Thursday, March 29, 2018


News Links, March 30, 2018

Tesla Recalls About 123,000 Early Model S Cars
Tesla Gets Slammed by Tesla
When will investors get tired of feeding their capital into this cash-burn machine?
'The Gig Economy' Is the New Term for Serfdom
The corporate elites, which have seized control of ruling institutions including the government and destroyed labor unions, are re-establishing the inhumane labor conditions that characterized the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Venezuela Tries To Pay Russian Debt With Cryptocurrency
If crisis-hit Venezuela was hoping to pay off its US$3.15-billion debt to Russia with its new cryptocurrency, those hopes have been shattered as the Russian Finance Ministry announces that it won't be accepting digital coin.
Lots and lots of cars! -- RF

## War on cash/cashless society ##
More Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges to close
Fallout from Coincheck hack has felled five companies and counting

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Getting people on the witness stand might uncover some other, very juicy information. -- RF
Concern as 300 refugees and migrants reach Greek island of Lesbos

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Palestinians prepare mass demonstrations along Gaza border

## Energy/resources ##
FirstEnergy to deactivate 4GW nuclear power plants in US
The Science of a Vanishing Planet (vanishing insects and wildlife, and chemical farming)

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
It's Wishful Thinking to Blame Trump's Win on Cambridge Analytics
Will it also be fact-checking mainstream-media news articles? -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Oligarch-Owned Media Outlets Really, REALLY Want You To Love George W Bush
Location, Location and Nerve Agents (on the bizarreness of the UK's changing Skripal story)
Story gets more bizarre by the minute. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Air Force Risks Losing Third of F-35s If Upkeep Costs Aren't Cut
High-tech weapon systems are budget busters. -- RF

Another project that will never be completed. -- RF
Japan's megabanks to cut new hiring by 30%
Japanese megabanks, which had already been cutting back on hiring as they digitize their operations, are now accelerating these efforts as their earnings deteriorate.
Japan scrambles to avoid being left in the dark about N. Korea
More than 1,000 line up for plush Tokyo mall's grand opening
GSDF establishes single command center over all regional armies
In its largest reorganization since its founding in 1954, the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) on March 27 established a new organization that will command its five regional armies in an integrated fashion.

## China ##
Kim Jong-un says he is 'committed to denuclearisation' during Beijing talks
State news agency confirms landmark meeting between North Korean leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Chinese capital
Is China's Belt and Road working? A progress report from eight countries
Beijing's infrastructure push clouded by project delays and mounting debt

## US ##
15 Years of War: To Whose Benefit?
You get one guess. -- RF
Covenant-Lite Loan Issuance Hits New Record
Institutions in search of yield are gobbling up loans with little protection, at riskier and riskier spreads.
It's mistaken to blame either arm of the War Party for this. Continued borrowing from the future is necessary to prop up the system and compensate for net energy decline. -- RF

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


News Links, March 28, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Competing Eats the Profits of Big Shaky Banks in Euroland: So Consolidate
The plan: Take out mid-sized banks to create a "bipolar" industry of large and small banks, and a lot less competition.
Surviving and Thriving During an Economic Collapse
'PetroYuan' Futures Launch With A Bang, Volume Dominates Brent As Big Traders Step In
India starts $32bn bailout to help state banks clear bad debt
Could Africa Adopt A Single Digital Currency?
South Korea's 2019 budget to focus on tackling youth unemployment, low birthrate
This is typical of the contradictory policies adopted by clueless governments. Youth are unemployed because there are too many of them, not because there are too few job opportunities. Under a declining net energy regime, it will be increasingly difficult to create more jobs, and also to persuade people to make more babies. Governments should go with the flow by welcoming and accommodating lower birthrates. These policies are the opposite of what is needed. Attempts to arrest collapse are futile. I guarantee this will end in tears. -- RF
GM Threatens Bankruptcy for GM Korea
Government bailout and union concessions by April 20, or else… Government accuses GM of "opaque" management.

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Even the World's Most Cashless Nation Doesn't Want to Go Fully Cashless
There are small but growing signs that Europe's "War on Cash" is not going exactly according to plan.
Twitter to ban cryptocurrency ads from Tuesday as online crackdown widens

## Airline death spiral ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Neocons Are Back With a Big War Budget and Big War Plans (Ron Paul)
Make no mistake: the neocons are back and looking for another war. They've got the president's ear. Iran? North Korea? Russia? China? Who's next for the warmongers?
Why borrowers on China's Belt and Road will go from euphoria to depression
China is investing heavily in international infrastructure projects to advance its own interests, but when the bills come due the deals may wreak havoc on poorer nations with nowhere to turn
Online test: Chinese language proficiency (Nepal)
An online test of Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK)—Chinese Language Proficiency Test—was launched on Saturday to cater to the growing number of students opting for higher education in China every year.
More Colleges Now Ran Mandarin As An Elective Subject (various countries)
CPEC to produce 40,000 jobs of Chinese Language interpreters (Pakistan)
U.S., EU to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats over UK nerve attack

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands in Russian city rally after shopping mall fire
U.S. oil production is already exceeding 10 million bpd – a level higher than Saudi Arabia's current output, and the United States is expected to soon topple Russia as the world's largest crude oil producer, possibly as early as later this year.
Don't get excited. Much is being made of the jump in US shale oil production, but while oil production in Saudi Arabia and Russia is still profitable, America's shale-oil industry has never been profitable. That's because shale oil is junk energy. And now costs are going to rise even more. -- RF
Remember: All oil is not created equal. Unlike the US, Iran still has plenty of conventional oil left. -- RF
Brazil senate considers lifting ban on sugarcane production in Amazon
Bill condemned by environmentalists for unraveling Amazon protections would allow ethanol production, driving more deforestation
Too many hospitalized kids receive preventive antibiotics
It's highly doubtful any of this will come to pass. And transport wouldn't actually be hydrogen-powered because the hydrogen just serves as a battery, with the energy originally coming from somewhere else. -- RF
American adults just keep getting fatter
Seen in the long term, a Chinese refusal to import American recyclables would be good for the US. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Facebook saves extensive call, text data made by Android users: Ars Technica
Worst. Putin Puppet. Ever. (Caitlin Johnstone on the expulsion of Russian diplomats)
Twitter Nukes American Attorney's Tweet About Unflattering Depiction Of Turkish President
For no imaginable reason, Twitter continues to allow Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cleanse the internet of stuff he doesn't like.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Seneca Effect: A Review

## China ##
China starts trading oil futures, but benchmark status some way off
China needs more water. So it's building a rain-making network three times the size of Spain
Vast network of chambers on Tibetan plateau could send enough particles into the atmosphere to allow extensive clouds to form

## US ##
Why Some Americans Are Risking It and Skipping Health Insurance
Prices and deductibles are rising. Networks are shrinking. And even some well-off Americans are questioning what they're paying for.
Cash-strapped Alaska eyes earnings from oil wealth fund
PE Firm Cerberus Capital's "Rollup" Collapses into Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy becomes an increasingly common "exit." And the pension obligations?

Sunday, March 25, 2018


News Links, March 26, 2018

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Coincheck hackers inch closer to cash-out
Most stolen NEM coins seen laundered through 'dark web'

## Airline death spiral ##
Tigerair to cram extra seats onto planes
How climate change is altering air travel
Rising tides, icy air, melting permafrost and air that is too hot for take-off are challenging aviation as the world warms

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Record number of US Marines to train in Australia in symbolic challenge to China
Vietnam 'scraps South China Sea oil drilling project under pressure from Beijing'
Vietnam's state oil firm PetroVietnam has ordered Spanish energy firm Repsol to suspend its "Red Emperor" project off the country's southeastern coast following pressure from China, the BBC reported on Friday.
Saudi Prince's Nuclear Bomb Comment May Scuttle Reactor Deal
Turkey's president calls anti-war students "terrorists"
Turkey's president on Saturday criticized anti-war students at a top university, calling them "terrorists" and promising to oust them from their studies.

Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration (US)
Extreme weather due to climate change displaced more than a million people from their homes last year. It could soon reshape the nation

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protest outside Sacramento Kings arena after Stephon Clark shooting delays NBA game

## Energy/resources ##
Even though oil companies are more profitable currently, it was achieved by destroying future production.
This makes it sound as though the US has reliable gas supplies from shale. -- RF
Posco looks for charge from electric vehicle batteries
Steelmaker goes abroad to secure supplies of lithium and cobalt
The Hydrogen-Powered Car's Big Setback
A two-year trial to offer cars that consume Earth's most common element and emit only water will end over high costs.
Fresh food shortage while motorists face wait on fuel
Fresh food stocks are unlikely to make it to Irish supermarkets until the weekend at the earliest - with delivery drivers not taking to the road until the red weather alert is downgraded.
When trucks stop running, everything shuts down. Are you ready? -- RF

## Environment/health ##
EU in 'state of denial' over destructive impact of farming on wildlife
EU's subsidy system, that benefits big farming rather than sustainability, needs to change to prevent ongoing collapse in birds and insect numbers, warn green groups
Study Says West Texas Ground Sinks Under Permian Oil Drilling
Intensive oil and gas drilling in the Permian is causing a large swath of West Texas to sink and uplift, a new study by the Southern Methodist University, Dallas, says, suggesting that decades of oil production have destabilized localities in an area of about 4,000 square miles.
'Great Pacific garbage patch' sprawling with far more debris than thought
The patch of detritus is more than twice the size of France and is up to 16 times larger than previously estimated

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
China = 'Big Brother' for its surveillance tech. But US uses it too
Americans have been living in the brave new world of facial recognition technology in law enforcement for years
Was Destructive 'Slingshot' Malware Deployed by the Pentagon?
Cybersleuths think they've uncovered a military spyware attack, with troubling implications.
#DeleteFacebook? Privacy proves hard to protect online
Anyone tempted to #DeleteFacebook after the personal data of millions of users fell into the hands of a political consultancy is still likely to be monitored by the social network, which tracks nearly 30 percent of global website traffic.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
How Beijing weaponizes 'comfort women' as propaganda tool
'Comfort women' are not just a relic of Japan's aggressive imperial history. They are today a key tool in Beijing's disinformation strategy to isolate Japan and the USA in East Asia

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## China ##
Night light images paint accurate picture of China GDP
Satellite data reveals where growth estimates are most inflated

## UK ##
Death of the British high street? Store closures and job cuts paint grim picture for 2018
Nearly 20 percent of Scots living in poverty, gov't figures show
More than 1 million people in Scotland are living in poverty as austerity measures and income rates have declined, according to government figures.
There is no denial here that they have the agent. All things considered, Britain should still be considered a prime suspect. -- RF

The experts are "puzzled" because they don't understand that it takes a lot of energy to run a large industrial society like that of the US. Under net energy decline, someone must take a hit, and here it's homebuilders. -- RF
Partisan hack Trump supporters are worthless. Partisan hack Democrats are equally worthless. Only those who have awakened from the relentless barrage of mass media psyops and seen beyond the fake uniparty trap can see what's going on. It's up to us to awaken everyone else.
It's just as I've said again and again: America has a China-style one-party system. -- RF

And finally...
Too many humans! -- RF

Thursday, March 22, 2018


News Links, March 23, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
'Global Synchronous Recovery' Narrative Crushed As US, EU PMIs Plunge
Russia Is Hoarding Gold At The Fastest Pace In 12 Years
Was Carillion's Collapse the Beginning of the End for UK's Outsourcing Sector?
Two large British outsourcers are also on the verge of collapse, and the vultures are circling.

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Expedia's Orbitz says 880,000 payment cards hit in breach
NSA Has Been Tracking Bitcoin Users Since 2013, New Snowden Documents Reveal
Mark my word: Governments will either control cryptocurrencies or outlaw them. -- RF
Teenager cracks 'unhackable' crypto trading device
Crypto-currency hardware wallets are encrypted, private and supposedly completely secure which is why they sit at the heart of the booming Bitcoin trading market. And a 15-year-old has just hacked one.
Britain unveils new fintech plans, including cryptocurrencies
How a Few Files Could Endanger All of Bitcoin
Study suggests child porn-related content in blockchain could make it illegal to possess

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Grab the oil! U.S. Bases On Syrian Oilfields Receive New Equipment
US Smooths Israel's Path to Annexing West Bank
War Is On The Horizon (Paul Craig Roberts)
African countries still open to cooperation on China-funded projects, ambassador says
African countries remain open to cooperation with China on the development of infrastructure projects under the "Belt and Road Initiative", a senior Chinese official said, despite concerns in some Western countries about Beijing's growing influence on the continent.

There's a New Cold War Brewing in Space
Trump's "Space Force" has support in Congress as China and Russia try to catch up, but the Air Force says it has the planet covered.
China throws sinking Brunei a lifeline
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah looks to Beijing for succor as his nation's oil and gas reserves run dry
China provides tracking system for Pakistan's missile programme
Tracking system could allow Islamabad to speed up development of missile that can target multiple cities or military sites

## Migrants/refugees ##
Small city of Los Alamitos votes to opt out of California's sanctuary law, and its mayor says more will follow

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands in Rio demand answers about murder of councilwoman
Much of the blame rests on world leaders who have promoted population growth. -- RF
Wind and solar can become dispatchable within three years
Hot-rock thermal storage technology will soon enable wind and solar farms to pump out energy 24 hours a day — and at a surprisingly low cost.

## Got food? ##
Regenerative Agriculture — The Next Big Thing

## Solutions ##
Solutions Only Arise Outside the Status Quo
Solutions are only possible outside these ossified, self-serving centralized hierarchies.

## Environment/health ##
'Catastrophe' as France's bird population collapses due to pesticides
Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by two-thirds, because insects they feed on have disappeared
Judge says groups can sue to keep Arctic, Atlantic drill ban
Benzene, vinyl chloride, butadiene and other known human carcinogens were among the dozens of tons of industrial toxins released into surrounding neighborhoods and waterways following Harvey's torrential rains.
Israeli firm says it can turn garbage into bio-based plastic
But any business or system that feeds off the detritus of industrial society has no future. -- RF
Norway plans to buy electric planes, mimicking green car success
You be the judge. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Cambridge Analytica CEO claims influence on U.S. election, Facebook questioned
The suspended chief executive of Cambridge Analytica said in a secretly recorded video broadcast on Tuesday that his UK-based political consultancy's online campaign played a decisive role in U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 election victory.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Tech giants express concern over Singapore plan to fight fake news

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Evolutionary Dead-Ends
Speeding down a dead end road
Since the birth of car culture more than a century ago, lavish consumption of energy has not been a bug but a feature. That's now a feature we can ill afford, as we attempt the difficult and urgent task of transition to renewable energies.
At all its schools, the district is also "requiring students and staff to wear identification badges while on campus" and "locking classroom doors at all times."
Abe's party set to pursue changes to war-renouncing charter
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party is poised to propose constitutional revisions that would enshrine the nation's armed forces into the charter but retain its war-renouncing pledge, a product of compromise focused on not alienating a skeptical public.

## China ##
It's easy to blame rich property developers and government housing policy, while at the same time ignoring the biggest problem: the growth paradigm. There are simply too many people. Even if developers build a slew of new housing on the land they hold, thanks to the growth paradigm that new housing will fill up in no time, and Hong Kong will be right back where it started from. The proposed solutions are all non-starters as long as the fundamental problems of perpetual growth and overpopulation are left unaddressed. -- RF

## UK ##
Councils face 'decades more austerity' as social care set to account for half of town hall revenues
Councils could also be forced to squeeze budgets on other public services such as housing, bin collections and roads, IFS says
A quarter of British adults have no savings, study reveals
UK govt asked Cambridge Analytica Trump team for advice on "data in foreign policy"
SCL Elections briefed Foreign Office officials in 2017 on how use of data for US presidential elections could be applied for UK diplomatic and foreign policy interests
Outsourcing companies such as Interserve and Capita have been under heightened scrutiny since Carillion entered liquidation on 15 January with just £29m cash in the bank, putting 43,000 jobs at risk.
Britain's anti-Russia propaganda campaign is jumping the shark. -- RF
Dot Plot Fantasyland Projections
The Economic projections made at today's FOMC meeting are straight from Fantasyland.
American Public Troubled by 'Deep State'
Although most Americans are unfamiliar with the term 'Deep State,' according to recent polling they are nevertheless skeptical of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy.
No Government Shutdown, Just More Favors Spread Around
A government shutdown will be averted once again. The cost is a bunch of goodies spread around to buy enough votes.

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