1322: Dark Fate

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 23m
February 18th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Michael Statom, Sir Dark Fake, Chris Collins, Jan Stuurman, Sheryl Cox, Yuriy Filonov, Ben Purcell, Mike Bruer

Associate Executive Producers: Emily Howell, Sir Fauci's Throat, Tech Wipe, Sir Cal of Lavender Blossoms, Sir Scheister, Destroyer of Cones, Robert Jakob, Richard Garrett, Sir Beneden von Juimden

Cover Artist: Parker Paulie


Start of Show
Lighting a gas stove without electricity
No Agenda Shop
No hams when cold
Guest producer
Governor blames ERCOT for power failure
ENRON meets Wall Street Bets, what really happened.
Global Cooling vs Global Warming
No Agenda Shop
No Agenda Shop
List of all the thing we learned about in the last year that is completely messed up and corrupt / start of covid segment.
Guest producer
Mary Bruce / Fauci - By 2022 we will have some degree of normality
Guest producer
Mutant Research
Guest producer
The Robin to my Mutant
Guest producer
Heir Faucci Says vaccine better than natural immunity...
Guest producer
Florida vs California covid numbers don't make sense.
Guest producer
We refroze the vaccine... lol?
Guest producer
John plays record flu drop clip lol
Guest producer
Jake Tapper - The vaccine might actually slow the spread of the virus...
Guest producer
Faucing/Fauci Ouchi
Guest producer
Vaccine Passport/
Guest producer
Start of 1st Donations segment
Guest producer
Start of First Donation Segment
Guest producer
End of 1st donations segment/Hit people in the mouth
Guest producer
History of Lockdowns
Larry Kudlow HOTMIC
Start of 2nd Donations segment/meetups pitch
Guest producer
End of 2nd Donations Segment and Meetups Pitch
Guest producer
End of show mixes
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
The Big Freeze Notes
News reporter bit with snow sfx
Very satisfied with our preparedness and house performance
Trade weed for coffee
Leadership technocrats
Downtown lights
Snow shovel
KLBJ Todd & Don
Ham bands dissapointment
Mic check
NA group Baron Scott
The energy markets ate distorted
Stay warm bullshit m5m reports
Lighting stove without power
Solar lights hack
Tina the Trooper
HEB Lines
What happened
Demand higher than supply
All energy is 1 for 1 Balanced
Chain reaction:
Windmills and solar stopped (icing is abnormal)
Lack of coal plants and dual fuel (oil) (No Money!)
Natural gas 'supply problems' bullshit -> route for heating by law
Nuke plant false signal shutdown
$9000 MW/h price cap from normal $25-$80 price
Markets froze
Rolling blackouts never worked
This isn't Just Green New Deal or Capitalist Republicans
Regulations replacing gas in homes with electricity
It's worse, no one is directly responsible or accountable
Our Producers!
Dude named Ben - protector of the megawatts
Even Dogpatch has knowledge
Atomic Rod Adams
There is the Power Grid and the Policy Grid
See book Shorting the Grid The hidden fragility of our electric grid by Meredith Angwin
It is a combination of all factors, especially the Regional Transmission Organization ERCOT
1996 'Deregulation' -> Orwellian -> More regulation
Non RTO states have lower energy costs
They make money the old fashioned way -> Invest and pass on cost ++
RTO's have 'stakeholders' and secret meetings - laws to forbid press
Important rule -> Do Not Name That Fuel
Perry fired over winter resiliency with Coal and Nuclear
RTO Auctions
Every 5 minutes - agnostic fuel
Energy generation providers are in the auction
No incentive to price capacity properly
Market distorted by subsidies - again Don't Name That Fuel
But there are hundreds in the auction
Secondary markets Hedgefunds - Options
In that 5 minutes window the same energy purchased 2 years ago will change hands 5 times before accepted
The bids are accepted at the clearing price, which is weirdly often the highest bid
Documented proof of profit increase with timed shutdowns
Its Enron and Wall Street bets
And people are ding over it
Pass on to Customers may help
As noted, the order requires ERCOT to "ensure that firm load that is being shed in EEA3 is accounted for in ERCOT's scarcity pricing signals." This directive is based on the Commission's observation in the order that energy prices of less than $9,000/MWh during load-shed conditions are "inconsistent with the fundamental design of the ERCOT Market."
Dutch Curfew Court Case
Emergency legislation aimed at anchoring the coronvirus curfew in law will be sent to parliament on Wednesday, ministers have confirmed, following Tuesday's legal battle which ended shortly before 9pm.
Parliament is currently in recess ahead of the general election on March 17 and must be recalled to debate the bill, which will then have to be sent to the senate for its approval. The rush to pass legislation follows Tuesday's lower court ruling in which judges said that the curfew was illegal because of its impact on freedom of movement, and the fact that it was based on legislation designed to be evoked at times of national emergency, such as a dyke breach.
Ministers then launched an appeal, which resulted in Tuesday night's decision that the curfew remain in place until the appeal court has had its say. That hearing will take place on Friday. In the meantime, ministers are pressing ahead with emergency legislation which would allow them to introduce a temporary curfew as part of the coronavirus measures.
In January MPs debated the government's plans and despite some skepticism, voted in favour of requiring people to remain home from 9pm to 4.30am. However, it is unclear what the position of the senate, or upper house of parliament, is likely to be.
Norway Grid Woes on Electric
ITM Adam
Electric cars are popular in Norway as they are not subject to the 60-90% import tax of traditional internal combustion engine cars, in addition to other incentives (no annual road tax, free charging in some case, etc)
So popular that about 10% (280k of the 2.8M registered vehicles) in Norway are pure electric. (source; https://www.ssb.no/bilreg)
Norway's electricity is mainly hydro-power (80+%, https://energifaktanorge.no/en/norsk-energiforsyning/kraftproduksjon/) with storage reservoirs
At the same time home heating is a mixture of wood stoves and electric, latter more popular in modern homes.
So now, even with "only" 10% of the cars being electric, Norway's electricity network provider is asking the public not to charge their cars in the morning, due to the cold weather load on the electric network
So how any country's grid is going to cope once a meaningful amount of cars (say 50-70%) are electric eludes me - even with smart coordinated night-time charging.
Good luck with the 2nd Sunday in the week show tomorrow!
Corrupt Institutions
Education teachers unions
Politicians like Mitch Nancy etc
Pharma and medical
NBA Apple Nike
Stock market WSB
Energy Markets
Climate change
Central banks and Fiat
White Helmets
Fake News and corrupt media
Big tech silicon valley social networks
Big Agriculture
Lincoln project my media boomerang theory
Craig on growing up with Zinn
In the morning Mr. Curry.
Thank you for your courage.
i've been meaning to email you for at least a week now on the subject of Howard Zinn and his book People's history of the United States.
I went to a small what used to be known as community college in Brainerd Minnesota where I still live and at the tender age of 19 to 20 was quickly converted from a gun toting country boy Eagle Scout into a full on Marxist thanks to the writings of Howard Zinn's book the People's History of the United State and the socialist programming I was fed call at a small community college in rural Minnesota.
had it not been for my continued questioning of authority, reading and losing lots of debates with people much smarter than me I might still be a Marxist; but thankfully I am wise enough to be open minded and to except that when I am wrong and willing to change my mind when evidence evidence is provided; and today I'm a libertarian and we all know libertarians are never wrong. So I don't have to deal with that any longer. Lol.
Have a wonderful day, I hope you enjoy the humor and the honesty of the story.
Boogity Boogity Boogity
Sea rock of the land lock
PS- Take care of that Keeper!
Media America Rush Limbaugh
Bill gates phoney baloney
Green New Deal
Climate change: Snowy UK winters could become thing of the past - BBC News
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 12:10
By Justin RowlattChief environment correspondent
image copyright Getty Images
image caption The end of sledging and snowball fights in the UK?Snowy winters could become a thing of the past as climate change affects the UK, Met Office analysis suggests.
It is one of a series of projections about how UK's climate could change, shared with BBC Panorama.
It suggests by the 2040s most of southern England could no longer see sub-zero days. By the 2060s only high ground and northern Scotland are still likely to experience such cold days.
The projections are based on global emissions accelerating.
It could mean the end of sledging, snowmen and snowball fights, says Dr Lizzie Kendon, a senior Met Office scientist who worked on the climate projections.
"We're saying by the end of the century much of the lying snow will have disappeared entirely except over the highest ground," she told Panorama.
If the world reduces emissions significantly the changes will be less dramatic, the Met Office says.
The average coldest day in the UK over the past three decades was -4.3 Celsius.
If emissions continue to accelerate, leading to a global temperature rise of 4C, then the average coldest day in the UK would remain above 0 Celsius across most of the country throughout winter.
Even if global emissions are reduced dramatically and world temperatures rise by 2C, the average coldest day in the UK is likely be 0 Celsius.
The Met Office says these temperatures are subject to variation and some years may see days colder than the average. Its projections explore how the UK's climate might change.
"The overarching picture is warmer, wetter winters; hotter, drier summers," Dr Kendon says.
"But within that, we get this shift towards more extreme events, so more frequent and intense extremes, so heavier rainfall when it occurs."
The Met Office says we are already seeing dramatic changes in the UK climate.
image copyright PA
image caption Picture postcard: Snow covered houses in Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset in 2019"The rate and nature of the climate change that we're seeing is unprecedented," says Dr Mark McCarthy of the Met Office's National Climate Information Centre.
Most of the country has already seen average temperatures rise by 1C since the Industrial Revolution and we should expect more of the same, he warns.
That may not sound like much, but even these small changes in our climate can have a huge impact on the weather and on many plants and animals.
Hotter drier summers
The Met Office says there could be significant temperature rises in the decades ahead for both winter and summer.
It says the biggest increases will be in the already warmer southern parts of the UK. At the same time extreme weather is expected to become more frequent and more intense.
Heatwaves are likely to become more common and last longer, with record temperatures being exceeded regularly.
image copyright Getty Images
image caption The average hottest day could reach a sweltering 40C the data suggestsNot every summer will be hotter than the last, the Met Office says, but the long-term trend is steadily upwards, particularly if emissions remain unabated.
That high-emissions scenario shows peak summer temperatures could rise by between 3.7 C and 6.8 C by the 2070s, compared with the period 1981 to 2000.
If the world succeeds in reducing emissions, these temperature rises will be considerably smaller.
The level of detail in the models mean it is possible to see how the climate might change in neighbourhoods across the country.
media caption The Wingfields' home in South Yorkshire has only just recovered after floods in 2019.Hayes in west London, for example, is likely to see some of the most dramatic temperature rises of all, the new data suggests.
The average hottest day in Hayes was 32C around 20 years ago. If emissions continue to accelerate, the new Met Office data suggests the average hottest day could reach a sweltering 40C by around 2070.
If global emissions reduce, this temperature rise will not be so severe.
"I mean, I think it's really frightening. That's a big change, and we're talking about in the course of our lifetime. It's just a wake-up call really as to what we're talking about here," says Dr Kendon.
Summers might not just be hotter, they could be drier too, the Met Office predicts. Summer rain could become less frequent, but when it does rain it is likely to be more intense.
The combination of longer dry periods with sudden heavy downpours could increase the risk of flooding because dry ground doesn't absorb water as well as damp ground.
Warmer wetter winters
Rainfall is expected to increase in many parts of the country in winter too, the Met Office says.
The projections suggest western parts of the UK may get even wetter under a high-emissions scenario.
Of course, some years will always buck the trend by being wetter or cooler than others - and there will be significant regional variations.
This pattern of wetter winters and more intense summer downpours across much of the country risks putting infrastructure under greater strain.
Roads, railways, reservoirs, sewers, bridges and other infrastructure is all designed for the sort of rainfall we have had in the past and much of it may need to be upgraded or even rebuilt to cope with the storms and floods to come.
Last week, the UK government announced ambitious new targets for tackling climate change.
The new goal is to cut the UK's greenhouse gas emission by 68% by the end of the decade, based on 1990 levels.
Boris Johnson hopes the new targets will set an example to other nations, which will join a virtual climate pledges summit on 12 December.
This virtual event will occur in place of annual UN climate talks, which were set to have taken place in Glasgow this year, but were postponed because of Covid-19.
You can see more on Panorama: Britain's Wild Weather on BBC One at 19:00 GMT.
Rick Perry gets his electricity grid study. The coal and mining industries like it. - The Washington Post
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 21:04
A much-anticipated Energy Department report on the electricity grid made recommendations for regulatory changes that would bolster coal and nuclear power plants.
The changes, if adopted, would alter the way prices are determined in electricity markets, ease environmental reviews for coal plants and speed the permitting process for a variety of energy sources.
The 187-page report rejects the notion that the coal and nuclear plants that have been forced to shut down over the past 16 years had been closed prematurely, noting that cheap, abundant natural gas had been the main factor '-- not environmental regulations or renewable energy sources as Republican leaders have contended.
''The biggest contributor to coal and nuclear plant retirements has been the advantaged economics of natural gas-fired generation,'' the document states.
The Energy Department document carries little weight on its own, and most of its recommendations fall in the turf of other departments and agencies.
But the report has been seen as a test of whether the Trump administration is going to politicize government studies and disregard scientific evidence.
The in-depth look at the state of the grid quickly drew praise from coal and nuclear groups, and sharp rebukes from environmental and solar energy groups.
Among the recommendations is one that suggests that the Environmental Protection Agency ease permitting requirements for new investments at coal-fired plants, a process known as new source review.
It said that ''the uncertainty stemming from'' EPA's new source review ''creates an unnecessary burden that discourages rather than encourages installation of C02 emission control equipment and investments in efficiency because of the additional expenditures and delays associated with the permitting process.''
The report also endorsed price changes that would prevent solar and wind energy from providing energy at negative prices, which they can do thanks to federal tax credits.
This hurts other energy suppliers, especially in the nuclear industry, and the recommendation was welcomed.
''We're very pleased with the top line recommendation for the implementation of long overdue energy market reforms,'' said Joe Dominguez, executive vice president of regulatory affairs at Exelon, the nation's largest nuclear power utility. ''The big thing from our perspective is energy market price reforms. That's something that's been talked about in our sector for years. It's real meat-on-the-bones stuff.''
The report suggested that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission speed up its permitting process so that it could continue to ''ensure the safety'' of new and existing nuclear reactors ''without unnecessarily adding to the operating costs and economic uncertainty of nuclear energy.''
''The U.S. Department of Energy's electric grid study reaffirms our view that nuclear energy is a key and necessary contributor to a clean, reliable and resilient electric grid,'' Nuclear Energy Institute President Maria Korsnick said. ''Today electricity markets do not properly credit nuclear energy for the numerous benefits it delivers, forcing plants to close years before the end of their useful lives and compromising grid reliability and resiliency in the process.''
Other industry groups praised the report. ''The National Mining Association applauds the department for its timely analysis of the nation's power grid and the recommendations it proposes,'' the association's president, Hal Quinn, said in a statement. He praised the report's finding that government regulations and mandates had ''accelerated the closure of a substantial number'' of power plants.
Environmental and renewable industry groups slammed the report for failing to deal with climate change and the drive toward low carbon electricity, and noted that the final report differed from earlier drafts that had been leaked.
''This report is not worth the paper it's printed on,'' Earthjustice attorney Kim Smaczniak said in a statement. ''Rather than embrace the progress we've made and move full steam ahead with the transition to clean energy, the Trump Administration is burning tax payer dollars on a report on 'baseload' power '' an antiquated code word for coal and nuclear '' to conjure up false attacks on clean energy.'' Smaczniak added that ''Worse, the report shows that science is not safe from manipulation under this Administration. Sound findings in the earlier draft of the report have been mysteriously excised, replaced by trumped up claims about the costs of environmental regulations. And this report says nothing about climate change.''
The Solar Energy Industries Association president Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement that ''solar and other renewables provide significant cost savings, relieve pressure on our nation's infrastructure and improve the grid's overall performance.''
And Graham Richard, chief executive of Advanced Energy Economy, a national business group, said that ''this report seriously overstates the challenges associated with new energy resources. It also implies that certain power plants now losing out in the marketplace make an irreplaceable contribution to reliability and resilience, which is not the case.''
The electricity grid report has been the subject of political and corporate interest since April 14, when Energy Secretary Rick Perry asked the department's staff and experts to produce a study explaining the reasons for the ''premature retirement'' of ''baseload'' coal and nuclear plants.
The framing was widely seen as setting up a document that would champion coal and nuclear and point to shortcomings of wind and solar.
But the report, which was written by the department's career staff, rejects the premature label, saying that coal plant shutdowns have been the result of four factors: cheap, plentiful natural gas; the spread of ever-cheaper renewable energy; stagnant electricity demand; and government regulation.
It noted that the combination of the leveling in electricity demand and the construction of an additional 390,500 megawatts of power plants since 2002 ''made significant amounts of older higher cost capacity redundant.''
Perry, in his response to the report, said it was important to study the effects of regulation and subsidies on electricity supply.
''The core objective of electricity regulation has always been, and should continue to be, to ensure a reliable and resilient electric supply system that serves customers in an equitable manner,'' Perry said in a statement. ''It is apparent that in today's competitive markets certain regulations and subsidies are having a large impact on the functioning of markets, and thereby challenging our power generation mix. It is important for policy makers to consider their intended and unintended effects.''
The report also said that the aging power plants retired over the past 16 years were no longer being used as ''baseload plants,'' a phrase that means the plants can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlike wind and solar. It said that the coal plants shut down in recent years were operating at a small fraction of their capacity, far less than the nationwide average for coal plants.
''Not every power plant retirement is cause for alarm,'' the report cautioned. ''While stakeholders may maintain that a power plant has been forced to retire prematurely based on one or more of the considerations above, the results of this study show that some observed power plant retirements are appropriate and consistent with markets as they are currently functioning.''
Energy Department officials who briefed journalists on the report said the country is ''at a pivotal moment'' for decisions about electricity's future.
The officials said that the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, essentially the department's in-house think tank, was essential to coordinating the report. But the Trump budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 would eliminate the office.
Chris Mooney contributed to this report.
Build Back Better
Universal Basic Income Could Be Coming for Kids - WSJ
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 14:30
Entrepreneurs, intellectuals and presidential candidates have in recent years touted ''universal basic income,'' a cash stipend to everyone with no strings attached, as the answer to poverty, automation and the drudgery of work. It has never gotten off the ground in the U.S.
Instead, something similar in spirit but cheaper and more practical may be in sight. Both President Biden and Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) have proposed significantly expanding the child tax credit and dropping many of its restrictions, in effect turning it into a near-universal basic income for children.
The main aim of their proposals is to reduce child poverty, which is higher in the U.S. than in most advanced countries. Both would slash the number of children in poverty by around 3 million, or a third, according to the Niskanen Center, a center-right think tank.
In the process, it may also become the only major benefit in the U.S. that achieves near universality'--testing traditional American notions of the safety net. ''It would be a huge change in how we think about delivering benefits,'' said Elaine Maag, principal research associate at the Urban Institute.
Federal benefits usually require the recipient to meet some criterion of need: poor (for food stamps, welfare and Medicaid), unemployed (for unemployment insurance), working or looking for work (the earned-income tax credit and some programs with work requirements), or disabled (Social Security Disability Insurance). Only Social Security and Medicare approach universality: Almost all elderly are eligible.
While some 90% of households with children qualify for the current child tax credit, many don't get the full $2,000 because they don't owe enough tax. At most, they can receive back $1,400 more (the refundable portion) than they owe.
Mr. Biden's plan, as detailed in legislative language unveiled by House Democrats last week, would boost the credit to $3,600 for a child under 6 and $3,000 for a child aged 6 to 17 and make it fully refundable, meaning even a parent with no income would receive the full amount. The boost would start to phase out for individuals earning $75,000 a year and couples earning $150,000. The remainder would phase out starting at incomes of $200,000 a year for individuals and $400,000 for married couples, as it does under current law.
Mr. Romney would raise the credit for children under 6 even more, to $4,200. He would match Mr. Biden's $3,000 for older children and start phasing out the full amount at $200,000 a year for individuals and $400,000 for couples. He would also replace the current earned-income tax credit, which is more generous for people with children, to a standard amount per family.
The upshot is that under Mr. Biden's plan, families with two children would typically receive $6,000 to $7,200. Under Mr. Romney's plan'--$6,000 to $8,400. That's less than the $12,000 per adult in universal basic income proposed by Andrew Yang, former Democratic candidate for president and now candidate for mayor of New York City. But it's a lot of money to a lot of parents, regardless of whether they work and (almost) regardless of how much they earn.
Almost as important is how the plans are administered: Both Mr. Biden's and Mr. Romney's proposals would pay the credit each month, instead of once a year when the recipient files his or her taxes. Mr. Romney goes further by entrusting the job to the Social Security Administration, which already sends monthly checks to Social Security beneficiaries. Mr. Biden would leave it to the Internal Revenue Service.
Ms. Maag said the IRS is better positioned to administer the plan right away; it already delivers some kind of benefit to 95% of families with children and has shown it can quickly send out checks as it did with last year's pandemic-relief legislation.
But Melissa Kearney, an economist at the University of Maryland, thinks calling the benefit an allowance and administering it through Social Security would underline that this isn't just another provision of the tax code. While academics consider a tax credit and an allowance ''mathematically equivalent, in practice, they are not,'' she said. Just as Social Security represents a commitment to end elderly poverty, a child allowance would do the same for child poverty, she said. ''We should set our priorities as a nation and then commit to spending on them.''
Universal basic income for kids costs a lot less than UBI for everyone. Ms. Kearney has estimated UBI for adults, depending on the design, would cost $1 trillion to $2.5 trillion a year. By contrast, Mr. Romney's plan would add $66 billion to current costs, which he would finance by ending several tax provisions and federal welfare block grants. Mr. Biden's would cost $105 billion. He has yet to identify a permanent funding source.
UBI could discourage a lot of able-bodied adults from working, although experimental evidence is inconclusive. By contrast, the National Academy of Sciences estimates a $3,000 annual child allowance would reduce employment by only about 100,000 workers (compare that to the 1.4 million jobs a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage would cost, according to the Congressional Budget Office). Moreover, those who work less are probably spending more time raising their children, a trade-off most Americans can relate to.
UBI for kids is also easier to sell politically. Many liberals like that most of UBI for kids goes to those on lower incomes without robbing other parts of the safety net. Some conservatives like that it's pro-family. The two may be enough to make it happen.
Write to Greg Ip at greg.ip@wsj.com
Kamala Harris Is Now Making Joe Biden's Head of State Calls for Him.
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 13:09
Vice President Kamala Harris has begun to take calls on behalf of President Joe Biden, raising questions about his ability to do the job of President. The White House published a readout yesterday entitled ''Readout of Vice President Kamala Harris Call with President Emmanuel Macron of France.''
It states:
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke today with President Emmanuel Macron of France, and expressed her commitment to strengthening bilateral ties between the United States and France and to revitalizing the transatlantic alliance. Vice President Harris and President Macron agreed on the need for close bilateral and multilateral cooperation to address COVID-19, climate change, and support democracy at home and around the world. They also discussed numerous regional challenges, including those in the Middle East and Africa, and the need to confront them together. The Vice President thanked President Macron for his leadership on the issue of gender equality and for France's contribution to NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover.
It is bizarre for a Vice President to be making contact with key world leaders just weeks into a new administration.
Harris also recently spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The President has also still refused to call the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The White House readoutIn 2020, Biden called himself a ''transition candidate,'' raising eyebrows about his commitment to the job and his ability to serve his full first term, let alone a potential two.
Some have also noted how Harris may be setting up to lead the U.S. delegation at the G8 in June, especially if Biden is still busy playing Mario Kart.
Staff Writer The National Pulse is a part of the American Principles Project.
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Facebook news ban: Social media giant bans Australians from viewing and sharing local news content
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 04:14
Social media giant Facebook will prohibit publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content in response to Australia's proposed media bargaining laws '-- a move Nine says will inhibit news creators from sharing quality news and information. Facebook this morning said it was left with a "stark choice" after being unable to find a "solution" in discussions with the Australian government . "The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content," William Easton, Facebook's Australia and New Zealand managing director, said in a blog post.
Facebook has banned Australians from viewing or sharing news content. (AP) "It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship, or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter."
Nine, which is the publisher of this site, said it was "unreasonable behaviour".
"It is unfortunate Facebook have taken this position and it will indeed inhibit us from sharing our quality news and information with Australians. Nobody benefits from this decision as Facebook will now be a platform for misinformation to rapidly spread without balance. This action proves again their monopoly position and unreasonable behaviour," a spokesperson said.
"But today's statement does not mean Facebook will not have to abide by the Federal Governments proposed code. Value has already been transferred and Facebook has benefited from our content for many years. We should be able to access their monopoly platform and have the right to monetise our content as a result.
"We have been negotiating with Facebook in good faith and we remain willing to do a deal with them that provides a mutually beneficial outcome and ensures quality information is available to all Australians on their platform."
A message seen on Facebook in response to its ban on sharing Australian news content. (Facebook) Facebook said the Federal Government, and the proposed law, "seeks to penalise Facebook for content it didn't take or ask for".
"Unfortunately, this means people and news organisations in Australia are now restricted from posting news links and sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on Facebook.
"Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted."
Do you agree with Facebook's decision to block Australians from accessing news? Treasurer Josh Frydenberg tweeted that he'd had a "constructive discussion" with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this morning following the announcement. "He raised a few remaining issues with the Government's news media bargaining code and we agreed to continue our conversation to try to find a pathway forward," Mr Frydenberg said.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (AP) 'Raises very serious questions'
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher told 2GB's Ben Fordham the government would proceed with its planned reforms despite Facebook's action.
"It's certainly something that raises concern'... the government will consider it very carefully," Mr Fletcher said.
But, he said, "we'll be maintaining the path that we've been following".
"We expect people doing business in Australia to comply with the laws of the land in Australia.
"There are already questions about the credibility of information and sources on the Facebook platform and the decision they're taking, it seems, is what they want to do is remove authoritative and credible news sources on the platform.
"(Facebook is) effectively saying to Australians, 'If you're looking for reliable news, Facebook is not the place to look for it.'"
Facebook's actions this morning "raises very serious questions", he said.
"Including questions about the credibility of information that people want to find on Facebook," Mr Fletcher said.
He urged Australians to seek their news from other sources to ensure they get "credible, fact-checked information".
Mr Frydenberg said he understood a wide number of publishers were currently in discussions with Google. (Nine) He said agreements between news creators and Google "will help sustain public interest journalism in this country for years to come".
The deal comes amid a tense battle between Australia's biggest news publishers and multinational companies such as Google and Facebook over the nation's proposed media bargaining code, which would see Google pay for original news content.
The Treasurer said he still intends to legislate the code.
What is the code of conduct for digital platforms?
Under the mandatory code of conduct, technology giants Google and Facebook would be required to negotiate with Australian media companies over payment for news content and notify them of algorithm changes.
It followed a direction from the Morrison Government, in December 2019, to facilitate the development of voluntary codes to address bargaining power imbalances between digital platforms and news media businesses.
The development of a code of conduct is part of the government's response to the ACCC's Digital Platforms Inquiry final report to promote competition, enhance consumer protection and support a sustainable Australian media landscape in the digital age.
"What we've sought to do is create a level playing field to ensure a fair go for Australian news media businesses and that when they generate original content, they are fairly paid for it," Mr Frydenberg said in July.
"We want Google and Facebook to continue to provide these services to the Australian community which are so much loved and used by Australians. But we want it to be on our terms.
"We want it to be in accordance with our law and we want it to be fair, and that is what has motivated us with this mandatory code."
Noodle Gun
TikTokers are now eligible to join Hollywood's biggest union
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:13
Via TikTok/@addisonre, @dixiedamelio, and @charlidamelio SAG-AFTRA's new 'Influencer Agreement' also offers representation to influencers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and more TikTokers, Instagram influencers, and other online content creators now have a new way to unionise, via SAG-AFTRA's ''Influencer Agreement''. As Hollywood's top union, the catchily-named Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists will allow those that earn money through advertising on social media to reap the same benefits as A-list actors.
''The Influencer Agreement was created in response to the unique nature of Influencer-generated branded content and offers a new way for influencers to work under a SAG-AFTRA agreement,'' Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA, tells Backstage. ''We want to be able to support both current and future SAG-AFTRA members in this space and for them to be able to access the benefits of union coverage.''
Those benefits include better opportunities and protections for those working in the industry, plus '' in many cases '' health and pension plans. Previously, YouTubers were the only influencers able to gain membership, which will now be available to influencers on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and other platforms. According to SAG-AFTRA's website, the union already represents around 160,000 performers and media professionals.
So, how do you qualify to join Hollywood's biggest union as an influencer? Well, the new agreement categorises ''influencer-generated branded content'' as advertising, and this has to be produced by the influencers, and distributed on their personal platform in video or audio form. This could include as little as a short TikTok clip or Instagram story, and, according to the New York Times, there's also no minimum follower count. The agreement doesn't cover still imagery, however, or advertising campaigns created for a company, which are covered under a different agreement.
I know exactly who needs to fucking hear this BUT a lot of influencers are marginalized people who COULD REALLY BENEFIT from union protections, especially as more brands seek to employ marginalized creators to improve their images, so please spare me your eye rolls
'-- Kristin Chirico (@lolacoaster) February 11, 2021In the wake of the announcement last week, influencers and their followers have welcomed the ability to unionise, especially in an industry that is largely unregulated and offers its creators very little in the way of protection or stability. ''A lot of influencers are marginalized people who could really benefit from union protections,'' writes actor and writer Kristin Chirico in a tweet, ''especially as more brands seek to employ marginalized creators to improve their images, so please spare me your eye rolls.''
Reportedly, the change to SAG-AFTRA's membership requirements comes at the end of three and a half years of internal research and talks, after influencers approached the union for guidance as they negotiated deals. More specific details on the agreement are set to be revealed at a later date.
Dogs are People Too
Nestle earnings: Full year 2020 growth outshines peers
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 13:57
The company's logo is seen at a Nestle plant in Konolfingen, Switzerland September 28, 2020.
Arnd Wiegmann | Reuters
Food giant Nestle said on Thursday it wanted to keep growing organic sales towards a mid single-digit rate this year after strong demand for pet food and health products in the Americas helped its growth outshine peers last year.
Consumers kept buying packaged food throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and Nestle fared better than some rivals as it kept shedding underperforming businesses and investing in growth areas like plant-based food, coffee and health science.
Full-year organic sales, which strip out currency swings, acquisitions and divestitures, grew 3.6% in 2020, ahead of Nestle's own guidance for "around 3%" and peer Unilever's 1.9% underlying sales growth.
Analysts in a consensus compiled by Nestle were looking for 3.5% organic sales growth for the full year.
The company said it wanted to continue to increase its organic sales growth towards a mid-single-digit rate this year and sustain it over the mid-term.
Net profit fell 3% to 12.2 billion Swiss francs ($13.58 billion), above a forecast for 11.97 billion francs. The year-ago period had benefited from a one-off gain linked to the sale of the skin health business.
The underlying operating margin improved to 17.7% last year, after reaching 17.6% and thus the group's mid-term profitability target range of 17.5-18.5% in 2019, a year earlier than planned.
The company proposed to increase the dividend to 2.75 francs per share for 2020, up from 2.70 francs last year. It also has a share buyback program under way.
I Dated Monica Lewinsky - Washington City Paper
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 13:01
You tend not to spend too much time contemplating Tim Russert's innermost thoughts when you're 100 feet under water, breathing through a narrow tube, soaring past the ocean wall in slow motion, staring at 200-year-old sea tortoises, parrot fish, and coral that have no concern for love or career. A week of no news, no television'--nothing more than books and the company of a handful of divers and fisherman. I had no idea of the storm clouds brewing in D.C.; the weather in the Caymans was 80 and sunny, the diving was clear, and my tan was coming in even and had yet to peel.
It was while waiting for the first plane at the shack that passes for an airport in Little Cayman that I caught a glimpse of the AP wire story on the front page of the Caymanian Compass. I was playing with a puppy in the airport office when I saw the headline; the Caymanian reading the paper quickly offered it to me, as I clearly had more interest in it than he.
The world was beside itself about the latest presidential scandal, this one involving an affair with a then-21-year-old intern'--the juiciest story to break in my adult life, a salacious tale of alleged infidelity between the most powerful man in the Milky Way and a girl named Monica.
Monica Lewinsky.
A girl I'd gone out on a date with a few weeks before.
I hesitate here, because I have no desire to appear on Hard Copy or banter with MSNBCeebees, and, essentially, I feel bad for poor Monica and feel unclean adding my feeble barnacle to her ship of fame. Although I will admit to an odd weave of loathing and envy when I watch the blabbocracy breathlessly weighing in'--Hey, I think, they don't even know this chick. But I am not jumping in because one dinner with Monica enabled me to read her mind as she sits with friends and family at the Watergate, pondering her fate.
I write, clearly, because I want a piece of this story just like everybody else. That imperative distinguishes me not at all from every other journalist in Washington. But perhaps even more, I also want to point out that behind this particular bimbo eruption sits a young woman who is not a bimbo, who is a fairly sensible sort from what I saw, who was never going to be the one holding a press conference alongside a posterboard blowup of the Star with a back pocket full of the cash she got from selling out. She may be guilty of poor judgment, but she never asked for this.
That said, let the whoring begin.
It's still etched on my December calendar: the Saturday night of Joe and Danielle's going-away party at Stetson's on U Street NW. I walked in, checked out the crowd, and immediately headed for Doug, the owner. I chatted and drank with him, and, in an effort to make myself as unapproachable as possible, I started shooting pool with him. Soon enough, Doug was called back to his duties, and I had to start feeding the table quarters. Between my former colleague Maloni and me, we could only scrape together three of the requisite four quarters. I took that particular need and blended it with another one, stepping up to a group of three women who had been hovering near the table.
''Do any of you have a quarter?'' I asked, and one of them, the one with the smile that seemed to be about nothing in particular, dug into her purse and handed me one. I thanked her, introduced myself, and resumed hunting my target stripes.
''Am I drunk, or is she cute?'' I asked Maloni.
''Which one?'' he said.
''Monica,'' I said. ''The one in the black.''
''You're drunk,'' said Maloni, a rugby pretty boy. I overruled him. She was cute, if a little zaftig. And friendly. And nice.
I hovered around the coral reef of the pool table for hours that night, never coming up for air. It was fine, paddling in my little eddy of indifference, waiting for others to approach me. Which Monica did. I was lining up a side shot when she stepped up and dropped three quarters onto the table, the smile now seemingly offered more specifically for my benefit.
''For the game?'' I asked. ''You got next?''
''No, for you,'' she said. ''Just some extra I had.''
So, ignoring the usual coy mating rituals, Monica felt free to actually be nice. Just to be nice. Maybe she wanted to meet me or someone like me. Regardless, it was refreshing. A warm patch of water in an otherwise chilly ocean. The simple act of gifting me with a few quarters after knowing me but a few minutes disarmed me.
I was intrigued enough to approach Joe, who was the raison d'ªtre for the going-away party. Upon gentle inquiry, Joe told me that Monica was bad news, that she had left the White House because she had kept wandering into the Oval Office and inappropriately striking up conversations with the commander in chief.
''Some weird shit, man,'' he said. ''Stay away.''
But Washington, in its own polite way, generates more trash talk than a Bulls game. People spread malicious buzz here'--at the gym, in bars, at lunch'--with no forethought, just to stay in shape, like a jog around the block. So even though I like Joe just fine, I didn't put a lot of stock in his 12th-hand scuttlebutt. Who knew what the truth was in the shark-infested White House waters? I've been ''friends'' with a bunch of people who work at 1600 Pennsylvania and have seldom trusted anything they say.
Joe's misgivings aside, his girlfriend Danielle, ever the yenta, was eager to facilitate. ''Jake,'' she called to me as she stood with Monica. ''Do you want Monica's number?''
''Sure,'' I said. And a scrap of paper went into my pocket. Home and work phone numbers'--a good sign.
A few days later, I called her at that Pentagon job she was soon to leave. Busy, she needed to call me back. She did. The conversations were terse but friendly; we made plans to get together when she returned from a job interview in N.Y.C. I thought it odd that she was leaving the Pentagon job without a new one to go to, but she explained that she was anxious to leave D.C. and live with her mom in New York. Her long hours and international roadtrips while working as the personal assistant to the deputy Defense secretary precluded much of a social life, and she was anxious to move on to something less demanding.
After a few plans fell through'--about which she was unfailingly polite, understanding, and as far from aloof as you can get'--I picked her up at her mom's place at the Watergate. I'm 15 minutes late for everything, and I always get lost around the Kennedy Center, but she waited in front, no big deal, seemingly psyched. We hit Adams Morgan. Her job meant she wasn't getting out much, so any place sounded great to her. I took her to Roxanne's, a nice Tex-Mex place where I'd eaten a million times when my brother waited tables there.
This was Tuesday night, Dec. 23. Her last day at the Pentagon was rapidly approaching, for which she was grateful. Trapped for months in whatever tunnel she was in, she probably saw a glimmer of light and thought she was still going to be able to extricate herself before the flood waters reached chin level, escaping D.C. with a life intact. Her good mood and light manner indicated that she had no idea that in a matter of days she would become a chew-toy for Ken Starr.
Right off, Monica was different from the standard D.C. date: not a salad-picker, she joined me in appetizers and an actual entree of her own. She had a beer or two, while I drank bourbon. She even offered to pay for her share, a fairly rare offer I rejected but appreciated.
I got the same basic bio you did, though mine was spoken rather than in black and white in the Washington Post: raised in Los Angeles, a city she found fake because her ''hair is brown and boobs are real.'' Parents divorced, dad a doctor, mom an author, seemed to be some family money floating around there, very close with her mom. Lewis and Clark College (huh?), liked Portland, Ore., just fine. White House internship, arranged through some random contact I didn't quite get but didn't push, Pentagon personal assistant.
I've had my share of dates with Really Important D.C. Career Women, and I've found it's easy to get the skinny on anything that ever happened to a woman from meiosis 'til the leak she took before dessert. Monica wasn't like that, peppering her monologue with questions for me and actually listening with interest to the responses. She didn't strike me as a classic climber'--just a woman looking for a decent, challenging job and a happy life to go with it. We talked about some of her past relationships, though the president's name did not come up. I didn't work her over for her opinions on Netanyahu, the emotional residue from her parents' split, any of that. It was a first date, one I wasn't sure would be followed by a second, and how was I to know that the woman on the other side of the table would set the presidency into seismic rumblings?
She struck me as cheerful, open, a bit too much a resident of Planet Hap-Hap-Happy in my acerbic view. A little bizarre in her almost childlike sweetness'--it was tough to juxtapose her almost giddy warmth with the gravity of the places she had visited, like Bosnia'--but she was from both L.A. and money, so her unusualness had a context. She mentioned, more by way of observation than complaint, that her transcribing duties for the DOD were massively challenging for someone who had more skill in communication than in typing'--a tidbit now used as bimbo ammo, though it seemed reasonable to me at the time.
Physically, she was pleasant without being overwhelming. She's a little chubby, but she's leaps and bounds prettier than that vacuous mug shot beamed all over the world. (You know how some photos of yourself can make you cringe? Imagine if one of those became a new international icon. We should be allowed to pick our own pictures at times like these.) A great dresser'--she wore some black '70s number, kind of, but not in the slightest bit revealing or inappropriate. The reason D.C. quislings are hissing about her ''wacky'' dress is because she has a sense of style, and this city, simply, does not.
So. A sweet girl. Nice.
Maybe we'll go out again, I thought.
She said as much: ''Yeah, I'd really like to get together again. You're really easy to talk to.''
And that was it. I was coming down with a cold, and she had to get up early the next day for her last day at work, so I dropped her off before midnight with a very innocent goodbye. As it happens, our second date got lost amid New Year's, my vacation, and my setting up a new apartment'--in the cleaning of which I threw out her number.
And apparently, she was kind of busy, too.
Now, to your questions:xxxxxxxxxxxx
After a couple of hours of semicandlelight, I don't know if she is capable of fantastic, Medea-scale delusions. Maybe. But maybe Newsweek reporter Mike Isikoff and Net bottom feeder Matt Drudge are, too; I have no idea. Neither do you. Drudge seems to have no compunction about his personal role in our national deep knee-bend toward Gomorrah; Isikoff apparently thought there was nothing revolting about his going on Letterman this week. Those seem like fairly grand delusions to me.
And I don't know if she was riding Air Force One, so to speak. Perhaps. Though my guess would be based not on my date with her but just on the same compelling car-accidentlike wreckage we're all rubbernecking to see. My sum total experience is a meeting of eyes at a boring bar party and a B-minus date afterward. If fate, Vernon Jordan, and Ken Starr hadn't intervened, who knows, maybe I'd be the only reporter in the world pursuing her.
When my brother returned in '94 from a year of studying ancient texts in Israel, he was incredulous and disgusted with our national obsession with Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. When you emerge into a media maelstrom directly from a media-free world, whether it's Jerusalem or the bottom of the ocean, alleged semen on a reportedly navy blue dress purportedly ejaculated by the leader of the Free World seems rather unimportant, not to mention, well, seedy.
But I am not my brother, and it didn't take long'--about a second, actually'--for me to go from glimpsing the Caymanian Compass to joining my fellow townies in an obsession. I couldn't watch enough airport-bar CNN-blaring televisions. The rest of you had been huddling around your cable-news campfires to all hours, swapping ''I know a guy who knows a guy''s, riveted by all the mumblenewsing, quidnuncing, hearsaying, tattling, and idle-chattering. I had a lot of catching up to do.
Normally, I love this shit. When the gong of scandal ringeth, count on me to be the first in line for the hanging, salivating in expectation of the next tidbit. But a funny thing happened to me on the way from Cayman to the States. When you scuba dive, if you plunge deep into the abyss'--say, deeper than 66 feet, or two ''atmospheres'''--you can't rise to the surface too quickly or you risk a serious medical problem with a silly name, the bends. Maybe I returned to the rag-colored atmosphere of D.C. too quickly, but I'm feeling mighty queasy about this one. I don't know Monica much better than you know the person in the next cube, but she's not a mug shot and a punch line to me.
Whether we care about her or not, we've all done the math on Monica's behalf, parsing out her destiny over warming beers and neglected finger food. No matter the permutations, there are really only three options:
1.) It happened the seamy way it looks, in which case I feel sorry for her. Who among you women would turn down an opportunity to befriend and go at it with the tall, bulky, handsome, charismatic guy who just happens to be president?
2.) It didn't happen at all, and she was/is lying, or, as a drunken, fairly high-ranking administration Clintonista bellowed at me in not-quite-subliminal talking points Saturday night, ''She's an ugly girl with a crazy fantasy life!'' He seemed far more crazed than she, but even if the whole thing
is unadulterated bullion, I still feel sorry for her.
3.) As most of us believe, it was some hazy amalgam of the first two choices, a disconcerting land where Chuck Robb's oral-sex-is-OK rules and Monica was addled by a close brush with power. Why blame her for what ensued?
No matter which curtain you pick, there are dozens of people I've met in this town with empty, self-serving, loathsome characters who deserve life-ruining scandals long before Monica does. It is as if my buddy Joe's unconfirmed, unsubstantiated, off-the-record barroom trash talk went right to the front pages of the Old Gray Lady and the rest. There are three actual facts we know: She swore it didn't happen, he swore it didn't happen, and there are some tapes out there on which she says it did. And we all know what ''it'' is. Don't kid yourself, this isn't about perjury, it's about blowjobs.
Images of barracuda are fixed in my mind. Barracuda frequently haunt the nether regions of scuba boats, hoping they're fishing boats, and position themselves within jaws' reach of any caught game. In Little Cayman, where the fun is in landing, not eating, the bad-tasting bonefish, normally the fish get thrown back. But the fucking barracuda just hover, and wait, and wait. No matter that the bonefish is scheduled for release and can still live a fruitful life'--the predator moves in and bites off its head.
Washington is giddy'....What are we so damn happy about?
''Jake, how come you're not at the party yet?'' a woman'--the hostess, the birthday girl'--called me Saturday night. ''Everyone is dying to hear about your date with Monica Lewinsky!'' Even as I feed the beast, I know it will be years before anybody can have a conversation with her without imagining her on her knees in the Oval Office. If ever. She will live her life within the borders of a tabloid cover.
Monica was/is like a lot of young women inside the Beltway, only more so: young, ambitious, and looking'--looking for next, seeking a place to land, searching for that one friendly face in the crowd who will think she's worth talking to. A guy, a boss, a boyfriend, a mentor, a friend. For Monica, that person turned out to be Bill Clinton. Clinton apparently saw in her either a consummately gullible kid, or maybe, just maybe, he was taken by the same thing I was: an absence of jade, a willingness to look around the next corner, a sweetness that is rare in a city built on bitter and sour and salty.
And she kept looking even after she had become a footnote in the White House personnel files. When she started chatting with Linda Tripp at the Pentagon about clothes, or the office, or sex, or whatever, she'd thought she'd found a kindred spirit, or at least, for God's sake, a friend. She found an abyss instead, where she became trapped for not knowing where friendship ends and politics, of the most bitter and fanatical sort, begins. How was she supposed to know that when a friend invited her out to a hotel bar to pour out her heart over a couple of cocktails that the friend would show up wearing a wire under the chiffon? There's Monica, working through post-adolescent confusion about a close brush with a man who was both married and incredibly powerful, and suddenly she has G-men grabbing her under her arm, hauling her off to a room to tell her how it is going to be.
Whereas before I wasn't even sure if I wanted a second date, now everybody wants Monica. Ken Starr wants her so he can settle the score with Clinton once and for all and then shuffle off to Pepperdine. Vernon Jordan wants her so he can tell her to shut up and maintain his position as the sunlike epicenter of the political universe. Weekly World News and Ted Koppel want her so they can squeeze and prod her like a zit, until something else juicy and heinous pops out. And I want her because you do.
We just want to know'...everything.
Monica is now in the business of wish fulfillment. We want her to come screaming into our lives, contrite and unapologetic, chaste and slutty, humiliated and strong, lying and personifying truth. We want her to be every fucking thing, and we will stand outside her window with minicams and live trucks and subpoenas until she comes out and plays ball.
The night I went out with her, I thought of her as uncomplicated. Of course, uncomplicated ain't going to work for a media machine that needs to be fed hourly. The story will be nudged along with bits and pieces of her, none of which reflects the whole. The boy she dissed in school, the bureaucratic harridans at the Pentagon and the White House she offended with her flashy ways, the weekly reporter who had a single date with her, the intern she surpassed without much effort'--him, her, them'--we will be hearing from all of them.
Jesus, how many college roommates could rattle off lists of my bizarre habits? How many ex-flames? Newsweek actually reported that, when Monica was a college student, some real estate agent noticed that she had some condoms by her bed. It gets worse. If you read between the lines of Clinton's more deft flacks, there is a subtext that she is just so much well-financed white trash who was looking to get her lips firmly onto the seat of power. It's there, in the countless references to the deep cut of Monica's dresses and the ample cleavage they revealed. To my eye, Monica was not the least bit sleazy. Maybe she made a bit more of a fashion statement than most, but nothing that you couldn't take home to mom.
My mom, in fact, would love her. Dad, too. She's Jewish, for one thing.
When I watch the video of her making nice with the president after his victory in 1996, I don't see anything untoward, anything ''come hither'' or ridiculously ''familiar.'' Gigantic smile framed by thick, chocolate-colored hair tumbling out of her beret, she seems very much in the moment, enjoying the attentions of the most powerful man on the globe. Who among us wouldn't smile and hug ourselves if the president turned his eye our way? Go to the Hill'--watch interns bow and preen for acknowledgement of their existence from the most innocuous, long-irrelevant Member. I'm sure third-tier cable-news anchorhairstyles are afforded obsequiousnesses far surpassing anything possible in a just universe. There is something supremely validating about proximity to power, and when that proximity morphs into intimacy'--be it of an emotional or sexual sort'--the seduction is a fait accompli. Isn't Monica just the ultimate expression of what D.C. is all about?
Those who really know her say that she worked, endlessly, cheerfully, that no job was too small or too daunting. D.C. is rife with her type, those of the perennially cheerful faces who are more than happy to do what ever it takes to make the alpha male (or female) look good. Monica and girls and boys like her come by the trainload, seeking r(C)sum(C) fodder. They arrive cheap, easy, and willing. When I worked on the Hill in '93, we would joke about the Stepford Kids at the White House, the Branch Clintonians. Now half those kids are deputy secretaries, half are jaded and long-gone, while Monica's head hangs on Wolf Blitzer's mantel.
If Clinton took advantage of those characteristics, that makes him incredibly common in all regards. Common for letting his hog take down his presidency, but common as well in the sense that the town is full of junior Clintons without the intelligence and charm. Does it need saying that too many of the producers, reporters, and editors who are currently busy putting him and Monica in stocks have done the same thing in just as tawdry ways? Feed a drink to any woman reporter'--especially in TV'--and she will spill all about her first job, about the fossilized proboscis monkey who pushed her up against the teleprompter, or the tan, dashing reporter who had breath like a warthog and hands like a squid.
I don't expect to see Monica again. To be honest, I'm not sure I would have seen her even if she hadn't ended up buried beneath the headlines.
It's not that we didn't hit it off, it's just that D.C. tends to be a town where things are compressed. In order for something to last, it has to rear up huge to begin with. We're busy; we have schedules. I'm already booked for half my nights next week, and little of it involves fun. The way Monica and I came together'--at a goodbye party for someone else, with her right on the cusp of leaving herself'--wasn't exactly the stuff of commitment.
And to be brutally honest, I got with her because I figured that behind her initial aggressiveness lurked an easy, perhaps winning, bit of no-frills hookup. Nothing of the kind happened, so either I am eminently resistible (which is certainly within the realm of possibility) or Monica is not the tart she is being made out to be.
Yeah, maybe if I had the Marines under my command, things would have been different, but I'm not so sure. Power does weird things to people. More than once, I have found myself laughing my ass off and nodding in agreement while some fading star has held forth on something I could care less about. Offended me, even. Does that make me a nitwit, a himbo waiting to happen? I think it just makes me toweringly average in Washington, just another creature who is here because this is where the national vat of power lies, and I'm sitting here waiting for my bowlful.
So in between Bud Lights, Top 10 lists, and over/under bets on Clinton's tenure, we shrug her off like a gnat. Somewhere along the way, you might want to give sweet, ruined Monica a thought, a Washington archetype who is being impaled for the sake of gluttony and boredom.
Out There
ASTEROIDS-Google News - Search
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 02:04
Largest asteroid to fly past Earth this year is coming soon '-- and it's huge The largest asteroid known to be passing near Earth this year will also be one of the fastest rocks to cruise past our planet, and it's all happening March 21.
amp video_youtube KSAT San Antonio3 days agobookmark_border share more_vert What Hollywood gets wrong (and right!) about protecting the Earth from asteroids February 11, 2021. By Robyn Schelenz, UCOP. Share this story:TwitterFacebookLinkedInReddit · Fig. 1 by University of California. 29.3K subscribers. Subscribe.
amp video_youtube UC Santa Cruz3 days agobookmark_border share more_vert HUGE 'potentially hazardous' asteroid to skim past Earth in March The asteroid, named 231937 (2001 FO32), is unlikely to hit the Earth as it will be 1.2 million miles from the planet - five times further out than the Moon.
amp video_youtube Daily Mail3 days agobookmark_border share more_vert Asteroid as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge to fly past Earth in March Asteroid, known as 231937 (2001 FO32), is about 0.8 to 1.7km in diameter and will come within 2 million kilometres of Earth at 11:03am EST on March 21.
amp video_youtube Republic TV3 days agobookmark_border share more_vert
The Board
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 13:23
Prof. Ariel Porat
President, Tel Aviv University
Alain Poher Professor of Law at Tel Aviv University
Chairperson, Dan David Prize Board
Fauci to receive $1 million prize for 'speaking truth to power' during coronavirus pandemic | Just The News
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 13:11
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been awarded a top international prize for his leadership role during throughout the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Dan David Prize, which includes a $1 million cash prize, was awarded to Fauci for his defense of science and advocacy for the distribution and use of the coronavirus vaccine around the globe.
Fauci, considered the country's top infectious disease expert, was a member of the Trump administration's coronavirus task force and is an adviser to the Biden administration on the pandemic. He frequently disagreed with Trump on virus issues, including on the efficacy on experimental drugs.
Fauci has also reversed on some guidance including saying early in the pandemic not to wear mask, for fear of taking them from front-line health workers.
The foundation affiliated with the award, a private Israeli institution, also commended Fauci's for his longtime leadership in the field of HIV and AIDS research and relief.
In a statement, the institute said that Fauci deserves praise for "courageously defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging COVID crisis."
The committee also the scientist, who has served in the past seven presidential administrations, worked "relentlessly to inform individuals in the United States and elsewhere about the public health measures essential for containing the pandemic's spread."
The committee also wrote that Fauci's conduct over the past year has required a certain amount of "speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment."
Fauci will receive the prize on May 9 in a virtual ceremony.
Mystery plunge in coronavirus cases in India baffles experts | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 13:06
Scientists are trying to work out why coronavirus cases in India are falling when at one point it looked like the country might overtake the US as the worst-hit nation.
In September the country was reporting some 100,00 new cases per day, but that went into decline in October and is now sitting at around 10,000 per day - leaving experts struggling to explain why.
While the Indian government has been keen to put the apparent success down to its mask-wearing and social distancing laws, few believe these measures alone are responsible for the dip.
Instead, experts believe it may be down to the fact that India's largest cities have reached herd immunity, meaning the virus has moved to rural areas where it spreads slower and where cases and deaths are far less likely to be tested and logged.
A recent survey found 56 per cent of people in Delhi - the country's most-populous city - have Covid antibodies, which is likely to be an under-estimate with 70 per cent required for herd immunity.
Only around 20 per cent of deaths in India are medically certified - meaning 80 per cent do not have an official cause of death - with analysts warning the country may be under-counting its Covid fatalities by two or three times.
India also tests far less than developed nations, with medical experts warnings some states are relying on rapid lateral flow tests that give false-negative results.
The country also has a far younger population than many western nations - with an average age under 30 - and has far lower rates of obesity, which are both major factors in serious Covid infections and deaths.
Comparatively low death rate: India has recorded far fewer deaths per million people than either the UK or the US
India's coronavirus cases appear to be falling rapidly - despite mask-wearing and social-distancing laws being lax - leaving experts to wonder why (pictured, fans at the cricket in Chennai packed together and without masks)
Antibody surveys carried out in Mumbai, India's second-largest city, and Pune also showed antibodies in around 50 per cent of the population, The Times reported.
'The most densely-populated areas are already saturated and reaching the threshold of herd immunity, Giridhar Babu, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India, told the paper.
'The virus has now spread to rural areas, but they are not so dense.'
Having a less-dense population means the virus spreads slower, which will naturally bring down daily case figures.
But with access to healthcare in rural India often lacking, it may also mean that many cases and deaths are going undetected.
Testing data for India shows that just 0.5 people per 1000 are swabbed each day - one of the lowest rates among countries that report such data.
More data released in September last year showed that people in rural areas are less-likely to be swabbed than those in cities - meaning that as the disease moves away from urban centres, the number of positive tests appears to decline.
The average number of tests carried out per day has also been falling across the whole of India since mid-December, which could also help to explain why positive test results have fallen.
And even those who are swabbed may be returning false-negative results, with doctors warning in September last year that many states are over-reliant on rapid lateral flow tests, which are unreliable.
Rijo John, a public health policy analyst, also warned that some states are failing to report which kind of tests are being used, further muddying the picture.
'More and more states are moving towards rapid antigen detection tests, which are known to have a high percentage of false negatives and not utilising the gold standard RT-PCR tests to full capacity,' he said.
'It should be made mandatory for all states to report the break[down] of different test types as well as the positives from these.'
Data also shows 80 per cent of Indians die at home, with no national requirement for a cause of death to be given before a body can be cremated or buried.
That has led experts to warn of a 'substantial' under-counting of deaths, with Dr Babu warning the true toll could be two or three times higher than the official count.
The crowds at the test match against England have surprised many viewers in the UK
Scientists are baffled by the relatively low rate of coronavirus infections in India after at one point it looked as though it might surpass the US as the country with the biggest case toll. Pictured: People wear face masks outside a hospital in Jammu, India today
The Indian government has also partly attributed the dip in cases to mask-wearing, which is mandatory in public in India and violations draw hefty fines in some cities. Pictured: A student has their temperature taken outside their college in Srinagar today
But others point to easing pressure on the country's hospitals as evidence that something other than an under-counting of cases and deaths in going on.
Some point to India's young population and relatively low rates of obesity as possible explanations.
The country has an average age of less than 30 with just 15 per cent of adults being overweight and 5 per cent obese, according to 2015 data.
By comparison, the US - which has been hardest-hit by Covid - has an average age of 38 with 32 per cent of adults overweight and 36 per cent obese.
Age and obesity are known to be two of the biggest factors increasing the likelihood that someone will fall seriously ill or die from Covid.
Other theories include that India has been dealing with less-virulent strains of the virus than those found in Europe, the US and parts of Africa.
India suspended all commercial flights in March last year, and while it has been operating 'travel corridors' since July, it has been quick to cut off routes to countries where dangerous new variants have emerged such as the UK.
That could have stopped the country suffering from spikes in infections like that seen in Britain after the so-called Kent Variant emerged, epidemiologists suggest.
Others believe that Indians, many of whom live in unsanitary conditions and suffer repeated waves of infections, have naturally resilient immune systems.
England play cricket against India in Chennai, with the stands full of fans behind them
Jacob John, a prominent virologist at Christian Medical College in Tamil Nadu state, said: '[India suffers] dengue, chikungunya, malaria, typhoid, cholera, dysenteries, influenza, so the "innate immune system" is trained to be on high alert.'
The success cannot be attributed to vaccinations since India only began administering jabs in January, with just seven million out of the country's 1.3billion population jabbed so far.
Experts have cautioned that even if herd immunity in some places is partially responsible for the decline, the population as a whole remains vulnerable - and must continue to take precautions.
This is especially true because new research suggests that people who got sick with one form of the virus may be able to get infected again with a new version.
A recent survey in Manaus, Brazil, that estimated that over 75% of people there had antibodies for the virus in October - before cases surged again in January.
NYC public school asks parents to 'reflect' on their 'whiteness'
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 12:48
February 16, 2021 | 6:16pm | Updated February 17, 2021 | 8:40am
Enlarge Image East Side Community High School Principal Mark Federman reportedly sent a survey to white parents asking them to identify their level of whiteness. Robert Miller
A city public school principal is asking parents to ''reflect'' on their ''whiteness'' '-- passing out literature that extols ''white traitors'' who ''dismantle institutions,'' education officials confirmed to The Post on Tuesday.
The ''woke'' offensive at the East Side Community School in Manhattan features a ranking list titled ''The 8 White Identities,'' which ranges from ''White Supremacist'' to ''White Abolitionist.''
The curriculum, written by Barnor Hesse, an associate professor of African American studies at Northwestern University in Illinois, claims, ''There is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities.
''People who identify with whiteness are one of these,'' Hesse writes above the eight-point list.
''It's about time we build an ethnography of whiteness, since white people have been the ones writing about and governing Others,'' Hesse adds.
In between the two extreme ''identities'' of supremacist and abolitionist are such categories as ''White Voyeurism'' '-- defined as ''wouldn't challenge a white supremacist, desires non-whiteness because it's interesting'' '-- and ''White Privilege,'' or ''sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately; won't speak/act in solidarity publicly because benefitting through whiteness in public (some POC are in this category as well).''
''The Eight White Identities'' written by Northwestern University associate professor Barnor Hesse.The handout was accompanied by a color-coordinated meter with the red zone on the left titled ''White Supremacist'' and the green zone on the far right labeled ''White Abolitionist.''
A New York City Department of Education official told The Post that some parents at the school, which caters to sixth- through 12-graders on the Lower East Side, first shared the material with staff.
The principal then disseminated it to every parent ''as part of a series of materials meant for reflection'' and as ''food for thought,'' the official said.
A DOE rep said in a statement, ''Anti-racism and the celebration of diversity is at the core of our work on behalf of the young people of New York City, and the East Side Community School's students, parents and staff partner together to advance equity in their community.
''The document in question was shared with the school by parents as a part of ongoing anti-racist work in the school community and is one of many resources the schools utilizes.''
Northwestern University associate professor Barnor Hesse presents an ''ethnography of whiteness'' in the ranking list.The spokesman said school workers are being threatened over the missive.
''Our staff are now being targeted with vile racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs and degrading language from people outside of their school and nothing justifies the abuse directed at our educators,'' the rep said.
Christopher Rufo of the Discovery Institute wrote in a tweet that included a posting of the curriculum, ''This is the new language of public education.''
East Side Community High School Principal Mark Federman in 2010 Robert MillerThe dissemination of Hesse's literature to parents comes as the DOE and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have pushed to eliminate what they call current administrators' ''white-supremacy culture.''
The administration has embraced ''anti-bias training'' across the board, with staffers forced to attend slideshow presentations denouncing the current culture's ''paternalism'' and ''power hoarding'' '-- while getting sued over Carranza's alleged creation of ''an environment which is hostile toward whites.''
Rufo's Feb. 15 tweet drew mixed reactions on Twitter.
East Side Community School in Manhattan William Farrington''If you find this hostile, or unnerving, it's because you are fearing the loss of power and advantage that your skin colour has afforded you. It's an agenda to bring true equality,'' a Twitter user fired at Rufo over Hesse's chart.
But another writer said, ''THIS is what a public school spends time and money on? Anti-racism like this is a poison.''
The racial makeup of the student body at East Side Community was 55 percent Hispanic, 18 percent white, 15 percent black, 10 percent Asian and 2 percent other during the last school year.
The school's principal, Mark Federman, declined comment through the Education Department.
Federman made headlines in 2007 when he tried to prevent the arrest of a student accused of punching a school safety agent. The principal was arrested after scuffling with another agent during the fracas but returned to school later that day.
Laura Loomer's Lawsuit Against Big Tech Censorship Makes It to Supreme Court Docket - Blunt Force Truth
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 12:17
In January 2020, former Republican Congressional Candidate Laura Loomer filed a formal Federal Election Commission complaint against Twitter for providing in-kind corporate contributions to her opponent, Democrat Congresswoman Lois Frankel, by censoring her from the platform.
Loomer, 26, is one of the most banned political commentators, and now candidates for office, in the nation '-- having been kicked off Twitter, Facebook, Uber, Lyft, PayPal, GoFundMe, and other platforms for her fierce and controversial criticism of Islam.
In December 2019, Twitter announced that they would be verifying all congressional and gubernatorial candidates to ''level the playing field.'' When asked by The Gateway Pundit if the new policy meant they would reinstate banned candidates, specifically citing Loomer, they said no and that anyone who was permanently suspended will not be reinstated, ['...]
Read the full story from The Gateway Pundit
Want more BFT? Leave us a voicemail on our page or follow us on Twitter @BFT_Podcast and Facebook @BluntForceTruthPodcast. We want to hear from you! There's no better place to get the #BluntForceTruth.
New coronavirus variant discovered in Finland | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 12:11
The mutation of the coronavirus was discovered by researchers at Helsinki-based Vita Laboratories. Image: Johannes Niva / Yle Researchers in southern Finland have discovered a new, "unique" variant of the coronavirus.
Helsinki-based Vita Laboratories said the variant, dubbed Fin-796H, displayed some mutations previously discovered in the British and South African variants of the virus but in a combination it called "unique".
"The variant was discovered in a patient last week, so details about the infectivity and potential resistance of this strain to vaccines are not yet known," said Vita Laboratories' researcher Taru Meri.
It is unlikely that the variant emerged in Finland due to relatively low rates of coronavirus infection in the country, Meri said.
Ilkka Julkunen, Professor of Virology at the University of Turku, told Yle that based on the information available, the emergence of the variant was not a major concern.
"I would not be hugely worried yet, because we do not have clear information that this new strain would be more easily transmitted or that it would affect the immune protection brought about by already having had the virus or having received a vaccination," he said.
Petri Auvinen, research director of the University of Helsinki's Institute of Biotechnology, said finding new variants of the coronavirus was simply "a matter of time."
"However, the newly-discovered variant differs from expectations in that it does not genetically resemble any other known variant," he said.
PCR tests may not be effective, experts warnVita Laboratories considers the discovery of the new variant significant as it may not show up in PCR tests for coronavirus that search for particular genetic sequences in the virus' RNA.
If the PCR test is only able to identify specific parts of that code, then a mutated virus may escape detection. Therefore, PCR tests often search for at least two different sections.
"The tests' inability to recognise it, meaning those mutations have occurred in the section on which the PCR test is based, is the most important information about this variant at the moment," clinical researcher Taru Meri said.
So far, 450 cases of coronavirus variants have been reported in Finland, according to Taneli Puumalainen, head of infectious disease control at THL. Of these, 422 were the British variant, 22 the South African variant and one case involved the Brazilian variant of the virus.
Ron T. Kim on Twitter: "Facts matter. https://t.co/HNqs6bXpAr" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 11:55
Ron T. Kim : Facts matter. https://t.co/HNqs6bXpAr
Wed Feb 17 20:43:27 +0000 2021
ScotðŸ-->>ðŸ...º : @rontkim Get his ass.
Thu Feb 18 11:42:34 +0000 2021
K Cavaliere : @rontkim So does the fact that NYC lost over 24 hospitals since 2000. (I don't have a number for the entire state.)'... https://t.co/3RkVZLLqce
Thu Feb 18 11:23:46 +0000 2021
ðŸ'¥JAAðŸš(C)🏴BLM🖤 : @rontkim @Ky_AnCom Hells yeah.#CuoNO#ResignCuomo
Thu Feb 18 11:09:49 +0000 2021
MJ Lee on Twitter: "@MarkMorales51 Democratic NY Assemblyman Ron Kim told CNN that Gov. Cuomo called last Thursday to ''threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa [DeRosa] and what she said.'' Cuomo also said ''I hadn't seen his wrath and tha
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 11:55
MJ Lee : @MarkMorales51 Democratic NY Assemblyman Ron Kim told CNN that Gov. Cuomo called last Thursday to ''threaten my care'... https://t.co/lJJjTc4B4h
Wed Feb 17 18:57:12 +0000 2021
Olovo Kingsley Uchechukwu : @mj_lee @RitaPanahi @MarkMorales51 That's what you get when you snitch your captain #trump https://t.co/X5N3SIWSmQ
Thu Feb 18 10:32:44 +0000 2021
Gazmaninaus : @mj_lee @RitaPanahi @MarkMorales51 Ouch. He seems nice.
Thu Feb 18 08:57:12 +0000 2021
Daniel C : @mj_lee @RitaPanahi @MarkMorales51 We all know that Chris Cuomo is Fredo. Andrew thinks that he's Michael, but he's really Sonny.
Thu Feb 18 08:13:15 +0000 2021
libertardian : @mj_lee @RitaPanahi @MarkMorales51 They are going all in. How many people is Cuomo taking the (deserved) fall for?
Thu Feb 18 07:51:05 +0000 2021
John G : @mj_lee @MarkMorales51 Kim is a liar
Thu Feb 18 04:50:10 +0000 2021
BluEyedCatz : @mj_lee @MarkMorales51 Cuomo's are thug
Thu Feb 18 04:22:49 +0000 2021
Ojevwe : @mj_lee @Acosta @MarkMorales51 This is getting worse jeez Cuomo why??? Just why
Thu Feb 18 03:46:40 +0000 2021
Bitcoin (BTC) gets $1 million price call '-- but there are risks ahead
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 11:47
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Bitcoin has surged over the last few months and surpassed $50,000 for the first time this week.Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, said bitcoin could hit $500,000 by the end of the decade, and eventually go on to reach $1 million per coin.One JPMorgan strategist warned that a major risk could be retail flows into bitcoin drying up as economies reopen.In this photo illustration, visual representations of the digital cryptocurrency, Bitcoin are arranged on January 4, 2021 in Katwijk, Netherlands.
Yuriko Nakao | Getty Images
GUANGZHOU, China '-- Bitcoin could rise to $1 million over the long term to become a reserve currency for the world, according to one asset manager.
But JPMorgan warned of risks ahead as the cryptocurrency continues to rally.
Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, said bitcoin could hit $500,000 by the end of the decade. It could eventually reach $1 million per coin, he added, without giving a timeline.
"I think that bitcoin will eventually rise to become the global reserve currency. I think bitcoin will eventually be much much larger than the gold market cap," he said during the latest episode of CNBC's "Beyond the Valley" podcast.
Bitcoin has surged over the last few months and surpassed $50,000 for the first time this week.
Why is bitcoin rallying?Meanwhile, global central banks have been easing monetary policy '-- such as lowering interest rates and buying assets through the so-called quantitative easing program '-- to help cushion the blow to economies hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
"There were trillions of dollars that were printed and injected into the economy and everyone from individuals to financial institutions and corporations ran around the world looking for the best way to protect their purchasing power, they ultimately decided it was bitcoin," Pompliano said as he discussed what was behind bitcoin's surge.
(Bitcoin) will eventually take that seat at the kingdom of being that global reserve currency of the internet generation.
Anthony Pompliano
Morgan Creek Digital Assets
The bitcoin bull's prediction that bitcoin could hit $1 million is based on a few factors including the scarcity of the cryptocurrency which has a cap of 21 million coins, as well as the decentralized nature of the technology.
There is no central authority like a central bank that controls bitcoin.
Instead, the so-called bitcoin network is made up of miners who process transactions. These miners operate a vast array of specialized computers required to carry out the bitcoin mining process.
As there are many different miners, no single entity can control the network. And because the computers they use are often very powerful machines, bitcoin proponents claim the network is one of the strongest computer networks in the world.
"As more and more people come into the market, there is more liquidity. As there is more liquidity, there is more utility. As there's more utility, there's more stability in the price '... you get kind of this evolution," Pompliano said.
"If you think about that internet economy, there is no native currency '... (bitcoin) will eventually take that seat at the kingdom of being that global reserve currency of the internet generation."
JPMorgan's long-term price target for bitcoinIn January, JPMorgan released a note to clients putting a "theoretical" long term price target on bitcoin of $146,000 as bitcoin begins to compete with gold.
Gold is broadly accepted as a "safe haven" asset where investors flock to in times of political strife or financial market turmoil. Bitcoin is now beginning to develop such a reputation.
"Bitcoin is competing with traditional gold, bitcoin is a form of digital gold," Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, global markets strategist at JPMorgan, told CNBC's "Beyond the Valley."
He said that the value of gold held by the private sector, solely for the purpose of investment, is around $2.7 trillion. For bitcoin's market cap to reach that, it would need to hit a price of around $146,000.
But there are caveats, the biggest one being the volatility in bitcoin's price. The digital coin is known for wild swings in price. Panigirtzoglou said bitcoin is "five times more volatility than gold."
The key to bitcoin's volatility converging with gold is institutional adoption, the JPMorgan strategist said.
"The faster the pace of institutional adoption, the quicker that convergence in volatility will take place," he said.
Still, there are risks ahead for the current rally. While it has been driven by institutional investors, retail participation has also been high.
"The biggest risk is that the flow impulse we've seen over the past months slows materially from here," Panigirtzoglou said.
"In particular when the economies reopen, people go back to the office, they have less time to trade at home, and as a result some of that, retail '... flow impulse slows from here," he added.
Texas power consumers to pay the price of winter storm | Fox Business
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 11:42
Published February 18, 2021
State utilities will likely hike bills after this year, both to pay for the record price spikes and to fund updates to Texas's gridFox Business Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on FoxBusiness.com.
Texas residents suffering a winter storm that has left millions without power are set to face a future challenge in higher utility bills, after the days-long cold snap put an unprecedented strain on the state's power network.
Some 2.7 million households in Texas, the largest electricity consuming state in the United States, were without heat on Wednesday as freezing temperatures in a normally temperate part of the country overwhelmed demand, causing blackouts and widespread anger.
Wholesale power prices soared more than 300-fold, stirring memories of the price spikes that accompanied California's energy crisis of 2000-2001, when Enron and others artificially increased prices.
Consumers won't be forced to fork over thousands of dollars when their next utility bill comes due, say analysts, but state utilities will likely hike bills after this year, both to pay for the record price spikes and to fund updates to Texas's grid to make it more resilient.
Texas operates an independent grid closed off from the rest of the country. On Wednesday, power prices in Dallas and Fort Worth hit $8,800 per megawatt-hour (MWh), compared with the more typical average of roughly $26 per MWh. Over time, the state's grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), could impose higher costs to consumers to prepare for subsequent, similar events.
"The wholesale market is allowing record high prices, and those record high prices are eventually going to be paid for by end-consumers," said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program for Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization.
Blackouts instituted by ERCOT as electric heating demand exceeded forecasts and overwhelmed generation have brought the state's deregulated electricity market sharply into focus.
"Debates about electric policy and energy policy are going to come very soon as this issue is dissected and discussed and analyzed," said Bill Magness, ERCOT chief executive, at a Wednesday press conference.
Texas is the only state in the continental United States that runs a stand-alone electricity grid. Unlike other U.S. grid operators, regulators in Texas use scarcity pricing to ensure reliability, but that can cause real-time prices to soar due to shortages.
While there has been no evidence of price manipulation, similar shortages occurred during California's energy crisis, when energy traders like Enron withheld generation and took other steps to boost prices, raising concerns in some quarters.
"Price spikes, especially in the ERCOT market, are not by themselves evidence of market manipulation, but there is enormous opportunity for market manipulation," Public Citizen's Slocum said.
Since 2010, ERCOT's reserve margin - the buffer between what it can produce versus forecasted demand - has dropped to around 10% from about 20%, putting pressure on generators during electricity demand spikes.
ERCOT should review how extreme weather causes simultaneous generator failures and incorporate that into reliability statistics to help improve reserve margins depending on seasonal demand, said Jay Apt, co-director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center.
Several grid operators procure reserves through what is known as capacity auctions and pass that on to customers. "Naturally, their prices will go up a little bit, but the hope is that the tradeoff is you don't have several days without power," he added.
ERCOT could also winterize equipment, another potential cost. That could include insulating pipes in natural gas facilities or adding de-icing equipment to wind turbines.
Most customers who pay power retailers at fixed rates will avoid massive price spikes. There are exceptions, however, and those consumers could face hefty bills.
Griddy, a Houston-based company that provides wholesale electricity at variable rates for a monthly $9.99 membership, said on Monday that it urged customers to switch to other providers with a fixed rate, even as it admitted that it looked like other providers were no longer accepting switches "until later in the week." The company has 29,000 customers, according to local media reports.
"Texas, we hope you're staying safe! And yep, things suck right now," the company told customers on its website. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting By Scott DiSavino and Stephanie Kelly; Editing by David Gaffen and Richard Pullin)
US conservatives falsely blame renewables for Texas storm outages | Texas | The Guardian
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 20:14
The electricity outages suffered by millions of Texans amid frigid temperatures sweeping across the United States have been seized upon by conservative commentators presenting a false narrative that renewable power was to blame.
''We should never build another wind turbine in Texas,'' read a Facebook post on Tuesday by the state's agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller. ''The experiment failed big time.''
Fox News also joined in with one of its presenters, Tucker Carlson, claiming that renewables were to blame and that Texas was ''totally reliant on windfarms''. The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial that ''the power grid is becoming less reliable due to growing reliance on wind and solar, which can't provide power 24 hours a day, seven days a week''.
While some wind turbines did freeze, failures in natural gas, coal and nuclear energy systems were responsible for nearly twice as many outages as renewables, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot), which operates the state's power grid, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Frozen instruments at gas, coal and even nuclear power stations were among the main problems, Ercot director Dan Woodfin said, according to Bloomberg.
Despite evidence to the contrary, a variety of misleading claims spread on social media about renewable energy, with wind turbines and the Green New Deal on the receiving end of much of the attention.
A viral photo of a helicopter de-icing a wind turbine was shared with claims it showed a ''chemical'' solution being applied to one of the massive wind generators in Texas. But the photo was taken in Sweden years ago, not in the US.
Other social media users, including Republican congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado, labelled the Green New Deal as the culprit. Boebert tweeted on Monday that the proposal was ''proven unsustainable as renewables are clearly unreliable''.
But no version of the Green New Deal exists in Texas or nationwide, said Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.
''It's really natural gas and coal and nuclear that are providing the bulk of the electricity and that's the bulk of the cause of the blackouts,'' Jacobson told the Associated Press.
Ercot said on Tuesday that of the 45,000 total megawatts of power that were offline statewide, about 30,000 consisted of thermal sources '' gas, coal and nuclear plants '' and 16,000 came from renewable sources.
While Texas has ramped up wind energy in recent years, the state still relies on wind power for only about 25% of its total electricity, according to Ercot data.
The agency confirmed that wellhead freeze-offs and other issues curtailing supply in natural gas systems were primarily to blame for new outages on Tuesday, after severe winter weather caused failures across multiple fuel types in recent days.
As Texas governor Greg Abbott ordered an investigation into the failures of the grid, Ed Hirs, an energy fellow at the University of Houston, said the problem was caused by lack of investment in the state's deregulated power system. Texas is alone in having its own grid. The other lower 48 states are connected to either the eastern or western interconnection grids, and can draw on power supplies across state lines when necessary.
American infrastructure, especially our power grids, are not prepared for a world in climate crisis. We need to wake up. Today it's Texas, but these problems aren't only local and they're going to get worse. https://t.co/vfi2vy8xAJ
'-- Dan Rather (@DanRather) February 17, 2021''The Ercot grid has collapsed in exactly the same manner as the old Soviet Union,'' said Hirs. ''It limped along on underinvestment and neglect until it finally broke under predictable circumstances.''
Renewable energy is a popular scapegoat for new problems as more frequent extreme weather events strain infrastructure, according to Emily Grubert, an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.
''It's easy to focus on the thing that you can see changing as the source of why an outcome is changing,'' Grubert told the AP. ''The reality is that managing our systems is becoming more difficult. And that's something that is easy to blame on the reaction to it, but it's not actually the root cause.''
Public Utility Commission of Texas
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 16:57
Meeting Calendar Thu, Feb 25 '-- Open Meeting View scheduled PUC Meetings.
Texas COVID-19 Test Collection Sites In accordance with the Commission order in Docket 50664 issued March 16, 2020, service of pleadings in all PUC dockets will only be by e-file.
Chinese-owned wind farm in Devils River, Texas threatens power grid and more | CFACT
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 15:21
The push for renewable energy through a mix of federal, state, and local subsidies and mandates is not only putting the U.S. at risk of becoming perilously dependent on intermittent wind and solar power for its electricity. It is also providing a glide path for a hostile foreign power to mess with the nation's power grid and damage our critical energy infrastructure.
Houston-based GH America Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese Guanghui Industry Investment Group, which, since 2015, has purchased about 140,000 acres in Val Verde County, Texas. The Xinjiang-based parent company is a massive conglomerate with extensive holdings in real estate, liquified natural gas, transportation, and chemicals. Guanghui's billionaire founder, CEO, and Communist Party member, Sun Guangxin, wants to erect hundreds of wind turbines and perhaps several giant solar arrays on his West Texas acreage, a plan that is running into stiff resistance from residents and national security experts alike.
Located about 200 miles west of San Antonio, the Devils River area of Val Verde County would be site of Mr. Sun's renewable energy mega-project. The sparsely populated area is home to a few Texas-size family ranches, lots of wildlife, and Laughlin Air Force Base in nearby Del Rio. French and Middle Eastern companies already operate the sprawling Rocksprings Val Verde Wind Farm, a complex covering 15,000 acres within 15 miles of the Devils River. The thought of having even more wind turbines, soaring hundreds of feet into the air, further disfiguring West Texas's rugged but picturesque back country has long-time ranchers on edge.
''It's a total crisis. We depend on ecotourism. The turbines will affect the deer. They will kill the birds. And we're on the flyway for the monarch butterflies,'' third-generation rancher Alice Ball Strunk, 63, told the San Antonio Express-News (Aug. 2).
Stalking Horse
But there is more going on here than renewable energy's inevitable environmental degradation and noise pollution caused by giant wind turbines' spinning rotors. Daniel N. Hoffman, a retired clandestine services officer and former chief of station with the CIA, says Mr. Sun ''is Xi Jinping's stalking horse dispatched to exploit Texas' dearth of regulations and bureaucracy especially related to purchasing property.''
Writing in the Washington Times (Aug. 14), Hoffman points out that ''GH America would use the cover of a windmill farm renewable energy business venture to spy on behalf of China's ruthless dictatorship.''
Hoffman is correct in noting that Texas' short-sighted embrace of renewable energy has been an open invitation to troublemakers. Indeed, the proximity of the Devil's River site to Laughlin Air Force Base is, as the old Bolsheviks were wont to say, ''no coincidence.'' Officials at Laughlin are wary of having 700-foot Chinese-owned wind turbines sprouting up on hilltops overlooking the base, where 300 pilots are trained each year. Pointing to the threat China's wind power venture poses to Texas' critical infrastructure, Hoffman says the Chinese would have the capability to overload the electrical grid and cause power outages.
''The enemy is not at the gates but has gained entry inside them, albeit through a Trojan horse real estate acquisition rather than a kinetic attack,'' he notes.
Texas is now saddled with a problem of its own making, and its consequences will reverberate far beyond the borders of the Lone Star State. Politicians in Austin have been promoting renewable energy for two decades. Texas is the nation's leading producer of wind power, with some 15,000 turbines scattered among 160 wind projects, heavily concentrated in gusty West Texas. And more are on the way.
County officials in Texas lack the authority to regulate, much less block, wind projects. Val Verde County Commissioner Beau Nettleton believes the threat the Devils River project poses to Laughlin may ultimately be its undoing.
''My position, and probably the county's, is that if it at all affects Laughlin Air Force Base and hampers their ability to perform their mission, we are going to oppose it,'' he told the San Antonio Express-News (Aug. 2).
Right now, the only thing standing in front of Mr. Sun's wind project, which may have little to do with wind, is the U.S. Department of Defense. GH America Energy will have to reach an agreement with the military on a plan to mitigate interference with flights from the base. But even if such a plan is agreed to, the risks posed by the Devils River project go far beyond interference with flights.
Implications of China's 2015 National Security Law
China is a party state. Chinese companies, especially those with a presence in foreign countries, do not operate independently of the powers that be in Beijing. Hoffman reminds us that China's 2015 National Intelligence Law gave the Communist Party of China sweeping powers to exploit Chinese domestic and overseas companies: ''Any organization or citizen shall support, assist and cooperate with the State intelligence work in accordance with the law, and keep its secrets known to the public. The State protects individuals and organizations that support, assist and cooperate with national intelligence work.''
DOD should pull the plug on the Devils River wind project now.
Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT, where he focuses on natural resources, energy, property rights, and geopolitical developments. Articles by Dr. Cohen have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor's Busines Daily, The New York Post, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, The Hill, The Epoch Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Miami Herald, and dozens of other newspapers around the country. He has been interviewed on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, NBC News, NPR, BBC, BBC Worldwide Television, N24 (German-language news network), and scores of radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Dr. Cohen has addressed conferences in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Bangladesh.He has a B.A. from the University of Georgia and a Ph. D. '' summa cum laude '' from the University of Munich.
Communist China bought 130,000-acre wind farm in Texas right next to largest Air Force pilot training base '' [your]NEWS
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 15:21
(Natural News) A strategic plot of land in Texas that is greater in size than the entire city of Tulsa, Okla., is owned by a billionaire Chinese ''carpetbagger'' with strong ties to the communist Chinese regime.
Sun Guangxin's 130,000-acre parcel is actually a wind farm, and it is located just a stone's throw away from the Air Force's largest pilot training base.
Sun's Guanghui Energy Co. purchased the wind farm back in 2018 and is now attempting to build some 130 wind turbines on it. These will sit right next to Laughlin Air Force Base, as well as just a few dozen miles from the U.S. '' Mexico border.
''About 95 percent of land in Texas is privately owned,'' explains Emel Akan, writing for The Epoch Times.
''Private ownership combined with loose regulations in Texas makes property purchases easier for foreign buyers.''
Sun is a former Chinese military officer who when he left the army back in 1989 had ''no money but was bursting with ambition.'' Today, he is considered to be the richest person in the western Xinjiang region of China, having acquired a $1.9 billion net worth.
Sun is considered a ''controversial figure,'' however, as land he scooped up at bargain prices throughout Xinjiang is now being used to house Uyghur Muslims and other political prisoners in concentration camps.
Recognizing that there are minimal regulations in Texas as far as foreign property ownership is concerned, Sun is busy acquiring land there, too.
''Ever since the Texas legislature put in place a 1999 mandate calling on the state's utilities to get more power from renewable sources, it's been hard to stop these ventures from going forward,'' reads an article published by Foreign Policy, which adds that in Texas there is ''a high bar for authorities to step in and stop development on wind farms.''
Is ''wind farm'' just a cover for communist China seizing control over a strategic plot of Texas land?Reading between the lines, it would appear as though foreigners such as Sun can legally purchase land in Texas, claim it as a ''wind farm,'' and use it for whatever purpose they choose.
If this is the case, then communist China has gained yet another powerful inroad into our nation via Sun's ''wind farm,'' which may actually have nothing to do with generating wind power.
What actually appears to be happening is that communist China is exploiting the stupid laws in Texas to buy up land there, and likely elsewhere, to be used for nefarious purposes.
''It's insane that we allow the former Chinese PLA (People's Liberation Army) general to go buy 200 square miles of land in the United States,'' warns Kyle Bass, the founder and chief investment officer of Dallas-based Hayman Capital Management.
''This ranch land also sits on the U.S. border with Mexico and boasts a 30,000 sq. ft. lodge and a private runway which helps the Chinese owners ferry people and cargo in and out of the border region with limited to no oversight by U.S. authorities.''
In other words, our nation's anything-goes ''multiculturalist'' policies '' and especially those in Texas that make it ridiculously easy for foreign actors to gain strategic inroads into our country '' are quite clearly backfiring and putting our people at risk of a foreign takeover.
''Greed and corruption are the root of all,'' wrote one commenter at The Epoch Times, tracing the source of why situations like this are allowed to happen.
''Having millions of dollars is just pocket change, as most of them are billionaires, and all around the world they are racing to be the first trillionaire. They will do anything to get there.''
To keep up with the latest news about communist China's efforts to conquer America through land acquisitions, check out Tyranny.news.
Sources for this article include:
A Glimpse of America's Future: Climate Change Means Trouble for Power Grids - The New York Times
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 13:30
Systems are designed to handle spikes in demand, but the wild and unpredictable weather linked to global warming will very likely push grids beyond their limits.
A street in Austin, Texas, without power on Monday evening. Credit... Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times Published Feb. 16, 2021 Updated Feb. 17, 2021, 6:59 a.m. ET Huge winter storms plunged large parts of the central and southern United States into an energy crisis this week, with frigid blasts of Arctic weather crippling electric grids and leaving millions of Americans without power amid dangerously cold temperatures.
The grid failures were most severe in Texas, where more than four million people woke up Tuesday morning to rolling blackouts. Separate regional grids in the Southwest and Midwest also faced serious strain. As of Tuesday afternoon, at least 23 people nationwide had died in the storm or its aftermath.
Analysts have begun to identify key factors behind the grid failures in Texas. Record-breaking cold weather spurred residents to crank up their electric heaters and pushed power demand beyond the worst-case scenarios that grid operators had planned for. At the same time, a large fraction of the state's gas-fired power plants were knocked offline amid icy conditions, with some plants suffering fuel shortages as natural gas demand spiked. Many of Texas' wind turbines also froze and stopped working.
The crisis sounded an alarm for power systems throughout the country. Electric grids can be engineered to handle a wide range of severe conditions '-- as long as grid operators can reliably predict the dangers ahead. But as climate change accelerates, many electric grids will face extreme weather events that go far beyond the historical conditions those systems were designed for, putting them at risk of catastrophic failure.
While scientists are still analyzing what role human-caused climate change may have played in this week's winter storms, it is clear that global warming poses a barrage of additional threats to power systems nationwide, including fiercer heat waves and water shortages.
Measures that could help make electric grids more robust '-- such as fortifying power plants against extreme weather, or installing more backup power sources '-- could prove expensive. But as Texas shows, blackouts can be extremely costly, too. And, experts said, unless grid planners start planning for increasingly wild and unpredictable climate conditions, grid failures will happen again and again.
''It's essentially a question of how much insurance you want to buy,'' said Jesse Jenkins, an energy systems engineer at Princeton University. ''What makes this problem even harder is that we're now in a world where, especially with climate change, the past is no longer a good guide to the future. We have to get much better at preparing for the unexpected.''
A System Pushed to the LimitTexas' main electric grid, which largely operates independently from the rest of the country, has been built with the state's most common weather extremes in mind: soaring summer temperatures that cause millions of Texans to turn up their air-conditioners all at once.
While freezing weather is rarer, grid operators in Texas have also long known that electricity demand can spike in the winter, particularly after damaging cold snaps in 2011 and 2018. But this week's winter storms, which buried the state in snow and ice, and led to record-cold temperatures, surpassed all expectations '-- and pushed the grid to its breaking point.
Image Residents of East Dallas trying to warm up on Monday after their family home lost power. Credit... Juan Figueroa/The Dallas Morning News, via Associated Press Texas' grid operators had anticipated that, in the worst case, the state would use 67 gigawatts of electricity during the winter peak. But by Sunday evening, power demand had surged past that level. As temperatures dropped, many homes were relying on older, inefficient electric heaters that consume more power.
The problems compounded from there, with frigid weather on Monday disabling power plants with capacity totaling more than 30 gigawatts. The vast majority of those failures occurred at thermal power plants, like natural gas generators, as plummeting temperatures paralyzed plant equipment and soaring demand for natural gas left some plants struggling to obtain sufficient fuel. A number of the state's power plants were also offline for scheduled maintenance in preparation for the summer peak.
The state's fleet of wind farms also lost up to 4.5 gigawatts of capacity at times, as many turbines stopped working in cold and icy conditions, though this was a smaller part of the problem.
In essence, experts said, an electric grid optimized to deliver huge quantities of power on the hottest days of the year was caught unprepared when temperatures plummeted.
While analysts are still working to untangle all of the reasons behind Texas' grid failures, some have also wondered whether the unique way the state manages its largely deregulated electricity system may have played a role. In the mid-1990s, for instance, Texas decided against paying energy producers to hold a fixed number of backup power plants in reserve, instead letting market forces dictate what happens on the grid.
On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott called for an emergency reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the nonprofit corporation that oversees the flow of power in the state, saying its performance had been ''anything but reliable'' over the previous 48 hours.
'A Difficult Balancing Act'In theory, experts said, there are technical solutions that can avert such problems.
Wind turbines can be equipped with heaters and other devices so that they can operate in icy conditions '-- as is often done in the upper Midwest, where cold weather is more common. Gas plants can be built to store oil on-site and switch over to burning the fuel if needed, as is often done in the Northeast, where natural gas shortages are common. Grid regulators can design markets that pay extra to keep a larger fleet of backup power plants in reserve in case of emergencies, as is done in the Mid-Atlantic.
But these solutions all cost money, and grid operators are often wary of forcing consumers to pay extra for safeguards.
''Building in resilience often comes at a cost, and there's a risk of both underpaying but also of overpaying,'' said Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University. ''It's a difficult balancing act.''
In the months ahead, as Texas grid operators and policymakers investigate this week's blackouts, they will likely explore how the grid might be bolstered to handle extremely cold weather. Some possible ideas include: Building more connections between Texas and other states to balance electricity supplies, a move the state has long resisted; encouraging homeowners to install battery backup systems; or keeping additional power plants in reserve.
The search for answers will be complicated by climate change. Over all, the state is getting warmer as global temperatures rise, and cold-weather extremes are, on average, becoming less common over time.
But some climate scientists have also suggested that global warming could, paradoxically, bring more unusually fierce winter storms. Some research indicates that Arctic warming is weakening the jet stream, the high-level air current that circles the northern latitudes and usually holds back the frigid polar vortex. This can allow cold air to periodically escape to the South, resulting in episodes of bitter cold in places that rarely get nipped by frost.
Image Traffic lights were dark in Odessa, Texas, on Monday. Credit... Jacob Ford/Odessa American, via Associated Press But this remains an active area of debate among climate scientists, with some experts less certain that polar vortex disruptions are becoming more frequent, making it even trickier for electricity planners to anticipate the dangers ahead.
All over the country, utilities and grid operators are confronting similar questions, as climate change threatens to intensify heat waves, floods, water shortages and other calamities, all of which could create novel risks for the nation's electricity systems. Adapting to those risks could carry a hefty price tag: One recent study found that the Southeast alone may need 35 percent more electric capacity by 2050 simply to deal with the known hazards of climate change.
And the task of building resilience is becoming increasingly urgent. Many policymakers are promoting electric cars and electric heating as a way of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. But as more of the nation's economy depends on reliable flows of electricity, the cost of blackouts will become ever more dire.
''This is going to be a significant challenge,'' said Emily Grubert, an infrastructure expert at Georgia Tech. ''We need to decarbonize our power systems so that climate change doesn't keep getting worse, but we also need to adapt to changing conditions at the same time. And the latter alone is going to be very costly. We can already see that the systems we have today aren't handling this very well.''
John Schwartz, Dave Montgomery and Ivan Penn contributed reporting.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "The infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you *don't* pursue a Green New Deal." / Twitter
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 13:29
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez : The infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you *don't* pursue a Green New Deal.
Wed Feb 17 05:00:20 +0000 2021
Granger Causality : @AOC Student Loans
Wed Feb 17 13:28:57 +0000 2021
KB 🏰🌎ðŸŒ"🎥 : @AOC What do you know Sandy
Wed Feb 17 13:28:49 +0000 2021
Politico Jackson : @AOC Never thought global warming would be sooo cooold!!! 🥶
Wed Feb 17 13:28:46 +0000 2021
Arthur Smith : @AOC It's sad that Texas infrastructure got exposed and with other cities that HAVE horrible infrastructure,sink ho'... https://t.co/u09ivv9PbL
Wed Feb 17 13:28:36 +0000 2021
Jack Quinn : @AOC The opposite.
Wed Feb 17 13:28:36 +0000 2021
Robyn Hewitt : @AOC False.
Wed Feb 17 13:28:26 +0000 2021
C : @AOC Truly, every time I think you've outdone yourself in sheer stupidity, you manage to prove there's always a bit'... https://t.co/OVwwhFouHY
Wed Feb 17 13:28:25 +0000 2021
steve druelinger : @AOC https://t.co/6gJUd2DS4O
Wed Feb 17 13:28:18 +0000 2021
Coronavirus fatalities worldwide down 10% in past week '-- WHO
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:14
GENEVA, February 17. /TASS/. The number of novel coronavirus cases reported worldwide in the period of February 8-15 dropped 16% compared to the previous week, while fatalities declined by 10%, according to a weekly bulletin, released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva early on Wednesday.
Between February 8 and 15, the global organization was informed about 2,726,974 new cases all over the world (down 16% from the previous week) and 81,340 deaths (down 10%). As of February 15, a total of 108,246,992 cases and 2,386,717 COVID-related deaths were reported worldwide.
The most noticeable decline in cases was registered in Africa (down 20%), the West Pacific region (down 20%), Europe (down 18%) as well as North and South America (16%). Mortality in those regions declined as well, by 21%, 13%, 19% and 2%, respectively. Mortality also declined in Southeast Asia (down 9%) and Eastern Mediterranean Region (down 9%).
In the past seven days, over 1.3 million people contracted the infection in North and South America, and more than 44,000 died of it. The number of cases in Europe increased by about 968,000 in the reported period, while fatalities grew by 33,000. In Eastern Mediterranean, doctors registered over 170,000 new cases of novel coronavirus, over 2,500 patients died.
The United States accounts for the majority of cases registered between February 8 and 15 (673,000), followed by Brazil (over 318,000 new cases), France (over 127,000), Russia (over 104,000), the United Kingdom (over 97,000), Italy (over 85,000), India (over 78,000), Mexico (over 66,000), Indonesia (over 63,000), and Turkey (over 55,000).
Mayor of Texas city resigns after Facebook post telling residents 'sink or swim' amid power outages
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:11
The mayor of Colorado City, Texas, resigned on Tuesday, after receiving backlash for a controversial Facebook post where he lambasted citizens complaining about the ongoing power and water outages plaguing the state due to brutal winter storms, telling them to stop being lazy and "sink or swim."
What are the details?In a post Tuesday morning, Mayor Tim Boyd declared, "Let me hurt some feelings while I have a minute!"
"No one owes you are (sic) your family anything," he said in his public statement, "nor is it the local government's responsibility to support you during trying times likes this! Sink or swim it's your choice! The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!"
Boyd went on to say he was "sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout" telling folks, "If you don't have electricity you step up and come up with a game plan to keep your family warm and safe. If you have no water you deal without and think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family."
He added in the lengthy message, "If you are sitting at home in the cold because you have no power and are sitting there waiting for someone to come rescue you because your lazy is direct result of your raising! Only the strong survive and the weak will parish (sic)."
Boyd delivered his message as millions of Texans have experienced power outages and at least five people have died amid a massive winter storm that has pummeled the state in recent days. Citizens without power have resorted to finding other heat sources on their own or taking shelter in vehicles or warming centers.
The crisis led Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to deploy the National Guard to assist citizens and to call for an investigation into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the nonprofit that oversees the circulation of electricity across the state. Abbott also called for ERCOT leadership to step down over the failures.
By Tuesday afternoon, Boyd acknowledged to KTXS-TV that he had resigned his post as mayor and offered an apology for his rant.
"I would never want to hurt the elderly or anyone that is in true need of help to be left to fend for themselves," Boyd told the outlet. "I was only making the statement that those folks that are too lazy to get up and fend for themselves but are capable should not be dealt a handout. I apologize for the wording and some of the phrases that were used!"
He added, "Please understand, if I had it to do over again, I would have just kept my words to myself and if I did say them I would have used better wording and been more descriptive."
'Veel verrassende radiomakers zijn naar het internet gevlucht'
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:09
In een recente podcast van The Post Online gaan hoofdredacteur Bert Brussen en Spreekbuis columnist Patrick Kicken in op een radiolandschap dat niet meer interessant lijkt te zijn voor een jonge generatie en waarbij middelmaat en deugdelijkheid voorop staat. Hoe komt het toch dat 3FM zo slecht beluisterd is en er ook bij de radiostations van Talpa zo weinig spannende dingen meer te beleven zijn?
Ook is het opvallend te noemen dat veel van de spannendere radiomakers van weleer tegenwoordig (louter) hun toevlucht zoeken in podcastland: Robert Jensen, Adam Curry, Ruud de Wild, Michael Pilarczyk, Giel Beelen en Kicken zelf.
De antwoorden hierop en de opvallendste uitspraken uit het bijna twee uur durende gesprek kun je hier teruglezen en de podcast luister je hier of via onderstaande player:
Bitcoin Mining: Wasted Energy or a Better, Greener System?
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:08
Is it wasteful to use electricity mining bitcoin? As the Biden Administration settles into power with an ambitious agenda around clean energy, notably promising to eliminate carbon emissions from the U.S. power generation sector by 2035, the question of bitcoin mining and its ever-growing use of energy bubbles up once more.
In this episode of ''On Purpose, With Tyrone Ross,'' Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure, joins the show to discuss the modern energy landscape, how far we've come and where bitcoin mining can fit into a sustainable energy system.
See also: Digital Gold: How Should Financial Advisors Be Thinking About Bitcoin?
A message from Tyrone:
The greatest number of people living in poverty are children, we need to change that. If you can, get involved and give back to NoKidHungry.org. Love and Light. I appreciate you!
Other Episodes
The Mainstream Media Narrative Shifts as Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley Come to Bitcoin
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:05
As another wave of major financial institutions announce bitcoin plans, it's getting harder for the MSM to simply print the same old FUD.
This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.
Download this episode
Today on the Brief:
A follow-up on celebrity in cryptoDapper Labs and BlockFi raising at multibillion dollar valuationsCathie Wood and ARK increase their bitcoin positionOur main discussion looks at the latest institutional bitcoin news:
Deutsche Bank '' the world's 21st largest '' quietly revealed a digital asset custody program with much bigger ambitions in a December 2020 World Economic Forum report Bloomberg is reporting that Morgan Stanley's $150B investment unit is considering a direct bitcoin positionSee also: Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage
Image credit: Talaj/Getty Images Plus
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South Texas Project Unit 1 tripped at 0537 on Feb 15, 2021
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 04:00
February 15, 2021 By Rod Adams 29 Comments
A series of winter storms and a blast of Arctic air has put most of the United States into a short term energy supply challenge.
Texas has been the epicenter of the winter event. Its electric power grid has been under an Emergency Energy Alert Stage 3 since the early morning hours of February 15. At that stage, reserve margins are so tight that the grid operator has issued orders to transmission companies to reduce loads on the system.
The transmission companies have few remaining tools available to keep the grid in balance and prevent widespread collapse. They have reached the response stage where they need to implement rotating outages. In some cases, the margin between reserve generating capacity and demand has been so tight that the rotating outages have been substantially longer than the typical planned duration of 15-45 minutes.
There are numerous contributing factors, including fuel-related outages at natural gas fired power stations, a lack of wind as the cold air settles in, freezing at some wind turbine generators, and challenges at coal plants.
Approximately 35 GWe of installed thermal generating capacity was not producing electricity for a significant portion of the day on Feb 15. As of this moment, 8:15 PM central time, there is no solar electricity being provided in Texas and its 30,000 MWe of installed wind turbines is generating just 800 MWe.
Note: The link to Ercot's wind generation graph leads to a dynamically updated page, so the image here is for a specific moment in time.
In addition to those other electricity supply system issues, at 0537 central time, there was an unscheduled trip at South Texas Project Unit 1. That nuclear generating plant usually produces 1350 MW of electricity.
Vicki Rowland, the lead for Internal Communications at the STP Nuclear Operating Company provided the following narrative about the unit's operating status.
On Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, at 0537, an automatic reactor trip occurred at South Texas Project in Unit 1. The trip resulted from a loss of feedwater attributed to a cold weather-related failure of a pressure sensing lines to the feedwater pumps, causing a false signal, which in turn, caused the feedwater pump to trip. This event occurred in the secondary side of the plant (non-nuclear part of the unit). The reactor trip was a result of the feedwater pump trips. The primary side of the plant (nuclear side) is safe and secured.
STP values safety over production, so our first priority is the safety of our teammates, especially regarding the freezing weather and road conditions.
Secondarily our priority is the operating unit. Unit 2 is operating at 100 percent power. We evaluated Unit 2 and have confirmed that we do not have the same issues that caused the feedwater pump trips in Unit 1.
STP crew members are safely working to promptly return Unit 1 to the grid. We are validating the issues that caused the feedwater pumps to trip and will take the necessary actions to prevent reoccurrence.
STP has operated very reliably with only two reactor trips in the past several years. On May 1, 2016, the South Texas Project Unit 1 automatic reactor trip due to a main generator lock. Prior to that on Jan. 8, 2013, Unit 2 experienced an automatic reactor trip from full power caused by a main transformer fire.
If you have any questions, please contact me directly.
Update: (Feb 16, 2021 1345) Some people have wondered how ''pressure sensing lines'' for a feed water pump could have been affected by cold outside air temperatures. There are no turbine halls at STP, both of steam turbines are out in the open air. I'm sure there is a design reason for this choice, but it isn't apparent. Here is a satellite photo of the site from Google Maps. End Update
I respect nuclear plant operators and believe in the importance of the industry's safety culture.
But, I hope that this event becomes a topic of discussion about the balance between operating '' or not operating '' nuclear plants with the utmost caution and the occasional need to recognize the life-sustaining nature of reliable electricity.
The submarine force has protocols in place that recognize the need to balance safety of the nuclear propulsion plant with the safety of the ship that it propels. During my tour as Engineer Officer I ensured that my crew knew that a perfectly safe reactor at the bottom of the ocean in a sunk ship is not perfectly safe.
Though the Texas grid is not going to sink into the ocean, there is a point at which an over abundance of caution can turn into a harmful course of action.
About Rod Adams Rod Adams is an atomic energy expert with small nuclear plant operating and design experience, now serving as a Managing Partner at Nucleation Capital, an emerging climate-focused fund. Rod, a former submarine Engineer Officer and founder of Adams Atomic Engines, Inc., one of the earliest advanced nuclear ventures, has engaged in technical, strategic, political, historic and financial discussion and analysis of the nuclear industry, its technology and policies for several decades. He is the founder of Atomic Insights and host and producer of The Atomic Show Podcast.
Please click here to subscribe to the Atomic Show RSS feed.
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Texas Freeze Raises Cost Of Charging A Tesla To $900 | OilPrice.com
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 02:37
The electricity shortage in Texas amid the cold snap has sent spot electricity prices soaring so much that the surge in power prices equals a cost of $900 for charging a Tesla.
The typical full charge of a Tesla costs around $18 using a Level 1 or Level 2 charger at home, according to estimates from The Drive. This estimate is based on an average price of $0.14 per kWh of power.
However, the extreme winter weather this week has sent Texas spot electricity prices soaring, as the wind turbines froze in the ice storms and reduced the wind power generating capacity in the Lone Star State by half.
Spot electricity prices at the West hub have soared above the grid's $9,000 per megawatt-hour cap, compared to a 'normal' price of $25 per megawatt-hour, FOX Business notes.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) called early on Monday for rotating outages across the state as extreme winter weather forced wind power generating units offline, while electricity demand set a new winter peak record.
At the same time, freezing cold and ice storms cut offline almost half of the wind power capacity in Texas.
''We are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units,'' ERCOT said.
In Texas, wind power generation overtook coal-fired generation in 2020 for the first time ever, with wind power now accounting for 25 percent of the Texas electricity generation. Natural gas-fired power generation is the leading source of electricity in Texas, with more than 45 percent share.
While oil-and-gas rich Texas is the leading U.S. state for wind power installations, the frozen turbines in the Arctic weather have strained the grid so much that rolling outages in Texas continue for a second consecutive day.
''The wind-dependent Texas grid is experiencing rolling blackouts, prices the equivalent of $900 per Tesla charge, and an expected supply shortage of 10 GW--the amount of electricity needed to power 5 million homes,'' Alex Epstein, Founder of Center for Industrial Progress, tweeted today.
Meanwhile, ERCOT's Senior Director of System Operations, Dan Woodfin, said on Tuesday morning that ''The number of controlled outages we have to do remains high. We are optimistic that we will be able to reduce the number throughout the day.''
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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5 Companies Betting Big On Futuristic Energy Tech Biden Sets The Stage For An Offshore Wind Energy Boom Is The Caribbean Ready For An Oil Boom?
Tim Pool on Twitter: "Youtube isn't letting us stream https://t.co/KU2FcLtw8w" / Twitter
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 01:38
Tim Pool : Youtube isn't letting us stream https://t.co/KU2FcLtw8w
Wed Feb 17 01:00:47 +0000 2021
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Captain Jellico : @Timcast Learn to code
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Divergent Evolution : @Timcast You had to know this was coming. There's a reason they're called authoritarians. Unless it's technical iss'... https://t.co/JyTVRv6hjo
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Aaron McDonald : @Timcast Civil war blah blah 1984 blah blah
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BadDealer : @Timcast Seems to be working fine. Rating down since Trump?
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The Disgusting Reason That Millions of Texans Spent The Night Without Power
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 00:30
Texas has its own electrical grid and plenty of excess power generation capability. Yet, right now, millions of Texans are freezing in the dark. Here's why.
Texas both produces and consumes more electricity than any other state. Texas' abundant natural resources, including natural gas, coal, and wind, are readily available to fuel our power plants.
Texas is the only one of the contiguous 48 states with its own stand-alone electricity grid, one of the three main grids in the U.S.: the Eastern Interconnection, Western Interconnection, and Texas Interconnection. The Texas Interconnection, which covers 213 of the 254 Texas counties, is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT. Portions of Texas near the state's borders are covered by the eastern and western grids.
Texas produces more electricity than it consumes and maintains a buffer referred to as the ''state's reserve margin.'' This margin ensures that we should never have to suffer from rolling blackouts like California.
Then why are so millions of Texans without power right now? Why are we dealing with rolling blackouts?
The answer is all-too-familiar: our relationship with the federal government.
In anticipation of this unprecedented power demand, Texas could have maxed out power generation. However, we couldn't. Like a lowly beggar, Texas had to first ask for permission from the federal government to generate enough power to keep our people warm. Why? Because cranking up our power plants to full production might violate federal pollution limits.
There is a clear metaphor here. Texans were powerless because our elected officials ceded authority to a slow-moving, uncaring gaggle of federal bureaucrats.
TEXIT means that we never have to ask permission to do what's best for our people.
When you are contacting your elected officials to demand a vote on TEXIT, remember that there are real consequences to us staying in the union. Right now, someone is suffering because of their indecision or opposition. That someone might be you, your family, or your neighbors.
*** UPDATE *** Click here to download the actual order from the federal Department of Energy which specifies ERCOT's reasons for asking permission including that '''...ERCOT has been alerted that numerous generation units will be unable to operate at full capacity without violating federal air quality or other permit limitations.''
The WEF Agenda Behind Modi Farm Reform
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 23:08
In September 2021 the UN will hold a Food Systems Summit. The aim will be to reshape world agriculture and food production in the context of the Malthusian UN Agenda 2030 ''sustainable agriculture'' goals. The recent radical farm laws from the government of Narenda Modi in India are part of the same global agenda, and it's all not good.
In Modi's India, farmers have been in massive protest since three new farm laws were rushed through Parliament last September. The Modi reforms were motivated by a well-organized effort of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its New Vision for Agriculture, part of Klaus Schwab's Great Reset, the corporate side of the UN Agenda 2030.
Modi Shock Therapy
In September, 2020 in a rushed Parliamentary voice vote, rather than a duly-registered formal vote, and reportedly with no prior consultation with Indian farmer unions or organizations, the government of Prime Minister Narenda Modi passed three new laws radically deregulating India's agriculture. That has sparked months of national farmer protest and nationwide strikes.The protests which are spreading across all India, demands repeal of the three laws.
In effect the laws end restrictions on large corporations' buying land and stockpiling commodities to control farmer prices. They also allow large multinational businesses to bypass local or regional state markets where farmers' produce is normally sold at guaranteed prices, and allows business to strike direct deals with farmers. This all will result in the ruin of an estimated tens millions of marginal or smallholder farmers and small middlemen in India's fragile food chain.
The new Modi laws are measures the IMF and World Bank have been demanding since the early 1990s to bring Indian agriculture and farming into the corporate agribusiness model pioneered in the USA by the Rockefeller Foundation decades ago.Until now no Indian government has been willing to attack the farmers, the country's largest population group, many of whom are on tiny plots or bare subsistence. Modi's argument is that by changing the present system, Indian farmers could ''double'' income by 2022, an unproven,dubious claim. It allows corporations to buy farm land for the first time nationally so large companies, food processing firms, and exporters can invest in the farm sector.Against them a small farmer has no chance. Who's behind the radical push? Here we find the WEF and the Gates Foundation's radical globalized agriculture agenda.
WEF and the Corporativists
The laws are a direct result of several years' effort of the World Economic Forum and its New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) initiative. For more than 12 years the WEF and its NVA has pushed a corporate model in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The ''big target'' has been India, where resistance to corporate takeover of agriculture has been fierce ever since the failed 1960's Green Revolution of the Rockefeller Foundation. For the WEF Great Reset, better known as the UN Agenda 2030 for ''sustainable agriculture,'' India's traditional farm and food system must be broken. Its smallholder family farmers must be forced to sell to large agribusiness conglomerates and regional or state-level protections for those farmers eliminated. It will be ''sustainable,'' not for the small farmers, but rather the giant agribusiness groups.
To advance that agenda the WEF created a powerful group of corporate and government interests called the NVA India Business Council. Its website at the homepage of the WEF states, ''The NVA India Business Council serves as an informal, high-level leadership group to champion private sector collaboration and investment to drive sustainable agricultural growth in India.'' An idea what they mean by ''sustainable''is found in their membership.
The WEF's NVA India Business Council in 2017 included Bayer CropScience, one of the world's largest purveyors of agriculture pesticides andnow,of Monsanto GMO seeds; Cargill India Pvt.of the giant US grain company; Dow AgroSciences, GMO seed and pesticide producer;GMO and agrichemical firm DuPont;grain cartel giant Louis Dreyfus Company; Wal-Mart India; India Mahindra & Mahindra (world's largest tractor maker); Nestle India Ltd; PepsiCo India; Rabobank International; State Bank of India; Swiss Re Services, the world's largest re-insurer; India Private Limited, a chemicals maker;and the Adani Group of Gautam Adani,the second richest man in India and major financier of Modi's BJP party. Notice the absence of any Indian farmer organizations.
In addition to top Modi backer Guatam Adani on the WEF NVA India Business Council, MukeshAmbani, sits on the Board of Directors of Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum. Ambani, another top Modi backer, is Chairman and Managing Director of India's largest conglomerate, Reliance Industries, and Asia's second wealthiest person worth some $74 billion. Ambani is a strong advocate of the radical farm reform as Reliance stands to reap huge gains.
In December farmers in Punjab burned effigies of Prime Minister Modi, along with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, and Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, accusing them of being behind the new laws of Modi.
For anyone with even a slight idea of these corporate behemoths, it is clear that the interests and welfare of India's estimated 650 million farmers are not the priority. Notably, IMF's Chief Economist Gita Gopinath, an Indian now in USA,has endorsed the laws, and has said that India's recently-enacted agriculture laws have the ''potential'' to increase farmers' income.
On 26 November a nationwide general strike began that involved approximately 250 million people in support of the farmers. Transport unions representing over 14 million truck drivers have come out in support of the farmer unions. This is the biggest challenge to the BJP Modi regime to date. The fact the government refuses to back down suggests it will be a bitter battle.
For the Agenda 2030, or Great Reset to transform the global food and agricultural industries as Klaus Schwab prefers to call it, to succeed, it is highest priority that India, with the world's largest population,be brought into the globalist web of corporate agribusiness control. Clearly the timing of the Modi deregulation has in mind the UN 2021 Food Systems Summit.
AGRA and the UN Food Systems Summit
Indication of the agenda in store for India's farmers is the upcoming September UN Food Systems Summit. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in 2019 announced the UN will host Food Systems Summit in 2021 with the aim of maximizing the benefits of a ''food systems approach'' consistent with UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. He named Agnes Kalibata of Rwanda as his Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit. The summit's founding statement pushes ''precision farming'' such as GPS, Big Data and robotics, and GMO, as solutions.
Kalibata, former Minister of Agriculture in war-torn Rwanda,isalso the President of AGRA, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. AGRA was created by the Gates and Rockefeller Foundations to introduce GMO patented seeds and related chemical pesticides into African agriculture. A key person Gates put in charge of the AGRA, Robert Horsch, spent 25 years as a senior Monsanto executive. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also a ''Contributing Partner'' of the WEF.
After nearly 15 years and some $1 billion in funds from Gates, Rockefeller and other large donors, AGRA has failed to lift farmers into a better wellbeing. Farmers are forced by their governments to buy seeds from commercial suppliers, often tied to Monsanto and other GMO companies, as well as commercial fertilizer. The result is debt and often bankruptcy. The farmers are forbidden to reuse the commercial seeds and are forced to abandon traditional seeds which they could reuse. AGRA's focus on ''market-oriented'' means the global export market controlled by Cargill and other major grain cartel giants. In the 1990s, under pressure from Washington and agribusiness, the World Bank demanded African and other governments in developing countries end their agriculture subsidies. That, while the USA and EU agriculture remains heavily subsidized. The cheap subsidized EU and OECD imports drive local farmers bankrupt. That's intended.
A 2020 report on AGRA, False Promises, concluded, ''yield increases for key staple crops in the years before AGRA were just as low as during AGRA. Instead of halving hunger, the situation in the 13 focus countries has worsened since AGRA was launched. The number of people going hungry has increased by 30 percent during the AGRA years'... affecting 130 million people in the 13 AGRA focus countries.'' Gates' AGRA has made African food production more globalized and dependent than ever on the will of global multinationals whose aim is cheap inputs. It forces farmers into debt and demands specific ''cash crops'' like GMO corn or soya, be grown for export.
Gates Foundation's confidential Agricultural Development Strategy 2008-2011 outlined its strategy:
''Smallholders with the potential to produce a surplus can create a market-oriented agricultural system'... to exit poverty'...The vision of success involves market-oriented farmers operating profitable farms'...this will require some degree of land mobility and a lower percentage of total employment involved in direct agricultural production.'' (emphasis added)
In 2008 Rajiv Shah was the Gates Foundation's Director of Agricultural Development, and led the Foundation's creation of the AGRA together with the Rockefeller Foundation. Today Shah is President of Rockefeller Foundation,Gates' partner in AGRA, which foundation also financed the creation of GMO patented seeds back in the 1970s, the creation of CGIAR seed banks with the World Bank and India's 1960's failed Green Revolution.Rajiv Shah is also an Agenda Contributor at the World Economic Forum. Small world.
The fact that the President of AGRA is heading the September 2021 UN Food Systems Summit (note the use of ''food systems'') exposes the seamless links between the UN, the Gates and Rockefeller Foundations, the World Economic Forum and their web of global corporate mega companies.
India, with 1.4 billion people, perhaps half in agriculture, is the last bastion where global agribusiness has been unable to dominate the production of food. The OECD has been globalized by industrial agribusiness since decades and the deterioration in food quality and nutrition confirms it. China has opened up and is a major player in the GMO world with Syngenta, as well as the world largest producer of glyphosate. China industrial pork factory farms such as Smithfield Farms, where the recent African Swine Fever is believed to have originated, are on the way to wipe out small-scale farmers there.The central role of the Gates-Rockefeller AGRA in the UN 2021 Food Systems Summit, the major role of the WEF in the world ''food systems'' reset, and the pressures in recent months on the Modi government to implement the same corporate agenda in India as in Africa, are all no accident. It sets the world up for catastrophic harvest failures and worse.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook''.
Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "BREAKING: President Trump Releases Statement Slamming Mitch McConnell Vows to back America First primary candidates https://t.co/sBNsio5Xwz" / Twitter
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 22:36
Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 : BREAKING: President Trump Releases Statement Slamming Mitch McConnell Vows to back America First primary candidat'... https://t.co/oHJNIJequh
Tue Feb 16 21:55:40 +0000 2021
Princess22 : @JackPosobiec @mattgaetz https://t.co/PE4PiOkMGn
Tue Feb 16 22:36:40 +0000 2021
Christopher C. Olson : @JackPosobiec 12 Senators? Like Perdue, Loeffler, Gardner, and McSalley?
Tue Feb 16 22:36:12 +0000 2021
Geal Faol : @JackPosobiec @ACTforAmerica https://t.co/hJFjkY4s6G
Tue Feb 16 22:36:10 +0000 2021
susan stone : @JackPosobiec @mattgaetz As deplorable as ever.
Tue Feb 16 22:36:04 +0000 2021
Geal Faol : @JackPosobiec @ACTforAmerica https://t.co/VdFFbKXO6W
Tue Feb 16 22:35:53 +0000 2021
Walerija Karasewa : @JackPosobiec https://t.co/x5cUtEJnxk
Tue Feb 16 22:35:47 +0000 2021
British Astrophysicists: "Mini Ice Age is Accelerating '' New 'Maunder Minimum' Has Begun" + the Beaufort Gyre - Electroverse
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 21:08
''We are plunging now into a deep mini ice age,'' says British astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, ''and there is no way out''.
For the next 20 years it's going to get colder and colder, on average, says Corbyn who holds a B.Sc. in Physics and an M.Sc. in Astrophysics. The jet stream will be wilder: there will be more wild temperature changes, more hail events, more earthquakes, more extreme volcano events, more snow in winters, lousy summers, late springs, short autumns, and more and more crop failures.
''The fact is the sun rules the sea temperature, and the sea temperature rules the climate,'' explains Corbyn.
''What we have happening now is the start of the mini ice age '... it began around 2013. It's a slow start, and now the rate of moving into the mini ice age is accelerating.
''The best thing to do now is to tell your politicians to stop believing nonsense,'' concludes Corbyn.
The Little Ice Age (LIA) was triggered by a large outflow of sea ice from the Arctic Ocean into the North Atlantic, according to the findings of a new paper published in the journal Science Advances.
The paper combines marine sediment cores drilled from the ocean floor from the Arctic Ocean to the North Atlantic, and what these records indicate is an abrupt increase in Arctic sea ice and cold waters exported to the North Atlantic starting around 1300, peaking in mid-century, and ending abruptly in the late 1300s.
Crucially, the provocative paper concludes that external forcing from volcanoes or any other cause may not be necessary for large swings in climate to occur '-- a previously widely held assumption: ''These results strongly suggest that these things can occur out of the blue due to internal variability in the climate system,'' said Dr. Martin Miles, researcher in the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. But the marine cores do also show a sustained, far-flung pulse of sea ice near the Norse colonies on Greenland, an event which coincided with their demise in the 15th century; a cooling climate is thought to have pushed hard on their resilience.
Today, it is feared a similar event may be about to occur.
''We are waiting for a huge burst of cold water to be released from the Beaufort Gyre,'' says David Mauriello of the ORP , a release which is is long overdue with the gyre having circulated in-place far longer than is normal. ''And when it does this,'' continues Mauriello, ''it will potentially shut down the Gulf Stream.''
The Beaufort Gyre has been circulating in-place for far longer than is normal. When it finally lets-up, cold water will outflow into the Atlantic, potentially disrupting/shutting-down the Gulf Stream.The Gulf Stream is key to Europe having the mild, habitable climate that it does.A shutting down of the Gulf Stream will lead to cold Arctic-like conditions invading Western Europe almost overnight, concludes Mauriello, with Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia at the forefront of the blast.
However, it must be stressed that these processes and mechanisms remain poorly understood''but then so do the majority of subjects within the field of climate science: this reality makes the purported 100% confidence and consensus around the impact a trace gas such as CO2 can have on global temperatures even more absurd. Again, that Michael Crichton quote rings true: ''Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.'' And for those out there crying 'but Crichton' isn't a scientist': 1) err, he brought dinosaurs back to life, and 2) fine, you got me, so I'll included astrophysicist Piers Corbyn's views on CO2 instead. So, to conclude: ''Carbon dioxide levels do not have any impact ''I repeat, any impact'' on climate,'' states Corbyn, ''the CO2 theory is wrong from the start.''
Don't fall for bogus political agendas.
You're being had.
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING, in line with historically low solar activity , cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays , and a meridional jet stream flow . Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we're entering a 'full-blown' Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as '' the weakest of the past 200 years '', with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here .
Prepare for the COLD'-- learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift
Texas's 'Nightmare' Energy Situation Is a Warning to the Rest of America by Leah Barkoukis
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 21:03
Millions of Texans have lost power in the middle of a cold snap that brought below-freezing temperatures across the state. Struggling to keep warm in homes that are poorly insulated, some are turning to unsafe methods that will likely get them killed. One resident told The Washington Post that after only eight hours without power in Houston it was like an ''apocalypse,'' and she feared they'd ''see a nightmare situation in the next few days.''
Commenting on the blackout in his home state, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry pointed out how important it is to have a diverse energy landscape. In recent years, however, reliance on coal has declined while renewable energy sources have been increasing.
How's that working out? We're seeing it play out now, Fox News's Tucker Carlson said Monday during his monologue.
''The windmills froze, so the power grid failed. Millions of Texans woke up Monday morning having to boil their water because with no electricity, it couldn't be purified,'' he commented, noting the Green New Deal has arrived.
''The ironically named Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the grid, had no solution to any of this. They simply told people to stop using so much power to keep warm," Carlson continued. "So in Houston, hundreds of shivering Texans headed to the convention center like refugees to keep from freezing to death. Some Texans almost certainly did freeze to death. Later this week, we'll likely learn just how many more were killed as they tried to keep warm with jury-rigged heaters and barbecues and car exhaust.''
In a news release, ERCOT said the extreme weather led to "many generating units - across fuel types - to trip offline."
"Natural-gas-fired power plants generated 40% of Texas's electricity in 2020, according to Ercot," WSJ reports, while "wind turbines were second at 23%, followed by coal at 18% and nuclear at 11%."
While blackouts have become commonplace in states like California, it's surprising in Texas, the host said.
If there's one thing you would think Texas would be able to do, it's keep the lights on. Most electricity comes from natural gas and Texas produces more of that than any place on the continent. There are huge natural gas deposits all over the state. Running out of energy in Texas is like starving to death at the grocery store: You can only do it on purpose, and Texas did.
Rather than celebrate and benefit from their state's vast natural resources, politicians took the fashionable route and became recklessly reliant on so-called alternative energy, meaning windmills. Fifteen years ago, there were virtually no wind farms in Texas. Last year, roughly a quarter of all electricity generated in the state came from wind. Local politicians were pleased by this. They bragged about it like there was something virtuous about destroying the landscape and degrading the power grid. Just last week, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott proudly accepted something called the Wind Leadership Award, given with gratitude by Tri Global Energy, a company getting rich from green energy.
So it was all working great until the day it got cold outside. The windmills failed like the silly fashion accessories they are, and people in Texas died. (Fox News)
And this is one of the renewable energy sources the Biden administration and his climate allies are so eagerly pushing on the rest of America, despite the fact that they're less reliable, inefficient, more expensive, and kill a ton of birds.
What the rest of us think matters not, however, because ''green energy is the ultimate inside game'' for the small number of individuals who profit, Carlson said.
Educators: Making Math Students Show Their Work Is 'White Supremacy'
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 20:11
The Oregon Department of Education is seeking to root out white supremacy in mathematics, manifested by emphasis on ''getting the right answer'' and making students ''show their work.''
As reported Monday by the attentive folks at the College Fix, Oregon's progressive Department of Education has furnished educators with an 82-page training manual titled ''A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction.''
The education department mailed the manual to teachers as part of Black History Month.
The manual enumerates signs of ''white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom,'' which include a focus on ''getting the right answer,'' an emphasis on ''real-world math,'' teaching math in a ''linear fashion,'' students being required to ''show their work,'' and grading students based on their demonstrated knowledge of the material.
''In order to embody antiracist math education, teachers must engage in critical praxis that interrogates the ways in which they perpetuate white supremacy culture in their own classrooms, and develop a plan toward antiracist math education to address issues of equity for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students,'' the manual declares.
The unavoidably racist and thoroughly demeaning implication is that black students are not capable of ''showing their work'' or ''getting the right answers,'' and so teachers must lower the academic bar or remove it altogether.
An impartial observer might even suggest that assuming that students of color are incapable of competing on a level playing field is a manifestation of the deepest form of ''white supremacy.''
What the manual never succeeds in explaining is how dumbing down mathematics will magically eliminate ''mathematical inequity,'' a proposal that is counterintuitive.
It was not long ago that literature and film celebrated heroic educators who, against all odds, challenged their students to rise above their situations and achieve academic success.
If the Oregon Department of Education is any indication, such heroism is a thing of the past.
Follow @tdwilliamsrome
Electricity retailer Griddy's unusual plea to Texas customers: Leave now before you get a big bill
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 16:58
Some retail power companies in Texas are making an unusual plea to their customers amid a deep freeze that has sent electricity prices skyrocketing: Please, leave us.
Power supplier, Griddy, told all 29,000 of its customers that they should switch to another provider as spot electricity prices soared to as high as $9,000 a megawatt-hour. Griddy's customers are fully exposed to the real-time swings in wholesale power markets, so those who don't leave soon will face extraordinarily high electricity bills.
''We made the unprecedented decision to tell our customers '-- whom we worked really hard to get '-- that they are better off in the near term with another provider,'' said Michael Fallquist, chief executive officer of Griddy. ''We want what's right by our consumers, so we are encouraging them to leave. We believe that transparency and that honesty will bring them back'' once prices return to normal.
Texas is home to the most competitive electricity market in America. Homeowners and businesses churn power providers there like credit cards. In the face of such cutthroat competition, retail power providers in the region have grown accustomed to offering new customers incredibly low rates, incentives and, at least in Griddy's case, unusual plans that allow customers to pay wholesale power prices as opposed to fixed ones.
The ruthless nature of the business has power traders speculating over which firms might have been caught short this week in the most dramatic run-up in spot power prices they've ever seen.
Not all companies are asking customers to leave. Others are just pleading for them to cut back.
Pulse Power, based in The Woodlands, Texas, is offering customers a chance to win a Tesla Model 3, or free electricity for up to a year if they reduce their power usage by 10% in the coming days. Austin-based Bulb is offering $2 per kilowatts-hour, up to $200, for any energy customers save.
Griddy, however, is in a different position. Its service is simple '-- and controversial. Members pay a $9.99 monthly fee and then pay the cost of spot power traded on Texas's power grid based on the time of day they use it. Earlier this month, that meant customers were saving money '-- and at times even getting paid '-- to use electricity at night. But in recent days, the cost of their power has soared from about 5 to 6 cents a kilowatt-hour to $1 or more. That's when Fallquist knew it was time to urge his customers to leave.
''I can tell you it was probably one of the hardest decisions we've ever made,'' he said. ''Nobody ever wants to see customers go.''
Griddy isn't the only one out there actively encouraging its customers to leave. People were posting similar pleas on Twitter over the holiday weekend from other Texas retail power providers offering everything from $100 rebates to waived cancellation fees as incentives to switch.
Customers may not even be able to switch. Rizwan Nabi, president of energy consultancy Riz Energy in Houston, said several power providers in Texas have told him they aren't accepting new customers due to this week's volatile prices.
Hector Torres, an energy trader in Texas, who is a Griddy customer himself, said he tried to switch services over the long weekend but couldn't find a company willing to take him until Wednesday, when the weather is forecast to turn warmer.
''I'll find out in the next week if I'm getting a huge bill,'' he said.
Naureen S. Malik, Bloomberg
Joel Montfort 🌊 on Twitter: "It's looking like power plants in Texas unplugged to avoid skyrocketing natural gas spot market rates that went to hundreds of $$ to avoid losses. @ERCOT_ISO has now passed an emergency order allowing them to charge consume
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 16:36
Joel Montfort 🌊 : It's looking like power plants in Texas unplugged to avoid skyrocketing natural gas spot market rates that went to'... https://t.co/j4zRG2EpNl
Tue Feb 16 15:46:41 +0000 2021
Jan B. Hommel - alias @the_stinging on Twitter: "https://t.co/tdntLuGv8q De grenzeloze arrogantie van deze rechter laat zien hoe ongelofelijk geperverteerd onze rechtspraak is. Dit moet iedereen met eigen ogen aanschouwen. #coronavirus #coronamaatregelen
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 16:23
Jan B. Hommel - alias @the_stinging : https://t.co/tdntLuGv8qDe grenzeloze arrogantie van deze rechter laat zien hoe ongelofelijk geperverteerd onze re'... https://t.co/QihpV5HUFR
Tue Feb 16 15:53:12 +0000 2021
toughcookie567 : @hommel_b Dit was erg, ja, heel badinerend
Tue Feb 16 16:21:32 +0000 2021
cathy : @hommel_b @68Ed68 Ik heb begrepen dat van Dissel in de coulissen staat om eventueel te helpen. Ik zou Willem Engel,'... https://t.co/RBbC402pKW
Tue Feb 16 16:19:53 +0000 2021
Robert : @hommel_b Gvd wat een smeerlapperij, goed dat ze gewraakt is.
Tue Feb 16 16:14:39 +0000 2021
MisterEd : @hommel_b De poep loopt uit haar bek. Wat een kakwijf!
Tue Feb 16 16:14:01 +0000 2021
A.Duijster : @hommel_b ja, ergelijk gedrag!
Tue Feb 16 16:13:43 +0000 2021
Marianne G : @hommel_b Het was te bizar hoe de rechter hier optrad! Dit is geen rechtspraak!!
Tue Feb 16 16:12:43 +0000 2021
DeAlternatieveKijk : @hommel_b Als je afgewezen wordt als BOA, dan kan je blijkbaar nog wel rechter worden....
Tue Feb 16 16:04:46 +0000 2021
Ria te Lindert : @hommel_b https://t.co/jAqlxLtPu4
Tue Feb 16 16:04:28 +0000 2021
Suus : @hommel_b zou ze een fles rum leeg gezopen hebben? Dit was gewoon een aanfluiting dit geval wat zich als voorzitter presenteerde.
Tue Feb 16 16:03:41 +0000 2021
pðŸšvermania : @hommel_b Dit systeem van 'recht' in NL is doodziek, op sterven na dood. Dat wordt heel duidelijk hier. Ik schaam m'... https://t.co/KU1r7OsrLT
Tue Feb 16 16:02:17 +0000 2021
tanja : @hommel_b Schande !echt wel arrogant dat mens 🤮
Tue Feb 16 16:01:41 +0000 2021
Whatsin Aname : @hommel_b Naast de arrogantie, de vergeetachtigheid van de voorzitter op 2 punten welke haar 30sec daarvoor waren medegedeeld.. schrijnend.
Tue Feb 16 16:01:04 +0000 2021
Ollie2016 : @hommel_b Jan, heeft zij de injectie gehad? Haar gezicht staat raar en ze kan geen dingen onthouden of samenvatten!
Tue Feb 16 16:00:59 +0000 2021
The Light of K : @hommel_b Schandelijk. Of ze een hond toespreekt en wegstuurt.
Tue Feb 16 15:59:46 +0000 2021
Muller... : @hommel_b Schandalig dit .
Tue Feb 16 15:58:02 +0000 2021
Cees : @hommel_b Deze rechter wilde snelrecht toepassen en daar gingen Pols en Engel gelukkig niet in mee.
Tue Feb 16 15:57:24 +0000 2021
CovidNewsNL : @hommel_b Ze hebben er wel weer zo'n 'typische mevrouw' uit een stoffig kamertje voor gehaald idd. Slechte PR Hof. Begrijpelijke wraking.
Tue Feb 16 15:57:13 +0000 2021
marjanne huisjes : @hommel_b Nou keek net live mee. Maar jeetje wat een vertoning dat moet onze rechtstaat voorstellen. Denk dat kinde'... https://t.co/fQXpxGXNNQ
Tue Feb 16 15:56:27 +0000 2021
NoNameAndOnline ðŸ‡"🇱 : @hommel_b https://t.co/XpkcEkZdty
Tue Feb 16 15:56:00 +0000 2021
Gerrit : @hommel_b Hypothese: als 3/4 van de Medelanders overlijd aan de spuit, wie betaald dan de salarissen van de ambtenaren????
Tue Feb 16 15:55:50 +0000 2021
willem : @hommel_b Goed gezegd !
Tue Feb 16 15:55:48 +0000 2021
Jan Drentje : @hommel_b Heeft niets met arrogantie te maken, zijn spelregels die voor iedereen gelden, bij het Hof spreek je via je advocaat.
Tue Feb 16 15:55:31 +0000 2021
Rien Navelpluis : @hommel_b Voorzitter lichtgeraakt#Rechter #gewraaktIk ben niet eens verrastOm deze poppenkastDe hele #rechtstaat kraakt
Tue Feb 16 15:55:13 +0000 2021
Renaissance4109 : @hommel_b Reken maar dat een deel van de bevolking dit ook heeft gezien. Op een dag zullen diegenen die zich ongena'... https://t.co/x6JxVID791
Tue Feb 16 15:55:08 +0000 2021
Axel van der Kruk : @hommel_b Hoe was het ook alweer:oh ja : Quote: "Nederland is een BANANENKONINKRIJK"
Tue Feb 16 15:55:07 +0000 2021
JanusKlaassen : @hommel_b Let op: alleen kijken als u sterk van gestel bent, en bij voorkeur VOOR het avondeten.
Tue Feb 16 15:55:01 +0000 2021
LittleSister1969 ðŸ : @hommel_b Ik kan er niets aan doen, maar bij deze voorzitter had ik de gedachte 'ze zou een bij @hommel_b langs moe'... https://t.co/RcbIsJGtTZ
Tue Feb 16 15:54:53 +0000 2021
Court orders Dutch government to scrap coronavirus curfew immediately - Health - Disclose.tv
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 16:07
The curfew must be lifted immediately. The court in The Hague determined this in a case brought by the Virus Truth foundation. The measure was taken on the wrong grounds, the judge ruled.
According to the preliminary relief judge, the curfew is a far-reaching violation of the right to freedom of movement and privacy. This requires very careful decision-making, the judge ruled.
However, for the introduction of the curfew, use was made of the Extraordinary Powers of Civil Authority Act, whereby the Senate and House of Representatives do not have to be involved in the decision-making. According to the judge, there was no ''special urgency'' to enforce the law. The fact that before the introduction of a curfew was often discussed, illustrates, according to the court, that the ''special requirements'' required for activation of the law have not been met.
''A far-reaching measure on the basis of an emergency law may only be given if an acute emergency situation actually occurs, which, moreover, cannot be resolved with other less far-reaching means.''
Benefit not yet provenThe state attorney argued on behalf of the State that the corona pandemic is such a serious situation and that an urgent procedure for instituting the curfew was therefore in place. Other corona measures also proved insufficient to combat the pandemic.
The judge points out that the usefulness of the curfew has not yet been proven, because other corona measures were also imposed at the same time as the curfew was instituted. The cabinet is assuming a 10 percent increase in corona infections when the curfew is abolished and the strict visiting regime (one person per day) is abandoned.
Fines still valid?According to emergency law specialist Adriaan Wierenga, the ruling means that the curfew is no longer valid immediately. ''A judge can decide that and that's what happened.'' It therefore remains to be seen what the State will do, he says. ''He can go to an emergency appeal today and contest the decision.''
However, the lifting of the curfew cannot be postponed by filing an appeal, the court said. Specialists with whom the NOS has spoken doubt whether that is correct and argue that the judge cannot make that decision.
Fines for curfew violations can now also be challenged. ''The court may agree with you and waive the fine because a good legal basis has not been used.''
Timber Groen on Twitter: "@SBergsma Grapperhaus zei dat het alternatief voor de avondklok een thuisblijfplicht zou zijn. Helemaal doorgedraaid." / Twitter
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 15:33
Timber Groen : @SBergsma Grapperhaus zei dat het alternatief voor de avondklok een thuisblijfplicht zou zijn. Helemaal doorgedraaid.
Tue Feb 16 13:59:41 +0000 2021
Itsyerboy P : @TimberGroen @SBergsma Die is ook rijp voor het gesticht.
Tue Feb 16 14:46:51 +0000 2021
Lieke V/FvD #WatNouLockdown : @TimberGroen @rechtsdoorzee @SBergsma Het is TREURIG MET ONZE LEIDERS.
Tue Feb 16 14:26:59 +0000 2021
Nikslijkt Wattis IK WIL MIJN LEVEN TERUG! : @TimberGroen @SBergsma Zei @ferdgrapperhaus, de man met morbide obesitas die zijn kwetsbare schoonmoeder omhelsde.'... https://t.co/DPkmi5oWJh
Tue Feb 16 14:18:09 +0000 2021
Vincent 🎗 : @TimberGroen @SBergsma Zo ziet blinde paniek er dus uit bij bureacraten ðŸ
Tue Feb 16 14:17:32 +0000 2021
Annelies de Zeeuw : @TimberGroen @SBergsma Nou dan is dat mogelijk de straf voor ons Nederlanders. Avondklok mag niet dus dan de thuisb'... https://t.co/itPmW2vb0c
Tue Feb 16 14:11:07 +0000 2021
Nordenslys #EalaFreaFresena : @TimberGroen @SBergsma Serieus? Zei hij dat? Ongelooflijk.
Tue Feb 16 14:09:10 +0000 2021
Hans : @TimberGroen @SBergsma Huissleutel-en ID-inleverplicht.
Tue Feb 16 14:06:54 +0000 2021
A Deep Green Freeze - WSJ
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 04:36
Gas and power prices have spiked across the central U.S. while Texas regulators ordered rolling blackouts Monday as an Arctic blast has frozen wind turbines. Herein is the paradox of the left's climate agenda: The less we use fossil fuels, the more we need them.
A mix of ice and snow swept across the country this weekend as temperatures plunged below zero in the upper Midwest and into the teens in Houston. Cold snaps happen'--the U.S. also experienced a Polar Vortex in 2019'--as do heat waves. Yet the power grid is becoming less reliable due to growing reliance on wind and solar, which can't provide power 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
While Texas is normally awash in gas and oil, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the state's wholesale power market, urged residents this weekend to conserve power to avoid power outages. Regulators rationed gas for commercial and industrial uses to ensure fuel for power plants and household heating.
Texas's energy emergency could last all week as the weather is forecast to remain frigid. ''My understanding is, the wind turbines are all frozen,'' Public Utility Commission Chairman DeAnn Walker said Friday. ''We are working already to try and ensure we have enough power but it's taken a lot of coordination.''
Blame a perfect storm of bad government policies, timing and weather. Coal and nuclear are the most reliable sources of power. But competition from heavily subsidized wind power and inexpensive natural gas, combined with stricter emissions regulation, has caused coal's share of Texas's electricity to plunge by more than half in a decade to 18%.
Wind's share has tripled to about 25% since 2010 and accounted for 42% of power last week before the freeze set in. About half of Texans rely on electric pumps for heating, which liberals want to mandate everywhere. But the pumps use a lot of power in frigid weather. So while wind turbines were freezing, demand for power was surging.
Gas-fired power plants ramped up, but the Arctic freeze increased demand for gas across the country. Producers couldn't easily increase supply since a third of rigs across the country were taken out of production during the pandemic amid lower energy demand. Some gas wells and pipelines in Texas and Oklahoma also shut down in frosty conditions.
Enormous new demand coupled with constrained supply caused natural gas spot prices to spike to nearly $600 per million British thermal units in the central U.S. from about $3 a couple weeks ago. Future wholesale power prices in Texas for early this week soared to $9,000 per megawatt hour from a seasonal average of $25.
Prices jumped in the Midwest too, though less dramatically because there are more coal and nuclear plants. Illinois and Michigan have more gas storage than Texas, which exports much of its shale gas to other states and, increasingly, around the world in liquefied form.
Europe and Asia are also importing more fossil fuels for heat and power this winter. U.S. LNG exports increased 25% year-over-year in December while prices tripled in northern Asian spot markets and doubled in Europe. Germany's public broadcasting recently reported that ''Germany's green energies strained by winter.'' The report noted that power is ''currently coming mainly from coal, and the power plants in Lausitz'' are now ''running at full capacity.''
Coal still accounts for 60% of China's energy, and imports tripled in December. China has some 250 gigawatts of coal-fired plants under development, enough to power all of Germany. Unlike Democrats in the U.S., Chinese leaders understand that fossil fuels are needed to support intermittent renewables. ''Power shortages and incredibly high spot gas prices this winter are reminding governments, businesses and consumers of the importance of coal,'' a Wood Mackenzie consultant told Reuters recently.
California progressives long ago banished coal. But a heat wave last summer strained the state's power grid as wind flagged and solar ebbed in the evenings. After imposing rolling blackouts, grid regulators resorted to importing coal power from Utah and running diesel emergency generators.
Liberals claim that prices of renewables and fossil fuels are now comparable, which may be true due to subsidies, but they are no free lunch, as this week's energy emergency shows. The Biden Administration's plan to banish fossil fuels is a greater existential threat to Americans than climate change.
TV networks going down
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 03:11
They're paying nearly 2x for content that is rapidly losing viewership. That math can't hold up for long:
You may have noticed that the glam Super Bowl matchup of Brady vs. Mahomes didn’t deliver the TV rating the NFL would have liked. The ratings were down 9 percent from last year. That may be because ratings are the average number of people watching throughout the game, and surely people switched off the 31-9 contest when it was a snoozer midway through the second half. But the NFL isn’t too concerned. Ratings for the NBA Finals were down more than 50 percent in 2020 from 2019, even with LeBron James playing; prime-time programming across all networks is down more than 18 percent from last season. And the NFL’s streaming numbers—5.7 million Americans streamed the game eight days ago—were up more than 60 percent from last year.
Why am I telling you all this? Because the NFL is close—“within a month,” one source told me at the Super Bowl—to inking new 10-year contracts with its network partners that could result in an aggregate increase of 70 to 100 percent in rights fees from the last contract.
This is the problem with smoking your own supply. Not a single mainstream source has even begun to accept that it is their convergence that is costing the sports leagues their audiences. The Super Bowl ratings weren't down because it was a bad game; in fact, it was a very intriguing game with an all-time matchup of great quarterbacks. The ratings were down because so many NFL fans aren't watching pro football anymore.
And next year, the ratings will be even worse. Which is all to the good.
Labels: media, SJW, sports
Dr. Fauci Awarded $1 Million For 'Defending Science' and 'Speaking Truth to Power' '' OutKick
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 02:59
As they say, work hard and you may win an award.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top celebrity disease official, was just awarded a $1 million prize called the Dan David Prize. Fauci won this award '-- one no one ever heard of but is now deemed prestigious '-- for not only ''defending science'' but also for ''speaking truth to power.''
Wow, what a guy.
''Fauci is the consummate model of leadership and impact in public health,'' the awards committee said while giving Fauci $1 million. Well, there you have it, you too can be a Dan David winner if you master, to use Fauci's word, guesstimating.
''As the COVID-19 pandemic unraveled, Fauci leveraged his considerable communication skills to address people gripped by fear and anxiety and worked relentlessly to inform individuals in the United States and elsewhere about the public health measures essential for containing the pandemic's spread,'' the committee goes on. ''In addition, he has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power in a highly charged political environment.''
Tom Brady's fifth Super Bowl MVP doesn't seem as important now, does it?
''The award sets aside 10% of the prize money for academic scholarships in each winner's field,'' NPR reports. ''Fauci gets to determine the nature of the scholarships.'' It's unclear how many times Fauci gets to change his mind before the decision is final. Here's to hoping it's at least a few.
It's sure nice to see such deserving people win awards for their tremendous achievements. Gov. Andrew Cuomo won an Emmy for lying about the elderly dying in nursing homes, Black Lives Matter earned a Nobel Prize nomination for burning American buildings, and now Fauci won the David Danny (whatever its name is) award for defending science.
Nevertheless, congrats on the award, Dr. Fauci, enjoy the money.
Anthony Fauci
Written by Bobby Burack Bobby Burack covers any news story that deserves attention but focuses on media. His interests include reading Stephen King novels, avoiding traffic on the road, and pretending to solve true-crime mysteries. He still believes Cersei should've won and encourages everyone to always question the news.
More From: Politics
A Trip into FreeBSD
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 20:04
I normally deal with Linux machines. Linux is what I know and it's what I'vebeen using since I was in college. A friend of mine has been coaxing me intotrying out FreeBSD, and I decided to try it out andsee what it's like. Here's some details about my experience and what I'velearned.
HardwareI've tried out FreeBSD on the following hardware:
qemu/KVM on amd64Raspberry Pi 4 (4 GB)Raspberry Pi 3B (1 GB)I've had the most luck with the Raspberry Pi 3 though. The KVM machine wouldhang infinitely after the install process waiting for the mail service to do aDNS probe of its own hostname (I do not host automagic FQDNS for my vms). I'mpretty sure I was doing something wrong there but I wasn't able to figure outwhat I needed to do in order to disable the DNS probe blocking startup.
If you know what we were doing wrong here, please feel free to contact us with the thing we messedup.
After waiting for about 5 minutes I gave up and decided to try out the RaspberryPi 4. The Raspberry Pi 4 is the most powerful arm board I own. It has 4 GB ofram and a quad core processor that is way more than sufficient for my needs. Iwas hoping to use FreeBSD on that machine so I could benefit from the hardwarethe most. Following the instructions on the wikipage, I downloaded the 12.2 RPIimage and flashed it to an SD card using Etcher. I put the SD card in, turnedthe raspi on and then waited for it to show up on the network.
Except it never showed up on the network. I ran scans with nmap (specificallywith the command sudo nmap -sS -p 22 and the IP address nevershowed up. I also didn't see any new MAC addresses on the network, so that leadme to believe that the pi was failing to boot. I downloaded an image for 13-BETAand followed thisguidethat claims to make it work on the pi 4, but I got the same issue. The RaspberryPi 4 unfortunately has a micro-HDMI port on it, so I was unable to attach it tomy monitor to see any error messages. After trying for a while to see if I couldset up a serial port to get the serial log messages (spoiler: I couldn't), I dugup my Pi 3 and stuck the same SD card into it, hooked it up to my monitor,attached a spare keyboard to it and booted into FreeBSD first try.
Using FreeBSDFreeBSD is a very down to earth operating system. It also has ahandbook that legitimatelyincludes all of the information you need to get up and running. Following thehandbook, I set a new password, installed the pkg tool, set upfish and then also installed the Go compiler toolchainfor the hell of it.
pkg is a very minimal looking package manager. It doesn't have very manyfrills and it is integrated into the system pretty darn well. It looks like itprefers putting everything into /usr/local, including init scripts and otherconfiguration files.
This interestingly lets you separate out the concerns of the base system fromindividual machine-local configuration. I am not sure if this also works withfiles like /etc/resolv.conf or other system configuration files, but it doesreally give /usr/local a reason to exist beyond being a legacy location foryolo-installed software that may or may not be able to be upgraded separately.
Custom ServicesSpeaking of services, I wanted to see how hard it would be to get a customservice running on a FreeBSD box. At the minimum I would need the following:
The binary built for freebsd/aarch64 and installed to /usr/local/binA user account for that serviceAn init script for that serviceTo enable the init script in /etc/rc.confI decided to do this with a service I made years ago calledwhatsmyip.
Building a BinaryBuilding the service is easy, I just go into the directory and run go build.Then I get a binary. Running it in another tmux tab, we can see it in action:
$ curl http://[::1]:9090::1I can also run the curl command from my macbook:
$ curl http://pai:9090100.72.190.5Cool, I've got a working service! Let's install it to /usr/local/bin:
$ doas cp ./whatismyip /usr/local/binMara
Wait, doas? What is doas? It looks like it's doing something close to whatsudo does.
doas is a program that does most of thesame things that sudo does, but it's a much smaller codebase. I decided to tryout doas for this install for no other reason than I thought it would be a coolthing to learn. It's actually pretty simple, and I'm going to look at using itelsewhere (with an alias for sudo -> doas).
Service UserThe handbook says that we use theaddusercommand to add users to the system. So, let's run adduser to create awhatsmyip user:
# adduserUsername: whatsmyipFull name: github.com/Xe/whatsmyipUid (Leave empty for default): 666Login group [whatsmyip]:Login group is whatsmyip. Invite whatsmyip into other groups? []:Login class [default]:Shell (sh csh tcsh bash rbash git-shell fish nologin) [sh]: shHome directory [/home/whatsmyip]: /var/db/whatsmyipHome directory permissions (Leave empty for default):Use password-based authentication? [yes]: noLock out the account after creation? [no]: yesUsername   : whatsmyipPassword   : <disabled>Full Name  : github.com/Xe/whatsmyipUid        : 666Class      :Groups     : whatsmyipHome       : /var/db/whatsmyipHome Mode  :Shell      : /bin/shLocked     : yesOK? (yes/no): yesadduser: INFO: Successfully added (whatsmyip) to the user database.adduser: INFO: Account (whatsmyip) is locked.Add another user? (yes/no): noGoodbye!It's a bit weird that there's not a flow for creating a "system user" thatautomatically sets the flags that I expect from Linux system administration, butI was able to specify the values manually without too much effort.
Something interesting is that when I set the user account to nologin Iactually was unable to log in as the user. Usually in Linux you can hack aroundthis with su flags but FreeBSD doesn't have this escape hatch. Neat.
Init ScriptNow that I had the service account set up, I need to write an init service thatwill start this program on boot. Following other parts of the handbook I wasable to get a base script that looks like this:
#!/bin/sh## PROVIDE: whatsmyip# REQUIRE: DAEMON# KEYWORD: shutdown. /etc/rc.subrname=whatsmyiprcvar=whatsmyip_enablecommand="/usr/sbin/daemon"command_args="-S -u whatsmyip -r -f -p /var/run/whatsmyip.pid /usr/local/bin/whatsmyip"load_rc_config $name## DO NOT CHANGE THESE DEFAULT VALUES HERE# SET THEM IN THE /etc/rc.conf FILE#whatsmyip_enable=${whatsmyip_enable-"NO"}pidfile=${whatsmyip_pidfile-"/var/run/whatsmyip.pid"}run_rc_command "$1"Now I can copy this file to /usr/local/etc/rc.d/whatsmyip and then make sureit's set to the permissions 0555 with something like:
$ chmod 0555 ./whatsmyip.rc$ doas cp ./whatsmyip.rc /usr/local/etc/rc.d/whatsmyipEnabling The ServiceOnce I had the file in the right place, I enabled the service in /etc/rc.conflike this:
# whatsmyipwhatsmyip_enable="YES"Then I started the service with service whatsmyip start, and I was unable tostart the service. I got this error:
Feb 13 20:40:00 pai freebsd[1519]: /usr/local/etc/rc.d/whatsmyip: WARNING: failed to start whatsmyipAnd no other useful information to help me actually fix the problem. I assumethere's some weirdness going on with permissions, so let's sidestep the useraccount for now and just run the service as root directly by changing thecommand_args in /usr/local/etc/rc.d/whatsmyip:
command_args="-S -r -p /var/run/whatsmyip.pid /usr/local/bin/whatsmyip"Restarting the service, everything works! I can hit that service all I want andI get back the IP address that I used to hit that service.
What I LearnedFreeBSD has excellent documentation. The people on the documentation teamreally care about making the handbook useful. I wish it went into more detailabout best practices for making your own services (I had to crib from some otherservice files as well as googling for a minimal template), but overall it givesyou enough information to get off the ground.
FreeBSD is also fairly weird. It's familiar-ish, but it's a very differentexperience. It's also super-minimal. Looking at the output of ps x, there'sonly 45 processes running on the system, including kernel threads.
[email protected] ~# ps x | wc -l      45The only processes are init, dhclient, a device manager, syslog,tailscaled, sshd, cron, whatsmyip, fish and a few instances of gettyto allow me to log in with an HDMI monitor and keyboard should I need to. That'sit. That's all that's running. It's only using 96 MB of ram and most of themachine's power is left over to me.
It's just a shame that FreeBSD support for programming languages is so poor ingeneral. Go works fine on it, but Rust doesn't have any pre-built binaries forthe compiled (and using ports/pkg isn't an option because aarch64 is a tier-2architecture in FreeBSD land which means that it's not guaranteed to haveprebuilt binaries for everything). Compiling Rust from source also really isn'tan option because I don't have enough ram on my raspi to do that. Go worksthough.
I really wonder how this kind of network effect will boil down with more andmore security libraries likepyca integrating Rust deeperinto core security components. It probably means that people are going to haveto step up and actually do the legwork required to get Rust working on moreplatforms, however it definitely is going to leave some older hardware or lesscommonly used configurations (like aarch64 FreeBSD) in the dust if we aren'tcareful. Maybe this isn't a technical problem, but it is definitely somethinginteresting to think about.
Overall, FreeBSD is an interesting tool and if I ever have a good use for it inmy server infrastructure I will definitely give it a solid look. I just wish itwas as easy to manage a FreeBSD system as it is to manage a NixOS system. A lotof my faffing about with rc.conf and rc scripts wouldn't have needed tohappen if that was the case.
This article was posted on M02 13 2021. Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.
Tags: freebsd
This post was WebMentioned at the following URLs:
A Trip into FreeBSD | Lobstersleo homestuckMoellusMartijn 🐖A Trip into FreeBSDby @theprincessxenalobste.rs/s/x0jtjw #freebsdchristine.website/blog/a-trip-in'...I've always been a bit mixed on /usr/sbin/daemon for non-forking processes. On the one hand it's a neat solution, but it also feels a bit meh, and like you saw it can be fiddly to get rightAshIn case you didn't see if, you can also use `sysrc` to manage rc.conf, although rc.conf is nice as it's just a text file that's easily managed. I agree the rc scripts can be a faff, but it's cleaner than sysv scripts always used to bethe computer userI guess also relevant to you, I opened this bug for the tailscale port today :-) bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_'...<p><span class="h-card"><a href="https://mst3k.interlinked.me/@cadey" class="u-url mention" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">@<span>cadey</span></a></span> great post! The last paragraph is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. I don't agree with decisions to use Rust in things like pyca until there is better support on non tier 1 targets.</p><p><span class="h-card"><a href="https://social.basementcomputer.site/@adam" class="u-url mention" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">@<span>adam</span></a></span> I'm really split on it because on one hand it's weird legacy stuff holding us back from making it easier to secure things and on the other hand rust doesn't have enough target support to really be useful across all those platforms</p>æ¯--é'班Adam SimpsonBridgy Response<p><span class="h-card"><a href="https://mst3k.interlinked.me/@cadey" class="u-url mention" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">@<span>cadey</span></a></span> ðŸ'¯ It's not an easy problem at all and I'm glad I don't have to make these decisions ðŸ¬ðŸ…</p><p>If I did have to make this decision right now I'd probably lean towards doing nothing and waiting 🤞</p>Bridgy ResponseRichard BibeaultMauro UsugaðŸ...ŠMaddieðŸ...ŠBridgy ResponseYou've probably already heard this, but aarch64 is moving to tier1, hopefully sooner rather than later.So you may wanna revisit this down the road?<p><span class="h-card"><a href="https://mst3k.interlinked.me/@cadey" class="u-url mention" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">@<span>cadey</span></a></span> w.r.t. sendmail stalling the startup, you can add a hosts(5) entry for your $(hostname) pointing to ``, or `::1`, that way it'll be always resolved.</p>[email protected] James Cash🐰A Trip into FreeBSD christine.website/blog/a-trip-in'...Sparkwood and 21 Bridgy Response[email protected] The art for Mara was drawn by Selicre.
The worst of the two worlds: Excel meets Outlook
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 20:04
Dear Fellowlship, today's homily is the last chapter of our trilogy about our epistolary-daemonic relationship with VBA. This time we are going to talk about how to interact with Outlook from Excel using macros, and also we are going to release a PoC where we turn Outlook into a keylogger. Please, take a seat and listen to the story.
We promise this is the last time @TheXC3LL will publish about VBA. We have scheduled an exorcism this weekend to release his daemons, so he can write again about vulnerabilities and other stuff different to VBA.
In our first chapter we talked about the concept of ''Hacking in a epistolary way'', where we started to implement attacks and TTPs directly in VBA macros avoiding process injections, dropping binaries or calling external programs that are flagged (like Powershell). This time we are going to shift our focus to Outlook.
First of all we have to say that you can interact with Outlook directly from other Microsoft Office apps via VBA using the object Outlook.Application. This means that we can abuse Outlook functionalities from within Excel, so we can look for confidential information inside the inbox or we can exfiltrate data via mails. To send a mail only a few lines are needed:
Conservatives are insane
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 20:03
If, as we are told, doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results is a reasonable definition of insanity, then conservatives are most definitely insane, judging by their absolute refusal to abandon SJW social media.
Facebook has deleted the official account of actor Kevin Sorbo, marking the latest Big Tech takedown of a conservative. Sorbo, an avowed Donald Trump supporter, has been openly critical of Covid-19 restrictions.
Sorbo, who starred in 1990s television series 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys', said on Twitter Friday that Facebook shut down his account, which had more than 500,000 followers. It was not immediately clear why the tech giant took such drastic action against Sorbo, who has courted controversy for doubting the effectiveness of masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as for his unwavering support of ex-president Donald Trump after the Capitol riot.
Sorbo himself gave no explanation for the shutdown and provided a link to a new Facebook page.
The official conservative social media strategy:
Get deplatformed.Cry about deplatforming.Create a new account on the same platform that just deplatformed them.Profit? 
Labels: corpocracy, cuckservative, SJW
Nord Stream 2: Is Russia's 'Bad Deal For Europe' Also A Done Deal?
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 19:59
On February 7, the consortium overseeing the construction of a 1,200-kilometer pipeline to supply Russian natural gas to Europe announced it had resumed laying pipes in the final unfinished stretch in Danish waters.
Washington has long opposed the Nord Stream 2 project, arguing it would only make Europe more dependent on Russian energy -- a stance backed by much of Eastern Europe and in particular by Ukraine, a key energy-transit country that would lose out on billions of dollars in transit fees if the Baltic Sea conduit from Russia to Germany were to go into operation.
Given its economic and strategic importance, Nord Stream 2 has been in the spotlight following the jailing of Navalny, the detention of thousands of people who protested his arrest and prison sentence, and the expulsion of three European diplomats whom Russia accused of participating in the protests.With calls growing louder to pull the plug on the project, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on February 5 -- after the expulsions of the diplomats, who Germany, Sweden, and Poland said were merely observing the protests -- that "for the time being" her stance in support of Nord Stream 2 remained unchanged.
"In connection with the events in Russia, we have already said that we reserve the right to continue sanctions, especially against individuals," Merkel told reporters after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron. "The [German government's] position on Nord Stream 2 is not affected by this for the time being."
In late December 2020, a vessel called the Fortuna put a 2.6-kilometer section of the pipeline in place in German waters.
And on February 6, the consortium overseeing construction of the pipeline announced that the Fortuna had resumed laying pipes in Danish waters not far from the terminus on Germany's Baltic coast.
Despite the fact that the Russian-based company that owns the Fortuna is under U.S. sanctions, the consortium told Reuters, "All works are [being] performed in line with the relevant permits."
France has called on Germany to rethink the project in the wake of the Navalny jailing. "We have always said we have the greatest doubts on this project in this context," European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune told France Inter radio on February 1.
Asked specifically if France wanted Berlin to drop the project, Beaune said, "Indeed, we have already said this."
"Sanctions have already been imposed, we could [add more sanctions] but we have to be clear, they will not be enough," Beaune said, although he acknowledged any final decision would rest with Germany.
New U.S. President Joe Biden has called Nord Stream 2 a "bad deal" for Europe, and White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on January 26 that he continued to see it that way. But with just that 120-kilometer link in Danish waters, plus a small section near German shores, is there any stopping the project now?
Nord Stream 2 is a joint initiative between Russia's state-owned Gazprom and Germany's Uniper and the Wintershall Dea unit of BASF, Anglo-Dutch Shell, Austria's OMV, and French-based Engie.
Energy And Influence
As the name suggests, there is a Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Nord Stream 2 would double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to a total for both of 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
For the government of Russia, which is currently the world's biggest energy exporter and relies on oil and gas sales both to fill state coffers and build geopolitical clout, the project is an important one.
In late December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped the new U.S. administration would not impede the completion of the pipeline. He suggested it would mark a return to what he called "fair competition in international markets" -- apparently a reference to sanctions imposed upon it, which Moscow claims are merely meant to muscle Russia out of the market for U.S. gain.
The United States denies that, and a core U.S. concern about the project is that it could increase Europe's reliance on Russian gas, compromising its energy independence and potentially boosting Moscow's political clout in the region.
In the last decade, Gazprom has boasted of increasing its exports to Europe, grabbing a larger share of the gas market across the continent. It now holds the largest single chunk of imported gas in the market, at 37 percent in 2018, compared with 27 percent in 2011. Norway is second with 27 percent.
The fate of the pipeline will depend largely on the United States and Germany and on whether their positions change in the coming weeks or months.
"The fate of Nord Stream 2 is not clear yet, as it will depend on the results of...U.S.-German negotiations," said Maria Shagina, a research fellow at the University of Zurich
Biden, who was inaugurated on January 20, spoke with Merkel on January 25 and with Putin one day later. But White House readouts of the conversations made no mention of Nord Stream 2.
"We continue to believe, the president continues to believe, that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe," Psaki said on January 26. She also said the administration would review certain sanctions measures imposed under Trump.
"We're aware that the previous administration imposed new restrictions on activities related to the pipeline under the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA], and we will be reviewing those measures," Psaki said..
On January 1 in a rare New Year's Day vote, the U.S. Senate voted to override then-President Donald Trump's veto of the NDAA, which included new provisions aimed to counter Nord Stream 2 under the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Clarification Act (PEESCA).
These expand the threat of U.S. sanctions against companies that provide services to ships laying pipes for the project, as well as those that carry out pipeline testing, inspection, or certification activities.
On Trump's last full day in office, January 19, his administration also imposed sanctions on Russia-based KVT-RUS, owner of the pipe-laying ship Fortuna, under the separate Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
With questions still swirling as the construction finish line approaches, a February 9 report from a German NGO added to the intrigue by suggesting that while Trump was still in office, Berlin had been ready to do a backdoor deal to avoid any imposition of U.S. sanctions against the project.
The NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) said it had a copy of letter in which German Finance Minister Olaf Sholz, addressing then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, offered up to 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) for the import of U.S. liquefied natural gas.
The German Finance Ministry did not immediately comment on the report.
In e-mailed comments to RFE/RL, research fellow Shagina said the United States might be prepared to drop the PEESCA sanctions "if Germany tables a 'grand bargain' deal that would reduce Europe's energy dependence on Russian gas" and ensure Ukraine a continued role in providing gas to Europe.
However, she added, "It is unclear what sort of a 'grand bargain' is acceptable for the U.S. to alleviate its concerns about Nord Stream 2."
In addition to concerns about European reliance on Russia for energy supplies, another worry for the United States is that Ukraine could lose crucial gas-transit revenues -- a further blow to a country that has been under immense pressure from Moscow for years.
Ukraine, which lies between Russia and the EU, was one of Russia's largest consumers of natural gas until relations between the two ex-Soviet republics soured badly in 2014, when Moscow seized control of the Crimean Peninsula and began backing separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 13,200 people.
Kyiv stopped buying Russian gas in November 2015, increasing purchases from Europe instead. Gazprom, meanwhile, has shipped less gas through Ukraine. Shagina said estimates indicate that Ukraine could lose up to $3 billion in gas-transit fees annually as a result of Nord Stream 2.
Whatever the positions of the United States and Germany's EU partners, Berlin's ultimate decision may rest on domestic politics. General elections are slated for September, when Merkel is expected to step down after 15 years at the helm.
The man in pole position to succeed Merkel after the vote, new Christian Democrat leader Armin Laschet, firmly supports Nord Stream 2. But his potential governing partner, the ecologist Greens, are stiffening their opposition to it.
The Navalny case has galvanized the Greens into ramping up their demand that the pipeline be stopped, and it could hamstring the next chancellor, experts say.
Greens leader Annalena Baerbock recently made it clear she would press the government to renounce the politically charged pipeline project. "We'll push hard for that now and in the future," Baerbock told broadcaster ZDF last week when asked if the project could not go ahead with her party in the German government.
Amid the heated-up politics over Nord Stream 2, Arild Moe, an energy researcher at Norway's Fridtjof Nansen Institute, said that there was no need for it at this point, given that EU gas demand is rising slower than had been projected.
"The interest in Nord Stream 2 in Europe was not only caused by transit concerns, but also out of anticipation of growing gas demand," Moe told RFE/RL in e-mailed comments.
"Today it looks like demand will not grow that fast -- which means there is no imminent need for Nord Stream 2," he wrote. "It can remain unfinished for several years without creating much problems for importers."
Tony Wesolowsky is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL in Prague, covering Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and Central Europe, as well as energy issues. His work has also appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists.
Originally publishes by RFE/RL.
The statements, opinions and data contained in the content published in Global Gas Perspectives are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publisher and the editor(s) of Natural Gas World.
Why Comparing Bitcoin to Visa Doesn't Make Any Sense
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 19:57
PodcastsCoinDesk Podcast NetworkWhy Comparing Bitcoin to Visa Doesn't Make Any SenseListen onIcons/Big/Google-Podcasts Apple Podcasts Icons/Big/Spotify Spotify Icons/Big/Pocketcasts Pocket Casts Icons/Big/Apple-Podcasts Google Podcasts Icons/Big/Castbox Castbox Icons/Big/Stitcher Stitcher Icons/Big/RadioPublic RadioPublic Icons/Big/IHeart iHeart Radio Icons/Big/Rss RSS Feed Feb 14, 2021
Nathaniel Whittemore
A reading of Nic Carter's latest essay for CoinDesk on the inappropriateness of comparing the energy consumption of bitcoin and Visa transactions.
This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.
Download this episode
This week's ''Long Reads Sunday'' is a reading of Nic Carter's latest essay for CoinDesk ''What Bloomberg Gets Wrong About Bitcoin's Climate Footprint.''
Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Will Apple Be the Next Fortune 500 to Buy Bitcoin? Feb 9, 2021
Opening The CIA's Can Of Worms | ZeroHedge
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 16:11
Authored by Edward Curtin via Off-Guardian.org,
''The CIA and the media are part of the same criminal conspiracy,'' wrote Douglas Valentine in his important book, The CIA As Organized Crime.
This is true. The corporate mainstream media are stenographers for the national security state's ongoing psychological operations aimed at the American people, just as they have done the same for an international audience.
We have long been subjected to this ''information warfare,'' whose purpose is to win the hearts and minds of the American people and pacify them into victims of their own complicity, just as it was practiced long ago by the CIA in Vietnam and by The New York Times, CBS, etc. on the American people then and over the years as the American warfare state waged endless wars, coups, false flag operations, and assassinations at home and abroad.
Another way of putting this is to say for all practical purposes when it comes to matters that bear on important foreign and domestic matters, the CIA and the corporate mainstream media cannot be distinguished.
For those who read and study history, it has long been known that the CIA has placed their operatives throughout every agency of the U.S. government, as explained by Fletcher Prouty in The Secret Team; that CIA officers Cord Myer and Frank Wisner operated secret programs to get some of the most vocal exponents of intellectual freedom among intellectuals, journalists, and writers to be their voices for unfreedom and censorship, as explained by Frances Stonor Saunders in The Cultural Cold War and Joel Whitney in Finks, among others; that Cord Myer was especially focused on and successful in ''courting the Compatible Left'' since right wingers were already in the Agency's pocket.
All this is documented and not disputed. It is shocking only to those who don't do their homework and see what is happening today outside a broad historical context.
With the rise of alternate media and a wide array of dissenting voices on the internet, the establishment felt threatened and went on the defensive. It, therefore, should come as no surprise that those same elite corporate media are now leading the charge for increased censorship and the denial of free speech to those they deem dangerous, whether that involves wars, rigged elections, foreign coups, COVID-19, vaccinations, or the lies of the corporate media themselves.
Having already banned critics from writing in their pages and or talking on their screens, these media giants want to make the quieting of dissenting voices complete.
Just the other day The New York Times had this headline:
"Robert Kennedy Jr. Barred From Instagram Over False Virus Claims."
Notice the lack of the word alleged before ''false virus claims.'' This is guilt by headline. It is a perfect piece of propaganda posing as reporting, since it accuses Kennedy, a brilliant and honorable man, of falsity and stupidity, thus justifying Instagram's ban, and it is an inducement to further censorship of Mr. Kennedy by Facebook, Instagram's parent company.
That ban should follow soon, as the Times' reporter Jennifer Jett hopes, since she accusingly writes that RFK, Jr. ''makes many of the same baseless claims to more than 300,000 followers'' at Facebook. Jett made sure her report also went to msn.com and The Boston Globe.
This is one example of the censorship underway with much, much more to follow. What was once done under the cover of omission is now done openly and brazenly, cheered on by those who, in an act of bad faith, claim to be upholders of the First Amendment and the importance of free debate in a democracy. We are quickly slipping into an unreal totalitarian social order.
Which brings me to the recent work of Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi, both of whom have strongly and rightly decried this censorship. As I understand their arguments, they go like this.
First, the corporate media have today divided up the territory and speak only to their own audiences in echo chambers: liberal to liberals (read: the ''allegedly'' liberal Democratic Party), such as The New York Times, NBC, etc., and conservative to conservatives (read'' the ''allegedly'' conservative Donald Trump), such as Fox News, Breitbart, etc.
They have abandoned old school journalism that, despite its shortcomings, involved objectivity and the reporting of disparate facts and perspectives, but within limits. Since the digitization of news, their new business models are geared to these separate audiences since they are highly lucrative choices. It's business-driven since electronic media have replaced paper as advertising revenues have shifted and people's ability to focus on complicated issues has diminished drastically.
Old school journalism is suffering as a result and thus writers such as Greenwald and Taibbi and Chris Hedges (who interviewed Taibbi and concurs: part one here) have taken their work to the internet to escape such restrictive categories and the accompanying censorship.
Secondly, the great call for censorship is not something the Silicon Valley companies want because they want more people using their media since it means more money for them, but they are being pressured to do it by the traditional old school media, such as The New York Times, who now employ ''tattletales and censors,'' people who are power-hungry jerks, to sniff out dissenting voices that they can recommend should be banned.
Greenwald says,
They do it in part for power: to ensure nobody but they can control the flow of information. They do it partly for ideology and out of hubris: the belief that their worldview is so indisputably right that all dissent is inherently dangerous 'disinformation.'''
Thus, the old school print and television media are not on the same page as Facebook, Twitter, etc. but have opposing agendas.
In short, these shifts and the censorship are about money and power within the media world as the business has been transformed by the digital revolution.
I think this is a half-truth that conceals a larger issue. The censorship is not being driven by power-hungry reporters at the Times or CNN or any media outlet. All these media and their employees are but the outer layer of the onion, the means by which messages are sent and people controlled.
These companies and their employees do what they are told, whether explicitly or implicitly, for they know it is in their financial interest to do so. If they do not play their part in this twisted and intricate propaganda game, they will suffer. They will be eliminated, as are pesky individuals who dare peel the onion to its core.
For each media company is one part of a large interconnected intelligence apparatus '' a system, a complex '' whose purpose is power, wealth, and domination for the very few at the expense of the many. The CIA and media as parts of the same criminal conspiracy.
To argue that the Silicon valley companies do not want to censor but are being pressured by the legacy corporate media does not make sense. These companies are deeply connected to U.S. intelligence agencies, as are the NY Times, CNN, NBC, etc. They too are part of what was once called Operation Mockingbird, the CIA's program to control, use, and infiltrate the media. Only the most na¯ve would think that such a program does not exist today.
In Surveillance Valley, investigative reporter Yasha Levine documents how Silicon Valley tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google are tied to the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex in surveillance and censorship; how the Internet was created by the Pentagon; and even how these shadowy players are deeply involved in the so-called privacy movement that developed after Edward Snowden's revelations.
Like Valentine, and in very detailed ways, Levine shows how the military-industrial-intelligence-digital-media complex is part of the same criminal conspiracy as is the traditional media with their CIA overlords. It is one club.
Many people, however, might find this hard to believe because it bursts so many bubbles, including the one that claims that these tech companies are pressured into censorship by the likes of The New York Times, etc. The truth is the Internet was a military and intelligence tool from the very beginning and it is not the traditional corporate media that gives it its marching orders.
That being so, it is not the owners of the corporate media or their employees who are the ultimate controllers behind the current vast crackdown on dissent, but the intelligence agencies who control the mainstream media and the Silicon Valley monopolies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. All these media companies are but the outer layer of the onion, the means by which messages are sent and people controlled.
But for whom do these intelligence agencies work?
Not for themselves.
They work for their overlords, the super wealthy people, the banks, financial institutions, and corporations that own the United States and always have. In a simple twist of fate, such super wealthy naturally own the media corporations that are essential to their control of the majority of the world's wealth through the stories they tell.
It is a symbiotic relationship.
As FDR put it bluntly in 1933, this coterie of wealthy forces is the ''financial element in the larger centers [that] has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.'' Their wealth and power has increased exponentially since then, and their connected tentacles have further spread to create what is an international deep state that involves such entities as the IMF, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, those who meet yearly at Davos, etc.
They are the international overlords who are pushing hard to move the world toward a global dictatorship.
As is well known, or should be, the CIA was the creation of Wall St. and serves the interests of the wealthy owners. Peter Dale Scott, in ''The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld,'' says of Allen Dulles, the nefarious longest-running Director of the CIA and Wall St. lawyer for Sullivan and Cromwell:
There seems to be little difference in Allen Dulles's influence whether he was a Wall Street lawyer or a CIA director.''
It was Dulles, long connected to Rockefeller's Standard Oil, international corporations, and a friend of Nazi agents and scientists, who was tasked with drawing up proposals for the CIA. He was ably assisted by five Wall St. bankers or investors, including the aforementioned Frank Wisner who later, as a CIA officer, said his ''Mighty Wurlitzer'' was ''capable of playing any propaganda tune he desired.''
This he did by recruiting intellectuals, writers, reporters, labor organizations, and the mainstream corporate media, etc. to propagate the CIA's messages.
Greenwald, Taibbi, and Hedges are correct up to a point, but they stop short. Their critique of old school journalism la Edward Herman's and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing of Consent model, while true as far as it goes, fails to pin the tail on the real donkey. Like old school journalists who knew implicitly how far they could go, these guys know it too, as if there is an invisible electronic gate that keeps them from wandering into dangerous territory.
The censorship of Robert Kennedy, Jr. is an exemplary case. His banishment from Instagram and the ridicule the mainstream media have heaped upon him for years is not simply because he raises deeply informed questions about vaccines, Bill Gates, the pharmaceutical companies, etc. His critiques suggest something far more dangerous is afoot: the demise of democracy and the rise of a totalitarian order that involves total surveillance, control, eugenics, etc. by the wealthy led by their intelligence propagandists.
To call him a super spreader of hoaxes and a conspiracy theorist is aimed at not only silencing him on specific medical issues, but to silence his powerful and articulate voice on all issues. To give thoughtful consideration to his deeply informed scientific thinking concerning vaccines, the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, etc., is to open a can of worms that the powerful want shut tight.
This is because RFK, Jr. is also a severe critic of the enormous power of the CIA and its propaganda that goes back so many decades and was used to cover up the national security state's assassination of both his father and his uncle.
It is why his wonderful recent book, American Values: Lessons I Learned from My Family, that contains not one word about vaccines, was shunned by mainstream book reviewers; for the picture he paints fiercely indicts the CIA in multiple ways while also indicting the mass media that have been its mouthpieces.
These worms must be kept in the can, just as the power of the international overlords represented by the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum with its Great Reset must be. They must be dismissed as crackpot conspiracy theories not worthy of debate or exposure.
Robert Kennedy, Jr., by name and dedication to truth seeking, conjures up his father's ghost, the last politician who, because of his vast support across racial and class divides, could have united the country and tamed the power of the CIA to control the narrative that has allowed for the plundering of the world and the country for the wealthy overlords.
So they killed him.
There is a reason Noam Chomsky is an exemplar for Hedges, Greenwald, and Taibbi. He controls the can opener for so many. He has set the parameters for what is considered acceptable to be considered a serious journalist or intellectual. The assassinations of the Kennedys, 9/11, or a questioning of the official Covid-19 story are not among them, and so they are eschewed.
To denounce censorship, as they have done, is admirable. But now Greenwald, Taibbi, and Hedges need go up to the forbidden gate with the sign that says '' ''This far and no further'' '' and jump over it. That's where the true stories lie. That's when they'll see the worms squirm.
PayPal Is Planning to Offer a Super App with Fintech Services like Crypto, Payments, Investing, Rewards Accessible via Common Interface
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 14:18
Last year was a very transformative year for many Fintechs including PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL). There was a dramatic surge in digital commerce activity and a record number of new users began using PayPal's online services (over 72 million). There was also a considerable increase in total payment volume during 2020.
PayPal, which is planning to double its user base, had also launched several new products such as cryptocurrency investing, QR codes, and the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options.
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman confirmed that the Fintech firm has ''released more products and services in 2020 than in any previous year, and [they] will step up that pace in 2021.'' Schulman's comments came during PayPal's 4th earnings call. Notably, there are five main products the Fintech company has planned for this year.
In October 2020, PayPal introduced its cryptocurrency investing service. The firm's management stated that it has seen excellent traction so far and that this year, PayPal will be expanding the options to purchase, sell, and hold digital currency to new global markets while offering more investment options. Schulman has confirmed that PayPal's investing products won't be limited to just cryptocurrency, which leaves the options open for the Fintech to offer stock trading in 2021.
PayPal competitors like Square are already ahead when it comes to making investing simpler for their customers. Square has reported steady adoption and usage of its Cash App when it launched Bitcoin investing back in 2017. Square also expanded to stocks during 2020. The firm's management claims that customers who invest via Cash App generate a lot more in gross profit for Square than those who only use the platform for peer-to-peer payments.
When PayPal began allowing users to purchase cryptocurrency via its app, the company had said it would also allow (later on) customers to use digital currencies as a funding source for payments. Schulman has revealed that this option will be supported later this quarter.
The option to spend virtual currency via PayPal might potentially lead to greater adoption of the platform as a digital wallet to store and manage funds. The number of merchants taking direct payment in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies is quite limited (when compared to fiat currencies). The process of converting cryptocurrency for an exact amount of fiat money may be a bit cumbersome at the moment, and fees on microtransactions make it impractical for now. PayPal might be working on making spending digital currency simple.
PayPal has also been working on getting easy bill payments off the ground since it teamed up with Paymentus in 2019. The company reports growing engagement in bill pay transfers during the past year, and investors may expect bill pay to be offered via the consumer PayPal app this year.
Bill pay should give PayPal access to payments it previously has not been able to capture. Although the take rate for billers is generally lower than its standard take rate for retail merchants, the cost is also considerably lower as well. Bill payments are typically handled with ACH or via a debit card instead of using a credit card. Company CFO John Rainey has said that the Fintech firm will focus on transaction margin instead of take rate.
PayPal may also offer budget and savings tools via its digital wallet this year. It's quite likely the company may provide these at no extra cost to customers. They may include certain features that could encourage customers to keep more funds in their PayPal wallets and then use them for carrying out transfers instead of more costly (via PayPal) card-based transactions.
Adding more services and features that users cannot get at traditional banks could make it more likely that consumers switch from a regular banking services provider to PayPal Cash Plus account. The company could also generate more revenue from those accounts with its linked debit card and various other services.
It's worth noting that PayPal had acquired Honey in 2019, and Schulman had a plan for how Honey's shopping tools would fit into what PayPal offers. This year, we should see some integrations of Honey with PayPal, such as wish lists, price monitoring, deals, coupons, and rewards.
Schulman believes there are way too many financial services apps. So he plans to develop a ''super app'' to take care of payments, shopping, savings, investing, budgeting, crypto and identity '-- all from one convenient location.
It's quite a challenging project and it could take several years until all these services are offered via a single app. These plans also point out that there's a sort of multi-dimensional battle or competition going on between banks, Fintechs such as Affirm, PayPal, Square and Stripe, and Big techs such as Apple and Google.
Schulman thinks that clients really only want to use around 10 apps, and that the rest will probably be replaced by these so-called ''super apps.'' For instance, in China, Alipay has become well-known for its comprehensive range of services.
Schulman remarked:
''What a super app wants to do is turn all of those separate apps into a connected ecosystem where you can streamline and control data and information between those apps, between the act of shopping, the act of paying for that. And then you have this common platform and common data that allows machine learning and artificial intelligence to kick in and give personalized recommendations to those consumers.''
New York Times quietly updates report on fire extinguisher striking Capitol Police officer
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 13:25
| February 14, 2021 09:37 PM
| Updated Feb 14, 2021, 10:39 PM
The New York Times quietly updated a month-old report about the siege of Congress which perpetuated the idea that U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick might have died after being struck by a fire extinguisher.
Now affixed to the top of the report, headlined: Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage, is an update note. "New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police," the missive states in italic letters.
Capitol Police announced that Sicknick, a 42-year-old who joined the agency in 2008, died at around 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, one day after rioters sieged the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers counted electoral votes to affirm President Biden's victory.
"Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," the Capitol Police said in a statement. Capitol Police said Sicknick's death would be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch, the USCP, and federal partners. Charges have yet to be filed in the case.
The next day, the New York Times reported Sicknick "was struck by a fire extinguisher," citing two law enforcement officials, prompting other news outlets to echo this reporting. The following week, a retired Pennsylvania fireman, Robert Sanford, 55, was arrested and charged with assaulting law enforcement. Sanford was caught on video and accused of throwing a fire extinguisher at police, but he was not suspected in the death of Sicknick.
In recent days, CNN reported that investigators have determined that initial reports about Sicknick being hit with a fire extinguisher are not true and that medical examiners "did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma" as they "struggle to build a murder case" in the officer's death. One leading theory is that Sicknick was sprayed by an irritant such as bear spray and had a fatal reaction. It is not publicly known if Sicknick had a pre-existing condition which could have contributed to his death. Two days after the Capitol riot, ABC News cited "sources familiar with the matter" to report that "authorities believe Sicknick's death was driven by a medical condition."
According to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, the New York Times did not add the update about the fire extinguisher until sometime on Friday.
This undated image provided by the United States Capitol Police shows U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, of injuries sustained during the riot at the Capitol. (United States Capitol Police/AP)
The way the report appeared as of Sunday evening said the fire extinguisher theory was in dispute: "Law enforcement officials initially said Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, but weeks later, police sources and investigators were at odds over whether he was hit. Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official."
This was preceded by a separate New York Times report on Thursday, which added: "Investigators have found little evidence to back up the attack with the fire extinguisher as the cause of death, the official said. Instead, they increasingly suspect that a factor was Officer Sicknick being sprayed in the face by some sort of irritant, like mace or bear spray, the law enforcement official said." That report also states this development "has complicated efforts to arrest suspects in Officer Sicknick's death, as both the police and rioters used spray in the siege. It is difficult to prove who sprayed irritant on Officer Sicknick."
The Washington Examiner reached out to the New York Times for comment.
Sicknick's eldest brother, Ken Sicknick, told ProPublica last month that Brian Sicknick had texted the family hours after the siege to say he was pepper-sprayed but doing Okay. ''He texted me last night and said, 'I got pepper-sprayed twice,' and he was in good shape,'' Ken Sicknick recounted. ''Apparently he collapsed in the Capitol and they resuscitated him using CPR.'' He went on to blame the "political climate" for getting his brother killed.
"Many details regarding Wednesday's events and the direct causes of Brian's injuries remain unknown, and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian's passing a political issue," Ken Sicknick told Fox News a couple days after his brother's death.
Brian Sicknick received the rare tribute of lying in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where his casket was visited by President Biden, and Sicknick's cremated remains were sent to Arlington National Cemetery to be laid to rest.
Several others died amid the chaos of the Capitol riot. Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran and Trump supporter, was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer while she attempted to climb through a window into the Speaker's Lobby. Three others died from ''medical emergencies," according to officials. And two other officers who responded to the siege, one from Capitol Police and another from MPD, died by suicide, local police said.
A federal homicide investigation was quickly opened into Sicknick's death in early January, and acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin, the federal prosecutor leading the Capitol riots investigation, said ''specialized teams'' were still investigating the deaths of Sicknick and Babbitt during a Jan. 26 press conference.
''We can't comment on those grand jury investigations at this point, but we're hopeful we're going to be able to have results soon in those cases," Sherwin said. The results of those inquiries have not yet been made public, almost three weeks later. Investigators have also not yet publicly identified a suspect behind who planted pipe bombs outside the RNC and DNC the night before the Capitol riot.
Former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the day after Sicknick's death that the officer "succumbed last night to the injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol against the violent mob who stormed it." He added that the Justice Department "will spare no resources in investigating and holding accountable those responsible.''
The House impeached former President Donald Trump last month on a charge of inciting insurrection in connection to the Capitol riot. He was acquitted by the Senate on Saturday, but before that, the National Review's Andrew McCarthy raised concerns about how the House impeachment managers mentioned Sicknick as they made their case against Trump. In fact, a pretrial memo cited the New York Times's reporting, saying, "The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher."
"Clearly, if Officer Sicknick died because of something the rioters did, that is a serious matter. If that happened, former President Trump should be accountable, because he was instrumental in arranging the January 6 rally that turned violent, because he stirred up his supporters with provocative rhetoric, and because '-- as commander in chief of the armed forces '-- he failed to take action to repel the siege on the Capitol," McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney, wrote in a column published on Thursday.
"But if it did not happen the way the House Democratic impeachment manners have represented that it happened, we should be told that '-- and be told why such an inflammatory allegation was made in the impeachment article and repeated in the pretrial memo," he added.
The article of impeachment itself alleged that the mob that was "incited" by Trump "unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday she was introducing legislation to pay tribute to the Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel who protected the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 with the Congressional Gold Medal, including Sicknick. Biden said that "it was nearly two weeks ago that Jill and I paid our respects to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who laid in honor in the Rotunda after losing his life protecting the Capitol from a riotous, violent mob" in a statement issued after the Senate acquitted Trump.
Mike Brest contributed to this report.
REVEALED: Scandal-Rocked Lincoln Project Donors Include Romney's Bain and China-Linked Sequoia Capital.
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 12:51
Today, in the interest of public access to information, The National Pulse is publishing a list of some of the Lincoln Project's largest donors from 2020. The data was obtained from the Federal Election Commission website and is available for browsing by the general public. The information shows a dedicated group of major donors mostly from the political left or hard-left, destroying claims made by the scandal-embroiled Lincoln Project that their organization somehow represents Trump-disenfranchised Republicans.
The FBI is now investigating allegations related to the conduct of leading founder Jon Weaver, who stands accused of grooming young men.
The list includes Hollywood types, hedge fund managers, alleged fraudsters, and Mitt Romney's life-long firm, Bain Capital.
The list also includes Michael Moritz, a Partner at the venture capital firm Sequoia, who donated a sizable sum in three donations in May, June, and July of 2020: one worth $50,000 and two worth $25,000.
In an interview with Slush, Mortiz was described as spearheading Sequoia's expansion into China in the early 2000s spearheaded Sequoia's expansion into China in the early 2000s.''.
''We obviously can't make investment decisions regarding a company in China, Singapore, Indonesia from Menlo Park '' we need to be close to the market in order to make intelligent judgements. Equally, close proximity is necessary for us to build the sort of relationship with the company that we want. It's very hard to have long-distance affairs,'' he reasoned.
Moritz also described the prospect of collaborating with communist China as ''absolutely wonderful'':
Opportunities within China over the next 15-20 years are going to be absolutely wonderful. One of the things people in the West miss about China is approaching the opportunity with an appropriate degree of humility. The capabilities of people in China are tremendous, ambition is massive, devotion is intense. It is truly a fantastic concoction for durable, important companies.''
Moritz pushed a similar sentiment in a controversial Financial Times piece entitled ''Silicon Valley would be wise to follow China's lead.'' In addition to praising China's authoritarian work culture he also posits that ''doing business in China is easier than doing business in California.''
Sequoia Capital's China practice collaborates extensively with the Chinese Communist Party.
Founder Neil Shen has attended high-level Chinese Communist Party meetings while serving as a delegate for either the National People's Congress or the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Given recent reporting into the Lincoln Project, the activities of Jon Weaver, and the cover-up narrative currently being teased out by reporters '' donors must be asked questions as to their role in the Lincoln Project, and what they knew along the way.
Rolling black outs likely across Texas through Tuesday during Winter Storm '... how you can prevent loss of power | KTAB - BigCountryHomepage.com
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 02:54
HOUSTON (CW39) Sunday evening, Monday morning and Tuesday morning, rolling blackouts are likely to occur across the state of Texas.
Should it happen, it could last an hour and could occur multiple times. Over the next few days, freezing temperatures across Texas are expected to create record-breaking electricity demand so energy companies are expecting folks to use .
With higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and solar panels coupled with limited natural gas supplies, it's important to conserve and reduce electricity during high usage times.
In support of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' (ERCOT) request for energy conservation, Reliant is also calling on Texans to reduce their electricity usage from Sunday 2/14 through Tuesday, 2/16, especially between the hours of 6-10 p.m. and 5-9 a.m.
ERCOT controls our state power and it could be from 15 minutes to an hour should it occur where you are. Rolling black out are They are very sensitive to hospital, police stations, water and power and key infrastructure requirements.
I just talked with CenterPoint Energy because of the usage '' the load usage. There is potential for rolling blackouts throughout the state of Texas, including this area. So it is possible, possible, that they could start rolling blackouts even this evening. Be mindful, if by chance you power should go out this evening, there are three risk periods.
This evening. Monday morning and Tuesday morning.
Houston Mayor Sylvester TurnerReliant is sharing the following energy conservation tips for Texas residential customers, regardless of their electricity provider:
Set your thermostat four degrees lower to help conserve. For every degree above 68°, you can expect a 3-5% increase in your heating costs.Avoid using large electric appliances like the clothes washer/dryer or dishwasher during the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are coldest and demand for electricity is highest. Consider running these appliances during mid-day when there's less demand for power. Close heat escape routes. Be mindful of how often you're opening entry doors and using bathroom or utility room ventilation fans and ensure the damper on your fireplace is closed when not in use, as heat can escape from your home through these outlets.Set your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise. This helps force warm air down from the ceiling into the room to create a more comfortable environment.Close blinds and shades to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.Customers can also visit reliant.com/wintertips for more information on ways to conserve.
REPORT: FOIA reveals Pentagon has been testing material discovered from UFO crashes - Sara A. Carter : Sara A. Carter
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 02:05
Source: ShutterstockIn another stunning admission the Pentagon has revealed that it has obtained and tested wreckage from Unidentified Flying Objects that have crashed on earth, according to numerous pages declassified in a Freedom of Information letter shared with The Sun media outlet.
According to a report in The Sun, Anthony Bragalia's FOIA request to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which requested details of all UFO material was approved for public release. Bragalia shared the information with The Sun, which published the documents. The documents stipulate that the United States DOD has conducted tests on material that had been collected from wreckage that allegedly was not from Earth.
The discovery of advanced life outside of our planet would be the one of the biggest revelations for mankind and would literally change the way we view ourselves and our universe.
I recently interviewed Luis 'Lue' Elizondo, a friend and the former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (ATTIP), the secretive Pentagon unit that studied UFOs. Elizondo discussed recent unexplained encounters between the U.S. military and the UFO's on the The Sara Carter Show. He noted that the Defense Department has been conducting research into the mysteries of what is now more commonly described as Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon, or UAPs. He also discussed the interest of other nations, including the recent admissions of senior Russian military officials who say Moscow is studying the same phenomenon and that there is concern that these crafts are interested in our Earth's nuclear capabilities.
He wrote: ''This could include physical debris recovered by personnel of the Department of Defense as residue, flotsam, shot-off material or crashed material from UAPS [unidentified aerial phenomenon] or unidentified flying objects.''
In the response, shared with The Sun, the DIA released 154 pages of test results that includes reports on a mysterious ''memory'' metal called Nitinol, which remembers its original shape when folded.
The SunFor the full story go to The Sun
VIDEO - (141) How to make an Arizona penny can alcohol stove - YouTube
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 14:42
VIDEO-"HAPPENING NOW: COVID-19 positive patients are currently being transferred out of the Holiday Inn, in the heart of Melbourne, with garbage bags over their heads. @ChristineAhern #9News https://t.co/4jQRLZ6GMI" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 13:15
9News Melbourne : HAPPENING NOW: COVID-19 positive patients are currently being transferred out of the Holiday Inn, in the heart of M'... https://t.co/EYTvl1Crx8
Mon Feb 15 23:03:16 +0000 2021
Whosez : @9NewsMelb @ChristineAhern Yes, because people like you are violating their privacy and filming them It's not give'... https://t.co/LrZLBeiiiy
Thu Feb 18 13:02:51 +0000 2021
German Boomeroo ðŸ‡...🇺 : @9NewsMelb ðŸ‘, @argonerd.
Thu Feb 18 11:50:31 +0000 2021
VIDEO-holly wiley on Twitter: "@TrumpWarRoom @DonaldJTrumpJr But first she said this..what the hell is going on?? https://t.co/oAJ6FTqESO" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 12:14
holly wiley : @TrumpWarRoom @DonaldJTrumpJr But first she said this..what the hell is going on?? https://t.co/oAJ6FTqESO
Sat Feb 13 00:27:52 +0000 2021
AndMe : @hollyjayewiley @TrumpWarRoom @DonaldJTrumpJr Say what 🤪ðŸ'🤪
Wed Feb 17 05:04:08 +0000 2021
Kayla Bartusek : @hollyjayewiley @TrumpWarRoom @DonaldJTrumpJr What the actual fuck?
Wed Feb 17 02:54:23 +0000 2021
Debra Huddleston : @hollyjayewiley @TrumpWarRoom @DonaldJTrumpJr hahaha
Tue Feb 16 22:33:00 +0000 2021
paula : @hollyjayewiley @TrumpWarRoom @DonaldJTrumpJr Must be talking about someone under her? Don't think she's referring to her President.
Tue Feb 16 21:39:09 +0000 2021
The bored guy : @hollyjayewiley @TheFreedomFan @TrumpWarRoom @DonaldJTrumpJr Hahahaha
Tue Feb 16 21:15:20 +0000 2021
VIDEO-""Minorities... don't know how to use, know how to get online." @JoeBiden is perpetuating a racist trope that minorities don't know how to use the internet. #BidenTownhall https://t.co/hsVuC02PdC" / Twitter
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 11:55
Steven Cheung : "Minorities... don't know how to use, know how to get online."@JoeBiden is perpetuating a racist trope that minor'... https://t.co/Lf5hLd0KFX
Wed Feb 17 02:25:06 +0000 2021
Robin aka Meeki : @CaliforniaPanda @JoeBiden The correct answer is majority of black people don't want the vaccine!!!
Thu Feb 18 11:53:38 +0000 2021
Larry Rider : @CaliforniaPanda @JoeBiden What an idiot this guy is! I'd bet you are right Don!
Thu Feb 18 11:41:08 +0000 2021
ðŸ...BrandeeðŸ' : @CaliforniaPanda @JoeBiden Um ok why are you saying Hispanics and Blacks don6t know how to use the internet? That's'... https://t.co/HVVX6XOfw7
Thu Feb 18 11:40:53 +0000 2021
@mari@ : @CaliforniaPanda @JoeBiden God help us
Thu Feb 18 11:37:07 +0000 2021
Neil Williams : @CaliforniaPanda @JoeBiden Anyone who says this, obviously doesn't know how to use internet themselves. ðŸ‚
Thu Feb 18 11:31:36 +0000 2021
VIDEO-: "CNN's @JohnBerman presses VP Harris Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders on teacher vaccinations: ''It's not a trick question. I feel like you guys have treated it like a trick question ... Is it safe for teachers to go back to school?'' Sanders
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 11:53
The Recount : CNN's @JohnBerman presses VP Harris Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders on teacher vaccinations:''It's not a trick q'... https://t.co/X1tPfds01u
Wed Feb 17 13:57:27 +0000 2021
ðŸ¤...ðŸ>>''¸ : @therecount @JohnBerman First of all, I love her haircut. Second of all, they should have asked that question to a medical professional.
Thu Feb 18 11:18:02 +0000 2021
Gary L. Olsen : @therecount @JohnBerman Florida never shut schools. Unions are the problem
Thu Feb 18 11:17:59 +0000 2021
VIDEO-WAKE THE FUCK UP If this isn't shocking enough then get help and listen to @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK #NoAgenda" / Twitter
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 13:36
3x NoMask 🚠🇨🇭 : To all the lefty's and moderate voters in the USA.Want a glimpse of what's coming down your alley, let's have a lo'... https://t.co/E8AJT93QbU
Wed Feb 17 12:20:02 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Larry Kudlow Shouts 'BULLSH*T' at Kamala Harris on Hot-Mic
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 12:30
Former Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow was caught on a hot-mic shouting profanely about Vice President Kamala Harris' recent comments on the federal government's coronavirus vaccine distribution plan.
Kudlow joined Sandra Smith and John Roberts on America Reports Tuesday to talk about the launch of his weekday show on Fox Business '-- which bows at 4 p.m. this afternoon. As Smith closed out the segment, she aired footage from HBO Axios' interview with Harris, in which, the vice president said the Biden administration was ''starting from scratch'' with their vaccine strategy.
Smith claimed that Harris was making ''false claims'' about the Trump administration's vaccine rollout, but she was drowned out by Kudlow, who was still mic'ed up and shouting ''Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!'' The program tried to cut the audio at that point, even as Smith was heard reacting ''that is Larry Kudlow weighing in'...Wow.''
Kudlow, who repeatedly downplayed the severity of Covid-19 during his service to former president Donald Trump, was specifically addressing the moment when Harris spoke to Mike Allen about the challenges of tackling the coronavirus.
Here's the full version of Harris' quote that Fox was focusing on:
There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations. We were leaving it to the states and the local leaders to try and figure it out. In many ways, we are starting from scratch on something that has been raging for almost an entire year.
When Harris made those comments, critics accused her of contradicting Dr. Anthony Fauci when he said ''we're certainly not starting from scratch'' during a White House press briefing on January 21st. Fauci was asked this during an interview with CNN, and he defended the vice president by inferring that she was speaking about the ''vague'' plan for administering vaccines to people.
''What the vice president was referring to is 'what is the process of actually getting these doses into people?''' Fauci said. ''That's something that we had to get much better organized, now with getting the community vaccine centers, getting the pharmacies involved, getting mobile units involved, so that's what I believe she was referring to.''
Watch above, via Fox News.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
VIDEO-Zuckerberg: "...we just don't know the long-term side effects of basically modifying people's DNA with RNA." https://t.co/NU4lfZQjxZ" / Twitter
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 00:32
Disclose.tv 🚨 : JUST IN - Facebook's CEO Zuckerberg: "...we just don't know the long-term side effects of basically modifying peopl'... https://t.co/uhSNcmCuLQ
Wed Feb 17 00:04:46 +0000 2021
Dr. Thomas Paul, Therapist #MindBody : @disclosetv https://t.co/oUNaOSKGJX
Wed Feb 17 00:30:52 +0000 2021
Dr. Thomas Paul, Therapist #MindBody : @disclosetv https://t.co/PlUcMSGaLR
Wed Feb 17 00:30:29 +0000 2021
Renato Sousa : @disclosetv @AlmydaRegina Ele sabe sim esse rob´.
Wed Feb 17 00:30:25 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Texas governor calls for investigation into grid operator over 'unacceptable' power outages | TheHill
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 22:46
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called on the state legislature to investigate the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) after winter weather has left millions of Texans without power.
The Texas governor released a statement requesting that reform to the grid operator be prioritized as an emergency item during the legislative session to "ensure Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days."
"The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours," Abbott said in his statement. "Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable."
"Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions," he added.
ERCOT is facing backlash for its management of the state's power grid that as of Tuesday has left more than 4.1 million people in the Lone Star State without power after it was battered with record snow and subzero temperatures.
The grid operator ordered utilities to start rotating power outages on Monday morning in order to manage the high demand for electricity, and on Monday night ERCOT instructed utilities such as Oncor to shut off more power instead of the expected restorations.
Oncor in a Tuesday press release said that it couldn't rotate through many of the outages Monday night because of "poor grid conditions," which it said led to "extended periods without power for many of our customers."
"As soon as enough generation is available, we will return to a regular cadence of rotating outages with the goal of providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest," Oncor's release said.
"At this time, ERCOT is unable to predict when grid conditions will stabilize, and urge all customers to be prepared for extended outages to continue," the release continued.
In a tweet Tuesday morning, ERCOT forecasted that it could get power back for "some customers" in the afternoon due to increased wind and solar power sources and thermal generation. But the amount of restored power depends on "how much generation is actually able to come online."
ERCOT makes recommendations to utility companies based on how much power is available to use safely, and those power companies make the ultimate decision on how to handle the energy, ERCOT CEO and President Bill Magnus told NBC affiliate KXAN.
The winter storm has become deadly in Texas, with at least two dying of carbon monoxide poisoning in Houston and another two men found dead along Houston-area roads.
VIDEO-Majority Leader, Mike Shirkey caught on camera telling the truth about Jan 6th. It was ALL staged, Mitch McConnell wanted it to be ''a mess'' so he could secure a Trump impeachment conviction for Pelosi and Schumer. https://t.co/FQ0kg7rCQS" / Twit
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 21:48
Lauren Witzke : SHOCKING: Senate Majority Leader, Mike Shirkey caught on camera telling the truth about Jan 6th.It was ALL staged'... https://t.co/BzVdaLdCjd
Sat Feb 13 18:49:06 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Nothing explains what is wrong with CNN more than this. After @BrookeBaldwin heartfelt goodbye to cnn. @ggreenwald @TuckerCarlson https://t.co/AXzM2WsqPB" / Twitter
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 20:28
Skunk Politics : @adamcurry It's not news and information, it's about the anchor and emotion???? Nothing explains what is wrong with'... https://t.co/eXWyP2L7JQ
Tue Feb 16 20:24:47 +0000 2021
VIDEO- "If you are ever in doubt of Daniel Andrews Gold Standard - it includes a garbage bag over the head of people in Quarantine to move hotels. #ThisisLabor" / Twitter
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 03:24
Brad Battin MP : If you are ever in doubt of Daniel Andrews Gold Standard - it includes a garbage bag over the head of people in Qua'... https://t.co/DjXdl0Pz9d
Mon Feb 15 23:13:15 +0000 2021
Julie Sansom : @BradBattinMP The grubbyment could of arranged screens or at least i love Dan hoodie's to protect peoples identity'... https://t.co/r7fPbHzF1h
Tue Feb 16 03:21:56 +0000 2021
Luke Fong : @BradBattinMP gold standard garbage from you as per usual liberal tactics.
Tue Feb 16 03:16:40 +0000 2021
Chloe Moody : @BradBattinMP Im so incredibly disappointed that someone with as little respect for the truth as you represents my electorate.
Tue Feb 16 03:15:30 +0000 2021
Bonny Dixon : @BradBattinMP Shame on you.
Tue Feb 16 03:13:59 +0000 2021
Moira Morgan : @BradBattinMP Get the facts right its to protect them from the bloody media shaming them.Who wants cameras in your'... https://t.co/2jUwmOhpKQ
Tue Feb 16 03:12:29 +0000 2021
rod : @BradBattinMP Good on you farking weasel.
Tue Feb 16 03:07:52 +0000 2021
Liam Ollie : @BradBattinMP Brad you're a dead set flog. I can't believe we pay your $180k a year to post this kind tripe on a wo'... https://t.co/gqWgpzGL5b
Tue Feb 16 03:04:46 +0000 2021
Steve : @BradBattinMP Brad all I can say to you is that you fucked up big time today have some respect for these return travellers
Tue Feb 16 03:02:54 +0000 2021
jedstur' : @BradBattinMP You don't think it had anything to do with the scores of paparazzi outside waiting to get a snap of t'... https://t.co/FJkL7XsLvN
Tue Feb 16 02:57:44 +0000 2021
pingping : @BradBattinMP Another day and another lie from an LNP politician. Shame on you. #LNPCrimeFamily #LNPLiar
Tue Feb 16 02:53:40 +0000 2021
MikeyMike : @BradBattinMP What a disgrace for a MP to have no understanding of privacy laws. You should be condemning Nine Medi'... https://t.co/uLmLHMW1IQ
Tue Feb 16 02:53:24 +0000 2021
Cam : @BradBattinMP If you are ever in doubt of Liberal MPs Shit Standard - it includes lying to suit their narrative... #ThisIsLNP
Tue Feb 16 02:50:57 +0000 2021
Rachael Rendle 🐯🐼ðŸ... #Mnwesome : @BradBattinMP You & the party you belong to are part of the problem. You offer nothing but lies. You need to apolog'... https://t.co/rQwwsjufiR
Tue Feb 16 02:49:08 +0000 2021
Mad_Max79 : @BradBattinMP Hey Champ, they chose to wear bags to protect their identity from the media. Gold Standard from you though!
Tue Feb 16 02:45:55 +0000 2021
Spectator : @BradBattinMP You know this isn't for infection prevention, it was done so the media filth didn't capture their face while boarding the bus.
Tue Feb 16 02:45:46 +0000 2021
Cween Christine 🎠: @BradBattinMP Disgraceful tweet. You know full well that these people chose to put the bags over their heads (nothi'... https://t.co/nlk0bDcJ16
Tue Feb 16 02:45:13 +0000 2021
Bloss - ðŸ·ðŸ(C) : @BradBattinMP It was for privacy reasons so the camera's couldn't identify them...for goodness sake Brad get a grip.ðŸ
Tue Feb 16 02:45:04 +0000 2021
The Hos : @BradBattinMP Sorry I thought this was a beetoota or @chaser article. You had the smallest inclining credibility yo'... https://t.co/fk91rp8buM
Tue Feb 16 02:42:17 +0000 2021
McGinness : @BradBattinMP You might want to research more in to that theory before tweeting BS ðŸ‚
Tue Feb 16 02:41:25 +0000 2021
Local guy : @BradBattinMP Come on @BradBattinMP - you surely must have more integrity than this.......
Tue Feb 16 01:45:24 +0000 2021
joshladd : @BradBattinMP Maybe because lockdown will go another 7 days to complete the 14 day cycle of the virus,so they also'... https://t.co/gnOS3OOnFH
Tue Feb 16 00:51:47 +0000 2021
Robbo ðŸ‡...🇺 : @BradBattinMP @dehiggs5 If you are ever in doubt liberal MPs are gullible - it includes Brad not realising HQ staff'... https://t.co/z8hrl7LR8c
Tue Feb 16 00:26:14 +0000 2021
martris : @BradBattinMP That's for privacy ....Seriously, not very bright are you? ðŸ¤...''¸ðŸ¤£ https://t.co/6ZyJYDLpFk
Tue Feb 16 00:15:58 +0000 2021
Kev : @BradBattinMP @honestyandhumor u shoudnt put bags on ur head u can suffokate facts ^feels
Tue Feb 16 00:11:26 +0000 2021
Mary : @BradBattinMP @DarrynLyons I think that it's for privacy not infection control
Tue Feb 16 00:02:50 +0000 2021
Alfred : @BradBattinMP what a disappointment in the Andrews government to see this when will he get it right
Mon Feb 15 23:33:03 +0000 2021
Dave Parsons Rivers : @BradBattinMP @DjsMufc What a big drama about nothing--keep the Fear Weapon going.
Mon Feb 15 23:30:16 +0000 2021
Ranty McRage : @BradBattinMP Do you sincerely believe that person was advised by hotel quarantine staff to put a bag over their he'... https://t.co/SuMxJl7hhK
Mon Feb 15 23:27:21 +0000 2021
Mina S : @BradBattinMP This must be satire..
Mon Feb 15 23:19:30 +0000 2021
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 23:21
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state's electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 680+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 8 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.
VIDEO-Robert F. Kennedy Jr on Twitter: "https://t.co/p4dOkKvxge" / Twitter
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 16:51
Robert F. Kennedy Jr : https://t.co/p4dOkKvxge
Mon Feb 15 16:37:14 +0000 2021
Artists vs Fracking : @RobertKennedyJr Sponsored by Pfizer! Fuck sake. Bill Gates needs to be locked up, not given the airwaves to promote poison.
Mon Feb 15 16:50:55 +0000 2021
Meira : @RobertKennedyJr Grazie infinite signor @RobertKennedyJr ....Perch(C) non si riesce a fare qualcosa per renderlo inno'... https://t.co/VdWsqJkGws
Mon Feb 15 16:50:40 +0000 2021
John Smith : @RobertKennedyJr Mr. Kennedy, if a vaccine &/or the so-called "rehab facility" holding my dad hostage in New Englan'... https://t.co/0MeqDKJqxV
Mon Feb 15 16:50:18 +0000 2021
Eliseo Cuellar : @RobertKennedyJr Thats a Golden gem. https://t.co/L8PH0XaQnc
Mon Feb 15 16:49:20 +0000 2021
Ed vozza : @RobertKennedyJr Enough said !!!!
Mon Feb 15 16:49:10 +0000 2021
Alfonse Faiella🤌🏼 : @RobertKennedyJr Lmaoooooo
Mon Feb 15 16:48:51 +0000 2021
LoveIsTheWay ''¤ : @RobertKennedyJr https://t.co/PhDYKYWI5j
Mon Feb 15 16:48:05 +0000 2021
William Andersen : @RobertKennedyJr They making fun of the stupid 🐑🐑🐑 out thereðŸ‚🂠Bill Gates are laughing at us.
Mon Feb 15 16:47:44 +0000 2021
DroogMaster : @RobertKennedyJr What you're expected to swallow these days... https://t.co/KfdFHvd2JF
Mon Feb 15 16:47:35 +0000 2021
Skydiver1970 : @RobertKennedyJr The irony
Mon Feb 15 16:46:56 +0000 2021
VIDEO-"NEW - Bill Gates on the global green reset: "It's an all-out effort, like a world war, but it's us against greenhouse gases." https://t.co/1ZhWOBE5Xg" / Twitter
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 12:57
Disclose.tv 🚨 : NEW - Bill Gates on the global green reset: "It's an all-out effort, like a world war, but it's us against greenhou'... https://t.co/2XOI4APIYJ
Mon Feb 15 11:46:50 +0000 2021
Tachy : @disclosetv @food4thottt
Mon Feb 15 12:57:20 +0000 2021
Maria Eva Passi : @disclosetv intoxica su medio con estos nefastos personajes, por que le dan tanta pantalla
Mon Feb 15 12:56:11 +0000 2021
TheDude : @disclosetv SATAN
Mon Feb 15 12:55:46 +0000 2021
Armand : @disclosetv ðŸ'¥ðŸ'¥ðŸ'¥ðŸ'¥ðŸ'¥ðŸ'¥ðŸ'¥ðŸ'¥Don't forget to wish President Trump a Happy President's Day today on Biden's Twitter account'... https://t.co/qjmpEH55Rd
Mon Feb 15 12:55:34 +0000 2021
Phillpeescobar13 : @disclosetv Cough cough COVID 19
Mon Feb 15 12:53:07 +0000 2021
Majestic Deliverance : @disclosetv Cool.Start with the gigantic corporations who actually cause 70% of it.
Mon Feb 15 12:52:28 +0000 2021
Helena H : @disclosetv @McavoyHilary Money gave power to these two men!
Mon Feb 15 12:52:12 +0000 2021


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All Clips

Coldest tempatures Supercut.mp3
ERCOT About Video.mp3
Leonard Nimoy - Global Cooling 1978.mp3
Mass Undersecretary for Climate Change David Ismay BREAK YOUR WILL.mp3
Polar Vortex - Bumper Morgan from Kim RIP.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Mona Kosar Abdi - TX blackouts being blamed on ercot (26sec).mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Norah Odonnell (1) - Bill Gates climate change will kill as many as the pandemic every year (56sec).mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Norah Odonnell (2) - Bill Gates frozen wind turbins in TX (1min24sec).mp3
Biden Care Voicemail.mp3
Fauci wins Dan David Prize.mp3
ABC World News Tonight - anchor Eva Pilgrim - Cuomo addressing his handling of covid (32sec).mp3
SirSeatSitter Icke 01 - Virus Existance Unconfimed By Health Authorites.mp3
SirSeatSitter Icke 02 - Unicorn (Computer Models like climate SCIENCE).mp3
SirSeatSitter Icke 03 - Masks are part of MK Ultra.mp3
Biden gaffe new wtf.mp3
biden pushing to sept now.mp3
Brooks PBS on vaccine his worries.mp3
Capehardt on impeachment.mp3
Capeharst on Biden and work.mp3
Carlo Watson on marketing Kicker.mp3
carlos stammering.mp3
Carlos watson Ozy TWO investors pitch.mp3
Carlos watson Ozy.mp3
divisive decision Gacebook OZ One.mp3
divisive decision Gacebook OZ Two.mp3
horris cold snap one f24.mp3
Idiotic fake mask report ABC.mp3
Isis children lost F24.mp3
Kimmel irony bit on movies.mp3
Larry Charles on Limbaugh.mp3
Life and death ISO.mp3
Mario Dragjhi speech f24.mp3
Mary Bruce 2022 clip ABC.mp3
new nars rover d24.mp3
niden opening schoolr A bicen.mp3
niden opening schoolr B Psaki.mp3
OPIOD McKinsey One.mp3
OPIOD McKinsey TWO.mp3
Rose frei on Covid Papers1-2.mp3
Rose frei on Covid three.mp3
Rose frei on Covid Variants.mp3
Saudi release woman Biden credited PBS.mp3
storm texas 2 ABC.mp3
storm texas 3 ABC.mp3
Storm texas ABC.mp3
they matter ISO.mp3
Vaccine passport around the world.mp3
variants set up.mp3
2021 Flu hosptializations ABC.mp3
Bidem ramble of rambles.mp3
BIDEN commiyyrd gto bill ramble.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Will Ganss - to fauci means to not date someone who doesnt take covid seriously (1min57sec).mp3
CBS Face The Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan - Dr Scott Gottlieb wuhan lab more specifics on data not shared (38sec).mp3
CBS This Morning - anchor Gayle King (1) - Osterholm CDC guildlines - U.K. surge will keep schools closed (37sec).mp3
CBS This Morning - anchor Gayle King (2) - Osterholm testing postive for covid after being vaccinated (21sec).mp3
CNN - anchor Jake Tapper (1) - Dr. Rochelle Walensky 99% of schools in the red zone (1min13sec).mp3
CNN - anchor Jake Tapper (2) - Dr. Rochelle Walensky why 6ft when you said 3ft in a private email over summer (1min15sec).mp3
Dr Drew on History of Lockdown in USA.mp3
Melbourne covid positive garbage bags.mp3
Stephanie Ruhle & Andy Slavitt [medicare admin] CA-FL Same Numbers.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Mona Kosar Abdi - 7 new mutations in the U.S. (26sec).mp3
ABC This Week - anchor George Stephanopoulus - Fauci prior infection does not protect you from reinfection with S.A. variant (28sec).mp3
CNN Variants have names.mp3
Bill Gate 60 Mintes sponsored by Phizer.mp3
CBS Evening News - anchor Norah Odonnell (3) - Bill Gates 3rd shot - probably not yearly vaccine (54sec).mp3
Re-freezing covid vaccines in Houston.mp3
Tpper nutty vaccine annoucement.mp3
WSJ Podcast - Vaccine Envy.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Faith Abubey - kinzinger family letter shunning him for siding with democrats (22sec).mp3
Brit Hume Advertising is no problem.mp3
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  • 0:00
    John: Pour my mask over my nose.
  • 0:02
    Unknown: Adam Curry,
  • 0:03
    John Dvorak,
  • 0:04
    Adam: Thursday, February 18 2021. This is your award winning gitmo-nation Media assassination Episode 13. This
  • 0:11
    Unknown: is no agenda dark.
  • 0:15
    Adam: Winter and broadcasting live from opportunity zone 33 here in the frontier of Austin, Texas Capitol, the Lone Star State. morning, everybody. I'm Adam Curry.
  • 0:24
    John: And I'm from Northern Silicon Valley where some people are finally admitting its global cooling going on. I'm Jesse devorah.
  • 0:35
    Adam: Yes, thank you for pointing that out. This is the somehow overlooked overlooked detail of what's going on here. We're in Texas people.
  • 0:56
    Well, it's been very interesting the past couple of days. Well,
  • 0:59
    John: I think everyone is listening to this show right now. Yeah. Can you hear the poop?
  • 1:07
    Adam: The poop? Yeah, the hands on story? Well, this. First of all, I'm very happy with our personal preparedness during this crisis. And I'm super happy with the performance of our house. These are things that matter, especially the house, which turns out to be so well insulated that we really were able to maintain above 50 degrees at all times. And we had, we have a gas stove and a gas fireplace. So that was super good. Having the keeper with me was like, it's like whoa, okay.
  • 1:48
    John: No one Yeah, I'm fine with the glass. But the glass almost broke.
  • 1:51
    Adam: Okay, cool. Scared me. You know, the keeper grew up in Indiana and lives in Chicago. And she's used to being without power for days on end from her time in Florida. So she's totally, totally ready. She categorizes everything. She's got, you know,
  • 2:08
    Unknown: okay, here's
  • 2:09
    Adam: our inventory. She's got labels on them. And you know, she's making sure all the faucets are dripping. Which Thank you was the smartest thing we could have done.
  • 2:17
    John: Oh, yeah, people should know that.
  • 2:20
    Adam: I've never heard of it. And they weren't mentioning that
  • 2:22
    John: you would know it because you lived in Jersey
  • 2:24
    Adam: you know never did that in Jersey also never had the pipes freeze because the house was kind of you know, built for it. But yeah, I'd never I'd never didn't think about it and man our neighbors got screwed. And the worst part we all have or most of us here have tankless water heaters which work on electricity and then when this happened either the first night or the second night a lot of people's tankless water heaters the the pipes cracked and blew with the exchange so the end you know it's like you're not going to get a plumber there's no spare parts to be
  • 2:58
    John: had all this well. There's also the plumbers are stuck in the snow and there's millions of jobs out there for them.
  • 3:04
    Adam: Yeah, this is the problem we have is we have not been able to leave the house because it's all ice you know, we're on this call sack
  • 3:12
    John: in Washington State. Usually when you have a freeze like this, which has been doesn't happen a lot does happen once in a while. And in fact, even in the Bay Area Pammi I might be wrong about this, but they always did news reports tell you about keeping the water running.
  • 3:28
    Adam: Yeah, so also the local news is very, very poor. You know, when you when your power's out the thing that you're not going to be able to do we get to television. A lot most of the streaming was down of course people
  • 3:42
    John: have one of those radios with a hand crank.
  • 3:45
    Adam: I do actually but I didn't use that I used my my Kenwood you know the the ham radio, which has great am and FM. And so I went looking around for some information, local NPR, those people that should be shut down that station. Put it in the middle of this the first morning everyone's waking up, you know, cold house. It's confusion. And NPR is just doing I'm Terry Gross. Yeah. Where's the local knows? No one had anything except for one kale. BJ did the only guys and I was getting better information from Todd and Don in the morning. And from anything else. The mayor was Mia. The governor was Mia. There was a total clusterfuck.
  • 4:32
    John: We saw the mayor a lot here.
  • 4:36
    Adam: Our mayor. Yeah. What was he saying? Because we didn't see much of whatever it was
  • 4:41
    John: he was wrong.
  • 4:43
    Adam: Well, I mean, so here's here's the problem.
  • 4:48
    John: I have I do have some clips, but the way they played your mayor was not your I'm sorry. Was your governor. They had the governor the governor. Yeah. And whenever the governor said was wrong, he was wrong. He's a liar.
  • 5:00
    Adam: Well, here's the cool thing. Because of this and because of our producers, and you know what, I'm always amazed by the the types of people who produce this show. We have. We have multiple people, but one dude named Ben, he's actually the I think he's the protector of the megawatts he works in on a trading desk for Texas energy and don't get from him and from other producers, even dogpatch was even said he has some knowledge of how these things work and atomic rod atoms, you know, there's not a lot of report, but we have two nuclear reactors and one went down as well. which added to all the problems and that does I think that's, that's about three Giga Well, they got a false signal, they got a false signal. And that in atomic rod wrote a pretty good blog posts about how that shouldn't have happened. They should not have shut it down. But, but I'd love to explain to you what I think is going on because everyone's wrong. Our governor is full of crap. AOC is also full of crap. Everyone's full of crap. Very few people who is AOC lived
  • 6:08
    John: on it.
  • 6:08
    Adam: And never she was saying she was out there tweeting. Because you don't embrace the green new deal is why this is happening in Texas. You say, can immediately start immediately, we started seeing the pictures of the giant windmill with a helicopter trying to de ice the blades. Yeah. Okay. But let me let me just talk a little bit about the experience. And then we can get into how it happened because I have documented this and it's pretty interesting. And I would say it's on the level of the pipeline's episode we once did. It's that level of chicanery that's going on. So anyway, everyone's stuck here, we can't get out because everything's ice, there's no snow plows, there's no no one can do any of that. We had icing rain, just the worst possible conditions. And what really happened with with our grid is that they just totally ran out because of a lack of responsibility for any of this on any party. So it really came down to neighbors helping each other big, big props to Baron Scott, who, you know, he organizes the meetups. And this is a good lesson for everybody. And he's just an organizer to kind of what kind of guy he is. And he had everybody from the no agenda, Texas meetup on on a telegram group and he was calling out to people they were organizing pickups and food drop offs. And one of our producers was stuck in a hotel. You know, he's from San Antonio and he had no power and no food no anything. So you know, these meetup groups can be more
  • 7:55
    important than you think they are to kind of your your friends in the in the crisis. So here's, here's the things I learned. Most people are so technologically spoiled, that they do not know you can actually light a gas stove without electricity. I had to demonstrate that I did talk to several people about this. You know, because when you turn on the gas, you turn the knob and it goes Click, click, click and it lights.
  • 8:29
    John: Most monitor stoves have a piezoelectric element which is powered by electricity in it. Click Click clicks and the next thing you know you have a bit lights it
  • 8:38
    Adam: right. And this is what people the majority of stoves still have pilot lights. No, no, but you're missing the entire point. People were not making the connection between turning on the gas with the knob and holding a match to it that they would be able to light their stove. My neighbor went for 15 hours outside on his barbecue grill. Because he didn't put two and two together because people are so so pampered with technology.
  • 9:08
    John: Well, that's pathetic.
  • 9:09
    Adam: It's it. I'm just identifying it as rampant. It was very interesting. I myself, yeah, well, I myself learned about thermopile and this was news to me. Because when when I woke up in the morning, and everything was I'm like okay, let me see if I can get the gas on and our guest is a switch on the water fireplaces a switch on the wall. blank. Well, that's gonna suck. How can we have is a pilot light there, but this gas flow control is interesting. And I'm like, holy shit. How am I going to do this math to see Is there a way to do it manually? And so just on a lark, I flipped the switch and it goes on. Like, how does this work? This is sorcery. What's going on in this house? So the way it works is you have these Thermal poles which are a little, you know, copper windings on a, like a circuit board and it generates a spike and generate a small current from a heat. It's usually used for temperature sensors and then they're routing that through that switch and it's just enough to to open the gas flow
  • 10:19
    John: those days dangerous wizardry
  • 10:21
    Adam: to me, man, I loved it. Anyway. So the ham bands complete disappointment. They're not going to save anyone when the apocalypse comes. I the what the ham bands, the ham and ban hams, hams, ham radio operators, the
  • 10:37
    John: handle bam,
  • 10:39
    Adam: the ham.
  • 10:40
    John: Ham says most of taking care of this problem.
  • 10:43
    Adam: I tuned into all the repeaters, john, I'm not kidding. The first repeater I get into is like,
  • 10:51
    Unknown: American.
  • 10:55
    Adam: There was nothing there was no coordination. Like, oh, yeah, you got power. No, I don't have any power. Okay, how about you, I got some power. How's my mic sound sounds good. completely worthless, I almost want to send my license back. That's horrible. Horrible have, we also couldn't use the end here as a fatal flaw. Of course, we couldn't use the no agenda ham network, because that runs on the internet through that, you know, backbone, I probably could have gotten something up on a dongle. But I was less than just not worried about that. So we learned how to charge everything in the car, sit in the car. And while we're charging and do a lot of stuff in the car, which is also a lot warmer with the seat warmers. And I would say that, for us has been pretty good, good neighborhood. But the horror stories are everywhere. And we got power last night. It's been on all the time so far, which is because we are in the opportunity zone, where section eight housing is
  • 12:00
    John: also another words you're in. That's interesting. Oh, yeah. I don't know what to say to that basic. So you had it. So there's still people in this never gotten their power back? Because you're in a richier area?
  • 12:13
    Adam: Well, let me tell you the sequence because there was a lot of consternation about it. So when when they decided they had to start to go to rolling blackouts where we heard that before rolling blackouts. They attempted to do it. But they attempted it with the poor neighborhoods first. So our friends in Tarrytown, Joe Rogan, they never lost power. But they so they wanted to rotate it. And you know, there's also smaller sections, probably. And I'm just saying this is what it looked like. And they couldn't roll it over. Because once they did it, they I think they've tried to get our power on briefly two hours after it went out Sunday night. And that failed. And then it was just out for 48 hours. And that made all of the east side. So they I think they decided, Hey, why don't we do the poor fuckers first? Because you know, and they don't have cares if they complain? And what we do you don't want Joe Rogan complaining? That would be no good. So they turned us off first. And then just you know, not gene, so gene doesn't live too far from here. And he he lives in single, like in a kind of a compound with single family homes. Ah, no, now we're, we're in the midst of all of these apartments, many of them section eight. And we're just kind of in this little sliver that just got turned on again. And but it was turned off for 48 hours. I mean, there were people from the apartments coming up to our place, you know, looking for would burn because there's no gas in those
  • 13:52
    apartments. It was it was pretty, pretty messed up. And you know, then you get all the reports of people, you know, doing stupid stuff, they just don't know. I mean, there was so little as his typical, you know, it would be smart to say hey, please don't burn charcoal in your home. You know, you could die is a lot of that. A lot of people taking stupid chances. And you know, there's people who froze to death in their cars. And then and then by now, you know, like, I'm looking for different kinds of information because the news is just all the same crap. And it always ends with the guy out. You know this, instead of stay safe. Now it's a stay warm. Thanks for the report. Adam. Stay warm.
  • 14:38
    John: Stay warm. Yeah, it's like layers, about here in downtown
  • 14:42
    Unknown: Austin. And
  • 14:48
    Adam: over here on the west side here downtown, we got plenty of light.
  • 14:54
    John: Hey, well, very good. Adam Curry. Thanks for your reports. Stay warm. Everywhere stay warm people on Toys R Us listen let's let's listen to the ABC rundown of this would have three clips and it's got some stupid crap in there that I just couldn't take. I couldn't take it okay. Storm Texas storm Texas
  • 15:20
    Unknown: ABC major storm now bearing down from the south right up into the Northeast tomorrow snow ice freezing rain, dangerous conditions and this storm has already slammed Texas yet again. Another night there with millions without power without heat without water and authorities acknowledging they do not know when the power will be back on grocery stores with empty shelves today bottled water sold out at least 30 people have now died in this week storms alone and this now new one. Now hitting tonight the images again this evening this 15 mile traffic jam near Hasan Arkansas multiple accidents in the snow on an icy interstate 40 freezing rain in Austin Texas adding a coat of ice to the snow a car out of control sliding down an icy Hill. Millions without power families left to wear multiple layers and huddle with one another just to get through these layers. This neighborhood in the dark and Houston frozen pipes bursting inside homes and one image seen in so many places today. This one right here icicles hanging from a fan and a Dallas apartment building. A long line for propane tanks in Houston today people waiting and freezing rain. Also waiting in line for hours for groceries. These images from Austin Texas tonight. Some families showing up at what they're calling warming centers this one open 24 hours a day in Richardson, Texas that's outside Dallas. And of course the impact on vaccinations across this country at least 34
  • 16:42
    Adam: states.
  • 16:44
    Unknown: It is
  • 16:45
    and in Texas tonight. Authorities are now facing tough questions about the power grid there and the Texas Governor and what he's now blaming for the outages critics say that's just not true. We have it all covered beginning with ABC Marcus floor leading us off from Dallas tonight.
  • 16:59
    Adam: Yeah, this is this is fantastic. This is the best political football and everybody's full of crap. And I don't think they even know what's going on and the Governor teesha go for this. It's complete complete stupidity.
  • 17:17
    John: But let's put in sorry, clip two.
  • 17:19
    Adam: All right. To have this kept going oh goodness
  • 17:22
    Unknown: unite with the nation focused on the next winter storm. The humanitarian crisis in Texas is only worse than pipes bursting in Austin water cascading out of buildings and icy roads sending vehicles sliding down the street. In Houston authorities responding to more calls for possible carbon monoxide poisoning, freezing rain and no power making travel dangerous in darkened neighborhoods. Some people are even sleeping in their cars, broken pipes causing ceilings to cave in. This is a very bad situation a one two punch here with the second ice storm by midday significantly more customers in Texas without power as there were during Hurricane Harvey. Houston, America's fourth largest city is telling residents to boil water if they even have it.
  • 18:06
    How can we buy water we don't even have power.
  • 18:09
    Our team at Alexandra kiona is in line to buy firewood
  • 18:12
    we got three kids at home.
  • 18:14
    We try to keep the babies warm and in Galveston
  • 18:20
    many without power
  • 18:21
    and water.
  • 18:22
    Everything in the refrigerator now has gone bad.
  • 18:25
    Adam: Please true john, every single thing you hear and the pipes breaking. And we have to we have to boil water to now.
  • 18:32
    John: Yeah, so here's the thing that bugs me. Yeah, please, was the last little thing this woman said because this you see, we've had situations in Washington where you have a lot of snow. Sure. How's everything in the refrigerator ruined? Why don't you take it outside and put it in the snow? It's the same
  • 18:50
    Adam: technical misunderstanding and I would say we have an education problem as the gas stove. It's the same problem.
  • 18:58
    John: And also it's your areas 18 if you actually if you took stuff out of the refrigerator and put it outside it would freeze it.
  • 19:06
    Adam: Well everyone had their stuff outside except this lady which I guess they did to embarrass Texas. But again, there's a lot of technology.
  • 19:17
    John: Well one thing I mentioned in that same regard, you know you can eat you can take like a glass of fresh snow and melt and melt and that's water.
  • 19:26
    Adam: Yeah, people water people are doing that.
  • 19:29
    John: Okay, well, it's good but they're not reporting it. Let's go to the loss of this. Hello.
  • 19:33
    Adam: Why didn't they ask?
  • 19:34
    Unknown: Everything in their refrigerator now has gone bad
  • 19:37
  • 19:38
    supplies are dwindling. And
  • 19:41
    most people out here the biggest deal is water.
  • 19:44
    People have made some life and death
  • 19:46
    choices. Back in Houston. The lights going dark during an interview with Mayor Sylvester Turner.
  • 19:51
    We've been talking about power being restored. Now in real time you have seen power being turned off
  • 19:58
    the state's energy production and energy dependence has always been a point of pride. And as the crisis persists, the governor placing blame squarely on officials that are caught the private company that runs about 90% of the state's grid. arcot stands for electric reliability Council of Texas. And they showed that they were not reliable. Do you think or thought leadership needs to resign? Yes, Governor Abbott facing criticism for appearing to play some of the blame for the outages on frozen wind turbines or when in our solar, they got shut down. And they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid. And that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power in a statewide basis. But at its own Energy Department reports most of the state's energy losses come from failures to winterize systems, including oil and natural gas pipelines. And now at least two federal agencies are investigating why the system failed so badly.
  • 20:54
    Adam: Oh, cool, because we're gonna tell him I had heard of arcot Do you remember I went to see those Bitcoin guys up a little bit north of here in Texas who were on the exchange point, in fact, right near where are caught operates only or katsuo offices somewhere else. And I didn't know really what the hell was going on. But I remember the guy saying, I said, How are you getting all this power here? You know, how can you sit right at this at this grid? where, you know, it's a perfect place to be for Bitcoin mining. He said, Oh, we hired this guy, who isn't insider with with or caught? And so that's the only way and if they the stories he told me is this such a weird group that they at one point, thought they were gonna have to leave and they were actually packing up machines, and then everything changed. And so I already knew something was fishy with this. Urquhart. Who are who, you know, there's blame all over. I like the green New Deal blame, which is very weak. I would say it's especially coming from the governor. And then there's the blame. I think this is from ABC from this morning.
  • 22:03
    Unknown: But many are now pointing the finger at the nonprofit organization which has controlled most of the state's energy since 2002. When Texas privatized its electric grid, the governor now calling for an investigation and demanding our current CEO stepped down
  • 22:17
    this this was a total failure by arcot. arcot stands for electric reliability Council of Texas, and they showed that they were not reliable.
  • 22:31
    Adam: Okay, thank you, Governor. Of course, we had to bring Bill Gates out to discuss the windmills. Look
  • 22:37
    Unknown: at Texas. That's my home state where I grew up. More than 4 million customers are without power after this arctic blast froze wind turbines. The Wall Street Journal today argues that this is the risk of trying to banish fossil fuels is what's happening in Texas, a sign of the limits of clean energy like wind,
  • 23:01
    basically, no,
  • 23:04
    this is if you have enough transmission, so that you know across the country, the wind is blowing somewhere and the sun is shining somewhere. If you have some degree of storage, and some sources like nuclear, that are not weather dependent, we can
  • 23:23
    grow the
  • 23:24
    tree and name reliability. Now it's not going to be easy. This is one where just looking at the price of solar alone doesn't tell you the challenge that we face. But we can get rid of those hydrocarbons for all of our electricity generation and still not freeze to death.
  • 23:48
    Yeah, but in Texas, which gets a fair portion of their energy from wind turbines, those wind turbines are frozen. And you hear energy officials in the state saying that is part of the problem.
  • 24:01
    Adam: All right. So again, I got a lot of help from our producers. Also, atomic rod, recommended a book which you can read in about four or five hours. It's written by Meredith angwin. And gwi n, she's in the shownotes. It's called shorting the grid. The hidden fragility of our electric grid was written several years ago, but incredibly timely, because I've figured out what's going on and I can at least give a general overview because it could happen in California could happen in the East Coast. could happen in Europe could happen anywhere. It happened to happen here, due to the polar vortex and john This is Enron meets Wall Street bets. It's that disgusting when you really see what's happening. First thing, windmills. Everyone's talking you know, you see the means well windmills work fine in Norway and over here and everything. It was kind of specific case because Because of the humidity, it was icing and the icing that won't stop anywhere. So you don't have those particular conditions. Wind power, by the way in Texas is completely valid in my book. Obviously not for these conditions. But man, how long have we been? We used to praise t Boone Pickens for what he did with the with the wind with a he had this whole wind farms he the the biggest I think, didn't he?
  • 25:27
    John: I don't know. Keep Boone Pickens to me was always the natural gas guy.
  • 25:33
    Adam: Oh, now he went into all the into all the windmills.
  • 25:36
    John: Anyway, we had there mostly. They weren't using advertisements all over the West Coast, but he was always promoting natural gas.
  • 25:46
    Adam: So there was a chain reaction, those went down. We already had the polar vortex coming, we knew days ahead of time was going to go down to 77 degrees. And what you'll hear the new saying is natural gas fired plants had supply problems. This is bullcrap. And this is something that I don't think I haven't seen discussed, the gas providers have their own rules and regulations. And their rule is it goes towards residential and heating above and beyond anything else, including gas fired plants. So what is Austin done very successfully for their own carbon initiatives. They have shut down decommissioned, or in some cases outright forbidden dual plants that can do oil and natural gas where they could store some of the oil. These, the natural gas generators don't store that much natural gas on site. So that's why they have supply issues. No, it didn't freeze. You know, it's they sell all kinds of misinformation. They literally were not getting it because they were sending it to people to warm their homes. coal plants, same thing, it's all kind of been shut down. And it's great, you know, virtue signal, we get green energy, blah, blah, blah. Then we had the nuclear plant that got the false signal, it's shut down. But here's the biggest problem that happened. And this is where I'd like to introduce arcot, the price per megawatt hour of energy, which is typically $25 to maybe a peak sometime in the summer of $80 per megawatt hour. Do you know what the price is, is to
  • 27:33
    at this very moment still john.
  • 27:37
    John: I don't know
  • 27:38
    Adam: $9,000 $9,000. And that's the cap, there's a regulatory cap that the energy price cannot go above $9,000 per megawatt hour. And interestingly ercot got permission to pass that on to the customers. So there's little incentive with these guys to do much about it. And if the Let me introduce our cotton and I'll tell you where the problem lies or caulk provides a central place where generation is dispatched
  • 28:11
    Unknown: out onto the grid. And where generation and load are balanced at all times, are caught is similar to an air traffic controller. It doesn't own the airplanes or the runways, but it steps back and make sure everything is flowing properly and efficiently. durka doesn't own the assets, it doesn't make electricity, but it monitors all the moving parts that keep electricity flowing, and keeps the markets that provide electricity to Texans running.
  • 28:37
    There are a number of participants in our cots market that make electricity work in Texas, starting from your home.
  • 28:44
    Your home receives electricity from a distribution company. The distribution company receives electricity from the transmission system, which is what Urquhart is managing and its control room virkon has prepared for the future in two primary ways. One to make sure its people systems and market participants have the right rules to manage a changing system.
  • 29:06
    From a technical logical perspective,
  • 29:08
    the grid operator has to be very sophisticated in order to manage the future of the electric grid.
  • 29:14
    Adam: The best thing about her
  • 29:15
    Unknown: cot is the people committed to the mission of making sure electric power will always get to the people of Texas.
  • 29:23
    Adam: Forgot your power, our promise. Yes, always nasty how those types of PR things don't age very well. So this is a an RTO a regional transmission organization and you're probably gonna be able to help me with some of this john in 1996 is when Energy Deregulation came in. And that's when a number of regions were created. Certainly not all states, I think really only maybe 18 states in total, but California has an RTO regional transmission organization. Texas has it and we we have it over our own grid. Then there's several in I think, New England, New England as a couple other ones. And the idea was that this deregulation would create a market that would drive prices down, because there were all these different ways of creating energy. And the regional transmission organizations are there to really do one thing, and that is to accept or deny bids every five minutes with the cost of energy, and then switch that. So you've got the power generators, you have people who are using natural gas, guys who are doing coal, what's left of them, it's actually quite a few, but you got the solar, you got the wind power, all of those offer up their their megawatt per hour price into the system and their bidding. And the way the clearing price or whatever price is taken is a complete black box. These regional transmission organizations often have laws that specifically forbid the press from attending their meetings. And there's all kinds of jerk offs on the boards of
  • 31:12
    these companies is really like a back room, dark alley type stuff. And they have one cardinal rule, which is you are never allowed to name the fuel. And this is, as I discovered, what got rick perry fired. Remember, he was our Energy Secretary. And then he decided he needed to go and a good buddy. He had to go and carry it yet go spend time with his family? That's because in 90 was it 2018? I think when he was still Energy Secretary, he made a public statement and said, We need to make Texas winter resilient. That's the term winter resilient, which is a an energy term, meaning typically you have oil reserves, 90 days, or coal, coal or something, because other stuff will stop and won't flow. And yes, Rick Perry,
  • 32:06
    John: got pushed out because he was telling the truth.
  • 32:09
    Adam: Yes. But the problem was not that he was telling the truth, the problem was that he specifically mentioned coal, and the N word. So and, and he and you can never mention that, because according to the regional transmission organizations, you can't have a bias because everybody knows, at the exchange itself, you can't have a bias over what kind of power that is. Everybody knows that the guys over at the, at the solar farm and the windmill farm that they get subsidies, so their actual cost is lower. You know, oil and gas has certain subsidies, nuclear has net, there's all kinds of things that go into this price. But what's amazing, is this auction. And this is where the next ercot voting video comes in.
  • 32:59
    Unknown: Or con is always coordinating the flow of electricity. But it also has important roles and managing the financial side of the energy market, collecting money from companies that consume power, and then paying the resources that produce it. So in a lot of ways, are caught. It's like the stock exchange, making sure that transactions are handled accurately
  • 33:17
    Adam: and efficiently.
  • 33:19
    Unknown: And that the right technology is available to keep those transactions flowing smoothly. virkon also provides financial and accounting services to the wholesale market under a set of market rules. So the grid can work effectively and efficiently. Your power, our promise.
  • 33:35
    Adam: It is not like the stock market. It is exactly that with all the same players. There's an entire secondary market, which no one talks about. If you go in and look at the auction bids these every five minutes. There's not, you know, 10 power generating companies. Yeah, they're in there. But there's maybe 200 parties in their bidding. And these are guys who are shorting hedging hedge funds, actual hedge funds are in this game there. But you know, you could be getting energy that has been that has been traded five times in five minutes to make more profit before it gets to you. So this is
  • 34:18
    John: mentioned as a bitches a lot of Enron people involved and
  • 34:22
    Adam: to make it worse I have in my possession documentation, which I can't give up because of course, it was given to me confidentially that they do the same trick. scheduling an outage can increase our profits when done properly. That's what Enron did. They were shutting down power generation to create a false scarcity. That's that's a part of their business model. Part of the business model. So it's exactly that Enron Wall Street bets and what happened is No one has responsibility. You can't blame traders who are in there that just trading to make a buck. None. And now you can't blame them You can't blame or caught, they're just doing what they do just getting the best price best price. No one had an incentive because of the financial, lack of financial rewards for having fuel on site. That's it. And these guys were loving the price because as the cold started to come in, they were like, Oh, fuck, this is great. Take the price there. What percentage increases that from $25 to $9,000. They were crushing it, they were killing it until started, stuff started to trip offline. Now, what I didn't really realize about the energy grid is it has to be in total balance, the demand matches the supply at all times. Otherwise, you can fry the grid or do all kinds. I mean, it's, that's some, it's probably quite simple in general. But if that's why they have to shut stuff down or bring stuff online. And you know, literally when I flip on a switch somewhere that's
  • 36:08
    getting generated, and this little trickle of extra energy is coming out. But we got completely hosed by a clearinghouse not dissimilar to Wall Street's dt, s C's dtcc. Whatever it is their central clearinghouse, people are trading futures. You're buying oil or gas powered energy that someone bought five years ago. So there's, there's there's no way to have any oversight. This is literally like NASDAQ. No one gives a shit what happens downstream.
  • 36:50
    John: Why would day?
  • 36:52
    Unknown: Well, because no sweat
  • 36:55
    John: off my balls is the old saying the way I
  • 36:57
    Adam: see it. We need Enron level hearings. Because it's the same thing. We need Enron level hearings, because it's the it's sanctioned.
  • 37:06
    John: You have to assume this end, the Enron models have permeated the entire country. Once in what Ron was broken up. Yep. All those guys scattered. I actually know one of them. In fact, I have some Enron golf balls.
  • 37:23
    Adam: You got to put those on Etsy.
  • 37:25
    John: I'm thinking about it. And they scattered around the country with this with these ideas is almost like a like a cancer. Uh huh. And, and they're ruined you, as you outlined is great. You know, you implement these ideas all over the place. It's just fabulous. So a lot of it has to do with privatization and and, and the bulk bogus, little middlemen that are put into into the system that make privatization work. A lot of these it's pretty obvious to people or not to everybody, but to a lot of people that privatization in public utilities is really not a great idea.
  • 38:11
    Adam: No, well, in reading this book, it's you really have the power grid, and then the policy grid and the the idea you get about the deregulation. What happened in 96 is kind of Orwellian. So direct deregulation, in fact, meant tons of regulations tons of all kinds of rules and advantages for this guy, that guy this that's all the politicians are all a part of this. It's not just the governor. It's not just the legislature. It's all the greedy Fox, it's the whole system, and they got caught with their pants down. This is because they believe global warming is happening and not global cooling. That's pretty much it. This this is only because of this this this this freeze that no one expected
  • 39:02
    John: this is Bill Clinton.
  • 39:04
    Adam: He got he was president when it deregulated right.
  • 39:08
    John: Yeah, he was he was the most republican of all the democratic presidents in history. So I look at the current could do things as a demo, he could do things this this is the old switcheroo. He could do this is like how only Nixon could have opened China. Right? He there are Democrats can do things that Republicans would love to do, but they can't but the democrats can and the same vice versa. The Republicans can do things that the democrats love to do but they can't right. Because people point the finger at him and so do you have this situation with Clinton who was just used every republican idea in the book and they always accused him of being exploitative I he's just doing it to exploited the voter, but no, is doing it sincerely.
  • 39:55
    Adam: That's the problem him I'm looking at the at the current prices, it's split up between Northwest South Texas and Houston. And and here's why this is a fun game anyone can play at home, you can get the ercot app and you can download it and use it or just go to their website. So right now the South Is it the the current price now it'll settle for for 9000. But the bid price is $9,004.47, which is above, above the legal limit. So the South is is not nothing's happening. It's stuck. We got Houston now it's 8990. So I guarantee you that now some power is coming online. And the same for the North. South is where we are that nothing else is going to come online until that price goes down, you can follow it to the tee. It's disgusting. They won't bring it online, because they can't make money on it. And here, here's this ercot thing that came out that was approved by the state, as noted that this order requires arcot to quote, ensure that firm load that is being shed, in this EA three which is the crisis is accounted for in our cots scarcity pricing signals. This directive is based on the Commission's observation in the order that energy prices of less than $9,000 per megawatt hour during low chip conditions are quote, inconsistent with the fundamental design of the ercot market. I mean, it's about money, they're not spinning up power until the money goes down. And they're beating outside the band so they won't get chosen or they'll get chosen at the top top top
  • 41:33
    price. People are suffering because of this. And the news media is not informing people of what's happening. And they'll never know Instead, we're all eager to see such green New Deal.
  • 41:50
    Unknown: Republican suck deregulation privatizing
  • 41:57
    John: not your best voice? Yeah,
  • 42:00
    Adam: I haven't had any television, which has been pretty damn nice. My goodness, didn't miss it at all. Anyway, this electric problem, I think that's going to pop up all over the world. And we know in the Netherlands, new homes are no longer being built with gas. Boy, hope nothing happens to that. By the way, I hope nothing happens to you up there, like happened here. You know, in the global cooling that's taking place.
  • 42:27
    John: I did have to make a correction. So people pointed out that Washington State has plenty of natural gas, except on the Olympic Peninsula where they did ban discourages use. Okay.
  • 42:40
    Adam: In Norway, in Norway, just to give you an example. electric cars, electric vehicles very popular. This is from Lawrence, one of our producers, because they're not subject to the 60 to 90%. import tax of traditional combustion engine cars. And I don't think it's unfair. I don't think they make any one of their debts. This is how it gets pushed. So 10% of all 280,000 of all 2.8 registered vehicles in Norway are 100%. Evie. So now the government is saying, you know the grid is getting a little overloaded. We'd really like people not to be charging your cars overnight. You know, you can only do it on this certain day. don't charge it in the morning due to the weather load on the electricity network. Do you see where this is headed? Do you see the problem with the dependency?
  • 43:47
    John: Man I where's my backyard nuke? If everything is all going to be electricity instead of a combination of ingredients, which includes gasoline, and coal and fossil fuel, which is cold too, but it didn't perform. If you're just gonna have everything having to funnel through the ones one point of you know that one single point of failure. The electrical grid is dumb, but what would be the point it's crazy.
  • 44:21
    Adam: Yeah, so this is this is long from over. I think they've already said that over the next few weeks, they will have to do rolling blackouts to bring everything back up. obviously depends a lot on the weather. But now now we're seeing the the crummy plumbing, which is not at all thought about, you know, for an it's I'm I'm sad because we've known in general whenever the government officials say right, and we pretty much look left and say that's probably the best solution. For some reason. It turns out that way, most of the time. We have talked about global cooling versus global warming forever on this show. And yet, still, the BBC still has the audacity to post. December just at the end of December, snowy winters could become a thing of the past, as climate change affects the UK, children will never
  • 45:26
    John: come up with this bromide. They
  • 45:28
    Adam: keep they keep doing it. And right now in the UK blanketed if someone had been honest, or whatever the hell is going on about this global warming bullcrap. And it said, Yeah, we're really we're in the start of the solar minimum or the What is this? The Marauder minimum Ice Age? What is it called? What's the exact term I
  • 45:53
    John: don't have in front of me? I didn't print that out. But yes, there is a 350 400 year cycle where the sun kind of cools down, right? Just a bit. But it cools down just enough to trigger a, an ice age and mini mini Ice Age. And that's been ongoing. It started and they think it was supposed to start in 2013 or somewhere some time recent is ongoing. We're actually we're in it. We're in it. Yeah. And and I think your example there in Texas is a good, good point. proving it, but and I just read when I was reading about this, and I had to say maybe it was you know, they were such a rush, rush, rush rush. They kept promoting the global warming kept promoting, oh, we've got only so long we got to do now there's a tipping point, a tipping point All Tomorrow's tomorrow is going to be the last chance we have. And there was this rush to promote this idea. Yes.
  • 46:49
    shows up. Yeah.