(NOTE: I’m going to be posting the weekly newsletter on the site at the end of each week. It goes out to the mailing list at the beginning of the week, so be sure to sign up here if you aren’t already on it!)
Welcome to this weeks newsletter! Sorry about missing last week, but things were just too crazy for me to get the time to write much. This week wasn’t all that much better, but obviously I managed to get it done!
Austerity Reaches America
It’s impossible to avoid the news of the civil unrest that has been sweeping the globe lately. As I’ve written before, it is impossible to avoid that type of behavior coming home to America.
There are a number of causes for this unrest, but one of the biggest causes are austerity measures. Austerity measures are basically budget and benefit cuts that take away services and entitlements from the public.
Last November the American public voted in a slew of new politicians who campaigned with promises of fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. And many of those politicians are taking those promises seriously.
Some of these budget cuts have been met with what can only be characterized as a form of civil unrest. Wisconsin is the biggest at the moment, where the teachers union are marching in the streets.
None of what they are doing is legal. The teachers are not allowed, by law, to strike. And the Democrat State Senators, when faced with the spectre of a straight up or down vote on the propsed cuts, decided to run away and hide.
With all of the Wisconsin State Senators with a (D) behind their name hiding out in undisclosed locations outside of the state, the State Senate is one vote shy of the quorum required to pass this bill.
It’s actually somewhat entertaining to watch. For example, the Republicans in the State Senate have passed a rules change to prevent direct deposited paychecks frop hitting a senators bank account if they miss two days in a row. To get their paycheck, these Senators have to show up to a session and pick up a paper check from the Majority Leader. Talk about amusing.
Political games aside, the reaction you see in the streets, with paid agitators and unions riling folks up, is something that we need to get used to. This WILL spread, and as things get worse more and more of us will experience this stuff close to home.
Hope you’re ready…
To Hell With Snow Storms, Let’s Talk About Solar Storms!
One of the big news stories this week is that there is a bunch of scientists out there sounding alarm bells about the Sun. They tell us that we are overdue for a major solar storm during the current solar maximum.
There are fears that due to the increased reliance we all have on technology, these solar storms will impact us even more than they have in the past. They’re talking about a global ‘Katrina’ style disaster.
They’re even talking about massive power outages that could last for weeks or even months. And that’s not all that far fetched. In 1989 a similar storm caused massive blackouts across Quebec. In 90 seconds 6 million people lost their power.
NASA scientists today say that the impact of a similar event would be even more disastrous. Satellites get knocked out of orbit, transformers blow up, and EMP like effects can travel across the power lines. In 1989 there were 102 communication satellites in orbit, about 3 million cell phone users, and 300,000 servers connected to the Internet.
Today, we have about 3,000 satellites in orbit, 4.6 billion cell phones, and about a billion or so computers in use. Compare those numbers and think about what that increase in impact vector could mean for you.
These sorts of stories seem to come around quite a bit, but it’s still food for thought…
One Last Tidbit…
So before I wrap things up for the day, I want to share with you a rather amusing story I read. There is a restaurant near SeaTac in Seattle that has a new policy, similar to the commonly seen ‘No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service’ signs you see all over.
Well, they’ve taken this a bit farther. They have a sign up there that says that they will not serve any TSA agents. In fact, they have actually had the police escort TSA agents who have ignored the signs out of their restaurant.
I hope more people do this sort of thing. TSA deserves all of the ridicule and derision that they get.
Well, That’s All, Folks
That’s all for this week. As always, if you have any questions or want to suggest future newsletter topics, just reply to this mail. I love reader email and read every single message I get, even if I don’t always have time to respond.
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Thanks, and have a fantastic week!