• Myron

December 2016

A Good and True Old Story | Trump & Heath Care

Some kind of year it was. The election dominated the news, and not in a good way. Unity that once emerged following a national election is long gone, and in its place we have never ending partisanship. The prognosis isn't good.

One thing that has proven itself is the appeal of old stories from the ALO repository. Some question whether the stories are all true. Of course they are. There is no need to make up stuff when there are hundreds of episodes that actually happened around ALO. The only problem is protecting client confidences, and making sure the stories are more or less PG13 when some of them are clearly R-rated.

This next story could be entitled "Til death do us part." It comes from a police report dutifully prepared by the Bethel police many years ago which found its way to ALO because of legal issues involved. It seems some citizens called the police to report a party next door with vague suggestions that the police should maybe do a welfare check. Responding to the scene, the police found the door open, and no response to their knocking.

They entered the main room, and noticed a number of folks in repose, scattered about the area. They tried to awaken a man on the floor, only to discover that he was deceased with no obvious indication of what had caused him to expire and no ID. At this point, the officers decided to canvas all the remaining folks to learn more.

A man and a woman were sleeping on a bed near the dead body . The two were somewhat entangled, and mostly without clothes. The cops woke the woman first, and were not surprised to learn she was highly intoxicated. The cop reported this exchange: "The man on the floor is deceased and we are trying to find out who he is, and what happened to him." Her response: "That's my husband and I have no idea what happened to him." With that the woman rolled over and went back to sleep.

At year's end Alaska learned that 2016 was again the hottest year on record, surpassing 2015 which was the next highest. And the numbers were not even close. Melting ice, warming water and stressed wildlife are obvious to those who pay attention. This article is one of many detailing warning signs in Alaska. It is not comforting to know that Trump has selected a climate denier to head the Department of the Interior. This cartoon sort of tells the story. Leaving climate change aside for now, doesn't everyone want clean air, water and soil? Significant improvement in those areas in the last 30 years could be easily undone by folks who want to gut the environmental rules now in place. Trusting big business to run a clean operation simply doesn't work in many cases.

Interesting that Obamacare repeal is facing some resistance in the Republican led Congress. The cornerstone of the last campaign was great for votes but not so easy to do with 20 million people enrolled and no alternative plan in the works to replace it. Remember this: Obamacare costs are paid mostly by taxes on the ultra rich, the same folks who basically own Congress. They want it gone because they are paying for it. Obamacare doesn't work perfectly but it certainly works better than 20 million uninsured would work. As far as the tax cuts for the ultra-rich go, this cartoon is accurate. Many people voted for Trump on the assumption he favored the "little guy." Check his billionaire cabinet. Comedian Stephen Wright has long been a favorite around here. He has a style unlike anyone else, and it is worth checking a video of him if you have never seen him. He poses interesting questions in his spiel. Here is a classic: "If your car goes the speed of light, do your headlights still work?" Here are a few more as posted by former Bethel guy Thom Foote.


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Bethel had a brief cold snap in December, and son-in-law Ben kept up his fat bike program on the river right through it. The Delta Discovery newspaper posted this picture on the front page. Ruby the dog pulls the bike, and off they go. Ruby is a rescue dog from the village of Sleetmute, where she was found living at the dump.

Mark Schwantes is the winter caretaker at a lodge in the state park where the Angstman cabin is located. He gets around quite a bit and posts many pictures, including this great shot of a young bald eagle. This month's mandatory moose is from the Anchorage Dispatch News.

Jack the dog is adapting to life as an office dog quite well.


He has decided that his current owner is the finest person on earth and follows him around faithfully. To maintain that high rating, it seems prudent to keep the dog from meeting other people. Speaking of ratings, Trump seems fixated on ratings. It must bother him that his approval ratings in the forties are the lowest ever for an incoming president, but he can take some comfort that he is far ahead of Congress with approval ratings in the teens. How low can they go? Wait to see what happens when they cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

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