China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1

Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point of no return?  At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are with the United States.  Chinese officials are firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports.  Sadly, most Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in China everyone is talking about these things.  And of course the truth is that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.

Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about.  One of the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier this week.  Normally I would never have such language in one of my articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying about us.  So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have decided not to censor this quote at all.  The following comes from the New York Times

“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases on Chinese social media.

In a follow-up video on a CCTV social media account, Mr. Kang boasted about how he had taunted the United States.

“If a handful of Americans always stir up troubles, then we are sorry,” he intoned. “No more do we talk about certain issues. We will also target you. We will bash you till your faces are covered with mud. We will bash you till you are left speechless.”

Could you imagine Anderson Cooper saying something similar about China on CNN?

And actually Mr. Kang likely has far more viewers than Anderson Cooper does.

Most Americans spend very little time thinking about relations with China, but over in China they are absolutely furious with us right now, and the developing situation in Hong Kong is one of the biggest reasons for that anger.  Millions of people have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in recent weeks, and it appears that the Chinese have decided that enough is enough.  According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are closely watching “a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”…

The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.

Weeks of unrest in the Chinese territory have begun to overwhelm Hong Kong’s police, who have found themselves in violent clashes with protesters. China warned Monday that the civil disorder had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest after police deployed tear gas over the weekend.

Could it be possible that Chinese forces could soon storm across the border?

And there have also been other signs that China is about to do something drastic

And also on Wednesday, Chen Daoxiang, the commander of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong — which holds around 6,000 troops — said his forces were “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong.” His remarks came as China released a new propaganda video which include armed forces practicing shooting at protestors, after which he underscored his support for the city’s chief executive for “rigorously enforcing the law.”

Yes, Hong Kong is now technically part of China.  But according to the agreement that was signed when the British handed over Hong Kong, the city is supposed to be allowed to govern itself to a large degree until 2047

After taking over Hong Kong in a war in the 1800s, Britain returned it to China in 1997 with an important stipulation: The city would partly govern itself for 50 years before fully falling under Beijing’s control. So until 2047, the expectation was that the city and the mainland would operate under the principle known as “one country, two systems.”

So if China ends up sending troops into Hong Kong to end the political protests, the Trump administration will be extremely upset, and tensions between our two nations will go up several more notches.

A new development in the trade war is the other reason why the Chinese are so angry with us right now.

After President Trump hit China with new tariffs on Thursday, China’s ambassador to the United Nations warned that the Chinese are prepared to implement “necessary countermeasures”

China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.”

“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New York, also signalling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the countries on dealing with North Korea.

In other words, the Chinese are not going to back down one bit, and they are going to hit us back hard.

And Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said similar things when she addressed reporters on Friday

“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference Friday.

China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would impose countermeasures.

“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight. But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.”

In the end, it is very true that there “will be no winners” in this trade war.  The Chinese know where our pain points are, and they will not be afraid to fight dirty.

A rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is a big part of the scenario that we have been anticipating.  As I discussed yesterday, it is exceedingly unlikely that there will be a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020 presidential election.  And to be honest, it is far more likely that our conflict with China will escalate well beyond just a “trade war” in the months ahead.

The two largest economic superpowers on the entire planet are now locked in a monumental struggle for dominance, and it is going to result in a tremendous amount of economic pain for the entire planet.

Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and utterly clueless about what is going on, and so most of them are still convinced that everything is going to be just fine.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

New Tariffs, Stocks Plunge, Manufacturing Falls Again And More Layoffs – But Everything Is “Fine”?

Things are starting to go downhill rather quickly now.  A day after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, we received a whole bunch more bad economic news.  Most Americans don’t realize it yet, but our economy is in serious trouble.  We haven’t seen anything like this since the last recession, but most people seem to think that since stock prices are still very high that everything must be fine.  No, everything is definitely not “fine”, and as I noted yesterday, a lot of prominent names are loudly sounding the alarm.  Many analysts are expecting things to really start breaking loose as we get deeper into the second half of this year, and what we witnessed on Thursday certainly didn’t make the outlook any brighter.

President Trump completely shocked Wall Street when he announced that yet another round of tariffs will be imposed upon Chinese goods.  According to CNBC, these new tariffs will go into effect on September 1st…

Trump said in a series of tweets the tariff will be imposed on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. The levy will take effect Sept. 1.

He said later in the day those levies could go up to 25%. Trump’s comments came after a U.S. delegation met with Chinese trade officials earlier this week. Those were the first in-person trade talks between China and the U.S. since both countries reached a truce on the situation.

This is essentially the equivalent of a “gut punch”, and it definitely takes our trade war with China to an entirely new level.

And Trump told the press that the tariffs will remain in place until the U.S. and China agree to a deal.  The following comes from Fox Business

President Trump said on Thursday the U.S. will continue to tax China until the world’s two largest economies reach a trade agreement .

“When my people came home they said we were talking. We have another meeting in September. Until such time as there is a deal we will be taxing them,” he said from the White House’s south lawn.

But as I have repeatedly explained to my readers, there isn’t going to be an agreement any time soon.  In fact, it is extremely doubtful that we will see one before the 2020 presidential election.  Trump is not going to back down from his core demands, the Chinese will never accept them, and China would much prefer to negotiate with whoever follows Trump in the Oval Office.

So these tariffs are here to stay, China will inevitably retaliate once again, and global economic activity will suffer.

But Trump doesn’t seem alarmed.  On Thursday, he also told reporters that if China doesn’t want to trade with the United States anymore “that would be fine with me”

“For many years China has been taking money out by the hundreds billions of dollars a year. We have rebuilt China so now it is time that we changed things around. If they didn’t want to trade with us anymore that would be fine with me. It would save us a lot of money,” Trump told reporters Thursday.

Those are very strong words, and Trump actually has a point.

In the short-term, decoupling from the Chinese economy is going to be extremely painful for us.  But the truth is that we should have never integrated our economy so deeply with China’s economy in the first place.  The Chinese government is one of the most tyrannical regimes on the entire planet, and they have no respect for basic human rights.  Trade agreements that were extremely unfavorable for the United States allowed China to become exceedingly wealthy at our expense, and the Chinese would like to continue taking advantage of us indefinitely if they could.

So something definitely needed to be done about China, but it is going to be a really, really painful period of adjustment for the U.S. economy.

After Wall Street learned of the new tariffs on Thursday, stock prices immediately began to plummet

When President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports on Thursday, the Dow was up 311 points. Then it was down nearly 300 points.

That was the biggest swing since early January.

And it certainly would not be a surprise if stock prices continued to go down.  As I noted the other day, the stock market is more primed for a crash than it has ever been before.

At this point, stock prices are completely and totally disconnected from economic reality.  As stocks hit record high after record high in July, bad economic news just kept pouring in.

Of course August certainly just started off with a bang.  On Thursday, we learned that a key measure of U.S. manufacturing activity has fallen to the lowest level since September 2009

The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.4 in July, down from 50.6 in June, driven by a weaker demand. The firm also noted managers’ signaled slower hiring.

In addition, Lowe’s just announced that they will be “laying off thousands of workers”

Lowe’s is laying off thousands of workers.

Layoffs will include assemblers, who put together items like grills and patio furniture. The company will also cut maintenance and facility-service jobs, such as janitors. The company said it is outsourcing those positions to third-party companies.

Lowe’s (LOW) declined to say exactly how many workers will be laid off. It said that workers whose jobs are being eliminated will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe’s. The Wall Street Journal first reported Lowe’s plan.

This is the continuation of a trend that I have been tracking for months.  Big companies have been laying off workers at a level that we haven’t seen since the last recession, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Also, the “trucking apocalypse” just continues to accelerate.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Yet another trucking company has fallen victim to the recession in freight this year, according to FreightWaves. Terrill Transportation of Livermore, California shut its doors unexpectedly on July 30. The company had been in business 25 years.

Customer Manny Bhandal, president of Bhandal Bros. Inc., said that three of his trucks arrived at Terrill on July 30 to drop off a shipment and were turned away. Kevin Terrill, president of Terrill Transportation, did not respond to FreightWaves.

If the U.S. economy really was in “fine” shape, trucking company after trucking company would not be shutting their doors.

Sadly, instead of heeding the warning signs and using this time to get prepared for rough times ahead, most Americans are choosing to use this time to party.

And there is certainly not anything wrong with enjoying life, but we have gotten to the point where it is crystal clear that a new crisis is upon us, and most Americans are completely and utterly unprepared for what is about to happen.

I will continue to track these developments as they unfold.  We are truly in unprecedented territory, and I have a feeling that the second half of 2019 is going to be far more “interesting” than the first half was.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

“The Stock Market Started To Fall In July…”

Will we look back on the month of July as a critical turning point for the stock market?  During the first half of 2019, stock prices soared to record high after record high even though we just kept getting one number after another that indicated that a new economic slowdown was starting.  Because of the disappointing performance of the U.S. economy, it was believed that we would see a rate cut from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, and that is precisely what happened.  But instead of rejoicing, investors started to panic a bit, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 333 points.  We will get into why that happened in just a little bit.  But without a doubt it seems quite odd that the Fed’s very first rate cut since December 2008 actually caused stocks to go down.  On a historical basis, interest rates are already very low right now, and so this greatly limits what the Fed will be able to do once the next recession officially begins.  Of course most investors are not concerned with such considerations.  What they really want is for interest rates to be pushed all the way to the floor as quickly as possible, and so they were quite disappointed with what they heard from Fed Chairman Jay Powell on Wednesday.

But considering the fact that we haven’t seen a rate cut in more than a decade, the truth is that investors should have been thrilled by what happened.  When interest rates go down, that tends to promote more economic activity

As expected, the Fed lowered its federal funds rate by a quarter-percentage point to a range of 2% to 2.25%. The move is likely to ripple through the economy and financial system, nudging down rates for credit cards, home equity lines and auto loans and theoretically sparking more economic activity. While the rate cut should aid borrowers, it will frustrate savers who were just starting to benefit from higher bank account yields.

And more economic activity usually results in higher corporate profits, and higher corporate profits usually result in higher stock prices.

So why isn’t Wall Street rejoicing?

Well, it is because Fed Chairman Jay Powell told the press that this rate cut was just “a mid-cycle adjustment to policy” and that he didn’t anticipate that this was “the beginning of a lengthy cutting cycle”.

Many on Wall Street had been anticipating that the Federal Reserve would keep on cutting rates after this rate cut, but as I detailed the other day, the only way that would make sense is if we were plunging into a recession.

And while the Fed is definitely willing to admit that there are some trouble signs, they are not willing to completely throw in the towel on the “booming economy” narrative just yet.  The following comes from CNBC

In approving the cut, the FOMC cited “implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures.” The committee called the current state of growth “moderate” and the labor market “strong,” but decided to loosen policy anyway.

Needless to say, President Trump was not thrilled by what happened on Wednesday.  He was hoping that this would be the beginning of a series of rate cuts, because the lower interest rates go the better chance he has of being re-elected.

In a two part tweet on Wednesday, Trump once again ripped into Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve

What the Market wanted to hear from Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve was that this was the beginning of a lengthy and aggressive rate-cutting cycle which would keep pace with China, The European Union and other countries around the world….

….As usual, Powell let us down, but at least he is ending quantitative tightening, which shouldn’t have started in the first place – no inflation. We are winning anyway, but I am certainly not getting much help from the Federal Reserve!

And it will be very interesting to see if investors on Wall Street continue to vent their frustrations for the rest of the week.

At other times when Wall Street has been disappointed by the Fed, we have seen violent moves toward the downside, and it is entirely possible that such a scenario could play out once again.

In fact, one Morgan Stanley analyst had already been warning that the coming reversal “is likely to be sharper and deeper than one might expect”

Echoing Guggenheim’s fears that US equities are in for a dramatic collapse, Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson warns that “…if equity markets fail one more time at our key resistance point, we believe the reversal is likely to be sharper and deeper than one might expect, even if the earnings recession is more benign than we expect.

And Egon von Greyerz is even more pessimistic about what is right around the corner…

The messages from the ECB and the Fed couldn’t be clearer. They are seeing major problems in the financial system and in the world economy and they will do whatever it takes to save the system. But they will fail.

The autumn of 2019 will see a major shift in sentiment as markets turn from a secular bull to a secular bear. We are likely to see major crashes in many global stock markets. Virtually no one is prepared for this so there will be both panic and despair.

Of course the truth is that we have never been more perfectly primed for a stock market crash than we are right now, and things are lining up ideally for the sort of nightmare scenario that I have been warning about.

It is just a matter of time before all of our economic and financial bubbles burst, and when they do the pain is going to be off the charts.  I think that the CEO of Overstock.com recently made this point very well

Patrick Byrne, the CEO of online retailer Overstock.com, sounded an ominous note for the several years ahead as well. “I think it will be bad,” he said. “To be honest, I think that ’08 was the hors d’oeuvres course,” he said according to Fortune. Byrne, a longtime cryptocurrency enthusiast, compared what he anticipates will happen to the economy to what might happen to a bridge overloaded with too many vehicles. “It’s a little bit like asking me there’s a bridge that was designed to hold 20 cars passing over it at a time and there’s now 100 going over it,” Byrne said. “When’s it going to break? When’s it going to collapse? That’s really your answer.”

“I’m kind of shocked it’s gone on this long,” Byrne continued. “I think that we have deep, deep, structural, architectonic level problems in our economy that will surface.”

As Byrne aptly pointed out, the big surprise is that it has taken this long for everything to collapse.

We had far, far more time than we deserved to try to get things turned around, but we never actually fixed any of our long-term economic and financial problems.

Now the next crisis is at our door, and I believe that the remainder of this year will turn out to be quite “interesting” indeed.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

America Has Gone Crazy: A 79-Year-Old Woman Was Just Sentenced To Prison For Feeding Stray Cats

In order for any society to function smoothly, the vast majority of the people need to behave at least somewhat rationally.  Of course there are always going to be exceptions, and we understand that, but most of us operate under the assumption that most of the people that we are going to encounter in our daily lives are not going to act like nutjobs.  Unfortunately, that may not be a safe assumption any longer.  As our society literally degenerates right in front of our eyes, it seems like someone has opened up the barn doors and let out all the crazies.  And the truth is that “our leaders” are some of the best examples of this phenomenon.  Just look at some of the winners that we have running for president.  Quite a few of them are far more qualified for the insane asylum than they are for the highest office in the land.  Of course it doesn’t end with our politicians.  All across this country, it seems like people in positions of power can’t think straight any longer.

If you doubt this, just consider what just happened to a 79-year-old woman in Ohio named Nancy Segula.  When her neighbor moved away, he left a couple cats behind, and they became very hungry.  So Segula would feed them and care for them, because she didn’t want them to suffer.  Well, eventually one of her neighbors found out about this, and the animal warden was called

“It began in 2017 with me feeding stray kitties. I used to have a neighbor that had a couple cats and he moved away so he left them,” Segula said. “I would always feed them and care for them because I was worried about them and I’m a cat lover. Once my neighbors got upset about it, they called the animal warden.”

She got her first citation in 2017.

Segula wasn’t about to abandon the suffering cats, and so she just kept on feeding them, and the neighbors kept calling the animal warden.

Over time, she received a total of four citations.

Unfortunately, the most recent citation required her to appear in court, and when she did a judge sentenced her to 10 days in jail

Her latest citation required her to appear before Magistrate Jeffrey Short last week. He sentenced her to 10 days in the Cuyahoga County Jail.

“I couldn’t believe what my mother was telling me. She gets 10 days in the county jail, I couldn’t believe it,” said Dave Pawlowski, her son son. “I’m sure people hear about the things that happen downtown in that jail. And they are going to let my 79-year-old mother go there?”

Seriously?

Is this what our society has become?

Putting a 79-year-old woman in prison for feeding stray cats is stone cold crazy, but this judge in Ohio is actually doing it.

Are we going to start putting all senior citizens that feed cats in prison?  If so, then my parents are in all sorts of trouble, because they have been feeding stray cats for many, many years.

Having compassion for those in need should never be against the law.  In previous articles, I have written about how many major cities in America are now passing laws against feeding the homeless.

Well I am sorry – if I see someone in need and I want to give that person some food, no law is going to stop me from doing so.

Let me switch gears for a moment and share another example of the craziness that is sweeping across America.

Within the last few days, police in Pennsylvania arrested a woman that was caught urinating on the potatoes in her local Wal-Mart.  The following comes directly from the West Mifflin Borough Police Department

On July 25, 2019 at 08:41 hours a West Mifflin Police Officer responded to Walmart in West Mifflin for a criminal mischief report. The Officer was met by a Walmart Loss Prevention officer who reported the following incident.

The LPO was informed by an employee that on the day before he noticed urine on the floor near the potatoes in the produce area. The LPO then pulled video that depicted a female at approximately 22:10 hours on July 24, 2019 urinating in the potato bins. The LPO then reported the incident to the West Mifflin Police.

The Detectives of the West Mifflin Police Department investigated the incident and were able to identify the actor as Grace Brown and made contact with her. Ms. Brown along with her attorney came to the station where she identified herself as the person urinating on the potatoes.

Who in the world would do such a thing?

Perhaps she really had to go, and perhaps she didn’t realize that Wal-Mart has restrooms.

But it is probably much more likely that this woman was following an extremely disturbing new trend that has emerged on social media.  According to CNN, it originally started with ice cream…

It’s just flat-out gross.

People go into grocery stores, open a container of ice cream at random, lick the top, put it back in the freezer and then just walk away. Oh, and then they put a video of the entire grotesque display on social media for all to see.

The #IceCreamChallenge, as it’s now called, is just one of many social media trends over the past couple of years that has had people (mostly young people) doing questionable things and documenting them online.

But since that time this “challenge” has spread to all sorts of other consumer food products.  The more disgusting someone can be as they defile food, the more views and likes they will get on their social media profiles, and that is apparently the goal.

Of course this is yet another sign that America is degenerating into an “idiocracy”, because you would have to be an idiot to think that defiling food in a grocery store is a good idea, and you would have to be an idiot to be entertained by watching someone else do so.

Needless to say, I am not very optimistic about the future of this country, and I would love to hear someone make a convincing case that we will be able to turn things around any time soon.

Because right now our nation literally appears to be going completely crazy, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

If The Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates Now, It Will Be An Admission That A Recession Is Coming

So there is a lot of buzz that the Federal Reserve is about to cut interest rates – and it might actually happen.  We’ll see.  But if it does happen, it will directly contradict the carefully crafted narrative about the economy that the Federal Reserve has been perpetuating all this time.  Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly insisted that the U.S. economy is in great shape even when there has been a tremendous amount of evidence indicating otherwise.  And of course President Trump has been repeatedly telling us that this is “the greatest economy in the history of our country”, but now he is loudly calling for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates as well.  Something doesn’t seem to add up here.  If the U.S. economy really was “booming”, there is no way that the Fed should cut interest rates.  Right now interest rates are already low by historical standards, and theoretically it is during the “boom” times that interest rates should be normalized.  But if the U.S. economy is actually slowing down and heading into a recession, then a rate cut would make perfect sense.  And if that is the reality of what we are facing, then the economic optimists have been proven dead wrong, and people like me that have been warning of an economic slowdown have been proven right.

If the talking heads on television are correct, we’ll probably see a rate cut.  In fact, apparently there are some people that are even pushing “for a 50 basis point cut”

Most Fed watchers believe that the central bank will cut its funds rate, now hovering between 2.25% and 2.5%, by a quarter point, also known as 25 basis points. A small group — including President Donald Trump’s latest nominee for Fed governor — are pounding the table for a 50 basis point cut, which would take the rate below 2%. A rate cut of any size would be the first since the 2008 financial crisis.

A 50 basis point cut is something that would normally only be done during an economic emergency.

Have we already reached such a point?

That wouldn’t seem to be the case.  Stock prices are still at record highs, and at least according to the government’s highly manipulated figures, U.S. GDP is still growing

The nation’s gross domestic product – the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. – increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.1% in the April-June period, following a 3.1% gain in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists expected a 1.8% increase in output.

The report comes amid mounting worries that the sluggish global economy and President Trump’s trade war with China could lead to a recession by next year.

Yes, there are tons of other indicators that are clearly telling us that an economic slowdown has already begun, and I am not going to repeat everything that I have been saying for the past 6 months in this article.

But even though things are definitely moving in the wrong direction, I would definitely not call what we are currently experiencing “an economic emergency” just yet.

After all, things can’t be too bad if a 16-year-old kid just won 3 million dollars playing video games

A teenager from Pennsylvania won $3 million and took home the top prize at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup on Sunday. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf scored 26 more points than runner-up “psalm” to win the eSports tournament held at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens.

“Words can’t even explain it. I’m just so happy,” the 16-year-old said in an interview posted to Twitter by organizers. “Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off. It’s just insane.”

Good for that kid.  I wish that I was talented enough to be a world champion at something.

Unfortunately, when things get really bad in this country money is going to start getting really tight, and we simply are not there yet.

So could it be possible that there is another reason for the sudden push to get the Fed to reduce rates?

Well, CNBC’s Steve Liesman seems to think that there could be a political motivation

“Think about what happens when a person gets up at a rally and starts railing against The Federal Reserve, and starts to create what could lead to Congressional pressure on The Fed, then you could imagine that their could be support for a different system.”

“I think they think there’s a lot of political downside risk to getting this wrong.”

If the Federal Reserve doesn’t cut rates and the U.S. economy really starts going off the rails, they will be President Trump’s number one economic target during the 2020 campaign.

And it has already gotten to the point where Trump is regularly attacking them on social media.  For example, he posted the following just a little while ago

The Fed “raised” way too early and way too much. Their quantitative tightening was another big mistake. While our Country is doing very well, the potential wealth creation that was missed, especially when measured against our debt, is staggering.

If a wave of anti-Fed sentiment helps get Trump re-elected, that could potentially be a nightmare scenario for the folks over at the Federal Reserve.  With a full second term and a Republican majority in Congress, President Trump could decide to dramatically reform or completely get rid of the Federal Reserve system altogether.  Of course those that follow my work regularly know that I would be thrilled by this, because I have been advocating for the elimination of the Federal Reserve system for many years.

The sort of political scenario that I just outlined probably won’t happen, but even if there is a small chance that it could happen the people running the Federal Reserve have got to account for that possibility.

So cutting rates would be a way to “play it safe” by appeasing President Trump and his supporters.  If President Trump senses that the Fed is on his team, then he probably won’t be inclined to make a big move against them.

In any event, a small rate cut is definitely not going to do much to alter our overall economic trajectory.

Because the truth is that an economic slowdown has already begun, and many experts are anticipating that it will greatly accelerate during the second half of this year.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

More Than 80,000 Earthquakes Have Hit California Since July 4th, And The Aftershocks Are Headed “Toward The Garlock Fault”

The recent seismic activity in the state of California has taken a strange turn.  According to the Los Angeles Times, there have been more than 80,000 earthquakes in the state since July 4th, and most of those quakes were aftershocks of the two very large events that hit the Ridgecrest area early in the month.  Over the past couple of weeks, however, a very unusual pattern has begun to emerge.  We have started to see aftershocks creep toward two of the largest fault lines in southern California, and this is making seismologists very nervous.  The fact that we are seeing aftershocks “approaching the Owens Valley fault” is definitely alarming, but of far more concern is the fact that the Ridgecrest aftershocks are also headed “toward the Garlock fault”.  The following comes from a local California news source

According to a Los Angeles Times article , aftershocks of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake near Ridgecrest have been creeping into areas close to two major earthquake faults which is concerning for some seismologists on whether it could trigger another huge temblor.

“Some aftershocks have rumbled northwest of the Searles Valley earthquake, approaching the Owens Valley fault. That fault triggered an earthquake of perhaps magnitude 7.8 or 7.9 in 1872, one of the largest in California’s modern record,” the article explains. “The Ridgecrest aftershocks have also headed southeast toward the Garlock fault, a lesser-known fault capable of producing an earthquake of magnitude 8 or more. The fault along the northern edge of the Mojave Desert can send shaking south and west into Bakersfield and Ventura and Los Angeles counties.”

In the end, this could turn out to be nothing, but there are a couple of reasons why we want to keep a very close eye on the Garlock fault.

First of all, the Garlock fault is the second largest fault line in the entire state of California, and it is a major threat to southern California.

Secondly, the Garlock fault runs directly into the San Andreas fault, and many believe that a major quake along one could potentially trigger a major quake along the other.

If you are not familiar with the Garlock fault, the following is some basic information from Wikipedia

The Garlock Fault marks the northern boundary of the area known as the Mojave Block, as well as the southern ends of the Sierra Nevada and the valleys of the westernmost Basin and Range province. Stretching for 250 kilometers (160 mi), it is the second-longest fault in California and one of the most prominent geological features in the southern part of the state.

The Garlock Fault runs from a junction with the San Andreas Fault in the Antelope Valley, eastward to a junction with the Death Valley Fault Zone in the eastern Mojave Desert. It is named after the historic mining town of Garlock, founded in 1894 by Eugene Garlock and now a ghost town.

So exactly what would a major quake along the Garlock fault look like?

Here is how the Los Angeles Times described what a “worst-case scenario” would look like…

A worst-case scenario would be a magnitude 7.7 earthquake that begins on the eastern end of the Garlock fault in eastern San Bernardino County and unlocks the fault to the southwest, bringing severe shaking to towns such as California City and Tehachapi; Edwards Air Force Base and Lancaster would see very strong shaking. Even Santa Clarita and the San Fernando Valley would see strong shaking, with much of the L.A. Basin and the San Gabriel Valley seeing moderate shaking — worse than what L.A. encountered last week.

No, that is definitely not a “worst-case scenario” for the Garlock fault, but without a doubt a major quake along the fault would be far more destructive than the earthquakes that we just witnessed on July 4th and 5th.

We were told that those earthquakes “did not cause much damage”, but now we are learning that those quakes actually “caused an estimated $200 million in damage”

The powerful earthquake that rocked California earlier this month caused an estimated $200 million in damage.

The cost of damage from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit southeastern California on July 5 and foreshocks that came a day earlier was estimated by catastrophe modeling business Karen Clark & Company.

So if relatively minor earthquakes can cause that much economic damage, what would an earthquake 1,000 times more powerful do?

Because someday “the Big One” is going to hit the San Andreas fault, and it is going to release so much energy that the quakes that we witnessed this month won’t even be worth comparing to it.  In fact, if a magnitude 9.1 earthquake were to hit southern California, it would be exactly 1000 times more powerful than the magnitude 7.1 quake that happened back on July 5th.

And even though it isn’t likely, scientists did admit that the large earthquakes that happened earlier this month could trigger a quake on the San Andreas fault

Scientists knew almost immediately that two large quakes that hit near Ridgecrest earlier this month did not come from the San Andreas. But ever since, they’ve been studying whether the quakes could cause more seismic activity from other faults — including the San Andreas nearly 100 miles away. A new calculation conducted in recent weeks at the U.S. Geological Survey showed that there’s an extremely remote chance the San Andreas could be triggered from the Ridgecrest quakes.

Hopefully it will not happen any time soon, but seismologists assure us that it is only a matter of time before “the Big One” strikes California.  They have repeatedly warned us that the San Andreas fault is “locked and loaded” and that it has the potential to “unzip all at once”.  And when that day finally arrives, scientists have determined that the ground level could drop by up to 3 feet, and that would result in vast portions of southern California suddenly being covered by the Pacific Ocean.

We live at a time when our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and we are witnessing major earthquakes and enormous volcanic eruptions all over the globe on a daily basis now.

For a long time the United States had been spared, but on July 4th and 5th that suddenly changed.

Since that time, there have been more than 80,000 earthquakes in the state of California, and this is just the beginning of the shaking that is coming.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

What America Really Needs Is A Lot More Love

This is a very difficult article for me to write.  I cannot remember a time when there was so much hatred in America.  We are a deeply, deeply divided nation, and those divisions are constantly being deepened by all the strife and discord that the mainstream media, our entertainment industry and our politicians are stirring up.  Because of what I do, I spend countless hours on the Internet, and everywhere I go I see hatred.  There is something about this digital world that we have created that makes people feel comfortable saying things that they would never say during normal social interactions, and it is truly frightening to see what is really in people’s hearts.  If we allow all of this hatred to continue to grow, it will ultimately destroy us.

A house divided will surely fall.  The greatest politician that America has ever seen could come along with the greatest political plan in the history of the world, but if we can’t get along and work together, no plan is going to work.  So if we insist on having a society where we all hate one another, we might as well forget about talking about solutions, because they will be useless.

That doesn’t mean that we all have to agree with one another.  Today, many Americans believe that in order to “love” someone you must agree with them, but that is absolutely absurd.  None of us are ever going to agree 100 percent on everything, but we can still care about one another and work with one another to make our country a better place.

Yes, I understand that there are fundamental differences on the most important issues facing our nation today, and I write about those issues all the time.  And it is exceedingly important to be engaged in the battle for the direction of our nation, because if we stay on the path that we are currently on there will be no future for America.  So I am definitely not saying that you shouldn’t fight for the future of our children and our grandchildren.  In fact, I wish that there were millions more concerned Americans that were passionate about changing things.

And let me be very clear about the evil that permeates our society today.  Right now, there are lots of people that are truly evil in positions of power, and that is a major problem.  In fact, I believe that future generations will look back on this time in history with horror.

But just because there are very evil people that want to take our nation in the completely wrong direction, does that mean that we should hate them?

Of course the answer to that question should be obvious to everyone.  Hatred is not the solution for hatred.  The only thing that conquers hate is love, and we need to learn how to love those that disagree with us, that persecute us and that try to mistreat us.

But that is not what I see in America today, and the world of politics is a perfect example of what I am talking about.  We are encouraged to pick one side or the other (even though both sides may be wrong much of the time), and then once we have picked a side we are trained to absolutely loathe those on the other side.

Just think about it.  How many on the left do you think actually love Donald Trump, his family and his supporters?

Alternatively, how many on the right do you think truly love Hillary Clinton, her family and her supporters?

Once again, it is completely acceptable to criticize the ideas, policies and actions of our politicians.  I do it all the time, and we need to hold all of our politicians to the same standards no matter if they are on “our team” or not.

But there is a world of difference between being critical of someone’s ideas and hating that individual.

I understand that it can be very difficult to love someone when they are contributing to the destruction of our nation, our way of life and everything that previous generations worked so hard to build.  But if we ever want to have any hope of turning things around, that is what we must learn to do.

Hatred never rescued anyone from the darkness, but love changes hearts on a daily basis.

Sadly, political hatred is just one of the forms of hatred that is rapidly growing in our society today.  We are being divided in just about every way that you can possibly imagine, and those fueling these divisions seem to take great joy in doing so.

In particular, one form of hatred that greatly disgusts me is racism, but I see it constantly on the Internet.  Millions upon millions of Americans have decided that it is okay to hate someone because of the color of their skin, and I will never understand that.  Countless others spew incredibly vile things about particular nations or nationalities, and that even includes some of the most prominent “religious leaders” in the United States today.

There is no place in America for any of this.  I wrote an entire chapter condemning racism in my most recent book, and I will continue to fight against racism wherever I find it.  No matter where they live or what they look like, every single person on this planet is of immense value.  We were all created for a reason, we all have something to contribute, and none of us is beyond redemption no matter how badly we have gotten off course.

For a moment I want you to imagine something.  In your mind, try to picture what this world would look like if we all greatly loved God and greatly loved one another.  I understand that it may be extremely difficult to imagine, because such a society would be so radically different from what we have today.

But that is what America ultimately needs.  We can sit around all day debating various potential solutions to the great problems that our nation is facing, but all of those potential solutions will turn out to be worthless if hatred continues to grow in our society.

I don’t recall ever ending an article with song lyrics, but today I am going to make an exception.  “Love Is The Answer” was originally written by Todd Rundgren, but it became a huge hit when it was later released in 1979 by England Dan and John Ford Coley.  Here are the lyrics, and I hope that they inspire you as much as they have inspired me…

Name your price
A ticket to paradise
I can’t stay here any more
And I’ve looked high and low
I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a short cut I’d have found it
But there’s no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why
Someday we all must die
We’re all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard
It’s such a lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely world
People turn their heads and walk on by
Tell me, is it worth just another try?

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer (let it shine)
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer (you know the answer is love)

Tell me, are we alive, or just a dying planet?
What are the chances?
Ask the man in your heart for the answers

And when you feel afraid, love one another
When you’ve lost your way, love one another
When you’re all alone, love one another
When you’re far from home, love one another
When you’re down and out, love one another
All your hope’s run out, love one another
When you need a friend, love one another
When you’re near the end, love
We got to love, we got to love one another

Light of the world, you got to shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all (know that love can save the day)
Set us free
Love is the answer
(Just give it, just one more chance)

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer (love, love, love)
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

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