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Showing posts from July, 2011

Nickel and Dollared

The current debt ceiling crisis being fought out in Congress pertains to those most essential of government issues: revenue and spending. Unfortunately, these issues are being negotiated such that decreases in spending are receiving all the emphasis, with possibilities in increasing revenue completely ignored or, for many representatives, discarded out of hand. I cannot at all understand the idiocy that has driven so many "conservative" politicians to ideologically abhor the notion that the government should take in money. Opposition to any new taxation may be a popular stance, but opposition to any sort of increase in revenue - either by closing tax loopholes or otherwise - is absolute stupidity. Republicans constantly pound upon the idea that they are fiscally responsible, ready to balance budgets wherever and whenever they are in power. Not only is this ludicrously false, but their attitude that it is better to destroy a hundred programs before taking a dime more in taxes…

Tlingit - Language Resurgent

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I've been interested in Tlingit, the language of Southeast Alaska's longest-surviving inhabitants, ever since I first heard it in elementary school. I am extremely glad that while I was growing up, programs supported by the Johnson-O'Malley Act (originally passed in 1934) provided students all over Ketchikan with annual instruction in Native language and culture. I've heard that these visits from Native instructors at elementary schools may not be going on any more, which is extremely disappointing if it's true. In any case though, my interest was piqued; at least a few of my summers when I was young were filled with going to Native Culture Camp, where I had even more fun playing traditional games, going on field trips, and even doing complicated art projects like basket weaving.

Through middle school, my language acquisition shifted with the available curricula as I took Japanese for two years and then went on Ketchikan's long-time exchange program to Kanayama…

Tricky Employment

If the United States seems to be a land of opportunity, Alaska seems to be a land of extra-opportunity within it. Alaska has had economic booms at many different times and in many different sectors - from gold to lumber to seafood and oil and tourism. The allure of jobs up north has brought many people into Alaska, and even if the cost of living is much higher here, wages are usually inflated enough to compensate.

One possible problem, however, is that more people come here than are needed for the readily available work. That was true during the gold rush, and I believe it's been true many times since. Many people from all over the country and all over the world come to Ketchikan for summer work, and to a large extent it could be said that there aren't enough locals to fill these temporary fish processing and tourism-related jobs. On the other hand, especially given Americans' current economic woes, people may get a little too hopeful in coming up to Alaska, and there may…

Time Offline

For the past three weeks I've been extremely busy, and my lack of time spent online proves it. In a nutshell, I have been spread between three different houses, and variously in charge of one cat, three dogs and many other responsibilities. It's been fun, but now that I'm done housesitting for my aunt and uncle, the number of houses is back to two, and hopefully I'll get all my continuing tasks lined up so that I can continue to be productive and knock things off my to-do list. Here are a few things left:

Keep working through the summerGet my paperwork ready for getting a visa in San Francisco, and of course,Get my stuff cleaned up and organized!
After three weeks of three houses, my room is quite a mess.