Thursday, November 30, 2017

 

News Links, December 1, 2017


## War on cash/cashless society ##
Spring Japan suspends 10 pilots over safety regulation breaches

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Commander: Over 1,000 US Troops in Combat in Afghanistan in 2018
Gen. John Nicholson, the top US general in Afghanistan, revealed on Tuesday that US forces will be greatly increasing their involvement in combat in the country next year, and that combat troops will be "at extra risk."
Saudi Arabia's Mysterious Upheaval
Stung by an apparent defeat in Syria, Saudi Arabia's aggressive Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has arrested rivals within the kingdom's elite and provoked a political crisis in Lebanon.
US Bows to Israeli/Saudi Alliance in Blaming Iran
Contrary to common belief, Israel supported Iran's Islamic Republic for more than a decade in the 1980s before shifting its favors to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s and making sure the U.S. followed suit.
Israeli Defense Minister Contradicts Netanyahu: "There Is No Iranian Military Force On Syrian Land"


## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
63-year-old Tibetan Monk Self-immolates in Sichuan
Protests rise as vote count in Honduras drags on

## Energy/resources ##
Will solar panels and Tesla Powerwalls meet your home's energy needs?
Here I review Tesla's claims using an existing rooftop PV array in the Arizona desert as a real-life example. Will a few Powerwalls allow the homeowner to go off-grid? Not a chance.  Will they make the home blackout-proof? Maybe, maybe not. Will they save the homeowner money on his electricity bills? Not that I can see.
Solar's Tumbling Costs Start Claiming Victims
Did Anyone Do Even a Minimal Check on the Sensationalist Bitcoin Electrical Consumption Story?
Tesla Owners Are Stealing Power To Mine Bitcoin
Teslas and other EVs have free access to power at many charging stations, so it was probably only a matter of time until somebody decided to plug their mining computers in.
Qatar Just Ran Out Of This Unlikely Natural Resource
Qatar is running out of sand needed for the construction of facilities for the 2022 World Cup due to the months-long Gulf blockade against Doha, according to new reports emerging from the region.

Common pesticide can make migrating birds lose their way, research shows
The experimental study is the first to directly show harm to songbirds, extending the known impacts of neonicotinoids beyond insects
Scientists Call For Ban On Glitter, Say It's A Global Hazard
You Might Be Breathing Cancer-Causing Toxic Metals During Your Commute
If you take the subway to work, your morning commute might be slowly killing you, as you breathe in polluted air that has become trapped in the underground transit system. Airborne metal particles are especially a problem, and they are launched into the air by the natural wear and tear caused by trains moving along tracks.
This start-up raised millions to sell 'brain hacking' pills, but its own study found coffee works better

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The StingRay Is Exactly Why the 4th Amendment Was Written
At least 68 agencies in 23 different states own StingRays.
Video Shared By Trump Featured US-Backed FSA Commander Destroying Virgin Mary Statue In Syria
Oops... Nothing to see here, folks. Move right along. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Democrats Rely on Blame-Shifting
By riding hatred of President Trump and spurring on the Russia-gate hysteria, Democrats hope to win in 2018 without a serious examination of why they lost support of key working- and middle-class voting blocs.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
War, hunger, extremism will intensify in 2018: Report

## Japan ##
About 11% of Land in Japan Is Unclaimed
This problem will be "solved" as industrial society declines and people (not necessarily the rightful owners) take over the land. BTW, the idea that owners don't update land registries in order to dodge taxes just doesn't wash; the taxes on such land amount to mere pocket change. Owners might, however, be pressed to mow weeds or demolish tumbledown buildings, and the latter would cost real money due to high fees for C&D waste disposal. -- RF
Is Toyota's bet on hydrogen paying off?

## China ##
China, alleged to have influenced Zimbabwe coup, is set to benefit from Mugabe's replacement
Crackdown on North Korean workers starves Pyongyang of cash
A slew of North Korean businesses in China have closed amid ever-stricter international sanctions on the isolated state, a sign that efforts to curb Pyongyang's income from citizens employed abroad are working as intended.

## UK ##
Is This The End Of Nuclear Power In The UK?
NHS plans to ration care access in bid to force through extra funding
Board meeting will discuss plan to ration and delay patients' access to care after receiving less than half the amount called for in this year's budget

## US ##
America sold nearly $42B in weapons to foreign countries in 2017
U.S. defense companies sold $41.93 billion worth of weapons to foreign partners and allies in fiscal 2017, an almost 20 percent increase over 2016 figures.
Get Ready for Concealed Guns in All 50 States
Yellen: $20 trillion national debt 'should keep people awake at night'
The total national debt level is $20.6 trillion and rising. Of that total, $14.9 trillion is owed by the public.

And finally...


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

 

News Links, November 29, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
114 Italian Banks (Roughly 23%) Have NPLs Exceeding Tangible Assets
What is absolutely certain is that global wealth will be totally decimated in the next 4-8 years. It doesn't matter if you are very rich or "just own a house" with some equity left. Most of it will come down in value by 75-95% in the next few years as the debt and asset bubbles implode. But what very few people realise or plan for, is the confiscation of wealth that will take place in coming years.
About 97 percent of India's 1.3 billion people have never been on an airplane, according to low-cost airline SpiceJet Ltd., indicating the potential for growth in traffic.
Rohingya backlash pushes Suu Kyi into Beijing's arms
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to China to discuss the Rohingya refugee crisis amid growing international criticism, signaling to the West that Naypyitaw is tilting toward Beijing in favor of its hands-off approach.
In 2016, Bill Gates remarked that "the next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus".
It could just as well originate on the computer screen of a government with an agenda. Plenty of those around. Or it could originate on the computer screen of a private person with deep pockets and an ideology to justify mass murder. We should be surprised if it doesn't happen. -- RF

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Growing Protests Shut Down Karachi, Hit Other Major Cities

## Energy/resources ##
Venezuela Could Lose A Lot More Oil Production
Here again, people have to do the work that nature did for us when it created real coal. In figuring the energy yield of this manufactured fuel, we have to subtract the energy used in making it. The article makes no mention of this technology's energy balance, which would help determine the difference. -- RF
U.S. has successfuly decommissioned 10 nuclear plants
As of 2017, 10 U.S. nuclear power plants have been successfully decommissioned, and another 20 U.S. nuclear reactors are currently in different stages of the decommissioning process, says the Energy Information Administration.
Revealing article about the usefulness of LTO (i.e., shale oil). -- RF

Generation Waste: Why are millennials throwing away so much food?

## Environment/health ##
Why this deer disease could change the way Americans hunt forever
EU settles dispute over major weedkiller glyphosate
EU countries have voted to renew the licence of glyphosate, a widely used weedkiller at the centre of environmental concerns.
The EU (with Help from Germany) just Made Monsanto's Day
One of Germany's largest companies is trying to buy Monsanto, which changes everything.
Bird flu scare latest to rattle South Korea's Winter Olympics
Local governments in South Korea have called on operators of farms close to venues that are to be used in February's Winter Olympic Games to slaughter around 6,000 ducks and chickens after avian influenza was discovered on a duck farm in North Jeolla Province.
Russia Taking Action to Address Nuclear Waste Hazards in Far North
Confronting one of the most hazardous environmental legacies of the Soviet era, Russian authorities are taking steps to clean up a decades-old problem posed by nuclear waste in Arctic areas.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
CNN vs Trump: Point, Counterpoint
On Saturday Trump blasted CNN in a Tweet. CNN responded. It's all rather amusing.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Mexico promised affordable housing for all. Instead it created many rapidly decaying slums
Homeowners toting buckets scrounge for water delivered by trucks. Gutters run with raw sewage from burst pipes. Streets sink, sidewalks crumble, and broken-down water treatment plants rust. In some developments, blackouts hit for days at a time.

Imagine the influx of boat people to Japan if North Korea collapses. -- RF
"Scholarships" Are Driving Students into Debt
Too many humans. -- RF
China's Bike-Share Startup Frenzy Turns into Money-Suck
Fresh startups with millions of dollars in funding run out of cash and collapse.

## UK ##
Scottish councils 'showing signs of serious financial stress'
Several councils are two to three years from draining all their savings to fund services after series of funding cuts, says watchdog

Expect more xenophobic diatribes going forward. -- RF


Sunday, November 26, 2017

 

News Links, November 27, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Jeff Bezos's Net Worth Just Broke $100 Billion
The Problem Isn't Populism: the Problem Is the Status Quo Has Failed
The top 5% who have benefited so immensely from the consolidation of wealth and power cannot confess the status quo has failed the bottom 95%.
This latest case reflects the growing concern over the security of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum amidst their growing popularity as a mode of payment.
Spain's Third Biggest Bank Just Made it Harder to Get Cash
War on Cash bogs down, despite best efforts of government, banks, and credit card companies.
Europeans Still Love Paying Cash, Even if They Don't Know It

## Airline death spiral ##
China has flown its first flight to the US powered partly by used cooking oil
Given the scale of the global airline industry, fuel from used cooking oil will never amount to much. -- RF
Chinese airlines court Cathay pilots facing pay squeeze
Chinese airlines are circling disaffected pilots at Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways, offering sky-high salaries to fill a shortage of experienced captains in a rapidly expanding aviation industry.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran's navy: Warships to be deployed to Gulf of Mexico
Iran's new naval commander vowed to send a warship to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, a move that could raise concerns in Washington.
And I would imagine that the presence of US warships in the Persian Gulf raises concerns in Tehran. -- RF
Rise of the killer machines
As Asia's militaries deploy more lethal automated weapons systems, fears are growing of a new artificial intelligence driven arms race
But it's not only the Russians standing in the way of regulation. Read on. -- RF
The Dark Inevitability of Zionism
Among the growing assaults on freedom of speech is an Israeli-driven campaign to criminalize a campaign to boycott Israel over its racist persecution of Palestinians.
Saudi vows new Islamic alliance 'will wipe terrorists from the earth'

## Migrants/refugees ##
Europe's Plan to Close Its Sea Borders Relies on Libya's Coast Guard Doing Its Dirty Work, Abusing Migrants

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Amazon workers in Germany, Italy stage Black Friday strike
Islamist protesters clash with Pakistan police for second day

## Energy/resources ##
Tesla's Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries
Elon Musk touted ranges and charging times that don't compute with the current physics and economics of batteries.
The Fight for Northern Iraq's remaining oil
On a cost per mile per adjusted payload basis, we estimate that Tesla truck's cost of operation will be well over $2 per mile. As much as 30% higher operating cost than comparable diesel trucks.
How long before they are burning Picassos? -- RF

## Got food? ##
Monsanto says Mexico revokes permit to market GMO soy in seven states
Climate Change Is Coming for Your Pumpkin Pie
Unusual weather conditions could cause an entire national crop to fail.
Can biodynamic farming solve India's agricultural woes?
"On Friday, we filled 20 dump trucks of 13 cubic meters (460 cubic feet) each, and it made almost no difference," Ricardo Alvarado, mayor of the Honduran coastal town Omoa, told AFP. "We are even finding bags holding blood" from hospitals.
Addictions: Social Media & Mobile Phones Fall From Grace
Identifying social media and mobile phones as addictive is only the first step in a much more complex investigation.
Facial recognition is tracking customers as they shop in stores, tech company says
Retailers and malls are installing technology to track customers and collect data about consumer demographics, an IT company says
Staggering Variety of Clandestine Trackers Found In Popular Android Apps
Researchers at Yale Privacy Lab and French nonprofit Exodus Privacy have documented the proliferation of tracking software on smartphones, finding that weather, flashlight, rideshare, and dating apps, among others, are infested with dozens of different types of trackers collecting vast amounts of information to better target advertising.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Newsweek causes stir by reporting 'Japan wants war' with North Korea
Japan loses appeal as regional airline hub
US airlines bypass Narita for airports in China and South Korea
They plan to finish the project and have it running in 10 years, but this alone will take three years. I stick with my prediction that it won't be finished by then, if at all. -- RF
Japan to enhance control over privately owned land on remote islands
The government will soon consider steps to enhance control over all privately owned land on remote islands to bolster national security and protect resources within Japan's territorial waters.
Fukushima 'ice wall' linchpin not living up to high hopes
Although 34.5 billion yen ($309 million) in taxpayer money has funded an "ice wall" to keep out groundwater from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant site, the frozen barrier may not be meeting hopes and expectations.
PLA faces enlistment crunch with fewer young Chinese
The country has fewer youngsters who can enter the labor market and a demographic slump that could force the PLA to get tougher on conscription
Women having fewer children than at any time in history, statistics show
Average family sizes have been decreasing in England and Wales since the 1930s according to the numbers published by the Office for National Statistics
For now, self-driving cars are not ready for consumers, and sales of the battery-powered vehicles demanded by California regulators remain marginal and money-losing. Profits are generated by gasoline-fueled sport utility vehicles and trucks.


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