Tuesday, December 31, 2019


News Links, January 1, 2020

Many complaint processes are actually designed to help companies retain profits by limiting the number of customers who can successfully resolve their complaints.

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Partnership to use Korean cryptocurrency for Dubai real estate

## Airline death spiral ##
Flying low: Aviation sector struggling with overcapacity amidst economic slowdown

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pro-Coup Venezuelan Soldiers Who Fled to the US Now Locked Up in ICE Detention Center
In an ironic twist worthy of an Alanis Morissette song, participants in U.S.-backed coup are now in an ICE detention camp.
Countries Growing Their Military? Germany Registers Record Arms Sales In 2019
US Navy declares new fleet created to confront Russia fully operational
• Iraq attacks

## Energy/resources ##
U.S. sanctions block hurry-up work on Russian gas pipeline: officials
Any companies that rush to finish building a Russian natural gas export pipeline to Germany that came under U.S. sanctions this month risk being penalized, senior U.S. officials said on Sunday.
Why The Saudis Suddenly Agreed To This Mega Oil Deal
Part of the problem, not the solution. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Battle to save Australian wildlife as bushfires rage

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Wikileaks Still Holding Powerful to Account as Founder Julian Assange "Slowly Dies" in Prison
Assange is kept in being kept in solitary confinement 23 hours per day, often sedated, in Britain's notorious Belmarsh Prison.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Collapse of the Modern Western Empire. What Future for Humankind?
End of the games? Winter will be too warm, summer too hot. -- RF

## China ##
City dwellers find simpler life in rural China commune
Companies in sectors such as artificial intelligence, semiconductors and health care have been unable to usurp heavy industries like infrastructure in China's economy
China probes pneumonia outbreak for SARS links: state media

The U.S. trade war against China is misfiring badly and has seriously harmed the manufacturing sector, which is now worse off compared to 2017 before the protectionist trade war began in March 2018.

And finally...

Sunday, December 29, 2019


News Links, December 30, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
ECB's Holzmann: Return to positive interest rates in 2020 unlikely

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##

## Airline death spiral ##
Here is Why Airline Stocks Underperformed the Market in 2019

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
New Russian Weapon Can Travel 27 Times the Speed of Sound

## Migrants/refugees ##

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Virginia school system to allow students day off to protest
2020: The Year Of The Oil Bankruptcies
A bankruptcy boom has hit the oil and gas industry, and it's just getting started. Investors have lost their appetite for shale, and energy debt has become among the least desirable in the market.
I'm including this item because it's indicative of our belief that ready sources of highly dense energy are of course available to all other intelligent life in the galaxy. Earthlings don't seem to understand how lucky (?) they are to have fossil fuels, which are an unbelievable energy bonanza. Our planet even has an oxygen-rich atmosphere to support their combustion. But there's no reason to believe that other intelligent beings have access to such a rich energy source. If they don't, that's the end of their space programs. So to answer the question about where the aliens are, I suspect they're sitting on their home planets, wondering what's up in the sky, or, even if they have dense energy sources like fossil fuels, they're still very, very close to home, just as we are. -- RF
Dallas Fed Outlines Somber Oil & Gas Industry, "Flaring" of Natural Gas Comes into Focus
"The capital markets for oil and gas remain extremely difficult."
Should Arctic Oil Be Kept Underground?
Unless the remaining days of December surprise us with a world-beating hydrocarbon discovery, 2019 will go down as one of the weakest years on record in terms of new oil additions.
That's true, but the author's prescription is "more green-energy R&D." Even the fossil-fuel energy system has deteriorated to the point where it no longer provides enough net energy to support what we've already built. There's no reason to believe that renewables — which depend on FFs and require even greater energy inputs from us — can maintain our extravagant lifestyles. -- RF

Is Social Media the New Tobacco?
If we set out to design a highly addictive platform that optimized the most toxic, destructive aspects of human nature, we'd eventually come up with social media.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
'Fiction': Mike Pompeo denounces movie 'The Report' about CIA's use of torture

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Dennis Meadows: The Limits To Growth
'Falling apart at the seams': Four words that spell disaster for Australia
Our way of life is falling apart at the seams. Most of those under democracy's rule no longer trust it. And Australia is among the most disaffected.

Wrecked North Korean vessels, called "ghost ships," are a common discovery on Japanese shores, possibly due to high fishing quotas from the North Korean government.

## China ##

## UK ##
Revealed: microplastic pollution is raining down on city dwellers
London has highest level yet recorded but health impacts of breathing particles are unknown
11 migrants rescued from small boat in English Channel

Thursday, December 26, 2019


News Links, December 27, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Russia could consider investing part of National Wealth Fund in gold
Just as the collapse of the Soviet Union was baked in by the systemic fragilities of central planning, the Fed's commandeering of the stock market bakes in a crash.

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Sexual assault cases abroad flights are a growing concern for the FBI as the numbers continue to grow alarmingly. Between the fiscal years 2014-2017, the FBI investigations into midair sexual assaults went up by 66 percent.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Stealth and Nukes: Will Israeli F-35s Soon Be Carrying Nuclear Weapons?

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Nearly 4,000 Ring Credentials Leaked, Including Users' Time Zones And Device Names
A window on the development of America's social credit system. -- RF
Two military-grade aircraft launching gears from US mysteriously land at Gujarat's Mundra port

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The Guardian forced to clarify misleading article on Assange and Russia
Social Media and Social Control: How Silicon Valley Serves the US State Department
Facebook isn't the only Silicon Valley firm with partisan oversight of what we see: the bipartisan billionaire class and their security state have partnered with tech firms since the dawn of the internet to control the parameters of users' thinking.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt
First Big Pharma fled the field, and now start-ups are going belly up, threatening to stifle the development of new drugs.
The Biggest Empires In Human History
Japan's jails a sanctuary for seniors
For elderly people without close families, the prospect of living alone, and dying alone, can be terrifying. But some seniors in Japan are finding they can get care and camaraderie when they are locked up in prison.
Not money, but energy. Failure to see this makes any solution impossible. -- RF
Will there be any snow? The games will be too hot for summer and too warm for winter, unless energy problems kill them first. -- RF
In East China Sea, Beijing plays long game
Geography blocks China's access to the open Pacific, so it is beefing up its navy and strategizing a breakout

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


News Links, December 25, 2019

The winter solstice has passed, so from now on (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) the days will lengthen and the world will brighten. The bad news is that industrial civilization will continue its inexorable march to doom. -- RF

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
U.S. durable-goods orders sink in November; decline is sharpest in six months

The TSA and Security Theater: Understanding American Airport Security Following 9/11

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Welcome to the Era of Intensifying Chaos and New Weapons of Conflict
A declining standard of living in the developed world, declining growth for the developed world and geopolitical jockeying for control of resources make for a highly combustible mix awaiting a spark: welcome to the era of intensifying chaos and the rapid advance of new weapons of conflict as ruling elites attempt to stamp out dissent and global powers pursue supremacy by whatever means are available.
U.S. to Ramp Up Counterterrorism Efforts in Sahel Region

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands protest in Iraq as deadline for new PM looms
Ocean floor mining: What could possibly go wrong?
• Junk energy

## Got food? ##
Small Farms Hit Hard In 2019 (US)
The farming economy had a terrible 2019. Many small farmers face rising debts and gut-wrenching decisions of whether to close businesses they've owned for generations.
World 'faces 80% calorie increase by end of century'
The amount of food needed to feed the world's population by the end of the century could increase by almost 80%, a study has suggested.
I guarantee that the population will never get that big. Despite that, there will also be a serious calorie deficiency. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Cargo ship with 600 gallons of oil overturns in Galapagos
A cargo vessel being loaded with containers in the Galapagos Islands overturned Sunday, sinking some 600 gallons of oil into the UNESCO World Heritage site, officials said.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Netanyahu calls ICC war crimes probe anti-Semitic

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Peak Sand
How the scramble for sand is destroying the Mekong
A crisis is engulfing the Mekong River, its banks are collapsing and half a million people are at risk of losing their homes.
Industrial civilization is eating the planet alive. -- RF
Net energy decline = fewer babies. -- RF
Don't be fooled. It's just a trick, like printing more money. No new energy was created. -- RF
One-third of homeless sofa-surfing forced to do so for over six months
Crisis reports 71,400 cases of sofa-surfers across UK, making it the largest form of homelessness
Movie Theater Stocks Slump Amid Underwhelming Year, Not Even Star Wars Can Save Dying Industryhttps://www.zerohedge.com/markets/movie-theater-stocks-slump-amid-underwhelming-year-not-even-star-wars-can-save-dying

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