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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She got her first citation in 2017.

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

Over time, she received a total of four citations.

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

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

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

Seriously?

Is this what our society has become?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who in the world would do such a thing?

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

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

It’s just flat-out gross.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What America Really Needs Is A Lot More Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“California Is Being Overrun By Rodents” – And In This Case We Aren’t Talking About The Politicians

California is being hit by a “plague of rats”, and some commentators are suggesting that this is exactly what they deserve.  In fact, some have even gone so far as to suggest that the name of Los Angeles should be formally changed to “Los Ratas” because the rat problem is so severe there.  From Crescent City in the north all the way down to Chula Vista in the south, the rats are seemingly everywhere.  There are millions of them, and the more poison that people put out the more they seem to multiply.  The state of California has never seen anything like this before, and it is getting worse with each passing month.

At this point, things are already so bad that many are calling for Governor Newsom “to declare a public health emergency”

Pest control and public health experts are calling on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a public health emergency over what they say is a sharp rise in the state’s rodent population.

“California is being overrun by rodents – and without immediate emergency action by state and local government, we face significant economic costs and risk a public health crisis,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, at a news conference Tuesday at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

It would be difficult to overstate the severity of this crisis.  According to a recent survey of California pest control companies, rat service requests are up “as much as 60% in the last 12 months”.

If you have ever lived some place where you can literally hear rodents crawling in the walls and in the ceiling, then you know how deeply unsettling it can be.

And in some instances, rodents are literally starting to fall out of the ceilings in California.  Just consider this example

Maggots and mice have fallen onto inmates’ dining tables at a California state prison where holes in the roof also allow rain and bird droppings to seep through and streak the walls, according to an inmate lawsuit that charges the state isn’t moving fast enough to repair deteriorating prisons.

California has committed $260 million over four years to repair leaking roofs and clear dangerous mold at more than two dozen deteriorating prisons where the cost of overdue maintenance is pegged at more than $1 billion.

A similar incident occurred at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Los Angeles last month while a customer was trying to order her dinner

Customers at a Los Angeles, Calif., Buffalo Wild Wings were in for a stomach-churning incident when a rat reportedly fell from the ceiling and landed on a table.

Alisha Norman, who was visiting Los Angeles from Texas, was getting ready to order at the chain restaurant when she heard something crawling above her, she told FOX35. Soon after, a rat fell and landed on a menu on the table.

This isn’t some third world country that we are talking about.  The state of California is the wealthiest state in the entire country, and they are being absolutely overrun by rats.

Of course it certainly doesn’t help that many California cities have a major trash collection problem.  The following was published by NBC Los Angeles earlier this year

Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year’s record number of flea-borne typhus cases.

Even the city’s most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA’s busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms.

As a result of all the trash and filth, even Los Angeles City Hall has become overrun by rats

Officials at Los Angeles’ City Hall are considering ripping all of the building’s carpets up, as rats and fleas are said to be running riot in its halls.

A motion was filed by Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday to enact the much needed makeover amid a typhus outbreak in the downtown area.

Wesson said a city employee had contracted the deadly bacterial disease at work, and now he’s urging officials to investigate the ‘scope’ of the long-running pest problem at the council building.

When there is a huge problem like this that gets national attention, it is inevitable that California legislators will throw a lot more money at the problem, but that hasn’t worked so well in other cases.

For instance, two years ago New York Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a 32 million dollar program to fight the rat problem in his city, but that didn’t help.  In fact, the number of rat complaints actually increased by 38 percent last year…

New York, like other metropolitan cities including Philadelphia and Chicago, faces a major rat problem.

According to the New York Times, rat complaints have risen from 12,617 in 2014 to 17,353 last year. That’s a 38% jump citywide — and comes even after Mayor Bill de Blasio allocated $32 million in 2017 to reduce the number of the rodents.

And things are particularly bad on the Upper West Side.  They may have mountains of money over there, but they just can’t seem to keep the rats away

OpenTheBooks.com analyzed the number of calls for rats to 311 and found that, according to the Post, “the rats are running wild in this fancy area.”

A local publication called West Side Rag agreed that the Upper West Side has an extreme rat problem. “We’re like the Tom Brady of rats. All we do is win,” an article reads.

Despite all of our advanced technology, we cannot even handle the rats.

Somehow it seems fitting that the rat epidemic is most severe in the areas that are on the cutting edge of America’s social decline.  In life, you can try to run from the consequences of your actions, but they will catch up with you eventually.

As I have discussed previously, under ideal conditions rats can multiply very, very rapidly.  In fact, it has been estimated that two healthy rats could potentially become 482 million rats in just three years.

Perhaps Californians should just give up and let the rats take over.  After all, they couldn’t possibly do any worse than the politicians in the state are currently doing.

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

An “Earnings Recession” Is Here – Big Companies All Over America Are Reporting Disastrous Financial Results

If the U.S. economy really was “booming”, then corporate earnings would be rising.  But that isn’t happening.  In fact, we haven’t seen corporate earnings fall like this since the last recession.  They fell during the first quarter of this year, and based on the results we have so far, it appears that corporate earnings will be down substantially once again in the second quarter.  When corporate earnings drop for two quarters in a row, that is officially considered to be an “earnings recession”, and that normally occurs just before the overall economy plunges into recession territory.  As things get tighter for our corporate giants, we should expect a lot more layoffs in the months ahead, and the unemployment rate should rise quite briskly.  In other words, it looks like our economic problems are about to accelerate substantially.

This week, some of the largest companies in the entire country reported results for the second quarter, and we witnessed disappointment after disappointment.

Let’s start with Boeing

The 737 Max is already more than four months into an unprecedented global grounding, which authorities ordered after two fatal crashes. The manufacturer provided hints of the strain on its resources, starting with a US$1.01 billion burn of free cash flow in the second quarter — a US$5 billion swing from last year’s gain during the same period.

Of course Boeing made a bad plane, and so their disastrous results could certainly be blamed on that.

But what about Netflix?  Once one of the darlings of Wall Street, Netflix has been absolutely monkeyhammered in recent days…

Netflix’s disappointing quarter reported last Wednesday has caused the streaming darling of Wall Street to shed more than $24 billion in value in six days as the stock has sunk 15 percent.

Shares of Netflix have now fallen each of the last nine trading days, as the stock began its downfall even before it released its quarterly financial report, which indicated it lost subscribers in the U.S. for the first time since launching its streaming service nearly a decade ago.

Yes, Netflix could be considered a special case because they are facing a lot of new competition.  Last December I wrote an entire article predicting that this would happen, and this is just the beginning of the company’s problems.

On the other hand, the future was supposed to be exceedingly bright for Tesla, but the firm is hemorrhaging money like crazy and over the past 24 hours the stock price has crashed hard

Even after delivering a record number of cars in its second quarter, Tesla (TSLA) is still bleeding money. Tesla said Wednesday that it lost $408 million during the three months ending in June, far worse than Wall Street had expected. Shares of Tesla fell more than 10% in after hours trading following the earnings report.

The loss was slightly less painful than the previous quarter, in which Tesla lost $702 million.

But Elon Musk has a gift for getting investors to hand over giant piles of money, and so Tesla is going to survive for now.

Meanwhile, the rest of the auto industry is really struggling as well.  In fact, Ford just reported very disappointing results and reduced the forecast for the remainder of 2019 significantly

Ford shares plunged Wednesday after the automaker reported second-quarter earnings that were short of expectations and issued a disappointing forecast for the year.

Ford, which has slashed thousands of jobs this year, is also investing $11 billion by 2022 in electric and hybrid vehicles to try to keep pace in a changing industry.

Are you starting to see a pattern?

Even Paypal is falling short of expectations.  The following comes from CNBC

Shares of PayPal fell as much as 6% in after-hours trading after the payments giant missed Wall Street’s estimates for second-quarter revenue and lowered its full-year guidance.

Everything that I have just shared with you makes complete and total sense if the U.S. economy is in the process of plunging into a new recession.

And other economic numbers continue to tell us the exact same thing.  For example, we just got the worst U.S. manufacturing PMI number in 118 months.  That is absolutely terrible news, but Europe’s manufacturing sector is doing even worse.

Manufacturing activity is slowing down all over the globe, and a big reason for that is because global trade is shrinking at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis.

Meanwhile, we just learned that existing home sales in the United States have now fallen on a year over year basis for sixteen months in a row.

After something happens 16 times in a row, you would think that the experts would be able to spot a “trend” by now, but so many of them continue to be optimistic about the real estate industry.

In addition, store closing announcements just continue to roll in at a stunning rate.  This week, we learned that GNC is planning to close up to 900 stores by the end of 2020.

We were already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year even before that announcement, and the phrase “retail apocalypse” almost doesn’t seem strong enough to describe what we are witnessing any longer.

Just as I have warned, America’s landscape is being littered by boarded up stores and abandoned malls, and this is particularly true in our poorest areas.

Unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve and an unprecedented debt binge by the federal government may have bought us a very brief reprieve, but none of the fundamental economic problems that were identified during the last recession were ever fixed.

Now a new crisis has arrived, and we are just in the very early chapters of it.

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

War Drums: Europe Readies A Naval Task Force As Iran Threatens To “Secure” The Strait Of Hormuz

It is funny – for decades we have never had any problems with commercial ships passing through the Persian Gulf, but all of a sudden it has become a major flashpoint.  As you will see below, the Iranians are now warning that they plan to “secure” the Strait of Hormuz, and meanwhile a plan for a European-led naval task force to confront the Iranians is rapidly coming together.  The seizure of a British tanker a few days ago really rattled British officials, and they are determined to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.  Of course the more the Persian Gulf region becomes saturated with military assets, the more likely it is that a “mistake” will happen, and it sure won’t take much of a spark to start World War 3 at this point.

Today, close to 20 percent of all the oil produced in the entire world passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and that makes it an exceedingly important waterway.  U.S. and European officials continue to stress the importance of freedom of navigation through the area, and they appear to be losing patience with the Iranians.

But Iran does not intend to back down one bit.  On Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that his country “will use its best efforts” to secure the Strait of Hormuz.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

“Iran will use its best efforts to secure the region, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, and will not allow any disturbance in shipping in this sensitive area,” Araqchi told French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, IRNA reported.

So what does that mean exactly?

Do the Iranians plan to keep grabbing oil tankers whenever it suits them?

The seizure of the Stena Impero pushed us dangerously close to war, and the British government is still hoping that negotiations will result in the release of that tanker.

However, the British also plan to flex their military muscles in order to keep such an incident from happening again, and they are calling for other European nations to join them

France, Italy and Denmark gave initial support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, proposed after Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker, three senior EU diplomats said on Tuesday.

The cautious backing at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels contrasts sharply with the lukewarm response shown by European allies to a similar American call first voiced at NATO in late June, when countries feared they could make U.S.-Iranian tensions worse.

Could this be the very beginning of a “coalition of the willing”?

According to Reuters, this task force would likely include “aircraft too”, and that is definitely raising some eyebrows…

British foreign ministry and defense officials have also discussed a possible mission, which would likely involve not just ships but aircraft too, directly with their Italian, Spanish, French and German counterparts.

A senior German diplomat in Berlin said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was in close contact with his British and French counterparts, Hunt and Jean-Yves Le Drian, to “contribute to the security” of the Gulf including on maritime security.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is making headlines as well.  In an interview with CBS News, CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie claimed that U.S. forces may have actually shot down at least two Iranian drones last week…

The U.S. believes it may have brought down two Iranian drones last week, rather than just the one that has been reported, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told CBS News’ David Martin in an interview Tuesday aboard the USS Boxer, the ship that took action against the drones. Asked by Martin whether it was “only one drone,” McKenzie revealed that he believed the Boxer had engaged two drones “successfully” and perhaps even more.

“As always it was a complex tactical picture, we believe two drones. We believe two drones were successfully — there may have been more that we are not aware of — those are the two that we engaged successfully,” said McKenzie.

We should be very thankful that there is no more shooting for the moment, but that could change at any time.

And even if things stabilize in the short-term, the truth is that it is going to be exceedingly difficult to stop the countdown to war at this point.  The U.S. and Israel have both made it exceedingly clear that they will never allow the Iranians to develop their nuclear program past a certain level, and the Iranians have been racing to move their program forward ever since the U.S. left Obama’s nuclear agreement.

Unless there is some sort of crazy miracle and another nuclear agreement happens, it appears that war is on the horizon.

Also, I wanted to mention that we just witnessed a very alarming “incident” off the coast of South Korea on Tuesday…

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement claiming they had fired more than 300 warning shots at a Russian A-50 command and control military aircraft early Tuesday morning after it had twice violated the country’s airspace, the first such incident between the countries.

Moscow furiously denied Seoul’s account of the encounter, claiming that South Korean military jets had dangerously intercepted two of its bombers during a planned flight over neutral waters.

That is a huge number of “warning shots”, and it is yet another example of how tense things are all over the world at this point.

Without a doubt, we are living during a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and once World War 3 begins we will not be able to stop it.

So let us pray for peace, because the alternative is too horrible to even think about right now.

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

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