Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/2 - McDonald's To Increase Hourly Wages, What Your Garden Can Teach About Cities

Thursday, April 2, 2015, 8:36 AM


McDonald’s to Increase Hourly Wages, Offer Paid Vacation (jdargis)

Though the pay hike doesn’t affect most McDonald’s workers, it marks a dramatic early move for new Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook. After his promotion to the top job last month, Easterbrook has been working to reignite growth at the fast-food chain. Other efforts include a test of all-day breakfast at San Diego restaurants and an touch-screen system that lets customers customize burgers and sandwiches.

McDonald's Wage Hike Is Thanks to the Economy, Not the “Fight for $15” (jdargis)

McDonald's is part of a growing trend in big business. Wal-Mart made news earlier this year when it announced it would raise its wages for 500,000 workers to more than $10 per hour next year. TJ Maxx, Ikea, Target and Aetna have all raised their wages in the past few months. All of these companies are not buckling under societal pressure to boost pay. They’re doing so for economic reasons. And surveys of employers bear this out as well.

Stuck In Seattle (jdargis)

Megaprojects almost always fall short of their promises—costing too much, delivering underwhelming benefits, or both. Yet from the London-­Paris Chunnel to Boston’s Big Dig, cities still fall for them, seduced by new technologies and the lure of the perfect fix. A mix of factors has given Seattle a particularly acute sense of angst. The project depends on a singular piece of engineering. And Bertha’s building a highway for cars in a city where workers overcrowd buses and commuters wrap themselves in waterproof everything to bike in the rain.

Apple eaters visit the doctor just as often as everyone else, study finds (jdargis)

This analysis, led by University of Michigan assistant professor Matthew Davis, has a number of important limitations. While its subjects are nationally representative for the US, the data is based on their recall of food consumption over a period of 24 hours, which they assert to be representative of their usual diet. That's then compared against their hospital or doctor visits over the previous month, which are again self-reported, and the metric for "keeping the doctor away" is to have no more than one meeting with a medical professional during that period. That leaves the nuance of why people might need treatment unaddressed.

Gold's Bull Market In Europe and Japan Remain Unnoticed (Taki T.)

Going forward, yen gold should break through that 145,000 level and also break above the last top (the small green circle), in order to confirm its bullish setup. Note that, if this would happen, yen gold would be trading at the highest point in this secular bull market (since 2000).

Scotland Pulling Out All The Stops To Save North Sea Oil & Gas

Scotland’s oil sector has been severely damaged by the 9-month-old plunge in oil prices. Included in that damage are extensive layoffs. For example, Royal Dutch Shell, one of the largest oil companies operating in Britain, announced March 26 that it will eliminate 250 staff and contract positions, and Abu Dhabi’s Taqa will drop about one-fifth of its 500 member North Sea work force.

What Your Garden Can Teach About Cities (westcoastjan)

After watching and listening to your new garden community for a few seasons, you realized that the best way for any individual member to thrive with as little upkeep, energy, water, or pest control as possible, the overall design had to befit and benefit everyone else proportional to their needs and capabilities. You may have moved your daily attention-grabbing strawberries closer to the house and the more resilient dandelion further away. Perhaps you acquired some chickens for their eggs, just to discover that they could also be put to work tilling the topsoil and picking weeds and bugs.

Sharks, snakes and giant squid: Climate change driving exotic species north into B.C., but killing others (westcoastjan)

“Some organisms may not have reached B.C. but will make their way here,” says University of B.C. Okanagan biology professor Karen Hodges. “Would we get jaguars? That’s unlikely over the coming decades. We’re really looking at things in the 200- to 300-mile range.”

Wild animals that had rarely, if ever, been glimpsed in B.C. decades ago are already taking up yearlong residency.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/1/15

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."


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The Breakdown - A Comic Strip About Collapse

This is a comic strip worth looking at. About 4 to 5 minutes of your time to view in its entirety.

The Breakdown



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Ploughing on Regardless - Monbiot on soil loss

Ploughing on Regardless - George Monbiot in the Guardian

These paragraphs are quite rich:

This is what topples civilisations. War and pestilence might kill large numbers of people, but in most cases the population recovers. But lose the soil and everything else goes with it.

Now globalisation ensures that this disaster is reproduced everywhere. In its early stages, globalisation enhances resilience: people are no longer dependent on the vagaries of local production. But as it proceeds, spreading the same destructive processes to all corners of the Earth, it undermines resilience, as it threatens to bring down systems everywhere.

Almost all other issues are superficial by comparison. What appear to be great crises are slight and evanescent when held up against the steady but unremarked trickling away of our subsistence.

The avoidance of this issue is perhaps the greatest social silence of all. Our insulation from the forces of nature has encouraged a belief in the dematerialisation of our lives, as if we no longer subsist on food and water, but on bits and bytes. This is a belief that can be entertained only by people who have never experienced serious hardship, and who are therefore unaware of the contingency of existence.

It’s not as if we are short of solutions. While it now seems that ploughing of any kind is incompatible with the protection of the soil, there are plenty of means of farming without it. Independently, in several parts of the world, farmers have been experimenting with zero-tillage (also known as conservation agriculture), often with extraordinary results. There are dozens of ways of doing it: we need never see bare soil again. But in the UK, as in most rich nations, we have scarcely begun to experiment with the technique, despite the best efforts of the magazine Practical Farm Ideas and other innovators.

Even better are some of the methods that fall under the heading of permaculture, that means working with complex natural systems, rather than seeking to simplify or replace them....

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When it gets serious, Obama will follow "imperatives"

For all those lovers of the Obama regime, and put all their hope, faith and trust in the government as a noble agent to "protect" human rights, please consider the moment of candor from Joe Biden published this week-

He [Joe Biden] recently told the New Yorker about meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping just before the latter’s ascent to power in 2012. Xi wanted to know why the U.S. put “so much emphasis on human rights.” As The Wall Street Journal noted, “The right answer is simple: No government has the right to deny its citizens basic freedoms, and those that do tend also to threaten peace overseas, so U.S. support for human rights is a matter of values and interests.” But that’s not at all what the Obama administration believes, and Biden confessed the charade: Everything is politics. “No president of the United States could represent the United States were he not committed to human rights,” he says he informed Xi. “President Barack Obama would not be able to stay in power if he did not speak of it. So look at it as a political imperative. It doesn’t make us better or worse. It’s who we are. You make your decisions. We’ll make ours.” 

For my liberal friends, I wish you all the best with your liberal utopia.  With human rights carefully guarded by your liberal masters in Washington, such as Joe Biden and Barack Obama.  They clearly have your best interests at heart.



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Human Rights

I completely agree with your post but you left out a Reagan administration, a couple of Bush administrations and a Clinton administration. It isn't just one party doing all this stomping on human rights.

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