Winner has a choice of prizes. Work at Llpoh’s factory for a week (don’t be late). Or the Complete Book of bb Wisdom. You can finish it during one trip to the can.
Winner has a choice of prizes. Work at Llpoh’s factory for a week (don’t be late). Or the Complete Book of bb Wisdom. You can finish it during one trip to the can.
Just a normal low key weekend for the Savior, Moosh and the girls. The Ukraine is on the verge of exploding and causing World War III and Obama will be putting at a posh resort on your dime. The guy gives speech after speech about the poor and downtrodden and then pulls this shit. He rails against the rich and then golfs and dines with them. He pontificates about the rich paying their fair share and then holds $10,000 a plate fundraisers with them. This country has gotten the leader we deserve – a hypocritical asshole kowtowing to the rich. Hat tip Boston Bob
President Barack Obama’s plate is full of difficult situations, foreign and domestic. From the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea to the instability brewing in Venezuela and North Korea still lobbing missiles into the sea. And then there is the President’s ongoing battle against income inequality in America. If there was only a place that where he could go to relax. A place that believes, “the busier life gets, the more we seek true tranquility, a place where the world’s clamor can be shut out and forgotten for a while.”
Luckily, the president has found such a place. President Obama (and we assume his family) is reportedly about to take another vacation. This time, the first family is expected to visit the Ocean Reef Club, a private, gated community that requires the sponsorship of a member in order to play golf on one of its three courses. Ocean Reef is a place Marc Caputo from the Miami Herald’s Blog also called, “about as far away from middle class as you can get in Key Largo.”
On Monday, disgruntled Ocean Reef members tipped TheBlaze to the this weekend’s high-profile trip. Their concerns were typical of most small towns that feel the overwhelming power of a presidential visit. However, in this instance, they were upset that the Obamas, their friends and a reported 57 Secret Service agents would paralyze traffic on the small island and exclude them from the golf courses during a “Spring Break weekend when many families count on relaxing together.”
The White House did not confirm the rumor, nor did they deny it. The response to our inquiry was simply, “No information has been released regarding Florida, but we are happy to add you to the distribution list if/when an advisory comes out.” Calls to the office of the president of the Ocean Reef Club were met with a curt “no comment.” And then, within an hour of our inquiry, the following was sent to all members of the private club:
Dear Member,The Ocean Reef Club is expecting a distinguished visitor this weekend, March 7th – 9th that will require an advanced level of security. As with all VIP visits, there may be some minor disruptions including special flight plan rules, closures at the airport and short closures of some roadways. Most of these security measures will be temporary, and should not impact the normal operations of the Club. We appreciate your patience, and apologize for any inconvenience in advance. Ocean Reef has a long tradition in hosting many high level individuals, and all of those visits have added to our rich and unique history and to our reputation as the safest most secure private club in the world. Please help us continue this tradition by ensuring the privacy of this guest at all times.
TheBlaze contacted several businesses on the island and learned that the rumor mill in the community of around 10,000 people was already abuzz with the word that the Obamas were coming to visit. From the UPS store to the local deep sea fishing outlet, it was fairly well known that a “very important person — probably the president” was coming to town. On Tuesday, the Chicago Sun Times reported that the Obamas are headed to Ocean Reef for a weekend of “gab and golf.” Michael Sneed’s political gossip column claimed that the family was renting “five houses on the uber-politically conservative compound.” Sneed also stated that the guests would be arriving in five helicopters. TheBlaze cannot confirm that five helicopters will be used to bring the Obamas and their guests to Ocean Reef, but a helicopter arrival is likely as Air Force One is too large for the local airport and will probably have to land at Homestead Air Force Base (about 30 miles from Key Largo). Calls to the Ocean Reef Public Information Officer have not yet been returned.
1st Amendment, 4th Amendment, Aldous Huxley, American Idol, Big Brother, Brave New World, Burning platform, Charles Hugh Smith, Congress, Constitution, David Stockman, Deep State, DHS, Diane Feinstein, Dick Cheney, Dollar Collapse, Edward Bernays, Edward Snowden, Eye of Sauron, Facebook, Financial Sense, Fourth Turning, Gestapo, Google, iGadgets, James Clapper, Jim Kunstler, Kate Upton, Kim & Kanye, McAfee, Michael Snyder, Microsoft, Mike Lofgren, Minyanville, Mordor, Norton, NSA, Obama, Orwell, Peter King, Proles, Propaganda, Ron Paul, Salma Hayak, Seeking Alpha, Stuck, Surveillance State, Symantec, Twitter, Upton Sinclair, V for Vendetta, Verizon, Wall Street Journal, Zero Hedge
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.
This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays – Propaganda
I find the quote above by Edward Bernays to be a perfect synopsis for everything that has come to pass over the last century. The world has become increasingly controlled by an invisible government of greedy Wall Street bankers, shadowy billionaires, immoral big business, crooked politicians, and the military industrial complex, with mammoth media conglomerates, purposefully using propaganda to manipulate and mold the minds of the masses in order to exert power and control over our lives. He wrote those words in 1928, when the only available forms of manipulation were newspapers and radio. Bernays would be ecstatic and delighted with the implements available today used by our corporate fascist state controllers as they deliver the electronic messaging guiding the public mind.
He never dreamed of television, the internet, social media, and the ability of corporations like Google, in full cooperation with the government, to censor the truth, while feeding misinformation and state sanctioned propaganda to the masses in such an efficient and effective mode. Compelling the masses to worship at the altar of technology, while idolizing the evil men running our largest banks and corporations, has been a prodigious success for the shadowy ruling power and their mass media propaganda agents. Mike Lofgren, former congressional insider and author of The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted, describes these mysterious perfidious men as the Deep State:
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.
My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.”
All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched.
Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. – Mike Lofgren, Anatomy of the Deep State
The techno-narcissistic American public has been manipulated into falsely believing their iGadgets, Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of Apps have made them smarter, freer and safer. As Goethe proclaimed, the majority of willfully ignorant Americans are hopelessly enslaved, while falsely believing they are free. Our controllers, through relentless propaganda and misinformation pounded into our brains by the government controlled education system and unrelenting messaging by their mass media co-conspirators, have molded the minds and opinions of the vast majority into believing government and mega-corporations are beneficial and indispensable to their well-being.
The overwhelming majority have been conditioned like rats to believe anything their keepers feed them. In order to keep society running smoothly, with little dissent, thought, opposition or questioning, the Deep State utilizes all the tools at its disposal to manipulate, influence, coerce, bully and bribe the populace into passive submission. They’ve trained us to love our servitude. The Inner Party sees this as essential to their continued control, power and enrichment, while keeping the Proles impoverished, ignorant, fearful and distracted with bread and circuses.
The key weapon in their arsenal of obedience is technology and the mega-corporations that control the flow of information disseminated to the hypnotized mindless masses. The United States has devolved into a society where a few powerful unelected unaccountable men, controlling the levers of government, education, finance, and media are able to formulate the opinions, tastes, beliefs, and fears of the masses through the effective and subtle use of technology. They have tenaciously and unflinchingly fashioned a technology addiction among the masses in order to keep them distracted, entertained and uninterested in thinking, gaining knowledge, or comprehending their roles and responsibilities as citizens in a purportedly democratic republic.
The mass media, along with their corporate compatriots – Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Yahoo, Facebook and Google, gather vast amounts of data, emails, phone calls, texts, internet searches, spending habits, credit information, passwords, videos and private personal information from an agreeable, gullible and trusting populace. Americans have a seemingly infinite capacity for blindly counting on the government and the corporatocracy to use this data in an honorable and ethical manner. But, as Edward Snowden has revealed, the corporate fascist state is collecting every shred of data on every American in a systematic and thorough way. We have voluntarily surrendered our privacy, liberties, and freedoms to mega-corporations like Google and their techno-brethren, who then willingly collaborate with Big Brother NSA and allow unfettered access to this private information.
The U.S. Constitution along with the First and Fourth Amendments are meaningless to these deceitful entities. Our freedoms have dissipated at the same rate we have adopted the technological “innovations” of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. We are being monitored, scrutinized, tracked and controlled by the technology we have exuberantly purchased from the mega-corporations stripping us of our freedom. Technological “progress” has actually resulted in a colossal regression in freedom, liberty, independence, choice, and intelligent questioning of authority. We having willingly submitted to the google shackles of tyranny in exchange for being entertained and amused by Angry Birds, Words with Friends, facebooking, texting, tweeting, posting selfies and statuses, and linking in.
“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” – Aldous Huxley – Ends and Means
David versus the Nameless, Faceless Goliath Robot
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair – I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked
My enlightening encounter with the nameless, faceless $52 billion “non-evil doing” behemoth entity known as Google, over the last month, has clarified my understanding of how the invisible governing body of the Deep State uses the power of the all-mighty dollar to suppress dissent and obscure the truth. My inconsequential libertarian minded blog that attracts 15,000 visitors per day has been up and running for the last five years. I started my own blog because I didn’t want to deal with ongoing censorship of my articles by Wall Street sellout blogs such as Seeking Alpha, Minyanville, and Financial Sense.
Their salary/living depended upon them not publishing articles critical of Wall Street and the government. My intention has never been to make a living from my blog. Any donations or incidental advertising revenue allowed me to upgrade my server capacity to handle more visitors. I’m certainly not averse to making money, but the sole purpose of my blog has been to try and open people’s eyes to Wall Street criminality, political corruption, media propaganda, and the perilous financial state of our country. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when Google approved my website for ads in December.
I will admit my site has been essentially an un-moderated free for all going back to the very beginning in 2009. I do not believe in censorship or false civility. I attempt to induce anger and outrage with every article and post. These are desperate times and anger is the appropriate reaction. The country is on a burning platform of unsustainable policies and practices which threaten the future of our society. I’m pissed off and I want others to be just as pissed off. The regular commenters are intelligent, critical, opinionated, and not afraid to unload with both barrels on fellow regulars or newbies. The language is often strong and the posting of pictures and images adds to the frat house like atmosphere. Regular contributors include doctors, farmers, engineers, business owners, accountants, teachers, waitresses, students, homemakers, soldiers, spies, and retirees. The wild-west nature of the site is not a secret to anyone who has ventured a peek. I assume Google did a review of the site before approving it for their Adsense program.
I started running Google ads on my site in early December. My site operated as it always had. The $30 per day in ad revenue was welcome, as it helped defray my server and security expenses. I experience a surge in visitors whenever I publish an article that gets picked up by fellow truth telling alternative media websites like Zero Hedge, 321 Gold, Washington’s Blog, Jesse’s Cafe Americain, Steve Quayle, Monty Pelerin, Doug Ross, Market Oracle, Dollar Collapse, TF Metals and several others. I published an article called The Retail Death Rattle on January 20 which obliterated the false government and mainstream media recovery storyline and skewered the delusional incompetent CEOs of mega-retailers. It struck a nerve as it generated the highest visitor count in history for my site. It was even picked up by Wall Street Journal owned Marketwatch. My articles are highly critical of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, corrupt Washington politicians and the feckless captured legacy media, but they usually fly under the radar of the ruling class. On January 22 Google disabled my ads for “policy violations”. This is the vague non-specific description provided by the non-human policing bot:
It’s important for a site displaying AdSense to offer significant value to the user by providing unique and relevant content, and not to place ads on auto-generated pages or pages with little to no original content. This may include, but is not limited to:
· copying portions of text content from other sources
· websites dedicated to embedded videos from other hosts
· websites with gibberish content that makes no sense or seems auto-generated
· templated or pre-generated websites that provide duplicate content to users.
Google ads may not be placed on pages with adult or mature content. This includes, but is not limited to, pages with images or videos containing:
· Strategically covered nudity
· Sheer or see-through clothing
· Lewd or provocative poses
· Close-ups of breasts, buttocks, or crotches
Over the last five years I have received exactly ZERO complaints from other websites or authors about re-posting their articles, with full attribution and links, on my website. No one can accuse my site of not having unique and relevant content. I have permission to post articles from Zero Hedge, Charles Hugh Smith, Michael Snyder, Jim Kunstler, David Stockman, John Mauldin, Doug Casey, Paul Rosenberg, Fred Reed and dozens of other brilliant truthful journalists detailing our societal decay. Was there some Kate Upton bikini Gifs and provocative Salma Hayak pictures scattered within the 200,000 comments made on the site in the last five years? Guilty as charged. It seems Google reviewers can’t see the hypocrisy of running ads to meet young bikini clad Asian girls, while disabling ads because there are a few bikini pictures on the website. I suspected my article had drawn the Eye of Sauron in my direction and this was the response.
Speaking truth to power during these perilous times has repercussions. But I decided to make a good faith effort to follow their rules.
I had made almost 15,000 posts over the last five years. Over the next week I scanned the site and archived posts that included articles from mainstream media websites, along with a hundred or so bikini pictures. You never deal with a human being when attempting to satisfy the Google Gestapo. Identical canned appeal denial responses are issued from Google Central with no clarification or effort to help you understand their reasoning.
Thank you for providing us with additional information about your site. However, after thoroughly reviewing theburningplatform.com and taking your feedback into consideration, we’re unable to re-enable ad serving to your site at this time, as your site appears to still be in violation.
When making changes, please note that the URL mentioned in your policy notification may be just one example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of your website. Appropriate changes must be made across your entire website before ad serving can be enabled on your site again.
If you’d like to have your site reconsidered for participation in the AdSense program, please review our program policies and make any necessary changes to your webpages.
We appreciate your cooperation.
The Google AdSense Team
There must have been some miscommunication within the Google Gestapo, as the ads were re-enabled after one week and my third appeal. A newbie, who didn’t get the memo, must have mistakenly activated my ads. Regular commenters and contributors were confused by what they could and couldn’t post on the site, as was I. The iron fist of the Google Stasi came down once again within a week, with the identical policy violation notice. I made the assumption that since the site was declared in compliance as of January 29, I only had to address anything posted since that date.
I had purged the site of any and all risqué pictures, so I knew that wasn’t a real issue. I thoroughly reviewed every post made since January 29 and archived or edited them to leave no doubt I was meeting Google’s vague guidelines. I continued to have my appeals rejected. I then went back a year and archived hundreds of other posts. By the fourth appeal rejection, I realized I would never meet their standard because it wasn’t really about violating Google content policies. It was my libertarian, anti-government, anti-Wall Street, anti-Mega-Corporation, anti-Surveillance State views that were the real issue. They were attempting to make me “not understand” or write about the creeping corporate fascist paradigm overtaking the country by making my Google salary dependent on “not understanding”.
Once I understood this truth, I was set free to provoke and prod the nameless, faceless Google entity and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt their true purpose. Their appeal form allows 1,000 characters for your response. Along with the actions I had taken, I began to question the integrity of the Google apparatchik “reviewer”, as it was clear the site was not in violation. I had archived over a thousand posts and tens of thousands of comments. I challenged the man behind the Google curtain to provide me with proof the site was still in violation. I must have struck a nerve, as out of the blue I received a new violation notice.
Violent or disturbing content
AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with violent or disturbing content, including sites with gory text or images.
Now this was funny. My site focuses on the financial, political, and social decay of our country. It in no way advocates or promotes violence. It has no graphic images or gory videos. If Google is attempting to suppress videos of revolutions occurring in Venezuela, Ukraine, and Syria from being seen by citizens of the world, their credibility is zero. If Google is attempting to suppress videos of police brutality against citizens or the police state locking down an entire city while violating the Fourth Amendment, they prove themselves to be nothing more than a fascist propaganda tool of the State. This violation notice was laughable, but I decided to call their bluff one last time. I spent three days and archived 14,000 out of the 15,000 posts ever made on my site. All that remained were my main articles, published on dozens of other sites with Google ads active, and original content produced by myself or other approved contributors. There was no violent content, scraped content, or sexual content on my website.
My ninth and final appeal was denied. I then proceeded to write an FU Google post on my website and inform my readers and contributors they were unshackled from the Google Evil Empire of Censorship. I’m in the process of restoring all of the posts I had archived. Some might argue that Google is just exercising their rights under our free market capitalism system. I would argue free market capitalism does not exist today. The unholy alliance of big banks, big corporations, big military and big media has created a state run by the few for the benefit of the few. They use their control of the purse strings to manipulate minds, crush dissent, and censor through bullying and bribery.
Once I mentally liberated myself from their financial control, I was able to see their game. They essentially wanted me to purge the site of every anti-establishment example of free speech and First Amendment rights I had ever written, in order to kneel before the altar of $$$ in the Church of Google. Google would be perfectly fine if I converted my website into a chat-fest where I discussed the details of the upcoming Kim and Kanye wedding, pondered deep issues regarding the benefits of gay marriage, conducted polls on who The Bachelor will choose to be his betrothed this season, mused about what Hollywood stars will wear at the Academy Awards, and debated who will win the fourteenth season of American Idol. The Google money would flow freely as I contributed to the dumbing down and sedation of the masses. I have chosen not be a Judas that sells out my readers and the American public for 30 pieces of fiat to the Google Pharisees and the American corporate fascist surveillance empire.
This was not the first time the Deep State attempted to silence my anarchistic viewpoint. On June 5 Edward Snowden, American hero and patriot, released the first of thousands of documents detailing the traitorous actions of the NSA, Obama, Congress, the Judicial branch, and the corporate media. Snowden revealed the government, in cooperation with Google, Verizon, Facebook and a myriad of other technology/media companies, was collecting metadata and conducting mass surveillance of every American in violation of the Fourth Amendment, a clearly illegal form of search and seizure.
On June 19 I penned an article titled Who Are the Real Traitors? In the article I declared Obama, James Clapper, Dick Cheney, Diane Feinstein, Peter King and a plethora of other politicians, faux journalists, and talking media heads as the real traitors of the American people. The article achieved wide distribution through my usual channels and must have again drawn attention in Mordor on the Potomac. Two days later anyone with McAfee or Norton security were receiving false warnings about a malicious virus on my site. Long time readers in the military informed me the site was now blocked by the Department of Defense as a dangerous website. Other long-time readers informed me their corporations were now blocking access to the site. The site was inundated by denial of service attacks. It slowed to a crawl and was virtually inaccessible. I’m sure it was just a coincidence.
I was forced to switch server companies and hire an anti-hacking company to protect the site, thereby increasing my cost to run the site by a factor of 10. Even though the companies I hired confirmed there were no malicious viruses on the site, Norton continued to scare Internet Explorer users from reading my site for the next eight months. How the $8 billion Symantec (owns Norton) entity could rationalize this false warning on only $80 billion Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, seems suspicious to me. The warning would not appear if you accessed the site with Mozilla Firefox, even if you employed Norton security. Norton makes it virtually impossible to appeal their false danger rating. I’m sure thousands of people were scared away from my website by these unaccountable corporate entities, working on behalf of the all-powerful state. Lofgren’s Deep State or Bernays’ Invisible Government hate the truth. They despise anyone who attempts to open the eyes of the public to their deception, criminality, and propaganda.
Google has become a tool and partner of the Deep State. Enrichment of the state within the state is their sole purpose. Google’s Don’t Be Evil motto, originated when they were a fledgling company in 2000, has become a farce as they have descended into the netherworld as the information police for the ruling despots. They are now a humungous corporation with near monopoly control over the flow of information, searches, emails, and internet advertising. They know more about you and your habits than you do. They attempt to control freedom of speech at the point of a wire transfer. Fall into line or no advertising blood money for you. Not only do they suppress viewpoints through advertising revenue bullying, they manipulate their search engine results to hide the truth from the masses. Google search engines filter, block and bury blog posts that contain content or information it deems incompatible with the message of its corporate fascist co-conspirators. Its oppressive corporate practices on behalf of its evil partners are an abridgment of the freedom of speech, perversion of the truth, and active attempt to mold the minds of the masses.
One of the most intelligent and cleverest contributors to my website, Nick (aka Stucky), summed up the evil entity known as Google in this pointed comment on my website:
There is an Entity out there who knows every search you ever made.
The Entity knows all about your emails, the content and address.
The Entity knows what you buy online and how often.
The Entity is developing software to predict what you will buy next.
The Entity can now even watch you, and know where you are, and what you are doing.
The Entity even knows your habits.
The Entity has enormous resources and stacks of cash.
The Entity shares your information with Lesser Entities … and also The Big Evil Entity that rules us all.
The Entity makes the NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, and their ilk look like Lightweight Chumps.
The Entity hates you. You are just a means to an end.
The Entity is building a Profile all about you.
The Entity will soon know you better than you know yourself.
Welcome to Google, the most evil Entity on the planet.
As a society we have fallen asleep at the wheel. We’ve allowed ourselves to be lulled into complacency, distracted by minutia, mesmerized by technology, turned into consumers by corporations, pacified by financial gurus and Ivy League economists, and fearful of our own shadows. Surveillance, censorship and propaganda are the tools of the oppressive state. Free speech and truthful revelations about the Deep State are a danger in the eyes of our oppressors. Words retain power and can change the hearts and minds of a tyrannized citizenry willing to listen. V’s speech to London in the movie V for Vendetta, with slight modification, captures the essence of how Google fits into the evil matrix we inhabit today.
Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?
Cruelty and injustice…intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told…if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.
I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic you turned to the government and their banking/corporate patrons. They promised you order. They promised you peace. And all they demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.
I choose not to silently and obediently consent to the will of the Deep State. Google will not silence me. We are in the midst of a Fourth Turning and I will try to do my small part in sweeping away the existing social order and trying to replace it with a system that honors and follows the U.S. Constitution. In Part 2 of this expose of evil, I’ll provide further proof of Google’s hypocrisy, censorship, and willing participation in spying on the American people. I’m beginning to understand the major conflict which will drive this Fourth Turning – The People vs The Corporate Fascist State.
WARNING: The National Security Agency is recording and storing this communication as part of its unlawful spying program on all Americans … and people worldwide. The people who created the NSA spying program say this communication – and any responses – can and will be used against the American people at any time in the future should unelected bureaucrats within the government decide to persecute us for political reasons. Private information in digital communications is being shared between Google, Facebook, Verizon and the government. It will be used against you when it suits their purposes.
He snuck into Syria to highlight the dominance of moderates that the US should support. But the world is now interconnected and soon it was known that McCain’s moderates in Syria were in fact radicals and kidnappers. He snuck into Libya to receive an award from the military the same day Sharia law was approved.
But these are small potatoes. Russia has always been the prize for McCain. His International Republican Institute (IRI), a Cold War relic funded by US taxpayers, routinely funded subversive NGOs in Russia to undermine the political system.
From the early days of the protests in Ukraine, McCain was there, in Maidan square, meeting with and encouraging those whose intent was a violent overthrow of a democratically elected government. The ends justifies the means, and McCain supped with a number of unsavory characters to supercharge his plans.
Now that the US-sponsored regime change is complete in Ukraine, McCain has his biggest thrill: unlike the small and weak other countries that his IRI had picked on, Russia has not rolled over.
A nuclear armed Russia facing off with a nuclear armed US would lead most normal people to search for alternatives to possible total annihilation. Not McCain. He wants a military option.
Asked by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell about options for a US attack on Russia, McCain said, “I’d love to tell you that there is Andrea, but frankly I do not see it. I wish that there were. … I do not see a military option and it’s tragic.”
These are America’s leaders in perhaps the most dangerous period in a half century. Do you feel safe?
Guest Post by Bill Bonner
Wow! Peace for our time, the media reported yesterday.
The stock market celebrated with a 227 point jump in the Dow. Gold slouched away.
We would have thought that every possible stock buyer had already placed his order. Where did the money come from to push the indexes even higher yesterday?
It was borrowed. That’s another record that has been broken lately: margin debt. Never before has so much money been borrowed specifically to buy equities.
As a ratio of GDP, margin debt only saw these heights twice before in recent history: in 2000 and in 2007. In dollar terms, total margin debt stood at $481 billion at the end of January – 20% higher than it was at the peak of 2007… and nearly 3% of GDP.
But be warned: Hearts and records break from time to time, but never without some pain. The crying begins immediately after a broken heart. After a record high S&P 500, on the other hand, it can take some time.
700 Times Earnings!
So many records are breaking in the tech sector it sounds as though a beer truck smashed into a recording studio. Facebook set the pace. First, with its own public offering; and then, with its purchase of mobile text messaging outfit WhatsApp.
Who would have thought that a free app – used by young people to send insipid messages to one another – could fetch $19 billion?
Now, anything seems possible. Maybe trees really do grow to the sky. Maybe there are silver linings without clouds. Maybe biotech stocks, recently priced at 700 times earnings and up 16% so far this year, are still bargains.
And maybe… just maybe… Janet Yellen knows what the hell she’s doing.
Speaking of earnings, they too are in record territory. Recent earnings reports for S&P 500 companies showed profits at their highest level since 1946 – 30% above the postwar average.
Earnings went up about 10% over the last 12 months, while sales went up hardly at all. This, too, must be a record of sorts; for the first time ever US businesses seem to be able to produce immaculate earnings, unsullied by actual sales growth.
Reported on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times (the two journals of record for the late, degenerate capitalism of the 21st century) is another record…
From the Wall Street Journal: “Blowout Haul for Buyout Tycoons”
The nine founders of the four listed US private equity groups took more than $2.5 billion between them last year, both papers reported… with Apollo Global Management’s Leon Black alone receiving $546 million.
This surely must be a record. More than half a billion in compensation for a single year. And what a business model! Sharp private equity firms buy lame companies, borrow beaucoup money in their names, and then resell the debt-saturated companies to naïve investors!
Oh… did we forget something?
Oh, yes… Ben Bernanke and another world record! Without record intervention – including more than $3 trillion in liquidity from the Fed’s inexhaustible well – poor Mr. Black might have found few takers for his stray cats and dogs.
Meanwhile, consumer price inflation has set a record of its own. Not by going up, mind you, but by going nowhere. Bloomberg reported last month:
The personal consumption expenditures price index, minus food and energy, rose 1.2% in 2013, matching 2009 as the smallest gain since 1955.
Consumers, without the pressure of a rising CPI behind them, have shown little ability to join the party. Instead, they shiver in their rooms and wonder how to pay the electric bill.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, they spend more on what they need than on what they want. Spending on health care and fuel rose in January, as consumers “cut back on discretionary products.”
That makes us think that something else is broken – not a record, but the economy. And with so many things broken, we can’t help but wonder when the whole shebang falls apart.
Guest Post by Fred Reed
March 6, 2014
”Race realists,” as they call themselves, very much want to think that Latin Americans are inherently stupid. The idea appeals to me. As a curmudgeon, I like to believe in the corruption, venality, concupiscence, and stupidity of our sorry race. Certainly it is the way to bet. Further, I admit, indeed espouse, the biological possibility that one genetic strain may be brighter than another.
While I want to regard all of humanity as inferior, with regard to particular groups vile ripples of unwanted evidence occasionally raise their ugly heads (if ripples have heads). Consider Latinos..After living for eleven years in Mexico, I cannot see that Mexicans are any stupider than anyone else. (This, of course, leaves ample leeway for being stupid.) The assertion among fans of IQ is that because of their admixture of Indian blood, Mexicans, and for that matter all mestizos of Latin America, are stupid. I don’t see it.
But personal observation carries no water with race realists. Fair enough. Let us consider brown people in Peru, a small, heavily mestizo Andean nation of some thirty million. Let us also consider the International Math Olympiad, an annual contest of high-end mathematical talent around the planet. In 2012, Peru finished 16th. Results from the Olympiad vary considerably by year, in 2013 Peru finishing 26, Australia 15 and 27 in those two years (and Mexico 17th in 2013). Yet it is hard for me to see how an inherently stupid people could make it to16th. This is especially puzzling because Peru does not have the highly-developed mechanisms for discovering talent that America has.
I consequently suggest that race realists, at least with respect to South America, have become more racial than realistic, and may suffer from a rectocranial inversion. I hope that Fred on Evrything can serve them as salutary forceps.
To believe a group stupid because of the evidence is one thing; to believe it in spite of the evidence is another. Which I think they are doing. In support of this blasphemy I adduce, first, the Peruvian kid Raul Arturo Chávez Sarmiento, who became the second youngest participant to win a medal in the Olympiad and went on to win both silver and gold medals.
Now, the usual explanation in IQist circles for Latino successes is that only the white ruling classes accomplish anything. Well and good, if it works. The truth is the truth. However:
His two siblings are a physicist and mathematician, so there hasn’t been much regression to the mean in his family.
One data point does not a distribution make. At the end of this column are links to bios of the Peruvian math team. Click on a few and see whether you can find a white kid.
Also interesting is Jorge Ciri. Says the Wikipedia, “Jorge Cori (born July 30, 1995 in Peru) is a Peruvian chess prodigy. He is ranked No. 1 among Under-18 player in the Americas, No. 3 in Peru and No. 8 among all Under-18 players in the world.”
Jorge Ciri. If he is white, I’m Jean Harlow. (There is little evidence that I am Jean Harlow.)
Then there is Jorge’s sister, DeysiCori, women’s grandmaster. Wikipedia: “Cori is ranked 42nd in the world among women players and 3rd on the junior girls list.She is currently the only player in the junior girls Top 20 who resides in the Western Hemisphere.”
Deysi Cori. Norwegian, I guess. No trace of Indian blood. You teach her chess. I don’t do human-sacrifice. Not if I am the human, anyway.
Now, the existence of exceedingly smart Peruvian kids proves nothing conclusively. A Gaussian distribution being asymptotic, there is a calculable chance that a population with a mean IQ of 20 will produce, well, Gauss. It is a very small likelihood. Yet the Math Olympiad is not for the intellectually emaciated. Further, you do not get a high world ranking in chess by being merely very smart, or very, very smart. The probability that a small country still developing, of low average intelligence, much of its population in small villages in the mountains, would by freak mathematical accident produce these kids—anyone but a race realist stop and think.
If I am wrong, show me. As a curmudgeon, I believe that everybody is wrong about everything, including me. This produces a certain logical opacity, which encourages alertness.
So why do we have this Andean flowering now, and not earlier?
We can guess. As a correspondent of mine says, “This surge of young talent has all appeared within the last decade or so, which has coincided with economic growth and the appearance of a mestizo middle class.”
Here we have the old question of whether IQ produces prosperity, or prosperity produces IQ. (Or, perhaps, unleashes it).The IQist bible is IQ and the Wealth of Nations by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhane. The book purports to show that a nation’s economic rank depends of the mean IQ of its population. The test scores the book uses tend to be a gobbledygook amalgam of different tests offered to different test groups at different times and would make a statistician’s hair curl. Still, if you accept these numbers as vaguely approximating reality, there is indeed a correlation between IQ and prosperity.
A problem is that prosperity can change almost overnight, at least with some populations, which leaves you, to the extent the IQ is genetic, with one IQ correlating with two very different prosperities. Oops.
Consider Taiwan in 1970 and now, China in 1850 when the British thought its people hopelessly inferior, and, er, now. Or Korea in 1950 and now, or Koreas north and south, same genetics but wildly different prosperities.
As for Peru, I have walked the streets of Lima extensively—it is a modern and functional city—without having the slightest feeling of moving among dolts.
Now: If a genetic group has never produced evidence of intellectual capacity, one might reasonably suspect that it doesn’t have any. You might be wrong, but you might be right. Once the said group has produced too much talent at too high a frequency to be attributed to long-shot, fourth-standard-deviation chance, genetic explanations for former lack of national prosperity cease to work.
I am not sure that we are not about to be surprised by a lot of Latin America. I note that the third (or fourth, depending on where you put Bombardier) manufacturer of aircraft in the world is Embraer, of Brazil. When I fly United from Mexico to the States, it is aboard an Embraer 145. The IQist explanation is that Embraer’s engineers are all of the white elite, or, so help me that “only the smartest Brazilians work for Embraer.” This latter suggests that Airbus and Boeing use ordinary citizens, perhaps recruited from a bus station.
Ridiculous Latin-American craft, of clay and wattles made, probably in the rainforest, doubtless with an abacus. Note logo on tail.
Are Embraer’s engineers white? Maybe. I don’t have mug shots. Nor do I know just how the rapid economic progress in Brazil is affecting the make-up of the professions. Yet I wonder whether there is not such a thing as getting too comfortable. Those airliners are not toys. US airlines buy them.
Maybe race realists need to be more realistic about race. How many exceptions make a norm? It takes very few Deysi Cori’s to wreck a perfectly good theory.
Guest Post by Hugo Salinas Price
The digital “Bitcoin” has bit the dust at Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange; over $400 million US has evaporated, or perhaps moved into someone’s pocket. The news is all over the Internet these days.
“Digital money” is accepted world-wide. There exists only a remnant of fiat paper money which is increasingly and deliberately made more difficult to use and transport physically. The reason being, that digital transactions leave a trail of information which governments use to control the behavior of their subjects (we can hardly call them “citizens” any longer) whereas citizens using paper money in their dealings leave no trail.
A bank in Mexico, of which I have personal knowledge, receives millions in dollar bills every week in thousands of individual money-exchange transactions. This presents a problem for the bank. Why? Because not one bank in the US will accept these dollar bills (mostly twenties) for credit to the Mexican bank’s account.
Apparently, it would be necessary to present a lifetime resumé of each of the individuals exchanging their dollar bills for pesos, in order to prove that there is no money-laundering going on. Impossible to do, what with the tens of thousands of transactions.
Only the long-established Mexican banks can remit their dollar bills for credit to the US, and then, only to Bank of America. The bank of which I speak is relatively new – though it has well over 12 million individual account holders – and Bank of America will not receive dollar bills from it. Other Mexican banks of recent creation are in the same fix.
All countries are engaged in hampering the use of paper money. Mexico is engaged in this process; otherwise, the Mexican monetary authority – the Bank of Mexico – would have intervened to assist the Mexican bank of which I speak, to remit its dollar bills to the US for credit to its account.
But, to return to the Bitcoin:
Bitcoin has received a great deal of media attention both in the US and around the world. This is quite suspicious, in my view. Of course, there is no way to prove that the Bitcoin has support in the higher circles of politics.
An interesting point about the Bitcoin is that it is so important for it to have a price in dollars; it has had various prices, all totally speculative.
I should like to point out that when real money – gold – was in use in the world, it had no price. All national currencies were only certain various amounts of gold, with various national names.
The Bitcoin as a “digital currency” is an example of the enormous confusion which reigns in the world, regarding what money is and must be.
Money – authentic money – must be the most marketable of all commodities. This is why gold is money! See here. Silver follows in second place.
The Bitcoin cannot be money because it is digital. Since it is merely a digit, which is as close to nothing as one can get, it cannot settle any debt.
The fact is that the world today is not in the least concerned with settlement. Enormous amounts of digital Bonds which promise to deliver digits, but with an interest rate attached, have accumulated as reserves in Central Banks of exporting countries. The Bonds, which are evidences of debt, are proof that payment – that is to say settlement of trade imbalances – has not taken place.
Settlement of international trade imbalances requires that something be delivered in payment, and that something can only be gold. (Silver has lesser value, but might conceivably be fit into settlement of world trade.)
Suppose that China should come into open conflict with its neighbor, Japan. Japan is an ally of the US. In such a conflict, the US might decide to freeze all Chinese dollar reserve “assets” for the duration.
With a few computer clicks in New York, China would find itself deprived of the use of some $1.3 Trillion dollars of its reserves, which are invested in digital Dollar Bonds.
This is a simple explanation of why the Chinese – among the most intelligent people on the planet – are buying gold hand over fist. Gold in the Chinese Treasury cannot be “frozen” in New York.
On March 4 we read that an advisor to Putin has recommended that Russia dump US Bonds in case of US sanctions against Russia, related to the Ukrainian affair. However, if Russia should attempt to dump US Bonds, it would discover that they had already been “frozen” in New York.
The Bitcoin must have a price, but cannot find it and will not be able to find it, for the following reason:
All digital currencies in use today have derived values. The fiat digital Dollar, for instance, has a value that derives, historically, from the time when the Dollar was 1/20.67th of an ounce of gold, and later 1/35th of an ounce of gold, and from that time to the present, a series of falling values which have each derived from a prior value by a series of devaluations.
The Bitcoin has no history, which is the essential element which makes all digital currencies acceptable, utterly false though they are.
The Bitcoin is simply a childish distraction for a childlike world population incapable of discerning falsity, much to the satisfaction of all the crooks, big and small, who prosper by scamming the public.
I remit to Von Mises, who stated that no fiat currency has ever been successfully introduced into circulation without a monetary value ultimately derived from when that currency was gold or silver money. Bitcoin does not fill the bill; it cannot circulate along with the established fiat currencies of the world because it has no history, no ancestry reaching back to its parent, gold or silver.
Looks like a two man race based on this poll – Rand Paul & Ted Cruz
Off the keyboard and camera of RE
Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 9, 2014
Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner
A couple of weeks ago I had reason to rev up the SUV for the 4 hour or so drive down to the Kenai Peninsula here on the Last Great Frontier and burn a whole lot of ever more scarce Fossil Fuels as part of my Job. Nothing compared to some friends of mine who took a 26 minute flight in the Company Jet from Palmer Airport to Soldotna Airport for the same reason though. LOL. I intended on writing this article directly after that, but alas Vlad the Impaler took his own Fossil Fuel driven excursion into Crimea, burning Orders of Magintude more Fossil Fuel than me and my friends together here, so that took Priority here in my last Sunday Brunch article.
Profligate waste of Fossil Fuel energy notwithstanding, particularly on the drive back the weather was very pleasant and I was under no time pressure, so I made lots of stops to make Road Pics on the way back. “Normally” at this time of year a drive down to Kenai from the Mat Valley would be a fairly Nerve Wracking Adventure, since you travel through a very Mountainous area and the roads would be all snow and ice covered, with no EZ access to assistance either if you get in trouble since many portions of the road don’t feature Cell Phone coverage either. Not this year though, with the “unseasonably warm” temps we have had up here in Alaska over the Winter. The highway was completely free of Ice or Snow, and the drive in both directions was quite free and easy to negotiate.
It was so EZ in fact, that my driving was basically on Autopilot, as an experienced Over the Road Trucker with near a Million Miles under my belt Accident Free (well over that if you include all my 4-wheeler driving and 2-wheeler driving over the years) I could drive without really thinking about it and my mind was free to wander on other topics. What occurred to me as I drove was how clearly the Alaska Road system demonstrates how the Automotive culture expanded, and why it finally hit its Limits to Growth now.
The Pathway from the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley down to the Kenai Peninsula is around 200 Miles or so, and passes through the main population center of Alaska (such as it is), Anchorage. Anchorage is the main population center for exactly the reason it is named that, it is the best Harbor and landing spot for boats coming into and out of Alaska in Prince William Sound. There are some other decent ports as well, for instance Valdez, the terminus of the Alaska Pipeline. However, Anchorage has more available FLAT LAND upon which to build things, and so developed first as the main Entry/Exit port in Alaska for People and Resources and Manufactured Goods from the Age of Industrialization.
As with the rest of the Industrialized world, as the system expanded to extract ever more resources from the Earth from ever more places, first Railroads were built and then Roadways. Alaska has ONE such Main thoroughfare which started with the Alaska Railway during the Gold Rush era here in the late 1800s. The main Rail line goes from Anchorage up to Fairbanks, and it is along this rail line that the Coal still gets transported out of Alaska to be burned in Chinese Electric Plants, while the same Rail Line also brings Chinese Toys to Alaskans in Fairbanks. It also brings tourists to Denali National Park, a few of whom actually climb Denali (Mt. Mckinley) which is the Highest Point in North America topping out at just over 20,000 feet and getting quite close to the Death Zone. Not up there with Everest and K2 at 29,000 feet, but it is a Mountain where Aspiring Climbers cut their teeth on before trying those Death Traps. The Death Zone comes at more or less 23,000 feet, where even for well conditioned High Altitude residents and experienced Climbers, there simply is not enough Oxygen around for a Homo Sapiens to survive for any great length of time. The Biosphere such as it is for Homo Sapiens is a VERY thin layer around the Globe which in the best of times goes from Sea Level to this Altitude, 3-4 miles of worthwhile Biosphere for us here.
Anyhow, you can get withing Base Camp distance of Denali via the Alaska Railroad, you don’t need to hire Sherpas here to haul in your Tents and Bottled Oxygen to make the Adventure here, so it is a good deal cheaper overall to practice your Death Defying Climbing skills here. Not only can you get there via the Alaska Railroad these days though, but you ALSO can get there via your own SUV, driving along the Highway that follows precisely the same pathway as the Alaska Railroad. Along with the Al-Can (Alaska-Canada Highway), these are the two Main Roads that make Alaska accessible in the Age of Oil.
The Al-Can is an amazing tribute to modern Engineering, it crosses the Yukon Territory which is basically ALL Mountains, and didn;t even all get paved until around 1996. Long portions are still only 2 Lanes, and Fuel Stops are few and far between. Forget to Fill Up at one of these stops, unless you got a REALLY big tank you will be waiting around quite some time for an emergency fillup from Road Service.
The trip down to Kenai isn’t quite so outrageous, but nearly so. What struck me as I drove the route was first how few Crossroads there were along the way, and second how little Traffic there was in either direction along the route. I could pull off the road at any time during this drive, and have to wait 5-10 minutes before a single car passed me in either direction. All this asphalt laid down at great expense to begin with, and then with continuing expense each year to maintain all for a Traffic Flow of maybe a few hundred cars in either direction on any given day, often less that in real bad weather.
Going back to the days BEFORE the Industrial paradigm hit this portion of the world, there were individual Settlements of Homo Sapiens that lived in places like Anchorage and Soldotna, and down the Coast as well to places like Juneau and Ketchikan. How did these communities trade with each other, intermarry and so forth? All by WATER, via Kayak and it sure was not a Daily thing either. To make such communities viable as a part of the Age of Oil though, they had to be connected up by the roadways, whether they could pay for themselves or not.
And so a Railway & Road got cut from Anchorage to Kenai City, along with the Railway & Road to connect Anchorage to Palmer/Wasilla and another to connect that to Fairbanks. Finally, a Road got Cut from the main Continent of North America into Alaska through the Mountains, the Al-Can. That is as far as it went though, that is where it STOPPED.
You still cannot get from Anchorage to Juneau or Ketchikan via Road, and you never will. The whole terrain si simply not conducive to road building, neither is much of it conducive to Homo Sapiens settlements of anything but the smallest kind, just not enough Flat Land upon which to live. Building expensive roadways between such small settlements is pointless, not much traffic moves along them each day. In order to extract some of the resource base of Alaska these Railroads & Roads were built, but they never paid for themselves, they have to be subsidized by DEBT.
Alaska is a vast Territory, more than twice the size of Texas, but there is less roadway here than in Dallas-Fort Worth alone. That is nice flat land where roads are easily built. You wanna access most places in Alaska, the only way is by Float Plane if you wanna get there quick, Dog Sled to get there the slow and traditional way. Even that is getting less possible with Climate Change. The Origin of the Legendary Iditarod, the “Last Great Race on Earth” comes from an effort to bring Medical Supplies to Nome during a Diptheria Epidemic amongst mostly Natives who had no Immunity in 1925, the “Great Race of Mercy“. From Wiki:
The most famous event in the history of Alaskan mushing is the 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the “Great Race of Mercy.” A diphtheria epidemic threatened Nome, especially the Alaska Native children who had no immunity to the “white man’s disease”, and the nearest quantity of antitoxin was found to be in Anchorage. Since the two available planes were both dismantled and had never been flown in the winter, Governor Scott Bone approved a safer route. The 20-pound (9.1 kg) cylinder of serum was sent by train 298 miles (480 km) from the southern port of Seward to Nenana, where it was passed just before midnight on January 27 to the first of twenty mushers and more than 100 dogs who relayed the package 674 miles (1,085 km) from Nenana to Nome. The dogs ran in relays, with no dog running over 100 miles (160 km).
The Norwegian Gunnar Kaasen and his lead dog Balto arrived on Front Street in Nome on February 2 at 5:30 a.m., just five and a half days later. The two became media celebrities, and a statue of Balto was erected in Central Park in New York City in 1925, where it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions. However, most mushers consider Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog Togo to be the true heroes of the run. Together they covered the most hazardous stretch of the route, and carried the serum 91 miles, the single farthest of any team.
Who BROUGHT the Diptheria to the Natives to begin with here, eh? Water under the bridge though of course, and it was a Heroic effort by many to get that serum up to Nome.
What happenned THIS YEAR to the Iditarod? Because of the thaws we had in January and February, there was not enough Snow cover in Willow where the race begins, so what did they do? They SHIPPED IN SNOW to make a track for the race to begin out of Willow. How many truckloads of snow they had to move here and for how long a stretch I do not know, but if this is not the stupidest and most pointless waste of Fossil Fuels imaginable, I do not know what is. CFS says simply start the race North of Willow where there is still some snow! Except of course this is not financially good for Willow or the race itself to start in some even further backwater town where few people live and few will go cheer the mushers for the TV Cameras.
Take a look at these pics from the Iditarod and tell me what is WRONG with these pictures?
It’s hard enough to get a Dog Team to pull a sled 1000 miles on top of snow, but dragging a sled over DIRT is a whole lot HARDER!
The lack of snow cover doesn’t mean we will ever see a whole lot more Roads up here though.The damn terrain here is so rough in terms of Mountains that pretty much no other spurs were built off the origianal Railroad Line, and very few roads got built off the main conduits of the Glenn Highway or the Al-Can. In fact, Alaska doesn’t even have an Interstate Highway funded by the Eisenhower system, Alaska 1 is a STATE highway.
Anyhow, whether you travel North from where I live up to Fairbanks, or South down to the Kenai Peninsula, you travel along a Highway that is basically linear, with any “development” or population centers such as they are sprinkled sparingly off of this road. The whole rest of the territory is BUSH, accessible for the most part only by Float Plane or by Snow Machine, 4 Wheeler, Horseback, Dog Sled or Hoofing it. In all the last 4 cases, the sheer size of the territory means most of these locations never see any people at all.
To get back to the original point of this article, because the road system is so small, it is easy to see why it is not economic to run it. The road traffic between Anchorage and Soldotna is so light you just don’t really need all those miles of Tarmac, and the huge maintenance costs they incur. All the freight between these places could easily be moved by barge, you don’t even really need the Railroad. Fairbanks does need a Railroad to access it, but the roadway that follows that right of way also is a huge money sink. Its only real utility is for Touristas to visit Denali National Park. The Oil Industry people don’t use it, they all Fly back and forth from Anchorage to Fairbanks and to the Slope. The product all gets moved either through the Pipeline or in the case of Coal by freight train. The number of cars rolling each day from Anchorage to Fairbanks is miniscule, and all there is between those two places are a bunch of tiny towns which are only economic as Tourist Traps.
The only reason the road system such as it is can be afforded at all is because it gets subsidized from the resource extraction bizness up here. Costs a fortune to maintain it but without it even FEWER people would live up here.
When the Energy Extraction bizness finally closes down up here, these roads will quickly fracture up and be unsuitable for Driving at Any Speed. They still will provide decent pathways for walkers and foks on Horseback for a while though. During this period, it may be possible to Colonize some of the places off these roads that in a New Climate scenario could be quite lovely places to live and do some Permaculture.
We’re going to have to restructure Social Security and Medicare. And, frankly, Social Security will be a lot easier than Medicare. If there’s one thing that could bankrupt America, it’s health care. And it’s out of control. — David Walker