The Beginning Of The End
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It Is Becoming Clear – We Are NOT Prepared For An Ebola Pandemic

Ebola Symptoms - CDCThe United States is woefully unprepared for an Ebola outbreak.  If a pandemic were to erupt, the very limited number of hospital labs and isolation units that we currently have would be rapidly overwhelmed.  Yes, we may be able to provide “state of the art care” for a handful of people, but if thousands (or millions) of Americans get the virus you can forget about it.  Our health industry is already stretched incredibly thin, and we simply do not have the resources to handle a tsunami of high risk Ebola patients.  And of course conventional medicine does not have a cure for Ebola anyway.  The “experimental drug” that is being used on the two American health professionals with the disease seems to be helping them, but even if it does turn out to be safe and even if it is approved for the general public it will still be a long time before there is ever enough of the drug for everyone.  So let us hope that we do not see a full-blown Ebola pandemic in this country.  Because if we do, we could potentially see millions of people die.

On Wednesday we learned that the global Ebola death toll has increased to 932.  As you can see from this article, cases of Ebola are now spreading at an exponential rate.  If you project how many cases we could be looking at in just a few months if Ebola keeps spreading at the same pace, it becomes quite frightening.

And it does appear that Ebola has now spread to more countries.  A man in Saudi Arabia that was being tested for Ebola has now died.  And a Liberian man has died of the Ebola virus in Morocco.

In the United States, the CDC is refusing to tell the media the locations of the people that have been tested for Ebola in this country.  But we do know that the CDC has told Time Magazine that it has received “several dozen calls” regarding “people who are ill after traveling in Africa”.

If you get Ebola, there is a very good chance that you are going to die.  The mortality rate during this current outbreak is over 50 percent.  It is a killer that is both silent and brutally efficient.

But what makes Ebola so dangerous is that you can be carrying it around for up to three weeks before you ever know that you have it.  In fact, one doctor that has been working on the front lines fighting this disease says that Ebola victims can “look quite fit and healthy and can be walking around until shortly before their deaths“.

So the person sitting next to you at work or that you walk past in the supermarket could have the virus.

You just never know.

And there is a lot of misinformation about Ebola out there right now.  There are a lot of people claiming that it “does not spread easily” and that you basically have to exchange bodily fluids with someone in order to get it.

Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the truth.  As Mike Adams of Natural News has pointed out, the Public Health Agency of Canada says that Ebola “can survive in liquid or dried material for several days“…

Even worse, Ebola is a strong survivor outside a host. Here’s what the Public Health Agency of Canada says:

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: The virus can survive in liquid or dried material for a number of days. Infectivity is found to be stable at room temperature or at 4 C for several days, and indefinitely stable at -70 C. Infectivity can be preserved by lyophilisation.

This clearly states that Ebola viruses can survive for several days on common objects such as door knobs or household surfaces. If an infected Ebola victim runs around touching such common objects after cleaning blood or mucous from his nose, another innocent victim can easily infect himself by touching the same objects and then eating some food that places the virus in his mouth.

And an Ebola study conducted back in 2012 showed that Ebola could be transmitted between pigs and monkeys that did not have physical contact with one another

When news broke that the Ebola virus had resurfaced in Uganda, investigators in Canada were making headlines of their own with research indicating the deadly virus may spread between species, through the air.

The team, comprised of researchers from the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, the University of Manitoba, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, observed transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys. They first inoculated a number of piglets with the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. Ebola-Zaire is the deadliest strain, with mortality rates up to 90 percent. The piglets were then placed in a room with four cynomolgus macaques, a species of monkey commonly used in laboratories. The animals were separated by wire cages to prevent direct contact between the species.

Within a few days, the inoculated piglets showed clinical signs of infection indicative of Ebola infection. In pigs, Ebola generally causes respiratory illness and increased temperature. Nine days after infection, all piglets appeared to have recovered from the disease.

Within eight days of exposure, two of the four monkeys showed signs of Ebola infection. Four days later, the remaining two monkeys were sick too. It is possible that the first two monkeys infected the other two, but transmission between non-human primates has never before been observed in a lab setting.

If Ebola truly is “not something that is easily transmitted”, then how in the world have more than 100 health workers been infected so far?

Were they not being careful?

And if you think that our “advanced technology” is going to keep health workers from getting Ebola in this country, you might want to think again.

As Mike Adams pointed out in a different article, we can’t even stop the spread of “superbugs” such as MRSA in our own hospitals…

How can U.S. health authorities claim there is zero risk from Ebola patients being treated in U.S. hospitals when those same hospitals can’t control superbug infections? “Many hospitals are poorly prepared to contain any pathogen. That’s why at least 75,000 people a year die from hospital infections. If hospitals can’t stop common infections like MRSA, C. diff and VRE, they can’t handle Ebola.”

Yes, the United States has a far superior health system when compared to nations such as Liberia and Sierra Leone.

But it does have limitations.

Earlier today, I was reading something supposedly written by someone who works in a hospital laboratory.  I wanted to share three quotes that I found particularly sobering…

#1 “Even in the United States, out of all the various hospitals I have worked at, there is no hope of containing anything like this. One of the largest hospitals I worked at only had two reverse flow isolation rooms. TWO, let that sink in for a minute.”

#2 “Patients only show up to the hospital when they go symptomatic. So by the time they get there, they’ve already infected their entire family, their work group, and anyone they got within a few feet of on the way to the hospital. When they get there the ER nurses would treat it either like Flu, or Sepsis. But the whole time the patient is infecting all of them. And all of them, in turn, begin to infect everyone else in the exact same way. If this is as virulent as the WHO thinks it might be, by the time people realize what is going on, there will be more sick people than there would be beds available at every hospital in the US combined.”

#3 “So don’t expect miracles from front line hospital staff, we don’t have the tools, and we certainly do not have the manpower. Ask anyone in the medical field how much overtime they could work if they felt like it, don’t even get me started on how thinly stretched people in the industry are. Though I suppose if this does turn into something, that will become apparent very, very fast.”

There is no way in the world that our medical professionals are going to be able to handle a full-blown Ebola pandemic.

Therefore, if one does break out, you are going to need to be prepared to stay at home as much as possible.

That means that you will need enough food and supplies to last for at least a couple of months, and it could potentially be a lot longer than that.

Just think about it.  If Ebola is spreading, you certainly would not want to go to places such as grocery stores that large numbers of people circulate through every day.  But if you do not have any food, eventually you would be forced to leave your home.  And that decision could end up costing you dearly.

Hopefully this crisis will blow over and we won’t have to worry about any of this.  But if Ebola does start sweeping across America, the key will be to isolate yourself and your family as much as you can.

For now, our top officials are making it sound like we have nothing to worry about.

For example, the head of the CDC told CBS News that “we can stop it” and that the spread of the Ebola virus will probably not reach this country…

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he is confident that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa can be stopped and likely won’t reach the U.S.

“The plain fact is, we can stop it. We can stop it from spreading in hospitals and we can stop it in Africa [which] is really the source of the epidemic and where we’re surging our response so that we can control it there,” Tom Frieden said in an interview Sunday.

And Barack Obama says that Ebola is “not something that is easily transmitted” and that everything is under control…

Personally, I am going to file away those quotes for future reference.

Let us hope that they are right.

Let us hope that we don’t have anything to be concerned about.

But with each passing day this Ebola outbreak is getting even worse, and if it continues to grow at an exponential rate it won’t be too long before the entire world is facing an absolutely horrific health crisis.

Crime Is Getting Worse: Violent Crime In America Increased By 15 Percent Last Year

Crime In AmericaIf your neighborhood is not as safe as it used to be, then you have something in common with the rest of the country.  All over America, crime is on the rise.  According to a government survey that was just released, violent crime in the United States increased by 15 percent last year, and property crime was up by 12 percent.  If violent crime keeps increasing at this rate, it will approximately double in just six years.  But as I wrote about the other day, when the next major economic downturn strikes it will probably greatly accelerate the growth of the crime rate in this country.  Desperate people do desperate things, and as you will read about below, there are people out there that are already stealing entire truckloads of food.  In the future, when people are extremely hungry or crazy for their next drug hit, they won’t think twice about invading your home or pulling you out of your vehicle.  The rise in crime that we are witnessing right now is just the beginning.  It is going to get a lot worse than this.

Whenever I do this type of an article, inevitably someone leaves a comment insisting that I am lying because crime rates are going down.

Well, that used to be true.  It is no longer accurate.

As an ABC News article that was just released explains, the crime victimization survey shows that violent crime in America has now increased for two years in a row…

The violent crime rate went up 15 percent last year, and the property crime rate rose 12 percent, the government said Thursday, signs that the nation may be seeing the last of the substantial declines in crime of the past two decades.

Last year marked the second year in a row for increases in the crime victimization survey, a report that is based on household interviews.

This is one of the primary reasons why so many people are moving out of the big cities right now.  In the city of Chicago, police are so overwhelmed with crime that they will no longer respond in person “to 911 calls reporting vehicle theft, garage burglary or simple assault“.

Things have gotten so bad in Chicago that a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted as she was walking to a bus stop this week and it barely made a blip on the news.

But we have come to expect this kind of thing in crime-infested cities such as Chicago.  We don’t expect it to happen in “quiet communities” such as Augusta, Georgia

“When we first moved out here three and a half years ago, my wife and I, it was a quiet community, it was a deal that we felt we couldn’t pass up on,” Don McIntee says.

McIntee lives in the Butler Creek Mobile Home Community, but he’s trying to change that. He recently put his home up for sale because he says the crime in his neighborhood is too much to deal with.

“I want to live in a place that I feel is secure and safe for my wife because I’m out of town a lot,” he says.

And it seems like criminals are becoming more brutal than ever.  For example, one thug actually put his gun into the mouth of a 92-year-old World War II veteran in Fresno, California and threatened to kill him during one recent home invasion…

“I was sound asleep at about one or two o’clock in the morning, all the lights were on and a guy shook me with a gun in my face. (I said) Hey what’s going on? (He said) Shut up and he slapped me,” he explained.

While the suspect held him at gunpoint, three others ransacked his house, taking about 200 dollars in cash and jewelry including his 1941 class ring from Woodlake High School in Tulare County.

“They were in there for almost a half hour,” said Fresno County Sheriff Department spokesperson Chris Curtice. “So they had plenty of time to search the house, it was the middle of the night.”

At one point, Joseph said one of the suspects put a gun in his mouth and threatened to kill him. While being ordered into the bedroom closet, he said he hit him in the head with a handgun, causing him to fall to the floor.

Was there any need for that?  That 92-year-old man was certainly no threat to the four home invaders.

But this is what is happening all over the nation now.  Criminals appear to be getting crazier and crazier.

In Houston recently, one team of home invaders decided to storm a house at 8 AM in the morning while people all along the street were leaving their homes to go to work and to school…

It was about 8am — daylight, with people going to work and kids going to school, yet no one apparently saw this coming. The homeowner told me four men, armed with guns, broke in through her garage and forced their way inside her house.

The woman’s daughter and son-in-law were in the home with her, along with two of their daughters, ages four and six. The homeowner says the gunmen pointed guns at all of them — even the children — and demanded money over and over. They ransacked the house and the cars- and eventually got away with some cash, at least one cell phone and the homeowner’s wallet.

Who robs a house at 8 AM in the morning?

That is either incredibly bold or incredibly stupid.

In my article yesterday, I included another example of a crime which is either incredibly bold or incredibly stupid.  One very enterprising carjacker actually decided to try to carjack the police chief of Detroit while he was sitting in a clearly marked police vehicle…

Just four months on the job, Detroit’s new police chief got an early taste of the city’s hardscrabble streets.

While in his patrol car at an intersection on Jefferson two weeks ago, Police Chief James Craig was nearly carjacked, police spokeswoman Kelly Miner confirmed today.

Craig said he was in a marked police car with mounted lights when a man quickly tried to approach the side of his car. Craig, who became police chief in June, retold the story Monday during a program designed to crack down on carjackings.

So what is going on here?

Are criminals becoming bolder or are they just becoming stupider?

I don’t have an answer for that question, but one thing seems certain – crime is definitely getting worse.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, some criminals are now actually stealing entire truckloads of food.  A recent CBS News article explained how they are doing this…

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.

And what we are talking about is not just a few isolated incidents.  This is literally happening from coast to coast and the dollar values of some of these thefts are 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.

As economic conditions continue to deteriorate, I actually expect that we will start seeing armed guards on food trucks in a few years.

Desperate people do desperate things, and as food prices continue to rise I believe that food trucks will become highly prized targets.

America is rapidly changing, and not for the better.

So what are things like in your area of the country?

Are you noticing an increase in crime?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

Social Decay + Illegal Immigration + Poverty = Open War On The Streets Of America

Open War On The Streets Of America - Photo by Javier RamirezWhat did you think was going to happen?  Moral standards have been falling for decades, we have allowed massive hordes of criminals, gang members and drug dealers to enter this country illegally, and thanks to our declining economy our inner cities are being absolutely ravaged by poverty.  Was such a combination really going to produce peace and prosperity?  Should we be so shocked that we now have open war on the streets of America?  In the United States today, there are millions upon millions of young people that can’t find jobs, that are living in poverty, that have no hope for a better future, and that have been raised without any moral standards.  These young people are becoming increasingly desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.  As I wrote about the other day, for those under the age of 18 living in the city of Detroit the poverty rate is 60 percent.  Should we be surprised that Detroit police are now telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“.  At this point, the FBI says that there are approximately 1.4 million gang members living in our cities.  That number has risen by an astounding 40 percent just since 2009.  Did we somehow delude ourselves into thinking that there would not be severe consequences for allowing that to happen?  Today,  Mexican drug cartels are active in more than 1,000 U.S. cities.  Are they selling drugs and committing crimes in the area where you live?  Well, don’t be so shocked.  The federal government has left our border with Mexico wide open for decades even though the most violent drug war on the planet has been raging just across that border.  Stupid decisions produce stupid results.  Sadly, this is just the beginning.  When our economy fully crashes the open warfare on the streets of America is going to get much, much worse.

Let’s take a closer look at what is currently happening in a few of our largest cities…

Los Angeles

Did you know that Latino gangs are systematically pushing black families out of some areas of Los Angeles?

For example, once upon a time Compton was a predominantly African-American area.  But now it is 65 percent Latino, and there is a relentless campaign of intimidation against many of the African-American families that remain.

One of these incidents was recently profiled in the Los Angeles Times.  A black family moved into Compton near the end of December, and since that time they have been the victims of endless harassment by Latino gangs.  When a 19-year-old African-American friend came to visit the family one day, four thugs told him that blacks were barred from the neighborhood and they started beating him with metal pipes.  A story in the Los Angeles Times described what happened next…

The 19-year-old family friend managed to break free that first day and run into the house, where the children were the only ones at home.

The attackers left, but a half-hour later a crowd of as many as 20 people stood on the lawn yelling threats and epithets. A beer bottle crashed through the living room window as the youngsters watched in horror.

“They were scared if they called the sheriff they’d be killed,” Westin said. “So they called their mom, who called the Sheriff’s Department.”

The gang members were gone by the time deputies arrived, but they kept coming back, almost daily, driving by slowly until they got someone’s attention, then yelling racial insults and telling them to leave. The mother sent the children to live with relatives and is now packing up to leave herself.

As horrifying as that sounds, the truth is that it is not an isolated incident.

According to the Los Angeles Times, similar attacks “have taken place in Harbor Gateway, Highland Park, Pacoima, San Bernardino, Canoga Park and Wilmington, among other places.”

Oakland

Up the coast in Oakland, a horribly violent gang war has gotten so out of hand that city officials are holding press conferences about it.

Violent crime in the city of Oakland increased by 23 percent in 2012, and police say that gang members were responsible for most of the approximately 2,000 robberies and 65 homicides that took place in the second half of the year.

As the San Francisco Chronicle recently explained, the violence continues to escalate and city officials don’t know how to solve it…

Nearly all the violent crimes in Oakland in the last few months, including two killings over the weekend, have been committed as part of a “war” between rival groups that was sparked by the slaying of a girl last summer, Police Chief Howard Jordan said Monday.

Jordan said “about 90 percent” of the killings, robberies, shootings and other “senseless acts of violence” in the city since mid-2012 can be directly tied to the killing of a girlfriend of one of the combatants.

Over time, the warring factions have become increasingly violent and have grown in number, sometimes by merging with other groups, Jordan said at a news conference called in response to an outbreak of gunfire over the weekend.

Chicago

Savage murders happen so regularly in Chicago at this point that very few people are even shocked by the headlines any longer.  The murder rate in the city increased by about 17 percent in 2012, and 2013 has already started with quite a bang.

Just check out what happened on Saturday.  7 people were murdered and six others were left wounded.  The following is how the Chicago Tribune described one of the crime scenes…

On West Van Buren Street, a body could be seen lying in the roadway, near the curb and a bus stop.

A man who only identified himself as the teen victim’s uncle said the boy, whose family lived nearby, had simply gone to run an errand.

“He was just going to the store,” the man said. “They just killed him just like that.”

Later, the man paced back and forth on the sidewalk, shaking his head in disbelief.

So why has Chicago become such a violent city?

It is because of the gangs.

Today, approximately 80 percent of all murders that happen in the city of Chicago are gang-related.  And as I have written about previously, there are only about 200 police officers assigned to Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit to handle the estimated 100,000 gang members living in the city.

Perhaps Chicago could do more to handle all the crime if they had more money, but at this point they are flat broke and so is the entire state of Illinois.  In fact, the state of Illinois just had its credit rating downgraded once again.

I picked out three examples to discuss above, but similar things could really be said about hundreds of U.S. cities from coast to coast.

Once upon a time, gang activity was fairly limited to certain pockets of the country.  But now, it is more widespread than ever.

According to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center,  Mexican drug cartels were actively operating in 50 different U.S. cities in 2006.

By 2010, that number had skyrocketed to 1,286.

Are you starting to get the picture?

So why doesn’t the federal government secure the border and make sure that everyone that is coming into this country is doing so legally?

That is a very good question.  For some reason, every single president that we have had in recent decades has chosen to leave the U.S. border with Mexico virtually wide open.

And so millions of criminals, gang members, drug dealers and welfare parasites continue to pour into the country.  The following is what one local police chief down in Texas is saying about what he is seeing along the border…

The problem is not going away.

“Most of them have people here or they’re just trying to make it over here so they can start making a better living for themselves,” La Joya Police Chief Julian Gutierrez told Action 4 News.

No matter how many miles of border fence is erected—it seems nothing will stop the thousands of immigrants, crossing our border illegally, from continuing their journey.

“A lot of times we talk to them and ask them why they’re coming here,” Gutierrez explained. “They say they’re coming for the ‘American Dream.’ I always tell them that they’re here illegally—how do they expect to find work? They always say it’s a lot better than their country.”

So what is the Obama administration doing about this?

They don’t consider it to be a problem.

In fact, one of our stations along the border with Mexico will no longer be manned with real people at all.  The following is from a recent ABC News report

Get ready for the very first “unmanned” border station on the U.S.-Mexico border. Slated to open at the end of this month, the Big Bend National Park in Texas will be staffed by, you guessed it, computers.

But what the Obama administration does seem to be concerned about is giving immigrants lots of “benefits” once they get here.

For example, did you know that the federal government actually has a website that teaches immigrants how to sign up for welfare programs once they arrive in the United States?

Meanwhile, we can’t even come close to taking care of our own citizens.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 146 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point.

Poverty is absolutely exploding in this country, and the middle class gets smaller with each passing day.  When the next major economic downturn strikes, the unemployment numbers are going to start spiking again and millions of families are going to lose all hope that things will ever turn around for them.

Meanwhile, the very foundations of our society continue to rot and decay right in front of our eyes.  At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the U.S. lives in a home without a father.  The U.S. has the highest divorce rate in the world, the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the world, and there are 19 million new STD infections in the United States every single year.

Our nation is a complete and total mess, and many of our major cities are being transformed into gang-infested war zones that are on the verge of total meltdown.

Is it any wonder that millions of American families have chosen to become preppers?

Nothing is going to stop the societal meltdown that is coming.  That is especially true with Barack Obama running things.

Sadly, most Americans still have their heads in the sand and are pretending that everything will be okay somehow.

Sadly, most Americans still have a tremendous amount of faith in the system.

But anyone with a brain should be able to see the storm clouds that are coming.

So get prepared while you still can.

Time is running out.

1.4 Millions Gang Members And More Pour Into The United States Every Single Day

The Sobering Reality Of What Life Is Like In Reno, Nevada

What do you do when the city where you live is dying?  All over the United States formerly great cities are crumbling, but some are definitely in worse shape than others.  One reader recently wrote to me about what she sees happening all around her in Reno, Nevada.  The unemployment rate in Reno is now up to 11.7 percent, which is well above the national average of 8.3 percent.  But that doesn’t tell the whole story.  The recent recession hit Nevada particularly hard and people have been moving out of the state in waves.  In fact, the labor force in Nevada has shrunk by close to 20 percent over the past year as workers have moved elsewhere in search of work.  But even though the labor force is now nearly 20 percent smaller, the unemployment rate is still well above 11 percent.  There simply are not enough jobs in large Nevada cities such as Reno and Las Vegas.  Unfortunately for Reno, it does not have the same kind of big corporate money pouring into it that Las Vegas does.  The good news is that you can buy a house very, very cheaply in Reno because homes were foreclosed on in droves during the housing crash.  Even today, some housing developments that were put up near the end of the boom times look like virtual ghost towns.  The main industry in Reno is “entertainment”, but many of Reno’s strip clubs and gambling establishments have aged so badly at this point that they just look kind of depressing.  I guess that is kind of fitting, because Nevada has the fifth highest suicide rate in the nation, and Reno has been ranked as one of the top 10 depressed cities in the entire country.  As the city has declined, gangs have moved in and the drug trade is flourishing.  Reno has been called the meth capital of America, and crime is on the rise.  Despite being surrounded by tremendous natural beauty, Reno has become a very unpleasant place in which to live.  But what is happening in Reno is also happening in hundreds of other communities across the United States.  Our economy is collapsing and our cities are crumbling right in front of our eyes, and it is only going to get worse from here.

A reader of my site named Heather who has been unemployed since November of last year recently shared the following with me….

I am living in Reno/Sparks Nevada and I feel like it is ground zero for collapse. There are a lot of people who are in denial right now and cannot see the larger picture. I keep also saying we are the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country.  It is quite depressing driving around seeing empty office buildings with vacancies and retail areas just empty. Went to the stores and retail seems pretty slow also. I am volunteering at ProNet locally and it helps unemployed people finds jobs and skills. It has been depressing there too with very little jobs out there for many people who need one.

She said that I should share what is happening in Reno with my readers.  She wanted people to know what those living in Reno are going through.

You might think that since Reno is so sunny, so warm and surrounded by such natural beauty that it would be one of the happiest places in America.

Unfortunately it turns out that the opposite is true.

Reno is actually a very sad place.

In fact, last year Men’s Health ranked Reno as the ninth saddest city in the United States.

In response to this ranking, one resident of Reno wrote the following….

In light of this disheartening list-making, it is, of course, important for Nevadans to look on the bright side. Rather than allowing these statistics to depress us further, we can consider them a series of challenges that make living in places like Reno and Las Vegas all the more impressive. You don’t just live in Reno. You survive Reno! To dwell in Reno, you must triumph over the odds that are stacked against you—one of the things we’re supposed to do best here.

If we can withstand all of the emotional curveballs thrown at us because we have selected such a turbulent location in which to reside, we can probably survive anything.

As a lifelong Renoite, I am inclined to respond to these lists with defiance. Yeah, things can look pretty grim sometimes when no one can find a job, and there seems to be no way out.

And that is how many Americans are feeling these days.  They are broke, unemployed, depressed and out of options.

How can you pick up and start a new life somewhere else when you have no job and no money?

Sadly, a lot of younger Americans are turning to drugs in an attempt to escape the pain of their daily lives.

One article that I found attempted to find humor in the raging meth epidemic that is happening in Reno….

Reno has been affectionately called the meth capital of the nation. Some foolishly think mass drug usage can ravage a city as swiftly as it can ruin a user’s clear complexion. In all reality, drug addiction is no more than an endearing quirk, certainly not a cause for concern. Babies and adolescents with addiction-addled parents should stop being coddled and learn how to take care of themselves. I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was six months old­ — I’m sure they can do the same. If there is anything disturbing about the meth problem in Reno, it’s that it shows the lack of variety in this town. Why don’t you try some uppers like MDMA? Your teeth will thank me.

Unfortunately, Reno is far from alone.  In the past I have written about how formerly great cities such as Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore are completely falling apart as well.  This kind of thing is literally happening from coast to coast.

There is a very serious lack of decent jobs in America right now.  At this point only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States are good jobs.

This has made it increasingly difficult for Americans to be able to take care of themselves.

If you can believe it, more than 100 million Americans are on welfare at this point.

And that number does not even include the tens of millions of people that are on Social Security and Medicare.

What in the world has happened to us?

These days most Americans work really hard all of their lives but never end up reaching their dreams.

In fact, one recent study found that 46 percent of all Americans die with less than $10,000 worth of financial assets.

Talk about depressing.

But instead of having us focus on how bad the economic numbers are, the Federal Reserve wants to start measuring how “happy” everyone is.  The following is from a recent ABC News article….

Ben Bernanke wants to know if you are happy.

The Federal Reserve chairman said Monday that gauging happiness can be as important for measuring economic progress as determining whether inflation is low or unemployment high. Economics isn’t just about money and material benefits, Bernanke said. It is also about understanding and promoting “the enhancement of well-being.”

So what would you say if the Federal Reserve contacted you and asked if you are happy?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

James Holmes Is Not Alone – 20 More Examples Of The Sickos That Are Overrunning America

There is much more to the collapse of America than just our economic problems.  The truth is that the United States is like a beautiful house that may still look great on the outside but that has rotted and decayed very badly on the inside.  In fact, the foundations of our country have rotted away so badly that our entire society is starting to collapse.  Just look at James Holmes.  It would be great if we could honestly say that James Holmes is an aberration, but we all know better than that.  James Holmes is not alone.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that our degenerate society regularly produces sickos and monsters like James Holmes.  As I wrote about the other day, we lead the world in a whole host of bad categories.  We lead the world in child abuse, we lead the world in divorce, we lead the world in teen pregnancy and we lead the world in drug addiction.  The basic building blocks of society that tie us together and help keep us grounded (such as the family) are breaking down, but we still seem surprised that we have hordes of “lone wolf individuals” running around doing crazy things.  We are a sick, twisted society that is producing sick, twisted individuals.  If we do not admit how deep our problems really are, then we are never going to find any real solutions and we are going to keep being shocked when another James Holmes pops on to the scene.

Why didn’t this type of thing happen back in the 1950s?

Why are our young people so violent and so mentally unstable?

What has changed?

Those are some very important questions.  But most Americans will forget this incident very quickly and they will move on with their self-absorbed lives.

But there is so much about this shooting that calls for further examination.

What would make a highly educated 24 year old man do something so incredibly evil?

Why are so many young people suddenly “snapping” these days?

As our society continues to decay, how much worse are things going to get?

It is almost to the point where people are going to start becoming afraid of gathering in public places.

Most Americans never would have imagined that it would be dangerous to go to the movie theater.

But now people are going to look at going to the movies much differently.

And could it have been possible that James Holmes had some help?

There are some important questions that the media is not really focusing on in this case….

-How did an impoverished college student put together an arsenal of weapons, ammunition and body armor worth tens of thousands of dollars?

-Why do some eyewitnesses claim that he had at least one other person assisting him?

-Why did he surrender to police without offering any resistance whatsoever?

It would be great if we could get some answers to those questions.

In any event, this is yet another sign of how far our society has fallen.  We are becoming more sick and more twisted with each passing day, and it is time to admit this fact.

The following are 20 more examples of the sickos that are overrunning America….

#1 A Sicko In Oregon That Breaks Into Homes In Order To Watch Computer Porn

According to CBS, one young man in Oregon has been breaking into homes with the intent of watching pornography on the Internet….

Police say a 21-year-old Oregon man broke into homes to look at pornography on the Internet, sometimes while the homeowners were inside.

Eugene police said Thursday they arrested Antone Forrest Deedward Owens on charges of burglary, menacing and coercion. Authorities say he broke into at least three homes since last September, sometimes entering the same home on multiple occasions.

#2 Delaware Pediatrician That Sexually Abused 103 Children

Who is the bigger monster – James Holmes or the Delaware doctor that sexually abused 103 children?  The following is from a recent Natural News article….

According to reports in 2010, Dr. Earl Bradley, who has since been dubbed “America’s Worst Pedophile,” stood accused of molesting 103 young patients in his office in the tiny town of Lewes, Del., since 1994.

Detailed in 160 pages of what ABC News described as “disturbing court documents,” Bradley apparently videotaped his sex acts. The documents said Bradley repeatedly molested his child patients as their parents sat nearby and unsuspecting outside the waiting room of his BayBee’s Pediatrics clinic.

#3 Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky was supposed to be a role model.  He was an assistant football coach at Penn State and he was heavily involved in charity work.

But it turns out that it was all a lie.  In fact, a whole bunch of people involved in the Penn State football program knew what was going on and did not report it.

In the end, Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of sexually abusing young boys.  He has become a national symbol of the depravity which is rotting away the very heart of this nation.

#4 Man That Kept His Wife Chained Up For 10 Years

What would you do to a man that kept his wife chained up for ten years?

According to one West Virginia news source, that is exactly what one man down in West Virginia did….

Earlier this month, Lizon was arrested after police say he kept his wife, Stephanie, chained up for nearly a decade in their home along Miller Hollow Road in Leroy, W.Va.

Lizon is accused of smashing Stephanie’s feet with farm equipment and hitting her with a hot frying pan.

Police say she also had a miscarriage because of the abuse and was forced to have another baby while still chained.

#5 Serial Foot-Licker In New York

Did serial foot-lickers even exist back in the 1950s?

Why are there so many of them running around today?

The following is from the New York Daily News….

Police have a possible serial foot-licker in custody after a 49-year-old man was arrested for inappropriately touching two young girls at an upstate New York library.

Anthony Parri allegedly took off a child’s shoe and rubbed the girl’s foot against his nose and mouth in one of two incidents Tuesday at Penfield Library, according to reports.

One of the alleged attacks happened in an open area in the children’s section, library director Bernadette Brickman told WHAM, ABC’s affiliate in Rochester. The child’s mom and a library employee witnessed the abuse and called the cops, according to the station.

#6 Houston Police Officer Accused Of Raping A Woman While On Duty

Who is supposed to keep all of these sickos under control?

The police?

Sadly, the police often are the sickos.

The following is from the Houston Chronicle….

DNA evidence has linked a Houston police officer to a rape he allegedly committed while on duty last month, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Officer Adan Jimenez Carranza, 32, was being held Friday at the Harris County Jail under a $30,000 bond, charged with aggravated sexual assault of a woman June 18 after a minor traffic accident, court records show.

#7 Philadelphia Police Officer Makes 14 Year Old Girl Watch Him Have Sex With A Prostitute After Sexually Assaulting Her

If we can’t trust the police, then who can we trust?

Recently there have been a bunch of reports of sexual misconduct by police in the national news.

The following is how Fox News described one particularly disturbing incident from the Philadelphia area….

A Philadelphia cop was arrested over allegations that he abducted a 14-year-old girl, sexually assaulted her and made her watch him have sex with a prostitute.

Police found Anthony Dattilo, 36, at a motel in the Bensalem area of the city Wednesday while responding to a possible abduction, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.

Dattilo, a 12-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, is reportedly in custody at the Bucks County prison on $500,000 bail.

#8 TSA Agent Spills Grandpa’s Ashes And Laughs About It

Almost every single day there is another TSA horror story in the news.

But what you are about to read is one of the worst of them all.

The following is from an ABC News article….

John Gross was leaving Florida with the remains of his grandfather  in a tightly sealed jar marked “Human Remains, ” ABC Indianapolis  affiliate RTV6 reported.

 “They opened up my bag, and I told them, ‘Please, be careful. These are my grandpa’s ashes,’” Gross told the station. “She picked up the jar. She opened it up.”

Gross said the TSA agent used her finger to sift through the ashes and accidentally spilled it.  He said one-third to one-half of the ashes spilled and that the agent laughed as he tried to gather what he could from the floor.

“She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.”

#9 Connecticut Man Threatens To Cut The Tongue Out Of The Mouth Of A 3 Year Old Child

What kind of a man would hold up a knife and threaten to cut the tongue out of the mouth of a 3 year old kid?

Sadly, that is exactly what happened up in Connecticut recently.

The following is from a WFSB report about this incident….

Police in Vernon are investigating reports that a man held a knife to a child’s face and threatened to cut out his tongue.

On Friday, a woman named Heather Bonneville called police to inform them that a family acquaintance, who has been identified as Roman Fein, held the knife within inches of her 3-year-old son’s face before making the threat to cut his tongue out of his mouth.

#10 Naked “Cannibal” Threatens To Eat Police Officers Down In Georgia

Why are so many criminals getting naked lately?

Why are so many criminals trying to eat people?

The following is from a recent Daily Mail article….

Karl Laventure, 21, was believed to be high on bath salts when he tried to attack the officers in Lilburn, Georgia.

And after they had managed to subdue him he began threatening to eat them.

Laventure appeared out of some woods and was seen running naked around a golf range near Atlanta, swinging a club around his head and screaming.

Police said that it took several officers to subdue the man who had ‘super-human strength’.

#11 Public School Administrator In New York Fired For Not Participating In A Gay Orgy

Almost every day there is another story in the news about a new school sex scandal somewhere in America.

The following is from Courthouse News Service….

A public school administrator claims in court that his male boss sexually assaulted him in a hotel room after giving him pornography and trying to get him to join a foursome, then fired him for rebuffing the advances.

#12 Naked Florida Man Bites Chunk From Another Man’s Stomach

This year criminals in America seem to have become obsessed with chewing on human flesh.

The following example is from a recent Daily Mail article….

A naked man allegedly flew into a violent rampage, biting a chunk out of another man’s stomach after leaping from his roof onto a truck and urinating inside his home.

Officers responding to the scene needed backup to restrain Jeremiah Aaron Haughee with leg shackles, a spit hood and handcuffs after he continued fighting despite being Tasered five times.

Authorities did not carry out tests on Haughee to see if he was under the influence of any drugs.

Police first arrived at the home in Flagler Beach, Florida at 4.30 a.m. to find two men restraining the naked 22-year-old in a puddle of urine and glass.

#13 Father Who Killed His 3 Daughters Inside The Home Of His Ex-Wife

You know that society is really starting to break down when parents start killing their own children.

What one man up in Wisconsin is being charged with is absolutely horrific.

The following is from a recent CNN article….

A 34-year-old father was being held by authorities Wednesday in connection with the deaths of his three daughters, who were found inside his ex-wife’s Wisconsin home with the gas fireplace turned on, officials said.

#14 Pregnant Woman Set On Fire In Detroit

These days not even pregnant women are immune to violence.

What one pregnant woman up in Detroit went through recently is hard to stomach….

A 22-year-old pregnant woman survived after being bound, driven to Detroit, set on fire and shot early Saturday morning.

The woman, who was nine-months pregnant, had returned from a movie with her boyfriend and dropped him off at his house in Warren when she was approached from behind, Warren police Sgt. Dave Geffert said.

The woman’s hands, feet and eyes were bound with duct tape. She was then forced into her car and driven to an unknown place in Detroit where she was doused with lighter fluid, set on fire and shot once in the upper back, he said.

#15 New Jersey Man Throws His Own Intestines At Police

If the police were breaking into your home, would you cut out your own entrails and throw them at the police?

According to the Huffington Post, that is exactly what one man up in New Jersey did….

A New Jersey man allegedly cut out his entrails in front of police and then threw bits of his flesh and intestines at them.

The gruesome scene played out at a home in Hackensack, N.J., where 43-year-old Wayne Carter allegedly barricaded himself in on Sunday, NBC New York reported.

Officers got a call that morning when a witness said Carter was threatening to harm himself with a knife. Two cops responded, kicked in the door and found Carter in the corner, the station reported.

Carter allegedly ignored officers’ orders to put down the knife, and instead began stabbing himself in the abdomen, neck and legs.

#16 Naked Man Brutally Murders A Hotel Maid

Why would anyone want to kill a 62 year old cleaning woman?

Many of the crimes that are being committed today are absolutely senseless.

The following is how the CBS affiliate in Sacramento reported this story….

A naked man who may have been on drugs was arrested Saturday for killing a Tracy motel employee.

Andrew Carreiro, 25, is behind bars accused of killing the 62-year-old woman who cleans rooms at the Hacienda Inn on the 600 block of West 11th Street.

Witnesses say they found Carreiro covered in blood and standing near the partially naked body of the woman, say witnesses.

“[It’s] most definitely the craziest thing I’ve seen in my life, most definitely,” said Jermaine Haynes, a motel resident who made the gruesome discovery.

#17 Crack-Fueled Sickos Abduct A Female Jogger

These days you are not safe anywhere in the country.

Just check out what happened to one math teacher from Montana.  The following is how a Daily Mail article described what two very sick drug addicts did to her….

After smoking crack cocaine over the entire trip, Waters allegedly told Spell the drug ‘brought the devil out in him’ and began talking about kidnapping and killing a female, AP reports.

After they spotted Arnold, Spell claims that Waters told him to ‘grab the lady’ and pull her into their Ford Explorer as she jogged by.

‘Spell said Waters got into the back seat with the female and “choked her out”,’ the affidavit states.

After dropping Arnold’s body in a rural area of North Dakota later that night, Waters bought a shovel at a nearby Walmart. They buried the body in a two- to three-feet-deep hole on an old farmstead.

#18 Female Teacher Has Sex With Four Male Students

Why are so many public school teachers having sex with their students?

Don’t they realize that they will inevitably get caught?

Aren’t the dozens of other school sex scandals in the news sufficient warnings?

The following is from the NBC affiliate in Tucson, Arizona….

A new police report reveals racy, disturbing details of the alleged relationships between an Ironwood Ridge High School teacher and four of her students.

Oro Valley Police picked up Melissa Dalton April 30th booking her on four counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

She posted bail and got out the next day.

Subsequently more Ironwood Ridge students came forward with more allegations. That prompted the Oro Valley Police Department to add eight more counts including six of sex with a minor.

Melissa Dalton was in her first year teaching at Ironwood Ridge High School. The 33 year old is a wife and mother.

#19 Texas House Of Horrors

The nightmares that were happening in one quiet house in Texas are so horrifying that it is hard to find the words to describe them.

The following is from a New York Daily News article….

Texas authorities said Tuesday they removed 11 children from a crowded home where a registered sex offender lives after they found eight confined in a small, dark bedroom with restraints tying some to their beds.

Along with the children, 10 adults were living in the one-story, 1,700-square-foot home in Dayton, about 30 miles northeast of Houston, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Gwen Carter said. One month after a raid on the house, authorities are still trying to determine how the children are related and why they were there, she said.

#20 Florida Man Bites The Lips Off Of A Kitten

What kind of a monster would bite the lips off of a kitten?

It is hard to imagine anyone actually doing such a thing, but according to WKMG this apparently happened….

A Palm Coast man was arrested on suspicion of biting the lips off a kitten and strangling another cat.

Angel Vega Roman, 28, was arrested Saturday and charged with cruelty to animals.

According to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Roman told an acquaintance that he accidentally choked his roommates’ kitten a couple of weeks ago and bit the lips off another black and white kitten named Oreo.  Roman also tortured Oreo by burning its ear and whiskers with a lighter, a sheriff’s report stated.

I know that I used a lot of disturbing examples in this article, but I wanted to make my point very strongly.

James Holmes is not an isolated case.  America is literally being overrun by sickos and monsters.

In the old days, our societal institutions were strong and they helped to tie us together.

But today there is very, very little that ties us together and keeps us grounded.  Faith in almost every major institution in society is very low and our families are falling apart.

The percentage of adult Americans that are married right now is at an all-time low.  The percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation at all is at an all-time high.

Our society is rotting from the inside out and many of our formerly great cities are degenerating into absolute hellholes.

Fixing America is not just a matter of fixing our economic system or our political system.

Fixing America is going to take a whole lot more than that.

So what do all of you think about this?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

America After Dark: Desperate Meth Heads, Rampant Human Trafficking And Millions Of Criminal Predators Searching For A New Victim

When the sun goes down every night, America becomes a very frightening place.  There are communities all over the country where drug dealing, human trafficking and gang violence have gotten so out of control that authorities don’t really know what to do about it.  In America tonight, thousands of meth heads will break into homes as they desperately search for enough money for another hit.  In America tonight, thousands of children will be sold for sex at truck stops and on street corners.  In America tonight, millions of criminal predators will be searching for a new victim.  From the top levels of the federal government all the way down to the most depraved criminals on the street, America is rotting.  Once upon a time our tremendous affluence masked the moral decay that was happening in this nation, but now that the economy is falling apart the damage to the fabric of our society is being revealed.  We have become a nation of addicts, junkies, thrill seekers and predators.  When we finally see the U.S. economy fully collapse, millions of desperate, angry and depraved monsters will take out their sick frustrations on all the rest of us.

It isn’t talked a lot about anymore, but the meth epidemic in America is getting worse.  According to PBS, there are approximately 1.4 million meth users in America.  Meth is unbelievable addictive and it can absolutely destroy your life.  If you doubt this, just check out these before and after pictures.

Sadly, there are indications that meth use is on the rise once again.  According to the DEA, meth seizures increased from 2,839 in 2007 to 6,168 in 2010.

When you take meth, it can literally make you crazy.  The following is from a recent USA Today article….

A mother in Bakersfield, California, was sentenced Tuesday for stabbing her newborn while in a meth rage. An Oklahoma woman drowned her baby in a washing machine in November. A New Mexico woman claiming to be God stabbed her son with a screwdriver last month, saying, “God wants him dead.”

Large numbers of meth addicts turn into thieves when they run out of money.  Often, they will steal just about anything they can in order to get money for their next hit.  Some things that meth addicts have stolen recently include agricultural plumbing, copper wiring and lawn sprinklers.

And making meth can be extremely dangerous as well.  U.S. hospitals are filled with thousands and thousands of uninsured burn patients that were horribly burned while trying to make “shake and bake” meth.

The following comes from a recent Daily Mail article….

It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment – a burden so costly that it is contributing to the closure of some burns units.

So-called ‘shake-and-bake’ meth is produced by combining raw, unstable ingredients in a two-litre bottle.

But if the person mixing the noxious brew makes the slightest error, such as removing the cap too soon or accidentally perforating the plastic, the concoction can explode, searing flesh and causing permanent disfigurement, blindness or even death.

A survey of key hospitals in America’s most-active meth states showed that up to a third of patients in some burns units were hurt while making meth, and most were uninsured.

But of course meth is just one of the highly addictive drugs that are plaguing our youth.  There are many other nightmarish drugs that could also be discussed.  Nearly every community in America is dealing with some sort of a drug problem, and despite the “war on drugs” this crisis just seems to keep getting worse every single year.

Perhaps even more alarming is the rise of human trafficking in America.

When I was going through school, I was taught that slavery had been abolished in the United States.

But that was a lie.

Right now, thousands upon thousands of Americans are living as slaves.  Most of them are sex slaves.  As you read this, there are women all over America that are literally chained to beds in dark rooms where men pay their “owners” to have sex with them.

The following stats about human trafficking come from a recent Detroit Free Press article….

• Human trafficking is a $32-billion industry worldwide.

• Up to 2 million people are trafficked worldwide every year. Of those, 15,000-18,000 are in the U.S.

• Eight in 10 human trafficking cases involve the sex industry; the others involve labor trafficking.

• In 2010, 2,515 human trafficking cases were under investigation in the U.S.

• Eighty-three percent of victims in confirmed sex trafficking cases in the U.S. in 2010 were American citizens

Many Americans would be absolutely horrified to learn what goes on behind closed doors in America.

All over the nation tonight, vicious monsters will be selling or “renting” young children to other vicious monsters for sex.

The following story of one human trafficking victim comes from a recent Fox News article….

Today, Keisha Head is a wife and mother of three. But more than decade ago, she was the victim of a notorious human trafficker.

At 16-years old, Head says she was being sold on the streets of Atlanta for sex.

“I did not know that a normal, average man who was a preacher, who was a lawyer, who was a senator – could turn into this monster,” Head said. “That is the scariest moment when you are amongst people who claim to be normal yet they purchase you and they turn into these monsters. They rape you. They beat you. And then act as if they’re normal. These are not your normal pedophiles.”

When you push morality out of the schools and out of public life, this is the kind of thing that starts happening.

Thousands upon thousands of other women “work for themselves” on the streets of America.  Some are willing to let strangers have sex with them for next to nothing.

For example, one woman in Los Angeles was recently arrested for approaching customers at one McDonald’s and offering sexual favors in exchange for Chicken McNuggets.

A lot of really weird stuff happens in America after dark.

As the economy has crumbled, thieves all over the country have become increasingly bold and increasingly desperate.

The following are just a few recent examples….

*In Fresno, California the damage caused by thieves stealing copper wire from city street lights is costing the city approximately $50,000 a month.  So far, about 2,500 street lights have been stripped of their wiring.

*In northern Alabama, one group of crooks has been using a forklift to pull entire ATM machines out of the ground.

*A while back, a team of ambitious thieves in Pennsylvania actually stole an entire 50 foot long bridge.

Other crimes are committed by members of the government.  In Chicago, the bodies of poor people that don’t have enough money to bury themselves are being treated with absolutely no respect at all by government officials.  Just check out what Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says that he found….

“Babies are buried 10, 15 to a box.  They’re buried in there with animal remains.  They’re buried in there with arms and legs from body parts they found during the course of the year.  It is not anything that our county or society should ever sit there and say is acceptable”

Can you imagine that?

What kind of a monster would do such a thing?

Of course I could go on for ages about the sick corruption of our government officials, but that will have to be left for another day.

For now, I want to focus on another rising problem in our society.  As I wrote about the other day, the FBI says that there are now 1.4 million gang members living inside the United States.  That number has risen by an astounding 40 percent since 2009.

Nearly every major U.S. city has areas that are essentially “owned” by gangs.  Some of these gangs are the size of small armies.  For example, it is estimated that the Latin Kings have 18,000 members in the city of Chicago alone.

When civil unrest erupts in America, these organized groups of criminal predators will have a field day.  Even now, law enforcement authorities in many areas of the country are having an incredibly difficult time trying to contain them.

As things fall apart all around us, an increasing number of Americans are coming to the realization that they are not going to be able to depend on someone else to defend themselves and their families.

Perhaps that is why the American people stocked up on firearms at an astounding rate during 2011.

In some areas of the country, a firefight can potentially erupt just about at any time.  The following is from an article that was recently posted on standwitharizona.com….

Barbed wire fencing doesn’t keep illegal aliens off the property anymore. One Starr County, TX rancher doesn’t have time to worry about the illegals these days. He now worries about the smugglers protecting their loads.

“I don’t think they would have any conscience of taking someone’s life,” the rancher says.

He saw that will to kill firsthand. A smuggler shot at him on his own land.

“One round was fired at me, and it missed my head by about two feet,” says the rancher.

He says there’s only way to react.

“Fire all the rounds you have, reload, and do it again,” says the rancher.

We don’t do ourselves any favors by pretending that America is going to somehow turn around and become the safe, friendly place that it used to be.

There are millions of criminal predators in this country today that have little or no conscience.  They don’t care about you, your spouse or your children.  All they care about is feeding their addictions.

In the months and years to come, the economy is going to get worse.  As it does, all of those predators are going to become even more desperate.

Desperate people do desperate things.

America is going to become a very frightening place.  But instead of curling up into a ball and crying about it, the better response is to be strong and courageous and to get prepared the best that you can.

The New Reality For U.S. Cities: No Money For Street Lights, Roving Packs Of Wild Dogs And Open-Air Drug Markets

If you want to know what the early stages of an economic collapse look like, just walk around some of the downtown areas of our major cities.  Today, nearly all large U.S. cities are either flat broke or they are on the way to being flat broke.  Yes, New York City and Washington D.C. (and a few others) are still doing fairly well, but for most U.S. cities economic reality is catching up with them very quickly.  Right now, there are a number of major cities that are so broke that they cannot keep the street lights operating.  Down in St. Louis, parents in some areas are carrying golf clubs with them as they walk their kids to school in order to fend off roving packs of wild dogs.  In other major U.S. cities, open-air drug markets conduct business without fear.  All over the United States, cities that used to be clean and prosperous and full of hope are now being transformed into post-industrial wastelands.  We are certainly not in “Mad Max” territory yet, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to see where all of this is headed.

I have previously written about how Detroit is literally coming apart at the seams.  Well, now in many areas of the city they can’t even keep the street lights on anymore.  There simply is not enough money, and even if there was, thieves are stealing the copper wiring out of the street lights faster than the city can repair them.

At this point, there are some neighborhoods in Detroit where up to 50 percent of the street lights are not functioning.

The following is from a recent article in The Detroit News about this crisis….

The war to keep the lights on in Detroit is a serious one. Thieves, antiquated equipment and a lack of funding have made it impossible for city officials to catch up to the problem.

City officials estimate 15-20 percent of the 88,000 lights in the Motor City are not working, and they acknowledge that figure could be as high as 50 percent in some neighborhoods.

But it is not just Detroit that is having a major problem.  Over in Highland Park, Michigan the majority of the street lights have been repossessed because the city was not keeping up with the electricity bill.

So what are residents of Highland Park supposed to do?

Are they supposed to lock themselves in their own homes at night?

In Fresno, California the theft of copper wire from street lights has become a total nightmare.  At this point, the loss of copper wire and the cost of repairing the street lights is costing Fresno about $50,000 a month.  So far, approximately 2,500 street lights have been stripped of their wiring.

Down in St. Louis they are having a different problem.  In some of the worst areas of the city, roving packs of wild dogs are a serious threat to children that are walking to school.

A recent report by the local CBS affiliate in St. Louis described the situation this way….

…Lewis Reed is sounding the alarm. “I’ve witnessed packs of dogs, 10 and 15 dogs running together, and I’ve seen all these dogs I’m talking about they don’t have collars, they don’t have tags, these are truly wild dogs,” he said.

Reed says stray dogs are terrorizing the north side. “It’s obscene that parents have to walk their kids to school, in some parts of the city, with a golf club to fend off wild dogs.”

Can you imagine that?

They say that they are going to try to put more money into animal control efforts if they can find it.  But like most major U.S. cities, St. Louis is a financial basket case.

Moving west a bit, Las Vegas is a different kind of a problem.  It was once a mighty symbol of American luxury and decadence, but now it is a microcosm of everything that has gone wrong with our economy.

The following description of the decline of Las Vegas comes from a recent article in The Telegraph….

But Las Vegas’s days as a boom town are long gone. At 14 percent, unemployment is the highest in America (the national average is 9.1 per cent). House prices have fallen 58.1 per cent since their 2006 high – the biggest losses of anywhere in America, while according to the website RealtyTrac, which specialises in foreclosed properties, Las Vegas is the nation’s foreclosure capital. Some 70 per cent of homes in Las Vegas are thought to be ‘under water’, or in negative equity, meaning their value is worth less than the amount owed on the mortgage, while foreclosure notices have been served on one in 16 properties. A survey last year by the local Las Vegas Review-Journal and Channel 8 News Now found that 34 per cent of locals would leave Las Vegas if they could find a job elsewhere, or if they weren’t underwater on their home loan.

Last year, I wrote a piece entitled “The Death of Las Vegas“.  Since then, things have gotten even worse for the city in many ways.

Today, there are hundreds of people living in the tunnels underneath the streets of Las Vegas.  You can see CNN video of some of these people right here.

But at least the “tunnel people” have a “roof” over their heads.

Over in “Lost Angeles”, homelessness is absolutely exploding and there are thousands of people living in the streets.

The following is from a recent article by Nick Allen….

In Skid Row, a grimy pocket of downtown Los Angeles, the prostrate forms of homeless people lie strewn across the pavements.

The lucky ones have tents for shelter but others make do with a sliver of cardboard for a bed and a supermarket trolley to carry their rags.

At the last police count 1,662 people live on these streets, twice as many as a year ago.

And now amid the drug addicts and the drunks there are families who not so long ago had homes and ordinary suburban lives.

Wait, wasn’t the economy supposed to be getting better?

So why has the number of people living on Skid Row doubled over the past year?

Los Angeles, like much of California, is rapidly falling apart.  Decades of very foolish policies have turned the “California Dream” into the “California Nightmare“.

Unemployment is rampant, crime is seemingly everywhere and the gangs appear to be getting bolder by the day.  For example, 21 machine guns were recently stolen right out of an LAPD training facility.

But there are cities in California that are in even worse shape than Los Angeles is.  If you go east of Los Angeles about 100 miles, you will come to the city of San Bernardino.  34.6 percent of the residents of San Bernardino are currently living below the poverty line.  Among major U.S. cities, only Detroit has a worse poverty rate.

Heading back to the east coast, the city of Camden, New Jersey is representative of the post-industrial hellholes that you will find all over the mid-Atlantic region and up into New England.

In an extraordinary article entitled “City of Ruins“, Chris Hedges did an amazing job of documenting how bad things have gotten in Camden.  Today it is estimated that the actual rate of unemployment in Camden is somewhere around 30 or 40 percent.  For most young people in Camden, there are very few legitimate opportunities for a better life, so many of them have resorted to selling drugs or selling their bodies in a desperate attempt to survive.

The following is a brief excerpt from “City of Ruins”….

There are perhaps a hundred open-air drug markets, most run by gangs like the Bloods, the Latin Kings, Los Nietos and MS-13. Knots of young men in black leather jackets and baggy sweatshirts sell weed and crack to clients, many of whom drive in from the suburbs. The drug trade is one of the city’s few thriving businesses. A weapon, police say, is never more than a few feet away, usually stashed behind a trash can, in the grass or on a porch.

The era of “American exceptionalism” is over.  We have rejected the things that made us great.  We have forsaken the truth and now we are paying the price.

At this point, we are rapidly becoming a joke to the rest of the world.

You know that things are bad when headlines such as this start showing up in major international publications: “America Must Manage Its Decline“.

Is that what we are going to tell our kids and our grandkids?

Are we going to tell them that we must “manage” our decline?

Most Americans also realize that something is fundamentally wrong.  According to a recent Time Magazine poll, 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the wrong track.

So why don’t our cities just spend more money and fix all of these problems?

Well, it is because most of them are drowning in a sea of red ink.  Instead of spending more money, most of them are desperately searching for more places to cut.  If you can believe it, 72 percent of all U.S. cities are laying workers off this year.

The federal government has been pumping massive amounts of money into state and local governments in recent years, but that can’t last much longer.  As I wrote about yesterday, the federal government is in debt up to its eyeballs.  In fact, the national debt has become so large that it threatens to collapse our entire financial system.

Sadly, the cold, hard truth is that we are now going to pay the price for decades of financial foolishness.

We thought that it would be our children and our grandchildren that would pay the price for our financial recklessness, but the reality is that we are going to pay the price too.

America is in a serious state of decline and things are going to get a lot worse in the years to come.

Take advantage of the relative prosperity that we are enjoying now to prepare for the lean years which are ahead.

Number One? 20 Not So Good Categories That The United States Leads The World In

Is the United States “number one”?  Many Americans take deep pride in their nation and the truth is that the U.S. has a lot going for it.  The United States has the largest economy in the world.  The United States also has the most powerful military on the entire planet.  The United States has produced most of the greatest movies that the world has ever seen.  But the United States is also number one in a lot of categories that are not go great.  If we ever want to turn this country around, we need to be very honest with ourselves.  We need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and realize that it is not a good thing that we are number one in divorce, drug addiction, debt, obesity, car thefts, murders and total crimes.  We have become a slothful, greedy, decadent nation that is exhibiting signs of advanced decay.  Until we understand just how bad our problems really are, we won’t be able to come up with the solutions that we need.

A lot of people that write articles like this have a deep hatred for America.  But that is not the case with me.  I love the United States.  I love the American people.  America is like an aging, bloated rock star that has become addicted to a dozen different drugs.  America is a shadow of its former self and it desperately needs to wake up before it plunges into oblivion.

If you do not believe that America is in bad shape, just read the list below.  The following are 20 not so good categories that the United States leads the world in….

#1 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the largest total prison population on the entire globe.

#2 According to NationMaster.com, the United States has the highest percentage of obese people in the world.

#3 The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.

#4 The United States is tied with the U.K. for the most hours of television watched per person each week.

#5 The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

#6 There are more car thefts in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world by far.

#7 There are more reported rapes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#8 There are more reported murders in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#9 There are more total crimes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#10 The United States also has more police officers than anywhere else in the world.

#11 The United States spends much more on health care as a percentage of GDP than any other nation on the face of the earth.

#12 The United States has more people on pharmaceutical drugs than any other country on the planet.

#13 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.

#14 Americans have more student loan debt than anyone else in the world.

#15 More pornography is created in the United States than anywhere else on the entire globe.  89 percent is made in the U.S.A. and only 11 percent is made in the rest of the world.

#16 The United States has the largest trade deficit in the world every single year.  Between December 2000 and December 2010, the United States ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars with the rest of the world, and the U.S. has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976.

#17 The United States spends 7 times more on the military than any other nation on the planet does.  In fact, U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.

#18 The United States has far more foreign military bases than any other country does.

#19 The United States has the most complicated tax system in the entire world.

#20 The U.S. has accumulated the biggest national debt that the world has ever seen and it is rapidly getting worse.  Right now, U.S. government debt is expanding at a rate of $40,000 per second.

So are you convinced that we are in trouble yet?

The truth is that America has changed.  Most of us don’t even say hello to our neighbors anymore.

In fact, we have become so self-involved that many of us don’t even notice when someone around us dies.

Just consider the following two examples.

*USA Today recently reported on the body of a dead woman that was not found for approximately a year even though a whole bunch of people walked right past the car where she died….

Bank contractors, inspectors and even the new owner of a foreclosed home walked past the silver Chevy Nova in the garage numerous times before discovering the former homeowner — dead on the front seat.

*In an even more shocking case, the CBS affiliate in Boston recently reported that a dead woman was lying on the bottom of a public pool for two days while large numbers of people swam right over her.  How in the world could something like this possibly happen?….

It’s a mystery as murky as the water at Veteran’s Memorial swimming pool in Fall River public pool: how did swimmers, lifeguards, or inspectors not notice a woman’s body at the bottom of the pool for a few days?

Marie Joseph, 36, was last seen at the pool on Sunday. The pool was open to the public Monday and Tuesday with six lifeguards on duty, and no one noticed the body under 12 feet of water.

Most Americans have become so self-involved that they barely even notice anyone other than their family and close friends.

The love of most Americans is growing cold and when the collapse of the U.S. economy happens it is just going to make things worse.  Instead of working as a community, most Americans will only be concerned with making sure that their own needs are taken care of.

The United States was once the most blessed nation on the face of the earth, but now we are literally falling to pieces.

Does anyone have any ideas about why this could be happening?

 

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