Tuesday, October 15, 2013
AFP - Rating agency Fitch put the United States on warning for a downgrade after Congress failed to reach a deal on raising the country's debt ceiling.
Fitch placed the United States's top-grade AAA rating on a "negative watch", citing the possibility the Treasury could default on its obligations after October 17 if the ceiling is not raised.
"The US authorities have not raised the federal debt ceiling in a timely manner," Fitch said.
"The US Treasury Secretary has said that extraordinary measures will be exhausted by 17 October, leaving cash reserves of just $30 billion.
"Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a US default."
Credit to France 24
The key to comprehending the day and hour in which we live is to see things from Almighty God’s HEAVENLY and ETERNAL perspective.
As these days and hours rapidly come to a grand conclusion and we see the exponential evaporation of moral absolutes right before our very eyes – the chief of these being rejection of the Divine institute of marriage - remember what God has stated must be! All things are headed to the world’s final war against its Creator at Armageddon! (Palm 2, Rev. 16:13-16)
The chief question one must ask themselves in this every changing social climate is, “Do I have a personal saving relationship to my CREATOR as the Bible – God’s infallible Word - clearly teaches (John 4:24, Act 4:12)?
As America and this world heads into the Day of the Lord, may you be sure that you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior! He indeed is our ONLY hope!
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Credit to the Ignorant Fishermen Blog
If you ever wondered why we recommend prepping, and stockpiling food and emergency supplies, one look at what happened this weekend Springhill and Mansfield, LA should tell you everything you need to know – and will give you a glimpse at what this country will look like during a nationwide crisis.
Credit to Infowars
Over the weekend, the debit system that allows people on government assistance to buy food, temporarily went down. The resulting chaos is a small glimpse at what I believe will happen, should the government plunge this country into some sort of economic collapse.
A couple of Walmarts in Louisiana decided to allow people to shop, even though the system was down and they had no real way of knowing how much credit people had on their cards. The resulting chaos had the store’s shelves in Springhill and Mansfield, LA stripped bare, as food stamp recipients attempted to defraud the grocery stores.
When the system went back online, the grocery store found people who had as little as .49 on their Food Stamp cards attempting to steal over $700 in food. Local police were called in as the crowd started to turn ugly, and overflowing grocery carts were left abandoned in the aisles.
Throughout the country people took to Twitter threatening to riot.
A number of people, thinking the government shutdown had affected their food stamps, took to Twitter with threats of violence and rioting.
Are you Prepared?
Credit to Infowars
ON MONDAY OCT 15, 2013
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a thinly veiled defense of a possible Israeli preemptive strike on Iran during a Knesset commemoration Tuesday of the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.
In a speech to MKs about the war, in which Israel was surprised by a coordinated Arab invasion on the northern and southern fronts, Netanyahu explained that IDF soldiers who fought in the bitter battles of that war “saved us from paying the price of complacency.”
“In the end we won a great victory, but the lessons of the war have stayed with us these 40 years,” Netanyahu said.
“The first lesson is to never underestimate a threat, never underestimate an enemy, never ignore the signs of danger. We can’t assume the enemy will act in ways that are convenient for us. The enemy can surprise us. Israel will not fall asleep on its watch again,” he vowed.
The second lesson, he added, was that “we can’t surrender the option of a preventive strike. It is not necessary in every situation, and it must be weighed carefully and seriously. But there are situations in which paying heed to the international price of such a step is outweighed by the price in blood we will pay if we absorb a strategic strike that will demand a response later on, and perhaps too late.”
Netanyahu added: “A preventive war, even a preventive strike, is among the most difficult decisions a government can take, because it will never be able to prove what would have happened if it had not acted. But the key difference between the  Six Day War and the  Yom Kippur War lies first of all in the fact that in the Six Day War we launched a preventive strike that broke the chokehold our enemies had placed on us, and on Yom Kippur the government decided, despite all warnings, to absorb the full force of an enemy attack.”
The prime minister is engaged in a blitz of international meetings and interviews warning against any slackening of international sanctions directed at the Iranian regime over its nuclear enrichment program. Netanyahu has openly threatened that Israel would unilaterally attack the Iranian nuclear program if it was allowed to advance to the point where Iran was able to develop a nuclear weapon.
Sources close to the Prime Minister’s Office suggested the Tuesday speech was directed at the Iranian issue.
Netanyahu also offered hints at Israel’s negotiating position in peace talks with the Palestinians.
“The third lesson” of the war, he said, “is the strategic importance of buffer zones. [Israel’s] control of the Golan [Heights] and the Sinai Peninsula [in 1973] prevented an enemy penetration deep into the country” in the first days of the war.
Press reports sourced to leaks from the peace talks with the Palestinians have suggested in recent days that Israel seeks to retain security control over the Jordan Valley as a buffer zone to the east.
And, Netanyahu said, “there is a fourth lesson: Peace is attained from a position of strength. In the Yom Kippur War, despite the enemy’s excellent opening position, they learned they could not best us with weapons. Five years later, [Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat and [prime minister Menachem] Begin signed a peace deal, and later [peace accords were signed] with Jordan.
“Now we are engaged in a serious investment in [making] peace with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu added. “Peace was achieved when our neighbors understood we are powerful and will not disappear.”
Credit to The Times of Israel
Even as we write this entry, we are reminded of the horrendous events that unfolded in Oklahoma City in April 1995, when terrorists bombed a nine-story federal building, allegedly with a single truck bomb parked in front of the structure. Supposedly, Timothy McVeighjust parked the truck, drove away in another vehicle, and detonated the massive bomb from a remote location, or perhaps with a timing device.
This terrorist act affected the federal building, which housed primarily what would be referred to as civilian activities, i.e., Social Security offices, federal assistance offices, and a sizable daycare center, as well as a few such as FBI, CIA, and Secret Service, but the devastation was not limited to that one building. The shock was felt as far away as fifty miles, and the glass in buildings as far away as four to five blocks was blown out, injuring many unsuspecting pedestrians and office workers, as well as a number of other children in the YMCA facility across the street.
The fatalities surpassed one hundred sixty, with a few bodies never located. The medical personnel ran out of body bags and requested that people donate sheets. Dogs with high-tech, extremely sensitive microphones were sent through the rubble in an attempt to locate any remaining survivors. One victim had a leg amputated on the spot in order to be extricated from the debris and have her life saved.
The nine floors “pancaked” down on top of one another and landed in a crater created by the bomb. Despite all the efforts of the engineers to shore up the wreckage, and despite the extreme care taken by the rescue workers, one rescuer was killed and two others were injured in the heroic attempts. The devastation has been compared in magnitude with the earthquake of two years earlier in Northridge, California.
However, there is a big difference between the two events…and the resulting effect on the population both in Oklahoma and across our nation is much more explosive. This act of violence was committed by radical people with a religious or political agenda…hard-line fanatics who practice the principle that the end justifies the means—regardless of the innocent victims who were in no way involved in their cause, either pro or con.
Since this has been hashed and rehashed for nearly twenty years on every TV station, newspaper, magazine, talk show, and in books, you may be asking yourself why we’re bothering to include it here. It is because, when this kind of terrorism strikes the heartland of America, rather than its big cities (such as New York City on September 11, 2001, where people assume such actions may occur), fear grips the hearts of everyone, and prevention becomes the top priority in our minds. A groundswell of cries for justice and protection starts to rise from the grassroots.
Why did this happen? It could be for any reason in any distorted mind. Will it happen again? Undoubtedly. Can we stop it? Probably not. What are we willing to do to try to stop it? Bingo. You are willing to give up some more of your freedoms and willing to submit to more covert surveillance and more control of your lives…because how else can we protect the safety of all those innocent victims?
Of course, the ultimate example of this social phenomenon has increased exponentially since the September 11, 2001 attack on America. The subject has since been discussed and rehearsed ad nauseam with the conclusion that we need to increase our surveillance techniques and strengthen our laws to aid law enforcement units in the tracking and capturing of dangerous dissidents. It has already been pointed out that the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service should have better information-gathering abilities, so they can know about these events before they happen and arrest the culprits on some kind of conspiracy charge before a criminal act has actually been committed.
Everything that’s in us wants to shout, “Yes!” But that brings us back to the question of how much liberty and freedom we’re willing to forego. Are we going to invite “Big Brother” to turn this country into an armed camp (someone on the news referred to it as the “bunker mentality”), with all rights of privacy tossed out the window in the process? If we give over that kind of power, will it stop the terrorism? No. Did it stop the IRA from bombing London on a regular basis? Has it stopped the Islamic terrorists from bombing Israel on a regular basis? Did it protect our Marine base from a terrorist bombing? No, to all of the above. The very nature of terrorism means that you can’t stop it. Terrorists don’t operate by the rules, and they are willing, if necessary, to die to deliver the explosives to the target…and they don’t care who dies with them.
We might succeed in making them go a little farther undercover, and their actions may become more covert, but if they are crazy enough and determined enough, they’ll find a way.
So, what will be accomplished by forfeiting our liberties? We will give the government the right to meddle even more into our businesses and lives…for our own good, of course, as with all the other things it is doing to us for “our benefit.”
In addition to adding personnel to law enforcement investigative agencies, the government wants to enhance the ability of these agencies in its electronic eavesdropping, via emails, telephones, fax transmissions, etc. Also, Big Brother wants to help the telecommunications companies pay for the mandated purchase and installation of new software and equipment to provide access to their digital systems, which would allow the government to intercept and monitor all telecommunications—in many cases without a warrant. Because prior to the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11, the government was trying to force the telecommunications companies to pay for all these expensive conversions themselves, the companies were trying to avoid cooperating.
As far back as 1994, a particularly enlightening article titled “Privacy in the Digital Age” by Bill Machrone for PC Magazine pointed out, among other hair-raising information, that the “pending legislation provides for fines up to $10,000 a day against telecommunications companies who don’t give the Feds the access they want to the decoded data streams.”
The loss of our privacy and electronic bondage go hand in hand. Once you are in the system, it is impossible to extricate yourself from it. And now the various agencies, i.e., social services, health care, insurance systems, medical groups, retail sales, credit bureaus, Social Security, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), vehicle/driver’s license registration, voter registration, etc., are sharing the information in their files about you.
As much as you might like to avoid it, there are plenty of places you probably already exist in Big Brother’s “big brain.” One of the biggest cracks in the security of your privacy is the rampant use of your Social Security number to currently identify you just about everywhere. The fact that many of the people who use it to identify you freely print it in public view—or make it easily accessible to anyone who seeks it—makes it relatively easy to obtain information on your most personal activities, and even to make changes in your file.
Then there’s the IRS. While its mission statement says it exists to “enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all,” we’ve all felt for quite some time that its staffers know more about us than they need to. This was thoroughly illustrated in 2013, following a series of eye-opening developments that led to the resignation of the IRS commissioner and a second IRS official pleading the Fifth Amendment when refusing to answer questions before Congress. The fuss followed the discovery that the agency had been inappropriately harassing conservative organizations—such as veterans groups and the Tea Party movement—and selectively investigating them, demanding private details about their religious preferences, and intentionally delaying applications for tax-exempt status. More recently, the Thomas More Society has filed multiple lawsuits to stop the IRS from also singling out pro-life groups with intrusive questions including, “How often do you pray?”
|Recent IRS issues plague the Obama administration. Is it|
all leading to a breaking point? A "trigger" event?
Before these recent events, the Los Angeles Timesreported:
If you have a back tax bill with the Internal Revenue Service, watch out. In the midst of a program called economic reality, the federal tax agency is going on line, searching for signs of noncompliance as well as electronic records of cars, credit and real estate it can seize from delinquent taxpayers.… A cadre of IRS agents with computers and modems now will be searching records filed with Department of Motor Vehicles, county tax assessor’s offices, credit-reporting companies and the U.S. Bureau of the Census in an effort to find people who are underreporting their business sales, overestimating their deductions or trying to hide assets—or themselves—from federal tax collectors. IRS officials say… “We will be using information from various [electronic] sources as part of our economic-reality approach”… The IRS will begin compiling a host of demographic information about people in each district.… This information will include currency and banking reports, license information, construction contact information and census data.… The IRS will get current addresses for taxpayers who have apparently dropped off the rolls by buying them from credit-reporting companies.… It can get your full credit file to determine whether you have enough credit to pay the bill.… DMV records will be tapped…to see if you have a car to sell to pay taxes—and to help determine whether a taxpayer is lying about income or deductions. The IRS will be suspicious, for example, of a waiter who reports $20,000 in total income but drives a new Porsche. Property records will be used in the same way.… A few credit experts warn that it also puts a burden on individuals who are under IRS scrutiny. Why? The records are not always right. And the tax agency does not need to inform you that it is searching these records, nor is it required to allow you to correct records that are in error…it cannot correct somebody else’s database.… If you’re under IRS scrutiny, it may behoove you to check your own records for accuracy.
Another article on the IRS from the Reno Gazette-Journal discussed how IRS auditors have become “gumshoes” and are training auditors—formerly accountants, for the most part—to be detectives, using all databases at their disposal to compile a composite of YOU—what you should be driving and where you should be living (based on the income you reported), weddings of your children, your cultural background, vacations, home furnishings, etc. They want to develop a complete profile on you. And these techniques have now become standard practice for all audits.
Credit to Raidersnewsupdate
Are we on the verge of another major economic downturn? In recent weeks, most of the focus has been on our politicians in Washington, but there are lots of other reasons to be deeply alarmed about the economy as well. Economic confidence is down, retail sales figures are disappointing, job cuts are up, and American consumers are deeply struggling.
Even if our politicians do everything right, there would still be a significant chance that we could be heading into tough economic times in the coming months. Our economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline appears to be accelerating. There aren't enough jobs, the quality of our jobs continues to decline, our economic infrastructure is being systematically gutted, and poverty has been absolutely exploding.
Things have gotten so bad that former President Jimmy Carter says that the middle class of today resembles those that were living in poverty when he was in the White House. But this process has been happening so gradually that most Americans don't even realize what has happened. Our economy is being fundamentally transformed, and the pace of our decline is picking up speed. The following are 22 reasons to be concerned about the U.S. economy as we head into the holiday season...
#1 According to Gallup, we have just seen the largest drop in U.S. economic confidence since 2008.
#2 Retailers all over America are reporting disappointing sales figures, and many analysts are very concerned about what the holiday season will bring. The following is an excerpt from a recent Zero Hedge article...
Chico’s FAS [CHS] Earnings Call 8/28/13:“Traffic was our issue in quarter two. In a highly promotional and challenging environment, comparable sales result was a negative 2.6 percent on top of a positive 5.6 percent last year and a positive 12.8 percent in 2011.”William-Sonoma [WSM] Earnings Call 8/28/13:“The retail environment, it seems to indicate there’s still a lot of uncertainty out there, that the promotional environment has not gone away and that the retail environment in general continues to be choppy, especially with the recent earnings releases and this global unrest, and we just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”Zale Corp [ZLC] Earnings Call 8/28/13:“Overall, we continue to take a conservative view of market conditions in both the U.S. and in Canada. That being said, we do expect to continue to achieve positive top line growth. We expect store closures will impact our overall revenue growth for the year by about 250 basis points. It represents net closures of approximately 50 to 55 retail locations.”DSW Inc. [DSW] Earnings Call 8/27/13:“We did have a traffic decline in Q2, sort of similar to what just about every other retailer in America has reported.”Guess? [GES] Earnings Call 8/28/13:“The Korean business continued to be strong as revenue grew in the high single digits in local currency during the quarter. This was offset with theweakness from China, where we are seeing clear evidence of a pullback in consumer spending behavior because of the slowdown in the economy.”Aeropostale [ARO] Earnings Call 8/22/13:“Our business trends in the second quarter did not change materially from earlier in the year, which was disappointing given the level of change we registered with the brand. This performance in the third quarter outlook is being influenced by a challenging retail environment, with weak traffic trends and high levels of promotional activity.”
#3 Domestic vehicle sales just experienced their largest "miss" relative to expectations since January 2009.
#4 One of the largest furniture manufacturers in America was recently forced into bankruptcy.
#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, the 2013 holiday shopping season is already being projected to be the worst that we have seensince 2009.
#6 The Baltic Dry Index recently experienced the largest 4 day drop that we have seen in 11 months.
#7 Merck, one of the largest drug makers in the nation, has announced the elimination of 8,500 jobs.
#8 Overall, corporations announced the elimination of 387,384 jobsthrough the first nine months of this year.
#9 The number of announced job cuts in September 2013 was 19 percent higher than the number of announced job cuts in September 2012.
#10 The labor force participation rate is the lowest that it has been in 35 years.
#11 As I mentioned the other day, the labor force participation rate for men in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket is at an all-time low.
#12 Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.
#13 Incredibly, only 47 percent of all adults in America have a full-time job at this point.
#14 U.S. consumer delinquencies are starting to rise again.
#15 The Postal Service recently defaulted on a 5.6 billion dollar retiree health benefit payment.
#16 The national debt has increased more than twice as fast as U.S. GDP has grown over the past two years.
#17 Obamacare is causing health insurance premiums to skyrocketand this is reducing the disposable income that consumers have available.
#18 Median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.
#19 The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at anall-time record high.
#20 Former President Jimmy Carter says that the middle class in America has declined so dramatically that the middle class of today resembles those that were living in poverty when he was in the White House.
#21 According to a Gallup poll that was recently released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year. That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.
#22 Right now, one out of every five households in the United States is on food stamps. There are going to be a lot of struggling families out there this winter, so please be generous with organizations that help the poor. A lot of people are really going to need their help during the cold months ahead.