Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 12/18 - Good News Friday: The Season Of Giving, Improving Solar Efficiency

Friday, December 18, 2015, 10:14 AM

Economy

The Big Picture: Giving (jdargis)

A look around the globe at people in need and the help that many have given to try to make their lives better. From donations to volunteering time, many contribute hoping to make a difference.

Gifts With Meaning (jdargis)

We’re seeing painful upheavals about race on university campuses these days, but the civil rights issue in America today is our pre-K through 12th grade education system, which routinely sends the neediest kids to the worst schools. To address these roots of inequality, a group called Communities in Schools supports disadvantaged kids, mostly black and Latino, in elementary, middle and high schools around the country.

Irish and Dutch Researchers Develop “Smart Dressing” To Transform Wound Care (richcabot)

Mark Fleming, CEO of Fleming Medical, said, “DermaTrax will revolutionize current practice, which involves the manual removal of a dressing and visual inspection of the underlying wound. This is time-consuming for the nursing staff, uncomfortable for the patient, and disturbs the natural healing process. This hi-tech dressing will generate significant savings in healthcare costs, due to reduced clinical inspection time and shorter hospital stays as a result of faster wound healing.”

Protecting FBI Whistleblowers From Retaliation (richcabot)

Grassley hopes his legislation — the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act — will help agents like German who have the courage to come forward and report problems. It would not only expand outlets for protected disclosures but also improve the process to halt reprisals.

Martin Shkreli arrested by FBI over hedge fund investigation (richcabot)

Clinton called the price rise outrageous and promised a clampdown on drug companies. Trump said: “He looks like a spoiled brat to me. He’s a hedge fund guy. I thought it was disgusting what he did.”

Shkreli started Retrophin in 2011 and was later ousted as chief executive officer and sued by its board. In lawsuits filed in New York Shkreli has been accused of insider trading and making “materially false and misleading statements” that “artificially inflated” the company’s stock price.

Stop Being So Self-Conscious (jdargis)

Gilovich and his colleagues dubbed this the “spotlight effect.” We are naturally conscious of ourselves, what we are thinking, how we look, and what we are doing. As David Foster Wallace put it, “There is no experience you’ve had that you were not at the absolute center of.” And so it’s hard to block the inference that others share this focus. If I’m wearing a ridiculous t-shirt, I’m thinking about it and so I assume that you are too.

Stanford engineers develop 'invisible wires' that could improve solar cell efficiency (richcabot)

"Using nanotechnology, we have developed a novel way to make the upper metal contact nearly invisible to incoming light," said study lead author Vijay Narasimhan, who conducted the work as a graduate student at Stanford. "Our new technique could significantly improve the efficiency and thereby lower the cost of solar cells."

Geothermal Energy Could Grow Sixfold (jdargis)

Take the U.S. for instance. As one of the world’s leading economic superpowers, one might expect that clean geothermal energy would be well developed here. While the U.S. does have 3,086 MW of installed capacity as of 2010, that’s still less than 1 percent of the country’s electrical output needs. Yet another prolific producer, the Philippines gets 27 percent of its power from geothermal sources. But this only represents 1,904 MW of installed capacity. As a relatively under-developed nation, the Philippines simply does not use that much electricity in the first place.

Want to Master Draft-Horse Farming? Sterling College will Teach You How (jdargis)

Students like Johanson work with the four horses—Rex, Babe, Daisy, and Belle; three Percherons and one Belgian—to plow the college’s organic farm, to extract timber from the Forestry program’s woodlot, and to haul syrup during maple season. About 10 percent of Sterling’s 125-person student body are working toward a a Draft Horse Management minor, and 32 percent are required to take the program’s introductory course as part of the Sustainable Agriculture curriculum. Not just a teaching tool, the horses are an integral part of campus life that most everyone interacts with in some way, whether or not they’re working toward the minor themselves.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/17/15

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."

13 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Bank of Japan surprises with stimulus tweak

Bank of Japan surprises with stimulus tweak

Yahoo News - ‎10 hours ago‎
The decision came days after the Federal Reserve's first interest rate cut in almost a decade and highlights the divergence in monetary policy between the US central bank and its overseas rivals. BoJ policymakers rolled out a series of changes ...

Abe's Cabinet OKs ¥3.5 trillion extra budget to support economy

The Japan Times-6 hours ago
The government will not issue any debt to form the supplementary budget, instead ... In the extra budget, about ¥1.16 trillion is earmarked for enhancing social ...
 

Taiwan central bank cuts interest rates again

MarketWatch - ‎Dec 17, 2015‎
Taiwan's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months Thursday, opting to support the island's recession-hit economy and take advantage of a relatively calm reaction in Asia to the Federal Reserve's first rate ...

China's central bank injects liquidity into market

Business Standard - ‎4 hours ago‎
China's central bank on Friday offered a total of 100 billion yuan ($15.4 billion) in six-month medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans at 3.25 percent to 13 financial institutions. "The move is aimed at maintaining proper liquidity in the market ...

Ukraine says it won't repay Russian debt due by weekend

U.S. News & World Report-5 hours ago
Alongside the sovereign debt, the government has decided to put on hold the repayment of a combined debt of $507 million that two Ukrainian state-owned ...
 

Italy's Shaky Financial Future

STRATFOR-6 hours ago
So even without having the highest ratios, in actual numbers Italy has the biggest debt mountain: 2.3 trillion euros (roughly $2.4 trillion) of government debt ...

Bond Funds See Largest Outflows Since June 2013 Led by Junk Debt

Bloomberg-4 hours ago
Bond funds suffered the largest weekly withdrawals in more than two years, Bank of America Corp. said. There was $13.1 billion of outflows worldwide in the ...

Brazil's Biggest Investors Have Already Given Up on Next Year

Bloomberg-3 hours ago
... two credit-rating downgrades to junk and political turmoil including efforts to impeach ... Pension funds are the biggest investors in Brazil's local debt and had a ...
 

Household debt risks growing

Korea Times-8 hours ago
According to the Bank of Korea (BOK), total household debt posted an all-time high of 1,166 trillion won as of September, up 34.5 trillion won from three months ...

 

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Syrians, Iraqis Believe U.S. Created ISIS, Don’t Support War

Yeah, this war is going well. Neocons never learn.

Poll: Syrians, Iraqis Believe U.S. Created ISIS, Don’t Support War

U.S. viewed as “radioactive” in region, suggesting the war America and its allies are waging is not likely to succeed.

A new poll drastically undercuts a critical assumption among U.S. policymakers who believe American troops would be welcomed into Syria or Iraq to help destroy the Islamic State group and its brutal rule. The poll  instead shows a vast majority of civilians on the ground there believes the U.S. created the extremist network, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and sees it as no better than the proxies the White House supports to win the war remotely.

---

Indeed, a staggering 82 percent of Syrians believe that the U.S. created the Islamic State group, the results show. That number is highest in government-controlled areas of Syria where 86 percent of people agree, but also in opposition-controlled areas and regions controlled by the Kurds, where 83 percent and 81 percent agree, respectively. Even in Islamic State group-controlled regions, 62 percent believe this to be true.

When posing this question, the surveyors used an Arabic word that translates to literal creation, not, for example, a byproduct of U.S. policies or complicity in allowing for the Islamic State group to rise.

----

Some of the other startling results include the popularity of the Islamic State group, and that most Syrians do not feel they need to choose between rule under extremists or under government forces loyal to Assad.

“Many have the impression that people are terrified of ISIL, that they’re running around cutting people’s heads off and burning people,” says Kaltenthaler. “That does go on, and there is an element of totalitarian terrorism.”

“Having said that, one of the things we get particularly from the focus groups that have been done in that area is that they look at ISIL as a supplier of stability, a supplier of security. And they say, ‘Well, OK, it’s not perfect, but ISIL has the economy up on its feet again.’”

Jabhat al-Nusrah, an offshoot of al-Qaida in Iraq like the Islamic State group but still allied with the original extremist network, is also relatively popular in the areas it controls. Thirty-five percent of respondents expressed support for the al-Nusrah Front, about the same as those who support the Syrian opposition, and more than the 21 percent who supported the Islamic State group. The power with the most support is Assad’s Syrian regime, with 47 percent supporting it, just over the 43 percent who support Iran’s influence in the region.

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Scarred Riverbeds and Dead Pistachio Trees in a Parched Iran

Iran is in the grip of a seven-year drought that shows no sign of breaking and that, many experts believe, may be the new normal. Even a return to past rainfall levels might not be enough to head off a nationwide water crisis, since the country has already consumed 70 percent of its groundwater supplies over the past 50 years.

According to the United Nations, Iran is home to four of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, with dust and desertification among the leading causes.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/19/world/middleeast/scarred-riverbeds-and-dead-pistachio-trees-in-a-parched-iran.html

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Psychopaths in positions of power

“Masters of Manipulation”: Psychopaths Rule The World

A Case Study of Obama and Petraeus

 

Psychopaths dominate the halls of power in both the United States and throughout the world. The current economic, political, military and legal system breeds psychopaths, rewarding psychopathic behavior and punishing those with conscience and integrity. Psychopaths will naturally be drawn to and converge at the apex of the power pyramid as much from their own drive for ambitious power as the hierarchical system that both requires and reinforces those who can comfortably operate without conscience, guilt or any genuine level of empathy toward others.

Psychopaths are in love with power and risk taking, masters of manipulation, self-serving opportunism and self-aggrandizement, and hold doctorates in deceit and deception. Psychopaths are super intelligent charmers who are highly skilled at playing others in order to get what they want. They are keenly perceptive at reading people, understanding their motives and values, brilliant at learning their weaknesses and blind spots, and highly effective at inducing both sympathy and guilt in others.

Utterly at odds with the Good New Friday motif, this essay by Joachim Hagopian is put forward.

I keep returning to this theme for constructive reasons:  Understanding the deception is the key to undoing it. 

Deception requires a gullible public.    The manipulator and the ignorant, trusting "mark" are the two sides of this same coin.  We have a great deal of control over this:  We do NOT have to trust or believe what they say. 

Herein lies our power.

 

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sand_puppy wrote: “Masters of
sand_puppy wrote:

“Masters of Manipulation”: Psychopaths Rule The World

A Case Study of Obama and Petraeus

 

Psychopaths dominate the halls of power in both the United States and throughout the world. The current economic, political, military and legal system breeds psychopaths, rewarding psychopathic behavior and punishing those with conscience and integrity. Psychopaths will naturally be drawn to and converge at the apex of the power pyramid as much from their own drive for ambitious power as the hierarchical system that both requires and reinforces those who can comfortably operate without conscience, guilt or any genuine level of empathy toward others.

Psychopaths are in love with power and risk taking, masters of manipulation, self-serving opportunism and self-aggrandizement, and hold doctorates in deceit and deception. Psychopaths are super intelligent charmers who are highly skilled at playing others in order to get what they want. They are keenly perceptive at reading people, understanding their motives and values, brilliant at learning their weaknesses and blind spots, and highly effective at inducing both sympathy and guilt in others.

Utterly at odds with the Good New Friday motif, this essay by Joachim Hagopian is put forward.

I keep returning to this theme for constructive reasons:  Understanding the deception is the key to undoing it. 

Deception requires a gullible public.    The manipulator and the ignorant, trusting "mark" are the two sides of this same coin.  We have a great deal of control over this:  We do NOT have to trust or believe what they say. 

Herein lies our power.

 

A psychopath is driven by two characteristics related in this order: 1) Has no sense of shame; 2) Cannot empathize.  Therefore, a psychopath does not realize when he is hurting someone in the same sense a normal person does.  And, therefore, there is no changing a psychopath.  

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One of the big arguments for a vegetarian diet might be wrong

A paper from Carnegie Mellon University researchers published this week finds that the diets recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which include more fruits and vegetables and less meat, exacts a greater environmental toll than the typical American diet. Shifting to the diets recommended by Dietary Guidelines for American  would increase energy use by 38 percent, water use by ten percent and greenhouse gas emissions by six percent, according to the paper.

While the research builds on previous work that likewise undermines the conventional wisdom, the debate over the environmental virtues of vegetarianism are unlikely to subside any time soon.

For one thing, the vegetarians have a point: scientists on both sides have concurred that eating beef - though not other meats - has daunting environmental impacts.

Because of the amount of grain and land used to produce a pound of beef, as well as the volume of methane the animals produce, the nation’s intake of beef has significant environmental ramifications, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the environmental impacts from beef production dwarf those of other animal foods such as dairy products, pork and poultry.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/18/being-a-vegetarian-might-make-you-feel-environmentally-superior-why-that-may-be-wrong/

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Kugs said...

"There is no changing a psychopath". Yup there is only one way in which to deal with a bully, and the irony of our .gov perceived interpretations of foreign and domestic policies isn't lost on me. Everyone has a plan until their request to be punched in the face is expressed. And the reaction following has been pre programmed aka false flag. Which carries its own emotional baggage. 

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Chris Martenson/ McAlvany Interview Preview

Listen at 4 1/2 minutes into this. McAlvany is always interesting to listen to and I look forward to this one with Chris Martenson (when it comes out in a couple of weeks).

ICA Skips Debt Payment as $1.35 Billion Bond Default Looms

Bloomberg-10 hours ago
Empresas ICA SAB will skip a debt payment due by the end of the month as Mexico's biggest construction company heads for the nation's biggest default in at ...

With a budget deficit of more than $4 billion, state ponders how to ...(Alaska)

KTUU.com-22 hours ago
... state ponders how to fund education. With the state facing a budget deficit of more than $4 billion, the state is trying to figure out how to pay for education.

State budget deficit hits $900 million, agencies told to brace for cuts

kfor.com-22 hours ago
... Oklahoma lawmakers stare down a budget deficit that could top $1 billion by the time legislators come into session. Preston Doerflinger told reporters the state ...

S&P downgrades Alberta's credit, citing oil slump and growing debt

The Globe and Mail (subscription) - ‎3 hours ago‎
Alberta has lost its vaunted top-notch credit rating with a key global rating agency, which cited the province's increasing debt and the oil-price collapse for the downgrade. Standard & Poor's cut the province's debt rating to double-A-plus from triple ...
 

Moody's downgrades Glencore debt to one notch above junk

Financial Times-8 hours ago
Glencore's debt has been downgraded to one notch above junk status by credit rating agency Moody's, amid a weakening outlook for commodity prices.

Brazilian Real Weakens, Shares Fall Amid Rumors of Finance ...

Wall Street Journal-12 hours ago
Fitch downgraded its rating for Brazil earlier this week, citing the swollen deficit ... it the second of the big three companies to give the country's debt junk status.

Brazil Finance Minister Levy to Be Replaced by Barbosa

Bloomberg-1 hour ago
Brazil's risk perception, as measured by five-year credit-default swaps, rose to the ... before to resign, raising concern that would lead to a credit downgrading.

$1.5 billion: Unfunded liabilities a problem for Mississippi pension ...

Watchdog.org-10 hours ago
Mississippi's defined-benefit pension system — which serves most state, county and municipal employees — has $16 billion in unfunded liabilities and is far ...

City of Toronto continues to struggle paying bills

The Globe and Mail-6 hours ago
... Toronto's wish list of completely unfunded capital projects currently totals $22.34-billion. That's on top of the $21-billion the city is already planning to spend on ...

5 things N.J. lawmakers did Thursday that could affect you

NJ.com-14 hours ago
New Jersey's pension system is short $40 billion of what experts say it should have, something that affects 800,000 current and retired public workers.

Southern Illinois county latest to sue state for bills owed

Bloomington Pantagraph-5 hours ago
MARION, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois county is the latest local government to sue the state over unpaid bills amid a budget impasse. Williamson County on ...

Some companies providing services to Illinois still not reimbursed

WREX-TV-6 hours ago
Companies that provide services to the Illinois government have not been ... money owed to many vendors, the state owes several million dollars in electric bills.

Canadian pension plans saw declines this year, face rocky road in ...

The Globe and Mail (subscription)-11 hours ago
A review of 449 Canadian pension funds by consulting firm Aon Hewitt shows the average pension plan's solvency position fell to 87.6 per cent as of Dec.

Cut In Teamster Pension Could Mean Loss Of House

Benton County Enterprise-6 hours ago
He recently received a letter from the managers of his pension fund telling him that his retirement pay will be cut from its present $2,700 a month to $1,350 a ...

Gap between UK's rich and poor soars to almost £5trillion

Daily Mail - ‎8 hours ago‎
The source added: 'We're determined to take steps to bring it down even further – and that's why while Labour is tearing itself apart, we're introducing tax cuts and a new National Living Wage which will be worth over £9 an hour for working people.'.
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good read, more reason for hope

http://modernfarmer.com/2013/05/retro-farming-horsepowered-logging/

 

got the mare settled?

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Almost one-third of

Almost one-third of Republican primary voters would support bombing the fictional kingdom of Agrabah, according to a report released by Public Policy Polling on Friday.

Public Policy Polling asked the 532 Republicans: “Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?” While 57% of responders said they were not sure, 30% said they supported bombing it. Only 13% opposed it.

Public Policy Polling also polled Democratic primary voters: only 19% of them said they would support bombing Agrabah, while 36% said they would oppose it.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/18/republican-voters-bomb-ag...

“It’s a whole new world,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.
“Republicans who support carpet bombing also support bombing magic carpets.

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Thanks for the laugh Carbon Bob

^
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Thinking of asking people

Thinking of asking people what they feel about Obama allowing all those Shia militias to sneak over the Syrian border from Gorkistan. devil

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Good GOLD News for China

Gold backing their currency soon?  Why not?  Thanks Koos.

Lead by the aforementioned calculations, the PBOC had accumulated 1,708 tonnes and the Chinese private sector 13,070 tonnes on 30 September 2015 (in total 14,778 tonnes). This does not capture gold in the black market, that thrived before 2002, neither any assets from wealthy Chinese families. It’s the most conservative estimate I can make using all data I could find.

However, in my opinion the PBOC has bought a lot more gold in recent years. What all the clues mentioned above have in common, is that the PBOC has bought roughly 500 tonnes of gold per year since 2009. Let’s make a new more speculative chart:

Estimated Total Chinese Gold Reserves 4000 tonnes (Q3 2015)

The above chart is a copy of the previous conservative estimate, supplemented by 500 tonnes per year since 2009 in PBOC purchases, which I have not subtracted from cumulative domestic mining or cumulative import, as my assumption is this gold has invisibly been imported and not bought through the SGE.

Speculating: the PBOC has accumulated 4,000 tonnes and the Chinese private sector 13,070 tonnes as of 30 September 2015 (in total 17,070 tonnes).

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