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Daily Digest 10/25 - Yemen 'In Clear And Present Danger,' The Great Biofuel Swindle

Thursday, October 25, 2018, 8:16 AM

Economy

Yemen In 'Clear And Present Danger' Of Massive Famine After Years Of Violence (Thomas R.)

Based on new surveys and analysis, his office said as many as 14 million people — or about half the whole country's population — could soon be "entirely reliant on external aid for survival." And with violence still raging in the key port city of Hodeidah, where Saudi-backed Yemeni forces launched an offensive on Houthi rebels earlier this year, the international aid operation risks disruption in its own right.

Pipe bombs target Democrats, CNN as political tensions mount (TS)

The attacks overtook other news in an already-tense political season that could reshape Congress and serve as a referendum on the first two years of Trump’s presidency. The actions, which caused panicked building evacuations and reports of additional explosives that later proved unfounded, are bound to add to fears that overheated rhetoric could lead to deadly violence as the parties engage in bitter fights over immigration, the Supreme Court and the treatment of women.

Stuck In The Twentieth Century (yogmonster)

My views are very “Twentieth Century.” I am taking the liberty to include the first decade of the Twenty First Century in that statement. That’s one of the nice things about writing my own newsletter. I get to “take liberties.” I have never abandoned my Twentieth Century views on gold, silver, inflation, debt and money creation. I don’t care what the price of gold is or where the Dow is, as the longest bull market in stocks on record comes to an end, my Twentieth Century views will serve me well.

New-home sales plunge to a near two-year low as housing picture deteriorates (Thomas R.)

The government’s reports on residential construction are based on small samples and often revised heavily, making it unwise to rely on data from any single month for the big picture. But the story so far in 2018 has been one of continuing deterioration. For the year to date, sales are just 3.5% higher than in the same period last year, a measurement that's been falling steadily throughout the year.

Wikipedia – a tool of the ruling elite (Paul D.)

On the latest episode of On Contact, investigative journalist Helen Buyniski exposes Jimmy Wales’ egalitarian Wikipedia as yet another tool of the ruling elite.

Why Economists Can't Understand Complex Systems (Paul D.)

Nordhaus' approach to climate change mitigation highlights a general problem with how economists tend to tackle complex systems: their training makes them tend to see changes as smooth and gradual. But real-world systems, normally, do what they damn please, including crashing down in what we call the Seneca Effect.

Americans teens love shopping on one website way more than anywhere else (Thomas R.)

Amazon is particularly dominant among upper-income teenage boys, 53% of whom picked Amazon as their online shopping destination of choice. That was down by two percentage points from the same time last year. Thirty-eight percent of upper-income teenage girls picked Amazon as their preferred website, up from 33% in 2017.

Yahoo agrees to pay $50 million to data breach victims (Thomas R.)

The $50 million fund will compensate affected account holders $25 for every hour spent dealing with the fallout from the breach. Those with documented losses can claim up to $375, while those without records of their losses can ask for up to $125. Account holders that paid for a premium email account will also be eligible for a 25 percent refund. The company will also have to pay for at least two years of credit monitoring services for some 200 million users who had personal information stolen.

Ford Motor Company Profit Slips 37% on China Woes (Thomas R.)

The good news is that those products are coming and the restructuring work has begun, though it's too early to say when those efforts will show results on the bottom line. In the meantime, other parts of Ford's business continued to do well: North America, Ford Credit, and Asia Pacific (outside China) all posted solid results.

About 800,000 pounds of ready-to-eat products were just pulled from Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter (Thomas R.)

Why?: The USDA says the meat was recalled due to contamination of salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Bigger picture: Bakkavor Foods discovered the hazard on Oct. 16 when supplier McCain Foods USA recalled onions because of contamination concerns, Fortune reports.

The Great Biofuel Swindle (Michael S.)

Biofuel has often been touted as the clean energy solution that will change the world, but it turns out, it may have just been hot air, and it’s looking like the biofuel bubble may be bursting

Oil market trusts Saudi Arabia for now to temper impact of Iran sanctions (Thomas R.)

The Iranian sanctions are expected to remove about 1 million barrels a day from the global market by the end of the year, and some analysts had expected the price of crude to move higher ahead of the Nov. 5 sanctions. That was even before Saudi Arabia became a wild card, with lingering questions about whether its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had any role in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Remote Hawaiian Island Wiped Off The Map (Sparky1, Thomas R.)

East Island was destroyed by storm surge from Hurricane Walaka, which roared through the northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a powerful Category 3 storm this month. Seven researchers, including three studying green sea turtles on East Island, were forced to evacuate from French Frigate Shoals before the storm.

Study finds availability of nitrogen to plants is declining as climate warms (Paul D.)

Researchers studied a database of leaf chemistry of hundreds of species that had been collected from around the world from 1980-2017 and found a global trend in decreasing nitrogen availability. They found that most terrestrial ecosystems, such as forests and land that has not been treated with fertilizers, are becoming more oligotrophic, meaning too little nutrients are available.

Dozens more breakfast foods test positive for trace amounts of weed killer, report says (Thomas R.)

The environmental group says its lower threshold includes an added buffer for children, as "exposure during early life can have more significant effects on development later in life," according to Dr. Alexis Temkin, the lead scientist on EWG report.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 10/24/18

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."

24 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Rising Rates Fan Equity Fears Over $14 Trillion of Company Debt

Rising Rates Fan Equity Fears Over $14 Trillion of Company Debt

Bloomberg-3 hours ago

Over the past decade, non-financial corporate debt worldwide has swelled 68 percent to $14 trillion, according to Sanford C. Bernstein. As economic growth ..

Gold to replace US Treasuries as the 'ultimate risk-off asset' – strategist

RT-28 minutes ago
According to Deluard, “the speculation around Russian and Chinese central banks buying up gold and selling US Treasuries” is another significant aspect to ...

Junk Bonds Aren't Going to Save You

Bloomberg-5 hours ago
In 2001, high-yield debt even rallied. ... bonds are so illiquid relative to public equities that investors have a hard time noticing that risks are starting to bubble up.

How much interest does US pay on its massive debt pile? RT's Keiser ...

RT-36 minutes ago
Despite the 30-year decline in interest rates, US debt has been climbing almost exponentially faster with the latest budget deficit swelling by nearly a trillion ...

1 in 3 Pennsylvania residents struggle to pay medical bills, survey finds

Philly.com-1 hour ago
Half of adults in Pennsylvania struggle with health care affordability and one in three ... 29 percent said they delayed having a procedure because of cost and 25 ...

Obesity a Painful Reality for 1 in 6 US Youths

U.S. News & World Report-Oct 24, 2018
"We must help all children grow up at a healthy weight, so they can lead healthy lives, and save the nation billions in health care costs," Bussel said.

 

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Twitter Suspends Paul Craig Roberts after Sputnik Interview

Twitter has suspended noted anti-war commentator, economist and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Paul Craig Roberts.

The suspension came without warning and was noted by journalist Caitlin Johnstone and others Thursday evening.

The former Reagan administration official clarified that he does not think "that the military-security complex itself wants a war with Russia, but it does want an enemy that can be used to justify more spending."  He explained that the withdrawing from the INF Treaty "gives the military-security complex a justification for a larger budget and new money to spend: manufacturing the formerly banned missiles."

...

The economist highlighted that "enormous sums spent on 'defense' enabled the armaments corporations to control election outcomes with campaign contributions," adding that in addition, "the military has bases and the armaments corporations have factories in almost every state so that the population, dependent on the jobs, support high amounts of 'defense' spending." 

-Sputnik

Roberts also suggested that "The Zionist Neoconservatives are responsible for Washington's unilateral abandonment of the INF treaty, just as they were responsible for Washington's unilateral abandonment of the ABM Treaty [in 2002], the Iran nuclear agreement, and the promise not to move NATO one inch to the East.

Is this what got Roberts suspended? 

He goes on to say that the ideology of US neoconservatives is "akin to the German Nazi Party last century" in their ideology of American supremacy and exceptionalism

"Their over-confidence about their ability to quickly defeat Israel's enemies and open the Middle East to Israeli expansion got the US bogged down in wars in the Middle East for 17 years," said Roberts, adding:  "During this time, both Russia and China rose much more quickly than the neoconservatives thought possible."

Dr. Roberts opined that US policy makers are seeking to weaponize the Russian opposition and "pro-Western elements"  [within Russia] to exert pressure on Moscow....[The Saker agrees with this.]-Sputnik

While we don't know if Roberts' Sputnik interview resulted in his Twitter ban 48 hours later, it's entirely possible. 

----------------

---------------

On a personal note, I had dinner tonight with my wife at a Panera's in Charlottesville, VA.  This is the same Panera's where I saw Philip Zelikow having dinner with his daughters about a year ago.  (He is a professor at the Darden business school at UVa and now lives here in Charlottesville.)  After many months of thinking about what I would want to say to the man who was one of the prime architects of the 9/11 False Flag Deception, the middle east wars and the Patriot Act, I think I have it.

I want to tell him that this kind of stunt is likely to backfire and hurt my Jewish friends and family.  This kind of thing is the reason for the repeated backlashings that they face as a people.   This is why people abandon BLUE Meme.  They [the neocons] need to grow up so that good people don't get hurt.

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The 25% solution for fat children?

It strikes me as rather silly that we humans continue to "ruminate" over the plight of obesity in our society. As food slowly is overtaken by canabis as the "go-to" psycho-pharmacological alternative to our ever increasing inability to deal with the realities of life, we have overlooked one obvious path out of the mire. It seems that a reduced metabolic load has profound benefits for any organism willing to listen to their natural proclivity for optimal results. Correlation vs. causation?

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11379719_Effects_of_diet_restriction_on_life_span_and_age-related_changes_in_dogs

Exactly how much energy is imbedded in our food, Chris and Adam?

http://web.pdx.edu/~rueterj/courses/objects/embedded-energy-in-food.html

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Protections on risky loans are close to their worst ever levels,

Protections on risky loans are close to their worst ever levels, says ...

MarketWatch-19 hours ago
As debt cushions deteriorate, they are dragging down the ratings of debt instruments ... meaning those investors should be paid back first in the event of default.

Almost two-thirds of world stocks in bear territory but $8.5 billion flows ...

Reuters-3 hours ago
But pain continued to be felt on bond markets with a fifth week of outflow, losing $7.2 billion. Investment-grade as well as junk debt lost money, shedding $3.1 ...

Ex-student loan official: 'We dropped a trillion dollars of debt into the ...

MarketWatch-20 hours ago
“Simply put, we dropped a trillion dollars of debt into the market without any thought of the oversight, consumer protection, or accountability that is necessary to ...

Muskegon County to sell $45 million in bonds to fund pensions

MLive.com-21 hours ago
Between the jail and rising pension costs, the five-year forecast also predicted that Muskegon County would be left with a negative general fund balance of $38 ...

 

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The bomber

I missed it by *that* much.  I suggested the use of "From" and "To" meant they should look for someone over 60.

Turns out the guy was 56.

Not terribly smart or careful as they used DNA to track him down.

While we wait for details to emerge, can anybody amke anything of his van?  Recognize any of those stickers or decals in this low-res photo (the best I could find) of his van?

Just based on the sheer number of stickers and decals, and using my proxmity to liberal VT and its surplus of sticker encrusted Subarus, I would guess that this is someone who identifies as liberal.  In my neck of the woods conservatives tend to have none or few stickers while liberals sometimes load their vehicles to the max.

This could be a local phenomoenon, and it's not ironclad, so I'm ready for whatever.  

Just speculating for fun.

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Missed that one too!

...and...here's a close up of the van.  Missed the sticker count by a mile!

What an idiot this guy is.  Not the sharpest lightbulb in the drawer if you know what I mean.  :)

Also, this van is nature's way of saying "stay back!"

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Cars plastered with bumper stickers

In my experience stopping cars plastered with bumper stickers for investigation or vehicle code violations, the owner’s grip on reality and mental health is inversely related to the number of bumper stickers and other items on the car (don’t get me started on the “other items”). Three or four bumper stickers is not correlated with mental illness or a poor grasp on reality, but above that it is. If I had to approach that van I would be at DEFCON 5.  (In case you’re wondering, zero bumper stickers is not correlated to anything.)

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Good to know!
thc0655 wrote:

In my experience stopping cars plastered with bumper stickers for investigation or vehicle code violations, the owner’s grip on reality and mental health is inversely related to the number of bumper stickers and other items on the car (don’t get me started on the “other items”). Three or four bumper stickers is not correlated with mental illness or a poor grasp on reality, but above that it is. If I had to approach that van I would be at DEFCON 5.  (In case you’re wondering, zero bumper stickers is not correlated to anything.)

That's great info to have.

I guess I knew that intuitively, good to hear it from a seasoned pro.

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alternating nutjobs

First a Bernie nutjob shot a bunch of Republicans playing baseball, now a Trump nutjob sends a bunch of fake bombs to big-name Democrats.  (Of the two - I'd say fake bombs that couldn't explode are substantially less serious than actual rifle bullets hitting real people).

These are warning signs.  The nutjobs are acting like coal mine canaries.  They are telling us that the current level of incivility has real effects.  The nutjobs take action first, but the more grounded folk will get sucked in eventually.

The quest for ratings from the media (and their desire for a constant stream of "bombshells" - both real and made up) is the whip hand steadily driving people into a frenzy.  If you hear 24/7 how Trump is Hitler (or how Hillary is Hitler) from the hypnotic, repetitive "trusted" media that says all the things you want to hear, and this is then reinforced on your echo-chamber facebook feed, the folks who are less strongly attached to reality won't be able to distinguish between hyperbole and non-hyperbole.

And then when violence happens, it should surprise exactly nobody.

I expect we'll see more of it, especially as everyone follows Hillary's dictum of "civility can't return until we win."

Turns out, both sides can't win.

So more nutjobs will be moved to take action, on both sides.

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Datapoint from Florida Statutes

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/316.2004

"316.2004 Obstruction to driver’s view or driving mechanism.—
(b) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows of such vehicle which materially obstructs, obscures, or impairs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway."

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Those are all very new looking, aren't they?
Time2help wrote:

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/316.2004

"316.2004 Obstruction to driver’s view or driving mechanism.—
(b) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows of such vehicle which materially obstructs, obscures, or impairs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway."

I saw on another chat board someone commenting that if you tried to create a more stereotypical idiot Trump follower van you'd have a hard time.

They also noted that all the stickers looked in remarkably good condition (not sun bleached) especially for FL.

So either this nutter put them all up recently (possibly in some sort of manic delusional episode) or there's something fishy going on here.

Meanwhile, the internet delivers with "crappy bomb design" memes now making the rounds.  One of my favorites so far:

 

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Not just new looking...

...they don't look like bumper stickers. More like one-piece banners. Nice marketing job there.

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I'm sorry, especially after

I'm sorry, especially after listening to NPR report on this "event", I'm going with The Onion:

Though, if "they" do get to the truthful bottom of this, it may be interesting.....Aloha, Steve.

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thatchmo wrote: I'm sorry,
thatchmo wrote:

I'm sorry, especially after listening to NPR report on this "event", I'm going with The Onion:

Though, if "they" do get to the truthful bottom of this, it may be interesting.....Aloha, Steve.

 

Thatch, that was the best! I'm still chuckling away.

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Totally agree with your theory

Dave,

But, your list isn't long enough.  Lets not forget the nutjob who shot up a pizzeria where some other nutjobs claimed Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of the basement.  First problem, but far from the last, there was no basement.

Then there are the ongoing nutjobs, calling themselves truthers, who compound the grief of the parents of children slaughtered at Sandy Hook by another nutjob.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/02/sandy-hook-school-hoax-m...

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/six-more-families-sue-ale...

If any good can be said to come from this one, at least Alex Jones doesn't have as many outlets from which to spread his particular strain of venom.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/23/us/politics/alex-jones-trump-sandy-ho...

And more from the Infowars nutjobs, there is the innocent victim who Jones and company falsely accused of being the Parkland shooter.  He has subsequently been harassed and threatened by Jones believers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/30/us/politics/alex-jones-infowars-sandy...

My point here is that there are frequently victims far beyond the initial victims of violent actions of nutjobs.  We need to give a little thought to them and what these internet campaigns of falsehoods do to degrade the general level of discourse in our society.  

 

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And now...

another nutjob has shot up a synagogue in Pittsburgh.  Early numbers indicate 12 shot including 3 police officers, and 8 dead.  The shooter was reportedly shouting antisemitic sentiments while shooting.  He is apparently injured and in custody.

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Public Service Announcement for Saturday Morning

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And yesterday...

The societal breakdown is happening in all directions.

https://twitter.com/KayaJones/status/1055506303580200961

Never thought I'd be living through this sort of an era, but here we are.

 

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what, me worry?

Just wait until the environmental collapse becomes impossible for even the hard-core deniers to ignore.  The drug cartels will look like sissys and that red jersey guy will have disappeared a long time before.  I know a well educated guy who says that global warming is a lie, cigarette smoking does not cause cancer, and depleated uranium is not deadly.  He also leads a team of engineers at a major weapons manufacturer.  This planet is doomed.

Then again, maybe I shouldn't worry.  It's all a one-world-government conspiracy since Mr Amazon himself has everything under control:

“We have the resources to build room for a trillion humans in this solar system, and when we have a trillion humans, we’ll have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts. It will be a way more interesting place to live.” ~ Jeff Bezos

The scary thing is that this quote appeared in a Catherine Austin Fitts Solary Report email.  I can't figure out if she was being extremely sarcastic.  Probably not since she thinks the next boom economy will be space based.  This planet is doomed.

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On a positive note, give me the good ole' days.

The human toll

The Thirty Years’ War is thought to have claimed between 4 and 12 million lives. Around 450,000 people died in combat. Disease and famine took the lion’s share of the death toll. Estimates suggest that 20% of Europe’s people perished, with some areas seeing their population fall by as much as 60%.

These figures are remarkably high, even by 17th century standards. By comparison, the First World War — including the post-armistice outbreak of Spanish Flu — claimed 5% of Europe’s population. The only comparable example was Soviet losses during the Second World War, which amounted to 12% of the USSR’s population. The Thirty Years’ War took an immense human toll, with significant, long-lasting impacts on marriage and birth rates.

Historical sources suggest, for example, that the Swedish army alone destroyed 2,200 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns in Germany, wiping one-third of the country’s towns from the map. The 1631 Sack of Magdeburg was an unusually brutal episode. It claimed 24,000 lives — the majority burned alive in what remained of their homes. The scale of the atrocities remains a matter of some debate and we cannot say with certainty that systematic massacres took place. But the evidence shows how fighting forces used terror to repress civilians and points to pillage as common practice.

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Archetypal Good vs Evil in These Frightening End Times

The video that Chris posted above in this thread, #19, was very disturbing to me. One guy is in a coffee shop wearing a MAGA hat and another is in his face berating him.  To me it looks like the risk of physical violence is very high.

This struck way too close to home for me. This was not a staged battle demonstration in a downtown district of a big city that I can avoid, but happened right in a coffee shop near me.  I couldn't sleep.

I will run an idea past you guys and gals.

What is going on?

Identifying with "GOOD,"  projecting "EVIL" on to another, and then fighting for RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The battle is fought for the CONSENSUS MIND SPACE.  The place where we collectively understand what is true.  We MUST make sure that GOOD TRIUMPHS.

It has always been true that each person sees his or her own viewpoint as correct.  "I have the best viewpoint."  (That is the very definition of "my viewpoint"--the viewpoint that I believe is correct and identify with.)

What is different now?

The anxiety and fear sense from seeing that the crisis is upon us.  The clock of history reads 11:59:59.  The ice sheets are melting.  The forests burn.  The trumpets sound.  A pale horse rides.   The Final Days are here.  These are the End Times.

In desperation, we humans join in the last battle for the victory of GOD'S WAY.  GOODNESS.  RIGHTEOUSNESS. For HUMANITY.  The DESTRUCTION OF STUPIDITY AND GREED that has destroyed the Earth.  For DECENCY.  For LIFE.  For SCIENCE and REASON.

THE ARCHTEYPAL BATTLE OF GOOD VERSUS EVIL IS UPON US.  And I am willing to give up my own life as a warrior for GOODNESS, and to destroy your life, as you, in your vileness and stupidity, have sided with EVIL.  The battle itself is much more important than our individual lives.

What has been lost?

A sense that the other person in the coffee shop is just another human being, almost exactly like us.  He may be trying a different life strategy to meet his needs.  But his basic hierarchy of needs is the same and basic experience of being human is very similar to mine.  We share a great deal of commonality.  What he wants is food, air, clean water, to keep his family safe, to find meaningful work, to play, to dance and play music, to hold his children at bedtime, to share friendship--just like me.

But our common humanity is overshadowed by the great archtypal battle.

The GREAT ARCHETYPAL BATTLE is the regressed lens through which we view the world and each other, in a time of stress.

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absolute knowledge-longing for peace

I have seen these conflicts increasing all around me, on the road and in the office. People are UPSET. A dear friend thinks that the essence of these battles is a firm belief in one's absolute knowledge. About anything. Religion, diet, climate, money, good, evil, political party, what consittutes correctness, etc....and of course absolute knowledge about my enemy. Of course I understand how he thinks and feels and I know with certainty his evil. One can have a belief system that one is willing to modify but righteous anger is based on knowing one is "right".  

The people who are not making peace in this world, in particular those of us who may sow discord and hatred in any and all settings, have a lot to account for along with the other disasters you mentioned.  

I guess the sin of pride is at the top of the list for a reason.  It is certainly my biggest flaw.  In this day and age it seems humility is so passe.  I yearn and pray for peace as things become more scary. I am afraid to drive these days the recklessness is off the charts and just one indicator of the mood here. 

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I think it might be a good time

... to get to know the victims.

Somehow, I doubt that any of these were significantly impacting anyone's life negatively.

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/28/661561480/wonderful-people-good-souls-the...

People get into a "can't let it go on", but when the bad things happen, it's random people out there who die.

Even if you thought you could get all the bad guys of world history in one room, you've got to remember Gandalf, when Samwise said "it's a pity Bilbo didn't kill Gollum when he had the chance."

"pity? It was pity that stayed his hand... can you recall even one of those who died wrongly? Can you give them life? Then don't be too quick to condemn those who spared a life you thought unwortthy. For it is hidden to even the wise what role he may yet have to play..."

Sorry, I don't have it exactly correct.

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Daily Wrap Up (The Last American Vagabond)

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