The antagonistic, mendacious, gangster like character of American politics has at times caused citizens to avoid it entirely and as the frantic pursuit of pleasure has become the core of life, the nation’s health is too often ignored. A spate of detrimental occurrences and a wide spread feeling of impotence has wounded the electorate. Recently a survey found that only 10 percent of Americans trust our congress to act in the best interests of the nation.
Though I believe it is futile to argue that our Constitution is a Christian document, in a world where freedom is scarce it is an outstanding and unique construct that has serve the nation well. Americans have enjoyed two centuries of liberty and prosperity unequalled in the civilized world.
This is where we were:
The taste of freedom that our ancestors experienced when they entered the hard life of pioneer America created a ferocious will to defend it. When Patrick Henry said “Give me liberty or give me death” he spoke for thousands of immigrants who had been living in European bondage for centuries. Feudalism was a form of slavery. Vassals could not own land. They spent their lives working and fighting for wealthy Lords. In America they could clear, till, harvest and own their land. The contrast was stark and of great value.
Unfortunately freedom was like a new car that had been driven a few thousand miles, lost its new smell, and acquired a few dents. In our time it has lost some of its value and is no longer washed, shined, inspected, and admired.
A number of factors have worked together to bring down the United States of America. The American Indians who were the rightful owners of the new found continent soon became enemies of the European immigrants who began settling land that Indians had historically hunted, fished, and occupied. The Indians were the first terrorists. Their ways of war were inferior and their weaponry was archaic. Justice was on their side but power overcomes justice and injustice wears a righteous cloak.
England became the next enemy seeking to enslave the new freedom addicts with taxes and oppressive troops. The settlers would have none of it. Freedom was seen as a religious right and Christian ministers urged their congregants to fight for it Though the nation was divided in its loyalty there were enough who believed liberty was worth fighting for to produce a rag tag army that was able to defeat the distance impaired British troops.
The next challenge to freedom came when Abraham Lincoln confirmed the odiferous fears of Patrick Henry (He smelled a rat!) by determining to preserve the Union by force. The Southern States who seceded for both economic and social reasons through ignominious defeat became prisoners in a union they deplored. The Union was preserved but freedom was dealt a serious blow.
As wealth and independence increased an omnipotent spirit began to overcome the America populace; the Indians were slaughtered, the continent was either purchase on the cheap or won by force. Florida; the Philippines and Cuba came from Spain; California, a part of Mexico, was won by the army; and Louisiana http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase was purchased from France (Included in this purchase were parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and some of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan). It was an unconstitutional purchase but pragmatism started early in the new nation.
Through what many settlers thought was “Manifest Destiny” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
This is how we got to where we are:
Itinerant Jews became wise in banking and the use of money. They accumulated fortunes that could bail out nations and finance empires. They not only understand banking and money but also the need of nations for unlimited funds. They understand war and its potential for profit and became adept at manipulating nations into conflicts. They pull the power strings in the majority of nations throughout the world and are today a strategic force in the implementation of world government. Though not widely known Jewish financier, Hayman Solomon, was instrumental in providing funds to finance the American Revolution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haym_Solomon
The United States of America has succumbed to the persistent debilitation caused by powerful, amoral bankers. They and their Talmudist kin occupy all of the power centers of our nation. They control the news you hear and do not hear, they control the movies you watch, the books and newspapers you read, they control our elections, they are responsible for persistent war and the suffocating quantity of immigrants that are destroying our culture. They are consistent promoters of conflicts and have defeated our Christian institutions and destroyed morality. The Federal Reserve banking system is controlled by the moneychangers. They create inflation and depression and then at the expense of the American taxpayer provide solutions to both. International banking is controlled by the same wise bankers who use debt to enslave nations throughout the world. They are a powerful and wily bunch..
This is where we are going:
Wholesale immigration will soon result in the indigenous White inhabitants becoming a minority in their own nation. Our European Christian based culture is being replaced by a secular legal system that is diametrical to the Law of the Bible. Obedience to these new legal codes is being actively enforced. We have been hijacked into a perpetual war that benefits a new world order program that is inimical to the best interests of the nation and threatens to start a much larger world conflict. The perpetual war and the social give away programs are creating a debt that even if the nation is fortunate enough to survive will saddle future generations with an insurmountable obligation. This is particularly true since the wealth producing manufacturing engine that used to eradicate our debt has been shipped overseas leaving us unable to satisfy even small obligations.
The astounding thing about all this is that many Americans are not only unaware of what is happening but unwilling to learn. They would rather not know.
Little by little the choices that have created freedom in United States are being lost. The tsunami of corporate mergers has driven out small businesses and severely reduced the choices of consumers who now are forced to deal with a small number of remote suppliers who give no heed to the individual. The depression has forced numerous retail establishments out of business reducing consumer choices. Chinese goods are being forced on American consumers because there is nothing else available. It has been decades since we had competitive daily newspapers and magazines have now become archaic. There is no longer a popular choice of political candidates which are preselected and promoted by a unified media owned by a handful of like minded oligarchs. The choices prosperity availed us are no longer there for the average American the work week has increased while his pay has decreased. Both husbands and wives are now working to sustain a standard of living that is inferior to a single wage family a half century ago.
Someone asked in today’s Letters to the Editor if the rape of the middle class was over. It is not over.
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” - – Voltaire (1694-1778)
The mainstream media covered the inauguration of Barack Obama with breathless anticipation on Monday, but should we really be celebrating another four years of Obama? The truth is that the first four years of Obama were an absolute train wreck for the U.S. economy. Over the past four years, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has fallen, median household income has declined by more than $4000, poverty in the U.S. has absolutely exploded and our national debt has ballooned to ridiculous proportions. Of course all of the blame for the nightmarish performance of the economy should not go to Obama alone. Certainly much of what we are experiencing today is the direct result of decades of very foolish decisions by Congress and previous presidential administrations. And of course the Federal Reserve has more influence over the economy than anyone else does. But Barack Obama steadfastly refuses to criticize anything that the Federal Reserve has done and he even nominated Ben Bernanke for another term as Fed Chairman despite his horrific track record of failure, so at a minimum Barack Obama must be considered to be complicit in the Fed’s very foolish policies. Despite what the Obama administration tells us, the U.S. economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline has accelerated in many ways over the past four years. Just consider the statistics that I have compiled below. The following are 37 statistics which show how four years of Obama have wrecked the U.S. economy…
1. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.
3. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
4. The number of Americans receiving money directly from the federal government each month has grown from 94 million in the year 2000 tomore than 128 million today.
5. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income” at this point.
6. The unemployment rate in the United States is exactly where it was (7.8 percent) when Barack Obama first entered the White House in January 2009.
8. During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000. That far exceeds any previous four year total.
9. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.
10. The Obama years have been absolutely devastating for small businesses in America. According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration…
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
11. Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.
12. The economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for the hordes of young people now entering the workforce. Approximately 53 percentof all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed in 2011.
13. According to a report from the National Employment Law Project, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created since the end of the recession have been low paying jobs.
14. Back in 2007, about 28 percent of all working families were considered to be among “the working poor”. Today, that number is up to 32 percent even though our politicians tell us that the economy is supposedly recovering.
15. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all of the jobs in the United States are “good jobs” at this point.
16. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
17. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the United States is losinghalf a million jobs to China every single year.
18. The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.
19. According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percentof all global economic activity in 2001. That number declined steadily over the course of the next decade and was only at 21.6 percent in 2011.
20. The United States actually has plenty of oil and we should not have to import oil from the Middle East. We need to drill for more oil, but Obama has been very hesitant to do that. Under Bill Clinton, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 58 percent. Under George W. Bush, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 116 percent. Under Barack Obama, the number of drilling permits approved actuallydecreased by 36 percent.
21. When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84. Today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is$3.26.
22. Under Barack Obama, the United States has lost more than 300,000 education jobs.
24. Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 now have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
25. More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as were sold in 2012.
26. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
27. Health insurance costs have risen by 29 percent since Barack Obama became president.
28. Today, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.
29. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
30. The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.
31. The Obama administration has been spending money on some of the most insane things imaginable. For example, in 2011 the Obama administration spent $592,527 on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.
32. U.S. taxpayers spend more than 20 times as much on the Obamas as British taxpayers spend on the royal family.
33. The U.S. government has run a budget deficit of well over a trillion dollars every single year under Barack Obama.
35. During Obama’s first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.
36. As I wrote about yesterday, when you break it down the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama’s first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States. Are you ready to contribute your share?
37. If you started paying off just the new debt that the U.S. has accumulated during the Obama administration at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take more than 184,000 years to pay it off.
But despite all of these numbers, the mainstream media and the left just continue to shower Barack Obama with worship and praise. Newsweek recently heralded Obama’s second term as “The Second Coming“, and at Obama’s pre-inauguration church service Reverand Ronald Braxton openly compared Obama to Moses…
At Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Braxton reportedly crafted his speech around Obama’s personal political slogan: “Forward!”
Obama, said Braxton, was just like Moses facing the Red Sea: “forward is the only option … The people couldn’t turn around. The only thing that they could do was to go forward.” Obama, said Braxton, would have to overcome all obstacles – like opposition from Republicans, presumably, or the bounds of the Constitution. Braxton continued, “Mr. President, stand on the rock,” citing to Moses standing on Mount Horeb as his people camped outside the land of Israel.
But it wasn’t enough to compare Obama with the founder of Judaism and the prophet of the Bible. Braxton added that Obama’s opponents were like the Biblical enemies of Moses, and that Obama would have to enter the battle because “sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way.”
So what do you think the next four years of Obama will bring?
Source: The Economic Collapse
As of November of 2012, a mind-numbing 47.7 million Americans subsist on taxpayer-funded food stamps. One in seven Americans cannot feed himself or herself with a job or work of any kind. What constitutes the irony to this national tragedy? Answer: our U.S. Congress imports 100,000 legal immigrants into the USA with green cards every 30 days.
No matter how much poverty and unemployment blacks, whites and Hispanic Americans suffer– the leaders of this country continually pound more humans into the mix without pause. At the same time, food banks go belly up with bare shelves. Over 13 million American children live in destitute poverty and cannot secure three square meals per day.
While Congress supports our enormous military spending into the trillions of dollars and two 10 year long wars that devour (ed) money—it fails to create jobs and feed our poorest. It fails the fundamental rights of our own citizens to work and eat.
The gross statistics created by our U.S. Congress: (Source:hubpages.com)
#1 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
#3 Right now, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#4 It is projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.
#5 According to new numbers that were just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans living in poverty increased to a new all-time record high of 49.7 million last year.
#6 The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by about 6 million over the past four years.
#7Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the federal poverty level.
#8According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.
#9 Overall, approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
#10 In the United States today, close to 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.
#11 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.
#12 Households that are led by a single mother have a 31.6 percent poverty rate.
#13 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.
Once you research the numbers, you cannot help but look to your own U.S. Senators and House reps and see failure, duplicity and corruption. No excuses! How could men and women who are supposed to represent American citizens continually leave American citizens in the grips of poverty, joblessness and homelessness?
Some kind of moral, ethical and spiritual wrong grows in the nation’s capitol all the way up to the president. American citizens become its victims.
Do you think there is any chance of it changing and becoming better as that same U.S. Congress adds over 3.1 million immigrants every year on our way to adding 100 million immigrants within the next 38 years?
An aerial view of drought affected Colorado farm lands, 74 miles east of Denver, Colorado on Saturday, July 21, 2012 [Photo: USDA]
Severe drought spread rapidly across the central US this week, further damaging staple crops and heightening the risk of a global food crisis. The Midwest, where roughly one-third of the world’s staple grains are produced, is experiencing the deepest dry spell in over half a century.
The National Drought Mitigation Center in a statement Thursday reported “tremendous intensification of drought through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska, and into part of Wyoming and South Dakota in the last week.” Almost 30 percent of the Midwest is under extreme drought, triple that of the previous week.
Every state in the country had some counties under abnormally dry or drought conditions, making the disaster the most widespread US drought since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared 1,369 counties across 31 states disaster areas—officially the largest US disaster on record.
“It’s getting to the point where some of the damage is not reversible,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the center. “The damage is done, and even with rain, you’re not going to reverse some of these problems, at least not this growing season.”
With temperatures remaining in the triple digits across the Midwest, scattered rainstorms did little to restore moisture to topsoil. Iowa State University agronomist Roger Elmore said that over the week, “most of the state got a quarter- to half-inch of rain. We lose the equivalent of a quarter-inch of moisture every warm, sunny day.”
Meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center have warned that the high heat and dry spell could extend through October. Through June, the year has been the hottest ever recorded for the US. Globally, land temperatures likewise broke all previous records last month. The extreme weather corresponds to projections issued by climatologists over the past three decades, indicating the worsening impact of global warming.
“This year is very emblematic of the type of thing we worry about with climate change,” David Lobell of global warming monitor Climate Central told ABC News. “The new normal for agriculture is going to be frequent episodes of very high temperatures. Temperatures at which pretty much any crop does not do very well.”
For the seventh consecutive week, the USDA on Monday downgraded its assessment of corn and soybean crops. For the week ending July 22, the portion of the corn crop rated in “poor” and “very poor” condition rose to 45 percent. Thirty-five percent of soybean acreage was rated poor to very poor. Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt told the World Socialist Web Site in a recent interview that a rating of “very poor” likely meant such crops were “approaching no yield.”
Since June 3, the portion of corn rated in “good” to “excellent” condition plummeted from 72 to 26 percent. Seven of the largest corn-exporting states now have only one percent or less of corn acreage assessed as “excellent.” A similar plunge was recorded in soybean acreage (65 to 31 percent).
The assessment is the worst since the drought of 1988, when small farmers went out of business en masse after a decade-long rural economic crisis.
The impact of the agricultural disaster on the global food supply is compounded by a speculative frenzy on grain futures on the Chicago Board of Trade. Last week corn futures surpassed all-time records at $8.2875 a bushel, before falling back on news of rain. As of Friday, corn for September delivery was trading at $7.9375 a bushel. Some analysts have suggested that corn futures for December delivery could fetch $9 or more per bushel in August if climate predictions prove correct.
With pastures in ruin and feed prices driven up in trading, smaller US livestock producers are facing the prospect of liquidating their herds. As a result, supermarket prices for beef, pork, and other meats are likely to surge in the coming year, after the initial influx of slaughtered herds. Prices for quick-to-market meats such as chicken and eggs, as well as dairy products, will likely rise more swiftly.
The USDA on Wednesday announced that supermarket prices would rise in coming months. Currently it projects beef prices will rise 4 to 5 percent, and dairy products 3.5 to 4.5 percent.
However, large meat producers are warning that cheaper meats such as pork and chicken will become “luxuries” if Washington does not suspend a program enabling the energy industry to secure up to 40 percent of the US corn crop for ethanol production.
“I’ll use the word catastrophe—that’s my definition,” Larry Pope, head of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, told the Financial Times. In June, Smithfield moved to lock in feed costs on the futures markets before corn broke $8 a bushel. “I thought that $6 corn was the end of the world,” he said. “I never could have realized that I would be thankful to be buying it at $7.”
“Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat,” Pope said. “Pork is not going to be too far behind. Chicken is catching up fast… Are we going to really take protein away from Americans?” He said US meat prices would rise by “significant double digits” per year.
Even a less drastic price increase in protein food sources would compell millions of low-income Americans to choose what they can afford to buy over the nutritional value provided.
The disaster bears brutal consequences for the populations of import-dependent countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2008, riots erupted in more than 30 countries after a similar confluence of severe weather and speculation drove up staple food prices. Among the billions of people living on $2 a day or less, the cost of food consumes as much as three-quarters of a family’s income.
Grain suppliers are beginning to default on deals with importers in Egypt, Libya, and Iraq. Egypt, the world’s largest consumer of wheat, is turning to Russia as the US drought deepens. However, Russia has also cut its wheat outlook by 3 million tons.
The US corn outlook negatively impacts wheat exports, as a poor corn harvest tends to mean wheat is held more tightly for domestic use. Because Egypt imports half of its wheat, and a quarter of its wheat imports originate in the US, any fluctuation in the grain’s price or supply sharply impacts living conditions in the country. Forty percent of the Egyptian population subsists on $2 a day or less.
The world’s population is subjected to the irrationality of the market, and the disjointed global food system. Barges loaded with Southeast Asia-bound grain have clogged Indian ports, creating delays of up to 25 days. Spotty rains in Asian growing regions may further compound food shortfalls and inflation.
“The deficit in rainfall will definitely cause food inflation to go up,” Dun & Bradstreet economist Arun Singh told Reuters. “The extent of the impact will be known only after the monsoon is over.” With monsoon season half over, some agricultural areas of the country have seen rainfall 68 percent lower than average. Food inflation in India is already 10.81 percent, significantly higher than general inflation; on lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, and other staples, the rise is far higher.
Source: Naomi Spencer | wsws.org
Canadian oil firm sues to seize US land for Keystone XL oil headed to China…
The NYTimes reports that TransCanada, a Canadian oil company, promises to confiscate private land from South Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico, and has already filed nearly 60 lawsuits against private US citizens who refuse to allow the Keystone XL pipeline on their property, even though the controversial project has yet to receive federal approval.
“Randy Thompson, a cattle buyer in Nebraska, was informed that if he did not grant pipeline access to 80 of the 400 acres left to him by his mother along the Platte River, ‘Keystone will use eminent domain to acquire the easement.’”
In an email, Vince Wade comments:
“One of my frequent preaching topics is why NAFTA is bad for our economy and our nation and how it is a tool of the robber baron globalists who have destroyed the Middle Class of the industrialized world–which is why we have a global recession/depression.
“For those of you who worry about U.S. Sovereignty, let’s think about this: a Canadian company–that is, a foreign company, which is part of NAFTA, is threatening Americans who are refusing to surrender their property to build a pipeline to carry highly toxic tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the refineries of Texas.
“It will cross the Ogallala Aquifer, the prime source of water for about 11 states. In some places the aquifer water table is 5 feet below ground. The oil fat cats tell us with a straight face that there’s nothing to worry about. By the way, a branch of the Tar Sands pipeline project is responsible for the massive spill in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River last year. It’s still a mess.
“Would you be surprised to learn that much of the Canadian tar sands oil to be pumped into the Keystone XL pipeline is owned by the People’s Republic Of China?
“Communist China has invested billions in the Canadian Tar Sands oil industry, and Keystone XL is intended to transport China’s oil. In other words, Keystone XL is intended to transport Canadian oil to Texas so Communist China can recoup its investment in Canadian natural resources. The Obama Administration doesn’t see a problem with this pipeline and it is leaning toward giving the pipeline the full go-ahead. Obama hopes approval will mean a campaign contribution windfall from the oil barons.
“Once again–a bi-partisan shafting of the American people. Hey-the 1% globalists of NAFTA want this, so our for-rent politicians in both parties stand ready to oblige.”
China is deeply invested in the Enbridge Gateway project, as well.
“Enbridge Inc. has quietly garnered support from a powerful group of foreign interests for its controversial Asian export pipeline, as Chinese investors in Canada’s oil sands become increasingly bold in their ambitions to bring Canadian crude across the Pacific.
“The company is in the midst of a multiyear effort to gain approval to build Northern Gateway, a $6.6-billion proposed project that would take crude from the oil sands to the British Columbia coast, where it could be loaded on ships and sent to Asia and California.
“To date, only one company, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), has been identified as a financial backer of Gateway, after Enbridge raised a total of $100-million in funding from 10 Canadian producers and Asian refiners that agreed to help backstop the cost of gaining regulatory approval.
“… [A]s Chinese companies pour billions into Canadian energy investments, it’s increasingly clear their interest extends to bringing barrels across the Pacific. Those firms have long argued that their interest in Canadian oil is aimed purely at profit, not simply fueling Chinese cars with Alberta crude.
“But their statements to Canadian regulators show that exporting barrels is a key motivator. Earlier this year, for example, five companies signed up for so-called firm service, or guaranteed access, to a portion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries oil from Edmonton to a port at Burnaby, B.C. Among them is PetroChina International (America) Inc., a subsidiary of Chinese energy giant China National Petroleum Corp.
“In testimony before the National Energy Board, Stephen Dove, senior crude oil trader with the firm, said: ‘at PetroChina International office, one of our main concerns, of course, is supply back to China.’”
Once again, we have the 1% dictating how private land owned by the 99% will be seized and contaminated for the enrichment of the 1%.
STUDY: The network of global corporate control, Stefania Vitali1 James B. Glattfelder, and Stefano Battiston (2011)
But see Naked Capitalism’s debunking of that study:
“This paper is a garbage-in, garbage out analysis. It does a network analysis based on share holdings at an institutional level. The problem is that the authors never bothered to understand how shares are held and how voting behavior varies based on institutional arrangements. To put it another way, the problem with the study is its failure to understand ownership, control and voting behavior in the institutional funds management arena.
“As our Richard Smith tartly noted, ‘This looks like a list of people who aren’t in control. And since they own so much equity worldwide, that is interesting, too.’”
Are the austerity protests and riots happening in Greece right now a glimpse of America’s future? The truth is that both nations are absolutely drowning in debt. It is just that the “day of reckoning” has already arrived for Greece but it has not arrived for the United States yet. Yes, there are some important differences between the situation in Greece and the situation in the U.S., but there are also some important similarities. Budget cuts and other austerity measures are being promoted by the political leaders of both countries. Greek citizens have reacted very negatively to the economic austerity programs that have been implemented in that nation. As budget cuts on the federal, state and local levels in the United States start to really become painful, will we eventually see the same kind of austerity riots in this country that we are currently seeing in Greece?
There is a price to pay for living way, way beyond your means for decades. The citizens of Greece are now feeling that economic pain. In the United States, the pain of austerity is not being felt that severely yet.
So exactly what are austerity measures? Well, in Greece they include tax increases, budget cuts and “privatization measures”. The Greek government is swamped under an unpayable debt load and without international assistance the Greek government will default.
But all of that “international assistance” comes with strings. The EU and the IMF are insisting on the implementation of very strict austerity measures, and the Greek people are not thrilled about this.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is telling the Greek people that it is their patriotic duty to accept these austerity measures, but most of the Greek population is not buying it.
The truth is that these international “bailouts” are just more new loans. What the EU and the IMF are proposing is that Greece should go into even more debt and hand over even more sovereignty.
But Greece will not be able to pay back these new loans either. In fact, these new loans will just enslave them to debt even further. Sadly, Greece appears destined to default sooner or later regardless.
Meanwhile, big banks and big corporations are quite eager to purchase all of the juicy assets and pieces of land that the Greek government is being ordered to “privatize”.
Are you starting to understand why Greek citizens are so upset?
A lot of Greek citizens are quite apprehensive about the new austerity measures that are being proposed because the previous austerity measures have pushed many of them to the breaking point. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent Daily Mail article about the situation in Greece….
‘They cut our pay by 25 percent and a lot of people in my department have not been paid for two months,’ said 52 year-old civil servant Yannis Zaharopoulos.
‘We have got to the point where families cannot make it. We are financially and psychologically wrecked.’
What would you do if your pay had already been cut by 25 percent, you had not been paid for two months and now the government was trying to push even more austerity measures down your throat?
The sad reality of the matter is that, as an article in The Guardian recently explained, austerity has taken a vicious toll on the Greek economy….
A year of wage and pension cuts, benefit losses and tax increases has taken its toll: almost a quarter of the population now live below the poverty line, unemployment is at a record 16% and, as the economy contracts for a third year, economists estimate that about 100,000 businesses have closed.
Today, there are strikes and austerity riots all over the nation of Greece. The nation is literally falling to pieces. Tens of thousands of protesters are violently clashing with police. Stunning video of some of these protests is posted below….
You can see some additional pictures of these protests in Greece right here.
Sadly, many believe that we could see these kinds of economic riots inside the United States eventually.
Over the past several decades, the federal government, state governments and local governments have been on the greatest debt binge of all time.
We have been living way, way beyond our means for so long that most of us don’t even know what “normal” is supposed to look like.
For example, this year the federal government will take in about 2.2 trillion dollars.
It will spend about 3.7 or 3.8 trillion dollars.
So what would the U.S. economy look like if the federal government adopted a balanced budget?
Well, just imagine 1.5 trillion dollars being sucked out of the economy over the course of a year.
If you went out today and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you over 46,000 years to spend 1.5 trillion dollars.
But the U.S. government simply cannot continue down the road that it is on. Since Barack Obama was elected, the U.S. national debt has increased by almost 4 trillion dollars. Our debt is increasing exponentially. Something has to be done.
Right now the Democrats and the Republicans in Washington D.C. are fighting viciously over what to cut from the budget. Eventually a deal will be reached and at least some cuts will be made.
If the cuts are deep enough, they will have a substantial negative impact on the U.S. economy.
But it is not just the federal government that is making cuts. State and local governments all over the United States are cutting back as well.
Today, state and local government debt has reached at an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP. It is major, major problem that not that many people are talking about.
In many areas of the country, absolutely brutal cuts are being made. From coast to coast we are seeing police, firefighters and teachers being laid off.
Some of the austerity measures that we are witnessing are quite stunning. According to the Wall Street Journal, the small town of Alto, Texas has laid off its entire police force for the next six months….
People here are bracing for a spike in crime after the city put its police force on furlough.
“Everybody’s talking about ‘bolt your doors, buy a gun,’ ” said Monty Collins, Alto’s mayor, who was against the measure.
But laying off police in a small Texas town is one thing. It is an entirely different thing altogether to do it in one of the most dangerous cities in the entire country.
The city of Camden, New Jersey is known as “the second most dangerous city in America”, but because of massive budget problems the city recently felt compelled to lay off half of the city police force.
But that doesn’t mean that crime is taking a break in Camden. Just consider the following report of a horrible incident that happened on Monday….
A 9-year-old boy was shot in the face Monday when he got caught in a crossfire on an otherwise quiet afternoon in East Camden’s Marlton section.
Things are getting crazy out there.
But it isn’t just impoverished areas that are having problems. The truth is that entire states are on the verge of financial meltdown.
As I have written about previously, the state government of Illinois has 6 billion dollars in unpaid bills. They are so broke that they are actually leaving some bills unpaid for years.
The state government of New Jersey is in such horrific financial shape that they still are facing a $10 billion budget deficit even after slashing a billion dollars from the education budget and laying off thousands of teachers.
All over the U.S. we are seeing many of our greatest cities being transformed into hellholes. For example, the state government of Michigan recently approved a plan under which 70 public schools will be closed in the city of Detroit and only 72 will continue operating. It is estimated that there will be more than 60 students in a single classroom in some of the schools that remain.
We are seeing austerity measures being implemented in many rural areas as well. In fact, throughout the U.S. asphalt roads are being ripped up and replaced with gravel because gravel is cheaper to maintain. The state of South Dakota has already changed over 100 miles of asphalt road into gravel, and 38 out of the 83 counties in the state of Michigan have replaced at least some of their asphalt roads with gravel roads.
It is almost as if economic progress in this nation is now stuck in reverse.
Sadly, many believe that even more difficult economic times are on the way.
According to Saxo Bank, the “second half of 2011 will be volatile and the uncertainty almost as great as during the financial crisis.”
The truth is that the world is becoming a very unstable place and the next major crisis could erupt at any moment.
The global financial system is so vulnerable right now that it would not take much to set off the next big global recession.
The unprecedented economic prosperity that we have enjoyed for decades is coming to an end.
The world is changing.
The United States is changing.
I hope that you are getting prepared for what is ahead.
Source: The American Dream
Only the most willingly ignorant people (most of whom are educated beyond their intelligence, as my dad used to say) would argue with the fact that the generation who founded this great country believed that God had providentially established and protected what became known as the United States of America. The public sentiments in this regard are irrefutable.
In his first inaugural address, President George Washington said, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.”
In Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Address (1789), he said, “That we then may all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war.”
Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence and America’s 3rd President) said, “God who gave us life gave us liberty,” and, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” He also said, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
Virtually everyone at the time of America’s founding attributed divine blessing and protection to the establishment of these States United. That fact is undeniable–at least by any honest and objective student of history.
Indeed, Jefferson’s warning is as germane today (perhaps even more so) as it was when he wrote it: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” Meaning: The God who gave and protected our liberties is the same God who can remove and overthrow them in His wrath and judgment. Some would even argue that this is what God is currently doing: removing His hand of protection from America and turning us over to divine judgment. I must confess that I wonder about this in my own mind.
The signs that America is fast losing her freedoms and is falling into the throes of socialism, agnosticism, humanism–and maybe even fascism–are ubiquitous. It is to the point that even the Constitution and Bill of Rights, which were supposed to protect the rights and liberties of the American people, have been so neglected or abused by our civil magistrates in Washington, D.C., that those foundational documents have, for all intents and purposes, been relegated to museum-status.
Add to the abandonment of constitutional governance the advent of European-style socialism in the US, the collapse of Christian virtue and morality (even by professing Christians), the repudiation of sound money principles, and a preoccupation with globalism, and it is easy to see the handwriting on the wall (to borrow from the Old Testament Book of Daniel).
Nowhere is it written that a free republic is promised perpetuity. In fact, if history is any teacher, it indicates that the propensity of free nations is for them to–after the brave and heroic efforts of their founders–apathetically allow freedom’s gradual (or not so gradual) decline. And that is exactly what this generation, and every generation since “The Greatest Generation,” has done and is doing.
That America seems destined for a fall (how far and how fast is yet to be determined) appears inevitable. Therefore, the real questions seem to me to be, Will liberty continue to have a home in America? And, if so, WHERE will liberty continue to have a home in America?
I think it is safe to say that many Americans today are not only unwilling to fight for their own liberty (and I am not talking about fighting unconstitutional, unprovoked wars in the Middle East), they do not even seem to be able to discern what true liberty is. To many avant-garde Americans, freedom is whatever Uncle Sam (or Big Brother, as he is better known today) determines freedom to be. If one of the 3 branches of the federal government (especially the Supreme Court) determines that a God-given liberty is not a God-given liberty after all, but only a temporary and transient “privilege of the state,” many Americans seem to have no personal knowledge, wisdom, discernment, or fortitude to even remotely resist it. The fact that their Creator, via Natural and Revealed Law, endows them with certain “unalienable” rights and liberties never seems to dawn on them. It’s as if the only god they know is the god of government. Even many pastors and Christians are carried away with this fallacy.
If Daniel Webster was right (and he was) when he said, “God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it,” then liberty’s future is suspect indeed. There is another principle, however, that is equally true: there will always remain a remnant of people who value freedom enough to never surrender it.
During the past two years, I have traveled over 60,000 miles to virtually every crack and corner of this country, and I can tell you without hesitation or equivocation: not every place (or State) understands–or is prepared to fight to defend–freedom. All men may be created equal, but all men are not equally discerning or determined. If I observed anything, I observed the great disparity between people when it comes to their willingness to draw a line in the sand for liberty–especially when that line is being drawn against their own federal government. Oh, there may exist pockets of such people scattered here and there in certain geographical regions, but I’m talking about a concentration of determined citizenry armed and alert to the usurpations of their liberties. There are only a few places where I observed such a spirit. And if you have read my last 3 columns, you know that I have been led to the studied conclusion that the Mountain States region of America’s great Northwest is certainly one of those places, if not the most notable of those places.
Granted, there is a sizeable freedom spirit in many local communities around the country. I have especially found the freedom spirit scattered throughout Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Vermont, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and eastern Tennessee (and several other places), but not in the concentrated aggregation as in states such as Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Utah, South Dakota (maybe even North Dakota), and eastern Washington State.
Accordingly, I am absolutely convinced that God is calling a determined remnant of freedom-lovers to the Mountain States. And as most of my readers now know, that is exactly where God has called us–my family and me. (We are in the process of moving to the Flathead Valley [Kalispell area] of Montana.) I am personally convinced that this relocation of patriots to the Mountain States is as inevitable and divinely inspired as was the relocation of the Pilgrims to colonial America.
Not all of America’s Pilgrims were Christians, of course, but most were. And not all of these modern-day Patriot-Pilgrims who answer the western call today will be Christians (but probably most will be). And quite frankly, I would much rather share a foxhole with a patriot-unbeliever who acknowledges the Creator-God, and who accepts the Natural Laws of his Creator, and who is willing to fight and defend these freedom-principles than with these brain-dead, Big-Government centralists who call themselves “Christians” that we seem to be inundated with today.
Granted, not all of America’s patriots will be led to relocate to the Mountain States. And I would never try to presume upon God’s will for another man! In reality, the Lord may lead His freedom-loving children to a variety of locations and to a variety of actions. Others will be led to “stay in Crete” to be the “salt” and “light” where they are. After all, God is much too big to confine to one place or idea.
However, it is abundantly clear to me that each of us who call ourselves patriots (Christian or not) must begin answering these questions for ourselves: Will liberty continue to have a home in America? And, if so, Where will liberty continue to have a home in America? And I suppose the logical follow-up question is, What should I do about it? My family and I have answered that question for ourselves. I therefore urge each reader to also answer that question, because the fate of our posterity likely hangs in the balance.
“If there is no battle and millions of Americans cowardly head for safer areas such as Montana or South Dakota, you will watch cities in the United States transform into poverty, misery, gangs, drugs, lawlessness and unending masses of Third World poor. Think Bombay, Calcutta and Mexico City within the United States. In fact, think of Detroit, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles today.” -Frosty Wooldridge
Martin in Montana said, “I moved to Montana, but I am by no means a coward. After twenty years in Colorado we moved to Montana because I learned that you cannot make a difference in globalist Colorado courts. The governor and mayors have sold out to resettling Colorado with illegal criminal Mexican invaders. Right before my eyes I watched education, wages and the standard of living start moving to third world status.
“Most Americans no longer read or research history. Most are deeply in debt. What waking free moments they have are spent in front of the tube, sports or the movies. The only thing that will wake Americans up is a devastating attack on American soil or a collapse of the usury economy. Either event will lay the foundation for internal conflict. Once the food and water riots start our lives will be forever changed. Go visit the largest gun show in Denver some time. Then look around and remember what you see. Ninety percent of the attendees are of what race? They are getting prepared.”
Anybody out there see the hundreds of Mexican flags being waved in the streets of Chicago during the illegal alien immigration marches? Did you see the 100,000 plus illegal aliens demanding their rights? Did you understand that, according to Time Magazine, one to three million more illegal aliens import themselves into America annually? Does that reality send a chill up your spine? Do you understand that your country’s invasion races inward faster than a tsunami?
Have all my columns over the last five years connecting the dots been in vain? Is no one stitching together an understanding of the unraveling of America? What does it take for an entire nation to wake up? What are we waiting for? How many will stand by in ‘silent-assertion’ until we will not be able to stop the destruction of our own country?
If your Congress passes a guest worker/amnesty program, it will be the final death blow to America. It will be our last breath. It will flood us with millions more Third World Mexicans and others from poor countries. We won’t die immediately, but much like what happened in Paris, France, that too, will be our destiny. It’s going to get ugly and then, uglier.
Thousands of letters pour into my computer monthly illustrating the disintegration of hospitals, schools, language, laws, infrastructure and diseases being brought in by illegal immigrants. You think I’m kidding?
Marguerite of Nebraska said, “You’ve hit the nail square on top of its head. I would add I feel terrified by what I’m seeing, reading and watching take place. Being “afraid” is a long ago feeling, and at this point in time, terror would more aptly describe how I feel, and more than that—fury tops the list. It couldn’t be more obvious we are currently on the tip of horrific things to come, NAFTA, CAFTA…and all their other plans can only mean things will soon get worse. Much, much worse! Where I live, Ord, Nebraska, the folks think the war in Iraq is great, but say the president couldn’t be farther from a Christian than a pig to a rooster!”
Edward of Silver Springs, Maryland wrote, “We are in deep trouble and it is just awful to watch people stand around like it isn’t happening. I live right outside of Washington, D.C. and I don’t have to go to Los Angles. It is happening right here in real time. Last year a man had his hand whacked off by machete and four other people had their throats slashed in one week. They have an open air drinking and crash pad area they have taken over in the parking lot of “Toys ‘R’ Us”. The cops don’t even go there anymore. Why bother? This is a foreign country in Montgomery County, Maryland. It looks horrible painted up like a disaster zone in Haiti or Mexico City. We just gave up on these areas! You don’t want to go in there because they hate white people.”
Sheron of West Palm Beach, Florida said, “As a person that lives in a neighborhood that has been overrun with illegal aliens, I can say that our country has slid down the tubes. One person from Mexico moves to America–they buy homes with the help of Uncle Sam, then they rent their places out to 20 or more people at $500.00 a piece. They snub their noses at our laws by driving with no insurance, something no American is allowed to do and yet they don’t get caught until they have an accident that unfortunately the other person has to pay for because they are uninsured! For those out there that think this isn’t their problem, our taxes pay for most of the homes that house illegal aliens. Our streets aren’t safe anymore because they feel that they aren’t governed by our laws because they aren’t citizens. I feel sad for our tired old America. When I think of where our country is going I am terrified for all the young people who have to try and survive in this mess that our generation has created.”
Bob in Kanab, Utah said, “You probably never heard of Kanab, Utah. Small town in the middle of nowhere! An island in a sea of “Federal Land”! Gateway to the Grand Escalante Staircase Monument! We are fighting for our very existence as a people. If we are going to get anything done to turn this mess around, let it start here. If you could take some time to look at this site. It is put up by the other side. But they have the time and money to do this type of stuff. We are just a small town trying to fight back.”
Jason of Memphis, Tennessee said, “I hope you are waking up those Americans who are still in a mental fog when it comes to immigration. Most don’t care. This illegal immigration fiasco isn’t just an American southwest problem; it’s a problem everywhere now. That illegal immigrant protest march in Chicago last week was only the tip of the iceberg. The reason Bush and the government are turning the other way regarding immigration is because it’s all in the name of globalism. But anyone with any sense knows all Obama says is 100% cow dung.
“I believe America has already run its course and nothing will ever be done about this issue. It will only get worse. If this were happening 50 years ago, there’s no doubt that American citizens would have done something about it. The small minority of Americans who can see through all this mess and know exactly what is going on are either labeled racist or mentally ill. If the American people don’t wake up soon, they are going to be shocked at the condition of their country in 15 years. I think the US is in dire need of a third party real soon, before it’s too late. We need a third party candidate to run in 2010.”
The major news media was replete with reports over the weekend that the coffee company, Starbucks, “has no problem with customers packing heat while placing their orders.”
“The coffee giant says it won’t take issue with gun owners who take advantage of ‘open carry’ laws and bring firearms into their restaurant.” (Source: NBC News)
To tell you the truth, I’m not sure why this is even considered “newsworthy.” Perhaps because Starbucks is a Seattle-based company that caters to the “yuppie” crowd? Maybe because the anti-gun national news media is shocked and chagrined at Starbucks’ statement? Who knows? That Starbucks would not want to alienate millions of gun owners (many of whom lawfully carry concealed weapons for personal protection) makes perfectly good sense to me. I’m sure the statement by Starbucks has little to do with guns and everything to do with business. But the fact is, there are tens of thousands of lawfully armed citizens who carry either concealed or open that have been peacefully doing business with thousands of companies around the country for years.
At last glance, 12 states allow unrestricted open carry. Those states are Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Vermont, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia. Plus, at least 13 other states allow restricted open carry (meaning a permit is required). I know it infuriates gun-grabbing liberals to admit this, but the facts are absolutely undeniable that an armed citizenry is far and away a more civilized and peaceful citizenry.
Founding Father, author of the Declaration of Independence, and our third President Thomas Jefferson rightly said, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
Founding Father, the man called “the father of the U.S. Constitution, and our 4th President James Madison, agreed with Jefferson. He wrote in Federalist, Number 46, “[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed, which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation . . . [where] the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
Founding Father and author of the classic Revolution-era books, “Common Sense” and “Rights of Man,” Thomas Paine concurred. He said, “Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property . . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.”
And should there be any doubt in the minds of sincere men regarding the advantages and appropriateness of an armed citizenry, the research of John R. Lott, Jr. is more than sufficient to dispel it. Lott is a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was previously the John M. Olin Visiting Law and Economics Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. His book, “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws,” is the most authoritative and thoroughly researched volume on the subject. And the title of his book is exactly what his research proves: More guns, less crime!
Lott’s analysis “is based on data for all 3,054 counties in the United States during 18 years from 1977 to 1994.” Lott said carry laws reduce violent crime because “victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.” DUH!
See a University of Chicago-sponsored interview with Mr. Lott at:
Of course, liberal gun-grabbers love to instill fear into people by saying that citizens carrying guns will result in more incidents of violence. However, the facts just do not substantiate this hysteria. Even our local “mullet wrapper” recently ran a column excoriating the new law that allows concealed carry permit holders to carry his or her sidearm in national parks and forests. The basis of their diatribe? “It’s a risky change that will endanger families, hikers, those who work in these places and the park rangers themselves.”
See the rant at:
Like all gun-grabbers, however, the fearmongering of the editorial board at the Pensacola, Florida, News Journal just does not square with the facts. As Lott observes, “Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate–as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.”
Accordingly, the new law allowing concealed carry permit holders to carry in national parks and forests serves only to make those parks and forests safer.
I well remember being invited to speak in the rural Montana town of Hamilton last year. Somewhere between 600 and 800 people assembled at the local fairgrounds to hear me speak. It was a terrific rally with some of the most patriotic and enthusiastic people I have ever spoken to. (They have invited me back to speak, this time at the University of Montana in Missoula, to a much larger crowd of probably several thousand later this May.)
Along with the vibrancy, energy, and sheer enthusiasm of that audience I observed that scores of people were openly carrying handguns on their hips. (No telling how many people were carrying concealed. Scores more, I’m sure.) Can one imagine a would-be killer trying to open fire in that meeting? Needless to say, not only did I feel at home, I felt absolutely safe–a whole lot safer than I feel when I travel to Washington, D.C. (or any other city or State restricting gun possession), that is for sure!
Obviously, the executives at Starbucks are wiser and more discerning than a majority of newspaper editors and television news anchors. They have seen several other business establishments that have introduced corporate policies prohibiting lawfully armed citizens from entering their establishments–and they’ve seen their profits and customer bases shrink dramatically! They’ve also, no doubt, seen what happened in Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, when a madman crashed his vehicle into the restaurant and began shooting patrons at will. The total carnage on that horrific day back in 1991 resulted in 23 people dead and 20 more wounded, and the killer eventually killing himself. Some 80 people were in the restaurant when the shooting occurred, but Texas did not have a concealed carry law at the time, so no one was armed and able to fight back.
At this point, I strongly urge readers to watch the eyewitness testimony of former Texas State Representative Dr. Suzanna Gratia-Hupp–whose parents were killed in the Luby’s Cafeteria rampage–given before the US Congress. See her testimony at:
Therefore, the sadness and chagrin of liberal gun-grabbers notwithstanding, I say, “Hooray for Starbucks!” And I don’t even like their coffee. Maybe I’ll give them another chance.