Saturday, December 31, 2016


News Links, January 1, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
"A Warning for Property Investors in Australia"
"Guilty, But Not Punished": Another Banking Criminal Let Off The Hook

It might happen. But keep in mind that we won't have power grids and the internet forever. The day will come when digital currencies will go POOF, and those who had "digital wallets" full of virtual money won't even have anything to stuff their mattresses with. -- RF

## Airline death spiral ##
'Air Rage' Forces Delta Flight to Land as Cases Soar
Cases of "air rage," or incidents in which a passenger angrily loses control, have continued to increase in the past few years. Airlines reported 10,854 cases of "air rage" last year, according to the International Air Transport Association. That marks a 16.5 percent jump from 2014, when 9,316 cases were reported.
Stress-inducing modern industrial society is full of rage (road rage, air rage, shopping mall rage, desk rage, password rage, etc.), of which this is just one manifestation. If industrial/technological society is so wonderful and fulfilling, why all the exploding heads? -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. Special Operations Numbers Surge in Africa's Shadow Wars
Turkish Committee Clears Draft Expanding Erdogan's Powers
This is how it starts. -- RF
Summing Up Russia's Real Nuclear Fears
The mainstream U.S. media's relentless Russia-bashing has obscured Moscow's legitimate fears about Washington's provocative nuclear-missile strategies, which could lead to Armageddon.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
DAPL war rages on: 'Water protectors' arrested as protests continue

## Energy/resources ##
The End Of The Oil And Gas Bankruptcy Wave
It's just a temporary reprieve. Although the advocates of renewable energy would like to take credit for the fossil fuel industry's troubles, the real reason is net energy decline. -- RF
Long Gas Lines, Price Hike Mar Holiday Season in Mexico
The holiday season has been a little less merry for car owners in Mexico as gasoline shortages in many parts of the country have forced grumbling customers to contend with hours-long lines.
Deflationary collapse is eating away at the energy industry. -- RF
Meanwhile, many people are lucky to be eating anything at all. -- RF

Yes, this is a solution. Gross overpopulation and gross overconsumption by all those people are primary causes of war because they drive the quest for more of everything. Low human populations, low consumption, and modest lifestyles leave more for nonhuman species, alleviate pollution, and create far smaller incentives for expansion, which leads to friction and war. And believe it or not, people can find happiness with modest lifestyles. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
CRISPR 'Off Switch' Discovered, Could Make Powerful Gene-Editing Tool More Precise
Keep in mind not only the potential uses, but also the inevitable abuses, of this technology. -- RF
Monitor your brain waves? -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hypocrisy Over Alleged Russian 'Hacking'
As Official Washington rages over alleged Russian hacking of Democratic emails, a forgotten back story is how the U.S. government pioneered the tactics of cyber-war and attacked unsuspecting countries.
North Korea's Kim Jong Un Faces A Rebellion? Slaves, Purges, Nuclear Threats Define Five Years Of Rule
Skepticism remains, however, as tight controls on the press in North Korea mean these reports are virtually impossible to verify, and the country often has been the target of fake news reports originating in the West and Seoul.
Smart electricity meters can be dangerously insecure, warns expert
But security experts say that the document provides little in the way of forensic "proof" to confirm the government's attribution.
Plus, the alternative claim about the emails (leaked, not hacked) contradicts the US government story. Although this claim likewise needs to be substantiated, the lapdog media make no attempt. -- RF
Something About This Russia Story Stinks
Nearly a decade and a half after the Iraq-WMD faceplant, the American press is again asked to co-sign a dubious intelligence assessment

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news ##
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story about the bogeyman du jour. -- RF
Fake News, Mass Hysteria and Induced Insanity
A really good read. -- RF

Smart homes will be of little use when the internet is down and armed mobs have taken over the streets. -- RF
Most of our shrinking energy surplus is spent on new, flashy things (like smart homes), while basic infrastructure continues to crumble. There's simply not enough energy to fix what's broken AND make new things. -- RF

## UK ##

## US ##
Accounting Gimmicks Won't Stop The U.S.A. Titanic From Sinking
The U.S. Government has gone to great lengths in using accounting gimmicks to prop up the financial system and domestic economy.  One area where this is readily apparent is the disconnect between the rising U.S. debt versus the annual budget deficits.
Whether good or bad, having more laws just raises the degree of complexity, which is the enemy of civilizations. -- RF
Guns and Chipotle: Millennials are the most employed generation in two occupational areas: food services and military.
Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.
A refutation that "most Americans" voted for Hillary Clinton. -- RF

## POTUS-elect ##
Which would have been just as scary — or likely even scarier — if HRC had become president. Where do HRC fans get the idea that Clinton would have been less dangerous? -- RF

And finally...

Thursday, December 29, 2016


News Links, December 30, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Dow 30,000 in next 4 to 5 years, investment expert says
The most recent report for the quarter ending June 30, 2016 indicates that U.S. bank holding companies have a total notional amount (face amount) of derivatives of $252.6 trillion. Of that total, just five Wall Street banks hold $230 trillion or 91 percent, underscoring how massively concentrated this high risk game has become.

Disruptive technologies bring turbulence for traditional airlines
Carriers face headwinds despite benign performance in the tourism industry as they begin to face similar pressures to those exerted on hotels
Your next flight itinerary could be easily hacked
Travelers in the US and Canada may soon be forced to undergo a lie detector test as a standard part of airport security.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Turkey and Russia 'broker ceasefire deal for all of Syria'
Kissinger Urging Trump to Accept Crimea as Part of Russia
Tensions increase as China's neighbours build up military capabilities
How Israel Misuses the Bible
By fuming over a U.N. resolution against Israel's settlements on Palestinian land, Israeli leaders reveal their final solution for the Palestinians – to deny them property rights and displace them.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Chinese Middle Class in Uproar Over Alleged Police Brutality
Inventory of abandoned oil and gas wells doubles in 2016 (Canada)
The number of oil and gas wells abandoned by industry has expanded dramatically as depressed commodity prices forced operators into bankruptcy.
U.S. refiners face severe labor shortage for deferred maintenance
After years of running flat out, U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are lining up repairs to plants in 2017 - but facing a severe labor shortage that could delay work, drive up costs and raise accident risks.
Shale Drillers Promise No 2017 Binges as Oil Hangover Eases

## Got food? ##
"Nature is not good to human beings": The chairman of the world's biggest food company makes the case for a new kind of diet
Guess who makes it. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US Expels 35 Russian Diplomats, Closes Offices
Officials Give Conflicting Reports on Expulsions
No proof yet that the Russians were actually involved, but we'll go ahead with it, anyway. BTW, will the US ever be sanctioned for hacking other governments or interfering in their elections? Just wondering. -- RF
"I'm all for doing what's necessary to protect the electorate but there's no suggestion that Russia hacked into our voting systems or anything like that," Franks said on MSNBC Thursday. "But the bottom line is if they succeeded, if Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done," he added.
Facebook Doesn't Tell Users Everything It Really Knows About Them
The site shows users how Facebook categorizes them. It doesn't reveal the data it is buying about their offline lives.
Jambon has previously called for the extension of the EU's system for tracking airline passengers' movements, adopted in April, to cover land and sea-based transport.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news ##
The purpose of this article is to underscore, yet again, that those who most flamboyantly denounce Fake News, and want Facebook and other tech giants to suppress content in the name of combating it, are often the most aggressive and self-serving perpetrators of it.
Mainstream Media is Now Whining About the "Fake News" Hysteria It Created
History Shows How Rare and Valuable Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press Are
Charlie Hebdo Cover: Russia Angered By Cartoon Of Tu-154 Plane Crash
Russian officials were incensed Wednesday by a Charlie Hebdo caricature of the fatal Tu-154 plane crash over the Black Sea, showing the plane falling as a member of the Alexandrov military choir screams. The cartoon's caption reads: "The repertoire of the army choir is expanding."
George Soros Conjures Hitler In Attack On 'Ascendant Populists', Warns "Democracy Is Now In Crisis"

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Wisconsin mall evacuated due to threats, a day after mall fight spree

## China ##
Five killed in 'terrorist attack' in China's western Xinjiang region, official media reports
Car ploughs into yard of Communist Party building in Karakax county and home-made explosive detonated, local official media reports.
Chinese Coal Industry Sees Earnings Explode In 2016

## US ##
A Sour Holiday Season for Neocons
For the past couple of decades, the neocons have ruled the roost of American foreign policy, but they have now suffered some stunning reversals that have left them fuming.

## POTUS-elect ##
Trump is awful, but Moore is a chump if he believes that Hillary Clinton would be an improvement. -- RF

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


News Links, December 28, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
When Assets (Such as Real Estate) Become Liabilities
Bank Bailout Balloons, Tab for Italian Banking Crisis Soars
ECB tells Monte dei Paschi it needs to raise $9.2 billion
Toshiba flags hit of 'billions of dollars' on U.S. nuclear acquisition
Brazil's Government Deficit Widens to 9.28% of GDP in November
Financial Times, Barron's Tout Death of Gold
When the pall bearers and grave diggers start dancing on gold's grave, it's usually a good time to buy.
Europe Proposes Confiscating Gold In Crackdown On "Terrorist Financing"
India's Demonetization Debacle Highlights the Dangers of Monetary Monopoly
Cuba Sees Economic Slump Despite US Detente

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Airbus Cuts A380 Production Plans in 2017

## Airline death spiral ##
Korean Air flight attendants get stun gun training
Airbus's A380 Woes Deepen as Jets Delayed for Top Buyer Emirates

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
When Will ISIS Be Stopped? Iraqi Prime Minister Says Just Three More Months Until Terror Group Is Eliminated
Erdogan Says He Has "Confirmed Evidence" The US Supports ISIS
Russia Warns Any Attempt By Obama To Arm Syrian Rebels Will Be Seen As A "Hostile Act"
Russia: Mass Graves Found in Former Rebel Areas of Syria's Aleppo
Israel: 'Ironclad information' White House behind UN rebuke
Ban Ki-Moon For President? South Korean Lawmakers Want To Rope In UN Chief For New Party
Philippines Drug War Update: Officials Seize Record $120 Million Worth Of Meth In Anti-Drug Drives
Russia expands its presence in the Arctic
Obama, Japan's Abe show solidarity in Pearl Harbor visit
Hell just froze over: the New York Times runs an article saying Zionism is racist
US Funding for Afghan Spies Subsidize Abusive Militia Factions

## Migrants/refugees ##
Merkel Sponsored "Suicide of Germany"
Of the 1.2 million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2014 and 2015, only 34,000 found work. All the rest are on the dole, needing free handouts to survive.

## Energy/resources ##
The Unsustainable $60 Oil Spike In 2017
Power Crisis Looms In Tajikistan
Mexico gasoline prices to rise as much as 20.1 percent in January: government
Coal Demand Is Shifting To Asia
U.S. to sell sweet oil from emergency reserve, delivery in March
Toshiba to log huge loss in nuclear business

## Got food? ##
Congress' budget patch averts national farm loan crisis

## Environment/health ##
Cheetah Numbers Decline as African Habitat Shrinks
An estimated 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild across Africa and in a small area of Iran, and human encroachment has pushed the wide-ranging predator out of 91 percent of its historic habitat, according to a study published on Monday.
Some driveway sealants create toxic muck in streams

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Russia Visa Center In US Hacked, Personal Information Breached, Twitter User Claims
New Hampshire health department hack exposes addresses, social security numbers
US Government Can Legally Access Your Facebook Data — and Now We Know How
Suddenly hot smart home devices are ripe for hacking, experts warn

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news ##
CNN falls sharply in ratings after election; Fox News grows

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## Japan ##
Toshiba Says Nuclear Writedown May Reach Billions of Dollars
The Bank of Japan Was The Top Buyer Of Japanese Stocks In 2016
Japan culling 90,000 more birds for avian flu
Gov't resumes construction work for U.S. air base relocation
Avian Flu Outbreaks Spark Concern about Egg Price Spike
Japan's wholesale vegetable prices to hit record in 2016
Chinese groups seen forging ties with Okinawa independence activists
Chinese universities and think tanks are forming ties with Okinawa independence groups in a bid to divide public opinion in Japan, a Japanese government agency said in an annual report.
Modern Japanese men dogged by stoic salaryman stereotype
Russia easing visa requirements for Japanese

## China ##
Cancer in the China banking system will metastasize globally
As Mystery Of China's Multi-Billionaire Default Deepens, A New "Bond Scare" Emerges
China dismisses Abe's Pearl Harbor visit, suggests Japan is unrepentant
Piano lessons, maths classes and hours of homework … a weekend in the life of China's stressed-out kids
China jails nine over protests in Guangdong "democracy" village

## UK ##
Scottish teachers take 500,000 days off for mental health reasons in three years
Sixty children referred to Government's counter-terrorism programme every week
High street shops secretly track customers using smartphones
Third of councils to lose cash in social care changes, says Burnham
Eight in 10 middle-aged Britons 'are overweight or exercise too little'

## US ##
US On Track for Record Foreign Weapon Sales

## POTUS-elect ##

Sunday, December 25, 2016


News Links, December 26, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
A New Crisis Is Brewing in Spain — The government raided the state pension fund. And now what?
Canada's Goods Producing Sector Caves
Bundesbank Hauls its Gold back from New York & Paris Faster than Planned

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Pakistan Senate proposes scrapping 5,000 rupee note
Bitcoin's total value hits record high above $14 billion

## Airline death spiral ##
Chinese woman pleads guilty to opening plane's emergency exit, avoids any punishment

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
While Blaming Trump For "Arms Race", Obama Signs Momentous "Star Wars II" Defense Bill
US-Israel Relations 2016: Benjamin Netanyahu Summons Washington Envoy For Reprimand Over UN Resolution
Netanyahu Says 'No Doubt' U.S. Behind UN Vote on Settlements
Turkey moves arms to Syria border, seeks Trump's backing in war
Japanese destroyer spots China's Liaoning aircraft carrier fleet as it heads to Pacific for exercise
Iran Shoots Down Drone Belonging To Film Crew
A drone belonging to a film crew was reportedly shot down Friday in the Iranian capital Tehran by the country's anti-aircraft forces after it approached the president and the supreme leader's offices. 

## Migrants/refugees ##
## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
South Koreans protest for ninth straight weekend for Park to step down

## Energy/resources ##
Challenge 2017: What's next for forgotten coal towns like Alberta's Forestburg as plug pulled on industry
The New Way to Make Money in Energy: Demolition
Although I think their estimates for demolishing nuclear power plants are likely far too low. No doubt many customers will find themselves with huge budget shortfalls. -- RF
Biggest US Coal Company Emerges From Bankruptcy
The U.S. Prepares To Sell Off Its Oil Reserves
Why I'm Hopeful
Why am I hopeful? the Status Quo is devolving, and a better way of living lies just beyond the corrupt, wasteful, ruinous consumerist debt/financial tyranny we now inhabit.

## Environment/health ##
World's Last Wild Frankincense Forests Are Under Threat
But now these last intact wild frankincense forests on Earth are under threat as prices have shot up in recent years with the global appetite for essential oils. Overharvesting has led to the trees dying off faster than they can replenish, putting the ancient resin trade at risk.
Too many humans chasing after too few resources. -- RF
Sorry, but I just don't see how this can be anything but a stop-gap measure to improve people's lives temporarily. Big cities, especially mega-cities, are inherently unsustainable, and the whole thing will end in tragedy. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Yahoo email scan shows U.S. spy push to recast constitutional privacy

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news ##
"From Putin with Love" - a novel by the New York Times
CIA head: Acting like Russia 'beneath' US
CIA Director John Brennan said Thursday that Americans cannot sink to Russia's level when addressing Moscow's apparent meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
What a hoot! For a US official to make such absurd and patently false statements is the height of chutzpah and irony. "We're fighting for our country, our democracy, our way of life," he claims, while everyone knows the US is fighting for the same thing as the other big players: global domination. And as history shows, the US is not above doing whatever it takes. -- RF
British Govt-Funded Outlet Offered Journalist $17,000 a Month to Produce Propaganda for Syrian Rebels
Emails reveal that a popular source for mainstream Western media is a U.K.-backed propaganda outlet.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Talk about that Christmas spirit! Unmerry Christmas: Mass Brawls Break Out Across America's Malls

## Japan ##
No end in sight to Japan government spending

## China ##
Around 200 Chinese-language teachers are working in schools across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

## POTUS-elect ##
Kissinger, a longtime Putin confidant, sidles up to Trump
Trump Will Shut Foundation to Avoid 'Appearance of Conflict'
The Trump Team: Billionaires and Generals
How Trump Kills the 'Two-State Solution'
President-elect Trump's choice of a backer of Israeli settlements to be ambassador to Israel may be the final death-blow to the "two-state solution," which has been on its death bed for years.

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