50 Actual College Course Titles Proving America’s Universities Are Training Students To Be Socialists

What in the world are they teaching to our young people?  As you go through the list of college course titles below, I am sure that many of you will be completely shocked.  Most parents assume that they are sending their children to college to get prepared for their future careers, but the truth is that a lot of our major colleges and universities have become little more than indoctrination centers for progressive thought.  Our college students are literally being systematically trained to be socialists, and it is working.  According to a brand new Harris Poll that was just released, 37.2 percent of all Americans “prefer living in a socialist country”.  But for Millennials and Generation Z combined, that figure is 49.6 percent.  That means that essentially half of our young adults want to be socialists, and that has enormous implications for the future of our society.

So how did this happen?

Well, the truth is that it really isn’t a mystery.  Progressives have a stranglehold on higher education in the United States, and they are training future generations of leaders to think just like them.

Young America’s Foundation has just released their yearly report on the craziest college courses in America, and I pulled some examples out of that report that demonstrate how bad things have gotten.

The following are 50 actual college course titles that prove that America’s universities are literally training our college students to be socialists…

#1 Harvard University: FRSEMR 62O—Who is a Fascist? Culture and Politics on the Radical Right

#2 Princeton University: FRS 139—Marx in the 21st Century

#3 Yale University: AMST 469a—Progressivism: Theory and Practice

#4 University of Alabama: SW 351—Oppression & Social Justice

#5 University of Florida: WST 3349—Ecofeminism

#6 University of Florida: POT 4053—Great Political Thinkers: Machiavelli to Marx

#7 University of Kentucky: SOC 235—Inequalities in Society

#8 University of Missouri: PSYCH 4984—Promoting Social Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion Capstone

#9 Middlebury College: AMST 0269—Beyond Intersectionality: Developing Anti-Racist and Anti-Capitalist Feminisms

#10 Middlebury College: ECON 0405—Economics of Discrimination

#11 University of Minnesota: AFRO 1917—Inequality and the American Dream

#12 University of Minnesota: SOC 3507—Immigration to the United States: Beyond Walls

#13 University of Minnesota: CSCL 3405—Marx for Today

#14 University of Minnesota: CI 5137—Multicultural Gender-Fair Curriculum

#15 University of Iowa: GWSS 1005—Introduction to Social Justice

#16 University of Iowa: GWSS 2045—Working for Social Justice

#17 University of Illinois: GWS 337—Interrogating Masculinities

#18 Indiana University: GNDR-G 330—Looking Like a Feminist: Visual Culture and Critical Theory

#19 University of Maryland: WMST 300—Feminist Reconceptualizations of Knowledge

#20 University of Michigan: WOMENSTD 434—Eco/Queer/Feminist Art Practices

#21 Michigan State University: ANP 859—Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change: Methods and Application

#22 Ohio State University: WGSST 3200—Breaking the Law: An Introduction to Gender Justice

#23 Penn State University: AFAM 147—The Life and Thought of Malcolm X

#24 Purdue University: OLS 45400—Gender And Diversity In Management

#25 University of Wisconsin: HISTORY 346—Trans/Gender in Historical Perspective

#26 University of Wisconsin: GEN&WS 536—Queering Sexuality Education

#27 University of Wisconsin: AFRICAN 233—Global HipHop and Social Justice

#28 Williams College: AFR 342—Racial Capitalism

#29 Williams College: AMST 219—Understanding Social Class

#30 Williams College: ENVI 103—Global Warming and Environmental Change

#31 Amherst College: POSC 407—Contemporary Debates: Gender and Right-Wing Populism

#32 Amherst College: SWAG 351—From Birth to Death: LGBTQ Life Trajectories

#33 Swarthmore College: ENVS 043—Race, Gender, Class and Environment

#34 Swarthmore College: RELG 032—Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology

#35 Swarthmore College: RELG 033—Queering the Bible

#36 Wellesley College: AMST 281—Rainbow Republic: American Queer Culture from Walt Whitman to Lady Gaga

#37 Wellesley College: SOC 205—Modern Families and Social Inequalities

#38 Carleton College: POSC 275—Black Radical Political Thought

#39 Pomona College: AFRI144A—Black Women Feminism(s) and Social Change

#40 Pomona College: GWS142—Queering Childhood

#41 Claremont McKenna College: GOVT113—Inequality, Politics, and Public Policy: Class, Race, and Gender

#42 Davidson College: SOC 356—Feminization of Poverty

#43 Butler University: RI379—The Problem of God

#44 Creighton University: ANT 178—Global Citizenship

#45 DePaul University: LGQ 338—Sexual Justice: Lesbians, Gays and the Law

#46 Georgetown University: WGST 250—The Breast: Image, Myth, Legend

#47 Providence College: SOC 418—Globalization and Social Justice

#48 St. John’s University: SOC 1170—Inequality; Race, Class and Gender

#49 University of Pennsylvania: RELS 110—American Jesus

#50 University of Pennsylvania: URBS 050—Womanism and Identity Politics in the Realm of Hip-Hop

This system of “higher education” has produced Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and millions of young radical leftists just like her.

And even though she has only been in Congress for a little more than two months, AOC is already one of the most popular politicians in America.

Unfortunately, she is tremendously disgusted with capitalism.  In fact, according to NBC News she just told a large crowd that capitalism “cannot be redeemed”…

She dismissed concern about the government taking over corporations, which she said she doesn’t favor, by saying “corporations have already taken over our government.”

Instead, she said, her view of democratic socialism emphasizes making everything, politics and the economy, more democratic. And she said capitalism — which she defined as an ideology of “putting profit above of everything else in society” — “cannot be redeemed.”

Is this where our country is headed?

Is there any hope that we can return to the values that this nation was founded upon?

We better hope so, because those values helped us to become the greatest nation on the entire planet.  I really like how Trish Regan made this point in her recent piece

America is losing its way amid this socialism madness. The new alt-left’s mob-like insanity is spinning a lie– a lie that capitalism is bad and that capitalists are bad.

Capitalism has made us what and who we are as an economy and as a nation.

Alexander Hamilton said during the founding years of our great republic:

“True liberty, by protecting the exertions and talents of industry, and securing to them their justly acquired fruits, tends more powerfully than any other cause to augment the mass of national wealth and to produce the mischiefs of opulence.” – Alexander Hamilton, “Defense of the Funding System,” July 1795, in Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Vol. 19, p. 32.

I very much agree with her.  As a nation, we are definitely losing our way.

Hopefully, we can find our way back because the path that we are currently on doesn’t lead anywhere good.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Economy Teeters On Brink Of A Recession – US Debt Levels Absolutely Exploding

We now have official confirmation that the U.S. economy has dramatically slowed down.  In recent days I have shared a whole bunch of numbers with my readers that clearly demonstrate that a new economic downturn has begun.  And even though stock prices have been rising, the numbers for the “real economy” have been depressingly bad lately.  But what we didn’t have was official confirmation from the Federal Reserve that the economy is really slowing down, but now we do.  According to the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model, the economy is growing “at a 0.3 percent annualized rate in the first quarter”

The U.S. economy is growing at a 0.3 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, based on data on domestic construction spending in December released on Monday, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed.

For years, the goal has been to get U.S. growth above the key 3 percent threshold, but what this forecast is telling us is that economic growth is currently at one-tenth of that level.

That is just barely above recession territory.

So when I say that we are teetering on the brink of a recession, I am not exaggerating.

We also just got some really bad news about construction spending

Construction spending fell 0.6% in December from November, based on a seasonally adjusted annual rate, released today by the Commerce Department. Compared to December a year earlier, total construction spending inched up only 0.8% (not seasonally adjusted), the lowest growth rate since Oct 2011, coming out of the great recession.

Now we can add that to the list of all the other numbers that are telling us that very rough times are ahead.

Meanwhile, debt levels in the U.S. just continue to explode.

According to the latest report, Americans now have 480 million credit cards.  That is about 100 million more than during the last recession.

In other words, there are about 1.5 credit cards for every man, woman and child in the entire country.

The total amount of credit card debt in the United States has now reached a whopping $870,000,000,000.  That number has never been higher in the history of our nation.

And when you total up all forms of individual debt, U.S. consumers are now 13.5 trillion dollars in the hole.

Corporate debt levels are exploding as well, and this is something that Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan warned about on Tuesday

U.S. nonfinancial corporate debt consists mostly of bonds and loans. This category of debt, as a percentage of gross domestic product, is now higher than in the prior peak reached at the end of 2008, Kaplan said.

A number of studies have concluded this level of credit could “potentially amplify the severity of a recession,” he noted.

The lowest level of investment-grade debt, BBB bonds, has grown from $800 million to $2.7 trillion by year-end 2018. High-yield debt has grown from $700 million to $1.1 trillion over the same period. This trend has been accompanied by more relaxed bond and loan covenants, he added.

Overall, corporate debt has more than doubled since the last financial crisis, and that is just one of the reasons why our financial system is far more vulnerable today than it was just before the last financial crisis.

This week we also learned that the federal budget deficit is exploding as well.  The following comes from Business Insider

According to a report from the Treasury Department released Tuesday, the budget deficit — that is the difference between what the federal government takes in and what it spends — hit $310 billion in the first four months of fiscal year 2019.

Fiscal years for the federal government run October through September, so the data reflects the shortfall from October 2018 through January 2019. Based on the data, the deficit increased by 77% compared to the same period the prior year.

A 77 percent increase in one year?

I don’t even have the words to describe how foolish this is.

We are on pace to add way over a trillion dollars to the national debt this year, and one of the big things fueling this horrific debt binge is our rapidly expanding interest payments

Finally, and perhaps most concerning, is that for the first four months of this fiscal year, interest payments on the U.S. national debt hit $192 billion, $17 billion, or 10% more than in the same four-month period last year and the most interest ever paid in the first third of the fiscal year. As Reuters’ Jeoff Hall points out, annualizing the $192BN interest expense means that the interest on U.S. public debt is on track to reach a record $575 billion this fiscal year, more than the entire budget deficit in FY 2014 ($483 BN) or FY 2015 ($439 BN), and equates to 2.7% of estimated GDP, the highest percentage since 2011.

But according to the proponents of modern monetary theory (MMT), we can spend as much money as we want because “deficits almost never matter”

Because MMT holds that government spending isn’t funded by taxes, the Green New Deal doesn’t include any measures to finance the very large, open-ended fiscal commitments it would undertake. According to MMT economists, the only possible danger from the resultant government debt would be inflation, which can usually be controlled with tools other than raising taxes. In other words, deficits almost never matter. So confident are they of their theory’s universal applicability that MMT proponents often respond to their critics with scorn.

If you can believe it, there are actually members of Congress that believe this stuff.  Of course, the truth is that our national debt is an existential threat to the continued existence of our nation, and this is a point that I have made repeatedly.

The U.S. economy was in far better shape just prior to the financial crisis of 2008 than it is now, and today we are drowning in far more debt than we were at that time.

The stage is set for the most terrifying economic horror show in American history, and the clock is ticking away with each passing day.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

US Job Cut Announcements Rise 117 Percent To Highest Level In More Than 3 Years

We have not seen anything like this since the last recession.  Layoff announcements are coming fast and furious now, and the speed at which workers are being laid off is shocking a lot of people.  In this day and age, big companies have absolutely no loyalty to their workers.  The moment it becomes financially advantageous for them to start laying off employees, most of them will do it in a heartbeat.  I personally know someone that was an extremely hard worker and that put in extra time and effort for his company for many, many years, but he was just laid off because that is what the number crunchers determined was the right move.  It is a cold, cruel world, and as we witnessed back in 2008, job losses can occur at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking when a recession strikes.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been documenting the numbers that indicate that a major economic slowdown has begun, and we may have gotten the biggest one so far on Thursday.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the number of job cut announcements in February was up 117 percent compared to the same period last year.  The following comes from Fox Business

While many experts and investors are eagerly awaiting data on status of the labor market Opens a New Window. to be released by the government on Friday, a new report shows U.S. employers cut more jobs Opens a New Window. last month than they have in the past 3.5 years.

Even though it is the shortest month of the year, U.S. employers announced plans to cut 76,835 jobs last month, according to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s a 117 percent year-over-year increase, and a 45 percent increase over January’s numbers.

You have to go all the way back to 2015 to find a month that was as bad as February.

Are you starting to see that the momentum for the economy has clearly shifted?

The economic news just keeps getting worse and worse as we roll through 2019, and the retail sector is being hit harder than just about anyone else.

In fact, retailers announced more job cuts in February than any other sector did

The retail sector had the most planned job cuts, with 41,201 so far this year – the highest January-February total since 2009. The industrial goods sector – including some manufacturers – followed with nearly 32,000 cuts announced during the same time period.

The primary reasons employers cited for eliminating positions were restructuring and bankruptcy.

This is being called a “retail apocalypse”, and we are on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year.

At this point, retailers have already announced the closure of more than 5,300 stores.  The following list of retailers that have announced that they are shutting down at least 10 locations comes from Business Insider

Payless ShoeSource: 2,500 stores
Gymboree: 805 stores
Family Dollar: 390 stores
Shopko: 251 stores
Chico’s: 250 stores
Gap: 230 stores
Performance Bicycle: 102 stores
Charlotte Russe: 520 stores
Sears: 70 stores
Destination Maternity: 42-67 stores
Victoria’s Secret: 53 stores
Kmart: 50 stores
Abercrombie & Fitch: 40 stores
Christopher & Banks: 30-40 stores
JCPenney: 27 stores
Beauty Brands: 25 stores
Henri Bendel: 23 stores
Lowe’s: 20 stores

And that list doesn’t even include the fact that Amazon is closing all 87 of its pop-up stores.

I have repeatedly warned that we will be facing a future of boarded up windows, empty retail stores and abandoned malls, and it is happening right in front of our eyes.

Of course, it isn’t just the retail industry that is rapidly laying off workers.  Here are just a few of the highlights from the workforce reduction announcements that we have seen in recent days…

-Tesla continues to struggle, and they have already laid off 8 percent of their entire workforce.

-Microsoft is cutting approximately 200 jobs in their commercial sales business.

-JP Morgan is steadily shutting down bank branches in lower income neighborhoods.

-We Work has announced that they have let 300 employees go.

-Devon Energy is eliminating about 200 workers.

-Whole Foods is cutting back worker hours.

-Encana has announced that it is laying off 274 workers in the Houston area.

-In North Carolina, Duke Energy has eliminated 1,900 positions.

-Ocwen Financial is planning to lay off approximately 2,000 workers over the course of 2019.

And in my article yesterday, I noted that General Motors is shutting down four major production plants this year.

It’s really happening.

The bubble of debt-fueled false prosperity that we have been enjoying is disappearing, and the road ahead is going to be really rough.

On Thursday we also learned that U.S. household wealth has been plummeting.  In fact, the fourth quarter of 2018 was the worst quarter for household balance sheets since the last financial crisis

Americans’ net worth fell at the highest level since the financial crisis in the fourth quarter of 2018 as sliding stock market prices ate into the household balance sheet.

Net worth dropped to $104.3 trillion as the year came to an end, a decrease of $3.73 trillion from the third quarter, according to figures released Thursday by the Federal Reserve. The fall amounted to a drop of 3.4 percent.

An increasing number of families are feeling financially squeezed these days, and many of them are accumulating large amounts of debt as they attempt to keep things going.

But for a lot of Americans that are currently drowning in debt, the end of the road has already been reached.

In an article that I posted yesterday, I noted that an all-time record 7 million Americans are behind on their vehicle payments, 37 million credit card accounts are considered to be “seriously delinquent”, and 166 billion dollars worth of student loans are now in the “seriously delinquent” category.

This is a consumer debt crisis that already surpasses the numbers that we witnessed during the last recession.

Nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.  This is very much a developing story, and I will share new numbers with you as I get them in.

We haven’t experienced anything quite like this since 2008, and most Americans are completely unprepared for a new economic downturn.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Deadbeat Nation: 37 Million Credit Card Accounts In The US Are “Seriously Delinquent” Right Now

Is the consumer debt bubble finally starting to burst?  If the latest numbers on delinquent credit card accounts are any indication, that appears to be precisely what is happening.  As I noted the other day, Americans currently have 480 million credit cards, and they are carrying 870 billion dollars worth of balances on those cards.  That is one giant pile of debt, but there won’t be a problem as long as the vast majority of Americans regularly make their credit card payments.  Unfortunately, the number of credit card accounts that are delinquent has been steadily rising, and now we are being told that the number of “seriously delinquent” accounts has shot up to 37 million

At the end of 2018, Americans struggled to make payments on the country’s $870 billion worth of credit card debt.

About 37 million credit card accounts were marked as seriously delinquent in the fourth quarter, meaning they were 90 or more days past due, an increase of two million from the same period a year earlier.

Remember, those accounts are not just behind.  We are talking about accounts that are at least 90 days past due.

It appears that the credit card industry has a burgeoning crisis on their hands.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans that are behind on their auto loan payments has reached an unprecedented level as well.

At this moment, more than 7 million Americans are delinquent on their auto loan payments.  That is a brand new all-time record, and it smashes the highest level that we witnessed during the last recession by about a million.

If things are this bad already, how high will these numbers go once we get really deep into the next recession?

The student loan debt bubble is starting to burst as well.  According to the most recent numbers, over 166 billion dollars in student loan debt is considered to be “seriously delinquent”.  That number has never been higher in all of U.S. history.

Right now, millions of Americans are deeply struggling with student loan debt, and an increasing number of them have decided to give up on making payments completely.

In an effort to combat this, the industry is encouraging a massive crackdown, and what we are currently witnessing in Florida may soon be coming to the rest of the nation.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Some 1,000 healthcare workers have lost their licenses to practice in Florida due to their inability to pay off their student debt, a new report claims. The “crackdown”, as described, could potentially put hundreds of people out of work, and comes as a result of student loan companies lobbying states to enact laws that punish those who default on their loans by taking away their professional licenses. However, so far Florida is the only state actually enforcing the law.

Adam Walser, an investigative reporter for ABC, found that the state Board of Health had suspended more than 900 healthcare licenses, including those belonging to registered nurses, nurses assistants and pharmacists, over the last two years. There are additionally 12 other states that still have the power to take away healthcare licenses for unpaid student loans. However, officials in those states said that they haven’t suspended any licenses over the last two years.

In the middle part of the country, farm debt is a major story right now.

Farm debt delinquencies have hit the highest level that we have seen in 9 years, and the global trade war has pushed many family farms to the brink of bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that things are going to get any better for them any time soon.

But I bet that you aren’t hearing much about any of this on the news, are you?

Instead, we are being inundated by mindless stories that really don’t matter.  For example, there is supposedly a huge “controversy” about whether Kylie Jenner is really a “self-made” billionaire or not.

Who cares?

Our country is literally coming apart all around us, and we are supposed to obsess about Kylie Jenner?

On Wednesday, we learned that Dollar Tree Inc. will be closing up to 390 Family Dollar stores in 2019.  When you add that to the other store closings that have already been announced this year, it brings the grand total to nearly 5,000.

Can the mainstream media please talk about our ongoing “retail apocalypse” a little bit more?  That is far more important to the daily lives of most Americans than Kylie Jenner.

The U.S. economy is in really rough shape at this moment, and even the president of the New York Fed is now admitting that our economy will slow down “considerably” this year…

The US economy should slow “considerably” in 2019 as the boost from last year’s economic stimulus fades, the president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank said Wednesday.

Amid economic uncertainty, the Federal Reserve could “wait” before raising interest rates again, John Williams said in remarks to the Economic Club of New York.

For many Americans, the economic horror show of 2008 and 2009 is nothing but a fading memory at this point.  But the truth is that what is coming is going to be even worse than that.  Our financial system is far more vulnerable that it was in 2008, and our debt levels are far, far higher.

This unsustainable bubble of debt-fueled prosperity that we have been enjoying in recent years has lasted for far longer than it should have, and it is just a matter of time before things dramatically deteriorate.

And if the recent debt delinquency numbers that I just shared with you are any indication, we are a lot closer to economic doomsday than most people would dare to imagine.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Own Mother Moved Out Of New York Because The Taxes Were Too High

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to come up with new ways to bankrupt America, but meanwhile, we have now learned that her mother actually moved out of New York because the taxes were too high.  When AOC’s father Sergio died, things got very tough financially for the family, and at one point Blanca Ocasio-Cortez was unable to pay the mortgage on the family home for an entire year.  But ultimately she was able to come to an agreement with the bank, and she ended up moving to Florida where taxes and the cost of living are much lower

‘I was cleaning houses in the morning and working as a secretary at a hospital in the afternoon. I was working from 6am until 11pm. And I prayed and prayed, and things worked out. After the children graduated from college, I figured it was time for me to move to Florida.’

Blanca said it was a no-brainer, adding: ‘I was paying $10,000 a year in real estate taxes up north. I’m paying $600 a year in Florida. It’s stress-free down here.’

And of course, it greatly helps that there is no state income tax in Florida, while New York has the highest tax burden in the entire country by a wide margin.

Things are particularly oppressive in New York City.  On top of federal taxes, state taxes, exceedingly high property taxes and a whole bunch of other taxes, the city itself also imposes an income tax on those residing there.

By the time it is all said and done, some New Yorkers end up handing over close to 50 percent of their incomes to various government entities once all forms of taxation are taken into consideration.

This is the socialist environment that has given us Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

And it isn’t as if the money is being used well.  In fact, it has just been revealed that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife was handed $900,000,000 for a mental health program, and nobody seems to know what happened to the money

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, was given $900 million to start a mental health initiative focusing on helping the homeless in the city. Four years later, no one seems to know what that money was actually used for, according to the New York Post.

The City Council discovered this shocking amount of potential waste during a meeting Wednesday. And while it sounds good to spend heavily on a mental health initiative, it appears that nobody has noticed any real benefits from that investment.

Perhaps NYC would have been better off spending that money bolstering their police.

So far in 2019, the murder rate in the city is up 37 percent compared to last year.

New York City is a total mess, and now AOC wants to make the entire nation just like it.

But AOC is far more ambitious than your typical tax and spend liberal.  She wants to take government spending to crazy new levels that nobody has ever seen before.

For example, one new study has determined that AOC’s “Green New Deal” would cost U.S. taxpayers approximately 93 trillion dollars.  The following comes from Fox News

The sweeping “Green New Deal” proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., could cost as much as $93 trillion, or approximately $600,000 per household, according to a new study co-authored by the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The sobering and staggering cost estimate came as Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris pointedly declined in an interview broadcast Sunday to put a price tag on the Green New Deal and “Medicare-for-all,” saying “it’s not about a cost,” but rather return on investment. The Green New Deal’s botched rollout included the release of an official document by Ocasio-Cortez’s office that promised economic security even for those “unwilling to work,” and called for the elimination of “farting cows” and air travel.

To put that number in perspective, U.S. GDP is about 19 trillion dollars a year, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at just over 22 trillion dollars right now.

It is easy to attack AOC, because she is the perfect member of Congress for the “idiocracy” that America has become.

She literally doesn’t know what she is talking about on just about any issue that you could possibly name, but the people of her district decided to send her to Washington anyway.  And the frightening thing is that there are quite a few other new members of Congress that are even worse than her.

But as bad as AOC is, I have to give her credit for one thing.

At least she is willing to stand up and fight for what she believes.

If you regularly follow my work, you already know that I can’t stand the “seat fillers” in Washington that are interested in little more than protecting their political careers at all costs.  They never make any waves, they never fight for anything important, and they spend most of their time raising money for the next campaign.

Because if you do stick your neck out in Washington, very powerful people will likely bring the hammer down on you, and that is something that AOC is finding out right now

Two political action committees founded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s top aide funneled over $1 million in political donations into two of his own private companies, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.

The cash transfers from the PACs — overseen by Saikat Chakrabarti, the freshman socialist Democrat’s chief of staff — run counter to her pledges to increase transparency and reduce the influence of “dark money” in politics.

Chakrabarti’s companies appear to have been set up for the sole purpose of obscuring how the political donations were used.

Of course, the truth is that just about every member of Congress is deeply corrupt and should be kicked out of office.

But until the American people wake up and decide to take their government back, this is what we are stuck with, and that is a very depressing reality.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Rural Sheriff Encourages Citizens: “Lock Your Doors, Load Your Guns & Get You A Barking, Biting Dog”

Is this a sign of what is coming for the rest of the nation?  In Martin County, Kentucky times are very tough right now.  Thanks to severe budget cutbacks, there are only two paid law enforcement officers covering a deeply impoverished 231-square-mile area that sits right in the heart of America’s raging opioid crisis.  Needless to say, Martin County Sheriff John Kirk feels greatly outnumbered by the thieves, sexual predators and drug dealers that he has to contend with on a daily basis, and he recently issued a very ominous warning to the citizens of his county

Before making a wave of cutbacks across his department, Martin County Sheriff John Kirk delivered a grim warning to residents of this hardscrabble Appalachian community.

“Law enforcement as we have known for the last four years will not exist,” he posted on Facebook last month. “WE ARE BROKE… LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOAD YOUR GUNS AND GET YOU A BARKING, BITING DOG. If the Sheriff’s office can’t protect you, WHO WILL?”

So why can’t Martin County afford more law enforcement officers?

Well, like so many other local communities all across America right now, they are deep in debt and flat broke

The county has accumulated $1.4 million in debt — a surprise to many of its new officials.

“I don’t sleep well,” said Susan Hale, the county’s new treasurer, who is sifting through the bills left by the previous administration: $230,000 to a regional jail that houses its inmates, $140,000 to a state association that provides liability insurance, plus dribs and drabs for mundane items such as office supplies and toilet paper.

As economic conditions continue to deteriorate, we are going to hear a lot more stories like this all over the country.

And the truth is that things will ultimately be far worse in our major cities than in our rural areas.

Just take a look at Chicago.  Today it is a war zone, and the growing poverty in the city has fueled the rapid growth of criminal gangs.

According to a study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, approximately half of the city was considered to be “middle income” in 1970, but now that number has dropped to just 16 percent

UIC’s maps show that fully half of the city was middle income in 1970, including large swaths on every side of town. Today, just 16 percent of the city’s 797 census tracts are considered middle income. Those middle income areas are confined mostly to the corners of the city, and to thin strips between areas of wealth and poverty.

Those numbers are absolutely staggering.

Right now, there are about 12,000 law enforcement officers and more than 100,000 gang members in the city of Chicago.

That means that the gang members outnumber the police by an almost 10 to 1 margin.

Things are not quite as bad in other major cities, but trouble is definitely brewing.  For example, the murder rate in New York City is up 37 percent so far this year, and more gang members are moving in with each passing day.

Philadelphia has also seen the murder rate rise substantially, and this is something that Jim Quinn commented on in his most recent article

Facts are always inconvenient to welfare state Democrats, but the ignorance of their constituents is what keeps them in power. The narrative of Philadelphia getting safer is obliterated by the 351 murders in 2018, up 43% since 2013, and the highest level since 2007.

Assaults involving a gun totaled 2,327, up 13% since 2014. There were over 14,000 violent crimes and 63,000 robberies and thefts in 2018. The vast majority of these crimes occur in West and North Philadelphia, as local news stories lead with multiple murders and shootings every night (average of 4 shootings per day).

If things are this bad already, what are things going to look like when economic conditions get really bad?

We live at a time when Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic.  And even though economic conditions have been relatively stable in recent years, the combined national death rate from alcohol, drugs and suicide has been steadily rising

Feelings of hopelessness and despair are overwhelming many in the U.S. So much so, that people are turning to alcohol, drugs, and suicide to numb the pain of their lives. Government enslavement and the stranglehold on the economy are making life even more difficult on those already struggling to get by. And this is seen in new death numbers released.

The national rate for deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide rose from 43.9 to 46.6 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017, a 6 percent increase, the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust reported Tuesday. That was a slower increase than in the previous two years, but it was greater than the 4 percent average annual increase since 1999, reported USA Today.

The big reason why people are turning to alcohol, drugs and suicide to deal with the pain in their lives is because they don’t have any hope.  And as this country continues to literally fall apart all around us, unfortunately, a lot more Americans are likely to give in to anxiety, depression and despair.

If we want to turn this nation around, we need to act now.

Illegal immigration has been one of the biggest factors behind the explosive growth of gang violence in America, and a new report in the Washington Times is telling us that the number of people trying to come across our borders illegally is currently at an all-time record high…

Illegal immigration continues to break records on the southwestern border — and they’re not good ones.

The number of families snared trying to sneak into the U.S. soared by 50 percent in one month alone, setting an all-time record with more than 36,000 family members apprehended, Homeland Security officials announced Tuesday.

The government has also encountered some 70 groups of at least 100 migrants during the first five months of the fiscal year, shattering records and placing new challenges on Border Patrol agents.

Bad choices lead to bad consequences, and we have been making really bad choices for a very long time.

If we are not able to reverse course as a nation, you may want to take Sheriff Kirk’s advice and “lock your doors, load your guns and get you a barking, biting dog”…

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Amazon Offers Copies Of “The Mueller Report” For PreOrder

Can this possibly be legal?  Somebody apparently thinks so, because copies of the Mueller report are being offered for sale online right now, and according to the pre-order announcement the release date is going to be “March 26”.  As a former attorney, I have no idea how anyone can legally do this.  As I have documented previously, when Mueller is done with his report he is supposed to submit it to Attorney General William Barr, and then it will be up to Barr to determine how much of the report, if any, will be made available to the public.  I suppose that it is possible that Barr has already agreed to release the full report to the public at the end of this month, but I find it difficult to believe that it would have been kept so quiet.  To me, something is not right about all of this.

Earlier today, I was shocked to hear that the Mueller Report was being offered for sale online, and so I decided to check it out for myself.

And sure enough, you can find it listed on Amazon.com for $9.37 right here.  “Robert S. Mueller III” is listed as an author, “Special Counsel’s Office U.S. Department of Justice” is listed as an author, and the listing tells us that the introduction will be written by attorney Alan Dershowitz.

So has Dershowitz already seen the report?  If not, did he write his introduction without access to it?

And as I noted earlier, a March 26th release date is listed for this report.  That is a major bombshell, because it appears to confirm that the Mueller Report is officially coming out this month.

In fact, the description for the book tells us that the report has been completed and has already been submitted to Attorney General William Barr…

Now, the wait is over. Mueller, a lifelong Republican, has concluded his investigation and submitted its findings to Attorney General William Barr. The Mueller investigation will join Watergate, and the Mueller Report will join the 9/11 Commission Report, the Warren Report, and the Starr Report, as one of the most important in history.

And the description for the book also contains another bombshell.  It actually says that the Democrats hope to use this report “to begin impeachment proceedings”

Democrats in the US House of Representatives hope to use the report to begin impeachment proceedings, with the support of those critical of the president. Media tracks Mueller’s every move, and the investigation has been subject to constant speculation by political pundits everywhere. It has resulted in the indictments of Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and many others.

If those statements are not accurate, then somebody is committing fraud, and there could be serious legal repercussions.

And this isn’t the only copy of the report that is for sale.

The Washington Post also has copies of the Mueller Report available for sale online, and once again the release date is listed as “March 26”.

So that means that somebody told the Washington Post in advance when the report was going to come out.

Here is an excerpt from the description of the Post’s book

Read the findings of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, complete with accompanying analysis by the Post reporters who’ve covered the story from the beginning.

This edition from The Washington Post/Scribner contains:

—The long-awaited report

An introduction by The Washington Post titled “A President, a Prosecutor, and the Protection of American Democracy”

A timeline of the major events of the Special Counsel’s investigation from May 2017, when Robert Mueller was appointed, to the present day

A guide to individuals involved, including in the Special Counsel’s Office, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Trump Campaign, the White House, the Trump legal defense team, and the Russians

Key documents in the Special Counsel’s investigation, including filings pertaining to General Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, and the Russian internet operation in St. Petersburg. Each document is introduced and explained by Washington Post reporters.

A lot more appears to have been going on behind the scenes than we have been told.

Because according to the New York Times, Attorney General William Barr is supposed to have the final say about how much of the report will be released to the public…

But there is no guarantee that the public will ever see that full report. The special counsel regulations say that Mr. Mueller must submit a confidential report outlining his prosecutorial decisions to the attorney general, William P. Barr, and that the attorney general must then send a summary of that work to Congress.

The regulations leave Mr. Barr considerable flexibility as to how much detail he provides to Congress and the public, discretion that was built into the regulations in response to the independent counsel Ken Starr’s decision to give Congress a lengthy — and, critics said, salacious — report on his investigation into President Bill Clinton’s sexual relationship with a young White House intern.

If Barr decided that the entire report should be kept from the public, then there wouldn’t be any books to sell.

So either that determination has already been made, or somebody is really jumping the gun here.

And if the full report is going to be made available to the public, needless to say, President Trump will not be pleased unless it completely and totally exonerates him.

Speaking of President Trump, I wonder if he knows that the Mueller Report is already being offered for sale on Amazon?  I doubt it because I am sure that he would have tweeted about it by now.

This is huge news, and I have a feeling that all hell is about to break loose in Washington.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Denver Airport Installs Talking Gargoyle That Says “Welcome To The Illuminati Headquarters, I mean, Denver International Airport!”

Denver International Airport has just installed a brand new animatronic talking gargoyle statue that is making fun of the “conspiracy theories” about the airport.  As you can see in this video, the animatronic statue is incredibly lifelike, and it must have cost a fortune to create.  The airport claims that the goal is to get more people to travel through Denver, but the truth is that when you are booking a flight there really isn’t much choice.  Denver is one of the main national hubs for air traffic, and I have personally changed plans there countless times.  Nobody is going to add extra time to their flight plans just to go through Denver if they don’t need to do so.  In the end, this sort of promotion is very funny, but it isn’t going to change consumer behavior.  So is there something else going on?  Could it be possible that they are attempting to use humor to mask what is really going on at the airport?

Needless to say, a lot of travelers are absolutely stunned when this gargoyle statue suddenly comes to life and starts chatting with them.  The following comes from Fox News

On Thursday, reps for DEN unveiled the chatty creature, perched in the main terminal, in honor of the airport’s 24th year in operation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The airport shared video footage of the eloquent gargoyle surprising passersby to YouTube, where it has since gone viral with over 70,000 views.

“Welcome to the Illuminati Headquarters, I mean, Denver International Airport!” the gargoyle exclaims, shocking travelers.

“You know, you can actually put the phone down and have a conversation with me,” the creature – which claims to be 243 years old – chides a “millennial” on their cell phone.

The video now has well over 200,000 views and if you have not seen it yet you can find it right here.

As funny as that talking gargoyle is, let us not forget that there are some legitimate mysteries surrounding this airport.  The following comes from an article by Stefan Stanford

While the entire island of Manhattan, one of the most densely populated cities in the country and home to more than 1.6 million people, sits on 22.82 square miles of land, the Denver International Airport itself is more than twice the size of Manhattan island at 54.05 square miles. In fact, as the Denver Channel reports, the DIA is also bigger than the cities of San Francisco and Miami as well. All that size just for an airport?

Easily the largest airport in America and by far, dwarfing its nearest competition at Chicago’s O’Hare, Atlanta’s Hartsfield and New York’s JFK by some 25,000 acres, DIA has also long been in the public’s eye as potentially being much more than just an airport.

Containing swastika shaped runways, apocalyptic, end-of-the-world artwork throughout the airport, infamous construction problems which delayed the opening of the airport for years, gargoyles sitting within suitcases on the walls and the demonic blue horse that sits outside of the airport nicknamed ‘Blucifer’ due to its haunting red eye, that ‘piece of art’ actually fell upon and killed the artist who was creating it being just a few of the very incredibly strange things and events surrounding this airport.

And as this October of 2016 story over at the Denver Post reports, due to the mysterious time capsule ‘capstone’ that sits at the airport which references a “New World Airport Commission”, something that doesn’t even exist, the mystery surrounding the airport continues to grow.

And on top of everything else, now they have given us a talking gargoyle.

I don’t know if we’ll ever get the full truth about Denver International Airport, but there are legitimate questions that need to be answered, and right now all they are giving us is humorous distractions.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

18 Really Big Numbers Show US Economy Quickly Starting To Fall Apart

Virtually every piece of hard economic data is telling us that the U.S. economy is slowing down dramatically.  Many of the pundits have been warning that we could officially enter recession territory later this year or next year, but these numbers seem to indicate that it could happen a whole lot sooner than that.  But the stock market has been surging over the last two months, and at this point, stocks are off to their best start to a year since 1987, and as long as stock prices are rising a lot of people are simply not going to pay much attention to the economic alarm bells that are ringing.  But everyone should be paying attention because things are really starting to get bad out there.  The following are 18 really big numbers that show that the U.S. economy is starting to fall apart very rapidly…

#1 Farm loan delinquencies just hit the highest level that we have seen in 9 years.

#2 We just learned that U.S. exports declined by 4 billion dollars during the month of December.

#3 J.C. Penney just announced that they will be closing another 24 stores.

#4 Victoria’s Secret has just announced plans to close 53 stores.

#5 On Thursday, Gap announced that it will be closing 230 stores over the next two years.

#6 Payless ShoeSource has declared bankruptcy and is closing all 2,100 stores.

#7 Tesla is also closing all of their physical sales locations and will now only sell vehicles online.

#8 PepsiCo has started laying off workers and has committed to “millions of dollars in severance pay”.

#9 The Baltic Dry Index has dropped to the lowest level in more than two years.

#10 This is the worst slump for core U.S. factory orders in three years.

#11 We just witnessed the largest decline in the Philly Fed Business Index in more than 7 years.

#12 In January, sales of existing homes fell 8.9 percent from a year earlier.  That was the third month in a row that we have seen a decline of at least 8 percent.  This is an absolutely catastrophic trend for the real estate industry.

#13 U.S. housing starts were down 11.2 percent in December compared to the previous month.

#14 Compared to a year earlier, home sales in southern California were down 17 percent in January.

#15 In December, home sales in Sacramento County fell a whopping 22.5 percent compared to a year earlier.

#16 Pending home sales in the United States have now fallen on a year over year basis for 13 months in a row.

#17 More than 166 billion dollars in student loan debt is now “seriously delinquent”.  That is an all-time record.

#18 More than 7 million Americans are behind on their auto loan payments.  That is also a new all-time record, and it is far higher than anything that we witnessed during the last recession.

It appears that “the recovery” has finally come to an end.  After seeing all of those numbers, there is no way that anyone can possibly claim that economic conditions are “getting better”.

And even though the official government numbers are highly manipulated, we never even had one “boom year” throughout the entire “recovery”.

The final numbers for 2018 are now in, and last year was the 13th year in a row when U.S. GDP growth was below 3 percent.

The last time we had a “boom year” when economic growth was above 3 percent was all the way back in 2005.  That was in the middle of the Bush administration.

We have never seen a bad streak like this before in modern American history.  The following comes from CNS News

But prior to the current 13-year period when real GDP has failed to grow by 3.0 percent in any year, there has been no stretch (in the years since 1930) when the United States went as long as five straight years with real GDP failing to grow by at least 3 percent.

Even though the Federal Reserve pumped trillions of dollars into the financial system over the last decade, and even though we added nearly 12 trillion dollars to the national debt, the best that the authorities have been able to do is to stabilize the system for a while.  Now it is starting to sputter once again, and many believe that the next crisis will be far worse than the last one.

By contrast, the Great Depression of the 1930s featured some really bad years, but following those bad years, the U.S. experienced a tremendous economic boom

By contrast, after the stock market crash in 1929, the United States saw four years of negative annual GDP—1930 (-8.5), 1931 (-6.4), 1932 (-12.9) and 1933 (-1.2). But then in the nine full years from 1934 through 1942, real GDP grew by an average of 9.75 percent.

We should have had some boom years too, but we didn’t, and now things are going to get bad again.

The Democrats are going to blame the Republicans and the Republicans are going to blame the Democrats, but all of that arguing isn’t going to solve anything.

What is coming next has been a central focus of my work for a very long time.  The last recession was very painful, but it did not fundamentally alter life in America.

This next crisis will.

The “Everything Bubble” is bursting, the “Perfect Storm” is coming, and all of our lives will never be the same again.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t hope.  In fact, once things really start getting crazy hope is going to be one of the major themes in my work because people are really going to need it.

There will be great challenges, and life will be very different, but that doesn’t mean that life is over.

America is about to experience the consequences of decades of exceedingly foolish decisions, and the pain will be extreme.  But difficult times also offer an opportunity for dramatic change, and that is something that we will need to embrace.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Airstrikes, Tanks Heading To The Border And Planes Shot Down – India And Pakistan Are In A State Of War

War has erupted in Asia.  India is the second largest country in the world by population, and Pakistan is the fifth largest, and they both possess large nuclear arsenals.  If this conflict continues to escalate, things could get really, really bad very quickly.  On Wednesday, military aircraft were shot down by both sides, there was shelling across the border by both armies, and in recent hours videos have been posted of Pakistani tanks and Indian tanks both heading to the border.  Once one army crosses the “Line of Control”, it is going to be very difficult to get the two sides to sit down at the negotiating table.  War is one of the elements of “the perfect storm” that I have been warning you about, and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of the conflict that we are going to see in 2019.

The Pakistani military was greatly embarrassed by the successful Indian airstrikes on Monday, and on Tuesday military aircraft from both sides were shot down

Earlier today Pakistan and India said they had shot down each other’s warplanes, in a dramatic escalation of the dangerous confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan said it downed two Indian jets in its airspace and captured two pilots, later amended to one: whom they then seemingly paraded – blindfolded and bloodied – for the camera.

On Tuesday evening, Islamabad used heavy calibre artillery to shell 12 to 15 places along the Indian side creating panic among the populace on the border where bunkers are being hastily thrown up to ease their fears.

When the Indian pilot that was shot down was discovered by locals in Pakistan, they started beating the living daylights out of him.  The following comes from the Mirror

The brief clip shows the cameraman approach a group of people huddled around the stricken pilot in what appears to be a small creek.

The pilot, whose arms are being held above his head, is struck in the face twice before being kicked in the back of the head, with someone behind him appearing to attempt to knee him.

The Pakistani military was able to rescue the pilot from the locals, and they are now holding him in a detention facility.

In addition to airstrikes, it is being reported that both armies “have been shelling across the LoC (Line of Control)”.  Needless to say, a lot of civilians that live along the border are really freaked out, and on the Indian side of the border a total of 14,000 bunkers are hastily being constructed to give concerned citizens some shelter.

Most westerners don’t really think of India and Pakistan as prominent global military powers, but the truth is that they both have very large standing armies.  And at this point, India is allocating even more money than the UK toward military spending…

India, home to 1.3 billion people, has a conventional army of about 1.4 million soldiers. Pakistan, with a population of over 200 million people, has about 650,000 troops. Both countries have spent billions developing conventional arms. Last year, Pakistan spent about $11 billion or about 3.6 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. India meanwhile allocated about $58 billion, or 2.1 percent of its GDP on defense, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. India’s ballooning military spending has propelled it to the world’s fifth-biggest defense spender, surpassing the United Kingdom, according to the IISS.

But the big concern is that this crisis could go nuclear.

If India and Pakistan fought a war and it stayed strictly conventional, the rest of the world would probably not be affected too much.

However, it is being reported that India and Pakistan both “possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each”, and if such weapons are actually used the global impact would be “devastating”…

Both India and Pakistan are believed to possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each and have conducted atomic weapon tests. Both countries have test-fired nuclear-capable missiles. Pakistan also has refused to renounce a first-strike option with its atomic bombs should it feel outgunned in a conventional war. It takes less than four minutes for a missile fired from Pakistan to reach India. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warns that “computer models have predicted that the physical impacts of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, or even a single strike on a large city, would be devastating and would reverberate throughout the world.”

Approximately one out of every five people on the entire planet lives in either India or Pakistan.

So the death toll in a nuclear conflict between these two nations could result in a death toll that would be unimaginable.

And let us not forget that it looks like the U.S. is about to enter another new war as well.  In an article that I posted yesterday, I discussed the fact that Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has just accused the United States of shipping troops to Colombia and Puerto Rico in preparation for an invasion of Venezuela.  China has come out very strongly against western military intervention in Venezuela, and the Russians already have special forces there.

If someone makes the wrong move, it could end up sparking World War 3.

We are living in one of the most pivotal times in all of human history, and most people don’t even realize it.

If India backs down, Pakistan will probably be willing to go to the negotiating table.  But if India’s tanks cross the Line of Control, Pakistan may feel forced to resort to using nukes because they can’t match India’s military strength, and then all hell could break loose.

Similarly, if the U.S. backs down and doesn’t arm the opposition in Venezuela, there probably won’t be a bloody war in that nation.  But if the U.S. arms the opposition and decides to invade on top of that, it is going to unleash a series of negative consequences that we will not be able to control.

Critical decisions are being made right now that are going to greatly alter our future, and let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

What Does Planned Parenthood Do With Babies That Survive Abortions? They “Break Its Neck”

What I am about to share with you is absolutely sickening.  But if we do not shine a light on these practices, they will never stop.  And once you learn what is really going on behind the scenes, you have a responsibility to help do something about it.  Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, more than 60 million children have been murdered by abortionists in America.  Future generations will not look back on this time in history with fond memories.  Instead, they will look back with horror at a generation that committed evil on an unprecedented scale.

Abortion is murder, but sometimes babies survive the abortion attempt.

So what happens to those babies that are born alive?

Well, one Planned Parenthood “doctor” in Minnesota recently admitted that if a baby is born alive, “most likely we would break the baby’s neck”

The unnamed patient shared her horrifying experience with Pro-Life Action Ministries. She was 22 weeks pregnant when she went to a Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, Minnesota for an abortion in 2017, but she said she chose life after hearing what the abortionists would do to her son.

The woman said she asked the two abortionists, “If you guys were to take him out right now while he’s still, his heart rate is still, you know, going, what would you guys do?”

She said one of the abortionists looked at the other one, then looked back at her, “and she told me that we don’t tell women this, and a lot of women don’t even ask this question, but if we was to proceed with the abortion and the baby was to come out still alive and active, most likely we would break the baby’s neck.”

I don’t even have the words to describe how sickening this is.

You can learn much more about the investigation that uncovered this right here.  We must shine a light on these absolutely wicked people, otherwise they will just keep on killing.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate considered a bill that would have ended this practice, but Democrats were able to successfully block it

Senate Democrats on Monday blocked a Republican bill that would have threatened prison time for doctors who don’t try saving the life of infants born alive during failed abortions, leading conservatives to wonder openly whether Democrats were embracing “infanticide” to appeal to left-wing voters.

All prominent Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls in the Senate voted down the measure, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The final vote was 53-44 to end Democratic delaying tactics — seven votes short of the 60 needed.

One of the Senate Democrats that voted to block this bill could potentially become our next president.

Thankfully, we currently have a president that was supportive of the bill, and he is greatly disturbed that Democrats apparently “don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth”

In response, President Trump tweeted late Monday that “This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress.”

“Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children,” Trump wrote. “The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.”

Following the abortion procedure, organs are usually harvested from the children and are sold off to the highest bidder.

A lot of these harvested organs end up being sold to researchers who use them in some of the strangest “scientific experiments” imaginable.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Aborted Baby Parts Are Being Grafted On To Mice In Bizarre Scientific Experiments – And The U.S. Government Is Paying For It”.

The number one funding source for Planned Parenthood is the U.S. government.  Every year, the U.S. government gives Planned Parenthood more than 500 million dollars a year.  If the U.S. government did not give them any money, Planned Parenthood clinics all over the country would start closing down and the organization would only be a shell of what it is today.

For decades, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have been passing budgets that contain funding for Planned Parenthood, and presidents have been signing those budgets into law.  This has been true no matter what party has had the upper hand in Washington.

To me, you cannot be pro-life and vote for funding for Planned Parenthood.  When I ran for Congress, I pledged that I would never, ever vote for any bill that contained any funding whatsoever for Planned Parenthood.

If we cut off the funding, Planned Parenthood would be crippled.  Perhaps someday enough people will care about abortion that we will be able to get pro-life activists such as myself sent to Washington.

But for the moment, the general public seems to like things just the way that they are.  According to one recent survey, a solid majority of the population wants to keep Roe v. Wade in place…

And when asked about their familiarity with the most famous of abortion cases, Roe v. Wade, just under half (48 percent) say they are “extremely” or “very” familiar with the ruling while the exact same number are “somewhat” or “not at all” familiar.

Moreover, 57 percent of voters say the Supreme Court should let the 46-year old ruling stand; that number jumps to 68 percent among those who are familiar with the case.

As I close this article, let me ask you a question.

What does a society that has murdered 60 million children deserve?

If we do not change our ways, we will eventually get exactly what we deserve as a nation, and it will be absolutely horrifying.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

World War? India Just Bombed Pakistan – Russia Accuses US Of Preparing To Invade Venezuela

One country with a large nuclear arsenal just bombed another country with a large nuclear arsenal, and the mainstream media in the United States barely reported on it.  And the mainstream media also almost entirely ignored the fact that Russia just publicly accused the United States of preparing to invade Venezuela.  Could it be possible that the relative peace and stability that the globe has been experiencing is about to be greatly shaken?  Even though I warned about a potential conflict between India and Pakistan just a few days ago, I was stunned when I found out that India had just bombed Pakistan for the first time in more than 40 years

On Tuesday morning, India launched an airstrike on Pakistani territory, reportedly targeting a militant training facility. The airstrike was in retaliation for a suicide bombattack that killed dozens of Indian troops in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, a disputed border region, earlier this month.

India blamed Pakistan for the suicide attack, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to “avenge every tear that was shed” for the victims. That vengeance came on Tuesday in the form of an airstrike — the first time India has sent warplanes into Pakistani territory since the 1970s.

The Pakistani military is the most important political entity in that entire nation, and this attack greatly, greatly embarrassed them.  The Pakistani government is promising “to respond” to India’s surprise airstrike, and they have even called a special session of the group “that oversees the country’s nuclear weapons”

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has now promised to respond. Khan also called a special session of the National Command Authority, the Pakistani government arm that oversees the country’s nuclear weapons, according to the New York Times.

In other words, Pakistan is strongly hinting that they could go nuclear as this crisis escalates.

And one expert on the region is entirely convinced that “there will be some form of escalation”

“There will be some form of escalation,” Kamran Bokhari, an expert on Pakistani-Indian relations at the Center for Global Policy with the University of Ottawa told Bloomberg. “Pakistan will have to strike back  I am not saying this will lead to an all out war, but I don’t see that it’s over.”

Let us hope that cooler heads prevail, but right now things are extremely, extremely tense.

And it may already be too late to settle things down.  Following the airstrike, there were reports that the Pakistani military and the Indian military were “exchanging gunfire” along the border between the two nations…

An Indian Defense spokesman says Pakistan and India are exchanging gunfire along the Line of Control. Tensions continue between the two nuclear armed countries.

Most of us in the western world don’t spend too much time thinking about either India or Pakistan, but the truth is that they are both very important.  Approximately one out of every five people on the entire planet lives in one of those two nations, and a nuclear conflict in the region would have enormous consequences for the entire globe.

Meanwhile, the Russians are now publicly accusing the United States of making preparations to invade Venezuela

Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev claims the US is amassing troops near the Venezuelan border ahead of a military operation in the south American country.

US forces have been deployed to “overthrow the lawfully elected incumbent president [of Venezuela] Nicolas Maduro”, he said.

And he didn’t stop with just making a generalized accusation.  Patrushev went on to specifically name the countries where U.S. troops have been deployed

“The transfer of American special forces to Puerto Rico, the landing of US forces in Colombia and other facts clearly indicate that the Pentagon is reinforcing the grouping of troops in the region in order to overthrow the lawfully elected incumbent president Maduro.”

If the Trump administration does ultimately decide to invade Venezuela, we could find ourselves directly fighting Russian troops, because they already have special forces there.

In addition, an invasion of Venezuela would cause our relations with China to deteriorate even further because they have now come out very strongly against military intervention

“China maintains that all countries should abide by the basic principles of international law and international relations, opposes foreign interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, and opposes military intervention in Venezuela,” Ma Zhaoxu, China’s permanent representative to the UN, said at a Security Council meeting on the situation in Venezuela.

The envoy also said China opposes US attempts to offer “humanitarian assistance” to the people of Venezuela, echoing a line used by the Maduro regime that the aid is merely a ploy to try and sow instability in the country.

“China opposes using the issue of so-called humanitarian assistance for political purposes to create disability or even turbulence inside Venezuela and in the neighboring region,” he added.

“This serves no party’s interest,” the ambassador noted.

These are the times that I have been warning about.  All of the elements of “the perfect storm” are coming together, and war is one of those elements.

Let’s keep a close eye on the Middle East as well.  A major regional war could erupt over there at literally any moment.

After so many horrible wars in the past, humanity has still not learned how to live in peace.  And now we possess weapons of mass destruction of immense power, and it is inevitable that those weapons will be used in future conflicts.

The worst wars in human history are ahead of us, and the death and destruction are going to be absolutely unimaginable.

Unfortunately, much of the world seems to be in the mood for war right now, and that is deeply, deeply troubling.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Russian Public Doesn’t View Trump Favorably At All – Russian State Television Advances Nuking Pentagon

U.S. relations with Russia are the worst that they have been since the Cuban missile crisis, and major Russian media outlets are constantly chattering about the possibility of a nuclear war with the United States.  Meanwhile, the left in this country has relentlessly pushed an extremely bizarre fictional narrative in which Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are best buddies.  In fact, just the other day former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe said that it was possible that President Trump is a Russian asset.  You would have to be either a lunatic or a total idiot to believe such a conspiracy theory because there is absolutely no evidence to back it up.  McCabe does not appear to be insane, and so that means that he is probably just completely and utterly incompetent, and it is absolutely frightening that such a man was allowed to run one of our most important law enforcement agencies.

It is true that most Russians preferred Donald Trump in 2016 because there was a widespread belief in Russia that Hillary Clinton was likely to start World War 3.

And if you put up just about any option against “World War 3”, the other option is likely to be more popular every single time.

When Trump entered the White House, the Russian people were hopeful that relations between our two nations would move in a positive direction, but now that hope has just about completely evaporated.  Just check out these numbers

The percentage of Russians who are confident President Trump will “do the right thing regarding world affairs” plummeted over the last year from 53% to 19%, according to Pew’s annual Global Attitudes survey.

In addition, the percentage of Russians that view the U.S. favorably overall has fallen precipitously as well

Trump’s campaign push for warmer ties with Moscow clearly broke through, with 41% of Russians viewing the U.S. favorably in the months after he took office — up from 15% at the end of Barack Obama’s tenure. That number has now fallen to 26%.

In recent years, the mainstream media and both political parties have endlessly demonized the Russians.  Needless to say, this has not gone unnoticed in Russia.  In addition, the economic sanctions that we have slapped on the Russians have been very painful for their economy, and the U.S. role in overthrowing the government in Ukraine five years ago will never be forgotten over there.

The Russian people are constantly mindful of this “new Cold War” with the west, and one recent survey found that 80 percent of all Russians consider NATO to be “a threat” to their nation.

Meanwhile, the way that the American people view Russia is changing as well.  Just check out these survey results

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey online poll found that only 23% see Russia as friendly and only 5% say the nation is “an ally to our country.” More than two-thirds polled said Russia was either unfriendly (43%) or a U.S. enemy (25%).

It would have been nice for there to be positive relations between our two countries, but it looks like that isn’t going to happen.

Here in the United States, the mainstream media and the radical left continually blame Russia for Trump’s victory in 2016.  And in Russia, there is constant talk of a potential war with the United States on state television.  In fact, just the other day they showed a list of targets that Russia would likely strike in the event of a nuclear war…

Russian state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes.

The targets included the Pentagon and the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland.

And just a few days earlier, Vladimir Putin told that press that we could soon be facing a new Cuban missile crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is militarily ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the United States wanted one and threatened to place hypersonic nuclear missiles on ships or submarines near U.S. territorial waters.

If you follow my work on a regular basis, then you know that I am deeply concerned about a potential future conflict with Russia.  Most Americans assume that we have an overwhelmingly powerful strategic nuclear arsenal and that Russia would never dare try anything because they would be nuked into oblivion.

And at one time that was true.

But since the height of the first Cold War, the size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has declined by approximately 95 percent, and we are still using hopelessly outdated technology from the 1960s and 1970s.

Meanwhile, the Russians have been developing cutting edge new weapons systems in anticipation of a coming conflict with the United States, and Putin boasted about some of these new weapons a few days ago

Putin detailed his warning for the first time, saying Russia could deploy hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines which could lurk outside U.S. territorial waters if Washington now moved to deploy intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe.

“(We’re talking about) naval delivery vehicles: submarines or surface ships. And we can put them, given the speed and range (of our missiles)… in neutral waters. Plus they are not stationary, they move and they will have to find them,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript.

“You work it out: Mach nine (the speed of the missiles) and over 1,000 km (their range).”

Russian “black hole submarines” are so incredibly quiet that our military can’t effectively track them.  Someday an entire fleet of them could sneak up to our coastlines and launch a devastating first strike which would begin taking out strategic targets inside the U.S. in less than five minutes.

And since Russia has the most advanced anti-missile systems in the entire world, they could probably easily handle any outdated missiles that we managed to shoot back at them.

The truth is that the Russians now have the strategic advantage, and most Americans have no idea that things have shifted so dramatically.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many of us that are sounding the alarm about this, and so very little is being done to tip the scales back in our favor.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Intel: Multiple Reports Allege Weapons & Ammunition Being Moved Into Position for War With Venezuela

It looks like the war in Venezuela could begin as soon as next month, and it doesn’t appear that there will initially be much opposition to the conflict in the United States.  There is widespread bipartisan support for “regime change” in Venezuela among both Democrats and Republicans, and the mainstream media is clearly willing to go along for the ride.  Donald Trump is now surrounded by extremely hawkish advisers that are very eager to do something about Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and if Trump decides to pull the trigger it is likely that the vast majority of his supporters will fully back the decision.  And at this point most of the other major western nations are also calling for Maduro to go, but Maduro insists that he isn’t going anywhere.  So a peaceful solution to this crisis appears to be out of the question, and that means that war is almost certainly coming.

This weekend was the first step.  If western aid could be forced across the border, it would show that Maduro was losing control of the country.  But if Maduro was able to block the aid that was coming across, that would make him look like a leader that doesn’t care about his people to those in the western world, and sympathetic media reports would help drum up support for war.  Of course by now most of us have seen images of the violence that happened along the border over the weekend, and a lot of blood was needlessly shed.  The following comes from Vox

Starting Friday, violent clashes erupted at several points along Venezuela’s border with Colombia as armed government forces tried to block shipments of aid from entering the country. By the end of Saturday, at least four people had reportedly been killed along that line and along the Latin American country’s border with Brazil; hundreds more were injured. Maduro has insisted that the humanitarian supplies are unnecessary and spent the weekend continuing to celebrate his ongoing rule with his supporters — even as the United States and other international leaders amped up calls for him to step down.

CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are going to endlessly run footage of the violent clashes over the weekend, and this will build support for whatever action is ultimately taken.

During the Bush years, direct military action was the preferred model, and we saw this in Afghanistan and Iraq.  During the Obama years, arming the “resistance” and starting civil wars was the preferred model, and we saw this in Syria and Ukraine.

So what will Trump ultimately decide to do?

Well, the Russians appear to believe that in this case the Obama model will be followed, and they are accusing the United States of making preparations to arm the opposition in Venezuela.  According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, the U.S. has already transported special forces personnel and military equipment “closer to Venezuelan territory”

Zakharova alleged that the US had moved special forces and military equipment ‘closer to Venezuelan territory’ and was considering large-scale weapons purchases to arm the opposition.

Noting that it had been five years since the Ukrainian revolution that ousted a Russian-backed leader – which Moscow has accused the US of orchestrating – Zakharova said Washington was preparing for more regime change in Venezuela.

‘It seems that in Washington there is nothing to mark the fifth anniversary of the coup d’etat in Ukraine, so they decided to hold a new coup d’etat,’ she said.

She also told the press that the U.S. is planning to transfer “a large batch of weapons and ammunition” from an Eastern European nation to those that are ready to fight against Maduro’s government in Venezuela…

“We have evidence that US companies and their NATO allies are working on the issue of acquiring a large batch of weapons and ammunition in an Eastern European country for their subsequent transfer to Venezuelan opposition forces”, she said during the briefing.

If these allegations are true, the United States is about to turn Venezuela into a horrific war zone.

And Zakharova went on to say that “the cargo” is scheduled to arrive in Venezuela “in early March”

“The cargo is set to arrive in Venezuela in early March through a neighboring country on aircraft flown by an international shipping company,” she said.

Could it be possible that everything that the Russians are saying is untrue?

Sure.

But when they publicly call us out on something like this, they usually have their ducks in a row.  And if these allegations are true and the Russians were able to acquire this information somehow, this represents a stunning security failure for the U.S. military.

Of course, a civil war is quite unlikely to be successful in overthrowing Maduro, and it is still possible that President Trump may opt for direct action by the U.S. military.

In fact, it appears that Venezuela’s self-declared “acting president” Juan Guaido could be on the verge of formally asking the U.S. military for help in “the liberation of our homeland”

The threat comes just Guaido announced he would attend a summit of the Lima Group – a meeting of 12 American states which have recognized him as “legitimate” leader of Venezuela.

Crucially, Guaido is to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence at the summit where he will “propose formally to the international community that we should keep open all options for the liberation of our homeland, which is fighting and will continue to fight,” according to a tweeted statement Saturday evening.

If Guaido does officially request U.S. military intervention, it will only be because the U.S. has already assured him that he will get it.

In recent days, President Trump has repeatedly stated that all options are “open” when it comes to Venezuela, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the same thing during an interview with Fox News on Sunday

It appears this weekend’s provocations and border showdown over US aid entering Venezuela were just the beginning. US State Secretary Mike Pompeo discussed the prospect of military action against Caracas on Fox News Sunday, saying the Maduro regime’s days are “numbered” and that “every option” is on the tabletoward making that happen.

Pompeo said the US is “going to do the things that need to be done” and this will not stop until “makes sure” that “there is a brighter future for the people of Venezuela,” which includes continued support for self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido.

There are a few voices on the right and a few voices on the left that are speaking out against war in Venezuela, but right now the overwhelming consensus in Washington is that regime change is necessary.

Needless to say, whenever there is an overwhelming consensus on something in Washington, it is usually a really, really bad idea.

My regular readers already know that I believe that the U.S. should not be “the police of the world”, and that if we are going to ask young American men and women to die it should be for a very, very good reason.

Replacing one socialist leader in Venezuela with a slightly less socialist leader does not qualify.

But the winds of war are now blowing all over the globe, and this is something that I detailed in my recent article entitled “‘Wars And Rumors Of Wars’: The U.S., Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, India And Pakistan All Move Closer To Military Conflict”.

Steve Quayle has noticed all of the war talk as well, and in his most recent alert he called these “very dangerous times”

MANY DIFFERENT AREA’S IN THE WORLD SEEM TO HAVE BEEN KICKED INTO WAR MODE, AT THE FLIP OF THE GLOBALIST SWITCH-KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ESCALATION BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA, AS WELL AS RUSSIA VERSUS THE UKRAINE. BACKROOM TALK OF CUBA BEING PUT ON WAR FOOTING ALSO. PRESIDENT PUTINS ANGER, IS OFF THE CHARTS AND THE WEST IS ABOUT TO INITIATE A SERIE OF EVENTS THAT WILL ESCALATE RAPIDLY-USE TOMORROW TO TOP OFF PREPS JUST IN CASE! RUN THROUGH YOUR LISTS TONIGHT -GOOD TIME TO RUN THROUGH YOUR CHECKLIST-AND CHRISTIANS PRAY AND INTERCEDE WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART-VERY DANGEROUS TIMES

I have written this article with a very heavy heart.  I have a really bad feeling about what is going to happen, and I wish that I could do something to stop it.

Peace is being taken from the Earth, and what is coming next is going to shock all of us.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Mueller Report About To Be Released – Could Unleash Hell All Across America

After two very long years, the Mueller report is finally going to be released, and it could potentially be the spark that unleashes chaos all over the country.  Initially, some in the mainstream media had speculated that the Mueller report could be released this week, but now it is being reported that this probably will not happen.  However, it is expected that the report will almost certainly be handed over at some point in March.  Robert Mueller will submit a private copy of his report to Attorney General William Barr, and then Barr will make a determination about how much of it should be made public.  On Friday, six committee chairs from the House of Representatives sent a stern letter to Barr informing him that they expect as much of the report to be released to the public as possible

Six Democratic House committee chairs urged Barr in a letter Friday to publicize Mueller’s report. The lawmakers also requested that the Justice Department provide parts of the report that are not made public to Congress, and asked that the department explain its reasoning for any redactions.

“We write to you to express, in the strongest possible terms, our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to the public the report Special Counsel Mueller submits to you — without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law,” the committee chairs wrote in the letter. Besides Schiff, the letter was signed by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.).

Needless to say, if Barr attempted to keep all or most of the report private, the Democrats would do everything in their power to change that.  In fact, Adam Schiff is already threatening to sue the Trump administration if that is what it takes…

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that his committee would subpoena special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report and even call him to testify before the committee if the report was not made public, and that he was “absolutely” prepared to sue the Trump administration, if necessary.

“We will obviously subpoena the report. We will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress. We will take it to court if necessary,” Schiff, D-Calif. said Sunday.

In the end, most of the report will ultimately be made public one way or another.  And once the report has been made public, it will be the story that everyone is talking about.

If there is anything in the report that implicates Trump at all, even if it is a very minor thing, Democrats will immediately begin buzzing about impeachment.  Of course, many congressional Democrats have already been openly calling for Trump to be impeached, and that includes Representative Ayanna Pressley

In a wild interview with Boston Public Radio, freshman Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) lambasted President Donald Trump and called for his immediate impeachment from office–while also ripping the president over the crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico and attacking federal law enforcement agencies.

Back in September, Pressley said she would “do whatever we can” to impeach Trump and remove him from office, the local public radio outlet noted, and now she feels the same way as she eagerly anticipates Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. But, she added without knowing what’s in Mueller’s forthcoming report, Trump has “lost all moral authority” to lead the United States of America.

Most ordinary Americans on the left already believe that Trump is a crook that deserves to be impeached, and the release of this report will just add fuel to that fire.

But if Democrats actually make a move to impeach Trump, many of those on the right will regard it as a coup attempt by the deep state and their Democratic allies, and they will be extremely upset.

There will be great anger on both sides, and emotions will be brought to a fever pitch by breathless 24 hour coverage by the major news networks.

One insider that understands what is coming is Steve Bannon.  On Sunday he told CBS News that he believes that 2019 “is going to be the most vitriolic year in American politics since before the Civil War”

Bannon cited the upcoming release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, the investigation of Trump’s businesses from the Southern District of New York attorney’s office, and House Democrats’ plans for probes of the administration as the reason for the forthcoming chaos.

‘I think that 2019 is going to be the most vitriolic year in American politics since before the Civil War,’ Bannon told CBS News in an interview that aired Sunday. ‘And I include Vietnam in that. I think we’re in, I think we’re in for a very nasty 2019.’

And you know what?

He is right.

Bannon is warning that the Democrats “could weaponize the Mueller report”, and he believes that the next several months are “going to be a real meat grinder”

“I think the next 90 days to four months is going to be a real meat grinder … I mean, the pressure on the president is coming from many different angles,” said Bannon – adding “I think you’ve already seen it from what the Democrats, some of these reports they’ve been dropping here without telling anybody. I think that now they control the House they can weaponize this, they could weaponize the Mueller report.”

In the end, the merits of the case that Mueller has put together are going to matter very little.  The Democrats are going to want Trump out, and the Republicans are going to want him to stay, and there is going to be great chaos as a very heated national argument plays out in front of the rest of the world.

Of course, all of this could be avoided if the Mueller report completely exonerates Trump, but that is very unlikely to happen.  Robert Mueller spent an extraordinary amount of time, energy and taxpayer money on this investigation over the past two years, and he is going to want something to show for his efforts.  In some way, shape or form, Trump will be made to appear guilty of something, and that will be all it takes.  The fuse will have been lit, and shortly thereafter we could see great chaos in Washington as both sides angrily contend for what they want to see happen.

I wish that it wasn’t true, but I believe that we are about to witness a very ugly chapter in American history.

And no matter what happens, I don’t know if our political system will ever fully recover from the amount of damage that is about to be done to it.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

US Is 242 Years Old: Average Great Civilization Collapses Is 336 Years

Every great civilization throughout human history has eventually collapsed, and if we want to have any hope of escaping the same fate, we need to be willing to learn some lessons from the past.  Because many of the same factors that caused the collapse of previous civilizations are weighing very heavily on the United States of America today.  According to the BBC, the average lifespan of a great civilization is 336 years from beginning to end.  But that doesn’t mean that America will make it that long.  Our nation is currently 242 years old, and there are signs of advanced social decay all around us.  If we remain on the road that we are currently on, there are many that believe that complete and utter collapse is not too far away.

Ultimately, what does a “society” consist of?

According to Luke Kemp of the University of Cambridge, societies are “just complex systems composed of people and technology”…

Societies of the past and present are just complex systems composed of people and technology. The theory of “normal accidents” suggests that complex technological systems regularly give way to failure. So collapse may be a normal phenomenon for civilisations, regardless of their size and stage.

We may be more technologically advanced now. But this gives little ground to believe that we are immune to the threats that undid our ancestors. Our newfound technological abilities even bring new, unprecedented challenges to the mix.

It is not easy to keep an extremely complex society running, and there have been so many factors that have played a role in collapsing previous civilizations.  War, natural disasters, environmental shifts, social degradation, economic problems and disease are just a few examples.

And as Kemp has pointed out, sometimes societies simply collapse “under the weight of their own accumulated complexity and bureaucracy”

Collapse expert and historian Joseph Tainter has proposed that societies eventually collapse under the weight of their own accumulated complexity and bureaucracy. Societies are problem-solving collectives that grow in complexity in order to overcome new issues. However, the returns from complexity eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. After this point, collapse will eventually ensue.

Even if America wasn’t deteriorating in so many other areas, would our nation eventually collapse under the weight of our own bureaucracy as well?  We have the biggest government in the history of the world, and when you total up all levels of government we literally have millions of laws, rules and regulations governing our lives today.  It is a horrible system, and it is definitely not what our founders intended.  To me, it makes sense that someday it could ultimately collapse as people simply stop believing in it.

In order for a civilization to function smoothly, there must be something that bonds it together.  When the United States was originally established, we were united by a common set of values, but that is no longer true.

Today, America is more divided than it has been in my entire lifetime, and one of the biggest reasons is because there is no agreement about what our values should be.

Personally, I am a strong advocate for returning to the values that our nation was founded upon, and Mac Slavo echoed this sentiment in one of his recent articles

We now have the unique advantage of being able to learn from the wreckages of societies past, but instead of doing so and freeing mankind from government, many who are enslaved continue to push for shorter chains, more violence, control, domination, and theft by the ruling class – not just of themselves, but of all others too. Collapse is imminent in our opinion, as those in control will not willingly give up their stranglehold over the tax cattle slaves.

Unfortunately, many in our society want us to go in the exact opposite direction.

As a result, the fabric of our society is literally coming apart at the seams, and this is something that Jim Quinn commented on in one of his recent articles

Our society is now infinitely more materialistic, narcissistic, and greedy than it was in the 1950s. Moral degeneration has reached new lows, unthinkable during the relatively innocent 1950s. But the common theme is human failings, foibles, and fallacies. Whatever a culture values you get more of. Our culture values achievement, wealth and power, at any cost.

To illustrate his point, Quinn lamented the growing power that “social media influencers” now have in our society

Rather than make up our own minds about what we like, what we wear, where we eat, or what entertainment we enjoy, we need to be influenced into our decisions by famous people who are famous for being famous. These “influencers” generate their influential power through the number of social media followers they have accumulated by posting pictures of themselves in their underwear, leaked sex tapes, nude selfies, or generally being attractive.

Most of them are low IQ mouth breathers who can’t do basic math or write a comprehensible paragraph. But those 36DD breasts and pouty lips classify them as a grade A influencer. I can’t decide whether these narcissistic icons are more pathetic or the feeble-minded wretches who are actually influenced by these vacuous bimbos. Moral degeneration of society seems to have reached a new low.

We truly are becoming a real-life version of “Idiocracy”, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

But I can think of no better example of the decline of our society than Jussie Smollett.

Here is a guy that seemingly had everything.  He was on a hit show, he had lots of money and he had hordes of devoted fans that loved him.

But he threw it all away because he believed that he was entitled to more, and he was willing to do anything to get it.

Apparently, he was not happy that he was making just $65,000 an episode, and so he created one of the most despicable hoaxes in American history in a desperate attempt to get his salary raised.

Piers Morgan has described him as “the most hideous, reprehensible, disgusting, sniveling little liar in America”, and I think that is about right.

But you know what?

He represents the true state of our society better than anyone else that I know.  Just like Smollett, we continue to insist that we are “the good guys”, but in reality our nation has become a cesspool of just about every sort of evil that you can possibly imagine.

If we will change our ways and return to the values that the first Americans embraced, we could turn things around.

But if we continue doing the things that we are currently doing, collapse is inevitable.

And it can happen very quickly.  In 390 AD, the Roman Empire covered nearly 2 million square miles and it seemed unstoppable.

But by 476 AD it was gone.

As many have said, if we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.

Please wake up America.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

The Big Reason Why We Need A Conservative Version Of Social Media Platforms

Editor’s Note:  Well, now you have it!  It’s called USA.LifeClick here to sign up!

Do you remember what television news was like before the Fox News Channel came along?  Everybody pretty much said the same thing, and dissenting opinions on many of the most critical issues were generally not given any air time.  Of course, Fox News is definitely still very much tied into the establishment, but at least they started providing a “Republican” point of view which was a stark contrast to the liberal propaganda that we were constantly being force-fed by the other networks.  And then the social media era arrived, and suddenly everyone had a voice.  For years, we could say pretty much whatever we wanted on the major platforms, and we were generally left alone.  But then the election of 2016 happened, and since that time the social media giants have been cracking down on conservatives with a vengeance.  Yes, once in a while a liberal voice gets “deplatformed” or “shadowbanned” as well, but the truth is that conservatives have overwhelmingly been the targets of this relentless censorship campaign.  That is why we need to create a conservative version of Facebook and other social media platforms.  But instead of censoring liberal viewpoints, we will allow everyone to exercise the right of free speech, and we will let the “marketplace of ideas” determine which viewpoints ultimately triumph.

But liberals are deathly afraid of a free and open “marketplace of ideas”, because their ideas consistently lose.

In a desperate attempt to regain control, they are now taking Internet censorship to an entirely new level.  Instead of just banning individuals, now they want to ban entire viewpoints.

For example, Pinterest has just announced that they are searching for a way to completely remove anti-vaccination content

Pinterest said Wednesday that it would no longer return any search results, including pins and boards, for terms related to vaccinations, whether in favor or against them. It took that step in late 2018 after noticing that the majority of shared images on Pinterest cautioned people against vaccinations, despite medical guidelines demonstrating that most vaccines are safe for most people.

Pinterest told CNBC on Wednesday that it’s been hard to remove this anti-vaccination content entirely, so it put the ban in place until it can figure out a more permanent strategy.

And it is being reported that an effort is being made to get Facebook to do the exact same thing, and I imagine that will be coming in the not too distant future.

But why can’t we debate the safety of vaccines?

When I was growing up, I never imagined that the shots that I was getting could be dangerous.  But when I got older I started hearing lots of horror stories, and after doing an enormous amount of research I discovered that there are some very serious safety issues that need to be addressed.

If only “stupid people” have concerns about vaccines, then why are parents that don’t vaccinate their children generally “better educated” and have a “higher income” then the rest of the population?  The following comes from ABC News

Daniel Salmon, who is the director of the Institute of Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University, said that existing research suggests that there are some common attributes that many parents who choose not to vaccinate their children share.

“They tend to be better educated. They tend to be white, and they tend to be higher income. They tend to have larger families and they tend to use complementary and alternative medicine like chiropractors and naturopaths,” Salmon said.

The safety of the shots that are being given to our children is of the utmost importance, and we should be free to discuss these things.

But these days, anything that does not fit the official liberal narrative is labeled as a “conspiracy theory” or “fake news”, and those labels are being used as an excuse for extreme censorship.  In fact, YouTube has just announced a brand new effort to marginalize “conspiracy videos”

YouTube said on Friday that it would promote fewer videos containing misinformation and conspiracy theories, a potentially significant step to reducing the service’s potential to drive viewers toward extremist content. In a test limited to the United States, the service said it would stop recommending what it calls “borderline content” — videos that come close to violating its community guidelines but stop just short.

While YouTube said the change would affect less than 1 percent of videos that are available on YouTube, the sheer volume of content available on the service suggests the effect could be significant.

And of course, the censorship of individual conservatives just continues to escalate.  Conservative activist Laura Loomer does amazing work, and she never did anything wrong, but she has been “deplatformed” by Twitter, Paypal and Chase Bank because CAIR has engaged in a relentless campaign to shut her up.

Sadly, what we have seen so far is likely just the beginning.  If new EU copyright rules are adopted later this year, it could literally be an apocalypse for free speech on the Internet.  The following comes from the Daily Mail

EU countries have backed an overhaul of the bloc’s copyright rules which would force Google and Facebook to filter out copyright-protected content on their platforms – including YouTube and Instagram – and pay publishers for news snippets.

The proposal, endorsed by EU members states on Wednesday, is unpopular with many Europeans who view it as an attempt to censor the web.

Thousands gathered in Cologne at the weekend to protest against the move, which they say will be a de facto ‘meme ban’ – as the internet jokes are often based on copyrighted images and video.

So what can we do?

When Fox News was first created, many were skeptical that it would survive, but it ultimately became the most popular news channel in America as millions of conservatives flocked to it.  Similarly, we need to create new social media networks that will be “free speech zones” where everyone will be free to share what they think without fear of censorship.

I would create such a network myself, but I don’t have the technical skills.  My talents are in writing, promotion and marketing.  But if enough talented people banded together, I am sure that we could establish something that would be a serious competitor to Facebook and the other social media giants.

We need to do something because if we don’t, the big social media corporations will continue to marginalize us until we are all complete digital outcasts.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

3 Things Trump Just Did That Are Absolutely Confounding Liberal & Conservative Pundits

Editor’s Note:  I’m not confounded.  I’ve been saying it and so have others in this forum that President Trump is controlled opposition.  He says one thing and does another in many respects.  Sadly, many “conservatives” are happier to use him to profit from rather than actually support the Constitution and God’s law.  If you only open your eyes and stop looking through the lens of  “R” and “D,” you will see exactly what I’m talking about.  The first on this list puts America at more of a threat than anything else.  Advocating for what God calls an abomination is simply asking for God to be your greatest enemy, which is the greatest national security threat you can imagine.  Giving nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia is akin to Clinton giving technology to China.  And the claim of Russians in Venezuela is simply another ploy by the swamp creatures Trump put in as advisors, like John Bolton, to get us into another unconstitutional, unlawful war.  If this were Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah, you can bet the “conservative” pundits would be livid, but they won’t be in this case… cause he wears their team’s jersey.

With President Trump, you should always expect the unexpected.  Just when you think that you have Trump all figured out, he will inevitably do something that completely surprises you, and this week there are three items in the news that are perfect examples of this.  Each of these three items is confusing the experts, because in each case Trump is moving in a new direction that seems counter to what he had done previously.

#1 President Trump has just launched a global campaign to legalize homosexuality in every nation on Earth.

Many are stunned that Trump has put the full power of the U.S. government behind an all-out effort to legalize homosexuality worldwide.  According to NBC News, this global campaign will be spearheaded by U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell…

The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it’s still illegal to be gay, U.S. officials tell NBC News, a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

And this could be just the beginning of big things for Grenell, because he is reportedly one of the top choices to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Grenell, known for his hawkish views on national security, is also currently under consideration to be Trump’s ambassador to the U.N., three U.S. officials tell NBC News, after Trump’s previous pick for the job, Heather Nauert, withdrew from consideration over the weekend. Grenell once served as spokesman for the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. when that role was inhabited by John Bolton, who is now Trump’s national security adviser.

Prior to this, most conservative Christians in America had assumed that Trump was on their side on these issues because of previous actions that he had taken

The Trump administration has been criticized by LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) activists in the U.S. for barring transgender volunteers from serving in the U.S. military, and rescinding a policy from the previous administration encouraging special accommodation for transgender students in public schools.

But now Trump has made a major shift, and it will be very interesting to see how conservative Christians respond to this news.

#2 It is being reported that President Trump was rushing to transfer “highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia”.

Previously, it had been assumed that President Trump was against the spread of nuclear technology among the radical Islamic regimes of the Middle East.

But now we are finding out that there apparently has been a major push “to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia”.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

The House Oversight committee now chaired by Democrat Elijah Cummings issued an interim staff report after several whistleblowers came forward “to warn about efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act,” spearheaded by Jared Kushner, according to a press releaseby the House Oversight Committee.

The press release is in conjunction with the announcement of an investigation into the allegations. 

The plan, which reportedly involved former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Kushner and Trump fundraiser Thomas Barrack, would see the development of “dozens of nuclear power plants” in a “Middle East Marshall Plan” through IP3 – a private US company which has “assembled a consortium of US companies to build nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia.

#3 President Trump is accusing Cuba of having troops in Venezuela as he continues to pave the way for a potential war.

In 2016, many in the anti-war community voted for Trump because he promised to bring our troops home and he pledged that the U.S. would not be the police of the world.

But now in 2019 he is moving us dangerously close to a war with Venezuela.  For much more on how we got to this point, please see my previous article entitled “‘All Options Are Open’: Trump Threatens To Use The U.S. Military To Invade Venezuela”.

However, Trump is not just threatening Venezuela at this point.  Now he is accusing Cuba of having troops in the country, and he had some very strong words for them on Tuesday.  The following comes from Reuters

Cuba denied on Tuesday it has security forces in Venezuela and charged the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign of lies paving the way for military intervention in the South American country.

U.S. President Donald Trump and members of the administration have charged that Cuba’s security forces and military control Venezuela’s and that troops are also on the ground there.

If the U.S. invades Venezuela, could it be possible that we will end up in a war with Cuba at the same time?

Such a notion seemed impossible just a few short years ago, but our relations with Cuba are the diplomatic equivalent of a dumpster fire in 2019.

And let us not forget that Russia also has troops in Venezuela.  An invasion of Venezuela could definitely spark a much wider war, and that is something that nobody should want to see.

We live in very troubled times, and I have a feeling that they are about to become much more troubled.  Our world is beginning to spiral out of control, and the decisions that Trump makes in the coming months will have monumental consequences for all of us.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Dr. Michio Kaku Warns Yellowstone Could “Literally Tear The Guts Out Of The United States Of America”

One day it will happen.  Scientists assure us that one day the absolutely massive Yellowstone supervolcano will once again experience a Category 8 eruption, and if it happened today it would “literally tear the guts out of the United States of America”.  That is why what has been happening at Yellowstone in recent months is so alarming.  We know that the ground has been rising and that “a 465-mile-long piece of molten rock” is moving upwards directly under Yellowstone.  And we also know that the major geysers at Yellowstone were more active last year than in any other year in any of our lifetimes.  Are these signs that an eruption is coming?  We better hope not, because as Dr. Michio Kaku recently told Fox News, there is “a sleeping Godzilla underneath Yellowstone”

Dr Kaku told Fox News: “Forget the image of Yogi Bear representing Yellowstone.

We’re talking about a sleeping Godzilla underneath Yellowstone, that if it erupts in a maximum eruption called Category 8, it can literally tear the guts out of the United States of America.

Instead of having 50 states of the Union, we would have 30 states of the Union.

We live at a time when seismic activity has been increasing all over the world, and Yellowstone has also been exhibiting very unusual behavior.

However, Dr. Kaku says that we shouldn’t worry too much, because he believes that we will get warnings about a Yellowstone eruption in advance

“Unlike a meteor from outer space, where you get no warning whatsoever, we get warnings.

“If you see movies like Pompeii, you know that there are days, in fact, weeks of eruptions building up, rumbling inside, underneath the pocket of lava.

“So there would be enough time, several weeks, to begin evacuation if and when such an unlikely event were to take place.”

But what if we have been ignoring the warnings that we have already been getting?

For example, Steamboat geyser erupted more times in 2018 than in any other year in history.  The following comes from National Geographic

The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory reports that Steamboat has now set a record by erupting a whopping 32 times in 2018, a personal best for the geyser for a single calendar year. Previously, this geyser made it as high as 29 paroxysms back in 1964.

Other nearby geysers have also been behaving fairly interestingly of late. Ear Spring Geyser, for example, has been pretty quiet since 1957, but it erupted spectacularly a few months back—and sprayed human garbage from the 1930s everywhere.

Prior to last year, there had not been an eruption of the Steamboat geyser for three and a half years.

In addition, the ground under Yellowstone has been steadily rising for the last few years, and the area was hit by 121 earthquakes in the month of December alone

“In the area of Norris Geyser Basin, GPS data indicate a minor amount of uplift over the past few months, with a total uplift of about 2cm during 2018, also continuing the trend that has been ongoing since 2015.”

In the same Yellowstone update, the USGS revealed a total of 121 earthquakes were recorded in the Yellowstone area in December 2018 alone.

It is indeed possible that when Yellowstone finally erupts that we will get more of a warning than this.

But it is also possible that we will not.

When Yellowstone blows, life as you have known it will instantly be over.  If you are not in the immediate kill zone, you will have an opportunity to try to survive, but it won’t be easy.  One survivalist expert suggests that everyone should “head east as fast as you can”

He added: “Zone one, which is a radius of 100 miles, could see 70,000 people die instantly.

“Zone two, which starts after 100 miles, would be covered in 10ft of volcanic ash at 450C.

“After the second zone, your chances of surviving increase, but still head east as fast as you can.

“Beyond zone six is where you would be the safest in the US for the short term, but the wind will greatly determine where ash falls.”

Personally, I don’t know if that is the best approach.  The roads will be absolutely clogged, and there is no way that you are going to outrun the volcanic ash.  If you get completely buried in volcanic ash in your vehicle, it will all be over.

Of course, the truth is that if Yellowstone experiences a Category 8 eruption most Americans will eventually die no matter what they do.  The following is an extended excerpt from one of my previous articles

Hundreds of cubic miles of ash, rock and lava would be blasted into the atmosphere, and this would likely plunge much of the northern hemisphere into several days of complete darkness. Virtually everything within 100 miles of Yellowstone would be immediately killed, but a much more cruel fate would befall those that live in major cities outside of the immediate blast zone such as Salt Lake City and Denver.

Hot volcanic ash, rock and dust would rain down on those cities literally for weeks. In the end, it would be extremely difficult for anyone living in those communities to survive. In fact, it has been estimated that 90 percent of all people living within 600 miles of Yellowstone would be killed.

Experts project that such an eruption would dump a layer of volcanic ash that is at least 10 feet deep up to 1,000 miles away, and approximately two-thirds of the United States would suddenly become uninhabitable. The volcanic ash would severely contaminate most of our water supplies, and growing food in the middle of the country would become next to impossible.

In other words, it would be the end of our country as we know it today.

The rest of the planet, and this would especially be true for the northern hemisphere, would experience what is known as a “nuclear winter”. An extreme period of “global cooling” would take place, and temperatures around the world would fall by up to 20 degrees. Crops would fail all over the planet, and severe famine would sweep the globe.

In the end, billions could die.

Let us hope and pray that nothing like this happens any time soon.  Those of you that regularly follow my work already know that I am far more concerned about an eruption of Mt. Rainier, and we should also keep a very, very close eye on Mt. Fuji in Japan.

As our planet becomes increasingly unstable, there will be unprecedented natural disasters in the years ahead, and multitudes of people will die in those disasters.

Unfortunately, most of the “experts” continue to assure the public that everything is going to be “just fine”, but meanwhile the shaking of our planet just continues to get even worse with each passing year.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

“All Options Are Open”: Trump Threatens To Use US Military To Invade Venezuela

We are getting dangerously close to war with Venezuela.  Last month, 35-year-old Juan Guaido declared himself to be the new president of Venezuela, and since that time 50 countries have recognized him as the legitimate leader of the country.  But Russia, China and much of the rest of the world still recognizes Nicolas Maduro, and Maduro is absolutely determined to remain in power.  The Venezuelan military appears to be fully backing Maduro, and that is going to make it extremely difficult to remove him.  On Monday, President Trump ramped up pressure on Maduro by telling the world that “all options are open” when it comes to regime change in Venezuela…

“We know who they are and we know where they keep the billions of dollars they have stolen,” Trump said, warning Venezuelan military officials who continue to back Maduro that they are “risking their future.”

“We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open,” Trump said.

Those are very ominous words, and I want you to consider the implications of those words very carefully.

Of course, the White House would gladly welcome a peaceful resolution that would remove Maduro from power, but that is very unlikely to happen.

So that means either Trump is going to have to back down and allow Maduro to stay in power, or else opt for a military option.

And as we have seen in the past, other nations may participate in a “coalition” to remove Maduro, but ultimately the heavy lifting would be done by the U.S. military.

The Venezuelan military is no match for the U.S., but it is no pushover either.  It would take much more than dropping some bombs to get rid of Maduro and his government, and so what we are really talking about is a potential U.S. invasion of Venezuela.  It would be a horrible, bloody conflict, and even after the U.S. had secured the major cities, socialist forces would keep on fighting back for endless years to come.  That means that we would have to keep troops there indefinitely, and it would almost certainly become another quagmire like we witnessed in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

And for what?  Just so that we can put in a new puppet government that is slightly less socialist and that will play along better with the rest of the global establishment?

Also, if we invade Venezuela we could find ourselves in direct conflict with Russian forces because they are already there

The arrival of 400 Russian military contractors after Mr. Trump’s Jan. 23 recognition of Mr. Guaido, the head of the National Assembly, triggered speculation that Moscowwas reinforcing Mr. Maduro’s personal security or even preparing his evacuation.

But with Mr. Maduro defying calls to step down, the Russian mission may be more extensive than reported, said John Marulanda, a U.S.-trained intelligence officer and adviser to conservative Colombian President Ivan Duque, an opponent of Mr. Maduro. Mr. Marulanda said the recent Russian arrivals are special forces — Spetsnaz — who are being embedded among Venezuela’s elite military units to better resist any U.S. intervention or internal coup against Mr. Maduro.

Do we really want to go head to head with Russian special forces over the political future of Venezuela?

If we are going to ask young American men and women to shed their blood, it had better be for a really, really good reason, and not liking the socialist leader of Venezuela does not qualify.

In the short-term, the focus for the U.S. is going to be on trying to get “humanitarian aid” into Venezuela from neighboring Colombia and elsewhere.

During his speech, Trump admitted that U.S. Air Force cargo planes have been shuttling such aid into Colombia in recent days…

“Two days ago the first US Air Force C-17 landed in Colombia loaded with crucial assistance, including thousands of nutrition kits for little Venezuelan children,” Trump said. “Unfortunately dictator Maduro has blocked this life-saving aid from entering the country. He would rather see his people starve than give them aid.”

“Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot, he is a Cuban puppet,” Trump added.

But of course, the U.S. could have been offering humanitarian aid to Venezuela for many years.  Instead, our brutal sanctions have been crippling their economy and have greatly facilitated this crisis.  Starting on Saturday, a very strong push will be made to “peacefully” bring U.S. aid across the Venezuela border in an all-out effort to make Maduro look bad

The Trump administration and the Venezuelan opposition have staked their plans to weaken President Nicolás Maduro on a climactic moment only days away: On Saturday, they will try to break his blockade of the border with a delivery of food and medication.

The two have set Feb. 23 as the deadline for an ambitious land-and-sea campaign that would bring humanitarian supplies through Colombia, Brazil and the Caribbean and into the hands of thousands of Venezuelans who have suffered the greatest economic collapse the region has faced in generations.

It is exceedingly obvious that Nicolas Maduro is a horrible leader, and everyone knows that he is going to block any U.S. effort to bring anything across the border.

But this isn’t about trying to help the people of Venezuela.  In the end, this stunt is designed to provoke favorable media coverage that will help build public support for war.  During remarks to the press, John Bolton essentially admitted as much

If the Venezuelan military blocks the aid, Mr. Bolton said, the world would see Mr. Maduro’s “true colors,” Mr. Bolton said.

“We hope that the press will be there to see the Maduro loyalists stopping humanitarian assistance from going to the poor people of Venezuela,” Mr. Bolton said. “People want to know why the Venezuelan people are rising up. That act by Maduro would be proof beyond words.”

John Bolton has always been a neocon, and this is straight out of the neocon playbook.

Let us hope that when push comes to shove, President Trump will reject the advice of neocons like Bolton and will decide that invading Venezuela is not the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, there are many in Washington that would like to plunge the world into war, and it would not take much to set off an apocalyptic scenario.  Our world is already teetering on the brink, and it would not be too hard to push us over the edge.

For the moment, Venezuela’s “acting president” Juan Guaido is not formally requesting U.S. military intervention, but he is not ruling it out either

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido refused to rule out on Friday the possibility of authorizing United States intervention to help force President Nicolas Maduro from power and alleviate a humanitarian crisis.

National Assembly leader Guaido told AFP he would do “everything that is necessary… to save human lives,” acknowledging that US intervention is “a very controversial subject.”

After everything that has happened over the past couple of decades, you would think that the American people would be completely and utterly sick and tired of war by now.

There is always a very high price for intervening militarily in other countries, and the price for invading Venezuela would be very high indeed.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

California Nightmare: Over Half The State Wishes They Could Leave

This just shows what can happen when you let crazy people run a state for several decades.  In the 1960s and 1970s, the possibility of moving to the west coast was “the California dream” for millions of young Americans, but now “the California dream” has turned into “the California nightmare”.  According to a brand new survey, 53 percent of those living in California are considering leaving the state, and there are certainly lots of reasons to hit the road and never look back.  The cities are massively overcrowded, California has the worst traffic in the western world, drug use and illegal immigration both fuel an astounding amount of crime, tax rates are horrendous and many of the state politicians appear to literally be insane.  And on top of all that, let us not forget the earthquakes, wildfires and landslides that are constantly making headlines all over the world.  Last year was the worst year for wildfires in California history, and these days it seems like the state is hit by some new crisis every few weeks.

But none of those factors are the primary reason why so many people are eager to leave.

According to a brand new survey by Edelman Intelligence, the main reason why so many are considering leaving the state is the high cost of living

A growing number of Californians are contemplating moving from the state — and not due to wildfires or earthquakes but the sky-high cost of living, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The online survey, conducted last month by Edelman Intelligence, found that 53 percent of Californians surveyed are considering fleeing, representing a jump over the 49 percent polled a year ago. The desire to exit the nation’s most populous state was highest among millennials, the survey noted.

Thanks to absolutely ridiculous construction restrictions, it has become increasingly difficult to build new housing units in the state.  But meanwhile, people from all over the world continue to move there because they are attracted by what they see on television.

As a result, the supply of housing has not kept up with demand, and prices have shot through the roof in recent years.  The following numbers come from CNBC

Statewide, the median home value in California was $547,400 at the end of 2018, while the U.S. median home value was $223,900. By comparison, the median home value in New York state stood at $289,000 and $681,500 in New York City; New Jersey was $324,700.

Yes, there are a lot of good paying jobs in California, but you better have a really, really good job to be able to afford mortgage payments on a home worth half a million dollars.

Of course, many Californians find themselves greatly stretched financially by out of control housing costs, and so more of them than ever are moving in with roommates.  In fact, one recent report found that the number of married couples in the U.S. that are living with roommates “has doubled since 1995”

The number of married couples living with roommates has doubled since 1995, according to a recent report from real estate site Trulia. About 280,000 married people now live with a roommate — and that’s particularly true in pricey cities like those on the West Coast.

The reason: Housing costs a ton. In Honolulu and Orange Country, Calif., the share of married couples with roommates is between four and five times the national rate. San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle also have sky high rates of married couples with roomies. Those same cities all have well above average rental and housing costs (Trulia notes that housing costs in all these markets have risen more than 30% since 2009), with residents of uber-pricey San Francisco requiring more than $123,000 in income to live comfortably, one study showed.

In addition to housing costs, many Californians are greatly frustrated by the oppressive levels of taxation in the state.

At this point, the state has the highest marginal tax rate in the entire country

At 12.3 percent, California led the 50 states in 2018 with the highest top marginal tax rate, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. And that doesn’t include an additional 1-percent surcharge for those Californians with incomes of $1 million or more.

Ouch.

But at least the weather is nice.

Yesterday, I wrote an article entitled “Rats, Public Defecation And Open Drug Use: Our Major Western Cities Are Becoming Uninhabitable Hellholes”, and it sparked something of a firestorm.  More than 1000 comments have already been posted on that article, and a few hearty individuals actually tried to convince the rest of us that life on the west coast is not actually all that bad.

I’m sorry, but if your city has far more intravenous drug users than it does high school students, that is not somewhere that I would want to raise a family

According to a report from the Chronicle, San Francisco now has more intravenous drug users than high school students. San Francisco, which operates 15 high schools, currently has 16,000 students enrolled grades nine through twelve.

By comparison, the northern California city currently has 24,500 “injection drug users.” That is approximately 8,500 more drug users than high school students.

As I mentioned yesterday, the city of San Francisco gave out 5.8 million free syringes to drug users last year.

When you have such widespread drug use, people are going to commit a lot of crime and they are going to do some really weird things.  Just consider the following example

Authorities are searching for a man seen on security footage licking the doorbell of a California home and relieving himself in the family’s yard.

Police have identified the man as Roberto Arroyo, 33, and say that he spent three hours around the Salinas home of Sylvia and Dave Dungan.

The couple had been out of town, during the strange incident, but their children were sleep inside the family’s home. They noticed something amiss when they woke up to multiple alerts from their surveillance system, which notifies the homeowners whenever there is movement near the front door.

A lot of really good people used to live in California, but they left because of stupid stuff like this.

In fact, quite a few of my best friends are people that have moved out of the state within the last 10 years.

Over the past decade, we have seen a mass exodus out of California.  And according to Kristin Tate, the author of a new book entitled “How Do I Tax Thee?: A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off,” the “upper-middle class” has been moving out of the state faster than anyone else…

The largest socioeconomic segment moving from California is the upper-middle class. The state is home to some of the most burdensome taxes and regulations in the nation. Meanwhile, its social engineering — from green energy to wealth redistribution — have made many working families poorer. As California begins its long decline, the influx outward is picking up in earnest.

Overall, approximately 5 million people have packed up and permanently moved out of California within the last 10 years.

Unfortunately, the entire nation is slowly becoming just like California, and if we don’t turn things around eventually there will be no place left to go.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

“Biggest Drop In More Than Nine Years”: America’s Retail Apocalypse Is Greatly Accelerating In The Early Stages Of 2019

All over America retailers are going bankrupt and closing stores.  Of course, this has been happening for years, but as you will see below the numbers have dramatically escalated during the early portion of 2019.  Our landscape is already littered with countless numbers of hollowed out stores and abandoned malls, and it is about to get a whole lot worse.  Retailers were hoping that a strong holiday season would turn things around, but that didn’t happen.  In fact, we just learned that retail sales in the United States suffered “their biggest drop in more than nine years” during the month of December…

U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December as receipts fell across the board, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of 2018.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail sales tumbled 1.2 percent, the largest decline since September 2009 when the economy was emerging from recession.

Every time I write an article like this, a few commenters chime in and blame this entire trend on the rise of online retailing.  And without a doubt online retailing has been growing in recent years, but it still accounts for less than 10 percent of the entire industry.

If online retail sales were to blame for this latest drop, you would expect to see that reflected in the numbers.  But instead, when we look at the numbers what we find is that online retailers experienced “the biggest drop ever” during the month of December…

December online internet sales (non-store retailers) tumbled 3.9% MoM – the biggest drop ever

So brick and mortar retail sales are going down and online retail sales are going down.

It is starting to smell a lot like a recession, and many in the industry are starting to panic.

And when I say panic, I mean that they are closing stores at a pace that is far faster than last year.  In fact, so far retail store closings are 23 percent ahead of the pace set last year

Coresight Research released an outlook of 2019 store closures Wednesday, saying there’s “no light at the end of the tunnel.”

According to the global market research firm’s report, six weeks into 2019, U.S. retailers have announced 2,187 closings, up 23 percent compared to last year. Those closings include 749 Gymboree stores251 Shopko stores and 94 Charlotte Russe locations.

Unfortunately, the number of store closings is about to double because Payless ShoeSource plans to declare bankruptcy and shut down 2,300 stores

U.S. discount retailer Payless ShoeSource Inc plans to close all of its approximately 2,300 stores when it files for bankruptcy later this month for the second time in as many years, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

And Payless is far from alone.  If you can believe it, the number of retail bankruptcies in 2019 is “already at one-third of last year’s total”

Bankruptcies also are continuing at a rapid pace “with the number of filings in the first six weeks of 2019 already at one-third of last year’s total,” the report states.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what a retail apocalypse looks like, and we are still in the early chapters.

It is going to take some time for this drama to fully play out.  Just look at Sears – it is a money-bleeding zombie of a company, but Eddie Lampert has convinced investors to give things one more try.  But they are going to zero, and so is JC Penney, and so are a whole host of other major retailers.

In the end, millions upon millions of square feet of retail space is going to be sitting vacant.  Some of the more economically depressed areas of the country are going to closely resemble ghost towns, and we are going to see a commercial real estate crisis that is off the charts.

Switching gears, we also just learned that the number of Americans that are at least 90 days behind on their auto loans is already “more than 1 million higher” than it was during the peak of the last recession…

More than 7 million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their vehicle loans as of the end of 2018, according to data released Tuesday by the New York Federal Reserve. That’s more than 1 million higher than the peak in 2010 as the country was recovering from its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

How is that possible?

I thought that the U.S. economy was supposed to be “booming”.

Isn’t that what they have been telling us?

In recent weeks I have repeatedly brought up current economic numbers that are even worse than the last recession, and yet so many people out there continue to insist that everything is just fine.

No, everything is definitely not “just fine”.

Economic activity is slowing down dramatically, and many believe that things are about to get a whole lot worse.  In fact, Peter Schiff is warning that what is ahead “is going to be worse than what we now call the Great Recession”…

People are going to realize that we checked into the monetary roach motel that I talked about from the beginning and that there’s no way out, and then the dollar is going to fall like a stone.

When they find out that it’s never over and it didn’t work, then there’s going to be nothing propping up the dollar and it’s going to drop like a stone, the price of gold is going to take off, and the recession that we’re entering into, which is going to be an inflationary recession, is going to be worse than what we now call the Great Recession.

Maybe it’s taken longer than we might have thought to play out, but this is the beginning of the end.”

I wish that I had better news for you today, but I don’t.

The retail apocalypse is accelerating, America’s debt crisis is starting to reach a critical level, and very challenging days are approaching for all of us.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Spending Bill Congress Just Passed Contains Restrictions Making It Almost Impossible For Trump To Build Wall

On Wednesday, the House and the Senate both passed a massive 1,159 page spending bill that they were given less than 24 hours to read.  There was a concerted effort by the leadership of both parties to rush this bill through before the American people could be mobilized to oppose it.  We are being told that this spending package represents a compromise, but as you will see below, the wording of the bill is so restrictive that it is going to make it just about impossible for President Trump to get anything built on the border.  At this point, I think that Trump is counting on declaring a national emergency in order to get his wall built, but the moment he does that the Democrats plan to tie him up in court indefinitely.

Before we get to the details of this bill, let’s talk about how ridiculous this legislative process has been.  During her first term as speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi often rushed through enormous pieces of legislation without giving anyone time to actually read what was in them, and now she is doing it again.

This 1,159 page spending bill had an average of approximately 200 words per page, and as Breitbart has pointed out, a “fast reader” could get through such a document in about 40 hours…

The document has roughly 200 words per page — ensuring that a fast reader would need 40 hours just to reach to the end of the huge document, providing they did not stop to take notes, compare the text to existing laws, eat, or sleep.

But members of Congress were not given 40 hours.  Instead, they had the bill for about 18 hours before they were expected to vote on it.

Needless to say, nobody that voted on this bill read the entire thing.

That should have been reason enough to vote no on this bill, and yet this bill overwhelmingly passed in both chambers.

You can find a list of all the members of the House of Representatives that voted yes on this bill right here.  When the next election comes along, it is your job to hold them accountable.

We were told that this bill would include 1.375 billion dollars for Trump’s wall, but that is not true.

In the bill, it specifically says that the 1.375 billion dollars is for “the construction of primary pedestrian fencing”.

So there will be no concrete wall.  Instead, it will just be the kind of pedestrian fencing that both Bush and Obama built.

In addition, the bill specifically says that this fencing can only be put up “in the Rio Grande Valley Sector”.

So why is construction of the fencing limited to that one area in Texas?

Well, the bill also contains a provision that gives Democratic lawmakers in those Texas border towns the power to block construction of the fencing

One poison pill would allow Democratic legislators in Texas border towns to block the construction of the 55 miles of border walls approved in the legislation.

A second poison pill would allow illegal migrants in the United State to get a legal shield against deportation by declaring their willingness to “sponsor” a teenager or child trafficked from Central America. Many the so-called “Unaccompanied Alien Children” who are being smuggled up to the United States by the cartels are the children or relatives of illegals who have already sneaked into the U.S.

These are the five border towns that Trump would need to get approval from, and they are all run by Democrats…

-Roma
-Rio Grande City
-Escobares
-La Grulla
-Salineno

In addition, the bill specifically says that no construction can take place “while consultations are continuing” with local officials.

On top of everything else, the bill also requires a public comment period of at least 60 days before construction can begin…

It is not just local elected officials who have to approve of border wall construction, though. The spending bill mandates DHS open a public comment period by July, giving the public at least 60 days to voice opinions about the construction of a barrier in their county.

In essence, the wording of this bill all but ensures that nothing is going to get built on the border before the 2020 presidential election.

The Democrats have done a masterful job of achieving their goals once again, and Republican leadership in Congress got played like a fiddle.

Our government is incredibly broken, and we desperately need to clean house.

The bill also puts all sorts of new restrictions on ICE.  For example, it mandates a reduction in the number of ICE detention beds from 49,060 to 40,520 by the end of the fiscal year, and this is going to force ICE to “catch and release” a whole lot more illegal immigrants.

I could go on and on, but hopefully, you get the point.  This bill is a complete and utter nightmare, and President Trump should veto it.  But the White House has already announced that Trump will sign the bill

Moments after McConnell’s remarks, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed in a statement that the president will sign the funding bill and take executive action to build the wall. “President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border. The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” Sanders said.

Year after year, there are showdowns over spending in Congress.

And year after year, the Democrats always get what they want in the end.

The Republicans are playing checkers while the Democrats are playing chess, and meanwhile, our entire country is going down the tubes.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Obamacare Consequences? Study Finds Two-Thirds Of All Bankruptcies In US Are Primarily Caused By Medical Bills

Our health insurance system is theoretically supposed to prevent Americans from going bankrupt when they are hit by huge medical bills.  But in case after case, that is simply not happening.  Even though more Americans are “covered by health insurance” than ever before, a new study has found that “about 530,000 families each year are financially ruined by medical bills and sicknesses”, and most of those families actually had health insurance.  These days, most health insurance policies closely resemble Swiss cheese because they are so full of loopholes, and health insurance companies have become masters at finding ways to wiggle off the hook.  So every year hundreds of thousands of American families find themselves facing huge medical bills that they did not expect to be paying, and as a result, medical expenses are the primary factor in 66.5 percent of all personal bankruptcy filings in the United States…

For many Americans, putting one’s health first can mean putting one’s financial status at risk. A study of bankruptcy filings in the United States showed that 66.5% were due, at least in part, to medical expenses.

The study, led by Dr. David Himmelstein, Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Hunter College and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School, indicates that about 530,000 families each year are financially ruined by medical bills and sicknesses. It’s the first research of its kind to link medical expenses and bankruptcy since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010.

But wasn’t Obamacare supposed to make things better?

Yes, that was what we were promised, but the authors of the study discovered that the percentage of bankruptcies caused by medical bills actually went up by 2 percent after Obamacare went into effect…

The current study found no evidence that the ACA reduced the proportion of bankruptcies driven by medical problems: 65.5% of debtors cited a medical contributor to their bankruptcy in the period prior to the ACA’s implementation as compared to 67.5% in the three years after the law came into effect. The responses also did not differ depending on whether the respondent resided in a state that had accepted ACA’s Medicaid expansion. The researchers noted that bankruptcy is most common among middle-class Americans, who have faced increasing copayments and deductibles in recent years despite the ACA. The poor, who were most helped by the ACA, less frequently seek formal bankruptcy relief because they have few assets (such as a home) to protect and face particular difficulty in securing the legal help needed to navigate formal bankruptcy proceedings.

Even though more Americans are “in the system” than ever before, clearly what we are doing is simply not working.

As I detailed in my article entitled “$3.5 Trillion A Year: America’s Health Care System Has Become One Of The World’s Largest Money Making Scams”, our health care industry has become all about grabbing as much money as humanly possible.  We are being taken advantage of when we are at our most vulnerable, and the level of greed that we see in the system is absolutely sickening.

As Dr. David Himmelstein has astutely observed, most Americans are “just one serious illness away from bankruptcy”…

Dr. David Himmelstein, the lead author of the study, a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Hunter College and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School commented: “Unless you’re Bill Gates, you’re just one serious illness away from bankruptcy. For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection. Most of us have policies with so many loopholes, copayments and deductibles that illness can put you in the poorhouse. And even the best job-based health insurance often vanishes when prolonged illness causes job loss – just when families need it most.”

You may think that your health insurance policy is somehow different.

You may actually believe that your health insurance company will be there for you when you need them the most.

And they might be.  But the truth is that hundreds of thousands of American families have discovered that most health insurance companies will turn on you the moment it becomes advantageous for them to do so.

It turns out that most doctors dislike the health insurance companies too.  Just check out these numbers

Are health insurance policies creating nightmares for physicians and hazards for their patients? A new study finds that nearly nine in ten doctors believe barriers set by insurance plans have led to worsened conditions for patients in need of care.

Researchers with Aimed Alliance, a non-profit that seeks to protect and enhance the rights of health care consumers and providers, say that doctors are so fed up with the constant headaches caused by insurers, two-thirds would recommend against pursuing a career in medicine, and nearly half (48%) are considering a career change altogether.

If health insurance companies acted with compassion and always fulfilled the promises that they made, then the rest of us wouldn’t be so hard on them.

But of course, the health insurance companies look like saints when compared to the ultra-greedy pharmaceutical companies.  When one pharmaceutical company recently hiked the annual price of a low-cost drug to $375,000, it just about caused Senator Bernie Sanders to cough up a lung

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a blistering letter to a pharmaceutical company on Monday, demanding answers about its decision to charge $375,000 for a formerly low-cost drug and calling it corporate greed at its worst.

“Catalyst’s decision to set the annual list price at $375,000 is not only a blatant fleecing of American taxpayers, but is also an immoral exploitation of patients who need this medication,” the independent senator from Vermont wrote. “Simply put, it is corporate greed.

“I am profoundly concerned that Catalyst’s actions will cause patients to suffer or die.”

Fixing our deeply, deeply broken health care system has got to be a top national priority, but at this point, neither party has a plan that will turn things around.

So we are stuck with what we have currently got, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Sorry AOC, Stunning New Poll Finds Public Support For Capitalism Is Growing In America

The meteoric rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other young progressive politicians has led many to believe that the American public must be warming up to socialism.  But what if that isn’t true at all?  Certainly, there is a certain segment of the population that absolutely embraces the message that AOC, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other socialists are preaching, but could it be possible that the American people as a whole are actually moving in the opposite direction?  According to a shocking Fox News poll that just came out, the percentage of Americans that want the government to leave them alone is going up, and the percentage of Americans that want the government to lend them a hand is going down…

The 34 percent saying “lend me a hand” is down from 41 percent last year and 39 percent in 2016. The 55 percentwho would tell the government “leave me alone” is up from 51 percent in 2018 and 54 percent in 2016.

You would think that these numbers should be very encouraging for President Trump and the Republican Party, because traditionally the idea of “limited government” has been central to the conservative message in this country.

The survey also found that the percentage of Americans that have a positive view of capitalism is more than twice as high as the percentage of Americans that have a positive view of socialism…

Fifty-seven percent of voters have a positive opinion of capitalism. That’s more than twice the number who feel the same about socialism (25 percent). Some of the groups most likely to have a favorable view of socialism include self-identified liberals (50 percent), Clinton voters (43 percent), and those under age 30 (36 percent).

When they broke the numbers down by political party, they found that 72 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of capitalism but only 47 percent of Democrats did.

These poll results could be troublesome news for the Democratic Party in 2020.  Most of the leading contenders are espousing radical socialist ideas, and these numbers would seem to indicate that those ideas are out of touch with mainstream America.

And while AOC and other young progressive Democrats seem intent on pushing the party to the left, many in the party are deeply concerned about the implications that this could have for the next election

A new generation of Democrats is using far-reaching policy ideas and a brash social media presence to upend the party – pushing it to the left on divisive issues such as health care and climate change while it charts a path aimed at taking the White House in 2020.

But the liberal shift, and the lawmakers driving it, are also creating challenges for Democrats in more-conservative areas, and they are giving President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans fresh opportunities for political attacks. The GOP has been particularly focused in recent days on hammering Democrats over draft details of a broad “Green New Deal” proposal, even if most Democrats have not directly endorsed the fine print.

Of course the “Green New Deal” doesn’t have a prayer of getting through Congress any time soon, but while everyone is paying so much attention to that, a 1,000 page bill that contains about a trillion dollars in spending that nobody in Congress has even read is about to be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Do you remember long ago when Nancy Pelosi said that we had to pass Obamacare to find out what was in it?

Well, she is up to her old tricks once again.

The House is going to vote on the government appropriations bill on Thursday evening, and late on Wednesday, it was being reported that nobody in Congress had seen the text of the bill yet

Republican Study Chairman Mike Johnson also confirmed that “as of lunch on Wednesday, members of the RSC, and to our knowledge, even members of the conference committee, had not seen the text.”

“It has been reported that [House Majority Leader Steny] Hoyer has said if the bill is dropped today we will consider it tomorrow. This is reminiscent of the, ‘you must pass it to find out what is in it,’ Obamacare debacle,” Johnson said to TheDCNF. “This bill is expected to be well over 1,000 pages, and we will potentially have less than 24 hours to digest it. This is absurd.”

Are you kidding me?

This is yet another example that shows why the American people are so disgusted with Washington.  We have a system that is deeply broken, and we desperately need change.

Even some members of Congress are astounded by the utter absurdity of voting on a 1,000 page bill without even getting to read it

“When one bemoans the swamp, look no further than spending a trillion dollars and jamming through legislation when none of us have even seen it,”Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy told TheDCNF. “We should be a no on such incompetence even if it weren’t perpetuating drunken spending and failing to actually secure the border.”

“Pelosi and the Democrats promised a full 72 hours to review legislation,” a senior conservative congressional aide told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “But now we’re voting on a massive, probably thousands-page long conference report tomorrow and we haven’t even seen text the day before? This is worse than under Speaker Ryan.”

Earlier this week, the fact that the national debt just surpassed the 22 trillion dollar mark was the top headline on the Drudge Report.  But even though this legislation will make our debt problems even worse, it will be widely supported by both Republicans and Democrats because that is what the leadership of both parties is telling them to do.

And it is inevitable that after this bill that nobody has actually read is passed that we will find out that there were lots and lots of little “surprises” in it.

Big government socialism continues to march forward, but according to this latest Fox News poll that is not what the American people want.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Rats, Public Defecation & Open Drug Use: Our Major Western Cities Are Becoming Uninhabitable Hellholes

Almost everyone that goes out to visit one of our major cities on the west coast has a similar reaction.  Those that must live among the escalating decay are often numb to it, but most of those that are just in town for a visit are absolutely shocked by all of the trash, human defecation, crime and public drug use that they encounter.  Once upon a time, our beautiful western cities were the envy of the rest of the world, but now they serve as shining examples of America’s accelerating decline.  The worst parts of our major western cities literally look like post-apocalyptic wastelands, and the hordes of zombified homeless people that live in those areas are too drugged-out to care.  The ironic thing is that these cities are not poor.  In fact, San Francisco and Seattle are among the wealthiest cities in the entire nation.  So if things are falling apart this dramatically now, how bad will things get when economic conditions really start to deteriorate?

Let’s start our discussion by looking at the rat epidemic in Los Angeles.  Thanks to extremely poor public sanitation, rats are breeding like mad, and at this point, they have even conquered Los Angeles City Hall

Officials at Los Angeles’ City Hall are considering ripping all of the building’s carpets up, as rats and fleas are said to be running riot in its halls.

A motion was filed by Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday to enact the much needed makeover amid a typhus outbreak in the downtown area.

Wesson said a city employee had contracted the deadly bacterial disease at work, and now he’s urging officials to investigate the ‘scope’ of the long-running pest problem at the council building.

People from all over the world are drawn to Los Angeles because of what they have seen on television, but it is truly a filthy, filthy place.  The number of homeless has been rising about 20 percent a year, public drug use is seemingly everywhere, and there are mountains of trash all over the place.  Needless to say, rats thrive in such an environment, and the epic battle that one L.A. journalist is having with rats was recently featured in the L.A. Times

Eastside, Westside, north and south, they’re everywhere. If you’re a rat, the California housing crisis has not hit you yet and it never will.

At our house, it sounded like the rats were having relay races in the ceiling, and they don’t wear sneakers. Your eyes blink and your leg twitches as you drift off to sleep knowing that if the plague comes back, you are living at ground zero.

In our garden, they devoured entire heads of lettuce. They destroyed my squash just before it was ripe and ready to eat. They stole my tomatoes, cilantro and Anaheim chili peppers. Were they bottling their own salsa?

But let’s not be too hard on Los Angeles, because the same things that are going on there are happening in major cities all over the western portion of the country.

For example, a massive rat infestation recently forced authorities to close a shockingly filthy homeless encampment under a bridge in Salem, Oregon

Amid the trash, human despair and anguish, one weeping woman prepared to leave the most recent place she knows as home without any real inkling of where she’ll go next.

Terry Balow, an outreach worker with the Salvation Army, has been here for the darker moments of living life under a bridge — anger, mental illness, drug use and human frustration boiling over at times everywhere one looks.

Yet it was a rat infestation and concern about human health that prompted the city of Salem to move the campers out.

“It just grew and grew and got worse,” Balow said. “It’s badder than people can imagine.”

Yes, there have always been homeless encampments in this country, but in modern times we have never faced anything on the scale that we are facing now.

More than half a million Americans are homeless right now, and that number continues to grow.  And as it grows, communities will increasingly be forced to make some tough decisions.

I am quite eager to talk about San Francisco, but before we get to the City by the Bay, let’s take note of something that just happened in Denver.

If you are into public defecation, you will be very happy to learn that Denver just made it legal

First, the obvious: The Denver City Council has voted unanimously to decriminalize a number of offenses, including defecating in public. Also, urinating in public. Camping on public or private land without permission. Panhandling. And lying across public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks.

Democrat Mayor Michael Hancock and city officials explained the new ordinances are designed to protect immigrants — legal and the other kind — from “unintended consequences.” These consequences were fines and longer jail terms, as has been customary in most places for violating the behavioral norms of civilized American society.

If only America’s founders could see us now.

They would be so proud.

Speaking of public defecation, San Francisco has become world famous for the piles of human poop that constantly litter their streets.  During one seven day stretch last summer, a total of 16,000 official complaints were submitted to the city about human feces.

Blessed with such beautiful natural surroundings and so much wealth, San Francisco should be a great place to visit, but that definitely is not the case.

When reporter John Stossel recently visited San Francisco, he was stunned by what he found

San Francisco is a pretty good place to “hang out with a sign.” People are rarely arrested for vagrancy, aggressive panhandling or going to the bathroom in front of people’s homes. In 2015, there were 60,491 complaints to police, but only 125 people were arrested.

Public drug use is generally ignored. One woman told us, “It’s nasty seeing people shoot up — right in front of you. Police don’t do anything about it! They’ll get somebody for drinking a beer but walk right past people using needles.”

In San Francisco, they actually give out free syringes to drug addicts, and it is being reported that they handed out a total of 5.8 million free syringes in 2018.

That is a lot of syringes.

They also try to get the syringes back in order to prevent the spread of disease, but that hasn’t been too successful

There’s just one problem – well, more than one – despite spending an extra $1.8 million last year in an effort to retrieve needles, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the department handed out about 2 million more syringes than it got back… many of which are now washing around the streets of one of the richest cities in America (along with the feces of their users).

And with so much public drug use going on, it should be no surprise that crime is completely and totally out of control.  Here is more from John Stossel

Each day in San Francisco, an average of 85 cars are broken into.

“Inside Edition” ran a test to see how long stereo equipment would last in a parked car. Their test car was quickly broken into. Then the camera crew discovered that their own car had been busted into as well.

It has been said that “as goes California, so goes the country”, and if this is where the rest of the nation is headed then we are in serious trouble.

When Bill Blain recently visited San Francisco, he was so horrified by what he encountered that he felt he must write about it

I hope my American hosts will forgive me for raising this, but the squalor we saw in The City was frightful. San Francisco has always been one of favourite US cities, but the degree of homelessness, mental illness and drug abuse we saw on this trip was truly shocking. Walking round SF on a Sunday Morning and we saw sights we couldn’t believe. This must be one of the richest cities in the world – home to 4 of the 10 richest people on the planet according to Wiki. I asked friends about it, and they shrugged it off.. “The City has always attracted the homeless because of the mild weather,”.. “It’s a drug thing”.. “its too difficult”… “you get used to it..”

Well, I didn’t.

I found it quite shocking the number of folk sleeping rough on the sidewalks, the smell of weed and drug impedimenta everywhere, the filth, mental illness and degradation on view just a few meters from the financial centre driving Silicon Valley. It’s a city where the destitute seem to have become invisible to the Uber hailing elites. We found ourselves hopping on one of the beautiful F-Route Trolley Buses to find nearly every seat occupied by someone lugging around their worldly possessions around in a plastic bag. It was desperately sad.

San Francisco has a new mayor, and they are going to spend millions upon millions of dollars to try to clean up the streets.

But it won’t be easy to turn things around, because more drug users and homeless people are moving into the city every single day

And San Francisco is generous. It offers street people food stamps, free shelter, train tickets and $70 a month in cash.

“They’re always offering resources,” one man dressed as Santa told us. “San Francisco’s just a good place to hang out.”

So, every week, new people arrive.

We like to think that we are setting a positive example to the rest of the world, but the truth is that they are laughing at us.

America is in an advanced state of decay, and it is getting worse with each passing year.

If we keep doing the same things we will keep getting the same results, and right now there are no signs that the overall direction of this nation will change any time soon.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Michelle Obama For President In 2020?

When she made a surprise appearance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, the entire auditorium went into a “spontaneous shrieking hysterical meltdown” when she began to speak. She is the most admired woman in America by a very wide margin, and she is married to the most admired man in America. She released her critically-acclaimed memoir “Becoming” in November, and here we are in February and it is still the best selling book on Amazon. Her national book tour has been filling sports stadiums all over the nation, and Democrats all across America are buzzing about the possibility that Michelle Obama could run for president in 2020.

But she has always insisted that she will never do it. In fact, she has made statements like this one time after time…

“I’ve never had the passion for politics. I just happened to be married to somebody who has the passion for politics, and he drug me kicking and screaming into this arena.”

So that is the end of the matter, right?

Unfortunately, in politics, you can never trust what people say, and it is much more important to watch what they do.

In recent months, Michelle Obama has been put center stage time after time while her husband has faded into the background. Suddenly, Michelle Obama seems like she is the biggest rock star in America, and there are only two reasons why this would be happening.

Either she wants to capitalize on her fame and make as much money as possible, or she is secretly plotting to run for president of the United States.

And it is entirely possible that she won’t run. Ultimately, all of the motivational pablum in her book and her national tour could be setting the stage for her to become the next Oprah. She definitely doesn’t seem content to drift quietly into retirement, and it is quite clear that she wants to do something.

Without a doubt, a career in television would be appealing, but my gut tells me that she has her eyes on an even bigger prize.

I have a feeling that events are being carefully orchestrated for her to become the “reluctant hero” that will step in to save the day for the Democrats in 2020. And judging by the reaction at the Grammy Awards last night, the left would get behind her in a heartbeat…

At last night’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, host Alicia Keys brought a quartet of very famous women onto the stage and introduced them one-by-one to the crowd.

Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Jada Pinkett Smith all got varying degrees of warm ovations.

But the fourth lady sent the whole place into spontaneous shrieking hysterical meltdown.

In fact, NBC News reported that she received a “hero’s welcome” and that she cut off the applause once it reached 25 seconds…

Many in the audience didn’t immediately seem to pick up on Obama’s appearance, but she was quickly interrupted when she began speaking, making it only as far as “From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side …” before the crowd stood and loudly cheered for 25 seconds.

“All right — we got a show to do,” she said as she tried to wave the audience to quiet down.

No other Democrat that is running for president or that is thinking of running for president can elicit that sort of passionate response.

And let us not forget that Michelle Obama’s book is outselling every other political book in modern history, including all of the books written by her husband. The following comes from CNN

The inspirational memoir by the former first lady has been on sale for more than two months, yet it is still No. 1 on Amazon’s constantly updated list of best-selling books.

Amazon said “Becoming” enjoyed the longest streak at No. 1 for any book since “Fifty Shades of Grey” came out in 2012.

No political tome or public figure’s memoir has ranked No. 1 for as long as “Becoming,” according to data the company provided to CNN Business.

I just checked, and “Becoming” is still number one right now.

That is an incredible achievement.

Even if Michelle Obama does not want to run for president, top Democrats may really start twisting her arm as we get deeper into this election season. Because even though more than 20 Democrats may ultimately jump into the race, all of them are losers.

The one guy who has a little bit of buzz around him is Beto O’Rourke, and he thought that it would be a good idea to hold a rally on the border on the same day when Trump was holding one. Well, only a few hundred people showed up for Beto, but tens of thousands showed up for Trump

“There has never been anything like this in the history of our country. We have to understand that. There has never been. If you would say as an example, that tonight 69,000 people signed up to be here. Now the arena holds 8,000. And thank you, fire department. They got in about 10,000. Thank you, fire department. Appreciate it. But if you want to really see something, go outside. Tens of thousands of people are watching screens outside.

“And we were all challenged by a young man who lost an election to Ted Cruz. And then they said you know what? Hey, you are supposed to win in order to run. By the way, we, I, we, I’m 1 for 1. Think of it. We had one election. We won. Now we’re gonna be 2 for all and everything’s gonna be perfect. But a young man who has got very little going for himself except he has a great first name. He challenged us. So we have let’s say 35,000 people tonight. And he has 200 people, 300 people. Not too good.”

“What I would do is, I would say, that may be the end of this presidential bid.”

If you are going to win a presidential election, it really helps to be a rock star, and Trump is a rock star.

The Democrats need their own rock star, and the only one that fits the bill is Michelle Obama.

At this point, many Democrats deeply dislike Hillary Clinton, but they remember the Obama years very fondly. When Barack Obama left office, he had a 59 percent approval rating, and that number is much higher than anything Trump has been able to achieve over the last year…

Obama left office with a 59 percent approval rating and a 37 percent disapproval rating, according to Gallup.

In late January, the Gallup poll ratings for President Trump were the exact inverse of Obama’s numbers — 59 percent disapproval and 37 percent approval.

If Michelle Obama decides to run, she will win the Democratic nomination.

And without a doubt, she would be Donald Trump’s toughest potential opponent in 2020 by a very wide margin.

But will she do it?

Only time will tell, but the calls for her to run are starting to become louder with each passing day.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Taxes, Taxes & More Taxes: Radical Economic Agenda Of Left Has Surprising Level Of Public Support

The left wants to raise your taxes, and most Americans are okay with that.  I was shocked by the numbers that I am about to share with you, and I think that you will be shocked too.  Once upon a time, being labeled as a “tax and spend liberal” was one of the worst things that could happen to a politician.  During the presidential election of 1984, Walter Mondale was very honest about the fact that he wanted to raise taxes on the American people, and Ronald Reagan absolutely crushed him with that.  In the end, it was one of the greatest election night landslides in history.  But this time around we could potentially see the opposite.  If things go badly for Trump, we could actually see a “tax and spend liberal” turn the map mostly blue in 2020.  I know that sounds very, very strange, but the latest poll numbers show that the American people strongly support raising taxes on the wealthy.

For example, the most recent Politico poll found that 76 percent of registered voters believe that taxes should be raised on the richest Americans…

Surveys are showing overwhelming support for raising taxes on top earners, including a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Monday that found 76 percent of registered voters believe the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes. A recent Fox News survey showed that 70 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on those earning over $10 million — including 54 percent of Republicans.

Those numbers are absolutely overwhelming.

When even a Fox News survey shows that most Republicans want higher taxes, then you know that something has dramatically changed.

And this high level of support for tax increases persists even when voters are asked about specific proposals from Democrats on the far left.  If you can believe it, 59 percent of Americans are even in favor of AOC’s proposal to raise the highest marginal tax rate to 70 percent

A plan from first-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to slap a 70 percent marginal rate on income earned over $10 million clocked in at 59 percent support in a recent Hill/HarrisX poll.

The new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted Feb. 1-2, found that 61 percent favor a proposal like the “wealth tax” recently laid out by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that would levy a 2 percent tax on those with a net worth over $50 million and 3 percent on those worth over $1 billion. Just 20 percent opposed the idea. The poll surveyed 1,993 registered voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.

To me, voting for politicians that unashamedly want higher taxes is kind of like voting for more root canals or more telemarketing calls during dinner.

But right now the poll numbers clearly show that the left is winning the battle for hearts and minds, and that is a huge problem for the Republican Party.

Today, many Democrats work very hard to fight for their agenda in the court of popular opinion, but meanwhile, most Republicans in Congress are simply “seat fillers” that make absolutely no effort to educate the public.  This is something that must change if Republicans hope to ever turn things around.

So why do Democrats want higher taxes?

Well, the primary reason they need higher taxes is to pay for multi-trillion dollar programs such as the “Green New Deal” and “Medicare For All”.

In particular, the “Green New Deal” would take an insane amount of money to implement.  Here is a summary of some of the craziest proposals in the “Green New Deal” that was put together by Michael Palicz

  • Rebuild every single building in the U.S.

“Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”

  • Will end all traditional forms of energy in the next ten years.

The Green New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

  • Plans to ban nuclear energy within 10 years if possible.

“It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

  • Build trains across oceans and end all air travel!

“Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary”.

  • Don’t invest in new technology of Carbon Capture and Storage, just plant trees instead!

“We believe the right way to capture carbon is to plant trees and restore our natural ecosystems. CCUS technology to date has not proven effective.”

  • Mandates all new jobs be unionized.

“Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local.”

Nobody knows for sure what all of that will cost, but needless to say the total would be in the trillions of dollars.

But most Americans are not in favor of higher taxes on the wealthy because they want to see such radical proposals come to fruition.

Rather, they like the idea of higher taxes because they think somehow they will get some goodies out of it.

In recent years, politicians on the far left have gotten a lot of mileage out of turning all of our basic needs into “rights”.  They have been boldly declaring that all Americans should have a “right” to housing, health care and a basic college education even if they don’t want to work for those things.

But if you are “entitled” to something, then that means that somebody else has to pay for it.

And most Americans are in favor of that concept until it becomes their turn to pay.

The Babylon Bee is a satire website, and their recent article about taxes was quite humorous

Americans all over the country suggested they are OK with a majority of the people voting to take a minority of the people’s money, as long as they are not part of that minority.

“I am a very generous person, so I believe everyone else needs to pay their fair share,” said Lyle Hartright of Maine. “Everyone that isn’t me, I mean.”

“These are stunning results,” said one analyst. “We always believed that Americans were generous, but we never knew how generous. To offer to raise taxes to 70% or more on other people just goes to show how much compassion people have.”

America has already traveled quite far down the road toward socialism, and instead of reversing course, it looks like the American people want to pick up the pace.

But all we have to do to see where that road leads is to look at Venezuela.  Unfortunately, most Americans are not making that connection at this point.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Pope Encourages World Government Summit To Enthusiastically Embrace Sustainable Development

Just days after the Pope signed the most important interfaith document in history, he had the opportunity to address global political leaders by video at the World Government Summit in Dubai.  During his remarks, he once again stressed the need for global unity, and he encouraged those attending to embrace “sustainable development”, but he also stressed that sustainable development will never succeed without “solidarity”.  Of course, most Americans don’t even know that a “World Government Summit” even exists because the mainstream media in the U.S. doesn’t really talk about it, but it is actually a very big deal.  And obviously, the Pope feels very strongly about what they are trying to do, because he took time out of his very busy schedule to record a video message for them

World leaders are currently meeting at the World Government Summit, taking place in Dubai from 10-12 February. In his video message, Pope Francis greets those participating in the Summit, and recalls his own visit to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month. “I encountered a modern country which is looking to the future without forgetting its roots”, he said. “I also saw how even in the desert the flowers spring up and grow. I returned home with the hope that many deserts in the world can bloom like this.”

The World Government Summit is an annual event, and it attracts leaders from all over the globe that are interested in a more integrated planet.  Here is a little blurb about the summit that comes from Wikipedia

The World Government Summit is an annual event held in DubaiUAE.[1] It brings together leaders in government for a global dialogue about governmental process and policies with a focus on the issues of futurism, technology and innovation, as well as other topics. The summit acts as a knowledge exchange hub between government officials, thought leaderspolicy makers and private sector leaders, and as an analysis platform for the future trends, issues and opportunities facing humanity.[2] The summit hosts over 90 speakers from 150 participating countries[3] along with over 4000 attendees.

In general, the Pope’s remarks were quite similar to what we have heard before, but I thought that two buzzwords that he used were quite noteworthy

The Holy Father emphasized that “we cannot really speak of sustainable development without solidarity”. He concluded his message with by thanking those taking part, and with the prayer that the Lord might bless their commitment “for a more just and prosperous world for everyone”.

The phrase “sustainable development” has become a shorthand way of referring to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  It is a 17 point plan, and if you read the entire thing you quickly realize that it encompasses just about every realm of human activity that you can possibly imagine.

It is not just a plan to fight climate change.  It is actually a comprehensive blueprint for global governance, and it envisions a much larger role for global institutions such as the UN in the years ahead.

But in the context of speaking about “sustainable development”, the Pope once again used the term “solidarity”.  This is a word that he has been using a lot lately, and when he uses it he is referring to the need for global unity.  More specifically, he almost always uses this buzzword when speaking of the need for global religious unity.

Last Monday, the Pope and the highest imam in Sunni Islam signed a covenant which boldly declares that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, and that it is God’s will that all of the various major religions in the world co-exist peacefully.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “The Pope And Islam’s Most Important Imam Just Signed A Covenant That Pushes Us Much Closer To A One World Religion”.

In the aftermath of the signing of that document, the Pope once again stressed the need for more global unity

Referencing the biblical story of Noah, the Pope suggested that, in order to safeguard peace, we too “need to enter together as one family into an ark which can sail the stormy seas of the world”. This means acknowledging, “God is at the origin of the one human family”. “No violence can be justified in the name of religion”, he said.

“Religious behavior”, said Pope Francis, “needs continually to be purified from the recurrent temptation to judge others as enemies and adversaries”. The “perspective of heaven”, he said, “embraces persons without privilege or discrimination”.

But all of this comes at a time of great controversy for Catholicism.

This week, the Vatican sought to clarify what Pope Francis meant when he stated that some nuns in France had been subjected to “sexual slavery”

The Vatican on Wednesday clarified comments by Pope Francis about a case of what he called “sexual slavery” within a French congregation of nuns, saying he was referring to an abuse of power that was reflected in instances of sexual abuse.

Francis cited the case when responding to a question about the sexual abuse of nuns by clergy during a press conference Tuesday returning home from the United Arab Emirates. It was the pope’s first-ever public acknowledgment of the problem of priests and bishops sexually abusing nuns. He stressed that the Vatican had been confronting the issue for some time and vowed to do more.

We live at a time when everything is being shaken, and our religious institutions are certainly not exempt.

Without a doubt, this Pope is going to continue to push for global religious unity, and that has enormous implications.

Our world is becoming a smaller place with each passing day, and many are deeply concerned about what this trend toward “global oneness” will ultimately bring.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Farm Bankruptcies Surge Way Past Level Of Last Recession

Farmers all across the middle part of the country are going bankrupt at an astounding rate, and over half of all farms in America are now losing money.  The trade war with China has been the most devastating crisis to hit the U.S. farming community in decades, and at this point, there is no end in sight.  Farm after farm is being financially wiped out, and we haven’t seen this kind of economic pain for farmers since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  In fact, it is being reported that bankruptcies in the key farming regions of the country are way above the level that we witnessed during the last recession.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Bankruptcies in three regions covering major farm states last year rose to the highest level in at least 10 years. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, had double the bankruptcies in 2018 compared with 2008. In the Eighth Circuit, which includes states from North Dakota to Arkansas, bankruptcies swelled 96%. The 10th Circuit, which covers Kansas and other states, last year had 59% more bankruptcies than a decade earlier.

There has been a lot of debate about whether or not the U.S. economy as a whole is heading into a recession in the near future, but the farming industry is already very, very deep into a major downturn, and this downturn has been caused by the trade war

Trade disputes under the Trump administration with major buyers of U.S. farm goods, such as China and Mexico, have further roiled agricultural markets and pressured farmers’ incomes. Prices for soybeans and hogs plummeted after those countries retaliated against U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs by imposing duties on U.S. products like oilseeds and pork, slashing shipments to big buyers.

Low milk prices are driving dairy farmers out of business in a market that’s also struggling with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. cheese from Mexico and China. Tariffs on U.S. pork have helped contribute to a record buildup in U.S. meat supplies, leading to lower prices for beef and chicken.

In addition, it is also being reported that more than half of all U.S. farms are now losing money even though they continue to operate.  Needless to say, this is not sustainable, and many more farms will go out of business if this current crisis persists.

This could be the final nail in the coffin for America’s family farms.  After this crisis is over, if it ever actually ends, we may be left with only giant corporate farms and farms owned by foreign interests.

As I noted in my article yesterday, over 27 million acres of U.S. farmland is now owned by foreigners.  This should have never been allowed to happen because it is a major national security risk.

If a trade agreement with China is reached soon, that would greatly ease the suffering of America’s farmers.  But as long as the U.S. and Canada continue to hold Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, that is not going to happen.  Instead, the Chinese are going to attempt to buy time by trying to get the U.S. to agree to suspend the implementation of additional tariffs as “negotiations” continue.

And on Friday, we got word that a new trade war between the United States and Europe may be about to begin

With little apparent progress in U.S.-China trade talks, the Trump administration could be about to open up a new front in the trade wars by taking on the European auto industry — and that could spook markets.

Global financial markets have bounced back a bit in recent weeks, but more trade chaos could easily send them tumbling once again

Some strategists fear investors are keenly focused on China, and expect a resolution, but could be surprised by ramped-up trade friction with Europe.

“The market would tank,” said Peter Boocvkar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. “The market has spoken loud and clear that it’s had enough of these tariffs… The market is fed up with this. Global growth is slowing dramatically because of trade. You want to put another bullet in it’s head?

Meanwhile, we continue to get more indications that the global economy is slowing down substantially.

For example, we just learned that German industrial production plummeted dramatically for the second month in a row in December

“Unexpectedly,” German industrial production fell 3.9% in December 2018 compared to December 2017, after having fallen by a revised 4.0% in November, according to German statistics agency Destatis Thursday morning. These two drops were steepest year-over-year drops since 2009.

Even during the European Debt Crisis in 2011 and 2012 – it hit Germany’s industry hard as many European countries weaved in and out of a recession, with some countries sinking into a depression — German industrial production never fell as fast on a year-over-year basis as in November and December

And here in the United States, General Motors has begun giving out pink slips to thousands of workers

General Motors on Monday said it was starting to hand pink slips to about 4,000 salaried workers in the latest round of a restructuring announced in late November that will ultimately shrink its white-collar workforce in North America by 15 percent out of 54,000.

Two people briefed on the cuts said GM is cutting hundreds of jobs at its information technology centers in Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Michigan and more than 1,000 jobs at its Warren, Michigan Tech Center. GM is filing new required mass layoff notices with state agencies and disclosed the cuts to lawmakers.

Needless to say, General Motors would not be doing this if the U.S. economy really was “booming”.

A global economic downturn has arrived, and it looks like it is only going to escalate as we move deeper into 2019.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

US National Debt To Pass $22 Trillion

The U.S. national debt is wildly out of control, and nobody in Washington seems to care.  According to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government is currently $21,933,491,166,604.77 in debt.  In just a few days, that figure will cross the 22 trillion dollar mark.  Over the last 10 years, we have added more than 11 trillion dollars to the national debt, and that means that it has been growing at a pace of more than a trillion dollars a year.  To call this a major national crisis would be a massive understatement, and yet there is absolutely no urgency in Washington address this absolutely critical issue.  We are literally destroying the financial future of this nation, but most Americans don’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation that we are facing.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the national debt and interest on that debt will both explode at an exponential rate in future years if we stay on the path that we are currently on.  According to the CBO, the federal government spent 371 billion dollars on net interest during the most recent fiscal year…

In fiscal 2018, the government spent $371 billion on net interest, while the Defense Department budget was $599 billion. Social Security benefits cost $977 billion, Medicare $585 billion and Medicaid $389 billion, according to the CBO estimates.

But the CBO said interest outlays’ rate of growth in fiscal 2018 was faster than that for the three mandatory federal programs: Social Security (up $43 billion, or 5 percent); Medicaid (up $14 billion, or 4 percent); and Medicare (up $16 billion, or 3 percent). In comparison, net interest on the public debt increased by $62 billion, or 20 percent.

The 371 billion dollars that we spent on interest could have been spent on roads, schools, airports, strengthening our military or helping the homeless.

Instead, it was poured down a black hole.

As interest rates rise, it is being projected that we will soon be spending more on interest on the national debt than we do on national defense.  And not too long after that, interest on the national debt will cost us more than the entire Social Security program each year.

The bigger our debt gets, the more interest we have to pay, and the CBO is projecting that we will add another 12 trillion dollars to the debt during the 2020s…

Washington has been drowning in red ink for years and it’s only going to get a lot worse over the next decade, a fresh government estimate shows.

The U.S. is likely to add $12 trillion in public debt from 2020 to 2029 through a combination of higher government spending and slower economic growth, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Of course CBO estimates are almost always way too optimistic, and so reality will probably be a lot worse than that.

But if government debt is so bad, why do we just keep on accumulating more of it?

Well, the truth is that government debt always makes the short-term look better.  When the government borrows money and spends it into the economy, it increases GDP.  In essence, we are sacrificing our long-term prosperity in order for some short-term gain.

If we went back and removed the 11 trillion dollars that the federal government borrowed and spent over the last decade, we would be in the worst economic depression in American history right now.  But by stealing from the future, the federal government has been able to stabilize things.

Unfortunately, the future always arrives eventually, and our future is looking extremely bleak at the moment.

If we want to turn things around, we should not be afraid to learn from what other countries have done.  Switzerland and Sweden have both found a lot of success in managing their budgets by adopting very strict fiscal frameworks

What magic formula keeps the Swiss and Swedish fiscal houses in order?

In both cases, they adopted a comprehensive fiscal framework anchored by sensible fiscal targets and enforced by spending and tax limits. It allows them to live with prevailing economic cycles by pegging federal spending and debt to GDP — spending more when the economy is down, and less when growth is strong — and establishing a process for living within those goals.

But that would require discipline, and that is something that is severely lacking in our nation’s capital right now.

In fact, on the left it has become very trendy to say that the U.S. can never face a debt crisis because we can always “print more money”.  Here is one example

All lending to the U.S. government is done in dollars, and the Treasury controls the supply of that currency. It is literally impossible for America to face a pure debt crisis because it can always print enough money to pay its bills.

Again, that creates its own problems. Doing so would risk significant inflation which would almost certainly harm the country’s credit rating, making future borrowing more expensive. However, America structurally can’t reach a point where it doesn’t have the money to pay its debts; only a point where it prioritizes different concerns.

There is so much wrong with those two paragraphs that I don’t even know where to begin.

First of all, the U.S. Treasury does not control the supply of our currency.  The Federal Reserve does, and under normal circumstances more “Federal Reserve notes” do not come into existence unless a corresponding amount of U.S. debt is also issued.

In other words, the process of creating more money also creates more debt.  Most Americans simply do not understand that the Federal Reserve system was designed to be a perpetual debt machine, and it is the primary reason why we are now nearly 22 trillion dollars in debt.  During my run for Congress, abolishing the Federal Reserve was one of the key issues that I ran on, and we need to continue to educate the American people about these issues.

Because the truth is that the national debt is an existential threat to the future of this nation, and we are systematically destroying the very bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Apocalyptic Sounds In The Sky: No Explanation For ‘Mystery Booms’ And ‘Mysterious Flashes Of Light’ All Across America

Editor’s Note:  When judgment has often befallen nations, there are unexplainable things that take place, including things that occur in the skies, and noise.  If you don’t believe me, just read the Works of Josephus, a non-Christian Jewish general, who documented what occurred during the fulfillment of the words of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, along with the Revelation of Jesus Christ penned by the apostle John.  In those words, you will find an unbeliever recounting incredible things as God brought the curses He promised upon a rebellious and lawless people (Deuteronomy 28) in Jerusalem.

For weeks, Americans all over the country have been rattled by extremely loud booming sounds that seem to have no explanation, and they are often accompanied by “mysterious flashes of light”.  These strange booms are shaking homes and rattling windows, and some witnesses say that they sound like cannons being fired.  And even though the “mystery booms” and accompanying flashes of light have been captured on camera all across the nation, so far the authorities do not have a reasonable explanation for why they are happening.  Unfortunately, it does not appear that this strange phenomenon is going to go away any time soon.  In fact, the Sun is reporting that the frequency of these “mystery booms” appears “to have gathered pace over the past week”…

MYSTERY booming sounds have been shaking houses and terrifying residents after “flashes of light” were spotted across America.

Experts have been left baffled by a spate of seismic booms from Arizona to New York that appear to have gathered pace over the past week.

Over this last weekend, this mystery started to get much more national attention after an incident in Rhode Island on Saturday was followed by one in New York City on Sunday

On Saturday, loud bangs were reported in Rhode Island, where Jeremy Braza’s doorbell captured a video and audio of a loud noise over a three minute period.

“The whole house shook,” he told TurnTo10.com. “It woke my wife up, woke up all my children.”

The following night an explosion was heard in New York, accompanied by a mysterious flash in the sky.

“What the heck was that boom or explosion in park slope Brooklyn?”, asked Matt Wasowski on Twitter.

But of course, this is not just an east coast phenomenon.  For example, a “loud boom” that was reported in Tennessee on January 31st was heard across three separate counties

It began on January 31 when residents of three separate counties in Tennessee reported hearing a loud boom around 11:30 a.m. Local chemical plants were contacted but reported nothing anomalous. Authorities in Bradley, McInn, and Polk counties are still investigating what could have caused such a powerful noise.

And during that same time frame, numerous North Carolina residents called authorities to report “unexplained loud blasts and booms”

That same day, local news in North Carolina reported that people in Wake and Franklin counties have been calling law enforcement agencies to report unexplained loud blasts and booms that keep them awake at night. Two homeowners even reported that the booms are so powerful that they have briefly lost power as a result of the tremors. So far, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office has been unable to pinpoint the source of the booms.

A few days later, “strange explosion-like sounds” were being reported by numerous residents in New Orleans

The mystery surrounding the strange explosion-like sounds heard by residents in the metro area continues to grow. Late Monday night, several were heard in Lakeview, one of which was caught on camera by Eyewitness News.

A story that began in Mid-City, has taken crews to Harahan, River Ridge and Wagaman. Now we go to Lakeview, where late Monday night, the mysterious ‘booms’ were heard again.

Are you starting to see a pattern?

Large booming sounds are being reported all over the nation, and often those large booming sounds are being accompanied by massive flashes of light.  But in every case, the authorities have absolutely no idea what is causing this to happen.

And in case you were wondering if this was just happening in the eastern half of the country, here is a little taste of what has been going on in Tucson, Arizona

Faye DeHoff wrote, “first it was a major rattle…like a huge truck about to plow into my home…then the boom..that shook my windows…I was sure some of them were broken but they didn’t…my dog jumped up! I’m at River & Campbell.”

Ray C. Merrill wrote, “Oracle and Roger, it was shaking pretty good, and long enough for me to watch the blinds dance around, then get up and walk to the doorway, and it was still shaking.”

There was a similar sensation last week on Thursday, Jan 31 at 8:51 a.m. The same phenomenon; a rumble causing homes to shake and windows to rattle. I felt this one too on the northwest side and once again, so did so many others on Facebook all across Tucson and surrounding areas.

Some news reports are referring to these strange sounds as “seismic booms”, but there are no corresponding seismic events to back up that claim.

At this point, we have a complete and total mystery on our hands.  On YouTube, Jason A has done a great job of compiling news reports about these “mystery booms” from all over America, and you can watch his video right here.

We have entered a period of time when we should expect the unexpected.  Things are strange and they are going to get a whole lot stranger.  We aren’t always going to be able to explain what is happening, but without a doubt, our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and that growing instability is going to cause great chaos in the months and years ahead.

I wish that I knew what was causing all of these “mystery booms”, but I don’t.  Thankfully they don’t appear to be causing any serious damage, and hopefully, that won’t change.

Let’s just hope that all of this “shaking” is not leading up to something much bigger, because it isn’t going to take much to push America into a state of utter chaos right now.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

You Are Now Paying For Aborted Baby Parts To Be Grafted On To Mice In Bizarre Scientific Experiments

Is it okay for the U.S. government to pay for scientific experiments involving bizarre mouse/human hybrid creatures that were created by grafting aborted baby parts on to mice?  Needless to say, the answer to that question is self-evident.  Our tax dollars are being used to fund experiments that are so sickening that it is difficult to find words to describe how evil they are.  What you are about to read is deeply unsettling, but we must get the word out about this because most Americans have no idea that this is happening.  And we must do everything in our power to stop this because there is no future for any nation that engages in this sort of extreme evil.

By this point, most people know that Planned Parenthood sells aborted baby parts to the scientific community.  But now we have learned that sickening experiments are being performed that involve fusing aborted baby parts on to mice.  The following comes from a bombshell report by the Sun

ABORTED babies are being used in macabre experiments in the US that involve grafting dead fetus parts onto mice which are then used to test drugs.

Documents seen by Sun Online outline procedures that involve cutting out glands and livers of unborn children and then fusing them onto lab rodents.

As a result of these experiments, the “humanized mice” actually develop “human-like immunity”.  This is how it works

A so-called “humanised mouse” is created by first destroying a rodents immune system by subjecting it to radiation.

Livers or the thymus glands are then fused with them.

In about 10 weeks the mice develop human-like immunity and are ready to be experimented on.

The federal government could outlaw such experiments, but that has not happened.

Instead, the federal government has actually been pouring millions of dollars into such research

The controversial use of body parts is being spearheaded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is part of the American government which is ploughing $98million (£75m) of taxpayers’ money into using aborted babies in the name of science.

But addressing Congress in December, NIH director Francis Collins defended the practice.

He said: “There is strong evidence that scientific benefits come from fetal tissue research, [which] can be done with an ethical framework.”

Francis Collins is an absolute disgrace, and he should immediately be fired and banned from ever working for the government again.

Of course now that the Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives, Congress is not going to ban these experiments.

But the Republicans had control of both houses of Congress for two years, and they did nothing.  This is why we need a new generation of conservative leaders in Congress.

Thankfully, we have a president that is starting to make pro-life issues a more central part of his agenda, and that was reflected in his State of the Union address

“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth,” Trump said.

“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children—born and unborn—are made in the holy image of God,” Trump said.

I honestly do not know how many of these radical pro-abortion leftists can look at themselves in the mirror.

Legalizing abortion up to the moment of birth was not enough for some of them, and so now some activists have been pushing for “post-birth” abortions.

In other words, they want to legalize infanticide.

And why stop there?  In the end, where will they ultimately decide to draw the line?  In one of his recent articles, Mike Adams posed some very important questions

What is the age after birth at which Democrats think murdering a child should no longer be allowed? Is post-birth “abortion” (murder) to be legalized up to 100 days? Two years? Five years? If it’s a “woman’s choice,” then can’t the woman make that choice at any age, according to the twisted logic of Leftists?

We are a nation that has already killed 60 million children, and if we keep doing this there will be no future for America.

More abortions are performed at Planned Parenthood than anywhere else, and the federal government gives Planned Parenthood approximately 500 million dollars every year.

Planned Parenthood sells aborted baby parts to the highest bidder, and those baby parts are being used in some of the sickest scientific experiments imaginable.

In addition to funding Planned Parenthood, the federal government also spends millions of dollars each year funding those experiments.

As you fill out your tax return this year, take a few moments to think about where those tax dollars are going.

Our nation is doing things that are unspeakably evil, and the federal government is funding those practices every step of the way.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

35 Mind Blowing Facts About America That Previous Generations Of Americans Never Would Have Believed

The only thing that seems to be constant in our society is change, and today America is changing at a pace that is more rapid than we have ever seen before.  But is that a good thing or a bad thing?  For a moment, I would like for you to imagine what it would be like for a group of average Americans from 1919 to suddenly be transported to our time.  How do you think that they would feel about what we have become?  Certainly, they would be absolutely amazed by our advanced technology, but beyond that, they would almost certainly have very strong opinions about the current state of our society.  Similarly, if any of us were suddenly transported 100 years into the future, I am sure that we would be completely and utterly shocked by how things had changed.  The decisions that we make today are going to echo long into the future, and if we make very bad decisions there might not be a future for our country at all.

The following are 35 mind-blowing facts about America that previous generations of Americans never would have believed…

#1 Approximately one-fourth of the entire global prison population is in the United States.

#2 By the time an American child reaches the age of 18, that child will have seen approximately 40,000 murders on television.

#3 The average U.S. adult “logs 6 hours, 43 minutes of total screen time daily”.

#4 Approximately 96 percent of all Americans use the Internet.

#5 According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, nearly 56,000 bridges in the United States are currently “structurally deficient”.  What makes that number even more chilling is the fact that vehicles cross those bridges a total of 185 million times a day.

#6 In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.

#7 The Pentagon has more square footage of office space than any other office building in the entire world.

#8 The state of Alaska is 429 times larger than the state of Rhode Island.  But Rhode Island has a significantly larger population than Alaska does.

#9 Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other 49 U.S. states put together.

#10 The city of Juneau, Alaska is about 3,000 square miles in size. It is actually larger than the entire state of Delaware.

#11 The average age of America’s dams is now 52 years.

#12 The average supermarket in the United States wastes about 3,000 pounds of food each year.

#13 There are more than 75 million dogs in the United States, and that number is constantly growing.

#14 Montana has three times as many cows as it does people.

#15 The grizzly bear is the official state animal of California. But no grizzly bears have been seen in the state since 1922.

#16 The only place in the United States where coffee is grown commercially is in Hawaii.

#17 More than 2 million Americans work for Wal-Mart.

#18 Half of all American workers make less than $30,533 a year.

#19 According to one recent survey, 37 percent of all Americans eat fast food every 24 hours.

#20 One study found that one-third of all American teenagers haven’t read a single book in the past year.

#21 Almost one-third of all Millennials are still living with their parents.

#22 The suicide rate in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 1999.

#23 Women have earned at least 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in the United States for 18 years in a row.

#24 If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would have the fifth largest GDPon the entire planet.

#25 America does not have a single airport that is considered to be in the top 25 in the world.

#26 Today, a million Americans are living in their RVS, and that number is rising with each passing year.

#27 More than 100 churches in the United States are dying every single week.

#28 The original name of the city of Atlanta was “Terminus“.

#29 There are three towns in the United States that have the name “Santa Claus“.

#30 There is actually a town in Michigan called “Hell“, and during the recent polar vortex it actually froze over.

#31 Almost one-third of all land in the United States is owned by the federal government.

#32 More than 27 million acres of U.S. farmland is owned by foreigners.

#33 Congestion on our highways costs Americans approximately 101 billion dollars a year in wasted fuel and time.

#34 According to Bloomberg, it is being projected “that by 2025, shortfalls in infrastructure investment will subtract as much as $3.9 trillion from U.S. gross domestic product.”

#35 In 1980, the U.S. national debt had just surpassed the one trillion dollar mark.  In 2019, we are about to surpass the 22 trillion dollar mark with no end in sight.

These days, just about everyone that tries to step forward and shake up the system is slapped with heavy criticism.

But at least they are trying to do something.

Holding an important position does not make you a leader.  Rather, being a leader is about having a positive vision for the future and doing whatever you can to achieve that vision.

We have way too many “leaders” out there that are simply filling seats.  Our country is literally falling apart at the seams, and all they can think about is protecting their careers.

America desperately needs change, but unfortunately we have very few change agents.  So we continue to steamroll toward our date with destiny, and time is not on our side.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

Pope & Islam’s Most Important Imam Just Signed A Covenant That Pushes Us Much Closer To A One World Religion

A historic interfaith covenant was signed in the Middle East on Monday, and the mainstream media in the United States has been almost entirely silent about it.  Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb is considered to be the most important imam in Sunni Islam, and he arrived at the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi with Pope Francis “hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood”.  But this wasn’t just a ceremony for Catholics and Muslims.  According to a British news source, the signing of this covenant was done “in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths”…

The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar have signed a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s Catholics, and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious seat of learning, arrived at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood.

In other words, there was a concerted effort to make sure that all of the religions of the world were represented at this gathering.

According to the official Vatican website, a tremendous amount of preparation went in to the drafting of this document, and it encourages believers from all religions “to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray” with one another…

The document, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, was prepared “with much reflection and prayer”, the Pope said. The one great danger at this moment, he continued, is “destruction, war, hatred between us.” “If we believers are not able to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray, our faith will be defeated”, he said. The Pope explained that the document “is born of faith in God who is the Father of all and the Father of peace; it condemns all destruction, all terrorism, from the first terrorism in history, that of Cain.”

There is a lot of language about peace in this document, but it goes way beyond just advocating for peace.

Over and over again, the word “God” is used to simultaneously identify Allah and the God of Christianity.  Here is just one example…

We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgment, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

On top of that, the document also boldly declares that “the diversity of religions” that we see in the world was “willed by God”…

Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;

In essence, this is saying that it is the will of God that there are hundreds of different religions in the world and that they are all acceptable in His sight.

We know that the elite want a one world religion, but to see the most important clerics from both Catholicism and Islam make such a dramatic public push for it is absolutely stunning.

You can find the full text of the covenant that they signed on the official Vatican website.  I have also reproduced the entire document below…

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INTRODUCTION

Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved. Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need.

This transcendental value served as the starting point for several meetings characterized by a friendly and fraternal atmosphere where we shared the joys, sorrows and problems of our contemporary world. We did this by considering scientific and technical progress, therapeutic achievements, the digital era, the mass media and communications. We reflected also on the level of poverty, conflict and suffering of so many brothers and sisters in different parts of the world as a consequence of the arms race, social injustice, corruption, inequality, moral decline, terrorism, discrimination, extremism and many other causes.

From our fraternal and open discussions, and from the meeting that expressed profound hope in a bright future for all human beings, the idea of this Document on Human Fraternity was conceived. It is a text that has been given honest and serious thought so as to be a joint declaration of good and heartfelt aspirations. It is a document that invites all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.

DOCUMENT

In the name of God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters, to fill the earth and make known the values of goodness, love and peace;

In the name of innocent human life that God has forbidden to kill, affirming that whoever kills a person is like one who kills the whole of humanity, and that whoever saves a person is like one who saves the whole of humanity;

In the name of the poor, the destitute, the marginalized and those most in need whom God has commanded us to help as a duty required of all persons, especially the wealthy and of means;

In the name of orphans, widows, refugees and those exiled from their homes and their countries; in the name of all victims of wars, persecution and injustice; in the name of the weak, those who live in fear, prisoners of war and those tortured in any part of the world, without distinction;

In the name of peoples who have lost their security, peace, and the possibility of living together, becoming victims of destruction, calamity and war;

In the name of human fraternity that embraces all human beings, unites them and renders them equal;

In the name of this fraternity torn apart by policies of extremism and division, by systems of unrestrained profit or by hateful ideological tendencies that manipulate the actions and the future of men and women;

In the name of freedom, that God has given to all human beings creating them free and distinguishing them by this gift;

In the name of justice and mercy, the foundations of prosperity and the cornerstone of faith;

In the name of all persons of good will present in every part of the world;

In the name of God and of everything stated thus far; Al-Azhar al-Sharif and the Muslims of the East and West, together with the Catholic Church and the Catholics of the East and West, declare the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard.

We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgment, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

We call upon intellectuals, philosophers, religious figures, artists, media professionals and men and women of culture in every part of the world, to rediscover the values of peace, justice, goodness, beauty, human fraternity and coexistence in order to confirm the importance of these values as anchors of salvation for all, and to promote them everywhere.

This Declaration, setting out from a profound consideration of our contemporary reality, valuing its successes and in solidarity with its suffering, disasters and calamities, believes firmly that among the most important causes of the crises of the modern world are a desensitized human conscience, a distancing from religious values and a prevailing individualism accompanied by materialistic philosophies that deify the human person and introduce worldly and material values in place of supreme and transcendental principles.

While recognizing the positive steps taken by our modern civilization in the fields of science, technology, medicine, industry and welfare, especially in developed countries, we wish to emphasize that, associated with such historic advancements, great and valued as they are, there exists both a moral deterioration that influences international action and a weakening of spiritual values and responsibility. All this contributes to a general feeling of frustration, isolation and desperation leading many to fall either into a vortex of atheistic, agnostic or religious extremism, or into blind and fanatic extremism, which ultimately encourage forms of dependency and individual or collective self-destruction.

History shows that religious extremism, national extremism and also intolerance have produced in the world, be it in the East or West, what might be referred to as signs of a “third world war being fought piecemeal”. In several parts of the world and in many tragic circumstances these signs have begun to be painfully apparent, as in those situations where the precise number of victims, widows and orphans is unknown. We see, in addition, other regions preparing to become theatres of new conflicts, with outbreaks of tension and a build-up of arms and ammunition, and all this in a global context overshadowed by uncertainty, disillusionment, fear of the future, and controlled by narrow-minded economic interests.

We likewise affirm that major political crises, situations of injustice and lack of equitable distribution of natural resources – which only a rich minority benefit from, to the detriment of the majority of the peoples of the earth – have generated, and continue to generate, vast numbers of poor, infirm and deceased persons. This leads to catastrophic crises that various countries have fallen victim to despite their natural resources and the resourcefulness of young people which characterize these nations. In the face of such crises that result in the deaths of millions of children – wasted away from poverty and hunger – there is an unacceptable silence on the international level.

It is clear in this context how the family as the fundamental nucleus of society and humanity is essential in bringing children into the world, raising them, educating them, and providing them with solid moral formation and domestic security. To attack the institution of the family, to regard it with contempt or to doubt its important role, is one of the most threatening evils of our era.

We affirm also the importance of awakening religious awareness and the need to revive this awareness in the hearts of new generations through sound education and an adherence to moral values and upright religious teachings. In this way we can confront tendencies that are individualistic, selfish, conflicting, and also address radicalism and blind extremism in all its forms and expressions.

The first and most important aim of religions is to believe in God, to honour Him and to invite all men and women to believe that this universe depends on a God who governs it. He is the Creator who has formed us with His divine wisdom and has granted us the gift of life to protect it. It is a gift that no one has the right to take away, threaten or manipulate to suit oneself. Indeed, everyone must safeguard this gift of life from its beginning up to its natural end. We therefore condemn all those practices that are a threat to life such as genocide, acts of terrorism, forced displacement, human trafficking, abortion and euthanasia. We likewise condemn the policies that promote these practices.

Moreover, we resolutely declare that religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism, nor must they incite violence or the shedding of blood. These tragic realities are the consequence of a deviation from religious teachings. They result from a political manipulation of religions and from interpretations made by religious groups who, in the course of history, have taken advantage of the power of religious sentiment in the hearts of men and women in order to make them act in a way that has nothing to do with the truth of religion. This is done for the purpose of achieving objectives that are political, economic, worldly and short-sighted. We thus call upon all concerned to stop using religions to incite hatred, violence, extremism and blind fanaticism, and to refrain from using the name of God to justify acts of murder, exile, terrorism and oppression. We ask this on the basis of our common belief in God who did not create men and women to be killed or to fight one another, nor to be tortured or humiliated in their lives and circumstances. God, the Almighty, has no need to be defended by anyone and does not want His name to be used to terrorize people.

This Document, in accordance with previous International Documents that have emphasized the importance of the role of religions in the construction of world peace, upholds the following:

– The firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding,human fraternity and harmonious coexistence; to re-establish wisdom, justice and love; and to reawaken religious awareness among young people so that future generations may be protected from the realm of materialistic thinking and from dangerous policies of unbridled greed and indifference that are based on the law of force and not on the force of law;

– Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;

– Justice based on mercy is the path to follow in order to achieve a dignified life to which every human being has a right;

– Dialogue, understanding and the widespread promotion of a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity;

– Dialogue among believers means coming together in the vast space of spiritual, human and shared social values and, from here, transmitting the highest moral virtues that religions aim for. It also means avoiding unproductive discussions;

– The protection of places of worship – synagogues, churches and mosques – is a duty guaranteed by religions, human values, laws and international agreements. Every attempt to attack places of worship or threaten them by violent assaults, bombings or destruction, is a deviation from the teachings of religions as well as a clear violation of international law;

– Terrorism is deplorable and threatens the security of people, be they in the East or the West, the North or the South, and disseminates panic, terror and pessimism, but this is not due to religion, even when terrorists instrumentalize it. It is due, rather, to an accumulation of incorrect interpretations of religious texts and to policies linked to hunger, poverty, injustice, oppression and pride. This is why it is so necessary to stop supporting terrorist movements fuelled by financing, the provision of weapons and strategy, and by attempts to justify these movements even using the media. All these must be regarded as international crimes that threaten security and world peace. Such terrorism must be condemned in all its forms and expressions;

– The concept of citizenship is based on the equality of rights and duties, under which all enjoy justice. It is therefore crucial to establish in our societies the concept of full citizenship and reject the discriminatory use of the term minoritieswhich engenders feelings of isolation and inferiority. Its misuse paves the way for hostility and discord; it undoes any successes and takes away the religious and civil rights of some citizens who are thus discriminated against;

– Good relations between East and West are indisputably necessary for both. They must not be neglected, so that each can be enriched by the other’s culture through fruitful exchange and dialogue. The West can discover in the East remedies for those spiritual and religious maladies that are caused by a prevailing materialism. And the East can find in the West many elements that can help free it from weakness, division, conflict and scientific, technical and cultural decline. It is important to pay attention to religious, cultural and historical differences that are a vital component in shaping the character, culture and civilization of the East. It is likewise important to reinforce the bond of fundamental human rights in order to help ensure a dignified life for all the men and women of East and West, avoiding the politics of double standards;

– It is an essential requirement to recognize the right of women to education and employment, and to recognize their freedom to exercise their own political rights. Moreover, efforts must be made to free women from historical and social conditioning that runs contrary to the principles of their faith and dignity. It is also necessary to protect women from sexual exploitation and from being treated as merchandise or objects of pleasure or financial gain. Accordingly, an end must be brought to all those inhuman and vulgar practices that denigrate the dignity of women. Efforts must be made to modify those laws that prevent women from fully enjoying their rights;

– The protection of the fundamental rights of children to grow up in a family environment, to receive nutrition, education and support, are duties of the family and society. Such duties must be guaranteed and protected so that they are not overlooked or denied to any child in any part of the world. All those practices that violate the dignity and rights of children must be denounced. It is equally important to be vigilant against the dangers that they are exposed to, particularly in the digital world, and to consider as a crime the trafficking of their innocence and all violations of their youth;

– The protection of the rights of the elderly, the weak, the disabled, and the oppressed is a religious and social obligation that must be guaranteed and defended through strict legislation and the implementation of the relevant international agreements.

To this end, by mutual cooperation, the Catholic Church and Al-Azhar announce and pledge to convey this Document to authorities, influential leaders, persons of religion all over the world, appropriate regional and international organizations, organizations within civil society, religious institutions and leading thinkers. They further pledge to make known the principles contained in this Declaration at all regional and international levels, while requesting that these principles be translated into policies, decisions, legislative texts, courses of study and materials to be circulated.

Al-Azhar and the Catholic Church ask that this Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation, thus helping to educate new generations to bring goodness and peace to others, and to be defenders everywhere of the rights of the oppressed and of the least of our brothers and sisters.

In conclusion, our aspiration is that:

this Declaration may constitute an invitation to reconciliation and fraternity among all believers, indeed among believers and non-believers, and among all people of good will;

this Declaration may be an appeal to every upright conscience that rejects deplorable violence and blind extremism; an appeal to those who cherish the values of tolerance and fraternity that are promoted and encouraged by religions;

this Declaration may be a witness to the greatness of faith in God that unites divided hearts and elevates the human soul;

this Declaration may be a sign of the closeness between East and West, between North and South, and between all who believe that God has created us to understand one another, cooperate with one another and live as brothers and sisters who love one another.

This is what we hope and seek to achieve with the aim of finding a universal peace that all can enjoy in this life.

Abu Dhabi, 4 february 2019

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

10 Significant Earthquakes Rock The California Coastline As Mount St. Helens Rumbles Back To Life

Scientists tell us that someday the “Big One” will strike California and large portions of the coastline will plunge into the ocean “almost instantly”.  Could it be possible that we are a lot closer to that day than many had anticipated?  Over the past several days, there has been a lot of shaking along the North American portion of the Ring of Fire.  In particular, during a 24 hour period over the weekend one area of the California coastline was hit by 10 earthquakes of at least magnitude 3.0, and this created such a stir that it made the front page of the Drudge Report.  The following comes from a local California newspaper

Ten earthquakes of preliminary magnitudes between 3.0 and 4.5 struck off the coast of Northern California between Saturday and Sunday, the United States Geological Survey reports.

Hopefully ,all of this shaking will turn out to be nothing, but many are concerned that they could potentially be “foreshocks” of a larger event.

Once the first quake hit early on Saturday, they just kept happening one after another

The first earthquake struck early Saturday morning at a magnitude of 4.3, while a second earthquake, of 3.2 magnitude, rumbled about 30 minutes later. Three additional earthquakes hit between 4:30 p.m. and 5:38 p.m. Saturday in the same area, registering magnitudes between 2.9 and 3.6, USGS reported. A 3.0-magnitude earthquake struck that night, at 11:37 p.m.

The geological activity continued into Sunday. USGS reported four earthquakes near Petrolia between 2:18 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. The earthquakes ranged in magnitude from 3.4 to 4.5.

Further south along the Ring of Fire, Mexico was hit by an even larger earthquake on Friday

A strong earthquake jolted southern Mexico on Friday, rattling nerves and swaying tall buildings hundreds of miles away in the capital, but there were no reports of serious damage, injuries or deaths.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the quake had a magnitude of 6.6. It was centered about 10 miles from the city of Tapachula in Chiapas state and struck at a depth of 40 miles.

If you follow my work on a regular basis, then you already know that I have been regularly documenting the dramatic rise in global seismic activity.

The crust of our planet is cracked, and we are just floating on the pieces.  Now those pieces appear to be getting increasingly unstable, and that could mean big trouble for all of us.

I know that the weather is nice and that there are lots of good paying jobs out there, but at this point, I don’t know why anyone would still want to live along the California coast.  In a previous article, I shared a quote from a news story about a scientific study that had come to the conclusion that a massive earthquake “could plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly”

The Big One may be overdue to hit California, but scientists near LA have found a new risk for the area during a major earthquake.

They claim that if a major tremor hits the area, it could plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly.

The discovery was made after studying the Newport-Inglewood fault, which has long been believed to be one of Southern California’s danger zones.

And there probably will be little to no warning when that occurs.

One day it will seem like everything is just fine, and then disaster will strike.

According to Cal State Fullerton professor Matt Kirby, it is something “that would happen relatively instantaneously”

Cal State Fullerton professor Matt Kirby, who worked with the Leeper on the study, said the sinking would occur quickly and likely result in part of California being covered by the sea.

“It’s something that would happen relatively instantaneously,” Prof Kirby said. “Probably today if it happened, you would see seawater rushing in.”

In other words, by the time you have figured out what is happening it will be too late.

Meanwhile, scientists are alarmed by the drama that continues to unfold at Mount St. Helens.

Most Americans think that it no longer poses an imminent threat, but the truth is that the area around the volcano has been very active in recent years

Since 1980, the area around the volcano has experienced tens of thousands of small earthquakes and numerous minor eruptions.

Most notably, as of 2004, the volcano has been continuously erupting lava, which has created a large dome that is still growing.

Scientists tell us that the dome is “now taller than the Empire State building” and that it continues to grow about five meters a day

He added: “What is really phenomenal is how much rock is still coming out of the ground.

“It’s now taller than the Empire State building.

“It’s coming up at five metres a day, more than 200 metres wide and it’s right here in our back yard.”

It is just a matter of time before we see another eruption like the one that we witnessed back in 1980.

We live at a time when global seismic activity is going to continue to increase, and North America is going to get hit particularly hard because the entire west coast sits directly along the Ring of Fire.

And if you have been a regular reader of my work for a long time, then you already know that I am even more concerned about Mount Rainier than I am about Mount St. Helens.  But that is a topic for another article.

I know that there are a lot of people out there that plan to leave the west coast once things start getting really crazy, but when it comes to major seismic events, you might not get any warning.

Hopefully, there will not be a major seismic event in the U.S. in the very near future, but without a doubt global seismic activity is on the rise, and all of this shaking on the west coast has a lot of people very, very nervous right now.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder