Thursday, February 22, 2018


News Links, February 23, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Rising poverty gnaws at Italian social fabric as election nears
Who Is It That Wants to Buy Trillions of US Treasuries?
The End of (Artificial) Stability
The central banks'/states' power to maintain a permanent bull market in stocks and bonds is eroding.
Suck it up, peasants. -- RF

## Olympics ##

Bad idea, of course. But the real danger illustrated here is that of a cashless society, where financial institutions — or the governments behind them — can impose purchase embargoes on anyone for any reason. -- RF

## Airline death spiral ##
TSA finds record 104 firearms in one week
Why Planes Could Still Vanish Into Thin Air Like MH370
In an era where people can track smartphones in real time, the world's most-advanced transportation industry still isn't obligated to do the same.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Report: U.S. Pacific Command developing South Korea evacuation plans
Afrin marks the point of collapse for American influence in Syria
Washington's abandonment of the Kurds left them with no other choice but to turn to the Assad government and its Russian backers. It's Moscow's chessboard now
African migrants begin hunger strike over Israel policy

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
In 2018, frac sand demand is expected to top 100 million tons, according to Rystad Energy. "Right now, the market is really stretched thin," says Thomas Jacob, a senior analyst at IHS Markit, told the FT in December. "Everyone is running at full capacity."
Turns out it's not so easy to calculate. But even it it's high, there are other factors which militate against nuclear power. One factor is the extreme dangers of the technology (compounded by the immaturity of humanity). Another is the increasingly great expense of building nuclear power plants. But the really scary part is what happens when offsite power fails. -- RF
Satellites see big fishing's footprint on the high seas
By using ships' own emergency beacons, researchers got the first comprehensive snapshot of industrial fishing's impacts around the globe. And it's huge - bigger than scientists thought, according to a new study.
Too many humans. -- RF
E-cigarette vapors contain toxic metals, including lead, that leak from the heating coils, according to a new study.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Philippines 'concerned' as U.S. intelligence tags Duterte a threat to democracy
That is a lesser concern. Once an AI becomes self-aware, it would develop its own agenda. It could become an "alien" intelligence whose thinking would be incomprehensible to humans, and therefore totally unpredictable. In the end, we may well prefer human hackers. -- RF
The Car of the Future Will Sell Your Data
As smarter vehicles become troves of personal information, get ready for coupon offers at the next stoplight.
Obviously, the people (CIA trolls?) quoted here criticizing so-called whataboutism don't agree. So, let's try another approach: If the 13 Russians should be indicted, then the countless Americans who have meddled in the affairs of other countries should also be indicted, right? Needless to say, they would not agree. You can't win, because — in any era — the empire du jour is right, and everyone else is wrong. -- RF
The US is protecting ISIS to weaken rivals, expand US occupation of Syria

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
CNN Doxxes Elderly Woman, Badgers At House Over Russian Trolls
We have always heard that a determined government prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, and now we know it's true.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
How the Roman Empire can explain the dramatic rise in state violence

## Japan ##
Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters - sources
Shrinking to survive: Japan's banks face a quiet crisis
Thousands of positions at risk as online upstarts threaten bloated megabanks
What Happened to China's Baby Bump?
Births are again trending down, despite the two-child policy.
Deflation is right around the bend.
New Subsidies For Coal, Nuclear in the Federal Budget
Nice to know our government is so generous, even rewarding corporate failure.
Just what we need: A bunch of amateurs shooting the place up. One can easily imagine the headlines: "Armed Teacher Accidentally Shoots Students, Principal," etc. -- RF

And finally...

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