Geography, resources and ecosystems link Alaska inextricably to its neighbor, Russia. Russia requires a special relationship, with specialized institutions and specialists to manage them. With oil nearing $150 a barrel, Russia is enjoying boom times. The Putin/Medvedev social contract gives Russians stability, freedom to buy things they want and travel abroad, in exchange for Kremlin control over profits.
Summer nights! The fragrant dark descends, the night creatures chitter and chirrup, and we linger on the porch, a little wine in the glass, children coming and going, and we inhale the sweetness of life. In Pasadena, people are lined up outside a bank, hoping to get their money out before it goes belly-up, and Mr. McCain's friend Mr. Gramm says we are a nation of whiners complaining about a recession that is only mental, but we are engulfed in summer and don't notice. We're sitting on the porch, inhaling the breeze from the trees, and we are American optimists.
It seems to me that the more money comes pouring into state coffers, the more services residents should be seeing. After all, if we are the owner state, it is our money. While I understand the need to put some of it away for tomorrow, I don't see why that precludes our enjoying a better quality of life today.
In the spirit of the celebration of Alaska's 50th anniversary of statehood, many deserving people are hailed for their roles in making it happen. However in those generally good recollections, I have yet to read about the one person who deserves to stand out among the rest.