Thursday, March 1, 2012

Extraction...and Ultrarunning

I thought this one was going to be about natural gas, Marcellus shale, fracking, etc.
Only it wasn't...but nonetheless true.  Via the Eschaton blog, a post called "Extraction":

I guess the evolution of the scam goes something like this: first start overpaying cronies to do stuff. So, you know, at the local level you overpay for trash removal or bus service, but at least there's trash removal or bus service. At the national level you overpay for military toys. At least military toys get made, and perhaps even some useful R&D comes out of it. Not my preferred way to spend money, but at least something's happening.

Then people realize that's all a lot of work. Best to just stop providing useful public services altogether, and instead just find ways to download taxpayer money into the bank accounts of your rich friends. So, run a big financial company into the ground. Run a company whose job it is to provide free labor to private companies. That sort of thing.

Oh, and the link to Ultrarunning?  To celebrate my first full day of official retirement, I am planning to run 20 miles on the C&O Canal (of JFK 50 Miler fame).  This'll be the longest distance I'll have run since October, and I am looking forward to it immensely.

Image credit National Park Service.  This shot of the Conococheague Aqueduct at Williamsport, MD, where I will start my run.

Will post more about the run afterwards.  One of my key plans is to scope out the lockhouse at the Four Locks area (near Milepost 109), looking for a pair of purloined Mason-Dixon Line mile markers that supposedly were used in the house as door thresholds or steps.  From my research on the Mason-Dixon Line, I noted where two of their nearby (~ 10 miles away) markers, placed in the 1760s, are missing, so this may close the loop on the story.


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