Friday, January 31, 2020


News Links, February 1, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Amazon's Jeff Bezos, already the wealthiest person on the planet, just got billions richer
SK Hynix posts lowest profit in seven years, warns of growing uncertainties
South Korea's SK Hynix, a chip supplier to Apple Inc and Huawei, on Friday warned of growing uncertainties, after posting its lowest quarterly profit in seven years, hit by a protracted industry downturn.
SK Hynix to make deep capex cut; virus spread may threaten chip output
Swiping their way higher: Visa, Mastercard could be the next $1 trillion companies
Global Slowdown, Internal Issues Hit Mexico: GDP Drops for First Time Since 2009
A $1.5 Trillion Wipeout and More: Virus Fallout Across Assets
Virus Shock Crashes Baltic Dry, Sparks China Hard-Landing Fears

## Airline death spiral ##
Lawsuit against Boeing alleges 'dirty little secret' on flight: Contaminated air
The lawsuit alleges an incident involving a "dirty little secret": that cabin air on Boeing's commercial aircraft, except for its 787 Dreamliner, could be filled with toxins.
Boeing discloses U.S. SEC probe over 737 MAX
Boeing on Friday disclosed it was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the 737 MAX accidents.
Pilots, flight attendants demand flights to China stop as virus fear mounts worldwide
Japan's ANA may consider halting China flights: Jiji citing CEO
Hong Kong Airlines to cut hundreds of jobs as its finances worsen amid coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus: Delta, United and American Airlines to halt all flights between US and mainland China

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
54 Percent of Millennials Believe a Nuclear War Will Occur in the Next Decade
The International Committee of the Red Cross surveyed 16,000 millennials between the ages of 20 and 35 in 16 countries.
US general asks Europeans to do more for French in Africa
US Expected to Loosen Restrictions on Land Mines — Smart Ones, Anyway
Duterte Declines Trump Invite, Forbids U.S. Trip by His Cabinet
Trump's "win-win" plan hands everything to Israel
Carter says Trump Mideast plan violates international law
Poland inks $4.6 billion contract for F-35 fighter jets
Boeing's New Nuclear Bomb Guidance System Has Software "Vulnerability": Pentagon Report
EU Army Ambitions Crushed As German Troops Forced To Use Their Own Cars In War Drills

## Migrants/refugees ##
Greece to build a floating fence in Aegean Sea to deter migrants

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Commuters warned to brace for subway delays as organizers protest throughout New York City
Thousands Of Palestinians Clash With Police In West Bank & Jordan Over Trump's 'Peace Plan'

## Energy/resources ##
Eskom looking at nuclear power reactors (South Africa)
Forgive me for not getting excited. There's nothing wrong with fuel cells, or with hydrogen, but since hydrogen isn't an energy source, the fuel cell/hydrogen combination does nothing to solve the underlying problem, which is the huge energy gap between fossil fuels and renewables. -- RF

## Got food? ##
The Danger Downstream
Farm pollutants from multiple states feed a massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Shrimpers pay the cost.
Study Estimates Actual Coronavirus Case Count in Wuhan May Be Near 76,000
Outbreaks of xenophobia in west as coronavirus spreads
Incidents of hostility towards Asian people reported in Italy, France, Canada and UK

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
FBI probes use of Israeli firm's spyware in personal and government hacks
Russia Threatens Facebook, Twitter With $100K Fines
Russia's communications watchdog said Friday it has launched fresh proceedings against Facebook and Twitter over their failure to comply with local data laws.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
US General Claims Iran Plotting Attacks on Americans in Africa

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
F-35's Gun That Can't Shoot Straight Adds to Its Roster of Flaws
Add a gun that can't shoot straight to the problems that dog Lockheed Martin Corp.'s $428 billion F-35 program, including more than 800 software flaws.
There are two major causes: First is exceeding complexity, which makes it easy for errors and flaws to creep in, and makes it difficult to fix them. The second is the very large energy expenditure required to build something so complex ("embodied energy"). -- RF

## China ##
Travelers breach China virus lockdown by taking bridge over Yangtze
People are leaving and entering China's Hubei province by foot over a bridge spanning the Yangtze river despite a virtual lockdown on vehicle traffic due to a coronavirus epidemic that has killed about 200 people.

Thursday, January 30, 2020


News Links, January 31, 2020

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
JPMorgan plans to cut hundreds of jobs in consumer unit: Bloomberg

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Why is Bitcoin Usability Still So Bad a Decade Later?

## Airline death spiral ##
According to the Wall Street Journal, Southwest failed to prioritize passenger safety by flying more than 17 million passengers on the planes over a nearly two-year period.
Airlines cut China flights as companies restrict travel on virus fears
Take It From Me, a Delta Employee: Passengers and Workers Are in This Fight Together
Overbooked planes, cramped cabins, and poor working conditions all have a common cause: deregulation and the relentless pursuit of profit.
Facial recognition scanners at US airports under more scrutiny

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
'Fire in the Fog' as Army Launches Rocket Artillery in Europe for First Time in 16 Years
• Iran/Iraq

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
French firefighters demand better conditions in fiery Paris protest

## Energy/resources ##
Energy, not money, makes the world go around. And the astonishing amount of energy in petroleum products explains the desperate bids by governments to lock down oil fields. As Henry Kissinger noted, control the oil and you control continents. -- RF
The Fight For Venezuela's Oil Is Heating Up

## Environment/health ##
Too much screen time for toddlers may lead to unhealthy behaviors growing up, study says
• Coronavirus

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
UK Defies Trump on Huawei 5G Technology Ban, EU Will Follow
What was all that screaming about? -- RF
I don't agree with everything here, but there is a lot of good food for thought. However, the fly in the ointment is energy. That will ultimately put the kibosh on the globalist agenda. As we have seen, globalization is already waning. -- RF
The Liberal Establishment is Already Warning Third Parties Not to Ruin the 2020 Election
Prominent liberal personalities, including Noam Chomsky, issued an open letter imploring third parties to "remove themselves as a factor" in the 2020 presidential election to "benefit all humanity and a good part of the biosphere."
Democracy in action. -- RF
It makes one wonder if Joe Sixpack could also refuse to be sued. -- RF

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


News Links, January 29, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
China Virus Sends Shockwaves Through Asia Tourist Industry

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US confirms jet crashed in Afghanistan – but disputes it was downed
• Iran/Iraq
US Builds Several New Bases In Iraq Near Iran
Israeli experts say the U.S realized withdrawing from Iraq would leave policymakers and the military with greatly reduced influence in a region that has seen rapid and extensive Russian penetration into the region.

## Migrants/refugees ##
Nearly 500 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean seek safe ports

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Guinea economy crippled by protests as fears for mining grow

## Got food? ##
Northeast apple production suffering from Climate Change
Nuclear technology: The gift that keeps on giving. -- RF
Powerful earthquake strikes between Jamaica and Cuba
• Coronavirus
White House Weighing Complete Shutdown Of Passenger Plane Traffic From China

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Belmarsh Prison Inmates Prove More Ethical Than Entire Western Empire
Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data
An Avast antivirus subsidiary sells 'Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.' Its clients have included Home Depot, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and McKinsey.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Many Americans can't stand driving on US roads
Homesteaders, catastrophists run for the hills to flee U.S. uncertainty
Whichever camp, realtors say the new dropouts are not "crackpots" and often include affluent professionals whose run for the hills has boosted rural land values and started to change their property market.

## US ##
Of Durable Goods Orders (and How to Buy an Election)
Durable goods orders in December jumped 2.4% led by defense department spending. Otherwise, it was a pathetic report.
Trump Poll: 41% Approve Of Iran Strike, But 59% Disapprove Of Trump's Foreign Policy
Elizabeth Warren's foreign policy team is stacked with pro-war swamp creatures
With her new list of foreign policy advisors, Warren unveiled a cast of pro-war think tankers, Cold Warriors and corporate careerists united in support of the Beltway consensus. So much for "big, structural change."

Sunday, January 26, 2020


News Links, January 27, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Gold Price Sets Friday Record in Euros as Trump Vows to 'Do Europe Next' on Trade, Coronavirus Spreads
Era of mega-funded, money-losing unicorn start-ups is coming to an end
With animated map. Startling. -- RF
But remember, underlying the whole show is energy. The world population surge was the result of the fossil fuel energy bonanza (i.e., energy, not money, makes the world go around). And current plunging fertility rates mean the good times are over owing to net energy decline of the fossil fuel system. This is exacerbated by increasing the proportion of renewables in the energy mix, because renewables require a still larger energy investment owing to the dilute nature of wind and sunlight energy. Under these conditions, there's no way to come out ahead, unless some new form of highly dense and cheap energy is found (which would of course impose its own costs on the planet — there is no free lunch). -- RF
A global recovery is doomed. The coronavirus is just an extra dollop. -- RF

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
TripAdvisor set to cut 200 jobs, source confirms
Spurred by the rise of cryptocurrencies and Facebook's plans to launch its Libra currency, central banks worldwide are looking into the possibility of issuing digital money to prevent the loss of state control over money.
Airline Group Says 30 Million Bags Failed to Arrive on Time Last Year
Most of the mishandled baggage was eventually reunited with owners, but over 200,000 bags were either stolen or permanently lost in luggage limbo.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Survey: Nearly half of Afghans want US troops out after Taliban peace deal
US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes
With Shia parties pressuring American troops to leave, Washington wants to create an autonomous region around Anbar to maintain its presence
The Myanmar-China pact is a setback for India
For Delhi, the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor derails efforts to discredit the Belt and Road Initiative
• Iran/Iraq
Iran could put a halt to international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
'Withdraw or Prepare Coffins': Iraqi Protesters Demand US Troops Exit
"Get out, get out, occupier!" was the slogan of the day in Baghdad, where a protest march called by Moqtada al-Sadr drew tens of thousands of demonstrators calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
Tens of Thousands of Iraqis mass in Baghdad to Demand Expulsion of US Troops, Hang Trump in Effigy

## Energy/resources ##
U.S. Shale Patch Sees Huge Jump In Bankruptcies
This just concerns the US; it will be even worse in countries that are more overpopulated. At this world population level, the forests will be gone in the blink of an eye. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Temperatures are typically at their lowest during this time of year in the Untied States, when the days are at their shortest; however, the region has seen an increase in temperatures of 30 to 35 degrees above average.
• Coronavirus

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Saudi ruler aimed to 'silence' Washington Post
UN investigators on Wednesday called for a "moratorium on the global sale and transfer of private surveillance technology" in the wake of allegations Saudi Arabia's crown prince had personally deployed Israeli spyware to hack the phone of Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos.
Recall that the Saudi foreign minister ironically said that Iran must act like a "normal" country. You can't make this stuff up. -- RF
Twitter tells facial-recognition app maker to stop collecting its data
Police to roll out live facial recognition cameras in London

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Troubling Decline of International Law (Craig Murray)
If governments don't observe the law, how can they expect anyone else to? -- RF
Hospital group fights drug shortages by making needed meds
U.S. hospitals fed up with shortages of critical generic medicines have banded together

Again, the need to devote vast tracts of land to renewables is an attempt to compensate for the huge energy-density difference between renewables and fossil fuels. Already this is causing problems. -- RF
China Aims to Halve New Solar Plant Subsidy Budget for in 2020
China proposed to halve its subsidy budget for new solar power projects this year to 1.5 billion yuan ($216 million) as the government steers its renewable energy sector away from reliance on financial support.
Shanghai shuts down all cinemas during Lunar New Year holidays: local paper
China bans wildlife trade nationwide due to coronavirus outbreak
The headline is misleading. The husband of Anne Sacoolas was not a diplomat. -- RF
Remember, trade wars are easy to win. -- RF
The 1%: Illinois' Pension Millionaires
More than 129,000 Illinois public pensioners will see expected payouts of $1 million or more during retirement.

And finally...

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