At the time of the collapse, Syria still had lots of oil. It was the long and fragile oil supply chain that collapse into war, not lack of oil. The

Both choices will be hard. Until the crisis is in full bloom, it will be very difficult to all Americans to contribute. Following is

America’s military should set the example by

We must change the lifeblood of America from oil to ingenuity. And, we must use 48% less oil (cut use to within domestic oil production, link to weekly reporting) by 2019. We can and must exercise the self-discipline to be energy self-reliant or the crisis of 2008 will repeat by 2019.

Understanding how we can change the lifeblood of America from oil to ingenuity started for me as I was a small boy in the 1950’s. I cleaned my grandfather’s pig barn with a half-barrel hanging from an overhead rail. Even a small child could move tons over ground clutter when the load is suspended from a rail. As an infantry officer I used helicopters to move food, ammunition, and equipment in cargo nets suspended below helicopters. In 1998 I applied computer networks to the physics of suspended loads to create JPods networks.

JPods are networks of overhead rail on which ultra-light vehicles move people and cargo non-stop from origin to destination using 1/10th the energy of highway networks. With West Point classmates that had studied nuclear engineering together, we originally thought we would need nuclear power. But on building the first models and doing the math we discovered what Edison understood. Solar collectors over the rails gather 40,000 vehicle-miles of power per mile of rail per day. Within a solar budget, we can easily solve traffic congestion, accidents, pollution, costs, and oil-addiction.

Detailed metrics are provided in the book, but as a thought experiment to understand how much waste there is in the Federal highway monopoly:

It costs you about 59.2 cents per vehicle-mile to drive your car, to move two tons to move a person. By removing the Parasitic Mass and accelerations from repetitive start-stop traffic, JPods vehicles cost about 4 cents per vehicle-mile. Over 90 cents of every dollar spent on urban transport can be recovered as profit or customer savings.

Creating the technology to costs into value was straight forward. It is as simple as cleaning my grandfather’s pig barn. The patent for JPods was issued in 2004. Consider that the Internet is a distributed collaborative computer network that moves data packets. JPods patent is for the use of distributed collaborative computer networks to move physical packets, the Physical Internet®. Combine the efficiency of freight railroads with the on-demand service of the internet to create a network of Horizontal-Elevators™. In 2006 we build a garage-quality full-sized vehicle and rail to illustrate the technology. Here is an image of it in setup in front of Parliament in Ottawa, Canada. People would get in, touch “Home”, “Mall”, “School”, or “Work” and the vehicle would move to that location on the rail. Link to a Minneapolis Fox News story from 2006.


Getting government permission to compete with the Federal transportation monopoly has been an 18-year lesson in the why the Constitution is an enumerated powers document that specifically forbids Federal infrastructure involvement beyond delivering letters in defense of free speech, the “post Roads” restriction of Article 1, Section 8 and “harbors” restriction of Article 1, Section 9.

Lessons from an 18-year effort to deploy JPods solar powered mobility networks:

Men seeking to control the power of the government, seek power. It is the nature of these men and government institutions to coerce compliance with laws. When they usurp powers not granted by the consent of the governed to control commerce, they suppress commercial innovations that might disrupted their hold on power. Buying votes, these men catered to a Tyranny of the Majority; a majority of voters are drivers willing to mortgage the liberty of their children to Federal debt for cheaper gasoline prices today.

After a decade of efforts to deploy JPods technology, we shifted our efforts to restore the Rule of Law, to enforce the Constitution. We created the Performance Standards Law. This simple one page law states that privately financed transportation networks that are 5 times more efficient than highways and safer than highways, will be regulated by theme park standards and pay 5% of their gross revenues for access to existing government rights of way.

In 2014 the Town of Secaucus, NJ passed the Ordinance 2014-23, the Performance Standards Law. NJDOT promptly block deployment. In 2015, Massachusetts Senate Bill #1837 was filed to allow solar-powered mobility networks only to be sent to committee to die in March 2016. In October 2016 JPods signed a $293 million capital agreement to begin deploying JPods in China. Innovation will find a home, even when blocked by governments in America.

This book outlines the long struggle to change the lifeblood of America from oil to ingenuity, why we 2019 will repeat the crisis of 2008, and why the Federally mandated oil addition is unconstitutional and treason.

Start with Why, We the People created the Federal government:

We replaced the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution to monopolize violence to prevent the paths to war when possible and more effectively wage war when declared.

Federalist #41 (Madison): “Security against foreign danger is one of the primitive objects of civil society. It is an avowed and essential object of the American Union.”

Who eats lunch, and who is lunch, underscores the violent nature of life. Life requires energy. The purpose of life is to live. Life has a natural right to apply whatever violence it must to eat and not be eaten. The Law of Nature is unlimited violence.

We humans are a slow, weak species so we form communities to more effectively gather energy to live and avoid being consumed. Thomas Paine summaries difference between community and governments in the opening to Common Sense:

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher...”

We create governments to coerce compliance to law and wage war against foreign risks. The Articles of Confederation proved incompetent at waging war. In replacing the Articles of Confederation, we alienated from state governments the authority to wage war and concentrated that Monopoly of Violence in the Federal government.  Madison outlines the powers granted the Federal government to wage war and mitigate the paths to war in Federalist #41:

“That we may form a correct judgment on this subject, it will be proper to review the several powers conferred on the government of the Union; and that this may be the more conveniently done they may be reduced into different classes as they relate to the following different objects:

  1. Security against foreign danger;
  2. Regulation of the intercourse with foreign nations;
  3. Maintenance of harmony and proper intercourse among the States;
  4. Certain miscellaneous objects of general utility;
  5. Restraint of the States from certain injurious acts;
  6. Provisions for giving due efficacy to all these powers.”

To limit war, to limit men seeking to use war to expand their power by expanding Federal powers, we limited Federal sovereignty to the mission stated in the Preamble to “provide” for the defense of liberty. We restricted Federal taxing/coercion/violence to only “promote” welfare. We the People retained sovereignty over welfare. We document our sovereign rights to command our servants by the enumerated nature of the written Constitution, as amended by the process of Article 5. James Madison explained how we Divided Sovereignty, divided the monopolies of violence with Federal waging war and states punishing crimes and coercing compliance in civil disputes:

Federalist #45: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

The Articles of Confederation were created in war to collectively apply the strengths of the independent state in waging war. The Articles proved incompetent in the Revolution at funding the Army and war effort. After the war, they proved equally incompetent at enforcing the Treaty of Paris; British troops refused to leave America’s western territories.

They failed to suppress armed border disputes, import taxes between states, and skirmishes in Vermont’s secession from New York. They failed to suppress domestic insurrection in Shay’s Rebellion. Read Federalists #1-#36 for a litany of the Articles war-making defects and how the Constitution perfects war-making requirements.

Our nation, our community, is about our voluntary collaboration. Government is to monopolize violence, to coerce compliance with laws. We ratified the Constitution to perfect a government capable of waging war. To limit wars, we limited Federal sovereignty to the single task - to “provide” for the defense of liberty.

The Governing, our servants declared themselves superior to the Sovereigns by declaring a “Living Constitution.” To tax us in order to provide welfare, the Federal governing usurped powers not granted criminally, unleashing the Federal nature for perpetual wars. In this and in associated papers, we concentrate on Federal providing of welfare in the form of “internal improvements.”  The unconstitutional infrastructure defines economic competition.


We goofed in allowing the Federal governing and a Tyranny of the Majority to bind our survival to oil. Now we have less than 3 years to build personal energy lifeboats. if collapses occur in Venezuela, Nigeria, the Middle East, we have until then.

There was a choice between coal/oil and solar - the lifeboat paradox. We could have exercised the self-discipline to be energy self-reliant, as Thomas Edison noted in 1910.

America had 600,000 windmills and was well on our way to achieving Edison’s insight until Federal monopolies crushed the distributed energy industry in 1935. More on this below.

The Paths to War:

We granted the Federal government a Monopoly of Violence to coerce behaviors that create the paths to war. Because of the Boston Tea Party, a revolt against the King’s transportation monopoly, we restricted Federal involvement in infrastructure to no more than delivering letters in defense of free speech, the “Post Roads” and “Harbors” clauses. Men seeking to expand their powers by expanding those of the Federal government created the concept of the “Living Constitution”. Without Article 5 Amendments that respect the rights of the minority, they leveraged a Tyranny of the Majority to tax and build Federal communications, power, and transportation monopolies. The minority sacrificed is children.

Their self-interest recreated the two known paths to war of Americans against Americans:

The paths to war are slow to build. The incompatibility between a nation founded on liberty, and Federal support for slavery, required nearly a century to build the path to war.The path to Oil Famine started in 1913 when the 17th Amendment removed the barrier to Federal consolidation. The 17th Amendment also reduced the cost of political corruption from buying half a State Legislature to merely contributing to a Senate campaign. Senators violated the interests of their States and citizens to grant favors to their corporate and union sponsors. They taxed and built infrastructure that defines the economy in terms of borrowing money, buying cars, burning oil, and coal.

Then, the 18th Amendment unleashed the warring nature of the Federal government against the individual citizen by making it a Federal crime to sell a beer. The 21st Amendment removed our consent for Federal policing of individual Americans beyond treason, piracy, and counterfeiting. But the Governing ignored our written instructuction to end prohibition and continued to expand the Federal war on citizens with the War on Drugs.

Washington Post: Yes, U.S. locks people up at a higher rate than any other country

The nature of the Federal government is to wage war. We ratified the Constitution, because the Articles of Confederation were incompetent at waging war. The “Living Constitution”, unlimiting the Governing from the written Constitution and Article 5 amendments, resulted in perpetual wars:

Current policies will result in Oil Famine by about 2019 - the destruction of “Safety and Happiness”:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

We need to use the Constitution, Declaration, and State governments to correct our servants, the Governing. Principles must be honored. Powers must be limited to those enumerated.

We the People Are the Sovereigns, the Governing Are Our Servants 

The servant is never superior to the sovereign. The servant may not interpret and/or change the our written instructions without an Article 5 Amendment ratified by us. We Divided Sovereignty as stated in the Federal mission statement, the Preamble, the enumerated nature of the Constitution, Amendments 9 and 10 of the Bill of Rights, and in Amendment 14:

Federalist #51 (Madison): "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition."

In ratifying the Constitution, we mandated Divided Sovereignty:

Federalist #51 (Madison): “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Men are not angels. We sovereigns Divided Sovereignty so we could:

The Constitution is the Law of the Land. If the governing, of either of our agent governments, apply violence/coercion not granted by the Constitution, they violate the Law of the Land. Regardless of their good intent, they are criminals. As Sovereigns, to minimize war and protect liberty, we must use all means necessary against those who violate the written consent of the governed. Oil Famine and Climate Change are created by well-intended violations of the Constitution. Funding terrorists with oil-dollars was not intended, but was accomplished.


Energy self-reliance starts with the self. Plant a garden. Own a gun. Know your neighbors. Buy a bike. The 11% per year depletion of US oil production can only be mitigated by all of us striving to be at least 1/3rd energy self-reliant.

Our Tyranny of the Majority and treason by the Governing (subordinating our survival to foreign oil) are going to force us back towards the Law of Nature. We can preempt that violence by each of us being energy self-reliant. We can mitigate that violence with self-reliance, sense of community, local/state governments. Failing those, we will have to combat the nearly unlimited violence of starving people seeking food. Life requires energy. Life has a natural right to use what ever violence is necessary for it to obtain the energy to live.

With oil production depleting at 11% per year, we have zero to 9 years at most before diesel powered trucks stop delivering food, diesel powered tractors stop planting and harvesting food. How much violence do we want our children to experience because we allowed the Governing to bind our survival to oil/coal powered infrastructure?

Restoring liberty will allow power and transportation innovations to mitigate Oil Famine. Liberty is the source of the “general welfare.”

The power of liberty is illustrated by ending the Federal communications monopoly in 1982. Innovation had been stifled in nearly a century of rotary telephones. Liberty is society’s tolerance for disruptive minorities. Million of jobs and vast innovations resulted after liberty was restored for innovators to offer choices and Wisdom from the Many sorted between those choices.

Ending the unconstitutional Federal power and transport monopolies will result in millions of jobs building the Physical Internet®.

JPods is the author’s contribution for urban mobility. Hyperloop, ET3, and others will provide other high speed and local solutions. These efforts can power transportation within a solar budget, but the current government monopolies block their deployment. If local governments pass the Performance Standards Law, then local economic lifeboats can be built. It normally requires 40 to 200 years to retool a major infrastructure, but we have no more than until 2019 before the 11% per year decline in oil production collapses the economy. We will have to compensate with bicycles and lifestyle changes.

President Obama can start this process by ordering the US military to immediately cut oil use to within domestic production levels, a 48% cut. As a West Point graduate and Infantry veteran, I understand how hard this will be to accomplish and that the military has the quality of leadership to lead the nation in exercising the self-disciple to be energy self-reliant.

Leaving the Constitutional convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got - a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin’s reply “A Republic, if you can keep it.” In the next decade, the full force of allowing the Governing to seek power by violating our written covenant without Article 5 Amendment bound the survival of America to oil while US oil production is depleting at 11% per year. By 2019, rising debt and depleting energy will collapse America into Oil Famine unless, as Sovereigns, we citizens enforce the written Constitution in Defense of the Republic.