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“Somewhere . . . Beyond the Sea . . . ” (Apologies to Bobby Darin)

Bot­toms Up!

Home­own­ers “Under­wa­ter”

COMMENT: Some very scary peo­ple, includ­ing extreme right-wingers asso­ci­at­ed with Face­book, as well as Car­lyle Group alum­ni, have been back­ing the con­cept of estab­lish­ing enor­mous, float­ing “Utopia” lin­ers as seago­ing liv­ing and recre­ation­al enclaves for the ultra-rich.

Pro­filed in FTR #718, Face­book finan­cial backer Peter Thiel is a major backer of this under­tak­ing. Along with asso­ciates, Thiel has been overt about his oppo­si­tion to democ­ra­cy, see­ing it as pre­clud­ing free­dom.

Pos­sess­ing a qua­si medieval per­spec­tive, Thiel believes that allow­ing women to vote was deci­sive in the dis­in­te­gra­tion of soci­ety.

Financed by Thiel, the Seast­eading Insti­tute is head­ed by Mil­ton Fried­man’s son Patri Fried­man.

In numer­ous broad­casts, we have vis­it­ed with Lucy Komis­ar, who has exten­sive­ly researched cor­po­rate use of off­shore trans­ac­tions to skirt domes­tic laws.

The Seast­eading Insti­tute is REALLY off­shore!

“The Real­ly Creepy Peo­ple Behind the Lib­er­tar­i­an-Inspired Sea Cas­tles” by Mark Ames; Alter­net; 6/2/2010.

EXCERPT: What hap­pens when Amer­i­cans plun­der Amer­i­ca and leave it bro­ken, des­ti­tute and seething mad? Where do these fab­u­lous­ly wealthy Amer­i­cans go with their loot, if Amer­i­ca isn’t a safe, secure, or even desir­able place to spend their rich­es? What if they lose faith in their gat­ed com­mu­ni­ties, because those plush gat­ed com­mu­ni­ties are sur­round­ed by mil­lions of pissed-off Amer­i­cans stripped of their enti­tle­ments, and who now want in?

We final­ly have the answer, and you’re not going to like it: a new fleet of cas­tles that float in the oceans. The super-wealthy are already build­ing their first float­ing cas­tle, a bil­lion-dol­lar-plus lux­u­ry lin­er that offers per­ma­nent mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar hous­ing with the best pro­tec­tion of all: moats made of oceans, keep­ing the land-based Amer­i­cans they’ve plun­dered at a safe dis­tance.

The first such float­ing cas­tle has been chris­tened the “Utopia”–the South Kore­an firm Sam­sung has been con­tract­ed to build the $1.1 bil­lion ship, due to be launched in 2013. Already orders are com­ing in to buy one of the Utopi­a’s 200 or so man­sions for sale–which range in price from about $4 mil­lion for the small­est con­dos to over $26 mil­lion for 6,600 square-foot “estates.” The largest man­sion is a whop­ping 40,000 square feet, and sells for $160 mil­lion.

It’s the first of its kind to offer per­ma­nent hous­ing units to buy­ers, and there’ll be plen­ty on board the Utopia for the glob­al elite inhab­i­tants to keep them­selves enter­tained: an out­door movie the­ater, casi­no, minia­ture golf course, night­clubs, restau­rants, shops, and a water park for the elites’ heirs (fea­tur­ing a “Lazy Riv­er,” rock-climb­ing wall and water slides). At near­ly 1,000 feet, the Utopia is almost as long as a nuclear-pow­ered Nimitz-class air­craft car­ri­er.

The float­ing cas­tle is a long­time dream of lib­er­tar­i­an oli­garchs — a place where they can live their lives in peace free from the teem­ing mass­es of starv­ing losers and indebt­ed par­a­sites and their tax demands. Since they’ve grown so rich off of Amer­i­ca, they have enough spare change to fund projects like the Seast­eading Insti­tute, run by Mil­ton Fried­man’s grand­son, Patri Fried­man, and financed by the bizarre right-wing Pay­Pal founder, Peter Thiel. . . .

. . . While Thiel and Fried­man are busy cook­ing up their lib­er­tar­i­an dystopia, the Fron­tier Group invest­ment firm — an off­shoot of the Car­lyle Group — has already entered the real­iza­tion phase with the Utopia float­ing cas­tle. Fron­tier Group, was found­ed by some of the same big names from the noto­ri­ous Car­lyle Group–the pri­vate equi­ty firm that brought togeth­er right-wing oli­garchs like George H. W. Bush and oth­er top Amer­i­can offi­cials with their bil­lion­aire pals in Sau­di Ara­bia like the Bin Laden fam­i­ly, who togeth­er raked in enor­mous prof­its thanks to the War on Ter­ror that their kids Dubya and Osama launched.

While nei­ther Bush nor the Bin Ladens are prin­ci­pals in the Fron­tier Group, its found­ing direc­tor, Frank Car­luc­ci, is a name they know well, and you should too. Car­luc­ci ran the Car­lyle Group as its chair­man from 1989 through 2005, right around the time that the wars start­ed going unde­ni­ably bad, and float­ing cas­tles start­ed to look like a viable plan. But Car­luc­ci’s past is much weird­er and scari­er than most of us care to know: whether it’s his strange­ly timed appear­ances in some of the ugli­est assas­si­na­tions and coups in mod­ern his­to­ry, or serv­ing as Carter’s num­ber two man in the CIA, and Ronald Rea­gan’s Sec­re­tary of Defense, if Frank Car­luc­ci (nick­named “Creepy Car­luc­ci” and “Spooky Frank”) is the found­ing direc­tor of a firm that’s build­ing float­ing cas­tles, it’s a bad sign for those of us left behind. . . .

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