Daily Digest

Image by duabelas, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 9/19 - The Case Against Civilization, How Brazil Got Hooked On Junk Food

Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 7:49 AM


The Next Crisis Will Start in Silicon Valley (Adam)

The world of finance looks very different today than it did 10 years ago. In 2007, our biggest concern was “too big to fail.” Wall Street banks had grown to such staggering sizes, and had become so central to the health of the financial system, that no rational government could ever let them fail. Aware of their protected status, banks made excessively risky bets on housing markets and invented ever more complicated derivatives. The result was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food (richcabot)

Nestlé’s direct-sales army in Brazil is part of a broader transformation of the food system that is delivering Western-style processed food and sugary drinks to the most isolated pockets of Latin America, Africa and Asia. As their growth slows in the wealthiest countries, multinational food companies like Nestlé, PepsiCo and General Mills have been aggressively expanding their presence in developing nations, unleashing a marketing juggernaut that is upending traditional diets from Brazil to Ghana to India.

POTUS, Politics And Parenting (Philip D.)

Grandiose government benefit programs like these are giant Ponzi-schemes, the short-term products of favorable demographics, vote-garnering politicians, and a timely bonanza of fossil-fuel extraction (three-hundred million years of life on earth carbonized underground, converted to instant but fleeting economic activity). Sure, we’d love to have these programs forever, but the accounting doesn’t work.

The Case Against Civilization (jdargis)

Anatomically modern humans have been around for roughly two hundred thousand years. For most of that time, we lived as hunter-gatherers. Then, about twelve thousand years ago, came what is generally agreed to be the definitive before-and-after moment in our ascent to planetary dominance: the Neolithic Revolution. This was our adoption of, to use Scott’s word, a “package” of agricultural innovations, notably the domestication of animals such as the cow and the pig, and the transition from hunting and gathering to planting and cultivating crops. The most important of these crops have been the cereals—wheat, barley, rice, and maize—that remain the staples of humanity’s diet. Cereals allowed population growth and the birth of cities, and, hence, the development of states and the rise of complex societies.

A Weekend of Protest in St. Louis (jdargis)

On Friday, a judge in St. Louis found Jason Stockley, a white former St. Louis police officer, not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a black man named Anthony Lamar Smith. Smith was shot and killed by Stockley after a high-speed chase in 2011. Throughout the weekend, groups of protesters took to the streets of St. Louis, voicing their anger with the decision. At night, as most of the peaceful demonstrators dispersed, others took their anger out on police cars and nearby businesses, smashing dozens of windows. More than 80 arrests were reported on Sunday alone.

Trump admin wants to allow seismic study of Alaska refuge for oil drilling (jdargis)

The efforts to conduct new studies of the oil and gas under the refuge’s coastal plain are still in preliminary stages—the DOI’s draft rule allowing seismic imaging study would be subject to a public comment period and would certainly face lawsuits from environmental groups if approved. Even then, exploration efforts wouldn’t automatically trigger well-drilling in the area—extraction in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge requires the approval of Congress as well as a market environment favorable to drilling in the remote and challenging tundra region.

Oil Price Volatility Is Set To Return (Michael K.)

Atkinson noted at the Manama conference that although over the medium term the rate of demand growth will slow, it may do so from a higher point than previously forecast, in tune with the new demand growth revision. What’s more, over the longer term, to 2040, the IEA forecast the share of oil in the global energy mix will decline only slightly, from 33 percent in 2015 to 31 percent in 2040, which means stable growth in demand as part of the growth in wider energy demand.

Rethinking the ‘Infrastructure’ Discussion Amid a Blitz of Hurricanes (jdargis)

Alice Hill, who directed resilience policy for the National Security Council in the Obama administration, said the wider debate over cutting climate-warming emissions may have distracted people from promptly pursuing ways to reduce risks and economic and societal costs from natural disasters.

She and several other experts said a first step is getting past the old definition of resilience as bouncing back from a hit, which presumes a community needs simply to recover.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 9/18/17

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."


cmartenson's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 6028
Maria is a scary storm...

The most recent airplane fly through gave a reading of 909 mb!(!!!)

This places Maria among the most powerful storms ever recorded...and would be a record holder in some basins of the world:

(Interesting reading on the above table here.)

Good luck Puerto Rico...this could be a bad one.

thatchmo's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 479

My sister and her family are on St. Croix where the eye should be hitting them about now......Blessings to all in Maria's path and wake.....Aloha, Steve.

cmartenson's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 6028
Maria makes landfall in PR

Now a Cat 4, Maria is still the strongest hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in recorded history.

I heard from someone once, who hunkered down as Andrew roared overhead, that the sound of such a storm is a relentless howl, so loud you can barely even scream broken-english instructions to a person right next to you.

Exciting for the first half hour, terrifying for the next 2 hours, PTSD inducing by the 5th hour.  It just doesn't stop, it seems.  They reported never wanting to experience such a thing again.  

I'm sure there are tens of thousands of people with similar stories to tell now as Maria has put her eyewall right over several islands.

My economic question in all this, is how will this impact PR's ability to service their debt?  They were barely hanging on as it was and Maria is going to stress the economy and relief/repair coffers enormously.  Probably won't be helping.

The capital, San Juan, is right in the path of the eyewall, direct hit, northwest quadrant.  A direct hit.

cmartenson's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 6028
Yikes! Current wind forecasts for Puerto Rico

Ummm...it's a safe bet that parts of Puerto Rico are going to be without power for many months.

This is as direct a hit as is possible.

cmartenson's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 6028
Not The Onion - Government Follies

I seriously cannot believe this is *not* The Onion.

I’m not even sure how to find appropriate sarcasm in response to this:

Hours After Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County Tickets Residents For Code Violations

Sep. 19, 2017

Mere hours after Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County was ticketing residents for building code violations on their wrecked properties.

Celso Perez was helping his neighbors remove some fallen trees blocking their street when a county code enforcer rolled up and issued him a safety notice for having a downed fence. "I laughed," Perez tells WSVN-TV. "I thought he was kidding. 'You are kidding right? We just had a hurricane six hours ago.'"

It wasn't a joke. The official told Perez that the downed fence—which encloses a pool—was a safety hazard, and that if it wasn't fixed by the time he returned, Perez would be hit with a fine. The official then hung the safety citation on the portion of Perez's fence that remained standing, leaving him and his neighbors to finish clearing the debris from their street.

According to WSVN, the county has handed out 680 safety notices for downed pool barriers, and another 177 electrical hazard safety noticesReason reached out to the county to confirm those numbers, but has not received a reply.

I guess I’ll turn to the old joke from Ronald Reagan:

Otherwise I just don’t know how to respond.

However, I would advise the Miami-Dade County government workers to not be surprised if in the future the taxpayers decide to not take on any more debt to top off their defective municipal pension scheme and to let current and future municipal retirees struggle with pension cuts.

As a very wise MD told me once, "people don't sue outcomes, they sue relationships." 

lambertad's picture
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2013
Posts: 186
This happens everwhere

Little story I've shared on PP before. 

I built a shed in my yard for a woodworking and welding shop. My wife didn't want me doing it in the garage, but I wanted to learn the skills, so I decided to build a shed where I could practice. 

I come home from work one day to find a notice on the door saying the shed had to be moved. It was built on concrete piers, by hand, to learn the skills of framing a structure. It wasn't a delivered shed from the big box store, apparently code enforcement is obtuse enough not to be able to tell the difference.

Anyway, I call the code enforcement person and ask them what gives. She said someone complained. I told her I have 2 neighbors that I can see from my yard that have sheds in their "side yard", why was mine targeted for enforcement? Because someone complained, she replied. She asked if I wanted to complain about my the sheds next door to my property. I didn't respond to the question.

The threat was a $50/day fine until it was "moved", or in my case torn down. 

I'm thankful for this situation for several reasons. 1. A friend of mine who was a framing carpenter was kind enough to help me build the shed, it was generous of his time but also provided a great learning experience for me. 2. I will never put down roots within city limits again, and I actively remind my wife of why we should settle outside of city limits 3. It taught me that bureaucrats at any level either do not care about people they serve or they enforce the rules so haphazardly that it appears they don't care. Either way, the take away is the same - people get the feeling you don't care about their situation, kind of like in Florida. 

As an aside, Versaland, a regenerative agriculture practice in Iowa is essentially being shut down by county ordinances - They've outlawed self pick orchards, they've severely curtailed his ability to have farm workers live on site during the harvest season, they've restricted opportunities for on farm events to only 12/year. While the scope of the Florida article is just ridiculous, I see this stuff going on everywhere. 

Edwardelinski's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2012
Posts: 341
Entire island of Puerto Rico without power

Coast Guard,Marines and Army Corp of Engineers are being sent to rebuild.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments