Who is Netcracker?

How does a Russian tech firm that is wholly owned by a Japanese trillion dollar corporation (NEC) wind up with so many top contracts in the U.S.?

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Netcracker who has its U.S. headquarters office in Massachusetts is also currently based out of Moscow in an old style communist looking building.

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This software tech giant was first noticed by Alaskans when a major telecom company (GCI) was switching to Netcracker operating systems after the corporate sell out of GCI to Liberty Ventures Group from Colorado which is a subsidiary of Qurate Retail Group.

GCI was purchased for over 1 billion dollars.

Shortly after it was announced that Netcracker would be overhauling GCI’s operating systems in Alaska.

It turns out Netcracker was reported by a government “whistle-blower” for not using programmers with proper clearance to design and implement classified operating systems at the Pentagon in D.C.

Allegedly, Netcracker was allowing its Russian Counterparts to complete the sensitive contract.

This was troubling in light of the “Russian Facebook Scandal” involving the election of Donald Trump as president.

Why are government contracts and major telecom companies in the U.S. allowing Netcracker to “out source” Russian Nationals to create sensitive IT programs that may contain private data?

After the recent sanctions and closing of several Russian embassies, should we allow “business as usual” for Netcracker after all the signs point to Russian Nationals were meddling in our last presidential election through fake accounts on FB?

What are the future security risks for thousands of Alaskans who are currently GCI customers?

What is Netcracker’s current position with the Russian Government and why are they allowed to operate 13 training facilities throughout Russia and Ukraine?

Are there no “domestic companies” left in the U.S. that are capable of these sensitive IT contracts?

What is the future of security risks in America as many IT companies globalize through accusations and government agencies continue to “out source” our sensitive operating systems to foreign tech giants?

It appears no charges will result from the breech of clearance at the Pentagon.

Race for the Arctic

As polar ice vanishes due to climate change and the planet continues its warming trend; Canada, Russia and U.S. will compete for resources along with summer tourism business and shipping contracts that will come from the ability to navigate the Arctic Ocean in summer months for years to come.

“There are three main routes that connect the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans: the Northeast Passage, the Northwest Passage, and the Transpolar Sea Route…

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In addition, two other significant routes exist: the Northern Sea Route, and the Arctic Bridge…

To connect the Atlantic with the Pacific, the Northwest Passage goes along the Northern Canadian and Alaskan coasts, the Northeast Passage follows the Russian and Norwegian coasts, and the Transpolar Sea Route crosses the Arctic through the North Pole…

The Arctic Bridge is an internal Arctic route linking Russia to Canada, and the Northern Sea Route trails the Russian coast from theBering Strait to the East, to the Kara Sea to the West…

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The main difference between the NSR and the NEP is that the latter comprises the Barents Sea and provides access to the port of Murmansk, the largest Russian Arctic port, and to the Atlantic. Given that the NSR constitutes the majority of the NEP, some sources use the terms NSR and NEP interchangeably.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_shipping_routes

The Russians have a nuclear powdered ice breaker dedicated to the task of navigating the Arctic and opening up shipping routes for cargo ships and LNG tankers during summer months.

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https://www.thearcticinstitute.org/russias-arctic-strategy-maritime-shipping-part-iv/

To compete with the global economy as traffic increases in the Arctic, the United States will need to invest in ice breakers and deep water ports or loose the economic gains that are sure to come with the thinning of the Polar Ice Cap.

“Knock and Talks”

Have you ever had an unexpected knock on your door only to look out the window and see police officers?

What am I required by U.S. law to do; you may have thought?  Must I open the door for law enforcement officers even though I did not call them to my location?

“Knock and Talks” as they are known in policing are very common throughout America and are used as a source for “fishing” for information.  Many times the subject of the interview did not even participate in any suspected criminal activity.  Maybe your neighbor filed a false complaint or you were a witness to an event days or weeks prior?

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/march/28/death-at-your-door-knock-and-talk-police-tactics-rip-a-hole-in-the-constitution/

It is for these reasons that under U.S. law, you have NO obligation to open a door when a cop knocks.  You actually do not even have to speak with law enforcement.

Your right to remain silent and not answer questions is always available…not just when you are under arrest as the movies would like you to believe.

If placed in this situation of receiving a “knock and talk”, it is best to learn this phrase and speak it out a window to police: “I do not wish to answer any questions”.

Every good lawyer is taught this in law school and relays this message to their clients.

When did the “knock and talk” paradigm develop you might ask? Are these and other invasive National Security tactics like “eavesdropping” a sign of a more concerning shift towards Fascism away from private citizen rights and liberties?

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/01/31/the-12-early-warning-signs-of-fascism/

If faced with an unexpected knock on your door, it is best to be polite and speak through a window to police.

If the cops give you any indication that you may be a suspect in one of their investigations, then I advise you to get an attorney…if you do not have the money to hire a lawyer, then please seek the free legal services in your area.

Many folks that are dragged into the criminal justice system or worse were killed by police, could have avoided their outcomes by NOT opening the door and calling for legal support immediately.

In Alaska there are Legal Service offices throughout the state. These attorneys receive compensation through grants and federal funding.

https://alaskalawhelp.org/find-legal-help

Like many other social problems facing our country, help may be just a phone call away.

Protect yourself and your family next time you are confronted by the cops…

“I am not interested in answering questions, may I please speak with an attorney”

This is the Mantra of a free and civil society, a culture that may be slipping slowly towards a global corporate oligarchy of totalitarian control.

 

Police Shootings In Alaska

This Saturday in Alaska two people were shot and killed by law enforcement officers and neither victim appears to have had a firearm at the time; although one allegedly had a knife drawn at the time of confrontation.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2018/03/25/troopers-fatally-shoot-nikolaevsk-man/

These types of events are on the rise in America and come after a year when in 2017 there were 987 people shot and killed by our “fatal” police force in America.

The Washington Post has started a database online to track these tragic events and keep a record of how many victims are unarmed at the time of their death.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2017/

Last year a shooting occurred in the town of Seward, Alaska in which the victim was already “in custody” and handcuffed in the back seat of the patrol car.

Somehow the dividing Plexiglas between seats was down and the subject crawled over the seat and attempted to move the police car.

The Seward police officer then opened the driver’s front door and fired his automatic pistol multiple times into the chest of the suspect.

Again, this man was handcuffed and unarmed when he was killed.

Warning this video contains disturbing graphic content.

I question the use of this excessive force with unarmed suspects and wonder why tazers are not used more often in these situations?

In this next video, cadets at the Alaska Trooper academy are learning how to use tazers and from this video it looks to be an effective means at stopping an unarmed assailant.

I wonder how much of the training at the academy is aimed at “negotiations” versus the shooting range or “cuff and stuff” protocols?

In the face of our state and nation’s opium epidemic and over all “state of intoxication”, I feel non lethal ways of restraining and subduing suspects are greatly needed.

These victims of police violence are community members, family members and “sentient beings” on our planet.  When we hear of multiple police shootings in one day in a state, we wonder if government is advancing towards totalitarianism.

Voices from the past in history teach us that discussion and critical thinking on these subjects is very important.

 

Alaskan Sled Dogs

The sport of mushing has undergone many negative changes over the last 40 years in Alaska.  Much of the new commercial paradigm is a result of the Iditarod Race culture that has developed with the help of Joe Reddington who arrived in Alaska from Pennsylvania.  Joe would go on to become a sort of “demigod” for young mushers and handlers arriving in the Arctic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Redington

The current environment for mushers looking to compete in the Iditarod Race includes: a Dog Lot with 50 to 100 sled dogs tethered on chains…a Dog Truck complete with crate like boxes (sometimes with 2 large dogs jammed into each compartment as seen in the video above) and a rigorous training routine that begins in the fall daily with ATV’s and about 20 dogs tethered to a gang line in front of them pulling around 20 miles a day to start.

The dog yards are very “Spartan” and usually have a small plywood box or plastic barrel dedicated to each Husky for shelter.

This current culture is not sustainable or humane for sled dogs born into this lifestyle of which they have no choice.  The only time the dogs are allowed off of the chains is to run in harness and they must pull a heavy ATV, Cart or Sled.  These animals are not allowed to socialize or touch their teammates which are usually brothers and sisters from the same litter.

Older dogs that cannot perform to the high competitive level of their younger teammates are left on the chain while younger dogs are out training or are “Culled” to make way for growing puppies in the dog lot.

Surprisingly this dog racing culture has many corporate sponsors which support it.

http://iditarod.com/race/sponsors/

Most of the mushers and dog lots are also independently sponsored as well with corporate sponsorships that may be as high as  $20,000 a year per musher and include many companies that are located in America.

Many spectators and fans only see this “Wag the Dog” side to the Iditarod Race and do not see the behind the scene “kennels” or witness dogs out running between checkpoints for over 100 miles a day during their 1,000 mile race to Nome.  The mushers themselves have called this brutal schedule the “tough pace”.

It is typical that a race musher starts with 16 dogs and “drops” around half of the dogs at checkpoints along the way due to exhaustion, illness, disease and injuries.

Many dogs suffer gastric ulcers from the stress of being forced to run for so many days consecutively.

https://www.vetmed.vt.edu/alumni/where-are-they-now/17-davis.asp

Most veterinarians at the checkpoints leave the decision to keep a sore and tired dog in the race up to the individual musher themselves.

There are currently around 60 to 70 mushing teams which participate annually in this event…over 1,000 sled dogs leave the gate in Willow on the first Sunday of March each year.

Blood On The Trail

A common access point for mushers and riders looking to head west on the trail is Willow.

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This area is also home to the annual Iditarod Race in March and many large commercial sled dog kennels operate outside of town.

Recently, while returning from a snowmachine trip out to the Skwentna Area, signs of blood were spotted on the trail leading up to the Little Willow Creek.

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The trail was recently groomed by musher support crews and did not show any signs that other animals had traveled on its surface.  The only tracks appeared from dog team and sled.

Many Iditarod dogs suffer ulcers from stress and abuse of NSAID’S given to them throughout their training season.

https://www.peta.org/features/suffering-dogs-used-iditarod/

Upon further review, it appeared that the animal who left the blood on the trail was suffering greatly from blood loss and was not relieved from running in harness with its dog team.

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Please do not support commercial mushing activities of any type.  Races, tours, dog farms, chaining and culling of sled dogs is an archaic and outdated practice which needs to end.

Hatcher Pass Skiing

The Willow Fishook Road is plowed all the way to the Lucky Shot Mine right now on the West side of Hatcher’s Pass.

The road turns East off of the Park’s Hwy in Willow at mile 71 by the coffee shop and heads up the hill.

It is roughly about 30 miles to the parking area near the Lucky Shot Mine.

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There are many challenges awaiting the skier, snow boarder or snowmachiner.

Please check out avalanche danger before heading into the hills and always tell someone your itinerary.

https://alaskasnow.org/forecasts-observations/hatcher-pass/hatcher-pass-avalanche-forecast/

Right now there is still powder to be found, but wind events have moved snow and made some aspects more dangerous than others.

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I skied a ridgeline close to the parking area and found stable snow with good consolidation and no signs of natural releases.

Enjoy your Spring tours and always use caution when choosing your run.