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Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's On: Gazprom Prepares "Symbolic" Bond Issue In Chinese Yuan

Curious what the fate of the petrodollar is? Look no farther than this Interfax update blasted moments ago by Bloomberg: "Gazprom Considers 'Symbolic' Yuan Bond Issue, Interfax Says."
Bloomberg adds that the gas giant is considering proposals from potential organizers to market bonds in yuan, Interfax reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
  • Gazprom unlikely be able to gain more than $300m due to mkt volume, newswire reports
  • No mandates, deal timeline yet
  • Issue may add new investors, become a “topical” public relations act amid tensions with U.S., EU
Well, yes. It's called "symbolic" for a reason. More importantly, it is a symbol of what happens when one can "create" money de novo without the presence of the world's increasingly defunct reserve currency, either secured by gas or by future cash flows, i.e., unsecured.
Confused? Read:
... and the New New Normal flow of funds will suddenly become clear -
  1. Gazprom delivering gas to China.
  2. China Gazprom paying in Yuan (convertible into Rubles)
  3. Gazprom funding itself increasingly in Yuan.
  4. Russia buying Chinese goods and services in Yuan (convertible into Rubles)
And all of this with the US banker cartel completely disintermediated courtesy of the glaring absence of the USD in any of the above listed steps, or as some may call it: from the Petrodollar to the Gas-o-yuan(something 40 central banks have already figured out... just not the Fed).
Credit to Zero Hedge

Is the US or the World Coming to an End?

Paul Craig Roberts

April 10, 2014

2014 is shaping up as a year of reckoning for the United States.

Two pressures are building on the US dollar. One pressure comes from the Federal Reserve’s declining ability to rig the price of gold as Western gold supplies shrivel and market knowledge of the Fed’s illegal price rigging spreads. The evidence of massive amounts of naked shorts being dumped into the paper gold futures market at times of day when trading is thin is unequivocal. It has become obvious that the price of gold is being rigged in the futures market in order to protect the dollar’s value from QE.

The other pressure arises from the Obama regime’s foolish threats of sanctions on Russia. Other countries are no longer willing to tolerate Washington’s abuse of the world dollar standard. Washington uses the dollar-based international payments system to inflict damage on the economies of countries that resist Washington’s political hegemony.

Russia and China have had enough. As I have reported and as Peter Koenig reports here http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38165.htm Russia and China are disconnecting their international trade from the dollar. Henceforth, Russia will conduct its trade, including the sale of oil and natural gas to Europe, in rubles and in the currencies of its BRICS partners.

This means a big drop in the demand for US dollars and a corresponding drop in the dollar’s exchange value.

As John Williams (shadowstats.com) has made clear, the US economy has not recovered from the downturn in 2008 and has weakened further. The vast majority of the US population is hard pressed from the lack of income growth for years. As the US is now an import-dependent economy, a drop in the dollar’s value will raise US prices and push living standards lower.

All evidence points to US economic failure in 2014, and that is the conclusion of John Williams’ April 9 report.

This year could also see the breakup of NATO and even the EU. Washington’s reckless coup in Ukraine and threat of sanctions against Russia have pushed its NATO puppet states onto dangerous ground. Washington misjudged the reaction in Ukraine to its overthrow of the elected democratic government and imposition of a stooge government. Crimea quickly departed Ukraine and rejoined Russia. Other former Russian territories in Ukraine might soon follow. Protesters in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Kharkov are demanding their own referendums. Protesters have declared the Donetsk People’s Republic and Kharkov People’s Republic. Washington’s stooge government in Kiev has threatened to put the protests down with violence. http://rt.com/news/eastern-ukraine-violence-threats-405/ Washington claims that the protests are organized by Russia, but no one believes Washington, not even its Ukrainian stooges.

Russian news reports have identified US mercenaries among the Kiev force that has been sent to put down the separatists in eastern Ukraine. A member of the right-wing, neo-Nazi Fatherland Party in the Kiev parliament has called for shooting the protesters dead.

Violence against the protesters is likely to bring in the Russian Army and result in the return to Russia of its former territories in Eastern Ukraine that were attached to Ukraine by the Soviet Communist Party.

With Washington out on a limb issuing threats hand over fist, Washington is pushing Europe into two highly undesirable confrontations. Europeans do not want a war with Russia over Washington’s coup in Kiev, and Europeans understand that any real sanctions on Russia, if observed, would do far more damage to Europeans. Within the EU, growing economic inequality among the countries, high unemployment, and stringent economic austerity imposed on poorer members have produced enormous strains. Europeans are in no mood to bear the brunt of a Washington-orchestrated conflict with Russia. While Washington presents Europe with war and sacrifice, Russia and China offer trade and friendship. Washington will do its best to keep European politicians bought-and-paid-for and in line with Washington’s policies, but the downside for Europe of going along with Washington is now much larger.

Across many fronts, Washington is emerging in the world’s eye as duplicitous, untrustworthy, and totally corrupt. A Securities and Exchange Commission prosecuting attorney, James Kidney used the occasion of his retirement to reveal that higher ups had squelched his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other “banks too big to fail,” because his SEC bosses were not focused on justice but “on getting high-paying jobs after their government service” by protecting the banks from prosecution for their illegal actions. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/09/65578/

The US Agency for International Development has been caught trying to use social media to overthrow the government of Cuba. http://rt.com/news/cuba-usaid-senate-zunzuneo-241/

This audacious recklessness comes on top of Washington’s overthrow of the Ukrainian government, the NSA spying scandal, Seymour Hersh’s investigative report that the Sarin gas attack in Syria was a false flag event arranged by NATO member Turkey in order to justify a US military attack on Syria, Washington’s forcing down Bolivian President Evo Morales’ presidential plane to be searched, Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” the misuse of the Libyan no-fly resolution for military attack, and on and on. Essentially, Washington has so badly damaged other countries’ confidence in the judgment and integrity of the US government that the world has lost its belief in US leadership. Washington is reduced to threats and bribes and increasingly presents as a bully.

The self-inflicted hammer blows to Washington’s credibility have taken a toll. The most serious blow of all is the dawning realization everywhere that Washington’s crackpot conspiracy theory of 9/11 is false. Large numbers of independent experts as well as more than one hundred first responders have contradicted every aspect of Washington’s absurd conspiracy theory. No aware person believes that a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes, operating without help from any intelligence agency, outwitted the entire National Security State, not only all 16 US intelligence agencies but also all intelligence agencies of NATO and Israel as well.

Nothing worked on 9/11. Airport security failed four times in one hour, more failures in one hour than have occurred during the other 116,232 hours of the 21st century combined. For the first time in history the US Air Force could not get interceptor fighters off the ground and into the sky. For the first time in history Air Traffic Control lost airliners for up to one hour and did not report it. For the first time in history low temperature, short-lived, fires on a few floors caused massive steel structures to weaken and collapse. For the first time in history 3 skyscrapers fell at essentially free fall acceleration without the benefit of controlled demolition removing resistance from below.

Two-thirds of Americans fell for this crackpot story. The left-wing fell for it, because they saw the story as the oppressed striking back at America’s evil empire. The right-wing fell for the story, because they saw it as the demonized Muslims striking out at American goodness. President George W. Bush expressed the right-wing view very well: “They hate us for our freedom and democracy.”

But no one else believed it, least of all the Italians. Italians had been informed some years previously about government false flag events when their President revealed the truth about secret Operation Gladio. Operation Gladio was an operation run by the CIA and Italian intelligence during the second half of the 20th century to set off bombs that would kill European women and children in order to blame communists and, thereby, erode support for European communist parties.

Italians were among the first to make video presentations challenging Washington’s crackpot story of 9/11. The ultimate of this challenge is the 1 hour and 45 minute film, “Zero.” You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU961SGps8g&feature=youtu.be

Zero was produced as a film investigating 9/ll by the Italian company Telemaco. Many prominent people appear in the film along with independent experts. Together, they disprove every assertion made by the US government regarding its explanation of 9/11.

The film was shown to the European parliament.

It is impossible for anyone who watches this film to believe one word of the official explanation of 9/11.

The conclusion is increasingly difficult to avoid that elements of the US government blew up three New York skyscrapers in order to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah and to launch the US on the neoconservatives agenda of US world hegemony.

China and Russia protested but accepted Libya’s destruction even though it was to their own detriment. But Iran became a red line. Washington was blocked, so Washington decided to cause major problems for Russia in Ukraine in order to distract Russia from Washington’s agenda elsewhere.

China has been uncertain about the trade-offs between its trade surpluses with the US and Washington’s growing encirclement of China with naval and air bases. China has come to the conclusion that China has the same enemy as Russia has–Washington.

One of two things is likely: Either the US dollar will be abandoned and collapse in value, thus ending Washington’s superpower status and Washington’s threat to world peace, or Washington will lead its puppets into military conflict with Russia and China. The outcome of such a war would be far more devastating than the collapse of the US dollar.

Credit to Infowars

US Destroyer Enters Black Sea To "Reassure NATO Allies And Black Sea Partners"

The war of words between the west and Russia escalated some more on Wednesday after NATO's top military commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, said the Russian military presence at the border with Ukraine continued and released satellite photos of tanks, attack helicopters and war planes to validate this. 
Russia promptly replied that it would have none of this, and not only denied once more that it has any plans to invade Ukraine, but foreign minister Lavrov said that Russia was merely retaliating to what it sees as a NATO build up in proximity to Russia:
"The constant accusations against us by the secretary general convince us that the alliance is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine to rally its ranks in the face of an imaginary external threat to Nato members and to strengthen demand for the alliance ... in the 21st century."
As opposed to the 19th century, one assumes, eh John Kerry?
Today it was NATO's turn to retaliate once more. First with words, after NATO Secretary General Rasmussen said: "I have this message to Russia: you have a choice to stop blaming others for your own actions, to stop massing your troops, to stop escalating this crisis and start engaging in a genuine dialogue." He added: "If Russia is serious about a dialogue, the first step should be to pull back its troops."
And then with actions, by explicitly confirming that Lavrov was absolutely correct when he accused NATO of building up weapons around Russia and thus forcing Russia on the defensive, when US destroyer Donald Cook crossed the Bosphorus overnight and entered the Black Sea. Why? To "show America's commitment to the region."
“The Donald Cook’s mission is to reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners of America’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working towards mutual goals in the region,”Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren said.
More importantly, it will also reassure Russia and its citizens that their country's stance that the arms building up along Ukraine's borders is indeed simply to defend against a boosted NATO presence is valid, and will likely prompt even more of a troop and weapons build up.
Until finally someone on either side of the border "accidentally" fires a shot across into the other side and then the war of words will progress into the real thing.
* * *
So keep an eye on further escalations by both NATO, and naturally Russia - which suddenly is once again on the defensive in its view - and perhaps on what Russia's aircraft carrier currently in Cyprus' port of Limassol is doing.

Credit to Zero Hedge

A Powerful Cyclone Is Heading For Australia's Far North Coast

Tropical Cyclone Ita is intensifying and is expected to cross the coast on Friday. Image: Shutterstock.

A powerful category three cyclone is tracking towards Australia’s north Queensland coast.

Tropical Cyclone Ita is intensifying as it approaches the coast north of Port Douglas and is the most powerful storm the region has seen since Cyclone Yasi hit in 2011.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is expecting the cyclone to make landfall late on Friday, predicting the storm will reach category four levels with winds of up to 240 kilometres an hour.

It is also warning of heavy rain, damaging swells, strong currents and flooding of low-lying areas in the northern parts of the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands.

This forecast map shows the Bureau’s estimate of where the cyclone will hit. It includes the bauxite mining area around Weipa.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita is intensifying as it tracks west towards the north Queensland coast.

Business Insider

The Window to Resist Tyranny is Closing Due to the New Super Weapons

darpa symbol

Many talk about the fact that Americans have an estimated 300 million privately owned hand guns as the reason why no foreign power, or even our government, can subjugate the people. I am compelled to disagree. If our government ever became abusive enough that the people felt the need to rebel, there is a new generation of super weapons being developed which would doom any rebellion.
Although Yamamoto once refused to invade the United States following his attack upon Pearl Harbor because there would be “an American with a gun behind every blade of grass”, these super weapons would have changed his mind, thus, making America vulnerable to tyrants and foreign invaders. As a result, the window to resist martial law occupation and even an invasion is quickly closing.
Who will ever forget the well-publicized DHS paper targets, depicting the following targets, as a reminder as to who DHS feels is the real enemy.
dhs targets

Advanced Anti-Guerrilla Warfare Tactics of the Globalists

The rules of Guerrilla warfare are about to change. Although many of the weapons described below are not yet deployed, it is merely a matter of time. Afghanistan is proving to be the beta testing ground for many of these weapons as is Iraq.  The following technological breakthroughs in military technology have very little value on the battlefield in a conventional war. These weapons systems are anti-guerrilla orientated and they are designed for Americans who will soon try to put a stop to the unfolding tyranny of the bankers who have hijacked our government. We are entering into a new type of guerrilla warfare with extreme counter-measures designed and created by DARPA which is the top secret research arm for the Department of Defense.
DARPA’s sole purpose is built around the goal of developing more efficient and greater means of killing. For those of you who have not figured out that we are about to enter American hunting season and you are the game, you should know that if these weapons systems are ever deployed in sufficient numbers, the game is over.


darpa laser weapon plane   excaliburProject Endurance, is referred to in DARPA’s 2014 budget request as being tasked with the development of “technology for pod-mounted lasers to protect a variety of airborne platforms from emerging and legacy EO/IR guided surface-to-air missiles.” The budget explains that it will be the first application of DARPA’s much-toutedExcalibur laser defense system, which developed lasers powerful enough to use as weapons.
Project Endurance is capable of producing drones, armed with lasers, which could shoot down inbound ICBM’s with a nuclear payload. Further, the system comes equipped with facial recognition software which is capable of reading the inscription of a dime from a 100 miles away. The implications for  hunting down and dealing with political dissidents are stunning.

The Heat Ray

DARPA HEAT RAYControlling the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is a major asset in military operations. The Marines recently developed and subsequently demonstrated an excruciating painful “heat ray,” a weapon that blasts intruders with a wave beam that targets skin and makes victims feel like they’ve stepped in front of a blazing oven, but without killing them.
The 95 GHz millimeter wave has a range of up to 1000 meters, or seven football fields.

Robot Soldiers

Robot soldiers are coming. Some of the prototypesn reach speeds up to 30 mph. In times of civil unrest or combat, imagine your neighborhood was forcibly evacuated, these robots would make excellent clean up troops. Armed with facial recognition, rebel forces leaders could be targeted and eliminated.  There will nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

 Every Move You Make, We’ll Be Stalking You

LACOSTE the "All seeing eye"
LACOSTE the “All seeing eye”
In a nowhere to run and nowhere to hide scenario, DARPA, has developed technology which allows the military to spy on entire cities with its Large Area Coverage Optical Search-while-Track and Engage(LACOSTE). LACOSTE is a program of imaging technology that will allow for “single sensor , day or night, ongoing tactical surveillance of all moving vehicles in an urban area. LACOSTE will eventually be able to identify individual humans in the same manner with the next generation of facial recognition software. This surveillance system is being integrated into department store video surveillance, the street light turned spy Intellistreets as well as all traffic cameras. If the globalists want to find you, you better have a “cloaking” device to hide behind. More importantly, most guerrilla activities are designed to occur under the cover of darkness. The cover of darkness is no longer an ally for future American rebels.

Meet the New Boss

Meet the new Boss, The Battlefield Surveillance System
Meet the new Boss, The Battlefield Surveillance System
Many gun owners mistakenly believe that they are going to be able to carry out acts of guerrilla warfare and/or terrorism against an illegitimate government as they begin to lock-down the country under a martial law takeover. Thwarting most ideas of a successful revolutionary effort can be found in the Battlefield Optical Surveillance System (BOSS),which is a device that can be mounted on a truck that scans and deciphers the landscape with lasers and sensors. When it sees the almost imperceptible glint of a rifle scope, or more amazingly it also recognizes you through your retinas as the detection device“paints” you with a laser beam, just prior to your demise.


And even in the unlikely event that you can slip into firing range of your intended target, theBoomerangcountermeasure system uses an array of microphones which will be able to instantly decipher the speed and direction of your shot, based on the muzzle report and the shock wave of the bullet as it zips past. Immediately, Boomerang knows where the shot came from, and even what kind of weapon was utilized. This system will reduce all future sniper missions to a Kamikaze endeavor. Therefore, it is a safe bet that prior to moving globalist controlled forces into an area to conduct a roundup, BOSS and Boomerang will be employed to detect and possible resistance and eliminate the resistance by calling in a drone strike.

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

X-25 "Smart" grenade launcher
X-25 “Smart” grenade launcher
If a drone is unavailable the XM-25 is a “smart” grenade launcher. The weapon is portable and can be carried to the battlefield by a soldier, or even better, a DARPA killer robot who has orders to search and destroy a specific target which will be identified by facial recognition. Once you are located, the X-25 possess a laser range-finder built in to the weapon that can detect the distance to the wall or trench that you’re hiding behind and then blow you and your cover to oblivion.

The “Can’t Miss” Weapon

EXACTO gives new meaning to the phrase "one shot, one kill."
EXACTO gives new meaning to the phrase “one shot, one kill.”
On your last trip to your local gun range, how close to 100% was your accuracy? You might want to consider that the other side has a sniper countermeasure called EXACTO, or the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance. EXACTO is the first ever guided small caliber (“smart”) bullet. If you’ve ever watched a heat-seeking missile follow a fighter jet on the big screen, then you would comprehend the idea of DARPA’s intention for creating a maneuverable and flexible bullet, which is controlled by a guidance system, that moves with the target and adjusts in mid-flight and to eventually shatters a human skull.

Raise the Shields Scotty, Micro Air Vehicles and Killer Robots

Maybe someone in your neighborhood struck a deal with al Qaeda and obtained a couple of RPG’s that the late Ambassador from Libya sold to the terrorists before he was murdered by the administration to make the trail go cold. You might feel that you had a chance against the armored personnel carriers which will be used by DHS. Or, maybe you could shoot down a Predator B drone prior to it launching 100,000 micro drones designed to attack troops at your position. Unfortunately for your forces, the other side possesses the Gizmodo Iron Curtain (GIC) countermeasure can protect a moving vehicle from an incoming RPG, by detecting the projectile and then detonating it. The next generation of GIC’s will be able to do the same with bullets.  
It does not take a rocket scientist to project the next development using this technology. which would be employed to protect drones and other planes. When the globalist forces advance upon rebel positions, they will be nearly impervious to harm and free to carry out their mission. Do you remember the 2700 armored personnel carriers obtained by DHS? In the not too distant future, we will witness the fact that these vehicles will be virtually indestructible.
The following weapons systems constitute a game changing event. There is no way that a civilian insurgent force has the capacity to counter this technology. We know about the drones and they are deadly enough, but the MAV’s and the Killer Robot Super Soldiers are virtually invulnerable. If the coming guerrilla war is to have a chance for success, the masses have to aroused into action very soon for we are only a few years away of seeing the deployment of this technology. 


America does have the capacity to resist tyranny with some degree of success as our people have more resources than any other guerrilla force in world history. America has successful military experience in its ranks in sufficient numbers to make a lot of difference. However, the key to saving America is twofold: (1) America would have to abandon its “soft” mentality; and, (2) the 10% that are awake would have arouse the majority in the time we have left. The guerrilla suppressing technology is so thorough and so completely devastating, that if the globalists are allowed to bring this technology to fruition in sufficient numbers, the game is over and the fate of humanity is sealed. For America falls to the globalists, then humanity will follow. Do I think that these two challenges can mitigated? Yes, I do. Do I think we in the alternative media will arouse a sufficient number of people to make a difference? The odds are far less than 50%.  If you share the same world-view as I do that the alternative media may not be successful in arousing America before it is too late, then you need to ask yourself what are you doing to prepare to survive in the NWO?
Credit to Common Sense

Car bomb explodes in Athens ahead of Merkel visit

Israel targets Iran with new spy satellite

Israel has launched a new satellite into orbit aimed at boosting its abilities to conduct surveillance on its Middle East adversaries

The Ofek 10 was launched at an air force test base in central Israel Photo: Israeli Defense Ministry/EPA

Israeli defence officials hailed the launch of a new spy satellite on Thursday, which they said would boost the country's capacity to monitor the military manoeuvres of Iran and militant groups opposed to the Jewish state's existence.

The Ofek 10 was said to have entered orbit before dawn after being launched from a Shavit launcher at an air force test base in central Israel at 10.15pm local time (8.15pm) on Wednesday. It is the latest in a series of satellites Israel has launched into space and the first in nearly four years - with six of the others currently still in orbit.

Built under the auspices of the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the Israeli defence ministry, the new all-weather device is being billed as an advance on the country's existing surveillance capabilities when it becomes operational in a few months time.

"The Ofek 10 satellite should improve Israel's intelligence capability and allow the defence establishment to better deal with threats near and far," said Moshe Ya'alon, the Israeli defence minister. "We are continuing to strengthen our tremendous qualitative and technological advantage over our neighbors."

Israel is known to be particularly concerned with improving its surveillance abilities on Iran's nuclear programme, which Israeli officials insist is a front for building an atomic bomb. Iran denies the charges and says its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Credit to Telegraph

An Iowa City With A Population Of 7,000 Will Receive Armored Military Vehicle

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
I’ve covered the militarization of the domestic police force on several occasions on this website. For those of you who need a refresher, I suggest reading the following:

There are Over 50,000 SWAT Team Raids Annually in America

Retired Marine Colonel to New Hampshire City Council: “We’re Building a Domestic Army”

Moving along to the subject of today’s absurdity, the tiny city of Washington, Iowa with a population of 7,000 and 11 police officers, will be receiving a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. Yes, they will be employing one of these in the field:
These things normally cosy $500,000, but will be given to Washington, Iowa for free under a Defense Department program that gives surplus military equipment to domestic law enforcement.
Matthew Byrd writes in the Daily Iowan that:
Sometimes the news is just so drearily awful that you have to sit back and almost appreciate the pure comedy induced by it.

Take this item from Washington, Iowa, where the local police have recently acquired an MRAP vehicle (short for Mine Resistance Ambush Protected) through a Defense Department program that donates excess vehicles originally produced for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to local police departments across the United States, including other Iowa towns such as Mason City and Storm Lake.

The MRAP weighs an impressive 49,000 pounds, stands 10-feet tall, and possesses a whopping six-wheel drive. Originally designed to resist landmines and IEDs, it sure seems like the MRAP will come in handy for the notorious war zone otherwise known as Washington County, Iowa.

If you’re having a bad day, I highly recommend watching a video produced by the Des Moines Register in which Washington police officials try to justify the possession of a vehicle it clearly has no use for. The excuses range from school shootings (which are an actual concern but an MRAP seems like overkill) to a terrorist attack happening in central Iowa (because if there’s any place that seems ripe for a high-profile terrorist attack it’s Washington, Iowa, population 7,000).

As Radley Balko, the author of the book The Rise of the Warrior Cop, an expose of the police militarization of the last decade, found, in 2006 alone the Pentagon, “distributed vehicles worth $15.4 million, aircraft worth $8.9 million, boats worth $6.7 million, weapons worth $1 million and “other” items worth $110.6 million to local police agencies.”

The effects of cops moving from handguns to assault rifles and being equipped with tanks, bazookas, and Kevlar has been twofold. First, civil liberties have absolutely been eroded, with police-brutality rates skyrocketing in last decade according to the Justice Department. Not only that, but, with the influx of military gear into local police forces, cops begin to view themselves as soldiers whose main job is combat rather than keeping the peace. How else can you explain the rise in police shootings since 9/11?
Keep chanting like idiots until one of these rolls up to your doorstep.
Credit to Zero Hedge

16 Signs That Most Americans Are NOT PREPARED For The Coming Economic Collapse

Disaster Is ComingSometimes I think that I sound like a broken record.  I am constantly using phrases such as "get prepared while you still can" and "time is running out".  In fact, I use them so often that people are starting to criticize me for it.  But the truth is that only a small percentage of people out there are actively taking steps to get ready for what is coming.  Most of the country is not prepared at all.  In many ways, it is just like 2007 all over again.  There were many people that could see what was about to happen and were doing all they could to warn people, but most did not listen.  And then the great financial crisis of 2008 struck and millions of people lost their jobs and their homes.  Unfortunately, the next great wave of the economic collapse is going to be even more painful than the last one.  It is imperative that people get prepared for what is on the horizon, but for the most part it is just not happening.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that we have such short memories and such short attention spans in America today.  Thanks to years of television and endless hours on the Internet, I find myself having a really hard time focusing on anything for more than just a few moments.  And we are accustomed to living in an "instant society" where we don't have to wait for anything.  In such a society, we are used to "news cycles" that only last for 24 hours and very few people take a "long-term view" of anything.
And another one of the big problems that we are facing is something called "normalcy bias".  The following is how Wikipedia defines it...
The normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to amental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.
Over the past several years, the U.S. economy has been relatively stable.  And that is a good thing.  But it has also lulled millions upon millions of people into a false sense of security and complacency.  At this point, most Americans consider 2008 to be a temporary bump in the road, and most assume that the U.S. economy will always be strong.
Unfortunately, that is not the truth.  As I have written about previously, the long-term trends that are destroying our economy have continued to get worse since 2008, and none of the problems that caused the last financial crisis have been fixed.
We are steamrolling toward the edge of an economic cliff, and most people in our entertainment-addicted society are totally oblivious to what is going on.  So they are not doing anything to get ready for the immense economic pain that is coming.  The following are 16 signs that most Americans are completely unprepared for the coming economic collapse...
#1 Could you come up with $2000 right now?  According to a shocking study that was just released, most Americans could not...
Forty percent of individuals in the U.S. said they could not or probably could not come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose, according to research by Atif Mian of Princeton University and Amir Sufi of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
#2 In that same study, Americans were asked the following question...
"Do you have 3 months emergency funds to cover expenses in case of sickness, job loss, economic downturn?"
An astounding 60 percent of people that responded said that they do not.
#3 Another study found that less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.
#4 Some people are actually trying really hard to get ahead, but admittedly that is really tough to do when we are all being taxed into oblivion.  In fact, it was reported this week that Americans now spend more on taxes than they spend on food, clothing and housing combined.
#5 Right now, more Americans are dependent on the government than ever before.  In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that currently gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government.
#6 It is estimated that less than 10 percent of the entire U.S. population owns any gold or silver for investment purposes.  That is a stunning number.
#7 It has been estimated that there are approximately 3 million"preppers" in the United States.  But that means that almost everyone else is not prepping.
#8-16 The following are nine more statistics that come from a survey conducted by the Adelphi Center for Health Innovation.  As you can see, a significant portion of the population is not even prepared for a basic emergency that would last for just a few days...
  • 44 percent don’t have first-aid kits
  • 48 percent lack emergency supplies
  • 53 percent do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home
  • 55 percent believe local authorities will come to their rescue if disaster strikes
  • 52 percent have not designated a family meeting place if they are separated during an emergency
  • 42 percent do not know the phone numbers of all of their immediate family members
  • 21 percent don’t know if their workplace has an emergency preparedness plan
  • 37 percent do not have a list of the drugs they are taking
  • 52 percent do not have copies of health insurance documents
What do you think is going to happen to these people once the economy collapses and there is chaos in the streets?
How are they going to survive?
After all of these years of writing about the coming economic collapse, nothing has changed as far as the long-term outlook is concerned.
We are still heading toward a complete and total economic meltdown.
But most Americans continue to have faith in the system, and the mainstream media keeps assuring them that everything is going to be just fine.
And in this "dumbed-down" society of ours, most people are perfectly content to let others do their thinking for them.  In America today, only one out of every six Americans can even find Ukraine on a map of the world.  That is how far we have fallen.
In this day and age, it is imperative that we all learn how to think for ourselves.  The foundations of our society are crumbling, our economic system is failing and the blind are leading the blind.  If we do not learn to make our own decisions, we are just going to follow the rest of the herd into oblivion.
In addition, we all need to start taking a long-term view of things.  Just because the economic collapse is not going to happen this month does not mean that it is not going to happen.  When you step back and take a broader view of what is happening, it becomes exceedingly clear where we are heading.
Sadly, most Americans will never do that.
Credit to Economic Collapse

German Vice Chancellor Warns 'No Alternative To Russian Gas'

'No Alternative to Russian Gas'

Even Germany's vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel realizes that there is no alternative to Russian gas for Germany, at least not in the near future.It should be noted to this that Germany's energy policy has driven energy prices to the very edge of what the population and industry can still handle.
On the one hand, there is the vast subsidization of 'green energy', which is not only thoroughly uneconomic and blighting the landscape, but the costs of which have been off-loaded on consumers, who pay a special 'ecological fee' on top of their already far too high bills.
On the other hand, after the Fukujima accident, Germany's government quickly gave in to pressure from the Greens and decided to completely phase out nuclear energy (as if Germany were in danger of being hit by a tsunami). This is of course a completely futile gesture, as the country is surrounded by other countries brimming with nuclear reactors over which it has no control whatsoever (admittedly, even one nuclear accident would be one too many). However, this hasty step has once again made electricity more expensive.
Fracking also remains forever stuck in the 'debating stage' in Europe, with resistance organized by various NGOs growing steadily.
As Gabriel remarked:
“In the debate over Europe's dependence on Russian natural gas it is often falsely pretended that there are many other possibilities. This is incorrect.”

Moreover he warned of scaremongering and misplaced fears that Russia would stop its  deliveries, arguing that “even in the dark times of the Cold War, Russia has always fulfilled its contractual obligations.”
This insightful observation was followed by a succession of hollow phrases about how EU foreign policy must 'not be guided exclusively by economic interests'. Right. Still no alternative to Russian gas though. Tough titty, as they say. Moreover, as Gabriel rightly points out, it isn't a problem anyway.

German vice-chancellor Gabriel's letting his gaze roam in the distance searching for alternative gas sources, and not finding any.
(Photo via AFP)

Oil and Gas Reserves Infographic

We have come across a neat infographic published by RIA Novosti on the countries harboring large oil and gas reserves – all data are per capita and in USD terms.
Global per capita oil and gas reserves, via RIA Novosti.