Tuesday, August 15, 2017


News Links, August 16, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Aramco IPO Value May Be Much Lower Than Expected

## Airline death spiral ##
Drunk air passenger arrests up 50%
Arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by 50% in a year, a BBC Panorama investigation suggests.
Thailand passport control crisis prompts widespread criticism
Airport queues of up to five hours, negligent authorities scorched by all media

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US, China vie for anti-terror influence in the Philippines
Trump refuses to take call from Venezuela's Maduro
He won't take calls from Venezuela until democracy is restored there. So what's his excuse for taking calls from China? Does he think it's a democracy? And speaking of "democracy," what about America's China-style one-party system? -- RF
Iran President Hassan Rouhani threatens to restart nuclear program
NYT Shocking Report: US "Ally" Ukraine Is Source Of North Korean Missile Engines
Since 2010, we've paid £328m to wind farms not to generate – mostly to onshore Scottish wind farms, though England's offshore farms have also started to get into the act. Last year, the total was £82m. This year, it's already reached £50m.
The problem here is that proponents never realized what they were trying to do. It never occurred to them that in making biofuels, humans have to do the work that nature did for us over millions of years in making fossil fuels. -- RF
Coal expansion plans up in smoke as Europe realises mistake
Substantial coal power expansion in Europe has been significantly scaled back over the last decade after utility companies realised they bet on the wrong horse, according to a new study by the University of Oxford.
Considering the low energy return on biofuels and the vast amount of land commandeered for monoculture oil palm plantations, it's hard to be impressed. -- RF
But severe pollution, rising costs, and intense competition for shoreline real estate mean that production in these areas cannot expand indefinitely. Wild fishery catches, meanwhile, have mostly plateaued or are in decline.
Too many humans. -- RF
Too many humans. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Google Moves Into the Business of Thought Control

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
World GDP in current US dollars seems to have peaked; this is a problem
The findings highlight how six decades of industrial dumping, farming pollution, and water plant and distribution pipe deterioration have taken a toll on local water systems.

## Japan ##
Family-friendly bank pays $18,000 for fourth child
An individual who has had a second child immediately receives a lump-sum of 200,000 yen. A third child makes them eligible for a total of 1 million yen paid over five years, while two million yen will be paid over five years to anyone who has a fourth or more.
In a world so obscenely overpopulated with humans, this is self-destructive. It always astonishes me how out of touch with reality some people can be. -- RF
Domestic demand replaces exports as Japan's growth driver
Economists doubt momentum will continue as population declines, market shrinks
Although fracking and other means of pursuing unconventional oil are always presented as a technological tour de force, they are actually acts of desperation. The article also makes no mention of the very high danger of inducing earthquakes in a country which already has plenty of them. -- RF
Michael Moore is an idiot. Of course Trump is aggravating the situation, but the seeds of collapse were sown long ago, and indeed, industrial society itself is unsustainable from the get-go. If Moore can't see that, he's no smarter than Trump. -- RF

And finally...

Sunday, August 13, 2017


News Links, August 14, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
What the Mainstream Doesn't Get about Bitcoin
The real demand for bitcoin will not be known until a global financial crisis guts confidence in central banks and politicized capital controls.
The real value of bitcoin will be known when the internet and power grids go down. -- RF
HNA Finalizes Purchase of Money-Losing German Airport

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Countries With the Largest Nuclear Stockpiles
US Military Presence Overseas Mushrooming: Here, There and Everywhere
Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. The forces use several hundred bases, more than 1,000 if the figure includes overseas warehouse and installations.
Rocket experts: North Korean Missile Claims Are 'a Hoax'
A New Korean War Would Quickly Escalate

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Nigerian Protesters Storm Shell Crude Oil Flow Station
Massive rally against US base relocation (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Mozilla Joins George Soros's Efforts In Launching A Strike Against "Fake News"
Education or Brainwashing?
Inculcating youngsters with national myths is a key way for societies to control their populations – as is clear in how Israel defines acceptable history – in defiance of educational ideals.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Don't blame addicts for America's opioid crisis. Here are the real culprits
America's opioid crisis was caused by rapacious pharma companies, politicians who colluded with them and regulators who approved one opioid pill after another
Nobody Knows What Lies Beneath New York City
New Orleans braces for new flooding as it copes with power outages, failed pumping system
Officials said this week that at least 14 of 120 drainage pumps located throughout the city were out of service during last weekend's storm because of power shortages and because of a lack of basic maintenance.
If Pence Shapes Trump's Infrastructure Plan, Who Would Profit? Who Would Pay?
Net energy decline is the main reason for infrastructure problems, so gimmicks aren't going to solve them. -- RF

## US ##
In Debt We Trust for U.S. Consumers With $12.7 Trillion Burden
To put the borrowing in perspective, it's more than the size of China's economy or almost four times that of Germany's.
Russia-gate's Fatally Flawed Logic
By pushing the Russia-gate "scandal" and neutering President Trump's ability to conduct diplomacy, Democrats and Congress have encouraged his war-making side on North Korea.
Are We Already in Recession?
If we stop counting zombies, we're already in recession.
But keep in mind also that in a world of net energy decline, each "recession" is actually another leg down in the degeneration of industrial society. -- RF

Thursday, August 10, 2017


News Links, August 11, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
What's Keeping Italy's Government Debt from Blowing Up?
Even Italian banks are dumping Italian government bonds.
I'm ready to receive my first check of Free Money. -- RF

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

## Energy/resources ##
Beware at the pump: Black market fuel is making millions (US)
A black market for diesel and gasoline has rapidly spread around the nation, with organized crime gangs using fraudulent credit cards to siphon millions of dollars in fuel from gas stations into large tanks hidden inside pickup trucks and vans.

## Environment/health ##
Brussels warns egg scandal could now involve seven countries
Brussels said today that eggs contaminated with the harmful chemical fipronil may have been sold in some seven countries, significantly escalating the geographical scope of the scandal.
Monsanto Was Its Own Ghostwriter for Some Safety Reviews
Academic papers vindicating its Roundup herbicide were written with the help of its employees.
Study highlights sea level rise hot spots along Atlantic coast
"It's amazing to see construction along the East Coast," said researcher Arnoldo Valle-Levinson. "That's the worst place to build anything."

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
You ain't seen nothin' yet. -- RF
How Congress 'Learns' About Russia
Hedge-fund operator William Browder helped plunder Russia's riches – and renounced his U.S. citizenship – but is still treated as a great truth-teller by a credulous Congress.
I'm on record as saying that the project will never be finished. -- RF

## China ##
Need for steady growth fuels China's addiction to land sales
China's central and local governments are taking often drastic measures to prop up real estate and other  markets, striving to maintain growth and keep much-needed revenue flowing in, but these steps have come at a price for residents and retail investors.

Stunning news yes, but to say that banks should make more loans to goose the economy is just asking for trouble. Debt is becoming progressively harder to pay back because of net energy decline and the attendant slowed-to-a-crawl economic growth, not because we're not goosing the economy sufficiently with yet more debt. -- RF
The Democrats' two leading congressional dissidents have finally surrendered, now that the party has "taken the lead in the project of endless war." U.S. imperialism demands unanimous support from its servants in Congress.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017


News Links, August 9, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Cracks appearing in US, China economies, threatening global growth
Fannie-Freddie Might Need $100 Billion in New Crisis, FHFA Says
Mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could need nearly $100 billion in bailout money in the event of a new economic crisis, according to stress test results released Monday by their regulator.
This Hits the Wheezing Commercial Real Estate Bubble at Worst Possible Time
The last big enthusiastic buyer, China, is leaving the party.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
To pare losses, Japan Display eyes cutting 4,000 jobs

## Airline death spiral ##
The frequency of these fume events is difficult to assess, but estimates run to as many as 2.6 per day. The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents American's  pilots, has cited as many as 20,000 fume incidents over the past decade, or about five per day.
Cathay Pacific overseas operations to be affected by 'review' of workforce

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US to respond by Sept. 1 to Russia's expulsion of diplomats
UN sanctions could send North Korean economy plunging as much as 5%
Country's growth, hit hard by worst drought since 2001, may sink deep into negative territory
China 'fires warning' with array of navy drills off Korean peninsula
Yellow Sea exercises come in wake of Pyongyang's second long-range missile test in a month
Californians urged to save energy during solar eclipse
A New Twist in Seth Rich Murder Case
The U.S. mainstream media dismisses any link between the murder of DNC official Seth Rich and leaked DNC emails as a "conspiracy theory" – while blaming Russia instead – but a new possibility has arisen.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Israel moves to shut down local operations of Al Jazeera
Russia's communication with the Western world is not about creating an attractive image. It's about mockery and trolling. A shirtless Putin in dark glasses, floating in the middle of a remote Siberian lake, is not a guy who cares much about U.S. Congress' latest sanctions.
Russiatosis (Kunstler)
A compendium of fake news (propaganda) over the years up to the present. -- RF
Jeff Sessions Endorses Theft (on civil asset forfeiture, Ron Paul)

## Japan ##
NHS maternity wards in England forced to close 382 times last year
Encourage children to spend more time online, says former GCHQ head
Robert Hannigan says children developing cyber skills could 'save the country' as UK was falling behind competitors
Payment in gold bullion banned in UK under new policy against tax evasion

## US ##
Penalties on Wall Street Firms Plunge Under "Business Friendly" Trump Administration
Financial Crisis is forgotten. Even sounds of gentle wrist-slapping fade.

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