Category: America

Drought forces California into first mandatory rules to save water

By Sharon Bernstein 11 hours ago
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state’s first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region’s catastrophic drought enters its fourth year.
The emergency regulations, which require some communities to trim water use by as much as 36 percent, were approved unanimously late Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board weeks after Democratic Governor Jerry Brown stood in a drying mountain meadow and ordered statewide rationing.
“This is a community crisis,” said water resources board chair Felicia Marcus as testimony began in a daylong hearing on the rules on Tuesday. “We want to get this as right as we can.”
The rules approved Tuesday, which will be reviewed by state legal advisers before going into effect, require cutbacks of 4 percent to 36 percent in water use, with communities that use the most water being asked to enact the deepest cuts.
Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state’s massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted.
Brown, a Democrat, has defended the agricultural exemptions, saying that the state’s farmers have already had to make do with less water as the state restricted supplies for irrigation amid environmental concerns in the drought.
One of the main aims of the rules will be to cut back water used for ornamental lawns and other outdoor landscaping.
San Francisco is required to cut its water use by 8 percent, Los Angeles by 16 percent, San Jose 20 percent and Sacramento 28 percent.
At the high end, the cities of Bakersfield and Modesto in the state’s San Joaquin Valley breadbasket and the affluent Southern California city of Beverly Hills will have to conserve by 36 percent.
At Tuesday’s hearing, numerous water districts complained that the regulations were unfair, penalizing residents for water use needed in their communities by agricultural and industrial users.
Others said that their residents had paid extra for years to store water for use during dry years, only now to be told that they can’t use it.
The regulations also require water suppliers to report regularly to the state on their progress. Even the smallest districts would have to collect usage data and limit watering to two days per week.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7197

NORAD Returns to Cheyenne, Warns of EMP Attack

Friday, 01 May 2015 07:44 PM
By Sean Piccoli
The potential of a devastating attack to the US power grid by nuclear states such as North Korea or Iran has prompted the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to return to its former location inside Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs, Colorado, two former Reagan-era government officials write in The Wall Street Journal.

“Why the return?” write Henry F. Cooper and Peter Vincent Pry. “Because the enormous bunker in the hollowed-out mountain, built to survive a Cold War-era nuclear conflict, can also resist an electromagnetic-pulse attack, or EMP.”

While the Pentagon is moving to shield its global air defense command from being knocked out by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, the Obama administration has failed to act on urgent recommendations to protect the country’s civilian electronic infrastructure from a similar catastrophe, they write.
“An EMP strike, most likely from the detonation of a nuclear weapon in space, would destroy unprotected military and civilian electronics nationwide, blacking out the electric grid and other critical infrastructure for months or years,” Cooper and Pry write.

“The staggering human cost of such a catastrophic attack is not difficult to imagine.”

The likeliest source of such an attack would be North Korea or Iran, according to Cooper, former director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, launched by the late President Ronald Reagan, and Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security and a veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Iran is a nuclear-ready state with ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States now, Cooper, Pry and and two other Reagan administration alumni wrote in an op-ed for Newsmax in February.

In the Journal, Cooper and Pry reiterate that “Iran should be regarded as already having nuclear missiles capable of making an EMP attack against the U.S.,” noting, “Iran and North Korea have successfully orbited satellites on South-Polar trajectories that appear to practice evading U.S. missile defenses, and at optimum altitudes to make a surprise EMP attack.”

There is no comparable effort under way in Washington to protect civilian electronic infrastructure, even though a prolonged nationwide blackout could result in chaos and death on a massive scale, according to findings of a national EMP Commission authorized by Congress.

“Yet President Obama has not acted on the EMP Commission’s draft executive order to protect national infrastructure that is essential to provide for the common defense,” Cooper and Pry write. “Hardening the national electric grid would cost a few billion dollars, a trivial amount compared with the loss of electricity and lives following an EMP attack.”

The authors also fault Congress for failing to act on the recommendations of its own commission and for dropping the ball on multiple bills to fund electronic infrastructure security upgrades.
“In recent years, the GRID Act, the Shield Act, and the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act have gained bipartisan and even unanimous support in the House, yet they died in the Senate,” they write.

One result, Cooper and Pry write, is that states have been left to seek solutions on their own.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7195

Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/03/2015 23:30 -0400
If the U.S. economy really is improving, then why are big U.S. retailers permanently shutting down thousands of stores? The “retail apocalypse” that I have written about so frequently appears to be accelerating. As you will see below, major U.S. retailers have announced that they are closing more than 6,000 locations, but economic conditions in this country are still fairly stable. So if this is happening already, what are things going to look like once the next recession strikes? For a long time, I have been pointing to 2015 as a major “turning point” for the U.S. economy, and I still feel that way. And since I started The Economic Collapse Blog at the end of 2009, I have never seen as many indications that we are headed into another major economic downturn as I do right now. If retailers are closing this many stores already, what are our malls and shopping centers going to look like a few years from now?
The list below comes from information compiled by About.com, but I have only included major retailers that have announced plans to close at least 10 stores. Most of these closures will take place this year, but in some instances the closures are scheduled to be phased in over a number of years. As you can see, the number of stores that are being permanently shut down is absolutely staggering…
180 Abercrombie & Fitch (by 2015)
75 Aeropostale (through January 2015)
150 American Eagle Outfitters (through 2017)
223 Barnes & Noble (through 2023)
265 Body Central / Body Shop
66 Bottom Dollar Food
25 Build-A-Bear (through 2015)
32 C. Wonder
21 Cache
120 Chico’s (through 2017)
200 Children’s Place (through 2017)
17 Christopher & Banks
70 Coach (fiscal 2015)
70 Coco’s /Carrows
300 Deb Shops
92 Delia’s
340 Dollar Tree/Family Dollar
39 Einstein Bros. Bagels
50 Express (through 2015)
31 Frederick’s of Hollywood
50 Fresh & Easy Grocey Stores
14 Friendly’s
65 Future Shop (Best Buy Canada)
54 Golf Galaxy (by 2016)
50 Guess (through 2015)
26 Gymboree
40 JCPenney
127 Jones New York Outlet
10 Just Baked
28 Kate Spade Saturday & Jack Spade
14 Macy’s
400 Office Depot/Office Max (by 2016)
63 Pep Boys (“in the coming years”)
100 Pier One (by 2017)
20 Pick ’n Save (by 2017)
1,784 Radio Shack
13 Ruby Tuesday
77 Sears
10 SpartanNash Grocery Stores
55 Staples (2015)
133 Target, Canada (bankruptcy)
31 Tiger Direct
200 Walgreens (by 2017)
10 West Marine
338 Wet Seal
80 Wolverine World Wide (2015 – Stride Rite & Keds)
So why is this happening?
Without a doubt, Internet retailing is taking a huge toll on brick and mortar stores, and this is a trend that is not going to end any time soon.
But as Thad Beversdorf has pointed out, we have also seen a stunning decline in true discretionary consumer spending over the past six months…
What we find is that over the past 6 months we had a tremendous drop in true discretionary consumer spending. Within the overall downtrend we do see a bit of a rally in February but quite ominously that rally failed and the bottom absolutely fell out. Again the importance is it confirms the fundamental theory that consumer spending is showing the initial signs of a severe pull back. A worrying signal to be certain as we would expect this pull back to begin impacting other areas of consumer spending. The reason is that American consumers typically do not voluntarily pull back like that on spending but do so because they have run out of credit. And if credit is running thin it will surely be felt in all spending.
The truth is that middle class U.S. consumers are tapped out. Most families are just scraping by financially from month to month. For most Americans, there simply is not a whole lot of extra money left over to go shopping with these days.
In fact, at this point approximately one out of every four Americans spend at least half of their incomes just on rent…
More than one in four Americans are spending at least half of their family income on rent – leaving little money left to purchase groceries, buy clothing or put gas in the car, new figures have revealed.
A staggering 11.25 million households consume 50 percent or more of their income on housing and utilities, according to an analysis of Census data by nonprofit firm, Enterprise Community Partners.
And 1.8 million of these households spend at least 70 percent of their paychecks on rent.
The surging cost of rental housing has affected a rising number of families since the Great Recession hit in 2007. Officials define housing costs in excess of 30 percent of income as burdensome.
For decades, the U.S. economy was powered by a free spending middle class that had plenty of discretionary income to throw around. But now that the middle class is being systematically destroyed, that paradigm is changing. Americans families simply do not have the same resources that they once did, and that spells big trouble for retailers.
As you read this article, the United States still has more retail space per person than any other nation on the planet. But as stores close by the thousands, “space available” signs are going to be popping up everywhere. This is especially going to be true in poor and lower middle class neighborhoods. Especially after what we just witnessed in Baltimore, many retailers are not going to hesitate to shut down underperforming locations in impoverished areas.
And remember, the next major economic crisis has not even arrived yet. Once it does, the business environment in this country is going to change dramatically, and a few years from now America is going to look far different than it does right now.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7192

Turning America into a Battlefield: A Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation

By John W. Whitehead
April 27, 2015
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.—President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
A standing army—something that propelled the early colonists into revolution—strips the American people of any vestige of freedom. How can there be any semblance of freedom when there are tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, Blackhawk helicopters and armed drones patrolling overhead?
It was for this reason that those who established America vested control of the military in a civilian government, with a civilian commander-in-chief. They did not want a military government, ruled by force. Rather, they opted for a republic bound by the rule of law: the U.S. Constitution.
Unfortunately, with the Constitution under constant attack, the military’s power, influence and authority have grown dramatically. Even the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which makes it a crime for the government to use the military to carry out arrests, searches, seizure of evidence and other activities normally handled by a civilian police force, has been weakened by both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who ushered in exemptions allowing troops to deploy domestically and arrest civilians in the wake of alleged terrorist acts.
Now we find ourselves struggling to retain some semblance of freedom in the face of police and law enforcement agencies that look and act like the military and have just as little regard for the Fourth Amendment, laws such as the NDAA that allow the military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens, and military drills that acclimate the American people to the sight of armored tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, and combat aircraft patrolling overhead.
Making matters worse, we find out that the military plans to use southwestern states as staging grounds for guerilla warfare drills in which highly-trained military troops equipped with all manner of weapons turn American towns and cities in quasi-battlefields. Why? As they tell us, it’s so that special operations forces can get “realistic military training” in “hostile” territory.
They’ve even got a name for the exercise: Jade Helm 15.
Whether or not Americans have anything to fear from Jade Helm 15, a covert, multi-agency, multi-state, eight-week military training exercise set to take place this summer from July 15 through Sept. 15, remains to be seen.
Insisting that there’s nothing to be alarmed about, the Washington Post took great pains to point out that these military exercises on American soil are nothing new. For instance, there was Operation Bold Alligator, in which in which thousands of Marines and sailors carried out amphibious exercises against “insurgent” forces in Georgia and Florida. Operation Robin Sage had Green Beret soldiers engaging in guerrilla warfare in North Carolina. And Operation Derna Bridge sends Marine special forces into parts of South Carolina and the National Forest.
Yet if Americans are uneasy about this summer’s planned Jade Helm 15 military exercises, they have every right to be.
After all, haven’t we been urged time and time again to just “trust” the government to respect our rights and abide by the rule of law only to find that, in fact, our rights were being plundered and the Constitution disregarded at every turn?
Let’s assume, for the moment, that Jade Helm 15 is not a thinly veiled military plot to take over the country lifted straight out of director John Frankenheimer’s 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May, as some fear, but is merely a “routine” exercise for troops, albeit a blatantly intimidating flexing of the military’s muscles.
The problem arises when you start to add Jade Helm onto the list of other troubling developments that have taken place over the past 30 years or more: the expansion of the military industrial complex and its influence in Washington DC, the rampant surveillance, the corporate-funded elections and revolving door between lobbyists and elected officials, the militarized police, the loss of our freedoms, the injustice of the courts, the privatized prisons, the school lockdowns, the roadside strip searches, the military drills on domestic soil, the fusion centers and the simultaneous fusing of every branch of law enforcement (federal, state and local), the stockpiling of ammunition by various government agencies, the active shooter drills that are indistinguishable from actual crises, the economy flirting with near collapse, etc.
Suddenly, the overall picture seems that much more sinister. Clearly, as I point out in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, there’s a larger agenda at work here.
Seven years ago, the U.S. Army War College issued a report calling on the military to be prepared should they need to put down civil unrest within the country. Summarizing the report, investigative journalist Chris Hedges declared, “The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a ‘violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,’ which could be provoked by ‘unforeseen economic collapse,’ ‘purposeful domestic resistance,’ ‘pervasive public health emergencies’ or ‘loss of functioning political and legal order.’ The ‘widespread civil violence,’ the document said, ‘would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.’”
At what point will all of the government’s carefully drawn plans for dealing with civil unrest, “homegrown” terrorism and targeting pre-crime become a unified blueprint for locking down the nation?
For instance, what’s the rationale behind turning government agencies into military outposts? There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department. As of 2008, “73 federal law enforcement agencies… [employ] approximately 120,000 armed full-time on-duty officers with arrest authority.” Four-fifths of those officers are under the command of either the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Department of Justice.
What’s with all of the government agencies stockpiling hollow point bullets? For example, why does the Department of Agriculture need .40 caliber semiautomatic submachine guns and 320,000 rounds of hollow point bullets? For that matter, why do its agents need ballistic vests and body armor?
Why does the Postal Service need “assorted small arms ammunition”? Why did the DHS purchase “1.6 billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition, along with 7,000 fully-automatic 5.56x45mm NATO ‘personal defense weapons’ plus a huge stash of 30-round high-capacity magazines”? That’s in addition to the FBI’s request for 100 million hollow-point rounds. The Department of Education, IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, are also among the federal agencies which have taken to purchasing ammunition and weaponry in bulk.
Why is the federal government distributing obscene amounts of military equipment, weapons and ammunition to police departments around the country? And why is DHS acquiring more than 2,500 Mine-Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles, only to pass them around to local police departments across the country? According to the New York Times:
[A]s President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s “long season of war,” the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice. During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft. The equipment has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units.
Why is the military partnering with local police to conduct training drills around the country? And what exactly are they training for? In Richland, South Carolina, for instance, U.S. army special forces participated in joint and secretive exercises and training with local deputies. The public was disallowed from obtaining any information about the purpose of the drills, other than being told that they might be loud and to not be alarmed. The Army and DHS also carried out similar drills and maneuvers involving Black Hawk helicopters in Texas, Florida, and other locations throughout the U.S., ostensibly in order to provide local police with “realistic” urban training.
What is being done to protect the American populace from the threat of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, being used against them? Policy analysts point to Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities” (issued on Dec. 29, 2010), as justification for the government’s use of military force to put down civil unrest within the United States.
Why is FEMA stockpiling massive quantities of emergency supplies? On January 10, 2014, FEMA made a statement enlisting the service of contractors who could “supply medical biohazard disposal capabilities and 40 yard dumpsters to 1,000 tent hospitals across the United States; all required on 24-48 hour notice.” This coincides with other medical requests seeking massive amounts of supplies, such as “31,000,000 flu vaccinations,” “100,000 each of winter shirts and pants and the same for summer” and other goods and services requests as well like tarps, manufactured housing units, and beverages. And why does the TSA need $21,000 worth of potassium chlorate, a chemical compound often used in explosives?
Why is the Pentagon continuing to purchase mass amounts of ammunition while at the same time preparing to destroy more than $1 billion worth of bullets and missiles that are still viable?
Moreover, what is really being done to hold the Pentagon accountable for its doctored ledgers, fraud, waste and mismanagement, which has cost the taxpayer trillions of dollars? According to Reuters, “The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output.”
Given the similarities between the government’s Live Active Shooter Drill training exercises, carried out at schools, in shopping malls, and on public transit, which can and do fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers and bystanders into thinking it’s a real crisis, how much of what is being passed off as real is, in fact, being staged by DHS for the “benefit” of training law enforcement, leaving us none the wiser? These training exercises come complete with their own set of professionally trained Crisis Actors playing the parts of shooters, bystanders and victims in order to help schools and first responders create realistic drills, full-scale exercises, high-fidelity simulations, and interactive 3D films.
Given that Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack, why is the government spending trillions of dollars on “national security”? How exactly is the $75 billion given to various intelligence agencies annually to keep us “safe” being spent? And why is the DHS giving away millions of dollars’ worth of federal security grants to states that federal intelligence agencies ruled have “no specific foreign or domestic terrorism threat”?
Why is the government amassing names and information on Americans considered to be threats to the nation, and what criteria is the government using for this database? Keep in mind that this personal information is being acquired and kept without warrant or court order. It’s been suggested that in the event of nuclear war, the destruction of the U.S. Government, and the declaration of martial law, this Main Core database, which as of 2008 contained some 8 million names of Americans, would be used by military officials to locate and round up Americans seen as threats to national security, a program to be carried about by the Army and FEMA.
Taken individually, these questions are alarming enough. But put them together and they add up to the kind of trouble that the American founding fathers not only warned against but from which they fought to free themselves.
Indeed, when viewed collectively, they leave one wondering what exactly the U.S. government is preparing for and whether American citizens shouldn’t be preparing, as well, for that eventuality when our so-called “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is no longer answerable to “we the people.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7190

Idaho City Tells Pastors “Do Gay Marriages” or Face Jail Time

By Russ Hepler – 129 Comments • In Christian Nation, US
In yet another battle for religious freedom in this country, a city in Idaho is acting far more like it is from North Korea or the old Soviet Union. The Washington Times reports:
Coeur d‘Alene, Idaho, city officials have laid down the law to Christian pastors within their community, telling them bluntly via an ordinance that if they refuse to marry homosexuals, they will face jail time and fines.

The dictate comes on the heels of a legal battle with Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in the city, but who oppose gay marriage, The Daily Caller reported.
A federal judge recently ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, while the city of Coeur d‘Alene has an ordinance that prevents discrimination based on sexual preference.
Yes, that’s right – now pastors are being threatened with fines and jail time if they refuse to go against their beliefs and perform “same-sex” marriages. This goes well beyond the assault on Christian businesses by the homosexual bullies. This is a direct frontal assault on Christian churches.
And, this is not an exaggeration or a misunderstanding of the city’s ordinance as the Washington Times explains:
The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a suit in federal court to stop the city from enforcing the fine and jail sentence, saying in a statement from senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco that the government has overstepped its bounds, The Daily Caller reported.
“Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here — and it’s happened this quickly,” Mr. Tedersco said, The Daily Caller reported.
But the city sees it differently. As far back as May, city officials were insisting that their ordinance is indeed in line with law.
“If you turn away a gay couple, refuse to provide services for them, then in theory you violated our code, and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation,” said Coeur d‘Alene City Attorney Warren Wilson, to KXLY months ago.
What the city attorney and the homosexual radicals are overlooking is the fact that no pastor is required to perform weddings. It is a voluntary ministry of their churches. Now, if a minister put a sign on the church door that said, “No gays allowed”, that would be different. But, the truth is that almost all churches welcome sinners regardless of their past. The mission of the Christian Church is to bring the lost to salvation.
But, having said that, it must also be understood that churches set their own requirements for membership, leadership, and employee qualifications. It is their undisputed right to do so. No outside group or government has the right to dictate beliefs to any church. That is an absolutely clear violation of the 1st Amendment.
In churches where weddings are performed, they are always at the pastor’s and other leadership’s discretion. A pastor can, and does, refuse to marry couples for numbers of reasons.
It goes far beyond what is “legal.” For example, a pastor may refuse to marry a couple in the church if one of the pair is not a believer. A pastor may refuse to marry a couple that are perceived to be too immature.

A pastor may refuse to marry a couple in the church if they are not of the same faith as the church. All of these reasons are legitimate and legal.
For this city council to believe it has the right to dictate who it is pastors must marry goes beyond any authority any government in the United States has.
And, simply by creating an artificial category of people within a community does not give them any more rights than anyone else. Yet, this is exactly the goal of radical homosexual movement. It is not just acceptance, it is dominance in society they are pushing for with their extremist agenda.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7188

Are We Being Psychologically Conditioned To Accept Martial Law In America?

MICHAEL SNYDER | END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM | APRIL 30, 2015
Have you noticed that we are starting to be bombarded with images of troops in the streets? Have you noticed that the term “martial law” is coming up a lot in movies, news broadcasts and even in television commercials? In recent years, it seems like the solution to almost every major crisis involves bringing in troops. In fact, it has already gotten to the point where when something really bad happens a lot of Americans immediately cry out for troops to be brought in. And we are seeing the same patterns over and over again. Just remember what happened in Ferguson – protesters were whipped up to a frenzy, when the riots began the police were ordered to stand down and not intervene, and finally National Guard troops were brought in as the “solution” to a crisis that had escalated wildly out of control. This is the exact same pattern that we are witnessing in Baltimore, and as you will see below, National Guard troops all over the nation have been training for this exact type of scenario. A couple of decades ago, many Americans would have regarded the notion of “martial law in America” as absolutely unthinkable, but these days the threat of civil unrest is causing an increasing number of Americans to embrace the idea of troops patrolling our city streets.
The anger toward the police that we see in the city of Baltimore is very real, but there also seem to be a lot of signs that the events of the past several days have been orchestrated and manipulated. This is something that I covered in my previous article entitled “12 Unanswered Questions About The Baltimore Riots That They Don’t Want Us To Ask“. But what we have found out since then is that high school kids appear to have been “herded” by the police into the Mondawmin neighborhood in Baltimore when school was let out on Monday…
When school let out that afternoon, police were in the area equipped with full riot gear. According to eyewitnesses in the Mondawmin neighborhood, the police were stopping busses and forcing riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark. Cops shut down the local subway stop. They also blockaded roads near the Mondawmin Mall and Frederick Douglass High School, which is across the street from the mall, and essentially corralled young people in the area. That is, they did not allow the after-school crowd to disperse.
Even though most of the kids did not seem to have any interest in participating in the much-hyped “purge”, it looks like authorities were determined to get their “purge” one way or another. The following was posted to Facebook by a Baltimore teacher named Meghann Harris…
Police were forcing busses to stop and unload all their passengers. Then, [Frederick Douglass High School] students, in huge herds, were trying to leave on various busses but couldn’t catch any because they were all shut down. No kids were yet around except about 20, who looked like they were waiting for police to do something. The cops, on the other hand, were in full riot gear, marching toward any small social clique of students…It looked as if there were hundreds of cops.
Another teacher seems to confirm the other accounts that you just read…
A teacher at Douglass High School, who asked not to be identified, tells a similar story: “When school was winding down, many students were leaving early with their parents or of their own accord.” Those who didn’t depart early, she says, were stranded. Many of the students still at school at that point, she notes, wanted to get out of the area and avoid anyPurge-like violence. Some were requesting rides home from teachers. But by now, it was difficult to leave the neighborhood. “I rode with another teacher home,” this teacher recalls, “and we had to route our travel around the police in riot gear blocking the road…The majority of my students thought what was going to happen was stupid or were frightened at the idea. Very few seemed to want to participate in ‘the purge.’“
This paints a very different picture than we are getting from the media.
But once the violence and rioting did start, the police were nowhere to be found. In fact, it is being reported that the mayor of Baltimore actually ordered the police to “stand down” and allow the chaos to spiral out of control…
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered the police to stand down as riots and looting broke out across they city, a new report claims.
According to a senior law enforcement source, the embattled mayor effectively told her officers to do nothing as the city began to burn – raising questions as to whether the rioting could have been stopped.
Finally, after several hours of madness, the order was given and the National Guard was brought in to quell the rioting.
And it just so happens to turn out that National Guard troops all over the nation have recently been engaged in something called “civil unrest training”…
Many of the Guardsmen are trained for a situation just like the one in Maryland.
It’s called “civil unrest training,” and it was recently completed in Tennessee with a local police department.
Troops have also trained in Maryland and Colorado.
“It really helped put it into perspective the person we are going to be up against – the rioter, the unruly person,” said one National Guard official.
The training includes gas mask training and practice with shields and batons.
Isn’t that convenient?
There are so many instances in which “training” seems to eerily correspond with actual events. That is one of the reasons why so many people are concerned about Jade Helm and all of the other very elaborate military exercises that are being held around the country in 2015. In fact, there has been so much concern about Jade Helm that the governor of Texas has ordered the Texas Guard to monitor Jade Helm…
Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor federal military exercises in Texas after some citizens have lit up the Internet saying the maneuvers are actually the prelude to martial law.
The operation causing rampant suspicions is a new kind of exercise involving elite teams such as the SEALs and Green Berets from four military branches training over several states from July 15 to Sept. 15
Called Jade Helm 15, the exercise is one of the largest training operations done by the military in response to what it calls the evolving nature of warfare. About 1,200 special operations personnel will be involved and move covertly among the public. They will use military equipment to travel between seven Southwestern states from Texas to California.
The following is a map from Jade Helm materials, and it designates Utah and Texas as “hostile territory”. Yes, I know that this is supposed to be an “exercise”, but even so this is highly inappropriate to say the least…

Lastly, I want to share with you an AARP commercial that appears to have a subliminal message in the background about martial law.
Why in the world would a television commercial aimed at senior citizens talk about martial law?
I have no idea.
If you listen very carefully to the video posted below, you will hear the following message in the background…
Riots nationwide have prompted local governments to declare martial law.
The President is asking that citizens find safety and remain calm.
Authorities are working to contain the outbreak.
So what in the world are we supposed to make of all this?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7184

Magma expanse under Yellowstone supervolcano more vast than thought

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
Updated 10:11 PM ET, Fri April 24, 2015

Story highlights
• Scientist measured the thousands of small earthquakes in Yellowstone to scan the earth underneath it
• They discovered a vast magma reservoir fueling a vast one scientists already knew about
• Prehistoric eruptions of Yellowstone supervolcano were some of Earth’s largest explosions
(CNN)As tourists stroll between Yellowstone’s 300 active geysers, taking selfies in front of thousands of bubbling, boiling mud pots and hissing steam vents, they are treading on one of the planet’s greatest time bombs.
The park is a supervolcano so enormous, it has puzzled geophysicists for decades, but now a research group, using seismic technology to scan its depths, have made a bombshell discovery.
Yellowstone’s magma reserves are many magnitudes greater than previously thought, say scientists from the University of Utah.
Underneath the national park’s attractions and walking paths is enough hot rock to fill the Grand Canyon nearly 14 times over. Most of it is in a newly discovered magma reservoir, which the scientists featured in a study published on Thursday in the journal Science.
It may help scientists better understand why Yellowstone’s previous eruptions, in prehistoric times, were some of Earth’s largest explosions in the last few million years.
The Utah scientists also created the first three-dimensional depiction of the geothermal structure under Yellowstone, which comprises three parts.

Supervolcano eruption feared at Yellowstone 01:09
Fire in Earth’s belly
Yellowstone’s ultimate heat source reaches down 440 to 1,800 miles beneath Earth’s surface — and may come from its molten core. It is responsible for fueling the newly discovered reservoir that lies on top of it.
The magma chamber, which scientists already knew about, lies on top of the reservoir — and draws magma from it. It is a three to nine miles under the surface of the Earth and is what fuels the geysers, steaming puddles and other hot attractions.
It alone has a volume 2.5 times that of the Grand Canyon.
But those great magma expanses do not mean that the two hellish hollows could overflow the Grand Canyon with molten rock.
No new dangers
The overwhelming bulk of their magma cavities comprise scorching — yet solid — rock, which is hollow, like sponges, and filled with pockets of liquefied rock.
Also, the discovery doesn’t mean that there is now more magma than there was before, the scientists say. And they are no signs of an imminent eruption.
“The actual hazard is the same, but now we have a much better understanding of the complete crustal magma system,” said researcher Robert B. Smith.
An eruption in the next few thousand years is extremely unlikely, the USGS says. The Utah scientists put the yearly chance at 1 in 700,000 — about the odds that you will be struck by lightning.
World’s greatest explosions
But when it does blow, it probably will change the world.
Compared to Yellowstone’s past, Mount St. Helens was a picnic, when it covered Washington state with an ash bed about the size of Lake Michigan in 1980. Mount Pinatubo, which exploded in the Philippines in 1991, doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of Yellowstone’s roar.
Nor did Krakatoa in 1883, which killed thousands, and the final explosion of which reportedly ruptured the eardrums of people 40 miles away.
To understand the consequences of Yellowstone’s previous eruptions, open the history books to 1815, when Mount Tambora blew many cubic miles of debris skyward and killed about 10,000 inhabitants of Indonesia in an instant, according to a report in Smithsonian Magazine.
Its dust may have blocked sunlight around the world, chilling the air and dropping the Earth’s climate into a frigid phase that garnered the year 1816 the “year without a summer,” some climatologists believe. It may have led to frosty crop failures in Europe and North America.
Magnitudes worse
Tambora blew 36 cubic miles of debris into the sky. Yellowstone has dwarfed that at least three times, the USGS says.
The explosions have left deep scars, and park goers often become familiar with one — the Yellowstone Caldera, which takes up much of the park and is lined by a roundish mountainous ridge.
The caldera is a volcanic crater some 40- by 25-miles large, left behind when 240 cubic miles of debris ruptured out of the Earth and into the air during volcanic discharge some 630,000 years ago, USGS says.
Lava flowed into the breach, filling it, which may account for the lack of a deeper crater.
Long before that, 2 million years ago, volcanic activity blew 600 cubic miles of Yellowstone debris into the air.
Those were the two largest eruptions in North America in a few million years, the USGS said, and they each buried in ash more than a third of what is now the continental U.S.
“If another large caldera-forming eruption were to occur at Yellowstone, its effects would be worldwide,” the USGS says. It would drastically shift the world’s climate.
Keeping an eye out
So, it’s no wonder scientists have cast an eye on Yellowstone for a while.
The Utah researchers gave the Yellowstone’s magma bowels a sort of CT scan, said lead researcher Hsin-Hua Huang. Volcanic activity triggers 2,000 to 3,000 small earthquakes per year, and the shake and shock waves travel at different speeds through molten, hot and other rock.
It allowed them to develop a detailed model of the seething expanse beneath Yellowstone that makes it what it is. Here are the upper magma chamber and lower magma reservoir by the numbers.
The upper chamber, which caused the historic blasts and is closest to the surface, is 2,500 cubic miles in volume and measures about 19 by 55 miles. The lower reservoir, which has a volume of 11,200 cubic miles, measures about 30 by 44 miles and is about 16 miles thick.

Scientists discover new magma reservoir underneath the already known magma chamber.
EXPAND IMAGE
Even if the next explosion is many thousands of years away, Yellowstone’s cavernous heat tanks poke up an occasionally surprise. The last lava flow was some 70,000 years ago, USGS says.
But more recently in 2003, ground temperatures rose high enough to dry out geysers and boil the sap in some trees. A few inches under the surface, thermometers recorded a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit — nearly hot enough to boil water.
So, national park authorities closed Yellowstone to keep people from burning their feet — or basting their tires on melting roads.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7175

We will not obey: Christian leaders threaten civil disobedience if Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage

Whether we agree or disagree with the decision of the Supreme Court I think we need to pray before deciding to participate or even condone civil disobedience. Protests will not make more people come to Christ.

 

Tommy

 

By Todd Starnes
Published April 28, 2015
“We will not obey.”
That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage.
“We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line,” read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage. “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.”
“While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross,” the pledge states.
The signees are a who’s who of religious leaders including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, National Religious Broadcasters president Jerry Johnson, Pastor John Hagee, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.
The pledge was co-drafted by Deacon Keith Fournier, a Catholic deacon, and Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel. Also involved in the document were Rick Scarborough, the president of Vision America Action and James Dobson, the founder of Family Talk Radio.
“We’re sending a warning to the Supreme Court and frankly any court that crosses the line on the issue of marriage,” Staver told me.
He said that once same-sex marriage is elevated to the level of protected status – it will transform the face of society and will result in the “beginning of the end of Western Civilization.”
“You are essentially saying that boys and girls don’t need moms and dads – that moms and dads are irrelevant,” Staver said. “Gender becomes pointless when government adopts same-sex marriage. It creates a genderless relationship out of a very gender-specific relationship. It says that it doesn’t matter and that two moms or two dads are absolutely equivalent to a mom and a dad.”
Dobson said the legalization of same-sex marriage could fracture the nation.
“The institution of marriage is fundamental and it must be defended,” he told me. “It’s the foundation for the entire culture. It’s been in existence for 5,000 years. If you weaken it or if you undermine it – the entire superstructure can come down. We see it as that important.”
And that means the possibility of Christians – people of faith – engaging in acts of civil disobedience.
“Yes, I’m talking about civil disobedience,” Staver said. “I’m talking about resistance and I’m talking about peaceful resistance against unjust laws and unjust rulings.”
That’s quite a shocking statement. So I asked Mr. Staver to clarify his remarks.
“I’m calling for people to not recognize the legitimacy of that ruling because it’s not grounded in the Rule of Law,” he told me. “They need to resist that ruling in every way possible. In a peaceful way – they need to resist it as much as Martin Luther King, Jr. resisted unjust laws in his time.”
Scarborough said the pledge was meant to be forthright and clear.
“We’re facing a real Constitutional crisis if the Supreme Court rules adversely from our perspective on same-sex marriage,” he told me. For me there’s no option. I’m going to choose to serve the Lord. And I think that thousands of other pastors will take that position and hundreds of thousands – if not millions of Christians.”
Scarborough is urging pastors across the nation to sign the pledge.
He referenced the “outrageous penalties” being assessed against people of faith simply because they don’t want to participate in a same-sex union.
An Oregon bakery is facing a $135,000 fine for refusing to make a cake for a lesbian wedding and a Washington State florist faces fines for refusing to participate in a gay wedding.
“Christians are being declared the lawbreakers when we are simply living by what we have always believed, and by a set of laws that the culture historically has agreed to,” he said. “Right now the courts are changing the playing field and declaring that what the natural eye can see and natural law reveals is not truth. … What will we do, and how will we respond?”
Dobson said there’s no doubt that LGBT activists are targeting Christian business owners.
“For about 50 years the homosexual community has had as its goal to change the culture, to change the ideology and if necessary – to force people who don’t agree by use of the courts,” Dobson told me. “I think there’s a collision here and we can all see it and where it’s going to go is anybody’s guess – but it is serious.”
To be clear – the men and women who courageously signed this pledge did so knowing the hell storm that is about to be unleashed on them – and their families.
“We have no choice,” Staver told me. “We cannot compromise our clear biblical convictions, our religious convictions

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7171

Jade Helm And ‘Six Months Of Horror’ Predicted By David Wilkerson 20 Years Ago?

By Susan Duclos – All News PipeLine

A sermon by David Wilkerson, purportedly given in 1994, spoke of a European nation defaulting on it’s international loans, then describing events Wilkerson envisioned happening in quick succession following that default, which would include Mexico defaulting on the money owed to the US, causing a run on US banks and “six months of horror” and “chaos” that not even the National Guard will be able to quiet down, stating “we’re going to have to call out the whole U.S. Army.”

WILKERSON’S PROPHETIC WARNING:

Key Points To Remember About The Vision:

1) From the time the first country goes down, you’ll have two weeks to get your money out of the bank. 2) America will come through this crisis—there will be a restoration. 3) But the nation will never be like it was before… 4) God is saying: Get our lives straight…Get rid of the idols…Seek the face of God in holiness…5) God will be a wall of fire about you…And the glory in the midst of you!

It’s about to happen—very soon, one nation, and I’m speaking prophetically–if I’ve ever heard anything from God in my life, I heard it. Very soon a European or North African or Eastern nation is going to default on its international loan and when that happens, within two weeks, Mexico is going to default. Mexico owes $100 billion —80% of it to American banks—and here’s what is going to happen: about two weeks after the first country goes bankrupt, (we’re going to survive that, because most of that (money of the first country) is owed to European banks—German, Swiss and French banks) but a second country is going to go down, probably Argentina or Brazil, and we’ll kind of live that down and say: “Well, maybe it’s not going to hurt,” but two weeks after the first country goes down, Mexico’s going to default on $100 billion.

And when the banks open the next day at 9 in the morning, $15 billion an hour is going to be withdrawn from our American banks -they’re going to be running our banks—the Arabs—all the Latin American countries, they’re going to be running our banks–and before the day is over, the USA is going to have to declare a “bank holiday.”

SIX MONTHS OF HORROR:

And we’re going into six months of the worst hell America has ever seen—there’s going to be chaos—not even the National Guard’s going to be able to quiet it down—we’re going to have to call out the whole U.S. Army.

Now I’ve had visions recently, for I’ve been in New York City and I was in Macy’s in a vision, and I saw people walking around stunned because they couldn’t get their money out of the bank.

Now I’m going to give you a word of advice, the first country goes bankrupt—I’ve documented this and I’ve got it sealed in an envelope, and I’m going to call all my friends and I’m telling you—this is the first time I’ve said it in a public meeting like this—but the first country that bellies up, you go get every dime you have—church get your money out of the bank–because there’s going to be a ‘bank holiday’ and you won’t be able to get a dime for six months. Now, of course, there’s going to be -restored, but the nation will never be like it is again.

There’s going to be fear like we’ve never known—judgment at the door. When I was at Macy’s Dept. store in a vision and I watched people walking around stunned, they didn’t know what to do, they didn’t know what was happening; then a bunch of people walked into Macy’s and suddenly went wild and began to steal and within an hour everybody—I saw the spirit of everybody in the store—they were robbing and stealing—they raped Macy’s and destroyed five floors—Macy’s was raped and ruined in a period of an hour or two.

That’s just the beginning. Folks it’s all in this book (the bible) —we’ve been warned and warned and warned—you can’t tell me God hasn’t warned us. You can’t tell me God isn’t saying something awesome here tonight in this church…we better get our prayer life straightened up, our lives straightened up, get rid of the idols, as Paul writes, and seeking the face of God in holiness or you’re not going to be ready for what’s coming. God’s warning, get ready and you’ll not fear these things that come onto you and you’ll start rejoicing, you’ll not be afraid because your hands will be clean. You’ve been praying and God’s building a wall of fire around you to keep you.”

We’d like to teach you a song about God’s protection. It goes like this.: “There’s a wall of fire around me…There’s a wall of fire between my soul and the enemy. There’s a wall of fire that you can’t see…Between my soul and the enemy. There’s a wall of fire around me. May it be so with us all…”

With talk from Greece stating they can not pay their international loan, talk of the “Gexit,” and the ripple effect expected to be felt worldwide, could this be the event that Wilkerson foretold that will lead to the others spoken about?

Headlines from just this week alone show the situation in Greece is getting more dire by the day, with the Business Insider headlining “Greece is going to miss its own bailout deadline and the money is rapidly running out,” and EUObserver reporting “Greece raids public sector coffers to pay pensions,” and multiple other media outlets reporting the same.

There is no doubt the international community is preparing for Greece to default.

With the overwhelming concern by Americans regarding the planned Jade Helm military exercises, scheduled from July to September 2015, to be held on US soil, not as civil disobedience training as others in the past have been, but specifically labeled as “unconventional warfare,” which has been called “unprecedented and dangerous” by a 28 year veteran of the US Army, among others, along with massive military movement being documented and foreign troops captured on camera in full uniform here in America, are we watching the US government prepare for what Wilkerson warned of over 20 years ago?
Wilkerson’s reference to the US declaring a “bank holiday,” brings us back to 2013 when Greece did declare a “bank holiday,” preventing their bank depositors from accessing their own funds until a bail-out deal could be made, where officials negotiated how much of depositors funds could stolen from their accounts before allowing them to access those accounts again.

FLASHBACK:

Overnight last night, the Eurogroup (Eurozone executive committee) negotiated a deal for a bailout of the banking system in Cyprus. As part of the deal, a one-time, one-off levy on depositors was agreed: deposits below €100,000 are subject to a 6.75% levy, while those over €100,000 are subject to a 9.99% “fine”.

The Daily Mail reported key bullet points at the time, including – • Lines formed at ATMs as people scrambled to pull their money out; • Word spread that rescue package included a one-off levy on deposits; • Restrictions stopping people emptying accounts or moving money abroad; • Up to 3,000 British service personnel are based on the bankrupt island; • President Nicos Anastasiades agreed to raid with European finance chiefs; • Said country in ‘state of emergency’ and not acting would be ‘catastrophic’ ; • But expats accused the island of ‘plain theft’ as violent protests sparked ; • Britons have about £1.7b of deposits on island and could lose up to £170m

Now just imagine how Americans would react to the US government cutting off their access to their own deposits. One word that Wilkerson used would describe the fallout easily – CHAOS.

For those that wave away that possibility as something that would never happen in america, we remind readers that in November 2014, legal mechanisms were put in place to put that option on the table.

Via Ellen Brown:

On the weekend of November 16th, the G20 leaders whisked into Brisbane, posed for their photo ops, approved some proposals, made a show of roundly disapproving of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and whisked out again. It was all so fast, they may not have known what they were endorsing when they rubber-stamped the Financial Stability Board’s “Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution,” which completely changes the rules of banking.

Russell Napier, writing in ZeroHedge, called it “the day money died.” In any case, it may have been the day deposits died as money. Unlike coins and paper bills, which cannot be written down or given a “haircut,” says Napier, deposits are now “just part of commercial banks’ capital structure.” That means they can be “bailed in” or confiscated to save the megabanks from derivative bets gone wrong.

Rather than reining in the massive and risky derivatives casino, the new rules prioritize the payment of banks’ derivatives obligations to each other, ahead of everyone else. That includes not only depositors, public and private, but the pension funds that are the target market for the latest bail-in play, called “bail-inable” bonds.

QUESTION: Why would the US put legal mechanisms in place if they didn’t see a scenario where they may have to use them?

Below Ellen Brown explains those bail-in rules and what they mean for depositors in the wake of the next banking crisis.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7163

Is The U.S. Food Supply Cursed? – By Michael Snyder

Why are so many catastrophes hitting U.S. food production? This week, we have learned that more than 7 million turkeys and chickens have already been killed as the result of a devastating bird flu outbreak here in the United States. This particular strain of the bird flu has already spread to the states of Minnesota, Iowa, California, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin, and scientists are mystified as to why it is moving so rapidly. But what we do know is that this flu has the potential to kill an entire flock of chickens or turkeys in just 48 hours. This pandemic is quickly becoming a major national crisis all by itself, but when you combine this with all of the other disasters hitting our food supply, a very troubling picture emerges. Could it be possible that the U.S. food supply is cursed?

Before we talk about the bird flu some more, let’s first review some of the other ways that our food supply is under assault.

-Due to the worst drought in the recorded history of the state, much of California is turning back into a desert. And considering the fact that California produces nearly half of all the fresh produce grown in the entire nation, that is a very frightening thing. Prices for many fruits and vegetables have already gone up substantially in our grocery stores.

-The multi-year drought in the southwest United States has also had a crippling impact on many ranchers. At this point, the size of the U.S. cattle herd is the smallest that it has been since the 1950s, and the price of beef has doubled since the last recession.

-Over the past couple of years, porcine epidemic diarrhea wiped out approximately 10 percent of the entire pig population in the United States. This particular plague seems to have subsided at least for now, but scientists tell us that it could come back strong at any moment.

-As my friend Mac Slavo wrote about the other day, the sardine population off the west coast has declined by 91 percent since 2007. This is having a devastating affect on the food chain in the Pacific Ocean.

-Speaking of the Pacific, a whole host of other sea creatures appear to be dying off in large numbers as well. For much more on this, please see this article.

-Down in Florida, citrus greening disease has hit the citrus industry extremely hard. The price of Florida oranges has approximately doubled over the past 12 years, and crops keep getting even smaller every year…

The big squeeze is on in citrus industry, and it isn’t expected to lessen anytime soon.

Florida growers have yielded far fewer oranges over the past decade due to citrus greening, resulting in less juice in the market and fewer dollars in their pockets.

“Everything starts and ends with citrus greening,” said Fritz Roka, a University of Florida agricultural economist at the Southwest Florida Research & Education Center in Immokalee. “For the next several years, citrus greening will still be the focus of attention.”

-A plague known as the TR4 fungus has hit global banana production in a big way. According to CNBC, this nightmare fungus may eventually completely wipe out the variety of bananas that we commonly eat today…

Banana lovers take note: The world’s supply of the fruit is under attack from a fungus strain that could wipe out the popular variety that Americans eat.

“It’s a very serious situation,” said Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida who in 1989 originally discovered a strain of Panama disease, called TR4, that may be growing into a serious threat to U.S. supplies of the fruit and Latin American producers.

“There’s nothing at this point that really keeps the fungus from spreading,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

On top of all that, now we have a major bird flu outbreak to deal with.

According to USA Today, 3.8 million hens will be destroyed at one farm in Iowa alone in an attempt to keep this flu from spreading even more…

Poultry producers in several states are bracing for more losses as a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza forced producers to kill millions of chickens and turkeys in the USA in recent weeks.

The fast-moving H5N2 virus was confirmed on Monday at a chicken laying facility in Osceola County, Iowa. Some 3.8 million layer hens at the farm affiliated with Sonstegard Foods Company will be euthanized to try to prevent the spread of the disease, according to the company.

If this bird flu continues to spread in states such as Iowa, we could have a nightmare scenario on our hands. Most people don’t realize this, but almost one out of every five eggs that we eat comes from that state…

Because of avian influenza, the state’s $2 billion commercial egg-laying industry has been on high alert this spring. Iowa, the nation’s largest egg producer, has about 50 million hens and supplies nearly 1 in every 5 eggs consumed in the United States.

“Anybody that has a poultry operation – whether large or small, whether you’ve got hundreds of birds or one bird – this should be a wake-up call,” said Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Poultry Association.

Unfortunately, this new outbreak is extremely puzzling to our scientists. At this point, they really don’t know why it is spreading so fast…

The deadly flu virus that has wiped out nearly 5 percent of Minnesota’s turkey industry is a part of a global disease outbreak, but scientists still don’t understand it.

After emerging in Asia, the avian flu spread to poultry farms in the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Germany.

Its quick arrival in North America has alarmed scientists who are trying to unravel the mystery of how these deadly bugs have infected so many turkey farms in such a short period of time.

“It’s been really troubling to understand how in the world this can possibly be happening,” said Carol Cardona, a professor of avian medicine at the University of Minnesota.

Have we ever seen a time when so many major catastrophes have hit our food production all at once?

It appears that this is a “perfect storm” of sorts, and we all get to feel the pain of this onslaught when we visit our local grocery stores.

So are we witnessing a convergence of unrelated coincidences, or could it be possible that there is another explanation?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7154