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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tennis ball-sized hail in Texas

Severe thunderstorms, large hail and tornadoes are affecting the central United States since Wednesday, March 30, 2016. The worst weather today is expected in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky as a large front, extending from the Great Lakes to the Southern Plains, slowly moves to the East Coast.

There were 6 tornado and 77 large hail reports on March 30. Four tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma, one in Kansas and one in Arkansas.

Hail the size of golf balls was reported near Wichita, Kansas while tennis ball-sized hail pounded Breckenridge, Texas.
At least 9 people have been injured in Oklahoma as a result of the severe storms.
"Weather-related calls resulted in 9 patients transported so far tonight. Most calls were for serious injuries & one critical patient," EMSA said on their Twitter account. 
A family of four escaped serious injury after a tree fell on their truck during a tornado in North Tulsa, police said.

Schools in Tulsa will be closed on Thursday due to power outages and storm damage.
Supercell that passed just north of Tulsa this evening… photo by Ashleigh Webb

Funnel Touches Down In North Tulsa, Damages Church, Power Lines

A nursing home and numerous houses were damaged after a tornado struck Dermott, Arkansas. At least one person was injured.

NWS Little Rock said a record rainfall occurred in North Little Rock, Arkansas. "100.6 mm (3.96 inches) of rain at North Little Rock so far today. It's the wettest March day on record (since 1975) beating the old record 88.4 mm (3.48 inches) 3/7/1990."

By the end of the day, 125.5 mm (4.94 inches) of rain fell in North Little Rock breaking the all-time March 30 record set in 2002 with 43.4 mm (1.71 inches).

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock was forced to close its campus due to flooding.

In Greene County, Missouri a house fire was started by a lightning strike 6.4 km (4 miles) east of Springfield.

NWS Radar Mosaic - 07:58 UTC on March 31, 2016.

According to SPC, severe thunderstorms are possible across a large area extending from the central Gulf Coast states northward across the Ohio Valley to southern Michigan on March 31.

The greatest threat of tornadoes and very large hail will be centered over northern Mississippi and Alabama into Tennessee and southern Kentucky.

More isolated severe storms are possible during the evening into the western Carolinas and Friday morning, April 1, along the central Gulf Coast.

Featured image: Featured image: Tornado that hit Owasso, Oklahoma on March 30, 2016. Credit: KWTV-News 9 (CBS)

Credit to BBC

Donald Trump Threatens Petrodollar System

ISIS In California? 17 "Arabs In Turbans" Fired Guns And Chanted Allahu Akbar In Middle Of The Desert

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Four months ago, ISIS came to San Bernardino, California. Sort of.

On December 2, Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik stormed a county holiday party and murdered 14 people with assault rifles in an attack that authorities would later say was inspired by Islamic State and its reclusive leader Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Investigators surmised that Malik was likely radicalized when she moved from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia (imagine that) and probably played a role in convincing her husband to take up the jihadi cause.

Both Farook and Malik were killed in a shootout with police, but we now know that the ISIS “presence” in San Bernardino didn’t die with the star-crossed lovers. Police responded on Sunday to multiple reports from campers that more than a dozen men of “Middle Eastern descent” were up all night on Saturday yelling and firing weapons into air.

“San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies and an FBI agent responded to the area known as Deep Creek Hot Springs after reports of gunshots and chanting in the predawn hours,” The LA Times reports. “According to law enforcement sources, 17 men of Middle Eastern descent were detained.” Here’s a picture taken at the scene:

One of the 911 callers claimed that more than “100 shots” had been fired and that there were men “wearing turbans” in and around the area. With the assistance of a police helicopter, the “jihadist” contingent was located “walking away from a creek carrying backpacks and other items.”

Those “other items” included “several” handguns, a rifle and a shotgun.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that in fact, the men hadn’t done anything wrong at all. “A records check of the subjects, their weapons, and their vehicles was completed," a statement from the sheriff’s department reads. "The records check revealed none of the subjects had a criminal history or outstanding warrants, the weapons were registered with the Department of Justice except for the rifle, and the vehicles were also registered.”

Right. So apparently, their “crime” was being Arab on a Saturday night.

Still, this one is a bit of a head-scratcher. While it does seem likely that campers saw what they wanted to see here, it’s not everyday that 17 Arab men congregate in Apple Valley and fire guns all night. “If there’s something going on wouldn’t you want your local police or law enforcement to take care of it so that citizens like you or myself don’t have to take it into their own hands?,” one local resident asked.

"None of the persons interviewed yesterday were identified as terrorists,” the sheriff’s department said on Monday, in an effort to assuage the public.

A recording of police scanner chatter that was posted online following the incident did nothing to calm locals' frayed nerves. “All of the subjects are armed with handguns, that [witnesses] actually see," an officer says. "Um, they were there all night and uh, they were up all night chanting Allahu akbar-type stuff," he continues.

Credit to Zero Hedge


Petrus Romanus Now World’s Most Popular Leader, Poll Finds

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Pope Francis is the most popular world leader according to a new opinion poll by WIN/Gallup.

The survey, taken by 1,000 people in 64 countries respectively, puts the popularity of the Pope above US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande.

Francis achieved a net score of +41 – the difference between favourable and unfavourable opinions – 11 points ahead of closest rival President Obama, who achieved +30.

Citizens in countries around the world were asked: “Irrespective of your own religion, do you have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of Pope Francis?”

Five out of 10 respondents (54 per cent) hold favourable views compared with 12 per cent unfavourable.

The regions where the Pope is held in highest esteem are perhaps unsurprising: his Latin American homeland, North America and Europe. Portugal has the highest number of individuals with a positive view of the Pope, followed by the Philippines.

Segmented by religious belief, Roman Catholics view the Pope most favourably, followed by Jews and then Protestants. Only 28 per cent of Muslims and 33 per cent of Buddhists see Francis in a positive light, but most of the Muslims and Buddhists surveyed had not heard of him.

The majority of atheists and agnostics polled view him favourably, according to the results.

WIN/Gallup International President Jean-Marc Leger, said: "Pope Francis is a leader who transcends his own religion. Our study shows that an ample majority of citizens of the world, of different religious affiliations and across regions, have a favourable image of the Pope."

People from Algeria, Palestine and Turkey were least likely to like the Pope, according to the results released on 24 March.

Credit to thetablet.co.uk

Wave of human zombies spreading across Florida due to 'spice' street drugs

Image result for "spice" is a synthetic drug

(NaturalNews) Florida authorities are reporting disturbing "zombie-like" encounters on the city's streets. Cops in Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg are being called to "horror-movie style scenes" where drugged up people are wandering around, slumped over in the streets and parks, as reported by the Daily Mail. The scenes look like some kind of zombie apocalypse scenario, with packs of unconscious people falling over and mumbling, unable to say their own name.

A wave of new synthetic drug variants called "spice" are being passed around and sold on the city streets. People who have no idea what they are taking are overdosing right in public. This "spice" is a synthetic drug with a chemical composition that varies from region to region. Drug makers are changing the ingredients as they go, using whatever they can to create a synthetic high.

Synthetic street "spice" turning people into zombies
Dozens of people are reportedly being rescued on the streets and taken to nearby hospitals. Investigators say the number of people using this "synthetic marijuana" is on the rise. The drug leaves people in a stupefied, speechless state. In Crest Lake Park, users can be seen slumped over, lying on the ground, immobile and docile. In some cases, users become vicious and violent. There have been reports of overdoses also at the St. Vincent de Paul Shelter.

Speaking to local news station WTVT police spokesman Rob Shaw commented, "We have noticed a serious uptick of Spice incidents lately that have turned into medical calls and it's become a serious drain on resources for the police department for the fire department and then in turn for doctors say at Morton Plant Hospital where the patients end up."

Major Eric Gandy of the Clearwater Police Department can be seen in a body camera video trying to approach drugged-up individuals in a park to help them, but many are so high that they can't even say their own name. "What's your name?" asks officer Gandy several times in the video, but he only gets a response from one guy, who mumbles, "my name?"

Officer Gandy reports that the number of people overdosing on spice has reached unprecedented levels. After responding to three overdoses in one day, officials say that most of the cases in Crest Lake Park are coming from the homeless population that roams the area.

Speaking to WFLA, officer Gandy said the scenes looked "like one of our zombie movies" and that he "had 15 people walking around in various states of incapacitation" all at once.

"It's mainly the homeless people that are using this drug," said area resident and business owner Jerome Freeland. He said the drug was once called "spice," but something stronger has been going around recently and is being referred to as "That Disney" or "FloKKA."

Credit to Natural News

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053462_human_zombies_synthetic_marijuana_war_on_drugs.html#ixzz44RR2I5pI

Dr. Jim Willie QE Destruction, Police State, more...

Terrorists Have The “Means, Knowledge & Information” To Create A Nuclear Bomb Warns UN Atomic Chief

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Terrorists have the 'means, knowledge and information' to create a nuclear bomb, the head of the UN atomic watchdog has warned in the wake of the Brussels attacks.

The warnings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano come just days before world leaders meet for an important summit against 'nuclear terrorism'.

'Terrorism is spreading and the possibility of using nuclear material cannot be excluded,' Mr Amano told AFP.

'Member states need to have sustained interest in strengthening nuclear security.

Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has warned that the possibility of 'nuclear terrorism' cannot be excluded following the Brussels attacks

'The countries which do not recognise the danger of nuclear terrorism are the biggest problem.'

Around 50 leaders will meet in Washington on March 31 for a summit on ensuring that nuclear material in the world's roughly 1,000 atomic facilities is secure.

Major progress has already been made, with countries reducing stockpiles of nuclear material, experts say.

Credit to dailymail.co.uk

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3509931/Terrorists-means-knowledge-information-create-nuclear-bomb-warns-atomic-chief.html#ixzz44R9ivuRJ

One Out Of Three Americans Cannot Afford Food Or Rent

US & China Are Collapsing Into Thucydides Trap

Image result for US & China Are Collapsing Into Thucydides Trap
In his History of the Peloponnesian War, ancient Greek historian Thucydides told us the tale of a dominant regional power (Sparta) that felt threatened by the rise of a competing power (Athens).
Sparta felt so threatened, in fact, that all the moves they made to keep the Athenian rise in check eventually escalated the power struggle into an all out war.
Modern political scientists call this the Thucydides Trap.
The idea is that when, out of fear, a dominant power takes certain steps to keep its competitor at bay, these actions ultimately lead to war between the two.
There’s a lot of concern that the US and China will fall into the Thucydides Trap.
This is certainly a valid concern. Both are nuclear superpowers with some of the largest militaries in the world.
But in 2016, modern warfare is not about tanks and aircraft carriers anymore. Modern warfare is insurgent, cyber, and financial.
In fact, if you look at the state of the financial system and the tactical brinksmanship between the US and China, it’s clear that the two are already in a Thucydides Trap.
This power struggle is leading to financial warfare of nuclear proportions; and as with any war, there will be a lot of casualties.
Just over the last several months we’ve seen many exchanges of fire between the two nations.
  • The US government claimed legal jurisdiction over the Bank of China, one of the largest banks on the mainland.
  • The Chinese launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a supernational bank designed to compete with the Western-dominated IMF.
  • The US blacklisted one of China’s largest telecom companies, forbidding any US company from doing business with China’s ZTE.
  • China has been rapidly expanding its global payment network, UnionPay to become a direct competitor with Western systems like Maestro, Visa, and Mastercard.
And don’t forget, China could unleash its nuclear option at any time– dumping its vast trillion+ pool of US government debt, which would potentially cause a major crisis for the US dollar.
It’s a bit sad, because almost EVERY action of the US government only escalates the conflict further… and the Chinese eagerly follow suit.
This is how World War III starts. And it will be financial.
Listen in to today’s podcast and learn more about how this conflict will unfold… and how to not to end up as collateral damage.
(click image for link to podcast)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Iranian leader says missiles more important than talks

Image result for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that his country needs its controversial missile program in order to negotiate from a position of strength and that those who oppose rocket development are treasonous.

The comments came as Western powers called on the UN to take action against Iran over recent tests of ballistic missiles, noting they threatened Israel.

Khamenei, who supported talks with the West over its nuclear program, said negotiations could not replace military might in Tehran’s international relations.

“That they say the future of the world is one of negotiation and not one of missiles, if that is said out of ignorance, well it is ignorance, but if it’s said knowingly, it is treason,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The comments were seen as pushback against Iranian reformers who support negotiations as key to improving Tehran’s standing in the world.

“If the Islamic establishment seeks technology and negotiations but lacks defensive power, it will have to back down in the face of any petty country that threatens [Iran],” the Khamenei said.

Khamenei made the comments during an event to mark the birthday anniversary of Prophet Mohammed’s daughter, Fatimah, the semi-official Iranian Press-TV reported.

The nuclear deal, passed in July and implemented in January, lifted punishing economic sanctions and has allowed Iran to forge fresh economic and diplomatic ties with the West.

Under a UN Security Council resolution passed alongside the nuclear deal, the country is forbidden from developing weapons that can carry nuclear weapons.

That would seem to include ballistic missiles, including two which were tested earlier this month with the words “Israel must be wiped off the earth” emblazoned on one, according to the US and other Western powers.

On Tuesday, the US, France, Britain and Germany and three allies called for a United Nations Security Council meeting to formulate an “appropriate response” to Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests, which they say were carried out in defiance of a UN resolution and to threaten Israel.

The letter called the launches “destabilizing and provocative” and says the Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile and Qiam-1 short-range ballistic missile that were fired are “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Credit to Times of Israel


Image result for “Idiocracy”

Ten years ago, a major Hollywood film entitled “Idiocracy” was released, and it was an excellent metaphor for what would happen to America over the course of the next decade.

In the movie, an “average American” wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that he suddenly finds himself in. 

 Sadly, I truly believe that if people of average intellect from the 1950s and 1960s were transported to 2016, they would likely be considered mental giants compared to the rest of us. We have a country where criminals are being paid $1000 a month not to shoot people, and the highest paid public employee in more than half the states is a football coach.

Hardly anyone takes time to read a book anymore, and yet the average American spends 302 minutes a day watching television. 75 percent of our young adults cannot find Israel on a map of the Middle East, but they sure know how to find smut on the Internet. It may be hard to believe, but there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet today, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

What in the world has happened to us? How is it possible that we have become so stupid? According to a brand new report that was recently released, almost 10 percent of our college graduates believe that Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court…

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni publishes occasional reports on what college students know.

Nearly 10 percent of the college graduates surveyed thought Judith Sheindlin, TV’s “Judge Judy,” is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than 20 percent of the college graduates knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than a quarter of the college graduates did not know Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during World War II; one-third did not know he was the president who spearheaded the New Deal.

It can be tempting to laugh at numbers like these until you realize that survey after survey has come up with similar results.

Just consider what Newsweek found a few years ago…

When NEWSWEEK recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.

Even worse were the extremely depressing results of a study conducted a few years ago by Common Core…

*Only 43 percent of all U.S. high school students knew that the Civil War was fought some time between 1850 and 1900.

*More than a quarter of all U.S. high school students thought that Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean after the year 1750.

*Approximately a third of all U.S. high school students did not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

*Only 60 percent of all U.S. students knew that World War I was fought some time between 1900 and 1950.

Of course survey results can be skewed, and much hinges on how the questions are asked.

However, even studies that are scientifically conducted confirm how stupid America has become. In fact, a report from the Educational Testing Service found that Americans are falling way behind much of the rest of the industrialized world. The following comes from CBS News

Americans born after 1980 are lagging their peers in countries ranging from Australia to Estonia, according to a new report from researchers at the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The study looked at scores for literacy and numeracy from a test called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, which tested the abilities of people in 22 countries.

The results are sobering, with dire implications for America. It hints that students may be falling behind not only in their early educational years but at the college level. Even though more Americans between the ages of 20 to 34 are achieving higher levels of education, they’re still falling behind their cohorts in other countries. In Japan, Finland and the Netherlands, young adults with only a high school degree scored on par with American Millennials holding four-year college degrees, the report said.

Out of 22 countries that were part of the study, the Educational Testing Service found that Americans were dead last in tech proficiency, dead last in numeracy and only two countries performed worse than us when it came to literacy proficiency

Half of American Millennials score below the minimum standard of literacy proficiency. Only two countries scored worse by that measure: Italy (60 percent) and Spain (59 percent). The results were even worse for numeracy, with almost two-thirds of American Millennials failing to meet the minimum standard for understanding and working with numbers. That placed U.S. Millennials dead last for numeracy among the study’s 22 developed countries.

So why has this happened?

Why have we become such an extremely stupid nation?

Well, at least a portion of the blame must be directed at our system of education. The following is an excerpt from an article written by reporter Mark Morford. In this article, he shared how one of his friends which had served for a very long time as a high school teacher in Oakland, California was considering moving out of the country when he retired due to the relentless “dumb-ification of the American brain”

It’s gotten so bad that, as my friend nears retirement, he says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country so as to escape what he sees will be the surefire collapse of functioning American society in the next handful of years due to the absolutely irrefutable destruction, the shocking — and nearly hopeless — dumb-ification of the American brain. It is just that bad.

Now, you may think he’s merely a curmudgeon, a tired old teacher who stopped caring long ago. Not true. Teaching is his life. He says he loves his students, loves education and learning and watching young minds awaken. Problem is, he is seeing much less of it.

And of course things don’t get much better when it comes to our college students. In aprevious article, I shared some statistics from USA Today about the rapidly declining state of college education in the United States…

-“After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.”

-“Students also spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago”

-“35% of students report spending five or fewer hours per week studying alone.”

-“50% said they never took a class in a typical semester where they wrote more than 20 pages”

-“32% never took a course in a typical semester where they read more than 40 pages per week.”

I spent eight years studying at some of the finest public universities in the country, and I can tell you from personal experience that even our most challenging college courses have been pathetically dumbed down.

And at our “less than finest” public universities, the level of education can be something of a bad joke. In another previous article, I shared some examples of actual courses that have been taught at U.S. universities in recent years…

-“What If Harry Potter Is Real?

-“Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame

-“Philosophy And Star Trek

-“Learning From YouTube

-“How To Watch Television

Could you imagine getting actual college credit for a course entitled “What If Harry Potter Is Real?”

This is why many of our college graduates can barely put two sentences together. They aren’t being challenged, and the quality of the education most of them are receiving is incredibly poor.

But even though they aren’t being challenged, students are taking longer to get through college than ever. Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of all full-time students receive a bachelor’s degree within four years, and only 77 percent of all full-time students have earned a bachelor’s degree by the end of six years.

Of course our system of education is not entirely to blame. The truth is that young Americans spend far more time consuming media than they do hitting the books, and what passes for “entertainment” these days is rapidly turning their brains to mush.

According to a report put out by Nielsen, this is how much time the average American spends consuming media on various devices each day…

Watching live television: 4 hours, 32 minutes

Watching time-shifted television: 30 minutes

Listening to the radio: 2 hours, 44 minutes

Using a smartphone: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Using Internet on a computer: 1 hour, 6 minutes

When you add it all up, the average American spends more than 10 hours a day plugged into some form of media.

And if you allow anyone to pump “programming” into your mind for 10 hours a day, it is going to have a dramatic impact.

In the end, I truly believe that we all greatly underestimate the influence that the mainstream media has on all of us. We willingly plug into “the Matrix” for endless hours, but then somehow we still expect “to think for ourselves”.

There are very few of us that can say that we have not been exposed to thousands upon thousands of hours of conditioning. And all of that garbage can make it very, very difficult to think clearly.

It is not because of a lack of input that we have become so stupid as a society. The big problem is what we are putting into our minds.

If we continue to put garbage in, we are going to continue to get garbage out, and that is the cold, hard reality of the matter.

Credit to Infowars

This "drill" proves all mainstream news should be considered fake

This (Crashing) Trend Is Not Your Friend

Despite Yellen's best efforts today to basically dismiss any and all data as irrelevant going forward in The Fed's decision-making process, we suspect all eyes (and algos) will be firmly glued to this week's payrolls' data. Will it be another record month for Obama to crow about? Will Mark Zandi do the "told you so dance" to all the trump supporters who seem less exuberant about the recovery? One look at this chart  - and the disastrous trend - and we suspect, sooner-rather-than-later, the fecal matter will be striking the rotating object in America...
As Bloomberg notes, a growing gap is developing between corporate profits and job growth in the U.S. 
Company earnings, a key driver of business spending and employment, tumbled in the fourth quarter and history shows that when they retreat, the economy often follows.
So we wonder just what kind of seasonal-adjustments are being used to ensure this gap remains. Notice the "gap" in 1999... that did not end well.
BofAML's Michael Contopoulos adds that it is no surprise that falling corporate earnings is a leading indicator for economic recessions – when corporates struggle to grow their bottom lines, they are forced to source liquidity through either the capital markets or cost cutting methods. And when funding either becomes unavailable or too expensive, companies must scale back through capex and/or personnel reductions.
Although a US recession is not a necessary precondition for a turn in the credit cycle, but matters only so much as its influence on the shape of the next wave of defaults, we still look closely at how macroeconomic factors could affect corporate health. And it becomes concerning to us that after a 2nd consecutive decline in year over year corporate earnings, coupled with a lack of worker productivity and higher wages, that soon the very rosy jobs numbers may begin to disappoint.
With personal spending increasing by a paltry 0.1% for each of the past 3 months, we believe consumer spending habits are already more conservative than they should be given low gasoline prices and currently favorable employment statistics. Should jobs numbers begin to disappoint, in our opinion consumers would be quick to pull back and save more of their income.
Even a marginally weaker spender could have a substantial impact on the most vulnerable companies, forcing these weakest links to liquidate, fire and default. The potential for this added labor slack could lead to a further pullback in consumer spending and produce stress within the next weakest links in the chain. This self-perpetuating cycle, should it continue, could create a rolling blackout as defaults migrate from one sector to the next. And while Energy and Materials are currently in the crosshairs, we could envision a number of sectors that could come into focus and prove unable to withstand the added stress of a weaker consumer.

To this end, we believe more attention should be paid to the current fundamentals of US corporates and the vulnerability of what are now considered ‘healthy’ high yield sectors to a wave of defaults that has the potential to spread into all industries. Although technicals are currently keeping the market afloat, we are not buyers of the market at current levels and believe fundamentals will ultimately force spreads wider.

Credit to Zero Hedge