Republican Operatives Launch All-Out Effort To Unbind The Delegates And Deny Trump The Nomination

Donald Trump Cube - Public Domain

If you think that Donald Trump already has the Republican nomination locked up, then you don’t understand what is going on behind the scenes. It has long been my contention that the elite will move heaven and earth in order to keep Trump from ever setting foot in the Oval Office. One way that they could try to do this is by attempting to deny him the nomination at the Republican convention next month. Over the past couple of days, the Washington Post, CNN and a whole host of other mainstream news outlets have been reporting on a new “last-ditch effort” that has been launched by Republican operatives to get the Republican convention Rules Committee to unbind all of the delegates and allow them to vote however they want. As you will see below, they can do this, and if they get enough votes they will do it.

This current effort is different from what we have seen so far during this campaign season, because it is actually being organized by the delegates themselves. The following comes from the Washington Post

Dozens of Republican convention delegates are hatching a new plan to block Donald Trump at this summer’s party meetings, in what has become the most organized effort so far to stop the businessman from becoming the GOP presidential nominee.

The moves come amid declining poll numbers for Trump and growing concern among Republicans that he is squandering his chance to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Several controversies — including his racial attacks on a federal judge, his renewed call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States and his support for changing the nation’s gun laws — have raised fears among Republicans that Trump is not really a conservative and is too reckless to run a successful race.

This movement is being spearheaded by a delegate from Colorado named Kendal Unruh. She is actually a key member of the Republican convention Rules Committee, and this is very important for reasons that I will explain below.

For her, it is not about getting some other specific candidate nominated. Rather, the entire goal is simply to stop Donald Trump

This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’ movement,” said Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate from Colorado who is leading the campaign. “Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.

So what will it take for Unruh and her allies to be successful?

As Fox News explained, there are basically two courses of action…

To prevail, Unruh needs a majority of the 112 members of the convention rules committee, which has two delegates from each state and territory. Then, a majority of the full convention’s 2,472 delegates would have to approve.

There’s a Plan B. If Unruh can win over one-fourth support from the rules committee — just 29 delegates — the full convention must vote on her proposal. So far she’s got around 10 supporters though some prefer delaying the rule’s impact until the 2020 convention, she said.

On Thursday night, Unruh was on a conference call that included at least 30 delegates from 15 different states, and the Washington Post says that regional coordinators for this effort have been recruited “in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Washington and other states.”

One individual that took part in this conference call on Thursday night told CNN that calls are pouring in from people all over the country that want to be part of this movement…

I will tell you, about every two hours people contact me about how to join this effort,” Lonegan said. “This has never been done before, so there’s no textbook on how to do it. So we’re building an organic effort, state by state, to convince members of the Rules Committee to sign onto a rule that unbinds the delegates to vote their moral conscience.”

So could the Republican convention Rules Committee actually do this?

Could they actually unbind all of the delegates and allow them to vote however they wished?

Well, yes they actually could do this. As Time Magazine has explained, the Republican convention Rules Committee essentially has the power to make up any rules that they want…

It has the power to review and amend all of the rules of the Republican Party, pending ratification by the full convention. If it wanted to, it could insert a rule that says only candidates with blue hair could be the party’s nominee. It’s that powerful. In a contested scenario, the Rules Committee would be ground zero for fights over who and how candidates are nominated on the floor, as well as how the convention itself is conducted.

And thanks to political wrangling by the Cruz campaign, we do know that the rules committee is dominated by delegates that are loyal to Cruz

The convention rules committee is made up of one man and one woman from each of the 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Dominated by party insiders and loyalists to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz—who aggressively worked state conventions to secure slots on the committee—it remains to be seen what the committee’s appetite would be for such a dramatic break from the existing rules.

If I was Donald Trump, I would be taking this very, very seriously.

But at this point he seems to be brushing it off

“I have tremendous support and get the biggest crowds by far and any such move would not only be totally illegal but also a rebuke of the millions of people who feel so strongly about what I am saying,” Trump said in a statement. “People that I defeated soundly in the primaries will do anything to get a second shot — but there is no mechanism for it to happen.”

Right at this moment we still have about a month left before the convention.

So that gives those involved in the anti-Trump movement quite a bit of time to rally their forces.

The rule change that would unbind all of the delegates and free them up to “vote their consciences” has already been drafted. Here is the text of the proposed rule change…

Preserving Delegates’ Ability to Vote Their Individual Conscience

The secretary of the national convention shall receive and faithfully announce and record each delegate’s vote in accordance with these rules. If any such delegate notifies the secretary of his or her intent to cast a vote of conscience, whether personal or religious, each such delegate shall be unbound and unconstrained by these rules on any given vote, including the first ballot for the selection of the Republican nominee for President of the United States, without the risk of challenge, sanction, or retribution by the Republican National Committee. Allowable personal reasons shall include the public disclosure of one or more grievous acts of personal conduct by a nominee candidate, including but not limited to, criminally actionable acts, acts of moral turpitude or extreme prejudice, and/or notorious public statements of support for positions that clearly oppose or contradict the policies embodied in the Republican Party’s platform as established at the national convention.

In my new book, I warn about the great political shaking that is coming to this nation, and if this rule change is even attempted at the Republican convention it would create seismic shifts in the U.S. political landscape.

Of course there is still one huge question that I have not even addressed in this article yet.

If Trump has the nomination taken away from him, who would the Republican nominee be?

Some are convinced that it would be Paul Ryan, but I believe that it would be somebody else.

Mitt Romney has certainly not hidden his disdain for Donald Trump, and right now he is quietly waiting in the wings. If the anti-Trump forces get their way, I believe that he would be the man that ultimately walks away with the prize.

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

15 Facts About The Imploding U.S. Economy That The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You To See

U.S. Economy - Public Domain

You are about to see undeniable evidence that the U.S. economy has been slowing down for quite some time. And it is vital that we focus on the facts, because all over the Internet you are going to find lots and lots of people that have opinions about what is going on with the economy. And of course the mainstream media is always trying to spin things to make Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look good, because those that work in the mainstream media are far more liberal than the American population as a whole. It is true that I also have my own opinions, but as an attorney I learned that opinions are not any good unless you have facts to back them up. So please allow me a few moments to share with you evidence that clearly demonstrates that we have already entered a major economic slowdown. The following are 15 facts about the imploding U.S. economy that the mainstream media doesn’t want you to see…

1. Industrial production has now declined for nine months in a row. We have never seen this happen outside of a recession in all of U.S. history.

2. U.S. commercial bankruptcies have risen on a year over year basis for seven months in a row and are now up 51 percent since September.

3. The delinquency rate on commercial and industrial loans has been rising since January 2015.

4. Total business sales in the United States have been steadily dropping since the middle of 2014. No, I did not say 2015. Total business sales have been in decline for nearly two years now, and we just found out that they dropped again

Total business sales in the US did in April what they’ve been doing since July 2014: they dropped: -2.9% from a year ago, to $1.28 trillion (not adjusted for seasonal differences and price changes), the Censuses Bureau reported on Tuesday. That’s where sales had been in April 2013!

5. U.S. factory orders have been dropping for 18 months in a row.

6. The Cass Shipping Index has been falling on a year over year basis for 14 consecutive months.

7. U.S. coal production has dropped to the lowest level in 35 years.

8. Goldman Sachs has its own internal tracker of the U.S. economy, and it has fallen to the lowest level since the last recession.

9. JPMorgan’s “recession indicators” have risen to the highest level that we have seen since the last recession.

10. Federal tax receipts and state tax receipts usually both start to fall as we enter a new recession, and that is precisely what is taking place right now.

11. The Federal Reserve’s Labor Market Conditions Index has been falling for five months in a row.

12. The employment numbers that the government released for last month were the worst that we have seen in six years.

13. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, layoff announcements at major firms are running 24 percent higher this year than they were at this time last year.

14. Online job postings on the business networking site LinkedIn have been declining steadily since February after 73 months in a row of growth.

15. The number of temporary workers in the United States peaked and started falling precipitously before the recession of 2001 even started. The exact same thing happened just prior to the beginning of the 2008 recession. So would it surprise you to learn that the number of temporary workers in the United States peaked in December and has fallen dramatically since then?

Earlier today, we learned that two of our biggest corporations will be laying off even more workers. Bank of America, which is holding more of our money than any other bank in the country, has announced that it is going to be cutting about 8,000 more workers

Bank of America is expected to reduce staffing in its consumer banking division by as many as 8,000 more jobs.

The nation’s largest retail bank by deposits has already reduced the staffing in its consumer division from more than 100,000 in 2009 to about 68,400 as of the end of the first quarter of 2016, said Thong Nguyen, Bank of America’s president of retail banking and co-head of consumer banking at the Morgan Stanley Financials Conference Tuesday.

And Wal-Mart has announced that it is going to be eliminating “back-office accounting jobs” at approximately 500 locations

Walmart is going to cut some back-office accounting jobs at about 500 stores in a bid to become more efficient.

The job cuts will occur mostly at stores mostly in the West and involve accounting and invoicing workers, says spokesman Kory Lundberg. Instead, bookkeeping functions will be switched to Walmart’s home office in Bentonville, Ark. Cash at the stores will be counted by machine.

Day after day we are hearing about more layoffs like this. So why would this be happening if the U.S. economy truly was in “recovery mode”?

Even with how manipulated the GDP numbers are these days, Barack Obama is on course to be the only president in all of U.S. history to never have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent. The truth is that our economy has been stuck in the mud ever since the end of the last recession, and now a major new downturn has clearly already begun.

And you want to know who else realizes this?

Foreign investors do.

Last month, foreign investors dumped U.S. debt at the fastest pace ever recorded

Foreign investors sold a record amount of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes for the month of April, according to U.S. Treasury Department data on Wednesday, as investors priced in a few more rate increases by the Federal Reserve this year.

Foreigners sold $74.6 billion in U.S. Treasury debt in the month, after purchases of $23.6 billion in March. April’s outflow was the largest since the U.S. Treasury Department started recording Treasury debt transactions in January 1978.

There is no debate any longer – the next economic crisis is already here. This is so abundantly obvious at this point that even George Soros has been feverishly dumping stocks and buying gold.

We can argue about whether the U.S. economy started turning down in late 2015, early 2015 or late 2014, and it is good to have those debates.

But at the end of the day, what is far more important is what is ahead. Fortunately, our downturn has been fairly gradual so far, and let us hope that it stays that way for as long as possible.

In much of the rest of the world, things are already in full-blown panic mode. For instance, Venezuela was once the wealthiest nation in South America, but now people are literally hunting cats and dogs for food.

Absent a major “black swan event” of some sort, we won’t see that happening in the United States for at least a while yet, but without a doubt we are steamrolling toward a major economic depression.

Unfortunately for all of us, there isn’t anything that any of our politicians are going to be able to do to stop it.

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

Dozens Shot Over Memorial Day Weekend As The Collapse Of Chicago Accelerates

Gang Violence - Public Domain

Chaos and violence threaten to spiral out of control in America’s third largest city, and nobody seems to have any idea how to solve the problem. After decades of control by the radical left, many parts of the “Windy City” have become rotting, decaying, gang-infested hellholes. Just like Detroit, the city of Chicago is rapidly becoming a joke to the rest of the world, but a horribly corrupt political culture likely stands in the way of any type of major reform any time soon. And just like much of the rest of the nation, a spirit of violence and civil unrest is rising in Chicago. So far this year, the number of shootings in Chicago is up 50 percent compared to the same time period last year, and that was before we even got to Memorial Day weekend. As of Sunday morning, at least 40 people had already been shot, and authorities were bracing for even more violence as the holiday weekend stretched on…

A string of nearly two dozen shootings on the West Side has pushed the number of people shot during the Memorial Day weekend to at least 40, with two more days to go.

As of early Sunday morning, the toll stood at four dead and 36 wounded across the city, including a 15-year-girl shot to death as she rode in a Jeep on Lake Shore Drive near Fullerton Avenue, police said.

The cries to fix what is wrong with Chicago are becoming increasingly desperate, but at this point the city is drowning in debt and is pretty much flat broke.

So the options for doing anything about this growing crisis are quite limited.

But that isn’t stopping prominent city leaders from speaking out. According to the New York Times, Rev. Corey Brooks believes that “we could be looking at a blood bath” this summer if nothing changes…

“If something doesn’t change, if we don’t get jobs for these kids, if we don’t change the economic situation, I’m worried that we could be looking at a blood bath,” said the Rev. Corey Brooks, a pastor on the city’s South Side, a mostly African-American area where some of the shootings have been concentrated. “If something doesn’t happen, I fear that we’re potentially looking at one of the worst summers we’ve ever had.”

As of Friday morning, homicides in Chicago were up 52 percent in 2016, compared with the same period a year ago, and shootings had increased by 50 percent, though the pace of violence had slowed in recent weeks, the police said.

I believe that Rev. Brooks is correct, but he isn’t identifying the core of the problem.

Thanks in large part to unchecked illegal immigration, gang membership has been surging in Chicago. Back in 2012, the Chicago Crime Commission estimated that there were 150,000 gang members living in the city, but of course by now that number is likely far higher.

No city in the United States has a higher population of gang members than Chicago does, and hundreds of factions are constantly battling for turf. The police in Chicago insist that they have the situation under control, but everyone can see that they do not.

And how could they? There are only 13,318 law enforcement officers of all types in the city of Chicago. They are outnumbered by the gangs by much more than a 10 to 1 margin. There is no way in the world that they are ever going to be able to stop the gang violence. All they can do is hope to contain it.

Sadly, they are fighting a losing battle, because with each passing month thousands more gang members cross our southern border illegally and head directly for our major cities where they are warmly received by their gang brothers.

Perhaps this helps to explain why 3,000 millionaires left the city of Chicago last year.

Do you want to know somewhere else that has been controlled by the radical left for decades and that is now seeing chaos and violence spin out of control?

In Venezuela, we get to see what it looks like when an entire country starts to shut down. The following comes from the New York Times

The courts? Closed most days. The bureau to start a business? Same thing. The public defender’s office? That’s been converted into a food bank for government employees.

Step by step, Venezuela has been shutting down.

This country has long been accustomed to painful shortages, even of basic foods. But Venezuela keeps drifting further into uncharted territory.

At this point, more than 80 percent of all basic consumer products are in short supply, and some people have become so desperate that they are actually hunting cats and dogs for food. My wife and I had a lot more to say about the rapidly deteriorating situation down in Venezuela during a recent episode of our new television show. It is so important to watch what is going on down there right now, because eventually the same things will be happening here in America too.

When society breaks down, people become very desperate, and crime spirals out of control. The mafia and the gangs are having a field day at the moment, and the police are so overwhelmed that they can’t do much to stop them.

And if you need medical treatment down in Venezuela right now, you might as well forget it

The Luis Razetti Hospital in the portal city of Barcelona looks like a war zone.

Patients can be seen balancing themselves on half-broken beds with days-old blood on their bodies.

They’re the lucky ones; most are curled up on the floor, blood streaming, limbs blackening.

Children lie among dirty cardboard boxes in the hallways without food, water or medication.

Without electricity or functioning machines, medics have had to create their own solutions. Two men who had surgery on their legs have their limbs elevated by makeshift slings made out of water bottles.

Most Americans would scoff at the suggestion that we could ever see scenes like that in the United States, but just a few years ago most Venezuelans would have probably said the exact same thing.

For so long, watchmen all over America have been endlessly warning people to get prepared.

But at some point, time runs out.

In fact, down in Venezuela time has already run out. Store shelves all over the country are empty, there are chronic shortages of basic supplies, some people are hunting dogs and cats for food, and there has been an almost total breakdown of public services.

I wish that I could say that these kinds of conditions are only going to be limited to Venezuela. But I cannot say that. Great suffering is going to eventually spread all over the world, and that is going to include our own nation.

I hope that you are using this short period of relative stability wisely, because it will be gone way too soon.

June 7: FEMA Will Hold A Drill To Prepare For A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami

Cascadia Subduction Zone - FEMA

Starting on June 7th, FEMA will be conducting a large scale drill that has been named “Cascadia Rising” that will simulate the effects of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and an accompanying west coast tsunami dozens of feet tall. According to the official flyer for the event, more than “50 counties, plus major cities, tribal nations, state and federal agencies, private sector businesses, and non-governmental organizations across three states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – will be participating”. In addition to “Cascadia Rising”, U.S. Northern Command will be holding five other exercises simultaneously. According to the final draft of the Cascadia Rising drill plan, those five exercises are entitled “Ardent Sentry 2016”, “Vigilant Guard”, “Special Focus Exercise”, “Turbo Challenge” and “Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore”. The primary scenario that of all of these participants will be focusing on will be one that involves a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone followed by a giant tsunami that could displace up to a million people from northern California to southern Canada.

We have never seen such a disaster before in all of U.S. history.

Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

It is funny that they are preparing to deal with the effects of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, because that is precisely the size of earthquake that I warned about in an article back in March.

The San Andreas Fault in southern California gets more headlines, but the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a much larger threat by far. This fault zone is where the Juan de Fuca plate meets the North American plate, and it stretches approximately 700 miles from northern Vancouver Island all the way down to northern California.

If a magnitude 9.0 earthquake were to strike, the immense shaking and subsequent tsunami would cause damage on a scale that is hard to even imagine right now. Perhaps this is why FEMA feels such a need to get prepared for this type of disaster, because the experts assure us that it is most definitely coming someday. The following comes from the official website of the “Cascadia Rising” exercise…

A 9.0 magnitude earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) and the resulting tsunami is the most complex disaster scenario that emergency management and public safety officials in the Pacific Northwest could face. Cascadia Rising is an exercise to address that disaster.

June 7-10, 2016 Emergency Operations and Coordination Centers (EOC/ECCs) at all levels of government and the private sector will activate to conduct a simulated field response operation within their jurisdictions and with neighboring communities, state EOCs, FEMA, and major military commands.

If you don’t think that the scenario that they are studying is realistic, perhaps you should consider the fact that the largest earthquake in the history of the continental United States stuck along the Cascadia Subduction Zone back in 1700. The following comes from CNN

In fact, “the Cascadia” already has made history, causing the largest earthquake in the continental United States on January 26, 1700. That’s when the Cascadia unleashed one of the world’s biggest quakes, causing a tsunami so big that it rampaged across the Pacific and damaged coastal villages in Japan.

Yes, we all remember the big Hollywood blockbuster about the San Andreas fault. But if they wanted to be more realistic, they should have made the movie about the Cascadia Subduction Zone. According to a professor of geophysics at Oregon State University, the Cascadia Subduction Zone has the potential to create an earthquake “almost 30 times more energetic” than anything the San Andreas Fault can produce…

Everyone knows the Cascadia’s cousin in California: the San Andreas Fault. It gets all the scary glamor, with even a movie this year, “San Andreas,” dramatizing an apocalypse in the western U.S.

Truth is, the San Andreas is a lightweight compared with the Cascadia.

The Cascadia can deliver a quake that’s many times stronger — plus a tsunami.

“Cascadia can make an earthquake almost 30 times more energetic than the San Andreas to start with, and then it generates a tsunami at the same time, which the side-by-side motion of the San Andreas can’t do,” said Chris Goldfinger, a professor of geophysics at Oregon State University.

And the kind of tsunami that would be created by such a massive quake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone would absolutely dwarf the massive tsunami that struck Japan back in 2011. In fact, an article in the New Yorker quoted the head of the FEMA division that oversees Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska as saying that “everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast”…

If the entire zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2. That’s the very big one.

…By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

In the Pacific Northwest, everything west of Interstate 5 covers some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people.

We live at a time when the crust of our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. Based on my research, I have come to the conclusion that we will soon see major earth changes on a scale that most of us would never even dare to imagine.

All over the world the Ring of Fire is roaring to life, and the Cascadia Subduction Zone lies directly along the Ring of Fire. Just last week, I wrote about the alarming earthquake swarms that we have seen directly under Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, and now we have learned that FEMA is about to hold a major drill that is going to simulate a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and an accompanying west coast tsunami dozens of feet in height.

Of course most Americans aren’t concerned about this threat at all.

Most Americans just assume that life will continue to go on normally just as it always has.

But I happen to agree with the experts that are promising us that an absolutely massive earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone will strike someday, and when that happens life in America will be permanently altered.

A Spirit Of Violence And Civil Unrest Is Rising In America

Riot 2 - Public Domain

It was only a matter of time before our deeply divided nation was going to start coming apart at the seams. Waves of anger, frustration, violence and civil unrest are starting to sweep across the United States, and political rallies for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have become a focal point for releasing some of that energy. The angry mob that threw rocks, bottles and burning T-shirts at police and Donald Trump supporters on Tuesday night wanted to get the attention of the national media, and they got it in droves. Now that the election is less than five months away, this kind of scene is going to be repeated over and over, and this is something that I warned about back in March. Millions upon millions of our young people have fully embraced the radical left, and they have already made it exceedingly clear that they are not afraid to use violence to advance their cause.

Never before in my lifetime have I seen America so divided. Our politicians and the mainstream media have been endlessly pitting various groups against one another for years, and wherever you look hearts are growing very cold.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I believe that this is going to be the most chaotic election season that we have ever experienced, and the chaos and violence that are going to be unleashed over the next five months are going to shock the entire world.

On Tuesday night, the angry mob that gathered outside of the Albuquerque Convention Center didn’t seem to care who they hurt as they unleashed their anger. According to Fox News, some of the protesters even tried to set police horses on fire…

The rampaging gang was made up of anti-Trump goons — waving the Mexican flag and burning a Trump banner.

“Viva Mexico,” protesters shouted, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The rioters even targeted police horses — knocking one down – and throwing burning T-shirts at others. Who tries to burn down a horse?

How sick and twisted do you have to be to try to set a horse on fire?

But this is what happens when a spirit of violence descends on a group of people. The consequences can quickly spiral out of control in unexpected ways.

Here is how CNS News described the chaotic scene outside of the Albuquerque Convention Center…

In one of the presidential campaign year’s more grisly spectacles, protesters in New Mexico opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades.

Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center.

According to at least one report, rocks thrown by some of the rioters were actually flying through the convention center windows, and a number of innocent people got hurt.

What would make people act like that? This isn’t what America is supposed to look like. But when fundamental institutions such as the family and the church start to crumble, this is how people start to behave. You can see a clip that includes footage of protesters jumping on police cars last night in Albuquerque right here

And of course the spirit of violence and civil unrest that is rising in America is not limited to Donald Trump rallies.

In major cities all over the nation, violent crime is rising by double digit percentages. In Chicago, the number of people that have been shot so far in 2016 is 50 percent higher than during the same period last year

This past weekend in Chicago saw another five killed and 40 wounded in shootings, slightly down from Mother’s day weekend when eight people were killed and 42 wounded. The two weekends are indicative of what’s taking place in the homicide riddled city, in which the number of people shot so far this year is running an astonishing 50% above this time last year – what’s worse, summer is not even here yet, which is traditionally the city’s most violent period.

Yikes!

Other big cities are seeing similar spikes in violent crime. The following is an excerpt from a recent article in the New York Times

Experts cannot agree on what to call a recent rise in homicides, much less its cause, but new data on Friday that showed a sharp spike in homicide rates in more than 20 cities rekindled debate over whether it was time for alarm.

The data showed particularly significant increases in homicides in six cities in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year — Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Memphis.

If this is happening now, with the stock market soaring and unemployment a bit lower than it was during the depths of the last recession, what is going to happen when things start getting really bad in this country?

Desperate people do desperate things, and if people are willing to hurl rocks and set horses on fire because they are upset at a political candidate, what are they going to do when there is no food for their families?

Just look at what is happening down in Venezuela. People are hunting down dogs and cats because they don’t have anything to eat. There have been at least 107 mass looting events so far in 2016 alone, and crime is completely and utterly out of control.

What is happening down there is eventually coming to America too, and the chaos and violence that we will see during the coming months will be a small preview of that.

The funny thing is that none of these political protests are going to matter anyway. It remains my contention that the elite will move heaven and earth to do whatever is necessary to keep Donald Trump out of the White House. They have already spent tens of millions of dollars against him and they have continuously had their media outlets put out “hit pieces” in an attempt to destroy him.

But their bag of tricks goes a lot deeper than that, and this is not a game to them.

I know that a lot of people out there have some very high hopes for Donald Trump, and we should be praying for him and for his family.

However, the time when the people determined the direction of this nation is long past, and the elite guard their monopoly over the political process very zealously.

40 Volcanoes Are Erupting Right Now As The Crust Of The Earth Becomes Increasingly Unstable

Volcano Erupting 2 - Public Domain

Have you noticed that our planet has begun to shake, rattle and roll? Over the past few days we have seen major volcanic eruptions in Costa Rica and Indonesia, and according to Volcano Discovery 40 volcanoes around the planet are erupting right now as you read this article. Meanwhile, earthquakes continue to shake the globe with alarming regularity. Just last week, Ecuador was hit by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake and a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in rapid succession. Overall, there have been more than 3,000 earthquakes of magnitude 1.5 or greater within the past month globally. So yes, I write constantly about the rapidly accelerating deterioration of our financial system, but the coming “collapse” is not just about money. I am convinced that we are entering a “perfect storm” in which a confluence of factors will absolutely cripple society and bring about changes that most of us would not even dare to imagine right now.

Let’s talk about the volcanic eruptions that we have seen in recent days. The eruption down in Costa Rica took authorities completely by surprise, and a thick layer of dust and ash is coating vehicles and buildings 30 miles away in the capital city of San Jose

A volcano has erupted in central Costa Rica, belching smoke and ash up to 3,000m (9,840ft) into the air.

Hundreds of people have gone to hospital, complaining of breathing difficulties and skin problems.

Some schools were shut and some flights into the country cancelled or diverted.

People in the capital San Jose, about 45km (30 miles) west of the Turrialba volcano, said layers of ash had coated buildings and cars and there was a fierce smell of sulphur.

Leading up to this eruption, there were “swarms of small earthquakes” in the vicinity of the volcano, but scientists assured the public that these earthquake swarms were “not signs of an imminent eruption.”

Keep that in mind, because later in the article I am going to show you something.

But first let us talk about the other major eruption that is happening right now. Down in Indonesia, Mount Sinabung has violently erupted, and this is causing all sorts of chaos

The death toll from a volcanic eruption in western Indonesia has climbed to six, an official said Sunday, with fears more could have been trapped by the hot ash.

Three people also remain in a critical condition after Mount Sinabung, a highly-active volcano on Sumatra island, unleashed a series of fresh eruptions on Saturday afternoon, disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

“Nine people were struck by the hot clouds. Six died, and three others remain critical with burns,” he said, adding the injured had been taken to hospital.

According to one report, “torrents of lava” are pouring out of the volcano, and this is just one example of how volcanoes that were once considered to be “inactive” are coming to life all over the world. In fact, prior to 2010 Mount Sinabung had been dormant for about 400 years.

Meanwhile, there is “unprecedented” activity at Iceland’s very dangerous Baroabunga volcano. This one is not erupting quite yet, but we definitely want to keep an eye on it, because a major eruption there would have serious implications for Europe.

To finish this article, I would like to provide an update to a piece that I posted last week on End of the American Dream. Just prior to the eruption of the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica, there were significant earthquake swarms in the vicinity of the volcano. Well, the exact same thing is happening at three major volcanoes in the United States right now.

I would like to share three images with you that come from Google Earth via the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. This first image shows the earthquake activity that has taken place in the area around Mt. St. Helens in recent days. Over the past month there have been 95 earthquakes in the region, and most of them have been centered right along the core of the volcano…

Mt. St. Helens Today

This next image shows what has been happening at Mt. Rainier. Those that follow my work closely already know that I consider it to be the most dangerous mountain in America and that I believe that a major eruption of the volcano is coming in the not too distant future. There have been 36 earthquakes at Mt. Rainier over the past month, and once again most of them have occurred right along the core of the volcano…

Mt. Rainier Today

Mt. Hood is also a very dangerous volcano. There have been 126 earthquakes in the vicinity of Mt. Hood in recent days, and in this image you can see that the earthquakes have been centered very tightly on a spot on the south face of the mountain. This is alarming because it was also the south side of Mt. St. Helens that violently erupted back in 1980…

Mt. Hood Today

When there are major volcanic eruptions or major earthquakes in other parts of the globe, many Americans don’t seem to care too much because they don’t think that this rise in global seismic activity is any sort of a threat to them personally.

But the truth is that the entire west coast of the United States lies along the Ring of Fire, and virtually every other section of the Ring of Fire is roaring to life these days.

At some point, there will be historic earthquakes on the west coast.

At some point, there will be historic volcanic eruptions on the west coast.

Scientists assure us that these things are inevitable.

So let us certainly hope for the best, but putting our heads in the sand and pretending that these dangers do not exist is not going to help matters one bit.

Get prepared while you still can, because at some point time will run out.

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

Something Has Shifted And Things Have Suddenly Become A Whole Lot More Serious

Shift Clock Day Night - Public Domain

I don’t do a lot of articles like this, but I want to share something with you that happened to me just recently. I debated about whether or not to share this, but since this story will be aired on national television in just a few days I decided to go ahead and do it. On Saturday, May 14th, my wife and I were enjoying a day of peace and rest when something very unusual happened. I am not sure exactly how to describe it. I have been describing it to some people as a “wave”, but I am not sure if that is entirely accurate. It was almost as if I could feel something shift in the spiritual realm, and with it came the sudden realization that things had suddenly become a whole lot more serious.

If you don’t believe in God, I am sure that what I am saying does not make a whole lot of sense. What I received that day was not in words, and so I have been attempting to translate into words what was deeply impressed upon me at that time.

It was kind of like a sudden soberness came over me. I knew that it was not a time for joking or laughing, and that something important was taking place.

That night when my wife and I were getting ready for bed, I told her what had happened. I explained to her that I felt that something had shifted and that now things had become much more serious. But neither of us had any idea precisely what that meant.

The very next morning, on Sunday, May 15th, we received an extremely startling phone call. It was my wife’s mother, and she told us that a member of our extended family had died on Saturday. This member of our extended family was only in his sixties and he was thought to be in very good health. For him to drop dead like that was totally unexpected.

This was immediate confirmation of what I had felt on Saturday. It is entirely possible that what I felt in the spiritual realm was directly connected to the death of our relative.

However, I believe that what I received was not just for our family. If it was only for our family, I would not be relating this story to you.

At the time when I received it, I had a very clear impression that things had also suddenly become much more serious on a global level as well. I don’t know exactly what this means, but I think that we will find out during the weeks and months to come.

In the Scriptures, sometimes God used events in the personal lives of His servants to point to larger spiritual truths. Ezekiel and Hosea are two good examples of this, but there are others. Perhaps God timed things in such a way that something that happened in the natural (the death of our relative) would confirm the broader message that He had given to me.

I don’t claim to have all the answers. I am just trying to make sense out of a very intense personal experience.

And without a doubt, things have already started to become “very serious” in many areas around the globe. For example, just consider the crisis in Venezuela

It was around noon when a food truck rolled up… But, to the fury of the long line of people waiting out front, the cargo wasn’t unloaded. Instead soldiers took it away.

“We want food!” the crowd roared in protest, to no avail. Some tried to run after the truck.

Under the state of emergency imposed by President Nicolas Maduro, the military, along with government-organized civilian committees, ensures that food packets are delivered door-to-door in order to — as officials say — cut out black market operators.

[…]

“Here in Guarenas there were revolutionary supporters. But now the people no longer want revolution — what they want is food,” she said.

“The people are going hungry. We are tired of lining up, of killing ourselves for just a carton of eggs or some bread,” she said.

And of course we are seeing similar things take place all over that very troubled nation.

So far in 2016, there have been more than 100 major incidents of looting and more than 2,000 political protests in Venezuela. The following comes from the Guardian

The Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict registered 2,138 protests between January and April, most of them spontaneous manifestations of anger or frustration. Incidents of looting have nearly quadrupled in the same time.

We are like a bomb going tick-tock, tick-tock,” said Zenovia Villegas, a 54-year-old housewife who waited in line at a Guarenas supermarket since the early hours of Thursday only to be told at 3pm that the store would not be opening its doors that day. Dejected, she went home empty-handed.

Some people are already so desperate for food in some parts of Venezuela that they are hunting down cats and dogs and eating them.

I know that sounds quite graphic, but it is important to understand what takes place when an economy totally collapses because the exact same thing is coming to America.

Other Venezuelans have turned to barter to secure the things that they need

Thousands turn to social media to barter for goods. On Facebook, people offer to swap razors for cough syrup, toothpaste for sugar and oil for wet wipes.

Demand for antibiotics is voracious. In one post, someone offers seven boxes of amoxycillin – a form of penicillin.

Within minutes, he is inundated with requests.

This is why I have always encouraged people to stock up on barter items for the hard times that are coming. When you can’t rely on the stores any longer, people will be trading what they have for what they need, and you will want to have some things that you can barter with. For much more on the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, I would encourage you to check out this video that my wife and I just made…

We are moving into a time when the sorts of chaos and suffering that we are witnessing in Venezuela right now will start erupting all over the planet. In my new book, I address some of the things that are going to be happening in the United States, and hopefully people will heed my warnings.

The worst times that any of us have ever seen are right at the door, and yet apathy is everywhere.

There just seems to be such blind faith in the Federal Reserve, our politicians and the man residing in the White House.

Unfortunately, that blind faith is about to be absolutely shattered, and we are going to see things happen in this nation that are far worse than what we have seen take place in Venezuela or anywhere else so far.

*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.*

Some Preppers Are Getting Ready For The End Of The World, While Others Are Running For Office

Prepper - Photo by Nomadic Lass on Flickr

Deep inside, most of us know that something is coming. Many of us may not know exactly what it is that is heading our way, but there are millions of Americans that feel so alarmed about what they sense is on the horizon that they are taking extreme measures to get prepared. Of course the list of potential catastrophic disasters is endless – economic collapse, civil unrest, historic earthquakes, power grid failure, Islamic terror, Hillary getting into the White House, etc. There are so many things that could bring this country to its knees, and there are lots of preppers out there that are feverishly preparing their homes and their families for doomsday. But there are others that are taking very different approaches. As you will see below, some preppers have decided that the best thing to do is to run for office, while others are getting out of the United States completely.

In this article, I do not intend to tell you which approach is best for you and your family. In the end, each one of us needs to do what we feel is best for those that we love. And for many Americans, that means finding a property that is “off the grid” and that is far away from large population centers. According to realtor.com, sales of prepper properties are really surging right now…

Some real estate companies are seeing big increases by specializing in “survivalist properties”—large parcels of rural land with homes targeted specifically to preppers, with full fortification and self-sustainable food and energy options. After all, why not grow your own tomatoes and kale while you wait out the end of the world as we know it?

For example, sales at American Redoubt Realty, a real estate firm nestled in the heart of prepper country in northern Idaho, are up 50% over the same time last year, says real estate agent Todd Savage, who specializes in such transactions. His clients typically hail from Texas and California.

For other preppers, just having a home that is “off the grid” is not nearly good enough. For many, having an underground bunker is the best way to be prepared for when a major catastrophe strikes. And without a doubt, bunker sales have been skyrocketing in recent years. The same article quoted above reported that one bunker company down in Utah has actually seen sales nearly triple each year

Business is also good over at Ultimate Bunker, based on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, where sales have nearly tripled each year since the company opened shop four years ago. General contractor Mike Peters got into bunkers (literally, folks!) after watching the TV show “Doomsday Preppers” on the National Geographic Channel. He was convinced he could build them better.

His underground shelters start at $59,000 and go way up from there. His top-of-the-line model has areas for raising rabbits and fish. The majority of his sales are in the $500,000 range.

Other Americans that are deeply concerned about what is coming in our immediate future are taking a different approach. All across the country, those that belong to the Patriot Movement are taking the plunge into politics and are trying to reform the system from the inside. The following is an excerpt from an article that was posted by the Guardian earlier today…

Joseph Rice’s manner is a long way from militia stereotypes. The Patriot Movement leader does not present as a crazed gun nut, nor as a blowhard white supremacist. He’s genial, folksy, and matter-of-fact in laying out his views. But talk to him for long enough, and time and again the Patriot Movement leader returns to what really drives him: land.

Rice is running for Josephine county commissioner in south-west Oregon, and believes that the federal government’s current role in land management is illegitimate and even tyrannical.

His campaign is well-advertised around the county and appears well-organised. His growing experience in organising Patriot groups and community watch organisations has polished his skills in retail politics. He’s clearly done a lot of work to make himself politically palatable to conservative rural voters.

There are yet other preppers that reject both of these approaches. To these individuals, there is absolutely no hope left for America and they feel the best approach for them and their families is to leave the country for good and never look back. I personally know several families that have left the U.S. in recent years, and there are many others that are considering it.

And I do find it very interesting to note that the mainstream media is reporting that record numbers of Americans are renouncing their citizenship in early 2016…

It seems crazy to call it the ‘New Normal’, but once again, record numbers of Americans are renouncing citizenship. Every three months, the Treasury Department publicly names individuals who renounced. It is surely more about FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act enacted in 2010, than it is about politics. Still, numbers are flying, with one poll saying that 1 in 4 Americans would consider leaving if Trump is elected. Others claim they will leave if Hillary is elected.

Of course it isn’t just preppers that are getting out while the getting is good.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the city of Chicago lost approximately 3,000 millionaires last year alone. Many among the elite have the same kinds of concerns that many ordinary Americans do, and they are relocating while they are still able to do so.

In the end, I cannot tell you which approach is best for you and your family. And there are some that are mixing all three approaches. For example, there are some people out there that have already moved their families away from the big cities, but they are still trying to make a difference the best way that they can, but they are also ready to leave the country entirely when that becomes necessary.

And of course there are many others out there that wonder what all of the fuss is about. Millions upon millions of Americans still have complete and total faith in the system and in our leadership, and they believe that the greatest days of America are still ahead of us.

So what about you?

What do you think?

Please feel free to share your thoughts 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.*

Earth Changes In 2016? How To Get Prepared For The Coming Earthquakes And Volcanic Eruptions

Four Horsemen - Public Domain

All over the world seismic activity is increasing. In recent weeks we have seen a dramatic earthquake in Ecuador, more than 600 earthquakes have experts extremely alarmed about what is happening to Japan’s southern Island, and 37 volcanoes around the planet are erupting right now. Most of the large earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that we have witnessed lately have come along the Ring of Fire, which is an area of seismic instability which roughly encircles the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately the west coast of the United States has been spared so far, but scientists tell us that tension has been building up along the San Andreas fault and the Cascadia Subduction Zone for decades, and they assure us that it is only a matter of time before we see a major event. What that day arrives, will you be prepared?

There were a couple of notable seismic events which took place on Monday. First of all, the largest volcano in Russia’s Far East known as Klyuchevskaya Sopka violently erupted. Steaming hot ash was shot more than three miles up into the air, but fortunately it is not a heavily populated area. This represents yet another major volcanic eruption along the Ring of Fire, and this has some scientists extremely concerned about what may be coming next.

Here in the United States, an unusual swarm of 21 earthquakes along the Arizona-Nevada border is also raising eyebrows

More small earthquakes shook northwest Arizona Sunday adding to the list of temblors that have struck the area since March 29.

The Arizona Geological Survey said two quakes occurred, including a magnitude 2.6 quake at 12:07 a.m.

There has been a swarm of 21 quakes in an area along the Arizona-Nevada line south-southwest of Littlefield, AZ, which is also close to southwestern Utah and the frequency and span puzzles geologists.

The good news is that we have not had a truly historic earthquake in the U.S. for decades, and there have been no major volcanic eruptions since Mount St. Helens exploded back in 1980.

But scientists assure us that we are living on borrowed time, and there are three extremely dangerous volcanoes in North America that I am keeping a close watch on right now…

#1 Mt. Popocatepetl

Popocatepetl is an Aztec word that can be translated as “smoking mountain”, and more than 25 million people live within range of this extraordinarily dangerous mountain. Experts tell us that during the time of the Aztecs, entire cities were completely buried in super-heated mud from this volcano. In fact, the super-heated mud was so deep that it buried entire pyramids. In the event of a full-blown eruption, Mexico City’s 18 million residents probably wouldn’t be buried in super-heated mud, but it would still be absolutely devastating for Mexico’s largest city.

#2 Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier has been dubbed a “time bomb“, “the most dangerous mountain in the United States” and “one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world” because it sits so close to Seattle, Tacoma and other major cities along the coast of Washington state. In the event of a full-blown eruption, countless numbers of people would literally be buried alive in a tsunami of super-heated mud. These tsunamis of super-heated mud are known as “lahars”, and scientists believe that Mt. Rainier is capable of producing lahars that could move at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. I am so convinced that an eruption of Mt. Rainier is in our future that I even put one in my novel.

#3 The Yellowstone Supervolcano

Many of us that are a bit older still remember the eruption of Mount St. Helens back in 1980. Well, scientists tell us that a full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would have up to 2,000 times the power of that eruption. Salt Lake City would be toast, anything caught outside in Denver would probably be dead in pretty short order, and a layer of volcanic ash at least 10 feet deep would be dumped on everything even up to 1,000 miles away. Food production in America would be virtually wiped out, and a “volcanic winter” would cool global temperatures by up to 20 degrees for an extended period of time.

In other words, life as we know it would come to an end.

That is why the extremely unusual activity going on at Yellowstone right now is such a concern. If it decides to blow, world history will make a dramatic turn in a single moment.

So what should we do?

As always, we should never give in to fear. There are definitely going to be major earthquakes and historic volcanic eruptions in North America, and we are going to have to deal with them. Doing some common sense things in advance will give you and your family the best chance of calmly and smoothly making it through such a crisis.

Below, I have shared some tips that come directly from the CDC. This first set of tips suggests things that you and your family can do to get prepared for a major earthquake…

—–

Gather Emergency Supplies

Stock up now on emergency supplies that can be used after an earthquake. These supplies should include a first aid kit, survival kits for the home, automobile, and workplace, and emergency water and food. Store enough supplies to last at least 3 days.

Evacuation Plans

If an earthquake occurs, you may need to evacuate a damaged area afterward. By planning and practicing for evacuation, you will be better prepared to respond appropriately and efficiently to signs of danger or to directions by civil authorities.

  • Take a few minutes with your family to discuss a home evacuation plan. Sketch a floor plan of your home; walk through each room and discuss evacuation details.
  • Plan a second way to exit from each room or area, if possible. If you need special equipment, such as a rope ladder, mark where it is located.
  • Mark where your emergency food, water, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers are located.
  • Mark where the utility switches or valves are located so that they can be turned off, if possible.
  • Indicate the location of your family’s emergency outdoor meeting place.

Establish Priorities

Take time before an earthquake strikes to write an emergency priority list, including:

  • important items to be hand-carried by you
  • other items, in order of importance to you and your family
  • items to be removed by car or truck if one is available
  • things to do if time permits, such as locking doors and windows, turning off the utilities, etc.

Write Down Important Information

Make a list of important information and put it in a secure location. Include on your list:

  • important telephone numbers, such as police, fire, paramedics, and medical centers
  • the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your insurance agents, including policy types and numbers
  • the telephone numbers of the electric, gas, and water companies
  • the names and telephone numbers of neighbors
  • the name and telephone number of your landlord or property manager
  • important medical information, such as allergies, regular medications, etc.
  • the vehicle identification number, year, model, and license number of your automobile, boat, RV, etc.
  • your bank’s or credit union’s telephone number, account types, and numbers
  • radio and television broadcast stations to tune to for emergency broadcast information

Gather and Store Important Documents in a Fire-Proof Safe

  • Birth certificates
  • Ownership certificates (automobiles, boats, etc.)
  • Social Security cards
  • Insurance policies
  • Wills
  • Household inventory, including:
    • list of contents
    • photographs of contents of every room
    • photographs of items of high value, such as jewelry, paintings, collectors’ item

—–

Preparing for a volcanic eruption requires a strategy that is a little bit different. Here are more tips from the CDC

—–

If you are told to evacuate

Follow authorities’ instructions if they tell you to leave the area. Though it may seem safe to stay at home and wait out an eruption, doing so could be very dangerous. Volcanoes spew hot, dangerous gases, ash, lava, and rock that are powerfully destructive.

Preparing to evacuate

  • Tune in the radio or television for volcano updates.
  • Listen for disaster sirens and warning signals.
  • Review your emergency plan and gather your emergency supplies. Be sure to pack at least a 1-week supply of prescription medications.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your vehicle with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, a flashlight, batteries, etc.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
  • If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation, or follow authorities’ instructions on where to obtain transportation.
  • Place vehicles under cover, if at all possible.
  • Put livestock in an enclosed area. Plan ahead to take pets with you, but be aware that many emergency shelters cannot accept animals.
  • Fill your clean water containers.
  • Fill sinks and bathtubs with water as an extra supply for washing.
  • Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature. If the power goes out, food will stay cooler longer.

As you evacuate

  • Take only essential items with you, including at least a 1-week supply of prescription medications.
  • If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
  • Disconnect appliances to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock when power is restored.
  • Make sure your automobile’s emergency kit is ready.
  • Follow designated evacuation routes—others may be blocked—and expect heavy traffic and delays.

If you are told to take shelter where you are

  • Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local authorities may evacuate specific areas at greatest risk in your community.
  • Close and lock all windows and outside doors.
  • Turn off all heating and air conditioning systems and fans.
  • Close the fireplace damper.
  • Organize your emergency supplies and make sure household members know where the supplies are.
  • Make sure the radio is working.
  • Go to an interior room without windows that is above ground level.
  • Bring your pets with you, and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.
  • It is ideal to have a hard-wired (non-portable) telephone in the room you select. Call your emergency contact—a friend or family member who does not live near the volcano—and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. Remember that telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.

—–

In the end, you have got to do what you feel is best for you and your family.

Personally, I would be extremely hesitant to live in very high risk areas along the west coast or near the Yellowstone supervolcano. This is especially true considering how dramatically global seismic activity is increasing.

But others point to the fact that these “danger areas” have not seen any major events in decades, so they wonder what all of the fuss is about.

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 The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

Dozens Of Large Earthquakes Strike As Speculation Mounts That Japan’s Southern Island May Split

Kyushu Earthquakes

Over the past 48 hours, our planet has been hit by literally dozens of earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater, and scientists are acknowledging that what is taking place is highly unusual. This strange shaking began toward the end of last week when the globe was struck by five major earthquakes over the space of just two days, and over the weekend the seismic activity just continued to escalate. Very early on Saturday, Japan’s southern island of Kyushu was hit by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake, and on Saturday night a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck off Ecuador’s Pacific coast. It was the worst earthquake that Ecuador had experienced since 1979, and it was followed by at least 163 aftershocks. Unfortunately, there are indications that what we have seen so far may be just the beginning.

Because the Ecuador earthquake was bigger, it is getting most of the headlines at the moment, but the truth is that what is going on in Japan is potentially far more dangerous.

Over the past week, Japan’s southern Island of Kyushu has been rocked by a series of devastating quakes, including two major ones in less than 48 hours. The following comes from the Guardian

A second major earthquake in less than two days has shaken Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, with at least 34 people thought to have been killed, about 1,500 injured and more feared buried after building collapses and landslides.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck at about 1.30am on Saturday, waking people across the island – including the thousands already in crisis centres. It caused widespread damage, with several landslides and a village evacuated over fears a dam might burst.

The mainstream media in the United States is using the term “landslides” to describe what has happened all over Kyushu, but the truth is that in many instances it would be far more accurate to say that “giant cracks” or “vast chasms” have formed. The geography of Japan’s southern island has been fundamentally transformed, and this is beginning to cause huge concerns. Here is more from the Guardian

One major landslide tore open a mountainside in Minamiaso village in Kumamoto prefecture, destroying a key bridge that could cut off food and other relief transport to the worst-hit area.

Another landslide hit a road, collapsing a house that fell down a ravine. In another part of the village, houses were left hanging precariously at the edge of a huge hole.

I want to show you a map which comes directly from the U.S. Geological Survey. This map shows all of the earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater that have hit Japan’s southern island over the past week. As you look at this map, do you see a pattern?…

Kyushu Earthquakes

The dozens of earthquakes that have hit Japan’s southern island over the past week appear to form something of a straight line that divides the island in two. Many are now speculating that geological forces are beginning to tear Kyushu in half, and if that is true, the earthquake activity that we have seen in Japan so far is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

We could potentially be talking about an event that could ultimately have far more of an impact on Japan than the tsunami of 2011. By the time it is all said and done, entire cities could be wiped off the map and millions upon millions of Japanese citizens could be displaced.

Already, the seismic activity that has rocked Kyushu is having quite an impact on the Japanese economy

Earlier today Toyota was one of many Japanese companies to announce that it will suspend most car production across Japan as a result of critical supply chain disruptions caused by the recent destructive earthquake and numerous aftershocks. All of the major assembly lines will be shut down across its four directly-run plants, and Toyota will be halting production in stages at other group companies as well.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, most of the Toyota group in Japan will be effectively shut down through at least the end of this upcoming week, with a production loss of as many as 50,000 vehicles, including brands such as Prius, Lexus, and Land Cruiser.

Our planet resembles something of a giant cracked egg, and the enormous tectonic plates that we are all living on are constantly in motion. So if Japan’s southern island is in the process of slowly splitting in half, that shouldn’t exactly be a surprise. After all, scientists assure us that Los Angeles and San Francisco will be directly next to one another someday.

And it isn’t just Japan that we need to be concerned about. All along the “Ring of Fire”, seismic activity is increasing, and this has many of the experts completely puzzled. The following comes from an excellent piece by Alvin Conway

This has continued to baffle many of the world’s leading geologists, who still attest the rise in the number of large earthquakes is merely a random natural occurrence. For instance, the number of large earthquakes doubled in 2014. However, here’s what scientists had to say about it: “If you think there have been more earthquakes than usual this year, you’re right. A new study finds there were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979.

We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded,” said lead study author Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California.

If you are familiar with my work, then you already know that I believe that we have entered a period of time during which we will see seismic activity on a scale that none of us have ever experienced before.

This great shaking will combine with other factors such as financial collapse, geopolitical instability and civil unrest to produce what many have described as a “perfect storm”. Life as we know it is in the process of fundamentally changing, and right now we are only in the very early chapters of this change.

Unfortunately, most people are ignoring the warnings and will continue to ignore them until it is far too late.

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

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

5 Major Earthquakes In 48 Hours As A Seismologist Warns ‘Catastrophic Mega Earthquakes’ Are Coming

Earthquake Freeway Collapse

Why is the crust of the Earth shaking so violently all of a sudden? Over the past 48 hours, there have been five major earthquakes globally, and one prominent seismologist has declared that “catastrophic mega earthquakes” could be on the way. In fact, seismologist Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado has made headlines all over the world by warning that “current conditions might trigger at least four earthquakes greater than 8.0 in magnitude”. If his projections are accurate, our planet could be on the precipice of a wave of natural disasters unlike anything that any of us have ever experienced before.

Since the beginning of 2016, south Asia has been hit by an unusually high number of large earthquakes, and this has scientists groping for an explanation. The following comes from the Express

Scientists say there has been an above average number of significant earthquakes across south Asia and the Pacific since the start of the year.

The increased frequency has sparked fears of a repeat of the Nepal quake of 2015, when 8,000 people died, or even worse.

Roger Bilham, seismologist of University of Colorado, said: “The current conditions might trigger at least four earthquakes greater than 8.0 in magnitude.

And if they delay, the strain accumulated during the centuries provokes more catastrophic mega earthquakes.”

A single magnitude 8.0 earthquake in a populated area would be a disaster of historic proportions.

If we were to see four of them like Roger Bilham is projecting, that would be a complete and utter nightmare.

It is important to keep in mind that a magnitude 8.0 earthquake would be many, many times larger than the twin earthquakes that hit Japan earlier today

A devastating 6.4-magnitude earthquake has struck Japan hours after a first which killed at least three and injured 19 others.

The quakes, which struck the south-western island of Kyushu, leveled more than a dozen homes, sparked fires and trapped several people under collapsed buildings.

Around 350 military personnel have been dispatched to aid the rescue effort, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

The first earthquake, measuring 6.5-magnitude, hit the south-east Asian country late on Friday, local time, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

On Thursday we also saw a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Vanuatu, and a magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook the southern Philippines

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Mindanao early Thursday, April 14, seismologists said, with no damage or casualties immediately reported and no tsunami warning issued. The quake occurred at 2:21 am (1821 GMT Wednesday) off the coast of Zamboanga del Norte, with its epicenter at a depth of 15 kilometers, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

And of course on Wednesday a huge magnitude 6.9 earthquake caused tremendous devastation in Myanmar

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck Myanmar on Wednesday, causing tremors around the region, including in neighboring Bangladesh where scores were reported injured in stampedes and buildings were damaged. The quake, which took place at a depth of 134 kilometers (83 miles), hit some 400 kilometers northwest of Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), and was also felt in parts of India and China. There were no immediate reports of casualties, although the region where the earthquake hit has poor communications infrastructure like many of Myanmar’s outlying provinces.

So why is this happening?

Why is Asia shaking so violently all of a sudden?

And does this shaking bode ill for other areas along the “Ring of Fire” including the west coast of the United States?

I think that it is important to point out that all of this shaking did not just begin this week. In fact, ever since the start of this calendar year there has been a lot of unusual earthquake activity all over Asia

Just four days ago, on April 10, six people died in Pakistan when a 6.6-magnitude quake hit Kabul with aftershocks in India

Two days before, on April 8, there was a magnitude 4.2 earthquake in Nepal.

Nepal had suffered a larger 5.5 magnitude one on February 22.

A month before, on January 20, there was a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in China, and 16 days earlier 11 people died when a 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit Manipur in India.

In addition, let us not forget about all of the volcanic eruptions that have been in the news in recent weeks.

According to Volcano Discovery, 38 volcanoes around the globe are erupting right now. This is definitely an unusually high number.

In Matthew 24, Jesus warned us that there would be earthquakes in “divers places” just prior to His return. This is something that I discuss quite a bit in my new book. If we truly are in the times that the Bible refers to as “the last days”, we should expect the shaking of our planet to continue to intensify.

If seismologist Roger Bilham is right and we do begin to see a series of absolutely massive earthquakes, that could dramatically change the course of world events literally overnight.

Even a single magnitude 8.0 earthquake in a major city in Japan, China or the United States would cause global markets to crash and would mean billions of dollars in economic damage.

So let us hope that the crust of our planet begins to stabilize, but let us also not ignore the warnings of the scientists.

What they are warning us about right now lines up perfectly with what Jesus warned us about nearly 2000 years ago, and that is a very sobering thing to consider.

*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.*

You Won’t Believe What A Liberal Protester Just Did To An Effigy Of Donald Trump…

Effigy Of Donald Trump

Liberal protests against Donald Trump are becoming increasingly violent. On Friday, I warned that this would happen, and over the weekend we witnessed extremely disturbing confrontations in both Arizona and Utah. No matter whether you are a supporter of Donald Trump or not, what we are watching unfold should deeply alarm you. Are violent protests, riots and confrontations with police going to become a daily occurrence until the election in November? Will this become the spark that sets off widespread civil unrest all over the nation? Unless Donald Trump wins the election, I have a feeling that he is going to end up deeply regretting running for president, because now his entire family lives under the threat of constant attack. Is this what “political discourse” is going to look like in this country moving forward?

Just consider what we just witnessed in Salt Lake City. Liberal activists strung up an effigy of Donald Trump by a noose, and then one of them proceeded to behead it. I have posted video of this incident below

Remember, this happened in one of the most conservative states in America.

If this kind of thing is happening in Salt Lake City, what kind of scenes will we see in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles by the time election day rolls around?

And can you imagine the media uproar that would ensue if someone did this to an effigy of Obama?

It would be front page news for weeks on end. But because it was done to an effigy of Donald Trump, it apparently is not that big of a deal.

Of course this was not the only disturbing incident in Salt Lake City. On Friday night, there were lots of violent confrontations between protesters and supporters of Donald Trump outside of a Trump campaign event at the Infinity Event Center. At one point, liberal activists tore down Secret Service security checkpoints and tried to storm the doors of the Infinity Event Center, but fortunately the police were able to repel the attack. The following is just a sampling of what we witnessed…

This is the kind of think that you might expect to see in a third world nation. The United States is supposed to be far more civilized than this.

On Saturday, there were more violent confrontations at Trump events in Arizona. The following comes from Bloomberg

The Trump supporter who struck the demonstrator in Tucson was a black man angered by another protester who was wearing a white sheet over her head in an imitation of a Ku Klux Klan hood. At the time, Trump termed the protester wearing the hood “really disgusting,” saying that agitators at his events were “taking away our First Amendment rights.”

Authorities on Saturday also removed about a dozen protesters from the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Outside the rally, more than 100 demonstrators were positioned so close to the entrance that it was difficult for supporters to enter. Earlier on Saturday, near Phoenix, protesters blocked a major road leading to Trump’s rally, triggering three arrests.

If Trump secures the Republican nomination, which is still a big “if”, I have a feeling that what we have seen so far is only going to represent the tip of the iceberg. I believe that this could very easily become the most chaotic election season in modern American history.

As my wife and I have been explaining, things are starting to rapidly change in this country, and the years ahead are going to be very tumultuous. And things are going to be particularly tough for those that live in areas with a very high population density. When you are surrounded by millions of people, it is going to be very difficult to avoid the consequences of widespread civil unrest.

It would be quite difficult to overstate the gains that the radical left has made with our young people. Millennials are far more liberal than any other adult age group, and they are turning out to support Bernie Sanders in droves. In some states, Sanders is winning more than 80 percent of the Democratic Millennial vote.

I just want that to sink in for a bit. These young people are so radical that not even Hillary Clinton is liberal enough for them. They are angry, they are frustrated, and they are willing to act out in very violent ways.

Personally, I am convinced that we are on the initial edge of a wave of civil unrest, chaos and violence that is absolutely unprecedented. What we are going to see in the months and years ahead is going to completely shock this nation.

Hopefully we still have more time to get prepared, but I wouldn’t count on it. This is the most divided that America has ever been in my entire lifetime, and all of the anger and frustration that have been building up under the surface in this country for years is starting to explode.

I had hoped that the anti-Trump protests would be at least somewhat peaceful for a while, but this weekend showed that it isn’t going to be realistic to expect that.

The radical left is extremely angry, and now Donald Trump has provided them with a giant target for that anger.

So how will all of this ultimately end?

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

Radical Leftists Unleash Anti-Trump Riots Starting On March 19th

Democracy Spring

Many of the exact same groups that participated in Occupy Wall Street and helped organize protest rallies in Ferguson and Baltimore are now promising to bring us “the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation”. I recently wrote about the trouble that radical leftists have caused by attempting to disrupt Trump campaign events, but now there is a very organized effort to turn this into a national movement. On March 19th, thousands of angry protesters will descend on Trump Tower in New York City to denounce Donald Trump’s “fascist policies”, and on April 2nd dozens of leftist organizations will join together to launch “Democracy Spring” in Philadelphia. From there, large numbers of liberal activists will march to Washington D.C. where they will “risk arrest” during a “peaceful” sit-in at the U.S. Capitol from April 11th to April 18th. If the radical left is this freaked out about Donald Trump now, how bad will things get if he actually becomes the Republican nominee?

I suppose that it was only a matter of time before the radical left began to specifically target Trump properties. I hope that Trump has good security, because it will definitely be tested starting tomorrow

Left-wing demonstrators have announced their latest anti-Trump event – a march on Trump Tower in New York City to protest against The Donald’s “fascist policies”.

A Facebook page for the rally outlines the plan, organized by a group called ‘Cosmopolitan Antifascists’, to march on the building at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.

“Donald J. Trump has made headlines in recent months with his divisive rhetoric, hate speech, and extremist plans to “make America great again”. We, in fact, believe this will do the opposite to this nation. Trump’s policy threatens many of us in the Black, Latino, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities,” states the page.

According to the Facebook page for “Cosmopolitan Antifascists”, 5,000 people plan to show up and 15,000 more are “interested” in this event.

Will it turn out to be a completely peaceful protest?

Let’s certainly hope so.

Perhaps even more disturbing is what is going to happen in early April. Dozens of far left groups have gotten behind a movement that has been officially dubbed “Democracy Spring”.

Obviously, that name was chosen to conjure up memories of the “Arab Spring”, and we all remember how “peaceful” that was.

The official website of Democracy Spring tells us the following about the goals…

This spring, in the heart of the primary season, as the national election begins to take center stage, Americans of all ages, faiths, political perspectives, and walks of life will bring the popular cry for change to Washington in a way that’s impossible to ignore: with nonviolent civil disobedience on a historic scale.

We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail, along with the unmistakable message that our country needs a new Congress, one that that will end the legalized corruption of our democracy and ensure that every American has an equal voice in government.

Do you understand the threat that is being made there?

They are purposely planning to break the law and get arrested. In fact, their website says that there are already more than 2,000 people that have “pledged to risk arrest” between April 11th and April 18th…

The campaign will begin on April 2nd with a march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. where thousands will gather to reclaim the US Capitol in a powerful, peaceful, and massive sit-in that no one can ignore. Over 2,000 people have already pledged to risk arrest between April 11th-18th in what will be one of the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation.

And the list of groups that are backing this movement reads like a who’s who of radical leftist organizations…

15 Now Philly
99Rise
100 Grannies for a Livable Future
act.tv
African American Ministers in Action
American Ethical Union
American Family Voices
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Avaaz
Backbone Campaign
Big Apple Coffee Party
Brave New Films
Catholics United
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for the Working Poor
Citizen Action NY
Code Pink
Coffee Party USA
Columbus Campaign for Arms Control
Conscious Elders Network
Courage Campaign
Ctzn Well
Demand Progress
Democracy Chronicles
Democracy Coffee
Democracy for America
Democracy Matters
Democratic Socialists of America
Demos
Dolores Huerta Foundation
East Coast Cannabis Coalition (ECCC)
East Point Peace Academy
Elder Activists
Elders Climate Action
Every Voice
Energy Action Coalition
Food & Water Watch
Franciscan Action Network
Friends of the Earth
Get Money Out – Maryland
Human Earth Animal Liberation (HEAL)
Hightower Lowdown
Institute for Policy Studies
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (IMAC)
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Jewish Voice for Peace
Just Foreign Policy
Leadership Development Initiative
March Against Corruption
March Against Monsanto
Maryland Committee to Amend
Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN)
MAYDAY.US
Money Out! People In!
MoveOn
National Organization for Women (NOW)
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National People’s Action
Network of Spiritual Progressives/ Tikkun Magazine
New Hampshire Rebellion
Occupy Catholics
Office of the Americas
Other 98%
PA United to Amend
Pay 2 Play
Peace Action
People Demanding Action
People for Bernie
People for the American Way
People Over Politics
People’s Empowerment Project
Pride at Work-New York City/Long Island
Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC)
Progressive Democrats of America
Public Citizen
Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
ReThink Media
RootsAction
Rootskeeper.org
Rootstrikers
Shalom Center
Small Planet Institute
Social Security Works
South Central Wisconsin United To Amend
Stamp Stampede
Stop Police Terror Project DC
Sustain US
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County
United Native Americans
United for Peace and Justice
United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS)
United States Student Association (USSA)
United We Dream
U.S. Climate Plan
Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice & Peace
We are Woman
We the People Massachusetts
WildEarth Guardians
WolfPAC
Women’s Promise
Working Families Party
Workmen’s Circle
World Beyond War
Yes Men
Young Democratic Socialists
Youth Jobs Coalition / We Have a Future

This is just the beginning. The radical left has won the hearts and minds of millions of our young people, and many of these groups are preaching a message of anger, frustration and direct confrontation.

For now, let’s hope that these “protests” are at least somewhat peaceful. But throughout history, leftist revolutions have almost always turned violent at least to a certain degree.

And let there be no confusion – the radical left very much wants a revolution. There is a reason why Bernie Sanders uses that word so much in his applause lines. It is a buzzword that evokes some very powerful imagery for the radical left.

America is changing, and not for the better. From this point forward, the radical left in America is going to become much more active, and in the end that is going to have dramatic consequences for all of us.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

We Are Being Killed On Trade – Rapidly Declining Exports Signal A Death Blow For The U.S. Economy

Abandoned Packard Automobile Factory - Photo by Albert Duce

Exports fell precipitously during the last two recessions, and now it is happening again. So how in the world can anyone make the claim that the U.S. economy is in good shape? On my website I have been repeatedly pointing out the parallels between the last two major economic downturns and the current crisis, and I am going to discuss another one today. Since peaking in late 2014, U.S. exports have been steadily declining, and this is something that we never see outside of a major recession. On the chart that I have shared below, the shaded gray bars represent the last two recessions, and you can see that exports of goods and services plunged dramatically in both instances…

Exports Of Goods And Services - Public Domain

And this chart does not even show the latest numbers that we have. During the month of January, U.S. exports fell to a five and a half year low

The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in January as a strong dollar and weak global demand helped to push exports to a more than 5-1/2-year low, suggesting trade will continue to weigh on economic growth in the first quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap increased 2.2 percent to $45.7 billion. December’s trade deficit was revised up to $44.7 billion from the previously reported $43.4 billion. Exports have declined for four straight months.

Because our exports are falling faster than our imports, our trade deficit is blowing out once again. Every year we buy hundreds of billions of dollars more from the rest of the world than they buy from us, and this is systematically wrecking our economy. Over the past several decades, we have lost tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities, millions of good paying manufacturing jobs, and major exporting nations such as China have become exceedingly wealthy at our expense.

We are being absolutely killed on trade, and yet very few of our politicians ever want to talk about this.

A brand new study that was recently discussed in the New York Times is bringing some renewed attention to these problems. It turns out that the promised “benefits” of merging the U.S. economy into the global economic system simply have not materialized…

In a recent study, three economists — David Autor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Dorn at the University of Zurich and Gordon Hanson at the University of California, San Diego — raised a profound challenge to all of us brought up to believe that economies quickly recover from trade shocks. In theory, a developed industrial country like the United States adjusts to import competition by moving workers into more advanced industries that can successfully compete in global markets.

They examined the experience of American workers after China erupted onto world markets some two decades ago. The presumed adjustment, they concluded, never happened. Or at least hasn’t happened yet. Wages remain low and unemployment high in the most affected local job markets. Nationally, there is no sign of offsetting job gains elsewhere in the economy. What’s more, they found that sagging wages in local labor markets exposed to Chinese competition reduced earnings by $213 per adult per year.

Another study conducted by some of the same researchers discovered that 2.4 million American jobs were lost between 1999 and 2011 due to rising Chinese imports.

When are we going to finally wake up?

The middle class in America is being absolutely shredded, and yet only a few of us seem to care.

Meanwhile, global trade as a whole continues to slow down at a very frightening pace. We just learned that the China Containerized Freight Index has now dropped to the lowest level ever recorded. The following comes from Wolf Richter

The China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI), published weekly, tracks contractual and spot-market rates for shipping containers from major ports in China to 14 regions around the world. Unlike most Chinese government data, this index reflects the unvarnished reality of the shipping industry in a languishing global economy. For the latest reporting week, the index dropped 4.1% to 705.6, its lowest level ever.

How many numbers like this do we have to get before we will all finally admit that we are in the midst of a major global economic meltdown?

Here in the United States, the recent rally in the stock market has most people feeling pretty good about things these days. But the truth is that there are ups and downs during any financial crisis, and this recent rally is putting the finishing touches on a very dangerous leaning “W” pattern that could signal a big dive ahead.

Harry Dent, the author of “The Demographic Cliff: How to Survive and Prosper During the Great Deflation Ahead“, has shown that this leaning “W” pattern is part of a huge “rounded top” for the S&P 500. The following is a brief excerpt from one of his recent articles

The bull market from early 2009 into May 2015 looks just like every bubble in history, and I’m getting one sign after the next that we did indeed peak last May. The dominant pattern in the stock market is the “rounded top” pattern:

S&P 500 Rounded Top

After trading in a steep, bubble-like channel from late 2011 into late 2014, with only 10% maximum volatility top to bottom, the market finally lost its momentum… just as the Fed finished tapering its QE. That’s because the Fed was the primary driver in this stock bubble in the first place!

Now is not the time to relax at all.

In fact, now is the time to sound the alarm louder than ever.

That is one reason why my wife and I have started up a new television program. It will be airing on Christian television, but it will also be available on YouTube as well…

As I have said before, 2016 is the year when everything changes.

So don’t be fooled just because the stock market had a couple of good weeks. The truth is that global economic activity is slowing down significantly, geopolitical instability continues to get even worse, and this political season has caused very deep, simmering tensions in the United States to rise to the surface.

Let us hope that we have a few more weeks of relative stability like we are currently experiencing so that we can have more time to get prepared, but I certainly wouldn’t count on it.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Trump Rallies Reveal Increased Tensions Among Americans As This Nation Plunges Toward Civil Unrest

Anti-Trump Protesters In Chicago - Photo by nathanmac87

America is coming apart at the seams, and Trump rallies have become the latest flashpoint for the rising tide of civil unrest that is sweeping the nation. For years, I have been writing about the increasing levels of anger and frustration in this country, but now they are reaching a fever pitch. And rather than channeling all of our anger and frustration into solving our problems, we have allowed ourselves to become deeply divided and many Americans seem to be taking glee in fighting with one another. Instead of learning to hate one another, we should be learning how to love one another. Unfortunately, America has chosen another path, and 2016 is very rapidly starting to look very much like the chaotic political year of 1968. No matter how the rest of this election season plays out, it appears that we have entered a time of violence, chaos, civil unrest and greatly increased tension among Americans.

On Friday, thousands of radical leftists showed up at a planned Trump rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago with the express purpose of disrupting it. Fortunately Donald Trump cancelled the rally, because there was a very real possibility that mass violence could have erupted. The following description of what happened comes from Wikipedia

On March 11, 2016, the Donald Trump presidential campaign canceled a planned rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), in Chicago, Illinois, citing “growing safety concerns” due to the presence of thousands of protesters in and outside of his rally[3]. Thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators responding to civic leaders’ and social media calls to shut the rally down had gathered outside the arena, and several hundred more filled seating areas within the UIC Pavilion, where the rally was to take place. When the Trump campaign announced that the rally would not take place, there was a great deal of shouting and a few small scuffles between Trump supporters and anti-Trump protestors.

The Daily Caller has identified three groups that were heavily involved in organizing the planned disruption of the Trump rally in Chicago. Those three groups are ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Chicago, the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Rights Reform, and La Raza Chicago.

In addition, MoveOn.org also appears to have been involved in what took place in Chicago. The following comes from Infowars

“Mr. Trump and the Republican leaders who support him and his hate-filled rhetoric should be on notice after tonight’s events,” the George Soros funded MoveOn web page states. “To all of those who took to the streets of Chicago, we say thank you for standing up and saying enough is enough. To Donald Trump, and the GOP, we say, welcome to the general election.”

Following the cancelled rally in Chicago, a radical leftist protester named Thomas Dimassimo attempted to storm the stage while Trump was speaking at an event in Dayton, Ohio. This YouTube video contains footage of that chilling moment…

Thomas Dimassimo has been identified as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and even though his Twitter account has now been erased, this screenshot was taken while it was still up…

Marlon Bando Tweet

There was also another tweet where he said that his goal was “martrydom“. I have seen some news reports that link Dimassimo to ISIS, but those reports are being disputed. Either way, the fact that the Secret Service had to intervene to protect Trump from this lunatic is more than just a little bit alarming.

Following the incident in Dayton, a Trump rally in Kansas City was disrupted more than a dozen times by political agitators. At one point, police actually used pepper spray on some of the protesters.

Scenes such as these are starting to cause many people to make direct comparisons between 2016 and 1968.

And if the chaos is this bad already, what will things look like during the general election?

Candidates on all sides should be calling for peace and calm, but instead they are pointing fingers at one another.

For example, Hillary Clinton is putting the full blame for the unrest on Donald Trump

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said this weekend that Trump is guilty of “political arson,” adding that “the ugly, divisive rhetoric we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement of violence and aggression is wrong, and it’s dangerous,” The New York Times reported.

And Donald Trump is placing the blame at the feet of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

“You had professional disruptors, thousands of them, from Sanders and to a smaller extent, Hillary (Clinton),” he said of a Friday night event in Chicago that Trump canceled after chaos broke out there.

Unfortunately, most Americans have absolutely no idea where all of this is leading.

A house that is divided will fall, and America is now more divided than at any other time in my entire lifetime.

If there was a single set of values or principles that united us, it would be possible for us to come together as a nation and solve our problems. But there isn’t. We have rejected the values and the principles of our founders, and these days Americans are being pulled in dozens of different directions. In fact, if you ask 100 different Americans what we need to do to get our country back on the right track you are probably going to get 100 different answers.

The chaos and violence around our political process is going to get a lot worse than this. And we are going to see more communities erupt just like Ferguson and Baltimore did.

In the end, Americans are going to kill Americans, our cities are going to burn, and we are going to experience a period of governmental shaking unlike anything that we have ever seen before.

All of this could have been avoided if we could have simply learned to love one another. But instead, we have allowed ourselves to be divided in just about every way imaginable, and the mainstream media is constantly tossing more fuel on the fire.

This isn’t about Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton or any other politician. Rather, this is about a once great country that is deeply, deeply divided and that is coming apart at the seams right before our very eyes.

May God have mercy on the late, great United States of America.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Unless Someone Gets To 1,237 Delegates, The Republican Convention Is Going To Be A Giant Mess

Republican Convention - Photo by William Beutler

2016 is turning out to be the strangest election season that we have seen in decades, and it may soon get far stranger. At this point, most people assume that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee, and without a doubt he has had a tremendous amount of success. But because most of the states so far have apportioned delegates proportionally, Trump only has 44.8 percent of the delegates that have been awarded up to this point. So Trump is going to have to do significantly better through the rest of the process in order to get to the magic number of 1,237 delegates, especially since not all of the delegates are awarded through the primaries and caucuses. As Real Clear Politics has detailed, every state “is awarded so-called ‘RNC delegates,’ who are party officials with automatic credentials to the convention“.

Right now, more than 40 percent of all the delegates to the convention have already been awarded, and Trump is sitting at just 458. To get to 1,237, he is going to have to do really well in the upcoming winner-take-all states. That is why there is so much focus on Florida and Ohio on March 15th. If Trump wins both of them, he will have a path to 1,237 delegates. If he doesn’t, that is where things get tricky.

If Donald Trump shows up at the convention with fewer than 1,237 delegates, he will be vulnerable, and it is likely that the Republican establishment will try to steal the nomination away from him.

In order for that to happen, the rules of the convention will need to be changed. Because right now the only candidates that are likely to be nominated under the current rules are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Morton Blackwell, a member of the Republican National Committee’s Standing Committee on Rules, authored a great article entitled “The Coming Trainwreck” in which he described what a mess the Republican convention rules are as of this moment. The following is a brief excerpt in which he describes what would happen if no candidate received 1,237 votes on the first ballot…

First, a sizeable number of delegate votes cast will not be counted in the final tally of the first ballot because they will be cast for candidates who did not demonstrate, before the first ballot, that they had majorities in at least eight state delegations.

Second, the national rules provide that no one will get the presidential nomination on any ballot until someone receives at least 1,237 tallied delegate votes.

Third (and this will come as a surprise to most people), although delegate votes from states that hold primaries will be allocated by those state primaries to specific candidates on the first ballot, that does not mean that on subsequent ballots all delegates are free to vote for whomever they choose and to have those votes counted in a final tally on any ballot.

In fact, the state of Florida binds their delegates for the first three ballots. Rules vary from state to state, and I am sure that we are going to hear a lot more about this if nobody has 1,237 delegates before the convention.

As the rules stand right now, no other candidates other than Trump or Cruz will even be able to be nominated at the convention because of a rule that the Mitt Romney campaign pushed for in 2012. That rule requires that a candidate must have won at least eight states in order to be nominated. Here is more from Morton Blackwell

In fact, as it now stands, the same Romney-created rule, Rule 40(b), that prevents votes from being tallied for candidates who could not prove majority support from at least eight state delegations also provides that candidates must prove that they meet the eight-state threshold “not less than one (1) hour prior to the placing of the names of candidates for nomination pursuant to this rule and the established order of business.” In other words, when the first ballot begins, no additional candidates can qualify to receive votes that will be counted.

Only candidates who meet the eight-state threshold required to receive votes that count on the first ballot can receive votes that count on subsequent ballots.

Of course these rules can still be changed.

In fact, they can be changed just shortly before the convention.

The Rules Committee is immensely powerful. According to Time Magazine, they could very easily create a rule that says that “only candidates with blue hair” can be nominated, and nobody would be able to do anything about it.

So could they change the rules specifically to try to steal the nomination from Trump?

Of course they could. In fact, new rules are already being proposed. The following comes from the Daily Caller

A Republican National Committee member will propose an amendment to the GOP convention rules this summer that will allow any Republican candidate with at least one delegate to be “deemed” nominated on the first ballot.

“So, using Iowa as an example, every candidate receiving at least four percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses will earn one delegate, and thus be nominated for consideration at the Republican National Convention,” North Dakota National Committeeman Curly Haugland, a member of the RNC Rules Committee, told The Daily Caller Tuesday.

It is interesting to note that if this new rule is implemented, the names that would be nominated on the first ballot would include Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush.

And it is also interesting to note that Karl Rove is now running around the country trying to rally establishment Republicans around an attempt to keep Donald Trump from getting to the magic number of 1,237. The following comes from WND

At a meeting of Republican governors and donors in Washington, D.C., last month, Rove – dubbed the “architect” of George W. Bush’s election success – launched a movement to prevent Donald Trump from gaining the 1,237 delegates he needs in the primaries to win the GOP nomination on the first ballot at the party’s convention in Cleveland in July.

Last weekend, Rove stepped up his efforts to block Trump, arguing his case at the American Enterprise Institute’s World Forum in Sea Island, Georgia, a closed-to-the-press meeting of billionaire GOP donors, tech company CEOs and Republican establishment leaders.

The Republican establishment has a very deep playbook full of dirty tricks. Just look at what they have done to the Ohio ballot. I am a former lawyer, and I can’t even figure it out.

As I have said all along, the elite are going to move heaven and earth to keep Donald Trump out of the White House, and if that requires stealing the nomination from him at the convention, then that is exactly what they are going to do.

Of course if that happens there will be a massive uproar. Perhaps that is why the Cleveland police are stocking up on riot gear in anticipation of what is going to happen at the Republican convention.

Let us hope that the nomination is clinched ahead of time. Because a “brokered convention” would be a giant mess, and it would almost certainly hand the election to Hillary Clinton, and that is the worst possible outcome of all.

Why Threaten North Korea And China? Would Obama Start A War To Stay In Office?

Obama In The Oval Office - Public Domain

Is Barack Obama trying to start a war, and will that war be used as an excuse to stay in office once his term is over? Late in his second term, Obama is starting to become extremely aggressive with the rest of the world. He just angered China by sailing an aircraft carrier task force past disputed islands in the South China Sea, he is provoking North Korea by simulating an invasion of that nation during a military exercise that is going to involve more than 300,000 troops, and he is backing Saudi Arabia and Turkey as they make moves that could very well start World War III in the Middle East. If a war did begin, that could give Obama the excuse that he needs to exercise his emergency powers, and that could potentially include suspending the election that is scheduled for November.

I know that all of this sounds a little bizarre, but it would help to explain Obama’s extremely aggressive behavior lately.

For example, why is the U.S. military risking a major incident on the Korean peninsula?

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is about as paranoid as they come, and he is extremely alarmed by the massive military exercise that is about to begin in South Korea. More than 300,000 troops are gathering for what is being billed as the biggest military exercise in the history of that nation.

Reportedly, U.S. and South Korean forces plan to simulate an invasion of North Korea and practice the elimination of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction.

In response to these “exercises”, Kim Jong Un has placed his nuclear weapons on standby for “use at any moment”, and he is warning that North Korea may launch a “preemptive and offensive nuclear strike”

North Korea warned it would make a “preemptive and offensive nuclear strike” in response to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that began Monday.

The news was announced in a statement by the National Defense Commission of North Korea and published in the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

As the joint military exercises to be staged by the enemies are regarded as the most undisguised nuclear war drills aimed to infringe upon the sovereignty of the DPRK, its military counteraction will be more preemptive and offensive nuclear strike to cope with them,” the statement read.

I don’t care how crazy someone is – if they have nuclear weapons and they threaten to hit the United States with a preemptive nuclear strike, I am going to get alarmed.

Remember, North Korea did claim to successfully test a hydrogen bomb in January, and the North Koreans did successfully launch a satellite into orbit in February.

The North Koreans absolutely hate us. In fact, hatred for the United States is one of the pillars of their society. I know that may sound strange to many Americans, but it is true. If you can believe it, each year they actually have an entire month during which hatred for America is celebrated.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula are running extremely high, and a single hydrogen bomb could potentially kill millions of people.

So why risk an incident?

Why provoke North Korea more than necessary?

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has been provoking China in the South China Sea.

Yes, it is a problem that China has seized control of several important islands in the Spratly and Paracel island chains. But there are other ways to handle this crisis rather than trying to show how tough you are.

Last month, China deployed surface-to-air missile systems on the disputed islands. Obama’s response was to sail an aircraft carrier task force past the islands to see if China would start shooting at it. The following comes from an article about this incident that was posted by the Navy Times

The U.S. Navy has dispatched a small armada to the South China Sea.

The carrier John C. Stennis, two destroyers, two cruisers and the 7th Fleet flagship have sailed into the disputed waters in recent days, according to military officials. The carrier strike group is the latest show of force in the tense region, with the U.S. asserting that China is militarizing the region to guard its excessive territorial claims.

Stennis is joined in the region by the cruisers Antietam and Mobile Bay, and the destroyers Chung-Hoon and Stockdale. The command ship Blue Ridge, the floating headquarters of the Japan-based 7th Fleet, is also in the area, en route to a port visit in the Philippines. Stennis deployed from Washington state on Jan. 15.

Do we really want to go to war with China over these islands?

The first time we sailed a military vessel through those waters after China had claimed those islands, a Chinese state-run newspaper boldly declared that China “is not frightened to fight a war with the U.S. in the region“.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but our relationship with China is rapidly going downhill. There is more to this than just the South China Sea, but without a doubt this is a major point of contention as far as the Chinese government is concerned.

At the same time, we keep getting closer to World War III erupting in the Middle East. Last month, defense ministers from 49 different nations met in Brussels to discuss a ground invasion of Syria, and since that time forces have been massing in northern Saudi Arabia and southern Turkey.

If a ground invasion of Syria does take place, the goal would be to go to Damascus and take down the Assad regime. That would put “coalition forces” in direct conflict with Iran, Hezbollah and most importantly the Russians. It could very easily be the spark that sets off World War III, but Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies will never go ahead without the direct approval of the Obama administration.

Barack Obama does not need all of these flashpoints to erupt in order to evoke his emergency powers.

He just needs one of them.

Throughout American history, presidents have always had emergency powers, but since 9/11 these powers have been greatly enhanced. Given the right circumstances, a U.S. president could now essentially declare himself (or herself) a dictator for the duration of the crisis.

Of course the word “dictator” would never actually be used, but that would be the reality of the situation.

And if we had a “national emergency” that was bad enough, Barack Obama would have the authority to postpone or suspend the upcoming election.

Let us hope and pray that does not happen, but the truth is that such a scenario could actually take place. Hopefully what we are witnessing around the globe right now are not attempts by Obama to artificially manufacture such a crisis. Let us hope and pray that when his time is up that Obama is ready to gracefully move into retirement.

Coming Soon? This Is What Would Happen If A 9.0 Earthquake Hit The Cascadia Subduction Zone…

Cascadia Earthquake Zone - Public Domain

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you have probably already heard of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. It is where the Juan de Fuca plate meets the North American plate, and it stretches approximately 700 miles from northern Vancouver Island all the way down to northern California. This subduction zone is capable of producing far more powerful earthquakes than the much more famous San Andreas fault in southern California, and scientists tell us that it is only a matter of time before another continent-killing earthquake hits this area. And when it does hit, it will be far worse than any other natural disaster that the United States has ever seen up to this point.

According to CNN, “the largest earthquake in the continental United States” took place along the Cascadia Subduction Zone on January 26th, 1700, and one of the reasons why it is considered to be far more dangerous than other west coast faults is because it is also capable of producing massive tsunamis

The Cascadia can deliver a quake that’s many times stronger — plus a tsunami.

“Cascadia can make an earthquake almost 30 times more energetic than the San Andreas to start with, and then it generates a tsunami at the same time, which the side-by-side motion of the San Andreas can’t do,” said Chris Goldfinger, a professor of geophysics at Oregon State University.

The Cascadia is capable of delivering a 9.0-magnitude quake — an awesome show of force by Mother Nature.

So what would that look like?

What would a 9.0-magnitude quake that also produced a huge tsunami do to the highly populated northwest coast?

According to an article in the New Yorker, the head of the FEMA division that oversees Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska says that “everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast”…

If the entire zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2. That’s the very big one.

…By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

In the Pacific Northwest, everything west of Interstate 5 covers some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people.

Like I said earlier, it would be far worse than any natural disaster that we have ever experienced in the history of the United States up until now.

And it could happen at literally any moment. In fact, many scientists believe that we are way overdue for a continent-altering earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Tension has been building up there for a very long time, and at some point that tension will be released.

A recent piece by Adam Rothstein gives us an idea of what the first few moments of such a quake might look like in the city of Portland, Oregon…

Cacophony swells from the city as if it is howling in response to the earth’s call: car alarms, shattering glass, the thudding of bricks popping out of building facades, humans screaming in fright, and far off, echoes of what sound like dumpsters clattering to the ground from the jaws of garbage trucks. It is the sound of shifting foundations and collapsing masonry, continuously, a roar increasing from every direction. It is the sound of the living surfaces that a city takes for granted becoming undone.

Since we have not experienced such an earthquake in any of our lifetimes, it is easy to assume that one will never happen.

But that is not what the scientists are telling us.

In fact, they insist that the odds of “a continent-rending earthquake” in the near future are actually quite good…

The Pacific Northwest is due for a continent-rending earthquake. Experts believe the odds of a Big One happening in the next half century are about one in three, the odds of a Very Big One roughly one in ten, and that, in either case, we are disastrously unprepared.

And let us not forget that the Cascadia Subduction Zone sits directly along the Ring of Fire, and the Ring of Fire has started to become much more active in recent years.

In addition, if the region starts to become more seismically active there is also a very real possibility that we could see a full-blown eruption of Mt. Rainier, which has been described as “the most dangerous mountain in America“.

Let us hope that we have as much time as possible before our nation has to deal with such calamities, but the cold, hard truth is that we are certainly not helping matters by acting so wickedly.

If we continue to do the same things that we have been doing, it is only a matter of time before the judgment of God comes to our land in a major way. We are killing millions of babies, harvesting their body parts and auctioning those body parts off to the highest bidder. To many Americans that may seem like “old news”, but I assure you that this is not “old news” to God.

I don’t think that it was any accident that the series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos that were released last year came out when they did. We were being shown our guilt and we were being given one last chance to repent.

There was a congressional hearing about this last Wednesday. The following comes from CNSNews.com

“Have we reached a point in our society where there effectively is an Amazon.com for human parts, entire babies?” Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) asked the witnesses at a special hearing on bioethics and fetal tissue on Wednesday.

Dr. Gerard Kevin Donovan, a pediatrician and bioethicist at Georgetown University, responded that the practice of using tissue from aborted babies for government-funded research “shocks my conscience and it should shock the conscience of the nation.”

Unfortunately, the buying and selling of harvested baby parts does not shock the conscience of our nation. In fact, most surveys show that an overwhelming percentage of the American people want to continue giving hundreds of millions of tax dollars to Planned Parenthood each year even though they have been doing this.

Since we have not responded to God’s calls to repent, all that is left is for Him to shake us.

And without a doubt, the shaking is coming soon…

Mitt Romney To Enter The Race? The Establishment’s Secret Plan B To Steal The Nomination From Trump

Mitt Romney - Photo by Mark Taylor

Is Mitt Romney about to enter the race for the Republican nomination? As I have written about repeatedly, the Republican establishment is absolutely desperate to keep Donald Trump out of the White House. If it comes to it, they will move heaven and earth to make sure that he is defeated – even if that means Hillary Clinton wins the election. Right now, Trump has won three of the first four contests on the schedule, and he is projected to win almost every state on Super Tuesday. This would put him on a clear path toward winning the nomination, and so establishment insiders are in full-blown panic mode. At this point, two different plans are being put forward for how to proceed if Trump continues to roll. One is to have Marco Rubio exit the race so that Mitt Romney can run against Trump, and the other is to run a third party candidate against Trump and Clinton in the fall.

Perhaps this sounds like wild speculation to you, but these things are actually being discussed behind closed doors right now. For example, just consider what Republican insider Roger Stone just told WND

In a bitter fight for its life, establishment GOP leaders have decided to block Donald Trump’s nomination at all costs, even if it means losing the presidency to Hillary Clinton, says Roger Stone, co-author of the 2015 bestselling book “The Clintons’ War on Women,” and the recently published “Jeb! and the Bush Crime Family.”

The big fix is in,” Stone, a former adviser to Trump, told WND in an exclusive telephone interview Sunday.

Stone also told WND that establishment leaders have given Marco Rubio until March 15th. If he does not win Florida, he is out and Romney is in…

“Rubio has been given until Tuesday and if he doesn’t win the Florida primary, the establishment GOP leaders have decided to dump Rubio in favor of drafting Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee who lost to Barack Obama in 2012,” he explained. “If Rubio cannot win Florida, then Rubio drops out and Romney is in.”

“The GOP establishment’s secret plan is to back Romney against Trump in the hopes of winning enough delegates in the primaries after Super Tuesday to block Trump on the first ballot at the GOP national nominating convention in Cleveland,” he added.

Stone made similar comments during an interview with Alex Jones. During that interview, he explained that the Rubio campaign was given 25 million dollars by big GOP donors, and 75 million dollars was allocated “to stop Trump”

The Koch Bros. met with GOP millionaires and billionaires Thursday night to pool together over $75 million to stop Trump and are going to use Mitt Romney as ‘Plan B’ if Rubio fails to gain traction on Super Tuesday, according to moles who were inside the meeting.

$75 million to stop Trump and $25 million to Marco Rubio, but they gave Rubio a condition: he’s got to win the Florida primary or he’s out and Mitt Romney’s in,” Stone revealed. “That’s the plan.”

If did Mitt Romney enter the race, it would be an instant game changer.

Romney has the money and the name recognition to hit the ground running, and the plan would be for him to run up as many delegates as possible during the primaries and caucuses that would be held in April, May and June. Some of the biggest states hold their votes then, including New Jersey, New York and California.

Even if Romney could not accumulate more delegates than Trump, that would be okay. The goal would be to just keep Trump from getting the number of delegates that he needs to secure the nomination. That would lead to a “brokered convention”, and as long as Trump does not win on the first ballot Romney would be the nominee. For much more on how this would all play out, please see my previous article entitled “How The Republican Establishment Can Keep Donald Trump From Getting The Nomination“.

And in recent days we have already seen Mitt Romney become much more visible and launch direct attacks at Donald Trump. The following comes from the New York Times

After a Tuesday night dinner with former campaign aides, during which he expressed a sense of horror at the Republican race, Mr. Romney made a blunt demand Wednesday on Fox News: Mr. Trump must release his tax returns to prove he was not concealing a “bombshell” political vulnerability.

Mr. Trump responded only with casual derision, dismissing Mr. Romney on Twitter as “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics.”

You would think that the American people should be allowed to decide who the candidates from each party will be, but that is not how things work.

The elite are very accustomed to being in complete control of the process, and so the Donald Trump phenomenon is totally freaking them out.

The Economist has traditionally been considered a very important mouthpiece for the international banking community, and it often speaks on political matters. But I have never, ever seen the magazine declare that a certain candidate “must be stopped”

That is an appalling prospect. The things Mr Trump has said in this campaign make him unworthy of leading one of the world’s great political parties, let alone America. One way to judge politicians is by whether they appeal to our better natures: Mr Trump has prospered by inciting hatred and violence. He is so unpredictable that the thought of him anywhere near high office is terrifying. He must be stopped.

Because each additional Trumpism seems a bit less shocking than the one before, there is a danger of becoming desensitised to his outbursts. To recap, he has referred to Mexicans crossing the border as rapists; called enthusiastically for the use of torture; hinted that Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice, was murdered; proposed banning all Muslims from visiting America; advocated killing the families of terrorists; and repeated, approvingly, a damaging fiction that a century ago American soldiers in the Philippines dipped their ammunition in pigs’ blood before executing Muslim rebels. At a recent rally he said he would like to punch a protester in the face. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

If Romney ends up being unwilling or unable to stop Donald Trump, there is another more drastic possibility being considered.

In the early stages of this campaign season, many had wondered if Trump would ultimately mount an independent bid, but now it is actually the Republican establishment that is seriously considering putting together such a campaign. The following comes from Politico

Conservative donors have engaged a major GOP consulting firm in Florida to research the feasibility of mounting a late, independent run for president amid growing fears that Donald Trump could win the Republican nomination.

A memo prepared for the group zeroes in on ballot access as a looming obstacle for any independent candidate, along with actually identifying a viable, widely known contender and coalescing financial support for that person. The two states with the earliest deadlines for independent candidates, Texas and North Carolina, also have some of the highest hurdles for independents to get on the ballot, according to the research.

“All this research has to happen before March 16, when inevitably Trump is the nominee, so that we have a plan in place,” a source familiar with the discussions said.

Of course such an independent campaign would mean almost certain victory for Hillary Clinton.

But the Republican elite would be fine with that. They figure that they would still have control of the House, the Senate and most importantly they would still be in control of the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton is closer to them philosophically than Trump anyway, and four years from now they could get refocused on trying to retake the White House.

I know that all of this sounds really crazy. But as I have said all along, the Republican establishment would literally move heaven and earth to keep Donald Trump out of the White House. Anyone that has inside knowledge of how the political process in this country really works knows that this is true. There is hardly anything that they would not be willing to do in order to stop him.

If Donald Trump does actually become president of the United States someday, it will be a miracle of absolutely epic proportions.

Americans Really, Really Hate The Government

Anger - Public Domain

If there is one thing that Americans can agree on these days, it is the fact that most of us don’t like the government. CBS News has just released an article entitled “Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever“, and an average of recent surveys calculated by Real Clear Politics found that 63 percent of all Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction and only 28 percent of all Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction. In just a few days the first real ballots of the 2016 election will be cast in Iowa, and up to this point the big story of this cycle has been the rise of “outsider” candidates that many of the pundits had assumed would never have a legitimate chance. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders have all been beneficiaries of the overwhelming disgust that the American people feel regarding what has been going on in Washington.

And it isn’t just Barack Obama or members of Congress that Americans are disgusted with. According to the CBS News article that I referenced above, our satisfaction with various federal agencies has fallen to an eight year low…

A handful of industries are those “love to hate” types of businesses, such as cable-television companies and Internet service providers.

The federal government has joined the ranks of the bottom-of-the-barrel industries, according to a new survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Americans’ satisfaction level in dealing with federal agencies –everything from Treasury to Homeland Security — has fallen for a third consecutive year, reaching an eight-year low.

So if we are all so fed up with the way that things are running, it should be easy to fix right?

Unfortunately, things are not so simple.

In America today, we are more divided as a nation than ever. If you ask 100 different people how we should fix this country, you are going to get 100 very different answers. We no longer have a single shared set of values or principles that unites us, and therefore it is going to be nearly impossible for us to come together on specific solutions.

You would think that the principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution should be able to unite us, but sadly those days are long gone. In fact, the word “constitutionalist” has become almost synonymous with “terrorist” in our nation. If you go around calling yourself a “constitutionalist” in America today, there is a good chance that you will be dismissed as a radical right-wing wacko that probably needs to be locked up.

The increasing division in our nation can be seen very clearly during this election season. On the left, an admitted socialist is generating the most enthusiasm of any of the candidates. Among many Democrats today, Hillary Clinton is simply “not liberal enough” and no longer represents their values.

On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of Republican voters are gravitating toward either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Both of those candidates represent a complete break from how establishment Republicans have been doing things in recent years.

Now don’t get me wrong – I am certainly not suggesting that we need to meet in the middle. My point is that there is absolutely no national consensus about what we should do. On the far left, they want to take us into full-blown socialism. Those that support Donald Trump or Ted Cruz want to take us in a more conservative direction. But even among Republicans there are vast disagreements about how to fix this country. Establishment Republicans greatly dislike both Trump and Cruz, and they are quite determined to do whatever it takes to keep either of them from getting the nomination. The elite have grown very accustomed to anointing the nominee from each party every four years, and so the popularity of Trump and Cruz is making them quite uneasy this time around. The following comes from the New York Times

The members of the party establishment are growing impatient as they watch Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz dominate the field heading into the Iowa caucuses next Monday and the New Hampshire primary about a week later.

The party elders had hoped that one of their preferred candidates, such as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, would be rising above the others by now and becoming a contender to rally around.

The global elite gathered in Davos, Switzerland are also greatly displeased with Trump. Just check out some of the words that they are using to describe him

Unbelievable“, “embarrassing” even “dangerous” are some of the words the financial elite gathered at the World Economic Forum conference in the Swiss resort of Davos have been using to describe U.S. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Although some said they still expected his campaign to founder before his party picks its nominee for the November election many said it was no longer unthinkable that he could be the Republican candidate.

The truth is that the Republican Party represents somewhere less than half the population in the United States, and today it is at war with itself. Supporters of Trump have a significantly different vision of the future than supporters of Cruz, and the establishment wing wants nothing to do with either candidate.

A lot of people seem to assume that since Trump is leading in the polls that he will almost certainly get the nomination.

That is not exactly a safe bet.

It is my contention that the establishment will pull out every trick in the book to keep either him or Cruz from getting the nomination. And in order to lock up the nomination before the Republican convention, a candidate will need to have secured slightly more than 60 percent of all of the delegates during the caucuses and the primaries.

The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles in which I discussed the difficult delegate math that the Republican candidates are facing this time around…

It is going to be much more difficult for Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination than most people think. In order to win the nomination, a candidate must secure at least 1,237 of the 2,472 delegates that are up for grabs. But not all of them will be won during the state-by-state series of caucuses and primaries that will take place during the first half of 2016. Of the total of 2,472 Republican delegates, 437 of them are unpledged delegates – and 168 of those are members of the Republican National Committee. And unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you already know that the Republican National Committee is not a fan of Donald Trump. In order to win the Republican nomination without any of the unpledged delegates, Trump would need to win 60.78 percent of the delegates that are up for grabs during the caucuses and primaries. And considering that his poll support is hovering around 30 percent right now, that is a very tall order.

In the past, it was easier for a front-runner to pile up delegates in “winner take all” states, but for this election cycle the Republicans have changed quite a few things. In 2016, all states that hold caucuses or primaries before March 15th must award their delegates proportionally. So when Trump wins any of those early states, he won’t receive all of the delegates. Instead, he will just get a portion of them based on the percentage of the vote that he received.

In 2016, more delegates will be allocated on a proportional basis by the Republicans than ever before, and with such a crowded field that makes it quite likely that no candidate will have secured enough delegates for the nomination by the time the Republican convention rolls around.

If no candidate has more than 60 percent of the delegates by the end of the process, then it is quite likely that we will see the first true “brokered convention” in decades.

If we do see a “brokered convention”, that would almost surely result in an establishment candidate coming away with the nomination. That list of names would include Bush, Rubio, Christie and Kasich.

And if by some incredible miracle either Trump or Cruz does get the nomination, the elite will move heaven and earth to make sure that Hillary Clinton ends up in the White House.

For decades, it has seemed like nothing ever really changes no matter which political party is in power, and that is exactly how the elite like it.

Our two major political parties are really just two sides of the same coin, and they are both leading this nation right down the toilet.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

2016 Market Meltdown: We Have Never Seen A Year Start Quite Like This…

Time Abstract - Public Domain

We are about three weeks into 2016, and we are witnessing things that we have never seen before. There were two emergency market shutdowns in China within the first four trading days of this year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has never lost this many points within the first three weeks, and just yesterday we learned that global stocks had officially entered bear market territory. Overall, more than 15 trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has been wiped out since last June. And of course the markets are simply playing catch up with global economic reality. The Baltic Dry Index just hit another new all-time record low today, Wal-Mart has announced that they are shutting down 269 stores, and initial jobless claims in the U.S. just surged to their highest level in six months. So if things are this bad already, what will the rest of 2016 bring?

The Dow was up just a little bit on Thursday thankfully, but even with that gain we are still in unprecedented territory. According to CNBC, we have never seen a tougher start to the year for the Dow than we have in 2016…

The Dow Jones industrial average, which was created in 1896, has never begun a year with 12 worse trading days. Through Wednesday’s close, the Dow has fallen 9.5 percent. Even including the 1.3 percent gains as of noon Thursday, the Dow is still down nearly 8 percent in 2016.

But even with the carnage that we have seen so far, stocks are still wildly overpriced compared to historical averages. In order for stocks to no longer be in a “bubble”, they will still need to decline by about another one-third. The following comes from MarketWatch

Data from the U.S. Federal Reserve, meanwhile, say U.S. nonfinancial corporate stocks are now valued at about 90% of the replacement cost of company assets, a metric known as “Tobin’s Q.” But the historic average, going back a century, is in the region of 60% of replacement costs. By this measure, stocks could fall by another third, taking the Dow all the way down toward 10,000. (On Wednesday it closed at 15,767.) Similar calculations could be reached by comparing share prices to average per-share earnings, a measure known as the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, commonly known as CAPE, after Yale finance professor Robert Shiller, who made it famous.

Of course the mainstream media doesn’t seem to understand any of this. They seem to be under the impression that the bubble should have lasted forever, and this latest meltdown has taken them totally by surprise.

Ultimately, what is happening should not be a surprise to any of us. The financial markets always catch up with economic reality eventually, and right now evidence continues to mount that economic activity is significantly slowing down. Here is some analysis from Brandon Smith

Trucking freight in the U.S. is in steep decline, with freight companies pointing to a “glut in inventories” and a fall in demand as the culprit.

Morgan Stanley’s freight transportation update indicates a collapse in freight demand worse than that seen during 2009.

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of global freight rates and thus a measure of global demand for shipping of raw materials, has collapsed to even more dismal historic lows. Hucksters in the mainstream continue to push the lie that the fall in the BDI is due to an “overabundance of new ships.” However, the CEO of A.P. Moeller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping line, put that nonsense to rest when he admitted in November that “global growth is slowing down” and “[t]rade is currently significantly weaker than it normally would be under the growth forecasts we see.”

In addition, another very troubling sign is the fact that initial jobless claims are starting to surge once again

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits in mid-January reached seven-month highs, perhaps a sign that the rate of layoffs in the U.S. has risen slightly from record lows.

Initial jobless claims climbed a seasonally adjusted 10,000 to 293,000 in the seven days stretching from Jan. 10 to Jan 16, the government said Thursday. That’s the highest level since last July.

Since the last recession, the primary engine for the creation of good jobs in this country has been the energy industry.

Unfortunately, the “oil boomtowns” are now going bust, and workers are being laid off in droves. As I mentioned the other day, 42 North American oil companies have filed for bankruptcy and 130,000 good paying energy jobs have been lost in this country since the start of 2015. And as long as the price of oil stays in this neighborhood, the worse things are going to get.

A lot of people out there still seem to think that this is just going to be a temporary downturn. Many are convinced that we will just go through another tough recession and then we will come out okay on the other side. What they don’t realize is that a number of long-term trends are now reaching a crescendo.

For decades, we have been living wildly beyond our means. The federal government, state and local governments, corporations and consumers have all been going into debt far faster than our economy has been growing. Of course this was never going to be sustainable in the long run, but we had been doing it for so long that many of us had come to believe that our exceedingly reckless debt-fueled prosperity was somehow “normal”.

Unfortunately, the truth is that you can’t consume far more than you produce forever. Eventually reality catches up with you. This is a point that Simon Black made extremely well in one of his recent articles…

Economics isn’t complicated. The Universal Law of Prosperity is very simple: produce more than you consume.

Governments, corporations, and individuals all have to abide by it. Those who do will thrive. Those who don’t will fail, sooner or later.

When the entire financial system ignores this fundamental rule, it puts us all at risk.

And if you can understand that, you can take simple, sensible steps to prevent the consequences.

Sadly, the time for avoiding the consequences of our actions is now past.

We are now starting to pay the price for decades of incredibly bone-headed decisions, and anyone that is looking to Barack Obama, the Federal Reserve or anyone else in Washington D.C. to be our savior is going to be bitterly disappointed.

And as bad as things have been so far, just wait until you see what happens next.

2016 is the year when everything changes.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

The Oil Crash Of 2016 Has The Big Banks Running Scared

Running Scared - Public Domain

Last time around it was subprime mortgages, but this time it is oil that is playing a starring role in a global financial crisis. Since the start of 2015, 42 North American oil companies have filed for bankruptcy, 130,000 good paying energy jobs have been lost in the United States, and at this point 50 percent of all energy junk bonds are “distressed” according to Standard & Poor’s. As you will see below, some of the big banks have a tremendous amount of loan exposure to the energy industry, and now they are bracing for big losses. And the longer the price of oil stays this low, the worse the carnage is going to get.

Today, the price of oil has been hovering around 29 dollars a barrel, and over the past 18 months the price of oil has fallen by more than 70 percent. This is something that has many U.S. consumers very excited. The average price of a gallon of gasoline nationally is just $1.89 at the moment, and on Monday it was selling for as low as 46 cents a gallon at one station in Michigan.

But this oil crash is nothing to cheer about as far as the big banks are concerned. During the boom years, those banks gave out billions upon billions of dollars in loans to fund exceedingly expensive drilling projects all over the world.

Now those firms are dropping like flies, and the big banks could potentially be facing absolutely catastrophic losses. The following examples come from CNN

For instance, Wells Fargo (WFC) is sitting on more than $17 billion in loans to the oil and gas sector. The bank is setting aside $1.2 billion in reserves to cover losses because of the “continued deterioration within the energy sector.”

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is setting aside an extra $124 million to cover potential losses in its oil and gas loans. It warned that figure could rise to $750 million if oil prices unexpectedly stay at their current $30 level for the next 18 months.

Citigroup is another bank that also has a tremendous amount of exposure

Citigroup (C) built up loan loss reserves in the energy space by $300 million. The bank said the move reflects its view that “oil prices are likely to remain low for a longer period of time.”

If oil stays around $30 a barrel, Citi is bracing for about $600 million of energy credit losses in the first half of 2016. Citi said that figure could double to $1.2 billion if oil dropped to $25 a barrel and stayed there.

For the moment, these big banks are telling the public that the damage can be contained.

But didn’t they tell us the same thing about subprime mortgages in 2008?

We are already seeing bank stocks start to slide precipitously. People are beginning to realize that these banks are dangerously exposed to a lot of really bad deals.

If the price of oil were to shoot back up above 50 dollars in very short order, the damage would probably be manageable. Unfortunately, that does not appear likely to happen. In fact, now that sanctions have been lifted on Iran, the Iranians are planning to flood the world with massive amounts of oil that they have been storing in tankers at sea

Iran has been carefully planning for its return from the economic penalty box by hoarding tons of oil in tankers at sea.

Now that the U.S. and European Union have lifted some sanctions on Iran, the OPEC country can begin selling its massive stockpile of oil.

The sale of this seaborne oil will allow Iran to get an immediate financial boost before it ramps up production. The onslaught of Iranian oil is coming at a terrible time for the global oil markets, which are already drowning in an epic supply glut.

Just the other day, I explained that some of the biggest banks in the world are now projecting that the price of oil could soon fall much, much lower.

Morgan Stanley says that it could go as low as 20 dollars a barrel, the Royal Bank of Scotland says that it could go as low as 16 dollars a barrel, and Standard Chartered says that it could go as low as 10 dollars a barrel.

But the truth is that the price of oil does not need to go down one penny more to have a catastrophic impact on global financial markets. If it just stays right here, we will see an endless parade of layoffs, energy company bankruptcies and debt defaults. Without any change, junk bonds will continue to crash and financial institutions will continue to go down like dominoes.

We are already experiencing a major disaster. Things are already so bad that some forms of low quality crude oil are literally selling for next to nothing. The following comes from Bloomberg

Oil is so plentiful and cheap in the U.S. that at least one buyer says it would pay almost nothing to take a certain type of low-quality crude.

Flint Hills Resources LLC, the refining arm of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch’s industrial empire, said it offered to pay $1.50 a barrel Friday for North Dakota Sour, a high-sulfur grade of crude, according to a corrected list of prices posted on its website Monday. It had previously posted a price of -$0.50. The crude is down from $13.50 a barrel a year ago and $47.60 in January 2014.

While the near-zero price is due to the lack of pipeline capacity for a particular variety of ultra low quality crude, it underscores how dire things are in the U.S. oil patch.

A chart that I saw posted on Zero Hedge earlier today can help put all of this into perspective. Whenever the price of oil falls really low relative to the price of gold, there is a major global crisis. Right now an ounce of gold will purchase more oil than ever before, and many believe that this indicates that a new great crisis is upon us…

The number of barrels of oil that a single ounce of gold can buy has never, ever been higher.

Barrels Of Oil Per Ounce Of Gold

All over the planet, big banks are absolutely teeming with bad loans. And to be honest, the big banks in the U.S. are probably in better shape than some of the major banks in Europe and Asia. But once the dominoes start to fall, very few financial institutions are going to escape unscathed.

In the coming days I would expect to see more headlines like we just got out of Italy. Apparently, Italian banks are nearing full meltdown mode, and short selling has been temporarily banned. To me, it appears that we are just inches away from full-blown financial panic in Europe.

However, just like with the last financial crisis, you never quite know where the next “explosion” is going to happen next.

But one thing is for sure – the financial crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is raging out of control, and the pain that we have seen so far is just the beginning.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

The Financial Apocalypse Accelerates As Middle East Stocks Crash To Begin The Week

Apocalyptic - Public Domain

It looks like it is going to be another chaotic week for global financial markets. On Sunday, news that Iran plans to dramatically ramp up oil production sent stocks plunging all across the Middle East. Stocks in Kuwait were down 3.1 percent, stocks in Saudi Arabia plummeted 5.4 percent, and stocks in Qatar experienced a mammoth 7 percent decline. And of course all of this comes in the context of a much larger long-term decline for Middle Eastern stocks. At this point, Saudi Arabian stocks are down more than 50 percent from their 2014 highs. Needless to say, a lot of very wealthy people in Saudi Arabia are getting very nervous. Could you imagine waking up someday and realizing that more than half of your fortune had been wiped out? Things aren’t that bad in the U.S. quite yet, but it looks like another rough week could be ahead. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all down at least 12 percent from their 52-week highs, and the Russell 2000 is already in bear market territory. Hopefully this week will not be as bad as last week, but events are starting to move very rapidly now.

Much of the chaos around the globe is being driven by the price of oil. At the end of last week the price of oil dipped below 30 dollars a barrel, and now Iran has announced plans “to add 1 million barrels to its daily crude production”

Iran could get more than five times as much cash from oil sales by year-end as the lifting of economic sanctions frees the OPEC member to boost crude exports and attract foreign investment needed to rebuild its energy industry.

The Persian Gulf nation will be able to access all of its revenue from crude sales after the U.S. and five other global powers removed sanctions on Saturday in return for Iran’s curbing its nuclear program. The fifth-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had been receiving only $700 million of each month’s oil earnings under an interim agreement, with the rest blocked in foreign bank accounts. Iran is striving to add 1 million barrels to its daily crude production and exports this year amid a global supply glut that has pushed prices 22 percent lower this month.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what this is going to do to the price of oil.

The price of oil has already fallen more than 20 percent so far in 2016, and overall it has declined by more than 70 percent since late 2014.

When the price of oil first started to fall, a lot of people out there were proclaiming that it would be really good for the U.S. economy. But I said just the opposite. And of course since that time we have seen an endless parade of debt downgrades, bankruptcies and job losses. 130,000 good paying energy jobs were lost in the United States in 2015 alone because of this collapse, and things just continue to get even worse. At this point, some are even calling for the federal government to intervene. For example, the following is an excerpt from a CNN article that was just posted entitled “Is it time to bail out the U.S. oil industry?“…

America’s once-booming oil industry is suddenly in deep financial trouble.

The epic crash in oil prices has wiped out tens of thousands of jobs, caused dozens of bankruptcies and spooked global financial markets.

The fallout is already being felt in oil-rich states like Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, where home foreclosure rates are spiking and economic growth is slowing.

Now there are calls in at least some corners for the federal government to come to the rescue.

Is it just me, or is all of this really starting to sound a lot like 2008?

And of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is facing troubles. The global financial crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is rapidly accelerating, and chaos is erupting all over the planet. The following summary of what we have been seeing in recent days comes from Doug Noland

The world has changed significantly – perhaps profoundly – over recent weeks. The Shanghai Composite has dropped 17.4% over the past month (Shenzhen down 21%). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 8.2% over the past month, with Hang Seng Financials sinking 11.9%. WTI crude is down 26% since December 15th. Over this period, the GSCI Commodities Index sank 12.2%. The Mexican peso has declined almost 7% in a month, the Russian ruble 10% and the South African rand 12%. A Friday headline from the Financial Times: “Emerging market stocks retreat to lowest since 09.”

Trouble at the “Periphery” has definitely taken a troubling turn for the worse. Hope that things were on an uptrend has confronted the reality that things are rapidly getting much worse. This week saw the Shanghai Composite sink 9.0%. Major equities indexes were hit 8.0% in Russia and 5.0% in Brazil (Petrobras down 9%). Financial stocks and levered corporations have been under pressure round the globe. The Russian ruble sank 4.0% this week, increasing y-t-d losses versus the dollar to 7.1%. The Mexican peso declined another 1.8% this week. The Polish zloty slid 2.8% on an S&P downgrade (“Tumbles Most Since 2011”). The South African rand declined 3.0% (down 7.9% y-t-d). The yen added 0.2% this week, increasing 2016 gains to 3.0%. With the yen up almost 4% versus the dollar over the past month, so-called yen “carry trades” are turning increasingly problematic.

Closer to home, the crisis in Puerto Rico continues to spiral out of control. The following is an excerpt from a letter that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent to Congress on Friday

Although there are many ways this crisis could escalate further, it is clear that Puerto Rico is already in the midst of an economic collapse

Puerto Rico is already in default. It is shifting funds from one creditor to pay another and has stopped payment altogether on several of its debts. As predicted, creditors are filing lawsuits. The Government Development Bank, which provides critical banking and fiscal services to the central government, only avoided depleting its liquidity by halting lending activity and sweeping in additional deposits from other Puerto Rico governmental entities. A large debt payment of $400 million is due on May 1, and a broader set of payments are due at the end of June.

It isn’t Michael Snyder from The Economic Collapse Blog that is saying that Puerto Rico is “in the midst of an economic collapse”.

That is the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury that is saying it.

Those that have been eagerly anticipating a financial apocalypse are going to get what they have been waiting for.

Right now we are about halfway through January, and this is the worst start to a year for stocks ever. The Dow is down a total of 1,437 points since the beginning of 2016, and more than 15 trillion dollars of stock market wealth has been wiped out globally since last June.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people out there that are in denial.

There are a lot of people that still believe that this is just a temporary bump in the road and that things will return to “normal” very soon.

They don’t understand that this is just the beginning. What we have seen so far is just the warm up act, and much, much worse is yet to come.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Welcome To The New Normal: The Dow Crashes Another 390 Points And Wal-Mart Closes 269 Stores

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Did you know that 15 trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has been wiped out since last June? The worldwide financial crisis that began in the middle of last year is starting to spin wildly out of control. On Friday, the Dow plunged another 390 points, and it is now down a total of 1,437 points since the beginning of this calendar year. Never before in U.S. history have stocks ever started a year this badly. The same thing can be said in Europe, where stocks have now officially entered bear market territory. As I discussed yesterday, the economic slowdown and financial unraveling that we are witnessing are truly global in scope. Banks are failing all over the continent, and I expect major European banks to start making some huge headlines not too long from now. And of course let us not forget about China. On Friday the Shanghai Composite declined another 3.6 percent, and overall it is now down more than 20 percent from its December high. Much of this chaos has been driven by the continuing crash of the price of oil. As I write this article, it has dipped below 30 dollars a barrel, and many of the big banks are projecting that it still has much farther to fall.

The other night, Barack Obama got up in front of the American people and proclaimed that anyone that was saying that the economy was not recovering was peddling fiction. Well, if the U.S. economy is doing so great, then why in the world has Wal-Mart decided to shut down 269 stores?…

Walmart (WMT) will close 269 stores around the world in a strategic move to focus more on its supercenters and e-commerce business, the company said Friday.

The closures include 154 U.S. locations, encompassing Walmart’s entire fleet of 102 ‘Express’ format stores, its smallest stores that have been in pilot testing since 2011. Some supercenters, Sam’s Club locations and Neighborhood Markets will also close, plus 115 stores in Latin American markets. The closures were decided based on financial performance and how well the locations fit with Walmart’s broader strategy, says Greg Hitt, a company spokesman.

We have grown accustomed to other major retailers shutting down stores, but this is Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart doesn’t retreat. For decades, Wal-Mart has been on a relentless march forward. They have been an unstoppable juggernaut that has expanded extremely aggressively and that has ruthlessly crushed the competition.

I was absolutely stunned when I saw that they were going to close down 269 stores. If you want to know if your local store is in danger, you can view the full list right here.

Overall, 10,000 Wal-Mart employees will be affected. I could understand closing down a few underperforming stores, but if the U.S. economy truly is in great shape then it wouldn’t make any sense at all to shut down hundreds of stores.

What in the name of Sam Walton is going on out there?

The truth, of course, is that the U.S. economy is in great danger. We have now entered the next great crisis, but most communities around the country never even recovered from the last one. In fact, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that a whopping 93 percent of all counties in the United States “have failed to fully recover” from the last recession…

More than six years after the economic expansion began, 93% of counties in the U.S. have failed to fully recover from the blow they suffered during the recession.

Nationwide, 214 counties, or 7% of 3,069, had recovered last year to prerecession levels on four indicators: total employment, the unemployment rate, size of the economy and home values, a study from the National Association of Counties released Tuesday found.

The next few weeks are going to be very interesting to watch. The economic fundamentals continue to deteriorate, and the financial markets are finally starting to catch up with economic reality.

As the collapse on Wall Street accelerates, we are going to increasingly see panic selling and forced liquidations. In the past, it was mostly humans that had their hands on the controls during market crashes, but today the machines are making more of the decisions than ever before. The following comes from CNBC

The new market age is decidedly different: Rather than that seething cacophony, aggressive corrections like the current ones are directed by a faceless metronome of computer-generated orders, triggering irresistible momentum and trillions in losses.

Amid it all, market veterans are left to ponder when the script will flip and market direction will turn not by newfound optimism among traders in the pits, but rather by algorithms that generate “buy” rather than “sell” signals.

It feels like sell program after sell program,” said Michael Cohn, chief market strategist at Atlantis Asset Management, a boutique firm in New York. “It seems to happen first thing in the morning, and then however the market transpires during the day is how they close it. If it looks like it’s coming back, they’ll take it at the end. If if looks like it’s heading lower, they’ll slam it at the end of the day.”

Earlier today, an article authored by Michael Pento entitled “A recession worse than 2008 is coming” was posted on CNBC. Here is a short excerpt…

But a recession has occurred in the U.S. about every five years, on average, since the end of WWII; and it has been seven years since the last one — we are overdue.

Most importantly, the average market drop during the peak to trough of the last 6 recessions has been 37 percent. That would take the S&P 500 down to 1,300; if this next recession were to be just of the average variety.

But this one will be worse.

If stocks do drop a total of 37 percent, that would just bring them back to levels that would be considered “normal” or “average” by historical standards. There is certainly the possibility that they could fall much farther than that.

And of course the markets are so incredibly fragile at this point that any sort of a “trigger event” could cause a collapse of epic proportions.

All it is going to take is a major disaster or emergency of some sort.

Do you have a feeling that something really bad is about to happen? This is something that I have been hearing from people that I respect, and I would like to know if it is a phenomenon that is more widespread. If you have been feeling something like this, please feel free to share it with us by posting a comment below…

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

70 Tips That Will Help You Survive What Is Going To Happen To America

70 Sign

You may have noticed that things are starting to get crazy.  Financial markets are imploding, violent crime rates are soaring in our major cities, and we have witnessed a truly unusual series of natural disasters in recent months.  War in the Middle East continues to rage out of control, and Islamic terror continues to spread all over the globe.  And many believe that 2016 is going to be a year of political shaking, civil unrest, governmental crackdowns and great economic chaos in the United States.  All it is going to take to plunge our society into full-blown panic mode is a major “trigger event” of some sort.  Another 9/11, a new “Lehman Brothers” moment, a massive EMP burst from the sun or a historic seismic event are all examples of what this “trigger event” could look like.

So are you ready for what is about to happen to America?  In previous articles, I have urged my readers to focus on the five basics – food, water, shelter, energy and self-defense.  If you focus on those five things, you will probably be in pretty good shape during any major disaster or emergency.

In this article, I want to dig a little deeper and give people some more specific tips regarding what they can do to prepare for the times that we are now entering.  The following are 70 tips that will help you survive what is going to happen to America…

1. A lot of the “experts” out there are urging people to get rid of all of their cash.  That is a huge mistake.  You are going to need cash to pay your bills – especially during the initial phases of the coming crisis.  Today, 63 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and millions of them will be severely hurting almost immediately once they lose their jobs or their businesses go under during this new economic downturn.

2. Get to know your neighbors.  As the coming time of trouble unfolds, you are going to want to have people around you that you can trust and depend on.

3. Learn how to grow a garden.  Food costs will continue to rise and our food distribution system is far more vulnerable than most people would dare to imagine.  Any way that you can become more “food independent” would be a good thing.

4. At this point, you should already have several years of emergency food stored up for each member of your family.  And don’t forget to store additional food for friends and family members that haven’t prepared and will need to come stay with you.

5. Make a “bug out plan” for your family, and make certain that every member of your family knows what the rally points are in case you all get separated.

6. Every member of your family should have a “bug out bag“.  These should contain everything that they will need in the event of a major emergency.

7. If you are going to “strategically relocate” before things get really bad in this country, hopefully you have already done so by now.  If not, you are working on borrowed time.

8. When civil unrest starts really spiraling out of control, it would be in your interest to avoid “America’s death zones” if possible.

9. Always have the gas tanks in your vehicles at least halfway full.  You never know when you will need to hit the road in an emergency situation.

10. Put away some extra fuel for your generator while fuel costs are low.

11. Think ahead about what medicines and medical supplies you and your family will need during a major crisis.

12. Try to stock up on things that will make good barter items when the overall economy begins to totally break down.

13. There are non-electric versions of various appliances.  Some examples include washing machines and coffee makers.

14. How are you going to cook your food when the power goes out for an extended period of time?  You may want to consider a sun oven if you don’t have one already.

15. Don’t have all of your eggs in one basket.  That includes not having all of your money in one location.  If you have a bank account, consider spreading that money around to two or three different bank accounts.

16. You will want to keep at least some cash at home in case you are not able to access ATM machines during a major crisis.

17. If you can get out of debt without jeopardizing your other preparations, you should consider doing so.  Those that are “lean and mean” financially will be in much better shape – especially during the initial stages of the coming crisis.

18. Physical gold and silver are good ways to protect your wealth over the long-term.  As I have warned repeatedly, we will continue to see big ups and big downs for precious metals, so if you are going to invest you have got to be able to handle the ride.

19. Reduce your expenses and get accustomed to a more minimal standard of living.  Now is not the time to be spending lots of money on fancy new toys.

20. If you have the time and energy, starting a side business may not be a bad idea.  That way if you lose your job, you still have some income coming in.

21. You need to have a plan for fresh water in the event of a major emergency.  Without water none of us can survive, and is imperative that you have a plan to provide clean drinking water for your family when disaster strikes.

22. If you can afford to get partially or totally “off the grid”, that would be a very good thing.  Many preppers are discovering that they can do amazing things with wind, solar and water power.

23. Anyone that has spent more than a few hours without power knows how frustrating this can be.  You need to have a plan for how you are going to provide power to your home that is independent of the power company.

24. Rotate your food supplies.  Eat your oldest stuff first even though it may be tempting to dig into the stuff that you just purchased.

25. If you have a baby, don’t forget the special things that your baby will need during a major crisis.

26. Many preppers totally forget about their pets.  You should store the food and supplies that they will need during an extended emergency.

27. This may sound trivial, but the truth is that our entertainment-addicted society would become very bored and very frustrated if the grid suddenly went down for an extended period of time.  Card games and other basic forms of entertainment can make enduring a crisis much easier.

28. In the years ahead, being able to defend your home is going to become increasingly important.  When the economy crashes, people are going to start to become very desperate.  And desperate people do desperate things.

29. No plan ever unfolds perfectly.  When your plan is disrupted, what will you do? It will be imperative for all of us to have a back-up plan and to be flexible during the years ahead.

30. Do not go around and tell everyone in the area where you live about your prepping.  If you do, then you may find yourself overwhelmed with “visitors” when everything falls apart.

The following are items that are commonly recommended by survivalist experts that you may want to consider storing in case they are needed during a major crisis or emergency…

31. Blankets

32. Warm Clothing

33. Gloves

34. Extra Flashlights

35. First Aid Kits

36. Lighters

37. Matches

38. Duct Tape

39. A Shovel

40. A Tent

41. Knives

42. Mylar Blankets

43. Body Armor

44. Salt

45. Propane

46. Vitamins

47. An Axe

48. A Can Opener

49. A Battery-Powered Radio

50. Extra Batteries

51. A Fire Extinguisher

52. A Sewing Kit

53. A Tool Kit

54. Comfortable Shoes Or Hiking Boots

55. A Map Of Your Area

56. A Compass

57. Sleeping Bags

58. Candles

59. A Camp Stove

60. An LED Headlamp

61. Lightsticks

62. Heirloom Seeds

63. Clorox

64. Wood Socks, Sweaters And Mittens

65. Personal Hygiene Items

66. Ziplock Bags

67. A Watch Or Some Other Way To Tell Time

68. Extra Copies Of Your Financial Records

69. Spare Glasses

70. Prescription Medications

Are there any additional tips that you would add to this list?

Please feel free to share your knowledge with the rest of us by posting a comment below…

Stock Market Crash 2016: This Is The Worst Start To A Year For Stocks Ever

Stock Market Collapse 2016

We have never had a year start the way that 2016 has started. In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 have both posted their worst four-day starts to a year ever. Canadian stocks are now down 21 percent since September, and it has been an absolute bloodbath in Europe over the past four days. Of course the primary catalyst for all of this is what has been going on in China. There has been an emergency suspension of trading in China two times within the past four days, and nobody is quite certain what is going to happen next. Eventually this wave of panic selling will settle down, but that won’t mean that this crisis will be over. In fact, what is coming is going to be much worse than what we have already seen.

On Thursday I was doing a show with some friends, and we were amazed that stocks just seemed to keep falling and falling and falling. The Dow closed down 392 points, and the NASDAQ got absolutely slammed. At this point, the Dow and the NASDAQ are both officially in “correction territory”, and some of the talking heads on television are warning that this could be the beginning of a “bear market”. But of course some of the other “experts” are insisting that this is just a temporary bump in the road.

But what everyone can agree on is that we have never seen a start to a year like this one. The following comes from CNN

The global market freakout of 2016 just got worse.

The latest scare came on Thursday as China’s stock market crashed 7% overnight and crude oil plummeted to the lowest level in more than 12 years.

The Dow dropped 392 points on Thursday. The S&P 500 fell 2.4%, while the Nasdaq tumbled 3%.

The wave of selling has knocked the Dow down 911 points, or more than 5% so far this year. That’s the worst four-day percentage loss to start a year on record, according to FactSet stats that go back to 1897.

When CNN starts sounding like The Economic Collapse Blog, you know that things are really bad. I particularly like their use of the phrase “global market freakout”. I might have to borrow that one.

Even some of the biggest and most trusted stocks are plummeting. For instance, Apple dropped to $96.45 on Thursday. It is now down a total of 28 percent since hitting a record high of more than 134 dollars a share back in April.

So that means that if someone put all of their retirement money into Apple stock last April (which may have seemed like a really good idea at that time), by now more than one-fourth of that money is gone.

For months, I have been warning that the exact same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the great stock market crash of 2008 were happening again. To me, the parallels between 2008 and 2015/2016 were just uncanny. And now other very prominent names are making similar comparisons. According to the Washington Post, George Soros says that the way this new crisis is unfolding “reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008″…

Influential investor George Soros said that China had a “major adjustment problem” on its hands. “I would say it amounts to a crisis,” he told an economic forum in Sri Lanka, according to Bloomberg News. “When I look at the financial markets, there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”

Don’t get me wrong – I am certainly not a supporter of George Soros. My point is that we are starting to hear a lot of really ominous talk from a lot of different directions. All over the world, people are starting to understand that the next great financial crisis is already here.

As I write this tonight, I just feel quite a bit of sadness. A lot of hard working people are going to lose a lot of money this year, and that includes people that I know personally. I wish that my voice had been clearer and louder. I wish that I could have done more to get people to understand what was coming. I wish that my warnings could have made more of a difference.

I just think about how I would feel if everything that I had worked for all my life was suddenly wiped out. And that is what is going to end up happening to some of these people. When you lose everything, it can be absolutely debilitating.

You only make money in the markets if you get out in time. And unfortunately, most of the general population will be like deer in the headlights and won’t know which way to move.

There will be up days for the markets in our near future. But don’t be fooled by them. It is important to remember that some of the greatest up days in U.S. stock market history were right in the middle of the stock market crash of 2008. So don’t let a rally fool you into thinking that the crisis is over.

The financial crisis that began in the second half of 2015 is now accelerating, and everything that we have witnessed over the past few days is just a natural extension of what has already been happening.

Personally, I am just really looking forward to this weekend when I will hopefully get caught up on some rest. Plus, my Washington Redskins will be hosting a playoff game on Sunday, and if they find a way to win that game that will put me in a particularly positive mood.

It is good to enjoy these simple pleasures while we still can. Unprecedented chaos is coming this year, and we are all going to need strength and courage for what is ahead.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Stock Markets All Over The Globe Are Crashing

Dominoes - Public Domain

The first trading day of 2016 was full of chaos and panic.  It started in Asia where the Nikkei was down 582 points, Hong Kong was down 587 points, and Chinese markets experienced an emergency shutdown after the CSI 300 tumbled 7 percent.  When European markets opened, the nightmare continued.  The DAX was down 459 points, and European stocks overall had their worst start to a year ever.  In the U.S., it looked like we were on course for a truly historic day as well.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 467 points at one stage, but some very mysterious late day buying activity helped trim the loss to just 276 points at the close of the market.  The sudden market turmoil caught many by surprise, but it shouldn’t have.  The truth is that a whole host of leading indicators have been telling us that this is exactly what should be happening.  The global financial crisis that began in 2015 is now accelerating, and my regular readers already know precisely what is coming next.

The financial turmoil of the last 24 hours is making headlines all over the globe.  It began last night in China.  Very bad manufacturing data and another troubling devaluation of the yuan sent Chinese stocks tumbling to a degree that we have not seen since last August.  In fact, the carnage would have probably been far, far worse if not for a new “circuit breaker” that China recently implemented.  Once the CSI 300 was down 7 percent, trading was completely shut down for the rest of the day.  The following comes from USA Today

Under a new market “circuit breaker” rule in China established last year, which is designed to slow down markets and halt panic in the event of moves of 5% or more, the CSI 300, a large-company stock index in mainland China was halted for 15 minutes in mid-afternoon trading after diving more than 5%. But when shares headed lower once again just minutes after the initial trading halt, and losses for the day swelled to more than 7%, the new circuit breaker rules kicked in, prompting a shutdown of mainland China’s stock market for the day, according to Bloomberg.

After the first 15 minute halt, panic set in as Chinese traders rushed to get out of their trades before the 7 percent circuit breaker kicked in.  This resulted in an absolutely chaotic seven minutes as investors made a mad dash for the exits…

The sell orders piled up fast on Monday at Shenwan Hongyuan Group, China’s fifth-biggest brokerage by market value.

China’s CSI 300 Index had just tumbled 5 percent, triggering a 15-minute trading halt, and stock investors were scrambling to exit before getting locked in by a full-day suspension set to take effect at 7 percent. When the first halt was lifted, the market reaction was swift: it took just seven minutes for losses to reach the limit as volumes surged to their highs of the day.

“Investors rushed to the door during the level-one stage of the circuit breaker as they fretted the market would go down further,” said William Wong, the head of sales trading at Shenwan Hongyuan in Hong Kong.

The financial carnage continued once the European markets opened.  Markets were red all across the continent, and things were particularly bad in Germany.  The DAX was down 459 points, and it is rapidly approaching the psychologically-important 10,000 barrier.  Overall, it was the worst start to a year that the European markets have ever experienced.

When U.S. markets opened, unexpectedly bad U.S. manufacturing data seemed to add fuel to the fire.  Monday morning we learned that our manufacturing sector is contracting at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last recession

America’s manufacturing sector shrank for the second straight month in December. The industry’s key index — ISM — hit 48.2% in December, the lowest mark since June 2009. Anything below 50% is a contraction and a month ago it hit 48.6%.

The index has fallen for six straight months.

The trend is certainly heading in a direction that would ring alarm bells,” says Sam Bullard, senior economist at Wells Fargo.

This is yet another sign that tells us that the U.S. economy has already entered the next recession.

And what happens to the markets during a recession?

They go down.

In addition to the bad data that we got from the U.S. and China, there was another number that was also extremely troubling.

South Korean exports have traditionally been considered a key leading indicator for the entire global economy, and on Monday we learned that they were down a whopping 13.8 percent in December from a year earlier…

One of the more reliable indicators of the global economy continues to confirm fears of a worldwide slowdown.

South Korean exports — also referred to as the world’s economic canary in the coal mine — fell 13.8% in December from a year earlier.

This was a deterioration from the 4.8% decline in November, and it was much worse than the 11.7% decline expected by economists.

The “nothing is happening” crowd may not be willing to admit it yet, but the truth is that a major global economic slowdown is already happening.

And what happened to global markets today is perfectly consistent with the longer term patterns that have been emerging over the past six months or so.

In the weeks and months to come, things are going to get even worse.  There will always be days when the markets are up, but don’t let those days fool you into thinking that the crisis is over.  In the western world we are so accustomed to 48 hour news cycles, and many of us seem to be incapable of focusing on trends that develop over longer periods of time.

If I was going to put together a scenario for a global financial crisis for a textbook, what we have seen over the past six months or so would be perfect.  Things are playing out exactly how they should be, and that means big trouble for the rest of 2016.

But that doesn’t mean that we have to live in fear.  In fact, I just wrote an entire article entitled “2016: A Year For Living With No Fear“.  It is when times are at their worst that our character is put to the test.  Some will respond to what happens in 2016 with courage and strength, and others will respond with fear and panic.

As things start falling apart all around us this year, how will you respond?

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

2016: A Year For Living With No Fear

No Fear - Public Domain

2016 is just a few days old, and already there has been a tremendous amount of shaking.  Stock markets all over the world are crashing, a huge earthquake just hit India, the middle portion of the United States is dealing with record flooding, Islamic terror continues to spread in the Middle East and elsewhere, and Saudi Arabia has suddenly cut off relations with Iran.  Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and I believe that this is just the beginning.  In fact, I am fully convinced that 2016 is going to be an incredibly chaotic year.

So does that mean that we should all cower in fear and try to find somewhere to hide?

Not at all.

My wife and I seek to live our lives in a constant state of “shalom”, which is the Hebrew word for peace.  And we believe that 2016 is a year to be lived with no fear whatsoever.  Yes, immensely great challenges are coming to this nation.  But with great shaking comes great opportunity.  In 2016 we believe that there will be incredible opportunities to be a light in the darkness.

We are moving into a time when so many of the things that we have become preoccupied with will fall to the wayside and we will start focusing on what really matters.  Many of you have been preparing for the future for many years, and this is going to be the year when those preparations begin to pay off.

When great challenges come, they reveal the true nature of our character.  And as things fall apart all around us, people are going to be looking for leaders.  To be a leader, sometimes you don’t even have to say anything.  People are going to be watching how we respond to the events that are going to be happening this year, and we need to decide right now whether we are going to respond with strength or fear.

If you want to be a leader, you need to be ready to be a rock in the storm.  When the waves start crashing all around you, that is the time to set your face like flint and choose not to be moved.  Many are going to want to dig a hole and try to hide from the world, but those with courage are going to be running to the front lines instead.

This is what we have been training for.

This is what we have been preparing for.

You were born for such a time as this.

If you look back throughout history, almost all of the heroes that we greatly admire were birthed during times of great crisis.  It is when times are the darkest that the light is needed the most.  And the hard times that are coming are going to be crying out for strong men and women to arise.

For years, “watchmen on the wall” such as myself have been relentlessly warning about what is coming.  In fact, I have been sounding the alarm so loudly and for so long that some of my readers are probably sick of it.  But the purpose has never been to “create fear”.  I believe that there is hope in understanding what is happening, and I believe that there is hope in getting prepared.

And the truth is that there is very much a spiritual dimension to all of this.  For decades, God has been calling America to return to Him, but instead this nation has been feverishly running the other direction.  Now a day of reckoning is upon us, and we are going to experience the consequences of decades of very foolish decisions.

In the legal world, there is always a pronouncement of guilt before a judgment is administered.  And in 2015 I believe that we were very clearly shown our guilt in a myriad of ways.  Some examples include the gay marriage Supreme Court decision, the Ashley Madison scandal, and the undercover Planned Parenthood videos.  I don’t believe that it was any accident that those videos came out exactly when they did.  The whole world got to see that we are murdering millions of babies, harvesting their body parts and organs, and selling those body parts and organs off to the highest bidder.  Those body parts and organs are then used in bizarre scientific experiments, and the federal government is funding the entire thing.

But instead of repenting, Congress just authorized hundreds of millions of dollars of funding for Planned Parenthood for the coming year, and surveys have found that the American people approve of federal funding for Planned Parenthood by about a 2 to 1 margin.

I believe that we were given one last chance to repent in 2015, but instead we chose to shake our fist at God.

Now a great shaking is coming, and I believe that it has already started.  Since September, we have seen a very highly unusual series of disasters in America.  We have seen horrific flooding in Missouri, South Carolina, Texas and Oregon, a nightmarish wave of wildfires starting at the end of the summer resulted in more acres being burned in this country than ever before, the state of Oklahoma set a brand new all-time record for earthquakes in a single year, a series of very unusual tornadoes just ripped through areas near Dallas, and much of California continues to suffer through the worst multi-year drought in the history of the state.

When we look at the Bible, we see that there is often a progression to judgment.  For example, frogs and lice were a couple of the early plagues that hit Egypt in the book of Exodus, but by the end all of the firstborn of the Egyptians were dead.  A similar pattern exists in the book of Revelation.  Each “shaking” is intended to bring about repentance, and if there is no repentance then more shakings come.

We should be happy that shaking is coming to America, because without shaking I don’t believe that there would be any widespread repentance.

God has been warning us about what is coming, but most of us don’t want to listen.

God sends warnings because He does not want us to fear.  He knows everything that is going to happen in advance, He is in control, and He has a plan.

And even in the midst of all the chaos and darkness that is beginning to engulf the world, God is raising up a Remnant.

This Remnant is going to be the army of the last days.  It will walk in faith and not in fear.  It will boldly take action while others cower.  This Remnant is going to become what God always intended His people to be, and it is going to do things that are going to shock the world.

The greatest move of God and the greatest harvest of souls that the world has ever seen are coming.  But just because we know what God is going to do in these last days does not mean that we automatically get to be part of it.  Now is a time to press in and seek Him like never before.  We need to pray that God will pour out His fire on our lives and equip us to be warriors of light in a world that is filled with darkness.

Jesus is coming back for His bride, but right now we are not ready.

Jesus deserves the greatest bride of all.  He deserves a bride without spot or wrinkle and that is madly and wildly and passionately in love with Him.

Without Him nothing is possible, but with His help we can become the bride that we were always intended to be.

In 2016, everything changes.

Are you ready?

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