Thursday, January 04, 2018


News Links, January 5, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Baltic Dry Index Plunges Most In 2 Years
Petro-Yuan Looms - How China Will Shake Up The Oil Futures Market
It's Not About Democracy: Control Fraud Is the Core of our Political System
If we strip away the pretense of democracy, what is the core of our political System? Answer: control fraud, which I define as those with control/ power in centralized institutions enriching themselves at the expense of the citizenry by selectively modifying what's permissible, and doing so in a fully legally compliant process, i.e. within the letter of the law if not the intent of the law.
Another Retail Bankruptcy Wave Is on the Way, Credit Suisse Says
A wave of store closings and retailer bankruptcies is coming in early 2018, as the industry deteriorates faster than analysts had expected a year ago, according to Credit Suisse Group AG.

Anatomy Of A Crypto-Nightmare: Ripple CEO Is Now Richer Than Zuckerberg
Food stamp system outage
The electronic system used to process purchases made with federal food stamp benefits was down for more than an hour Wednesday morning in Chicago-area stores and in other states across the country

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump: My nuclear button is 'much bigger' than Kim Jong Un's
Playground bullies getting ready for a nuclear punch-up. Here's hoping cooler heads on both sides rein them in. -- RF
Just when you think that one empire is winding down, another pops up. -- RF
In pictures: The South China Sea reef that became an island
Fiery Cross Reef has been transformed into a 2.8 sq km fortified airbase, in one of the several reclamation projects known as the Great Wall of Sand
Does the US Navy have a strategy beyond hope?
The U.S. Navy begins the new year in crisis. By its own admission many of its ships and aircraft are in poor condition. Training is not where it should be, its ships can't maneuver properly around other ships, and Navy leaders for years have complained the service is overstretched, constantly struggling to meet requirements and falling short in any number of areas.
Erasing Obama's Iran Success
The nihilism of modern American politics extends globally with one side seeking to destroy any positive legacy of the other, as the Trump administration continues its drive to sabotage President Obama's successful Iran nuclear accord.

Nuclear power is not "clean tech"! -- RF
"The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!" tweeted the Great Orange One. If the US government is so concerned about human rights, it should focus its attention on some of its friends, such as Saudi Arabia. -- RF
No doubt trolling the Americans with reference to the insidious cute puppy site. -- RF
Now it has been learned that major social media and internet service providers have, throughout the past year, been meeting secretly with the United States and Israeli governments to remove content as well as ban account holders from their sites.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
DIRECTV NOW Users Saw Wide Spread Outages Over Night
This outage comes after a weekend that saw many live TV streaming go down including services like WatchESPN, DIRECTV NOW, and PlayStation Vue to name a few. So far none of the major streaming companies have come out with a statement on what is happening.

## Japan ##
Palm-scan payment by JCB would keep shoppers' hands free
Customers would be able to leave wallets and phones in their pockets with a palm-based payment system, developed by credit card company JCB, that merchants could use with just an everyday smartphone camera.
Japan confirmed 100+ wooden boat cases in 2017
Japan's banks secure access to police agency database to help screen for yakuza and other 'anti-social forces'
Mayor tells reporter 'I'll kill you' to fend off questions
A mayor in western Japan, who has taken a hard-line stance toward news organizations he considers "biased," refused to answer questions from a reporter on Thursday, telling him "I'll kill you," before walking away.
Local projects become political pawns in Xi Jinping's power grab
Provincial economies suffer as central government flip-flops on policies
China eyes offshore reactors as next step in nuclear goals
New power source could have serious implications for South China Sea disputes
Ministry of Truth: No Further Reporting on Iran Protests

## UK ##
'Fat Cat Thursday' sees pay of top UK CEOs already pass annual average for workers
The average boss of one of Britain's top companies will on Thursday have earned the same as the typical worker will make in the entire year, according to a new report, stepping up pressure on companies ahead of the annual reporting season.
Wildflower planting on farms boosts birds, from skylarks to starlings
New research shows wildlife-friendly farming can quickly help bird populations bounce back, but large-scale rollout will be needed to reverse long-term declines
RAC warns the 'good times of lower cost fuel appear to be over' as prices reach three year high

## US ##
Republicans, Strong Believers in States Rights, Have New Set of Rules
Lost in the wake of Attorney General Jeff Session's absurd ruling on marijuana, is the blatant hypocrisy of it all.

And finally...

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