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Tiny Roses

A story of tiny roses from a much drier climate than we’re used to here in Southeast Alaska.

Your Present Blessings

I was never much of a fan for succulents. They seemed like plants that cheated. I know it seems crazy, but I loved bulbs and ferns and water loving plants better. It was a product of where I had lived on the Oregon Coast. Succulents grew rapidly with little water and took over when you weren’t looking. They offended me!  After moving to the eastern part of the state and killing way too many plants because I couldn’t water them enough, I unwillingly moved to the succulent species.

After the first year, I was sold on them. They did many lovely things and they were full of tiny surprises. I also enjoyed how easy they were share. Many of mine came from other people’s yards. Free is a very good price when it comes to flowers and I think of my friends when I look at the different plants. I went…

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How Will Rep Young Pay for More Military?

One of my recent alerts from Congress.gov shows that Rep. Don Young has cosponsored these two bills:


  • H.R. 4534 – To recognize the importance of the land forces of the United States Armed Forces and to revise the fiscal year 2016 end-strength levels for these Land Forces and specify new permanent active duty end strength minimum levels, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 4537 – To prohibit the use of military installations to house aliens who do not have a lawful immigration status or are undergoing removal proceedings in the United States.

There’s no text yet available for HR 4534, but the title implies that he proposes to increase the size of the US Army. Rep. Young is on the record as strongly opposing tax hikes or other revenue raisers. Yet increasing the size of the Army will have a cost, both in current payrolls and later in providing the benefits to veterans that they deserve.

Rep. Young should explain how he intends to pay for more soldiers. If he won’t tax, he either needs to cut something or borrow money to pay our soldiers. We deserve to know what he will do.

If you see the text of the bill before I do and see that it’s a proposal to REDUCE the size of our land forces, let me know and I’ll post a retraction.

HR 4537 just seems to be a needless restriction on the executive branch. We detain many, many aliens prior to removal – often for years. If we’re going to continue this practice (which I disagree with) the government needs more places to house them, not fewer.



Marco Rubio: Gives in to fear, paranoia

“In fact, if ISIS were to visit us or our communities at any moment, the last line of defense between ISIS and my family is the ability I have to protect my family from them or from a criminal or anyone else that seeks to do us harm. Millions of Americans feel that way.”

via Marco Rubio Says He Bought A Gun On Christmas As ‘Last Line Of Defense’ Against ISIS | Crooks and Liars.

While I don’t agree with guns for home defense, I understand and respect the right of people to have guns for home defense.

But when you’re buying a gun specifically to fend off ISIS/Daesh, you’ve descended into paranoia. Also seem to lack understanding of ISIS tactics, which outside of their territory relies heavily on bombs or groups of people ambushing soft targets like hotels or malls with massed rifle fire. A gun in the home won’t stop either of those.

Also, as a would be President, Senator Rubio appears to have abandoned faith in our military, police services and intelligence services.

Alaska Related Govdocs: Radioactive Southeast, Aleutian voices, Aleutian Subsistance

My work sometimes brings me into contact with federal publications about Alaska. Some are old and some are new. Here’s a selection of some recent items I’ve run across:

Title Investigations for radioactive deposits in southeastern Alaska /
Internet Access http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo63104
Author West, Walter S.(Walter Scott),1912-author.
Published [Washington, D.C.] : United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, 1955.
Series ( Geological Survey bulletin ; 1024-B.)
General Note “This report concerns work done on behalf of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and is published with the permission of the Commission. ”
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (page 54) and index.
URL http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/b1024B

Title Aleutian voices /
Internet Access http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo62606
Published [Washington, D.C.?] : U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2014-
Publication Dates Began with: Volume 1, no. 1 (2014).
URL http://www.nps.gov/aleu/learn/historyculture/aleuvoices.htm

Title Subsistence study for the North Aleutian Basin /
Internet Access http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo63065
Author Reedy-Maschner, Katherine L.,1975-author.
Published Anchorage, AK : U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Alaska Region, 2012.
Description 1 online resource (xv, 226 pages) : illustrations (chiefly color), color maps.
Series ( OCS study ; BOEM 2012-109.)
URL http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-Newsroom/Library/Publications/2012/BOEM-2012-109.aspx

Science for Alaska Lecture Series | Geophysical Institute

The series brings current scientific research to communities throughout the state and serves as a method of collaboration between each major campus of the University of Alaska system, state and federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Each year, administrators, faculty, staff and the public weigh-in on possibilities for speakers and topics to be included in the popular lecture series. The result is a well-rounded event that pools expertise from scientists studying in various locales in Alaska, on topics as diverse as alternative energy to walruses.

via Science for Alaska Lecture Series | Geophysical Institute.

Nearly time for a new round of science lectures. Attend in person if you’re in Fairbanks or watch online when the lectures get posted to their YouTube playlist. See the 2016 Lecture page for a list of this year’s topics.

Everyone Tells the Truth Sometimes

Trump said American polling shows Russian President Vladimir Putin has “an 80 percent approval rating.”

Multiple American polls have found Putin’s approval rating to hover around 80 percent among the Russian public, including a recent study that aimed to adjust for any possibility that respondents have been lying to pollsters out of fear or social expectations.

This statement rates True.

via Donald Trump is right about Putin’s popularity in Russia | PolitiFact.

I do not approve of Donald Trump. I post this because it is a useful reminder that no one lies all the time.

Though a lot of what Mr. Trump says on the campaign trail has been rated as false.

The Terrorism Statistics Every American Needs to Hear | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

– You are 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

– You are 33,842 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

via The Terrorism Statistics Every American Needs to Hear | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization.

Well cited roundup of causes of death compared to dying in a terrorism attack in the United States.

The evidence is clear. The resources we are pouring into antiterror efforts are way more than any real threat we face.

The fact that we’ve also killed tens of thousands of people while torturing hundreds of others in pursuit of such a minor threat to our existence, is immoral.



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