Thursday, February 15, 2018

Alaska 2018: The Faded Promise and Accelerated Decline of a Failing State

Alaska 2018:  The Faded Promise and Accelerated Decline of a Failing State - How Apathy, Greed & Corruption are Destroying The Last Frontier.

by J.R.Myers, Constitution Party Executive Committee At-Large Member, Founder & former Alaska CP Chairman, ACP Candidate for AK Governor in 2014, and 2016 Presidential Candidate.  After many years of adventure in Alaska, he has now returned to his native State of Montana to live.

Psalm 9 King James Version (KJV)I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.11 Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.13 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.19 Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.20 Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.King James Version 

Having spent about 15 years, or more than a quarter of my life in Alaska, I have known, witnessed and participated in many of its struggles, dreams and successes.  My grandparents homesteaded in Alaska in the 1950's.  My father operated a HAM Radio link to the outside world from Anchorage, after the devastation of the Great Quake of 1964.  My grandfather worked on the oil pipeline in the 1970's.  My grandmother worked for Alaska Airlines.  An uncle retired from the Alaska Railroad.  My relatives have served in the military, and in many other positions as they worked hard to help Alaska grow and prosper since long before statehood.  They used dog-sleds, used the permafrost for refrigeration, worked odd jobs, panned for gold, and hunted and fished to survive.  I was an Alaskan resident in 1963-64 and again 2003-2017.  As a Counselor there, I befriended many, was supported by many and was accepted into the communities of many Alaskans of all kinds.  While in Alaska, I was heavily involved in trying to make many positive changes.  I still own a cabin and pay taxes there.  Despite recent sad events, overall I have fond and enduring memories of the Great Land and its people.  It is in this spirit that I report my following experiences and observations.  My prayer is that Alaskans quickly get involved in any and all peaceful ways possible to take back their state from the enemy within while they still can.

Once holding incredible riches, potential and promise, Alaska now finds itself in an existential political, moral, and financial storm.  Perhaps it was too ambitious a project to begin with.  The geographic area was too vast.  The people too few.  From the beginning, there was too much government control, not enough private sector opportunity.  Too much judicial activism, too few involved citizens.  Too many political opportunists, not enough statesmen.  Too many carpetbaggers and gold diggers, not enough earnest pioneers and decent settlers.  Oil Snakes, Charlatans and Frauds.  There is a fundamental disconnect, a widening chasm between the ruling elite and the rest of the population.  Alaska's Constitutional Republican form of government has been turned on its head.  Official cynicism rules the day.  Alaska increasingly resembles a top down authoritarian Banana Republic.  Power mongering and greed have replaced public service and civic virtue in the Capitol of Juneau.  Collusion between Lobbyists, Politicians and Media has driven Alaska beyond established boundaries, over a cliff from which it will likely never recover.  Alaska has become the American poster child for domestic folly.  Alaska is close to becoming a failed state altogether.

Well over 1% of the population, or about 8,500 people fled the State in 2017.  The State has been in a worsening recession with an  unemployment rate of 7.3% as of 12/2017.  The Permanent Fund Dividend, the people's share of Alaska's mineral wealth, has been recklessly tampered with for two years in a row.  Billions of anticipated dollars have been withheld from Alaskans, and thus the Alaskan economy.  This was one of the worst economic moves possible, which has deepened and prolonged Alaska's Great Recession.  This was predicted, and was totally avoidable.  Now Alaska faces a worsening crisis, manufactured with full bi-partisan cooperation.

To make matters worse, fisheries are dwindling, millions of acres of forests and mineral resources remain locked up, people in the villages and interior cannot afford to heat their homes and businesses, while global politics and economics seem to conspire daily against Alaska.  Recently, the Permanent Investment Fund lost two billion dollars in a matter of days during the stock market correction.  This event adding more volatility to the state's economic future.  Under the current administration, Alaska has experienced, a series of credit downgrades, meaning millions annually in greater credit costs.  Alaska can't even make legalized pot functional.  It has seen a decline in projected Recreational Marijuana Tax & Fee Revenues.  Alaska has clearly lost its way.

There is a growing disconnect between the people and their government.  The current Governor has the lowest popularity rating of any Governor in the nation with a 26% (as of 1/2018) approval rating.

There is an increased public awareness and subsequent anger as people realize that the political elite are using government to take more than their fair share of the world's resources, and are rapidly plundering the inheritance of future generations to satisfy their current lusts.  In many ways, Alaska is a microcosm of the United States.

Perhaps the Alaskan Independence Party had it right all along that the vote for Alaskan statehood was fundamentally flawed.  The Alaska Native vote was heavily suppressed, while the military stationed in the territory was improperly allowed to participate in the statehood vote.  Fifty nine years after statehood, Alaska has become our first failed state.  Perhaps Alaska should never have tried to become a state in the first place.

My 2014 race for Governor of Alaska predicted and attempted to expose the Walker wrecking crew and their nefarious plans for Alaska.  Walker, through several unsavory tactics, emerged victorious as an, "Independent."  He immediately set to work to implement his agenda at the expense of All other Alaskans.  As an attorney, he has mastered the arts of subterfuge and obfuscation.  He has repeatedly overturned well established traditions and laws to further his distorted vision.  He has literally sacrificed the people and land of Alaska for his irrational obsession to partner with China to create an unprofitable natural gas pipeline.

At a time of rising oil prices and revenue and record Permanent Fund Portfolio Gains, Now, instead of right sizing government, the corrupt political elite have decided to confiscate more and more private wealth.  As anticipated, they are proposing statewide sales and income taxes, as well as implementing raising a myriad of other fees.

Walker has twice seized the bulk of the PFD, with collusion from the Alaska Legislature, as well as corporate, media and globalist interests.  Those larcenous acts alone have greatly increased the severity of Alaska's recession by withholding billions of dollars from the people of Alaska and the Alaskan economy.  Alaska's Golden Goose, the PFD, once a global model of citizen ownership of resources and wise economic policy, a perpetual economic engine producing larger and larger eggs, has been gutted, and is about to be butchered and consumed, feathers, beak, feet and all.

Years of reckless bipartisan fiscal and public policies have fostered expansive local and state governments.  In 2016, it was estimated that Alaska expended combined state/federal funds of $14,290.00 per capita, the highest rate in the nation by far.   Alaska remains both heavily constricted and heavily subsidized by the Federal government, and its own bloated state government.  Its Medicaid expansion program added 42,500 to the rolls.  Now 196,762 Alaskans or more than 25% of the population are on Medicaid for an additional cost to Alaska of $100,000,000 this year.

Even with the this excessive per capita spending, Public Safety is routinely compromised as street and highway maintenance as well as other services are wrongly deferred in order to hold the public hostage during budget negotiations.  Real lives are lost and destroyed as a direct result of the wonky implementation of such misguided public policy.  The criminal justice system has collapsed.  Too many activist judges, too much disparity in justice between the elites and the average citizen.  Too many politically based decisions outside of the Rule of Law.  Too many violent felons being released in droves.  Law enforcement too often seemingly at odds with the populace.  Leaders ignoring and deriding the Constitution rather than truly keeping their oaths to uphold the rule of law and serve the public with integrity.

With a the longest coastline in the nation, Alaska remains largely undefended.  There are present and real threats form Russia (which borders Alaska), China and North Korea.  The Russians have been busy fortifying their Far East and Arctic military installations.  Russia and China continue to make aggressive military maneuvers near our waters and airspace.  Anchorage is well within North Korea's nuclear strike range.

Governor Walker, a true petty neo-tyrant, is eager to sell out the future of Alaska to the Communist Chinese government.  Walker will not stop at any deception, manipulation or intimidation to get funding for his delusional pipe dream.  He is literally hell-bent on building an ill-advised natural gas pipeline funded from Alaska's public legacy.  To add insult to injury, he's also foolishly inviting a permanent and formidable Chinese presence to establish itself within the State of Alaska to develop and control gas fields and sensitive infrastructure.

Voter turnout has been low to moderate with 17.22% in the August 2016 Primary election and 60.77% in the November 2016 General election.  The lack of public engagement has allowed relatively small political cabals to hijack public policy for decades to suit private agendas.  There is no longer a sense that the government is serving the best interests of the public.  True oversight and accountability is practically nonexistent.

The political opposition in Alaska is fragmented into several political parties and groups.  The election laws make it confusing and difficult to establish and maintain a new political party.  Campaign rules are strict.  Mistakes are potentially severely punished with huge fines.  Their are four officially state recognized political parties.  They are the Alaska Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Alaskan Independence (AIP) Parties.  There are also Limited Political Parties.  They only run a Presidential ticket.  In 2016, the Constitution and Green Parties were in this category.  There are also several official political groups.  They are the Alaska Constitution, Green, Veteran's, Patriot's, Moderates, Progressives, Twelve Visions and UCES Clowns parties.  Tragically, the existing parties have consistently shown themselves to be either hopelessly stunted and largely ineffectual due to public apathy, legal obstacles, infiltration, constant infighting and lack of resources, or as with the R's & D's, intractably corrupt.

Then there is the Bureau of Fear, otherwise known as The Alaska Public Offices Commission.  APOC was allegedly instituted to thwart political corruption has instead become a direct assault on citizen involvement in the political process. The official APOC Mission is, "To encourage the public's confidence in their elected and appointed officials by administering Alaska's disclosure statutes and publishing financial information regarding the activities of election campaigns, public officials, lobbyists and lobbyist employers."  Sounds good, but in practice, its onerous rules and disproportionately huge fines for minor infractions dissuade the average citizen from even contemplating a run for public office.  APOC terrorizes and silences many Alaskans who want to establish true political alternatives.

"Independent", candidate Walker even convinced Sarah Palin and the Alaskan Independence Party to endorse him in the 2014 General Election.  He went on to defeat Palin's former running mate, and sitting Republican Alaska Governor, Sean Parnell 48,1% to 45.9%.  The margin of victory was only 2.2% or smaller than either the CP (2.5% ) or LP (3.2%) votes, leaving those parties with the so-called balance of power vote.

The Corrupt Old Bastards Club is alive and well in Alaska.  It is now gender neutral, and women are welcome too.  They have played a large part in Alaska becoming a failed state, a third world country within the United States of America.

2018 looks like a repeat of the same choreographed elections we've witnessed for years.  There are already several candidates lining up for the many races.  Problem is, most of them were in power the past few years presiding over the precipitous decline of Alaska.  Like wicked swamp puppets, they've emulated the worst of Washington D.C. politics.  They have usurped authority, created a protected enclave in Juneau for themselves and set in motion a cascade effect of statewide destruction, as they satisfy their lust for power and control.

More than half of Alaska's population of 730,000 live in the Anchorage metropolitan area.  Often referred to by Alaskans as, "Los Anchorage."  Criminals and gangs now cast a blanket of fear over the city. Shootings, stabbings and general mayhem are on the rise.  There are unsolved serial killings.  Many areas are unsafe.  Uncontrolled illegal immigrants roam freely throughout the land.  Meanwhile the native population is demonized, restricted and taxed beyond endurance.

Alaska maintains some of the highest suicide, substance abuse, domestic abuse, sexual assault, violent crime and sexually transmitted disease rates in the nation.  Substandard housing and an insufficient sanitation, transportation and utility infrastructure further hamper progress.  Vast regions of Alaska resemble third world conditions.  Corrupt public policy has perpetuated the economic and moral poverty and lack of development throughout much of Alaska.

Now, with the historical bipartisan Federal multi-trillion dollar hyper-deficit budget being signed, the unbridled corruption within has become so great that our nation is at real risk of perishing before our eyes.  Is Alaska the proverbial canary in the coal mine?  It appears as if Juneau has become the mini me of Washington, D.C.  Obviously, we need a quick shift to a new political paradigm, one that is focused on the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

There are hopeful signs that the people are waking and taking action.  The Constitution Party was able to place its Presidential nominee, Darrell Castle on the Alaskan ballot in 2016 via petition.  The Alaska ballot is where Castle received his highest vote percentage in the nation at 1.21%.  It was not enough to maintain Limited Party ballot access.   

Perhaps, it is time to re-vision Alaska.  We could consider dividing the Great Land into two or three autonomous regions.  I would start by freeing South East Alaska, and the Capitol city of Juneau to their own devices.  This would also tend to liberate the rest of Alaska from unaccountable and unreachable political elites.

Will such efforts be enough in time to restore the government to its proper limited role?  Or, will it be too little, too late?  Time will tell and it will likely be sooner, rather than later as markets, geopolitics and history relentlessly impose their wills.  I see the Constitution and Libertarian Parties, or at least their basic philosophies, as poised to be the likely contenders to inherit what's left after this scourge of  public apathy and political corruption ends and the gold dust settles. 

Just as it reached its greatest potential, Alaska was hijacked, plundered and pillaged by those who proclaimed to be its saviors.  It will take a true miracle to turn Alaska into a viable State.  The land will remain in some shape or form, but what of the people?  Believers should be in earnest prayer about Alaska's future.  Short of divine intervention, and a mass change of heart with boots on the ground, expect further brain drain, and an exodus of talent and capital as more Alaskans choose to vote with their feet and their dollars in search of a better life elsewhere.  Without renaissance, a vicious cycle of desperate dependence will accelerate as those reliant upon government grow in proportion to the productive citizens and squeeze them more and more.  Instead of downsizing to a sustainable level, the government has taken the known path to misery.  They have chosen the treacherous path of increasing wealth confiscation, regulation and control.  This has already further destabilized the economy, forcing increased capital flight out of Alaska.

My recipe for the restoration of Alaska and the rest of our nation begins simply enough.  Mix the present grassroots situation with the Water of Faith.  Allow the mounting great sadness at the realization of lost mass opportunity and increasing disparity and injustice to greatly raise the mix.  Kneed with power and form sourdough activists within a vessel of deep reflection.  Mix with spicy organic frustration.  Sprinkle with a healthy dose of contempt for corrupt leaders, as required to add boldness and bite.  Bake with righteous indignation at an intense fervor and serve hot with plenty of fresh hope.  It should be sufficient to serve and fortify the hungry multitudes towards victory.

Hopefully, fed-up Alaskans will rise up at the ballot box and throw off the yoke of their oppressors this November.  Or better yet, run for office themselves.  Or support a campaign of your choosing.  How refreshing it would be to have a glut of candidates generating high public interest and voter turnout.  The remnant of Constitutionists must remain strong.  The Alaska Constitution Party must continue to hold up a a high standard.  We must remain the impetus for correction and reform.  If we do not act as the catalysts of restoration, who else will?

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