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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


News Links, May 16, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Global QE Dream Ends, ECB Sees Rate Hikes, "Normalization" Becomes a Thing
Strange Things Are Happening in Mexico's Banking System
Rumors and denials proliferate, as millions of pesos disappear.
One of the main reasons the US welched on the nuclear deal is that Iran is ditching the greenback. -- RF
Turkish Gold Imports Triple As The Central Bank Diversifies Out Of Dollars
Turkish gold imports surged due to a sharp increase in investment demand as well as renewed Central bank purchases.  While the Chinese and Russian governments have been adding gold to their official reserves over the past several years, Turkey added 86 metric tons to its official holdings in the last seven months of 2017.

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Goldman Sachs-backed start-up Circle introducing a crypto version of the US dollar
Another Southwest Airlines Co. plane in-air issue scared passengers after its cabin lost pressure.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US embassy in Jerusalem will increase Middle East instability, warns Saudi Arabian prince
Netanyahu's useful idiot. -- RF
Giuliani shares with numerous other neocons like John Bolton a strong relationship with [MeK]. In fact, both Giuliani and Bolton have been on the payroll of the MeK and have received tens of thousands of dollars to speak to their followers.
There is a misunderstanding about oil here. Shale drilling is credited with reducing US dependence on Middle Eastern oil, giving the impression that oil is no longer a major factor. On the contrary, everyone (except the general public) knows that shale oil is junk energy and a flash in the pan, and that the US believes it's imperative to lock down Iran's conventional oil reserves. -- RF

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Israeli military drops warning leaflets into Gaza as border protests build

## Energy/resources ##
Junk energy: Skeptic Geologist Warns: Permian's Best Years Are Behind Us
Geologist Arthur Berman, who has been skeptical about the shale boom, warned on Thursday that the Permian's best years are gone and that the most productive U.S. shale play has just seven years of proven oil reserves left.
The improved efficiency comes down to a number of "technology improvements" some of which are as mundane as drilling longer wells, increasing the number of frack intervals and pumping in greater quantities of proppants.
All of which further raise costs. Whom are we fooling here? -- RF
Only limited lengths of such roads will ever be built. -- RF
Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Soon Face a Moment of Reckoning

## Got food? ##
Industrial trans fats must be removed from food supply, WHO says
UN health agency says trans fats in snack foods, baked foods and fried foods are responsible for 500,000 deaths each year

## Solutions ##
EMP: An Elaborate Hoax or a Legitimate Threat?
In the final analysis, it doesn't matter whether an EMP attack is possible or not. For one reason or another, power grids will go down. Prep for that, and you are also prepped for EMP. -- RF
'Superbug' surfaces at poultry farm in China
E. coli that's resistant to a "last-resort" antibiotic has been discovered on a commercial poultry farm in China, researchers report.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Military data lurking in the dark web

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
The Stomach-Churning Victim Blaming by "Labour Friends of Israel"

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Five Things You Should Know About Collapse
"The days of explosive growth are over."
Even the royal family knows the future is Chinese
There was a time when classrooms were dominated by the '3 Rs', reading, writing and 'rithmatic. Now, the focus is on Mandarin.
Shoppers desert UK high streets, putting more jobs at risk
Decline bigger than same period in recession-hit 2009 and one in 10 town centre shops lie empty

Today, the national debt stands at more than $21 trillion– a milestone hit roughly two months ago. This means that the government added $20 trillion to the national debt in the 37 years between October 22, 1981 and March 15, 2018.
Note that almost all the debt has been added in the post-1970 years, after US conventional oil production peaked and the nation started on the net-energy downslope. Although net energy decline isn't the only reason for this debt accumulation, it's the biggest factor. -- RF

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