Thursday, May 24, 2018


News Links, May 25, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The Next Recession Will Be Devastatingly Non-Linear
Venezuela is not an outlier; it is the first of many canaries that will be keeling over in the coal mine.
I told you so. -- RF
Don't laugh. -- RF
Russian Central Bank Gold Reserves Rise to 1909.75 Tons in April.
Russian gold reserves are the fifth largest in the world.

## Airline death spiral ##
UK transport minister says cost of Heathrow must be kept down

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Tensions soar between India, Pakistan along Kashmir frontier
US 'Plan B' With Iran Sets the Stage for War
Threats, massive list of demands kill chances for diplomacy
House overwhelmingly backs plan to 'rebuild our military'
House lawmakers approved a $717 billion defense authorization bill on Thursday after days of debate but without much partisan division, hinting at a smooth negotiation ahead for the sometimes contentious budget policy measure.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
At least nine dead after police fire on protesters at Indian copper smelter
New oil discoveries are shifting from land to sea, and from shallow to deep. And costs go up accordingly. This can't end well. -- RF
Indian thermal power plants reeling from coal shortages
Private and public thermal power plants across India are facing an acute shortage of coal, at a time when rising electricity demand during summer months has sent the spot price of electricity skyrocketing.
A 100% renewable grid isn't just feasible, it's already happening
Not really. Everything is still built on a fossil-fuel foundation. Take that away, and the party ends. -- RF
Looks like humans are the biggest animal pests. -- RF
One way or another, this problem will be quickly solved when the SHTF. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Follow the money! -- RF
FBI Admits It Inflated Number of Supposedly Unhackable Devices
We've learned that the FBI has been misinforming Congress and the public as part of its call for backdoor access to encrypted devices.
This single statement by a DNC official invalidated the circumstantial evidence that had been used to support the DNC's Russian hacking claims, and represents a groundbreaking contradiction that has gone unobserved by establishment press outlets.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Brazil's economy runs largely on road transport and the four-day-old strike to protest rising diesel prices was beginning to have serious consequences, with highway police reporting blocked roads in nearly all of Brazil's states.
When trucks stop running, modern economies come to a standstill. -- RF

## Japan ##
Air duct corrosion, holes found at 7 nuclear plants in Japan
The megacities themselves are unsustainable. -- RF

## China ##
China's 'Social Credit Score' Blacklists People for Bad Behavior (Who Decides?)
The system is based on character and concocted from big data and artificial intelligence algorithms.

Cash Out Refis 10-Yr High, Private-Label Credit Card Delinquencies at 7-Yr High
If you think the economy is improving, you better check your facts and some disturbing trends.
No easy fix to higher gas prices in United States
Refineries in the country can only take on so much shale oil and, once at capacity, the rest of it heads to the export market.

And finally...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


News Links, May 23, 2018

Our Economy Is Failing Our Society
If we want to extend the opportunities for positive social roles to everyone, we have to change the way money is created and distributed in our economy.
Ending China's Birth Limits Won't Bring a Baby Boom
It's not just China. Birth rates are falling around the world, and not only in rich developed countries (take a look at the graphs). Net energy decline is affecting countries at the most basic level. -- RF

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
BP to cut 540 jobs from upstream workforce

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Will Bitcoin Use as Much Electricity as All of Austria by the End of the Year?

## Airline death spiral ##
Pilot-hungry airlines are raiding flight schools, creating a shortage of instructors to train the next generation
Airlines' insatiable demand for pilots threatens to sabotage flight schools' ability to train new ones. Carriers are raising wages and hoarding every available pilot — including the instructors schools rely on to teach incoming students.
$80 Oil Could Kill Smaller Airlines

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
South Korea may ax arms purchases amid talk of peace
Iran Announces Plan To Stay In Syria As Pompeo Issues Unprecedented Threats
The Baltic States Ask the US for a Bigger Military Presence on Their Soil
U.S. bolsters Asia ballistic missile defense
Currencies, armies, oil: Extensive repositioning of major world players
The risks facing the Pentagon's high-end electronics and radars
A new Pentagon report warns that the supply chain for high-end electronics and rare materials is increasingly at risk, likely putting radar and electronic warfare capabilities in danger as the Department of Defense relies more on these items.
The US is running out of bombs — and it may soon struggle to make more
The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air — at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates.

We've seen plenty of articles on the profitability problem faced by shale drillers. But the more important thing to keep in mind — whether shale drilling is profitable or not — is that the situation is getting desperate. If there were plenty of good conventional oil left, drillers wouldn't look twice at shale oil. -- RF

Farmers Reeling From High Oil Prices
Farmers in the United States and around the world see their diesel fuel expenses jumping and eating into their  profits that have been already constrained by depressed prices of some crops.

The most likely reason, not mentioned here, is that there wasn't a hack — by Russians or anyone else. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Wikipedia Is An Establishment Psyop

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Coming Collapse
On February 6, 2017 I noted that Donald Trump is "the natural and inevitable evolutionary outcome of America's rotting and failing systems." He's not the cause of any of this; he's the symptom. In this column, Chris Hedges is saying the same thing. And yes, there's going to be a collapse. -- RF

Japan's elderly refused by many care homes due to lack of guarantors
Elderly people in Japan who are single or without relatives often struggle to secure a spot at a nursing care home as many facilities refuse to accept people without a guarantor despite a government call against such a measure, a survey showed Monday.
Such moves have done little to increase the fertility rate, with many parents concerned about the costs of raising additional children in a society accustomed to focusing family resources on one.
This is not entirely accurate. Underlying the reluctance of many Chinese to have more children is the quickly rising energy cost of childraising. -- RF
Leukaemia triggered by infections like flu and likely to be preventable, says leading cancer scientist in 'landmark' breakthrough
New theory suggests germ-free environment for first year of life may increase risk of disease, and paves way for preventative treatments
Ministry of Defence faces £2.9bn shortage in Trident nuclear renewal programme, NAO warns
A quarter of the MoD's budget is expected to be spent on nuclear programmes, according to the spending watchdog
Hundreds of homeless people fined and imprisoned for begging and rough sleeping
The number of people sleeping rough in England is at a record-high following a 73 per cent increase over the last three years
One wonders how homeless people are expected to pay exorbitant fines. -- RF
Furious Customers Leave in Droves after Botched IT Revamp at UK Bank TSB as Nightmare Drags on for a Month
New York high school will use CCTV and facial recognition to enforce discipline
Next year, high schools in Lockport New York will use the "Aegis" CCTV and facial recognition system to track and record the interactions of students suspected of code of conduct violations, keeping a ledger of who speaks to whom, where, and for how long.
Alternative vehicle sales stall in United States
A federal report attributes the stand-still to sticker shock and the lack of charging infrastructure in the country.

And finally...

Sunday, May 20, 2018


News Links, May 21, 2018

Turkey Repatriates All Gold From The US In Attempt To Ditch The Dollar
No surprise here. Virtually all governments likely manipulate their data (GDP, unemployment rates, etc.). -- RF

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Federal Reserve Nominee Wants To Take Your Cash And Track How You Spend
Goodfriend's monetary views should be terrifying to anyone who values individual liberty and limited government.
Bitcoin Energy Use Growing Much Faster than Previously Thought
Bitcoin's energy footprint has more than doubled since Grist first wrote about it six months ago. It's expected to double again by the end of the year, according to a new peer-reviewed study out Wednesday. And if that happens, bitcoin would be gobbling up 0.5 percent of the world's electricity, about as much as the Netherlands.

## Airline death spiral ##
Reports: Man punches pregnant woman, service dog on Frontier flight to Orlando

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Philippines powerless to stop Beijing's militarisation of South China Sea, President Duterte says
Rather than fight its giant neighbour, a better solution is to forge a joint exploration pact to harness the potential of the disputed waterway, leader says

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Official: Nationalist mob beats mayor of major Greek city

## Energy/resources ##
Norwegian Gas Exporter Warns Europe May Be on Verge of Blackouts
Europe is facing power generation capacity shortages and may even risk blackouts without additional use of natural gas, one of the continent's biggest producers of the fuel said.
A good read if you're interested in this issue. And there is still the matter of ethanol's pitifully low energy yield (far too low to support industrial society), which isn't mentioned here. -- RF
Costa Rica also begins its return to a much simpler, de-industrialized lifestyle. Many people are going to be unpleasantly surprised when they realize that renewables don't pack the punch of fossil fuels. Not that I am promoting fossil fuels; it's just a heads-up. -- RF

## Solutions ##
Sustainability Boils Down to Scale
Only small scale systems can sustainably impose "skin in the game"-- consequences, accountability and oversight.

## Environment/health ##
Electromagnetic radiation from power lines and phone masts poses 'credible' threat to wildlife, report finds 
Electromagnetic radiation from power lines, wi-fi, phone masts and broadcast transmitters poses a 'credible' threat to wildlife, a new report suggests, as environmentalists warned the 5G roll out could cause greater harm.
Climate change on track to cause major insect wipeout, scientists warn
Insects are vital to ecosystems but will lose almost half their habitat under current climate projections
The Philip Cross Affair (on edits to Wikipedia articles by "Philip Cross")
Hey Britain! Where are the Skripals????? -- RF
Making Excuses for Russiagate
As months turn into nearly two years and no solid evidence emerges to nail Russia for nabbing Election 2016, some big Russia-gate cheerleaders are starting to cover their tracks.
No matter what country you live in, don't laugh. Venezuela is a prelude to what will happen globally. -- RF
Stagnant wages + soaring cost of living + massive cuts to services = collapsing US birth-rate
Off the charts: why Chinese publishers don't want maps in their books
Publishing sources say they are leaving maps out of books entirely to avoid going through the long and complicated review process

## UK ##
UK Looks To Fast-Track Shale Gas Drilling Approval
Cost as a factor is mentioned only at the very end of the article, but my guess is that this is the main reason. -- RF

## US ##
In the second Gilded Age, the mansions get bigger, and the homeless get closer
The capital of America's second Gilded Age is Los Angeles, where homes worth tens of millions of dollars look out over a city in which the middle class struggles to afford shelter and the number of homeless increases daily.
America already has a China-style political system, so the evolution of thought police and spy networks on college campuses shouldn't be surprising. -- RF

And finally...

Thursday, May 17, 2018


News Links, May 18, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Iraqis protest in Kirkuk over alleged voting fraud

## Energy/resources ##
Total says it will have to leave Iran without sanctions waivers
The French supermajor said it's spent about $47 million to date on Phase 11 of the South Pars gas field, among the biggest in the world.

## Got food? ##

## Solutions ##
Time To Choose: Will you be an agent of depletion or regeneration?
What You MUST Know About SHTF Medicine

## Environment/health ##
U.S. Healthcare Isn't Broken--It's Fixed
Healthcare/sickcare will bankrupt the nation by itself.
Glyphosate shown to disrupt microbiome 'at safe levels', study claims
Study on rats said to show that the chemical, found in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller, poses 'a significant public health concern'
New pig virus could pose threat to people
Mysterious rise in banned ozone-destroying chemical shocks scientists
CFCs have been outlawed for years but researchers have detected new production somewhere in east Asia

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hacker Breaches Securus, the Company That Helps Cops Track Phones Across the US
A hacker has provided Motherboard with the login details for a company that buys phone location data from major telecom companies and then sells it to law enforcement.
Ecuador's former president defends spy operation to protect Julian Assange
Rafael Correa criticized the Guardian's story, which has prompted debate about Ecuador's spending on the WikiLeaks founder
A new law that gives the police special powers during terrorist attacks, including widely banning journalists and members of the public from reporting on the scene, took effect in Singapore on Wednesday.
Just imagine what will happen when the food shortages come. -- RF
Ultimately, net energy decline underlies the factors proposed in the article. -- RF

## Japan ##
Japan's economy shrinks in January-March quarter

## China ##
China says military exercises intended to threaten Taiwan
Drills, including air encirclement patrols, are a warning to Taiwan not to move towards declaring independence, says Beijing official

I don't know about "fighting terrorism," but $2.8 trillion is a lot of money. Clearly this is unsustainable. -- RF
And the reason is "failure to correct system deficiencies." Got that? -- RF
Beyond the Flint tragedy: Contaminated drinking water is everywhere in America
Agricultural runoff is poorly regulated and turning many waterways across the country into dangerous cesspools
The first comprehensive study of CEO-to-worker pay reveals an extraordinary disparity – with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1

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