Tuesday, September 17, 2019

 

News Links, September 18, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
India's economy slows, stalling once thriving manufacturing
Amazon Reportedly Changed Search Algorithm To Favor More Profitable Products
After publishing a steady stream of scoops about Amazon's anti-competitive tendencies, the Wall Street Journal on Monday dropped one of the biggest media bombshells to rock the e-commerce giant in recent memory: That Amazon has deliberately tweaked its product-search algorithm to more prominently feature products that are more profitable for Amazon, including its own in-house brands.


## Airline death spiral ##
Alcohol use, frustration over business practices like fees for checked or carry-on bags and long lines could [sic] were contributing factors.
U.S. FAA to brief international regulators on status of Boeing 737 MAX

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Black Swan Is a Drone
Now That Washington's Most Dangerous Man is Sacked
The week ahead provides chances to monitor resets in Trump's foreign policy after John Bolton's destructive tenure.
• War on Iran
Indeed, U.S. officials have admitted to twice carrying out false flag attacks intended to frame Iran and justify regime change.
At the same time, we should leave open the possibility that the attack is part of Iran's "maximum pressure" campaign (which doesn't mean that Iran was directly responsible). In both planning and execution, the attack shows a high level of military expertise. -- RF
• War on Venezuela
Nothing to see here, folks. Move right along. -- RF

## Migrants/refugees ##
The climate crisis has already created millions of invisible refugees and could create up to 1.5 billion more in the next 30 years. But under international law no country is obliged to take them in.
Ocean Viking set to return to Libya rescues

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Yellow vest protesters clash with police in Nantes as marches resume

## Energy/resources ##
Why Oil Prices Just Fell 6%
Oil prices fell sharply on late Tuesday morning as Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia's oil output may return to normal more quickly than earlier reports had suggested.

Although it is too soon to determine the full extent of damage, the flooding could prevent farmers from harvesting thousands of acres of corn, soy and other crops. It also has destroyed miles of county roads and bridges and threatens livestock across the region.

## Environment/health ##
Toxicologists studying white-crowned sparrows have shown that these large, grayish sparrows become anorexic after eating neonicotinoid pesticides, causing them to lose weight and delay their southward journeys. The study might apply to other birds as well—and help explain the dramatic songbird decline of recent decades, researchers say.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Magnitskiy Myth Exploded
• War on Julian Assange
The problem is that making clothing or works of art from plastic trash doesn't remove it from the environment. -- RF
Artificial intelligence is watching China's students but how well can it really see?
The country's schools and universities have been keen adopters of AI, applying the technology in classrooms and dormitories

## US ##
The truth of the matter is incentives rule the world, and if we look at some of the most pernicious and predatory areas of our socio-economic reality, including (but not limited to) the financial sector, the defense industry, intelligence agencies and healthcare, we find a slew of incentives that handsomely reward sociopathic behavior, while penalizing ethical, conscious action beneficial to society at large. Notice it's always the whistleblowers who end up imprisoned or hunted down.
Police test 'Spider-Man' device as alternative to Taser
With 49 people killed last year after being shocked by Tasers, police departments across the United States are trying out a "Spider-Man"-like device that fires a tether that entangles and restrains the suspect.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

 

News Links, September 16, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Hyperinflation Returns to Zimbabwe, 70% Interest Rate and 230% Inflation

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Your Savings Are at Risk in the Cashless World That's Coming
That may sound like a weird, tinfoil-hat type of thing to say. But it's what's at stake in the War on Cash.
What's more, all digital currencies will go POOF! when power grids and the internet go down. Ultimately, therefore, the answer is not private cryptocurrencies, but hard assets. -- RF
It's part of the "Zero Privacy" New World Order. The better to serve you, of course. -- RF
"Air rage" incidents have gone up in recent years, with one disruptive episode for every 1,053 flights, according to figures from the International Air Transport Association.
Once your biometrics are hacked, you're finished. There's no way to change your "password." -- RF
Passengers unable to check-in due to Ryanair systems outage

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Some world hot spots see possible openings in Bolton firing
It just goes to show what a corrosive and destructive influence Bolton was. The whole world is saying "good riddance." Trump's next urgent task is to dump Mike "Lie, Cheat & Steal" Pompeo. -- RF
If a mouse ate Pompeo's cheese and ham sandwich, he would blame it on Iran. -- RF
• War on Venezuela

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protesters greet Trump in Baltimore after his tweets blasting city
According to economists, Oman needs oil prices at around US$85 to balance its budget.
Global spare oil capacity in U.S. hands after Saudi outage
An attack on Saudi oil facilities on Saturday is believed to have disrupted half the country's production capacity, making the United States the only real holder of the global supply cushion via its ability to raise own output or to soften sanctions against other major oil producers.
This is absolutely wrong. Iran and Venezuela would be very willing to provide a cushion. Russia also has spare capacity. The opportunity for the US in this case is that by throttling Iran and other sources, habitually loss-making US shale oil might become profitable. -- RF

Depending on zoos and aquariums to save species is a lost cause because it's only a matter of time before those institutions lose funding and close. Habitat preservation is ultimately the only answer. -- RF
It's the most sensible course of action. Canada is being smart and cutting its losses.  -- RF
On the importance of forests. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
John Bolton's Dismissal (Craig Murray)
The Dancing Israelis: FBI Docs Shed Light on Apparent Mossad Foreknowledge of 9/11 Attacks
As another 9/11 anniversary comes and goes, many questions surrounding the events remain unanswered. MintPress brings you a freshly updated article, originally published in May, 2019 that seeks answers to some of those questions.
More Americans Questioning Official 9/11 Story As New Evidence Contradicts Official Narrative
Evidence continues to mount that the official narrative itself is the irrational narrative of September 11, and it becomes ever more clear that the media remains committed to preventing legitimate questions about that day from receiving the scrutiny they deserve.
Even if France were to accept Snowden, it is doubtful that the French government could withstand US pressure for extradition. -- RF
Trump's Taliban Talks Led by Neocon Operation Cyclone Agent & PNAC Member
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, the top American official in the negotiations, has been quietly overseeing the destruction of Afghanistan for most of his political career — longer than the Taliban has existed as an organization.
The Spy Who Failed
Scott Ritter probes Oleg Smolenkov's role as a CIA asset and the use of his data by the director of the CIA to cast doubt over the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
• War on Julian Assange

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Latest Russian spy story looks like another elaborate media deception
The tale of Oleg Smolenkov is just the latest load of high-level BS dumped on us by intelligence agencies
The article is also entertaining for all the absurdities in the story. -- RF
None of the claims is substantiated, so there's no reason to believe the White House statement. I still maintain that father Osama bin Laden had already been dead a long time before the staged attack in a Pakistani village. Conflicting accounts and the lack of substantiating evidence cast serious doubt on the narrative. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
It is the logic of money that has created the utterly unsustainable and growth-hungry global society that exists today.
The more one examines the details, the more evident it is that running our current civilization on renewables is pie in the sky. If we really want to save our planet — especially with such a huge population — it means we must adopt a lifestyle that seems like poverty compared to what we are accustomed to. -- RF
Mnuchin says 100-year Treasury bond possible
The governor may be surprised to learn this, but people can only consume so much. -- RF
Am I the only one who sees the irony in this? -- RF

## US ##
"Free Stuff" Grand Prize Leader Kamala Harris Ahead of Bernie Sanders and Warren
This is nuts. The federal budget deficit tops $1 trillion, the national debt is something like $22 trillion, and they are racing to see who can buy votes with money that isn't there. -- RF
Pod People - The Future Of Housing In America's 'Sharing' Economy
Urban millennials are shelling out half their income to inhabit pods in decaying mega cities.
The accommodations look like military barracks with deluxe bunk beds. -- RF

And finally...


Thursday, September 12, 2019

 

News Links, September 13, 2019

While Piketty's plans have been popular in academia and the far left, none of his plans has been implemented by politicians.
Well, that's strange. I wonder why. -- RF

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Brokerage Charles Schwab says to cut about 600 jobs

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Rocket blast at US Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary
Just 5% of Europeans trust Trump, damning poll finds
Polling also finds Europeans want to stay neutral between US and Russia
• War on Iran
Majid Takht-Ravanchi said a meeting could take place only if Washington ends its "economic terrorism" by lifting all of its sanctions against Tehran.


I can't believe anyone buys this crap. As I've observed, all it accomplishes is shoving around piles of money: GDP and trade statistics go up, so Mission Accomplished! But it does nothing to sustain industrial society. -- RF
"By the end of the century, global energy demand for cooling will be more than it is for heating," said Radhika Khosla, who leads an Oxford Martin School program on future cooling. But not everyone will be able to afford to beat the heat.
By the end of the century, if anyone has space cooling at all, it will be limited to a few elites. -- RF
Staying fit preserves brain structure, improves function, study says
New research suggests that staying in good shape may help preserve brain  structure, boost memory, and improve the ability to think clearly and quickly.

Another Surge in CPI Medical Care Costs (US)
The cost of medical care services jumped 0.9% in August and is up 4.3% from a year ago.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The 3 major security threats to AI
Adversarial examples, trojans and model conversion
We are all hostages of 9/11 (Pepe Escobar)
After years of reporting on the Global War on Terror, many questions behind the US attacks remain unresolved
More Americans Questioning Official 9/11 Story As New Evidence Contradicts Official Narrative
Evidence continues to mount that the official narrative itself is the irrational narrative of September 11, and it becomes ever more clear that the media remains committed to preventing legitimate questions about that day from receiving the scrutiny they deserve.
• War on Julian Assange

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
UK Security Services Neutralized Country's Leading Liberal Newspaper
The Guardian has been successfully deterred from producing its former adversarial reporting on the "security state"
The Angry Arab: Hyping the Arab-Iran Conflict
Numerous Middle East conflicts that undermine U.S. and Israeli propaganda are getting ignored by Western media even as they tear the region apart.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
What follows are "The 15 Unstated Myths of Clean, Renewable Energy". Many are so absurd that no one would utter them, yet they are ensconced within the assumption that massive production of solar and wind energy can be "clean".
A must-read article, especially for "clean energy" advocates. There is no free lunch. -- RF
Another new capital city! When will they ever learn? -- RF
It's just more hysterical hair-pulling over something which should instead be an encouraging sign. -- RF
• War on Huawei
Dear Mr. President, why is it a good thing if a 10-year Treasury note is worth less than a bag of dirt?
Economists don't think Trump grasps that negative rates are a sign of economic weakness
Men's "Real" Earnings Below 1973 Level: Census Bureau
Top 20% households made out like bandits, bottom 40% got crushed.
Electric vehicle owners in some states are paying higher annual fees for driving zero-emissions cars than their gas-guzzling friends, according to new analysis by Consumer Reports.

And finally...


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