Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Military Rolls Tanks Onto St. Louis Streets…But Why?

I have to say that this event, which is being labeled a “training exercise”, makes very little sense to me. U.S. Army troops all the way from Maryland running open exercises in armored personnel carriers on the busy streets of St. Louis? I know Maryland is a small state, but is there really not enough room at Ft. Detrick to accommodate a tank column and some troops? Are there not entire fake neighborhood and town complexes built with taxpayer dollars on military bases across the country meant to facilitate a realistic urban environment for troops to train in? And why travel hundreds of miles to Missouri? At the very least, this is a massive waste of funds.

On the other hand, such an action on the part of the Department of Defense makes perfect sense if the goal is to acclimate citizens to the idea of seeing tanks and armed military acting in a policing capacity. Just check out the two random idiots the local news affiliate picked to interview in St. Louis on the subject. Both state that they think the exercise is a “great idea”, because having the military on the streets would help to “reduce crime”:

Disintegration: What It Looks Like When a Nation Collapses

Whether the system is going to collapse is not the question.

Most informed individuals understand that out of control spending fueled by trillions of dollars in debt, unprecedented monetary expansion and ever increasing dependence on a government social safety net overburdened by millions of people in need of essential services can not be sustained forever.

For many Americans and our counterparts in Europe, the collapse is now.

To suggest that we are somehow on the road to recovery is nothing but conjecture.

We have no doubt that everyone is tired of bad news, but we are compelled to review the facts: Europe is currently experiencing severe bank runs, budgets in virtually every western country on the planet are out of control, the banking system is running excessive leverage and risk, the costs of servicing the ever-increasing amounts of government debt are rising rapidly, and the economies of Europe, Asia and the United States are slowing down or are in full contraction. There’s no sugar coating it and we have to stop listening to politicians and central planners who continue to downplay, obfuscate and flat out lie about the current economic reality. Stop listening to them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Future Shock: Boomers & Retirement

Born between 1946 and ’64, baby boomers are the children of the euphoric generation who won the last world war and established American global political supremacy. The first boomers began reaching age 65 in 2011, when the population of those 65 and older reached 41 million. About 75 million more boomers are getting ready to retire today—the largest pre-retirement market ever! In the next 18 years, the over-65 age group will expand to about 120 million.

However, as buyers of retirement products, boomers are woefully underprepared. Since 2008, they have been battered by a cruel economy. Distressed children and parents often have had to move in together. Many boomers have found themselves unable to retire until their early 70s.

Today’s 60-year-old, having worked 30 or more years, has only accumulated about $200,000 in his 401(k) plan, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and his household spends about $40,000 per year.

Protecting individual rights is not Stalinist

THIS week Republicans in the Senate once again blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would take further steps to guarantee access to the legal system for women who charge they've been paid less than men for doing the same job. (That's illegal, in case anyone was thinking of trying it.) Justifying his vote against the act, Rand Paul compared it to Soviet communism. This is sort of a dog bites man story; on a given day, Rand Paul probably compares several dozen things to Soviet communism. But here, for what it's worth, is why he thinks legislation to make it easier for women to sue when they've been paid less than men for doing the same job is just like Soviet communism:

"Three hundred million people get to vote everyday on what you should be paid or what the price of goods are," Paul told reporters on Capitol Hill. "In the Soviet Union, the Politburo decided the price of bread, and they either had no bread or too much bread. So setting prices or wages by the government is always a bad idea."

Despair As Collapse Accelerates: “My Shotgun is Full and Well Equipped. I Hope I Don’t Need to Use It.”

Our long time friend and regular contributor Manos has been keeping us abreast of the day-to-day goings on in Greece for the better part of three years. Suffice it to say, it’s getting worse with very little hope of resolution to the economic and political woes facing the country, as well as its European neighbors.

The following is a first person perspective of the realities on the ground, and what it looks like in the midst of a truly frightening economic collapse that threatens to not only wipe out the financial wealth and life savings of an entire nation, but may potentially lead to a breakdown in the rule of law and civil war between extreme political factions trying to fill the vacuum of power.

This is real, it’s happening right now, and it’s coming to America in due time.
Hi guys,
The daily life is still the same.
Things keep going because some divine hand still help us.
You wake up in the morning having no mood at all. And it’s this heat which destroys your brain cells. Today, it’s 34 degrees Celsius.
I’ve kept a small amount of around 250 euros, to buy some final provisions. Mostly meat cans, vitamins, and dried bread. I will store them to my parents’ basement, in order to have alternative escape plans.
The rumor about a power shortage is more and more been discussed around people, and alternative media.
It’s being said that the Power Company is no longer having the money to purchase coal and diesel.
We don’t have a generator for home use, so in case of a failure, we must consume all refrigerator food first.
My wife bought two big camping gas devices, with many spare bottles of gas. We can cook all meat and veggies, and then share them with the rest of the family.
My shotgun is full and well equipped. I hope i don’t need to use it.
My car had a small steering wheel failure last Friday, and i had to fix immediately. I don’t know if we have to leave the town in a rush.
I tried to find a small hut in the property but nobody sells at all.
Prices are so low, that they don’t want to sell their properties for nothing. I’m considering to buy a caravan and put it in the biggest olive-field. A small one with 2 beds, light enough to be dragged by my car, costs around 5.000 euros.
Today the stock market is going upwards, but soon enough the final collapse will occur. Spain is going down rapidly.
I’ll keep posting as long as I can. Don’t worry, I’m fully equipped and prepared.
Just take care of yourselves and families.
When the things reach to your neighborhood, you will have to fight.
Your fellow citizens are still living in their utopia. When they realize the danger, they will turn into ruthless beasts.
I pray for you all.
God Bless you
We wish our friend Manos the very best, as his family and countrymen are on the frontlines of an economic collapse that is about to affect every developed nation in the world.

Take his warnings to heart and prepare, because once the final phase of the breakdown begins it will be too late.

Article Source

The Realities Of Choosing Your Survival Retreat Location

Unfortunately, having a ‘Plan B’ just isn’t the modern American way. The great and diabolical misfortune of having two to three solid generations of assumed prosperity in one’s culture is the side-effect it has of lulling the populace into comfortable apathy. “Prepping” becomes a kind of novelty; a lifestyle that people joke about while planning out their next vacation or their next suburban home purchase. It’s something that others consider in that fleeting moment in front of the television while witnessing the news of a catastrophe on the other side of the world, only to be forgotten minutes after changing the channel. Such things do not happen here. Not in the United States…

I am a child of an age laden with illusory wealth, and have benefitted (for a short time at least) from the financial fakery of our economic system, as have many Americans. Most of us have not had to suffer through the unmitigated poverty, hopelessness, and relentless fear that are pervasive in harsher days. All our problems could be cured with money, especially government money, and as long as the greenbacks were flowing, we didn’t care where they came from. Ultimately, though, the ease of our well-to-do welfare kingdom has set us up for a cultural failure of epic proportions. Anytime a society allows itself to be conditioned with dependency, its fate is sealed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Job Market Crashes to Earth

If you happened to hear a loud, sustained moan of pain around 8:30 this morning, chances are it was the collective sound of the financial world reading the this month's jobs report. Employers added an anemic 69,000 positions to their payrolls in April, less than half of the 150,000 economists were predicting as of yesterday. Worse yet, the labor department revised down its estimate for March's jobs growth, from 115,000 all the way to 77,000. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 8.2 percent, as a few more Americans started hunting for work again (having apparently waited for the wrong time).

It was ugly. Like, Freddy Krueger ugly.

Earlier in the year, it seemed as if the U.S. labor market might be capable of defying the gravity of the world's economic problems. The country gained an average of 226,000 jobs a month from January though March, expanding as Europe spiraled into crisis and China showed signs of slowing down. But it might have been false hope. We know some of that economic activity was the result of an unusually warm winter, which moved up construction work earlier into the year. This month, building jobs shrank by 28,000 when seasonal adjustments are taken into account.

The Government’s Boots on the Ground When It Hits the Fan May Be Your Neighbors

It had been several years since I left my positions on the city fire department and county HAZMAT team to move to the mountain state to teach wilderness survival and firearms, but I still missed being an emergency responder. Especially after moving to town when I got married and started a family. When a friend asked me to join him at a CERT training session, all I knew was that it was an acronym for Community Emergency Response Team. A rational person would think that meant it was about becoming part of a team within my community that responded to emergencies. A rational person would be mistaken. Sure, the training covered the basics of first aid, emergency preparedness, fire safety, light search and rescue, etc., but lacked the depth of a boy scout merit badge on those topics. I could not help wondering why FEMA would spend so many of our tax dollars to duplicate duties that, in my professional experience, the American Red Cross and other nonprofit organizations provide for free.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Here's The Chart That Will Get Obama Fired...

Friday's lousy jobs report was a big blow to President Obama's reelection campaign.

One of the single biggest factors in a President's reelection chances is the direction of the unemployment rate and monthly jobs numbers in the six months leading up to the election. We're getting very close to the six-month mark now. And, from Obama's perspective, the jobs numbers are headed the wrong way.

The Obama administration will continue to tell the same story that they have told from the beginning: The economy isn't healthy enough, but it's much healthier than it was under the Republicans--and Obama said from the beginning that it would be a long, slow slog.

That's the truth: It was always going to be long, slow slog. The country's huge debt load, housing collapse, and financial crisis were always going to take years (if not decades) to work through, no matter what policymakers did.

But the trouble for Obama is that he didn't manage the country's expectations well enough, especially with respect to unemployment.

In A Brilliant New Speech, George Soros Reveals The Exact Moment That Angela Merkel Started The Euro Crisis

George Soros delivered a speech today in Trento, Italy today on the Eurozone crisis and it's an absolute dynamo.

You really ought to read the whole speech, which is on his personal webpage, as it starts off with an overview of his economic theories (which revolve around the idea that markets are deeply imperfect and prone to turn into bubbles based on human fallability and lack of knowledge) and then nicely explains how all of this explains the current crisis in Europe.

What's fantastic is that he really gets it from all angles.

This is a really killer characterization of the Eurozone:

I contend that the European Union itself is like a bubble. In the boom phase the EU was what the psychoanalyst David Tuckett calls a “fantastic object” – unreal but immensely attractive. The EU was the embodiment of an open society –an association of nations founded on the principles of democracy, human rights, and rule of law in which no nation or nationality would have a dominant position.

Illinois State Representative Erupts in Fury Over Legislative Tyranny

Illinois state representative Mike Bost loses his cool on the House floor Tuesday afternoon after lawmakers call for a quick vote on a new pension reform proposal.

Bost, R-Murphysboro, angry over a Democrat-led, last-minute plan to overhaul state pensions, launched into a screaming tirade Tuesday.

Bost’s outburst, directed at Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, was shown on state and national media outlets Wednesday morning.

Bost tore into Madigan for purportedly making rules that bind legislators and go against the idea of representative democracy.

If only we could get the 535 Congressional legislators on the Hill in DC to argue with such fury and passion as Representative Bost did we might actually see some real debate and discussion on the legislation being pumped through Congress. It would certainly be a win for the American people if our Senators and Representatives were vehemently arguing among each other rather than voting on legislation they haven’t read and don’t understand on a daily basis.

The List: A to Z Survival for the Abysmal Times Ahead

It seems like no matter how well someone prepares, they inevitably find out they have forgotten something. That all important item or items that aren’t “remembered”, that merely only have to be mentioned by name to remind a person of what they needed. Most of the time when someone forgets an article of clothing or other minor object after beginning a vacation they can easily replace it or live without it. After a calamitous event, however, anything that a person has forgotten to store will likely be be impossible to obtain. What someone has in their possession at the time of the event is probably the ONLY thing they will be able to get.

The following list of A to Z survival items and survival related concepts details what one may have simply forgotten because there’s so much to prepare for. Kind of like; “oh yeah, I am glad that something reminded me of what I need”, or “that’s something I never thought of and I will need it”. Most everyone will, of course, not be able to amass everything on this list, and there will of course be items and ideas not mentioned here, but it should be a good place to start for beginners and seasoned preppers alike. A person can always add more to any list of their own essential needs, as lists such as this are almost endless. It should also be realized that no list of survival items and ideas are perfect for any individual, and just because someone has just a portion of what is on it doesn’t mean that they are not prepared.

Greek Power Regulator Calls Emergency Meeting to Avert Collapse of Power Grid and Natural Gas System

When the political and economic systems of entire nations collapse the consequences are devastating.

Earlier this year pharmacies and hospitals in Greece were unable to provide life saving medicines due to a shortages caused by a freeze in the flow of credit from manufacturers to distributors to patients. A collapse in the country’s economy has forced many Greeks to turn to black market barter economies and has left millions financially devastated, with no hope of finding an income stream for the foreseeable future.

The credit system of the entire country is in shambles. So much so that reports are emerging about food shortages and hunger within the Greek prison system, suggesting that serious problems in the food delivery chain have begun to materialize.

As Nigel Farage warned recently, we are beginning to see the rise of extreme political parties as a consequence of the total and utter desperation of the populace.