Category: Global Economy

The 2020s Is Going To Be A Decade Of Intense Preparation For The Next Global Conflict

By Ted on January 3, 2020 in Featured, General

My thoughts on the 2020s and how it will be a decade of immense preparation for the next global conflict:

TURKEY’S MILITARY PLANS FOR THE 2020S

August of 2017 Erdogan declared in a speech:

“Just like [Turkey’s vision for] 2023 and 2053, we’ve also determined 2071 [marking the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Malazgirt] as a ‘horizon line’ … We are proud of our ancestors who walked with glory, honor and victory into the center of Europe after entering Anatolia from Malazgirt, with the red flag in one hand and the green sanjak in the other”

Kale Group, another Turkish defense company, is currently working with Rolls Royce to develop the TF-X, Turkey’s first independently made fighter jet. According to one report from Invest in Turkey:

“Rolls Royce, the British automotive and aviation giant, and Kale Group, one of Turkey’s prominent defense contractors, have announced the establishment of a joint venture.

Kale Group will own 51 percent and Rolls Royce 49 percent of the joint venture company, which will be known as the TAEC Aircraft Engine Industry Corporation. The agreement was signed on May 8, 2017, in Istanbul. TAEC will produce jet engines for both military and civilian purposes, with intellectual property rights to the engines remaining in Turkey.”

Kale Group announced that they are taking the lead on the TF-X National Fighter Jet project currently being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI). The TF-X will be Turkey’s first domestically designed and produced fighter jet and it is meant to replace the current fleet of F-16s in the early 2020s.”

In 2015, Erdogan, in a speech commemorating the Battle of Gallipoli — in which the Ottomans gained a major victory over the British in World War One — affirmed that “A nation without its own defense industry cannot fight the cause of liberation,” and he further added that by 2023 a Turkish made combat plane will “fly the Turkish skies”.

A Stratfor report from May of 2017 states that Turkey’s “goal is to achieve full self-sufficiency by 2023.”

TURKEY IS PLANNING ON HELPING TO REBUILD HUNGARY’S MILITARY

Peter E. Uhde talks about a military plan for Hungary that is set to be in full materialization by 2026:

“Zrínyi 2026” is the name of a ten-year defense and military development program. This includes a voluntary reserve system for territorial protection, ie homeland security.”

Hungary will be boosting its military capacity at a substantial level, and Turkey will be a major player in the upgrading of the Hungarian military. As we read in one report from Hungarian Spectrum:

“We know little about the conversation that took place between Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Viktor Orbán during the Turkish prime minister’s visit to Budapest a few days ago, but in the joint press conference Orbán talked about improving the Hungarian armed forces with Turkish participation. He explained that because of the poor economic conditions he faced in 2010, he was forced to curtail military spending, but now the Hungarian army is on track for a major upgrade. He intends for Turkey to play a major role in this endeavor. He added that Hungary is planning to embark on developing a robust armament industry with Turkish help.”

Orban also stressed that Turkey is essential for controlling illegal immigration in Europe and for strengthening Hungary’s military. As we read in a report from Hungary Today:

“Hungarian security and Turkish stability are directly linked, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Budapest on Monday. “A stable Turkish government and a stable Turkey are a precondition for Hungary not to be endangered in any way due to overland migration,” Orbán said at a joint press conference after the talks.

THE BRITISH NAVY

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has unveiled an ambitious new National Shipbuilding Strategy which meets the challenge set by Sir John AParker last November and sets out plans for the first batch of Type 31e frigates. The first ships are set to be in service by 2023.

GERMANY WANTS THE 2020S TO BE A DECADE OF MILITARY TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION

An August 2019 report from Europaische SIcherheit & Technik:

As the core of the land forces, and as carriers of country operations it is important for the army to translate these ambitious goals in a plausible ability nursery. The turnout for the nursery VJTF Brigade have already been – here we are in 2019 in the year of implementation.

Planning it is now mainly depends on the ability to ensure national and Alliance Defense Division 2027th This article explores the question of what the army (yet) required for an operational division by the year 2027th For example, combat, deployment and management support are no longer available to the necessary degree. At the same time the army has to keep pace with technological developments. The trend toward rapid innovation and shorter product life cycles and the use of digital technologies will intensify in the coming years. New skills, innovation and flexibility is the army can open up only with a comprehensive digital strategy.

The formation of a complete, operational Division, including Division troops by 2027 requires timely removal of existing capacity deficits and reconstruction of lost and developing new skills.

A 2018 report from the European Organization of Military Associations and Trade Unions:

The minister of defense presented her plan of action for the modernization of the German Armed Forces, which grants more money for new material and personnel. According to the plan the main problems, which should be tackled are the modernization of existing structures and the definition of new tasks for the German Armed Forces. The new plan meets the claims of the DBwV made in its program “Powerful Bundeswehr 2025”.…

Equipment problems of the Bundeswehr should be history: A capability profile describes the way to modernize the small-scale armed forces. …  This will be achieved in three intermediate steps: 2023, 2027, 2031.

The Union’s defense policy spokesman, Henning Otte, said: “The plans assume that by 2023 we will have to move towards an annual financial requirement of around 60 billion euros.”

The CDU / CSU parliamentary group, Johann David Wadephul, argues: “The Bundeswehr must become more modern and it must grow again – that requires the security situation, which has been deteriorating for a long time.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10297

Global Collapse Incoming? The Total Breakdown Of Relations With China Could Throw Our Planet Into Utter Turmoil

by Michael Snyder

We just witnessed one of the most monumental events of the entire decade, and yet most Americans still don’t understand what has happened.  In recent months, the global economy and stock markets around the world have been buoyed by the hope that the U.S. and China would soon sign a new trade agreement.  Unfortunately, there is no way that is going to happen now.  On Tuesday, the Senate unanimously passed the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019”, and the House of Representatives passed the same bill by a 417 to 1 vote on Wednesday.  Needless to say, the Chinese are beyond angry that Congress has done this.  In part one of this article, I showed that China is warning the U.S. to “rein in the horse at the edge of the precipice” and that there will be “revenge” if this bill is allowed to become law.  And it looks like this bill will actually become law, because Bloomberg is reporting that President Trump is fully expected to sign it…

President Donald Trump is expected to sign legislation passed by Congress supporting Hong Kong protesters, setting up a confrontation with China that could imperil a long-awaited trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

Before I go any further, there is something that I want to address.  Earlier today, one of my readers emailed me and accused me of siding with China because I am warning about what will happen if trade negotiations fail.  Of course that is not true at all.  I have been writing about the horrific human rights abuses in China for many years, and they are one of the most tyrannical regimes on the entire planet today.  But our two economies have become deeply intertwined over the past two decades, and there are going to be very serious consequences now that we are rapidly becoming bitter enemies.  Anyone that doesn’t see this is simply not being rational.

As I have detailed repeatedly in recent months, the global economy has already entered a very serious slowdown.  One of the only things that could reverse our economic momentum in the short-term would be a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and China.  But now that our relationship with China has been destroyed, there isn’t going to be a deal.

Some mainstream news sources are reporting that all of this rancor about Hong Kong could delay a trade deal, but that is just more wishful thinking.

Over in China, they are being much more realistic.  In fact, the editor of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, just said that the Chinese are “prepared for the worst-case scenario“

Few Chinese believe that China and the US can reach a deal soon. Given current poor China policy of the US, people tend to believe the significance of a trade deal, if reached, will be limited. China wants a deal but is prepared for the worst-case scenario, a prolonged trade war.

And he followed that up with another tweet that openly taunted U.S. farmers

So a friendly reminder to American farmers: Don’t rush to buy more land or get bigger tractors. Wait until a China-US trade deal is truly signed and still valid six months after. It’s safer by then.

As the two largest economies on the entire planet decouple from one another, it is going to cause global economic activity as a whole to dramatically slow down.  Corporate revenues will fall, credit markets will start to tighten, and fear will increasingly creep into global financial markets.

I have repeatedly warned that conditions are ideal for our first major crisis since 2008, and this conflict with China could be more than enough to push us over the edge.

And already we are getting more bad economic news day after day.  For example, we just learned that U.S. rail traffic this month is way down compared to last year

Nowhere is the slowdown in the U.S. economy more obvious than in places like Class 8 Heavy Duty Truck orders and rail traffic. We already wrote about how Class 8 orders continued to fall in October and new data the American Association of Railroads (AAR) now shows that last week’s rail traffic and intermodal container usage both plunged.

The AAR reported total carloads for the week ended Nov. 9 came in at 248,905, down 5.1% compared with the same week in 2018. U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 266,364 containers and trailers, down 6.7% compared to 2018, according to Railway Age.

Unless a miracle happens with China, the economic numbers are going to continue to get worse.

Sadly, a miracle seems exceedingly unlikely now.  As I pointed out in part one, the only way that our relationship with China can be fixed is if Congress repeals the bill that it just passed, and there is no way that is going to happen.

And we better hope that our trade war with China doesn’t escalate into a real war at some point.

According to a report that was released earlier this year, we are very ill-prepared to fight any sort of a conventional war with China in the Western Pacific…

The University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre’s new report Averting Crisis, said: ‘China’s growing arsenal of accurate long-range missiles poses a major threat to almost all American, allied and partner bases, airstrips, ports and military installations in the Western Pacific.

‘As these facilities could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict, the PLA missile threat challenges America’s ability to freely operate its forces from forward locations throughout the region.’

In addition, U.S. military officials are deeply concerned by how rapidly China has been upgrading their strategic nuclear arsenal.  For example, they now possess a “submarine-launched missile capable of obliterating San Francisco”

China has tested a new submarine-launched missile capable of obliterating San Francisco, an insider has revealed, in a massive boost to the country’s ‘deterrent’.

The Chinese navy tested its state-of-the-art JL-3 missile in Bohai Bay in the Yellow Sea last month, sources said.

The nuclear-capable missile has a 5,600 mile range, significantly longer than its predecessor the JL-2, which could strike targets 4,350 miles away.

We certainly aren’t at that point yet, but without a doubt the Chinese now consider us to be their primary global enemy.

For the moment, it is just a “cold war” that we are facing, and the Chinese are quite adept at playing global chess.  They have lots of ways that they can hurt us, and most Americans don’t realize this.

But in the end nobody is going to “win” this conflict, and the entire planet is going to suffer.

Collectively, the economies of the United States and China account for approximately 40 percent of the GDP of the entire world.

As we cause chaos for one another, everyone else is going to experience tremendous pain as well.

The stage is set for a global nightmare, and at this point it doesn’t appear that there is a way that we will be able to escape it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10211

Civil Unrest Is Erupting All Over The World, But Just Wait Until The United States Joins The Party…

October 20, 2019 by Michael Snyder

All over the globe, the mood is turning sour.  Anger and frustration are bubbling over, and protests are becoming violent in major cities all across the planet.  In some cases economic pain is driving the protests and in other cases political matters are motivating the protesters, and it has been a very long time since we have seen so many angry protests happening all over the world simultaneously.  Unfortunately, many believe that what we have seen so far is just the beginning.  Global economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating, and as economic pain intensifies that is only going to make everyone more frustrated.  And here in the United States, the drama surrounding the potential impeachment of Donald Trump is going to greatly escalate the political tensions that are already deeply dividing this country.  No matter how things turn out, a large percentage of the population is likely to be deeply frustrated with the result, and that could very easily lead to tremendous civil unrest.

But before we get to Trump, let’s take a look at what has been going on around the rest of the world first.  In Chile, we are witnessing violent protests unlike anything that we have seen in decades

Three people died in a fire in a supermarket being ransacked in the Chilean capital early Sunday, as protests sparked by anger over social and economic conditions rocked one of Latin America’s most stable countries.

Santiago’s Mayor Karla Rubilar told reporters two people burned to death in the blaze and another later died in hospital, after the huge store controlled by US retail chain Walmart was looted.

Economic conditions are tough in Chile and rapidly getting tougher, and it is very unusual to hear of “looting” in a country that is normally so stable.

Meanwhile, political corruption appears to be the main motivation for the violent protests in Lebanon

Thousands of demonstrators poured into downtown Beirut for a third day on Saturday, hours after overnight clashes erupted between security forces and protesters leading to large-scale arrests and several injuries.

Demonstrations have engulfed various parts of Lebanon for three days. Many protesters called for the resignation of the government and demanded the “downfall” of a political class that has ruled the country since the start of its 15-year civil war in 1975.

When people lose hope that things are ever going to get any better, they tend to take to the streets.

Unfortunately, corruption appears to be a way of life over in Lebanon at this point, and there seems to be little hope of major reforms any time soon.

In the UK, the drama surrounding the Brexit saga drew “hundreds of thousands of people” into the streets of London this weekend…

Hundreds of thousands of people have marched in central London to demand a new referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union, as parliament voted to delay a decision on whether to back Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s revised Brexit withdrawal deal.

The march organised by the People’s Vote campaign is thought to be the largest yet, drawing anti-Brexit supporters from across the country as parliament sat on a Saturday for the first time since the Falklands conflict in the 1980s.

Yet another Brexit agreement appears to have failed, and many are wondering if it will ever be possible to get one through Parliament.

Many of those favoring Brexit are hoping for a “no deal” exit from the European Union at this point, and meanwhile many of the “remainers” are holding out hope that there will somehow be a second referendum.

Over in Spain, violent protests have erupted night after night in the aftermath of the arrest of nine key pro-independence leaders in Catalonia…

Barcelona saw its fifth consecutive night of violence on Friday, in the wake of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that jailed nine pro-independence leaders for their role in the 2017 secessionist drive. The disturbances last night were particularly virulent, in terms of their duration, intensity and use of violence on the part of protestors, who were very aggressive toward the police.

Violent groups surrounded the central headquarters of the National Police in the Catalan capital, throwing objects, putting up barricades and setting fire to trash containers. As the sun set, the protests moved to the center of the city, where the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, used an armored vehicle with a water cannon. At least three police officers were injured in the rioting.

These protests may fade after a while, but they are not going away.  Those involved in the pro-independence movement in Catalonia are very passionate, and it has widespread public support.

Of course the protests that have made the biggest splash on the global stage have been the relentless pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.  Despite the brutality of the police, the protesters just keep coming back again and again, and “tens of thousands” of protesters were in the streets once again on Sunday

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to Hong Kong’s streets on Sunday, once again defying a police ban on the assembly and undeterred by a brutal attack against a leader of the organization that called for the march.

The huge turnout, which included families, children and the elderly, demonstrated how the movement now in its fifth month continues to have widespread support, despite the increasingly violent tactics used by protesters and escalating use of force by police.

Here in the United States, we don’t have protests like this going on right now.

But we could very soon.

The impeachment process is bringing a focal point to the deep anger that has been building on both sides of the political spectrum for many years.  Now that this process has begun, there is no going back, and both sides believe that there is only one result that will bring justice.

For the left, any result that does remove Donald Trump from office will be a bitter disappointment.  The Democrats in the House of Representatives are going to draft articles of impeachment, and they believe that they already have the votes they need to send those articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate.

If the Republican-controlled Senate does not vote to convict Trump and remove him from office, this will greatly upset the left, and could result in an explosion of anger in our city streets.

On the other hand, if the Republican-controlled Senate does vote to convict Trump and remove him from office, tens of millions of hardcore Trump supporters are going to be absolutely livid.  There would be an explosion of righteous anger on the right, and it would almost certainly spill into our city streets.

Of course it is likely that both sides will start protesting well before there is a final result, but once the final vote in the Senate happens that is when things are likely to get very interesting.

The Democrats should have never gone down this road, because one way or another this process is going to tear us apart.

If our founders could see us today they would be rolling over in their graves, because this is not what they intended.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10146

U.S. Marines reserve units activated for “emergency within the United States” which “will come with little warning” – cites “threats in the Homeland”

Sunday, October 06, 2019 by: Mike Adams
Tags: civil war, coup, deep state, emergency, military, national security, Pentagon, preparedness, President Trump, traitors, treason, U.S. Marines, White House

 (Natural News) BREAKING NEWS UPDATE concerning a directive involving the United States Marine Corps reserve units via MARADMINS number 550/19, signed on Oct. 3, 2019, authorized by Brigadier General Daniel L. Shipley, Director, Manpower Plans and Policy.

Notably, Brigadier General Daniel L. Shipley was nominated by President Trump for the rank of major general, according to a Jan. 16, 2019 Defense.gov press announcement. Before serving in his current role, Shipley served as the deputy director, Program Analysis and Evaluation, Department of Programs and Resources for the U.S. Marines.

This new order is summarized as, “MARINES ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY ISO DEFENSE SUPPORT OF CIVIL AUTHORITIES.” (The term “ISO” means In Support Of.”) (See full text of the order here.)

Note: There is disinfo being circulated about this order, claiming it was cancelled, but the cancelled order is 300/14, not 500/19. In fact, this new order 500/19 replaces a lot of previous orders, reestablishing the urgency of the situation and making sure any action to defend the Homeland is authorized by orders that are in good standing.

Many observers are concerned that with Democrats like Rep. Tlaib openly talking about which prisons to use for imprisoning President Trump and his cabinet, and with Hillary Clinton positioning herself to run for president, and with the IG’s FISA abuses report set to drop in a few weeks, the deep state Democrats have reached a point of desperation where they may attempt to initiate a “hot coup” (kinetic engagement, arrest or execution of the President and his Cabinet) to avoid going to prison themselves.

The entire CIA-run deep state media (i.e. Washington Post, NYY, CNN, etc.) are all in on the effort and now gaslighting the entire nation with ginned up “whistleblower” schemes that are wholesale fabrications.

I spoke on the phone with Alex Jones today about this breaking news, and he told me, “I talked to a high level Trump confidant concerning what Trump would do if the deep state attempted an illegal coup. Trump said they would call out the marines and surround the White House, then legally and lawfully pursue the originators of the criminal coup.”

This high-level confidant is someone who is very close to the President, and who is familiar with the President’s plans for how to deal with any attempt by the deep state to carry out an illegal coup attempt.

We urge all lawful, pro-America organizations and individuals to prepare to defend your President against an illegal coup attempt in the coming weeks or months.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10126

Los Angeles Leaders Want Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom To Declare A State Of Emergency As Homeless Camps Threaten To Overtake The Golden State

Facing a deepening quagmire over homeless encampments, Los Angeles elected officials are increasingly looking to sweeping statewide initiatives to shake loose solutions. The latest proposal from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and City Councilman Joe Buscaino would have the governor declare a state of emergency on homelessness in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom has not taken a stand on the current request for a state of emergency declaration.

by Geoffrey Grider September 30, 2019

 “We have a tacit public policy it’s OK to live outdoors,” Steinberg said. “I am strongly pushing for a clear public policy that says as a matter of right people should be living under a roof.”

What happens when you have a state that wants to live without rules and laws, and declare everything to be a ‘right’? You have lawlessness, chaos, and a broken system that creates of dependent entitlement class of sick people instead of instead of a healthy working class of healthy people. This is the real price to pay for having a ‘sanctuary city’ in California, New York City and in other places around the country.

The 2020 Democrats say that health care is a ‘human right’, and that all Americans are entitled to it. They also say that all illegal immigrants are entitled to it as well. Democrats also say that college should be free for anyone who want s to go. Who pays for all these things?  Taxpayers, that’s who. But when you are funding the ‘rights’ of people who are not contributing to the funding, you very quickly run out of money and solutions as more and more people stop working and opt for all the ‘free stuff’ you told them they are entitled to.

Take a long, hard look at California right now, look at the teeming homeless camps that line block after block of Los Angeles, and then watch as those camps spread all the way 7-hours up towards San Francisco. This is what Democratic leadership is offering you in 2020, this is what you will get on a national level if you elect them.

There are so many homeless camps, LA area leaders want Newsom to issue a state of emergency

FROM HERALD MEDIA: Facing a deepening quagmire over homeless encampments, Los Angeles elected officials are increasingly looking to sweeping statewide initiatives to shake loose solutions. The latest proposal from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and City Councilman Joe Buscaino would have the governor declare a state of emergency on homelessness in California.

Supporters view such a declaration as a novel strategy to free up state and federal funding typically reserved for natural disasters, such as earthquakes or wildfires, and to suspend or streamline the regulatory hurdles that often slow down shelter and housing development.

It also could block NIMBY opponents from using environmental reviews to sue and delay or block homeless facilities from opening. But some question whether an emergency declaration would be merely symbolic, given President Donald Trump’s rejections of more federal funding and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s commitment of $1 billion for local homeless programs and support for more regulatory relief.

Last week, Newsom signed a package of legislation that, among other things, exempts from environmental review supportive housing and shelter projects in the city of L.A. that receive funding from certain public sources, including the $1.2 billion Proposition HHH housing bond that voters approved in 2016.

Another new law allows cities in Alameda and Orange counties, in addition to the city of San Jose, to declare a shelter crisis so those local governments can eventually bypass some planning and zoning regulations to expedite construction.

“The governor should not sign a declaration of emergency until the proponents identify the specific laws and regulations they want to get around, and the resources they believe the declaration would free up,” said Gary Blasi, a retired law professor who specializes in homelessness issues. “The state statutes regarding emergencies were not designed to respond to long-standing political, leadership and moral disasters.”

Newsom has not taken a stand on the current request for a state of emergency declaration. Alex Comisar, spokesman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, said it was “a choice for the governor to make.”

“There are more questions that need to be worked through before he could support something like that,” Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said. In 2015, City Council members and Garcetti announced that they would declare an emergency locally, but then dropped the idea as the mayor sought a statewide declaration from then-Gov. Jerry Brown, who turned him down.

Then in 2018, Los Angeles declared a shelter crisis, which, along with a legislative change, triggered streamlining of red tape around developing emergency beds on public land. Many in L.A. have been frustrated by the sluggish pace of construction of new shelters and housing for the estimated 44,000 residents in the county, including 27,000 in the city, who live outdoors in tents, cars or lean-tos, as opposed to shelters or other temporary housing.

Only 477 emergency shelter beds have been added in the last 2 1/2 years for households without children, which form the bulk of the homeless population, according to an inventory released in September. Buscaino said he has grown particularly frustrated that even temporary tent shelters on public land have become bogged down in approval processes.

“We’re stopping for every red light, instead of treating this like an emergency,” Buscaino said. Before a meeting Friday of the governor’s task force on homelessness, headed by Ridley-Thomas and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Newsom, in a letter, asked members to prioritize getting people off the streets.

He underscored that local communities must “fully enforce” public safety and health laws, touching on the controversial issue of sanitation sweeps of encampments and other police enforcement. He also asked the task force for proposals to break down barriers to building housing and to get more homeless people into treatment.

Steinberg and Ridley-Thomas are championing a legal right to shelter for California, which would require local governments to provide a bed to every homeless person who wants to move indoors. Steinberg also wants to require homeless people to accept shelter if offered, although how that would be enforced is a question mark.

Separately, local governments — including the city and county of L.A. — and business groups also are petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to a federal appeals court ruling out of Boise, Idaho, that has stopped authorities in Western states from arresting homeless people for sleeping in public when shelter space is unavailable.

“We have a tacit public policy it’s OK to live outdoors,” Steinberg said. “I am strongly pushing for a clear public policy that says as a matter of right people should be living under a roof.” Newsom has said he is not ready to endorse a legal right to shelter. “What the governor has said is it’s urgent, let’s get started,” Ridley-Thomas said. “I don’t think anything is dead.”

Before the meeting in Los Angeles County’s Willowbrook section on Friday, Ridley-Thomas and Steinberg insisted they were not backing off. But Steinberg repeatedly emphasized that he preferred that people be placed in permanent housing, not a vast shelter system, which critics say could blow the state’s budget without ending homelessness.

“The hard reality is that the governor has already done most of what would be done if a state of emergency was to be called,” said Philip Mangano, the former federal homelessness czar in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations and a member of the governor’s task force. “The governor is the homelessness czar in California, and the task force’s job is to give him big ideas to make a difference.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10099

Is China Hoarding Food, Gold And Other Commodities In Anticipation Of A Global Collapse?

August 8, 2019 by Michael Snyder

Does China believe that we are on the verge of a major global crisis?  The communist Chinese government has always been very big into planning, and it appears that they have decided that now is the time to hoard food, gold and other commodities.  Of course in recent days the fact that China is completely cutting off U.S. agricultural imports has made headlines all over the globe, but at the same time China is dramatically increasing the amount of food that it is importing from the rest of the world.  The end result is actually a substantial surge in Chinese imports, and this is starting to show up in the official numbers.  For example, we just learned that Chinese soybean imports in July were actually up 8 percent compared to last year…  

China’s soybean imports in July rose 8% from a year earlier, to their highest level in almost a year, customs data showed on Thursday, as importers increased their purchases of Brazilian beans on higher crush margins.

As I discussed the other day, China had already been drastically reducing soybean imports from the United States even before this recent announcement that U.S. agricultural imports were being cut off completely.  So American farmers were definitely not benefiting from this Chinese import boom, and now that China has decided not to buy any of our crops it is going to be a  “devastating blow” for our farmers…

With China officially pulling out of buying U.S. agricultural products, American farmers are losing one of their biggest customers. It could be a devastating blow in an already tough year for crops and commodity prices. It may also dent U.S. gross domestic product and hurt companies like Deere, whose business is directly tied to farming in the Heartland.

“Sales have already been lower this crop year because of the existing tariffs. If we went all the way to no China exports whatsoever, that would of course result in even larger market and price impacts,” said Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri. “Cutting China completely out of the market would be a very big deal.”

Needless to say, China has had to turn to other sources to supply their needs, and last month we learned that China had decided to substantially increase wheat and soybean imports from Russia

China has approved wheat imports from the Russian region of Kurgan, the Chinese customs office said on Friday, bringing Russia a step closer to its goal of dramatically increasing grain exports.

It also approved soybean imports from all parts of Russia, the General Administration of Customs said in a separate statement on its website, having all but halted U.S. soy imports as the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington deepened.

This is yet another sign that Russia and China are drawing closer, and this is something that we have been anticipating.

Meanwhile, China is also hoarding gold.  In fact, July was the eighth month in a row in which the Chinese increased their reserves

China bought nearly 10 tons of gold in July, marking the eighth consecutive month the country increased its reserves, Bloomberg reported Wednesday morning.

The purchase is another signal from China that it’s gearing up for a prolonged trade conflict with the US. Gold serves as a historic safe-haven investment, and its price typically rises when markets and other currencies see increased volatility or prolonged weakness.

In addition, Bloomberg is reporting that Chinese commodity purchases of all types were very, very strong in July…

Commodity purchases by China rebounded strongly in July. Imports of soy to coal and crude oil gained, signaling demand in the world’s biggest buyer remains solid even as a trade spat with the U.S. escalates.

So why are the Chinese suddenly stocking up on everything?

Well, the truth is that the answer to that question is quite obvious.  The trade war between the United States and China is rapidly escalating, war in the Middle East could erupt at any time, the global economy has been steadily slowing down, crops are failing all over the planet, and everywhere we look we seem to see rising political instability.

In fact, we even see it in China’s own backyard.  After weeks of unprecedented political protests in Hong Kong, it looks like we could be right on the verge of a brutal crackdown.  The following comes from the New York Post

After eight weeks of huge Hong Kong street protests against Beijing’s rule, the People’s Republic is massing police and soldiers just across the border. Message: If the protesters don’t quit, a bloodbath is coming.

Beijing has also started denouncing the protests as the work of American provocateurs. That’s so the regime can paint its Tiananmen Square-style crackdown as a battle against “foreign influence,” not a smashing of Chinese people who decided all on their own that they’d rather be free.

The relative stability that we have been enjoying for the past several years is ending, and it appears that the months ahead could potentially be quite chaotic.

Normally I would never suggest that anyone should emulate the Chinese government, but in this case they appear to be doing the wise thing.  Now is the time to get prepared for what is coming, because the road ahead promises to be quite tumultuous.

Most people don’t realize it, but U.S. relations with China have already passed the point of no return.  Things are going to become increasingly tense between our two nations, and that is going to have very serious implications for all of us.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9994

Years That End In “9” Tend To Be Times Of Great Upheaval

August 8, 2019 by Michael Snyder

Will 2019 continue the trend?  The other day I was talking with a close friend, and he pointed out to me that all throughout history years that end in 9 have tended to be times of great change and upheaval.  I was intrigued by what he shared with me, and so I went out and did some research, and I discovered that he was right on target.  In particular, over the last 100 years we have seen an unusual number of key historical events take place during years that end in 9, and that seems quite strange.  Could it be possible that the ending of one decade and the imminent start of a new one somehow triggers something inside of us psychologically?  I don’t know, but there does seem to be a pattern.  In this article I will summarize some of the things that I have discovered, and I will let you come to your own conclusions.

Let’s start with 1929.  As I repeatedly remind my readers, most large stock market crashes tend to happen during the fall, and on October 29th, 1929 there was a devastating stock market crash unlike anything that the United States had ever seen before.  That date is generally considered to be the start of the Great Depression, which to this day is the worst economic downturn the western world has ever experienced.  The Great Depression lasted for ten years, and that brings us to the next “9” on our list…

1939 was the year when World War II started.  It was the most catastrophic war that the world has ever seen, and it didn’t end until 1945.  It is estimated that somewhere between 70 million and 85 million people were killed, and the war shocked the planet so much that we haven’t seen a war like it since.

1949 was a year of great change, and it was really when the battle lines of the Cold War between the east and the west definitely solidified.  During this year, the Communist Party of China was able to take full control of mainland China, and the People’s Republic of China was formally established.  In addition, in 1949 the Soviet Union tested their first atomic bomb, it was the year of the Berlin blockade, and NATO was formed on April 4th, 1949.

1959 was the year when Fidel Castro came to power.  Thanks to the success of the Cuban revolution, Cuba became the first communist power in the western hemisphere, and this ultimately led to the Cuban missile crisis of 1963.

1969 was so tumultuous that a number of documentaries have been made about that single year, and author Rob Kirkpatrick wrote an entire book about it entitled “The Year Everything Changed”.  It was the year of the Moon landing, Woodstock and the Manson murders.  During this year Richard Nixon was sworn in as the president of the United States, 250,000 Americans marched on Washington to protest the Vietnam War, and the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded.

1979 was the year of the Iranian Revolution.  Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came to power in February, and the Iranian hostage crisis began in November.  If there had been no Iranian hostage crisis, it is possible that Ronald Reagan may have been defeated by Jimmy Carter in 1980.  1979 was also the year when Margaret Thatcher first became prime minister of the UK, and she served all the way until 1990.

1989 was another year of revolution.  In June of that year the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing were brutally crushed by the Chinese government.   On the other side of the world, 1989 was the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia which ultimately resulted in a peaceful division of that nation into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the president of the United States during this year, and huge protests on both sides of the Berlin Wall ultimately resulted in the collapse of the East German government.

1999 was the year when Bill Clinton came very close to being removed from office.  On February 12th, the United States Senate narrowly acquitted Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice.  1999 was also the year when the euro become the official currency of the European Union, and at the end of the year the Y2K scare was making headlines all over the globe.

2009 was definitely a year of “change”.  On January 20th, Barack Obama became the first African-American to become the president of the United States.  Meanwhile, the nation was greatly suffering from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  It is estimated that 8.8 million jobs were lost during the “Great Recession”, and millions of Americans also lost their homes as a result of the subprime mortgage meltdown.  As 2009 was ending, the Economic Collapse Blog was launched.

So now here we are in another year that ends in 9.  So far in 2019, we have seen mass shootings, crop failures, dramatic escalations in our trade war with China, and a potential war with Iran is looming on the horizon.  Americans are angrier, more frustrated and more divided today than ever before in modern American history, and the mainstream media continues to stir the pot on a daily basis.

The stage is definitely set for things to explode during the second half of this year, and a lot of people that I have been talking to feel like things could really start breaking loose at any moment.

To a large degree, 2019 has already been a year of tremendous upheaval, but many believe that the worst is still yet to come.  So buckle up and hold on, because I think that things are about to get very bumpy.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9992

Why Is Saudi Arabia Giving Up A Tract Of Land The Size Of Massachusetts For “The World’s First Independent International Zone”?

August 7, 2019 by Michael Snyder

Under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a $500 billion “mega-city” is being constructed in the northwestern corner of Saudi Arabia.  This city has been named “Neom”, and when it is fully completed it will be approximately “the size of Massachusetts”.  The Wall Street Journal was able to recently examine 2,300 pages of classified documents related to this project, and what they discovered is absolutely stunning.  This “city of the future” will feature an artificial moon, flying taxis and robot maids, but there will also be gene-editing in order to make humans stronger and smarter, and everyone living there will be subjected to 24 hour surveillance.  In addition, we are being told that this will be “the world’s first independent international zone”, and many are concerned about what exactly that is going to mean.

“Neom” certainly has a futuristic ring to it, and according to Digital Trends it was derived by combining a Greek word and an Arabic word…

Called Neom (a mix of the Greek word for “new” and Arabic word for “future”), the project aims to construct a $500 billion city, covering 10,000 squares miles of coastline and desert in northwest Saudi Arabia. With its mixture of high-tech amenities and luxury services like restaurants and shops, the goal is to build what the Wall Street Journal describes as a superior to “Silicon Valley in technology, Hollywood in entertainment and the French Riviera as a place to vacation.”

It has been reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman originally came up with the idea for the city when he “pulled up a map of his country on Google Earth and saw its northwest quadrant was a blank slate.”  He ultimately decided that it would be an ideal location for “the city of the future”, and he enlisted an army of U.S. consultants to help him fulfill his dream.

But will his dream ultimately become a nightmare?  There are some extremely alarming things that I want to tell you about, but first let’s talk about some of the cool stuff that is planned for the city

The in-development Saudi Arabian city-state will have robot maids, flying taxis, and glow-in-the-dark sand, according to confidential planning documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. An artificial moon will light up the sky every night, and a Jurassic Park-style island will let visitors mingle with robot dinosaurs.

Sounds like a fun place to live, right?

And even though the climate of the region is extremely, extremely dry, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to use “cloud seeding” to produce rain whenever it is needed.

In other words, the fact that they will be using geoengineering to control the weather in this city is not even being hidden.

There will also be gene-editing facilities that will be used to make humans stronger and smarter than ever before, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Neom’s board plans to make it a fully automated city “where we can watch everything”

“This should be an automated city where we can watch everything,” Neom’s founding board is quoted as saying in the documents, according to the WSJ. “[A city] where a computer can notify crimes without having to report them or where all citizens can be tracked.”

That means while you’re chilling on the glowing beach, daydreaming about your next prix fixe meal, a drone equipped with facial-recognition technology will likely be transmitting your location to Neom’s “1984”-esque law enforcement officials.

Hmmm – that actually doesn’t sound like such a fun place to live after all.

In fact, it basically sounds like the sort of dystopian nightmare that I have always been warning about.

But even more alarming is the fact that this city is being billed as “the world’s first independent international zone”

The city itself will be “the world’s first independent international zone,” presents its marketing literature. How independent it will actually be remains to be seen. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia set up a “special authority,” chaired by the Crown Prince himself, to supervise the development of the project. Once its built, the zone will be managed via a “regulatory framework that will adopt world-class investment laws to support residents and targeted economic sectors,” declares its presentation, which also purports the city-state will have an “autonomous judicial system.” Its laws, enforced by city-wide automation and tracking of its citizens, would be independent of Saudi Arabia’s, created by a slate of both local and foreign investors “in accordance with international best practice.”

So this city will not technically be part of Saudi Arabia.

It will actually be a “city-state” with its own laws, rules, regulations and judicial system.

Could it be possible that this giant “independent international zone” will one day be the home base for an “international leader”?

I don’t know.  I am just throwing that out there.

Obviously there is an agenda here.  Why else would Saudi Arabia be willing to give up a giant tract of land the size of Massachusetts for a futuristic mega-city that won’t even be under their jurisdiction?

As is the case with so many other things, this isn’t being hidden from us at all.  It is being done right out in the open, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is being quite clear that his intention is to make Neom the most important city on the entire planet.

But to me it sounds like a prison, and the truth is that this is the direction the entire globe is heading.

Already, virtually everything that we do is being watched, monitored or tracked somehow.  With each passing year, the global Big Brother surveillance grid becomes even more extensive, and we have very little privacy left.

So perhaps we should stop talking so much about the dystopian nightmare that is coming, because to a very large degree it is already here.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9985

War Drums: Europe Readies A Naval Task Force As Iran Threatens To “Secure” The Strait Of Hormuz

July 23, 2019 by Michael Snyder

It is funny – for decades we have never had any problems with commercial ships passing through the Persian Gulf, but all of a sudden it has become a major flashpoint.  As you will see below, the Iranians are now warning that they plan to “secure” the Strait of Hormuz, and meanwhile a plan for a European-led naval task force to confront the Iranians is rapidly coming together.  The seizure of a British tanker a few days ago really rattled British officials, and they are determined to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.  Of course the more the Persian Gulf region becomes saturated with military assets, the more likely it is that a “mistake” will happen, and it sure won’t take much of a spark to start World War 3 at this point.

Today, close to 20 percent of all the oil produced in the entire world passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and that makes it an exceedingly important waterway.  U.S. and European officials continue to stress the importance of freedom of navigation through the area, and they appear to be losing patience with the Iranians.

But Iran does not intend to back down one bit.  On Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that his country “will use its best efforts” to secure the Strait of Hormuz.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

“Iran will use its best efforts to secure the region, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, and will not allow any disturbance in shipping in this sensitive area,” Araqchi told French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, IRNA reported.

So what does that mean exactly?

Do the Iranians plan to keep grabbing oil tankers whenever it suits them?

The seizure of the Stena Impero pushed us dangerously close to war, and the British government is still hoping that negotiations will result in the release of that tanker.

However, the British also plan to flex their military muscles in order to keep such an incident from happening again, and they are calling for other European nations to join them

France, Italy and Denmark gave initial support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, proposed after Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker, three senior EU diplomats said on Tuesday.

The cautious backing at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels contrasts sharply with the lukewarm response shown by European allies to a similar American call first voiced at NATO in late June, when countries feared they could make U.S.-Iranian tensions worse.

Could this be the very beginning of a “coalition of the willing”?

According to Reuters, this task force would likely include “aircraft too”, and that is definitely raising some eyebrows…

British foreign ministry and defense officials have also discussed a possible mission, which would likely involve not just ships but aircraft too, directly with their Italian, Spanish, French and German counterparts.

A senior German diplomat in Berlin said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was in close contact with his British and French counterparts, Hunt and Jean-Yves Le Drian, to “contribute to the security” of the Gulf including on maritime security.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is making headlines as well.  In an interview with CBS News, CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie claimed that U.S. forces may have actually shot down at least two Iranian drones last week…

The U.S. believes it may have brought down two Iranian drones last week, rather than just the one that has been reported, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told CBS News’ David Martin in an interview Tuesday aboard the USS Boxer, the ship that took action against the drones. Asked by Martin whether it was “only one drone,” McKenzie revealed that he believed the Boxer had engaged two drones “successfully” and perhaps even more.

“As always it was a complex tactical picture, we believe two drones. We believe two drones were successfully — there may have been more that we are not aware of — those are the two that we engaged successfully,” said McKenzie.

We should be very thankful that there is no more shooting for the moment, but that could change at any time.

And even if things stabilize in the short-term, the truth is that it is going to be exceedingly difficult to stop the countdown to war at this point.  The U.S. and Israel have both made it exceedingly clear that they will never allow the Iranians to develop their nuclear program past a certain level, and the Iranians have been racing to move their program forward ever since the U.S. left Obama’s nuclear agreement.

Unless there is some sort of crazy miracle and another nuclear agreement happens, it appears that war is on the horizon.

Also, I wanted to mention that we just witnessed a very alarming “incident” off the coast of South Korea on Tuesday…

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement claiming they had fired more than 300 warning shots at a Russian A-50 command and control military aircraft early Tuesday morning after it had twice violated the country’s airspace, the first such incident between the countries.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9957

Look At This Map – It Shows Devastating Crop Losses Are Literally Happening All Over The Globe

June 30, 2019 by Michael Snyder

Let me warn you right up front – the information in this article might freak you out.  If what some experts are telling us is true, a global food crisis appears to be inevitable.  Even during good years we have a really difficult time feeding everyone on the planet, and now a major climate shift appears to be happening.  Our sun has become exceedingly quiet, and many experts believe that this is a sign that a solar minimum is now upon us.  Of course we have seen solar minimums happen quite regularly in the past, and if this is just a normal solar minimum then conditions should begin to return to normal after a couple of years.  Unfortunately, evidence continues to mount that we have entered what is known as a “grand solar minimum”.  In fact, Professor Valentina Zharkova says that what we are facing is a “super grand solar minimum”, and if that is true we are going to be facing climate chaos like we have never seen before.  During previous “grand solar minimums” the globe was gripped by devastating famines and vast numbers of people died.  Could a similar scenario potentially be in our future?

Ice Age Farmer has compiled a “Grand Solar Minimum Crop Loss Map” which you can view right here, and I appreciate our friends at ANP for pointing it out to us.  Ice Age Farmer’s map shows that there are literally dozens of locations all over the globe right now that are reporting significant crop losses, and this is really unlike anything we have ever seen before.  Some parts of our planet are dealing with horrific drought, but in the middle of the United States it just won’t stop raining.  In some areas of the world it is too cold, while others are experiencing record heat.  Everywhere we look we see extremes, and the behavior of our sun is the primary reason this is happening.

Last November I warned that we could be facing one of the coldest winters in modern times, and that is precisely what happened.  Back then top scientists were warning us that a solar minimum had arrived, and since that time the behavior of the sun has continued to confirm that hypothesis

The surface of the sun is normally a roiling, super-heated hellscape.

But Nasa images have revealed that the face of our star is looking ominously calm right now, prompting claims it’s reached a stage of its cycle called the solar minimum.

During the minimum, there are significantly fewer sunspots and its magnetic field weakens, allowing cosmic rays from outside our solar system to rain down on Earth.

This solar minimum came early, and that is exactly what we would expect if we were entering a “grand solar minimum”.  Perhaps the best known “grand solar minimum” in our history was the Maunder Minimum which stretched from 1645 to 1715

The last time a deep solar minimum was in effect was the Maunder minimum, which saw seven decades of freezing weather, began in 1645 and lasted through to 1715, and happened when sunspots were exceedingly rare.

During this period, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees celsius leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages.

The food shortages during the Maunder Minimum were quite severe, and the global death toll was enormous.

Could we be facing a similar scenario this time around?

Actually, economist Martin Armstrong seems to believe that it could be even worse

The Maunder Minimum created such a deep cold in Europe and extreme weather events elsewhere that what unfolds is a series of droughts, floods, and harvest failures. Historically, this leads to massive migrations, wars and revolutions. The fatal synergy between human and natural disasters eradicated perhaps one-third of the human population during the last event and this time we are crashing more rapidly than before. Therefore, we may exceed more than a reduction in population of one-third and reach the levels of the 14th century of 50%, which was also combined with the Black Plague.

Without a doubt, our planet is behaving very strangely right now, and reports of crop failures are regularly coming in from all over the planet.

Just check out these examples

That layer of stress on the agricultural industry is only intensified when you zoom out to the international level, where farmers around the world are facing various dire situations. As one North Dakota farmer and Twitter user Jordan Gackle pointed out in a recent thread: Drought is continuing to disrupt wheat crops in Australia forcing the country to import some of its wheat from Canada. Some farmers in Canada are now reporting long stretches without rain under the hashtag #drought19. Head over to China and you’ll find that a legion of fall armyworms are spreading rapidly and devouring key grain crops.

It is becoming quite clear that food prices are going to rise substantially and that the world is going to produce a lot less food than it normally does this year.

And as I noted earlier, we have a tough time feeding everyone on the planet even during ideal conditions.  Sadly, this even includes the United States

In fact, it’s not just older Americans who are already suffering from hunger and malnourishment, with this 2017 story over at Feeding America reporting that more than 41 million Americans were suffering from hunger daily, including more than 13 million children, with this National Geographic story reporting that 1 out of every 6 Americans aren’t getting enough to eat.

So what will things look like if global food production drops 10 percent, 20 percent or even more?

We have never had to deal with anything like this in modern times, and meanwhile the population of the planet has grown from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 7.5 billion today.

We have entered the time of “the perfect storm”, and we are going to start to witness things happen that many people would consider to be unimaginable.

I truly hope that things will not be as bad as some of the experts are suggesting.  But as far as crop failures are concerned, we don’t have to speculate.  They are happening right now all over the planet, and that means that global food supplies are going to get tighter and tighter in the months ahead.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9912