While we were being distracted...............

While we were being distracted...............
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With all of the distractions going on with the new administration, a few other little known "efforts" are happening in the background.

The first one is an effort to overthrow the Internet Privacy Rules that were put in-place during the Obama Administration which require broadband service providers to obtain permission from consumers before using certain personal information for marketing purposes. Because the ISP's would now be able to intercept data directly from their customers internet outgoing and incoming data packets without customer consent, this would create a HUGE privacy issue compared to what we presently deal with concerning internet sites and phone apps.

It also opens the gate for custom TV advertising "bubbles" based on a customers demographics, such as age, race, income, interests, and political beliefs.



The second effort is to eliminate the 40 year old CAFE (Corporate Fuel Economy) standards that will end up costing consumers more in fuel costs, increasing pollution, and (of course) increasing profits for Big Oil.



It's a good idea to glance into the rear view mirror once in a while to see what is happening behind our backs!




Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 24, 2017 - 1:31am
I don't have a link for it right now but they are also talking about going after Net Neutrality which could cost consumers big time if this very popular measure is overturned. 
Ari Silverstein Added Feb 24, 2017 - 8:54am
You mean while you were distracting yourself with protesting the Trump administration is trying to run the government.  Your analysis of both issues you highlighted is wrong. 
The first isn’t an effort to focus on internet privacy, it’s an effort to rid society of unnecessary and onerous regulations.  Perhaps some internet privacy law should be passed, but it’s a totally misleading headline to make it sound Net Neutrality regulations are only about privacy. 
The second makes no logical sense.  No regulation saves money, they all imply some level of cost.  The automotive industry doesn’t need to be forced to make fuel efficient cars, there is plenty of demand from consumers without more unnecessary and onerous rules and regulations. 
Bill H. Added Feb 24, 2017 - 10:53am
First-Internet Privacy and Net Neutrality are two different regulations.
I guess it is how one views the benefits of certain regulations. In the case of Internet Privacy, the only effort behind eliminating it is the corporations who use your private data to their financial and operational advantage. Also involved are companies that mine your personal data and create massive databases on virtually everything about you and your family. This even goes as far as diet and lifestyle information that is shared with insurance companies, along with mobile GPS info that not only shows your travels, but also your driving habits, which is also shared with insurance companies.
I personally see no "benefits" for me in this practice.
CAFE standards are virtually the ONLY incentive that forced US automakers to apply efforts to increase gas mileage on their vehicles. There has constantly been efforts by the oil companies to keep sales up by keeping fuel consumption levels high. As fuel prices began to rise during the early '70s, many consumers were demanding vehicles that would get better gas mileage. The US auto industry tried to ignore this (along with pressure from the oil companies, but as sales began to drop due to foreign competition, they attempted to answer the call by producing such vehicles as the lowly Ford Pinto and Chevy Vega. Both of these were feeble (at best) attempts to answer foreign competition.
The benefits of the CAFE standards are obvious. Reduced consumer fuel costs, reduced pollution, reduced need for oil drilling, and the ability to produce vehicles that most buyers here in the US and worldwide will demand. Why should we let Big Oil dictate what we purchase?
I see no benefit here for me if this regulation goes away.
What exactly are the benefits, Ari?
Bill H. Added Feb 24, 2017 - 10:56am
Jenifer - Yes, Net Neutrality is another issue that is important. Without it, ISP's will be able to control what you have access to on the Internet.
Now that AT&T just announced an interest in purchasing Charter (who owns Time Warner/Spectrum), this could become a real clincher.  
Mike Haluska Added Feb 24, 2017 - 11:39am
Bill H - if there is one thing I have learned it's to NEVER assume that the legislation inside the bill is REMOTELY related to the title of the bill.  How many "free trade" bills have been passed that are tens of thousands of pages long?  If "free trade" means no tariffs or barriers, why the need for tens of thousands of pages???
How about the "Affordable Care Act"?  Virtually every promise made before the bill was passed has been broken, and the only people who haven't seen their premium costs skyrocket are those who are being subsidized! 
I keep telling you and you don't get it.  The Congressmen and Senators do NOT write the legislation - the group it is supposed to control does through financial bribery and lobbyists.  What the hell do you think Nancy Pelosi knows about the health care industry?  You can't even get Congressmen and Senators to READ the legislation - much less write it!  Remember Nancy Pelosi's response to the question "We need to pass the ACA to find out what's inside it"???  You worked for a big firm - if you walked into the CEO's office with a big report and said he needs to approve this without reading it first and also authorize $3 billion to be spent - what would happen to your career???
Mike Haluska Added Feb 24, 2017 - 11:47am
Maybe we should get a real expert to look at the Internet legislation?  How about the guy who claims he invented it?  You know, the guy who forecast in 2008 that unless we "did something" about CO2 emissions he Polar Ice Caps would melt by 2013.  Any posters remember the guy's name???
Bill H. Added Feb 24, 2017 - 11:52am
Mike, also remember that cost controls that were originally planned to be part of the ACA were vehemently opposed by the medical service industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the insurance industry, and eventually eliminated to allow passage.
Mike Haluska Added Feb 24, 2017 - 2:49pm
Bill H - we covered this.  "Cost Controls" are a phantom that no country practicing free market capitalism has ever managed.  Most recently Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon tried and failed abysmally.  How can anyone promise that the cost of his product won't increase when the costs to make his product can (and do) go up? 
It's one thing for a Purchasing Agent to negotiate a contract with Staples for a one year price guarantee on copier paper.  It's another thing entirely to try and control costs in millions of products using billions of combinatorial supply chains across dozens of countries.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 24, 2017 - 3:03pm
Someone wrote "your analysis of both issues you highlighted is wrong" 
Which is hilariously impossible to take serious because the same individual also actually wrote this " it’s a totally misleading headline to make it sound Net Neutrality regulations are only about privacy." 
Because Internet privacy and Net Neutrality are apparently the same things to this person,because, Internet? Much like health insurance and a health club plan must by the same "logic"  (or lack thereof) be the same thing, because, health? Ridiculous. But it at least confirms my belief that some people only interact to be divisive, and only skim articles and comments before replying. 
Larry Kauf Added Feb 24, 2017 - 7:12pm
Hey Mike, While the date of 2013 may have been bit off, it appears that a hunk of ice the size of Delaware,  is about to break off the Antarctic and float,  till it melts away.  Once it splits, the crack will produce an iceberg around 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles) !  http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2017/02/S_daily_extent_hires-350x417.png
Click the link above.  That white stuff is all the ice that's left.  Where do you suppose the rest went?  Ya see the date and ya see the picture I suppose ya don't believe them lying Scientists from the National Snow and Data Center.
As for Al Gores claim, you may want to actually READ what the context of his comments were,  instead of reading Tweets or watching Fox News.   What he did say was that " During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system. "
In context, Gore’s response (which employed the word “created,” not “invented”) was clear in meaning:
the vice president was not claiming that he “invented” the Internet in the sense of having designed or implemented it, but rather that he was one of the visionaries responsible for helping to bring it into being by fostering its development in an economic and legislative sense.
To claim that Gore was seriously trying to take credit for the “invention” of the Internet is, frankly, just silly political posturing that arose out of a close presidential campaign.
But hey Mike, you like to hang on to stuff like this,  as if its a juicy bone.  Its been 17 years don't ya think its time to let it go?   LOL.
Larry Kauf Added Feb 24, 2017 - 7:19pm
Bill you may recall that during the debate of the ACA, Republicans shot down the idea of a Single Payer System because they didn't want to expand the "entitlement program" of Medicare.  Healthcare should be a right for all.  Being in the 28% tax Bracket, I would pay 35% in taxes,  IF my healthcare was free.  I am already paying $1000/month and not getting much for Healthcare.
When was the last time you drove by a Hospital that was NOT doing any kind of expansion or rebuilding?  That's how they pump profits into their Hospitals and claim to be non-profit.  It's not going to people that need treatment but to Beautiful new wings of the Hospital so they can charge more money.
Bill H. Added Feb 25, 2017 - 1:07am
Exactly, Larry
I never guessed that the healthcare system would morph into the mega-profit driven system that it has become.
But I guess we should have known by learning from the pharmaceutical industry.
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 25, 2017 - 6:04am
Net neutrality says that Hulu can't buy extra capacity so it's customers can stream 4k HD video smoothly in real time.  Instead, it says the FCC will use a law passed in 1934 intended to regulate copper wire telephone companies to regulate the whole internet in the name of net neutrality.  The problem with cable TV / internet providers is the last mile to the customers home.  Municipalities have sold monopolies to the the carriers which prevent price competition between suppliers of physical connections to the customer's house.  The straight forward way to deal with the last mile monopolies is to have Congress outlaw these local government enforced monopolies as an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce.  Once that's done, then customers will have alternatives.  
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 25, 2017 - 6:26am
CAFE mileage standards do a couple of bad things.  First, because they make cars light and flimsy, CAFE mileage standards kill people. The Brookings Institution estimates a 500-lb. weight reduction of the average car increased annual highway fatalities by 2,200-3,900 and serious injuries by 11,000 and 19,500 per year. 
CAFE standards also make the cars $5,000 to $7,500 more expensive per vehicle.
 Finally, CAFE standards force companies to build unprofitable small cars in the US rather than import them.  Because the mileage standards are for the fleet of vehicles, each manufacturer has to have gas efficient cars made in the US so the manufacturer can sell high profit margin SUVs and pickup trucks.  They sell the small cars at a loss, so they can sell more profitable SUVs.
The CAFE calculation is designed to provide the United Auto Workers as much work as possible.  This work costs consumers extra mony in initial purchase price and higher risks of injury and death.  It's also why Chrysler and GM both went bankrupt a few years ago.  With fracking, there is no strategic reason for CAFE any more.  The US is exporting oil.  We no longer have to worry about a sudden shutdown of our foreign suppliers.  It's time to let the market decide what the car companies build and sell.
Dino Manalis Added Feb 25, 2017 - 9:14am
Deregulation saves money and helps the economy, but it has to be done carefully with expert advice.  Trump's 2 for 1 regulation pledge sounds great, but regulations vary.  In some agencies, more regulations may be eliminated, in other cases, the regulations may be worthwhile and should remain.  Expert advice is crucial to make the right decisions, not politics.
Larry Kauf Added Feb 25, 2017 - 9:42am
Deregulation, happens to be my area of expertise as it applies to Natural Gas and Electric.  By Federal Regulation , a "Utility cannot make a Profit or take a Loss on the Commodity of Gas/Electric."
But what goes into making up the cost is that grey area.   Are they allowed to include the cubicles, salaries, pens, computers' and space all used to acquire the Commodity?  
WHY does TECO Peoples Gas (FL)  have the highest cost in the nation, charging customers $.7823/therm  While the Utility next door FPU, charges only $.49/therm.   Keeping mind, the raw cost of gas is only $.3232/therm on the NYMEX for Feb 2017.
Perhaps too technical but you get the idea.  I am saving Customers behind TECO 50-60% per month depending on the month.  That's crazy and an extreme example.  Most folks save about 18-20% on Gas and 10-20% on Electric depending on what State they are in.
The Utility makes their profit on the Delivery of the commodity to your Business or home, which they are allowed to do.  By paying with the commodity cost, they can boost that profit and as long as they can justify costs, everything is Kosher.
Bill H. Added Feb 25, 2017 - 11:38am
My discussion was on Internet Privacy Rules and not Net Neutrality.
On CAFE standards, you are playing right in to what Big Oil wants us to think about the CAFE standards:
Big Oil's Brainwash
Also, you are wrong about the average cost increase per vehicle, which is actually about $925 per vehicle in 2016 (which is easily made up in gas cost savings).
We need to improve fuel standards to keep up with the rest of the world, to be able to sell cars to the rest of the world, to create more jobs, to help save consumers fuel costs, to minimize use of fossil fuel, and to protect the environment.
If everyone was driving more efficient vehicles, then we wouldn't have the situation of texting soccer moms driving their kids around in a giant SUV smashing into a smaller vehicle.
I just purchased a new Toyota Tacoma to replace the last one I had with over 285,000 miles on it. I have owned two other prior to this one (a 1979 and a 1998 model). Each one has gotten immensely larger and less fuel efficient. The new one is about the size of a 2010 Ford F-150, and the new Ford F-150 is about the size of the 2010 Ford F-350. My 1979 Tacoma got around 32 MPG on the average. My 1998 Tacoma went down to 26 mpg average. My new 2016 Tacoma only gets about 20 mpg average. All of them are 4 cylinder engines.
Ironically, Toyota still makes the popular mini pickup and sells it all over the world, but will not export it to the US. Toyota will not produce it here in the US due to pressure from Big Oil to keep vehicles as inefficient as possible. This is also the reason you are not seeing the surge in electric vehicles here as is occurring in Europe.
Bill H. Added Feb 25, 2017 - 12:05pm
Also, Douglas - I take it by your last name that you are a Native American.
I would question why you show so much support for a party and practices that threaten not only Native American lands, but also support a President that has been staging a battle with Native Americans for years over gambling casino competition.
Just curious, sir.
Donna Added Feb 25, 2017 - 3:57pm
Bill H. Article is a little over my head. But I think I get the basic idea..I don't like the idea of less privacy on the Net. As for the ice cap I do believe it has broken free. Not 100% sure but thought it was an alert I received this am. As for drilling gas pollution. All knew the worst group in our Country for saving a future for the planet are Republicans. They refuse to see what is directly in their faces.  I think the Cafe rule should stay. I also think we should look at hemp as a clean alternative. Its possible to convert all vechiles to that. )0(
Bill H. Added Feb 25, 2017 - 5:28pm
Thanks for commenting, Donna
I support neither party, but yes, the Republicans seem to have the idea of "screw the Planet, the People, and Privacy and let's just get our profits out of the earth as soon as possible and not worry about tomorrow".
We should think about what our children will inherit. I don't have any kids myself, but I am very concerned at what I see them receiving from all of us.
With our new Attorney General (Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III), It appears that anything having to do with Hemp may soon become a thing of the past.
Donna Added Feb 25, 2017 - 5:40pm
Bill I'm a huge advocate for our planet. Being Pagan it's not only a spiritual act but its also as you said what about our future generations. Hemp will survive this administration for one reason $$$ which is all they care about. At least I'm hoping. I do have a child a grandchild as well. I'm very worried about the future for him. )0(
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 25, 2017 - 5:50pm
Also it seems Douglas is of the belief that oil is infinite. It is not. Once burnt it is gone forever, can not be recovered. It is thus only logical to minimize consumption and maximize efficiency, even if one is too brainwashed or think-headed to grasp the dangers of Environmental Degradation or Climate Change.
Additionally it is irrational to suggest that only automobile fuel efficiency should never advance in technology. Back in the 1970's we had cars that got 35MPG and now four decades later car companies have the outrageous gall to expect us to be wowed at junky backwards cars that get no better millage than they did 40 years ago! Imagine if computer technology advanced at the same rate as automobile milage technology. A simple home computer would cost tens of thousands of dollars, fill an entire room, and maybe offer 2 megabits of storage. If one of these is unacceptable, so should both be. We can do better OBVIOUSLY. This situation only exists for the short-term shortsighted greed of the oil companies, OBVIOUSLY. 
Also franking will not solve the problem of Peak Oil which has already been reached. Read the report from this conservative bank and see for yourself: https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/brace-for-the-financial-crash-of-2018-b2f81f85686b#.futr4i5mz
And don't even bother trying to suggest this bank is part of some delusional climate change conspiracy hoax. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 25, 2017 - 5:56pm
Donna yes hemp is a great idea. Two problems though. One anything that competes with oil will be blocked by the oil companies. Two hemp is too close to Marijuana for the sadistic  Abrahamic "religious" lunatics who believe it's from the "Devil". No amount of logic or reason can reach through greed and ignorance, we have to find a way to completely eliminate the power of those kinds of people before they destroy us all with their utter stupidity and hubris. 
Donna Added Feb 25, 2017 - 6:15pm
Hi Jenifer. I will agree 100% with all you said I've been trying for years to get some one Anyone to listen about hemp. Not one politian will listen.. I'm not giving up though...Stubborn Serious Little Witch I am. )0(
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 25, 2017 - 11:46pm
Bill H.  I made a slight mistake.  Currently CAFE standards cost consumers at least $3,800 per car.  If the standards are maintained as currently set, with the increases scheduled by the Obama Administration, the cost per vehicle could reach $7,200 per vehicle.  Here’s a link to the Heritage Foundation Study:
When you say we need improved fuel standards to compete with the rest of the world, what evidence do you have for that?  If what you say is true, then car manufacturers would build cars with higher fuel economy in order to compete.  The fact that they have to be forced to build more fuel efficient cars by regulation shows that the marked doesn’t want higher fuel efficiency vehicles at the price required to make them profitable.  If the car companies want to sell cars to the rest of the world, they can build compliant cars for those markets.  Imposing costs through regulation does not create more jobs.  Rather it eliminates jobs by making the cars more expensive, which reduces new car sales and keeps old gas guzzlers on the road longer.  For protecting the environment, we passed the 90 10 rule point years ago.  That rule says 90% of the cost is incurred in the last 10 % of improvement.  How clean does it have to be to be clean enough?  Soccer moms drive big SUVs so they can take all of the kids in the car pool to the game with their seat belts securely fastened.  Government safety laws require the seatbelts, so vehicles have to be big enough to have to be a lot of seats for the 6 kids in the gar pool.  In the unsafe 1950’s, they all would have piled into the back of the station wagon with no seats, let alone belts.  Now we need heavier SUVs. 
But there’s a bigger reason for SUVs.  The CAFE standards treat SUVs as trucks, so they are allowed to be less fuel efficient that regular automobiles.  Truck fuel mileage is calculated as a separate CAFE standard from cars.  SUVs are the car companies’ way to work around the CAFÉ standards to sell the size of car their customers want to buy.
Electric cars are not as carbon free as you think, at least in the US.  Electricity generation in the US is 33% coal, 33% natural gas and 1% petroleum.  This means that any US rechargeable electric car is actually getting 67% of its energy from fossil fuels.  
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 25, 2017 - 11:49pm
Bill H.  About my last name, there’s two things you should know.  First, it’s a pen name, so it’s not the name I was born with.  Second, it is a family name of one of my ancestors, but it indicates a Scottish Border connection, not an American Indian connection.   As far as I know, I am entirely redneck, although I haven’t had genetic testing on that.  It’s not that I wouldn’t want American Indian genes, it’s just that, unlike Elizabeth Warren, I won’t claim to be American Indian until I can prove it.  On the other hand, there is a possibility that Charles Taylor, the notorious dictator of Liberia, may be a distant cousin, but that story is way too long for this site.
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 26, 2017 - 12:43am
Jenifer: I think you, and your source, are mistaken about how the economics of oil works.  Oil reserves are calculated based on what’s recoverable with existing technology.  When we reach “peak oil” with existing technology, oil prices rise significantly.  The price increases attract the attention of innovators who invent new ways to recover more oil economically.  These new technologies for extracting oil expand the world’s recoverable oil reserves.  So far, the free market has come up with technology to expand the amount of recoverable oil whenever it looked like peak oil had been reached.  You should remember that the oil business started when we reached peak whale oil, and everybody thought we would be unable to light our houses after dark.
Bill H. Added Feb 26, 2017 - 1:10am
Douglas- Thanks for explaining your roots.
We firmly disagree on the logic, but everyone to their own,
From my point of view, I think the masses have been overly indoctrinated by Big Oil when it comes to making "logical" decisions.
It appears that the almighty dollar is the real decision maker of the day.
Maybe in the future, the masses will have to deal with Big Solar when trying to implement the benefits of fusion reactors for the home. And of course the Republicans will be in bed with the boys from Big Solar.
The fun never ends!
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 26, 2017 - 1:24am
Actually Douglas this is covered in the article, which leads me to wonder if you even bothered to read it before commenting. Seems to be an epidemic problem on Writer's Beat, Mass Assumptionitis.
In any event, as the article shows the decreasing supply is going to mean ever increasing costs to extract oil with ever reduced returns, this beginning in one to four years tops according to one of the ten most prestigious investment banks on planet earth. In essence more energy will be required to get less energy in return, a net negative return. If you have a more credibility rebuttal resource to counter mine I would sure love to see it. Otherwise this is just wishful fantasy thinking on your part. If it's honestly even that which I personally have my doubts.
 In short, the party you foolishly thought would never end (based on magical self-replicating oil or a magic bottomless pit of oil one would guess apparently) is ending, because, reality, not magic, makes the world function. Limited resources run out. And they are, now. Unless we invest in renewables and alternative power sources and fast, civilization itself will grind to a stop as the last recoverable oil is burnt up. Long before that, by 2025 tops the price of petroleum recovery is estimated to be so high as to be out of range of any except for the military and emergency services. This means America as a functional economic power is ended and reduced to third world status by then. And complete collapse of civilization will come obviously shortly thereafter unless alternatives are in place. And that is highly unlikely so quickly because of people like you.
But then again this was your goal though wasn't it? So congratulations looks like you "win"(?) 
Bill H. Added Feb 26, 2017 - 1:24am
I'll throw this in:
I have some friends who live in Germany who told me that if you own an electric car, the latest thing is to charge a bank of lithium ion batteries from solar panels during the day and dump the stored power into your car using a high-efficiency inverter when you get home from work. Apparently doing this combined with a free charge at their place of employment ( in many cases using a solar charging system) allows the ability to commute to and from work for free, not even to mention using no petroleum whatsoever in the process (oh sorry, I forgot about the wheel bearing lubrication).
Imagine what would happen if we tried that here! The Koch brothers would shit their pants and have D.T. dispatch the National Guard to arrest us.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 26, 2017 - 1:54am
Here is an excerpt from the article I linked. Maybe it will entice people to click the link and read the full version:
The HSBC research note — prepared for clients of the global bank — found that contrary to concerns about too much oil supply and insufficient demand, the situation was opposite: global oil supply will in coming years be insufficient to sustain rising demand.
Yet the full, striking import of the report, concerning the world’s permanent entry into a new age of global oil decline, was never really explained. The report didn’t just go against the grain that the most urgent concern is ‘peak demand’: it vindicated what is routinely lambasted by oil majors as a myth: peak oil — the concurrent peak and decline of global oil production.
The HSBC report you need to read, now
INSURGE intelligence obtained a copy of the report in December 2016, and for the first time we are exclusively publishing the entire report in the public interest.
Read and/or download the full HSBC report by clicking below:
rel="nofollow">HSBC peak oil report
Headquarted in London, UK, HSBC is the world’s sixth largest bank, holding assets of $2.67 trillion. So when they produce a research report for their clients, it would be wise to pay attention, and see what we can learn.
Among the report’s most shocking findings is that “81% of the world’s total liquids production is already in decline.”
Between 2016 and 2020, non-OPEC production will be flat due to declines in conventional oil production, even though OPEC will continue to increase production modestly. This means that by 2017, deliverable spare capacity could be as little as 1% of global oil demand."
article continues at the link 
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 26, 2017 - 3:01am
Jenifer, I don't usually believe arguments supported only by the authority of the author or a single institution.  He seems to be almost alone in predicting disaster at the moment.  Almost everyone else is predicting a natural gas bonanza in the US, as well as at least 20 years of expanding fracked oil expansion.
Fracking oil wells seems to be profitable at a price a little over $45 per barrel.  Fracking also has a very short development cycle.  Where it can take a decade to fully develop a conventional well, fracking wells can come on line in 18 months to 2 years.  This means that fracked oil is acting as a huge market price ceiling on oil.  If OPEC manages to restrict supply through production cuts, fracking in the US will quickly fill the gap.
Fracking has been employed almost exclusively on privately owned land in the US and in some provinces in Canada.  The US is unusual in that private land owners in the US also own the mineral rights under their land.  The US federal government and most other countries have not allowed fracking on their land.  This is a political problem with people who don't believe in the science that shows fracking is safe, not a technical problem or a resource shortage.  Trump's election victory will open US federal land to fracking as well as conventional drilling.
Generally I think the free market is vastly superior to government management.  The price of energy is the single most important ingredient in determining a standard of living.  The cheaper the energy, the higher the standard of living.  A free market allows all of the people involved to collect economic information and make their own decisions  based on their view of the information.  Government controlled economies are run by a relatively small group of people who collect a very much smaller amount of economic information and generally make decisions that favor themselves, but which result in suboptimal outcomes for the economy as a whole.
If the situation with regard to oil is as you say, the free market will find a way around it without government controls.  The government does not have to choose which technologies will be used and regulate other choices off the market.  If oil prices went through the roof tomorrow, natural gas could be used instead, either directly or as a chemical feed stock to make methyl alcohol fuel for vehicles. Also, it's possible to make gasoline from coal.  Germany, during World War II, and South Africa, during Apartheid, both used coal to make artificial gasoline.  The US has at least a 300 year supply of coal.
Basic research is one thing the government does very well.  The government should probably put resources into developing Thorium cycle nuclear reactors.  Thorium reactors produce no bomb making materials and create 100 times less waste than uranium reactors.  The waste that thorium reactors do create stays radioactive for only a few hundred years.  The plutonium created by uranium reactors stays radioactive over 10,000 years.
For a better idea of how free markets really work, you can stream Milton Friedman's Free to Choose, a 10 part PBS series.  It was very popular when it first aired in 1980.  Just watching the first show gives you a better idea of how conservatives view markets.  The idea is more that everybody gets to make their own decisions.  The left wing caricature of greedy, heartless, evil capitalists was invented by socialists to dupe people into giving them power.  The fact is that capitalism is what raised billions of people out of poverty in the unique historical period from 1750 to today.  In no other time have so many people been free from the edge of starvation.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 26, 2017 - 3:33am
Douglas I'm VERY aware of how free markets work, anyone who has read my articles here knows that, don't insult me. Peak Oil has ZERO to do with free markets anymore than it has to do with the Oscar's or Mad Magazine or any of a million other unrelated topics (as I'm sure you are aware). It's about a finite resource running out, period.
 You appear to be unaware that finite supplies run out. Barring magic, perhaps you can explain to us all how a finite supply of oil that is now over 80% exhausted (as the study from HSBC shows) can be replenished. Also, AGAIIN I don't see a reference from you more prestigious than HSBC, the world’s sixth largest bank, holding assets of $2.67 trillion. Why would anyone who isn't crazy listen to someone like you who has basically magic as an instrument against the conservative analysts at HSBC? Or are you claiming that HSBC is a part of the right wing's vast conspiracy of Climate Change hoax perpetrators, like ExxonMobil also apparently when they also predicted this back in the late 1970's? If so please explain what on earth would be the motive for multi-trilllion dollar companies to make such assessments that go against the grain unless they are true and trying to warn of investors to get a preverberal lifeboat before the ship sinks (while people like you are telling everyone to ignore the ship going under, it's just their imagination)? Good luck with that by the way. And this time, try to stay on topic. Or maybe you think we are easily distracted? We're not BTW.
So back on track, HSBC has shown we are past Peak Oil:(
target="_blank">rel="nofollow">HSBC peak oil report
, either provide a study that debunks their study or one that otherwise addresses this issue. NOT an unrelated issue of promoting capitalism and market economics. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 26, 2017 - 3:44am
Oh and here's an assessment of the safety (or lack thereof) of nuclear power plants from a nuclear engineer. 
"Why This Nuclear Engineer Says Every Nuke Plant in the US Should Be Shut Down Yesterday" | Common Dreams | target="_blank">http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/01/13/why-nuclear-engineer-says-every-nuke-plant-us-should-be-shut-down-yesterday
It would be funny how people like Douglas insist we stick with gasoline when the gas meter is on "E" (but just pretend it's no because, you know, magic or God or whatever) and nuclear (because what you can see can't possibly hurt you apparently is the theory on that one), except for the fact that listening to lunatics gets people dead. Thus, NOT FUNNY. 
Larry Kauf Added Feb 26, 2017 - 10:21am
Jenifer,   You appear to be a great researcher and intelligent.  You can make an argument, that's for sure and document your position.  But as I mentioned above, Energy is something I know a bit about and always say, follow the money.   HSBC is certainly a big bank with $2.67 trillion in assets.   Weren't ya just a bit curious,  as to what those assets might be in?
*  HSBC’s oil trading platform is backed by a strategic partnership with Total Oil Trading SA, which allows HSBC to access a broad range of indices on crude oil and refined products, including indices more specific to oil market participants, not commonly traded by banks.
*  HSBC is the largest bank in Hong Kong and prints most of Hong Kong's local currency in its own name.
*  In a report titled "In the Future There Will Be No Forests Left" HSBC is contributing to the deforestation in Indonesia
*  HSBC also held billions of dollars of assets for the Libyan Investment Authority, which was controlled by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi; after Gaddafi's overthrow.
So these are not good guys.
Now back to the money.  If you tell people ... enough people, that Oil is on the way out and the only thing that can happen is the price will rise back from $50/Bar to $100/bar + and then encourage them to buy the Oil futures low,  because prices will rise "shortly";   and oh by the  way we have an Investment branch that can help you.  What do you suppose might happen?   http://www.gbm.hsbc.com/insights/energy-and-resources/oil-and-gas-sector-liquidity    My point is that they have a VESTED interest in the conversation about Peak Oil.  The have a vested interest in saying Peak oil is here today !  Act now.
You are aware that the US is just about Oil independent.  We import less than 10% to satisfy our total needs.  With the boom in N. Dakota oil and the recent largest find ever in Texas  www.cnn.com/2016/11/17/us/midland-texas-mammoth-oil-discovery/    That should put us over the top.
On the Natural Gas front, we have been Gas Independent for the last several years and are now just starting to Export Gas all over the world.  Cheniere Energy,  has 3 trains running to fill LNG shipments out of the Sabine Passe and we export 2.3Tcf to Mexico.
My point is ... do a bit more research.  In order to hit Peak Oil you have to have a finite commodity.  That is, you have to know where every drop of Oil is before you can declare a Peak.   With the Melting of the Ice Caps (thanks to co2 emissions from both Oil and Gas)  might there be a yet undiscovered new massive find?  Would we then be at Peak oil then.... or when ? 
Bill H. Added Feb 26, 2017 - 11:27am
Douglas - I really don't believe that fracking has been proven "safe" as you state.
Quite to the contrary. Due to fracking, Oklahoma is now the earthquake capital of the US. Recent swarms of earthquakes near the Los Angeles area have been centered near fracking wastewater injection sites.  Also, there have been proven cases of ground water pollution in at least 4 states.
Confirmed fracking water pollution cases
  Do a search on the chemicals used in fracking, it's very scary. The process uses billions of gallons of water that become permanently removed from the cycle, causing water shortages in many areas. The process also produces Radon Gas at concentrations up to 40% higher in homes near fracking sites.
I'm not sure where you got  "the science that shows fracking is safe"
Larry Kauf Added Feb 26, 2017 - 12:19pm
Bill,  I am not a Natural Gas apologist and in fact make my living on Natural Gas.  Much like any industry, there are right and wrong ways of doing things, especially, in the Oil and Gas industry when expedient, is often more cost effective, than right.
Your Article cites 2 very different outcomes.
Pennsylvania has confirmed at least 106 water-well contamination cases since 2005, out of more than 5,000 new wells. There were five confirmed cases of water-well contamination in the first nine months of 2012, 18 in all of 2011 and 29 in 2010.   More recently, now that we are in 2017, contamination from wells are much less.  "Using casings of steel and cement at depths below 1,000 feet was a good idea in this region. But he also noted that the industry has strengthened its practices since then (2013) , including increased use of intermediate casings. " says Scott Anderson, a senior policy analyst with the environmental advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund.
A Texas spreadsheet contains more than 2,000 complaints, and 62 of those allege possible well-water contamination from oil and gas activity, said Ramona Nye, a spokeswoman for the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees drilling. Texas regulators haven't confirmed a single case of drilling-related water-well contamination in the past 10 years, she said.
In OH, None of the six confirmed cases of contamination was related to fracking, 
In WV, corrective action was being taken to fix the problems there.
With the appointment of the new EPA Director, it will be up to the industry to make sure that they do it right.  Little to no direction is expected from the EPA now and they will roll back, regulations, every chance they get.
As for earthquakes, Whenever ya take something out and don't replace it there will be a bit of movement eventually till things settle again. Most quakes are so small they are not even noticed 2.5 or less.   Mag 2.0-2.9  Felt only by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings.  According to the USGS, today, 2/26/17  the largest E'quake in the US was in 3.5-3.6 in CA and WA     3.2 in Perry OK.
Mag 3.0-3.9    Vibrations similar to the passing of a truck. Duration estimated. Felt quite noticeably by persons indoors, especially on upper floors of buildings. Many people do not recognize it as an earthquake.    Certainly not life threatening.
Bill H. Added Feb 26, 2017 - 12:49pm
Larry - Those fracking quake magnitudes now include a 5.6 in Oklahoma on November 5th 2011 and a 4.6 in British Columbia on August 17th, 2015.
We really need to start moving away from oil as our prime power source, as is being done all over the rest of the world. It surely won't happen overnight, but in doing so, we will be making the right moves and creating new jobs and opportunities.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 26, 2017 - 5:16pm
Larry I know HSBC aren't the good guys, neither are Republicans or the right wing which is who this post is addressing. I have plenty of good guy, left wing, scientists saying the same thing, namely Peak Oil is here. However right wing Republican nutjobs reject science and reason so I have this report from one of their own instead.
As I've said previously any excuse to keep us on oil until it's too late to convert to alternatives will do for the sadistic maniacs out to doom humanity to certain extinction will apparently do. This kind of reaction regardless of the source material proves my point.
If GOD himself came down from Heaven and proclaimed this deniers would declare Him the devil and a communist and otherwise demonize Him until He had to wipeout all the assholes. It's that ridiculously pathetic.
But don't worry, it's probably already too late but that's still not good enough. Deniers have to be sure that civilization is doomed. It will probably take a generation to convert to renewables like solar and wind and alternatives like tidal and antimatter power. By then the last oil will be exhausted and civilization grind to a stop, all the power and machinery of society out of power. With no one to maintain them the some 400 nuclear power plants around the world will melt down creating 1000 mile diameter dead zones of toxic invisible radiation around them for approx 600 years with should doom the last stragglers of humanity to a slow painful death from radiation poisoning and cancers, plus genetic damage to any unfortunate children. But this is afterall the goal now isn't it? 
Shane Laing Added Feb 26, 2017 - 6:28pm
Bill sorry to disagree with you but the opinion of the car buyer is electric cars over here in the UK and most of Europe are a joke.  The big push for electric cars is no big push at all for example, the Nissan Leaf over here is £26,000 new and for a car on road testing (not lab testing) managing 46 miles before the batteries are dead and need to be fully charged (taking 8 hours) they are too expensive and the distance they travel too short. Yes there is no cost in petrol but the electricity needed to charge it is expensive as well.  Until all those faults are dealt with there will not be a revolution over here and I expect not in the US either.
Bill H. Added Feb 26, 2017 - 6:35pm
Well stated as usual, Jenifer!
Thanks for all of your spot-on responses. We all need to wise up and take a reality look at what we are doing to our planet.
Our greed will end up wiping out our species (which ironically for the Earth's well being may be a good idea at this point).
I read an article a few years back in a sportfishing magazine that stated the average ocean's population of popular commercial food fishes are down to around 7% of what they were back in the early 1900's.
Sad indeed.  
Ari Silverstein Added Feb 27, 2017 - 9:25am
1) I agree that internet privacy and Net Neutrality are two different issues and should remain two different issues.  The problem is that with Obama’s effort to control the internet through Net Neutrality he infused privacy issues into the debate.  Trump was merely ridding society of Net Neutrality and in doing that the privacy measures would also eliminated.  You perpetuated the problem by making it sound like Trump Net Neutrality focus was really about privacy.  If the American peoples wishes to do something about privacy, Congress should pass a law and they should pass a different law if Net Neutrality is what people want.
2) “CAFE standards are virtually the ONLY incentive that forced US automakers to apply efforts to increase gas mileage on their vehicles.”
That is one of the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard.  If two cars are identical in every respect except for the gas mileage, which one would you buy? 
Bill H. Added Feb 27, 2017 - 11:16am
Ari - The ISP's have been pushing to minimize internet privacy for many years without success. I was employed in the industry for over 25 years and was privy to these efforts that were one of the common topics in meetings. The main driving force was the ability to obtain personal information in a method that would produce much more than simply what was being obtained by visits to web sites. The process would involve actual interception of customer's incoming and outgoing data packets that are initially ID'ed  with an IP address that can be matched to one or more email addresses. This allows the ISP to now intercept data that is not only exchanged with websites, but also email conversations (which is presently being done by both Google and Microsoft for the users of those "free" email services), and any data going to and from social media sites. Of course, it is stated that "it would only be used for marketing purposes", but as we have all learned in the past, this is the understatement of the year.
Also, don't try to tell me that the automakers would voluntarily jump at the chance to produce more fuel efficient vehicles. Big Oil has been fighting efforts to increase fuel economy for years "The oil industry is concerned that the growing use of more fuel efficient cars and trucks will lessen demand for gasoline and diesel fuel. Gasoline demand in the U.S. has steadily fallen since 2005, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). They say in their target="_blank">Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) reference case that more-stringent vehicle fuel economy standards will contribute to a decline in motor gasoline consumption through 2040".
Do some research on Chevrolet's original electric vehicle, the EV-1. You will get a taste of what Big Oil's real priorities are:
You will also get a feel for the reason of "Why is the Toyota Tacoma getting bigger every year?" When I asked a Toyota sales manager this question last year, he mentioned that he has been asked many times if he could get a Toyota Hilux for customers. This is a mini truck that is smaller than the US Tacoma and is available with not only several sizes of gas engines, but several diesel engines including a turbo diesel. They cannot be imported due to "not meeting CARB standards" but he mentioned that this is the guise being used simply because Toyota has agreed with the major oil companies not to import them for obvious reasons.
Get it straight - Big Oil is not looking out for your interests, neither in the products you really want, or in the money you could save. They have many ways of pulling the puppet strings of other industries in order to keep their profits up. This is only now going to get even worse. 
Ari Silverstein Added Feb 27, 2017 - 3:26pm
1) I think you’re missing my point.  The link in your article went by the title “GOP sets sights on internet privacy rules.”  That is a misleading, if not false title.  The GOP set its sights on Net Neutrality.  Because Net Neutrality regulations are 400+ pages, it touches on a lot of issues, among which are some rules and regulations related to privacy.  The point is that one is guilty of dishonest journalism by making it appear Trump only cared about eliminating regulations concerning privacy, when he really went after Net Neutrality. 
2) There is no secret agreement your local Toyota sales manager is privy to that isn’t public information.  There is also not a conspiracy between big oil and big automotive to make sure Americans don’t drive fuel efficient cars.  Get it straight, consumers don’t like spending money on gas, that’s why Toyota Priuses sell like hot-cakes.  Americans also like to drive really big SUVs despite their low gas mileage.  Isn’t freedom wonderful?
Bill H. Added Feb 27, 2017 - 5:10pm
Ari - The Internet Privacy Rules and Net Neutrality are Two different issues
FCC Internet Privacy Rules
FCC Open Internet
I only discussed the Republican effort to overthrow the Internet Privacy Rules, but yes, they are also out to topple Net Neutrality.
Also, it has been known for years that the Oil Industry will make any efforts possible to keep their profits high, and this has historically included pushing to keep fuel consumption at a high level and stifling efforts to produce both economical vehicles and electric vehicles.
Do some research outside of your normal sources.
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 28, 2017 - 12:28am
Jenifer. In a free market, peak oil as you describe it is impossible.  The market prices of oil will rise significantly if oil supplies are inadequate.  New oil extraction techniques, like fracking, are tried out in an effort to expand oil supplies directly.  Substitutes for oil, like natural gas, are used for vehicle fuel.  The economic switch is managed, although some economic dislocation results from the transition.  Here's a link to an eplanation: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-peak-oil-predictions-haven-t-come-true-1411937788
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 28, 2017 - 12:33am
Shane Laing: The only reason electric cars sell in the US is tax breaks and subsidies.  They aren't justified economically. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 28, 2017 - 12:52am
Douglas, oil is a finite resource. Once it's burnt up it can not be recovered. I realize that the free markets and capitalism are your gods buy even they can't resurrect the dinosaurs, kill them all off again, and fast track them into more oil in time to rescue civilization.
If you can't understand that #1 once a finite resource is gone, unlike an infinite resource, it's gone for good. #2 the oil supply on earth is finite. It does not reside in a bottomless infinite pit. 
#3 free markets and capitalism are not omnipotent and can not preform miracles or in anyway defy the laws of physics and nature. 
#4 we have reached Peak Oil, the place where oil that is easily accessible is gone forever. What little that is left will require increasingly more energy to recover than what we get back in return (rendering it counterproductive to continue to try with such an idiotic madness). 
#5 once the last of oil is gone (which will be soon) if alternatives aren't immediately ready and in place, up and running, civilization is 100% immediately doomed. 
Then there is absolutely no point in my or anyone else wasting further time engaging you as you have no grasp on reality and apparently oil is also one of your gods. Quite the useless false god if so. 
Larry Kauf Added Feb 28, 2017 - 1:06am
Jenifer Frost ....chill.  Natural; Gas is already replacing Oil. and unlike Oil, you can make Natural Gas off of any land fill.
Gather manure ... add a lil water and a sealed container in the sun and poof...you have Natural Gas.  Therefore it will be many decades before you twittling your thumbs in the dark because you have no oil for your lamp.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 28, 2017 - 2:59am
Thank you Larry for injecting a bit of sanity into an otherwise insane conversation about immortal capitalism free market false gods, and their magical mystical supernatural powers to defy reality.
 Unfortunately it still doesn't address the problem of Environmental Degradation that petroleum products produce and the hazards of methane in the atmosphere and worse, contamination of the oceans which threatens plankton oxygen production and as a result could bring about the end of all oxygen-breathing life on the Earth before 2100 if this problem isn't addressed (citation available upon request). So there is still no hard long-term solutions in oil regardless of it's source, at least not until cleanup in full is resolved. Same with nuclear power. You can't make a mess and expect your kids and other's kids to clean up your mess down the road. Don't Republicans say this about the economy? Why would it not also apply to the environment unless one was a hypocrite?
Clearly the solutions are to be found in infinite renewable megawatt producing resources such as tidal power and antimatter energy which are as limitless as the Earth and universe itself. It's past time our energys are applied to such ends instead of the energy supplies of the last century. 
wsucram15 Added Feb 28, 2017 - 12:09pm
BillH..there is much more going on than that, although I did not know about CAFE, which does not surprise me at all.   Net Neutrality is going to be a hard fought issue and I fought it last time out. Its not just about privacy, its about lanes of traffic that you will not be able to access any longer at a normal rate.  Its going to cost an enormous amount to be on the net.   I agree with Douglas on this matter, until the monopolies are outlawed, this issue will continue to rear its ugly head.
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 28, 2017 - 1:00pm
"The problem with the term "proved reserves" is that many assume it describes a physical limitation on oil, but it is actually a calculated economic limitation. Every country has a slightly different way of calculating the amount, but the basic gist is that proved reserve estimates are what companies assume they can pull from the ground using existing technology while still generating a profit, which is based on the price of oil or gas over the past year.
This estimate can be impacted by several things: new technology that makes oil recovery less expensive, new reservoirs that were not considered economical at the time, or simply that a rising price of oil makes those once unattainable resources attainable. Overall, this is a relatively small amount of oil compared to the total physical amount of petroleum that is in the ground.  In fact, looking at the historical trend of the world's reserve-to-production ratio since 1980, we are actually at one of our most abundant times in terms of proved reserves.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, though, because these projections don't include technically recoverable resources that are not yet deemed economical at today's prices. Considering all of the technically recoverable resources, we have enough oil to last us over 100 years at current production levels. Furthermore, if we also include more complicated oil reservoirs such as kerogen deposits, then we may have more than 250 years of oil supply. It all depends on how much consumers are willing to pay for that oil."
Quoted from:
See also:
Larry Kauf Added Feb 28, 2017 - 1:48pm
So what's your point Doug? We know all this.  We should be getting away from Oil and utilizing other forms of Energy that ultimately wont kill us.
As I have suggested Natural Gas is a bridge fuel but that too, is not perfect.  The solution lies in Solar, Wind, Tidal, Nuclear, Geo-thermal and the like.  With the seas rising, I think the energy captured by Tidal is the best choice for a NEW Technology.  That's not to say don't improve what's already there.
Jenifer, while making a good point, dilutes the message with  her "the sky is falling" approach.  Sorry Jen,  Points are good but chill a bit.
BECAUSE, we have done nothing to mitigate the consequences to the planet, the next logical step will be how to live with them. Reduction/elimination of what got us here is probably a hand in hand priority to the solution.
South Miami is already flooding at high tide and a full moon.
Norfolk Navy Yards, are underwater 7-10 time per year and in the next 25 years are expected to be under water 250 times per year.
The Navy itself doesn't want to address this or provide any resources to shore up docks so Norfolk is working with the City and State to raise the docks.
The 2 links provided are not from some left wing, radical conspiracy blog but from the NY Times and NPR (National Public Radio)  hardly bastions of over reaction.   Just the Facts.
Bill H. Added Feb 28, 2017 - 2:56pm
Thanks for your comments, Larry!
It seems to be getting to the point lately that if facts stated from reliable websites or sources don't agree with the "facts" that certain readers don't want to believe (or are uncomfortable with), they are simply swept under the bed as "fake" or "left wing conspiracy".
I am seeing a big increase in "search bubble" cases lately all over the net, and among many of my friends and acquaintances. Many refuse to believe that Google, Bing, and certain other search engines figure out what your preferences are and only deliver results based on one's interests or political views. Quite a few of these "bubble algorithms" were "improved" and upgraded over the last year or so, which makes this cancer on society even worse than it has been.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 28, 2017 - 3:55pm
Douglas by your own statement of 100 years of oil left we need to begin development of replacements immediately. Most estimates show about that long will be required to replace the current infrastructure, so what's your plan, just wait until it's too late? And like Larry has shown this stuff is killing us already, now. What exactly are we waiting for? The sky isn't falling yet, but the basement is sure as hell flooding. 
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 28, 2017 - 5:46pm
I have two points.  First, the government and a lot of private forecasters have been consistently wrong about when we will reach "peak oil."  If we have 100 years worth of oil and at least that much worth of natural gas, and we're pretty sure this is an underestimate, then this is not an urgent emergency.  We don't have to act fast and make "haste makes waste" mistakes.   We don't need martial law or even heavy handed government regulation of all energy generation.
The Sopwith Camel was first flown in combat in 1917, a piston engine bi-plane with a fabric covered frame and wings and a top speed of 113 miles per hour.  The first moon landing happened in 1969, only 52 years later.  A lot of technological advance is possible in a hundred years.  We have plenty of time.
My second point is that government is good at research and bad at bringing products to market.  Government's role in future sources of energy should be to provide research funding for promising technologies.  Government should not be lending money to future Solyndras who promise to bring miracle products to market.  Government is very bad at picking companies that can bring products to market that customers actually want to buy.  Similarly, government subsidies for existing products to help them gain economies of scale have a generally poor record.  Even where they succeed, as federal land grants did in the case of the transcontinental railroads, they do so with huge amounts of corruption.
If you are looking for places to put research money, increasing the efficiency of generators is a good place to start.  Any process that uses motion to generate electricity uses a generator.  Electrical generating efficiency averages about 33%.  Some generators achieve as much as 60%.  The means anywhere from 40 to 67 percent of the energy fed to a spinning generator is lost, and only 33 to 60% becomes electrical energy.  There could perhaps be improvements there.
Another area is thorium fuel cycle reactors.  Thorium fuel cycle produces no bomb making materials.  It is less dangerous to mine and produces hundreds of times less radioactive waste.  The waste it does produce stays dangerously radioactive for only hundreds of years, not tens of thousands of years in the case of uranium reactors.  The reason thorium fuel cycle reactors were not researched is that you could not make bombs out of the by products.  In the late 1940's and early 1950's, everyone wanted to make bombs for the arms race with the Russians.  Now we want cleaner nuclear power.
My thoughts on global warming are covered in my post:
As someone who knows history, economics, computers and statistics, I find the current theories of doom if we don't act now to be unsubstantiated.  They remind me of late night TV ads for Shamwow.  "Act now, or your planet will be irretrievably ruined!"  This is pure fear politics based on the statistical noise in temperature numbers over a 40 year period.  The political program is government control of energy generation with no checks or balances.  Since everyone's standard of living is based on energy use, this is a one way ticket to dictatorship.  I know a little bit too much about the history of the development of political institutions to go for this malarkey.
As an aside, I don't find the New York Times very credible.  They are part of a mainstream media constellation that feels entitled to credibility without earning it.  I am a White, Straight, Republican, Male Vietnam Era veteran.  Media outlets like the New York Times have treated people like me as a free fire zone all my life. They should check their privilege.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 28, 2017 - 6:05pm
Douglas I agree with you on the New York Times, and actually pretty much most, if not all, corporate mainstream media outlets. I only rely on independent media like OpEdNews, Information Clearing House, CounterPunch, Consortiumnews, Zero Hedge, Paul Craig Roberts newsletter and the like.
Also I agree that a lot of progress can be made in 100 years. But only if we get serious. That's why I believe in thinking both conservative (tidal energy) and thinking big (antimatter power). Both are actually doable today, antimatter can be produced by supercolliders but it's currently cost prohibitive and dangerous to contain in significant amounts. Although it's most promising. No long term pollution (just Gama rays upon matter-antimatter destruction) and it's nearly 100% matter to energy conversation. An atomic bomb is only about 3% by comparison. 
As for me I'm a mixed race, married (to a man) bisexual, Green Party Progressive 28 year old. Of course most of that is in my Writer's Beat profile, which no one else seems to fill out. 
Larry Kauf Added Feb 28, 2017 - 6:20pm
Doug , you didn't have to add that last paragraph.  I think that most everyone knows who you are from your comments, so it was no surprise of your revelation.   Media outlets like the New York Times have treated people like me as a free fire zone all my life.
Well Doug, perhaps rightfully so!  You vote for Trump against your own best interests.  You agree that putting a guy in the EPA that wants to dismantle the Department and do away with all those pesky regulations, that insure our Clean water and Air with the gall to suggest that Business will do the right thing and not Pollute because its "not good business"  is just a bumpkin, waiting to be taken advantage of.  Bend over buddy cause you are about to be  F*&ked without even being kissed.
It folks like you that wake up one morning, look around and say what happened over night?  It happened when you were watching Fox News and dreaming sweet dreams of getting rid of all the immigrants.  In the meantime there was no one to pick the food you eat, staff the restaurants you frequent or mow your lawn,  cause you would rather pay an immigrant to mow and not interrupt your Saturday.
I find the current theories of doom if we don't act now to be unsubstantiated.
Well... if ya don't believe the NY Times how about the Navy Times!
Article was written July 2016.  Someone put it much better and more politically correct than I would. " bury your head in the sand until you drown in a mix of salt water and self-righteousness."
Me ....  I only call them like I see them.  You sir are a dolt and perhaps that's an insult to dolts.  You are in the bubble and no amount of facts are going to change your mind. 
Unfortunately, under the current Administration, the Govt. WILL be good for NOTHING and your self fulfilling Prophesy will finally come true.  Good for you! 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 28, 2017 - 6:49pm
The Navy Times is an excellent source. So is the Pentagon which says Climate Change is a major threat to national security. I highly doubt anyone can call the Navy or the Pentagon a bunch of liberal leftwing snowflakes. 
Larry Kauf Added Feb 28, 2017 - 6:53pm
Awww Jen .... you disappoint!
OpEdNews.com, is a non-partisan, non-profit, bottom-up, progressive / liberal news, opinion, op-ed media site, activism tool and blog community.
Information Clearing House  This web site is the work of one person.
I am a private individual.  I am not affiliated with any particular political party.  Basically a news blog of 1 guy with a website.
CounterPunch  Not sure they know who they are other than folks can write articles for submission to a eMag that's published 6 time a year.
Consortiumnews   This one may actually be worth reading.  Magazine (print and online) dedicated to independent investigative journalism.
Zero Hedge  our method: pseudonymous speech...
anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. it thus exemplifies the purpose behind the bill of rights, and of the first amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation-- and their ideas from suppression-- at the hand of an intolerant society.    You decide if its worth reading anonymous drivel.
Have folks lost the ability to use objective thinking,  by watching/reading a little of the right, a little of the left, reading between the lines of each and finding the truth,  somewhere in the middle?  Does everyone have to be spoon fed news and they DECIDE which one they like the most,  so that must be the truth.
Geez its about to make my head explode !!!!
Bill talk me down from the ledge.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 28, 2017 - 7:11pm
Well Larry I'll take quality independent news over the habitual fake news liars of corporate mainstream media any damn day. MSNBC lied about Bernie Sanders supporters throwing chairs at the Iowa caucus and published lies about WikiLeaks publishing false information (story was from a Clinton supporter, big surprise), never offered a retraction for either and have recently aired even more ridiculous Russian conspiracy theories as "news". New York Times created the now debunked "Russian hacking" conspiracy theories nonsense and still pushes it. The Washington Post promoted the independent news slandering PropOrNot website of juvenile slander garbage (nothing backed up with any facts), they latter distanced themselves from PropOrNot when threatened by libel lawsuits. Shall I go on? Name one fake news story from any of the sites I mentioned, just one. Good luck with that I won't be holding my breath in intisesipation. 
And by the way, what specifically has you up in arms over a grassroots progressive site like OpEdNews? Also Information Clearing House mostly publishes stuff from independent journalists not the owner of the site. I also use Black Agenda Report, is that bad also because us uppity blacks don't know our place or what exactly? Whatever, don't bother. This adoration of corporate corruption and rejection of progressive and minority, working class and poor voter values is why I left the neofascist neoliberal Democratic Party for the Greens. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 28, 2017 - 7:25pm
Since this on gets Larry's (dubious) approval here is a article about the hypocrisy of the corporate mainstream media:
Mainstream Media’s ‘Victimhood’ – Consortiumnews - https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/28/mainstream-medias-victimhood
I got a bunch like this. But some never want to leave their bubble to open their eyes to some truth. 
Larry Kauf Added Feb 28, 2017 - 7:38pm
Blog news is not news but just repeated drivel.  Same a s twitter.  There is absolutely nothing of importance that can be said in 140 characters or less.  I didn't know what color you are and it doesn't matter, other than the fact that you brought it up.
New York Times created the now debunked "Russian hacking" conspiracy theories nonsense"   unfortunately, unlike the 23 + hearings on Benghazi, where time after time, no impropriety was found.  The Russian Hacking scandal is a story yet to be fully played out.
"Name one fake news story from any of the sites I mentioned, just one. Good luck with that I won't be holding my breath in intisesipation. "
 Opinions are like A**holes, everyone has one and can write about it. News strung together from other sources by a blogger cant be characterized as news,  that is researched with actual sources and a budget to do so.  Sometimes, they can make a pretty compelling case but that's where your analytical skills to sort out what is true and what is embellished,  comes in handy.
When Trump tells you he's going to have a Muslim ban and then closes the borders to specific countries that happen to be Muslim but says its for National Security.  Your BULLSHIT meter should go off bigtime.  It certainly did for a Judge who put his plans on hold.  Oh btw it was unconstitutional as well but hey... any moron with a pen can sign an Presidential Order.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Feb 28, 2017 - 7:46pm
Could not disagree with you more Larry, except the opinions are like assholes part. Now it's my turn to be disappointed in you. As for the Russian Hacking crap, I wrote an article about it here on Writer's Beat. My most recent article here is about the possible consequences of that Russophobic propaganda from the loser neoliberal Clintonites. 
Douglas Proudfoot Added Feb 28, 2017 - 8:56pm
Larry, I can feel your hate.  It's so nice.  It reminds me of being in ROTC from 1968 to 1972, getting spit at for wearing a US Air Force uniform.  I got called a trained killer all the time.  I had a routine for it.  "Do you really believe I'm a trained killer?" I would say quietly.  "Yeah, Yeah," they said enthusiastically.  "Then why are you pissing me off?" I would say, again quietly.
Next time, mention what a good job you guys did cutting off 75% of the aid for South Vietnam and outlawing US air strikes even after the Paris Peace accords were broken.  "Give Peace a Chance" translated into Pol Pot killing 2 million defenseless Cambodian men, women and children.  It also meant other Communists could kill several hundred thousand Vietnamese and Laotians.  It meant 2 million Vietnamese had to flee Vietnam in leaky boats to get away from the murderous North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.  But the New York Times said it was OK.  According to them ,there was no bloodbath!  Maybe they just didn't care because it was just Asians who died, not liberal, weed smoking Americans.
Larry Kauf Added Feb 28, 2017 - 11:36pm
Doug its not hate, just simple distain.  People that vote against their own self interests, I simply don't understand.  People that chug the Kool Aid and say ummm good, I have no patience for.  In 1968 I was 13 and was working with Handicapped kids, not spitting on Soldiers. 
The Domino theory didn't play out,  which was the whole reason for being in Viet Nam in the first place.  Today we trade with Viet Nam and I play golf with the son of a refugee.  THAT war was a mistake and you who fought bravely there as pawns,  were fortunate to return and are unsung hero's.  The plan ...such that it was,  was flawed with no end game.  Nothing good came out of that War.
Jenifer, I subscribe to Occam's razor.  Did Russia hack the DNC.  It appears that there is no DIRECT evidence. To what extent did Russia influence the election with mis or dis information?  Regardless of the extent of the impact we should be concerned about the attempt.  Would it be better for Trump to be in the White House, instead of Clinton.  Probably so.   Did/Does Trump have ties to Russia?   It appears that Flynn lied about his Russian interaction and had to resign.  Most Certainly Tillerson the new Sec of State, has dealings with Russia as does others in Trumps inner circle.  Is that a good thing?  What does Russia have on Trump?  All questions that should be asked and answered.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Mar 1, 2017 - 12:44am
What we should be concerned about Larry is that Flynn had to resign just for offering talks about normalizing relations with Russia to the Russian ambassador. The powers that be are so intent on war with Russia that it's virtually treason now to offer diplomacy! Unless you want to die in an unwinnable genocidal nuclear war with Russia this should scare the living shit out of everyone (as my article "Global Thermonuclear War with Russia?" details). 
There isn't even an evidence-free accusation of any dis or misinformation regarding the DNC leak only MSNBC ever alleged that and that allegation was proven false. WikilLeaks has a solid ten year history of credibility, a lot better than the CIA (Google Operation Mockingbird, Operation Condor, or Project Phoenix) or the fake news New York Times. The leaked information that the DNC rigged the primary for corporatist neoliberal warmonger Hilary Clinton was true. Whoever the whistleblower was that leaked the information deserves our gratitude. Lies and deception should never be tolerated in a presidential election! The DNC rigging the Democratic primary was election tampering. Revealing the DNC election tampering was not election tampering, the actual election tampering by the DNC the leak revealed was. 
Douglas Proudfoot Added Mar 1, 2017 - 12:46pm
Larry, the disdain is mutual.  Anybody who believes in the transformation of a greedy businessman into a saint when he takes a government position is someone who has no idea how the world really works.  Anyone who thinks concentrating power in a few hands in order to "help people" is ignorant of the political history of concentrated power.  Anyone who feels that the checks and balances of the Constitution are an anachronism, is just plain gullible.  Any liberal who thinks he knows better than I do what my interests are, has no idea that he has stumbled upon the reason Trump won.  People want to make their own decisions.  They don't believe government experts know better than they do themselves what's good for them.
Three dominoes fell: South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  Burma and Thailand were shaken but held.   As I said before, the death totals were horrible.  It's interesting that you totally ignored the deaths, just like any good liberal does.
John Locke published his Two Treatises on Government in 1690, to justify the overthrow of James II in 1688.  Locke said that government existed by the consent of the governed.  Locke also said that government's purpose was to preserve the life, liberty and property of each individual it governed.  As you can see, Locke was very influential at the time the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written.  
Today liberals believe people are too stupid and ignorant to give informed consent.  Liberals believe the purpose of government is to regulate life, constrain liberty as much as possible, and redistribute property.  That's why there are a series of voter revolts transforming Western Democracies, with more to come.  Locke had it right, liberals are wrong and voters instinctively know the difference even if they have never heard of Locke.
As to your specific point about the EPA, you have presented a false choice.  There is a lot of middle ground between the abolishing the EPA and allowing it it to control every mud puddle on the hundred year flood plain.  The EPA has passed the point of diminishing returns.
In general, allowing regulations, which have the force of law, to become effective without Congressional approval should be unconstitutional.  Calling them regulations does not make them any less binding than laws are.  You can still get fined or go to jail for violating them.  Article I of the Constitution says all legislation comes from Congress.  The Supreme Court used the written equivalent of newspeak, which they call a "Living Constitution," to rewrite that section to allow regulatory agencies to have executive, legislative and judicial functions all in a single agency.  No separation of powers seems to be needed, according to the Supremes.  This is another reason voters chose Trump.  We want our representatives to make these decisions, not faceless bureaucrats who think they know what's best for us better than we do ourselves.
Larry Kauf Added Mar 1, 2017 - 1:38pm
Anybody who believes in the transformation of a greedy businessman into a saint when he takes a government position is someone who has no idea how the world really works.
That certainly does not reflect my belief or position, nor does your next 2 sentences.
Three dominoes fell: South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
So What? Did the Red menace go any further than that and how is this relevant today?  We trade with those 3 countries today and there's nothing like a little Capitalism, to turn Red to Green.
the death totals were horrible.  It's interesting that you totally ignored the deaths, just like any good liberal does.
I ignored them because unlike today and the Wars fought,  large Death tolls for military and civilians is WHAT WAR is about.  Did you hear anyone crying about the death tolls in WW  1 or 2?   Do you know about the death tolls in the March of Corregidor? How about Hiroshima or Nagasaki?  Death tolls in War is what brings party's to the table to negotiate Peace.  When the death toll gets to be too high a price then its time to talk.
That has not happened in the sanitized wars of today where drones do the dirty work.  Maybe its about time to put a bit more horror in Wars,  so Politicians are not so eager to fight them.
We want our representatives to make these decisions, not faceless bureaucrats who think they know what's best for us better than we do ourselves.
Our representatives have done such a dandy job with this.  From Women's Rights to Gun legislation, they have done a great job.  Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.   What could possibly be wrong with that?
Douglas Proudfoot Added Mar 1, 2017 - 4:18pm
If businessmen are still greedy and selfish when they are working for the EPA, how can we trust them with the unchecked power required to control all fossil fuel consumption?  If people work for government their entire lives, does that turn them into socialist man, someone who acts for the greater good, and not just his own self interest?
Since you can see no difference between soldiers killed in combat and unarmed civilians killed with the shovels they used to dig their own burial trenches, I don't think you have a realistic view of international law in this area.  For you, obviously, anything Communists or Islamic terrorists do to further their cause is just fine.  The laws of war don't seem to apply to anybody other than the US military.  
You are an insensitive, selfish liberal.  You have no empathy for any dead civilians unless they further your domestic political agenda.  Since the dead killed after the US withdrawal from Vietnam can only serve to embarrass the Anti-War movement, they have to be classed as the general price of war, not the victims of genocide and war crimes facilitated by the "Peace" movement.  Per your own statement, the Vietnam War was over, so no more casualties were required to bring the US to the negotiating table.  Almost all of these casualties were inflicted by the Communist victors on unarmed civilians.  Once the US withdrew, there was almost no armed resistance anywhere in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the price we had to pay to get the Japanese to surrender.  The US expected so many casualties from an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands they ordered 500,000 Purple Heart medals in 1945.  We are still using up those 1945 Purple Heart medals today.  If you believe the Japanese would have surrendered without both bombs, read my blog post on it with all of the links showing that's not true:
About any bills Trump signs, I am not responsible for everything Trump does just because I voted for him.  I don't have to like or defend everything Trump and the Republican Congress do.  I only have to say that I prefer the Constitutional legislative process over trusting "enlightened" bureaucrats to make good decisions with no checks or balances.  If you want to call that the tribal wisdom of a white Protestant with an Anglophile Jewish grandfather, go ahead.  There's a reason English speaking people set up governments bound by law, rather than trusting kings to do the right thing.  It's because we had so many kings that did the wrong thing, starting in 1215 with King John.  We needed laws and charters, like the Magna Carta, to protect ourselves from bad kings.  We still feel the need for a written Constitution, that means what it says, to protect us from power-mad would be kings.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 4, 2017 - 7:42pm
Maybe we should get a real expert to look at the Internet legislation? Yeah, we should.  and not the providers or current, new, lineup at FCC.  Internet "Privacy" rules and Net Nuetrality are two different hoses with a common bridle.  The bridle is worthy of discussion.  We're still living under the shadow of the Telecommunications Act of '96, which was Bill Clinton's sop to internet providers, consolidation and out of control costs at a consumer level.
Bill H. Added Mar 4, 2017 - 10:22pm
Exactly Jeff-
We need to stop the internet from becoming a camera to our bedroom and a bunch of advertising billboards in the hallway, along with knowing what is in our refrigerator and our medicine cabinet for all to plunder.
It won't be long before we are able to see what is going on in our neighbor's bedroom using the Google Bedroom function on Google Maps.
And of course, it will be backed-up with feeds from the Google Drone camera (only if you sign up for Google Earth). 
Next thing you know, it will be connected to the interior of our brains via a "Health Monitor" system sold to us as the answer to good living, but coming with an 85 page user agreement that states the obvious in jumbled lawyer legalese on page 84 in small print.
So is the Internet Privacy Act.
Larry Kauf Added Mar 5, 2017 - 12:01pm
The distractions continue!  Bait and switch just like any good magician, you focus on the unimportant while the magician bring in the big reveal.
So now its,  Obama Wiretapped my campaign and Trump Towers. All that distracting from the big reveal ... that HE and his team were in bed with the Russians to win.  Trump is beyond pissed, that Sessions recused himself from the slam dunk investigation that would have showed nothing.  Now they have to have a "real"  committee investigation.
If you have a problem with that, then where were you on the Benghazi investigations, all 23 of them the turned up nothing.  What do ya suppose that cost?  Now your gonna kick about 1 lousy investigation?
So the question is: if you have to dream up a wiretap scheme to distract from Russia, what's really there?  Could be nothing or a whole lot of something!!!   So when is the Ways and Means committee gonna pull Trumps Tax returns, if he doesn't give them up?   They DO have the power to do just that.  What might those show.   That not only is his Team liars,  but he is the Liar in Chief!
Bill H. Added Mar 11, 2017 - 11:46am
Larry, you are correct.
It has been this way from day one. Trump and his "communications team" are experts at Deny, Divert, Distract, Deceive tactics, which are key during any authoritarian dictator regime.
He is now trying to seal leaks from what is left of Patriots in the White House and elsewhere by firing 46 US Attorneys. I suspect that this was done quickly, as he realizes they would probably be the ones to conduct a Bipartisan investigation into his Russian ties, since a bipartisan commission as was appointed during 911is unlikely.
 Don't forget that he silenced many Federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency; Departments of Health & Human Services, Transportation, Agriculture, and Interior; the National Institutes of Health simply due to their stand on the environment and climate change.
This week he is doing his best to try and divert from the Russian connection dilemma by trying to mask it with sudden activity on the health care front.
I truly believe that Trumps "knee-jerk" calls for an investigation will backfire on him and result in his tax returns being summoned, which will be his demise.
Bill H. Added Mar 11, 2017 - 4:17pm
Now we have a situation where Trump abruptly ordered 46 prosecutors to resign out of nowhere.
It seems quite obvious to me that this was done in preparation for the possible formation of a committee composed of some of the prosecutors to investigate Trump.
It was mentioned that Trump may already be under investigation, but this was denied by the administration.
Things are looking VERY SHADY!
Larry Kauf Added Mar 12, 2017 - 1:03am
If your were the Russians, what better way to neutralize an opponent than to weaken or destroy that opponent from within.
First you remove contact with other allies and NATO by firing over 400 State Dept employees that have been with the SD for 30-40 years. All professional Diplomats with long term experience and put in place your guy at the top Tillerson, who holds the highest civilian Medal of Honor Russia can give.
The you fire all the federal judges that could investigate or cause you any problems and keep only the ones that might go along.
You build up the Military so you, as Commander in Chief can beat down any attempts to remove you while at the same time can turn a blind eye, on any country that didn't 'play ball'.
And finally, while the economy grows and jobs increase on the coattails of everything Obama put in place, now that you're in can take credit and soothe your base who feel left behind.
All ya need is another Rally next week to keep the unwashed masses drinking the Kool-Aid.
Bill H. Added Mar 12, 2017 - 5:51pm
Monday should prove interesting.
Bill H. Added Mar 13, 2017 - 11:38pm
As expected, another day of the Trump specialty - Deflect, Deny, Distract, Discredit and Delay.
Conway and Spicer must spend 24 hours a day coming up with bullshit and tactics.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 19, 2017 - 11:41am
wsucram15 writes: Net Neutrality is going to be a hard fought issue and I fought it last time out. Its not just about privacy, its about lanes of traffic that you will not be able to access any longer at a normal rate.  Its going to cost an enormous amount to be on the net.  - Yup.  You'll have the choice of "those expensive pipes over there" for your web service, OR "THOSE CHEAPER PIPES THERE NOBODY CAN USE."  Providers will hold content at a financial gun point.  But then that's the idea.  The major providers (pick one) are the ultimate rentiers and demand supremacy.
Bill H. Added Mar 25, 2017 - 12:01am
Being that Trump's healthcare plan got filed away today due to lack of support, I suspect he is going to get his buddies in the health insurance industry to begin a terror campaign with rate increases, coverage cutbacks, and the addition of new maximum coverage limits that in his mind will cause people to start begging for a new plan.
This is "the art of the deal" in his mind.
Stay tuned!
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Mar 25, 2017 - 12:18am
Hopefully Net Neutrality neutralizion will flop just as badly. Why the hell do we have to keep fighting and fighting to "win" shit we already supposedly "won", but the bad shit we can never get rid of? Like Jeffry say, that's DUHmerican way! Ridiculous! 
Bill H. Added Mar 29, 2017 - 12:43pm
The House just passed a bill that eliminates internet privacy rules. The next stop is Trump's desk, and you know he will sign it without any thought process being involved.
Now your ISP can collect information about all of the sites that you visit, including any traffic or messaging that you send to and receive from these sites. Of course, this was done simply to increase profits for companies that buy and sell your data, along with allowing even more data for law enforcement agencies to access. One of the main drivers is the ability of the ISP to track your interests and buying habits, which will allow them to stream "customized" advertising directly to all of the TV's and other devices that you own. Right now this is being done on a demographic (age/race/income) basis, but the existing infrastructure will support individual targeted advertising with no changes.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 30, 2017 - 4:52pm
Well, the farces of darkness won and now the net is all ads all the time.  Industry sop:  When we know all about you, you'll only see ads YOU want to see.  RIIIGHT.  The internet machine pumped a lot of money into getting this past, and the conman in chief can only sign it into law. 
Bill H. Added Apr 2, 2017 - 7:21pm
It's already happening. I solicited a contractor off of Angie's List about a week ago, and now I am getting bombed with Angie's List commercials on virtually all networks on my cable system. My wife bought some designer pillows off of Wayfarer.com about 3 days ago, and guess what! You guessed it, for the last 2 evenings all of a sudden we are getting bombarded with Wayfarer.com commercials on every channel I go to.
Next thing you know, Apple will be coming out with the IBrain that will let all of the corporations know what you are thinking so that they can get the ads going before you make your decisions.

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