Archive for March 2014

Degrees of Dumb   1 comment

This joke is courtesy of husband “Brad”



There’s dumb! We all know dumb!







There’s Army dumb! Fairbanks is a BIG Army town.

There’s drunk Irish dumb! Brad’s Irish (formerly) Catholic from the Boston area. His family represents the photo.




But the deepest level of dumb is ….

Posted March 26, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Writing

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Jury nullification bill to get hearing – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Politics   Leave a comment

Jury nullification bill to get hearing – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Politics.

Alaska State Representative Tammy Wilson (from North Pole, which is next door to Fairbanks) specializes in tilting at windmills. She deserves kudos for trying at least, though this begs the question — with the long history of jury nullification that can be found in the Founders’ writings and in Supreme Court cases as well as English common law, why should this law be necessary? I’m not saying it’s not. The current jury constraints are a fairly recent abridgement of liberty that it is, unfortunately, necessary to address.

Official: Fairbanks making progress toward federal pollution standards – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Local News   Leave a comment

Official: Fairbanks making progress toward federal pollution standards – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Local News.

The ever-increasing loss of liberty from the nanny state in the name of good health. Ah! Smell the tyranny!

Heating our homes is not optional for Alaskans. We die within hours if we don’t heat our homes. Yet the EPA wants to restrict the only affordable heating option left for us since the price of home heating diesel went through the roof. We do not yet have natural gas and it will be at least five years before we do, IF we can afford to convert and furnace conversions are pricey.

The science is not settled on PM 2.5. In fact, the environmental scientists say that diesel and gasoline from cars are a greater contributor to PM 2.5 than wood burning is … but that doesn’t stop the nanny staters from insisting that they just want “reasonable” reductions for the “health of the community.”

Freezing to death is unhealthy. Starving to death because you can afford to heat your home and feed your family is also unhealthy. The wood we burn in our home woodstoves will not be contributing to the forest fires in the summer. You would have to breath deeply outside for 22 hours during one of our extreme smoke forest fire days in the summer to inhale as much PM 2.5 as the average smoker takes in from a single cigarette.

But pay no attention to these inconvenient facts.

Posted March 26, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Alaska

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Great Alaska Earthquake shook state 50 years ago – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska News   Leave a comment

Great Alaska Earthquake shook state 50 years ago – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska News.

There are events in our lives that happen early, but are etched in our memories. My first clear memory was moving into a house when I was three. I remember the boxes and the window seat and piano.

A couple of weeks later, President Kennedy was assassinated. When I was in high school, I told my mom that I thought I remembered it and she thought I was remembering what they had told me, until I added memories from that house.

Five months later, the world would again be poignant for me when, while crossing a parking lot in Fairbanks (nearly 400 miles from Anchorage), the cars started rocking on their springs. I remember the pinging sound of leaf springs as I clung to my dad’s legs. We didn’t have anywhere to go as the buildings around us swayed and groaned. I remember the smell of my dad — a sharp odor that I would later understand was fear — as we stood there for somewhere between three and five minutes.

When the shaking stopped, we continued to the cafe where my mom waitressed. The customers were in an uproar and the sign above the door was still swaying back and forth. Mom was cleaning up the coffee she’d spilled when the counter started moving. I remember the potato flakes all over the store room where the cans had fallen off the shelf.

Tsunami damage at Kodiak, Alaska following the 1964 Good Friday earthquake.We were almost 400 miles away from the epicenter of the Good Friday Earthquake, but it hit Fairbanks harder than most of our local quakes do. It devasted Anchorage of course, but Mom’s real concern was for my brother who was with his father down on the coast. My dad had served in the merchant marines, so he knew all about tsunamis and that was what actually did more damage than the quake. Fortunately, my brother and his father had stopped shy of the mountains, so were not in Valdez when the waves rolled in.

Memory is an interesting thing in small children. We tend to take it for granted that they don’t remember stuff, but if it’s a powerful enough stimuli, they do. The second most powerful recorded quake in history is definitely a stimulus.

Repeal 17th Amendment   Leave a comment

The Founding Fathers knew that in order to ratify a Constitution and preserve the struggling fledgling that was the confederation of the United States of America, it was essential that both the people and the states have representation in the new federal government.

To assure both democracy and federation, they split the legislative branch. The people would be represented by the directly-elected members of the House of Representatives. The separate states would each be represented by two officials appointed by the state legislatures. Therefore, the House would represent the people and the Senate would represent the states. Without a federalist system of divided, enumerated, and checked powers between the federal and state governments, no union would be possible – the states, wary of potentially losing their sovereignty to an all-powerful national government, would back out of the Constitution, and the world’s most free and prosperous nation would never have become a reality.

According to the Founders’ vision the U.S. senators served at the pleasure of the state legislatures. Because they did not have to stand for popular election at the end of each six-year term, senators could focus on the business of the Senate as it related to the state legislatures, while their lower house counterparts could channel the will of the people. Legislatures would “instruct” senators in what federal legislation they thought would be best for the state and when a senator “went rogue” (like Mark Begich did over the Affordable Care Act), the legislature could recall the offending senator and replace him with someone who understood his job.

In the early 20th century, the progressives argued that the federalist arrangement in place fostered corruption and excessive special interests in the Senate, and was undemocratic to boot. That claim is questionable, although it is true that many state legislatures had difficulty actually appointing senators. There were other remedies that would have preserved republican-federalist ideals, but the progressives used the new media to whip up public concerns about the “lack of democracy” and the “rampant corruption” of the state legislatures. The original intent of the Constitution was that we should be a constitutional republic with some democratic features, but under the cover of “democracy”, the federal Congress quickly passed the 17th Amendment, and sent it to the states for ratification, establishing direct election of U.S. senators. States no longer had any representation in Washington, and the amendment paved the way for even more corruption and special interest influence.

Today, we have a Senate that regularly passes legislation contrary to the interests of the states, because senators have no reason to consider their state’s interest when they pass legislation. This is why the House wasn’t allowed an official vote on the Affordable Care Act. The people didn’t want it and it could never pass there, but senators are beholding to the special corporate interests that got them elected, so they will vote according to the whims of their handlers. How would that vote have fallen out if the senators had been answerable to their state legislatures?

Perhaps most residents in your state opposed nationalized healthcare coverage, but both of your senators voted in favor. Why not? They can’t be recalled at moment’s notice by the state legislative branch, like they could 100 years ago. All they have to do is get enough votes from their citizens – or perhaps enough voter fraud – and they are safe for six years. Missouri may not want Obamacare and Wyoming may not want tough new gun control laws, but thanks to the 17th Amendment, it doesn’t matter what those states or the people who live in them want. Their senators will decide for those states what is actually good for them and pass it on a national level as if Alaska has something in common with New Jersey.

What if the 17th Amendment was repealed?

I don’t know about  your state, but here in Alaska about 60% of voters don’t belong to either of the major political parties. Our state legislature is majority Republican, but many of its members are conservative/libertarian in philosophy. So why is a liberal Democrat representing us in Washington? Because of corruption. Ted Stevens’ corruption and Mark Begich’s corruption and corporate corruption aimed at both of those men. Mark “won” his senatorial seat in 2008 by less than 2% of the vote against a man who had been (wrongfully) convicted of a federal felony two weeks before. That makes thinking people wonder what’s up. Why is Lisa Murkowski still our senator? Because of the nepotism that put her in office in the first place (daddy Frank was the governor and he appointed her) and the corruption that has kept her in office. She resoundingly lost the 2010 Republican primary, came back as a write-in candidate, got the support of the Democrats and was reelected even though nobody I’ve ever talked to (except her dad) thinks she’s a good representative for the people of Alaska.

Does your state have similar stories?

Corruption must be checked and the Senate should do the bidding of the state they represent- not special interests in London or Hong Kong. A constitutional republic operates under the rule of laws, not a rule of men, as does a democracy. The Founding Fathers – who had a far greater sensitivity to tyranny than today’s politician – dedicated one half of the legislative branch to the states for good reason.

By repealing the 17th Amendment, we would restore the federalist system that kept Americans free and prosperous.

I’m not guaranteeing that its repeal would restore liberty and prosperity, but it might be a step in the right direction.

Cooling Off   Leave a comment

It’s tough being a sled dog in the spring because you’re still wearing your winter coat, but the temperatures climb above freezing. So when you get a chance for a break … ah …

Posted March 26, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Alaska

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Posted March 25, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Alaskans Want to Rejoin Russia?   3 comments

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No, actually we don’t. I’m not sure who is signing the petition, but I seriously doubt any actual Alaskans think this is a good idea. Alaskans are republican-libertarian-anarchist in our leanings. The Russian autocracy would not set well with us and Putin would not enjoy the relationship.

But the petition does make a point. Alaskans are fed up with the colonial relationship that the federal government maintains with us. We’re not a state. We’re treated like a frozen banana republic, not allowed to access our resources without complicated processes that often kill economic benefits because they take years to accomplish and forced to submit to a special level of regulation that most other states do not face.

Most Alaskans are Americans by birth or by heritage, but we are frustrated and, while most of us wouldn’t want to be part of Russia, we wouldn’t necessarily object to being an independent nation with a friendly relationship with the United States.

King Cove residents need road to provide access to medical treatment – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Community Perspectives   Leave a comment

King Cove residents need road to provide access to medical treatment – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Community Perspectives.

Parnell signs order establishing LNG project advisory board – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska News   Leave a comment

Parnell signs order establishing LNG project advisory board – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska News.

Posted March 25, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Alaska

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