10 Signs That America Is In Much Worse Trouble Than We All Thought…

You may find it difficult to believe some of the things that I am about to share with you.  Instinctively, most of us know that America is in trouble, but recently it has been impressed upon me that things are much worse than I originally believed.  Our cities are becoming cesspools, our nation is falling apart all around us, and it seems like the number of sick, twisted and depraved people is multiplying.  We still have a relatively high standard of living for the moment, but the only reason we can maintain that standard of living is because we are on the greatest debt binge in human history.  And once that bubble bursts, I fear for what this nation is going to become, because things are getting really bad out there.  The following are 10 signs that America is in much worse trouble than we all thought…

#1 America is “the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth in”.  We all know that our healthcare system is rapidly deteriorating, but I figured that the U.S. would be at least in the middle of the pack when it comes to women dying during childbirth.  Sadly, I was completely wrong

The U.S. is the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth in according to a report.

About 50,000 women are “severely injured” during childbirth, and about 700 women die every year. Half of these deaths could have been prevented, as could the injuries, if correct safety procedures had been followed, according to an investigation by USA Today.

#2 America is absolutely teeming with sexual predators.  When I read stories like the one I am about to share with you, it makes me want to vomit.  According to a report that was just released, more than 300 “predator priests” were identified in just 6 Pennsylvania dioceses

A landmark grand jury report identifies more than 300 “predator priests” in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses, the state Supreme Court said Friday in ordering the findings released. (Tap here to read the court ruling.)

The justices said the report on clergy child sexual abuse going back decades and allegations of cover-up efforts will be made public but without the names or “individual specific information” of priests and others who have challenged the findings, at least in the initial version to be released.

#3 America has a massive problem with pedophilia.  This is particularly true in Hollywood, and actor Elijah Wood has decided to go public about it

The actor, in a new interview with the Sunday Times, is accusing Tinseltown of having a pedophilia problem, saying “a lot of vipers” are preying on children in the business.

“Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” he said. “There is darkness in the underbelly. What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power. That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: they can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”

#4 America is full of people that are looking to take advantage of others.  During the recent horrific wildfires in northern California, authorities say that there was “a lot of looting”

With so many people locked out of huge areas of the city, looters had moved in to take advantage, officials said, adding that police patrols are being increased and hat National Guard troops are being brought in to help.

“We’re experiencing a lot of looting and are beefing up our security,” Redding Police Chief Roger Moore told a crowd of about 250 residents Saturday afternoon. And Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko received a round of applause when he announced the first arrest of a suspected looter.

#5 America has way too many politically-correct control freaks that want to ruin all of our lives.  I never dreamed that the day would come when plastic straws would be banned in the United States, but now it is actually happening

Only in California can you go to jail for offering restaurant patrons a straw. According to the ordinance, first-time offenders will be given a written warning. Second-time offenders will face steeper consequences. Based on the city’s municipal code, penalties for straw-peddling will include a “fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months.”

The West Coast is home to many a plastic straw ban; the city of Seattle, WA, was the first city in the U.S. to ban plastic straws in early July. But in the Emerald City, a violation only warrants a $250 fine. California is not to be outdone in their regressive-progressive politics.

#6 America is a nation of addicts.  Today, I came across a survey that found that nearly half of all Americans admit to shopping online (one addiction) while drunk (another addiction)…

If you’ve poured yourself a glass of wine or two and then started browsing Amazon, you’re not alone — and you may well have spent more than you meant to. A new survey finds that Americans who shop online under the influence spend over $40 each time.

Gin drinkers actually spend the most, about $82 on average, while whiskey drinkers are the cheapest buzzed buyers, according to addiction treatment facility the Archstone Recovery Center. They polled over 1,000 people who reported purchasing an item off of Amazon while under the influence of alcohol.

#7 America is on a path to financial suicide.  The federal government is already 21 trillion dollars in debt, and it is being officially estimated that we will hit the 30 trillion dollar mark by 2028.

#8 America seems to have an endless supply of cruel people.  Down in Louisiana, authorities have arrested 5 people that locked an autistic woman that they were related to in a cage and forced her to eat her mother’s ashes

A Louisiana woman living with autism was locked up in a cage, threatened and abused and forced to eat her mother’s ashes by five people, who were indicted this week by a federal grand jury in New Orleans, officials said.

The indictments accuse five family members of abusing their 22-year-old relative until June 2016, according to court documents released by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

#9 America’s major cities are rapidly being transformed into cesspools.  The following is an excerpt from a letter that was recently penned by Portland’s police chief

Our City has become a cesspool. Livability that once made Portland a unique and vibrant city is now replaced with human feces in businesses doorways, in our parks, and on our streets. Aggressive panhandlers block the sidewalks, storefronts, and landmarks like Pioneer Square, discouraging people from enjoying our City. Garbage-filled RVs and vehicles are strewn throughout our neighborhoods. Used needles, drug paraphernalia, and trash are common sights lining the streets and sidewalks of the downtown core area, under our bridges, and freeway overpasses. That’s not what our families, business owners, and tourists deserve.

#10 America is inhabited by way too many idiots.  These days just about anyone will do just about anything for 15 minutes of fame, and one of the worst examples of this was when Florida resident Robby Stratton walked into a convenience store with a live alligator

The man, identified by WJAX as Robby Stratton, is seen on video posted to Facebook walking into the store in Jacksonville with the gator’s mouth taped shut.

Stratton approaches the counter and asks the man behind it: ‘Y’all got beer still? Y’all ain’t out, are y’all?’

He then sees someone in the back of the store and says: ‘Is he taking the last bit of beer? You aren’t taking the last bit of beer are you?’

Stratton planned this stunt well in advance, and he made sure to have it recorded so that he could post it on Facebook.

This is what America has become.  We need to take a long look in the mirror, because we are in an advanced state of decline.

Hopefully the American people will start to wake up, because time to turn things around is quickly running out.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Wild And Unprecedented Price Fluctuations Are Causing Financial Chaos For U.S. Businesses

In every war there is a high price to pay, and this trade war will not be any different. The normal flow of goods and services around the globe is being severely disrupted, and even though this trade war has barely just begun, it is already having an enormous impact on the U.S. economy. Even if we ultimately win this trade war and the Trump administration is able to achieve all of the goals that it is targeting, there will still be a great cost in the short-term. We are going to see businesses fail, we are going to see workers get laid off, and global economic activity will inevitably contract. Heck, at this point even Fox News is calling this trade war “economic suicide”. We live at a time when a delicately balanced formula of economic factors allows us to live a debt-fueled standard of living that is far beyond what we actually deserve. Now we are messing with that formula, and the consequences are likely to be far more severe than most Americans are anticipating.

Let’s start by talking about steel and aluminum. One of the chief goals of the tariffs was to help the steel and aluminum industries, and thanks to those tariffs we have seen the price of U.S. steel rise 36 percent since the beginning of 2018…

For instance, US steel and aluminum prices have soared since the imposition of tariffs. US midwest hot-rolled coil steel price, the US steel price benchmark, soared 36% between the start of the year and the start of July. This in turn causes prices of goods made with the metal to rise.

That is good news for the U.S. economy, right?

Actually, it isn’t.

Every product that uses steel and aluminum is now going to cost more.

In many cases, a lot more.

For instance, one grill company is reporting that they have had to raise prices “by almost $350 per grill”

Middleby Residential, a California-based company that makes Lynx grills, told the Dallas Morning News that even though the company uses US steel, the recent price pressures have driven up costs by almost $350 per grill.

Do you want to pay an extra $350 for your next grill?

Retail prices for washer and dryers are surging as well. They have increased by 20 percent compared to a year ago, and that is because prices for raw materials are skyrocketing

Whirlpool Corp trimmed its full-year profit outlook as it booked a large charge on its European operations and said it wouldn’t be able to offset the effect of steel tariffs with higher prices for consumers.

The company said Monday it now expects to pay about $350 million more this year from rising raw-material costs as it faces “a very challenging cost environment.”

Anybody that purchases any products that contain steel and/or aluminum will be feeling these prices increases.

And any business that uses steel and/or aluminum on a regular basis is going to be feeling an enormous amount of pain. For example, the largest nail company in America is already laying off workers

When President Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports last month, America’s largest nail manufacturer had little choice but to raise its prices. Mid Continent Nail Corporation quickly lost 50 percent of its orders as customers opted for cheaper suppliers. Within weeks, the firm had to lay off 60 workers. Up to 200 more might lose their jobs by the end of this month.

All over the country, companies are going to be forced to either raise prices, fire workers or move production facilities out of the United States.

Meanwhile, farmers all over America are facing a different problem. Thanks to a massive decline in demand from China (thanks to tariffs that they have hit us with), prices are plummeting and warehouses are filling up with food that doesn’t have anywhere to go.

Every year, the U.S. usually imports about 14 billion dollars worth of soybeans to China, and I covered the plight of soybean farmers in a previous article. But of course soybean farmers are far from alone. It is being reported that more than 2.5 billion pounds of meat and poultry products that have been produced by our farmers is being stockpiled in cold-storage warehouses. To help the agricultural community, President Trump announced 12 billion dollars in aid to farmers on Tuesday

As President Donald Trump embarks on a multistate tour through parts of the country hit heavily by trade battles, his administration said Tuesday it will direct $12 billion to farmers whose harvests have been hurt by tariffs.

But the idea faced immediate criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Responding to farm groups and the Republican discontent, administration officials said they have been working since April on a short-term plan to shore up slipping prices for soybeans, pork and other crops hit with retaliatory tariffs from China.

Sure, this will help farmers get through the trade war in the short-term, but isn’t this exactly the kind of big government socialism that we are always railing against?

And who is going to bail out the real estate industry?

CNBC is reporting that home sales fell a whopping 11.8 percent year over year in southern California last month…

Southern California home sales hit the brakes in June, falling to the lowest reading for the month in four years. Sales of both new and existing houses and condominiums dropped 11.8 percent year over year, as prices shot up to a record high, according to CoreLogic. The report covers Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties.

And do you know who has been fueling the extremely hot real estate market on the west coast?

The Chinese.

At one time they were buying up everything in sight, but now they have become net sellers of U.S. real estate.

And there are rumblings that we could soon see some sort of “national boycott” of American goods in China. The following comes from Zero Hedge

The survey found that 54 percent of 2,000 respondents in 300 cities across China would “probably” or “definitely” stop buying US-branded goods “in the event of a trade war”. Just 13 percent said they would not.

The remaining 33 percent said they were unsure or did not at present buy US branded goods, according to the survey, conducted for FT Confidential Research (FTCR), a research unit at the Financial Times.

The survey was carried out between June 27 and July 10, mostly before the US imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods on July 6. The move elicited an immediate tit-for-tat response from Beijing.

Of course something similar could be tried in the United States, but most Americans simply do not care if a product comes from China or not. They are simply going to buy the cheapest stuff no matter what anyone tells them to do.

Look, I very much understand that we have been sending businesses and jobs overseas for a very long time. I have been writing about this for years, and something had to be done.

But trying to fight trade wars with virtually everyone else on the planet simultaneously is madness, and the consequences for the U.S. economy are going to cause all of us an immense amount of pain.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Trade War Is Already Having A Huge Impact On The U.S. Economy

The trade war has barely just begun, and yet significant ripple effects are already being felt all across the U.S. economy. Once thriving businesses are on the verge of failure, workers are being laid off, and some sectors of the economy are witnessing enormous price hikes. Right now the mainstream media is absolutely fixated on the drama surrounding the recently concluded Trump-Putin summit meeting, but the consequences of this trade war will ultimately be far more important for the lives of most ordinary Americans. As more tariffs continue to be implemented, this will perhaps be the biggest disruption to the global economic system that we have seen in decades. Perhaps you have not been affected personally yet, but for many Americans this trade war has changed everything. For example, just consider the plight of soybean farmer Tim Bardole

The U.S. is China’s second-biggest source of soybeans at 34% of the imports, after Brazil, which ships 53%. The staple is used to make cooking oil and seasoning, and soybean meal is found in pig feed.

Now the tariffs have taken the bottom out of U.S. soybean prices, delivering a gut punch to farmers like Tim Bardole. He was already $100,000 in the red last year due to a yearslong slump in cereal prices, and the current predicament has driven him into a corner.

“I’m not sure if I can get a loan from the bank to finance our next year’s crop,” said Bardole.

If this trade war had not happened, perhaps Bardole would have been able to eventually get out of debt. But now he is facing financial ruin and the potential loss of his entire farm.

Switching gears, U.S. consumers will soon discover that common electronics such as phones and computers cost a lot more. The following comes from CBS News

Buyers in the U.S. will soon see price hikes on computers, phones, thermostats and “everyday items,” according to the Information Technology Industry Council, a group that represents tech companies.

Hundreds of Chinese components that the Trump administration penalized are used to make everything from LEDs to sensors to printer and scanner components. When manufacturers pay more for their parts, the costs are typically passed on to consumers, the ITI said.

Are you ready to pay 50 dollars for your next phone to support this trade war?

Maybe.

50 dollars is ultimately not that big of a deal.

But what about paying $9,000 more for your next house?

Tariffs on lumber coming from the evil Canadians are adding about $9,000 to the cost of a new house, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Washing machine prices have jumped some 15% this year, the fastest increase ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Are you starting to understand why starting trade wars with all of our major trading partners simultaneously was a really bad idea?

We are about to see major price hikes in just about every sector of the economy. According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the average American could pay over $5,000 more for their next vehicle

Consumers may see an average price increase of $5,800 if a 25 percent import tariff that Mr. Trump has threatened goes into effect, according to estimates cited by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), a lobbying group for carmakers.

That’s a “$45 billion tax on consumers,” the group said, citing an analysis of Commerce Department data.

U.S. consumers are already stretched to the max, and they will not be able to easily absorb these price increases.

Meanwhile, farm incomes all across the interior of the country are going to be absolutely devastated by this trade war. Just check out these numbers

The American Farm Bureau says it expects farm incomes to drop to a 12-year low this year, largely because of the trade war.

An agricultural economist at Purdue University, Christopher Hurt, added that 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans would have made a farmer a $42,000 profit on June 1. Now, it could net him a $126,000 loss.

And as I mentioned above, many businesses all over the United States that rely heavily on exports are already struggling so mightily that they have to lay off workers. The following comes from USA Today

In Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Mid-Continent Nail, the nation’s largest nail maker, laid off 60 workers last month. Sales plunged 70 percent after Trump placed a 25 percent tariff on steel from Mexico and Canada. When the company boosted its prices, customers defected. Now, Mid-Continent is strongly considering a second round of 200 layoffs, company spokeswoman Elizabeth Heaton says, and all 500 employees could be axed by Labor Day.

Yes, we desperately needed to do something about China and other trade partners that were taking advantage of us. But there is a right way to handle things and a wrong way to handle things, and starting a trade war with everyone at the same time is a really, really bad idea.

I think that a recent piece by Thomas Grennes, a professor of economics at North Carolina State University, made this point quite well

The Trump administration has said that tariffs are a negotiating technique that need not be implemented. Now that tariffs are in place, they say other countries will soon back down. However, trading partners have not backed down, and, in fact, retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports are already in place. Foreign officials have expressed confusion about exactly what concessions the US government wants. Currently, no formal negotiations are taking place. Higher future tariffs are being announced regularly. There are no signs of an end to this tariff war. When will both sides recognize that interfering with voluntary trade is harmful to both parties? Trade wars are lose-lose propositions.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that most Americans have any idea how exceedingly painful this trade war could potentially become.

The longer it lasts, the worse things will get, and ultimately it could tip the U.S. economy into the worst recession that any of us have ever experienced.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

An Absolutely Epic Escalation Of The Trade War Has Us On The Precipice Of A Cataclysmic Global Economic Crisis

If Americans really understood how much their standard of living was about to change, the streets of our major cities would be packed with protesters by tomorrow morning. For the past several decades, China and other low cost exporters have been flooding our shores with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of cheap goods. This is the only reason why you can go to Wal-Mart and buy a shirt for three bucks. But since we buy far more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us, we ultimately have to go back to those other nations and beg them to lend our money back to us so that we can pay our bills. This sick, twisted co-dependent relationship has enabled Americans to live a debt-fueled standard of living that is far beyond what we deserve, and now our rapidly escalating trade war with China is going to bring the party to a crashing halt. On Tuesday, the Trump administration released a list of $200,000,000,000 worth of Chinese exports that will be hit with 10 percent tariffs. Those tariffs are in addition to the 25 percent tariffs that had previously been announced on 50 billion dollars worth of Chinese exports. These new tariffs are scheduled to go into effect on August 30th, and the Chinese have already pledged to retaliate.

In essence, our trade war with China has now “gone nuclear”, and this is going to have extremely serious implications for the U.S. economy. The following is a short excerpt from the statement that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released about these new tariffs…

On Friday, in response to unfair Chinese practices, the United States began imposing tariffs of 25 percent on approximately $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. These tariffs will eventually cover up to $50 billion in Chinese imports as legal processes conclude. The products targeted by the tariffs are those that benefit from China’s industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices.

China has since retaliated against the United States by imposing tariffs on $34 billion in U.S. exports to China, and threatening tariffs on another $16 billion. It did this without any international legal basis or justification.

As a result of China’s retaliation and failure to change its practices, the President has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports. This is an appropriate response under the authority of Section 301 to obtain the elimination of China’s harmful industrial policies.

Without a doubt, something needed to be done about China’s unfair trade practices. The Chinese manipulate currency rates, they impose very high tariffs on U.S. goods, and they have been stealing our intellectual property for decades.

But it is very unlikely that anyone is going to “win” this trade war, and in the short-term all it is going to mean is a whole lot of economic and financial pain.

According to Politico, the new tariff list that was just released hits a very broad range of products…

The new tariff list broadens the types of goods caught up in the trade war by targeting items like seafood, minerals, chemicals, and personal care items, such as shampoo and soap. It also includes a number of consumer products such as handbags, luggage, gloves and paper.

Do you buy any of those things?

Well, expect to pay significantly more in the not too distant future.

When compiling this new list, the Trump administration specifically “took into account what could cause disruptions to China’s economy”. The following comes from CNBC

Some of the products on the list facing tariffs are from Made in China 2025 sectors, the official said. Made in China 2025 is a strategic plan to make China a leader in key global industries, including technology.

When compiling the list of goods, the U.S. Trade Representative took into account what could cause disruptions to China’s economy.

So what do you think that the Chinese are going to do in response?

Yes, they are going to look at measures that will “cause disruptions to America’s economy”.

The Chinese are a very proud people, and they aren’t stupid. They know where our pain points are, and they will not be afraid to go for the jugular.

China cannot match this round of U.S. tariffs dollar for dollar, because China only imports approximately 130 billion dollars worth of U.S. goods a year.

But China could decide to cut off some or all agricultural imports from the United States, and that would be absolutely devastating to many farming states. In fact, many farming states are already feeling substantial pain from the tariffs that China has already imposed…

“Agricultural states, I think, are being hit the hardest,” said Rodney Ludema, a Georgetown University professor and former senior international economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama. The tariffs spare states “that are heavily service-dependent, like New York.”

In terms of value, some 38 percent of products on the tariff list are agricultural, including soybeans, sorghum, tobacco and meat, said Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. That’s bad news for farm-belt states, primarily in the Midwest.

In addition, China could decide to “go nuclear” by cutting off U.S. investment in China, by restricting our access to rare earth elements, or by dumping our debt.

The only reason why we have even been able to get to 21 trillion dollars in debt is because nations such as China have been buying our debt at ultra-low interest rates that are way below the real rate of inflation.

If China quit buying our debt and started dumping their current holdings, interest rates would start skyrocketing and we would be in a world of hurt almost immediately.

We don’t have the kind of leverage that some people seem to think that we have. And there are many prominent experts that are warning that we are heading for catastrophic consequences. For example, just consider what David Stockman recently told CNBC…

The United States is heading to a “massive trade war” because President Donald Trump “doesn’t know what he’s doing,” said former Reagan budget director David Stockman.

“We have an absurd policy — dangerous, stupid. The worst that I’ve seen since my whole career started in 1970 under [President Richard] Nixon, and he did some crazy things,” Stockman said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

The financial markets have reacted very strongly to these latest developments. As soon as the new tariffs were announced, Asian stocks began to drop and Dow futures plummeted about 300 points from the closing highs.

Unfortunately, most ordinary Americans simply do not grasp the importance of what is happening, because we have never seen anything like this in modern American history. The two largest economies on the entire planet are now in a state of economic conflict, and there is no way that this is going to end well.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Experts Warn Of Chaos For The U.S. Economy As China Declares That “The Biggest Trade War In Economic History” Has Begun

Nothing is going to be the same after this. On Friday, the United States hit China with 34 billion dollars in tariffs, and China immediately responded with similar tariffs. If it stopped there, this trade war between the United States and China would not be catastrophic for the global economy. But it isn’t going to stop there. Donald Trump is already talking about hitting China with an additional 500 billion dollars in tariffs, which would essentially cover pretty much everything that China exports to the U.S. in a typical year. The Chinese have accused Trump of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history”, and they are pledging to fight for as long as it takes. As I discussed yesterday, the only way that one side is going to “win” this trade war is if the other side completely backs down, and that simply is not going to happen. So there is going to be economic pain, and that pain is likely to intensify for as long as this trade war persists. U.S. businesses that will be affected by foreign tariffs are already cutting back production and laying off workers, and CNN is reporting that 1,300 products have suddenly become more expensive for U.S. consumers. There will be nowhere that anyone can hide from this trade war, and it will ultimately affect every single man, woman and child in the entire country.

Most Americans are not paying any attention to these ongoing developments, but the Chinese sure are.

Earlier today, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce called the U.S. tariffs “typical trade bullying”, and it warned that this trade war could trigger “global market turmoil”

“This act is typical trade bullying,” the spokesperson said, before adding: “It seriously jeopardizes the global industrial chain … Hinders the pace of global economic recovery, triggers global market turmoil and will affect more innocent multinational companies, general companies and consumers.”

China’s primary English language newspaper was even more direct with their criticism

The government-run English language China Daily newspaper said: “The Trump administration is behaving like a gang of hoodlums with its shakedown of other countries, particularly China.”

Here in the United States, the start of a major trade war with China really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal if you listen to the mainstream media. Most people just seem to think that things will continue to go well for our country no matter how many stupid decisions we make. It is almost as if a lot of Americans no longer understand that extremely reckless acts can have exceedingly severe consequences.

One man that understands what is happening is the founder of the largest hedge fund on the entire planet. On Friday, Ray Dalio posted the following ominous message on Twitter

“Today is the first day of the war with China.”

Please note that he did not say “the trade war with China”.

The truth is that trade wars can often lead to shooting wars, and we need to hope that cooler heads will prevail.

But for now, it looks like things will continue to escalate

But Trump has said his administration will respond to retaliation from Beijing with much bigger waves of tariffs, raising the prospect of worsening tit-for-tat reprisals. On Thursday, he suggested the possibility of tariffs on almost $500 billion more of Chinese goods.

He described the potential escalation to reporters aboard Air Force One: “Thirty-four, and then you have another 16 in two weeks and then, as you know, we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance. OK?” Trump said. “So we have 50 plus 200 plus almost 300.”

If we hit China with 500 billion dollars in tariffs, there is no telling what the Chinese might do.

As I discussed the other day, the Chinese could start dumping our debt or cut off our access to rare earth elements.

Either move would be absolutely catastrophic for the United States.

We don’t know how this trade war will ultimately end, but as Reuters has pointed out, “it’s going to get ugly”…

The U.S.-China trade war will be fought in the trenches, and it’s going to get ugly. The first round of tariffs hits on Friday, and U.S. President Donald Trump says they might come to cover more than $500 billion of goods. Exporters will feel the pain first, but uncertainty will also dampen investment, impede research and twist reform. It marks a moment of mourning for those who hoped the world’s two largest economies could work things out.

And guess what?

Russia just joined the trade war against the United States as well. The following comes from Zero Hedge

Whether this is a coordinated response is unclear – and certainly on a much smaller scale – but Bloomberg reports that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree this morning imposing higher tariffs on U.S. products in retaliation for U.S. duties on metals imports, according to Economy Ministry statement.

Reuters reports that Russia’s additional duties will apply to imports of fiber optics, equipment for road construction, oil and gas industry, metal processing and mining, according to an economy ministry statement.

These tariffs are going to have very real consequences for U.S. businesses and U.S. workers.

Even though this trade war just started, some firms are already being hit very hard. Here is one example from USA Today

Trans-Matic, of Holland, Michigan, shapes metal, mostly into auto parts, as well as components for door locks. It has paid higher steel costs for several months as U.S. steelmakers raised prices in anticipation of higher American tariffs on metal imports, company Chief Financial Officer Steve Patterson says.

Trans-Matic has passed along the price hikes to its auto-supplier customers, but some have scaled back orders, reducing Trans-Matic’s revenue in that key sector by 5 to 10 percent, Patterson says. As a result, the company is giving its 300 U.S. employees about five hours a week in overtime instead of their usual 10.

For other firms, layoffs have already become a reality. Just ask the largest nail maker in the United States

In Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Mid-Continent Nail, the nation’s largest nail maker, laid off 60 workers last month. Sales plunged 70 percent after Trump placed a 25 percent tariff on steel from Mexico and Canada. When the company boosted its prices, customers defected. Now, Mid-Continent is strongly considering a second round of 200 layoffs, company spokeswoman Elizabeth Heaton says, and all 500 employees could be axed by Labor Day.

The longer this trade war lasts, the worse things are going to get.

Fighting a trade war just with China would have been bad enough. But instead, we have decided that we are going to take on pretty much the entire world simultaneously, and I don’t know if I have the words to describe how painful that is going to be for all of us.

Many Americans seem to believe that the U.S. economy is an unsinkable ship, and at this moment we are heading directly for an absolutely enormous iceberg.

Let us hope that someone is able to pull a rabbit out of a hat, because right now things are looking quite bleak.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The U.S. Trade War With China Officially Goes To The Next Level As Financial Markets Around The World Continue To Implode

Up until now, the U.S. trade war with China has simply been a bunch of threats and counter-threats, but now things are about to get very real. On Friday, the first round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods becomes official, and these tariffs are going to fundamentally alter the economic relationship between the two largest economies on the entire planet. Over the past several decades, U.S. consumers have loved gobbling up super-cheap goods from China, and the Chinese have used many of the dollars that they have been accumulating to fund our exploding national debt. This symbiotic relationship has been bad for the United States in a lot of ways, and something had to be done, but in the short-term this trade war is going to be enormously painful. Sadly, most Americans are completely oblivious to what is happening. The following comes from Bloomberg

President Donald Trump is preparing to slap tariffs on Chinese goods early Friday, the first shot in a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods are scheduled to take effect at 12:01 a.m. in Washington, the U.S. Trade Representative confirmed in an email Thursday. The milestone marks a new and damaging phase in a conflict that has roiled markets and cast a shadow over the global growth outlook.

Another way should have been found to deal with our trade imbalances with China, because a trade war is not going to work.

Instead of giving in, the Chinese are promising to respond with measures of “equal scale, equal intensity”, and President Trump is already pledging to hit the Chinese with another 500 billion dollars in tariffs if the Chinese hit back in this manner…

Aboard Air Force One on his way to a rally in Montana, Trump told reporters he would also consider imposing additional tariffs on $500 billion in Chinese goods, should Beijing retaliate.

Once these escalations begin, where will they end?

The Chinese can really, really hurt us by dumping our debt and by cutting off our access to rare earth elements.

Would they really go that far?

And what would Trump do in response if the Chinese pull the trigger and decide to “go nuclear”?

It would be hard to overstate the pain that these tariffs will cause for U.S. businesses. In fact, Bloomberg is reporting that some sectors are already being hit really hard in anticipation of what is going to happen…

The tariffs are already having an effect. As an example, Chinese companies are reselling U.S. soybeans, and Chinese companies are expected to cancel most of the remaining soybeans they have committed to buy from the U.S. in the year ending Aug. 31, once the extra tariffs take effect.

Of course the U.S. is not just fighting a trade war with China. The United States has decided to wage trade wars with almost all of the major economic powers around the world simultaneously, and economic experts in France are warning that this could plunge the globe into a new economic crisis that “would likely be as devastating for the world economy as the 2008-2009 recession”

A full-scale trade war would likely be as devastating for the world economy as the 2008-2009 recession, warned France’s Council of Economic Advisors, a body which gives input to the country’s prime minister.

The United States and China could see a permanent loss of three percent of economic output and the European Union (EU) four percent in the case of a full-blown trade war, it estimated on Tuesday.

The wheels are in motion, and it is going to take a miracle to reverse course now.

In fact, it is being reported that “global trade is already collapsing”

While the US prepares to unleash its latest salvo in the trade war against China at midnight tonight, business surveys suggest that global trade is already collapsing

JPMorgan’s Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data suggest that trade growth has already slowed dramatically this year, as tensions over tariffs have escalated.

To get an idea of what they are talking about, just check out this chart.

And this comes at a time when financial markets around the planet are already imploding. According to Egon von Greyerz, stock markets in China, Brazil and Turkey are already hovering around bear market territory…

But change starts in the periphery where very few are looking. Look at China where the Shanghai composite is down 23% since January. And look at Brazil where the Bovespa is off 17% so far this year and Turkey which has lost 20%.

What is important to understand is that most major markets are now looking extremely vulnerable, be it Japan, Germany or the US. Fundamentally most markets are overvalued with the help of central bank liquidity. Also, technically we are not far from crashes in most markets. Whilst there is always a possibility of a last hurrah, it looks like all markets have topped, including the US, and that later in 2018 we will see major falls. Once the bear markets start, they are likely to turn into secular trends that last many years and result in falls of 75% to 95%. Difficult to believe for most investors today, but nobody in 1929 believed that the Dow would fall 90% in the ensuing years and take 25 years to recover.

If our trade wars continue to escalate, and if the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, and if civil unrest continues to grow in major cities all across America, it is only a matter of time before U.S. markets implode as well.

During a recent interview, Michael Pento was asked when things might really start falling apart, and he pointed to the month of October

“Well, I have put a check on the calendar for October because of the fact the rate of quantitative tightening goes to $50 billion per year, because the trade war will reach a crescendo, then because I believe, unfortunately because I am conservative, the Republicans lose the House of Representatives, because the Chinese credit boom will be in full reverse by October.

It is a confluence of events coming in October… we’ve already entered into the beginnings of a bear market around the world. The top 22 banks in the world are in a bear market. There are many, many examples of banks around the world that are in a bear market. You have a bear market in Chinese shares. 20% of the S&P 500 is in a bear market. This is an incipient bear market that is already beginning. I believe it manifests clearly to even the people on CNBC by October.

In the end, the exact timing does not matter that much, because if we continue down the road that we are on right now it is only a matter of time before disaster strikes.

We simply cannot continue to enjoy a massively inflated debt-fueled standard of living if we decide to provoke all of the other nations that are funding our debt by starting trade wars with them.

What we are doing does not make any sense at all, and there will most certainly be severe consequences in the not too distant future.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

New Poll Discovers That 55 Percent Of Americans Believe That Our Best Days Are Still Ahead Of Us

A new Gallup poll reports that 55 percent of Americans believe that “America’s best days are ahead of us.”

In a poll conducted June 18-24, Gallup asked 1,505 adults, “When you think about the future of the United States — which do you agree with more — [ROTATED: the country’s best years are ahead of us (or) the country’s best years are behind us]?”

Fifty-five percent of respondents replied “ahead of us.” (CNS News)

Things Just Went Nuclear In Our Trade War With China, And A Giant Shockwave Is About To Hit The U.S. Economy

It is difficult to find the words to describe just how serious America’s trade war with China is becoming. As you will see below, the two largest economies on the entire planet are on a self-destructive course that almost seems irreversible at this point. The only way that this trade war is going to come to a rapid conclusion is if one side is willing to totally submit and accept an extremely bitter and humiliating defeat on the global stage, and that is not likely to happen. So in the short-term, and probably beyond that, we are going to experience a tremendous amount of economic pain. In fact, if one wanted to create a recipe for economic disaster, it would be hard to beat having the Federal Reserve dramatically raise interest rates at the exact same time that the U.S. government is starting trade wars with all of the other major economic powers simultaneously. Unless something drastically changes in the very near future, there is no way that the U.S. is going to be able to get through this without experiencing severe pain.

Many had hoped that President Trump would settle down after the initial salvos in this new trade war, but instead on Sunday evening we learned that he has decided to go nuclear. The following comes from CNBC

President Donald Trump plans to bar many Chinese companies from investing in U.S. tech and to block additional technology exports to China, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday evening, citing people familiar with the matter.

The two measures are set to be announced by the end of the week, and are intended to counter Beijing’s Made in China 2025 — a Chinese initiative to be a global leader in technology.

A report from Reuters included some additional very important details. Apparently this new plan would ban any firm that has 25 percent Chinese ownership or greater from investing in any U.S. companies that have “industrially significant technology”…

The U.S. Treasury Department is drafting curbs that would block firms with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying U.S. companies with “industrially significant technology,” a government official briefed on the matter said on Sunday.

So we are not just talking about “tech firms”. The Trump administration is greatly concerned about Chinese theft of our technology, and without a doubt this has been rampant, and so the goal is to keep the Chinese from investing in any more of our companies that have important technology.

And theoretically that could include nearly all of them.

For years, the Chinese have been pouring massive amounts of money into the United States and have been investing very heavily in our industries. Now that is going to come to an almost full stop, and the consequences are going to be enormous.

Yes, we certainly need to stand up to China, but it sure is going to be nearly impossible to try to replace all of that Chinese investment from other sources.

And of course this latest announcement comes less than two weeks before the U.S. and China are scheduled to begin imposing massive tariffs on one another. The following comes from Bloomberg

On July 6, the U.S. is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods. Tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese products will go into effect after a public review period is completed. When Beijing vowed to retaliate on the same amount of U.S. goods and under the same timeline, Trump directed his U.S. Trade Representative to identify an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be subject to a 10-percent tariff.

Donald Trump is playing hardball with China and is betting that they will fold.

I can already tell you that the Chinese will not fold.

So we are going to suffer some pretty severe consequences, and Finian Cunningham detailed some of these in a recent article. First of all, Chinese tariffs on our agricultural products will likely hit our farmers really hard

If China goes ahead with threats to impose counter-tariffs on US agricultural products, such as soybeans, corn and meat, the impact on farm states like Iowa, Idaho and Illinois across the mid-west will be severe. Voters from these states were crucial to Trump getting elected to the White House in 2016. By taking the US into a trade war with China, Trump will end up hitting his own political base hardest.

Secondly, U.S. consumers will begin seeing significantly higher prices for consumer goods at our major retailers

Another repercussion is higher retail prices for consumer goods like televisions and footwear imported from China, if Trump slaps on punitive tariffs. That will inflate consumer prices and crimp household budgets, especially among the lower-income population, who again tended to vote for Trump. Net result is that the fragile American economy would likely tank from cash-strapped consumers, who are already living on the edge.

Thirdly, if the Chinese decide to start dumping U.S. Treasury bonds that could create a new crisis on Wall Street very rapidly

Yet, in this accounting, the real pain hasn’t even begun. China’s ultimate trade weapon is its massive holdings of US Treasury bonds. With nearly $1.2 trillion-worth in holdings of US federal debt, China is by far the world’s largest creditor for Washington. US-based news outlet Bloomberg calls it Beijing’s “nuclear option”.

Let me throw in another factor that I mentioned in a previous article. China has a virtual monopoly on the production of rare earth elements, and if they totally cut us off they could almost instantly cripple a number of our high tech industries. We have plenty of rare earths here in the United States, but we have not developed our mining or production capabilities to anywhere near a sufficient level for our needs. This was a ghastly national security error, and in the short-term it could mean an absolutely immense amount of pain.

On top of everything else, China appears to be gearing up for a currency war. It is already being said that the Yuan is being “weaponized”, and if the value of the Yuan continues to fall precipitously it is going to cause a tremendous amount of chaos globally.

So keep an eye on China and on the Chinese financial markets, because big trouble is already brewing

A slew of negative factors — from a trade war with the U.S. to the risk of a credit crunch — has weighed on China’s financial markets in recent weeks. The benchmark Shanghai stock index is on the brink of a bear market after tumbling almost 20 percent from its recent high, while analysts have started cutting their forecasts for the nation’s currency. Investors have been piling into the relative safety of government debt instead.

“The yuan is faced with a double whammy –- escalating trade tensions are hurting sentiment and the easier monetary policy is also pressuring the currency,” said Gao Qi, a currency strategist at Scotiabank in Singapore. “Traders will step up shorting the yuan in the offshore market, but we won’t likely see massive fund outflows considering the capital curbs in place.”

As one surveys the current state of the global economic chessboard, it is easy to see that we are just two or three moves away from a major global economic crisis.

Just like in 2008, that could mean dramatically falling stock prices, surging corporate bankruptcies and millions of Americans losing their jobs.

And this time around, we could be facing much higher prices and a greatly reduced standard of living.

We are way overdue for the next great economic crisis, and now the powers that be seem absolutely determined to bring it on.

Anyone that is optimistic about the global economy in light of these most recent developments is simply not being rational, because we have never seen storm clouds this big on the horizon in all of modern American history.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Why America’s Trade War With China Will Be Absolutely Crippling For The U.S. Economy

Can the global financial system handle a full-blown trade war between the two largest economies on the entire planet? We have never seen anything like this happen in the modern age, and this is creating a tremendous amount of uncertainty for the financial markets. Yes, something had to be done, and I have been writing about this for years. China has been stealing our intellectual property, manipulating currency rates and slapping high tariffs on American goods. We simply could not allow China to continue to take advantage of us, but now we are so dependent on the Chinese that a trade war with them is going to inevitably produce a great deal of pain. We are all going to wish that another way could have been found to resolve this crisis, because in the short-term this is definitely going to hurt the U.S. economy. And if President Trump chooses to press forward with trade wars against Europe, Canada and Mexico at the same time as well, the pain for our economy is going to be off the charts.

Most Americans didn’t even notice, but Donald Trump fired a shot that was very clearly heard all the way over in China on Friday when he slapped a tariff of 25 percent on 50 billion dollars worth of Chinese products

China accused the United States of firing the first shot on Friday when the White House said that it would impose tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The announcement confirms a threat first made by President Donald Trump in March and follows months of trade talks between the two sides. A truce was announced in May, but it proved short-lived.

“The United States has kept changing its mind and now launched a trade war,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

The Chinese retaliated almost immediately by slapping a 25 percent tariff on 50 billion dollars worth of our goods

China will slap hefty tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation for President Trump’s decision to levy duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Beijing will impose an additional 25 percent tariff on a total of 659 U.S. imports worth about $50 billion, according to a statement on the country’s Ministry of Finance website.

The first batch of tariffs will hit 545 U.S. products worth about $34 billion, including agricultural products, such as soybeans, corn and wheat, automobiles, beef, pork and seafood, and will start July 6.

President Trump took the weekend to think about it, and on Monday he decided to raised the stakes much higher.

If the Chinese really do go ahead with their tariffs, the Trump administration is going to hit them with a 10 percent tariff on another 200 billion dollars worth of their goods. The following is from Trump’s official statement

This latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage, which is reflected in our massive $376 billion trade imbalance in goods. This is unacceptable. Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States.

Therefore, today, I directed the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent. After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced. If China increases its tariffs yet again, we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods. The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable.

If China does not match each round of tariffs they will look weak, and if Trump does not keep raising the ante every time China matches him then he will look weak.

So where will this end?

Ultimately the goal is more balanced trade with China, which would mean more jobs and more factories here in the United States.

But in the short-term we won’t see any of that.

Instead, all we are going to see is tremendous pain.

First of all, you should expect to see higher prices on any products that are made in China. This is going to hit consumers that shop at Wal-Mart and the dollar stores particularly hard.

Secondly, any companies that sell products in China are going to be hurting. It is inevitable that some will start laying off workers, and that means that there will be job losses here in the United States.

And even the expectation of lower profits will send stock prices tumbling. In fact, we already started to see this happen on Monday

Major American companies that generate a significant chunk of their sales from China, such as Boeing (BA), Caterpillar (CAT), Intel (INTC) and 3M (MMM), were among the losers on the Dow on Monday.

The Dow has fallen nearly 1.5% in the past week and is close to erasing its gains for the year. If a global trade war breaks out and slows economies around the world, it could bring an end to the bull market that has raged for more than nine years.

In the short-term, nothing good is going to come out of this trade war.

And even in the mid-term, the pain is going to far, far outweigh any benefits.

This is why a trade war should always be a last resort. As much as possible should be accomplished through negotiations, and it is unclear if negotiations were utilized as extensively as they could have in this case.

If China wants to play hardball, they could start dumping U.S. Treasuries or cut off our access to rare earth elements. If they pulled either trigger, our level of pain would instantly be multiplied.

We can definitely hurt China too, but we do not have any magic bullets that will force them to yield.

Once a trade war begins, it can potentially last for many years, and let us not forget that history has shown us that trade wars can often lead to shooting wars.

I believe that a tragic strategic mistake has been made, and this is not going to end well.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Upcoming Trade War Between The U.S. And China Will Be The Biggest In The History Of The Planet

The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides. The Trump administration and the Chinese government are both gearing up for a prolonged trade war, and this is going to have very severe implications for the entire global economy. During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that we “can’t continue to allow China to rape our country”, and he was quite correct about that. Over the past ten years, the U.S. has run a trade deficit of over $2 trillion with China, and as a result of imbalanced trade we have lost tens of thousands of manufacturing businesses, millions of good paying jobs, and hundreds of billions of dollars of tax revenue.

So clearly something needs to be done to balance our trade with China and other countries. But the situation must also be handled delicately, because trade disruptions could bring substantial short-term economic pain.

Prior to winning the election, Trump threatened to unilaterally impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports. Unfortunately, China is not just going to sit there and take whatever Trump throws at them. Every single time the U.S. has imposed tariffs on Chinese goods in the past, China has responded by slapping tariffs on U.S. goods.

And this time around, the Chinese are already preparing a very harsh response even though Trump has not officially made his move yet…

The policy advisers believe the Trump administration is most likely to impose higher tariffs on targeted sectors where China has a big surplus with the United States, such as steel and furniture, or on state-owned firms.

China could respond with actions such as finding alternative suppliers of agriculture products or machinery and manufactured goods, while cutting its exports of consumer staples such as mobile phones or laptops, they said.

Other options include imposing tax or other restrictions on big U.S. firms operating in China, or limiting their access to China’s fast-growing services sector, they added.

When this coming trade war erupts, economic activity will be reduced significantly. And considering the fact that U.S. economic growth is projected to be about one percent in the first quarter of 2017, that could be more than enough to push us into a deep recession.

Some of the biggest U.S. exports to China include airplanes, autos and agricultural products, and the Chinese are ready to attack on all of those fronts. The following comes from CNN

Here’s what Global Times, a newspaper backed by the Communist Party, had to say about how Beijing would respond to tariffs of 45%:

“A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus,” the paper said Monday. “U.S. auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and U.S. soybean and maize imports will be halted.”

But once again, something must be done for the long-term good of our country. We have been allowing the Chinese to flood our shores with super cheap goods, but meanwhile they have already been hitting our products with ridiculously high tariffs. Here is just one example

U.S.-made cars exported to China face tariffs of at least 25 percent, including American-made Cadillacs. The American-made Jeep Grand Cherokee costs $27,490 at U.S. dealerships and cost at least $85,000 in China.

What we have with China today is very far from “free trade”, and if they want to trade with us they need to do so on a level playing field.

But China will never allow that to happen. As Donald Trump has correctly stated, they have been “raping” us for years, and they are going to fight very hard to keep anything from upsetting the status quo.

Trump has got to do something for the long-term good of the U.S. economy, but he has also got to try to find a way to avoid a major trade war, because a major trade war would be exceedingly painful for both countries.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but more iPhones are actually sold in China than in the United States. And it is being projected that Boeing will sell nearly 7,000 airplanes to China over the next decade…

By the end of 2015, Chinese consumers bought 131 million iPhones. The total sales to U.S. customers during the same period stood at only 110 million. And iPhones are only a small part of U.S. exports. Boeing, which employs 150,000 workers in the U.S., estimates that China will buy some 6,810 airplanes over the next 20 years, and that market alone will be worth more than $1 trillion.

So what happens if all or part of that economic activity goes away?

According to one study, in the short-term millions of U.S. jobs could potentially be at risk if a major trade war happens…

“Millions of American jobs that appear unconnected to international trade—disproportionately lower-skilled and lower-wage jobs—would be at risk,” according to the PIIE study.

And of course a major trade war would hit American consumers very hard as well.

Just think about it. When you go into a Wal-Mart or a dollar store, are more of the products made in the United States or in China?

A trade war would hit all of us in the wallet as the cost of living goes up. And considering the fact that about two-thirds of the country is essentially living paycheck to paycheck, that would not be a good thing.

So yes, our trading relationship with China definitely needs to be rebalanced, but Trump needs to find a way to make this transition as minimally disruptive as possible.

A major trade war is just one of the “black swans” that could push us into the kind of economic nightmare scenario that I have been warning about for a very long time. And sometimes a trade war can serve as a prelude to a real war. The South China Sea has become a major sticking point between the U.S. and China, and the Chinese are getting ready to cross one of the “red lines” that Barack Obama established while he was still in office…

Beijing has plans to start construction on the disputed Scarborough Shoal this year.

China has reclaimed land in both the Spratly and Paracel Islands and constructed military outposts, but it has been hesitant to start construction on the Scarborough Shoal. Xiao Jie, the mayor of Sansha — an administrative base for China’s South China Sea activities masquerading as a city — said this week that China intends to construct environmental monitoring stations on a number of territories in the South China Sea, including the Scarborough Shoal.

So how will Trump respond when construction on Scarborough Shoal actually begins?

It will be very interesting to watch how that plays out.

The relationship between the United States and China was starting to deteriorate badly even before Donald Trump was elected, and it is very easy to see how it could totally break down in the months ahead.

And considering how interconnected the global economy is today, the United States and China could easily end up dragging down everyone else along with them.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

China Threatens The United States With Military Conflict In The South China Sea

China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the United States was planning fresh naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea.

On Sunday, the Navy Times reported that U.S. Navy and Pacific Command leaders were considering freedom of navigation patrols in the busy waterway by the San Diego-based Carl Vinson carrier strike group, citing unnamed defense officials.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Why Is Barack Obama Threatening Russia With World War III Right Before The Election?

nuclear-war-public-domain

It sure seems like an odd time to be provoking a war with Russia. As I write this, we stand just a little bit more than three weeks away from one of the most pivotal elections in U.S. history, and Barack Obama has chosen this moment to strongly threaten the Russians. As I wrote about on Friday, Reuters is reporting that Obama is contemplating “direct U.S. military action” against Syrian military targets, and the Russians have already indicated that any assault on Syrian forces would be considered an attack on themselves. The rapidly deteriorating crisis in Syria has already caused tensions with Russia to rise to the highest level since the end of the Cold War, but now Obama is adding fuel to the fire by publicly considering “an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia”. Apparently Obama believes that Russian hackers are interfering in the election and so he wants payback. The following comes from an NBC News article entitled “CIA Prepping for Possible Cyber Strike Against Russia“…

The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging “clandestine” cyber operation designed to harass and “embarrass” the Kremlin leadership.

The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation.

Somebody should tell Obama that he is not playing a video game. A cyber attack is considered to be an act of war, and the Russians would inevitably retaliate. And considering how exceedingly vulnerable our cyber infrastructure is, I don’t know if that is something that we want to invite.

At the end of last week, Vice President Joe Biden also publicly threatened the Russians

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden met “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd for an interview that has raised serious concern in Russia.

Without bothering to question the authenticity of the claims, Todd took the allegations of Russian hacking at face value, opening his interview with a loaded question: “Why haven’t we sent a message yet to Putin?”

After a moment of stunned silence, Biden responded, “We’re sending a message. We have the capacity to do it and it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”

When Todd asked if the public will know a message was sent, Biden replied, “Hope not.”

The Russians firmly deny that they had any involvement in the hacking, and so far the Obama administration has not publicly produced any firm evidence that the Russians were behind it.

Perhaps the Obama administration privately has some evidence, but at this point they have not shown that evidence to the American public.

So for Joe Biden to be making these sorts of threats is a very dangerous thing. The Russians are taking these threats very seriously, and they are preparing to protect their interests

‘The threats directed against Moscow and our state’s leadership are unprecedented because they are voiced at the level of the US vice president.

‘To the backdrop of this aggressive, unpredictable line, we must take measures to protect (our) interests, to hedge risks,’ a Kremlin spokesman said, according to RIA Novosti news agency.

Here in the United States, most people don’t even realize that we could be on the verge of a major conflict with Russia.

But over in Russia things are completely different. Talk of war is everywhere, and the potential for war is the number one topic in the Russian media right now. Just check out some of the recent Russian media headlines about the conflict between our two nations…

-“Bad News for Washington: Syrian Conflict Revealing New World Order

-“US anti-Russia rhetoric goes nuclear with threats of covert cyber-attacks

-“Who can win World War Three if it can be won at all?

-“In Contrast to Clinton, Trump Has No Appetite for War With Russia

And one Russian television network recently instructed their viewers to locate the nearest bomb shelter in case a nuclear war between the United States and Russia suddenly erupts…

A terrifying Russian television broadcast explicitly told civilians to find out where their nearest bomb shelter is and repeatedly asked viewers if they were ready for nuclear war.

One apocalyptic broadcast told viewers on Moscow’s state-owned TV channel NTV: “If it should one day happen, every one of you should know where the nearest bomb shelter is. It’s best to find out now.”

I don’t believe that the Russians are crazy to be thinking that a war might be coming.

To me, it almost seems as though Obama wants one.

Could it be possible that a conflict with Russia will be used to alter, change or influence the upcoming election in November?

The truth is that it isn’t going to take much for the shooting to begin. If Obama orders airstrikes against Syrian forces, the Russians have said that they will shoot back

Ash Carter has threatened Russia with “consequences”. After blowing up the ceasefire, the Pentagon – supported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff — now is peddling “potential strikes” on Syria’s air force to “punish the regime” for what the Pentagon actually did; blow up the ceasefire. One can’t make this stuff up.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, sent a swift message to “our colleagues in Washington”; think twice if you believe you can get away with launching a “shadow” hot war against Russia. Russia will target any stealth/unidentified aircraft attacking Syrian government targets – and they will be shot down.

The only serious question then is whether an out of control Pentagon will force the Russian Air Force – false flag and otherwise — to knock out US Air Force fighter jets, and whether Moscow has the fire power to take out each and every one of them.

I discussed the potential for war with Russia in my latest video. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and war with Russia will be put off…

But without a doubt the crisis in Syria is not going to be resolved any time soon because it is one giant mess. Most people don’t realize that the Syrian civil war has essentially been a proxy war between Sunni Islam and Shia Islam from the very beginning. Jihadist rebels that are being armed and funded by Saudi Arabia and Turkey are fighting Hezbollah troops that are being armed and funded by Iran. And now Turkish forces have invaded northern Syria, and this threatens to cause a full-blown war to erupt between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds. Of course ISIS is right in the middle of everything causing havoc, blowing stuff up and beheading anyone that doesn’t believe in their radical version of Sunni Islam.

It is absolutely insane that the United States and Russia could potentially go to war because of this conflict. Both sides are determined to show the other how tough they are, and one false move could set off a spiral of events from which they may be no recovery.

The American people very foolishly elected Barack Obama twice, but up until now the consequences have not been quite as dire as many had been projecting.

However, right here at the end of his second term Obama is facing a moment of truth. If he ends up dragging us into a war with Russia, the American people will ultimately bitterly regret putting him into the White House.

About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

World War III? Barack Obama Is Considering A Major Step Toward War With Russia On Friday

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Because the mainstream media is devoting almost all of their time and energy to covering the Trump and Clinton campaigns, most Americans don’t realize that the Obama administration is bringing us perilously close to war with Russia. On Friday, Barack Obama is going to sit down with his foreign policy team and discuss “military options” in Syria. As you will see below, the options under consideration include direct strikes “on Syrian military bases”. Russia has already pledged to respond militarily to any direct strikes on Syrian forces, and so the decisions that Barack Obama makes regarding Syria on Friday could literally be the spark that sets off World War 3.

The daily drama surrounding Trump and Clinton is far less important than a potential war with Russia. This should be front page news all over the country, but unfortunately most of the big news organizations are giving it very little coverage. The following is an excerpt from an extremely important Reuters report that so far is not receiving nearly enough attention…

U.S. President Barack Obama and his top foreign policy advisers are expected to meet on Friday to consider their military and other options in Syria as Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to pummel Aleppo and other targets, U.S. officials said.

Some top officials argue the United States must act more forcefully in Syria or risk losing what influence it still has over moderate rebels and its Arab, Kurdish and Turkish allies in the fight against Islamic State, the officials told Reuters.

One set of options includes direct U.S. military action such as air strikes on Syrian military bases, munitions depots or radar and anti-aircraft bases, said one official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

If Barack Obama decides to directly hit the Syrian military, that will be crossing a “red line” that Russia has already established.

And unlike Obama, Russia actually takes their red lines deadly seriously.

In my recent article entitled “Russia Is Preparing For A Nuclear War With The United States“, I included a quote from a major Russian news source that demonstrates what the Russians are thinking at this point. The Russians recently deployed additional S-300 and S-400 air defense systems to Syria, and they have warned that any strike against Syrian forces “would put Russian personnel in danger”…

Russia’s Defense Ministry has cautioned the US-led coalition of carrying out airstrikes on Syrian army positions, adding in Syria there are numerous S-300 and S-400 air defense systems up and running.

Russia currently has S-400 and S-300 air-defense systems deployed to protect its troops stationed at the Tartus naval supply base and the Khmeimim airbase. The radius of the weapons reach may be “a surprise” to all unidentified flying objects, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson General Igor Konashenkov said.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, any airstrike or missile hitting targets in territory controlled by the Syrian government would put Russian personnel in danger.

If the Obama administration is insane enough to start ordering airstrikes against Syrian positions, let us hope and pray that the Russians are willing to back down and show restraint.

Because if Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense systems start shooting down U.S. military aircraft, that could set off a chain of events that may be unstoppable.

And right now the Russians are taking the threat of war with the U.S. very seriously. For example, the Kremlin has ordered all top officials to return to Russia as soon as possible

Russian citizens have reacted with fear over reports Moscow has ordered officials to fly home all relatives living abroad – with some residents claiming it is ‘another step towards war‘.

The Kremlin is said to have told high ranking officials to bring their loved ones back to the ‘Motherland’ immediately – with any who disobey being overlooked for promotion.

It comes against a backdrop of rapidly deteriorating relations with the West over Russia’s role in the Syria conflict and just days after Putin moved nuclear-ready missiles closer to the border with Poland.

In addition, the Russians recently concluded an unprecedented “civil defense drill” that involved 40 million people.

Here in the United States, we never have those kinds of drills and there isn’t even anywhere for the general population to go in the event of a nuclear war.

If and when the missiles start falling, the only thing that will be left to do is to say our prayers and kiss our family members goodbye.

Over in Russia, there is a tremendous amount of interest in the U.S. election right now, because it is widely believed that Donald Trump could dramatically improve relations between the United States and Russia.

But if Hillary Clinton gets elected, many top Russian officials believe that will make the possibility of nuclear war much more likely. For instance, just consider what Vladimir Zhirinovsky told Reuters earlier this week…

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant veteran lawmaker known for his fiery rhetoric, told Reuters in an interview that Trump was the only person able to de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington.

By contrast, Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton could spark World War Three, said Zhirinovsky, who received a top state award from Putin after his pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) came third in Russia’s parliamentary election last month.

And anyone that watched the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump got to see the intense disdain that Clinton has for Russia.

Hillary believes that the Russians are trying very hard to keep her out of office, and she tends to take any threats to her political career very, very personally. The thought of her having her finger on the nuclear trigger is beyond terrifying.

And I am certainly not alone in this opinion. Even presidential candidate Jill Stein believes that nuclear war with Russia will be much more likely if Clinton is elected

“It is now Hillary Clinton that wants to start an air war with Russia over Syria by calling for a no-fly zone,” Stein said. “We have 2000 nuclear missiles on hair-trigger alert. They are saying we are closer to a nuclear war than we have ever been. Under Hillary Clinton, we could slide into nuclear war very quickly from her declared policy in Syria.

“I sure won’t sleep well at night if Donald Trump is elected, but I sure won’t sleep well at night if Hillary Clinton elected. We have another choice other than these two candidates who are both promoting lethal policies,” she continued. “On the issue of war and nuclear weapons, it is actually Hillary’s policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump who does not want to go to war with Russia. He wants to seek modes of working together, which is the route that we need to follow not to go into confrontation and nuclear war with Russia.”

And the ironic thing is that Hillary Clinton actually played a key role in starting the civil war in Syria when she was Secretary of State in 2011. At the time, the “Arab Spring” was sweeping across the Middle East, and the Obama administration, Saudi Arabia and Turkey decided that it would be a wonderful time to try to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria and make Syria a full-blown Sunni puppet state. So they helped organize protests, they armed and funded the rebels, and the rest is history.

Now the civil war that Hillary Clinton played such a key role in starting has brought us to the brink of World War 3 with Russia.

And most Americans don’t realize this, but Russia now has nuclear superiority over us. For anyone that doubts this, please go and read this article that I recently published.

So we definitely don’t want to tangle with the Russians, because there is a very good chance that we would come out on the losing end.

But whether we would win or we would lose, there is absolutely no reason to go to war with Russia in the first place. Barack Obama has got to be absolutely insane to even consider getting us into a direct military conflict with the Russians, and let us hope that he backs off while there is still time to do so.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

Desperately Poor Teens In America’s Impoverished Inner Cities Are Trading Sex For Food

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When people get hungry enough, they will do just about anything for some food. According to brand new research that was just released this week from Feeding America and the Urban Institute, there are millions of teenagers in America that live in “food insecure” households, and researchers were stunned to learn what some of these teens are willing to do to feed themselves. Some resort to shoplifting, others deal drugs, and there were a surprising number of participants in the study that actually admitted to trading sex for food. It wouldn’t be a shock to hear that these kinds of things are going on in an economically-depressed nation such as Venezuela, but this is the United States of America. We are supposed to be the wealthiest nation on the entire planet. Sadly, even while the stock market has been soaring in recent years, poverty in America has been on the rise. For those on the low end of the economic scale, things have gone from bad to worse since the end of the last recession, and millions of children are deeply suffering as a result.

Let’s start with some of the hard numbers. The following comes directly from the Urban Institute website

An estimated 6.8 million people ages 10 to 17 are food insecure, meaning they don’t have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. Another 2.9 million are very food insecure, and roughly 4 million live in marginally food secure households, where the threat of running out of food is real.

Food insecurity takes a tremendous toll on teenagers. Poor nutrition—and the stress of hunger and poverty—can jeopardize their physical and mental health and development and their academic success. But despite the gravity and prevalence of teen food insecurity, we know very little about how these young people experience and cope with hunger.

The researchers already knew that lots of young people were hungry in America. But what surprised them were the lengths that many of these youngsters said that they would go to in order to get food

Some of the youths said they or someone they know — mostly young men — have turned to shoplifting food, selling drugs or stealing items to sell.

The teens also reported knowing young women who have sold their bodies for food or had sex for money so they could buy food for their families.

Going to jail or failing a class in order to have to attend summer school were also some of the lengths teens went to.

Could you imagine your daughter or your granddaughter exchanging her body for food?

For most of us that is absolutely unthinkable, but the truth is that this is taking place on the streets of America every single day.

And this wasn’t just some blind random phone survey. The researchers conducted personal interviews with focus groups, and what these kids were willing to admit doing was absolutely astounding. Here is another excerpt directly out of the report

  • When faced with acute food insecurity, teens in all but two of the communities said that youth engage in criminal behavior, ranging from shoplifting food directly to selling drugs and stealing items to resell for cash. These behaviors were most common among young men in communities with the most limited job options.
  • Teens in all 10 communities and in 13 of the 20 focus groups talked about some youth selling sex for money to pay for food. These themes arose most strongly in high-poverty communities where teens also described sexually coercive environments. Sexual exploitation most commonly took the form of transactional dating relationships with older adults.
  • In a few communities, teens talked about going to jail or failing school (so they could attend summer classes and get school lunch) as viable strategies for ensuring regular meals.

Many of these young people understand that what they are doing is wrong. Just consider what some of them told the researchers

A girl in Portland, Oregon told researchers: “It’s really like selling yourself. Like you’ll do whatever you need to do to get money or eat.”

Another comment from Portland: “You’re not even dating … they’ll be like … ‘I don’t really love him, but I’m going to do what I have to do.’”

Many prefer to rationalise what they are doing as dating of sorts. A boy in rural North Carolina said: “When you’re selling your body, it’s more in disguise. Like if I had sex with you, you have to buy me dinner tonight … that’s how girls deal with the struggle … That’s better than taking money because if they take money, they will be labeled a prostitute.”

When I read the information in this report, I was stunned. Yes, I write about our economic decline and the rise in poverty all the time, but I didn’t know that things were this bad.

And the researchers were surprised by what they were hearing as well. One of them said that the fact that girls are trading their bodies for food “was really shocking to me”, and she believes that things are “just getting worse over time”

“I’ve been doing research in low-income communities for a long time, and I’ve written extensively about the experiences of women in high poverty communities and the risk of sexual exploitation, but this was new,” said Susan Popkin, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and lead author of the report, Impossible Choices.

“Even for me, who has been paying attention to this and has heard women tell their stories for a long time, the extent to which we were hearing about food being related to this vulnerability was new and shocking to me, and the level of desperation that it implies was really shocking to me. It’s a situation I think is just getting worse over time.”

But aren’t we being told that things are getting better?

Aren’t we being told that our leaders “fixed” the economy?

Of course the truth is that America is mired in a long-term economic decline that stretches back for decades. With each passing year the middle class gets smaller as a percentage of the population, and poverty continues to grow. Last year the middle class became a minority of the population for the first time ever, and a lot of formerly middle class Americans are now among those that aren’t sure that they are going to have enough food to eat this month.

Hunger in America is a major crisis and it is growing. Just because you may live in a comfortable home in a wealthy neighborhood does not mean that this problem is not real.

Tonight there are millions of Americans that do not know where their next meal is going to come from, and they deserve our love and compassion.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

The Relationship Between The United States And China Is Officially Going Down The Tubes

Abstract Geometric World - Public Domain

What happens when the two largest economies on the planet start fighting a trade war with one another? Well, we are about to find out. As you will see below, the U.S. has gone “nuclear” on China in a trade dispute over steel, and the Chinese response is likely to be at least as strong. Meanwhile, events in the South China Sea have brought tensions between the Chinese government and the Obama administration to a boiling point. The Obama administration strongly insists that China does not have a legal right to those islands, and in China there is now talk that it may ultimately be necessary to confront the United States militarily in order keep control of them. Most Americans may not realize this, but the relationship between the United States and China is officially going down the tubes, and this is likely to have very significant consequences during the years to come.

Let’s start with the trade war that has erupted. About a week ago, we learned that the Obama administration had decided to “go nuclear” on China by imposing a 522 percent duty on cold-rolled steel from China that is used in certain kinds of manufacturing…

In some regard, China has reason to be angry: the US unleashed what is nothing short of a nuclear bomb in its rapidly escalating trade war with China, and recently imposed duties of 522% on cold-rolled steel used in automobiles and other manufacturing, In doing so it has rendered Chinese exports to the US unsustainable and will force even more excess Chinese production to remain landlocked within China’s borders, making the domestic glut, and price collapse, that much worse.

Subsequently, it was announced that a 450 percent duty will be imposed on corrosion-resistant steel from China

Corrosion-resistant steel from China will face final U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties of up to 450 percent under the U.S. Commerce Department’s latest clampdown on a glut of steel imports, the agency said on Wednesday.

Needless to say, the Chinese are less than amused, because these “shock and awe” trade duties were clearly designed to punish China.

And of course the truth is that China has been abusing us for years, so there is definitely a case to be made that they deserve even harsher treatment. However, we need to keep in mind that the Chinese will retaliate for this. And when they retaliate, it will likely be quite painful for us. But for the moment, they are just issuing vague threats

China’s Commerce Ministry said it was extremely dissatisfied at what it called the “irrational” move by the United States, which it said would harm cooperation between the two countries.

“China will take all necessary steps to strive for fair treatment and to protect the companies’ rights,” it said, without elaborating.

Meanwhile, events in the South China Sea continue to push the United States and China toward conflict. Let me summarize a few of the most important things that we have seen over the past month…

-In early May, Chinese authorities refused to give permission to the U.S.S. John C. Stennis battle group to make a routine port call at Hong Kong. The Chinese had not turned away a U.S. aircraft carrier in almost a decade, and many believe that this was in direct response to comments that U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had made regarding China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

-Subsequently, the Obama administration sent the U.S.S. William P. Lawrence sailing within 12 nautical miles of the disputed islands in the South China Sea. This was the third time that Obama has sent naval vessels cruising by those islands, and it provoked an extremely angry response from China.

-Just last week, two Chinese fighters and a U.S. spy plane nearly collided in mid-air approximately 50 miles away from Hainan island. This incident made headlines all over the planet.

Most Americans seem to believe that the Chinese are our “friends”, but in China the perspective is completely different.

The Chinese consider the United States to be their number one long-term strategic adversary, and they have been working feverishly to prepare for a future conflict with us.

For example, China just conducted a successful test of a new hypersonic glide vehicle that we do not have any defense against. The following comes from the Washington Free Beacon

China successfully flight tested its new high-speed maneuvering warhead last week, days after Russia carried out its own hypersonic glider test, according to Pentagon officials.

The test of the developmental DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle was monitored after launch Friday atop a ballistic missile fired from the Wuzhai missile launch center in central China, said officials familiar with reports of the test.

The maneuvering glider, traveling at several thousand miles per hour, was tracked by satellites as it flew west along the edge of the atmosphere to an impact area in the western part of the country.

In addition, just today there were global headlines announcing that China is poised to send subs carrying nuclear missiles into the Pacific for the first time ever

The Chinese military is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing’s existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative.

Chinese military officials are not commenting on the timing of a maiden patrol, but insist the move is inevitable.

They point to plans unveiled in March to station the US Thaad anti-ballistic system in South Korea, and the development of hypersonic glide missiles potentially capable of hitting China less than an hour after launch, as huge threats to the effectiveness of its land-based deterrent force.

Let us hope that a full-blown shooting war with China does not erupt any time soon, but the reality is that we are already locked in a conflict with the Chinese on a number of different levels.

In a recent piece, XKeyscore summarized some of the ways in which China is already seeking to gain the upper hand…

Economic warfare: purchase and/or sale of U.S. treasury bills, Yuan manipulation, government subsidized output (consumer goods), and trade/tariff manipulation.

Cyber-warfare: Engaging in data theft, backdoors, viruses, hacking

Cyber-kinetic warfare: The creation and deployment of Stuxnet-type viruses, and hacking which lead to physical damage of infrastructure such as power grids, nuclear facilities, hydroelectric and telecommunications systems.

Socio-political warfare: establishment of “Confucian Centers” in the US and around the globe, and the funding of US universities in exchange for roles in university policy-making processes, which often in turn promote communist ideology.

Territorial: China runs port operations in many of the worlds largest and most strategically valuable ports and SLOCs (Sea Lines of Communication). The best example is the Panama canal. Both ends of the canal are controlled by China.

To most Americans, our rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is not much of an issue right now, and very few of our politicians are even talking about it.

However, I am fully convinced that this is an extremely ominous development, and that it will have very, very serious implications for our country during the years to come.

So what do you think? Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

10 Shocking Parallels Between The United States And Nazi Germany

Prison Camp Flag - Public Domain

Most Americans may not like to hear this, but the truth is that modern day America very closely resembles Nazi Germany. If you initially recoiled when you read the headline to this article, that is understandable. After all, most of us were raised to deeply love this country. But I would ask you to consider the evidence that I have compiled before you pass judgment on the matter. Most citizens of this nation know that something has gone deeply wrong, and I would suggest that just like the Nazis, all of the pageantry and beauty in our society masks an evil which has grown to a level that is almost unspeakable. And just like the Germans, we don’t do ourselves any favors by turning a blind eye to what is going on. The following are 10 stunning parallels between the United States and Nazi Germany…

#1 Human Experimentation

The fact that the Nazis conducted scientific experiments on their prisoners has been heavily documented, but many Americans may not realize that we have been conducting similar experiments for decades. The following comes from author John Whitehead

In Alabama, for example, 600 black men with syphilis were allowed to suffer without proper medical treatment in order to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis. In California, older prisoners had testicles from livestock and from recently executed convicts implanted in them to test their virility. In Connecticut, mental patients were injected with hepatitis.

In Maryland, sleeping prisoners had a pandemic flu virus sprayed up their noses. In Georgia, two dozen “volunteering” prison inmates had gonorrhea bacteria pumped directly into their urinary tracts through the penis. In Michigan, male patients at an insane asylum were exposed to the flu after first being injected with an experimental flu vaccine. In Minnesota, 11 public service employee “volunteers” were injected with malaria, then starved for five days.

In New York, dying patients had cancer cells introduced into their systems. In Ohio, over 100 inmates were injected with live cancer cells. Also in New York, prisoners at a reformatory prison were also split into two groups to determine how a deadly stomach virus was spread: the first group was made to swallow an unfiltered stool suspension, while the second group merely breathed in germs sprayed into the air. And in Staten Island, children with mental retardation were given hepatitis orally and by injection to see if they could then be cured.

And while times may have changed, the truth is that we are still being experimented on against our will. Just check out what the New York Daily News says is happening in New York City this month…

Don’t hold your breath, it’s only a test.

The Department of Homeland Security will release “harmless particle materials” in the city’s subway system next week.

The “non-toxic, safe gas material” will be released at subway stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens in order to understand where hazardous material would travel in the event of a biological terrorist attack.

In addition, let us not forget that we systematically create and perform experiments on unborn baby children

A shocking new report indicates scientists have found a way for human embryos to live outside the womb for 14 days, which is a record, so they can be experimented on for a longer period of time.

Leading pro-life advocates are outraged that scientists would specifically create unique human beings to purposefully experiment on and later destroy just for research. They are worried scientists will continue creating more unborn human people who will be subjected to research for a longer duration of their embryonic life.

What we are doing is so evil that it is hard to put into words, and yet most Americans have come to accept this kind of sick behavior as perfectly normal.

#2 Socialism

The Nazis were hardcore socialists, and they were very proud of this fact. For example, National Socialist theologian Gregor Strasser once made the following statement

We National Socialists are enemies, deadly enemies, of the present capitalist system with its exploitation of the economically weak … and we are resolved under all circumstances to destroy this system.

Unfortunately, the United States is rapidly moving in a similar direction. An avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, is wildly popular with Democrats, and more than half of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 now say that they reject capitalism.

#3 Free Stuff

Just like Bernie Sanders wants to do, the Nazis gave out lots and lots of free stuff. Kitty Werthmann was a child living a peaceful life in Austria when Hitler took over her nation, and I will be quoting her extensively for the rest of this article. She says that once the Nazis took control in Austria, they started handing out lots of freebies

Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

#4 Taxes

Free stuff may sound like a good idea, but someone has to pay for it. According to Kitty Werthmann, once the Nazis took control of Austria “our tax rates went up to 80% of our income“, and that absolutely choked the life out of the free market system.

Sadly, things are moving in the exact same direction in the United States. When the federal income tax was first implemented a little over a century ago, most Americans were taxed at a rate of just one percent. But today, we are being taxed into oblivion. I recently wrote an article in which I listed 97 different taxes that Americans pay each year, and when you add all of those taxes together some Americans end up paying out more than 50 percent of their incomes in taxes.

#5 Obamacare

Would it surprise you to learn that the Nazis had their own version of Obamacare? The following is some more eyewitness testimony from Kitty Werthmann

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna. After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

#6 Government Regulation

Just like the Obama administration, the Nazis wanted to tightly regulate virtually everything in the economy. Here is more from Kitty Werthmann

My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business.

If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

#7 Gun Control

The Nazis believed in having a very strong military, but they were also obsessed with taking the guns away from the general population. According to Kitty Werthmann, the first step was gun registration, and once the government knew where all the guns were it was very easy to round all of them up…

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

#8 Spying

The Nazi secret police, also known as the Gestapo, became world famous for their brutal tactics. The Nazis wanted to know everything about everybody, and anyone that was deemed to be “anti-government” was dealt with mercilessly.

Unfortunately, we are moving in the exact same direction in the United States today. We spy on our enemies, but we also spy on our friends. Control freaks working for the government are systematically watching us, tracking us, recording our phone calls and monitoring our emails. At this point, government snooping has become so pervasive that 64 percent of all reporters believe that the government is spying on them.

#9 Abortion

The Nazis brought legalized abortion to Germany, and they were especially interested in having “undesirable” elements of the population engage in this practice. It turns out that Adolf Hitler was actually a huge fan of the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, and he adopted many of her philosophies. As I have written about previously, Sanger once made the following statement…

“The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

Now compare that line from Sanger to this statement from Hitler in Mein Kampf…

“The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring. . . represents the most humane act of mankind.”

Just like the Nazis, our disregard for human life is absolutely appalling. Even after the American people were shown clear undercover video evidence that revealed that Planned Parenthood is chopping up aborted babies and selling their body parts to the highest bidder, one survey found that only 29 percent of Americans wanted to cut off the hundreds of millions of dollars that Planned Parenthood is getting from the federal government every year.

To say that we have become an “evil nation” is a gigantic understatement.

#10 Pushing The Christian Faith Out Of Public Life

In this day and age, it has become “American” to remove every trace of the Christian faith from public life. We don’t want God in our government, in our schools, in our parks or in our businesses. Many people may not realize this, but the Nazis were the exact same way. The following information originally comes from Bruce Walker, the author of “The Swastika Against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity“…

The Nazi tract Gott und Volk was distributed in 1941, and it describes the life cycle of German youth in the future, who would: “With parties and gifts the youth will be led painlessly from one faith to the other and will grow up without ever having heard of the Sermon on the Mount or the Golden Rule, to say nothing of the Ten Commandments… The education of the youth is to be confined primarily by the teacher, the officer, and the leaders of the party. The priests will die out. They have estranged the youth from the Volk. Into their places will step the leaders. Not deputies of God. But anyway the best Germans. And how shall we train our children? Thus, as though they had never heard of Christianity!

And just like Nazi Germany, our end will be exceedingly terrible.

You see, the truth is that all evil regimes eventually fall, and America is headed for a day of reckoning.

Even now, our enemies are preparing weapons which could potentially destroy us in a single day. For example, just check out what Russia is building

The “Satan 2” missile is rumoured to be the most powerful ever designed and is equipped with stealth technology to help it dodge enemy radar systems .

This terrifying doomsday weapon is likely to strike fear into the hearts of Western military chiefs, as current missile defence technology is totally incapable of stopping it.

It is being reported that the warheads from a single Satan 2 missile could destroy a state the size of Texas or a country the size of France.

Whether it is nuclear oblivion or something else, if we continue to behave like the Nazis it is just a matter of time before America is destroyed.

Let us hope and pray that this country wakes up while there is still time to do so.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

World War 3 Could Very Easily Turn Into The Very First Nuclear War In The Middle East

Nuclear War - Public Domain

Saudi Arabia already has nukes, Iran probably does, and the Russians are one of the two great nuclear powers on the entire planet. So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies do decide to conduct a full-blown ground invasion of Syria, could someone ultimately decide to use nuclear weapons when their backs get pushed up against a wall? As you read this article, there are thousands of military vehicles and hundreds of thousands of troops massed along the southern border of Turkey and the northern border of Saudi Arabia. If the command is given and those forces start streaming toward Damascus, it is inevitable that the Syrians, the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Russians would fight back. It would literally be the start of World War 3, and the Saudis and the Turks are trying very hard to convince the United States to be involved. But the truth is that we don’t want any part of this conflict, because it could very easily become the very first nuclear war in the history of the Middle East.

Perhaps you didn’t know that the Saudis already have nukes. Of course the official position is that they don’t, but it is a fact that they were the ones that funded the development of Pakistan’s nuclear program. It is an open secret that the Saudis have the bomb, but nobody is really supposed to talk about it.

That is why it was so alarming what Saudi political analyst Dahham Al-‘Anzi told RT just recently

Earlier this week a Saudi political analyst told RT’s Arab network the kingdom has a nuclear weapon.

Dahham Al-‘Anzi made the claim while saying Saudi Arabia is engaged in an effort to “minimize the Iranian threat in the Levant and Syria.”

Although Saudi Arabia has officially denied it has a nuclear weapons program and has publicly stated it opposes nuclear weapons in the Middle East, it has funded a military nuclear program and received scientific assistance from the United States and Pakistan.

You can watch video of this exchange right here

If you don’t want to believe him, perhaps you will believe the former director of the CIA counter-terrorism operations center. He told Fox Business that everyone in the intelligence world knows the Saudis have nukes

If the fur started flying in Syria and Russia and Iran decided to start bombing Saudi airbases, would Saudi Arabia resort to using their nukes?

Let’s hope not.

In the event of a massive ground invasion by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies, it is actually more likely that Russia may decide to be the first one to use nukes. An invasion force of hundreds of thousands of troops would vastly outnumber the relatively small Russian force that is already inside Syria, and so the Russians may feel that the only way that they can keep the Sunni powers out of Damascus is to use tactical nukes.

Russia has more tactical nukes that anyone else in the world by far, and there are some reports that indicate that Russia may be prepared to use them in Syria. For example, former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry, the author of America’s Stolen Narrative, says that a source has told him that the Russians have already warned Turkey that this could potentially happen

If Turkey (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily to save their rebel clients, who include Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, from a powerful Russian-backed Syrian government offensive, then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel inside Syria.

A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.

Given Erdogan’s megalomania or mental instability and the aggressiveness and inexperience of Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman (defense minister and son of King Salman), the only person who probably can stop a Turkish-Saudi invasion is President Obama. But I’m told that he has been unwilling to flatly prohibit such an intervention, though he has sought to calm Erdogan down and made clear that the U.S. military would not join the invasion.

Are you starting to understand how serious this is?

With all of the talk of a potential invasion in recent days, the Russians are on high alert and are rapidly preparing for a direct conflict with both Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The following comes from Infowars

Still, the Russians are taking no chances and they have put all their forces into high alert. They have very publicly dispatched a Tu-214r – her most advanced ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft. You can think of the Tu-214R as an “AWACS for the ground”, the kind of aircraft you use to monitor a major ground battle (the regular Russian A-50Ms are already monitoring the Syrian airspace). In southern Russia, the Aerospace forces have organized large-scale exercises involving a large number of aircraft which would be used in a war against Turkey: SU-34s. The Airborne Forces are ready. The naval task forces off the Syrian coast is being augmented. The delivery of weapons has accelerated. The bottom line is simple and obvious: the Russians are not making any threats – they are preparing for war. In fact, by now they are ready.

In addition, it is important to remember that it is quite likely that the Iranians have nuclear weapons as well.

Of course the U.S. government and the Iranian government both insist that Iran does not have nukes, but many of those in the know insist otherwise.

For instance, you may want to consider what retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Vallely and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Dennis B. Haney are saying. The following comes from an article that was authored by Jerome Corsi of WND

In a joint statement, Vallely and Haney say an accumulation of available evidence shows a coalition of Russia, China and North Korea have assisted Iran since 1979 in achieving a nuclear weapon, despite sanctions, under the guise of a domestic nuclear energy program.

Vallely explained to WND that he and Haney have taken a systematic approach to evaluating each component needed to deliver a nuclear weapon, from the development and testing of a ballistic missile system, to the design of a nuclear weapons warhead, to the development of the weapons-grade uranium needed to produce a bomb.

“To come to our conclusion that Iran is a nuclear weapons power right now, we supplemented publicly available research, plus information from intelligence sources, including Iranian resistance groups such as the National Council of Resistance of IRAN, NCRI,” Vallely explained.

I happen to agree with Vallely and Haney. I cannot prove it, but all of the intel that I have received indicates that Iran already has nukes.

Hopefully I will not be proven accurate any time soon.

It had been hoped that a cease-fire could be negotiated that would at least temporarily defuse tensions in Syria. Unfortunately, it does not look like the shooting is going to stop, and this is going to put immense pressure on both Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do something to rescue the radical Sunni militants that are on the verge of defeat. The Saudis, the Turks and their allies have poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this war over the past five years, and now they are faced with the choice of either accepting defeat or directly intervening in this conflict themselves.

But in order to conduct a full-fledged ground invasion, they are going to need justification for doing so. There are some that are suggesting that we could soon see a false flag attack that would provide that justification, so that is something to watch out for.

I can’t remember a time when our planet has been so close to World War 3 potentially beginning.

And if it does break out, I believe that it is quite likely that nuclear weapons will be used.

So what do you think?

Do you agree with me?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Turkey Is Asking The United States To Take Part In A Ground Invasion Of Syria

Middle East Map

Reuters is reporting that Turkey is asking the United States and other western allies to participate in a massive ground invasion of Syria. But of course the Turks are not exactly sitting around and waiting for their western allies to get on board. Turkey shelled northern Syria for a fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, even though the Obama administration has been asking them to stop. The targets were Kurdish and Syrian military positions, and the goal appears to be to slow down their advance toward the Turkish border. The Sunni militants that Turkey has been supporting for five years are now being completely routed, and Turkey is in a great deal of panic about this.

I knew that Turkey was trying to round up support for overt military action, but I was stunned when I came across a mainstream news report today that publicly admitted that Turkey is asking the Obama administration to be part of a full-fledged ground invasion of Syria

Turkey is asking allies including the United States to take part in a joint ground operation in Syria, as a Moscow-backed government advance nears its borders, raising the possibility of direct confrontation between the NATO member and Russia.

We don’t have to wonder if Turkey wants an invasion of Syria anymore.

They are now coming out and openly saying it.

Just consider what Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Reuters

Some countries like us, Saudi Arabia and some other Western European countries have said that a ground operation is necessary,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Reuters in an interview.

However, this kind of action could not be left to regional powers alone. “To expect this only from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar is neither right nor realistic. If such an operation is to take place, it has to be carried out jointly, like the (coalition) air strikes,” he said.

Obviously Turkey would like the United States to take the lead role. A full-blown ground invasion of Syria is a very risky thing, and it could easily spark World War 3.

So even though Turkey is chomping at the bit, they are hesitant to go it alone because they realize what the consequences could be.

The Saudis also seem hesitant to go ahead without the United States. This is what Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters during a news conference in Riyadh

“The Kingdom’s readiness to provide special forces to any ground operations in Syria is linked to a decision to have a ground component to this coalition against Daesh in Syria – this US-led coalition – so the timing is not up to us,” al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh, adding, “With regards to timing of the mission or size of troops, this has yet to be worked out.”

But without a doubt, preparations for war continue.

As I reported the other day, troops from 20 different nations are gathering in northern Saudi Arabia for the largest military exercise in the history of the Middle East. This military exercise has been dubbed “Northern Thunder”, and some international news sources have reported that it will involve 350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters. Other reports put the number of troops closer to 150,000.

But in any event, that is a very large gathering of military forces, and many have speculated that this could constitute the main invasion force.

Of course there are two major problems. The path from Saudi Arabia to Syria is blocked by Iraq and Jordan.

In recent days Iraq has deployed troops to its border with Saudi Arabia in order to keep an eye on these “military exercises”

Iraq has deployed “large” military forces at the border with Saudi Arabia to oversee the ongoing military training conducted by the kingdom, member of the parliamentary security and defense committee Adnan al-Asadi told the Iraqi news agency INA.

The large-scale military exercises started on Tuesday, with the participation of ground forces from Egypt, Sudan, Jordan and several other Arab states, the members of the Riyadh’s antiterrorist coalition.

So it appears that the path through Iraq is blocked.

But what about Jordan?

After all, they are participating in “Northern Thunder”, so passing through Jordanian territory would seem to make the most sense.

Unfortunately for the Saudis, the Jordanians are not inclined to participate in any invasion unless the Americans and the British lead the way

A Jordanian official confirmed that the country will not participate in any Turkish- or Arab-led Syrian invasion unless mandated by the United Nations, led by western forces and coordinated with Russia.

“Jordan is not going to send ground forces into Syria unless these troops are led by Americans and British,” the Jordanian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We have very long borders with Iraq and Syria which are more than 550 kilometers. Any ground troops including Jordanian forces should be sent after a UN approval and after full coordination with Russia.”

For now, it appears that if there is going to be a ground invasion of Syria, that it is most likely to come from the north. According to Russia Insider, the Saudis and the Turks have established a join operations center, and both the Saudis and the UAE have sent military aircraft to Turkey…

According to reports (not in English, but we will try to dig up a proper translation as soon as possible), Saudi Arabia has created an operations room with Turkey, in preparation for a joint assault on Syria. The report also claims that military planes from the United Arab Emirates are now stationed at Incirlik airbase in Turkey — the same base where Saudi jets were recently deployed.

The report, which hasn’t been independently verified, is consistent with the Saudis’ openess about a possible invasion, as well as Turkey’s warning that escalation is imminent. And it’s not all talk. Turkey has already begun attacking.

Turkey has indeed already started attacking. They have been shelling Syria for four days in a row, and nobody is making them stop.

But a full-blown ground invasion is another thing altogether.

So will Turkey and Saudi Arabia go ahead, or will they chicken out because the U.S. does not want to be involved?

We will just have to wait and see what happens over the next few weeks…

Historic Floods Cripple Missouri As Disaster After Disaster Continues To Hit America

Rain - Public Domain

Why does this keep happening to America? Since the month of September, the United States has been absolutely pummeled by a devastating series of disasters, and this most recent one may be the worst of all. Right now, communities all along the Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas rivers are dealing with “historic” flooding. In Missouri, it is being said that nobody “that is living has ever seen anything like this“, and it is being projected that rivers could reach levels not seen since “the Great Flood” of 1993. Portions of Interstate 44 have been totally shut down, and thousands of people have either already been evacuated from their homes or are preparing to evacuate. It would be difficult to overstate the utter devastation that we are witnessing. Personally, I have some very good friends in southern Missouri, and I will definitely be keeping them in my prayers.

The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, is warning people to be very careful. Thirteen people have already been killed by the flooding, and Nixon says that the waters are going “places they’ve never been before”

Thirteen people in Missouri have died in floods caused by severe storms over the weekend, and although the rain has moved on, swollen rivers are still rising and won’t crest for days, Gov. Jay Nixon said.

It’s very clear that Missouri is in the midst of a very historic and dangerous flooding event,” Nixon told reporters Tuesday. “The amount of rain we’ve received, in some places in excess of a foot, has caused river levels to not only rise rapidly, but to go to places they’ve never been before.”

A state of emergency was declared in Missouri on Monday, and yesterday Governor Nixon activated the National Guard. But the river is still rising, and the worst is yet to come.

At this point, some communities have already been totally wiped out. This includes the little town of Rockaway Beach, which is not too far away from Branson. The following comes from USA Today

In Missouri, some areas have already been hit hard by the first wave of rising water. Rockaway Beach, located near Branson in southwest Missouri, was swamped by waters from the swollen White River.

The tourist town of 800 “has just been demolished,” Mayor Don Smith told KYTV. “It’s devastating, and we are all so exhausted.”

It is being reported that the Mississippi River is now a mile wide is some places, and there are debris piles that are up to two stories tall. Authorities are projecting that the flooding along some areas of the river will match or break all-time records that were set back in 1993

In some parts of the Missouri, rivers are expected to crest as high as they did during devastating flooding in 1993, which is known as the “great flood,” Nixon said.

The National Weather Service predicted that the Mississippi River at Chester, Illinois, would crest at 49.7 feet Friday, matching the 1993 record, the governor’s office said. The Mississippi at Thebes was expected to crest Saturday at a record-breaking 47.5 feet.

The Mississippi River is expected to reach nearly 15 feet above flood stage on Thursday at St. Louis, which would be the second-worst flood on record, behind only the devastating 1993 flood.

What is happening in the center of the country right now is just the continuation of a trend that has been building for months. Just check out this list of flooding events that we have seen in the U.S. since the end of the summer

-Moisture from Hurricane Joaquin caused the worst flooding in the history of the state of South Carolina.

-Flash flooding caused “rivers of mud” to cover highways in southern California.

-The remnants of Hurricane Patricia caused tremendous flooding in many parts of Texas.

-One of the strongest El Ninos ever recorded has sent an endless stream of storms barreling into coastal areas of Oregon and Washington. This has caused horrible flooding in some areas.

Meanwhile, we continue to witness a rise in earthquake activity as well.

Oklahoma, which had already shattered an all-time state record for earthquakes in 2015, was hit by a 4.3 magnitude earthquake yesterday.

And just within the last 24 hours, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake hit near San Bernardino, California, and a 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook northwestern Washington and Vancouver Island.

Also, let’s not forget all of the wildfires that have been happening. On Christmas Day, a massive 1,200 acre blaze erupted near Ventura, California, and that topped off a year during which wildfires burned more acres in America than ever before.

Of course I could also mention the extremely rare EF-4 tornado that ripped through Garland, Texas just a few days ago and the ongoing multi-year drought that is still plaguing most of the state of California.

On top of everything else, a huge solar storm is going to hit our planet on New Year’s Eve. Fortunately, authorities do not expect that it will do that much damage.

Nobody can deny that our weather is getting really, really crazy.

So precisely why is this happening?

There is certainly a lot of debate about this. It is almost as if someone flipped a switch in September and turned on a disaster machine, because since that time there has been an endless parade of major events.

Do you have a theory that can explain what we are witnessing?

If so, please feel free to share it with the rest of us by posting a comment below…

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Wildfires And Tornadoes In December? Two More Major Disasters Hit America

Tornado Destruction - Public Domain

It is not normal for the United States to experience massive wildfires and giant tornadoes right around Christmas.  The huge wildfire that erupted northwest of Los Angeles on Christmas Day and the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the Dallas area on Saturday can be added to a growing list of freakish disasters that have hit the United States since the month of September.  So why in the world is this happening?  Many are blaming the worst El Nino pattern that we have seen in at least 15 years.  Right now we are witnessing very strange weather all over the world, including an unprecedented heat wave in Australia and the worst flooding in South America in 50 years.  And it is true that El Ninos have significantly disrupted weather patterns in the past.  But is the current El Nino really to blame for everything that we have been seeing?  Because without a doubt, the last few months have been truly bizarre.

For example, who has ever heard of a giant wildfire erupting on Christmas Day?

That is precisely what happened this year in southern California.  A mammoth blaze that quickly engulfed more than 1,200 acres erupted near Ventura, California, and it shut down both the Pacific Coast Highway and U.S. 101 for an extended period of time.

This was truly a frightening fire.  You can watch some amazing footage of a family actually driving through the wildfire right here.  Fortunately, firefighters seem to be getting the blaze under control at this point.

I have written repeatedly about how this was shaping up to be the worst year for wildfires in U.S. history, but just like everyone else I had assumed that wildfire season was over by now.  For a fire of this magnitude to erupt in southern California at this time of the year is definitely unusual.

The day after this fire erupted, at least 11 people died as 11 deadly tornadoes ripped through the Dallas, Texas area.

Isn’t it funny how “11” just keeps popping up everywhere?  I don’t know what it means, but I just thought that I would mention it.

Authorities have estimated that as many as 1,000 homes and buildings were destroyed by these tornadoes.  The tornado that shredded parts of Garland was categorized as an “EF-4”, and it had winds “of at least 166 mph”

The tornado that roared through Garland was rated an EF-4, with winds of at least 166 mph, the National Weather Service said Sunday. This is the USA’s first EF-4 tornado to strike in December in 15 years. It is also the farthest west a tornado of that strength has formed in December, according to the tornado research site U.S. Tornadoes.

For Dallas County, it’s only the second EF-4 tornado ever recorded since accurate records began in 1950.

Some news outlets are reporting that the tornado actually had peak winds somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 mph.  If it seems strange to you that something like this would happen during the month of December in the state of Texas, that is because it is very strange.  As the article quoted above noted, we haven’t seen any EF-4 tornadoes in the entire country in December in 15 years, and it was only the second EF-4 tornado to hit Dallas County since 1950.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned at the outset of this article, other areas of the planet are experiencing very bizarre weather right now as well.  For instance, just check out what is going on in South America.  According to the BBC, quite a few South American nations are currently being hit by the worst flooding that they have seen “in 50 years”…

Vast areas in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil are being hit by the worst flooding in 50 years, forcing the evacuation of more than 150,000 people.

Days of heavy rains brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon have caused three major rivers to swell, and officials report at least six deaths.

A state of emergency is in force in Paraguay, the worst hit nation, where 130,000 people have fled their homes.

In northern Argentina, some 20,000 people have left their homes.

If you just look at one of these disasters in isolation, it may not seem like that big of a deal.

After all, there are significant natural disasters every year.

But collectively, all of these strange disasters seem to indicate that something truly unique is happening.  I cannot recall ever seeing the U.S. (and much of the rest of the world) being hit by so many wildfires, floods, historic droughts, earthquakes and major volcanic eruptions in such a short period of time.

Perhaps things will eventually settle down and this stretch will be considered a strange anomaly by this time next year.

Perhaps things will go back to “normal” very soon.

But what if they don’t?

What if they just keep getting worse?

Personally, all of this strange weather is something that I am watching very, very closely.  I am convinced that our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and I expect weather patterns to become even more wild and even more unpredictable as we roll into 2016.

So what do you think?

Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…

 

36 Facts That Prove That America Is An ‘Exceptional’ Nation

American Flag - Proud To Be An American - Public Domain

Is the United States an “exceptional” nation? Well, the facts show that we are, but not for the reasons that you may think. Now that it is election season, we have all sorts of politicians running around proclaiming that America is the greatest nation on the entire planet. And just this week, Warren Buffett stated that “America’s great now — it’s never been greater“. But is it actually true? Is the United States still a great nation? I would submit that the numbers suggest otherwise. I love America, and in my opinion there is not much hope for us until we are willing to admit to ourselves just how far we have fallen. The following are 36 facts that prove that the United States is an “exceptional” nation…

#1 According to a brand new report that was just released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States has the fattest population in the entire industrialized world by a wide margin.

#2 That same report from the OECD also found that we are number one in child obesity. In fact, at 38 percent our rate of childhood obesity is even higher than our overall rate of obesity.

#3 According to USA Today, the obesity rate in the United States has more than doubled over the past 25 years.

#4 The Washington Post has reported that Americans spend an average of 293 minutes a day watching television, which is the most in the world by a wide margin. And as I have discussed previously, more than 90 percent of the “programming” that we absorb is created by just 6 enormously powerful media corporations.

#5 One study found that the average American spends more than 10 hours a day using some sort of electronic device.

#6 By the time an American child reaches the age of 18, that child will have seen approximately 40,000 murders on television.

#7 The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.

#8 Out of 22 countries studied by the Educational Testing Service, Americans were dead last in tech proficiency, dead last in numeracy and only two countries performed worse than us when it came to literacy proficiency.

#9 In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.

#10 The percentage of wealth owned by middle class adults is lower in North America than it is anywhere else in the world.

#11 Almost half of all Americans (47 percent) do not put a single penny out of their paychecks into savings.

#12 It turns out that Americans are very good at locking people away in prison. At 716 per 100,000 members of the population, the United States has the highest incarceration rate on the entire planet by a very wide margin.

#13 Approximately one-fourth of the entire global prison population is in the United States.

#14 In 2014, police in the United States killed 1,100 people. During that same year, police in Canada killed 14 people, police in China killed 12 people and police in Germany didn’t kill anyone at all.

#15 One recently published study found that one out of every six young Americans has stolen something during the past year.

#16 There are more car thefts in the United States than anywhere else in the world by far.

#17 According to Fox News, approximately 70 percent of married men in the United States admit to having cheated on their wives.

#18 Americans spend far more on health care than anyone else in the world, and yet we only rank 26th in life expectancy and our entire health care system has been transformed into a giant money making scam.

#19 According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70 percent of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and an astounding 20 percent of all Americans are on at least five prescription drugs.

#20 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 31 percent of all food in the United States gets wasted. In case you were wondering, that amounts to approximately 133 billion pounds of food a year.

#21 In 2013, women earned 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees that were awarded that year in the United States.

#22 A survey conducted by the Barna Group discovered that 77 percent of Christian men in America in the 18 to 30-year-old age bracket view pornography at least monthly.

#23 There are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

#24 70 percent of Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.

#25 When LBJ’s “War on Poverty” began, less than 10 percent of all U.S. children were growing up in single parent households. Today, that number has skyrocketed to 33 percent.

#26 In 1950, less than 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents. Today, that number is over 40 percent.

#27 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 20 million new cases of sexually-transmitted disease in the United States each year.

#28 Today, the United States has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world.

#29 According to a survey that was just released within the last 30 days, only 29 percent of Americans want to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood even after all of the shocking undercover videos that were released this year.

#30 America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

#31 Doctors in the United States write more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants each year.

#32 One survey of 50-year-old men in the U.S. found that only 12 percent of them said that they were “very happy”.

#33 Every single year, the United States has the largest trade deficit in the entire world by a very wide margin. But most Americans still don’t seem concerned that thousands of businesses and millions of good jobs have been leaving our country.

#34 As you read this article, there are 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job.

#35 We are supposed to have a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”, but only 25 percent of all Americans know how long U.S. Senators are elected for (6 years), and only 20 percent of all Americans know how many U.S. senators there are in total.

#36 On average, we have been stealing more than 100 million dollars from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day since Barack Obama entered the White House.

(Originally published on End of the American Dream)

10 Pictures That Show How America Is Becoming Just Like Nazi Germany

Prison Fence - Public Domain

The history books tell us about how evil and wicked the Nazis were, so why aren’t we more alarmed that the United States is becoming more like Nazi Germany with each passing day? More than three years ago, I wrote an article entitled “25 Signs That America Is Rapidly Becoming More Like Nazi Germany” which got a ton of attention. Unfortunately, nothing has gotten better since I first published that piece. Government control freaks are still watching us, tracking us, recording our phone calls and monitoring our emails. TSA thugs at our airports are still fondling the private parts of our women and children and laughing while they do it. Our police and our military are still training for civil unrest and martial law in America. And even though our politicians are socializing our economy and destroying our constitutional freedoms, the American people keep sending most of them back to Washington time after time. It is an incredibly sad thing to watch the country that you love slowly die right in front of your eyes.

At the heart of Nazism was a desire to control everyone and everything, and that is exactly what we are seeing in America today. Most of our “leaders” are psychotic control freaks that want to micromanage every aspect of our lives. For example, a bill that was just introduced in Congress would force all children in public schools nationwide to be vaccinated with no exceptions whatsoever. Other new legislation that was just introduced would ban all sales of ammunition over the Internet and require ammo dealers to report all bulk sales to individuals to the government. Our founders intended for this nation to be a place where individual freedom and liberty were maximized, but today we literally have millions of laws, rules and regulations that wrap us so tightly in red tape that we can hardly breathe.

To say that we are becoming just like the Nazis is a very strong statement, but I think that after reviewing the evidence you will agree with me. The following are 10 pictures that show how America is becoming just like Nazi Germany…

#1 It surprises most people to learn that the Nazis were actually radical leftists that had great animosity for free market capitalism. For example, National Socialist theologian Gregor Strasser once made the following statement

We National Socialists are enemies, deadly enemies, of the present capitalist system with its exploitation of the economically weak … and we are resolved under all circumstances to destroy this system.

With that in mind, I want you to check out the following political cartoon from 1934. The same kinds of things that helped the communists rise to power in Russia and the Nazis rise to power in Germany are happening in the United States today…

Chicago Tribune Cartoon 1934

#2 Just like in Nazi Germany, political leaders in America tend to foster cult followings. At this point, there are millions of Americans that would support Barack Obama and believe whatever he had to say even if he was sacrificing children on the White House lawn. These kinds of followers are called “sheeple” for a reason…

Obama And His Sheep - from Facebook

#3 The Nazis were well known for their brutal police tactics, and that is definitely true of us today. The following photo is a powerful commentary on the transformation of police in America over the past several decades…

Police State 2014

Just recently, representatives from 117 countries confronted the U.S. about all of this police brutality at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is actually going to change anything…

The United States was slammed over its rights record Monday at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, with member nations criticizing the country for police violence and racial discrimination, the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility and the continued use of the death penalty.

The issue of racism and police brutality dominated the discussion on Monday during the country’s second universal periodic review (UPR). Country after country recommended that the U.S. strengthen legislation and expand training to eliminate racism and excessive use of force by law enforcement.

#4 Why do so many of our police insist on dressing up like Darth Vader these days? Yes, I know that body armor is called for in certain situations, but many believe that the primary goal of these outfits is to intimidate. The following photo was submitted to Flickr by Elvert Barnes…

Police Dressed Up Like Darth Vader - Photo from Elvert Barnes on Flickr

#5 In recent years, the American people have become conditioned to seeing troops in our streets. This next picture is from the Ferguson protests. The fact that sharpshooters were deployed on rooftops during the unrest there is more than a little disconcerting…

Police sharpshooter with weapon trained in the direction of the camera at protests in Ferguson - Photo by Jamelle Bouie

#6 Just like in Ferguson, when rioting started in Baltimore the police were initially ordered to stand down and allow it to spiral out of control. Then after a few hours, National Guard troops were finally deployed to help restore order. We are slowly getting used to the idea that martial law in our cities is a good thing…

Maryland_National_Guard - photo from Maryland National Guard

#7 Meanwhile, “progressives” continue to use our system of public education to launch a relentless attack on the values that this country was founded upon. The Nazis were also big believers in “public education”, and they used it with shocking efficiency. Today, our children are being brainwashed to accept “progressive values”, and most Americans don’t seem to be too concerned about what is happening…

Guns And Bible

#8 Yes, the Nazis loved gun control. In fact, they eventually had everyone in the general population turn in their guns, and that is precisely what the “progressives” would love to see take place in the U.S. today. But what would this country look like if that actually happened? I think that this next photo which has been circulating on Facebook gives us a clue…

Turn In Your Arms

#9 Under the Nazis, the Germans were taught to salute a new flag and to adopt an entirely new set of values. In America today, it is not “politically correct” to display the American flag publicly or to show honor for it. Instead, we are being trained to think of ourselves as “global citizens” and to never question the growing power of international institutions such as the United Nations. Fortunately, there are many Americans that never plan to accept the “global governance” that the elitists have planned…

I Never Pledged Allegiance To This Flag

#10 In the end, the reason why the Nazis were so successful in Germany was because the vast majority of the German population simply complied with their demands. As Americans, we are going to be faced with our own choices in the years ahead…

Eagle Rising

So what do you think?

Is America becoming more like Nazi Germany?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

(Originally published on End of the American Dream)

China Says That It Is Up To The United States To Stimulate The Global Economy

China vs. America - Photo by Wangdora92

China’s finance minister said Wednesday that the country is not planning any new stimulus measures and it is up to the United States to drive the global economy.

Lou Jiwei said that leaders are satisfied with the country’s economic performance so far this year and that in the first five months China had created up to 6 million jobs, 60 percent of this year’s target.

Analysts say the ruling party appears willing to accept economic growth below its 7.5 percent target this year so long as the rate of creation of new jobs stays high enough to avoid political tensions.

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