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Will The August 21st Solar Eclipse Begin A Period Of “40 Days And 40 Nights” For America?

Next Monday, we are going to witness one of the strangest events in U.S. history.  This will be the first total solar eclipse to ever be seen only in the United States and nowhere else.  Millions upon millions of people are going to flock to areas of the country where the full eclipse will be visible, but everyone in the continental United States is going to be able to see at least a partial eclipse.  There are lots of very unusual numbers associated with this eclipse, but in this article I want to focus on the number 40, and as this article unfolds you will start to understand why.

Our planet is the only place where you can view a total solar eclipse, and that is because our sun and our moon appear to be the same size in the sky.  Of course the sun is much, much larger than the moon, but because the sun is approximately 400 times farther away than the moon they appear to us to be nearly the same size…

The sun and moon appear the same size in Earth’s sky because the sun’s diameter is about 400 times greater – but the sun is also about 400 times farther away.

At this particular moment in Earth’s history – although the sun’s diameter is about 400 times larger than that of the moon – the sun is also about 400 times farther away. So the sun and moon appear nearly the same size as seen from Earth. And that’s why we on Earth can sometimes witness that most amazing of spectacles, a total eclipse of the sun.

I have previously discussed the fact that the solar eclipse on August 21st is the first day in a 40 day period that ends with Yom Kippur.  But what I haven’t mentioned is that the month of Elul on the Jewish calendar begins on the very next day after the eclipse.

Elul is traditionally known as “the month of repentance”, and it is a time when people all over the world prepare for the High Holy Days

In the Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The word “Elul” is similar to the root of the verb “search” in Aramaic. The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word “Elul” can be understood to be an acronym for the phrase “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). Elul is seen as a time to search one’s heart and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashanah, and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

It is also believed that the first of Elul was when Moses began a period of 40 days of fasting and prayer on behalf of the people of Israel after they worshipped the golden calf.  The following comes from Rachel Baxter

According to Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is the time that Moses spent on Mount Sinai preparing the second set of tablets after the golden calf incident (Exodus 32; 34:27-28). He ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul and descended on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, when repentance was complete. Elul marked the beginning of a period of 40 days that Moses prayed for God to forgive the people for worshipping the golden calf.

Of course the number 40 comes up time after time throughout the Scriptures.  Here are a bunch more examples

In the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12). After Moses killed the Egyptian, he fled to Midian, where he spent 40 years in the desert tending flocks (Acts 7:30). Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 24:18). Moses interceded on Israel’s behalf for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25). The Law specified a maximum number of lashes a man could receive for a crime, setting the limit at 40 (Deuteronomy 25:3). The Israelite spies took 40 days to spy out Canaan (Numbers 13:25). The Israelites wandered for 40 years (Deuteronomy 8:2-5). Before Samson’s deliverance, Israel served the Philistines for 40 years (Judges 13:1). Goliath taunted Saul’s army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him (1 Samuel 17:16). When Elijah fled from Jezebel, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).

And virtually everyone knows that the Lord Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness, and that there were 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension.

In addition, I already noted yesterday that the prophet Jonah gave the people of Nineveh 40 days to repent before judgment would strike.

It is interesting to note that there is a town known as “Nineveh” in the United States as well.  On Monday, 93 percent of the sun will be blotted out by the moon in that little town, and 7 years later the eclipse of 2024 will blot out 100 percent of the sun in that same town.

Many will dismiss the things that I have been pointing out about these eclipses as “coincidences”, but it is imperative to remember that these sorts of solar eclipses are actually very rare.  The following comes from Faithwire

But, with that said, there are some intriguing and defining elements surrounding the coming Aug. 21 event, including the fact that it is the first time since 1257 that the entirety of the total eclipse is exclusively viewable from inside the U.S.

Parade noted that the 1257 eclipse went over the Hawaiian Islands — a fact that some might say differentiates it from what’s to come this month. With that in mind, to find a comparable eclipse, the outlet said one must go all the way back more than 1,500 years to July 29, 436 (yes, the year 436). And America won’t see another such total solar eclipse that is viewable only in the U.S. until Jan. 25, 2316, when anyone currently reading this story is long gone.

For centuries, many have believed that a solar eclipse is a sign that judgment is coming upon a nation.  I don’t know if that is what this solar eclipse means, but Jesus did warn us to watch for signs in the sun, moon and stars just prior to His return.

So does this solar eclipse start a period of “40 days and 40 nights” for America?

I don’t know, but God definitely likes to use the number 40, and throughout history He has repeatedly used His calendar to get our attention.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

10 Very Strange Facts About The August 21 Solar Eclipse That Will Absolutely Blow Your Mind

In just a matter of days we are going to witness the most unusual solar eclipse in U.S. history. Could it be possible that all of the very strange “coincidences” surrounding this event have some sort of special significance?  The mainstream media has been buzzing about this upcoming solar eclipse for months, and it will easily be the most watched eclipse in all of U.S. history.  Last week, I published an article entitled “12 Critical Events That Are Going To Happen Over A 40 Day Period From August 21st To September 30th” that received an extraordinary amount of attention, and of course the first event on that list was “the Great American Eclipse” on the 21st.  As you will see below, so many numbers seem to indicate that this eclipse could have some sort of special significance, and it begins a period of exactly 40 days that many believe could be a turning point for America.

In the Scriptures, we are specifically told that one of the reasons why God created the sun and the moon was so that they could serve as “signs”.  The following is what Genesis 1:14 tells us…

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years

And in Luke 21:25, the Lord Jesus specifically warned us to watch for signs “in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars” just prior to His return.

So we should be watching, and we should fully expect to see something happen up there before Christ comes back.

With that in mind, I would like to share some amazing facts about the solar eclipse on August 21st with you.  These were originally compiled by The Countdown Report, and when I first read them they definitely got my attention…

-First contact is in the state of Oregon, the 33rd state in the USA. The last contact is in South Carolina on the 33rd parallel. This eclipse happens on day 233 of the year. If the Revelation 12 sign is valid, then the eclipse is also 33 days before September 23, 2017. Jesus is thought to have been 33 when He died.

-Just for fun: It is 99 years (3 x 33) since the last eclipse to go coast-to-coast in the US, in 1918. From September 23, 2017 (Revelation 12 sign) to the end of the year, December 31, 2017 is 99 days (or 3 x 33). The number of days from the 1918 eclipse to the August 21 eclipse are 26,234 days. (2+6+2+3+4 = 17; 2017?). From August 12, 2017, the date of the Charlottesville Virginia “State of Emergency” declared to the August 21, 2017 Great Solar Eclipse is 9 days (3+3+3) and the dates are also mirrored – 12 and 21.

-First big city the eclipse hits in Oregon is Salem – Salem was named after Jerusalem. The eclipse also begins in Oregon exactly at sunset time in Jerusalem. So technically speaking, as the sun sets in America it will be setting in Jerusalem at the same time.

-The center line crosses through 12 primary states to receive total darkness. 12 disciples, 12 months in a year, the meaning of 12, which is considered a perfect number, is that it symbolizes God’s power and authority, as well as serving as a perfect governmental foundation.

-The eclipse path is exactly 70 miles wide. 70 has a sacred meaning in the Bible that has two perfect numbers, 7 that represents perfection and 10 that represents completeness and God’s law. 70 also symbolizes perfect spiritual order and a period of judgment. 70 is also specially connected with Jerusalem with so many references it would take a book to write.

-Another eclipse comes in 2024, 7 years after the August 21, 2017 and marks an X over the United States. The combined time of totality of these eclipses together will be 7 minutes. The day of the eclipse is August 21, 2017 – (7 + 7 + 7 = 21). The exact point where the two eclipses cross is right next to Cedar Lake in Illinois… specifically right next to SALEM Road. (Salem again!)

-The original form of the Hebrew letter Tav is like the English letter X or T – which is in the shape of a cross, or X– like the X that is made by the two solar eclipses on the cross paths over 7 years. The letter Tav means “a sign”.

-The path of the eclipse will be situated in such a way that every single state of the US will experience it, even Hawaii and Alaska.

-The totality will reach Oregon at 10:16 AM Pacific, and will end in South Carolina at 2:49 PM Eastern. That means it will take 1 hour and 33 minutes to cross the country. There is that 33 again.

-The eclipse is also exactly 40 days from Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” and is a time of repentance. While the eclipse day itself may come and go with everything remaining “normal” afterwards, we need to be focused on what could be coming soon after.

You can read the entire list of 33 facts that were compiled by The Countdown Report right here.  I just pulled out the ten that I considered to be the most remarkable.

According to Rachel Baxter, “40 is the number for waiting, preparation, testing or punishment. It is also the number to start a new chapter of the history of salvation”, and we see the number 40 pop up time after time in the Bible.

For instance, in Jonah 3:4 the prophet Jonah gave Ninevah a period of 40 days to repent before judgment would begin…

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Could this coming 40 day time period have some sort of special significance for us?

Like I said in my previous article, I don’t know if all of this means anything.

But Jesus did specifically instruct us to watch for signs in the sun and the moon, and the solar eclipse on August 21st involves both the sun and the moon.

On August 21st, I am going to be able to travel into the path of this eclipse.  Hopefully it will be a very clear day and I will be able to get some very clear pictures for my readers.

I don’t expect anything world shattering to take place on that particular day, but like millions of other Americans, I will definitely be looking up into the sky to see what happens…

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

12 Critical Events That Are Going To Happen Over A 40 Day Period From August 21st To September 30th

We are about to witness an extremely unusual convergence of events that many believe could represent a major turning point for our nation.  By now you have probably heard that on August 21st a total solar eclipse will move across the entire continental United States for the first time in decades.  In fact, we have not seen a total solar eclipse cross from the west coast to the east coast in 99 years.  And it will be the very first total solar eclipse that is only visible in this country since the United States first became a nation.  Starting with that event, there is going to be a whole lot going on until we reach the end of September.  The following are 12 critical events that are going to happen over a 40 day period from August 21st to September 30th…

August 21 – The “Great American Eclipse” will sweep across portions of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  Seven years later, another very unusual total solar eclipse will move across our nation, and when you plot the paths of both eclipses on a map, they form a giant “X” right over the center of the United States.

August 23 – A FEMA exercise known as “EarthEX2017” will simulate “catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks”

An exercise sponsored by FEMA and the U.S. Department of Energy set to take place on August 23 called EarthEX2017 will wargame responses to catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks.

The exercise will simulate a “subcontinent-scale, long duration power outage, with cascading failures of all other infrastructures,” according to the official Earth Ex website.

“Black sky events” are defined as, “Catastrophic occurrences caused by man or nature that bring society to its knees.”

September 1 – This marks the start of FEMA’s annual “National Preparedness Month“.

September 1 – The U.S. State Department’s ban on U.S. citizens traveling into North Korea goes into effect.  Many are concerned that this is yet another sign that we are moving toward war with North Korea.

September 11 – This will be the 16th anniversary of 9/11.

September 20 – Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset.

September 21The UN International Day Of Peace

September 23 – This is the date of what has become known as “the Revelation 12 sign”.  If you are not familiar with this alignment yet, the following is a very brief summary

On September 23rd a unique astronomical alignment of the Sun, Moon, constellation Virgo, constellation Leo, and planets Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Venus is going to fulfill this passage from the book of Revelation:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.

September 24 – Very important national elections will be held in Germany.

September 29 – Yom Kippur begins at sunset, and it concludes on September 30th.  Of course September 30th will be the end of a 40 day period that began back on the day of the Great American Eclipse on August 21st.

September 29 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the debt ceiling will be breached on this day if Congress does not raise it by then.

September 30 – If Congress does not pass a budget by the end of this day, there will be a government shutdown just like we witnessed in 2013.

On top of everything else, the month of September is when the Federal Reserve is scheduled to begin unwinding  their 4.5 trillion dollar balance sheet

The other big market force that could ruffle markets is clearly the Fed, which is expected to begin the untested task of unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in September.

In addition, it is very interesting to note that a large asteroid will come within 4,200 miles of our planet on October 12th…

The asteroid has not been seen since its 2012 discovery, when it sped past Earth at about one-fourth the distance from Earth to the moon. It’s been too distant and too faint to be detected over the last five years. As it starts to approach Earth this summer, large telescopes will be used to detect it and re-establish the asteroid’s precise trajectory.

The asteroid, known as 2012 TC4, could come as close as 4,200 miles to Earth, NASA said. That’s actually fairly close, when you consider that the moon is about 239,000 miles away.

So what does all of this mean?

I don’t know, but I am sure that I will receive even more criticism for putting this list together.  Those of us that monitor global events and warn about where things are headed are often highly criticized.  But in this day and age, we desperately need independent thinkers that are willing to challenge the system.  Way too often people just go with the herd and will believe whatever the mainstream media tells them to think.

Never let someone else do your thinking for you.  Investigate things for yourself and come to your own conclusions.  Learning to think critically is one of the most important skills that you can have, and you will find that it is one of the most common traits among those that are truly “awake” to what is going on in the world.

The truth is out there, and if you diligently seek it you will eventually find it.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

8 Economic Threats That We Were Not Even Talking About At The Beginning Of The Summer

In the crazy times in which we live, it helps to expect the unexpected.  Sometimes you can think that you have it all figured out and then this world can throw a real curveball at you. Very few people anticipated that we would see a massive outbreak of the West Nile Virus in Texas this year or that the Mississippi River would be in danger of drying up after experiencing historic flooding last year.  Who would have thought that we would see the worst drought in more than 50 years or that horrific wildfires would burn nearly 7 million acres of land?  This is why economic conditions are always so hard to predict.  A single “black swan event” can come along and change everything almost overnight.  Our world has become incredibly unstable, and so who really knows what the rest of 2012 will bring?  Will we see a stock market crash?  Will the hurricane season be unusually bad?  Will war erupt in the Middle East?  Will we see a major earthquake on the west coast or even a volcanic eruption?  Will the upcoming election cause an eruption of anger and frustration in America?  We don’t know the answers to those questions yet, and the truth is that we will probably see some things happen that very few of us are anticipating at this point.

This is an exciting time to be a “news junkie”, but unfortunately the vast majority of the news these days is bad.

It is almost as if a “perfect storm” is developing.  Our weather is going crazy, our financial system is on the verge of collapse, our politicians seem more insane than ever, there is evidence of social decay all around us and the drumbeats of war in the Middle East grow louder with each passing day.

As strange as 2012 has been so far, I fear that things are about to get a whole lot stranger.

Not that we haven’t had some very unanticipated events happen this year up to this point.

The following are 8 economic threats that we were not even talking about at the beginning of the summer….

#1 West Nile Virus

What is up with all of the strange disease outbreaks that we have seen so far this year?

Flesh eating disease and the bird flu have both been making global headlines this summer, but in the U.S. right now it is the West Nile Virus that is getting the most attention.

So far more than 1,100 cases of the West Nile Virus have been diagnosed in the United States and more than 41 people have died from it.

More than half of the cases so far have been in Texas, but we have also seen people come down with West Nile Virus in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.

If you live in any of those areas, you might want to do your best to avoid mosquitos for the rest of the summer.

#2 Historic Drought

This summer, the United States has experienced the worst drought that it has seen in more than 50 years.

This weather has been absolutely crippling for farmers and ranchers all over the nation.  As I wrote about the other day, about half of all corn being grown in the U.S. is currently either in “poor” or “very poor” condition.

As the drought has dragged on, many farmers and ranchers have become increasingly desperate.  In fact, one farmer has even been feeding his cows candy in an attempt to deal with rising feed prices.

Needless to say, this drought has been causing commodity prices to soar.

On Tuesday, the price of corn closed at a record $8.38 a bushel, and the price of soybeans closed at $17.30 a bushel.

#3 The Mississippi River Is Drying Up

Thanks to this drought, rivers and lakes all over the United States are drying up.  In fact, there have been reports that millions of fish have been dying because water levels have gotten so low in many areas.

Even the mighty Mississippi River has dropped to dangerously low levels.

At this point, the Mississippi is lower than most people living along the river can ever remember.  If it drops much lower, it could potentially have an absolutely devastating impact on the U.S. economy.

A recent NBC News report described what is at stake….

About $180 billion worth of goods move up and down the river on barges, 500 million tons of the basic ingredients for much of the U.S. economy, according to the American Waterways Operators, a trade group. It carries 60 percent of the nation’s grain, 22 percent of the oil and gas and 20 percent of the coal, according to American Waterways Operators. It would take 60 trailer trucks to carry the cargo in just one barge, 144 18-wheeler tankers to carry the oil and gas in one petroleum barge.

If all traffic along the Mississippi was forced to stop, it is estimated that it would cost the U.S. economy about 300 million dollars a day.

And already there have been stoppages along one 11 mile stretch of the river….

Nearly 100 boats and barges were waiting for passage Monday along an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that has been closed because of low water levels, the U.S. Coast Guard said. New Orleans-based Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets said the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.

So what happens if the Mississippi gets even lower?

#4 Wildfires

The extreme heat has also been responsible for the horrific outbreak of wildfires that we have seen in the western United States this year.

So far in 2012, nearly 7 million acres have been burned up.

That is an area about as big as the states of Maryland and Delaware combined.

#5 The Global Elite Hoarding Gold

In the past, the global elite and the mainstream media would mock those who are hoarding gold in anticipation of a major financial collapse.

But now it is the global elite who are hoarding gold.

In a previous article, I discussed how men such as George Soros and John Paulson are investing mind-boggling amounts of money in gold right now.  The amount of money that these two individuals are investing in gold is difficult to comprehend….

There was also news last week in an SEC filing that both George Soros and John Paulson had increased their investment in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest publicly traded physical gold exchange traded fund (ETF).

Mr Soros upped his stake in the ETF to 884,400 shares from 319,550 and Mr Paulson bought 4.53m shares, bringing his stake to 21.3m.

At the current price of about $156 a share, these are new investments of about $88m of Mr Soros’ cash and more than $700m from Mr Paulson’s funds. These are significant positions.

Combined, Soros and Paulson dumped more than three quarters of a billion dollars into gold during the second quarter of 2012 alone.

So what are they anticipating?

The central banks of the world have been very busy hoarding gold as well.  According to the World Gold Council, global central banks were net buyers of 157.5 metric tons of gold during the second quarter of 2012.

Over the past 20 years there has never been a time when global central banks have accumulated that much gold during a single quarter.

So just what in the world is going on?

#6 Recession In The UK

Everyone knew that Greece was in deep trouble.

And everyone knew that Italy and Spain were in deep trouble.

But it was a surprise to see the UK economy plunge deep into recession.  During the second quarter of 2012 alone, the UK economy shrunk by 0.7 percent.

At this point the British economy has contracted for three quarters in a row.

Hopefully things will not get even worse over there.

#7 Major Economic Slowdown In The United States

Considering the fact that the U.S. economy never even came close to recovering from the last recession, it is a bit disheartening to see that it looks like we are headed for another major downturn.

According to Michael Panzer of Financial Armageddon, measurements of economic activity compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia indicate that the U.S. economy is rapidly heading into another recession.  If you doubt this, just check out this chart.

And for a lot more reasons why the U.S. economy is entering another recession, check out this article.

#8 Hauled Off To A Mental Institution For What You Believe

Do you ever worry that what you post on Facebook could get you involuntarily committed to a mental institution?

Well, that is exactly what happened to one military vet recently.

A former Marine named Brandon Raub was hauled off to a mental institution because of what he posted on his Facebook page.

This is how the Economic Policy Journal summarized what happened to Raub….

The muscle used to grab Brandon Raub was local Chesterfield County, VA police. Also present during the grab were agents of the FBI and of the Secret Service.

Both the FBI and the Secret Service claim that they were only observing and not participating in the grab. The Chesterfield County police initially stated that they were only carrying out a request from the federal agencies.

The police also claim Raub is not under arrest, even though he was led away in handcuffs and is not permitted to leave the psychiatric ward of a hospital—even though it appears that Raub is not in  any way in need of psychological care.

I note this happened in the United States of America, with local police, FBI agents and Secret Service taking part.

The claim that Raub is “not under arrest” is completely and totally ridiculous.  The authorities came to his door, slapped handcuffs on him and are holding him in a mental institution against his will.

And now he has been transferred to a facility that is 3 hours away from his family, his supporters and his legal team.

What in the world is America turning into?

The Rutherford Institute is defending Raub, and the following is an excerpt from a statement about this case on their website….

“This is not how justice in America is supposed to work—with Americans being arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights, forced to undergo psychological evaluations, detained against their will and isolated from their family, friends and attorneys. This is a scary new chapter in our history,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”

This is the kind of thing that we have seen under brutal totalitarian regimes in the past.  Dissidents are grabbed by authorities and taken to mental institutions where they are conveniently “disappeared”.

This kind of thing is not supposed to happen in America.

But it is happening.

And you know what?  Before the authorities start attacking people for exercising free speech on Facebook perhaps they should clean up their own house.

It turns out that thousands of DHS employees have been convicted of crimes in recent years.  The following is from a recent CNS News article….

There have been 2,527 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees and co-conspirators convicted of corruption and other criminal misconduct since 2004, according to a federal auditor.

Our world is becoming a very crazy place.

One thing that most people did see coming this summer was the continuing economic decline in Greece.

At this point Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression and it gets worse by the day.

If you can believe it, 1,250 companies have shut down in the second largest city in Greece in 2012 alone.

Ouch.

And many in the financial world believe the the situation in Greece is going to go beyond the breaking point fairly soon.

In fact, analysts at Citibank believe that there is a 90 percent chance that Greece will leave the euro over the next 12 to 18 months.

90 percent?

They sound pretty sure of themselves.

Not that the rest of Europe is in such great shape either.

According to Bloomberg, it looks like Europe will soon be losing about half a million auto industry jobs….

Efforts by PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) and Fiat SpA (F) to end losses in Europe could cost more than 500,000 people their jobs as automakers and parts suppliers grapple with the effects of the European sovereign debt crisis.

We live in very unusual times.

Things are falling apart all around us and we seem to be rapidly approaching another major economic crisis.

Central banks, governments and Wall Street insiders all seem to be preparing for the worst.

Are you?

The Mississippi River Is Drying Up

The worst drought in more than 50 years is having a devastating impact on the Mississippi River.  The Mississippi has become very thin and very narrow, and if it keeps on dropping there is a very real possibility that all river traffic could get shut down.  And considering the fact that approximately 60 percent of our grain, 22 percent of our oil and natural gas, and and one-fifth of our coal travel down the Mississippi River, that would be absolutely crippling for our economy.  It has been estimated that if all Mississippi River traffic was stopped that it would cost the U.S. economy 300 million dollars a day.  So far most of the media coverage of this historic drought has focused on the impact that it is having on farmers and ranchers, but the health of the Mississippi River is also absolutely crucial to the economic success of this nation, and right now the Mississippi is in incredibly bad shape.  In some areas the river is already 20 feet below normal and the water is expected to continue to drop.  If we have another 12 months of weather ahead of us similar to what we have seen over the last 12 months then the mighty Mississippi is going to be a complete and total disaster zone by this time next year.

Most Americans simply do not understand how vitally important the Mississippi River is to all of us.  If the Mississippi River continues drying up to the point where commercial travel is no longer possible, it would be an absolutely devastating blow to the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, vast stretches of the Mississippi are already dangerously low.  The following is an excerpt from a transcript of a CNN report that aired on August 14th….

You might think this is some kind of desert just outside of Memphis. It’s not. I’m actually standing on the exposed bottom of the Mississippi River. That’s how dramatic the drought impact is being felt here. Hard to believe, a year ago we were talking about record flooding. Now, they are worried about a new kind of record: a record low. The river was three miles wide here, it’s now down to three tenths of a mile. And that’s causing all kinds of problems. There are some benefits, I mean, take a look over here: new beach front. In fact, some quip that now the Mississippi River has more beaches than the entire state of Florida, which would be funny if it didn’t have an impact on trade.

A lot of stuff we use goes up and down the Mississippi River. We are talking steel, coal, ore, grain. The problem is now a lot of those barges have had to lighten their loads, and even doing that, they are still running aground. There is a real fear that there could be a possibility of closing the Mississippi River. If that happens, well, all that product that used to be carried cheaply by barge is now going to be carried more expensively by truck or train. And guess who is going to pay for all of that.

You can see video footage of what is happening along the Mississippi right here.

It really is amazing that last year we were talking about historic flooding along the Mississippi and this year we are talking about the Mississippi possibly drying up.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some areas along the river that are already 20 feet below normal levels.  The following is from a recent article posted on inquisitr.com….

Just outside of Memphis the river is 13 feet below normal depth while the National Weather Service says Vicksburg, Mississippi is 20 feet below normal levels. Overall the Mississippi is 13 feet below normal averages for this time of year.

The drying up river is forcing barge, tugboat and towboat operators to navigate narrower and more shallow spots in the river, slowing their speeds as they pass dangerously close to one another. In some parts of the Mississippi the river is so narrow that one-way traffic is being utilized.

A lot of barges have been forced to go with greatly reduced loads so that they will sit higher in the river, and other commercial craft have been forced to stop operating completely.

For example, the Mississippi has dropped so low at this point that the famous American Queen Steamboat can no longer safely navigate the river.

Down south, the Mississippi River has gotten so low that saltwater is actually starting to move upriver.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is fighting hard to keep that contained.

Other waterways in the middle part of the country are in even worse shape.

For example, a 100 mile stretch of the Platte River has already dried up.  Millions of fish are dying as rivers and streams all over the country continue to get shallower and warmer as a result of the ongoing drought.

The last time the condition of the Mississippi River was this bad was back in 1988.  At that time, a lot of barge traffic was stopped completely and the shipping industry lost approximately a billion dollars.

If a similar thing were to happen now, the consequences could potentially be far worse.

As I wrote about recently, a standstill along the Mississippi would cost the U.S. economy about 300 million dollars a day.

In fact, one towing company that works on the Mississippi says that it has already been losing about $500,000 a month since May.

In the end, who is going to pay for all of this?

You and I will.

In fact, this crisis could end up costing American consumers a whole lot of money….

So here’s the math. If you want to raise the average barge one inch above the water, you’ve got to take off 17-tons of cargo. To raise it a foot, you’re talking 200 tons.

And since, according to the American Waterways Operators, moving cargo by river is $11 a ton cheaper than by train or truck. The more that now has to be moved on land, well, the more the costs go up. Steven Barry says, “And, eventually, the consumer’s gonna pay that price somewhere along the line.”

And considering the fact that we are already facing a potential food crisis due to the drought, the last thing we need is for the Mississippi River to dry up.

So is there any hope on the horizon for the Mississippi?

Unfortunately, things do not look promising.

The fall and the winter are typically drier than the summer is along the Mississippi River.  That means that conditions along the river could actually get even worse in the months ahead.  The following is from a recent Time Magazine article….

But without significant rainfall, which isn’t in any long-range forecasts, things are likely to get worse. As summer turns to fall, the weather tends to get drier. Lower temperatures generally mean fewer thunderstorms and less rainfall.

“Take away the thunderstorm mechanism and you run into more serious problems,” says Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com. And while droughts tend to be a temporary setback, longer-range forecasts are troublesome. Sosnowski says he is anticipating an El Niño weather pattern next year, which would mean below-normal snowfall and above-average temperatures.

Let us hope and pray that we don’t see another 12 months similar to the 12 months that we have just been through.

The U.S. economy is already in bad enough shape.

We don’t need any more major problems on top of what we are already dealing with.

So what do you think about this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

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