UPDATE: *JMA ISSUES TORNADO WARNINGS IN TOKYO AREA, IZU ISLANDS, AS TYPHOON PHANFONE MAKES LANDFALL AT JAPAN'S SHIZUOKA, JMA SAYS
With 1 US airman dead and 2 missing, Super Typhoon Phanfone has already wreaked havoc in its doom-strewn approach of Japan, but as RIA reports, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has revealed that the approaching typhoon could hit the damaged, decommissioned 40-year old nuclear power facility at Fukushima. Rather stunningly, The Japan Times reports tidal waves from the storm are likely to reach a maximum height of 26.3 meters or more (compared to the 2011 tsunami which reached a height of 15.5 meters when it hit the plant). Due to the expected 'mingling' of contaminated and Typhoon-driven ocean water, TEPCO admits 100 trillion becquerels of cesium to escape; Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) plans to verify the accuracy of TEPCO's estimate and the "appropriateness" of countermeasures being taken.
According to Piers, this is breaking news. Which, incidentally, may explain not only his show's abysmal ratings, but why he is now unemployed.
BREAKING NEWS: I am no longer a @CNN employee.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 2, 2014
Michael Bloomberg Calls Colorado A "Rural and Roadless" Backwater For Challenging His Gun Control AgendaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/11/2014 15:49 -0400
We've noticed a bizarre trend this year - Northeast establishment politicians attacking the state of Colorado for its own internal decisions. This time, the man who puts his foot in his mouth more than pretty much anyone else, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, called Colorado “rural” and “roadless” in a recent Rolling Stone article (which has since been pulled, but is supposed to be back up Monday) for the backlash against his gun control agenda from parts of the state.
The Great Depression did not represent the failure of capitalism or some inherent suicidal tendency of the free market to plunge into cyclical depression - absent the constant ministrations of the state through monetary, fiscal, tax and regulatory interventions. Instead, the Great Depression was a unique historical occurrence - the delayed consequence of the monumental folly of the Great War, abetted by the financial deformations spawned by modern central banking. But ironically, the “failure of capitalism” explanation of the Great Depression is exactly what enabled the Warfare State to thrive and dominate the rest of the 20th century because it gave birth to what have become its twin handmaidens - Keynesian economics and monetary central planning. Together, these two doctrines eroded and eventually destroyed the great policy barrier - that is, the old-time religion of balanced budgets - that had kept America a relatively peaceful Republic until 1914. The good Ben (Franklin that is) said,” Sir you have a Republic if you can keep it”. We apparently haven’t.
If we only voted for unbuyable candidates, money would become poison in politics rather than mother's milk.
Mainstream media discussion of the macro economic picture goes something like this: “When there is a recession, the Fed should stimulate. We know from history the recovery comes about 12-18 months after stimulus. We stimulated, we printed a lot of money, we waited 18 months. So the economy ipso facto has recovered. Or it’s just about to recover, any time now.” But to quote the comedian Richard Pryor, “Who ya gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?” However, as Hayek said, the more the state centrally plans, the more difficult it becomes for the individual to plan. Economic growth is not something that just happens. It requires saving. It requires investment and capital accumulation. And it requires the real market process. It is not a delicate flower but it requires some degree of legal stability and property rights. And when you get in the way of these things, the capital accumulation stops and the economy stagnates.
Days before Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Olympics last September, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe stated that Fukushima contaminated water was "under control." Now, as Reuters reports, the nation's nuclear watchdog has uncovered that, following "uncertainty about the reliability and accuracy of the September strontium reading," which prompted a re-examination of samples, levels of Strontium-90 were five times the levels previously recorded. The Japanese NRA blasted TEPCO, “We did not hear about this figure when they detected it last September. We have been repeatedly pushing TEPCO to release strontium data since November. It should not take them this long to release this information." One can only wonder why - when the promise of $500 million of government support is on the line... and new cracks are appearing.
While the Fukushima nuclear disaster and its 'clean-up' remain oddly missing from most mainstream media headlines, the farce continues to unfold. As Reuters reports, Japan's nuclear regulator has criticized TEPCO for incorrectly measuring radiation levels in contaminated groundwater. The NRA blasted, "something like this cannot happen ... This (data) is what becomes the basis of various decisions, so they must do their utmost to avoid mistakes in measuring radiation."
There are two major factors that have emerged in the last five years that have sparked a surge in LNG investments. First is the shale gas “revolution” in the United States, which allowed the U.S. to vault to the top spot in the world for natural gas production. This caused prices to crater to below $2 per million Btu (MMBTu) in 2012, down from their 2008 highs above $10/MMBtu. Natural gas became significantly cheaper in the U.S. than nearly everywhere else in the world. The second major event that opened the floodgates for investment in new LNG capacity is the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan. Already the largest importer of LNG in the world before the triple meltdown in March 2011, Japan had to ratchet up LNG imports to make up for the power shortfall when it shut nearly all of its 49 gigawatts of nuclear capacity. In 2012, Japan accounted for 37% of total global LNG demand. The future of LNG may indeed be bright, especially when considering that global energy demand has nowhere to go but up. But, investors should be aware of the very large threat that Japanese nuclear reactors present to upstart LNG projects.
After ruling as unconstitutional Chicago ordinances that aim to reduce gun violence by banning their sale within the city’s limits, U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang said Monday that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, it’s also obligated to protect constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. As AP reports, the decision is just the latest to attack what were some of the toughest gun-control laws in the nation; with the NRA noting it "shows how out of step and outrageous Chicago’s ordinances really are." Despite the city's ban "to protect its citizens," Chicago last year had more homicides than any city in the nation.
How Many Constitutional Freedoms Have We Lost?
Just when one though the bad news out of Fukushima would trickle down, no pun intended, if only because purely statistically it was improbable that any more bad news would leak out, here comes TEPCO which at a press conference this morning announced that "roughly 300 tonnes of radioactive water has seeped from a storage tank, marking the worst leak in more than 2½ years of efforts to contain the effects of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami." In other words, not only is the irradiated coolant water overflowing the storage tanks, it is also leaking straight into the environment, including the surrounding soil, ocean and who knows where else.
Tepco is struggling to contain the highly radioactive water that is seeping into the ocean near Fukushima. The head of Japan's NRA, Shinji Kinjo exclaimed, "right now, we have an emergency," as he noted the contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier and is rising toward the surface - exceeding the limits of radioactive discharge. In a rather outspoken comment for the typically stoic Japanese, Kinjo said Tepco's "sense of crisis was weak," adding that "this is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone" to grapple with the ongoing disaster. As Reuters notes, Tepco has been accused of covering up shortcomings and has been lambasted for its ineptness in the response and while the company says it is taking actions to contain the leaks, Kinjo fears if the water reaches the surface "it would flow extremely fast," with some suggesting as little as three weeks until this critical point.