Sunday, August 20, 2017


News Links, August 21, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Paradise for Oligarchs: Poverty, Inequality Soar as Wealth Rises (Mexico)
Remember what happened to Hanjin Shipping? When the global financial system collapses, everything will instantly come to a standstill. -- RF
After Fake Promises of Transparency, NAFTA Negotiations Start in Secrecy. And Lobbying is Heating Up
Americans aren't allowed to know what's being negotiated at their expense.
That's bad enough, but here's the kicker: Governments are going nuts over trade agreements because they believe (or rather hope) that trade is going to live up to its reputation as "an engine of growth" and save the flagging global economy. But all countries must contend with net energy decline, and trade isn't going to change that. -- RF
When the Lights Go Out, Bitcoin Goes Too

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US Allies Trust Vladimir Putin More Than Donald Trump, Says Pew Survey
Venezuela's new chief prosecutor vows to jail protest leaders
Erdogan wades into German election, Berlin hits back
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday urged ethnic Turks in Germany to reject its main parties in upcoming elections, prompting a sharp warning from Berlin to stop the "unprecedented" meddling.
Assad Advisor: Syrian War Effectively Over
Saudis in talks over alliance to rebuild Iraq and 'return it to the Arab fold'
President Trump to present new Afghanistan, Asia strategy Monday night
Israel's Quiet Reaction to US Neo-Nazis
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to call the tune for U.S. policy in the Middle East, going so far as to avoid criticizing U.S. neo-Nazis to not offend President Trump.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Colleges brace for more violence amid rash of hate on campus
Batteries Impose Hidden Environmental Costs for Wind and Solar Power
Renewable power advocates tout next-generation batteries as a path to making wind and solar power economically competitive with conventional power. The environmental impacts of battery production and disposal, however, are substantial and may overwhelm any environmental benefits of zero-emission wind and solar power.
But the plug for nuclear is misguided at best. The writer should have stuck to pointing out the problems with renewables. -- RF
Indonesia's Ailing Oil Sector Needs Urgent Overhaul
Indonesia's oil industry is languishing, it's fields are depleting and it desperately needs investment, but unlike another up-and-coming oil major—Argentina—it's not willing to do what is necessary to lure in big foreign money.

Are Profit and Healthcare Incompatible?
As I have been noting for a decade, the broken U.S. healthcare system will bankrupt the nation all by itself. We all know the basic facts: the system delivers uneven results in terms of improving health and life expectancy while costing two or three times more per person compared to our advanced-economy global competitors.
Los Angeles tests cooling pavement paint to beat heat
UK and US play 'crucial role' in creating conditions for spread of cholera in Yemen, say researchers
Synthetic opioid crisis in US serves as warning for the world, says UN
Fentanyl, which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, was recently tied to the deaths of 60 people in the UK – and a growing number of deaths in Australia

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
U.S. digital rights group slams tech firms for barring neo-Nazis
Obviously, if we allow one group to be singled out and denied the right to free speech, the door has been opened to giving any other group the same treatment. Besides, in public debate it is easy to refute the crackpot ideas of racists and their ilk using logic, science, and facts. -- RF
How A Pop Song Could "Watch" You Through Your TV
Your phone, TV, or connected device could become a sonar spy, as white hat hackers at the University of Washington give new meaning to bad music.
Like airport security, these protections create another drag on the socioeconomic system. -- RF
Our Minds Have Been Hijacked by Our Phones

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Azerbaijan freezes bank accounts of sole independent news agency
Russia-gate's Evidentiary Void
A cyber-warfare expert sees no technical evidence linking Russia to the Democratic email releases, but The New York Times presses ahead with a new hope that Ukraine can fill the void.
Academic Journal Acquiesces to Chinese Government Demands to Censor Articles
Cambridge University Press, the world's oldest publishing house, made 300 articles from the website of the China Quarterly inaccessible inside China, at the request of Chinese authorities.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
States That Are Falling Apart (US)
What Would A U.S. Civil War Look Like?
Here again, the joke is on America because Trump is just a symbol of what the nation has become, a symptom of the disease. In this case, he symbolizes the tsunami of illiteracy swamping the US. If you don't believe me, read the comments sections below news articles on the web. -- RF

The motorcycle becoming thing of the past
Plunging popularity, tighter regulations force makers to kill off models
How China is helping Malaysia's military narrow the gap with Singapore, Indonesia
Chinese weapons present a tempting target for Prime Minister Najib Razak's cash-strapped government and could add a new dimension to the fast-growing economic links between the two countries
Imported pork from leading supermarkets may cause hepatitis
Sausages and ham sold at a leading supermarket may have infected British shoppers with a virus that can cause liver failure and death

## US ##
Deep Subprime Auto Loan Delinquencies Reach 2007 Levels: The Next Big Short?

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