Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 12/29 - Federal Employees Prepare For Long Shutdown, "Certified organic" Grains? Certifiably Not

Saturday, December 29, 2018, 10:41 AM

Economy

U.S. retirees try to keep cool as stocks tumble (Adam)

Retirees have less time to recover from bad investment moves than younger workers. If they or their advisers panic and sell during a brief downturn, they may lock in a more meager retirement. But their portfolio could be even more at risk if they hold on too long in a prolonged decline.

Federal employees prepare for a long shutdown (Sparky1)

The US Office of Personnel Management tweeted out sample letters for federal employees to send to their creditors, mortgage companies or landlords. The letters suggest that employees ask to pay a reduced amount or create a payment plan in the coming months because they are out of work and not getting paid during the shutdown.

Trump issues executive order freezing federal workers' pay in 2019 (Sparky1)

Trump told lawmakers he planned to scrap the 2019 pay bump for federal workers in August, saying the federal budget couldn't support it. In addition to the 2.1% pay increase, the executive order also cancels a yearly adjustment of paychecks based on the region of the country where workers are posted, called the "locality pay increase," that was due to take effect in January.

Communications outage disrupts 911 service in parts of the country (Sparky1)

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai called the outage "completely unacceptable" in a statement. He said he spoke to CenturyLink about his concerns and has ordered an investigation.

"When an emergency strikes, it's critical that Americans are able to use 911 to reach those who can help," Pai said.

The Federal Reserve Is A Suicide Bomber With A Deeper Agenda (thc0655)

Despite what many people assume, central bankers are not driven by a desire for profit. They print their own capital, they hardly need to make a profit. Central bankers are also not driven by a desire to keep the current system afloat. They have demonstrated time and time again their habit of deliberately sabotaging the system through the use of inflationary bubbles followed by fiscal tightening into weak economic conditions. The U.S. economy today is just as expendable as any other economy the banks have destroyed in the past. It is not special.

Bracken: When The Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence (from 2012, thc0655)

The “food riots” will be a grass-roots movement of the moment born out of hunger and desperation. It will not be dependent upon leaders or an underlying organization, although they could certainly add to the sauce. Existing cell phone technology provides all the organization a flash mob needs. Most of the mobs will consist of minority urban youths, termed MUYs in the rest of this essay. Which minority doesn’t matter; each urban locale will come with its own unique multi-ethnic dynamic.

Special Report: Oil output goes AWOL in Venezuela as soldiers run PDVSA (Sparky1)

President Nicolas Maduro turned heads in November 2017 when he named a National Guard general with no oil experience to lead PDVSA [PDVSA.UL]. Quevedo's actions since have raised even more doubts that he and the other military brass now running the company have a viable plan to rescue it from crushing debt, an exodus of workers and withering production now at its lowest in almost seven decades.

As a grocery chain is dismantled, investors recover their money. Worker pensions are short millions. (Sparky1)

“They did everyone dirty,” said Kilby Baker, 70, a retired warehouse worker whose pension check was cut by about 25 percent after Marsh Supermarkets withdrew from the pension. “We all gave up wage increases so we could have a better pension. Then they just took it away from us.”

A power company mishap turns New York's skyline blue (Sparky1)

Also, McGee said Friday there had been no explosion. On Thursday night, the New York Police Department had tweeted about a "transformer explosion" at a Con Edison facility.

The issue caused a transmission dip in the area, and Con Edison crews responded with the New York Fire Department, the power company said.

Greenland's Rapid Ice Melt Persists Even in Winter, Study Finds (John J.)

The ice sheet's persistent melting even in winter has come about because huge waves below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, created by unusually strong winter winds, are pushing warm water up to Greenland—creating an environment that's hostile for the country's icy ecosystem, explains SAMS.

Trump EPA says limits on mercury emissions from coal plants not necessary (Sparky1)

In a statement issued on Friday during a partial government shutdown, the EPA said the emission standards of the MATS rule would remain in place. But it proposed to withdraw the justification for the requirements.

"EPA is proposing that it is not 'appropriate and necessary' to regulate HAP emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants . . . because the costs of such regulation grossly outweigh the quantified HAP benefits," it said.

"Certified organic" grains? Certifiably not, prosecutors say (Don R.)

Constant, of Chillicothe, Missouri, and three others have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Constant, who owned an Iowa grain brokerage, acknowledged that he sold $142 million worth of corn, soybeans and wheat over a 7 ½ year period that wasn't organic despite his representations.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/27/18

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."

6 Comments

Sparky1's picture
Sparky1
Status: Member (Offline)
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Posts: 17
Resource: Full Spectrum News (video)

Here's great resource for well-researched "alternative" news, delivered daily and concisely (generally about 4-6 minute-videos):

from Full Spectrum Survival.

[disclosure:  I have no personal or financial interests in same.]

 

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1764
An unpublicized tactic of gilets jaunes

Protesters are also disabling, masking and vandalizing revenue-raising red light and speeding cameras and radars in France, and elsewhere. TPTB aren’t publicizing this, probably out of fear it will spread even more than it already is. laugh

https://sniggle.net/TPL/index5.php?entry=27Dec18

”Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Posts: 2088
Ahmed: Brexit, Yellow Vests symptoms of energy decline

SP note:   There are a number of very important issues where I see things differently from Nafeez Ahmed.  It looks to me like he is talking to the oligarchy sympathetically, letting them know what they must do to maintain their systems of centralized power.  But he attributes the deterioration of European social systems to the availability of net energy, a conclusion that earns him a footnote in the Crash Course.

-----------  

Brexit: stage one in Europe’s slow-burn energy collapse

The Brexit fiasco and French riots are accelerating symptoms of Europe’s earth system crisis--[namely, declining energy availability in Europe]

The turning point has arrived, and without that global cheap energy source in abundant supply, we cannot continue growing, no matter what we do. Something has to give. Our economies need to be fundamentally, structurally, transformed. We need to transition to a new, clean, renewable energy system on which to base our economies. We need to transform the way money is created, so that it’s not linked to the systematic generation of debt.

Europe is now a ‘post-peak oil’ continent. Currently, every single major oil producer in Western Europe is in decline. ... Western European oil production peaked between 1996 and 2002. Since then, production had declined while net imports have gradually increased.

In a two-part study published in 2016 and 2017 in the Springer journal, BioPhysical Economics and Resource Quality, Michael Dittmar, Senior Scientist at the ETH Zurich Institute for Particle Physics and CERN, developed a new empirical model of oil production and consumption. ... as a result, “total consumption in Western Europe is predicted to be about 20 percent lower in 2020 than it was in 2015.

Not everyone agrees that a steep decline in Russia’s oil production is imminent. Last year, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies argued that Russian production could probably continue to grow out to at least 2020. How long it would last thereafter was unclear.

On the other hand, the Russian government’s own energy experts are worried. In September 2018, Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak warned that Russia’s oil production might peak within three years ….

It’s not that the oil is running out. The oil is there in abundance — more than enough to fry the planet several times over. The challenge is that we are relying less on cheap crude oil and more on expensive, dirtier and unconventional fossil fuels[--high EROI oil].

The bottom line is that as Europe’s domestic oil supplies slowly dwindle, there is no meaningful strategy to wean ourselves off abject dependence on Russia[n oil]; the post-carbon transition is consistently too little, too late; and the impact on Europe’s economies — if business-as-usual continues — will continue to unravel the politics of the union.

While very few are talking about Europe’s slow-burn energy crisis, the reality is that as Europe’s own fossil fuel resources are inexorably declining, and as producers continue to face oil price volatility amidst persistently higher costs of production, Europe’s economy will suffer.

UN’s Sustainability Report…. underscored that cheap energy flows are the lifeblood of economic growth: and that as we shift into an era of declining resource quality, we are likely to continue seeing slow, weak if not declining economic growth.

[E]arly last year, a major scientific study found that for the last two decades and beyond, Britain’s economic growth is fundamentally constrained by domestic net energy decline. But this groundbreaking news did not make the ‘news’. [<--!!!]

Human folly in the face of decling energy and the creation of the Yellow Vests

… Macron’s response to the climate crisis was to protect fossil fuel and nuclear producers while hiking up fuel taxes. He didn’t want to tackle the horrendous supply chains of big French corporations. He didn’t want to penalize the powerful oil, gas and nuclear lobbies that he hopes might help him get re-elected, and did next to nothing to speed a viable post-carbon transition that might transform economic prosperity on more sustainable foundations.

And so by placing the burden almost exclusively on French workers and consumers, Macron triggered the spiral of rage and riots. ...  Protestors blame Macron. The French state cracks down on violence. Politics becomes militarized, while skepticism of the liberal incumbency across the political spectrum finds vindication.

France’s riots therefore did not come out of the blue. They are part and parcel of a wider process of slow-burn EROI decline in which the returns to society from economic activity are being increasingly constrained by the higher energetic costs.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2909
First time for everything

First time observing an article published on ZeroHedge that was immediately pulled/redacted (NYPD, 2nd article):

Clicking on the article revealed:

And *poof*...article is MIA.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 310
Australia to the rescue!!

sand_puppy wrote:

... the reality is that as Europe’s own fossil fuel resources are inexorably declining ... Europe’s economy will suffer.

Australia has the answer: gigatons of coal! All you can possibly need and want! Taxpayer-subsidised! We can easily and all by ourselves fuel the economic bonfires until technology saves us yet again! Burn and rejoice!

Full greed ahead!

...

(Oops, oops, sorry, don't know what came over me.)

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2909
It's back.

Wait a little while and back up pops the article. Must have been Russian hackers up to their nefarious deeds.

NYPD To Deploy Drones For The First Time To Secure New Year's Party (ZeroHedge)

Quote:

"Thousands of New York’s 37,000-officer police force, including hundreds of rookies sworn in Friday, will flood the area. No one will be more than 10 feet away from a uniformed or undercover plain clothes officer, O’Neill said. Participants in the celebration will be cordoned off in sections, or pens, in an area from 37th Street to 59th Street and between Sixth and Eighth Avenues.

In addition to the flying cameras, police will also set up 235 vehicles to block areas where revelers gather in Times Square, while 50 canine teams will be present to sniff out explosives.

“You will see a lot of officers with a lot of gear and long guns,” said O’Neill. “There will be much security that people see and much that they don’t see.”

Officers will also install more than 200 cement blocks in addition to metal bollards that already exist, according to the station.

Entry to the party starts at 11 a.m. and the square closes at 4 a.m. As usual, no backpacks, coolers, umbrellas or alcohol are allowed."

How anyone could possibly find such a scenario enjoyable entertainment is beyond me.

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