Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/18 - Turkey Sees Limits Of Its Power, Risk Insurance Coverage In Car Sharing, A World Without People

Sunday, March 18, 2012, 10:59 AM
  • Despite Bold Talk on Syria, Turkey Sees Limits of Its Power
  • Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law!
  • The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
  • Share A Car, Risk Your Insurance
  • With Visit To Goldman, Bloomberg Says, Chin Up
  • Fed Acknowledges Error in Citi’s Stress Test
  • Price of Gas Matters to Voters, but Doesn’t Seem to Sway Votes
  • A World Without People

Follow our steps to prepare for a world after peak oil, such as how to store & filter water

Economy

Despite Bold Talk on Syria, Turkey Sees Limits of Its Power (jdargis)

But for all of its bluster and stated resolve, Turkey has been stymied in its ability to follow through with anything concrete. Officials and analysts say Turkey is extremely wary of engaging in any unilateral military action, mindful of the perils of igniting a sectarian conflict on its own border, alienating public opinion in the Arab world or, worse, inadvertently instigating regional war.

The conflict in Syria has presented Turkey with an opportunity, both perilous and promising.

Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law! (Davos)

Under this order the heads of these cabinet level positions; Agriculture, Energy, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Defense and Commerce can take food, livestock, fertilizer, farm equipment, all forms of energy, water resources, all forms of civil transporation (meaning any vehicles, boats, planes), and any other materials, including construction materials from wherever they are available. This is probably why the government has been visiting farms with GPS devices, so they know exactly where to go when they turn this one on.

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) (Chris M.)

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

Share A Car, Risk Your Insurance (jdargis)

So anyone considering this sort of thing has to ask: Is the insurance industry overstating the risk of playing along with this cutting-edge idea, is RelayRides underestimating your exposure, or both?

With Visit To Goldman, Bloomberg Says, Chin Up (jdargis)

Mr. Bloomberg’s ties to the securities industry are both sentimental and self-interested. He began his career at Salomon Brothers, the defunct investment firm, and his fortune flows from the Bloomberg financial data terminals used on Wall Street.

Goldman, in fact, has been a key contributor to Mr. Bloomberg’s wealth: the firm leases thousands of Bloomberg terminals, sending tens of millions of dollars a year to the mayor’s private company.

Fed Acknowledges Error in Citi’s Stress Test (jdargis)

In the original test results, the Fed projected losses on Citigroup’s first-lien home loans that would be equivalent to 9.7 percent of its total mortgages. But the Fed now says that the loss rate is 9.3 percent. The change occurred after the Fed moved projected losses on Citigroup’s foreign mortgages to another category. As a result, the 9.3 percent loss rate is just for mortgages in the United States.

Price of Gas Matters to Voters, but Doesn’t Seem to Sway Votes (jdargis)

Gas prices influence voters indirectly, because rising prices can slow the pace of growth. But the influence is modest, because spending on oil and its derivatives makes up only a small part of the nation’s economic activity. Gas purchases account for less than 4 percent of household spending. Prices would need to increase by at least 28 percent to lift that share by a single percentage point. So far this year, they have jumped by 15 percent.

A World Without People (jdargis)

For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have recently evacuated or otherwise abandoned a number of places around the world -- large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to vanish from the planet altogether. Collected here are recent scenes from nuclear-exclusion zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence, unsold developments built during the real estate boom, ghost towns, and more.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@PeakProsperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

16 Comments

Davos's picture
Davos
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But wait, there's even more!
  •   Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law! 
  • ‘When this Ponzi scheme finally comes down it will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen in terms of economic collapse and financial asset annihilation.’

    Someone claiming to be a JP Morgan whistleblower has posted a public comment to the UC Commodities Futures Trading Commission website, warning “We Are Fearful of a Cascading Credit Event; Wide-Scale Market Collapse.” http://cdn1.alexanderhiggins.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/JPM-Scubbed-Whistleblower-Comment.png

  • According to the IEA, 24% of the Global oil consumption passes through that strait. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/what-closing-straits-hormuz-will-mean-3-simple-charts
  • DHS Orders 450 Million .40 Caliber Rounds of Ammunition
    Posted on March 18, 2012 by
    “We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40 caliber duty ammunition for DHS, ICE,” said Ron Johnson, the president of ATK’s Security and Sporting group,” reported a PR Newswire release.~Link.

    I have 0 idea what has them spooked.  I'm confident it is likely an a ot a b thing.  Iran or Financial Collapse.  

    I'm hearing a lot from several sources that the Middle East is a basket case.  I respect Jim Quinn and posted much of this on his fine blog and he says war with Iran in 2 weeks.  Jim is a walking history book who studies the 4th turning.  Personally I can't see war pre-election unless provoked---or unless they know they can get it over with in little time.

    I betting they know the unwinds better than we do.  Recall, Bachus was briefed by Bernanke and Paulson on National Living Under a Rock Day (September 18th 2012) and he bought puts on the market---which then tanked on October 6, 2008.

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Pension costs eat at local services in Sacramento region

Pension costs eat at local services in Sacramento region

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
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Israeli Cabinet Votes 8 to 6 in Favor of Attacking Iran.

Davos.

Quinn may be right.

http://translate.google.de/translate...0.html&act=url

http://www.prisonplanet.com/maariv-r...ultimatum.html

Just when you thought it was safe to come out from your air raid shelter after Bibi returned from his U.S. foray to stoke up war fever, Maariv raises the temperature to a boiling point. Ben Caspit reports (Hebrew) that the cabinet now has, for the first time, a majority (eight votes for, six votes against) favoring the measure.
Cabinet Majority Supports Iran Attack
The prime minister yesterday delivered one of the most combative and explicit speeches in the history of the Iran affair. Several cabinet ministers said in private conversations that it sounded like a “speech preparing for war.”
Political sources judge that the prime minister has a majority in the cabinet which favors a military strike against Iran, even without American approval. Yesterday, Netanyahu said he wouldn’t hesitate to attack Iran even without the approval of Pres. Obama…A senior official said Bibi believed it would be best not to wait for the November presidential elections because he didn’t trust the president to deal with the problem after the election.

Davos's picture
Davos
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No Martial Law

Here is more from Jim Quinn's site.  Like CM, they have some pretty sharp knives in the comment drawer.

Jim also points out:

Administrator says:

Davos

The CFTC has since removed this letter. Zero Hedge thought it was a fraud, but no one knows for sure.

 

“No Martial Law Coming”

Hat Tip newsjunkie over at Jim Quinn’s The Burning Platform.

No martial law LINK

[William A. Jacobson is Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School. He is a 1981 graduate of Hamilton College and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School.]

I’ve received a number of e-mails and comments about an Executive Order signed by Obama on Friday, titled National Defenses Resources Preparedness, and what it means.

It appears that this Executive Order is an update of prior Executive Orders signed in 1988 and 1994 which elaborate similar powers in time of war or national emergency.  The 1994 Order in particular was not limited to national emergency:

The United States must have an industrial and technology base capable of meeting national defense requirements, and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency.

Now I’ve not redlined the various versions, and if someone wants to make the argument that this is an expansion of presidential powers, then do so based on actual language.

There is enough that Obama actually does wrong without creating claims which do not hold up to scrutiny.

I’m not ruling out the possibility that this is more than it seems, but unless and until someone does more than merely state that martial law is coming, I’ll consider this to be routine.

Update:  Ed Morrissey has more history of such Orders and reaches a similar conclusion.

 
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Johnny Oxygen
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Now I’ve not redlined

Now I’ve not redlined the various versions, and if someone wants to make the argument that this is an expansion of presidential powers, then do so based on actual language.

There is enough that Obama actually does wrong without creating claims which do not hold up to scrutiny.

I’m not ruling out the possibility that this is more than it seems, but unless and until someone does more than merely state that martial law is coming, I’ll consider this to be routine.

Yeah. We heard this same talk about the Patriot Act. Lets see how that turned out.

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Davos
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 Links to JQ's

Links to JQ's comments:

Jim's

newsjunkies

Like I said, like CM's commenters, sharp knives in that blogs drawer as well.

Davos's picture
Davos
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Johnny Oxygen wrote:   Now

Johnny Oxygen wrote:

Now I’ve not redlined the various versions, and if someone wants to make the argument that this is an expansion of presidential powers, then do so based on actual language.

There is enough that Obama actually does wrong without creating claims which do not hold up to scrutiny.

I’m not ruling out the possibility that this is more than it seems, but unless and until someone does more than merely state that martial law is coming, I’ll consider this to be routine.

Yeah. We heard this same talk about the Patriot Act. Lets see how that turned out.

too bad they didn't at least spend some of that on the banksters.  I suppose when you [the banks] are the Chief of Staff you can tell the president what to do

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTcL6Xc_eMM&feature=player_embedded"

and now Citi replaces JPM as Chief of Staff

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlM1TSTJ0Fo&feature=player_embedded"

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them

Davos's picture
Davos
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Vetting Rumors & Blog Posts

One thing that makes me wonder about the JPM noise, the Executive Order for Martial Law, the DHS 450 million rounds of ammunition is this---morons like Bachus.

September 18, 2008 is Officially Deemed “National Living Under a Rock Day”

The Office of Congressional Ethics [oxymoron] looks into Bachus’s insieder trading activity Link . 9-18-2008: Bachus participated in a closed-door briefing with Pauslon and Bernanke9-19-2008: Bachus shorts market with options.

One of the key diagnostic criteria for a psychopath is, “Deceitfulness as indicated by repeated lying, and the conning of others for personal profit or pleasure”.

“The idea that I or anyone else needed this meeting to know our financial markets were in trouble is just laughable,” he wrote in the letter. “You would have to be living under a rock not to know by September 18, 2008 that the economy was in bad shape.”~Insider Trader Bachus

Well, the truth is – most of America was living under a rock until all hell broke loose on October 6, 2008.  On September 18, 2008, also know as “National Living Under the Rock Day,” the Dow closed at 11,019 and it didn’t go cliff diving until October 6, 2008.  But other than a few million economic bloggers, how many Americans will know that?

In-depth Timeline

Sept 7: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac effectively nationalized by the U.S. Treasury which places them into “conservatorship.”

Sept. 9: Lehman Brothers shares plummet to lowest level on Wall Street in more than a decade.

Sept 14: Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy. Stock markets plummet; Central banks inject billions of dollars into money markets. Bank of America agrees to buy

Merrill Lynch.

Sept. 16: AIG Corp, the world’s biggest insurer, bailed out by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Morgan Stanley and Wachovia enter merger talks.

Sept. 17: Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) to merge with UK bank Lloyds TSB in an emergency rescue plan.

Sept. 18: Federal Bank and other central banks inject billions into global markets to help ease the crunch.

Sept. 22: Japan’s Nomura Holdings buys Lehman’s Asian operations for up to $525 million.

Sept. 25: WaMu sold to JP Morgan.

Sept. 27: HSBC announces 1,100 job cuts worldwide.

Sept. 29: - U.S. Congress rejects $700 billion plan to bail out the U.S. financial system.

- UK’s Bradford & Bingley nationalized. Santander to buy deposits for $38.2bn

- German bank Hypo Real Estate to be bailed out by banks and government.

- Citigroup, the world’s largest bank, says it will buy Wachovia.

- Belgian giant Fortis is bailed out by Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

- Royal Bank of Scotland shares lose a fifth of their value.

- Iceland part-nationalizes Glitnir, one of its biggest banks.

Sept 30:

- Belgian bank Dexia bailed out by France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

- Swiss bank UBS announces small profit in third quarter.

- Irish government guarantees safety of bonds, debts and deposits.

Oct 1: US Senate passes amended $700 billion bail-out plan.

Oct 3:

- US Congress passes $700 billion bail-out, President Bush signs it into law.

- Swiss bank UBS to cut 2000 jobs.

- Dutch government nationalizes banking and insurance activities of Fortis.

Oct 4-6:

- Proposed Hypo Real Estate bailout collapses.

- Chancellor Angela Merkel announces new plan for Hypo bailout worth $69bn.

- Merkel also announces guarantee of deposits in German banks.

- UK raises limit on guaranteed bank deposits from £35,000- £50,000.

- EU leaders meet in Paris for emergency summit to discuss financial crisis.

- Battle rages between Citigroup and Wells Fargo over purchase of Wachovia.

- French bank BNP Paribas takes 75% stake in Fortis

Oct 6:

- Danish government announces plan to guarantee bank deposits

- Wells Fargo and Citigroup agree to legal standstill in battle for Wachovia.

- Bank of America reports 68% profit drop, stock sale to raise $10bn.

Oct 7: Icelandic bank Landsbanki nationalized; Icesave, Landbanki’s internet bank, freezes UK customers’ accounts.

Oct 8:

- UK Treasury freezes assets of Landsbanki in the UK; threatens legal action

- UK Treasury announces £500 billion bank rescue package.

- U.S., UK, China, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and ECB cut interest rates.

- IMF forecasts “Major global downturn”.

Oct 9: Iceland nationalizes its biggest bank Kaupthing.

Oct 10: Black Friday

- G7 finance ministers meet in Washington and issue a five-point plan.

- Nikkei falls almost 10%, biggest drop in 20 years.

- FTSE falls more than 10%, closes at 8.85%; worst daily fall since 1987.

- Oil prices fall to $80 a barrel.

- Dow crashes nearly 700 points before regaining some lost ground.

- Icelandic bank Kaupthing is nationalized.

Oct 11- 12:

- The Fed rubberstamps Wachovia takeover by Wells Fargo.

- 15 EU leaders meet in Paris for emergency summit on crisis.

- Gordon Brown urges them to adopt similar measures to UK bank rescue plan. – Leaders agree to guarantee loans between banks until end of 2009.

- Germany, France and Italy to announce individual plans Monday.

- Australia agrees to guarantee deposits for next 3 years.

- New Zealand guarantees bank deposits for 2 years.

Oct 13:

- EU stock markets bounce back in response to EU leaders’ bailout announcements.

- UK bails out 3 banks: RBS, HBOS and Lloyds TSB at cost of $63 billion.

- Bank of England loans $174 million to Icelandic bank Landsbanki to help repay UK depositors.

Oct 14:

- Iceland in talks with Russia to negotiate emergency loan of $5.44 billion after bank collapses.

- U.S. follows UK lead by part-nationalizing banks.

Oct 15:

- European and Asian stock markets fall after initial upswing.

- Southeast Asian nations agree to start fund to provide financial support to countries in crisis; World Bank commits $10 billion to the planned fund.

- Russian stock market posts losses as RTS Index falls below 800 points.

Oct 16:

- Global markets fall on fears of global slowdown.

Timeline: Banking crisis – CNN.com

3 of 3 10/22/2008 7:43 AM

- Citigroup delays merger of its Japanese brokerage units due to costs involved.

- Swiss government bails out UBS with $59.2 billion.

- Credit Suisse posts 1.3 billion-franc third quarter loss; raises $8.7 billion from investors.

- Hungarian central bank gets cash injection from ECB to value of $6.7 billion.

- EU leaders at Brussels summit call for complete overhaul of international financial system.

nickbert's picture
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Johnny Oxygen wrote: Now

Johnny Oxygen wrote:

Now I’ve not redlined the various versions, and if someone wants to make the argument that this is an expansion of presidential powers, then do so based on actual language.

There is enough that Obama actually does wrong without creating claims which do not hold up to scrutiny.

I’m not ruling out the possibility that this is more than it seems, but unless and until someone does more than merely state that martial law is coming, I’ll consider this to be routine.

Yeah. We heard this same talk about the Patriot Act. Lets see how that turned out.

This was my thinking.  It may simply be intended as keeping options open or for contingencies, but past patterns like as in the Patriot Act show that they are likely to use any power that they have access to.  They might do so with "good intentions", but given the likely effects on us that will be little consolation.

Here's my noob attempt at prognostication in the "war preparations beginning at home..." thread

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/war-preparations-beginning-home/72564

The parts you put in bold were also the ones that got my attention, particularly "to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders".  My take is this is the part that may affect many of us the most IF this is put into widespread action.  If one produces food, fuel, ammunition, high-tech products (of defense or infrastructure or industrial significance), or any other critical commodity or good, then the possibility exists that the government will decide who you sell your products to and how much you will charge.  Maybe you'll get a fair price for your goods, maybe you won't.  But either way I bet it will affect the average person more.... by reserving any significant amount of a resource or product away from the free market, it would likely either create abnormally high prices or shortages (or both).

My guess is that if this is exercised (and I'm thinking the odds are higher than 50/50 it will be) it will start pretty small and will probably be barely noticeable or way under the radar.  But it would continue to grow in size and scope as various officials get one "bright idea" after another (they have to look busy to justify their paychecks right?), and it will steadily snowball into a bigger and more disruptive influence in local, national, and global economies. 

My takeaway IF this is used?  Expect rationing for some critical goods or resources like gasoline, expect higher prices in some goods (particularly those with high inherent energy or transportation costs), expect lower quality of some goods as producers try to work around gov't price controls to stay in business, expect more corruption as officials discover the power to channel resources to connected players for favors and bribes, and expect a booming black market to spring up.  In essence these are things we will eventually see anyway, but if this is put into play it would accelerate these trends.

If I'm wrong in my interpretation of the language, please let me know.  I really want to be wrong on this.

- Nick

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Executive Order nothing new

Davos wrote:

Update:  Ed Morrissey has more history of such Orders and reaches a similar conclusion.

 

The Ed Morrissey commentary over at hotair.com provides a detailed analysis showing that this Executive Order is nothing new and is within existing statutory authority. The original EO dealing with national defense resources preparedness was issued in 1939. I don't follow hotair.com but they don't seem to be very friendly to Obama, so I accept it at face value.

If the government is looking to seize property they should start with the abandoned house across the street from me. The bank seems content to let it rot.

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So help me out here

If this was April 1933 and they ordered all gold confiscated, I would let them show up at my door and profess that I was poor and didn't have any gold hidden in a secret compartment in the basement.  I just simply would tell them a falsehood in order to keep my gold.

If they show up and say that they confiscated a list of preppers and I have to give up all of my food that I've stored, it would be a little harder to hide, but certainly not outside the realm of possible -- even if they searched the house.  Isn't it recommended that you have secondary stocks outside your house anyway?

What if they show up and want your livestock because all of America is starving?  You can't exactly hide cattle, goats, or chickens.  Some people keep these animals for renewable food such as milk and eggs and would never think of using them as meat.  Some people have goats that they think of as family pets.

Is the idea that we just hand over the contents that make our farm into a source of food and then we ourselves starve to death even though we were the responsible ones that built the farm in the first place?  Remember, when your herd of cattle is confiscated, you don't just go out and buy a new herd.  The renewable resource of your farm is destroyed.  You can't (really) eat alfalfa.

If the scoffers think this wouldn't happen in even the worst situation, remember that Stalin did exactly this.  He stole a Ukrainian crop in 1932 and let everyone starve in an event called the Holodomor.

So what's the plan if this executive order or the 1950s era law ever get inacted due to a food shortage?

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I fully

expect to be indentured to my farm by the gov. in my lifetime. (i'm old) robie 

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Welcome, CrismoZ

Good post. Thanks for bringing up the Ukranian "famine" - which was really genocide on the same par as the English letting potatoes rot so that Irishmen might die out. (I'm part Irish and part English so I can say that with no fear of reprisal.)

The Ukranian famine was a horrific event. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor for more about it, or go to www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/ukra.html

The policy of all-out collectivization instituted by Stalin in 1929 to finance industrialization had a disastrous effect on agricultural productivity. Nevertheless, in 1932 Stalin raised Ukraine's grain procurement quotas by forty-four percent. This meant that there would not be enough grain to feed the peasants, since Soviet law required that no grain from a collective farm could be given to the members of the farm until the government's quota was met. Stalin's decision and the methods used to implement it condemned millions of peasants to death by starvation. Party officials, with the aid of regular troops and secret police units, waged a merciless war of attrition against peasants who refused to give up their grain. Even indispensable seed grain was forcibly confiscated from peasant households. Any man, woman, or child caught taking even a handful of grain from a collective farm could be, and often was, executed or deported. Those who did not appear to be starving were often suspected of hoarding grain. Peasants were prevented from leaving their villages by the NKVD and a system of internal passports.

The death toll from the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine has been estimated between six million and seven million. According to a Soviet author, "Before they died, people often lost their senses and ceased to be human beings." Yet one of Stalin's lieutenants in Ukraine stated in 1933 that the famine was a great success. It showed the peasants "who is the master here. It cost millions of lives, but the collective farm system is here to stay."..

The possibility of this sort of thing is why folks are a little nervous about thier preps. Don't say it cannot happen here. Humans have an amazing capacity for inflicting pain.

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Ukraine

A friend from Ukraine told me that about that time the (collective) farms were taken over by city folks who knew nothing about farming and nothing about fertilizers.  They were sent loads of fertilizers, so they just dumped them on the fields and left the land permanently posioned.  He said even now the land is not what is was before Stalin.

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breadbasket

Holodomor makes you think about America's breadbasket.

Now we have more than we can eat, so we export food to the world.

Now we don't have collective farms, but factory farms.  Very efficient, very productive , like what Stalin had envisioned so many years ago.

So, what happens when the aquifers dry up, the climate heats up, and the oil is gone for the machines?  I suppose something like the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, except people won't dream of returning to the land.

The rest is fodder for all kinds of immaginative thinking. 

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