Tuesday, July 31, 2018


News Links, August 1, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
"Hidden Debt Loophole Could be Widespread": Fitch
Use of this financial instrument has ballooned. No one knows to what extent because there's no disclosure. But it was a "key contributor" to the sudden collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion.
China's Oil Futures Contract Is Beginning to Show Its Teeth
National Debt Exploding Is A Fraud Cast Upon Us All
Singapore's offshore industry recovering, but no return to glory days

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
The EU Backs Off its War on Cash. Here's Why
Indonesia's central bank promotes cashless transactions

## Airline death spiral ##
TSA 'Quiet Skies' program keeps close watch on busiest U.S. airports
The next time you walk through an airport to catch a flight, the Transportation Security Administration might have an extra eye on you -- even if you don't have a criminal record or aren't on any watch lists.
Cathay Pacific looks set to cut overseas jobs, as internal memo tells staff to prepare for restructuring
Airline declines to reveal how many of its 100 bases outside Hong Kong will be affected as it looks to compensate for two years of back-to-back losses

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands protest as Polish president signs judicial appointments law

## Energy/resources ##
Bypassing The World's Key Oil Chokepoints
Rig company Diamond Offshore mentions 'prolonged downturn'
Rig company Diamond Offshore on Monday became the latest energy company to report weak earnings during the second quarter, despite higher oil prices.
The sea water's temperature outside one of Sweden's nuclear plants has forced the plant to close down temporarily. As the sea water reached a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, it can no longer be used for a cooling effect.
Pakistan's pivot to coal to boost energy gets critics fired up
Plan to spend $35bn loan from China on new power stations looks set to continue under Khan

## Got food? ##
Farming's ageing and negativity problem
Agriculture still has to face up to the fact that farmers are ageing and young farmers are not interested. The cause rests in the limited access to land, migration from the countryside to urban areas and the negative media image imposed on agriculture.
Pope Francis: Don't be wasteful, indifferent to 'the world's cry of hunger'
"[Kangaroos] do get into trouble in suburbia where we've got urban areas expanding into the fields where they live."

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Debunking the Putin Panic with Stephen F. Cohen
Another big investment in complexity that will eventually aggravate collapse. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
NY Times publisher tells Trump anti-press attacks 'dangerous and harmful'

Britain needs to invest in new capacity to replace aging coal and nuclear reactors that are due to close in the 2020s, but large new plants have struggled to get off the ground due to high costs and weak electricity prices.
Fewer Americans are making more than their parents did—especially if they grew up in the middle class
Coke, Meth And Booze: The Flip Side Of The Permian Oil Boom
Drugs are easily accessible in the Permian, which is close to highways and to Mexico. For oil field workers making six-figure salaries, money is not a problem to buy all kinds of illegal substances to shoot, snort and swallow to get through 24-hour-plus shifts.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


News Links, July 30, 2018

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Some banks in Finland face card payment problems

## Airline death spiral ##

Mattis: US Not Seeking Regime Change in Iran
Dismisses reports of planned US attack as 'fiction'
Piracy attacks: Creation of independent Coastal Defence Force only solution (Nigeria)
A maritime consultant and head analyst of C. A. BORHA (Management and Economic Services), Christopher Borha, has called for the creation of an independent Coastal Defence Force as permanent solution to the challenge of pirate attacks on the nation's waterways.
Ex-Trump strategist Bannon targets Britain in anti-EU campaign
Israel to build new settler homes after deady knife attack: minister
"The best answer to terrorism is the expansion of settlements," Lieberman wrote on Twitter, announcing 400 new housing units in the Adam settlement north of Jerusalem a day after the deadly stabbing.
How BRICS Plus clashes with the US economic war on Iran
Erdogan: Turkey will stand its ground faced with U.S. sanctions - media
US Resisting Pushes by North, South Korea to End War
65 years after the 1953 armistice that stopped the open fighting of the Korean War, the nations involved still haven't replaced it with a permanent peace treaty. This means that the Korean War is still technically ongoing, 68 years later. That's apparently where the US intends for it to stay.
Israel Intensifies Collective Punishment of Resistance in Gaza

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands of Russians protest against pension age hike

## Energy/resources ##
Saudi retreat on oil IPO highlights dearth of reliable information on world oil reserves
The 4 Key Chokepoints For Oil
"An uptick of 30% from the abnormally low levels in 2017 might seem encouraging, but E&P players are currently facing a low reserve replacement ratio, on average of less than 10%. This is worrisome considering the impact on global oil supply in long term."
What's that? You thought it was profitable all along? But even if the industry does become profitable, it won't last long. The sweet spots will give out, and at any rate the world can't afford to pay high oil prices, and that will exert downward pressure on prices. -- RF
The Largest Ships in the Huge Iron-Ore Trade
Exports are dominated by two countries, imports by three. And everything revolves around China.
Minke whale hunting ends in Iceland
The controversial hunt for minke whales in Iceland has come to end after declining profits led to the local industry closing, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said on Friday.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it's time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to
I don't think either Nato or the EU has the slightest interest in chasing the provenance of weapons in the hands of Islamist fighters in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East
Facebook's Stock In Free Fall Because Everyone Already Uses It
Living in a World Bereft of Privacy
As Edward Snowden confirmed beyond doubt, we live in a world where our most intimate moments can be seen by would-be extortioners and, more alarmingly, by our governments.
The press today is failing to protect Julian Assange because it has no intention of creating an informed populace or holding power to account.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Attempted Censorship Of Christine Assange Reveals How Powerful Her Voice Is
By reading Christine's message to those who re-joined the stream, by publishing the transcript for the public to read, and by documenting the multiple layers of censorship implemented against Julian Assange's mother Christine Assange, supporters have exposed the fact that the deep state is terrified of Christine Assange.
The Utility of the RussiaGate Conspiracy
New McCarthyism allows corporate media to tighten grip, Democrats to ignore their own failings

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Here's How Systems (and Nations) Fail
These embedded processes strip away autonomy, equating compliance with effectiveness even as the processes become increasingly counter-productive and wasteful.
The World Economy Runs on GPS. It Needs a Backup Plan
The small satellite network, which keeps global computer systems from freaking out, is shockingly vulnerable to all kinds of interference.
Here's What We've Lost in the Past Decade
The past decade of "recovery" and "growth" has actually been a decade of catastrophic losses for our society and nation.

## Japan ##
Of equally great significance is how the US leadership kept its foreknowledge of the attack under wraps and allowed it to happen (PDF) unhindered. -- RF

Why China's vaccine scandal is unlikely to be its last
The pledges of action from on high are all too familiar. If officials persist in paying more attention to censoring social media rather than reflecting on the root of the problem, another such disaster is just a matter of time.

## US ##
Parking Has Eaten American Cities
A new study documents the huge amount of space taken up by parking, and the astronomical costs it represents, in five U.S. cities.
Nearly a third of property tax revenue in Chicago is diverted into 143 TIF districts
Nearly a third of property tax revenue in Chicago is diverted into 143 TIF districts controlled by the mayor, nearly half of which are located in affluent neighborhoods.
Americans' Intentions To Buy A Car Collapse As High Rates Crush Home-Buying Plans
Watchdog: US Wasted More Than $15.5 Billion in Afghanistan
Figure is 'only a portion' of overall waste, fraud
U.S. "most dangerous" place to give birth in developed world, USA Today investigation finds
Every year in the U.S., more than 50,000 mothers are severely injured during or after childbirth and 700 die.
Recession Without an Inverted Yield Curve? Sure, Why Not?
Japan had six consecutive recessions without an inverted yield curve. There is no reason it can't happen here.

And finally...

Thursday, July 26, 2018


News Links, July 27, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
U.N. chief warns staff, member states: We're running out of cash
These Are The Clearest Signs That Global Synchronized Growth Has Cracked
Higher Oil Prices Fail To Stimulate Economic Growth In Gulf States
A Scramble for Capital
A Spike in Bank Lending to Corporations – Sign of a Dying Boom?

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Mattel shares sink 8% as company slashes 2,200 jobs

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Netizens question PM's initiative of 'going cashless' after viral video of Visa payWave scam (Singapore)

## Energy/resources ##
Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes
Humanity is devouring our planet's resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year's worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days.
China keeps buying Iranian oil, and the trade war adds a reason to defy US sanctions
China has increased Iranian oil purchases by near-10 percent recently and is not expected to stop buying when U.S. sanctions go into place in November.
Iran Extends Insurance, Ships To India For Oil Export
With the US reimposing economic sanctions against Iran driving away western re-insurers, Tehran has started to ship crude oil to India in its own ships
Australia's coal power stations 'at the end of the line'
Australia's coal power stations are not fit for a 21st century power system with almost 100 breakdowns at fossil fuel power stations in the seven-month period to the end of June 2018, according to a new Climate Council report 'End of the Line: Coal in Australia'.

## Got food? ##
Gene-Edited Products Now Classified as GMOs in European Union
Crop failure and bankruptcy threaten farmers as drought grips Europe
Farmers across northern and central Europe are facing crop failure and bankruptcy as one of the most intense regional droughts in recent memory strengthens its grip.
Here's a switch! Virtually all politicians around the world are tearing their hair out in the belief that their constituents aren't making enough babies. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Silicon Valley engineered tech addiction, and it's Indians who are paying the price
With rumours spread on WhatsApp fuelling a spate of lynchings across India, the dark side of technology is becoming increasingly evident.
Julian Assange and the Dying of the Light
Is Bill Browder the Most Dangerous Man in the World?
The darling of the war party needs to answer some questions
White Helmets: They Knew Too Much
Novichok: The Silence of the Whores
The story becomes even more bizarre and unbelievable. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned US War in Yemen
For a bit more context, in the time period of July 3, 2017, to July 3, 2018, MSNBC dedicated zero segments to the US's war in Yemen, but 455 segments to Stormy Daniels.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
When Long-Brewing Instability Finally Reaches Crisis
Keep an eye on the system's buffers. They look fine until they suddenly collapse.
Unfortunately it isn't just the US intelligence community. All governments are implementing policies aimed at perpetuating the unsustainable industrial system, human overpopulation, and mindless overconsumption. -- RF
There will be more horses than cars by 2050. -- RF
Behind her thinking is the absurd belief that the Japanese will go extinct by not making enough babies. People aren't having babies because of the great expense of childraising in late industrial society. BTW, she apparently has only one child. Why doesn't she herself become more "productive" by having another half dozen? -- RF

Americans Ready to Welcome Putin, But Congress Won't
Poll shows a majority favors Putin-Trump summit in White House

And finally...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


News Links, July 25, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
No Deal: Trump Offers Zero-Tariff Deal, EU Refuses
IMF: Venezuela's inflation on track to top 1 million percent
$52,000 per second: Spending Our Way to a Fiscal Crisis (Ron Paul)
Saudi construction sector hardest hit by expat exodus
The TSA plans to have 15 of the new CT scanners at airports by the end of the year, and are authorized to purchase up to 240 of the machines, which cost $300,000 each, in 2019.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Israel rebuffs Russian offer to keep Iranian forces from Golan: official
This is what's known as meddling. -- RF
The US, electricity and Iran: What's behind the Iraq protests?
As protests continue across southern Iraq, some are questioning the role of the US in the ongoing unrest.
Turkey's Erdogan to go on new Africa trip, attend BRICS summit
Great Nations Are Destroyed by Being Pulled into Wars to Defend Tiny Ones
NATO's obsession with pulling in as many small, unstable and potentially extremist countries in Eastern Europe as possible makes a world war inevitable rather than deterring one.
Reminder: Women Migrants Are Fleeing Countries The U.S. Helped Decimate
The violence driving people to seek shelter in the U.S. has its roots in American foreign policy.
The report also highlights the threat of weakening electricity production caused by the rise of sea levels. The authors of the report have identified that 270 power plants around the world are exposed to this threat: most are located within less than 5 kilometers from the coast, and on land that does not exceed five meters above sea level.
Another perspective on the problems with renewables. -- RF

## Environment/health ##

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Big fat nothing-burger: Moon-Strzok No More, Lisa Page Spills the Beans (Ray McGovern)
The meaning of a crucial text message between two FBI officials appears to have been finally explained, and it's not good news for the Russia-gate faithful.
The Arrest of Maria Butina Is Another Hoax (Paul Craig Roberts)

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Pompeo calls Iran religious leaders 'hypocritical holy men'
Perhaps they are. But to find people like that, Pompeo need only look at his own vice president, Mike Pence, a man who claims to be Christian but is so consumed with hate that he cannot even exchange greetings with someone from a country on the Empire's "regime-change" list. -- RF
Recently the "White Helmets" have been in the news again, so it might be helpful to get a little perspective on the group by reading this article from 2016. -- RF
Syria - For The Third Time Israel Falsely Claims Iran Pull-Back Deal With Russia
A typical Israeli propaganda scheme is to falsely claim that an agreement with some entity has been made and to then push that entity to stick to a "deal" it never agreed to.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Visualizing The World's Largest Megacities By 2100
In 2100, megacities will be depopulated wastelands. -- RF

## US ##
The Dickensian Return of Debtors' Prisons
In their usual money-making zeal, local governments have targeted the poor and brought us back to the 19th century.
"Desperate" Tesla Asks Suppliers for Cash Back Retroactively to 2016
The request is "essential to Tesla's continued operation."
America On It's [sic] Way to Being Stalin's Soviet Union
Nothing more sickening and offensive than the hypocrisy of a nation claiming to be the pinnacle of democracy and freedom while moving inexorably towards a state that embraces authoritarianism.
As long as American newspapers and other media continue hewing to the party line and feeding the public the usual Republicrat/Demopublican propaganda drivel in service to empire, they deserve to die. -- RF

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