Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 3/15 - The People Vs. Big Brother, Anti-Gov't Protests In Turkey

Saturday, March 15, 2014, 1:13 PM


How the West made a hash of the Afghan war: Brian Stewart (westcoastjan)

"Worries about the year ahead are kind of pathological here" writes Graeme Smith of the ICG. The highly regarded former Globe and Mail correspondent has spent years travelling the country and says that in the seven provinces he visited over the past year he "saw no signs of the war cooling down."

Just two months ago, a report compiled by 16 U.S. intelligence agencies predicted the gains made by the U.S. and NATO allies will likely be eroded over the next three years as insurgents and warlords seize large areas of the country from an increasingly "irrelevant" central government in Kabul.

Hidden camera investigation uncovers ‘atrocious’ investment advice (westcoastjan)

In some cases, information was incorrect or misleading - even in response to direct questions, such as how fees are calculated. Some gave unrealistic promises about returns, including one adviser who said that a $50,000 investment should increase by $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 in one year.

ourth Turning: The People Vs. Big Brother (westcoastjan)

Ever since Edward Snowden burst onto the worldwide stage in June 2013, I’ve been wondering how he fits into the fabric of this ongoing Fourth Turning. This period of Crisis that arrives like clockwork, 60 to 70 years after the end of the previous Fourth Turning (Civil War – 66 years after American Revolution, Great Depression/World War II – 64 years after Civil War, Global Financial Crisis – 62 years after World War II), arrived in September 2008 with the Federal Reserve created collapse of the global financial system. We are now five and a half years into this Fourth Turning, with its climax not likely until the late-2020’s. At this point in previous Fourth Turnings a regeneracy had unified sides in their cause and a grey champion or champions (Ben Franklin/Samuel Adams, Lincoln/Davis, FDR) had stepped forward to lead. Thus far, no one from the Prophet generation has been able to unify the nation and create a sense of common civic purpose. Societal trust continues to implode, as faith in political, financial, corporate, and religious institutions spirals downward. There is no sign of a unifying regeneracy on the horizon.

China’s Central Bank Raises the Volatility of Its Currency (jdargis)

“This is a major step toward building more market-oriented exchange rate mechanisms in China, signifying a gradual withdrawal by the central bank from regular intervention in the foreign exchange market,” said Fu Qing, head of foreign exchange trading at Standard Chartered Bank in Shanghai.

“However, with more volatility in the yuan’s exchange rate created by the reform, Chinese companies will face an uphill task learning how to hedge their currency risks.”

White House Tightens Health Plan’s Standards After Consumers Complain (jdargis)

Claire McAndrew, the director of the private insurance program at Families USA, a consumer group, said the administration was taking “a more active approach, with more intensive review” of insurers seeking permission to do business in the federal exchange next year.

Officials issued the new standards, buried in a stack of documents, at 7:15 p.m. on Friday even as President Obama was stepping up efforts to increase enrollment in health plans this year.

Foes of America in Russia Crave Rupture in Ties (jdargis)

Mr. Prokhanov is an attack dog whose career has risen, fallen and risen again with the fortunes of hard-liners in the Kremlin. And it is a measure of the conservative pivot that has taken place in Moscow in Vladimir V. Putin’s third presidential term that Mr. Prokhanov and a cadre of like-minded thinkers — a kind of “who’s who of conspiratorial anti-Americanism,” as one scholar put it — have found themselves thrust into the mainstream.

In Turkey, Renewed Anti-Government Protests (jdargis)

A young woman, held after she was wounded during clashes between riot police and protestors after the funeral of Berkin Elvan in Istanbul on March 12, 2014. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at protestors in the capital, while in Istanbul, crowds shouting anti-government slogans lit a huge fire as they made their way to a cemetery for Elvan's burial. A 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during last year's anti-government protests, Elvan's story became a symbol for many Turks of the heavy-handed police tactics against mass anti-government demonstrators in June, a major challenge to Erdogan's 11-year-rule.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/13/14

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."


HughK's picture
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Utah's tar sands project - Ken Ivory is a booster


Here is a link to a story on a proposed unconventional oil (tar sands) project in Utah:

'Utah's carbon bomb': State plots massive tar sands & oil shale projects despite climate concerns (Democracy Now)

Utah State Representative Ken Ivory is a booster for the development of this non-con oil project.  Ivory alluded to it in a conversation with Chris in the October 1 2013 edition of Peak Prosperity's Off the Cuff:

Yeah, we are also working on this transfer of public lands that there are $150 trillion in mineral value according to the Institute for Energy Research locked up in these federally controlled lands; they control more than 50% of the lands throughout the West, in addition to controlling the minerals, which is just unheard of, that we have got these economic issues.

I am all for an increased amount of federalism in order to limit the power of Washington DC, but I don't support the use of federalism as a justification for corporations to be able to access highly polluting, low EROI non-con fossil fuels.  Here is an article that shows that an important part of the financial and organizational backing behind Ken Ivory's proposal comes from corporate interests including the Koch Brothers and several oil majors:

Koch-Funded ALEC behind state attempts to 'reclaim' your public lands

This leads me to wonder if Ivory is a FINO (federalist in name only), and may be more interested in the money and influence that he and other public officials will receive if they support exploitation of Western tar sands.  At best, he is proposing short-term revenue increases for the state of Utah in exchange for long-term environmental destruction.  As we know here at Peak Prosperity, the productivity of the natural environment is the source of our primary wealth, and is essential for the survival - if not prosperity - of future generations.

Here is another report on ALEC's funding.

And here is a quote from an article on ALEC's 2012 annual meeting. (My emphasis)

ALEC's energy politics are of a piece with its push to privatize public lands. The afternoon following Bradley's talk, attendees were treated to Rep. Rob Bishop's (R-UT) thoughts on the need for states to assert "local use and control" over millions of acres of protected federal land. He pointed with pride to the passage of Utah's Public Land Transfer Act, an ALEC model bill sponsored by Utah state reps (and ALEC members) Ken Ivory and Wayne Niederhauser. The bill was written in conjunction with energy companies eager to rip up Utah's wild acres and develop "unconventional" carbon fuels like oil from shale rock and tar sands. In arguing for the need to develop Utah's outback, Bishop urged lawmakers to think of the children. "Our kids are hurting because of our land policies," said Bishop. "If we allow states to have a new paradigm, to let federalism be the salvation of this country, we'll have more money for our education budgets."


If Reps. Bishop and Ivory are really concerned about prospects for children, they might consider scrapping proposals to increase the pillaging of our natural capital, the source of our primary and secondary wealth.




sand_puppy's picture
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Good catch, HughK

I am reminded of JHK's quote that we "swim in a sea of lies."

cmartenson's picture
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Oil shales are not shale oil

With all due respect, representative Ivory needs to investigate the massive difference between shale oil and oil shales.

Oil shales are not composed of oil at all, and not bitumen even (as are the tar sands), but a substance called kerogen.  

Nobody has ever been able to produce the stuff at an economic profit because the energy return is just so poor, so marginal, that every time it seems like we should be able to produce it economically it turns out we cannot.

When oil was at $20 a barrel the oil shale boosters were saying well, at $30 this project is a go!

And then we got to $30 and, wouldn't you know it, the costs had risen to the point that the new mantra was well, at $40 this project is a go!

And that mantra has been repeated at every round number along the way and here we are at $100 and the projects still don't pencil out,

This law of receding horizons applies to any and all low EROEI projects.  The costs are just a reflection of the underlying energy dynamics and the promise of 'new technology' that will somehow make it all work is the bait that lures the unwary.  

HughK's picture
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Posts: 764
cmartenson wrote:... needs
cmartenson wrote:

... needs to investigate the massive difference between shale oil and oil shales.

Oil shales are not composed of oil at all, and not bitumen even (as are the tar sands), but a substance called kerogen.  

Dear Chris and all,

I too am not really clear on the difference between shale oil and oil shales, although I have heard you elude to it before, and I appreciate your explanation.  I will try to do some more reading on that and get better informed, as there seems to be a whole universe of non-conventional potential sources of petroleum, and while I have a vague sense of some of the differences, I could stand to know a lot more.

Thanks for your research and knowledge.


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