Monday, June 27, 2016

FEMA Contractor Predicts 'Social Unrest' Caused by 395% Food Price Spikes

Amazing report on a possible coming worldwide food crisis.  
By 2024, the scenario saw global food prices spike by as much as 395 percent due to prolonged crop failures in key food basket regions, driven largely by climate change, oil price spikes, and confused responses from the international community.

“Disruptions affected developed and developing countries alike, creating political and economic instability, and contributing to social unrest in certain areas,” the project’s technical report states.

The report notes that at the end of the simulation, the teams highlighted the important role of “extreme weather events” and “food insecurity” in exacerbating “instances of significant internal and external migration and social unrest.” These, in turn, greatly “contribute to conflict.”
I find the time period they decided to use a little interesting.  They say the period 2020 - 2030 was a bit arbitrary and not a forecast.  I find this language a bit insincere.  This period "coincidentally" falls near the bottom [I originally said the beginning-JG] of the  Kondratieff  "Winter Cycle".  This is the time period the stock market crashes and what will be called "The Greater Depression" where the USA will probably have a higher unemployment rate greater than we've ever seen in our history as a nation.

Here is a rather busy chart put together by The Longwave Group that shows when The Greater Depression should start.  Somewhere in the early to mid 2020s



Report: FDA, Smithsonian, other fed groups gathering war arsenals

This is from CBS news.  So, this isn't the rantings of an Anarchist or Right Wing prepper.
The reports states that "administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment."

Overall, American Transparency estimates there are more than 200,000 non-military federal officers and security personnel not attached to the Pentagon, which is a force larger than the Marine Corps, with its 180,000 personnel.

"The recent growth of the federal arsenal begs the questions: Just who are the feds planning to battle?" the author of the report, Adam Andrzejewski, wrote for Forbes.
Everybody and nobody.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The All-Electric Car You Never Plug In. Wireless power transmission would let EVs draw their power from the road

I think this is the future of travel.
Here’s a big reason: Picture the driver of that same car getting a call from a relative living far away who needs immediate help. Suddenly, the driver’s eyes become riveted on the most important indicator on the dashboard: the estimated number of kilometers that the car can go on the remaining battery charge. Will he make it to his relative’s house? Even if he does, will he find a charging station so he can get back home?


There’s a name for this modern misgiving: range anxiety, a new form of disquiet experienced by drivers of all-electric cars. The Nissan Leaf, for example, can be driven on the highway for only about 120 kilometers on a single charge, and fully charging up its batteries takes 8 hours or more.


But maybe there’s a way to relieve this fear forever and make drivers’ lives much easier as well. If we embed transmitting coils in roadways, electric cars carrying receiving coils could charge themselves as they zoom down the road. An e-car owner would never have to search for a charging station or plug in the car. That is the goal of our research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), in Daejeon, which has developed what we call the on-line electric vehicle (OLEV) system.

...

Researchers around the world have begun applying this principle over the past decade. In 2007, MIT professors caught the world’s attention by powering a lightbulb suspended in space, 2 meters away from the transmitting coil. Those researchers went on to found a Massachusetts start-up, WiTricity Corp., which is working with several auto companies on wireless charging stations for household garages. Quebec’s Bombardier is developing its Primove system in Europe to transmit power to public buses and trams. 

Here's a video of the Seoul City Park Tram:




Witricity's work isn't nearly so ambitious, but...still amazing.  Maybe they are trying to capitalize small, then build from there:



Found this article about my home state, South Carolina.
At least two universities are testing or preparing to test wireless charging stations embedded along roadways that will incrementally recharge vehicles as they drive over them.

Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) in Greenville, S.C., has been testing stationary wireless vehicle charging and is now preparing to test mobile wireless recharging for vehicles.

Clemson's R&D project is backed in part by a multimillion-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and is in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Toyota, Cisco and other companies.

The university's stationary wireless charging technology uses magnetic resonance to create a field between a ground charging coil and a copper coil embedded in a vehicle through which electricity can pass. Key to the technology is the Wi-Fi communications system, created by researchers at Oak Ridge that allows the ground and vehicle charging systems to talk to one another.



CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE GONE WILD: Federal Court Rules Fourth Amendment Does Not Apply To Police Scanning Credit Cards

I just read about this the other day and I am absolutely outraged by this.  Picture this:  You're on your way home from visiting grandma's house.  It was a great time.  Granny gave you several Visa gift cards "for the grand kids". You've been entrusted with them to give them all out as you see them.  All you can do is keep picturing the smiles on all the kids' faces and how appreciative everyone is for the $100 gift cards.

You get stopped by a policeman for speeding.  He starts asking about weapons in the car.  You tell him there are none.

Then he asks about money.  You tell him you have $100 on your person, but then you make the horrible mistake of telling him about the Visa gift cards that Granny bought at Walmart.

The policeman asks to see them.  As you are rifling through the stuff in the back seat, he steps away to get something from his car.  He comes back with something that looks like the things you swipe your card through at the restaurant.  You show him the cards.  He takes them and starts swiping them through his machine.

"Sir, this totals to about $1,000."  You look at him and say "uh....yeah.  That's $100 per card.  Ten cards, one for each grandkid."

Without hesitating the cop says "Well I think this is money is being used to purchase drugs, therefore illegal."  He starts swiping the cards through his machine one at a time while saying "I'll give you the cards back, but I am now taking possession of the money. You can show up at this address to protest if you would like. Here are your cards.  Have a nice day."

And you are left reeling.  Did....did he just do what I just thought he did?  The money is NO WHERE IN THE CAR.  But he reached THROUGH THE CAR and THROUGH a physical piece of plastic AND SWIPED YOUR MONEY.   Yes, the long of the "law" is now much much longer than even you thought it could be.

The nightmare that you and I thought could not get worse, just jumped the shark and got 1,000 time worse.  The police can now stop you anywhere, anytime and easily take ALL OF YOUR MONEY no matter where in the USA it's located.

Pray tell:  WHERE IS THE DUE PROCESS???

We. Are. Fucked.

Nucor Looking to Step Up Foreign Steel Expansion in Automotive

Nucor is one of those American Stories that deserves telling.  I always refer people to the great book American Steel: Hot Metal Men and the Resurrection of the Rust Belt by Richard Preston. Preston does a great job describing the roots of company.  He also details the company's efforts to implement the latest German technology of a continuous rolling mill.  I was so impressed I bought stock in the company.  (I don't own any at the present).

So, it doesn't surprise me to find out that Nucor is expanding outside our borders.
Nucor Corp. is looking to supply more metal products to carmakers outside the U.S. as the country’s biggest steelmaker anticipates a cooling domestic auto market.

“There’s no rule at Nucor that says we have to keep making what we’re making and we have to keep making it where we’re making it,” CEO John Ferriola said in an interview this week in New York.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker recycles scrap in relatively small electric furnaces nicknamed mini mills. Until recently, that process has not been able to create the blemish-free flexible steel used by automakers for external car parts.

But Nucor has replaced some scrap with a type of iron refined with natural gas and removed contaminants from steel made from scrap, enabling it to compete in the market that’s been dominated by integrated steelmakers like U.S. Steel Corp. that start with iron ore and coke made from coal.

Last week, Nucor unveiled a $270 million joint venture with Japan’s JFE Holdings Inc. to produce steel for carmakers at a plant in Mexico.
Personally, I'd like to see Nucor stay and take advantage of our cheap natural gas.

Looting and unrest continue roiling Venezuela as shortages persist and protesters demand food

I've back off with a lot of what is going on in Venezuela. It gets to the point, the situation is so bad, so dire the situation becomes exploitive.  And it grieves my heart to see what is occurring.


Venezuela, where anger over food shortages is still mounting, continued to be roiled this week by angry protests and break-ins of grocery stores and businesses that have left five dead, at least 30 injured and 200 arrested, according to various news reports.

The latest fatality came from the southwest city of Merida, where 17-year-old Jean Paul Omana died Wednesday after being shot Tuesday during a disturbance amid looting.

Widespread violence has been reported there, as well as an attack by protesters on the headquarters of President Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV.

As consumers grow increasingly frustrated with ongoing food scarcities and lengthening lines outside stores, protests are turning more violent. A Social media reported protests on Wednesday in the Los Teques, Los Altos Mirandinos and Santa Teresa del Tuy suburbs of Caracas, the capital.
Here is a youtube video showing some of the recent problems getting food in Venezuela:

Uranium Prices Set To Double By 2018

This means the Leftist idiots finally believe that nuclear fission is their Savior.  OK.  I don't care.  The result is the same,  More nuclear power.
With prices set to double by 2018, we’ve seen the bottom of the uranium market, and the negative sentiment that has followed this resource around despite strong fundamentals, is starting to change.

Billionaire investors sense it, and they’re always the first to anticipate change and take advantage of the rally before it becomes a reality. The turning point is where all the money is made, and there are plenty of indications that the uranium recovery is already underway.

It’s been a very tough few years for uranium. But it now looks like we’ve reached the bottom, and the future demand equation says there’s nowhere to go but up—significantly up.

Uranium analyst David Talbot of Dundee Capital Markets is forecasting 6 percent compound annual demand growth through 2020, which is enough, he says, to “kick-start” uranium prices up to and beyond 2007 levels. Morningstar analyst David Wang predicts prices will double within the next two years.

Inside Silicon Valley’s Robot Pizzeria

I think this is sheer idiocy. I can see using robots for store bought pizzas.  But Pizza Hut style pizzas?
In the back kitchen of Mountain View's newest pizzeria, Marta works tirelessly, spreading marinara sauce on uncooked pies. She doesn’t complain, takes no breaks, and has never needed a sick day. She works for free.

Marta is one of two robots working at Zume Pizza, a secretive food delivery startup trying to make a more profitable pizza through machines. It's also created special delivery trucks that will finish cooking pizzas during the journey to hungry customers if approved by the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health. Right now Zume is only feeding people in Mountain View, California, but it has ambitions to dominate the $9.7 billion pizza delivery industry.



Pushed over the edge: How a Ban on Tea Kettles Could Drive Britain to a Brexit

This article was obviously posted pre-Brexit.  But it shows you how uttterly stupid things got with the EU Bureaucracy.  SAVE PLANET!! STOP USING YOUR WATER COOKER!!!  IN FACT, WE WILL MAKE YOU STOP USING YOUR WATER COOKER!!

Yes, it got that ridiculous.
As is so often the case, a momentous decision may be triggered by something quite small. Indeed, the future of the western world may come down to this: a squabble over tea kettles. The Brits are riled up by the imminent threat that the EU, driven by its aggressive climate agenda, will outlaw the electric tea pots that the English have relied upon for generations to produce their daily fix of Earl Grey and toast.

New “eco-design” regulations governing small appliances have been on the EU shelf for months, delayed by officials correctly worried they might ignite a firestorm of protest just as Brits prepared to vote on their European alliance. Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, finally decided at an April 20 meeting to plow ahead with the new rules.

The issue grabbed headlines when David Coburn, EU skeptic and UKIP Member of the European Parliament, tweeted in February, “My toaster takes 4 attempts before bread goes brown and can put My Dundee marmalade on many thanks to EU.” Americans forced to flush twice because newly required water-saving toilets don’t get the job done can sympathize.

The ban on tea kettles is not the only issue that will decide the EU vote, of course. But it is a symbol, just as the proposed ban of 100-watt bulbs in the U.S. became a symbol of an over-reaching federal government.'
Here's an earlier article covering the ban on small appliances that consume "large amounts" of power (scare quotes are mine!)   The ban includes hair dryers!!  What the hell would you dry your hair with? Water is difficult to evaporate due to the high heat capacity and latent heat of vaporization of water.  What idiocy!
The decision to push ahead with the plans soon after the British vote was revealed by Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, at the weekly College of Commissioners meeting on April 20.

Internet routers, hand-dryers, mobile phones and patio jet-washers are also being examined by commission experts as candidates for new ecodesign rules.

However, several products may be granted a stay of execution, as officials admitted the plans are a lightning rod for public anger at perceived meddling by Brussels.



Thursday, June 23, 2016

Blackouts Loom With California In Power Grid Emergency: "All Customers Should Expect 14 Days Without Power"

I covered this is 2013 when the nuclear power plants were shut down.  There's also a reference to a natural gas plant that was demolished because it was an "eyesore".  How stupid!

And now here we are again.  And look like this is what it will be like for the foreseeable future.
Reports say that “all customers” should expect to be without power a total 14 days – 2 weeks time – out of this summer. Some 21 million Californians stand to be directly affected:

All customers, including homes, hospitals, oil refineries and airports are at risk of losing power at some point this summer because a majority of electric generating stations in California use gas as their primary fuel. In April, millions of electric customers in Southern California were warned they could suffer power outages on up to 14 days this summer due to the closure.

[…]

Unlike some other gas transmission systems that can store large amounts of so-called linepack gas in pipelines, like PG&E Corp in northern California, SoCalGas cannot function with only pipeline or storage supplies.

Planned rolling brownouts have been done on a regular basis in Southern California since the days of Enron and the California energy crisis of 200o-2001, but the situation is getting more dire.

Isn't recurring blackouts a problem in 3rd world countries?

Fracked Wells Dominate Natural Gas Production

Without a doubt, fracking is here to stay.
For decades, hydraulic fracturing had been referred to as an unconventional completion technique, but over the past 10 years it has become the technique by which most natural gas is produced in the United States. Based on the most recent data from states, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration estimates that natural gas production from hydraulically fractured wells now makes up about two-thirds of total U.S. marketed gas production. This share of production is even greater than the share of crude oil produced using that method, where hydraulic fracturing accounts for about half of current U.S. crude oil production.
This graph is eye opening:

Hydraulically fractured wells have grown in importance in recent years.

College Republicans suspended by Homophobic UC Irvine after hosting Milo

Boy, Dems talk a good game. But then you find out that they really HATE GAYS:

Even before the event, the administration had attempted to complicate the process by requiring the CRs to dish out an additional $1,000 in security fees on the grounds that the group was not officially affiliated with the school—a claim that was later challenged by the CRs and eventually dropped.

Notably, UCI’s event was uncharacteristically tame in comparison to other Yiannopoulos lectures, which are routinely disrupted and shut down. In this case, however, the event went on without any interruptions, even garnering the praise of local lawmakers, leading some CR members to believe the group’s suspension was more of a political play than anything else.

“We wanted his return to be a rally for young Republicans, just before the election, to invigorate and excite young conservatives to vote for the GOP. I told administration this, so it is clear that this suspension that comes during such a critical election year, is a political statement on behalf of UCI,” CR president Ariana Rowlands told Breitbart.

“They did everything they could to stop us from hosting him the first time, and now they want to make sure that we cannot host him again,” she added.

California's skyrocketing housing costs, taxes prompt exodus of residents

I am SHOCKED!!
During the 12 months ending June 30, the number of people leaving California for another state exceeded by 61,100 the number who moved here from elsewhere in the U.S., according to state Finance Department statistics. The so-called "net outward migration" was the largest since 2011, when 63,300 more people fled California than entered.

"The main factors are housing costs in many parts of the state, including coastal regions of California such as the Bay Area," said Dan Hamilton, director of economics with the Economic Forecasting Center at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

"California has seen negative outward migration to other states for 22 of the last 25 years."

A recent poll revealed that an unsettling sense of yearning has descended on people in the Bay Area: About one-third of those surveyed by the Bay Area Council say they would like to exit the nine-county region sometime soon.

"They are tired of the expense of living here. They are tired of the state of California and the endless taxes here," said Scott McElfresh, a certified moving consultant. "People are getting soaked every time they turn around."

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Shale Oil Seen Stifling OPEC’s Classic Market-Balancing Role

They talk like this is a bad thing! "Market balancing role" is dogwhistle for "keeping prices way higher than people can afford."
“Just to cut production by 1.5 million barrels a day and the next day the price goes up and the other producers will take the whole share -- there is no benefit for OPEC in that,” he said.

High oil prices in recent years were an incentive for many high-cost fields to be tapped, Al-Atiyyah said. If shale oil companies were to collapse due to financial strain imposed by low prices, this might cause another crisis like the one in 2007 and 2008, as many of them owe large debts to banks, he said.

“OPEC can’t go out and fight on behalf of others,” he said. “You have one market. You don’t have an OPEC market and a non-OPEC market.”
My heart bleeds....

Beliefonomics & Shale

You can have your preconceived notions on whether fracking is evil or a godsend.  But even in the face of daunting low oil prices, the American Capitalist rises to the task of overcoming what seem to be almost insurmountable odds.  My hats off to these guys.


Beliefonomics is the most dismal element of the dismal science. Practitioners advance outlooks based upon conjecture, fantasy and hope, qualifying themselves on the basis of whom they know, not what they know; exhibit an abundance of attitude, false modesty, and condescension, but a dearth of facts; commonly support their assertions with a discussion ending “because”; and do not respond well to challenges.

...

And what are producers saying in their most recent Investor Presentations…?

• Chesapeake states its Haynesville shale drilling and completion costs have decline 23% since 2015, and that longer laterals have resulted a 63% increase in 160-day cumulative well production

• In the Eagle Ford, Chesapeake projects a 25% to 50% rate of return from its 2016 development program and states, “current returns… at $45/bbl oil out compete 2014 at $80/bb oil” •Comstock, also a Haynesville producer, indicates that “new wells have 24% to 48% rates of return at natural gas prices of $2.00 to $2.50/mcf”

• Whiting Petroleum claims a “55% IRR at $50/bbl NYMEX” on its Bakken production

• Pioneer Resources, a large Permian producer, is realizing 10% to 35% improvements in well productivity due to innovations in completion technologies

• EOG Resources reports a 29% year-on-year decline in overall lease operating expenses. It also states that well completion costs, since 2014, have declined 42% in the Permian, 15% in the Eagle Ford, and 30% in the Bakken. Finally and regarding drilling, spud to TD times have declined 43% to 19 days in the Permian since 2014, 45% to 8 days since 2012 in the Eagle Ford, and 59% to 9 days in the Bakken, also since 2012.

• EOG also reports its after-tax rate of return at $40/bbl oil is between 15% and 30% in the Bakken core, Permian-Delaware, and Eagle Ford.

• EOG states it has an inventory of more than 12,000 drilling locations

• Anadarko Petroleum indicates that DJ-Niobrara and Permian well costs have been halved since 2013 and 2014, respectively.

• Devon indicates: its drilling and completion costs fell 40%, and its lease operating expenses have declined 25% since 2014; that, at $50/bbl oil and $2.50/MMBtu natural gas, it generates internal rates of returns exceeding 20% in the Rockies, Eagle Ford, Oklahoma Stack and Permian; and that it has more than 13,000 remaining drilling locations

• Cabot Oil & Gas says its drill times, since 2014, declined from 16.9 days 9.4 days in the Marcellus, and from 15 to 8 days in the Eagle Ford, supporting a halving of its drilling costs.

• Range Resources indicates that at current natural gas strip prices, it can drill and realize rates of returns across the Marcellus ranging from 20% to 40%.

If you want to “believe” in something; believe in that.
Don't ask me what a spud is, other than a potato...

CA opens Affordable Care Act door to unlawful immigrants


And why would the illegal immigrants want to limit themselves to the meager, terrible choices offered by Obamacare?  It's terrible!

State Democrats forged ahead with legislation designed to fill out Covered California’s enrollment ranks with unlawful and undocumented immigrants.

Following the state Senate, the Assembly has “passed a measure that would remove a critical barrier to Covered California and allow all Californians to access the state health insurance marketplace, regardless of immigration status,” as State of Reform noted. The legislation, introduced as Senate Bill 10 by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, “would authorize the state to apply for a federal waiver that would allow undocumented mmigrants to buy unsubsidized health coverage through Covered California.”
Illegals:  Stay underground.  Pay with cash.  You're better off.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fossil Fuel Divestment Might Focus On Tobacco Investments

You see?  Ideology uber Alles!  Until finally you just can't do it anymore. What complete morons. But, you have to give them credit when they realize their own stupid mistakes.  Of course, the article only says they "might".  But in the Leftist world "might" means they will.

The re-examination of CalPERS’ investment strategy with respect to tobacco stocks has been driven by a report of an outside consultant that concludes the fund has lost as much as $3 billion in net investment gains between 2000 and 2014 by not investing in them. For a fund that today has about $300 billion in assets, a $3 billion loss of investment income is meaningful (1%).
And who was it that started all of this?  Why one of the institutions was the Rockefeller Fund  Brothers.  You know the Rockefellers, right?  The family that made their fortune as CAPITALISTS?

Yet another reason to shut down these "philanthropic" groups.



Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Coming California Gulag: Landmark California bill would allow prosecution of climate-change skeptics

I say the word Gulg and no one will notice.  Until it's too late.  What a lost country we have become. Honestly and truly, CA should be kicked out of the Union.

A landmark California bill gaining steam would make it illegal to engage in climate-change dissent, clearing the way for lawsuits against fossil-fuel companies, think-tanks and others that have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”

The first-of-its-kind legislation — Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016 — is scheduled for floor action Thursday after clearing Senate committees in April and May.

The measure would allow state and local prosecutors to pursue claims against climate-change skepticism as a violation of the state’s Unfair Competition Law [UCL], as well as extend the four-year statute of limitations for such claims retroactively to Jan. 1, 2021.

“This bill explicitly authorizes district attorneys and the Attorney General to pursue UCL claims alleging that a business or organization has directly or indirectly engaged in unfair competition with respect to scientific evidence regarding the existence, extent, or current or future impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change,” says the state Senate Rules Committee’s floor analysis.