Tuesday, May 22, 2018


News Links, May 23, 2018

Our Economy Is Failing Our Society
If we want to extend the opportunities for positive social roles to everyone, we have to change the way money is created and distributed in our economy.
Ending China's Birth Limits Won't Bring a Baby Boom
It's not just China. Birth rates are falling around the world, and not only in rich developed countries (take a look at the graphs). Net energy decline is affecting countries at the most basic level. -- RF

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
BP to cut 540 jobs from upstream workforce

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Will Bitcoin Use as Much Electricity as All of Austria by the End of the Year?

## Airline death spiral ##
Pilot-hungry airlines are raiding flight schools, creating a shortage of instructors to train the next generation
Airlines' insatiable demand for pilots threatens to sabotage flight schools' ability to train new ones. Carriers are raising wages and hoarding every available pilot — including the instructors schools rely on to teach incoming students.
$80 Oil Could Kill Smaller Airlines

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
South Korea may ax arms purchases amid talk of peace
Iran Announces Plan To Stay In Syria As Pompeo Issues Unprecedented Threats
The Baltic States Ask the US for a Bigger Military Presence on Their Soil
U.S. bolsters Asia ballistic missile defense
Currencies, armies, oil: Extensive repositioning of major world players
The risks facing the Pentagon's high-end electronics and radars
A new Pentagon report warns that the supply chain for high-end electronics and rare materials is increasingly at risk, likely putting radar and electronic warfare capabilities in danger as the Department of Defense relies more on these items.
The US is running out of bombs — and it may soon struggle to make more
The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air — at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates.

We've seen plenty of articles on the profitability problem faced by shale drillers. But the more important thing to keep in mind — whether shale drilling is profitable or not — is that the situation is getting desperate. If there were plenty of good conventional oil left, drillers wouldn't look twice at shale oil. -- RF

Farmers Reeling From High Oil Prices
Farmers in the United States and around the world see their diesel fuel expenses jumping and eating into their  profits that have been already constrained by depressed prices of some crops.

The most likely reason, not mentioned here, is that there wasn't a hack — by Russians or anyone else. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Wikipedia Is An Establishment Psyop

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Coming Collapse
On February 6, 2017 I noted that Donald Trump is "the natural and inevitable evolutionary outcome of America's rotting and failing systems." He's not the cause of any of this; he's the symptom. In this column, Chris Hedges is saying the same thing. And yes, there's going to be a collapse. -- RF

Japan's elderly refused by many care homes due to lack of guarantors
Elderly people in Japan who are single or without relatives often struggle to secure a spot at a nursing care home as many facilities refuse to accept people without a guarantor despite a government call against such a measure, a survey showed Monday.
Such moves have done little to increase the fertility rate, with many parents concerned about the costs of raising additional children in a society accustomed to focusing family resources on one.
This is not entirely accurate. Underlying the reluctance of many Chinese to have more children is the quickly rising energy cost of childraising. -- RF
Leukaemia triggered by infections like flu and likely to be preventable, says leading cancer scientist in 'landmark' breakthrough
New theory suggests germ-free environment for first year of life may increase risk of disease, and paves way for preventative treatments
Ministry of Defence faces £2.9bn shortage in Trident nuclear renewal programme, NAO warns
A quarter of the MoD's budget is expected to be spent on nuclear programmes, according to the spending watchdog
Hundreds of homeless people fined and imprisoned for begging and rough sleeping
The number of people sleeping rough in England is at a record-high following a 73 per cent increase over the last three years
One wonders how homeless people are expected to pay exorbitant fines. -- RF
Furious Customers Leave in Droves after Botched IT Revamp at UK Bank TSB as Nightmare Drags on for a Month
New York high school will use CCTV and facial recognition to enforce discipline
Next year, high schools in Lockport New York will use the "Aegis" CCTV and facial recognition system to track and record the interactions of students suspected of code of conduct violations, keeping a ledger of who speaks to whom, where, and for how long.
Alternative vehicle sales stall in United States
A federal report attributes the stand-still to sticker shock and the lack of charging infrastructure in the country.

And finally...

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