Will the Global Financial System Survive? What are the Triggers for a Crash?

Global Research
By Lars Schall

“The People Causing the Economic Crisis are the Ones who Stand to Gain the Most from It”. Interview with German Economists Marc Friedrich and Matthias Weik

crisis

In view of the public debate they have raised in Germany, Matterhorn Asset Management is extremely pleased to feature the below written interview Lars Schall did, on our behalf, with Marc Friedrich and Matthias Weik this past week. German economists Friedrich and Weik co-authored two books which unfortunately are still only available in German. In their latest publication, “Der Crash ist die Lösung”, the economists explain from a German and International perspective, in easy to understand language, why “The Crash is the solution” and why this crash will be more catastrophic than the previous one. They describe based on solid economic fundamentals why a ‘final financial collapse’ is on our doorstep.

Lars Schall: What are the most crucial weak spots in our financial system? And why is it that the financial sector is so powerful vis-à-vis politics?

Marc Friedrich: The most crucial weak spots in our financial system are:

  • Japan’s gigantic debt;
  • China’s shadow banking system;
  • The completely opaque derivatives market;
  • The immense and rapidly growing global debt;
  • The global banking sector as a whole.

Marc-MatthiasThe financial sector is so powerful vis-à-vis politics because a very unhealthy one-sided relationship exists between the political system and the financial industry. Let’s take a closer look: How does a government fund itself? It collects taxes, and it sells government bonds. Who buys these government bonds for the most part? Banks and insurance companies! So who holds the reins here? It’s the creditor, of course, who gives the commands and who says which laws can and cannot be passed against him. This is also the reason why nothing has changed since the crisis in 2008. The hand that gives is always above the hand that takes. Moreover, the financial industry has succeeded in establishing structures outside of the law and saturating itself with cheap money from the central banks. This has made them even bigger, more powerful and, most importantly, more systemically important, which has only increased their ability to coerce governments and citizens when the next crisis comes.

LS: Why do you think the financial system won’t survive?

M&M: The financial system won’t survive for several reasons: We’ve had a fiat money system in place since 1971 based on interest and compound interest. In other words, it grows exponentially. But exponential growth is mathematically impossible on our planet with limited resources and thus destined to fail. We have a monetary system based on debt, so our system constantly needs new debt in order to grow, i.e. new money is generated only through the issuance of credit. This means our financial system has a mathematically finite lifespan–and it expired in 2008. Added to this is bank money created from nothing. This enables all banks to create money out of nothing by lending money.

Let me explain this madness: Central banks and commercial banks can create nearly unlimited amounts of bank money from “nothing”. This completely perverse system works this way every time a loan is granted by a bank. By creating money out of nothing, banks do something that is not only incredible but also makes every banker’s heart beat faster with delight–it’s what we call the 8th wonder of the world, in addition to the effect of compounding: Banks lend money that they themselves can create from “nothing”. Since January 18, 2012, banks in Europe are only required to deposit a one percent minimum reserve of central bank money at the ECB as collateral. This means that for every euro deposited at the ECB, the bank can create 100 euros and lend this with interest and compound interest. The banks lend money created from “nothing” and charge interest for something that actually does not exist. It’s brilliant! Banks make money without directly having to do anything for it. The interest that the customer has to pay ultimately means that more money is paid back than previously existed and was lent. In turn, the banks take this additional money and grant new loans. This automatically leads to more and more debt, which the banks must create out of nothing again, ad infinitum. This creates an unending circle, which, mathematically speaking, must eventually collapse.

The only way to keep the present financial system alive is to ban math and thus overturn the laws of nature.

LS: In order to understand your thesis that the crash will be the solution, one needs to understand the following, namely that the same people who caused the ongoing financial crisis are the real winners of it. Please elaborate on this, and please explain why you consider a crash as a chance?

M&M: As perverse as it may sound, the people causing the crisis are the ones who stand to gain the most from it. We explain this in our book “The Crash Is the Solution” based on an overwhelming number of facts and sources.

Financial sector profits are back at record levels, stock markets are hitting all-time highs thanks to the flood of cheap money and huge bonuses are being paid out again. Yet, ever since the onset of the crisis, the political establishment, central banks and financial industry have only bought time at a very high price and, in doing so, more than anything else, have accelerated the process of maximizing economic damage at the expense of us citizens. No lessons were learned from the crisis and nothing has changed. What happened to all the big promises that were announced? What about Basel III, the financial transaction tax, reining in the banks, etc.? The financial lobby succeeded in axing, massively watering down or pushing all this off into the far-distant future.

Banks have swelled up again with cheap money from central banks so that they are now even bigger, more powerful and therefore more “systemically important” than before. But that’s not all. They’ve also achieved something truly incredible: It is the only industry that is above the law and seems to always land softly despite constant systematic fraud, lies and manipulation.

Furthermore, there is no åsolution within the existing system. If there was one, the protagonists would have proudly announced it long ago. The profiteers of the system from the political and economic elite will do anything to preserve the status quo and let the masses pay for it. Aside from 90 percent of the population, the biggest loser is democracy.

LS: Is the crisis we’re seeing really a crisis of capitalism?

M&M: What is capitalism? In capitalism, you would have let the forces do their work and the market would have taken care of itself. But this was not permitted. We no longer live in the age of capitalism: Banks are bailed out with taxpayers’ money or even nationalized; central banks intervene in the markets and shareholders are expropriated. The real “capitalism” in place now uses means of communism to save itself. Just like in communism, only a small elite group benefits from this system. No crisis has been solved to date by printing money. What we are witnessing in Europe right now is neither in Europe’s interest nor does it correspond to our understanding of democracy. Laws and treaties are broken at the highest level, and an already failed currency is desperately being clung to–at the expense of the people, and especially at the expense of Europe’s youth. Money that needs to be rescued like the euro is not money at all. In our book we point out that the FED had intervened in the markets on 85 percent of all trading days since 2008. This is sick and often leads to the formation of bubbles, and ultimately to crises. With their disastrous policies, central banks create one bubble after another that often have to be absorbed by new, even larger bubbles. That’s why the solution will be the final collapse.

What we currently have is a mixture of planned economy, statism, socialism and other nonsense. Everything but capitalism.

LS: Is the crisis caused partially because of the way money gets created?

M&M: Yes, absolutely! This is the underlying problem together with the unhealthy relationship between our elites in politics and the financial industry.

LS: Do you think in the future the process of how money gets created needs to be taught in schools and universities?

M&M: Yes definitely, we also call for this in our latest book “The Crash Is the Solution– Why the Final Collapse Will Come and How to Save Your Assets.

” If people understood how our monetary and financial system works, then many people would likely not be so easily robbed of their savings by the financial industry. We all deal with money on a daily basis, but hardly anyone knows how our monetary system works. This needs to change. We need empowered citizens and responsible investors. Money, saving for retirement, and investments–these are all topics that must be taught as a subject in schools. This is also essential to break up the financial industry’s current monopoly and to ensure more democracy and justice.

LS: What do you see as possible triggers for a crash?

M&M: There are any number of variables in the system that could cause it to collapse. Start with Japan’s disastrous kamikaze policy and its horrendous debt, the extremely bloated shadow banking system in China or the credit bubble there; drastic political turmoil in the Middle East; the Ukraine conflict; a flash crash on the stock exchanges; a major bank that fails; the crash of the dollar or euro; the sovereign default of Greece, Italy or Spain; a bursting government bond bubble, or the real estate bubble popping in the UK. We are all so interconnected through globalization that if a bank, a country or a currency collapses it could create a disastrous domino effect that no one can escape. The fact is: It isn’t a question of whether the crash will come, but when.

LS: Is your advice to get out of paper securities and go into tangible assets?

M&M: We have been experiencing epochal change since 2008, and we are very clear in our advice: Get out of paper assets and into tangible assets! These have always done better in the past than paper assets, and they have the unbeatable advantage that they can never become completely worthless. Paper assets have the disadvantage that they are more or less transparent, are only on paper and can only serve you indirectly. In addition, many different parties (banks, brokers, insurance companies, the government, etc.) take their own share. Tangible assets on the other hand prevent this in part, and serve you directly and immediately.

Broad diversification of investments is essential. No more than a third of total assets should be invested in an asset class. For example, a third in real estate, a third in gold and a third in (cash) money. We recommend much broader diversification however, spread over ten or more different investments. This makes your asset situation much more stable, even if one of your main assets should fail. And they will fall, be taxed or at worst even be expropriated.

LS: What do you think about gold and silver in that regard?

M&M: In uncertain times like these, physically possessing the two classic “money metals” gold and silver is essential as “life insurance” to protect your assets against crises, economic and social turmoil, and inflation. This gives you two time-tested and globally accepted tangible assets to protect your wealth. With silver you can also protect yourself against a possible prohibition on gold, which, for instance, has been practiced in the past in the United States, Russia and China. And due to the lower purchase price of silver coins, silver is more suitable than gold in an emergency to meet daily needs such as purchasing food and household items.

As a general rule: Always rely on the “old” precious metals–gold and silver. In physical form, that is. But it’s important here to buy in several installments! You can still take your wealth out of the system completely legally and anonymously with gold and silver. This is something that should be done and taken advantage of.

Gold and silver have survived all crises and have never become worthless for thousands of years. What did Jesus get as a gift from the three kings to honor his birth? Myrrh, frankincense, and… U.S. government bonds! No, of course not. It was gold.

We do not recommend other precious metals such as palladium, etc. The risks and uncertainties are much greater here. It remains to be seen how the price of gold and silver will continue to develop. We currently are not seeing real prices, especially in the case of gold where the political establishment has deliberately manipulated and depressed prices in the past. Gold of all things was not allowed to be too expensive!
Avoid debt, and definitely do not buy what is often totally overpriced real estate with borrowed money.

In view of the current situation, having a certain amount of cash on hand is not a bad idea. Whether you hide it under the mattress or keep it in a safe deposit box is your decision.

Ever since the bank accounts of depositors in Cyprus got a major shave to bail out the banks there, we know: Money belongs everywhere, just not in an account. Something essential that everyone should know: The money in your bank account doesn’t belong to you, but the bank! It’s not yours until you physically withdraw it. By depositing money at the bank, which is up to the roof in debt, you are providing a loan at extremely favorable conditions to the bank with no real underlying security. On the other hand, when the bank gives you a loan to purchase a home for example, it puts a lien on the property to secure the loan.

LS: You perceive a crash as an opportunity. Why so?

M&M: There is an opportunity in every crisis. We currently have the biggest economic crisis in modern times, so we also have the biggest opportunity. If we succeed in seizing this opportunity, we can enter into a golden age of humanity. However, in order to do this we must solve the problem of “elite” and fundamentally change many things–both socially and economically, the human factor being the more important one. We deal with this in our book, which is extremely unusual for nonfiction. We talk about humility, respect, love, trust and other catchwords.

It is said that people learn from failure. Apparently the crash of 2008, whose aftershocks we are still feeling today, was not big enough. The facts, unfortunately, tell us that nothing has changed. The past, unfortunately, also shows us that the protagonists won’t be forced to make the necessary changes until after a catastrophic event. It’s always been like this, and so it will probably be the same this time, too. But the collateral damage will be enormous. One dramatic example of this is the “energy transition” in Germany–whether it is good or bad is beside the point. Nevertheless, it took a catastrophe in Japan to happen before the energy transition was possible in Germany. Apparently, our financial system will need to collapse first before people realize that we must implement a new financial system that serves all people and not just a small percentage of the population.

LS: Would you agree that we would need a competition of different forms of money in order to overcome the monoculture that we are witnessing in the monetary sphere?

M&M: This could be a sensible approach, but the currencies should be secured and not unsecured like our current money. Only time will tell whether different forms of money in order to overcome the monoculture is on the right path. The fact is: We definitely need a different and new monetary system!

LS: Who will be the winners and the losers of a crash?

M&M: There will only be losers, because we will all lose something. However, those who hold paper assets will lose substantially more than those who own property. Owners of government bonds, annuities, life insurance policies and accounts will be the big losers in the event of a crash–this was always the case in the past, and will also be so in the future. It’s only a matter of time until the mother of all bubbles–the government bond bubble–bursts, because we cannot pay off debt with debt forever. This is why we are very clear in our advice: Get out of paper and into tangible assets.

LS: Marc and Matthias. Much appreciate your time for this interview.

Marc Friedrich studied international business administration and has focused intensely on the economy and financial markets. During a job assignment in Argentina, he witnessed a sovereign default first hand in 2001 and its devastating consequences. Marc Friedrich gained valuable work experience in the UK, Switzerland and the US.
Matthias Weik studied international business in Australia where he completed his degree. He has dealt with the global economy and its financial markets for over a decade. Matthias Weik earned his MBA as part of a work-study program while working for a German corporation. On professional and academic stays in South America, Asia and Australia, Matthias Weik gained deep insight into the world of international finance and economics.
Together with Matthias Weik, Marc Friedrich holds seminars and lectures for companies, associations, foundations, at conferences, trade shows and at universities and colleges. Together with the economist Matthias Weik he co-authored two bestselling books “Der grösste Raubzug der Geschichte” (“The Greatest Heist of All Time”) and “Der Crash ist die Lösung” (“The Crash Is the Solution”). Their first book was also translated into Chinese Taiwan. Translations into Chinese mandarin and Korean are in preparation.

http://friedrich-weik.de

Global Research

“Support MH17 Truth”: OSCE Monitors Identify “Shrapnel and Machine Gun-Like Holes” indicating Shelling. No Evidence of a Missile Attack. Shot Down by a Military Aircraft?

Global Research
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

su25

Su-25 aircraft

According to the report of German pilot and airlines expert Peter Haisenko, the MH17 Boeing 777 was not brought down by a missile.

What he observed from the available photos were perforations of the cockpit: 

 The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile. (Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” Global Research, July 30, 2014)

[click image right to enlarge]

Based on detailed analysis Peter Haisenko reached  the conclusion that the MH17 was not downed by a missile attack:

This aircraft was not hit by a missile in the central portion. The destruction is limited to the cockpit area. Now you have to factor in that this part is constructed of specially reinforced material

The OSCE Mission

It is worth noting that the initial statements by OSCE observers (July 31) broadly confirm the findings of Peter Haisenko:

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported that shrapnel-like holes were found in two separate pieces of the fuselage of the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines aircraft that was believed to have been downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine.

Michael Bociurkiw of the OSCE group of monitors at his daily briefing described part of the plane’s fuselage dotted with “shrapnel-like, almost machine gun-like holes.” He said the damage was inspected by Malaysian aviation-security officials .(Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2014)

The monitoring OSCE team has not found evidence of a missile fired from the ground as conveyed by official White House statements. As we recall, the US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power stated –pointing a finger at Russia– that the Malaysian MH17 plane was “likely downed by a surface-to-air missile operated from a separatist-held location”.

The initial OSCE findings dispel the claim that a BUK missile system brought down the plane.

Evidently, inasmuch as the perforations are attributable to shelling, a shelling operation conducted from the ground could not have brought down an aircraft traveling above 30,000 feet.

Ukraine Su-25 military aircraft within proximity of MH17

Peter Haisenko’s study is corroborated by the Russian Ministry of Defense which pointed to a Ukrainian Su-25 jet in the flight corridor of the MH17, within proximity of the plane.

Ironically, the presence of a military aircraft is also confirmed by a BBC  report conducted at the crash site on July 23.

All the eyewitnesses  interviewed by the BBC confirmed the presence of a Ukrainian military aircraft flying within proximity of Malaysian Airlines MH17 at the time that it was shot down: 

Eyewitness #1: There were two explosions in the air. And this is how it broke apart. And [the fragments] blew apart like this, to the sides. And when …

Eyewitness #2: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.

Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].

The original BBC Video Report published by BBC Russian Service on July 23, 2014 has since been removed from the BBC archive.  In a bitter irony, The BBC is censoring its own news productions.

Media Spin

The media is now saying that a missile was indeed fired but it was not the missile that brought down the plane, it was the shrapnel from the missile which punctured the plane and then led to a loss of pressure.  According to Ukraine’s National security spokesman Andriy Lysenko in a contradictory statement, the MH17 aircraft “suffered massive explosive decompression after being hit by a shrapnel missile.”  (See IBT, Australia)

In an utterly absurd report, the BBC quoting the official Ukraine statement  says that:

The downed Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine suffered an explosive loss of pressure after it was punctured by shrapnel from a missile.

They say the information came from the plane’s flight data recorders, which are being analysed by British experts.

However, it remains unclear who fired a missile, with pro-Russia rebels and Ukraine blaming each other.

Many of the 298 people killed on board flight MH17 were from the Netherlands.

Dutch investigators leading the inquiry into the crash have refused to comment on the Ukrainian claims.

“Machine Gun Like Holes”

The shrapnel marks should be distinguished from the small entry and exit holes “most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile” fired from a military aircraft. These holes could not have been caused by a missile attack as hinted by the MSM.

While the MSN is saying that the “shrapnel like holes” can be caused by a missile (see BBC above), the OSCE has confirmed the existence of what it describes as “machine gun like holes”, without however acknowledging that these cannot be caused by a missile.

In this regard, the GSh-302 firing gun operated by an Su-25 is able to fire 3000 rpm which explains the numerous entry and exit holes.

According to the findings of Peter Haisenko:

If we now consider the armament of a typical SU 25 we learn this: It is equipped with a double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302 / AO-17A, equipped with: a 250 round magazine of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells (dum-dum), arranged in alternating order. The cockpit of the MH 017 has evidently been fired at from both sides: the entry and exit holes are found on the same fragment of it’s cockpit segment (op cit)

The accusations directed against Russia including the sanctions regime imposed by Washington are based on a lie.

The evidence does not support the official US narrative to the effect that the MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile system operated by the DPR militia.

What next? More media disinformation, more lies?

See:

Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” By Peter Haisenko, July 30, 2014

Global Research

Official ‘Investigation’ into Downing of the Malaysian Plane Is Now Clearly a Hoax.

Washington’s Blog
by Eric Zuesse

A Suspect in a Possible Crime Is Appointed to Co-Investigate It: Downing the MH-17. 

Is the Investigation, into the Malaysian Plane’s Downing, Itself a Criminal Operation? 

Eric Zuesse

As was pointed out by investigative journalist Donn Marten at OpEdNews on July 31st, “It is … notable that the MH17 flight recorders were spirited away last week to the UK where the … government of … David Cameron rules and will ensure that the actual content of the recordings will be cooked to a fine fricassee … by the time that they are officially released.” However, that’s not just “notable,” it is far worse. When one checks there the link that’s provided to the BBC’s July 22nd report “UK Experts to Retrieve Flight Data,” one finds the utterly shocking statement:

“British air accident investigators will retrieve data from the black boxes of crashed flight MH17, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said. This follows a request by authorities in the Netherlands, where the Malaysia Airlines plane had flown from before crashing in Ukraine last Thursday. The experts, based at Farnborough, will download data from the recorders for analysis by Dutch and Ukrainian teams.” 

This means that the Ukrainian Government, which is itself suspected of having brought the airliner down, is participating in the decoding of the information to determine who brought this plane down. Is it supposed to be acceptable legal practice, anywhere in the world, to have a major suspect in a possible criminal investigation participate in the investigation to determine whom, if anyone, to charge (i.e., whether the event wasn’t merely a tragic error on the part of whomever fired the shot or shots that brought this plane down)? Obviously, it is not. Consequently, the immediate question here is whether this “investigation” is itself a crime.

The other two Governments that will be decoding this information are Britain and Netherlands, which are likewise allied with the United States, which is the very country that installed the existing Government of Ukraine — the suspect that’s participating  in this “investigation.”

Obviously, to place the decoding of this black box into the power and authority of a prime suspect in the case, and of two of that suspect’s allies, is itself criminal — either by intent or else by negligence.

This “investigation” is, in either instance, a criminal operation, which should be thoroughly investigated in an authentic and fully legal investigation to determine who committed the misplacement of the plane-downing’s black-box investigation: to determine whether that misplacement was an appalling act of negligence, or itself an intentionally criminal act to deceive the world’s public about who downed this plane.

In any case: whatever the “findings” of the present black-box decoding turns out to be, those “findings” will be entirely non-credible, unless the Ukrainian Government, a suspect in the downing, is concluded to be wholly responsible  for the shot or shots that downed the plane. If a co-investigator, in such a case, admits to full responsibility for having committed what would then be a crime of intent, not merely a crime of negligence, then at least one can reasonably respect that sole-perpetrator’s integrity, for admitting and accepting full responsibility for it. But otherwise, any exculpation whatsoever, by the black-box team, of the Ukrainian Government in this affair, can be believed only by idiots.

Already, “First Examination of Malaysian MH-17 Cockpit Photo Shows Ukrainian Government Shot that Plane Down.” A credible pilot and investigative journalist had managed to screen-save key pictures of the crash-site before those pictures were removed from the Internet, and has now concluded definitely that the two Ukrainian Government SU-25 fighter jets that were “accompanying” the Malaysian airliner into and through the conflict zone had virtually simultaneously shot “double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302,” carrying “a 250 round magazine of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells (dum-dum),” which are “designed to penetrate the solid armor of a tank.” The cockpit on one side of the plane was clearly shown in one of those photos, and it had not only entrance  bullet-holes but exit  bullet-holes, holes from firing from both sides  of the airliner, and this can only result from both  of the SU-25 jets firing into the cockpit, firing at it from both sides.

Unless that pilot’s analysis is subsequently shown to be flawed or else faked, the world now knows, as well as it ever is going to be able to (unless and until that piece of the wreckage is publicly shown from the crash-site, though even then it might by now have been tampered-with), precisely who and how downed the Malaysian airliner: this photo taken moments after the crash show it was downed by those two Ukrainian Government planes. There was no ground-based firing that brought it down, because no ground-based firing could possibly have produced the bullet-holes from both sides of that fragment  of the cockpit.

This is a war-crime, with a criminal attempt to cover it up, and with criminal participation by the Western press and others, to hide it from the public.

That’s what it is, as well as will now likely ever be able to be reconstructed of the downing of that plane, because the official “investigation” (at least of the black-box portion of it) is clearly a hoax.

Washington’s Blog

21 Ways To End The Phrase ‘Americans Are So Broke…’

The Economic Collapse
by Michael Snyder

Coins - Public DomainDid you know that 77 million Americans have unpaid debts that are “in collections” and that Congress is actually thinking about letting post offices offer payday loans?  We live in a country where almost everyone is drowning in debt and where most people are either flat broke or very close to flat broke.  Years ago, “your Mama is so broke” jokes were all the rage, and at the rate we are going they could make a big comeback.  Some of my favorites were “your Mama is so broke she went to McDonald’s and put a milkshake on layaway” and “your Mama is so broke your family ate cereal with a fork to save milk”.  Unfortunately, the facts that I am about to share with you are not funny at all.  In fact, they are quite sobering.  Yes, things are going fairly well for the elitists that live in the good areas of New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco right now, but most of the country is deeply struggling as our economic fundamentals continue to crumble.  Please share these numbers with as many people as you can, because we need people to understand that there has not been an “economic recovery” for most of America.  In fact, in many ways things just continue to get even worse.  The following are 21 ways to end the phrase “Americans are so broke”…

1. Americans are so broke that about a third of them have debt collectors on their heels.  One recent study discovered that more than one out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is “in collections“.  That is a total of 77 million people.  In other words, the debt collection business in America is absolutely booming.

2. Americans are so broke that Congress is now actually considering allowing post offices to provide payday loans and check cashing services.

3. Americans are so broke that they are keeping their vehicles longer than ever.  The average age of vehicles on America’s roads recently set a new all-time high of 11.4 years.

4. Americans are so broke that car dealers are having to go to extreme lengths to get new customers.  Last year, one out of every four auto loans in the United States was made to someone with subprime credit.

5. Americans are so broke that 52 percent of them cannot even afford the homes that they are living in right now.

6. Americans are so broke that they are falling farther behind on their student loans than ever.  The total amount of student loan debt in the U.S. has now reached a whopping 1.2 trillion dollars, and approximately seven million Americans are in default on their student loans at this point.

7. Young Americans are so broke that half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

8. Young Americans are so broke that only 36 percent of American adults under the age of 35 currently own a home.  That is the lowest level that has ever been recorded.

9. Americans are so broke that many of them can’t even afford to shop at Wal-Mart and dollar stores anymore

Discount stores are slowly dying.

Yesterday, Dollar Tree announced it would buy Family Dollar, a chain that is in the process of closing hundreds of stores and firing workers.

Other discount stores have been struggling as well, writes Heidi Moore at The Guardian. Fashion discounter Loehmann’s filed for bankruptcy, while Wal-Mart’s sales have declined for the past five quarters.

“There’s just not enough money deployed by American families to keep all the discount chains in business,” Moore writes.

10. Americans are so broke that they are running up record levels of debt.  Overall, U.S. households are 11.68 trillion dollars in debt right now.

11. Americans are so broke that the wealth of the “typical American household” has fallen by 36 percent over the past decade.

12. Americans are so broke that one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

13. Americans are so broke that more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

14. Americans are so broke that there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity.

15. Americans are so broke that the number of people on food stamps has increased by about 14 million while Obama has been in the White House.  Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

16. Americans are so broke that the U.S. government has had to spend an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

17. Americans are so broke that more than 20 percent of all children in the U.S. are living in poverty.

18. Americans are so broke that we have a record number of kids sleeping in the streets.  In fact, we have more than a million public school children that are homeless at this point.

19. Americans are so broke that 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

20. Americans are so broke that 26 percent of Americans have absolutely no emergency savings whatsoever.

21. Americans are so broke that approximately two-thirds of all Americans do not have enough money saved up to cover six months of expenses if an emergency arose.

If things are this bad now, during the so-called “economic recovery”, how bad will things get during the next major economic downturn?

Unfortunately, most Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security.  The financial crisis of 2008 seems like ancient history to most of them now, and most people appear to believe that our leaders have “fixed” whatever was wrong the last time.

Of course that is not the case at all.  In fact, our long-term problems have just continued to grow since then.

The truth is that what we are experiencing right now is about as good as things are going to get for the U.S. economy.  When the next crisis arrives, all of the numbers in the list above are going to rapidly get a lot worse.

So enjoy the rest of this “bubble” while you still can.  It certainly will not last for too much longer.

The Economic Collapse

This Is What Is Going To Happen If Ebola Comes To America

The Economic Collapse
by Michael Snyder

Prison CampIf the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history reaches the United States, federal law permits “the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease”.  These individuals can be “detained for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary”.  In other words, the federal government already has the authority to round people up against their will, take them to detention facilities and hold them there for as long as they feel it is “reasonably necessary”.  In addition, as you will read about below, the federal government has the authority “to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill”.  If you want to look at these laws in the broadest sense, they pretty much give the federal government the power to do almost anything that they want with us in the event of a major pandemic.  Of course such a scenario probably would not be called “martial law”, but it would probably feel a lot like it.

If Ebola comes to America and starts spreading, one of the first things that would happen would be for the CDC to issue “a federal isolation or quarantine order”.  The following is what the CDC website says about what could happen under such an order…

Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

Isolation and quarantine are used to protect the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected.

In addition to serving as medical functions, isolation and quarantine also are “police power” functions, derived from the right of the state to take action affecting individuals for the benefit of society.

“Isolation” would not be a voluntary thing.  The federal government would start hunting down anyone that they “reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease” and taking them to the facilities where other patients were being held.  It wouldn’t matter if you were entirely convinced that you were 100% healthy.  If the government wanted to take you in, you would have no rights in that situation.  In fact, federal law would allow the government to detain you “for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary”.

And once you got locked up with all of the other Ebola patients, there would be a pretty good chance that you would end up getting the disease and dying anyway.  The current Ebola outbreak has a 55 percent percent mortality rate, and experts tell us that the mortality rate for Ebola can be as high as 90 percent.

Once you contracted Ebola, this is what it would look like

Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. That is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and internal and external bleeding.

The “external bleeding” may include bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and just about every other major body cavity.

So how is Ebola spread?

Well, medical authorities tell us that it can be spread through the blood, urine, saliva, stools and semen of a person or animal that already has Ebola.

If you are exposed to the disease, the incubation period can be from anywhere from two days up to 21 days.  But the average is usually about eight to ten days.

In other words, you can be spreading it around for over a week before you even know that you have it.

There is no vaccine for Ebola and there is no cure.

Not everyone dies from the virus, but most people do.

Needless to say, this is about the last disease that you want to catch.  And the doctors that are treating Ebola patients in Africa are going to extreme lengths to keep from getting it…

To minimise the risk of infection they have to wear thick rubber boots that come up to their knees, an impermeable body suit, gloves, a face mask, a hood and goggles to ensure no air at all can touch their skin.

Dr Spencer, 27, and her colleagues lose up to five litres of sweat during a shift treating victims and have to spend two hours rehydrating afterwards.

They are only allowed to work for between four and six weeks in the field because the conditions are so gruelling.

At their camp they go through multiple decontaminations which includes spraying chlorine on their shoes.

But despite all of those extraordinary measures, multiple doctors have already gotten sick.

For example, one of the doctors leading the fight against Ebola, Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, died on Tuesday

A doctor who was on the front lines fighting the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has died from complications of the disease, Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday.

Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan fell ill early last week while overseeing Ebola treatment at Kenema Government Hospital, about 185 miles east of Sierra Leone’s capital city, Freetown.

He was treated by the French aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres — also known as Doctors Without Borders — in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, up until his death, spokesman Tim Shenk said.

And two American doctors that went over to Africa to help fight the disease are now battling for their own lives…

Dr. Kent Brantly, who was treating victims of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, is currently being treated in an isolation unit in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, the AP reported Tuesday.

“I’m praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease,” Brantly said in an email Monday to Dr. David Mcray, the director of maternal-child health at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. The Texas-born Brantly, 33, completed a four-year medical residency at the hospital, the AP said.

Brantly’s wife and two young children left Liberia to return to Abilene, Texas, days before he began to show symptoms of Ebola. They are being monitored for any signs of fever, a City of Abilene spokeswoman told the AP.

A second American, aid worker Nancy Writebol of Charlotte, N.C., is also stricken with Ebola, according to CBS/AP. Writebol had been working as a hygienist to help decontaminate people at an Ebola care center in Monrovia.

This is not like other Ebola outbreaks.

Something seems different this time.

But instead of trying to keep things isolated to a few areas, global health authorities are going to start sending Ebola patients to other parts of the globe.  For example, one German hospital has already agreed to start receiving Ebola patients…

A German hospital has agreed to treat Ebola patients amid widespread fears of a possible outbreak of the deadly disease in Europe. Over 670 people have already been killed by the disease in West Africa with doctors struggling to control the epidemic.

A German hospital in Hamburg agreed to accept patients following a request from the World Health Organization (WHO), Deutsche Welle reports. Doctors assure that the utmost precautions will be taken to make sure the disease does not spread during treatment. The patients will be kept in an isolation ward behind several airlocks, and doctors and nurses will wear body suits with their own oxygen supplies that will be burned every three hours.

Will Ebola patients also soon be sent to hospitals in the United States?

And of course there are many other ways that Ebola could spread to this country.  For instance, all it would take would be for one infected person to get on one airplane and it could all be over.

Federal authorities seem to have been preparing for such an outbreak for quite a while.  As my good friend Mac Slavo has pointed out, “biological diagnostic systems” were distributed to National Guard units in all 50 states back in April…

The Department of Defense informed Congress that it has deployed biological diagnostic systems to National Guard support teams in all 50 states, according to a report published by the Committee on Armed Services. The report, published in April amid growing fears that the Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus might spread outside of West Africa, says that the portable systems are designed for “low probability, high consequence” scenarios.

Some 340 Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System (JBAIDS) units have thus far been given to emergency response personnel. The systems are “rapid, reliable, and [provide] simultaneous identification of specific biological agents and pathogens,” says executive officer for the DOD’s Chemical and Biological Defense group Carmen J. Spencer.

Let us certainly hope for the best.

Let us hope that this latest outbreak fizzles out and that we won’t even be talking about this by the end of the year.

But experts are warning that if a major global pandemic does break out that millions upon millions of people could die.

If that happens, many people will go crazy with fear.

And we got just a little taste of some of the paranoia that an Ebola epidemic in America would create in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this week…

A corridor of Carolinas Medical Center – Main’s Emergency Room was roped off on the first floor, near the entrance Wednesday.

A security guard was posted outside, to prevent anyone from crossing the line.

During a 4 p.m. press conference Katie Passaretti, who is an infectious disease specialist with CMC, said precautions were put into place when patient was brought in Tuesday night.  The patient was traveling from Africa and arrived at the hospital around 11:30 p.m.

Around 3 a.m. the security precautions were put into place at the hospital, Passaretti said.

Passaretti said they determined the patient did not have Ebola.  The patient has been discharged home.

It is not too hard to imagine forced quarantines and people being rounded up and shipped off to Ebola detention facilities.

In fact, if Ebola were to start spreading like wildfire in this country, many people would actually start demanding such measures.

For example, one member of Congress is already proposing that citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (and any foreigner that has recently visited those nations) be kept out of the United States…

In a letter addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, proposed that citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as “any foreign person who has visited one of these nations 90 days prior to arriving in the United States” be kept out of the country. He urged the secretaries to “consider the enhanced risk Ebola now presents to the American public”.

The Economic Collapse

Why Are Massive Numbers Of Sea Creatures Dying Along The West Coast Right Now?

The American Dream
by Michael Snyder

Sea Stars - Public DomainNever before have we seen so much death along the west coast of North America.  Massive numbers of sea stars, bluefin tuna, sardines, anchovies, herring, oysters, salmon, marine mammals and marine birds are dying, and experts are puzzled.  We are being told that we could even see “local extinctions” of some of these sea creatures.  So are all of these deaths related?  If so, what in the world could be causing this to happen?  What has changed so dramatically that it would cause massive numbers of sea creatures to die along the west coast?

The following are 15 examples of this phenomenon.  Most scientists do not believe that these incidents are related.  But when you put them all together, it paints quite a disturbing picture…

#1 A “mystery plague” is turning sea stars all along the west coast of the United States and Canada into piles of goo…

Sea stars, commonly referred to as starfish, have been dying off in alarming numbers along the entire West Coast, from Baja, Mexico, to Alaska. According to reports from the Seattle Aquarium, some parts of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands have seen population declines of up to 80 percent.

On the Oregon coast, according to CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Fawn Custer, “Last December, we had less than 1 percent of sea star wasting. By May 1, more than 5 percent of sea stars were affected. Now, I would say, in some areas, it is up to 90 percent.”

A marine epidemiologist at Cornell University says that this is “the largest mortality event for marine diseases we’ve seen“.

#2 The population of bluefin tuna in the Pacific Ocean has declined by 95 percent.  Mexico has already banned fishing for bluefin tuna for the rest of the year, and the U.S. government is considering doing the same thing.

#3 Sardine, anchovy and herring populations have dropped dramatically along the west coast in recent years…

Pacific sardine populations have shown an alarming decline in recent years, and some evidence suggests anchovy and herring populations may be dropping as well.

The declines could push fishermen toward other currently unmanaged “forage fish,” such as saury, smelt and sand lance, stealing a critical food source relied on by salmon and other economically important predators.

In response, the Pacific Fishery Management Council is considering an ecosystem-based management approach that recognizes the fundamental role of forage fish in the Pacific marine food web. Tiny, but abundant, these small schooling fish feed on plankton and, in turn, fill the bellies of Oregon’s iconic marine species, including salmon, sharks, whales, sea lions and sea birds.

#4Record numbers of distressed sea lions have washed ashore in California” for the second year in a row.  One news report described these distressed sea lions as “malnourished and dehydrated, too weak to find food on their own“.

#5 Marine birds are “disappearing” in the Pacific northwest…

From white-winged scoters and surf scoters to long-tailed ducks, murres, loons and some seagulls, the number of everyday marine birds here has plummeted dramatically in recent decades.

Scoters are down more than 75 percent from what they were in the late 1970s. Murres have dropped even more. Western grebes have mostly vanished, falling from several hundred thousand birds to about 20,000.

#6 Those that work in the seafood industry on the west coast are noticing some very “unusual” mutations.  For example, a red king crab that was recently caught in Alaska was colored bright blue.

#7 Pelicans along the California coastline are “refusing to mate“.  This is being blamed on a lack of fish for the pelicans to eat.  As a result, we are seeing less than one percent of the usual number of baby pelicans.

#8 The oyster population in the Pacific is falling so fast that it is being called “the great American oyster collapse“.

#9 The population of sockeye salmon along the coast of Alaska is at a “historic low“.

#10 Something is causing herring off the coast of British Columbia to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.

#11 Scientists have discovered very high levels of cesium-137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast.

#12 Back in May, more than six tons of anchovies died in Marina Del Ray over a single weekend.

#13 Just a few days ago, thousands of dead fish were found on Capitola Beach.  Authorities are trying to figure out what caused this.

#14 Earlier this month, thousands of dead fish were found on Manresa Beach.

#15 According to a study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University, radiation levels in tuna caught off the coast of Oregon approximately tripled in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Could it be possible that at least some of these deaths are related to what has been happening at Fukushima?

We do know that fish caught just off the shore from Fukushima have been tested to have radioactive cesium that is up to 124 times above the level that is considered to be safe.

And we also know that a study conducted at the University of South Wales concluded that the main radioactive plume of water from Fukushima would reach our shores at some point during 2014.

Is it so unreasonable to think that the greatest nuclear disaster in human history could have something to do with the death of all of these sea creatures?

Just consider what one very experienced Australian boat captain discovered when he crossed the Pacific last year.  According to him, it felt as though “the ocean itself was dead“…

The next leg of the long voyage was from Osaka to San Francisco and for most of that trip the desolation was tinged with nauseous horror and a degree of fear.

“After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen said.

“We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.

“I’ve done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I’m used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen.”

In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes.

“Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it’s still out there, everywhere you look.”

What do you think?

Is Fukushima to blame, or do you think that something else is causing massive numbers of sea creatures to die?

The American Dream

All of the Countries which the U.S. “Regime Changed” – Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – Have Descended into Brutal Chaos

Washington’s Blog

Quantifying the Effects of Regime Change

Since 2001, the U.S. has undertaken regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

All 3 countries are now in chaos … and extremists are more in control than ever.

Iraq

In Iraq, hardcore Islamic jihadis known as ISIS have taken over much of the country – shown in red as the new “Islamic State” or self-described caliphate – using captured American weapons:

http://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/territorial_control_of_the_isis-svg.png?w=640&h=489

USA Today notes: “Iraq is already splitting into three states“.

Christians are being rounded up and killed, and Christian leaders in Iraq say the end of Christianity in Iraq is “very near”. But as we documented in 2012, Saddam Hussein – for all his faults – was a secular leader who tolerated Christians.

Libya

Libya has also descended into absolute chaos.   We reported in 2012:

Al Qaeda is now largely in control of Libya.  Indeed, Al Qaeda flags were flown over the Benghazi courthouse once Gaddafi was toppled.

(This is – again – in contrast to toleration of Christians under Gadaffi.)

The Guardian noted in March:

According to Amnesty International, the “mounting curbs on freedom of expression are threatening the rights Libyans sought to gain“. A repressive Gaddafi-era law has been amended to criminalise any insults to officials or the general national congress (the interim parliament). One journalist, Amara al-Khattabi, was put on trial for alleging corruption among judges. Satellite television stations deemed critical of the authorities have been banned, one station has been attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, and journalists have been assassinated.

***

Ever since the fall of [Gadaffi's] dictatorship, there have been stories of black Libyans being treated en masse as Gaddafi loyalists and attacked. In a savage act of collective punishment, 35,000 people were driven out of Tawergha in retaliation for the brutal siege of the anti-Gaddafi stronghold of Misrata. The town was trashed and its inhabitants have been left in what human rights organisations are calling “deplorable conditions” in a Tripoli refugee camp. Such forced removals continue elsewhere. Thousands have been arbitrarily detained without any pretence of due process; and judges, prosecutors, lawyers and witnesses have been attacked or even killed. Libya’s first post-Gaddafi prosecutor general, Abdulaziz Al-Hassadi, was assassinated in the town of Derna last month.

***

When residents of Benghazi – the heartland of the revolution – protested against militia rule in June last year, 32 people were killed in what became known as “Black Saturday”. In another protest in Tripoli last November, 46 died and 500 were injured.

Under militia rule, Libya is beginning to disintegrate. Last summer forces under the command of the warlord Ibrahim Jadran took control of eastern oil terminals …. These forces which hijacked a oil tanker this month, prompting threats from Libya’s prime minister that it would be bombed until US forces captured it this weekend. Clashes have broken out in Jadran’s home town of Ajdabiya. In painful echoes of Iraq’s nightmare, a car bomb exploded at a Benghazi military base last week and killed at least eight soldiers, and Libya’s main airport was shut on Friday after a bomb exploded on its runway.

One of the great perversities of the so-called war on terror is that fundamentalist Islamist forces have flourished as a direct consequence of it. Libya is no exception, even though such movements often have little popular support. The Muslim Brotherhood and other elements are better organised than many of their rivals, helping to remove the prime minister, push through legislation, and establish alliances with opportunistic militias.

Ominously, Libya’s chaos is spilling across the region. The country is awash with up to 15 million rifles and other weapons, and a report by the UN panel of experts this month found that “Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons“. These arms are fuelling chaos in 14 countries, including Somalia, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Niger.

***

There is a real prospect of the country collapsing into civil war or even breaking up. Unless there are negotiated settlements to its multiple problems, Libya will surely continue its descent into mayhem, and the region could be dragged into the mire with it.

No wonder western governments and journalists who hailed the success of this intervention are so silent. But here are the consequences of their war, and they must take responsibility for them.

28-year CIA veteran Paul Pillar – who rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts – wrote in May:

Just when one might have thought the mess in Libya could not have gotten worse, it has.

***

Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states have evacuated their diplomats from Libya, the United States is preparing for possible evacuation of U.S. personnel, and the country appears on the brink of a larger civil war.

***

Those in Libya closest to being called secular liberals seem to be associated with military officers of the old regime.

***

The intervention already has negatively affected U.S. interests, particularly in providing a disincentive to other regimes to do what Gaddafi did in negotiating an end to involvement in terrorism and an end to production of unconventional weapons.

And things have only gotten worse since then.

(It should be remembered that the U.S. helped sew the seeds of chaos in several ways.  Not only did we engage in direct military intervention against Gadafi, but also – as confirmed by a group of CIA officersarmed Al Qaeda so that they would help topple Gaddafi.)

Afghanistan

Opium production is at an all-time high under the American occupation of Afghanistan.

And the New York Times reports this week that the Taliban are currently making huge gains in Afghanistan … in some cases expanding even beyond their traditional areas of influence prior to 2001:

The Taliban have found success beyond their traditional strongholds in the rural south and are now dominating territory near crucial highways and cities that surround Kabul, the capital, in strategic provinces like Kapisa and Nangarhar.

U.S. troops are just now leaving, and so the worst may be still to come.  In addition – as we discuss below – the U.S. previously imposed regime change on Afghanistan … and the results were bad.

History Repeats

The U.S. carried out regime change in Iran in 1953 … which led to radicalization in the country. Specifically, the CIA admits that the U.S. overthrew the moderate, suit-and-tie-wearing, Democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953. (He was overthrown because he had nationalized Iran’s oil, which had previously been controlled by BP and other Western oil companies). As part of that action, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its prime minister.

If the U.S. hadn’t overthrown the moderate Iranian government, the fundamentalist Mullahs would have never taken over. Iran has been known for thousands of years for tolerating Christians and other religious minorities.

Hawks in the U.S. government been pushing for another round of regime change in Iran for decades.

Hillary Clinton and then-president Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser have both admitted on the record that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Afghanistan in the 1970s by backing Bin Laden and the Mujahadin … the precursor to Al Qaeda.

And look how that turned out.

Syria

The U.S. has heavily backed the Islamic rebels in Syria in an attempt to implement regime change in that country.  The result?

As shown by the map above, they’ve taken a third of the country as part of their “caliphate”

And the jihadis are now busily crucifying, beheading and slitting the throats of Christians. (Yup, Syria was previously known for tolerating Christians.)

Haven’t These Wars Made It Safer at Home?

But haven’t all of these wars made it safer here at home?   Nope … a top Pentagon officials says we’re no safer – and perhaps less safe – after 13 years of war.

As we’ve pointed out for almost a decade, security experts – conservative hawks and liberal doves alike – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Regime Support

But the U.S. doesn’t always back regime change. Sometimes we work to support regimes …

… Unfortunately, they tend to be some of the most brutal tyrannies on the planet.

Postscript:  We can probably add Ukraine to the list of regime changed countries falling into chaos and murderous extremism, given that:

Washington’s Blog

Our Totalitarian Future – Part Two

Washington’s Blog
by James Quinn

In Part One, I asked questions your keepers don’t want to answer truthfully, while providing the contextual setting for how our over-populated world is progressing relentlessly towards a future of war and totalitarianism.

Totalitarianism Now

“Where the republican or limited monarchical tradition is weak, the best of constitutions will not prevent ambi­tious politicians from succumbing with glee and gusto to the temptations of power. And in any country where numbers have begun to press heavily upon avail­able resources, these temptations cannot fail to arise. Over-population leads to economic insecurity and so­cial unrest. Unrest and insecurity lead to more con­trol by central governments and an increase of their power. In the absence of a constitutional tradition, this increased power will probably be exercised in a dictatorial fashion.” Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited – 1958

Huxley wrote his dystopian masterpiece in 1931 before the rise of Stalin, Hitler and Mao and their murderous totalitarian empires, sustained by torture, mass murder, surveillance, and fear. Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948, after living through the nightmare of World War II and witnessing the malevolent systematic terrorism inflicted upon innocent populations by psychopathic tyrants like Hitler and Stalin. World War II killed 65 million people. Stalin’s purges killed 20 million Russians, and Mao murdered 45 million of his own people. It appeared that Orwell’s gruesome vision of a future of brutality, surveillance, and fear would come true.

Instead, Huxley’s vision gained ground in the post war world of cheap oil, mass production, consumerism, and TV advertising. It was found that government through terror works on the whole less well than government through the non-violent manip­ulation of the environment and of the thoughts and feelings of individual men, women and children. Propaganda, amusements, materialism, easily accessible debt, and relentless media messaging convinced the masses to love their enslavement and never dream of revolution. It worked as long as energy and debt remained cheap and plentiful.

The 4.4 billion increase (157%) in the world’s population since Huxley’s warning in 1958 is attributable to vast supplies of cheap easily accessible oil, natural gas and coal, which have allowed technological and agricultural advancements that have vastly expanded food production, water purification, global transportation, and medical advancements. With the peak in traditional worldwide oil production reached around 2005, and modest subsequent production increases obtained only by mining tar sands, fracking shale and drilling in deep water at much higher production costs, the era of cheap plentiful energy has come to an end.

Propaganda and storylines about vast reserves and energy independence fail to acknowledge the concept of Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). Once it requires investing more than one barrel of oil in energy to extract one barrel of oil, the game is over. We are approaching the limits of growth because our remaining energy resources will require much more capital investment and higher prices for companies to make that investment. Oil prices were $25 per barrel when George Bush and the neo-cons launched their Iraq Freedom campaign in 2003. Eleven years later, with U.S. oil production at 44 year highs and consumption at 2000 levels, a barrel of oil is over $100 per barrel. The combination of increased demand from developing countries, vastly higher production costs, and global unrest in the areas of the world storing “our” oil under their sand will put a floor on prices, with spikes upward as resource wars flare up around the globe.

It is not a coincidence that the world economic system collapsed in 2008 after oil prices topped $140 per barrel. World food prices also spiked to all-time highs in 2008. The surge in food prices in 2011 to new highs was the impetus for the Arab Spring and social unrest across the Middle East and Africa. The FAO World Food Index spiked to levels only exceeded in 2011 earlier this year. Oil prices have surged as high as $106 and have averaged over $100 in 2014. Do you think it is just a coincidence that social unrest across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe has surged in the last few months? Rising prices and the increasing scarcity of food, water and energy resources push the desperately poor towards revolution.

 

Societal strife, economic decline, poverty, lawlessness, and resource deprivation in third world countries result in dependency upon a central authority to sustain the masses. In the poorest countries without a long history of democracy, the people turn to a strong leader to save them. Before long too much power is accumulated in too few hands and totalitarian regimes are born. The world is awash in the blood spilled by dictators (North Korea, Egypt, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Iran, Tunisia, Syria, Sudan) and presidents in name only (China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Russia, Argentina).

Dreadfully poor people with no hope for a better future turn to radical religion, extremist ideas, and psychotic leaders. A full belly trumps freedoms and liberties. It is not surprising that despots proliferate in the poorest countries with the highest population growth rates. The so called developed world in the U.S. and Europe had been able to sidestep and even take advantage of these developing countries until the 2008 financial collapse. The oligarchs have treated the third world as slave plantations to be reaped, plundered and pillaged. Their banker solution to a crisis caused by the fraudulent issuance of debt products has been to redouble their looting and pillaging campaign through the issuance of even more debt in order to further enrich themselves at the expense of the many.

Huxley saw it beginning to happen even during the late 1950’s:

“Meanwhile impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously acceler­ated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new tech­niques for manipulating, in the interest of some minor­ity, the thoughts and feelings of the masses.” Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited – 1958

I think Huxley underestimated the lengths to which a minority of criminal wealthy bankers, their crony capitalist corporate co-conspirators, and feckless bought off politicians would go in their sociopathic manipulation of the masses to gorge themselves upon the world’s resources and wealth. In 1958 the manipulators only had TV in its infancy and independent newspapers published by journalists who attempted to report the truth. They’ve come a long way baby.

The Deep State, Silent Government, Oligarchs, TPTB, or whatever term you want to employ to our Brave New World Controllers have mastered the art of propaganda, manipulation, distraction, and social engineering to such an extent the majority of Americans have come to love their techno-narcissistic, debt saturated, welfare/warfare, surveillance state. When a minority of evil minded men gain control of a nation’s currency, own and control the few remaining propaganda news outlets, run the mega-corporations selling toxic poison processed food and iGadgets to the masses on debt issued by Wall Street banks, pay-off the politicians writing legislation and tax codes, and brainwash the youth through government controlled education, your Brave New World nightmare has arrived.

Huxley believed that over-population was not an immediate threat to the personal freedoms of Americans and Europeans due to their long history under democratic constitutions. Of course our national debt of $276 billion in 1958 was only 57% of our annual GDP of $482 billion. The population of 175 million could easily be sustained, with ample supplies of energy, food and jobs. The standard of living for families rose consistently and an economy based upon savings, capital investment, and producing things flowed wealth across all classes – raising all boats. Banks accumulated deposits from citizens and leant money to small businesses. There were no stock options, derivatives, stock buybacks, or trading profits. People borrowed sparingly and saved for the things they wanted.

Huxley predicted trouble by the beginning of the twenty first century if the population of the U.S. continued to outpace the available resources to support that population. He was right again. The party ended in 2000.The National Debt has soared to $17.6 trillion, or 104% of GDP in 2014. Why did the debt go up by a factor of 64 while GDP only advanced by a factor of 35? In 1958, prior to the blossoming of the welfare/warfare state, there were little to no unfunded liabilities. Today the total exceeds $200 trillion. A country adding debt at this astronomical rate is a country consuming far more than it is producing. Depletion of resources, overconsumption, and economic decline lead to debt expansion and centralized government control. When 20% of all households depend upon food stamps to survive, your country has too many mouths to feed and a failing economic system designed to serve the oligarchs and impoverish the peasants.

Consumer debt outstanding in 1958 totaled $48 billion, all non-revolving debt mainly for auto purchases. The credit card did not exist. Consumer debt outstanding today totals $3.2 trillion. Has this 6,667% increase in consumer debt benefitted the average person or Jamie Dimon and his ilk? Is it a rational choice of consumers in a free capitalist market or is it a result of coordinated actions by the banking cabal and their captured government benefactors to enslave the masses in debt while keeping them dumbed down and distracted by electronic gadgets produced in slave labor camps overseas under the guise of globalization? Huxley didn’t anticipate Federal Reserve bankers and cowardly captured politicians purposefully inflating away 88% of the U.S. dollar’s purchasing power as they expanded the welfare/warfare state through monetary manipulation, abandonment of gold backed currency and unfettered debt expansion. The result is real wages haven’t advanced in the last 40 years, while corporate profits reach record heights and a small cadre of oligarchs reap the rewards of debt enslavement of the many.

 

The Ponzi scheme system created by the invisible “leaders” of the supposedly free developed world required never ending growth to support the never ending issuance of debt in order to keep the fleecing of the masses operation running smoothly. This is where increasing population and resource depletion have thrown a monkey wrench into their printing press operation. The autocrats harvested energy and minerals resources from third world countries, while utilizing the catch phrase of globalization, as a cover for their wage arbitrage mechanism to continue their worldwide pillaging scheme. The Ivy League educated moguls are extremely smart when it comes to figuring out new and creative ways to screw the common folk, but their unparalleled hubris and arrogant disregard for humanity blind them to the ultimate consequences of their malevolent machinations. There will be blood and they will not escape unscathed. War is coming, but not the war they anticipate.

The definition of totalitarianism is a political system in which the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible. Our two party farce of a political system is aligned to control our lives through laws, regulations, rules, bylaws, procedures, tax codes, taxation, inflation, and debt, enforced by government apparatchiks, bureaucrats, politicians, bankers, police state thugs, and when all else fails – the military. While the masses were distracted by facebooking, texting, twittering, instagramming, taking selfies, playing Words with Friends, engaging make believe enemies on their PS3 or Xbox, watching the Kardashians on one of their 700 cable TV stations, or shopping for Chinese produced crap at one of our 1.5 million cookie cutter chain retail boxes, those in control of this country covertly turned the nation into a surveillance state while militarizing local police forces. They know the endless growth story is over. Our oppressors fear the repercussions when the masses realize it’s all been a big lie and they are left impoverished and hungry. They are attempting to instigate foreign wars, while preparing for the coming civil war.

The confusion, chaos, mayhem and war currently shaking the foundations of our planet are a direct result of too many people jammed into too small of a space with too few resources and too few opportunities for economic advancement. Poor, deprived, hungry people with nothing to lose begin to lose it. Revolution, civil unrest, radicalism, the rise of extremists and despots, and totalitarian regimes are the result. The invasion of Iraq was about oil. The overthrow of Gaddafi was about oil. The ongoing attempt to overthrow Assad is about a natural gas pipeline to Europe in order to isolate the Russians. The Ukrainian coup is about Russian natural gas and oil. The sanctions and saber rattling over Iran’s nuclear program is really about their oil. The United States is utilizing their military industrial complex and CIA assets to instigate turmoil and war around the world in an effort to gain control over the dwindling energy resources in the Middle East and Africa. Russia and China are blocking U.S. efforts at every turn, as the world inches ever closer to a major resource war.

Huxley’s Brave New World dystopian America had a good run from 1950 until 2000. Our keepers kept us fat, dumb, distracted, and in debt up to our eyeballs. Since 2000 Orwell’s 1984 dystopian Surveillance States of America seems to be taking shape, under the watchful eye of our very own Big Brother, the NSA. Fear, punishment, slogans (See Something Say Something) and appeals to non-thinking patriotism have replaced freedom, liberty, individual rights, the Constitution, personal responsibility for our own lives and questioning authority. The propagandists created the War on Terror as a way to keep the ignorant masses fearful and cowering behind the skirts of Big Brother. The 2008 financial collapse was another crisis that couldn’t go to waste. The Federal Government has expanded the spending of your tax dollars by 40% since 2007. The DHS concentrates on the internal enemy – you. The military industrial complex creates new foreign enemy threats every day – Hussein, Gaddafi, Ahmadinejad, Assad, and now Putin.

The monetary and fiscal policies of the country have remained in permanent crisis mode because the Ponzi scheme can’t be maintained without a constant debt fix. As our permanent state of crisis devolves into war, our remaining liberties will be stripped away in the name of safety, security and unquestioned support of the state. Huxley knew that we would consume, obey and submit until dictatorship became almost inevitable. Will you sit idly by while a small cabal of power hungry men destroys our country? Will you send your sons off to wars manufactured by tyrants as cannon fodder to further enrich the military industrial complex? Will you make a stand when they begin to round up subversives, dissenters, and malcontents under the guise of protecting you from domestic terrorists? Will you choose liberty and freedom over repression and descent into captivity and totalitarianism? The choice is yours.

“But liberty, as we all know, cannot flour­ish in a country that is permanently on a war footing, or even a near-war footing. Permanent crisis justifies permanent control of everybody and everything by the agencies of the central government. And permanent crisis is what we have to expect in a world in which over-population is producing a state of things, in which dictatorship becomes almost inevitable.” Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited – 1958

 

Are you a believer?

“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.” – Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

Or a truth seeker?

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.” – Aldous Huxley

Washington’s Blog

Can The U.S. Go Bankrupt?

Alt-Market
by Bob Livingston

uncle sam

When an individual goes bankrupt, he has spent more than his income. His debts and the interest on those debts exceed all the income he has to such a degree that they are beyond his ability to repay.

Most people believe that national governments go bankrupt because they spend too much or spend more than their income. This is what colleges and universities teach and propaganda media parrot. Furthermore, when governments “overspend,” they call it “deficit spending.” But there is no such thing as national bankruptcy as the word “bankruptcy” implies or as it applies to the individual.

There are certain key words and phrases cleverly put into use to conceal the source of government finance: Federal budget, government spending, government deficit and Federal income tax. Believe it or not, none of these terms relates to government finance. But they do cover government fraud on an unbelievable scale.

The terms Federal budget, government spending and government deficit are meaningless when the Federal government and the central bank (Federal Reserve) create money in the form of paper and numbers called credit, in unlimited amounts. The government does not want public knowledge of its monetary trickery. This is why universities teach “accounting” and “finance.”

A simple axiom: To go broke or bankrupt in the national government sense implies that there is a finite or limited supply of money available to national governments. But money does not exist, and no one has ever proven that it does. People think that paper “dollars” are money. In truth, no one has ever seen a dollar. A dollar is not a thing. It is a unit of measurement the same as the terms quart or ton.

Don’t believe me? Will you believe the Federal Reserve’s own publications from the 1970s?

  • “Today, most coin and currency is ‘fiat’ money — money by virtue of government declaration and public acceptance. Fiat money isn’t valuable in itself and doesn’t represent a claim on gold or silver. Fiat money is acceptable because people know money’s true value is its purchasing power — its ability to buy goods and services.” — The Story Of Money, p. 19, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • “Coin and currency are ‘Legal Tender,’ money the Government says has to be accepted if offered to settle a debt. But that approval doesn’t make cash any more ‘real’ than checkbook balances.” — I Bet You Thought… p. 7, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • “Neither paper currency nor deposits have value as commodities. Intrinsically, a dollar bill is just a piece of paper. Deposits are merely book entries. Coins do have some intrinsic value as metal, but far less than their face amount… What, then, makes these instruments — checks, paper money, and coins — acceptable at face value in payment of all debts and for other monetary uses? Mainly, it is the confidence people have that they will be able to exchange such money for real goods and services whenever they choose to do so.” — Modern Money Mechanics, p. 3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • “Currency backing isn’t relevant in today’s economy. Currency cannot be ‘redeemed,’ or exchanged, for Treasury gold or any other asset used as backing. The question of just what assets ‘back’ Federal Reserve notes has little but bookkeeping significance.” – I Bet You Thought…, p. 11, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • “Commercial banks are important financial institutions because they can create money — checkbook money. When we borrow $200 at a local bank to buy a washing machine, we sign an I.O.U. and the banker writes a slip for a $200 addition to our checking account. No one has any less money on deposit, but we have more. The banker has bought our I.O.U. with new demand deposits -­ checkbook money -­ which were created. Bank credit and checkbook money have both increased $200.” — Money and Economic Balance, p. 177, Federal Reserve of New York

The method of money creation is witchcraft. It has been witchcraft for thousands of years. Modern economists and sophisticated eggheads only imagine that they understand money.

Yet nothing that affects our lives could be so all-important. Money is not a dull subject, because the study of money is a study of tyranny. It makes a mockery out of human freedom, property ownership and the accumulation of wealth.

Once we understand money, we then know that any imagined personal freedom that we have is a license or privilege given by the government which can be taken away by the government. The purpose of money is to transfer wealth from the producers to the nonproducer money creators.

John Maynard Keynes revealed a lot in his book, Consequences of the Peace, published in 1919. He stated, “If governments should refrain from regulation (taxation), the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent and the fraud upon the people can be concealed no longer.”

Keynes said in this statement that the system of income tax covers the fraud of the government printing press. What does this mean? It means that the government and its partner the Federal Reserve is printing money (creating credit) out of nothing and paying it into circulation for whatever the government wants, whether it be a fleet of ships or an army or to keep the people fat and happy. To cover the fraud of massive confiscation of wealth with printing press money, we have an income tax system.

The income tax system has a very serious purpose, but contrary to what Americans think the income tax has absolutely nothing to do with funding the government. The income tax is a consumption tax. The income tax regulates consumption. Note Keynes’ word “regulation” above. The income tax system penalizes those who are successful. It is a social and economic leveling system.

The income tax also is used to take as much “money” out of circulation as possible. The more “money” taken out through the income tax, the more the money creators can create. The less “money” there is, the better it keeps its imagined value.

  • “Too much money results in excess spending. When consumers, businesses and governments spend excessively, they compete for the available supply of goods and services and force prices up. When prices rise, the purchasing power of money falls. To keep purchasing power strong, then, the supply of money must not increase too rapidly.” — I Bet You Thought…, p. 111, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Federal government funds itself with “printing press money.” The income tax does not fund the Federal government. Almost nobody knows this, but it is extremely important to understand. The power to create money is the source of government force and bureaucratic tyranny in our lives.

What does all this mean to us? It means that we live under an authoritarian system and we are at its mercy. The Federal government has monopoly power to create money (credit or debt) backed by force. And it disguises this system from the people with the income tax system explained above. Simply stated, corporate government is transferring unbelievable and unimaginable wealth to itself with “money” that it creates and which costs nothing. Does this not make “organized crime” look like Sunday school?

This is how and why world wars are financed that cost millions of young lives. This is how social and economic policy is forged into so-called public policy, a euphemism for government social engineering and government force.

“Public policy” is government force in our lives based on monopoly power to create “money.”

So can governments experience economic collapse? Yes, but no one is aware of how it comes about. That’s because it is not a bankruptcy as is generally understood.

Here’s how it happens: The process of government “money” creation is a concealed scheme of consuming (stealing) the national wealth. In effect, the government creates its own wealth — not from taxes, but by creating “money” and using it to fund the government and to transfer wealth from the people to itself. The simple equation is that when governments consume all the national wealth of the people, then the government collapses.

Governments produce nothing, so governments must live off of the producers. It is the nature of governments to grow bigger and bigger and consume more and more of the national wealth. Do you see this happening?

At some point, government overconsumes the national wealth and collapses. Government finally consumes more than the people can produce.

So then, modern bankruptcy of national governments is not overspending. It is overconsumption of the national wealth.

Via Personal Liberty Digest

The Third World War

Alt-Market
by Tom Chatham

WWIII

Many people feel WWIII is looming closer. For those in North America the next world war is well under way but it will not be exactly what they had planned on. The mass of humanity crossing the southern U.S. border is nothing less than a Third World war being waged on the first world countries of America and Canada.

This is all part of the planned North American Union that will be forced on the citizens of those countries. Prosperous citizens have the means to protect their rights but impoverished citizens can only beg for government assistance or flee to some other place.

The elimination of the southern U.S. border has allowed many thousands of illegal aliens from all over South and Central America to come here in hopes of a better life. The influx will continue and increase substantially before it stops. To eliminate any resistance to a North American Union, America and Canada will be destroyed economically and socially to make subjugation easier.

With too many poor to care for, government services will break down and stop. The nation will be destroyed economically and socially to the point of no longer functioning. An outside institution such as the UN with outside backing will come in to stabilize the situation and take control. Once they are here they will never leave. Any rights you now have will be redefined by this group according to their standards.

Citizens of Canada should take notice of what is happening to their south because it will eventually happen there too. Third world dictators will continue to send their poor north to eliminate discourse among their people and make it someone elses problem.

It has been decided that instead of raising the living standards of the poor to the south, the living standards of those to the north will be lowered. It will continue until the masses beg for government to ease their suffering. They will willingly give up all of their rights for the promise of relief. They will get little relief and only more misery as time goes on.

The collusion between the government, the bankers, the drug cartels, government agencies and international interests are combining to deliver a lethal blow to the freedoms and prosperity we now take for granted. These groups want America to be completely destroyed for their own nefarious purposes. They have a plan and it is now unfolding before us.

Just like in the movie Force Ten From Navarone, where the enemy has discovered they intend to blow up the bridge so they reinforce it, but the men change their plan and they decide to blow up the dam above the bridge and let the water undermine the structure of the bridge and destroy it. This is the type of war we are now fighting. The enemy will do things to undermine our structure without directly attacking it in order to do us in.

This is the third world war that will destroy America. When the money changers have absolute control of their new North American Union they will finally have the utopia they have sought for themselves. The utopia the masses were expecting will never come. This will educate the masses to what socialism really is but they will learn this lesson too late to do anything about it.

Another war will tear the Middle East apart probably with nuclear weapons but by then Americans will be too preoccupied with daily survival to care. It is all in the cards and this will likely come to pass. The invading armies that many Americans fear will one day come are here now. Many of the soldiers are smaller and younger than expected but that will change with time. It will only take a few years for these potential soldiers to grow into adults that will be recruited to help subjugate the continent. Some of the first wave are already trained and financed by the drug cartels. Gangs working with the drug cartels and the government are even now being pre-positioned for future operations against Americans. MS-13 and other gang members will be on one side with DHS on the other and helpless Americans caught in the middle of this pincer move.

For those preparing to survive what may come in the future, this is truly a nightmare scenario and that is exactly how it will unfold. The fighting that will likely take place on this continent in the near future will be bloody and those that survive it will be hard pressed to retain their humanity. The illegals are flooding in, the UN is pre-positioning equipment and DHS has armed all of its agencies to the teeth. Once enough illegals have arrived and been dispersed around the country all that is needed to begin the next phase is a trigger event. The diseases that these illegals carry may be just such an event.

The reasoning for all of the current scandals is simple. The best way to take down the enemy is to overwhelm him and prevent any meaningful defense from him. Middle class Americans are the new enemy. This is what is happening in America right now. We are being overwhelmed with one crisis after another to prevent Americans from forming any type of defense against the transformation taking place in this country that will destroy the social structure we depend on to insure prosperity and stability.

Only if enough Americans realize the nature of what is happening and form a basic defensive strategy will they be able to defend themselves against what is to come. It will be impossible to fight every battle in every location and expect to win. Only when we pick a piece of ground and decide to defend it at all costs will we have any chance of success. That is to say we must decide what battle is the most important and put everything into that to have any hope of victory. Its time to pick our ground and circle the wagons and prepare to defend it to the end. Victory belongs to the most committed.

Via Project Chesapeake