Tag Archives: usa

20 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble

By Michael Snyder | From BlacklistedNews.com | On Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Is the U.S. economy about to experience a major downturn? Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of signs that economic activity in the United States is really slowing down right now. Freight volumes and freight expenditures are way down, consumer confidence has declined sharply, major retail chains all over America are closing hundreds of stores, and the “sequester” threatens to give the American people their first significant opportunity to experience what “austerity” tastes like. Gas prices are going up rapidly, corporate insiders are dumping massive amounts of stock and there are high profile corporate bankruptcies in the news almost every single day now. In many ways, what we are going through right now feels very similar to 2008 before the crash happened. Back then the warning signs of economic trouble were very obvious, but our politicians and the mainstream media insisted that everything was just fine, and the stock market was very much detached from reality. When the stock market did finally catch up with reality, it happened very, very rapidly. Sadly, most people do not appear to have learned any lessons from the crisis of 2008. Americans continue to rack up staggering amounts of debt, and Wall Street is more reckless than ever. As a society, we seem to have concluded that 2008 was just a temporary malfunction rather than an indication that our entire system was fundamentally flawed. In the end, we will pay a great price for our overconfidence and our recklessness.

So what will the rest of 2013 bring?

Hopefully the economy will remain stable for as long as possible, but right now things do not look particularly promising.

The following are 20 signs that the U.S. economy is heading for big trouble in the months ahead…

#1 Freight shipment volumes have hit their lowest level in two years, and freight expenditures have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.

#2 The average price of a gallon of gasoline has risen by more than 50 cents over the past two months. This is making things tougher on our economy, because nearly every form of economic activity involves moving people or goods around.

#3 Reader’s Digest, once one of the most popular magazines in the world, has filed for bankruptcy.

#4 Atlantic City’s newest casino, Revel, has just filed for bankruptcy. It had been hoped that Revel would help lead a turnaround for Atlantic City.

#5 A state-appointed review board has determined that there is “no satisfactory plan” to solve Detroit’s financial emergency, and many believe that bankruptcy is imminent. If Detroit does declare bankruptcy, it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

#6 David Gallagher, the CEO of Town Sports International, recently said that his company is struggling right now because consumers simply do not have as much disposable income anymore…

“As we moved into January membership trends were tracking to expectations in the first half of the month, but fell off track and did not meet our expectations in the second half of the month. We believe the driver of this was the rapid decline in consumer sentiment that has been reported and is connected to the reduction in net pay consumers earn given the changes in tax rates that went into effect in January.”

#7 According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence in the U.S. has hit its lowest level in more than a year.

#8 Sales of the Apple iPhone have been slower than projected, and as a result Chinese manufacturing giant FoxConn has instituted a hiring freeze. The following is from a CNET report that was posted on Wednesday…

The Financial Times noted that it was the first time since a 2009 downturn that the company opted to halt hiring in all of its facilities across the country. The publication talked to multiple recruiters.

The actions taken by Foxconn fuel the concern over the perceived weakened demand for the iPhone 5 and slumping sentiment around Apple in general, with production activity a leading indicator of interest in the product.

#9 In 2012, global cell phone sales posted their first decline since the end of the last recession.

#10 We appear to be in the midst of a “retail apocalypse”. It is being projected that Sears, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and RadioShack will also close hundreds of stores by the end of 2013.

#11 An internal memo authored by a Wal-Mart executive that was recently leaked to the press said that February sales were a “total disaster” and that the beginning of February was the “worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”

#12 If Congress does not do anything and “sequestration” goes into effect on March 1st, the Pentagon says that approximately 800,000 civilian employees will be facing mandatory furloughs.

#13 Barack Obama is admitting that the “sequester” could have a crippling impact on the U.S. economy. The following is from a recent CNBC article…

Obama cautioned that if the $85 billion in immediate cuts — known as the sequester — occur, the full range of government would feel the effects. Among those he listed: furloughed FBI agents, reductions in spending for communities to pay police and fire personnel and teachers, and decreased ability to respond to threats around the world.

He said the consequences would be felt across the economy.

“People will lose their jobs,” he said. “The unemployment rate might tick up again.”

#14 If the “sequester” is allowed to go into effect, the CBO is projecting that it will cause U.S. GDP growth to go down by at least 0.6 percent and that it will “reduce job growth by 750,000 jobs”.

#15 According to a recent Gallup survey, 65 percent of all Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of “economic difficulty”, and 50 percent of all Americans believe that the “best days” of America are now in the past.

#16 U.S. GDP actually contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012. This was the first GDP contraction that the official numbers have shown in more than three years.

#17 For the entire year of 2012, U.S. GDP growth was only about 1.5 percent. According to Art Cashin, every time GDP growth has fallen this low for an entire year, the U.S. economy has always ended up going into a recession.

#18 The global economy overall is really starting to slow down…

The world’s richest countries saw their economies contract for the first time in almost four years during the final three months of 2012, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.

The Paris-based thinktank said gross domestic product across its 34 member states fell by 0.2% – breaking a period of rising activity stretching back to a 2.3% slump in output in the first quarter of 2009.

All the major economies of the OECD – the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the UK – have already reported falls in output at the end of 2012, with the thinktank noting that the steepest declines had been seen in the European Union, where GDP fell by 0.5%. Canada is the only member of the G7 currently on course to register an increase in national output.

#19 Corporate insiders are dumping enormous amounts of stock right now. Do they know something that we don’t?

#20 Even some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warning that we are heading for an economic collapse. For example, Seth Klarman, one of the most respected investors on Wall Street, said in his year-end letter that the collapse of the U.S. financial system could happen at any time…

“Investing today may well be harder than it has been at any time in our three decades of existence,” writes Seth Klarman in his year-end letter. The Fed’s “relentless interventions and manipulations” have left few purchase targets for Baupost, he laments. “(The) underpinnings of our economy and financial system are so precarious that the un-abating risks of collapse dwarf all other factors.”

So what do you think is going to happen to the U.S. economy in the months ahead?

Please feel free to express your opinion by leaving a comment below…

This article was originally posted at http://www.blacklistednews.com/20_Signs_That_The_U.S._Economy_Is_Heading_For_Big_Trouble_In_The_Months_Ahead/24357/0/0/0/Y/M.html

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Online al Qaeda Threat Promises New Attacks on U.S.

From WashingtonTimes.com | On Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

A jihadist website posted a new threat by al Qaeda this week that promises to conduct “shocking” attacks on the United States and the West.

The posting appeared on the Ansar al Mujahidin network Sunday and carried the headline, “Map of al Qaeda and its future strikes.”

The message, in Arabic, asks: “Where will the next strike by al Qaeda be?” A translation was obtained by Inside the Ring.

“The answer for it, in short: The coming strikes by al Qaeda, with God’s Might, will be in the heart of the land of nonbelief, America, and in France, Denmark, other countries in Europe, in the countries that helped and are helping France, and in other places that shall be named by al Qaeda at other times,” the threat states.

The attacks will be “strong, serious, alarming, earth-shattering, shocking and terrifying.”

Under a section of the post on the method of the attacks, the unidentified writer said the strikes would be “group and lone-wolf operations, in addition to the use of booby-trapped vehicles.”

“All operations will be recorded and published in due time,” the message said. “Let France be prepared, and let the helpers of France be prepared, for it is going to be a long war of attrition.”

The reference to France appears linked to the group’s plans for retaliation against the French-led military strikes in northern Mali in operations to oust al Qaeda terrorists from the North African country.

The Ansar al-Mujahidin network is a well-known jihadist forum that in the past has published reliably accurate propaganda messages from al Qaeda and its affiliates.

U.S. counterterrorism actions over the past 10 years have prevented al Qaeda from conducting major attacks. However, U.S. officials warn that the group continues to be dangerous, despite the killing of its top leaders in drone strikes and special operations.

A U.S. official said the threat is being taken seriously by the U.S. government.

“Extremists regularly make threats online,” he told Inside the Ring. “This one is not particularly unusual, but of course should be taken seriously.”

This article was originally posted at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/30/inside-the-ring-new-al-qaeda-threat/

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Shameful: U.S. Hits $16.4 Trillion Debt Limit

By Becket Adams | From TheBlaze.com | On Monday, December 31st, 2012

The U.S. government on Monday officially reached it $16.4 trillion borrowing limit, a grim reminder of the state of the country’s finances.

Reaching the limit sets up another dispute between the White House and Congress over taxes and spending in the new year.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the government will take a series of accounting measures to avoid defaulting on its debt. On Monday, it suspended the issuance of new debt for two government retirement funds.

Last week, Geithner said the measures would save about $200 billion and avoid default for about two months.

Geithner said it is difficult to predict how long default can be avoided because of ongoing negotiations over tax and budget policies.

The debt limit is the amount the government can borrow to help finance its operations.

This article was originally posted at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/its-official-u-s-hits-16-4t-debt-limit/

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Is Government Security Is Just Another Kind Of Violence?

By Tyler Durden | From ZeroHedge.com | On Monday, December 24th, 2012

Obviously I don’t want to conflate complex issues of foreign policy and war with the Sandy Hook shooting, but it is important to make the broader point that our federal government has zero moral authority to legislate against violence. Furthermore, do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches?

We see this culture in our airports: witness the shabby spectacle of once proud, happy Americans shuffling through long lines while uniformed TSA agents bark orders. This is the world of government provided “security,” a world far too many Americans now seem to accept or even endorse.

School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America. Do we really believe government can provide total security? Do we want to involuntarily commit every disaffected, disturbed, or alienated person who fantasizes about violence? Or can we accept that liberty is more important than the illusion of state-provided security?

Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. We shouldn’t settle for substituting one type of violence for another. Government role is to protect liberty, not to pursue unobtainable safety.

This article was originally posted at http://www.zerohedge.com/?page=3&search_block_form=life

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

US Debt & Liabilities Set To Increase A Staggering $70 Trillion

Egon von Greyerz was interviewed by King World News about what the world is facing going forward as well as the recent turbulent action in the gold and silver markets. Greyerz, who is founder of Matterhorn Asset Management in Switzerland, said this:

“U.S. debt is increasing by approximately $1.5 trillion per year. If you add to that the increase in unfunded liabilities, you get an increase, only in 2012, of $7 trillion.

So total debt and unfunded liabilities increase in 2012 by (a staggering) $7 trillion. If you multiply $7 trillion by ten years you get to $70 trillion. And you can see that the whole fiscal cliff debate is about a measly $1.2 trillion over ten years, against a potential increase in the total debt in the US of $70 trillion.

So it is so sad to see this desperate situation when politicians worldwide refuse to face up to the real catastrophic state the world is in. Instead, they are just tinkering with the edges.”

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Wikileaks: U.S. Government Run Domestic Spy Network Exposed

David Seaman, David Seaman Online via BusinessInsider | On August 10th, 2012

TrapWire is watching.

TrapWire is watching.

The U.S. cable networks won’t be covering this one tonight (not accurately, anyway), but Trapwire is making the rounds on social media today—it reportedly became a Trending hashtag on Twitter earlier in the day.

Trapwire is the name of a program revealed in the latest Wikileaks bonanza—it is the mother of all leaks, by the way. Trapwire would make something like disclosure of UFO contact or imminent failure of a major U.S. bank fairly boring news by comparison.

And someone out there seems to be quite disappointed that word is getting out so swiftly; the Wikileaks web site is reportedly sustaining 10GB worth of DDoS attacks each second, which is massive.

Anyway, here’s what Trapwire is, according to Russian-state owned media network RT (apologies for citing “foreign media”… if we had a free press, I’d be citing something published here by an American media conglomerate): “Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology—and have installed it across the U.S. under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.

Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it’s the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community.

The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation’s ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented. The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.”

So: those spooky new “circular” dark globe cameras installed in your neighborhood park, town, or city—they aren’t just passively monitoring. They’re plugged into Trapwire and they are potentially monitoring every single person via facial recognition.

In related news, the Obama administration is fighting in federal court this week for the ability to imprison American citizens under NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions—and anyone else—without charge or trial, on suspicion alone.

So we have a widespread network of surveillance cameras across America monitoring us and reporting suspicious activity back to a centralized analysis center, mixed in with the ability to imprison people via military force on the basis of suspicious activity alone. I don’t see how that could possibly go wrong. Nope, not at all. We all know the government, and algorithmic computer programs, never make mistakes.

Here’s what is also so disturbing about this whole NDAA business, according to Tangerine Bolen’s piece in the Guardian: “This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying. Government attorneys again, in this hearing, presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the U.S. government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest’s injunction. In other words, they were telling a U.S. federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama’s government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them. To this, Judge Forrest responded that if the provision had indeed been applied, the United States government would be in contempt of court.”

If none of this bothers you, please don’t follow me on Twitter, because nothing I report on will be of interest to you. Go back to watching the television news network of your choice, where you will hear about Romney’s latest campaign ads, and whether Obamacare will increase the cost of delivery pizza by 14 to 16 cents.

The original article was posted at http://www.businessinsider.com/trapwire-everything-you-need-to-know-2012-8

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About The Author: Erica M. is the Managing Editor of Radical Survivalism Magazine.

Richard Land on the Nation’s Spiritual Crisis…

By Billy Hallowell | From TheBlaze.com | On Friday, July 27th, 2012

Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, told the audience at “Under God: Indivisible“ that America is ”at a fork in the road.”

Rather than facing a choice between going left or right, Land said that America is weighing a decision that will lead her to take an upward or a downward trajectory.

“If America dies, she’ll die from self-inflicted wounds,” he opened the speech, with the audience reluctantly agreeing. “We face a far greater peril from our own immorality and our own adultery than we ever faced from the British army or the German air force of the Japanese navy or the Soviet missile command.”

Land told the audience that the future of America depends upon “what the saved people do.” It is Christians, he said, who hold the responsibility to set the dangerous course the nation is taking back on track.

“[We face] a Titanic struggle between those who want to remake America and those who want to restore America,” Land continued. “There are some forks — once they’re taken, you can’t go back.”

The audience cheered his message on, as land reiterated the need for Christians to step up to the plate.

This article was originally posted at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/richard-land-on-the-nations-spiritual-crisis-if-america-dies-shell-die-from-self-inflicted-wounds/

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Flags Of Our Forefathers: The Betsy Ross Flag

An accurate depiction of the Betsy Ross Flag

An accurate depiction of the Betsy Ross Flag

The Betsy Ross flag is an early design of the flag of the United States, popularly attributed to Betsy Ross, using the common motifs of alternating red-and-white striped field with five-pointed stars in a blue canton. The flag was designed during the American Revolution and features 13 stars to represent the original 13 colonies. The distinctive feature of the Ross flag is the arrangement of the stars in a circle.

Although the Betsy Ross story is accepted by most Americans, some flag historians and revisionists do not accept the Betsy Ross design as the first American flag. According to the traditional account, the original flag was made in June 1776, when a small committee— including George Washington, Robert Morris and relative George Ross— visited Betsy and discussed the need for a new American flag. Betsy accepted the job to manufacture the flag, altering the committee’s design by replacing the six-pointed stars with five-pointed stars.

While the Betsy Ross legend is questionable, the flag design is known to have been in use by 1777; Alfred B. Street described it at the surrender of General Burgoyne and understood the circle of stars to represent equality among the American states. It is one of the oldest versions of U.S. flags known to exist; while it is not the oldest surviving flag artifact in cloth form, its likeness appears on older physical relics, namely, the contemporary battlefield paintings by John Trumbull and Charles Willson Peale. They depict the circular star arrangement being flown from ship masts and many other places, and thus provide the first known historical documentation of the flag’s appearance.

The seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs uses the Betsy Ross flag to represent service to all veterans from the American Revolution to the present day.

The Betsy Ross design of 13-star US flags has been featured in many popular artworks (sometimes inaccurately, as in Washington Crossing the Delaware) and films, such as the 1960 version of Pollyanna. The flag continues to be one of the most popular symbols of the American Revolution.

Text source: Wikipedia.com

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Flags Of Our Forefathers: Naval Jack of the United States

Naval Jack of the United States

The First Navy Jack is the current U.S. jack authorized by the United States Navy. The design is traditionally regarded as that of first U.S. naval jack flown in the earliest years of the republic.

In late 1775, as the first ships of the Continental Navy readied in the Delaware River, Commodore Esek Hopkins issued, in a set of fleet signals, an instruction directing his vessels to fly a “striped” jack and ensign. The exact design of these flags is unknown. The ensign was likely to have been the Grand Union Flag, and the jack a simplified version of the ensign: a field of 13 horizontal red and white stripes. However, the jack has traditionally been depicted as consisting of thirteen red and white stripes charged with an uncoiled rattlesnake and the motto “Dont Tread on Me”; this tradition dates at least back to 1880, when this design appeared in a color plate in Admiral George Henry Preble’s influential History of the Flag of the United States. Recent scholarship, however, has demonstrated that this inferred design never actually existed but “was a 19th-century mistake based on an erroneous 1776 engraving”.

In 1778, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sicily, thanking him for allowing entry of American ships into Sicilian ports. The letter describes the American flag according to the 1777 Flag Resolution, but also describes a flag of “South Carolina, a rattlesnake, in the middle of the thirteen stripes.”

The rattlesnake had long been a symbol of resistance to the British in Colonial America. The phrase “Don’t tread on me” was coined during the American Revolutionary War, a variant perhaps of the snake severed in segments labelled with the names of the colonies and the legend “Join, or Die” which had appeared first in Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754, as a political cartoon reflecting on the Albany Congress.

The rattlesnake (specifically, the Timber Rattlesnake) is especially significant and symbolic to the American Revolution. The rattle has thirteen layers, signifying the original Thirteen Colonies. And, the snake does not strike until provoked, a quality echoed by the phrase “Don’t tread on me.” For more on the origin of the rattlesnake emblem, see the Gadsden flag.

Like other snake flags, the Navy Jack has been used as a sign of protest. Opponents to a smoking ban in Franklin, Indiana fly Navy Jacks outside their homes and businesses.

Source: Wikipedia.com

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Flags Of Our Forefathers: The Continental Flag

The Continental Flag

The Continental Flag

The Continental Flag is derived from a version of the British Red Ensign or Meteor Flag, but with a depiction of a green New England Pine tree over a white background substituted for the Union Flag in the canton.

On the nights of June 16th  and 17th, 1775, the Americans fortified Breed and Bunker Hills which overlooked Boston Harbor. Although they had not yet officially declared their independence, a fight for control of the hills became necessary. When the British advanced up the slope the next day, according to legend they saw a red flag, but we have no concrete knowledge of which American Flag was actually flown in this battle. John Trumbull, whose paintings of Revolutionary War scenes are quite famous, talked to eye-witnesses and his subsequent painting depicting the battle featured the Continental flag as shown here.

Many historians think the flag flown by the Americans during the Battle of Bunker Hill was the more common First New England Naval Ensign which featured red, white and blue horizontal stripes in place of the solid red field.

The Continental Flag was the third flag of New England, and is presently the civic flag of Lincoln County, Maine.

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About The Author: RSOPerator is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine.