Sunday, November 19, 2017

 

News Links, November 20, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Tesla is 'going out of business,' says former GM exec Bob Lutz
They can sponge all they want, but as I've observed before, places like Singapore will be the worst places to be when the excrement hits the fan. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Saudis expand crackdown with arrest of military officials and businessmen, WSJ reports
Raqqa's dirty secret
The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city. A convoy included some of IS's most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters. Some of those have spread out across Syria, even making it as far as Turkey.
This undercover video shows a slave auction in Libya
Report: Lebanese PM Leaves Saudi Arabia for France
The history of the world is governments bankrupting themselves to get the military edge over others. If you have the stomach for a 1,000-year chronicle of this idiocy, read The Pursuit of Power by William McNeill. Further, the F-35 is a textbook example of the quickly rising marginal cost of increasing complexity. -- RF
It's nearly certain that Taiwan will be "swallowed" by mainland China, but the swallowing likely won't stop there. However, China seems to be following the US model of empire-building. -- RF
The shortage of parts and maintenance personnel for nuclear power plants is related to the shortage of pilots for airlines and military forces, and the "skills shortage" plaguing many industries. The primary reason is net energy decline. -- RF
Scientists see [gene drive] as a powerful tool that could finally vanquish diseases like malaria, dengue, and Zika. But US defense agencies see something else: a national security issue.
I'll bet defense agencies in many countries see it as not only a national security threat (is that what the writer means by "issue" here?), but also a powerful weapon. All it takes is one government (or even a group of rogue scientists) to believe it has the "solution" to humanity's problems and the supposed justification to use it. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
How Syrian-Nuke Evidence Was Faked
Exclusive: In joining Israel and the White House selling military intervention in Syria, the CIA and international inspectors hid key evidence that would undermine the case, says Gareth Porter in a second part of a two-part series.
FBI Informant Has Video Of Russian Agents With Briefcases Of Bribe Money In Clinton-Uranium Scandal

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Attack on RT Is Another Step Towards Sovietization of American Media

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
NYC Subway Managers Receive $300,000 Salaries While MTA Cuts Mechanics
The lack of qualified personnel is yet another symptom of net energy decline. Highly complex modern societies like Japan can no longer afford the energy expenditures needed to educate and train the people needed to keep their systems operating properly. It's wrong to attribute this problem to demographics alone. Further, the declining fertility rate itself is a result of net energy decline: people are increasingly finding children unaffordable. -- RF
Most people over 65 who fall afoul of the criminal justice system are fingered for petty crimes such as shoplifting and theft, with experts putting the rise down to increased economic hardship.
China Is Feeding Asia's High-Yield Hunger
Funds are struggling to diversify as Chinese companies pump out risky debt, already claiming two-thirds of Asian high-yield bond issuance outside of Japan so far this year.
Xi Jinping's dream city 'could be killed by red tape and government control'
The red tape and government control don't matter because all megacities are doomed. -- RF

## UK ##
Signs of U.K. Misconduct in Assange Case
The world's most prominent freedom-of-the-press case remains the legal pressure on WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, still in Ecuador's London embassy amid signs of U.K. prosecutorial misconduct.

## US ##
Companies have been on a borrowing binge, but you wouldn't always know the full scale of their liabilities by looking at the balance sheet. This makes it hard for investors to compare businesses that fund their activities in different ways. Happily though, that's about to change.


Friday, November 17, 2017

 

News Links, November 18, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
France ran out of money last Tuesday — and within days, so will the rest of Europe
Germany moved up to first place after coming in second in 2016. The U.S. dropped from top to sixth, with France, Britain, Canada and Japan taking spots two to five.
Wall Street Discovers the Brick-and-Mortar Meltdown
Finally time to make some easy money by betting on the collapse of brick-and-mortar retail, years after it began? Here's a grisly thought: As of today, there's an ETF for that.

## Airline death spiral ##
Pilot shortage grounds more flights at Japan's Air Do
Airlines' frequent flyer programs are so complicated only half of members understand them

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump: China agrees NKorea nuclear weapon freeze not enough
Trump's Saudi Scheme Unravels
President Trump and his son-in-law bet that the young Saudi crown prince could execute a plan to reshape the Mideast, but the scheme quickly unraveled revealing a dangerous amateur hour.

Lesvos reaches breaking point, mayor declares general strike
With reception centers on Lesvos bursting at the seams and dozens more migrants arriving daily, the island's mayor, Spyros Galinos, on Tuesday declared a general strike for Monday in protest.

## Energy/resources ##
You'd never know about this bloodbath from the mainstream media, which keep preaching the received belief that shale oil is the greatest thing since sliced bread. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Popular Japanese fish scarcest in 48 years, body mass also smaller

## Environment/health ##
This is how the U.S. has become a Medicaid nation
Today, Medicaid is the nation's largest health insurance program, covering 74 million, or more than one in five Americans.Twenty-five percent of Americans will be on Medicaid at some point in their lives — many are just a pink slip away from being eligible.
The scourge is escalating from occasional nuisance to severe, widespread hazard, overwhelming government efforts to curb a leading cause: fertilizer runoff from farms.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke created the "International Wildlife Conservation Council,"  which advised him that reversing bans such as the elephant trophy ban will provide economic benefits from "U.S. citizens traveling abroad to hunt."
Hungary anger over US 'objective' media funding plan
Hungary expressed "shock" Wednesday at a US plan to finance independent media outlets outside Budapest, a move it called "intervention in an ally's internal affairs".
AT&T reports some U.S. customers unable to make wireless calls
The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized
In other words, we'll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and "approved" dissent.
Pentagon "Mistakenly" Retweets Post Calling For Trump To Resign

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Russia-gate Spreads to Europe
The Russia-gate hysteria has jumped the Atlantic with Europeans blaming Russia for Brexit and Catalonian discontent. But what about Israeli influence operations or, for that matter, American ones?
I've Been Banned From Facebook For Sharing An Article About False Flags

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Superhero Complex: Are We Incapable of Saving Ourselves?
Student nuclear disarmament speech canceled due to Chinese pressure: gov't sources
A speech by a Japanese student peace ambassador at an international disarmament conference in Geneva in August was canceled due to pressure from the Chinese government, Japanese government sources said on Thursday.
Beijing avoids taking sides in its 'all-weather friend' country
Too many humans. -- RF

## UK ##
Central Bank Group Think: Convince the Public More Inflation is Coming
Chicago Fed chief Charles Evans is worried about the lack of inflation primarily because he is clueless about where to find it. As further proof of his economic illiteracy, Evans says "Low inflation expectations keep inflation down".
Here We Go Again: No Down Payment, No Problem!
Flagstar bank in Michigan will "gift" down payments to low-income borrowers to buy a house. What can possibly go wrong?

And finally...


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

 

News Links, November 16, 2017


## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Saudi use of US, Russian air-defense systems will create 'serious challenges'
Netanyahu: Israel Will Act Alone to Force Iran Out of Syria
Russia Says Iran Can Legitimately Stay in Syria
The Ever-Expanding 'War on Terror'
In the shadows, the U.S. special operations war on "terrorists" keeps on expanding around the globe, now reaching into Africa where few detectable American "interests" exist.
Five ways China is building influence in Zimbabwe
France to review nuclear reduction target
The California Duck Curve isn't confined to California
With the possible exception of those in equatorial latitudes, every jurisdiction in the world that commits to including more than, say, 20% solar in its future generation mix will likely reach a threshold where daily ramping and storage/curtailment requirements become potentially unmanageable.

Russia could target any foreign media under new law: MP
Russia would be able to list any foreign media outlet as a "foreign agent" under new measures expected to be approved  Wednesday, a lawmaker said, as Moscow responds to US pressure on the Kremlin-backed RT channel.
Libya's Slave Auctions And African Genocide: What Hillary Knew

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
America's Righteous Russia-gate Censorship
Arriving behind the anti-Trump "resistance" and the Russia-gate "scandal" is a troubling readiness to silence dissent in the U.S., shutting down information that challenges Official Narratives.
RT America Torched in Witch Hunt '17

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Is This Why Productivity Has Tanked and Wealth Inequality Has Soared?
Needless but highly profitable forced-upgrades are the bread and butter of the tech industry.
Venice is planning to divert massive cruise liners. Barcelona has cracked down on apartment rentals. Both are at the forefront of efforts to get a grip on "overtourism," a phenomenon that is disrupting communities, imperiling cherished buildings and harming the experience of travelers and local residents alike.
Mizuho to ax 19,000 jobs, cites effects of low interest rates
Mizuho Financial Group Inc. will slash about 19,000 jobs and close around 100 operational bases over the next 10 years because of declining profits stemming from ultra-low interest rates, the megabank said.
Japan's Abe tones down South China Sea rhetoric
Prime minister focusing more on improving ties with Beijing

## China ##
China sending envoy to North Korea with message of restraint
Chinese President Xi Jinping is sending a special envoy to North Korea on Friday, placing further pressure on the rogue state to exercise restraint on its nuclear and missile development and to seek a conversation with the U.S.
Fears over white dolphin habitat halt work on massive US$15 billion South China Sea island airport
Trump Adds to Washington's 'Swamp'
President Trump's vow to "drain the swamp" was just one more empty promise as he adds to the muck with military contractors in key Pentagon jobs and other industry lobbyists at regulatory posts.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

 

News Links, November 15, 2017


## War on cash/cashless society ##
Internet Shutdowns Show Physical Gold Is Ultimate Protection
UNESCO is warning that the number of internet shutdowns is increasing worldwide. According to Statista.com when reporting data provided by digital rights platform accessnow.org, "internet access has been curbed 116 times in 30 countries since January 2016."
Reports of the death of cash are greatly exaggerated

## Airline death spiral ##
TSA Plans to Use Face Recognition to Track Americans Through Airports

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

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands protest proposal for total abortion ban in Brazil

## Energy/resources ##
Is Peak Permian Only 3 Years Away?
Signs have started to emerge that the relentless intensification of drilling leads to diminishing returns, Simon Flowers, Chairman and Chief Analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in an article this week. Pumping twice as much sand as usual into Permian wells and drilling longer laterals doesn't deliver commensurate volumes of oil, Flowers notes.
Our old acquaintance and destroyer of civilizations — rising marginal cost — makes yet another appearance. -- RF
Are renewable energy cost reductions close to bottoming out?

But there's another, troubling side to the German story: The country still gets 40 percent of its energy from coal, a bigger share than most other European countries. And much of it is lignite, the dirtiest kind of coal. As a result, Germany is set to fall well short of its 2020 goal.
Trump administration seeks to delay findings on pesticides
President Donald Trump's administration is seeking a two-year delay of an upcoming deadline to determine whether a family of widely used pesticides is harmful to endangered species.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
This is terrifying. People in the audience don't realize what they are cheering and clapping for. Supposedly the drones only kill "bad guys," but what happens when you're designated a "bad guy," or your kind of thinking is branded an "evil ideology"? There's nowhere to hide. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The Attack on 'Fake News' Is Really an Attack on Alternative Media
Mocking Trump Doesn't Prove Russia's Guilt
President Trump is getting mocked for "trusting" Vladimir Putin's denial about "meddling" in U.S. politics — and not accepting Official Washington's groupthink — but ridicule isn't evidence.
Mideast Turmoil: Follow the Oil, Follow the Money
In this scenario, time is running out for Saudi Arabia's free-spending royalty and state-- and for all the other free-spending oil exporters.
Students offered money, rewards for joining gov't events to promote nuclear waste disposal
Students have been lured by money and other rewards to attend government events to promote public understanding linked to hosting final disposal sites for high-level radioactive nuclear waste, one of the organizers said Tuesday.
As fears of Korean conflict loom, health ministry eyes halting outbreaks amid refugee influx
Surveillance and Silence in China's Democracy Village
Streets within the village have been equipped with high-definition cameras and major areas have been sealed off by checkpoints and armed police.
Most UK supermarkets falling short in fight against antibiotics crisis
Overuse of antibiotics on farms is major cause of growing resistance in humans, as campaigners name Lidl as worst performer
## US ##
But whether this ultimately ends in inflation depends on the goods' affordability to consumers. -- RF
Pension Ponzi Bailout: Democrats Sponsor US Treasury Bailout Scheme
Most defined benefit pension plans are nothing but Ponzi schemes. Plans are now unraveling because of demographics. An increasing number of retirees, needing untenable returns, are supported by fewer and fewer people putting money in the system. Democrats sponsored a bailout scheme. Will it pass?
Household Debt Reaches New Peak: A Very Deflationary Setup
Debt Deflation Setup: Credit Card Defaults and Subprime Auto Delinquencies Rise
P2P Loans are "Predatory," Have Delinquency Characteristics of pre-2007 Subprime Mortgages, Could Impact Financial Stability: Cleveland Fed
Hundreds of millionaires are banding together to tell Congress: Raise our taxes
Forget the Bogus Republican "Reform": Here's What Real Tax Reform Would Look Like
The point is to end the current system in which billionaires get all the privileges and financial benefits of owning assets in the U.S. but don't pay taxes that are proportional to the benefits they extract.
Colleges draw fewer foreign students but avoid crisis so far
International enrollments at U.S. colleges have fared better than expected this year, but many schools still fear the country's political climate, according to a national survey.

And finally...


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