Posts tagged infrastructure

Government Agency: If 9 Substations Are Destroyed, The Power Grid Could Be Down For 18 Months

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Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

By Michael Snyder

Government Agency: If 9 Substations Are Destroyed, The Power Grid Could Be Down For 18 Months

 

North-American-Power-Grid-300x300What would you do if the Internet or the power grid went down for over a year?  Our key infrastructure, including the Internet and the power grid, is far more vulnerable than most people would dare to imagine.  These days, most people simply take for granted that the lights will always be on and that the Internet will always function properly.  But what if all that changed someday in the blink of an eye?  According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest report, all it would take to plunge the entire nation into darkness for more than a year would be to knock out a transformer manufacturer and just 9 of our 55,000 electrical substations on a really hot summer day.  The reality of the matter is that our power grid is in desperate need of updating, and there is very little or no physical security at most of these substations.  If terrorists, or saboteurs, or special operations forces wanted to take down our power grid, it would not be very difficult.  And as you will read about later in this article, the Internet is extremely vulnerable as well.

When I read the following statement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest report, I was absolutely floored…

“Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer.”

Wow.

What would you do without power for 18 months?

FERC studied what it would take to collapse the entire electrical grid from coast to coast.  What they found was quite unsettling

In its modeling, FERC studied what would happen if various combinations of substations were crippled in the three electrical systems that serve the contiguous U.S. The agency concluded the systems could go dark if as few as nine locations were knocked out: four in the East, three in the West and two in Texas, people with knowledge of the analysis said.
 
The actual number of locations that would have to be knocked out to spawn a massive blackout would vary depending on available generation resources, energy demand, which is highest on hot days, and other factors, experts said. Because it is difficult to build new transmission routes, existing big substations are becoming more crucial to handling electricity.

So what would life look like without any power for a long period of time?  The following list comes from one of my previous articles

-There would be no heat for your home.

-Water would no longer be pumped into most homes.

-Your computer would not work.

-There would be no Internet.

-Your phones would not work.

-There would be no television.

-There would be no radio.

-ATM machines would be shut down.

-There would be no banking.

-Your debit cards and credit cards would not work.

-Without electricity, gas stations would not be functioning.

-Most people would be unable to do their jobs without electricity and employment would collapse.

-Commerce would be brought to a standstill.

-Hospitals would not be able to function.

-You would quickly start running out of medicine.

-All refrigeration would shut down and frozen foods in our homes and supermarkets would start to go bad.

If you want to get an idea of how quickly society would descend into chaos, just watch the documentary “American Blackout” some time.  It will chill you to your bones.

The truth is that we live in an unprecedented time.  We have become extremely dependent on technology, and that technology could be stripped away from us in an instant.

Right now, our power grid is exceedingly vulnerable, and all the experts know this, but very little is being done to actually protect it

“The power grid, built over many decades in a benign environment, now faces a range of threats it was never designed to survive,” said Paul Stockton, a former assistant secretary of defense and president of risk-assessment firm Cloud Peak Analytics. “That’s got to be the focus going forward.”

If a group of agents working for a foreign government or a terrorist organization wanted to bring us to our knees, they could do it.

In fact, there have actually been recent attacks on some of our power stations.  Here is just one example

The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Smith reports that a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman is acknowledging for the first time that a group of snipers shot up a Silicon Valley substation for 19 minutes last year, knocking out 17 transformers before slipping away into the night.
 
The attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the U.S., Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, told Smith.

Have you heard about that attack before now?

Most Americans have not.

But it should have been big news.

At the scene, authorities found “more than 100 fingerprint-free shell casings“, and little piles of rocks “that appeared to have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.”

So what happens someday when the bad guys decide to conduct a coordinated attack against our power grid with heavy weapons?

It could happen.

In addition, as I mentioned at the top of this article, the Internet is extremely vulnerable as well.

For example, did you know that authorities are so freaked out about the security of the Internet that they have given “the keys to the Internet” to a very small group of individuals that meet four times per year?

It’s true.  The following is from a recent story posted by the Guardian

The keyholders have been meeting four times a year, twice on the east coast of the US and twice here on the west, since 2010. Gaining access to their inner sanctum isn’t easy, but last month I was invited along to watch the ceremony and meet some of the keyholders – a select group of security experts from around the world. All have long backgrounds in internet security and work for various international institutions. They were chosen for their geographical spread as well as their experience – no one country is allowed to have too many keyholders. They travel to the ceremony at their own, or their employer’s, expense.
 
What these men and women control is the system at the heart of the web: the domain name system, or DNS. This is the internet’s version of a telephone directory – a series of registers linking web addresses to a series of numbers, called IP addresses. Without these addresses, you would need to know a long sequence of numbers for every site you wanted to visit. To get to the Guardian, for instance, you’d have to enter “77.91.251.10″ instead of theguardian.com.

If the system that controls those IP addresses gets hijacked or damaged, we would definitely need someone to press the “reset button” on the Internet.

Sadly, the hackers always seem to be several steps ahead of the authorities.  In fact, according to one recent report, breaches of U.S. government computer networks go undetected 40 percent of the time

A new report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) details widespread cybersecurity breaches in the federal government, despite billions in spending to secure the nation’s most sensitive information.
 
The report, released on Tuesday, found that approximately 40 percent of breaches go undetected, and highlighted “serious vulnerabilities in the government’s efforts to protect its own civilian computers and networks.”
 
“In the past few years, we have seen significant breaches in cybersecurity which could affect critical U.S. infrastructure,” the report said. “Data on the nation’s weakest dams, including those which could kill Americans if they failed, were stolen by a malicious intruder. Nuclear plants’ confidential cybersecurity plans have been left unprotected. Blueprints for the technology undergirding the New York Stock Exchange were exposed to hackers.”

Yikes.

And things are not much better when it comes to cybersecurity in the private sector either.  According to Symantec, there was a 42 percent increase in cyberattacks against businesses in the United States last year.  And according to a recent report in the Telegraph, our major banks are being hit with cyberattacks “every minute of every day”…

Every minute, of every hour, of every day, a major financial institution is under attack.
 
Threats range from teenagers in their bedrooms engaging in adolescent “hacktivism”, to sophisticated criminal gangs and state-sponsored terrorists attempting everything from extortion to industrial espionage. Though the details of these crimes remain scant, cyber security experts are clear that behind-the-scenes online attacks have already had far reaching consequences for banks and the financial markets.

For much more on all of this, please see my previous article entitled “Big Banks Are Being Hit With Cyberattacks ‘Every Minute Of Every Day’“.

Up until now, attacks on our infrastructure have not caused any significant interruptions in our lifestyles.

But at some point that will change.

Are you prepared for that to happen?

We live at a time when our world is becoming increasingly unstable.  In the years ahead it is quite likely that we will see massive economic problems, major natural disasters, serious terror attacks and war.  Any one of those could cause substantial disruptions in the way that we live.

At this point, even NASA is warning that “civilization could collapse”…

A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
 
Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”

So let us hope for the best.

But let us also prepare for the worst.

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

 

 

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Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

 

U.S. Treasury Department Guarantees Debt Issued by the Jordanian Government

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Source: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com

By Michael Krieger

 

U.S. Treasury Department Guarantees Debt Issued by the Jordanian Government

 

In a bizarre announcement yesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department boasted that the government of Jordan had closed on a $1.25 issuance of sovereign debt guaranteed by the U.S. government. While I am not sure how common it is for our nation to guarantee these types of issuances (comments would be appreciated), the announcement represents a gigantic slap in the face on multiple levels.

From the U.S. Treasury Department’s press release:

This guarantee marks the conclusion of a process that President Obama set in motion in March 2013 when he visited Jordan.  During his visit, President Obama noted that a U.S. guarantee, “can help deliver the results that Jordanians deserve… to see their schools better, their roads improved, healthcare, clean water all enhanced, the training that I know a lot of Jordanians seek, particularly young people, to get a job or to turn entrepreneurial skills into a business that creates even more jobs.”  That vision was further affirmed by the signing of a loan guarantee agreement in Amman on August 14, 2013.

Did you catch that? The Treasury Department expressed its preoccupation with Jordanian healthcare on the same day it is revealed that the top hospitals in America will not accept Obamacare.

Oh, and good thing we are so concerned with Jordanian infrastructure spending. Meanwhile back in the USSA:

U.S.structure-spending

Full Story

 

Image credit: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com

 

Social Security Ponzi Scheme : Ripping Off The Next Generations

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Source: http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com

Social Security is debt slavery for the young. Plain and simple , just one of the many failings of government, who simply is incapable of doing business and can only steal and borrow money in order to spend it.The reward for working hard is to have half your income taken through force and a significant portion of this money is given to those that will not work! If that ain’t killing entrepreneurial spirit then what it is . The funny thing is, you can invest your money in the same place as social security and get more back privately. In fact if you could opt out and invest it in the same place not only could you receive the money for the rest of your life, but your inheritors would actually get the remainder when you die (not just have it go back to the general fund). The stupidest group on the planet are the ones who think that government was meant to provide for everything, and is the answer to everything.In a Ponzi scheme pays off the first few investors. social security does not even do that.A Ponzi scheme is voluntary but Social Security is violent

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Twitter admits ‘unfollowing bug’

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Source: http://www.federaljack.com

By

twitter, unfollow, bug

The microblogging company has now admitted that there is a problem. A Twitter spokesman said: “This is a bug, and our team is working to fix it.”

The bug is causing Twitter users to randomly unfollow people without account holders’ prior consent or knowledge. Twitter has advised affected people to visit its support page and go to fellow tweeters’ profile pages to check whether they are still following them or not.

Labour MP and fanatic tweeter, Tom Watson, has been affected by the bug and tweeted: “I thought I was doing something wrong,” and then linked to an advice column on the topic, published by Jeremiah Owyang, a technology industry analyst writing for TechCrunch.

Owyang wrote: “I wonder how many businesses, personal, and casual relationships are strained by the bug haphazardly unfollowing. It causes us to give pause and question the stability of the Twitter infrastructure, usage of my personal data and social network, and what important messages I may have missed from my trusted Twitter network.”

Thousands of users have been tweeting about their experiences of the unfollow bug and their reaction to it.

Adam Rifkin, the co-founder of a conversation website Pandwhale,tweeted, “Is it me or has Twitter’s unfollow bug been going on for a while? Why is this such a hard bug to fix?”

While Janet Davis, an art and design historian, posted: “Twitter’s always done it. [It's] worse in recent weeks.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/9171160/Twitter-admits-unfollowing-bug.html

New Obama Executive Order Seizes U.S. Infrastructure and Citizens for Military Preparedness

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Sources:

Text content: http://www.activistpost.com

Video Content: http://breakthematrix.com

In a stunning move, on March 16, 2012, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order stating that the President and his specifically designated Secretaries now have the authority to commandeer all domestic U.S. resources including food and water. The EO also states that the President and his Secretaries have the authority to seize all transportation, energy, and infrastructure inside the United States as well as forcibly induct/draft American citizens into the military. The EO also contains a vague reference in regards to harnessing American citizens to fulfill “labor requirements” for the purposes of national defense.

Not only that, but the authority claimed inside the EO does not only apply to National Emergencies and times of war. It also applies in peacetime.

The National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order exploits the “authority” granted to the President in the Defense Production Act of 1950 in order to assert that virtually every means of human survival is now available for confiscation and control by the President via his and his Secretaries’ whim.

The unconstitutionality of the overwhelming majority of Executive Orders is well established, as well as the illegality of denying citizens their basic Constitutional and human rights, even in the event of a legitimate national emergency. Likewise, it should also be pointed out that, like Obama’s recent Libyan adventure and the foregone conclusion of a Syrian intervention, there is no mention of Congress beyond a minor role of keeping the allegedly co-equal branch of government informed on contextually meaningless developments.

As was mentioned above, the scope of the EO is virtually all-encompassing. For instance, in “Section 201 – Priorities and Allocations Authorities,” the EO explains that the authority for the actions described in the opening paragraph rests with the President but is now delegated to the various Secretaries of the U.S. Federal Government. The list of delegations and the responsibility of the Secretaries as provided in this section are as follows:

(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;
(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;
(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;
(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;
(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and
(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

Oil Boom

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Hmm, not seeing much news coverage on this.  Makes one question how dependent are we on foreign oil really and where is this oil being consumed?

Oil Boom in NW North Dakota

Very interesting happenings up north.
The following was a document share by someone that attended a meeting with regards to the Oil Boom in NW ND.

A tanker truck heads north on North Dakota Highway 23. Eric Hylden / Forum Communications Co.

A meeting was held of the ND Sheriff’s & Deputies Association in Bismarck, as part of this meeting we had an opportunity to sit down with Law Enforcement from western ND to discuss what they are going through with oil impact. Here is a summary of points made:1. Currently there are a total of 84 companies involved in the oil industry in western ND.

2. It takes between 2000 and 2200 semi loads of water per well. Currently there are 258 wells in progress with so many scheduled it is hard to determine the exact amount.

3. Traffic accidents, especially fatal traffic accidents are of very high concern. At one location on Highway 85 south of Williston, a traffic count was conducted in October of 2011. In one 24 hour period of time there where 29,000 vehicle through the intersection looked at with 60% of the traffic being semi’s.

4. Traffic is typically backed up for ½ to ¾ of a mile. One of the guys stated that one day last week he sat at an intersection on Highway 85 for about 30 minutes to get a big enough opening to cross over.

5. They have closed the weigh scale house because it was causing such a traffic jamb that it was closing the roadway.

6. Rent in Williston currently is: $ 2000 for a one bedroom to $ 3400 for a three bedroom.

7. They have no more hook ups for campers any where in the area.

8. Williams County allows three campers per farmstead, the farmers almost all have three campers on their property and are charging $ 800 per camper per month for rent.

9. Wal Mart in Williston no longer stocks shelves, they bring out pallets of merchandise at night, and set it in the isles, people then take off the pallets what they want.

10. On 1-1-12, the Williston Wal Mart had 148 campers overnight in their parking lot.

11. Willams County wrecked a pickup and ended up bringing it to Bismarck for repairs because there no available body shops to do the work. Williams County has purchased a trailer and has started to bring vehicles to the Bismarck area for repairs. Willaims County took a pickup in for ball joints and front brakes, the shop charged them $ 2800 for the repairs.

12. Williston and Williams County now produces more taxable sales than any other area in ND.

13. The Williams County jail has increased booking by 150%. With a 100% increase in inmate population. Bonds of $ 5k to $ 10 K are typically paid with cash out of pocket. The Williams County Sheriff stated that a couple of week ago he received a $ 63,000 bond in cash carried into the jail in a plastic Wal Mart bag.

14. Williams County Sheriff’s Department has more than doubled in staff over the last two years, they are now buying trailer houses that come up for sale to rent to newly hired deputies.

15. Williams County new starting salary with the academy is $ 46,000 plus 100% of all benefits paid.

16. They are in a continuous hiring cycle, they have no set budget at this time, the Sheriff has been told to manage his office to the best of his abilities and keep the Commission updated, but do not worry about the budget.

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How Our Infrastructure Is being Sold To Foreign Corporations

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An Example of How Our Infrastructure Is being Sold To Foreign Corporations

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Thanks to FederalJack: http://www.federaljack.com/

Listen To Popeye’s Radio Show here: http://www.oriontalkradio.com/Default.aspx?PID=8&T=Down%20the%20Rabbit%20…

 

After Getting Groped By The TSA, I May Just Vote For Ron Paul

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com

By David Seaman, Credit Card Outlaw

I’ll keep this brief.

Yesterday I was subjected to an illegal, warrantless, and groundless “physically invasive” pat down by a TSA agent. A stranger grabbed my genitals — this wasn’t your simple frisking before entering an airport terminal. This was how you treat a prisoner in a maximum security prison. I posted the chilling details of my encounter on my Google+ profile here.

I fly often, and have never been subjected to anything this extreme, disgusting, and profoundly un-American. Aside from violating the Fourth Amendment, what was done to me violated the founding spirit of our nation.

Also, on a recent cross-country road trip I was repeatedly pulled over for “speeding.” I wasn’t speeding, or was going so marginally above the speed limit as to be impossible to prevent. Pulling over motorists without cause is becoming more prevalent in many areas of the US. It’s done to intimidate, it’s done to raise revenues (speeding tickets), and it’s done to casually search your vehicle and your person without probable cause or a warrant.

This is the kind of thing I’d expect in a third-world dictatorship, or in Syria. Not in the United States of America.

The U.S. is rapidly turning into a police state, as Canada’s Calgary Herald recently pointed out in an excellent op-ed penned by Kris Kotarski.

How dare we condemn human rights abuses in the Middle East when we treat productive members of our own society — frequent business travelers — like drug mules and felons.

The TSA is unconstitutional. Security at the expense of our most basic freedoms is not freedom at all.

I’ve disagreed with some of Ron Paul’s economic views (I think getting rid of the Fed and rapidly transitioning to a new gold standard would create many unintended consequences, and harm middle class folks who don’t have any exposure to precious metals; their savings are in US-dollar denominated bank accounts) — despite this, he is the ONLY CANDIDATE who seems to care that our civil rights have been egregiously rolled back over the past decade.

This alone makes him worth my vote. And I can’t in good conscience vote for President Obama’s re-election.

I’ve heard supporters of the current administration say that the TSA and other violations of our freedoms were enacted by his predecessor. Fair enough — but Mr. Obama has had THREE YEARS to roll back the infrastructure of the police state and restore some of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. He has not done so.

Maybe Ron Paul will be able to reverse some of what this country has become. At least he talks about the problem. That’s a start.

Because this isn’t the America I learned about in school:

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[CIM Comment: Good article David, I fully understand and agree.  Speaking of Ron Paul, please visit the link below.]

Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site and donate today!

Flashback! – Ron Paul: “We go to war over oil. We went to war over oil in the Persian Gulf.”

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No spin, no hype, Ron Paul’s views change as frequently as does the Constitution, never.  He is a steadfast statesman for our Constitutional Republic.

ANOTHER Infrastructure Fail In China, As Bullet Train Derails On A Bridge

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com

A burgeoning story is the failure of China’s much-hyped infrastructure projects.

The country’s high-speed rail has really come under a lot of suspicion due to high costs, performance that’s less than what was promised, and straight up failures.

The latest: A bullet train has derailed on a bridge, leading to this awful image posted on Sina Weibo:

rail

Image: Wikimedia Commons

According to Reuters, via reporter Fabrizio Goria, the accident happened in the Zhejiang Province.

According to AFP, the crash occurred at 8:30 PM local time on the line that went from Hangzhou to Wenzhou.

Update: Sadly, 11 people are reported to have been killed in the accident.

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