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Leaking Las Vegas: West’s Biggest Reservoir Nears Critical Threshold

Lake Mead – the West’s largest reservoir – is running dry again and is on track to fall below a critical threshold in 2020, according to a new forecast by the Bureau of Reclamation.

In 2016, Lake Mead water levels drop to new record lows (since it was filled in the 1930s) leaving Las Vegas facing existential threats unless something is done. Las Vegas and its 2 million residents and 40 million tourists a year get almost all their drinking water from the Lake and at levels below 1075ft, the Interior Department will be forced to declare a “shortage,” which will lead to significant cutbacks for Arizona and Nevada.

And now, two years later, the situation appears to be getting worse as The Wall Street Journal reports, in a prediction released Wednesday, the Bureau of Reclamation, a multistate agency that manages water and power in the West, said there is a 52% probability that water levels will fall below a threshold of 1,075 feet elevation by 2020.

Source

“The very big concern is the perception that water supplies are uncertain,” said Todd Reeve, chief executive officer of Business for Water Stewardship, a nonprofit group in Portland, Ore., that works with businesses on water use nationally.

“So if a water shortage is declared, that would be a huge shot across the bow that, wow, water supplies could be uncertain.”

The Colorado River, which supplies water to 40 million people from Denver to Los Angeles, has been in long-term decline amid what bureau officials call the driest 19-year period in recorded history.

Lake Mead, which serves as the biggest reservoir of the river’s water, resumed its decline this year after the region returned to drought conditions. As of Wednesday, it stood at 1,078 feet, about 150 feet below its peak.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is America a Police State?

Is America a Police State?

The current state of the United States’ criminal justice system, if it can even be called that anymore, is truly appalling.

Recently, in a small town in Pennsylvania, an insurance agent for Nationwide Insurance noticed a certain plant growing in a garden on the property he was inspecting. This insurance agent identified the plant as marijuana and notified the police about this nefarious behavior. An elderly couple lived at that property, and while the husband was out at the time, the wife was dragged from her home, in her underwear, while police proceeded to ransack the home for four hours. They found nothing illegal. And that marijuana plant that started this whole debacle? Actually a hibiscus. This is only one of countless examples of this exact sort of “raid first, ask questions later” mentality that police forces in this country have adopted. But it’s only natural that this sort of bad behavior has evolved because of the huge problem of overcriminalization. And when the difference between “criminal” and “lawbreaker” is more than just splitting semantic hairs, something needs to be done. Special guest Clark Neily of the Cato Institute joins James Harrigan and Antony Davies to talk about this and more on this week’s episode of Words and Numbers.

The public-choice dynamics behind overcriminalization

57-year-old grandfather from India partially paralyzed by a cop while visiting his son in Alabama — cop charged with assault but jury hung; charges dismissed

Philadelphia police captain slugs woman because he mistakenly believed she threw water on him. The officer was terminated by the police chief, but reinstated by an arbitrator with back pay.

Phila. cop who punched woman gets job back
6abc.com

NYPD officer nearly kills bicyclist by pushing him into a curb. The officer was convicted of lying about it in court but not punished.

Ex-Officer Guilty in Critical Mass Confrontation
www.nytimes.com

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Face of Surveillance: Malcolm Turnbull’s Recognition Database

The Face of Surveillance: Malcolm Turnbull’s Recognition Database

Never miss an opportunity in the security business.  A massacre in Las Vegas has sent its tremors through the establishments, and made its way across the Pacific into the corridors of Canberra and the Prime Minister’s office.  Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull is very keen to make hay out of blood, and has suggested another broadening of the security state: the creation of a national facial recognition data base.

It stands to reason.  Energy policy is in a state of free fall.  The government’s broadband network policy has proven disastrous, uneven, inefficient and costly. Australia is falling back in the ranks, a point that Turnbull dismisses as “rubbish statistics” (importantly showing that President Donald Trump is not the only purveyor of fanciful figures).

The Turnbull government is also in the electoral doldrums, struggling to keep up with a Labor opposition which has shown signs of breaking away into a canter.  The only thing keeping this government in scourers and saucepans is the prospect that Turnbull is the more popular choice of prime minister.

Enter, then, the prism of the national interest, the chances afforded to his political survival by the safety industrial complex.  Turnbull, a figure who, when in the law, stressed the importance of various liberties, is attempting to convince all the governments of Australia that terrorism suspects can be detained for periods of up to 14 days without charge.  Lazy law enforcement officials, rejoice.

Tagged to that agenda, one he wishes to run by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in Canberra, is the fanciful need for a national facial recognition database.  This dystopian fantasy of an information heavy, centralised database is one Australians have historically have opposed with admirable scepticism.  It has been something that Anglophone countries have tended to cast a disapproving look upon, a feature of a civilization suspicious of intrusions made by the executive.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

You’re On Your Own, by Robert Gore

You’re On Your Own, by Robert Gore

ichef.bbci.co.uk

If the world seems incomprehensible now, just wait.

Within a twenty-four-hour span the Catalonian people voted 90 percent in favor of secession from Spain, despite the Spanish government’s effort to violently squelch the referendum, and a man in a Las Vegas hotel room opened fire on a concert, killing fifty-nine and wounding over 500. There’s no tangible connection between the two incidents, but they illustrate incipient forces still gathering steam that are transforming the world.

No government, military force, or intelligence unit has figured out how to stop those determined to kill large numbers of people if the killers are willing to forfeit their own lives. Nor will they. Individuals and small groups have the capability to amass and use large amounts of lethal weaponry, killing military and civilian targets in a guerrilla war, or victims on the deadly end of their random bullets or bombs.

Arguments that this can stopped by limiting access to weaponry are specious, serving only as cover for further expansion of government and curtailment of individual liberty. The trend towards cheaper, more widely distributed killing power stretches back to the invention of gun powder. Guns can now be manufactured at home with 3D printers. The cows left the barn long ago.

Standing in opposition to the forces of decentralized violence are the forces of centralized violence, governments. Catalonia offers a useful illustration. Violence was the government’s loud and clear cry that it had no other argument for preventing Catalonian succession. The wealthy region pays a disproportionate share of Spain’s taxes and gets less back than it puts in. Catalans are a distinct ethnic subgroup, attenuating any so-called blood ties between Catalonia and Spain. Suppression was only partially successful and 90 percent of those Catalonians who voted chose independence.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

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The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Tom Petty’s anthem for today’s investors

Man, what an awful stretch of events.

When I penned last week’s article on tragedy, little did I expect something as horrible as the Las Vegas massacre would immediately follow. And nearly lost in the headlines was the untimely passing of rock legend, Tom Petty, one of my all-time favorite musicians. Sure can’t wait for this week to be over…

In memory of Tom, I’ve been listening to a lot of his and the Heartbreakers’ best hits. The lyrics to one song in particular, The Waiting, well-captures an important message today’s investors should take to heart:

The waiting is the hardest part
Don’t let it kill you baby, don’t let it get to you

Those waiting for the financial markets to experience some sort (any sort!) of pullback have been waiting a long, looong time. How long?

  • It has been over 100 months (more than 8.5 years) since the current bull market began in April of 2009
  • It has been 15 months since the last (and very brief) drop of 5% in the S&P 500
  • This past September saw record low volatility, including a stretch now claimed to be “the most peaceful days in the history of the markets
  • Since last year’s presidential election, at which point the markets were already considered dangerously overvalued, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up over 20%
  • As of this article’s publishing, the Dow, the S&P and the NASDAQ are all trading at record highs

Or, to put it visually:

The stock market is now 70% higher than it was at the previous bubble peak immediately preceding the 2008 Great Financial Crisis.

Reflect for a moment how painful the crash from Oct 2008-March 2009 was. How much more painful will a crash from today’s much dizzier heights be?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fall of the Great Pumpkin

Welcome to the witching month when America’s entropy-fueled death-wish expresses itself with as much Halloween jollity and merriment as the old Christmas spirit of yore. The outdoor displays alone take on a Babylonian scale, thanks to the plastic factories of China. I saw a half-life-size T-Rex skeleton for sale at a garden shop last week surrounded by an entire crew of moldering corpse Pirates of the Caribbean in full costume ho-ho-ho-ing among the jack-o-lanterns. What homeowner in this sore-beset floundering economy of three-job gig-workers can shell out four thousand bucks to decorate his lawn like the set of a zombie movie?

The overnight news sure took on that Halloween tang as the nation woke up to what is probably a national record for a civilian mad-shooter incident. So far, fifty dead and two hundred wounded at the Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Festival (one up in fatalities from last year’s Florida Pulse nightclub massacre, and way more injured this time).

The incident will live in infamy for maybe a day and a half in the US media. Stand by today as there will be calls far and wide, by personas masquerading as political leaders, for measures to make sure something like this never happens again. That’s rich, isn’t it? Meanwhile, the same six a.m. headlines declared that S &P futures were up in the overnight markets. Nothing can faze this mad bull, apparently. Except maybe the $90 trillion combined derivatives books of CitiBank, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs, who have gone back whole hog into manufacturing the same kind of hallucinatory collateralized debt obligations (giant sacks of non-performing loans) that gave Wall Street a heart attack in the fall of 2008.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Unprecedented Leak” Exposes The Criminal Financial Dealings Of Some Of The World’s Wealthiest People

“Unprecedented Leak” Exposes The Criminal Financial Dealings Of Some Of The World’s Wealthiest People

An unprecedented leak of more than 11 million documents, called the “Panama Papers“, has revealed the hidden financial dealings of some of the world’s wealthiest people, as well as 12 current and former world leaders and 128 more politicians and public officials around the world.

More than 200,000 companies, foundations and trusts are contained in the leak of information which came from a little-known but powerful law firm based in Panama called Mossack Fonseca, whose files include the offshore holdings of drug dealers, Mafia members, corrupt politicians and tax evaders – and wrongdoing galore.

The law firm is one of the world’s top creators of shell companies, which can be legally used to hide the ownership of assets. The data includes emails, contracts, bank records, property deeds, passport copies and other sensitive information dating from 1977 to as recently as December 2015.  

It allows a never-before-seen view inside the offshore world — providing a day-to-day, decade-by-decade look at how dark money flows through the global financial system, breeding crime and stripping national treasuries of tax revenues.

Here is the brief summary of how these documents have been revealed, via the Sueddeutsche Zeitung:

Over a year ago, an anonymous source contacted the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and submitted encrypted internal documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that sells anonymous offshore companies around the world. These shell firms enable their owners to cover up their business dealings, no matter how shady.

In the months that followed, the number of documents continued to grow far beyond the original leak. Ultimately, SZ acquired about 2.6 terabytes of data, making the leak the biggest that journalists had ever worked with. The source wanted neither financial compensation nor anything else in return, apart from a few security measures.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How The Rothschilds Made America Into Their Private Tax Fraud Backyard

How The Rothschilds Made America Into Their Private Tax Fraud Backyard

Back in September 2012 we first presented “the world’s biggest hedge fund nobody had ever heard of”: a small, previously unknown company called Braeburn Capital which, however, managed more cash than even Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund.

How had the little firm operating out of a non-descript office building in Nevada achieved this claim to fame? By managing the cash hoard (now well over $200 billion) of the world’s biggest and most valuable company: Apple.

But what was perhaps more notable is where Braeburn was physically located: Reno, Nevada. 

We explained the company’s choice for location with one simple word: “taxes”, or rather the full, and very much legal, avoidance thereof.

Three and a half years later we encounter this quiet Nevada town once again, and once again it is Reno’s aura of tax evasion that brings is to the world’s attention courtesy of a Bloomberg report discussing “The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven.”

Only instead of Apple this time, the focus falls on a far more notorious company: the Rotschilds.

As Bloomberg writes, “last September, at a law firm overlooking San Francisco Bay, Andrew Penney, a managing director at Rothschild & Co., gave a talk on how the world’s wealthy elite can avoid paying taxes.  His message was clear: You can help your clients move their fortunes to the United States, free of taxes and hidden from their governments. Some are calling it the new Switzerland.”

Ah, the rich irony: years after Obama single-handedly destroyed the secrecy-based Swiss banking model, the U.S. itself has taken over the role of the world’s biggest, if no longer very secret, tax haven, and the epicenter is this modest Nevada city located next to lake Tahoe, which has become the favorite city, if only for tax purposes, for such names as Apple and the Rothschild family.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Has The Government Stopped Reporting Lake Mead Water Levels?

Why Has The Government Stopped Reporting Lake Mead Water Levels?

For months we have been warning that “Vegas is screwed” as water levels continue to plunge in its most crucial reservoirs. Non-government experts are waving red flags that something must be done (and even NASA scientists fear the worst) while the government remains quiet. And then just 3 months ago, Lake Mead water levels mysteriously plunged to levels that were perilously close to emergency for Vegas water supply, then quickly reverted after the government confirmed that amalfunctioning indicator was at fault.

Now, we note, having given them time to ‘fix’ whatever problem there may be, Lake Mead water levels have not been reported since July 9th – six weeks??!!

As Jim R notes rather eloquently,

In the spirit of data obfuscation a la China and Obama, Lake Mead’s daily reporting has not been posted for six (6!) weeks.

At last report (July 9) the lake was 0.6 inch above the critical 1075’ level that will initiate a new round of water wars in the Southwest, including a possible crimp in the IV drip that sustains Phoenix and Tucson.

As a reminder,

If the water level is below 1,075 feet elevation – 4 feet below today’s level – by January 1, 2016, it will trigger a federal water emergency… and water rationing.

Las Vegas Review Journal reported that forecasters expect the level to drop to 1073 feet by June, before Lake Powell would begin to release more water. Assuming “average or better snow accumulations in the mountains that feed the Colorado River – something that’s happened only three times in the past 15 years,” the water level on January 1 is expected to be barely above the federal shortage level.

So, We have one simple question – why did the government stop reporting Lake Mead Water Levels six weeks ago?

 

 

Leaking Las Vegas: Lake Mead At Record Lows, “We Have To Change”

Leaking Las Vegas: Lake Mead At Record Lows, “We Have To Change”

This is it, warns one water advocate, “it really does (make critical) the fact that we have to start changing.” Lake Mead water levels have sunk to their lowest levels on record (below the levels when the dam was built) at 1075 feet. This is a major problem, as USA Today reports, since Las Vegas water authority’s current “straws” glean water from 1,050 feet and 1,000 feet – leaving the first straw just 25 feet away from pulling in air. With the drought only set to get worse as the summer begins, the water wars are just beginning as Lower-basin states are still taking more than the river system can sustain.

Bad and getting worse…

As USA Today reports,

Lake Mead sunk to a record low Tuesday night, falling below the point that would trigger a water-supply shortage if the reservoir doesn’t recover soon.

…in the long run, as a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman said, “We still need a lot more water.”

The reservoir stores water for parts of Arizona, Southern California, southern Nevada and northern Mexico — all of which have endured a 15-year drought that continues.

But Tuesday’s record low signals that Colorado River water users consume more than the river provides, said water-policy manager Drew Beckwith of the Western Resource Advocates, a nonprofit environmental law and policy organization.

“This is the check-engine light,” Beckwith said. “It really does (make critical) the fact that we have to start changing.”

For Las Vegas, the record reinforces the need for a nearly $1.5 billion project to tap deeper into Lake Mead. The Southern Nevada Water Authority soon will complete a 3-mile tunnel that will suck water from an 860-foot elevation level. The plan also includes a pumping station.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

“Bernanke & Greenspan Have Destroyed America” Schiff & Maloney Warn “People Don’t Realize What Is Coming”

“Bernanke & Greenspan Have Destroyed America” Schiff & Maloney Warn “People Don’t Realize What Is Coming”

Ali and Frazier, Laurel and Hardy, Mayweather and Pacquiao, Liesman and Santelli, and now Schiff and Maloney. Peter and Mike join clash of the titan-like to discuss their investment strategies and expose the charts the government doesn’t want you to seeas “people like Bernanke are taken seriously still and the people that did predict [the crisis] are dismissed as lunatics half the time.” The wide-reaching conversation covers everything from gold and stocks to The Fed and The Dollar – Bernanke “took the coward’s way out because all he did was exacerbate the problems to postpone the day of reckoning.” The air is coming out of the bubble, they warn, “Bernanke and Greenspan have absolutely destroyed America. People don’t realize what is coming…”

 

Full transcript below:

Mike: I was in Puerto Rico a little while back and Peter Schiff invited me over to his house and we were just amazed at how we are exactly on the same page when it comes to everything economically. And so he just made a trip out to California near my offices and we decided we’d get together and discuss some of this stuff. So on your travels Peter lately you were just at a show you were speaking. Where were you at?

Peter: I was in Las Vegas. It’s great to see you again Mike. I was speaking to a very main stream audience of hedge fund managers at an annual conference there. And what was very interesting is even though the audience was, as I said, very main stream, and I was on a panel with a lot of very high profile, main stream individuals, the only person that really got applause was me.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article or view the interview…

 

Water Crisis: Lake Mead, Largest US Reservoir, Faces Federal “Water Emergency,” Forced Rationing

Water Crisis: Lake Mead, Largest US Reservoir, Faces Federal “Water Emergency,” Forced Rationing

Leak Mead – on your left, when you drive from Las Vegas across the Hoover Dam – is the largest reservoir in the country when at capacity. It’s fed by the Colorado River which provides water for agriculture, industry, and 40 million people in Nevada, Arizona, California, and Mexico, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Now after 15 years of drought, the “lake” – a mud puddle surrounded by a huge chalky bathtub ring – is threatening to run dry.

It’s considered “operationally full” when the water level is at 1,229 feet elevation above sea level. On May 2, the water level was down to 1,078.9 feet above sea level, the lowest since it was being filled in May 1937. It’s down 15 feet from the same day a year ago. Over the last 36 months, the water level has dropped 44.8 feet. It’s down 150 feet from capacity.

If the water level is below 1,075 feet elevation – 4 feet below today’s level – by January 1, 2016, it will trigger a federal water emergency. And water rationing. Las Vegas Review Journal reported that forecasters expect the level to drop to 1073 feet by June, before Lake Powell would begin to release more water. Assuming “average or better snow accumulations in the mountains that feed the Colorado River – something that’s happened only three times in the past 15 years,” the water level on January 1 is expected to be barely above the federal shortage level.

Even with these somewhat rosy assumptions of “average or better than average snow accumulations,” the water level would begin set new lows next April. But if the next winter is anything like the last few, all bets are off.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Leaking Las Vegas: Lake Mead Water Levels Continue To Crash

Leaking Las Vegas: Lake Mead Water Levels Continue To Crash

The last time we looked at Las Vegas water supply, the comments from professionals were “Vegas is screwed,” and unless water levels in Lake Mead rise by 7%, “it’s as bad as you can imagine.” The bad news… Water levels in Lake Mead have never been lower for this time of year – and this is before the Summer heat seasonal plunge takes effect.

We noted previously, as with many things in Sin City, the apparently endless supply of water is an illusion.

America’s most decadent destination has been engaged in a potentially catastrophic gamble with nature and now, 14 years into a devastating drought, it is on the verge of losing it all.

“The situation is as bad as you can imagine,” said Tim Barnett, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “It’s just going to be screwed. And relatively quickly. Unless it can find a way to get more water from somewhere Las Vegas is out of business. Yet they’re still building, which is stupid.”

And things haven’t improved at all…

Source: The Burning Platform

Which as we concluded previously, is a grave concern:

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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