Sunday, December 10, 2017

 

News Links, December 11, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
De-Dollarization Continues: China, Iran To Eliminate Greenback From Bilateral Trade
The fantasy that robots will do all the work of stripmining the Earth to provide for our endless overconsumption, and generate vast profits doing so, is just another manifestation of an intrinsically destructive and unsustainable Mode of Production.
Enron Déjà Vu? Citi, BofA, HSBC, Goldman, BNP on the Hook as Steinhoff Spirals Down
$21 billion of debt. Off-balance-sheet entities. Moody's wakes up, downgrades it four notches, with more to come.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Teva Considers 10,000 Job Cuts

## War on cash/cashless society ##
If the law is passed, anyone acting suspiciously carrying any amount of cash, whether in notes, precious stones, precious metals or prepaid credit cards, could face having their "money" impounded.
Proposed U.S. Legislation May Criminalize Those Who Conceal Bitcoin
From taxis to temples, Alipay's fast-expanding cashless world
Ant Financial's empire raises concerns of customer data use by Beijing

## Airline death spiral ##
United Continental announces $3 billion buyback

The Russians are not necessarily against the US presence and can adapt to this after defining the demarcation lines to avoid any clash, but Iran has a clear position and has decided not to abandon the Syrian President alone to face the US forces, if these stay behind.
Arab states urge US to abandon Jerusalem move
When Washington Cheered the Jihadists
Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better.
Missing the Significance of Israel-gate
President Trump's decision to begin moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem — and disclosure that first-son-in-law Jared Kushner failed to disclose his role in a foundation funding Israeli settlements and lobbied against a United Nations' resolution critical of those settlements during the transition — are reminders that the foreign government with truly broad influence over U.S. politics is Israel.
North Korea fights cash drain that threatens regime
Kim's hasty declaration of nuclear success may signal economic stress
Trump fiddles with phone as US burns out in Asia, and China gives a lesson in leadership
President's Twitter rants and lack of a coherent strategy have seen confidence in US leadership plummet, and Beijing has not been slow to fill the void
The $10 Trillion Investment Plan to Integrate the Eurasian Supercontinent
Of course, this project will never be completed as now conceived. -- RF

## Migrants/refugees ##
Homeless Swedes Out in the Cold

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Two dead in 'Day of Rage' over Jerusalem, Palestinian president defiant
Thousands of Israelis have poured into the streets of Tel Aviv for an anti-corruption rally calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign.
Bioenergy crop area surges to new high (UK)
The area used for bioenergy crops surged to an all-time high in 2016, with a 41% increase in land use on the previous year.
Some people will applaud at this news, but energy crops — and indeed all other forms of renewable energy including photovoltaic and wind — require far larger land area than fossil fuels to yield the same amount of energy. Vaclav Smil, in his book Power Density, calculates this land area to be two to three orders of magnitude larger than that of fossil fuels. In the effort to prop up industrial society with renewables, vast tracts of land need to be occupied by energy crops and energy installations. This phenomenon is known as "energy sprawl."


## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Resistance is futile: The Surgeon Who Wants to Connect You to the Internet with a Brain Implant
Eric Leuthardt believes that in the near future we will allow doctors to insert electrodes into our brains so we can communicate directly with computers and each other.
Defector says thousands of Islamic State fighters left Raqqa in secret deal
A high-level defector from Kurdish-led forces that captured the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State has recanted his account of the city's fall, saying thousands of IS fighters - many more than first reported - left under a secret, U.S.-approved deal.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
CNN Botches "Bombshell" Report "Proving" Collusion Between Trump Jr And Wikileaks
The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages: Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
Friday was one of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation's largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Analyst: With ballooning costs for a smaller Navy, can it really afford 355 ships?
Maintaining old equipment still in use after 16 years of war is becoming more and more expensive, and the kicker is that the equipment that's coming online is even more expensive to maintain and operate than the old equipment it's replacing.

A major component of Japanese racism — not mentioned in this article — is an idea dating from the late 1800s which still holds sway today, called datsu-a nuu-ou, and meaning "Dump Asia, Join Europe." This was seen by some Japanese leaders of the day to be an essential condition for modernization. Although the rush toward modernization is a thing of the past, the desire to be a part of the Western camp is still very much alive, causing many Japanese to look down on their Asian brethren. Although North Americans and Europeans are sometimes subject to discrimination, they are generally far more welcome than Asians. Over the years I have seen and heard the phrase "Japan and Asia" countless times. This also shows that the Japanese place themselves outside of Asia. Nevertheless, this will perforce change as the US presence in Asia weakens, while the dominance of China grows. -- RF
Future of electric cars is at the bottom of a Chinese salt lake
Production of valuable lithium ramping up in mountains 3,000 meters above sea level
Is the future bright for Britain's nuclear energy industry?
The bright new dawn for Britain's nuclear industry took only days to cloud over with familiar concerns over cost.
Why America's drinking water crisis goes beyond Flint (BBC video)
While Flint made headlines two years ago when 12 people died due to high lead levels in the city's water, more than 1,000 water systems across the US have drinking water that fails safety standards for lead.
Peak Fantasy Time (David Stockman on jobs)




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