Thursday, August 17, 2017


News Links, August 18, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
India Bans Gold Exports "Without a Valid Reason"
The new rule is not a crackdown on gold exports, it's a crackdown on gold period. India wants to punish those who trade in gold.

## War on cash/cashless society ##

The Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat
There are many reasons to despise flying, from delays, to fees, to overzealous TSA staff. But shrinking seats and the pain, claustrophobia, and rage they can trigger are arguably the biggest justification for airline loathing. The modern seat, with its power to pack more customers onto any given plane, is at the very heart of the industry's 21st century economics.
Carrier admits performance unlikely to improve as HK$2.05b first-half loss is blamed on stiff competition and weak revenue from ticket sales

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
A Ukraine Link to North Korea's Missiles?
By orchestrating the 2014 "regime change" in Ukraine, U.S. neocons may have indirectly contributed to a desperate Ukrainian factory selling advanced rocket engines to North Korea and endangering America.
The Story of Charlottesville was Written in Blood in the Ukraine
Some of the neo-Nazis President Obama helped put in power in Ukraine carried Confederate flags. U.S. society has been moving rightward for decades -- and pulling much of Europe with it.
Refusing to Learn Lessons from Libya
Official Washington never likes to admit a mistake no matter how grave or obvious. Too many Important People would look bad. So, the rationalizations never stop as with the Libyan fiasco.
Report: Saudis Increasing Yemen Airstrikes, Killing More Civilians

## Migrants/refugees ##
The Agony of 'Regime Change' Refugees
There are positive signs of Syrians returning to Aleppo after the ouster of Al Qaeda's militants. But the legacy of Western "regime change" wars continues to plague Europe and inflict human suffering.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
White nationalists reportedly planning a rally in Lexington to oppose removal of statues

## Energy/resources ##
Will Solar Power Be at Fault for the Next Environmental Crisis?
Solar panel waste will become a major issue in the coming decades as old solar panels reach the ends of their useful lifespans and require disposal.
With nuclear power, there will supposedly be plenty of money to pay for "decommissioning services," which are expected to develop into a major industry. Similarly, there are expectations that services to "manage" end-of-life PV panels will become big business. Not to mention scrapped wind turbines. But I predict that there will be precious little money to engage such services. Net energy decline and the increasing use of renewables — which have a far lower power density than fossil fuels — are driving a downward economic spiral which guarantees that the post-industrial landscape will be littered with exploding nuke plants, burned-out solar farms, and the rusting hulks of junked wind turbines. -- RF
Taiwanese minister resigns after error at power plant plunges 668,000 homes into darkness
Four-hour electricity outage leaves people trapped in lifts, traffic at a standstill across major cities
Apple suppliers in Taiwan voice concerns following mass blackout
President Tsai Ing-wen wants green energy, but stable power supply remains an issue
The Australian Energy Conundrum
The Continent of Australia is one of the most energy rich countries in the world. And yet the state of South Australia has become blackout capital of the OECD.
Missouri regulators reject massive Midwest wind power line
Missouri utility regulators on Wednesday rejected a proposed high-voltage power line to carry wind power across the Midwest to eastern states, delivering a significant setback to developers of one of the nation's longest transmission lines.
At last, a bit of realistic thinking about the grossly overblown expectations for "vegetable factories." If people want to keep eating, they'll need soil and sound ecosystems, not hydroponic towers that will become useless when the power outages come. -- RF

University of Washington students can hack smart devices, track body movement
Computer science students at the University of Washington have found a way to remotely hack into people's personal devices, such as cell phones and smart TV's, to track individual movement, raising serious security questions, the university announced Wednesday.
Apple Pay, PayPal cut off sites linked to white supremacists

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Market Will Fall By 50-75% As Petrodollar & Energy Sector Break Down
Our core ecological problem is not climate change. It is overshoot, of which global warming is a symptom. Overshoot is a systemic issue. Over the past century-and-a-half, enormous amounts of cheap energy from fossil fuels enabled the rapid growth of resource extraction, manufacturing, and consumption; and these in turn led to population increase, pollution, and loss of natural habitat and hence biodiversity.

## Japan ##
Japan's Kyokuyo readies fully farmed tuna for market

## China ##
So When Will China's Debt Bubble Finally Blow Up?
Corporate debt in China has soared to $18 trillion, or 169% of GDP, the largest pile of corporate debt in the world, according to the worried Bank for International Settlements.
Chinese enterprises write Communist Party's role into charters
Hundreds of Chinese companies have revised their corporate charters to allow a deeper management role for the Communist Party, a sign the ruling party is tightening its control over the private sector.
In her latest report, Chu estimates that bad debt in China's financial system will reach as much as Rmb51 trillion , or $7.6 trillion, by the end of this year, more than five times the value of bank loans officially classified as either non-performing or one notch above." That estimate implies a bad-debt ratio of 34%, orders of magnitude above the official 5.3% ratio for those two categories at the end of June.

## UK ##

## US ##
The only good thing about Trump's victory is that we were delivered from this warmongering battleaxe. -- RF
Defiant Trump insists anew: Blame both sides for violence
[Trump] showed sympathy for the fringe groups' efforts to preserve Confederate monuments.
Surely Trump knows that putting something on a pedestal glorifies it. -- RF
President Trump's 'White Blindness'
By defending "beautiful" Confederate statues, President Trump shows how little he understands about the evils of slavery and the cruelty on lynchings and segregation, but he is by no means alone.
Here's how much you save when you don't have kids
Your friends may tell you having kids has made them happier. They're probably lying. Research shows that parenthood leads to a happiness gap. Maybe that's because the pleasures of parenthood are outweighed by all the extra responsibilities, housework and, of course, the costs.

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