Interesting Items 07/23

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Summit
  2. Pinks
  3. Donlin
  4. Indictments
  5. Gangs

  1. Summit. President Trump held his long awaited meeting with Russian President Putin.  The media, loaded for bear, was desperate for Trump to acknowledge any known Russian interference in the election, giving them the opening for 30 months’ worth of Russians handing the 2016 election to Trump.  Neither he nor Putin obliged.  As an aside, outside of electronic voting machines, which democrats love, because they can be hacked, there is no way to hack an election or change votes statewide or nationwide from overseas, mostly because elections are conducted at the county level which is decentralized.  What the Russians can do, and have done from time immemorial, is muck around in campaigns, basically stirring up crap.  They are really good at it.  But the Russians are not the only ones who muck around in campaigns of other nations.  Every single nation does it, including the Good Old US of A.  This distinction is important, and the conflating the two terms is intentional.  There is a significant difference between mucking around in elections (hard to do, though democrats are pretty good at) and mucking around in campaigns (which everyone on this planet does).  What the democrats are setting up is the notion that they never lose unless someone cheats or steals an election from them.  In making this case, they are doing more to undermine US elections than anything the Russians can conceive of doing.  End aside.  The hour-long meeting went two hours, after which both Presidents came out and answered questions from the media.  Most of the questions were some sort of attempt to wheedle out of Trump an admission that Russians mucked around in the election and campaigns, something Trump will never admit to.  But the two presidents were ready for the media, and Trump responded demanding to see the hacked DNC server(s).  He also mentioned the Awan brothers and the House Democrat servers hacked that also disappeared during the investigation.  He turned the Q&A over to Putin who asked for US assistance to identify who illegally raised $400 million in Russia that went to democrat campaigns.  Putin also mentioned George Soros.  This sent the media and their democrat fellow travelers into the functional equivalent of an epileptic fit.  Charges of treason were tossed like so much confetti in the days following the meeting.  A few thoughts come to mind.  First, Trump is never, ever going to acknowledge any interference or meddling by any outside party in his election.  It is the biggest personal achievement of his life.  He did it.  He earned it.  He worked very hard for the win.  It was bloody hard to do.  And he did it over the opposition of both political parties, their tools in the government and federal law enforcement, and the media.  Second, Trump has decided to engage Russia, if for no other reason than to use them as a foil against China.  This is not unlike the rationale Nixon and Kissinger used when they decided to reach out to China in the early 1970s.  Third, it appears that Trump’s read on Putin and the Russians is the ability to say and do whatever he needs to say and do in private while putting on the conciliatory face in public.  For instance, neither president mentioned the annihilation of a brigade of Russian mercenaries in Syria earlier this year as they bridged a river.  It happened.  Everyone knew it happened.  Russians were warned and chose to proceed.  The few that survived regretted the decision.  Finally, I believe that Putin knows not to push this too hard or we can and will out-compete him in natural gas sales worldwide, doing to his national economy what Reagan and the Saudis did in the 1980s.  Limbaugh believes the over the top media and democrat reaction was preordained based on Mueller’s indictments Friday.  The indictments and handoff to the DoJ Counter Intelligence operation are an admission that Mueller doesn’t have anything against Trump or his people.  If Limbaugh is correct, that reaction was going to take place regardless of what either president said publicly.


  1. Pinks. The Bill Walker / commfish dominated Board of Fish (BoF) turned down a request from 19 sport fish and conservation groups to halt expansion of hatchery release of pink salmon fry into Prince William Sound (PWS).  Their rationale (excuse) is that it is not an emergency situation.  Commercial hatcheries have been releasing perhaps a billion pink salmon fry into PWS for over two decades.  Fisheries biologists testified that they have no idea at to the ecological consequences of dumping a billion pink salmon fry into PWS.  This a bit disingenuous as there are studies in the Lower 48 and Canada that suggest that pink salmon fry, in the salt for only a year before they return to spawn, enjoy a competitive advantage over other salmon species that spend longer in the salt.  I have seen this impact first hand as silver fishing out of Whittier has been terrible over the last decade.  Few if any silvers.  The occasional king.  And most importantly, no bait balls which attract them.  This vote by the BoF marks the first time the BoF put the interests of commfish ahead of wild salmon.  The vote was 4 – 3, with all members connected to commfish voting to turn down the request.  Scientists studying the impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill last year found what is described as a startling statistical link between hatchery pinks and fading runs of wild sockeye salmon into the Copper River (this year’s return was one of the worst in 4 decades).  They could find no lasting damage from the spill.  But they most certainly found a link, wildly varying, between the release of pink fry and returns of reds to the Copper River.  For most of my time here in Alaska, returns of pink salmon have varied from year to year, with even years having many fish while odd years having much fewer.  It turns out that voracious pink fry clean out the available food, leaving little for the following year, which impacts their survival rate.  Continuous dumping of a billion fry year after year after year does not allow the ocean to regrow the food.  The hatchery dump of pinks supports 267 commercial permit holders.  A single hatchery in Valdez was worth $11.3 million / year to the PWS seine fishery.  There is a close, symbiotic relationship between fish processors, commercial fishermen, hatcheries, and the ADF&G biologists who are supposed to regulate them.  Think of the term “regulator capture” and you are close.  Environmental groups like Trout Unlimited are nowhere to be found in all this, choosing to fight the mythical environmental threat of Pebble Mine while ignoring a very real, growing environmental disaster in PWS.  And Walker’s BoF has both fingers in their collective ears, eyes closed, saying “la, la, la, la, la” not wanting to consider there is a problem.


  1. Donlin. I wrote an article in APEOnline a month or so ago asking if there was now a racial test for mining here in Alaska.  As examples, I noted that two mines proposed on native land with native corporation involvement were getting no environmental pushback while Pebble, privately held on state land was being treated as the environmental equivalent of Chernobyl.  Turns out I was wrong, as some village corporations were coming out against Donlin Creek, owned by Novagold Resources and Barrick Gold USA, a joint venture with Calista and Kuskokwim regional native corporations.  Last week, a second village corporation, Tuluksak voted 5 – 0 to oppose the mine based on “extreme ruin, destruction and danger it should pose to the Yuuvaraq health and welfare in the Indigenous Tribes and the people of the Yukon – Kuskokwim Delta Region.”  The rationale echoed almost to the word opposition by the Orutsaramiut native council.  Some Calista Regional Native Corporation shareholders spoke of their concerns about the mine’s impact on subsistence at the corporation’s annual meeting early July.  They have formed what they call the Yukon – Kuskokwim River Alliance to oppose the mine.  By midweek, two more villages voted to oppose.  Looks like the NRDC is also involved in helping organize the opposition.  Interestingly, the EIS has been completed and is scheduled for approval in August.  Governor Walker, who is in strong, vociferous opposition to neighboring Pebble, is supportive of Donlin Creek (so far), calling approval of the EIS by the Army Corps of Engineers “a major step toward development of a gold mine that would bring jobs to the Yukon – Kuskokwim region and help utilize Alaska’s vast natural resources”, something he does not want to allow Pebble to do.  The mine will bring around 3,000 jobs to the region during construction and 1,400 jobs during decades of operation.  Note to subsistence aficionados:  if you are getting a regular paycheck, you don’t need subsistence to bring in food to live.  OTOH, you do need subsistence to meet your spiritual needs.  And as we have seen with oil and natural gas development on the North Slope oil fields, development usually increases numbers of animals available for subsistence needs.  Thank you to Suzanne Downing of Must Read Alaska for covering this new story and kicking me back into play.


  1. Indictments. Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC server and other cyber warfare efforts during the 2016 campaign.   I don’t know how Mueller is going to prove any of this as the FIB was never allowed possession or forensic investigation of the DNC server.  Rather they relied on a DNC-hired contractor Cloud Strike, for their analysis.  The indictment was a nakedly political document, as none of the Russian intel offices will ever see the inside of an American courtroom, making this yet another example of Mueller’s political grandstanding, this time nicely timed to embarrass President Trump just before his meeting with President Putin.  But in warfare, and lawfare is indeed warfare, the enemy gets a vote, and President Putin took the opportunity to kick open the door Mueller’s incompetent grandstanding opened for him, asking if he could interview and bring to justice American intelligence officers and diplomats he believes are mucking around in Russian political affairs.  And don’t kid yourself, we have been mucking around in Russia, the old Soviet Union, and any other government’s political systems and elections since before WWII.


  1. Gangs. It turns out that British law enforcement knew about the Muslim rape gangs operating in Rotherham in NE England for more than a decade before it finally commissioned an investigation.  The initial research into men who were targeting and grooming young people into prostitution was 2001 – 2002.  The researcher sent her draft document into the British Home Office in 2002 and spoke to Home Office officials who promptly buried or conveniently forgot about the research.  The researcher detailed sexual exploitation of 1,500 white girls by Pakistani-heritage men between 1997 – 2003.  The Jay Report was published in 2014 and eventually prompted an investigation.  The Home Office archives include letters from concerned parents which were also buried and ignored.  Such are the wages of importing millions of people into your country who do not share nor care about your values.

More later –

– AG


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.