Media Blackout on US ‘Smart Grid Deployment’

David Dees

By James F. Tracy

Over the past several years a conspiracy of silence has surrounded the implementation of the Smart Grid across the United States, perhaps with good reason. If the public was aware of what lay behind this agenda there would likely be considerable outcry and resistance.

“Smart meters”–the principal nodes of the Smart Grid network–are being installed on homes and businesses by power utilities across the United States under the legal and fiscal direction of the United States government. In December 2007 both houses of the US Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA).

This 310-page piece of legislation employs the dubious science of anthropogenic CO2-based climate change science to mandate an array of policies, such as fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and “green” energy initiatives. Tucked away in the final pages of this law is the description and de facto mandate for national implementation of the Smart Grid that the Bush administration promised would result in “some of the largest CO2 emission cuts in our nation’s history.”[1]

The bill unambiguously lays out the design and intent behind the Smart Grid, including surveillance, tiered energy pricing, and energy rationing for all US households and businesses through round-the-clock monitoring of RFID-chipped “Energy Star” appliances.[2] Congress and “other stakeholders” (presumably for-profit utilities and an array of Smart Grid technology patent holders[3] whose lobbyists co-wrote the legislation) describe the Smart Grid’s characteristics and goals via ten provisions.

(1) Increased use of digital information and controls technology to improve reliability, security, and efficiency of the electric grid.
(2) Dynamic optimization of grid operations and resources with full cyber-security.
(3) Deployment[4] and integration of distributed resources and generation, including renewable resources.
(4) Development and incorporation of demand response, demand-side resources, and energy efficiency resources.
(5) Deployment of “smart” technologies (real-time, automated, interactive technologies that optimize the physical operation of appliances and consumer devices) for metering, communications concerning grid operations and status, and distribution automation.
(6) Integration of “smart” appliances and consumer devices.
(7) Deployment and integration of advanced electricity storage and peak-shaving technologies, including plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and thermal-storage air conditioning.
(8) Provision to consumers of timely information and control operations.
(9) Development of standards for communication and interoperability of appliances and equipment connected to the electric grid, including the infrastructure serving the grid.
(10) Identification and lowering of unreasonable or unnecessary barriers to adoption of smart grid technologies, practices, and services [emphases added].[5]

Less than two years after EISA’s enactment President Barack Obama directed $3.4 billion of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to Smart Grid development. Matching funds from the energy industry brought the total initial Smart Grid investment to $8 billion.[6] The overall completion of the Smart Grid will cost another $330 billion.[7] Today a majority of energy delivery throughout the US is routed to homes equipped with smart meters that monitor power consumption on a minute-to-minute basis.

As noted, the American public remains largely unaware of the numerous designs and monied interests behind the Smart Grid–not to mention how smart meters themselves pose substantial dangers to human health and privacy. This is because the plan for tiered energy pricing via wireless monitoring of household appliances has been almost entirely excluded from news media coverage since the EISA became law on December 19, 2007.

A LexisNexis search of US print news outlets for “Energy Independence and Security Act” and “Smart Grid” between the dates December 1, 2007 to January 31, 2008 yields virtually no results.

An identical LexisNexis search of such media for the dates December 1, 2007 to February 18, 2015 retrieves a total 11 print news items appearing in US dailies (seven in McClatchey Tribune papers; one article appearing in each of the following: New York Times 8/14/08, Santa Fe New Mexican, 5/12/09, Providence Journal, 2/24/11, Tampa Bay Times, 12/13/12).[8]

Even this scant reportage scarcely begins to examine the implications of the EISA’s Smart Grid plan. The New York Times chose to confine its coverage to a 364-word article, “The 8th Annual Year in Ideas; Smart Grids.” “It’s a response to what economists would call a tragedy of the commons,” the Times explains.

[P]eople use as much energy as they are willing to pay for, without giving any thought to how their use affects the overall amount of energy available … Enter Xcel’s $100 million initiative, called SmartGridCity, a set of technologies that give both energy providers and their customers more control over power consumption … Consumers, through a Web-enabled control panel in their homes, are able to regulate their energy consumption more closely — for example, setting their A.C. system to automatically reduce power use during peak hours.[9]

News in far more modest papers likewise resembles the promotional materials distributed by the utilities themselves. “There will soon be a time when homeowners can save electricity by having appliances automatically adjust power for peak-demand times and other periods of inactivity by a signal sent through the electrical outlet,” an article in Sunbury Pennsylvania’s Daily Item reads. “‘Right now, it’s at the infant stage,'” a power company executive observes. “‘We didn’t worry about this until two years ago. Nobody cared when electricity was five cents per kilowatt hour. People just bit the bullet and paid the bill.'”[10]

Smart Grid Czar Patricia Hoffman

Along these lines, the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman, is charged under the EISA with federal oversight of nationwide Smart Grid implementation. In other words, Hoffman is America’s “Smart Grid Czar.” Yet despite heading up such a dubious program since 2010, she has almost entirely escaped journalistic scrutiny, having been referenced or quoted in only four US daily papers (Washington Post, 2/8/12, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 4/26/12, Palm Beach Post, 5/12/13, Pittsburgh Tribune Review 11/13/13) since her tenure began.

In an era where news media wax rhapsodic over new technologies and fall over each other to report consumer-oriented “news you can use,” the Smart Grid’s pending debut should be a major story. It’s not. Indeed, almost the entire US population remains in the dark about this major technological development that will profoundly impact their lives.

When one more closely examines the implications and realities of the federally-approved Smart Grid scheme—from the adverse health effects of electromagnetic radiation to surveillance and energy rationing—there should be little wonder why this degree of silence surrounds its implementation. Such a technocratic system would never be freely accepted if subject to an open exchange and referendum.


[1] “Fact Sheet: Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007,”, December 19, 2007.

[2] “ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR program was established by EPA in 1992, under the authority of the Clean Air Act Section 103(g).”

[3] Jeff St. John, “Who’s Got the Most Smart Grid Patents?”, August 5, 2014.

[4] The word “deployment,” commonly used in government and technical plans for the Smart Grid’s launch, is a military term. From the Latin displicāre, “to scatter,” the modern definition is “[t]o distribute (persons or forces) systematically or strategically.”

[5] Public Law 110-140, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Title XIII, Section 1301, Washington DC: United States Congress, December 19,2007.

[6] “President Obama Announces $3.4 Billion Investment to Spur Transition to Smart Energy Grid,”, October 27, 2009.

[7] Jon Chavez, “Expert Sees $2 Trillion Benefit For Country in Smart Grid,” Toledo Blade, January 16 2013.

[8] In contrast, seven times as many articles (78) appeared in law journals over the same seven year period.

[9] Clay Risen, “”The 8th Annual Year in Ideas; Smart Grids,” New York Times, December 14, 2008.

[10] Jaime North, “Devices Will Soon Monitor Themselves,” Daily Item, October 4, 2008.

42 thoughts on “Media Blackout on US ‘Smart Grid Deployment’”

  1. In a similar vein, last night’s evening news in Boston contained three stories about people being charged excessively for travel across the Tobin Bridge, people who were holdouts for the FastPass. They did not feel their use of the bridge warranted having to put a transponder in their vehicles, and they were told (since toll-takers no longer exist there) that their license plates would be photographed and they would be billed by mail.

    Well, it seems that has some bugs in it. For one thing, if you miss a payment, it starts to go up exponentially. It isn’t just a ticket, it is a vampire. The billed traveler is told that he hasn’t paid, and slapped with a multi-hundred dollar bill for crossing say four times in one month, and the public is mollified by thinking these are “dead-beats” who are complaining.

    They were probably crisis actors, but one young black man interviewed put it this way: “I’ll settle for the hundreds they want from me, because I simply value my freedom to travel and do not want a transponder.” Gee, a nutcase, huh? A real Braveheart hold-out.

    One woman claimed that she took the transportation issue into mediation and she agreed to pay $400 for 40 trips across the bridge (they originally wanted to hit her for $1500).

    This is no accident, those bills. It is highway robbery – with a purpose.

      1. But it looks like in this case, people were being intimidated into purchasing what in Massachusetts is called the “Fast Pass” which is an electronic device that can possibly keep track of them even after they have left the toll road or the bridge. It is this in-your-face thuggery that got me when I saw the report.

      2. I’ve used the toll road in Orange County, California, but to get there you use public roads. It was relatively traffic free. But if all roads became privatized, they too would fill up with traffic. Plus, whose duty would it be to maintain them? It is true that a German dynasty named the “Hohenzollerns” became powerful due to their being toll-takers. But I personally am unconvinced that anyone running such a thing would be better than the government. They’d get their right-of-way from sweetheart deals, and then hold up the public purse for more funding if they got sick of running the thing or had unforeseen expenses.

        If profitability is the thing, then if it isn’t profitable, you don’t get to travel.

        The Tobin Bridge and the toll roads in Boston take in far more than they need, it has been alleged. The money goes into lots of slushy things I am sure. But I was meaning merely to point the tactics that are used to force people into conformity with a new, probably expensive technology, which seems to fit right into a “Panopticon” which our national security state has going on, in conjunction with other favored nations (“Five Eyes” and their sidekicks).

  2. At a recent school board meeting a woman asked if our schools had smart meters. Not one board member or the superintend knew what they were. The woman also bought up the fact that France and Canada are removing Wi-Fi in schools and day cares due to the health hazards, again blank stares.

    Most people don’t even know what this all means, the Wi-Fi the Rf meters, smart meters they never heard of any of these things being a problem.

    1. And they won’t. Ever. Just as they have no idea that putting fluoride in the water is poisoning them. Americans are the stupidest people in the world. Yet, they think they are special. Yea, especially moronic.

      The real tragedy here is the enthusiastic march into the re-education camps all these topics represent; our people enthusiastically, proudly, re-poison themselves with influenza vaccines each year, and poison their children’s blood with 40+ toxic potions before the immune system has developed, damaging them for life. Our people are proud of this behavior. USA! USA! USA!

      We are cheerfully marching into the camps. As Fred Reed ( said, brilliantly,

      “I am hard pressed to think of a society in such internal decline that has turned itself around, and I cannot imagine how ours might do so. One sure thing is that, once the internet is gelded, there will be no hope at all. And the assault has begun.”

        1. Americans are GETTING the “smart” grid because they are the stupidest people. They are too dumb to know it is happening to them–but they can easily be convinced to want it.

          Mencken had our number in the 20s. If we were that stupid a century ago, before fluoride and chemtrails and vaccines and John Dewey and television, imagine how scathing his comments would be today?

      1. Just like we eagerly march our kids into state indoctrination centers every day for 13+ years…

        If I had a dollar for every parent who has conceded that, yes, the school system is bad, but “thankfully, our neighborhood school has stayed solid.” Yeah, just keep telling yourself that, folks, and go right back to sleep.

      2. Just the fact Bush passed this Energy Independence and Security Act proves the NEOCONS are right in bed with Democrats in this whole Global Warming CO2 farce scheme.

        1. Ric;

          You got that right.
          The late Alabama Governor George Wallace got it right several generations ago: On the real issues, there “isn’t a dime’s bit of difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties. . . .“

  3. Americans are not stupid, Patrick, we’re crazy. Rather, we are stupid BECAUSE we are crazy. We have been miseducated, misinformed, and misentertained to identify with anti-people American power. Consequently our consciousness has been ideological deranged to make us easier to rule. We have been systematically miseducated by the schools as children to learn the ideological misconceptions that enable the mass media to systematically misinform us as adults.

    This has occurred so effectively because the capitalist oligarchy that has ruled us historically has been highly experienced in advertising and market, and therefore highly skilled in manipulative deception. They and their professional truth agents have done a wonderful job in getting us to do as we are told, and to think what we have been taught. This will require an historic truth revolution to correct.

    1. Good luck with that.

      Bertrand Russell wrote in 1952 in “the impact of science on Society”, that:
      Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.

      Dreaming about reversing that process the way you dream is for this reason a fool’s errand. Monsters like Russell are Orwell’s “O’Brien,” who informed Winston Smith that the Party had learned how to stop the cycles of history, so the “middle” could never again overthrow the “top,” as had always been the case throughout time. In the book, it was done in precisely the way Russell prescribes. The only difference is that the monsters who took over where Russell left off have added new elements to the mind-destroying mix, by poisoning the skies with chemtrails and saturating the space around us with electro-magnetic frequencies unknown to nature–which makes the stupidity of the people as a whole even more irreversible.

      No, the New World Order will arrive on schedule, Antichrist will rule it, and, in Jesus’ words (Matthew 24:21,22): For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

      Jesus’ return is a rescue mission, and our only hope, because humanity can’t pull itself out of the tailspin it has entered.

      1. I thought I was replying to “Folktruther,” in my comment below. Patrick, the only reason these prophecies appear to be coming true is not because of God or because Jesus has not returned, but because bad people are writing the script to make it look that way, and they have the power–the money–to do it.

        Don’t count on “Jesus’s return” to bail us out. We need to figure the way out, ourselves; and actually, the internet, for all that the information on it is so easily manipulated, is our means to communicate with one another, raise consciousness of our fellows, and overthrow the beasts. (And I do mean “beasts,” plural, not “Beast.”)

    2. Yeah, and how about the recent admission in the New York Times that dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol are not related, after all! All the hype leading us to prefer high-refined-sugar breakfast cereals for breakfast instead of eggs (and bacon) is just dead wrong, unsupported by any good science whatsoever!

      Eggs are nature’s perfect food.

      1. This is a perfect example, and it could stand in for countless other times the moronic state blunderingly goes about “fixing” what ain’t broke, all the while swaggering about like the smartest smartie ever to have a podium to stand on.

        The idea that eating cholesterol produces waxy plaque in your veins, leading to heart attacks, started as a theory in the 1950s. This is a great article on that history: I recommend everyone read the whole thing. Here is a sample:

        “Most animal fats—like butter, lard and tallow—have a large proportion of saturated fatty acids. Saturated fats are straight chains of carbon and hydrogen that pack together easily so that they are relatively solid at room temperature. Oils from seeds are composed mostly of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These molecules have kinks in them at the point of the unsaturated double bonds. They do not pack together easily and therefore tend to be liquid at room temperature. Judging from both food data and turn-of-the-century cookbooks, the American diet in 1900 was a rich one—with at least 35 to 40 percent of calories coming from fats, mostly dairy fats in the form of butter, cream, whole milk and eggs. Salad dressing recipes usually called for egg yolks or cream; only occasionally for olive oil. Lard or tallow served for frying; rich dishes like head cheese and scrapple contributed additional saturated fats during an era when cancer and heart disease were rare. Butter substitutes made up only a small portion of the American diet, and these margarines were blended from coconut oil, animal tallow and lard, all rich in natural saturates.”

        It has all been a giant scam from the start–but Americans are stupid, and easily led into suicidal fallacies. The idea that carbon dioxide, AKA “plant food,” is harmful, is only the most ridiculous example. The stupid sheep believe anything, if the “experts” the state employs say it with enough seriousness. All that’s needed if the sheep start to wonder if the dissenters might have a point is a catch-phrase, a “trigger” as it’s called in the SRA/DID mind control world of Monarch Programming. All they have to do to shut down critical thinking in the slaves is say “Conspiracy Theory”; “birther”; “truther.”

        What will it take for people to abandon a lifetime of lies that make poisonous fats the “healthy” ones, and butter, lard, whole, raw milk, and eggs the best food for hear health–as our ancestors knew for ever prior to the current insanity?

        I can’t see it happening. They’re too dumb.

        1. .CO2 is not plant food. C6H12O6, glucose, which can be metabolized to starch and cellulose is plant food

        2. “…all the while swaggering about like the smartest smartie ever to have a podium to stand on.”

          Ha! Brilliant!

          For those interested, “The Oiling of America” is available, lecture-style, on YouTube. It’s a fabulous, frightening, and informative two hours.

          I remember hearing on the news, just weeks before it was declared that eggs weren’t TOO bad for us after all, that consuming an egg had (get ready for it) the equivalent bad effect on the body as smoking a pack of cigarettes. Apparently, we really are THAT stupid.

          And I agree with Dino: eggs (in their natural form) are the perfect food.

        3. I think Patrick’s quote means that CO2 is what plants take in, which is how they can make the sugars they make. It isn’t processed by us until the plant takes it in. And plants aren’t just growing on land. There is a large amount of plant life as ocean phytoplankton – some life forms being mutual relationships where a tiny animal has algae making energy for it from sunlight and CO2, living in its transparent greenhouse of a body. This layer of plants or plant-containing material also processes CO2 – maybe even more of it than happens on the land.

  4. the power companies installing these smrt mtrs are private companies….as such…they have no more right to enter a property w/out permission than a private individual has…..

    as such: they can, under Common Law, be “seen off”….with force, if necessary!

    1. I’m not a lawyer but I believe the rationale is that the meters NEVER belong to the consumer; they remain the property of the company. As such, they feel they have the right to have access to them. For all I know, it very well may be in our utility contracts.

      Don’t forget, when things start to get really hinkey, they can always say fine, we’ll just cut off your electricity then. It would pay to have someone on an iron lung in your home if that happens. At least that would buy some time as they can’t just cut off utilities to such homes.

  5. Patrick’s comment implying that 9/11-anthrax marks the end of the Western tradition has profound historical implications, as opposed to his childish religious fairy tales. The Western tradition of Free Enterprise appears to be ending in a ‘gangster state,’ as Parenti has referred to it. The capitalist oligarchy under the War on Terrorism, using the billions it has stolen from the American and world’s people, apparently has BOUGHT the American government. Oligarchical multi-billionaires finance both parties and prevent others from forming.

    Most Americans don’t realize it, or want to know it’s implications. The truth problem–what Project Censored has called the Truth Emergency–is not so much ignorance but denial. It is a not a question of not knowing so much as not wanting to know. Americans have been Educated and Informed to forget the past, deny the present, and ignore the future. So we live in an eternal No Truth Zone, where ideologically unpleasant truths are dropped down the Memory Hole.

    It is living and being conditioned in this No Truth Zone that has deranged our consciousness historically to make us easier to rule. It has operatively destroyed. or is destroying, the ideology of Freedom&Democracy that has legitimated the Western tradition. What is being legitimated instead is political gangsterism; a low intensity but endless war abroad, with a militarized police state at home. And Americans appear stuck in a delusional political stupor in the No Truth Zone. But not for long, as American world power rapidly slides down the razorblade of history.

  6. What else aren’t they telling us? Bet there are thousands who have lost their lives due to the geo-engineered blizzards of 2015 that just refuse to let up.

    Thought it was strange that a local parent in GA complained the school was too cold for her child even with multiple layers of clothes. The official explained they maintain the state mandated temperature of 68 degrees, although they turn the units off from 6 am to 10 am to save money. What?

    Back in the turn of our current century, there was a big push to deregulate the electric industry. CA was first on board of course and the results were disastrous with major power failures that were directly related to the ENRON scandal. Is this form of corruption and failure of the grid likely to happen again? More than likely and the commodity brokers will profit once again.

    The green fanatics have been bilked and likely those smart meters will only facilitate the rationing of a scarce and expensive supply of energy. The states that now brag of being deregulated, only offer the guise of energy choice. You can still buy from your local gas & electric supplier who will continue to sell it to you, or you can pay another “supplier” a premium to do the same and still pay your local utility transportation fees! They are the new snake oil salesmen who may offer a discount at first, only to hose you later. There was a time, they thought the fine citizens were willing to pay more for green energy – they were not, and likely saw through the whole scam from the beginning.

    Keep wondering if the property of New England and CA has been sold off, and the minor detail of removing the feeders is being slowly implemented.

    Sadly, nuclear is one of the greenest energy sources and it may be many generations before this is known again. Our utility [hidden] taxes spent many billions on building a safe storage area at Yucca Mountain, for the relatively small amount of waste each plant generates and bad old dirty harry reneged on the deal just before implementation even though his state profited immensely for screwing us. Every plant had to devise new plans for storing the waste on site, bad idea and again another huge hidden cost to the taxpayers.

    What is up with all the train explosions and how many have we not heard of? Who knew Warren Buffet owns all the railroad tracks or the rights to use them and shipping crude via pipeline is now considered more dangerous?

    Apologies for citing wiki and now the NYT, but certainly by now we can deploy our propaganda filters to hear what is being broadcast. 70% of the NE home heating fuel [and much more] is shipped through the Hudson River and the Coast Guard is working diligently to keep it ice free.

    1. Pendanticskirt,

      Thank you for mentioning the derailment in WV. That was a crazy day, to say the least.

      WV was having its worst storm since 2003 when the train wrecked. So, not only were these poor people terrified by the fact they (at that moment) had NO CLUE what was exploding on that train (many were running for their lives, worried the next blast would level the town or the fumes would poison them)

      Snow was coming down at 2″ per hour, it was 15° and the water, ONCE AGAIN, BARELY A YEAR LATER, was shut off and intake valves closed.

      The evacuation process in that mess was a nightmare. The ability for emergency workers to even reach the site was extremely difficult. Emergency Response Center was empty for hours simply because officials were unable to travel to get there.

      My whole point of this post? I’ve seen comment after comment on news articles talking about the wreck, blaming the stupid hillbillies for the infrastructure, and for being dumb enough to live by a train track.

      Our elections last November brought a lot of new people in to try and make things better, yet as you and I both know there’s only one agenda when it comes to politics. So not much has really changed.

      Our area has so many potential disasters I don’t think it really matters where you live. I’ve “sheltered in place” plenty. Our chemical plants are scary. Monsanto poisoned the town of Nitro and Bayer neglects to report incidents of explosions and leaks in Institute, DuPont, just south of Charleston isn’t much better.

      No elected official is going to do anything against these big companies! And its cheaper for them to pay fines then follow regulation. Which is why half these laws that are passed don’t even matter.

      I don’t think the residents in the town of Boomer are responsible for maintaining the track and the public response has been so far off the issues it’s sad.

      Makes me wonder if the crash happened elsewhere, if people would take it more seriously. I’ve lived all over the country, in many major cities, & I can honestly say this is the best place I’ve ever lived, people -wise. ( and I still wonder if last year’s water crisis wasn’t a false flag… gave our National Guard something to do DHS got to play us a show and they saw what would happen if a small metropolitan area was without water for over a week)

      1. Dandelionnexus
        There are good folks everywhere, know quite a few in SC that moved here from WVa for the same reasons. Seems certain areas of the country have been declared toxic waste dumps that will never be cleaned up, so why bother the current polluters who no doubt keep the current honey hole brimming with kickbacks.

        There was a huge chrorine/train explosion 10 years back in a small town not far from here. The 2:30 am explosion caused major death and destruction, hundreds were hospitalized. The town had about 5 thousand people and now basically does not exist at all. Unless you survive such an event, you will never have a clue of how horrible it is with no where to go and not able to breath.

        This article indicates the recent train explosion did have the newest containers the government is phasing in, so much for state of the art!

        The article sited on the WVA explosion also shows how the transport of oil & ethanol has exploded in recent years, the North Dakota oil boom being a big part of it.

        Bill Gates is also a big holder of US Railroads. Back in the day when playing Monopoly, whoever owned the railroads always took over the bank in the end!

        1. There are definitely good people, all over the place for sure. I just feel frustrated when I see people act like because it’s WV the accident happened.

          People discussing the wreck from outside WV act as if those people who live near the tracks simply get what they deserve. It’s bizarre.

          As far as my life experience, was just saying where I live now, happens to have everything I need and then some 🙂

        2. I understand you Skirt. I just meant–why all the oil train blowups all of a sudden? Gasoline is way more volatile and has been hauled in the same tank cars, or even older ones, for decades, and in large volume, but the press says very little about that. It seems to me like the oil tanks may be getting a little help in the blowing up phase. After all, many have interest in taking the business away from the railroad and putting it in a new pipeline. Its not as easy to get a double walled tank car to rupture and blow up as it might seem, let alone get a whole train to do it. It always seems to happen in town too, considering the tens of thousands of miles of rural track. That’s all I meant.

    2. Skirt,
      Warren Buffet does not own all the tracks, nor does he have rights to all of them, just the ones that matter. He owns 51% of BNSF Railway, which track-wise is the second largest RR in the US(probably not cash-wise though). Railroads have been granted trackage rights on each others property over the years as an attempt by the federal government to promote competition after allowing some pretty big mergers. Buffet, an Omaha native, picked BNSF rather than Omaha’s own UPRR, much to their dismay. He was way ahead of everyone when choosing the road that would get him into the bakken, while still holding onto key petrochem trackage rights to the refineries.

      Why these crude oil trains have become such an issue is beyond me. The tank cars it is hauled in should be just as tough as any. Trains loaded with Gasoline and diesel are the norm, and it doesn’t seem like they are blowing up left and right, or being demonized when they do. Gasoline and crude are both listed as flammable but do not share the same UN classification. Surely if these trains are prohibited, or regulated into uselessness, someone will benefit(think keystone XL).

      BNSF stock was rolled into Berkshire-Hathaway. Funny, I don’t remember that being called a merger.

  7. I wasn’t going to comment again on Patrick’s absurd remarks on Bertrand Russell, since so much of what he says is preposterous, to the applause of other commenters. Russell was a 19th century liberal rationalist, a naïve but mostly decent political person, whose being branded as the vicious torturer in 1984 is ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense, but we are talking here about religion, not sense.

    In about 1940, the Russell was hired to teach a class in logic at New York university. He was attacked by the Church for something, I seem to remember some sexual tenet that he espoused, and was fired from the position by the usual American and religious censorship. The NY major was LaGuardia, an unusually enlightened political leader, but he was forced to this position because of the mindless adherence of the Church’s devotees, his political support. This was also why the Kennedys were soft on their opposition to McCarthy.

    One time Russell wrote a small book on WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN but in his many books he more or less ignored religion, much as the Founding Fathers did. But Patrick continues to attack Russell in the religious tradition, while the priests, let me say, continued to rape children while the hierarchy continued to cover it up. I used to play chess with a priest and he explained the historical background of this huge scandal.

    But the point here is that Russell was scheduled to teach a logic course, which had nothing whatever to do with the issues attacking him, But once censorship is in your bones, there is no end to it. The tendency then, as Patrick does, is to call it Freedom.

    1. I quoted the guy, Mark, and provided a link so you can check it out. He is damned by his own words. I don’t make this stuff up. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

      The New World Order was carefully planned, and systematically implemented. Orwell understood the plan from the inside. He knew all the Russells and Wellses, the purpose of the Fabian Society and the Round Table Groups. He knew that these toplofty swells were intent upon creating a totalitarianism so complete that no one could escape it, and wrote a book describing it all.

      In 1984, O’Brien, pretending to be part of an organization seeking to overthrow the Party, gives Winston Smith a book that reveals the true nature of the state of the world. Later, after he is arrested and finds out that O’Brien is not opposed to the Party after all, O’Brien tells him that HE wrote the book.

      The members of secret societies in the 20th century, like HG Wells and Bertrand Russell, wrote quite openly about what was going to be done to us. I’m guessing that once the trap is fully sprung it will be more like 1984, where such books are secret, to be used only as bait to catch dissenters. It will be a world where, “insanity” is defined by beginning to suspect that everything the state says is a lie. No accurate materials will be available. The O’Briens won’t be publishing their future plans for us, because that would mean telling the truth about history–which will now be forbidden.

  8. The American people have been intimidated by American power to be afraid to the tell the simple concise truth when that truth subverts American ideology. Therefore the Oscar given CITIZENFOUR last night, about Snowden’s whistleblowing, is a politically significant event. This despite the glitz, or perhaps partially because of it. It indicates that although the NEWS media is under the thumb of Washington, there are elements of the HOLLYWOOD media that are not.

    Hollywood allowed the Snowden, Poitras, etc group some major coverage. Previously Oliver Stone ventured part way out into the political ocean of untruth, and a movie about Gary Webb was made and distributed as well. This means that there are some Hollywood elements that are beginning to push back, and these include some deep pockets, and media power. I don’t think this will be nearly enough to reverse the current despotic trend, but it can weaken and delay it.

    This trend, so far, is not traditional fascism. It’s function is not to mobilize the American people but to DE-MOBLIZE THEM. This point was made by Sheldon Wolin in Democracy, Inc. It is a Divide and Ruin strategy, fragmenting the American population so the oligarchy can steal from us anything not nailed down. What the oligarchy of billionaires did under the Terrorist War was essentially to BUY the American government. What resulted was not a fascist police state, but rather a GANGSTER police state. Gangsterism historically is apparently the last stage of Free Enterprise.

    Americans are afraid to say so clearly in defiance of American power. Therefore anything that indicates that there is a power force opposing the gangsterism would embolden the people to think clearly about American power, and its influence on the American people and the people of the world. While there will be no end of cynics and loonies who tell them to sit tight and wait for Jesus, these power indications may give Americans some hope and courage to defy gangster power. This can help surmount the racist conflict currently being staged, creating in opposition a movement and force that weakens the gangster state. And, not incidentally, to embolden people to understand the power conspiracies that are being used to manipulate them.

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