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While there is certainly little good news heading the way of the Alaska Marine Highway System via the Legislature, Saturday proved somewhat of an exception.

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Sarah B. Gilbert, 71, died April 12 at her home in Ketchikan.
10/25/2013
Masking problem

The United States shouldn't buy its foreign friends.

Congress and the Obama Administration, despite deep debt and a deficit in the United States, continues to give billions of dollars to Pakistan and other nations. The latest figure for Pakistan is $1.6 billion.

If that money fed and sheltered starving Pakistanis, which in some cases it might be, that would be supportable.

But with all of the tension in some of these countries and their dislike for the United States, sending money seems asinine.

Once the money is transferred, these countries aren't accountable for what they do with it. The United States has little control. The leader they make the funds available to might be deposed the next week.

The United States is deep in debt to other foreign nations. It should pay its bills and then consider — not necessarily provide — foreign aid to volatile countries such as Pakistan.

At the very least, it should reduce foreign aid to pay down its debt.

This principle is shared by the airlines multiple times daily when telling travelers how to respond if the oxygen masks come out of the overhead compartments in an emergency: Put on your own mask first and then help your children and/or others with theirs.

The United States should put on its own mask first or it might not be able to help foreign nations at all.