Sunday, January 22, 2017


News Links, January 23, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Spain's Banks Openly Flout the Law Like Never Before
Chief of Taiwan's Foxconn says rise of protectionism unavoidable
Wealth worth one year's GDP has been lost since 2009 (Greece)
These are the Countries with the Biggest Debt Slaves, and Americans Are Only in 10th place
Must read. A real eye-opener... and scary! Remember, economic growth requires continuous debt expansion. That's why governments are desperate to get their citizens deeper and deeper in the hole. -- RF
Trump says to start renegotiations on Nafta with Canada, Mexico

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Visualizing The Global War On Cash (infographic)

## Airline death spiral ##
Cathay Pacific -- a fallen star of the air?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Mexico's Pena Nieto, Trump Speak by Phone, to Meet Jan. 31
With New Constitution, Erdogan Eyes For One-Man Rule
Prospect of war in space is getting real; congressman wants someone in charge
Yes, very likely war in space, too. Thanks to the global resource grab, the consumer society, severe world overpopulation, economies and pension systems designed like Ponzi schemes, a roster of psychopathic world leaders, "defense" industries pumping their sales, and unbridled human greed, war will be everywhere. -- RF
British tanks sent through Channel Tunnel to prepare for war
Intensive Negotiations Ahead of Russia-Led Syria Talks
Erdogan Seeks Powers to Stay in Office Until 2029: Expect Perpetual State of Emergency
Taliban hint at opening with Trump as they seek departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
10,000 Protest Romania Government Plans to Pardon Prisoners

## Energy/resources ##
G20 farm ministers seek to protect precious water supplies
Shell Exits Third Saudi Project After Ending Sabic Venture
Solar panels are cheaper than ever. But some manufacturers are losing money.

## Got food? ##
Doomsday: Will peak phosphate get us before global warming?

## Environment/health ##
Study links herbicide Roundup to liver disease

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news ##
Beijing internet censors close websites of liberal economic think tank
Trump Aide Says Press Secretary Used 'Alternative Facts'
Although the term might be new, previous administrations have also offered "alternative facts." -- RF

## Japan ##
Japan to discuss flights to 4 Russian-held islands
Verging on negative net worth, Toshiba preps stake sales to raise cash
Detention of Okinawa activist sparks cries of political oppression

## China ##
Chinese president takes on new role to spearhead civilian-military tech transfer
Document of Torture: One Chinese Lawyer's Story From Jail

## UK ##
Downing Street 'covered up serious Trident missile malfunction' weeks before crucial Commons vote
Missile failure off Florida? British leader won't say
60mph speed limit for M1 under consideration to combat air pollution

## US ##
The 4 Horsemen of the US Debt Apocalypse
80 percent of federal government operation costs go to four areas in Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, and Department of Defense.
Trump to oversee 'fiscal bloodbath' instead of prosperity, says Reagan OMB director David Stockman
David Rosenberg: "The Travesty Is We Have 23.5 Million Americans Aged 25-To-54 Outside The Labor Force"
Selectivity in Trashing Trump
Around the United States, massive demonstrations have protested the inauguration of Donald Trump, but there is a danger that the anti-Trump forces could block the positive elements of his message.
Donald Trump Will Not Release Tax Returns, White House Adviser Says
Ex-WSJ Reporter Finds George Soros Has Ties To More Than 50 "Partners" Of The Women's March
A Preview Of Trump's Seven Imminent Executive Orders

Saturday, January 21, 2017


News Links, January 22, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
25 Years of Neocon-Neoliberalism: Great for the Top 5%, A Disaster for Everyone Else
It cannot be merely coincidental that the incomes and wealth of the top 5% have pulled away from the stagnating 95% in the 25 years dominated by neocon-neoliberalism.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US B-2 bombing raid on Libya cost over $8.8 million
Philippine Protesters Ask Duterte to Stay Away From Trump
Left-wing and Muslim activists urged Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in a noisy protest to keep his promise of charting a foreign policy independent of America by staying away from Donald Trump who after he is sworn in as president on Friday.
China says Philippines' Duterte to visit again as ties warm up
Shortage of US Air Force fighter pilots grows
At the end of fiscal year 2016, the Air Force was short 750 fighter pilots, up from 511 at the end of the previous year.
Where Donald Trump Makes Sense
Many progressives so despise Donald Trump that they decry all his positions even those that make some sense, such as questioning NATO and the dangerous New Cold War with Russia.
Trump Hypes Missile Defense Systems Targeting Iran, North Korea
Russia, Syria Sign Deal to Expand Tartus Naval Base
In a move aimed at cementing Russia's long-term presence in Syria, the two nations today signed an agreement on the status of the Tartus Naval Base, allowing Russia to dramatically expand and modernize the facility. Tartus is Russia's lone naval port in the Mediterranean.
The Simple Reason Russia and America Keep Inching towards Crisis

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Troops deployed as Brazil riots spread
Anti-Trump Protesters Pepper Sprayed on Eve of Inauguration Outside 'DeploraBall' in D.C.
Thousands protest in Washington, New York City in defiance of Trump
Women stage massive anti-Trump protests across U.S

## Energy/resources ##
Big Oil May Finally Get to Drill in the Arctic, But Is It Worth It?
Is It Game Over For Nuclear Power In New York?
OPEC, Russia Say Oil Cuts Are Deeper and Faster Than Expected
Oil Companies Just Had Their Worst Year Since 1940
Russian parliament ratifies major gas pipeline deal with Turkey
Losing the plot: courgette crisis spreads to other vegetables (UK)
Snow across Spanish farming areas means tomato, lettuce, pepper and celery shortage - and higher prices - may last into spring

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: The Real Reason Your City Has No Money
Very interesting analysis, which corroborates what I've been saying about the impossibility of rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure of the US and other developed countries. There is one essential element not discussed here, and that is the role of energy. It's important to see that most of the infrastructure in developed countries was built when the net energy of fossil fuels was still high. Now that it's much lower and declining fast, repairing and replacing all deteriorated infrastructure is impossible. -- RF

Thursday, January 19, 2017


News Links, January 20, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Finance and Growth: The Direction of Causality

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Use of cards slowing as cash makes a comeback (India)

## Airline death spiral ##
Chinese woman held for refusing to turn off mobile phone on plane
While passengers shouldn't be allowed to have such items in their carry-on luggage, this looks like a laughable attempt to reinforce the absurd belief that people can hijack aircraft with box cutters. Sure, a few people might get cut, but when passengers come swinging heavy luggage at the would-be hijacker, how useful will the box cutter be? -- RF
A United passenger said he found a bomb threat in the bathroom. Feds say he wrote it.

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

Greece's disappearing refugees
The refugee camps on the Greek Aegean Islands are overflowing. As a result, a growing number of refugees are leaving the islands secretly and heading for Europe. And this could endanger the EU's deal with Turkey.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
U.S. protest group vows to disrupt Trump inaugural festivities

## Energy/resources ##
Rystad Energy: Global Oil, Gas Discoveries Drop To 70-Year Low
Oil and gas discoveries around the world dropped last year to their lowest since the 1940s after companies sharply cut back in their search for new resources amid falling oil prices.
It's part of the self-reinforcing downward spiral of our energy system. -- RF
UK Is Europe's Last Hope For A Fracking Success
Following poor success across Europe, including Poland, Ukraine, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark, the UK now remains the last candidate province for European shale gas and oil in the near term. And a fracking moratorium in Scotland has further reduced that to England & Wales.

Climate change to depress crop yields in the United States, new study claims
Scientists found for each additional day with temperatures above 86 degrees Fahrenheit, maize and soybean yields are reduced by 5 percent.
Under our current economic model, species perceived to have no direct economic benefit to humans are regarded as useless. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Wikileaks' founder Assange says stands by US extradition offer
The Ugly Specter of Torture and Lies
President Obama refused to hold "war on terror" torturers to account but punished truth-tellers severely, a bleak legacy not erased by Chelsea Manning's belated commutation.
The article is scant on details, but I imagine that mainstream corporate sources will be blessed, while alternative news sources will be labeled fake and shut out. -- RF
How the NYT Plays with History
By failing to tell the hard truth about Establishment wrongdoing, The New York Times — along with other mainstream U.S. media outlets — has destabilized American democracy.
'Year 2019 problem' looming over Japanese shipbuilders
The Japanese shipbuilding industry is again facing the prospect of building almost no ships at domestic shipyards, as orders for exports in 2016 plunged more than 80% from the previous year to a 24-year low.
Recall this item from January 18. -- RF
In no matter what country of the world, bubbles are now the only game in town. -- RF
Provided you have fat bundles of cash, you get to enjoy rights and privileges offered by no other jurisdiction on Planet Earth. The City of London's legal system takes US-style corporate personhood to a whole other level.
North Sea explorers focus on African fields in quest for low-cost oil
A two-year downturn in oil prices pushed companies to begin exploring in lower cost oil fields, which became even cheaper to investigate as service companies slashed their own costs.
 Nurse shifts left unfilled at nearly every hospital in England, figures show
[Obama] invested at least $34 billion to promote fossil fuel projects in other countries. That is three times as much as George W Bush spent in his two terms, almost twice that of Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and Bill Clinton put together.
Obama's Bombing Legacy
President Obama has joked he still doesn't know why he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, but his record of waging war was no joke to thousands at the receiving end of U.S. bombs.

## POTUS-elect ##

And finally...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


News Links, January 18, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Does Immigration Boost Growth? A Look at Data From Around the World
Forty-four percent of business leaders firmly believe globalization has done virtually nothing, for example, to help close the gap between the rich and poor.
It's no surprise, therefore, that more than one in four Americans say that flying is either "unenjoyable or awful," according to a CNBC survey of 815 travelers published that same year, and that could be because their fellow passengers misbehave pretty often. The problem appears to be getting worse instead of better.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
What Is NATO And Why Does Trump Hate It? President-Elect Calls Alliance 'Obsolete' In Interview With London Newspaper
But will shale drillers make any money? -- RF
$25 trillion? Ain't gonna happen! -- RF
Pipeline in Canada needs replacing after 'mischief': police
A section of an intra-provincial oilfield pipeline under construction in Canada's oil heartland of Alberta needs replacement after being damaged by an act of "mischief," authorities said on Monday.
Remember: Hydrogen is not an energy source. It's just another kind of battery. -- RF
The fall armyworm that's native to the Americas has arrived in southern Africa for the first time, wiping out tens of thousands of acres of corn fields.

## Solutions ##
Draining the Swamp in Washington Through Community Banking

## Environment/health ##
North Dakota Governor: DAPL Likely to Get Easement Once Trump Is President

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Russia-bashing is in full swing, and there does not appear to be any letup in sight. We are plunging headlong into a new Cold War, riding on a wave of propaganda-induced hysteria. The self-serving claims fueling this campaign need to be challenged every step of the way.
Half of Americans believe Russia interfered in U.S. presidential election: WSJ/NBC poll
A high percentage considering that the "evidence" presented so far is basically nothing more than speculation. And why don't polls ever ask people what they think of US meddling in other countries? -- RF
A Demand for Russian 'Hacking' Proof (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity)
More than 20 U.S. intelligence, military and diplomatic veterans are calling on President Obama to release the evidence backing up allegations that Russia aided the Trump campaign – or admit that the proof is lacking.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news ##
Russia Must be Destroyed: John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier

## Japan ##
Japan's elderly inmates prefer jail
Japan is in the midst of a geriatric crime wave such that its prisons increasingly look like nursing homes.
Care burden prompting more widows to cut off in-laws
An increasing number of Japanese, especially women, are choosing to terminate legal relations with in-laws after the death of a spouse.

## China ##
Top Chinese Judge Warns Against Judicial Independence
State media last weekend reported that Supreme People's Court Chief Justice Zhou Qiang warned the high court to resist ideologies that pose a threat to the Party, calling on it to: "resolutely oppose the influence of Western 'constitutional democracy,' 'separation of powers,' 'judicial independence' and other harmful ideas.
Affordable water in the U.S.: A looming crisis
If water rates continue rising at projected amounts, the number of U.S. households unable to afford water could triple in five years, to nearly 36 percent, a new study finds.
Democrats Lost in a Corporate Wilderness
Over the past quarter century, the national Democratic Party merged with the Clinton pay-for-play money machine and lost touch with American populism.
At the same time, there's too much emphasis on rebuilding the Democratic Party, at the expense of reforming the overall political-party and electoral system. Instead of concentrating on this, the US needs to change its de facto China-style one-party system and widen the political spectrum to allow the genuine participation of parties offering something other than the Republicrat globalist war agenda. The Democratic Party can only be "reformed" in the true sense of the word if it is forced to reform under pressure exerted by alternative voices that threaten the War Party monopoly. Political activists who believe that the Democratic and Republic branches of the War Party can be "reformed" under the current US political regime are dead wrong. -- RF
Companies Scramble to Avoid the "Trump Tweet"
Companies are fawning all over Trump, citing job creations that were already planned before Trump was elected.

## POTUS-elect ##
Trump's Remaking of US Foreign Policy
President-elect Trump is outlining a foreign policy that rejects the interventionist tenets of Washington's neocon/liberal-hawk establishment and puts U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control at the top of his agenda.
Donald Trump v. the Spooks
President-elect Trump is in a nasty slugfest with U.S. intelligence agencies as they portray him as a Russian tool and he blasts their attempt to delegitimize his election.
It's Not About Trump, But Us
The looming inauguration of Donald Trump has led many on the "liberal/left" to vow eternal resistance but this fury has obscured the need for self-reflection on how "progressives" have lost their way.

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