Seward’s folly

Seward was President Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State when he negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. He was in the market to purchase something and the US Senate had just rejected his attempt to purchase Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Seward was approached by the Russian ambassador who offered to sell Alaska to the US. They negotiated the sale which the Senate reluctantly approved. The House of Representatives at first refused to appropriate the necessary funds, but did so eventually. Seward’s folly they called it until gold was discovered in the Klondike.

Computers

November, 2015, will mark the 21st anniversary of our first home computer desktop system. During that time, every few years we spent about $2000.00 for a new system for my son, and we inherited the old system. This year for the first time, my son the gamer and game programmer, decided to build the computer himself. I watched him do it and it was fascinating. Much of a computer is now built into the mother board so expansion slots are mostly unnecessary. He spent about $1000.00 excluding monitor. $300.00 of that was for a graphics card. His system includes a 2 terabyte hard drive and a 160 gigabyte solid-state hard drive for the Windows 10 operating system. The solid-state hard drive is so fast that Windows boots up from a cold start in about 5 seconds, rather than several minutes. His system also includes 8 gigabytes of RAM; the first computer had 8 megabytes of RAM. He told me that I can expect to receive his new computer in 5 to 6 years. Something to look forward to when I turn 80. Since he has given me his old computer, but not the monitor, I purchased a new 27 inch monitor for about $300.00. I am looking forward to installing his old system as my new system in our computer room in Saint George. Besides a laptop, we have two workstations in our dedicated computer room, which is our smallest bedroom.

Denali

President Obama is expected to accept the renaming of Mt. McKinley to Denali during his upcoming visit to Alaska. The State of Alaska renamed the mountain in 1975 and has asked that the Federal government accept the name which was the mountain’s name prior to 1896. Republicans are expected to protest the renaming of a mountain named in honor of a Republican president by a Democrat, especially this Democrat.

Affirmative action

Blackwards, How Black Leadership Is Returning America to the Days of Separate But Equal by Ron Christie. It is Christie’s contention that affirmative action has outlived its usefulness. Though well-intentioned, affirmative action’s negatives outweigh its positives. Among the negatives, he lists government favoritism of certain racial groups leading to white anger and lessening of black feelings of achievement. How to distinguish between blacks who achieve success on their own efforts and blacks who have government help due to affirmative action? Apparently Christie achieved success on his own efforts.

Reading today’s news, it seems apparent to me that minorities, especially blacks, continue to be discriminated against. Until more minority members achieve equal opportunity in the US, I believe that it is the duty of government to continue affirmative action policies. Discontinuing affirmative action policies should be a goal for the future. It is too soon now.

When discussing racism on the right, Christie demands proof to high standards. Yet when criticizing the Obama administration, he offers little or no proof for his innuendoes. Fair is fair and he is not fair. I do not recommend this book.