Larwyn’s Linx: Government Power and Evil

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Nation

Government Power and Evil: Daniel Greenfield
Why Obama’s Presidency Has to Be All About Race Now: Federalist
Pelosi and Schumer need to read the Constitution: Betsy McCaughey

The Meltdown of the Obama Genderhawks: Michelle Malkin
‘Tax Freedom Day’ falls three days later this year: DC
Two minority Democrats in Chicago support GOP candidate for governor: Allen West

Democrats, GOP all just united behind Cruz bill – unanimously: BPR
Obama To Attend Texas Fundraiser Same Day As Ft. Hood Memorial: CBS Houston
RGA poll shows Scott Brown ahead of Jeanne Shaheen in NH: Moe Lane

Economy

White House #WarOnMath: Women do not make 77 cents on the dollar: Freddoso
40 Central Banks Are Betting This Will Be The Next Reserve Currency: ZH
Hedge Fund Guys Who Started Mortgage Meltdown Want Your Tax Dollars: VDARE

Scandal Central

Massive Voter Fraud Tainted ’12 Election: Dick Morris
Ex Post Facto – Connecticut’s “Assault Weapon” Ban Is Blatantly Unconstitutional: Bearing Arms
GOWDY: You don’t have discretion on whether to follow the law or not… HOLDER: I disagree…: Scoop

Climate & Energy

The Washington Post Corrects, Disingenuously: Power Line
EPA Studies and Preordained Conclusions: AT
The Truth about Fracking : Kevin D. Williamson

Media

Some thoughts on 2016 from an anonymous journalist reader: Instapundit
Our Racist Media: Instapundit
Sharpton on Drug Sting Tape: Rev says government tried to set him up: NYDN

MOBZILLA. The Purging of Brendan Eich: Wilderness
The Endless Purge: Ace
New Dem Poll Warns Of Midterm Disaster For Democrats: WZ

CNN “Stunned” By White House’s Dishonest Rhetoric On Equal Pay: WZ
Ben Sasse: A Story That Needed Telling: Erick Erickson
Liz Cheney Fires Back at Pelosi: ‘Her Spine Doesn’t Reach Her Brain’: Mediaite

World

The New World “disOrder” Is On The Horizon: Asylum Watch
Kerry Rejects ‘Premature Judgment About the Failure of Everything’ in Obama’s Foreign Policy: PJM
Carney Says Iran’s Hostage-Taker Pick ‘Not Viable’ for UN Ambassador: PJM

Islam Is What Happens When Civilization Loses: Daniel Greenfield
Testifying Before U.S. Senate, Kerry Places Blame on Israel for Peace Talks Failure: Algemeiner
‘Recognize Reality’: McCain Criticizes Kerry for His Trifecta of Foreign Policy Failures: Breitbart

Banned in the British Library: Pipes
How to Assist Evil: Walter Williams
2013 Military Photographer of the Year awards: Stripes

Sci-Tech (courtesy BadBlue Tech News)

Google Enters the Hotel Business, Takes on Advertisers Priceline, Expedia, and Trip Advisor: Mish
Windows XP support officially ends today, still used by over 25 percent of PCs: Engadget
Brands of 1964: Where Are the Foods of Yesteryear? They’re Still Here!: American Digest

Cornucopia

Gender Pay Gaps and the Mighty Obama Samurai Pen: MOTUS
A Floridian Comments On Jeb Bush’s Immigration Trial Balloon: VDARE
Pro wrestling legend The Ultimate Warrior dies at 54: Fox

Image: Ukraine: Communist lawmakers scuffle with right-wing
Sponsored by: Matt Bevin for Senate — Help Fire Mitch McConnell

QOTD: ““For thirty years, nobody has wanted to run against [Mitch McConnell]. For thirty years he has been a bully who has intimidated people, and he has had this Machiavellian death-grip on people, and he has caused people to live in fear. But this our government, we pay his salary, and there is no reason people should be intimidated by a man who works for them.”” –Matt Bevin

Doug Ross @ Journal

A “BREATHTAKING” REDUCTION OF U.S. POWER: Obama Defunds Critical Hellfire and Tomahawk Missile Systems

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

Defense Spending: Two more weapons systems, including the Navy’s premier attack missile, have been targeted for elimination by the administration years before their usefulness ends or replacements are ready.

How ironic that Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Barack Obama used the Tomahawk missile he now seeks to scrap as his weapon of choice when on March 19, 2011, he launched Operation Odyssey Dawn and fired 112 Tomahawks at Libyan targets to enforce a U.N.-backed no fly-zone in support of Libyan rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi.

Future presidents will not be able to carry such a big stick. Along with the Hellfire air-to-ground attack missile, the Tomahawk is considered by the administration to be one of those Cold War weapons no longer needed.

Under Obama’s budget proposals, the Navy, which as recently as last year had plans to buy 980 more Tomahawks, the primary cruise missile used throughout the fleet, will see purchases drop from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015. The number will then drop to zero in 2016.

The U.S. used 220 Tomahawks in the fight with Libya, according to the Washington Free Beacon. With the States using about 100 Tomahawks annually, our inventory will be depleted around 2018. No future purchases are planned, and no replacement is in the pipeline.

“It doesn’t make sense,” Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, told the Free Beacon. The move, he said, is “like running a white flag up on a very tall flagpole and saying, ‘We are ready to be walked on.’”

If someone were trying to “reduce the U.S. ability to shape events” in the world, Cropsey added, “they couldn’t find a better way than depriving the U.S. fleet of Tomahawks. It’s breathtaking.”

These moves are the latest in a series of cancellations of major weapons systems and plans that in the past have included abandonment of missile defense and planned sites in Poland and the Czech Republic and the cancellation of future orders of the F-22 Raptor, a stealth fighter that many consider to be the best air-superiority fighter ever built.

We have noted administration plans to cut U.S. troop levels to pre-World War II levels. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno, the former top U.S. general in Iraq, testified last September before the House Armed Services Committee that “these reductions will put at substantial risk our ability to conduct even one sustained major combat operation.”

Writing in the New York Times, Steve Cohen, a former director of the U.S. Naval Institute, noted that the days of President Ronald Reagan’s 600-ship Navy, which helped stymie Soviet expansionism and win the Cold War, is no more than a fond memory.

“With the U.S. Navy arguably at its smallest since 1917, we don’t have many ships that are actually at sea,” Cohen says. “Only 35% of the Navy’s entire fleet is deployed, fewer than 100 ships.”

U.S. air power has also been a target of the Obama administration. In June of last year, David A. Deptula, a retired Air Force three-star general and senior military scholar at the Air Force Academy, warned that “in the Air Force alone, more than 30 squadrons are now grounded, along with air crews and maintenance and training personnel.”

In an interview with Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, President Obama told our European allies they’d better ramp up their own defenses because, he said in a monumental understatement, “in the United States, after two wars, we are moving toward a leaner military.”

No wonder Vladimir Putin is smiling.


Read more at Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal

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

Editor’s Note: Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog paints a scary picture of the current state of our national power grid. We recently saw what investigators say is a sophisticated attack on the California power grid whereby individuals first cut communications lines and then used sniper fire to target the massive transformers responsible for switching electricity to residents. Members of the Navy SEALs say this attack was carried in the same way they would have executed it. Officials called it the most significant incident of domestic terrorism on the power grid in America’s history. Now consider what might happen should such an attack be coordinated around key grid access points. It wouldn’t take much to bring our country to its knees as noted in the report below. If such an attack were to actually happen the repercussions would be felt from coast to coast as people quickly run out of food and essential services become non existent. According to a recent study, within one year some 90% of Americans would die as a result. 

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 darkif 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 oftheguardian.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.) detailswidespread cybersecurity breaches in the federal government, despite billions in spending to secure the nation’s most sensitive information.

The report, released on Tuesday, found thatapproximately 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 percentincrease 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.”

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years. Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream. If you want to know what things in America are going to look like in a few years read his new book The Beginning of the End.


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Terror Attack on Power Grid in California Demonstrates the Suicidal Insanity of America’s Porous Borders

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

War On Terror: New information about a sniper assault on Silicon Valley’s phone lines and power grid has raised fears that the nation’s power grid is vulnerable to terrorism.

The prospect that the unsolved attack on an electrical substation near San Jose just hours after the Boston Marathon bombing in April could have been a terrorist act was raised anew last week by Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“This is the most sophisticated and extensive attack that’s ever occurred on the grid to my knowledge,” he told the Associated Press, contradicting FBI denials that terrorism was involved. “I don’t know what the definition of terrorism is other than when an extremely well-trained group attacks a major piece of infrastructure in an expertly planned attack.”

Wellinghoff also mused recently that the attack might have been a dress rehearsal for a more widespread attack on a national grid vulnerable to disruption. “There are ways that a very few number of actors with very rudimentary equipment could take down large portions of our grid,” he told Foreign Policy. “I don’t think we have the level of physical security we need.”

An attack by intruders with guns and rifles could be just as devastating as any cyberattack, he said.

The April 16, 2013, attack on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf transmission substation attack began when intruders lifted heavy manhole covers at about 1:30 a.m. in two places on Monterey Highway, south of San Jose, climbed under the road and cut AT&T fiber-optic cables, temporarily knocking out phone service.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that in just 19 minutes, gunmen fired more than 100 rounds into substation equipment, disabling 17 of 20 big transformers, causing about $ 16 million in damage.

Last October, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey said a video showed three or four men carried out the attack in a “disciplined military fashion,” systematically firing their weapons and “quickly and professionally disposed of everything they had.” This was no mere act of “hooliganism,” he said, but rather “a systematic attempt to take down the electric grid.”

“These were not amateurs taking potshots,” Mark Johnson, a former vice president for transmission operations at PG&E, said last month at a conference on grid security. “My personal view is that this was a dress rehearsal” for future attacks.

Part of the problem is a porous southern border through which what the Border Patrol calls OTMs (other than Mexicans) cross in significant numbers. If the cartels can smuggle drugs and people into America, Hezbollah and al-Qaida have to know they can smuggle in trained terrorists. Politicians like to talk about repairing infrastructure. How about protecting it?

Read more at Investor’s Business Daily. Image: Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for Terrorism.

Doug Ross @ Journal

Report: Power Plant Attack: “Most Significant Incident of Domestic Terrorism Involving the Grid That Has Ever Occurred”

Chances are you didn’t hear about it when it happened or the investigation that followed. Last April just outside of San Jose, California the grid system came under direct attack.

Investigators have yet to identify any suspects, but the attack seems to have been well planned. First, someone accessed an underground vault housing fiber optic telephone cables and cut off communications to a large PG&E Substation.

Then, for 19 minutes, someone opened fire from long-range.

The sniper apparently utilized 7.62x39mm rounds, such as those used in an AK-47, to target the oil-driven cooling systems for 17 large transformers. The shell casings found at the scene had been wiped clean of fingerprints. According to Newsmax none of the transformers exploded, but the damage was significant enough for PG&E to force their electricity feeds to reroute through another station in an effort to prevent a widespread blackout.

As of yet police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have no leads. The evidence suggests any number of scenarios with the highest likelihood being a coordinated attack involving a team. But because of its simplicity it’s possible that the attack could have been orchestrated by a lone individual.

Whatever the case, the event prompted the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon Wellinghoff to call it, “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.”

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The 64-year-old Nevadan, who was appointed to FERC in 2006 by President George W. Bush and stepped down in November, said he gave closed-door, high-level briefings to federal agencies, Congress and the White House last year. As months have passed without arrests, he said, he has grown increasingly concerned that an even larger attack could be in the works.

He said he was going public about the incident out of concern that national security is at risk and critical electric-grid sites aren’t adequately protected.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn’t think a terrorist organization caused the Metcalf attack, said a spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco. Investigators are “continuing to sift through the evidence,” he said.

Some people in the utility industry share Mr. Wellinghoff’s concerns, including a former official at PG&E, Metcalf’s owner, who told an industry gathering in November he feared the incident could have been a dress rehearsal for a larger event.

This wasn’t an incident where Billy-Bob and Joe decided, after a few brewskis, to come in and shoot up a substation,” Mark Johnson, retired vice president of transmission for PG&E, told the utility security conference, according to a video of his presentation. “This was an event that was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components.”

cali-attack2(Via the Wall Street Journal)

The most significant power grid attack in U.S. history failed to be reported in any detail by officials or the mainstream media, likely because they did not want to panic the populace.

Could this have been a test for a larger scale event? Certainly.

Since then, what steps have been taken to protect the grid from such attacks, or even other potential scenarios like electro-magnetic pulse devices or solar flares that could wipe out the national power grid within seconds? None.

A single individual could have carried out such an attack. Cut the phone lines. Take aim. Open fire. It’s simple, really.

Now consider the potential damage if a rogue terrorist group or state-sponsored initiative launched a coordinated attack across 50 to 100 critical nodes all over the United States. Such an attack could bring the country to a complete standstill, leaving economic destruction and large-scale destabilization in its wake. A couple of days are manageable, but if the right equipment were to be targeted then it’s possible that repairs would take up to 18 months because many transformer components are sourced from foreign nations and have long build times.

The telecommunications systems, power grid, water  utilities, transportation systems, oil refineries and other critical industries across America are, as reported by U.S. Cyber Command, completely exposed to attack. It could come in the form of a cyber vulnerability, as we saw in Illinois when a utility station’s water pump systems overheated due to a reported digital security breach or when our drone fleet was hacked in the middle east. Or, it could be a physical attack like the one in California, with future incidents potentially involving larger transformers and explosives instead of AK-47′s.

The possibilities exist. Our government knows this, as evidenced by the comments of outgoing DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano who recently said that a crippling attack against U.S. infrastructure elements is inevitable.

The fact is that our infrastructure is outdated and exposed. It will not be repaired any time soon because the costs run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Thus, the only real option for Americans is to expect that such an event is coming, and to prepare for it.

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who has retired and now lives well outside of populated areas, says people should get out of major cities and have a retreat to avoid the fall-out from a grid collapse. His fears are substantiated by a recent report that claims 9 out of 10 Americans would die within a year of the electricity going out.

But whether you head out to the boonies or stay local, even the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends having an emergency supply because, as they’ve admitted, any response in a catastrophic scenario will be slow to come. This means that having a preparedness plan complete with evacuation strategies, food supplies, water and other considerations will be essential to survival.

The threat is real.

 

 


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You