New comments system

December 11, 2008

I’ve just upgraded (in theory) the comments system here to Typepad’s new "Typepad Connect" setup. At the least, this should allow for threaded conversations. If you find any major annoyances in it, well, post a comment about it. Happy


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You betcha!

December 11, 2008

Like a lot of people, I wondered where Sarah Palin got her accent from. It wasn’t "Alaskan," whatever that is. Alaska is part of the continuum of the American Northwest and far western Canada, and she didn’t sound anything like Washingtonians or BC’ers I’ve met.

No, her way of speaking reminds me most of the north plains states of the US: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Upper Peninsula Michigan, and North Dakota, areas with heavy German and Scandinavian settlement. (I assume accents are similar in the Canadian provinces immediately to the north, but I could be wrong.)

It turns out I was on to something, as this article from the Mille Lacs County Times shows. In the 1930s, a bunch of Minnesotans from the Mille Lacs area moved to Alaska’s Matanuska Valley as part of the Roosevelt Administration’s rural resettlement program during the Great Depression. Some returned after just a year or so, since it was hard to make a living farming up there. But others stayed and, with the relative isolation of the valley, their accent became dominant.

Sarah Palin was raised in that same valley. Given the relative isolation of the area in the 1930s and following decades, the accent became native and was the standard when she was growing up.

And that’s your useless bit of historical and linguistic trivia or the day. Big Grin

RELATED: More information on the 1930s Matanuska Colony.


Understated headline of the day

December 11, 2008

Michael Barone is almost British about it, in fact:

Rod Blagojevich, the Stupidest Governor in the Country, Puts Obama in a Bad Light

Gee, ya think? Hee hee


Quote of the day

December 11, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson on Obama’s problem with candor:

The problem is twofold: Obama’s Chicago past was considered embedded within race and off-limits and thus never thoroughly investigated by a fawning media who did us all a disservice; and, two, the American public is not fully aware just how corrupt Illinois politics are, and thus how Obama is probably unusual by not being much more thoroughly tainted. (cf. The Blagojevich’s apparent anger that Team Obama is quite lawfully dictating a choice without ponying up any cash). I wish Obama well in governing us in times of peril, but I also wish he would just stop the stuttering in ex tempore settings, and come clean the first time.

Exactly. Coffee


Is Blagojevich crazy?

December 11, 2008

That was my first thought when I heard of his attempt to auction off Barack Obama's Senate seat: knowing he was already under Federal investigation, he'd have to be nuts to try a blatant scheme like this. Silly

Not so fast.  Power Line reprints the thoughts of two readers who argue that Blagojevich wasn't crazy: in fact, he was operating rationally for the environment he was in.

And the President-elect comes from that same environment. Hmmm….. Thinking