Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 5/18 - The Malware That Wreaked Chaos, Has Global Oil Demand Really Surpassed Supply?

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 9:03 AM


The Malware That Wreaked Global Chaos (yogmonster)

“But let’s not forget who the really big culprits are here. The American and British government’s are at total fault. They both fund the NSA and GCHQ. Both advocate government snooping and spying into every citizen of the world, let alone their own. Both advocate the banning of secure encryption communication services and both have spent millions on developing tools to hack and crack these systems at will.”

Fluxology revisited — how Steven Chu will save us (Jesper A.)

These facts are established in our post-modern world as mere facts, none of the above is contested. McLuhan might contest his relation with marxism, but apart from that, we are dealing with earth-shattering and painstaking science. Saying that McLuhan and Bateson are “twins” is earth-shattering though. It is unfair to any of these thinkers to say they are related, and yet, related they are. Sapir and Whoorf are too.

Payoffs From Putin to Trump? McCarthy Says No, He Was Just Kidding (jdargis)

The House majority leader was recorded in June as saying Donald J. Trump could be getting payments from Vladimir V. Putin. Now the congressman says he was joking.

Falling U.S. Jobless Claims Add to Signs of Labor Tightness (jdargis)

Hiring managers remain more occupied with finding workers than trimming staff, with the headline jobless rate drifting below the Federal Reserve’s estimate of full employment. Benefit claims have been a particularly durable indicator of tightness in the labor market, with initial filings holding at lower than 300,000 for more than two years. The gauge contributes to Fed policy makers’ case that the economy can withstand further increases in the benchmark interest rate this year.

$6.40 an hour for nine years: how I got stuck in a career as a Walmart employee (jdargis)

I earned around $2,000 a month after putting in a lot of hours and snatching up overtime whenever it was offered, working 11 days in a row or taking long shifts. After paying $475 for rent, $193 a month on my car, $75 per month for car insurance, utilities, phone, basic cable, food, minimum payments on my credit card debt that were over $100, taxes (single working people making over the poverty level usually do not get any tax deductions), and $230 a month for health insurance, I had little left over.

US immigration arrests surge 40% under Donald Trump (jdargis)

“Those that enter the country illegally, they do violate the law, that is a criminal act,” Mr Homan told reporters.

The increase is a direct result of new guidance given by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to implement Mr Trump's executive orders on interior immigration enforcement and border security signed on Jan. 25, just days after the New York tycoon took office.

Has Global Oil Demand Really Surpassed Supply? (Michael K.)

Moreover, by March, even the OECD saw stocks start to drawdown. That means “that rebalancing is essentially here and, in the short term at least, is accelerating,” the IEA wrote in its latest report. Assuming the extension of the OPEC cuts, the IEA forecasts that the second quarter will see stock drawdowns widen to 0.7 mb/d. In other words, despite ongoing concerns about oversupply, the oil market is already in a supply deficit.

Where Have All The Insects Gone? (repost, Adam F.)

Though observations about splattered bugs aren't scientific, few reliable data exist on the fate of important insect species. Scientists have tracked alarming declines in domesticated honey bees, monarch butterflies, and lightning bugs. But few have paid attention to the moths, hover flies, beetles, and countless other insects that buzz and flitter through the warm months. "We have a pretty good track record of ignoring most noncharismatic species," which most insects are, says Joe Nocera, an ecologist at the University of New Brunswick in Canada.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 5/17/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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Edwardelinski's picture
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Treasury Secretary Settles:

That's right,to the tune of 89 million.Crime committed,ripping off 16,000 elders on there reverse mortgages.Next up,AG Schneiderman out of NY is coming for him as well.Keep in mind this is the man who is responsible for the tax code and monetary policy...The best of America....

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Insect decline

I can vouch for the decline in a number of species.  I have extensive clover patches in my lawn and pastures.  In years (now long) gone by, these patches would be absolutely humming with the sound of honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies, and myriad other insects.  This year, I have spotted only 3 honeybees and about the same number of bumblebees and butterflies.

Insect pests don't seem to have been affected much, although it's still early in the season for some of them.  June bugs appeared in late April.  I'm pretty diligent in picking them off my trees and dropping them in detergent water, so there tend to be less of these each year.  I attribute that to my own efforts.  I've been tending vigorously to the health of my fruit trees this year and so far have seen little plum curculio damage, but other orchards in the have either sprayed mercilessly of have taken a serious hit.  I expect the annual inundation of Japanese Beetles any day now.

Funny how these things work.  We are trying to plant flowers that bloom through the season to help out the honeybees, but farmers in our area go pretty heavy on the herbicides, so perhaps this is part of the problem.  I've heard that the varroa mites are also gaining ground, so this can't be good either.  But I have to think that the increasingly severe varroa mite infestations are yet another sign of an ecosystem under stress.  If the honey bees were healthier, I hypothesize that they could protect themselves better.

Sadly, I think we have a long way to go before a significant number of people are ready to back off of our current destructive course.  Ecosystem health simply isn't on most people's radar, and the commercial world has little incentive to factor ecological considerations into their decision making process.  I suspect that the farming community is the biggest factor, but the economics of farming is pretty ruthless and farmers will do what they have to do to stay in business.  It's up to governments to establish the rules that prevent a race to the bottom, but at least in the US, government has proven woefully susceptible to commercial interests that run roughshod over environmental considerations.  It's a sad story, and I suspect it isn't over.


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Blame the jury, not the police


A white [female] Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man last year was found not guilty Wednesday of first-degree manslaughter.

Jurors deliberated for just over nine hours before finding Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby not guilty in the Sept. 16 shooting of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. Shelby said she fired her weapon out of fear because she said he didn't obey her commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun. Crutcher was unarmed...

Shelby also said she feared Crutcher was under the influence of PCP, a powerful hallucinogenic known as Angel Dust that makes users erratic, unpredictable and combative.

An autopsy showed PCP was in Crutcher's system, and police said they found a vial of it in his SUV.

Crutcher's family said police attempted to "demonize" Crutcher over the drug possession to deflect attention from the fact officers didn't find a gun inside his SUV.

From my Sept. 20, 2016 Daily Digest comment on this issue for those of you who didn't originally hear about it:

Watch the video first without reading the commentary in the attached article and then my thoughts here if you're interested in this kind of thing.


Video footage released Monday showed Tulsa police shooting an unarmed man to death on Friday night after he approached his SUV with his arms raised. 

In footage filmed from a police helicopter, Terence Crutcher, 40, can be seen slowly walking from the edge of a street north of Tulsa toward his vehicle, which authorities said had been reported abandoned at 7:36 p.m. (8:36 p.m. ET) and left running in the middle of the road.

For several seconds, an officer follows Crutcher from behind with a gun trained on him. Three more officers then converge on the scene as Crutcher lowers his hands and approaches his SUV. While standing beside the driver's side door, he suddenly drops to the street. Moments later, blood can be seen saturating his white t-shirt. 

The Tulsa Police Department also released dash-cam video of the incident.

During a news conference Monday, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said that Officer Tyler Turnbough tasered Crutcher, and a second officer, Betty Shelby, fired at him after telling a dispatcher "that she's not having cooperation from" Crutcher. 

Citing an ongoing investigating, Jordan declined to provide additional details, though he said that no weapon was found on Crutcher or in his SUV. Jordan, who called the footage "disturbing," said that he asked the Justice Department to review the case.

I don't want to "Monday morning quarterback" anyone, but based on the video I have to conclude this was a case of professional malpractice (terrible police work) and probably manslaughter.  I'd have to have a lot of new information to think anything else.

On her way to a domestic disturbance call, Officer Betty Shelby of the Tulsa, OK Police Department comes across an SUV stopped in the middle of a two lane highway and Terence Crutcher in the road on foot. In a flash Betty is out of her police vehicle and has drawn her pistol.  I can't see everything she saw and I can't hear anything, but I can't imagine a legitimate reason for Betty to draw her weapon.  (At this early stage, she's not claiming he had a weapon and no weapon was found, nor that he verbally threatened to kill her.)  Perhaps Crutcher is acting erratically in some ways in addition to standing in the road with his car blocking both lanes.  That's reason for a cautious approach, but not to draw one's pistol yet.  Yes, the suspect could possibly have been a homicidal maniac but more likely explanations would include he was:  high or drunk, having serious mental health issues, or having a diabetic incident.  These possibilities and others like them would require the officer to have both hands empty if it became necessary to go "hands on" with the suspect and to possibly deescalate the situation.  With her gun in her hand, Officer Betty has nearly shut the door on the option of going hands on, and she has escalated the suspect, herself, and the other arriving officers.

I'm assuming based on the officer's lawyer's comment, that Crutcher was refusing to obey Officer Betty's commands (probably to stop walking away and to turn around). Crutcher does have his hands up while he was walking away from the officer.  Should he have obeyed the officer immediately and completely?  Yes.  Would he still  be alive now if he had? Most likely.  Does that justify the poor police work and decision making that led to the shooting and death of the suspect? Absolutely not.  I've found that the most useless phrase in the English language is: "Police! Stop!"  I can't think of even one instance in my career where I've used that phrase and the suspect actually stopped!  Officers should expect to be ignored and disobeyed, and have a plan to deal with it that doesn't include killing everyone who refuses to stop or obey.

Car stopped in the highway blocking both lanes.  Male walking in the road, possibly the driver.  Male refusing police commands and "acting erratically."  Male puts his hands in the air and starts walking back to the car's driver's door.  Because of the potential for escape and for the suspect to access a weapon in the car, an experienced officer would not let the suspect get to the driver's door, and reach in or get in.  The officer was completely in her rights to put her hands on the suspect and physically prevent him from reaching the driver's door, and then to pat him down for weapons.  That's what Officer Betty should have done, but didn't.  That was an "insufficient use of force" which led directly to more bad decisions and the death of the suspect.  I don't know why Officer Betty didn't go hands on with the suspect to keep him from reaching the driver's door, but I can guess.  1) She had her gun in her hand and you need both hands for that kind of thing.  2) She was frightened of the much larger suspect.  Why was she afraid besides the size difference?  She's a woman and therefore physically weaker.  She didn't have confidence in her hands on fighting skills.  3) She has little to no actual successful experience fighting with male suspects.  4) She's afraid of black males in general.  Officer Betty's fear led her to at least two early mistakes that prevented her from going hands on: she had her gun in hand and didn't reholster it, and she was waaay too far away from the suspect to get physical with him.  She should've used force much sooner than she did, and it should have been to put hands on the suspect to stop him from reaching the driver's door.  Insufficient use of force, followed by excessive force.  What a shame.

This doesn't explain to me the timid actions of the other 3 officers who arrive before Officer Betty fires a single shot.  Surely, three or four officers together would've had the courage to holster their pistols and go hands on with the suspect before he reached the driver's door.  However, they pile up right next to or even behind Officer Betty.  The one reason I can see for the other officers not just running past Betty and grabbing Crutcher was the possibility of getting shot in the back by Officer Betty in an accidental friendly fire incident.

Officer Betty through her lawyer says she feared he was reaching for a weapon when he went into his pocket and when he reached into his car.  I hear this explanation so many times from police who shoot a suspect when it's not justified or when it's a gray area that I wish we could just train every officer nationwide that "I thought he was reaching for a weapon" is completely insufficient grounds by itself for shooting a suspect.  You can't shoot until you see a deadly weapon, though if the suspect says he's going to shoot you with this gun in the car and then reaches into the car you'd be on better legal grounds to shoot.  I don't know what policing is like in Tulsa, but nearly all the cops I know in Philadelphia assume everyone has a deadly weapon and they are going to try to kill me with it.  That almost never turns out to be true but thinking it at all times keeps you on your toes and ready to respond appropriately in a split second.  Anyone could be reaching for a weapon.  You can't shoot them until they get their hands on the weapon and it appears they are about to use it on you.  It's incumbent on the officer to use good tactics to keep the suspect at a disadvantage so the officer can beat him to the punch if he legitimately goes for a deadly weapon.  You can't just stand 12-15 feet away yelling at the suspect and then shoot him when he puts his hands where you can't see them.

It's politically correct to encourage women (and small-statured men) to become police officers.  But if it wasn't, police departments might go back to physical standards they used to have 50 years ago which required applicants to be able to handle suspects on the street with their bare hands.  Some state police departments even used to require applicants to be male and at least 6'-0" tall as two of their requirements.  I know some female officers who can handle themselves on the street in a fight, but they are the exception.  I know a male SWAT officer who is only 5'6'', 145 lbs. but he plays hockey, competes in mixed martial arts competitions and is ferocious in a fight.  Most women and small-statured men are at a severe disadvantage in struggles with suspects when weapons are not appropriate.  Women and small men are quicker to resort to their weapons, more likely to stand back and let other officers do the dirty work, or simply manage to show up last to every dangerous-sounding incident.  If we had standards that required applicants and academy recruits to demonstrate serious hands on fighting skills, I think there would be fewer police shootings (justified or unjustified).  Of course, departments would have even more trouble achieving minimum staffing levels and being appropriately diverse.  So incidents like this are what we have to live with.  Sigh.

I also wish the public was aware of how many police deadly force incidents turn out to be clearly justified, so that disturbing incidents like this would be understood as an anomaly.  But since we don't, I guess we'll have an officer or officers somewhere soon injured or killed in retaliation for this.  I hope whoever the officers are are some of those racist bad ones who use excessive force rather than one of the majority who is completely professional.

Good background on this incident:


rjs's picture
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Has Global Oil Demand Really Surpassed Supply?

Has Global Oil Demand Really Surpassed Supply? cites IEA data...

OPEC's latest Oil Market Report has different data than the IEA...i wrote about it here:


"OPEC's estimate is that during the 2nd quarter of this year, all oil consuming areas of the globe will be using 95.33 million barrels of oil per day, down from the 95.44 millions of barrels of oil per day they were using in the first quarter but up from the 95.12 millions of barrels of oil per day they were using in 2016...but as OPEC showed us in the oil supply section of this report and the summary supply graph above, even with their production cuts, the world's oil producers were still producing 95.81 million barrels per day during April...that means that even after all the production cuts have taken place, there continued to be a surplus of around 480,000 barrels per day in global oil production in April...in addition, global production for March was revised higher, to 96.22 million barrels per day, so that means the global oil surplus during March was therefore around 780,000 barrels per day, based on the revised first quarter global demand figure of 95.44 million barrels per day shown above...furthermore, February's oil production was 0.23 million barrels per day higher than that of March, so the global oil surplus in February now looks to have been over a million barrels per day, as was January's, which we showed when we reviewed that report three months ago...so despite 4 months of OPEC production cuts, nearly a hundred million barrels of oil have been added to the global oil glut since the 1st of the year... "


see the link for my citations...

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Dennis Kucinich Says "Deep State is taking down a president"

This has gone far beyond Democrats and Republicans, Left and Right.  It is about the process of governance.

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Kentucky's public pension debt just got billions bigger

Kentucky's public pension debt just got billions bigger

Lexington Herald Leader-22 hours ago
Under the new numbers presented to the board, KRS' official unfunded pension liability of $18.1 billion will increase by somewhere between $3.6 billion and ...

Americans Are Paying $38 to Collect $1 of Student Debt

Bloomberg-2 minutes ago
The federal government has, in recent years, paid debt collectors close to $1 billion annually to help distressed borrowers climb out of default and scrounge up ...

Illinois punished by bond market as deadline nears amid fighting

Crain's Chicago Business - ‎17 hours ago‎
"We're two weeks away from the 31st and that's the deadline that's set," said Dennis Derby, a money manager in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, at Wells Fargo Asset Management, which holds Illinois bonds among its $40 billion of municipal debt. "They've had ...

Forget Fiscal Responsibility: Jerry Brown Embraces Pension Shell ...

City Watch-12 hours ago

“This action effectively doubles the state's annual payment and will mitigate the impact of increasing pension contributions due to the state's large unfunded .

South Lake Tahoe facing massive rise in pension payment

Tahoe Daily Tribune-40 minutes ago
With this forecast, CalPERS' investment returns will cover less of the cost of retiree's pension plans, forcing local governments to pay more. The agency currently ...

Pension dispute derails Mich. budget talks

The Detroit News - ‎3 hours ago‎
The state's traditional teacher pension system is saddled with more than $29 billion in unfunded liabilities, fueling Meekhof and Leonard's budget-season push to close the system, which could entail significant costs. Snyder opposed a similar plan last ...

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