Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/1 - Why Wind Power Isn't The Answer, Is This Worse Than 1968?

Thursday, November 1, 2018, 10:02 AM

Economy

What billionaires want: the secret influence of America’s 100 richest (Adam)

Most of the wealthiest US billionaires – who are much less visible and less reported on – more closely resemble Charles Koch. They are extremely conservative on economic issues. Obsessed with cutting taxes, especially estate taxes – which apply only to the wealthiest Americans. Opposed to government regulation of the environment or big banks. Unenthusiastic about government programs to help with jobs, incomes, healthcare, or retirement pensions – programs supported by large majorities of Americans. Tempted to cut deficits and shrink government by cutting or privatizing guaranteed social security benefits.

How can this be so? If it is true, why aren’t voters aware and angry about it?

Is This Worse Than ’68? (Paul D.)

According to Bryan Burrough, author of “Days of Rage, America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence,” “During an eighteen month period in 1971 and 1972, the FBI reported more than 2,500 bombings on U.S. soil, nearly 5 a day.”

No, 2018 is not 1968, at least not yet.

A Giant Pile Of Money (tmn)

Hedge funds and other more exotic investments come at a steep price. A pension fund seeking to own a diverse basket of technology stocks, say, or invest in promising, mid-sized European companies may hire a stockbroker to handle that aspect of its portfolio for around 0.5 percent annually, or $500,000 a year for every $100 million invested. By comparison, hedge funds and private equity charge fees that work out closer to 5 percent annually, according to Howard Pohl, an investment consultant who has been advising public pension managers for more than four decades. Yves Smith, the pen name of management consultant Susan Webber, puts that figure closer to 7 percent a year on private equity investments. That’s $5 million to $7 million each year on every $100 million a pension invests with a firm.

Yellen says rising deficit is unsustainable: 'If I had a magic wand, I would raise taxes' (Adam)

The U.S. fiscal deficit rose to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, up 17 percent from the previous fiscal year. This happened after President Donald Trump signed a bill late last year slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. Spending levels climbed to their highest in six years while revenue only increased slightly.

Hidden Secrets of Money, Episode 10: American Bread & Circus (yogmonster)

Video

The future of passwords? Your brain (Sparky1)

When a person looks at a photograph or hears a piece of music, her brain responds in ways that researchers or medical professionals can measure with electrical sensors placed on her scalp. We have discovered that every person’s brain responds differently to an external stimulus, so even if two people look at the same photograph, readings of their brain activity will be different.

U.S. Spent Millions On Failed Campaign To Counter ISIS Propaganda. Now It Recruits Military Analysts To Influence Russians On Social Media (Paul D.)

Nonetheless, COLSA Corporation participation in the US cyber efforts around the globe is not limited to Russia and ISIS. It’s also searching military analysts to influence, Arab states, Turkey, Iran, some EU states (Bulgaria, Greece), states in the Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Afghanistan) and in Africa (Somalia) etc. The list of the job offerings allows to get a general picture of the US propaganda operations around the globe in which COLSA Corporation is involved. And this is only one contractor.

Mueller report PSA: Prepare for disappointment (Paul D.)

That’s the word POLITICO got from defense lawyers working on the Russia probe and more than 15 former government officials with investigation experience spanning Watergate to the 2016 election case. The public, they say, shouldn’t expect a comprehensive and presidency-wrecking account of Kremlin meddling and alleged obstruction of justice by Trump — not to mention an explanation of themyriad subplots that have bedeviled lawmakers, journalists and amateur Mueller sleuths.

Perhaps most unsatisfying: Mueller’s findings may never even see the light of day.

San Francisco leaders hate Trump enough they voted to limit the city’s water rather than do this (thc0655)

An early version of the resolution explicitly says the city must divorce itself from the Trump administration and its congressional allies such as Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, who’s branded the state plan a “water grab.” The Trump administration has vowed to sue the state if the so-called Bay-Delta plan goes forward, saying it would interfere with the operation of key reservoirs owned by the federal government in the San Joaquin Valley.

The Student Loan Debt Crisis Is About to Get Worse (tmn)

Student loans have seen almost 157 percent in cumulative growth over the last 11 years. By comparison, auto loan debt has grown 52 percent while mortgage and credit-card debt actually fell by about 1 percent, according to a Bloomberg Global Data analysis of federal and private loans. All told, there’s a whopping $1.5 trillion in student loans out there (through the second quarter of 2018), marking the second-largest consumer debt segment in the country after mortgages, according to the Federal Reserve. And the number keeps growing.

Gwynne Dyer: Dammed if you do, damned if you don’t (Paul D.)

It’s hard to believe that an India which was also facing food shortages – a predicted 25 per cent loss in food production at two degrees Celsius higher average global temperature – would voluntarily give up water it is entitled to by treaty. It’s equally hard to believe that Pakistan would let its own people starve without threatening war with India.

Both of these countries have nuclear weapons. Their problem-solving abilities, as currently displayed, do not inspire confidence.

Philippines Gas Crunch Forces Uneasy Alliance With China (Michael S.)

A recent article in the Manila-based Business Mirror said the project, which was 90 percent complete, had hit a “dead end,” either being trapped in a “bureaucratic quagmire or stymied by a group that may be adversely affected by its implementation.” According to the report, after a Philippine Senate hearing in April, hurdles from a myriad of government agencies had prevented the project from completion, including the Department of Energy (DOE), National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the National Transmission Corp. (Transco) and the Grid Management Committee (GMC).

Why Wind Power Isn’t the Answer (thc0655)

But the new study, published in Environmental Research Letters, shows yet again that wind energy’s Achilles heel is its paltry power density. “We found that the average power density—meaning the rate of energy generation divided by the encompassing area of the wind plant—was up to 100 times lower than estimates by some leading energy experts,” said lead author Lee Miller, a postdoctoral fellow who coauthored the report with Harvard physics professor David Keith. The problem is that most estimates of wind energy’s potential ignore “wind shadow,” an effect that occurs when turbines are placed too closely together: the upwind turbines rob wind speed from others placed downwind.

Geoengineering is no closer to working (Paul D.)

Geoengineering – the technological fix that would permit humans to go on burning coal, oil and natural gas – has been repeatedly dismissed as an answer by successive teams of researchers: either the outcome is uncertain, or the consequences potentially hazardous or politically dangerous.

Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds (Sparky1)

“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”

Record High Temperatures: Toxic Slime Spreads Across Oceans as Climate Disruption Continues (yogmonster)

“When I was in grad school, the terminus of the glacier was at that river branch, which is now one kilometer from the terminus,” he says. “Last year I was there, and I realized it wasn’t that long ago I was in school, and now look at how much ice is just gone. It’s a lot of ice. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around how fast it has been happening just in the past few years.”

He pauses, then says, “There was a while when it was warmer but the glaciers hadn’t quite responded yet, but now we’re really seeing the change in them, and it’s accelerating.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 10/31/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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5 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4225
New England Teamsters facing $5.1 billion pension shortfall

Gold buying by central banks hits its highest level in almost three years

CNBC-3 hours ago
Central banks around the world have upped their spending on gold to the highest level in almost three years, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).
 

New England Teamsters facing $5.1 billion pension shortfall, putting retirees at risk, study says

Sparky1's picture
Sparky1
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 21 2016
Posts: 13
Bonus feature on Episodes 9 and 10, "Hidden Secrets of Money""

Interesting "Bonus" feature from Episodes 9 and 10 from Mike Maloney's, "Hidden Secrets of Money".

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2016
Black Autumn, a novel

In keeping with my fascination for heroism and the victory of the human spirit during the adversity of economic collapse, I am reading Black Autumn.  I find it a well thought out collapse novel set around Salt Lake City.  In addition to the story itself, the author "lives into" the process in his imagination and outlines the hurdles survivors must address in their locale and in the scenario he has created. 

(The main characters in the book has the same name as the author.  So this is a personal fantasy.)

A community of preppers attempts to survive in the hills outside Salt Lake City while the city around them become increasingly desperate.  2 weeks in, all fresh water is gone.  Residents are taking polluted water out of canals and creeks attempting to sterilize it by boiling.  Cook fires fill the city air with smoke.  Unfortunately, firewood has been consumed.

Jeff and Josh Myler grabbed a Chevy Suburban and drove outside the barricades. Jeff rode shotgun with his Robinson .308 poking out the window.
 
Everything in town appeared to be looted out. Just eleven days after the fall of the stock market, people had resorted to pulling up the hardwood lanes at the bowling alley for firewood. Jeff watched as a father-and-son team carried a long bundle of maple out the double glass doors of the Excelsior Bowl.
 
Fires burned everywhere, big and small, most of them in front yards where folks consumed any wood they could find—furniture, fencing, molding, even plastic and tires. It had taken a little more than a week to burn through everything that could be considered firewood. Now people were tearing up anything the slightest bit flammable. More than once on the four-mile drive, Jeff saw men attempting to ignite trees they had just cut down in their yards, green wood that only smoldered and smoked.
 
The first thing to run out in the Apocalypse was firewood, something Jeff had never considered. The trees in the valley were too green to burn, and the trees in the mountains were too far away to collect. Heading to the mountains for firewood consumed more calories than anyone could afford. People were collecting and chopping firewood much of their day. America hadn’t seriously utilized wood as fuel for generations, so the realities of how much work firewood actually required shocked everyone and, because of America’s tidy landscaping, there had been precious little firewood to be found within walking distance of urban and suburban homes.
 
Dirty water required a LOT of fire to boil. Open fires consumed an enormous amount of wood, with only a small transfer of heat energy. Very few people had the knowledge or equipment to burn wood with any level of efficiency. Dry firewood had run out in a matter of days, burned wastefully on open campfires.
 
Now people were sick and dying right before Jeff’s eyes from an inability to boil water. One case of pool shockeasily-available chlorine tablets—could have saved whole neighborhoods, reducing the need for wood. Chlorine had been dirt cheap back in the days when factories turned out chemicals and drugs for next to nothing. Today, with Home Depot and Right Aid in shambles, those miracle chemicals might as well have been sitting on the moon.
Water filtration devices would sure have helped these guys.  Something like this high-end katadyn back packing filter which are popular with two of my backpacking buddies.  They modified theirs with a longer intake tube and carry a piece of cloth, like a bandana, to wrap around the intake tube end fastened on with a rubber band.  This keeps sediment out of the filter and greatly extends the life of the filter.   Then they toss the intake tube out into a pond a ways and pump filtered water into a storage bottle.  Get a spare filter or two as even amazon prime wont deliver after the collapse.....
 

 

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 303
Don't let water filters freeze

I strongly second the recommendation to have some good water filters in your preps.

A word of caution for cold weather: once a filter has been put to use, DO NOT LET IT FREEZE. Water turning to ice within the pores of the filter would expand and cause cracks that ruin its effectiveness.

Bleep's picture
Bleep
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 8 2017
Posts: 17
Black Autumn

Do you have a favorite collapse novel? I’d be interested to hear what it is.

 

 

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