating on the ground at the same time. My ermine friend is shrew hunting — which is my favorite thing about him — and has learned to do a trick or two for cheese bits. I’m watching with one eye the mushers vie for position in the Yukon Quest and with the other, the…

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

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via GIPHY There have been plenty of years that people wanted to show the door, but 2016 seems to be in a class of its own. During a holiday gathering, friends and family chatted about the years events and the eldest attendee said, “Well, I’m sure other ’16 years were worse.” Looking it up was an attempt to make myself feel better. I’m ready to close out this miserable year. My best friend died and my country is beating the door down to fascism. I’m ready to get a restraining order against cancer. There’s a petition online asking for 2016…

Taking a Break From the News

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The last thing you want to wake up and see on Christmas morning, even more than a hunk of coal in your stocking, is the news. Let’s take a break, shall we? I mean, I’ve been writing this column for seven Christmases now, and I think we know each other well enough to share a piece of coffee cake, or gingerbread pancakes and have these things be free of politics. (Are these pancakes GMO free? Is this maple syrup sustainably harvested from gay family-owned trees? Is this coffee cake made with fair trade coffee? Let’s leave these questions behind for…

The War Against Women Is On

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“What’s wrong with this generation of women?! Why aren’t they out burning their bras like we did? Why are they lying down for all these attacks on their reproductive freedoms? Don’t they understand their economic freedom is their reproductive freedom? They are the same!” I should probably set the scene before I launch into this week’s thoughts on America’s fall from grace. My neighbor had cut a rather pitiful Christmas tree and I was in attendance to witness the merriment. I’m not much of a holiday person, but I was doing what I could to assist in securing the lopsided…

Thanksgiving Goes into Overtime

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I’m hoping your Thanksgiving was peaceful. I know there was a lot of anxiety about it and how the holiday season is going to go. If there was a “Thanksgiving Bingo” game I would have won after hearing the term “vaginal overreach” in a conversation. We had a lot on our plates to talk about, as well as plenty of food. I’ve been trying to figure out where the Venn diagram overlaps are between our divided camps, and concentrate on them. Our similarities aren’t always obvious. Truth be told, the idea of the president-elect succeeding in his agenda could really…

The Manchurian Newscaster

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I think winter has come. I’m not sure I mean that in a seasonal way, or a “Game Of Thrones” way. The waterline has officially frozen from the pond and the lines have been drained. If my little bay was a snow globe, someone has definitely shaken it. I made friends with an ermine when he was still brown. He’s white now and all I have to do to see him is walk out on the porch and call him. “Herman? Herman?” He stays pretty close and I’m happy to have him for a neighbor. He kills shrews and other…