Anchorage Proves…

…That Nazi-fascism is alive and well in the Last Frontier…

As Saturday gave way to Sunday, smokers enjoyed their last gasp inside bars and bingo parlors across the city. A ban approved overwhelmingly by voters earlier this year will send them outdoors the next time they get a nicotine fit while knocking back a Budweiser.

Midway through the evening at the Bradley House, a bugler played taps while Bradley walked solemnly to the door, an American flag cradled in one arm.

She tore down the sign that had been posted ever since the city’s restaurants went smoke-free in 2001, the sign saying the Bradley House is a smoking establishment — something it could do because it’s designated as a bar, not a restaurant, even though it’s actually both.

Now a souvenir, the sign made the rounds at the bar as customers signed it. “June 30, 2007,” one of them wrote. “In memory of our lost rights.”

Later, people gathered outside near a new cedar building decorated with a big red ribbon. They applauded as Bradley cut the ribbon and opened the door, revealing a room where smokers can take shelter when it’s cold and wet.

“After today you’re gonna have to go out to a shack?” a nonsmoker asked Cassidy. “Yep,” she said.

“I’ll come visit you there,” he said.

Back inside the bar, Cheryl Contreras, caught up in the spirit of things, borrowed a Marlboro Light from a friend.

“This is my first cigarette in, like, 30 years,” she said. “They put this ban in and made me smoke again. How healthy is that?”

Contreras voted against the ban even though she quit smoking when she was 24. Her friend Joelle Donovan would have voted against it too, except she’s Canadian.

“That’s why I’m becoming an American,” Donovan said. “I want a voice. Laws like this scare me.”

“Laws like this scare me.” That pretty much covers it… It would scare any rational person.

More here…

“One of the striking differences between Fascism and Communism is this: Fascism has inspired no great work of art…. No doubt, Fascism is too vile and scurrilous an ideology to produce those charities of the imagination which are essential to literate art. Communism, even when it has gone venomous, is a mythology of the human future, a vision of human possibility rich in moral demand. Fascism is the ultimate code of the hoodlum; Communism fails because it would seek to impose upon the fragile plurality of human nature and conduct an artificial ideal of self-denial and human purpose. Fascism tyrannizes through contempt of man; Communism tyrannizes by exalting man above that sphere of private error, private ambition, and private love which we call freedom.” — George Steiner

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