The Beginning Of The End
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Don’t Worry – The Government Says That The Inflation You See Is Just Your Imagination

Redd Fox HypnotizedIf you believe that there is high inflation in the United States, you are just imagining things.  That is the message that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve would have us to believe.  You might have noticed that the government announced on Wednesday that the cost of living increase for Social Security beneficiaries will only be 1.5 percent next year.  This is one of the smallest cost of living increases that we have ever seen.  The federal government is able to get away with this because the official numbers say that there is hardly any inflation in the U.S. right now.  Of course anyone that shops for groceries or that pays bills regularly knows what a load of nonsense the official inflation rate is.  The U.S. government has changed the way that inflation is calculated numerous times since 1978, and each time it has been changed the goal has been to make inflation appear to be even lower.  According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the inflation rate was still calculated the same way that it was back when Jimmy Carter was president, the official rate of inflation would be somewhere between 8 and 10 percent today.  But if the mainstream news actually reported such a number, everyone would be screaming and yelling about getting inflation under control.  Instead, the super low number that gets put out to the public makes it look like the Federal Reserve has plenty of room to do even more reckless money printing.  It is a giant scam, but most Americans are falling for it.

Meanwhile, the prices of the things that most Americans buy on a regular basis just keep going up.  The following are just a few examples of price inflation that we have seen lately…

-McDonald’s has killed the dollar menu because it is becoming impossible to “make any money selling burgers for $1“.

But don’t worry – the government says that the inflation you see is just your imagination.

-Amazon.com has raised the minimum order size required for free shipping from $25 to $35.

But don’t worry – you can afford to order more stuff thanks to the great new job that you got during this “economic recovery”.

-It is being projected that those using natural gas to heat their homes will see their heating costs rise by 13 percent this winter.

But don’t worry – “global warming” should kick in to high gear any day now.

-The price of chocolate has gone up by 45 percent since 2007, and it is being projected that it will now be increasing at an even faster pace.

But don’t worry – eating chocolate is bad for you anyway.

-Thanks to Obamacare, the health insurance premiums of many American families are absolutely skyrocketing.  As I wrote about the other day, one family down in Texas just got a letter informing them that their health insurance premiums are going up by 539 percent.

But don’t worry – this is just “health care reform” in action.

Meanwhile, things just continue to get tougher for middle class American families.  Household incomes have actually been declining for five years in a row and total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.

The quality of our jobs continues to go down and our paychecks are not keeping up with inflation.  In fact, 40 percent of all U.S. workers are now making less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968 after you account for inflation.

So what do the “authorities” say that the solution to our problems is?

They want even more inflation of course.  According to CNBC, many Federal Reserve officials (including Janet Yellen) believe that what the U.S. economy really needs is a lot more inflation…

Inflation is widely reviled as a kind of tax on modern life, but as Federal Reserve policy makers prepare to meet this week, there is growing concern inside and outside the Fed that inflation is not rising fast enough.

Some economists say more inflation is just what the American economy needs to escape from a half-decade of sluggish growth and high unemployment.

The Fed has worked for decades to suppress inflation, but economists, including Janet Yellen, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Fed starting next year, have long argued that a little inflation is particularly valuable when the economy is weak. Rising prices help companies increase profits; rising wages help borrowers repay debts. Inflation also encourages people and businesses to borrow money and spend it more quickly.

The rest of that article goes on and on about how wonderful inflation is for an economy and about how the U.S. economy desperately needs some more of it.

Well, if that was actually true, then the Weimar Republic should have had one of the best economies in the history of mankind.

But this inevitably happens when a nation starts producing fiat currency that is backed by absolutely nothing.  There is always a temptation to just print a little bit more.

In the end, we are going to be destroyed by our own foolishness.  We have the de facto reserve currency of the planet, and the rest of the world has trusted it for decades.  But now we are systematically destroying our currency, and the rest of the globe is looking on in horror.

If you want to see a very good example of the impact that inflation has had on our economy in recent years, just check out this amazing chart which shows what the Federal Reserve’s reckless policies have done to the prices of commodities.

Ultimately, the U.S. dollar will be destroyed, and we will have done it to ourselves.

Many people are attempting to protect themselves against this inevitability by putting a lot of their money into hard assets such as gold and silver, but before you do that you might want to make sure that you don’t have a vengeful spouse that will toss it all into a dumpster someday.  The following is from a recent New York Post article

A Colorado man was so angry at his ex-wife for divorcing him that he had the couple’s life savings of $500,000 converted to gold — then tossed it in a dumpster so she couldn’t have any of it, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

In June, Earl Ray Jones, 52, of Divide, Colorado, was ordered by a judge to pay $3,000 a month to the woman he’d been married to for 25 years, so he pillaged the couple’s retirement account and had it converted into 22 pounds worth of gold and silver bars,  the paper reports.

Jones claims he then tossed the modern-day treasure into a dumpster behind a motel, where he had been living temporarily, later telling the judge he had no money to give his ex-wife, according to the paper.

Did that story make you smile?  It sure did the trick for me.

But that story is also a picture of what the Federal Reserve is doing with our dollar.

Our currency has been used for decades by almost everyone else around the planet.  In fact, more U.S. dollars are used outside of our country than inside of it.

But now the Federal Reserve is systematically trashing the dollar and the rest of the globe is starting to lose faith in it.

Instead of realizing their mistakes, Fed officials say that we need to create even more inflation and they just keep on wildly printing more money.

In the end, we will all pay a great price for their foolishness.

27 Edward Snowden Quotes About U.S. Government Spying That Should Send A Chill Up Your Spine

Edward SnowdenWould you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up?  He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn’t any privacy.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded.  Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine.  Up until now, the general public has known very little about the U.S. government spy grid that knows almost everything about us.  But making this information public is going to cost Edward Snowden everything.  Essentially, his previous life is now totally over.  And if the U.S. government gets their hands on him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere.  There is a reason why government whistleblowers are so rare.  And most Americans are so apathetic that they wouldn’t even give up watching their favorite television show for a single evening to do something good for society.  Most Americans never even try to make a difference because they do not believe that it will benefit them personally.  Meanwhile, our society continues to fall apart all around us.  Hopefully the great sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made will not be in vain.  Hopefully people will carefully consider what he has tried to share with the world.  The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government spying that should send a chill up your spine…

#1 “The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate.”

#2 “…I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.”

#3 “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”

#4 “…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

#5 “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything.”

#6 “With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”

#7 “Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…”

#8 “To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so.”

#9 “I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”

#10 “…they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.”

#11 “Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.”

#12 “Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”

#13 “Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.”

#14 “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

#15 “I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

#16 “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.”

#17 “I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act.”

#18 “There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich.”

#19 “The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.”

#20 “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

#21 “You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk.”

#22 “I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me.”

#23 “We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.”

#24 “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end.”

#25 “There’s no saving me.”

#26 “The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night.”

#27 “I do not expect to see home again.”

Would you make the same choice that Edward Snowden made?  Most Americans would not.  One CNN reporter says that he really admires Snowden because he has tried to get insiders to come forward with details about government spying for years, but none of them were ever willing to…

As a digital technology writer, I have had more than one former student and colleague tell me about digital switchers they have serviced through which calls and data are diverted to government servers or the big data algorithms they’ve written to be used on our e-mails by intelligence agencies. I always begged them to write about it or to let me do so while protecting their identities. They refused to come forward and believed my efforts to shield them would be futile. “I don’t want to lose my security clearance. Or my freedom,” one told me.

And if the U.S. government has anything to say about it, Snowden is most definitely going to pay for what he has done.  In fact, according to the Daily Beast, a directorate known as “the Q Group” is already hunting Snowden down…

The people who began chasing Snowden work for the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence, according to former U.S. intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The directorate, sometimes known as “the Q Group,” is continuing to track Snowden now that he’s outed himself as The Guardian’s source, according to the intelligence officers.

If Snowden is not already under the protection of some foreign government (such as China), it will just be a matter of time before U.S. government agents get him.

And how will they treat him once they find him?  Well, one reporter overheard a group of U.S. intelligence officials talking about how Edward Snowden should be “disappeared”.  The following is from a Daily Mail article that was posted on Monday…

A group of intelligence officials were overheard yesterday discussing how the National Security Agency worker who leaked sensitive documents to a reporter last week should be ‘disappeared.’

Foreign policy analyst and editor at large of The Atlantic, Steve Clemons, tweeted about the ‘disturbing’ conversation after listening in to four men who were sitting near him as he waited for a flight at Washington’s Dulles airport.

‘In Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker & reporter on #NSA stuff should be disappeared recorded a bit,’ he tweeted at 8:42 a.m. on Saturday.

According to Clemons, the men had been attending an event hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

As an American, I am deeply disturbed that the U.S. government is embarrassing itself in front of the rest of the world like this.

The fact that we are collecting trillions of pieces of information on people all over the planet is a massive embarrassment and the fact that our politicians are defending this practice now that it has been exposed is a massive embarrassment.

If the U.S. government continues to act like a Big Brother police state, then the rest of the world will eventually conclude that is exactly what we are.  At that point we become the “bad guy” and we lose all credibility with the rest of the planet.

How Has The U.S. Government Been Getting User Data From Major Internet Companies?

Prism****IMPORTANT UPDATE****  Apparently the big Internet companies are not as “innocent” in all of this as they originally led us to believe.  So this additional information changes some of the conclusions that I reached in my original article.  It appears that some of the biggest Internet companies have been cooperating with the government in this data collection effort at least to a certain extent.  The following is from an article in the New York Times that describes how the U.S. government has been getting user data from major Internet companies…

The companies that negotiated with the government include Google, which owns YouTube; Microsoft, which owns Hotmail and Skype; Yahoo; Facebook; AOL; Apple; and Paltalk, according to one of the people briefed on the discussions. The companies were legally required to share the data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. People briefed on the discussions spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are prohibited by law from discussing the content of FISA requests or even acknowledging their existence.

In at least two cases, at Google and Facebook, one of the plans discussed was to build separate, secure portals, like a digital version of the secure physical rooms that have long existed for classified information, in some instances on company servers. Through these online rooms, the government would request data, companies would deposit it and the government would retrieve it, people briefed on the discussions said.

****END OF UPDATE****

The U.S. government has been hacking in to the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple and has been taking their user data without their knowledge or consent.  According to the Washington Post, the information being stolen includes “audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs”.  This program is known as PRISM, and it was first revealed by the Washington Post on Thursday.  Since the story broke, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has admitted that PRISM exists and so has Barack Obama.  The Washington Post initially claimed that all of the Internet companies were willingly handing over their user data to the government.  Now we are learning that is NOT true.  In fact, all of the Internet companies named in the Washington Post story have denied knowing about PRISM or ever giving the federal government permission to directly access their servers.  So this means that the U.S. government has been stealing massive amounts of user data from the largest Internet companies in the world without their permission.  Of course this is highly illegal and it directly violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but you can bet that the Obama administration is going to do everything that it can to get the courts to “make it legal”.  Hopefully the revelation of this program will be enough to get the American people to realize that we are rapidly being transformed into a Big Brother police state that is descending into tyranny.

Barack Obama has described the systematic gathering of cell phone records and the Internet spying that the federal government has been doing as “modest encroachments” that we should all just accept as part of the price of living in a modern world, but if we allow the government to get away with this, where will it end?

Even if we had a total “Big Brother” society where the government watched everything that we did 24 hours a day, bad people would still do bad things.  There would still be terror attacks and great tragedies.  No matter how much the government intrudes into our lives, it can never guarantee us 100% safety.

Those that founded the United States understood this.  They did not want this country to be turned into a police state.  That is why they guaranteed us some very important protections in the Bill of Rights.  If the government wants to do a search, there are some very important procedures that must be followed first.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration appears to believe that the Constitution does not apply to user data on the Internet.  The NSA is apparently hacking into Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple and taking whatever they want without ever getting permission from those companies.

You can bet that there are some very, very angry executives at those companies right now that are trying to figure out how to respond to these revelations.

All of these companies have vehemently denied that they were involved.  At this point, there is no reason to doubt their very strong denials.

For example, the following is what 

Dear Google users—

You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. As Google’s CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.

First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.

Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process. Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period. Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.

Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach. Google has worked hard, within the confines of the current laws, to be open about the data requests we receive. We post this information on our Transparency Report whenever possible. We were the first company to do this. And, of course, we understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has issued a similar denial.  He insists that Facebook never even heard of PRISM until Thursday…

I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM:

Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday.

When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.

We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It’s the only way to protect everyone’s civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.

So how has the U.S. government been getting this user data if they do not have the cooperation of these large Internet companies?

They have been stealing it.

Is this the kind of society that we want to have?  Do we really want the government to be free to hack into the servers of Internet companies and take user data any time that it wants?

And guess what?

According to the Wall Street Journal, the NSA has also been gathering massive amounts of credit card data as well…

The National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency’s activities.

So if you ever bought something embarrassing with a credit card, there is a very good chance that the NSA knows about it.

If you don’t like where all of this is headed, then now is the time to stand up and say something about it.

Sadly, the truth is that most of our politicians see absolutely nothing wrong with our current system.  The following is what Barack Obama said in response to the recent revelations about the NSA

“You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society,” he said. “I think that on balance, we have established a policy and a procedure that the American people should feel comfortable with.”

Do you feel comfortable with the fact that the NSA is hacking into major Internet companies and stealing their user data?

I know that I definitely am not.

I think that the journalist that originally broke the story about how the government is systematically gathering our phone records summed up what many of us are feeling right now pretty well

“There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal, and that is to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the United States but around the world,” charged Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the British newspaper “The Guardian,” speaking on CNN. “That is not hyperbole. That is their objective.”

What do you think?

Is all of this government spying good for America or bad for America?

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

 

Some Of The Really Bad Things That Could Happen If You Do Not Prepare For The Coming Economic Collapse

Most people just assume that since things have always been a certain way that they will always be that way in the future.  Most people just have blind faith that the people running our government and our financial system know exactly what they are doing and that they are doing their best to take care of us.  In fact, once upon a time I was fully convinced of that.  When I was a kid I quickly realized that my elementary school teachers really didn’t have the answers, but I had total faith that those running society at the highest levels were “experts” that were looking out for our best interests.  As time went on I kept progressing in my education, and by the time I was finished with law school I came to understand that none of our “experts” really know what they are doing, and they are definitely not looking out for our best interests.  The blind are leading the blind and we all need to finally admit that the emperor is not wearing any clothes.  Unfortunately, most Americans will repeat the mantra of “if that was true I would have heard about it on the news” until it is way too late.  Most people are waiting for the “authorities” to tell them what to do instead of thinking for themselves.  Sadly, time is rapidly running out and a lot of people are going to end up getting totally blindsided by what is coming.

The man in charge of our financial system, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, is not going to save our economy.  He didn’t see the last financial crisis coming, and even after things started falling apart he continued to insist that housing prices would not go down and that we would not have a recession.

Well, it turned out that we had the worst housing crash and the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

But still millions of Americans are trusting him to save us this time around.

It isn’t going to happen.

The truth is that the design of the Federal Reserve system itself is fundamentally flawed.

The biggest reason why the U.S. government is 16 trillion dollars in debt is because the system is designed to create gigantic amounts of government debt.

Yes, without a doubt the vast majority of our politicians are corrupt and/or incompetent, but even if we replaced every single one of them our economic problems would still persist until the underlying structural problems were addressed.

Most Americans are pinning their hopes for an economic turnaround on the upcoming election, but the truth is that neither Obama or Romney has a plan that will fix things.  That statement is going to upset a lot of people on both sides of the political spectrum, but it is true.

Over the past 40 years the total amount of all debt in the United States has gone from less than 2 trillion dollars to almost 55 trillion dollars.  This bubble is going to burst no matter which political party is in power.

Obama and the Democrats have tried to kick the can down the road and extend the party by spending 5.3 trillion borrowed dollars over the past 4 years, but by doing so they have made our long-term problems far worse.

The next wave of the economic crisis is fast approaching and people need to get prepared.

So what do I mean by that?

Well, “preparation” is going to look different for each family, but there are some general principles that apply to almost everyone.

For example, during an economic collapse hard assets are preferable to paper assets.

Also, during an economic collapse necessities become much more important and luxuries become much less important.

For many more tips, please see this article.

For the moment, I want to focus on some of the really bad things that could happen to you if you choose not to prepare for the coming economic collapse….

You Could Find Yourself On The Wrong End Of A Banking Crisis

During a major financial crisis the banking world can change very rapidly.

You could wake up one day and discover that the bank holding all of your money has failed.

You could wake up one day and discover that because Ben Bernanke has printed trillions upon trillions of new dollars to “fix” the financial system your life savings have been devalued by 50 percent.

You could wake up one day and discover that your bank account has been converted over to a new currency that is worth far less than the one you thought you were holding.

Such a scenario may sound unthinkable in the United States (at least for now), but this is the kind of thing that millions of Europeans are extremely worried about right now.

Just check out what is happening in Spain….

After working six years as a senior executive for a multinational payroll-processing company in Barcelona, Spain, Mr. Vildosola is cutting his professional and financial ties with his troubled homeland. He has moved his family to a village near Cambridge, England, where he will take the reins at a small software company, and he has transferred his savings from Spanish banks to British banks.

“The macro situation in Spain is getting worse and worse,” Mr. Vildosola, 38, said last week just hours before boarding a plane to London with his wife and two small children. “There is just too much risk. Spain is going to be next after Greece, and I just don’t want to end up holding devalued pesetas.”

During the month of July alone, 94 billion dollars was pulled out of the Spanish banking system.

So that means that the equivalent of 7 percent of Spain’s GDP was withdrawn from Spanish banks during July.

That is a full-blown bank run, and Spain’s problems are just getting started.

Eventually these kinds of problems will show up in the United States as well.

You Could End Up Losing All Of Your Investments

But at least U.S. bank accounts are federally insured (for whatever that is worth).

When it comes to investments, you better be very sure that the firms you have your money with are not going to collapse on you.

For example, many of you have already heard about how Gerald Celente had losses in the six figure range when MF Global went bankrupt.  He has been warning about the coming economic collapse for years and he still got victimized.  The following is what he told one interviewer about what he learned from this incident….

What’s the take away from this?  It’s to make sure you have every penny in your pocket.  Because just like MF (Global), screwed everybody else. Your also gonna get the shaft, I don’t care who it is.  What’s gonna happen when you get a message from your brokerage, from Fidelity or somebody… yeah infidelity.  Or how about Raymond James, I don’t care who they are!  You have ETFs?  Oh, there’s a little error over here, we don’t have your money.  We don’t have your positions.
I went to a meeting… and the speaker said ETFs of GLD are supposed to be held by HSBC in a vault in Hong Kong or England some place, and HSBC, this guy said, is the biggest shorter of gold.  Well you figure it out!  They are the ones that are holding it and they’re shorting it?  So the takeaway is to make sure you have every penny in your possession.

If the funds that you are relying on for your financial future are being held by a brokerage or by an insurance company the truth is that you could potentially lose every single penny during the coming collapse.

The financial institution that you are depending on could suddenly go “poof” and your money could be gone just like that.

Recent legal rulings have made brokerage accounts much more vulnerable.  Jim Willie explained why this is true in a recent article….

The critical jump might occur in account thefts from futures brokerage to stock brokerage, which began in November 2011 with MFGlobal, then appeared in July with Peregrine Financial Group (PFG-Best). All private accounts from MFG and PFG have been pilfered, with a blessing of the theft by the courts, seen in the Sentinel Mgmt Group ruling. The federal Appellate court’s August ruling (CLICK HERE) sets precedent for future private segregated account thefts, which were once considered sacred and untouchable. No more in the United States, not in the unfolding of criminality that stretches from USGovt offices to top corporate offices, with blessings sprinkled by the courts. The jump would be a major extension of the Fascist Business Model that nobody talks about. The major financial firms can rely upon this appellate court ruling as precedent, so as to protect their legal right to re-hypothecate client funds in their high risk leveraged positions and loans. It sure would be nice to use my neighbor’s house and car to firm up my casino weekends. Stay tuned to the ongoing Morgan Stanley implosion, which could force the vanishing act of 50 to  100 thousand private stock accounts. The firm is the largest stock brokerage firm in the land. The dreadful impact will be nasty and might awaken the US masses. MFGlobal and PFG-Best surely did not.

Your financial advisers will swear up and down that your investments are safe.

But look at what happened to the clients of MF Global and PFG-Best.

Their investments disappeared like dust in the wind.

This isn’t meant to scare you.  It is just important that you understand that the landscape has totally changed.

You Could Lose Your House

During the last recession, millions of Americans lost their homes.

Some of them had poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into their homes and they lost it all.

Why did this happen?

Well, the number one reason is because so many American families are living on the edge.  They purchased homes that they could not afford and they just kept living paycheck to paycheck as if nothing bad would ever happen.

But when many of those people lost their jobs, suddenly they could not make their mortgage payments and they lost their homes as well.

Sadly, we appear not to have learned much.

Today, 77 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.

You Could Lose Access To Electricity

Why don’t more Americans have a backup source of power?

Most Americans are totally dependent on the grid, and that works well until the grid goes down.

Just look at what is happening down in Louisiana.  The hurricane that just roared through was not even that strong, and yet more than 100,000 people are still without power.

The following is from a recent Huffington Post article….

Tens of thousands of customers remained in the dark Monday in Louisiana and Mississippi, nearly a week after Isaac inundated the Gulf Coast with a deluge that still has some low-lying areas under water.

Most of those were in Louisiana, where utilities reported more than 100,000 people without power. Thousands also were without power in Mississippi and Arkansas.

So what would you do if there was a major national crisis of some sort and the grid went down for an extended period of time during the winter?

When Thieves Get Desperate They Will Steal Just About Anything

Over and over it has been proven that when people cannot feed their families they will steal to get what they need.

When things hit the fan here in the United States, we will see widespread looting and robbing.  In fact, we are already seeing it happen in Europe.  Just check out what is happening in Spain right now….

Unemployed fieldworkers and other members of the union went to two supermarkets, one in Ecija (Sevilla) and one in Arcos de la Frontera (Cadiz) and loaded up trolleys with basic necessities. They said that the people were being expropriated and they planned to “expropriate the expropriators”.

The foodstuffs, including milk, sugar, chickpeas, pasta and rice, have been given to charities to distribute, who say they are unable to cope with all the requests for help they receive. Unemployment in the Sierra de Cadiz is now 40%.

And already crime is rising in many areas of the United States.  In some communities thieves are stealing just about anything that is not bolted down.

Just recently, 49 cows that were stolen from a farm in Massachusetts were discovered at an auction in Pennsylvania.

Who would be desperate enough to steal cows?

In other areas of the country thieves are stealing air conditioning units from churches and they are stripping copper wiring out of city street lights.

Are you prepared to defend your property when desperate thieves come knocking?

Shortages Can Happen

During an economic collapse shortages can happen very rapidly.  Thanks to the popularity of the “just in time inventory” philosophy, most stores do not have much stuff sitting around in their back rooms.  When things go bad, you may not be able to get the things that you need.

Just look at what is happening in Greece.  Right now, medicine shortages have become a major problem.  The following is from a recent Bloomberg article….

Mina Mavrou, who runs a pharmacy in a middle-class Athens suburb, spends hours each day pleading with drugmakers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients. Life-saving drugs such as Sanofi (SAN)’s blood-thinner Clexane and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s asthma inhaler Flixotide often appear as lines of crimson data on pharmacists’ computer screens, meaning the products aren’t in stock or that pharmacists can’t order as many units as they need.

“When we see red, we want to cry,” Mavrou said. “The situation is worsening day by day.”

The 12,000 pharmacies that dot almost every street corner in Greek cities are the damaged capillaries of a complex system for getting treatment to patients. The Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists reports shortages of almost half the country’s 500 most-used medicines. Even when drugs are available, pharmacists often must foot the bill up front, or patients simply do without.

You Could End Up Dependent On The Government

Don’t think that it can’t happen.

Today, 46.7 million Americans are on food stamps and more than half of all Americans are at least partially financially dependent on the U.S. government.

That may be hard to believe, but it is actually true.

During the month of June, the number of Americans added to the food stamp rolls was three times greater than the number of jobs added to the economy.

What a great “recovery”, eh?

If you do not work very hard to prepare for what is ahead right now, you could also end up dependent on the government.

You Could Lose Your Life

Whenever there is a major economic crisis there is a spike in suicides.

And these days Americans are more wrapped up in materialism than ever before.  When the coming crisis strikes there are going to be millions upon millions of extremely depressed people.

Suicide is about the most stupid thing that you can possibly do, but when people lose all hope of things turning around a lot of them are going to take their own lives.

It is foolish beyond belief, but a lot of people are going to make that choice.  We are already seeing a significant spike in suicides over in Europe due to the economy.  The following is from a recent CNBC article….

A growing number of global and European health bodies are warning that the introduction and intensification of austerity measures has led to a sharp rise in mental health problems with suicide rates, alcohol abuse and requests for anti-depressants increasing as people struggle with the psychological cost of living through a European-wide recession.

“No one should be surprised that factors such as unemployment, debt and relationship breakdowns can cause bouts of mental illness and may push people who are already vulnerable to take their own lives,” Richard Colwill, of the British mental health charity Sane, told CNBC.

“There does appear to be a connection between unemployment rates and suicide for example,” he said, referring to a recent study in the British Medical Journal that stated that more than 1,000 people in the U.K. may have killed themselves because of the impacts of the recession. “This research reflects other work showing similar rises in suicides across Europe.”

This is why I stress that preparation is not just about physical things like money and food.

We all need to get mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for what is ahead.

If we understand what is happening and we come up with a plan to go through it, we will be in far, far better position to endure the coming crisis than people that are totally blindsided by it.

A recent article on shtfplan.com entitled “How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper” explored some of these ideas more fully.  I encourage people to go check it out.

For the moment, most people will just go on with their lives as if nothing is wrong because times are still quite good.

But time is running out.  In fact, we might not have much time left at all before the next major downturn.

A recent CNBC article entitled “It’s Coming: One Pro Sees Big Stock Selloff in 10 Days” detailed how some analysts are warning of a major stock market decline later this month….

An equity strategist for Goldman Sachs is predicting a September selloff that happens so rapidly he is telling clients to protect themselves before Sept. 14.

The reason: Market disappointment over key meetings of the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve—all within the next 10 days.

September may turn out to be a bad month for stocks or it might end up being just fine.

But one thing is for sure.

Time is running out.

Are you ready?

More Than Half Of All Americans Are At Least Partially Dependent On The Government

A very large segment of the population has figured out that it can use voting as a tool to get more money and benefits from the government, and that is a very dangerous thing.  Once upon a time, the free market was the one that distributed nearly all the wealth in our system.  But now the federal government has become a giant deluded “Santa Claus” that distributes goodies to the American people far beyond its actual capacity to do so.  In fact, we are borrowing trillions of dollars that we do not have so that our politicians can continue to buy votes with handouts.  Look, we will always need a safety net.  We don’t want anyone in America starving to death or sleeping in the street.  However, our current system has gotten completely and totally out of control.  Today, there are nearly 80 different “means-tested welfare programs” operated by the federal government.  As I have written about previously, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in those programs.  Sadly, that does not even count Social Security and Medicare.  Tens of millions of Americans are enrolled in each of those programs as well.  And when you add in more than 22 million government workers, you get one giant pile of people that are getting money or benefits from the government.  In fact, at this point more than half of all Americans are at least partially dependent on the government.

A recent Forbes article by Bill Wilson estimates that over 165 million Americans are government dependents to at least some degree….

New research from Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reveals that this reality may already be here, with more than 107 million Americans on some form of means-tested government welfare.

Add to that 46 million seniors collecting Medicare (subtracting out about 10 million on Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other senior-eligible programs already included in Sessions’ means-tested chart) and 22 million government employees at the federal, state, and local level — and suddenly, over 165 million people, a clear majority of the 308 million Americans counted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, are at least partially dependents of the state.

That is absolutely staggering.

So why is this happening?

Well, for one thing our economy is not producing enough good jobs.  Millions of our jobs have been shipped out of the country, and of the jobs that remain, only 24.6 percent of them are considered to be “good jobs” at this point.

So millions of families are really hurting.  In fact, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.

This week, Joe Biden declared that “the middle class is coming back”, but that was a giant lie.

The truth is that the middle class is being absolutely shredded.  More Americans fall out of the middle class every single day.  Right now there are more than 100 million Americans that are considered to be “poor” or “near poor”, and the number of Americans on food stamps has risen by more than 14 million since Barack Obama entered the White House.

No, the middle class is definitely not coming back.  Poverty is exploding all around us and every single day even more Americans become dependent on the government.

And that is how the social engineers like it.  They don’t want us to be strong and independent.  They want us to be weak and groveling and dependent on them.

So who is paying for all of this?

Well, it sure isn’t the wealthy.  They have become absolute masters at avoiding taxes.

And it sure isn’t the poor people.  Most of them don’t even pay any income taxes.

So who is paying for all of this?

Hard working middle class Americans are, and our children and our grandchildren are.

Both Democrats and Republicans see nothing wrong with stealing trillions of dollars from future generations so that they can shower their constituents with benefits that we simply cannot afford.

What we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is beyond criminal.  I am amazed that more people are not completely outraged by all of this.

Obama, Bush, Clinton and our Congress critters have showered the American people will trillions of dollars that have been ripped off from Americans that have not even been born yet.  They seem to think that it is really funny that they are going to stick them with the bill.

I find it absolutely revolting.

But very few of our politicians will even discuss seriously cutting back the benefits that we have promised to hand out.

Nobody wants to be the bad guy.

And more specifically, very few of our politicians are willing to risk their careers in order to do what they know is right.

We are becoming a society that is completely and totally addicted to government money and government benefits.

We expect the government to take care of us from the cradle to the grave.

In many ways, the government has actually become a god to millions upon millions of Americans.

And the social engineers like it that way.

They want the government to be as large and as powerful as possible.

In fact, they don’t even want us taking care of each other.

Earlier this year I wrote about how feeding the homeless is illegal in many major cities all over the United States.

Sadly, this trend has gotten even stronger since that time.

According to USA Today, more than 50 American cities have now passed “anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws”….

Philadelphia recently banned outdoor feeding of people in city parks. Denver has begun enforcing a ban on eating and sleeping on property without permission. And this month, lawmakers in Ashland, Ore., will consider strengthening the town’s ban on camping and making noise in public.

And the list goes on: Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and more than 50 other cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

So what are we supposed to do?

If it is illegal to help the homeless and it is illegal to be homeless, what is left?

The answer is obvious.

We are supposed to let the government take care of everything because the government is our super-powerful nanny that always knows what is best.

In the end, however, this system is going to collapse.  It is unsustainable by nature and the weight of our 16 trillion dollar national debt is absolutely going to crush us.

Millions of Americans realize that the system is failing, and that is why so many of them have started to prepare for the worst.

This even includes members of Congress.  For example, just check out the following excerpt from an article about U.S. Representative Roscoe Bartlett….

Deep in the West Virginia woods, in a small cabin powered by the sun and the wind, a bespectacled, white-haired man is giving a video tour of his basement, describing techniques for the long-term preservation of food in case of “an emergency.”

“We don’t really think of those today, because it’s so convenient to go to the supermarket,” he cautions. “But you know, you’re planning because the supermarket may not always be there.”

The electrical grid could fail tomorrow, he frequently warns. Food would disappear from the shelves. Water would no longer flow from the pipes. Money might become worthless. People could turn on each other, and millions would die.

Remember, this is a member of the U.S. Congress that is saying these things.

Any rational person can see that our current system is unsustainable by any definition.

Many of our politicians continue to insist that it can be “fixed” if you will just allow them to “tweak” it a bit.

Sadly, they are all lying to you.

A few small changes here and there is not going to change anything.

We need radical reconstructive surgery in this nation, and unfortunately that is not even being presented to the American people as an option in 2012.

We are just going to keep doing more of the same and we are going to keep expecting different results.

And that truly is insanity.

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