The Folly of the Horizon Air Pilot Shortage   Leave a comment

Supposedly robots are going to take over our jobs pretty soon, but there are six million job openings in the US, and large companies in a range of industries claim they are running short of humans to perform labor, so maybe the truth is that robots aren’t quite ready to take all of our jobs. American companies don’t have a shortage of people. Their problem rests with wages, benefits, and training, and that’s a problem they could fix, but haven’t.

Horizon Air is a prime example. A regional airline and subsidiary of Alaska Air Group, Horizon services the Pacific Northwest including Alaska. The Seattle Times reports it’s “cutting its flight schedule this summer because of a severe shortage of pilots for its Q400 turboprop planes. The shortage became a crisis this summer when Horizon was forced to cancel more than 318 flights because it didn’t have enough pilots to fly all its planes. That represents 6.2% of the flights Horizon runs between Seattle and places like Boise, Spokane, and Portland.

Let that sink in a moment. Horizon’s bread and butter is flights between Seattle and smaller airports like Boise and Spokane and Nome, Alaska. Flying these routes isn’t a side business for Horizon. That’s it’s only business. Canceling flights damages their brand and their company’s long-term prospects — it alienates and annoys customers who have already purchased tickets. It also hits short-term profits. If you’re in the business of moving people from Point A to Point B, the more you can move the better. You’ve already committed to pay the overhead of planes, insurance, gate slots at airports, maintenance, and ground crews. You should want passenger volume to be as high as it can be. This is the equivalent of Starbucks deciding not to open several hundred existing stores because it doesn’t have enough managers.

Recognize that Horizon Air isn’t some fly-by-night operation unable to cope with the mysterious ways of the marketplace. It’s a unit of Alaska Air Group, a publicly held company that has a market capitalization of $11 billion and chalked up $1.7 billion in revenue and $99 million in net income in its most recent quarter. That’s a big balance sheet, representing vast resources, stock, borrowing capacity, and access to all kinds of services. While not considered one of the majors yet, Alaska Airlines is an up-and-comer who is pushing the major airlines to either do better or get out of the way. So, what’s going on?

alaska airlines horizon air

There’s a metaphor in a big airline intentionally grounding flights because it can’t find pilots. Horizon (and other companies in this situation) are paying the price for a decade or more of corporate sickness surrounding wages. Here’s an economics lesson.

Labor is a commodity … just like gasoline or sugar. It’s subject to the laws of supply and demand.

When labor is in abundant supply and lots of people with the needed skills are looking for jobs, but openings are few, companies don’t have to pay as much to fill positions.  That’s where we were from 2008 to 2012 … a lot of hungry people, not that many openings, so the companies could set whatever wage they wanted and workers would take it because they needed to make some money rather than make no money.

Conversely, when labor is in short supply and few people with the needed skills are seeking work, but there’s lots of openings, companies have to pay a lot more to fill positions. That’s the reality of airlines in the last few years. The number of people flying has increased, but a lot of Baby Boomer pilots have retired, so now the pilots who are still working are in demand and they know it, and expect to be paid more.

So why aren’t businesses adapting? Maybe a lot of business managers never took Economics. They’ve become accustomed to thinking they can have all the labor they want, with all the skills they need, without having to pay much for it. They no longer want to offer good benefits or long-term job security or they refuse to fund the training needed for pilots to qualify to fly new aircraft.

We’ve been hearing complaints about a pilot shortage for a few years now. The problem seems particularly acute at regional airlines, which often pay exceedingly low wages for jobs that require training and education that can cost up to $100,000. To weather its current problems, Horizon will pay some pilots overtime to fly extra hours. Of course, there are FAA rules against flying too many hours in a given day, so that’s a temporary fix at best.

I happen to know several Alaska Airlines pilots (I have a friend who caters to them), who have privately told me what the problem is and it doesn’t just affect Alaska/Horizon. The airlines have become tightwads who don’t understand supply and demand. If Alaska Air Group wants to fix the problem, they need to:

  • offer higher wages to people who already have jobs so they will leave their jobs to work for the other airline
  • offer existing employees better long-term incentives — profit-sharing, stock options, pensions and other benefits that will encourage them to stay
  • Recruit new employees by offering to train them or pay back the loans they incur while getting the training, or offer to split flight school tuition in exchange for a long-term commitment to the airline

Coping with a shortage of skilled workers by shuttering a portion of your operations doesn’t seem like much of a solution. Of course, this affects me because Alaska Air Group provides the majority of air travel in and out of Alaska. So work it out, guys. Don’t allow your great customer service to deteriorate because you’re stuck in a business model from nearly a decade ago.

Third Time’s the Charm?   Leave a comment

Image result for image of Alaska legislatureAlaska legislators have called themselves back into a third special session to address the state capital budget. Governor Bill Walker called the previous two special sessions after the Legislature utterly failed to get anything done during the 90-day regular session. He expressed reluctance to call legislators back into session (which is extremely expensive) until they were in substantial agreement on the capital budget, but a tentative deal has been struck on the measure that appropriates funds mainly for state construction.

The House-Senate conference committee on the capital budget is set for 1 p.m with only one item listed on the agenda, though others items could be added. Both the House and Senate passed different versions of SB 23 but reconciliation between
the two must be agreed on, enacted and signed by the governor. The bill should have been in effect July 1, which is the start of Alaska’s fiscal year, and some road and facilities projects have affected by delays of state money to match federal funds. The Legislature must act quickly to minimize those losses.

However, disagreement on key areas in SB 23 are focused on issues not related to construction. One is over funds appropriated for payments on past oil tax credit liability, which totals over $700 million. The Senate approved $288 million for this and the House $57 million.

Another disagreement is over money for the state gas corporation, Alaska Gasline Development Corp., which is now leading the big Alaska LNG Project. In its version of the capital budget the Senate cut $50 million from AGDC’s available funds, which now total about $80 million. In its version of the capital budget the House left AGDC’s funding intact. AGDC, a critical and long-term project for the state, will like be dinged in the final compromise although a $50 million cut seems unlikely. If too much money is taken out the corporation’s ability to continue the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license application process will be in jeopardy. There has been a huge investment
in this project to date and keeping the regulatory process on track is necessary to retain that value. The LNG pipeline project is a big priority for the governor and the lower cost fuel is critical for Interior communities, but the Senate is very skeptical of the near-term viability of any large LNG export project, though aware that a smaller in-state-only line will not lower heating and electrical generation costs for Interior residents.

The final potential area of uncertainty is the language in the House version of SB 23
that would fund an extra $750 million for Permanent Fund dividends. Lawmakers have already approved $750 million in the operating budget, which has been signed by the governor and is now in effect. This is sufficient for a $1,100 PFD check this year. The House proposes adding $750 million to that through the capital budget, to bring the PFD up to about $2,000. The House added the extra money late in its own capital budget version and it was connected to political maneuvering, so the lower figure is likely to prevail. There is broad consensus and unpopular consensus in both the House and Senate that the PFD does need to be capped. This not being an election year, Legislators appear to be gambling that Alaskans won’t punish them in the polls next year.
Image result for image of alaska oil wellHB 111 basically finished what HB 247 attempted to do last year in winding
down the state’s costly oil exploration and development tax credit program. HB 247 set up a three-year phase-out, but did not deal with how Net Operating Losses, or NOLs,
were treated for tax purposes. HB 111 put curbs on the NOLs, totally ending the cash payments and restricting NOLs to deductions against future production income with 10 percent annual reductions beginning in seven years for losses on producing properties and 10 years for losses on non-producing properties. It would take several years before the allowable deductions are reduced to zero.

Significantly, the bill prevents NOLs from being taken so as to allow the required minimum tax to be taken below 3 percent of gross value. This would represent an immediate tax increase for companies with NOLs that are also producers (mainly Caelus Energy and possibly Eni) but the extent depends on the company’s tax situation, which is confidential. ExxonMobil and BP may have a tax exposure because these companies might have large past-year NOLs because of their massive Point
Thomson investments. Major producers are not otherwise affected.

Which is my whole reason for posting this article. The major producers are large multinational corporations and yet this bill does nothing to reduce the tax welfare that Alaska pays to these companies. Iraq pays $2 a barrel to BP in production credits. Alaska will still be paying 10 times that much. But, the Legislature spent the entire regular session fighting about whether to impose an income tax on Alaska residents while giving money to huge corporations for producing our oil. At one point last year, the State was paying more in production credits than it was receiving in revenue. Thank goodness for savings.

So the outcome of HB 111 is that the tax burden on the more competitive smaller companies will increase, but the major producers will be held harmless. This is why I hate government, because it will always side with whomever can line its pockets best regardless of whether that company is producing (like Caelus Energy) or sitting on leases (like BP). When will we get around to rewarding actual production? That’s right … never because that’s not what the Legislature is all about. It’s about maintaining a relationship with multinationals who have no intentions of producing those leases until the State is completely desperate and willing to give away the moon to get a trickle of income.

Remember this next year, folks! Remember and vote them all out. Don’t replace them with someone of the same party because that just keeps the established relationships inheritable. No, instead, vote third party and send a message that we are no longer playing the same stupid games that we’ve played for 40 years. The libertarians don’t owe any oil companies because, not having been in power, the oil companies haven’t gotten around to bribing them yet, and being by and large business people, they might actually have some understanding of economics so that they will think to reward the producers and put the non-producers (those sitting on leases) on notice that they’d better get busy or get lost.

Interview with JAnn Bowers   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with JAnn Bowers. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

JAnn Bowers Author PicMy name is JAnn. I live in Eureka, Montana. Eureka has played a significant part of my writing career for all the tragic events that happened with my family here. I love Eureka for its nature with the Bitterroots and Rocky Mountains surrounding the valley where I live. With its abundance of nature, I am close to and balanced spiritually with Mother Nature. I meditate outdoors during the summer months and seek indoor retreats while I hibernate away in the winter.  I use my spirituality and meditation to write poetry about visions, thoughts, ideas and creativeness. I am also a divorced mom and grandmother. I have four kids here on Earth with me and one in heaven watching over me. My youngest son is Autistic and the joy of my world. My second daughter lives in North Dakota with my granddaughter and grandson.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? (When did you write your first story, for example?)

I knew I wanted to write poetry from a young age when I heard Robert Frost’s work. I absolutely fell in love with the magical formation of poetry. At that moment in my life, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a career. However, life got in the way and it never happened. I went onto to being married for 22 years and busy raising kids. Once I was divorced, I found my spark again and started writing poetry. Now I have eight books published and working on two more. I just recently published my first memoir, “It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past”

 

Tell us about your writing process.

JAnn Bowers GoneMy writing process almost always starts off with a deep round of meditation to help clear my mind of any distorted thoughts. Then I proceed to lock my phone where I cannot access social media or receive any notifications either, usually for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. I turn to the screen and just write. I write what falls from my mind to my fingertips. It maybe love poetry, micropoetry, nature themed, or spiritual themed but it usually takes me less than 3 minutes to write a micropoem and less than 7 minutes to write a longer poem. Once my phone block is over then I save my doc and stuff it away. I use the same document for the entire week. If I go to share on my blog or Twitter, I pull up my document to read and edit and share.
As for writing essays, such as “Is Graffiti Art?” I choose my subject then research. I write my notes as I research the topic. Once I have completed my research I pursue the book format, write then edit and publish.

 

As for my memoir, “It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past,” it took eight years of starting and stopping and throwing away a lot of drafts before it all came to me. My memoir was hard, difficult and a lot of tears fell inside while I wrote it. With this book, I used the scene as if I was meeting with the reader having coffee and telling them my life story.  Each chapter or entry is in reference to a family member & first love I have lost through death.  After each memory, there is a spread of poetry I wrote in dedication to their memory or about how their death affected me.

 

As for my poetry books, such as “Wasted” I wrote that book on my iPhone while spending several nights up with my youngest son. I was going through a period of depression, anxiety attacks and my past happened to creep in every once in a while.  To me, “Wasted” resembled a part of my life where I wasted many lonely nights fighting a battle within me while seeking for something new and fresh.

 

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

My favorite genre is poetry to write. My favorite genres to read are: true stories, true crime, contemporary romance, mystery, suspense, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, self-help and religious reads. I do not care to read erotica, thrillers, and horror.

 

What are you passionate about?

Besides writing, I am passionate about music and art. Back in my college days I took an Art History course and loved it. I still enjoy researching about pieces of art and writing short articles. As for music, music has always been my savior throughout my life. My mom always had the radio or tape deck going and I learned to love it as much as she does. I am a big fan for the 80’s music scene and a huge fan of Def Leppard.

 

What is something you cannot live without?

First would be my kids and grandkids but minus them would be my caffeine. I have to have my daily intake of coffee. I am a huge drinker of coffee when I am writing. Besides coffee would be education or books.

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

JAnn Bowers NowSince I am disabled due to several health issues, if I am not writing, I am spending time with my kids. We are huge WWE fans and my daughter KayCee and I both enjoy many other sports. If I am not watching sports or a documentary, then I can be found reading or learning something new. Besides, these enjoyments, I like to take long walks when my health allows me too, and yoga.

 

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

Illusions of Love & She’s Gone…Broken, Battered & Bruised, these books have taught me a lot about what love really is and what it is not. To me they have taught me not to fall in love so easily and that most of the time all love is an illusion to our hearts and souls. What one may know about love may be just a figment of their imagination.

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

My past inspires me to write poetry in themes that may help someone through a rough patch in life. My kids also inspire me to write the more cheerful, spiritual connected themes. Music also plays a significant role in my poetry.

 

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your poems asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

Very open-minded and sad, that is how I would describe my writing.

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

I enjoy writing outdoors on my front steps on my iPhone. But I can write about wherever.  When inside I prefer my desk in my room if the kids are being loud, if not I do like to be out in the kitchen at the island working.

 

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

Yes, love sneaks into almost all my poems and no, I am not getting any closer to why I write about love, and heartbreak.

 

 

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

JAnn Bowers If OnlyI have lived four years in Alaska before. But it was before my inner light switch was turned back on.  This time around I would pack my suitcase for hiking since I didn’t get the chance to do much outdoor enjoyments while I lived there. Then, I would definitely bring lots of writing paper and pens, and a camera. For books, I would bring my favorite books which there is too many to list. I would spend my days enquiring nature at its best and worst and in the evenings I would write about my experiences and poetry or read. I would definitely take a lot of photos this time.

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

 

Illusions of Love – this book is written about a close male friend I fell in love with who I thought had the same feelings which he did but he was too scared and hurt by the painful events from his ex-wife. The poems in this book are my honest feelings about love and him.

 

She’s Gone…Broken, Battered & Bruised- This book was written for the same male friend but only after he broke my heart. When he told me that cold winter morning that he didn’t want to ruin our friendship for a relationship with me, it broke my heart and ripped my soul to pieces but we stayed friends.

 

 

Only If I Could – After much needed time to heal from my heartbreak and once I felt I had recovered and could move forward this book took shape as a rebirth of me, it does still have poetry that reflects back onto my broken heart.

 

Is Graffiti Art – This started and ended as an essay for my college final for Art History. I was always interested and thought graffiti was an amazing art form but once I got into researching and learning the history of it I grew to love it even more. This book also references to 5POINTZ, the graffiti mecca of the world that was demolished in New York City. My daughter and I both crusaded in helping to save the building but it was whitewashed after I had finished my course.

 

Words Whisper to Me – This poetry book is my favorite one! It shows my love for writing poetry and how much my world is full of words and poetry.

 

Poetry Playground – This is a 2-section book. The first section is fun, quirky poems about my kids and life in general. The second section is nature poetry that I wrote while I lived in Idaho.

 

Wasted – This book is about all the wasted time in my life. In this book, the feel of the poetry is if I am seeking to find what life is really about.

 

It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past – This is my memoir of life events and experiences and how they affected me. It discusses the death of many family members and also my mental illness and physical chronic pain.

 

 

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

A message! All my poetry is about sending a strong message of hope to my readers that life does go on and it does get better if we only turn the switch on inside of us to create the life we want to have.

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want them to think or feel that they have any and all power to better themselves and to overcome any obstacle in life.

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

I have never sought a publisher. I have always enjoyed self-publishing. But, if a publisher offered me a contract, of course, I would take it. Self-publishing, to me, allowed me to build up my audience and my self-confidence in my writing. It has taught me so much about what the readers want and how to deliver my books to them.

 

There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

Yes and no. I believe it is harder now to get picked up by publishers because places like Amazon makes it easier for independent writers to get their books out into the market. I honestly believe that traditional publishers have their minds shut off to some really good and strong talented writers. As for the future, no one should or can predict what it holds in any industry.

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

Being in full control of every aspect of the book, from writing to editing to creating your own covers to setting your price and choosing which industrial platforms who want. I personally prefer to publish through Pronoun.com than Kindle Direct. In the past, I had several issues with my book formats not working with Kindle Direct whereas with Pronoun they have a simple format for poetry where my books look and feel professional. The self-marketing does get hard and tiresome, but it is also fun to meet and collaborate with fellow writers that are willing to be a beta reader, swap blog posts, or promote you on social media.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

Having someone to do the dirty work of promoting their books. Self-publishing writers have the long haul of self-promoting their books and getting them out there, versus having a personal rep or agent helping.

 

With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

I concentrate on the inside of my book first then I approach the cover during the editing scene. That way I know what I want and what I think will attract readers. I think the cover and title stands out the most but the blurbs are so important as well. I honestly think it takes trial and error with each book to see what happens with the audience. Some of my books have been on the very top of best sellers on Amazon and some have made lower marks. Those are the trials and errors.

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

My daughter KayCee K designs all my book covers and graphics. She is so talented and has such a huge imagination to match. She runs her own blogging promotional service for authors at Double Decker Books, so she sees and deals with all sorts of writers and their work. I think this has helped her out when she creates mine. She also runs her monthly e-magazine where she does a majority of the graphics and layouts herself. Her magazine is “Double the Books”.

 

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

I believe we can produce high-quality books on our own if we take each step of the process seriously and do a good enough job. I take each step very personally and professionally. Editing, covers and blurbs are what attracts and keeps readers coming back for more.

 

Where do readers find you and your books? 

 

I welcome you to grab a free book! Grab a copy today!
Amazon Author http://amzn.to/2qnfOmE
Website http://bit.ly/2rK0rEz
Social Media
https://twitter.com/Echoic_JAnn

https://jannbowers.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Echoic.JenniferAnn.72/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/63237527-jennifer-jann

https://www.pinterest.com/Echoicjann/

https://www.instagram.com/jannbowerspoet/?hl=en

ALWAYS include links, author photos, and cover art. It makes for a prettier interview and readers want to find you and your books.

Framing the Kobuk Road   3 comments

I wrote this a couple of years ago, but the topic came up recently and I thought it was appropriate to re-run it. Lela

 

While the Yukon River Access Road (currently just the 54-mile Road to Tanana with a distant dream of taking it all 500+ miles to Nome) is welcomed by the majority of the residents of the corridor, not every community wants roads for a variety of reasons.

Source: Framing the Kobuk Road

I make no secret that I think my mother’s people are among the most bigoted ethnic groups in the United States. Although I am a stateside Indian, I see the same cultural prejudice at work in the Inupiat and Athabaskan of Alaska. I find it odd that a people who so pride themselves on a history of non-ownership of the land are so greedy for it in this generation. I’m told that’s the Caucasian in my blood stream talking. If I weren’t a “breed”, I’d get it. Then they turn around and say white men are greedy for land in an unhealthy way.

Related imageAnd, people wonder why I think my Indian cousins are bigots ….

Can we just admit that mistakes were made in the past, but that we live in a different era today, so should start working together as the human race, not as separate competing silos of skin color? As one who stands astride more than one silo and does not see a compelling reason to choose which part of my DNA to reject, this bigotry got old and worn out a long time ago. That’s my transracial rant for the day. Back to the subject at hand.

Sometimes the real issues involved in building a road or developing a mine get obscured with the window-dressing of environmental and cultural issues. Let me lay it out for you. The Kobuk region is losing population fast. The old folks are dying off and the young folks are moving away. It’s approaching a point where the only ones still left in Ambler are the alcoholics and bootleggers – those who can’t leave because they can’t function in the modern world and those who won’t leave because they derive a benefit from those who can’t function in the modern world. The Kobuk region is a beautiful place and there are some truly lovely people who come from there, but those truly lovely people tell me that Ambler is in trouble. There are plenty of theories why. Some would say it’s all the fault of the “white man” who came bringing “alien ideas” and telling the young ones that the life there wasn’t worth living.

I’m popping bubbles today.

Eskimos make their own choices just like everyone else. If you don’t want to lose your culture, make it worth keeping. Sexual abuse of minors and alcoholism are not cultural values worth hanging onto. For those who are self-aware, the causes are a bit more complicated than “the white man caused it.”

Life in a Native village that is not connected by road is isolated and limited. You collect wood to burn, you haul water, you hunt and fish in season, you pick berries and grow a garden … and then you sit in the cabin all winter and stare at four walls. That might have been enough when they didn’t know there was more, but that time went away a long time ago. Now the mind-numbing boredom of eight months of winter wears on a person. Alcohol is readily available and Alaska allows its citizens to grow their own pot. Both drugs are depressants. The television brings in images of places where it is warm and sunny and you can do something besides stare at four walls or haul water. The imported teachers try to educate the kids, but when you’ve been up all night hiding under your bed to avoid your drunken father’s sexual advances, it’s really hard to even go to school, let along concentrate on algebra or English, skills that would allow you to move to Anchorage or Fairbanks or even just Kotz and get a job. The suicide rate among teenage Natives is huge. The alcoholism and drug addiction rate is even higher.

Then there’s Tim’s family. They are a Native family that lives in Fairbanks. They have a nice home and jobs and they don’t drink. I go to their house for agutaq (Eskimo “ice cream”) and muktuk (whale meat) and they tease me because I don’t understand the appeal of seal oil. Tim’s mom is an Inupiat from Kotzebue whose mother is from the Kobuk, but his dad is Yupik from the Bethel region. A century ago their ethnicities were at serious war with one another. Today they’re married. They foster kids from the villages. Most of the kids they foster are doomed before they ever get them. When your mother drank a fifth of whiskey every day while she was pregnant with you, your brain doesn’t develop correctly and you are forever damaged by it. But occasionally, they get kids who can take advantage of the non-drinking environment to get an education and learn to keep those parts of their culture that are worth keeping and adopt those parts of modern culture that are worthwhile. Tim talks about his “brothers and sisters” who now live out on their own – some going to college, some to trade school, some of them now have jobs and families of their own. They go back to the village to visit, but they don’t live there.

Would they chose to live there if there were jobs not only to provide money to buy food, fuel, etc., but also to provide adults the dignity of meaningful work and to alleviate the mind-numbing boredom?

Some say they would. Some of them point out that the opposition to the Kobuk road is driven by outside environmental interests more than by local sentiment. When you’ve got someone whispering in your ear that all it would take to save your village is to seal the modern world out and that a road would do just the opposite, you’re going to fight against the road. But the modern world has already brought a corrupting influence to the village. Bootleggers wouldn’t bring the alcohol in if villagers didn’t buy it. The television that helps to relieve the boredom of the parents also brings in glimpses of the world beyond the village that tempt the children to leave.

There’s no sense closing the barn door after the cows have run off.

The State of Alaska also has an interest in building the road that goes beyond the economic benefits of providing access to the mineral prospects. There are costs associated with people sitting on their asses not producing anything of value. Village police officers are needed to keep drunken idiots from beating each other to death or gang-raping young girls. I’m not making that up. Read the Alaska media and you’ll see this happens often. Health aides are needed to treat the affects of alcoholism and drug use. Mental health clinicians are also needed to combat the damage done by a culture of alcoholism and sexual abuse. The State of Alaska provides a school for every village with at least 15 students, but the students aren’t learning because of the alcoholism and resultant chaotic environment. Public assistance dollars must go to support a “subsistence” lifestyle that increasingly depends on modern technology – rifles, snow machines, 4-wheelers, power boats, fuel to power these items and heat your home, sewer treatment to deal with the effects of staying in one place for generations, etc.

The road would provide jobs and access to services and allow the people of the Kobuk Valley to start supporting themselves rather than forcing those of us who don’t even live there to support them so they can live there. But it would also provide them with a reason to get up in the morning and do something with their lives besides stare at four walls. It’s not a panacea for the cultural sickness in the Kobuk Valley, but it might well be a step in the right direction, a step away from deliberate isolation in the interest of protecting a culture that was never as lovely as portrayed and has become undignified and damaging to generation after generation.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Keeping a stranglehold on a culture that is dying doesn’t save the culture. It just kills the people who are doing the strangling. Adapting to the inevitable might help them save those parts of their culture that are worth saving.

Libertarianism is Advancing   Leave a comment

 

More and more Americans are taking note that a vote for either of the two major parties produces the same bad results:

  • fewer jobs
  • endless wars
  • ominous government intrusions in all areas of life

Voters continue to hand both the Democratic and Republican parties and their candidates low approval ratings. You just keep wondering how long it will take for them to decide to stop voting for them and start selecting an alternative. But, wait, that’s happening.

Image result for image of libertarianismLibertarian Mark Wicks won 6% of the vote in Montana’s special election for the state’s only U.S. House seat on May 25, demonstrating that America’s third-largest political party is gaining ground.

Wicks’ vote fell shy of beating Republican Greg Gianforte’s seven point lead over Democrat Rob Quist, but it’s not the only election where Libertarians have pushed up against or exceeded margins of victory in U.S. Senate, U.S. House, gubernatorial, and even presidential races which is why their proposals and their voters are increasingly impossible to ignore.

Governor Gary Johnson, the 2016 Libertarian nominee for president, won 3.3% of the vote, beating the 2.1% difference in popular votes between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Fourteen Libertarians running for House seats against both a Democrat and a Republican won over 5% of the vote last November, up from eight who did the same in 2014.

Their votes are more than just a rejection of the established parties. They’re a demand for meaningful changes in government policy that might remedy the fear and suffering so many Americans experience today.

Many of those Libertarian voters are millennials who align with key agenda items of the Libertarian Party: legalize marijuana, end mass surveillance of citizens, stop U.S. meddling overseas, and end crony capitalism.

Voters of all ages support other libertarian mainstays: downsize government, repeal paralyzing regulations, restore the right to self-defense, and slash taxes.

The benefits that these measures will yield cannot be overstated. Cutting taxes, spending, and government debt will reduce the threat of an economic collapse, dramatically improve Americans’ standard of living, and allow private charity to thrive.

Ending the destructive war on drugs will make crime-ridden neighborhoods peaceful, end violence in South and Central America, give drug addicts a safe and dignified way to escape the clutches of addiction, and unleash the bountiful benefits of industrial hemp.

Closing unneeded military bases and bringing American troops home will reduce government spending, keep our soldiers out of harm’s way, reduce the threat of terrorism, and give peace a chance.

Removing, rather than replacing, government entitlement programs, along with repealing obstacles to innovation, will allow the free market and charitable giving to create unimaginable opportunities for human health, education, opportunity, and well-being.

Libertarians don’t even need to win elections to make these changes possible. The Socialist Party has elected only two candidates to Congress, yet managed to co-opt both the Democratic and Republican parties, both of which have embraced much of their statist agenda.

Growing Libertarian vote totals – and their impact – cannot be ignored. They will force Democrats and Republicans to move in a libertarian direction while making it possible to elect small-government candidates to high levels of government. This is the surest path to bringing the scourge of big government to an end.

Posted July 25, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – 24th July   1 comment

Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

Today’s topic is ‘What Kind Of Lessons Could Anyone Learn From What You Do In Your Career?’

I’m a medical secretary and have just gone back to work after a 3 year hiatus to recover from cancer treatments.  I previously worked in the Cardiology, Pain Medicine and Dermatology departments, and believe me, you can learn quite a lot from the job I do.  I’ve made a list below, in no particular order, of all the things I’ve learned over a 13 year period while working in these 3 departments.

  • Keep your weight down to prevent joint pains, backache, and heart disease (one consultant used to say that the only way to prevent backache is to have your jaws wired together!).
  • Use a high factor sunscreen on your skin during the summer months.
  • Acceptance of your pain, disease or discomfort is the only way forward.
  • There is no pill on earth that will stop the…

View original post 393 more words

Posted July 24, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop: Lessons Learned, Lessons Worth Sharing   Leave a comment

Dropped Pebbles

So, this week’s Open Book Blog Hop topic encourages me to remove the writer’s mask to reveal my ‘other’ side. Funny how this topic comes a few short weeks after I have come to finally accept the job I’ve been doing for the past 20 years.

But before I get there, here’s the topic:

July 24, 2017 – What Kind Of Lessons Could Anyone Learn From What You Do In Your Career?
Are there life lessons that people who aren’t in your career could learn from? You might be amazed.

Open-Book-StampRules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.



Baby Steps

When I chose my program…

View original post 993 more words

Posted July 24, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Real Science

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" - Richard Feynman

Marsha Ingrao

Traveling & Blogging Near and Far

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab

"You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." ~C.S. Lewis

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

All About Writing and more

Advice, challenges, poetry and prose

Tapestry ~ Treasures

My life is but a weaving between the Lord and me!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

S.R. Mallery's AND HISTORY FOR ALL

Everything Historical And Much More...

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Blog with a view - on books, music, humour and health

The Lil' Mermaid

Dream. Believe. Achieve

susanne matthews

Living the Dream

MomzillaNC

A blog about issues, life in general, and being a mom, and sharing my poetry.

Felix Alexander Writer

Storyteller Philosopher Poet

YOURS IN STORYTELLING...

Steve Vernon - Nova Scotia writer, storyteller and master of the booga-booga

Dreaming In Blushh

You Are In A Beauty Contest Every Day Of Your Life💕 Beautiful.Colorful.You

Breaking the rules

with a smile

Aurora

Where the world begins

Twisted Thoughts

Pardon my Random Thoughts

%d bloggers like this: