America Has Become A Lawless Nation – Hillary Clinton Magically Cleared By The FBI

Hillary Clinton - Photo by Nathania JohnsonIt is hard to be proud to be an American today after watching FBI director James Comey magically clear Hillary Clinton of all wrongdoing.  Sadly, Comey is likely to go down in history as the man that struck the final death blow to the rule of law in America.  During his address to the media, Comey admitted that Clinton sent or received 110 emails in 52 email chains that contained classified material at the time they were sent.  But of course there were probably many more.  Comey told the press that it was “likely that there are other work-related emails that they did not produce … that are now gone because they deleted all emails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices.”  So basically Clinton turned over to the FBI whatever she felt like turning over, and then she destroyed the rest of the evidence.  As a former lawyer, this infuriates me, but it doesn’t surprise me.

In fact, it doesn’t surprise me at all that Hillary Clinton was allowed to skate.  I expected this all along.  If you search the thousands of articles that I have posted on The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream, you will find many articles where I say that Hillary Clinton should be in prison, but not a single one where I ever said that I thought she would be going to prison.

This is how politics in America works today.  People like Bill and Hillary Clinton could openly sacrifice children to Satan on the White House lawn and still probably not get into trouble.  Despite scandal after scandal going all the way back to Arkansas in the 1980s, nothing ever sticks to them, and nothing probably ever will.

In this case, FBI director James Comey essentially had to rewrite federal law in order to clear Clinton.  This is something that Andrew McCarthy explained very well in his article entitled “FBI Rewrites Federal Law to Let Hillary Off the Hook”

There is no way of getting around this: According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust. Director Comey even conceded that former Secretary Clinton was “extremely careless” and strongly suggested that her recklessness very likely led to communications (her own and those she corresponded with) being intercepted by foreign intelligence services.

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In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.

The amazing thing is that the FBI handled a highly similar case very, very differently less than a year ago.  Just check out what happened to Naval reservist Bryan Nishimura

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman immediately sentenced Nishimura to two years of probation, a $7,500 fine, and forfeiture of personal media containing classified materials. Nishimura was further ordered to surrender any currently held security clearance and to never again seek such a clearance.

According to court documents, Nishimura was a Naval reservist deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. In his role as a Regional Engineer for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Nishimura had access to classified briefings and digital records that could only be retained and viewed on authorized government computers. Nishimura, however, caused the materials to be downloaded and stored on his personal, unclassified electronic devices and storage media. He carried such classified materials on his unauthorized media when he traveled off-base in Afghanistan and, ultimately, carried those materials back to the United States at the end of his deployment. In the United States, Nishimura continued to maintain the information on unclassified systems in unauthorized locations, and copied the materials onto at least one additional unauthorized and unclassified system.

Nishimura’s actions came to light in early 2012, when he admitted to Naval personnel that he had handled classified materials inappropriately. Nishimura later admitted that, following his statement to Naval personnel, he destroyed a large quantity of classified materials he had maintained in his home. Despite that, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched Nishimura’s home in May 2012, agents recovered numerous classified materials in digital and hard copy forms. The investigation did not reveal evidence that Nishimura intended to distribute classified information to unauthorized personnel.

So what is the difference between Nishimura and Clinton?

Neither of them ever intended to do anything wrong.

So why were they treated so differently?

Needless to say, social media is exploding with outrage over this decision to let Clinton go free.  Many Americans are openly asking why they should continue to play by the rules if politicians like Hillary Clinton are not required to do so.

Unfortunately, this is what America has become.  Our politicians are a reflection of who we are as a society, and as I have stated before Hillary Clinton is going to be the overwhelming favorite if there is an election in November.  At this moment, she has solid leads in all of the “swing states”, and she only really needs to win one of them

Perhaps you enjoy talk of battleground states. Well, there’s a scenario for you, too. First, pick the six “closest” swing states (VA, NH, IA, OH, FL, NC). Got it? Now understand that New Hampshire excepted, Clinton only has to win one of them in order to reach the requisite 270 electoral votes to win. (Optional third step for Republicans only: start shotgunning Pabst Blue Ribbon and don’t stop until November.)

Lest any Trump supporters seek solace in poll numbers, recent polls have Trump sliding further behind in all the relevant swing states. According to a Ballotpedia battleground poll released last week, Trump trails by 14% in Florida, 4% in Iowa, 10% in North Carolina, 9% in Ohio, and 7% in Virginia.

Hillary Clinton is a horrible, evil, miserable human being, and right now she is the odds-on favorite to become the next president of the United States.

But ultimately it is the American people that are to blame for blindly supporting corrupt politicians such as Clinton, and if they willingly pick her to be our next president then we will certainly deserve whatever consequences follow.

Undeniable Evidence That The Real Economy Is Already In Recession Mode

Evidence - Public DomainYou are about to see a chart that is undeniable evidence that we have already entered a major economic slowdown.  In the “real economy”, stuff is bought and sold and shipped around the country by trucks, railroads and planes.  When more stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is growing, and when less stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is shrinking.  I know that might sound really basic, but I want everyone to be on the same page as we proceed in this article.  Just because stock prices are artificially high right now does not mean that the U.S. economy is in good shape.  In fact, there was a stock rally at this exact time of the year in 2008 even though the underlying economic fundamentals were rapidly deteriorating.  We all remember what happened later that year, so we should not exactly be rejoicing that precisely the same pattern that we witnessed in 2008 is happening again right in front of our eyes.

During the month of April, the Cass Transportation Index was down 4.9 percent on a year over year basis.  What this means is that a lot less stuff was bought and sold and shipped around the country in April 2016 when compared to April 2015.  The following comes from Wolf Richter

Freight shipments by truck and rail in the US fell 4.9% in April from the beaten-down levels of April 2015, according to the Cass Transportation Index, released on Friday. It was the worst April since 2010, which followed the worst March since 2010. In fact, shipment volume over the four months this year was the worst since 2010.

This is no longer statistical “noise” that can easily be brushed off.

Of course this was not just a one month fluke.  The reality is that we have now seen the Cass Shipping Index decline on a year over year basis for 14 consecutive months.  Here is more commentary and a chart from Wolf Richter

The Cass Freight Index is not seasonally adjusted. Hence the strong seasonal patterns in the chart. Note the beaten-down first four months of 2016 (red line):

Cass Freight Index - Wolfstreet

This is undeniable evidence that the “real economy” has been slowing down for more than a year.  In 2007-2008 we saw a similar thing happen, but the Federal Reserve and most of the “experts” boldly assured us that there was not going to be a recession.

Of course then we immediately proceeded to plunge into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Traditionally, railroad activity has been a key indicator of where the U.S. economy is heading next.  Just a few days ago, I wrote about how U.S. rail traffic was down more than 11 percent from a year ago during the month of April, and I included a photo that showed 292 Union Pacific engines sitting in the middle of the Arizona desert doing absolutely nothing.

Well, just yesterday one of my readers sent me a photograph of a news article from North Dakota about how a similar thing is happening up there.  Hundreds of rail workers are being laid off, and engines are just sitting idle on the tracks because there is literally nothing for them to do…

North Dakota Railroad Engines Idle

Intuitively, does it seem like this should be happening in a “healthy” economy?

Of course not.

The reason why this is happening is because businesses have been selling less stuff.  Total business sales have now been declining for almost two years, and they are now close to 15 percent lower than they were in late 2014.

Because sales are way down, unsold inventories are really starting to pile up.  The inventory to sales ratio is now close to the level it was at during the worst moments of the last recession, and many analysts expect it to continue to keep going up.

Why can’t people understand what is happening?  So far this year, job cut announcements are up 24 percent and the number of commercial bankruptcies is shooting through the roof.  Signs that we are in the early chapters of a new economic downturn are all around us, and yet denial is everywhere.

For instance, just consider this excerpt from a CNBC article entitled “This key recession signal is broken“…

Treasury yields are behaving as if they are signaling a recession, but strategists say this time it’s more likely a sign of something else.

The market has been buzzing about the flattening yield curve, or the fact that yields on longer duration Treasurys are getting closer to yields on shorter duration securities.

In the case of 10-year notes and two-year notes, that spread was the flattest Friday than it has been on a closing basis since late 2007. The yield curve had turned negative in 2006 and stayed there for months in 2007 before turning higher ahead of the Great Recession. The spread was at 95 at Friday’s curve but widened Monday to more than 96.

Treasury yields are very, very clearly telling us that a new recession is here, but because the “experts” don’t want to believe it they are telling us that the signal is “broken”.

For many Americans, all that seems to matter is that the stock market has recovered from the horrible crashes last August and earlier this year.  But in the end, I am convinced that those crashes will simply be regarded as “foreshocks” of a much greater crash in our not too distant future.

But if you don’t want to believe me, perhaps you will listen to Goldman Sachs.  They just came out with six reasons why stocks are about to tumble.

Or perhaps you will believe Bank of America.  They just came out with nine reasons why a big stock market decline is on the horizon.

To me, one of the big developments has been the fact that stock buybacks are really starting to dry up.  In fact, announced stock buybacks have declined 38 percent so far this year

After snapping up trillions of dollars of their own stock in a five-year shopping binge that dwarfed every other buyer, U.S. companies from Apple Inc. to IBM Corp. just put on the brakes. Announced repurchases dropped 38 percent to $244 billion in the last four months, the biggest decline since 2009, data compiled by Birinyi Associates and Bloomberg show. “If the only meaningful source of demand in the market is companies buying their own shares back, then what happens if that goes away?” asked Brad McMillan, CIO of Commonwealth “We should be concerned.”

Stock buybacks have been one of the key factors keeping stock prices at artificially inflated levels even though underlying economic conditions have been deteriorating.  Now that stock buybacks are drying up, it is going to be difficult for stocks to stay disconnected from economic reality.

A lot of people have been asking me recently when the next crisis is going to arrive.

I always tell them that it is already here.

Just like in early 2008, economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating, but the stock market has not gotten the memo quite yet.

And just like in 2008, when the financial markets do finally start catching up with reality it will likely happen very quickly.

So don’t take your eyes off of the deteriorating economic fundamentals, because it is inevitable that the financial markets will follow eventually.

There Sure Is A Lot Of Buzz About A Potential Terror Attack On Christmas Day Or New Year’s Eve

2016 - Public DomainI have never seen more buzz about a potential terror attack during the holiday season than I am seeing right now.  Over the past couple of weeks, the mainstream media and the alternative media have both been full of headlines about the possibility of terrorism on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve.  And personally, I have had numerous people contact me with their concerns or regarding something that they have heard from others.  In addition to threats from ISIS, there are many out there that are completely convinced that we could soon see a major false flag incident in the United States.  So are any of these rumors true?  Will we soon see a major terror incident in America?  I want to make it very clear that I do not know.  As an attorney, I have been trained to come to conclusions based on the evidence, and at this moment I do not have anything completely solid to report to you.  But I do believe that it is noteworthy that there is so much buzz about a potential terror attack that is coming in from so many different directions.

For example, earlier today a mainstream news report indicated that authorities had discovered a “credible threat” against New York City.  The phrase “credible threat” was later retracted, but it is a fact that NYPD Commissioner William Bratton did hold “an emergency meeting” on Tuesday to address the threat of terror…

Top NYPD brass including Commissioner William Bratton held an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the need for increased vigilance, sources said.

All New York City police officers received a bulletin Tuesday afternoon outlining the department’s tactical plan and warning officers to stay vigilant, according to sources. That internal memo mentioned social media being used as a tactic and that a possible attack could come without warning.

Expect to see increased police presence at iconic locations across multiple boroughs, including Times Square, St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Midnight Mass on Thursday, and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, marking the first time a threat has sparked a swell of police presence in a borough other than Manhattan.

In Germany, it is being reported that a former ISIS fighter is telling authorities that ISIS is planning “coordinated attacks across multiple European cities”

ISIS are threatening coordinated attacks across multiple European cities, a former militant who escaped from the terror group has revealed.

The former Islamic State fighter – called Harry S – recently escaped from the group in Syria and is now being questioned by the authorities in Germany.

He says, along with other fighters, he was asked if he would “bring jihad to their homeland”.

Could he be telling the truth?

You never know.  He might just be blowing a lot of hot air.  But after what recently took place in Paris and San Bernardino, we all need to be more diligent.

And without a doubt, it is quite probable that the next attack could be bigger than anything else that we have seen so far.  That same ex-ISIS fighter told the Germans that ISIS wants “something that happens everywhere at the same time”

Worryingly, as reported by Der Spiegel, he told police: “They want something that happens everywhere at the same time.

“All you need is to take a big knife, and go down to the streets and slighter every infidel you encounter.”

And there is some evidence that radical Islamists have been planning just such an attack inside the United States.  Just check out what authorities found when they recently raided the home of a 19-year-old jihadist in Pennsylvania

Thursday, The U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest of 19-year-old Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz, who lived in a home with his parents in the 1700 block of Fulton Street in Harrisburg.

According to an affidavit, Aziz was preparing to conduct or assist in an attack in the U.S. An investigation also revealed that Aziz attempted to aid ISIS supporters in traveling to Syria for the purpose of becoming ISIS fighters.

On November 27, investigators raided Aziz’s home and found five loaded M4-style high-capacity magazines, a modified kitchen knife, a thumb drive, medication and a balaclava inside a backpack Aziz’s kept inside a closet.

We also know that the San Bernardino shooters had accumulated quite an arsenal in their home as well.  Mike Adams of Natural News believes that this is yet more evidence that a “multi-city ISIS attack” was being planned…

I have reason to believe that a massive, multi-city ISIS attack will be unleashed across America in the near future.

Why do I believe this? Because the evidence points to the likelihood that the San Bernardino ISIS terrorists disobeyed orders and prematurely initiated their attack on a relatively small group. The twelve pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition found in their apartment point to the realization that they were preparing for something much larger.

If you’re a terrorist, you don’t build twelve pipe bombs and then leave them behind during your attack. You use them in large crowds, of course, to maximize the bloodshed and terror factor. The very existence of these pipe bombs — if indeed they weren’t planted by the feds — means that another, larger attack was in the planning stages and approaching activation.

Whether we see a major attack within the next couple of weeks or not, it is inevitable that the next one will happen at some point.  I think that the holidays are a flashpoint in particular because they have a great deal of symbolic meaning and because there are such large public gatherings of people around Christmas and on New Year’s Eve.

And the federal government recognizes this as well.  As Christmas draws closer, FEMA has been helping churches prepare for “active shooter incidents“, and the feds will be keeping a very close eye on New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York City and elsewhere.

Of course many Americans do not have much faith in the ability of the federal government to protect them.  In fact, there are some that are simply going to avoid any large public gatherings of people until after the holidays are over.

So are those individuals being paranoid or prudent?

Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…

4 Things That Are Happening Today That Indicate That A Deflationary Financial Collapse Is Imminent

four asphalt - public domain
When financial markets crash, they do not do so in a vacuum.  There are always patterns, signs and indicators that tell us that something is about to happen.  In this article, I am going to share with you four patterns that are happening right now that also happened just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008.  These four signs are very strong evidence that a deflationary financial collapse is right around the corner.  Instead of the hyperinflationary crisis that so many have warned about, what we are about to experience is a collapse in asset prices, a massive credit crunch and a brief period of absolutely crippling deflation.  The response by national governments and global central banks to this horrific financial crisis will cause tremendous inflation down the road, but that comes later.  What comes first is a crisis that will initially look a lot like 2008, but will ultimately prove to be much worse.  The following are 4 things that are happening right now that indicate that a deflationary financial collapse is imminent…

#1 Commodities Are Crashing

In mid-2008, just before the U.S. stock market crashed in the fall, commodities started crashing hard.  Well, now it is happening again.  In fact, the Bloomberg Commodity Index just hit a 13 year low, which means that it is already lower than it was at any point during the last financial crisis…

#2 Oil Is Crashing

On Monday, the price of oil dipped back below $50 a barrel.  This has surprised many analysts, because a lot of them thought that the price of oil would start to rebound by now.

In early 2014, the price of a barrel of oil was sitting above $100 a barrel and the future of the industry looked very bright.  Since that time, the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 percent.

There is only one other time in all of history when the price of oil has fallen by more than $50 a barrel in such a short period of time.  That was in 2008, just before the great financial crisis that erupted later that year.  In the chart posted below, you can see how similar that last oil crash was to what we are experiencing right now…

Oil Price 2015

#3 Gold Is Crashing

Most people don’t remember that the price of gold took a very serious tumble in the run up to the financial crisis of 2008.  In early 2008, the price of gold almost reached $1000 an ounce, but by October it had fallen to nearly $700 an ounce.  Of course once the stock market finally crashed it ultimately propelled gold to unprecedented heights, but what we are concerned about for this article is what happens before a crisis arrives.

Just like in 2008, the price of gold has been hit hard in recent months.  And on Monday, the price of gold absolutely got slammed.  The following comes from USA Today

The yellow metal has tumbled to a five-year low amid a combination of diminishing investor fears related to foreign headwinds in Greece and China, and stronger growth in the U.S. which is leading to a stronger dollar and coming interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Investors have been dumping shares of gold-related investments as other bearish signs, such as less demand from China and the breaking of key price support levels, add up.

Earlier today, an ounce of gold fell below $1,100 an ounce to $1,080, its lowest level since February 2010. Gold peaked around $1,900 an ounce back in 2011.

For years, I have been telling people that we were going to see wild swings in the prices of gold and silver.

And to be honest, the party is just getting started.  Personally, I particularly love silver for the long-term.  But you have got to be able to handle the roller coaster ride if you are going to get into precious metals.  It is not for the faint of heart.

#4 The U.S. Dollar Index Is Surging

Before the U.S. stock market crashed in the fall of 2008, the U.S. dollar went on a very impressive run.  This is something that you can see in the chart posted below.  Now, the U.S. dollar is experiencing a similar rise.  For a while there it looked like the rally might fizzle out, but in recent days the dollar has started to skyrocket once again.  That may sound like good news to most Americans, but the truth is that a strong dollar is highly deflationary for the global financial system as a whole for a variety of reasons.  So just like in 2008, this is not the kind of chart that we should want to see…

Dollar Index 2015

If a 2008-style financial crisis was imminent, these are the kinds of things that we would expect to see happen.  And of course these are not the only signs that are pointing to big problems in our immediate future.  For example, the last time there was a major stock market crash in China, it came just before the great U.S. stock market crash in the fall of 2008.  This is something that I covered in my previous article entitled “Guess What Happened The Last Time The Chinese Stock Market Crashed Like This?

As an attorney, I was trained to follow the evidence and to only come to conclusions that were warranted by the facts.  And right now, it seems abundantly clear that things are lining up in textbook fashion for another major financial crisis.

But even though what is happening right in front of our eyes is so similar to what happened back in 2008, most people do not see it.

And the reason why they do not see it is because they do not want to see it.

Just like with most things in life, most people end up believing exactly what they want to believe.

Yes, there is a segment of the population that are actually honest truth seekers.  If you have felt drawn to this website, you are probably one of them.  But overall, most people in our society are far more concerned with making themselves happy than they are about pursuing the truth.

So even though the signs are obvious, most people will never see what is coming in advance.

I hope that does not happen to you.

Hopium: How Far Can Irrational Optimism Take The U.S. Economy?

Thought Bubble - Public DomainIf enough people truly believe that things will get better, will that actually cause them to get better?  There is certainly something to be said for being positive and thinking that anything is possible.  And as Americans, optimism seems to come naturally for us.  However, no amount of positive thinking is ever going to turn the sun into a block of wood or turn the moon into a block of cheese.  Any good counselor will tell you that one of the first steps toward recovery is to stop being delusional and to come to grips with how bad things really are.  When we deny reality and engage in irrational wishful thinking, we are engaging in something called “hopium”.  This is a difficult term to define, but the favorite definition of hopium that I have come across so far goes like this: “The irrational belief that, despite all evidence to the contrary, things will turn out for the best.”  In hundreds of articles, I have documented how the U.S. economy is mired in a long-term decline which is about to get a lot worse.  But most Americans see things very differently.  In fact, according to a brand new CNN/ORC poll, 52 percent of Americans describe the U.S. economy as “very” or “somewhat good”, and more than two-thirds of all Americans believe that the U.S. economy will be in “good shape” a year from right now.  But if you asked most of those people why they are so optimistic, they would probably mumble something about “Obama” or about how “we’re Americans and we always bounce back” or some other such gibberish.  Well, it’s wonderful that so many people are feeling good and looking forward to the future, but are those beliefs rational?

We witnessed a perfect example of this “hopium” on Wednesday.  Sales at McDonald’s restaurants have been in decline for quite a while, and the numbers for the first quarter of 2015 were just abysmal

The ubiquitous burger-and-fries chain said US sales, the largest share of global income, fell 2.6 percent from a year ago for comparable outlets.

Sales in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region dropped 8.3 percent, helping bring overall global sales down 2.3 percent, “reflecting negative guest traffic in all segments,” the company said.

Total revenue sank 11 percent to $5.96 billion in the quarter to March 31, and net income plunged 32.6 percent to $812 million, or 84 cents a share (-31 percent).

So you would think that the stock price would have tanked on Wednesday, right?

Wrong.

Thanks to news that a “turnaround plan” would be announced on May 4th, McDonald’s stock actually skyrocketed

McDonald’s closed up 3.13 percent after spiking more than 4.5 percent in early trade as investors cheered a turnaround plan expected on May 4. However, the fast food chain’s earnings missed on both the top and bottom lines.

This is pure hopium.  Why don’t McDonald’s executives just tell us what the plan is now?  But instead, the mystery of a “secret turnaround plan” gives people just enough hope to keep the stock from tumbling – at least for the moment.

And of course there are all sorts of other stocks that are being massively inflated by hopium right now.

Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate, I was taught that a price to earnings ratio of more than 20 was really, really high.

But these days that is the norm on Wall Street, and at the moment there are quite a few stocks that actually have price to earnings ratios that are greater than 100

There are 10 stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500, including industrial giant General Electric, video-streamer Netflix and oil and gas explorer Cabot Oil & Gas that are trading for 100 times their diluted earnings the past 12 months excluding extraordinary items, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ.

And if you can believe it, General Electric has a PE on its training earnings of more than 200

Take General Electric, the industrial giant that’s swiftly selling off banking assets so it can return to its manufacturing roots. GE sports a PE on its trailing earnings of 227, says S&P Capital IQ.

This is completely and totally irrational.  General Electric is a giant mess and is being very badly mismanaged.  But investors continue to pay a massive premium for GE stock because they hope that things will turn around eventually.

Look, hope will get you a lot of things in life, but it won’t put money in your pockets or dinner on the table.

Our politicians and the mainstream media continue to sell us hard on the idea that things are getting better in America, but meanwhile our economic infrastructure continues to decay.  Just check out what is happening in the steel industry

United States Steel Corporation issued layoff notices to 1,404 workers in the latest sign of struggle for the American steel industry. The missives went out in recent days to workers producing pipe and tube products that are used in the oil and gas sector. Job cuts could come as early as June for 17 to 579 employees at a plant in Lone Star, Texas, 166 at a factory in Houston, 255 at a mill in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and 404 managers across the company’s tubular operations nationwide.

Since last June, the company has informed 7,800 employees of potential job cuts, a tally from Pittsburgh Business Times indicated. U.S. Steel spokeswoman Sarah Cassella said the ongoing layoffs are the result of “challenging market conditions and global influences in the market including a high level of imports, reduced prices for oil and natural gas and reduced steel prices.”

A little over a month ago, I published an article entitled “10 Charts Which Show We Are Much Worse Off Than Just Before The Last Economic Crisis” in which I demonstrated that we are in far worse economic shape than we were just prior to the last recession, and now another great economic crisis is at our door.

Unfortunately, most Americans have no idea what is going on out there.  Most of them get their news from the giant propaganda matrix that very tightly controls the flow of ideas and information in this country.  This is something that I explain on my new DVD.  Six colossal corporations control over 90 percent of the news, information and entertainment that Americans consume, and that gives them an awesome amount of power.

And right now that propaganda matrix is assuring the American people that everything is going to be just fine.

Well, they better be right.  Because if not, they are going to have millions of people extremely angry with them when things really start falling to pieces.

The Shemitah: The Biblical Pattern Which Indicates That A Financial Collapse May Be Coming In 2015

The Shemitah- Financial Collapse In 2015Does a mystery that is 3,500 years old hold the key to what is going to happen to global financial markets in 2015?  Could it be possible that the timing of major financial crashes is not just a matter of coincidence?  In previous articles on my website, I have discussed some of the major economic and financial cycle theories and their proponents.  For example, in an article entitled “If Economic Cycle Theorists Are Correct, 2015 To 2020 Will Be Pure Hell For The United States“, I examined a number of economic cycle theories that seem to indicate that the second half of this decade is going to be a nightmare economically.  But the cycle that I am going to discuss in this article is a lot more controversial than any of those.  In his most recent book, Jonathan Cahn has demonstrated that almost all of the major financial crashes in U.S. history are very closely tied to a seven year pattern that we find in the Bible known as “the Shemitah”.  Since that book was released, I have been asked about this repeatedly during radio appearances.  So in this article I am going to attempt to explain what the Shemitah is, and what this Biblical pattern seems to indicate may happen in 2015.  If you are an atheist, an agnostic, or are generally skeptical by nature, this article might prove quite challenging for you.  I would ask that you withhold judgment until you have examined the evidence.  When I first heard about these things, I had to go verify the facts for myself, because they are truly extraordinary.

So precisely what is “the Shemitah”?

In the Bible, the people of Israel were commanded to let the land lie fallow every seven years.  There would be no sowing and no reaping, and this is something that God took very seriously.  In fact, the failure to observe these Sabbath years was one of the main reasons cited in the Scriptures for why the Jewish people were exiled to Babylon in 586 BC.

But there was more to the Shemitah year than just letting the land lie fallow.

On the last day of the Shemitah year, the people of Israel were instructed to perform a releasing of debts.  We find the following in Deuteronomy chapter 15

At the end of every seven years you shall grant a relinquishing of debtsThis is the manner of the relinquishing: Every creditor that has loaned anything to his neighbor shall relinquish it. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother, because it is called the Lord’s relinquishment.

This happened at the end of every seven years on Elul 29 – the day right before Rosh Hashanah on the Biblical calendar.

So what does this have to do with us today?

Well, if you go back to the last day of the Shemitah year in 2001, you will find that there was an absolutely horrifying stock market crash.

On September 17th, 2001 (which was Elul 29 on the Jewish calendar), we witnessed the greatest one day stock market crash in U.S. history up to that time.  The Dow fell an astounding 684 points, and it was a record that held for precisely seven years until the end of the next Shemitah year.

At the end of the next Shemitah year in 2008, another horrifying stock market crash took place.  On September 29th, 2008 the Dow plummeted 777 points, which still today remains the greatest one day stock market crash of all time.  It turns out that September 29th, 2008 corresponded with Elul 29 on the Jewish calendar – the precise day when the Bible calls for a releasing of debts.

So on the very last day of the last two Shemitah years, the stock market crashed so badly that it set a brand new all-time record.

And now we are in another Shemitah year.  It began last fall, and it will end next September.

Could it be possible that we will see another historic market crash?

Author Jonathan Cahn has correctly pointed out that we should never put God in a box.  Just because something has happened in the past does not mean that it will happen again.  But we should not rule anything out either.

Perhaps God is using His calendar to make a point.  Cahn believes that if we are going to see something happen, it will probably occur as the Shemitah year comes to an end

Cahn has pointed that, according to his research, the worst of the worst usually happens at the end of the Shemitah year, not at the beginning. In fact, the last day of the year, Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar, which will occur on Sept. 13, 2015, is the most dreaded day.

The pattern revealed in “The Mystery of the Shemitah” is that the beginning of the Shemitah’s impact is often subtle, but leads to a dramatic climax.

“The beginning may mark a change in direction, even a foreshadow of what will come to a crescendo at the Shemitah’s end,” he said.

And this time around, far more people are paying attention.  Back in 2001 and 2008, most Americans had absolutely no idea what a “Shemitah year” was.  But now it is being talked about on some of the most prominent alternative news websites on the Internet.  For example, the following is what Joseph Farah of WND has to say about the Shemitah year…

Farah believes the date Sept. 13, 2015 bears close watching – though he is quick to admit he has no idea what, if anything, will happen in America.

“A clear pattern has been established,” he says. “I don’t believe it’s a coincidence what happened in America on Elul 29 in 2001 and 2008. It would be foolish to ignore the possibility that a greater judgment might be in the works – especially if America continues to move away from God and His Word.”

The Shemitah year that we are in now does end on September 13th, 2015 – and that falls on a Sunday so the markets will be closed.

But what it comes to the Shemitah, we aren’t just looking at one particular day.

And it is very interesting to note that there will also be a solar eclipse on September 13th, 2015.  Over the past century, there have only been two other times when a solar eclipse has corresponded with the end of a Shemitah year.  Those two times were in 1931 and 1987, and as Jonathan Cahn has told WND, those solar eclipses foreshadowed major financial disasters…

In 1931, a solar eclipse took place on Sept. 12 – the end of a “Shemitah” year. Eight days later, England abandoned the gold standard, setting off market crashes and bank failures around the world. It also ushered in the greatest monthlong stock market percentage crash in Wall Street history.

In 1987, a solar eclipse took place Sept. 23 – again the end of a “Shemitah” year. Less than 30 days later came “Black Monday” the greatest percentage crash in Wall Street history.

Is Cahn predicting doom and gloom on Sept. 13, 2015? He’s careful to avoid a prediction, saying, “In the past, this ushered in the worst collapses in Wall Street history. What will it bring this time? Again, as before, the phenomenon does not have to manifest at the next convergence. But, at the same time, and again, it is wise to take note.”

So what is going to happen this time?

We will just have to wait and see.

But without a doubt so many of the same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the financial crash of 2008 are happening again right before our very eyes.

It has been said that those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Perhaps you believe that there is something to “the Shemitah”, or perhaps you think that it is all a bunch of nonsense.

But at least now you know what everyone is talking about.  What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

 

An Even Bigger Scandal: Why Are IRS Audits Being Used To Punish Obama’s Political Enemies?

Obama Using IRS Audits To Attack His Enemies?Is it right for Barack Obama to use IRS audits to punish his political enemies?  As crazy as that sounds, there is a mounting body of evidence that indicates that this is actually happening.  And if this can be proven, it is a much, much larger scandal than the IRS giving “extra scrutiny” to the applications of conservative non-profit groups.  Let me be clear – if Barack Obama has been using IRS audits to punish his political enemies, that is an impeachable offense.  Of all of the other scandals that are out there right now, this is the one that could actually bring down the presidency of Barack Obama.  That is how serious this is.  As you will read about below, there is a huge amount of circumstantial evidence that political enemies of Barack Obama have been singled out for IRS audits.  We need to find out who initiated these audits.  Whether you are a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent, this kind of abuse of government power should sicken and horrify you.  If it can be proven that Barack Obama has been using IRS audits to attack his enemies, every single U.S. citizen should be calling for him to resign.  This is something that is beyond politics – this is a direct threat to the very integrity of our system.

The recent revelation that the IRS has been specifically targeting patriot groups and Tea Party organizations for “extra scrutiny” has opened up the floodgates.  In recent days, a large number of highly respected people have come forward claiming that they were the subject of IRS audits that were politically motivated.

For example, Larry Conners, a respected local news anchor at KMOV Channel 4 in St. Louis, Missouri says that he was hit with an IRS audit almost immediately after he conducted an interview with Barack Obama in April 2012

Shortly after I did my April 2012 interview with President Obama, my wife, friends and some viewers suggested that I might need to watch out for the IRS.

I don’t accept “conspiracy theories”, but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me.

At the time, I dismissed the “co-incidence”, but now, I have concerns … after revelations about the IRS targeting various groups and their members.

Originally, the IRS apologized for red-flagging conservative groups and their members if they had “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their name.

Today, there are allegations that the IRS focused on various groups and/or individuals questioning or criticizing government spending, taxes, debt or how the government is run … any involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the constitution and bill of rights, or social economic reform/movement.

In that April 2012 interview, I questioned President Obama on several topics: the Buffet Rule, his public remarks about the Supreme Court before the ruling on the Affordable Care Act. I also asked why he wasn’t doing more to help Sen. Claire McCaskill who at that time was expected to lose. The Obama interview caught fire and got wide-spread attention because I questioned his spending.

I said some viewers expressed concern, saying they think he’s “out of touch” because of his personal and family trips in the midst of our economic crisis.

The President’s face clearly showed his anger; afterwards, his staff which had been so polite … suddenly went cold.

That’s to be expected, and I can deal with that just as I did with President George H. Bush’s staff when he didn’t like my questions.

Journalistic integrity is of the utmost importance to me. My job is to ask the hard questions, because I believe viewers have a right to be well-informed. I cannot and will not promote anyone’s agenda – political or otherwise – at the expense of the reporting the truth.

What I don’t like to even consider … is that because of the Obama interview … the IRS put a target on me.

Can I prove it? At this time, no.

But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.

Reverend Franklin Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham, recently wrote a letter to Barack Obama claiming that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse were both hit with IRS audits very shortly after they ran full-page ads supporting North Carolina’s Marriage amendment.  In fact, both organizations were notified about the audits on the same day.  The following is from a recent article posted on redstate.com

The man known as America’s pastor was among those targeted by the Internal Revenue Service after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ran newspaper advertisements promoting traditional marriage and biblical values.

“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the Administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” wrote Franklin Graham in a letter to President Obama. “This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”

Graham is president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as well as the international charity Samaritan’s Purse. Both organizations received word of audits on the same day – not long after they ran full –page ads supporting North Carolina’s Marriage amendment.

The ads encouraged voters to “cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.”

The ad concluded with the words, “Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me (Billy Graham) that America will remain one nation under God.”

Graham said on Sept. 6, 2012 they received notification that the IRS would audit their taxes.

“In light of what the IRS admitted to on Friday, May 10, 2013, and subsequent revelations from other sources, I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence – or justifiable,” Graham wrote.

You can find a full copy of Franklin Graham’s letter to Barack Obama right here.

The Blaze is reporting on another example of this phenomenon.  A respected Catholic professor that had written things critical of the Obama administration was hit with an IRS audit that she believes was politically motivated…

On Wednesday, Dr. Anne Hendershott, a devout Catholic and a noted sociologist, professor and author, exclusively told The Blaze that she believes she may have been one of the IRS’s targets.

According to Hendershott, the IRS audited her in 2010 and demanded to know who was paying her and “what their politics were.”

It all started with a phone call she received at her home in May of that year — a call during which Hendershott was told she would be audited. A letter that followed on May 19, 2010 solidified the IRS’s request to meet her in person two months later in July.

Unfortunately, these are not just isolated incidents.  In fact, attorney Cleta Mitchell recently told Newsmax that she has seen a systematic pattern of politically motivated IRS harassment that only began once Barack Obama entered the White House…

In the case of one such client, she and her family subsequently became targets for audits to their personal and business tax returns, and were even visited by three different government agencies. She also knows of other groups who had surprise visits from the FBI after they applied for IRS status.

Mitchell said she doesn’t believe the president or the White House was uninvolved in the IRS activities, as the administration has claimed.

“I’ve thought for some time that this is politically motivated and that’s the reason it was happening. And, as I said, I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this until 2009, 2010. And the only thing that changed was we had a different administration,” she said.

There are some that have been trying to bring awareness to these politically motivated audits for quite some time.  One of these individuals is a former classmate of Obama’s named Wayne Allyn Root

“I feel like a million bucks. I feel absolutely vindicated. I knew this was going on,” Wayne Allyn Root told WND.

Root, the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate in 2008 who has claimed Obama was strangely unknown to him and his fellow Columbia University classmates, recounted his story to WND last October of becoming the target of unusual audits, beginning in January 2011, despite a “spotless” 30-year tax record.

He charged in October that the order to audit him came from Obama himself, and he is even more convinced now.

“I believe this is not rogue agents, who would be risking their pension and careers,” he said.

In October, Root said the order to audit him “must have come from the highest levels of government.”

“Obama is using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and intimidate and silence his critics,” Root charged at the time.

In that same article, a number of other examples of this phenomenon were cited…

Last year, billionaire Frank VanderSloot became the target of investigations by both the IRS and the Labor Department after he gave $1 million to a super PAC that supported Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The GOP’s biggest donor, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, said a federal criminal investigation into his company’s business practices was politically motivated. Another casino giant, Steve Wynn, also has been investigated.

This week, Root has received many emails from people who identify as conservative and believe the IRS has been harassing them for political reasons.

What happened to businessman Frank VanderSloot is particularly noteworthy.  The following is from an article that Rob Bluey authored last year…

On April 20, President Obama’s campaign named VanderSloot to the first presidential “enemies list” since the Nixon era. Eight private citizens were singled out for their donations to Romney. They committed no crimes, sought no attention, and yet they became the subject of Obama’s scorn.

VanderSloot is now facing persecution from the federal government. Kimberly Strassel reveals in The Wall Street Journal that two federal agencies — the Internal Revenue Service and Labor Department — both launched investigations of VanderSloot after his name appeared on Obama’s enemies list.

No matter what you think of Obama’s politics, shouldn’t we all be deeply alarmed that he has an “enemies list”?

With each passing day, the similarities between Barack Obama and Richard Nixon become more glaring.

And Obama has even joked about sending the IRS after people that he does not like.  When Obama found out that he was not going to be receiving an honorary doctorate from Arizona State University, he made the following statement

“President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.”

The IRS is not supposed to be used as a weapon, and the White House is not allowed to use information gathered by the IRS for political gain either.  But apparently last year someone at the IRS was leaking tax information to someone within the Obama campaign.  The following is from a recent article by Matt K. Lewis

A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”

Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.

“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”

The IRS has been doing all sorts of things that they should not be doing.  They are a rogue agency that is completely out of control.

In fact, one new lawsuit alleges that the IRS stole the health records of approximately 10 million Americans

The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.

According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.     “This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.

And guess what?

The IRS is going to be the primary government agency in charge of implementing Obamacare.

Will we soon see the IRS use health information to attack the political enemies of the man or woman sitting in the White House?

Unfortunately, thanks to new “Big Brother” technology that the IRS has been implementing, pretty soon there will be very little about us that the IRS does not know.  The following is from a recent article by Richard Satran of U.S. News & World Report

Consumers are already familiar with Internet “cookies” that track their movements and send them targeted ads that follow them to different websites. The IRS has brought in private industry experts to employ similar digital tracking—but with the added advantage of access to Social Security numbers, health records, credit card transactions and many other privileged forms of information that marketers don’t see.

“Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are,” boasted Dean Silverman, the agency’s high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications.

So what is the IRS going to do with all of this information?

Well, the following are just a few of the things that they have already said that they plan to do with it…

• Charting and analyzing social media such as Facebook

• Targeting audits by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments

• Tracking individual Internet addresses and emailing patterns

• Sorting data in 32,000 categories of metadata and 1 million unique “attributes”

• Machine learning across “neural” networks

• Statistical and agent-based modeling

• Relationship analysis based on Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers

So are you alarmed by all of this?

You should be.

As I discussed in my previous article entitled  “100 Years Old And Still Killing Us: America Was Much Better Off Before The Income Tax“, Congress should close the doors of the IRS and throw away the key.  It is a deeply, deeply corrupt government agency that has gotten wildly out of control.

After what you have just read above, is there anyone out there that would disagree with me?