Was it a conspiracy or was it incompetence? Those appear to be the only two alternatives that we are left with after the horrific violence that we witnessed in Ferguson on Monday night. The first round of Ferguson rioting back in August took everyone by surprise, but this time authorities had more than three months to prepare. They had the ability to control precisely when the grand jury decision would be announced and how many cops and National Guard troops would be deployed on the streets. But despite all this, the violence in Ferguson on Monday night was even worse than we witnessed back in August. Either this was a case of almost unbelievable incompetence, or there was someone out there that actually wanted this to happen. If someone out there is actually trying to provoke more violence in Ferguson, then the rioters are being played like a fiddle. Most of them have no idea that they could potentially just be pawns in a game that is far larger than they ever imagined. The only other alternative to explain what we just saw is incompetence on a level that is absolutely laughable. Something definitely does not smell right about all of this, and let us hope that at some point the American people get the truth. The following are 10 “coincidences” from Monday night in Ferguson that are too glaring to ignore…
#1 Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities had more than three months to prepare for the violence that would follow the announcement of the grand jury decision. The mainstream media endlessly hyped this controversy and everyone knew that trouble would be brewing. But despite an enormous amount of time to prepare, very little was actually done to prevent any violence from happening.
#2 Someone made the decision to make the public announcement about the grand jury decision in the evening. Anyone involved in law enforcement knows that crowd control is far more difficult after dark. This also ensured that instead of being tied up with work or school, a maximum number of protesters would be able to be involved in the violence.
#3 Fortunately for the mainstream media, the announcement of the grand jury decision was perfectly timed to provide the largest possible number of prime time viewers for the big news networks.
#4 Just like back in August, no law enforcement authorities of any kind responded while dozens of businesses were vandalized, looted and set of fire.
#5 According to Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, National Guard troops were purposely held back from intervening in the rioting that was unleashed when the grand jury decision was made known to the public…
In a press conference, he called the delay “deeply concerning” and said the Guard troops were available but were not deployed when city officials asked.
The troops had been readied last week by Gov. Jay Nixon as the grand jury announcement neared. But as gunshots rang out in the night and looters torched buildings, they were nowhere to be seen.
#6 It is being reported that the heavily armed National Guard troops were limited to “keeping the peace at a courthouse, patrolling the outskirts of town and preventing disturbances in other suburbs” as horrific violence raged in the heart of Ferguson on Monday night.
#7 Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has accused Missouri Governor Jay Nixon of holding back the National Guard troops because of pressure from the Obama administration. On Monday night, he angrily made the following statement to Fox News…
“Is the reason that the National Guard was not in there because the Obama Administration and the Holder Justice Department leaned on you to keep them out? I cannot imagine any other reason why the governor who mobilized the National Guard would not have them in there to stop this.”
#8 The Washington Post has documented that Attorney General Eric Holder had been in direct contact with Governor Nixon and had expressed “frustration” with the fact that the National Guard had been activated…
A top aide to Holder called the governor’s office earlier this week to express Holder’s displeasure and “frustration,” according to a Justice Department official.
“Instead of de-escalating the situation, the governor escalated it,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject. “He sent the wrong message. The tone of the press conference was counterproductive.”
#9 Firefighters in Ferguson did not immediately respond to calls to put out the multiple fires that were set by protesters. As a result, many businesses essentially burned to the ground. But this did make for some amazing television footage.
#10 In the worst of the “war zones”, journalists with cameras and microphones were crawling all over the place while there were hardly any police to be seen at all. How is it possible that law enforcement could have failed so badly? Could it be possible that this was orchestrated on purpose?
Sadly, as I have written about previously, the civil unrest that we are witnessing in Ferguson is just a small preview of what is coming to America.
The anger and frustration that are seething under the surface in this country have reached a boiling point. Instead of coming together, we are seemingly more divided than ever. Americans have been trained to hate one another, fear one another and blame one another. I fear that we are not too far away from actually becoming ungovernable.
And when the next major wave of the economic crisis strikes and we start experiencing real suffering in this nation, the temper tantrums that we are going to witness in our major cities are going to make what is happening in Ferguson right now look like a Sunday picnic.
So buckle up and hold on, because it is going to be a really bumpy ride from here on out.
Ferguson is not the end – it is just the beginning of a horrible new chapter in American history.
Rioting, looting, burning down stores and shooting police officers – is this about to become the “new normal” in America? What we just witnessed happen in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri is a prime example of how quickly the streets of America can descend into chaos. There is so much anger and frustration in this country, especially among our young people, that all it takes is a “trigger event” to spark a wildfire. In this case, it was the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a police officer. According to the police, 18-year-old Michael Brown got into a physical altercation with an officer and was subsequently shot. Word spread quickly throughout the community, and protests were rapidly organized. But the protests didn’t stay peaceful. People started chanting “kill the police” and throwing rocks and bottles. Store windows were smashed, the looting began, and people went absolutely crazy. And it wasn’t just a few people that were doing the looting. Huge mobs of people looted stores all over Ferguson. At one point an ATM was even dragged out of a QuikTrip gas station and a while after that the store was set on fire. But this is what happens when things descend into chaos. The owners of those stores didn’t have anything to do with the shooting of Michael Brown, but the violence got directed at them anyway. And someday when we see similar scenes erupt in major cities all over the nation, it won’t matter what your political beliefs are. You just better not be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Ferguson is a little town just outside of St. Louis with a population of about 21,000 people. You wouldn’t think that it would be possible to see such massive rioting in such a small community. But that is precisely what happened. On Monday, millions of Americans were absolutely mesmerized by the images coming out of Ferguson. The following is how one news source described what happened…
Brian Schellman, with the St. Louis County Police Department, said close to 300 police officers from at least 15 different departments were called to Ferguson when angry mobs began smashing windows, setting fires and looting businesses in the area.
Schellman said a St. Louis County officer injured his knee while at a Foot Locker store during the rioting. He said another officer was injured when he had a brick thrown at him.
Throughout the evening, numerous cop cars sustained damage and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said someone in a yellow pickup truck fired shots at officers while circling a WalMart parking lot. Chief Jackson said he got into a cop car to give chase to the truck but the truck got away.
Police said shots were also fired at a police helicopter in the area.
But words do not really accurately convey the level of craziness that was unleashed. I would encourage you to watch some of the videos on YouTube of the rioting and looting that were going on in Ferguson. The video posted below is just one example…
Sadly, this violence might continue for a while.
Just check out what one very angry 30-year-old man told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch…
DeAndre Smith, 30, of Ferguson was happy to justify the looting when a reporter asked him about it Monday morning.
“This is exactly what is supposed to be happening when an injustice is happening in your community,” he said, adding: “You have kids getting killed for nothing.”
Smith, who moved to St. Louis from New York in December, said there could be more to come.
“I don’t think it’s over honestly,” he said. “I just think they got a taste of what fighting back means.”
Of course this is not the first time that we have seen this kind of thing happen. Earlier this year, all it took was a snow storm for people in Atlanta to start behaving like crazed lunatics. And late last year we saw rioting and looting all over the nation when a technical glitch caused the EBT system to go down for a short while.
Even though the economy has somewhat stabilized (at least for the moment), levels of anger and frustration have continued to grow in this country. We have been taught to hate one another and to blame one another for our problems, and so now the U.S. is more divided than at any other point in recent memory. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On Solutions“.
We live at a time when things are so tense that even a small spark can light an absolutely huge fire. America has become a tinderbox. Next time it might not be a racially-charged shooting. Next time it might be an Ebola outbreak that sparks looting and panic. Or it might be some sort of financial collapse. We just don’t know.
But what we do know is that there are lots and lots of people that are willing to riot and loot and commit unspeakable crimes given the right circumstances.
Decades of social decay have gotten us to the point where the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted every single day is wearing dangerously thin.
The truth is that it is not going to take much to push this nation over the edge.
If this kind of rioting can take place in a community with just over 20,000 people, what would a full-blown riot look like in a city with millions of people?
That is a very sobering thing to think about.
Once upon a time in America, you could leave your doors unlocked at night and you could let your kids play in the streets without ever having to worry.
But now we are a sick, decaying nation that has millions of people ready to riot and loot at the drop of a hat.
Is there any hope for us?
If an ice storm can cause this much panic in our major cities, what will a real crisis look like? The biggest news story in the United States right now is the “historic ice storm” that is hammering the South. Travel will be a nightmare, schools and businesses will be closed, and hundreds of thousands of people will lose power. In fact, it is being projected that some people could be without power for up to a week. But at the end of the day, the truth is that this ice storm is just an inconvenience. Yes, the lives of millions of Americans will be disrupted for a few days, but soon the ice will melt and life will be back to normal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for people to start behaving like crazed lunatics. As you will see below, the winter weather is causing average Americans to ransack grocery stores, fight over food items and even pull guns on one another. If this is how people will behave during a temporary weather emergency, how will they behave when we are facing a real disaster?
This is a perfect example that shows why it is wise to always have emergency food supplies on hand. According to CNN, all that is left on the shelves of some grocery stores in Atlanta is “corn and asparagus”…
As the skies turned heavy, Atlantans cleaned stores out of loaves of bread, gallons of milk, bundles of firewood and cans of beans and beer. In some stores, all that was left were the apparently less-popular corn and asparagus.
And according to an Infowars report, some people down in Atlanta were actually getting into fights over basic essentials such as milk and bread…
Atlanta residents ransacked neighborhood grocery stores in frantic preparation for their second major snowstorm of the year, waging fights over food items and leaving destruction and empty shelves in their wake, a stunning precursor to what will ensue once a major crisis impacts the U.S.
After three inches of snow shut the city down two weeks ago, causing major havoc and leaving miles of cars stranded on immobile roadways, the residents of Atlanta took heed and shopped early.
According to people who Tweeted photos of barren store shelves, residents went crazy over essentials like milk, bread, water and eggs, and in some cases “people were fighting. Yes fighting,” alleges one user.
The photo that I have shared below was posted to Twitter by Kris Muir. It shows what the bread aisle at a Kroger in the Atlanta area looked like as the storm approached…
So what would happen if this was an extended crisis and you had not stored up any emergency supplies for your own family?
That is something to think about.
And just like during the last major winter storm in the South, there are reports of hundreds of vehicles being abandoned on the side of the road in major cities. For example, just check out what has been happening in Raleigh, North Carolina…
“I live and work in downtown. I was able to get from my office back home. My wife works in Morrisville, about 25 minutes away. She left the office at 12 p.m. and is still on the road. I am coaching her home with Google Maps. It appears that, from WRAL TV, the ramp from Wade Avenue to 440 is blocked by abandoned cars. That is a HUGE ramp (downtown Raleigh to highway).”
We are also seeing quite a few reports of “snow rage” as this cold, snowy winter drags on. In fact, on Sunday someone actually pulled out a shotgun and threatened to shoot a snow plow driver on Long Island…
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday, people have found themselves fed up with the hassle of plowing, shoveling and salting. In fact, they have been pushed to the edge, to the point where they have been taking out their frustrations on plow drivers.
Eric Ramirez, a snow plow driver on Long Island, said an irate man went so far as to rack a shotgun Sunday and threaten to shoot him because he was piling snow in front of the man’s Manorhaven home.
And a similar incident involving a pistol was recently reported in Union Township…
The incident happened Monday afternoon along Underwood Street in Union Township.
Police say Eckert became angry when the self-employed driver, John Abraham, accidentally pushed some snow into his yard while cleaning a neighbor’s driveway.
“I went like this to put it in park and there was a gun right here in my face,” Abraham said.
Eckert is then accused of taking a .22-calibur pistol out of his coat, and pressing it against Abraham’s cheek, telling him to remove the snow.
As I write about so frequently, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is starting to disappear. A whole host of surveys and opinion polls have shown that Americans are angrier and more frustrated than ever. Our society has become a ticking time bomb, and it isn’t going to take much for it to explode.
When it does explode, most people are going to be depending on the government or someone else to take care of them. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo…
Despite warnings from FEMA, as well as the prevalence of popular preparedness TV shows, Americans still don’t seem to understand how susceptible we are to a complete destabilization of life as we know it. It boggles the mind that most people seem to think that when disasters strikes they’ll be able to depend on someone else to provide them with assistance.
Fortunately, at least a few people seem to be learning some lessons about the importance of being prepared from these winter storms…
“Last time I was totally unprepared, I was completely blindsided,” said Lisa Nadir, of Acworth, who sat in traffic for 13 hours and then spent the night in her car when the storm hit Jan. 28. “I’m going to be prepared from now on for the rest of my life.”
What about you?
Are you prepared?
We live at a time when our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and it doesn’t take much to imagine a bunch of scenarios in which this nation would be facing a major crisis for an extended period of time…
-A major eruption of Mt. Rainier or the Yellowstone supervolcano
-The “Big One” hits California
-A massive earthquake along the New Madrid fault line
-A highly infectious pandemic that kills tens of millions of Americans
-Hackers bring down the Internet or crash the banking system
-A massive tsunami hits either the east coast or the west coast destroying numerous major cities
-A major war erupts in the Middle East and the United States gets involved
-A crisis involving North Korea sparks a major war in Asia
-A terror attack that specifically targets our power grid
-A terror attack involving a weapon of mass destruction in one of our major cities
-A terror attack or a major natural disaster causes one or more nuclear facilities in the heart of the United States to experience a “Fukushima-like crisis”
-A massive EMP blast that fries our electrical grid and our communications systems
-Last but certainly not least, a massive economic collapse that fundamentally changes life in America on a permanent basis
So what do you think?
Are there additional scenarios that you would add to the list above?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
In America today, there are close to 50 million people living in poverty and there are more than 100 million people that get money from the federal government every month. As the middle class disintegrates, poverty is climbing to unprecedented levels. Even though the stock market has been setting record high after record high, the amount of anger and frustration boiling just under the surface in our nation grows with each passing day. And now extended unemployment benefits have been cut off for 1.3 million unemployed Americans, and it is being projected that a total of 5 million unemployed Americans will lose their benefits by the end of 2014. In addition, as I have written about previously, 47 million Americans recently had their food stamp benefits reduced. The conditions for a “perfect storm” are certainly being created. So how much longer will it be until we see all of this anger and frustration boil over in the streets of our major cities? Is America about to reach a breaking point?
If you think that the title of this article is “alarmist”, you probably have not been paying attention to what has been happening over the past few weeks. For example, a 600 person brawl broke out at at movie theater in Jacksonville, Florida just the other day…
Five teenagers were arrested when a 600-person brawl broke out in a Florida movie theater’s parking lot on Christmas night.
Described by police as a “melee,” the fight occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday outside the Hollywood River City 14 movie theater in Jacksonville when a group tried to storm the theater’s doors without purchasing tickets, police said. Several had rushed an off-duty police officer working as a security guard.
The officer “administered pepper spray to disperse the group, locked the doors and called for backup, following protocol,” said Lauri-Ellen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Soon after the pepper spray was used, “upward of 600 people moving throughout a parking lot about the size of a football field began fighting, disrupting and jumping on cars,” she said.
And a “flash mob” of “400 crazed teens” was so violent that it forced a mall in Brooklyn to shut down just a few days ago…
A wild flash mob stormed and trashed a Brooklyn mall, causing so much chaos that the shopping center was forced to close during post-Christmas sales, sources said Friday.
More than 400 crazed teens — who mistakenly thought the rapper Fabolous would perform — erupted into brawls all over Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Mill Basin on Thursday at 5 p.m., sources said.
The troublemakers looted and ransacked several stores as panicked shoppers ran for the exits and clerks scrambled to pull down metal gates.
In addition, the release of new Air Jordan sneakers caused mini-riots and brawls to break out all over the country just before Christmas.
So why is all of this happening?
Of course people will come up with all sorts of theories to explain these outbreaks of violence, but what pretty much everyone should be able to agree on is that we are seeing levels of anger and frustration rise to very dangerous levels in this country.
Right now, there are approximately 6 million Americans in the 16 to 24-year-old age group that are not in school and that are not working either. What that means is that we have an alarmingly high number of very frustrated young people that do not have anything better to do than to cause trouble.
In some of our largest cities this has become a massive problem. In fact, quite a few major U.S. cities actually have more than 100,000 “idle youth” living in them…
Just look at some of the nation’s largest cities. Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Riverside, Calif., all have more than 100,000 idle youth, the Opportunity Nation report found.
But the Obama administration says that this should not be a problem. In fact, the Obama administration tells us that the unemployment rate has been steadily “declining” and that there are plenty of opportunities for everyone.
Of course that is a giant lie. Just before the last recession, about 63 percent of all working age Americans had a job. During the recession that number fell below 59 percent and it has stayed there ever since…
So the notion that we are experiencing an “employment recovery” is absolutely laughable.
But most of our politicians appear to believe this lie, and it is being used as justification to cut off extended unemployment benefits.
And the funny thing is that by cutting off these benefits, it is going to make it appear as though unemployment has gone down even more. Millions of unemployed workers that are being forced into the streets will now be counted as having “left the labor force”, and it is being projected that the unemployment rate could decline by as much as half a percentage point as a result.
What a joke.
A lot of the people that are having their benefits cut off are really hurting. For instance, consider the case of 63-year-old paralegal Laura Walker…
“Not all of us have savings and a lot of us have to take care of family because of what happened in the economy,” said Walker, of Santa Clarita, who said she has applied for at least three jobs a week and shares an apartment with her unemployed son, his wife and two children. “It’s going to put my family and me out on the streets.”
So what is she going to do?
Well, at this point she appears to be down to just one option…
“I just don’t know what to do, except pray.”
And of course the unemployed are not the only ones that have had their benefits cut. As I mentioned above, all 47 million Americans that are currently on food stamps recently had their benefits reduced. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo…
Earlier this year government benefits for nutritional assistance were reduced after the expiration of emergency legislation that was enacted following the 2008 financial collapse. Nearly all of the 48 million people receiving food stamp distributions were affected. The move led to warnings from food pantries and recipients around the country who said that the $40 billion in cuts would leave many American families without the ability to put food on dinner tables across America. According to Feed America, the roughly $29 per family that would no longer appear on their EBT cards will amount to about 1.5 billion meals in 2014.
The fact that government dependence has soared to all-time highs even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery” is just another sign that the middle class is dying. For years, middle class families have tried strategy after strategy in an attempt to survive, but now it has become apparent that the middle class is rapidly approaching a breaking point…
Rising income inequality is starting to hit home for many American households as they run short of places to reach for a few extra bucks.
As the gap between the rich and poor widened over the last three decades, families at the bottom found ways to deal with the squeeze on earnings. Housewives joined the workforce. Husbands took second jobs and labored longer hours. Homeowners tapped into the rising value of their properties to borrow money to spend.
Those strategies finally may have run their course as women’s participation in the labor force has peaked and the bursting of the house-price bubble has left many Americans underwater on their mortgages.
And even though the Obama administration and the mainstream media have tried to convince us over and over that the economy is “getting better”, most Americans are not buying it. In fact, according to a new CNN poll, 70 percent of all Americans believe that “the economy is generally in poor shape”.
As the economy continues to decline, not all Americans will respond to their desperate situations by getting violent. Many suffer quietly, hoping that things will eventually turn around for them. Unfortunately, the ranks of the suffering grow with each passing year. For example, a recent CNN article discussed the continued growth of “tent cities” all over America…
The total number of homeless people residing in tents and makeshift homes is unknown. Many of these communities are small and hidden from public view, while others claim hundreds of residents and are sprinkled through major urban areas.
Some, like those tucked under roadways, are temporary and relocate frequently. Their conditions are vile, unsanitary and fail to provide refuge from storms and winds. Then there are communities, such as Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon, that have a more sustained presence. The 13-year-old “ecovillage” set up by homeless people is hygienic and self-sufficient.
Preliminary findings by The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty show that tent cities have been documented in almost every state, and they’re growing.
So how do we solve these problems?
Are there any solutions that could get us out of this mess?
Of course there are. But don’t hold your breath waiting for any of them to be adopted. In fact, the American people continue to express great support for the very people that got us into this mess in the first place. For example, according to a Gallup survey that was just released, Barack Obama is the most admired man in America by a very wide margin and Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in America by a very wide margin.
And the mainstream media will continue to tell all of us that “leaders” like Obama, Clinton, Reid, Boehner, McConnell and Pelosi can be trusted to get us out of this mess.
If you believe that, there is a bridge that I would like to sell you.
The American people need to stop having blind faith in the relentless propaganda that is being spewed at them through their televisions screens. The pretty faces that you see “reporting the news” do not care about you and they are not watching out for your best interests. The corporate-controlled news is highly scripted and it is pretty much the same whatever channel you turn to. If you have any doubt that “the news” is scripted, just check out this video…
Desperate people do desperate things, and it appears that Americans are rapidly becoming a lot more desperate. An epidemic of thievery is sweeping across America, and authorities are not quite sure what to make of it. Down in Texas, cattle thieves can get up to $1,500 per head of cattle, and cattle rustling was up nearly 40 percent last year. As you will read about below, cargo hijacking is becoming much more sophisticated, and it is being estimated that losses from cargo thefts will total about $216 million this year alone. And for some reason, Tide laundry detergent has become a very hot commodity among common criminals all across America. In fact, it is being reported that some grocery stores are “losing $10,000 to $15,000 a month” as a result of Tide thefts. So why is all of this happening? Well, as I have written about previously, crime is on the rise in the United States, and poverty is absolutely exploding. In fact, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month. Over the past five years, we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of people that cannot take care of themselves without help from the government. Millions upon millions of Americans that have been forced into poverty are becoming increasingly angry, frustrated and desperate. And what we are watching right now is only just the beginning – all of this is going to get a whole lot worse.
When people think of the “social decay” that is happening to America, most of the time Texas and Oklahoma would not be the first places that come to mind. But according to NPR, there was nearly a 40 percent rise in the theft of cows and horses down in that area of the country last year…
Ranchers saw a sharp jump in cattle rustling last year in Texas and Oklahoma. Over 10,000 cows and horses were reported missing or stolen. That’s an almost 40 percent increase from the year before. It’s a trend that’s surprised some in law enforcement.
And this is happening even though the penalties for cattle rustling have gotten much stronger…
Penalties against rustlers were toughened by Texas lawmakers in 2009. Now, the crime could put you in prison for up to 10 years. But ironically more and more cattle have gone missing or stolen since that law was passed.
Another trend that is baffling law enforcement authorities is the huge wave of cargo hijackings that they have been seeing. According to a recent CBS News article, cargo thefts are becoming a lot more elaborate these days…
To steal huge shipments of valuable cargo, thieves are turning to a deceptively simple tactic: They pose as truckers, load the freight onto their own tractor-trailers and drive away with it.
It’s an increasingly common form of commercial identity theft that has allowed con men to make off each year with millions of dollars in merchandise, often food and beverages. And experts say the practice is growing so rapidly that it will soon become the most common way to steal freight.
You may not think that stealing truckloads of walnuts or cheese is a big deal, but the truth is that the dollar values of some of these thefts are absolutely staggering…
News reports from across the country recount just a few of the thefts: 80,000 pounds of walnuts worth $300,000 in California, $200,000 of Muenster cheese in Wisconsin, rib-eye steaks valued at $82,000 in Texas, $25,000 pounds of king crab worth $400,000 in California.
And this is not just happening in a few isolated locations. We are literally seeing an epidemic of cargo theft that stretches from coast to coast…
Although cargo thieves prey on companies across the nation, the hot spots are places with shipping ports or rail hubs. California leads the nation. Large numbers of thefts have also been reported in Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Perhaps most fascinating of all is the wave of Tide thefts that is sweeping the nation. The following is an excerpt from a New York Magazine article from earlier this year…
The call that came in from a local Safeway one day in March 2011 was unlike any the Organized Retail Crime Unit of the Prince George’s County Police Department had fielded before. The grocery store, located in suburban Bowie, Maryland, had been robbed repeatedly. But in every incident the only products taken were bottles—many, many bottles—of the liquid laundry detergent Tide. “They were losing $10,000 to $15,000 a month, with people just taking it off the shelves,” recalls Sergeant Aubrey Thompson, who heads the team. When Thompson and his officers arrived to investigate, they stumbled onto another apparent Tide theft in progress and busted two men who’d piled 100 or so of the bright-orange jugs into their Honda. The next day, Thompson returned to the store’s parking lot to tape a television interview about the crimes. A different robber took advantage of the distraction to make off with twenty more bottles.
So why are criminals so interested in Tide detergent?
Well, apparently it is heavily used as currency in the drug trade…
Southern California authorities say it’s a dirty business and a bizarre trend – drug users trading Tide detergent for crack.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise says it’s a nationwide problem – people are stealing the popular but expensive detergent and trading it for marijuana and crack cocaine.
San Bernardino police Sgt. Travis Walker says detectives raiding dope houses in recent years were puzzled when they found lots of Tide. Turns out it wasn’t being used to make drugs but to buy them.
We live at a time when an increasing number of Americans will do just about anything for money.
Down in Florida, one mother was so desperate for money that she was actually prostituting her three teenage daughters. Two of them were under the age of 18…
A St. Cloud mother was picked up Thursday on charges of serving as her three teenage daughters’ madam in a West U.S. Highway 192 prostitution ring, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
At 2:30 p.m., Paula Howard flagged down an undercover detective acting as a “John” in front of a bus stop and arranged for him to have sex with one of her girls, ages 16, 17, and 18, an arrest record states.
The daughter agreed to perform the act for $20 and hopped into the car, telling the detective, “Oh yea. That’s my family, but don’t even worry about it. They know what I do,” the report states.
But haven’t you heard?
Everything is just fine in America. Barack Obama and the mainstream media keep telling us that over and over, so it must be true.
I think that we got a glimpse into the true condition of America last month when a “technical glitch” caused the system that processes food stamp card payments to malfunction for a couple of hours. A Time Magazine article described what happened at one Wal-Mart in Louisiana…
Customers cleared shelves and police were called in to control crowds taking advantage of suddenly unlimited spending allowed on their Electronic Benefits Transfer cards, which are issued to recipients of government food stamps. Spending limits on the cards were reportedly disabled for about two hours.
When a store in Springhill, La., announced over the loudspeaker that the glitch was fixed, shoppers simply abandoned loaded carts, according to Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd.
And similar “mini-riots” happened in a bunch of other locations as well.
For example, customers at one Wal-Mart in Mississippi just started taking groceries out of the store that they hadn’t paid for when their food stamp cards were not accepted…
Customers staged a disturbance then walked out of a Mississippi Walmart store with groceries that hadn’t been paid for Saturday night after a computer glitch left them unable to use their food stamp cards.
People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a temporary system failure.
Shortly after the mini-riot, managers decided to temporarily close the store, citing customer safety.
Keep in mind that all of this was caused by a “technical glitch” that only lasted for a few hours.
What would happen if there was a problem that lasted for much longer?
That is a sobering thing to think about.
And as I wrote about recently, all 47 million Americans on food stamps just had their benefits reduced on November 1st. This is causing food banks all across the country to brace for a huge influx of needy people…
Food banks across the country, stretched thin in the aftermath of the recession, are bracing for more people coming through their doors in the wake of cuts to the federal food stamp program.
Food stamp benefits to 47 million Americans were cut starting Friday as a temporary boost to the federal program comes to an end without new funding from a deadlocked Congress.
Under the program, known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, a family of four that gets $668 per month in benefits will find that amount cut by $36.
In fact, the president of the Food Bank for New York City says that members of her organization “are panicking”…
As president of the Food Bank for New York City, Margaret Purvis expects those cuts will draw even more people to organizations that already provide 400,000 meals a day to hungry city folks.
“Our members are panicking,” she said as time wound down before the benefit decreases go into effect. “We’re telling everyone to make sure that you are prepared for longer lines.”
Purvis also told Salon.com that “when people cannot afford to eat food” it has the potential to start “riots”…
“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, told Salon Monday. Purvis said that the looming cut would mean about 76 million meals “that will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families” in NYC alone – a figure that outstrips the total number of meals distributed each year by the Food Bank for New York City, the largest food bank in the country. “There will be an immediate impact,” she said.
So will we see riots as a result of these food stamp cuts?
No, I do not believe that we will see riots yet.
But the volcano of anger, frustration and desperation that is simmering just below the surface of this country continues to get hotter.
Someday it will explode.
What will you do when that happens?