Saturday, 21 February 2015

Headlines - 02/19/2015

News Links, February 19, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
The Catastrophic Costs of Extend-and-Pretend Are About to Crush Europe
Like a star which has expanded and now cannot maintain its grand state, Europe's extend-and-pretend economy is now poised to experience a supernova implosion.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Embattled Debaltseve falls to Ukraine rebels; troops retreat
The U.S. Empire and ISIS: A Tale of Two Death Cults
As U.S. imperialism loses its capacity to compete outside the military sphere, its foreign policy options shrink, accordingly. "Since the U.S. is superior to the rest of the world ONLY in military terms, Washington finds its ultimate advantage in turning the whole world into a battlefield." Permanent War follows the same logic as a death cult. In fact, one created the other – literally.
Conditions for Syria's displaced just keep getting worse, aid officials lament
Turkey says it's reached accord with U.S. on training Syrian rebels, but not on who enemy is
The United States and Turkey will soon sign an accord to train and equip at least 2,000 Syrian fighters this year, but the two NATO allies have been unable to agree on what enemy the Syrians will be preparing to fight, Turkish officials said Tuesday.
US accuses Israel of inaccurate leaks on Iran nuclear talks
The United States accused Israel of leaking inaccurate information about nuclear negotiations with Iran, intensifying tensions over the issue before Benjamin Netanyahu's contentious March visit to Washington.
Myanmar imposes state of emergency in Kokang as death toll rises
Myanmar authorities have declared a state of martial law in the Kokang region, near the border with China's Yunnan Province, the first such declaration since the country began democratizing in March 2011.
Fearing Invasion by ISIS, Italy Prepares to Attack Libya
Ukraine Finance Minister's American 'Values'
Among the arguments for why Americans should risk nuclear war with Russia over Ukraine is that the regime that took power in a coup last year "shares our values." But one of those "values" – personified by Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko – may be the skill of using insider connections.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hong Kong retail: Local businesses troubled by conflicts between residents and mainlanders

## Energy/resources ##
Nuclear plants delayed in China, watched closely by US firms
With the number of 'operable' power reactors declining from 443 to 437 over the past decade, the rhetoric about a nuclear renaissance is becoming hard to sustain.
Here's a good article explaining how the fracking treadmill works. It's totally insane. -- RF
Amid wave of thefts, Mexico won't ship gasoline in pipelines
Slammed by a 70 percent increase in illegal pipeline taps in one year, Mexico's state oil company announced Tuesday that it will no longer ship finished, usable gasoline or diesel through its network of ducts.
Mexico's Pemex Says Suspends Some Deep Water Exploration Projects
Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex has postponed some deep water exploration projects and will cut jobs as part of a raft of planned capital delays due to slumping crude prices, Chief Executive Emilio Lozoya said on Wednesday.

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Excellent. Long-time readers know that I have always advocated heating people, not buildings. This is basically the model still in use in Japanese residences even now. Central heating is unsustainable, so it's best to start preparations now for keeping warm in traditional ways. -- RFDIY All-Natural Toothpaste

## Environment/health ##
How razing the rainforest has created a devastating drought in Brazil
Swine flu claims nearly 600 lives in India
India is beefing up efforts to combat an outbreak of swine flu that has taken nearly 600 lives since January, with the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat worst affected.
Netanyahu Uses US Congress as Prop
By addressing the U.S. Congress for a third time, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will again demonstrate his mastery of the American political process, using the backdrop of repeated standing ovations to keep Israelis from thinking too much about economic troubles.
In an attempt to curb the mass rush for food change and reform, psychiatry has green lighted a public relations push to spread awareness about their new buzzword "orthorexia nervosa," defined as "a pathological obsession for biologically pure and healthy [sic] nutrition." In other words, experts are saying that our demand for nutrient-dense, healthful food is a mental disorder that must be treated.

Scores of elderly people tied to beds in unregistered facilities (Japan)Scores of elderly people living in sheltered accommodation in Tokyo have been routinely tied to their beds or locked in their rooms, officials said Wednesday, highlighting the plight of pensioners in rapidly-aging Japan.
The government is currently considering the vexed question of what to do with waste in the long-term, as some of it may need management for tens of thousands of years.
To believe that anyone can manage deadly nuclear wastes for tens of thousands of years is insane. Everyone should watch the video on Finland's Onkalo facility, in which even the people involved with the project admit there's no guarantee it can isolate the wastes safely until they are harmless. Even if nuclear war is avoided, nuclear power will most assuredly trash the planet. -- RF
Advocates still fail to perceive the true cost and the ultimate reliance on fossil fuels. -- RF
Falling energy prices put plant plans on ice
Low crude oil prices and a soft market for liquefied natural gas are causing energy companies to shelve or cancel plant construction, giving engineering companies headaches.
By 2020 we will have 20 percent of our population 65 and older. Half of elderly Americans would be in financial ruin if it weren't for Social Security.
For many in US, cash saved at gas pump is staying in pockets
The Rich Benefit the Most From Tax Breaks Designed to Help People Build Wealth
The federal government spent $384 billion in 2013 on tax incentives that encourage savings, linked mainly to home ownership and retirement plans. Most of that money went to the rich.
And finally...

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