12 November 2014

Collection of Posts for Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month in the United States, and I figured I should share a selection of my blogging on indigenous knowledge, history, and education. Without further elaboration, here's my selection of posts:

Maps That Infuriate Me: European Claims to North America
Percentage of Indigenous People in Each Territory, Province and State
Mapping Indigenous Autonyms Coast to Coast
Mapping Indigenous Autonyms in Canada

Quick Alternate Histories: A Post-Beringia Pre-Columbian Migration
Two Research Ideas from Northwest Coast-North Pacific History

College assignments:
Movement, Diffusion, Diversity and Stateness: North American Historical Patterns Before 1519
Native Worlds of New Spain: The Diversity and Power of Indigenous Communities in Colonial North America

An Indigenous/Non-Indigenous or Western/Non-Western Art Dichotomy?
Visiting 'Ksan in Hazelton, British Columbia
Red: A Haida Manga and the Possibilities of Graphic Novels

Why Black Bears and Brown Bears Aren't "Bears"
Will the Redskins Change Their Racist Name Soon? They'd Better.

A Future Beyond No Mascots: A Vision for Indigenous-American Relations
Indiana: Thoughts on Indigenous Revitalization

07 November 2014

Alaska's Closest Election: District 36's House vs. Gubernatorial Races

Compilation of the four candidates
discussed here: The colors alternate nicely.
Both District 36's state house race [Chere Klein (R) vs. Dan Ortiz (I)] and the race for Alaska's governor [Sean Parnell (R) vs. Bill Walker (I)] featured one independent candidate and one Republican incumbent or pseudo-incumbent. (While she's never served in office before, Chere Klein effectively assumed the mantle of retired Representative Peggy Wilson, at least among fellow Republicans.) Among other similarities, both races are very close right now and will be decided by absentee and early votes. Along with many Alaskans, I'm very anxious to find out the results.

When considering the races for governor and state house in District 36, I expected most people would consistently vote the party line—or the non-partisan line, as it were: Most everyone voting for the independent Walker/Mallott ticket would also vote for independent Dan Ortiz; those voting for the Republican Parnell/Sullivan ticket would also vote for Republican Chere Klein.

As it turns out, there were many hundreds of voters in District 36 who bucked my expectation, and almost every precinct bucked the expectations differently.

05 November 2014

Alaska's Closest Election: The District 36 House Race

District 36 includes the communities
of Ketchikan, Wrangell, Metlakatla,
Saxman, Hydaburg, and Hyder.
To tell the truth, I was entirely ready for Dan Ortiz to lose his race to represent Alaska's House District 36. I was even ready to write about it. Instead, he's surprised everyone.

Dan Ortiz was my debate teacher in high school several years ago, and my mentor teacher last year: I began my teaching career, and he retired from his. From the first moments I heard he was planning to run for office as an independent candidate, Dan had my full support.

Still, elections for many years show that Ketchikan and Wrangell—the two biggest communities in District 36—heavily favor Republican candidates. Just two years ago, Republican Peggy Wilson won her house seat with 4131 votes to Democrat Matt Olson's 2332—nearly a two-to-one margin. In addition, Wilson wasn't even the only Republican in the race! She was the incumbent from Wrangell's former district, and Republican Kyle Johansen (Ketchikan's incumbent) ran as an independent.

01 November 2014

Vote Independent — Walker and Ortiz

combination Walker/Mallott-Ortiz sign I made
I submitted the following letter to SitNews and the Ketchikan Daily News about two weeks ago, but forgot to post it here for good measure. In any case, it's three days till election day now, and if you haven't voted already, you'd better vote by Tuesday!

Vote Independent — Walker and Ortiz

If there’s anything present American politics teaches, it’s that the party system has failed us. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have been able to set the country on the right track. It’s no wonder George Washington, James Madison, and other Founding Fathers were opposed to political factions. When it comes to balancing budgets, protecting good jobs, making smart healthcare decisions, providing for children’s future, and so many other issues, we need leaders who can move beyond partisanship and rigid ideologies.

Bill Walker and Dan Ortiz are two men who exemplify that kind of leadership. Governor Parnell and the state legislature have sent Alaska spiraling into deficit to the tune of $7 million a day. We need Bill Walker in the governor’s mansion and Dan Ortiz in the state house to turn back this kind of irresponsibility. Both men are intelligent, rational, and independent leaders. They look at our economy and politics with realistic views, not through a tinted ideological lens. Once in office they will listen to all Alaskans, not a party base.

Please join me in voting for Bill Walker for governor and Dan Ortiz for state house on November 4th, independent candidates for Alaska.

Peter Stanton
Ketchikan, Alaska

31 October 2014

100,000 Views on Peter's Publisher

Yesterday I surpassed 100,000 total page views on this blog since I started it in May 2008. Over nearly six and a half years, that comes out to an average of about 42 page views a day—nothing compared to anything popular on the internet, of course, but I think it's a fair amount. There have now been over a tenth-of-a-million clicks on different articles and pages of my own website! I think that's a noteworthy milestone.

Peter's Publisher as it looks right now, before publishing this post

30 September 2014

Six Books of Summer Reading

some of my "books read" list
This blog has been politics-heavy lately and will probably continue to be until the November 4th election and even afterward. For now, though, I'd like to take a break to write about reading.

I've been recording the title, author, and date finished of every book I've finished reading since the beginning of my senior year of high school—August 2008. That's over six years of reading records I have now.

I take care to say it's a list of books I finished reading, since there are many other books I began to read or even mostly read that didn't make the list. I don't really have a strict standard for book length, either; some were relatively easy reads that just took a day. Nevertheless, I think the list is dominated by good, full-length books.

My list is now 153 books long, which works out to a grand average of one book finished every 14.51 days, or about 25 books per year. While that rate seems very modest to me, it's above the overall American average of 17 books per year, found by this Pew study. Although I did achieve that rate while doing tons of reading assignments for high school and college courses that didn't lead to finishing books, I also have to admit I've had plenty of leisure time in the past six years—more than I imagine anyone would have while managing a family, a career, and so on.

I doubt I'll be able to keep up that average in the future. In fact, I know my book finishing frequency went down over the past year or more, since my average used to be about one book every 12 days, not 14. Now that I've started my career, I'll have plenty of other things taking up my time. Still, reading is incredibly important, not only for relaxation, but also for work—especially the work of a teacher—and, I think, for maintaining one's sanity amidst all the screens and spoon-fed entertainments of modern first-world life.

Here are the six books I've finished most recently, all read over the course of this summer:

21 September 2014

First Three Sean Parnell Memes

I'm really excited about the Bill Walker-Byron Mallott Unity Ticket for Alaska. To celebrate, I started making a bunch of memes related to Sean Parnell's flawed and failed governorship. Here are the first three:

Feel free to make your own by going on http://www.memecreator.org/ and using this base image (taken from Creative Commons).

30 August 2014

Alaska's District 36 Republican Primary Barely Budged

I voted yes in vain, I guess.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Alaska's House District 36, the southern southeast region of the state centered on Ketchikan. On August 18th, a day before the election, I wrote urging people to vote yes on ballot measure 1.

A slight majority of Alaskans ended up voting against measure 1, convinced by the Parnell administration and the millions of dollars in campaign money spent by oil companies and their allies. Needless to say, I did not feel like writing about politics after that.

I did, however, notice a striking pattern in some of the other electoral results from that day—the District 36 Republican primary.