Thursday, June 21, 2018


News Links, June 22, 2018

Happy summer solstice!

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The headline figure is striking: global debt has hit a new high of 225% of world GDP, exceeding the previous record of 213% in 2009. So, as the IMF points out, there has been no deleveraging at the global level since the 2007-08 financial crisis.
EU hits back at Donald Trump with billions in tariffs on US Bourbon whiskey, jeans and motorcycles
Mark Zuckerberg Is on the Brink of Being Richer Than Warren Buffett
We're seeing the greatest asset inflation bubble in 20 years, fund manager warns

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Starbucks to close 150 locations in 2019
The company will triple its traditional annual average of closing about 50 stores as part of a streamlining effort including rapidly optimizing its U.S. store portfolio.

## War on cash/cashless society ##
South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb says it was hacked and $30 million in coins was stolen
Bitcoin Frauds Keep Growing
One of the prime myths that white-collar criminologists have to refute repeatedly is that blockchain makes fraud impossible.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Is US War With China on the Horizon?
Yemeni prisoners say Emirati officers sexually torture them
Americans use Emiratis as gloves to do their dirty work."
I didn't know that Trump is a fan of fantasy and science fiction. -- RF
Black Hawks Down? Pentagon Admits Russian Chopper Trumps US
An Elite Coalition Emerges Against a Trump-Kim Agreement
Media coverage of the Trump-Kim summit has highlighted a political reaction that threatens to torpedo any possible U.S-North Korean agreement on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
'Outraged, But Frankly Not Surprised': In Defense of Serial Violator Israel, US Ditches UN Human Rights Council
Iran: European Proposals Not Enough to Save Nuclear Deal
Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi warned in comments Tuesday that Iran's government does not consider  European offers sufficient to convince them to remain in the P5+1 nuclear deal. The US withdrew from the deal, and has tried to sabotage the sanctions relief offered by the remaining powers.
How US-China battle for control of the 'global order' is being played out in the South China Sea
Mark J. Valencia says while the US may paint China as an opponent of international order that is 'militarising' the South China Sea, it is no stranger to bending global norms, or to militarisation, itself

## Migrants/refugees ##
How US Policy in Honduras Set the Stage for Today's Mass Migration
U.S. policy in Honduras, particularly during the Obama administration, is directly responsible for part of the immigration crisis now gripping the U.S.
Italian coastguard ship carrying 522 migrants docks in Sicily
Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described playrooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis.
The Billion-Dollar Business of Operating Shelters for Migrant Children (US)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##

## Energy/resources ##
"In the Permian Basin, you make a lot of water," Chip Johnson, the CEO of independent oil and gas driller Carrizo Oil & Gas, told CNBC on Tuesday. "Typically, you'll make five barrels of water for every barrel of oil."
Renewables continue to grow at a torrid pace. Global solar power consumption increased by 35%, while wind power consumption rose 17% over 2016. But the growth of renewables wasn't enough to prevent a new record for total fossil fuel consumption. Consequently, carbon dioxide emissions rose in 2017. Global carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.6% to a new record of 33.4 billion metric tons.
New Mexico official says Texas landowners are "stealing" millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking
Water restrictions in New Mexico have created a supply crunch for the fracking industry, so more free-flowing Texas water is helping to fill the void. But not without controversy: A top New Mexico politician says Texans are pumping his state's water and piping it across the state line for oil drillers.
Asian biofuel policies produce a volatile political cocktail
Governments seek to drum up rural support but risk driving up food prices

## Got food? ##
Using herbicides was never a winning strategy. -- RF
Salmonella-tainted fruit sickens 70 in seven states, CDC says
Warmer climate may dramatically increase likelihood of global corn crop failure
Drought haunts farmers in Poland, Baltic states
Poland's prime minister on Wednesday warned of "very significant" crop losses as the EU country scrambled to help farmers struggling to cope with an unusual spring drought amid soaring temperatures.

## Solutions ##
Localization: a strategic alternative to globalized authoritarianism

## Environment/health ##
China Just Handed the World a 111-Million-Ton Trash Problem
The world's biggest waste importer is no longer buying. So where's all that trash going to go?
Thailand to ban imports of recyclable waste
The import ban will likely have an impact on Japan, which exports huge amounts of waste to the Southeast Asian country.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Sharyl Attkisson: The left invented fake news

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Trump Takes Italy by Storm: the Rise of Matteo Salvini and of the Italian Right
Brazil Trucker Strike Hits Suppliers of Consumer Staples
Multinationals operating in Brazil are counting the cost to their revenues following a nationwide trucker's strike that brought the country to a near standstill, disrupting supplies and hitting Latin America's largest economy.
One flaw is the assumption that we'll have the energy to achieve the tasks needed to restart our present civilization. But the current energy system will have collapsed and likely could never again attain its current level. -- RF

## Japan ##
Bad debt from cash advances piles up at Japan's megabanks
However, 28.6 percent of mothers and 22.3 percent of fathers who said they want more kids believed it would be difficult in reality. Of those respondents, 80 percent cited the financial burden as a factor.

## China ##
Terrible waste of resources (money, talent, etc.), especially to build the causes of future disasters. -- RF
Busy Britons are suffering from 'gadget confusion', study claims
Millions admit they are baffled by number of buttons, symbols and switches on devices

## US ##
The Border Patrol's 'Constitution-Free' Zone Is Probably Larger Than You Think
All of Michigan, D.C., and a large chunk of Pennsylvania are part of the area where Border Patrol has expanded search and seizure rights. Here's what it means to live or travel there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


News Links, June 20, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Cashless society looms as debit cards jump into lead (UK)

## Airline death spiral ##
France air traffic responsible for third of Europe delays: report
Hindered by strikes and outdated equipment, French air traffic control is responsible for a third of aviation delays in Europe, Le Parisien said Monday, citing a senate finance committee report.
Iranian Influence In Iraq Grows
Despite 17 years of war, next US commander in Afghanistan sees progress
US withdraws from UN human rights council, calling it a 'cesspool' and alleging bias against Israel
Syria - Ready To Start The Daraa Campaign
Empires can only expand so much, and the US Empire has already peaked. Don't expect any significant developments outside of Earth orbit. -- RF
## Energy/resources ##
Report warns 21 Indian cities will run out of water by 2020
In recent months, however, some companies have started to test their fracking capabilities on oil fields that most agree reached their peak production decades ago. Drillers believe that it's a winning bet. Analysts say it could be a breakthrough for the more challenging chalk  formations in East Texas and Louisiana.
Don't be fooled. This is the same old refrain about "new technologies unlocking new energy sources." If the US had any decent conventional oil reserves left, no one would look twice at this crap. -- RF
There is little meat in this article and virtually nothing (not even a photograph of the device) on their website.  You'd expect at least a video showing the device at work. Yet they want you to plunk down $500. Of course, maybe it's on the level. Still, it won't save industrial civilization. -- RF
Many companies learned the hard way that deep water was not a fun place to play if your checking account was low.

## Got food? ##
Kellogg's Cereal Recall Due to Salmonella
Pros & Cons of Growing Your Own Fruits & Vegetables
But keep in mind that being able to grow your own food could likely be a lifesaver for you and your family. This shouldn't be a decision people make on the basis of current economics. -- RF
Salmonella outbreak tied to melons sold at Costco stores, including several in Wisconsin
US startup raises funds for lab-grown seafood
Scientists scramble to stop bananas being killed off
Gaming addiction joins the organization's list of potentially harmful technology-related behaviors that includes too much use of "the Internet, computers, smartphones" and more.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
A Call to Bring Julian Assange Home

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## Japan ##
Empty shelves! Now imagine this happening on a global scale. -- RF
The BoJ has barely any room to manoeuvre as it tries to map a path to roll back its crisis-era stimulus

## China ##
China adds to nuclear arsenal amid military modernisation drive
Country now has 280 warheads, according to think tank, which calls nuclear states' renewed focus on deterrence and capacity 'a very worrying trend'
China's housing 'melt up' continues, as new home prices rocket most in 19 months during May
A Longer View (Craig Murray)
The days of the United Kingdom itself are now numbered...

## US ##
The financial hole for Social Security and Medicare is even deeper than the experts say
Distressed debt funds tap into fears over credit cycle
A growing number of US hedge funds specializing in distressed debt are raising money in anticipation that the next economic downturn will punish companies that have borrowed record amounts since the financial crisis.
The Myths We Tell Ourselves
"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office."

Sunday, June 17, 2018


News Links, June 18, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall
The prospects for the rest of the year are awful
Millionaires Now Own Half of World's Personal Wealth
Seems Impossible, but Argentina's Peso Was Able to Collapse even Further Despite $50 Billion IMF Bailout
Container giants MSC, Maersk eye slow steaming to cut costs amid rising fuel prices
Here Is The Stunning Reason Why Treasury Yields Blew Out In April
Bank CEOs Say Robots Can Replace Half of Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Employees
Global landlord: Blackstone Becomes Biggest Hotel & Property Owner in Spain

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Broadcom lays off 1,100 employees after Brocade merger, may cut more

## War on cash/cashless society ##
New Delhi's level of PM2.5, tiny particulate matter that can dangerously clog lungs, exceeded 170 Friday morning, more than six times higher than the World Health Organization considers safe.
Palm oil to be phased out in EU by 2030
E-cig flavorings may damage lining of blood vessels
The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?
The epidemics of the early 21st century revealed a world unprepared, even as the risks continue to multiply. Much worse is coming.
Growth is dead, anyway, so single-minded pursuit of more growth only aggravates the problem. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Op-Ed: Official narrative on Skripal poisoning has little credibility
Facebook also collects a lot of information about the device you're using. They know your mobile operator, battery level, signal strength, and available storage space. They track your IP address, cookie data, time zone, and even your connection speed. They also obtain information such as your operating system, browser type, and file names based on all your different interactions with the site.
Moral authority? Name one government on the planet that has moral authority. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The 4 Stages of the Collapse of Venezuela
Coming soon to a country near you. -- RF
The flaw in the thinking is that we'll always have electricity. -- RF
China verges on luring all of Africa away from Taiwan
Beijing uses economic leverage to cultivate allies against American pressure
How China's squid fishing programme is squeezing its neighbours and creating global sea change
This is an unsustainable initiative because fisheries are collapsing. -- RF
Letter From Britain: An Establishment Blinded By Russophobia
A British elite challenged by large parts of the British population is rallying around trumped-up fear of Russia as a means of protecting its interests.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


News Links, June 15, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Hosting international parties is an energy-intensive endeavor. Although hosting the Olympics and World Cup extravaganzas was once seen as an unmitigated good, it's now widely perceived as a burden. Thank net energy decline. It's all downhill from here. -- RF
Watch Live: Mario Draghi Explains Why He Is Ending QE As EU Economy Collapses
EU nations back retaliating against U.S. steel tariffs
European Union countries on Thursday unanimously backed a plan to impose import duties on 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) worth of U.S. products after Washington hit EU steel and aluminum with tariffs at the start of June, EU sources said.
Globalized Digital Bank Robbers Feast on Latin America
Ronald Stoeferle: Gold Is Dirt Cheap Right Now
The United States of America is beginning to lose its reserve currency dominance. Countries around the world are working to find ways to circumvent the US dollar when it comes to trade and settlement. In addition to that, nations are requesting for their gold holdings stored overseas to return home.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
H&R Block to close 400 stores over lower profits
Rolls-Royce announces 4,600 job cuts

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Cashless Society - Good or Bad? MoneyConf 2018 Video

## Airline death spiral ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The key word in the Trump-Kim show
By reaffirming the Panmunjom Declaration, the US President has committed to bringing its military back from South Korea and thus a complete denuclearization of the South as well as the North
Iran Warns North Korea About The United States
In World Cup Politics, It's Moscow 1, London 0
Despite sanctions and furor over Putin's policies, Russia is poised to gain internationally from the soccer tournament as a boycott campaign fizzles.

## Energy/resources ##
How much of the world's energy is supplied by renewables?
China's Global Electricity Takeover
Russia's Putin to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed, discuss oil deal: Kremlin
Tesla pulls plug on Home Depot solar sales four months after national kickoff
There's No 'Silver Bullet' With Produced Water
Although proportions vary and worldwide data are incomplete, water makes up a significant volume of the production from wells. To provide some idea of the magnitude of water involved, the Produced Water Society  – citing 2012 data – has reported an average ratio of 9.2 barrels of produced water per barrel of oil for wells in 21 states in the U.S. (excluding Oklahoma and Texas).
Crisis on the High Plains: The Loss of America's Largest Aquifer – the Ogallala
The grain-growing region in the High Plains of America—known as America's breadbasket—relies entirely on the Ogallala Aquifer. But long term unsustainable use of the aquifer is forcing states in the region to face the prospect of a regional economic disaster.
Farmers already at higher risk of suicide face pressure from tariffs
Our seas are choking on plastic. A staggering eight million metric tons wind up in oceans every year — and if we continue to pollute at this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Australia keeps China out of internet cabling for Pacific neighbor
Facebook's responses to the Senate revealed some other creepy things it knows about you, including tracking your mouse movements, and whether you're actively looking at Facebook or if it's in the background.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
American Mass Media and Punditry Remain a Dishonest, Militaristic Embarrassment

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Brazil murder rate takes its toll on economy
Seventy years! There's another project that will never be completed. -- RF

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