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Elise Patkotak

I listened to Sean Hannity on Fox News last week talk about how his father not only disciplined him with a belt but also once punched him in the face when he was doing something wrong. Hannity claimed that he was just fine, grew up great, doesn’t need therapy, and is happy with the way he was disciplined. I’m betting the child he once was would have a different take on that. Mostly I wish he could have met my father.

Neither my father nor my mother ever really hit us. Oh we got the occasional swat across the bottom, but it was just that. In fact, it was more of a “move it along” swat done with their hand over our clothes. And it happened so rarely that I barely even remember it...

Elise Patkotak

Let’s check in on the progress women are making in the world today. According to some, we no longer have any reason to complain. We have, in fact, become such “nazi-feminists” that men can no longer be men. You know, like in the good old days. Of course, that would be the good old days for men, not necessarily women. So let’s see how we’re progressing in the early years of the 21st century.

Let’s start with the rate at which men murder women in Alaska. That would be two times the national average. Once again, Alaska’s No. 1, though I imagine if women are waving their finger at this news, the finger lifted would not be the polite one...

Elise Patkotak

As the referendum on legalizing marijuana grows closer, many discussions need to happen about the pros and cons of the issue. But the suggestion that having a discussion with your children about legalized pot is unknown territory puzzles me. I can tell you unequivocally what my parents would have said to me because it would have been the same thing they said to me about alcohol. Until I was 21, it was illegal for me to indulge. If I did, then my mother assured me she would send me to Kingdom Come. I wasn’t sure where that was, but given the tone of her voice, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to go there...

Elise Patkotak

I was thinking about Labor Day and that got me to thinking about labor, which segued off to a woman in labor, which brings me to my current topic – women having babies to replace the babies taken away by the state or tribe because they are not capable of providing a child with basic safety, nourishment and support...

Elise Patkotak

I was recently invited to a Pioneers in Health Care in Alaska event. I suppose it was inevitable that at some point someone would call me a pioneer. That didn’t stop me from feeling 40 more gray hairs popping out of my head or my neck’s turkey wattle from shaking even harder. Then I stopped to think for a moment and the picture of the young woman who first came to Alaska and got involved in health care delivery in remote locations popped into my head. I realized she looked a whole lot younger than the person staring out at me from the mirror in the morning...

Elise Patkotak

This column’s deadline is before the results of yesterday’s primary are announced. So congrats to the winners, better luck next time to the runners-up and to the rest of Alaska, enjoy the brief 20 minutes of silence we will have before the onslaught of political noise leading up to the general election...

Elise Patkotak

I was thinking about this week’s column and kept coming up with topics that probably make us all want to run screaming into the night. I could write about the oil tax debate because, as we all know, you can’t hear too much about that. And the 4 million political ads we’ve seen the past few months certainly have affected my view of how great the summer has been. I could write about how these two issues have sucked all the air out of anything else on the ballot but I think we’re all well aware of that by now. I could write about how I’m getting pretty discouraged with democracy in this current iteration. I get that corporations are people and can spend as much as they want based on their inherent freedom of speech guarantee....

Elise Patkotak

If you are one of the 10 or so people out there who really understand the issues involved in the Ballot Measure 1 oil tax debate, feel free to move on to sports or comics. If, however, you are like me and probably most Alaskans who feel they are being bombarded with conflicting numbers, statements, claims and ads … oh lord, the ads … then please read on...

Elise Patkotak

Matthew 19:14, King James Version: “But Jesus said, 'Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.' ”...

Elise Patkotak

Even a cursory review of history reveals that prohibition is a failed policy. Whether it’s forbidding your teen from seeing the boy of her dreams or forbidding a nation to have a beer after work, the result is the same. The forbidden will somehow be accessed. All prohibition does is drive the behavior underground, thus making it that much harder to deal with the consequences.

America’s War on Drugs has been a colossal failure. Not only has it not even come close to achieving its stated goal, it has driven the issue so far underground that the only people who truly benefit from it at this point are the drug lords who live high off the tastes of America’s citizens...

Elise Patkotak

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