On this episode of The Vin Armani Show, we are joined by Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast
The Survival Podcast is a daily online audio show about self sufficiency and self reliance in the modern world. Jack conceived and created this podcast because over the years he has come to realize how fragile the human condition and the United States economy really is. His 5-day-a-week show, The Survival Podcast, is about managing his homestead in Texas, practical prepping, permaculture and self-reliance. It receives a remarkable 150,000 downloads per day.
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Show Notes and sources:
Intelligence Community Assessment “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in
Recent US Elections” – https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3254235/ICreport010616.pdf
Declassified report says Putin ‘ordered’ effort to undermine faith in U.S. election and help Trump
Russia carried out a comprehensive cyber campaign to sabotage the U.S. presidential election, an operation that was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and ultimately sought to help elect Donald Trump, U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a remarkably blunt assessment released Friday.
The report depicts Russian interference as unprecedented in scale, saying that Moscow’s role represented “a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort” beyond previous election-related espionage.
The campaign initially sought to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, “denigrate” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and damage her expected presidency. But in time, Russia “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump” and repeatedly sought to artificially boost his election chances.
The report released to the public is an abbreviated version of a highly classified multiagency assessment requested by President Obama. Even so, it amounts to an extraordinary postmortem of a Russian assault on a pillar of American democracy.
Ryan calls Assange a ‘sycophant for Russia’
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said early Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a “sycophant for Russia.”
“He leaks, he steals data and compromises national security,” Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
“Julian Assange said ‘a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta’ – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
DHS Designates Elections Systems as Critical Infrastructure, Provides Federal Help To Secure It
Citing increasingly sophisticated cyber bad actors and an election infrastructure that’s “vital to our national interests,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is designating U.S. election systems critical infrastructure, a move that provides more federal help for state and local governments to keep their election systems safe from tampering.
“Given the vital role elections play in this country, it is clear that certain systems and assets of election infrastructure meet the definition of critical infrastructure, in fact and in law,” Johnson said in a statement Friday. He added: “Particularly in these times, this designation is simply the right and obvious thing to do.”
The determination came after months of review and despite opposition from many states worried that the designation would lead to increased federal regulation or oversight on the many decentralized and locally run voting systems across the country. It was announced on the same day a declassified U.S. intelligence report said Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered” an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.
Battery Cell Production Begins at the Gigafactory
Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles in addition to renewable energy generation and storage. At the heart of these products are batteries. Today at the Gigafactory, Tesla and Panasonic begin mass production of lithium-ion battery cells, which will be used in Tesla’s energy storage products and Model 3.
The high performance cylindrical “2170 cell” was jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic to offer the best performance at the lowest production cost in an optimal form factor for both electric vehicles and energy products.
Production of 2170 cells for qualification started in December and today, production begins on cells that will be used in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products. Model 3 cell production will follow in Q2 and by 2018, the Gigafactory will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells, nearly as much as the rest of the entire world’s battery production combined.
Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies
Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.
The figure compiled by The Times comprises a variety of government incentives, including grants, tax breaks, factory construction, discounted loans and environmental credits that Tesla can sell. It also includes tax credits and rebates to buyers of solar panels and electric cars.
New York state is spending $750 million to build a solar panel factory in Buffalo for SolarCity. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company will lease the plant for $1 a year. It will not pay property taxes for a decade, which would otherwise total an estimated $260 million.
The federal government also provides grants or tax credits to cover 30% of the cost of solar installations. SolarCity reported receiving $497.5 million in direct grants from the Treasury Department.
That figure, however, doesn’t capture the full value of the government’s support.
Since 2006, SolarCity has installed systems for 217,595 customers, according to a corporate filing. If each paid the current average price for a residential system — about $23,000, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists — the cost to the government would total about $1.5 billion, which would include the Treasury grants paid to SolarCity.
Nevada has agreed to provide Tesla with $1.3 billion in incentives to help build a massive battery factory near Reno.
Tesla Repays Department of Energy Loan Nine Years Early: Only American Car Company to Have Paid Back Government
Tesla Motors announced that it has paid off the entire loan awarded to the company by the Department of Energy in 2010. In addition to payments made in 2012 and Q1 2013, today’s wire of almost half a billion dollars ($451.8M) repays the full loan facility with interest. Following this payment, Tesla will be the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.
An Indian chemical plant has figured out how to turn its carbon emissions into baking soda
A chemical plant in India is the first in the world to run a new system for capturing carbon emissions and converting them into baking soda.
The Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals plant, in the industrial port city of Tuticorin, is expecting to convert some 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually into baking soda and other chemicals – and the scientists behind the process say the technique could be used to ultimately capture and transform up to 10 percent of global emissions from coal.
While carbon capture technology is not a new thing, what’s remarkable about the Tuticorin installation is that it’s running without subsidies from the government – suggesting the researchers have developed a profitable, practical system that could have the commercial potential to expand to other plants and industries.
“I am a businessman. I never thought about saving the planet,” the managing director of the plant, Ramachadran Gopalan, told the BBC.
“I needed a reliable stream of CO2, and this was the best way of getting it.”
EU Council requests that all Bitcoin users register with authorities
The European Council seeks to introduce an anti-terrorism measure that will ensure a stricter handling on cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ripple. If the motion gets accepted by the heads of state and the governments of the member countries, the listed currencies will be managed by the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive.
According to the German media outlet heise.de, the platforms that “deal with cryptocurrencies or exchange them into traditional currencies” will need to store both the identity and the address of the user electronic wallets in a central database.
The measures by the EU Council are intended to prevent abuse caused by the anonymity of electronic currencies. Bitcoin is widely used on the internet. However, it is also a mainstream cryptocurrency commonly used for making illegal deals on the dark web. There is no clear evidence that terrorists are using electronic currencies for financing their activities, but the European Council seeks to prevent this from happening.
The motion also seeks to impose new restrictions on prepaid cards too. In the future, clients have to deposit 150 euros to acquire a prepaid card. In addition to that, the daily limit will be set to 250 euros, although, some member countries already have their own stricter guidelines.
Vin Armani is the host of The Vin Armani Show on Activist Post, TV Star of Gigolos on Showtime and Agorist Entrepreneur. Follow Vin on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube. Get the weekly podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.