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Showing posts from July, 2009

Support People - Not Polities

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Last Friday, Secretary of State Clinton stated that the United States has transferred two-hundred million dollars in aid to the state of Palestine, apparently in order to relieve that government's budget deficit. (See AP on Google.)

Two-hundred million dollars may seem like a lot of money, and it may seem that such a contribution would be a meaniful token of support for such a struggling nation. In my eyes, however, this action does absolutely nothing.

The government of Palestine is already in debt. Why would the largest debtor in the world - the United States - use its money to relieve another government's debt? It seems counterintuitive - unless our nation feels that we should work to assist other countries in being debt-free while pushing ourselves further and further into penury. Our gift, moreover, is not nearly enough to balance Palestine's budget. And what would be gained if they had one? - I know not. I doubt Palestine would function any better whether in surplus …

College Things

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It has been quite a while since I talked of my pursuit of higher education. In fact, were it not for the change I made to my "about me" profile snippet at the top right of this blog, ("He is now preparing to attend Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service this fall."), I believe there wouldn't be any way that anyone reading my posts would even know that I ended up enrolling in any college at all.

The last post I made on college was long long ago in April, when I described experiences visiting colleges on the east coast. It may be noted that my attempt to write about each day of my trip was a complete failure; I was only able to write two posts before my removal from the immediacy of the experience lessened my zeal to relate the details of what I did. Unfortunately, my two college visits that I did write and publish about - Princeton and Yale - ended up being the least important. In June, Yale informed me that its class of 2013 was overbooked and th…

Criticizing Caring

As I've stated here many times before, I like to surf the internet reading opinions in opposition to my own. Although the majority of the political blogs I read are probably more philosophically aligned with me than not, I often feel I am much more intellectually stimulated by reading intelligent opinions with which I disagree.

Two posts that I feel are some of the most important writings I've done on my political stance can be found here, where I posit that progress is a moral obligation, and here, where I emphasize that the power of collective institutions (namely government) should not be left unused in seeking progress. Indeed, I would say that my most important political issue is caring - caring about others, caring for others, and pushing for change that will improve the lives of people around the world. If I might be so bold, I would guess that most people that describe this as a political priority would also describe themselves as being liberal. I am not saying that pe…

Excuses for Sarah

Written 9 July 2009 at 22:52

This week I have been a part of a program at the Eagle River United Methodist Church Camp in Juneau, Alaska. Today our group was given tickets to go up the tramway to Mount Roberts, a prominent attraction that towers above downtown Juneau and Douglas. On the way to our trip back down the mountain, I overheard for a few minutes a conversation between someone I assumed to be a local tour guide and a couple I assumed were visitors to Alaska. What I heard in fact was only the speaking of the guide, and he seemed to be explaining why our governor’s resignation should not be viewed as negative. He cited Alaska’s ethics laws as things being taken advantage of in order to sabotage the governor; to paraphrase, he said something akin to “for the cost a postage stamp you can cost the state millions of dollars.”

Sarah has stated several times that ethics complaints against her have cost the state “millions of dollars.” The simple truth is that the cost has been barel…

Reading

Written 6 July 2009 at 0:57

Just moments ago I counted that I have read twenty-five books in the last ten completed calendar months. Since the start of my senior year I’ve kept track of all the books and major pieces of literature that I’ve read. Not all are books, of course: two items on my list are plays. On the other hand, not all of it is literature: five are non-fiction. Here it is in its entirety – I write down title, author, and the date I finished the piece:

The True Patriot, Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer (August 31)
Cry the Beloved Country, Alan Paton (September 8)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare (September 16)
Give Me Liberty!, Gerry Spence (September 19)
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne (October 6)
Crazy Horse, Mari Sandoz (November 11)
The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli (November 18)
Common Sense Government, Al Gore (November 25)
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (December 9)
World Without End, Ken Follett (December 21)
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway (Decembe…

Independence

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My friends, today we celebrate independence. *** Two-hundred and thirty-three years ago, the United States declared their independence from the British Empire. *** Just less than a day ago, Alaska realized its independence from Sarah Palin.