9 Shocking Examples Of Black Friday Violence – Is This A Foretaste Of The Economic Riots We Can Expect When The Financial System Collapses?

It seems with each passing year the madness on Black Friday gets even worse.  This year, there were reports of fights and rioting from coast to coast.  It was estimated that over 180 million U.S. shoppers headed for the stores on Friday, and whenever you get that many people together there are going to be problems.  But just how crazed ordinary Americans are getting over saving a little bit of money is deeply disturbing when you really start thinking about it.  If people will go this wild just to save 40 percent on a television set, then what in the world are they going to do when they have been without food for a couple of days?  If Americans will act like psychotic animals just to save 50 bucks, then what in the world will they do when they have lost everything and are desperate to survive?

All of us had better hope and pray that an economic collapse does not happen any time soon, because it is becoming increasingly apparent that the American people are not morally equipped to be able to handle one.  Greed and selfishness have become so rampant in America that large segments of the population have totally forgotten how to be any other way.

If the United States ever experiences a really, really bad economic downturn, this nation could very quickly start looking like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina from coast to coast.  Most Americans would simply not know how to handle it.

The following are 9 shocking examples of Black Friday violence that should make all of us wonder what is happening to America….

#1 At a Target store in Buffalo, New York the crowds waiting impatiently outside suddenly became a chaotic mob once the doors opened at 4 AM on Friday morning.

One man that was lying on the ground remembers thinking “I don’t want to die here” while he was being trampled by crazed shoppers….

#2 Crowds were becoming so violent at a Wal-Mart in Sacramento, California that the police actually evacuated the store early Friday morning.

#3 Three women from West Palm Beach, Florida said that $1,000 in presents that they had just purchased at Best Buy were stolen from their vehicle on Friday morning within minutes of being purchased.

#4 One U.S. Marine reservist that was collecting toys for children was stabbed with a knife when he attempted to stop a shoplifter in eastern Georgia on Friday.

#5 Blogger Lynne Elder-Blau has posted about overhearing police officers describe a huge brawl that erupted this year at one well-known store on Black Friday….

Well, the girls and I were in a popular convenience store in Garden City last night while a store employee and a Garden City Police Department Officer were visiting. They were conversing about a large group of customers who got into a knock-down brawl at a nationally-known variety store in Garden City yesterday morning. Several police officers were brought in to break up the ball of adults who were pulling and tugging at products and actually punching other customers in their faces and stomach areas! We’re not just talking about a few people who were involved in this violent non-sense. The officer said that there was a large amount of people involved in this particular altercation. Ridiculous!!!

#6 A 21-year-old woman from Middleton, Wisconsin was arrested when she threatened to shoot other shoppers while waiting to get into a Toys R Us store for Black Friday.  The other shoppers had objected when she attempted to move to the front of the line.

#7 The following is video of customers literally tearing apart a store display at a Wal-Mart in Douglasville, Georgia as they pushed and shoved each other in an attempt to grab the best deals….

#8 The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department actually “locked down” a section of a Cerritos, California shopping mall after a wild fight broke out in the food court.  There were even reports that some people were  flinging chairs at other customers.

#9 At one Wal-Mart in Texas, a near-riot broke out right in the middle of the store as a huge crowd of customers pushed and shoved each other to get a handful of Black Friday deals that were being wheeled out to the floor….

If you want to see even more videos of Black Friday craziness, check out this and this.

Remember, the products that these Americans are fighting over are not free.  This is how crazy people are willing to go just to get a deep discount on an item.

So what is going to happen someday when people are desperate for food or shelter?

If this is how people act when the sun is shining, how are they going to behave once a really bad storm arrives?

In America today, fewer and fewer people are treating others the way that they would like to be treated themselves.

Instead of showing others kindness and respect, in 2010 most Americans would seemingly rather trample anyone who is in the way of getting what they want.

So what do you think?  Are Americans becoming more greedy and more selfish or are they basically “good” and “decent” people most of the time?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….

Happy Holidays? 28 Hard Questions It Would Be Great If We Could Get Some Real Answers To

Over the coming weeks, Americans will be wishing each other “happy holidays” millions upon millions of times.  But are these really happy times?  Record numbers of Americans are going to be going hungry and cold this winter.  Millions upon millions of our fellow citizens would gladly give up all holiday celebrations in exchange for a decent job.  The vast majority of us have plenty of examples of horrible personal tragedy all around us this holiday season, and much of that tragedy has been brought on by the deteriorating economic conditions.  Meanwhile, we have a “control freak” government that wants to establish an even tighter grip over our lives and that now insists on either viewing our exposed bodies or groping our private areas before we can get on an airplane.  Once upon a time in America the holiday season was a time to rejoice because we lived in a prosperous land where liberty and freedom were respected, but today we live in a nation with a highly centralized economy dominated by a federal government that is becoming more “totalitarian” by the day.

But we are told that centralized control by an overwhelmingly powerful national government is good in our case because “they” know what is best for us.

Oh really?  They sure have done a great job “managing” our economic system, haven’t they?  Unfortunately, it seems as though anything that the federal government takes control over just gets more messed up.

The following are 28 hard questions that you should ask anyone who believes that having a highly centralized economy and a highly centralized government is good for us….

#1 Why is the U.S. government trying to put a choke hold on our food production system? S. 510, The Food Safety Modernization Act, is being called one of the most dangerous bills in American history.  This very vague and incredibly broad bill (which you can read here) will give the U.S. government unprecedented control over the growing, storing and sale of food in the United States.

#2 Approximately 14.8 million Americans are unemployed this holiday season.  So why in the world is the “greatest economy on earth” not able to provide jobs for all of them?

#3 Why are the U.S. and South Korea insisting on conducting 4 days of naval exercises in the Yellow Sea when tensions in the reason are at an all-time high and when a single mistake could spark an all-out war?  Wouldn’t it be better to postpone these naval exercises until things have calmed down a bit?

#4 What prompted Russia and China to suddenly decide to quit using the U.S. dollar and instead start using their own national currencies when trading with each other?

#5 Why does it cost $181,757 per hour for Barack Obama to travel on Air Force One?

#6 Are we still a “great nation” when so many of our citizens are going hungry?  According to a recent BBC report, 15% of all U.S. households experienced a shortage of food at some point during 2009.  One of our readers named Gary recently left a comment that indicated that he encountered a very big crowd during his recent visit to a local food pantry….

The line at the food pantry was very long. There are a lot of folks who have little food and no money.

#7 If the U.S. economy is recovering, why were new home sales for October down 28.9 percent from a year ago and why were existing home sales for October down 25.9 percent over the previous year?

#8 Why are there so many reports of unprofessional behavior by TSA agents?  For example, it is being reported that some TSA agents have specifically targeted attractive young women for “additional screening”.

#9 Why are U.S. home builders only selling one-fifth of the homes that they were selling during the “boom times” five years ago?

#10 How did a man who had been convicted of misdemeanor harassment and stalking get hired to be a TSA agent?  Now it turns out he is being accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a woman.  These are the people who are supposed to be protecting us?

#11 In the “wealthiest nation on earth”, why are a record number of Americans going to be without heat this winter? According to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, more than 10 million U.S. households will not be able to afford to heat their homes this winter without assistance, which would be a new all-time record.  One of our readers named Elaine recently shared that she is one of those Americans that is going to be cold this winter….

It’s starting to get cold here in the mountains. I’m unemployed, no heat, at risk for foreclosure, etc. Everyone is at risk for this, it’s just that many of the muddleclass can’t face it yet. For a lot of us, it’s not cutting back on that bi-weekly latte that’s going to help, it’s cutting back on having electricity. Don’t judge the poor until you’ve been here.

#12 Why are Americans becoming so pessimistic about the future?  According to one recent poll, now only 51 percent of Americans believe that today’s young people will have a better life than their parents did.

#13 How did we ever get to the point as a nation where only 39 percent of likely voters believe that the U.S. government is operating within the limits established by the U.S. Constitution?

#14 Why does the mainstream media largely ignore the fact that thousands of people are being slaughtered near the U.S. border with Mexico each year and a city just across the Mexican border is now being dubbed “the most dangerous place on earth”?

#15 What does it say about American politics that the companies that produce the new naked body scanners have more than doubled their spending on political lobbying over the last five years?

#16 Why is the Washington Post working so hard to defend the policies of the Federal Reserve?

#17 Have we now gotten to the point where the financial condition of the U.S. government is so bad that it will be virtually impossible to ever have a balanced federal budget ever again?

#18 Why aren’t more Americans deeply concerned about the dozens of nasty diseases that they could catch from TSA agents if they don’t change gloves between each groping?

#19 Why are there 18 times as many banks on the FDIC “problem list” as there were just four years ago?

#20 What does it say about the United States that now 39 percent of Americans believe that marriage is becoming obsolete?

#21 How can anyone claim that the U.S. economy is turning around as long as the number of Americans on food stamps continues to set a new all-time record month after month?

#22 As thousands of factories and millions of jobs continue to be shipped overseas, why does Barack Obama keep publicly proclaiming that globalism is so good for us?

#23 Why aren’t Homeland Security officials willing to consider changes to the new airport security procedures when many women are actually using the term “sexual assault” to describe their experiences with the new “enhanced pat downs”?

#24 The median wealth of a U.S. Senator in 2009 was 2.38 million dollars.  So exactly what does that say about the health of our Republic?

#25 Why have our leaders allowed U.S. strategic grain reserves to shrivel away to almost nothing?

#26 In 2009, 54.9 million international tourists visited the United States, and those tourists spent approximately 93 billion dollars.  How far will those numbers drop once stories of TSA abuse circulate all over the globe?

#27 If Congress does not authorize another emergency extension of long-term unemployment benefits, then what in the world are the 2 million Americans who are going to suddenly lose their checks going to do?

#28 Are there still any areas left in the United States where liberty and freedom are respected, where taxes are low, where regulations are not suffocating, where the people are friendly and where Americans can be free to live an independent lifestyle?

Currency Crisis! So What Happens If The Dollar And The Euro Both Collapse?

Some analysts are warning that the U.S. dollar is in danger of collapse because of the exploding U.S. government debt, the horrific U.S. trade deficit and the new round of quantitative easing recently announced by the Federal Reserve.  Other analysts are warning the the euro is in danger of collapse because of the very serious sovereign debt crisis that is affecting nations such as Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Belgium and Spain.  So what happens if the dollar and the euro both collapse?  Well, it would certainly throw the current world financial order into a state of chaos, but what would emerge from the ashes?  Would the nations of the world go back to using dozens of different national currencies or would we see a truly global currency emerge for the very first time?

Up until recently, the idea of a world currency was absolutely unthinkable for most people.  In fact, the notion that all of the major nations around the globe would agree to a single currency still seems far-fetched to most analysts.  However, if enough “chaos” is produced by a concurrent collapse of the U.S. dollar and the euro, would that be enough to get the major powers around the world to agree to a new financial world order?

Let’s hope not, but it is getting hard to deny that we are heading for a major currency crisis, and if the U.S. dollar and/or the euro collapse, the world will certainly never be the same afterwards.

In case you missed it, China and Russia made a very big announcement the other day.

They told the world that instead of using the U.S. dollar to trade with each other, they will now be using their own national currencies.

Most Americans don’t realize it, but that is a very, very big deal.

The fact that the U.S. dollar has been the primary reserve currency of the world for decades has given the United States a tremendous amount of economic power.

But now nations are beginning to lose confidence in the U.S. dollar and they are slowly starting to move away from it.

When the Federal Reserve announced a new round of quantitative easing in early November, it created a huge backlash from other nations.  For decades, many other countries have been heavily investing in dollar-denominated assets, and now they are quite upset that those assets are going to be devalued.

Chinese Finance Vice Minister Zhu Guangyao used very strong language in denouncing the Fed’s new quantitative easing scheme earlier this month….

“As a major reserve currency issuer, for the United States to launch a second round of quantitative easing at this time, we feel that it did not recognize its responsibility to stabilize global markets and did not think about the impact of excessive liquidity on emerging markets.”

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble was even more blunt.  He has called current Federal Reserve policy “clueless”, and he says that he is absolutely disgusted with the Federal Reserve at this point….

“They have already pumped an endless amount of money into the economy via taking on extremely high public debt and through a Fed policy that has already pumped a lot of money into the economy. The results are horrendous.”

So where is all of this going?

If the Federal Reserve keeps flooding the system with new dollars, the rest of the world could eventually totally reject the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasuries.

If that day ever arrives, the results would be beyond catastrophic as the following short video from the National Inflation Association demonstrates….

But it is not just the U.S. dollar that is in trouble.

The euro is in danger as well.

Just consider the financial problems that some major European nations are experiencing right now….

*Standard & Poor’s has slashed Ireland’s credit rating two notches to “A”, and is warning that there could be further downgrades.  The Irish budget deficit is projected to reach 32 percent of national output this year.  Ireland’s finances are being called “just one big pyramid scheme”, and they recently accepted a huge European bailout.  Unfortunately for Ireland, this bailout comes with strings.  The Irish government is now being forced to implement an austerity program that is being referred to as “draconian”.

*Analysts are projecting that Portugal is going to need a bailout of at least 50 billion euros.  The government of Portugal has implemented some harsh austerity measures in an attempt to get the red ink under control, and the people are not pleased.  On Wednesday, a massive national strike shut down travel and basic services across the country.

*Things are so bleak in Portugal right now that Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Amado recently stated that his nation “faces a scenario of exit from the euro zone” if a solution is not found for this financial crisis.

*Greece was the first nation to need a European bailout, and now there are rumors that they may need even more assistance.  The statistics agency for the EU, Eurostat, recently revealed that Greece’s budget deficit for 2009 was actually 15.4% of GDP rather than 13.6% of GDP as originally thought.  The Greek national debt is now well over 120 percent of GDP.  The financial problems in Greece never seem to stop.

*Belgium’s debt has reached 100 percent of annual national income, and the cost of insuring that country’s debt has now hit record levels.

*Even Spain is in trouble.  Rates on Spanish 10-year government bonds have risen to frightening heights in recent days, and the official unemployment rate in Spain is hovering around 20 percent.

*In a recent article entitled “A Spanish Bailout Would Test Europe’s Strained Finances“, the New York Times quoted Jordi Galí, the director of the Center for Research in International Economics at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University as saying that rumors that Spain is in financial trouble could end up making it a self-fulfilling prophecy….

“If investors expect Spain to have trouble refinancing its debt, now or somewhere down the road, then Spain will have trouble,” he added. “This is only aggravated by the fact that the reluctance of investors to purchase the country’s public debt leads to an increase in the interest rate it has to pay and thus in the budget deficit and the amount of debt it has to issue.”

So could this sovereign debt crisis actually cause the euro to collapse?

Well, it depends who you ask.

European Financial Stability Fund chief Klaus Regling says that there is “zero” chance that the euro will collapse….

“There is zero danger. It’s inconceivable that the euro would collapse.”

Other European leaders are not so sure about that.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy recently warned that if some of the weaker countries in Europe are forced to abandon the euro it will likely cause a total meltdown of the European Union….

“We’re in a survival crisis. We all have to work together in order to survive with the euro zone, because if we don’t survive with the euro zone we will not survive with the European Union.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also warning that a failure of the euro could bring down the entire European Union….

“If the euro fails, then Europe fails.”

But is this likely to happen any time soon?

No, probably not, but in 2010 top European officials are actually acknowledging the possibility, and that shows just how serious things have gotten.

So if the U.S. dollar and the euro do collapse, what would happen?

Well, already many world leaders are openly speaking of the need for a true global currency.

After all, they argue, there won’t be any “currency wars” if we are all using the same currency.

In fact, the Institute of International Finance, an organization that represents 420 of the biggest banks and financial institutions on the globe, recently declared that the time has come to adopt a one world currency.

In fact, as I wrote in an article entitled “Bancor: The Name Of The Global Currency That A Shocking IMF Report Is Proposing“, a recent IMF policy paper actually proposed a name for the “global currency” that they believe could be coming….

A paper entitled “Reserve Accumulation and International Monetary Stability” by the Strategy, Policy and Review Department of the IMF recommends that the world adopt a global currency called the “Bancor” and that a global central bank be established to administer that currency. The report is dated April 13, 2010 and a full copy can be read here. Unfortunately this is not hype and it is not a rumor. This is a very serious proposal in an official document from one of the mega-powerful institutions that is actually running the world economy. Anyone who follows the IMF knows that what the IMF wants, the IMF usually gets. So could a global currency known as the “Bancor” be on the horizon? That is now a legitimate question.

So will any of this ever come to fruition?

Well, it would likely take one whale of a crisis to get the countries of the world to agree to such a thing.

However, we do live at a time when the world financial system seems to be perpetually on the edge of chaos.  If at some point the U.S. dollar and the euro totally fall apart perhaps we will see a “new order” arise out of all of that chaos.

But let’s hope not.  Once we give any organization the power to issue a global currency the odds of us ever getting our economic sovereignty back will be greatly reduced.  The internationalists are going to use any crisis as an opportunity to argue for greater centralization of the world financial system, and it will be very important for the American people not to fall for those arguments.

Hopefully the U.S. dollar and the euro can remain stable currencies for at least a little while longer.  Because once they collapse things will never, ever be the same again.

Happy Thanksgiving! Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Four Years Ago?

As you gather around the table with your family this Thanksgiving, ask yourself this question: are you better off today than you were four years ago?  Unfortunately, most Americans are not.  Both political parties have controlled the White House during the last four years – Barack Obama has been in office for nearly two years and before him it was George W. Bush – and yet no matter what politicians we send to Washington D.C. things just seem to keep getting worse.  We buy more than we produce, we spend more than we bring in, we have 18 times as many “problem banks” as we did 4 years ago, the number of Americans on food stamps continues to set a new all-time record every month and we are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world.  But at least the majority of Americans are still prosperous enough to enjoy a happy Thanksgiving inside a warm, comfortable home.  Unfortunately, if things keep going the way they are going, we are going to experience a national economic nightmare that nobody will be thankful for.

If you watch the economic statistics from week to week and month to month, it will seem like sometimes they are getting worse and sometimes they are getting better.  However, once you take a longer-term view of things, exactly what is happening to us starts to come clearly into focus.  The truth is that the United States is in the midst of a long-term economic collapse, and many economic statistics just keep getting worse every single year.

The following are 11 statistics that reveal just how far the U.S. economy has fallen over the past four years….

#1 In November 2006, the “official” U.S. unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.  Today, the “official” U.S. unemployment rate has been at 9.5 percent or greater for more than a year.

#2 At Thanksgiving back in 2006, 26 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, there are over 42 million Americans on food stamps and that number is climbing rapidly.

#3 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.  Median household income declined the year before that too.  Meanwhile, prices have continued to rise throughout that period.

#4 At the end of the third quarter in 2006, 47 banks were on the FDIC “problem list”.  At the end of the third quarter in 2010, 860 banks were on the FDIC “problem list”.

#5 California home builders began construction on 1,811 homes during the month of August, which was down 77% from August 2006.

#6 In 2006, new home sales in the United States were near record highs.  In 2010, new home sales in the United States are at record lows as the following graph from Calculated Risk demonstrates….

#7 A recent survey of last year’s college graduates found that 80 percent moved right back home with their parents after graduation.  That was up substantially from 63 percent in 2006.

#8 According to one analysis, the United States has lost a total of 10.5 million jobs since 2007.

#9 In 2006, the Social Security program took in somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 billion more dollars than it paid out.  Of course the U.S. government spent all that money instead of setting it aside.  So now more U.S. retirees than ever are ready to start drawing on Social Security and a “tipping point” is rapidly coming.  Social Security will pay out more in benefits in 2010 than it receives in payroll taxes.  This was not supposed to happen until at least 2015, and the years ahead look very, very grim….

#10 The U.S. government’s debt ceiling has been raised six times since the beginning of 2006.

#11 In 2006, the U.S. national debt was getting close to 9 trillion dollars.  Today, the U.S. national debt is well past 13 trillion dollars and is rapidly closing in on 14 trillion dollars.

So is there much hope for an economic turnaround any time soon?

No, not really.

Even the Federal Reserve, usually one of the biggest cheerleaders for the U.S. economy, is not very optimistic right now.  In fact, the Fed has just announced that they are projecting that unemployment will still be at about 8 percent when the next presidential election arrives in 2012.

Actually, if the official unemployment rate was to get that low by then that would really be something to celebrate.  Many economists fear that unemployment will be even higher than it is now by then.

Several years ago, a very foolish politician (Dick Cheney) famously said that “deficits don’t matter”.  That is kind of like saying that credit card balances don’t matter.  For decades, politicians from both political parties have been running up staggering amounts of government debt as if it would never catch up with us.  For decades, Americans have been addicted to debt and have been buying more than they produce.  We have enjoyed living beyond our means for so long that most of us simply have no idea that there are any consequences for doing so.

Living on debt is fun on the way up, but on the way down the pain can be excruciating.  We are about to experience that on a national level, and it is going to be an absolute nightmare.

Did any of you actually believe that we were just going to go on living way, way, way beyond our means indefinitely?

America has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and unfortunately we are all going to pay the price for that.

So enjoy your turkey while you can.  In future years we may have a lot less to be thankful for.

11 Reasons Why North Korea Is The Most Bizarre Nation On Earth

Is the United States about to go to war with the most bizarre nation on earth?  A lot of Americans would actually welcome “the Korean War Part 2”, but before people get too excited it is important to keep in mind that we have never been at war with a nation that actually possesses nuclear weapons.  At this point it is unclear exactly how powerful North Korea’s nuclear weapons are, but nearly everyone does agree that they are crazy enough to use them.  North Korea reportedly has thousands of missile batteries that are capable to hitting the 10 million people that live in Seoul.  The death and devastation that an all-out strike on Seoul could potentially cause is almost unimaginable.  In fact, the 24.5 million people living either in or around Seoul make it the second largest metropolitan area in the world.  The next conflict on the Korean peninsula will be extremely bloody.  Nobody should be wishing for that.

Unfortunately, the next Korean war seems closer than ever.  Tensions on the peninsula are at a record high.  Today, North Korea has one of the largest armies in the world.  Some reports claim that they have over 1 million soldiers on active duty.  But South Korea is highly militarized as well, and there are 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea that the North Koreans would have to contend with.

Right now the rest of the world is getting quite nervous, because a war between nuclear powers could get out of hand very quickly.  If North Korea hits South Korea with nuclear weapons, it seems almost certain that the U.S. would hit North Korea with nukes.  The death and destruction that would result would be unprecedented.

So what does China think about all of this?  Well, North Korea would not be acting so belligerent right now if they did not have permission from China.  Perhaps China is trying to send a message to the West.

On the other hand, there are others that believe that it could go a lot deeper than that.  The regime in North Korea is on the verge of collapsing in on itself.  Even the Chinese are getting tired of propping up their government and dealing with their nonsense.  The truth is that a new Korean war could benefit the Chinese in several ways.

First of all, South Korea (the biggest U.S. ally in the region) would be absolutely devastated even if they “won” the war.  That would cripple an incredibly important geopolitical chess piece.

Secondly, the U.S. would be embroiled in yet another costly conflict and would undoubtedly suffer some costly losses as well.  The opinion of the rest of the world toward the United States would darken even more – especially if nuclear weapons were used.

Thirdly, China could gain a ton of “leverage” by stabbing North Korea in the back after the conflict had started.  In return for supporting the U.S./South Korean coalition, China could ask for all kinds of things that they wouldn’t even dream of getting right now.  In fact, it is not unthinkable to imagine China walking away with a significant chunk of North Korea in the aftermath of the war.  The Chinese government is regularly involved in “border disputes” (just Google it), and China would never pass up a chance to pick up a big slice of new territory.

In the end, the “winner” of any new war on the Korean peninsula would probably be China.  The U.S. would get rid of the “North Korean problem”, but it would come at a great cost.  It is hard to imagine any scenario that would end up greatly benefiting the United States.

Let us hope that a new all-out Korean war does not erupt.  North Korea is ruled by delusional leaders who are insane enough to actually use nuclear weapons.  If you doubt this, just consider the following 11 facts….

#1 The first “Great Leader” of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung, is deeply revered in North Korea.  In fact, there are over 500 statues of Kim Il-sung scattered throughout the country.  Many Koreans apparently believe that Kim Il-Sung actually created the world.

#2 It is said that hanging up pictures of Kim Il-Sung is compulsory for every household in North Korea.

#3 Millions of North Korean citizens have literally starved to death over the past 10 years.

#4 The North Korean constitution actually guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

#5 It has been reported that during times of extreme hunger in North Korea, cannibalism is quite common.  Several years ago the Washington Post shared what one 29-year-old female defector told them about what is going on inside the country….

“When one is very hungry, one can go crazy. One woman in my town killed her 7-month-old baby, and ate the baby with another woman.”

The sad thing is that the 29-year-old female defector didn’t even consider what she had seen to be wrong….

“I can’t condemn cannibalism. Not that I wanted to eat human meat, but we were so hungry. It was common that people went to a fresh grave and dug up a body to eat meat. I witnessed a woman being questioned for cannibalism. She said it tasted good.”

#6 In 1987, North Korea began construction on the Ryugyong Hotel, which would have been the tallest hotel in the world if it had been finished on schedule in 1989.  Instead, construction of the bizarre 105-story skyscraper that somewhat resembles a pyramid was suspended in 1992, and the unfinished structure was just a massive concrete shell towering over Pyongyang completely empty for the next 16 years.  Work began once again on the project in 2008, and it is anticipated that it will finally be completed in 2012.

#7 One of North Korea’s greatest “tourist attractions” is the Pueblo – a U.S. naval vessel that the North Koreans captured from “the imperialist Americans” back in 1968.

#8 According to North Korean media, Kim Jong-il is a phenom at just about everything.  It is claimed that he shot 38 under par (including 11 holes-in-one) the first time he ever played golf.

#9 Christians are slaughtered in some of the most brutal ways imaginable in North Korea.  The following is just one example…..

“While Interviewee 17 was in the North Korean Army, his unit was dispatched to widen the highway between Pyongyang and the nearby port city of Nampo. They were demolishing a vacated house in Yongkang county, Yongkang district town, when in a basement between two bricks they found a Bible and a small notebook that contained 25 names, one identified as pastor, two as chon-do-sa (assistant pastors), two as elders, and 20 other names, apparently parishioners, identified by their occupations. The soldiers turned the Bible and notebook over to the local branch of Department 15 of the Korean Workers Party (KWP), but the Party officials said it was up to the military police unit, Bowisaryungbu gigwanwon, to investigate. Tracked down at their place of work through the listing of occupation in the notebook, the 25 persons were picked up without formal arrest by the military bowibu. The interviewee was not aware of any judicial procedures for those seized. In November 1996, the 25 were brought to the road construction site. Four concentric rectangular rows of spectators were assembled to watch the execution. Interviewee 17 was in the first row. The five leaders to be executed – the pastor, two assistant pastors, and two elders – were bound hand and foot and made to lie down in front of a steamroller. This steamroller was a large construction vehicle imported from Japan with a heavy, huge, and wide steel roller mounted on the front to crush and level the roadway prior to pouring concrete. The other twenty persons were held just to the side. The condemned were accused of being Kiddokyo (Protestant Christian) spies and conspiring to engage in subversive activities. Nevertheless, they were told, “If you abandon religion and serve only Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you will not be killed.” None of the five said a word. Some of the fellow parishioners assembled to watch the execution cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed beneath the steamroller. Interviewee 17 thought, at the time, that these church people were crazy. He thought then that religion was an “opiate,” and it was stupid for them to give up their lives for religion. He heard from the soldiers who took away the other twenty prisoners that they were being sent to a prison camp.”

#10 A few years ago when China was sending humanitarian aid into North Korea the North Koreans decided that they would just start keeping the trains as well.  The Chinese crews were sent back over the border on foot.

#11 A song entitled “No Motherland Without You” was written specifically for Kim Jong-il and is one of the most popular songs in North Korea.  It is regularly sung by the North Korean military.

Are you convinced yet?  The truth is that North Korea is very, very dangerous and they should not be underestimated.  Let us hope that the United States never has to fight another war with them.

Black Friday: A Festival Of Greed In The Midst Of A Sea Of Pain And Suffering

Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving when millions of Americans line up before the crack of dawn at retail stores across the nation hoping to find great deals on cheap plastic stuff made outside the United States.  The Friday after Thanksgiving has become an “unofficial holiday” in recent years, and in fact in many ways it is starting to become as big as Thanksgiving itself.  A recent search on Google News found over 31,000 stories about “Thanksgiving” and over 24,000 stories about “Black Friday”.  Almost every major news organization has been running stories about Black Friday for weeks now.  Some of the biggest retailers, including Wal-Mart, Sears, Old Navy and Toys R Us, have had such success with Black Friday sales that they have decided to stay open for Thanksgiving now.  You would think that we could all have one day off to spend with family and friends to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with, but apparently that is not going to be possible.  Just like so many of our other holidays, the true purpose behind having a holiday called “Thanksgiving” is being totally obliterated by a tsunami of greed.  Meanwhile, more Americans than ever are living in poverty this year and very few people even seem to notice.

Not that there is anything wrong with enjoying all the things you and your family have been blessed with.  However, perhaps we should all take time this week to remember the tens of millions of Americans that are going to be deeply suffering this winter.  They keep telling us that “the recession is over” and yet poverty continues to spread like an out of control plague.  But for most Americans life is still relatively “normal”, and so the horrible suffering going on out there doesn’t really affect them.

The truth is that the U.S. economy is dying.  Americans have been living beyond their means for decades, and now we are starting to pay the price for the gigantic mountains of debt that we have accumulated.  But instead of preparing for harder times and looking for ways to help those who are hurting, most Americans are preparing for another orgy of shopping this holiday season….

*According to a new study by America’s Research Group and UBS, more Americans than ever before will be out shopping this Black Friday.

Meanwhile, nearly 15% of all American households experienced a food shortage at some point during 2009, and experts anticipate that the final number for 2010 will be even worse.

*Approximately 48.9 percent of all Americans plan to shop on Black Friday this year.

Meanwhile, many other Americans only have a very, very cold winter to look forward to.  According to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, more than 10 million U.S. households will not be able to afford to heat their homes this winter without assistance, which would be a new all-time record.

*The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday retail sales will hit $447.1 billion for 2010.

Meanwhile, more Americans are on food stamps than ever before.  Today, more than 43 million Americans are enrolled in the food stamp program.  The number of Americans on food stamps has increased almost 60 percent since 2007.  If our economy is getting better, then why is hunger spreading like an out of control virus?….

*Millions of American families will be streaming into Wal-Mart and Target to buy foreign-made electronic gadgets this upcoming Friday.

Meanwhile, millions of other American families would gladly give up their Thanksgiving meals in exchange for a decent job for a family member.  According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one person that is looking for a full-time job.  Unfortunately, there are not even close to enough jobs to go around in post-industrial America.

*Consumer Reports has posted a Black Friday shopping guide that encourages people to be prepared to wait in line out in the cold for several hours if they want to get the “best deals”….

It’s not always worth breaking down the ‘door.’ … But consumers shouldn’t bother to show up unless they are willing to wait in line, sometimes for hours before the store opens, and should be prepared for possible disappointment. There are no guarantees.

Meanwhile, there are millions of American children that barely have enough to eat.  According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.

The age of consumerism is coming to a close so enjoy it while it lasts.

Sadly, many proponents of “free trade” (which is actually not “free” or “fair” at all) point to the “great deals” available on Black Friday as evidence that globalism works.

Yes, you might get 20 extra bucks off on that 32-inch television, but in the end American workers are going to be supported somehow.

Either we provide jobs for American workers that enable them to feed their families or we provide for them by giving them food stamps and unemployment checks.

The United States has lost over 42,000 factories since 2001.  Are you willing to have your taxes raised to provide food and shelter for all of those displaced workers?

The following is how Wikipedia defines deindustrialization….

Deindustrialization (also spelled deindustrialisation) is a process of social and economic change caused by the removal or reduction of industrial capacity or activity in a country or region, especially heavy industry or manufacturing industry. It is an opposite of industrialization.

In case you haven’t noticed, that is what is happening to America.

The United States is rapidly becoming a post-industrial nation.

As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing.  The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

Not that all trade is a bad thing.  Trading with other nations such as Canada and Germany that have similar standards of living and that pay their workers similar wages could potentially be beneficial to both sides.

However, merging our economy with nations such as communist China was a colossal mistake.  In China, most workers earn less than a tenth of what most American workers make.  Today, our factories, our jobs and our wealth are being transferred to China at a pace that is almost unbelievable.

In 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 6 million dollars for the entire year.  In the month of August alone, the U.S. trade deficit with China was over 28 billion dollars.

In case you are wondering, that is not a good trend.

Every single month, tens of billions of dollars more goes out of the United States than comes into it.

In other words, we are being drained.

But that isn’t going to stop tens of millions of Americans from running out on Black Friday and buying huge piles of stuff that nobody really needs with money that they can’t really afford to spend.

America is in the midst of a long-term economic decline, but nearly everyone in the media keeps expecting the economy to “snap out of it” and for the good times to start rolling once again.

Unfortunately, things aren’t going to get better.  This is about as good as things are going to get.

The federal government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  Our state and local governments are drowning in a sea of red ink.  Average Americans are seeing their incomes decline and their standards of living go down.  The greatest economic machine in world history is being dismantled and most Americans have become so dumbed-down that they don’t even understand what is going on.

But as they say, ignorance is bliss.

So enjoy this “Black Friday” while you still can.  Perhaps the memories of these good times will keep us warm during the truly dark days that are ahead.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Full Spectrum Dominance: 8 Examples Of How The Government Is Attempting To Take Total Control Of Our Food, Our Health, Our Money And Even Our Dignity

Over the past several decades, no matter which political party has been in power the government has continued to become a larger part of our lives. These days many people are speaking of the “nanny state” that we have created, but the reality is far worse than that. The truth is that the government has become a gluttonous, out of control behemoth that is gobbling up everything in sight and that is attempting to exert full spectrum dominance over our lives.  Today, the government seems to have an insatiable hunger to watch us, track us and control us.  Now they even want to feel our private parts before we get on an airplane.  No matter what politicians we send to Washington D.C., it just seems to get worse and worse.  Anyone who still believes that we live in “the land of the free” is completely and totally delusional.

It isn’t just in one particular area that all of this government intrusion into our lives is so offensive.  What we are witnessing is the government slowly digging its fingers even deeper into our lives in a thousand different ways.  Sadly, most Americans see the government as the one who is supposed to take care of them from the cradle to the grave, as the one who is supposed to fix all of the problems in society and as the one who is their ultimate authority.

This is in direct contradiction to the concept of a “limited government” that our Founding Fathers tried so desperately to enshrine in our founding documents.  The American people need a big-time wake up call.  The following are 8 examples of how the U.S. government is attempting to take even more control over our lives….

#1 Taking Total Control Of Our Food – S. 510 “The Food Safety Modernization Act”

S. 510, “The Food Safety Modernization Act”, is another huge power grab by the FDA and the federal government over our food supply.  The bill is written so broadly and so vaguely that nobody really knows what it means.  The potential for abuse of these vague new powers would be staggering.  So will the government abuse these powers?  Those who are in favor of the bill say that of course the government will be reasonable, but those who are opposed to the bill point to all of the other abuses that are currently taking place as evidence that we simply cannot trust the feds with vague, undefined powers.

Fortunately, the Tester Amendment has been attached to S. 510 at least for now, but big agriculture is not happy about this, and they will be doing everything they can to get it kicked out of the final version of the law.  In any event, if this food safety law does get passed, tens of millions of Americans will be left wondering what they are allowed to grow in their back yards, what seeds they are allowed to save and what can and cannot be sold at farmer’s markets.

In case you think this is paranoid, just consider what is already happening.  It has been documented that the feds recently raided an Amish farmer at 5 AM in the morning because they claimed that he was was engaged in the interstate sale of raw milk in violation of federal law.  If the feds are willing to stoop so low as to raid Amish farmers, do you think they will have any hesitation when the time comes to raid your home?

#2 Taking Total Control Of Air Travel – The Dehumanizing Full Body Scanners And “Enhanced Pat-Downs”

Totalitarian governments throughout history have always sought to dehumanize their subjects.  Sadly, that is exactly what is happening in America today.  If you want to get on an airplane in the United States, you will now be forced to either let TSA agents gawk at your naked body or let TSA agents grope your entire body including your genitals.

What these TSA agents are being instructed to do to ordinary Americans is so bizarre that it is hard to believe.  It is being reported that in many instances TSA agents are actually reaching down the pants of male travelers and up the skirts of female travelers.  One retired special education teacher was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an “enhanced pat-down” by TSA agents.  Quite a number of women that have been through these “enhanced pat-downs” have used the phrase “sexual assault” to describe the experience.

So is this what America has become?  A place that is so “dangerous” that we all must be treated like prison inmates?  Large numbers of Americans are swearing that they will simply not fly anymore, but what happens when these “enhanced pat-downs” start showing up at our schools, our shopping centers and our sporting events someday?

#3 Taking Total Control Of Our Health Care – The Loss Of Our Health Freedom

Once upon a time, Americans had control over their own health care decisions.  That is no longer true today.  Thanks to major changes in our health care laws, the health care landscape in America has been dramatically changed.  Americans are now forced to participate in the officially-sanctioned health care system by purchasing health insurance.  But Americans cannot just get any kind of health insurance policy that they want.  Our health insurance choices are now tightly constrained by thousands of regulations.

Not only that, but doctors in America no longer have the freedom to treat patients however they see fit.  Only “approved” treatments are permissible, and now the federal government is going to be telling doctors which of those “approved” treatments are “cost-effective” enough.  As the new health care laws are fully implemented over the next decade, the American people are going to become truly horrified not only about how much their health insurance premiums are going up, but also about how much health freedom they have actually lost.

#4 Taking Control Of Our Money – Multiplying Taxes

Whenever one tax goes down, it seems like several other taxes either go up or get invented.  The truth is that Americans are being drained by the federal government, state governments and local governments in dozens upon dozens of different ways.  To our various levels of government, our primary function is to serve as a revenue source.  Each year it seems like they find more ways to stick it to us.  In fact, it looks like 2011 is going to be a banner year for tax increases.  If you doubt this, just see my previous article entitled “2011: The Year Of The Tax Increase“.

#5 Taking Control Of Our Businesses – Thousands Of Ridiculous Regulations

Why would anyone in America even attempt to be an entrepreneur today?  Most small businesses are literally being strangled by hordes of red tape.

Just consider how things have changed in America.  The Federal Register is the main source of regulations for U.S. government agencies.  In 1936, the number of pages in the Federal Register was about 2,600.  Today, the Federal Register is over 80,000 pages long.

The following is just one example of how bizarre things have gotten in this country.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is projecting that the food service industry will have to spend an additional 14 million hours every single year just to comply with new federal regulations that mandate that all vending machine operators and chain restaurants must label all products that they sell with a calorie count in a location visible to the consumer.

Do we really need to spend 14 million more hours telling Americans that if they keep eating hamburgers and fries that they are likely to get fat?

But it is not just the federal government that is the problem.  One reader recently described how difficult  it was to try to run a business in the state of California….

Had 10 employees, but one almost exclusively to deal with government regs, taxes, reporting etc, Received a $144 penalty for a .33 (yes, cents)error on my quarterly payroll taxes from Cal Franchise Tax Board. I called to ask if that was not a bit repressive, why level penalize someone for what was obvisouly a didminimus error? I was told “we would have penalized you if it was .03!” I said, I did not volunteer to be the income tax collector for the State and Fed government, you should be paying me to do all this work and insane paper pushing. Reply: “That is part of the PRIVILIGE of being a business owner!!!”

#6 Taking Control Of Our Environment – The Green Police

The government is using the “green movement” as an excuse to take an unprecedented amount of control over our lives.  From coast to coast, communities have been given government grants to track our trash with RFID microchips. The following are just some of the communities that will now be using microchips to track what we throw away….

*Cleveland, Ohio

*Charlotte, North Carolina

*Alexandria, Virginia

*Boise, Idaho

*Dayton, Ohio

*Flint, Michigan

Not only that, but some cities are now starting to fine citizens for not recycling properly.

In Cleveland, Ohio if an RFID tracking chip signals that a recycle bin has not been brought out to the curb within a certain period of time, a “trash supervisor” will actually sort through the trash produced by that home for recyclables.

According to Cleveland Waste Collection Commissioner Ronnie Owens, trash bins that contain over 10 percent recyclable material will be subject to a $100 fine.

Does that sound like America to you?

Now we don’t even have the freedom to throw out trash the way we want to.

#7 Taking Away Our Independence – The Exploding Welfare State

You don’t have much freedom if you can’t take care of yourself.  But in America today, tens of millions of Americans have literally become completely dependent on the government for survival.  Over 42 million Americans are now on food stamps.  Approximately one out of every six Americans is enrolled in a federal anti-poverty program.

The number of Americans living in poverty has increased for three consecutive years, and the 43.6 million poor Americans in 2009 was the highest number that the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.

The more Americans that are destitute and totally dependent on the government the easier it will be for the government to control them.  Today a rapidly growing percentage of Americans fully expect the government to take care of them.  But this is not what our founders intended.

#8 Taking Away Our Patriotism – We Are Even Losing The Freedom To Be Proud Of America

Do you ever think things will get so repressive in America that a group of high school students will be forbidden from singing the national anthem at the Lincoln Memorial?  Well, that has already happened.  Do you think that areas of our nation will ever become so anti-American that they will forbid students from riding to school with an American flag on their bikes?  Well, that has already happened.

Fortunately, there was such an uproar over what happened to 13-year-old Cody Alicea that it made national headlines and he ended up being escorted to school by hundreds of other motorcycles and bicycles – most of them displaying American flags as well.  The school reversed its policy and now Cody can ride his bike to school every day proudly displaying the American flag.

But what if nobody had decided to stand up?

That school would have gotten away with banning the flag if the American people had allowed them to.

Our liberties and our freedoms are under attack from a thousand different directions and they are being stripped away from us at a blinding pace.

It has gotten to the point where most of us just sit in our homes and enjoy the “freedom” of digesting the “programming” that is constantly being hurled at us through our televisions.  Of course the vast majority of that programming is produced by just 6 monolithic corporations that control almost everything that we watch, hear and read.

Power and money have become more highly concentrated in America today than ever before, and yet most Americans don’t even realize it.

Most Americans are so busy just trying to survive from month to month that they don’t even have time to think about the deeper issues.  At the end of the night most of them are so exhausted from serving the system that all they can do is collapse on the sofa and turn on some programming.

But the American people desperately need to wake up.  Without liberty and freedom our country cannot work.  But our freedoms and liberties are being stripped away a little bit more each and every day.

The America that so many of us grew up adoring is dying right in front of our eyes.  If you plan on saying something about it, you better do so before it is too late.

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