Watercooler 6/26/2017 Open Thread: Alaska National Guard, Event Planning for Sissies, Digital Dining


The Alaska National Guard

The Alaska National Guard began before statehood with the Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG). The ATG was formed in 1942 in direct response to the invasion of several Aleutian Islands by Japan. The ATG was made up of diverse indigenous peoples and the immigrant population of the territory of Alaska. Their mission was to protect the coast line of Alaska and the American terminus of the Lend Lease air route to Russia on which war planes were flown from Montana to Whitehorse Canada, from Whitehorse to Ladd Field (Fort Wainwright) and from Ladd Field to Nome and then on to Russia to be used to fight the Third Reich. From this was born the “Eskimo Scouts” which was the start of the Alaska Army National Guard. Currently the Alaska National Guard has both Air National Guard units and Army National Guard units. The National Guard units are spread out over the entire state of Alaska.


The 143rd Infantry Regiment is an Army National Guard unit assigned to the 36th Infantry Division. Currently, only one battalion, the 1st Battalion (Airborne), is active under the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. The 143rd was mobilized the day after Thanksgiving in 2011. It conducted mobilization training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, and deployed to Afghanistan in February 2012 to conduct missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The primary mission of the 143rd was service as security forces (SECFOR) for Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) throughout the country. Headquarters and Headquarters Company was assigned to the capital city, Kabul helping to secure and manage the operation of multiple bases in the area.


U. Florida Wants Students to Evaluate ‘Emotional Risks’ When Planning Events

Before approving student events, the University of Florida asks campus organizations to evaluate the “emotional risk” a potential event could pose. The event permit application student organizations are required to complete, hosted on the university’s online portal GatorConnect, includes a subsection titled “Emotional Risk” that asks students to “select all possibilities of Emotional Risk that may apply to your event.” The options include “Sensitive Subject Matter,” “Reaction of Participants,” and “Potential Controversy.

McDonald’s hits all-time high as Wall Street cheers replacement of cashiers with kiosks

McDonald’s shares hit an all-time high on Tuesday as Wall Street expects sales to increase from new digital ordering kiosks that will replace cashiers in 2,500 restaurants. The restaurant chain plans to roll out mobile ordering across 14,000 U.S. locations by the end of 2017. The technology upgrades, part of what McDonald’s calls “Experience of the Future,” includes digital ordering kiosks that will be offered in 2,500 restaurants by the end of the year and table delivery.


Gotta love technology. Just for fun, let’s see how large a labor expense savings it might be for Mickey D’s, if each of their 14,000 locations replaces ONE on-the-counter full time employee: one FTE x $7.25/hr minimum wage x 40hrs/week x 52 weeks/year = $15,080 gross wages x 14,000 McDonald’s locations with new technology =  $211,120,000!

Wow! Almost one quarter BILLION dollars in labor expense saved, and 14,000 people now unemployed. Way to go, Fight for $15…WAY TO GO!

Let’s ponder this for a while, and enjoy the open thread…


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