Category: America

IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE …

by Joseph Farah

Ignore all the historical evidence that genocides and government-initiated mass murders are preceded 100 percent of the time by states disarming citizens.

That’s the message the American gun-grabbing cabal is sending daily now.

It could never happen here …

Don’t even allude to the historical evidence, they warn. Only conspiracy theorists and other wackos would make such a suggestion. Never mind that America’s founders wanted to ensure citizens were armed to prevent the creation of a powerful central government that exceeded constitutional limits on authority. That was then. This is now. It’s no longer relevant. It’s unthinkable that citizens would ever have to take up arms against authoritarian rulers in America, they say.

And one thing that is especially off-limits is to remind Americans that Adolf Hitler disarmed Germany’s citizens upon seizing power – making certain he and his SS henchman had absolute and total power to launch the deadliest war in history and carry out the Holocaust.

Making any reference to this fact is equated with comparing Hitler to Barack Obama.

Not so.

Most of the civilized world – and especially the Jewish community – made a pledge after World War II. It was a pledge more relevant today than ever before.

What was that pledge?

Very simple – two words: “Never again.”

Today nearly all the world’s Jews live in one of two countries – Israel and the U.S.

Let’s talk about Israel first: Israel is surrounded by hostile neighbors who seek to wipe its Jewish citizens off the face of the earth. They are building nuclear weapons now as well as conducting highly effective asymmetrical warfare against the Jewish state. The Muslim Brotherhood is sweeping through the Arab world in a bid for total power and an Arab alliance not seen since the high point of the Islamic Empire. The single most important unifying ideal of the Muslim Brotherhood is the annihilation of the Jewish state.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government is going rogue. The Constitution is rarely even considered by most of the Washington political establishment and not at all by the executive branch. Every day Washington makes a mockery of the Constitution’s restrictions on the power of the federal government. Every day America takes another step toward authoritarianism. Americans themselves, meanwhile, thanks to the moral relativism taught in schools, universities and the media, are disconnecting from the Judeo-Christian ethics that made the country a beacon of liberty and self-government. And now, in conjunction with what has deteriorated into a state-controlled media, the political and cultural elite have their sights set on destroying the one ultimate safeguard against totalitarianism by disarming the American citizenry.

These are two developments that should make every Jew, every true Christian and every rational, liberty-minded, life-affirming and justice-oriented person in the world wary.

No one is comparing Obama with Hitler.

That’s not the point.

The point is that America still has lessons to learn from the rise of Hitler and its aftermath if we truly still believe in that simple pledge – “never again.”

It’s not just a pledge for Jews. To mean anything, it needs to be a pledge for all Americans, for all free people, for all those with a conscience and historical memory.

When government has a monopoly on force, bad things always happen.

In fact, I would go further: People who deny that every holocaust, every genocide, every state-sponsored mass murder was preceded by the disarming of the citizenry are the moral equivalents of Holocaust deniers. Everyone who insists that “it could never happen here” is doing everything in their power to ensure the very worst does happen here.

Remember, in Germany they came for the Jews first. But it didn’t end there. Those who defended the Jews were also victims. Those who opposed Hitler were also victims. Many were victims just because of Hitler’s paranoia and no other reason at all. And the unprecedented bloodshed spread all over Europe and beyond.

None of it could have happened without the disarming of the German populace.

It can happen here.

It is happening here.

History does repeat itself.

History is repeating itself.

And those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4855

1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation

The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice.  It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.  As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month.  Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.  In America.

Add to this perplexing outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation.  As observed by “paramilblogger” Ken Jorgustin last September:

[T]he Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (apparently through the  Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.”

These MRAP’s ARE BEING SEEN ON U.S. STREETS all across America by verified observers with photos, videos, and descriptions.”

Regardless of the exact number of MRAP’s being delivered to DHS (and evidently some to POLICE via DHS, as has been observed), why would they need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S. streets to withstand IEDs, mine blasts, and 50 caliber hits to bullet-proof glass? In a war zone… yes, definitely. Let’s protect our men and women. On the streets of America… ?”

“They all have gun ports… Gun Ports? In the theater of war, yes. On the streets of America…?

Seriously, why would DHS need such a vehicle on our streets?”

Why indeed?  It is utterly inconceivable that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is planning a coup d’etat against President Obama, and the Congress, to install herself as Supreme Ruler of the United States of America.  There, however, are real signs that the Department bureaucrats are running amok.  About 20 years ago this columnist worked, for two years, in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division.  And is wise to the ways.   The answer to “why would DHS need such a vehicle?” almost certainly is this:  it’s a cool toy and these (reportedly) million dollar toys are being recycled, without much of a impact on the DHS budget.  So… why not?

Why, indeed, should the federal government not be deploying armored personnel carriers and stockpiling enough ammo for a 20-year war in the homeland?  Because it’s wrong in every way.  President Obama has an opportunity, now, to live up to some of his rhetoric by helping the federal government set a noble example in a matter very close to his heart (and that of his Progressive base), one not inimical to the Bill of Rights: gun control.  The federal government can (for a nice change) begin practicing what it preaches by controlling itself.

Remember the Sequester?  The president is claiming its budget cuts will inconvenience travelers by squeezing essential services provided by the (opulently armed and stylishly uniformed) DHS.  Quality ammunition is not cheap.  (Of course, news reports that DHS is about to spend $50 million on new uniforms suggests a certain cavalier attitude toward government frugality.)

Spending money this way is beyond absurd well into perverse.  According to the AP story a DHS spokesperson justifies this acquisition to “help the government get a low price for a big purchase.” Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center:  “The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.”

At 15 million rounds (which, in itself, is pretty extraordinary and sounds more like fun target-shooting-at-taxpayer-expense than a sensible training exercise) … that’s a stockpile that would last DHS over a century.  To claim that it’s to “get a low price” for a ridiculously wasteful amount is an argument that could only fool a career civil servant.

Meanwhile, Senator Diane Feinstein, with the support of President Obama, is attempting to ban 100 capacity magazine clips.  Doing a little apples-to-oranges comparison, here, 1.6 billion rounds is … 16 million times more objectionable.

Mr. Obama has a long history of disdain toward gun ownership.  According to Prof. John Lott, in Debacle, a book he co-authored with iconic conservative strategist Grover Norquist,

“When I was first introduced to Obama (when both worked at the University of Chicago Law School, where Lott was famous for his analysis of firearms possession), he said, ‘Oh, you’re the gun guy.’

I responded: ‘Yes, I guess so.’

’I don’t believe that people should own guns,’ Obama replied.

I then replied that it might be fun to have lunch and talk about that statement some time.

He simply grimaced and turned away. …

Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama showed disdain.”

Mr. Obama?  Where’s the disdain now?  Cancelling, or at minimum, drastically scaling back — by 90% or even 99%, the DHS order for ammo, and its receipt and deployment of armored personnel carriers, would be a “fourfer.”

  • The federal government would set an example of restraint in the matter of weaponry.
  • It would reduce the deficit without squeezing essential services.
  • It would do both in a way that was palatable to liberals and conservatives, slightly depolarizing America.
  • It would somewhat defuse, by the government making itself less armed-to-the-teeth, the anxiety of those who mistrust the benevolence of the federales.

If Obama doesn’t show any leadership on this matter it’s an opportunity for Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, to summon Secretary Napolitano over for a little national conversation. Madame Secretary?  Buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and deploying armored personnel carriers runs contrary, in every way, to what “homeland security” really means.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4843

THE WEIRDOES IN CHRISTENDOM

The weirdoes in Christendom

Exclusive: Greg Laurie warns of spiritual ‘junk food’ spread by last-days false teachers

byGreg Laurie

I am amazed at some of the crazy things professing Christians will buy into. It seems like every few years a new fad comes along that gets everyone worked up.

People get caught up in this nonsense, which is an itch for novelty. And after a while, they will get tired of that and run off to some new thing. It is because they have never learned to love the Scriptures.

 

It is sort of like living on junk food. It is not good for you. You get the rush and the buzz after the Ding Dong, but then you come down. So you have another one. But you are not having a nutritious meal.

Maybe these fads will gather crowds for a time and make Christians look like idiots to the rest of the world, because for some unknown reason, people feel compelled to put these things on television. Sometimes I will flip through the channels and see some of these things, and I feel so embarrassed. I ask myself why it is that we have these people representing Christianity.

We want to be very careful when it comes to having an appetite for novelty, because the Bible tells us that in the last days, there will be false teachers. There will be a false gospel. There even will be false miracles. We have to wise up to that. That means when there are people waving Bibles and saying God told them this and that and they have a message for us from God, only the discerning believers will know the difference. Only those Christians who are conversant with Scripture and are biblically literate will be able to spot the weirdoes, because they are coming—and are indeed with us.

I believe that Hosea’s cry rings true for many in the church today: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6 NKJV).

So many people in the church today are biblically illiterate. They don’t have a biblical worldview. I have been in many different churches as a guest speaker, and when I say, “Turn in your Bibles to …,” and no one has a Bible, it is not a good sign. Then, when I will refer to certain biblical passages or stories, I notice that many people will have a blank expression on their faces.

 

In fact, usually within the first four to six minutes of speaking, I can assess a congregation’s biblical IQ. As I begin to speak, I notice the way they track, the way they listen, what interests them, and what doesn’t interest them. I can see how people will come alive when an illustration is rolled out, but as soon as I go back to the biblical text, they go into a daze, as if to say, “Wake us when the next illustration or joke is coming.”

This is because they have never learned to love the Bible. They have never developed a hunger for the Bible. That is what I want the people in my congregation to have. I want them to love the Bible. I love worship. I love having various musical artists come in and share their music with us. But I believe the main event is the teaching and the preaching of the Bible. That is what I want people to care for.

Unfortunately in the church today, there is a movement afoot in which the basic objective is to get huge crowds into churches. Pastors are spending a lot of money and time learning from the so-called experts who will tell them how to pack their pews.

But Jesus didn’t say to go into all the world and pack the pews; he said to go into all the world and make disciples. I would rather have fewer people in the pews who have a love for Scripture and an understanding of what discipleship is rather than have pews crowded with people who don’t possess these qualities. Making disciples is what we need to think about. Little sermonettes will produce Christianettes.

The church is a place where the Bible should be taught and where God’s people should know what the Scripture says. It should be a place where we worship, a place where we pray and a place where we use the gifts God has given us.

But we are getting away from that. That is why there is so much vulnerability to false teaching today.

This was happening in Jude’s time, which prompted him to refute false teachers who were professing to be Christians but were rejecting the revealed truth of God. They maintained a veneer, a masquerade of Christianity, to cover up what they really were. They were people who were filled with greed for money, sensual pleasure and a desire to satisfy their inner pride.

Jude warned, “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires’ ” (Jude 1:17–18 NIV).

These false teachers had infiltrated the ranks of the church. The worst thing imaginable is to spread wickedness under the veneer of true faith. And tragically, this does happen in the church today. I wish we could spot them more easily. But in his epistle, Jude points out that these people come in unnoticed (see Jude 1:4). And that is the whole idea.

They grow in numbers by pulling unsuspecting Christians out of churches and filling their heads with false teaching. Finally, when people are dependent on them for the so-called “truth” that cannot be discovered on their own, these false teachers essentially immobilize them.

I have seen this happen so many times. So beware of that sort of thing. Be careful of anyone who comes along and says they have a message, a “hidden truth” that you won’t hear anywhere else.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4835

Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile

This is getting a little creepy.
According to one estimate, since last year the Department of Homeland Security has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm.

DHS also purchased 2,700 Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicles (MRAP).

Modern Survival Blog reported:

The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.

Although I’ve seen and read several online blurbs about this vehicle of late, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about the vehicle itself.

The new DHS sanctioned ‘Street Sweeper’ (my own slang due to the gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (NavistarDefense.com), a division within the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several other companies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses), Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), WorkHorse (they make chassis), MaxxForce (diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company).

The MRAP featured in this video is was in Albuquerque, New Mexico for Law Enforcement Day which was held at a local area Target Store. This MRAP is stationed in El Paso, Texas at The Homeland Security Investigations Office. MRAP is a Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicle.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4813

Palin: Feds ‘Stockpiling Bullets’ in Case of Riots After Default

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin claimed the federal government is “stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest.” Palin believes such calamity may result from the country defaulting on its obligations.

She claimed the threat of default exists because Washington politicians are not serious about reducing the country’s debt, as evidenced by the drama over the sequester.

“If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion dollar annual deficits, then we’re done,” Palin wrote of the sequester set to hit on Friday. “Put a fork in us. We’re finished. We’re going to default eventually and that’s why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest.”

In a Facebook note on Tuesday in which she blistered D.C. politicians for yet another “ginned-up” crisis, Palin wrote that the “real economic Armageddon looming before us is our runaway debt, not the sequester, which the President advocated for and signed into law and is now running around denouncing because he never had any genuine intention of reining in his reckless spending.”

Palin said the world knows that if Washington politicians cannot even deal with a modest 0.3% per year cut in the federal budget, then the country is heading straight for default.

“If we can’t stomach modest cuts that would lower federal spending by a mere 0.3% per year out of a current federal budget of $3.6 trillion, then we might as well signal to the whole world that we have no serious intention of dealing with our debt problem,” Palin continued.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4807

The Number One Reason to Invest in Gold…

With the the U.S. economy having once again dropped into negative recessionary growth, currency wars around the world heating up through direct and indirect devaluations, and trillion dollar fiscal deficits piling on, how is it possible that the stock market, a key measure of economic health for many Americans, is touching near all time highs?

Marin Katusa, Chief Strategist at Casey Research, suggests that this effect can be traced to monetary machinations that are happening behind the scenes, where few people are willing to look.

“Because they’re printing and making the availability of money so easy, the market is really confused right now,” says Katusa.

The reality is that literally trillions of dollars have been borrowed and printed to bail out the United States and Europe, and much of that money has been injected into stock markets to give the appearance of recovery.

It is, at best, an illusory effect.

Given that more people than ever before are out of work, over half of American households are dependent on some form of government disbursement to survive, and prices for essential goods like food and energy are consistently rising, it’s only a matter of time before confusion in financial markets turns to panic.

And when it does, just as we’ve seen throughout history, only real, tangible assets will be of value.

One such asset that has always maintained real value in times of calamity is gold.

Despite arguments that gold doesn’t grow like typical modern day investments and simply sits in a vault gathering dust, according to Marin Katusa in a recent interview with Future Money Trends, there is one key reason for why it should be in your diversified basket of goods.

The number one reason to invest in gold is insurance.

Because of the massive liquidity and the dilution of, not just the US and not just Bernanke, but all of the major countries – they are a printing press… The main reason to invest is because gold is money.

Before they had fiat currencies – that’s the currencies like today… there was gold.

The Romans. The Egyptians. The Babylonians.

For thousands of years they used gold before they used these fiat currencies.

And, every time in history a fiat currency ends in disaster.

We have recent examples. If you look at what happened to Yugoslavia, or Zimbabwe, or even Germany with their fiat currencies… gold always holds true value.

That’s why we believe gold is a true, original money.

I think at least you can see with gold, it is the insurance policy to bet against the bankers.

With all of this money – literally hundreds of billions of dollars – being thrown into stock markets by leading financial institutions that were just a few years ago on the brink of insolvency, there are massive price distortions happening across the board. This includes rising stock markets, one of the key benefactors of the Federal Reserve’s printing press.

Another not so positive effect (at least not for the American people) are ever increasing prices in the free market, something that Katusa says is going to continue:

[There is a] One hundred percent [chance of inflation].

You can guarantee these three things in life: Taxes, Death, and Inflation.

Inflation is coming… I just don’t know if it’s next week, or in six months, or twelve months.

But the reality is, it’s coming.

That’s why if you have a percentage in gold, you’re covered.

It’s an insurance policy.

When all fiat monetary exchange mechanisms fail, only one asset has stood the test of time as a store of wealth.

Gold is and always has been an insurance policy.

It will be the only thing left standing when the U.S. dollar, the Euro, the Yen, and other paper currencies are inflated to oblivion by their respective governments.

Make sure you have some when that happens

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4761

Do Wall Street Insiders Expect Something Really BIG To Happen Very Soon?

 A very technical article, but an important one to understand!

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
Feb 7, 2013

Why are corporate insiders dumping huge numbers of shares in their own companies right now?  Why are some very large investors suddenly making gigantic bets that the stock market will crash at some point in the next 60 days?  Do Wall Street insiders expect something really BIG to happen very soon?  Do they know something that we do not know? What you are about to read below is startling.  Every time that the market has fallen in recent years, insiders have been able to get out ahead of time.  David Coleman of the Vickers Weekly Insider report recently notedthat Wall Street insiders have shown “a remarkable ability of late to identify both market peaks and troughs”.  That is why it is so alarming that corporate insiders are selling nine times as many shares as they are buying right now.  In addition, some extraordinarily large bets have just been made that will only pay off if the financial markets in the U.S. crash by the end of April.  So what does all of this mean?  Well, it could mean absolutely nothing or it could mean that there are people out there that actually have insider knowledge that a market crash is coming.  Evaluate the evidence below and decide for yourself…

For some reason, corporate insiders have chosen this moment to unload huge amounts of stock.  According to a CNN article, corporate insiders are now selling nine times more of their own shares than they are buying…

Corporate insiders have one word for investors: sell.

Insiders were nine times more likely to sell shares of their companies than buy new ones last week, according to the Vickers Weekly Insider report by Argus Research.

What makes this so alarming is that corporate insiders have been exceedingly good at “timing the market” in recent years.  The following comes from a recent CNBC article entitled “Sucker Alert? Insider Selling Surges After Dow 14,000“…

“In almost perfect coordination with an equity market that was rushing toward new all-time highs, insider sentiment has weakened sharply — falling to its lowest level since late March 2012,” wrote David Coleman of the Vickers Weekly Insider report, one of the longest researchers of executive buying and selling on Wall Street. “Insiders are waving the cautionary flag in an increasingly aggressive manner.”

There have been more than nine insider sales for every one buy over the past week among NYSE stocks, according to Vickers. The last time executives sold their company’s stock this aggressively was in early 2012, just before the S&P 500 went on to correct by 10 percent to its low for the year.

“Insiders know more than the vast majority of market participants,” said Enis Taner, global macro editor for RiskReversal.com. “And they’re usually right over a long period of time.”

There are other indications that the stock market may be headed for a significant tumble in the months ahead.  For example, as a Zero Hedge article recently pointed out, the last time that the financial markets in the U.S. were as “euphoric” as they are now was right before the financial crisis of 2008.

And as I mentioned above, some people out there have recently made some absolutely jaw-dropping bets against stocks which will only pay off if there is a financial crash at some point in the next few months.

According to Business Insider, the recent purchase of 100,000 put options by a mystery investor has a lot of people on Wall Street talking…

According to Barron’s columnist Steven Sears,someone made a big bet against the financialsETF yesterday (ticker symbol XLF), and it has everybody buzzing.

The trader bought 100,000 put options on the ETF (a put option increases in value when the price of the underlying asset, in this case, the ETF, goes down).

To put that number in perspective, Sears writes, “Few investors ever trade more than 500 contracts, so a 100,000 order tends to stop traffic and prompt all sorts of speculation about what’s motivating the trade.” According to Sears, the trade “has sparked conversations across the market.”

Reportedly, those put options expire in April.

And as Art Cashin of UBS has noted, there was also another extremely large bet that was placed recently that is banking on a financial crash within the next two months…

A Very Big Bet In A Somewhat Unlikely Instrument – My friend, Jim Brown, the ever-alert consummate professional over at Option Investor pointed us to a rather unusual trade. Here’s what he wrote in last night’s edition of his valuable newsletter:

In past years I have reported on trades that were so large it appeared someone had inside knowledge of a pending event. Sometimes those were massive put positions on the S&P. A new trade just appeared that suggests there will be a market event in the near future. Last week somebody put on a call spread on the VIX using the April 20 and 25 puts. They bought 150,000 contracts for a net of $75 per contract. That is an $11,250,000 bet that the VIX will move over 20 over the next 60 days. You would have to be VERY confident in your outlook to risk $11 million on a directional position with the VIX at five year lows and the markets trying to break out to new highs.

So does all of this guarantee that the stock market is going to move a certain way?

Of course not.

But when you step back and look at the bigger picture, it does appear that Wall Street insiders are preparing for something.

Meanwhile, the government continues to assure us that happy days are here again for the U.S. economy and that we don’t have anything to worry about.

The Congressional Budget Office has just released a report that contains their outlook for the next decade.  The report is entitled “The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023″, and if you want a good laugh you should read it.

Here are some of the things that the CBO believes will happen…

-The CBO believes that government revenues will more than double by 2023.

-The CBO believes that government revenue as a percentage of GDP will rise from 15.8 percent today to 19.1 percent in 2023.

-The CBO believes that the unemployment rate will continually fall over the next decade.

-The CBO believes that the federal budget deficit will fall to just 2.4% of GDP in fiscal year 2015.

-The CBO believes that the federal budget deficit will only be $430 billion in 2015.

-The CBO believes that we will not have a single recession over the next decade.

-The CBO believes that inflation will stay at about 2 percent for the next decade.

-The CBO believes that U.S. GDP will grow by a total of 67 percent by 2023.

Wow, all of that sounds great until you go back and take a look at how CBO projections have fared in the past.

In fact, Bruce Krasting has gone back and looked at the numbers from the Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook 2003.  I think that you will find the differences between the CBO projections and what really happened to be very humorous…

Estimated 10-year budget surplus = $5.6T.

Reality = $6.6T deficit. A 200+% miss.

 

Estimate for 2012 Debt Held by Public = $1.2T (5% of GDP).

Reality = Debt Held by Public = $11.6T. A 1000% miss.

 

Estimated fiscal 2012 GDP = $17.4T.

Reality = $15.8T. A $1.6T (10%) miss.

So should we trust what the CBO is telling us now?

Of course not.

Instead, perhaps we should listen to some of the men that successfully warned us about the last financial crisis…

-”Dr. Doom” Marc Faber recently stated that he “loves the high odds of a ‘big-time’ market crash“.

-Economist Nouriel Roubini says that we should “prepare for a perfect storm“.

-Pimco’s Bill Gross says that we are heading for a “credit supernova“.

-Nomura’s Bob Janjuah believes that the financial markets will experience one more huge spike before collapsing by up to 50%

I continue to believe that the S&P500 can trade up towards the 1575/1550 area, where we have, so far, a grand double top. I would not be surprised to see the S&P trade marginally through the 2007 all-time nominal high (the real high was of course seen over a decade ago – so much for equities as a long-term vehicle for wealth creation!). A weekly close at a new all-time high would I think lead to the final parabolic spike up which creates the kind of positioning extreme and leverage extreme needed to create the conditions for a 25% to 50% collapse in equities over the rest of 2013 and 2014, driven by real economy reality hitting home, and by policymaker failure/loss of faith in “their system”.

The truth is that no matter how much money printing the Federal Reserve does, it is only a matter of time before the financial markets catch up with economic reality.

The U.S. economy has been in decline for a very long time, and things just continue to get even worse.  Here are just a few numbers…

-The percentage of the civilian labor force that is employed has fallen every single year since 2006.

-According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, truly accurate numbers would show that U.S. GDP growth has actually been continuously negative all the way back to 2005.

-U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

-One recent survey found that nearly half of all Americans are living on the edge of financial ruin.

-According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 146 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point.

For many more statistics that demonstrate that the U.S. economy has continued to decline in recent years, please see this article: “37 Statistics Which Show How Four Years Of Obama Have Wrecked The U.S. Economy“.

So where is all of this headed?

Well, after the next major financial crisis in America things are going to get very tough.

We can get a hint for how things are going to be by taking a look at what is going on over in Europe right now.

Can you imagine people trampling each other for food?  That is what is happening in Greece.  Just check out this excerpt from a Reuters article

Hundreds of people jostled for free vegetables handed out by farmers in a symbolic protest earlier on Wednesday, trampling one man and prompting an outcry over the growing desperation created by economic crisis.

Images of people struggling to seize bags of tomatoes and leeks thrown from a truck dominated television, triggering a bout of soul-searching over the new depths of poverty in the debt-laden country.

The suffering that the Greeks are experiencing right now will come to this country soon enough.

So enjoy this false bubble of debt-fueled prosperity while you can.  It is going to end way too soon, and after that there will be a whole lot of pain.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4755

WHY IS GOVERNMENT STOCKPILING GUNS, AMMO?

by Joseph Farah

Is the U.S. government getting ready for a war we don’t know about?

And, if that’s why Washington is stockpiling massive amounts of ammunition (hollow points, by the way), why is Homeland Security doing the buying instead of the Defense Department?

I have some theories.

Many of you will remember a story I broke a long time ago – about presidential candidate Barack Obama’s little-noticed announcement that, if elected in 2008, he wanted to create a “civilian national security force” as big, as strong and as well-funded as the Defense Department.

Here’s what he actually said at a campaign stop in Colorado July 2, 2008: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Could what we see happening now in the Department of Homeland Security be the beginning of Obama’s dream and our constitutional nightmare?

We’ve learned more about Obama’s vision since then. Maybe it’s time for a review:

  • He made the campaign promise to build this $439 billion domestic army, but all references to the initiative were inexplicably deleted from the copy of his speech posted on his website while others mysteriously disappeared from transcripts of the speech distributed by the campaign. That was strange – and ominous.
  • At the time, I had never heard anyone use the phrase “civilian national security force” before. But I did a little homework and found out where it originated. It was first proposed by then Bush administration Defense Secretary Robert Gates. On that basis alone, I accurately predicted that, if elected, Obama would name Gates as his own defense secretary. Needless to say, when that appointment came to pass, no media outlet bothered to interview me about my foresight.
  • Still during the campaign of 2008, I suggested that what Obama had in mind might be something very sinister indeed – perhaps “some kind of domestic Big Brother program.”

We never heard another mention of Obama’s “civilian national security force” again. Not in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2012.

But that brings us up to 2013 and the highly unusual stockpiling of firearms and ammo by Homeland Security – firearms and ammo that Obama would like to deny to ordinary citizens who are not members of his domestic army.

Well, I hate to say it, but I may have predicted this, too.

In a Halloween column last fall, I stated that, if re-elected, Obama would “declare a full-scale war on his domestic opposition.”

I wasn’t joking. I was deadly serious – so serious, in fact, that I did something I pledged I would never do: Vote for Mitt Romney. It was a matter of self-defense and self-preservation. I said then that a second term of Obama might mean we would never see another free and fair election in America. (I’m not even sure we saw one in 2012.) I suggested due process would go the way of the horse and buggy. I said I expected Obama would move to shut down or destroy all independent media. I even speculated that his biggest critics would eventually be rounded up in the name of national security.

Think about it.

Why does the civilian Department of Homeland Security need billions of rounds of ammunition?

This is the agency that is responsible for policing the border. But it doesn’t.

This is the agency that is responsible for catching terrorists. But it doesn’t.

So why does Homeland Security need so many weapons and enough hollow-point rounds to plug every American six times?

Maybe this is the “civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the Defense Department.

These words – “civilian national security force” – have haunted me ever since I first read them.

Obama has never explained what he meant.

He’s never been called to account for that remark.

Doesn’t this sound like police-state talk to you?

The U.S. Army alone has nearly 500,000 troops. That doesn’t count reserves or National Guard. In 2007, the U.S. defense budget was $439 billion. No one knows what the budget is today because Congress stopped passing budgets when Obama took office.

Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? Is this part of his second-term agenda?

He has also set up, as I have reported, a new homeland security bureaucracy to operate under his own direction.

I think it’s worth recalling here that just over a year ago both houses of Congress unwisely passed the defense reauthorization bill that killed the concept of habeas corpus – legislation that authorized the president to use the U.S. military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial.

That legislation would empower a lame-duck Obama to use all of the power of the federal government – constitutional and unconstitutional – to target his political enemies.

If any Republican, conservative, independent journalist, pro-life activist, returning veteran, gun-rights activist, constitutionalist, Bible believer or critic of Obama thinks they will be safe in a second term under this would-be despot, they had better think again – real fast.

The “civilian national security force” is not here to protect any of them. It’s here to destroy the opposition. It’s here to destroy liberty. It’s here to destroy the Constitution.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4747

The U.S. Dollar will Collapse

So, in my opinion, here’s what I think is may come down in 2013.

1.  There will be a false flag incident at some point where the US will declare Martial law.   Perhaps another terrorist attack, but this time a dirty or live nuke will be used.  Watch for cross state-lines border checks, with TSA goons at all check points.

2.  In order to do this there must be gun legislation firmly in place, so the citizens will comply.  This is the stumbling block the NWO guys are having trouble selling to the American people.  Some states have already refused to carry out Obama’s gun control laws.

3.  Added to this will be the collapse of the Dollar.  This will wipe out most people’s’ savings and we will become a debtor nation.   Remember China holds a lot of our debt.

We are about to see the greatest tax hike in the history of the world when Obama-care becomes law and this may be the straw that breaks the camels back.

4.  We may see a succession of some states which will dissolve the union and America will cease to be the nation it is today.  We may see states group together regionally.

Keep looking up and praying for America in these last days.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4719

Does China Plan To Establish “China Cities” And “Special Economic Zones” All Over America?

Kings of the East moving! Soon to own much of America! Keep looking up!

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
Jan 23, 2013

What in the world is China up to?  Over the past several years, the Chinese government and large Chinese corporations (which are often at least partially owned by the government) have been systematically buying up businesses, homes, farmland, real estate, infrastructure and natural resources all over America.  In some cases, China appears to be attempting to purchase entire communities in one fell swoop.  So why is this happening?  Is this some form of “economic colonization” that is taking place?  Some have speculated that China may be intending to establish “special economic zones” inside the United States modeled after the very successful Chinese city of Shenzhen.  Back in the 1970s, Shenzhen was just a very small fishing village, but now it is a sprawling metropolis of over 14 million people.  Initially, these “special economic zones” were only established within China, but now the Chinese government has been buying huge tracts of land in foreign countries such as Nigeria and establishing special economic zones in those nations.  So could such a thing actually happen in America?  Well, according to Dr. Jerome Corsi, a plan being pushed by the Chinese Central Bank would set up “development zones” in the United States that would allow China to “establish Chinese-owned businesses and bring in its citizens to the U.S. to work.”  Under the plan, some of the $1.17 trillion that the U.S. owes China would be converted from debt to “equity”.  As a result, “China would own U.S. businesses, U.S. infrastructure and U.S. high-value land, all with a U.S. government guarantee against loss.”  Does all of this sound far-fetched?  Well, it isn’t.  In fact, the economic colonization of America is already far more advanced than most Americans would dare to imagine.

So how in the world did we get to this point?  A few decades ago, the United States was the unchallenged economic powerhouse of the world and China was essentially a third world country.

So what happened?

Well, we entered into a whole bunch of extremely unfavorable “free trade” agreements, and countries such as China began to aggressively use “free trade” as an economic weapon against us.

Over the past decade, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses and millions of jobs to China.  When the final numbers for 2012 come out, our trade deficit with China for the year will be well over 300 billion dollars, and that will be the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the world.

Overall, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with China over the past decade that comes to more than 2.3 trillion dollars.  That 2.3 trillion dollars could have gone to U.S. businesses and U.S. workers, and in turn taxes would have been paid on all of that money.  But instead, all of that money went to China.

Rather than just sitting on all of that money, China has been lending much of it back to us – at interest.  We now owe China more than a trillion dollars, and our politicians are constantly pleading with China to lend more money to us so that we can finance our exploding debt.

Today, the U.S. government pays China approximately 100 million dollars a day in interest on the debt that we owe them.  Those that say that the U.S. debt “does not matter” are being incredibly foolish.

So thanks to our massive trade deficit and our exploding national debt, China is systematically getting wealthier and the United States is systematically getting poorer.

And now China is starting to use a lot of that wealth to aggressively expand their power and influence around the globe.

But isn’t it more than a bit far-fetched to suggest that China may be planning to establish Chinese cities and special economic zones in America?

Not really.

Just look at what has already happened up in Canada.  It is well-known that the Chinese population of Vancouver, Canada has absolutely exploded in recent years.  In fact, the Vancouver suburb of Richmond is now approximately half Chinese.  The following is an excerpt from a BBC article

Richmond is North America’s most Asian city – 50% of residents here identify themselves as Chinese. But it’s not just here that the Chinese community in British Columbia (BC) – some 407,000 strong – has left its mark. All across Vancouver, Chinese-Canadians have helped shape the local landscape.

A similar thing is happening in many communities along the west coast of the United States.  In fact, Chinese citizens purchased one out of every ten homes that were sold in the state of California in 2011.

But in other areas of the United States, the Chinese are approaching things much more systematically.

For example, as I have written about previously, a Chinese group identified as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” has purchased 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan.  Their stated goal is to build a “China City” that has artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.

In other instances, large chunks of real estate in major U.S. cities that are down on their luck are being snapped up by Chinese investors.  Just check out what a Fortune article from a while back says has been happening over in Toledo, Ohio…

In March 2011, Chinese investors paid $2.15 million cash for a restaurant complex on the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio. Soon they put down another $3.8 million on 69 acres of newly decontaminated land in the city’s Marina District, promising to invest $200 million in a new residential-commercial development. That September, another Chinese firm spent $3 million for an aging hotel across a nearby bridge with a view of the minor league ballpark.

Toledo is being promoted to Chinese investors as a “5-star logistics region“.  From Toledo it is very easy to get to Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Indianapolis…

With a population of 287,000, Toledo is only the fourth largest city in Ohio, but it lies at the junction of two important highways — I-75 and I-80/90. “My vision is to make Toledo a true international city,” Toledo’s Mayor Mike Bell told the Toledo Blade.

But some of these deals appear to be about far more than just making “investments”.  According to the Idaho Statesman, a Chinese company known as Sinomach (which is actually controlled by the Chinese government) was actually interested in developing a 50 square mile self-sustaining “technology zone” south of the Boise airport…

A Chinese national company is interested in developing a 10,000- to 30,000-acre technology zone for industry, retail centers and homes south of the Boise Airport.

Officials of the China National Machinery Industry Corp. have broached the idea — based on a concept popular in China today — to city and state leaders.

The article suggested that this “technology zone” would be modeled after similar projects that already exist in China, and that Chinese officials were conducting similar negotiations with other U.S. states as well…

Sinomach is not looking only at Idaho.

The company sent delegations to Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania this year to talk about setting up research and development bases and industrial parks. It has an interest in electric transmission projects and alternative energy as well.

The technology zone proposal follows a model of science, technology and industrial parks in China — often fully contained cities with all services included.

Thankfully the deal in Idaho appears to be stalled for now, but could we soon see China establish special economic zones in other communities all around America?

The Chinese certainly do seem to be laying the groundwork for something.  They have been voraciously gobbling up important infrastructure all over the country.  The following comes from a recentAmerican Free Press article

In addition to already owning vital ports in Long Beach, Calif. and Boston, Mass., the China Ocean Shipping Company is eyeing major ports on the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. China also owns access to ports at the entry and exit points of the Panama Canal.

And due to fiscal woes plaguing many American cities and states, U.S. legislators have been actively seeking out Chinese investors. In one of the worst cases, Baton Rouge, La., Mayor Kip Holden offered the Chinese government ownership and operating rights to a new toll way system if the Chinese would provide the funding to build it.

Does it make sense for the Chinese to own some of our most important ports?

Isn’t there a national security risk?

Sadly, there isn’t much of anything that our politicians won’t sell these days as long as someone is willing to flash a lot of cash.

The Chinese have also been busy buying up important real estate on the east coast as a recent Forbes article explained….

According to a recent report in the New York Times, investors from China are “snapping up luxury apartments” and are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on commercial and residential projects like Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. Chinese companies also have signed major leases at the Empire State Building and at 1 World Trade Center, the report said.

But it is not only just land and infrastructure that the Chinese have been buying up.

They have also been purchasing rights to vital oil and natural gas deposits all over the United States.

There have been two Chinese companies that have been primarily involved in this effort.

The first is the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).  According to Wikipedia, CNOOC is 100 percent owned by the Chinese government…

CNOOC Group is a state-owned oil company, fully owned by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) performs the rights and obligations of shareholder on behalf of the government.

The second is Sinopec Corporation.  Sinopec Group is the largest shareholder (approx. 75% ownership) in Sinopec Corporation.  And asthe Sinopec website tells us, Sinopec Group is fully owned by the Chinese government…

Sinopec Group, the largest shareholder of Sinopec Corp., is a super-large petroleum and petrochemical group incorporated by the State in 1998 based on the former China Petrochemical Corporation. Funded by the State, it is a State authorized investment arm and State-owned controlling company.

So whenever you see CNOOC or Sinopec, you can replace those names with the Chinese government.  The Chinese government essentially runs both of those companies.

And as you can see from the following list compiled by the Wall Street Journal, those two companies have been extremely aggressive in buying up rights to oil and natural gas all over the nation…

Colorado: Cnooc gained a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming in a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Louisiana: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 265,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale after a broader $2.5-billion deal with Devon Energy.

Michigan: Sinopec gained a one-third interest in 350,000 acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.

Ohio: Sinopec acquired a one-third stake in Devon Energy’s 235,000 Utica Shale acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal.

Oklahoma: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 215,000 acres in a broader $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.

Texas: Cnooc acquired a one-third interest in Chesapeake Energy’s 600,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale in a $2.16-billion deal.

Wyoming: Cnooc has a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming after a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy. Sinopec gained a one-third interest in Devon Energy’s 320,000 acres as part of a larger $2.5 billion deal.

Gulf of Mexico: Cnooc Ltd. separately acquired minority stakes in some of Statoil ASA’s leases as well as six of Nexen Inc.’s deep-water wells.

So why is the U.S. government allowing this?

That is a very good question.

For a nation that purports to be pursuing “energy independence”, we sure do have a funny way of going about things.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that China is absolutely mopping the floor with the United States on the global economic stage.  China is rising and America is in an advanced state of decline.  Global economic power has shifted dramatically and most Americans still don’t understand what has happened.

The following are 44 more signs of how dominant the economy of China has become…

1. A Chinese firm recently made a $2.6 billion offer to buy movie theater chain AMC.

2. A different Chinese firm made a $1.8 billion offer to buy aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft.

4. It was recently announced that the Federal Reserve will now allow Chinese banks to buy up American banks.

6.$400 million contract to renovate the Alexander Hamilton bridge in New York was awarded to a Chinese firm.

7.$7.2 billion contract to construct a new bridge between San Francisco and Oakland was awarded to a Chinese firm.

11. The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.

12. In 2001, American consumers spent 102 billion dollars on products made in China.  In 2011, American consumers spent 399 billion dollars on products made in China.

13. The United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

15. The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.

20. Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

21. In 2010, China produced more than twice as many automobiles as the United States did.

23. After being bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, General Motors is currently involved in 11 joint ventures with companies owned by the Chinese government.  The price for entering into many of these “joint ventures” was a transfer of “state of the art technology” from General Motors to the communist Chinese.

29. Back in 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was just 6 million dollars for the entire year.  For the month of November 2012 alone, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 28.9 billion dollars.

30. China now consumes more energy than the United States does.

31. China is now the leading manufacturer of goods in the entire world.

32. China uses more cement than the rest of the world combined.

33. China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.

35. Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.

36. China now produces 11 times as much steel as the United States does.

37. China produces more than 90 percent of the global supply of rare earth elements.

38. China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.

43. According to the IMF, China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016.

44. Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.

Without the “globalization” of the world economy, none of this would have ever happened.  But instead of admitting our mistakes and fixing them, our politicians continue to press for even more “free trade” and even more integration with communist nations such as China.

In fact, according to Dr. Jerome Corsi, the U.S. government has already set up 257 “foreign trade zones” all over America.  These “foreign trade zones” are apparently given “special U.S. customs treatment” and are used to promote “free trade”…

Corsi noted that the U.S. government has created 257 foreign trade zones, or FTZs, throughout the United States, designed to extend special U.S. customs treatment to U.S. plants engaged in international-trade-related activities.

The FTZs tend to be located near airports, with easy access into the continental NAFTA and WTO multi-modal transportation systems being created to move free-trade goods cheaply, quickly and efficiently throughout the continent of North America.

“There is nothing in the U.S. government’s description of FTZs that would prevent a foreign government, like China, from operating a shell U.S. company that is in reality owned and financed by the Chinese government and operated through a Chinese government-owned corporation,” Corsi wrote.

Sadly, we are probably going to see a whole lot more of this in the years ahead.

According to Corsi, a professor of economics at Tsighua University in Beijing named Yu Qiao has suggested the following plan as a way to transform the debt that the United States owes China into something more “tangible”…

  1. China would negotiate with the U.S. government to create a “crisis relief facility,” or CRF. The CRF “would be used alongside U.S. federal efforts to stabilize the banking system and to invest in capital-intensive infrastructure projects such as high-speed railroad from Boston to Washington, D.C.
  2. China would pool a portion of its holdings of Treasury bonds under the CFR umbrella to convert sovereign debt into equity. Any CFR funds that were designated for investment in U.S. corporations would still be owned and managed by U.S. equity holders, with the Asians holding minority equity shares “that would, like preferred stock, be convertible.”
  1. The U.S. government would act as a guarantor, “providing a sovereign guarantee scheme to assure the investment principal of the CRF against possible default of targeted companies or projects”.
  2. The Federal Reserve would set up a special account to supply the liquidity the CRF would require to swap sovereign debt into industrial investment in the United States.

Apparently the Bank of China really likes this plan and would like to see something like this implemented.

In the years ahead, perhaps many of you will end up working in a “special economic zone” for a Chinese company on a project that is being financially guaranteed by the U.S. government.

If that sounds like a form of slavery to you, the truth is that you are probably not too far off the mark.

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and we should have never allowed ourselves to get into so much debt.

Now we will pay the price.

To get an idea of how much the world has changed in recent years, just check out this incredible photo which contrasts the decline of Detroit over the years with the amazing rise of Shanghai, China.

Things did not have to turn out this way.  Unfortunately, we made decades of incredibly foolish decisions and we wrecked the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.

Now the future for America looks really bleak.

kings of the east 3

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4703