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What Is Going On In Charlotte Is Far More Important Than Brad Pitt And Angelina Jolie’s Divorce

brad-pitt-and-angelina-jolie-photo-by-georges-biardWhile one of America’s largest cities is being ripped in two, most Americans appear to be far more interested in the drama surrounding Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce.  As Charlotte braces for a third night of rioting and violence, the mainstream media is full of headlines such as “Welp, the Jolie-Pitt Divorce Got Real Depressing Real Fast” and “Even the Dalai Lama has something to say about Brangelina’s divorce“.  Yes, the “Brangelina divorce” is an important cultural moment that illustrates our ongoing moral and social decay, but what is going on in Charlotte is far more important.  Trust in our most important institutions is deeply broken, and Americans are increasingly choosing chaos and violence over peaceful discourse.  For a very long time I have been warning that these kinds of riots were coming, and the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted every day is starting to rapidly disappear.

There had been hope that things would settle down after the first couple of nights of chaos in Charlotte, but as I write this article protesters have already massed downtown despite a midnight curfew imposed by Mayor Jennifer Roberts…

Demonstrators chanted “release the tape” while briefly blocking an intersection near Bank of America headquarters in the heart of the city’s business district. They then continued marching as police officers watched. Members of the National Guard carrying rifles were also deployed in front of office buildings to head off another night of violence in this city on edge.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts has signed a curfew order from midnight until 6 a.m., despite Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney saying he saw no need for a curfew.

Personally, I can definitely understand why a curfew was imposed.  Nobody should want to see a repeat of the senseless violence of the past two nights.  At one point on Wednesday night, enraged protesters actually attempted to toss a news photographer into a roaring fire

Among the many reports of violence from the Charlotte, North Carolina unrest Wednesday night was one particular shocking example: rioters tried to throw a news photographer into a burning fire.

Local CW affiliate WCCB was on the scene and tweeted out images of the fire and their initial report.

If you are protesting for justice, you sure aren’t going to get it by trying to burn people alive.  I don’t know how anyone out there can possibly justify the kinds of things that we have been seeing in Charlotte.

In addition to trying to throw an innocent photographer into a fire, the “protesters” have also engaged in other forms of violence that are extremely alarming.  The following summary originally comes from Paul Joseph Watson

  • Stealing and looting cash registers from local businesses is not a legitimate form of protest
  • A “protester” shooting another “protester” is not a legitimate form of protest.
  • Physically attacking reporters is not a legitimate form of protest.
  • Throwing rocks off bridges at passing vehicles full of families is not a legitimate form of protest
  • Beating up innocent people in parking lots because they’re white is not a legitimate form of protest.
  • Smashing up apartment windows where black people live to “protest” in favor of ‘Black Lives Matter’ is not a legitimate form of protest.
  • Trashing your own neighborhood is not a legitimate form of protest.
  • Looting the Charlotte Hornets team store so you can steal basketball merchandise is not a legitimate form of protest
  • Attempting to hijack cars and terrify their innocent occupants is not a legitimate form of protest.

These sorts of things are not supposed to happen in Charlotte.

We have already seen major rioting in impoverished cities such as Baltimore, Ferguson, Milwaukee and Baton Rouge.  But Charlotte is supposed to be different.  Over the past decade, Charlotte has been one of the more prosperous major cities in America.  Just check out this excerpt from an NBC News editorial

Charlotte isn’t a crumbling urban ghetto. Charlotte is the place you move when you want sunshine, and a shiny new house in a sparkling new subdivision. Charlotte is a prosperous city where you not only can get a job in the bustling and very clean Uptown area, but that job affords you wonderful weekend getaways to a cozy cabin in the Appalachian mountains but an hour away, or to the sandy shores of the Atlantic, also an easy drive from the Queen City. Charlotte is a magnet for the young and old alike and it’s growth is the envy of not a few urban mayors.

It matters that Charlotte has been celebrated by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the best places to live in the entire nation. It filled Charlotte’s residents with pride when other media outlets heralded their city as one of the very best places to raise a family in the entire state of North Carolina.

If rioting like this could happen in Charlotte, then it could happen just about anywhere.

Now is a time when we need to forgive, come together and learn to work with one another again.  I really like what Donald Trump had to say about this…

We all have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and see things through their eyes, and then get to work fixing our very wounded country,” Trump said.

Pointing to the violent protests over a police-involved shooting in Charlotte, N.C., Trump said, “Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world’s leader. How can we lead when we can’t even control our own cities?” he asked.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of calls for love and forgiveness.

Instead, most of the discussion is focused on anger, hatred, strife and discord.

A house divided cannot stand, and America is more divided today than I have ever seen it in my entire lifetime.

As I stated yesterday, a lot more chaos and violence are coming.  As a society we have been going down the wrong road for decades, and now we are reaping a very bitter harvest.

Creepy Clown Sightings Sweep The Nation As The Threats Of Violence Become Even More Chilling

creepy-clown-posted-by-jamie-hill-on-facebookAll over America sick and twisted people are dressing up like creepy clowns in order to frighten the living daylights out of others.  This trend started back in August, and since then social media has helped it spread like wildfire.  So far there have been creepy clown sightings in 11 different states, and Mississippi and Kentucky have been added to the list since my last article.  A lot of young kids seem to think that this is a great idea for a “prank”, but authorities are taking the creepy clown phenomenon very, very seriously because in recent days the threats of violence have become much more chilling.  Individuals posing as “creepy clowns” on social media are openly naming specific schools that they plan to target and are threatening to commit horrific acts of violence.  That may sound like an interesting plot for a Hollywood horror movie, but in real life these kinds of threats have very serious consequences.

On Monday, several schools in Alabama were placed on lockdown due to threats from a group known as “Flomo Klown”

A number of Alabama schools were on lockdown on Monday after a series of Facebook posts from users posing as clowns threatened local children with violence.

Posts on the group ‘Flomo Klown’ warned that clowns may show up at two schools in the Birmingham area and one student alerted local police.

Fortunately, authorities were able to identify the people that were making those threats.  The police discovered that two juveniles and one adult were involved, and so far one arrest has been made in the case.

But that isn’t the only example of “creepy clowns” threatening to commit violence at schools.  A short-lived Facebook account under the name of “Bingerman Clownferd” issued a profanity-laced warning to five specific schools in the Montgomery, Alabama area on September 17th.  The following comes from a local Montgomery news report

A newly created Facebook account named Bingerman Clownferd began posting about visiting Montgomery schools last week. This weekend, Clownferd caused a stir on social media with a post listing which Montgomery schools would be visited:

bingerman-clownferd-from-facebook

The posts include vulgar language and threats of violence and began the day after Flomaton Police Department arrested two juveniles and an adult for a similar threat that caused a soft lockdown at Flomaton schools.

“I’m the southlawn clown I saw all of you all today at school I watched y’all walk home ik who y’all are if I don’t get u tonight it will be monday (sic),” Clownferd posted on Sept. 16.

As I stated above, law enforcement authorities are taking these threats very seriously.  And considering the terror attacks that we just witnessed in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, they would be foolish not to do so.

Elsewhere in Alabama, security was tightened at a middle school in Calhoun County because someone on Facebook threatened to come to the school and “start shooting”

Extra deputies patrolled Saks Middle School in Calhoun County after someone threatened on Facebook to start shooting at the school. A 16-year-old Pleasant Valley resident was arrested and charged with terrorist threats. Since the suspect is a minor, their name was a not released. Calhoun County Chief Deputy Matthew Wade described the incident as troubling.

“It’s really disturbing in today’s world that people are doing this to scare others,” he said. “We are going to find the people who did this. There are consequences when you make threats.”

In Etowah County, a social media post hinting about a clown visit at Rainbow Middle School and John Jones Elementary caught authorities attention on Sunday. Police presence was increased at the schools on Monday and a Gadsden City High School freshman was questioned by Rainbow City Police about the matter. Chief Jonathon Horton said the department is collaborating with juvenile probation and the Gadsden City School system to figure out how to move forward in the case.

No “prank” should ever involve threats of violence.  Many young people don’t realize this, but anonymous threats of violence can actually get you charged under terrorism laws.  So you may think that what you are doing is quite funny, but it could end up landing you behind bars for an extended period of time.

Some sick individuals have gone beyond threats and are actually terrorizing people in person.  Just check out what happened in Brighton, Alabama on Sunday and Monday

In Brighton, a suspect dressed as a clown jumped out of the bushes and chased two teens down the street on Sunday. The incident happened at 8 p.m. on Huntsville Avenue near King Street.

Authorities said the suspect fled in a white van similar to a Chevrolet Astro Van. Brighton police Chief Ray Hubbart said the children and their parents are still a little terrified. Since the investigation is ongoing, anyone with information is asked to call Brighton police at 205-425-8934.

In another incident, on Monday night an 18-year-old was arrested in West Blocton after jumping in front of a car while wearing a clown mask, according to WBRC.

A similar incident just took place in northwest Georgia, but in this instance the “creepy clown” was actually holding what appeared to be a knife…

The first incident involved a “creepy clown” chasing a couple of kids from a store parking lot back to their home, reports show.

“According to the complainant, a person dressed as a creepy clown and wielding what appeared to be a knife, allegedly chased her 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old niece from the lot of the Mapco convenience store back to their Fernwood Drive apartment,” officer Mitchell Moore said.

Was it just a prank, or did that “creepy clown” actually intend to do harm to those children?

Fortunately we did not find out, and it was probably just someone trying to pull a “prank”, but if authorities would have caught up with this individual they would have thrown him in jail.

With each passing day, more photos of these “creepy clowns” are being posted on social media websites.  A Facebook user named Jamie Hill just posted a picture of a “creepy clown” that is getting a lot of attention that was taken on the side of the 192 highway in London, Kentucky.  You can view it on Facebook right here

creepy-clown-posted-by-jamie-hill-on-facebook

This is the description that Jamie Hill posted along with the photograph…

So, I was a little scared to post this because I didn’t think anyone would believe me until Kelly Hill told me that one of her friends just had seen a clown here in London. Amy Gunter And I was out tonight & was headed back home on 192 & saw this. Now, it’s not a really good picture because I couldn’t stop, there was people behind me. I seriously think this clown thing has gotten out of hand & someone is going to get hurt. Please share this so people around London will know that they are here!

As I stated in my previous article, dressing up as a “creepy clown” is a quick and easy way for unbalanced individuals to get media attention, and so we are likely to see this trend continue to intensify.  And of course Halloween is quickly approaching, and creepy clown costumes are always popular this time of the year.

But this has long since stopped being funny.  The threats of violence are becoming increasingly disturbing, and it is only a matter of time before someone goes too far and people start getting seriously hurt.  So let us hope that this “trend” fades away soon and people start moving on to other things.

Arch That Was A Gateway To The Temple Of Baal Is Going Up In New York’s City Hall Park On Monday

new-york-city-september-19-2016If you tried to put up a large cross in a public park in New York City there would be lawsuits flying all over the place, but apparently an ancient pagan arch that served as a gateway to the Temple of Baal is no problem at all.  On Monday, September 19th, a reconstructed version of Palmyra’s Arch Of Triumph (also known as the Monumental Arch) will be erected in New York City.  Specifically, it will be located in City Hall Park in Manhattan.  The organization behind this project is known as the Institute for Digital Archaeology, and they have confirmed the location and the date on their official website

ida-letter-excerpt

This arch was originally constructed in Palmyra, Syria by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in the 3rd century A.D., and it stood there until it was destroyed by ISIS in 2015.  The following comes from the Wikipedia article about this arch…

The Monumental Arch, also called the Arch of Triumph (Arabic: قوس النصر‎‎) or the Arch of Septimius Severus, was a Roman ornamental archway in Palmyra, Syria. It was built in the 3rd century during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus. Its ruins later became one of the main attractions of Palmyra, until it was destroyed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in October 2015. Most of its stonework still survives and there are plans to rebuild it using anastylosis.

On this map you can see how Palmyra was laid out.  The Arch of Triumph (identified on the map as the “monumental arch”) connected the main street of the Colonnade with the Temple of Bel.  If you wanted to go to the Temple of Bel, there was essentially one way in and one way out, and everyone coming and going would pass through this arch.

temple-of-bel-and-the-monumental-arch-pinterest

Those that are familiar with ancient Middle Eastern deities already know that “Bel” and the “Baal” that we find in the Bible were one and the same.  Here is more from Wikipedia

Bel (/ˈbl/; from Akkadian bēlu), signifying “lord” or “master”, is a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in the Mesopotamian religion of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia. The feminine form is Belit ‘Lady, Mistress’. Bel is represented in Greek as Belos and in Latin as Belus. Linguistically Bel is an East Semitic form cognate with Northwest Semitic Baal with the same meaning.

Back in April, the arch that stood directly in front of the Temple of Baal was supposed to be put up in Times Square, but fortunately that project was ultimately canceled.   A reproduction of the Arch of Triumph (the arch discussed in this article) was put up in Trafalgar Square in London at that time, and there were rumblings that a reproduction of the Arch of Triumph would also come to New York at a later date.

Unfortunately, that has now become a reality.

So why are people getting so upset about some ancient arch that may be connected to an ancient god that nobody seems to worship anymore?

Well, the truth is that “Baal” is mentioned in the Bible more than 100 times.  A very high percentage of current world religions can be traced directly back to this ancient deity and to ancient Babylon, and the practices involved in ancient Baal worship are “eerily similar” to things that go on in society today.  The following comes from an excellent article by Matt Barber

Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants – men and women alike – would engage in bisexual orgies. The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of “mother earth.”

The natural consequences of such behavior – pregnancy and childbirth – and the associated financial burdens of “unplanned parenthood” were easily offset. One could either choose to engage in homosexual conduct or – with child sacrifice available on demand – could simply take part in another fertility ceremony to “terminate” the unwanted child.

Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar.

We tend to think that we are vastly more “advanced” than the pagan idol worshippers of the ancient world, but is that really the case?

They killed their babies by the thousands, but we have killed our babies by the millions.

They had “free love” around the altars of Baal, but we have turned it into a permanent lifestyle.

Multitudes would gather around the altars of Baal to watch the bisexual orgies, but we have turned watching others having sex into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Just like ancient Israel, our society has turned away from following the God that created all things, and instead we are embracing the ways of the ancient pagan world.  Unfortunately, there are very serious consequences for doing this.  Just consider what Jonathan Cahn recently told George Noory during an interview on Coast to Coast

“Western Civilization was once totally pagan and then in a sense it got cleaned up,” Cahn said. “But what [one of these mysteries is] saying is, if it turns back away from God and turns to evil and immorality, it’s going to be seven times worse than it does before. And how that translates is, before you had the Gospel you had Nero, you had Caligula. But when you have a post-Christian civilization, it’s much more dangerous than a pre-Christian one. But that’s when you produce Hitlers, you produce Stalins, you produce ultimately the Antichrist. That’s end-time prophecy. We are witnessing that as well.”

I believe that it is quite appropriate that an arch that once served as a gateway to the Temple of Baal is going up in New York City on Monday, because we are going down the exact same path that ancient Israel once did.

Sadly, if we keep doing the same things that they once did, our ultimate fate will end up being very similar as well.

UPDATE: The arch has now been unveiled, and you can see video of the unveiling right here…

Creepy Clowns Are Terrorizing Children, Parents And Schools All Over America

creepy-clown-posted-by-karen-mann-hicks-on-facebookAn epidemic of creepy clown sightings is sweeping America, and authorities don’t know who or what is behind it.  In some instances, clowns with horrific expressions painted on their faces have been spotted standing on the side of the road, lurking near the edge of the woods or just roaming about town staring at random people.  But in other instances there have been reports of clowns actually attempting to lure children with gifts, and there have even been some reports of children running away from creepy clowns that were chasing after them.  While doing research for this article, I came across recent creepy clown sightings from South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, California, Alabama, Georgia and West Virginia.  This is truly a nationwide phenomenon, and many believe that it will get even worse as Halloween approaches.

This creepy clown trend appears to have begun with a very disturbing case at an apartment complex in South Carolina

Donna Arnold, one of the people residing at the complex who received the letter, said she called the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office to come out to Fleetwood Manor after her son and others reported seeing clowns behind the basketball court.

“I thought my child was seeing things,” Arnold said. “And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, ‘Did you see the clown in the woods?”

Community activist Bruce Wilson said he is getting involved at the apartments to make sure children are safe, even if the sightings turn out to be harmless.

Authorities say that their investigation into this incident found that the clowns were approaching children with the intent “to persuade them into the woods further by displaying large amounts of money“.

At least one child that personally interacted with these clowns testified “that they had candy and they would give it to them if they came there“.

Whether people are dressed as clowns or not, attempting to abduct children in no joke.

Unsurprisingly, this case made national headlines, and at that point it appears that a whole host of copycats started to come out of the woodwork.  The following is how an article in the Week summarized what happened next…

A week later, a boy at an apartment ten miles away reported seeing a man in a clown mask in the woods near his home. Later that night, a boy at an apartment just three miles from Fleetwood Manor reported seeing another clown. That apartment also sits on the edge of a wooded area. There was another local sighting the next day. The following day, a woman told police she saw a clown standing outside a Greenville laundromat, simply staring at her.

By then, the clowns had begun to mobilize. The previous day, a 14-year-old boy in Columbus, Ohio, said that a man wearing a clown mask chased him with a knife while the boy was walking to his school bus stop. Less than a week later, on Sept. 5, two children in Winston-Salem, N.C., claimed a clown was offering candy, as long as they would follow him into the woods. Later that night, a woman in the area claimed that a clown tried to coax her into the woods, except this one was carrying a machete. He wore black gloves and a black tie. The next morning, in the nearby town of Greensboro, a man said he saw a clown in the woods behind his apartment. Yellow polka-dotted shirt, blue pants.

Since that time the creepy clown sightings have not stopped, and one of the most alarming incidents of all just took place in McDuffie County, Georgia

“It was this morning at 6:30 when we were leaving at the house,” said Cameron Frails, who saw the clown.

But as Frails and his neighbor, Hannah Rice, started walking, they noticed something.

“I was standing over there,” said Rice. “And I was like, ‘who’s that guy following Cameron?'”

“We saw a man with all black on, clown mask and a red wig,” said Frails.

They said they saw at least two men dressed in all black coming toward them between two trailers, so they started running.

But that isn’t the only report of these creepy clowns trying to chase down children.  Here is another one from Georgia

According to the police report, the woman said the children told her they were leaving the community center as it was getting dark Monday evening when five people dressed as clowns and wearing masks emerged from a white panel van and began chasing them.

The 48-year-old woman also told police she saw a white panel van slowly driving past her home prior to the supposed incident at the community center around the corner, on McKinley Drive.

A lot of the copycats out there may be doing this sort of thing as a prank, but law enforcement authorities are beginning to take this threat very seriously.

In fact, Time Magazine is reporting that two schools in Alabama “were put on lockdown” on Friday due to threats from a group known as “Flomo Clowns”…

Two southern Alabama schools were put on lockdown Friday because of threatening Facebook messages and emojis posted on the now-deleted page of a group called the ‘Flomo Klowns.’

The sinister Facebook messages said “It’s going down tonight,” followed by revolver emojis, and “I love kids.” A parent also contacted the Flomaton Police Department to say her child had been sent threatening messages by the group.

The entrances to Flomaton High School, which has around 400 students, and Flomaton Elementary School, which has about 300, were locked, as well as internal doors. Local officers and sheriff deputies secured the school grounds and searched the area, AL reports.

I think that this is another example of how sick and twisted our society has become.  There are a lot of unbalanced people out there that get a thrill from spreading terror, and the initial clown stories have inspired them to capitalize on this trend.

If you are able to take a photograph or some video of these creepy clowns, please feel free to contact me.  “Killer clown” costumes are always extremely popular during the Halloween season, and I have a feeling that this wave of terror is only going to intensify as we approach the end of October.

One photograph of a creepy clown that was taken on Simmons River Road near Duhring, West Virginia has gotten a lot of attention on social media.  It was originally posted by Karen Mann Hicks on Facebook, and you can view it right here

creepy-clown-posted-by-karen-mann-hicks-on-facebook

Hopefully this creepy clown craze will soon fade, but it is a quick way for deeply disturbed individuals to “get on the news”, and so it seems likely that there will be even more copycats.

But those that are tempted to dress up like creepy clowns and terrorize children should be aware that police all over the nation are taking this very seriously, and arrests will likely be made at the first sign of trouble.

10 Things That Every American Should Know About Donald Trump’s Plan To Save The U.S. Economy

donald-trump-speech-voa-public-domainCan Donald Trump turn the U.S. economy around?  This week Trump unveiled details of his new economic plan, and the mainstream media is having a field day criticizing it.  But the truth is that we simply cannot afford to stay on the same path that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have us on right now.  Millions of jobs are being shipped out of the country, the middle class is dying, poverty is exploding, millions of children in America don’t have enough food, and our reckless spending has created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet.  Something must be done or else we will continue to steamroll toward economic oblivion.  So is Donald Trump the man for the hour?

If you would like to read his full economic plan, you can find it on his official campaign website.  His plan starts off by pointing out that this has been the weakest “economic recovery” since the Great Depression…

Last week’s GDP report showed that the economy grew a mere 1.2% in the second quarter and 1.2% over the last year. It’s the weakest recovery since the Great Depression – the predictable consequence of massive taxation, regulation, one-side trade deals and onerous energy restrictions.

And Trump is exactly right about how weak this economic recovery has been.

So how would he fix things?

The following are 10 things that every American should know about Donald Trump’s plan to save the U.S. economy…

#1 Donald Trump would lower taxes on the middle class

The tax savings under Trump’s plan would actually be quite substantial for middle class families.  The following numbers come from a recent Charisma article

• A married couple earning $50,000 per year with two children and $8,000 in child care expenses will save 35% from their current tax bill.

• A married couple earning $75,000 per year with two children and $10,000 in child care expenses will receive a 30% reduction in their tax bill.

• Married couple earning $5 million per year with two children and $12,000 in child care expenses will get only a 3% reduction in their tax bill.

#2 Donald Trump would lower taxes on businesses

Under his plan, no business in America would be taxed more than 15 percent.  Alternatively, Hillary Clinton’s plan would tax some small businesses at a rate of close to 50 percent.  So Trump’s plan would undoubtedly be good for businesses, and it would encourage many that have left the country to return.

But where would the lost tax revenue be made up?

#3 Childcare expenses would be exempt from taxation

For working families with children this would be a great blessing.  Without a doubt this is an effort to win over more working women, and this is a demographic that Trump has been struggling with.

It is definitely an idea that I support, but once again where will the money come from to pay for this?

#4 U.S. manufacturers will be allowed to immediately fully expense new plants and equipment

This would undoubtedly lead to a boom in capital investment, but it would also reduce tax revenue.  As an emergency measure this would be very good for encouraging manufacturers to stay in America, but it would also likely increase the budget deficit.

#5 A temporary freeze on new regulations

Red tape is one of my big pet peeves, and so I greatly applaud Trump for this proposal.  I think that Bob Eschliman put it very well when he wrote the following about Trump’s planned freeze on new regulations…

In 2015 alone, federal agencies issued over 3,300 final rules and regulations, up from 2,400 the prior year. Studies show that small manufacturers face more than three times the burden of the average U.S. business, and the hidden tax from ineffective regulations amounts to “nearly $15,000 per U.S. household” annually. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion dollars per year, and Trump will end it.

#6 All existing regulations would be reviewed and unnecessary regulations would be eliminated

In particular, Trump’s plan would focus on getting rid of regulations that inhibit hiring.  The following are some of the specific areas that he identifies on his official campaign website

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which forces investment in renewable energy at the expense of coal and natural gas, raising electricity rates;
  • The EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, which gives the EPA the ability to regulate the smallest streams on private land, limiting land use; and
  • The Department of Interior’s moratorium on coal mining permits, which put tens of thousands of coal miners out of work.

#7 Donald Trump would fundamentally alter our trade relationships with the rest of the globe

Donald Trump is the first major party nominee in decades to recognize that our trade deficit is absolutely killing our economy.  I write about this all the time, and it is a hot button issue for me.  So I definitely applaud Trump for proposing the following

  • Appoint trade negotiators whose goal will be to win for America: narrowing our trade deficit, increasing domestic production, and getting a fair deal for our workers.
  • Renegotiate NAFTA.
  • Withdraw from the TPP.
  • Bring trade relief cases to the world trade organization.
  • Label China a currency manipulator.
  • Apply tariffs and duties to countries that cheat.
  • Direct the Commerce Department to use all legal tools to respond to trade violations.

#8 Donald Trump’s plan would be a tremendous boost for the U.S. energy industry

Barack Obama promised to kill the coal industry, and that is one of the few promises that he has actually kept.  Obama also killed the Keystone Pipeline, and right now the energy industry as a whole is enduring their worst stretch since the last recession.  To turn things around, Trump would do the following

  • Rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • Save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.
  • Ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline.
  • Make land in the Outer Continental Shelf available to produce oil and natural gas.
  • Cancel the Paris Climate Agreement (limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius) and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.

#9 Trump would repeal Obamacare

Trump claims that Obamacare would cost our economy two million jobs over the next ten years.  And without a doubt, it has already cost the U.S. economy a lot of jobs.

Not only that, but Obamacare has also sent health insurance premiums soaring, and this is putting a tremendous amount of financial pressure on many families.

Trump says that he would “replace” Obamacare, but that is a rather vague statement.

What exactly would he replace it with?

#10 Trump’s plan says nothing about the Federal Reserve

This is a great concern, because the Federal Reserve has far more power over the economy than anyone else does.  It is at the very heart of our debt-based system, and unless something is done about the Fed our debt bubble will continue to get even larger.

Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen by more than 96 percent and our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.  For Trump to not even mention the Federal Reserve in his economic plan is a tremendous oversight.

We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline, and things have not gotten better during the Obama years.  If you can believe it, a study that was just released by Harvard even acknowledges this

America’s economic performance peaked in the late 1990s, and erosion in crucial economic indicators such as the rate of economic growth, productivity growth, job growth, and investment began well before the Great Recession.

Workforce participation, the proportion of Americans in the productive workforce, peaked in 1997. With fewer working-age men and women in the workforce, per-capita income for the U.S. is reduced.

Median real household income has declined since 1999, with incomes stagnating across virtually all income levels. Despite a welcome jump in 2015, median household income remains below the peak attained in 1999, 17 years ago. Moreover, stagnating income and limited job prospects have disproportionately affected lower-income and lower-skilled Americans, leading inequality to rise.

That same study found that the percentage of Americans participating in the labor force peaked back in 1997 and has been steadily declining since that time…

declining-labor-force-participation-rate-harvard

If we continue to do the same things, we will continue to get the same results.

Donald Trump is promising change, and many of his proposals sound good, but there are also some areas to be concerned about.

Ultimately, just tinkering with the tax code and reducing regulations is not going to be enough to turn the U.S. economy around.  We need a fundamental overhaul of our economic and financial systems, and Trump’s plan stops well short of that.  But without a doubt what he is proposing is vastly superior to Hillary Clinton’s plan, and so he should definitely be applauded for at least moving in the right direction.

Clinton Collapse: Is Hillary Clinton Going To Drop Out Of The Race For The White House?

Hillary Clinton's CollapseWhat was once unthinkable has now become a very real possibility.  We have all seen the video which shows Hillary Clinton fainting and collapsing into the arms of Secret Service agents as she waited to get into her van following an abrupt exit from a ceremony commemorating the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  What has been obvious to many of us for quite a while is now being talked about on every political talk show in America.  Not too long ago, you were called a “conspiracy theorist” if you dared to question Clinton’s health, but today it is the central issue of the presidential campaign.  With less than two months to go until election day, all of a sudden we are facing some unprecedented scenarios.  Last month, I openly pondered if Clinton’s rapidly declining health would allow her to make it to election day, and today it is being reported that Democratic operatives are scrambling to figure out who would replace her if she does decide to drop out.  This has already been the craziest election season in modern times, and I have a feeling that it is about to get even crazier.

For Clinton, it isn’t just the fact that she collapsed in public that has her in trouble.  An even bigger issue is the fact that her campaign willingly chose to lie about her health status, and this even has many Democrats up in arms.  The following comes from an excellent piece by Damon Linker

After Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia and put on antibiotics, she did not, as her physician recommended, take time out to rest. Instead, she attended a fundraiser featuring Barbra Streisand. Then on Sunday morning, she attended the 9/11 commemoration, became “overheated,” and woozily wobbled rather dramatically. Ninety minutes later she exited her daughter Chelsea’s apartment building to tell the press she was “feeling great.” The Secret Service permitted a young girl to come over to give the candidate a hug.

It was only a few hours later when her campaign finally announced that she has pneumonia and is recovering.

The most charitable reading of this timeline is that her campaign — presumably with the blessing and perhaps insistence of the candidate — fully intended to keep her illness a secret from the public. Let’s be clear about what this means: Her campaign intended to lie.

Of course the Clintons have made a career out of lying, and Hillary’s trail of lies has been well documented, but this may be the lie that breaks the camel’s back.

So now that the story has changed several times, are we supposed to trust them when they tell us that Hillary Clinton truly does have pneumonia?

Surprisingly, this might actually be the truth.

But instead of bacterial or viral pneumonia, Hillary Clinton may have something called aspiration pneumonia.

Aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of death for those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, and if you have not read the article that I did linking Hillary Clinton with Parkinson’s Disease you can find it right here.  A case of aspiration pneumonia would explain all of the coughing fits that Clinton has been experiencing, and it would be perfectly consistent with what Dr. Ted Noel and other health professionals have been saying about her medical condition.

Since I wrote about this last, it has also been documented that Hillary Clinton’s motorcade has been arriving and leaving with an ambulance wherever she goes.

That is not standard operating procedure, and there is no ambulance following Trump around.

What are they still not telling us about Clinton’s health?

Unfortunately for the Democrats, they can’t force Clinton out of the race.

No matter how sick she becomes, she is going to remain the nominee until she willingly withdraws.

And of course this is a woman that would do or say just about anything to become “the first woman president”, and so getting her to withdraw would take something truly extraordinary.

But if by some miracle she did withdraw, the national committee of the Democratic Party would hold a special gathering to select a new nominee…

According to the rules of the Democratic Party, the national committee is responsible for filling the position. Party officials would each cast one vote at a special meeting and the winner is whoever gets the majority.

No special consideration would be given to Tim Kaine, the current vice-presidential candidate, or Bernie Sanders, Mrs Clinton’s closest rival in the race to secure the Democratic nomination. And if someone other than Mr Kaine were selected, he would remain the vice-presidential candidate.

So who would be the choice if Clinton is unable to move forward?

According to Emmy award winning broadcaster David Shuster, insiders are indicating that Joe Biden would be the choice if Hillary were to withdraw.

But of course there would be others that would want to elevate Tim Kaine to the top of the ticket, and many liberals would make a big push for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

There is even talk that if Hillary Clinton withdrew close enough to election day that it could cause Barack Obama to suspend or postpone the election until a “fair” election could be held.

The establishment is in a state of alarm, because they desperately want to keep Donald Trump out of the White House, and their only hope of doing that is physically deteriorating right in front of their eyes.

Let us certainly hope that they don’t try to monkey with the timing of the election, but if that is what they felt that they had to do in order to defeat Trump I have no doubt that they would try to make that move.

Politics in America is a very dirty game, and the establishment is not about to lay down and roll out the red carpet for Donald Trump.  It remains my contention that they are going to move heaven and earth if necessary to keep him from ever setting foot in the Oval Office.

In just a couple of months, all of this will hopefully be over.

But until then events are likely to get even stranger, and next month we may see an “October surprise” or two that we aren’t even anticipating right now.

America You Need To Lose Weight: At Least 1 Out Of Every 5 People Are Obese In All 50 States

Overweight Kids Become Overweight Adults - Public DomainThe United States officially has an obesity crisis.  According to a brand new report that was just released by the Trust for America’s Health, at least one out of every five people meet the clinical definition for obesity in all 50 states.  But of course in some states things are far worse than that.  More than 35 percent of all adults are obese in four states, and the obesity rate is between 30 and 35 percent in 21 other states.  And it is important to keep in mind that just needing to lose weight does not mean that you are obese.  According to the CDC, you have got to have a body mass index of at least 30.0 to meet the clinical definition for obesity.

Each year, the American people spend 60 billion dollars on weight loss programs and products.  That breaks down to about 188 dollars for every man, woman and child in the country.  We are a nation that is absolutely obsessed with losing weight, and yet obesity levels are hovering near all-time record highs.

But some parts of the U.S. are definitely doing better than others.  The following is an excerpt that comes directly from the new report

In 2015, Louisiana has the highest adult obesity rate at 36.2 percent and Colorado has the lowest at 20.2 percent. While rates remained steady for most states, they are still high across the board. The 13th annual report found that rates of obesity now exceed 35 percent in four states, are at or above 30 percent in 25 states and are above 20 percent in all states. In 1991, no state had a rate above 20 percent.

Did you catch that last part?

I put it in bold for a reason.  To me, it is absolutely incredible that no state in the entire country had an obesity rate of more than 20 percent just 25 years ago.

How is that possible?

How could obesity explode to such a dramatic level in just a couple of decades?

Well, a lot of it has to do with what we eat and drink, and I will have some comments about that below.  But first, let’s take a look at some more statistics from this new report.  It turns out that there seems to be a significant link between obesity and poverty

  • 9 of the 11 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South and 22 of the 25 states with the highest rates of obesity are in the South and Midwest.
  • 10 of the 12 states with the highest rates of diabetes are in the South.
  • American Indian/Alaska Natives have an adult obesity rate of 42.3 percent.
  • Adult obesity rates are at or above 40 percent for Blacks in 14 states.
  • Adult obesity rates are at or above 30 percent in: 40 states and Washington, D.C. for Blacks; 29 states for Latinos; and 16 states for Whites.

The report also noted that it has been estimated that our obesity epidemic costs the United States somewhere between 147 billion dollars and 210 billion dollars every single year.

That is an enormous amount of money, and if we were all a bit healthier it would benefit our society tremendously.

Sadly, as a society we have fallen into some very bad habits.  For example, the new report also found that the number of high school students that play video games for at least 3 hours per day “has increased more than 88 percent since 2003 (from 22.1 to 41.7 percent)”.

When I was in high school, almost all of the kids couldn’t wait to get outside and play after school.  But these days most playgrounds are parks are eerily silent most of the time, and even if kids wanted to go use them the truth is that many of them aren’t very safe.

In the old days, parents could let their kids go outside and play freely without having to worry about it.  But in 2016, many of our communities are infested by addicts, gangs, sex predators, etc.

But that is a topic for another article. Last year, Gallup also did a survey on obesity, and what they found lines up with this new report very well…

-The national rate of obesity has risen to an all-time high of 27.7 percent. That is up from 27.1 percent in 2013, and it is much higher than the 25.5 percent number that we were sitting at in 2008.

-At 19.0 percent, Hawaii has the lowest rate of obesity in the entire country.

-At 35.2 percent, Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the entire country.

-The rest of the top 10 includes West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

And remember, being obese is different from being overweight.

According to CNN, an astounding 70 percent of all Americans are overweight at this point.

Let that number sink in for a moment.

70 percent.

So how did this happen?

Well, our addiction to sugar plays a major role in this.  If you were just to make one change to your diet, you could immediately start living a much healthier lifestyle.  What I am talking about is soda.

Many people that have cut all soda out of their diets have immediately started losing weight, and they often report feeling much better too.

Other people have actually decided to completely cut all sugar out of their diets, and needless to say the health benefits have been nothing short of astounding.

If you know me, you know that I like sugar, but I try to keep it at a very reasonable level.  But that is difficult, because sugar is in just about everything.  And if it isn’t sugar, it is some other type of sweetener such as high fructose corn syrup.

There are others that know much more about these things than I do, but I just wanted to share with you a couple common sense things I have learned over the years that can immediately help you if you are interested in a healthier lifestyle.

Another thing that is a huge menace is pork.  All meat is not created equal, and if you eat lots of pork you should know that you are on a highway to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  Pork is one of the most toxic things that humans consume, and once you learn all of the things that pork is infested with you will likely never want to eat it again.

Of course cancer loves sugar too, and so it is no wonder why we have a cancer epidemic in this country.  If you can believe it, Americans spend 100 billion dollars a year on cancer drugs alone.

We are literally digging our own graves with our forks, knives and spoons.  What we eat and what we drink are the biggest reasons why we have an obesity epidemic in this nation, and if we will just take a few common sense steps we could start turning around this crisis tomorrow.

Winds Of War: Is Russia Conducting A Massive Mobilization Of Troops For An Invasion Of Ukraine?

Russian Troops - Public DomainThe drumbeats of war are growing louder.  Fighting in eastern Ukraine between separatists and pro-government forces has risen to an intensity not seen in well over a year, and the Russians claim that they recently foiled a “Ukrainian plot” to conduct terror attacks in Crimea.  As tensions in the region have increased, the Russians have used the cover of “military drills” to move massive amounts of troops and military equipment up to the border with Ukraine.  This is something that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, but things have intensified since then, and a huge military exercise is planned for September.  Needless to say, the Ukrainians are quite alarmed by this, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is warning that a full scale mobilization of the Ukrainian military may be needed.  If something is going to happen, it is likely to happen soon.  As you will see below, once we get into October it will become much less likely that we would see a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

We aren’t hearing much about this conflict in the U.S. media, but over in Europe this is a very big deal.  Just consider the following excerpt from an article in the Independent entitled “Russia is teetering on the brink of ‘all out war’ with Ukraine“…

Ukraine is holding a major military parade in Kiev today to mark its 25th anniversary as an independent state. But, at a time that should otherwise be a moment of national celebration, a serious crisis with Moscow is flaring up. So serious, in fact, that on Tuesday the Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were forced to hold a three-way phone call to try to de-escalate the situation.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has even warned that there is growing risk of a “full scale Russian invasion along all fronts,” ratcheting up what is already the bloodiest European conflict since the wars over the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

And the truth is that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has some very good reasons to be concerned.  As the Washington Post has pointed out, the Russians have used military exercises as an excuse to stage forces for military action in the past…

As violence in the east heats up, Ukrainian officials have suggested that Russia may use the upcoming military drills, called Kavkaz (Caucasus) 2016, as cover for military action against Ukraine. The drills are the first to integrate the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, into the country’s military planning, and thousands of Russian troops will be brought in for air, land and sea exercises.

Ukrainian government analysts have recalled that exercises served as staging grounds for troop incursions in 2014, as did Russian military exercises held shortly before the Georgian war of 2008. Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations suggested that Russia may have “bad intentions,” while the West has also said it would like observers to be present.

If there is going to be a Russian invasion of Ukraine in September, Kavkaz 2016 will likely be used as cover for invasion preparations.  It is a yearly exercise, but in 2016 it looks like it will be much bigger than ever before, and some analysts have pointed out that the Russians have not conducted a mobilization on this scale since the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.  Here is more on Kavkaz 2016 from the Daily Signal

In September, Russia has plans for a large-scale strategic military exercise called Kavkaz-2016. The exercise, which is an annual event, will include units deployed near the borders of Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan—including two Russian military districts in the Southern and Northern Caucasus, the Russian Black Sea Fleet (headquartered in occupied Crimea), and the Caspian Flotilla.

It is not immediately clear the exact size of this year’s exercise, but last year it comprised 95,000 troops, 7,000 vehicles, and 150 aircraft, according to a report by IHS Markit, a U.K.-based intelligence and analysis firm.

If the Russians are going to do something, they need to do it soon, because the weather turns very bad during the month of October.  Here is one how one analyst assessed the situation

“But will there be a war – we’ll see, no much time for guessing left… In this situation, the main thing for Russia is to achieve strategic and tactical surprise. And if she does not start now – then it will be too late. One would need to turn off full-scale operations in October because of the rains and the next draft to Russian army (it would mean the demobilization of current wave of conscripts and training the new ones – UT).”

A Russian invasion of Ukraine would mean that Russian relations with the U.S. and with Europe would immediately plunge to Cold War levels.  Of course some would argue that we are already there.  In any event, a Russian invasion would force the U.S. and NATO to make some very uncomfortable decisions.

Would the U.S. and NATO just stand by and do nothing while Ukraine is overrun by the Russians?

Maybe.

But if the U.S. and NATO responded with military force, that would risk a full scale nuclear confrontation with Russia.

Right now, a war with Russia is about the last thing that most Americans are thinking about, but the truth is that we are not that far away from such a scenario.

Over in Russia, the mindset is totally different.  The following is from a Newsweek article entitled “In Europe and Russia, There’s Talk of War“…

Recently, I grabbed a taxi in Moscow. When the driver asked me where I was from, I told him the United States. “I went there once,” he said, “to Chicago. I really liked it.”

“But tell me something,” he added. “When are we going to war?”

The question, put so starkly, so honestly, shocked me. “Well, I hope never,” I replied. “No one wants war.”

At the office, I ask a Russian employee about the mood in his working class Moscow neighborhood. The old people are buying salt, matches and gretchka [buckwheat], he tells me—the time-worn refuge for Russians stocking up on essentials in case of war.

In the past two months, I’ve traveled to the Baltic region, to Georgia, and to Russia. Talk of war is everywhere.

Most Americans don’t realize that Russians already view the United States more negatively than they did even during the height of the Cold War.  On Russian television they openly talk about the inevitability of a war between the United States and Russia, and the Russian military has feverishly been preparing for such a future conflict.

If we can get to October, we can probably breathe a bit of a sigh of relief because the Russians are not likely to conduct an invasion once the weather turns bad.

But for now there are very good reasons to be concerned, and we shall see what happens over the coming weeks…

America The Debt Pig: We Are A ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Society – And ‘Pay Later’ Is Rapidly Approaching

America The Pig - Public DomainIf you really wanted to live like a millionaire, you could start doing it right now.  All you have to do is to apply for as many credit cards as possible and then begin running up credit card balances like there is no tomorrow.  At this point, I know what most of you are probably thinking.  You are probably thinking that such a lifestyle would not last for long and that a day of reckoning would eventually come, and you would be exactly right.  In fact, anyone that has ever had a tremendous amount of credit card debt knows how painful that day of reckoning can be.  To mindlessly run up credit card debt is exceedingly reckless, but unfortunately that is precisely what we have been doing as a nation as a whole.  We are a “buy now, pay later” society, and our national day of reckoning is approaching very, very quickly.

Often we like to focus on our exploding national debt, but household debt is out of control too.  In fact, the total amount of household debt in the United States is now up to a whopping 12.3 trillion dolllars

In the second quarter, total household debt increased by $35 billion to $12.3 trillion, according to the New York Fed’s latest quarterly report on household debt. That increase was driven by two categories: auto loans and credit cards.

We throw around words like “trillion” so often these days that they often start to lose their meaning.  But the truth is that 12.3 trillion dollars is an astounding amount of money.  It breaks down to about $38,557 for every man, woman and child in the entire country.  So if you have a family of four, your share comes to a grand total of $154,231, and that doesn’t even include corporate debt, local government debt, state government debt or the gigantic debt of the federal government.  That number is only for household debt, and there aren’t too many Americans that could cough up their share right at this moment.

Do you remember when I wrote about how credit card companies are specifically targeting less educated and less sophisticated consumers?  Well, that is where much of the credit card debt growth has come lately.  Just check out these numbers

Now, credit cards are returning among individuals with low credit or subprime credit scores below 660. Among people with credit scores between 620 and 660, the share that had a credit card rose to 58.8% in 2015 from a low of 54.3% in 2013. Among those with scores below 620, the number of people with a credit card increased to 50% from a low of 45.6% two years ago. Both figures for 2015 are the highest since 2008.

In America today, we are enjoying a standard of living that we do not deserve.

We consume far more wealth than we produce.  The only way we are able to do that is by going into debt.

Debt takes future consumption and brings it into the present.  In other words, we are damaging the future in order to make the present a little bit better.  On an individual level, we may enjoy the big screen television we buy with a credit card today, but we are taking away our ability to spend money later.  And on a national level, what our unprecedented debt binge is doing to future generations of Americans is beyond criminal.

Earlier this month I explained these things to a live studio audience down at Morningside, and you can view a video of that right here

In this article I haven’t even talked about corporate debt yet.  Instead of learning their lessons from the last financial crisis, big corporations have gone on the biggest debt spree of all time.  If you can believe it, corporate debt has approximately doubled since the last financial crisis.  In other words, since the last recession we have essentially matched the total amount of corporate debt that we accumulated from the beginning of the country up to 2009.

Unfortunately, a lot of that debt is now going bad.

In previous articles I have documented that corporate debt delinquencies are now the highest that they have been since the last financial crisis, and corporate debt defaults are also the highest that they have been since the last financial crisis.

At this point, even the mainstream media is acknowledging that we have a corporate debt “crisis”.  The following comes from an article that was just put out by the Denver Post

The number of companies that have defaulted so far this year has already passed the total for all of last year, which itself had the most since the financial crisis. Even among companies considered high-quality, or investment grade, credit-rating agencies say a record number are so stretched financially that they’re one bad quarter or so from being downgraded to “junk” status.

Companies whose debt is already deemed “junk” are in the worst shape in years. To pay back all they owe, they would have to set aside every dollar of their operating earnings over the next eight and a half years, more than twice as long as it would have taken during the 2008 crisis, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Are you starting to get the picture?

And I haven’t even started talking about our national debt yet.  When Barack Obama entered the White House, we were 10.6 trillion dollars in debt.  Today, we are 19.4 trillion dollars in debt.  That means that we have added 8.8 trillion dollars to the national debt under Obama, which breaks down to an average of 1.1 trillion dollars of additional debt a year.

We have been taking more than 100 million dollars of future consumption and bringing it into the present every single hour of every single day during the Obama administration.  That is why I am constantly referring to our “debt-fueled standard of living”.  We do not deserve to live the way that we do, but since we are able to steal from our children and our grandchildren we are able to enjoy a standard of living that most people in the world can only dream about.

Of course we are literally destroying the future of America in the process, but very few people seem to care about that these days.

Without all of this debt, we would be in a very deep economic depression right now.

But even with all of this “stimulus”, we are still mired in the worst economic “recovery” since 1949.  In fact, Barack Obama is actually on track to be the very first president in all of American history to not have one single year when U.S. GDP grew by 3 percent or better, and he has had two terms in which to try to get that accomplished.  The percentage of working age Americans that actually have a job is way down from where it was just prior to the last recession, and in this video I explain why the employment numbers put out by the government are not nearly as good as the administration would have us believe…

If the American people would have been willing to sacrifice and make some very hard choices a long time ago, maybe we could have gotten a handle on all of this debt.

But instead we continue to rack up debt as if there is no tomorrow, and in the process we are literally destroying tomorrow.

Every dollar of debt that we accumulate now makes life worse for our children and our grandchildren.

Unfortunately, we are a bunch of debt pigs, and we just can’t help ourselves.  We have come to believe that it is “normal” to go into so much debt, and as a society we continue to race toward economic oblivion.

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