Sunday, November 10, 2013


News Links, November 9-11, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Czech Republic Enters Currency Debasement Club
3 Warning Signs Of A Potential Bloodbath Ahead
Central Banks Renew Reflation Push as Prices Weaken
Russia's woes confirm BRIC slowdown
ECB Following Path of Japan, Including Similarly Ridiculous Statements
S&P lowers France credit rating to AA from AA+
More Bitcoin Holders Have Lost Their Bitcoins [Poof]
Chinese Obtain 80% of Portugal Visas Given to Property Investors
Remember the "ugly American"? Times change, but things stay the same. -- RF
World's Richest Add $200 Billion as Global Markets Surge
ECB Caught Using Fictional Rating System for Italian Bonds Used as Collateral for Loans
While Government Shut Down, the Global Sharing Movement Ramped Up
Around the world, people are getting hip to the idea that we need to create our own solutions to pressing global issues; that there's no time to wait around because there's no help coming. We are the help. We are the solution.
No Country For Young Men (unemployment in Spain)
Egypt relies on Gulf aid for economy: Then what?
France to borrow 4.5 billion euros by end-2013 to pay Credit Lyonnais debts
Mexico aims to lure millions out of informal economy

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Boeing 747's era long gone because of jet's jumbo size, fuel use
The Sky-High Price You'll Pay for Airline Mergers
Evergreen International Airlines going out of business?
JAL reports problem with 787 battery on Helsinki-Tokyo flight
Lufthansa to end Sudan flights

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China eyeing contentious air defense zone in East China Sea: paper
The Chinese People's Liberation Army is considering setting up an air defense identification zone that would overlap with Japan's over the East China Sea — a move that is likely to heighten tensions between the countries — according to an internal Chinese military document.
'60 Minutes' issues warning on Benghazi source
Series of bomb attacks across Iraq leave 30 dead
Iraq 2013: Deadliest year since 2008 with 7,000+ killed
Heavy fighting rocks Libyan capital as rival militia battle
Israel fury as John Kerry leads nuclear talks with Iran
After Reportedly Being Offered Saudi Weapons Sales, France Tries to Blow Up Iran Deal
Iran: Nuclear deal can be done says Hague
US Soldiers Participate in Torture of Afghan Detainees
Nuclear Arsenal: US To Turn Old Bombs Into All-Purpose Weapons
There Would Be No Iranian Nuclear Talks If Not for Fracking
This Businessweek article is just so totally off the mark it's hard to know where to start in critiquing it. The overall thesis is apparently that fracking in the US has compensated for the oil shortfall that would otherwise have happened because of sanctions on Iran. Iranian oil has a much higher EROI than US tight oil, so that, in terms of net energy (which is the only thing that counts), oil from US fracking can only partially cover for the Iranian oil missing from the world market. The article quotes an expert who claims, "Without U.S. production gains, I think we'd be looking at $150 a barrel," which is absurd because the contribution of tight oil in terms of net energy is negligible. Further, the article is based on the propaganda untruth that the sanctions are about Iran's nuclear program. Actually, imposing sanctions was an abortive attempt to regain control of Iran by destabilizing its government and installing another US-controlled puppet regime (although I am not discounting pressure from KSA and Israel). Now, however, the US government is coming to its senses because it realizes that the world needs Iran's high-EROI oil. If the issue were nuclear weapons, then Israel, Pakistan, India, and now even Saudi Arabia should be in the crosshairs, but you don't hear a word about them. That the US is brushing aside the objections of even Israel indicates the seriousness with which the US now views the world's net-energy shortfall. The article says, "Turning the Iranian oil tap back on will have to coincide with the Saudis ramping back down. That will require coordination." And indeed, KSA has started cutting production. Finally the article notes that if too much Iranian crude comes on the market, it will make US fracking unprofitable, which is a stark admission that low-EROI American junk oil can't compete with high-EROI Iranian oil. Further, bringing Iranian oil back into the mainstream might very well help increase Iraqi production. So allow me to modify the article's title to "There are Iranian nuclear talks precisely because of fracking." -- RF
Situation in Mali Worsens with 2 More Kidnapping-Executions
Bottom Line: We are back to the drawing board in Mali, and oil exploration in the north should be dismissed out of hand.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
More than 50 arrested at Los Angeles protest over Wal-Mart wages
Quick arrest unlikely to quell growing dissatisfaction in China
Hundreds protest in central Beijing over bureaucratic corruption
French riot police use tear gas on anti-tax protesters
1 dead, scores hurt in latest Bangladesh protest
South African platinum miners stage sit-in at Amplats Dishaba mine
Two Killed as Saudi Police Clash With Foreigners in Riyadh

## Energy/resources ##
Investors Turning Away from Renewable Energy
And they're turning toward fossil fuels, according to this, but we're already seeing that investors are souring on the increasingly high capital spending requirements for exploration and development. -- RF
Greece encouraged by Ionian Sea hydrocarbon survey
Bulgaria warns of new gas crisis
Africa scrambles to build export network for mineral resources
Are Prices For Every Metal About to Go Up 15%
Kashagan: Did Shoddy Workmanship Derail a $40 bln Project?
Genscape Reports US Natural Gas Generation Down 13% from 2012
New German govt would put moratorium on fracking -party officials
Algeria's on the Rise, but so are the Threats
India Squeezes Its Oil Companies To Meet Fiscal Deficit Target
India's state-run oil companies are feeling the pain of the finance minister's determination to meet his fiscal deficit target, with officials warning that exploration is under threat and losses at oil firms could steepen.
Nuclear renaissance: New-Build Nuclear Is Dead: Morningstar
Cellulosic ethanol, once the way of the future, is off to a delayed, boisterous start

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Days before Veterans Day, military markers stolen from two cemeteries

## Got food? ##
Rotting Grapes From Bordeaux to Burgundy Cut French Wine Outlook
Exploration urged to discover new rice species
More exploration is needed to discover new wild varieties of rice, before they are lost to science forever, heard the 7th International Rice Genetics Symposium held this week (5-8 November) in Manila, the Philippines.
Nutrient-Dense Foods Are the Key to Good Health
USDA: 2013 Corn Harvest a Record 13.9B Bushels
Brought to you courtesy of oil. -- RF

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Making Gadgets Wireless Only Conceals Our Dependence on Them
Wireless devices promise to cut the ties that bind us to our desks, our homes, our mundane existence. But people discovered that working at the beach is still working.
Think You Can Live Offline Without Being Tracked? Here's What It Takes
New book explores the sharing economy

## Environment/health ##
Wind turbines blamed in death of estimated 600,000 bats in 2012
Wind turbines killed at least 600,000 -- and possibly as many as 900,000 -- bats in the United States in 2012, researchers say.
Millions of Mid East children to be vaccinated against polio amid threat to Europe
Philippine super typhoon kills at least 10,000, official says
NOAA says no 'giant island' of tsunami debris heading for the U.S.
Train Hauling Crude Derails, Burns in Alabama

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
San Diego Gets in Your Face With New Mobile Identification System
The San Diego regional planning agency, SANDAG, has been quietly rolling out a new mobile face recognition system that will sharply change how police conduct simple stops on Americans. The system, which allows officers to use mobile devices to collect face images out in the field, already has a database of 1.4 million images and serves nearly 25 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the region.
Google Tracks, Reports Your Brick-And-Mortar Buying Habits
Major Bitcoin theft from website, claims owner
Are Computers Making Society More Unequal?
Motorola wants to tattoo a smartphone receiver on your neck
Google-owned smartphone maker Motorola has applied for a patent for an "electronic tattoo" on people's necks that doubles as a mobile microphone, lie detector and digital display.
The secret diary of al-Qa'ida's No 3 - Abu Zubaydah, from student to hardline jihadi and CIA torture
All secrets revealed! Get 'em while they're hot! -- RF
Utilities Are Now In the Business Of Protecting National Security
JFK assassination: CIA and New York Times are still lying to us
The Language of Tyrants

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The United States has More People in Jail than High School Teachers and Engineers
Next-Generation Flash Mobs: The Breakdown of Law and Order
Economic Growth: A Social Pathology

## Japan ##
Japan gov't debt at record 1,011.2 trillion yen at end-Sept.
TEPCO to double pay for Fukushima plant workers
Fukushima water storage tanks flawed, workers say
Lower radiation readings proposed to speed return of Fukushima evacuees
Nuclear plant security to be designated as state secret
Will Debt Derail Abenomics?
Anti-nuclear, civic groups targeted in large-scale cyber-attacks
At least 33 civic groups nationwide — many of them anti-nuclear organizations — have been hit by a series of cyber-attacks bombarding them with a total of 2.53 million email messages since mid-September, group members and a lawyer representing them said Sunday.
Japan set to increase defense budget in fiscal 2014

## China ##
China Muni-Bond Stalling Shows Debt Threat as Party Meets
Two years after China started a trial municipal-bond program, plans to take it nationwide have stalled, leaving local authorities reliant on off-budget funding fueled partly by land seizures.
Credit Boom in China Could Trigger Bigger Crisis Than 2008; Three Things China Wants, Eight Things China Needs
China demonstrates its version of Global Hawk drone
Smoggy Beijing sees lung cancer cases soar
China Jan.-Oct. Investment in Property Development CNY6.87 Trillion; +19.2%
Fed's Williams Worried By Signs Of Chinese Bubbles -- Update
Farmers move from mountains to townhomes in China urbanization drive, but where are the jobs?
I don't know what they are thinking. Depopulating the countryside and making rural people into urban consumers will work only as long as energy is cheap and plentiful. And when suddenly China finds itself in need of more farmers, the countryside will be dangerously short of manpower. -- RF
China's consumer prices rise by 8-month high of 3.2% in October

## UK ##
HS2 engineering costs overshoot budget
All of the HS2 engineering design contracts are running over budget with the project having already cost £10.6 million more than originally estimated.
See? They're just getting started and already the cost overruns are coming. Now cast an eye in Japan's direction and keep watching because we'll see the same thing happen there with the fantasy maglev project. -- RF
Rickets, a childhood scourge from the Victorian era, is making a comeback in UK, doctors say
Scotland Yard cyber crime unit to dramatically expand
Dying prisoners routinely chained to hospital beds
Water report 'says fracking is safe'
Oil tank theft alert issued over central heating oil

## US ##
Natgas In These 4 Places Just Became Worthless
Amid Food Stamp Slash, Fat Cats Plunder Farm Subsidies
Rags-to-riches tales aren't that common, new study finds
In general, Pew researchers have noted, the rags-to-riches tale so popular in Hollywood is less likely than many Americans would like to believe.
Which America Do You Live In? – 21 Hard To Believe Facts About "Wealthy America" And "Poor America"
Cities turn to streetcars to spur economic development
Dow Jones industrial average closes at record high after surprise surge in hiring last month
Employment Situation: Uglier Than It Looks
Why That Healthy-Looking 2.8% Third-Quarter GDP Number Is Less Healthy Than You Think
U.S. consumer spending tepid as households boost savings
Whopping 932,000 Americans Drop Out Of Labor Force In October; Participation Rate Drops To Fresh 35 Year Low
The booming non-labor force in the United States: Those not in the labor force surged by nearly 1,000,000. A large portion of added jobs were in low wage sectors.
The U.S. labor force is still shrinking. Here's why.
Surveillance Video Captures Flash Mob Robberies At 3 Chicago Area Stores
Cargo theft, cattle rustling cripple farmers and ranchers
At some schools, 'Big Brother' is watching
Obama Urges Infrastructure Spending to Spur U.S. Economy
Iowa to take part in national blackout drill next week
Homeland Security Dept. Continues to Fight Disclosure of Where it Flies Drones
TPP: How Can the New York Times Endorse an Agreement the Public Can't Read?
Harvard University's Deficit Soars To $34 Million
The Death of Growth at McDonald's
George W. Bush plans to attend Messianic Jewish Bible Institute funder

And finally…
China's quest for global golf domination

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