Hey, Puerto Ricans. I’m Lela in Alaska. Let’s talk about statehood, shall we?

Image — foreignaffairs.com

I hear you want to become a State of the United. Are you sure you really want to do that?

A Colony Talks to Another Colony

The United States doesn’t want to believe that it’s an empire with colonial possessions, but of course, we know the truth because we’ve lived it. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, the American Virgin Islands and American Samoa are all territorial possessions (COLONIES) of the United States. …

A jury read the soul of a man, but it won’t matter in the end

Photo-CNN

Note — Chauvin is not chained around the ankles with the belt around his waist like you and I would be when taken into custody after that verdict. Perception is everything. That’s the most respectfully treated murderer in America. Don’t ignore it. Pay attention to it.

I always knew the system would find a way to acquit Derek Chauvin of cruelty to humans, and I see the system is still grinding toward that end.

“The police of a free society, engaging in retaliatory force only…

How about looking at real reform solutions instead?

I’m a libertarian. A part of that self-identification walks hand-in-hand with disliking authoritarians. I don’t need someone else to tell me what to do, especially not someone wearing a blue uniform and a badge who has been granted authority to shoot me if I’m non-compliant with their tyranny. I own myself, I take responsibility for myself, and I’m trying not to violate anyone else’s self-ownership. When I do, because I’m human, I apologize and take efforts to make them whole. Usually it’s as simple as paying for the touchup on their car…

Ranked Choice Voting Forces Me to Vote Against My Will

Image — Boston Globe

On Being a Nonpartisan

My mother was a nonpartisan conservative feminist and when I turned 18 she suggested I should register as a nonpartisan and instead of just voting for whichever political party I favored, I should research the candidates and the policies and compare the two.

Pick the candidate who supports the policies you prefer.

I didn’t always think Mom knew what she was talking about, but in this case, she could show me how she did it, so I gave it a try. In the late 1970s, researching information about candidates was…

Why does today’s political divide seem so familiar?

You can’t argue today that America isn’t deeply divided and getting worse. A growing proportion of Americans believe it is at least somewhat justifiable for their political party to use violence to achieve its goals. A loud subset of Democrats spent four years screaming “Not my President,” burned a dozen American cities in the summer of 2020, and then acted surprised when the Proud Boys turned out in riot gear at Antifa riots and a group of American misfits stormed the US Capitol in January.

Image — Salon

Experts (or possibly political hacks and media…

Maybe we should read it to find out.

It seems everybody has an opinion on the Georgia Election Reform bill, but almost nobody has read it. Thanks to a debilitating snowstorm, I had an extra bit of time to spare this Resurrection Sunday, so I decided to do just that. And, since I read it, I figured I’d share what I found.

Image — Associated Press

Black People Can Still Vote

So can Indians and presumably every individual of every minority group is still allowed to cast a vote in Georgia, provided they’re a registered voter and resident of the state.

So, count that as a point in the…

Society isn’t helped by hating your neighbor.

Image — Lela Markham

Just judging from Twitter, but I encounter it on Facebook too, it appears to be an acceptable rhetorical maneuver to discredit specific arguments by effectively shutting down dialogue on important but controversial subjects by declaring the speaker to be evil, insane, or stupid.

Creating Enemies

The observed scenario goes something like this. Someone makes a valid point on a topic that we should be discussing because it matters in our society. Someone else will then start screeching that the writer or speaker made a questionable remark, sometimes taken out of context and sometimes spoken decades…

It’s always darkest before the dawn. Didn’t the sun just go down?

Image by Lela Markham

Pushing Back the Shadows

Several years ago, my husband and some friends went moose hunting in the valley behind Ester Dome, a 3000-foot mountain (Alaskans call them hills) to the northeast of our town. They got their moose just as the sun snuggled into the September horizon, so they camped that night. Someone had to stay up by the fire to guard the moose carcass because bears are putting on their winter fat that time of year and will steal an unguarded carcass.

Expecting bears, my husband wasn’t particularly surprised when our…

A New York leftist learns to love self-defense

Image by ProCon.org

Lifelong View

For many years, Christopher (my husband’s high school best friend) scoffed at our contention that we need less gun control, not more.

“It’s easier to get a gun in the United States than to buy a book.”

For most of his life, Chris lived in New York State, splitting his time between the bucolic village of Chappaqua (where Hillary Clinton surrounds herself with armed guards) and an apartment in Manhattan that he shares with his business partner. Although he didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton (he’s met her personally and calls her “coo-coo…

What the world needs is more division, right?

A friend of mine who grew up in Peru tells me about a Roman Catholic-Native syncretic cult where men show their repentance by carrying extremely heavy weights up Andean mountains. They climb and climb and climb, but they never get rid of their sin. There is no forgiveness for them. Original sin will always stain their souls. So they continue to practice this discipline until their bodies break down and they either become disabled or die. Neisa says she thinks it goes back many centuries and probably predates the coming of Europeans…

Lela Markham

An Alaska-based novelist and blogger interested in a wide range of topics. lelamarkham@gmail.com

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