Friday, January 29, 2016
If there is one thing that Americans can agree on these days, it is the fact that most of us don’t like the government. CBS News has just released an article entitled “Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever“, and an average of recent surveys calculated by Real Clear Politicsfound that 63 percent of all Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction and only 28 percent of all Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction. In just a few days the first real ballots of the 2016 election will be cast in Iowa, and up to this point the big story of this cycle has been the rise of “outsider” candidates that many of the pundits had assumed would never have a legitimate chance. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders have all been beneficiaries of the overwhelming disgust that the American people feel regarding what has been going on in Washington.
And it isn’t just Barack Obama or members of Congress that Americans are disgusted with. According to the CBS News article that I referenced above, our satisfaction with various federal agencies has fallen to an eight year low…
A handful of industries are those “love to hate” types of businesses, such as cable-television companies and Internet service providers.The federal government has joined the ranks of the bottom-of-the-barrel industries, according to a new survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Americans’ satisfaction level in dealing with federal agencies –everything from Treasury to Homeland Security — has fallen for a third consecutive year, reaching an eight-year low.
So if we are all so fed up with the way that things are running, it should be easy to fix right?
Unfortunately, things are not so simple.
In America today, we are more divided as a nation than ever. If you ask 100 different people how we should fix this country, you are going to get 100 very different answers. We no longer have a single shared set of values or principles that unites us, and therefore it is going to be nearly impossible for us to come together on specific solutions.
You would think that the principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution should be able to unite us, but sadly those days are long gone. In fact, the word “constitutionalist” has become almost synonymous with “terrorist” in our nation. If you go around calling yourself a “constitutionalist” in America today, there is a good chance that you will be dismissed as a radical right-wing wacko that probably needs to be locked up.
The increasing division in our nation can be seen very clearly during this election season.
On the left, an admitted socialist is generating the most enthusiasm of any of the candidates. Among many Democrats today, Hillary Clinton is simply “not liberal enough” and no longer represents their values.On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of Republican voters are gravitating toward either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Both of those candidates represent a complete break from how establishment Republicans have been doing things in recent years.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am certainly not suggesting that we need to meet in the middle. My point is that there is absolutely no national consensus about what we should do. On the far left, they want to take us into full-blown socialism. Those that support Donald Trump or Ted Cruz want to take us in a more conservative direction. But even among Republicans there are vast disagreements about how to fix this country. Establishment Republicans greatly dislike both Trump and Cruz, and they are quite determined to do whatever it takes to keep either of them from getting the nomination. The elite have grown very accustomed to anointing the nominee from each party every four years, and so the popularity of Trump and Cruz is making them quite uneasy this time around. The following comes from the New York Times…
The members of the party establishment are growing impatient as they watch Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz dominate the field heading into the Iowa caucuses next Monday and the New Hampshire primary about a week later.The party elders had hoped that one of their preferred candidates, such as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, would be rising above the others by now and becoming a contender to rally around.
The global elite gathered in Davos, Switzerland are also greatly displeased with Trump. Just check out some of the words that they are using to describe him…
“Unbelievable“, “embarrassing” even “dangerous” are some of the words the financial elite gathered at the World Economic Forum conference in the Swiss resort of Davos have been using to describe U.S. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.Although some said they still expected his campaign to founder before his party picks its nominee for the November election many said it was no longer unthinkable that he could be the Republican candidate.
The truth is that the Republican Party represents somewhere less than half the population in the United States, and today it is at war with itself. Supporters of Trump have a significantly different vision of the future than supporters of Cruz, and the establishment wing wants nothing to do with either candidate.
A lot of people seem to assume that since Trump is leading in the polls that he will almost certainly get the nomination.
That is not exactly a safe bet.
It is my contention that the establishment will pull out every trick in the book to keep either him or Cruz from getting the nomination. And in order to lock up the nomination before the Republican convention, a candidate will need to have secured slightly more than 60 percent of all of the delegates during the caucuses and the primaries.
The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles in which I discussed the difficult delegate math that the Republican candidates are facing this time around…
It is going to be much more difficult for Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination than most people think. In order to win the nomination, a candidate must secure at least 1,237 of the 2,472 delegates that are up for grabs. But not all of them will be won during the state-by-state series of caucuses and primaries that will take place during the first half of 2016. Of the total of 2,472 Republican delegates, 437 of them are unpledged delegates – and 168 of those are members of the Republican National Committee. And unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you already know that the Republican National Committee is not a fan of Donald Trump. In order to win the Republican nomination without any of the unpledged delegates, Trump would need to win 60.78 percent of the delegates that are up for grabs during the caucuses and primaries. And considering that his poll support is hovering around 30 percent right now, that is a very tall order.In the past, it was easier for a front-runner to pile up delegates in “winner take all” states, but for this election cycle the Republicans have changed quite a few things. In 2016, all states that hold caucuses or primaries before March 15th must award their delegates proportionally. So when Trump wins any of those early states, he won’t receive all of the delegates. Instead, he will just get a portion of them based on the percentage of the vote that he received.In 2016, more delegates will be allocated on a proportional basis by the Republicans than ever before, and with such a crowded field that makes it quite likely that no candidate will have secured enough delegates for the nomination by the time the Republican convention rolls around.
If no candidate has more than 60 percent of the delegates by the end of the process, then it is quite likely that we will see the first true “brokered convention” in decades.
If we do see a “brokered convention”, that would almost surely result in an establishment candidate coming away with the nomination. That list of names would include Bush, Rubio, Christie and Kasich.
And if by some incredible miracle either Trump or Cruz does get the nomination, the elite will move heaven and earth to make sure that Hillary Clinton ends up in the White House.
For decades, it has seemed like nothing ever really changes no matter which political party is in power, and that is exactly how the elite like it.
Our two major political parties are really just two sides of the same coin, and they are both leading this nation right down the toilet.
Credit to Zero Hedge
As stocks continue to crash, you can blame the Federal Reserve, because the Fed is more responsible for creating the current financial bubble that we are living in than anyone else. When the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates all the way to the floor and injected lots of hot money into the financial markets during their quantitative easing programs, this pushed stock prices to wildly artificial levels. The only way that it would have been possible to keep stock prices at those wildly artificial levels would have been to keep interest rates ultra-low and to keep recklessly creating lots of new money. But now the Federal Reserve has ended quantitative easing and has embarked on a program of very slowly raising interest rates. This is going to have very severe consequences for the markets, but Janet Yellen doesn’t seem to care.
There is a reason why the financial world hangs on every single word that is issued by the Fed. That is because the massively inflated stock prices that we see today were a creation of the Fed and are completely dependent on the Fed for their continued existence.
Right now, stock prices are still 30 to 40 percent above what the economic fundamentals say that they should be based on historical averages. And if we are now plunging into a very deep recession as I contend, stock prices should probably fall by a total of more than 50 percent from where they are now.
The only way that stock prices could have ever gotten this disconnected from economic reality is with the help of the Federal Reserve. And since the U.S. dollar is the primary reserve currency of the entire planet, the actions of the Fed over the past few years have created stock market bubbles all over the globe.
But the only way to keep the party going is to keep the hot money flowing. Unfortunately for investors, Janet Yellen and her friends at the Fed have chosen to go the other direction. Not only has quantitative easing ended, but the Fed has also decided to slowly raise interest rates. The Fed left rates unchanged on Wednesday, but we were told that we are probably still on schedule for another rate hike in March.
So how did the markets respond to the Fed?
Well, after attempting to go green for much of the day, the Dow started plunging very rapidly and ended up down 222 points.
The markets understand the reality of what they are now facing. They know that stock prices are artificially high and that if the Fed keeps tightening that it is inevitable that they will fall back to earth.
In a true free market system, stock prices would be far, far lower than they are right now. Everyone knows this – including Jim Cramer. Just check out what he told CNBC viewers earlier today…
Jim Cramer was tempted to resurface his “they know nothing” rant after hearing the Fed speak on Wednesday. He was hoping that a few boxes on his market bottom checklist might be checked off, but it seems that the bear market has not yet run its course.“The Fed’s wishy-washy statement on interest rates today left stocks sinking back into oblivion after a nice rally yesterday,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Without artificial help from the Fed, stocks will most definitely continue to sink into oblivion.
That is because these current stock prices are not based on anything real.
And so as this new financial crisis continues to unfold, the magnitude of the crash is going to be much worse than it otherwise would have been.
It has often been said that the higher you go the farther you have to fall. Because the Federal Reserve has pumped up stock prices to ridiculously high levels, that just means that the pain on the way down is going to be that much worse.
It is also important to remember that stocks tend to fall much more rapidly than they rise. And when we see a giant crash in the financial markets, that creates a tremendous amount of fear and panic. The last time there was great fear and panic for an extended period of time was during the crisis of 2008 and 2009, and this created a tremendous credit crunch.
During a credit crunch, financial institutions because very hesitant to lend to one another or to anyone else. And since our economy is extremely dependent on the flow of credit, economic activity slows down dramatically.
As this current financial crisis escalates, you are going to notice certain things begin to happen. If you own a business or you work at a business, you may start to notice that fewer people are coming in, and those people that do come in are going have less money to spend.
As economic activity slows, employers will be forced to lay off workers, and many businesses will shut down completely. And since 63 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, many will suddenly find themselves unable to meet their monthly expenses. Foreclosures will skyrocket, and large numbers of people will go from living a comfortable middle class lifestyle to being essentially out on the street very, very rapidly.
At this point, many experts believe that the economic outlook for the coming months is quite grim. For example, just consider what Marc Faber is saying…
It won’t come as a surprise to market watchers that “Dr. Doom” Marc Faber isn’t getting any more cheerful.But the noted bear at least found a sense of humor on Wednesday into which he could channel his bleakness.The publisher of the “Gloom, Boom & Doom Report” told attendees at the annual “Inside ETFs” conference that the medium-term economic outlook has become “so depressing” that he may as well fill a newly installed pool with beer instead of water.
If the Federal Reserve had left interest rates at more reasonable levels and had never done any quantitative easing, we would have been forced to address our fundamental economic problems more honestly and stock prices would be far, far lower today.
But now that the Fed has created this giant artificial financial bubble, the coming crash is going to be much worse than it otherwise would have been. And the tremendous amount of panic that this crash will cause will paralyze much of the economy and will ultimately lead to a far deeper economic downturn than we witnessed last time around.
Once the Fed started wildly injecting money into the system, they had no other choice but to keep on doing it.
By removing the artificial support that they had been giving to the financial markets, they are making a huge mistake, and they are setting the stage for an economic tragedy that will affect the lives of every man, woman and child in America.
Credit to Economic Collapse
As economic turmoil worldwide becomes increasingly apparent, I have been receiving messages from readers expressing some concerns on the public “perception” of collapse. That is to say, there are questions on the average person’s concept of collapse versus the reality of collapse. This is a vital issue that I have discussed briefly in the past, but it deserves a more in-depth analysis.
What is collapse? How do we define it? And, are some of the notions of collapse in the public consciousness completely wrong?
It’s funny, because skeptics opposed to the idea of a U.S. collapse in particular will most often retort with a question they think I cannot or will not answer – “So, Mr. Smith, when specifically is this supposed collapse going to take place? What day and time?”
My response has always been – “We’re in the middle of a collapse right now; you really can’t see it right in front of your sneering face?”
The reason these people are incapable of grasping this kind of answer is in large part due to the popular mainstream conceptions of systemic collapse. These are conceptions that are for the most part delusional and not in line with the facts. The public idea of collapse comes predominantly from Hollywood, and not from personal experience. For the masses (and some preppers, unfortunately), a collapse is an “event” that happens visibly and usually swiftly. You wake up one morning and behold; the television and phones don’t work anymore and zombies are at your doorstep! Yes, it’s childish and cartoonish, but anything less than a Walking Dead/Mad Max scenario and many people act as if all other threats are benign.
This is the driving reason why many Americans are absolutely oblivious to the economic instability that is rampant and blatant within our system the past few months. They might see the same signals that alternative analysts see, but these signals do not register in their brains as dangers.
Look at it this way; say you told a person their whole life that a tiger is a 10-foot tall behemoth with four heads that breath fire while urinating flesh-rending acid. Say you make movies and TV shows about it and they never have any experience to the contrary. When they finally come across a real tiger, they might try to pet the damn thing instead of running in terror or searching for a means of defense.
To use another vicious animal analogy, when I encounter skeptics with false assumptions of what a collapse actually is, I am often reminded of that woman in Anchorage, Alaska who jumped an enclosure fence at the zoo to get a closer picture of Binky the polar bear. These people have been made so inept when it comes to identifying threats that they will continue arguing with you as the animal takes a football-sized bite out of their meaty thigh.
So what is the root of the problem beyond Hollywood fantasies? Well, the problem is that social and economic collapse is not a singular event, it is a PROCESS. Collapse is a series of events that sometimes span years. Each event increases in volatility over the last event, but as time goes on these events tend to condition the masses. The public develops a normalcy bias towards crisis (like the old “frog in a boiling pot” analogy). They lose all sense of what a healthy system looks like.
It is not uncommon for a society to wade through almost a decade or more of violent decline before finally acknowledging the system is imploding on a fundamental level. It is also not uncommon for societies to endure years of abuse by corrupt governments before either organizing effectively to rebel, or caving in and submitting to totalitarianism.
But how does one recognize a failing system? How does a person know if they are in the middle of a collapse rather than on the “verge” of collapse? Here are some signals I have derived from research of various breakdowns in modern nations and why they indicate we are experiencing collapse right now…
The Criminals Openly Admit To Their Crimes
The surest way to know if your society is in the midst of disintegration is to see if the criminals who created the instability in the first place are openly discussing a collapse scenario or warning that one is imminent.
A year ago, central bankers presented little more than a chorus of recovery propaganda. Today, not so much. The Royal Bank of Scotland is now warning investors to “sell everything” ahead of a “cataclysmic” year in markets.
The Federal Reserve’s Richard Fisher has admitted that the Fed “frontloaded” (manipulated) stock markets into a bubble and that payment is about to come due in the form of severe economic volatility (up to 20% crash in equities).
The Bank for International Settlements, the central bank of central banks, has a track record of warning the public about collapse conditions – right before they happen, leaving little or no time for people to prepare. They have followed their habit by warning in September and December that a Fed rate hike would “shatter” the uneasy calm in markets.
The former Chief Economist of the BIS now says the economy is in worse shape than it was in 2008 and is headed for a larger fall.
What happened between last year and this year and why are these internationalists suddenly so forthcoming about our economic reality? The fact that central bankers are the cause of our current collapse leads me to believe that such admissions are designed to deflect guilt. If they put out a few warnings now, they can then later claim they are prognosticators rather than culprits, and that they were trying to “help us.” Beyond that, the reality is that our situation was just as dire in 2014/2015 as it is today; the difference is that now we are about to enter a new phase in the ongoing collapse, a much more detrimental phase, but still a phase of a breakdown that has been progressing since at least 2008.
The Fundamentals Break Through The Manipulation Barrier
Governments and central banks do not have the capacity to artificially create demand for goods or a supply of well-paying jobs in a crashing economy. What they can do, though, is hide the visible problems in supply and demand with false numbers.
I examined such false economic statistics in great detail last year in a six-part series titled “One Last Look At The Real Economy Before It Implodes.” I will not cover them all again here. I would only point out that recently the fundamentals of supply and demand have begun to break through the deceit of manipulated numbers, and this is a sign that the collapse is about to move from one stage to the next.
With global shipping and trucking freight in steep decline, with retail inventories in stasis and current oil consumption falling to levels not seen since 1997 despite a larger population, the mainstream can no longer deny that consumer demand is crumbling. If demand is falling dramatically, then the financial system is in the middle of falling dramatically; there is simply no way around this truth.
Stocks And Commodities Become Violently Erratic
Let's be clear, if stock markets represent anything at all, they are merely lagging indicators of economic instability. Stock markets are NOT predictive indicators of anything useful. Therefore, any person who does nothing but track equities each day is going to be completely oblivious to the bigger picture behind the economy until it is too late. They will be so mesmerized by the green numbers and red numbers and lines on minute-to-minute graphs that they will lose all sense of reality.
Violent swings in stocks are a sign of a financial system that is at the middle or end of the collapse process, not the beginning.
It is also important to note that extreme shifts in stocks and commodity values to the upside are just as much a signal of instability as shifts to the downside. For instance, if you witnessed the recent 9% explosion in oil markets and thought to yourself "Ah, the markets are being stabilized again and nothing is different this time...", then you are an idiot.
Of course, the next day oil markets lost almost all of the gains they made the day before. And this is how markets behave when they are about to die; they expand and implode chaotically each day on nothing more that meaningless news headlines rather than hard data. This heart attack in equities inevitably trends downwards as the weeks and months pass. Keep in mind, equities are down nearly 10% from their recent highs, and oil is down approximately 50% in the past six months. Every time there is a dead cat bounce in stocks skeptics come out of the woodwork to call alternative analysts "doomers", yet they are nowhere to be found when markets come crashing back down. They are not looking at the overall trend because their short attention spans hinder them. Again, extreme swings in markets, whether up or down, are a sign of progressing collapse.
Deterioration Of Cultural Values, Heritage And Identity
I have written extensively over the years about the Cloward-Piven strategy; a strategy used by collectivists to destabilize social systems by dumping overt numbers of foreign immigrants into the population without demand for integration. This process has been obvious in the U.S. and Europe for quite some time, but only now is it peaking to the point that collapse is seen as an inevitable result by the public. Europe is worse off than the U.S. in this regard as millions upon millions of Muslim immigrants are injected into the EU’s already dying body; immigrants that intend to transplant their culture from their own failed societies rather than adopting the values and principles of the societies that have invited them in.
Natural-born Americans and legal immigrants with aspiration of integration appear to be fighting back against the Cloward-Piven strategy with some success by holding onto traditional American values despite being labeled “barbarians” and “racists.” Illegal immigration, though, is still completely unchecked.
In the EU, the long campaign of cultural Marxism has made natural-born Europeans perhaps the most self-hating people on the planet as well as the most passive and weak. Organized opposition to massive immigration programs in the EU should have taken place years ago. Now it is far too late, and the European system is finishing a social implosion which should have already been obvious to average citizens.
Open Discussion Of Totalitarian Measures
When corrupt leadership moves from quiet totalitarianism to more open totalitarianism, your society is in the FINAL stages of collapse, not the beginning of a collapse. The U.S. in particular has been slowly strangled with subversive legal directives and political policies ever since the so called “War on Terror” began. However, there are now multiple signals of a much deeper and open tyranny in the works.
A few recent examples stand out, including Barack Obama’s insistence that the office of the president has the legal authority to issues executive orders that affect constitutional protections such as the 2nd Amendment. As many liberty movement activists are aware, there is absolutely no constitutional precedent for the use of executive orders and such powers are not mentioned anywhere in the document. They were simply created out of thin air to be used by the federal government and sometimes state governments to supersede normal checks and balances.
While numerous presidents have issued executive orders, including some that were outright tyrannical, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s unconstitutional internment of Japanese Americans into concentration camps, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have been the most subversive in their bypassing of the Constitution. Obama, in particular, has tried to hide the number of executive actions he has taken by issuing hundreds of “presidential memorandums,” which are basically the same dirty play by another name.
These actions have been progressively setting the stage for the removal of checks and balances entirely in the name of crisis management. They are so broad in their nature and vague in their definitions and applications that they could be interpreted by federal authorities to mean just about anything in any given situation.
If executive actions are not scary enough, corrupt politicians are now becoming blunt in their demands for dominance. Two Republican Senators, Mitch McConnel and Lindsay Graham, are calling for unlimited AUMF-style (authorization of use of military force) war powers to be given to the president. Such powers would allow the president to project U.S. military forces anywhere in the world for any reason without review or time limits. This includes the use of military forces on U.S. soil.
The rationale for this is, of course, the threat of ISIS. The same group of terrorists the U.S. government helped to create.
And finally, if you want perhaps the most nonchalant admission of future tyranny in recent days, check out former General Wesley Clark’s call for “disloyal” Americans to be placed in internment camps through the duration of the war on terror, a war that could ostensibly go on forever.
One could argue that all of these measures are meant only to deter “Islamic extremism.” I would point out that government officials could have stemmed that tide at any time by enforcing existing immigration laws, or, by stopping all immigration for a period of years until the problem is handled. Instead, they have allowed open borders to remain, and have even imported potential terrorists while focusing Department of Homeland Security efforts more on evil white guys with guns.
If we accept the violation of the constitutional rights of any group of citizens, if we allow the concept of "thought crime" to become commonplace, then we leave the door open to the violation of our own rights someday. And that is how tyrants trick populations through incremental collapse; by applying despotism to a claimed dangerous minority, then expanding it to everyone else.
America is sitting near the end of the spectrum in terms of economic collapse and in the middle of the spectrum in terms of social collapse. While more violent events are certainly gestating and are likely to be triggered in the near term, we should not overlook the reality that collapse is happening in stages all around us. This process gives us at least some time. All is not lost yet, and the steps we take to organize and prepare today will affect how the collapse process unfolds tomorrow. People who continue to ignore the outright evidence of collapse based on false assumptions of what collapse should look like are only preventing themselves from taking proper action until it is too late. Make no mistake, our system is dying. We cannot allow our false perceptions of this death to cloud the reality of it, or our response to it.
Credit to Alt-market.com
Parents of 10 year old children at a school in Austria are reportedly fuming after teachers assigned homework to learn the words to a Christian hymn.. except they substituted the word ‘God’ for the word ‘Allah’.
Austria’s largest newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports that school officials claim to have made the change the words to the song ‘Gottes liebe ist so wunderbar’ (God’s love is so wonderful) to ‘Allah’s liebe ist so wunderbar’ in order not to offend the Muslim children in the class.
The newspaper reports that an angry father registered a complaint with the Austrian schools inspectorate, saying that it is unacceptable to change the wording to Christian hymns.
The teacher and the Principal of the school are being questioned regarding the incident.
The teachers claim that Muslim and non Muslim children were supposed to be given different segregated versions of the hymn.
“The teacher had distributed to the Christian and Muslim pupils different texts.” said inspector Karin Lang, claiming that “In the case, a child must have received the wrong copy into their folder”.
The incident dovetails with a professor from the University of Vienna publishing a report warning of rapid Islamisation of Austria’s schools.
The government commissioned report noted that there are at least 150 “problematic” schools in the country.
Professor Ednan Aslan warned that Islamists are attempting to operate a parallel educational system under the radar of the governmental authorities.
The song controversy is also not an isolated incident.
Last month, video emerged of Canadian children singing a song which celebrates Muhammad’s arrival in Medina after he forced Christians to convert to Islam under threat of death.
“The video titled “Welcome to Canada Syrian Refugees” shows the choir singing one of the oldest songs in the Islamic culture.
Other similar incidents in California and Minnesota have angered parents, with schools forcing children to sing Muslim ‘fighting’ songs and songs about spreading the culture of Islam.
Credit to EU Times