Posts Tagged ‘wake up!’

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The Real 2012 Doomsday: U.S. Falls To Tyranny

UPI
Police release tear gas while blocking the way to City Hall where the Occupy Oakland encampment was dismantled and protesters dispersed, in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 25.

The past year has been a bad one for democracy, and the Republic that once was the United States seems to live in name only. Because of the extreme abuses of power the Federal government has exercised just in the past year, the people of the Nation have been broken, discouraged and must now only be controlled.

A recent report in the state-run Russia Today cites an instructional military book, Non-Lethal Weapons Reference Book (leaked by PublicIntelligence.net) to outline the coming “high-tech crackdown” that may soon befall citizens of the United States deemed unruly.

If you have ever seen a farmer persuade his livestock to bend to his will with less-than-lethal methods such as cattle prods, whips and electric fences, you know how incredibly persuasive they can be to the animals. The U.S.
government also knows a thing or two about controlling groups; unfortunately, the target isn’t unruly livestock, but U.S. citizens.

The report references one device that has already made a military debut in Afghanistan and that will likely become commonplace for domestic crowd control as law enforcement agencies throughout the country become increasingly militarized. The Active Denial System, which is described as a “long range, directed energy, vehicle mounted system that projects an invisible electromagnetic millimeter-wave energy beam beyond small arms range,” can be used as a non-lethal way to create extreme discomfort and quell group dissent.

Other military implements that may soon see use within U.S. borders include Acoustic Hailing Devices that provide “scalable, directional warning tones” causing “auditory damage” and the Distributed Sound and Light Array which “uses a combined laser, non-coherent light, and acoustics to produce a synergistic engagement system.” Other systems can completely disable motor vehicles and emit acoustic waves that make it impossible for crowds to shout without discomfort and nausea.

While many Americans deny that the U.S. government will ever use such weapons on a widespread basis against dissenters, recent developments in the country appear to indicate otherwise. The crackdowns on OWS camps carried out by police in riot/military gear, armed with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, indicate that when large masses of people cry out, no matter what the political agenda, they will be quieted by local, State and/or Federal officials.

Before the crackdowns on the OWS camps, the Federal government demonstrated its willingness to bypass the judiciary system anytime an individual poses a threat to its agenda. In September, the Administration of Barack Obama executed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in the mountains of Yemen with a drone strike. Though he often spoke on behalf of al-Qaida, it could be reasonably assumed that al-Awlaki’s citizenship status gave him the right to trial before execution. The Administration disagrees: Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson said of the execution that only the executive branch, not the courts, is equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.

Johnson’s statement would be less alarming if the Administration — with the help of hawkish neoconservatives like Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) — had not recently passed a military spending bill with provisions that effectively designate American soil a battlefield and every American a possible enemy. The bill gives the President the ability to indefinitely detain terror suspects, but this comes at a time when the lines of what constitutes “terror” are becoming increasingly blurry. The Federal government is currently in active negotiations with members of the Taliban, and Obama has made it clear that anyone who rejects his agenda is considered a “right-wing domestic terrorist.”

How long will it take for Federal government to decide it necessary to carry out al-Awlaki style executions on those deemed “domestic terrorists” as they sit in their homes in the United States? With the increasing use of military drones in U.S. airspace, the idea is not so far-fetched. The same Federal agencies that carried out fatally-flawed operations like those in Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in the 1990s now have aerial drones and a license to kill in the name of Homeland Security. Some people may think that the agencies have refined their methods since those days; others have been following news about Operation Fast and Furious, the most recent endeavor by the Department of Justice, and know better.

Those people who do not believe the Federal government is out to harm them by breaking their will, dehumanizing them and bending them to be the subservient masses that will keep it afloat should simply take a flight. If being prodded, poked and virtually stripped naked by poorly trained agents of the Transportation Security Administration is not bad enough, how about having very personal belongings fondled, food stolen and grandmothers groped by the TSA? All are tactics of dehumanization to create subservient masses, and all are things that happened to American travelers last year.

Aside from quashing unruly masses and making problems disappear, the Federal government wants to keep tabs on the information being put out by journalists and bloggers throughout the Nation with a new Homeland Security initiative. According to Russia Today, in a new report, the Department reserves the right to collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”

And while Homeland Security is busy putting together a plan to rid the country of any bad press, Congress has been working to sanitize the Internet. Pending legislation like SOPA and the Protect IP Act will effectively give American citizens about as much online freedom as citizens of China.

Some Americans may think that if they are not in the public eye, don’t regularly protest and are not members of al-Qaida, they are not subject to government intrusion. But a recent decision by Magistrate Judge David Noce in United States v. Robinson says that as long as you park your vehicle in public parking lots or use public roadways, law enforcement has the ability to install a GPS tracking device with no warrant to log where you travel if they believe you “may be involved in criminal activities.”

When the First Congress enacted the original Crimes Act in 1790, with only 17 recognized Federal crimes, it may have been reasonable to assume that as long as a person was a law-abiding citizen, he was not at risk of intrusion. Today, though, there are more than 4,500 Federal crimes — and many are so obscure that they are nearly indecipherable. In addition to the 4,500 Federal crimes, there are tens of thousands of Federal regulations. Many people commit criminal acts daily without even knowing they are doing so.

Last year was a very busy one for all of those interested in ending American life as it is and has been known. The United States that was a Republic has already collapsed and has very quietly become a totalitarian regime, complete with a dictator named Obama and a Congress that bends to his will and continually legislates in such a way that would make any totalitarian regime proud. Together they have done everything in their power to undermine the Constitution and name themselves as the all-powerful ruling class. And with the undoing of the ideas of the Founders and the ruination of but a few more checks and balances, they will effectively claim their supremacy.

So what have Americans lost and why does the ruling class have to do away with the Constitution and the rights it gives to every American citizen? It is explained by James Madison, who contended that there was no way American lawmakers could declare themselves a ruling class under the provisions of the Constitution, in the 57th volume of the Federalist Papers:

If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America — a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.

Those who are working so hard to claim themselves a ruling class know that their goal cannot be achieved if there is such a thing as a population that holds dear its “vigilant and manly spirit.” And they know how to slowly break that spirit without alarm by dehumanizing populations — luring people into accepting tyrannical rule in the guise of laws claimed to exist for public safety, homeland security or the better good of humanity. Unlike Madison, they always leave out words like freedom and never discuss the great threats government poses to the people, but contrarily advise vigilance to combat the people’s threat to the government.

Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has been warning the public of many of these frightening developments for more than 35 years. Now, as he vies for the Nation’s highest office, many of his predictions have come true. Maybe it is time Americans listened to the “kook,” because those things he said would happen — predictions Americans once considered to be crazy and far-fetched — are now reality. He may be the Nation’s last hope to a path back to some semblance of the Constitutional Republic created by the Founders.

  • Youngsters abandoned as parents struggle
  • 4-year-old found clutching note: ‘I can’t afford her’
  • Country also running out of medicine
  • Aspirin stocks low as austerity measures bite

Children are being abandoned on Greece’s streets by their poverty-stricken families who cannot afford to look after them any more.

Youngsters are being dumped by their parents who are struggling to make ends meet in what is fast becoming the most tragic human consequence of the Euro crisis.

It comes as pharmacists revealed the country had almost run out of aspirin, as multi-billion euro austerity measures filter their way through society.

Abandoned: Children are being dumped on Greece's streets by their poverty-stricken families who cannot afford to look after them any more (file picture)Abandoned: Children are being dumped on Greece’s streets by their poverty-stricken families who cannot afford to look after them any more (file picture)

Athens’ Ark of the World youth centre said four children, including a newborn baby, had been left on its doorstep in recent months.

One mother, it said, ran away after handing over her two-year-old daughter Natasha.

Four-year-old Anna was found by a teacher clutching a note that read: ‘I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her. Please take good care of her. Sorry.’

And another desperate mother, Maria, was forced to give up her eight-year-old daughter Anastasia after losing her job.

She looked for work for more than a  year, having to leave her child at home for hours at a time, and lived off food handouts from the local church.

She said: ‘Every night I cry alone at home, but what can I do? It hurt my heart, but I didn’t have a choice.’ She now works in a cafe but only make £16 per day and so cannot afford to take her daughter back.

Sold out: Greece is quickly running out of medicines as austerity measures start to filter through societySold out: Greece is quickly running out of medicines as austerity measures start to filter through society

Centre founder Fr Antonios Papanikolaou told the Mirror: ‘Over the last year we’ve had hundreds of parents who want to leave their children with us. They know us and trust us.

‘Over the last year we’ve had hundreds of parents who want to leave their children with us. They know us and trust us.’

– Fr Antonios Papanikolaou

‘They say they do not have any money or shelter or food for their kids, so they hope we might be able to provide them with what they need.’

Further evidence of Greeks feeling the pinch of austerity measures is the lack of aspirin and other medicines now available in the country.

Pharmacists are struggling to stock their shelves as the Greek government, which sets the prices for drugs, keeps them artificially low.

This means that firms are turning to sell the drugs outside of the country for a higher price – leading to stock depletion for Greeks.

Mina Mavrou, who runs one of the country’s 12,000 pharmacies, said she spent hours each day pleading with drug makers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients.

And she said that even when drugs were available, pharmacists often must foot the bill up front, or patients simply do without.

Meanwhile, talks about private sector creditors paying for part of a second Greek bailout are going badly, senior European bankers said tonight.

That raises the prospect that euro zone governments will have to increase their contribution to the aid package.

‘Governments are mulling an increase of their share of the burden,’ said one banker, while another said ‘Nothing is decided yet, but the bigger the imposed haircut the less appetite there is for voluntary conversion.’

A third senior banker told Associated Press: ‘Private sector involvement is going badly.’

There are suggestions in euro zone government circles that ministers are coming to the realisation they may need to bolster Greece’s planned second bailout worth 130 billion euros if the voluntary bond swap scheme, which is a key part of the overall package, falls short of expectations.

Stumping up yet more money would be politically difficult in Germany and other countries in the northern part of the currency bloc.

By Mac Slavo

SHTFPlan.com

When a nation goes into economic crisis the paradigm to which its people have become accustomed begins to deteriorate. Access to critical supplies becomes difficult, sometimes immediately. In the case of Greece, which has been dealing with a loss of confidence in its debt instruments and economic policy, the collapse of life as Greeks know it has taken place over the last several years.

While we have been fortunate enough to avoid as severe a calamity here in the United States, many of the forecasts put forth by ourselves and others regarding the effects of an economic collapse are already taking place in Europe, namely Greece. In the midst of the Greek panic in 2010, for example, as Greece’s meltdown was in full swing and the people scrambled to get out of paper currencies, the price of gold, which was trading for around $1100 an ounce in the global commodity exchange marketplace, soared to over $1700 an ounce on the streets of Greece. In recent months, as Greece implements austerity measures and the unemployment rate sky rockets, its people have lost the ability to engage in traditional commerce because, simply put, they have no tangible income or money to do so. As a result, we’ve begun seeing a barter society emerge  all over the country, making it possible for some people to directly exchange labor for consumptive goods and service.

When things get bad – and they will – the most essential items necessary for survival will disappear first. As currencies collapse, financial market destabilize and economies come to a standstill, critical supplies like food and medicine will become difficult to acquire at any price. This is exactly what is now taking place in Greece, where access to life-saving drugs and even common over-the-counter medicines like aspirin is becoming a tragedy where the losses will be measured not in Dollars or Euros, but lives.

For patients and pharmacists in financially stricken Greece, even finding aspirin has turned into a headache.

Mina Mavrou, who runs a pharmacy in a middle-class Athens suburb, spends hours each day pleading with drugmakers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients. Life-saving drugs such as Sanofi (SAN)’s blood-thinner Clexane and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s asthma inhaler Flixotide often appear as lines of crimson data on pharmacists’ computer screens, meaning the products aren’t in stock or that pharmacists can’t order as many units as they need.

“When we see red, we want to cry,” Mavrou said. “The situation is worsening day by day.

The 12,000 pharmacies that dot almost every street corner in Greek cities are the damaged capillaries of a complex system for getting treatment to patients. The Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists reports shortages of almost half the country’s 500 most-used medicines.

“It would be unrealistic to deny that there are many difficulties regarding all public services due to the financial crisis,” Nicolaos Polyzos, secretary general of the Ministry of Health, wrote in a response to McKee’s article posted on the ministry’s website.

The reasons for the shortages are complex. One major cause is the Greek government, which sets prices for medicines. As part of an effort to cut its own costs, Greece has mandated lower drug prices in the past year. That has fed a secondary market, drug manufacturers contend, as wholesalers sell their shipments outside the country at higher prices than they can get within Greece.

Strained government finances only make matters worse. Wholesalers and pharmacists say the system suffers from a lack of liquidity, as public insurers delay payments to pharmacies, which in turn can’t pay suppliers on time.

Source: Bloomberg

This is what happens when a country’s economy falls apart.  In a report from 2010, economist John Williams warned that a hyperinflationary environment in the US would not only cause food disruptions, but also disrupt the regular flow of commerce. And, while Greece may not specifically be experiencing a hyperinflationary environment (yet), an economic collapse resulting from a debt crisis has similar consequences as evidenced above.

But such a thing couldn’t happen in the United States, right? As we approach yet another debt ceiling this month, requiring some $1 trillion dollars just to keep the system from seizing up like an engine that has run out of oil, our elected officials and leading economic decision makers will ensure we avoid such an outcome.

Or will they?

How willing are you to trust the health of your family to the very individuals and corporations who are responsible for causing the crisis in the first place?

Like Greece, we will see a continued deterioration of basic services here at home. We may be able to print trillions upon trillions of dollars, but eventually those dollars will become worthless and no one will accept them as a trusted currency. This means that all of the food we import from other countries, the drugs we buy from pharmaceutical companies, and the oil we buy from the middle east, will become difficult, if not impossible, to acquire.

Now is the time to get prepared. Food, of course, is one of the first essential preparedness items to stockpile. But how many have given thought to life saving medications? If you have someone with a medical condition in your family, how will you gain access to that medicine when it’s no longer available at your local pharmacy. We recommend taking steps immediately to secure at least a 3 – 6 month supply of the drugs you or your family members need to survive (and to consider proper off-grid storage methods for those requiring refrigeration). Additionally, we strongly encourage you to consider adding Antibiotics for SHTF Planning to your stockpiles, because if things get so bad that you are unable to find medicines like penicillin or cipro at a local pharmacy, you can be assured that no one on the street will be willing to sell them – at any price.

Washington Post


The mushroom cloud of the first test of a hydrogen bomb, “Ivy Mike,” as photographed on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, in 1952. (U.S. Air Force via Reuters) By at least one measure, the world just got that much closer to apocalypse.

The Doomsday Clock, a figurative timepiece used as a barometer of humankind’s fate, was moved one minute closer to midnight on Tuesday, the first time it has been nudged forward since 2007. It is now 11:55, five minutes before the appointed hour.

The re-setting of the clock has become something of a gimmick in recent years, carried out by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group established to raise awareness about the perils of nuclear weaponry, and aimed at warning the public about various catastrophic dangers.

But the process involved in deciding the time is a deeply serious one, overseen by a venerable board of scientists, Nobel laureates and others and concluded with a symposium in Washington. The setting of the clock is no longer based only on the proliferation of nuclear arms, but also on threats such as climate change and biological weaponry.

In moving the clock ahead on Tuesday, the BAS cited the failure of world leaders to achieve significant progress on the reduction of nuclear weapons and in developing a comprehensive response to climate change. Just two years ago, following global talks on climate change in Copenhagen and international pledges to reduce nuclear stockpiles, the BAS moved the clock backward by a minute.

“Faced with clear and present dangers of nuclear proliferation and climate change, and the need to find sustainable and safe sources of energy, world leads are failing to change business as usual,” said Lawrence Krauss, co-chairman of the group’s board of sponsors.

“As we see it,” Krauss said, “the major challenge at the heart of humanity’s survival in the 21st century is how to meet energy needs for economic growth in developing and industrial countries without further damaging the climate … and without risking further spread of nuclear weapons — and in fact setting the stage for global reductions.”

Since being unveiled in 1947, the clock has been reset 20 times. It came closest to doomsday in 1953, when the start of the nuclear arms race pushed its hand to two minutes to midnight, and moved the farthest away in 1991, when the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by the United States and the Soviet Union gave the world 17 minutes until midnight.

Despite the passage of various nonproliferation treaties, including the New START treaty under the Obama administration, the United States and Russia remain the chief reasons for concern when it comes to nuclear weaponry, according to Kennette Benedict, the BAS’s executive director. The United States and other major powers have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. There has also been little progress on a treaty that would prohibit further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

“Overall, there’s just really no new thinking,” Benedict said.

BAS said not all news was bad over the past year. The group’s members say they were heartened by the Arab Spring, the Occupy movements and political protest in Russia.

Those developments, said Benedict, “indicated that people are waking up, and want to have a say in their future.”

by James Lyons, Daily Mirror
Marbella, Andalusia, Spain (pic: Getty)Marbella, Andalusia, Spain (pic: Getty)

EMERGENCY evacuation plans for Brits living in Spain and Portugal are being drawn up amid fears of the euro collapsing.

The drastic proposals emerged as a former Security Minister warned expats could be left stranded and destitute by the break-up of the single currency.

Brits who invested their savings in their adopted countries may not be able to withdraw cash and could even lose their homes if banks call in loans, worried ministers are warning.

The Foreign Office is preparing to bring them back from Spain and Portugal if the two countries are forced out of the euro, triggering a banking collapse.

A million Brits live in Spain and 50,000 in neighbouring Portugal – plus a million in the other eurozone countries.

And Baroness Neville-Jones, who only stepped down as a minister in May, called the situation “very, very worrying”.

The Tory peer – who once chaired the Joint Intelligence Committee for MI5, MI6 and other security agencies – said: “Spain is clearly a vulnerable area. If that happens, one of the things that will happen in a crash of that kind, is that the banks would close their doors. You would find that there are people there, including our own citizens, a lot of them, who couldn’t get money out to live on. So you would have a destitution problem.”

Brits living in Europe Map

British planes, ships and coaches could be sent to pluck our citizens from debt-ridden Spain and Portugal

Commenting on the evacuation plans, she added: “I think they are right to be doing that. I think this is a real contingency that they need to plan against – very, very worrying.”

Officials are braced for a nightmare scenario where thousands end up penniless and sleeping at airports with no means of getting home. Planes, ships and coaches could be sent, with some expats being brought out through Gibraltar.

The Foreign Office could offer small loans while piling pressure on the banks to give Brits access to their funds.

Spanish and Portuguese banks guarantee the first 100,000 euros deposited by savers but many put limits on withdrawals in a crisis.

A powerful credit rating agency downgraded 10 Spanish banks last week, while another warned over the weekend the debt crisis was threatening to spiral out of control.

Boris Johnson at the announcement of Venue for 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships (Pic: Getty Images)

Boris Johnson

Top Tory Boris Johnson yesterday became the first senior politician to predict the eurozone will break up.

The bungling London Mayor even joked about Greece being forced out, which would threaten a credit crunch.

“Ouzo will be substantially cheaper,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

He claimed letting the single currency collapse might be the best thing for Europe – but Deputy PM Nick Clegg warned it would end up hurting Britain.

Nick Clegg arrives for a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London (Pic:Getty)

Nick Clegg

The Lib Dem leader said: “I hear a lot of people sort of breezily predicting almost with a sense of glee that the eurozone is going to fall apart. I don’t think witnessing the break-up of the currency block in our European backyard would do us any good at all.”

Expat Doreen Peplow keeps most of her money in a British bank account

Doreen Peplow, 68, who lives between Marbella and Fuengirola, says: “I am worldly wise enough to have made sure I have kept most of my money in my British bank account.

“Until now I have been getting my pension paid directly into a Spanish account. I might change that now.

“I cannot imagine there will be an evacuation; people retired to Spain and Portugal before Britain entered the Common Market and they managed.

“I have lived here 15 years. I don’t want to go back to Britain as the weather is dismal and it is overcrowded.

“But if it comes to it I am prepared to sell up and buy myself a retirement property near my son in Dorset.

By: Mac Slavo

SHTFPlan.com

Before the economic crisis of 2008 there were few who considered the possibility of The End of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). We were aware of the threats posed by natural disasters – Tsunamis in Asia, earthquakes along the western Americas, and hurricanes in the Gulf. But the notion that the very system in which we live is susceptible to a man-made shock so powerful that it could wipe out the very infrastructure that keeps us alive was an outlier so far removed from our daily reality that it was reserved for Hollywood scripts and obscure conspiracy web sites.

But the possibility of a system collapse so severe that it could cripple our and monetary systems, food distribution networks, and emergency response services is now becoming a real concern for people all over the world.

The warning by economists that Britain is just ‘nine meals from anarchy’ is brutally borne out. Unlike last summer, the rioters on the streets aren’t looking for trainers and flat-screen TVs — just food.

An absurd fantasy? Perhaps so, but in an increasingly uncertain world, such a scenario can no longer be dismissed out of hand. And strange as it may seem, it’s one that many believe is worth preparing for.

Across the country, steps are being taken to cope with such a situation. But not by central or local government. Their contingency planning for such an emergency is focused on the most important and most vulnerable in society.

Instead it is ordinary people who are taking action: stockpiling their larders with non-perishable food, buying water-purifying pumps and camping stoves.

While five years ago such behaviour might have been dismissed as  the activities of ‘end-of-the-world’ eccentrics, those doing so today are professionals from every walk of life.

Source: Daily Mail

In many cases it’s the people working directly within the large financial and governmental institutions that are most attune to what’s happening now – and what could happen in the very near future – and they aren’t taking any chances:

‘It is not “crazies” buying this,’  says James Blake, whose company Emergency Food Storage specialises in freeze-dried foods. ‘We get a lot of high-powered business people as customers. Most people buy insurance for their health, their house or their life — this is food insurance.

‘Of course, we hope it never happens, but if there is a major catastrophe, then money is not going to be worth much after a couple of days. It will be food that becomes the most needed thing.’

Dave Hannah and his company B-Prep sell similar products. He says a number of his customers are bankers. Their average spend is £3,000.

‘It makes you think: “What do they know?” ’ says Hannah. ‘When we’ve talked on the phone, they’ve told me: “This whole thing is going to go down.”

As the world fell deeper into crisis and more information, namely from alternative media, began to emerge about the fragility of the existing financial, economic, monetary and social paradigms, more Americans and citizens of other nations came to the realization that perhaps not everything was as under control as it has been made out to be. When the financial system collapsed in late 2008 it wiped out trillions of dollars in wealth and turned once successful middle class laborers into poverty stricken recipients of emergency services. Governments around the world, led by the monetary policy of the United States, responded by attempting to infuse trillions of dollars of new debt into an already debt-laden and over-leveraged system, with Congressional members reportedly being threatened with the real possibility of martial law in the streets of America unless they took action.

The unprecedented government intervention on a massive global scale was not enough. As it stands now, the banks of Europe are set to fall, just as they did in the 1930′s. The United States, far removed from the creditor status it held during the Great Depression, is the largest debtor in human history. It’s creditor, China, is an up and coming economic giant who has made known, on numerous occasions, that it would like nothing more than to see an end to US dollar’s dominance as the world’s reserve currency and America’s military and economic might weakened. Tensions amid nuclear allegations in the middle east are heating up with Iran, while influential countries in the region like Egypt and Syria are progressively being destabilized on a daily basis.

The world, for those paying attention, is on the brink of a major paradigm shift. And many have come to the conclusion that government really has no way of mitigating the fundamental problems we face. Many believe that the problems we face today are worse than the crisis that took hold in 2008. If there was a possibility that tanks would be needed in the streets then, how bad could it get now? Would our governments be able to deal with mass riots in multiple major cities, or a hyperinflationary collapse of the US dollar, or the downing of our electrical infrastructure resulting from a cyber attack or electric magnetic pulse weapon?

If Hurricane Katrina was any guide, then the answer is no. Katrina left tens of thousands without food, potable water, medical care or law enforcement response for a week – and that was a disaster isolated to a single metropolitan area. The issue is one of scale and resources, and as we wrote in 2009 in The Rise of the Preppers, local, state and federal government emergency responders would simply be overwhelmed if an emergency happened on a multi-state or national level:

Don’t get us wrong, emergency responders like police, fire and medical teams do their very best in the situations described above, but when you’re dealing with millions of unprepared people whose only thought at the time is to survive and “get out,” the situation can detiorate quite rapidly. Preppers understand this, and have not just reserve food, water and fuel, but secondary and tertiary evacuation routes, multiple “bug-out” destinations where they can go if something happens, and are mentally, physically and psychologicaly prepared to handle the stress.

It is, as was mentioned above, simply a form of insurance to prepare supplies like food, water, cooking materials, flashlights and the means to defend yourself when the rule of law breaks down:

‘We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I’m not totally pessimistic and I do have faith in the Government, but I have more faith in my store cupboard. I know we’ll have food in times of trouble.’

A wise precaution or an over- reaction? Either way, in recent years, a series of events have served to highlight the fragility of the infrastructure of developed First World countries in the 21st century.

Source: Daily Mail

Crazy or not, it’s clear that the prepper phenomenon is not limited to the fringe corners of the internet or backwoods survivalist. People from all walks are storing long-term emergency foods, barterable supplies to use in lieu of money and learning skills that will be useful in a post-collapse world.

At all boils down to this: Are you willing to entrust your life and the lives of your loved ones to government officials who will have their own families to worry about?

http://endoftheamericandream.com

Are we on the verge of another Great Depression?  Christian Lagarde, the head of the IMF, said this week that if dramatic action is not taken immediately we could actually see conditions “reminiscent of the 1930s depression” and that no country on earth “will be immune to the crisis”.  Right now, financial panic is sweeping across Europe, but most Americans are not too concerned about it because they simply don’t understand how important the EU is.  The truth is that the EU has a much larger population than the United States does.  The EU has an economy that is nearly as large as the economies of the United States and China combined.  The EU has more Fortune 500 companies that the United States does, and the banking system of Europe is substantially larger than the banking system of the United States.  Anyone out there that believes that a massive financial collapse in Europe would not dramatically affect the rest of the globe is being delusional.  The European debt crisis is one of the biggest stories that we have seen in a long, long time and the coming financial meltdown is going to permanently change the global economy.

So far, politicians in Europe have held 19 high-level emergency meetings in an attempt to solve this crisis.

All of their efforts have failed.

Right now, this is the situation in Europe….

-Most EU governments are drowning in toxic levels of debt

-Bond yields have risen dramatically this year and this has caused borrowing costs for most EU members to soar

-In an attempt to get debt under control, governments all over Europe are implementing brutal austerity measures and this is causing European economies to slow down substantially

-There is a tremendous lack of confidence in the European financial system at this point and this is causing a massive credit crunch

-The credit crunch is causing the money supply to drop significantly in almost every nation in the EU

-Major banks all over Europe are massively overleveraged and are on the verge of failing

This is all so similar to what we saw back during the early 1930s.

In fact, things have gotten so bad that prominent world leaders are now using apocalyptic language when describing the situation in Europe.

Just check out what the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, recently said about Europe.  Speaking at a State Department conference in Washington D.C. this week, Lagarde made the following very shocking statements….

*“The world economic outlook at the moment is not particularly rosy. It is quite gloomy”

*“There is no economy in the world, whether low-income countries, emerging markets, middle-income countries or super-advanced economies that will be immune to the crisis that we see not only unfolding but escalating”

*“It is not a crisis that will be resolved by one group of countries taking action. It is going to be hopefully resolved by all countries, all regions, all categories of countries actually taking action.”

*“No country or region is immune. All must take action to boost growth. Work must start in the eurozone countries and must continue relentlessly. The risks of inaction include protectionism, isolation and other elements reminiscent of the 1930s depression.”

*“This is exactly the description of what happened in the 1930s, and what followed is not something we are looking forward to.”

But didn’t the politicians in Europe recently reach a deal which was supposed to fix all this?

Well, unfortunately the deal basically did nothing to fix the underlying financial problems that Europe is facing.

In fact, global financial markets seem entirely unimpressed by this recent deal.  A recent article by Professor Peter Morici detailed some of the problems with the deal….

Investors are rejecting the euro deal, because the agreement does not effectively meet the funding needs of Italy and other Mediterranean governments, address the weak balance sheets of European commercial banks, or fix the underlying structural flaws in the euro architecture.

The €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility is providing short-term funding—guaranteed by 17 Eurozone member states as a whole—to tide over the more troubled governments.

However, those bailouts impose huge cuts in spending and tax increases. Coupled with austerity plans also adopted by France and other healthier European states, those packages are pushing Europe into a recession that could last several years.

What is even worse is that there are signs that this recent deal is already unraveling.  Some EU nations have decided that they are not sure that they want to go along with the program.

The following comes from a recent article in the Telegraph….

Amid fresh warnings that Europe is triggering a 1930s-style global depression, the German chancellor faced open rebellion against the key plank of her Brussels accord. The leaders of Hungary and the Czech Republic told a joint conference in Budapest they were ready to reject the planned treaty changes and implied move towards a centralised tax system. Czech prime minister Petr Necas said he was “convinced that tax harmonisation would not mean anything good for us”.

In Poland, we are actually seeing people march in the streets to protest against this new agreement….

Poles marched under banners that read: “We want sovereignty, not the euro.” They were protesting against the Brussels deal that could see EU countries, including those outside the eurozone, face penalties for breaking tough centralised spending laws.

So not only does this new deal not address the fundamental problems that Europe is facing, there is also a tremendous amount of doubt about whether or not it will eventually be approved.

Meanwhile, the brutal austerity measures that are being implemented all over Europe are pushing many EU nations into recession.

The EU (led by Germany and France) and the IMF have been pushing financially troubled nations all over Europe to make incredibly deep budget cuts.  But these very deep budget cuts have had a devastating economic impact.

In a recent article, I discussed how brutal austerity measures have already pushed the economy of Greece into a full-blown depression….

Just look at what happened to Greece.  Greece was forced to raise taxes and implement brutal austerity measures.  That caused the economy to slow down and tax revenues to decline and so government debt figures did not improve as much as anticipated.  So Greece was forced to implement even more brutal austerity measures.  Well, that caused the economy to slow down even more and tax revenues declined again.  In Greece this cycle has been repeated several times and now Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression.  100,000 businesses have closed and a third of the population is living in poverty.  But now Germany and France intend to impose the “Greek solution” on the rest of Europe.

Right now, the flow of government money is drying up all over Europe and so is the flow of money from the banks.  European banks are shrinking their balance sheets and have dramatically cut back on lending in order to meet new capital requirements that are being imposed upon them.

All of this has created an environment where there is not much credit flowing in Europe at all.  When there is a credit crunch of this magnitude, it causes the money supply to start to shrink.  This is already happening all over Europe as a recent article in the Telegraph noted….

All key measures of the money supply in the eurozone contracted in October with drastic falls across parts of southern Europe, raising the risk of severe recession over coming months.

Right now, we are seeing the money supply in each of the “PIIGS” nations fall at a staggering rate.  The following comes from the same Telegraph article referenced above….

Simon Ward from Henderson Global Investors said “narrow” M1 money – which includes cash and overnight deposits, and signals short-term spending plans – shows an alarming split between North and South.

While real M1 deposits are still holding up in the German bloc, the rate of fall over the last six months (annualised) has been 20.7pc in Greece, 16.3pc in Portugal, 11.8pc in Ireland, and 8.1pc in Spain, and 6.7pc in Italy. The pace of decline in Italy has been accelerating, partly due to capital flight. “This rate of contraction is greater than in early 2008 and implies an even deeper recession, both for Italy and the whole periphery,” said Mr Ward.

Those numbers scream “Recession, Recession, Recession“.

There may be one glimmer of hope on the horizon.  The Federal Reserve has been lending huge amounts of money to the European Central Bank and the European Central Bank has been lending that money out to European banks.  In turn, the European banks have been using much of that money to buy up European government bonds.  It is a massive Ponzi scheme, but it has stabilized bond yields in Europe for now.  This scheme was described in a recent article by Simone Foxman….

That’s because the European Central Bank may have already introduced roundabout measures that will solve some of Europe’s big problems—it’s making investing in peripheral sovereign debt a huge profit opportunity for banks.

Theoretically, financial institutions will be able coin money by borrowing ultra-cheap from the ECB and buying higher yielding sovereign debt.

Essentially, it appears the ECB might allow European banks to pledge everything but the kitchen sink in return for funds. First, the new policy allows European banks to hold far fewer assets as collateral in exchange for funding from the ECB—freeing up liquidity to the tune of €103 billion ($134 billion). More importantly, relaxing collateral restrictions could also allow European banks to use even somewhat risky sovereign assets as collateral for bond purchases.

But this Ponzi scheme cannot go on indefinitely.  A lot of European banks are already starting to run out of collateral for these loans as one Australian news source recently explained….

“If anyone thinks things are getting better, they simply don’t understand how severe the problems are,” a London executive at a global bank said. “A major bank could fail within weeks.”

Others said many continental banks, including French, Italian and Spanish lenders, were close to running out of the acceptable forms of collateral, such as US Treasury bonds, that could be used to finance short-term loans.

Some have been forced to lend out their gold reserves to maintain access to US dollar funding.

So will the European Central Bank keep lending them money once they are out of collateral?

If they do, the ECB itself could potentially be in a great deal of danger.

The truth is that the ECB is already playing with fire.  So far, the European Central Bank has spent over 274 billion dollars buying up European government bonds in an attempt to keep bond yields down.

How many toxic assets can the ECB buy up before they get into real trouble?

That is a very interesting question.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is becoming increasingly concerned about the financial panic that is sweeping Europe.

For example, Australian banks have been given one week to perform a stress test that evaluates their ability to survive in the event of a European financial collapse.

Why all the urgency?

Do they know something that we don’t?

Just like back in 2008, we are seeing massive problems at some of the largest banks in the world.

On Thursday, Fitch Ratings downgraded a whole bunch of the world’s most prominent banks….

The banks included Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, as well as Europe’s Barclays, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Switerzland’s Credit Suisse were also downgraded.

The global banking system is a giant house of cards.  There is simply way too much debt, way too much leverage and way too much risk.

On average, major banks across Europe are leveraged 26 to 1.

If the value of the assets held by those banks declines by just 4 percent, they will be wiped out.

Yes, that is how serious things are.

And already we are starting to see major banks fail in Europe.

This week it was revealed that Germany’s second largest bank is going to need a bailout.  The following comes from a Sky News report….

Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, is reportedly in discussions with the German government about a bailout after regulators said it needed to raise more money to cope with a potential default on its loans to governments.

“Intense talks” have been going on for several days, according to sources who spoke to the news agency Reuters.

So if Germany’s second largest bank is failing, are any banks in Europe safe?

Just like we saw back during the 1930s, we are starting to see a run on banks all over Europe.

In fact, according to a recent Der Spiegel article, a run on Greek banks has been going on for a while now and is rapidly accelerating….

He means that the outflow of funds from Greek bank accounts has been accelerating rapidly. At the start of 2010, savings and time deposits held by private households in Greece totalled €237.7 billion — by the end of 2011, they had fallen by €49 billion. Since then, the decline has been gaining momentum. Savings fell by a further €5.4 billion in September and by an estimated €8.5 billion in October — the biggest monthly outflow of funds since the start of the debt crisis in late 2009.

If you can believe it, approximately 20 percent of all bank deposits in Greece have been withdrawn since the start of 2011.

Europe is in a massive amount of trouble.  The euro is dropping like a rock and the European financial system is paralyzed by panic and fear.

It is going to take a miracle to prevent a massive financial collapse from happening in Europe in 2012.

Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any miracles for Europe on the horizon.

Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, here discusses influence, controlling the public mind and government.

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”

“Facts do not cease to exist, because they are ignored.”

“All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.”

~Aldous Huxley

26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963