Oil’s last stand

no_dapl-holding_the_line-courtesy_honor_the_earth

Courtesy Little Redfeather Design/Honor the Earth
The Camp of the Sacred Stones has swelled from a few dozen to more than 2,500, according to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials. They are calling for further review of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the end of July without a full environmental assessment.
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/08/17/dakota-access-pipeline-standing-rock-sioux-chairman-archambault-calls-obama-aid-165497

 

Oil is dying, peaked, over the hill. Whether this pipeline goes through or not, it’s over. Every year we get better at converting sunlight into forms of energy we can use. Students at Iowa State University and University of Minnesota are driving 4-seat solar powered cars. Because of technology, more people can move to the city, and do without a car.

But for those of us on the rez, or on the farm, we need transport. Before Standard oil showed up, we made fuel on farms. Before the powerlines, we had wind turbines.

This has, so far, been nice feel good political rallying.

This is also about big business that wants oil dead. And it’s time to play the big-money dirty tricks game, and bring down this oil house of cards. BNSF makes more money hauling freight if oil prices go up. Midamerican Energy makes more money selling wind power to Tesla electric cars. Green Plains energy makes more money turning corn into fuel, and we have a lot of corn. Find out who will profit by standing with Standing Rock, and send them money.

Mayor Troy makes more money with farmland and wind turbines than with petroleum.

This is Oil’s last stand. If the pipeline somehow survives Standing Rock, they still have to get through a few trillion dollars of farmland in Iowa that export a billion dollars of corn every year.

If you have investments in petroleum, now would be a good time to get out, before we burn your money, and leave the oil in the ground.

The Farmer-Labor party

The more I learn about Minnesota history, and it’s Norwegian and Scandanavian roots, the more I like it. We don’t have the D-word party here, we have the DFL, which, in my mind, comes from the historical context that some Nordic folks put the 1% back in their place

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I want the Farmer-Labor party back. Except maybe it needs to be the FLTU for farmer-labor-technologically-unemployed party. The technology we’ve deployed on farms makes us that still do it a different kind of 1%. What you need to live comfortably in a city is produced by the labor and direct capital homesteading that we owner-operators invest in the ability for one guy with an opinion, a blog, and 200 acres of soybeans to grow half a million pounds of soybeans that could meet all the protein requirements for 8,000 of my neighbors. Or if I could turn that all into soy milk it would likely provide enough supply for most of South Minneapolis.

The same process of technology replacing human labor is happening in other industries, and with the rather interesting things going on in financial cryptography, we might start technologically unemploying some former bank employees. I’m not naive enough to think that crypto will actually put a dent in the 1% team bankster’s net worth, since they already own it all. But maybe we can at least let the New York Bankees know the old team that owns the fields wants their politics back.

Is it the FLU (farmer labor unemployed?), or FL (farmer-labor, but how’s that work if there’s no labor anymore, and unions screwed themselves by kicking off the folks who couldn’t pay the dues), or are we just down to the Farmers and the Unemployed? I’ll leave you to the acronym for that. Maybe I’ll put that on the ballot next time around.

History & politics of fear

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I haven’t said much here recently. But what exactly do you say when you wake up in a bizzaro world where the choices are two more terms for a family that already spent 8 years there, and a man-child egomaniac who blew the family fortune on building overpriced casinos? Okay, maybe there’s something to the history lessons. Maybe we are going to nearly repeat the destructive tendencies that led two world wars. Maybe it’s really that bad.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. What I do know is that whatever stupid shit the rest of the world does, we don’t have to fall for it. We have, for the first time in the history of the world, the power to create money and give it to people instead of letting a bunch of corrupt hereditary charltans ‘manage’ our money supply. We have fascinating financial dirty tricks like Bitcoin in which the market apparently decided to make the bitcoin I loaned my first campaign and started this blog worth 5 or 6 times what it was when I bought this blog for one coin.

Unlike Tobias (who I’m linking twice, for good measure. Read his stuff), I don’t think we need to harness and channel fear. Leave the fearmongering to the markets. Channel your hopes and dreams and analytical mindset. Look at where your money is coming from, and where it’s going. Fear gets people to do stupid things with their money. Be smarter. Get up and take it. Trump and the Clintonocrats all try to harness fear, and make us all so damned afraid to get out of bed unless we send them some payola.

Fear is the mind-killer. Get your mind in gear and take their money. And if you really want to strike fear into the hearts of the fearmongers, burn it.

 

 

 

Capital return on politics

I’ve been thinking about capital and currency off and on for a while. Most recently I ran across this thoughtful commentary¬†on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century. Unfortunately, however, I can tell from the article that while billionaires like to buy politicians, reporters, and academics, it seems that Labor (or maybe I should say organized labor) likes to buy ink as well.

This is unfortunate, because, as the article points out, if Piketty is wrong, we really need to know why. We do a great disservice both to workers AND to billionaires by repeating the trope that politics is something we can control. We do not control it, it controls us.

What we control, is what we spend our time on, and how we account for it. Do you track hours in hourdollars, or does the search book of face track and monetize you as the commodity? Do you trade in the really really free market, or trade your time for the almighty dollar?

I once said if I’m going to survive as a farmer I’d have to buy a politician. This is the route many billionaires have chosen. But politics is expensive, and the only way I can afford that is to become a politician and do some campaign fundraising. Sounds to me like it’s the Capital controlling the politics, and the politics control us.

Or maybe there’s another way. Vote with your choice of currency. Grant yourself a new economy with Grantcoin. Demand to pay your urban property taxes with local vegetables grown in garden spots not parking spots.

Open (source) video records

We are the metro region that is home to many world-renowned technology companies, including Seagate, Micron, and Cray, the Supercomputer company.

So instead of having our police department looking like something out of 1984 when it comes to open video records, how about we do something like Seattle and hire some of the people that make public records requests.

You might even find out that there are a few amateur politicians who raised the issue in the last mayoral election. In fact, you might even find someone who’s built a few supercomputers. Let’s engage our technology industry and hacker community to enable public review and accountability for video footage recorded on behalf of the public good. This is a growth industry for the world, and we can follow Seattle, or lead the world, and create a lot of good high paying jobs in the process.

Derailments and fires, oh my

So let’s compare some things. First, an ethanol train derails, catches fire.

Ethanol spill (oh, and fire)

Next, less than a month and 50 miles away, we have a Bakken Bomb

Oil ‘boom’ train

Which of these would you rather have in your gas tank?

Here’s the other problem. The guys shipping the oil know it’s not going to last, so there is little interest in long-term sustainability, it’s just a matter of get it out of the ground as fast as you can before Tesla, carbon taxes, and on-farm ethanol production make their business irrelevant. Actually doing something to remove the volatile components from the oil just costs money, and when you know your shell company isn’t going to exist in 5 or 10 years, why bother?

It’s a matter of pick your poison and if I have to pick a poison, I’d at least like to pick on that might taste good to drink from a mason jar.

— edit —

To be fair to oil, ethanol derailments can also be quite bad. http://uiuc.libguides.com/content.php?pid=438558&sid=3811055 Anything storing sufficient energy to provide the transportation we use can be quite deadly if released all at once.