Thursday, May 30, 2019


News Links, May 31, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Rabobank: "The Biggest Explosions Are Still To Come"
Italian Banks Are At It Again, Shares Re-Crushed
GM Merger With Ford Looks More Likely
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. proposed a merger with Renault that would create the world's third largest carmaker. The eroding economics of the industry make such deal more likely by the day.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
This suggests strongly that the US does not conceive of its "allies" as sovereign nations. -- RF
U.S. Believes Russia Conducting Low-Level Nuclear Tests
With no evidence to support the allegations, US DIA officials are accusing Russia of potentially having the capability of violating the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Russia ratified this treaty in 2000, and the US has never done so.
Are Russia & China Violating Nuke Test Ban Treaty?
Officials from the National Security Council, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the State Department all hinted Moscow and Beijing are violating the treaty -- only to retreat into vague statements when pressed.

## War on Iran ##
Which just goes to show that backing out of the deal was an attempt to gin up a war. -- RF
The only reason that drillers are in the shale patch is that, with conventional oil tapped out, they have nothing better to do. -- RF
Shale Drillers Keep On Falling Into The Same Trap
Despite the hype of lower breakeven prices, and despite the hype around longer laterals, energy digitalization, and other technological breakthroughs, most shale companies are still not profitable.
U.S. oil prices up as flooding hits Cushing hub
U.S. crude futures gained almost 1% on Tuesday after flooding throughout the Midwest constrained crude flow from the main U.S. storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.
That's great, but keep in mind that renewable-energy hardware can be made so cheaply mainly because it's manufactured, deployed, maintained, dismantled, and recycled (?) using the concentrated energy of fossil fuels, not its own dilute energy, which would be far more expensive to use for those purposes. For any energy system to be truly useful in supporting its society (or civilization, empire, etc.), it must satisfy three requirements: (1) the system must be self-sustaining, i.e., it must pay its own day-to-day energy costs of running the system, (2) it must be self-replicating, i.e., it must be able to recreate all the hardware, facilities, and other infrastructure that it requires using its own energy, and (3) after satisfying the first two requirements, it must still have surplus energy left to run the economy. The amount of surplus energy a system generates and supplies to the economy determines what kind of society (or civilization, empire, etc.) it can support. Fossil fuels are highly concentrated energy, and that's why we have industrial/high-tech civilization (energy begets technology, not the other way around) and such a huge human population. Renewables, on the other hand, require us to concentrate inherently dilute forms of energy ourselves, which entails great cost, therefore making the colossal net-energy gain of fossil fuels impossible. As such, when humanity quits fossil fuels and relies only on renewables, we're going to slide downhill like a toboggan. There will be no economic growth, and civilization as we know it will be over. -- RF

And too many people. -- RF
Farming in China: Aporkalypse now
African swine fever hits the home of half the world's pigs
Some kind of local rule — let's hope its direct democracy — is inevitable. As energy decline worsens, large countries will find themselves unable to maintain their far-flung domains, and they will break up into autonomous regions. It's important that people anticipate this and have plans for local democratic rule ready for implementation. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Mississippi River flood is longest-lasting in over 90 years, since 'Great Flood' of 1927
Science Won't Save the Planet
We urgently need to wean ourselves off our addictive consumption, to stop identifying with the system that is killing us.
Governments also need to tamp down human population growth, but there's no mention of that here. -- RF
Treated like trash: south-east Asia vows to return mountains of rubbish from west
Region begins pushback against deluge of plastic and electronic waste from UK, US and Australia
Plastic Swamp
The billions of pieces of plastic floating in ocean gyres begin their watery journeys in ditches and creeks in almost every location inhabited by people. Many are tossed into tributaries in the centre of continents, far upstream from any ocean, including the small watershed where I live.
Contaminated water? 3M, DuPont and more sued over toxic packaging concerns
New Hampshire has sued eight companies including 3M and the DuPont Co. for damage it says has been caused statewide by a class of potentially toxic chemicals found in pizza boxes, fast-food wrappers and drinking water.
There is a lot of controversy around this topic, but the general consensus is that if the industry is leaking more than 3 percent of its gas, the benefit of gas over coal vanishes.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Russia's Would-Be Windows Replacement Gets a Security Upgrade
For sensitive communications, the Russian government aims to replace the ubiquitous Microsoft operating system with a bespoke flavor of Linux, a sign of the country's growing IT independence.
Just two days ago we saw this very-similar item on China. -- RF
Modern advertising is not really very informative. Advertisers concentrate on creating favorable images and perceptions instead of using facts and logic to argue in a rational manner why their products are good, or better than those of their competitors. -- RF

## War on Julian Assange ##
The Indictment of Assange Is a Blueprint for Making Journalists Into Felons
The First Amendment is meaningless if it only protects people the government recognizes as journalists.

It's a desperate plan to hook other countries on expensive US shale gas, thereby propping up a loss-making industry. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
High tech is only a temporary solution. Modern weapon systems run on a diet of highly dense fossil fuel energy, so when that becomes too costly, military forces should consider horses, chain mail, and battle-axes. -- RF
China set to control rare earth supply for years due to processing dominance
U.S. companies are years away from challenging Chinese dominance of rare earth minerals due to a lack of domestic processing facilities, ensuring the Asian nation will maintain its near-monopoly on refining and powerful leverage in trade talks.
Pollution cover-ups exposed in Chinese provinces
A government investigation reveals thousands of violations — some by local officials who helped companies to cover up illegal waste dumping.
Hong Kong Dismisses US Warning On Oil Tanker Violating Iran Sanctions

## War on Huawei ##
London teens sent to Africa to escape knife crime
Hundreds of British teenagers are being sent by their parents to East Africa to avoid knife crime in the UK, representatives of the Somali community say. Why are they taking this drastic choice?
With Russiagate, we Soviet immigrants were finally forced to reckon with the bigotry of America's elite
We never knew what it was like to have the country's media and political class brand people like us a possible threat. Until now.
A bad Uber rating could get you banned from the service
Whether you consider this good or bad, it's another piece of the China-style social credit system being put into place. -- RF
Now that's what I call a solution. -- RF

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


News Links, May 29, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The response could be any mix of three approaches: Modern Monetary Theory, negative interest rates or so-called helicopter money.
Buying things with cash and gold is the future. -- RF

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Bitcoin nears $9,000 as it breaks through its highest level this year

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Foreign Aid That Costs an Arm and a Leg — Literally
The U.S.-funded Israeli military is shooting so many unarmed Palestinians that the UN is warning of an amputation crisis in Gaza.
China & Russia Jointly Boycott Trump's "Deal Of The Century" Mideast Peace Conference
China and Russia appear to be flexing their muscles in the Middle East, as both announced early this week they would boycott a major economic summit on Israel-Palestine peace sponsored by the United States set for late June in the Bahrain capital of Manama.

## War on Iran ##

## War on Venezuela ##

## War on Cuba ##

## Energy/resources ##
Wood exports soar to nearly $3.12b (Vietnam)
North Dakota oil producers are wasting billions of cubic feet of natural gas
North Dakota oil drillers are falling far short of the state's goals to limit the burning of excess natural gas at well heads, five years after the state adopted rules to reduce the wasteful and environmentally harmful practice.
Norwegian Oil Patch Ramps Up Spending To Counter Decline
After Modi won the elections, the government is now keen to discuss non-dollar payments and steps that would allow it to resume purchasing oil from Iran, according to ThePrint's sources.

## Got food? ##
As I've pointed out several times before, when that SHTF moment arrives, overpopulated countries which import food are going to be having food riots, and worse. Those which lease or own farmland in other countries are suddenly going to find that their lease agreements and title deeds are worthless scraps of paper as locals reclaim the land and shipping of harvests abroad becomes prohibitively expensive. -- RF
Glyphosate: Shocking News About Beans, Peas and Potatoes
Pig Epidemic Pushes Vietnamese Farmers Toward Cows and Ostriches

## Solutions ##
Forget "Money": What Will Matter Are Water, Energy, Soil and Food--and a Shared National Purpose
As the world slides into an era of scarcities, what will matter more than "money" are the essentials of survival: fresh water, energy, soil and the output of those three, food. The ability to secure these resources will separate nations that fail and those that survive.
Excellent and prescient essay. I would just add another critical factor that determines success or failure: population. The more people a country has, the worse its situation and outlook. -- RF

## War on Julian Assange ##
Tide of Public Opinion is Turning in Assange's Favor
Corporate media and some politicos who opposed Assange after the 2016 election have radically changed their tune, favorably influencing public opinion after the Espionage Act indictment of the WikiLeak's founder.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The Mass Media Is Poisoning Us With Hate
The US Navy Didn't Take My Reporting Seriously
Emails obtained using a FOIA request reveal how naval officers really feel about critical reporting.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The New Green Revolution, a.k.a. The Grand Transition to... ?? - Part I
Burnout is making us worse at our jobs, according to the WHO
Global angst over plastic waste spurs Japan to act on packaging
Makers turn to biodegradable plastics and other high-end paper alternatives

## China ##
An under-the-radar way to measure economic growth in China is painting a bleak picture
Diesel demand in China fell 14% and 19% in March and April respectively, reaching levels not seen in a decade, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo.
"This Is A Major Move For China": Beijing Prepares Cyberscurity Rule In Retaliation Against US

## War on Huawei ##
Undersea cables -- Huawei's ace in the hole
Chinese telecom giant's strides in vital infrastructure business raise alarm

## UK ##
Scientists call for volunteers to help pre-empt deadly plant disease
Stansted airport is worst for flight delays, report finds

## US ##
Vanishing open spaces: population growth and sprawl in America
Which translates directly into near-future mass starvation. But "development" will continue until the last minute. -- RF
Mass media propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society.
The richest 10% of households now represent 70% of all U.S. wealth
Share of top 1% wealthiest increased to nearly 32% in 2018 from 23% in 1989
A Million People Could Lose Their Pensions If Congress Doesn't Act
A crisis years in the making is about to hit retired coal miners and truckers first.

Sunday, May 26, 2019


News Links, May 27, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
India's jobs deficit: Project in Gujarat struggling to create employment
The era of cheap and abundant energy is over, and that is the main factor behind this fiasco. It's all downhill from here. -- RF
The relative stability of reserve currencies, along with their viability as a store of wealth, will soon be placed into question as governments around the world crumble under the weight of national debt.

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Facebook plans to launch 'GlobalCoin' currency in 2020

## Airline death spiral ##
IATA: airline profits fall further
U.S. regulator sees approval of Boeing 737 MAX to fly as soon as late June: sources
This is one more area where other governments no longer consider the US to be the unquestioned global authority. -- RF
Hot air balloons? -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
New Space Force Details Emerge in Senate Spending Plan
Bludgeon customers into buying your wares. That's what I call a free market! -- RF
Shielding the World From US Chaos Is No Easy Task
Donald Trump's foreign policy relies heavily on putting to use to the tools available to the Empire: economic terrorism, threats of war, diplomatic pressure, trade wars, etc. But in resorting to tried-and-true imperialism, it is isolating itself internationally from traditional allies and raising tensions on the global chessboard to an unprecedented level.
It's a valid point. Just one thing to keep in mind is that there's no future in the industrial system. -- RF

## War on Iran ##

## War on Venezuela ##
## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Youths rally across Europe in pre-vote climate protest
Israelis protest moves to grant Netanyahu immunity, limit Supreme Court

## Energy/resources ##
U.S. Refiners Face Summertime Hurdles Amid Heavy Oil Shortage
A global shortage of heavy crude will create hurdles for America's key refining belts just as they ramp up gasoline production for summer driving season.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. -- RF
Despite a recent proposal from the energy ministry to expand the acreage to be tendered for exploration in the Arctic, so far exploration this has been pretty much fruitless.

## Got food? ##
Superbugs and the Ultimate Economic Weapon: Food
Vietnam Culls 1.7 Million Pigs as Virus Spreads to New Areas
Vietnam culled more than 1.7 million pigs as African swine fever spread across the country, with officials warning the disease may penetrate sizable commercial farms next.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Army to Promote Hundreds of PSYOP Soldiers at Fort Bragg

## War on Julian Assange ##

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The World: What is Really Happening
Excellent post by Craig Murray on the Douma and Skripal lies. -- RF

## War on Huawei ##

## US ##
Boondoggle, Inc. (on the astonishing cost of the national security state)
It's all war now as the US blows its wad in a vain attempt to control the entire world. Religious fanatic Pence probably sees himself as precipitating Armageddon and the Rapture. -- RF

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