Sunday, December 16, 2018


News Links, December 17, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
US PMI Plunge Confirms Near-Record Streak Of Disappointing Global Economic Data

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Bitcoin ransoms just are not what they used to be

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
USS John C. Stennis, USS Essex Conduct Joint Operations In Arabian Sea
From airports to undergrounds, new weapons and brutal tactics will make things worse for urban dwellers.
How the New Silk Roads are merging into Greater Eurasia
Russia is keen to push economic integration with parts of Asia and this fits in with China's Belt and Road Initiative
A pro-Israel activist group is quietly pushing lawmakers on Capitol Hill and key officials in the White House to embrace a plan that would entail paying Palestinian residents in the West Bank to move abroad. The plan is a bid to reshape the ethnic and religious population of territories controlled by Israel, according to the head of the group, called the Alliance for Israel Advocacy.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Crowd chants for Netanyahu to resign as 1,000 protest outside PM's residence
Former PC Mag writer John C. Dvorak was fired after an opinion column which was critical of 5G — and his column was removed.
Attempted oil robbery in Rio de Janeiro leads to major leak

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The EFF Gift Guide: What's Creeping Us Out
Facebook says a bug affecting up to 6.8 million users exposed photos they hadn't shared
Mueller Destroyed Messages From Peter Strzok's iPhone; OIG Recovers 19,000 New "FBI Lovebird" Texts
Grand Jury to Hear 9/11 Evidence: An Interview with the Lawyers Who Made It Happen

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Newly Released 'Integrity Intitiative' Papers Include Proposal For Large Disinformation Campaigns (UK)

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
In Pakistan public education suffocates under surging population

## Japan ##
Japan's new aircraft carriers fail to make waves
Deployment suggests a preference for big boys' toys and an effort to appease Washington, rather than a coherent, sustainable strategy
China launches French-designed next-gen nuclear reactor
Beijing showcases ties to Paris as US tries to curb Chinese tech ambitions
Young Tibetans Self-immolate in Protest

## UK ##
A counterterrorism strategy has created a "culture of fear" across UK universities where freedom of expression and open debate is being stifled, experts and campaigners warn.
Cable theft - the great train robbery that now happens daily
Railway passengers now suffer on a daily basis as metal thieves get organised and cable theft rises 85% in one year
Britain's Cuadrilla pauses gas fracking again following more tremors

And finally...

Thursday, December 13, 2018


News Links, December 14, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Global economy in 2019: Growth beginning to fray
According to IATA, "African carriers are expected to report a $300 million net loss in 2019 (slightly improved from the$400 million net loss in 2018). The expected net loss per passenger is $3.51(-2.1% net margin)."
A diesel fuel shortage could completely devastate modern societies, which are highly dependent on trucks for distribution. Other heavier fractions power aircraft, ships, and heavy machinery.  Will you be ready when grocery stores stop receiving regular deliveries, when planes stop flying, when ships stop shipping, when heavy machinery stands still, and when oil-fired power plants go dark? BTW, when nuclear power plants lose offsite power, they typically rely on diesel generators for backup. Be very afraid. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Virus That Haunted Aramco In 2012 Is Back
A variant of the Shamoon malware that hit Saudi Aramco's servers six years ago is back, Axios reports, citing a release from the cybersecurity unit of Alphabet, Chronicle. According to the Chronicle release, the company had detected a file infected with Shamoon in its database VirusTotal.
Amazon's Smart Doorbell Is Creepy as Hell
Ring, an Amazon-owned smart doorbell company, wants to help you and your neighbors gossip about "suspicious activity" on your street with a standalone app called Neighbors. The app, which was introduced in May, encourages people to bring the surveillance state home by uploading video clips and publishing reports about neighborhood activities, which are then broadcast to other users and participating police departments.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The End of France as We Know It?
Still going unnoticed (or unacknowledged) is the most dangerous force tearing socioeconomic systems apart: net energy decline. Leaders are going to continue attempting cosmetic solutions that ironically end up feeding the very monster that is destroying industrial civilization. -- RF
The idiots take over in the final days of crumbling civilizations.
Although outside the scope of this piece, it pays to remember that "living standards" are determined by the amount of energy people are able to use. Our current extravagant lifestyles are made possible by the high-density energy of fossil fuels. The declining net energy of fossil fuels is the main reason that maintaining extravagant lifestyles is becoming increasingly difficult, and the transition to renewables, which are dilute (low-density) energy sources, will further hasten our return to the 19th century. -- RF
Times change, the power center shifts, a new empire arises, and its language then becomes the lingua franca. Now that the US Empire is failing, English will fall out of favor and another language will take its place. Maybe the arrogant Miss USA will be learning Chinese. -- RF

## Japan ##
China Pushes Global Oil Trading To All-time High In 2018
This year's crude oil futures trading activity is on track for a record high, as trading volumes in China's new yuan-denominated futures contract is offsetting lower activity in the world's top benchmarks and most active contracts, Brent and WTI, Reuters reports, citing data from exchanges.

## UK ##

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


News Links, December 12, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
"Severe Collapse" of Home Prices Might Trigger a "Financial-Institution Crisis" in Australia: OECD Frets about the Banks
"The authorities should prepare contingency plans." The big four banks are too exposed to mortgages. Even if the banks don't topple, the economy will get hit hard.

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
China orders more than 600 merchants to stop rejecting cash
The Trump administration, not Huawei or China, is today's greatest threat to the international rule of law, and therefore to global peace.
Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou released on bail in Canada

## Environment/health ##

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian issued an ominous warning for Facebook: 'We've hit peak social'
Nauert is perfectly qualified for the job of UN Ambassador, because all that job requires is being a sociopathic war pig.
Facebook Filed A Patent To Calculate Your Future Location
The methods described in three Facebook patent applications use your historical location data — and others' — to figure out where you'll go next.
In a letter to customers, the San Jose, California, company said it was not surprised by the result of the review it commissioned in October after a Bloomberg article reported that spies for the Chinese government had tainted Super Micro equipment to eavesdrop on its clients.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The Largest Conspiracy Theory Peddlers Are MSM And The US State Department
AIPAC Affiliated Group Targets 'Pacific Progressive Leaders' for Israel Propaganda Trips
An $85 million Israel advocacy organization is taking local American officials identified as "progressive" on propaganda trips to  Israel. While no one will divulge the rosters, we have a few names of California participants in these extravagant, influence peddling affairs
Eventually This Had to Happen: France Investigates Russia Over Yellow Vest Riots
France is investigating Russia over the yellow vest riots. Sorry, Macron, please look in the mirror.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Brexit: stage one in Europe's slow-burn energy collapse
The Brexit fiasco and French riots are accelerating symptoms of Europe's earth system crisis
The Conflicting Forces of Modernism: Kafka and Kierkegaard
Softbank Outage "A New Disaster"
Millions of cell phone users were mired in chaos when services of Japanese major telecom provider Softbank were disrupted on December 6th. "It's a new kind of disaster," an expert says.

High salaries concentrate among the relatively few people who control high technology, which further aggravates already growing wealth disparity. -- RF

'Forget the Facebook leak': China is mining data directly from workers' brains on an industrial scale
Government-backed surveillance projects are deploying brain-reading technology to detect changes in emotional states in employees on the production line, the military and at the helm of high-speed trains
Recent rise in pensioner poverty has been primarily driven by a fall in home ownership

## US ##
Senators Working to Slip Israel Anti-Boycott Law Through in Lame Duck
The U.S. Has Huawei in Cuffs. China Has the U.S. in Chains
Here's a vision of how things might look if Beijing decides to retaliate by leveraging its dominance of the supply chain for American companies.

Sunday, December 09, 2018


News Links, December 10, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
31 pct of elderly people land low-wage jobs after retirement (South Korea)
Global wage growth in 2017 was not only lower than in 2016, but fell to its lowest growth rate since 2008, remaining far below the levels obtaining before the global financial crisis.
Yellow vest protest to have severe impact on economy: Le Maire
Macron Heralds The End Of The Union
Mr. Tariff Ups the Ante on China

## Airline death spiral ##
The [flying] experience is so bad, 32 million potential trips never took place in 2016, according to a survey by the U.S. Travel Association. People decided it was not worth the trouble.
Lion Air disaster: just a blip in Asia's runaway air travel boom?
The Indonesian carrier's crash that killed 189 people in October has raised questions over whether Asia's aviation sector is struggling to keep up with breakneck growth and soaring demand
The Wild East: Airlines in South & Southeast Asia
Huge aircraft orders, booming traffic, dozens of upstarts with easy mega-funding, fierce competition, already a big collapse, and allegations of shady business.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Where Is Americans' Outrage Over Huawei Arrest?
Detaining a Chinese executive in hopes of making some kind of deal goes against the rule of law.
Pakistan will no longer fight someone else's war: Imran Khan
Pakistan will no longer act as a hired gun in someone else's war, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday, striking a note of defiance against US demands for Islamabad to do more in the battle against militancy.

## Migrants/refugees ##
The number of migrant families captured entering illegally increased in November

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
New protests in Greece on anniversary of teen's shooting
Blood on the tracks of Widodo's Papuan highway
A massacre of 19 road workers underscores the Free Papua Movement's still strong resistance to the Indonesian leader's development plans for the remote region
In light of the obtained results — a low capacity factor and Energy Returned on Invested, an intensive use of materials—some scarce, and the significant seasonal intermittence — the potential contribution of current CSP technologies in a future 100% RES system seems very limited.

## Environment/health ##
Ocean Cleanup fail? System deployed to Great Pacific Garbage Patch not holding plastic
Wintertime ice growth in the Arctic is accelerating, slowing historic decline
Oceans are losing a football field of seagrass every 30 minutes
2nd deadliest Ebola outbreak in history spreads to major city, raising new challenges for containment
That's it, we've done it, we've stuffed every sea turtle's gut with plastic
The researchers, from institutions in the UK, US, and Australia, looked for plastic in 102 sea turtles, representing all seven species of sea turtle in the world. The animals came from the Atlantic ocean, Pacific ocean, and Mediterranean sea. And every single one had eaten plastic.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Quantum computers pose a security threat that we're still totally unprepared for
Some US experts think it could take at least 20 years to get quantum-proof encryption widely deployed.
Julian Assange Rejects UK-Ecuador Agreement To Leave Embassy In "Near-Liberty"
Big Brother Australia cracks open encrypted messaging
A new law will require tech firms to give security agencies access to their encrypted data, a provision experts expect other Western nations to soon replicate
O2's All-Day Outage Caused Havoc in Ways Consumers Didn't Expect
Software-failure impact spread far beyond cell-phone users

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
3 Reasons Why America is About to End
All empires fall. The American one is already well into its terminal phase.
What's Behind the Stark Rise in U.S. Military Accidents?
Collisions at sea and aviation accidents point to an overtaxed force.
Coming soon to a country near you. -- RF
Greek defense minister makes crowd-funding plea to afford new warships
Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos has asked wealthy citizens to help fund new warships for the country's navy.

SoftBank's mobile outage hits swath of Japanese businesses
Four-hour network disruption hampers flights, train trips and parcel deliveries

## George H.W. Bush ##

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