Monday, April 30, 2012

The Ascendence of Sociopaths in US Governance

Casey Research
by Doug Casey
 March 21, 2012
http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/ascendence-sociopaths-us-governance

An International Man lives and does business wherever he finds conditions most advantageous, regardless of arbitrary borders. He's diversified globally, with passports from multiple countries, assets in several jurisdictions and his residence in yet another. He doesn't depend absolutely on any country and regards all of them as competitors for his capital and expertise.
Living as an international man used to be just an interesting possibility. But few Americans opted for it, since the US used to reward those who settled in and put down roots. In fact, it rewarded them better than any other country in the world, so there was nothing pressing about becoming an international man.
Things change, however, and being rooted like a plant, at least if you have a choice, is a suboptimal strategy for surviving and prospering. Throughout history, almost every place has at some point become dangerous for those who were stuck there. It may be America's turn.
For those who can take up the life of an international man, it's no longer just an interesting lifestyle decision. It has become, at a minimum, an asset saver, and it could be a life saver. That said, I understand the hesitation you may feel about taking action; pulling up one's roots (or at least grafting some of them to a new location) can be almost as traumatic to a man as to a vegetable.
As any intelligent observer surveys the world's economic and political landscape, he has to be disturbed – even dismayed and a bit frightened – by the gravity and number of problems that mark the horizon. We're confronted by economic depression, looming financial chaos, serious currency inflation, onerous taxation, crippling regulation, developing police states and, worst of all, the prospect of a major war. It seems almost unbelievable that we are talking of the US – which historically has been the land of the free.
How did we get here? An argument can be made that miscalculation, accident, inattention and the like are why things go bad. Those elements do have a role, but it is minor. Potential catastrophe across the board can't be the result of happenstance. When things go wrong on a grand scale, it's not just bad luck or inadvertence. It's because of serious character flaws in one or many – or even all – of the players.
So is there a root cause of all the problems I've cited? If we can find it, it may tell us how we personally can best respond to the problems.
In this article, I'm going to argue that the US government, in particular, is being overrun by the wrong kind of person. It's a trend that's been in motion for many years but has now reached a point of no return. In other words, a type of moral rot has become so prevalent that it's institutional in nature. There is not going to be, therefore, any serious change in the direction in which the US is headed until a genuine crisis topples the existing order. Until then, the trend will accelerate.
The reason is that a certain class of people – sociopaths – are now fully in control of major American institutions. Their beliefs and attitudes are insinuated throughout the economic, political, intellectual and psychological/spiritual fabric of the US.
What does this mean to the individual? It depends on your character. Are you the kind of person who supports "my country right or wrong," as did most Germans in the 1930s and 1940s, or the kind who dodges the duty to be a helpmate to murderers? The type of passenger who goes down with the ship or the type who puts on his vest and looks for a life boat? The type of individual who supports the merchants who offer the fairest deal or the type who is gulled by splashy TV commercials?
What the ascendancy of sociopaths means isn't an academic question. Throughout history, the question has been a matter of life and death. That's one reason America grew; every American (or any ex-colonial) has forebears who confronted the issue and decided to uproot themselves to go somewhere with better prospects. The losers were those who delayed thinking about the question until the last minute.
I have often described myself, and those I prefer to associate with, as gamma rats. You may recall the ethologist's characterization of the social interaction of rats as being between a few alpha rats and many beta rats, the alpha rats being dominant and the beta rats submissive. In addition, a small percentage are gamma rats that stake out prime territory and mates, like the alphas, but are not interested in dominating the betas. The people most inclined to leave for the wide world outside and seek fortune elsewhere are typically gamma personalities.
You may be thinking that what happened in places like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia and scores of other countries in recent history could not, for some reason, happen in the US. Actually, there's no reason it won't at this point. All the institutions that made America exceptional – including a belief in capitalism, individualism, self-reliance and the restraints of the Constitution – are now only historical artifacts.
On the other hand, the distribution of sociopaths is completely uniform across both space and time. Per capita, there were no more evil people in Stalin's Russia, Hitler's Germany, Mao's China, Amin's Uganda, Ceausescu's Romania or Pol Pot's Cambodia than there are today in the US. All you need is favorable conditions for them to bloom, much as mushrooms do after a rainstorm.
Conditions for them in the US are becoming quite favorable. Have you ever wondered where the 50,000 people employed by the TSA to inspect and degrade you came from? Most of them are middle-aged. Did they have jobs before they started doing something that any normal person would consider demeaning? Most did, but they were attracted to – not repelled by – a job where they wear a costume and abuse their fellow citizens all day.
Few of them can imagine that they're shepherding in a police state as they play their roles in security theater. (A reinforced door on the pilots' cabin is probably all that's actually needed, although the most effective solution would be to hold each airline responsible for its own security and for the harm done if it fails to protect passengers and third parties.) But the 50,000 newly employed are exactly the same type of people who joined the Gestapo – eager to help in the project of controlling everyone. Nobody was drafted into the Gestapo.
What's going on here is an instance of Pareto's Law. That's the 80-20 rule that tells us, for example, that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your salesmen or that 20% of the population are responsible for 80% of the crime.
As I see it, 80% of people are basically decent; their basic instincts are to live by the Boy Scout virtues. 20% of people, however, are what you might call potential trouble sources, inclined toward doing the wrong thing when the opportunity presents itself. They might now be shoe clerks, mailmen or waitresses – they seem perfectly benign in normal times. They play baseball on weekends and pet the family dog. However, given the chance, they will sign up for the Gestapo, the Stasi, the KGB, the TSA, Homeland Security or whatever. Many are well intentioned but likely to favor force as the solution to any problem.
But it doesn't end there, because 20% of that 20% are really bad actors. They are drawn to government and other positions where they can work their will on other people and, because they're enthusiastic about government, they rise to leadership positions. They remake the culture of the organizations they run in their own image. Gradually, non-sociopaths can no longer stand being there. They leave. Soon the whole barrel is full of bad apples. That's what's happening today in the US.
It's a pity that Bush, when he was in office, made such a big deal of evil. He discredited the concept. He made Boobus americanus think it only existed in a distant axis, in places like North Korea, Iraq and Iran – which were and still are irrelevant backwaters and arbitrarily chosen enemies. Bush trivialized the concept of evil and made it seem banal because he was such a fool. All the while real evil, very immediate and powerful, was growing right around him, and he lacked the awareness to see he was fertilizing it by turning the US into a national security state after 9/11.
Now, I believe, it's out of control. The US is already in a truly major depression and on the edge of financial chaos and a currency meltdown. The sociopaths in government will react by redoubling the pace toward a police state domestically and starting a major war abroad. To me, this is completely predictable. It's what sociopaths do.
There are seven characteristics I can think of that define a sociopath, although I'm sure the list could be extended.
  1. Sociopaths completely lack a conscience or any capacity for real regret about hurting people. Although they pretend the opposite.
  2. Sociopaths put their own desires and wants on a totally different level from those of other people. Their wants are incommensurate. They truly believe their ends justify their means. Although they pretend the opposite.
  3. Sociopaths consider themselves superior to everyone else, because they aren't burdened by the emotions and ethics others have – they're above all that. They're arrogant. Although they pretend the opposite.
  4. Sociopaths never accept the slightest responsibility for anything that goes wrong, even though they're responsible for almost everything that goes wrong. You'll never hear a sincere apology from them.
  5. Sociopaths have a lopsided notion of property rights. What's theirs is theirs, and what's yours is theirs too. They therefore defend currency inflation and taxation as good things.
  6. Sociopaths usually pick the wrong target to attack. If they lose their wallet, they kick the dog. If 16 Saudis fly planes into buildings, they attack Afghanistan.
  7. Sociopaths traffic in disturbing news, they love to pass on destructive rumors and they'll falsify information to damage others.
The fact that they're chronic, extremely convincing and even enthusiastic liars, who often believe their own lies, means they aren't easy to spot, because normal people naturally assume another person is telling the truth. They rarely have handlebar mustaches or chortle like Snidely Whiplash. Instead, they cultivate a social veneer or a mask of sanity that diverts suspicion. You can rely on them to be "politically correct" in public. How could a congressman or senator who avidly supports charities possibly be a bad guy? They're expert at using facades to disguise reality, and they feel no guilt about it.
Political elites are primarily, and sometimes exclusively, composed of sociopaths. It's not just that they aren't normal human beings. They're barely even human, a separate subspecies, differentiated by their psychological qualities. A normal human can mate with them spiritually and psychologically about as fruitfully as a modern human could mate physically with a Neanderthal; it can be done, but the results won't be good.
It's a serious problem when a society becomes highly politicized, as is now the case in the US and Europe. In normal times, a sociopath stays under the radar. Perhaps he'll commit a common crime when he thinks he can get away with it, but social mores keep him reined in. However, once the government changes its emphasis from protecting citizens from force to initiating force with laws and taxes, those social mores break down. Peer pressure, social approbation and moral opprobrium, the forces that keep a healthy society orderly, are replaced by regulations enforced by cops and funded by taxes. Sociopaths sense this, start coming out of the woodwork and are drawn to the State and its bureaucracies and regulatory agencies, where they can get licensed and paid to do what they've always wanted to do.
It's very simple, really. There are two ways people can relate to each other: voluntarily or coercively. The government is pure coercion, and sociopaths are drawn to its power and force.
The majority of Americans will accept the situation for two reasons: One, they have no philosophical anchor to keep them from being washed up onto the rocks. They no longer have any real core beliefs, and most of their opinions – e.g., "We need national health care," "Our brave troops should fight evil over there so we don't have to fight it over here," "The rich should pay their fair share" – are reactive and comforting. The whole point of spin doctors is to produce comforting sound bites that elude testing against reality. And, two, they've become too pampered and comfortable, a nation of overfed losers, mooches and coasters who like the status quo without wondering how long it can possibly last.
It's nonsensical to blather about the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave when reality TV and Walmart riots are much closer to the truth. The majority of Americans are, of course, where the rot originates – the presidential candidates are spending millions taking their pulse in surveys and polls and then regurgitating to them what they seem to want to hear. Once a country buys into the idea that an above-average, privileged lifestyle is everyone's minimum due, when the fortunate few can lobby for special deals to rake something off the table as they squeeze wealth out of others by force, that country is on the decline. Lobbying and taxation rather than production and innovation have never been able to sustain prosperity. The wealth being squeezed took centuries to produce, but it is not inexhaustible.
In that light, it was interesting to hear Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, speak about the lower, middle and upper classes recently. Romney is an empty suit, only marginally better than the last Republican nominee, the hostile and mildly demented John McCain. In any event, Romney is right about the poor, in a way – there is a "safety net," now holding 50 million people on Medicaid and 46 million on food stamps, among many other supposed benefits. And he's right about the rich; there's no need to worry about them at the moment – at least until the revolution starts. He claims to worry about the middle class, not that his worries will do anything to help them. But he's right that the middle class is where the problem lies. It's just a different kind of problem than he thinks.
People generally fall into an economic class because of their psychology and their values. Each of the three classes has a characteristic psychological profile. For the lower class, it's apathy. They have nothing, they're ground down and they don't really care. They're not in the game, and they aren't going to do anything; they're resigned to their fate. For the upper class, it's greed and arrogance. They have everything, and they think they deserve it – whether they do or not. The middle class – at least in today's world – is run by fear. Fear that they're only a paycheck away from falling into the lower class. Fear that they can't pay their debts or borrow more. Fear that they don't have a realistic prospect of improving themselves.
The problem is that fear is a negative, dangerous and potentially explosive emotion. It can easily morph into anger and violence. Exactly where it will lead is unpredictable, but it's not a good place. One thing that exacerbates the situation is that all three classes now rely on the government, albeit in different ways. Bankruptcy of the government will affect them all drastically.
With sociopaths in charge, we could very well see the Milgram experiment reenacted on a national scale. In the experiment, you may recall, researchers asked members of the public to torture subjects (who, unbeknownst to the people being recruited, were paid actors) with electric shocks, all the way up to what they believed were lethal doses. Most of them did as asked, after being assured that it was "alright" and "necessary" by men in authority. The men in authority today are mostly sociopaths.

WHAT TO DO

One practical issue worth thinking about is how you, as someone with libertarian values, will manage in a future increasingly controlled by sociopaths. My guess is poorly, unless you take action to insulate yourself. That's because of the way almost all creatures are programmed by nature. There's one imperative common to all of them: Survive! People obviously want to do that as individuals. And as families. In fact, they want all the groups that they're members of to survive, simply because (everything else being equal) it should help them to survive as individuals. So individual Marines want the Marine Corps to survive. Individual Rotarians want the Rotary Club to prosper. Individual Catholics leap to the defense of the Church of Rome.
That's why individual Germans during World War II were, as has been asserted, "willing executioners" – they were supporting the Reich for the same reasons the Marines, the Rotarians and the Catholics support their groups. Except more so, because the Reich was under attack from all sides. So of course they followed orders and turned in their neighbors who seemed less than enthusiastic. Failing to support the Reich – even if they knew it had some rather unsavory aspects – seemed an invitation to invading armies to come and rape their daughters, steal their property and probably kill them. So of course the Germans closed ranks around their leaders, even though everyone at the top was a sociopath. You can expect Americans to do the same.
Americans have done so before, when the country was far less degraded. During the War Between the States, even saying something against the war was a criminal offense. The same was true during World War I. In World War II, the Japanese were all put in concentration camps on groundless, racially based suspicions of disloyalty. During the early years of the Cold War, McCarthyism was rampant. The examples are legion among humans, and the US was never an exception. It's even true among chickens. If a bird has a feather out of place, the others will peck at it, eventually killing it. That out-of-place feather is deemed a badge of otherness announcing that its owner isn't part of the group. Chicken Autre must die.
Libertarians, who tend to be more intelligent, better informed and very definitely more independent than average, are going to be in a touchy situation as the crisis deepens. Most aren't going to buy into the groupthink that inevitably accompanies war and other major crises. As such, they'll be seen as unreliable, even traitors. As Bush said, "If you're not with us, you're against us." And, he might have added, "the Constitution be damned." But of course that document is no longer even given lip service; it's now a completely dead letter.
It's very hard for an individualist to keep his mouth shut when he sees these things going on. But he'd better keep quiet, as even HL Mencken wisely did during both world wars. In today's world, just keeping quiet won't be enough; the national security state has an extensive, and growing, file on everybody. They believe they know exactly what your beliefs, desires, fears and associations are, or may be. What we're now facing is likely to be more dangerous than past crises. If you're wise, you'll relocate someplace where you're something of an outsider and, by virtue of that fact, are allowed a measure of eccentric opinion. That's why I spend an increasing amount of time in Latin America. In truth, however, security is going to be hard to find anywhere in the years to come. The most you can hope for is to tilt the odds in your favor.
The best way to do that is by diversifying your assets internationally. Allocating your wealth into real assets. Linking up with sound, like-minded people who share your values. And staying alert for the high-potential speculations that inevitably arise during chaotic times.

[Another puzzle piece that sadly fits in place for the fall of the US is its astounding debt crisis. Those with the foresight to take advantage of the shifting trends it triggers can not just survive, but thrive during the challenging times ahead.]

Has America Been Crippled By Intellectual Idiots?


 Alt-Market.com
By Brandon Smith
April 25, 2012
http://www.alt-market.com/articles/733-has-america-been-crippled-by-intellectual-idiots

As far back as I can remember, the overarching message of the American social atmosphere has been one of idolization.  Oh to one day join the ranks of the “professional class”; that 5% to 10% of our culture which enjoys unparalleled respect and an assumed position of knowledge, so much so that they are rarely even required to qualify themselves to anyone besides their own compatriots.  The goal of every person I knew during my formative years with a desire to succeed was to one day hold in their hands an official looking embossed document announcing their ascension to the ranks of the intellectually anointed.  I was never so keen on the idea…        

The dangers of academic deification are numerous.  Those who dominate the educational language of the times determine the moral compass (or lack of compass) of the curriculum.  They control who is accepted and who is rejected, not by measure of intelligence or skill, but by their willingness to conform to the establishment ideal.  They construct a kind of automaton class, which has been taught not to learn independently, but to parrot propaganda without question.  Simultaneously, those of us who do not “make the grade” are relegated to the role of obliged worshippers; accepting the claims of the professional class as gospel regardless of how incorrect they happen to be.  To put it simply; the whole thing is disgustingly inbred. 

Elitism has always lent itself to morbid forms of educational molestation.  This is nothing new, especially within their own limited circles.  However, to have such perversions of logic and reason gutting the minds of entire generations across endless stretches of our country without any counterbalance is a far more heinous state of affairs in the long run.  Ultimately, this highway can only lead to a deterioration of our future, and the death of reason itself.

Recently, I attended a discussion panel on Constitutionalism at a university in Helena, the capital of Montana, and admittedly, was not expecting much insight.  (At the moment of arrival I noticed the buildings had been plastered with Kony 2012 posters.  The campus seemed to be completely unaware that the YouTube film is a George Soros funded ‘Wag the Dog’ farce.)  Even in a fiercely independent region such as the Northern Rockies, the collectivist hardline reigns supreme on most college campuses.  Sadly, very few actual students attended the discussion, and the audience was predominantly made up of local political players, retired legislators, and faculty.  Surprisingly, Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers was invited to participate in the discussion, obviously to add at least some semblance of balance or “debate” to an otherwise one-sided affair.  The mix was like oil and water.

The overall tone was weighted with legal drudgery.  Many of the speakers were focused intently on secondary details and banal explorations into individual Constitutional cases without any regard for the bigger picture.  When confronted with questions on the indefinite detainment provisions of the NDAA, government surveillance, or executive ordered assassinations of U.S. citizens, the panelists responded with lukewarm apathy.  The solutions we discuss regularly within the Liberty Movement, such as state nullification based on the 10th Amendment, assertions of local political control through Constitutional Sheriffs, and even civil disobedience, were treated with indignant responses and general confusion.

A consistent theme arose from the academics present, trying to run damage control on Rhodes’ points on federal encroachment and ultimate tyranny.  Their position?  Defiance is unacceptable (or at least, not politically correct…).  Americans have NO recourse against a centralized government.  Not through their state and local representatives, and not through concerted confrontation.  In fact, to even suggest that states act on their own accord without permission is an outlandish idea.  In the end, the only outlet for the public is….to vote.

No one seemed to be able to address the fact that both major parties supported the exact same unconstitutional policies, thus making national level elections an act of pure futility. The point was brushed aside…

Sickly shades of socialism hung heavy in the room.  One speaker even suggested that the states could not possibly survive financially without centralized aid.  He was apparently too ignorant to understand that the federal government itself is bankrupt, incapable of producing true savings, and printing fiat Ad Nauseum just to stay afloat.  Every 30 seconds I heard a statement that made me cringe.                    

Universities are today’s centers of connection.  They are one of the last vestiges of American tribalism and community in an age of self isolation and artificial technological cultism.  Adults do not meet face to face much anymore to share knowledge, or discuss the troubles of the day.  The academic world provides such opportunity, but at a terrible price.  To connect with the world, students must comply.  To be taken seriously, they must adopt, consciously or unconsciously, the robes of the state.  They must abandon the passions of rebellion and become indifferent to the truth.  All actions and ideas must be embraced by the group, or cast aside.  They must live a life of dependency, breeding a culture of fear, for that which others keep for us, they can easily take away.   

How could anyone possibly sustain themselves on a diet of congealing fantasy, and personal inadequacy?  The intellectual life bears other fruits as well.  Where it lacks in substance, it makes up for in ego, proving that being educated is not necessarily the same as being intelligent.  The following is a list of common character traits visible in the average intellectual idiot, a breed that poisons the American well, and is quickly eroding away any chance of Constitutional revival…

1)  An Obsession With The Appearance Of Objectivity


I say “appearance” of objectivity because the intellectual idiot does indeed take sides on a regular basis, and the side he takes invariably benefits the establishment.  He would never admit to this, though, because he believes it gives him more credibility to at least be thought of as standing outside an issue looking in.  It is not uncommon to find Intellectual Idiots being contrary regardless of your view, even if they would normally agree.  They often try to approach debate with the fa├žade of detachment, as if they do not care one way or the other.  The costume soon wears away, however, when they are faced with an opponent that is not impressed with their educational status.  I have seen lawyers, doctors, engineers, and even politicians devolve into sniveling toddlers when they are derailed by an argument beyond their ability to tap-dance around.  Their middle of the road persona evaporates, and the real person erupts like an ugly pustule… 

2)  Clings To Labels And Status


Like anyone else, Intellectual Idiots cradle a philosophy they believe in, or are told to believe in.  But unlike most of us, they see themselves above the scrutiny of those who do not pursue a similar academic path (i.e. only a lawyer should be allowed to debate another lawyer).  The reality is, anyone is privy to the information a proponent of the professional class knows.  With the advent of the internet, it is easier than ever to educate one’s self on multiple subjects without aid if that person has the determination to do so.  Reputation is not earned by shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for university approval.  A Masters Degree or Ph.D is not a get out of logic free card.  In fact, because the Intellectual Idiot often uses his position to avoid true opposition, he tends to become lazy and even more incapable of defending his methodologies when the time comes. 

3)  Predominantly Collectivist

The curriculum of the average college is partly to blame for this, and because the Intellectual Idiot is so desperate for acceptance and accolades, they can’t help but fall into the trap.  Collectivism is marked by a distinct attachment to the state as the source of life.  All social and all individual crises thus become a matter of government purview.  Individual self reliance is a terrifying notion to them.  In fact, many Intellectual Idiots have lived on the dole since they were born, moving from their family’s money, to state money through grants and loans.  It is not unheard of for these people to become career students, avoiding work for years, and then moving on to a bureaucratic job when the free money runs out.  They cannot fathom why anyone would rebel against the system, because they are a part of a select group which has always benefited from it.  How could the federal government be bad when it has paid their way for half of their existence?

4)  Disconnection From Reality


The Intellectual Idiot is not necessarily afraid to acknowledge that the system is troubled.  For them, the federal government is not infallible, even if their favorite party is in office, but, it IS unapproachable.  Academics revel in the disastrous nature of government.  They see political and social catastrophe as a sort of mental gameplay.  An exercise in theoretical structures.  For them, America is not a country built on an enduring set of principles, but a petri dish; an ongoing anthropological experiment that they can watch through a microscope at their leisure.  The idea that the disasters they view from the safety of their sub-cultural bubble might one day come to haunt them is a distant one. 

5)  Abhors Those Who Step Out Of Bounds


Have you ever entertained a view that went against the grain of the mainstream only to be met with accusations of extremism and sneers befitting a leper?  You were probably talking to an intellectual idiot.  The rules, no matter how distasteful or meaningless, hold special power for these people.  They make the system what it is, and when the system is your great provider, you might lean towards defending it, even in the wake of oligarchy and abuse.   This penchant for overt structure for the sake of centralization is especially damaging to our Constitutional rights, because alternative solutions are never treated as viable.  During the panel discussion in Helena, pro-collectivists consistently tried to redirect the conversation away from the 10th Amendment as a method to counter federal overreach.  They did this by bringing up abuses of the states, including slavery and segregation, as if that somehow negated the nightmare of the NDAA. 

Ironically, they saw the use of violence by the federal government to push states to recognize civil liberties as perfectly practical.  But, the use of force by states to protect the same civil liberties from Washington D.C.?  That would be lunacy…

6)  Believes Academia To Be Free From Bias


The Intellectual Idiot assimilates every bit of information he is given at the university level without a second look.  He simply assumes it is all true, and if something appears mismatched, it is only because he does not yet fully grasp it.  Very rarely will he go beyond designated source materials to get a different opinion.  This habit is the root of his idiocy.  Being that most universities draw from the same exact materials, and peer reviewed papers are usually tested by those with the exact same underlying educational backgrounds, I can’t see how it is possible for much variety of thought to form.  Whether intentional or not, severe bias cannot be avoided in this kind of environment without considerable strength of heart.

The shock that these people express when faced with Liberty Movement philosophies is quite real.  They have spent the very focus of their future life within the confines of a miniscule spectrum of truth; like seeing technicolor for the first time after a long limited existence in black and white.   

It’s hard to say when it all really began, but for decades, Americans have been progressively tuned like pliable radio antenna to the song of the elitist intellectual.  Many of us want to be him.  Others want to follow him, straight to oblivion if need be, as long as they don’t have to blaze their own trail.  This is not to say all professionals are a danger to the Republic.  Some are fantastic proponents of freedom.  But, without a drastic reversal in current educational trends, I see little hope of Constitutional guardians becoming a mainstay of U.S. campuses in the near term.

With mashed potato minds fresh from the psychological Cuisinart of public schools, the next generation in line to inherit the most fantastically schizophrenic nation in history will be like candy for social engineers; utterly unequipped for the mission.  Strangely, the drastic financial slide the elites have also triggered might hold the key to our salvation.  The next batch of would be statist citizens may find themselves so poor that higher educational brainwashing will be impossible to afford, giving them precious time to think for themselves, and come to their own conclusions.   As they say, in all things, there is a silver lining…

Peak Housing, Peak Fraud, Peak Suburbia and Peak Property Taxes

The Daily Sheeple
by Charles Hugh Smith
April 26th, 2012
http://www.thedailysheeple.com/peak-housing-peak-fraud-peak-suburbia-and-peak-property-taxes_042012

Peak Housing reflects not just a credit bubble but Peak Fraud and Peak Suburbia.
Once again pundits are claiming that housing is “finally recovering.” But they’re overlooking three peaks: Peak Housing, Peak Financial Fraud, and Peak Suburbia, all of which suggest years of stagnation and decline, not “recovery.”
Here is the latest Case-Shiller index, which has traced out a nearly textbook bubble and a return to the mean that has been artificially restrained by trillions of dollars of Federal subsidies and backstopping of the housing market:.........

.......... Only one aspect of housing hasn’t yet peaked: property taxes. If the risks of home ownership weren’t apparent before, they certainly are now as local governments jack up property taxes to indenture homeowners into tax donkeys.........................

Continue reading here:  http://www.thedailysheeple.com/peak-housing-peak-fraud-peak-suburbia-and-peak-property-taxes_042012

22 Signs That The Collapsing Spanish Economy Is Heading Into A Great Depression

The Economic Collapse
April 30, 2012

What happens when debt-fueled false prosperity disappears?  Just look at Spain.  The 4th largest economy in Europe was riding high during the boom years, but now the Spanish economy is collapsing with no end in sight.  When a debt bubble gets interrupted, the consequences can be rather chaotic.  Just like we saw in Greece, austerity is causing the economy to slow down in Spain.  But when the economy slows down, tax revenues fall and that makes it even more difficult to meet budget targets.  So even more austerity measures are needed to keep debt under control and the cycle just keeps going.  Unfortunately, even with all of the recently implemented austerity measures the Spanish government is still not even close to a balanced budget.  Meanwhile, the housing market in Spain is crashing and unemployment is already above 24 percent.  The Spanish banking system is a giant, unregulated mess that is on the verge of a massive implosion, and the Spanish stock market has been declining rapidly.  The Spanish government is going to need a massive bailout and so will the entire Spanish banking system.  But that is going to be a huge problem, because the Spanish economy is almost 5 times as large as the Greek economy.  When the Spanish financial system collapses, the entire globe is going to feel the pain and there will be no easy solution.
So just how bad are things in Spain at this point?
The following are 22 signs that the collapsing Spanish economy is heading into a great depression….
#1 The unemployment rate in Spain has reached 24.4 percent – a new all-time record high.  Back in April 2007, the unemployment rate in Spain was only 7.9 percent.
#2 The unemployment rate in Spain is now higher than the U.S. unemployment rate was during any point during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
#3 According to CNBC, some analysts are projecting that the unemployment rate in Spain is going to go above 30 percent.
#4 The unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in Spain is now a whopping 52 percent.
#5 There are more than 47 million people living in Spain today.  Only about 17 million of them have jobs.
#6 Retail sales in Spain have declined for 21 months in a row.
#7 The Bank of Spain has officially confirmed that Spain has already entered another recession.
#8 Last week, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services slashed Spain’s credit ratingfrom A to BBB+.
#9 The yield on 10-year Spanish bonds is up around 6 percent again.  That is considered to be very dangerous territory.
#10 Two of Spain’s biggest banks have announced that they are going to stop increasing their holdings of Spanish government debt.
#11 Of all the loans held by Spanish banks, 8.15 percent are considered to be “bad loans”.
#12 The total value of all bad loans in Spain is equivalent to approximately 13 percent of Spanish GDP.
#13 Of all real estate assets held by Spanish banks, more than 50 percent of them are considered to be “troubled” by the Spanish government.
#14 That total amount of money loaned out by Spanish banks is equivalent toapproximately 170 percent of Spanish GDP.
#15 Home prices in Spain fell by 11.2 percent last year, and the number of property repossessions in Spain rose by a staggering 32 percent during 2011.
#16 Spanish housing prices are now down 25 percent from the peak of the housing market and Citibank’s Willem Buiter expects the eventual decline to be somewhere around 60 percent.
#17 It is being projected the the economy of Spain will shrink by 1.7 percentthis year, although there are some analysts that feel that projection is way too optimistic.
#18 The Spanish government has announced a ban on all cash transactionslarger than 2,500 euros.
#19 One key Spanish stock index has already fallen by more than 19 percentso far this year.
#20 The Spanish government recently admitted that its 2011 budget deficit wasmuch larger than originally projected and that it probably will not meet its budget targets for 2012 either.
#21 Spain’s debt to GDP ratio is projected to rise by more than 11 percentduring 2012.
#22 Worldwide exposure to Spanish debt is estimated to be well over a trillion euros.
Spain is going down the exact same road that Greece went down.
Greece is already suffering through a great depression and now Spain is joining them.  The following is from a recent BBC article….
“In Spain today, a cycle similar to Greece is starting to develop,” said HSBC chief economist Stephen King.
“The recession is so deep that when you take one step forward on austerity, it takes you two steps back.”
In Spain right now there is a lot of fear and panic about the economy.  In many areas, it seems like absolutely nobody is hiring right now.  The following is from a recent USA Today article….
“The situation is very bad. There’s no work,” said Enrique Sebastian, a 48-year-old unemployed surgery room assistant as he left one of Madrid’s unemployment offices. “The only future I see is one with wages of €400 ($530) a month for eight-hour days. And that’s if you can find it.”
But Spain is just at the beginning of a downward spiral.  Just wait until they have been through a few years of economic depression.  Once that happens, millions of people begin to lose all hope.  A recent Reuters article discussed the epidemic of suicides that is happening in Greece right now….
On Monday, a 38-year-old geology lecturer hanged himself from a lamp post in Athens and on the same day a 35-year-old priest jumped to his death off his balcony in northern Greece. On Wednesday, a 23-year-old student shot himself in the head.
In a country that has had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world, a surge in the number of suicides in the wake of an economic crisis has shocked and gripped the Mediterranean nation – and its media – before a May 6 election.
And you know what?
The nightmares that we are seeing unfold in Spain and Greece right now are just a preview of what is coming to most of the rest of the world.
The next wave of the economic crisis will soon envelop the United States, Japan and the rest of Europe.
When it strikes, the pain will be immense.
But it won’t be the end – it will only be just the beginning.
The global financial system is starting to crumble.
You better get ready.

VIDEO: Top Economist Issues Economic Doomsday Warning!!! “We’re In a No Win Situation… This Is End of the World Type Stuff”





What is America’s Economic Breaking Point?

Mac Slavo
SHTFPlan.com
Monday, April 30, 2012

If there exists a single factor that can put enough pressure on the whole of the American economy and force it to crumble under its own weight, it’s the price the average American pays for gas. Extreme up-side gas price swings have preceded seven of the last eight American recessions, most recently in the summer of 2008 when drivers were forced to pay an all time high in excess of $4.50 per gallon at the pumps. What followed this spike – caused in part by tightening supplies, rising demand, easy money and a health dose of financial propaganda – was nothing short of the most severe financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Nearly four years on the country finds itself in the midst of difficult times that havetaken their toll on millions of Americans through job losses, home foreclosures, un-servicable debt, and ever dwindling retirement savings. By all accounts, Americans are worse off today than they were ten years ago, and the state of our nation, despite what Washington’s media masters report, is fiscally, economically, and socially dire.
With an estimated national debt that will approach $20 trillion in just a couple of years, some $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next twenty five years, scores of millions of Americans dependent on overburdened government safety nets to survive, and a rapidly shrinking domestic economy, the key question becomes,”what is America’s economic breaking point?”
The answer to this question becomes apparent in a recent documentary from Future Money Trends, which suggests that the breaking point for the U.S. economy comes when the cheap energy we have enjoyed for the better part of a century finally dries up.
Future Money Trends is expecting the U.S. to face the perfect storm of events that, when combined, will send gas prices past the breaking point for the average American.
There are three major catalysts that will cause gas prices to reach this breaking point.
Number one, the dollar is in a state of collapse caused by a continuous increase of the money supply by America’s central bank.
Two, instability in the middle east and a potential war with Iran would great disrupt the supply of oil.
Three, the supply of cheap, recoverable oil is dwindling along with a major increase in demand.

America is built for $50 oil and $2 a gallon gasoline. The seriousness of our situation should not be overlooked. We have multiple forces that will drive gas prices past America’s $5 per gallon breaking point… Rising gas prices caused by these three catalysts will break the backs of the American consumer, spiking prices to the point where present day normalcy is no longer the reality.
Via Future Money Trends


Though there is evidence that the peak oil theory of physical shortages is accurate, it’s not even so much that the world will run out of oil per se, as it is that we simply don’t have the technology to extract that oil at a cheap enough cost to maintain our current way of life.

If you consider the significant pressures currently facing the United States financial and economically, it’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that even a minimal rise in the price of gas could seriously hamper the consumption habits of the majority of our population, which in turn will further reduce economic growth. As Future Money Trends‘ Daniel Ameduri notes in the above documentary, even a $1 gas price move has a significant impact with the potential to extract $100 billion from the broader economy.
With gas prices at or above $4 in most parts of the country, we’re quickly approaching 2008′s breaking point. And for those who don’t think prices could exceed those historic highs of 2008, consider that most Europeans are already paying nearly $10 per gallon.
With rising demand from BRIC nations like China and India, tensions in the middle east and unprecedented monetary expansion, ten dollars may very well become a reality. Such a swing in prices would immediately shave some $600 billion in direct consumer consumption and shrink our economy by 5% almost instantly. And that doesn’t even include the consequences that will inevitably hit small businesses and their employees in the months following.
Going into 2008 Americans felt fairly confident about their savings, their ability to find work, and their overall outlook. After four years of malaise, the majority of Americans have lost that confidence, as their ability to maintain the standard of living to which they became accustomed over decades of rampant government spending and easy money has been seriously undermined.
At this point, as suggested by Ameduri, even a one or two dollar increase in the price of gas could be the breaking point that sends our economy and global financial markets into an unrecoverable tailspin. The psychological impact of $5 or $6 gas may cause more of a panic than the price itself, because the only thing keeping the system afloat at this point is confidence in our leadership and that the best-and-brightest will be able to mitigate the crisis.
We were able to suspend the worst when governments around the world stepped in previously and let loose everything in the quiver to abate a collapse. This time, however, with our debts piling up at unsustainable levels and our lenders rapidly diversifying out of U.S. based assets, we will not be so lucky.
Whether the breaking point has been breached is up for debate, but there’s a strong possibility the die has already been cast. With trillions of dollars in capital flows, government intervention and financial machinations behind the scenes, it’s impossible to predict the exact timeline or occurrence of events, but we may well have already crossed the Rubicon.
Assuming that a breaking point is inevitable simply because of our failure to fundamentally change anything since the original crisis took hold in 2008, we should look to history as a guide as a way to anticipate the consequences that follow unsustainable governance and monetary policy.
If history surrounding such events has taught us anything, it’s that we must presume whatever is coming will be brutal, violent and it will transpire so quickly that most people won’t realize what happened until they’re walking the streets with worthless paper money in their pockets looking for morsels of food to stock their pantries – we’re talking end of the world type stuff.
The collapse of nations and conventional paradigms is never an orderly thing.

Misguided May Day: OWS Plans to Shut Down America

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
April 30, 2012
http://www.prisonplanet.com/misguided-may-day-ows-plans-to-shut-down-america.html

On May 1, factions of Occupy Wall Street plan to impose a “general strike” on America by shutting down business, public transportation and crucial infrastructure. “New York, Denver, Seattle and other major cities are bracing for what should be an eventful day,” notes activist blogger Brent Wahl.


In New York, OWS has called for forcibly blocking bridges and tunnels. Strike is a Verb, an OWS affiliated website, declares “autonomous direct action groups within Occupy Wall Street, as a part of the global mobilizations for general strike and economic non-compliance, will block one or more Manhattan-bound bridge or tunnel to protest the shameful opulence of the 1%.”
Strike is a Verb has posted a list of groups participating in the action below an old newspaper illustration showing a demonstrator firing a pistol at police during the Haymarket riot in 1886 in Chicago. The website calls for civil disobedience and a “wildcat march” that will undoubtedly court police reaction: “We were told by bosses, by activists, by union leaders we couldn’t strike. Perhaps, they suggested, if we wanted to protest we could carry a sign and walk within police barricades, safely cordoned off in a free speech zone. On May 1st, we aren’t working and we aren’t protesting. We are striking.”
In San Francisco, as part of an announced general strike, OWS plans to shut down not only transportation, but also hospitals. “A General Strike will not just occur at one workplace or one thoroughfare but throughout the whole Bay Area. There will be May Day worker and student protests and strikes in Oakland, San Francisco, small and large U.S. cities, and around the world. The status quo is unacceptable and May Day actions will demonstrate that the working class is no longer willing to abide by it,” Occupy the Bridge explains.
The May 1 events are being organized by a coalition of Occupy Wall Street, Alliance for Labor Rights, Immigrant Rights, Jobs for All, May 1st Coalition for Immigrant & Worker Rights and “Immigrant & Community Organizations.”
The Alliance for Labor Rights includes Workers United, a labor union associated with SEIU (the union gave Workers United over a $1 million). Last November, the union announced with “great pride and a sense of purpose, the 2.1 million members united in SEIU endorse President Barack Obama for re-election.” Remarkably, the SEIU claims Obama is “a leader willing to fight for the needs of the 99 percent,” despite the fact the Obama administration is in the hip pocket of Goldman Sachs and is micromanaged by the CFR, the Trilats and the banksters.
The OWS “general strike” will of course prove to be a failure and an unmitigated disaster (and will provide New York cops with an excuse to pepper spray more people).
Despite corporate union claims of solidarity, May 1 will be another day of work for most Americans. OWS and organized labor have announced they will make it difficult for them to get to work by closing down bridges, tunnels and mass transit. The actions planned by OWS will do little to the so-called 1%, but will make life more difficult for the 99% who must work for a living.
If corporate labor unions, professional anarchists and the OWS are sincerely interested in changing the economic structure of America, they would rally at Federal Reserve locations around the country and demand an end to the stranglehold the bankers have on the nation.
Calls for socialist palliatives and increased taxation will not remedy the economic and social ills that ail America. Putting an end to the Federal Reserve and removing the financial elite and the globalists from the economic future of America is the only sane and effective choice, not closing down the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Ultimate Green Bombshell: New Study Finds Wind Farms Cause Actual Climate Change

Patrick Henningsen
Prison Planet.com
April 30, 2012
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-ultimate-green-bombshell-new-study-finds-wind-farms-cause-actual-climate-change.html

For decades they have been touted by green warriors and global warming believers as the lynch pin of their brave new utopian future. Now it seems that something is truly rotten in the state of Denmark, or the great state of Texas in this case.
After years of searching, it appears that scientists have finally identified an actual cause of climate change… wind farms.
Critics have previously cited industrial wind turbine farms as a massive blot on the landscape, as well as accusing them of causing environmental and economic damage. Reports of bird and bat mortality, local deforestation, as well as negative effects on peat bogs in the UK – have all been cited in relation to the operation of wind turbines. Economic concerns include homes located near wind turbines losing significant value with some homes being impossible to sell and abandoned by their owners. Above all of this, the fact still remains that wind farms, like solar farms, cannot produce any significant amount of power required to feed the minimum base-load to electrify a small city.
Supporters and green lobbyists for the wind industry claim that these damages are justified in order to move society off of fossil fuels. Despite their sketchy green credentials, industrial wind farms have still been awarded generous subsidies from governments in North America and Europe.
But all these drawbacks pale in comparison to the latest bombshell to hit this once-celebrated symbol of Al Gore and the IPCC’s new green revolution. Now it’s official: wind turbine farms cause real climate change.
London Telegraph reported yesterday:
“Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools.
But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.
Satellite data over a large area in Texas, that is now covered by four of the world’s largest wind farms, found that over a decade the local temperature went up by almost 1C as more turbines are built.
This could have long term effects on wildlife living in the immediate areas of larger wind farms.
It could also affect regional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formation of cloud and even wind speeds.”
There you have it. Global warming collectivists, backed by activist scientists have pushed hard for the last two decades, have breached academic ethics, routinely rigged temperature data, and even perverted the trusted pier review process – all in the drive to promote the idea of anthropogenic ‘climate change’ caused by man’s CO2 contribution to the earth’s atmosphere.


No other green technology has racked up such a poor record in terms of environmental damage and the huge sums of public money spent on it as wind farms.
According to a government study commissioned in 1998, by the Norwegian Ministry of Energy on wind power in Denmark, it was concluded that turbine farms have “serious environmental effects, insufficient production, and high production costs.”
The study continues: “Denmark (population 5.3 million) has over 6,000 turbines that produced electricity equal to 19% of what the country used in 2002. Yet no conventional power plant has been shut down. Because of the intermittency and variability of the wind, conventional power plants must be kept running at full capacity to meet the actual demand for electricity. Most cannot simply be turned on and off as the wind dies and rises, and the quick ramping up and down of those that can be would actually increase their output of pollution and carbon dioxide (the primary “greenhouse” gas). So when the wind is blowing just right for the turbines, the power they generate is usually a surplus and sold to other countries at an extremely discounted price, or the turbines are simply shut off.”
Wind energy was also envisioned by warmists as a central plank in their new global Carbon Trading scheme backed by Wall Street and City of London financiers hoping to cash in on a new fictional trillion dollar global market. Unlike most real markets, the carbon market was created by banks and governments so that new investment opportunities could seamlessly dovetail with specific government policies.
Its failure has been pushed along by the 201o collapse of Al Gore’s Chicago Climate Exchange - the fantasy casino based on the IPCC’s pure science fiction.
The global warming and climate change mythology continues to spiral down into irrelevancy – much like a toilet bowl.

VIDEO: Alex Jones Crazy News 4/30/12. Great Lakes Now Being Drained Under United Nations Agenda 21 Control!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

VIDEO: School Choice is Cover for Communist Indoctrination. Charlotte Iserbyt Reports

Government Secretly Prepares To Evacuate Chicago During NATO Summit

 “Standby shelters” readied for residents

Steve Watson & Paul Joseph Watson
Prisonplanet.com
April 26, 2012

A leaked directive issued to the Red Cross indicates that the federal government has prepared plans to evacuate Chicago during the NATO summit.
An email sent to Red Cross volunteers in the Milwaukee area notes that the NATO summit in May could “create unrest or another national security incident.”
“The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago,” the email, which was leaked to CBS News, reads.



A spokesperson for the Red Cross Chapter told CBS “Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service”.
While the Secret Service has not commented on the news, officials at Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication have denied having anything to do with the directive.
Two weeks ago residents were startled by urban warfare drills conducted in downtown Chicago on the authority of the OMEC. Huge black hawk helicopters were seen flying low and in between buildings for hours. It now appears that these exercises may be linked to the secret preparations.
In addition, earlier this week a number of Chicago area residents revealed that they have been asked to leave their homes in preparation for major rioting.
The residents received letters from management that read:
“We are STRONGLY recommending that all residents find places to stay during the conference from May 18 through May 21.”
“In the event of a riot or the potential of one near the building, all access doors will be locked including the garage door,” the letter continues. “For everyone’s safety, we will be instructing anyone in the building to stay in his or her unit.”
The fact that, “The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago,” dovetails with reports earlier this year that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) put out a request for contractors to construct temporary emergency camps inside the United States which can be ready for occupancy within a 72 hour time period and used to house emergency responders as well as “displaced citizens.”
The camps are primarily designed to house emergency responders, but will also be utilized to shelter “displaced citizens,” who will be “given the first opportunities for employment within the camp,” according to the solicitation. The camps will be able to service up to 2,000 people at one time.
Scenarios based around displaced citizens were also part of the 2010 Operation Vigilant Guard exercises in Chicago which featured Polish troops training with the Illinois National Guard.
—————————————————————-
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

Russian Troops To Target Terrorists in America As Part of Drill

Joint U.S.-Russian anti-terror exercise stokes fears of martial law

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Thursday, April 26, 2012
http://www.prisonplanet.com/russian-troops-to-target-terrorists-in-america-as-part-of-drill.html

Russian airborne troops are set to train how to target terrorists in America as part of a joint anti-terror drill with the United States which will take place in Fort Carson, Colorado at the end of next month.

“Airborne troops from Russia and the United States would hold joint anti-terror drills in the U.S. state of Colorado between May 24 and 31,” reports the Xinhua news agency, citing Russian Defense Ministry Col. Alexander Kucherenko. The story was also reported by Russian news outlet RIA Novosti.
The exercises, which will mark the first time the respective country’s two airborne forces have held joint drills on U.S. territory, will revolve around the the “reconnaissance of imaginary terrorists’ camp and a raid,” and will also involve evacuations of the troops by helicopter.
The Russian soldiers will also be given access to U.S. special service weapons at Fort Carson.
However, the Russian troops won’t just be confined to a U.S. military base – on May 27 they’ll be out in the local community attending a baseball game in Colorado Springs.
“This announcement comes at a time when Russia actually has troops working in cooperation with China,” points out Business Insider’s Eloise Lee, making reference to one of the largest ever Russian-Sino naval drills currently underway in the Yellow Sea.
Alex Jones has documented foreign troops being trained on U.S. soil to deal with “insurgents” since the late 1990′s as part of “urban warfare drills”.
Back in July 2010, our reporters covered the Operation Vigilant Guard exercises in Chicago which involved Polish troops training alongside U.S. National Guard troops in drills focused around raiding terrorists and drug dealers.

According to SFC Mark Ballard of the Illinois National Guard, the Polish forces were “integrating into some of the civil military units that are participating in this exercise” as part of Illinois’ partnership with the Republic of Poland, a relationship based around “integrative training” and blending military and civilian forces in the event of a national emergency, as well as making this process of integration with foreign troops more “visible”.
The exercises also involved volunteers from Boy Scouts of America, which was telling in light of a 2009 New York Times report which detailed how Homeland Security is training boy scouts to take on and disarm “disgruntled veterans” who are described as “terrorists”.
Fears that foreign troops would be used to carry out gun confiscations and incarcerate American citizens during a time of martial law have circulated for decades, concerns stoked by remarks such as the following quote from Henry Kissinger reportedly made at the 1991 Bilderberg conference in Evian, France.
“Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful,” Kissinger stated.
The idea of foreign soldiers taking over America has often cropped up in television series and movies, most notably in the 1984 film Red Dawn, which depicted the United States being invaded by Soviet troops.
It is important to add that a story circulating which attempts to piggy-back off these confirmed drills in claiming that the U.S. has given Russian troops permission to “take and hold Denver airport” comes from a notorious disinformation source which routinely puts out bogus articles and as such should be completely disregarded as a hoax. Unfortunately, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze and others have bought the scam, which takes away from the importance of the drills which are fully confirmed.
Watch our report about Polish troops training to target terrorists on U.S. soil in the video below.
 

Not Just Spain: Cash Ban Spreads Around the World

A. M. Freyed
Infowars.com
April 24, 2012
http://www.infowars.com/not-just-spain-cash-ban-spreads-around-the-world/

Home Secretary Theresa May announced in January 2012 that the government would ban cash trading for scrap metal dealers under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. Under the proposals ‘rag and bone’ itinerant collectors who are registered with their local authority to trade scrap metal will still be able to pay cash for scrap. The move has drawn criticism from the BMRA, which claims that itinerant traders are getting ‘special treatment’ from the government. – Let’s Recycle.com
 
The death of cash is much in the news these days, following Spanish government’s abrupt announcement banning cash transactions over 2,500 euros.
But what is surprising is how far advanced this trend is. Cash is being done away with in both bites and gulps. There have been articles in the alternative media discussing this on occasion but the mechanism is both subtle and overt.
The subtle part comes from the way cash is being whittle away at in certain industries. The US for instance has no overt , national cash bans in place but plenty of businesses are making it harder and harder to pay in cash.
US states have gotten into the act too. Louisiana, for instance, last year banned cash transactions for second-hand merchandise – making flea markets problematic.
In many states, pawn shops are under strict scrutiny when it comes to cash transactions, with a good deal of paper work now demanded.
In some Central and South American countries, finger-printing is required by certain stores and businesses if one pays in cash with US$100 or more. Western Union has certain policies in place that require finger-printing outside the US.
Then there are countries themselves. Mexico, for instance, has restrictions on numerous cash transactions including the purchase of real estate with cash. And there are restrictions on how much cash one can spend on vehicles, boats, airplanes and luxury goods.
Here’s something from the Economic Policy Journal back in February:
It’s Really, Really Getting Crazy: [Bloomberg has reported that] Italians Banned from Cash Transactions of More than 1,000 Euros … “Prime Minister Mario Monti, in office just over a month, wants landlords, plumbers, electricians and small businesses to stop conducting large transactions in cash, which critics say helps them evade taxes. The government on Dec. 4 reduced the maximum allowed cash payment to 1,000 euros from 2,500 euros” … The noose is tightening, everywhere. The elitists and banksters are clearly going for the big play. They want to monitor every transaction you make and they want to monitor you.
Greece, Italy, Spain … The idea, repeated over and over is that cash is for criminal activity and that it is often used to evade taxes.
But these days, so much is being criminalized that one begins to lose track. What is one to think when something that has been legal for centuries is suddenly deemed “criminal?”
In Spain, many are said to pay as much as half of the cost of a house in cash, thus diminishing tax liability a good deal. This is the practice in other high-tax European regions.
The higher the taxes, the more prevalent these gray and black-market transactions become. This is simple logic.
Lawmakers have forgotten (long ago, in fact) that the “best” laws are best applied within the ambit of natural law.
When government continually seeks to go perniciously against the wishes and practices of the governed people, nothing good can result. Inevitably, laws will be broken.
The more unreasonable the laws, the more law- breaking there will be. This becomes a vicious feed-back loop that conditions people to break laws, which leads to contempt for government activities generally.
Lawmakers may believe they are taking stances for “the greater good.” But the more they depart from reasonableness and common sense, the more difficulties they are likely storing up for civil society generally. It cannot end well.
As cash is continually restricted, if indeed it continues to be, people will turn to barter. If their actions are subject to scrutiny, the state will become increasingly intrusive, leading in turn to increased resentment.
The Internet is a factor in this as well, informing people of how others feel about unjust legislation and the moves they are taking to counteract the worst of it.
All of this has a deleterious effect on society. At some point such governmental actions become significantly counterproductive.
The global elites – those shadowy dynastic families behind much of this mischief – may wish to continue this process to consolidate the world government they apparently seek.
They are obviously not averse to provoking violence as it provides an excuse for further crackdowns and overt social and economic control. Time will tell if they are correct or are misjudging.

VIDEO: Turn in Your Bin Ladens! What If Using Cash Becomes a Crime?

Infowars
April 29, 2012

Will the simple act of using cash to pay for things become a crime? Will it be labeled as suspected terrorist activity? Will cash be banned? We are being phased into a total cashless grid where payments and authorizations must be electronic; and the system has long been conditioning us to accept it and ditch ‘black market’ paper notes.
Let’s flashback to some rather open admissions in the media, in this case: CNBC pundits and Naval Postgraduate School white paper writers (Turn in Your Bin Ladens, Dec. 2010) They call cash the currency of terrorists, drug dealers and criminals. Yes, military figures are equating the use of cash with the War on Terror… that is a gross distortion and a bad sign.

 

Indeed, even paying cash for a cup of coffee has been branded suspicious by a series of memos put out by the FBI to breed a paranoid atmosphere around normal, everyday activities. Alex Jones parodied this bizarre new Communities Against Terrorism campaign in his documentary New World Order: Blueprint of Madmen (see it free here).
Meanwhile the biggest criminals are those who manipulate the currency, starting at the private Federal Reserve and top six mega-banks. Also to blame are the sectors on Wall Street who are engaged in various forms of looting via draconian crony-capitalist bailout deals, amassing new global powers and admittedly laundering massive amounts of money for drug gangs. Yet moves have been made to demonize and ban paying for “large” items in cash both in Europe and America, with ‘suspicious’ amounts set as low as 1000 or 2500 (*in dollars, euros, or etc.). Louisiana has gone so far as to ban cash in second hand transactions.
These policies are trending towards total control, not only at the individual level, but in an overall clamp down of society.

VIDEO: More Infowars News That You Won't Find Anyplace Else

VIDEO: CISPA Bill Heads for The Senate! Tell Them No, No, HELL NO!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

VIDEO: Arizona Being Overrun And Bankrupted By Illegal Immigration Invasion

25 Horrible Statistics About The U.S. Economy That Barack Obama Does Not Want You To Know

The American Dream
April 28, 2012

The human capacity for self-delusion truly is remarkable.  Most people out there end up believing exactly what they want to believe even when the truth is staring them right in the face.  Take the U.S. economy for example.  Barack Obama wants to believe that his policies have worked and that the U.S. economy is improving.  So that is what he is telling the American people.  The mainstream media wants to believe that Barack Obama is a good president and that his policies make sense and so they are reporting that we are experiencing an economic recovery.  A very large segment of the U.S. population still fully supports Barack Obama and they want to believe that the economy is getting better so they are buying the propaganda that the mainstream media is feeding them.  But is the U.S. economy really improving?  The truth is that it is not.  The rate of employment among working age Americans is exactly where it was two years ago and household incomes have actually gone down while Obama has been president.  Home ownership levels and home prices continue to decline.  Meanwhile, food and gasoline continue to become even more expensive.  The percentage of Americans that are dependent on the government is at an all-time record high and the U.S. national debt has risen by more than 5 trillion dollars under Obama.  We simply have not seen the type of economic recovery that we have seen after every other economic recession since World War II.
The horrible statistics about the U.S. economy that you are about to read are not talked about much by the mainstream media.  They would rather be “positive” and “upbeat” about the direction that things are headed.
But lying to the American people is not going to help them.  If you are speeding in a car toward a 500 foot cliff, you don’t need someone to cheer you on.  Instead, you need someone to slam on the brakes.
The cold, hard reality of the matter is that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was four or five years ago.
We have never come close to recovering from the last recession and another one will be here soon.
The following are 25 horrible statistics about the U.S. economy that Barack Obama does not want you to know….

#1 The percentage of Americans that own homes is dropping rapidly.  According to Gallup, the current level of homeownership in the United States is the lowest that Gallup has ever measured.
#2 Home prices in the U.S. continue to fall like a rock as well.  They have declined for six months in a row and are now down a total of 35 percent from the peak of the housing bubble.  The last time that home prices in the United States were this low was back in 2002.
#3 Last year, an astounding 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.
#4 Back in 2007, about 10 percent of all unemployed Americans had been out of work for 52 weeks or longer.  Today, that number is above 30 percent.
#5 When Barack Obama first became president, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in the United States was 2.6 million.  Today, it is 5.3 million.
#6 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is about three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.
#7 Despite what the mainstream media would have us to believe, the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that are employed is not increasing.  Back in March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed.  In March 2011, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed. In March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed.  So how can Barack Obama and the mainstream media claim that the employment situation in the United States is getting better?  The employment rate is still essentially exactly where it was when the last recession supposedly ended.
#8 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.
#9 In 1962, 28 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  In 2011, only 9 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.
#10 In some areas of Detroit, Michigan you can buy a three bedroom home for just $500.
#11 According to one recent survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time at this point.
#12 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the price of gasoline has risen by more than 100 percent.
#13 The student loan debt bubble continues to expand at a very frightening pace.  Recently it was announced that total student loan debt in the United States has passed the one trillion dollar mark.
#14 Incredibly, one out of every four jobs in the United States pays $10 an hour or less at this point.
#15 Household incomes all over the United States continue to fall.  After adjusting for inflation, median household income in America has declined by 7.8 percent since December 2007.
#16 Over the past several decades, government dependence has risen to unprecedented heights in the United States.  The following is how I described the explosive growth of social welfare benefits in one recent article….
Back in 1960, social welfare benefits made up approximately 10 percent of all salaries and wages.  In the year 2000, social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages.  Today, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages.
#17 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, more than 46 million Americans are on food stamps.
#18 Right now, more than 25 percent of all American children are on food stamps.
#19 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, today 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives some form of benefits from the federal government.
#20 Over the next 75 years, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars.  That comes to $328,404for each and every household in the United States.
#21 During the first quarter of 2012, U.S. public debt rose by 359.1 billion dollars.  U.S. GDP only rose by 142.4 billion dollars.
#22 At this point, the U.S. national debt is rising by more than 2 million dollars every single minute.
#23 The U.S. national debt has risen by more than 5 trillion dollars since the day that Barack Obama first took office.  In a little more than 3 years Obama has added more to the national debt than the first 41 presidents combined.
#24 The Federal Reserve bought up approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department during 2011.
#25 The Federal Reserve continues to systematically destroy the value of the U.S. dollar.  Since 1970, the U.S. dollar has lost more than 83 percent of its value.
But the horrible economic statistics only tell part of the story.
In communities all over America there is a feeling that something fundamental has changed.  Businesses that have been around for generations are shutting their doors and there is a lot of fear in the air.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent interview with Richard Yamarone, the senior economist at Bloomberg Brief….
You have to listen to what the small businesses are telling you and right now they are telling you, ‘Hey, I’m the head of a 3rd or 4th generation, 75 or 100 year old business, and I’ve got to shut the doors’ or ‘I’ve got to let people go. And if I’m hiring anybody back, it’s only on a temporary basis.’
Sometimes they do this through a hiring firm so that they can sidestep paying unemployment benefit insurance. So that’s what’s really going on at the grassroots level of the economy. Very, very, grossly different from what you’re seeing in some of these numbers coming out in earnings releases.”
All over the country, millions of hard working Americans are desperately looking for work.  They have been told that “the recession is over”, but they are still finding it incredibly difficult to find anyone that will hire them.  The following example is from a recent CNN article….
Joann Cotton, a 54-year-old Columbus, Mississippi, resident, was one of those faces of poverty we met on the tour. Unemployed for three years, Joann has gone from making “$60,000 a year to less than $15,000 overnight.” Her husband is disabled and dependent on medicines the couple can no longer afford. They rely on food stamps, which, Joann says, “is depressing as hell.”
Receiving government aid, however, has not been as depressing as her job search. Joann says she has applied for at least 300 jobs. Even though she can barely afford gas, she drives to the interviews only to learn that the employers want to hire younger candidates at low wages.
The experiences have taken a toll: “I’ve aged 10 years in the three years that I’ve been looking for a job,” Joann told us. “I want to get a job so I can just relax and exhale … but I can’t. After a while you just give up.”
Meanwhile, Barack Obama and his family continue to live the high life at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.
Even many Democrats are starting to get very upset about this.  The following is from a recent article by Paul Bedard….
Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing “staycations” because they can’t afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family’s 17 lavish vacations around the world and don’t want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas’ holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters.
It simply is not appropriate for the Obamas to be spending millions upon millions upon millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars on luxury vacations when so many Americans are deeply suffering.
But Barack Obama does not want you to know about any of this stuff.
He just wants you to buy his empty propaganda one more time so that he can continue to occupy the White House for another four years.