Favorite Links Friday Week of September 16, 2016 - P.O.W. Report

Friday, September 16, 2016

Favorite Links Friday Week of September 16, 2016

Wielechowski to file suit against Permanent Fund Corp. on Friday

If successful, the lawsuit would double the dividend amount, from one thousand dollars to more than two thousand dollars.

Wielechowski’s suit would essentially override Governor Bill Walker’s veto of half of dividend funding. The Anchorage Democratic senator said his research into the constitutional amendment and laws that provide for dividends show the money isn’t subject to annual spending by the legislature. He said Walker can’t veto it.

Wielechowski pointed to a 1994 Alaska Supreme Court decision that ruled that Permanent Fund earnings go directly into the Permanent Fund earnings reserve account.

“Because it is not an appropriation, its placement in the budget is superfluous and there was no – the veto is meaningless,” Wielechowski said.

Wielechowski said he will seek an expedited hearing so that the lawsuit can be resolved before dividends are sent on October 6th. [Full Source]

War, environmental disaster saved Alaska finances in past. What will save us this time?

FAIRBANKS—In the two years before the trans-Alaska oil pipeline began pumping in 1977, the state government avoided a distress sale of state assets or a government shutdown by borrowing hundreds of millions from the North Slope oil companies.

The $900 million collected from the giant 1969 lease sale was almost gone and as pipeline construction began, the state faced a financial crisis.

It was a time when pipeline construction overwhelmed every aspect of life in Alaska and two things — the disappearance of the $900 million windfall and the need to borrow money to run state government — helped ensure the creation of the Alaska Permanent Fund.

To understand the early enthusiasm for the Permanent Fund, you have to understand the precarious situation of state finances four decades ago.

The state borrowed the money it needed to pay its bills in 1976-77 through a tax on petroleum assets in the ground, which would be paid back to the companies in the form of lower severance taxes as soon as giant oil tankers began hauling millions of barrels out of Valdez. The state borrowed a half-billion that way in 1976-77, more than $2 billion in today's dollars.

The state paid the money back after the pipeline began operating, and its finances soared after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, when oil prices doubled, generating billions more than anyone had ever dreamed and predictions that the price would never drop.

Temporary salvation arrived after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, triggering a multiyear cleanup that pumped billions into the Alaska economy.

So in the space of a decade, Alaska had been saved by a war and an environmental disaster, a "uniquely Alaska solution," Cowper said. The need for better solutions was obvious then, as it is now. [Full Source]
The problems now vs then is that the Federal Government no longer has the money to bailout any states. More and more it's becoming clear that we are on our own as the entire world economy is also slowing down as well. However, talking about war, perhaps that explains why America is trying so hard to agitate for war with Russia...it's amazing to see the Democrats continuously push for war with Russia---I thought Republicans were the ones who are supposed to do that?

Sweet deal? Sugar industry blamed fat in fake studies – study

The sugar industry paid Harvard researchers in the 1960s to bury research linking sugar intake to heart disease and to instead make fat the culprit, according to a study of archival documents.

“These internal documents show that the Sugar Research Foundation initiated coronary heart disease research in 1965 to protect market share and that its first project, a literature review, was published in the New English Journal of Medicine without disclosure of the sugar industry’s funding or role,” stated the study.

The internal sugar industry documents were found in public archives by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.

UCSF researchers analyzed more than 340 documents indicating the relationship between the sugar industry and Roger Adams, then a professor of organic chemistry who served on the scientific advisory boards for the sugar industry, and Mark Hegsted, one of the Harvard researchers who produced the literature review.

The literature review helped shape not only public opinion on what causes heart problems but also the scientific community’s view of how to evaluate dietary risk factors to heart disease,” said lead author Cristin Kearns, who discovered the industry documents.

Other documents showed the sugar industry became concerned in 1962 with evidence showing that a low-fat diet high in sugar could elevate serum cholesterol level. In 1964, the SRF vice president and director of research, John Hickson, said new research on coronary heart disease found that “sugar is a less desirable dietary source of calories than other carbohydrates,” and referred to the work since 1957 of British physiologist John Yudkin, who challenged population studies singling out saturated fat as the primary dietary cause of coronary heart disease “and suggested other factors, including sucrose, were at least equally important.” [Full Source]
I don't eat sugary stuff very often and I never have. However, I do have a soft-spot for Coca-Cola once in awhile. Well last week, I ended up buying a couple of bottles and had it for dinner two days in a row. I was exhausted and felt groggy the rest of the night after drinking the stuff. The third night I had water and ate the exact same thing that I did the first two nights and I was completely fine. I'm convinced that soda is absolutely horrible for you after this inadvertent experiment... but the real story here is that along with Government and Mainstream Media, it looks like "Science" is also a sham....who can you trust anymore? 

On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would have advanced sufficiently by century’s end that countries like Great Britain or the United States would achieve a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.

Why did Keynes’ promised utopia – still being eagerly awaited in the ‘60s – never materialise? The standard line today is that he didn’t figure in the massive increase in consumerism. Given the choice between less hours and more toys and pleasures, we’ve collectively chosen the latter. This presents a nice morality tale, but even a moment’s reflection shows it can’t really be true. Yes, we have witnessed the creation of an endless variety of new jobs and industries since the ‘20s, but very few have anything to do with the production and distribution of sushi, iPhones, or fancy sneakers.

So what are these new jobs, precisely? A recent report comparing employment in the US between 1910 and 2000 gives us a clear picture (and I note, one pretty much exactly echoed in the UK). Over the course of the last century, the number of workers employed as domestic servants, in industry, and in the farm sector has collapsed dramatically. At the same time, “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers” tripled, growing “from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment.” In other words, productive jobs have, just as predicted, been largely automated away (even if you count industrial workers globally, including the toiling masses in India and China, such workers are still not nearly so large a percentage of the world population as they used to be).

But rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones..... [Read the rest here]

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