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    Daily Digest 12/6 – A Disintegrative Winter, How Russia Outsmarted OPEC

    by DailyDigest

    Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 2:36 PM


A Disintegrative Winter: The Debt and Anti-Status Quo Super-Cycle Has Turned (pinecarr)

These are all characteristics of the long-wave social-economic cycle that is entering the disintegrative (winter) phase. Souring social mood, loss of purchasing power, stagnating wages, rising inequality, devaluing currencies, rising debt, political polarization and elite disunity are all manifestations of this phase.

Life In Obamacare’s Dead Zone (jdargis)

“I tried to get Obamacare,” Foy recalls. “I called the number, and when the woman told me what it would cost me, I just about dropped the phone. She told me I’d needed to make at least $12,000 a year for there to be any help to make it something I might be able to afford. Which still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, even now, that having no money meant I got no help when I really needed it.”

Pentagon Paid PR Firm $540 Million to Make Fake Terrorist Videos (Aaron M.)

Employees were given specific instructions to create the videos. “We need to make this style of video and we’ve got to use Al-Qaeda’s footage,” Wells was told. “We need it to be 10 minutes long, and it needs to be in this file format, and we need to encode it in this manner.”

The videos were created to play on Real Player which needs an internet connection to run. The CDs were embedded with a code linking to Google Analytics which allowed the military to track IP addresses that the videos were played on.

“Fake News” Site Threatens Washington Post With Defamation Suit, Demands Retraction (pinecarr)

As the lawyers like to say, res ipsa loquitur. Please tweet and circulate this letter widely. You will notice that our attorney Jim Moody is a seasoned litigator who has won cases before the Supreme Court. He has considerable experience in First Amendment and defamation actions. Past high profile representations include Westomoreland v. CBS and defending Linda Tripp.

I also hope, particularly for those of you who don’t regularly visit Naked Capitalism, that you’ll check out our related pieces that give more color to how the fact the Washington Post was taken for a ride by inept propagandists, particularly our introduction to our spoof site, which uses the PropOrNot project as an example of sorely deficient propaganda and shows where it went wrong, or the humor site itself. Be sure not to miss its FAQ.

The Mafia State (richcabot)

This fevered speculation and mounting inequality, made possible by the two ruling political parties, corroded and destroyed the mechanisms and institutions that permitted democratic participation and provided some protection for workers. Politicians, from Reagan on, were handsomely rewarded by their funders for delivering their credulous supporters to the corporate guillotine. The corporate coup created a mafia capitalism. This mafia capitalism, as economists such as Karl Polanyi and Joseph Stiglitz warned, gave birth to a mafia political system. Financial and political power in the hands of institutions such as Goldman Sachs and the Clinton Foundation becomes solely about personal gain. The Obamas in a few weeks will begin to give us a transparent lesson into how service to the corporate state translates into personal enrichment.

Trump’s Meeting With Al Gore Gives Environmental Activists Hope (jdargis)

But as celebrities parade into Ms. Trump’s offices, a different cast is preparing to populate the government. Overseeing the transition at the Environmental Protection Agency is Myron Ebell, an internationally prominent skeptic of climate science and opponent of climate policy who directs environmental and energy policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a business advocacy group in Washington partially funded by the coal industry.

How Russia Outsmarted OPEC (Josh O.)

What’s perhaps more interesting is that Russia did not, in fact, obligate itself to cut from essential production. It surfaced last week that the country’s total output had reached a new post-Soviet record of over 11.2 million barrels per day. The precise figure, according to Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov, was 11.231 million barrels, and it is from this production level that Russia will take off the 300,000 bpd it agreed to cut to help OPEC in its market rebalancing efforts.

Incidentally, Libya, which has been granted an exemption from the agreement, plans to ramp up its own output by 300,000 bpd by the end of 2016.

How Does Trump’s Pledge To Destroy NAFTA Affect Agriculture? (jdargis)

The huge surge in cheap American corn flowing to Mexico, completely unhindered by tariffs, royally screwed Mexican farmers. It’s estimated that NAFTA, along with some advances in technology, killed 1.5 million jobs in Mexican agriculture within two decades. (It’s also worth noting that the price of corn didn’t drop in Mexico; NAFTA also stripped their subsidies of tortillas as an unfair promotion of domestic industry.)

Gold & Silver

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  • Tue, Dec 06, 2016 - 3:20pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 507

    How Does Trump’s Pledge To Destroy NAFTA Affect Agriculture?

    Why are food prices going up?

    There’s a few reasons to account for the increase. While you might expect inflation to be a huge driver for prices, the report says the effect it has is minimal. Rather, the report suggests climate and trade policies are the main factors that bring up the cost of groceries.

    First, Donald Trump’s presidency will have a major effect on Canadian food prices, Charlebois explained, due to his views on illegal workers (two million of whom work in the agriculture industry) and a U.S. protectionist view on farming and trade policies. (Global news)

    "The winter of our discontent", may be closer than we think.

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  • Tue, Dec 06, 2016 - 4:58pm

    Reply to #1


    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 295

    Re: Why are food prices going up?

    Not a rebuttal but related:

    "Statistics show that less than a third of farms have a designated successor in the family. Many young couples are unwilling to invest $500,000 in a business that requires them to work 12-16 hours per day throughout most of the year and then get a return that amounts to the equivalent of what a farmers’ wages would have been 30 years ago."

    "Another reason for the disappearing family farm is the ever-increasing disparity between dwindling income and soaring expenses. Net farm income in 2000 dropped to $39.7 billion—the lowest since 1995. On the other hand, production expenses rose to $197.5 billion or 88 percent of gross cash income—the highest since 1980-1984."

    “The American Farmland Trust estimates an acre of U.S. farmland goes into development every two minutes, while Environment Colorado estimates the state lost 1.26 million acres of agricultural land between 1997 and 2002,”


    [I would imagine that as these family farms disappear that food costs will go up. The average age of US farmers is about 59.] 


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  • Wed, Dec 07, 2016 - 1:14am


    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1814

    Limits to Growth

    The LTG report says that we have to divert Capital from Industry to Agriculture or suffer a population crash.

    It would appear that we prefer a crash.


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  • Wed, Dec 07, 2016 - 2:56am



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    got soul?

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  • Wed, Dec 07, 2016 - 12:57pm



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    Wow! Just wow!!

    A prosecutor vowed Monday to retry a white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black motorist in North Charleston, South Carolina, after the jury failed to reach a verdict following 22 hours of deliberation.

    The judge declared a mistrial on the fourth day of deliberations in the murder trial of Michael Slager, the former North Charleston officer.

    "We will try Michael Slager again," 9th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson said in a statement expressing disappointment that Slager was not convicted in the five-week murder case in state court. 

    Slager shot and killed Walter Scott, 50, after an April 4, 2015, traffic stop. The shooting was captured on a bystander's cell phone video, which showed Scott running away as Slager fired eight times, striking Scott three times in the back.

    The jurors — 11 whites and one African-American — struggled to reach a consensus. They returned to deliberate three times Friday after indicating they were deadlocked. One juror, in a note, said he couldn't vote for a conviction and wouldn't change his mind. Monday brought a slew of questions, such as requests for clarifications on terminology related to the law, before the mistrial was declared…

    Stewart told CNN that, despite reports of jurors' questions and requests, his team's research indicates the breakdown was 11 jurors to one, and the lone holdout ignored the evidence and testimony in the case. Still, he said, he's emboldened because, before the trial, observers expressed doubt the proceedings would be fair, given the jury makeup. But "all the other white jurors were with us," Stewart said…

    I can't imagine a clearer case of a police officer committing murder, yet one juror held out against the other 11.  Having been on a couple of juries and been a police witness in hundreds of cases, I can't really be surprised by this mistrial.  Amazing things happen in court and on juries.  Conceptually, the jury system is ideal, but it's only as good as imperfect human beings make it.  I imagine Slager will be convicted on retrial.

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  • Wed, Dec 07, 2016 - 2:58pm

    Reply to #4


    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Wow indeed!


    I can't imagine a clearer case of a police officer committing murder, yet one juror held out against the other 11.  Having been on a couple of juries and been a police witness in hundreds of cases, I can't really be surprised by this mistrial.  Amazing things happen in court and on juries.  Conceptually, the jury system is ideal, but it's only as good as imperfect human beings make it.  I imagine Slager will be convicted on retrial.


    that was murder, on tape, clear as one could imagine, and it also had a clear case of evidence planting/tampering.  Right on tape.  

    I can only imagine what it's like to belong to a minority group and living with an entire, seemingly endless, series of such events and outcomes.

    The optics and messaging alone are horrible, and very corrosive.

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  • Wed, Dec 07, 2016 - 3:27pm

    Reply to #4


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    Jury observation


    I'd really like to hear more of your observation about juries.  I have sat in 3 juries so far, serving as foreman of 2 of them.  Many people I know have never served, but should IMHO to learn about our justice system inner workings. 

    What I observed made me nervous.  On all the juries 3-4 people were trying to do their best to decide guilt or not, taking notes and leading discussion.  Another 3-4 people were oblivious, and the remainder were indifferent.  Most members just wanted to get it over ASAP.

    Every judge lectured the jury members as to how they were "the most important people in the courtroom".

    Laughable, considering compensation for everyone else participating in the justice process.  (One of the defendants lawyers was wearing a $3000 suit.) 

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  • Wed, Dec 07, 2016 - 7:50pm

    Reply to #4


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    Juries R Us

    What I've seen of juries from the inside and the outside confirms my opinion that "we the people" are the biggest threat to our health and prosperity.  You said 3-4 were conscientious, 3-4 were oblivious and 3-4 were indifferent on your juries.  That's actually very optimistic!  If I thought 25-33% of a random cross section of "citizens" were conscientious about anything I'd be much more positive and optimistic than I am.  First, you have to factor in the people who were rejected for jury duty during the in-court vetting process.  That number typically can range from two to five times the number who are actually chosen.  So you said 3-4 out of 12 were conscientious, 3-4 oblivious and 3-4 indifferent, but then there were 24-60 (or more) who were so sketchy they were completely rejected for jury duty!  Second, you have to factor in all the people who simply refused to show up for jury duty on the day they were summoned.  In my city I'm guessing that number would range from 100-200, and many of them are even worse than the 24-60 rejected for jury duty.  It's a common joke among my police colleagues to refer to a jury as "Twelve people too stupid to get out of jury duty!"  So now your 3-4 conscientious jurors fit better into my world view: 3-4 out of 136 – 272!!  That's about the right proportion in my view of "we the people."

    I have a thousand anecdotes about juries, but the one that was the most formative was my first jury experience on a homicide jury before I became a police officer.  Four black men in a drug gang were on trial for 1st degree murder in a gruesome torture/execution.  Well over 100 potential jurors were rejected and there would've been 200 rejected if the judge hadn't finally put his foot down and made the attorneys (a prosecutor and four defense attorneys) settle on 12 and 2 alternates.  During the trial, one juror was dismissed and replaced by an alternate because he kept falling asleep in court despite being called out by the judge on multiple occasions.  Our deliberations started on the Friday morning a week before Thanksgiving, and we were sequestered in a hotel for the duration.  We were terribly deadlocked from the beginning and went back to the judge with that news several times, but he sent us back to continue deliberating.  We essentially had no movement of opinions after noon on that first day.  However, being a student  of human nature I accurately predicted to a fellow juror that we'd reach a verdict by Wednesday afternoon (so we could go home for Thanksgiving!!).  Sure enough, four people relented on Wednesday afternoon in a case in which four men faced the death penalty (so we could go home for Thanksgiving!)  We were all in agreement from the beginning that the leader of the drug gang was guilty, but we were divided on whether there was sufficient evidence that the other three actually carried out the leader's order to kill the deceased.  There were four who were sure the three henchmen physically killed the victim and eight who had reasonable doubt it was actually them (mostly because of the "quality" of witness testimony against them).  Of those four, two were going along with two black women who were vehement that the three defendants were guilty.  At one point, the two women were asked what evidence made them so sure the three were guilty.  One spoke for both of them.  She said, "When they were interviewing us to see if we would be on the jury, I looked over at them (the defendants) and I JUST KNEW THEY WERE GUILTY BY LOOKING AT THEM!"  That was their reason: they could tell by looking at them that they were guilty before any evidence was ever submitted or even opening statements had been made!!  It turns out that these four relented on Wednesday afternoon and we delivered our verdict: one guilty, three not guilty.  I was relieved after that to find out that the three we found not guilty were already serving mandatory life sentences for a previous murder.  Since this was a capital case, we were told to report back on Monday to deliberate on the death penalty for the gang leader who ordered the murder.  Immediately on Monday, we were 9 for the death penalty and 3 against (and we had to be unanimous).  (These three were not among the four who wanted desperately to convict the three co-defendants.)  The three who were against the death penalty came with that attitude before we ever started deliberating and were uninterested in our discussion of the law and the mitigating factors.  Their minds were clearly made up.  I asked them why.  They said they were just against the death penalty on principle in any case.  So I followed up with, "When we were being interviewed as prospective jurors, didn't the judge tell you this was a death penalty case, and didn't he ask you if you could keep an open mind and make that decision based on the law and NOT on your personal views on the death penalty?  And didn't you say 'Yes,' you could vote for the death penalty if the law and the facts of the case warranted it?"  They answered that they did tell the judge that, but they could never vote for the death penalty in any case because they were personally against it in all circumstances.  Incredible.  We were done before lunch: life in prison.  As bad and as eye-opening as that experience was for me, it's even worse when I remember that 100-200 people who were not chosen for jury duty would've been even worse.

    I think George Carlin sums it for me when he said, "Just consider how stupid the average person is.  And then realize half of them are stupider than that!"  laugh  And I would add immoral and lacking in integrity to get a more complete picture of "we the people."  My saying, usually accompanied by a sad shaking of the head, is, "There's a lot of stupid out there."

    "Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."  (And God help you if you are ever wrongly arrested for a felony and have to place your life in the hands of a jury!)


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  • Wed, Dec 07, 2016 - 10:33pm

    Reply to #4


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    Chris wrote: 'that was

    Chris wrote: 'that was murder, on tape, clear as one could imagine, and it also had a clear case of evidence planting/tampering. Right on tape.  "

    FYI: The video posted  was "heavily" edited. There were some critical clips removed. FWIW: A lot of video being posted are "edited" to incite anger. I recall seeing a more complete video showing that the man grabed the officers taser, firing it at the officer and knocking the office to the ground. During the scuffle,  the officer got tangled in the taser wiring. The clip showing the officer was him untangling himself from the taser wire was edited so you just saw him placing the taser near the man. What you didn't see is that after the officer untangled himself, that he picked up the taser. I think Stefan Molyneux posted the unedited version.

    The same is true with most MSM, as they edit interviews and public addresses to suit their agenda. Its easy to get fooled by an edited video. 

    "I can only imagine what it's like to belong to a minority group and living with an entire, seemingly endless, series of such events and outcomes."

    FWIW: the real threat to minorities is being stuck in ghettos with extremely gang violence. I think in one day, more minorities are killed by gangs than total deaths related to law enforcement for an entire year. As a nation we are at a point when law enforcment is likely to be constrained, resulting in more bold criminal and violent behavior. I think the situation will continue to erode until a VIP in the MSM ends up involved in a home invasion or seriously injured by violence. Then the pendulum will swing to the point they want the death penalty for jay-walkers.


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