Tuesday, February 20, 2018


News Links, February 21, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
"Blockchain" Stocks Completely Disintegrate
With the close of the games this weekend approaching, some worry that the Olympics will instead saddle the region with a legacy of massive debt and the perpetual maintenance of a handful of hugely expensive venues that no one knows what to do with.

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Airfares could soar if airlines alter safety evacuations
Airfares would treble if airlines were forced to reduce passenger numbers to meet the reality of the evacuation of an aircraft in an emergency.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Philippines: Risks rising with China challenging US at sea
Mutually Assured Contempt at 2018 Munich Security Conference
The 2018 Munich Security Conference continued the trend of promoting a New Cold War while diplomats openly disparaged Russia and fretted over the Trump presidency.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
US protesters rally outside White House for gun control
Mines Linked to Child Labor Are Thriving in Rush for Car Batteries
The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labor.
Reliance on high-tech and non-solar energy inputs will ultimately doom such efforts. And there will never be 10 billion people on the planet. Famine, war, and disease will see to that. -- RF

Drinking alcohol plays role in living past 90, researchers say
Researchers report that a long-term survey found moderate coffee consumption, not being obese, moderate exercise -- and a drink or two -- were common among participants living past age 90.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack"
Dotcom tweeted "Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why," adding "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied."
Former British diplomat Craig Murray also claimed from the outset that it was a leak, not a hack, and that he knows the leaker's identity. He too has never been contacted by US investigators. -- RF
Take off the terrorist's mask, and it's the CIA. Take off the revolutionary's mask, and it's the CIA. Take off the Hollywood producer's mask, and it's the CIA. Take off the billionaire tech plutocrat's mask, and it's the CIA. Take off the news man's mask, and guess what? It's the [bleep] CIA.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The beauty in Robert Mueller's indictment of thirteen Russian Facebook trolls is that they'll never face trial, so Mr. Mueller will never have to prove his case.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Fat, unhealthy Americans threaten Trump's defense surge
Nearly three-quarters of Americans age 17 to 24 are ineligible for the military due to obesity, other health problems, criminal backgrounds or lack of education, according to government data.
Brain drain leaves Balkan nations on more uneven footing
Abe seeks more stimulus to keep economy humming beyond Olympics
Japanese prime minister aims to spur consumption and infrastructure investment
China ensnares vulnerable states in a debt trap
Cheap credits are used to secure influence and grab control of strategic assets
Not that China discovered this method... -- RF

## UK ##
'Much work needed' to make digital economy environmentally sustainable
MPs cast doubt on whether energy efficiency gains can keep offsetting rising power demand
KFC branches in UK forced to close because of chicken shortage

## US ##
Since Standing Rock, 56 Bills Have Been Introduced in 30 States to Restrict Protests
In the year since the last activists were evicted, the crackdown on journalists and activists has only intensified.
US Treasury Posts Gigantic $1.16 Trillion Shortfall in Fiscal 2017, Hilariously Points out "Where We Are Headed"
Just add tax cuts and ballooning expenditures. The media chose to silence the report to death.
The luxury market is largely overbuilt, while there is a shortage of affordable rental housing, and developers are hamstrung by the now record-high cost of construction.
The real problem facing the military is not a lack of funding. It's overuse.

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