A Great Storm is on the Horizon

Our great nation has been hijacked. We are no longer free men. Much is not as it seems. Much is tenuous, many good people have been fooled by truly evil players. The time is upon us to take back the tenants of honor and equity and freedom upon which our nation was founded. The founding fathers of our great nation foresaw this day coming. They could not know the technology that we now have, still, they understood completely, the tendency of men toward domination over others. It is, at last, time for the “storm”.

Scott Cahill


Latent effects of George W. Bush and Cheney

” It is not northern Ireland. It is the middle east. It is on fire and it is going to explode and there is nothing that can be done to stop it”

Those were the words of one of my favorite presidents, Bill Clinton. We were at the Plaza Hotel in New York on May 17, 2001. I spoke to him when he was awarding my sister the award of Irish American of the year.

So much about our nation has changed since then.

Who we were:

The United States of America is and was special. Before 2000 we were the beacon of freedom, a representative republic that showed the world that mankind could govern himself with honor and dignity. We had our faults and they were manifested in the great Civil War, the civil rights effort, and many other events “…testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” (words of another of my favorite presidents)

Along with the freedom that the United States possessed, there was a cost. It was paid in the blood of soldiers on battlefields around the globe, but there was, too, a cost in honor and bravery. The assumption of personal freedom requires the recipient to assume, for himself, personal responsibility. In the early days, this was assigned based on heft and gender. A man would defend a lady, always. A strong man would defend a weak man. Ultimately, a strong nation would defend a weak nation. The great experiment was working.

Along the way, we became complacent. We began exchanging our freedom, piece by precious piece, for safety, and the promise of “protection.” Police forces became militarized and government assured us to sit and wait, they would come and save us.

They would save us from military attack, then from criminal attack, then from verbal attack, then from worry, then from embarrassment. The national government come into our states. It came into our cities, it came into our schools, it came into our bedrooms. We locked our doors and memorized the number 9-1-1 and cowered. We had sold our freedom.

Freedom is risky. It is not the natural state of man. The natural state of man is to follow under the strongest dictator, to march in step and to bow to the ruler on his stage. Ours was a difficult and unique undertaking. Our freedom requires bravery. Weakness is fodder for those who would take our liberty.

What changed us:

Much of what we gave away was given to stop terrorism. No administration in the history of this nation ever so blatantly ignored the checks and balances or constitutional law and precedence as did the George W. Bush white house.

On occasion after occasion Bush and Cheney addressed the public and openly and specifically lied about the actions that were being taken by the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. For the first time, the “ears” of our intelligence gathering empire were turned on the people of this great country. Our telephone calls, our emails, and our every communication was catalogued and saved. They still are.

This writing will be processed by a super computer at the N.S.A. headquarters and, there, they will look for chains of words that may tag me a terrorist, a threat to our country, perhaps even as a threat to the status quo. All communication is scrutinized thusly from shortwave transmissions to email. The gathering has not changed, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) has been effectively circumvented and the executive branch has assumed powers that are specifically denied it by the act and constitutional law.


This was documented in papers that were exposed by Edward Snowden in the classified documents that he leaked. These documents exposed an absolute intentional effort by the executive branch to circumvent the controls that existed under constitutional law.




Who we are:

The men who did their jobs in the Justice Dept. were harassed and, in some cases destroyed by an executive branch gone amuck. Cheney was probably the architect, but that is unimportant. What matters is that we are no longer a free country.

It means that all of your communications are monitored and that our government can, potentially, alter your communications, find legal fault with them, then prosecute you based on this information that was unjustly acquired.

This is a great political advantage to those in power. It, effectively, gives them unlimited power to go after political rivals, adversaries, even their wives boyfriends. They will say that they would never do such a thing. They will. the information, available without warrant assures corrupt actions by its misuse.

Mr. Obama promised to assure FISA warrants and to disassemble the unjust overbearing position that the executive branch has taken. He did not.

Can it be fixed?:

It only can be made right by a universal acceptance of our own responsibility. If we turn our safety over to others, our freedom goes with it. As a people, we must learn, again, bravery and the control of fear, or we must abandon liberty. For, liberty was never meant to be held by the weak.

Scott Cahill

The Loss of Valor

We, the grand United States of America have evolved beyond ourselves.

We fought the great World War, killing the Japanese because they were a government who condoned torture. The Germans blamed their ills on a single race. They militarized their government and their economy. They spied on their own people.

These evils incited in our fathers and grandfathers actions that only the desperate or the honorable shoulder, to subordinate oneself to a cause that was greater than any single life, no matter how dear.

Thousands gave their lives, spilling their blood on beaches and woods across the globe for the single reason, that the children of this planet must never again know the horror of the loss of freedom. That, perhaps, we would retire to a life devoid of the horrors of war and the blatant failure of justice at the hands of  tyrants.

We found victory and the future of the world was held in our bloodied hands.

With the world at stake, we felt justified to torture. We built a machine to listen, to subvert, to kill. The machine became greater than the people, greater than the law, and soon, it turned its eyes on America.

We kill people who are faceless, from “command centers” by remote control. We are far distant from the cries of pain, the screams of the wives and the children who survive. We are soldiers on a nightmarish video game.

Our valor, our honor, our reason, are set aside as man’s worst tendencies play out on a computer screen.

What becomes of a power who fights elements of evil, only to become the very thing that they once defied?

Is it too late?


Scott Cahill

The intracacies of government in one short essay

“Democracies are reflections of the people who they serve”. This statement is primary to the acceptance of the rule of law in a democracy. The existence of society, in fact, is dependent of the acceptance of the rule of law, which is dependent on the governed’s acceptance of said government.

Governments are created to control people. This can yield a utopian result, or it can create a living hell, worse than death. All of the balanced dominos of acceptance by the governed are dependent on the constituent’s willingness to agree with the laws written and the equity of application of these laws.

History teaches us that governments are tenuous structures, structures that must metamorphosize over time to mirror changes in culture. The model of our representative republic allows for such change within the framework of our Constitution.

These rules apply to all of the governments to which we are subject. (local to national, to world) All must attain balance, consensus, if you prefer, or be subject to failure from coordinated actions (rebellion) of the governed.

Men have often, through the course of history, influenced governments for personal gain. This manipulation, and the actions taken to effect the revision of the equity of law, to favor a particular class is the failure mode of every governmental failure.

We are living, now, in an unusual time, when a relative few have acted to develop a plan of manipulation of our government. Many of those who work so very hard at this effort do so believing that they will reap the rewards of a better  World. They will not.

At the head of this great and grotesque snake are very few, a cloistered class of the ultra-rich, who have developed this plan for decades. Those who are the “boots on the ground” will find themselves pawns of the ultra-powerful. They, like us, will be servants under the “New World Order”.

Change is inevitable. Change is good. Often, change is irreversible. When you trade something of great value, be certain that what you are buying is what you truly want.

Scott Cahill

Hate and Diplomacy

Hating is a strange element of the constitution of man. Some is understandable,some is illusive, all is destructive.There is the hating borne of some transgression, the hatred borne of jealousy, the hatred borne of association, such as the hating of a race or religion.

The oddest hatred of all is the hate that is generated by the transgressions of the hater. This is the human need to despise he who you have cheated, or lied to, or robbed. It is a trait that, perhaps, acts to protect the perpetrator of such transgression from himself. It is odd, but it is pervasive.

There is a kind of hatred, too that is a byproduct of embarrassment. If I embarrass myself in front of you, I may hate you for seeing my failure or shortfall.Recently a friend, an elected official, told me that someone hated me. It upset me. No one wants to be hated. We all wish to be liked at some level and hate always hurts. I believe that if things are other than how you would have them, it is incumbent on you to make the changes to make those things better. Politics is the vehicle to effect change. I, therefore, involve myself in the political process. Politics, now that is a breeding ground for hate.

What hate does best is to act as a roadblock to discussion, like a virus, replicating and morphing into a disease. The hatred, then, becomes its’ own insulator, polarizing the parties and acting to preclude acts of resolution.

Hate must be addressed face to face. That is how it is beaten. No man ever can hate another who he truly understands. That is a universal truth.With that understanding, Mr. Trump’s openness to discussion with V. Putin becomes a sensible and honorable position. Would any great leader fail to open dialog with another leader of a great power even in the face of significant differences? Was it not the relationship that developed between Mr. Gorbachev and President Reagan that allowed for the wall to come down?

Imagine, if you will, another scenario where Reagan refused to speak to Gorbachev. Surely, we could now be discussing the Third World War.

Discussion and understanding is elemental to politics.It is a greater man who faces his detractor, rather than to retreat and, perhaps, be caught in the same trap. It is easy to hate. It is hard to love and it is hard to understand.

Scott Cahill

Fixing the failing infrastructure of a forgotten nation

For a very long time The United States of America has put the welfare of other nations before our own. We now have a new leader. At last, perhaps, we will address the failed and failing infrastructure of America.

Bridges, Dams, water, waste, and power utilities churn along without repair and without upgrade in the U.S., while all around the world, other nations leap ahead.

Our airports are embarrassing especially when compared with the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Japan, even China. Men once landed on our shores and wrote home to Italy, Ireland, eastern Europe and, indeed the entirety of the world. They spoke of untold wealth, of streets “paved with gold” Now, we are flirting with “third world” status.

We teeter on the edge of bankruptcy and we teeter on the edge of catastrophe.

Many of our country’s dams have outlived their design lives. Development has occurred within their inundation zones, creating a likelihood of significant loss of life and property. Bridges are rotting away in our great cities. Waste and water systems are noncompliant with the simplest of requirements and present a real danger to the consumer. Our Power grid is out of balance and falling ever deeper into a state of disrepair. Even our nuclear arsenal is archaic. While Russia rebuilds their missile systems, ours rely of software loaded from a 5 1/2″ floppy disk.

I could write a thick book describing how the greatest nation on this earth was allowed to get to this point, with a ten trillion dollar infrastructure need, twenty two trillion dollar debt, and a sea of fools writing checks to anyone who wants them in some vain attempt to purchase friendship, diplomacy, if you prefer. With every issue that arises, another governmental organization is put in place to slow commerce with poorly drafted regulation.

Failure has momentum. It is hard to stop, and more difficult to turn around. Ours is certainly such. We (the people who we entrusted with this great nation) failed horribly to recognize that one (person or nation) can help others only if their own house is in order. Our is not.

The people of the United States have spoken at the ballot box. They have screamed to a government out of control. They have demanded that these issues be addressed.

President Trump is deeply burdened by the huge shortfall of maintenance of our infrastructure. The debt is sufficient a problem to remedy, the cost of repairs and upgrades to infrastructure simply complicates an already difficult evolution.

Fate and the will of the people have afforded us one last opportunity. Let us set aside petty difference and personal pride. Let us rebuild this great nation and make her solvent and strong, so that her torch may light the way for the world, once again.

Scott Cahill

The Oroville Dam Failure

As I write the Oroville dam in California is eroding back toward a breach of the reservoir. I am a dam contractor. If you ever heard someone say “that dam contractor..” they may have been talking about me.

I have repaired hundreds of dams including ones like Oroville, which were in the process of failure. I know a lot about dams.

The spillway failure is a common type of failure, where phreatic, or surface water entered the spillway, migrating beneath the slabs. (A static element on a dynamic element, A hard element on a live element). The dam is hydrated and dehydrated as water levels rise and fall, moving, as soils swell from pressures and water mass. In times of high rain the phreatic surface (hydrated soils line) moves toward the surface, venting into the void so produced.

This creates a void. Moving water over the years has eroded soils from beneath the slab downstream and left a channel. Now, the spillway has been actuated in a high-flow event and the plates of the spillway have failed into the stream, scouring from beneath them. They will continue to fail as the water continues to flow. The hydraulic jump exacerbates this erosion.

If the flow continues for a long enough time, with sufficient velocity, the reservoir will be voided by the migration of the erosion to the pool (cut-back). I cannot tell if failure is imminent, from Ohio, but it is an unacceptable situation that has been allowed to develop. It is a case of pennies pinched producing dollars spent, perhaps tragedy.

What we can learn as a nation is the information that is being disseminated. Words chosen carefully, to not excite, to not scare. The issue, as it now stands is serious, life-threatening even. The officials, the owners reps, the media will tell us now, that there is nothing to be be frightened about – all under control (remember Katrina??).

We have, for so long, ignored the failing infrastructure of this great nation, Let us hope that a fatal failure is not necessary to get us to act. Past experience does not make me hopeful of that.

Oroville is 770′ high, 6,920′ long. It is one of the 20 largest dams in the world. If Oroville breaks, The city will be flooded.

Eight thousand three hundred and seventy five residents are at risk within the inundation zone. Two hundred thirty critical facilities in the city of Oroville are within the inundation zone, including; Eleven schools, twenty one day care and children service centers, fourteen elder care facilities, twenty six bridges will be lost, the airport, two fire stations, the government administration building, three law enforcement stations, the EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER (brilliant) Two waste water treatment plants, the jail, and the Hospital. (from the City of Oroville local hazard mitigation plan update May, 2013)

We are not talking about a river rising, where people have time to evacuate. We are talking about a wall of debris, mud, and water taking out a city, buildings, roads, bridges, life, in a horrible instant.

When will we, at last mandate proper maintenance and inspection of these high hazard and medium hazard dams? Why are we willing to suffer a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars to save a couple of dollars on proper and responsible dam safety and repairs?

Whatever you may hear, this is a significant event which could be horrible in its scope and its magnitude. Let us pray that it does not breach, and let us hope that, at last people are sufficiently concerned to act.

Scott Cahill

The Universal Theory of Politics

Governor Brown, of California just asked the Trump administration for help with costs associated with rains in California. This is the fourth such request.

Much is wrong with our nation. We have eroded from a nation which respected sovereignty of nations, to a corrupt shadow of our former selves. All that we once stood for has faded from our constitution. We now condone torture. We spy on our citizens. We act punitively against whistle blowers who simply refuse to join the corruption. We torture, we murder. We sign treaties, then turn away and send factions of our intelligence network to act in direct conflict with our agreements. We renege on treaties. Our government lies to its people, it manipulates the press to disseminate propaganda. It uses its massive military inappropriately. It uses its intelligence for reasons that are clearly contrary to law and to the will of the people.

The Iran/Contra affair showed the world a CIA that involved itself in drug running and arms shipments to support the Sandinista Guerillas, which was contrary to international law and treaties. Per Gallup November 21, 2003, only 19% believe that Oswald acted alone in the assassination of Kennedy. More than a third of the people believe that the Mafia and the CIA were involved. The people of the USA have been lied to about much for a long time.

Gallup reports show a loss of trust in government. Truly, the people of the United States no longer trust what their government tells them, and that is a valid feeling

As our Nation evolved, as with all great nations, factions have grown to take advantage and control. Some of this was done for reasons that were honorable, most were not. It matters little what the reasons were for the things that were done. Let all of those who mislead and lie, in a coordinated effort to subordinate the American people know, Americans are not as dumb as you may think.

Little now, is what it appears on the surface. Much is corrupt and much is unjust. Of the three branches of government, it is the Judicial that has been most corrupted and most manipulated. There is much that needs to be fixed.

America is a truly great nation. Americans are special people. If you ask me if Americans can be trusted with their own government, I say yes. If you ask me if Americans are responsible, as a group to have and hold guns, I say yes. If you ask me if American women can control their bodies, without governmental mandate, I say yes. Americans are diverse and they are brilliant. They tend to do all that they do better than others. America is great. Americans are great.

So, the question is how; how can we move forward to justly return the control of government to the people of this great nation? What are the steps to rebuild, a failing democratic society? How do we dispel oligarchy and injustice?

Eisenhower’s farewell address, January 17, 1961 said that we must beware the Military Industrial Complex. It has grown to consume the wealth and the soul of our nation. We must protect our sovereignty, but, too, we must retire from being the police of the world, and we must stop disrupting the valid governments of the world unless they take military action against our nation.

Kennedy made a statement a few days before he was killed. In that statement he said that secret societies should be repugnant to a democratic society. He was making a valid point. Kennedy had dealt directly with the fractioning of the CIA and he dealt with personal threats from the FBI. This collection of data from citizens of our nation must cease completely and immediately. Our government can be trusted only by the oversight of its people. Clearly we are failing. No American citizen should be surveilled without a warrant justly drawn and properly executed with clear and decisive reason. Such warrants should be issued by local judges, not “special” judges or secret grand juries.

Return to the basis of the Documents of our Republic:

Many things have been done to distort the constitutional basis for our nation. It is these few documents that hold the plan for the repair, as it was these documents that served to guide us through these years. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence clearly show the intent of the forefathers for a nation that applied justice across all classes in an equitable manner. I believe that we can universally agree that this has been bastardized of late by an unbalance of the branches, by an organized assault on our nation, our government, a corruption of our security agencies, and a general and universal abandonment of the principals of equity.

Just taxation:

The manifestation of these changes are in an unfair and unjust taxation. Certainly the men who acted out at the Boston Tea Party would be sickened by the reality of the taxes that are shouldered by Americans today. Jefferson and Franklin are rolling over in their graves, and the ghost of Patrick Henry screams out his willingness for confrontation of such injustice. Are there such men in our midst today? I say yes.

Term Limits:

We must install term limits to Congress. Without them, there shall continue to be men who sell their votes for reelection. The institutionalization by a few senior politicians, controlling the processes limits new and diverse thoughts and the introduction of new ideas. We must return again Congress to the people of the United States.

Tort Reform:

We must have honorable tort reform. It is unjust to allow awards to be levied against attractive targets in inequitable amounts because of a perceived ability to pay, of a punitive action, wrought of jealousy of wealth. Justice must, again, stand for the poor man and for the rich man equally. We must have election reform that must be a bipartisan effort at developing equitable counting of votes. We must make honorable and just redistricting.


The education system must be improved to allow for students to explore their own interests and to allow the market to drive the types of abilities learned. Vocational learning must be a vital and significant part of our educational system. Schools should be for children to learn. Those who are disruptive or unwilling should be removed to allow the atmosphere of learning to continue. Children and young adults should pursue the education of their desire including art, science, mathematics, and vocational pursuits. We must begin, as a nation, to again respect the great tradesmen of America.

Welfare:  America must stop paying people to not work. There must be work programs to move people, over a given time, out of the welfare system, food stamps, WIC, etc. Those who do not find gainful employment within a set time, must be taken off of the support. Those who cannot find other work must work for the government at a county level, providing services such as sweeping walkways, maintaining parks, cutting weeds and picking up trash along roadways. They will be compensated at a set rate for the hours worked. This should not be an easy nor an attractive job, but one of necessity, promoting the growth of the individual out into the labor pool.

Foreign Aid:

America must stop paying the nations of the world for their friendship. We should build our national military, while paring significantly bases overseas. We should stop all foreign aid that is not producing positive results for the U.S.A. We are supplying low interest loans to Ireland! Ireland does not need our money. We must stop repairing the infrastructure of other nations, and rebuild our own. We must put America and Americans first again.

Equitable and understandable drafting of legislation:

We must make a requirement for simple bills. All bills put forth should be required to fit on two pages. No more than one subject should appear on a bill. Anyone should be able to read the proposed bill. No secondary item or addenda should be allowed on a bill, each issue requiring a vote and subject to debate.


The war on drugs has failed miserably. Our government consorted with known traffickers of drugs, even flying their drugs into the United States. This was being done as Nancy Reagan said “just say no”. So many now die from heroin overdose that refrigerated trucks hold bodies at overcrowded morgues. We must stop this insane war on ourselves, and offer honorable help and treatment to our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who suffer with addiction. Non-punitive policing and assistance must be offered to help those dependent to try to recover, and let us turn law enforcement from a military operation to a public service again. Stop taking people’s possessions. Stop seizing money from drug deals. Stop profiting from working prisoners as slaves. Prisoners should work, but for the public good, not to produce profit for those who imprison them.

Banking and finance:

We must address the Federal Reserve Bank remove it after the system becomes, again, market driven, return again to a gold standard, and set specific standards for control of banking institutions which promote the development of small local banks and which promote the dissolution of the super-banks which now are controlling the banking system of the United States. We must, in all things, allow the market to drive value and exchange. Manipulation of these things has always failed as is attested to by the recent near loss of our entire system.

There are great challenges ahead. If we are to save our democratic republic, without the shedding of blood, we must start to honorably address these difficult but necessary issues as a nation, and move again toward justice and equity for all Americans.

Scott Cahill

The Great New World Order


The Great United States of America is fading from the world stage, giving itself over to a greater entity. We no longer will be alone, stuck, cloistered in our nation. We will soon become a part of a “New World Order,” where we shall be a part of a grand scheme to manage every element of personal choice by our new world government.

We will have to give up some advantages for the betterment of the entirety. The United Nations, or some other well-named entity, will control our land and our food and our selves. It will control our breeding, the “party” will tell us what we may do in our homes. We will be policed and watched. Our neighbors will be rewarded if they turn us in for our transgressions.

It will be a more equitable world. Workers of Mexico City live in cardboard and tin shacks outside of the city. Americans live in clean beautiful homes, drive cars and eat well. Soon all of this will be fair, and it shall be the Americans, too, living in tin shacks.

At last, we will be competitive with third world countries. At last we will no longer feel badly about the lot of the poor of Africa, Central America, the Middle East. We will share their despair and their want. We, too, will suffer from curable disease. We too, will be used in every way by a superior ruling class, who shall treat us as less than dogs. At last, we will have made all equal and all equitable, not by picking up our brothers, but by handing over the greatest democracies to a totalitarian regime, who will rule all of us, and all of the world.

You may think me a conspiracy theorist. I may be one. If one believes that “they” are after you, you are paranoid. If they are, indeed, after you, are you somehow less paranoid? No, you are paranoid, still, you are just right. This is thus. The signs are everywhere. The documents are written, they have been voted on and adopted, not by our Congress, but by a United Nations which in no way represents the people of the United States, but theoretically the people of the world. In actuality, it represents only a small elite.

Without our consent or our understanding, our future has been passed off to this poorly defined entity by those who we trusted with our nation. The United Nations is not in existence to improve the world nor to help the people of our nation. It pretends to wish to protect the global environment but in actuality it exists to exact control over our lives – all of us – the world.

One day we will look back on these times when we fought one another and when we hated each other for the color of our skin, or our nationality, or our religion. One day we shall be equal at last. All of the enslaved are equal. Perhaps we will look out of the windows of our cells, or government housing, and wonder why we failed to help our fellow men when we were the advantaged.

Agenda 21 explains the use of environmental causes to move the populations of the earth into cloistered urban areas. Sovereignty of nations will soon be a thing of the past. So much will change, yet it will be a better world. It will be completely controlled and all will be fine for the new elite class. We and our children will serve willingly or perish, for this is the cost of our failure to maintain our freedom.


The people of the United States never were asked for our acceptance of the rule of The United Nations. Like the failing European Union, we have subordinated our sovereignty to the will of an international commission. None of it is constitutionally appropriate. None of it is a legal subordination of our governance. The United States must withdraw from the United Nations and we must, again, run the machine of our nation for the benefit of the people who are the constituency of our nation and our government.

You may wonder if such a thing is possible. It is happening. It has happened. If you believe that you can ignore our democracy, that you can live your life and not bother with such things, someone will pay attention. They are. They have been. There are men who care not for democracy. They care not for equity and for honor.

Some, who now think themselves elite, serve this effort. They build the structure, they do the dirty work. They believe that they will, one day, be our superiors. They shall share our cells. Stripped of their money, they will find that they, too, were never of the ruling class. They will be outcasts from the elite and from the serfs. Such fools!

It was once said, long ago in Philadelphia by a band of rebels who formed this great land, that one day we would have to fight to keep our democracy. I see the battle on the horizon. It is not so clearly defined as others. It is insidious and deeply planned. It is the greatest threat to the loss of a valuable way of life and a great nation. It will not be taken, if it is to be taken, by bayonet or rifle, mortar or bomb. It will be handed over, crumb by crumb, scrap by scrap, until there is nothing left. We will give it away out of fear and out of a misguided attempt to appease those who would take. We have given so much already, yet things have not improved, nor shall they. For never is freedom won by subordination, nor compromise. Always freedom is won through confrontation, too often it is paid for with blood, yet, even that is not too great a price.

Those who plan to rule believe that they are superior. They believe that they are entitled. In order for them to, at last, mount their throne, you must submit. The plan is being executed. You lose because you had so much, because your father worked hard and built, and saved, and paid his taxes. They will redistribute your wealth to make it equal, but they will not redistribute their wealth. They shall rule the world as you submit to them. With each submission their strength grows. It is our children who will serve those who control the New World Order. They will learn to serve.

The evolution of this plan is not new. This has been evolving for a very long time. Always, there has been good and bad. Always there is the Yin offset by the Yang. Always one entity sets out to rule the world. Always they fail. Perhaps we are not the men our fathers were. Perhaps, this time they shall succeed.

Scott Cahill

An Open Letter to President Donald Trump on Infrastructure

By now, Mr. President, you have seen much. Most are things best hidden to those who wish for solace. The issues are massive, the opposition organized, the system failing.

In the history of man there have been many great societies. Many times, mankind has achieved greatly, only to lose it all. This is exemplified with the remains of ancient Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, the pyramids, the ashes of the library at Alexandria.

Today, we, again have reached a position of understanding and accord. Governments vie to find relationships. The world struggles to build on accumulated knowledge and to find, in the future, a better place for the evolution of the experiment of mankind.

History speaks to the present through shattered fragments of the past. They are unearthed from the sands of deserts, the dark depths of the ocean, and the sultry jungle underbrush. Magnificent objects of architecture and art tell of a time of sophistication and reflection lost to all humanity through a failure of governance.

Men form governments to develop societies that allow a foundation upon which men can build a better life for themselves, and a better future for all. These societies are exemplified in the infrastructure that defines the quality of such a government. Rome manifested itself from the fractions of the Mediterranean, conquering and enlightening, building roads, dams, bridges and aqueducts, which both defined the government and acted as a foundation upon which they reached for understanding and equity. Such infrastructure is more than a sign of the success of a government or society. It is the very essence upon which it is built. Basic human needs must be met before one may set off on the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and artistic expression. Infrastructure is, then, more than an expression of societal success, it is the physical mechanism which allows society to reach for a better future. It is the defining thing that exemplifies a successful government and a successful society.

Rome fell, its colosseum crumbling under the weight of time and neglect, the carefully laid roadways slowly crumbling beneath the wheels of carts. Water was conducted to cities, until the water stopped flowing, the sewer system stagnated, disease found a foothold, and the earth, again, took from mankind that which was hers to take, the stone became dust, the rivers flowed unimpeded, the cities died off, and an entire society became erased from the face of the earth. With it died the knowledge of the eons. With it died great potential. The loss is universally unacceptable to any thinking man, still, history has seen such failure repeating itself deeply into the fog of time.

One must wonder, if one understands the history of man, if infrastructure is a reflection of a well-run government, or, indeed, if the successful government is, in fact, a reflection of its infrastructure.

Throughout history we have seen the crumbling of infrastructure as a prelude to the failure of governments. During America’s industrial revolution and up until a decade beyond the end of World War II, the infrastructure of America was new, efficient, and well maintained. It gave us great advantage. Commerce was smooth on our interstate highway system, the intercoastal waterway, the many canal systems. Our ports grew to be the grandest and most efficient in the world. The infrastructure of North America drew investment from the world, because it resulted in a reduced cost to produce and conduct goods for global markets. Entrepreneurs congregated in great new cities like New York and Chicago, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Money was made easily. Taxes were paid, and our nation became flush. We continued to grow and invest, but we neglected our infrastructure. There is little glory in the maintenance of the infrastructure of a nation. Dams and bridges, highways and waterways seemed to require little attention and they got little.

After World War II great investments were made in steel. The devastated country of Japan was a better place for that investment. It was a clean slate, subordinate in government, and needing employment and investment. Our steel mills won the war for the allies, churning out tanks, arms, and planes at an unprecedented level. Now, the great mills were allowed to decay. They crumbled as Japan grew to become the greatest steel producer in the world. Imagine that raw materials could be withdrawn from the banks of the Great Lakes, transported across the Pacific, there smelted, rolled, and transported back across the Pacific more efficiently and more cheaply than the steel could be made in the mills of the U.S. That is the cost of inefficient infrastructure.

Today, the United States has infrastructure which acts as a liability. It keeps us from competing on the world stage. The cost of transportation is great because of the traffic congestion, ports are choked with containers, the waterways are silted in and un-dredged. The canals no longer exist. We regulate our manufacturing into failure, while buying from those who pollute without environmental consideration. All of the money saved by not maintaining our infrastructure is lost many times over by the cost of the operating liability that it creates. Instead, we react to failure of elements of infrastructure. This is the least cost-effective methodology to employ. It is our primary methodology.

The relationship of cost of maintenance vs. cost of repair is difficult to assess, still, it is near constant.  Always, the cost of maintaining elements of infrastructure such as dams is significantly less than allowing a failure or near-failure and then making repairs. This ratio of maintenance and repair vs. near failure and repair is close to 1/10. If a maintenance issue will cost a thousand dollars to address, the repair if allowed to nearly fail will be ten thousand dollars. There are, of course exceptions to this rule. Most of those exceptions exceed significantly the 1/10 rule.

This cost relationship of maintenance to repair ignores, completely the very real losses of a traumatic failure. Such cost is measured in devastation of property and loss of life. Those ratios are incalculable. If one sets aside the loss of life, the ratio jumps to easily exceed 1/100. Significant dams in highly populated areas exceed this substantially. For instance, the Oroville Dam in California, which recently came within forty five minutes of failure threatened the entire growing area of the San Joaquin Valley, its homes, businesses, roadways and power grid. The cost of repair, as it now stands will be around a Billion dollars. This ratio is close to 1/500. (The repair will cost us five hundred times what the maintenance would have cost us).

The cost if it had failed would have been closer to a Trillion. (1/500,000). Human life lost could have exceeded a million, and damage would have involved the entire state to Los Angeles. Costs would accrue for decades. The impact on the federal budget, too, would have been significant, an impact that would have impacted, drastically national security. This dam was in the process of failure while the emergency spillway passed only 3% of the design flood.

It may seem an inverse process, in the face of debt and fiscal uncertainty, to spend heavily on infrastructure improvement. History shows clearly that the decay of infrastructure is the prelude to the loss of society and government. If one sets out to stop the progression toward failure of a great nation, one must commit oneself to the complete and total reconstruction and repair of its infrastructure. This action alone, will change the tide of erosion of a society.

Rebuilding infrastructure produces jobs, but that is only the initial cost/benefit. The improved roadways, bridges, dams, utilities, ports, airports and control, and waterways produce a beneficial playing field for entrepreneurship and investment. Because of improved commerce, there are gainful jobs, profit increase, tax base increases. When people are a part of such an evolution, pride of country and community return, bias fades. Men need a collective effort and a shared result.

If it is your goal to make this magnificent country of our “Great Again”, start with addressing the infrastructure. It alone is the foundation of our entire society.

Scott Cahill