Bird Flu Has Already Killed More Than 20 MILLION Turkeys And Chickens In The United States

Chick - Public DomainAre you prepared to go without turkey this Thanksgiving?  Yes, it might actually get that bad.  So far, the worst outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history has claimed the lives of more than 20 million turkeys and chickens, and the pandemic continues to rage wildly out of control.  Once one bird becomes infected, this particular strain of the virus is so virulent that it can virtually wipe out an entire flock in just a matter of days.  At this point, scientists think that this virus is being spread by wild birds, but they have no idea how it is getting inside barns and other enclosed facilities so easily.  Considering how important turkey, chicken and eggs are to our food supply, it is quite alarming that scientists don’t really understand what is going on.  If this bird flu outbreak is not brought under control, how many birds will eventually die?  Right now, it is already in the tens of millions.  Could the total eventually reach into the hundreds of millions?

Minnesota is the top producer of turkeys in the United States, and Iowa is the top producer of eggs, and that is why it is so alarming that both of these states are right at the heart of this current outbreak

Virulent H5 avian influenza strains have spread to 14 states in five months and affected about 24 million birds so far, mostly egg-laying hens and turkeys, according to USDA.

That tally is expected to grow, as U.S. authorities confirm pending cases. The outbreak, which is also affecting two Canadian provinces, shows little sign of slowing.

In Minnesota, the largest producer of U.S. turkeys, state officials said almost 5.5 million turkeys and egg-laying chickens have either died from the flu virus or are set to be killed in an effort to contain the outbreak.

In Iowa, the top U.S. egg producer, state agriculture officials said an estimated 20 million chickens and turkeys have been affected there.

So just in those two states alone, we are talking about more than 25 million chickens and turkeys that are already dead or that are scheduled to be killed in an attempt to slow down this outbreak.

Things have already gotten so bad that some in the industry are already projecting that this may cause a shortage of turkeys at Thanksgiving

And now, with Thanksgiving just seven months away, farmers say they may be running out of time to raise enough turkeys -the traditional centerpiece of holiday feasts – to meet the demand.

Once a farm has been infected, flocks must be culled, composted in barns, then disposed of. Buildings must then be thoroughly disinfected. The whole process can take up to three months before a new flock of turkey poults can be brought in, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

Of course any notion of “recovery” assumes that this outbreak will be shortly brought under control and that breeder farms are not being infected.  But we have already had reports that some breeder farms in Minnesota have been infected.

Last year, the United States produced 240 million turkeys.  Almost 20 percent of them came from Minnesota.  So this outbreak in Minnesota is a really, really big deal.

And if you like to eat eggs, you should expect to start to pay more for them as well.  As of now, this pandemic has already wiped out 6 percent of all “layer hens” in this country

Egg producers have been hit hardest. In 2014, 362 million “layer” hens in the U.S. produced 100 billion eggs. With more than 20 million hens now in the process of being culled, nearly 6 percent of the nation’s population has been taken offline.

Even if this pandemic ends very quickly, and that is a huge if, the economic impact would still be huge.  Food producers in the affected states are already starting to lay off workers, and prices for meat and eggs are already starting to rise.

However, what happens if this pandemic cannot be brought under control any time soon and we lose 20, 30 or 40 percent of our turkeys and chickens?

I am recommending that people consider stocking up on canned and frozen meat while they still can.  Prices on those items are certainly not going to be going anywhere but up for the foreseeable future.  And if you can afford it, a second freezer is often a good idea for many families.

The truly frightening thing is that this bird flu pandemic is coming at a time when the U.S. food supply is already under an unprecedented assault.  Just consider some of the things that are currently happening

-More than 40 percent of our fresh produce comes from the state of California, but thanks to the worst multi-year drought in the history of the state much of the region is turning back into a desert.

-Also due to the persistent drought, the size of the U.S. cattle herd is now as small as it was during the 1950s, and the price of beef has doubled since the last recession.

-Over the past few years, something called “porcine epidemic diarrhea” has wiped out approximately 10 percent of the entire pig population in the United States.

-Just off the west coast of the United States, a wide variety of sea creatures are dying in unprecedented numbers.  For example, the sardine population along the west coast has dropped by a staggering 91 percent just since 2007.

-Down in Florida, citrus greening disease is absolutely crushing the citrus industry.  Crops just keep on getting smaller year after year.

-There is a disease known as the TR4 fungus that is devastating banana production worldwide.  In fact, it has been reported that this fungus could someday completely wipe out the variety of bananas that we commonly eat today.

Are you starting to understand?

Just because we have always been able to rely on massive quantities of extremely inexpensive food does not mean that it will always be that way.

At this point, scientists tell us that the strain of the bird flu that is hitting chickens and turkeys poses “little risk” to humans.  But it does pose a tremendous risk to our food supply – especially if our scientists can’t figure out a way to bring this outbreak under control.

So why is all of this happening?  Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…

Ebola Travel Ban Now!

Ebola Travel Ban - Public DomainIs Barack Obama completely insane?  By not instituting an immediate ban on all non-essential travel between the United States and West Africa, he is putting the lives of more than 300 million Americans at risk.  Anyone with a shred of common sense knows that you keep more people from getting sick by keeping the sick people away from the healthy people.  Because the Ebola outbreaks in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are raging out of control, it is extremely difficult to tell who is carrying Ebola and who is not carrying Ebola.  Therefore we need to keep everyone from those countries away until those outbreaks subside.  If Barack Obama had established an Ebola travel ban a month or two ago like he should have done, Thomas Eric Duncan would never have entered the United States, and we would not have two Texas nurses infected with the virus.  But because Barack Obama did not do his job, now we have a new Ebola scare popping up somewhere in the country almost hourly.  If this outbreak eventually evolves into a full-blown pandemic, we will know who to blame.

Will an Ebola travel ban work?

It has worked in Africa.  Even as the outbreaks in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have spread like wildfire, the nations immediately bordering them are doing just fine.  And there is one primary reason why this is the case…

Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, all of which share borders with at least one of the three most affected countries, have closed those borders.

At this point, nearly 30 countries have instituted an Ebola travel ban.

So why won’t Obama do it?

This is clearly what the American people want.  For example, one recent survey asked the following question…

Should the government allow people who have recently been in any of the countries in western Africa where there is a major Ebola outbreak to enter the United States?

Only 23 percent of respondents said yes to that question.

We aren’t talking about the flu or the measles or some other disease that we are accustomed to dealing with.

We are talking about a brutally efficient killer that could kill millions of us if it were to spread widely inside the United States.

Sadly, at this point Barack Obama and the CDC are dead set against a travel ban, and there are “experts” popping up all over the mainstream media explaining to us why an Ebola travel ban would be a bad idea.

They say that a travel ban would provide a “false sense of security”.

Of course they never mention that travel bans are working quite well in Africa.

They say that a travel ban would make the Ebola outbreaks worse by keeping people from going over there to help.

But very few people are suggesting that essential medical personnel should be banned from traveling.  So that argument makes no sense whatsoever.

They say that travelers would just find another way into this country, and that it is better for us to be able to screen them when they come through the airports.

What are they going to do?  Swim over here from West Africa?

If we ban all sea and air travel from those nations, the only way that they would be able to come in would be through the Canadian or Mexican borders.  And if Obama had secured those borders like he should have done by now, we wouldn’t have a problem.

Some “experts” are even suggesting that a travel ban would be “racist”.

Really?

What about all of the other African nations that have instituted Ebola travel bans?

Are they “racist” too?

Right now, the dead bodies of Ebola victims are decaying in the streets over in West Africa.  Ebola corpses are being dumped into rivers and are being eaten by animals.  Grave diggers can’t keep up with the number of bodies being delivered to them.  The Liberian government estimates that it will soon need more than 84,000 additional body bags as the death toll climbs at an exponential rate.

We don’t want that coming here.

But thanks to Obama, most Americans now believe that we will see a major Ebola outbreak in the United States during the coming year…

According to a Wednesday poll by the Harvard School of Public Health, 52 percent of Americans surveyed said they believe the country will experience a large outbreak in the coming year, while 38 percent said they believed they or a family member would be infected.

In a previous article, I blamed the current state of affairs on Obama’s incompetence.

But to be honest, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt.

The truth is that Obama being incompetent is the best case scenario.

There is also a possibility that Donald Trump has raised.  We could actually be looking at a situation where there is something wrong with his mental health

Thursday on NewsMax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show,” real estate mogul Donald Trump called into question President Barack Obama mental health for refusing enact a travel ban on commercial flights from West African nations suffering with the Ebola outbreak.

When Malzberg asked if Trump, who had tweeted that the president was “psycho” for not stopping the flights, stands by questioning Obama’s mental health, Trump doubled down saying, “There is something wrong, and nobody knows what it is, but there is something wrong. There are so many bad decision. Can anybody be that incompetent? There is something wrong.”

Others have suggested that Obama may even be doing this on purpose.

Whatever his motivation is, the truth is that he is endangering all of us and our families.

Meanwhile, the CDC also richly deserves all of the criticism that it is currently getting.

This is an agency that is absolutely showered with money.  It gets more than $6,000,000,000 a year, and it is supposed to be preparing our health care system for events such as this.

And without a doubt, the money is in their budget

This lack of response is despite having these line items in its budget (2012 numbers):

  • Quarantine (non-add) $25,866,000
  • Healthcare-Associated Infections – PPHF (non-add) $11,750,000
  • Workplace Wellness – PPHF $10,000,000
  • Surveillance, Epidemiology, and PH Informatics $262,129,000
  • Personal Protective Technology $16,791,000
  • State and Local Preparedness and Response Capability $657,418,000
  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund Transfer (non-add) $30,000,000

How much of these funds were used to monitor, consult, advice the nurses in Dallas who were treating a man with deadly Ebola? $0.00

“Incompetent” is far too kind a word to describe the performance of the CDC so far.

But of course this is just par for the course for federal agencies these days.  This has become so glaringly obvious that even CNBC is talking about it…

The CDC is just the latest in a line of federal agencies viewed as bumbling and incompetent. First it was the botched rollout of Obamacare by the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS seemingly targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny. More recently, the Secret Service came under heavy criticism for allowing a knife-wielding intruder to burst in and run wild inside the White House, among other appalling lapses.

The CDC now is under heavy scrutiny for not moving more swiftly to ensure that Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan did not spread the disease to American nurses and for apparently unclear direction to one of those nurses, Amber Joy Vinson, about whether she could fly after treating Duncan.

As political pressure has mounted, Obama has finally made a “big move” to get a grip on this crisis.

He has appointed an “Ebola czar” to oversee the federal response to Ebola.

His name is Ron Klain, and he is a Democratic political hack best known for his work during the “hanging chads” episode of the 2000 presidential election.

The White House says that they were not looking for an expert on Ebola.

Mission accomplished.

The “Ebola czar” heading up the response to what could be the greatest health crisis in U.S. history does not know anything about the virus.

Let us hope that this Ebola outbreak fizzles out somehow and that by some miracle no more Ebola victims travel to the United States.

Because it has become exceedingly clear that our government is not equipped to deal with something like this.

Matt Drudge recently sent out a tweet warning that we need to be ready to “self-quarantine” if necessary.

I think that is very good advice.  Obviously the government is not going to be able to protect us if Ebola starts spreading like wildfire.

The only people that you are going to be able to depend on are yourself, your family and your close friends.

I encourage all of you to get prepared while we still have time.

The Number One Catastrophic Event That Americans Worry About: Economic Collapse

Can you guess what the number one catastrophic event that Americans worry about is?  There are certainly many to choose from.  Many Americans are deathly afraid of a major terrorist attack.  Others live in constant fear of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes.  Still others are incredibly concerned that a massive pandemic will break out at any time or that World War III will erupt in the Middle East.  Yes, there are certainly a lot of potential catastrophic events that one can worry about in the times in which we live, but the number one catastrophic event that Americans worry about is actually “economic collapse”.  At least that is what a recent survey conducted by Leiflin Inc. for the EcoHealth Alliance found.  But this goes along with what so many other polls have found over the past few years.  Over and over again, opinion polls have found that the number one issue that American voters are concerned about is the economy.  The truth is that average Americans are deeply, deeply concerned about unemployment, debt, the housing crash and the steady decline in the standard of living.  It has been years since the U.S. economy has operated at a “normal” level, and many Americans are afraid that things could soon get a whole lot worse.

In the new survey mentioned above, those contacted were asked to select the top three potential catastrophes that worry them the most.

The following results come directly from the survey….

Economic Collapse: 63%
Natural Disaster: 46%
Terrorist Attack: 44%
Global Disease Outbreak: 33%
Global War: 27%
Nuclear Accident: 25%
Global Warming: 22%
Fuel Shortage: 15%
Cyber War: 8%
Famine: 8%
Oil Spill: 6%
Industrial Accident: 5%

As you can see, “economic collapse” was the winner by a wide margin.

So are there good reasons for the American people to be concerned about an economic collapse?

Of course there are.

Back in 2008, a financial crisis that began on Wall Street was felt in the farthest corners of the globe.

This time, ground zero for the financial crisis is going to be in Europe.  As I have written about previously, the European financial system is rapidly coming apart at the seams.  The euro continues to drop like a rock, and banking stocks continue their long-term decline.

Many people expect a “financial collapse” to happen on a particular day.  But that is not how it happens usually.  Instead, it is often like a snowball that starts rolling downhill very slowly at first but that eventually become a huge avalanche.

Right now, we are seeing the financial world come apart in slow motion.  A recent article posted on Automatic Earth included a list of the year-to-date performance of some of the most prominent global banking stocks.  These numbers are absolutely staggering….

  • BofA: -60.38%
  • Citi: -44.76%
  • Goldman Sachs: -46.41%
  • JPMorgan: -23.03%
  • Morgan Stanley: -45.24%
  • RBS: -50%
  • Barclays: -34.32%
  • Lloyds: -63.02%
  • UBS: -29.33%
  • Deutsche Bank: -28,55%
  • Crédit Agricole: -56.04%
  • BNP Paribas: -37.67%
  • Société Générale: -59.57%

But because these numbers happened over the course of a year and not on a single day it doesn’t feel quite as much like a “collapse”.

Unfortunately, things are about to get a whole lot worse.  Global credit markets are really freezing up – especially in Europe.

Considering the fact that the entire global financial system is based on credit and debt, that is a very bad thing.

Our system simply does not work when banks do not want to lend money to each other or to businesses.

Just yesterday there was an article in the Guardian that talked about how it looks like the credit crunch may be getting even worse….

“If European banks are still this concerned, it’s not a good sign,” said Karl Schamotta, senior markets strategist with Western Union Business Solutions. “That underlines the possibility that this liquidity crunch is getting worse and will continue into the new year.”

When banks cut back on lending, that causes the money supply to shrink.  When the money supply shrinks substantially, it is almost impossible to avoid a recession.  A recent article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard detailed how the money supply in many eurozone nations is shrinking at a very rapid pace right now….

Simon Ward from Henderson Global Investors said “narrow” M1 money – which includes cash and overnight deposits, and signals short-term spending plans – shows an alarming split between North and South.

While real M1 deposits are still holding up in the German bloc, the rate of fall over the last six months (annualised) has been 20.7pc in Greece, 16.3pc in Portugal, 11.8pc in Ireland, and 8.1pc in Spain, and 6.7pc in Italy. The pace of decline in Italy has been accelerating, partly due to capital flight. “This rate of contraction is greater than in early 2008 and implies an even deeper recession, both for Italy and the whole periphery,” said Mr Ward.

Those are very, very frightening numbers.

About the only thing propping up European banks right now is the fact that the European Central Bank is loaning them gigantic piles of cheap money.

But there is a big problem.

European banks are running out of collateral for those loans as an article in the Wall Street Journal recently noted….

Even after the European Central Bank doled out nearly half a trillion euros of loans to cash-strapped banks last week, fears about potential financial problems are still stalking the sector. One big reason: concerns about collateral.

The only way European banks can now convince anyone—institutional investors, fellow banks or the ECB—to lend them money is if they pledge high-quality assets as collateral.

Now some regulators and bankers are becoming nervous that some lenders’ supplies of such assets, which include European government bonds and investment-grade non-government debt, are running low.

So what happens when banks all over Europe start running out of collateral and can’t get any more loans?

The answer should be obvious.

As I detailed a few days ago, many prominent voices in the financial world now believe that we could be looking at a financial crisis that will be even worse than 2008.

If you want to see what happens when a collapse happens and a depression begins, just look at what is happening in Greece….

*100,000 businesses have been closed since the beginning of the crisis.

*About a third of the nation is now living in poverty.

*The unemployment rate for those under the age of 24 is 39 percent.

*The number of suicides has increased by 40 percent in the past year.

*Thefts and burglaries nearly doubled between 2007 and 2009.

Things have gotten so bad that hundreds of families in Greece are abandoning their children.

Some are taking their children to charitable institutions and others are handing them directly over to the government.

The following sad story of one Greek family comes from an article in the Guardian….

“Psychologically we were all in a bit of a mess,” said Gasparinatos. “We were sleeping on mattresses on the floor, the rent hadn’t been paid for months, something had to be done.”

And so, with Christmas approaching, the 42-year-old took the decision to put in an official request for three of his boys and one daughter to be taken into care.

“The crisis had killed us. I am ashamed to say but it had got to the point where I couldn’t even afford the €2 needed to buy bread,” he told the Guardian. “We didn’t want to break up the family but we did think it would be easier for them if four of my children were sent to an institution for maybe two or three years.”

Does that seem shocking to you?

Well, all of this is coming to America eventually.

Someday we will see American parents abandoning their children because they cannot take care of them anymore.

Someday we will see suicides absolutely skyrocket in America because people have lost all hope.

Someday we will see thefts and burglaries soar to unprecedented heights as millions of desperate people attempt to try to find some way to survive.

It is all coming.

The federal government cannot pile up a trillion dollars of additional debt every year indefinitely.

We cannot afford to see an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day in the United States shut down.  Eventually there won’t be anymore factories to shut down.

We cannot afford to keep putting millions more Americans on welfare.  At this point the government is feeding 46 million Americans a month.  Will the government eventually be feeding most of us?

The U.S. economy is getting weaker and weaker and weaker.  All of the long-term trends are absolutely nightmarish.  We are accumulating debt faster than ever, and our ability to produce wealth is diminishing faster than ever.

There is no way that things are going to be okay if we stay on the path that we are currently on.

So the truth is that Americans should be very concerned about an economic collapse.

It is coming and it is going to be very painful.

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