Archive for the ‘Alaska’ Category

Imminent eruption of Alaska’s Mount Redoubt reminds us of Mayon and Pinatubo

January 30, 2009

The snow-capped Mt. Redoubt in Anchorage, Alaska is showing signs of restiveness that makes eruption probable. Residents living close to the 10,200 foot volcano are on alert as they set aside gears and provisions for the imminent volcanic eruption. Having seen showers of ash and pyroclastic debris in the past, the people there prepare masks and goggles, the first line of defense to protect their eyesight and breathing.

This isn’t unfamiliar to our kababayans in Bicol where Mt. Mayon displays periodic volcanic activity which forces the evacuation of villagers from its slope and gulleys. The PhilVolcs and government officials coordinate with the community to avoid loss of life and property during such emergency.

Farther north in Luzon Island of the Philippines is Mt. Pinatubo also blows its top with tons of lava and subterranean debris shooting up in the air. Ash deposits and later lahar destroy towns along its path.

In June 1991, the Mount Pinatubo brought hardship and misery in the neighboring provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. The eruption forced indigenous tribesmen, the Aetas, to scamper from their mountain dwellings as volcanic debris rolled and covered lowland settlements, reaching as far as the environs of Manila. Pinatubo’s gigantic eruption destroyed crops and agriculture land, countless homes and villages making it one of the biggest eruptions in memory. (Photo Credits: Blastard; DiffusedPixel; US Geological Survey PD) =0=

Mount Mayon and Mount Pinatubo


Alaska’s Largest Newspaper Endorses Obama

October 26, 2008

Earlier this week when the New York Times endorsed Obama for president, Republican sympathizers jokingly feigned shock and disbelief, calling it good for a few good laughs. Who will endorse who next? FoxNews and News Corp. endorsing McCain? NBC to finally officially endorse Obama?

But this one will probably stun rather make the GOP laugh. Citing the need for a steady hand to handle America’s crisis, Alaska’s largest newspaper, Anchorage Daily News, endorses Barack Obama for President.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.

While still maintaining that Palin would be ready to assume the job of a Vice President, present serious problems like economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would be stretching their governor beyond her range. The editorial concludes that putting Sarah Palin a heart-beat away “from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.”

This endorsement from the Alaska newspaper certainly throws everyone into genuine surprise and disbelief, given that Sarah Palin is the governor of the State with purported 80% approval. If at all significant, this highlights McCain-Palin ticket’s continuing trouble with the mainstream media on issues that matter.

Read the Anchorage Daily editorial here.

Sen. Barack Obama gets a match in Gov. Sarah Palin

September 2, 2008

Soon after the Sen. John McCain announced his vice presidential running mate in the coming US elections, Americans turned their focus to a dark horse from Alaska, a 44 year old woman of understated fame who was brave enough to bring her fifth pregnancy to term which she knew had Down’s Syndrome (aka Mongolism, Trisomy 21 .) With a laudable reputation of cutting down corruption in her jurisdiction, Palin appeared to be a remarkable counterbalance to McCain’s moderate stance, a complement to his wide experience and advance age.

A mother of 5 children who enjoys fishing and hunting with her husband and eats mooseburger, Palin is a fighter against interest groups. Her conservative opposition to abortion and gay marriage is diametrically against Sen. Barack Obama’s liberal proclivities. She favors gun rights, capital punishment, sexual abstinence, and oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR.)

Criticized for her inexperience and being young like Obama, Palin has a longer hands-on experience in politics than Obama, having started as a two-term Wasilla mayor commencing in 1992 and then later as the youngest governor of Alaska in 2006 who defeated incumbent Republican Frank Murkowski in the primary and former Democrat governor Tom Knowles in the general election

Being governor, Palin has more latitude in decision-making which affects the day-to-day lives of her constituents compared to Obama, a Harvard-educated senator from Illinois elected on 2004 who often handles more focused duties in legislative committee away from his constituents. Strong in vision and promises, Obama, a staunch critic of Pres. George Bush’s Iraq policy and a proponent of universal healthcare is relatively a blank slate that perturbs the undecided voters.

Obama’s godly persona and redemptive “message of change” for America which attract young voters and many liberal Hollywood stars match the beauty and intelligence of Palin, a former Miss Alaska finalist and basketball guard with a plebeian family background. While the Obama breaks the glass ceiling of being the first Afro-American candidate, she carries the distinction of being the first woman ever nominated as veep in the GOP ticket.

As November 4 winds up, the undecided segment of voting public is on watch for the factor that will make them choose. With multiplicity of issues to consider, they have a lot to learn about the candidates. Campaigners from both sides of the political aisle scramble for the pros and cons of candidates to sway for votes.

It remains to be seen whether Palin, a “non-denominational” Christian of Pentecostal background will continue to chip away the loyal supporters left by Democrat Hillary Clinton away from Obama and his veep running mate John Biden to the side of the Republicans, Vetted by hard-hitting Democrats who snipe on Palin’s 17-year old pregnant daughter, the Republicans put their bets on Palin—hoping that no major surprise would come up to tarnish her name. =0=