Happy Holidays? 28 Hard Questions It Would Be Great If We Could Get Some Real Answers To

Over the coming weeks, Americans will be wishing each other “happy holidays” millions upon millions of times.  But are these really happy times?  Record numbers of Americans are going to be going hungry and cold this winter.  Millions upon millions of our fellow citizens would gladly give up all holiday celebrations in exchange for a decent job.  The vast majority of us have plenty of examples of horrible personal tragedy all around us this holiday season, and much of that tragedy has been brought on by the deteriorating economic conditions.  Meanwhile, we have a “control freak” government that wants to establish an even tighter grip over our lives and that now insists on either viewing our exposed bodies or groping our private areas before we can get on an airplane.  Once upon a time in America the holiday season was a time to rejoice because we lived in a prosperous land where liberty and freedom were respected, but today we live in a nation with a highly centralized economy dominated by a federal government that is becoming more “totalitarian” by the day.

But we are told that centralized control by an overwhelmingly powerful national government is good in our case because “they” know what is best for us.

Oh really?  They sure have done a great job “managing” our economic system, haven’t they?  Unfortunately, it seems as though anything that the federal government takes control over just gets more messed up.

The following are 28 hard questions that you should ask anyone who believes that having a highly centralized economy and a highly centralized government is good for us….

#1 Why is the U.S. government trying to put a choke hold on our food production system? S. 510, The Food Safety Modernization Act, is being called one of the most dangerous bills in American history.  This very vague and incredibly broad bill (which you can read here) will give the U.S. government unprecedented control over the growing, storing and sale of food in the United States.

#2 Approximately 14.8 million Americans are unemployed this holiday season.  So why in the world is the “greatest economy on earth” not able to provide jobs for all of them?

#3 Why are the U.S. and South Korea insisting on conducting 4 days of naval exercises in the Yellow Sea when tensions in the reason are at an all-time high and when a single mistake could spark an all-out war?  Wouldn’t it be better to postpone these naval exercises until things have calmed down a bit?

#4 What prompted Russia and China to suddenly decide to quit using the U.S. dollar and instead start using their own national currencies when trading with each other?

#5 Why does it cost $181,757 per hour for Barack Obama to travel on Air Force One?

#6 Are we still a “great nation” when so many of our citizens are going hungry?  According to a recent BBC report, 15% of all U.S. households experienced a shortage of food at some point during 2009.  One of our readers named Gary recently left a comment that indicated that he encountered a very big crowd during his recent visit to a local food pantry….

The line at the food pantry was very long. There are a lot of folks who have little food and no money.

#7 If the U.S. economy is recovering, why were new home sales for October down 28.9 percent from a year ago and why were existing home sales for October down 25.9 percent over the previous year?

#8 Why are there so many reports of unprofessional behavior by TSA agents?  For example, it is being reported that some TSA agents have specifically targeted attractive young women for “additional screening”.

#9 Why are U.S. home builders only selling one-fifth of the homes that they were selling during the “boom times” five years ago?

#10 How did a man who had been convicted of misdemeanor harassment and stalking get hired to be a TSA agent?  Now it turns out he is being accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a woman.  These are the people who are supposed to be protecting us?

#11 In the “wealthiest nation on earth”, why are a record number of Americans going to be without heat this winter? According to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, more than 10 million U.S. households will not be able to afford to heat their homes this winter without assistance, which would be a new all-time record.  One of our readers named Elaine recently shared that she is one of those Americans that is going to be cold this winter….

It’s starting to get cold here in the mountains. I’m unemployed, no heat, at risk for foreclosure, etc. Everyone is at risk for this, it’s just that many of the muddleclass can’t face it yet. For a lot of us, it’s not cutting back on that bi-weekly latte that’s going to help, it’s cutting back on having electricity. Don’t judge the poor until you’ve been here.

#12 Why are Americans becoming so pessimistic about the future?  According to one recent poll, now only 51 percent of Americans believe that today’s young people will have a better life than their parents did.

#13 How did we ever get to the point as a nation where only 39 percent of likely voters believe that the U.S. government is operating within the limits established by the U.S. Constitution?

#14 Why does the mainstream media largely ignore the fact that thousands of people are being slaughtered near the U.S. border with Mexico each year and a city just across the Mexican border is now being dubbed “the most dangerous place on earth”?

#15 What does it say about American politics that the companies that produce the new naked body scanners have more than doubled their spending on political lobbying over the last five years?

#16 Why is the Washington Post working so hard to defend the policies of the Federal Reserve?

#17 Have we now gotten to the point where the financial condition of the U.S. government is so bad that it will be virtually impossible to ever have a balanced federal budget ever again?

#18 Why aren’t more Americans deeply concerned about the dozens of nasty diseases that they could catch from TSA agents if they don’t change gloves between each groping?

#19 Why are there 18 times as many banks on the FDIC “problem list” as there were just four years ago?

#20 What does it say about the United States that now 39 percent of Americans believe that marriage is becoming obsolete?

#21 How can anyone claim that the U.S. economy is turning around as long as the number of Americans on food stamps continues to set a new all-time record month after month?

#22 As thousands of factories and millions of jobs continue to be shipped overseas, why does Barack Obama keep publicly proclaiming that globalism is so good for us?

#23 Why aren’t Homeland Security officials willing to consider changes to the new airport security procedures when many women are actually using the term “sexual assault” to describe their experiences with the new “enhanced pat downs”?

#24 The median wealth of a U.S. Senator in 2009 was 2.38 million dollars.  So exactly what does that say about the health of our Republic?

#25 Why have our leaders allowed U.S. strategic grain reserves to shrivel away to almost nothing?

#26 In 2009, 54.9 million international tourists visited the United States, and those tourists spent approximately 93 billion dollars.  How far will those numbers drop once stories of TSA abuse circulate all over the globe?

#27 If Congress does not authorize another emergency extension of long-term unemployment benefits, then what in the world are the 2 million Americans who are going to suddenly lose their checks going to do?

#28 Are there still any areas left in the United States where liberty and freedom are respected, where taxes are low, where regulations are not suffocating, where the people are friendly and where Americans can be free to live an independent lifestyle?

50 Random Facts That Make You Wonder What In The World Has Happened To America

Our world is changing at a pace that is so staggering these days that it can be really hard to fully grasp the significance of what we are witnessing.  Hopefully the collection of random facts below will help you to “connect the dots” just a little bit.  On one level, the facts below may not seem related.  However, what they all do have in common is that they show just how much the United States has fundamentally changed.  Do you ever just sit back and wonder what in the world has happened to America?  The truth is that the America that so many of us once loved so much has been shattered into a thousand pieces.  The “land of the free and the home of the brave” has been transformed into a socialized Big Brother nanny state that is oozing with corruption and has accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  The greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen is falling apart before our very eyes, and even when our politicians actually try to do something right (which is quite rare) the end result is still a bunch of garbage.  For those who still love this land (and there are a lot of us) it is heartbreaking to watch America slowly die.

The following are 50 random facts that show just how dramatically America has changed….

#50) A new report released by the United Nations is publicly calling for the establishment of a world currency and none of the major news networks are even covering it.

#49) The state of California is so broke that Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered California State Controller John Chiang to reduce state worker pay for July to the federal minimum allowed by law — $7.25 an hour for most state workers.

#48) A police officer in Oklahoma recently tasered an 86-year-old disabled grandma in her bed and stepped on her oxygen hose until she couldn’t breathe because they considered her to be a “threat”.

#47) In early 2009, U.S. net national savings as a percentage of GDP went negative for the first time since 1952, and it has continued its downward trend since then.

#46) Corexit 9500 is so incredibly toxic that the UK’s Marine Management Organization has completely banned it, so if there was a major oil spill in the North Sea, BP would not be able to use it.  And yet BP has dumped over a million gallons of dispersants such as Corexit 9500 into the Gulf of Mexico.

#45) For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.

#44) It has come out that one employee used a Federal Emergency Management Agency credit card to buy $4,318 in “Happy Birthday” gift cards.  Two other FEMA officials charged the cost of 360 golf umbrellas ($9,000) to the taxpayers.

#43) Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo received $389,000 from the U.S. government to pay 100 residents of Buffalo $45 each to record how much malt liquor they drink and how much pot they smoke each day.

#42) The average duration of unemployment in the United States has risen to an all-time high.

#41) The bottom 40 percent of all income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

#40) In the U.S., the average federal worker now earns about twice as much as the average worker in the private sector.

#39) Back in 1950 each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 workers.  Today, each retiree’s Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 workers.  By 2025 it is projected that there will be approximately two workers for each retiree.

#38) According to a U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015.

#37) The federal government actually has the gall to ask for online donations that will supposedly go towards paying off the national debt.

#36) The Cactus Bug Project at the University Of Florida was allocated $325,394 in economic stimulus funds to study the mating decisions of cactus bugs.

#35) A dinner cruise company in Chicago got nearly $1 million in economic stimulus funds to combat terrorism.

#34) It is being reported that a 6-year-old girl from Ohio is on the “no fly” list maintained by U.S. Homeland Security.

#33) During the first quarter of 2010, the total number of loans that are at least three months past due in the United States increased for the 16th consecutive quarter.

#32) According to a new report, Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality and far less efficiency.

#31) Some experts are warning that the cost of bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could reach as high as $1 trillion.

#30) The FDA has announced that the offspring of cloned animals could be in our food supply right now and that there is nothing that they can do about it.

#29) In May, sales of new homes in the United States dropped to the lowest level ever recorded.

#28) In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1.  Since the year 2000, that ratio has ranged between 300 to 500 to one.

#27) Federal border officials recently said that Mexican drug cartels have not only set up shop on American soil, they are actually maintaining lookout bases in strategic locations in the hills of southern Arizona.

#26) The U.S. government has declared some parts of Arizona off limits to U.S. citizens because of the threat of violence from Mexican drug smugglers.

#25) According to the credit card repayment calculator, if you owe $6000 on a credit card with a 20 percent interest rate and only pay the minimum payment each time, it will take you 54 years to pay off that credit card.  During those 54 years you will pay $26,168 in interest rate charges in addition to the $6000 in principal that you are required to pay back.

#24) According to prepared testimony by Goldman Sachs Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs shorted roughly $615 million of the collateralized debt obligations and residential mortgage-backed securities the firm underwrote since late 2006.

#23) The six biggest banks in the United States now possess assets equivalent to 60 percent of America’s gross national product.

#22) Four of the biggest U.S. banks (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup) had a “perfect quarter” with zero days of trading losses during the first quarter of 2010.

#21) 1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 – a 32 percent increase over 2008.

#20) BP has hired private security contractors to keep the American people away from oil cleanup sites and nobody seems to care.

#19) Barack Obama is calling for a “civilian expeditionary force” to be sent to Afghanistan and Iraq to help overburdened military troops build infrastructure.

#18) On June 18th, two Christians decided that they would peacefully pass out copies of the gospel of John on a public sidewalk outside a public Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan and within 3 minutes 8 policemen surrounded them and placed them under arrest.

#17) It is being reported that sales of foreclosed homes in Florida made up nearly 40 percent of all home purchases in the first part of this year.

#16) During a recent interview with Larry King, former first lady Laura Bush revealed to the world that she is actually in favor of legalized gay marriage and a woman’s “right” to abortion.

#15) Scientists at Columbia University are warning that the dose of radiation from the new full body security scanners going into airports all over the United States could be up to 20 times higher than originally estimated.

#14) 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.

#13) The FDIC’s deposit insurance fund now has negative 20.7 billion dollars in it, which represents a slight improvement from the end of 2009.

#12) The judge that BP is pushing for to hear an estimated 200 lawsuits on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster gets tens of thousands of dollars a year in oil royalties and is paid travel expenses to industry conferences.

#11) In recent years the U.S. government has spent $2.6 million tax dollars to study the drinking habits of Chinese prostitutes and $400,000 tax dollars to pay researchers to cruise six bars in Buenos Aires, Argentina to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior when drunk.

#10) U.S. officials say that more than three billion dollars in cash (much of it aid money paid for by U.S. taxpayers) has been stolen by corrupt officials in Afghanistan and flown out of Kabul International Airport in recent years.

#9) According to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the baggage check fees collected by U.S. airlines shot up 33% in the first quarter of 2010 to $769 million.

#8) Three California high school students are fighting for their right to show their American patriotism – even on a Mexican holiday – after they were forced to remove their American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

#7) Right now, interest on the U.S. national debt and spending on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 percent of GDP.  By 2080, they are projected to eat up approximately 50 percent of GDP.

#6) The total of all government, corporate and consumer debt in the United States is now about 360 percent of GDP.

#5) A 6-year-old girl was recently handcuffed and sent to a mental facility after throwing temper tantrums at her elementary school.

#4) In Florida, students have been arrested by police for things as simple as bringing a plastic butter knife to school, throwing an eraser, and drawing a picture of a gun.

#3) School officials in one town in Massachusetts are refusing to allow students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

#2) According to one new study, approximately 21 percent of children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.

#1) Since 1973, more than 50 million babies have been murdered in abortion facilities across the United States.

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One Out Of Every Ten U.S. Banks Is Now On The FDIC’s Problem List – Do You Know If Your Bank Is Safe?

Do you know if your bank will be there next month?  For a growing number of Americans, that is becoming a very real question.  The Wall Street Journal is reporting that 775 banks (approximately ten percent of all U.S. banks) are now on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s list of “problem” banks.  This year we have already seen more than six dozen banks fail, and the frightening thing is that we are seeing a rapid acceleration in bank failures even though we are supposedly in a “recovery” right now.  So what happens if the economy takes a bad turn and hundreds of these banks that are barely surviving start failing?

Right now an increasing number of Americans are not paying their loans, and this is shredding the balance sheets of small and medium size banks all over the United States.  In fact, during the first quarter of 2010, the total number of loans that are at least three months past due increased for the 16th consecutive quarter.

16 consecutive quarters?

Once is a coincidence.

Twice is a trend.

Sixteen times in a row is a total nightmare.

Is there anyone out there that is still convinced that the economy is getting better?

If so, perhaps this will convince you otherwise….

There were 252 banks on the FDIC’s “problem list” at the end of 2008.

There were 702 banks on the FDIC’s “problem list” at the end of 2009.

Now there are 775 banks of the FDIC’s “problem list”.

Are you starting to see a trend?

Federal regulators have already closed 73 banks in 2010, more than double the number shut down at this time last year.

The truth is that the U.S. banking system is coming apart like a 20 dollar suit.

So is the FDIC worried?

No, they insist that they have plenty of money to cover all of the banks that are going to fail.

After all, the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund now has negative 20.7 billion dollars in it, which represents a slight improvement from the end of 2009.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Negative 20.7 billion dollars.

That should be enough to cover the hundreds of banks that are in the process of failing, right?

Well, if not, the FDIC can just run out and ask the U.S. government for a big, juicy bailout.

After all, can’t the U.S. government borrow an endless amount of money with absolutely no consequences?

Well, no.

Debt always catches up with you sooner or later.

In fact, the IMF is warning that that the gross public debt of the United States will hit 97 percent of GDP in 2011 and 110 percent of GDP in 2015.

Meanwhile, the U.S. financial system continues to shrink even after the unprecedented amount of “stimulus money” that the U.S. government has been shoveling into the economy.

The M3 money supply is now contracting at a frightening pace.

In fact, the current rate of monetary contraction now matches the average rate of monetary contraction the U.S. experienced between 1929 and 1933.

But don’t worry.

We aren’t going into a Depression.

Everything is going to be just fine.

Just look deep into Obama’s eyes and keep repeating the word “change” to yourself over and over.

According to a report in The Telegraph, the M3 money supply declined from $14.2 trillion to $13.9 trillion in the first quarter of 2010.

That represents an annual rate of contraction of 9.6 percent.

In case you were wondering, that is a lot.

Not only that, but the assets of institutional money market funds declined at a 37 percent annual rate.

That was the sharpest drop ever.

Yes, it is time for the alarm bells to start going off.

The Telegraph recently quoted Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research as saying the following about the deep problems that the U.S. is facing….

“The plunge in M3 has no precedent since the Great Depression. The dominant reason for this is that regulators across the world are pressing banks to raise capital asset ratios and to shrink their risk assets. This is why the US is not recovering properly.”

If banks continue to cut their lending, the M3 is going to continue to shrink.

But as noted above, Americans are increasingly getting behind on their loans, so why should banks loan money to a bunch of deadbeats?

Right now U.S. banks are increasingly tightening their lending standards, and this is making it much tougher to get a loan.

In fact, in 2009 the biggest U.S. banks posted their sharpest decline in lending since 1942.

But there is only one problem.

The U.S. economy is completely and totally dependent on credit.

Without easy credit, the entire U.S. economic machine is going to slowly grind to a halt.

So what do you do?

The reality is that we have one gigantic financial mess on our hands, and in many ways it is starting to look like the 1930s all over again.

But perhaps someone out there has a way to get us out of this nightmare.  Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts, opinions or solutions….

Fed Up

Do you ever get to the point where you are just fed up with the way that things are headed?  There are times when it seems as if we are all stuck in some kind of horrific nightmare that we can’t wake up from.  Day after day we get the privilege of watching our esteemed leaders down in Washington D.C. wreck the U.S. economy, push us towards socialism and globalism, and slowly erode our constitutional freedoms.  Day after day we get the privilege of watching corruption and greed run wild down on Wall Street.  Day after day those of us who are awake to what is going on find ourselves increasingly frustrated with the vast majority of Americans who are either too dazed, too drugged or too asleep to even care that the great nation that their forefathers built is in the process of crumbling all around them.  Not that there aren’t some promising signs out there.  Certainly Rand Paul’s recent victory in Kentucky shows that the American people are not automatically going to vote for the candidates backed by the establishment anymore.  But it seems like every piece of good news these days is accompanied by a dozen news stories that are so bad that they make you want to scream.  It is incredibly frustrating that tens of millions of Americans who bust their backs working incredibly long hours, who try to do what is right, and who truly do love their country are going to pay the price for the errors of a bunch of idiots down in Washington D.C. and New York.  The America that so many of us grew up in love with (the once great Republic with the greatest free enterprise system in the world) is being strangled out of existence by a horde of globalists, socialists and elitists.  Well, there are millions of us who are fed up.  I am fed up.  So today you are going to get an “editorial”.  Actually what you are going to get is an old-fashioned rant.  But the truth is that we live during times when ranting is appropriate.  Feel free to express your agreement or disagreement with the various things I am going to rant about below.  Hopefully if enough people start talking about these things, the American people will wake up and start taking their country back.

So exactly what am I fed up about?   

I’m fed up with politicians in Washington D.C. who prance around and talk about what a good job they are doing while they pile up the biggest debt in the history of the world.  We are stealing trillions of dollars from future generations, and if they get the chance they will curse us for the horrific debt that we have left them. 

I’m fed up with an unelected, privately-owned central bank issuing and controlling the currency of the United States.  Nobody but the U.S. government should be issuing U.S. dollars.  The reality is that the Federal Reserve is about as “federal” as Federal Express is, and the international bankers have used it for decades to transfer the wealth of the nation into their own pockets.

I’m fed up with being told that the money I have worked so hard to earn needs to be “redistributed” to people who wouldn’t know a hard day of work if it came up and bit them on the rear.

I’m fed up with Tea Party activists who believe in the Constitution and who desperately want to see a return to the ideals that the American republic was founded upon being labeled as “extremists” by the media while those who are pushing a socialism and globalism on America are referred to as “centrist” and “mainstream”.

I’m fed up with anyone who suggests that it is a good idea for the government to get to look at an image of our naked bodies before we are allowed to get on an airplane.

I’m fed up with hearing that there are banks that are “too big to fail” and that it is necessary for tax money taken from me to be used to bail them out.

I’m fed up with a financial system that is so rigged that four of the biggest U.S. banks (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup) can have a “perfect quarter” with zero days of trading losses during the first quarter of 2010.

I’m fed up with a financial system where the Dow can plunge nearly 1000 points in a single hour and nobody can seem to be able to figure out what happened.

I’m fed up with being told that I need to reduce my “carbon footprint” when carbon dioxide does not cause global warming and over 95% of total carbon dioxide emissions would occur even if humans were not present on Earth.

I’m fed up with people telling me that we should be glad to pay all the new taxes in the “health care reform” law because socialized medicine is such a good idea.   

I’m fed up with the open manipulation of the gold and silver markets right under the noses of the federal government.

I’m fed up with politicians that spend money in order to get votes without any concern for the financial future of this nation whatsoever.

I’m fed up with a government that can protect the South Korean border so well that not a single person gets through illegally for decades, and yet has done such a bad job of protecting our own border that Phoenix, Arizona has become the car theft capital of the world.

I’m fed up with a government that is so embarrassed by the recent anti-illegal immigration law passed in Arizona that they apologize to the communist Chinese for it.

I’m fed up with yuppies who went out and bought McMansions that they could not possibly afford whining and crying now that they are losing their houses.

I’m fed up with politicians shipping our manufacturing base to the third world and then pretending that it is our fault when we can’t get jobs.

I’m fed up with people telling me how wonderful “free trade” and “the global economy” are while our once great manufacturing cities such as Detroit turn into rusted-out war zones.

I’m fed up with international organizations such as the IMF and the WHO telling us that they want the American people to start paying global taxes.

I’m fed up with politicians being treated like celebrities and rock stars when they are actually leading American right into the toilet.

I’m fed up with a president and a Congress that are rapidly dismantling the strategic nuclear arsenal that has helped keep America safe for decades.

I’m fed up with politicians who run over to China and beg them to keep buying even more of our debt.

I’m fed up with the United Nations and members of the U.S. government claiming that there are far too many people in the world and that we need to promote population control measures all over the globe.

I’m fed up with a Supreme Court that has absolutely no respect at all for the personal property rights of ordinary Americans.

I’m fed up with a government that insists that freakishly-altered genetically modified crops are good for us, and that allows companies like Monsanto to ruthlessly push these “Frankenfoods” on to dinner tables all across the United States.

I’m fed up with a public that is far more interested in the death of Michael Jackson and in what is going on with Jon & Kate than in the absolutely crucial economic and political issues that directly affect them and their families. 

I’m fed up with a government that is so incompetent when it comes to foreign policy that Russia and China are literally running circles around them.

I’m fed up with a government that allows nearly a million innocent babies to be killed year in and year out.

I’m fed up with watching Wall Street bankers rake in record-setting bonuses while nearly 40 million Americans are on food stamps.

I’m fed up with a national debt that is impossible to pay off, a dollar that has lost over 95 percent of its value since the Federal Reserve was created and a financial system that is designed to fail.

If you don’t understand why the U.S. economic system is doomed, you should check out the video posted below.  The inevitable collapse of the U.S. financial system is beautifully illustrated in this brand new documentary entitled “Meltup”.  It is one of the best videos on the economic crisis that America is facing that has ever been posted on YouTube.  This video is likely to make you very mad, but after watching it you will have a much greater understanding of the economic nightmare that the United States is now facing….

So are you fed up too? Please feel free to leave a comment telling us what you are upset about….

Will The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Be An Economic Disaster That The Gulf Coast Will Never Recover From?

As a silent blanket of black goo that is now about the size of the state of Florida slowly but relentlessly drifts towards the Gulf Coast, communities in the region are bracing for an economic catastrophe that is being described as a “slow motion Katrina”.  Still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina after all these years, many who depend on the Gulf of Mexico for their livelihood fear that the massive oil spill heading their way could prove to be an economic disaster from which they will never recover.  Thousands of businesses in the region could go under before all of this is over, and millions could lose their jobs.  As the gigantic mass of black oil kills and maims all the wildlife it encounters, and as it pushes dangerously close to the coastal wetlands, many residents are predicting that two of the most important industries in the region – seafood and tourism – will be completely and totally destroyed.

Already, the edges of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have grazed the barrier islands off Louisiana’s Chandeleur and Breton sounds.  BP spokeswoman Ayana McIntosh-Lee announced on Monday that the damaged well is releasing 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.  At this point there is no end in sight.

In fact, the oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico is now larger than the entire state of Florida, and each day it grows larger and more insidious.

Scientists in the region tell us that the Gulf oil spill could actually get into what’s called the “Loop Current” within a day, eventually carrying oil south along the Florida coast and into the Florida Keys.  In fact, one prominent oceanographer says that he cannot think of any scenario where the oil spill doesn’t eventually reach the Florida Keys.

And there are indications that things could get a whole lot worse before they get better.

It is being reported that a confidential government report on the oil spill in the Gulf makes it clear that the Coast Guard now fears that the damaged well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.  One Alabama newspaper has posted excerpts from this alarming report….

“The following is not public,” reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Emergency Response document dated April 28th that was posted on . “Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought.”

How bad could it get?

Well, if the riser pipe blows out, experts tell us that we could see 5 to 10 times as much oil flowing into the Gulf as we are now.

That would be a nightmare of Biblical proportions.

Not that we aren’t facing a complete and total nightmare already.

Both Obama administration and BP are  indicating that it might take up to three months to completely seal off the leaking oil well.

3 more months of oil flowing into the Gulf?

How in the world could the Gulf Coast ever recover from that?

And once the oil spill gets into the wetlands along the coast it will never, ever be able to be totally cleaned up.

Already, environmentalists are warning that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could absolutely devastate the bird population of the region.

You see, nearly 75 percent of all U.S. waterfowl use Louisiana’s three million acres of wetlands to rest or nest.  Once the oil spill gets into those wetlands it is over for those waterfowl.

Not only that, but Louisiana produces more fish and seafood than anywhere in the United States except for Alaska.  The cost of this disaster to the fishing industry in Louisiana alone could top 3 billion dollars, and it is being projected that the tourism industry in Florida could lose even more than that.

In fact, some local shrimpers in the region are gloomily forecasting that it will be seven years before they can set to sea again.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Entire industries are going to be wiped out by this thing.

In economic terms, this is far bigger than Katrina.

What we are witnessing is the potential economic death of an entire region.

To get an idea of just what kind of a nightmare the residents of the Gulf Coast are facing, just read some of the quotes that have been popping up in mainstream media sources over the last couple of days….

The Telegraph:

“Worst case scenarios almost never happen,” Professor Robert Thomas, of New Orleans’ Loyola University, was quoted as saying yesterday. “In this case, almost everyone I have known with technical knowledge of oil spills – people who have worked in the industry 30, 40 years – say it is upon us.”

Louis Miller of the Mississippi Sierra Club:

This is going to destroy the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast as we know it.

The Los Angeles Times:

“A major oil spill would devastate the ecosystem and the economy based on that ecosystem,” said Larry Crowder, professor of marine biology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “It’s a particularly bad time of year because just about everything is nesting or replicating.

“In the Gulf of Mexico giant blue fin tuna are spawning, and their eggs and larvae float on the surface,” he said. “Seabirds and gulls are nesting. For nesting sea turtles, obviously, oiling the beaches could have a devastating impact.”

An anonymous Louisiana resident:

“A hurricane is like closing your bank account for a few days, but this here has the capacity to destroy our bank accounts.”

Even if you have a heart that is cold as a stone, now is the time to pray for those who live along the Gulf Coast.  The oil spill relentlessly pushing towards the shore threatens to destroy countless numbers of lives.

Hopefully BP (or someone else) will find a way to keep this disaster from escalating out of control.

If not, there are going to be a whole lot of people who are going to need our help.

Emergency Seed Bank

Emergency Seed Bank

Why Do So Many Bad Things Keep Happening To The United States?

At a time when the American economy is already reeling like a drunken sailor, the United States is being hit by what seems like an endless parade of horrible disasters that threaten to push the fragile financial system over the edge.  The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is now destroying not only the the entire economy of the Gulf Coast but also the entire way of life for hundreds of thousands of people is getting all the headlines right now, but it is far from the only major crisis that has hit the United States recently.  The old saying, “when it rains it pours”, is certainly applicable to the United States right now.  Already faced with some of the biggest economic problems in a generation, America is also being forced to deal with horrifying natural disasters, rapidly growing environmental nightmares and agricultural problems that could end up being absolutely unprecedented.  So why do so many bad things keep happening to the United States?  Does there come a point when the economic damage from all of these disasters just becomes too much?  After all, how many body blows can the “biggest economy in the world” take and still remain standing?  

Consider just a few of the major disasters that the U.S. is having to deal with….

*The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill

Industry experts are now saying that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could be increasing at a rate of 25,000 barrels a day – five times the U.S. government’s current estimate.  In fact, Barack Obama is calling the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.

So how much is this disaster going to cost?

Well, estimates vary at this point, but it is being reported that some analysts are already projecting that the costs related to the oil spill drifting toward Louisiana from a well operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico could exceed 14 billion dollars.

The cost to the fishing industry in Louisiana alone could top 3 billion dollars, and it is being projected that the tourism industry in Florida could lose even more than that. 

This is rapidly shaping up as one of the biggest environmental nightmares (perhaps the biggest) that the United States has ever had to face.  In fact, there are some who are saying that this incident has already eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident as the worst U.S. oil disaster in history.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is warning that the oil spill in the Gulf threatens the very way of life of people in his state.  As bad as Hurricane Katrina was, there are those who are already claiming that this disaster will be worse than Hurricane Katrina for the region, because it will literally take years for this mess to be cleaned up.  In fact, there is a very real possibility that the fishing industry may be crippled for generations by this disaster.

*The Disappearance Of The Honeybees

For the fourth year in a row in the United States, more than a third of all bee colonies have failed to survive the winter.

To be more precise, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the U.S. government’s Agricultural Research Service, the number of managed honeybee colonies in the United States fell by 33.8% last winter.

Needless to say, this is not a good trend.

In fact, it could quickly turn into an unmitigated disaster as it is estimated that a third of all that we eat depends upon honeybee pollination.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Most flowering plants require insects for pollination.  The most effective insect for pollination is the honeybee.

Without honeybees, we are going to be in a world of hurt.

According to WorldNetDaily, the following is a list of just some of the crops that depend on honeybees: almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, citrus fruits, cranberries, grapes, kiwi, loganberries, macadamia nuts, nectarines, olives, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, onions, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, alfalfa hay and seed, cotton lint, cotton seed, legume seed, peanuts, rapeseed, soybeans, sugar beets and sunflowers.

In fact, Ohio State University’s honeybee specialist, James Tew, recently told the following to the Dayton Daily News….

“The average person should care. Bees of all species are fundamental to the operation of our ecosystem.”

So what happens if they all die off?

You don’t even want to think about that.

But certainly our scientists can find a solution, right?

Well, the World Organization for Animal Health announced on Wednesday that the huge die off of bees worldwide is not due to any one single factor.

Some of the factors for the honeybee deaths the World Organization for Animal Health included in its report include parasites, viral and bacterial infections, pesticides, and poor nutrition.

Other researchers claim that genetically modified crops and cell phone transmissions are also playing a role in the disappearance of the honeybees.

But the truth is that a “solution” seems to be very far away right now and we are running out of time.

*The Deadly Tornadoes Which Have Ravaged The Southeast

Last Sunday saw an unprecedented outbreak of tornadoes across the southeast United States.  Officials said 61 tornadoes erupted as a massive storm marched across states such as Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina. 

Winds inside some of the tornadoes were clocked as high as 160 mph, and one of the tornadoes had a base one and a half miles wide.

The tornadoes killed at least 12 people, and it is estimated that the damage that they caused could reach into the billions of dollars.

*The Drying Up Of The Ogallala Aquifer

Most Americans have never heard of the Ogallala Aquifer, but it is absolutely critical to food production in many areas of the United States.

The water from this massive underground lake is used to irrigate much of America’s Great Plains.  But it is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute and it is starting to dry up.  

So why is that a bad thing?

Well, the Ogallala Aquifer is a gigantic underground lake that stretches from southern South Dakota all the way through northern Texas, covering approximately 174,000 square miles.

If it gets depleted, the era of “pivot irrigation” in the region will be over.  That would mean that the Great Plains could quickly turn into the Great American Desert. 

America could very well see a return to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.

Are you prepared for that?

Even if agricultural production continues to grow normally, scientists are telling us that the world is heading for a massive global food shortage.  So what happens if our food production does not increase or is even reduced?

Sadly, the United States has only enough grain stored up to give about a half a loaf of bread to every man, woman and child in the United States.

How long do you think that is going to last in the event of a major emergency?

The truth is that “the good times” we have all grown up with are not going to last forever.  The United States is in big trouble economically, and all of these natural disasters and environmental problems are not helping things one bit. 

We are not entitled to endless wealth and prosperity just because we are Americans.  In fact, we have recklessly squandered the wealth that prior generations have left for us. 

But even as the economy crumbles around them, millions of Americans will remain in denial until the day they have to cook a dinner of “mouse soup” for their starving family.

11 Clear Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Headed Into The Toilet

The U.S. Economy Is Headed Into The ToiletThe vast majority of the talking heads on television are still speaking of the current economic collapse as if it is a temporary “recession” that will soon be over.  So far, the vast majority of the American people seem to believe this as well, although for many Americans there is a very deep gnawing in the pit of their stomachs that is telling them that there is something very, very wrong this time around.  The truth is that the foundations of the U.S. economy have been destroyed by an orgy of government, corporate and individual debt that has gone on for decades.  It was the greatest party in the history of the world, but now the party is over.  The following are 11 signs from just this past month that show that the U.S. economy is headed into the toilet and will not be recovering….

#1) When even Wal-Mart is closing stores you know things are bad.  Wal-Mart announced on Monday that it will close 10 money-losing Sam’s Club stores and will cut 1,500 jobs in order to reduce costs.  So if even Wal-Mart has to shut down stores, what chance do other retailers have?

#2) Americans are going broke at a staggering pace.  1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 – a 32 percent increase over 2008.

#3) American workers are working harder than ever and yet making less.  After adjusting for inflation, pay for production and non-supervisory workers (80 percent of the private workforce) is 9% lower than it was in 1973.  But those Americans who do still have jobs are the fortunate ones.

#4) Unemployment is absolutely exploding all over the United States.  Minority groups have been hit particularly hard.  For example, unemployment on many U.S. Indian reservations is over 80 percent.

#5) Unfortunately the employment situation is showing no signs of turning around.  December was actually the worst month for U.S. unemployment since the so-called “Great Recession” began.

#6) So just how bad are things when compared to past recessions?  During the 2001 recession, the U.S. economy lost 2% of its jobs and it took four years to get them back. This time the U.S. economy has lost more than 5% of its jobs and there is no sign that the bleeding of jobs will stop any time soon.

#7) Can you imagine trying to get your first job in this economic climate?  Our young men and women either can’t get work or have given up on work altogether.  The percentage of Americans 16 to 24 who have jobs is 13 percent lower than ten years ago.

#8) So where did all the jobs go?  Over the past few decades we have allowed the corporate giants to ship mountains of American jobs overseas, and there are signs that this trend is only going to get worse.  In fact, Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder estimates that 22% to 29% of all current U.S. jobs will be offshorable within two decades.  So get ready for even more of our jobs to be shipped off to Mexico, China and India.

#9) All of these job losses are leading to defaults on mortgages.  Over the past couple of years we have seen the American Dream in reverse.  According to a report that was just released, delinquent home loans at government-controlled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac surged 20 percent from July through September.

#10) But that is nothing compared to what is coming.  A massive “second wave” of mortgage defaults is getting ready to hit the U.S. economy starting in 2010.  In fact, this “second wave” is so frightening that even 60 Minutes is reporting on it

#11) Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has announced that it made a record profit of $46.1 billion in 2009.  Apparently during this economic crisis it is a very good time to be a bankster.

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