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Monday, May 28, 2012

CHRONICLES: A Brief Summary of Alaskan Independence

I'm sitting here without a clue as to what I should be blogging about. It's an all-too-frequent process for me. I'd limit that statemet to recent history, but.. come on.. really?

It seems lately that there is much sadness surrounding much of the world. I talked to a friend who told me that Wyoming is putting various resolutions into place that could, if necessary, make them a stand-alone country outside of the rest of the United States. (It's interesting to note, however, that part of this also included the purchase of an aircraft carrier. No joke.) Then I did a mess of research about Alaska's storied past. To me, the "chechako" (newb for the kids), it's fascinating to discover some of this stuff.

Alaska was purchased by the United States for some ridiculously low amount of money. Even when adjusted for inflation, it's still brain-numbingly cheap. For a long time, it was a territory, which meant the United States could come in, take whatever they wanted as far as resources go, and go on their way. Understandably bitter, the sourdoughs (the people that have been here forever, not the natives, but the oldest transplants) wanted Alaska to have more power. Supposedly, the desired outcome was control of their own resources, ideally resulting in becomming an independent country. However, for whatever incentive, the most viable option at the time was joining the United States, which resulted in a long and steady relationship of respect and relative independence.

As the years went on, an undercurrent of sentiment began to rise in some of the locals that the people in Washington, so well disconnected from the state up here, have slowly worked into chipping away at the Alaskan control of itself. As recently as 2010, initiatives were brought to the state government promoting Alaska's withdrawl from the rest of the country to establish itself as an independent nation. Sean Parnell, then Lt. Governor, and the Alaska Supreme Court quickly struck it down, the latter citing cecession as illegal and unconstitutional. I read their verdict online, as well as the petition itself. Nowhere in the petetion is the word "cecession" written. However, it's in the verdict something like twenty-six times.

Now I'm not completely for Alaskan Independence. I simply feel that there was once an America that was free, whose people were educated, motivated, and allowed to exist without persecution, subtle or blatant. I also recognize that the America I refer to seems to be easing more and more closely to a dangerous precipice, and, from where I'm looking, Alaska hasn't deteriorated to that extent. I acknowledge the argument that Alaska accepts more government money per capita than any other state. However, in a state with no infrastructure that's over twice as large as Texas, has a very significant wealth in natural resources, and a population of less than 800,000 statewide, that's understandable. I would go on to say that, had Alaska control of it's own oil, timber, fish, and growth, much of that federal subsity wouldn't be necessary.

Sigh... at any rate, lots to think about that interests me. This is a fascinating place.

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