Category: America

9 OMINOUS SIGNALS COMING FROM THE FINANCIAL MARKETS THAT WE HAVE NOT SEEN IN YEARS

Is the stock market about to crash?

 

Image Credits: Luis Villa del Campo via Wikimedia Commons

by Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse | October 15, 2014

 

Is the stock market about to crash?  Hopefully not, and there definitely have been quite a few “false alarms” over the past few years.  But without a doubt we have been living through one of the greatest financial bubbles in U.S. history, and the markets are absolutely primed for a full-blown crash.  That doesn’t mean that one will happen now, but we are starting to see some ominous things happen in the financial world that we have not seen happen in a very long time.  So many of the same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the bursting of the dotcom bubble and just prior to the 2008 financial crisis are repeating themselves again.  Hopefully we still have at least a little bit more time before stocks completely crash, because when this market does implode it is going to be a doozy.

The following are 9 ominous signals coming from the financial markets that we have not seen in years…

#1 By the time the markets closed on Monday, we had witnessed the biggest three day decline for U.S. stocks since 2011.

#2 On Monday, the S&P 500 moved below its 200 day moving average for the first time in about two years.  The last time this happened after such an extended streak of success, the S&P 500 ended up declining by a total of 22 percent.

#3 This week the put-call ratio actually moved higher than it was at any point during the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.  This is an indication that there is a tremendous amount of fear on Wall Street right now.

#4 Everybody is watching the VIX at the moment.  According to the Economic Policy Journal, the VIX has now risen to the highest level that it has been since the heart of the European debt crisis.  This is another indicator that there is extraordinary fear on Wall Street…

US stock market volatility has jumped to the highest since the eurozone debt crisis, according to a closely watched index, the the CBOE Vix index of implied US share price volatility.

It jumped to 24.6 late on Monday and is up again this morning. On Thursday, it was as low as 15.

That’s a very strong move, but things have been much worse. At height of the recent financial crisis – the Vix index peaked at 80.1 in November 2008.

Could we get there again? Yeah.

#5 The price of oil is crashing.  This also happened in 2008 just before the financial crisis erupted.  At this point, the price of oil is now the lowest that it has been in more than two years.

#6 As Chris Kimble has pointed out, the chart for the Dow has formed a “Doji Star topping pattern”.  We also saw this happen in 2007.  Could this be an indication that we are on the verge of another stock market crash similar to what happened in 2008?

#7 Canadian stocks are actually doing even worse than U.S. stocks.  At this point, Canadian stocks have already dropped more than 10 percent from the peak of the market.

#8 European stocks have also had a very rough month.  For example, German stocks have already dropped about 10 percent since July, and there are growing concerns about the overall health of the German economy.

#9 The wealthy are hoarding cash and precious metals right now.  In fact, one British news report stated that sales of gold bars to wealthy customers are up 243 percent so far this year.

So what comes next?

Some experts are saying that this is the perfect time to buy stocks at value prices.  For example, USA Today published a story with the following headline on Tuesday: “Time to ‘buy’ the fear? One Wall Street pro says yes“.

Other experts, however, believe that this could represent a major turning point for the financial markets.

Just consider what Abigail Doolittle recently told CNBC

Technical strategist Abigail Doolittle is holding tight to her prediction of market doom ahead, asserting that a recent move in Wall Street’s fear gauge is signaling the way.

Doolittle, founder of Peak Theories Research, has made headlines lately suggesting a market correction worse than anyone thinks is ahead. The long-term possibility, she has said, is a 60 percent collapsefor the S&P 500.

In early August, Doolittle was warning both of a looming “super spike” in the CBOE Volatility Index as well as a “death cross” in the 10-year Treasury note. The former referenced a sharp move higher in the “VIX,” while the latter used Wall Street lingo for an event that already occurred in which the fixed income benchmark saw its 50-day moving average cross below its 200-day trend line.

Both, she said, served as indicators for trouble ahead.

So what do you think?

Are we about to witness a stock market crash and another major financial crisis?

Or is this just another “false alarm” that will soon fade?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6752

City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons

By Todd Starnes

FOX News

Published October 14, 2014

 

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”

ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”

“Political and social commentary is not a crime,” Holcomb said. “It is protected by the First Amendment.”

The subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over the Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa. The city council approved the law in June.

The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.

The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.

“City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” said ADF attorney Erik Stanley. “This is designed to intimidate pastors.”

Mayor Parker will not explain why she wants to inspect the sermons. I contacted City Hall for a comment and received a terse reply from the mayor’s director of communications.

“We don’t comment on litigation,” said Janice Evans.

However, ADF attorney Stanley suspects the mayor wants to publicly shame the ministers. He said he anticipates they will hold up their sermons for public scrutiny. In other words – the city is rummaging for evidence to “out” the pastors as anti-gay bigots.

Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity.

The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over “all communications with members of your congregation” regarding the non-discrimination law.

“This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day,” Riggle told me. “The mayor would like to silence our voice. She’s a bully.”

Rev. Dave Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, also received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by the mayor.

“We’re not afraid of this bully,” he said. “We’re not intimidated at all.”

He accused the city of violating the law with the subpoenas and vowed to stand firm in the faith.

“We are not going to yield our First Amendment rights,” Welch told me. ‘This is absolutely a complete abuse of authority.”

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, said pastors around the nation should rally around the Houston ministers.

“The state is breaching the wall of separation between church and state,” Perkins told me. ‘Pastors need to step forward and challenge this across the country. I’d like to see literally thousands of pastors after they read this story begin to challenge government authorities – to dare them to come into their churches and demand their sermons.”

Perkins called the actions by Houston’s mayor “obscene” and said they “should not be tolerated.”

“This is a shot across the bow of the church,” he said.

This is the moment I wrote about in my book, “God Less America.” I predicted that the government would one day try to silence American pastors. I warned that under the guise of “tolerance and diversity” elected officials would attempt to deconstruct religious liberty.

Sadly, that day arrived sooner than even I expected.

Tony Perkins is absolutely right. Now is the time for pastors and people of faith to take a stand. We must rise up and reject this despicable strong-arm attack on religious liberty. We cannot allow ministers to be intimidated by government thugs.

The pastors I spoke to tell me they will not comply with the subpoena – putting them at risk for a “fine or confinement, or both.”

Heaven forbid that should happen. But if it does, Christians across America should be willing to descend en masse upon Houston and join these brave men of God behind bars.

Pastor Welch compared the culture war skirmish to the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, fought in present-day Harris County, Texas. It was a decisive battle of the Texas Revolution.

“This is the San Jacinto moment for traditional family,” Welch told me. “This is the place where we stop the LGBT assault on the freedom to practice our faith.”

We can no longer remain silent. We must stand together – because one day – the government might come for your pastor.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6750

The Deliberate Dismantling of America….

by L.A. Marzulli

 

Last week, photos surfaced from Texasand Arizona showing Border Patrol processing centers overwhelmed as thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America continue to need shelter and resources.

What is going on with the admission of illegal aliens into our country?  Why is our Federal government doing this?  Why are children, who are unaccompanied by adults, coming into this country illegally?

Our borders remain porous despite the fence the FEDS attempted to build, under the G. W. Bush administration, to keep our borders safe.  We have no idea who is entering this country illegally.  The border-fence has never been completed and now the FEDS are dropping illegals, who were recently incarcerated, off in El Paso and other US border cities.  It appears this administration is deliberately choosing to not enforce our laws.

For all practical purposes, the Administration’s policy is that anyone in the world, of any age, is free to come and stay in the interior of the United States, to illegally work and receive taxpayer benefits, so long as they are not caught, tried, and convicted of a serious crime. And even then, thousands of criminal aliens are released each and every year.

 

Our country has now been overrun by people who have no idea of what liberty and freedom mean.  Many are uneducated and will tax the system, like what is now the status quo in California.  The Obama administration has deliberately set this in motion and in my opinion it will further destabilize the country.

According to Breitbart website, 62 million people living in the USA speak another language beside English at home.  

 

The idea of Multi culturalism hasn’t worked out to well in Europe as Muslims who immigrate there demand Sharia law.  

This is also happening in Canada and even in places like Dearborn Michigan.  

Our dollar is being challenged by a group of nations or BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—who want to move away from the US petro-dollar and create a new global standard of currency.  

 

Adding insult to injury is the Obama administrations lack of effort to close air traffic from Ebola affected countries into the USA?  This is unconscionable and shows the complete lack of leadership on his part.

ISIL–I still refer to the terrorists group by its original name—is one mile from the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.  What happens when, not if, they take control of the city?  Obama referred to them as a JV team, showing once again, his complete ignorance of the threat they pose, and affirming his “amateur” status as the leader of the free world.

In closing todays post.   America is at a cross roads.  We have been overrun by people from other countries who have no idea of what our way of life is and in some instances, want to replace it with 1300 year old Islamic Jurisprudence.

Americans are burdened by onerous tax laws, and is controlled by a good-old-boy network of politicians who I believe have no interest in serving the people.  It doesn’t matter who is at the helm, republican or democrat, as the agenda is right on track and I would posit is controlled by a shadow government.

The end game is to dismantle this country, take the remaining freedoms we have and annul then by declaring martial law.

When the collapse of the dollar finally happens, millions of people will be affected.  At this point the country could begin to split up into regional sections.  The Russians predicted this would happen by 2010.  

 

Our nation has lost its way.  We have become obsessed with sports and the latest pop-tart that takes her clothes off.  Meanwhile the abortion mills continue their deadly destruction of the unborn.

We can’t pray in the schools and if you own a small business, and because of your stance on moral issues decide NOT to sell to gay couples you can be guilty of a hate crime and lose everything.  We are now at a place where evil is called good and good is called evil.

We are watching the deliberate dismantling of this country…. God help us….

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6731

Volcanos! Be Alert!

At least 31 people presumed dead on erupting Japanese volcano

By Jethro Mullen and Will Ripley, CNN

updated 5:16 PM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014

Mount Ontake, Japan (CNN) — At least 31 people are presumed dead after rescuers found them showing no signs of life Sunday near the summit of a Japanese volcano that started erupting a day earlier.

Police said the people were in a state of “cardiac arrest,” meaning that they were discovered without a pulse and weren’t breathing but hadn’t been declared dead by a doctor.

A coroner confirmed the first four deaths Sunday.

Rescue teams had begun searching Sunday for dozens of climbers who were caught by the sudden eruption of Mount Ontake.

The volcano in central Japan unleashed a huge cloud of ash late Saturday morning that billowed down the mountainside and engulfed hikers in its path. Witnesses described hearing a sound like thunder when the eruption began.

The exact number of people unaccounted for was unclear, as officials were uncertain how many had already made it off the mountain.

Desperate relatives

Relatives of the missing gathered near Mount Ontake on Sunday desperately seeking information. Among them was Kiyokazu Tokoro from nearby Aichi prefecture, whose son, Yuki, was hiking on the volcano with his girlfriend.

He said he knew they were near the summit at the time of the eruption because his son’s girlfriend had sent a photo to a friend minutes beforehand.

“All I can do is beg for your help to get information,” he told CNN. “Please help us.”

Authorities estimated there were 200 to 250 hikers in the area at the time of the eruption. Most of them were reported to have managed to make the long trek down the mountain.

But some people remained trapped in several lodges on Mount Ontake, and others were missing altogether, local authorities said.

More than 350 rescue workers — a mix of police, firefighters and military personnel — began climbing two separate routes up the mountain on Sunday morning, authorities in the nearby village of Otaki said.

Aside from those in cardiac arrest, more than 25 people were reported to have been injured, 10 of them seriously, according to the government of Nagano prefecture, where the volcano is situated. Helicopters ferried some injured people off the mountainside.

Among the climbers trapped in the cottages, at least 11 were injured, officials in Otaki said. They said they had observed 17-20 inches (40-50 centimeters) of volcanic ash covering the ground in some areas.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has raised the Volcanic Alert Level for Ontake from 1 to 3. That means the public is advised to not approach the volcano, the summit of which is at an altitude of 10,060 feet (3,067 meters).

The agency warned that another large eruption could take place in the next six days or so. Small continuous eruptions continued Sunday.

The volcano’s plume of smoke and ash was reported to have disrupted air travel in Japan, causing delays at several airports.

Mount St. Helens shows signs of reawakening

11:42 a.m. PDT September 27, 2014

Mount St. Helens LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) – Ten years ago this week, Mount St. Helens awoke from an 18-year geological slumber.

The news media and volcano-watchers flocked to Johnston Ridge, the closest road with a crater view. Steam and ash eruptions shot thousands of feet into the air, and for several weeks, the area near the volcano was closed because of safety concerns.

Over the next three years, a second lava dome slowly appeared in the crater, eventually rising 1,076 feet above the crater floor. By the time the eruption ended in 2008, climbers had already been allowed back to the summit and media attention faded.

Though the mountain isn’t getting as much publicity these days, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey are marking the anniversary to highlight new eruption warning technology they’ve installed around the volcano since then and to remind people that Mount St. Helens will continue to rebuilt itself.

The eruption that started a decade ago was the second of two dome-building phases.

The first one started after the explosive eruption of May 18, 1980. Twenty lava eruptions occurred over the next six years.

Geologists were surprised that the mountain stopped erupting in 1986. “Many of us were expecting it to continue a while,” said USGS seismologist Seth Moran.

The second lava dome, which started appearing in 2004, appeared at a different spot in the crater. Lava that appeared from 2004-08 was much more solid than during the earlier phase.

Even though the lava dome hasn’t erupted since 2008, its shape still is changing.

“As it cools, it fractures and settles and falls apart,” said Dan Dzurisin, a USGS geologist. Rockfall has also been changing the shape of the crater rim.

And 5 miles below the volcano, there are signs that the magma chamber that fueled both eruptions is recharging. Dzurisin said the USGS is focusing on the rate of recharging and whether the magma can compress in the chamber, rather than flowing toward an outlet to the earth’s surface.

Though the USGS was able to predict the 2004 eruption by monitoring earthquakes, “it exposed some weaknesses in our monitoring,” Moran said.

In September of 2004, the USGS had only one GPS device near the volcano, at Johnston Ridge. That device did indeed start to move during the eruption. After the new dome appeared, the USGS landed a helicopter in the crater and had a worker put a GPS there.

“Three days later there was an explosion that wiped out that site,” Moran said. “That really forced us to get creative about how to get instruments in close.”

The scientists then devised a way of dropping a seismometer from a helicopter.

Since then, the agency has installed numerous GPS receivers around the Northwest. The instruments continually measure a change of location of as little as one millimeter. Data from the receivers combined with video from remote cameras had allowed the USGS to reduce the exposure of its researchers to hazardous situations, Dzurisin said.

Over the centuries, Mount St. Helens has gone through phases of explosive eruptions and periods of rebuilding itself with magma eruptions.

Geologists expect future dome-building eruptions at the volcano. “It looks like Mount St. Helens is getting ready to erupt again and it can happen in the order of years to decades,” Moran said.

Those eruptions will likely be similar to the one that started a decade ago and no massive eruption like the one in 1980 is expected. “Part of that is that there isn’t as nearby big a cork,” Moran said.

Eventually, the crater will fill in and the peak may return to the lovely rounded shape it had before 1980.

A model may be the Bezymianny volcano in Kamchatka, which erupted in 1956 and has largely filled in since then. “It probably is the future for Mount St. Helens,” Moran said. “It will rebuilt itself. It may just take a lot longer to get there.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6702

Al Qaeda’s quiet plan to outdo ISIS and hit U.S.

WASHINGTON — The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may be dominating the headlines and stealing attention with its prolific propaganda, but CBS News’ Bob Orr reports, another group in Syria — one few have even heard of because information about it has been kept secret — is considered a more urgent concern.

Sources tell CBS News that operatives and explosives experts from Osama bin Laden’s old al Qaeda network may again present an immediate threat to the U.S. homeland.

 

At two dozen foreign airports, U.S.-bound passengers are undergoing enhanced security screening. Agents are searching for hidden explosives. Laptops and phones with dead batteries have been banned from flights.

Great Britain raised its national terror threat level, and the FBI is tracking American jihadists who may return home.

Sources say it’s due to the emerging threat in Syria, where hardened terrorists loyal to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri are working on new, hard-to-detect bombs.

In testimony Wednesday, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matt Olsen — who warned that U.S. agencies are unable to effectively track Western jihadists inside Syria — seemed to make a vague reference to the threat.

“In Syria, we’ve seen veteran al Qaeda fighters travel from Pakistan to take advantage of the permissive environment there,” said Olsen.

Sources confirm that the al Qaeda cell goes by the name “Khorasan.”

Unlike ISIS, which is believed at present to be largely engulfed in its fight for territory. Khorasan is developing fresh plots to target U.S. aviation, and it’s trying to recruit Westerners who have flocked to the fight in Syria, some of whom have joined the al Qaeda franchise in the country, known as the al-Nusra Front.

The fear is that U.S. and European passport holders could more easily smuggle explosives onto airplanes.

Asked if there was anything about the threat he could reveal to lawmakers during the public testimony on Capitol Hill, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said discussions about “specific organizations… should be left to a classified setting.”

 

Al Qaeda chief bomb maker alive: Yemen official

A Yemeni official said al Qaeda’s chief bomb maker was not killed in the drone attack as previously thought. Betty Nguyen reports.

 

Sources tell CBS News the group includes technicians trained by al Qaeda’s master bomb-builder, Ibrahim al-Asiri. The Yemen-based Asiri built the infamous but ultimately unsuccessful underwear bombs and two cargo bombs concealed in printer cartridges.

He is considered one of the most innovative bomb-builders in the jihadist world, and he’s still operating freely — at least for now.

CIA chief John Brennan recently told Orr that U.S. officials were “doing what we can” to track Asiri down, and predicted that his “time will come.”

At the moment, U.S. officials say there is no specific, credible threat to the homeland. But as information about Khorasan becomes available, it’s clear that al Qaeda remains obsessed with bombs, airplanes, and attacking the United States.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6691

ANOTHER GREAT AWAKENING IN AMERICA? – Greg Laurie

Exclusive: Greg Laurie declares ‘the only solution for turning our nation around is spiritual’

Published: 5 days ago

Greg Laurie

In 1947 Peter Marshall, chaplain of the U.S. Senate, said, “The choice before us is plain: Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration.”

As we look at our country right now, I think we could agree that it is going downhill fast with the moral and spiritual breakdowns in our nation. So can a country ever turn around again?

I hope we all have gotten the memo that the solution is not political. No politician from any party will be able to turn this country around. Our primary problem is spiritual, and the only solution for turning our nation around is spiritual. That will come as a result of people praying.

I think America has two options before us: judgment or revival. If we don’t have a revival, then we are in big trouble in the United States. We know this much. Judgment is coming to America one day, just as judgment is coming to all of the world. That is inevitable. My prayer is that before judgment does come, we will have at least one more spiritual awakening.

The United States has had a number of revivals, or Great Awakenings, that have turned our nation around. The first was during the early 1700s, with such men as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield taking part. During two years of this revival from 1740 to 1742, between 25,000 and 50,000 people came to believe in Jesus Christ – and that was out of a population of only 300,000.

The Second Great Awakening took place during the days of the early frontier, the Wild West, from the 1790s to 1840. Preachers like Charles Finney were proclaiming the gospel at a time when the law was disregarded and sexual sin was rampant. People would come from everywhere to camp meetings, where makeshift structures with sawdust floors were set up in the middle of a forest. Itinerant preachers would ride on horseback from place to place, preaching the gospel. One lanky young lawyer who was dramatically impacted at one of those sawdust revivals was Abraham Lincoln.

The Third Great Awakening, from 1857 to 1859, had unique beginnings. A 48-year-old businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier began a prayer meeting on Fulton Street in New York. At first, not a lot of people attended this prayer meeting. This revival started slow, but it began to build. Then the stock market crashed, and soon hundreds of New Yorkers were gathering for prayer. Within six months, 10,000 people were gathering daily for prayer throughout New York City. It was reported that 50,000 New Yorkers came to faith from March to May, and they saw approximately 1 million people come to faith in Christ during that particular revival.

There was perhaps a Fourth Great Awakening. I think we could call the Jesus Movement from the late 1960s to the early 1970s a genuine revival in the United States. It turned around thousands of young people. Many of those who came to faith during the Jesus Movement are grandparents now. I know this because I am one of them.

I thank God for what he has done in the past, but here is my prayer: “Do it again, Lord.” That needs to be our prayer, that God would do it again. We need another Great Awakening, another revival, another Jesus Movement.

The prophet Habakkuk understood this when he prayed, “I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2 NLT).

The psalmist prayed, “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6 NKJV).

We need to pray to that end – that God would send this revival. But what does revival mean exactly? Revive means to bring back to life again. We could use the word restoration in its place just as easily.

A revival is an invasion from heaven. It is when God is at work, and you can’t explain it. That is what I want to see again: a revival in which we don’t know how it started, but where people are packing out churches, are coming to Christ and are praying. That is what we need to see again.

Revival is kind of a church word. The secular culture doesn’t need revival; they need evangelism. And here is the interesting thing: Evangelism doesn’t necessarily produce revival, but revival always produces evangelism. Whenever there has been an awakening, there has been an evangelistic thrust that has come as a result. When God’s people are awakened, when they are restored, when they are revived, then they go out and start doing what they should have been doing all along, which is proclaiming the gospel. I pray that the church will have revival. And I pray that our culture will hear the gospel.

Will revival ever come again to the United States? No one can say with certainty. I hope it will. God gave the prescription for the healing of a nation in 2 Chronicles 7:14. God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” That is what we want. Lord, heal our Land. Lord, turn America in the right direction again. Turn America back toward You. Let’s pray to that end.

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6686

WHILE OBAMA SNOOZES, RUSSIA IS PREPARING FOR NUCLEAR WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES

Did you know that two Russian bombers practiced launching cruise missiles at the United States from a spot in the North Atlantic just the other day?  And did you know that Russia is spending massive amounts of money to build and test new nuclear weapons systems?  Meanwhile, the Obama administration is doing absolutely nothing to upgrade the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  Our nuclear officers are actually still using floppy disks and other computer technologyfrom the 1960s.  The size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal has been reduced by about 95 percent from the peak of the Cold War, and Barack Obama has spoken of even more dramatic reductions.  Obama is snoozing even as a Russian general speaks of the need to “spell out the conditions under which Russia would launch a preemptive nuclear strike” against the United States.  Obama appears to be entirely convinced that a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia is not even a remote possibility.  He better be right, because we are definitely not prepared for one.

Even with everything that has happened between the United States and Russia lately, most Americans still believe that “the Cold War is over” and that Russia presents absolutely no threat to us.

But Russia is behaving as if the Cold War is still very much on.  You probably didn’t hear a peep about it from the mainstream media, but just the other day a couple of Russian bombers simulated launching cruise missiles at us from the North Atlantic.  The following is an excerpt from an excellent article by Bill Gertz

Two Russian strategic bombers conducted practice cruise missile attacks on the United States during a training mission last week that defense officials say appeared timed to the NATO summit in Wales.

The Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were tracked flying a route across the northern Atlantic near Iceland, Greenland, and Canada’s northeast.

Analysis of the flight indicated the aircraft were conducting practice runs to a pre-determined “launch box”—an optimum point for firing nuclear-armed cruise missiles at U.S. targets, said defense officials familiar with intelligence reports.

And Russia is spending money as if a nuclear confrontation with the U.S. is a very real possibility.  In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin has committed to a “weapons modernization program” that is going to cost the equivalent of 540 billion dollars

Putin said Russia’s weapons modernization program for 2016-2025 should focus on building a new array of offensive weapons to provide a “guaranteed nuclear deterrent;” re-arming strategic and long-range aviation; creating an aerospace defense system and developing high-precision conventional weapons.

He would not elaborate on prospective weapons, but he and other officials have repeatedly boasted about new Russian nuclear missiles’ capability to penetrate any prospective missile shield.

The Kremlin has bolstered defense spending in the past few years under an ambitious weapons modernization program that runs through 2020 and costs the equivalent of $540 billion.

You don’t spend that kind of money just for the fun of it.

Putin is deadly serious about being able to fight (and win) a war against the United States.

Of course nobody on either side actually hopes that such a war will happen.  But most wars are won before a single shot is fired, and right now Russia is working very hard to make sure that it will have the best chance possible of coming out on top in any future conflict.

For example, Russian media is reporting that 60 percent of all Russian nuclear missiles will have radar-evading capability by 2016

Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to complete the rearmament of Strategic Missile Forces within six years.  “By 2016, the share of new missile systems will reach nearly 60%, and by 2021 their share will increase to 98%. At the same time the troop and weapon command systems, combat equipment will be qualitatively improved, first of all — their capabilities for the suppression of antimissile defense will be built up,” Defense Ministry’s RVSN spokesman Colonel Igor Yegorov told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

But of greatest concern is the new generation of nuclear-powered attack submarines armed with long-range cruise missiles that Russia has been developing.

Just this week, Russia conducted a successful test of the new submarine-launched Bulava intercontinental nuclear missile…

Russia carried out a successful test of its new Bulava intercontinental nuclear missile on Wednesday and will perform two more test launches in October and November, the head of its naval forces said.

The armed forces have boosted their military training and test drills since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which Russia considers in its traditional sphere of influence.

The 12-meter long Bulava, or mace, has undergone numerous tests, some successful, and can deliver an impact of up to 100 times the atomic blast that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.

Each one of these missiles weighs more than 36 tons and has a range of more than 5,000 miles.

But in a future conflict, they would likely only have to travel a short distance.

That is because Russia has developed super silent attacks subs that arevirtually undetectable when submerged.

In a previous article, I talked about how the U.S. Navy refers to these virtually undetectable subs as “black holes”…

Did you know that Russia is building submarines that are so quiet that the U.S. military cannot detect them?  These “black hole” submarines can freely approach the coastlines of the United States without fear of being detected whenever they want.  In fact, a “nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles” sailed around in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks without being detected back in 2012.  And now Russia is launching a new class of subs that have “advanced stealth technology”.  The U.S. Navy openly acknowledges that they cannot track these subs when they are submerged.  That means that the Russians are able to sail right up to our coastlines and launch nukes whenever they want.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but Russian subs can come cruising right up to our coasts without us knowing about it and launch missiles which will start hitting our cities within just a few minutes.

And if you do not think that this can ever happen, perhaps you should consider what a Russian general said about a preemptive nuclear strike just the other day

A Russian general has called for Russia to revamp its military doctrine, last updated in 2010, to clearly identify the U.S. and its NATO allies as Moscow’s enemy number one and spell out the conditions under which Russia would launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the 28-member military alliance, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Russia’s military doctrine, a strategy document through which the government interprets military threats and crafts possible responses, is being revised in light of threats connected to the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war and the conflict in Ukraine, the deputy chief of the Kremlin’s security council told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has discussed reducing the size of our already neutered strategic nuclear arsenal down to just 300 warheads.

Let us hope and pray that we never see a nuclear war between the United States and Russia.

Because if one does happen, there is a very strong possibility that America will not be the winner.

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MYSTERIOUS EV-D68: VACCINATED CHILDREN COULD BE MORE VULNERABLE

The mysterious virus known as EV-D68 has spread across the Midwest at a rapid rate. Many children have been hospitalized with the virus, about 475 in Kansas City alone, and there is no known vaccine to lessen the effects of the virus or protect those that have yet to acquire it.

EV-D68 has created an outbreak in Colorado, Missouri, Utah, Kansas, Illinois, Ohio, and four more states in the Midwest. The symptoms can mimic those of the influenza virus, but can have a much more dire impact on those that fall ill. Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, the hospital’s division director for infectious disease shared her concern with CNN.

“It’s worse in terms of scope of critically ill children who require intensive care. I would call it unprecedented. I’ve practiced for 30 years in pediatrics, and I’ve never seen anything quite like this,”

Although there is no known vaccine for the virus, and the scope which it will reach is also unknown, those that have become infected are following a common theme. They have all been vaccinated with the MMR vaccines, influenza vaccines, and polio vaccines. Of course, many children in the United States have been vaccinated, and most are required to be vaccinated in order to enter school. However, it is interesting to note that the illness is not occurring, yet, in children that have not been vaccinated.

entro

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Pestilence: Ebola and US Breathing Virus

Ebola Spreading ‘Exponentially’ as Patients Seek Beds in Liberia

By Maggie Fox

The Ebola virus is spreading exponentially across Liberia as patients fill taxis in a fruitless search for medical care, the World Health Organization said Monday.

In Sierra Leone, a doctor working for WHO tested positive and was preparing to be evacuated from the country. Meanwhile, the newest U.S. patient, a doctor infected in Liberia, was feeling a little better and could even eat a little, doctors treating him in Nebraska said.

The various reports illustrated in the clearest possible way the disparities driving the epidemic in West Africa, where there’s almost no medical system structure. The three patients evacuated to the United States have all begun to recover quickly once they get good supportive care, which includes around-the-clock nursing care and good nutrition.

WHO and other groups have been warning that the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea is dire. It’s especially bad in Liberia, WHO said Monday.

“Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially,” WHO said in a statement.

“No free beds for Ebola treatment exist anywhere in the country.”

“In Monrovia, taxis filled with entire families, of whom some members are thought to be infected with the Ebola virus, crisscross the city, searching for a treatment bed. There are none. As WHO staff in Liberia confirm, no free beds for Ebola treatment exist anywhere in the country.”

For example, in Montserrado county, 1,000 beds are urgently needed but only 240 beds are available. WHO has said more than 3,600 people have been infected with Ebola in this West African epidemic, and 2,000 have died, but the organization predicts as many as 20,000 will be sickened before it’s over. Half of those infected have been dying.

“According to a WHO staff member who has been in Liberia for the past several weeks, motorbike-taxis and regular taxis are a hot source of potential Ebola virus transmission, as these vehicles are not disinfected at all, much less before new passengers are taken on board,” WHO said.

“When patients are turned away at Ebola treatment centers, they have no choice but to return to their communities and homes, where they inevitably infect others, perpetuating constantly higher flare-ups in the number of cases.”

The need for beds, supplies and staff have “completely outstripped” capacity, both of the Liberia government and of outside groups such as Who and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) to help.

Healthcare workers are being especially hard hit. “Some 152 health care workers have been infected and 79 have died,” WHO said. When the outbreak began, Liberia had only one doctor to treat nearly 100,000 people in a total population of 4.4 million people. Every infection or death of a doctor or nurse depletes response capacity significantly.”

“Motorbike-taxis and regular taxis are a hot source of potential Ebola virus transmission.”

One WHO doctor in Sierra Leone is sick and will be sent out of the country for treatment, WHO said, but declined to say where the doctor was from.

Three of the healthcare workers affected were American medical missionaries working for the groups Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA in Monrovia. All three were evacuated to the U.S. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have recovered, while Dr. Rick Sacra is being treated at the University of Nebraska’s special biocontainment unit.

Debbie Sacra said her husband, a 51-year-old family physician, was eating and listening to music while he receives an experimental drug.

“He had some breakfast this morning, which is a change,” Debbie Sacra said in a statement. “He hasn’t been able to eat much since he got here, but he had some toast and apple sauce. He also tolerated the research drug well — better than he had the previous doses he was given.”

The hospital hasn’t said what treatment Sacra is receiving. Brantly and Writebol each received one treatment course of ZMapp, an experimental drug made by Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc, but doctors stress they cannot tell if it helped.

“It’s hard to derive a lot of meaningful data from the care of just two patients,” said Dr. Aneesh Mehta, one of the medical team at Emory University Hospital who treated Brantly and Writebol. High quality nutrition given intravenously may have helped, Mehta said, as did carefully balanced fluid replacement formulas. Ebola patients often suffer intense vomiting and diarrhea.

The epidemic has demonstrated “how one disease outbreak can cause a whole country to go into crisis,” said Dr. Barbara Knust, team leader for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ebola response.

“The Ebola outbreak has just driven home the inadequacy that’s there,” Knust told an American Society for Microbiology meeting.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6667

U.S. Launches New Airstrikes on ISIS to Protect Dam in Iraq

TBILISI, Georgia — In launching a fresh series of airstrikes against Sunni fighters in Iraq over the weekend, the Defense Department described a mission to stop militants from seizing an important dam on the Euphrates River and prevent them from unleashing floodwaters toward the capital, Baghdad.

But the strikes on Sunni militant positions near the Haditha Dam deepen the American military engagement in Iraq as the United States seeks to roll back advances of the extremist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Near the dam, American warplanes pounded ISIS armored vehicles and antiaircraft artillery late Saturday and early Sunday while Iraqi ground troops attacked villages held by ISIS fighters. It was exactly the kind of operation that President Obama described at a news conference in Wales on Friday when he talked about how the United States and its allies could fight ISIS: Use American warplanes to drop bombs while coordinating with local ground troops to reclaim and hold territory.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement, “We conducted these strikes to prevent terrorists from further threatening the security of the dam.” The strikes, the statement said, came “under authority to protect U.S. personnel and facilities, support humanitarian efforts and support Iraqi forces that are acting in furtherance of these objectives.”

The strikes near the Haditha Dam followed a pattern established in recent days of air campaigns aided by locals, including Shiite militiamen who fought against United States forces during the American occupation of Iraq.

Two weeks ago, the American military carried out airstrikes that allowed Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim the Mosul Dam, in northern Iraq, which had fallen into ISIS hands. It has also struck the group’s fighters besieging the Turkmen city of Amerli.

ISIS had not made it to the Haditha Dam, but had been advancing for several weeks, American officials said. That worried Iraqi officials, who maintained that the Haditha Dam was as important as the Mosul Dam because it is closer to Baghdad.

The president commented on the battle against the Islamic State during a news conference at the NATO summit in Wales.

Video Credit By Reuters on Publish Date September 5, 2014. Image CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Obama administration officials continued to insist, even after American warplanes bombed ISIS positions near several villages close to Haditha, that the United States had not expanded the mission beyond the limited goals set out by the president a month ago when he authorized airstrikes. At the time, Mr. Obama characterized the Iraq campaign as a limited one to break the ISIS siege of the minority Yazidi population stranded on Mount Sinjar in the north, and to protect American citizens, official personnel and facilities in Erbil, the Kurdish capital, and in Baghdad.

The Haditha Dam is 175 miles from Baghdad, 220 miles from Erbil and 270 miles from Mount Sinjar.

“I think the strikes the United States took are very much in line with what President Obama said were the guiding principles of military action in Iraq,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday at a news conference with the Georgian defense minister in Tbilisi. “If that dam would fall into ISIL’s hands,” he said, using another acronym for ISIS, “or if that dam would be destroyed, the damage that would cause would be very significant, and it would put a significant, additional and big risk into the mix in Iraq.”

A break of the Haditha Dam, military officials said, could flood Baghdad’s airport and threaten Americans in Iraq. That rationale is similar to the one used when American warplanes bombed ISIS militants who controlled the Mosul Dam. But such a definition gives the White House wide latitude to support Iraqi forces in a sustained military offensive against the group across the country.

The battles over the two dams are part of a war for water that ISIS has waged since it swept into Iraq, bent on carving out a caliphate in territory spanning Iraq and Syria. The dams, which control the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, have become a valued asset for both sides.

The towns struck by the United States over the weekend, in Anbar Province, were captured by ISIS extremists in late June, shortly after they stormed the northern city of Mosul. The territory the militants held — which included the towns of Qaim, Rawa, Ana and Barwana — gave ISIS a supply route to Syria along a strategic highway, and put its fighters within reach of the Haditha Dam.

The weekend offensive included Sunni fighters from the Al-Jaghaifa and Albu Mahal tribes, and Iraqi units including special forces and units called up from the southern town of Hilla, according to Iraqi soldiers and officers. Using tanks, artillery and mortar fire, they concentrated their attack on ISIS fighters in Barwana, seven miles south of the dam.

Approaching Barwana from the north and south, engineering units worked to disarm improvised explosive devices and booby traps, which have become a hallmark of the militants. One soldier, fighting in an area across the Euphrates from Barwana, described “heavy crossfire” as the fighting gained in intensity early Sunday.

At one point, a mortar round injured several senior Iraqi officials, including the governor of Anbar Province, Ahmed al-Dulaimi, and the mayor of Haditha. Late Sunday, the militants remained in the town and were putting up fierce resistance from the neighborhood of Al-Khafsa, officers said.

Even so, Iraqi military officials sounded triumphant. “We have tried many times to liberate Barwana but have failed,” said a senior military officer fighting in the town on Sunday. “We would have failed again without the U.S. strikes.”

The militants, who had also come under attack from Iraqi warplanes, retained control of Rana, Awa and the border town of Qaim, reflecting the resilience and strength of a force that has stockpiled weapons and matériel as ISIS has routed military units, militias and rival insurgent groups.

A newly released field report by a private firm that investigates arms trafficking documented small arms and rockets captured from ISIS that appeared to have been provided to other combatants by Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The findings by the firm, Conflict Armament Research in England, provided a new level of detail of ISIS’ apparent capture and diversion of military equipment sent into the region by foreign governments, which have often found the irregular forces and local government troops they have sponsored to be unreliable and prone to corruption, defection or defeat.

Among the former ISIS weapons that the firm examined were M16 and M4 rifles stamped “Property of U.S. Govt.” Such weapons are also common in the hands of irregular Shiite forces in Iraq, where the United States provided hundreds of thousands of small arms to local and state forces during its long occupation.

The weapons were often provided hastily or with scant accountability. Many of Iraq’s military and police forces have since been defeated by ISIS or have abandoned their bases and posts, yielding equipment provided by American taxpayers and exposing weaknesses in the Pentagon’s once-heralded force-building measures.

The firm also found that ISIS had M79 anti-tank rockets from the former Yugoslavia that were identical to M79 rockets provided by Saudi Arabia to rebels in Syria. Many Syrian rebels have said weapons provided to them by foreign supporters have been captured by ISIS or sold or traded to ISIS by corrupt members of the rebel ranks.

haditha

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