Sunday, November 19, 2017


News Links, November 20, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Tesla is 'going out of business,' says former GM exec Bob Lutz
They can sponge all they want, but as I've observed before, places like Singapore will be the worst places to be when the excrement hits the fan. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Saudis expand crackdown with arrest of military officials and businessmen, WSJ reports
Raqqa's dirty secret
The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city. A convoy included some of IS's most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters. Some of those have spread out across Syria, even making it as far as Turkey.
This undercover video shows a slave auction in Libya
Report: Lebanese PM Leaves Saudi Arabia for France
The history of the world is governments bankrupting themselves to get the military edge over others. If you have the stomach for a 1,000-year chronicle of this idiocy, read The Pursuit of Power by William McNeill. Further, the F-35 is a textbook example of the quickly rising marginal cost of increasing complexity. -- RF
It's nearly certain that Taiwan will be "swallowed" by mainland China, but the swallowing likely won't stop there. However, China seems to be following the US model of empire-building. -- RF
The shortage of parts and maintenance personnel for nuclear power plants is related to the shortage of pilots for airlines and military forces, and the "skills shortage" plaguing many industries. The primary reason is net energy decline. -- RF
Scientists see [gene drive] as a powerful tool that could finally vanquish diseases like malaria, dengue, and Zika. But US defense agencies see something else: a national security issue.
I'll bet defense agencies in many countries see it as not only a national security threat (is that what the writer means by "issue" here?), but also a powerful weapon. All it takes is one government (or even a group of rogue scientists) to believe it has the "solution" to humanity's problems and the supposed justification to use it. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
How Syrian-Nuke Evidence Was Faked
Exclusive: In joining Israel and the White House selling military intervention in Syria, the CIA and international inspectors hid key evidence that would undermine the case, says Gareth Porter in a second part of a two-part series.
FBI Informant Has Video Of Russian Agents With Briefcases Of Bribe Money In Clinton-Uranium Scandal

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Attack on RT Is Another Step Towards Sovietization of American Media

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
NYC Subway Managers Receive $300,000 Salaries While MTA Cuts Mechanics
The lack of qualified personnel is yet another symptom of net energy decline. Highly complex modern societies like Japan can no longer afford the energy expenditures needed to educate and train the people needed to keep their systems operating properly. It's wrong to attribute this problem to demographics alone. Further, the declining fertility rate itself is a result of net energy decline: people are increasingly finding children unaffordable. -- RF
Most people over 65 who fall afoul of the criminal justice system are fingered for petty crimes such as shoplifting and theft, with experts putting the rise down to increased economic hardship.
China Is Feeding Asia's High-Yield Hunger
Funds are struggling to diversify as Chinese companies pump out risky debt, already claiming two-thirds of Asian high-yield bond issuance outside of Japan so far this year.
Xi Jinping's dream city 'could be killed by red tape and government control'
The red tape and government control don't matter because all megacities are doomed. -- RF

## UK ##
Signs of U.K. Misconduct in Assange Case
The world's most prominent freedom-of-the-press case remains the legal pressure on WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, still in Ecuador's London embassy amid signs of U.K. prosecutorial misconduct.

## US ##
Companies have been on a borrowing binge, but you wouldn't always know the full scale of their liabilities by looking at the balance sheet. This makes it hard for investors to compare businesses that fund their activities in different ways. Happily though, that's about to change.

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