When all the cosmic tumblers click into place …

November 4th, 2019

An allegedly ordinary alaskan won his lawsuit in the Supreme Court against the National Park Service. It cost over 10 years and a cool 1.5 million dollars to get the National Park Service to accept that ‘we don’t care how they do it outside’. Alaskan’s many times consider themselves above the law / rules or that the laws and rules do not apply to them.

Just ask them, they’ll tell you.

Seems the person in question was operating his hovercraft in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve even though it was against NPS (National Park Service) rules. He did it for years without getting caught. Alaska is big, you know. One day he was repairing a cable on his boat and was happened upon by a couple of NPS rangers who gave him a ticket and made him tow his boat out of the preserve. And he didn’t like being told what the rules were and that he had to follow them like everyone else.

Hovercraft float on a cushion of air and skim over water and ground without causing too much damage to the environment. Except the the noise. Ah, the noise. Nothing better than being way out in the puckerbrush where the loudest sound you hear is the wind in your ears and your heart beating. Then here comes some asshole either riding or being pushed by a great big-assed fan. The decibels are painful.

It is easy to understand why the NPS would want to keep the noise down.

But that was in conflict with the man’s belief that the rules don’t apply to him and his boat and his right to make as much fucking noise as he wants. After all, it’s wilderness. It won’t bother anyone.

That particular argument is a bit specious. What the case pivoted on actually was a rehash of the old ‘navigable’ waterway laws that go back to European origins. Basically, if you can get a boat with cargo up a river, then no one can stop you. They can keep you from getting out of the boat. You can’t touch land. But they can’t stop you.

Everything was fine until he got out of the boat.

So who owned / controlled the gravel bar he was beached on making repairs? The feds or the state?

Years ago in order to gain free access to the oil and mineral riches of Alaska a deal was made. ANILCA was one of those deals. Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. It was to dive up Alaska between the feds, the state, and the natives so they could start pumping oil from Prudhoe. But the language of the deal wasn’t clear and simple enough. There was enough ambiguity for lawyers to make a buttload of money off the confusion.
And they have, and they will continue to do so.

This could have gone down a much different path if everyone had been willing to be reasonable. NPS should have given the man assistance in getting his craft repairs and out of the preserve. Rules recognizing uniquely Alaska issues such as access to subsistence hunting and fishing would have gone a long way to heading this off. An Alaskan hovercraft rule with a decibel and craft size limit possibly with a open season would have prevented a 1.5 million dollar payday to the lawyers.

Now every knothead in Alaska thinks he can drive his boat, aircraft, ATV, or truck deep into the wilderness as they choose.

Airboats, hovercraft, ATVs, drones, snow machines, etc all detract from the unspoiled lands we have in Alaska. Noise does have an effect on the wildlife and should be limited. As an example, take a look at the Grand Canyon. Flight restrictions are in place due to rush of midair collisions and noise.

Beware what you wish for Alaska, that noise maybe from your neighbor and he thinks it’s OK for him to keep pumping out the db.

Given the current federal and state administrations at this time, it’s a wonder he didn’t get a cash settlement as well and approval to run monster trucks up the Charley River.

You damn kids! Get outa’ my yard!

November 3rd, 2019

Word is that smugglers are breaching “el Presidente’s” Mexican wall. Seems they make a stop at the local version of a hardware store and pick up a battery operated or even electrically operated saw and they cut the base of the 30 foot tall panels. The length of the panel gives them enough flex to create a sizable opening permitting human and drug smuggling. And you can probably bet there is some arms smuggling going on as well.
Wall supporters claim that has not happened often and only on sections that are incomplete.
Smugglers are returning to the same spots in the wall because they find it is easier to cut the new repair welds in the panels.

On the impeachment stage, there is a move to put the whole thing in public. Probably to address the whole whiney “unfair”, “lies”, and “secret inquisition” claims from “le Presidente” and his rabid minions. He has called for all Republicans to protect and support him as the head of the party. That alone should make any person with a shred of decency quit the Republican Party.

At home, “el Guv” refuses to appear in public in Alaska to answer questions about his short dividend and his short budget. But he is lacking it up Outside in a fund raising effort with conservative racists who have money to give but lack any understanding of Alaska issues. Now there are probably some local Republicans thinking that access to Outside dark money is not such a good idea. His ‘mouthpiece’ is pushing legislation for the state to pay legal expenses for the “el Guv”, his second banana, and the ‘mouthpiece’ if they are sued for being stupid, greedy, or incompetent. The same shit “the Wicked Witch of Wasilla” had to pay for when she vindictively terminated a state trooper she did not like. It is almost as if “el Guv” is preparing for an “immunity” defense like his hero.
Bottom line, he owes me money! And you too, if you live in Alaska.

“el Guv’s” budget cuts have rippled into the ‘bush’ fairly rapidly. Several communities in the panhandle are now without ferry service due to unexpected maintenance costs. And if you live in the ‘bush’ and I mean the ‘real bush’ like Teller, or Savoonga, “el Guv” expects you to pay for weatherizing and heating your abode all by your lonesome because he has no idea of what it takes to get quality building materials or heating oil to your door. Cuts were made to the weatherization program and heat supplement program. Remember, Republicans expect you to live where costs are low for food and shelter.

And it doesn’t appear that the lease sales in ANWR ain’t happening this year. Both “el Presidente” and “el Guv” can get together and see if there are other regulations that can be dispensed with under the guise of ‘too burdensome’.

And I thought I was blind …

November 1st, 2019

“el Presidente” is besieged by folks who are certain he is a bad president and possibly committed illegal acts. He is surrounded by fanatical supporters that would lineup for the privilege of performing fellatio or anilingus on “el Presidente”. Having read comments from these supporters, I fail to understand their point of view. For the US to move forward it is imperative that we attempt to learn or understand all perspectives. But I don’t believe that it is possible. The remaining hardcore fanatics seem to be predominantly white pro-life evangelical Christian racists who have blocked out “el Presidente’s” admitted sexual assaults, his disruption of the US and global economy, his failure to support US allies, his hatred of all people of color, and his ignorance in general. These people have not yet accepted that a black man lived 8 years in the White House and not as cleaning staff. They have money. Some are very well off but most are just comfortable monetarily. They see what they believe is a loss of stature and position of the white race. They are scared. That makes them dangerous.

These are the same good folks who believe the earth and the universe are only 6,000 years old. They believe that pregnant women must carry to full term as the price one pays for the pleasure of sex. They expect everyone to pay their own way including education and healthcare except for them.

One conclave in Florida forced their congressional rep to say he will not run again because he has the nerve to not blindly condemn the impeachment inquiry. Too bad for them.

The rally cry from “el Presidente” is for all republicans to support the leader of their party against these smears.

Any person of relative intelligence will quit the republican party flat.

Twas only a matter of time …

October 31st, 2019

The recall plight of “el Guv” has caught the short attention span of “el Presidente”. As is his standard procedure, “el Presidente” tweeted support claiming that “el Guv’s” recall woes are solely due to ‘Democrats’. He also claimed that “le Guv” was his friend and included a link to an outside political group collecting defense funds for “el Guv”.

If the recall petition gets legs and traction, don’t be surprised if “el Guv” gets his long awaited appointment to a cabinet post to ‘save’ him from the mob.

That would be a mixed blessing, Alaska would be shed of the grifter and we would be herding them together for the big impeachment. But we would lack the closure of public disgrace.

“el Presidente” is way, way off base with his claim that it’s the Democrats after “el Guv’s” head. “el Guv” bought the governor’s office at a price of $6,400 per vote. His big campaign promise was to issue a $3,000 PFD and also payback the alleged misappropriated shortage from previous years for a total of $6,400.

But the PFD payout came and went and the voters standing there with their hands out were left with a handful of nothing.

To be fair, (fair and fairness and fairly are great big buzzwords in the realm of “el Presidente” these days) “el Guv” never told his voters that to get the money for that ‘hugest’ PFD he would basically gut the state budget. Never mind the losses as long as ‘I got mine’. Turns out he was reaching into every pocket in Alaska and folks put up a fight so “el Guv” couldn’t get the cash.

The support from the White House is like having Bernie Madoff being a character witness at your fraud trial.

Why do you want poor people to starve … ?

October 30th, 2019

In keeping with the ‘slash and burn’ mentality in the administrations of both ‘el Guv’ and his hero and mentor, ‘el Presidente’, there is a proposal to punch a road across the south side of the Brooks Range from the Dalton to the Ambler mining district. Seems there are a fair amount of precious and other minerals laying around but the miners want someone to construct and pay for them to access the area.
The road will snake it’s way west towards Kotzebue passing through public and private lands that have been fairly undisturbed since the last ice age. I have flown over it many times in many different aircraft over the years and it is one of the last great roadless areas of the North American continent. The Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve will be crossed by the road.
Opponents of the road wish for the area to stay as is. Proponents point out that the area is not a ‘designated federal wilderness’. And that is true but why should that determine if I run a bulldozer through the puckerbrush?
Humans have yet to develop a mineral extraction process that leaves the surrounding area as it was. Even over in the Yukon, they have begun to realize the depth of disturbance that just placer mining inflicts on the ecosystem. The ground is not the same nor will it ever be. The same is true for the reclaimed mining areas of Alaska.

But the most compelling specious argument I’ve read to date is the one from a miner that says if you are against the Ambler Road then you want people to live in poverty. Poor people need the minerals in the Ambler District to enrich their lives.

You got to do better than that.

But like all things Alaska, if there is enough money involved, it will happen. Right or Wrong.