Sunday, July 30, 2017


News Links, July 31, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The Global Pension Nightmare – Global pension underfunding will be $400 trillion by 2050.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia's President Putin orders 755 US diplomatic staff to leave
White House Sacks Top Iran Hawk Amid Ongoing Disagreements
Tillerson, Mattis Seen Opposing Aggressive Action Against Iran

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Soldier among several shot dead in Venezuela poll violence

## Energy/resources ##
Russia drafts agreement to tap Iranian oil fields
Keep in mind that fossil fuels are there, for the taking, and even in this age of net energy decline they still offer a significant energy surplus after all costs are paid. Free hydrogen, on the other hand, exists in only tiny amounts in nature. Therefore we must use another source of energy to extract hydrogen by some process (such as electrolysis of water) and pressurize it for use in cars. Just as with recharging EV batteries, the energy available to run the car is less than that used to "recharge" it. Further, a fossil-fuel "subsidy" is needed for manufacturing the cars and the equipment for extracting and pressurizing hydrogen. Advocates of EVs and hydrogen cars insist that these are the "future of transportation" while ignoring the colossal fossil-fuel subsidies that are required for manufacturing the vehicles, obtaining fuel, and building and maintaining roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. -- RF
China's ageing solar panels are going to be a big environmental problem
Tian Min, general manager of Nanjing Fangrun Materials, a recycling company in Jiangsu province that collects retired solar panels, said the solar power industry was a ticking time bomb. "It will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment, if the estimate is correct," he said. "This is a huge amount of waste and they are not easy to recycle," Tian added.
This should be a wake-up call: Renewables will never be able to prolong the lifespan of industrial civilization. Dismantling and recycling an end-of-life PV farm will consume a huge amount of energy, which would have to be diverted from other renewable power sources. Because renewables won't support economic growth to start with, the recycling-power requirement would be a serious drain on society, thereby further accelerating economic contraction. And then there is the energy requirement for building new solar farms. Same goes for wind farms. As I've repeatedly said, it's all downhill from here. -- RF
US backs use of coal for energy in Africa

## Got food? ##
Mongolia bans grain exports due to drought from hottest temperatures in 56 years
Mongolia has suspended grain exports with as much as a third of its farmland suffering from severe drought after temperatures last month rose to the highest in more than half a century, agricultural officials said.
The bottom line is that fossil fuels have been staving off mass starvation on our grossly overpopulated planet. Most of the blame for this situation belongs to our short-sighted and greedy leaders, who continue to stupidly insist on more growth as they panic about falling birth rates. Talk about cutting your own throat! -- RF
Furthermore, according to a World Economic Forum presentation, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics, February 2016, by 2050 there will likely be more plastic than fish in the seas, unless socio-economic policies change drastically. But, where's the leadership?
Good question! But as I remarked above in the food category, our leaders set the policies that put our societies on a self-destructive path — and take no responsibility for it. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
WSJ Asks "Who Paid For The 'Trump Dossier'?"
Democrats don't want you to find out - and that ought to be a scandal of its own...
Debbie Wasserman Schultz & Pakistani Computer Guys: More Than Bank Fraud
North Korea is behind an increasingly orchestrated effort at hacking into computers of financial institutions in South Korea and around the world to steal cash for the impoverished country, a South Korean state-backed agency said in a report.
P&G Slashed Digital Ad Spending. This is What Happened Next
Tired of feeding an opaque, slimy industry of bots and fake clicks.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
PBS' Anti-Russia Propaganda Series
PBS has joined the anti-Russia propaganda stampede with a five-part documentary series that recycles the false and deceptive claims that have become Official Washington's dangerous new groupthink.
The Dawn of an Orwellian Future
The U.S. mainstream media continues to spread its own "fake news," like the falsehood about an intelligence community "consensus" on Russia-gate "hacking," as algorithms begin to marginalize dissent.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Brazil Deploys 8,500 Armed Forces in Rio de Janeiro
It's the only realistic way to prop up a failing industrial society. -- RF
As in other countries, we subject citizens to pressure-cooker socioeconomic environments that create stress, then take their money by selling them the means to reduce their stress (hey, the victims are a big "market"). Those who call for overhauling society to eliminate the causes of stress and give people happiness and fulfillment without a mad rat race are voices in the wilderness. -- RF
## UK ##
UK's "Ground Rent Scandal" is Wrecking Homeowners
The Global Rentier Economy is now on steroids.
The U.S. Hypocrisy of 'Human Rights'
Long before President Trump, the U.S. government had made a mockery of "human rights," condemning abuses by adversary states but silent when crimes were committed by U.S. agents or U.S. allies.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


News Links, July 28, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Risk has been Abolished, According to Institutional Investors
"Covenant-lite" loans – risky instruments issued by junk-rated borrowers, with few protections for creditors – set an all-time record at the end of the second quarter.
The platform, called GS Select, will make loans of $75,000 to $25 million using borrowers' investment portfolios as collateral.
"The present monetary system of the world, based on the dollar, is on its death-bed."

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Why Can't Americans Ditch Checks?

## Airline death spiral ##
Delta Accused Of Kicking Man Off Flight For 'Being Russian', 'Occupying Crimea'

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia says 4 military police battalions deployed to Syria
US admiral stands ready to obey a Trump nuclear strike order
The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander said on Thursday he would launch a nuclear strike against China next week if President Donald Trump ordered it, and warned against the military ever shifting its allegiance from its commander in chief.
Watch the classic movie On the Beach. -- RF
Macron's Maneuvers on the New Cold War
French President Emmanuel Macron has positioned himself as a possible go-between in facilitating a reduction of tensions between the U.S. and Russia, a move that makes sense for France but may anger Official Washington's hawks who want to escalate the New Cold War.

French police blasted for 'routinely' using pepper spray on migrants

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Venezuela crisis: Bans on protests that 'disturb' election

## Energy/resources ##
ConocoPhillips Trims CAPEX After Posting Quarterly Loss
ConocoPhillips cut its 2017 capital spending by 4 percent on Thursday, the latest U.S. oil and natural gas producer to do so in reaction to depressed crude prices.
Electric Car Industry Faces A Looming Supply Shortage
On a grossly overpopulated planet, and at the scale of industrial civilization and the consumer society, "shortages" are going to develop no matter what technology is used. -- RF
Seadrill Warns Again Of Chapter 11 As Extends $14B Debt Talks
Offshore drilling contractor Seadrill again delayed restructuring its $14 billion in debt and liabilities on Wednesday and reiterated that Chapter 11 bankruptcy was likely.

## Got food? ##
Corn Could Be Major Victim of Climate Change
Researchers say the possibility of drought hitting multiple corn-growing regions hard in the same year is real.

## Environment/health ##
Wildfires In Southern France Burn Thousands Of Acres Near Tourist Hotspots
Lipizzan Malware: Google Discovers, Blocks Malware That Could Spy On Android Users
A team of security researchers at Google discovered and blocked a new family of Android malware developed by a cyber arms company that may have its roots in state-sponsored spying efforts.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The "future of work" will be growing your own food and trying to keep others from stealing it. -- RF
It's vital to admit to ourselves that industrial civilization and our current way of life are unsustainable; we can't take any realistic and meaningful action while insisting upon business as usual. In this sense, Heinberg is far more realistic than most renewable-energy advocates. -- RF

## Japan ##
Toshiba closer to brink of delisting as memory sale stalls
Japanese hospitals seek secrets for staying disease-free
Study of 400,000 patients aimed at curbing nation's snowballing medical bills
No success story for Tokyo in hosting 2020 Games: economist
"At the end of day, the best way to have a good experience with hosting the Olympics is to not host them."
Very sobering. No wonder there are so few bids for hosting the games. It's the end of an era. -- RF
This won't do a thing to save the motorized society. -- RF
Banning plastic is fine, but the supermarket itself is unsustainable. -- RF
Fracking drilling rig brought on site overnight 'to avoid protests'

## US ##
The Two Charts That Dictate the Future of the Economy
If you study these charts closely, you can only conclude that the US economy is doomed to secular stagnation and never-ending recession.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


News Links, July 26, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
European banks struggle to solve toxic shipping debt problem
Shipping firms and banks are caught in a vicious circle of debt, causing a credit crunch that is hindering the industry's recovery.
Canadian Finance Minister Boasts about Crony Capitalism in Warren Buffett's Bailout of Home Capital Group
"It was probably not a coincidence that the Prime Minister and I were in Seattle meeting with Warren Buffett."
There Is Only One Empire: Finance
Any nation-state that meets these four requirements is fully exposed to a global loss of faith in its economy, debt, balance of payments and currency.
Japan wants US to tighten airport checks
Japanese authorities made the request following 4 separate cases of US citizens arriving at Japanese airports possessing guns and bullets since May.
Woman tackled by five passengers after sprinting for cockpit on flight
It was a record-setting week for people trying to take guns on planes
Turkish Airlines Flight Diverted Due to Bomb Threat
China offers to mediate Djibouti-Eritrea border row as it expands military presence in Africa
The offer to help resolve the East African countries' dispute comes after China's fleet began to sail to its first overseas base in the Horn of Africa
A coup in the House of Saud?
The secret is out: the ascension of Mohammad bin Salman, displacing CIA favorite Mohammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince, was in fact a white coup
Iran and Iraq Sign New Military Cooperation Deal
The Defense Ministers of Iraq and Iran have agreed to a memorandum of understanding which aims to increase military cooperation between the two sides, with a focus on fighting against terrorism and cooperation on technical and  border security matters.

Learning to lie comes easy to psychopaths
"The stark contrast between individuals with high and low levels of psychopathic traits in lying performance following two training sessions is remarkable," said lead researcher Dr. Tatia Lee.
Study: Significant decline in sperm counts in Western men
Men from North America, Europe and Australia have seen their sperm count decline more than 50 percent in less than 40 years, researchers found.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
New York Times asks 'Fox & Friends' for apology

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
In the Footsteps of Rome: Is Renewal Possible?
Sadly, a big number of people in the world will be unemployed within the next few years. At that point, governments will be insolvent and print money which will be worthless. There will be no social security and no pension system. The health care system will also fail in many countries with disastrous consequences.
"Parasite" adult children are a national scourge, Josei Jishin finds. A government survey it cites shows 20% of people 60 or over must help support their children and grandchildren. Financial planner Masako Hatanaka says the actual figure is probably significantly higher. It's a problem most people prefer not to talk about.
Purges and party propaganda: China's lively streaming sites get back behind the communist line
China's popular and lucrative video-streaming websites are censoring their content and offering Communist Party propaganda as they brace for even tighter controls on the internet.

## UK ##
Britain's Economy Is Almost Flatlining
IMF cuts British growth forecast after weak first quarter
It's hopeless. Democrats are one-half of the problem. -- RF
Don't fall for it. This is just a continuation of the Republicrat scam that keeps stringing along US voters, one election cycle after another. No matter how much politicians say "change," we all know that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's the same old China-style one-party system. -- RF
Stunning Lack of Market Decline Highlights Surreal New Normal
Investors are conditioned to believe the Fed has got their back. But they might be wrong.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


News Links, July 24, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The ECB Morphs into the Mother of All "Bad Banks"
Money Supply Growth Falls Again, Dropping to 105-Month Low
Growth in the supply of US dollars fell again in May, this time to a 105-month low of 5.4 percent.
A world's-fair dreamscape. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Israeli General: We Won't Let Iran Win the Syrian War
Toe the line! Trump's Slide into Endless-War Syndrome
Much like President Obama, President Trump was elected as the relative "peace candidate" but – once in office – has veered into Official Washington's neocon "logic" of endless war.
The deterioration of industrial capacity — a concomitant of industrial civilization's accelerating decline — will affect all countries. The good part of this is that it will reduce the scale of humanity's war-making capacity. -- RF
The Dream to Destroy Iran-Nuke Accord
With Israel and Saudi Arabia still lusting for war with Iran, President Trump and his disdain for reality about the Iranian nuclear accord have become the key enablers.
German minister compares Turkey with communist East Germany

## Mexico ##

## Energy/resources ##
But the state's solar boom isn't all sunshine, as the Los Angeles Times energy reporter, Ivan Penn, laid out in a recent investigation. To avoid overloading its electrical grid, California has actually paid neighboring states like Arizona to take surplus renewable energy — dozens of times this year.
All hell breaks loose as the tundra thaws
A recent heatwave in Siberia's frozen wastes has resulted in outbreaks of deadly anthrax and a series of violent explosions

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
With my cell-phone number, a private eye found 150 pages on me
CIA Chief: WikiLeaks Will Take Down America Any Way They Can
Declares Group a 'Non-State Hostile Intelligence Service'
Well worth the time. Ritter offers some great insights and plenty of facts. Especially exposes the absurdity of the Syria "sarin attack investigation." Rips the "White Helmets." -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
When We Can No Longer Tell the Truth...
When we can no longer tell the truth because the truth will bring the whole rotten, fragile status quo down in a heap of broken promises and lies, we've reached the perfection of dysfunction.
A frank admission of unsustainability. -- RF
The global population crash will come earlier than 2076. All it takes is the failure of one part of the system — such as when the trucks stop running or the financial system fails — to precipitate mass starvation, chaos, riots, and the near-instant return to a much simpler and more brutal existence. -- RF
These palaces will of course join the many other monuments built by collapsed civilizations and empires to celebrate their own supposed permanence and invincibility. How much longer before the halls go dark, and the machines go silent? -- RF

## Japan ##
This outlook is so utterly old-school that it reeks of decay. Japan's precipitous population drop is not a crisis, but the beginning of getting the country's grossly overgrown human population back to a level that is ecologically sustainable, healthy, and sensible. Most countries of the world are likewise overpopulated with humans, and this unsustainable situation is the prelude to catastrophic system failure. -- RF
There's going to be one heckuva hangover, à la Brazil, but likely much worse. -- RF

## China ##
China bans imports of garbage from overseas
China has taken huge amounts of rubbish from abroad for recycling, but is halting some imports because of the impact on the environment and public health
Why anyone expects anything of the Republicrat machine (i.e., the War Party) is beyond me. Americans need to dismantle the current China-style one-party system. -- RF
I don't wish cancer or other illnesses on anyone, and I sincerely hope that McCain pulls out of this. But I also hope that the Great Warmonger gives up his seat in Congress, goes home, stays out of politics, and stops trying to drag the US into more senseless wars. -- RF

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