Monday, February 29, 2016

Mountain Near Sitka, Alaska

We saw this peak close by Sitka. Sitka is a delightful Alaskan town on the Gulf of Alaska coast.

Dove Nesting in Tree

This morning my wife discovered a pair of doves nesting outside of our window. This is a sure sign of Spring. I put out some corn and other scratch nearby so that they could easily forage. Spring may be finally over the horizon!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Russian Orthodox Church in Sitka

Sitka, Alaska is located on Baranof Island and is the only town to face the Gulf of Alaska. It was once a Russian town before the purchase of Alaska in 1867. At that time is was known as New Arkangelsk. About 8900 people live there.

This is St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Church in downtown Sitka.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Elvis Sighting on Kingston Pike

I saw this sign on a fence near Kingston Pike in Knoxville. The lighting was poor due to it being an overcast day, It proves that there are still some Elvis fans around!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Ballad of the Malheur Patriots

We're too serious about politics and getting righteously indignant. How about a little song instead?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Post-Caucus Fallout

Yesterday was the Iowa caucus; that has been overdiscussed and well nigh ridden to death as a topic. A recurrent complaint is that Iowa is not representative of the United States but has a disproportionate amount of clout in the selection of Presidential candidates. Yes, Iowa is a relatively homogeneous state, with particular issues and axes to grind that is not representative of the nation as a whole. Yes, the rest of us may not be as hot for ethanol as the Iowans happen to be; and Iowa does not have the racial or ethnic diversity as some other places.

The same with New Hampshire; maybe even in spades.

But what state is a microcosm of the nation? Even New York, California, Texas, or Florida fall short on a number of conceivable dimensions. I certainly can't claim Alabama or Tennessee as a true microcosm. Even whole regions fall short of the Platonic ideal of the microcosm.

Maybe the best thing is to declare a moratorium on this topic. Or, even better, have regions of states hold their primaries at the same time. If six or eight states are having their primaries on the same Tuesday in March or April or May, this spreads the clout joy around. But, better than that, it would shorten the effective election season.

The scope of media coverage has pretty well put pay to the need for candidates to appear in as many local communities as possible. Why do we still do the Presidential selection process this way?

And the political debates as they tend to occur nowadays result in a lot of posturing and grandstanding. We're likely to see more Trumps with the same situation in place in the future.