Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/11 - Plutocracy Trumping Democracy, Iraq In Crisis

Monday, August 11, 2014, 10:34 AM

Economy

Iraq crisis: Islamic militants 'buried alive Yazidi women and children in attack that killed 500' (jdargis)

The Isis offensive against the Yazidi people has been described as “genocide in [both] the literal and legalistic sense”, and the UN estimates that at least 56 children have died of dehydration alone in the Sinjar mountain camps.

The increasingly horrific nature of Isis’s campaign in northern Iraq has now provoked the US to take action, with Barack Obama saying yesterday that action was need to prevent more deaths and provide humanitarian aid.

World Reserve Currencies: What Happened During Previous Periods of Transition? (Chris F.)

Each country that rose to ultimate global dominance of commerce declined due to an over-saturation point. Fast-forward to today, and there is a remarkably similar situation for the US. The US has 900 military bases in 130 countries and spent over $640 billion in 2013 on military alone. This figure dwarfs all other military spending combined BY ALL OTHER COUNTRIES. The US is no longer the largest creditor nation in the world, but rather the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. China is now the largest creditor nation. Will the 21th century belong to China and the Yuan?

Insight: Plutocracy trumping democracy (Doug S.)

In the West, most observers saw the workers’ adage as a deception arising from desperation, with party elites gaining advantage over their proletarian prey. Americans broadly viewed the communist ideology as economically inefficient. Additionally, communism was viewed as unfair to contributions arising from ingenuity, entrepreneurship, business management, the wise stewardship of property and earned capital. Europeans, not quite so enamored by free markets, looked to democratic socialism as a hybrid way.

The Tocalino Index (Sebastiao Buck Tocalino)

Since both unemployment and inflation are contrary to the advancement of the economy, for the next chart I chose to invert the Misery Index. Turning it upside down should make it easier to compare its outline to that of the stock market. The Dow Jones index was adjusted for inflation, so that it represents better the real evolution in terms of purchasing power and cost of life throughout the years. Despite some pretty good coincidence in the timing of peaks and troughs, the Misery Index was still of no help or usefulness in the endeavor of better assessing the precification of stock indices.

MIT Made A Material That Makes Fluids Forget About Gravity (jdargis)

This seemingly impossible task is accomplished by a series of tiny hair-like structures that respond to magnetism. Science, you've done it again.

Without Breaking a Sweat, a Doctor Tracks Ebola and Other Epidemics (jdargis)

Dr. Phillips, the director of the infection prevention and control unit at NYU Langone, was already envisioning what his staff had not: a tube of the patient’s blood, loaded with the Ebola virus, landing in the hospital’s nerve center and contaminating thousands of blood and tissue samples, endangering lab technicians and potentially bringing operations at the hospital to a halt.

“It bumps your pulse up a bit,” Dr. Phillips said, with considerable understatement, as he recalled that hectic Aug. 1 morning.

Water and air are all you need to make one of world’s most important chemicals (jdargis)

Developed in 1909, the Haber-Bosch process—often cited as the most important invention of the 20th century—involves heating nitrogen and hydrogen gas at very high temperature and pressure in presence of an iron catalyst. The presence of the catalyst, which doesn't take part in the reaction but lowers its energy threshold, is vital. Haber-Bosch was used to produce about 140 million tons of ammonia in 2012, but it consumes nearly two percent of the world's energy supply.

Mobile Wi-Fi Gizmos Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Batteries (James S.)

Forget the better mousetrap. Research today seems focused on making a better battery – smaller but with greater capacity, lighter, and quick to recharge. That’s the key to truly portable, useful electronic devices. Unless, of course, the battery becomes unnecessary altogether.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/8/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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8 Comments

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2839
Agri-Terrorism

Agri-terrorism: Def'n: What Monsanto does to you on a daily basis.

jennifersam07's picture
jennifersam07
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Posts: 113
Interesting Reddit thread by Al Jazeera journalist in Iraq

Some of the comments, especially the one about Iraq agriculture, were enlightening. We've been bombing Iraq now for 25 years. Maybe it's time to try something else? 

 

I Am A (IamA) Al Jazeer's Jane Arraf, Ask me Anything.

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Thetallestmanonearth
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Posts: 324
Agri-Terrorism

Un-fricking-believable. Saving seeds is what makes us modern humans.  I'm almost without words that someone, anyone, could vilify that.  Hugging your children increases the risk of viral transmission, does that make parents bio-terrorists?  Corporations have boxed in our commons and slowly convinced us that the world outside of their profit driven paradigms are a dirty and dangerous place.  Food is life.  Real food doesn't come from chemical-sterilized factories in the industrial part of town.  It comes from my back yard and from the farm down the hill with the little girl who chases butterflies between the rows.  I'm not such an idealist to think that we can feed the world without large scale agriculture, but I do have ideals.  One of them is that engaging with your food is a responsibility of all living things and that saving and sharing seed is part of what makes us human.  I am a human and I will not be reduced to a consumer. 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
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Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2839
Bubbly

This must be the Fixed Income globAl Structured Covered Obligation (FIASCO) discussed over on ZH yesterday:

The Credit Bubble's "Final Frontier"

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 1191

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