Society's Child


Global trade in freefall: Container freight rates from Asia to Europe crash 60% in three weeks

Three weeks ago, when we last looked at the collapse in trade along what may be the most trafficked route involving China, i.e., from Asia to Northern Europe, we noted that while that particular shipping freight rate Europe had crashed some 23% on just one week, there was some good news: at least the Baltic Dry index was still inexplicably rising, and at last check it was hovering just above 1,100.

That is no longer the case, and just as with everything else in recent months, the Baltic Dry dead cat bounce is now over, with the BDIY topping out just above 1200 on August 4, and now back in triple digit territory, rapidly sliding back to the reality of recent record lows which a few months ago we suggested hinted that much more is wrong with global trade, and the global economy, than artificially manipulated stock markets would admit.

More importantly, a major source of confusion appears to have been resolved. Recall that as we noted on August 3, "many were wondering how it was possible that with accelerating deterioration across all Chinese asset classes, not to mention the bursting of various asset bubbles, could global shippers demand increasingly higher freight rates, an indication of either a tight transportation market or a jump in commodity demand, neither of which seemed credible. We may have the answer."

Comment: Here is a comment on the article by Mac Salvo at
For the last several months numerous analysts and researchers have warned that the beginning of the end for will become apparent to the broader public within the second half of 2015. But most people are either not paying attention, or they simply refuse to admit that the purported economic recovery is a sham. While it may appear, based on "official" government statistics, that the jobs market is improving and economic growth continues full steam ahead, the evidence suggests otherwise. In addition to the myriad of problems poised to drive financial markets into crash territory, it is now clear that the global economy is coming to a standstill. Nowhere is this more apparent than in global shipping trade where prices to move goods from one country to another have collapsed quite significantly in just the last three weeks. And we're not talking about a few percentage points here, but rather, a full on 60% drop, which by any standard would qualify as a meltdown, or in Wall Street terms, a total bloodbath.
It isn't just trade which is collapsing. Currencies around the world in emerging market countries have been in serious decline for over six months and global stock markets have taken a serious turn for the worst since China announced their currency devaluations and it is continuing today. Oil and other commodities have also been crashing over the last year or so as well, which helps to confirm that the global trade freefall is indeed real.

Other significant writers such as Bill Holter at Jim Sinclair's Mineset are giving warning to prepare now, if you are able, for what is coming ahead because he predicts the credit system is going to seize up and it might seize up sooner than one might think.


Huge blaze erupts at steel works plant near Tokyo airport

A massive fire has engulfed a warehouse at a steel plant located near Tokyo's Haneda Airport, sending thick black smoke into the air.

A fire department official confirmed that the heavy smoke was coming from a major fire at the facility which is owned by steelmaking giant Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal.

Comment: This is the latest in a spate of recent industrial related explosions and fires. Yesterday near Tokyo there was a large explosion at a US military base, which is reported to have housed petroleum products and ammunition. These follow explosions in east China's Shandong Province at a chemical plant and petrochemical factory, as well as the recent apocalyptic scenes following massive explosions at the Chinese port of Tianjin.


California man jailed for dispatching a drone with his t-shirt

The small town of Deer Trail, Colorado made national news in 2013 when they announced the bold proposal of offering residents bounties of $100 for every drone shot down via official drone hunting licenses that would be made available.

The proposal understandably drew the ire of the FAA who stated that those engaging in such activity would be severely penalized.

As Mac Slavo wrote at the time:
Phillip Steel, who authored the original proposal in Deer Trail, Colorado says his ordinance is a "pre-emptive strike" against what he calls a "virtual prison" being created through continued expansion of the surveillance state. (Source)
Despite an initial wave of support for the concept, the small contingent of voters decided overwhelmingly to defeat the measure.

However, the central message went far beyond this tiny community and forced a federal response and wide mainstream news coverage.


Ruthless power and deleterious politics: From DDT to Roundup

The modern controversy over Roundup (glyphosate) and the documentation of its effects on humans, animals and soils, has much in common with that over DDT fifty years ago. In particular, it recapitulates attempts to sideline critics and the ongoing delusion of control of the natural world that informs modern agricultural practices.

Morton Biskind, a physician from Westport, Connecticut, was a courageous man. At the peak of the cold war, in 1953, he complained of maladies afflicting both domestic animals and people for the first time. He concluded that the popular insect poison DDT was the agent of their disease. DDT, he said, was "dangerous for all animal life from insects to mammals."

Comment: Big Ag and the chemical giants have poisoned and destroyed massive amounts of the environment and wildlife all in the name of greed and control. Would they really have us "believe" this?!


Spotting the next terrorist

Disguises, threatening moves, say they are "on tour" (so non-specific!), secret foreign sign-language-ish messages, infiltration cover-up via schedule of performances, hiding in plain sight... Ah ha! Terrorists! What else could they be?
You spend your days staring at endless crowds of people, peering into their eyes (figuratively) and tapping into their smartphones (literally), trying to guess which one of them will be the next mass murderer.

You work at a cubicle in a grey government building, employed by one of the intelligence and security agencies charged with spotting the next Parliament Hill shooter, the next Dylann Roof or Anders Breivik, and apprehending them, or changing their course, before they start killing. You have access to extremely confidential information and ever-bigger budgets.

So. How do you spot the terrorist?

Comment: Great. New Rules. Should be effective...unless, of course, the targeted future suspect is duped into being a patsy, fed and nurtured into a new and dangerous belief system and cajoled into suspicious actions, created, documented and apprehended by...the same government agency. This playbill has become common knowledge for anyone awake enough to add 2+2. What's an agency to do if it is more suspect than the suspect? Create another vector to indoctrinate folks to spy on each other and point fingers at their neighbors, family and friends. Sounds historically familiar? Forget your neighbors, look first to your government for the best examples of the covert terror they claim to reveal and thwart. Remember the new rules: its not about what they think...its about what they DO!


Large explosion reported at U.S. military base in Kanagawa, Japan

© Via twitter@L0gg0l
Photos and video footage have emerged showing apparent multiple munitions explosions at a US base in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo. There has been no official confirmation of the incident.

Comment: More details from Fox News:
An explosion has been reported at the U.S. military facility in Sagamihara, Japan, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, citing the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation.

Sagamihara is a city in the Japanese prefecture of Kanagawa, which borders Tokyo.

"Fire from the American military base has occurred," the Sagamihara Fire Department said, according to JBC.

The Sagami General Depot houses storage for petroleum products and ammunition.

Video and photos began streaming in from social media shortly after noon (EST), showing a large explosion, several loud booms, sustained flames and billowing smoke rising from a structure. No injuries have been reported.


Number of people imprisoned in U.S. exceeds that of Soviet Gulag system

Many Americans are quite convinced that they live in one of the freest nations on the planet. Even if they don't think that we are the freest, they still believe that our population has far more rights than the vast majority of the human race. However, these people tend to ignore our large prison population. Can you really call it a free country when that nation restricts the freedoms of such a large percentage of its population, most whom are convicted of nonviolent crimes?

Comment: Conditions in U.S. prisons are anything but exemplary. The private for-profit system is a business, and the well-being of inmates is apparently of little concern. This highly profitable industry is rife with abuse, with the ACLU reporting numerous instances of poor medical care, lack of basic sanitation and a tendency to overuse extreme isolation of prisoners.


Working long hours not only impairs health but reduces productivity

© Andrew Nguyen/HBR STAFF
Managers want employees to put in long days, respond to their emails at all hours, and willingly donate their off-hours — nights, weekends, vacation — without complaining. The underlings in this equation have little control; overwork cascades from the top of the organizational pyramid to the bottom. At least, that's one narrative of overwork. In this version, we work long hours because our bosses tell us to. (That's the version most on display in the recent New York Times opus on Amazon.)

But there are other explanations out there. There's another that says all of us, including senior managers, are basically flotsam buffeted about by the eddies of economic incentive, corporate culture, and technologies that keep the office just a tap away. In this version, there's no one really dictating the norms; we're all just reacting to macro forces beyond our control.

Then there's the version that looks at our psychology. In this one, we log too many hours because of a mix of inner drivers, like ambition, machismo, greed, anxiety, guilt, enjoyment, pride, the pull of short-term rewards, a desire to prove we're important, or an overdeveloped sense of duty. Some of these are negative (see: guilt, anxiety) but many are positive. In fact, multiple researchers have actually found that work is less stressful than our home lives. For some, work can be a haven, a place to feel confident and in control.


Two planes collide during Swiss airshow, at least 1 killed

© Yoolanda Nachrichten
Two planes have collided at an airshow in Dittingen in Switzerland's Basel canton. Swiss police said one of the pilots was killed in the incident. The second one was reported to have ejected and parachuted to safety.

The incident happened during a formation aerobatics demonstration, local media said. One of the planes struck the other from above.

The planes involved in the crash are Ikarus C42s belonging to the German aerobatics Grasshoppers team, which includes three amateur pilots. The team is not to be confused with the Dutch Royal Air Force display team of the same name.



Maryland police subdue unarmed black man by firing shot into his chest

© Charles Warr
In video captured by a bystander, a woman screamed "He wasn't f*cking armed! You killed my husband" as Maryland State Police subdued her following an officer-involved shooting that left a 30-year-old man dead in a Walmart parking lot Friday night.

The Cecil Daily reports that Charles S. Hall was shot and killed by Trooper Daryl K. Brackett, a three-year veteran of the force who claimed he recognized Hall and knew there was a warrant out for his arrest.

According to State Police spokesperson Greg Shipley, Brackett attempted to arrest Hall but Hall allegedly resisted and fought with the trooper before getting into his vehicle and attempting to take off.

"During the struggle, the trooper fired his assigned duty pistol, striking Hall in the upper torso," Shipley said.

Hall was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to police, Hall was wanted for violating his probation and failure to appear for drug counseling. Hall also had another outstanding warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia.

A witness at the scene filmed an unidentified woman who claimed to be Hall's wife struggling with police and pounding on the hood of a police car while screaming, "You are a murderer! He was not armed! He was not f*cking armed! You killed my husband!" as she tried to reach him laying on the ground.

Comment: To protect, serve and kill citizens. This is pure State sanctioned terrorism, paid for by U.S. tax dollars.