Thirteen-year-olds can AirDrop Simpsons memes from across the room, and artificial intelligence made chess masters like Garry Kasparov obsolete. But for all our technological advances, at home, we’re still cavemen. 

President-elect Biden frequently calls for “healing the soul of our country.” Lincoln wrote of “binding up the nation’s wounds.” Has the current exposure of our nation’s brokenness revealed an opportunity to give these words new meaning? Can we stop the bloodshed, diagnose symptoms, treat ro…

ARIES (March 21-April 19): On May 4, 2019, my Aries friend Leah woke up in a state of amazement. During the night, she felt she had miraculously become completely enlightened. Over the next 16 hours, she understood her life perfectly. Everything made sense to her. She was in love with every …

Let us be dissatisfied until that day the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid. 

Few will find it surprising that the incoming Biden administration looks, in both form and function, a lot like the Obama administration of 2009-2017. After all, Joe Biden served as Barack Obama's vice-president for those eight years. His staff and cabinet appointments comprise a veritable W…

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This is a developing story that originally appeared on The Blue Alaskan. Used with permission.

This whole COVID confinement thing freed up a lot of time for me, not that I wanted it to. I’d rather be back running through my favorite breweries and watering holes and sampling the fermented wares of our local craft brewers instead of hanging out and drinking beer at home while I tinker w…

It is standard practice for the Alaska Public Offices Commission to allow legislators and other state officials to hide information about family income that by law is supposed to be public.

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It took over an hour for the Anchorage Assembly to agree on a resolution to condemn insurrection Tuesday night, and even then it wasn’t unanimous. 

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Last week’s armed insurrections at the U.S. Capitol made me revisit questions that have haunted me for decades, since my years as a volunteer leader for Amnesty International, the human rights organization. My first assignment, in the early 1980s, was to coordinate a Campaign Against Torture…

I think I now know how fascism begins.

As you can see by my signature, Dan, I’m a linguist. On your podcast you frequently ask researchers “whatchyougot” on all kinds of sex- and romance-related questions, I thought maybe you’d be interested in some expertise on linguistic matters too. And I have some on “cum,” “cumming,” and (sh…

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The events of this week have the First Amendment on top of everyone’s mind, so I thought I would do a VERY basic and quick review of some key questions about when and how it applies.

The weather has sat stagnant for more than a week. The bomb cyclone went unnoticed. On a few nights the wind whistled, that was all. Thoughts of fresh snow passed through, but never materialized. I taught a class to young children in Seattle, about the wonders of Alaska’s weather. As they co…

One last con: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump skipped out on their New Year's gala at Mar-a-Lago, where fans with too much money paid a thousand or so bucks singly because the Trumps were advertised to attend. But suddenly, the first scammers bailed and returned to the Wh…

President Donald Trump has turned a narrow electoral defeat into a bid for infamy. His goal in the post-election interlude has been more and more explicitly to overturn the results of the election. Indeed, a couple of weeks ago he tweeted simply, "#OVERTURN." We now know, thanks to a recordi…

Like many Americans, I was appalled by the actions of those who stormed the Capitol building with only one intention in mind: To stop the democratic process that we hold so dearly. Sedition is one of many words that come to mind to describe what took place Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

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It seems likely, perhaps inevitable, that January 6, 2021 will join the list of other memorably shocking dates in American history, a list that in the last century alone includes Dec. 7, 1941; Nov. 22, 1963; and Sept. 11, 2001.

The first step in recovering from any addiction is to tell the truth — admit the addiction, admit its consequences. This is something we still seem unwilling to do with our addiction to oil, particularly here in Alaska.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): As you ripen into a more fully embodied version of yourself, you will summon ever-greater discrimination about where to seek your inspiration. I trust that you will increasingly divest yourself of any tendency you might have to play around with just any old mediocr…

I like fun and I like games. Who doesn’t? There are traditional favorites like musical chairs where it’s perfectly OK to body block your 75-year-old Aunt Millie. Or one of my favorites, the Post-It note game. In this game the host writes the names of famous people on post-it notes and then a…

As the New Year asserts itself — a year that begins in global lockdown and political shock-and-awe — an extraordinary question emerges: Are we on the brink of real change?

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In a sign that 2021 may get even more darkly weird than 2020, a mob of Trump supporters pushed their way into the US Capitol on January 6, putting politicians to flight and delaying, for a few hours, Congress's quadrennial ritual of counting electoral votes and blessing the enthronement of t…

If it wins leases at the federal sale next Wednesday, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority may have to hold them until until the end of the Biden administration — or longer.

Hey there, 

One of the enduring mysteries of the Dunleavy administration is the so-called “Alaska Development Team,” an effort that appears to have grown out of a 2018 campaign promise to recruit “distressed gun manufacturers” to build factories in Alaska.

Truth be told, I should not be writing this to you now.  It was part of the code I signed in order to do the behind-the-scenes protest mental health work that I would never contact “the media.”  

"When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,"  Dr.  Anthony Fauci, director of the US  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and public face of the federal government's response to the COVID-19…

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As Trump descends into a world where he may actually believe that he has won the election (in which case he may not actually be “lying” but is living a world of self-delusion), it has become very apparent that he is a danger to not only the republic but also an existential danger to humanity…

I was curious to see that none of Alaska’s delegation to Congress has said a peep about raising stimulus checks from the measly $600 per each person in a household to $2000. After all, we’re in crisis with over 48,000 Alaskans unemployed and those numbers don’t include the thousands whose be…

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing structural changes to the Permanent Fund Dividend that could have major effects on annual dividend as well as the state budget going forward.

Oh what a year it was, the Galactic year that is.  

I have to admit, I almost feel sorry for old 2020. It's been catching a lot of hate these days, and not without cause. Of course, the year we call 2020 -- with the obligatory eye-roll -- isn't an actual force unto itself, just a measure of time, one of the handy concepts we use to create a s…

Did you know that "Auld Lang Syne," from the Scots language in which it was written back in 1788, literally translates in English to "old long since," not so literally to "long long ago"? Do you care? I can bore you even more about why it was associated with New Year's, but I won't, except t…

It's been a terrible year for the American worker, with a notable bright spot courtesy of one of the tech firms in the crosshairs of regulators and lawmakers. If someone had said early in 2020, "A company is going to hire hundreds of thousands of non-college-educated workers during the pande…

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The year 2020 was tough, 2021 will be better.

 

New Year's Eve partiers had good reason to celebrate at the stroke of midnight on January 1. If the end of 2020 felt like a farewell to the missteps of more than one previous year, in a way it truly was. The culture of the year 1925 broke free from shackles imposed in 1998.

Will he leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence?

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Among the more minor casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic has been alternative weekly newspapers.

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As I look back on 2020 and what caught my attention in terms of craft beer, although I’m not writing anything new, COVID’s screwed things up enormously. Personally, COVID’s re-defined how I drink beer these days (mostly at home) and what I drink (mostly local beer). The first redefinition su…

Under E0-17, announced Tuesday by Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, Anchorage bars and restaurants will be able to open back up at 25% capacity. For many the announcement was a sigh of relief. Others are worried about the portion of the EO that prohibits serving alcohol after 11 p.m., whic…

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, no stranger to fiscal fantasies, is the narrator of a 39-second state-funded video that should be immediately corrected because it promotes a fraudulent multi-billion-dollar error.

"Military leaders are worried about the shrinking pool of young people who qualify for military service," Gina Harkins reports at Military.com. "More than 70% of young Americans remain unable to join the military due to obesity, education problems, or crime and drug records."

A deep low in the Bering Sea hauls air across Anchorage at a good clip. Christmas wrapping paper blows around our apartment’s parking lot, the dumpster overflowing. The dog thinks that’s fun and chases after the paper. Then the rain starts, heavy at times. This helps plaster the trash to the…

Lately, I have been reflecting on what I have in common with extremists.  It turns out that the list is longer than one would think.  I hold their same passions for change, an ability to withstand discomfort--put more bluntly, tolerance for risk of pain that some term masochism--and I share …

One of my very close friends, a lesbian, has been married for a couple of years now. It’s been nothing but drama since the day they met. My friend had a terrible home life growing up and doesn’t understand stability. She also has zero self-confidence. My friend and her wife are constantly ca…

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Author Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) carried on a long love affair with books. He read thousands of them, wrote more than 20 of them, and further postulated the existence of numerous imaginary books that were never actually written. Of all the writers who roused hi…