Thursday, November 29, 2018


News Links, November 30, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Detroit Three narrowing car production in North America

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
More retailers go cashless to cut costs, theft as holiday shopping ramps up
Bitcoin price surges back up after dramatic plunge

## Airline death spiral ##
Sleeping pilot overshoots Australian destination by 28.6 miles
Germans and Americans 'worlds apart' in view of relations
People in Germany and the United States appear to have very different ideas about the state of relations between their countries. Germans see Berlin and Washington increasingly at odds, but Americans are more positive.
Indicative of the widening rift between the US and European countries. -- RF
BlackRock Board Member Seeks to Replace Merkel
The vast, shadowy power of BlackRock is on the front stage as board member Friedrich Merz, wants to succeed Merkel

## Migrants/refugees ##
Europe's Diesel Woes Deepen as Strike Halts French Oil Refinery
Europe's diesel market, already reeling from weeks of low water levels on the Rhine River, is now contending with a major supply disruption in France.
Pemex adds 1B barrels of oil reserves in biggest onshore find in 25 years
That would not last the world even two weeks. -- RF
In summary, Spain can't transition to 100% renewable electricity without some economic means of storing its surplus wind and solar for re-use. Currently there is no technology other than pumped hydro capable of doing this, and Spain's conventional and pumped hydro potential is nowhere near large enough to bridge the gap.

## Got food? ##
Farm Bankruptcies Soar In The Midwest (US)
10,000 farmers in Mumbai after walking 40 km, give 'wake up' call to govt (India)
The protesters from across Maharashtra, who are struggling to cope with the drought, are demanding the proper implementation of the loan waiver package announced by Fadnavis in 2017.
Penny for your corn? Stingy trade-war aid irks U.S. farmers
Maryland's Oyster Population Collapses, Sparks "Overfished" Fears

## Solutions ##
We Weren't Made for Endless Work
To be fully human, we need to put down our phones for a while.

## Environment/health ##
Amazon confirms it's working on a project to mine patient records and more accurately diagnose diseases
Drama in the Kerch Strait: teasing the Russian bear
The West is complaining about Russian 'aggression' but the incident looks more like a cheap ploy by a desperate Ukrainian president and US conservatives keen to undermine Trump's next pow-wow with Putin.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Assange Never Met Manafort. Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies (Craig Murray)
Assange never met Manafort. The DNC emails were downloaded by an insider. Assange never even considered fleeing to Russia. Those are the facts, and I am in a position to give you a personal assurance of them. I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services.
This Guardian Fake News Story Proves That The Media Can't Be Trusted (MoA)
Forensicator: Guccifer 2.0's Russian Breadcrumbs
Forensicator recently published a report titled Guccifer 2's Russian Breadcrumbs, digging out many new metadata clues found in the documents that Guccifer 2.0 modified before publishing them on their WordPress blog. That report builds on Forensicator's previous work, which detailed the complex process that Guccifer 2.0 likely used to plant "Russian fingerprints" in the Trump opposition report that Guccifer 2.0 pre-disclosed to two legacy media outlets and later published.
Russia 'invaded' Crimea? Russia 'downed' MH17? Russia sent two hapless and inept blokes to kill the Skripals? Russia launched an unprovoked attack on three Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov? Russia colluded with the Trump campaign against Hillary Clinton? And collaborated with Julian Assange to make that happen? What all these allegations have in common is that there is no evidence any of them are true. Oh, and that nobody's really trying to prove them anymore. Because you've already accepted them as gospel.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Photos: Overworked South Koreans are finding solace in a fake prison
However, population everywhere except Africa is going into decline. -- RF
My guess is that "issue" means "problem" here. If you want to sound cool, just call everything an "issue." -- RF
'We are losing too many Americans': Suicides and drug overdoses push down US life expectancy
America Is Poorer Than It Thinks
Statistics don't quite capture the extent of U.S. poverty. A new measure could change that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


News Links, November 28, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
After Wasting $14 billion on Share-Buybacks, GM Prepares for Carmageddon & Shift to EVs, Cuts Employees, Closes 8 Plants
A big shift, at a cost of $3.8 billion – which it now has to borrow.

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Russia Blocks Ukrainian Navy From Militarizing The Sea of Azov - Updated

## Migrants/refugees ##
Mexico to immediately deport 500 migrants who 'violently and illegally' tried to cross US border

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Israeli women protest domestic violence
The Real Effect Of Iran Sanction Waivers
Instead of shooting up to US$100, oil prices are falling and the U.S. waivers granted to eight large Iranian oil buyers are among the main reasons for this.
One place possesses the fourth-largest economy in the world. Another is home to the fifth-largest. Both places have instituted ambitious energy and climate goals. But one — Germany — is struggling to meet those targets and its citizens pay some of the highest electricity prices in the industrialized world. Is the German experience a cautionary tale for the other place — California?
Batteries Not Included In Renewable Fantasy Plans 
This 100% goal sounds so good politically that it is irresistible. Clean energy for everyone. Unfortunately, converting America to 100% renewable energy is completely unrealistic as engineering, which means we are headed for big trouble. Committing to the impossible is a truly bad plan.
Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.
A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions.
The main problem with such schemes is their attempt to use biological resources to prop up a civilization based on fossil fuels. -- RF
Scientists Found Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria In Space
NASA scientists found drug-resistant strains of bacteria in the ISS toilets, but say they pose no threat to the astronauts—for now.
Florida's Algae Is Our Own Doing

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Ukraine - Poroshenko Initiated Clash With Russia To Gain Dictatorial Powers - He Failed
The Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko's attempted to shore up his approval rate for the upcoming election by provoking a military incident. It was a gamble and it failed.
UK Seizes Thousands of "Potentially Explosive" Documents Facebook Tried to Keep Secret
'This Is Sketchy': Critics Warn Against Blind Acceptance of Explosive Guardian Report About Secret Manafort-Assange Meetings
"Which is true? The Guardian's anonymous claims or WikiLeaks' vehement denials? You can pick which to believe based on which one most advances your political narrative, or refrain from forming judgments until evidence is available. I'm going to opt for the latter course."

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Trump Proposes Worldwide 'Truth' Network To Counter CNN's "Unfair, False" Reporting

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Politics of Debt-Serfs and Tax Donkeys: Our Only Choice Is the Least Bad Option
The reality is there is no avenue left for advocacy, grievances or redress in a system dominated by global corporations and self-serving political insiders.

Nuclear expert warns of Chernobyl-like disaster at Hunterston
NUCLEAR experts have warned of a Chernobyl-like "catastrophic accident" after more than 350 cracks were discovered in the power reactor at the Hunterston plant in North Ayrshire.
Trump Says Consumers Can "Very Easily" Take a 10% Tariff Hit on Goods from China
Farm bankruptcies are on the rise and Apple is struggling with falling sales but more tariffs are coming says Trump.

Sunday, November 25, 2018


News Links, November 26, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
QE Created Dangerous Financial Dependence, Italy Hooked, Withdrawal Next, ECB Warns
South Korea's income gap continues to grow as domestic economy slows
The top 20 percent of South Korean families earned an average of seven times as much income as the bottom 20 percent during the third quarter of this year, the biggest wealth gap reported in a decade.
Financial crime is a feature of our global financial system, not a bug, pioneering economist Susan Strange recognised. Her message is more urgent than ever.
Madrid Police "Dumbfounded" After Amazon Called The Cops On Striking Workers

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Gap looking to close hundreds of stores at malls 'quickly and aggressively'

## Airline death spiral ##
Aircraft Leasing Bubble in Trouble?
Alarming signals are coming from an unlikely place, the market that the industry long touted as an engine of infinite growth.
Landing gear collapse as plane lands in Bolivia; none hurt
Visiting aircraft carrier suspected of causing electronic havoc
Disruptions to Hong Kong cellular phone services and malfunctioning car locks are thought to be linked to the US flattop's security measures
Here We Go Again: US Accuses Iran Of Hiding Chemical Weapons
In a trite refrain straight out of the standard Washington regime change playbook, the United States has lodged a formal complaint alleging Iran is developing nerve agents "for offensive purposes".
The intent is not so much "freedom and prosperity" as it is to achieve US hegemony over Cuba and Venezuela, and their economies and resources. In particular, the US — which has exhausted most of its conventional oil resources and has been reduced to drilling for junk oil — is salivating over Venezuela's plentiful oil reserves. -- RF
The independence-leaning party lost seven of its 13 cities and counties in Saturday's polls, including two special municipalities, as a disgruntled electorate handed it a vote of no confidence.
Baloch separatists claim attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi
Five killed in raid by group that considers China an 'oppressor' of their people, because of the huge economic corridor to Gwadar port and its harsh treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang

## Migrants/refugees ##
'No more camps,' Colombia tells Venezuelans not to settle in tent city
Pandemonium ensued, with many migrants storming through downtown Tijuana, looking for another way over the border. Thousands more people who were marching in support of the caravan added to the confusion in the crowds.
Brazil's Bolsonaro rules out sending back Venezuelan migrants
Fuel price protests: You ain't seen nothin' yet. -- RF
Turkish riot police halt march decrying violence against women

## Energy/resources ##
As I've pointed out, falling diesel fuel production presents a serious challenge to industrial society because it's the "workhorse fuel" that powers the trucks and heavy machinery that underpin modern economies. And here again we see that the vaunted "shale oil" (LTO) is actually a drag on the system, and not just because of its profitability problem. -- RF
Can The World Energy Supply Become Fully Sustainable?
Just possibly, but we'll have to make HUGE changes
In summary, wind and solar may indeed undercut coal and nuclear on price when the costs of intermittency are ignored, and batteries may indeed be good for short-term grid stability applications. But please let's not have anyone claim that solar + wind + batteries will usher in an era of cheap, clean, 100% renewable energy, because they won't.
Mining Sector in Mexico Next Target of "AMLO Effect," Shares Plunge
Mexico is #1 silver producer in the world, #2 gold producer in Latin America, and a major copper producer.
A rice revolution is underway in Asia
Major yet quiet breakthroughs in genetically modified rice have made crops more resilient to rising climate change challenges like monsoon floods and rising seas

## Solutions ##
To avoid "gifting creep," embrace the stocking-only Christmas

## Environment/health ##
Why You Should Care About the Julian Assange Case
Forget Jim Acosta. If you're worried about Trump's assault on the press, news of a Wikileaks indictment is the real scare story
Revenge Is Mine Saith Washington (Paul Craig Roberts on Julian Assange)

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Shootings, Stampedes, & Scraps: Black Friday Chaos Erupts Around The World
Osaka celebrates winning bid to host Expo 2025, despite reservations
People in Osaka were celebrating Saturday after the news that the western Japanese city has been picked to host the World Exposition in 2025, though some noted that such expos may not draw as many foreign visitors as previously.
Celebrate now, pay later. -- RF
Japan plans hi-tech 'super city'
Japan's government is planning to develop a so-called "super city" where cutting-edge technologies will undergo fast-track testing to study their feasibility.

## China ##
Trial by Propaganda (more on the propaganda and contradictions in the Skripal case)
Either the UK government's Skripal story is a complete and shameless fabrication, or British investigators are among the most incompetent and stupid people on the planet. Which is it? And by the way, where are the Skripals and why are they still being held incommunicado? -- RF
Tyres and synthetic clothes 'big cause of microplastic pollution'
Up to 32,000 tonnes of microplastics enter British waterways each year, says Friends of the Earth

Thursday, November 22, 2018


News Links, November 23, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Global Tariffs Surge Ahead of Trump-Xi Talks at G-20, Study Says
The coming crash in 2020 from high diesel prices for cleaner emission of oceangoing ships
Get Out Now: SocGen Releases The Most Bearish 2019 Forecast Yet
The world's 10 best countries for attracting top talent don't include the US or UK
Whether you want to develop new skills, or fancy surrounding yourself with inspiring colleagues, you should cast your eye to Europe.
In the first part of this double feature, Katherine Dunn investigates an emerging security risk for the shipping industry, as maritime authorities report a rising number of GPS failures

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Syria - Back In The Arab Fold
How the US Creates 'Sh*thole' Countries
A new collection of essays, edited by former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, clearly shows that it is the U.S. that is largely responsible for the poverty and suffering in these very nations.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
10,000 blocking roads as fuel tax protests continue in France

## Energy/resources ##
Risk of South Africa Blackouts Persists With Eskom Coal Shortage
Is It Too Late To Avoid An Oil Supply Crisis?
"The problem is that the recent rate of commercial volumes found gives little confidence that there will be enough new discoveries to fill the gap."
The Oil Industry Is Facing A "Capex Conundrum"

## Environment/health ##
"There is no relationship between the natural cycle of cooling and warming in the thermosphere and the weather/climate at Earth's surface."
Fast-Rising Demand for Air Conditioning Is Adding to Global Warming. The Numbers Are Striking.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
To maintain tech edge, US seeks export controls on AI
The NYT is pointing in the wrong direction when it blames China of the failure of the APEC summit. It was the U.S. that tried to abuse the summit's joint statement by inserting clauses that a. to not belong within the frame of APEC and b. are an attempt to subvert internationally agreed trade rules.
Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence
The House of Saud's ties to the Khashoggi slaying are being milked by the Turkish President for maximum benefit amid debate on leadership of the Islamic world and how the crisis may affect US and Saudi strategy in the Middle East

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Skripal poisoning: CCTV shows suspects 'on way to victims' home'
BBC video. Looks like propaganda to me. It shows the two Russian "suspects" walking down the street, not "on the way to the victims' home," which is merely an unsubstantiated assertion by the speaker. There's absolutely nothing here which connects the two Russians with the Skripal poisoning. Note carefully the "reenactment" portions which are likely meant to give the impression of footage actually showing the suspects committing these acts. Mr. Haydon states that the suspects are looking "brazen" and "appear to be quite pleased with themselves." But an objective look at the video doesn't show anything of the sort. The images are too small to even tell if they are smiling or appearing "brazen," let alone looking "pleased with themselves." Unless Haydon has some better images which he would like to share with the public, I think he is just making this up. The text says that Haydon is the "senior national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing," which is astonishing considering the very dodgy quality of the presentation and lack of evidence. Haydon says nothing convincing at all. The video puts on full display the extremely low level of British police investigation, which substitutes innuendo and groundless assertions for logic and facts. One also wonders why the authorities have taken so long to release even this short bit of video footage. Has it been doctored or edited?
     What is actually going on here? One possibility is that the British authorities arranged everything as part of a US/UK Russia-demonization campaign. However, is it possible that the British authorities would actually implement such an ill-conceived campaign? If they were going to do this right, they would have all their ducks lined up properly so that key witnesses would be in place, video of the suspects actually committing the crime would be released quickly, and the whole affair would be an open-and-shut case, with the suspects being detained before they could exit Britain. Instead, the story offered to the world public is utterly ridiculous — full of holes, inconsistent, illogical, and self-contradictory. No actual evidence has ever been produced to show that the Russian state or individual Russians had anything to do with this. Would the government of a modern nation actually come up with such a stupid plan?
     Another possibility is that the British authorities arranged everything, but the operation went horribly sideways. A different story had to be quickly concocted, resulting in the current completely laughable and preposterous conspiracy theory.
     Finally, it is possible that the Russians are behind it. However, at this time that appears extremely unlikely owing to the complete lack of evidence, the lack of a convincing motive for the Russians to do this, the ridiculous and intelligence-insulting story offered by the British authorities, and the timing of the incident, which strongly suggests that the British wanted to damage Russia's international reputation shortly before Russia was to host the World Cup. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

China: The Emergence of the Petroyuan and the Challenge to US Dollar Hegemony

## UK ##
Government-subsidised plug-in cars may never have been charged
Many drivers may never have unwrapped their charging cables, The Miles Consultancy said.
The White House late Tuesday signed a memo allowing troops stationed at the border to engage in some law enforcement roles and use lethal force, if necessary — a move that legal experts have cautioned may run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act.

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