This is the six thousandth blog post on Virtual Mirage.
It started in 2009 at the encouragement of Opus #6, a blogger who no longer blogs. I wanted to state for the historical record that not everyone loved the Half-Blood Prince or his policies. Thirteen years later, here we are. I’ve been threatened and cajoled to discontinue the blog at times but you can see that didn’t work.
37,138 separate individuals have visited this blog. In the blogosphere, it’s not a huge number, but to me it shows that there remains an interest even after all this time.
Blogging has changed, and the number of independent bloggers has decreased. Maybe it’s the discipline required to keep the ball rolling? Maybe there are other issues? Some of the original bloggers who I knew when the Tea Party was real (before it was corrupted) and Andrew Breitbart was still alive – are as dead as Breitbart is today. Some of them became preppers and fled the grid. Others simply lost interest.
The .458 SOCOM (redux)
The round’s development and incorporation into an M-4 framework were “cobbled together” by people who needed a bit more punch than that offered by the 5.56mm round. It single stacks into an existing magazine.
Are you .458 (11.63×40 mm) shooters bothered by the smaller magazine capacity or is the trade-off worth it?
Should Silencers be (more) legal?
He had soldiers from Ft. Hood visiting the compound and said that regular people can’t afford beef, so he fed them BBQ Chicken. I thought about this.
Cultured meat is made by taking cells from an animal, often via a biopsy or from an established animal cell line. These cells are then fed a nutrient broth and placed in a bioreactor, where they multiply until there are enough to harvest for use in meatballs or nuggets.
Memphis Meats, which counts Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and traditional meat manufacturer Tyson Foods among its many investors, has teamed up with a number of other firms, including Just and cultured-seafood makers BlueNalu and Finless Foods, to form a lobbying group that is working with US regulators to get their products to market.
Maybe it’s time to shift to vat-grown or cultured meat (mystery meat) instead of real beef?
Soylent Green – a delicious option during the coming government-created famine.
If you have a modern diesel engine, it requires Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) – made substantially of urea – to operate.
More than 90% of world industrial production of urea is destined for use as a nitrogen-release fertilizer. Urea has the highest nitrogen content of all solid nitrogenous fertilizers in common use. Therefore, it has a low transportation cost per unit of nitrogen nutrient. Urea breaks down in the soil to give ammonium. The ammonium is taken up by the plant. In some soils, the ammonium is oxidized by bacteria to give nitrate, which is also a plant nutrient.
Natural gas is the key raw material in urea production. Urea is primarily exported by Russia, Qatar, and China. Like fertilizer, DEF is made with urea, and the United States imports most of the urea that it uses.
The next part of the DEF puzzle has to do with a dispute between Union Pacific Railroad and the Pilot/Flying J Corporation. If you’ve ever done a long road trip, you’ve probably stopped at a Flying J travel center. Flying J “is one of the leading suppliers of fuel and is the largest operator of travel centers in North America.” Flying J sells 30 percent of ALL the DEF consumed in the United States.
Flying J gets seventy percent of its DEF via Union Pacific Railroad. Due to distribution points controlled by Union Pacific, Flying J cannot go to another supplier. Union Pacific is in control. In April, Union Pacific told Flying J to reduce its shipments of DEF by 50 percent, or else they would be embargoed, which would effectively bankrupt Flying J.
If this ultimatum is enforced, Union Pacific’s restrictions on Flying J will cause shortages, since this would cut the national supply of DEF by 15 percent. In his testimony, Mr. Konar explained that a single rail car provides 3000 trucks worth of DEF fills (2.7 gal DEF/ per 100 gal of diesel). Every missed rail car will reduce trucking potential by 5 million miles!
A DEF shortage is a big deal. The trucks won’t move without DEF. And, while it might be physically possible to disconnect the regulator, any operator would face fines and other possible penalties if caught doing such a thing.
The urea fertilizer shortage which is a component of the DEF situation will not resolve quickly, and it is going to impact both food production and the transportation sector. These shortages will drive inflation even higher.
(Zero Hedge) Every few years, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul puts forth a quixotic proposal to balance the federal budget. It’s not the financial math that makes it a daunting task, but rather Washington’s bipartisan addiction to spending.
It predictably fails each time but accomplishes two things in the process. First, it puts senators who’ve espoused fiscal discipline on the record as opposing it when the rubber meets the road. Second, over time, Paul’s proposals illustrate the insidious effect of kicking the can down the road—as each new proposal requires bigger cuts to push Uncle Sam to break even… you should read the whole thing.