Check Out This Sneaky Railway Smuggler Tram Makezine (resilc)
500 years later, scientists discover what probably killed the Aztecs Agence France-Presse (Chuck L)
Turning Soybeans Into Diesel Fuel Is Costing Us Billions NPR (Chuck L). I don’t know if it is still true, but from what I have read, the only biofuel that makes ecological sense is ethanol made from cane sugar, and then only when grown in Brazil.
McDonald’s Just Made a Stunning Announcement That Will Completely Change the Future of Fast Food Inc. (David L). A step in the right direction, but why are they taking so long?
Did Bitcoin Just Burst? How It Compares to History’s Big Bubbles Bloomberg (furzy)
Researchers: One Person Drove Bitcoin Price from $150 to $1,000 ExtremeTech (furzy)
Meltdown and Spectre
Saker’s Jan. 12th interview with Bonnie Faulkner – transcript Vineyard of the Saker. Chuck L: From a few days back but still very much topical. The following especially caught my attention:
I got a letter from this intelligence analyst who said that I underestimated the threat just by having economic chaos in South Korea, because, he said, the ports in South Korea are crucial. A lot of what is produced in China is actually manufactured in Korea, then assembled in China, so war in the Korean Peninsula would also stop a lot of the manufacturing in China. It would dramatically effect shipping through the entire region and even air movement because crucial airports are also located in South Korea, which I had overlooked. And yes, of course, in Japan.
So we’re looking at a paralysis of basically Far East Asia economically, which would be devastating economically worldwide. And this is not something that’s usually discussed.
Juncker says would like Britain to rejoin EU after Brexit Reuters (Kevin W)
Carillion’s downfall shows dumb money knows no borders Financial Times
Hat tip Richard Smith, this long tweetstorm is very informative:
— Ian Makgill (@ianmakgill) January 17, 2018
This may well happen here in Ontario as well. #Carillion has $100's of millions in contracts in Ontario. 6,000 employees. Highways maintenance contracts covering tens of thousands of roads including the 401.
They have many hospital maintenance contracts across Ontario. https://t.co/k7XxOUY1eB
— Rick Barnes (@queerthoughts) January 17, 2018
Residents of tower with Grenfell-style cladding told they must foot £2m bill Guardian (Kevin W)
Tillerson denies US plans to form Syria border force Aljazeera (resilc)
Imperial Collapse Watch
A Foreign Policy Of Sticks And Stones LoebLob (resilc)
Pentagon Mulls Nuclear Response to Cyberattack New York Times. Help me. When attribution is at best informed conjecture? Bill B, who is a security expert, adds:
The quandary of attribution makes deterrence unrealistic. However, it would effectively lower the bar for false flag attacks. Thanks to WikiLeaks we know the CIA poses as foreign entities, like Kaspersky. Cyber Gulf of Tonkin anyone?
Building a Better Bomb: Reflections on the Atomic Bomb, the Hydrogen Bomb, and the Neutron Bomb
Daniel Ellsberg The Asia Pacific Journal. Chuck L: “Nearly nine years old but as pertinent as ever.” Moi: Today’s must read.
Majority of U.S. National Park Service board resigns, saying it was ignored Reuters. EM: “After learning of the resignations U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, in an embarrassing open-mic gaffe, was heard muttering to an aide, ‘who needs that bunch of goddamned tree-hugging hippies, anyway?'”
Shutdown drama grips the Capitol The Hill. Will probably be resolved by Links launch time, but if not, this gives a real-time look at some of the sticking points.
The Trump Administration Targets the Poor New Yorker (furzy)
Appropriations bill would bar SEC from requiring political spending disclosure Minneapolis Star-Tribune (TF). Not well covered in discussions of the shutdown bill…by design.
Don’t Blame Mental Illness for Mass Shootings; Blame Men Politico (JTM). Mark Ames, in his book Going Postal, found that the common element among mass shooters (and this included the very few women) was being on the receiving end of sustained bullying.
The poorly reported Aziz Ansari exposé was a missed opportunity Guardian (UserFriendly)
Dow Industrials Top 26000 for First Time Wall Street Journal
Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today? Michael Hudson, Center for Economic Policy Research
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.
Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “This is a little “Ceraunus Blue” (20-30 mm wingspan) butterfly keeping me company in the front yard while I watered.”
And a bonus antidote (Chuck L). A bit rough to watch…