Sunday, April 29, 2018


News Links, April 30, 2018

Posting will be light over the next week or two because of rice planting. -- RF

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Deutsche: Is The US Headed For An Imminent Debt Crisis? Here Are The Signs
The Blowback Against Facebook, Google and Amazon Is Just Beginning
And the US Dollar? Fed's relentless rate hikes and accelerating QE unwind take effect.
Sri Lanka's currency suffers as debt trap deepens
China-financed infrastructure projects put country in vicious cycle

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Pentagon is poised to send the LCS to thwart narcos

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Deadly violence erupts again in Gaza at Israeli border fence
Barring a miraculous advance in energy storage technology New England's electricity sector also has essentially zero chance of ever going 100% renewable.
This is a good read. You can see net energy decline in action. Industrial civilization is hitting the skids. -- RF

## Solutions ##
Is the CEO obsolete? A look the emerging organization

## Environment/health ##
The hills are alive with the signs of plastic: even Swiss mountains are polluted
Major study finds microplastics in soil across Switzerland and scientists warn urgent research is needed into impacts on food safety as other countries may be worse affected
Dead zone in the Arabian Sea is getting bigger, underwater robots confirm
Dark chocolate can improve stress, mood, memory and immunity, studies claim

Probable Western Responsibility for Skripal Poisoning
Turning on Russia
In this first of a two-part series, Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould trace the origins of the neoconservative targeting of Russia.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
'No Attack, No Victims, No Chemical Weapons': Douma Witnesses Testify to OPCW in The Hague
Multiple witness and participants in the White Helmets video testified of a 'staged' gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma, as well as how the online video productions supplied to western governments and media were part of the same "provocation" that Moscow had warned about in advance.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Brazil to close half of its 'peace police' units in Rio

## Japan ##
The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the "second worst" nuclear power disaster in history.
BOJ abandons target date for achieving 2% inflation

## China ##
'Forget the Facebook leak': China is mining data directly from workers' brains on an industrial scale
Government-backed surveillance projects are deploying brain-reading technology to detect changes in emotional states in employees on the production line, the military and at the helm of high-speed trains
China law would criminalize attacks on revolutionary heroes
Shake your head and laugh. But look how official narratives in Western countries are being enforced. -- RF
ZTE's less-known roots: Chinese tech company falls from grace
Transparent image masks large military-linked corporate background

## UK ##
Cost of dismantling North Sea oil and gas likely to be double government target
New report suggests future generations will face tax bill of £3,000 each to shut down existing fossil fuel infrastructure

## US ##
U.S. Exports Nearly All Gold Mine Supply To Hong Kong

Thursday, April 26, 2018


News Links, April 27, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Global Pension Gap Expected to Hit $400 Trillion: US Leads the Way
Emerging markets are starting to get restless with the U.S. about gold and the dollar's hegemony.

Remember: Governments will either control or prohibit cryptocurrencies. -- RF
One way or another, megacities are going to become battle zones. If not military forces, it'll be gangs. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Can blockchain and indoor farming help feed nine billion?
By 2050, the world's population may exceed nine billion people, 70% of which will be urban. Food production has to increase and blockchain may help
The short answer is no. Failure of power grids and the internet are inevitable. And it's absurd to predict a population of 9 billion by 2050. Instead, we should get ready for increasingly hard times. -- RF
EWG's 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists (and Why "Experts" Are Telling Us to Ignore Them)
Farmed Salmon Contaminated With Synthetic Tire Chemical

## Solutions ##
An Urban Survival Course with Selco: Noise, Light, and Your Mind Playing Tricks

## Environment/health ##
Plastics Pollution Policies– "Bold" or Pathetic?
Accusing Russia and Listening to History
Even recent history is conveniently forgotten when it comes to blaming Russia for just about everything.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Tanzania gives bloggers 2 weeks to register, pay hefty $900 fee
Donald Trump's attacks on journalists one of the 'major threats to press freedom' along with Russia and China
US leader accused of fuelling growing climate of hatred towards free reporting, while Xi Jinping is accused of pushing China closer to totalitarianism
Blocked By Facebook and the Vulnerability of New Media (Craig Murray)
This site's visitor numbers are currently around one third normal levels, stuck at around 20,000 unique visitors per day. The cause is not hard to find. Normally over half of our visitors arrive via Facebook. These last few days, virtually nothing has come from Facebook.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
From wood to fossil fueled civilizations — the greatest tragedy mankind will ever know
Too many humans, among other problems. -- RF

## Japan ##
Russian ambassador: Japan-US alliance a hindrance
Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin has suggested the Japan-US alliance is a hindrance to the development of his country's ties with Japan. He said it is impossible to look away from the reality that US policies are unfriendly to Russia.
Bank of Japan's QE strategy is failing

## UK ##
More than 50,000 people homeless in B&Bs across UK - almost 10 times official figures
UK Bank's Tech Chaos Is Blocking Customers from Their Funds
Britain steps up battle against loan sharks

## US ##
Scarier than Bolton? Think Nikki for President
Nikki Haley is America's face to the international community. She is the Ugly American personified, thinking that American Exceptionalism gives her license to say and do whatever she wants at the United Nations.
This is just how desperate Americans are for a raise
Although a number of factors can be identified, this is mainly a matter of net energy decline. In developed societies it takes a lot of energy to raise a child, and net energy decline makes that energy increasingly expensive. -- RF
"Democracy" in action. -- RF
The Democratic Party's War History and the AUMF of 2018
If there's any surprise that Senate Democrats, most virtually indistinguishable from pro-war Republicans, are about to coalesce in support of the newest version of the AUMF [Authority for the Use of Military Force], then you have seriously not been paying attention.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


News Links, April 25, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Connecting the Dots of Big Data, Soaring Corporate Profits and Trade Wars
It's self-evident that we cannot possibly understand trade, soaring corporate profits, Facebook's data collection or the economy without understanding the core role played by Big Data in reaping outsized profits and pushing narratives.
As I said, governments will either control or eliminate cryptocurrencies. Do you still need more convincing? -- RF

## Airline death spiral ##
Colorado woman fined $500 for possession of apple
Guatemala protesters call on President Morales to quit

## Energy/resources ##
Will U.S. Shale Offset Soaring Global Oil Demand?
If you are just counting the number of barrels, it may look that way. But the net energy of oil — especially junk energy like US shale oil and Canadian oil sand — continues to fall, meaning that in order to continue delivering the same amount of energy to the economy, you need to supply more and more barrels. -- RF
The US has little refining capacity for LTO (shale oil), and therefore must unload it on someone else. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Asian elephants face new threat in skin trade
Illicit traffic in hides feeds rising market for medicines and luxury goods

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Why Amazon is obsessed with getting inside our homes
No Remorse For Hillary (Craig Murray on the DNC lawsuit)

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
As Korea Talks Progress, Mainstream Media Try to Derail Peace
Condemned By Their Own Words
This transcript of an Israeli General on an Israeli radio station (begins 6.52 in) defending the latest killing by Israeli army snipers of a 14 year old boy who posed no threat of any kind, is much more powerful if you just read it than any analysis I can give.

And it won't stop with Italy. Too many humans. -- RF

Behind China's sudden olive branch to Japan
Beijing's about-face is preparation for trade war with Trump
It's also part of a larger trend in which Japan is subsumed into the Chinese economic zone. -- RF
Recipe for disaster. -- RF

## US ##
By several measures, the United States is in a period of historic economic growth and prosperity. Major stock market indices have hit record highs, unemployment is at a near two-decade low, and we are in the midst of what may prove to be the longest period of sustained GDP growth in U.S. history.
So begins the article. But the stock market is a bubble, 95 million people have disappeared from the labor force, and the moribund economy is propped up by skyrocketing debt. It's no wonder there's extreme poverty. -- RF
It's all the Democrats have. -- RF

Sunday, April 22, 2018


News Links, April 23, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The Road to 2025 (Part 3) – USD Dominated Financial System Will Fall Apart

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Iran central bank bans cryptocurrency dealings
Now the war on cash is being taken to a new level. China, the world's most populous country and the world's second-largest economy, has said that physical cash may soon become obsolete.

## Airline death spiral ##
Southwest Airlines emergency is not the only alert of FAA complacency

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
North Korea to Close Nuclear Testing Site
Direct hotline set up for North, South Korea presidents
Kim Jong Un's announcement falls short of dismantling nuclear weapons
Of course. Kim knows he either has that deterrent or ends up like Iraq and Libya. -- RF
Can We Admit Now That Afghanistan Reconstruction Failed?
From faulty power stations and shoddy buildings to billions wasted, new evidence shows it was a pipedream

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
4 killed in demonstrations at Gaza-Israel border

## Energy/resources ##
As a whole, the American fracking experiment has been a financial disaster for many of its investors, who have been plagued by the industry's heavy borrowing, low returns, and bankruptcies, and the path to becoming profitable is lined with significant potential hurdles.
Patrick DeHaan, the senior analyst at GasBuddy, told UPI that the spike in gas prices means Americans are paying about $86 million per day more to fill up their tanks than they were a month ago. The economy, with discretionary spending under threat, may be facing some headwinds as a result.
Schlumberger sees growing supply challenges
The oil and gas industry may need a significant amount of new investments to offset a looming supply shortage, the head of oil services firm Schlumberger said.
Here too the factor which is arguably most important is omitted: higher prices are needed to fund new upstream investments. See previous article.-- RF
And for good reason. But the worst reason, unfortunately outside the article's scope, is that ethanol is worthless. Its energy return is far too low to benefit industrial society, and therefore it's just diluting perfectly good gasoline. A corollary is that dilution of the fuel supply with biofuels aggravates net energy decline. -- RF
A Natural Gas Crisis Looms Over Colombia
Colombia's energy sector is caught in a series of crises. The prolonged slump in oil since the end of 2014 saw investment in the sector, which is critical to the economy, collapse. This sparked a sharp downturn in oil production, causing the Colombian peso to weaken sharply and economic growth to stall.

## Got food? ##
Throw out all of your romaine lettuce, it could have E. coli, CDC says

## Environment/health ##
SEAsia tourism a victim of its own success
Region's once pristine beach destinations have been steadily degraded by pollution, overdevelopment and maddening crowds
Too many humans. -- RF
Cities and nations are looking at banning plastic straws and stirrers in hopes of addressing the world's plastic pollution problem. The problem is so large, though, that scientists say that's not nearly enough.
Better than ending up in a landfill, but I guarantee you it won't save industrial society. -- RF

Advertising while Russian... -- RF
Palantir Knows Everything About You
Peter Thiel's data-mining company is using War on Terror tools to track American citizens. The scary thing? Palantir is desperate for new customers.
Every breath you take, every move you make...
Russia raises questions on Skripal poisoning
Moscow says it has proof that the agent used in the UK attack is a chemical weapon patented in the US
India's grand data system: a greater disaster than Facebook?
Prime Minister Modi has enthusiastically campaigned to expand digital governance via the Aadhaar system. But millions of Indians are at risk because the system with all their personal ID leaks like a sieve and the govt response has been appalling.
Mideast leaders who toe the U.S. line and make nice to Israel are invariably called 'statesmen' or 'president' by the American government and its increasingly tame media. Their repression is conveniently downplayed.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Beware of White Helmets Bearing News
The celebrated White Helmets of Oscar fame appeared to have made their own feature film in Duma on the night of the alleged chemical attack.
What Are "Assad Apologists"? Are They Like Those "Saddam Apologists" Of 2002?
Another Dodgy British Dossier: the Skripal Case
In this second part of a series, Gareth Porter compares the same faulty logic employed in two purposely misleading, so-called British intelligence dossiers.
There is food for thought here, but also some obvious errors in thinking. For example,
"But the idea of a nation state is coming to an end. Now almost anybody can go almost anywhere thanks to jet travel; you're no longer married to one place, like a medieval serf. And you can communicate with anybody anywhere on the planet thanks to the Internet; that makes it much harder to keep all the sheep thinking the same thing."
A mistaken assumption is that there will always be air travel and the internet. But these will inevitably fail. People will again be "married to one place," but we also have an opportunity to redesign society so that they won't be like medieval serfs. -- RF

Even more challenging that US shale. That would seem to militate against profitability, which of course the Chinese must know. It all comes down to energy desperation. -- RF
FP: CCP Setting Up "Cells" at Foreign Universities 
At Foreign Policy, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian this week reported on efforts by the Communist Party of China to encourage students and visiting scholars to set up Party branches at their host universities.
All governments know this. They won't all be able to move in that direction as swiftly as China is, but it's going to happen. -- RF

## UK ##

## US ##
America's "Actual" GDP: The Shocking Truth
Now Even a Fed Dove Homes in on the "Everything Bubble"
Bonds, junk bonds, spreads, commercial real estate, leveraged loans, over-leveraged companies… all get named as risks to the banks. This is why tightening will continue.
Ready to Cut the Cord on Car Ownership? Dramatic Industry Changes by 2025.
Nine percent of those selling their car cut the cord on car ownership completely. Are you ready?

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