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Paul Jenkins

Here's a really cool idea: Let's make it easier for good-hearted folks to buy, say, adjoining townhouses or homes in comfortable East Anchorage or Midtown or Hillside neighborhoods and remodel them so we can pack in 50 or so chronic drunks. That way the drunks can continue to drink safely, off the cold streets, away from prying eyes. It is, after all, OK for them to drink themselves nearly dead, as long as nobody has to step over them...

Paul Jenkins

Ethics and pornography are very much alike, at least in one regard. Nobody is exactly sure how to define them, but everybody knows what they are when they see them.

In seats of power, that is not always the case, especially when it comes to ethics. Take, for instance, the argument raging in Juneau over how much lobbyists can spend on a meal or drinks for lawmakers before the expenditures must be reported to the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The individual limit, hammered out by stampeding legislators in 2007, is $15...

Paul Jenkins

For the longest time, I was torn about the death penalty. It was wrong. It was right. Immoral. Expensive. Not a deterrent. But shouldn't monsters be killed? What if the wrong person is executed? What about the victims? For every question, two more.

Until James Dupree Henry.

Never heard of him? No surprise. He was a piece of garbage who murdered his neighbor, a prominent 81-year-old civil rights leader, in Orlando 36 years ago.

Henry broke into Zellie L. Riley's small home in an older neighborhood to rob him on March 23, 1974. He gagged the old man. Tied him up. Beat him with a pistol. Slit his throat with a razor and then jammed in a sock. Riley was strangled. What did Henry pocket? Sixty-four dollars...

Paul Jenkins

Well, it turns out ads peddling the notion that Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share oil tax is death on North Slope jobs and investment are misleading. At least that's what Gov. Sean Parnell says.

The Alaska Industry Support Alliance ads -- showcasing folks who have lost jobs or business because of oil industry scrimping -- do not tell the whole story about ACES, Parnell says. The lousy global economy and the North Slope companies' balance sheets are among the real culprits. The punitive tax that sucks $1 billion more than it should out of the industry annually? Not a problem...

Paul Jenkins

Let's get this out of the way. I'm not gay. Never have been. Don't want to be. You can, however, count me among those -- gay and straight -- utterly mystified by the ridiculous "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the military.

Its days -- thankfully -- appear numbered. There is a decent chance this perniciously discriminatory weed planted in 1993 as a compromise soon will be yanked out by its roots.

All the signs are there: Defense Secretary Robert Gates, joined last week by top military brass, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, backs President Barack Obama's push to repeal the inane "don't ask, don't tell" law and regulations...

Paul Jenkins

As President Barack Obama teleprompted his way through what at first looked like a desperate bid to reconnect with a battered and suspicious middle class, or at least assuage it, his State of the Union delivery made it clear that from Obama's perspective, the problem is -- ta-da -- not enough Obama...

Paul Jenkins

There is a warning implicit in Scott Brown's electrifying special election win over Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley -- a warning for cocky Democrats so certain of victory only a few days ago and Republicans already oblivious to why voters dumped them a few years ago. It is simple, really, even if the left does not get it:

America is angry. Very, very angry.

Despite President Obama's fervent hope for change, we do not want to be socialists, never have. We certainly do not want a nation molded in the image of some inbred, cheese-eating European fiefdom...

Paul Jenkins

A Superior Court judge says the state Department of Natural Resources tap-danced all over ExxonMobil's constitutional rights to procedural due process in a dust-up over development at Point Thomson on the North Slope.

Given the department's unfathomable animus for the industry, especially its favorite bogeyman, oil giant ExxonMobil, it is no surprise. After all, DNR's fear and loathing of the industry is what triggered the comically ill-advised Alaska Gasline Inducement Act that cost us $500 million -- so far...

Paul Jenkins

A reasonable person must wonder why members of the Anchorage Assembly majority are not in a lather to discover whether former Mayor Mark Begich played a shell game with city finances right before they voted in 2008 on $150 million in labor contracts.

A reasonable person also must ask: If there is something amiss in how we do things with the city's finances, would it not be prudent to find out what it is and find a way to fix the problem so that it does not happen again?...

Paul Jenkins

Watching Senate Democrats peddling their votes, themselves and this nation in the name of so-called health care reform most Americans do not want is enough to make a buzzard retch.

The sleaziness is only compounded by their pretending they are doing us a favor; that they are saving us; that they will reduce our staggering deficit. They fail to mention that the law would not go into effect until 2014, but its taxes -- truckloads of them -- crank up immediately...

Paul Jenkins

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