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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Assad’s troops retreat from Golan, leaving Islamist rebels to confront Israel

President Bashar Assad has evacuated most of the troops of his 5th Army Division from their permanent bases on the Golan opposite Israeli forces and transferred the unit along with its artillery to Damascus,DEBKAfile’s military sources report.
The Syrian ruler’s step had three purposes:

1. To reinforce his Damascus defenses;

2. To carve out a buffer zone along the Israeli border and leave it under rebel control.

3. To provide the jihadists fighting in rebel ranks with access to the Israeli border fence. Senior officers in the IDF’s northern command believe it is just a matter of time before these al Qaeda-associated fighters hurl themselves at the border fence to break through, or target Israeli military targets from across the Syrian border.

Assad first practiced this stratagem on Syria’s northern frontier with Turkey.

Six months ago, he opened the door of his border region to let armed bands of the separatist PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) through from Iraq and set up new strike bases opposite Turkey’s back door, to which they could flee after attacks.
The PKK took full advantage of this opportunity. Indeed, to curb the Kurdish offensive, Ankara was forced to enter into negotiations with PKK leaders for a settlement of their claims, although they are still poised in Syria to resume their attacks.
Israel does not have that option because most of the Islamists fighting with the Syrian rebels are associated with al Qaeda and committed to jihad against the Jewish state.
DEBKAfile reports that Saturday, Feb. 16, Israeli government and military leaders were at odds over whether to extend medical treatment to seven Syrians injured in battle on the Golan. In the event, they were allowed to cross the border and transferred to hospital in Safed.

But because of the argument, the official communiqué said only that the decision was taken on humanitarian grounds but omitted to specify whether the injured Syrians were soldiers or rebels.
However, there was never any doubt that they were in fact Syrian conscripts wounded in the course of their unit’s withdrawal from the Golan. The argument against giving the soldiers medical treatment was that they were Bashar Assad’s troops and looking after them was tantamount to endorsing Assad’s hostile schemes and therefore unacceptable. It was settled by avoiding identifying the wounded men.


How neuroscientists are hacking into brain waves to open new frontiers

BOSTON — Neuroscientists are following through on the promise of artificially enhanced bodies by creating the ability to "feel" flashes of light in invisible wavelengths, or building an entire virtual body that can be controlled via brain waves.

"Things that we used to think were hoaxes or science fiction are fast becoming reality," said Todd Coleman, a bioengineering professor at the University of California at San Diego. Coleman and other researchers surveyed the rapidly developing field of neuroprosthetics in Boston this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

One advance came to light just in the past week, when researchers reported that they successfully wired up rats to sense infrared light and move toward the signals to get a reward. "This was the first attempt … not to restore a function but to augment the range of sensory experience," said Duke University neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis, the research team's leader.

The project, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, involved training rats to recognize a visible light source and poke at the source with its nose to get a sip of water. Then electrodes were implanted in a region of the rats' brains that is associated with whisker-touching. The electrodes were connected to an infrared sensor on the rats' heads, which stimulated the target neurons when the rat was facing the source of an infrared beam. Then the visible lights in the test cage were replaced by infrared lights.

It typically took about four weeks of practice for the rats to figure out how to use their new infrared sensory system, but eventually the rats could respond to the invisible light as well as they responded to the visible light. Presumably, they could "feel" where the infrared flash was coming from, as part of their whisker-touching sense.

Nicolelis said the experiment showed that the brain is "much more plastic than we thought" when it comes to adapting to new stimuli.

That plasticity is the key to another set of experiments he and his colleagues have been conducting with rhesus monkeys, in which the monkeys learn to use their brain waves to control robotic arms or manipulate virtual objects on a computer screen. Over the years, Nicolelis' research team has developed a brain-cap system for monkeys that can pick up neural signals in almost 2,000 channels simultaneously, and send them wirelessly to a computer for processing. Nicolelis indicated that he was closing in on the goal of creating a system that could control a full-body exoskeleton.

"We can get animals to control the whole body now, when you get to the 1,000-neuron margin," he said.

Such work feeds into the Walk Again Project, a multinational effort to develop next-generation, full-body prosthetics for people with disabilities. Nicolelis wants to have an experimental brain-controlled exoskeleton ready in time to make its debut at next year's World Cup soccer finals, which are to be hosted by Brazil, Nicolelis' native country.

"We hope we will open the World Cup with a paraplegic young adult walking onto the field," he said.

Coleman, meanwhile, is working on ways to make brain-control devices less obtrusive. He is among several researchers who have been developing stamp-sized wireless sensors that can be worn like temporary tattoos. Such sensors can be used to monitor a person's medical signs — but if they're worn on the head, it's possible to pick up brain waves. In fact, Coleman found that the wireless tattoo sensors worked as well as the conventional, wired stick-on electrodes.

Todd Coleman, a bioengineering professor at the University of California at San Diego, demonstrates how his "wireless tattoos" make monitoring bodily functions much easier.

The results suggest that someday, it might be possible to develop a computer program to read the brain-wave patterns sent in by a tattoo on your forehead, and then fine-tune a virtual character to respond as if it was reading your thoughts.

The tattoos could have more down-to-earth applications in the medical field: In the future, such sensors could be used to monitor a newborn's brain for any signs of abnormality, or an older person's brain for signs of cognitive impairment.

"As we age, our ability to respond, or to modulate our attention to different new types of inputs, will start to slow down," Coleman said in a video interview distributed by AAAS. "Imagine if we could ... mount a sticker to the forehead that can provide quantitative outputs — measurements of that."

Does all this sound like a dream come true for the disabled, or a nightmare for folks worried about mind-reading robots?

Are We Days Away From A Financial Collapse?

PETRUS ROMANUS (Pt 8) The False Prophet And The Antichrist Are Here

From Christians to New Agers, skeptics to historians, the world is presently enthralled with what will happen during and following the year 2012. In general, the excitement (or dread, as the case may be) surrounds a variety of predictions made by ancient and modern sources concerning a portentous moment in time. 

Mankind has entered a period of unprecedented global upheaval, according to these experts, when the earth and all life on it will undergo apocalyptica marked by the end of the “thirteenth baktun” of the Mesoamerican Mayan Long Count. The exact end date of this calendar is December 21, 2012, when during the winter solstice at 11:11, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), the New Age crowd says the sun will align with the galactic center of the Milky Way galaxy, an event that occurs only every thirteen thousand years. 

The precession of the equinoxes will conclude a twenty-six-thousand-year cycle, bringing the astrological Age of Pisces to an end and introducing the beginning of Aquarius, when the next cycle begins and the sun rises out of the mouth of the Ouroboros (great serpent of the Milky Way). This is the sun rising in Sagittarius, the centaur with a bow—the symbol for Nimrod coming out from the mouth of Leviathan and the sun “god” rising again—Apollo/Osiris. The Mayans predicted this conjunction, interpreting it as a harbinger of the end of the world as we know it and the beginning of a new “enlightened” pagan age. People from the world’s greatest religions including Christianity and Islam also see current global developments as potential omens of an end-times scenario leading to the Apocalypse. This includes catholic mystics who believe in the Prophecy of the Popes.

On this order and as discussed in an earlier entry, the Catholic seer who in 2002 correctly predicted that the pope succeeding John Paul II would be named Benedict XVI, Ronald L. Conte Jr., believes the next pope will be Cardinal Francis Arinze and that he will take the namePius XIII. This name (Pius) is associated historically with popes who emphasized authoritative doctrine during their pontificates. Cardinal Arinze fits this description, and Conte interprets this qualification as best fulfilling “Peter the Roman” as a pope who “will reaffirm the authority of the Roman Pontiff over the Church; this authority is based on his place as a Successor of Peter” and “will emphasize the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Faith and the Roman Catholic Church above all other religions and denominations, and its authority over all Christians and all peoples of the world.” To this, Conte adds, “During the reign of Pope Peter the Roman, the great apostasy begins” and this pope will mark “the first part of the tribulation, during our generation.”[i] Conte envisions this apocalypse beginning in 2012 when, as he sees it, Benedict is assassinated and is replaced by Petrus Romanus. This is followed by a series of cascading events resulting in World War III, which is triggered when Iranian-backed terrorists explode a nuclear bomb in New York City. The Great Tribulation begins, and by July 2013, Rome is destroyed when it is struck by a nuclear missile.

Elsewhere in our upcoming book we have meticulously investigated a French codex entitled, La Mystérieuse Prophétie des Papes (“The Mysterious Prophecy of the Popes”), issued in 1951 by a Jesuit priest and mathematician named René Thibaut (1883–1952). Among his astonishing findings—hidden to the modern world until the publishing of our work—Thibaut found concealed in the Prophecy of the Popes a clever number of word plays that form many acrostics and anagrams.[ii]An example of one of the linguistic codes may hold cryptic agreement with Ronald L. Conte’s conclusion that Petrus Romanus will take the name Pius. The code is discovered in the Latin text “Peregrinusapostolicus[iii] which was the prophecy for the ninety-sixth pope on the list, Pius VI. The anagram not only reveals the papal name, it does so twice: PeregIinUS aPostolIcUS. This appearance of the name “Pius” is rather astounding considering we have a published copy dated almost two hundred years before Pius VI was elected. But Thibaut suggests the repetition serves as an even farther-reaching poetic refrain. In other words, “Pius! Pius!” is similar to the excited binary “Mayday, Mayday!” that sailors cry out in dire circumstances[iv] and which may have prophetic implications concerning the name of the final pope on the list[Editors note: Thibaut's book in French and an English translation will be provided free with numerous other research works exclusively from Raiders News Update with the release of Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here].

In addition to being associated with Roman authoritarianism and cryptogramed in the Prophecy of the Popes, Conte bolsters his prognostication concerning the name “Pius” by pointing to the electrifying visions of another pope named Pius—Pope Pius X who served as pope from 1903 to 1914 and who saw a papal successor carrying the same name Pius fleeing Rome over the bodies of dead priests at the onset of the end times. Pius X is widely reported to have said:
What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests! Do not tell anyone this while I am alive.[v]
In a second vision during an audience with the Franciscan order in 1909, Pope Pius X appeared to fall into a trance. After a few moments, he opened his eyes and rose to his feet, announcing:
I have seen one of my successors, of the same name [a future pope named Pius], who was fleeing over the dead bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God’s memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world.[vi]
The third part of the Secret of Fatima, which was supposedly released in total by the Vatican June 26, 2000, seems to echo the visions of Pius X. A section of the material reads:
…before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.[vii]
The conceptual framework of these visions and their validity is volatile among many Catholics who believe Rome is complicit in an intentional cover-up involving the true Third Secret of Fatima as well as other suppressed Catholic foresights that are rife with wildly different predictions concerning the future prophetic role of the Roman Catholic Church. Marian apparitions, visions by popes, interpretations by cardinals of the apocalypse, and approved mystical prophecies often stand at odds with recent Vatican publications. Even the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” approved by the Church and promulgated by Pope John Paul II (released in English in 1994, the first catechism in more than four hundred years), which draws on the Bible, the Mass, the sacraments, traditions, teachings, and the lives of the saints, states under the section The Church’s Ultimate Trial:
675  Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the mystery of iniquity in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the Truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in the place of God and his Messiah who has come in the flesh.[viii]
Possibly at the center of this prophecy and a “Vatican cover-up” of the complete vision of Fatima (and related prophecies) is a second and potentially more powerful papal contender for the role of Petrus Romanus or “Peter the Roman”—Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro (Peter) Bertone, who was born in Romano (the Roman) Canavese (“Peter the Roman”). Among other things, Cardinal Bertone is, at the time our new investigative book on this subject Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here heads to the printer, second in command at the Vatican. As the Secretary of State and the Pope’s Camerlengo (Italian for “Chamberlain”), he is responsible during a papal vacancy to serve as acting Head of State of the Vatican City until “the time of agreement” and the election of a new pope. Our interest for the moment is with his 2007 work, The Last Seer of Fatima that appears to have accomplished exactly the opposite of its primary objective, mainly, to refute another work by famous Italian media personality, journalist, and author Antonio Socci, whose manuscript The Fourth Secret of Fatima claims the Holy See has repressed information concerning the true secrets delivered in Marian apparitions to three shepherd children in the rural Portuguese village of Fatima in 1917. The three young people were Lúcia (Lucy) dos Santos and her cousins Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta Marto, whose visions—containing elements of prophecy and eschatology—are officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

We continue the investigation into Cardinal Bertone and the hidden secret of Fatima in the next entry. What does this have to do with the election of Petrus Romanus? A lot, according to those now assembling at the Vatican in preparation of Conclave...

Tom Horn

Sheriff Says We're Going to See 2nd American Revolution

German Court Expands Adoption Rights of Gay Couples

Germany's constitutional court handed same-sex couples a victory on Tuesday by ruling that gay people should be allowed to adopt a child already adopted by their partner.

The court said an existing ban on the practice—known as successive adoption—violated the principle of equal treatment of people regardless of their sexual orientation.

It said the status quo also harmed the rights of the children involved.

"The exclusion of successive adoption by registered partners violates the general principle of equality," said the court, based in Karlsruhe in southwest Germany.

The government has until July 2014 to amend the law to incorporate the ruling, which applies to gay people in civil partnerships.

Under German law, a gay person can already adopt the biological children of his or her registered partner.

In Germany homosexuals can form civil partnerships but are not allowed to marry. The law already allows a married person to adopt a partner's adopted children.

Opposition parties and gay activists accuse Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right government of dragging its feet on equality for gay couples. Civil partnerships are denied the tax privileges accorded to married couples.

Lawmaker Volker Beck of the opposition Greens said on Tuesday the government was failing in its responsibilities by leaving the constitutional court to tackle issues of gay equality on a case-by-case basis.

"The federal constitutional court has already said in many other cases in the past that there can be no differentiation made between marriage and civil partnerships when there are no good grounds for it," he told German radio.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told a briefing on Tuesday the government would study the ruling to decide how best to proceed in amending the law. "The wellbeing of the children will always be the benchmark for the government," he said.

Two lawmakers from the liberal Free Democrats, Merkel's junior coalition partner, welcomed the ruling.

"Gay men and lesbians make just as good parents as heterosexual men and women. Thousands of children are growing up already in 'rainbow' families," said Stephan Thomae and Michael Kauch in a joint statement.

In a separate case, an Austrian lesbian couple who want to jointly raise one partner's biological child won their case at the European Court for Human Rights, which ruled on Tuesday that Austria's adoption laws discriminated against gay people on that issue.

Charisma News

Meteor Explosion Over Cuba One Day After Russian Event

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Just one day after a spectacular meteor exploded over Russian skies, shattering windows and injuring more than a 1,200 people, Cubans were treated to a similar event, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Many of Cuba’s citizens watched in wonderment as a small fireball soared across the early evening skies on Friday before exploding. Startled residents described seeing the bright light in the sky just seconds before a thunderous boom sent shockwaves through the air, shaking windows and walls. While the Cuban meteor explosion was similar to the Russian event, it was by far smaller and, as a result, no injuries or damages were reported.

The Cuban event also occurred on the same day many Californians witnessed a small shooting star (meteorite) burning up in the night sky as it fell through Earth’s atmosphere over San Francisco.

According to NBC, one couple said they were surprised by the “bright, white fireball” streaking across the night sky. Around the same time residents in northern California witnessed a meteorite blazing across the skies overhead.

Jonathan Braidman, an instructor at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, told NBC that the California fireball was actually a small piece of asteroid. He said it is a fairly “common occurrence,” although they occur more commonly over sparsely-populated areas, perhaps where it is less likely that witnesses will observe them.

Several anonymous reports from citizens in Cuba said the explosion was impressive. One woman told state TV news agency CubaSi that her “home shook completely” and that she “never heard such a strange thing.”

It is not clear yet if the Cuban explosion was indeed from a meteor. Because Cuba lies so closely to the shores of southern Florida, it seems a major meteor streaking across the skies would have likely been spotted there as well, to which no reports have yet to surface. And a California-based telescope monitoring that specific area of sky had not picked up any unusual activity.

Scientists say that small meteorites hit the Earth several times per year, but larger events like the one over Russia are much rarer.

Professor Edwin Bergin, of the University of Michigan’s Astronomy department, told redOrbit on Friday that meteors like the Russian one “occur every 10 to 30 years or so.” And even larger ones, those larger than a half-mile wide, “occur once or twice every million years.”

As for the Russian event, a local scientist today recovered the first fragments of the giant meteor on the edge of a giant hole in a frozen lake near Chelyabinsk after a sizeable chunk of the exploded meteor came crashing down, according to RIA Novosti news agency.

Russian officials had searched the lake on Friday and Saturday but had turned up no results and suggested the hole may not have actually been caused by a meteor fragment.

However, Mikhail Udovinko, who is studying metallurgy at a local university, said he had found a small stone near the edge of the hole at the lake, and believes it is part of Friday’s meteor. He said that the stone responds to magnetism and has some weak radioactive properties.

Paul Abell, a scientist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, has compiled new data for the meteor strike and said it was traveling at 46,000 mph when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere. Earlier reports placed the top speed at around 33,000 mph.

Abell said, according to ABC News, the meteor exploded in the atmosphere because its composition is stony, rather than metallic. The famous Tunguska asteroid that exploded over Siberia in 1908 was also stony, which is why it didn’t impact the Earth.

Metallic meteors are more likely to impact earth, leaving huge craters, much like a famous one found in Arizona.

More astonishing, was the fact that the Russian, Cuban and Californian events occurred on, or around, the same day that the 2012 DA14 asteroid made a historic close approach of Earth, flying by at nearly 17,000 miles overhead, closer than our own geosynchronous satellites, which typically orbit us at 22,000 miles.

But despite the occurrences coming on the same day as the 2012 DA14 flyby, experts said that none of the meteor events are associated with that asteroid.

However, these events are causing some level of concern about what else may be out there lurking in the dark and whether the planet can be protected from future events– ones that could possibly be ten, or even a hundred, times more destructive than the Russian event.

Members of The United Nations, The White House, and even Congress have all asked to be briefed on these events, Abell said.

One ambitious plan to take out asteroids and large meteors before they take us out has already been proposed by two California scientists on Friday as well.

The proposed system, called DE-STAR, would be designed to shift the orbit of large asteroids, possibly deflecting them away from the Earth. This system is designed to utilize the energy of the Sun, converting it into an array of lasers that can also destroy, or evaporate comets and meteors.

Space News

Retail Apocalypse: Why Are Major Retail Chains All Over America Collapsing?

If the economy is improving, then why are many of the largest retail chains in America closing hundreds of stores?  When I was growing up, Sears, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and RadioShack were all considered to be unstoppable retail powerhouses.  But now it is being projected that all of them will close hundreds of stores before the end of 2013.  Even Wal-Mart is running into problems.  A recent internal Wal-Mart memo that was leaked to Bloombergdescribed February sales as a "total disaster".  So why is this happening?  Why are major retail chains all over America collapsing?  Is the "retail apocalypse" upon us?  Well, the truth is that this is just another sign that the U.S. economy is falling apart right in front of our eyes.  Incomes are declining, taxes are going up, government dependence is at an all-time high, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is employed has been steadily falling since 2006.  The top 10% of all income earners in the U.S. are still doing very well, but most U.S. consumers are either flat broke or are drowning in debt.  The large disposable incomes that the big retail chains have depended upon in the past simply are not there anymore.  So retail chains all over the United States are now closing up unprofitable stores.  This is especially true in low income areas.
When you step back and take a look at the bigger picture, the rapid decline of some of our largest retail chains really is stunning.
It is happening already in some areas, but soon half empty malls and boarded up storefronts will litter the landscapes of cities all over America.
Just check out some of these store closing numbers for 2013.  These numbers are from a recent Yahoo Finance article...
Best Buy
Forecast store closings: 200 to 250
Sears Holding Corp.
Forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125
J.C. Penney
Forecast store closings: 300 to 350
Office Depot
Forecast store closings: 125 to 150
Barnes & Noble
Forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments
Forecast store closings: 500 to 600
Forecast store closings: 150 to 175
Forecast store closings: 450 to 550
The RadioShack in a nearby town just closed up where I live.  This is all happening so fast that it is hard to believe.
But the truth is that those store closings are not the entire story.  When you dig deeper you find a lot more retailers that are in trouble.
For example, Blockbuster recently announced that this year they will be closing about 300 stores and eliminating about 3,000 jobs.
Toy manufacturer Hasbro recently announced that they will be reducing the size of their workforce by about 10 percent.
Even Wal-Mart is going through a tough stretch right now.  According to documents that were leaked to Bloomberg, Wal-Mart is having an absolutely disastrous February...
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.
“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”
So what in the world is going on here?
The mainstream media continues to proclaim that we are experiencing a robust "economic recovery", but at the same time there are a whole host of indications that things are continually getting worse.
Even global cell phone sales actually declined slightly in 2012.  That was the first time that has happened since the last recession.
Perhaps it is time that we faced the truth.  The middle class is shrinking, incomes are declining and there are not nearly as many jobs as there used to be.
Mort Zuckerman pointed this out in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal...
The U.S. labor market, which peaked in November 2007 when there were 139,143,000 jobs, now encompasses only 132,705,000 workers, a drop of 6.4 million jobs from the peak. The only work that has increased is part-time, and that is because it allows employers to reduce costs through a diminished benefit package or none at all.
So how can the mainstream media be talking about how "good" things are if we still have 6.4 million fewer jobs than we had back in November 2007?
And sadly, things may soon be getting a lot worse.  If Congress does not do anything about the "sequester", millions of federal workers may shortly be facing some very painful furloughs according to CNN...
Federal workers could start facing furloughs as early as April, according to federal agencies trying to prepare for the worst.
Unless Congress steps in, some $85 billion in massive spending reductions will hit the federal government, doling out furloughs to much of the nation's 2.1 million federal workforce, experts say.
If you still live in an area of the country where the stores and the restaurants are booming, you should be very thankful because that is not the reality for most of the country.
I often write about the stunning economic decline of major cities such as Detroit, but there are huge sections of rural America that are in even worse shape than Detroit in many ways.
For example, many Indian reservations all over America have been shamefully neglected by the federal government and have become hotbeds for crime, drugs and poverty.
Business Insider recently profiled the Wind River Indian reservation in western Wyoming.  The following is a brief excerpt from thatoutstanding article...
The Wind River Indian Reservation is not an easy place to get to, but I had to see it for myself.
Thirty-five-hundred square miles of prairie and mountains in western Wyoming, the reservation is home to bitter ancestral enemies: the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes.
Even among reservations, it's renowned for brutal crime, widespread drug use, and legal dumping of toxic waste.
You can see some amazing photos of the Wind River Indian reservationright here.
It is hard to believe that there are places like that in America, but the truth is that conditions like that are spreading to more U.S. communities with each passing day.
We are a nation that is in an advanced state of decline.  But as long as the financial markets are okay, our leaders don't seem too concerned about the suffering that everyone else is going through.
In fact, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan essentially admitted as much during a recent interview with CNBC.  The following is how a Zero Hedge article summarized that interview...
Starting at around 1:50, Greenspan states the odds of sequester occurring are very high - in fact, the playdough-faced ex-Chair-head notes, "I find it very difficult to find a scenario in which [the sequester] doesn't happen" But when asked how this will affect the economy, Awkward Alan is unusually clearly spoken - "the issue is how does it affect the stock market."
While not so many of our leaders have taken the path to direct truthiness, Greenspan somewhat shocks a Botox'd and babbling Bartiromo when he admits "the stock market is the key player in the game of economic growth."
Bartiromo shifts uncomfortably in her seat, strokes her imaginary beard and stares blankly as Greenspan explains that while the sequester will have a real effect on the real economy, "if the stock market can hold up through this, then the effect will be rather minor."
Do you see?
As long as the stock market is moving higher they think that everything is just fine and dandy.
And the Obama administration?
They continue to pursue the same policies that got us into this mess.
Their idea of "economic reform" is to threaten to sue businesses that do not hire ex-convicts.
And of course now that Obama has been re-elected he is putting a tremendous amount of effort into "stimulating the economy".
For example, he spent this weekend golfing in Florida, and the Obamas recently spent about 20 million taxpayer dollarsvacationing in Hawaii.
Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is getting worse with each passing day.
If you doubt that economic conditions are getting worse, please read this article: "Show This To Anyone That Believes That 'Things Are Getting Better' In America".
When you look at the cold, hard numbers, it is undeniable what is happening to America.
And our leaders are not doing anything to fix our problems.  In fact, most of the time they are just making things worse.
So buckle up and get prepared.  We are in for very bumpy ride, and this is only just the beginning.
Store Closed Until Further Notice - Photo by Gryllida
Economic Collapse