Independent Journalist Exposes How Social Media Companies Are Systematically Silencing Conservative Voices

Ben Swann has done it again.  A new video that he just released about the stunning purge of conservative voices that we are now witnessing has already been viewed more than 24,000 times on YouTube alone.  I have been writing about all of this censorship quite a bit recently as well, but up until now I have not revealed the true extent to which it has hit me personally.  Like President Trump and other prominent conservatives, engagement on my personal Facebook profile has fallen dramatically.  We are working like mad to keep engagement up on our official Facebook campaign page, but it has been a real battle, and today Facebook just banned me again from posting to groups for a few days.  The funny thing is that I had barely shared anything recently.  On Twitter, I have been told by a social media expert that my account has been “shadowbanned”, and that probably explains why engagement on Twitter is only a small fraction of what it once was.  Of course dozens of other prominent conservatives are suffering the same kind of censorship, and it is absolutely imperative that we stand up against this unprecedented assault on our ability to communicate with one another.

It has become quite obvious that the big social media giants want to systematically exclude any voices that they do not like from the marketplace of ideas.  In his new video, Ben Swann points a finger at the biggest offenders

“Is there an Internet purge of conservative voices or voices of dissension online?” Swann begins in a recent “Reality Check” report on the issue. “Some say yes, and the purge is being pushed by YouTube, owned by Google, by Facebook, and by Twitter.”

They don’t call them “the thought police”, but that is precisely what the small armies of “moderators” that the social media giants are hiring are turning out to be.  For example, late last year YouTube announced that it would bring on “10,000 new moderators” to “flag content”

“Of course, all of this comes after YouTube announced in December that it would hire some 10,000 new moderators to flag content,” Swann reported. “And those moderators have been flagging at a stunning rate.”

He noted further that in several cases the moderators were pulling entire channels “without any advance warning” whatsoever, and that most of those channels were deemed “either pro-gun or conservative.”

If you have not seen Swann’s new video yet, you can watch it here.  Following the video, other content creators commented on how they have been affected by the recent social media censorship…

-“Hey Ben, just thought I would share my story. I have now been removed from YouTube 6 times in the past few years. I am non-violent, don’t cuss, don’t show blood or gore, and I use mainstream media news clips that usually talk about these large shootings that are being used as a reason to change gun laws. I built my old channels to 10 thousand subscribers and 2.5 Million views twice, only to have my accounts removed.”

-“THEY DELETED MY 300K VIEWS VIDEO SHOWING HOW CNN LIED ABOUT THE CHEMICAL ATTACK IN SYRIA. IT’S HAPPENING, I GOT A STRIKE FOR IT.”

-“They even hit vdeos I had set to private that weren’t even viewable by the public. To keep my channel I deleted over 300 videos spanning back 2 years and that is lot counting the half dozen plus that YouTube yanked.”

-“I received 2 strikes in 48 hours on videos exposing crimes of the US government (that had been up for 2-3 years), which is what all my videos do. I deleted the videos from my channel to save this account for contact reasons but, It still might get deleted anyways.”

-“I deactivated my Facebook. They were instantly removing my comments. My comments had nothing to do with anything, but I did try to post a conservative video in a comment box and after that ALL of my every day comments were instantly removed and marked as spam. I am also Libertarian. I can’t believe Health Ranger’s channel was removed. I think it is awful what they are doing. Taking away support is fine, but don’t take down the channel!”

I believe that it is fundamentally un-American for social media giants to try to use their power to silence conservative voices.

These big tech companies built empires by allowing everyone to have a voice, but now they are systematically attempting to exclude conservatives from the conversation, and we should all find that extremely offensive.

If you want someone in Washington that will fight as hard as he possibly can against this kind of censorship, I hope that you will help us win our race for Congress on May 15th

Donate By Credit Card Online: https://secure.anedot.com/michaelsnyderforcongress/donate

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Michael Snyder For Congress
PO Box 1136
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

We are in the middle of the final money bomb of the 2018 primary campaign, and you will be able to track the progress of the money bomb on Swampbomb.com.

If you live in north Idaho, I hope that you will come out for the kickoff event for the last 60 days of our campaign in Sandpoint on the evening of March 15th.  And you can see the remainder of my speaking schedule for the month of March right here.

We are in a battle for the soul of our nation, and the left is fighting dirty.

All throughout history the left has always sought to silence dissenting voices when they have taken power, and now they are trying it in this country.

Of course we are not about to let that happen, and the left is in for a very rude awakening during the 2018 mid-term elections.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District.  If you would like to help him win on May 15th, you can donate online, by Paypal or by sending a check made out to “Michael Snyder for Congress” to P.O. Box 1136 – Bonners Ferry, ID 83805.  To learn more, please visit MichaelSnyderForCongress.com.

Are The Social Media Giants Trying To Steal The 2018 Elections By Censoring Conservative Websites?

Nobody is disputing the fact that YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants are censoring conservative material.  In fact, this is probably the largest purge of conservative voices in the history of the Internet.  Obviously this is going to cause large numbers of people to stop using their platforms, so why would they do this?  Well, to some conservatives the answer is obvious.  These social media giants watched Donald Trump use their platforms extremely effectively in 2016, and many believe that they are absolutely determined to never let that happen again.  In fact, Mike Adams of Natural News is completely convinced that there is a concerted effort by these social media giants to steal the 2018 elections…

The realization is suddenly obvious: The Google / YouTube selective “censorship rampage” that has targeted conservative websites and content creators is a brazen, illegal scheme to interfere with U.S. elections and steal the 2018 mid-terms.

The systematic silencing of conservative views is necessary, of course, for Democrats to win enough seats to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives after the mid-term elections. Once control is established, Democrats will immediately move to impeach President Trump. Although the Senate would not likely prosecute that impeachment, the mere achievement of the U.S. House declaring “impeachment” would be enough to convince most brainwashed news consumers that Trump is somehow a guilty criminal (nobody will remember that Bill Clinton was also impeached by the House). From there, the 2020 presidential election is also stolen, and Democrats land their selected tyrant in the White House just in time for Ginsberg’s retirement from SCOTUS.

If voices on the left were being censored to the same degree as conservative voices, it would be really hard to make such an argument.

But the truth is that the numbers show that conservative voices are being hit extremely hard by the censorship while liberal publishers have been mostly “unaffected”

Facebook’s January 12 announcement that it would begin to de-prioritize news publishers and their posts in users’ News Feeds has had a surprisingly profound and partisan impact. According to The Outline’s analysis of Facebook engagement data obtained from research tool BuzzSumo, conservative and right-wing publishers (such as Breitbart, Fox News, and Gateway Pundit) were hit the hardest in the weeks following the announcement, with Facebook engagement totals for February dropping as much as 55 percent for some, while the engagement numbers of most predominantly liberal publishers remained unaffected.

And this even applies to politicians as well.  For example, President Trump’s engagement on Facebook has fallen 45 percent since the algorithm change…

The algorithm change caused President Donald Trump’s engagement on Facebook posts to plummet a whopping 45%.

In contrast, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) do not appear to have suffered a comparable decline in Facebook engagement.

Top conservative Facebook pages with daily traffic in the millions have seen 75% to 95% drop in traffic.
Young Cons, Western Journalism, SarahPalin.com, Independent Journal Review, Right Wing News, and several others have seen dramatic loss in traffic.

Needless to say, my website (http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/) has been affected as well.

So what can we do?

We can fight back.  One of the primary ways that we can do that is by electing pro-Trump candidates all over the nation in 2018.  Right now I am engaged in an extremely close race with three guys that did not want Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination in 2016, and I need your help to win on May 15th.

It is fundamentally wrong for the social media giants to pick winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas.  I will fight online censorship as hard as I can in Washington, and if you believe in what we are trying to do I hope that you will stand with us.

Donate By Credit Card Online: https://secure.anedot.com/michaelsnyderforcongress/donate

Donate By Paypal: https://donorbox.org/michael-snyder-for-congress

Donate By Check: Make your check out to “Michael Snyder For Congress” and send it to the following address…

Michael Snyder For Congress
PO Box 1136
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

Whenever radical leftists have taken power anywhere in the world, they have always tried to shut down free speech.

They want to follow the same formula in the United States, but we are not going to allow them to do that.

There are millions upon millions of red-blooded Americans that still greatly love this nation, and this silent majority is rising up to take our country back.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District.  If you would like to help him win on May 15th, you can donate online, by Paypal or by sending a check made out to “Michael Snyder for Congress” to P.O. Box 1136 – Bonners Ferry, ID 83805.  To learn more, please visit MichaelSnyderForCongress.com.

This Is The Worst Purge Of Conservative Voices In The History Of The Internet

In recent weeks, we have witnessed an unprecedented social media crackdown on conservative voices.  YouTube’s war with Alex Jones has gotten the most attention, but literally hundreds of conservative content creators have had their accounts penalized, suspended or deleted by YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants.  There appears to be a coordinated effort to target conservative viewpoints, because similar voices on the left are not receiving equal treatment.  If I win my race for Congress on May 15th, I am going to make fighting this sort of censorship one of my top priorities once I get to Washington.

How would you feel if you spent years creating videos and building up a subscriber base only to have all of that work wiped out in a single moment by a leftist YouTube moderator?

Sadly, that is precisely what is happening to dozens upon dozens of conservatives right now…

Writing for Polygon.com, Julia Alexander noted that, “Whenever YouTube institutes a tougher moderation stance, a common debate emerges over censorship—especially from notable conservative voices.”

Specifically, she explained, “Questions over YouTube’s moderators and the power they hold were raised this week after notable conservative pundits, gun advocates, conspiracy channels and other right-wing voices received community strikes or were locked out of their channels. Creators who are affected by lockouts, strikes and suspensions are referring to it as the ‘YouTube Purge,’ claiming that YouTube is purging all right-wing or pro-gun content. The move follows the company’s attempt to clamp down on dangerous content following the Parkland shooting.”

One of the most disturbing examples of censorship was what happened to the Health Ranger channel.  Mike Adams is a personal friend, and I am extremely upset about what YouTube has done to him

As we reported over the weekend, YouTube terminated the entire Health Ranger video channel on Saturday, wiping out over 1,700 videos and approximately 350K+ subscribers. This was done, of course, as part of the YouTube left-wing PURGE now being carried out against non-establishment speakers who are being targeted for political reasons.

YouTube’s censorship rampage also wiped out all my videos on the donkeys I rescued, the range-free chickens I raise and even the beautiful ice crystals I captured on video over the winter. In its censorship sweep, YouTube is obliterating thousands of videos without cause, violating the civil rights of informative internet users and functioning as a criminal techno-cartel.

There is absolutely no reason for YouTube to do this.  Mike Adams has literally helped millions of people through his work, and I am urging all of my readers to contact YouTube and demand that they restore his channel immediately.

Of course YouTube is not the only one that is cracking down on conservative voices.  Here are a few examples of what Facebook has been doing

Young Cons: This very popular conservative news site had millions of daily readers during the recent election, and the site received nearly all its traffic from Facebook (Lesson: Never put all your marketing eggs in one basket). Facebook has been increasingly censoring Young Cons stories since 2016; now the site struggles mightily and regularly switches domains in order to maintain traffic.

SaraPalin.com: At one point the former GOP VP nominee and Alaska governor’s website was serving up stories to her four million Facebook followers, but she, too, had to begin switching domains in order to maintain traffic.

Right Wing News: This site grew to massive proportions over the past few years, in large part thanks to its meteoric popularity on Facebook. During one week in 2015, the site’s Facebook page reached 133 million people. The site was driving about the same amount of web traffic as some of the biggest newspapers in the U.S. But since 2016 Facebook began blocking traffic to the site; its owner, John Hawkins, announced he would shut it down in January (it’s still online but the content is not regularly updated).

Independent Journal Review: This, too, was a large conservative news and information source, but because it was overly reliant on Facebook traffic, the site had to terminate a number of its employees last week, leaving the fate of the Millennial-focused site in doubt.

And Twitter has been censoring conservatives as well.

In particular, Twitter seems to really dislike pro-life activists

Pro-life group Live Action cried foul in 2017 after Twitter demanded it delete pro-life images, such as fetal ultrasounds, from its Twitter feed and website before allowing the group to run advertisements. Live Action refused the request.

Another pro-life group, the Susan B. Anthony List, was barred in October from running a video advertisement, because it used the phrase “killing babies” to refer to abortion. “No advertiser is permitted to use the phrase ‘killing babies,’” Twitter told the group.

That same month, Twitter blocked an advertisement by Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign for Senate in Tennessee. Twitter objected to one line Blackburn said: “I’m 100% pro-life. I fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts –thank God.”

If you don’t stand up when you see others being censored, then please don’t complain when the social media giants censor you as well.  I think that Dr. Michael Brown made this point exceedingly well in his most recent article

First they came for Infowars, and I did not speak out—because I found them offensive.

Then they came for Geller and Spencer, and I did not speak out—because I found them obnoxious.

Then they came for Prager U, and I did not speak out—because I found them opinionated.

Then they came for a host of others, and I did not speak out—because I have my own life to live.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

This is why we need good liberty-minded people to run for office all over the nation.

If we do not fight back, this sort of oppression is only going to get worse.  Right at this moment I am engaged in an extremely tight race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and if you want me to go to Washington and defend our free speech rights, please consider making a contribution because we desperately need it right now…

Donate By Credit Card Online: https://secure.anedot.com/michaelsnyderforcongress/donate

Donate By Paypal: https://donorbox.org/michael-snyder-for-congress

Donate By Check: Make your check out to “Michael Snyder For Congress” and send it to the following address…

Michael Snyder For Congress
PO Box 1136
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

In the entire history of the Internet, we have never seen this sort of a coordinated purge before.

The left believes that they are going to win, but we are definitely not going to allow that to happen.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District.  If you would like to help him win on May 15th, you can donate online, by Paypal or by sending a check made out to “Michael Snyder for Congress” to P.O. Box 1136 – Bonners Ferry, ID 83805.  To learn more, please visit MichaelSnyderForCongress.com.

Dot-Com Bubble 2.0 Is Bursting: Tech Stocks Are Already Down Half A Trillion Dollars Since Mid-2015

Tech Bubble 2.0Do you remember how much stocks went down when the first dot-com bubble burst?  Well, it is happening again, and tech stocks are already down more than half a trillion dollars since the middle of 2015.  On Friday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped to its lowest level in more than 15 months, and it has now fallen more than 16 percent from the peak of the market.  But of course some of the biggest names have fallen much more than that.  Netflix is down 37 percent, Yahoo is down 39 percent, LinkedIn is down 60 percent, and Twitter is down more than 70 percent.  If you go back through my previous articles, you will find that I specifically warned about Twitter again and again.  Irrational financial bubbles like this always burst eventually, and many investors that got in at the very top are now losing extraordinary amounts of money.

On Friday, tech stocks got absolutely slammed as the bursting of dot-com bubble 2.0 accelerated once again.  The following is how CNBC summarized the carnage…

The Nasdaq composite fell 3.25 percent, as Apple and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) dropped 2.67 percent and 3.19 percent, respectively.

Also weighing on the index were Amazon and Facebook, which closed down 6.36 percent and 5.81 percent, respectively.

LinkedIn shares also tanked 43.63 percent after posting weak guidance on their quarterly results.

Overall, LinkedIn is now down a total of 60 percent from the peak of the market.  But they are far from the only ones that have already seen their bubble burst.

Many of the biggest names in the tech world have gotten mercilessly hammered over the past six months of so.  Just look at some of the famous brands that have already lost between 20 and 40 percent of their market caps…

Yahoo (YHOO) shares are off 39%, and Netflix (NFLX), the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 last year, is now off by 37% from its 52-week high.

Likewise, Priceline.com (PCLN) is off 31% and eBay (EBAY), 22%.

But there are other very big tech companies that have seen stock collapses that completely dwarf those numbers.  Here are some more absolutely stunning statistics from USA Today

Twitter and Groupon are the biggest dogs of this boom, both off 70% from 52-week highs and well below their IPO prices.

FitBit shares have collapsed 70%, while Yelp’s valuation has shrunk by two-thirds.

Box, which has the distinction of posting quarterly net losses in excess of revenue, is down by half.

Match.com, the holding company for dating sites owned by parent Interactive Corp. that went public late last year, is down 39% from its high.

When your stock loses 70 percent of its value, that is a complete and utter collapse.

In the past, I have specifically singled out Twitter, Yelp and LinkedIn as tech stocks that were irrationally priced.

Hopefully people listened to those warnings and got out while the getting was good.

At the top of this article, I mentioned that tech stocks have already fallen in value by more than 500 billion dollars.  The financial crisis that began in the middle of last year is now greatly accelerating, and Wall Street is starting to panic.

As stocks crash, many hedge funds are being absolutely pummeled.  The following are just a few of the high profile names that are experiencing massive losses right now

Some of the biggest names to get trounced include:

►Pershing Square Capital Management, the publicly traded investment vehicle of billionaire hedgie Bill Ackman, fell 11% last month following a 20% decline last year, data from the web site shows.

►Larry Robbins’ Glenview Capital, famous for picking stocks that could benefit from Obamacare, dropped 13.65% in January following a decline of 18% last year, according to data from HSBC’s Hedge Weekly report, a copy of which was obtained by USA TODAY.

►Marcato International, a well-known activist fund run by Ackman protege Mick McGuire, fell 12.1% last month following a 9% loss last year, according to HSBC.

When you lose more than 10 percent of your money in a single month, that is not good.

And if I am right, this is just the beginning of our troubles.

And of course I am far from the only one warning that big problems are on the horizon.  In fact, analysts at Citigroup just made international headlines by warning that the global economy was now trapped in a “death spiral”

Some analysts — including those at Citi — have turned bearish on the world economy this year, following an equity rout in January and weaker economic data out of China and the U.S.

The world appears to be trapped in a circular reference death spiral,” Citi strategists led by Jonathan Stubbs said in a report on Thursday.

Stronger U.S. dollar, weaker oil/commodity prices, weaker world trade/petrodollar liquidity, weaker EM (and global growth)… and repeat. Ad infinitum, this would lead to Oilmageddon, a ‘significant and synchronized’ global recession and a proper modern-day equity bear market.”

Signs of a significant economic downturn are all around us, and so many of the exact same patterns that played out during the last two stock market crashes are happening again, and yet most people continue to refuse to acknowledge what is taking place.

If you are waiting for this new dot-com bubble to crash, you can stop waiting, because it has already happened.

When your stock falls by 50, 60 or 70 percent, the game is already over.

But just like 2001 and 2008, many people out there will end up being paralyzed by indecision.  Once again the mainstream media is insisting that there is no reason for panic and that everything will be just fine, and once again millions upon millions of ordinary Americans will be wiped out as the financial markets implode.

This is now the third time this has happened since the turn of the century.

How clueless have we become?  The exact same thing keeps happening to us over and over and yet we still don’t get it.

Only this time around there isn’t going to be any sort of a “recovery” afterwards.

This is essentially our “third strike”, and the years ahead are going to be extremely bitter and painful for most people.

But if you want to believe that one of these politicians is going to come along and save America, you go ahead and keep on believing that.

Most people believe what they want to believe, and the capacity that many Americans have demonstrated for self-delusion is absolutely remarkable.

Crashing: Apple, Twitter, Oil, Commodities, Greek Stocks, Chinese Stocks

Crash - Public DomainThe month of August sure has started off with a bang.  Tech stocks are crashing, oil is crashing, industrial commodities are crashing, Greek stocks crashed the moment that the Greek stock market reopened for trading, and Chinese stocks continue to crash.  At this point we have not seen a broad crash of U.S. stocks yet, but it is important to note that the Dow is already down more than 700 points from the peak in May.  If it continues to slide like it has in recent days, it won’t be too long before we will officially reach “correction” territory.  Just a few days ago, I described August as a “pivotal month“, and so far that is indeed turning out to be the case.

A full-blown financial crisis has not erupted yet, but we are well on the way.  In this article, I want to look at a few of the “crashes” that are already happening…

Apple

This is more of a “correction” than a “crash”, but it is very noteworthy because it is happening to one of the most important U.S. stocks of all.  The price of Apple stock has already broken through the 200 day moving average, and at this point it is down nearly 11 percent from the peak

Shares of Apple are down 10.9% from their highest point in a year — which places the stock squarely in what’s considered to be a correction. The unofficial definition of a correction is a 10% or greater drop from a recent high. Shares of Apple hit a 52-week (and all-time) high on $134.54 on April 28.

Twitter

If you want to see a real crash, just look at what is happening to Twitter.  The stock was down close to 6 percent on Monday, and overall it has fallen 58 percent since early last year.  The price of Twitter stock has never been lower than it is right now, and many investors are very apprehensive about what comes next…

Twitter shares hit a record low on Monday, closing down nearly 6% to $29.27.

That is 58% below their peak in January 2014.

Shares have fallen to their lowest point since the company went public in November 2014 weighed down by negative comments on growth from company executives that rattled investors. Its previous low was $30.50 in May 2014 as concerns over slowing user growth began to take a toll.

Of course there are tech companies that are in far worse shape than Twitter.  For example, just consider what is happening to Yelp.  Shares of Yelp recently plummeted 25 percent in a single day, and they are down about 70 percent over the past year.

Greece

The Greek government was quite eager to reopen their stock market this week.

Perhaps they should have waited longer.

On Monday, we witnessed the greatest stock bloodbath in Greek history.  The following comes from Reuters

Greece’s stock market closed with heavy losses on Monday after a five-week shutdown brought on by fears that the country was about to be dumped from the euro zone.

Bank shares plummeted 30 percent before loss limits kicked in to stop investors selling any more. The main Athens stock index .ATG ended down 16.2 percent, recovering slightly after plunging nearly 23 percent at the open.

It was the worst daily performance since at least 1985 when modern records began, including a 15 percent fall when Wall Street crashed in 1987.

Puerto Rico

Things also continue to unravel for “America’s Greece”.  On Monday, a U.S. commonwealth territory defaulted on debt for the first time ever

Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank announced Monday that it was only able to make a partial payment on its Public Finance Corporation (PFC) debt service due over the weekend.

In response to the non-payment of the full service, Moody’s said it viewed the situation as a default.

“Due to the lack of appropriated funds for this fiscal year the entirety of the PFC payment was not made today (the first business day after the Saturday deadline),” GDB President Melba Acosta-Febo said in a statement. This was a decision that reflects the serious concerns about the Commonwealth’s liquidity in combination with the balance of obligations to our creditors and the equally important obligations to the people of Puerto Rico to ensure the essential services they deserve are maintained.”

China

As I noted the other day, the Shanghai Composite Index declined 13.4 percent during the month of July.  It was the worst month for stocks in China since October 2009.

On Monday, Chinese stocks were down another 1.11 percent.  Since closing at 5,166.35 on June 12th, the Shanghai Composite Index has fallen precipitously.  As I write this, it is sitting at just 3622.86.

Oil

In the months prior to the financial crisis of 2008, the price of oil crashed hard.

Now it is happening again.

In July, the price of oil plunged 21 percent.  That was the worst monthly decline that we have seen since October 2008.

And on Monday, the oil crash continued.  The following comes from Business Insider

On Monday in New York, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell more than 4% and slipped below $45 per barrel, a level it hasn’t touched since March.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark that joined WTI in a bear market last week, dropped more than 4%, below $50 per barrel for the first time since January.

Commodities

In recent weeks, I have been writing over and over about industrial commodities.  This is yet another striking similarity to the last financial crisis.  In 2008, they started crashing before stocks did, and now it is happening again

We see the Bloomberg Commodities index now at a 13-year low. Copper is down 28 percent for the year, tin is down 30 percent, and nickel is down 44 percent.

This is a giant red flag that indicates that we are plunging into a deflationary cycle.  When global economic activity slows down, so does demand for industrial commodities.  I don’t understand why more people can’t see this.

I have been warning that a deflationary downturn was coming for a very long time, and so have others.  For instance, just consider the following excerpt from a recent article by Nicole Foss

Our consistent theme here at the Automatic Earth since its inception has been that we are facing a very powerful deflationary depression, following on from the bursting of an epic financial bubble. What we have witnessed in our three decades of expansion and inflation is nothing short of a monetary supernova, and that period has been the just culmination of a much larger upward trend going back many decades at least. We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history.

Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. We have built an incredibly complex economic system, but despite its robust appearance it is over-extended, brittle and fragile after decades of fueling its continued expansion by feeding on its own substance.

Things continue to line up in textbook fashion for a major financial crisis during the fall and winter.

I hope that you are prepared for what comes next.

14 Facts About The Absolutely Crazy Internet Stock Bubble That Could Crash And Burn In 2014

TwitterShouldn’t Internet companies actually “make a profit” at some point before being considered worth billions of dollars?  A lot of investors laugh when they look back at the foolishness of the “Dotcom bubble” of the late 1990s, but the tech bubble that is inflating right in front of our eyes today is actually far worse.  For example, what would you say if I told you that a seven-year-old company that has a long history of not being profitable and that actually lost 64 million dollars last quarter is worth more than 13 billion dollars?  You would probably say that I was insane, but the company that I have just described is Twitter and Wall Street is going crazy for it right now.  Please don’t get me wrong – I actually love Twitter.  On my Twitter account I have sent out thousands of “tweets”.  Twitter is a lot of fun, and it has had a huge impact on the entire planet.  But is it worth 13 billion dollars?  Of course not.

When it comes to the Internet, what is hot today will probably not be hot tomorrow.

Do you remember MySpace?

At one time, MySpace was considered to be the undisputed king of social media.  But then something better came along (Facebook) and killed it.

It is important to keep in mind that Facebook did not even exist ten years ago.  Yes, almost everybody is using it today, but will everybody still be using it a decade from now?

Maybe.

But the way that the financial markets are valuing these firms can only be justified if they are going to make absolutely massive profits for many decades to come.

Will Twitter eventually make a little bit of money?

Probably, as long as they get their act together.

In fact, Twitter should be making significant amounts of money right now if it was being run correctly.

But will Twitter ever make 13 billion dollars?

No, that simply is not going to happen.  But that is what Wall Street says that Twitter is worth.

The utter foolishness that we are witnessing on Wall Street right now is so similar to what we saw back in the late 1990s.  It is almost as if we have learned nothing from our past mistakes.

These days I keep having flashbacks of the Pets.com sock puppet.  For those too young to remember, the following is a brief summary from Investopedia about what happened to Pets.com…

It’s impossible to think of the first Internet era without thinking of the Pets.com sock puppet. He was everywhere and was nearly as well-known as the Geico gecko is today.

That familiarity, in part, persuaded many investors to lay down money in the company’s February 2000 IPO (which was backed by Amazon.com). Pets.com raised $82.5 million – but nine months later it folded, due to major recurring losses. Part of the reason for that was aggressive advertising, but the company also lost money on virtually every item it sold. In the third quarter of 2000, Pets.com reported negative gross margins of $277,000. (The second quarter had seen a $1.7 million margin loss.) That same quarter (its last full quarter as an operating entity), the company lost $21.7 million on $9.4 million in revenue.

As for the puppet, he went on to shill for BarNone, which helps people with bad credit histories get car loans. He’s still there today, front and center on that website.

Everyone loves to laugh at the poor little sock puppet, but the truth is that the tech bubble that is inflating right now is far worse than the Dotcom bubble of the late 1990s.  The following are 14 facts about the current tech bubble that will blow your mind…

#1 In just a few days, the Twitter IPO is expected to raise close to 2 billion dollars even though Twitter actually lost 64.6 million dollars last quarter and has a long history of not being profitable.

#2 It is being projected that after the IPO Twitter could have a market valuation of more than 13 billion dollars.

#3 Twitter is not expected to make a profit until 2015 at the earliest.

#4 According to CNBC, Pinterest is currently valued at 3.8 billion dollars even though it has never earned a profit.

#5 Yahoo paid more than a billion dollars for Tumblr even though Tumblr’s revenues are so small that Yahoo is not even required to report them on financial statements.

#6 Snapchat, an Internet service that allows people to send out messages that “self-destruct”, is supposedly worth 4 billion dollars.  But it actually has zero revenue coming in, and many believe that it is essentially worthless as a money making enterprise.  For one extensive analysis by a tech blogger, please see this article.

#7 The stock of Rocket Fuel, an online advertising company, is trading at about 60 dollars a share and it has a market valuation of about 2 billion dollars even though it has never made a profit.

#8 The stock of local business review website Yelp is up 241 percent this year even though it has never earned a quarterly profit.

#9 Fab.com just raised 165 million dollars from investors even though it recently laid off 44o employees.

#10 LinkedIn stock has risen in price by 136 percent since the 2011 IPO, and it is now supposedly worth more than 18 billion dollars.

#11 The head of engineering at Twitter, Chris Fry, got a 10.3 million dollar pay package when he joined Twitter last year.

#12 Facebook’s VP of engineering, Mike Schroepfer, earned 24.4 million dollars in 2011.

#13 Office rents in San Francisco (where many of these tech companies are based) are now 23 percent higher than they were at the peak of the real estate market in 2008.

#14 Facebook stock is up close to 140 percent over the past 12 months and the company is now worth more than 120 billion dollars.

And I am certainly not the only one that is concerned that we are repeating the mistakes of the late 1990s…

“When you look at valuations and look at the lack of earnings and revenue, it seems to me much like the dot-com bubble,” said Matt McCormick, a money manager at Cincinnati-based Bahl & Gaynor Inc. who helps oversee $10.2 billion. “This market looks a little frothy and Twitter is the personification of a risky trade.”

In fact, as the Wall Street Journal recently noted, we have seen some of these tech stocks crash more than once during the Internet age…

“It’s fascinating to me that today’s mini-mania includes shares of Amazon, Netflix and Priceline that have previously peaked and crashed before—in some cases they’ve peaked and crashed twice before,” says Darren Pollock, portfolio manager at Cheviot Value Management. “Stocks like these have again captured the imagination of speculators. We’re skeptical that there is enough underlying intrinsic value to many of the highfliers to support today’s prices.”

So how long will it be until the current tech bubble implodes?

That is a very good question.  Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Thousands Of Shocking Threats Of Violence By Obama Supporters On The Eve Of The Election

On social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, thousands of threats of violence were posted by supporters of Barack Obama on the evening prior to the election.  If you doubt this, just go on Twitter and do a search for keywords such as “Romney riot”, “assassinate Romney” and “if Romney wins”.  We have seen very serious threats of violence against Mitt Romney and his supporters for weeks, but little action has been taken to shut these threats of violence down, and now they are reaching a crescendo as we reach election day.  At the moment, law enforcement authorities and the mainstream media do not appear to be taking these threats of violence very seriously, but they should.  Just look at what happened when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series.  Horrible rioting broke out in San Francisco and a city bus was even set on fire.  But that little bit of rioting is nothing compared to what could happen on a nationwide basis if Mitt Romney wins this election – especially if there are allegations that Romney stole the campaign.  If Romney is victorious, expect to see allegations of “voter fraud” and “election fraud” from the other side.  If there is a belief that the Republicans “cheated” (whether true or not), this would provide all of the justification that those out committing violence would need.  Many of them would actually consider themselves to be “standing up for democracy” or “fighting for their rights”.  Hopefully the scenario that I just outlined will not play out.  Hopefully Obama supporters will be calm if Romney is declared the winner.  But we would be very foolish to ignore the thousands upon thousands of threats that we have seen over the past few weeks.

This is a topic I have written about before, and I received quite a bit of criticism for writing about it.  Apparently supporters of Barack Obama should be allowed to endlessly spew out threats of physical violence against Mitt Romney and his supporters and nobody is ever supposed to say anything about it.

Yes, there are a lot of Republicans that are saying some very cruel things about Barack Obama, but people know that if you make a physical threat against Barack Obama you are likely to get a visit from the Secret Service.

Apparently the same thing does not apply to threats against Mitt Romney.  Every single hour, large numbers of physical threats directed at him and his supporters continue to pour in.  If these people mean just a small fraction of what they are saying, we are going to see American cities burn if Romney wins.

Most of the examples that I could have included below I decided not to post because of the vulgar language used.  A lot of children will end up reading this, and so I decided to try to keep it as clean as possible.

The following are just a few examples of some of the “cleaner” threats of physical violence and rioting that have been posted on Twitter just tonight…

If obama doesn not win im gonna go burn down every house who has mitt romney signs outside their house! (Link)

If mitt Romney win tomorrow, point blank, we might just start a riot ! # Team Obama tho, so I got faith in our president. (Link)

If Romney wins, we gona start a riot (Link)

if Obama wins i will burn every romney sign in breezewood! (Link)

I always wanted to be in a Riot , and if Romney wins my dream might come true. (Link)

If Mitt Romney wins; I might go around blowing heads off (Link)

RT @Ska_Supernova: If romney win imma start a riot! (Link)

Lol but if you go for Mitt Romney i’m not going to burn you alive because that’s whatever you believe in. I’m #teamobama tho (Link)

Romney better start digging his grave cuz if he become president somebody might assassinate him..ALL BLACKS AND MIDDLE CLASS GONE TURN UP!!! (Link)

I would personally assassinate Mitt Romney if he wins… but I think Al Qaeda will beat me too it! (Link)

If Romney gets elected I’m going to burn down the White House so he doesn’t have a home (Link)

Trust me, it gets a lot worse than what you just read.  You can see more threats against Romney and his supporters from recent days in this article right here.  But please be warned, some of the language used is quite shocking.

Of course many in the mainstream media insist that we don’t even have to worry about what might happen if Romney wins because Obama “has it all locked up”.

For example, as I am writing this Nate Silver of the New York Times is projecting that Barack Obama has a 92.2% chance of winning the election.

Other publications are expressing similar sentiments.  An article on Business Insider today had the following headline: “Either The Polls Are All Wrong, Or Mitt Romney Doesn’t Really Have A Viable Path To Win The Election“.

I honestly don’t know how people get paid to write that kind of stuff.  This election is super close and it has been for months.  According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, Mitt Romney has a one point lead over Barack Obama with likely voters.  A lot of people on both sides are proclaiming that it will be a landslide for their guy, but I simply do not see it that way.

This is going to be close.  In fact, we may not have a winner on Tuesday night.  In fact, if it goes into the courts we may not have a winner for weeks.

We could very easily end up with another Bush v. Gore scenario.  Only this time it might tear the entire nation apart.  Obama and Romney both have hordes of lawyers ready to roll, and neither of them would hesitate to contest the results of the election if there is still a realistic chance of winning.

The funny thing is that it really does not matter that much which candidate wins anyway.  Our nation has been going downhill for decades no matter who has been in the White House, and it will continue to go downhill under either Obama or Romney.  When you take a very close look at their policy positions, they actually agree far more than they disagree, and no matter who wins this race the next four years are going to be worse for America than the last four years have been.

But like so many millions of other Americans, I find election night to be absolutely fascinating.  So I will be glued to my television just like so many other Americans will be.

And I think that a number of states will end up being much closer than most people originally thought that they would be.

For example, I believe that Romney has a very real shot of winning Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  I am not predicting that he definitely will win those states, but he does have a legitimate chance.

Romney might even make things interesting in Minnesota, although that is more of a long shot.

It should be very interesting to see how it all plays out.

Many Americans are happy that this election season will soon be over, but unfortunately this election should not really be viewed as the end of something.  Rather, I believe that it will be the beginning of a disturbing new chapter in American history.

A whole host of polls and surveys have shown that the American people are angrier today than just about at any other point since World War II.  In recent months, this anger and frustration have been bottled up as people have waited for election day.  Right now, true believers on both the red team and the blue team are optimistic about the future because they are totally convinced that they are going to win this election.

But when a winner is finally announced, close to half the country is immediately going to be bitterly disappointed.  And then when things continue to get worse in this country despite “their guy” winning, the winning side is not going to be so pleased either.

This election could end up being the “release point” for a lot of the anger and frustration that have been building up in this country for a very long time.  You can almost feel the tension in the air.  All it is going to take is just the right “spark” to set it off.

If you have any political signs in your yard or any political bumper stickers on your car, you might want to start taking them down – especially if you live in a densely populated area.  Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, but I wouldn’t count on it.  There is just so much hate and anger out there right now.

So pray for peace, but also watch your back.