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    Daily Digest 12/4 – Good News Friday: Americans Getting Healthier, Creating Meaning In The Workplace

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, December 4, 2015, 1:22 PM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


New Diabetes Cases, at Long Last, Begin to Fall in the United States (jdargis)

Experts say they do not know whether efforts to prevent diabetes have finally started to work, or if the disease has simply peaked in the population. But they say the shift tracks with the nascent progress that has been reported recently in the health of Americans.

The Workforce That Keeps Going, and Going, and Going (jdargis)

Creating meaning in an organization starts at the top, with strong leadership that can credibly connect the organization’s work to a larger mission. Getting buy-in from employees requires that the connection is and can be seen to be genuine. As important, says Schwartz, is for management to spend the time and effort to find out what their employees love most about their work and try designing roles that give them more of it. “While it is harder to accommodate people’s needs,” says Schwartz, “if you can, they will perform better.”

Bipartisan Talks Yield $300 Billion Highway Bill (jdargis)

In a joint statement, the lawmakers said the agreement would provide “long-term certainty for states and local governments” as well as “improvements to the programs that sustain our roads bridges and passenger rail system.” The bill is called the FAST Act, for “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation,” and senior congressional leaders said they expected it to win broad, bipartisan support.

Urban Farms: The New Frontier for Female Farmers (jdargis)

Instead of facing the improbability of purchasing land and equipment necessary to farm—which can cost upwards of $1.5 million dollars—the solution for the young urbanite, like Hanel, could be looking within the city—or even in her own home. In early 2015, Hanel started up Micro YYC, an urban farming and micro greens operation in Calgary. She bypassed the barrier of accessing land altogether by “farming” in her basement, investing only $3,000 in industry shelves, grow lights, seed trays, and seeds. “Compared to buying land and things like farm machinery, it was peanuts,” says Hanel. “When I ventured into [farming] on my own, focusing on micro greens just seemed like the most doable thing—no buying, no borrowing, no rent, no weather issues, and I could start right away in the middle of winter.”

Silver: We Need It! (GE Christenson)

If silver ever gets back to $30 I’ll sell. Why? What were your original objectives? Did you buy for short term profit or long term insurance against the massive debt increases and currency devaluations that our politicians and bankers have created and will continue to promote? If you bought for long term insurance your question should revolve around buying more, not selling your insurance.

In Debate Over Gun Control, Australia Presents Stark Example (jdargis)

Mass shootings in Australia were rare anyway. But after a gunman massacred 35 people in the Tasmanian town of Port Arthur in 1996, a public outcry spurred a national consensus to severely restrict firearms. The tightened laws, which were standardized across Australia, are more stringent than those of any state in the United States, including California.

Solar AllianceGlobal Sets $1 Trillion Investment Goal For 2030 (Josh O.)

Yet another major catalyst that could have a long term impact on global renewable energy investments: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with the French President Francois Hollande, launched a ‘Global Solar Alliance’ that consists of 120 nations most of them tropical countries (who receive abundant sunlight throughout the year) but also from European countries, the U.S. and China.

COP21: India signals willingness to cut coal for climate cash (Uncletommy)

In recent days, the Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told BBC News that his country had every right to continue using as much coal as it needed.

“We are increasing our renewable targets tenfold in the next 15 years but we will require coal because it is the need of the hour for my people to grow.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/3/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2015 - 3:56pm



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    Gun ownership up. Gun crime down.

    On December 3, The Washington Post reported that gun crime has been on the decline for about 20 years, except for high-profile shootings in gun-free zones; WaPo claims those shootings are on the increase.

    According to WaPo, “In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans. … By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 [per 100,000].”

    Breitbart News previously pointed to this decline and explained it correlated with a massive increase in privately owned firearms over the same period of time. For example, Congressional Research Service showed that the number of privately owned firearms increased from 192 million in 1994 to 310 million in 2009. And record background checks under Obama make it easy to see how tens of millions more privately owned guns have found their way into Americans’ hands since 2009.

    So gun ownership increased for 20 years, but “gun homicides” decreased–except in gun free zones.

    WaPo points to a study by Mother Jones that claims that high-profile shootings began increasing in gun-free zones in late 2011/early 2012. The examples Mother Jones provides are the Aurora movie theater, Sandy Hook Elementary, and the D.C. Navy Yard, all of which were gun-free zones.

    Other examples of shootings in gun-free zones that could have been cited are Arapahoe High School (December 2013), Fort Hood (April 2014), Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (June 2015), Chattanooga military offices (July 2015), the Lafayette Grand Theatre (July 2015), and Umpqua Community College (October 1).

    Increases in gun ownership correlated with drastic reductions in firearm-related homicides, but creating zones where law-abiding citizens are denied the ability to be armed for self-defense have allowed high-profile attackers to find easy targets.

    We live in a world of short-term memories and long-term memory deficiencies. If the 24-hour news cycle was any indication, Americans appear to be bouncing from one catastrophic mass shooting to the next, with hardly any breathing room. Like this is just a regular occurrence America has learned to endure because… guns. It’s the prevalence of firearms in the hands of the people, the anti-gunners say. Calls to limit, rewrite, redefine, or outright dispose of the 2nd Amendment are rampant.

    But no one is looking at the data. If they did, they would realize something is really, really, really wrong here.

    No, there haven’t always been so many mass shootings. It hasn’talways been this way. Mass shootings have skyrocketed in this country just in the last seven years under President Obama.

    The following was compiled using the database over at Mother Jones on mass shootings in the U.S. from 1982—2015, up to and including the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on October 1st, 2015. It also includes the Wikipedia lists for mass shootings in the United States by year and postal killings in the U.S.

    The following analysis considers the FBI’s definition of a mass murder, which is defined as “a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders”.

    When all incidents where four or more people were shot in a single event are broken out by president going back to Reagan (considering the database only stretches back to 1982), there just so happens to have been a startling increase in mass shootings since Obama, the most pro-gun control president America has had in modern history, took office.

    Mass Shootings under the Last Five Presidents

    Ronald Reagan: 1981-1989 (8 years) 11 mass shootings
    Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 5

    George H. W. Bush: 1989-1993 (4 years) 12 mass murders
    Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 3

    Bill Clinton: 1993-2001 (8 years) 23 mass murders
    Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 4

    George W. Bush: 2001-2009 (8 years) 20 mass murders
    Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 5

    Barrack H. Obama: 2009-2015 (in 7th year) 162 mass murders
    Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 18…

    Look at the difference between all other presidents and Barack Obama.

    What that looks like on a chart:


    Notice anything here? We’re talking about a more than six-fold increase from the number of mass shootings in the eight years Bush Jr. was president compared to the last seven years under Obama, and his 2nd term isn’t even up yet!

    Not only that, but the number of mass shootings where the shooter killed eight or more people has also increased rather significantly:


    What is going on here?

    Obviously this isn’t so easily simplified as more guns in the hands of more crazy people, the way the media likes to spin it. We have more gun laws now than ever before. Less types of guns are legally available to the average citizen than ever before. We also have more “gun-free zones,” zones where, just by the way, most of these shootings happen (because mass shooters do not follow laws or care about zones, obviously). So that’s not it.

    Here's a theory no one seems to talk about.  Maybe the cause of an increase in mass, public murders is an increase in Evil in the population.

    Or maybe it's because the MSM "rewards" these sickos by GUARANTEEING them that the world will know all about them and their complaints about life after they are dead.  I suggest we deal with the latter by "encouraging" the media to follow three simple rules when reporting on mass shootings so as to deprive future copy-cats of their motivation to get famous: 1) Don't show the murderer's picture. 2) Don't print the murderer's name. 3) Don't mention anything specific about the murderer's motives.  In the latest incident, the murderers wore GoPro cameras during their murderous rampage!!  They were clearly planning on becoming heroes posthumously and known throughout the world through the "inevitable" media coverage.  Starve them of their motivation and these kinds of incidents will dramatically decrease.

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2015 - 3:58pm


    Taz Alloway

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 18 2010

    Posts: 461

    Secret trade talks could weaken climate targets set in Paris

    The Geneva summit involving 22 countries including the US, Mexico, Australia and the 28 EU member states, aim to create a “level playing field”, with the possible consequence that fracking companies could dispute subsidies for solar or wind power.

    According to leaked documents, a draft chapter of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) would, if adopted, force governments to accept “technological neutrality”. Disputes over subsidies to renewables would be resolved in a tribunal system outside national government control….critics of the talks said the proposals as drafted would leave “elected policymakers unable to encourage renewable energy over non-renewable, clean over dirty, or local over imported”.

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2015 - 5:21pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 11 2013

    Posts: 126

    Gun control

    Not the most recent pieces; but a couple of interesting articles on gun control (to add to jdargis article and thc0655 comment) from 'the conversation':

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2015 - 5:58pm



    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2009

    Posts: 2934

    US Treasury to Sell $126 Billion in Debt

    Experts weigh in on $1.3 trillion national student loan debt

    WBNG-TV16 hours ago
    Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) $1.3 trillion — that's the total amount of student loan debt in the United States. It's a number that's not only hurting the …

    US Treasury to Sell $126 Billion in Debt

    Wall Street JournalDec 3, 2015
    The Treasury Department will auction $126 billion in securities next week, comprising $64 billion in new debt and $62 billion in previously auctioned debt.

    Corporate debt downgrades hit $1tn worth of issues

    Financial Times7 hours ago
    More than $1tn in US corporate debt has been downgraded this year as … In contrast, upgrades have fallen to less than half a billion dollars, more than a third …

    US trade deficit widens as exports hit three-year low

    The Globe and Mail4 hours ago
    September's trade deficit was revised up to $42.5-billion from the previously reported $40.8-billion. The government revised trade figures going back to April to …

    State debt to GDP ratio expected to surge

    Korea Times – ‎9 hours ago‎
    It predicted that the National Pension Service will start to post a deficit in 2044, to be completely depleted in 2060 at the current pace. The Korea Teachers Pension would also dry up in 2042 after starting posting a deficit in 2027, and the state

    Exclusive: Kentucky cuts pension outlook, to slash private equity

    Reuters – ‎15 hours ago‎
    NEW YORK Kentucky's public retirement system lowered the investment outlook on two of its most severely underfunded pension plans on Thursday as it starts to exit illiquid private equity investments, the chief investment officer told Reuters. David

    State pension funding level drops again, to 17 percent

    Lexington Herald Leader – ‎19 hours ago‎
    Consequently, KERS now has only 17 percent of the money it's expected to need to pay promised benefits, down from the 19 percent announced just last month, and it faces $10.9 billion in unfunded liabilities, as compared to the previous sum of $10 billion.

    Illinois judge keeps Chicago retiree healthcare case alive

    Reuters10 hours ago
    With its finances buckling under a $20 billion unfunded pension liability, Chicago has been scrambling to reduce costs. The upcoming budget includes a record …

    Retired Teamsters fight for their pensions

    Cincinnati.com17 hours ago
    After health-care costs and additional fees are accounted for, the Schlueters would have … The Teamsters' Central States Pension Fund called for the cuts when …


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  • Sat, Dec 05, 2015 - 12:35am


    Taz Alloway

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 18 2010

    Posts: 461

    The "phantom menace" superbug

    Bacteria develop antibiotic resistance in two ways.

    Many can evolve their own genome in ways that deactivate antibiotics, although that ability can't be shared with pathogens outside their own family.

    Yet other bacteria rely on a shortcut: They get infected with a plasmid carrying the resistance gene. That makes them more dangerous because plasmids can make copies of themselves and transfer within a family of bugs and as well as jump to other families of bacteria, which can then "catch" the resistance directly without having to develop it through evolution.

    "This is a tricky drug-resistant bacteria, and it isn't easily found," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said in an interview. "What we're seeing is an assault by the microbes on the last bastion of antibiotics."

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  • Sat, Dec 05, 2015 - 1:09pm


    Taz Alloway

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 18 2010

    Posts: 461

    Enough of aid – let’s talk reparations

     When it comes to the colonial legacy, some of the facts are almost too shocking to comprehend. When Europeans arrived in what is now Latin America in 1492, the region may have been inhabited by between 50 million and 100 million indigenous people. By the mid 1600s, their population was slashed to about 3.5 million. The vast majority succumbed to foreign disease and many were slaughtered, died of slavery or starved to death after being kicked off their land. It was like the holocaust seven times over.

    What were the Europeans after? Silver was a big part of it. Between 1503 and 1660, 16m kilograms of silver were shipped to Europe, amounting to three times the total European reserves of the metal. By the early 1800s, a total of 100m kg of silver had been drained from the veins of Latin America and pumped into the European economy, providing much of the capital for the industrial revolution. To get a sense for the scale of this wealth, consider this thought experiment: if 100m kg of silver was invested in 1800 at 5% interest – the historical average – it would amount to £110trn ($165trn) today. An unimaginable sum.

    Tharoor: Britain owes reparation

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