Why would the government want to punish people that are just trying to work hard, become more self-sufficient and take care of their families? There are approximately 3 million preppers in the United States today, and often they appear to be singled out for punishment by bureaucratic control freaks that are horrified at the thought that there are families out there that actually want to try to become less dependent on the system. So if you use alternative methods to heat your home, or if you are not connected to the utility grid, or if you collect rainwater on your property, or if you believe that parents should have the ultimate say when it comes to health decisions for their children, you could become a target for overzealous government enforcers. Once upon a time, America was the land of the free and the home of the brave, but now we are being transformed into a socialist police state where control freak bureaucrats use millions of laws, rules and regulations to crack down on anyone that dares to think for themselves.
For example, people have been burning wood to heat their homes since this country began. And this is still very common in rural areas. But the Obama administration does not like this at all. The Obama bureaucrats at the EPA fear that our little wood stoves may be contributing to “global warming”, so they have outlawed the production and sale of 80 percent of the wood stoves that are currently in use. The following comes from a recent Forbes article…
It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore. The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.
While EPA’s most recent regulations aren’t altogether new, their impacts will nonetheless be severe. Whereas restrictions had previously banned wood-burning stoves that didn’t limit fine airborne particulate emissions to 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the change will impose a maximum 12 microgram limit. To put this amount in context, EPA estimates that secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.
Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.
Does that make you angry?
There are other preppers that try to use very “clean” methods to power their homes, but that is still not good enough for some government control freaks.
For example, one prepper down in south Florida that had gone “off the grid” was recently ordered by a court to connect back to the grid or face eviction from his home. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Guiles Hendrik…
Think you are still free to make choices in your life? Do you think the government will allow you to live independent of their utility monopolies? If you think so, try opting for renewable non-grid tied power and utilize environmentally friendly composting toilets and your own self-sufficient water supply. Today, those life choices could land you in jail if you live in South Florida. Take the case of Robin Speronis.
Robin Speronis has lived off the grid, independent of the city’s water and electric system. A Florida court ruled this off-the-grid living illegal last week and has given Robin until March to connect her home to a municipal water line or face possible eviction. Further, officials in the city of Cape Coral have justified this by deeming Robin’s home “unsanitary,” citing the International Property Maintenance Code. First of all, since when did we begin to locally recognize “international codes?” Where in the US Constitution does it provide for international jurisdiction over local codes? Ironically, this “international” code mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source, even though most of the world lives without reliable electricity and municipal water and sewer. Further, the code is outdated and obsolete because it was written without consideration to both old and new technologies that relegate the need for grid tied power and municipal water as unnecessary and expensive; especially, in locations where it simply isn’t feasible to have grid tied utilities. Nonetheless, Speronis’ home does in fact have power and water through far cheaper and more environmentally friendly means — solar panels and rainwater, but that reality is ignored by the local government.
Incredibly, most Americans still seem to believe that we live in a “free country”. But we don’t. Our lives are very tightly constrained by literally millions of laws, rules and regulations, and more are being added every single day.
Even some of our most basic fundamental rights have been seriously eroded. One of these is the right to make basic health decisions for our own children. In New York state, children that have not received all of the designated vaccines can now be banned from attending public school, and this requirement was recently upheld by a federal appeals court…
New York state’s requirement that children be vaccinated before attending public school does not violate their constitutional rights, a federal appeals court in Manhattan said on Wednesday.
In affirming the requirement’s constitutionality, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld a previous ruling by a federal judge that students exempted from the requirement for religious reasons can be barred from school when another child has a disease preventable by a vaccine.
The decision was the latest to go against three parents from New York City who say their religious rights were violated when their children were kept out of school as a result of the immunization policies. The parents’ lawyer, Patricia Finn, said her clients planned to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
So what are we free to do without government interference these days?
In fact, in some states we can’t even sit on our own land and collect the rain as it falls from the sky for our own personal use.
If you do this in the state of Oregon, for example, you could go to prison…
Gary Harrington, the Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his rural property surrendered Wednesday morning to begin serving his 30-day, jail sentence in Medford, Ore.
“I’m sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty,” Harrington told a small crowd of people gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail.
Several people held signs that showed support for Harrington as he was taken inside the jail.
And of course these are just a few examples. Almost every single day there are more stories in the news about government bureaucrats cracking down on preppers. They almost seem to relish the opportunity to go after the “non-conformists”.
But the good news is that the number of Americans that are seeking to become less dependent on the system just continues to grow.
So what about you?
Are you a prepper?
My friend Daisy Luther recently wrote a piece entitled “45 MORE Signs That You Might Be One of Those Crazy Preppers“. The following are some of the most interesting “signs” from her list…
*You spend your days off digging an underground bunker in your backyard.
*Your family doesn’t dare take something from the food stockpile without marking it off the list.
*Your kids know how to don a gas mask in 30 seconds.
*Everyone in your survival group carries the same firearm so that ammo is standardized.
*Your family is no longer surprised when you announce, “Hey, we’re going to learn how to make (insert anything here)!”
*You have long since accepted the idea that if you’re not on someone’s list, you’re probably not doing it right.
*You don’t just rotate food, you rotate ammo.
*Moving to a new house is no longer “moving”, but “strategic relocation”.
*Your kids think it’s a fun game to see who can find the most potential weapons in a room.
*Your EDC includes a knife, firearm w/extra mag, flashlight, mylar blanket, Chapstick, and an ounce of silver — and that’s just for when you’re walking the dog.
*One criterion for your new winter coat is that it fits over your body armor.
You can read her entire article right here.
America was built by people that loved their families, worked hard and were self-sufficient.
Now our government is specifically targeting those kinds of people.
What in the world is happening to us?
Did you know that 65 percent of all children in the United States live in a home that receives aid from the federal government? We live at a time when child poverty in America is exploding. Yes, the U.S. economy is experiencing a temporary bubble of false stability for the moment, but even during this period of false stability the gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to rapidly expand and the middle class is being systematically destroyed. And sadly, this is having a disproportionate impact on children. This is happening for a couple of reasons. First of all, poorer households tend to have more children than wealthier households. Secondly, most people tend to have children when they are in their young adult years, and right now young adults are being absolutely hammered by this economy. As a result, things just continue to get even worse for children living in this country. Here are 14 facts that show that the number of children in America living in poverty this Christmas is at an all-time record high…
#1 The National Center for Children in Poverty says that 45 percent of all U.S. children belong to low income families.
#2 According to a Census Bureau report that was released just this week, 65 percent of all children in America are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government…
“Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children,” said the Census Bureau, “lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program.”
#3 According to a report recently released by UNICEF, almost one-third of all children in this country “live in households with an income below 60 percent of the national median income”.
#4 When it comes to child poverty, the United States ranks 36th out of the 41 “wealthy nations” that UNICEF looked at.
#5 An astounding 45 percent of all African-American children in America live in areas of “concentrated poverty”.
#6 40.9 percent of all children in the United States that are living with only one parent are living in poverty.
#7 These days, a lot of single mothers are really, really struggling to survive. A decade ago, the number of women in America that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in America on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of women in America on food stamps actually exceeds the total number of women that have jobs.
#8 It is hard to believe, but right now 49 million Americans are dealing with food insecurity.
#9 According to a report that was released last month by the National Center on Family Homelessness, the number of homeless children in the United States has reached a new all-time high of 2.5 million.
#10 There are more than half a million homeless children in the state of California alone.
#11 One recent survey found that about 22 percent of all Americans have had to turn to a church food panty for assistance.
#12 This year, almost one out of every five households in the United States will go through the holiday season on food stamps.
#13 One of the primary reasons why kids are suffering so much is because their parents are simply not making enough money. This is especially true for parents of young children. For example, check out the following numbers from the Atlantic…
Since the Great Recession struck in 2007, the median wage for people between the ages of 25 and 34, adjusted for inflation, has fallen in every major industry except for health care.
These numbers come from an analysis of the Census Current Population Survey by Konrad Mugglestone, an economist with Young Invincibles.
In retail, wholesale, leisure, and hospitality—which together employ more than one quarter of this age group—real wages have fallen more than 10 percent since 2007. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that most of this cohort are seeing their pay slashed, year after year. Instead it suggests that wage growth is failing to keep up with inflation, and that, as twentysomethings pass into their thirties, they are earning less than their older peers did before the recession.
#14 Overall, the quality of the jobs in America continues to decline. At this point, most Americans do not bring home enough income to support a middle class lifestyle for their families. Below I have shared an excerpt from an article that I published a while back…
The following are some statistics about wages in the U.S. from a Social Security Administration report that was recently released…
-39 percent of American workers made less than $20,000 last year.
-52 percent of American workers made less than $30,000 last year.
-63 percent of American workers made less than $40,000 last year.
-72 percent of American workers made less than $50,000 last year.
In addition to all of these numbers, there is also a lot of anecdotal evidence that families with children are really struggling right now.
For example, McDonald’s has traditionally been a place where poor and middle class families have taken their children for a cheap meal. But the restaurant chain just released the worst sales numbers that we have seen in more than a decade.
And the really bad news is that this is just the beginning of the economic pain for families with children. The U.S. economy is in a bubble period right now, and the authorities have been trying with all of their might to keep the bubble inflated.
Just imagine a bodybuilder that is pressing with all of his might to do one more rep on the bench press. That is essentially where we are at. In a recent piece, Brian Pretti summarized some of the extraordinary measures that global central banks have taken to keep the economic bubble inflated…
Since early 2009, central banks globally have printed more than $13 trillion. In addition, governments across the planet have increased their borrowings at historic proportions (the US just crossed $18T – another new high!), all in an effort to stimulate economies and avoid deflationary pressures. Total US Federal debt has more than doubled in five years, an increase of $9.5 trillion and counting.
Despite all of these efforts, the best that we have achieved is economic stagnation.
And now it is becoming clear that the overwhelming deflationary forces around the globe are starting to win the battle. The central banks have used up their ammunition and they still have not turned things around. In fact, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard so eloquently put it recently, what we see all around us is “evidence of a 1930s-style depression, albeit one that is still contained”…
What is clear is that the world has become addicted to central bank stimulus. Bank of America said 56pc of global GDP is currently supported by zero interest rates, and so are 83pc of the free-floating equities on global bourses. Half of all government bonds in the world yield less that 1pc. Roughly 1.4bn people are experiencing negative rates in one form or another.
These are astonishing figures, evidence of a 1930s-style depression, albeit one that is still contained. Nobody knows what will happen as the Fed tries to break out of the stimulus trap, including Fed officials themselves.
But will it still be contained once the next major financial crash strikes?
As I discussed yesterday, there has never been a time when conditions have been more ideal for a financial crisis since the last one happened in 2008.
So as bad as things are for the children of America right now, they are only going to get worse.
In the years ahead may we all have great compassion for these victims of our incredibly foolish economic mistakes.
Did you know that the number of illegal immigrants that enter Texas each week is greater than the number of babies being born to citizens of that state? The mainstream media is shining the spotlight very brightly on all of the children that are coming over, and there is a reason for that. They are trying to tug on our heartstrings. But there is another part of the story that you aren’t hearing much about. By refusing to protect our borders, Barack Obama has allowed hundreds of thousands of gang members to illegally enter the United States and settle in our major cities. In many communities, gang activity is already wildly out of control, and someday our cities will burn because of the foolishness of the federal government.
The Obama administration knows that one out of every five illegal immigrants has a criminal record. And we are not just talking about illegal immigrants taking “upskirt photos” of women like just happened in Texas. We are also talking about rapists, murderers, drug dealers and hardcore gang members.
According to Texas state Senator Dan Patrick, illegal immigrants have been formally charged with nearly half a million crimes in his state over the past four years alone. And he also says that there are “at least 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members” living in his state right now…
Hours before Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he would send National Guard troops to the border, Texas state Senator Dan Patrick said there are at least 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members in the state.
On Monday’s The Laura Ingraham Show, Patrick, who is also the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, said from 2008 to 2012, 143,000 illegal immigrant criminals were arrested and jailed in Texas. He said these were “hardened criminals, gang members, and other criminals that we identified as being in Texas illegally.”
“We charged them with 447,000 crimes, a half-million crimes in four years, just in Texas, including over 5,000 rapes and 2,000 murders,” Patrick said. “We estimate we have 100,000 gang members here illegally.”
Why won’t Obama do anything to stop this madness?
There are at least 70,000 gang members living in Obama’s home city of Chicago. Other estimates put that number closer to 100,000. But everyone agrees that it is a number that is growing every day.
So it shouldn’t surprise any of us that at least 40 people were shot in Chicago over one recent July weekend.
I just fear for what Chicago will look like when things get really bad in this country. Many of our major cities are literally being transformed into tinderboxes that could erupt in flames at any time.
Overall, there are now approximately 1.4 million gang members living in the United States according to the FBI. But that number is actually a few years old now, so the true number is undoubtedly far higher at this point.
In addition, we know that illegal immigrants make up approximately 30 percent of the total population in our federal, state and local prisons.
And yet we refuse to stop more waves of illegal immigrants from coming in.
Are we willingly committing national suicide?
Just the other day, I noted that Honduras has the highest murder rate on the entire planet and that the Mexican drug war has claimed more than 120,000 lives since 2006.
That is what is coming here if we allow this insanity to continue.
Unfortunately, political correctness reigns in America today. Under current policies, our border agents are not even turning away minors with known gang affiliations that have gang tattoos all over them. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent National Review article…
Border Patrol officials struggling to keep up with the increasing number of minors illegally crossing the Mexican border are not turning away persons with known gang affiliations. Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley, explained that a Border Patrol agent he represents helped reunite a teenage gang member with his family in the United States. Cabrera notes the young member of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a transnational criminal gang, had no criminal record in the U.S., but asks, “If he’s a confirmed gang member in his own country, why are we letting him in here?”
“I’ve heard people come in and say, ‘You’re going to let me go, just like you let my mother go, just like you let my sister go. You’re going to let me go as well, and the government’s going to take care of us,’” Cabrera says. “Until we start mandatory detentions, mandatory removals, I don’t think anything is going to change. As a matter of fact, I think it’s going to get worse.”
Art Del Cueto, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 in Tucson, says agents who recognize the gang-affiliated tattoos of minors crossing the border must treat them the same as anybody else. He says these people are afforded the same rights provided to anyone crossing the border.
And according to the Border Patrol, some of these “processing centers” that we have seen pictures of lately are actually being used by the gangs to recruit more gang members…
According to Border Patrol sources, violent MS-13 gang members are using the Nogales processing center in Arizona as a recruitment hub and as a transfer point for gang members to get into the United States.
The Red Cross has set up phone banks inside the processing center so unaccompanied minors can make phone calls to family members inside the United States and back home in Central America. According to sources, those phones are also being used by MS-13 members to communicate with gang members already in the United States and operating in cities like Atlanta, New York and Chicago. Further, many teenaged males inside the facility have approached Border Patrol agents and have said gang members have tried to recruit them from shared cells. According to the FBI, MS-13 regularly targets middle and high school students for recruitment.
“The National Border Patrol Council believes there to be serious security issues at the Nogales Processing Center. Agents’ hands are tied due to the policies governing the care and lodging of juveniles and this has allowed gang recruitment and activity to flourish amongst those being detained,” vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Shawn Moran tells Townhall. “Customs and Border Protection needs to do more to ensure that gang members that are in custody at the NPC are identified, prosecuted, and prohibited from benefiting from this crisis.”
Barack Obama can see all of this happening and yet he refuses to secure our borders.
What in the world is he thinking?
Did you know that the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in just over 12 months? On September 30th, 2012 the U.S. national debt was sitting at $16,066,241,407,385.89. Today, it is up to $17,075,590,107,963.57. These numbers come directly from official U.S. government websites and can easily be verified. For a long time the national debt was stuck at just less than 16.7 trillion dollars because of the debt ceiling fight, but now that the debt ceiling crisis has been delayed for a few months the national debt is soaring once again. In fact, just one day after the deal in Congress was reached, the U.S. national debt rose by an astounding 328 billion dollars. In the blink of an eye we shattered the 17 trillion dollar mark with no end in sight. We are stealing about $100,000,000 from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day. This goes on 24 hours a day, month after month, year after year without any interruption.
Over the past five years, the U.S. government has been on the greatest debt binge in history. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t realize just how bad things have gotten because the true budget deficit numbers are not reported on the news. The following is where the U.S. national debt has been on September 30th during the five years previous to this one…
09/30/2009: $ 11,909,829,003,511.75
The U.S. national debt is now 37 times larger than it was 40 years ago, and we are on pace to accumulate more new debt under the 8 years of the Obama administration than we did under all of the other presidents in U.S. history combined.
Of course all of the blame can’t be placed at the feet of Obama. During the last two elections the American people have given the Republicans a solid majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the government cannot spent a single penny without their approval.
Unfortunately, House Speaker John Boehner and the Republicans that are allied with him have repeatedly turned their backs on the people that gave the Republicans the majority and they have authorized trillions of dollars of new debt which will be passed on to future generations of Americans…
Since John Boehner became speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 5, 2011, the debt of the federal government has increased by $3,064,063,380,067.72. That is more than the total federal debt accumulated in the first 200 years of the U.S. Congress–during the terms of the first 48 speakers of the House.
In fact, if all of that debt had been given directly to the American people, every household in America would have been able to buy a new truck…
The $26,722 in new debt per household accumulated under Speaker Boehner would have been more than enough to buy every household in the United States a minivan or pickup truck–or to pay three years of in-state tuition (not counting room and board) at the typical state college.
Sometimes we forget just how much money a trillion dollars is. In a previous article, I included some illustrations that I believe are helpful…
-If you were alive when Jesus Christ was born and you spent one million dollars every single day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.
-If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.
We are doing the exact same thing that Greece did, only on a much larger scale. What we are doing is not even close to sustainable, and it will inevitably end very, very badly. The following is what Michael Pento, the president of Pento Portfolio Strategies, told RT the other day…
“That $17 trillion everybody says its 107 percent of GDP, that’s true. But who really cares about the percentage of GDP? It’s the percentage of the debt as a percentage of the revenue – its 700 percent of our revenue. Deficits are growing at 30 percent of our revenue every year added to the deficits we have already. So it’s unsustainable. What is going to happen eventually – a currency and bond market collapse! And it’s not going out 20 years, as I also heard someone mention. In 2016 we’ll probably be spending 40 percent of all of our revenue just to service our debt. That is what the interest payments will equal.”
The U.S. debt situation is so bad that even the Prime Minister of Cyprus is scolding us…
“The U.S. has been fortunate in the sense that it’s like a bank, it prints the money that other people accept. So you can live beyond your means over an extended period of time without being punished by the market.”
Unfortunately, we will not be able to live way beyond our means forever. Reality is going to catch up with us at some point.
Right now, the rest of the world is lending us giant mountains of money at interest rates that are far below the real rate of inflation. This is extremely irrational behavior, and this state of affairs will probably not last too much longer.
But if interest rates go up, it will absolutely cripple the U.S. economy. For much more on this, please see this article.
And what would make things much, much worse is if the rest of the globe starts moving away from using the U.S. dollar. At the moment, the U.S. dollar is the de facto reserve currency of the planet and this creates a tremendous demand for U.S. dollars and U.S. debt.
If that changes, it will be absolutely catastrophic for the United States, and unfortunately there are already lots of signs that this is already starting to happen. I wrote about this in my recent article entitled “9 Signs That China Is Making A Move Against The U.S. Dollar“.
But don’t just take my word for it. Just a couple of days ago a major U.K. newspaper came to the same conclusions…
China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest oil importer and goods trading nation. Over the next five years, it will surpass the rest of the world combined in its consumption of base metals.
Given the scale of the country’s consumption of fossil fuels and raw materials, it is only a matter of time before the renminbi replaces the dollar as the primary currency for trading commodities and resources such as crude oil and iron ore.
The debt ceiling farce in Washington and China’s growing reluctance to continue underwriting the US economy by buying up its bonds and adding to America’s near $17 trillion (£10.5 trillion) debt mountain suggests that this tectonic shift in the global trade system could be just around the corner.
So what will happen when the rest of the world decides that they don’t need to use our dollars or buy our debt any longer?
At that point the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions will result in an avalanche of economic pain that the American people are not prepared for.
Earlier today, I came across a photograph that perfectly captures what America is heading for. The following photo of Mt. Rushmore crying has not been photoshopped. It was taken by Megan Ahrens and it was posted on the Tea Party Command Center. If George Washington was alive today, this is probably exactly how he would feel about the nation that he helped establish…
Could that headline actually be true? Do Americans waste about 40 percent of all the food that we produce? That sounds like an absolutely crazy number, but it is actually quite accurate according to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council. What the NRDC discovered is that approximately 40 percent of our total food supply is either thrown into dumpsters by grocery stores, is discarded by restaurants, never gets harvested on our farms, or is thrown into the garbage by consumers in their homes. Even though 47 million Americans are on food stamps and millions of children go to bed hungry in this country every single night, we continue to waste approximately 263 million pounds of food every single day of the year. One day people will look back and regard us as probably the most wasteful society in the history of the planet.
So where does all of that food go?
Well, according to a recent Seattle Times article, “food waste” takes up more space in our landfills than anything else does…
Last year, the NRDC found that Americans throw out as much as 40 percent of the country’s food supply each year, adding up to $165 billion in losses.
Food waste makes up the largest portion of solid trash in landfills, according to researchers.
Some $900 million of expired food is dumped from the supply chain annually, much of it a result of confusion. Misinterpreted date labels cause the average American household of four to lose as much as $455 a year on squandered food, according to researchers.
The expired food that gets wasted is one of my personal pet peeves.
I don’t do this a lot, but today I am going to share a personal story with you.
Earlier today I was out running errands and I decided that I wanted to pick up some mini-cupcakes from Safeway that I just love. I do try to eat a healthy diet, but I do also like a treat from time to time. So I got over to Safeway, and I noticed that the only mini-cupcakes that they had out were ones with chocolate frosting, but I wanted ones with vanilla frosting.
So I went up to the bakery counter and there was nobody there, but behind the counter I saw a stack of several containers of vanilla cupcakes. I waited until the bakery lady got back and I asked her if I could have them.
I was astounded when she very firmly told me that I could not buy them.
She said that it was against regulations.
I implored her to sell them to me. I explained that I had come over to Safeway just to buy them and I didn’t care if they were a little old.
Again she very firmly told me that I could not buy them.
I could not understand this. I knew that the cupcakes were just going to be thrown out, so I asked to speak to her manager.
After a few moments her manager came over and I was once again told very firmly that under no circumstances would I be able to buy the cupcakes.
So needless to say, I left the store with a sad look on my face and without any cupcakes.
Now of course I probably didn’t need the cupcakes anyway. They are not healthy for me. But big chains such as Safeway throw away massive amounts of very good food as well. The level of the waste that goes on is absolutely astounding.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans that are dealing with hunger and malnutrition grows with each passing day. I want to share with you an excerpt from a recent article authored by Jason Ford entitled “I Work On The Breadline“…
I work as a cashier at a nationally known discount store. I sell clothing, cleaning products, house wares and food. The people I sell to are people of all colors, races, ages and sex, but most of them have one thing in common; EBT cards. I would say about half of every transaction I do is paid for with an EBT card. Sometimes people will use three different methods of payment. They will use whatever is left on their EBT card, then use whatever is left on their debit card, and then scrape their purse to find the remaining balance, and sometimes they still don’t have enough.
Another common trait of the people I serve besides the poverty is the poor health. The food I sell is not healthy, by any stretch. I sell potato chips, candy bars, bread, canned food, ice cream, soda, packaged meat, cigarettes and alcohol. I noticed quickly that a common ingredient of most of the foods is sugar and grains. Sugar and grains are easy to grow and produce cheaply and are used as fillers in processed food to cut cost and mask the taste of other questionable ingredients. Grains work in conjunction with sugars to inflame the body and compromise the immune system. Grains and sugars also have no nutritional value besides calories, so on top of inflaming the body; they do not provide the sustenance the body needs to survive. As the functions of the body require these nutrients the diet lacks, the body sucks these minerals from the bones, teeth and brain. Bone loss, and tooth decay and decreased brain function are the unfortunate symptoms of malnutrition. The poorest of the customers I serve are also the sickest. I have witnessed toothless mouths in the young and old. Mental retardation is also a common trait among many of them. I have even witnessed one unfortunate woman whose skin was a pale green color. These people are dying a slow starvation and they don’t even know it.
Doesn’t that just break your heart?
People are living like that, and yet America discards 263 million pounds of food every single day.
Something is fundamentally wrong with the way our system works.
So what is society going to do as the number of hungry people continues to grow in this country and around the world?
Well, according to ABC News, some scientists plan to feed them with flour made out of bugs…
A team of MBA students were the recipients of the 2013 Hult Prize earlier this week, providing them with $1 million in seed money to produce an insect-based, protein-rich flour for feeding malnourished populations in other countries. The product is called Power Flour.
“It’s a huge deal because we had a very ambitious but highly executable five-year plan in place,” said team captain Mohammed Ashour, whose team hails from McGill University in Montreal. “So winning this prize is a great step in that direction.”
Ashour, along with teammates Shobhita Soor, Jesse Pearlstein, Zev Thompson and Gabe Mott, will be immediately working with an advisory board to recruit farmers and workers in Mexico, where a population of roughly 4 million live in slum conditions with widespread malnutrition.
“We will be starting with grasshoppers,” Ashour said.
Are you ready for a “protein-rich flour” made out of grasshoppers?
I know that I am not.
And in Japan, scientists have actually been working on a way to create meat out of poop. You can read more about that right here.
Perhaps if we just quit wasting so much food we would be able to feed everybody without resorting to such craziness.
These days, an increasing number of Americans are fighting back against the colossal waste that they see all around them. Some have even chosen to take advantage of the waste by regularly going “dumpster diving”. The following is how I described “dumpster diving” in one of my previous articles…
Have you ever thought about getting your food out of a trash can? Don’t laugh. Dumpster diving has become a hot new trend in America. In fact, dumpster divers even have a trendy new name. They call themselves “freegans”, and as the economy crumbles their numbers are multiplying. Many freegans consider dumpster diving to be a great way to save money on groceries. Others do it because they want to live more simply. Freegans that are concerned about the environment view dumpster diving as a great way to “recycle” and other politically-minded freegans consider dumpster diving to be a form of political protest. But whatever you want to call it, the reality is that thousands upon thousands of Americans will break out their boots, rubber gloves and flashlights and will be jumping into dumpsters looking for food once again tonight.
Who knows – perhaps some enterprising young dumpster diver will end up fishing the vanilla cupcakes that I wanted out of Safeway’s dumpsters this evening.
It is amazing what some of these dumpster divers are able to recover from “the trash”. In North Carolina, one man even takes his son dumpster diving with him…
A programmer by day, Todd takes to the streets of North Carolina by night, digging through Dumpsters at drug stores and grocery stores all around his rural neighborhood.
“You would be simply amazed at what businesses throw out,” he said. “I’ve only had to buy two loaves of bread all year. … Last week I had a trunk full of cereal, cookies, chips and ramen noodles.”
Todd slinks in and out of smelly places with low-light flashlights to evade rent-a-cops who will shoo him away. Most nights, his 14-year-old son comes along.
Unfortunately, dumpster diving is not as easy as it used to be.
As dumpster diving has soared in popularity, some grocery stores have responded by putting locks on their dumpsters.
And in some areas of the country, police have even started regularly arresting dumpster divers.
But in the end, dumpster diving was not going to be a permanent solution anyway.
A permanent solution would be to quit wasting so much food.
I applaud the grocery store chains that choose to donate their expired food to homeless shelters and food banks.
We need to see a lot more of that going on.
And in our own homes we need to find ways to give more food away and waste less of it.
All of this needless wasting of food does not have to happen. Let’s work together to find some solutions.
The family is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. If you do not have strong families, you are not going to have a strong society. Unfortunately, the state of the family in America continues to deteriorate. The marriage rate has fallen to an all-time low, we lead the world in divorce, and about a third of all children live in a home without a father. Our young people have been taught that getting married and having a family is not a priority, and many of those that would like to get married and have children are not able to get the kinds of jobs that they need to support a family. The statistics that you are about to see should absolutely shock you. American families have never been this weak, and this is an incredibly troubling sign for the future of our nation. What will future generations of Americans be like if they do not have stable homes to grow up in? Will they be even more messed up than we are right now? That is a frightening thought. The following are 27 facts that prove that the family in America is in the worst shape ever…
#1 The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low. Right now it is sitting at a yearly rate of 6.8 marriages per 1000 people.
#2 Today, an all-time low 44.2 percent of Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are married.
#3 According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all adults in the United States are currently married. Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in the United States were married.
#4 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple. Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.
#5 100 years ago, 4.52 were living in the average U.S. household, but now the average U.S. household only consists of 2.59 people.
#6 The United States has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.
#7 In the United States today, more than half of all couples “move in together” before they get married.
#8 The divorce rate for couples that live together first is significantly higher than for those that do not.
#9 For women under the age of 30 in the United States, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.
#10 In 1970, the average woman had her first child when she was 21.4 years old. Now the average woman has her first child when she is 25.6 years old.
#11 According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 69.3 births per 1,000 women in the 15 to 44 year old age bracket in 2007. Now the rate has fallen to 63.2 births per 1,000 women.
#12 The birth rate for American women in the 20 to 24 year old age bracket has fallen to 85.3 births per 1,000 women. That is a new all-time record low.
#13 The United States has the highest divorce rate in the entire world.
#14 At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father.
#15 Without a father around, many single mothers in this country are really struggling to survive. Sadly, approximately 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States are on food stamps.
#16 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point before they reach the age of 18.
#17 Today, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.
#18 The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the entire world. In fact, the United States has a teen pregnancy rate that is more than twice as high as Canada, more than three times as high as France and more than seven times as high as Japan.
#19 In the United States today, approximately 47 percent of all high school students have had sex.
#20 Approximately one out of every four teen girls in the United States has at least one sexually transmitted disease.
#21 According to one survey, 24 percent of all U.S. teens that have at least one sexually transmitted disease say that they still have unprotected sex.
#22 Instead of being raised by parents, an increasing number of children in America are being raised by movies, television and video games. For example, the average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.
#23 Americans are tied with the British for the highest average number of hours spent watching television each week.
#24 There are more than 3 million reports of child abuse in the United States every single year.
#25 The United States actually has the highest child abuse death rate in the developed world.
#26 Approximately 20 percent of all child sexual abuse victims in the United States are under the age of 8.
#27 It is estimated that one out of every four girls will be sexually abused before they become adults.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that is not going to be fixed overnight. Getting the “right politicians” into office will not solve our problems and neither will spending a bunch of money.
The change that we need is a change of the heart. We need to change how we treat one another and we need to get our priorities straight.
Our families are really messed up, and this is hurting our kids the most. There is no way that this country is going to have any hope for a bright future unless our families start getting stronger.
Or could it be possible that I am overreacting?
What do you think?
Please feel free to share your thoughts about the state of the family in America by posting a comment below…
The world is heading into a horrific economic nightmare, and an inordinate amount of the suffering is going to fall on innocent children. If you want to get an idea of what America is going to look like in the not too distant future, just check out what is happening in Greece. At this point, Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression. As I have written about previously, the unemployment rate in Greece has now risen to 27 percent, which is much higher than the peak unemployment rate that the U.S. economy experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s. And as you will read about below, child hunger is absolutely exploding in Greece right now. Some families are literally trying to survive on pasta and ketchup. But don’t think for a moment that it can’t happen here. Sadly, the truth is that child hunger is already rising very rapidly in our poverty-stricken cities. Never before have we had so many Americans unable to take care of themselves. Food stamp enrollment and child homelessness have soared to brand new all-time records, and there are actually thousands of Americans that are so poor that they live in tunnels underneath our cities. But for millions of other Americans, the suffering is not quite so dramatic. Instead, they just watch their hopes and their dreams slowly slip away as they struggle to find a way to make it from month to month. There are millions of parents that lead lives that are filled with constant stress and anxiety as they try to figure out how to provide the basics for their children. How do you tell a child that you can’t give them any dinner even though you have been trying as hard as you can? What many families go through on a regular basis is absolutely heartbreaking. Unfortunately, more poor families slip through the cracks with each passing day, and these are supposedly times in which we are experiencing an “economic recovery”. So what are things going to look like when the next major economic downturn strikes?
A recent New York Times article detailed the horrifying child hunger that we are witnessing in Greece right now. At some schools there are reports of children actually begging for food from their classmates…
As an elementary school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.
“He had eaten almost nothing at home,” Mr. Nikas said, sitting in his cramped school office near the port of Piraeus, a working-class suburb of Athens, as the sound of a jump rope skittered across the playground. He confronted Pantelis’s parents, who were ashamed and embarrassed but admitted that they had not been able to find work for months. Their savings were gone, and they were living on rations of pasta and ketchup.
Could you imagine that happening to your children or your grandchildren?
Don’t think that it can’t happen. Just a few years ago the Greek middle class was vibrant and thriving.
And we are starting to see hunger explode in other European countries as well. For example, in the UK the number of people receiving emergency food rations has increased by 170 percent over the past year.
This is one of the reasons why I get upset when people say that “things are getting better”. Yes, the stock market has been setting record highs lately, but things are most definitely not getting better.
Even during this false bubble of debt-fueled economic stability that we are enjoying right now, we continue to see hunger and poverty rise dramatically in America.
Since Barack Obama has been president, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 32 million to more than 47 million.
Will we all be on food stamps eventually?
Will we all become dependent on the government for our survival at some point?
According to the Boston Herald, even Tamerlan Tsarnaev was receiving government welfare benefits…
Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.
State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits.
Isn’t that crazy?
And yes, there are some people out there that are abusing the system. In fact, the cost of food stamp fraud has risen sharply to approximately $750 million in recent years.
But most of the people on these programs really need the help. Thanks to our incredibly foolish economic policies, there are not enough good jobs for everyone and there never will be again. The percentage of Americans that are unable to take care of themselves is going to continue to rise, and the suffering that we are witnessing right now is going to get much, much worse.
Not that things aren’t really, really bad already. Here are some signs that child hunger in America has already started to explode…
#1 Today, approximately 17 million children in the United States are facing food insecurity. In other words, that means that “one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life.”
#2 We are told that we live in the “wealthiest nation” on the planet, and yet more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.
#3 The average food stamp benefit breaks down to approximately $4 per person per day.
#4 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 18.
#5 It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
#6 The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million. That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.
#7 According to Feeding America, “households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2 percent”.
#8 According to a Feeding America hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.
#9 For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.
#10 Approximately 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
#11 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.
#12 In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.
#13 In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.
#14 According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
For many more facts about the dramatic explosion of poverty in this country, please see my previous article entitled “21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know“.
Unfortunately, most of the time statistics don’t really tell the whole story. Numbers alone cannot really communicate the soul-crushing despair that millions of American families are enduring on a daily basis at this point.
How can numbers communicate the pain that a child feels when her grandmother does not eat because there is not enough food for everyone in the family? But this is what some families in America actually go through because there is not enough money…
Vanyshia tells about the sacrifices her Grandmother makes so that she and her siblings can eat. “Sometimes my Grandma can’t even eat because she has to feed me and my brother and sister. Sometimes I don’t eat as much as I want to because I leave some for my Grandma because I don’t want her to sit there and starve. Sometimes she doesn’t have enough money to buy food, so she has to go to the bank and borrow money. It makes me feel sad. I don’t want her to be hungry. I just feel sad sometimes,” says Vanyshia.
Things can be particularly tough when you are a single parent. The BBC recently profiled a single mother that is struggling to raise two young children in Iowa…
“We don’t get three meals a day like breakfast, lunch and then dinner,” says Kaylie. “When I feel hungry I feel sad and droopy.”
Kaylie and Tyler live with their mother Barbara, who used to work in a factory. After losing her job, she was entitled to unemployment benefit and food stamps – this comes to $1,480 (£974) a month.
But they were no longer able to afford to live in their house, which along with bills cost $1,326 (£873) a month, leaving little for food or petrol.
Kaylie supplemented their income by collecting cans along the railway track near their old home – earning between two and five cents per can.
For more examples like this one, I encourage everyone to go watch a recent BBC documentary entitled “America’s Poor Kids” that you can see right here.
I wonder why we don’t see more stuff like this on the mainstream news in this country?
Could it be that the mainstream media does not want to admit how bad things have really gotten?
All of this is also a reminder that we need to be generous to those in need. Times are going to get much, much harder than this, and we are all going to need one another.
So do you have any stories of poverty or child hunger from your area of the country to share? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
If you want to know what the future of America is going to be like, just look at the city of Detroit. Once upon a time it was a symbol of everything that America was doing right, but today it has been transformed into a rotting, decaying, post-apocalyptic hellhole. Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and in 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation. It was the greatest manufacturing city the world had ever seen, and the rest of the globe looked at Detroit with a sense of awe and wonder. But now the city of Detroit has become a bad joke to the rest of the world. Unemployment is rampant, 60 percent of the children are living in poverty and the city government is on the verge of bankruptcy. They say that Detroit is just a matter of “weeks or months” away from running out of cash, and when Detroit does declare bankruptcy it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States. But don’t look down on Detroit, because the truth is that Detroit is really a metaphor for what is happening to America as a whole. In the United States today, our manufacturing infrastructure has been gutted, poverty is absolutely exploding and we are rapidly approaching national bankruptcy. Detroit may have gotten there first, but the rest of the country will follow soon enough.
Back during the boom years, Detroit was known for making great cars. Today, it is known for scenes of desolation and decay. It is full of vandalized homes, abandoned schools and empty factories. The following description of what Detroit looks like at this point is from an article by Barry Yeoman…
It’s hard to describe the city’s physical landscape without producing what Detroiters call “ruin porn.” Brick houses with bays and turrets sit windowless or boarded up. Whole blocks, even clusters of blocks, have been bulldozed. Retail strips have been reduced to a dollar store here, a storefront church there, and a whole lot of plywood in between. Not a single chain supermarket remains.
So what caused the downfall of one of the greatest cities on earth?
Well, here is a hint…
Between December 2000 and December 2010, 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
When you are a manufacturing area, and you lose half of your manufacturing jobs over the course of a single decade, of course things are going to get really, really bad.
So just how bad have things gotten in Detroit?
The following are 24 facts about the city of Detroit that will shock you…
#1 Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and it was once home to close to 2 million people. But over the last several decades people have been fleeing in droves. According to the 2010 census, only 713,000 people now live in Detroit, and city officials admit that the population has probably slipped under 700,000 at this point.
#2 The population of Detroit has declined by about 25 percent over the past decade. The last time the population of Detroit was this low was all the way back in 1910.
#3 Today, Detroit is only the 18th-largest city in America. It is now smaller than Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina.
#4 Back in 1960, the city of Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the United States.
#5 Today, the unemployment rate in Detroit is more than 18 percent, which is more than twice as high as the nation as a whole.
#6 According to a report that was just recently released, approximately 60 percent of all children in Detroit live in poverty.
#7 Approximately one-third of Detroit’s 140 square miles are either vacant or derelict.
#8 The city government of Detroit has closed dozens of schools and has decided to cut off public services to the “heavily blighted areas“.
#9 According to one estimate, there are 33,500 empty houses and 91,000 vacant residential lots in the city of Detroit today.
#10 The median price of a home in Detroit is just $9,000, and there are some areas of Detroit where you can still buy a house for $100.
#11 There are more than 85,000 streetlights in Detroit, but thieves have stripped so much copper wiring out of the lights that more than half of them are not working.
#12 Mayor Bing has announced a plan to reduce the number of streetlights in the city of Detroit to just 46,000.
#13 According to one very shocking report, 47 percent of all people living in the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate at this point..
#14 The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City.
#15 There were 377 homicides in Detroit in 2011. In 2012, that number rose to 411.
#16 Justifiable homicide in Detroit rose by an astounding 79 percent during 2011.
#17 In one recent year, the rate of self-defense killings in the city of Detroit was 2200% above the national average.
#18 Ten years ago, there were approximately 5,000 police officers in the city of Detroit. Today, there are only about 2,500 and another 100 are scheduled to be eliminated from the force soon.
#19 Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day.
#20 Crime has gotten so bad in Detroit that even the police are are telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“.
#21 At one point, 100 bus drivers in Detroit refused to drive their routes because they were afraid of being attacked out on the streets in broad daylight. The head of the bus drivers union, Henry Gaffney, said that the drivers were literally “scared for their lives“….
“Our drivers are scared, they’re scared for their lives. This has been an ongoing situation about security. I think yesterday kind of just topped it off, when one of my drivers was beat up by some teenagers down in the middle of Rosa Parks and it took the police almost 30 minutes to get there, in downtown Detroit,” said Gaffney.
#22 There have been reports that gangs of young men with AK-47s have been terrorizing gas stations all over Detroit.
#23 Detroit was once known for making some of the greatest cars in the world. Now, it is known around the world as a dumping ground for the dead…
From the street, the two decomposing bodies were nearly invisible, concealed in an overgrown lot alongside worn-out car tires and a moldy sofa. The teenagers had been shot, stripped to their underwear and left on a deserted block.
They were just the latest victims of foul play whose remains went undiscovered for days after being hidden deep inside Detroit’s vast urban wilderness — a crumbling wasteland rarely visited by outsiders and infrequently patrolled by police.
#24 Detroit’s public schools are an absolute nightmare. The following is from one of my readers that actually attended one of the “best” public schools in Detroit…
The school was a new seven story building just a couple of years old. The bathrooms would often lack toilet paper & soap beyond the second floor (the main floor), the bathroom sinks would often not work. The water fountains on north side of the building on from the third floor & up did not work. The elevators would constantly break down. I even got stuck on the elevator before. I almost tripped down a half a flight of stairs because the elastic seal (it was the metal bar at the front of a treader of I don’t know the name of it.) the stairs was not properly installed.
Students would often have sex on the stairs & throughout the school. Parents actually called the school many times & reported kids having sex on the stairs because all of them had glass windows 270 degrees.
Even over in Europe they write stories about the dramatic decline of Detroit. For example, the following is how one British reporter described his visit to Detroit…
Much of Detroit is horribly dangerous for its own residents, who in many cases only stay because they have nowhere else to go. Property crime is double the American average, violent crime triple. The isolated, peeling homes, the flooded roads, the clunky, rusted old cars and the neglected front yards amid trees and groin-high grassland make you think you are in rural Alabama, not in one of the greatest industrial cities that ever existed.
For those that want to read even more about the horrifying downfall of Detroit, there are some amazing charts that graphically show the decline of Detroit right here.
So what is the solution?
How can we fix Detroit?
Well, why don’t we just build a monorail! Of course that sounds ridiculous, but the federal government has actually committed $25 million to construct “a streetcar line” that nobody really wants and that very few people would probably actually use. Perhaps they could be excused for wasting so much money on a bad idea if there had not already been 24 failed attempts to develop a successful public transit system in Detroit over the past four decades.
Well, why don’t we just build a bunch of theme parks instead? After all, tourists would just flock to Detroit, right?
It has been suggested that Detroit would be ideal for an “automotive theme park”, and there is actually one group of investors that wants to turn some of the worst areas of Detroit into a “zombie theme park”.
What will they think of next?
Actually, a much better idea would have been to not allow millions of our good paying manufacturing jobs to be shipped to the other side of the world, but it is too late for that at this point.
But once again, please do not look down on the city of Detroit. Instead, let the city of Detroit serve as a warning for the rest of us.
The truth is that the entire U.S. economy is in an advanced state of decline…
-The percentage of the civilian labor force in the United States that is employed has been steadily declining every single year since 2006.
-An astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
-Amazingly, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans with either Master’s degrees or Ph.D.s that are enrolled in the food stamp program at this point.
We are a nation that consumes far more wealth than we produce, we are a nation that is constantly bleeding jobs, businesses and wealth, and we are a nation that is going deeper into debt with each passing day.
Yes, Detroit may have gone over the edge into economic oblivion first, but the rest of the nation is steamrolling down the exact same path that Detroit has gone.
Is it too late for us to change direction?
Please feel free to share your thoughts on that question by leaving a comment below…