Thursday, January 31, 2019


News Links, February 1, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
No country for old Koreans: Moon faces senior poverty crisis
Modern families and meager pensions push up elderly suicide rate

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Venezuela top court freezes Guaido's accounts, imposes travel ban
Venezuela plans to fly central bank gold reserves to UAE - source
Venezuela will sell 15 tonnes of gold from central bank vaults to the United Arab Emirates in coming days in return for euros in cash, a senior official with knowledge of the plan said, as the crisis-stricken country seeks to stay solvent.
5,000 US Troops to Colombia? Officials Won't Rule It Out
Colombia FM says they 'don't know' about plans
European countries continue to find ways to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran, presenting a new payment channel in recent days. The new channel, called INSTEX, short for "Instrument in  Support of Trade Exchanges", is set to protect non-oil and gas related commercial interests of European parties with Iran.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
French police tactics at yellow vest protests under fire
Scientists Create Liquid Fuel That Can Store The Sun's Energy For Up to 18 Years
The biggest problem with solar power isn't storage; it's the high energy input needed to concentrate dilute solar energy into the dense form needed by industrial societies. -- RF
Internal US Gov't Document Outlines Program of 'Economic Warfare' on Venezuela
An internal government document reveals tactics of "economic warfare" and "financial weapons" the US is using against Venezuela in the name of "furthering capitalism."
No mention of crickets. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is charging a whopping $200,000 per speaking gig
Yet annual economic growth during this streak averages just 1.2%. By comparison, Japan set an 11.5% pace for its postwar surge between 1965 and 1970, along with a 5.3% rate amid the stock and real estate bubble that began in 1986 and burst in 1991.
And the main reason for this is — you guessed it — net energy decline. That is why growth continues to elude, no matter what policy hocus-pocus the government attempts. -- RF
The economies of outlying regions have been largely gutted already. -- RF
"Converting farmlands into a modern city" is one of the dumbest things any country could be doing. This is going to backfire spectacularly. And as I've said many times, Singapore is one of the last places you want to be when the SHTF. So is it a good idea to follow the Singapore model? -- RF
China's military-run space station in Argentina is a 'black box'

## US ##
The extreme danger of such statements aside, they are also laughably absurd. Since when does Sarah Sanders — or any other human being, for that matter — speak for God? Throughout the ages, power-mad charlatans have tried to justify themselves and their actions, and get and maintain power, by claiming that they speak for some deity, or are that deity's deputy on Earth. And indeed, we can now see how fanatical crackpots like Pompeo and Pence are using their religious beliefs as a vehicle to make the US into a theocracy. Are you ready for the witch trials, ducking stools, and pillories? -- RF

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


News Links, January 30, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Abenomics under pressure as Japan's data scandal spreads
Investigation reveals 40% of key economic statistics contain errors
UK government pretends Bank of England is some independent entity
Depopulation and Monetization...Like Peas & Carrots
Depopulation — a product of net energy decline... and soon to assisted in a big way by economic collapse and war. -- RF

## Airline death spiral ##
If the Army Stands With Maduro, What Is Plan B?
"Assad must go!" said Barack Obama. Well, Assad is still there — and Obama is gone.
U.S. charges China's Huawei with bank fraud, stealing trade secrets
France's Red Scarves: Ready-Made Counter-Protest and New Media Darlings
The pressure will now grow to disperse the Yellow Vest movement while also attempting to use the Red Scarves to manufacture support for draconian government policies and police crackdowns aimed at finally ending the establishment-threatening protests.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader
Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.
Washington's baby today, but once he has outlived his usefulness... -- RF
The researchers who reported that Israeli software was used to spy on Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi's inner circle before his gruesome death are being targeted in turn by international undercover operatives, The Associated Press has found.
'Election-Meddler' Wasserman Schultz Now "Fixing Democracy" In Venezuela
Regime change and foreign interventions are things that the two US ruling parties agree on regardless of how much they exchange blows at home. Venezuela is the latest place where Republicans and Democrats have found common ground.
Who would have thought? -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The real enemy of the people

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The World to Come (Chris Hedges)
The ruling elites are painfully aware that the foundations of American power are rotting. The outsourcing of manufacturing in the United States and the plunging of over half the population into poverty will, they know, not be reversed.

## US ##
US closes the barn door after Huawei has bolted
Washington's effort to block Huawei's global dominance in 5G is nothing but an attempt to distract from its own catastrophic policy failure.
AI is sending people to jail—and getting it wrong
Using historical data to train risk assessment tools could mean that machines are copying the mistakes of the past.

Sunday, January 27, 2019


News Links, January 28, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Global shipping rates slump in latest sign of economic slowdown
France seeks support for minimum corporate tax at world level
France called on Thursday for a new global system of taxation, including a tax on digital giants, as governments look to prevent companies from shopping around for tax havens.
Staffing"issues"? Apparently "issue" here means "shortage." I am always amazed at the versatility of the word "issue." -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Accusations fly between South Korea and Japan over 'threatening' maritime maneuvers
U.S. Hits a Wall in Efforts to Turn the Screws on Iran, Diplomats Say
The Trump administration is pushing to re-open a special investigation into the military dimensions of Iran's past nuclear work. But it's not gaining traction among the international officials who can make it happen.
The European Commission said it's seeking to launch "very soon" a special purpose vehicle to help European companies bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran, with three European diplomats saying the official unveiling could come as early as Monday.
Ireland Bans Israeli Settler goods from Occupied Palestinian West Bank
Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Ireland's parliament has voted by 78 votes to 45 to ban the importation into Ireland of goods produced by Israeli squatter firms in the militarily Occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Over 3 years, Denmark seizes 25,000 euros from migrants
Denmark has seized just over 25,000 euros from migrants arriving in the country in the three years since passing a controversial law allowing for the confiscation of valuables, police said Thursday.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
France: Yellow vests to run in European elections
Venezuela's US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company, Requests IMF Money
Unelected US-backed coup leader Juan Guaidó immediately moved to try to restructure Venezuela's state-owned oil company and seek financing from the neoliberal IMF.
Slow growth for Europe's mining sector — report
War declared on world's growing e-waste crisis
Weighing more than all commercial airliners ever built and worth more than most countries' GDP, electronic waste poses a growing economic and environmental threat, experts said Thursday, as they launched a global initiative to clean it up.
Once the plans for the 9/11 attack must have become clear to the CIA, why didn't the agency prevent it from taking place?
The Vultures of Caracas (excellent commentary on Venezuela situation by Craig Murray)
Confirming US Orchestration, Report Details Pence's Key Phone Call to Venezuelan Opposition Leader
"The U.S. had been planning this coup in Venezuela. It was the Trump administration that told the little-known opposition leader Juan Guaidó to declare himself (unelected) 'president.'"
Pompeo taps Iran-Contra Death Squad Backer to 'Restore Democracy' in Venezuela
Top US diplomat Mike Pompeo on Friday tapped Elliot Abrams, a central figure in Ronald Reagan's controversial anti-communist campaigns in Central America, as a new envoy to "restore democracy" in Venezuela.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Information wars endanger civilization, say 'Doomsday' experts
The manipulation of facts, fake news and information overload -- along with global warming and flirting with nuclear war -- are all factors that have brought humans as close to destroying the planet as ever, said the non-profit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Coming soon to a country near you. -- RF
If all people wanted to waste resources like Americans, we would need 28 Earths.

## China ##
Chinese in disbelief that a US$295 monthly salary makes them 'middle class'
Statistics bureau gives rare official definition of 'middle income' that is met with ridicule online, forcing it to clarify that it applied to a specific report.
China's slowing economy will make it harder for its companies to pay debts, ratings agencies say

## US ##
The Costs of NYC's $15 Minimum Wage Are Already Visible
'It's Our Backyard!': Bill Maher Cheers US-Led Coup in Venezuela in Unhinged Colonial Tirade
Pro-war liberal pundit Bill Maher endorsed the US-led coup in Venezuela with blatant neocolonial language: "This was the Monroe Doctrine! This is our backyard!"

And finally...

Thursday, January 24, 2019


News Links, January 25, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
'Doom Loop' of Debt Threatens to Drag Down Australian Dollar
Delays to flights at Auckland Airport after plane has near miss with drone
Shutdown could cripple air travel, unions warn: At some point, 'the entire system will break'

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US House votes overwhelmingly to bar US exit from NATO
The Coup in Venezuela Must Be Resisted
Venezuela has elections. Juan Guaido has never even been a Presidential candidate. Despite massive CIA opposition funding and interference over years as Big Oil tries to regain control of the World's largest oil reserves, Nicolas Maduro was democratically re-elected in 2018 as President of Venezuela.

## Energy/resources ##
What's Holding Back The Global Energy Transition
Venezuela Oil Sanctions Likely to Hit Some U.S. Refiners Hard
Refiners in Texas and Louisiana would be hard hit by sanctions on Venezuelan crude under consideration at the White House, a move that would leave U.S. oil companies struggling to find alternative supplies.
We may finally know what causes Alzheimer's – and how to stop it

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Iran's looming Instagram ban shows hardliner disconnect
Instagram may join a long list of social network platforms outlawed in Iran, but students and small business owners say they can get around a ban
How about just good old greed and overpopulation? -- RF
Tonga-- Whole country cut off from Facebook, YouTube
Tonga has been plunged into virtual cyber darkness after an undersea cable broke, cutting off the Pacific island kingdom from almost all cell phone and Internet services.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The Ruling Elites Love How Easily We're Distracted and Turned Against Each Other
No wonder the ruling elites love how easily we're distracted and divided against ourselves: it's so easy to dominate a distracted, divided, blinded-by-propaganda and negative emotions populace.
British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power.
South Korea's pet industry is booming, fueled by the same factors that have made the country's birth rate, at 1.05 births per woman, the lowest in the world: the high cost of education and housing as well as extremely long working days.

The money could better be spent at home in Japan, where some city streets are in such poor condition that you'd think your car is going to shake apart. -- RF
Spy dog? Sony says Aibo robot dog will soon be able to remotely monitor family members
Sony's puppy-sized robot dog Aibo, equipped with cameras, artificial intelligence and internet capability, can now remotely check up on family members, children or even pets, the Japanese electronics giant said Wednesday.

## UK ##
The increasing number of 'Victorian' diseases being treated in Leicestershire hospitals
Many of the illnesses are linked to malnutrition

## US ##
Police use DHS machines to create private DNA databases of "suspicious people"
China Might Be Bugging US Subways — But There's a Bigger Problem
Years of neglecting public infrastructure has undercut the U.S. manufacturing base.
Net energy decline has proceeded to the point where the manufacturing base could only be returned to its former glory by taking energy from other sectors. -- RF
Until the blackouts come. -- RF
U.S. universities unplug from China's Huawei under pressure from Trump
Top U.S. universities are ditching telecom equipment made by Huawei Technologies and other Chinese companies to avoid losing federal funding under a new national security law backed by the Trump administration.

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