Thursday, March 30, 2017

 

News Links, March 31, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Shock, Horror: ECB Not as "Independent" as it Claims – Report
The European Central Bank has found itself in the rare position of having to defend itself in the public arena following the release of a scathing report on its perceived lack of political independence.
Here's Why Italy's Banking Crisis Has Gone Off the Radar
Just how many banks are insolvent? Turns out, a lot! But elections are coming up.

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Indian PM urges citizens to join in the war on cash

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump-Obama Continuity for Nukes
The Trump administration is continuing a boycott, started by its predecessors in the Obama administration, against U.N. talks aimed at banning nuclear weapons.
Aiding Saudi Arabia's Slaughter in Yemen
President Trump is following the same path as his predecessor, bowing to the Saudi royal family and helping in their brutal war against Yemen.
In Major US Shift, Tillerson Says Assad's Future Up to Syrian People
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Turkey has uncovered a dramatic shift in US policy toward Syria, as Tillerson declared in his visit with Turkey's Foreign Minister that the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be left up to the Syrian people.

## Energy/resources ##
Westinghouse bankruptcy move casts shadow over world nuclear industry
Plight of US firm, which has technology in about half world's reactors, deals blow to building of new plants
How an American Tech Icon Bet on Nuclear Power -- and Lost
Oil Traders Warn There's a Supply Crunch Looming
The oil market is risking a supply crunch as producers cut spending on major projects to focus on short-term low-cost shale output in the U.S., some of the top crude and products traders said.
Abu Dhabi's Taqa Books Biggest Loss Ever On Oil Assets Write-Down
Low oil prices have been not only weighing heavily on the financials of western oil majors, but also led to Abu Dhabi National Energy Company -- also known as Taqa -- writing down billions of dollars worth of oil and gas assets that resulted in a huge loss for 2016, the biggest loss the company has ever recorded.

## Environment/health ##
Coastal areas house nearly 85 percent of the population of the UAE as well as many prestigious properties including hotels and resorts.
Pity the poor frogs. -- RF
Meet Pharmacy Benefit Managers – 'The Most Profitable Corporations You've Never Heard Of'
Dirty air from global trade kills at home and abroad
A study that measures the human toll of air pollution from global manufacturing and trade shows how buying goods made far away can lead to premature deaths both there and close to home.
Any solution will be short-lived if new antibiotics are likewise over-used. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Rather than looking back retrospectively at footage, cops with cameras and this technology can scan people as they pass and assess who they are, where they've been, and whether they are wanted for anything from murder to a traffic ticket, with the aid of algorithms. This, say legal experts, puts everyone—even law-abiding citizens—under perpetual surveillance and suspicion.
If you have the stomach for it, read the email exchange. As far as I can see, the question asked repeatedly by the journalist is never satisfactorily answered. -- RF
The Sleazy Origins of Russia-gate
An irony of the escalating hysteria about the Trump camp's contacts with Russians is that one presidential campaign in 2016 did exploit political dirt that supposedly came from the Kremlin and other Russian sources. Friends of that political campaign paid for this anonymous hearsay material, shared it with American journalists and urged them to publish it to gain an electoral advantage. But this campaign was not Donald Trump's; it was Hillary Clinton's.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Why Has Trust in Media Collapsed? Look at Actions of WSJ, Yahoo, Business Insider and Slate.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
When the "Solutions" Become the Problems
A decade ago the suburbs were the safest place in America when it came to the number of drug overdoses. Now they're the most dangerous. That's one finding in a shocking report released Wednesday.
Nothing shocking about this. Kunstler predicted long ago that the suburbs would become the new slums. -- RF

Britain to demand tech firms do more to tackle extremism
Britain will tell Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft on Thursday to do more to stop extremists posting content on their platforms and using encrypted messaging services to plan attacks.
Renters now dominate over half of largest US cities. Between 2007 and 2016 approximately 7.8 million homes lost to foreclosure.
It doesn't matter. One trillion dollars over 10 years is far short of what would be needed. -- RF
"Trickle Down" Has Failed; Wealth and Income Have "Trickled Up" to the Top .5%
The joke's on you. -- RF
Trump Succumbs to Bush/Obama Perpetual War
President Trump is becoming the third post-9/11 president to prosecute bloody conflicts in the Mideast and impose mass surveillance at home, with no end in sight.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

 

News Links, March 29, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Capital control tightening is a possibility (Greece)

## Airline death spiral ##
Airline Cabin Laptop Ban: More Security Theater?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump's War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised
Iraq Denies US Air Raid Killed Over 200 Civilians In Mosul
Two days after the US military confirmed that a coalition airstrike may have killed as many as 240 civilians in a March 17 Mosul air raid, the Pentagon found an unexpected defender when the Iraqi military said on Sunday a blast that killed scores of civilians in western Mosul was triggered by an Islamic State booby trap, contradicting local officials and residents who claimed a U.S.-led coalition airstrike caused the deaths.
The Syrian government has reportedly issued a warning to the Israeli government through a Russian mediator, cautioning them against continued airstrikes against Syrian military targets and threatening to retaliate with Scud missiles against Israeli military bases if they continue.
ISIS Vows War Against Iran: Islamic State Group Threatens Ayatollah Ali Khamenei For Tolerating Jews
A new video released by the Islamic State group (also called ISIS) Monday threatened to attack Iran for its role in the region's conflicts and its tolerance of Jews. The 36-minute video, titled "The Farsi Land: From Yesterday 'till Today," surfaced on several ISIS social media channels, according to media reports. 

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Washington condemns arrests of hundreds of protesters against Vladimir Putin's government
What hypocrisy! Recall that thousands were arrested in the Occupy Wall Street protests a few years ago. And Wall Street is the real government of the US. -- RF

## Got food? ##
What Happens to the U.S. Midwest When the Water's Gone?
The Ogallala aquifer turned the region into America's breadbasket. Now it, and a way of life, are being drained away.

## Solutions ##
Cultural Capital (Part 1): We have much to learn much from indigenous societies

## Environment/health ##
US Media's Global Warming Denialism
Besides nuclear war, arguably the greatest threat to human civilization is global warming, but the U.S. news media virtually ignored the issue in 2016, bowing to economic and political pressures.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate
Amid the frenzy over the Trump team's talks with Russians, are we missing a darker story, how the Deep State's surveillance powers control the nation's leaders. (McGovern/Binney)
Russia Conspiracy Theorists May Want to Take a Look at John Podesta
FBI Face Recognition Technology Has 'No Limits,' Congressional Hearing Reveals
Law enforcement has access to photos of 50 percent of all adult Americans without their knowledge or consent

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Trump Insults the Media, but Bush Bullied and Defanged It to Sell the Iraq War
Forget ObamaCare, RyanCare, and any Future ReformCare--the Healthcare System Is Completely Broken
It's time to start planning for what we'll do when the current healthcare system implodes.
Which is exactly what I've been saying. Here's a nice essay that goes into the dynamics. Curse Trump all you want, wish that Clinton had won all you want, but it makes no difference at all who sits in the Oval Office. -- RF

## Japan ##
As N. Korea fires missiles, some in Japan want the ability to launch strikes
Note: "Decontaminated" is a mistranslation from the Japanese. The soil was removed from places affected by the Fukushima accident in decontamination procedures, and is therefore contaminated. -- RF
Japan decision on nuclear talks draws anger
Survivors of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima have criticized Japan's decision not to join talks aimed at drawing up a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons.

Nearly half of young mums skip meals as they struggle to feed their children, survey reveals
Polling finds 46 per cent of mothers in the UK aged under 25 do not eat proper meals in order to ensure their children are fed, while more than a quarter have used food banks.

## US ##
With $1.1 trillion in loans outstanding we all know bad deals are made in good times.
How middle-class and even wealthy American families are sliding inexorably into the red
It's possible to still be broke in some U.S. cities with $500,000 per year in income
Dick Cheney Says Russian Meddling in American Election Could Be Considered 'An Act of War'
Congratulations democrats! This is the moment in your life when you come to realize you've become one and the same as everything you've always hated about humanity.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

 

News Links, March 27, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Germany wealth inequality gap 'growing wider'
Insurers help to pay for Asia's infrastructure needs
Cash-strapped governments are raising money for projects with long-term debt
Innovative solution, or sign of desperation? -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Multi-polar world: What Russia Wants — and Expects
America Digs Its Own Afghan Grave
Afghanistan has long been called the "graveyard of empires," the site of failed invasions. But the U.S. – in its 15-plus-year endeavor – seems determined to dig its own grave there.
NATO forces assemble in eastern Europe
Contacts with Russian Embassy
Good read by a former US diplomat. -- RF
Risks to US from War on North Korea
The murders of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi – after they surrendered their WMD – taught North Korea's Kim Jong-un not to give up his, setting the stage for a dangerous crisis.
Third journalist killed in Mexico in month

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Belarus police arrest over 400 protesters; many are beaten
Is an affordable 100% renewable global electricity grid possible and desirable?
Are they really trying to extend everyone's lives? Or just those of people already doing great?

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Global Data Firm: "We Help Utilities Surveil and Profile Their Customers, and Monetize Home Surveillance Data"
In one fell swoop, every utility's claim of "smart meters do not spy on you" is now dissolved.
Surveillance State Goes After Trump
Democrats are so eager to take down President Trump that they are joining forces with the Surveillance State to trample the privacy rights of people close to Trump.
This is why the Deep State is fracturing: its narratives no longer align with the evidence.
Activists Worry That Social Media Vetting of Visa Applicants Could Quietly Expand Trump's Muslim Ban

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Newly Obtained Documents Prove: Key Claim of Snowden's Accusers Is a Fraud
Pretending Israel Is Innocent of Apartheid
Without doubt Israel practices apartheid toward Palestinians who are broadly denied human rights, but Israel's political clout is such that the reality must be denied at the U.N. and in the U.S.
McCain: "The New World Order Is Under Enormous Strain"
How US Flooded the World with Psyops
Special Report: The mainstream U.S. media obsesses over Russian "propaganda" yet the U.S. government created a "psyops" bureaucracy three decades ago to flood the world with dubious information.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Sad State Of America's Infrastructure In One Infographic
Yes, it's a global problem because the net energy delivered to society by our energy-supply system after (1) paying energy costs and (2) self-replication, is shrinking. And it's all downhill from here. Economists need to see that it's energy, not money, that makes the world go 'round. -- RF
Sustainable villages replaced by unsustainable cities. A recipe for disaster. -- RF

## UK ##
UK minister says encryption on messaging services is unacceptable
Technology companies must cooperate more with law enforcement agencies and should stop offering a "secret place for terrorists to communicate" using encrypted messages, British interior minister Amber Rudd said on Sunday.
Four out of 10 schools letting out buildings to raise money, study finds

## US ##
More About The Great Collapse In Retail
Democrats Trade Places on War and McCarthyism
Caught up in the frenzy to delegitimize Donald Trump by blaming his victory on Russian meddling, national Democrats are finishing the transformation of their party from one that was relatively supportive of peace to one pushing for war, including a confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.
A family earning over $105,000 still can't afford more than half of U.S. colleges
For students from low-income families, more than 90% of colleges are unaffordable


Thursday, March 23, 2017

 

News Links, March 24, 2017

Emirates to Let Travelers Keep Laptops Until U.S. Boardings
For some airline passengers, new warnings bring new hurdles
It's yet another impediment in the name of security for already weary travelers, especially those from or passing through the 10 mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries covered by new U.S. and British policies.
Rex Airlines flight makes emergency landing at Dubbo, passenger saw 'flames coming from engine' (Australia)
Greece's Aegean Airlines profit drops, cuts dividend
Government, Air India mull steps to check unruly passengers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Airborne troops, Mi-28s & fleet: Massive military drills kick off in Crimea

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
India must be careful: Jobless growth can lead to social unrest
About that shale drilling miracle... -- RF
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Bechtel Form Decommissioning Alliance
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and Bechtel today announced the formation of an alliance to offer decommissioning and dismantlement services for nuclear power plants in Germany and Sweden.
The War on Water Is a Very Real Crisis
One of the hidden costs of industrial agriculture is its intensive water usage. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), about 80 percent of U.S. consumptive water (and more than 90 percent in many Western states) is used for agricultural purposes.

## Solutions ##
Heat Storage Hypocausts: Air Heating in the Middle Ages

## Environment/health ##
Scientists Have Some Wild Ideas for Solving Our Big Bee Problem
The world's bees are in big trouble — even more than you might have realized. Last year the U.S. lost a mind-boggling 44 percent of its honeybee colonies.
Coal ash: 'Why in the world would we be importing it?'
Shipping containers full of coal ash from China, Poland and India have come into the U.S. through the Port of Virginia as foreign companies find a market for the same industrial waste that America's utilities are struggling to dispose of.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Credibility of Cyber Firm that Claimed Russia Hacked the DNC Comes Under Serious Question
A Breach in the Anti-Putin Groupthink
The mainstream U.S. media has virtually banned any commentary that doesn't treat Russian President Putin as the devil, but a surprising breach in the groupthink has occurred in Foreign Affairs magazine.
Top NSA official says telephone surveillance should have been disclosed
The U.S. government should have publicized the existence of a program that vacuumed up in bulk Americans' telephone call data before its existence was leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency's deputy director said on Tuesday.
The Conspiracy Against President Trump
Listening today to the broadcast of testimony by FBI Director Comey and National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers before the House Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron) made it clear that the Democrats, Comey, and Rogers intend conflict with Russia.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
I have a better explanation: Governments and their media mouthpieces are behind it. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Our Hopelessly Dysfunctional Democracy
When the system is rigged, "democracy" is just another public-relations screen to mask the unsavory reality of Oligarchy.
Japan's gas, electricity prices to rise again in May
Japan's 14 major electricity and gas companies are expected to raise rates in May for the fourth straight month, as the utilities pass on rising costs of imported fuels to consumers.
MSDF boosts overseas deployment capabilities with second big helicopter carrier
The American Dream increasingly involves a lease, not a mortgage.
Left and Right, US Lawmakers Unite Against Escalating War in Syria
While the Pentagon provides plans for the Trump Administration for a major escalation of the US involvement in the war in Syria, new bipartisan legislation is being pushed in both the House and the Senate aiming to oppose the escalation and put legal obstacles in the way of it.
More than 1,500 U.S. citizens were wrongly held in local jails or detention centers at the request of immigration officials between 2007 and 2015, according to a 2016 National Public Radio analysis of detainer requests. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are prohibited from detaining U.S. citizens.
State Department to approve Keystone pipeline permit on Friday: sources
We're All Minorities Now
The one percent now effectively owns Washington: the making of our laws, the writing of Executive Orders, the running of Federal agencies with the power to put crooks among the one percent in prison – or not, and they are now the overseers of gutting Federal programs that benefit the 99 percent.


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