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This Is What A Pre-Crash Market Looks Like

The only other times in our history when stock prices have been this high relative to earnings, a horrifying stock market crash has always followed.  Will things be different for us this time?  We shall see, but without a doubt this is what a pre-crash market looks like.  This current bubble has been based on irrational euphoria that has been fueled by relentless central bank intervention, but now global central banks are removing the artificial life support in unison.  Meanwhile, the real economy continues to stumble along very unevenly.  This is the longest that the U.S. has ever gone without a year in which the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and many believe that the next recession is very close.  Stock prices cannot stay completely disconnected from economic reality forever, and once the bubble bursts the pain is going to be unlike anything that we have ever seen before.

If you think that these ridiculously absurd stock prices are sustainable, there is something that I would like for you to consider.  The only times in our history when the cyclically-adjusted return on stocks has been lower, a nightmarish stock market crash happened soon thereafter

The Nobel-Laureate, Robert Shiller, developed the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings ratio, the so-called CAPE, to assess whether stocks are likely to be over- or under-valued. It is possible to invert this measure to obtain a cyclically-adjusted earnings yield which allows one to measure prospective real returns. If one does this, the answer for the US is that the cyclically-adjusted return is now down to 3.4 percent. The only times it has been still lower were in 1929 and between 1997 and 2001, the two biggest stock market bubbles since 1880. We know now what happened then. Is it going to be different this time?

Since the market bottomed out in early 2009, the S&P 500 has been on a historic run.  If this rally had been based on a booming economy that would be one thing, but the truth is that the U.S. economy has not seen 3 percent yearly growth since the middle of the Bush administration.  Instead, this insane bubble has been almost entirely fueled by central bank manipulation, and now that manipulation is being dramatically scaled back.

And the guys on Wall Street know what is coming.  For example, Joe Zidle says that this bull market is now in “the ninth inning”

Joe Zidle, of Richard Bernstein Advisors, is arguing that the bull market has entered the bottom of the ninth inning.

“This is a late-cycle environment,” Zidle said on CNBC’s “Futures Now” recently.

“In innings terms, they’re not time dependent. An inning could be shorter or they could be longer. It just really depends,” the strategist said.

This bubble has lasted for much longer than it ever should have, and everyone understands that a day of reckoning is coming.

In fact, earlier today I came across an article on Zero Hedge that contained an absolutely remarkable quote from Eric Peters…

“We are investing as if 1987 will happen tomorrow, because it will,” said the CIO. “But we need to be long, or we’ll be out of business,” he explained, under pressure to perform. “So we construct option trades that are binary bets.” Which pay X profit if stocks rally, and cost Y if markets fall. No more and no less.

“What you do not want is a portfolio whose losses multiply depending on the severity of a decline.” That’s what most people have today. “At the last stage of the cycle, you want lots of binary bets. Many small wins. Before the big loss.”

Are we at the start or the end of the ‘Don’t know what I’m buying’ cycle?” asked the same CIO. “No one knows.” But we’re definitely within it.

“When their complex swaps drop 40%, and prime brokers demand more margin, investors will cry ‘It’s not possible!’ But anything is possible.” The prime brokers will hang up and stop them out.

In case you don’t remember, in 1987 we witnessed the largest one day percentage decline in U.S. stock market history.

When it finally happens, millions upon millions of ordinary Americans will be completely shocked, but most insiders know that the other shoe is going to drop at some point.

In particular, watch financial stock prices very closely.  Last month, Richard Bove issued a chilling warning about bank stocks…

One of Wall Street’s most vocal bank analysts is troubled by the rally in financials.

The Vertical Group’s Richard Bove warns that the overall market is just as dangerous as the late 1990s, and he cites momentum — not fundamentals — as what’s driving bank stocks to all-time highs.

“If we don’t get some event in the economy or in politics or in somewhere that is going to create more loan volume and better margins for the banks, then yes, they would come crashing down,” Bove said Monday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “I think that the risk in these stocks is very high at the present time.”

It isn’t going to take much to set off an unstoppable chain of events.  Our financial markets are even more vulnerable than they were in 2008, and the right trigger could unleash a crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern American history.

Unfortunately, most Americans keep getting fooled by the artificial boom and bust cycles that the central banks create.  Right now most people seem to have been lulled into a false sense of security, and they truly believe that everything is going to be okay.

But every time before when the market has looked like this a crash has always followed, and this time will be no exception.

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.

The Mainstream Media Is Talking About A Coming Middle East War That Could Involve Saudi Arabia, Iran, The U.S. And Israel

People better start waking up and paying attention to what is happening in the Middle East, because the situation is becoming quite serious.  If things go badly, we could be facing a major regional war which would involve not only Saudi Arabia and Iran, but also potentially the United States and Israel.  Yesterday, I quoted an article in the New York Times that warned that tensions between the Saudis and the Iranians were raising “the threat of a direct military clash between the two regional heavyweights”.  And now Jake Novak of CNBC is saying that a “direct conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as opposed to the proxy war they’re fighting in Yemen, looks inevitable.”

I put those last two words in bold so that there wouldn’t be any confusion.  In fact, Novak is warning that the Saudis “are marching ever closer towards a wider regional war”.  Novak understands the dynamics of the Middle East, and he realizes where things could be headed if cooler heads do not prevail.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have already been fighting proxy wars against one another in Syria and Iran for quite a while, but a direct military conflict between the two could literally be a nightmare scenario.

One of the primary characters in this ongoing drama is Saudi Arabia’s extremely hawkish crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.  He hates Iran with a passion, and he has already said that he believes that a peace dialogue with Iran is impossible.

And over the past several days, events in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have moved talk of war to the front burner

First, the kingdom squarely blamed Iran for a missile attack on Riyadh from Yemen that was thwarted by the U.S.-made Patriot anti-missile system. The Saudis called that attack “direct military aggression by the Iranian regime and may be considered an act of war.”

Second, the Saudis accused Lebanon of — figuratively at least — declaring “war” against it because of aggression from Hezbollah. That statement spurred even Saudi ally and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to publicly urge for calm.

In an article yesterday, I discussed the “purge” that is currently taking place in Saudi Arabia.  Many believe that this purge is all about removing any potential obstacles to a war with Iran.  Mohammed bin Salman and his father have made dealing with Iran their number one strategic priority, and they have even enlisted the Israelis as allies in their cause…

As is already well-known, the Saudi and Israeli common cause against perceived Iranian influence and expansion in places like Syria, Lebanon and Iraq of late has led the historic bitter enemies down a pragmatic path of unspoken cooperation as both seem to have placed the break up of the so-called “Shia crescent” as their primary policy goal in the region. For Israel, Hezbollah has long been its greatest foe, which Israeli leaders see as an extension of Iran’s territorial presence right up against the Jewish state’s northern border.

If Saudi Arabia and Iran go to war, it is probably inevitable that Hezbollah will strike Israel at the same time, thus getting the Israelis directly involved in the conflict.

Not only that, if a major regional war does erupt in the Middle East it would almost certainly mean that the U.S. would have to get involved as well.  Here is more from Jake Novak of CNBC

But if full blown war breaks out directly between the two countries, it’s hard to see the U.S. being able to sit it out without at least some form increased weapons support and other aid. Then it will be up to Iran’s possible allies, like Russia and China to make the next move.

If you are thinking that this sounds like the type of scenario that could cause World War III to erupt, you would be correct.

The Iranians and the Saudis both have weapons of mass destruction, and so a direct conflict between the two would seem to be unthinkable.

But rational thinking does not always prevail in the Middle East.  The conflict between Sunni Islam and Shia Islam has a long and bitter history, and the bad blood between the Saudis and the Iranians is never going to subside until one side or the other ultimately prevails.

Let us hope that a “hot war” between Saudi Arabia and Iran does not erupt any time soon, because such a war would not be good for the United States whatsoever.  Pretty much every scenario that you can imagine ends with enormous numbers of innocent people dead, and such a conflict could ultimately be the spark that sets off World War III.

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.

Is Saudi Arabia Heading For War With Iran?

Is a major war in the Middle East looming on the horizon?  Most of us living in the western world simply do not realize how much Saudi Arabia and Iran truly hate one another.  Saudi Arabia is the global center for Sunni Islam, and Iran is the global center for Shia Islam, and the two major sects of Islam have a history of bad blood that literally goes back for over a thousand years.  The Saudis and the Iranians are already engaged in “proxy wars” in Syria and in Yemen, and now a missile that was fired at Riyadh’s international airport threatens to turn the conflict between the two regional powers into a hot war.

If you are tempted to think that I am exaggerating one bit, just consider what the New York Times is saying about this…

Saudi Arabia charged Monday that Iran had committed “a blatant act of military aggression” by providing its Yemeni allies with a missile fired at the Saudi capital over the weekend, raising the threat of a direct military clash between the two regional heavyweights.

The accusations represent a new peak in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran at a time when they are already fighting proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, as well as battles for political power in Iraq and Lebanon.

And Yahoo is reporting that the Saudis are saying that this missile attack “may amount to an act of war”…

On Monday, a Saudi-led military coalition battling Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen said it reserved the “right to respond” to the missile attack on Riyadh at the weekend, calling it a “blatant military aggression by the Iranian regime which may amount to an act of war”.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir also warned Tehran.

“Iranian interventions in the region are detrimental to the security of neighbouring countries and affect international peace and security. We will not allow any infringement on our national security,” Jubeir tweeted.

For those that have not grasped the implications of what I am saying yet, let me break this down very simply for you.

If Saudi Arabia and Iran go to war, the United States will be involved in that war on the side of the Saudis.

It would be a war unlike anything we have ever seen in the history of the Middle East, and it is almost a certainty that weapons of mass destruction would be used in such a war.

Essentially, what we are talking about is the potential for World War III to erupt in the Middle East.

And all of this comes at a time when the biggest “purge” in the modern history of Saudi Arabia is taking place

A campaign of mass arrests of Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen expanded on Monday after a top entrepreneur was reportedly detained in the biggest anti-corruption purge of the kingdom’s affluent elite in its modern history.

The reported arrest of Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar followed the detention of dozens of top Saudis including billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in a crackdown that the attorney general described as “phase one”.

The purge is the latest in a series of dramatic steps by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to assert Saudi influence internationally and amass more power for himself at home.

Some would say that the Saudis are “cracking down on corruption”, while others would say that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is “consolidating power” prior to going to war.

In any event, this situation deserves our full attention, because it could ultimately result in a major regional war in which the United States is directly involved.

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.

How The Elite Dominate The World – Part 4: They Buy Politicians, And Incumbents Almost Always Win

Once we wake up to how the game is being played, then we will have a real shot at changing things.  For decades, the elite have been pulling the strings behind the scenes in both major political parties.  That is why nothing has ever seemed to change very much no matter which party has been in power.  The agenda of the elite has always seemed to march forward, and ordinary people like us have always been frustrated that we can’t seem to make a difference.  But now a shift seems to be taking place.  Donald Trump took on the establishment in both major parties, and he miraculously won the presidency.  Down in Alabama, the elite spent more than 30 million dollars to defeat Roy Moore, and he still defeated Luther Strange.  A political awakening is taking place, and I can’t wait to see what happens during the mid-term elections in 2018.

In Part I and Part II of this series, I talked about how the elite use debt as a tool of enslavement.  In Part III, I went over how the elite use the colossal media corporations they own to control what we think.  Today, I want to talk about their influence in the realm of politics.

In Washington D.C., it is well understood that the game of politics is all about the money.  If I win my election, and online polling suggests that there is a ton of enthusiasm for my campaign, I will be expected to spend most of my time on the phone raising money.  As a freshman member of Congress, at orientation it will be explained to me that I am supposed to spend approximately four hours a day doing fundraising, and that is why the House and Senate floors are so empty most of the time.

By law, members of Congress cannot make fundraising calls from their offices, and so both parties have huge call centers just across from the Capitol.  Especially around lunch and dinner times (because those are some of the best times to reach people), those call centers are packed as members of the House and Senate run through lists of potential donors.

And it isn’t just about raising money for their own campaigns.  As a freshman member of Congress I would be expected to raise at least $200,000 for the NRCC (the National Republican Congressional Committee).  If I don’t pay my dues, I would get into big trouble with party leadership.

But you know what?  I have already pledged that I am not going to participate in this very corrupt system.  If I am sent to Congress, I am going to spend my time doing the job that the people of Idaho sent me there to do.

So will Paul Ryan and the others in leadership get very upset with me for not “paying my dues”?

Of course.

But it is time for some of us to take a stand and do what is right.  Congress has become a cesspool of filth and corruption, and it is time to flush the toilet.

Because if we don’t fight this corrupt system, the influence of money in politics will just get worse and worse.  Today, the elite pour millions upon millions of dollars even into small campaigns, and in 2016 it took an average of more than 10 million dollars to win a U.S. Senate seat

While the White House may not have gone to the biggest spender, an awful lot of House and Senate seats did — as usual. And it was pricier than ever to win them.

This election cycle, an average winning Senate candidate had spent $10.4 million through Oct. 19 (reflecting the latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission). That’s a $1.8 million increase over the same period in the 2014 cycle. By the end of last cycle, the number rose to $10.6 million, and a similar uptick is expected this time once post-election and year-end reports are filed.

Once you win, the pressure to raise money for your next campaign never ends.

The elite know this, and they use this pressure to influence votes.  Prior to a big vote, lobbyists will make it abundantly clear how they want certain members of Congress to vote, and if they vote the “right way” those members of Congress will be rewarded.

Just across from the U.S. Capitol there are clubs where fancy receptions are regularly held.  If you vote the “right way” on a particular bill, you may be invited to one of these receptions, and there will be big, fat donation checks waiting there for you.

Of course most members of Congress have learned how to play the game, and this is why it is nearly impossible to defeat incumbents.  Over the past six decades, the re-election rate for members of the House of Representatives has consistently been well over 80 percent, and according to the UVA Center for Politics incumbents actually did far better than that in 2016…

This election cycle, 393 of 435 House representatives, 29 of 34 senators, and five of 12 governors sought reelection (several of the governors were prohibited from seeking another term). Of those, 380 of 393 House members (97%), 27 of 29 senators (93%), and four of five governors (80%) won another term. These members of Congress and governors not only won renomination, but also won in November.

Since World War II, the overall success rate for Senate incumbents has been 84 percent, and the overall success rate for House incumbents has been 94 percent.

Incumbents are almost always armed with huge war chests and most of them have tremendous name recognition, and so toppling them is not easy.

Fortunately, there is no incumbent in my race because Raul Labrador is running for governor.  So the race is completely wide open, and right now my campaign has the most enthusiasm by far.  If you would like to help me flush the toilet in Washington, I would encourage you to visit MichaelSnyderForCongress.com.

If we don’t fight back, we will never break the stranglehold that the elite have on our political system.

Every generation of Americans has had to stand up and fight for liberty and freedom, and now it is our turn.  This particular battle will not be fought with guns and bullets, but rather with ideas, values and principles.

We are part of a movement that is sweeping the nation.  Good men and women are rising up to run in federal, state and local races all across the country, and it is absolutely imperative that we all get behind them and support them.

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.

How The Elite Dominate The World – Part 3: 90% Of What You Watch On Television Is Controlled By Just 6 Giant Corporations

How much is your view of the world shaped by what you see on television?  On average, Americans spend more than 150 hours watching television every month, and it is called “programming” for a reason.  If you allow anyone to pour ideas and information into your mind for five hours a day, it is going to change how you look at reality.  Everyone has an agenda, and every single news program, television show and movie is trying to alter your views.  Sadly, our society has become absolutely addicted to media, and the mainstream media is completely dominated by the elite.  In fact, about 90 percent of the programming that comes through your television is controlled by just 6 gigantic media corporations.  Most of us are willingly plugging ourselves into this “propaganda matrix” that is completely dominated by the elite for several hours each day, and that gives them an enormous amount of power over the rest of us.

In Part I and Part II of this series, I discussed how the elite use money as a tool to dominate the planet.  Today, we are going to talk about how they use information.  If you control what people think, then you control a society.  And through their vast media empires, the elite are able to shape how we all think to a frightening degree.

Just think about it.  What do we talk about with our family, our friends and our co-workers?  To a large extent, those conversations are about movies, television shows, something that we just saw on the news or a sporting event that just took place.  The reason why we talk about certain things is because the mainstream media gives those things attention, and other things we ignore because the mainstream media does not make them seem to be important.

The mainstream media literally sets the agenda for our society, and it would be difficult to overstate the power that is in their hands.  And as I mentioned above, the mainstream media is almost entirely controlled by just 6 colossal corporations.  The following list of these 6 corporate giants comes from one of my previous articles, and this is just a sampling of the media properties that they each own…

Comcast

NBC
Telemundo
Universal Pictures
Focus Features
USA Network
Bravo
CNBC
The Weather Channel
MSNBC
Syfy
NBCSN
Golf Channel
Esquire Network
E!
Cloo
Chiller
Universal HD
Comcast SportsNet
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Studio Home Video

The Walt Disney Company

ABC Television Network
ESPN
The Disney Channel
A&E
Lifetime
Marvel Entertainment
Lucasfilm
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Disney Mobile
Disney Consumer Products
Interactive Media
Disney Theme Parks
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures

News Corporation

Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox News Channel
Fox Business Network
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
National Geographic
Nat Geo Wild
FX
FXX
FX Movie Channel
Fox Sports Networks
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Post
Barron’s
SmartMoney
HarperCollins
20th Century Fox
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Blue Sky Studios
Beliefnet
Zondervan

Time Warner

CNN
The CW
HBO
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
HLN
NBA TV
TBS
TNT
TruTV
Turner Classic Movies
Warner Bros.
Castle Rock
DC Comics
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
New Line Cinema
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Viacom

MTV
Nickelodeon
VH1
BET
Comedy Central
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Country Music Television (CMT)
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land

CBS Corporation

CBS Television Network
The CW (along with Time Warner)
CBS Sports Network
Showtime
TVGN
CBS Radio, Inc.
CBS Television Studios
Simon & Schuster
Infinity Broadcasting
Westwood One Radio Network

If nobody tuned in to their “programming”, they would not have any power over us.

But according to a report put out by Nielsen, Americans are plugging into “the matrix” more than ever before.  The following is how our daily use of media breaks down by device

Live TV: 4 hours, 31 minutes
Time-Shifted TV: 33 minutes
Radio: 1 hour, 52 minutes
DVDs: 8 minutes
Video Game Consoles: 14 minutes
Multimedia Devices (Apple TV, Roku, etc.): 13 minutes
Internet on PC: 58 minutes
Smartphone: 1 hour, 39 minutes
Tablet: 31 minutes

When you total those numbers up, it comes to 10 hours and 39 minutes.

In essence, Americans are spending most of their waking hours plugged in to something.

And if you only add together “live television” and “time-shifted television”, Americans are spending an average of more than five hours each day just watching television.

Of course many of us spend countless hours on the Internet as well.  It has been estimated that 54,907 Google searches are conducted, 7,252 tweets are posted, 125,406 YouTube videos are viewed, and 2,501,018 emails are sent out every single second.

You may have guessed this already, but most of the news and information that we consume on the Internet is also controlled by the elite

Overall, the top 10 publishers — together owning around 60 news sites — account for 47% of total online traffic to news content last year, with the next-biggest 140 publishers accounting for most of the other half, SimilarWeb found.

The biggest online news publisher for the U.S. audience was MSN, owner of MSN.com, with just over 27 billion combined page views across mobile and desktop, followed by Disney Media Networks, owner of ESPN and ABC News, with 25.9 billion.

This is why the “alternative media” is so important.  All over America and all over the world, people are waking up and realizing that they aren’t getting the truth from the mainstream media, and they are hungry for truly independent sources of information.

The only way that we are ever going to be able to throw off the insidious system of control that the elite have established is by winning the information war.  We are literally in a constant battle for hearts and minds, and the good news is that we have made a lot of progress.  Over the past decade we have “red pilled” millions upon millions of people, but we still have a long way to go.

Faith in the corporate media is dwindling, and the elite are deeply concerned about this.  The Internet has allowed ordinary people like us to communicate on a mass scale, and this has never been the case before in human history.  We have a window of opportunity to fight back against the elite, and we must not let this opportunity pass us by.

We are literally engaged in a battle for the future of this planet, and let us never waver in our pursuit of victory.

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.

3 Examples That Show How Common Core Is Destroying Math Education In America

Whenever you let federal bureaucrats get their hands on anything they are probably going to ruin it.  During the Obama administration, the Department of Education spearheaded a transformation of American education that was absolutely breathtaking.  Over a period of about five years, Common Core standards were implemented in almost every state in the entire nation.  Unfortunately, this has resulted in a huge step backward for public education in this country.  Common Core has been called “state-sponsored child abuse”, and it is a big reason why U.S. students are scoring so poorly on standardized tests compared to much of the rest of the world.

According to Wikipedia, at one point 46 states had adopted Common Core, but now some states are having second thoughts…

46 states initially adopted the Common Core State Standards, although implementation has not been uniform. At least 12 states have introduced legislation to repeal the standards outright,[1] and Indiana has since withdrawn from the standards.

Sadly, many parents don’t even understand how dramatically our system of education has been tampered with.  In her book entitled The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids, Joy Pullmann exposes how the Gates Foundation has been one of the key players in the effort to get Common Core introduced into classrooms all over America…

Organized in seven chapters, her book describes how the Gates Foundation promoted and continues to promote one extremely wealthy couple’s uninformed, unsupported, and unsupportable ideas on education for other people’s children while their own children are enrolled in a non-Common Cored private school. It explains how (but not exactly why) the Gates Foundation helped to centralize control of public education in the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains why parents, teachers, local school boards, and state legislators were the last to learn how the public schools their local and state taxes supported had been nationalized without Congressional knowledge or permission; and why they were expected to believe that their local public schools were now accountable for what and how they teach … not to the local and state taxpayers who fund them or to locally-elected school boards that by law are still supposed to set education policies not already determined by their state legislature … but to a distant bureaucracy in exchange for money to their state department of education to close “achievement gaps” between unspecified groups.

But this isn’t just an issue about control.  The truth is that the approach to teaching basic fundamentals such as how to add and how to subtract is fundamentally different under Common Core.

Let me share just three examples that show how much Common Core is changing the way that U.S. students learn math.  All of these examples have been floating around Facebook, and if you have never seen these before they are likely to make you quite angry.

If I asked you to subtract 12 from 32, how would you do it?  Well, the “new way” is much, much more complicated than how we were all taught to do it…

If that first one seemed bizarre to you, than you really aren’t going to like this one…

And this last one was so confusing that a parent with a degree in engineering decided to include his own commentary on his child’s homework…

How are kids supposed to function in the real world if this is how they are learning to do basic math?

Personally, I am going to teach my daughter that 9 + 6 equals 15.  But that isn’t how it is supposed to be done under Common Core.  You can watch a video of a teacher explaining the very convoluted Common Core way to solve that math equation right here.

And of course it isn’t just math that is the problem.  Common Core is systematically “dumbing down” our young people, and that may help to explain why the average U.S. college freshman now reads at a seventh grade level.

So what is the answer?

The first step in fixing our education system is to repeal Common Core.  But even in red states such as Idaho there is a lot of resistance

Since their inception, the Idaho Core Standards have been enmeshed in controversy.

Some legislators and citizens have pushed for a repeal of the Idaho Core Standards, the state’s version of Common Core standards in math and English language arts. Those repeal efforts have gone nowhere in the Legislature.

I don’t know what is wrong with our legislators.  The Republicans have full control in this state, and so there is absolutely no excuse for not getting something done.

As I end this article, I want to give you an idea of just how far the quality of education in America has fallen over the past 100 years.  In Kentucky, an eighth grade exam from 1912 made a lot of headlines when it was donated to the Bullitt County History Museum.  As you can see, it is doubtful whether many of our college students would be able to pass such an exam today…

14 Facts That Prove That America’s Absolutely Pathetic System Of Public Education Deserves An ‘F’ Grade

One thing that almost everyone can agree upon is that our system of public education is broken.  We spend far more money on public education than anyone else in the world, and yet the results are depressing to say the least.  Considering how much we are putting into education, we should be producing the best students on the entire planet, but it just isn’t happening.  Personally, I attended public schools from kindergarten all the way up through law school, and the quality of education that I received was extremely poor.  Even on the collegiate level, most of the courses were so “dumbed down” that even the family dog could have passed them.  And of course millions of other people all over the country would say the same sorts of things about their own educations.  Many refer to what is happening to our society as “the dumbing down of America”, and if we don’t get things fixed the United States is on course to become a second class nation.

If you believe that I am exaggerating, I would like you to consider the following numbers.  The following are 14 facts that prove that America’s absolutely pathetic system of education deserves an “F” grade…

#1 Somewhere around 50 million students attend public schools in America today.

#2 Education is the most expensive item in 41 different state budgets.

#3 The latest PISA tests show that U.S. students are below average compared to the rest of the industrialized world…

One of the biggest cross-national tests is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which every three years measures reading ability, math and science literacy and other key skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries. The most recent PISA results, from 2015, placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science.

#4 A report from the Educational Testing Service found that American Millennials are way behind Millennials in most other industrialized nations…

Half of American Millennials score below the minimum standard of literacy proficiency. Only two countries scored worse by that measure: Italy (60 percent) and Spain (59 percent). The results were even worse for numeracy, with almost two-thirds of American Millennials failing to meet the minimum standard for understanding and working with numbers. That placed U.S. Millennials dead last for numeracy among the study’s 22 developed countries.

#5 According to one very disturbing study, fewer than half of all high school graduates “are able to proficiently read or complete math problems”.

#6 According to U.S. News & World Report, “inflation-adjusted spending per student in American public schools has increased by 663 percent.”

#7 In 2015, the percentage of students in our public schools coming from low income homes crossed the 50 percent mark.  That was the first time that had happened in at least 50 years.

#8 One study found that a whopping 76 percent of all high school graduates “were not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses.”

#9 The following are five numbers which show how far the quality of college education has fallen in the United States…

-“After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.”

-“Students also spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago.”

-“35% of students report spending five or fewer hours per week studying alone.”

-“50% said they never took a class in a typical semester where they wrote more than 20 pages.”

-“32% never took a course in a typical semester where they read more than 40 pages per week.”

#10 Just 36 percent of all full-time college students receive a bachelor’s degree within four years, and just 77 percent of all full-time college students have earned a bachelor’s degree by the end of six years.

#11 One survey found that nearly 10 percent of our college graduates believe that Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court…

#12 Another survey found that 29 percent of all U.S. adults cannot name the Vice-President.

#13 And yet another survey found that only 43 percent of all U.S. high school students knew that the Civil War was fought some time between the years of 1850 and 1900.

#14 Perhaps worst of all, 75 percent of our young adults cannot find Israel on a map of the Middle East.

This is what happens when we put federal bureaucrats in charge of education.

All over the country there are calls to abolish the Department of Education.  For example, the following was published on CNBC

The DOE currently employs 5,000 government workers and has an annual budget of $73 billion, yet according to the CATO Institute, it has not affected student outcomes in any demonstrable way over its 40-year history . It has successfully created a system that requires educators to teach reams of “politically-correct” content and focus on scoring well on standardized tests. It has created an atmosphere of testing in our schools, putting intense pressure on teachers and students to “ace the test” rather than mastering the material. This promotes a culture of teaching to the test and score tampering.

Unfortunately, abolishing the Department of Education is not going to be easy, because there is a tremendous amount of money at stake.  And whenever there is a tremendous amount of money at stake, there are going to be very powerful interests that are determined to keep things just the way that they are…

The major stakeholders in K-12 public education are at an impasse. Teachers’ Unions are primarily concerned with self-preservation, maintaining extravagant perks for union administrators and exerting disproportionate political influence. A handful of publishing houses sell us $8 billion worth of warmed- over text books every year. Testing companies collectively spent tens of millions lobbying in states and on Capitol Hill from 2009 to 2014. These politically powerful, entrenched special interests are heavily invested in maintaining the failing status quo.

But even though there is going to be a lot of resistance, I am going to try to abolish the Department of Education anyway.  I believe that full control over education should be returned to the state and local levels, but that is just the beginning.

Ultimately, we need to rebuild our system of education from the ground up.  Instead of politically-correct indoctrination centers that endlessly pump progressive propaganda into impressionable young minds, we need to transform our public schools into institutions that focus on the essentials.  We need a renewed emphasis on reading, writing, math and the skills that will enable our young people to function successfully once they get out into the real world.

At one time America’s system of education was the best in the world, and we can get there again.  But of course the left is going to fight against the changes that need to be made every step of the way.

Democrats Are Hoping This Is Watergate – But In Reality Comey’s Testimony Turned Out To Be A Huge ‘Nothing Burger’

Many were anticipating that #ComeyDay would be the most monumental congressional hearing in decades, but the truth is that it turned out to be quite a dud.  During two and a half hours of testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey didn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know.  Of course liberal news outlets such as CNN are breathlessly proclaiming that we are now “in Nixon territory”, but that isn’t accurate at all.  There is absolutely no evidence that President Trump committed any crime, and there is absolutely nothing that warrants impeachment.

And I am far from alone in that assessment.  For example, an analysis published by CNBC says that nothing in Comey’s testimony was “powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively”…

“Former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday will indeed have a big political impact in Washington. It will foster more partisan bitterness and more bad feelings about our political process and news media. But none of his testimony rises to the level of anything legally powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively.

The bottom line is that Comey spent a few hours Thursday telling the Senate committee that he felt uncomfortable and even stunned by President Trump’s behavior. And he peppered that narrative with numerous damaging statements about the president’s behavior and character, including basically calling him a liar”

When Comey accused Trump of being a liar, that certainly made a lot of headlines, but unless you are under oath it is not a crime to lie.

Perhaps we should make it a crime for our politicians to lie, because if we did we would clean out the toilet that Washington D.C. has become rather quickly.  But as it stands, even if Trump is a low-down dirty liar as Comey is claiming, that would simply put Trump on the same level as most of the current members of Congress.

The much more important question is whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice.  Fortunately for Trump, there is a very clear answer to that question.

First of all, we must remember that Trump was Comey’s boss.  As chief executive, Trump has constitutional power to direct the activities of his subordinates, and he is free to fire them whenever he chooses.  So, as Alan Dershowitz just pointed out on CNN, Trump cannot be impeached for simply exercising his constitutional authority…

Renowned Harvard professor and legal mind Alan Dershowitz sparked quite a reaction during a CNN segment on Wednesday night after he proclaimed that former FBI director James Comey’s prepared testimony indicates that President Donald Trump didn’t commit any crimes.

Dershowitz argued that Trump “could have told Comey, ‘You are commanded, directed to drop the investigation against [Gen. Michael] Flynn,’” but noted that he didn’t do so, according to Comey’s prepared testimony that was published on Wednesday.

The famed attorney also said Trump could have pardoned Flynn as well, but also chose not to do so. In the end, he concluded that there appears to be no criminal activity on the part of the president, particularly when it comes to obstruction of justice claims.

Traditionally, the FBI has operated in a highly independent manner, but there is nothing in the law that gives the FBI independent status.

If Congress wants to pass a law to remove the FBI from being under the president’s authority they can certainly do that, but as it stands what Trump did was fully within the law.

But even if Trump didn’t have the authority, there would still be no obstruction of justice.  The two most important federal statutes that cover obstruction of justice are 18 U.S.C. § 1503 and 18 U.S.C. § 1505.  In both cases, it would be exceedingly difficult for prosecutors to prove that Trump acted “corruptly” in this case.  Not only that, there was no “proceeding” that Trump was trying to influence.  For a more extended analysis, please see the article that I posted yesterday entitled “Even If Everything James Comey Is Claiming Is True, There Is Still No Evidence That Trump Is Guilty Of Any Crime”.

If Comey is being straight with us, and at this point his credibility is pretty much shot, but if he is being straight with us there is still nothing that is going to end Trump’s presidency.

What Trump did may have been “inappropriate”, but you don’t impeach a president for being “inappropriate”.

In the aftermath of Comey’s testimony, Trump’s attorney said that the president feels “completely and totally vindicated”

President Donald Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Wednesday said his client felt “completely and totally vindicated” by James Comey’s prepared opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Comey’s remarks, released Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s Senate hearing, confirmed previous statements by Trump that Comey had told him three times that he was not personally being investigated amid the FBI’s wide-ranging inquiry into Russian meddling in the election and the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.

Personally, I hope that this whole “scandal” will go away now.  There never was anything to it in the first place, and the American people want a government that is going to focus on solving problems instead of focusing on investigations that were doomed to go absolutely nowhere from the start.

But even if this Comey angle doesn’t work out, the Democrats will just keep on trying.  In fact, the Huffington Post is already starting to promote the theory that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement is an impeachable offense.

In the end, the Democrats are never going to give up until they find something that they can use against Trump.  What I am hearing is that they are going to make an all-out push to take back the House and the Senate in 2018, and if they can do that they plan to use their congressional majorities to get rid of Trump one way or another.

This is just another reason why the 2018 mid-term elections are going to be the most important mid-term elections in modern American history, because if the Democrats have their way Trump will never even make it to 2020.

Thousands Flee Chicago For Safer Areas Of The Country As America’s Third Largest City Becomes A Gang-Infested Wasteland

Did you know that the number of murders increased by almost 60 percent in the city of Chicago last year?  And as you will see below, this year gang violence in the Windy City has risen to a new level of viciousness.  A staggering 9.5 million people live in the Chicago metropolitan area, and it was once known primarily for great pizza, bitter cold and some of the best sports fans on the entire planet.  But now the number one thing that comes to mind for many when they think about the city of Chicago is gang violence.  As it becomes clear that things are not going to turn around any time soon, thousands of residents are leaving the city for safer areas of the nation.  In fact, Cook County lost more people than any other county in America last year by a very wide margin.

When your murder rate goes up by double digits in a single year, you have got a problem.

But when it goes up by close to 60 percent, you have got a catastrophe on your hands

In 2016, the number of murders in the city jumped nearly 60 percent to over 760, more than New York and Los Angeles combined. There were more than 4,300 shooting victims in the city last year, according to police.

Of course we aren’t supposed to talk about the fact that this is quietly happening in communities all over America.  This is one of the reasons why there is such a disparity in real estate prices these days.  The wealthy are willing to pay a substantial premium to live with other wealthy people in areas that are far away from all the violence.

And the gang violence in Chicago continues to escalate.  For example, check out what happened just yesterday

Two people were killed and eight others were wounded in an attack at the site of a memorial for a man who was slain earlier Sunday in the Brighton Park neighborhood, police said.

Chicago police First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro told reporters at the Southwest Side scene in the 2600 block of West 46th Place that the attack was “another brazen act of gang violence.”

Navarro said the victims, a mix of men and women, were taking part in a memorial for a man, identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office as Daniel Cardova, who had been killed at that location earlier in the day when two people fired rifles from a nearby alleyway.

Would you want to raise your children in an area where this was going on?

Thanks to decades of open borders and unrestrained illegal immigration, gang membership has been absolutely soaring in major cities such as Chicago.  Five years ago the Chicago Crime Commission estimated that there were 150,000 gang members living in the metropolitan area, and by this point that number is certainly far higher.

According to Wikipedia, there are currently only 12,244 police officers in Chicago.  That means that the police are outnumbered by at least a 12 to 1 margin.

And according to an article published by the Chicago Sun-Times, some of these gangs have agreed to start using automatic weapons against the police…

The meeting took place Thursday between higher-ups from the Vice Lords, Black Disciples and Four Corner Hustlers, according to an alert issued to department members the day after the meeting.

The Four Corner Hustlers “provided guns” and have “a sniper in place” though authorities do not know where, according to the alert. The Four Corner Hustlers also are supplying the other two gangs with automatic weapons, which all three factions also have agreed to use against police, the alert states.

No wonder the police suicide rate in Chicago is 60 percent higher than the national average.

If I was living in the Chicago metropolitan area, I would be making every effort to relocate, and apparently there are lots and lots of people that see things the same way that I do.

In fact, net domestic migration for the Chicago metropolitan area was a staggering -89,000 during 2016…

One particularly stunning figure: net domestic migration, with an estimated 89,000 more people moving from the Chicago area to other portions of the country in the past year than those who moved in.

Liz Schuh, principal policy analyst for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, said the figures are “of concern for the region’s continued economic success.”

“Residents often choose to stay in or migrate to a region because of economic opportunity and quality of life,” she added.

In particular, wealthy people are living the city in droves.  It has been reported that 3,000 millionaires left the city of Chicago in 2015 alone.  Certainly the ridiculously high taxes are one factor why so many wealthy people are leaving, but of course gang violence is also a major reason for the mass exodus.

If violence in our major cities is starting to spiral out of control while the economy is still relatively stable, what are things going to look like when a complete economic meltdown happens?

It is only a matter of time before widespread rioting, looting and civil unrest becomes commonplace in major cities all over the country.  With Donald Trump in the White House, the deep frustration that has been simmering in our inner cities is now reaching a boiling point.  It certainly isn’t going to take much of a spark to set off a tremendous explosion.

In anticipation of what is coming, large numbers of Americans have already been relocating to less populated portions of the country.  And the good news is that there are lots of areas to pick from.  According to Survival Dan, about half of the U.S. population lives in just 146 counties…

Recent U.S. census data indicates that out of the 3000 counties in the United States, fully 50% of the population lives in just 146. If you want to have any chance of surviving a widespread catastrophic event by avoiding the hordes that will be searching for critical resources in its aftermath, then check out the following map to get a visual reference of the areas you want to stay away from.

Of course it can be quite difficult to find a good job in an area that is not heavily populated, and there are a lot of expenses involved in relocating to a totally different part of the country.

And there is certainly a lot to consider when picking out a new place to live, and so you would want to do a lot of research before making such a move.

But my wife and I did step out in faith and made a decision to relocate to a new area nearly six years ago, and it was one of the best decisions that we have ever made.

It Is Becoming Illegal To Be Homeless In America As Houston, Dallas And Dozens Of Other Cities Pass Draconian Laws

Should we make homelessness against the law and simply throw all homeless people into prison so that we don’t have to deal with them?  Incredibly, this is actually starting to happen in dozens of major cities all across the United States.  It may be difficult to believe, but in many large urban areas today, if you are found guilty of “public camping” you can be taken directly to jail.  In some cities, activities such as “blocking a walkway” or creating any sort of “temporary structure for human habitation” are also considered to be serious crimes.  And there are some communities that have even made it illegal to feed the homeless without an official permit.  Unfortunately, as the U.S. economy continues to slow down the number of homeless people will continue to grow, and so this is a crisis that is only going to grow in size and scope.

Of course the goal of many of these laws is to get the homeless to go somewhere else.  But as these laws start to multiply all across the nation, pretty soon there won’t be too many places left where it is actually legal to be homeless.

One city that is being highly criticized for passing extremely draconian laws is Houston.  In that city it is actually illegal for the homeless to use any sort of material to shield themselves from the wind, the rain and the cold

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is taking a similar approach—his anti-encampment ordinance makes it illegal to use “fabric, metal, cardboard, or other materials as a tent or temporary structure for human habitation.” This ensures that the Houstonian homeless are vulnerable not just to the elements, but also to the constant threat of the police. Officials cite one of the most common justifications for crackdowns on the homeless: neighborhood safety (a more socially acceptable way of talking about the not-in-my-backyard mentality).

With all of the other problems that we are facing as a nation, it stuns me that there are politicians that would spend their time dreaming up such sick and twisted laws.

According to one news report, the homeless in Houston are now officially banned from doing all of the following things…

1. They can’t block a sidewalk, stand in a roadway median or block a building doorway. (AKA they can’t panhandle).

2. They also can’t do any of these things — blocking walkways — under state law that already existed.

3. They can’t sleep in tents, boxes or any other makeshift shelter on public property.

4. They also can’t have heating devices.

5. They can’t carry around belongings that take up space more than three feet long, three feet wide, three feet tall.

6. People can’t spontaneously feed more than five homeless people without a permit.

If I was a homeless person in Houston, I would definitely be looking to get out of there.

But where are they going to go?

Things are almost as bad in Dallas.  In fact, it is being reported that the police in Dallas “issued over 11,000 citations for sleeping in public from January 2012 to November 2015.”

When you break that number down, it comes to 323 citations per month.

Of course some people have tried to challenge these types of laws in court, but most of the challenges have been unsuccessful.  For example, just check out what recently happened in Denver

Three people who were contesting Denver’s urban-camping ban were found guilty on Wednesday, April 5, at the Lindsey-Flanigan courthouse. The defendants — Jerry Burton, Randy Russell and Terese Howard — were determined to have unlawfully camped on November 28, 2016, and to have interfered with police operations at one location. All three were sentenced with court-ordered probation for one year and between twenty and forty hours of community service.

The case challenged Denver’s unauthorized-camping ordinance, which has been divisive ever since Denver City Council approved it in 2012.

Since the courts are generally upholding these laws, this has just emboldened more communities to adopt anti-homelessness ordinances.  According to one report, dozens of major cities have now passed such laws…

City-wide bans on public camping (PDF) have increased by 69 percent throughout the United States. What used to be seen as an annoyance is now prohibited, forcing fines or jail time on those who certainly can’t afford it. The only nationwide nonprofit devoted to studying this, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, has been tracking these changes since 2006. Their findings? There are a scary number of laws passed that ironically make it costly to be homeless.

For example, in 33 of the 100 U.S. cities they studied, it’s illegal to publicly camp. In 18, it’s illegal to sleep in public. Panhandling is illegal in 27 cities.

In 39 cities, it’s illegal to live in vehicles.

As I have warned repeatedly, we are seeing hearts grow cold all around us.  Instead of doing everything that they can to try to help those in need, communities are trying to make them go some place else, and those that try to feed and help the homeless are being harshly penalized.

Sadly, all of this comes at a time when homelessness is on the rise all over America.  In a previous article I pointed out that in New York City the number of homeless people recently hit a brand new all-time high, and things have gotten so bad in Los Angeles that the L.A. City Council has formally requested that Governor Jerry Brown declare a state of emergency.

We tend to think of the homeless as bearded old men with drinking problems, but the truth is that many of the homeless are children.

In fact, the number of homeless children in the United States has risen by about 60 percent since the end of the last recession.

If this is how we are going to treat some of the most vulnerable members of our society while things are still relatively stable, how are we going to be treating one another when the economy completely collapses?

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