Books & Writings by SPam McGee

Alaska Short Stack Stories, Series I, II, & III ~ Alaska's Deadliest Sin-Drill Baby Drill ~ Alaskan Company Man ~ Eklutna Lake Worrier ~ From the Fifth Floor ~ Hannah Cove ~ My Journey to Landes House ~ Poemetrics ~ Quinn the "Tanik" Eskimo ~ S.O.S. from Beaver Lake ~ The Teachings of the Swamp Fox ~ Trans-Alaska-Pipeline Funny Stories ~ Spirit Dog & the Ghost Wind


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rally for Corruption?

It is amazing to see how Alaska's “Business” henchmen - Binkleys & Sheffields - come out of the woodwork in efforts to rally the citizen troops when Uncle Sam makes any move towards doing what is best for the American Taxpayer. Once again the “military balls of brass” are on a “cost-cutting” mission and the local business leaders are on the warpath. We hate government oversight and despise government intervention and cannot condone government welfare regardless of what it is used to help out, unless that “welfare” means a paycheck as a civilian employee or somehow tied to a “military” mission. For Alaska, the henchmen are talking a $billion$ dollar fallout if the “brass” gets their way forward to eliminate some of the troop count throughout Alaska. Even our Congressional delegation finds it necessary getting into the “disappearing act” with disapproval, well at least providing some laughs over the doom & gloom. According to newbie Dan Sullivan – who cannot yet be called a Senator – he publicly comments with some off the wall remark that “He who owns Alaska owns the entire world”. Yes, this may trump Sarah Palin's “I can smell Russia from my Wasilla outhouse and “1400 Pennsylvania Avenue”. No doubt Sullivan's comment made a good laugh for Putin and the pilots of Bear Bombers that hug the coastline on occasion in efforts to insult! And of course that comment has made Obama somewhat happy, that his Alaskan wilderness “Lock-Down” program has benefits beyond borders. But the citizens must read between the lines. Why should we be out in force when those involved in the “Privatization” of the military infrastructure are only in it for themselves, yet want to use us as their mop-pom squad? When the “brass” looks at cost cutting measures for any particular base under its jurisdiction, it uses the “ARMY Performance & Evaluation” criteria, which is basically a “Scorecard” that takes into account everything of interest – from the efficiency of the training grounds to the cost of doing business, like the cost of energy. In Alaska, the “Scorecard” is in reality a “Scarecrow”, way high-rating for training, but way low-rating for energy costs – which now falls under this “Privatization”, since about 2008 and has been but a shipwreck. Since inception of a good thing supposedly with “Privatization”, costs have risen 23%, on a fixed 50-year contract! So the JAG have been involved, and major time, effort and extra money has been spent by Uncle Sam just trying to make sure the contractors do what they were supposed to do, save the American Taxpayers from abuse! So “Go ARMY” is my sentiment. Now take Dan Gavora for instance, no longer a “Grocery Boy”. He is the President of Doyon Utilities, which maintains 12-contracts to operate & maintain military power plants and water to waste-water infrastructure on many of Alaska's biggest ARMY installations. His salary has increased 170% to $338,000 per year, in 6-years time! Why, because he looks at what the CEO at GVEA takes home and feels left out. Is his job worth that much? NO. And that money comes from the U.S. Taxpayers! The entire “Privatization” here in Alaska, at Ft. Wainwright and JBER and Ft. Greely has been a mess of litigation, ever since inception that it was a good idea to let the private sector try its best to do a better job. “Grocery Boy” was that recommendation wrong! Not only that, when the buildings were annexed away from Uncle Sam, well it was now taxable property – which meant the bourogh and city tax assessor wanted his take – which meant “$millions$ in income. So the “Privatization” henchmen sued Uncle Sam for more money! And with “Privatization” came regulatory oversight by the state's “Regulatory Commission”, which costs an additional $3-million a year – again something that was not anticipated by the “Privateers”, yet we the “Taxpayers” are paying for it. So, in Alaska this “Privatization” has become a dismal dilemma, costing Uncle Sam way over what was anticipated with the original “intent”. And it is the main reason that the Air Force has held back on any further “Privatization” of its Alaskan infrastructure, like at Clear and Eielson – it ain't worth it. So the cost of doing military business here in Alaska is the reason cuts are coming. Oh, and many bases in the lower-48 still burn coal, just like in Alaska. See, these beastly power plants were built in the 50s when coal was the preferred energy source. But low and behold, coal contracts have decreased by 5% down there, so that saves money and makes the “brass” happy! But in Alaska, Joe raised his coal costs by 14% and the Alaska Railroad raised its transport rates because of NO competetion, so that makes the “brass” sad! So instead of cheap-ass comments, the Alaska Congressional delegation should get itself involved in this “Doyon” fiasco, to side with Uncle Sam that a contract is a contract. But you can't bite the hand that feeds that political “War Chest”! So, rally the peons to do the dirty work, that is the message from the business community! And to put it all in perspective, the power plant at Ft. Wainwright costs the U.S. Taxpayers about $34-Million/Year, paid to Doyon and not including the cost of Joe Uselessbelli's expensive cheap ass air polluting coal. Now when the ARMY maintained that same plant before “Privatization”, one of the main reasons for switching to more efficient business models under practice by the private sector was the ratio of “Administrative Costs” verses the “Operational Costs”. The ARMY realized that a 25% “Administrative Cost” meant way too many cooks in the kitchen, as the norm for any “Utility” is somewhere in the 11% range. So a 14% savings is what was anticipated under “Privatization” and that would have saved Uncle Sam and the U.S. Taxpayers about $140-Million over the life of the contract. But today - and the reason the entire Doyon “Privatization” is being scrutinized by the Defense Logistics Agency and a cast of government attorneys - well that “Administrative Cost” has ballooned out-of-control, to 43%. Which is preposterous, it's sinful, it is a scam. That means an additional burden – if Doyon gets its way and we all realize that MoanaLisa MurCowpiefly is their man – well that would mean the U.S. Taxpayers would be on the hook for, drum roll please, an additional $320-Million bucks! But when you pay high salaries to the executive branch and instead of utilizing local banks for funding this madness – yes Doyon uses Canadian banks to fund this extravaganza which means in essence based on collateral the Canadians own that infrastructure at our military installations, well it adds up to difficult times for the “brass” to think Alaska is in it for the “Patriotism” aspect! So we shoot ourselves in the foot, groin, you name it. And had we only had a natural gas pipeline by now – as imagine going to such a rally and being able to say, “we have affordable and cleaner burning natural gas”! Then maybe we would have bragging rights that “We own Alaska's military and it is here to stay”! Bottom-line, with cost cuts mandated by Congress, look at the “Privatization” history with Doyon as that may be what is strangling the military future here in Alaska!


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