Sunday, October 21, 2018


News Links, October 22, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Italy Cut to One Step Above Junk by Moody's in Wake of Bond Rout
The Global Dollar Shortage is Here – And It's Becoming A Big Problem

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Antiwar Movement Spreads among Tech Workers
Thousands march to support independence vote in Taiwan
Protesters chant anti-China slogans on Taipei march in first large-scale rally pro-independence rally in decades.

## Energy/resources ##
Leaked Document: OPEC+ Struggling To Lift Oil Production
US looks to circumvent environmental opposition by using military sites, including Adak, for coal and gas exports
Don't laugh: $400 oil isn't THAT crazy
I'm going to rule it out. Even if the price shot up to such a high level, it wouldn't stay there long simply because no one could afford to buy oil or its products. Ultimately, affordability will cap the price of oil. And the collapse starts when the affordable price is no longer enough to keep oil companies in business.
 -- RF
Here's Where the Post-Apocalyptic Water Wars Will Be Fought
An update on the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project
Some readers will recall what my observation of July 7 of last year. The real "workhorse" fuels of industrial society are heavier fuels like diesel and kerosene. -- RF
The only thing ethanol is good for is shoving piles of money around. Like other biofuels, the energy yield — if positive at all — is far too low to support industrial society. -- RF

## Got food? ##
What's in Your Beef? 22 of 25 Fast Food Restaurants Flunk Antibiotics Test

## Environment/health ##
Are Extreme Weather Events Linked to Climate Change?
Study: Breastfeeding may help keep babies safe from dangerous bacteria
Americans Lose in 2040 Global Life Expectancy Rankings
Antiviral med fuels rapid decline in new HIV infections in gay men: Study

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
"Khashoggi started a tussle with the fifteen men we sent to kindly ask him to come home. Unfortunately he stumbled, fell onto the chainsaw and severed his head."
Report: Israeli spyware helping dictatorships track dissidents, minorities
From Indonesia to Qatar to Mexico, investigation by Haaretz finds Israeli firms continue to sell their products to governments even where there is evidence of abuse

## China ##

## UK ##
Where's Sergei?
And where is daughter Yulia? Why are they being held incommunicado? What is the UK government hiding? -- RF
Wages for the 1% just reached their highest level ever
Salaries for the 1% grew nearly four times the rate of those in the bottom 90% of earners
This is absurd. The US itself has undermined democracy at home (by its China-style one-party system and media propaganda system) and throughout the world (by its well-documented hacking and meddling). True patriots will see that, for democracy to flourish, Uncle Sam must first clean up his own act before blaming others. -- RF
While Russian involvement in our elections has yet to be proven, certainly blowing up a foreign political party headquarters and assassinating its leaders qualifies as election meddling.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


News Links, October 19, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Who Bought the $1.6 Trillion of New US National Debt Over the Past 12 Months?
As a flood of US debt washes over the globe, someone has to buy.
Too much debt, too few tax donkeys to pay it off. Sound familiar? -- RF
New Market Rigging Scandal Tangles Up Already Teetering Construction Giants in Europe
The golden age is long over for Europe's construction companies. In the wake of the longest recession of the postwar era, their two largest sources of finance — governments and banks — are either unable or unwilling to spend or lend, leaving many once-thriving companies on the brink.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Bank of America CEO Moynihan says he cut jobs equal to the workforce of Delta Air Lines
U.S. mortgage industry faces job losses as refinancing dries up

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Line makes a big new push to turn Japan cashless

## Airline death spiral ##
German government says airlines could face more bankruptcies
Aeromexico cancels five routes to U.S., pulls five planes
Aeromexico, which is experiencing losses resulting from high fuel prices, will pull out five airplanes from its fleet and eliminate nine routes -- including five connecting Mexican and U.S. cities, Mexican newspapers reported.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months
Iran Deserves Credit for the Ruin of ISIS
But is the U.S. now allowing its last remnants to survive in Syria to spite Tehran?
Report: Saudis Dismembered Journalist While He Was Still Alive, Audio Recording Shows
Saudis Stonewall On Khashoggi But Pressure Will Increase
In The World Of American Politics, One Khashoggi Is Worth One Million Yemeni Lives
Calls grow louder for European arms embargo against Saudi Arabia
Hungary's homeless population face jail time for sleeping on the street

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Police open fire at Haiti protesters angered by corruption scandal
There are some early signs that the U.S. shale industry is starting to show its age, with depletion rates on the rise.
Service companies chase international boom as U.S. shale drilling moderates
The biggest providers of oilfield services are surfing a wave of international spending on the back of higher prices, but the good news is tempered by an activity slowdown in their own back yard.

## Got food? ##
A good read if, despite my warnings, you still think you can become an instant farmer post-SHTF. -- RF
A scientist explains why you should be eating insects to help fight global hunger
Zombie apocalypse... or something worse? -- RF
Great Barrier Reef teeters towards coal-fired extinction

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Of course it's "massive"; all other adjectives have been outlawed. -- RF
Is This Why Jeff Bezos Has Kept Quiet On WaPo Employee Khashoggi's Disappearance?

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Phillip Cross: The Mystery Wikipedia Editor Targeting Anti-War Sites
133,612 edits to Wikipedia have been made in the name of "Philip Cross" over 14 years, most of them targeting left-leaning anti-war websites and activists.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
3 dead in Venezuela after widespread outage leaves hospitals without power

## China ##
Shanghai shakes up global oil trading
New futures contract rapidly rises to become third global benchmark
"Purchases are going to be mainly from Brazil and some from Argentina and Canada. Buyers are not willing to take chances by bringing in U.S. beans."
Just when you think the British authorities' Skripal story couldn't be any more absurd, somebody punches still more holes in it. Of course it's not exactly clear what these two Russian dudes were doing (sightseeing?), and one hopes the Russian government will be more forthcoming on this matter, but so far there's no evidence whatsoever that they had anything to do with the Skripal case. -- RF

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


News Links, October 17, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
US budget deficit expands to $779 billion in fiscal 2018 as spending surges
That isn't the half of it. By 2050 many governments, economies, and mega-corporations will have collapsed. Energy constraints will make most businesses small and local. The world will be largely deglobalized. That is, if we haven't had a nuclear war or exploding nuclear power plants. -- RF
If the goal was to bail out the banks at public expense (and it was), it's clear Bernanke had a far better plan than the ECB.

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
If you're mining bitcoin from home, you're now losing money
It's absurd to consider it. Even $100 oil would be a crippling drag on the global economy (at the same time, oil should be at least $100/bbl if we want to continue using it). -- RF
Natural gas storage is at record low levels but prices are falling going into winter heating season.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Khashoggi Was No Critic of Saudi Regime
Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, who disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week is not quite the critic of the Saudi regime that the Western media says he is.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Self-Censorship: Where The Real Damage Is Being Done
Expansionist mindset is in for a shock. -- RF
Fragile pipelines pose an increasing risk in gas-hungry U.S.
The kind of dramatic scenes that played out in suburban Massachusetts last month following a series of explosions and fires may serve as a warning of what lies ahead for the U.S., where an increasing reliance on natural gas is running up against aging infrastructure.

## Japan ##
Solar Power Output Halted for 2nd Day in Kyushu
Japan gov't launches 1st survey on 'overtourism'
Japan is launching its first survey on "overtourism," or the phenomenon of a popular destination becoming overrun with tourists in an unsustainable way, to counter nuisances such as noise and congestion that disrupt locals' lives, according to officials.
China nudges Japan on joining up in 'Belt and Road' initiative at 14th Annual Tokyo-Beijing Forum
Senior government officials from Japan and China met at a two-day symposium that kicked off Sunday in Tokyo, in yet another sign of an apparent thaw in relations between the two Asian powerhouses.
By the standards of previous generations, the middle class has been stripmined of income, assets and purchasing power.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


News Links, October 15, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
ECB Vice-Chair Warns on "Bubbles" after ECB Caused Most Absurd Bond Bubble Ever
Note: The photo of half-empty shelves was taken in Japan (likely after the earthquake-tsunami disaster of seven years ago), not Zimbabwe. -- RF
Lebanon's house of cards: real estate risks collapse
With government housing loans depleted and Gulf investment dried up, the long lucrative sector may finally be headed for a fall

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Bitcoin is the 'mother of all scams' and blockchain is most hyped tech ever, Roubini tells Congress
"Issue" here apparently means "emergency." -- RF
'Non-elite' should expect to wait on American Airlines
American Airlines is taking some heat after an internal memo leaked telling employees that their first priority during delays or cancellations should be to get elite passengers to their destinations, even if it means using a competing airline, but economy passengers shouldn't get that option.
Are you an "elite" passenger? -- RF
AI's next battlefield is literally the battlefield: In 20 years, bots will fight our wars – Army boffin
Killer robots are on the way, and they're a threat to humanity
The U.S. government seems not to be worried about the potential hacking and hijacking of artificial-intelligence-driven combat machines
Israeli police investigating Palestinian woman's death in car
Israeli police said on Saturday they were investigating the death of a Palestinian woman in the occupied West Bank, after her husband said he suspected Israeli settlers had pelted their car with rocks.
The Art of No Mideast Deal
Donald Trump once advertised an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan as his greatest achievement-in-the-making, but like many of the president's negotiations, the Kushner-Greenblatt strategy is a one-sided bargain.
Ban Saudi Oil (Automatic Earth)
Trump bangs table as Seoul differs over North Korea sanctions
As Seoul seeks eased sanctions on Pyongyang, it is edging away from  Tokyo and Washington toward a policy favored by China, Russia and North Korea
U.S. Bullying Of The Two Koreas Endangers Its Alliance ... And Peace
The Trump administration is haranguing South Korea for taking steps the U.S. had already agreed to. The New York Times believes that North Korea's insistence of sticking to signed agreements is a means of war. This only unites the two Koreas and does not bode well for the alliance.
America's Disastrous Occupation of Afghanistan Turns 17
And the Taliban are in their strongest position in just that many years.
Israeli right wanted Trump to be president, and it has reaped the rewards

## Migrants/refugees ##
Thai authorities to deport 70 Pakistani asylum seekers
Immigration 'not a human right': Hungary FM on EU criticism
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto responds to EU criticism and defends his government's anti-refugee policy.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Zimbabwe arrests protest organizers as economy plunges

## Energy/resources ##
Germany Risks Permanent Loss Of Control Of Energiewende, Federal Audit Office Warns
A little more than a year before Germany's climate-policy "milestone 2020", the auditing body has concluded a catastrophic assessment of the government's energy policy. Germany would miss its targets for both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy consumption as well as for increasing energy productivity and the share of renewable energy in transport. At the same time, policy makers had burdened the nation with enormous costs.
As renewables increase, their downside becomes more apparent. I stand by my assertion that renewables will not support our current civilization. Once collapse starts (most likely triggered by failure of the global financial system), renewables will lose their fossil-fuel underpinning, and it will be all downhill from there. -- RF
How Germany quietly turned against action on climate change
It's more than the coal drama at Hambach forest, the German government has been fighting for weaker EU climate targets, car emission standards and coal pollution rules
Losses from natural disasters have surged over last 20 years, U.N. says
Illegal mining leaves toxic wastelands in Indonesia
Artisanal miners backed by police, military and other vested interests are laying waste to the island of Buru in search of fabled gold

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Julian Assange to regain internet access at embassy base – reports
The Cybersecurity World Is Debating WTF Is Going on With Bloomberg's Chinese Microchip Stories
No one is really sure who to believe after Businessweek's bombshell story on an alleged Chinese supply chain attack against Apple, Amazon, and others.
DNA databases can send the police or hackers to your door, study finds
"Genetic genealogy databases act like a GPS system for anonymous DNA," one researcher said.
Settling The Khashoggi Case Is A Difficult Matter

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
First They Came for Alex Jones — We Told You We Were Next — We Were
Social media giants launched a massive purge of independent media on Thursday effectively wiping out hundreds of liberty-minded pages.
Bangladeshi newspaper editors protest digital security law

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Venezuela collapse: looting, hunger, blackouts
Does this spell the end of the "permanent presence" of humanity in space? -- RF
It's not going to help. -- RF
Chinese solar projects facing closure amid subsidy backlog: government report
Solar power projects in the northwest Chinese region of Ningxia are struggling to maintain operations and face "bankruptcy risks" because of long subsidy payment delays, according to an investigation by regulators.
China Is Building A "Social Credit" System. So Is The United States.
It is easy to be spooked by what's going on in the East. What about what's happening in America?
China posts record trade surplus with the US in September, Beijing says
"Rising Inequality" Could Impact America's AAA Credit Rating
Moody's: It "will exacerbate already material fiscal challenges on the horizon." If unaddressed, "social tensions will continue to rise."
Chinese-American parents invest in a multilingual future for their children
Ambitious parents are increasingly hiring Chinese-speaking nannies to boost their children's Mandarin language skills

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