Archive for the ‘World’ Category

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Posted: September 28, 2012 in World
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DrudgeReport.com
Radio host from Austin rallies demonstrators with full-throated denunciation of the global elite.
Protesters at the Bilderberg conference

Protesters at the annual Bilderberg conference, which has been held at the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly, Virginia. Photograph: Rex Features

As the demonstrations targeting the Bilderberg conference of international leaders in Chantilly, Virginia, drew to a close on Sunday, dozens of protesters gathered around one man, hoping for a picture or an autograph.

“Alex, what’s next?” one protester repeatedly yelled.

“God bless you, Alex,” said a number of others, as they stood outside a service entrance to a heavily guarded Marriott.

The object of their adoration was Alex Jones, an Austin, Texas-based radio host and counter-culture icon. A stout man with close-cropped hair, Jones was dressed in denim, his temples soaked with sweat.

Throughout the morning black sedans and SUVs would leave the property amid jeers from the crowd. The passengers, the demonstrators believed, were members of an international elite intent on establishing a “new world order”.

Police had confined the protesters to patches of grass on either side of the entrance, and at one point prevented anyone from crossing one side to the other. Then Jones arrived.

“Get ’em, Alex,” said one woman, as Jones made a beeline for the police. Surrounded by his media crew – who live-streamed every moment with their cell phones – Jones spoke to the officers. Moments later he managed to cross the street, with dozens of his supporters behind him.

The protesters saw the achievement as a victory, cheering, chanting and pumping their fists in the air.

Jones quickly took control of the situation, using his unmistakable voice– amplified by a megaphone – to launch into a full-throated denunciation of the global elite, the erosion of rights and liberty, and the establishment of federal “reeducation camps”.

“The best bullhorner there is,” one protester said of Jones’s oratory skills. When Jones began describing how he likes to use multiple megaphones end to end, a demonstrator called him “the people’s L-Rad”, a reference to a sonic weapon police departments sometimes use against protesters.

Without Jones’s radio show and website it is difficult to estimate how many demonstrators would have turned out to protest against the off-the-record Bilderberg meeting over the past three days. T-shirts bearing the name of his programme and references to his work were staple elements throughout the rally. Demonstrators would repeat a tag line from his show: “What’s the answer to 1984? 1776!”

“Alex has been, more than anyone by far, instrumental in waking people up to what’s going on in the world today; the Bilderbergs, the destruction of our constitution and our rights, mass poisoning, mass vaccinations,” said John Kopel. “He’s done it all.”

“Even if you don’t like his style, what he’s done for the freedom movement in America is immense,” Kopel said. “That’s why I’m here. I look at his website every day. He’s an inspiration.”

“He’s incredible,” said Carmine Diiorio, who travelled from Baltimore to protest at Bilderberg. Diiorio carried an elaborate hand-drawn sign that his 15-year-old daughter made.

The sign caught Jones’s eye. As the radio host approached to get a closer look, Diiorio yelled, “Death to the new world order, Alex!” Jones delighted in the artwork, had his crew take photos, and later signed it.

“He’s only one person but it really gives you a testament of what one person can achieve,” Diiorio said.

Jones is not without his critics, who say he uses his influence to promote paranoia and conspiracy theories, based on incomplete or self-serving research. His focus on secret societies with ties to devil worship and mass eugenics programs, controversial 9/11 theories and the power of the Illuminati, have been ridiculed and dismissed by figures on both sides of the political aisle as well as journalists and independent observers.

With respect to this year’s Bilderberg protests – the most well-attended ever, by most accounts – Jones said his show was “central to kicking it off”.

With a network of supporters that often relies on Jones for their news, the radio host says he does face challenges.

“You do get off balance when you’re trying to talk to sources, get reports out, take photos, shoot video, sign autographs. It’s like a balancing act,” Jones said. “It does tend to fracture the thought process. Very stressful.”

Next time you head over to your local sushi joint you may want to take a Geiger counter with you. According to researchers at the National Academy of Sciences radiation from the Fukushima disaster has found its way across a 6,000 mile ocean to the coasts of California:

Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.

“We were frankly kind of startled,” said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that’s still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments.

But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances.

To rule out the possibility that the radiation was carried by ocean currents or deposited in the sea through the atmosphere, the team also analyzed yellowfin tuna, found in the eastern Pacific, and bluefin that migrated to Southern California before the nuclear crisis. They found no trace of cesium-134 and only background levels of cesium-137 left over from nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s.

The results “are unequivocal. Fukushima was the source,” said Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who had no role in the research.

Source: AP

Despite warnings from various international organizations about the dangers posed from radiation contamination to global food supplies, researchers funded by the US and Japanese governments maintain that the food is safe to eat.

(Reuters) – The crippled law firm Dewey & Leboeuf LLP filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday night and will seek approval to liquidate its business after failing to find a merger partner, marking the biggest collapse of a law firm in U.S. history.

Once one of the largest law firms in the U.S., Dewey has been hit by the loss of the vast majority of its roughly 300 partners to other firms amid concerns about compensation and a heavy debt load.

Dewey had warned employees earlier this month of the possibility the firm may shut down, and a person familiar with the matter had told Reuters that the firm was considering a bankruptcy filing.

“Dewey’s failure is rocking the industry in the sense that most firms are saying to themselves, if Dewey could go down, could we?” Kent Zimmermann, a legal consultant at the Zeughauser Group, said in an email Monday night.

Dewey said in a filing it had decided to wind down its business following unsuccessful negotiations with other law firms to strike a deal. It said it would ask about 90 employees to remain on staff to assist in the liquidation, which it expects to be completed in the next few months.

Negative economic conditions, along with the firm’s partnership compensation arrangements, created a situation where its cash flow was insufficient to cover capital expenses and full compensation expectations, Dewey said.

“During the first quarter of 2012, the firm was confronted with liquidity constraints that led to the precipitous resignation of over 160 of the firm’s 300 partners by May 11,” the New-York based firm said.

Dewey listed liabilities in the range of $100 million to $500 million, according to the filing. It had already terminated 433 of its 533 New York employees earlier this month, according to the state’s labor department.

MONTHS OF TURBULENCE

The firm’s collapse is expected to be the subject of years of court proceedings, and a number of former partners have already retained lawyers to represent them.

Monday’s filing follows months of turbulence, as wave after wave of partner defections shattered the high-profile firm from within. In April, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office launched a criminal probe of former firm chairman Steven Davis. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The result of a 2007 merger between Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Green & MacRae, Dewey & LeBoeuf had about 1,450 attorneys at its peak, according to The National Law Journal.

But the firm was eventually undone by a combination of the economic downturn, excessive compensation and governance problems, according to former partners and others in the industry. In particular, Dewey’s management promised millions in packages to about 100 partners, according to the court filing, leaving it strapped for cash when revenues fell during the recession.

Dewey has retained Joff Mitchell of Zolfo Cooper LLC as Chief Restructuring Officer and Albert Togut of Togut Segal & Segal LLP as bankruptcy counsel.

“The full extent of the partner compensation arrangements is subject of continuing investigation,” Mitchell said in the filing.

Dewey is one of a handful of major law firms to declare bankruptcy since the recession that began in 2007. They include Coudert Brothers, Heller Ehrman and Howrey.

PENSION PLANS

As of the petition date, Dewey’s assets consisted of about $13 million in cash, accounts receivable of about $255 million, various pieces of artwork, and about $11 million invested in an insurance consortium, among other potential claims, according to the filing.

In the interim, Dewey said the firm will be operating on a budget to be determined by the court. The firm has petitioned the court for permission to continue to pay salaries, benefits and paid time-off for current employees.

Dewey said that the 401(k) plans and qualified pension plans of its current and former employees and partners are held in trust and cannot be accessed by the firm’s creditors.

The U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation filed suit this month to take control of three of the firm’s pension plans, which the agency said were underfunded by $80 million.

The London and Paris offices of the firm are operated through a separately incorporated UK entity, which was placed into administration on Monday.

Administration is a UK legal process under court supervision, broadly similar to Chapter 11. The UK partnership is following broadly the same approach as that of Dewey in the United States, the firm said.

The firm had two dozen offices worldwide, including in Washington, Los Angeles and London. Some of the firm’s biggest clients included General Motors Corp, eBay, Novartis, Ambac and Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Division.

The case is Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, Case No. 12-12321, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore and by Joseph Ax and Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

Homeless in November…

Posted: May 29, 2012 in Money, People, Politics, World

With warnings about the Fukushima disaster getting more dire every day, many are wondering how they can avoid the inevitable radioactive fallout should things worsen in Japan.

The bottom line is, unless you’ve got a fully stocked nuclear bunker and radiation suits, there’s not much you can do to prevent exposure – other than to get the heck out of Dodge.

Over the years there have been numerous maps developed to identify nuclear safe zones in the event of war between nuclear powers like the United States, Russia and China. While not exactly perfect, as the Fukushima nuclear release is not the same as multiple, simultaneous nuclear detonations across the Northern Hemisphere resulting from war, the following map may provide some insight as to where nuclear radiation will be limited and significantly lowered based on global weather patterns.

Evacuation tip: If you’ve made the decision to evacuate due to nuclear fallout north of the equator, you’ll want to head to the Southern Hemisphere as depicted by this map made available by Nuclear Darkness:

This may explain why elite members of society, most notably George Soros and the Bush family, have purchased thousands of acres of land in South America, directly above a major aquifer. 

For those who cannot evacuate, the following map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency depicts a potential radioactive fallout pattern for the United States.

*Fallout would be everywhere during a nuclear disaster, but this map provides for some some safe zones that may have lowered radiation levels.

SHTFPlan.com

In the 1970′s he predicted gold’s meteoric rise and its 1980 top to the day. He published a full page advertisement in USA Today warning of the impending collapse of stock markets in the 1987 Savings & Loan crash – and nailed that one to the day. He saw the collapse of the Japanese real estate market and warned his clients that a depression was coming. In the late 1990′s he contacted Russian officials to advise them of an impending meltdown of their currency due to forces beyond their control – and he was right again.

He lives in New York today, but for the better part of the last decade he was held in federal prison. His charge? Officially, nothing. Unofficially, he was held in contempt of court for nearly ten  years for refusing to hand over his cyclical economic models to Goldman Sachs and the US Government. According to the powers that be, Armstrong was manipulating the world economy, and because he refused to share his prescient models, they locked him away without charge or trial – indefinitely.

He may sound like a fictional character out of a Hollywood blockbuster, except Martin Armstrong is the real deal, and he’s been warning of a paradigm shift unlike any we have witnessed in history.

With the US government expediently acting to restrict personal liberties, nearly incalculable amounts of national debt, Europe on the brink of a break up, and confusion in global asset markets, Armstrong’s Private/Public cyclical models are indicating that the world better get ready for a rough ride – and soon.

Via Armstrong Economics:

I have warned that the United States would be last to fall because it is the core economy being both the largest as well as the reserve currency. I have warned that this will not collapse into dust all at the same time. Each link will break one at a time cascading like dominos. This is not my OPINION – it is history.

Greece will be forced to leave for staying under the terms of Germany will bring civil war. Social unrest is erupting and what the US and German authorities FAIL to understand is we are dealing with a BELL CURVE and not a linear progression. There has to be balance between austerity and stimulation. It is like heat and cold. Both extremes will kill you. We survive in the middle

It is true that rising interest rates can attract capital. However, when capital FLEES, interest rates CONTINUE to rise due to the shortage of capital. NOTHING is ever a straight line. BIG Capital is fleeing Europe and that goes to government debt because it is liquid and can absorb vast amounts.

We have to understand what I call this Public v Private battle in confidence. This can also be called the flight-to-quality that appears during a crisis. The primary trend that is common in all economic declines is what is described as the flight-to-quality. This is at the core of capital flow for it represents the first criteria in how capital moves betweenPublic and Private Assets.

The flight-to-quality is traditionally observed by just about everyone and it is unleashed whenever confidence in the private assets collapses. Investors panic, sell private assets, and rush to government bonds driving interest rates down sharply. During the 2007-2009 crises, interest rates in the USA virtually went to zero. In other words, people were willing to accept no interest just to park their cash in a safe place they saw as government assets when they feared even banks would not survive.

The shift in this flight-to-quality attitude is always at the core of capital movement. During a generational Private Wave, investment and speculation become common place. During a Public Wave, private assets are looked upon as risky and the safer bet is to invest and trust government.

So understanding what we are facing right now is critical to our survival. We must understand that forecasting a single market in isolation is asking for disaster. To comprehend the true global implication of how capital moves, we must embrace a global correlation approach. We are headed for BIG volatility come September/October. Reality should start to make its way known going into year-end. So hold on tight. This will be a rough ride. 

Source: Manipulating the World Economy Or Just Understanding How It Really Functions?

In 2012 Predictions of a Mad Tin Foilist we opined that if a collapse of the stock market was to take place in 2012, that it would originate in Europe, with investors fleeing risky assets there to the relative “safety” of none other than the US Dollar – much like they did in 2008. This flight-to-quality will be the driving force behind crashing stocks and commodities (perhaps even gold), as well as potentially devastating losses in the debt markets of Europe and Japan.

The subsequent result of this fleeing of capital from perceived and actual risk will have the effect of strengthening the US dollar, which means a potentially powerful rebound in US Treasuries as investors rush to preserve their wealth in what they believe to be the safest asset available. Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive to rush to safety in the US dollar given the state of affairs in America, but despite the constant criticism from international financial experts we remain the largest economy in the world and just so happen to control the printing presses of the world’s reserve currency.

According to Armstrong, we’re not far off from such an event, and we may very well see it take place this Fall, as uncertainty and panic grips international markets and forces the hand of governments, big banks, and individual investors.

Given his expertise in history, economics, mathematics and cyclical theory, if there is one person who may have a handle on what information to gather, how to analyze it, and what it means, it’s Martin Armstrong. He’s proven it time and again, and it looks as if his alarms are blaring.

As noted above, while panic and capital flight may significantly and negatively impact some asset classes in the very near future, we don’t have to worry about  a total economic doomsday for America just yet. First, all of the money will flow here for safety. But this flight-to-quality will be short-lived, as the ever expanding national debt and government run amok will ultimately lead to a loss of confidence in the US dollar itself.

The scale of this event – this loss in confidence of the reserve currency of the richest nation that has ever existed on Earth – will be unprecedented in human history.

Also Watch: The Oracle – Martin Armstrong (Trailer):

The EPA is now blocking US mining and manufacturing before proposals are even submitted.


The proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska (Yahoo)

The EPA Is Annexing Alaska

The EPA released a scientific study of the Bristol Bay watershed and its natural resources on Friday. The report is an attempt by the EPA to preemptively veto the Pebble Mine in Alaska because it could potentially affect the local water.
The AP reported:

The possible failure of a dam holding waste from a large-scale mine near the headwaters of one of the world’s premier salmon fisheries in Alaska could wipe out or degrade rivers and streams in the region for decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a draft watershed assessment released Friday.

EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran said there was a fairly low risk of that occurring, however, and the more likely impact would be direct loss of habitat from the mining activity itself.

The report responded to concerns about a large copper-and-gold prospect near the headwaters of Bristol Bay. It is a draft, with a final report that could affect permitting decisions perhaps due by the end of the year after public comment and peer review.

Kevin at Wizbang added this on the EPA’s job-killing agenda.

The groundwork they’re laying implies that any building or project that could potentially impact water can be killed by the EPA without the project ever going through the permitting process, and without input from state, local, or other federal agencies. This in itself is a jobs and economy killer.

They want us all in mud huts.

Related… The Pebble Mine, which is not even proposed yet, will require permits from at least 67 state and federal agencies according to the site owners, yet Democrats wants the project spiked before any environmental review is even done.

With the way that things are heading in this country, it is not surprising that there are approximately 3 million preppers in the United States today.  What is surprising is that there are not more people prepping. The economy is rapidly falling to pieces, the national debt is absolutely soaring, the earth is becoming increasingly unstable, a major war could erupt in the Middle East at any time and the fabric of our society is coming apart right in front of our eyes.  We have become incredibly dependent on technology and we have become incredibly dependent on our economic system.  If a major natural disaster, a killer pandemic, an EMP attack or the imposition of martial law caused a significant transportation disruption, America would literally change overnight.  We live during a time of tremendous global instability, and yet most people still see no need to start prepping at all.  Most people just continue to have blind faith in our leaders and in our system.  But what happens if our leaders fail us?  What happens if our system collapses?  What are they going to do then?

The number of preppers in the United States today is steadily increasing, but the vast majority of people out there still see no reason to start getting ready for “the end of the world as we know it”.  Most people just assume that things will always somehow get better or that they will somehow be immune to whatever calamities are heading our way.  Most people always seem to have a “good excuse” for why they do not need to prepare.

The following are the top 50 excuses for not prepping….

1. “The U.S. Economy Is The Greatest Economy On The Planet – There Is No Way That It Could Ever Collapse”

2. “Once Barack Obama Wins The Election Everything Will Be Better”

3. “Once Mitt Romney Wins The Election Everything Will Be Better”

4. “When Things Get Really Bad The Government Will Take Care Of Us”

5. “When Disaster Strikes I Will Just Steal From Everyone Else That Has Been Busy Preparing”

6. “The Rapture Will Be At Any Moment So I Don’t Have To Worry About Prepping”

7. “The Economy Has Always Recovered After Every Recession In The Past And This Time Will Be No Different”

8. “The People That Are Running Things Are Very Highly Educated And They Know Exactly What They Are Doing”

9. “Wal-Mart Will Always Be There”

10. “Our Politicians Are Watching Out For Our Best Interests”

11. “The 2012 Apocalypse Is Almost Here And We Are All Doomed Anyway – So Why Even Try?”

12. “Preppers Do Not Have A Positive Mental Attitude”

13. “If An Economic Collapse Comes I Will Just Go On Welfare”

14. “There Are Some Things You Just Can’t Prepare For”

15. “Prepping Is Too Expensive”

16. “We Are Not Like Other Countries – U.S. Cities Are Designed To Withstand Major Earthquakes”

17. “I Need To Save Up For Retirement Instead”

18. “The Stock Market Has Been Soaring So Why Worry?”

19. “I Don’t Have Room To Store Anything”

20. “Prepping Is For Crazy People”

21. “I Don’t Believe In Conspiracy Theories”

22. “All The Food I Store Is Going To Go Bad”

23. “I Would Rather Spend My Time Watching American Idol”

24. “All The People Who Freaked Out About Y2K Look Really Foolish Now, Don’t They?”

25. “I Don’t Want To Look Like Those Idiots On ‘Doomsday Preppers'”

26. “An EMP Attack Could Never Happen”

27. “There Will Never Be A Nationwide Transportation Disruption In The United States”

28. “Instead Of Being So Paranoid, I Would Rather Just Enjoy Life”

29. “If Society Falls Apart I Wouldn’t Want To Continue To Live Anyway”

30. “There Will Never Be Another World War”

31. “I’m Too Lazy To Grow A Garden”

32. “If You Assume The Worst Is Going To Happen Then You Don’t Believe In America”

33. “Deficits Don’t Matter”

34. “I’ll Always Be Able To Get A Job In My Field”

35. “If There Is A Financial Collapse All Of My Debts Will Be Wiped Out So I Might As Well Live It Up Now”

36. “If Things Hit The Fan I Will Just Go Move In With My Relatives Who Have Been Busy Prepping”

37. “Those That Believe That There Will Be Massive Riots In American Cities Someday Are Just Being Delusional”

38. “My Spouse Would Think That I Have Finally Lost It”

39. “I Don’t Know Where To Start”

40. “I’ll Just Deal With Problems As They Arrive”

41. “I Don’t Have To Prepare For A Natural Disaster – That Is What FEMA Is For”

42. “We’ll Never See Martial Law In The United States”

43. “I Don’t Want To Scare My Children”

44. “Once I Get Rid Of All My Debt Then I Will Start Thinking About Prepping”

45. “My Relatives Already Think That I Am A Nut Job – I Don’t Need To Make It Any Worse”

46. “If People At Work Find Out That I Am Prepping It Could Hurt My Career”

47. “If There Really Was A Good Reason To Prepare They Would Tell Us About It On The News”

48. “People Have Been Predicting Doom And Gloom For Years And It Hasn’t Happened Yet”

49. “The United States Is The Greatest Nation On Earth – There Is No Way That It Could Collapse”

50. “I Don’t Plan On Becoming A Card Carrying Member Of The Tin Foil Hat Brigade”


Ankara security services search bee-eater’s nostrils for Mossad surveillance equipment

Turkish authorities are examining the carcass of a European bee-eater on suspicion that the bird was spying for Israel, Turkish websites and media have reported in the past couple of days.

The story, which hit Israel’s Yediot Ahronoth on Tuesday, has apparently been reported seriously in Turkey — an indication of the dire state of Turkish-Israeli relations, and an apparent readiness to give credibility to even the most outlandish assertions of Israeli iniquity.

Of particular interest to the authorities, the media reports say, were the dead bird’s nostrils, one of which is larger than the other, leading to suspicions that Mossad surveillance equipment was implanted in the beak.

The big-nosed spy-bird saga began when a farmer found the dead Merops Apiaster, or European bee-eater, on his land and alerted authorities after noticing a band inscribed with the word “Israel” on the bird’s leg.

Ornithologist often attach tracking bands to the legs of birds in order to learn about their flight paths and migratory travels.

The Turkish Agriculture Ministry handed over the small corpse to Ankara’s security services for further investigation.

Note: We have received reports, there are Black Crows or Ravens that have been spotted with camera equipment attached to their chests.

There is nothing wrong with being optimistic, but there is something wrong with having blind faith that things are going to get better when all of the evidence is screaming at you that things are going to get worse.  According to a brand new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 71 percent of all Americans consider economic conditions  in the United States to be poor right now, but an astounding 58 percent of them believe that economic conditions in the United States will be good a year from now.  So what can account for this?  Are they insane?  Are they hopelessly optimistic?  Do they not want to believe the facts that are staring them right in the face?  Well, a lot of it probably has to do with the upcoming election.  Most Republicans are convinced that things will be “better” somehow if Romney wins in November.  Most Democrats are convinced that things will “continue to improve” if Obama wins in November.  But the truth is that the economy has been declining steadily in recent years no matter which party has been in power.  Today, the American Dream is out of reach for huge numbers of formerly middle class families.  Millions of jobs continue to leave the United States, poverty is absolutely exploding and our nation is absolutely drowning in debt.  Sadly, nothing is being done to reverse the long-term economic trends that are destroying us.  So, a year from now things are not going to be any better.  In fact, many analysts are absolutely convinced that things are going to be a whole lot worse by then.

For example, just check out the following excerpt from a report that was just released by LEAP/E2020….

Thus, according to LEAP/E2020, the 2012 election year, which opens against the backdrop of economic and social depression, complete paralysis of the federal system (3), strong rejection of the traditional two-party system and a growing questioning of the relevance of the Constitution, inaugurates a crucial period in the history of the United States. Over the next four years, the country will be subjected to political, economic, financial and social upheaval such as it has not known since the end of the Civil War which, by an accident of history, started exactly 150 years ago in 1861. During this period, the US will be simultaneously insolvent and ungovernable, turning that which was the “flagship” of the world in recent decades into a “drunken boat”.

Wow, that paints a far different picture of the future than most Americans are imagining, eh?

The U.S. “will be simultaneously insolvent and ungovernable”?

That doesn’t sound very optimistic.

Gerald Celente, the head of the Trends Research Institute, is also very pessimistic about the rest of 2012.  Just consider the following quotes from a recent USA Today article….

“2012 is when many of the long-simmering socioeconomic and political trends that we have been forecasting and tracking will climax,” Celente noted in his Top 12 Trends 2012 newsletter. In an interview he added: “When money stops flowing to the man on the street, blood starts flowing in the street.”

So who is right and who is wrong?

Only time will tell.

But I think it will be very interesting to pull this article back up a year from now.

At the moment, things do not look promising for the U.S. economy….

-The percentage of Americans planning to buy a home within the next six months continues to hover near a record low.

-The U.S. trade deficit with China continues to get even larger.

-Jobs for blue collar workers continue to disappear.  In 1962, 28 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  In 2011, only 9 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  Overall, America has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

-There are not nearly enough white collar jobs for the hordes of fresh college graduates entering the marketplace.  At this point, 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.

-The percentage of working age Americans that are employed continues to go down.  The following are the figures for the past three months….

February 2012: 58.6%

March 2012: 58.5%

April 2012: 58.4%

-Due to the lack of jobs, the middle class in the United States continues to shrink rapidly.

-A shocking number of Americans cannot even pay their bills at this point.  According to one recent survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time right now.

-Incomes for middle class families continue to shrink.  After adjusting for inflation, median household income in America has declined by 7.8 percent since December 2007.

-Meanwhile, the prices of the things we all buy month after month continue to go up.  In fact, if inflation was measured the exact same way that it was back in 1980, the annual rate of inflation would be more than 10 percent right now.

-Millions of American families are experiencing a massive amount of pain at the pump.  Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the price of gasoline has risen by more than 100 percent.

-As the middle class shrinks, the number of Americans on welfare continues to explode.  Back in November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, more than 46 million Americans are on food stamps.

-But this is not just a short-term trend.  The truth is that dependence on the federal government has been rising for decades.  But in recent years it has accelerated dramatically.  In a previous article, I detailed the incredible growth of social welfare benefits that we have seen under both Republicans and Democrats….

Back in 1960, social welfare benefits made up approximately 10 percent of all salaries and wages.  In the year 2000, social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages.  Today, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages.

-The federal government is propping up the economy with unprecedented amounts of government debt.  Sadly, the U.S. national debt has risen by more than 5 trillion dollars since the day that Barack Obama first took office.  In a little more than 3 years Obama has added more to the national debt than the first 41 presidents combined.

-In many ways, the U.S. is already in worse shape than Europe is.  At this point, the United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

So remind me again why things are going to get better?

The only reason why the economy has not collapsed already is because of unprecedented borrowing by the federal government and unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve.  But those emergency measures cannot last indefinitely.

So it is absolutely insane to expect economic conditions in the United States to improve.

The truth is that they are a lot better right now than they should be.  Once the federal government quits injecting more than a trillion borrowed dollars into the economy every single year things are going to look a lot different.

Instead of preparing for things to get better, the American people should be preparing for things to get worse.

So what do you think?

Do you think that economic conditions will be better a year from now or worse?

Thai police show the remains of six foetuses wrapped in gold leaf
REUTERS

A British citizen in Bangkok has been arrested after Thai police found six roasted human foetuses packed in his luggage.

Chow Hok Kuen, who is 28 and of Taiwanese origin, was held by police after the grisly discovery was made in Bangkok’s Chinatown district yesterday.

Reports says the six foetuses had been covered in gold leaf after being roasted as part of a black magic ritual.

It is not clear where the bodies came from, but Chow Hok Kuen is believed to have been attempting to smuggle them into Taiwan.

The bodies were reportedly found in a different hotel from the one Chow Hok Kuen was staying at, but were in his luggage.

Police made the arrest after responding to information they’d received saying that infant corpses were being offered to wealthy clients via a black magic services website.

“The bodies are of children between the ages of two and seven months. Some were found covered in gold leaf,” Wiwat Kumchumnan, sub-division chief of the police’s Children and Women Protection unit, said.

For being in possession of the foetuses Chow Hok Kuen could now face a 2,000 baht fine and a year in prison.

It is thought the corpses were bought from a Taiwanese national for 200,000 baht ($6,40 but could have been sold for six times that amount in Taiwan.