Tuesday, April 04, 2017


News Links, April 5, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Housing Bubble in Sydney Soars to New High, Politicians Promote Scheme to Bitter End
Keep an eye on that skyscraper index. -- RF
Spain's Most Italian Bank Still "Solvent," Claims Finance Minister
Things have gotten so bad that when the country's Minister of Finance Luis de Guindos was asked by a reporter today about the bank's state of health, he responded: "the bank is solvent." Which is kind of like a doctor saying, "the patient is alive." Not exactly reassuring.
The primary reason, not mentioned in the article, is that debt is an attempt to compensate for net energy decline. No doubt governments themselves do not understand this. -- RF

Dayton airport officials attribute that decline to a growing trend of airlines and passengers abandoning smaller and mid-sized hubs for larger ones.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump tells Sisi U.S., Egypt will fight Islamic militants together
Is the F-35 a Trillion-Dollar Mistake?
Trump criticized the cost of America's warplane of the future, but what he's not saying is that it might be hackable and leave soldiers vulnerable.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Demonstrators protest Afghan president's Australia visit
It probably looks that way at this time, when renewables are still piggybacked onto the fossil-fuel energy system. But what happens when fossil fuels are taken out of the equation? Any energy system must satisfy three requirements. (1) It must be self-sustaining. In other words, it must pay its own energy production costs. Biofuels like ethanol immediately fail even this first test because fossil fuels are needed for production. (2) It must be self-replicating. The system must be able to "reproduce" the machinery, tools, and facilities that are needed for energy production. (3) It must supply surplus energy to society. After satisfying requirements one and two, the system must still have a large energy surplus that it can supply to the socioeconomic system. Fossil fuels have passed all three tests with flying colors, but it is highly unlikely that renewables can do the same. Even renewable energy guru Richard Heinberg admits that renewable energy will not support economic growth. And without growth, the economy begins to collapse. Even a cursory examination of the implications shows that a world running on renewable energy would be much different from what we have now. Within a generation or two (if we're lucky) we would devolve back to a 17th-century lifestyle. So to conclude, a low-carbon economy is not a pipe dream, but that economy will be much different from what we have now, and much different from what the UN conceives. And it would definitely not support the world's current population. -- RF
Why is everything "massive"? Don't journalists know any other adjectives? -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
If Russia hacked 2016 election, do Americans get a refund from CIA?
Researchers from the Russian security firm Kaspersky on Monday detailed a new ATM-emptying attack, one that mixes digital savvy with a very precise form of physical penetration.
Lawmakers Move To Stop Warrantless Cellphone Searches at the U.S. Border

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Democrats' Blind Obsession on Russia-gate
Instead of focusing on President Trump's poor policies – or fixing their own shortcomings – Democrats obsess over Russia-gate, though the case is flimsy and reeks of McCarthyism
Obviously, the alien reptiles from Aldebaran are behind the whole thing. Wake up, people! -- RF
Looks like an indoctrination program. -- RF
Mainstream Media as Arbiters of Truth
An angry mainstream U.S. media is shaking its fist at anyone who won't clamber onboard the Russia-gate groupthink bandwagon.
What neither Krugman nor Diehl ever once mentions — either because they're unaware of it or want to conceal it from their readers — is that the U.S. has been supporting, funding, and arming the Sisi tyranny for years under the Obama administration.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Peru's Breakneck Economic Growth Raises Cost of Catastrophe
Peru is becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters as its population and infrastructure expand.
The Big Contraction – An Interview with James Howard Kunstler
A Heightened Sense of Vulnerability
The gap between the happy-story fantasies of easy fixes to institutionalized corruption and systemic stagnation and the fraying-rope reality is widening, straining the bonds holding the whole contraption together to the breaking point.

## Japan ##
Cabinet OKs schools to use banned imperial order as teaching materials
Opposition politicians on Tuesday criticized a decision by Japan's cabinet to allow schools to study a 19th century imperial order on education that was banned after World War II for promoting militarism and emperor worship.
Toshiba may seek third earnings delay
Japan agency opens database on deep-sea trash
Japan agency opens database on deep-sea trash
Watch the video, too. -- RF
Japan's balance of stashed cash surging
Anxiety about the future prompts well-to-do Japanese to sock away more money
I can assure you that it is not only well-to-do Japanese who are socking away more cash. -- RF
New Economic Zone Drives Home-Price Surge
The unexpected decision to create the Xiongan New Area, a new economic zone south of Beijing, led to a more than tripling of residential property prices within a day.

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